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30 November 2017

The Great Eight: Celebrating our 2018 Anniversary with Our Members' Genealogy Stories

by Maureen Hanlon

Eight great-grandparents...1898...2018. All these eights! 

Come celebrate the 120th anniversary of The California Genealogical Society (CGS) with some birthday cake and sharing of our members' stories on Saturday, January 13th. After the Annual Member Meeting, all are invited to stay and hear wonderful stories from three of our members. 

*Our Annual Member Meeting and Birthday Party with a delicious cake will take place before the presentation (beginning at noon). All are welcome, just bring a dish to share and enjoy in a wonderful potluck with your fellow members.

Nancy Ukai, Stewart Traiman and Mary Caroline Chunn will tell us about the lives of their great-grandparents which span from Nicaragua to San Francisco, Japan to Ireland, and beyond. Believe it or not, this diverse group has surprising things in common. 


Who knows...the strategies they used to track their ancestors might help your research too. Please register on Eventbrite to save your seat, room limited to 50 people. We hope to see you there! 

Interested? Here are the event details:
Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: Sherman Room, 2201 Broadway, Oakland, CA
Cost for member: $0
Cost for non-member: $30


About the Presenters


Nancy Ukai is a Berkeley-based writer, researcher and mother of two. She attended UC Santa Cruz where she studied Japanese and anthropology and then lived in Japan for 14 years, working as a Fulbright English Fellow, a weaving apprentice at a Buddhist temple and as a journalist for Newsweek and the Asahi in Tokyo.  Nancy has a master’s degree in the philosophical foundations of education from Rutgers and media anthropology from the University of London. 

In 2015, Nancy helped lead a grassroots protest against a public auction of Japanese American concentration camp artifacts. In researching their provenance, she became interested in the storytelling power of objects.  She is project director of a 2016 National Park Service grant award to produce a digital display of 50 objects that explore the human stories of the Japanese American wartime incarceration. 



Genealogy has been an obsession for Stewart Blandón Traiman for 30 years. He began by interviewing family about his roots in Nicaragua. He is still hoping to prove the family legend of escaping the Spanish Inquisition. When he married Leland Traiman 27 years ago, he took on the new adventure of researching Ukrainian and Polish Jews. Stewart has researched his children's origins back to the colonial United States. 

Stewart was born in San Francisco, graduated from Stanford Medical School and practiced as an Internal Medicine Physician until 2005 when he saw more interesting opportunities in the world of Electronic Health Records. He now works as a Clinical Informatist at Alameda Health Systems. In January 2014, Stewart became a volunteer with CGS as the editor and publisher of the monthly electronic newsletter (eNews). Stewart serves on the CGS Board as Recording Secretary. 

Mary Caroline Chunn was born in Ventura where all four of her mother’s grandparents were pioneers.  She has lived in Camarillo and Vernais, a small farm town in San Joaquin Valley. Mary Caroline was educated at San Jose State. In 1975, a few years after her daughter was born in Merced the family moved to the Bay Area.  

A few months after her mother died, one of Mary Caroline’s second cousins gave her an 8-page maternal family tree full of strangers to her. In 2009, after a lecture in Los Gatos by Kenyatta Berry, she had Kenyatta do research on her father’s side. Successes included finding two patriots in the American Revolution. Mary Caroline then switched her attention back to the maternal family tree, contacting members one by one, in no particular order. In 2014, she married a third cousin on the last page! 


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