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26 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday

San Francisco Special Interest Group
Inaugural Meeting 
Saturday, September 22, 2012











Photographs courtesy of Tim Cox, Oakland, California.


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

25 September 2012

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: October 2012 Published

October 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.

Genealogical societies traditionally celebrate October as "Family History Month"which accounts for a record sixty-five 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.

24 September 2012

African American Research Workshops Resume

“Our Ancestors Will Not Be Forgotten”
The African American Research Workshop teaches research strategies and techniques to knock down those ‘brick walls’ encountered when conducting African-American genealogical research.

2012 workshops are held the fourth Wednesday of each month beginning September 26, 2012, at the Oakland FamilySearch Library, 4766 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland. Classes are held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 p.m. Individual assistance is provided from 8:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.

The workshops are presented in partnership with the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California. Sessions are free and pre-registration is not required. All are welcome!

For further information email workshop instructor Judith Collins.


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

17 September 2012

2012 Book Donations – "A Stellar Year"

The donation of books accounts significantly for the growth in holdings of the California Genealogical Society Library over the past century. Library chair and board member Henry Snyder sent this update about recent donations to the library. 

This has been a stellar year for book donations to the library. It began with a handsome gift of materials from the library of John Ellis Hale, a past-president of the California Genealogical Society. The gift was substantial and it was recently supplemented by another small group of books and unpublished materials for which we are most grateful.

At the beginning of the year we had a call from J. Ryan May. His grandfather, George S. May, another long-term member, had given up his apartment to move into a retirement home. Ryan and his father decided to donate his library to a worthy institution and Ryan called us to see if we were interested. Of course we were! Diana Wild and I met him at his apartment in San Francisco and packed up a number of boxes sufficient to fill my car. Ryan had only been able to bring half of them down and the following month he delivered the rest to our Oakland quarters. The donation was rich in family histories and historical materials, largely focused on the Northeast. 
As many of you know, at one time the CGS shared quarters and a library with the California Historical Society (CHS). When we separated and moved to our own facility in San Francisco the library was divided up among the two institutions. The CHS kept the material on California and the Western States and we took the materials for the country east of the Rockies. The family histories largely came to the CGS but more have now been discovered at CHS. The indefatigable Jane Lindsey has been in discussion with Mary Morganti, CHS Director of Library & Archives, for years about books in storage at CHS that might be of interest to us. When I joined the library committee she suggested I follow up as I had worked previously with Mary on other projects. I did so last year and the result was that Mary graciously agreed to review the stored materials and pull items that were more germane to our mission than theirs. The result has been three substantial shipments since the first of the year with more to come. We have been particularly pleased that the preponderance consisted of family history charts and practically everything they offered was new to our collection. We are most grateful to Mary and the California Historical Society for turning over these items to us. To recognize their generosity, the Board has agreed to offer CHS members free use of our library. 
Still another major gift was received when member Thomas Sinton called to say he was giving up his genealogy collection and offered it to us. Subsequently he delivered no less than thirty-six boxes of books to us at the beginning of the summer. They were again rich in New England material, including many Higginson reprints of scarce out of print works in stout library cloth bindings printed on acid proof paper, more durable than the originals. Also included was a nearly complete set of the Barbour collection, the essential source for Connecticut families, forty-five out of fifty-five volumes. We are in the process of purchasing the balance so we can proudly state we will have a complete set in essentially new condition. Finally there was an interesting group of materials, some unpublished, on San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara. 
Barbara Silveira, another long-time member died this year and her family invited us to take what we wanted from her library. She had built a whole room on to her house to hold her collections! Jane Lindsey, Georgia Lupinsky, Pat Smith, and I responded to the invitation. The library was rich in manuscript materials but we also retrieved twelve boxes of books. 
There has been a continuing flow of small donations which enrich the collection. Thanks to the generosity of our members and their families the library has grown substantially this past year. We are adding new shelving to accommodate the increase. So please keep the gifts coming! Our library is essentially the result of the gifts of our members and we count upon their continuing good will. 
—Henry Snyder, 14 September 2012

The California Genealogical Society Library appreciates donations of books and periodicals that have genealogical content. Donations will be gratefully received by the CGS Library Committee and will be reviewed by Committee members, who will make decisions regarding retention using the Book Donation Policy.

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

14 September 2012

Free Family History Month Class: Secrets from the Grave



Thursday, October 11, 2012
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

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

Cemeteries can be a rich source of information for the family historian. Join Bill O’Neil for an illuminating overview of graveyards and markers, and an exploration of a variety of death-related documents. Bill's talk will include images of interesting tombstones from some of his favorite haunts. 

This class is free and open to the public for October Family History Month, but seating is limited. Registration confirmations will be sent to the first thirty participants who register. Walk-ins will not be admitted.

Register online.


Bill O'Neil is a retired high school art teacher who loves books and cemeteries. He is the chair of the California Genealogical Society Book Repair Committee. Bill has been researching his family genealogy for about twenty years. 


Photograph from Old North Burying Ground, Dorchester, Massachusetts, courtesy of Bill O'Neil.


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

10 September 2012

What You Missed: Genealogy 101 at the Society of California PIoneers

On Saturday, September 9, 2012, Lavinia Schwarz presented Genealogy 101: Getting Started, at the Society of California Pioneers in San Francisco. Lavinia heads the research team at the California Genealogical Society and is a former member of the board of directors. The class grew out of a desire for collaboration between our two societies. Our board members, Pat Gallagher and Henry Snyder, worked with California Pioneers Director of Library and Archives, Patricia L. Keats, to make it happen.


Lavinia Schwarz teaching "Genealogy 101" in the
Joseph and Mildred Rolph Moore Gallery. 

The setting was the beautiful Joseph and Mildred Rolph Moore Gallery. The class was free and open members of both the California Genealogical Society and the Society of California Pioneers. SOCP Director of Membership Services, Peggy Huntington, and SOCP Board President Thomas McLaughlin were present to welcome attendees and get things started. More than thirty participants heard Lavinia's excellent presentation on how to get started on a genealogical quest.


Members of both the California Genealogical Society and the Society of California Pioneers were in attendance.

Lavinia provided an excellent overview for the beginner. Using examples and photographs from her own family, she outlined the "how-to process" and shared her secrets for success. Her discussion covered the following topics:
  1. Talk to everyone in the family.
  2. Gather what you collect and pick an approach.
  3. Learn the lingo.
  4. Copy and source what you find.
  5. If you can, use technology.

Lavinia provided a hand-out with resource suggestions, a comprehensive list of genealogy websites, and three sample forms – ancestral chart, research calendar, and family group record sheet.


Tim Cox, Lavinia Schwarz and Thomas McLaughlin, President of the Board of Society of California Pioneers

The class was very well-received. Organizer Pat Gallagher noted: "Lots of folks left the room saying how inspired they were to get going."

The California Genealogical Society gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Education and Gallery Manager John Hogan for facilitating the event.

We look forward to future collaborative endeavors with the Society of California Pioneers.


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

08 September 2012

Encore Presentation! Legacy Planning: What Happens to Your Research after You Are Gone?

Patricia Burrow
Saturday, October 20, 2012
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Legacy Planning usually refers to your will, trusts and medical directives. Have you thought about what is going to happen to your family history research? Do your children know what to do with those file cabinets, folders, binders and archival boxes full of memorabilia? Patricia Burrow is back with an encore presentation. She will share some of the things we can do to ensure our family history research is preserved for future generations.

Register online.

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

Patricia Burrow has blended her retired, tech world vocation with her passionate avocation for genealogy research and storytelling. She leads several groups in the genealogy community and has been actively researching her family’s history for almost a decade. Pat has had several articles and

stories published about her ancestors and is working on a book about her adopted grandmother and the two families that loved her. She teaches Reunion for the Mac at the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group and participates in an indexing project at the Santa Clara County Archives. Her mantra is: “Your kids won’t throw away a book with their surname on it. Publish, publish, publish.”


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

05 September 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday Evening Discussion 
August 23, 2012
Stump the Panel






Photograph courtesy of Tim Cox, 8/23/2012.


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

03 September 2012

2012 Nominating Committee

President Jeffrey Vaillant announced this summer that director Karen Lemelin has been named chair of the 2012 Nominating Committee. Jeff commented: "I know she will do a great job and ask that each of you support her in her efforts."

General members of the committee are Linda Okazaki and Jane Lindsey.

The committee is seeking nominees for five anticipated openings on the board of directors. They welcome suggestions of candidates or volunteers to serve. Nominees must be members of the California Genealogical Society. Please email Karen Lemelin with your suggestions.

The California Genealogical Society's bylaws specify the annual creation of a Nominating Committee in Article VII, Section 1: Nominations and Elections:

Section 1. The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least three (3) members to be named not less that ninety (90) days prior to the Annual Business Meeting. The President shall appoint the Nominating Committee. The chairperson of the committee shall be from the Board of Directors and additional committee members from the general membership.

Section 2. The Nominating Committee shall submit its report to the Board of Directors and the Board shall give timely notice of nominations to the general membership prior to the Annual Business Meeting.

Section 3. Following the Nominating Committee’s report to the membership at the Annual Business Meeting, the floor shall be open to additional nominations, provided nominees have given consent to serve if elected.

Section 4. Nominees shall be members in good standing in the Society.

Section 5. Members in good standing who are present at the Annual Business Meeting shall elect the Directors. A plurality vote shall elect.

Section 6. If there is only one candidate for an opening, the ballot may be dispensed with by general consent and the election held by voice vote.


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

01 September 2012

ENews September 2012, volume 6, number 9

The September 2012 eNews, volume 6, 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 Labor Day, we honor Earl Warren Wright, grandfather of California Genealogical Society board member Jim Sorenson, and his long career with the Standard Oil Company.


Excerpt of the 1899 letter to Earl Wright Morgan (1879-1953).


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

The October 2012 issue will be emailed on September 30, 2012. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

Photograph courtesy of Jim Sorenson.



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