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30 January 2010

Local AAUW Group Visit to the Library

The CGS Library hosted a small group from the Pleasant Hill Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on Thursday, January 28, 2010. Six visitors made time for a quick stop and a tour of the library. Kay Ernst made the arrangements for the group's Genealogy section.

The Pleasant Hill Branch has over 70 members who are a diverse group of professional career women, community activists, elected and appointed public officials, teachers, parents and artists. The group, chartered in September 1957, is one of over 1850 branches nationwide, representing more than 150,000 members who seek personal lifelong development and advocate social change and public policy consistent with gender equity. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) promotes equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change.

The California Genealogical 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.

28 January 2010

Introducing Our Newest Board Members

The California Genealogical Society is pleased to introduce three gentlemen who have consented to serve and have been elected to the Board of Directors in 2010. They are Tom Gesner, Craig Manson and Jeffrey Vaillant.

Tom Gesner moved to California from the East Coast to work as a scientist for a biotechnology company where he is still employed. He became interested in genealogy in 1997 as the Internet began its explosion of genealogical content. Tom joined the society seven years ago and has been an active member of the French-Canadian Special Interest Group. He spends his research time exploring his Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Canadian (French and Maritime) roots and anticipates completing his first genealogical publication later this year.

Craig Manson is Distinguished Professor and Lecturer in Law at the Capital Center for Public Law and Policy at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. He teaches administrative law and has been a lawyer for twenty-eight years. Craig began the study and practice of genealogy in 2004 and writes the popular blog, GeneaBlogie. A member since 2008, Craig spoke at the society's Blogging Workshop last October and will offer two lectures at our African-American program in February for Black History Month.

One of the founders of the International Facility Management Association, Jeffrey Vaillant's first professional career was Certified Facility Manager. He is past President of the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce and chaired the Government Affairs Committee at the Santa Rosa Chamber. He is switching gears and is currently working towards professional genealogical certification which he targets for 2010. Jeff holds membership in no less than twelve family history associations – he joined the California Genealogical Society in 2007. Jeff has written two series for this blog and has promised to write more.

Please welcome our three new directors!

27 January 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tech Saturday: A Panel Discussion
with Cathy Paris, Kathy Watson and Judy Bodycote
January 16, 2010




Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California.

25 January 2010

Will WDYTYA Impact Genealogy in the U.S.?

When the BBC television series Who Do You Think You Are? made its debut in the United Kingdom in 2004, queues of family researchers formed at archives and libraries all over England and the show became a huge hit. Now that NBC has scheduled the long-anticipated U.S. version to air on March 5, 2010, the questions is: will the show have the same impact on American audiences? Meet the seven celebrities who will trace their ancestry this season.

2/2/10 Update: Received notice from that they are a partner with NBC on the new show. A Who Do You Think You Are website has been launched with "bios of the celebrities featured in the show, photos, and several video clips as well as articles on how to get started in family history."

21 January 2010

What You Missed: Annual Business Meeting - January 9, 2010

The Annual Business Meeting of the California Genealogical Society was held on Saturday, January 9, 2010, at 1:00 p.m., at the library. President Jane Knowles Lindsey made her last "state of the society" address to members and presided over the election of new three new directors and approval of the 2010 budget. There were approximately forty-five members in attendance.

Nominating Committee chair Chris Pattillo presented the list of nominees for seats on the Board of Directors: Tom Gesner, Craig Manson and Jeffrey Vaillant, who were elected by acclamation.

This year, instead of committees presenting their individual reports, Jane summarized the efforts of the various work groups. She reported that the financials of the society are much improved over last year.

Kathryn Doyle made a brief presentation outlining the work of the Publications and Marketing Committee on the society "brand" and unveiled the new website masthead and URL to generous applause.

Two members spoke about their interesting genealogy projects. Kathy Beals recounted the evolution of her four "Early Families of New Hampshire" books: Unity (1997), Bradford (2004), Dalton (2006) and Bethlehem (2009). Jeanie Low gave the highlights of her work with the "Save Our National Archives" (SONA) group and the ten-year stuggle to save the Alien Files (A Files) from destruction.

Jane closed the meeting by summarizing some of the accomplishments made by the society during her six years as president:

  • moving the library to the Breuner Building in March 2007
  • increase in membership and attendance at the library
  • organization and preservation of the manuscript collection
  • replacement of ten society computers
  • publication of A Most Dreadful Earthquake and Raking the Ashes
  • creation of a new website
  • start of the CGS eNews and blog
  • reintroduction of the society periodical - The California Nugget

20 January 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Annual Business Meeting
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Jane Knowles Lindsey, Kathy Beals and Jeanie Low


Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California.

18 January 2010

State Genealogical Alliance Meeting at CGS

All CGS members and members of other local societies are welcome to attend an open meeting of the California State Genealogical Alliance (CSGA) at the California Genealogical Society Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, on Saturday, February 27, 2010.

The gathering is an opportunity for Bay Area genealogists to meet CSGA President Susan M. Roe, attend an Alliance meeting, have a tour of the CGS Library and hear a presentation by CSGA Past-president Lisa B. Lee.


09:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.  Open meeting
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Tour of CGS library and presentation about the unique holdings
12:00 p.m. –  1:00 p.m.  Break for lunch*
  1:00 p.m. –  2:00 p.m.  When Oral Histories are Just Plain Wrong by Lisa B. Lee
  2:00 p.m. –  4:00 p.m. Research time

*Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch or visit a nearby restaurant.

Lisa Lee is a past president of CSGA, a past CGS board member, lecturer and hosts Got Genealogy?

Founded in October 1982, the Alliance serves as a statewide association of independent genealogical societies, individuals and non-profit organizations which acts to further genealogical endeavors throughout the state of California.

17 January 2010

YouTube Video of San Francisco Pre-1906 Earthquake

Member John Bedecarre sent the link to this amazing historical film recorded just days before the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. The footage was shot from a cable car running down Market Street towards the Ferry Building seen in the distance. John informs us that while electric street cars crossed Market, the transit system at the time had only cable cars on Market. He also notes that there were no traffic rules, no paved roads, no traffic lights or pedestrian crosswalks and that the people were pretty adept at dodging autos. Thanks, John, for sharing!

Source: Flixxy's San Francisco in 1906

16 January 2010

Report #6 and a Recap: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Here's Jeffrey Vaillant's last SLIG installment. Great reporting, Jeffrey!

Friday, 15 January 2010
Salt Lake City, Utah

The morning class began with a three-person panel discussing the Uniqueness of International AG Examinations. The panelists were Heidi Sugden, John Kitzmiller and Larry Jensen all of whom are deeply involved in the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) organization and all have positions at the Family History Library. They spoke to the application process for accreditation in a foreign subject, the language needs for the German and French areas and how to prepare. The "how to prepare for the exam" was study, study and study the sources available for the country AND be fluent in the language.

Karen Clifford followed with her presentation on Evaluating and Solving Research Problems and somewhat modified the syllabus by drilling down in some detail on report writing while doing research.

Next was Elaine Helgeson Hasleton (another three named female!) who spoke about The Oral Review: Purposes, Rubrics and Results. For the AG designation the candidate will answer questions about the four-generation report, discuss the latest genealogy project, discuss the written exam and respond to questions from the exam where the answer needs amplification. To demonstrate what might happen in the oral exam a role playing exercise was conducted.

Confession time again: I cut the last session on the AG Renewal Process (which like the CG is every five years). The Library was waiting with its books and microfilms for my attendance. I got some good electronic images on my flash drive of land records in Pottawattamie County, Iowa – aren’t you excited?

The institute ends with a banquet in the hotel and a program of recognitions by both the SLIG organization and the Utah Genealogical Association. The guest speakers - yes, two people - were a husband and wife who gave a great presentation on their 35 years experience doing research in Spain and France. They lead students from BYU on research trips overseas.

In spite of my cutting class I managed to get a completion certificate. What do I think about the week?

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy is a solid program allowing the student to concentrate on a given subject for five days with guest lecturers throughout the course. I heard rave reviews for the classes Dr. Jones and Dr. Colletta taught. The meeting rooms and hotel (Radisson) were good including a 20% discount on all meals in the hotel Copper Canyon restaurant. I would recommend this Institute for a week partly because it is virtually next door to the Family History Library. I am staying an extra day to take advantage of the FHL.

What did I think about the AG/CG class? There were thirty people who signed up for the class of which eleven are from Utah and the rest of us from coast to coast. Class participation was good and there was the opportunity to ask questions and get answers. The difference between the AG and CG designation was clarified which was one of the reasons I took the course. Personally speaking, I will pursue the CG designation due to its research report writing emphasis over taking a written and oral exam.

Now it is off to Alabama in June for another solid week of learning at the Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). Registration opens Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. PST January 19, 2010.

Thank you for reading my reports.

- Jeffrey Vaillant
Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

15 January 2010

Volunteerism: One Day in the Life

When the topic for the 88th Carnival of Genealogy was announced I faced a bit of a dilemma. At first I was pleased because volunteerism is a subject I could easily write about on a society blog - and that isn't always the case. But then it dawned on me that every article published here is at its essence about volunteerism. The California Genealogical Society is 100% a volunteer organization. We have no paid employees so everything we do is by definition an act of volunteerism. What new insights did I really have to offer on a subject I've been writing about for over two years? I decided to forgo this edition of the COG.

Obviously something happened to change my mind (literally at the eleventh hour). Photographs have become an integral part of the story I tell for the society so I tend to keep my camera in my bag and I always take a few shots on every visit to the CGS Library. Tonight as I was uploading I noticed that I had a few photographs taken on Tuesday, January 5, 2010 and I remembered how crowded it was that day in the library.

 Pub/Mark Committee Meeting

The Publications and Marketing Committee meets on the first Tuesday of every month and there are usually six or seven of us who attend. The number varies depending on what else is going on in our lives. This month our chair, Cathy Paris, was there, along with Jane Hufft, Nancy Peterson, Marianne Frey, Arlene Miles and a new comer to our group - Henry Snyder. Unfortunately, Marilyn Willats had to leave before Jane Lindsey took this photograph. I remember thinking at the time how wonderful it was that Marilyn had been able to come in for the meeting. Marilyn cares for her grandchildren on Tuesdays so she can rarely make it anymore but on that day she didn't have her family responsibility. On her one free Tuesday she came to the library for a committee meeting.

Judge Project Meeting

Meeting in the next room were the members of the Research and Lookups Committee. These days they are consumed with the Judge Project. Laura Spurrier, Lavinia Schwarz, Pat Smith, Judy Bodycote, Lorna Wallace and Nancy Peterson were discussing formatting and footnotes and all manner of other things for the book they are researching and writing. I really need to write a blog article about the hundreds of hours they are logging and the amazing story they will tell but I dare not bother them for details with deadlines looming.

Others were there who were not photographed. Verne Deubler was at his computer processing emails and working on his newest indexing project. Dick Rees was handling the mail. Sandy Fryer and Paul Mayer were meeting which means that QuickBooks was open and they were probably closing the books on 2009 and readying things for the upcoming Annual Business Meeting.

Gaye Lenahan, Lorna Jones and Steve Harris were working in the library that Tuesday as well, bringing the total number of volunteers in the library to 21. Twenty-one members showed up on the first Tuesday of the year when the library was still technically closed for the holidays.

There was no speaker to hear, no personal research being done. Twenty-one members were there and the place was buzzing with activity and every moment was a selfless act of volunteerism to benefit a non-profit genealogical society. Now that was something to write about.

Written for the 88th Carnival of Genealogy - Volunteerism. The COG poster provided courtesy of the footnoteMaven.

Photographs by Kathryn M. Doyle, Oakland, California, January 5, 2010.

Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Jeffrey Vaillant writes that he is pacing himself and the proof is another report, written after a full day of classes and research, at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Thursday, 14 January 2010
Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday and Friday are devoted to presentations by the folks from the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) about their accreditation process. This morning began with Kory Meyerink talking about Research Focus and Analysis of Documents. As a minor reminder, the ICAPGen is interested in seeing people qualify based on a geographic specialty via written and oral exams. Kory explained abstracting versus extracting documents and handed out a document for all the students to prepare giving us five short minutes to do so. Nothing like a little early morning pressure. We were looking at a colonial last will and testament. Then he followed with a Document Recognition Exercise where he flashed documents on a screen allowing us 30 seconds to identify the type of record, title/kind/name of record and author/creator/publisher of the image. I got 7 of the 15 shown – ugh.

Next Karen Clifford’s (only two names!) topic was Report Writing Under Pressure; however, technical difficulties with the computer delayed her start. It was the first such case this week. ICAPGen has three reports they expect their candidates to complete. First is a four generation report that covers a family within one geographic region. The second is part of the exam process where students are sent to the Family History Library with a research problem to solve in three hours with a written report and third is the final written report is for supplemental work. There was a great deal of emphasis on telling the client what was done and how it was done.

Karen followed herself with another presentation on Research Planning and how it counts in the accreditation process. She spent time on how to do a plan rather than how the plan fits into the process. She got into detail on the plan.

The afternoon session was by Anne Roach on Digital Resources for Credentialing Researchers which she posted at the Family Search Research Wiki. Well, that sure gave me an excuse to cut class (confession time?) and go to the Family History Library to spend six hours viewing microfilm. My research goal is to find the earliest Pierson line to get to Iowa so I spent time looking at more land plat records for Des Moines, BLM plat maps for Township 77N and 23W as well as the 1846 Iowa census.

The evening was topped off with another Thomas W. Jones lecture on Organizing Evidence to Overcome Record Shortages. He used an Irish family example that resulted in three trips to Ireland for his client to conduct an exhaustive search for records when there are no censuses, deed, probate or vital documents available. The time period of his study was the 1700’s. Then he correlated the findings, established identities from the records available, grouped the identities into generations and proposed relationships using the genealogical proof standard to justify the conclusions. Another spell binding presentation.

Wikipedia Lesson: “Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials or post-nominal titles, are letters placed after the name of a person to indicate that the individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honour. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters.” The designation AG can be used when one becomes "accredited" or CG when one is "credentialed." A few individuals carry both designations. The longest string belongs to Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS!! He shows in his presentations that he has earned each designation. I am betting that he will pass his renewal for the CG designation!

- Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #6 and A Recap: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

14 January 2010

Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Jeffrey Vaillant continues with his series from the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy:

Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Salt Lake City

Today was a full day with lectures during the daylight hours, research at the FHL and two more lectures at night. The morning started with two excellent presentations by Thomas W. Jones on Constructing Case Studies of Complex or Contradictory Evidence and Conventional Formats and BCG Standards for Kinship-Determination Projects – big subjects packed with information. It is almost impossible to summarize a Jones presentation but I will try. Constructing Case Studies literally talked about a study having a beginning, middle and end. The beginning sets up the research subject, the middle proof summary discusses the evidence bearing on the conclusion of the research question and the end is short and to the point summarizing how the evidence supported the finding. The Kinship-Determination Project was about the types of format one can use – genealogy, lineage, pedigree or case study – and the method to achieve the format chosen. In both lectures he amply supports the methodology with examples from his research.

The next presentation was by Jeanne Larzalere Bloom. (I am thinking that three names must be a requirement for women – Elissa Scalise Powell, Elizabeth Shown Mills, etc.) Jeanne spoke on The Family Tapestry: Integrating Proof Arguments Into the Genealogical Narrative. To obtain certification one must show at least two parent-child relationships in different generations. She went into some detail on proof arguments and how to use them effectively.

Elissa Scalise Powell completed the day’s presentations by discussing Selecting Projects for New and Renewal Portfolios. She presented general principles like: do follow the instructions but don’t over think them. She talked about the applicant-supplied documents, the research report, the case study and the kinship determination project for new applications. The information was clear and concise and generated considerable discussion for there are many of us interested in certification.

Then it was off to the Family History Library to look at microfilm of 1846 city plat maps for Des Moines, Polk, Iowa and the ultimate in eye strain. I did find my ggg-grandfather Mitchell Atkinson with property which may explain how his daughter Mary was there to meet her future husband, Galloway Mackintosh, who arrived from Scotland in 1850. Perhaps her father, a blacksmith, and Galloway, a stone mason, brought the trades people together?

 Polk County Plat Book Vol. A 1846 Atkinson

Back to the hotel for two more lectures tonight. Thomas W. Jones's presentation on Kinship Determination was amply supported by research examples as he held all in attendance spellbound. Elissa followed with Rubik’s Cube Genealogy: A New Twist on Your Old Data emphasizing organizing data differently giving many examples and good ideas to apply.

- Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #6 and A Recap: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

13 January 2010

Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Here's Jeffrey Vaillant's third report from the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy:

Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Salt Lake City

Today’s emphasis was on the Board for Certification of Genealogists with Elissa Scalise Powell Document Work: Research Focus, Document Analysis, Research Plan – all in 60 minutes. The lecture included an in-class exercise looking at a transcribed document testing our skills in proposing a research problem from the paper, analyzing the document in light of the research problem and designing a research plan. Papers were exchanged and reviewed – no names, no prisoners! The use of a document supplied by BCG and one supplied by the applicant both analyzed with a research plan is one of the requirements for certification.

Next up at the podium was Paula Stuart-Warren discussing Client Reports. Paula discussed the elements of the report along with its format. Client reports are part of the bread and butter for the professional genealogist AND a requirement for certification. Paula handed out a Funeral Record (from San Francisco of all places!) for our use as part of a report. This was a total class participation exercise after we broke into smaller groups to analyze the information.

The third session of the morning was Pamela Boyer Sayre who is in charge of Education at the National Genealogical Society who will be having their annual conference in Salt Lake City in April. Pamela took on Source Citation Principles which is a tough subject to discuss. Come on, we all love to correctly cite the information we have gathered, right? She did a great job and we all bowed down to Elizabeth Shown Mills, the goddess of source citation. Good news is that the new edition of Evidence Explained is out and its PDF version will be forthcoming – easier to carry around that 800+ page book on the computer than in-hand.

A break for lunch and then a heavy duty 90 minute Evidence Analysis Principles for Complex-Evidence Case Studies by Thomas W. Jones. He is a terrific speaker and kept us on the edge of our seats making terminology definitions with a myriad of examples. If you go to a conference where he is presenting get to all of his lectures. Tomorrow we have two more of his insights into genealogy.

Then it was time to escape to the Family History Library even though it is only a 2.5 block walk, it is about 19 degrees F—brrrrrrrr. The FHL is a "microfilm candy store" for one can simply walk up to the cabinet and get the film, unless it is storied in the vault. Of course, one of the reels I wanted was off-site. The FHL has the technology to put the images on one’s flash drive with no charge. For those of you thinking about going to the FHL with the CGS: get prepared.

- Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #6 and A Recap: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

12 January 2010

Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

Jeffrey Vaillant continues with his reports from the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy.

Monday, 11 January 2010
Salt Lake City

The day began with breakfast – a good thing. Actually the breakfast was sponsored by the SLIG as a way to get us all going. It was the typical gathering of hungry genealogists listening to those administrative announcements that happen at every conference. We met all the course leaders and learned where all the classes will be held. Also, it appears we Californians cluster together as I sat with Ron Cannon from the north coast and a couple from Lake Tahoe. We cherish California weather.

The accreditation class began with two presentations/lectures introducing the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists (ICAPGen) program and application process. In the first presentation Karen Clifford and Ray Clifford spoke to the issue of tests. They pointed out that tests need to have validity, reliability and fairness.

Their accreditation process has three major components – the Application, the Written Test and the Oral Review. The five steps to accreditation are:
  • Determine which of the 39 accreditation area to apply (or go for all 39!)
  • Select a family you’ve researched back four generations prior to 1900
  • Fill out their application form showing your experience
  • Take the eight hour written exam—proctored
  • Attend the learning experience of the oral exam
The next two presentations/lectures were the introduction to the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Elissa Scalise Powell spoke about why seek certification suggesting the learning process involved, the suggestions from the judges on the work submitted, a validation of skills, the peer recognition and respect gained, an acknowledgement of competence, self satisfaction and presenting oneself to savvy clients and referrals. My personal reason revolves around a validation of skills.

Powell distributed The BCG Application Guide booklet for our use. She went on to point out the seven steps taken for certification by the BCG. They are:
  • Agreement to a specific code of conduct
  • A background resume
  • Document work supplied by BCG
  • Document work supplied by the applicant
  • A research report
  • A case study
  • A Kinship-determination project
Debra S. Mieszala spoke about the third and fourth elements; namely transcribing and abstracting documents. She went into the standards that BCG applies in reviewing the transcription and abstracting work and pointed out that there were practice examples at their website. (There is a National Genealogical Society course on the same subject. I have taken this course and recommend it.) Mieszala handed out two examples of documents to transcribe which the class did and she pointed out the rubrics used to evaluate the work.

It was a good day of information. The classes let out “early” since the Family History Library is two blocks away. I’ll be heading there.

Later this afternoon those of us who are/were involved in the ProGen Study Groups as well as those part of the transitional genealogists’ email list will be having dinner together. This will be followed by a 7 p.m. Plenary Session presented by Barbara Renick on Overcoming the Perils of Research.

- Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #6 and A Recap: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

11 January 2010

Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

One of our newest board members, Jeffrey Vaillant, approached me at the Annual Meeting on Saturday and asked if I would be interested in some reports for the blog from the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy being held this week, January 11-15, 2010. Of course the answer was a resounding "yes!" You may recall that Jeffrey wrote a series last May on the NGS Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Here's his first installment:

Sunday, 10 January 2010
Salt Lake City, UT

On the road again, this time to the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy sponsored by the Utah Genealogy Association in Salt Lake City, Utah, of course. There are twelve programs offered. Two years ago I took the American Records & Research: Focusing on Families taught by Paula Stuart-Warren who is offering the same class this year. The other offerings are Mid-Atlantic Research, Scottish Research, Central and Eastern European Research, Immigrant Origins, Computers and Technology, Advanced Genealogical Methods, Producing a Quality Narrative, American Land and Court Records, Problem Solving, Accreditation and Certificate Preparation and U. S. Military Records.

Classes are all day and to really get immersed there are separate lectures at night! And there is the Family History Library only two blocks away from the Radisson where the classes are being held. That is a two block COLD walk as the weather forecast barely has SLC above 32 degrees F. all this week.

One of my genealogy goals for 2010 is to get the certification process under way, so I have elected to take the class on accreditation and certificate preparation being taught by Karen Clifford and Elissa Scalise Powell. Elissa was the mentor for our just-concluded ProGen Study Group (lasted eighteen months) so it will be fun having her as an instructor for the week. I am sure Karen will be as delightful.

Monday morning starts with a breakfast so it off to bed now to get rested up for a long day tomorrow.

- Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #2: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #3: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #4: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #5: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy
Report #6 and A Recap: 2010 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy

08 January 2010

A Visitor From New Zealand

Helen Geary of Christchurch, New Zealand was trying to track down a "V. Deubler" researching surname DUNCAN who she knew from various Internet postings must be a relative living in the U.S. She located a genealogist named Verne Deubler who lived in the Bay Area and contacted him and was pleased to learn that while Verne wasn't the "V. Deubler" she was seeking, he had come across her DUNCANs and knew a bit about the family. Verne kindly agreed to do some digging and to meet with Helen when she visited the United States.

What Helen didn't know when she arrived at the CGS Library to meet with Verne in September was that the helpful stranger was a past-president and long-time board member at the California Genealogical Society. Verne is also the society's most constant volunteer – logging in several days each week – handling email, working on indexing projects and overseeing the day-to-day "running" of the society. I can't count the number of times I've heard President Jane Lindsey say that she couldn't have served her office without Verne's assistance.

Verne Deubler and Helen Geary

Verne collected an envelope full of goodies for Helen including newspaper articles, obituaries and patent applications of the Duncan and Humes families. Helen's gg-aunt, Mary A. Duncan, of Dunedin, New Zealand, settled with her family in San Francisco and married Robert Deniston Hume (1845-1908).

 Robert Dennison Hume

Hume was a salmon canning pioneer and a member of the California Genealogical Society. His biography and photograph are found in A History of the New California: Its Resources and People by Leigh Hadley Irvine. One of Hume's fishing vessels was named for his wife – the Mary D. Hume is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Helen had street addresses for two Duncan homes that she was eager to visit and I knew exactly where one of them was since I pass it quite frequently. I was able to drive her there and to Mountain View Cemetery for photographs. We easily found her Duncan plot after a quick stop at the cemetery office.

A former Duncan family residence.

I promised Helen that I would locate her second address on Randolph Avenue and take photographs of the Edwin Duncan home. The proof is posted here and I am happy to report that I met the current owner and she has traveled to New Zealand and visited Christchurch. How's that for coming full circle?

Photographs by Kathryn M. Doyle, Oakland, California.

06 January 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Desk Duty - Tim Cox

Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, 11/20/2009, Oakland, California.

04 January 2010

Special Black History Month Event

Four Experts on African-American Genealogy Research
Saturday, February 20, 2010
10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

California Genealogical Society and Library
2201 Broadway at 22nd, Suite LL2
Oakland, California 94612

In celebration of Black History Month, the California Genealogical Society presents a special program featuring panelists from the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California and two lectures by Craig Manson, professor, lecturer and noted blogger.


10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Panel Discussion
Electra Price, Juliet Crutchfield and Jackie Stewart of the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California will be on hand for an informal session to share their twenty years of research experience and to answer audience questions.

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Break for Lunch*

1:00 p.m. Finding African-Americans in Census Records Prior to 1870.
True or False: "No census taken between 1790 and 1860 contains even one slave's name." This bit of conventional wisdom is false! Craig Manson will share some of his tips for finding both enslaved and free African-Americans by name in pre-1870 census records.

2:15 p.m. Civil War: Military Research with Special Emphasis on African-American Soldiers.
Craig's second lecture will discuss available resources and where to find them, including tips on how to use the National Park Service's Civil War Soldiers and Sailors (CWSS) site.

*Lunch: Participants are encouraged to bring a brown-bag lunch or, if you prefer, there is a nearby deli where you can buy a sandwich and bring it back to the library.

• FREE admission with pre-registration.
• Space is limited to forty attendees.
• Reservation form required.

To reserve your space, please download the registration flier.

01 January 2010

CGS e-News, January 2010

The January 2010 issue of the CGS eNews, volume 4, number 1, 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 photographs and story were submitted by Jane Knowles Lindsey of her second great-grandparents, Andrew and Matilda "Ellen" (Wilson) Livingstone of McLeod's Crossing, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Andrew and Matilda "Ellen" (Wilson) Livingstone

All past issues of the CGS e-News are available for viewing at the eNews ARCHIVE. The Feburay 2010 issue will be e-mailed on 2/1/2010. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.