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31 March 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Visit to the Library
Tour by Dick Rees
Santa Clara Gen-Study Group
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, Oakland, California.

30 March 2010

Discover Your Swedish Roots Using Genline

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Learn how to research Swedish Church records to trace your Swedish ancestry. Peter Wallenskog, CEO of Genline AB and Kathy Meade, Genline’s North American representative, will give a presentation on Swedish genealogy and demonstrate how to trace one’s roots using Genline, an online service that contains digital images of the original Swedish Church Books archive from the 16th century to the 20th century.

In addition, Peter and Kathy will demonstrate Genline’s new exciting initiative connecting the Swedish Church Books to Bygdeband, a site containing historical information about places, where one can gain a deeper understanding of the place where one’s Swedish ancestor lived.

Free to all participants with preregistration.

Register online.

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

29 March 2010

Overview: Microsoft Office 2007

Saturday, May 1, 2010
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

California Genealogical Society Library
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
Oakland, California 94612

Join Tim Cox as he gives a high level overview of the Microsoft Office 2007 Suite of applications, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. You may bring your laptop but it's not required.

This class is a free benefit for members only. Class size is limited to twenty participants.

Walk-ins will not be admitted.

26 March 2010

Shirley Thomson's Report From Washington, D.C.

Shirley Thomson consented to share this from her recent trip:

I’m just back from a week of research fun in Washington, DC. The relevance of that for CGS friends is that I traveled with Bette Kot. Bette was CGS’s librarian for several years during which time she served the society in many capacities, including board of directors and publication committee. She moved from Walnut Creek to Parker, Colorado, five years ago where she now teaches genealogy and continues to stay busy researching Gorrell family history.

Bette and I traveled with Sandy Aberer, a fellow The Master Genealogist (TMG) software user who lives locally in Diablo, to visit the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Library. We enjoyed it all, even with six days of rain and cold weather. The libraries serve a wonderfully rich banquet of information to researchers who all too often get by on crumbs of data and slender tidbits of history.

Shirley Thomson, Bette Kot and Sandy Aberer

The difficult part was deciding how best to use our hours there. In the end, time was about equally divided between the three libraries. Happily, both NARA and the LC offer evening hours.

NARA:  I wanted to find Civil War pension files for two ancestors. Indexes to pension files are available on and at the Archives, of course, for those arriving unprepared.

One of my men was listed with both an invalid pension and a pension for minor children at his death. The other’s record also contained two—an invalid application and certificate and a widow’s pension application and certificate. Armed with the numbers, I submitted “pull requests” to the Archives staff. They pulled the files from the vast collection of archived records and made them available in about an hour.

Taking my newly issued researchers’ ID card (acquired on the first visit there) and some money for copies, I went to the secure reading room to pick up the envelopes and settled at a comfortable desk to read and copy records. Papers in the files included information about the soldiers and their families from neighbors, friends, doctors, fellow soldiers from those long-gone days, and the applicant too of course. Reading them was a spiritual event.

Civil War pension records are a fraction of what’s there, of course, but they’re not available anywhere else. While pension papers for soldiers of the Revolution are now available on, such records for those who served in the Civil War and War of 1812 are not.

Library of Congress:  After registering for our “reader cards,” we attended an LC orientation session and spent the majority of our time there in the Local History and Genealogy Reading Room. While satisfying for sure, we were just nibbling at the edges of offerings on that menu.

The LC catalog is on the Internet, of course, and it goes on forever, since it has just about everything ever published in the USA—or close to it. Time spent on the on-line LC catalog before arrival there is a good investment.

NSDAR Library: Here I thought I’d prepared reasonably well at home using the library’s catalog on line. But I found it hard to work methodically once I could meander through the open stacks midst vast numbers of family histories, local histories and periodicals. There, also, was that immense collection of DAR-generated records—copies of everything the society has collected and published over the years—and much of it searchable on the library’s computers.

What a week! It was pleasurable travel with friends to libraries offering glorious possibilities. Perhaps Washington—along with Salt Lake City, Fort Wayne and Boston—would be a good destination for a future CGS group research trip.

Photograph courtesy of Shirley Thomson, 3/16/2010, Washington, D.C.

25 March 2010

San Francisco Mortuary Records – 2010 Update!

There is exciting news for researchers with San Francisco ancestors! The San Francisco Mortuary Records Project is moving forward on two fronts with new records available for indexing at FamilySearch and the announcement of a database update at

In case this record set is new to you, the project was initiated by the California Genealogical Society and Library and is a cooperative effort with, the San Francisco Public Library, the Genealogical Society of Utah and FamilySearch Indexing. It is the culmination of several years' work to bring the digital images of thousands of mortuary records, stored by the Halsted Gray Mortuary in San Francisco, to researchers all over the world. The records are a significant genealogical find because of the richness of their detail and the miraculous way they survived the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.

The records include the complete holdings of the first mortuary in San Francisco, undertakers N. Gray & Co., from the day it opened - July 1, 1850. In all, the project includes the surviving records of several mortuaries that merged with either Halsted or Gray, over the years. The records contain information from financial ledgers, cemetery records, removal records and headstone notations. Many have obituary clippings.

Rose Pierson of FamilySearch Indexing informed us that the next batch of U.S., California, San Francisco - Mortuary Records, 1850-1917 are up and are ready to be indexed. If you want to participate you better hurry. It is a small batch and the work will be completed quickly. If you are already signed up to be a volunteer indexer, just sign in. If not, you will need to register at the site.

I also received this press release from Ron Filion of


The free, online San Francisco Mortuary Records 1911-1974 Database at SFgenealogy has been updated.

San Francisco, CA - March 25, 2010 has completed the second phase of indexing for the San Francisco Mortuary Records Database. The second phase has added records from the Martin & Brown (A.W. Martin) mortuary to the previous Halsted & Company collection. The collection now spans from 1911 to 1974.

The database includes over 179,000 digitized images and over 70,000 unique names. The searchable index also includes advanced surname search options such as Soundex and Metaphone, and wildcard searching.

The current Halsted N. Gray - Carew & English, Inc. mortuary has merged and acquired various mortuaries throughout the years. It is one of the oldest and largest mortuaries in San Francisco. FamilySearch and the California Genealogical Society are indexing their earlier records.

Ron Filion or Pamela Storm.

24 March 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Mountain View Cemetery Tour
Gaye Lenahan
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Photographs courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 3/24/2010, Oakland, California.

22 March 2010

Finding the Living - How to Hone Your Genealogy Researching Skills with Thomas MacEntee

Saturday, April 10, 2010
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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

You may have heard about how Thomas MacEntee used technology and helped save the day last month with an unplanned virtual presentation. I'm thrilled to announce that Thomas will work his magic again – only this time he will be the speaker – and the audience will know in advance that the voice they will hear will be coming from 2,000 miles away.

Noted blogger Thomas MacEntee will present Finding the Living - How to Hone Your Genealogy Researching Skills from his office in Chicago while twenty members watch his presentation in the library in Oakland.
Genealogists have many reasons to locate living relatives – from connecting with long lost cousins, to performing collateral searches, to breaking down brick walls. In this session you’ll learn not only why it is important to locate the living, but also how to leverage the power of Internet to make certain you have the correct contact information. You’ll also learn how making contact with the living can hone your genealogy research skills and actually help you break down those brick walls.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Presentation

12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. Break

12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.  Hands-on practice

Participants may bring a laptop computer to class to practice the search techniques learned and receive support from Thomas after a short break.

With over twenty-five years of experience in the information technology field, Thomas MacEntee writes and lectures on the many ways blogs, Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience. He provides market research, education and technology consulting services in the genealogy industry through his business High-Definition Genealogy. As the creator of, he has organized and engaged a community of over 1,000 bloggers to document their journeys in the search for their ancestors.

This workshop is offered free to members only and is limited to 20 participants. Preregistration is required. Register online.

19 March 2010

Annual Report 2010: French Canadian Special Interest Group

Lorna Jones provided a copy of Annual Report 2010 for the French Canadian Special Interest Group that includes a comprehensive history of their meetings and members. The SIG formed five years ago and held its first meeting on Wednesday, May 25, 2005. Subsequent meetings were held on Wednesdays 5-6 times per year until 2008 when meeting days were changed to Saturday to accommodate members who worked during the week.

Bill O'Neil, Mary Beth Frederick, Lorna Jones and Jane Lindsey

By January 2006, the group consisted of ten members: Carol Backhus, Anne Cyr, the Freemans, Lorna Jones, Wayne Knauf, Jane Lindsey, David Lowndes, Bill O'Neil, Al Riel and Lynn Theuriet. Since that time some of the original ten have moved away but new members include: Mary Beth Frederick, Tom Gesner, Gary Reopelle, Barry Goyette, Craig Siulinski, Christine Morton, Gary Darnsteadt, John Lee and Gibran Rath.

The group now has a total of sixteen members who come when they can to the three scheduled meetings each year. They try to meet in the morning on second Saturdays so they can stay for the membership meeting in the afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

French-Canadian SIG Coordinator Lorna E. Jones

Lorna reports:

The meetings usually are unstructured – someone comes with a 'brick wall' question and we all dive in and work on it. We frequently have 'show and tell' where we share new websites, or a book someone has found, or some new French translation list.  It's all very low-key, but entertaining, and the folks who attend are great.

Do you have ancestors who may have moved to the mid-west in the early 1800s? Or perhaps some who were born in Canada, but the exact location is unknown? The American-Canadian border was easily crossed; many others came up the Mississippi via New Orleans to settle before the railways were built.

The French-Canadian Special Interest Group meets to discuss research problems. It is a small group so there is plenty of opportunity for each issue to be debated thoroughly. Help for French translation is available, as well as lots of ideas about where to search, both on the web and in books.
Email Lorna Jones if you would like to receive notice of upcoming meetings.

The next meeting of the French-Canadian Special Interest Group is at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2010.

Photographs courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey.

17 March 2010

It's All Malarkey

Member Camille Giglio agreed to share her family story in honor of St. Patrick's Day.

Over the last fifteen years, three lines of my ancestry have been validated, but the origin of one of my maternal great-great-grandfathers is as hard to pin down as the origin of his name. Michael Malarkey, where do you come from?

I started researching my father’s family upon discovery of a packet of letters that he had stored away in an old teakwood box. My maternal second cousin, Brian White, began his odyssey thirty years ago looking for his paternal and maternal sides. Our paths hit the same brick wall when it came to finding the Malarkey family. The search has been made more difficult due to the wide variety of spellings of the name.

My primary source of information about my maternal ancestry has come from one aunt, soon to be 100 years old. She provided me with a list of last names and the possibility that they came to America and settled in New York and Boston. The San Francisco Mission District Irish always had a distinctive Bostonian flavor to their speech.

My cousin and I started at different times and places with the one certain fact that Josephine Lucille Gallagher Byrne (my grandmother and his great-grandmother) was born in San Francisco on July 15, 1873, to James and Susan Malarkey Gallagher.

Susan Malarkey (McLarkey?) is first located in the 1860 Federal Census for Massachusetts, in Boston, with her age as 18 and her occupation listed as shoe binder and indicating that she was born in Boston. She was living with her parents, Michael and Maragus (Margaret), as well as her younger siblings: Annie and Michael, Jr. Her older brother, Frank, was living out of the home by that point in time.

No civil or church record can be found in the greater Boston area for her birth or marriage. Boston City directories show listings for Michael Malarkey in the South Boston neighborhood as well as listings for James Gallagher. Susan and James seem to be gone from the Boston area sometime between 1859 and 1864.

It has been suggested by a researcher at the New England Historical Genealogical Society that, since Moville was a port of departure for freighters, Michael and Margaret nee McGuinness sailed to the new world landing first in Nova Scotia coming later to Boston by overland route. This would explain the lack of records for Susan in Boston.

I am traveling to Nova Scotia later this year.

Continuing backward in time I began looking in Ireland for Michael Malarkey. The name Malarkey is not common and, especially the name Michael Malarkey is rare. Therefore I felt certain that I had found my Michael in the Griffith’s valuation records for the period 1846-64.

Michael is living on a tiny plot of land, more like a mud floor, thatched roof hut, outside of Moville, Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal in the townland of Drumaweer, for an unknown duration. But that’s all we know about him until he and a wife show up in the 1860 Boston census. Boston death records for Margaret list her maiden name as McGuinness and her father as John McGuinness.

In September, 2009, my brother, my husband and I took a trip to the Inishown Peninsula which is across the Lough Foyle from County Derry, Northern Ireland. We visited the plot of land on which the hut still stands albeit somewhat enlarged. We spoke with the owners of the land, the Carey Brothers, two elderly, single, smiling and rosy cheeked barley farmers. They still live on the land in a two room hut with worn out linoleum covering mud floors, possibly very like the one Michael lived in lo those many years ago.

The Irish, being always anxious to be helpful, directed us to a local author in a neighboring hamlet. There we where entertained for over an hour with stories of “the troubles,” of the famine and the 19th century English landlords of Northern Ireland. Apparently many descendants of those families driven from their homes on a snowy Christmas eve still live in the area. Those hardships are as alive today in northern County Donegal as though they had happened only last year.

From there we were directed to a member of the McGuinness family itself back in Moville. John McGuinness invited us in, talked about his ancestry, but could not give us any insight into our Michael and Margaret.

We may never be able to pin down the Malarkey ancestry but my cousin may be close to uncovering some of the mystery. He has made contact with a member of the Charles Gallagher family. James and Charles were brothers.

James Gallagher appears in the 1867 Great Register in San Francisco. According to the register, he was 27 years old, worked as a Laborer, lived in Ward 7, and was naturalized on September 5, 1859 in San Francisco U.S. District Court.

According to separate obituary notices both Charles and James died on the same day presumably in San Francisco, on April 12, 1878. A San Francisco newspaper obituary notice for 1878, provided by Brian White, reads as follows: "GALLAGHER - In this city, April 12, James GALLAGHER, a native of Ireland, aged 40 years. Boston papers please copy).

James was originally buried in Calvary Cemetery in San Francisco, but when the City closed all cemeteries in 1904, his remains were moved to Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma. Susan is also buried in Holy Cross cemetery but with her second husband, Thomas Barden.

To date even though we have obituary notices of James and his older brother Charles’ funeral services, no information has surfaced as to why or where they died.

Apparently Gallagher family second or third cousins have resided in the general San Francisco Bay Area all these years for several generations.

Bill von Esmarch, great-great-grandson of Charles Gallagher, has supplied a photo of the three daughters of Charles Gallagher who would have been nieces of James Gallagher and cousins of my grandmother, Josephine Gallagher Byrne.

Mary, Margaret, and Hannah Gallagher of Palmyra, New York

Bill, Brian and I agree that if we could find the parents of James and Charles, we might be able to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of the Malarkey/Gallagher ancestry.

Information for this article was supplied by Camille Giglio, Brian White and Bill von Esmarch.

For more great Irish stories be sure to stop by the Third Annual St. Patrick's Day Blog Parade. It's also known as the 18th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture, hosted by Lisa at Small Leaved Shamrock. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

16 March 2010

Who Do You Think We Are?

Publications and Marketing Committee Chair Cathy Paris created this fantastic slide show about the California Genealogical Society and Library. Enjoy!

10 March 2010

First Edition: Carnival of Genealogical Societies - Doin' Things Right

Welcome to the First Edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies.

First, a special "thank you" to the lovely footnoteMaven for creating a fabulous badge for the carnival. She is always a font of knowledge and tells us:

The key to all good genealogical research starts with the society of other genealogists and in turn genealogy societies.
I invite all of the submitters to grab the badge from the sidebar (fM created a special version "optimized with a two second load") and wear it proudly on your blog.

The topic for the inaugural edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies is:

Doin' Things Right!  
Shine a spotlight on a specific program, project, or publication at a genealogical society and tell us why it worked. Tell an anecdote about how you benefited from a particular genealogical society service. 
Share a success story and be specific!

Fifteen bloggers submitted articles that describe society successes worth emulating.

Susan C. Pentico presents Genealogy Societies and Why to Join Them posted at Ancestor Seekers by the Root Bound. Susi is one of the founders of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society in California but here she describes a memorable visit to the Cornerstone Genealogical Society in Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania and how membership in a distant society can help you further your research.

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith presents Carnival of Genealogical Societies, 1st Edition posted at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories. Dr. Bill shares some special questions from a series of articles published by the Washington County Iowa Genealogical Society.

Ruth Haley presents Carnival of Genealogical Societies is: Doin' Things Right! posted at Genealogy is Ruthless without Me, saying, "The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD)SM always has something I want to learn or want to try out. I am enjoying my association with this group a great deal."

Michelle Goodrum presents Boulder Genealogical Society - Doin' Things Right posted at The Turning of Generations, saying, "The Boulder Genealogical Society has excellent resources on their website. The site and its information is helpful, informative and done professionally. Truly done right!" 

A. Morddel presents The French Genealogy Blog: The Genealogy Groups - Les Cercles Généalogiques posted at The French Genealogy Blog. Anne comes to us from Paris and explains the French system of genealogical societies, called cercles, and their Geneabank project.

Amy Coffin presents The "No Program" Program posted at We Tree, saying, "What happens when the speaker is a no-show? A very informative it turns out. Sometimes no program at all is a great program for societies."

Randy Seaver presents CVGS - Doin' Things Right! - Ahnentafel Lists posted at Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe, saying, "CVGS has a fairly unique way to present members ancestry - we use Ahnentafels online and searchable by Google and other search engines. This has worked really well - we get queries asking for a contact with the Ahnentafel submitter. We did this right!"

Karen Packard Rhodes presents Carnival of Genealogical Societies: The Southern Genealogist's Exchange Society posted at Karen About Genealogy. Karen highlights the excellent spring seminars at the Southern Genealogist's Exchange Society of Jacksonville, Florida, how how they led to a speaking career.

Paula Hinkel presents Doin' Things Right at the Southern California Genealogical Society posted at SCGSGenealogical Society Blog. Paula shares some history of the SCGS and how they went from teetering on the brink to becoming the "innovative and progressive organization" that hosts the fabulous Jamboree.

Jo Arnspiger presents 1st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies - Jessamine County Historical & Genealogical Society, Kentucky posted at Those Who Went Before. Jo shares the story of how a Rootweb mailing list led to the creation of the Annual History Fest. She also describes the society's Cemetery Project.

Thomas MacEntee presents Indiana Genealogical Society - Doin' Things Right! posted at Destination: Austin Family. Thomas is impressed with the online presence of the Indiana Genealogical Society and their members-only section.

Charles Hansen presents History of the Patchen File posted at Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Blog. Charles presents Part 1 of two posts about the Obituary Index Project of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society and introduces us to the amazing legacy of Lee Patchen.

Miriam Robbins Midkiff presents The Obituary Index posted at Eastern Washington Genealogical Society Blog. Miriam continues with Part 2 of the Obituary Indexing Project of the Eastern Washington Genealogical Society and tells how the society is using technology to share their resources.

M. Diane Rogers presents Doin' Things Right - Carnival of Genealogical Societies - First Edition posted at The Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada, saying, "I feel genealogical societies are good at organizing and enhancing the activities and energy of their members and volunteers to benefit the wider genealogical and historical communities." Her report on the Cemetery Committee shows how a society can coordinate a large project.

Kathryn Doyle presents Doin' Things Right: The Society Welcome Mat posted here at the California Genealogical Society and Library blog. Perhaps just a small difference in expectations can make the difference in how a society welcomes strangers.

This concludes our first edition.


Call for Submissions!
The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies is: Collaboration.

Does your society collaborate with other societies? 
(genealogical, historical, lineage, etc.) 
Or groups? (local library, family history center)
Why or why not? 
What works or needs improvement?

Thanks to Miriam Robbins Midkiff for suggesting this topic!

The deadline for submissions is May 7, 2010.

Please do indicate in your article that you are writing for the Second Edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies. Submit your blog article using the the submission form provided by Blog Carnival. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any article you plan to submit and write a brief introduction to your articles in the "remarks" section of the form.

See you at the Carnival!

Wordless Wednesday

Jeffrey Vaillant at the Check-in Desk 
Black History Month Event
February 20, 2010

Photograph by Kathryn Doyle, Oakland, California.

07 March 2010

Doin' Things Right: The Society Welcome Mat

Last month blogger Herstoryan wrote a creative and funny piece for Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Fun entitled Super Bowl of Genealogy. I misunderstood, she clarified, and a lot of back-and-forth ensued in the comments. All ended well with the genea-blogging community proving once again that discussion and disagreement don't have to be ugly.

But since then I've been thinking a lot about how well genealogical societies and members welcome visitors and non-members. I've been remembering how I've been treated on first visits to libraries, archives and societies. What I recall is that the times I felt most welcomed were the times I was expected. If I had made an appointment or announced my arrival in advance, I was usually greeted warmly. Of course, some people are friendlier than others and an occasional "bad day" or "bad mood" can lead to bad interactions. But I've been hearing some very disturbing examples of bad manners and bad public relations on the part of some genealogy societies. I've begun to think that some societies just forgot to put out the "welcome mat."

The California Genealogical Society and Library welcomes the general public on the first Saturday of every month. The library is open to members three days a week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday and non-member visitors may use the library on those days for a nominal $5.00 charge. But on first Saturdays the library is free and open to everyone and an Intro to Genealogy class is offered from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

First Free Saturdays and the introductory classes grew out of our October Family History Month program a few years ago. Every year in October the society has an open door policy and we offer a large menu of free classes and consultations to members and non-members alike. I'm not sure whose brilliant idea it was (if anyone knows, please leave a comment!) but that person threw down a warm welcome mat that has served the society well ever since.

There is an expectation that we will see new faces on first Saturdays. In fact, the volunteers who teach the intro class look forward to seeing how many new visitors they will meet. Since we advertise First Saturdays Free on internet events sites like Yelp, Yahoo Upcoming and our Facebook page, our volunteers have begun to ask attendees where they learned about the class. That information is helping us to do a better job of putting out the welcome mat. And we are noticing a younger audience. In the February class, three of the seven who attended learned about us on Facebook! Who knew that Facebook could be a welcome mat?

Written for the First Edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies: Doin' Things Right.

05 March 2010

The Morning After Who Do You Think You Are? - First Saturday Free!

First Saturdays FREE
Introduction to Genealogy
Saturday, March 6, 2010
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Sometimes things are carefully scripted and planned. Sometimes it's just plain dumb luck. This month the California Genealogical Society and Library's First Saturday Free and Introduction to Genealogy class (taught by Lisa Gorrell) just happens to come the morning after the premier of Who Do You Think You Are?.  I'm hoping for an onslaught, so, attention volunteers: 


In anticipation of an increase in patronage of the library, local members are asked to volunteer their time to answer phones, re-shelve books and be on-hand to assist visitors. If WDYTYA? creates the same response in the U.S. as it did in 2004 in the U.K., we are going to need more volunteers to staff the desk and help in the library.

It remains to be seen if the program will translate to a resurgence in interest in genealogy but NBC is pulling out the stops to promote both the show and the pursuit of our favorite hobby. Executive Producer Lisa Kudrow has been busy. She's made appearances on the Today Show on NBC, The View on ABC and on Tuesday, March 9, 2010, she'll hang with Oprah on Celebs Dig Up Their Family Secrets.

In any case, it's cause for celebration anytime mainstream media is paying attention. Yesterday's New York Times sited the "genealogy craze" and today's Los Angeles Times review includes one encouraging statement:
The power of "Who Do You Think You Are?" does not lie in the celebrity but in the much more dramatic nature of "ordinary" life. Residents of 21st century America cannot be reminded often enough of how easy so many of us have it compared with previous generations. As anyone perusing their own genealogy knows, the infant mortality rate of even a few generations ago is shocking to the modern sensibility.
So don’t forget to tune in tonight to watch Sarah Jessica Parker and stop by the library to greet all the newcomers!

03 March 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Board of Directors Meeting
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Photograph by Kathryn M. Doyle, Oakland, California, 2/17/10.

02 March 2010

Ethnic Genealogy Series: Chinese Ancestry - A Workshop in Two Sessions

The California Genealogical Society and Library, in partnership with the National Archives and Records Administration - San Francisco, presents a FREE two-part workshop on researching Chinese ancestry. Members Christine DeVillier, Jeanie Low and Kay Speaks will share their experience and the knowledge gained researching their own Chinese ancestors.  The classes are open to all levels of experience – Chinese language skills are not necessary. Attendance at both sessions is required

Session I - Saturday April 17, 2010
10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
California Genealogical Society Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, CA.

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.  Chinese Research Timeline in the U.S. from 1849 to the present – Jeanie Low presents an examination of immigration laws and migration patterns and their effect on Chinese families.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Resources in the The National Archives and Records Collection Pertaining to Chinese Research – Marisa Louie, NARA Archivist.

12:00 p.m. -   1:00 p.m.  Brown bag lunch and informal discussion.

1:00 p.m. -   2:00 p.m.  Obtaining Records: Your Toolbox – Christine DeVillier reviews: interview and research techniques, using photos and artifacts, online resources, how to use headstones, passengers lists, birth and death records, census records, family associations and more.

2:00 p.m. -   3:30 p.m.  Case Studies and Research – Kay Speaks.

Session II - Saturday, May 8, 2010
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
National Archives, San Francisco Pacific Region, 1000 Commodore Drive, San Bruno, CA.

Research day at NARA with access to the Angel Island Immigration Station case files. Only those who attend the April 17, 2010, workshop will be admitted to the archives.

Please note:
  • Workshop is limited to twenty.
  • FREE with advanced registration.
  • No walk-ins allowed.
  • Handouts will be emailed in advance. Please bring your own printed copy and help us cut costs.
Update 3/12/10:
The Chinese Ancestry Workshop is now full. A waiting list has been started for a future class. Add your name at the online registration form

01 March 2010

eNews March 2010, Vol. 4, No. 3

The March 2010 issue of the eNews, volume 4, number 3, has been published and emailed to members and friends. As always, the eNews features timely information about the California Genealogical Society and our upcoming events. Each edition also includes Editor's Picks: Suggested Links From the Blogosphere and a photo feature: California Ancestors.

This month, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, Cathy Paris pays tribute to her Irish Roots – the photographs and story are of her grandmothers, Helen Elizabeth Nimmo (1898 - 1976), left, and Mary Elizabeth Fitzgerald (1886 - 1918), right.

Past issues of the eNews are available for viewing at the eNews ARCHIVE. The April 2010 issue will be emailed on March 31, 2010. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

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