BGS Meeting — July 27, 2013 — Cemetery Preservation

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, July 27th at 2 p.m.;Board Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker: Gene Gravlee, ACPA – Walker County

Program Topic: Cemetery Preservation

Please join us as Gene Gravlee presents a program on Cemetery Preservation.   Gene is the Walker County Representative for Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance.  He retired from the Alabama Department of Public Safety and the Air Force Reserves with over 28 years of service.   He has published county cemetery maps for Walker, Winston and Lamar counties while working as a volunteer for Craig Remington at the University of Alabama.  He has over fifty years conducting family research member SAR, MOSB, Alabama Genealogical Society, Walker Genealogical and other organizations.

BGS Meeting — June 22, 2013 — Hellenic Heartbeat in the Deep South: A History of the Greek Community in Birmingham, Alabama

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, June 22nd at 2 p.m.;Board Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker: Niki Sepsas

Program Topic: Hellenic Heartbeat in the Deep South: A History of the Greek Community in Birmingham, Alabama

Please join us as local writer, Niki Sepsas, presents a slideshow based on his book Hellenic Heartbeat in the Deep South: A History of the Greek Community in Birmingham, Alabama.  The book chronicles the founding of the Greek church in Birmingham in 1907 and its growth over the past century into Cathedral status.  The story also focuses on the Greek immigrants who arrived on these shores more than a century ago possessing little more than their dreams of a better life and left us their legacy of faith and an abiding love of their patrida, their homeland.

In addition, the book and slideshow contain numerous images and stories on the founding and growth of many of the best known restaurants in the Birmingham area today – The Bright Star, Niki’s West, Fish Market, John’s, Fife’s, Costa’s Mediterranean Restaurant, Nabeel’s, Smokehouse Restaurant, etc. – many of which are still owned and operated by the children and grandchildren of those early immigrants and family members who followed them.  The work was a particular labor of love for Niki as his grandparents were among the earliest immigrants from Greece to settle in Birmingham.

Father Paul Costopoulos, the Dean of the Birmingham cathedral, reviewed the book and wrote:   “Niki successfully captures the unique history of the Greeks in Birmingham.  It is a story that is both fresh and engaging.”

BGS Meeting — April 27, 2013 — Using the Alabama State Loose Records Database/Index on the Web

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, April 27th at 2 p.m.;Board Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker: Jim Anderson

Program Topic: Using the Alabama State Loose Records Database/Index on the Web

Please join us as Jim Anderson, current Webmaster and Treasurer, Alabama Genealogical Society(and BGS member) presents “Using the Alabama State Loose Records Database/Index on the Web.”

Jim is the database architect for the AGS Loose Records web index that gives searchable access to over fifty thousand names culled from archival records of Alabama probate courts – the subject of which is his presentation today. With a degree in Film and TV production his early career was producing programs for the military, and later, the Alabama ETV (now APTV) network.  Following work in medical television at UAB, Jim moved into sales of AV and video equipment, and computers.  After owning and managing an Apple dealership for fourteen years Jim retired to pursue his family history research while working in a theatre troupe bringing performances to seniors in retirement homes throughout Jefferson County.

Jim has previously made two extremely interesting presentations to BGS: First, the recounting of a murder in Shelby County and it’s connection with a prominent Birmingham business man, and second,  an analysis of the question of who is buried on the Birmingham Country Club golf course.

BGS Meeting — March 23, 2013 — How to Research Your American Revolutionary War Ancestor

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, March 23rd at 2 p.m.;Board Meeting at 1:00 p.m.

Meeting Room: Arrington Auditorium, 4th Floor, Linn-Henley Building

Speaker: William “Bill” Clement

Program Topic: How to Research You American Revolutionary War Ancestor

Please join us as Bill Clement, current President of the Birmingham Chapter, Alabama Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (and BGS member) presents “How to Research Your American Revolutionary War Ancestor.” Bill is a graduate of the Marion Military Institute, Marion, AL and received a BS in Industrial Management from Clemson University and a Masters in Business from the University of South Carolina. Finding and documenting a Revolutionary War patriot ancestor for membership eligibility in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) or the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is not as difficult as many people believe. This program will benefit those seeking to join the DAR or SAR. Hope to see you at the meeting!

1940 U.S. Census Community Project Complete!!

Our friends at FamilySearch announced last night that the indexing and arbitration of the 1940 U.S. Census is now complete!  It will take a few weeks for all the remaining states to come online, but when it is done we will have (2) independent indexes for the 1940 Census– Ancestry.com and the Familysearch.org (shared by many other sites).  (Maybe when the all states come online from the FamilySearch indexing project  I will finally find my grandfather’s brothers!)

Don’t despair if you are sad that there are no records to index.  Familysearch.org is starting another “Community Project” — the US Immigration & Naturalization Community Project. This project will index passenger lists from all the major US ports, so there will be something in this project for everyone. Just look for the “US (Community Project)” label on all record sets belonging to this new project.

Read the full news release here from FamilySearch.org.

I would personally like to say “THANK YOU” to all the contributors who supported the Birmingham Genealogical Society in the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project.  I hope we can continue to index as a group supporting the other “Community Projects.”  I will post the “final” statistics of the records indexed and arbitrated for the group during the 1940 Census project later on the BGS Facebook page.  If you would like to join the group and index other Community Projects, you can find details on how to join and get started here.