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29 July 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
July Membership Meeting
Tim Cox and the "Tip of the Iceberg" Poster

Photograph by Kathryn M Doyle, 7/11/2009, Oakland, California.

27 July 2009

Shelf Reading: A Top to Bottom Review

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 was Shelf Reading Day at the California Genealogical Society Library. Marianne Frey organized the event and provided a review of the Library of Congress call number system so volunteers could check their shelving skills.

Every book on every shelf was examined to insure its proper placement by the fourteen volunteer members who donated their day to the cause.

The industrious volunteers were: Diana Demeter, Mary Beth Frederick, Marianne Frey, Sandy Fryer, Evelyn Gray, Steve Harris, Arlene Miles, Kirsten Netterblad, Dick Rees, Craig Siulinski, Pat Smith, Laura Spurrier, Betty Walker and Bill Whitson.

CGS President Jane Lindsey wanted to publicly thank all the volunteers who came forward and sent this:

I am so pleased we got all the shelves read – a huge project done and all in one day. It was nice to see some new faces and some long-time members, too!

CGS Library cataloger Laura Spurrier added this:

I want to thank everyone for turning out too. Each time we do this, fewer cataloging problems turn up. That is not to say we're anywhere near perfect, but I can see a difference. It takes dedicated people like yourselves to identify problems so I can fix them. You're an integral part in making the books more and more findable and the library catalog more and more accurate. Thank you!

Photographs courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 7/22/2009, Oakland, California.

24 July 2009

A Special Board Meeting and Lunch at Peralta Hacienda

The CGS Board of Directors meets on the third Wednesday of every month, usually in the conference room in the CGS Library. This month the directors took a field trip to The Peralta Hacienda Historical Park.

After a delicious lunch arranged by director Chris Pattillo we were led on a personal tour of the Peralta House by its Executive Director, Holly Alonso.

I've written before about the collaborative Peralta Project that was orchestrated by Chris when she learned that plans were being made for a Peralta family tree exhibit. Chris' firm, PGA Design, has been working with the Friends of Peralta Hacienda on the implementation of the landscape masterplan for the hacienda, a six-acre park, in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, which includes the restored 1870 home of Antonio Peralta and preserves the lost legacy of the 44,800-acre Peralta rancho that once covered nearly all of present-day Alameda County. The park site is a city and state landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the last room on the tour was what we had been waiting to see – the large wall mural featuring the Peralta family tree created by graphic artist Gordan Chan. The genealogy of the Peraltas was first researched by Beverly Enz, a descendant of Antonio Peralta, who put together a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, original letters and photographs.

Her work was painstakingly reviewed and documented by the CGS research team who then traced the descendants of Luis Peralta into the twentieth century. The team - Judy Bodycote, Dick Rees and Lavinia Grace Schwarz – were feted at a banquet last October.

The Peralta Tree Exhibit is fairly extensive, concentrating mainly on Antonio's branch, and covers two walls. It is a beautifully executed display and we were all thrilled to see the project completed and beyond our expectations. Well done, all!

Photographs courtesy of Kathryn Doyle and Jane Knowles Lindsey, Oakland, California.

22 July 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
Shelf Reading at the California Genealogical Society Library
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey.

17 July 2009

The CGS 2009 Nominating Committee

In fulfillment of the California Genealogical Society Bylaws, Article VII, Section 1, President Jane Knowles Lindsey has appointed the 2009 Nominating Committee. General members are Dick Rees and Lorna Wallace; director Chris Pattillo will act as the committee chair.

The committee is seeking nominees for two openings on the board of directors. They welcome suggestions of candidates or volunteers to serve. Nominees must be members of the California Genealogical Society. Please e-mail Chris with your suggestions.

The full requirements as stated in the society bylaws, page 3, are as follows:


Section 1. The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least three (3) members to be named not less that ninety (90) days prior to the Annual Business Meeting. The President shall appoint the Nominating Committee. The chairperson of the committee shall be from the Board of Directors and additional committee members from the general membership.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee shall submit its report to the Board of Directors and the Board shall give timely notice of nominations to the general membership prior to the Annual Business Meeting.

Section 3. Following the Nominating Committee’s report to the membership at the Annual Business Meeting, the floor shall be open to additional nominations, provided nominees have given consent to serve if elected.

Section 4. Nominees shall be members in good standing in the Society.

Section 5. Members in good standing who are present at the Annual Business Meeting shall elect the Directors. A plurality vote shall elect.

Section 6. If there is only one candidate for an opening, the ballot may be dispensed with by general consent and the election held by voice vote.

15 July 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
French-Canadian Special Interest Group
Mary Beth Frederick, Tom Gesner, Lorna Jones and Bill O'Neil
May 9, 2009

Photograph courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California.

13 July 2009

What You Missed: July Membership Meeting with Steve Danko

This month's second Saturday membership meeting on July 11, 2009, was a high tech show-and-tell by CGS member Steve Danko. Genealogist, blogger and specialist in Eastern European research, Steve recently earned his Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies (PLCGS) with specialties in both United States and Canadian records from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto.

After some society business by CGS President Jane Lindsey and the unveiling of the new iceberg poster by Tim Cox, Steve presented Genealogy Gadgets and Gizmos: New Technology to Help in Your Research. He brought along lots of his favorite genealogy toys for a grown-up version of "show and tell." Tim got a shot of the collection of electronic devices that Steve brought to share.

Steve's Genealogy Gadgets and Gizmos.

Any regular reader of Steve's blog knows that he is one organized guy so it was no surprise that his presentation was well-ordered and his delivery crisp. Steve divided his gadgets into different categories of "family history" aides: gizmos for learning, for "finding your way," for recording, preserving, presenting and even "dressing for family history."

Steve and the 2GB Pulse SmartPen.

I won't go into detail about the items that Steve presented. He covered an impressive amount of technological gear and I don't even want to think about how he keeps track of all those power cords.

Steve spoke to a full house.

Needless to say, Steve's use of audio-visual aides gets an A+. (He even brought his own InFocus portable projector.) If you missed Steve you'll get another chance next year when he'll be presenting Genealogy Gadgets and Gizmos to the San Mateo County Genealogical Society on Wednesday, February 17, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.

Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox and Kathryn Doyle, 7/11/2009, Oakland, California.

10 July 2009

Tim's Report from Jamboree 2009

Tim Cox sent this report from last month's Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree:

I planned my vacation around this year’s 40th Anniversary Jamboree, June 26-28, 2009. It was my first genealogy conference and I was so excited I decided to arrive a day early and to stay an extra night to catch up on my rest before heading home. Wise move on my part, I really needed it!

Before going, I followed the Jamboree blog that Paula Hinkel publishes – she and Leo Myers co-chair the event. One blog post was a call for volunteers to introduce the seminar speakers. I'd heard that classes fill up quickly so I figured if I was arriving early to introduce the speaker, I’d be guaranteed a seat. I responded with a list of the classes I wanted to attend and received confirmation for fifteen. WHEW!! I had my classes confirmed and would be introducing some of my genealogy idols! WOW! This was going to be so much fun!

Friday morning I arrived at the exhibit hall, found table #114 – among the sea of tables all draped with black linen – and sat down and looked around the huge room. The California Genealogical Society table was placed against one wall. To our right was the Immigrant Genealogical Society; to our left was lecturer Tony Burroughs who was a sharing with the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. Directly across was and Family Roots Publishing with Leland Meitzler and Bill Dollarhide – a perfect high-traffic area.

Then it happened! Genealogy celebraties were coming in to set up their tables: Maureen Taylor, Lisa Louise Cooke, Leland Meitzler, Bill Dollarhide, Arlene Eakle, George G. Morgan, Dick Eastman, Dear Myrtle, Drew Smith. One by one they walked by. I was in heaven but I was way too nervous to say anything so I just took photos. It was still early and the exhibit hall was not open yet. I was in awe! These are accomplished genealogists! I’m in the company of these people. Call 911!

Luckily I snapped out of it so we could set up our table. We had membership brochures, fliers of some upcoming events and research trips, assorted candy, and books for sale. We also debuted the Tip of the Iceberg poster.

Tim Cox and the "Tip of the Iceberg" at Jamboree.

Diagonally from our table was the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It was really weird to see Chris Child and Michael Leclerc in person because we had their photos on the fliers for the upcoming "NEHGS Comes West" weekend at CGS in October.

Over the three days these CGS members rotated shifts to cover the table: Carolyn Steinberg, Kathryn Doyle, Ron Filion, Pamela Storm, Marston Watson, Geri Willinger, and Arlene Folker. I’m so glad they shared part of their weekend with me.

Introducing the speakers turned out to be a lot of fun. I was surprised to learn that there was more than just a short bio – they gave us a page and a half of ads to read, in addition to the speaker’s bio! I finally started asking the audience to participate and evidently they loved it. I found out I received several great reviews on the evaluation cards.

As it turned out, I didn’t do all the introductions I was assigned because some SCGS board members wanted to do some. That freed me up to shop, mingle, and visit. I realized after the first day that there was no way I could sit in class all day and not be able to network.

I attended the two Jamboee dinners. Friday night I enjoyed listening to Tukufu Zuberi from the PBS series: History Detectives. Saturday night's speaker was David Rencher who discussed the comical side of genealogy.

In all, the conference had over 1,500 attendees, from as far away as Tel Aviv. I was in awe at how well it was planned, managed and executed! Leo Myers and Paula Hinkel and the Southern California Genealogical Society really know how to put on a great event.

What was most interesting, though, was a personal choice I made. Instead of just passively attending classes and working at the table, I made a point of introducing myself and meeting people. I knew them already through the internet and podcasts, blogs, mailing lists, and other networking sites, I just hadn't ever met them face-to-face. This made my first conference so much better because I didn't feel alone or like I didn’t know anyone. So, if you are not sure about going to a conference because you think you don’t know anyone, you’re wrong. You know a lot of people there, you just haven’t met them face to face!

Maybe sometime in the near future I can work with someone to begin the discovery process of organizing a conference up here in Northern California. It will take us a few years to match the excellence of the Jamboree '09, but we can come pretty darn close! Anyone up for the challenge?

08 July 2009

Looking Toward the Future

The best part of the recent Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree (for me) was meeting many of my fellow genea-bloggers face-to-face. We've been reading each others' blogs and getting to know one another on Facebook, but nothing beats real flesh-and-blood contact.

The youngest (by a few decades) of my new friends is Elyse Doerflinger, author of Elyse's Genealogy Blog and The Graveyard Rabbit Student.

Elyse and me.

Elyse has written a wonderful article Genealogy Societies Need To Look Towards the Future, which is full of sage advice and her honest opinions.

Think about what your average genealogist looks like: retired. People do not live forever (or stay in good health forever) and therefore, if societies truly want to survive, they must find ways to reach the next generation. Without reaching for the next generation, then all of their research, all of their hard work, and many of these societies are going to disappear.

Elyse goes on to inform her readers of her membership in the Youth Genealogists Association, an online genealogical "society" whose aim is "to provide opportunities and information to youth interested in their family history." It's heartening to know that there are kids out there who actually like genealogy!

I encourage our members to read Elyse's words of wisdom and let me know how they think CGS is doing. Are we providing opportunities for youth to be involved in our society? Are we reaching out to the next generation?

One thing does concern me. I checked our society website and was disappointed to find that the California Genealogical Society does not offer a student membership rate. You can be sure that I'll be bringing this up to our membership committee!

Update 7/11/09: Elyse has added a follow-up post with more suggestions and feedback. I'm happy to report that the California Genealogical Society and Library is doing several of the things that Elyse mentions!

06 July 2009

CGS Iceberg Poster on YouTube

Tim Cox just let me know about Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems Jamboree video discussion with Randy Seaver of the Genea-Musings blog. At the end of Randy's Interview he mentions the CGS iceberg poster and Lisa includes a visual of the poster.

Thanks Randy and Lisa!

The complete catalog of Lisa's videos can be viewed at Genealogy Gems on YouTube.

01 July 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
Santa Clara Central Park Library
Monday, June 15, 2009

Photographs courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey and Lavinia Schwarz.