From left to right: Members of the Brandon Area Genealogical and Historical Society Georgene Bender, President Rue Lynn Galbraith and Joan Glass at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library getting prepared for their upcoming meeting.

Individuals interested in learning about their family history or genealogy can join the Brandon Area Genealogical and Historical Society, which became established in 1995. A Brandon couple by the names of Tom Smith and Jean Smith had formed it as they had been doing genealogy for more than 20 years.

At that time, it was called the Greater Brandon Genealogical Society. It came into fruition due to the fact that the Smiths’ wanted to share their knowledge and interest of genealogy among those within their local community. In 2003, the name of this society changed to the Brandon Area Genealogical and Historical Society.

Currently, the Brandon Area Genealogical and Historical Society meets every second Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m. through Zoom. Prior to the pandemic, the society held its meetings at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library in Valrico. The society also partnered with the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative.

Those who attend the meetings will get to hear from a guest speaker about genealogy or a topic connected to family history. The meetings do not cost anything to attend, but for those wanting to become an annual member, the cost would be $15. These membership fees help go towards the funding of programs that the guest speakers utilize.

In January of this year, Rue Lynn Galbraith became the new president of the society. As Galbraith continues to thrive in his role, he is developing goals that he looks forward to accomplishing.

“My ultimate goal once we start meeting again at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library would be to grow participation in this society and to help gain better understanding of family history,” Galbraith said.

Beginning in the fall during the second Tuesday of the month at 2 p.m. and the last Saturday of the month at 10 a.m., another topic called ‘Ask a Genealogist’ will occur at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library.

“We are grateful for the partnership with the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative,” Galbraith said.

For more information, visit http://sites.rootsweb.com/~flbaghs/ or email Galbraith at ruelynn.gen@gmail.com.

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