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30 September 2010

CGS Member Speakers at the California Family History Expo

The California Family History Expo is just a week away and the event is shaping up to be the largest gathering of genealogists in Northern California in the last several years.

The California Genealogical Society is a local sponsor of the event and we will be present in the Exhibit Hall at Booth #57. In addition, several members of the society will be speaking at the two day conference at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton, California.

CGS members Ron Arons, Amy Coffin, Tim Cox, Ellen Fernandez‐Sacco, Thomas MacEntee, and Craig Manson are presenting a variety of lectures and mini-sessions on Friday and Saturday, October 8-9, 2010.

Ron Arons
Researching Your Criminal Ancestors 10/8, 11:30 a.m. Ag Building 101 (Bldg. P)
Putting the Flesh on the Bones - 10/9, 11:00 a.m. Special Exhibits 106 (Bldg. D)

Amy Coffin - Four social media mini sessions, Beacon of Bloggers Exhibit Hall (Bldg. C)
Social Networking Open House - 10/8, 9:30 a.m.
Facebook: What is it and how do I use it? - 10/8, 4:00 p.m.
Blogging Open House - 10/9, 10:30 a.m.
Twitter Open House - 10/9, 3:30 p.m.

Tim Cox
Hard Drive Organization – How to Easily File Your Genealogy Documents and Images - 10/8, 3:00 p.m., Special Exhibits 106 (Bldg. D)

Ellen Fernandez‐Sacco
Latino Roots: Beginning Research in Spanish Language Records - 10/9, 1:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall Classroom (Bldg. C)

Thomas MacEntee
Build a Genealogy Blog Workshop - 10/8, 10:00 a.m., Exhibit Hall Classroom (Bldg. C)
Twitter: It’s Not Just “What I Had For Breakfast” Anymore - 10/8, 4:30 p.m., Exhibit Hall Classroom (Bldg. C)
Facebook for Genealogists  - 10/9, 11:00 a.m., Exhibit Hall Classroom (Bldg. C) 
Social Networking: New Horizons for Genealogists - 10/9, 2:30 p.m., Exhibit Hall Classroom (Bldg. C)

Craig Manson
Breaking Through Brick Walls in African American Research - 10/8, 4:30 p.m., Special Exhibits 105 (Bldg. D).

In addition, several members of CGS are Bloggers of Honor for the event: Leah Allen, Amy Coffin, Sheri Fenley, Craig Manson, Elizabeth O'Neal and Kathryn Doyle.

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone!

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

28 September 2010

Using Microsoft Excel 2007 for Tracking Your Genealogy Research

Saturday, November 6, 2010
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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

Excel 2007 is a powerful tool for creating spreadsheets, analyzing data already collected, and sharing information with others.

In this workshop, Tim Cox will show you how to:

  • Create a worksheet
  • Use workbooks
  • Format cells
  • Create charts and graphs
  • Use tables
  • Sort columns
and more!

You will get hands-on practice by working on some instructor created exercises. If you don't bring your laptop to class you can partner with someone and then try the exercises at home.

Skill level - beginner to intermediate.

This workshop is limited to fifteen participants and one of the free benefits for CGS members. Non-members fee is $20.00 (non-refundable) and can be applied towards a CGS membership the day of the workshop.

Preregistration is required.

Walk-ins will not be admitted.

Register online.

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

27 September 2010

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: October 2010 Published

October 2010 events have been published on the San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar – a collection of local genealogical society classes, workshops and meetings within a 75 mile radius of San Francisco.

October is traditionally celebrated as Family History Month so Bay Area genealogical societies are offering more than fifty classes, workshops and seminars to help you further your family history research.

In addition, there are two conference events in October:

California Family History Expo, Pleasanton - October 8, 9

Family History Day at the California State Archives, Sacramento - October 9

If you would like to add your group's events to the calendar, please email the information by the 20th of each month for publication on the 25th. (Please put "SFBA Calendar" in the subject line.)

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

24 September 2010

October is Family History Month!

The California Genealogical Society opens its doors to the public every year during the month of October in celebration of Family History Month. We waive the library usage fee for non-members and host a number of free workshops and classes. Our experienced volunteers will be on hand to assist you with your research interests. Space is limited, so please RSVP to let us know you are coming.

Class offerings include sessions on using some of the major genealogy subscription sites such as,,,, Other classes include Introduction to Photoshop; The Census: We don't spell our name that way! and Creating and Using Timelines for Genealogy.

October member consultations have been a popular offering so we are pleased to feature them again. Members have the opportunity to receive assistance from volunteers with general research questions or with a variety of topics including the library’s online subscription databases.

Download the 2010 Family History Month flier for the full schedule of classes and consultations.

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

22 September 2010

Win Two Free Tickets to the California Family History Expo!

CGS member Thomas MacEntee sent word that GeneaBloggers, the genealogy community’s resource for genealogy bloggers, is sponsoring the California Family History Expo Contest running from September 21, 2010 through September 24, 2010.

Win two free admission tickets to the upcoming California Family History Expo in Pleasanton, California on October 8 and 9, 2010. To enter, visit GeneaBloggers and leave a comment on the contest blog post describing how attending a Family History Expo event would help your genealogy research. Be sure to leave a valid e-mail address and check back on Saturday, September 25, 2010 to see if you are a winner!

Thomas is one of several CGS members who will be presenting at the Expo. Those of you who missed his blogging workshop last October and his virtual presentation in April will want to be sure to attend one of Thomas' four talks at California Expo. I'll list the complete schedule of CGS members and their presentations later this week.

Family History Expos, Inc. is a Utah-based company headquartered in Croydon, Utah. FHE has been holding successful expos throughout the Western United States for seven years, teaching thousands to learn the art of and experience the spirit of family history research.

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

20 September 2010

Spotlight on the Manuscript Collection: The Covell Family Papers

Just over a year ago the California Genealogical Society celebrated completion of the Manuscript Project – a comprehensive review and organization of the collection of donated family materials made to the society over its 112 year history. The collection totals ninety linear feet which has been cataloged and stored in a specially prepared archive room. Boxes of family information including the usual ancestry charts, family group sheets, ancient documents, letters, photographs, and many other types of items are alphabetically arranged.

A comprehensive document contains a descriptive synopsis of each family collection, providing the family surnames, geography, timeframe and description of the material. The latest version of the CGS Manuscript Collection Database was uploaded to the website in July 2010, and is free and available for download.

Materials continue to be donated to the society. Those recently received include materials from the Fischbeck, Covell, and Young families, and a Mills Terrace Christian Church, Oakland, photo album with more than 70 identified photographs.

Manuscript Committee members Georgia Lupinsky and Virginia Turner are the current caretakers of the collection and they hope shine a periodic spotlight on some of the family treasures under their care. This month's focus is COVELL.

Georgia Lupinsky and Virginia Turner

The Covell collection was received in March 2010 and contains vital, deed and probate records, obituary and news articles, family correspondence, mementos, many original photos and portraits, school yearbooks, pedigree charts and family history files on the Covell and Coover families and related lines. It was compiled by Leah Jeanette Porter Gainer, great-granddaughter of Frank Marion Covell and Ann Eliza Peffers, granddaughter of Archer Morgan Covell and Leah Coover, daughter of Leah Jeanette Covell and Homer Porter. Mrs. Gainer died December 29, 2007.

Ann Eliza Peffers Covell

The patriarch of the family in California was Frank Morgan Covell, born to Morgan Covell and Laura Chamberlain on March 12, 1851 in Ridgebury Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Frank came to California by 1871 and settled in the Santa Cruz area. His interest in genealogy is evidenced by his 1918 hand-written account of the family that details military service by his ancestors in the American Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.


The collection is filled with personal material that can enrich and amplify a family history. Items include a diary that Frank kept for a brief period of time in which he notes: “May 10th 1872. Took Annie Peffers to dance. Made Charly Myars mad. He won’t hurt anybody I guess.” Frank and Annie were married a year later.

Also in the file is Frank’s 1926 letter written to granddaughter, Esther Covell, reminiscing about his 1868 high school graduation and sharing with her some of the hopes and dreams he had as a young man. These items and many more are awaiting the visits of interested descendants and researchers.

The Covell Family papers are a 40 linear inch collection with the following surnames: Aronen, Chamberlain, Chisolm, Coleman, Coover, Covell, Farum, Finley, Gainer, Gammon, Holway, Kane, Maki, Peffers, Porter, Quinn. The family geography includes: California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Photographs by Kathryn M. Doyle. COVELL family information provided by Georgia Lupinsky and Virginia Turner.
Copyright © 2010 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

17 September 2010

RootsMagic Special Interest Group Starts October 19, 2010

The last and best attended session of the Thursday evening discussion groups this summer was the August 26 meeting on RootsMagic. Tim Cox reports that nine members (and one non-member) participated after he advertised the session on the RootsMagic Users Mailing List.

The discussion was very informal and allowed everyone to ask questions about the application. RootsMagic4 is so robust with so many easy-to-use features that none of us have mastered all of them. There were lots of "ah ha!" moments and comments like: "That's so easy! and "That's how to do it!" Because of our different experience levels, we had the opportunity to learn some new tips and tricks and some shortcuts. We all left with some new knowledge and I think we may have convinced a couple of version 3 users to upgrade to version 4.

The meeting was so successful that the group decided to form an official RootsMagic Special Interest Group and have monthly meetings at CGS. Tim Cox submitted a formal request which has been approved by the Board of Directors.

The RootsMagic Special Interest Group will meet on the third Tuesday of every month from 6:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. beginning October 19, 2010. All meetings are FREE and open to the public. Registration is not required. Guests are welcome, as are all levels of experience from beginning to expert.

Chris Pattillo and Tim Cox will be the facilitators and they plan to start each session with an open discussion about any issues members may be experiencing with RootsMagic4. They will always have a live database to work with. If you are interested in more information about topics, parking or transportation, please email Tim Cox.

Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 8/26/10, Oakland, California.

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

15 September 2010

Wordless Wednesday

The Merry Men of CGS
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Photographs courtesy of Mary Beth Frederick, Oakland, California.

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

13 September 2010

Google All the Way with Lisa Louise Cooke

Saturday October 30, 2010
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Cathedral of Christ the Light Conference Center
2121 Harrison Street
Oakland, California 94612

Join us for this special program! Lisa Louise Cooke presents four talks at a full day seminar which includes a boxed lunch and silent auction. Advanced reservation required.

9:00 a.m. –    9:30 a.m. Registration and coffee, and view silent auction
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  Google: A Goldmine of Genealogy Gems (two-parts)
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Boxed luncheon served, view silent auction and announce results
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.   Google Search Strategies and Google Earth For Genealogy


'Early Bird' Registration (Postmarked by October 1st):
  • CGS Members: $38 
  • Non-members: $48
Registration (Postmarked After October 1st):
  • CGS Members: $48 
  • Non-members: $58
Please note: No walk-ins will be permitted.

This is a great price for this presentation, thanks to the underwriting of an anonymous donor. Registration fees include all workshop materials and a box lunch. Choices include:
  • California chicken salad w/balsamic vinegar 
  • Greek salad with Feta and red wine vinaigrette
  • Chinese chicken salad w/sesame dressing
Public Transportation:
BART:    Exit the Oakland, 19th Street station, take the stairs near the Subway Sandwich shop
PARKING:    Parking at the cathedral garage is $5.00 all day on Saturday

Register online.

Lisa Louise Cooke, is a media producer and host of the popular Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online audio and video genealogy show available through her Web site, She also hosts the monthly Family Tree Magazine Podcasts as well as videocasts for Family History Expos. Lisa is the author of the book, Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies, and is a national genealogy speaker who regularly speaks to sold-out audiences.

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

09 September 2010

Chinese American Family History Conference

Sunday, October 10, 2010
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
(Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.)

Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 Ninth Street
Oakland Chinatown

Learn about how to research your Chinese family ancestry and history at this informative and interactive all day conference. Speakers will include staff from the In the Search of Roots program, National Archives San Francisco and the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. Three CGS members are part of the planning committee for the event: Christine DeVillier, Douglas Joe and Kay Speaks. Christine and Kay are two of the scheduled speakers.

Workshop Topics include:
  • Why work on learning about family history?
  • How do I start my family history project? An introduction to Chinese surnames.
  • Why did our ancestors migrate within and beyond China?
  • How do I research family documents from the National Archives?
  • What are some good research techniques to use to learn about my family and roots?
  • Fascinating case studies showing use of many different research methods and technology.
  • Journeys to the Motherland: What can I expect if I go to China? Who can help me get there?

Registration is $25 online and includes a box lunch. There is a reduced fee of $15 for students with current ID.

For more infomation, email or call (510) 637-0463.

The Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) was founded in 1984 by a coalition of volunteers who recognized the need for a strong artistic and cultural force in the Chinatown area. Since opening its own facility in 1996 in the heart of Oakland's Chinatown district, the OACC has presented countless high quality cultural programs including performances, workshops, festivals, school tours, classes, and exhibitions.

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

08 September 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Volunteers in the Library
Dick Rees and Pam Miller

 Photograph courtesy of Arlene Miles, Oakland, California, 4/6/2010.

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

03 September 2010

Book Repair Workshop Returns Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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

The California Genealogical Society is taking reservations for the popular Book Repair Workshop to be held on Saturday morning, October 16, 2010, 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 must be pre-paid.
• Walk-ins will not be admitted.

Register online.

Payment instructions will be emailed with registration confirmation. A registration confirmation will be sent to the first ten who register. Additional names will be collected and placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

The full schedule of classes offered during October Family History Month is available for download.

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

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

02 September 2010

eNews September 2010, volume 4, number 9

The September 2010 issue of the eNews, volume 4, number 9,  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 Suggested Links From the Blogosphere and a photo feature: California Ancestors.

This month's photo tribute was contributed by past-president Jane Knowles Lindsey who told the story of her mother's special brooch and how she learned it had once belonged to her great-great-grandmother, Magdalena Gerth Eberle.

Past issues of the eNews are available at the eNewsARCHIVE.

The October 2010 issue will be emailed on September 30, 2010. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

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

01 September 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday Evening Discussion Group
German Research
August, 19, 2010

Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, Oakland, California.

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