About the Scandinavian SIG

Who We Are

We are the Scandinavian Special Interest Group of  The Villages Genealogical Society in the Villages, Florida, the largest genealogical society in the State of Florida. To learn more about the Scandinavian SIG and our interests, please explore this Website.

VGS Scandinavian SIG Leader

Larry Peterson, Scandinavian SIG Leader (About the Scandinavian SIG)
Larry Peterson
Scandinavian SIG Leader


The VGS Scandinavian SIG Leader is Larry Peterson. He assumed leadership of the group in 2011 after the untimely passing of the prior leader, Richard Gaskill. Larry picked up the ball and ran with it. His energy and enthusiasm provides Scandinavian SIG members with encouragement to find their Nordic ancestors.

Larry Peterson was born in the Quad Cities area of Illinois.  At the age of 11 his family moved to an 80 acre farm in northern Missouri.  At the age of 18 he enlisted in the U. S. Navy in which he served for 6 years . While stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois he met his wife, Ann. They were married in 1959 and have 2 daughters, a son, 2 grandsons, 2 grand daughters and 2 great-grandsons.

Larry spent his working years in marketing and sales. He was elected to the Bloomingdale, Illinois, school board, on which he served for two years. He was the Awards Coordinator for a local Boy Scout Troop, an Asst. Leader and Leader of a local Girl Scout Troop, and Fund Raising Manager for the Schaumburg High School Band Boosters.

When Larry and Ann moved to The Villages, Larry’s public service work continued.  Larry founded and led the Tall Trees Men’s Club for 2.5 years and served as the District 6 Representative for the Villages Homeowners Association for almost 3 years. And, of course, he is now the Scandinavian SIG Facilitator.

Larry has been doing Genealogy/Family History research for nearly 40 years. His ancestry includes forebears from Sweden, Belgium and England. When Larry started researching his family genealogy, the Internet had yet to remake the technological face of the world. He started the old fashioned way, with pedigree charts, interviews of family members, letters to County Clerks and visits to courthouses, cemeteries and libraries. He poured over microfilms and microfiche at the local LDS Family History Center. He enlisted the aid of The Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, to answer questions about his ancestry.

Once the internet came along, Larry embraced the new technology. He used Ancestry’s free RootsWeb site, as well as other Web resources. When he came upon new-found cousins, Larry was now using email to communicate with them and exchange information.. He started by using the Personal Ancestry File (PAF) software provided by the LDS Family Search project. When Family Tree Maker was introduced, he migrated to it, and used its online version, Ancestry.com. Today his primary genealogy software is Roots Magic, the replacement for PAF.

Larry is a member of the Rock Island County (Illinois) Genealogical Society. He is a past member of the Genealogy group at The Nordic Family Genealogy Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago and of the Genealogy group at the Schaumburg Township District Library in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Scandinavian SIG Goals

Our objective is to provide resources and support to VGS members who want to research their Scandinavian ancestors. Our meetings often involve group discussions of research methods and techniques.

 Meeting Location

The Scandinavian SIG meets at 10:00am on the third Friday of the month at: The Seabreeze Regional Recreation Center, 2384 Buena Vista Blvd., The Villages, Florida 32162. Meetings are open to any member of The Villages Genealogical Society.

The Villages Genealogical Society