Newsletter about our organization and genealogy library

SGES September 2019 Newsletter

Past and Present

Newsletter of The Southern Genealogist’s Exchange Society

September 2019

“We don’t know what we don’t know.”—Elissa Scalise Powell 

Genealogy detectives at the SGES Library 

FH 1307 When Descendants Become Ancestors-by David A Kendall PhD. 

“As we research our own ancestors and mourn the lack of information available to us, we forget that we are the future ancestors of our descendants. And if we don’t leave to them the kinds of information about our lives that we crave to know about our own forefathers, then we are merely perpetuating the problem”. This book is a guide to researchers to leave behind for their descendants’ information about themselves to help future generations. 


Volunteers are needed by SGES for not only library duty but “look-ups” for out-of-towners. Costs for copies, postage and phone calls would be reimbursed by requesters. 

Another way to help is researching for others. Requesters would pay expenses and any other fees you choose to charge. You decide if you want to assist with a specific inquiry. 

Volunteers are also needed to man the SGES library on a regular basis or as needed. 

Call or email SGES, indicating your interest. 

The Board of Directors regretfully announces the resignation of Michael Lawson as President of SGES. Carol Clay will assume his duties until the end of 2019. 

Mike is relocating to North Carolina to be closer to family. Since joining SGES in 2009, Mike has been a valuable member, volunteer and officer. He will be missed. 

Story of the month 

Sloan’s Landing Cemetery 

By Valerie Bennett 

Turning east off Jacksonville’s San Jose Blvd, it is only a bit more than a mile down Julington Creek Rd, before Dogwood Hill Ln is a right turn. At the end of Dogwood, drivers find several residences as well as the Sloan’s Landing Cemetery. 

Burials began in the late 1880s and continued throughout the 1900s. Several of Mandarin’s founding families have members interred here….Acosta, Bardin, Flynn, Hagin and Hood. Large trees and moss shade a good deal of the burial grounds. There are multiple Confederate soldiers’ graves. Readability of headstones vary based on age and construction medium. 

I first became acquainted with Sloan’s after answering a call at SGES library several months a ago from Georgia MacLean. She was calling on behalf of her husband Donald C MacLean, Jr. 

Living west of Sloan’s, Don had been mowing and otherwise maintaining the location for many years. With his advancement in age, this is no longer possible. Does SGES know someone who could assume that service? 

A few days later, I picked up the MacLeans and we visited the cemetery. Grass was overgrown. Debris included downed tree branches and even an old tire. Making no promises, I agreed to check for a possible solution. 

Calling Sandy Arpen, President of the Mandarin Museum & Historical Society (MMHS), we discussed the situation. Sandy advised that a trio of organizations (MMHS, Mandarin Community Club and Mandarin Garden Club) had been out to Sloan’s last fall for a clean-up. But being Florida, the grass continues to grow year-round. 

The property is not owned by the City of Jacksonville and therefore not on the COJ list of cemeteries to be maintained. Hindering the trio’s efforts is that none of the organizations have access to a large heavy duty mower or a trailer to haul away debris.


Can you help? Individuals, family groups, students, service organizations or youth groups….all are possible candidates to give back to the Julington/Mandarin community. Just because you don’t know the individuals buried here, doesn’t mean you can’t help honor their memory. Don’t we all hope to be remembered once gone? 

Call MMHS, 904-268-0784, and leave a message with your name and number. Let’s work together to be a solution for Sloan’s Landing! 


Noted Genealogist researcher/author Thomas MacEntee has made available to the public, free access to his “Genealogy Do-Over” program. This is a project-based initiative to improve genealogy research skills while having fun too. Although started in 2018, it is still applicable in 2019. 

Topics: 1) Conducting Cluster Research and 2) Organizing Research Materials – Documents and Photos 

Conducting Cluster Research: Last month we covered Collateral Research, which focused on siblings, in-laws and others considered to be within the same extended family. Cluster Research is when you research the friends, associates and neighbors (aka F.A.N. club) who were part of the community of your direct line ancestors. Most times this means focusing on the geographical area where your ancestors lived or the locales from and to which they migrated. 

Your Ancestors Had a Network: The saying “No man is an island,” holds true when it comes to the daily lives of our ancestors and probably more so than daily life in the 21st century. 

Understand that when a person or a family arrived in a new country, city or town it was likely that they already knew someone there. This may have been a relative or a friend of a relative. They may have been connected to the same hometown or same ethnic group in the Old Country. Our ancestors didn’t just pick up and leave on a whim to settle down in a place that was unfamiliar. 

Organizing Research Materials – Documents and Photos: Since we’re on the “down slope” of The Genealogy Do-Over, it is likely that you’ve accumulated physical items in your research such as documents, vital record certificates, photos, etc. 

While next month we will focus on how to keep digital items organized, let’s talk about using folders, binders, filing cabinets and the like. First, I need to admit that I have a strong bias towards digital . . . to the point where I’d rather have a PDF or scan an item than have a paper version. Nevertheless, there are some items that are irreplaceable in their original form so organize we must! 

Best Practices for Organizing Genealogy Items 

Here are some guidelines I follow when organizing my paper materials: 

  • Think preservation as well as access. 
  • Select a system that works for you.
  • Schedule maintenance time. 
  • Do I really need that item? 


Here are some resources that I recommend when anyone tells me they need to get their “genealogy cave” organized! 

Ready to get organized? I realize that you can’t simply organize all your genealogy material in a day, but with the knowledge and resources above, here’s what you can do: create projects and tasks for your To Do List and tackle them little by little.  

©2018, copyright Thomas MacEntee. Used with permission. 

New additions to the SGES Library 

EF366.00 & EF366.01, Vol 1 & 2 The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the 

American Colonies, Quebec or the United States—Gary Boyd Roberts 

FL566 Aviation’s Earliest Years in Jacksonville 1875-1935—John P Ingle 

FL567 Franklin County FL 1850 Census 

FL568 Memories of Old Miami—Hoyt Frazure 

FL569 Wakulla Count FL 1850 Census 

SGES Past and Present newsletter
SGES Past and Present newsletter