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31 May 2012

Congratulations California! 1940 Census Indexing – May 2012 Update

The California Genealogical Society is part of the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project to create a free, online searchable name index of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census.

The CGS umbrella now has sixty-four indexers who indexed 28,656 names and arbitrated 10,400 during the month of May.

President Jeffrey Vaillant is our acting project coordinator and he is posting periodic "cheerleading" messages to our group participants.

Amazingly, 1940 census indexing for the entire U.S. is already more than half completed! FamilySearch Indexing is reporting the following statistics:
  • 51.88% of the entire project has been completely indexed. 
  • More than twenty states are at or above 85% complete. 
  • Six states — Delaware, Colorado, Kansas, Oregon, Virginia, and New Hampshire — are now indexed and searchable by name, location, and family relations. 
California is almost finished! The Golden State is 97% indexed, thanks largely to more than forty California genealogical societies that are part of the community project. But don't stop, there is still much to be done in other states, and, as we all know, Californians come from everywhere.

To see the status of each state, visit

Thanks to all of our hard-working indexers!

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

Time Sensitive Offer: Family History Enthusiasts of All Levels Wanted, locally based in Redwood City, California, is looking for Bay Area residents to participate in user testing. They are seeking genealogists and have contacted me to give CGS members a chance to be among the chosen few. Participants who meet the criteria will earn a $150 Amazon gift card for their feedback and for about one hour of their time.

Here’s how it works:

Participants will be asked to join representatives from in either San Francisco or Redwood City, on June 7 or June 8, 2012. will email chosen participants directly with the exact time and location details. In each session participants will be reviewing materials provided by and asked for feedback. needs a total of eight participants for this study. Participants will be chosen only if they fulfill the requirements below and are quick to respond. Each session will be no longer than one hour in length.

Participant requirements:

• Must travel to downtown San Francisco or Redwood City on June 7 or 8, 2012.

• Must have experience using online family trees, preferably (but not necessarily) on the website

• Must sign a non-disclosure agreement.

If you’re interested in this time sensitive opportunity, please email as soon as possible. will respond to those who qualify.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

28 May 2012

Announcing the CGS Boston Research Tour to NEHGS September 23-30, 2012

It's time to sign up for the California Genealogical Society and Library Research Trip to the New England Historic Genealogical Society library September 23-30, 2012.

Jane Lindsey, former CGS president and past NEHGS Trustee, leads our biennial trip to Boston, Massachusetts. Accommodations are at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center in the Copley Square area of downtown Boston, located about three blocks from NEHGS.

The tour begins Monday morning with a brief orientation. Since the NEHGS library is closed on Monday, participants will have the option that day of visiting the Massachusettes State Archives, Suffolk or Middlesex County courthouses, Massachusettes Historical Society or Boston Public Library.

The Tour Package includes:
  • Hotel room (7 nights, single occupancy)
  • Monday morning orientation
  • Free day Monday to visit your choice of several repositories or sight-see in Boston
  • Tuesday orientation at NEHGS
  • Daily continental breakfast
  • Two group dinners (Monday and Saturday) at local restaurants
  • Optional pre-trip consultations with Jane Lindsey
  • On-site lectures - to be announced

Linda Darby and Sandy Fryer at NEHGS in 2008.

The cost is $1674.00 (airfare not included). A deposit of $300 is required by July 15, 2012, to hold one space. Download the tour flier for full details and cancellation and refund policy. Tour participants must be members of both the California Genealogical Society and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Register online.

The first group dinner will be on Monday evening. NEHGS is open 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. The Boston Public Library, near the hotel, is open until 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and has an excellent microtext department with a wonderful newspaper collection.

Photographs courtesy of Jane Lindsey, Boston, MA, 9/22/2008.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

25 May 2012

Summer Best Genealogy Websites Series Starts Thursday, July 19, 2012

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

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday evenings, beginning July 19, 2012
(See specific dates below.)

The California Genealogical Society will present our first summer series of evening classes – Best Genealogy Websites – Tips & Tricks – at the library.

Seven weekly 90-minute sessions will give you the skills you need to navigate your way to better and more efficient search results on the best sites for family history research.

The course costs $40 for seven weeks, including materials; $50 for non-members.

Week 1:  July 19, 2012 – I, Kim Cotton
Week 2:  July 26, 2012 – II, Kim Cotton
Week 3:  August 2, 2012 –, Jane Lindsey
Week 4:  August 9, 2012 –, Jane Lindsey
Week 5:  August 16, 2012 –, Susan Goss Johnston
Week 6:  August 23, 2012 – Rootsweb, USGenWeb and Newspaper Sites, Susan Goss Johnston


  • Class size limited to the first twenty-five who register
  • Walk-ins will not be permitted 
  • Located just three blocks from BART 19th Street Station
  • Free street parking after 6:00 p.m
  • No refunds once the series begins
  • $10.00 off new CGS membership if you join by August 30, 2012

Register online.   

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

24 May 2012

On the Street Where We Live: A Case Study Using the 1940 Census

Saturday, June 16, 2012
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Michael Nolan, Marty Combs, and Julie Laguard are neighbors in the Bernal Heights district of San Francisco. They used recently released 1940 census data to look back in time at the street where they live. Join us for this fascinating comparison of then and now. The neighbors will present their research on the 200 Block of Elsie Street. They will compare and contrast who lived there in 1940 with data about who lives on the block today, including:
  • How many people lived under one roof? 
  • What were their origins? Did they migrate or immigrate from somewhere else? 
  • What did they do for a living? 
  • How much did they earn? What was their length of employment? 
  • Vertical study of one house on the block over time 
They will discuss the role the research played in binding the block together through frequent potluck dinners, mutual support in time of need, celebration in time of joy, and a stellar annual block party.

Michael Nolan and Marty Combs will present, with research assistance from Elsie Street neighbor, Julie Lagarde.

The presentation is free and open to all. Please let us know you are coming.

Michael Nolan was born and bred in Brooklyn, the son of an Irish Catholic father and a Polish Jewish immigrant mother. He thinks his fascination with genealogy thus began in the womb. He convenes regular family reunions for both sides of his family and maintains sites for both on Facebook and MyFamily. He recently convened a 50th anniversary reunion for his eighth grade class at PS99 in Brooklyn and used various research tools to find missing classmates. He has a long history in journalism in NYC and San Francisco as a researcher, producer and editor for CBS News, the Public Broadcast Laboratory, and the San Francisco Business Times. He currently researches and develops family trees for individual clients. More information at Give the Gift of Family History on Facebook.

Marty Combs is from northwestern North Carolina where his family has been living since the late 1790s. Having only one living grandparent who was already 82 by his birth, and parents who grew up during the Great Depression, he was exposed early to discussions of “the good ol' days” and how families and homes transition through time. He has often exchanged stories with neighbors regarding the history of his neighborhood and home. Marty's day job is a unix system administrator. In his spare time, he cares for a nearby community garden, does woodworking, metalworking and relaxes on his front stoop socializing with neighbors.

Julie Lagarde is a social historian, policy analyst and advocate. A native of France, she obtained a Masters degree in Public Policy at the Institut d'Etudes politiques de Bordeaux. Growing restless with unemployment, she decided to apply her thirst for research to her home. Michael and Marty will present her “vertical study” on who has lived in her house over the past century, since it was built.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

22 May 2012

A-Files Opening Ceremony and Dedication of the Tom Lantos Research Center

As chief blogger for the California Genealogical Society, I've been to many family history events and reported on lots of genealogy achievements, but none have been as moving and significant as today's A-Files Opening Ceremony and Dedication of the Tom Lantos Research Center at The National Archives at San Francisco.

Jeanie W. Chooey Low

For more than a decade, CGS member Jeanie W. Chooey Low has been a tireless advocate for the Alien Case Files. She and her colleague, Jennie Lew, co-chairs of SONA "Save Our National Archives," a coalition of more than thirty community non-profit and academic organizations and interested individuals, worked closely with the late U.S. Representative Tom Lantos to save the files from scheduled destruction. In early 2008 SONA achieved their two goals:
  1. Having the A-files re-designated as records of permanent historic value.
  2. Keeping local records at the San Francisco NARA.
In June 2009, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS and the National Archives and Records Administration NARA held a formal joint signing ceremony in Washington, D.C. to "designate as permanent the immigration files created on the millions of aliens residing in the United States in 1944, as well as those arriving since then."

Today, three years later, NARA-SF officially opened over 40,000 of the case files and dedicated its research room to the late Tom Lantos.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier

Taking part in the ceremony was U.S. Representative Jackie Speier, who continued the work of Tom Lantos after his death in early 2008 and her election to his seat. Among the other speakers was CGS member and San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society President Jeremy Frankel.

Commemorative plaque presented to the grandchildren of Tom Lantos.

Other CGS members in attendance were Christine DeVillier, Grant Din, Nancy Peterson, Kay Speaks, Laura Spurrier, and Cath Trindle. Cath has written two reports on the day for the San Mateo Genealogical Society Blog and the California State Genealogical Alliance Blog.

Three researchers were the first to view their ancestors' A-files.

What are the A-Files?
The immigration files, known as “Alien Files” (commonly referred to as “A-Files”), were transferred from U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They are among the first of millions of case files that will eventually be opened to the public.

In 1940, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the predecessor of USCIS, started issuing Alien Registration Numbers to resident aliens in the United States.  On April 1, 1944, INS began to assign these numbers to a new series of immigration case files called A-Files. A-Files are a genealogical wealth of information, containing documents such as photographs, personal correspondence, affidavits, vital records, interview transcripts, and visa applications.

A first look at an A-File.

How can one access A-Files for genealogical research?
A-Files may be viewed in person by appointment or copies may be ordered for a fee. Researchers may contact National Archives staff at to search A-Files holdings for a particular file. Beginning Tuesday, May 29, 2012, an online database will be available through the National Archives at San Francisco website at

The National Archives at San Francisco is one of twenty-two facilities open to the public nationwide where the public can access Federal archival records in person. Its holdings total over 60,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1850s to the 1990s, created by more than 100 Federal agencies and courts in northern and central California, Nevada (except for Clark County), Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and the American Territories. The facility is located at 1000 Commodore Drive, San Bruno, CA 94066. The National Archives at San Francisco is open Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (until 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.) Appointments are strongly encouraged.

Photographs by Kathryn Doyle, San Bruno, California, 5/22/2012.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

21 May 2012

Writing Your Family History: Start Now!

The California Genealogical Society is offering an intense writing course to help you begin writing your family history. By the end of the course, you will be ready to start writing, or will be already writing, a family history with confidence and style!

Who Should Take this Course?
This course is for genealogists and family historians who are ready to transform their research into a quality family history.

Course Details
This course will meet for a five-hour session one Saturday a month at the library in the Learning Center. Class size is limited to fifteen participants. All sessions are on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with one hour break for lunch.

The course will provide participants with all the information and assistance needed to get started on writing a family history. The course includes
  • a copy of the class text Producing a Quality Family History
  • helpful course materials organized in a binder
  • step-by-step instruction in organizing and writing your history
  • a variety of lecturers on topics to expand on reading assignments
  • experienced instructors
  • editing and writing help
Session dates:
  • July 7, 2012
  • August 25, 2012
  • September 15, 2012
  • October 13, 2012
The course has been created by a team of dedicated volunteers – Tim Cox, Lisa Gorrell and Jane Hufft – who have different and complementary skills. Events Chair Tim Cox is the organizer and leader. He also  a vast store of feedback data collected after every class at the library. Tim knows what members want! Board Recording Secretary Lisa Gorrell has taught several course and has curriculum experience. California Nugget Editor Jane Hufft brings her experience as an educator, writer, and editor.

NOTE: This course will NOT focus on research techniques or evidence procedures.

Course Fee*
CGS Members: $50
Non-CGS Members: $75

Register online.

Registration Requirements
Attendance is required at all four sessions.
There is no registration for individual sessions.
Participants must be willing to commit a reasonable amount of time to the homework assignments, which consist of reading assigned chapters in the provided text and working on individual writing projects.

This course is expected to fill very quickly, so register now!

*All course fees are non-refundable.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

18 May 2012

Private Tour of Mountain View Cemetery Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Mountain View Cemetery
5000 Piedmont Avenue
Oakland, CA 94611

Member Gaye Lenehan will lead a special Sunday tour of an Oakland gem. Docent-led walking tours of Mountain View Cemetery are normally held on Saturday mornings so this is a great opportunity for those who have had a conflict with the usual schedule.

The tour will start promptly at 1:00 p.m. so come in time to find the meeting place.

Come the main gates of Mountain View at the end of Piedmont Avenue and bear right around the fountain and continue up the main drive. On your right will be the Main Mausoleum (a large building) where the group will gather on the front steps of the Mausoleum.


Gaye Lenahan leading a tour in 2010.

Founded in 1863, Mountain View was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, renowned landscape architect of New York City's Central Park. The historic, not-for-profit cemetery is nestled in the foothills of Oakland and Piedmont. Gaye will tell a bit of history of the cemetery and lead the group past the final resting places of some interesting people. She's including a climb up the hill to Millionaires' Row.

Please note: Walking shoes are recommended; the tour covers almost two miles on hilly terrain. It is not suitable for those with walkers, canes or the need to sit down frequently. There is plenty of parking along the roads in the cemetery.

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

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

16 May 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Aging and Disability Technology Summit
San Francisco City Hall
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Photographs by Kathryn Doyle and Shannon Reese, San Francisco, 5/15/2012.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

15 May 2012

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: June 2012 Published

June 2012 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 June calendar lists fifty classes and events at various venues around the Bay Area, sponsored by thirty societies, libraries and archives.

If you would like to add your group's events to the calendar, please email the information by the 15th of each month. (Please include "SFBA Calendar" in the subject line.)

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

12 May 2012

Day Four: NGS 2012 Family History Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio

President Jeff sent his last conference report. Thanks so much!

National Genealogical Society Annual Conference Day Four
12 May 2012 Cincinnati, OH
A Saturday which means a change in the shuttle service between Covington, KY and Cincinnati, OH or a minor chance to miss the first 8:00 a.m. class! Yep! It means the opportunity to walk from Kentucky to Ohio, which is what I did to catch the 9:30 a.m. class by Harold Henderson Indirect Evidence: What To Do When Perry Mason Isn’t on Your Side. Harold suggested that we might be better off using Sherlock Holmes as our model since this fictional character could take small bits of information to solve cases. 
Then from this crowded room it was on to another packed room for Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS presentation Information Overload? Effective Project Planning, Research, Data Management and Analysis which included links to her papers at the BCG website. Work samples posted for all to read are at: 
The FamilySearch luncheon proved to be the weakest of any attended. It seemed like a long commercial rather than the topic Discover Your Ohio Ancestors Online, so I got up and left about halfway through, as did some others. 
I went for a last visit to the trade show floor and will bring back some goodies for use in the CGS Library. One of the groups with a booth was the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War whose local Camp footed the bill. I observed they were busy all four days of the conference, informing attendees about the SUVCW. As the conference winds down it is possible to talk with vendors without the crowd (unless a raffle is being held!)

The afternoon session was with Thomas W. Jones, who spoke on Solutions for Missing or Scarce Records and he cited several cases which can be found at the NGS website. One must be a member of NGS to read articles published in the last 100 years.
Then it was time to hit a Cincinnati highlight called Skyline Chili which opened in 1949 by a Greek immigrant; however, it was only the Greek salad that one might find to be “Greek” as the menu has chili in a variety of forms.

It was a GOOD conference, which I recommend to those who have not attended. It is interesting that the conference in 2013 will be in Las Vegas, Nevada. A video about NGS conferences can be found at 2014 will be in Richmond, Virginia (7-10 May) and 2015 in St. Charles (outside St. Louis), Missouri (13-16 May). Now it is time to write up the other two days of research done before the conference began, pack for the return trip and reengage with CGS. Thank you for reading.
—Jeffrey Vaillant
Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2012 NGS
Report #2: 2012 NGS
Report #3: 2012 NGS
Report #4: 2012 NGS
Report #5: 2012 NGS

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

11 May 2012

Day Three: NGS 2012 Family History Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio

Here is the next of Jeff's reports:

National Genealogical Society Annual Conference Day Three
11 May 2012 Cincinnati, OH

Day three has been an eclectic one with a variety of presentations. There are reported 2155 attendees and it shows, since Vinnie, Tim and I have seldom crossed paths. The day started with Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG presentation Okay, I ‘Got the Neighbors’: Now What Do I Do with Them? This was followed by Facial Recognition Software: Application for Genealogists? [Not yet] by Greg Kipper. Then Thomas W. Jones PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS who talked about Documentation: The What, Why and Where.

Before lunch, I think for some readers it might be useful to define all those nominal letters, so here goes: PhD I suspect folks know. In Dr. Jone’s case it is in the field of education. CG is Certified Genealogist, CGL is Certified Genealogist Lecturer, FASG is Fellow American Society of Genealogy [this is limited to 50 members only], FUGA is Fellow Utah Genealogy Association and FNGS is Fellow National Genealogical Society.

The NGS luncheon began with about sixty of us standing due to a miscommunication of the number of attendees. The staff at the Duke Energy Center, where the conference is being held, swiftly set up chairs, tables, linens, and silver without missing a beat. The talk was From Goetta to Guacamole: The Immigrant Impact on Cincinnati.

The afternoon was the staff presentation on Making the DNA Connection. I believe Ancestry purchased the Sorenson Molecular Foundation and its database along with genetree. Ancestry is moving into this related genealogy field and taking reservations for lab tests. They are so backed up in the lab that my sample from 15 Nov 2011 is “still in process.” DNA testing can be expensive and I saw a bargain $9 to be part of their beta test and swabbed the check. I have 67 markers at Family Tree DNA as well as Sorenson as well as the Genome National Geographic project.
The day ended with the NGS Quarterly 100th Anniversary Reception. I took a hand full of the sample brochure to bring back to the library. An element that is important in these meetings is the contacts made with others and the stories exchanged about the field of genealogy. Besides class there are opportunities to learn from the other attendees. 
—Jeffrey Vaillant
Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2012 NGS
Report #2: 2012 NGS
Report #3: 2012 NGS
Report #4: 2012 NGS
Report #5: 2012 NGS

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

10 May 2012

Day Two: NGS 2012 Family History Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio

CGS President Jeffrey Vaillant sent another conference report:

National Genealogical Society Annual Conference Day Two
Cincinnati, OH 10 May 2012

I have Pierson, Render, Leathers and Tanner lines that landed in Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties in Kentucky in the early 1800’s and left for Indiana by 1840. So today I immersed myself in the “Research in Kentucky” track for four presentations:

  • Researching Kentucky Records by Don Rightmyer from the Kentucky Historical Society (located in Frankfort, KY)
  • They Paid Their Taxes: Using Kentucky Tax Lists for pre-1850’s Research by Gail Jackson Miller, CG
  • Researching the Southern Side of Cincinnati: Northern Kentucky Genealogy and Local History Resources by Elaine Kahn, MLS
  • Collections of the Kentucky Historical Society by Louise Jones, MLS
These were all excellent presentations with Kentucky Tax Lists leading the parade. Tax lists in Kentucky start before 1800 and were well documented and recorded – probably better than any census. The taxes were collected by local people who knew local people so it was not easy to duck the tax collector (sound familiar?) The tax records are a wealth of information since one did not have to own land to be taxed. Even an old horse worth $10 got taxed!!

The Board for Certification of Genealogist luncheon had good food and a solid presentation. Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens, CG, CGL wore a period mourning outfit and read from the diary of a Mrs. Davis, Civil War widow.

In the afternoon, after sitting next to the retired History and Genealogy Librarian from Kenton County Public Library, I made a dash to the library between class and the Evening at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The library (located in Covington) has vertical family files with some information on the Tanner and Leather lines which I mined. AND since it is something one has to do, I walked from Kentucky to Ohio….across a bridge across the Ohio River.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is everything one would expect from an excellent museum. Two floors of exhibits clearly bringing into focus the role of slavery in the United States through the Civil War and the Underground Railroad. It is a dramatic exhibit and a dramatic building. More can be learned at their website:
—Jeffrey Vaillant
Photograph courtesy of Jeff Vaillant, 5/10/2012

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2012 NGS
Report #2: 2012 NGS
Report #3: 2012 NGS
Report #4: 2012 NGS
Report #5: 2012 NGS

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

09 May 2012

Day One: NGS 2012 Family History Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio

CGS President Jeffrey Vaillant generously makes time to write and send reports from conferences. This year he is attending the NGS 2012 Family History Conference in Cincinnati. Thanks, Jeffrey!
National Genealogical Conference-Day One
Cincinnati, OH 9 May 2012 
Great first day! It started with a presentation by Patricia Mosley Van Skaik on the Genealogy Buried in a Photograph: Amazing Discoveries in the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848. Rather than words, go here to see it for yourself: Cincinnati Panorama of 1848.
On the way to the opening of the trade show, Vinnie Schwarz, Tim Cox, and I stopped to have our picture taken by another attendee on his handy iPad. Hopefully he has sent it for posting. The exhibit hall has more room than I recall in the past, allowing the 2000+ attendees ease in getting around. All the usual suspects were displaying their wares and FamilySearch and Ancestry were the space hogs! The 1940 U.S. Census Project was on the floor so I was able to walk away with a tee shirt after indexing two more batches. Stopped to say hello to the Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor, and told her we were looking forward to seeing her in early June for the CGS Day with the Photo Detective. She told me all her consultation times have been taken so I asked her to consider coming a day earlier for more. 
Then it was off to Strategies for Finding "Unfindable" Ancestors with Dr. Thomas Jones. It was a great class in methodology and research. 
I attended the Association of Professional Genealogists luncheon. (Vinnie and Tim went out to the local chili feed.) Curt B. Witcher spoke on the Expectations of 21st Century Genealogists and was entertaining as well as insightful. While he was focused on the individual genealogist, I think some of his ideas can apply to a genealogy society as well. 
Since I came early to do some of my own research, the afternoon lecture Moving Out: Migration Patterns into the Midwest by Carol Elise Smith AG, was spot-on for my thinking process. We all need to shed our modern-day view and consider how people moved about in the late 1700s and early 1800s. As Carol put it, "they did not have stuff to move!" and the routes taken were formed by geography. It was a solid presentation. 
The day was topped off by a trip to the Cincinnati History Museum which is located in a renovated Union Station at the west end of the city. Great renovation with art deco motif. They started construction in August 1929 and completed the original structure in March 1933 at a cost of $41M. The History Museum has a working model of Cincinnati in 1940 with trolleys and trains running. It is a HUGH exhibit reminding me of the one in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry. 
The evening included dinner and was attended by 230+ people. People are another important part of this conference as we exchange genealogy and learn from each other.

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2012 NGS
Report #2: 2012 NGS
Report #3: 2012 NGS
Report #4: 2012 NGS
Report #5: 2012 NGS

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

Wordless Wednesday

Book Repair Committee
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Anne Robinson

 Photograph courtesy of Arlene Miles, Oakland, California.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

07 May 2012

A Pre-Conference Report from President Jeff in Cincinnati

CGS President Jeffrey Vaillant is attending the National Genealogical Society's Annual Family History Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. He sent this "pre-conference" report:

Some of my people came from Boone, Campbell, and Kenton Counties in northern Kentucky which is just south of Cincinnati where the NGS event is being held. So since I'm "in the neighborhood" it's a great opportunity to do some research in advance of the conference.

Today was my day in Campbell County which has TWO places where records are kept – Newport  and Alexandria. The first stop was Newport since it is close to Covington where I am staying. Close is nice if one wants current (1850+) records. The staff there was helpful in pointing me to Alexandria where the old records (pre-1850+) are kept.

We all understand that it is great to have indexes as a clue to where to look and it is great to have cousins who are working the same lines. The combination made it possible for me to find a photocopy of the original marriage license for my ggg-grandfather, Robert Pierson. The good news is that someone took the time to make a copy of all the original documents and place them in a binder at the county clerk’s office. And some good soul made an index of the binder’s contents, which are not in chronological order. The earliest records start in 1799 (when Kentucky became a state). The record read as transcribed:
Know all men by these presents that we Robert
Pearson & Arch Render------
are held firmly bond unto Isaac Shelby
Esq Gov of the State of Kentucky This
successors (?) in the sum of fifty pounds
current money for the payment
where of we the s’d Pearson & Render
[do bind] ourselves and heirs [Ex & Admin]
[jointly] & severally firm[ly] [by these] presents
As witnesses our Han[d] & seals this 1st day of
September 1815. The condition of the obligations is that
when as there is shortly a marriage
intended to be solemnized between
The above bond Robert Pearson-----
& Nancy Render [now if there be no just cause to
obstruct] the same then this [obligation] to be void or else remain in full force & virtue
Robert Pearson==Seal
Arch Render==Seal
It was necessary to look at several similar documents of the time to decode all the missing words since the original copied was in extremely poor condition. On the back of the copied document (like many others) was stamped NO INSTRUMENT RECORDED. There was no paper on the marriage license actually being used for marriage.

The other virtue of the original copies and index was a long list of relevant marriages that took place between 1800 and 1838. Nancy Pierson died about 1835-37 and Robert remarried; however in the Campbell county records I could not fine that second marriage.

Since the Clerk’s office was overwhelmed by other activities, I was left on my own to explore other volumes on the open shelves. Oh, is that fun. I went after land records which are indexed and had a list from a cousin; however, I was unable to find in the index any land for Pearson/Pierson or those identified. Perhaps the records ended up in Kenton or Boone County, although the land was in Campbell County.

There are the Will books from 1799 to look at and the Book A or first volume has been copied, which allows good copies to be made. Further back is the Leathers line and there were a lot of Leathers in Campbell County. The specific last will and testament of John Leathers (dated 27 May 1812 and probated November 1817) was photocopied so I can transcribe it soon. Robert Pearson along with Archib’d Render and John Leathers (son) purchased part of the estate!

And the original court order books were on the shelves. In the December 1797 Court “On the motion of Archibald Render….orders that a license be granted to him to keep a tavern in this county for one year…” As one recognizes this puts one character in our family in the county very early!

—Jeffrey Vaillant

Read the entire series:
Report #1: 2012 NGS
Report #2: 2012 NGS
Report #3: 2012 NGS
Report #4: 2012 NGS
Report #5: 2012 NGS

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

04 May 2012

Heading South for Jamboree 2012

Members of the California Genealogical Society are making plans for this year's Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree, Friday-Sunday, June 8-10, 2012, at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport. The theme for the 43rd annual event is Lights, Camera, Ancestors! Spotlight on Family History.

As they did last year, co-chairs Paula Hinkel and Leo Myers offered a FREE one-day exhibit table to genealogical societies, historical societies, and other nonprofit organizations. We had one of the hall tables last year and it worked well for us. We're thrilled to have snagged a table for this year on Saturday, June 9, 2012.

We will be selling our newest publications, Raking the Ashes and the Insider's Guide to California Genealogy and we could use some help! If you can give us a couple of hours of your time, please email me.

And thank you to the Southern California Genealogical Society for giving us the opportunity to exhibit at your wonderful event. We believe in collaboration, and we are glad you do, too!

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

02 May 2012

Wordless Wednesday

12th Annual California Genealogical Society
Salt Lake City Research Tour
April 22-29, 2012

Photographs courtesy of Jim Sorenson, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

01 May 2012

eNews May 2012, volume 6, number 5

The May 2012 eNews, volume 6, number 5,  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.

Member and Volunteer Coordinator, Linda Okazaki, contributed this month's photograph of her husband Ted's Japanese immigrant ancestors, as we celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

Ichimaru Okazaki & Hamako Maibara marriage photo, 1921
Past issues of the eNews are available at the eNews archive.

The June 2012 issue will be emailed on May 31, 2012. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

Photograph courtesy of Linda Okazaki.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library