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31 December 2013

33rd Annual Ancestor Roundup - January 25, 2014


Kitty Nevin, CGS member and Volunteer Chair of Ancestor Roundup 2014 sent this announcement:

The 33rd Annual Ancestor Roundup Genealogical Seminar will be held Saturday, January 25,  2014, 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., at the LDS Church, 1024 Noche Buena at Plumas Avenue, Seaside California.

Ralph F. Severson, Director of the Oakland FamilySearch Library, will give the keynote address and will teach three classes: "Using 'FamilySearch' and 'Family Tree' Optimally," "Why Mormons do Genealogy," and "Azores/Portugal Research."

Choose from over 30 classes designed to help you research your family tree!



Early registration ends January 15, 2014. The event is sponsored by the Commodore Sloat Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Monterey, California.

For more information email Serita Sue Woodburn.

The National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution granted a charter to the Pacific Grove Chapter on September 29, 1922. In 1934, the chapter name was changed to Commodore Sloat Chapter to commemorate the historical significance of Commodore John Drake Sloat in California history. In 2011, to reflect the historical importance of Commodore Sloat's landing in Monterey, the chapter location was changed to Monterey, California.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

The California Nugget - Fall 2013, Volume V, Issue 2



The Fall 2013 edition of The California Nugget, edited by Jane Hufft and produced by Lois Elling,  has been mailed to members. Here is Jane letter from the editor:
Dear Readers,
For most genealogists, it is all about the chase: to find the maiden name, the death date, the elusive spouse. Were there five children or six? What made them leave there to come here? It is a whole tapestry that we family historians want to weave, and it takes patience to bring all the strands together, perseverance to untangle the knots and determination to tug out the threads that don’t match. We hope that the articles in this issue will inspire you to keep on with your own researching and writing, not only to preserve your family’s story, but to share your discoveries with others.

Bill O’Neil’s World War I ancestor gave his life for his country, and the small town Richard Howard Ferrell came from will never forget his sacrifice. We are inviting more WWI ancestor stories for our next two issues, Spring and Fall 2014, to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of this calamitous upheaval that tragically altered forever the lives of so many families around the world. Bill’s article is in our “ Twenty-First Century” section to acknowledge that online resources and newspapers are major avenues for WWI research.
Henry Snyder’s ancestor, the brilliant and restless lawyer and newspaperman William Wal- lace Theobalds, traveled up and down the West Coast with his family in the nineteenth century. Were the early western states, so open and full of opportunities, a magnet for the talented and the restless? Because of the new, and magnificent, newspaper archives that are now online, the kind of detailed, careful and thorough research that Henry Snyder carried out is something more of us can aspire to. The powerful technology of OCR (optical character recognition) continues to improve, opening new avenues of information.

Georgia Lupinsky’s beautiful story of her grandfather’s life captures a bygone era and paints a portrait of a courageous, loving and kindly man. It is a perfect example of how a memoir can become part of a genealogist’s work.
Laura Lee Karp didn’t give up the search! Her story will rekindle your energy to keep on looking for that missing gravesite and lost ancestor. Although Find-a-Grave is marvelous, not all cemeteries and gravesites are yet included in its huge database, and sometimes we have to rely on tenacity and—gravestone karma. 
Jane Hufft, Editor 

TABLE of CONTENTS

Twenty-First Century Genealogy
  • Richard Howard Ferrell, World War I Soldier in France by Bill O’Neil  

California Ancestors
  • William Wallace Theobalds: Itinerant Lawyer, Newspaper Editor, Professor by Henry Snyder
  • Ellis Shinkle Baker of Morning View Kentucky by Georgia Lupinsky
  • James M. Everett’s Gravesite: Do Our Ancestors Signal Us from the Grave? by Laura Lee Karp
  • 1883 Pensioners: Phippen, Marg’t to Von Prieson, Victor
At the Society  
Save the Date!
Member Anniversaries

For Our Readers
Send Your Stories, Sketches, and Articles to "The Nugget"
Name Index 
Do You Have a WWI Ancestor?

The California Nugget, the journal of the California Genealogical Society (CGS), is published twice a year. Its purpose is to share the unique genealogical material in the CGS library, add to the body of family history information about Californians, offer guidance and timely information to family researchers, and to provide a forum for members to share their expertise and findings. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. The journal is distributed free to members and is available to non-members for $5.00 an issue, plus postage.


Copyright © 2014 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.



23 December 2013

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: January 2014 Published

Genealogical societies throughout the Bay Area are gearing up for a new year of meetings and events.

January 2014 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 January calendar lists forty-four 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 © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

20 December 2013

Two DNA Lectures by Dr. Stephen Morse

Saturday January 25, 2014
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


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

Steve Morse is back with two lectures about DNA.

From DNA to Genetic Genealogy: Everything You Wanted to Know But Were Afraid to Ask

Steve's first lecture will introduce genes, chromosomes, and DNA, and will show how DNA is inherited. Classical genetic genealogy deals with the Y chromosome and the mitochondrial DNA. The Y chromosome test is for males only and traces the direct male lineage. The mitochondrial DNA test is for everybody and traces the direct female lineage.

Genealogy Beyond the Y Chromosome: Autosomes Exposed

Dr. Morse's second talk will explain how recent advances in genetic genealogy make it possible to trace all lineages by testing the autosomes. Although the autosomes can be used to find ethnic mixes as well as recent cousins, it has some limitations.


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

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. 

Stephen Morse is the creator of the One-Step Website for which he has received both the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Outstanding Contribution Award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, Award of Merit from the National Genealogical Society, first-ever Excellence Award from the Association of Professional Genealogists, and two awards that he cannot pronounce from Polish genealogical societies. 

In his other life Morse is a computer professional with a doctorate degree in electrical engineering. He has held various research, development, and teaching positions, authored numerous technical papers, written four textbooks, and holds four patents. He is best known as the architect of the Intel 8086 (the granddaddy of today's Pentium processor), which sparked the PC revolution thirty years ago.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

17 December 2013

Announcing the 14th Annual Salt Lake City Research Tour April 6-13, 2014


Join the California Genealogical Society for a week of intensive research and lots of fun!

Past-president Jane Lindsey is leading the 14th annual California Genealogical Society Salt Lake City Tour to the Family History Library from Sunday to Sunday, April 6–13, 2014. Nancy Peterson, C.G. will return to help lead this very popular trip. Nancy is the author of Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research, a guide to circumventing record loss from the 1906 earthquake and fire. Nancy has lectured extensively and has published many articles including two in the NGS Quarterly. She and Jane have made numerous research trips to Salt Lake City and have been leading our research tour together for several years.

Accommodations will be at the Shilo Inn, located three blocks from the Family History Library. The Shilo provides free high-speed internet access in every room.

The trip cost is $798 per person, double occupancy OR $1130 for a single room (airfare not included). A deposit of $250 holds one space. Final payment is due Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

The Tour Package includes:
  • Hotel room – 7 nights, double occupancy
  • Shuttle service to and from airport
  • Three group dinners (Sun., Wed., and Sat.)
  • Daily continental breakfast
  • Orientation and lectures
  • Computer assistance using the online catalog at FamilySearch.org and other websites
  • Optional consultation prior to the trip
Download the tour flier for restrictions and full information.

Register online and reserve your space now!

And be sure to watch our YouTube video: A Trip Worth Taking: Family History Library.





Video created by Kathleen Jones and Shannon Reese.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

13 December 2013

First Saturdays Free: Intro to Genealogy

The California Genealogical Society offers a free introductory class on the first Saturday of every month, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the library at 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California, in the historic Breuner Building.

The class – Genealogy: An Introduction – is part of our monthly First Saturdays Free policy when we welcome non-members and the general public. We open the library and share our resources with anyone interested in learning more about their family history. The library is a benefit of membership and is available to non-members for a $5.00 day fee during the rest of the month.

Volunteers take turns teaching the class which focuses on basic research methods and terminology. The class covers common (and uncommon) family history records and the resources available, both online and in libraries, repositories, and archives. The two-hour session also includes a tour of the library and an overview of our extensive holdings.

And don't think you have to be a beginner to benefit from the class! Our instructors do a great job of tailoring each session to the experience and needs of the participants so everyone comes away with new knowledge.

The 2014 schedule follows:

January 4, 2014 – Lisa Gorrell
February 1, 2014 – Pam Miller
March 1, 2014 – Diana Wild
April 5, 2014 – Dick Rees
May 3, 2014 – Diana Wild
Jun. 6, 2014 – Lavinia Schwarz
Jul. 5, 2014 – Lisa Gorrell
Aug. 2, 2014 – TBA
Sep. 6, 2014 – Pam Miller
Oct. 4, 2014 – Dick Rees
Nov. 1, 2014 – TBA
Dec. 6, 2014 – Lavinia Schwarz

Register online for the January 4, 2014 class, or any of the upcoming Intro to Genealogy classes in the coming year.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

02 December 2013

eNews December 2013, volume 7, number 12

The December 2013 eNews, volume 7, number 12, 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 H.C. Thomas, grandfather of member Sally Houston.


Henry Claud Thomas and friend, ca. 1903.

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

Editorship of the California Genealogical Society eNews will change in the new year. Marcelle White will be taking over as editor beginning with the January 2014 issue. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

California ancestor photograph courtesy of Sally Houston.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

28 November 2013

Sixth Blogiversary!


Has it really been six years since the California Genealogical Society board of directors gave their approval of this blog? The blog was created for and about the members of the society. I offer my annual "thank-you" to members who have contributed photographs, articles, and their stories.

This year I am especially appreciative to Marie Treleaven for agreeing to join the blog team. I hope you are enjoying her Committee Spotlight Series.

A special "thank you" also goes to Ron Madson who has become the "official" photographer for the California Genealogical Society. You'll be seeing more of Ron's work across our social networking channels.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

25 November 2013

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: December 2013

December 2013 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 calendar is light this month with only twenty-five events at various venues around the Bay Area. Some societies have scheduled holiday gatherings and many do not meet in December.

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 © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

22 November 2013

Spotlight Series: Membership Committee

Sandy Fryer, Kathie Jones, Diana Edwards, Shirley Thomson, Nancy Servin, Cheryl Schmidt, and Kathie Heller
2013 Membership Committee members:
Diana Edwards, chair and board liaison
Sandy Fryer, consultant
Kathie Heller
Kathie Jones
Cheryl Schmidt
Nancy Servin

Diana Edwards vividly remembers her very first quarterly membership meeting. “It was fifteen minutes long,” she recalls. Diana, now Chairman of the Membership Committee, has been charged by the Board of Directors with the responsibility for creating a format for the quarterly meetings that will be meaningful and which will foster a sense of fellowship among members. With the assistance of Kathie Heller, Diana has been hard at work fulfilling this charge.

An hour-long brown bag lunch now routinely preceeds the quarterly meetings, providing a time for members to talk to each other, to exchange information about what they’re doing with their family history research as well as to get to know the officers in attendance. The object is to encourage an exchange of ideas and to give members a sense of community relative to the larger organization.

All quarterly meetings will have a theme. Recently the topic was World War I and members were asked to bring in photos and memorabilia of their relatives who had been involved in the Great War. There were many great items on display and lots of stories shared at this meeting. Reaction was very positive with members saying that they had learned a lot. Several people mentioned gaining a new perspective of the role of women in that war from material about the Ambulance Corps brought in by a member whose ancestor had been part of that group. Diana is busy planning future meetings and encourages members to contact her with suggestions of themes and any other ideas for improving the quarterly meetings. You can email Diana at dedwards@californiaancestors.org. Right now she is planning a potluck for the first meeting of the year.

Although our organization is located in California, members do not have to have ancestors from this state in order to belong and members come from all over the U.S. as well as many other parts of the world, including Australia. Obviously, members from out of the Bay Area probably aren’t going to attend the quarterly meetings, classes and events. Another one of the duties of the Membership Committee is to create opportunities to make these far-flung members feel that they are as much a part of the society as those who live in the immediate area. This can be difficult although the eNews, the blog, The California Nugget, and other forms of communication do help to bridge the distance gap. Diana hopes that using items with the California Genealogical Society seal (flash drives, coffee mugs) will remind members wherever they may live that they are part of a group that shares their interests and concerns.

Seal of the California Genealogical Society (CGS).

Another responsibility of the Membership Committee is representing CGS at events, meetings and conferences. The committee always has a presence at our events including the recent Ancestry Day in San Francisco. Many new members first find out about CGS at such an event. Member volunteers staff a table every year at the San Francisco History Expo and even at some national genealogy conferences. This year CGS was represented at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank and at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The work of the committee is so far-reaching that it could be said to consist of two sub-committees in order to perform all its functions. The second group is made up of Nancy Servin (coordinator), Nancy Fike and Cheryl Schmidt. They send out the annual renewal notices about membership dues and keep the membership rolls current by tracking changing email and snail mail addresses. Nancy Servin answers numerous questions from members ranging from problems with logging into the website to using member benefits. To help new members take advantage of all the society has to offer, the sub-committee created a new member packet that includes a summary sheet that tells members how to keep current on upcoming classes and events and information about the library, research tours and publications.

This sub-committee has a pretty big job since there are currently more than 1100 members to keep track of. According to Sandy Fryer, 2012 chairman and 2013 consultant, that amounts to 2500 emails and over 1500 letters per year. With assistance from QuickBooks, the committee manages this complex database of names and information and gets the notices out on time. One of the features of joining the committee is that, if necessary, members receive QuickBooks training so prospective members don’t need to be database gurus.

If you ever thought that all the Membership Committee did was mail out the annual dues notices, you weren’t doing justice to the complexity of all it does!

Photograph courtesy of Linda Harms Okazaki, 02/10/2013, Oakland, California.

Copyright © 2013 by Marie Treleaven, California Genealogical Society and Library.

20 November 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Ancestry Day – San Francisco
Saturday, November 9, 2013
San Francisco Hyatt Regency 














Photographs courtesy of Ron Madson.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

18 November 2013

Thank You and Welcome New Members!



Volunteers at the California Genealogical Society had a very busy fall season this year with three big events: Angel Island Family History Day, Their Roots Are Showing, and Ancestry Day - San Francisco.

Our amazing Events Committee works tirelessly to bring quality educational programs to our members and to interested genealogists and family historians in the Bay Area and beyond. Our programs lead directly to increased visibility and new members.

The Membership Committee has been taxed with processing a flurry of new memberships following our busy autumn. They report a new one-day record: 118 new members joined on Ancestry Day!

Welcome to all of our new members! Thank you for your support.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

15 November 2013

News from the 2013 Nominating Committee

The 2013 Nominating Committee – Diana Edwards, Jane Lindsey, and Chair Karen Lemelin – announce the nominations for the 2014-2015 board of directors for the California Genealogical Society. Nominations will be presented at the Annual Business Meeting on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:00 p.m

The nominated members for board of director positions are:
  • Felicia Addison
  • Tim Cox
  • Edie Daly
  • Glenn Koch
  • Marcelle White
The five nominees will be nominated for their first two-year board term ending in 2016 (1-2016). Please note that Edie Daly completed the interim board position vacated by Laura Lee Karp and is now nominated for her first full term.

Diana Edwards and Shannon Reese are continuing their first terms (1-2015). Kim Cotton, Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, Karen Lemelin, and Nicka Smith are nominated for their second terms (2-2016). Lisa Gorrell, Henry Snyder, and Jim Sorenson are continuing their second terms (2-2015). Stephen Harris has completed his term as past-president and will not be serving another term. Jeff Vaillant will serve as past-president.


The California Genealogical Society's bylaws outline the requirements for Directors in Article V, Section 1:
  1. The number of directors shall be not less than five (5) nor more than twenty (20). 
  2. The last active past president, he or she consenting, shall serve as a Member of the Board of Directors until replaced by a new past president willing to serve on the Board of Directors.
  3. Immediate family members of Directors are ineligible for candidacy during the period of the sitting Director's term.
  4. The term of each Director shall be two (2) years from the date of election.
  5. Any vacancy in the Board during an unexpired term may but is not required to be filled by the Board. Such Director shall serve until a successor Director is elected.
  6. Directors shall be limited to a maximum of three successive two-year terms, or a total of six (6) consecutive years. 
Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

13 November 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Their Roots Are Showing!
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Del Valle Theater, Walnut Creek, California










Photographs courtesy of Ron Madson and Jason W. Madson, The Adelaide Gallery, LLP.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

08 November 2013

Annual Business Meeting and Buffet Lunch – Saturday, January 11, 2014

President Jeffrey Vaillant
Saturday, January 11, 2014
12:00 p.m. - Potluck buffet and social hour
1:00 p.m. - Annual Business Meeting

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

The bylaws of the California Genealogical Society specify that the regular January membership meeting shall be the Annual Business Meeting "at which time the annual budget shall be adopted and all appropriate business presented."

Last year Diana Edwards and Linda Okazaki shook things up and organized a potluck buffet lunch and social hour before the meeting. It was so successful that members lunch together and socialize for an hour before every quarterly membership meeting.

The January potluck buffet is being planned by Diana Edwards, Kathie Heller, and Diana Wild. Members are invited to join the festivities and bring a dish to share. Beverages will be provided. The reception will start at 12:00 p.m. in the Education Center.

The Annual Business Meeting will start promptly at 1:00 p.m. President Jeff Vaillant will preside.

Agenda items include:
  • treasurer's report and presentation of results of the review of the investment portfolio and financial records by Edie
  • presentation and approval of the society budget
  • consideration of the change to the bylaws
  • report from the nominating committee by Karen Lemelin
  • election of new board members
  • brief committee reports
  • remarks from the president
The Annual Business Meeting is always well-attended. See you there!


Photograph by Kathryn Doyle, Oakland, California, 1/12/2013.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

04 November 2013

Encore Presentation! On the Road Again: Practical Tips for Successful On-Site Research


Saturday, December 7, 2013
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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

A research trip to one's ancestral home can be extremely rewarding, but also may present many challenges. Join Pam Brett for an encore presentation of her class on successful on-site research. Pam will share practical tips on how to plan an on-site research trip to achieve your research goals and to bring home a new understanding of the lives of your ancestors.

Register online.

This 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 class.

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.

Pam Brett has been interested in genealogy for nearly forty years since she began filling in the family tree of her first-born child’s baby book. Raising two daughters and working as a public health social worker left little free time until 1999 when she began her family research in earnest.

Brett's ancestors were mobile which led to research in thirty-one states and the District of Columbia. She loves doing on-site research in the States "where there are many challenges but the rewards are priceless."

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

01 November 2013

eNews November 2013, volume 7, number 11

The November 2013 eNews, volume 7, number 11, 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 the Swedish ggg-grandparents of member Carolyn Mattos Sakkis.


John Knutson Leave and Clara Gustava Swenson

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


The December 2013 issue will be emailed on November 30, 2013. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.

California ancestor photograph courtesy of Carolyn Sakkis.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

31 October 2013

Must Reads: Their Roots Are Showing on the Sports Page

Their Roots Are Showing Celebs: Tim "Herb" Alexander, Natalie Coughlin, and Billy Beane

In case you missed the sports section of the October 30, 2013 San Jose Mercury News or Contra Costa Times be sure to read Dan Brown's review articles of Their Roots Are Showing!

Oakland A's Billy Beane's Crazy Family Tree: Madonna, Angelina Jolie, Hillary Clinton

Olympian Natalie Coughlin's Gene Pool: American as Americans Get

Thanks, Dan! 


Photograph courtesy of Ron Madson and Jason W. Madson.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

29 October 2013

What a Show!

Kathie Jones, Therese Hart-Pignotti, Todd Armstrong, Tim "Herb" Alexander, Billy Beane, Natalie Coughlin, Shannon Reese, Linda Okazaki.

Congratulations to Therese Hart-Pignotti and her event committee who are finally able to catch up on sleep. Their Roots Are Showing was a smash hit. A special "thank-you" to our guest celebrities: Tim "Herb" Alexander, Natalie Coughlin, and Billy Beane.

Therese agrees the night was an overwhelming success and reports: "The celebrities were all very grateful and happy. It could not have gone any better!"

Our event photographers, Ron Madson and his son Jason of The Adelaide Gallery, are processing over 800 photographs but sent me one to post here and over on our Facebook page.

I'll have a LOT more about the night. Stay tuned.


Photograph courtesy of Ron Madson and Jason W. Madson.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

26 October 2013

The Wait is Over! Their Roots Are Showing Tonight at the Del Valle Theater



After a year of preparation, hundreds of hours of research and planning by more than eighty volunteers and affiliated societies, and the Herculean efforts of the leadership team, Their Roots Are Showing! is tonight.

Don't miss this special night of surprise and discovery for our three Bay Area celebrity guests: Billy Beane, Vice President and General Manager of the Oakland Athletics; Natalie Coughlin, winner of twelve Olympic medals and most-decorated female medalist of all time; and Tim "Herb" Alexander, drummer for the Grammy-nominated rock band Primus. 

Prior to the show, at 7:00 a.m., there will be the silent auction of memorabilia donated by our celebrities. In addition, members of the society will be on-site to answer questions about discovering your own family roots.

I've included the map graphic above because we've become aware of some confusion about the venue. The show is at the Del Valle Theatre, 1963 Tice Valley Boulevard, Walnut Creek, California. 

7:00 p.m. – Doors open and the Silent Auction begins

7:30 p.m. – Doors open for seating

8:00 p.m. – Silent Auction ends and curtain up.

The show runs approximately 90 minutes.

Tickets are still available online at the Lesher website or you can purchase them tonight at the door at the Del Valle Theater. See you there!



Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

25 October 2013

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: November 2013 Published

November 2013 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 twenty-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 © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

18 October 2013

Genealogy Field Trip to Oakland Main Public Library


Wednesday, November 20, 2013
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Oakland Public Library – Main
125 Fourteenth Street
Oakland, California 94612

For members only!

Join Past-president Jane Lindsey for a tour of the Oakland Main Library. Senior Librarian Kathleen DiGiovianni and Dorothy Lazard, Principal Librarian in the Oakland History Room, will discuss the resources available at the Oakland Public Library to assist you with your family research.

The Oakland History Room is an important center for the study of the history and current development of the East Bay. Its collection contains a wide variety of materials relating to the history of Oakland and the larger Bay Area, including books, magazines, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, photographs, postcards, sheet music, trade catalogs, and scrapbooks. Following the ninety-minute tour, you are encouraged to stay and do research on your own. The library is open until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Metered street parking is available in the area and there are several public parking lots nearby, including at the Oakland Museum.

Register online.

This field trip is organized for members of the California Genealogical Society. The maximum group size is thirty members.

There is no fee for the field trip but preregistration is required. 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.

About the Main Library
Located between downtown and Lake Merritt, Oakland's Main Library is one of the largest public library facilities in the Bay Area. In addition to large collections of over 350,000 reference and circulating non-fiction and fiction books, the Main Library offers hundreds of current and historic magazines and newspapers, a major collection of sheet music, and thousands of maps.

There are federal, state, and local government publications and a large collection of compact discs, videocassettes, DVDs, and audiobooks. Oakland Main is home to the Oakland History Room, a significant resource on the history of the area, a large and active Children's Room, and the TeenZone.

The branch is equipped with thirty-three computers with Internet access available for public use, available on a drop-in, first-come, first-served basis. Adaptive technology is available, including screen readers and enlargers for those who are blind or who have low vision or learning disabilities.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

16 October 2013

Their Roots Are Showing Silent Auction: Be Keen – Buy Beane!



Come One – Come All – to our 2013 fundraiser: Their Roots Are Showing!

AND come early and bid often at the Silent Auction that precedes the on-stage presentation.

Your ticket to the show gives you bidding rights on a number of items generously donated by our celebrities for this event. The doors open and the bidding begins at 7:00 p.m., on Saturday, October 26, 2013.




For you baseball fans out there, Billy Beane (General Manager of the Oakland A’s and the subject of the bestselling book and movie, Moneyball) has generously donated such items as:
  • The Game Suite (seats between 8-12 people) at the Oakland Coliseum for a 2014 Oakland A’s game – with Billy Beane in attendance for the 1st 30 minutes!! 
  • An Oakland A’s team jersey, signed by the whole 2013 team 
  • Signed copies of Moneyball—both the hard cover book and the DVD 
  • Billy Beane’s personal rookie baseball card (his last one)—personally autographed for the winning bidder at the show!! 










The silent auction also feature items from Natalie Coughlin and Tim "Herb" Alexander. These items were donated by our celebrities for the benefit of this 2013 fundraising event—so come early and bid often!

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit the Lesher theater website.


Photographs by Todd Armstrong.

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

14 October 2013

Their Roots Are Showing Silent Auction: Alexander’s Drum Beats

Autographed Primus and Tim "Herb" Alexander memorabilia

Curtain’s up at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 26, 2013, for our 2013 fundraising event, Their Roots Are Showing!

Don’t miss this chance to see live, on stage, three Bay-Area celebrities (Billy Beane, Natalie Coughlin, and Tim “Herb” Alexander) learn about ancestors they never knew of – and benefit the California Genealogical Society Library at the same time.

But wait, there’s more: Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for the Silent Auction of celebrity-signed memorabilia! Only ticket holders are eligible to bid in the auction. If you haven’t done so yet, purchase your tickets today!

For you rockers out there, Tim "Herb" Alexander, world-ranked drummer and member of the recently reunited rock band Primus, has donated:
  • Drum cymbals
  • Primus CD: Miscellaneous Debris
  • Primus CD: Suck on This
  • Primus DVD: Hallucino-Genetics, Live 2004
All the above items were personally autographed by Tim Alexander for this event.

The silent auction will also feature items donated by Natalie Coughlin and Billy Beane.

Tickets are going fast, so purchase yours online today at the Lesher website.


Photograph by Todd Armstrong. 

Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

12 October 2013

Field Trip to Haas Lilienthal House with the San Francisco Special Interest Group

Saturday, November 16, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Haas-Lilienthal Victorian Home
2007 Franklin Street
San Francisco, California 94109

For members only!

Take a step back to another time and tour the picturesque Haas-Lilienthal House for a glimpse of what San Francisco looked like 127 years ago.

Sandra Britt-Huber sends word that the San Francisco Special Interest Group (SF-SIG) will sponsor a field trip to the historic Haas-Lilienthal Victorian and hold their November meeting there. After the short SIG meeting there will be a presentation and private tour of the house.

The 1880s San Francisco home was named one of thirty-one national treasures by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. It was designated a historic landmark in July 1973 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places (HLH # 73000438) in San Francisco for its architecture and engineering historical significance.

RSVP is required. Please email Sandra Britt-Huber if you would like to attend. Indicate the number in your party and include "Haas-Lilienthal House" in the subject line.

This event is sponsored by San Francisco Heritage and the California Genealogical Society and Library.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

11 October 2013

Their Roots Are Showing Silent Auction: No Dawdlin’ on Coughlin

Natalie Coughlin memorabilia 

Don’t dilly-dally! Buy your tickets now!

The curtain for our 2013 fundraiser – Their Roots Are Showing! – goes up in two weeks’ time on Saturday, October 26, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.

Similar in approach to the hit TV show Who Do You Think You Are?, three celebrities with Bay-Area roots—Natalie Coughlin, Billy Beane, and Tim “Herb” Alexander—will find out, live, on stage, the fascinating histories of their ancestors.

Your ticket to the event also allows you to bid on some truly fabulous items in our Silent Auction, which starts at 7:00 p.m.

For you Olympic and swimming fans out there, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin has autographed such items as:
  • Hardcover copies of her biography, Golden Girl
  • Team USA Olympic swim caps
  • Natalie-designed ladies sports shirts from the Team Speedo Collection 
Don’t be the last one left in the pool; Come early for your chance to own Natalie memorabilia!

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit the Lesher theater website

Photograph by Todd Armstrong.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

10 October 2013

Spotlight Series: Events Committee

Seated front: Therese Hart-Pignotti, Jane Lindsey, Geri Willinger. Standing back: Rich Kehoe, Debbie Mascot, Ron Madson, Sandy Fryer, Lynne Dory, Linda Okazaki, Todd Armstrong, Diana Edwards

“Awesome.” “Committed.” “Efficient but fun.” This is how the members of the Events Committee describe their team. For anyone not familiar with their work, the Events Committee is responsible for planning all in-house classes and workshops – everything from picking topics, arranging speakers, obtaining speaker photos, biographies and lecture handouts, setting up online registration, sending reminders and follow-up evaluations, and setting up the classroom on the day of the event. They arrange the field trips to archives and libraries and other places of local interest for genealogists. The committee also oversees our Special Events and Tours, for example the research trip to Family History Library in Salt Lake City. These are the primary fund-raisers for the society which pay the lion’s share of the rent for the library.

This amazing diversity of efforts on behalf of the organization is accomplished by a fairly small group of members who make this their way of giving back. Committee member Debbie Mascot exemplifies this point of view, “I find that I get more out of a society if I put more in. It’s my way to give back just a little and show how much I value CGS.”

The Events Committee members are: Diana Edwards (membership liaison), Lynne Dory (Saturday in-house events), Rich Kehoe (both Saturday events and maintaining the calendar), Debbie Mascot (fliers), Jane Lindsey, Sandy Fryer, Geri Willinger (field trips), Therese Hart-Pignotti, and Erin Kelleher-Wees (registration, reminders, evaluations, etc. for special events and tours – with Tim Cox as consultant).

One of the most important roles of the committee is creating the public ‘face’ of our organization. The committee works between the membership and the public to bring them together in a way that enhances knowledge and familiarizes the larger community both about the society and about genealogy. People who otherwise would never have heard of the California Genealogical Society not only discover its existence but get an immediate demonstration of the value of belonging to this organization. Members of the public who come to events at the library or to Special Events such as Ancestry Day not only discover that there is a local association of people who share their interests in genealogy but also that CGS offers them the benefits of being part of an active organization dedicated to enhancing the skills of its membership. Committee member Sandy Fryer says: “Events are a big draw for people joining CGS. It is satisfying to work on something that members are so interested in.”

This year’s upcoming special events are a great example of outreach to the public. Here is a barebones look at each event and the people responsible for them in order of their appearance. And don’t forget that this list of committee members is truly the tip of the iceberg; dozens more volunteer their time to make these events a success.

Their Roots Are Showing! [October 26, 2013 at the Del Valle Theater in Walnut Creek]: Therese Hart-Pignotti (Chair), Shannon Reese, Kathie Jones, Linda Okazaki, Rich Kehoe, Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, Todd Armstrong and a group of researchers. In the manner of the TV show Who Do You Think You Are, three Bay Area celebrities will learn about their family history, members will be on hand to answer questions, and a Silent Auction will be held.

Ancestry Day San Francisco [November 9, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco]: Jane Lindsey (Chair), Kathleen Beitiks and Tim Cox (co-Chairs); Cathy Paris, syllabus lay-out. An exciting day of genealogy filled with lectures and presentations as well as a chance to hear advice from the experts.

You will hear a lot more about these events in the coming weeks but, if you’re like most people, you won’t think about the amount of planning and behind-the-scenes work that goes into producing even one of these events. By the way, if you did stop and think about the backstage work, and you felt really excited about doing this kind of work, then the Events Committee would like to hear from you right away! However, even if taking on the organization and planning of a major event isn’t your cup of tea, Committee Chair Jane Lindsey makes sure that all committee members have a role that is manageable. She says “People find that when they are able to give, even just a little bit of their time, they get an amazing amount back. They feel more connected to the organization and freer to ask questions. They realize they are part of a bigger organization. I have tried hard to find manageable jobs for people who are interested in helping but work full time or have other heavy commitments.“ Debbie Mascot wholeheartedly agrees: “When Jane asked me to help with fliers, I realized that despite my full time work, my two young children, and all my other volunteer work, that this was something I actually could do. I am thankful to Jane for finding a spot for me at CGS.”

Besides the Special Events, the regular Saturday in-house classes and presentations offer numerous opportunities for members to increase their skills in genealogical research and to hear from experts about topics of interest to them. Most classes are free to members but cost a $20 fee for non-members. Jane reports that she has heard people saying to non-members that they really should join CGS; “they have such great classes available FREE to members.” Lynne Dory, a fairly new member and one of the organizers of the Saturday classes, says: “I like volunteering because I meet new people who share a love of genealogy. I get to exercise my brain in doing things outside my normal sphere of activity. I get to participate in the events we produce. I get to give back and make a difference. I enjoy being part of a team.”

When asked if there was anything unique about the people who volunteer for the Events Committee, Jane said: “I’m not sure there are any unique characteristics. Some people are outgoing, others are organized and efficient, and still others are creative. I think each member brings something helpful to the committee and they all mesh together to make a good committee.” Members’ reasons for joining are varied but there is a common thread of wanting to give back, to meet new people and to learn from the experience.

Planning for 2014 will be underway shortly and there are lots of opportunities for anyone who would like to experience the satisfaction of being part of this enthusiastic working group. The group makes it as easy as possible to participate by holding regular monthly meetings by phone. Email Jane Lindsey to get started.

Photograph courtesy of Jane Knowles Lindsey, 9/12/2013.

Copyright © 2013 by Marie Trelevean, California Genealogical Society and Library.

09 October 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Angel Island Family History Day Views
Saturday, October 5, 2013













Photographs courtesy of Judy Bodycote.


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

Introducing Marie Treleaven

I am excited and honored to introduce a partner to the blog! Marie Treleaven has agreed to write a series of spotlight articles about the committees of the California Genealogical Society. Most of our volunteers do their work as part of a committee with a designated chairperson who submits monthly reports to the board of directors. Look for Marie's first article later this week.

Marie Treleaven
My name is Marie Treleaven and I am a new member as well as being fairly new to genealogy. I assist Kathryn Doyle with the newsletter, press releases and now this blog.
I am an archaeologist, former college professor, and recently a nonprofit researcher and administrator. Like thousands of others I am not a native Californian; my roots are in New York and New Jersey. I find family history research as exciting as an archaeological dig and even more fulfilling personally. I was glad to find the California Genealogical Society. Just having so many people who share the same interest is exciting and stimulating. Back in April I went on the trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and it was an eye-opener. I can’t wait to go back. 
My assignment with this blog is to bring the perspective of a brand-new member to different elements of the CGS. I know I will learn a lot and I hope that all of you, no matter if you are an old-hand or a newbie, will find something that you did not know before or maybe had not thought of in a long time.

Welcome, Marie!


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

05 October 2013

Angel Island Family History Day is Here!


There's no need to worry, Angel Island is a state park so it's not affected by the government shut-down. Ferry service to Angel Island provided by Blue and Gold Fleet.

Grant Din has put together a fantastic program:

10:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Free open house of the Immigration barracks by State Park interpreters and staff – at your leisure. You are also encouraged to visit the grounds from the barracks to the bay, including the footprint of the Administration Building, the Immigrant Heritage Wall, Chinese immigrant memorial, and dock where immigrants first stepped ashore. The pier that formerly extended into the bay was torn down in the 1960s.

12:30 p.m.
Family History Panel at the historic World War II mess hall will explore Angel Island and family history research about families that traveled through the facility. Introduction by Michael McKechnie, executive director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.

Moderator: Grant Din, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation staff, grandson of four Angel Island grandparents and avid family history researcher for over thirty years.

Panelists: Maria Sakovich, public historian, independent scholar and author of Angel Island Immigration Station Reconsidered: Non-Asian Encounters with the Immigration Laws, 1910-1940 (MA thesis) and several related articles; Kay Speaks, expert genealogist and member of the Livermore-Amador Valley Genealogical Society; and Rosalyn Tonai, executive director of the National Japanese American Historical Society whose mother’s family journeyed through Angel Island in the 1930s.

There will be handouts and time for questions.

2:30 p.m.
Formal ending of the program but panelists will be available for questions. Attendees can continue to
make self-guided visits to the Immigration Station.

Several genealogical and historical organizations will have information display tables in Room 105 in the nearby immigration barracks.

Special thanks to the staff and volunteers of Angel Island State Park who make this event possible!


Copyright © 2013 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.