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30 April 2011

Talking California Genealogical Society Initiatives on Blog Talk Radio

I was honored to be a guest on the Federation of Genealogical Societies' new blog radio show, My Society on Saturday, April 29, 2011. Host (and far-flung member) Thomas MacEntee invited me to discuss Genealogy Society Initiatives That Work!

During the first forty-five minutes of the hour long show, Thomas and I talked about the California Genealogical Society blog, eNews and our internet presence across social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and American Towns. We also discussed these initiatives:

  • Society "Welcome Mat"
  • First Free Saturday Intro class
  • Family History Month classes
  • Don't hide your newsletter behind the website membership wall
  • Collaboration 
The shows are archived so you can listen to them anytime. My Society airs every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, 1:00 p.m. Central, 12:00 p.m. Mountain and 11:00 a.m. Pacific time.

Let me know what you think!
Listen to internet radio with mysociety on Blog Talk Radio.

Founded in 1976, the Federation of Genealogical Societies links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow. To do this, FGS publishes FORUM magazine, filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news; publishes an extensive series of Society Strategy Papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society; sponsors an annual conference – four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics; publishes a blog, FGS Voice; and hosts My Society on BlogTalkRadio.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

29 April 2011

Society Row at Jamboree – Can You Help?

It's that time of year again! The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree returns Friday through Sunday, June 10 - 12, 2011, at the Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center.

The generous folks at SCGS know how difficult it is for societies to afford the fees and provide the manpower to have an exhibit booth for the full three days of the conference. This year Paula and Leo have made an incredible offer to genealogical societies and we have taken them up on it!

Jamboree's new feature this year is Society Row. The California Genealogical Society will have a 6' table in the Convention Center main foyer on Saturday, June 11, 2011, at no cost! Thank you, Southern Cal! Our table will be staffed throughout the day 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Members are needed to help starting at 7:00 a.m. for set up.

For detailed information about schedule, speakers, genealogy exhibitors and more, visit the Jamboree blog and be sure to download the Jamboree App. The full thirty page Jamboree Magazine is available for download from the SCGS website.

Attention members: please email me if you are attending and can help at the table.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

28 April 2011

What Bay Area Genealogy Events Will You Attend in May?

May 2011 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.

The May calendar includes forty-five events at various venues around the Bay Area, sponsored by twenty different societies and genealogy libraries.

Among the choices you will find several featuring speakers who are members of the California Genealogical Society:

5/1 Janice Sellers – Researching Newspapers Online, Central Library, Sacramento

5/7 Craig Siulinski – Who Do You Think You Are? Into to Genealogy, CGSL, Oakland

5/7 Janice Sellers – Using the Subscription and Free Web Sites available at the Oakland Regional Family History Center, ORFHC, Oakland

5/14 Glenn Koch – Wish You Were Here: Using Postcards in Your Genealogy Research, CGSL, Oakland

5/15 Janice Sellers – Newspapers Online, Albert Einstein Center, Sacramento

5/15 Cath Madden Trindle – Land Ahoy! Locating Property Records, Central Library, Sacramento

5/21 Marcia Holstrom – Social Networking for Genealogists, Grace Lutheran, San Mateo

5/21 Jeffrey Vaillant – Chasing a Civil War Ancestor, Finley Community Center, Santa Rosa 

5/22 Lisa Lee – Genealogy Research Puzzles: A Brainstorming Session, Central Library, Sacramento

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 © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

27 April 2011

Wordless Wednesday

At the library:
Glenn Koch, Carl Muller, and John Keilch.

Photograph courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California, 2/19/2011.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

25 April 2011

Summer Evening Hours Start Thursday, June 2, 2011

Events coordinator Tim Cox and Jane Lindsey are excited to announce summer extended research hours at the library designed especially for our working members and patrons.

Starting June 2, 2011, and continuing every Thursday through August, the California Genealogical Society Library will be open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Hours on the two other open days will remain the same: Friday (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.) and Saturday (10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)

In addition, informal discussions are planned from 6:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. Participants of all levels of research experience are welcome to network and join the conversation. Topics will include:

  • Using,, and
  • Research problems and possible solutions
  • Getting the most from
  • Help with researching New Netherlands and New York
  • Online newspapers
  • Genealogy gadgets: digital cameras, flash drives, portable scanners, etc.
  • Using Google, Mocavo, and other search engines
  • Census research
  • Writing family histories and other creative ways to share your research
  • Ethnic research: Chinese, French-Canadian, German, Hispanic/Latino
  • Social networking: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and RSS
  • Genealogy software: RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, The Master Genealogist, Ancestral Quest, Reunion
Dates and facilitators will be announced in May. Please check back or watch the calendar for updates.

Non-members are welcome. There is a $5.00 library user’s fee for non-members. The user’s fee will be waived for those who arrive after 5:00 p.m. for the discussion sessions.

BYO dinner or buy something nearby. If you plan to drive, metered spaces in Oakland are free after 6:00 p.m. but they fill up fast. Traveling by BART is easier – get off at the 19th Street station. Group discussions will end by 8:15 p.m. to allow for everyone to walk to BART together before dark.

We would love your feedback. Do these topics appeal to you? Will extended summer hours entice you to spend some time with us?

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

22 April 2011

Fort Wayne, Indiana Research Tour August 21-28, 2011

Fort Wayne, Indiana Research Tour
Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
August 21-28, 2011

Join Director Jeffrey Vaillant for the fifth California Genealogical Society research tour to the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Whether you have visited before or this is your first time, you will enjoy your week at the best public genealogy library in the United States.

Jeff will provide individualized attention in Ft. Wayne to help you with your research problems. Planning meetings can be arranged by phone or in person prior to the trip.


• Seven days, double occupancy, at the Marriott Courtyard Fort Wayne 
• Free shuttle service to and from airport
• Two group dinners (Monday and Saturday)
• Breakfasts included

Library orientation and a lecture, TBA

The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) is the home of PERSI (PERiodical Source Index), searchable on or HeritageQuest. ACPL has over 513,000 rolls of microfilm and 55,000 compiled genealogy volumes, an impressive collection of state and territorial censuses, and many other resources unique to this library. Be sure to browse the Genealogy Center's online databases and search the library's online catalog.

Space is limited to fifteen participants. For full information, please download the registration flier.

Photographs by Kathryn M. Doyle, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 8/20/2009.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

15 April 2011

Writing and Publishing Your Family History with Nora Profit

Nora Profit
Saturday, June 11, 2011
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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

Everyone has a story to tell. What about you? You've done the research, gathered the facts, and now you're ready to write your family history.

Join Nora Profit for an afternoon and learn how categorize your experiences, memories and family traditions and present them in a cohesive structure. The world is waiting for your one-of-a-kind story. Let Nora share the information you need to know to get it published.

This workshop is limited to twenty participants and is a free benefit of membership. Non-members fee is $20.00 (non-refundable) and can be applied towards membership on the day of the workshop.

Preregistration is required. Walk-ins will not be admitted. Registration confirmations will be sent to the first twenty participants to register. Additional names will be collected and placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

Register online.

Nora Profit is an award winning journalist, feature writer, columnist, author, and executive director of The Writing Loft. She is a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living Your Dreams as well as the author of 10 Glaring Mistakes Amateur Writers Make and How to Avoid Them.

A graduate of San Jose State University, Nora received a B.S. in Journalism and went on to own the public relations firm, The Profit Exchange, providing promotional materials for business and professional clients. Her speaking credits include the National Organization of Naval Officers, The Writer’s Resource Center, California Writing Club, and Romance Writers of America, groups associated with poets and writers, and numerous professional organizations.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

13 April 2011

Wordless Wednesday

At the library
Saturday, February 12, 2011

Photograph courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

11 April 2011

Elizabeth O'Neal and Kathy Watson at the DAR State Conference

California Genealogical Society members Elizabeth O’Neal and Kathy Watson attended the 103rd annual State Conference of the California State Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) held March 17-20, 2011 at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California.

Elizabeth sent this report:
The conference began on Thursday evening with the opening night festivities, at which many awards were presented. The DAR Medal of Honor was awarded to Mike Conklin, founder and head of the San Ramon-based Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation, which assists severely wounded members of the armed forces to find homes, return to college, find employment, and connect with community resources to ease their transition back to civilian life. Mr. Conklin was nominated by the Anne Loucks Chapter DAR, of which Kathy is the regent. The DAR Medal of Honor is the most prestigious honor given by the DAR.

Friday and Saturday were filled with meetings and reports. Every state officer, chairman, district director, and chapter regent gave a brief report of the year’s activities.

The DAR Celebration Dinner and Debutante Presentation was held on Saturday evening. Young ladies in white dresses from all over California were escorted by fathers, grandfathers, boyfriends, and friends, as their many accomplishments were read to the audience. Elizabeth, who currently serves as the Senior State President of the California State Society, Children of the American Revolution (CAR), was honored to be one of the dignitaries greeting each debutante as she was introduced on stage.

Elizabeth also coordinated social media for the conference. For the first time, members were able to follow conference activities on Twitter and Facebook, as well as view photos and news on the society’s web site.

The conference concluded after the final business session on Sunday afternoon, as members rushed to get on the road to avoid the impending rain storm.

Elizabeth joined the DAR as a “junior” in 1996, and is a member of the Captain Henry Sweetser Chapter in Santa Maria. She presently serves the state society as the State Chairman, Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.), State Vice Chairman, Volunteer Information Specialists, Social Media, and has served as the organization’s webmaster for 11 years. She is a member of the DAR Speaker’s Staff, and is available for presentations to DAR chapters and genealogical societies.

Elizabeth O'Neal and Kathy Watson

Besides her work as regent of the Anne Loucks Chapter in Martinez, Kathy is a talented web site designer who has helped create dozens of web sites for California DAR chapters. Kathy generously serves as chairs of both the website and computer committees at the California Genealogical Society.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

07 April 2011

eNews April 2011, volume 5, number 4

The April 2011 issue of the eNews, volume 5, number 4,  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 member Laura Obergfell pays tribute to her ancestor, Dr. Josiah Andrus Gridley, a nineteenth century Massachusetts physician. Laura hasn't yet found his death date and is seeking additional information about this ancestor. Please leave a comment if you can help.

Josiah Andrus Gridley with third wife Myra and daughter Eva.

Past issues of the eNews are available at the eNewsARCHIVE.

The May 2011 issue will be emailed on April 30, 2011. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

06 April 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Comparing Genealogy Software Workshop
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California, 2/16/11.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

04 April 2011

Wish You Were Here: Using Postcards in Your Genealogy Research

Membership Meeting
Saturday, May 14, 2011
1:00 p.m.

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

People have been collecting postcards since they first appeared on the American scene in 1893. While their popularity has ebbed and flowed, they continue to be sought after by collectors today. CGS member Glenn Koch combines his passion for postcards with his interest in genealogy and has agreed to share his expertise at the May membership meeting. Glenn will teach us the value of postcards as historical documents and explain how postcards can be used to enhance any family tree or genealogy project.

Glenn will briefly cover how to date undated cards.  Through the use of collecting by category, collecting by region, and collecting by family, he will show you how to go from the broadest level of collecting, right down to the finest point — your own family on postcards. Koch will use personal examples from his own family and from his Pennsylvania German heritage.

Glenn D. Koch is both postcard collector and genealogist, and he is the author of San Francisco Golden Age Postcards. His dual interests began when he was a young man and he has pursued both for countless hours since. A native of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, he traces his roots back to some of its earliest families, along with those of neighboring Berks County with names like Miller, Troxell, Pfister, Koch and Kistler. He is quite proud of the fact that in most cases he is the ninth-generation-descendant in the colonies of these families who arrived from Germany and Switzerland. Glenn and his partner Ray Tombaugh, also a genealogist, enjoy traveling and seeking out their family roots in Europe.

Copyright © 2011 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library