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26 October 2016

Endowment Honors

by Chris Pattillo 

In October of 2016, the board of the California Genealogy Society (CGS) approved a recommendation to rename our endowment fund as the Sherman-Haughton Fund. There are numerous reasons for doing so, but the most important one is that the board wanted to honor and recognize the significant contributions – both financial and in-service – that Frederick “Rick” Sherman and Ken Haughton have made to our society.

Rick Sherman
Frederick S. Sherman, Ph.D.
Known to everyone as “Rick” joined CGS in 1980 and from that time until his death he filled many vital roles in the society.

His first position was as Library Chairman. Then he served for ten years as Research Director, and volunteered as a member of our heroic Desk Duty team. He also participated in in a key strategic planning effort shortly before his death.

Rick was a willing speaker and enjoyed helping others with their research. He even made trips to Salt Lake City 
on behalf of members to find clues about their ancestors. Rick served as President of our society from 1994-1996.

In a 2008 Blog post honoring Rick, member June Nash Lindquist had this to say about Rick, “We all value Rick's sage advice, and cheerful and generous spirit. Rick is so knowledgeable on so many directions of research. We always appreciate his witty and wise conclusions to very knotty problems."

Generous in many ways
Rick and his wife Pat were exceedingly generous in many ways. Over the years they made regular financial contributions to help fund important projects. In 1983, their donations covered the cost of purchasing Bibliofile – at the time a new software program that was used to catalogue the library’s holdings. 

In 1996, a sizeable contribution from Rick and Pat helped to underwrite a 600 square foot expansion of the library when it was located on Brannan Street in San Francisco. As recognition of their gift, a new reading room was named in their honor. Also, when the library moved to its current location, Rick and Pat paid for the new shelving.   

But of all of Rick’s many contributions, the one that will no doubt have the most lasting impact is the endowment that he started in 1992. Rick initially donated $6000 to start the endowment and he contributed more funds each year through 2001. In total, Rick and Pat gave over $490,000 towards our endowment – in addition to their other financial gifts.  These gifts are a huge reason for our continued societal success.

Ken Haughton
Ken Haughton
Our other benefactor joined the society in 1978. Early on Ken served on the board and for many years served as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He also participated in one of the society’s strategic planning efforts. 

Ken is a very knowledgeable family history researcher. He is particularly knowledgeable about how DNA can be used as a tool for genealogists and has even spoken about it for the society. He also has written several family histories and articles.

Ken and his wife Beverly joined Rick in 1997 by making a sizeable donation. They have continued to make very generous contributions every year ever since. As CFO, Ken set up our endowment and invested it in a small number of prudent mutual funds. Over the years Ken managed these funds and by December 31, 2009 our endowment balance was over $794,000. (This includes a building fund that was started by CGS past president, David Adams.)

As someone who knows Ken well, Jane Knowles Lindsey said, “Ken and I have known one another since our days in the 1990’s as Trustees of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. While I served as CGS president, I frequently called on Ken to lend his expertise in so many areas that helped strengthen CGS.”

A wonderful financial teacher
It was at about this time that Jim Sorenson and I were both appointed to the Investment Committee and Ken taught us how he had been managing the society’s money. I was honored to work with Ken who reassured me that by investing responsibly our assets would continue to grow. Ken must have felt comfortable with us because in 2010 he stepped down as chair of the Investment Committee and I filled the vacancy. Since that time, Jim and I, and now Tom Jones, have continued to oversee and manage the endowment in the same manner that Ken did for thirteen years. Ken has always generously answered my questions and now serves as a sounding board as we continue to make minor adjustments to our investment portfolio. Today, the value of our combined funds is over $1.3 million dollars.

Securing the future
The purpose of creating the endowment was to provide long-term security for the society and to cover unforeseen expenses, should they arise.  Over the years the cost to support the society has grown significantly. As part of our 120th anniversary we have a plan to grow the endowment by $1.2 million. It is a lofty goal, but one we feel is well worth pursuing. The increased endowment will help ensure that CGS will be able to continue to help our members discover their past for the next 120 years.

In recognition of the many contributions to CGS by Rick Sherman and Ken Haughton, we are pleased to announce that the endowment will now be known as the Sherman-Haughton Fund.

Help us continue the tradition of supporting genealogy research, events and library through our endowment.  Please contact Jane Lindsey or myself to discuss how you can be a part of this historic fundraising effort.  Thank you.

Photos provided by Jane Knowles Lindsey

Copyright © 2016 by California Genealogical Society

Wordless Wednesday: Genie Awards 2016

Congratulations to all of our award recipients and thank you, Diana Edwards and Kathleen Beitiks, for hosting!

A great time was had by all at our 3rd annual Genie Awards.  The Genie Awards help us celebrate the achievements of our most dedicated genealogy volunteers.

2016 Genie Award winners, left to right:  Gibran Rath,
Jamie McGrath, Arlene Miles, Nancy Cork & Shirley Hoye
Left to right:  Diana Edwards, Kathleen Beitiks and Linda Okazaki

Linda Okazaki, president, was our genie of ceremonies!

Photos by Ron Madson

Copyright © 2016 by California Genealogical Society

20 October 2016

What's happening in 2017? More Classes, More Speakers, and...

by Maureen Hanlon

We're excited to let you know that plans for our education program in 2017 are moving fast.  

What's happening?
  • We've already confirmed Melinda Kashuba for February where she will talk about Migration to the Gold Rush, and the Legal Genealogist herself, Judy G. Russell, will be speaking in September.
  • A new DNA Special Interest Group (SIG) will be formed to help members with their test results and understanding.
  • And for beginners and all researchers looking to sharpen their skills, we will be offering a four-part, "Building Your Skills" set that will help you avoid common mistakes and build your family tree with best genealogical practices.  The series will include strategies on how to analyze and critically evaluate sources of the person, along with places and times.  It will be offered twice during the year.  
Other plans include a Media Day where our experts will talk about both Social Media and Organizing Your Media.  We'll continue offering ethnic and geography-based topics, including Central European genealogy.  Lastly, we hope to confirm an expert from Ancestry to give us all those inside tips and tricks.

There's always more "in the works"!  Please check our calendar and e-News for frequent updates. 

Copyright © 2016 by California Genealogical Society

19 October 2016

Genealogy: Members Reconnect at our Library

by Jane Lindsey
Standing: Gibran Rath.  Seated around the table, left to right:  Arlene Miles,
Pat Bonderud, Georgia Lupinsky, Susan Logas, Kristi Wessenberg,
Nancy Cork & Shirley Hoye
I forgot how much fun our genealogy library can be!  A few weeks ago, I was on desk duty. On Thursdays there are always lots of volunteers working on various projects at the library, such as caring for our books and periodicals, our manuscript collection and the new vertical files.  There was a ton of energy buzzing about the library.  This Thursday however, was a little different from most.  It became a day that showed me how important visiting our library is to connect fellow genealogists.

Many of you know that I've been contacting long-term and life members to thank them for their support of the California Genealogical Society (CGS).  Susan Logas was one of them. 

Susan, who lives in San Francisco, had not been to the library in years.  I contacted Arlene Miles and Gibran Rath who also live in San Francisco.  They arranged to pick her up and carpool to the library that day.  

After reconnecting with Susan over the phone, I was really excited to meet her for the first time.  She had joined CGS in 1974, and is a Life Member.  I was expecting someone advanced in years, but she is five years younger than me!  It was so nice to finally meet her!  She may even be interested in volunteering. 

There were three other patrons who came in that day:
  • A man who was just beginning his Chinese and African American research in Louisiana. Linda Okazaki happened to be there and had a wealth of information to share with him.
  • A woman looking for her family in San Francisco.  She found lots of resources and planned to return the next day.  The huge bonus is that she also joined the society!
  • And new member Beau Mitchum, a cousin of Rick Sherman was there helping Georgia Lupinsky and me identify photos in the Sherman manuscript files.  He also used these files to find family information on his Allen line. 

This is why I volunteer at CGS!  To work with other genealogists (I learn something new every time I am there) and to meet new people to show them what a great resource we have at CGS.

Haven't been to the library in a while?  Come in and see how the library's resources and other volunteers can help you!

Copyright © 2016 by California Genealogical Society

17 October 2016

Exclusive Tour of The California Historical Society

Image courtesy of
Have you heard about the upcoming field trip to the California Historical Society (CHS) on Tuesday, October 25th from 10:30 am – 12pm?  They are actually opening the library just for us!  We’re really excited about this tour and hope you’ll want to explore this one-of-a-kind, San Francisco historical treasure with us.  Register here.

Maureen Hanlon, Events Director said, "We're excited about the return of California Genealogical Society (CGS) field trips and are planning that the upcoming visit to the California Historical Society will be the first of many opportunities for our members.  This trip will build on our long-standing bonds with the Society, both an early partner in our history and a continuing resource for CGS.”

What’s of particular interest to genealogists?
The California Historical Society represents a rich resource for family history research. Their treasure trove of early newspapers and periodicals, Gold Rush and Immigration collections which include diaries, photographs, journals, letters and much more. 

What will be covered on the tour?
A staff member will present a brief lecture and then our group will be given an exclusive viewing of selected items from their extensive collection.

How do I get there?
The society is conveniently located near Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.  Travel easily by BART to the Montgomery Street station or if you prefer to drive, there are plenty of parking options nearby.

The California Historical Society, founded in 1871, was an early partner of the California Genealogical Society.  It houses materials from the Crocker family that became the foundation of the Society's North Baker Research Library and Fine Arts collection.

You can find out more about CHS at their Website, Blog, and their Events Calendar. 

Ready to sign-up?  Great!  We’ll see you there on October 25th!

Copyright © 2016 by California Genealogical Society

12 October 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Angel Island Nikkei Pilgrimage

 Volunteers from left to right:  Maureen Hanlon, Diana Edwards, Todd Armstrong,
Jim Russell, Lisa Gorrell, Janice Sellers, Stacy Hoover, Linda Okazaki and Adelle Treakle
A day of education, fun and remembrance was had October 1st as the California Genealogical Society took part in the Nikkei Pilgrimage to Angel Island that celebrates the Japanese-American experience.

How did we participate?
Linda Okazaki, our president, gave a presentation that encouraged people to find their family through the power of family history.

We also had a wonderful group of our dedicated volunteers who conducted genealogy consultations and helped participants get started in their hunt for family records.

Grant Din, Community Relations Director at the Angel Island Immigration
Station Foundation and 
California Genealogical Society member 
We love being a part of events that celebrate the diversity of California and the United States.  Do you have an event that you'd like us to participate in? Contact Linda Okazaki and learn how the California Genealogical Society can help with your next genealogy event.

Photos courtesy of Ted Okazaki

Copyright © 2016 by California Genealogical Society