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31 December 2009

Blog Resolutions For 2010

Jasia at The Creative Gene is hosting the 87th Carnival of Genealogy: New Year's Resolutions! I've been a list-maker since I learned to write so setting goals became an annual ritual fairly early in my life. I went through a phase where I kept the yearly goal list posted on the refrigerator to keep it front and center. I've kept the old lists in a file and it's fun to look back and see what I've accomplished and how aspirations change over time.

My goals for the California Genealogical Society and Library blog grow out of my marketing responsibilities for the society. My one goal in 2008 (which carried over to 2009) was to get a local media outlet to take notice of CGS. Suddenly last week this item finally got crossed off the list when three of our members were featured on a popular live radio call-in program, Forum with Michael Krasny on KQED 88.5 FM on Christmas Eve. You can listen to the podcast of Prez Jane Knowles Lindsey, Craig Manson and Jeanie Low talking Genealogy 101 with substitute host Scott Shafer. Jane's brother was surprised to hear her on the local NPR affiliate in St. Croix!

Here are my blog goals for 2010:

1.) Final implementation of the CGS "brand" built around our new domain: Members of the Website and Publications/Marketing Committees have been working behind the scenes on a new, cohesive look for the website, blog, eNews, eNewsARCHIVE and other California Genealogical Society web locales. Since we are a 100% volunteer organization it is taking a little longer to accomplish than I anticipated but I am optimistic that the final results will be well worth the effort. I'll look forward to your feedback on our new look.

2.) Launch of a new carnival devoted to genealogical (and historical) societies. The first Call for Submissions is coming early in January and I hope all my fellow geneabloggers will help spread the word.

3.) January 2010 events have been posted to the San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar. This is a new venture which I inherited from Steve Danko. So far three fellow CGS members and bloggers Sheri Fenley, Bill George and Gene Pennington have stepped forward to help. I'm asking all Bay Area genealogical societies to contribute so we can develop a complete list of all gen-related events and post them on the 25th of each month. I know the it's not complete yet but it is still an impressive array!

4.) Last but not least: continue to share the society's news and our members' contributions. This year we will be publishing the annual committee reports on the blog and I have a plan to do follow-up stories on some of the connections that have been made through the blog.

Thanks to all who have contributed stories and photographs. Happy New Year!

 The COG poster provided courtesy of the footnoteMaven.

30 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
CGS Mail Call - Dick Rees

Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, 8/8/2009, Oakland, California.

25 December 2009

Wreaths Across America

Kathleen Todd Watson sent this report about her participation on December 12, 2009 in Wreaths Across America – the third year year that the ceremony was held for veterans at the Sacramento Valley VA National Cemetery. Kathy served as location leader through her involvement as First Vice-Regent of the Anne Loucks DAR chapter. Kathy's husband and fellow-CGS member, Marston Watson emceed the same event at the Golden Gate National Cemetery.
Over 1800 people attended the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery ceremony which culminated an annual project involving many volunteers from 4H, Civil Air Patrol, DAR, Patriot Guard, Missing in America, Cemetery Support Committee, and Friends of the Cemetery. Donations supplied 5,570 wreaths for the cemetery, one for every headstone. Rain did not deter placement of the wreaths to remember and honor the memory of all fallen heroes who served and sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. 
Wreaths Across America, a non profit 501-c3 organization, was formed as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project, started by Morrill Worcester (Worcester Wreath) in 1992 with the donation and laying of 5000 Christmas wreaths in Arlington National Cemetery.

2009 Facts:
  • 405 participating locations, including the 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil
  • 161,000 total wreaths placed to honor our servicemen and women
  • Over 100,000 volunteers participated in the wreath-laying events
  • Over 7,500 in attendance at Arlington National Cemetery
  • Approximately 15,000 in attendance at Houston National Cemetery - the single largest wreath-laying event nationwide
  • 1,800 in attendance at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery
Photograph courtesy of Kathy Watson, December 12, 2009, Dixon, California.

24 December 2009

Tune In or Call In To Forum KQED 88.5 FM for Genealogy 101

The California Genealogical Society is honored to have three members appear this morning as guests on the popular live radio call-in program, Forum with Michael Krasny on KQED 88.5 FM at 10:00 a.m. Krasny is on vacation so they will be guests of substitute host Scott Shafer for an hour entitled Genealogy 101.

The study of genealogy is increasingly popular, with hundreds of web sites and research organizations devoted to tracing and recording the history of our ancestors. We talk with several local genealogists about the reasons people get involved, and get tips on conducting research.
I'm not sure if the show had a last minute cancellation, but this all transpired in the last forty-eight hours after the library fielded a call from KQED on Tuesday. I had a nice conversation with their intern, Mariah Dickerson, about our favorite subject and I recommended several members who are experts in their gen-area and are excellent speakers. I'm thrilled to announce that Jane Knowles Lindsey, Jeanie Low and Craig Manson will be taking part. Jane and Jeanie will be in the studio and Craig will be calling in during the hour. Judith Berlowitz is another scheduled guest.

You can listen live or a podcast will be available at the website after the broadcast.

23 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Organizing the Manuscript Collection

Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, November 16, 2009, Oakland, California.

22 December 2009

Coming in January: Tech Saturdays

The CGS Events Committee is excited about a new "Tech Saturday" forum starting in January 2010. The sessions will focus on tech tools for genealogists, including software, hardware, web databases, social networking and more. Tim Cox is the point person and he welcomes ideas for future classes as well as willing volunteers to help facilitate the meetings which will be scheduled on the third Saturday of every other month.

Starting things off will be a Genealogy Tech Discussion on Saturday, January 16, 2010 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the CGS Library.

Members with all levels of computer experience are invited to join panelists Kathy Watson, Judy Bodycote and Cathy Paris as they share their expertise and offer their insight to answer some common questions:

  • What are the advantages of Mac over PC?
  • What are the advantages of PC over Mac?
  • How do I chose a genealogy software?
  • What are "social media" and how do I use them for genealogy?
  • Does the CGS Library offer tech benefits to members?
The panel will also share information about new technology available in the library and have time to answer audience questions.

The session is limited to thirty attendees. Pre-registration is required. Tech Saturdays are open to everyone but non-members pay a $5.00 users fee to enter the library. (Or come and become a member of CGS!) Email for more information.

17 December 2009

Intermediate Genealogy Series Returns

Light BulbThe California Genealogical Society (CGS) and the Oakland Regional Family History Center (ORFHC) are combining resources again to present an encore Intermediate Genealogy Series, starting February 9, 2010.

Classes will be held on eight consecutive Tuesday evenings from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. All sessions will be held at the Oakland Regional Family History Center, 4766 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, California. In addition, there will be a field trip to the California Genealogical Society Library on Saturday, March 27, 2010.


  • 02/09   Probate and Guardianship Records 
  • 02/16   Church and Cemetery Records
  • 02/23   United States Military Records
  • 03/02   Using Newspapers for Genealogical Research
  • 03/09   Land, Property, Maps and Gazetteers
  • 03/16   Reading & Transcribing the Handwriting of Colonial America 
  • 03/23   Immigration and Naturalization
  • 03/27   Field Trip to the CGS Library
  • 03/30   Other Resources and Solving Problems
• Class size is limited. Walk-ins allowed if space available.
• Pre-registration is required.
• Nominal fee of $15 is charged for materials.

• $10.00 off a CGS membership if you join by March 30, 2010.

For more details, download the registration flier.

16 December 2009

Feedback From the New York City Research Workshop

CGSL blog roving reporter and photographer Tim Cox sent word that Steve Harris "did a wonderful job" at last Saturday's New York City: Insider's Guide to Research workshop. He sent photos and added, "Everyone enjoyed the class and they want more!" 

Tim sent this summary of the feedback forms:
  • Participants in the class: 16
  • CGS members in the class: 12
  • Non-members in the class: 4
  • Feedback forms submitted: 10
  • Most people heard about the class via eNews.
  • Length of the class (4 hrs.) seemed to be enough time, but they were left wanting more information.

The New York City research workshop was one of a series that the society has sponsored, focusing on research aids: Digital Photography, Using Land Records, publishing: Microsoft Word Skills, Hints on Publishing, and on specific locales: Eastern Europe, Scandinavia.

Tim and Carolyn Steinberg are the members of the CGS Events Committee who have been coordinating the workshops and they have been doing an outstanding job. They oversee every aspect – from the scheduling and planning phase all the way to set up, check in, clean up and reporting on attendance and evaluations. So it's accolades all around – to Carolyn, Tim and to Steve.

And, by the way, the Events Committee is busy finalizing the 2010 calendar. Here's a preview of some of the programs being planned:
  • Tech Saturday Sessions starting in January
  • The Successful Research Trip: Lessons Learned on the Road by Mary Mettler
  • Tour of Mountain View Cemetery
  • Chinese-American Research Workshop
  • Hispanic Research Workshop
I'll be posting details here as the programs are finalized so stay tuned!

Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, 12/12/2009, Oakland, California.

11 December 2009

The California Nugget, Volume 1, Number 2

The Fall 2009 edition of The California Nugget has been sent to the printer and should be arriving in members' mailboxes in the next week. I was able to get a sneak peek and I'm thrilled to report that Editor Jane Hufft and Production Editor Lois Elling have outdone themselves and Volume 1, Issue 2 is even better than the first! Here's Jane's message:

Dear CGS Members:
     We hope you will enjoy the variety of articles and information in this second issue of The California Nugget. Be sure to read “Elyse’s Genealogy Blog” which describes a generation gap among family historians, and let us know what you think CGS might do to help unite researchers of all ages. (We’ve taken the first step by adding a student membership at $20.) Our "California Ancestors" section highlights two very different BROWN families, and the ‘06 earthquake is memorialized by a BOSWORTH ancestor.
     In April 2010 the planets align when the annual National Genealogical Society Conference and the annual CGS research trip are back-to-back in Salt Lake City! The 2010 NGS Family History Conference is 28 April – 1 May 2010. There is a conference blog at Sign up now to take advantage of the week-long CGS trip—what a wonderful ten days for those who can be there for both events.
     Coming in the next issue of the Nugget: exciting details about a major new CGS publication, San Francisco Deaths, 1865 – 1904 and first part of the alphabet from the newly compiled California Names in the Index to the List of Pensioners on the Roll, 1883.
     What about your California ancestors? Please share your stories, photos and family trees for our readers and your descendants!
Jane Hufft
Twenty-First Century Genealogy
Elyse’s Genealogy Blog…Post of July 7, 2009 By Elyse Doerflinger
CGSL Blog in the News!
Finding the Laughran Sisters - Part 1 by Jane Hufft

California Ancestors
Virginia Wise Bosworth and the San Francisco Earthquake by Marilyn Willats
The Descendants of William Bailey Clarke Brown by H. Frost Prioleau
William Gage Brown and Margaret Jones by Barry E. Hinman

For Our Readers
Salt Lake City Research Tour April 21 – 28: Registration Form
What CGS Research Services Can Do for You 
Recent Acquisitions in the Library
News from the Society 
New and Improved Rules of Genealogy from
New Members
Guidelines for Submission

The California Nugget is a benefit of membership in the California Genealogical Society. It is published twice a year.

10 December 2009

Annual Business Meeting - January 9, 2010

The Annual Business Meeting of the California Genealogical Society will be held on Saturday, January 9, 2010, at 1:00 p.m., at the CGS Library, 2201 Broadway at 22nd, Suite LL2, Oakland. Please join Jane Knowles Lindsey who will be making her last report as president of the society.

The agenda includes brief committee reports, approval of the society budget, the annual election of new board members and a brief review of 2009. Jane will present details of the upcoming programs in 2010.

Two members have been asked to make brief presentations about their interesting genealogical projects. Jeanie W. Chooey Low will discuss her advocacy work on the Alien immigration case files known as the "A-Files." Kathy Beals will describe her writing project about the early settlers of several New Hampshire towns.

The annual meeting is always well-attended so arrive early to get a seat. Light refreshments will be served at 12:30 p.m., before the meeting begins.

09 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Board of Directors Meeting
Wednesday, October 20, 2009

Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, Oakland, California.

08 December 2009

Annual Breuner Building Food Drive

Carly Perez-Banuet, Operations Manager of Cushman & Wakefield of California, Inc., the management company of 2201 Broadway, sent this announcement about the Breuner Building Annual Food Drive:

It's time for our annual Holiday Food Drive! Last year we collected over 200 pounds of food for local families. Let hit 300 lbs this year! The barrel is already set up in the lobby. Attached is a list of their most needed foods. Let’s spread that holiday cheer!

The Alameda County Community Food Bank has been serving the community since 1985. As the county's clearinghouse for donated food, the Food Bank provides food assistance for 40,000 low-income Alameda County residents each week, which includes 14,000 children and 7, seniors. Most adults served are among the working poor. While the holidays are always a season of escalated demand for food, in 2009, the Food Bank is responding to unprecedented need in Alameda County.

* The following is a list of the most needed food items:
  • Canned Fruit & Vegetables
  • Canned Meats and Fish
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Canned Soup
  • Dry Cereal and Oatmeal
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Powdered Milk
The food bin will be located in the main lobby through Christmas week.

    07 December 2009

    Piedmont Adult School Offers Genealogy Basics

    CGS member Craig Siulinski will be the instructor of a new genealogy class offered for the first time through the Piedmont Adult School. The ten session course, Genealogy Basics, will meet on Wednesday evenings, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m., from January 6 through March 10, 2010. Class enrollment is limited to fifteen.

    Students will learn specific strategies for uncovering information about their ancestors. Areas to include: key factors for beginners, importance of organization and documentation, conducting searches on free websites and selected reports to locate one's ancestors. Class includes one field trip to be announced.

    Piedmont Adult School
    800 Magnolia Ave, Piedmont, CA 94611
    Phone: 510-594-2655

    04 December 2009

    Happy (Belated) Second Blogiversary!

    I'm a bit behind since the holiday and I haven't yet acknowledged last week's milestone. On November 28, 2007, the California Genealogical Society Board of Directors voted to approve the CGSL blog. It was a venture started rather hastily, with great enthusiasm but little planning. I admit to losing a few nights' sleep the first week wondering how I would ever sustain it. Now I can't believe it's been two years.

    Since that time CGS and I have discovered a whole new Web 2.0 world of wikis and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter where I've made many new friends in the GeneaBlogger community. My colleagues are a prolific bunch who fill my blog reader with an endless stream of all things genealogical and who offer a font of inspirational ideas which I gladly co-opt for the benefit of CGS.

    During this last year the CGSL blog has become a kind of internet centerpiece for the society. Blog articles link back and forth to the CGS website, to the eNews and to social networking sites and calendars where our events are posted.

    Recently Amy Coffin of We Tree featured the CGSL blog in her article Should Your Genealogical Society Have a Blog? She summed up the blog-website relationship perfectly:

    Blogs are websites. Websites aren't always blogs. A genealogy society's web page is like a store window. It highlights the group's value, hopefully enticing visitors to walk through the virtual door and explore the site. A blog is like a genealogy society's in-store sale circular. It is a good communication tool for the latest information and quickly changing details. A genealogy society's web page serves one purpose and a blog another.
    Now that the whole blog-website-internet dynamic is working well for us, CGS is ready to pretty things up a little. Several members of the Pub/Mark and Website Committees have been working on the CGS "brand" and we will be rolling things out over the next couple of months.

    Today Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings very graciously recommended the CGSL blog in his Follow Friday post. Nothing gets past Randy and he made note of the fact that this blog has a new URL: This is the first peek into the branding project which will involve a major redecorating overhaul of the CGSL blog.

    Stay tuned.

    02 December 2009

    Wordless Wednesday

    Working on the Judge Project

    Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, October 5, 2009, Oakland, California.

    01 December 2009

    CGS e-News, December 2009

    The December 1, 2009 issue of the CGS e-News, volume 3, number 12 has been published and emailed to members and friends. As always, the e-News 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: CGS Ancestors. This month's photograph is of Job Daniel Joseph SEMLER and his family on their homestead near Sargent, Nebraska. Member Mary Hunt found this photograph of her ancestor on the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog on the Library of Congress website.

    All past issues of the CGS e-News are available for viewing at the e-News ARCHIVE. The January 2010 issue will be e-mailed on 12/31/2009. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

    30 November 2009

    Gold Rush Records: Clues Amidst Chaos, by Nancy Peterson

    The Fall 2009 issue of New England Ancestors magazine is out and it's all about the California Gold Rush. The feature article is Gold Rush Records: Clues Amidst Chaos, by CGS Research Director Nancy Peterson.

    The magazine's Managing Editor, Lynn Betlock, sums up Nancy's article like this:
    Nancy Peterson’s informative and detailed survey of gold rush era records forms the centerpiece of the issue. The comprehensive source listings serve as an invaluable checklist for researchers. And by describing the context in which records were created — or not created — Peterson offers a stark contrast between life in orderly New England and unruly California.
    New England Ancestors is a benefit of membership in the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. The current issue is available online to NEHGS members.

    27 November 2009

    The CGS Fire Drill Convergence

    November 19, 2009 started out like a normal Thursday at the California Genealogical Society Library. Long-time volunteers Anne Robinson and Gene Peck were working on yet another project for the society. Past-president Verne Deubler was seated at a computer handling the CGS email. Linda Darby was finishing the manuscript collection overhaul, Lavinia Schwarz stopped in to handle a book order and our newest Desk Duty volunteer, Roger Bird, was shelving books. Dick Rees arrived at around 10:00 a.m. to tell us that a fire truck was parked out in front and he thought that there might be a fire drill.

    Just then the relative quiet of the library was shattered by the extremely loud and obnoxious sound of the building fire alarm. All genealogical activity stopped as we followed procedure and made our way through the basement maze to the stairwell to exit the Breuner Building. On the way out we passed Engine 15 from the Oakland Fire Department.

    The tenant occupants of the eight floors of 2201 Broadway are to gather in the parking lot behind the building on Valley. Luckily it was a gorgeous sunny but crisp autumn day. While we waited for the "all clear" we learned that we accomplished the building evacuation in a record six minutes.

    We also learned that our newest volunteer was quite comfortable discussing fire drill procedures. In fact, Roger Bird is a retired captain with 31 years service in the Oakland Fire Department. Amazingly, Capt. Bird's home station was #15 – located at 27th Street and Telegraph – the one closest to the building!

    Roger introduced us to his colleagues who stopped by the library for a short visit. At least a couple of our new friends are interested in their family history so we hope we convinced them to come back again and do some research.

    Photographs by Kathryn M. Doyle, 11/19/09, Oakland, California.

    25 November 2009

    Wordless Wednesday

     Publication Planning Meeting
    The Judge Project

    Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, November 16, 2009, Oakland, California

    20 November 2009

    The Best (Genealogy) Things in Life Are Free!

    CGS member Kay Speaks sent word from the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS) about a last-minute change for their Thanksgiving weekend seminar. Their speaker had to cancel and will be rescheduled for next year.

    Susan Goss Johnston will present The Best Things Are Free: Using Free On-line Genealogy Resources For Your Family Research on Saturday, November 28, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The morning seminar and afternoon workshop are free and open to the public.
    There is an amazing amount of material available on-line from resources that don't charge a fee to access their information. Some of this data is identical to that found on popular fee- based subscription web sites!
    There will be a lunch break from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Attendees are invited to bring a bag lunch and attend two short presentations by Kay Speaks on Google Search Tips and Basic Techniques for Saving On-line Research Results.

    Susan Goss Johnston graduated from Yale University with a degree in physics. While raising her family she discovered a passion for genealogy. For the next thirty years she would be a genealogist, teacher, and lecturer. Johnston is a graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Research, the Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and the National Archives' course, Going to the Source. She has traveled throughout the states giving a variety of genealogical lectures and has taught numerous classes and courses about genealogy research on both the east and west coasts. Johnston currently teaches genealogical research procedures and techniques for both the beginning and advanced student at Las Positas College. She is a popular Bay Area lecturer. 

    Saturday, November 28, 2009
    LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore
    8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    The Best Things Are Free: Using Free On-line Genealogy Resources For Your Family Research
    Sponsored by the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society and the Livermore Family History Center.

    Download the registration flier.

    19 November 2009

    CGS Directors, Officers and Duties

    On Monday I reported on the slate of nominees to the board of directors to be announced and voted on at the Annual Meeting in January. The following is the relevant section of the society bylaws - Article V - from page two:


    Section 1. Directors
    a. The number of directors shall be not less than five (5) nor more than twenty (20).

    b. The last active past president, he or she consenting, shall serve as a Member of the Board of  Directors until replaced by a new past president willing to serve on the Board of Directors.

    c. Immediate family members of Directors are ineligible for candidacy during the period of the sitting Director's term.

    d. The term of each Director shall be two (2) years from the date of election.

    e. Any vacancy in the Board during an unexpired term may but is not required to be filled by the Board. Such Director shall serve until a successor Director is elected.

    f. Directors shall be limited to a maximum of three successive two-year terms, or a total of six (6) consecutive years.

    Section 2. Officers
    a. The Directors shall determine officers.

    b. The officers shall be President, Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary.

    Section 3. Duties
    a. The President shall be the executive officer and spokesperson for the Society, preside at all meetings, and supervise all its business and affairs. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee. The President may assign other duties to Directors as necessary. The President shall appoint committee chairs.

    b. The Vice President shall have all the responsibilities of the President in his/her absence.

    c. The Chief Financial Officer shall be responsible for the financial operation of the Society and serve as chair of the Investment Committee.

    d. The Treasurer shall see that a proper financial system is maintained to record all receipts and disbursements of the Society.

    e. The Recording Secretary shall keep a minute book of the proceedings of all meetings of the Society.

    f. The Corresponding Secretary shall conduct the general correspondence for the Society and maintain a file of all the Society's correspondence.

    g. The Directors-at-Large shall be assigned duties by the President as needed.

    18 November 2009

    Wordless Wednesday

    Volunteer Appreciation Reception
    Saturday, November 14, 2009


    Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox and Jane Knowles Lindsey, Oakland, California.

    16 November 2009

    News From the 2009 Nominating Committee

    The 2009 Nominating Committee – Dick Rees, Lorna Wallace and Chair Chris Pattillo – have announced the nominations for the 2010-2011 Board of Directors for the California Genealogical Society. Nominations will be presented at the January 2010 Annual Meeting.

    Tom Gesner, Craig Manson and Jeffrey Vaillant are nominated as new board members. Nancy Fike and Diana Wild, currently serving as appointees to vacant positions (Corresponding Secretary and Recording Secretary) are nominated for their first term. Lavinia Schwarz is nominated for her second term. Nancy Peterson is nominated for her third term.

    The first terms of Stephen Harris and Cathy Paris will end in 2011. Kathryn Doyle and Chris Pattillo will end their second terms in 2011. The terms of Paul Mayer and John Moore end in January – they will not be serving a second term. Carolyn Steinberg is resigning her term; Sandy Fryer has been appointed to take her place. Jane Knowles Lindsey is ending her third term; she will continue on the board as Past President. After serving more than ten years on the board in several capacities, Verne Deubler is stepping down. His long service to the society is greatly appreciated.

    15 November 2009

    Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

    The Carnival of Genealogy (COG) is a bimonthly blog event invented by Jasia of Creative Gene in June 2006. Individual genealogy bloggers write about an assigned topic and post the articles on their blogs. Each carnival edition has a host who gathers the submissions and publishes a round-up of links to the articles. This is my submission to the 84th edition: What the Carnival of Genealogy has meant to me.

    The COG was a fixture in the genealogy blogging world before I knew much about blogs or ever heard of Jasia. Ironically, I first learned about her from a print article in the July 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine. In my first blog post, An Experiment, I reported on how Jasia's series Declining Membership in Genealogical Societies led directly to the start of this blog.

    It was a few months before I found a topic that propelled me into the carnival fun. I have to admit that the COG has always presented a bit of a challenge to me as a writer of a genealogical society blog. It's the reason the CGSL blog has submitted only six articles:

    43rd Carnival of Genealogy - Technology (3/4/2008)

    44th Carnival A Tribute to Anne Robinson (3/18/2008)

    45th Carnival Chronicling Events in a Horseless Carriage (4/4/08)

    68th Carnival A Tribute to Dorothy Fowler (1927-2009) (3/15/09)

    77th Carnival CGS and the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire (8/1/09)

    Carnival of Genealogy 82: Breaking Into Society (10/18/09)

    But that's not to say that the COG hasn't played an important part in my blog upbringing!

    My favorite contributions to the COG have been the tributes to women written the last two years in March for National Women’s History Month. It has been an honor to meet so many generous, talented members of the society and writing about them is the best part of the CGSL blog. I plan to write more tributes and more frequent member spotlight articles in the future.

    One edition of the Carnival of Genealogy stands out for me from all the rest – the 77th Edition Disasters hosted by Miriam Robbins Midkiff at her award-winning blog, Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors. Miriam did a stellar job with the submissions, organizing them into themes and introducing each with a fitting quotation. The packaging was every bit as interesting as the articles themselves. I was amazed at much time and care she had put into the presentation. Her creativity inspired me to volunteer to host a future edition of the COG on the CGSL blog.

    Of course hosting on this blog meant that the the theme would have to relate somehow to CGS – a rule that keeps me focused on my niche. That led directly to the idea to start a new blog carnival devoted to genealogical societies.

    Now it is time for true confessions! I took credit for a new GenSo Carnival (coming in January 2010) and Jasia was a supportive co-conspirator. Just as she graciously announced the start of the CGSL blog to the world, she offered the COG as a launching pad so I could publicize the new carnival and Carnival of Genealogy 82: Breaking Into Society was the result.

    But the fact is: Jasia came up with the idea! She may not remember (I didn't) that in post #8 of Declining Memberships: Promoting Your Organization With Technology she included using blog carnivals:

    This is another ideal way for a genealogical society to advertise and promote their organization. Start a carnival and rotate hosts among group members. Other carnival watchers and bloggers will find it and you'll increase your group’s exposure. It's great advertising to sponsor a carnival!
    Jasia, I apologize for usurping your idea. It was all you, as always! The fourteen articles you wrote have been a road map that I have been following for almost two years. To say that you have changed my life is NOT an exaggeration. I spend a part of nearly every day working on something for the California Genealogical Society that you outlined in that series.

    Thank you for creating this edition of the COG so that I could publicly acknowledge your continuing support and encouragement. In this case, imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery. I know that COG means Carnival of Genealogy but I am sure that gen-bloggers everywhere will agree that it also stands for Community of Geneabloggers. I can't thank you enough for showing me the way.

    11 November 2009

    Wordless Wednesday

    NEHGS Seminar
    Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center 
    October 23, 2009

    Photographs courtesy of Arlene Miles, Oakland, California.

    06 November 2009

    Gen-Alum - Stanford Class of 1959

    I've given up!

    I tried – I really, really tried – to bring you a photograph of some amazing and accomplished women who were classmates at Stanford University fifty years ago and now find themselves active members of the California Genealogical Society.

    It first came to my attention early in 2008 that Judy Avery, Mary Mettler, Nancy Simons Peterson, Susan Nourse Peterson and Marilyn Willats were in the same class at Stanford. They didn't all know each other then but they do now, and they share a passion for genealogy.

    All were among the 7,500 Stanford alumni and their guests who returned to the Palo Alto campus for the annual Reunion Homecoming held Oct. 22 - 25, 2009. The Class of 1959 broke a 50th-reunion class record with nearly 800 alumni and guests in attendance, representing 45% of their Cardinal class.

    It was the perfect opportunity to get them all together for a group photograph – something I've been trying to do for a year and a half. One of them admitted that they did meet up during the weekend but did they turn a camera on themselves for the blog? No!

    So you will have to look elsewhere to see their photographs. They have all been generous volunteers to the society and you will find their names in the sidebar with links to previous blog articles (with photos) about their contributions to CGS.

    And since the "Big Game" is almost upon us, I fully expect to hear from a few CGS Cal grads. Just make sure you send photos.

    04 November 2009

    Wordless Wednesday

    CGS member volunteer
    Judy Zelver

    Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 10/3/2009, Oakland, California

    02 November 2009

    CGS e-News, November 1, 2009

    The November 1, 2009 issue of the CGS e-News, volume 3, number 11 has been published and emailed to members and friends. As always, the e-News 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: CGS Ancestors. This month's photograph is of the Turtle Mountain Hotel in Dakota Territory taken by well-known frontier photographer, George F. Blackburn. Be sure to read how the hotel figured into member Mary Mettler's family.

    All past issues of the CGS e-News are available for viewing at the e-News ARCHIVE. The December 2009 issue will be e-mailed on 12/1/2009. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

    30 October 2009

    CGS and NGS in SLC in 2010

    In celebration of the tenth annual CGS Research Tour to Salt Lake City, the dates of the 2010 trip have been set to conveniently precede the start of the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference. The 2010 theme is Follow Your Ancestral Trail.

    The spring tour will begin mid-week on April 21, 2009, and run Wednesday to Wednesday. Those interested in staying for the NGS conference (April 28 - May 1, 2010) can extend their stay at the Shilo Inn, located across the street from the Salt Palace, site of the NGS Conference. The block of rooms reserved by CGS for the NGS conference are for the exclusive use of those attending the CGS research week.

    The CGS Salt Lake City Tour is always a highlight of the society's year – offering an intensive week of research at the Family History Library – with two experienced guides, Nancy Peterson and Jane Lindsey.

    The trip is a popular one with members; several return year after year. The opportunity to attend a national meeting is expected to increase interest and space is limited. A $200 deposit will hold your place.

    A limited number of rooms are available at the discounted CGS rate on a first come, first served basis for those wishing to continue their stay to attend the NGS conference. NGS conference registration is NOT included with the CGS SLC Research Tour registration and must be arranged separately. Online registration for the 2010 NGS Family History Conference will begin 1 November 2009 at the NGS Online Store.

    Nancy Peterson, C.G., is Research Chairman for the library and is author of the CGS publication Raking the Ashes, which provides strategies for circumventing record loss from the 1906 earthquake and fire. Nancy has taught numerous genealogy classes and has published many articles including two in the NGS Quarterly. She has made many research trips to Salt Lake City.

    Jane Lindsey, President of CGS, has led the SLC group for the past nine years. She does client research, lectures to local organizations and is a past NEHGS Trustee.

    Questions: Call CGS at 510-663-1358 or email Jane Lindsey.

    Download the registration flier for complete information.

    29 October 2009

    San Francisco Pioneer Cemeteries

    This week the co-founder of (and CGS member) Ron Filion turned a media double-play just in time for Halloween. Last night KPIX anchor Ken Bastida asked another Good Question of Ron, this time: Are There Any Unmarked Graves in San Francisco? Be sure to watch the footage and learn the fascinating history of the burials at the Lincoln Park Golf Course.

    You can hear more from Ron, in person, this weekend at the San Francisco Main Library. Today's 96 Hours section of the San Francisco Chronicle features 'S.F. Pioneer Cemeteries': Where the dead lived stating the "presentation offers the chance to find out what neighborhood the City's dead used to reside in before they all up and moved to Colma." Ron's lecture about the earliest cemeteries in San Francisco is part of the One City One Book October Events.

    Ron tells me that his talk will be a "fast romp through all the cemeteries in San Francisco." He will cover the cemetery locations, discuss how the City's growth affected them, and share stories about their relocations. The library's promotional material carries this warning: This presentation will not be for the faint of heart.

    San Francisco Pioneer Cemeteries
    Saturday, October 31, 2009
    10:30 a.m.

    San Francisco Main Library
    Latino/Hispanic Room B
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, California 94102

    28 October 2009

    Wordless Wednesday

    Dinner, Holiday Inn & Suites, Oakland, California
    Friday, October 23, 2009

    All photographs used with permission: Copyright 2009 by Stephen J. Danko. (Thanks, Steve!)

    27 October 2009

    Member Spotlight: Jim W. Faulkinbury, CG

    Dick Eastman recently ran a press release from the Board for Certification of Genealogists announcing the retirement of two trustees, one of whom is CGS member Jim W. Faulkinbury:

    Jim W. Faulkinbury, CG, of Sacramento, California, finished a three-year term on the Board of Trustees. His BA in Mathematics and his MBA are from California State University in Sacramento and he holds a certificate in project management from the University of California, Davis. He was first certified by the Board in 1980. A specialist in California records and a lineage genealogist, Jim is a member of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Genealogy Committee, State Secretary of the California Society SAR, Secretary, past Registrar, and past President of his local chapter of the SAR, Past State Genealogist and State Registrar of the California Society of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America, and Registrar of the Sacramento Society Children of the American Revolution. His publications include The Foreign-Born Voters of California in 1872 (including names, ages, national origin, and naturalization data on over 61,000 voters on the voter rolls in 1872), and the California chapter in Ann S. Lainhart’s State Census Records. He has also produced an online index to his database of over 363,000 vital statistics he extracted from the San Francisco Morning Call newspaper for the years 1869 through 1900. This valuable resource helps researchers cope with the loss of those public records destroyed in the great earthquake and fire of 1906.
    Jim has been a member of CGS since 1998. A professional genealogist with over twenty-eight years of experience with California records, he also has extensive experience in original German and Swedish church records and the preparation of lineage society applications. Faulkinbury's research services website includes his online indexes.

    26 October 2009

    New York City: Insider's Guide to Research

    A CGS Workshop with Steve Harris
    Saturday, December 12, 2009
    10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    California Genealogical Society Library
    2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
    Oakland, California

    If you are like the majority of Americans, at least one of your ancestors spent time in New York City. Dr. Stephen Harris has an insider's knowledge of the many helpful data sources and indexes that are available for your NYC research. This workshop will focus on techniques for researching New York City ancestors in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries using the Internet, local resources and on-site research in the Big Apple. We will explore the wealth of online material accessible on NYC websites as well as that hidden deep within and other subscription services.

    Steve is also making his personal library of city directories for New York available for use by workshop participants.

    Attendees are encouraged to bring laptop computers - the library has free Wi-Fi and the six CGS computers may not all be available for the program.

    Bring a brown bag for lunch or, if you prefer, there is a nearby deli where you can buy a sandwich and bring it back to the library.

    The workshop is FREE for CGS members but is limited to fifteen people. There is a sign-up fee of $10 for non-members. (This fee is non-refundable and can be applied toward membership on the day of the workshop.) Reservations are required - download the registration flier.

    Steve Harris is a consulting genealogist with extensive experience assisting clients with their family histories. Born in Brooklyn, he has deep roots in New York City, but the siren call of California was too strong to resist. Steve is vice-president of the California Genealogical Society and Library. His office and 6,000-volume research library are in Oakland, just down the hall from CGS.

    Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, 10/21/2009, Oakland, California.

    23 October 2009

    November Volunteer Appreciation - Save the date!

    Saturday, November 14, 2009, 1:00 p.m.

    California Genealogical Society Library
    2201 Broadway, Lower Level
    Oakland, California

    The November membership meeting will be an informal one – a chance to say "thank you" and to honor our volunteers. Please join the CGS Board of Directors for a special wine and nibbles reception and social hour.

    Our volunteers have created a successful formula that has kept CGS viable for more than 110 years. That is something to celebrate!

    Last year's Volunteer Reception was such a success that we've decided to make it an annual event. All members are invited to attend. If you can, please bring a small appetizer plate to share. If you can help with set-up, please email Carolyn Steinberg.

    21 October 2009

    Wordless Wednesday

    Wordless Wednesday
    Reading Wall at the CGS Library

    Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 10/3/2009, Oakland, California.

    20 October 2009

    She Thinks He Had Them at Hello

    Elizabeth O'Neal of the Little Bytes of Life blog has an entertaining account (with photos) of CGS member Steve Danko's recent appearance at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society (SBCGS).

    Steve has been a great supporter of our society, speaking this year at our July membership meeting and as co-presenter of the Eastern European Research Workshop in April 2008.

    Be sure to read I Think He Had Them at Hello.

    19 October 2009

    The Santa Clara Gen-Study Group

    The California Genealogical Society Library was a recent stop for some busy genealogy enthusiasts from Santa Clara County. CGS member Pat Burrow is the designated "chief" of the Santa Clara Gen-Study Group and she arranged a visit to the library on Wednesday, October 7, 2009. The fifteen dedicated researchers have been "on their own" for about a year now after five years of meeting regularly with Marcia Murray Holstrom's genealogy class.

    Members visit archives and libraries together but they also meet weekly at each others' homes. They meet to discuss case studies and book reviews and they take turns boning up on a subject and sharing their knowledge with the whole group. Recent talks have been about genealogical brick walls, recommended websites and "how-to"software sessions on Excel and Reunion for Macintosh.

    The seven who made the trip to Oakland were John Turner, Dave McCready, Pat Solomon, Anne Hendricks, Suzanne Hastings, Mary Ann Casella and Pat Burrows. I'm pleased to note that in addition to Pat – Dave and Anne are CGS members. Mary Ann joined today so now a majority hold membership!

    CGS welcomes interested groups to tour the library and spend time exploring our genealogy resources. Email the society or call 510-663-1358 to schedule a group visit.

    Photographs by Kathryn Doyle, 10/7/2009, Oakland, California.

    18 October 2009

    Carnival of Genealogy 82: Breaking Into Society

    Welcome to the 82nd Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy - Breaking Into Society.

     Poster courtesy of the footnoteMaven.

    What's your favorite genealogical society?
    Do you belong to a society?
    Tell us why!
    Or if not, why not?

    It's probably obvious that my favorite society is the California Genealogical Society and Library in Oakland, California. I've been blogging here since November 2007 so it's about time for me to host an edition of the carnival.

    Special thanks and acknowledgment to Jasia of Creative Gene for allowing me to use this edition of the COG to introduce a new carnival devoted exclusively to genealogical (and historical) societies which will start in January 2010.

    More and more societies are starting blogs (Genealogy Blog Finder lists 77) and a carnival will be a great way for societies to share ideas and participate in some theme blogging. It's often difficult for society bloggers to join in the carnival fun - topics such as "ponies" or "bathing suit" aren't really society material!

    I invite any suggestions about the new venture. Please feel free to email me or leave a comment below.

    * * *

    This is actually the second time that societies have been a COG theme. Number 6 – Genealogical Societies – was one of the earliest topics in August 2006. Just three short years ago Jasia had to comb the web to collect enough blog material for a carnival. How things have changed! Today we have blog posts written by nineteen twenty genea-bloggers with their thoughts on gen-society membership from all parts of the U.S. and a view from Canada and the U.K.

    Janet Iles starts things off by sharing some very specific reasons why she is a member of three branches of the Ontario Genealogical Society. Why did I join our genealogical society? - Carnival of Genealogy is posted at Janet the researcher.

    Dorene from Ohio tells what the Ohio Genealogical Society can offer you if you are looking for ancestors who lived in Ohio. Read My Favorite Genealogical Society: OGS at Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay.

    Jasia of Creative Gene invites us to read about her experiences with two Polish genealogical societies in PGS1 and PGS2, What They Mean to Me and You. She recommends that anyone researching their roots in Poland join a Polish genealogical society: "The help they can give you is invaluable."

    Charles Hansen is one of the team who writes the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society blog. He wonders "Will local genealogical societies change with the internet? Will they continue to attract new members? or die?" His answer to both questions – education. Read My Favorite Genealogical Society for the COG at his personal blog Mikkel's Hus

    Apple hasn't had much success with her local society so she's considering branching out. She cites her recent experiences and tells all in Apple's Tree: Society Gal? posted at Apple's Tree.

    John Gasson thinks much of his research would still be "struggling to get off the ground" without the resources of his local group. Read Why I couldn't live without the Sussex Family History Group at The Wandering Genealogist.

    Greta Koehl of Greta's Genealogy Bog proclaims "The Fairfax Genealogical Society is one of the outstanding local genealogical societies in the United States – great both for newbies and for experienced and professional genealogists. It has played a major role in my genealogical education." Read why in My Favorite Genealogical Society.

    Miriam Robbins Midkiff's started blogging for her favorite Eastern Washington Genealogical Society in July 2007. Since she has no ancestors from Eastern Washington, My Favorite Genealogical Society at AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors tells why a local society can have advantages over the ones in your ancestral locations.

    Thomas MacEntee declares (as only Thomas can) "Just like Lays potato chips, with genealogical societies, you can't have just one!" I do believe he takes the prize for most society memberships. Tally them up at Destination: Austin Family: My Favorite Genealogical Society - Must There Be Just One?

    GrannyPam says she doesn't consider herself to be a "joiner." Actions speak louder than words and Pam has shared plenty of both over the threatened closure of the Library of Michigan at Granny's Genealogy. See why she is active in her local society at What?s Your Favorite Genealogy Society?

    Jessica Oswalt shares her reasons for not being a member of a genealogy society in Genealogy Societies - My Thoughts at Jessica's Genejournal. Elyse has a suggestion (below) that may fit the bill for Jessica!

    Donna Pointkouski is another member of the Polish Genealogical Society of America and notes that this edition of the CoG coincides with Polish-American Heritage Month. Donna tells why she has held membership for almost twenty years in High on Societies: Genealogical Societies! posted at What's Past is Prologue.

    Randy Seaver has been blogging the Chula Vista Genealogy Café since April 2007. He has lots to say on his favorite topic in Genealogical Societies - Socialization Networks posted at Genea-Musings.

    For Susan C Pentico, "Sharing is what makes societies so special." Read her thoughts Favorite Genealogical Society's Winning Praise posted at Susi's Chatty Performances on Genealogy.

    Bill West has let his society membership lapse (horrors!). He explains in WHY I'M NOT IN A GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY posted at West in New England.

    Sheri Fenley is an active member of several organizations. It's not surprising that The Educated Genealogist lists "journals" and "educational opportunities" among her reasons for societal membership. She also discusses "schmoozing" in her post Genealogical and Historical Society Membership.

    Twice this summer Elyse Doerflinger of Elyse's Genealogy Blog gave some great advice to genealogical societies. Now she is back with more wisdom beyond her years with COG 82: A Youngster's View of Genealogy Societies.

    Elizabeth O'Neal of Little Bytes of Life calls herself A Genealogical Joiner and shares more of her quest to join a local society.

    And last, but by no means least, the footnoteMaven submitted A Member of Society. fM provides a definition and some self-analysis. With the latter, my dear fM, I respectfully disagree!

    Addendum! A late entry has been added from M. Diane Rogers at CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt'. In Why I Belong Diane dons her red hat (which one are you?) and answers a pertinent question "Why should I visit a genealogical society library when there are plenty of libraries around?"

    * * *

    That concludes this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.

    Call for Submissions!
    The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be: Musical Instruments! Do you play a musical instrument or did one of your family members? What instrument did you or they play? If no one in the family played an instrument, tell what is your favorite instrument or band and what is your least favorite one. The deadline for submissions is November 1st. This edition of the COG will be guest hosted by Janet Iles who authors the blog, Janet the Researcher.

    Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using the carnival submission form. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blog carnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link.

    Past posts and future hosts can be found on the blog carnival index page.