Recent Posts

31 May 2011

Summer Evening Hours – Discussion Topics 2011

Tim Cox sent the schedule of discussion topics for Thursday evenings this summer at the library. These discussion groups are planned for 6:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. and they are open to members and to the public. Participants of all levels of research experience are welcome to network and join the conversation.

June 2, 2011 – Using Ancestry.com; Footnote.com; and AmericanAncestors.org
Helpful tips will be shared to more effectively use these free and subscription sites.

June 9, 2011 – Genealogy Gadgets: Digital Cameras, Flash Drives, Portable Scanners, etc.
What kind of technology are you using to help you capture the information as you find it? Discussion will focus on what is new on the market and what works well for genealogists.

June 16, 2011 – Social Networking: Facebook, RSS, Twitter and Blogs
Overwhelmed with all of the ways to communicate and network with other genealogists? We'll talk about the various ways to network and how to stay up to date with blogs.

June 23, 2011 – Using Google and other Search Engines
Is Google really the best search engine? There are other search engines that you may not be aware of. We'll discuss Google and the others.

June 30, 2011 – Help with Researching New Netherlands and New York
Our discussion will be focused on research in New Netherlands and current day New York.

July 7, 2011 – Research Problems and Possible Solutions (Session 1 of 2)
Have a research problem you've been working on for a while and can't seem to solve it? Bring your problem and let the group discuss options you may be able to employ.

July 14, 2011 – Census Research
Love it or not, the U.S. Federal Population Schedule is really a genealogist's best friend. Our group will discuss the various kinds of census records including agricultural, deaf/dumb/blind, veterans, mortality and state censuses.

July 21, 2011 – Ethnic Groups: Chinese; Hispanic/Latino; French-Canadian; German; Scandinavian
Join some experienced researchers who may be able to give some advice on your next steps in your research for any of these ethnic groups.

July 28, 2011 – Creative Ways to Share Your Research and Writing Family Histories
Ready to write your family history but need some help with deciding on the best way to share it or publish it? Come see what the group has to offer. You just might get that resolution to your dilemma.

August 4, 2011 – Genealogy Databases: RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, The Master Genealogist, Ancestral Quest, Reunion
Bring your questions and ask the group for advice on how to perform tasks, run reports, create charts, or overcome obstacles you are experiencing with any of these popular databases or join us to learn more about each them.

August 11, 2011 – Online newspapers
Millions of pages of the world's newspapers are now accessible online, but there is no one place to find them all. Join us for discussions on what is available and how to find it. You may learn some techniques to find your ancestors in the paper.

August 18, 2011 – Getting the Most from FamilySearch.org Including Mexican Research
Having problems with the new look of FamilySearch? We'll talk about it and discover some easy ways to it work for you and learn how to find the recently uploaded Mexican records database.

August 25, 2011 – Research Problems and Possible Solutions (Session 2 of 2)
Have a research problem you've been working on for a while and can't seem to solve it? Bring your problem and let the group discuss options you may be able to employ.

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 in 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.


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

27 May 2011

Jeffrey Vaillant Talks Civil War Research on Blog Talk Radio

Jeffrey Vaillant

Be sure to tune in and listen to CGS Director Jeffrey Vaillant talk Civil War records on Geneabloggers Blog Talk Radio. Jeff was a guest of host Thomas MacEntee on the Friday, May 27, 2011 show Military Records and Genealogy.

Jeff discussed the basics of how to start researching your Civil War ancestor. He also describes the rich information that can be gleaned from Civil War pension files.

Geneabloggers Radio airs every Friday night at 7:00 p.m. Pacific time. Past shows are available to be listened to on demand.



Listen to internet radio with GeneaBloggers on Blog Talk Radio




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

25 May 2011

A Visit from the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County

Twenty-two members of the Genealogical Society of Santa Cruz County (GSSCC) toured the library and the Stephen Harris city directory collection on Saturday, April 9, 2011, and had great success with their research.



Our member volunteers Kim Cotton, Barbara Hill, Dick Rees, Pat Smith, Laura Spurrier and President Steve Harris were on hand to assist our visitors.



Two members of the GSSCC became new members of CGS.



The California Genealogical Society welcomes interested groups to tour the library and spend time exploring our genealogy resources. Email the society or call 510-663-1358 to schedule a group visit.

Photographs courtesy of Kim Cotton, Oakland, California.


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

23 May 2011

Salt Lake City Finds 2011

The 11th annual tour to the Family History Library was another great success. Thirty-five members of the society (including leaders Jane Knowles Lindsey and Nancy Simons Peterson) spent the week of May 15 – 22, 2011, immersed in genealogy.

Kathleen Dunn Jones

One surprise was running into our "far-flung" member, Bette Kot, who was leading a group from Colorado. Bette is a former CGS librarian who led the tour with Jane in past years. It was great seeing you again, Bette!

Leader Jane Lindsey and Betty Kot

Carolyn Mowry Sinclair discovered the Automated Genealogy site and gave it high praise. She was working on her husband's Nova Scotia family.


Leader Nancy Peterson and Lavinia Schwarz

Irene Vega Kelly made some great discoveries using Border Crossings records from Mexico to Arizona. She was able to go back several more generations with the VEGA family.


Rita Anberg and Judy Greenwood Jones

Judy Greenwood Jones had a breakthrough researching her grandfather William FAWCETT in Ontario, Canada.

Cynthia Peterson Gorman and Tim Cox

Chris Pattillo was fact-checking during the week in order to finish a book she will be presenting as a wedding gift on June 18.


Jane Hufft, Jane Lindsey, Kathryn Doyle, Nancy Peterson, Nancy Fike and Pam Lewis

Linda Okazaki broke through a brick wall using 19th Century U.S. Newspapers when she found documentation that an ancestor changed his name.




Sandy Frye had luck researching her SMITHs and proved a move from Indiana to Missouri.


Laura Lee Karp

Alison Kern Shedd broke through a German brick wall researching SIEGLE/SIGLEN in Ditzingen, Wurtenburg.

Pam Lewis located the 1842 Church of England marriage record of her gg-grandfather and went back another generation on her EDWARDS family. The couple were both born in Hertsfordshire but they were married in Surrey – another mystery for another trip.

St. George the Martyr, Southwark, Surrey, England 4 June 1842

Thanks to Tim Cox, Carol Brown Hoskins and Jane Lindsey for sharing photos.


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

20 May 2011

A Few Genealogical Favorite Things and What We Can Learn from the Pros

Friday, July 8, 2011
12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m

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

Join member Virginia Kysh for some genealogy fun and tips from the experts.

A Few Favorite Things
Virginia will start things off with a “poor genealogist’s” version of Oprah's famous give away. Kysh shares favorite websites, magazines, tools and other genealogical finds that have caught her fancy. Bring an empty bag so you can carry home some fun stuff! (But don't come looking for a new car or a trip to your ancestral home.)

Some Things We Can Learn from the Professionals
Next, Kysh will share some insights learned from working with two professional genealogists each year at Utah Genealogical Association problem solving classes. She’ll discuss the importance of using research logs and many other tips to help with researching.

The class is limited to forty 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 forty registrants. Additional names will be collected and placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

Register online.

Virginia Kysh has served as Assistant Director of the Antioch Family History Center for many years. A graduate of Brigham Young University Provo with a major in Elementary Education and a minor in Library Science, Virginia caught the genealogy bug while attending an introductory genealogy class at BYU. Kysh has attended Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) Institute at Salt Lake City for the past fourteen years and she is a frequent attendee at FGS and NGS conferences as well as those closer to home. Virginia has forty years of genealogy research experience. She has been teaching genealogy for ten years.


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

18 May 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Online Newspapers with Janice Sellers
Saturday, April 2, 2011







Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California.

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

16 May 2011

Two Member Coffees in June!

Saturday June 11, 2011, 9:30 a.m.
or

Thursday June 23, 2011, 11:00 a.m.

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

Attention, members!

Please choose a date and join us for a get-together at the library.

Who: Any member who would like to learn more about the library, see what the society has to offer, and compare notes with other members.

What: Tour the library, learn about what is going on at the society, meet other members, share research interests and get a little help with your research.

Membership Committee Chair Sandy Fryer and Volunteer Coordinator Jane Lindsey cooked up the coffee idea as a way to network and to learn more about how best to assist our members with their family history research. It is also a way for members to discover volunteer opportunities at the library.

The coffees last about an hour, but members are encouraged to stay and do some research.

Sandy plans to schedule member coffees twice a month so if you can't make a date in June, please watch the society calendar for future events.

The coffees are limited to fifteen members. Please RSVP online or by telephone at 510-663-1358.


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

13 May 2011

East Bay Teens on a Familiar Journey

Today's San Francisco Chronicle carries a story on page A-1 under a heading I've never before seen on the front page: Genealogy. The article, "Emotional Peeks at Family History" has a different headline in its online version: Genealogy Search Expands East Bay Teens' Worlds.

Chronicle staff writer Jill Tucker reports on Family Journey – an ancestry program that has East Bay high school and community college students meeting weekly to learn about their roots. The program launched in February during Black History Month and will conclude with a special presentation on June 4, 2011.

The Family Journey Ancestry project is a collaborative effort by the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC), the Oakland Regional Family History Center (ORFHC) and staff from the office of Alameda County's District 5 Supervisor Keith Carson. The supervisor's April 27, 2011 newsletter carries this quote from Carson:

A few years ago I had the chance to look into my family history and it gave me a deeper appreciation for what my parents and grandparents went through in their journey out of the South. I wanted youth in Alameda County to have that same chance to connect with a deeper sense of who we are.
I was curious about Supervisor Carson's "look" at genealogy so I called his office and learned that he took part in the 2007 Black History Month program at the ORFHC with then-mayor Ron Dellums.

You can read more about Family Journey Ancestry at the AAGSNC blog. Nicka Smith has written an insightful piece on the program's challenges and rewards AAGSNC Teams Up With County Supervisor for Program. Her use of Michael Jackson's ancestry as an example for the kids is brilliant. 

Kudos to Supervisor Carson and to Nicka Smith and our colleagues at AAGSNC and the ORFHC for introducing a new generation to their ancestors.


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

11 May 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Celtic Roots with Cath Madden Trindle
Saturday, March 19, 2011









Photographs courtesy of Kim Cotton, Oakland, California.

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

09 May 2011

Civil War Research: It's More than Compiled Service and Pension Records

Susan Goss Johnston
Saturday, June 25, 2011
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m

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

It you haven't heard Susan Goss Johnston speak about military records, you are in for a treat! In honor of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Johnston is presenting two talks: Recreating the Life of the Civil War Soldier and It Becomes My Painful Duty: Uncovering the Stories behind Letters of Condolence.

Recreating the Life of the Civil War Soldier
Pension records are wonderful presents waiting to be unwrapped and studied. They are rich in genealogical information, but they’re not the only records worth exploring. In fact, these records are only a fraction of the many records that were created during the Civil War. Case studies will be used to find and examine records – and record substitutes – created in the time between a soldier’s draft registration and his burial. What records exist? Where can they be found? What will they tell us?

It Becomes My Painful Duty”: Uncovering the Stories behind Letters of Condolence
We genealogists tend to read documents for the answers they provide, but these letters of condolence sent from the Civil War battlefields still evoke strong emotions one hundred fifty years after they were written. They may provide answers, but they also provoke strong questions. Who was the soldier and his heart-broken widow or grieving father? What were the circumstances behind his death? What does the letter say about the writer? The search for these answers will take the researcher into seldom-used records, and the stories uncovered bring history to life.

Register online

Susan Goss Johnston was a member of Yale University’s first undergraduate class of women, earning a B.A. in physics. After graduation, she began working in medical research while studying voice at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. The natural outgrowth of this experience, mixed with two children, led to genealogy – research that didn't require grant writing! She has been involved in teaching and researching for thirty years. Sue currently teaches basic and advanced genealogy courses in the Community Education division of Las Positas College in Livermore, California, and is a member of the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society and co-presenter at the group’s Tri-Valley TMG [The Master Genealogist] user group. She is a graduate of the National Institute on Genealogical Research, "Advanced Methodology and Evidence Analysis" at the Samford University's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and the National Archives' course, "Going to the Source." On her first day of research at the National Archives, Sue found three Civil War pensions, and she has loved military records, especially those of the Civil War era, ever since.


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

06 May 2011

Using Digital Photography for Genealogy with Mary Beth Frederick – 6/18/2011


Saturday, June 18, 2011
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Back again by popular demand!

Let Mary Beth Frederick teach you how to use your digital camera to take photographs of books, original documents, microfilm, and computer screens. Using her method will save you time, money, energy, and frustration. You'll also be kind to your back by never again toting a mountain of paper in your carry-on baggage!

New this year! Based on feedback from previous sessions, Mary Beth has added a post-lunch lecture on organizing digital files.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Digital Photography: A Tool for Your Genealogical Research

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Lunch

Bring a brown bag or carry-in from neighborhood cafes. Mary Beth will have an informal "hands-on" photo session so bring your cameras!

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Questions and Answers

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Organizing Your Digital Files

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.

Mary Beth Frederick has enjoyed careers in marketing research, systems analysis and design, project management and as an editor for both print catalogs and an online website.

For over six years she has been engaged full time in discovering her family tree and that of her husband, as well as working for select clients. She has researched the records of many U.S. states as well as those of French Canada and the Louisiana Territory; England, France and Germany; Wales and the Channel Islands, and South Africa. When the volume of paper collected during the first two years of research threatened to outgrow her office, she started taking digital photos of source documents.

Mary Beth attended the 2011 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy where she completed the Research of France and French Canada course. She holds memberships in various genealogical and lineage societies, including First Families of St. Louis and La Société des Filles du roi et soldats du Carignan. She earned a BA in English Literature with Classics from The Loyola University of Chicago.


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

04 May 2011

Wordless Wednesday

March Membership Meeting and Book Launch
"Over, Under, Around and Through Lost Records" 
with Raking the Ashes Author Nancy Peterson












Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, 3/12/2011, Oakland, California.

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

02 May 2011

eNews May 2011, volume 5, number 5

The May 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 Stephen Glenn White pays tribute to his father's older brother, Valmah "Val" Sherman White, who enlisted in the French army Réserve Malle, in 1916, as a volunteer ambulance driver.

Valmah "Val" Sherman White, far left, placing a call in the donkey's ear to his buddy at the tail.

Past issues of the eNews are available at the eNews archive.

The June 2011 issue will be emailed on May 31, 2011. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.


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