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10 October 2019

Our Library Collections: Reference Books, Part 2

We have over 100 years of NGS journals
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the CGS Library in Oakland.  For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

The rest of our reference books are in the back corner of the library beyond the bank of computers. Similar to the state books, the reference books begin with journals. I counted eleven different sets of hard copy journals. The first is The Augustan Society Omnibus. Book 14 of this set has 160 pages and dozens of articles covering a wide breadth of topics including Falconry, Chivalry, Heraldry, and Colonial Genealogy. Page 73 offers “Wicca Study Circle and Colonial Witches and Witchcraft Study Group – A Pennsylvania Witch.” There are sections by French, Germanic, Irish, Scandinavian, Scottish and Hispanic Study groups.

One of our largest journal collections is the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. We have journals covering the period 1912 - 2019 – over 100 years! The March issue begins with a lengthy article titled “A Family for Mary (Jones) Hobbs Clark of Carroll County, Arkansas.” It is an extremely well-documented piece where the footnotes occupy more space than the article itself. Of particular interest to some will be the lengthy section on DNA.

A 3-page tree for my 8th great grandparents
begins on page 1122 of this book.
There are several volumes on royalty in this section including a three-volume set titled The Royal Ancestry Bible by Michael L. Call. It contains 3400 pedigree charts and royal ancestors of 300 colonial American families. Just for fun I checked for the one family name of mine that I thought might possibly be included and sure enough found my eighth great grandparents, Dr. John Waller and Mary Pomfrett, on page 1122. Their pedigree chart extends over three pages and includes several names I am not familiar with – so I guess you know how I’ll be spending my afternoon.

One of the many things we inherited from the California Historical Society is a twelve-volume set of American Ancestry: Giving The Name and Descent, in the Male Line, of Americans Whose Ancestors Settled in the United States Previous to the Declaration of Independence, by Thomas P. Hughes. Volume One was published in 1887. While the first two volumes focus on two counties in New York State, the remainder cover the whole of the United States. Each listing provides a brief biography for each individual.
An example of one of the family trees in
Bible and Family Records by the DAR

This section of the library holds two shelves of blue-clad books containing Bible and Family Records that were collected and transcribed in 1953 by the California State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Margaret Griffith was the Editor. Our collection begins with Volume Ten so if you happen to have volumes 1-9 in your personal collection, please consider a donation to the library. Each volume has a listing of the contents followed by a carbon copy of typed pedigree charts. It is mind-boggling to me that someone typed these highly formatted pages without a word processor.

These are followed by two similar volumes that were prepared by CGS members in 1921 and 1944. Most of the material in these books is typed but the 1944 edition has numerous hand annotations.  Next are several volumes of California Genealogical Society Collections: Family Histories. Volume One includes the trees of the Perkins, Weeks, Snow, Knight, Wines, Armstrong, Thompson and Davis families. Each is quite substantial.

This group of reference books ends with books about immigration, military records, four volumes about Southern families and a few other topics.


Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

05 October 2019

Reminder: Quarterly Membership Meeting October 12

Saturday, October 12, is our Quarterly Membership Meeting at the CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, lower level. Come at noon, bring a lunch and socialize with fellow genealogists. We'll have some brief announcements and a preview of the new CGS website to be launched early next year. Trish Nicola Hackett's presentation on The Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files follows at 1 p.m.


Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

04 October 2019

Our Library Collections: Family Histories

One of hundreds of family history books at the
CGS library
Dear blog readers: due to an editorial error, the next post in this series by Chris Pattillo was posted out of order. 

Here is the first in a continuing series highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland.  For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.


For those who have enjoyed reading the series about our state collections and were disappointed that it would end with my post about Wyoming, I am happy to tell you that I am not finished yet. There is much more in our library to tell everyone about. This post features our large Family Histories section.

Our Family History books occupy the shelves behind the bank of patron computers plus the shelves beyond the computers against the wall. In total there are over 120 shelves of family history books. The section begins with an eighteen-volume set of Historical Southern Families and also has several books about presidential families – their ancestors and descendants. I found a two-volume set among these that piqued my interest – Southside Virginia Families by John Bennett Boddie. My Pattillo ancestors lived in southside Virginia so I hoped to find a tidbit or two for my own family but was disappointed. I did find references to a second great uncle and three first cousins 3x removed in The Descendants of the Presidents by R. Whitney Tucker. They were descendants of President Andrew Johnson.

I found a few of  my distant relations in this book
Our shelves also offer The “Connection” In East Tennessee by Olga Jones Edwards and Izora Waters Frizzell. My James Pattillo married Carrie Stover from East Tennessee so this too was worth looking at. I found no Stovers in this book but I did find information on familiar allied families. My point in telling you these details is not to flaunt my personal family history, but rather to demonstrate that you might be surprised to find relevant information about your own family in unexpected places, so you need to think creatively about where to look.

Then we have numerous family histories arranged alphabetically by surname. The Families of Abbe and Abbey – another donation from George Dorman – is an impressive 500-page reference published in 1916. It starts with a chapter on John Abbe of Salem and Wenham, followed by eight chapters taking us through nine generations of his family. There are also chapters on Unconnected Lines, the 1790 Census and Revolutionary Soldiers. The index for this book is sixty-six pages long, so very complete.

Abbe is followed by fifteen books on the Adams family name. The range of what is available in our Family History section varies. Some Early American Ancestors of The Adams Family is a twenty-nine-page spiral-bound book that covers eleven generations. Obviously, there is much less detail than the Abbe book but it does include three fold-out fan charts that present a lot of information in a concise and very legible format.
This little gem was published in 2011 by Peter Adamson Meredith
Our collection also includes some charming self-published jewels like Jemina: An Incomplete Story. Author Peter Adamson Meredith used MyPublisher in 2011 to produce a little 5x7 hardcover book with text, color and black-and-white photos and a tiny but readable four-generation descendants chart.

Our Family Histories collection concludes with three books on the Zumwalt family name. We have Paul L. Reed's The Andrew Zumwalt Family, Volume One: The First Four Generations of Zumwalts in America and two copies of George R. Zumwalt's Zumwalt Family History. Both of these books provide more than just names and milestone dates. Each includes short narratives about each entry.
Our 18-volume set on Historical Southern Families 
Obviously, there is a lot to be found between Abbe and Zumwalt, so next time you find yourself in downtown Oakland you might plan to stop by the library and see what gems we may have to help with your family research. We look forward to seeing you there soon.

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

03 October 2019

Our Library Collections: Reference Books, Part 1

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the CGS Library in Oakland.  For a fuller listing of books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog in WorldCat.

Two of the classic reference books available at our library
Currently our General Reference books are located in two places in the library. They outgrew the back corner so now there are four shelves of reference books at the end of the tables opposite the front desk. These shelves offer a rich collection of how-to books including most of the new and old classics. One such book is Evidence Explained Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace by Elizabeth Shown Mills. For anyone who is a series researcher this is a must-have or use source. It is an intimidating book – nearly 900 pages that explains “how to cite every conceivable kind of source.” We have the second edition. The third edition from Amazon is $59.99 so the cost of a CGS membership is much cheaper.

We have the two-volume set of Genealogical Research: Methods and Sources by the late Milton Rubincam, published by the American Society of Genealogists in 1980. In the forward Rubincam is described as “everyone’s favorite genealogist, knowledgeable, indefatigable, conscientious, thorough, and amazingly unrufflable.” Chapter 1 of this book is titled "Adventures in Genealogy." This is a very readable book.
Google Your Family Tree by Daniel M. Lynch
Google Your Family Tree: Unlock the Hidden Power of Google by Daniel M. Lynch was a donation from CGS volunteer Barbara Hill. It has fourteen chapters starting with "Search Engine Basics" and including "Advanced Search Techniques," "Google Books" – which I have used a lot – "Google New Archives," "Google maps," and much more. There are five appendices including Appendix B – "Top Sites for Genealogists." The book is well illustrated and indexed.
One of a few reference books in our library that focus on specific ethnic or cultural group research
We have a couple of resource books for researching Jewish heritage. I found one book on the shelf for African American Genealogy by James M. Rose and Alic Eichholz titled Black Genesis. This book has chapters on general topics like "Oral History," "National Archives and Federal Records," "Military Records," "Migratory Patterns." These are followed by sections for each state that summarize what is available for each state.
Christine Schaefer's book about colonial American research
Another “Where To Look” book is the Genealogical Encyclopedia of the Colonial Americas by Christina K. Schaefer. In the preface she explains that the book “has been written out of my frustration at the lack of an existing single-source reference for Colonial America.” Schaefer addressed this problem by producing over 800 pages that help researchers find the records they seek from this period.

Practically every book in this section has something to offer. Next time you are in the library you might want to see what may be of help in your personal research.

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

01 October 2019

October 2019 Events


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Happy October! Culminating in All Hallows’ Eve, this is a month that's close to many a genealogist’s heart—who doesn’t appreciate a good cemetery or tales of those who’ve gone before?

You're sure to get a thrill at one of our events this month! Stewart Blandon Traiman’s popular “Excel for Genealogists” has already sold out, but there are still tickets available for other classes. They include:

October 10 - Trish Nicola’s presentation on “The Chinese Exclusion Act Case Files.” An introduction to the more than 50,000 case files for Chinese immigrants available at the National Archives-Seattle. This talk is offered twice, on October 10 and again on October 12 immediately following the -

October 12 - Quarterly Membership Meeting. All are invited to hear brief announcements and get a preview of the new CGS website to be launched early next year. Come at noon, bring a lunch and socialize before the meeting. Chinese Exclusion Act talk follows at 1 p.m.

October 15CGS Members’ Trip to Sutro Library. Did you know the Sutro has one of the largest genealogy collections in the U.S.? Pre-register to join this visit, which includes an orientation and tour by librarian/genealogist Dvorah Lewis.

October 26Book Building and Book Repair Workshop with Bill O’Neill A rare opportunity to learn book repair techniques and create your own book under the guidance of Bill O’Neill, a retired art teacher and former CGS Book Repair Committee leader.

And don’t forget our regular monthly offerings:
October 19 - San Francisco Special Interest Group (10 a.m.)
October 19 – Family Tree Maker Special Interest Group  (1 p.m.)

All our Events can be found listed at the CGS Facebook page
Or on our website
Or at EventBrite.com (search for "California Genealogical Society")

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society