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31 July 2014

July Membership Meeting: DNA Testing for Genealogy with Pam Miller

by Diana Edwards, Membership Chair

Diana Edwards and members at the July Meeting 
Twenty-one members of CGS had a great time at the recent July Membership Meeting. We ate lunch together and chatted about everything from summer travel to genealogical trials and triumphs. It was a good way to get to know some of our newer members.
Next, we sat in a circle in the Learning Center and shared experiences with DNA testing and family research. We asked lots of questions, and shared some fascinating stories of how DNA testing has helped some of our members to follow elusive genealogical trails.  
Fortunately, Pam Miller had returned from her 3,000 mile road trip just in time to come and host the meeting, and was able to answer many of our questions. She has been using DNA in her research for some time. We also were lucky to have Judy Bodycote, a retired scientist with a real, in-depth knowledge of the different types of DNA and how the different tests can be used in our research.
The meeting was scheduled from 1pm-3pm, but the conversations were still going strong at 4pm!

Would you like to learn more about this fascinating topic?  
Pam will be facilitating another DNA conversation at our Thursday Summer Evening program, on August 21, from 6:30-8:30 pm.
Come on down!

Copyright © 2014 by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, California Genealogical Society and Library.

20 July 2014

Nikkei Genealogy with Linda Okazaki: Ethnic Discussion Group Series

The California Genealogical Society will be hosting a series of ethnic discussion groups that are free and open to the public.  

Maruko Okazaki, ca. 1937, Santa Maria, California

The first in the series will be on Japanese Research-- on Saturday, August 2, 2014CGS Volunteer Linda Okazaki will be leading an introductory workshop and discussion on Nikkei Genealogy.

Here's a brief description of the introductory workshop:

Searching for your Japanese roots can be challenging but not impossible. Getting started is no different than researching any other ethnic group. Begin with yourself and work backwards, collecting birth, marriage and death records. Then venture into census, land and immigration records. For Nikkei, internment camp records and A-files are critical. All of these documents can give you clues needed to get your records in Japan.

Earlier this month, she presented her "Finding Your Japanese Roots” workshop on behalf of the Nikkei Genealogical Society at the 2014 National Conference for the Japanese American Citizens League. The JACL is the oldest Asian civil rights organization in the US, and was founded in 1929. To learn more about the JACL, visit:

We’re also happy to announce that Linda will be presenting her workshop "Finding Your Japanese Roots: In the U.S. and in Japan" at CGS on Saturday, September 27 from 10-2 pm.  Come & learn how to document your unique family history! 
Registration is already open:

For more details, please contact Linda at

Copyright © 2014 by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, California Genealogical Society and Library.

14 July 2014

Last Days for Early Bird Registration for NEHGS Comes West & Silent Auction

New England Historic Genealogical Society and  
California Genealogical Society  

NEHGS Comes West: 
Navigating New England and New York Resources

Saturday, September 13, 2014
Photo by Peter Van Demark

Heads up! Early bird registration for our NEHGS Comes West is ending soon, on Thursday, July 31st, so here's an opportunity to save $10 on tickets. 

This special one-day seminar will be held on Saturday, September 13, 2014.  There will be essential books and resources for sale, and CGS will be holding a used book sale and silent auction. 

Join NEHGS genealogists Chris Childs and Alice Kane for overviews on resources for locating your New England and New York ancestors. See the schedule of events:

Take advantage by registering here: 
Registration (after July 31, 2014): $75
Dinner: $75

Would you like to help with our upcoming Silent Auction?   

Diana Wild and Jane Lindsey are working together to obtain amazing items for this exciting event, which is taking place at the NEHGS Seminar. They'd love to hear from you as soon as possible, so contact them today. 

Look around your home. Do you have something that might be a sought-after auction  item? Use your imagination! 
Here are some suggestions:

Decorative – nice glass or crystal pieces, sculptures, a set of dishes, a set of popular books, handmade items such as quilts or afghans. (One member donated a leather briefcase for a past NEHGS event.)

Special Opportunities - a cruise on the Bay, a tour of something not readily available to the public, or tickets to a special event. A behind-the-scenes tour of BART was a well-received item at one of our events.

Services - genealogical research, software tutoring, entering genealogy into a database, etc.

Theme Baskets and small items for Theme Baskets 
• Baskets, filler, ribbons, cellophane
• Coffee, mugs, scone or muffin mix for a "Coffee-break basket"
• Wine, glasses, appetizers, napkins for a "Happy-hour basket"
• Scented soaps, oils, lufa for a "Spa basket"
• Picnic basket or Tail Gate basket
• Tea Time Basket

Please contact Jane or Events as soon as you can to let her know what you're donating. 

Copyright © 2014 by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, California Genealogical Society and Library.

02 July 2014

Introducing our New Volunteer Coordinator, Kathleen O'Donnell Beitiks

Volunteer Corner 
By Linda Harms Okazaki

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you Kathleen O’Donnell Beitiks, our new Volunteer Coordinator. Kathleen is a fourth generation Californian.  Her first career was as a newspaper reporter. Kathleen retired from reporting to raise her family. She later worked at the State Bar of California in the Office of Media and Information Services. 

Kathleen became interested in genealogy when her father was about to turn 85 and she wanted to document his early California roots.  Impressed by the educational opportunities at the California Genealogical Society and Library, she joined in 2011, right after her retirement. Kathleen jumped right into life at CGS. She attended our Salt Lake City Research trip in 2013, and then was “persuaded” to help with San Francisco Ancestry Day. Now she is ready for a new task. 

If you haven’t already met Kathleen, be sure to introduce yourself. If you would like to volunteer at CGS, please let Kathleen know. 
You can reach her at Welcome, Kathleen!

Copyright © 2014 by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, California Genealogical Society and Library.

Join Jane Lindsey on the CGS Research Trip to Boston!

CGS Research Trip to Boston: 
Visit the New England Historical and Genealogical Society

Do you have New England ancestors? Would you like to do your research while taking advantage of the amazing resources that the New England Historical and Genealogical Society in Boston has to offer? You'll also have a chance to visit another of Boston's archival repositories and learn more about resources in the area. 

Join Jane Lindsey, Past-President and past NEGHS Trustee on a CGS research tour to Boston to visit the NEHGS!  Dates for the tour are November 2-9, 2014, and the trip includes a stay at the Charlesmark Hotel
***This trip requires a minimum of ten attendees. If ten registrations are not received by August 1, full refunds will be issued.   

To Register: 
Eventbrite - Research Trip to NEHGS

Schedule: November 2-9, 2014
Arrive in Boston, take cab or 'T' subway to hotel

Monday: NEHGS closed, visit one of Boston's repositories: 
 -  Boston Public Library
 -  Massachusetts State Archives
 -  Catholic Archives [prescheduled appointment needed]
 -  Group dinner at local restaurant

Tuesday - Saturday: 
 -  Research at NEHGS
 -  Dinner Saturday night

$1,568 single occupancy, airfare not included. Extra nights add $148 per night.

Includes: 7 nights with continental breakfast, two group meals, Tuesday orientation at NEHGS and Pre-trip consultation/planning with Jane. 

Additional details:
  • Charlesmark Hotel* has double and queen beds only 
  • Not a member of CGS? Please add $40. 
  • Membership to NEHGS ($79.95) is suggested, or pay a $15 daily user fee for non-members. Join now to use their excellent website before the trip. 
  • All cancellations must be in writing. If you cancel BEFORE September 15, 2014 your fee will be refunded. You will be responsible for expenses after September 15, 2014. 
  • Please arrange your own trip insurance. 
* The Charlesmark Hotel is located directly across the street from the Boston Public Library and 1 1/2 - 2 blocks from NEHGS. We will be walking to the library and to dinners. 

Questions? Contact Jane Lindsey:

Copyright © 2014 by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, California Genealogical Society and Library.

01 July 2014

NEHGS Comes West! Navigating New England and New York Resources

Join the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the California Genealogical Society at a one-day seminar on exploring your New England and New York roots. The seminar is at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza, 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, California.

NEHGS genealogists Chris Child and Alice Kane will present tips for navigating the records of New England and New York. Special emphasis will be placed on resources available online.

Useful genealogy and history books will be available for sale by both the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the California Genealogical Society, and CGS will also offer a used books sale and silent auction. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

 9:00 am  Welcome  
 9:15 am  Migrations Into and Out of New England, 1620-1900, Chris Child 
10:30 am  Boston in a Whirlwind: A Primer Tour of 10 Repositories, Alice Kane 
11:30 am  Break (lunch on your own)
 1:00 pm  NEHGS Sources for New York Research, Chris Child
 2:15 pm  I Had Him in My Sights & POOF!: Strategies for Relocating the Disappearing Ancestor
, Alice Kane
 3:30 pm  Seminar concludes
 6:00 pm  Optional Dinner at Hotel Shattuck Plaza (additional fee)

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION (by July 31, 2014): $65
Registration (after July 31, 2014): $75 Dinner $75


About the Speakers
Chris Child has worked at NEHGS for fifteen years and has been a member since the age of eleven. He is an expert in genealogical research in Southern New England and New York, the ancestry of notable figures, genetics and genealogy, African-American and Native-American genealogy, westward migrations out of New England, and applying to hereditary societies. Chris has authored several articles in American Ancestors magazine, The Register, and The Mayflower Descendant. He is the co-editor of The Ancestry of Catherine Middleton and co- compiler of The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts.

Alice Kane assists patrons of the NEHGS research library with queries and genealogical challenges of all kinds. Prior to joining the NEHGS staff, Alice was a librarian at the Boston Public Library for nineteen years. Alice is an expert in using mobile tools for genealogy, Chinese and Chinese-American genealogy, and also has experience with French-Canadian, Irish, and German research. 

Copyright © 2014 by Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, California Genealogical Society and Library.