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30 March 2009

Spring Intermediate Series Begins April 25, 2009

The California Genealogical Society and Library (CGS) and the Oakland Regional Family History Center (ORFHC) present a four-week Spring Intermediate Genealogy Series beginning April 25, 2009.

Eight intermediate topics will be presented in four sessions on Saturdays at the CGS Library and repeated on Tuesdays at the ORFHC. All sessions will be held 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. The fee is $15.00 to cover the cost of materials. Notebook and class handouts will be provided. Free parking at both locations.

Session I
Saturday, April 25 and Tuesday, April 28, 2009 – Marge Bell
Probate and Guardianship Records
Church and Cemetery records

Session II
Saturday, May 2 and Tuesday, May 5, 2009 – Jane Knowles Lindsey
Immigration, Passenger Lists
Naturalization, Passports
Using Newspapers for Genealogical Research

Session III
Saturday, May 9 and Tuesday, May 12, 2009
U.S. Military Records – Susan Goss Johnston
Land & Property, Maps, Gazetteers – Lavinia Schwarz

Session IV
Saturday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Reading and Transcribing the Handwriting of Colonial America – Marge Bell
Other Resources, Solving your Biggest Genealogical Problems – Jane & Marge

Parking is free in the lot behind the Breuner Building at 2201 Broadway on Saturdays and there is adequate parking at the FHC on Tuesdays.

• Class size is limited. Walk-ins allowed if space available.
• Nominal fee of $15 is charged for materials.
• Saturday classes: obtain a placard from lobby security for the lot behind the building.
• Visit the CGS website or the ORFHC website for complete class descriptions.
• $10.00 off a CGS membership if you join by May 19, 2009.

Download the registration flier and mail with a check for $15 to the ORFHC, Attn: Marge Bell, 4766 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602.

27 March 2009

Internet Genealogy – It's Just the Tip of the Iceberg

CGS member Lisa Gorrell allowed me to share this fantastic graphic created by her daughter Elizabeth.

The idea sprang from a conversation at the society between Lisa and fellow CGS-member, Tim Cox. They were remembering the "old days" before the internet and Lisa was commenting that most of her work had been done the "hard way." She explains:

During the conversation I casually said that researching on the Internet was like the tip of an iceberg – that there was so much more out there in libraries, courthouses, cemeteries, etc. Tim thought a graphic would be an excellent way to explain the idea.

At Tim's urging Lisa decided to pursue the idea of a graphic and took the idea to her daughter Elizabeth, a sophomore studying Art and Graphic Design at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Lisa reports that Elizabeth had fun with the concept and the result speaks for itself.

Lisa and Tim discussed using the graphic as a fundraiser for the society. Lisa shared this idea:

What would be nice is to have a poster of it in every research facility – especially those with computers – to remind them that so little of their research will be found on the internet.

I was so impressed with the outcome of this meeting of CGS minds that I asked if I could share it on the blog. Any suggestions out there for ways to spread the word and use the graphic? Please leave a comment.

Elizabeth Gorrell obviously has a bright future. Great job, Tim, Lisa and Elizabeth!

Graphic reprinted with permission of Elizabeth and Lisa Gorrell.

25 March 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
A Typical Tuesday at the CGS Library
Lavinia Schwarz, Pat Smith and Lorna Wallace

Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 11/18/2008, Oakland, California.

23 March 2009

One-Day Beginning Genealogy Seminar - April 18, 2008

Beginning Genealogy Seminar
Saturday, April 18, 2009, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway Suite LL2, Oakland, CA

Back by popular demand, the California Genealogical Society and Library (CGS) and the Oakland Regional Family History Center (ORFHC) present a full day Beginning Genealogy Seminar – all the material presented in one day.

COST: $15 for cost of materials and continental breakfast

8:30 - 8:55 Registration and coffee
9:00 - 10:30 Introduction to the Science of Genealogy – Marge Bell
10:30 – 12:00 Secondary Survey – Jane Lindsey
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Break (bring your own lunch or local restaurants nearby)
1:00 – 2:30 Vital Records and the Calendar Change – Marge Bell
2:30 – 4:00 Census Records Including State Census – Speaker TBA

• Class is limited to 30 participants.
• Free parking in the lot behind the building. Must get placard for car from security.

To register for the Beginning Genealogy Seminar, download the registration form from the CGS website and mail with a check for $15 to the ORFHC, attn: Marge Bell, 4766 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, California 94602.

An eight class Intermediate Series starts the following week on April 25, 2009. It will be offered on Tuesdays and Saturdays for four consecutive weeks. Two classes will be presented at each session. For more information, download the Intermediate Series Flyer.

20 March 2009

Finding Fintan's Family

One of the most satisfying outcomes of the recent Scots-Irish Research Seminar involved turning the tables on one of our speakers and helping him to find his family.

It started on the drive from the San Francisco International Airport when Fintan Mullan mentioned that his mother's first cousin had come to Oakland and the families had lost contact with each other. Fintan and Dr. Brian Trainor, of the Ulster Historical Foundation in Belfast, Northern Ireland were here for the CGS Scots-Irish Seminar.

As soon as we saw CGS President Jane Lindsey I informed her of Fintan's missing cousin. I know how much Jane loves a search so I wasn't surprised to learn the next day that she had made considerable progress in a short amount of time.

Fintan was able to provide Jane with some details about Hugh Moreland who had left Ireland and went first to Australia but settled in Oakland. Hugh had made one trip back to Ireland to visit family but they lost contact after that. Hugh died in California and Fintan knew the names of Hugh's children.

Jane worked the California Death and Birth Indexes and checked the California passenger records. She found Hugh H. Moreland, born in Ireland, came from Australia to San Francisco in April of 1930. Kathleen DiGiovianni of the Oakland Public Library helped the cause by finding Hugh's obituary in the Oakland Tribune.

Jane was able to locate Fintan's first cousin once removed, Eileen, who lives in Napa. Fintan called his mother in Ireland to tell her the good news. Eileen and her husband drove to Oakland the next day to meet with Fintan after the seminar.

First cousins, once removed: Eileen and Fintan.

Fintan and Eileen were reunited after almost thirty years of lost contact between their families.
Great work, Jane!

Photographs by Kathryn Doyle, Oakland, California, 3/7/2009.

18 March 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
CGS March Membership Meeting with Frances Dinkelspiel
Saturday, March 14, 2009

Photographs by Kathryn M. Doyle, Oakland, California.

16 March 2009

Elderberries Visit CGS

The CGS Library hosted a small group from St. John's Episcopal Church in Oakland's Montclair District on March 11, 2009. The nine "Elderberries" arrived at 10:00 a.m. for a tour of the library and a brief talk by CGS President Jane Lindsey about the basics of genealogy research.

CGS members Dick Rees and Judy Bodycote were on hand to help them get started and assist with some basic computer searches. The group stayed for lunch and resumed their research in the afternoon until their departure at 2:00 p.m.

Margaret "Margie" Bowman, who is a member of both the Elderberries and the California Genealogical Society, made the arrangements for the visit.

The Elderberries group "offers fun, fellowship and philanthropy" to the "60-plus" members of the St. John's congregation. Their pastor, Rev. Elaine Reichert, who was unable to attend the CGS outing, put out a call to members to think of some interesting local places to go. Margie, who joined CGS last year, thought that the CGS Library fit the bill nicely.

Although most of the nine visitors have not pursued genealogy as a hobby in the past, we hope that their visit has inspired them to continue the search.

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

Photographs by Kathryn M. Doyle, 3/11/2009, Oakland, California.

14 March 2009

A Mini-Bloggers' Summit at CGS

Sheri challenged me to get this up right away and Cheryl said I could hint at her secret so I'm putting up this quick post to share the photo of our mini-summit this afternoon at the California Genealogical Society March Membership Meeting.

Jennifer Regan, Cheryl Palmer, Sheri Fenley and Kathryn Doyle.

Jennifer Jones Regan of Rainy Day Genealogy Readings and Graveyard Rabbit of Contra Costa County; Cheryl Palmer of Heritage Happens and Graveyard Rabbit of South Alameda County and Sheri Beffort Fenley of The Educated Genealogist and The Educated Graveyard Rabbit are three busy blogging ladies! (And they are a lot of FUN.)

Cheryl changed her plans to come to the meeting to hear Frances Dinkelspiel talk about her book Towers of Gold. Sheri brought her sister-in-law who is a Hellman Heller and is related to Frances. Jenn was wearing her green and chose the meeting over the St. Patrick's Day Parade in San Francisco.

Just so you know that the society is "equal-opportunity" - CGS does have two male bloggers who weren't at the meeting today. Steve Danko is in Houston attending the Family Tree DNA Conference on Genetic Genealogy and Craig Manson of GeneaBlogie has not made it to a CGS meeting since he joined the society last year.

Are there any other CGS members out there who are blogging genealogy?

Photograph by Tim Cox, 3/14/2009, Oakland, California.

13 March 2009

A Tribute to Dorothy Fowler (1927-2009)

"We were awaked by a most dreadful earthquake." Those words written by Sarah Phillips on April 18, 1906, were lost to the world until Dorothy Fowler brought them back to life one hundred years later with the publication of A Most Dreadful Earthquake. Researcher, editor, author and long-time volunteer and friend of CGS, Dorothy Helen Fowler died on February 26, 2009 in San Francisco. Dorothy's entire life was a testament to the art of writing and it is an honor to write this tribute to her.

A native of Clawson, Michigan, Dorothy came west to California with her family when she was seven, before settling in Grants Pass, Oregon. She obtained a B.A. in English from the University of Oregon in Eugene.

High school graduation, 1948

Dorothy's first taste of the publishing world came early when she served as editor of her high school year book. After college she moved to New York City and held a number of jobs in advertising, publishing and editing before returning to California. Dorothy once labeled herself a "job hopper" but her work was always about the written word. Her thirty year career with the State of California was spent working in research and report writing for the Departments of Public Health, Employment and Industrial Relations.

Dorothy joined CGS in 1984 and for over twenty years she was one of the reliable "Thursday group" who came in weekly to volunteer. Dorothy served on both the Library Committee and the Membership Committee and she was involved in various indexing projects. For the society centennial in 1998, Dorothy combed the archives and wrote a history entitled The California Genealogical Society's Library – A Century of Growth.

1998 was the same year that the long-lost packet of forty letters was discovered in a misplaced box after the society's move to a new location. Like many genealogists, Dorothy enjoyed mysteries so a small preservation project evolved into a full-blown research endeavor which ultimately resulted in the publication of A Most Dreadful Earthquake: A First Hand Account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire – with Glimpses into the Lives of the Phillips-Jones Letter Writers.

Shirley Thomson worked closely with Dorothy on AMDE. She shared these thoughts:
In the process of preparing the manuscript of A MOST DREADFUL EARTHQUAKE for its eventual form as a book, I worked with Dorothy over some months in 2005. As an author, she was a joy: thorough, careful, documentation-perfect, attitude flexible, always willing to listen to suggestions, ready to go the extra mile to provide whatever was needed. She told me very clearly that her ego was not embedded in the words on her page; she could deal with—even appreciate—editorial help. Wow! That’s a rare and much-appreciated talent. She was ever generous to CGS, a kind and thoughtful friend.

Dorothy Fowler (1927-2009)

Members and friends of Dorothy will gather at the California Genealogical Society on Thursday, April 9, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. to remember Dorothy and to meet her brother, Walter Henry Fowler, his wife Etta Mae and their daughter Lisa.

Photographs courtesy of Lisa Fowler.

Submitted to the 68th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: A Tribute to Women.

11 March 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
Scots-Irish Research Consultations
Fintan Mullan and Dr. Brian Trainor
CGS Library
Friday, March 6, 2009

Photographs courtesy of Jane Lindsey and Kathryn Doyle.

06 March 2009

Workshop: Microsoft Word Skills for Genealogists - April 11, 2009

Microsoft Word Skills for Genealogists – Formatting Styles, Footnotes and Indexing
A Publishing Workshop with Matthew Berry

Saturday, April 11, 2009
10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
California Genealogical Society Library
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California

Join CGS member Matthew Berry for this skills building workshop designed to help give genealogists the practical tools they need to go beyond the basics of Microsoft Office Word. Follow Matt's step-by-step tutorial and learn to create an organized family history with information that is easy to find using:

· Consistent formatting of information
· Footnotes or endnotes to document ancillary information, especially sources
· A comprehensive index and table of contents.

Please note that MS Word 2003 will be used for illustrations but instructions will also be provided for MS Word 2007.

The workshop day will consist of lecture material with handout, a lunch break and a "hands-on" session so attendees can practice their new skills. Members are encouraged to bring laptop computers; 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 will be a sign-up fee of $10 for non-members. (This fee can be applied toward membership on the day of the workshop.) There is a sign-up sheet at the CGS Library desk. Please call CGS at 510-663-1358 or E-mail to reserve a space.

Matthew Berry is a San Diego native who came to the Bay Area at a young age and grew up in Foster City. He received his B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and M.B.A. from Santa Clara University. His first career was as a satellite systems engineer at Lockheed Martin for fifteen years; he is now Project Manager at Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco. Seeing what he calls "a cool computer program" for entering family information at a family reunion in 2003 sparked an interest in genealogy, which was subsequently fueled by a desire to consolidate the genealogical work of several other family members. Matt lives in Livermore with Karen, his wife of 15 years, and daughter Christa.

04 March 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
CGS member volunteer Marilyn Willats

Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, 1/13/2009, Oakland, California

02 March 2009

Countdown to the Scots-Irish Seminar

Final preparations are being made for this Saturday's Scots-Irish Family History Research Seminar, March 7, 2009, at the new Oakland Airport Holiday Inn and Suites, 77 Hegenberger Road, Oakland, California. Please note that there are two Holiday Inns near the airport - this is the new one next door to the Hilton.

Fintan Mullan and Dr. Brian Trainor are coming from the Ulster Historical Foundation in Belfast and they're bringing a wide range of books to sell. Oakland is their first stop on this U.S. Lecture Tour so they will have a full selection and it is an opportunity to save shipping charges since their books are not sold in the United States.

One must-have title is Researching Scots-Irish Ancestors, The Essential Genealogical Guide to Early Modern Ulster, 1600-1800 by William Roulston. If you want to pre-plan your purchases be sure to check out their complete catalog at the Ulster Historical Foundation Bookstore website.

I hope to see many of you on Saturday. If you can't make it I'll post some of "what you missed" next week.