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31 October 2012

Wordless Wednesday

NEHGS Comes West
Friday, October 26, 2012
Hs Lordships, Berkeley, California

Photographs by Kathryn Doyle.

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

30 October 2012

An Idea You Should Steal: "My Favorite Ancestor" Presentations at Your Genealogical Society Meetings

California Genealogical Society President Jeffrey Vaillant had a great idea I think you should steal.

When the incoming board of directors had their first meeting this past February, Jeff added a new item to the agenda: "My Favorite Ancestor." After "old business" and before we move on to new agenda items, one director gives a short, two-three minute presentation about an ancestor. Jeff makes the next assignment so the presenter will have a month to prepare.

So far each presentation has included a a photo or two to pass around. Some have recited a short life synopsis, some have focused on a good story, and some have talked about some aspect of the research itself.

It has been such a successful idea it is spreading to other committee meetings at our society. Last month our Publications/Marketing chair, Shannon Reese, brought along some photos and the obituary he wrote for his grandmother, who died this past year.

One added benefit is that the photos are also being used in the "California Ancestors" feature in our monthly eNews. You can take a look at the photos on our California Ancestors photo board on Pinterest.

It goes without saying that genealogists love to share their family history. This has been a good way to put some of the focus back on our research.

If you think this is an idea worth stealing, or you are already doing something similar, please let me know by leaving a comment.

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

29 October 2012

Workshop: Platting and Locating Lands from Metes and Bounds Deeds

Saturday, December 8, 2012
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Using deeds and other land records to assist with researching family history can help us gain a better understanding of the family, the land, and the community. Unfortunately, land records are often overlooked by beginners and by more experienced researchers.

Pam Miller is coming to the rescue! Pam knows how the art of surveying land has changed over time and she is back with a new workshop to help you navigate this rich record set. She will simplify the "metes and bounds" terminology seen in early deeds.

This hands-on workshop will help you:
  • understand the terminology written in deeds prior to the mid-1900s
  • decipher old deeds and extract the critical information
  • create a hand-drawn map of an actual property
  • use some of the online land platting tools
  • locate old properties on current maps
Please bring a calculator and pencils with erasers. Pam will furnish graph paper, rulers, and protractors. Laptops are encouraged, but not required.

If you have an old deed, please bring it for the hands-on exercise.

Register online.

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

Pam Miller, a native of Dallas, Texas, attended Stanford University where she earned a B.A. in Linguistics and an M.A. in Spanish. She was employed as an educator in the Bay Area for twenty-eight years, teaching Spanish and computer science. Pam grew up "walking the family lands" with her parents, inheriting her family's love of maps and developing a severe case of what she calls "Tara Syndrome." She has been a member of CGS since 2005.

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

26 October 2012

November Membership Meeting: Fun Tools for Genealogists to Help You Work Smarter

Tim Cox
Saturday, November 10, 2012
1:00 p.m.

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

Genealogists are always looking for ways to be more productive while researching, especially when digitally storing the information collected. But with technology constantly changing, how do we keep up with the new software, websites, tools and devices?

Join Tim Cox for a discussion about  using smart phones, tablets, and other tools to help you work smarter, be more productive, and allow you to easily share your information with others. Tim's talk will begin after a short membership meeting which starts promptly at 1:00 p.m.

Tim Cox has been a family historian and genealogist for more than twenty years. He is a member of numerous genealogical societies across the country, and is currently the Education and Events coordinator for the California Genealogical Society and Library.

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

25 October 2012

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: November 2012 Published

November 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 November calendar lists forty-eight 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 October 2012

Wordless Wednesday

New Shelves in the Library
October 17, 2012

Photographs by Kathryn Doyle, Oakland, California.

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

22 October 2012

Workshop You Missed: Create Your Own Document Box

The California Genealogical Society's Book Repair Committee has mended about 3,000 books since it began meeting monthly in 1987. Several years ago, the committee's chairman, Bill O'Neil, created a workshop to teach book repair techniques which has proved to be quite popular. This fall, in addition to the Book Repair Workshop, Bill introduced a second hands-on offering.

Table and supplies organized and ready for the workshop.

Occasionally a book is in such poor condition it cannot be rebound. In those cases, a book box is created so the item can continue to be shelved. Bill's new workshop – Create Your Own Document Box – was held Thursday, October 18, 2012.

Eleven members gathered around a work table soon scattered with the tools of the day: pencils, rulers, glue, and exacto knives. Participants each made a custom-sized and beautifully decorated box for a personal item or items.

Diana Edwards, Bill O'Neil, Marianne Frey, and Linda Okazaki.

As always, Bill made meticulous preparations so things ran like clockwork. Attendees let Bill know the dimensions of their treasures in advance so he could prepare their materials.

Todd Armstrong and Carolyn Jacoby

Todd Armstrong made a document box sized to fit an ancestor's civil war diary.

Lavinia Schwarz and her finished book box.

Attendees included Todd Armstrong, Judy Bodycote, Bonnie Dehler, Diana Edwards, Marianne Frey, Eleanor Hedenkamp, Carolynn Jacoby, Stephen LaBounty, Jane Lindsey, Linda Okazaki, and Vinnie Schwarz.

Eleanor Hedenkamp shows off her creation.

Linda Okazaki
Linda Okazaki sent this feedback:
The box workshop was active and interactive with a lively group. Where else can you learn to create an archival box that is beautiful and functional, and have fun in the process? It was also nice to meet some new people, both members and non members. Thanks, Bill!

If this workshop sounds appealing, please consider joining the CGS Book Repair Committee. No special expertise is required – they will teach you the basics. The committee meets monthly on the second Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Please email Bill O'Neil if you would like to be part of his team.

Photographs courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, Oakland, California, 10/18/2012.

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

17 October 2012

Wordless Wednesday

14th Annual Family History Day at the California State Archives
Saturday, October 13, 2012

Save the date for next year's event: Saturday, October 12, 2013.

Photographs by Jeff Vaillant and Kathryn Doyle, Sacramento, CA.

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

12 October 2012

A Colonial Dames Treasure Returns Home

No one is certain how the original membership book of the California Chapter of the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America came to be at the California Genealogical Society. It most likely was among books that were donated after a member’s death.

Ledger book of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America - California

The ledger book's cover doesn't hold any clues to its origins. It is well-worn, and frankly, it's not much to look at!

But the contents are a very precious piece of The Colonial Dames state history.

Ledger book's first entries from the 1890s

The first entry lists Mrs. William Peyton who was admitted to membership in 1892. The last entry dates from 1960. The ledger contains standard information on members – name, address, when admitted to the Dames, name and state of ancestor, and descendent generation number from said ancestor. The  date of death was written in for several of the members.

Ledger entries from 1906

Diana Morris Wild is our current vice-president and a board member of the California Genealogical Society. Since Diana is also an active member of the Dames, she volunteered to deliver it to their headquarters at the Octagon House in San Francisco.

Past-presidents Charlotte Scherman (left) and Jean Palmer (right) flank NSCDA-CA President Nancy McAteer (center)  and the ledger book at Octagon House.

The California Dames President Nancy McAteer reports that the ledger book was a big hit at their recent meeting. She thanks the California Genealogical Society for returning this important piece of their history and assures that it will occupy a special place in the California Dames Archives.

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSDCA), founded in 1891, is an association of forty-five corporate societies in forty-four states and the District of Columbia, with more than 15,500 individual members nationwide. The society's national headquarters are located in Washington, D.C. The California Society has headquarters at the Octagon House, 2645 Gough Street,
San Francisco. The NSDCA actively promotes the national heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects.

Photographs courtesy of Diana Wild and Nancy McAteer, San Francisco, September 2012.

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

05 October 2012

eNews October 2012, volume 6, number 10

The October 2012 eNews, volume 6, number 10,  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 we honor "Little Jim," nanny or nurse to the great-granduncle of California Genealogical Society board member, Henry Snyder.

"Little Jim"

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

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

Photograph courtesy of Henry Snyder.

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

01 October 2012

October 2012 Family History Month Offerings at the California Genealogical Society

The California Genealogical Society opens its doors to the public every year during the month of October in celebration of Family History Month. We waive the library usage fee for non-members and host workshops and classes. This year the society is offering a membership discount for visitors to the library during the month of October.

Board member and Corresponding Secretary Lisa Gorrell will be teaching our First Saturday Intro to Genealogy on October 6, 2012, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Book Repair Chairman Bill O'Neil is teaching two hands-on workshops in October. Build a Book and Learn Repair Techniques will be held Saturday, October 6, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Create Your Own Document Box will be held Thursday, October 18, 2012, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

Bill will also be teaching a free class on cemetery research, Secrets from the Grave on Thursday, October 11, 2012, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The California Genealogical Society will be an exhibitor at the 14th Annual Family History Day at the State Archives in Sacramento on Saturday, October 13, 2012. CGS President Jeffrey Vaillant will be heading up our delegation.

The African American Genealogical Society of Northern California is hosting Black Family History Day on Saturday, October 13, 2012, from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Oakland FamilySearch Library.

The RootsMagic Special Interest Group meets Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 6:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

The newly formed San Francisco Special Interest Group has its second meeting on Saturday, October 20, 2012, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

There are still openings in Pat Burrow's class, Legacy Planning: What Happens to Your Research When You Are Gone?, Saturday, October 20, 2012, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The annual Fall Beginning Genealogy Series continues. This is the fifth consecutive year that CGS is offering the classes, hosted this year at the Oakland FamilySearch Library.

For a full listing of all Bay Area genealogy events in October, check the San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy CalendarPlan to spend some time with your family history!

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