Recent Posts

29 April 2015

Internet Archive: Building Libraries Together

Internet Archive Is Coming to CGS

Robert Miller, Global Director of Digital Books and Media
Internet Archive Global Director Robert Miller is coming to CGS on May 16. Please join him in a spirited discussion of what it takes to build an end-to-end Digital Library Solution, with a deep dive in genealogy.

Miller leads Internet Archive's global eBooks digitization project. Blending his successful entrepreneurial startup experience with his tenure in the Fortune 500 world, he is a passionate advocate for public Internet access and is committed to making information free and accessible through digital means. With more than 1250 global content partners, plus teams he manages on five continents, the vision he champions has resulted in one of the largest free, digital public libraries in the world, with over 2 million eBooks online and more than 20 million downloads per month. 

Please visit our Eventbrite page to register for this class. Seats are limited. 

Copyright © 2015 by California Genealogical Society and Library

24 April 2015

Please Pass the Salt...And Tell Us About Your Ancestors

Volunteering at genealogical societies is a time-honored tradition. In 1915, the California Genealogical Society (CGS) organized the International Congress of Genealogy, held in San Francisco. 100 years later, CGS volunteers still keep the organization thriving and alive, and carrying on the excitement of ancestral discoveries!

By CGS Volunteer Coordinator, Kathleen Beitiks 

Many years ago I was invited to a dinner party with a dozen people who worked in a variety of occupations. One of the guests was a psychologist. At some point, the conversation turned to labor and delivery stories. We all had a great time laughing at stories about the near mishaps racing to the hospital or about the doctor who thought a breech birth was imminent, only to discover that the darling bundle of joy just had a big head – like his father.

“I hope you all tell your children these stories,” said the psychologist. She then went on to tell us that in an informal survey of her clients through the years, she realized there was one common thread – very few of them had stories to tell about their own birth or heritage. 

She wasn’t sure what that meant, but she theorized that it was very important to have sense of how we came into this world and the connection to our roots with family stories – both happy and not-so-happy. 

I have thought about that evening since I began volunteering for the California Genealogical Society. There are myriad opportunities to volunteer in our community and I know many of us give our time to food banks, homeless shelters, youth activities, hospitals, and other organizations. Volunteering with CGS is one of those “intangible” activities that may not have obvious results, but does impact the human condition - helping people discover who they are and where they came from. 

Volunteer researchers at CGS have a first-hand opportunity to see the joy of discovery in the face of someone who has learned about an elusive ancestor. Our library volunteers may have a chance to help dig up an old directory that contains the address of an ancestor from 100 years ago. Our tech volunteers make the ancestor quest easier in this new cyber world. Event organizers bring experts to us – saving us time and money in our individual roots searches. Our database volunteers help keep it all organized. And I could go on and on….

The world of genealogy has expanded rapidly in the past decades. Not only are we learning about the lives, loves, and wanderings of our ancestors, but now it is possible to learn about our DNA and medical implications for our descendants. 

This may be the New Millennium, but I suspect we will be making many more new and exciting discoveries about the past and future human condition in the years to come. And CGS volunteers should know that their time and talent has contributed to the world of genealogical discoveries and progress.

April is National Volunteer Month. If you are a CGS volunteer, we salute you. You are all invaluable and we could not keep this organization alive without you!  If you are not currently a volunteer but have thought about becoming one, check out our current list of Volunteer Opportunities or send me an email (Kathleen Beitiks) and I will put you to work!

Again – I can’t say it enough - a million thanks to our loyal, dedicated CGS volunteers (and you know who you are!)

        Copyright © 2015 by California Genealogical Society and Library

18 April 2015

Lies, Lies and Damn Lies : Can DNA Solve my Paternal Lineage?

Written by guest blogger, Jeffrey Vaillant

Join past president Jeffrey Vaillant on Saturday May 30 as he focuses first on the on the discovery of a family surname change and the research it entailed. Jeff states that, "for some 60 years I lived as a Vaillant only to learn that it ain't so paternally!" In the second part of the lecture, he focuses on the process of searching for a willing Y-DNA donor to solve his case.

Do you have a similar situation? Do you want a chance to compare notes about convincing potential cousins to take a DNA test? Jeffrey Vaillant is an engaging speaker who will entertain you with the discussion of his journey. Jeffrey currently serves as the President of the Sonoma County Genealogical Society. He is an active member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and is currently working toward his professional certification.

Please visit our Eventbrite page to sign up for this class. Seats are limited.

             Copyright © 2015 by California Genealogical Society and Library

17 April 2015

Scots Irish Seminar with Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt

Copyright © 2015 by California Genealogical Society and Library

All photography courtesy of Ronald Madson

Vice President and Membership Director Diana Edwards
President Linda Harms Okazaki and Marketing Director Shannon Reese

Event Director Tim Cox, Speaker Fintan Mullan
President Linda Okazaki, Speaker Gillian Hunt

16 April 2015

Graphic Image Classes by the Photography Guy, Ronald Madson

Copyright © 2015 by California Genealogical Society and Library

Some of you know him as the “Photography Guy." Ronald Madson has been photographing CGS events for several years. He is also passionate about family history, his own and anyone else’s. 

Come hear Ron Madson present a series of graphic image classes this spring and summer. Sign up for one, some, or all. Learn the skills to label and clean up digitized family history photos, documents, and images. Then, learn the skills necessary to create basic Graphical Family History Charts. There are a number of image-editing software programs that allow you to do this work; Ron will teach you about three different systems, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Irfanview. 

Introduction to Photoshop™ for Family History will be taught April 25, 2015. A laptop with Photoshop installed would be helpful but is not required.

Creating Graphic Family Trees With Photoshop™ will be held June 13 (new date).  

Using Photoshop Elements™ for Family History will be held May 9 and Creating Graphic Family Trees with Photoshop Elements™ will be on June 6. These sessions are similar to the classes above but using Photoshop Elements software.

Irfanview™ Basics and Creating Graphic Family Trees with Irfanview™will be taught as a single class on June 27. 

Using Family Tree Maker™ will be held on July 25. 

Please see the California Genealogical Society Events Calendar for a full list of educational offerings. Visit our Eventbrite page to register for classes and events.