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07 July 2019

More July Highlights: NEW Mayflower Descendants group, July 20

A new special interest group (SIG) launches this month, this one for descendants of Mayflower pilgrims. Led by Bob Trapp, the current Governor of the Alameda Colony of California Mayflower Descendants, this group will focus initially on Mayflower ancestry and how to join The Society of California Mayflower Descendants. The group will discuss research in New England, parts of Canada and the upper Atlantic seaboard states.  They will explore the materials and books at the Mayflower library and computer research web sites. Open to all, but meeting is limited to 25 attendees. Please register at EventBrite.

The class will meet monthly on the third Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon. First meeting is Saturday, July 20!
All our events can be found listed on the CGS Facebook page
or on our website:
or at (search for California Genealogical Society)

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

06 July 2019

Quarterly Membership Meeting: Saturday, July 13!

Bill O'Neil with some of his dolls in military uniform
If you missed the April membership meeting, where Bill O'Neil displayed his collection of dolls dressed in military uniforms--or if you were there, but want to know the story behind the figures--you're in luck! Bill will give a presentation at our quarterly meeting on Saturday, July 13.  Each doll represents one of Bill's ancestors. His family includes veterans of every war except Vietnam, starting with Rogers' Rangers. Bill himself is a Korean War veteran.

As always, the meeting begins at 1 p.m., but all are invited to bring your own lunch and come at noon for socializing. RSVP is appreciated: please register online to let us know how many are coming. Note that the CGS Library will be closed to researchers from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on this day.

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

03 July 2019

Our Library Collections: South Carolina

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo 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.

South Carolina research guide published by
NGS. We have NGS guides for several states.
Ah, I have finally gotten to one of "my" states – my second great-grandmother Joanna Gaines is from Abbeville, South Carolina. The section starts with two sets of journals. The South Carolina Historical Magazine begins in 1955 and continues through 1982. The Carolina Herald and Newsletter begins with the September 1998 issue and continues through 2018. There are three additional sets of journals lower on the shelves.

One source I’ve seen in other states but not yet written about is the research guide from the National Genealogical Society. The one for South Carolina was written by Janis Walker Gilmore in 2011. These booklets follow a similar structure for each state. They are a good guide for where to find records. The preface of this particular copy begins, “Many genealogists find research in South Carolina daunting. Sometimes referred to as 'the black hole' of genealogical research.” I can confirm this statement. Abbeville is where the Civil War officially began and ended so for my ancestors the black hole is particularly deep. The reference includes a history of the state, information on where to find archives, libraries and societies and all sorts of records.

We have at least fourteen books for South Carolina marriages plus many other books of other compiled records. There is a Who’s Who in South Carolina 1934-1935 that lists five Gaines but none that are related to my Gaines. I did find a William Waller in Heads of Families First Census of the United States–1790 South Carolina. This could be one of the sixteen William Wallers in my database but I won’t try to figure out which one right now.
This book by Willie Pauline Young
helped knock down one of my personal
brick walls
I was pleased to see Abstracts of Old Ninety-Six and Abbeville District Wills and Bonds by Willie Pauline Young on our shelves. During my travels I found several genealogical books by Ms. Young and they are all excellent. This book helped me break down some of my brick walls so I know it is a great source. One of the opening pages offers this quote, “without genealogy, the study of history is comparatively lifeless.” --John Fiske.
Martha Wardlaw Hill-a possible family connection-
in Presbyterian Women of South Carolina
I was also glad to find Presbyterian Women of South Carolina by Margaret Adams Gist – not because I expected to find any ancestors chronicled in the dense tome but because it is always nice to find a book that acknowledges the existence of women and their role in history. This is a substantial book with over 770 pages. I suspect it has much to offer so I will come back to it later.
This book contains the 1790 census for
South Carolina

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

02 July 2019

"Discovering Your German Roots" July 11, 18, 25

July is sizzling with lots of exciting classes and events! Today, we look at a FREE class that will be of special interest to those with German heritage: "Discovering Your German Roots: The Great Migration, 1815-1914."

Longtime favorite Robert Jackson leads this three-part course, which looks at the large German migration from the early nineteenth to the early twentieth century. As he explains, "More than twenty percent of all Americans claim primarily German descent, and many more have at least one German ancestor. It continues to be the largest single ethnic component of the American population.

"To the delight of their descendants, the documentary sources available in Germany, many of them now available in the U.S. on line and on microfilm, facilitate the assembly of family trees of great age and depth, often back to the 1500s, even for simple peasant stock (which includes nearly all of us). It is not unusual for the documented family tree of one German immigrant to contain as many as 300 ancestors."

The class runs July 11, 18, and 25, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the CGS Library.  It is free to all, but limited to 30 people. Please register HERE to save your place.

All our Events can be found listed on the CGS Facebook page
or on our website:
or at (search for California Genealogical Society)

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

28 June 2019

July events! Building Skills for Successful Family History Research

It's almost July! If you haven't taken a look at our summer classes and events, you may be surprised at the breadth and depth of our offerings. Over the next few days, we'll take a closer look at some of these upcoming opportunities.

One course offering that is sure to appeal to many members (or non-members interested in genealogy) is Pamela Brett's 4-part course, "Building Skills for Successful Family History Research."

Held Wednesday evenings at the beautiful Oakland Family Search Library (by the Mormon Temple) it begins July 10 and continues through the month of July.

Who can benefit from this "building skills" class? Well, almost anyone. If you've started doing family research but feel like you've exhausted every resource available, or if you find yourself revisiting the same problems over and over again, Pamela will cut to the chase, teaching these six key research skills:
  • Determining which kinds of records to look for
  • Identifying where to find these records
  • Documenting the sources of your information
  • Assessing the reliability of the records you found
  • Analyzing the results of your research
  • Making a solid case for your research conclusions
Through group exercises and (optional) homework assignments, Pamela will lead students through a process that helps you stop wasting time on fruitless searches and build a firm foundation for continued research. The course is suited to beginners, too. At just $100 for four classes, that's a bargain at $25 a class! Fee for nonmembers is $140, with $40 credited toward CGS membership.

Class is limited to 15 people, so sign up now! You can take a quiz to see if this class is for you, read more about it, and register at EventBrite.

Stay tuned for more exciting news!

All our Events can be found listed on the CGS Facebook page
or on our website:
or at (search for California Genealogical Society)

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society