Recent Posts

24 September 2014

Wordless Wednesday : NEHGS Comes West! Sept 13, 2014

With thanks to CGS' Ron Madson for the photographs!

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

11 September 2014

Ready, Set, Go: Family History Month’s Coming to Town!

by Shannon Reese

October’s just around the corner so get ready for Family History Month at the California Genealogical Society! 

For more than a decade, October has been celebrated among genealogy enthusiasts. As always, the society library will open its doors to the public during the month of October.

Are you new to family history research?  No worries, we waive the library usage fee for non-members and invite everyone to come and explore the library's resources. 

We're located in the historic Bruner Building at 22nd Street & Broadway, one block north of the Paramount Theater, in downtown Oakland.  All classes (for which you must register) during October will be held here, unless specified.

Photo: “Examining Passengers Aboard Ships.” Vessel is the Shimyo Maru, Angel Island, California, 1931. The U.S. National Archives Flickr page.
Although it’s technically not in October, don’t forget about the September 27th class at CGS on Finding Your Japanese Roots: In the US and In Japan led by Linda Harms Okazaki.

Our member volunteers have been busy gearing up for a month of special events and exciting classes. Please help us celebrate Family History Month by attending one of our October events.  We start off October with a slew of choices:

Saturday, October 4th

The California Genealogical Society is participating in the Nikkei Pilgrimage to Angel Island.  This fun, all-day event is focused on the Japanese-American experience at the "Ellis Island of the West". CGS Member Linda Harms Okazaki, will present and then will be available to help people get started in their own research.  Diana Edwards, Eva Goodwin, and Todd Armstrong (all CGS members & genealogists) will be there to help as well.

Don’t miss our FREE Beginning Genealogy class with Dick Rees from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.  Find out who you are and who your ancestors were!

Saturday, October 11th
The City Directory Library awaits your visit!  Come by from 10am – 4pm and see member Dr. Stephen Harris’ collection of 6,000 city and telephone directories dating from the 1840s to the 1960s.

Everything Was Not Lost! Digging Deeply to Unearth Your Early San Francisco Ancestor  from 10am-12pm.  Genealogists are often told the bad news that the family records they are looking for in San Francisco all burned in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, but everything was not lost. CGS member and author of Raking the Ashes – Genealogical Strategies for Pre 1906 San Francisco Research, Nancy Peterson knows how to unearth early San Francisco Ancestors.

We can’t wait to see you at our Fall Membership meeting!  We'll be presenting the First Annual Genie Awards, honoring some of our extra-special volunteers -- those whose "magical" skills have helped the California Genealogical Society in significant ways.
The award ceremony, with an Academy Awards theme and a glass of bubbly, will begin at 12:00 p.m.  It’s followed by the membership meeting (1pm – 3pm) with a discussion of "Genealogical Blogging." BYO lunch; dessert and beverages will be provided.

Tuesday, October 14th
The CGS Book Repair Committee, headed by Bill O'Neil, will hold its monthly work session from 9:30am – 3:00pm.  The committee welcomes new members who are interested in learning the craft and who can meet with the group every month. No experience necessary!

Friday, October 17th
Never explored the City Directory Library?  It’s open from 10am – 4pm with a collection of 6,000 city and telephone directories dating from the 1840s to the 1960s.

Saturday, October 18th
10:00am – 11:30am is the monthly meeting of the CGS Board of Directors that focuses on making our tagline, “helping people connect to their family heritage” a reality.

Our San Francisco Special Interest Group meets from 10:00am – 11:30am and is led by Sandra Britt-Huber.  Topics include both pre & post 1906 time periods. Come & join us this month if you have an interest in San Francisco history and genealogy! 

Saturday, October 25th
10am – 1pm is Susan Goss Johnston’s Exploring Record Sets Series: Introduction to Military Records More than 35 million people have fought in military conflicts in America's history. The records created during and after their service are invaluable sources for family historians. Discover the many record types available, where to find them, and study problems that can be solved only through these fascinating documents.

For a full listing of all Bay Area genealogy events in October, check the San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar frequently.

Get started today on your family history---you’ll be glad you did!

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

08 September 2014

NEHGS Comes West: Time's running out!

Time's running out for donating to our Silent Auction this Saturday at NEHGS Comes West

We need you bring any items in by Wednesday September 10th in order to make this event a success! 

Consider giving something that reflects your expertise in genealogy (i.e.two hours of research help in a specific area),  a gift certificate to that restaurant, or a shop that you go to all the time. 

Please contact Diana Wild: or 
Jane Lindsey: for any questions. 

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

04 September 2014

Chinese Whispers: Bay Chronicles - SF Bay Area events in September

Curious about nineteenth century California and it's rich ethnic history?
Here's a series of local events of interest--

Chinese Whispers: Bay Chronicles is a project that traces the forgotten history of Chinese shrimp fishing in San Francisco Bay. It explores an overlooked yet important segment of the SF Bay area's maritime history tied to the Chinese-owned shrimp industry and the Chinese Exclusion Act.

In 1897, SF Bay had 26 Chinese shrimping camps, and the numbers dropped over time with restrictions on exports and nets. Today, the vestige of just one site remains at China Camp, which once was home to over 500 people, most of them from Canton, China.

It's part of a fascinating interdisciplinary media project, Chinese Whispers by Director Rene Yung and a team of artists, a marine archaeologist and curator John Muir in a collaboration with the SF Maritime National Historic Park. The project seeks to engage the public with three unique public programs at each of the places the Grace Quan will dock, the first happening this Saturday, September 5.

The GRACE QUAN (right) and a photo of a shrimp junk taken in the 1880s. (SAFRA7105nl) Both photos show the San Francisco waterfront in the background. The Grace Quan resembles vessels from the fishermen's hometowns in Guandong Province, China. Images: NPS

The upcoming sailings on a 43 foot replica shrimp junk, Grace Quan around the Bay, followed by public programs at each site are:
September 5: China Camp, San Rafael to Richmond, Craneway Pavilion
September 7-11: Richmond to Redwood City
September 12-14: Redwood City to China Camp, San Rafael

For more information on schedule and reservations see:

Also check out The Last Living Resident of China Camp: a KQED California Report interview with Frank Quan, the only resident of China Camp. The Chinese Whispers shrimp junk is named for his mother, Grace Quan.

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

CGS Member Eva Goodwin Receives APG's Young Professional Scholarship

At the recent 2014 Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference in San Antonio, Texas, the Association of Professional Genealogists announced that CGS member Eva Goodwin was awarded the Young Professional Scholarship. The APG Young Professional Scholarship is given to individuals between the ages of 18-29 who aspire to a professional career in genealogy.

Goodwin is a 2008 graduate of Mount Holyoke College and is a graduate of the ProGen 18 Study Group. She is also the owner of Family Archaeologies, which does research, consulting and meta-genealogy. 

For the APG press release:

Congratulations Eva!

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