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25 October 2017

Salt Lake City Family History Library: Why You Should Go on Our 2018 Research Trip

by Lisa Gorrell

Have you heard? The California Genealogical Society (CGS) has scheduled its 2018 annual genealogy research trip to the Family History Library from Sunday, April 22nd to Sunday, April 29th. As the team leader for the trip, for the third year in a row, I’m especially excited to get you to come with me!  Now you’re probably asking yourself,  “Why would I want to go to the Family History Library? Isn’t it all online now?”

So what is the real advantage of an in-person trip to the Family History Library?
  • Six days of being with others who share your enthusiasm for genealogy research
  • Research assistance with the leader (me) or one of the experts at the library (especially at the foreign language floors)
  • Six days of distraction-free research
  • Six days where you didn’t have to do household chores
Yes, it is true, that FamilySearch has been digitizing their collected records and putting images online, but they are far from putting it all online. So let’s talk about their collection:

Many of the books in their collection may never be digitized. Books that have been recently published are still under copyright laws. Even if a book is digitized, only one person can view it at a time. Your chances are greater of viewing a physical copy at the library.

The plan is to digitize all of the microfilm because they are having a hard time getting blank microfilm and it is very expensive. Also the microfilm machines are getting old and it’s difficult o find parts to repair them. So digitizing the film is a win-win situation for the library. 

However, some of the original repositories where they filmed the records have not given approval for publishing the images online. So the only place you can view some “digitized” films is on computers at the library itself, or perhaps at the local family history centers. This will also include microfiche.

Now that I’ve got your attention, the next thing to think about is: 
How should you prepare for such a trip?
  • Decide which ancestral lines you want to work on
  • Record the localities where these families lived
  • Check the FHL catalog for the records and books that are available at the library for each locality
  • Some items may be available online, but if there is a “key” symbol next to the film number, that film can only be viewed at the FHL or a Family History Center.
  • If you find lots of books and films you’d like to view, then it may be worthwhile to make the trip with CGS

You can schedule a pre-trip consultation with me, Lisa Gorrell, by sending an email. I’ll also be available for consultations while we’re on the trip in Salt Lake City.

We have fun, too!
Of course, the trip isn’t just all about serious genealogy research. We have three planned group meals together, plus every day we get together for lunch and dinner at a variety of places. It’s a great time to share our successes and get help with our research issues.

To sign up for the trip, use Eventbrite. There are limited spaces, so be sure to register soon!

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

24 October 2017

Celebrating the Past and the Future: 2018 Genealogy Events and Education Plans

by Maureen Hanlon

Our 120th Anniversary in 2018 is a great milestone --- we’ve planned a number of events and classes to both delve into our heritage and leverage the science that allows us to understand that past even better.  

Currently,  we are scheduling our five part Records Series and four part Skills Series. Your suggestions are most welcome for ideas on classes and events as we continue planning for 2018 continues. Come to our January 13th Annual Member Meeting and Birthday Party to hear more details and enjoy a talk about ancestors.
NOTE:  Our free Introduction to Genealogy on the first Saturday and the popular San Francisco Special Interest Group and Family Tree Special Interest Group will continue meeting on the third Saturdays. 

DNA will be a major focus as we have engaged Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist, to come for an amazing event on March 3rd.  Get ready for Blaine's event by attending Pam Miller's previously held three foundation lectures on the major DNA tests, Ancestry, FamilyTree and 23 and Me on January 27th, February 3rd and 10th, respectively.  

Then check our schedule for a talk by Eva Goodwin from Ancestry to be held later in the year on DNA, Adoptions and Unknown Parents. We will also continue the monthly first Saturday meetings of an ongoing DNA study group for those who have completed the foundation series. 

Our fortune and that of our ancestors lies in California’s rich geography. We’ve scheduled the popular Melinda Kashuba, author of Walking with Your Ancestors: a Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography for April 14th. 

We’re also celebrating the diversity of our state and its early settlers with a Chinese Ancestry Day in May, which is Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month. Grant Din, Marisa Louie Lee and others will talk, plus we are exploring a tour of Angel Island. Look for Stewart Traiman's class that will share insights and strategies for Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender (LGBT) genealogy on June 23rd.
The online CGS Irish Ancestry Network will hold its second anniversary get-together on March 24th with an informal meet-up and an afternoon lecture by Cath Trindle on Irish Townlands. 

Trips and Tours
In addition to our annual Salt Lake City Research trip being held April 22nd-29thJane Lindsey will lead a trip for intermediate genealogists in August to the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne Indiana, home of the most extensive genealogy periodical collection.  We also have plans in the works to visit Sutro Library and events with The California Historical Society.  

Updates, more information and registration links will be published on our EventBrite page at least two months prior to the events.

It's going to be a wonderful year of genealogy and celebration at The California Genealogical Society.  We hope you'll be a part of the magic!

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

04 October 2017

Judy G. Russell Event: A Smashing Success!

If you weren't able to make it, then check out the photos and see what you missed. Come to our next big event - make plans now to attend our upcoming Blaine Bettinger, aka The Genetic Genealogist, event in March 2018. It should be available on our Eventbrite site by mid-October. 

What happened
Judy G. Russell, aka The Legal Genealogist, was the featured guest lecturer for our September 23rd all-day seminar at the David Brower Center in Berkeley.  It was a wonderful genealogy event!  If you're not familiar with her, then check out one of her recent posts which highlighted our genealogical collections and resources at our genealogy library.

The California Genealogical Society (CGS) had tons of committed volunteers, thanks to Volunteer Coordinator Kathleen Beitiks. Add in a great venue, delicious food, a friendly vibe and a speaker with so much to talk about and we got genealogy magic that day. Many attendees commented on how much they enjoyed the day. The great photos you see were shot by member Ron Madson---thank you Ron!

A special thank you goes to Mary Mettler, a long-term member of CGS and a member of La Puerta de Oro–San Francisco Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) of San Francisco, California. Mary's commitment to genealogy and her generosity (helping to underwrite the event) benefitted all who attended.

See you at the next event!

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

02 October 2017

Stories & Tips for A Genealogy Road Trip

by Chris Pattillo

My Genealogy Journey
One month after retiring I embarked on a 2 ½ month cross-country trip. I drove over 9000 miles through 19 states and did family history research in Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia. Along the way, I visited six county courthouses in four states, sixteen libraries, and made 3390 copies of pages of documents. Sounds tiring, right? I was exhilarated!

During the trip I found several people who helped me find family graves and clues to my family history. One encounter led to a small rural burial plot where my 2nd great grandmother is buried. While in Albany, Texas I found one small clue that enabled me to break down my tallest brick wall – one I’d been trying to topple for over 15 years. 

It was a remarkable trip filled with amusing stories and tales about how dogged determination led to genealogical treasures. Come hear my tales and be inspired to make your own genealogy journey on October 14th from 1pm - 3pm, right after our The California Genealogical society's quarterly membership meeting and Annual Genie Awards!  

Catch up with what happened before the talk by visiting my blog and read about what I experienced. The blog archive is located near the bottom right of the homepage with posts arranged by month.  I can't wait to share with you what I learned!  

About the Speaker

Chris Pattillo first became interested in family history research when she toured the then new Mormon Temple in Oakland in 1963. She started her research while on a family vacation in the late 60s and has continued to work on it in fits and starts ever since. After running her own Landscape Architecture firm for 40 years, Chris retired last April and spent two and a half months traveling across the United States, visiting Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina where her Pattillo ancestors are from. 

She has self-published four family history books and now writes the Pattillo-Thornally Family History blog. Chris has had a few articles published in the CGS quarterly – The Nugget, and since her trip has had articles published in an Albany, Texas newspaper and the Watauga Association of Genealogists bulletin in Tennessee.

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society