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29 November 2010

Annual Meeting, Book Sale & Volunteer Appreciation Reception - January 8, 2011

The Annual Business Meeting of the California Genealogical Society will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2011, at 1:00 p.m., at the CGS Library, 2201 Broadway at 22nd, Suite LL2, Oakland. Please join President Stephen Harris who will be making his first report to the society.

The agenda includes brief committee reports, approval of the society budget, the annual election of new board members, a brief review of 2010 and some details of upcoming 2011 programs.

In addition to the meeting, the library will hold a used book sale from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Library Committee volunteer Arlene Miles reports that there are some great bargains among the wide variety of used genealogy books and periodicals set aside for the sale. Donated books continue to be a welcome source of materials in the library and the society is selling those which are duplicates of items already on our shelves and some which do not meet the strict collection policy. Proceeds are used to purchase more books!

Last, but not least, refreshments will be served during a reception after the meeting. It is the annual "Volunteer Appreciation" get-together. Please come and thank our members who donate their time to do the work of the society.

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

28 November 2010

Happy Third Blogiversary!

Can you believe it? It's been three years!

It's time to thank all the member volunteers who contribute to the blog by taking photographs, passing along information and writing up their travels and genealogy adventures. Thanks to my friends in the genealogy blogging community for your support. And thanks to all of my blog readers!

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

26 November 2010

News From the 2010 Nominating Committee

The 2010 Nominating Committee – Mary Beth Frederick, Patricia Gallagher, Craig Siulinski, and Chair Jane Lindsey – has announced the nominations for the 2011-2012 Board of Directors for the California Genealogical Society. Nominations will be presented at the Annual Business Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Reception on Saturday, January 8, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. The pertinent section of the society bylaws (Article VII, page 3) was posted last year.

Laura Lee Karp and Jim Sorenson are nominated as new board members. A nominee is still needed to fill the position of Recording Secretary (see qualifications below).

Sandy Fryer was appointed to fill a vacated position in 2010 and is nominated for her first term (1-2013). Nancy Fike, Tom Gesner, Craig Manson, Jeff Vaillant and Diana Wild are continuing their first terms (1-2012). The term of Cathy Paris ends in January; she will not be serving a second term. Lavinia Schwarz is in the midst of her second term (2-2012). Stephen Harris is nominated for his second term (2-2013). Kathryn Doyle and Christine Pattillo are  nominated for a third term (3-2013). Nancy Peterson is in the midst of her third term (3-2012). Jane Lindsey serves as Past-president.

Must be able to attend the monthly board meetings on third Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. Shall take and transcribe minutes (can be recorded) and organize them in a concise and orderly manner, distributing them to the board prior to the board meeting then to committee members after they have been approved. Monthly committee reports are also gathered and organized for board distribution prior to the meeting and distributed to committee members.

If you have the qualifications needed and wish to serve, please email Jane Lindsey.

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

24 November 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Beginning Genealogy Series
Field Trip and Library Tour
Saturday, November 6, 2010

Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California.

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

22 November 2010

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: December 2010 Published

December 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.

Some societies have limited hours and are taking a break from their regular meetings because of the upcoming holidays. The Decmeber calendar lists thirty-four offerings, including several Christmas lunches and other holiday themed events.

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

19 November 2010

Update From the RootsMagic SIG

The best-attended Thursday evening discussion of the summer “extended hours” program was the August 26, 2010 session on Using RootsMagic 4 led by Tim Cox. It was so successful that the group decided to meet on an on-going basis. The new RootsMagic Special Interest Group started meeting in October on the third Tuesday of the month.

Tim reports that the group is growing in size – twelve attended the November 16, 2010 session, including one new member who drove from Novato. The discussion this month was about entering sources properly, creating roles and working with charts.

The next SIG meeting will be held one week early – on  Tuesday, December 14, 2010, at 6:30 p.m., because of the busy holiday week. In January 2011, the schedule will return to the third Tuesday format.
Meeting dates in the first quarter of the new year will be:
  • January 18, 2011
  • February 15, 2011
  • March 15, 2011
All meetings are from 6:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. in the CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland.

SIG members are encouraged to bring their laptops or their RootsMagic databases on a flash drive.  During meetings, the group projects a copy of a live data base on a screen for easy viewing.

Please email Tim Cox with questions about the RootsMagic SIG meetings.

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

15 November 2010

Just Ask Thomas: Genealogical Societies Do Your Genealogy Good

I'm a bit behind with my blog reading so I just came upon the excellent article by Thomas MacEntee – Genealogical Societies: They Do Your Genealogy Good published at on November 4, 2010.

Thomas covers gen society membership from every angle with pointers under these headings:
  • Do Your Research
  • Take a Genealogical Society Test Drive
  • Beware the "Would You Like To Volunteer" Checkbox!
  • Access Online Research Databases
  • Take Advantage of Educational Programs
  • Discounts and Freebies Abound
  • Don't Forget Far-Flung Societies
  • Join to Give Back and Show Support
Thomas gives CGS a shout-out for our educational programs:
The California Genealogical Society and Library (CGSL) has a wide array of educational opportunities available for its members. These include research trips to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah as well as the Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. And the in-house workshops and classes are exceptional. (Disclosure: I am a bit biased since as a far-flung member, I've actually led several classes including one on how to locate living relatives.) features a guest expert every two weeks. The Expert Author series offers "tips and lessons on topics that help you learn how to trace your family history." I count two other CGS members among the experts. Articles have also been written by Amy Coffin and Lisa Lee.

Thomas is the creator of – a community of over 900 bloggers who document their own journeys in the search for ancestors. Thomas MacEntee writes and lectures on the many ways in which blogs, Facebook and Twitter can be leveraged to add new dimensions to the genealogy experience.

Thanks, Thomas! 

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

10 November 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Autumn Celebration of Books
Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Photographs courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey and Arlene Miles, Oakland, California.

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

08 November 2010

Genealogy Buddies - They Keep Coming Back

Paula Stuart-Warren of Paula's Genealogical Eclectica wrote recently about the advantages of having a genealogy buddy – someone to help you with organization, or help you solve a research problem, or proof something you've written. She advises you "ask your buddy to go to the library to help you do research."

Three CGS members started doing that a long time ago.

Pat Morgan, Twila Graves and Virginia Kysh

Pat Morgan, Twila Graves and Virginia Kysh are genealogy buddies who come to the California Genealogical Society Library together once a month – every month – for a full day of research. The three friends met at the Antioch Family History Center where they are all volunteers.

And what is it that keeps them coming back? It's the excellent New England resources at CGS. It's a message that bears repeating – there is so much more than "California" in the CGS Library.

Please come and see for yourself – and be sure to say "hi" to Pat, Twila and Virginia if you see them!

Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 10/6/2010, Oakland, California.

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

05 November 2010

Yelp: Genealogy!

I've experimented with a variety of online calendars and social media sites to promote California Genealogical Society events with varying success. The newest trend in social networking is "checking in" with GPS-enabled smart phones and applications such as Foursquare, Yelp, and Facebook Places. So, yes, I've created CGSL pages on all of the above – just in case.

One benefit – besides the free publicity – is the periodic emailed statistics report on the activity on the sites. Imagine my surprise when I got this month's breakdown of the page views on Yelp:

The bar graph shows 767 page views in October! The CGSL business page on Yelp was viewed an average of 25 times a day during Family History Month. I really can't explain the numbers except that we did do a lot of promoting of our classes and workshops.

Our First Free Saturday Intro to Genealogy class has been a fixture on Yelp since July 2007 and it does seem to be translating to increased attendance at the classes, especially among younger genealogists. It's not just beginners either. We're noticing experienced researchers who are taking advantage of the free day and are coming in to check us out. I'm proud to report that our volunteer teachers are great at making everyone feel welcome. They are taking the time to learn the experience level of their students so they can tailor the material and make sure everyone learns something. markets itself "Real people, real reviews." It's primarily a place for ordinary people to write about their experiences at restaurants and the businesses they frequent. So far we only have two reviews but they're both 5 stars and one reviewer has since become an active member.

Mary Beth Frederick taught the first Saturday in October class and she sent this feedback from one of her Yelping students:
You mentioned that I might be a bit advanced for the class, but I wanted to assure you that it was one of the best things that I have done. Not only did I learn some interesting information, but I made use of the links provided by you in the workshop. After posting pictures on I was contacted within 72 hours by a distant cousin!

I know that I could have found the links another way, but I might not have used them because I wouldn't have trusted them. But I felt that the ones that were provided had most likely been tested and I would have a better chance of not going to a bogus website.

After several conversations with my cousin, I have been able to get the names on pictures that my grandfather left me and start making more connections. Thanks again!

So if you haven't checked it out yet, take a look at and see what "genealogy" venues and reviews have been posted in your neighborhood.

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

01 November 2010

eNews November 2010, volume 4, number 11

The November 2010 issue of the eNews, volume 4, number 11,  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 photograph was submitted by Ron Davis of his homesteading ancestors –  the family of Martin Enos DAVIS, of Amidon, North Dakota. 

Past issues of the eNews are available at the eNewsARCHIVE.

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

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