West Florida Genealogical Society
West Florida Genealogical Society
The West Florida Genealogical Society, a 501(c)(3) organization located in historic Pensacola, Florida, is the largest genealogical society in Northwest Florida. WFGS was founded in 1982 to promote knowledge of and stimulate interest in the study of genealogy. 
 
Monthly meetings are held on the first Saturday of every month (except July). Meetings will be held via Zoom until further notice. All meetings are open to the general public and include a presentation on genealogical research or relevant history.
 

September 7, 2022 Meeting:
 
Using her experience researching Irish-American families, Marguerite Scully highlights information that may be obtained in U.S. records about your Irish immigrant ancestor, information often required in order to find your ancestor in Irish records. 
 
 
 

 
WFGS Wins National Award
 
The West Florida Genealogical Society was selected for the National Genealogical Society’s Genealogical Tourism Award in recognition of the 1821 Sampler project. This award seeks to promote research and encouragement of family history tourism. The award was presented at the NGS Family History Conference in Sacramento, CA on May 24, 2022.
 
The 1821 Sampler Project and its mosaic of faces is a public project sponsored by the 200th Anniversary Commission, established at the request of the City of Pensacola and Escambia County Board of County Commissioners to commemorate Florida’s entry into the United States in 1821. It also commemorates the 200th Anniversary of Escambia County, which was created at that time. 
 
West Florida Genealogical Society member Erin Renfroe and Past-President Virginia Shelby identified over 2,300 individuals who might have been present on July 17, 1821 for the changing of the flags ceremony in Pensacola. Present-day residents of West Florida have been invited to “represent” one of the individuals living in the area in 1821 - European colonial families, American settlers, free people of color, enslaved people, and the military. Over 500 have participated so far.
 
The incredible website that presented this data in a dynamic, user-friendly way was designed by Joe Vinson. Visit the project at
1821Sampler.com. 
 
Joe Vinson also produced a program about the 1821 celebrations and the history behind them. Narrated by Sherri Hemminghaus Weeks, it features interviews with Virginia and Erin, along with Dr. Judy Bense, Margo Stringfield, and others. Well-done and informative - click here to watch.
 
 

 
 
Looking for materials held at the West Florida Genealogy Branch Library? 
 
Here is a link to instructions on how to use the WFPL Main Catalog Advanced Search function to narrow your search results to materials specific to the Genealogy Branch.
 
Click here for a link to all the SURNAME FILES currently held in the West Florida Genealogy Branch Library's vertical files.
 

 
 Local history pages of interest: Lots of photographs of old landmarks and stories from page members. 
Be sure to set a timer when you get on these pages or you'll lose track of time!
 

 
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