Did you know that anyone who
donates $1000 or more to the California Genealogical
Society (CGS) is entitled to a Life Membership? If you’ve been
considering a life membership, now is a good time to make the commitment because
in January 2017 the cost will increase to $1200.
Life membership is being promoted to help build
our endowment and will sustain the society long-term. Currently,
CGS has 49 Life Members – fourteen of whom joined
this year. Two of those new Life Members are Chris Pattillo and Diana Wild.
Here’s why they
felt now was the right time to finally make the leap and become Life Members:
Jim Robinson, Laura Spurrier, Gloria Hanson & Chris Pattillo
about becoming a life member many times but never gotten around to it. This
seemed like the right time. CGS is important to me – I value the resources the
library has to offer and all that I learn attending programs, but most importantly
I value the friendships and sense of camaraderie here. After all, where
else can I carry on about my family history and know my listener is actually
Jane Lindsey, Diana Wild & Alice Kane (NEHGS)
"CGS was a major
reason why I got so involved in genealogy. It was an incubator of sorts - a
starting point for my research, a place where I learned new skills, and
sustained my enthusiasm. I not only gained knowledge, but also friends, and
enjoy sharing what I have learned with newcomers. I have belonged for many
years and plan on supporting it for years to come, so becoming a life member
just made good sense." Diana Wild
All life members – new and
old will be included in a special tea to be held in January 2017– so please consider
upgrading to a Life Membership.
that the holiday season has begun, I hope you’ll take a minute to think about some
of our genealogy accomplishments this year and why you should be proud to continue
supportingthe California Genealogical Society through our Annual Appeal.
What were “firsts” for us this
held our sold-out and well-received fall seminar with Cyndi Ingle, founder of
participated in our first ever East Bay Gives community day of online giving
and raised $3,000.
created a genealogy“summer camp” that was held on Thursday
evenings in July and August.
began a Young Genealogists group, an Irish Genealogy-focused Facebook page, and
a Roots Magic Special Interest Group.
We’re incredibly lucky to have an educational space for
classes and events that brings us closer together as a genealogical community. Isn’t it fun to meet people who have the same passion for genealogy as you?
In all seriousness, our library is the cornerstone of our
organization, housing a collection of thousands of books, maps, periodicals,
pedigree charts, manuscripts, vertical files, and other resources.
Have you been to the library lately?If not, come to the library and access the
numerous online subscriptions available including American Ancestors, Ancestry.com, Find My Past, Fold3, and HistoryGeo.
In just over a year, the California Genealogical Society
will reach a milestone, our 120th
Anniversary. As we get closer to this achievement, the goal is to ensure
that our society remains a leader in the field of genealogy. Your donation will
help us to do that, and more.
Give to an
organization that cherishes the past
At this time of year, we know that other charities and
organizations are all competing for your time and resources. We also know that you are
the reason that the California Genealogical Society continues to thrive nearly
120 years after our 1898 establishment.
Donate today and help us make the annual appeal a
October of 2016, the board of the California Genealogy Society (CGS) approved a
recommendation to rename our endowment fund as the Sherman-Haughton Fund. There are numerous reasons for doing so, but
the most important one is that the board wanted to honor and recognize the
significant contributions – both financial and in-service – that Frederick “Rick”
Sherman and Ken Haughton have made to our society.
Frederick S. Sherman, Ph.D.
Known to everyone as “Rick” joined
CGS in 1980 and from that time until his death he filled many vital roles in
first position was as Library Chairman. Then he served for ten years as
Research Director, and volunteered as a member of our heroic Desk Duty team. He
also participated in in a key strategic planning effort shortly before
a willing speaker and enjoyed helping others with their research. He even made
trips to Salt Lake City on behalf of members to find clues about their
ancestors. Rick served as President of our society from 1994-1996.
2008 Blog post honoring Rick, member June Nash
Lindquist had this to say about Rick, “We all value Rick's sage advice, and
cheerful and generous spirit. Rick is so knowledgeable on so many directions of
research. We always appreciate his witty and wise conclusions to very knotty
Generous in many ways
his wife Pat were exceedingly generous in many ways. Over the years they made
regular financial contributions to help fund important projects. In 1983, their
donations covered the cost of purchasing Bibliofile
– at the time a new software program that was used to catalogue the library’s
a sizeable contribution from Rick and Pat helped to underwrite a 600 square
foot expansion of the library when it was located on Brannan Street in San
Francisco. As recognition of their gift, a new reading room was named in their
honor. Also, when the library moved to its current location, Rick and Pat paid
for the new shelving.
all of Rick’s many contributions, the one that will no doubt have the most
lasting impact is the endowment that he started in 1992. Rick initially donated
$6000 to start the endowment and he contributed more funds each year through
2001. In total, Rick and Pat gave over $490,000 towards our endowment – in
addition to their other financial gifts.
These gifts are a huge reason for our continued societal success.
Our other benefactor joined the society in 1978. Early on Ken
served on the board and for many years served as the Chief Financial Officer
(CFO). He also participated in one of the society’s strategic planning efforts.
Ken is a very knowledgeable family history researcher. He is
particularly knowledgeable about how DNA can be used as a tool for genealogists
and has even spoken about it for the
society. He also has written several family histories and articles.
Ken and his wife Beverly joined Rick in 1997 by making a
sizeable donation. They have continued to make very generous contributions
every year ever since. As CFO, Ken set up our endowment and invested it in a
small number of prudent mutual funds. Over the years Ken managed these funds
and by December 31, 2009 our endowment balance was over $794,000. (This
includes a building fund that was started by CGS past president, David Adams.)
As someone who knows Ken well, Jane Knowles Lindsey said, “Ken
and I have known one another since our days in the 1990’s as Trustees of the
New England Historic Genealogical Society. While I served as CGS president, I
frequently called on Ken to lend his expertise in so many areas that helped
It was at about this time that Jim Sorenson and I were both appointed
to the Investment Committee and Ken taught us how he had been managing the
society’s money. I was honored to work with Ken who reassured me that by
investing responsibly our assets would continue to grow. Ken must have felt
comfortable with us because in 2010 he stepped down as chair of the Investment
Committee and I filled the vacancy. Since that time, Jim and I, and now Tom
Jones, have continued to oversee and manage the endowment in the same manner
that Ken did for thirteen years. Ken has always generously answered my
questions and now serves as a sounding board as we continue to make minor
adjustments to our investment portfolio. Today, the value of our combined funds
is over $1.3 million dollars.
Securing the future
The purpose of creating the endowment was to provide long-term
security for the society and to cover unforeseen expenses, should they arise. Over the years the cost to support the society
has grown significantly. As part of our 120th anniversary we have a
plan to grow the endowment by $1.2 million. It is a lofty goal, but one we feel
is well worth pursuing. The increased endowment will help ensure that CGS will
be able to continue to help our members discover their past for the next 120
In recognition of the many contributions to CGS by Rick
Sherman and Ken Haughton, we are pleased to announce that the endowment will
now be known as the Sherman-Haughton Fund.
Help us continue the tradition of supporting genealogy
research, events and library through our endowment. Please contact Jane Lindsey or myself to
discuss how you can be a part of this historic fundraising effort. Thank you.