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31 October 2013

Must Reads: Their Roots Are Showing on the Sports Page

Their Roots Are Showing Celebs: Tim "Herb" Alexander, Natalie Coughlin, and Billy Beane

In case you missed the sports section of the October 30, 2013 San Jose Mercury News or Contra Costa Times be sure to read Dan Brown's review articles of Their Roots Are Showing!

Oakland A's Billy Beane's Crazy Family Tree: Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Hillary Clinton

Olympian Natalie Coughlin's Gene Pool: American as Americans Get

Thanks, Dan! 


Photograph courtesy of Ron Madson and Jason W. Madson.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

29 October 2013

What a Show!

Kathie Jones, Therese Hart-Pignotti, Todd Armstrong, Tim "Herb" Alexander, Billy Beane, Natalie Coughlin, Shannon Reese, Linda Okazaki.

Congratulations to Therese Hart-Pignotti and her event committee who are finally able to catch up on sleep. Their Roots Are Showing was a smash hit. A special "thank-you" to our guest celebrities: Tim "Herb" Alexander, Natalie Coughlin, and Billy Beane.

Therese agrees the night was an overwhelming success and reports: "The celebrities were all very grateful and happy. It could not have gone any better!"

Our event photographers, Ron Madson and his son Jason of The Adelaide Gallery, are processing over 800 photographs but sent me one to post here and over on our Facebook page.

I'll have a LOT more about the night. Stay tuned.


Photograph courtesy of Ron Madson and Jason W. Madson.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

26 October 2013

The Wait is Over! Their Roots Are Showing Tonight at the Del Valle Theater



After a year of preparation, hundreds of hours of research and planning by more than eighty volunteers and affiliated societies, and the Herculean efforts of the leadership team, Their Roots Are Showing! is tonight.

Don't miss this special night of surprise and discovery for our three Bay Area celebrity guests: Billy Beane, Vice President and General Manager of the Oakland Athletics; Natalie Coughlin, winner of twelve Olympic medals and most-decorated female medalist of all time; and Tim "Herb" Alexander, drummer for the Grammy-nominated rock band Primus. 

Prior to the show, at 7:00 a.m., there will be the silent auction of memorabilia donated by our celebrities. In addition, members of the society will be on-site to answer questions about discovering your own family roots.

I've included the map graphic above because we've become aware of some confusion about the venue. The show is at the Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Boulevard, Walnut Creek, California. 

7:00 p.m. – Doors open and the Silent Auction begins

7:30 p.m. – Doors open for seating

8:00 p.m. – Silent Auction ends and curtain up.

The show runs approximately 90 minutes.

Tickets are still available online at the Lesher website or you can purchase them tonight at the door at the Del Valle Theater. See you there!



Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

25 October 2013

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: November 2013 Published

November 2013 events have been published on the San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar – a collection of local genealogical society classes, workshops and meetings within a 75 mile radius of San Francisco.

The November calendar lists twenty-five events at various venues around the Bay Area, sponsored by thirty societies, libraries and archives.

If you would like to add your group's events to the calendar, please email the information by the 15th of each month. (Please include "SFBA Calendar" in the subject line.)


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

18 October 2013

Genealogy Field Trip to Oakland Main Public Library


Wednesday, November 20, 2013
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Oakland Public Library – Main
125 Fourteenth Street
Oakland, California 94612

For members only!

Join Past-president Jane Lindsey for a tour of the Oakland Main Library. Senior Librarian Kathleen DiGiovianni and Dorothy Lazard, Principal Librarian in the Oakland History Room, will discuss the resources available at the Oakland Public Library to assist you with your family research.

The Oakland History Room is an important center for the study of the history and current development of the East Bay. Its collection contains a wide variety of materials relating to the history of Oakland and the larger Bay Area, including books, magazines, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, photographs, postcards, sheet music, trade catalogs, and scrapbooks. Following the ninety-minute tour, you are encouraged to stay and do research on your own. The library is open until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Metered street parking is available in the area and there are several public parking lots nearby, including at the Oakland Museum.

Register online.

This field trip is organized for members of the California Genealogical Society. The maximum group size is thirty members.

There is no fee for the field trip but preregistration is required. Registration confirmations will be sent to the first thirty registrants. Additional names will be collected and placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

About the Main Library
Located between downtown and Lake Merritt, Oakland's Main Library is one of the largest public library facilities in the Bay Area. In addition to large collections of over 350,000 reference and circulating non-fiction and fiction books, the Main Library offers hundreds of current and historic magazines and newspapers, a major collection of sheet music, and thousands of maps.

There are federal, state, and local government publications and a large collection of compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs, and audiobooks. Oakland Main is home to the Oakland History Room, a significant resource on the history of the area, a large and active Children's Room, and the TeenZone.

The branch is equipped with thirty-three computers with Internet access available for public use, available on a drop-in, first-come, first-served basis. Adaptive technology is available, including screen readers and enlargers for those who are blind or who have low vision or learning disabilities.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

16 October 2013

Their Roots Are Showing Silent Auction: Be Keen – Buy Beane!



Come One – Come All – to our 2013 fundraiser: Their Roots Are Showing!

AND come early and bid often at the Silent Auction that precedes the on-stage presentation.

Your ticket to the show gives you bidding rights on a number of items generously donated by our celebrities for this event. The doors open and the bidding begins at 7:00 p.m., on Saturday, October 26, 2013.




For you baseball fans out there, Billy Beane (General Manager of the Oakland A’s and the subject of the bestselling book and movie, Moneyball) has generously donated such items as:
  • The Game Suite (seats between 8-12 people) at the Oakland Coliseum for a 2014 Oakland A’s game – with Billy Beane in attendance for the 1st 30 minutes!! 
  • An Oakland A’s team jersey, signed by the whole 2013 team 
  • Signed copies of Moneyball—both the hard cover book and the DVD 
  • Billy Beane’s personal rookie baseball card (his last one)—personally autographed for the winning bidder at the show!! 










The silent auction also feature items from Natalie Coughlin and Tim "Herb" Alexander. These items were donated by our celebrities for the benefit of this 2013 fundraising event—so come early and bid often!

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit the Lesher theater website.


Photographs by Todd Armstrong.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

14 October 2013

Their Roots Are Showing Silent Auction: Alexander’s Drum Beats

Autographed Primus and Tim "Herb" Alexander memorabilia

Curtain’s up at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 26, 2013, for our 2013 fundraising event, Their Roots Are Showing!

Don’t miss this chance to see live, on stage, three Bay-Area celebrities (Billy Beane, Natalie Coughlin, and Tim “Herb” Alexander) learn about ancestors they never knew of – and benefit the California Genealogical Society Library at the same time.

But wait, there’s more: Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for the Silent Auction of celebrity-signed memorabilia! Only ticket holders are eligible to bid in the auction. If you haven’t done so yet, purchase your tickets today!

For you rockers out there, Tim "Herb" Alexander, world-ranked drummer and member of the recently reunited rock band Primus, has donated:
  • Drum cymbals
  • Primus CD: Miscellaneous Debris
  • Primus CD: Suck on This
  • Primus DVD: Hallucino-Genetics, Live 2004
All the above items were personally autographed by Tim Alexander for this event.

The silent auction will also feature items donated by Natalie Coughlin and Billy Beane.

Tickets are going fast, so purchase yours online today at the Lesher website.


Photograph by Todd Armstrong. 

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

12 October 2013

Field Trip to Haas Lilienthal House with the San Francisco Special Interest Group

Saturday, November 16, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Haas-Lilienthal Victorian Home
2007 Franklin Street
San Francisco, California 94109

For members only!

Take a step back to another time and tour the picturesque Haas-Lilienthal House for a glimpse of what San Francisco looked like 127 years ago.

Sandra Britt-Huber sends word that the San Francisco Special Interest Group (SF-SIG) will sponsor a field trip to the historic Haas-Lilienthal Victorian and hold their November meeting there. After the short SIG meeting there will be a presentation and private tour of the house.

The 1880s San Francisco home was named one of thirty-one national treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was designated a historic landmark in July 1973 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places (HLH # 73000438) in San Francisco for its architecture and engineering historical significance.

RSVP is required. Please email Sandra Britt-Huber if you would like to attend. Indicate the number in your party and include "Haas-Lilienthal House" in the subject line.

This event is sponsored by San Francisco Heritage and the California Genealogical Society and Library.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

11 October 2013

Their Roots Are Showing Silent Auction: No Dawdlin’ on Coughlin

Natalie Coughlin memorabilia 

Don’t dilly-dally! Buy your tickets now!

The curtain for our 2013 fundraiser – Their Roots Are Showing! – goes up in two weeks’ time on Saturday, October 26, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

Similar in approach to the hit TV show Who Do You Think You Are?, three celebrities with Bay-Area roots—Natalie Coughlin, Billy Beane, and Tim “Herb” Alexander—will find out, live, on stage, the fascinating histories of their ancestors.

Your ticket to the event also allows you to bid on some truly fabulous items in our Silent Auction, which starts at 7:00 p.m.

For you Olympic and swimming fans out there, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin has autographed such items as:
  • Hardcover copies of her biography, Golden Girl
  • Team USA Olympic swim caps
  • Natalie-designed ladies sports shirts from the Team Speedo Collection 
Don’t be the last one left in the pool; Come early for your chance to own Natalie memorabilia!

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit the Lesher theater website

Photograph by Todd Armstrong.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

10 October 2013

Spotlight Series: Events Committee

Seated front: Therese Hart-Pignotti, Jane Lindsey, Geri Willinger. Standing back: Rich Kehoe, Debbie Mascot, Ron Madson, Sandy Fryer, Lynne Dory, Linda Okazaki, Todd Armstrong, Diana Edwards

“Awesome.” “Committed.” “Efficient but fun.” This is how the members of the Events Committee describe their team. For anyone not familiar with their work, the Events Committee is responsible for planning all in-house classes and workshops – everything from picking topics, arranging speakers, obtaining speaker photos, biographies and lecture handouts, setting up online registration, sending reminders and follow-up evaluations, and setting up the classroom on the day of the event. They arrange the field trips to archives and libraries and other places of local interest for genealogists. The committee also oversees our Special Events and Tours, for example the research trip to Family History Library in Salt Lake City. These are the primary fund-raisers for the society which pay the lion’s share of the rent for the library.

This amazing diversity of efforts on behalf of the organization is accomplished by a fairly small group of members who make this their way of giving back. Committee member Debbie Mascot exemplifies this point of view, “I find that I get more out of a society if I put more in. It’s my way to give back just a little and show how much I value CGS.”

The Events Committee members are: Diana Edwards (membership liaison), Lynne Dory (Saturday in-house events), Rich Kehoe (both Saturday events and maintaining the calendar), Debbie Mascot (fliers), Jane Lindsey, Sandy Fryer, Geri Willinger (field trips), Therese Hart-Pignotti, and Erin Kelleher-Wees (registration, reminders, evaluations, etc. for special events and tours – with Tim Cox as consultant).

One of the most important roles of the committee is creating the public ‘face’ of our organization. The committee works between the membership and the public to bring them together in a way that enhances knowledge and familiarizes the larger community both about the society and about genealogy. People who otherwise would never have heard of the California Genealogical Society not only discover its existence but get an immediate demonstration of the value of belonging to this organization. Members of the public who come to events at the library or to Special Events such as Ancestry Day not only discover that there is a local association of people who share their interests in genealogy but also that CGS offers them the benefits of being part of an active organization dedicated to enhancing the skills of its membership. Committee member Sandy Fryer says: “Events are a big draw for people joining CGS. It is satisfying to work on something that members are so interested in.”

This year’s upcoming special events are a great example of outreach to the public. Here is a barebones look at each event and the people responsible for them in order of their appearance. And don’t forget that this list of committee members is truly the tip of the iceberg; dozens more volunteer their time to make these events a success.

Their Roots Are Showing! [October 26, 2013 at the Del Valle Theater in Walnut Creek]: Therese Hart-Pignotti (Chair), Shannon Reese, Kathie Jones, Linda Okazaki, Rich Kehoe, Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, Todd Armstrong and a group of researchers. In the manner of the TV show Who Do You Think You Are, three Bay Area celebrities will learn about their family history, members will be on hand to answer questions, and a Silent Auction will be held.

Ancestry Day San Francisco [November 9, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco]: Jane Lindsey (Chair), Kathleen Beitiks and Tim Cox (co-Chairs); Cathy Paris, syllabus lay-out. An exciting day of genealogy filled with lectures and presentations as well as a chance to hear advice from the experts.

You will hear a lot more about these events in the coming weeks but, if you’re like most people, you won’t think about the amount of planning and behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing even one of these events. By the way, if you did stop and think about the backstage work, and you felt really excited about doing this kind of work, then the Events Committee would like to hear from you right away! However, even if taking on the organization and planning of a major event isn’t your cup of tea, Committee Chair Jane Lindsey makes sure that all committee members have a role that is manageable. She says “People find that when they are able to give, even just a little bit of their time, they get an amazing amount back. They feel more connected to the organization and freer to ask questions. They realize they are part of a bigger organization. I have tried hard to find manageable jobs for people who are interested in helping but work full time or have other heavy commitments.“ Debbie Mascot wholeheartedly agrees: “When Jane asked me to help with fliers, I realized that despite my full time work, my two young children, and all my other volunteer work, that this was something I actually could do. I am thankful to Jane for finding a spot for me at CGS.”

Besides the Special Events, the regular Saturday in-house classes and presentations offer numerous opportunities for members to increase their skills in genealogical research and to hear from experts about topics of interest to them. Most classes are free to members but cost a $20 fee for non-members. Jane reports that she has heard people saying to non-members that they really should join CGS; “they have such great classes available FREE to members.” Lynne Dory, a fairly new member and one of the organizers of the Saturday classes, says: “I like volunteering because I meet new people who share a love of genealogy. I get to exercise my brain in doing things outside my normal sphere of activity. I get to participate in the events we produce. I get to give back and make a difference. I enjoy being part of a team.”

When asked if there was anything unique about the people who volunteer for the Events Committee, Jane said: “I’m not sure there are any unique characteristics. Some people are outgoing, others are organized and efficient, and still others are creative. I think each member brings something helpful to the committee and they all mesh together to make a good committee.” Members’ reasons for joining are varied but there is a common thread of wanting to give back, to meet new people and to learn from the experience.

Planning for 2014 will be underway shortly and there are lots of opportunities for anyone who would like to experience the satisfaction of being part of this enthusiastic working group. The group makes it as easy as possible to participate by holding regular monthly meetings by phone. Email Jane Lindsey to get started.

Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 9/12/2013.

Copyright © 2013 by Marie Trelevean, California Genealogical Society and Library.

09 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Angel Island Family History Day Views
Saturday, October 5, 2013













Photographs courtesy of Judy Bodycote.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

Introducing Marie Treleaven

I am excited and honored to introduce a partner to the blog! Marie Treleaven has agreed to write a series of spotlight articles about the committees of the California Genealogical Society. Most of our volunteers do their work as part of a committee with a designated chairperson who submits monthly reports to the board of directors. Look for Marie's first article later this week.

Marie Treleaven
My name is Marie Treleaven and I am a new member as well as being fairly new to genealogy. I assist Kathryn Doyle with the newsletter, press releases and now this blog.
I am an archaeologist, former college professor, and recently a nonprofit researcher and administrator. Like thousands of others I am not a native Californian; my roots are in New York and New Jersey. I find family history research as exciting as an archaeological dig and even more fulfilling personally. I was glad to find the California Genealogical Society. Just having so many people who share the same interest is exciting and stimulating. Back in April I went on the trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and it was an eye-opener. I can’t wait to go back. 
My assignment with this blog is to bring the perspective of a brand-new member to different elements of the CGS. I know I will learn a lot and I hope that all of you, no matter if you are an old-hand or a newbie, will find something that you did not know before or maybe had not thought of in a long time.

Welcome, Marie!


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

05 October 2013

Angel Island Family History Day is Here!


There's no need to worry, Angel Island is a state park so it's not affected by the government shut-down. Ferry service to Angel Island provided by Blue and Gold Fleet.

Grant Din has put together a fantastic program:

10:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Free open house of the Immigration barracks by State Park interpreters and staff – at your leisure. You are also encouraged to visit the grounds from the barracks to the bay, including the footprint of the Administration Building, the Immigrant Heritage Wall, Chinese immigrant memorial, and dock where immigrants first stepped ashore. The pier that formerly extended into the bay was torn down in the 1960s.

12:30 p.m.
Family History Panel at the historic World War II mess hall will explore Angel Island and family history research about families that traveled through the facility. Introduction by Michael McKechnie, executive director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.

Moderator: Grant Din, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation staff, grandson of four Angel Island grandparents and avid family history researcher for over thirty years.

Panelists: Maria Sakovich, public historian, independent scholar and author of Angel Island Immigration Station Reconsidered: Non-Asian Encounters with the Immigration Laws, 1910-1940 (MA thesis) and several related articles; Kay Speaks, expert genealogist and member of the Livermore-Amador Valley Genealogical Society; and Rosalyn Tonai, executive director of the National Japanese American Historical Society whose mother’s family journeyed through Angel Island in the 1930s.

There will be handouts and time for questions.

2:30 p.m.
Formal ending of the program but panelists will be available for questions. Attendees can continue to
make self-guided visits to the Immigration Station.

Several genealogical and historical organizations will have information display tables in Room 105 in the nearby immigration barracks.

Special thanks to the staff and volunteers of Angel Island State Park who make this event possible!


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

03 October 2013

Ancestry Day San Francisco 2013 Flier


Flier by Debbie Mascot. Thank you, Debbie!

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

01 October 2013

eNews October 2013, volume 7, number 10

The October 2013 eNews, volume 7, number 10, has been published and emailed to members and friends. As always, the eNews features timely information about the California Genealogical Society and our upcoming events. Each edition also includes "Suggested Links From the Blogosphere" and a photo feature: "California Ancestors."

This month we honor the Robinson family of California Nugget Production Editor Lois Elling.



Lois' father Herman Robinson and his sister Alice posing in front of the family car in 1918 Los Angeles. 

Past issues of the eNews are available at the eNews archive.

The November 2013 issue will be emailed on October 31, 2013. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.


California ancestor photograph courtesy of Lois Elling.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.