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31 August 2013

Their Roots Are Showing! Three Bay Area Celebs Find Out Who They Are


Saturday, October 26, 2013
7:00 p.m. Silent Auction of celebrity-signed memorabilia
8:00 p.m. Curtain Up!

Del Valle Theatre
1963 Tice Valley Blvd.
Walnut Creek, California 94595

Join us for an evening of excitement and surprise as we uncover the family histories of three Bay Area celebrities. Billy Beane, Vice President and General Manager of the Oakland Athletics; Natalie Coughlin, winner of twelve Olympic medals and the most decorated female medalist of all time; and Tim “Herb” Alexander, drummer for Grammy-nominated rock band Primus, will journey up their family trees before a live local audience.

Inspired by the television series, Who Do You Think You Are?Their Roots are Showing promises to be an entertaining look at the ancestors’ lives of our three special guests. Whether you’re a genealogy novice, expert or have no interest in it at all, you won't want to miss Billy Beane, Natalie Coughlin and Tim Alexander on their special night of discovery as they learn more about their family’s past.

Hosting the event will be Gianna Franco-Sutter, producer and television and radio reporter for CBS-5, 95.7 FM, and KCBS 740. Gianna will guide us through our celebrity's family history stories.

Download the event flier.

Buy tickets now!


William "Billy" Beane is Vice President and General Manager of the Oakland Athletics. Prior to his front office career, he played major league baseball as an outfielder. He joined the A's front office as a scout in 1990, and was named General Manager after the 1997 season. Beane is the subject of Michael Lewis' 2003 best-selling book on baseball economics, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, which was made into a 2011 film starring Brad Pitt as Beane.



Natalie Anne Coughlin Hall is an American competition swimmer and twelve-time Olympic medalist. In 2008 Coughlin became the first U.S. female athlete in modern Olympic history to win six medals in one Olympiad, and the first woman ever to win a 100-meter backstroke gold in two consecutive Olympics. She has won a total of forty-eight medals in major international competition, including twenty-one gold, seventeen silver, and ten bronze medals spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships.


Timothy W. "Herb" Alexander is an American musician, best known as the former drummer for the Grammy-nominated rock band Primus. He’s also ranked No. 16 in Rolling Stone’s "Top 100 Drummers of All Time." Following his departure from Primus, he went on to form his own group, Laundry. Currently, he’s designing and making Steam Punk style lamps and functional art made from found objects and scrap metals for his business Forging Designs. He’s also still involved with his first love of drumming, working as an instructor both online and in-person.





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

30 August 2013

Genealogy Roadshow Nashville Debuts September 23, 2013

The San Francisco "studio" was in the Old Mint.

I scored a ticket to the taping of the new PBS series Genealogy Roadshow in San Francisco this summer at the Old Mint (thank you, Wendy!) and was able to watch two segments being filmed – one hosted by Kenyatta Berry and one with Josh Taylor.

Like Who Do You Think You Are, the new series is an import from the British Isles. Ireland's The Genealogy Roadshow was itself a spin-off of the popular Antiques Roadshow series. In the Irish version, the show sets up "in an historic building in an iconic location" and people turn up from the surrounding area seeking verification of family legends instead of valuation of family heirlooms.



Kenyatta Berry shares information with Lisa Gates and her two sons.

The American version of Roadshow was taped in four cities on four consecutive Sundays. Participants were selected in advance from applicants who submitted their questions using an online form. This gave researchers time to do the digging necessary to answer the questions posed by the "winning" applicants.

Josh Taylor reveals what researchers found about Cecilia Chen's family.

The series will air on Monday nights on following schedule:
  • September 23, 2013 – Nashville
  • September 30, 2013 – Detroit
  • October 7, 2013 – San Francisco
  • October 14, 2013 – Austin 
Locally, the show will air on KQED Channel 9 at 9:00 p.m., following Antiques Roadshow.

Much more about the taping was revealed in the July 25, 2013, San Francisco Chronicle article by Katharine Schwab. [Access may be limited to subscription holders.]



Photographs by Kathryn Doyle, 7/21/2013, San Francisco.


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

29 August 2013

Report from FGS Conference 2013 in Fort Wayne, Indiana



The California Genealogical Society had a table at the recent Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) annual conference held August 21-24, 2013 in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. FGS makes it easy for even distant genealogy societies to have a presence in the exhibit hall as part of their Society Showcase. Thank you, Polly Kimmett and FGS, for the opportunity!


Door prize winner Diane Coleman is our newest member!

This year, participating societies were asked to provide door prizes. Attendees placed their tickets at the tables of their choice for a chance to win. The California Genealogical Society gave away a membership and three of our publications: The Insider's Guide to California ResearchA Most Dreadful Earthquake, and Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research. Our winner, and newest member, is Patricia Coleman of Birmingham, Alabama.


Members Sandi Benward and Linda Darby stopped by our table for a photograph.


Only a few members were in attendance. Sandi Benward, Linda Darby, and Amy Coffin stopped by to visit.


Far-flung member Amy Coffin blogs for one of next year's host societies, Texas State Genealogical Society.

Next year's FGS Conference will be held August 22-30, 2014 in San Antonio Texas. FGS also announced their 2015 conference will be held in conjunction with RootsTech in Salt Lake City.



The Federation of Genealogical Societies was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit FGS.org.


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

28 August 2013

Two Degrees of Separation from a Genealogy Legend

Dick, friend Alba, and Charlotte (right) in 1954.

Lately I've been hearing more and more about people finding long-lost friends online through social media. Member volunteer Dick Rees found a friend and a connection to a genealogy legend.

Dick and Charlotte Cummings Douglas were good friends in high school in New Haven, Connecticut, but had lost track of each other during their college years. Earlier this year, they reconnected via email and caught up on their respective lives. When Dick told Charlotte of his genealogical work, she responded with this note:
When I was about 15, I had a summer job working as a copy holder for a quite elderly man (at least it seemed to me then) who published a genealogy journal. The articles were nothing but dates of birth and death, etc. Not much narrative, and lots of abbreviations. I would read aloud—including all punctuation—and he would follow along on the proofs. He had a marvelous house on the beach in Branford, and we would work on the screened porch. Sometimes we would take a swim at noon, and sometimes play ping-pong when work was over. I wish I could remember his name. His journal was supposed to be well recognized in the field.
Dick responded to Charlotte that her description sounded very much like Donald Lines Jacobus. Charlotte confirmed that Dick's guess was correct and she wrote reminisces of a summer job held more than sixty years ago.
I got the job because my aunt, my mother's sister, prepared Jacobus's meals that summer. (I never heard him called anything else but Jacobus.) Where they met I do not know, but she lived in the Westville section of New Haven, and he seemed to be known in the area. My aunt kept a boat moored somewhere in Branford. Mornings I would drive with her to Branford, she would busy herself in the kitchen, and we would leave around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. She left his dinner ready in the kitchen. I suppose her presence made it okay for a young girl to spend the day alone with a mature man. He was never anything other than gracious, and we got along well. 
When there was time, we did sometimes talk about genealogy, and about publishing the journal. He explained why many of the narratives (if that is what you call them) were anonymous, i.e. did not mention the name of the person they were about. And about "skeletons in the closet" and so on. But most of our day was spent on the proofs. He liked the fact that I read well, and made few mistakes.

Charlotte's employer the summer of 1951 was genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus (1887-1970). He was a prolific author and the founder and editor of the New Haven Genealogical Magazine, later The American Genealogist. At the start of the 2012 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Course—"Advanced Genealogical Methods"—Dr. Thomas Jones called Jacobus "the father of the scientific school of genealogy."


The first person inducted into the National Genealogy Hall of Fame, Jacobus was the author of the classic text, Genealogy as Pastime and Profession, originally published in 1930. The second edition (1968) is still considered to be required reading for genealogists. In 1972, the American Society of Genealogists established the Donald Lines Jacobus Award to honor sound scholarship in the field of genealogical writing.

Thank you, Charlotte (and Dick) for sharing memories of a genealogy legend and making him a bit more human.

Photograph courtesy of Dick Rees.

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

27 August 2013

October Membership Meeting: Remembering World War I



Saturday, October 12, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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

Do you have family stories, photos, or memorabilia from World War I? Was there a WWI soldier, sailor, marine, nurse, journalist or ambulance driver in your family? Did an ancestor contribute to the war effort from home?

If you haven't been to a membership meeting your next chance is coming in October. Members are invited to bring a bag lunch to the Sherman Room at noon, Saturday, October 12, 2013, for a chance to meet and chat with board members, new members, and friends. Bring a dessert or beverage to share and enjoy the camaraderie of folks who love genealogy!

The meeting will start promptly at 1:00 p.m. Director Diana Edwards will start things off with announcements of upcoming society events and news from the library.

The focus of the October meeting will be the 2014 Centennial of the Start of World War I. Members are invited to bring their World War I ephemera and ancestor stories about the Great War. Letters, photos, service and military records, and other WWI era documents are especially welcome. Members with research experience in military history will be here to discuss your research questions.

Please email Diana Edwards if you have something to share.

We look forward to a vibrant and fun event!



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

26 August 2013

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: September 2013 Published

September 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.
It's back-to-school time for family historians as many Bay Area genealogical societies resume regular meetings after the summer hiatus. The September calendar lists forty-eight classes and events at various venues around the Bay Area, sponsored by thirty-five societies, archives, and libraries.


If you would like to add your group's events to the calendar, please email the information by the 15th of each month for publication on or before the 25th. (Please include "SFBA Calendar" in the subject line.)

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

23 August 2013

Japanese Class flier



Event flier by Debbie Mascot. Thank you, Debbie!

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

19 August 2013

Announcing the Second Printing of San Francisco, California, I.O.O.F. Crematory Records


The California Genealogical Society proudly announces the second printing of San Francisco, California I.O.O.F. Crematory Records by Barbara Ross Close

First printed in 2001, San Francisco, California I.O.O.F. Crematory Records is an index of eight registers (volumes A–H) for the now defunct Independent Order of Odd Fellows Crematory of San Francisco. Approximately 10,000 cremation records are indexed, dating primarily from 1895 to 1911. Some cremations were of disinterred remains from prior burials; the earliest date for a disinterment seems to be 1857.

Nancy Simons Peterson gave a short history of the crematory in Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research (2011):
A crematory was once located on the grounds of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Cemetery. Originally exempt from the ordinance that disallowed burials within the San Francisco city boundary, it was demolished following the passage in 1910 of a similar ordinance applying also to crematories.
Abstracts include the deceased's name, birthplace, sex, date of death and age, place and cause of death, and whether an obituary is available in the original record. San Francisco, California I.O.O.F. Crematory Records is now available for purchase at our Lulu bookstore.

Volunteer Anna Junglas took on the project as part of a push by the Publications and Marketing Committee to re-issue our older books using print-on-demand by Lulu.com. With the re-printing, the committee decided a cover redesign was needed and turned to volunteer Cathy Paris who designed the covers of the Deaths and Probate series. She photographed one of the original I.O.O.F. register books which are in the care of the society, and integrated it into the new cover design.

San Francisco, California, I.O.O.F. Crematory Records is one of a set of California Genealogical Society publications related to the Odd Fellows facility in San Francisco. As part of the re-printing process the publications team made an effort to correlate the content with the original books located in our manuscript vault. This revealed some inconsistent terminology within the original manuscripts. The terms "register" and "ledger" caused confusion about how many sets of originals existed so for the re-print we settled on the term "register" because it was most commonly used in the original manuscripts and because it is a general term that was most applicable.

The California Genealogical Society acknowledges the many volunteers who were part of Barbara Closes' team and who contributed to this publication when it was first published in 2001. They include Jane Cassedy, Julie Collins, Vernon Deubler, Lew Ellingham, Cynthia Elliot, Wil Frye, Gloria Hanson, Marilyn Jaeger, Paul Jones, Melissa Kelley, Esther Mott, Harry Neumann, Lee Penland, Anne Robinson, Marilyn Rowan, Christine Scott, Laura Spurrier, James Thansute, Bill West, and Marjorie Wyatt.

Anna Junglas noted, "It was a pleasure to work with the publications team on the re-printing of San Francisco, California, I.O.O.F. Crematory Records. The collaboration, support, and conscientious feedback from everyone on the team made this project very enjoyable."

Congratulations, volunteers, on another job well done!

San Francisco, California, I.O.O.F. Crematory Records
First Edition, Second Printing
411 Pages
Softbound, 8 1/2 x 11" format 
ISBN 978-0-9672409-2-3 
Published by the California Genealogical Society


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

16 August 2013

Angel Island Family History Day: Tour the Ellis Island of the West



Saturday, October 5, 2013
11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Angel Island Immigration Station
Angel Island State Park
San Francisco Bay

The California Genealogical Society is partnering with the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society to present Angel Island Family History Day on Saturday, October 5, 2013, at the restored Immigration Station at Angel Island State Park. The event will feature lectures, genealogy resource tables, and free viewing of the Immigration Barracks.

“Angel Island played a crucial role in the family histories of many Bay Area residents,” says Grant Din, Director of Special Projects at the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. “Close to one million immigrants were processed at Angel Island between 1910 and 1940, and hundreds of thousands were held at the Angel Island detention center for days, weeks, or months. The Immigration Station is best known for the Chinese poems that were carved in the barracks walls. It housed people from over 80 countries as they sought new lives in the United States."

The open house at the Immigration Barracks will give visitors a glimpse into the daily life of newcomers from Japan, Korea, Russia, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Jewish refugees escaping the Holocaust.

Angel Island is located in San Francisco Bay, east of the Golden Gate Bridge, and is accessible by ferry from Oakland, Alameda, Vallejo, Tiburon and San Francisco. The state park entry fee is included in the ferry ticket rate. Please make your own transportation arrangements by purchasing tickets online. Be sure to verify departure points and weekend ferry schedules. Take the first ferries in order to get the most out of your day on the island and to arrive in time for the programs.


Angel Island Immigration Station

The U.S. Immigration Station is a pleasant one-mile walk from the ferry dock at Ayala Cove that starts with a climb of about 140 steps to the main road. For those who do not wish to walk, Angel Island Company provides shuttle service from Ayala Cove to Immigration Station. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased online in advance. The shuttle service departs from the from the The Angel Island Café at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Shuttle tickets include return service to Ayala Cove. For more information on shuttle service, please contact the Angel Island Café at (415) 435-3392.

Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to the Island. Picnic tables are located near the Immigration Station. Alternatively, boxed lunches are available for advanced purchase online. Pick up will be located at the Angel Island Cafe in Ayala Cove. You must bring a printed copy of your confirmation email in order to receive your lunch.

To avoid lines, please purchase shuttle tickets and lunches in advance using the online services of the Angel Island Company.

There is no advanced registration or fee for this event. Island admission is included in the ferry ticket price. Participants are responsible for arranging ferry transportation. Advanced purchase of optional lunch or shuttle service is strongly recommended to avoid long lines. There is no food service available at the Immigration Station. 

For photos, maps, and more information about the island, be sure to visit the Island Insights: The Angel Island Blog.





The Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) is the nonprofit partner of California State Parks and the National Park Service in the effort to preserve, restore and interpret the historic immigration station located in the middle of San Francisco Bay.

The California Genealogical Society (CGS) founded in San Francisco in 1898, maintains a library, gathers and preserves vital records, and offers research services and online databases. CGS disseminates information through publications, meetings, seminars, workshops and its website, CaliforniaAncestors.org.

The San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (SFBAJGS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development, preservation and distribution of Jewish genealogical knowledge and material, and the sharing of techniques and tools with others who may be researching their Jewish roots.

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

14 August 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Tweet by Gena Philibert Ortega @genaortega July 23, 2013

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

13 August 2013

Finding Your Japanese Roots in the U.S. and in the Land of the Rising Sun

The Moshida Family: Identification tags were used to aid in keeping a family unit intact during all phases of evacuation. Executive Order 9066 ordered the removal of 110,000 civilians of Japanese descent, including 71,000 American citizens, from the western United States in 1942. They were placed in ten internment camps.

Saturday, September 28, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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

The California Genealogical Society proudly announces the next class in our ongoing ethnic family history series: researching Japanese ancestry with Linda Harms Okazaki.

Part I of the half-day seminar will be a brief overview of Japanese culture, history and language as it pertains to genealogy, immigration and passenger records. Records available through the National Archives, USCIS, Ancestry.com, Family Search, and Japanese American National Museum will be covered. 

Topics will include: 
  • the early political climate in the US and laws of the time, 
  • internment camps, 
  • post WWII experiences, repatriation and redress
The second half of the seminar will focus on documenting your ancestors in Japan, from using the information in the American records to finding your koseki, understanding ohaka and kakocho, plus visiting relatives, cemeteries and temples.

This seminar is suitable for all levels of research experience.

Register online.

Download the information flier.

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.

Participants are invited to come early and meet each others who share an interest in Japanese research. Please bring a bagged lunch and meet at noon in the Sherman room at the library.

Linda Harms Okazaki is a fourth-generation San Franciscan whose interest in genealogy began as a hobby in 1998. For the past two years she been researching her husband’s Japanese ancestry and has become passionate about documenting and sharing the stories of Japanese-Americans before, during, and after World War II. Linda has taken two research trips to Japan and has toured some of the assembly centers and camps that held members of the Okazaki family. This summer she completed the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) program at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and College Park, Maryland. Linda serves as Volunteer Coordinator for the California Genealogical Society and Library.

Photo credit: No. 210-GC-153, “Members of the Mochida family awaiting evacuation bus. Mochida operated a nursery and five greenhouses on a two-acre site in Eden Township." Dorothea Lange, Hayward, California, May 8, 1942; National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the War Relocation Authority.

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

12 August 2013

Field Trip to the Oakland FamilySearch Library - Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon

Oakland FamilySearch Library
(formerly Oakland Regional Family History Center)
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, California 94602

For members only!

Join Jane Lindsey for an in-depth view of the Oakland FamilySearch Library and learn about the hidden resources often overlooked even by frequent visitors to the center. Our tour guide will be the center's director, Ralph Severson. Bring your lunch and enjoy the breathtaking views from this Oakland landmark, followed by an afternoon of research on your own.

The tour will include an introduction to the following resources:
  • card index of 35,000 Alameda County obituaries
  • online subscriptions, including genealogybank.com and newspapers.com
  • map case
  • periodical reading room 
  • expert consultations, including database management
  • future changes at FamilySearch Family Tree and the Research Wiki
  • special days for African-American, Azorian, Jewish, and Swedish research
Register online.

This field trip is organized for members of the California Genealogical Society. Non-members interested in participating are encouraged to become members prior to August 31, 2013. 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.

The Oakland FamilySearch Library is one of the largest and most accessible centers for genealogical research in California, with more than 9,000 volumes of books, periodicals, family histories, city and county histories, city directories, plus over 37,000 reels of microfilm and 9,000 microfiche containing millions of local vital records and historical census data from all over the world.

The library is open:
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday, Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Closed on Sunday and Monday
Their online catalog includes the holdings of all fifteen Bay Area centers. When you find a resource of interest, be sure to click on the "Show Copies"  tab to see which location has the book, film. microfiche or CD you are interested in.

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

09 August 2013

Book Repair Workshop: Build a Book and Learn Book Repair Techniques


Saturday, September 21, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

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

The California Genealogical Society is taking reservations for the popular Book Repair Workshop, taught by Book Repair Committee Chairman Bill O'Neil.

Workshop participants learn book repair techniques by creating a book for themselves. Pages are provided and the pupils create the binding. The finished product will be a copy of a "how to" pamphlet written by the late Dick Thrift, founder of the CGS Book Repair Committee. Everyone goes home with a self-made instruction book and souvenir of the day.

The workshop is limited to eight participants. The fee is $25 for members and $45 for non-members. ($20 of the non-members fee may be applied towards society membership on the day of the workshop.) Fee includes all materials and supplies.

Register online.

Pre-registration is required. Registration confirmations will be sent to the first eight who register. Additional names will be collected and placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Walk-ins will not be admitted.
  • Fee for materials must be pre-paid.

Photograph by Kathryn Doyle, 10/23/2008, Oakland, California.

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

05 August 2013

Back to School: Intro to Genealogy

It's back-to-school time at the California Genealogical Society!

Join us for a free introductory class on Saturday, September 7, 2013, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., at our 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 open house 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.

The September class, taught by Lavinia Schwarz, will focus on basic research methods and terminology. Learn about 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.

Register online.

A genealogist since 1999, Lavinia Gilbert Schwarz is a former member of the California Genealogical Society board of directors. She currently serves on the society's research committee. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in English Literature, then earned a masters at Tufts in education. Schwarz completed the National Institute on Genealogical Research (N.I.G.R.) program in 2008 at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and College Park, Maryland. She has traced her ancestors to France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Cuba and San Domingue (now Haiti).

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

03 August 2013

Announcing Three Special Fall Events!


Event flier by Debbie Mascot. Thank you, Debbie!

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

02 August 2013

Mad about Maps Genealogy Seminar with Melinda Kashuba - Saturday, September 14, 2013

Portion of an 1895 panoramic map of Stockton, California from Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

Saturday, Sept 14, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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

Maps assist genealogists in not only locating physical addresses but also providing context for the lives of their family. Maps provide details about the places where an ancestor lived, worked, worshiped, attended school, shopped, and recreated. Dr. Melinda Kashuba is back with three talks to show how maps and online map tools can help you flesh out an ancestor’s life.

Using Maps for Urban Research
This lecture is designed to introduce different types of historical city maps that are useful in locating urban ancestors, their homes, and workplaces.

Locating Foreign Maps for Genealogical Research
Ready. Set. Jump into research abroad. This lecture will teach you how to locate maps that detail your ancestors’ lives in the home country.

Online Mapping Tools and Apps
New tools available on the Internet can help you document your ancestor’s life, a genealogy research vacation or help solve research problems. Google Earth, Crowd Map, Click2Map, and others will be showcased in this fun lecture that shows you how to create customized maps.

Register online

This in-house seminar is limited to thirty participants. The fee is $20.00 for members. Non-member fee is $40.00 (non-refundable). Non-members who attend can receive a $20 discount on a new membership only 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.

Dr. Melinda Kashuba holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a professor of geography at Shasta College and a professional genealogist. Dr. Kashuba is a popular lecturer and the author of Walking with Your Ancestors: a Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography (Family Tree Books, 2005) and numerous articles. Her research specialties include nineteenth and twentieth century American records and maps. She performs genealogical research for clients and lives with her family in Northern California.


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

01 August 2013

eNews August 2013, volume 7, number 8

The August 2013 eNews, volume 7, number 8, 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 grandmother and great-aunts of Lorna Wallace - the Gale Girls of Hartford, Connecticut.


The Gale sisters ca. 1900 (l. to r.): Clino Eleanor (1882-1938),  Helen Louise (ca. 1878-1919), and Marion Georgia (1880-1974). The fourth woman seated above and behind the sisters is likely their first cousin, Mary Gale. 

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

The September 2013 issue will be emailed on August 31, 2013. To receive a copy, please join our mailing list.


California ancestor photograph courtesy of Lorna Wallace.


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