The South Bay Genealogical Society is celebrating 30 years of helping people explore genealogy research. The club is resuming in-person meetings in September.

The South Bay Genealogical Society (SBGS) has announced a return to in-person meetings beginning on Tuesday, September 21. The 12 Noon luncheon will take place at the Sun City United Methodist Church in Sun City Center.

The SBGS was started in 1991 and has grown to more than 140 members. Many noted genealogists have made presentations at these meetings over the past 30 years.

The guest speaker will be Carol Weidlich, who will be explaining how wikis can be used for genealogical research. Weidlich has been a staple in the genealogy field for more than 20 years and brings a wealth of information and knowledge.

The meeting takes place every third Tuesday from September through May. The meetings begin at 10:30 a.m. with a round table discussion which gives everyone a chance to discuss their searches and exchange ideas. Lunch is served at 12 Noon and the guest speaker begins at 1 p.m., which typically lasts for one hour.

According to current SBGS President William ‘Doc’ Simmons, the topics always vary, but they all deal with history and genealogy, including methods, research techniques, where to find information, how to organize your data and how to use genealogical computer programs.

“My favorite part of this club is learning new methods of researching my family tree and history,” said Simmons. “There is also a social aspect to the society—we get to talk, exchange experiences and meet new people. It is a real mind-expanding experience, along with being a lot of fun. I am excited to get our group back together and to encourage others to come out and learn more about family history.”

If you would like to join the September through May luncheons, send a check for the yearly membership fee of $25 per family. Each luncheon costs $15 per person. Mail checks to South Bay Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 5202, Sun City Center, FL 33571. If you have any questions about the membership or meetings, call 643-4649 or email You can also follow it on Facebook at or visit

The SBGS publishes a monthly e-newsletter, LINKS, which includes news of the society and of tips and tricks. Sun City United Methodist Church is located at 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W. in Sun City Center in the Life Enrichment Center auditorium behind the church.

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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.