Recent Posts

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.

15 October 2009

Last Call For Submissions to the 82nd Edition of the COG

The California Genealogical Society and Library blog is hosting the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Breaking Into Society.

The deadline is today so you have until midnight tonight to answer the following questions:
What's your favorite genealogical society?

Do you belong to a society?

Tell us why! Or if not, why not?

Some CGS members may not be familiar with blog carnivals – collections of articles written about a specific theme. The host blog presents the edition (think magazine) and provides links to each blog article submitted.

The Carnival of Genealogy was invented by Jasia of Creative Gene in June 2006. There are two editions published each month and the CGSL blog is honored to be hosting the 82nd edition.

As always, the footnote Maven has created a beautiful poster for this edition of the COG. She has all the details on how to submit at her blog Breaking Into Society at the COG.

14 October 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
Fall Beginners Series - Secondary Sources
California Genealogical Society Library

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

12 October 2009

NEHGS Comes West: 2009 Edition

Have you registered yet? It's been two years since our last joint event with the New England Historic Genealogical Society. You won't want to miss out on all the fun when Michael LeClerc, Christopher Child, Ryan Woods and D. Brentan Simons arrive for a weekend of New England genealogy.

October 23, 2009, 9:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Full Day Seminar and Lunch
Wedgewood Wedding and Banquet Center at the Metrolinks Golf Course
10051 Doolittle Drive, Oakland
Michael J. LeClerc and Christopher Child from NEHGS will present several talks, including Researching Your New England Ancestors Online, Western Massachusetts Families in 1790, Migration Through Western Massachusetts and Using DNA to Unravel Your Genealogy.

Friday, October 23, 2009, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Evening Cocktails and Dinner
Holiday Inn & Suites, 77 Hegenberger Road, Oakland
Capping off the day will be cocktails, dinner and The Lighter Side of Genealogy by D.Brenton Simons, Ryan Woods, and Jane Lindsey.

Saturday, October 24, 2009
Private Consultations with Chris Child or Michael LeClerc
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California
Consultations will be available for purchase for $25 per half-hour. Payment should be made directly to NEHGS at the time. Please email Ryan Woods with questions or to receive the request form.

Sunday, October 25, 2009
Special Sunday Research Time (Open to seminar participants only.)
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California

Download the information and registration flier.

11 October 2009

Blogging Workshop: Easy as 1-2-3

The reviews are in and Saturday's Genealogy Blog Workshop was a smashing success. Twenty-five participants gathered at the California Genealogical Society Library for three presentations by two well-known gen-bloggers and CGS members, Thomas MacEntee and Craig Manson.

Thomas got things started with "Become A Genealogy Blog User" – an overview of blog basics – with instructions on how to use blog readers, how to leave comments and how blogs can help with genealogy research. Attendees received a comprehensive hand-out which included a list of dozens of helpful genealogy blogs.

His second session was the "nuts and bolts" part of the day as MacEntee presented "How To Build a Genealogy Blog." CGS member volunteer Craig Siulinski provided the specifics in advance so Thomas was able to create a blog to Craig's specifications and the audience was able to see just how easy the process is using Google's Blogger.

Craig Manson ended the day with "Blogging and the Law" – a review of the copyright acts, their duration and limitations, fair use, public domain works, using photographs, defamation and privacy.

Two audience members deserve special recognition – bloggers Cheryl Palmer and Steve Danko came to lend support. Of course we took the opportunity to pose for a group geneablogger photo!

Cheryl Palmer, Craig Manson, Thomas MacEntee, Kathryn Doyle and Steve Danko.

And how successful was the day? Well, I'm thrilled to present three new bloglings for you to add to your readers:

August Legacy by Craig Siulinski

Hacienda Circle by Lavinia Schwarz

Historic American Landscapes Survey by Chris Pattillo

CGS member Cynthia Gorman summed up the day like this: "Great program, speakers and afternoon!

Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, October 10, 2009, Oakland, California.

09 October 2009

The 2009 Annual Appeal

It was all hands on deck this week as volunteers folded, assembled, stuffed and stamped the 2009 Annual Appeal letter to members.

Like many non-profits, the society sends a letter at the end of each year to request member donations. The California Genealogical Society letter is always sent from the society president. This is Jane Lindsey's last year as president and as she notes "seeing the society in good financial health would be a wonderful 'retirement' gift."

The letter highlights several of the year's successes:

Strengthening our successful education programs. Over 120 participants attended genealogy classes offered in conjunction with the Oakland Regional Family History Center. More classes will be offered in 2010.

Providing quality seminars and classes with major speakers including NEHGS.

Bringing programs to members and communities outside the local area.

Utilizing new technology and communications. The CGSL blog was recognized as one of the top 25 genealogical blogs in the nation.

Improving publications. Members are receiving The California Nugget twice a year and the monthly eNews, to improve communication.

Creating valuable new publications, authored by CGS members, that will be revenue producing.

Providing refurbished computers in the library, thanks to generous member donations. We also improved our internet connection and speed by changing providers.

Hosting group visits to the library and offering presentations to community groups such as Rotary and Lions clubs, DAR and Colonial Dames chapters

Of course, it wouldn't be an appeal if it didn't end with a request and a call to action!
Can you help us keep up this valuable work by sending a donation to CGS? Please consider a financial gift to help the society refund the Endowment Fund and support operating expenses. You may write a check to CGS or use PayPal.

Please consider making a gift to our Annual Appeal.

07 October 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
California Genealogical Society and Library
Manuscript Collection

Photographs courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 10/3/09, Oakland, California.

05 October 2009

Honored To Be Nominated!

The California Genealogical Society and Library blog is honored to be included in the Local/ Regional category of Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs nominees.

Voting is open from now until November 5, 2009. The process is one that the magazine is using to identify the "Best 40" for a future article:
The top 80 vote-getting blogs will make it through to a "final" round, and our editorial staff will select 40 blogs from that list. The Family Tree 40 will be announced in the May 2010 Family Tree Magazine and in the Genealogy Insider e-mail newsletter.

Among the nominees are several other CGS member blogs:

GeneaBlogie by Craig Manson

Heritage Happens by Cheryl Fleming Palmer

Destination: Austin Family by Thomas MacEntee

Steve's Genealogy Blog by Stephen Danko

The Educated Genealogist by Sheri Fenley

The really exciting news is that you can meet ALL of these bloggers in person this coming Saturday, October 10, 2009 at the Blog Your Genealogy workshop. If you haven't signed up yet, please email us and let us know you are coming!

And please go vote for your favorite blogs!

01 October 2009

Book Repair Workshop Returns November 7, 2009

The California Genealogical Society is taking reservations for the popular Book Repair Workshop to be held on Saturday morning, November 7, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Taught by Book Repair Committee Chairman, Bill O'Neil, the workshop is limited to ten enrollees.

Workshop participants learn book repair techniques by creating a book for themselves. Pages are provided and the pupils create the binding. The finished product will be a copy of a "how to" pamphlet written by the late Dick Thrift, founder of the CGS Book Repair Committee. Everyone goes home with a self-made instruction book and souvenir of the day.

• Workshop is limited to ten.
• $25 charge for materials.
• Reservation form and pre-payment of fee required.

Download the registration flier and mail with a check for $25 to CGS. Questions? Call CGS at 510-663-1358 or E-mail

Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, Oakland, California, 10/25/2008.