Want to learn more about researching your family tree? 
Check out these FREE LIVE WEBINARS
from Legacy Family Tree Seminars.

Lee County Genealogical Society, Inc.
Monthly Membership Meetings
Upcoming Speakers for 2016
16 June David Nelson Grave Matters
21 July Robert Macomber
Annual Summer Indoor Pot Luck
Planning A Research Trip
18 August LCGS Members
Oral History and Heirlooms
15 September Paul Rivera Nuovomondo - One Person's Ellis Island Experience
20 October Steve Colburn Storytelling
17 November
Debra Fleming, aka The Ancestry Detective
Genealogy Proof Standard
15 December LCGS Members Memories of Christmas Past

Quick link to the Fort Myers Regional Library


Join Us at Our LCGS Monthly Membership Meetings
Monthly Membership Meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month, January through December from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Doors open to members and the public at 9:30 a.m. Our meeting are being held in the Fellowship Room of Cypress Lakes Presbyterian Church, 8260 Cypress Lake Drive, Fort Myers, Florida. CLICK HERE for map and driving directions.

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Genealogy is the study of your family’s history, which is a personal record of your ancestors. Through your research you learn about when and where they were born, who they married, who their children were, where they lived and worked, and how you fit in your overall family tree.

Learning about your family history usually starts at home by talking with family members and recording information about your ancestors. You may have useful sources at home such as birth certificates, obituaries, wedding announcements, a family Bible, etc.  Read these documents carefully – you may find some information about that ancestor or relative that you didn’t know before.  These documents may also prove or disprove some of those family stories you grew up with.

You may find that others in your family or extended family have already done genealogy research on your family.  Don't hesitate to ask close or distant relatives if they have already started researching your family.

Declaration of Rights
The Lee County Genealogical Society supports the Records Preservation & Access Committee’s Declaration of Rights, advocating open access to federal, state and local public records. This means not just vital records but access to land, immigration, military - both service and pensions, and adoption files. This access should also allow us to view original records when other media that had been used to capture an image of the record is hard to read.
Since 911, access to many records have been closed due to concerns about identify theft and privacy. No proof has been forth coming that the closure of these records has stopped or even limited identity theft and/or fraud. Social Security numbers are rarely stolen from documents found in government offices. They are usually stolen through Internet hacking into banking and business databases. The Washington Post on March 25, 2014, reported that the U.S. government notified 3,000 companies in 2013, that their computer systems had been hacked. Think Target, 7-Eleven, Nasdaq and even the U.S. Federal Reserve.
As family researchers we are encouraged by the U.S. Surgeon General to search through our ancestral tree for health issues that we or other family members may be afflicted with. We need proof of birth for drivers’ licenses and passports and the U.S. government releases census records to the public after 72 years. We need access to these records.
Please lend your support by reading, then signing the Declaration of Rights at
The Records Preservation & Access Committee is comprised of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and supported by the American Society of Genealogists, Association of Professional Genealogists, Board for Certification of Genealogists and International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.

Florida Gulf Coast University Library
10501 FGCU Blvd, South, Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
Southwest Florida (Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry,
or Glades) community residents:
You may get a free FGCU Library Borrower's Card
by filling out an application and showing proof of residence 
at the Circulation Desk.
See the Library's Circulation Policy for more information. 

Looking for information online
and don't know where to start? 
Check out our Research Links webpage to view a list of over 1,800 websites.
Use the Filter by Category box at the top of the page and search the various
categories of website links. If a link is broken, please don't hesitate to contact

War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land
Warrant Application Files
Among the most requested documents at The National Archives (NARA) are the War of 1812 pension applicaiton files.  There are approximately 180,000 pension and bounty land warrant application files relating to claims based on service between 1812 and 1815. These files generally contain documentation submitted in support of a claim, such as the original application form, affidavits, and statements from witnesses.  
These files are fragile and in need of digitization.  The War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project was established and in support of digitizing 7.2 million pages, has provided a dollar for dollar matching grant.  For more information on how you can make a tax-deductible gift visit Preserve the Pensions website by clicking here.
As these documents are digitized they are being made available FREE on NARA's website. As of 17 March 2013, 8% of the digitization has been completed - that's 556,064 documents.
The following information will be captured with the images and available to researchers when it exists in the file:
 .. Veteran's name
 .. Widow name
 .. Acres Granted
 .. Age
 .. Widow’s maiden name
 .. Year of BLM act
 .. Place of residence
 .. Widow death date
 .. Warrant number
 .. Soldier death date  .. Additional names    
To search these pension files on the fold3 website, please click here.  Remember, new images are being uploaded each day.  Check back often to see if you can identify records for your ancestors.

Facts and Tips
A Fact is something known to exist, be true, or have happened.
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Directories are often overlooked in favor of tax rolls, census information and other forms of primary resources. However, these can be amazing resources for your family history.
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Before 1790 you can use Tax Lists and other local lists that might have been compiled according to the state you are researching in.

Many legal instruments other than deeds appear in deed books. They include Bills of Sale, Prenuptial Agreements, Powers of Attorney, Contracts, Affidavits, Wills and Inventories and Voter and Jury Lists.

Keep track of the alternate spellings of the surnames you are searching.
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Lee County Genealogical Society, Inc. is a Florida non-profit corporation and a 501(c)(3), federally recognized non-profit,
tax-exempt organization. Donations, gifts, bequests and contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.
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