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30 December 2017

Putting It All Together

Do you know how valuable you are to The California Genealogical Society (CGS)?  Our member-volunteers are why our genealogy society and library exist.  From our first president, Dr. Edward Stephen Clark, in 1898 to our current president, Linda Okazaki, our society is filled with dedicated volunteers that are always pushing for genealogical excellence. You are now part of this heritage and we want you to know how your society can help you.

Visit the library
One way to help is to remind you to visit our research library. It is an amazing resource to historians and family history researchers alike.  Have you been to the library lately? Just a reminder that we're located in Oakland's Uptown District and the area is hopping with great restaurants, cool coffee shops and wonderful stores that are filled with the energy from the neighborhood. Luckily, we're in the middle of it all!  

Full of surprises
One of the unsung heroes of the library is our Manuscript Collection. It is comprised of 108 linear feet on the shelves, as well as loose papers, research and family histories that have been donated to our library over its almost 118 year history.  We are forever grateful to volunteers Pat Bonderud and Linda Darby for cataloguing and organizing this treasure trove. The incredibly helpful and insightful Georgia Lupinsky and Virginia Turner are now the volunteers who manage our collection. They created a thirty-page inventory (in pdf format) available for download our website.

This searchable database provides a synopsis of each collection, providing enough information to help you determine if further examination of a manuscript is beneficial to your own research. Individual collections may be viewed at the Library by appointment.

Another way we can help you search for research materials is to use our online Library Catalog. I think you'll be amazed once you start looking at what's available to assist in your genealogy search.

Our Capital Campaign Needs Your Donation
Even with all of the free labor given by our volunteers, we still need money to continue our mission. Between high real estate costs in the Bay Area, continual upgrades to our computer equipment, offering high quality speakers and classes, along with keeping our library filled with new resources (including online databases), a group of long-term volunteers realized the society needed a committee dedicated to raising long-term funding for CGS. So earlier this year, the Capital Campaign was born

Chris Pattillo (Chair), Jane Lindsey and Sandy Fryer began raising money that will help cover the shortfall in the annual operating expenses of CGS.  Think of it as a substantial rainy day fund that lets us all benefit by having access to great classes, seminars, plus all of our online and library resources.  

How you can contribute:
*  Make a donation on our website or send a check.
*  Become a Life member to support the campaign. 
*  List CGS as a beneficiary in your will or personal trust. 
*  Provide a tax-deductible donation through your IRA or 401K .

There are many ways to donate, so choose what works best for you. 

Questions? Send an email to Chris Pattillo or Jane Lindsey. They're waiting to hear from you.

Become a part of the campaign, and make a donation today.  Thank you for your continued support.

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

27 December 2017

Happy New Year, Genealogy Fans!

Happy New Year! As we end 2017, the California Genealogical Society & Library would like to extend a warm "thank you" to our members, volunteers and visitors throughout the year. Our genealogy community continues to grow and evolve by focusing on the future of genealogy while honoring our past.

We hope you had the chance to enjoy our collection of manuscripts, maps, and books or that you participated in one of our classes, events, field trips or seminars in 2017.

2018 is our 120th Anniversary and February 12th is the kickoff 
Come to our Annual Meeting and Birthday Celebration on January 13th and meet new members, see old friends and learn what's happening in the new year. 

In addition to our Jan 13th meeting, you can look forward to our Saturday classes as well as plans for two guided research trips, three off-site events and several field trips. Visit our Eventbrite page to get the latest classes and events on offer. 

Blaine Bettinger, The Genetic Genealogist, will be here on Saturday, March 3rd in Berkeley for an unforgettable genetic genealogy seminar focused on DNA. There are only a few tickets left, so get your seat while you can.

Another great learning option is to get involved with one of our Special Interest Groups (SIG's). The topics covered are Family Tree Maker, San Francisco History and RootsMagic, with a few more in the works.

Checklist for 2018
Visit: In addition to our classes and events, please remember to visit our resource-packed genealogy library to take advantage of our varied collections

Volunteer: Volunteer and help us make the society even better, we have many jobs in need of good people. 

Donate: Your generosity helps us cover the cost of real estate, genealogical resources and many other expenses - thank you.

2018 promises to be an exciting year, so join us as we search for our ancestors and discover something new!

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

22 December 2017

A Few Good Volunteers

Dear Friends of CGS,

We have a great line-up of events and classes for 2018, but running a business such as ours takes many volunteers. It’s hard to imagine that a non-profit organization with roughly 1,000 members operates with no paid staff. 

I appreciate all of you who donated to the Annual Appeal and to the Capital Campaign. But we also need volunteers to help keep things running smoothly. All of our committees can use some additional help. Please contact Kathleen Beitiks if you would like to volunteer. 

Happy Holidays, 
Linda Okazaki

The following volunteer positions are vacant:

·  Catalog Librarian: Volunteer needed to enter data into WorldCat and to assist in evaluating our current holdings. Knowledge of Library of Congress cataloging and experience with WorldCat required. Reports to the Library Director.

· Digital Historian: Volunteer needed to organize, digitize, and preserve our records, both current and historical. Reports to the president.

·  Field Trip Coordinator: Volunteer needed to plan fieldtrips to locations relevant to genealogical research such as the David Rumsey Collection at Stanford or the Society of California Pioneers. Reports to the Events Chair.

· Off-site Event Coordinator: Plan and execute large scale events such as Ancestry Day or NEHGS Comes West, or work with big-name speakers such as Cyndi Ingle, Judy Russell, and Blaine Bettinger. Experience running large events needed. Reports to the Events Chair. Works closely with the Technology and Marketing teams.

· Social Media Coordinator: Volunteer needed to plan and execute our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts. Reports to the Publications Chair and/or Marketing Chair. Prior experience not necessary, but familiarity with social media is helpful.

The following committee chair positions are vacant. Please contact Linda Okazaki if you are interested or have a recommendation:

· Marketing Chair: Coordinate and execute activities which promote our organization and events. Overlaps with most other committees. Prior marketing experience a plus. 

·  Outreach Chair: Plan and execute events and activities which benefit both CGS and the community at large, such as classes at Senior Centers or having representation at events like the Aloha Festival or Ancestry day. Develop and maintain relationships with other organizations such as the California Mayflower Society, the Daughters of the American Revolution. Overlaps with Development, Fundraising, and Membership.

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

16 December 2017

Food and Genealogy: A Remembrance of Things Past

by Georgia Lupinsky

The holiday season in which food plays such a central role is now upon us.  December seems a good time to reflect on how thoughts of savory and sweet delicious dishes are intertwined with our memories of family members and how these remembrances can be included as we write our family histories.

Nellie Baldwin, the Public View
Several months ago I wrote a blog piece on Nellie (Patterson) Baldwin, grandmother of CGS Past President John Ellis Hale.  Drawing from Mr. Hale’s research, which resides in our Manuscript Collection, I crafted a story of what a strong and formidable woman Nellie Baldwin was. A leader of the Federation of Women’s Clubs in the early 1900s, she was appointed a Juvenile Judge in San Francisco in 1920, having “the distinction of being one of only five women ‘ex-officio’ judges in the nation. The announcement of her appointment appeared in other newspapers nationwide.” 

Childhood Memories
The post was subsequently shared with Nellie Baldwin’s great-granddaughter, Katherine Hale. She then shared with me one of her father’s childhood memories of his “Grandma B” and it had nothing to do with her role in the community.
John Ellis Hale as a young boy
Photo provided by Georgia Lupinsky
In her later years, Nellie lived with John and his parents in Berkeley. Katherine wrote, “I remember Dad telling me that Nellie would make her famous oatmeal cookies (I still have the recipe!) which my Dad, his brothers and friends would stuff in their pockets on the way to the attic to play pool.” Mr. Hale noted on the recipe that he gave to his daughter that he himself prepared the cookies as an adult and “they were good and every bit as tasty as I remembered the childhood ones to be.”

Katherine has kindly sent me the recipe and given her permission to share with our readers. 
Grandma B’s Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Blend 2 cups rolled oats and 1 cup of butter. Sift 3 times 2 cups flour, ¾ cup white sugar, 1 tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. salt, cinnamon, ground clove, ginger and mace. Chop 1 cup of raisins. Dribble molasses over them. Beat 4 eggs with 5 tbsp. water and 1 tbsp. vanilla and almond extract. Combine everything. Drop by spoonful on well-greased pan. Bake in 350-degree oven about 12 minutes. 

I myself plan in the near future to prepare a batch and share with our Thursday CGS volunteer group. I’ll put a photo of Nellie on the table to oversee our enjoyment.

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

12 December 2017

Wordless Wednesday: Institute for Genetic Genealogy in San Diego

(L) Member Katie Welka spoke at the genetic genealogy conference in San Diego representing
Living DNA.  Here she is with the incredibly talented, genetic genealogist CeCe Moore.

Linda Okazaki with Katie Welka

Linda Okazaki and Sharron Newhouse

Photos provided by Linda Okazaki

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

08 December 2017

Meet the Board Nominees

by Karen Lemelin

In case you missed it, (Karen's report was just published in our California Genealogical Society's December eNews), then we wanted you to know "who's who" for board nominations, officers and existing board members for 2018. Enjoy! (Ed.) 

Nomination Committee Report 2018

Committee Chair: Karen Lemelin
Committee Members: Chris Pattillo and Nancy Cork

The Nomination Committee is proposing four new board nominees for the 2018-2020 term. The new nominees are James Russell, Chris Pattillo, Nancy Cork and Marisela Meskus.

Continuing in their first terms are Rich Kehoe and Arlene Miles.
Continuing in a second term is Kathie Jones.

Proposed nominations for their second terms are Vicky Kolakowski, Stewart Traiman and Maureen Hanlon.

Proposed nomination for a third term is Felicia Addison.

Linda Okazaki, after serving as President for three years, will assume the board position of current Past President. replacing Ellen Fernandez-Sacco. 

Karen Lemelin and Nicka Smith have termed out after serving three terms.

Todd Armstrong, Therese Hart-Pignotti and Shannon Reese have stepped down from the board in the past year.

About the new board member nominees

James Russell grew up in Connecticut and lives in Berkeley. His paternal ancestors arrived in New England in the seventeenth century and his maternal ancestors had emigrated from Bohemia to Manhattan by 1880. No direct ancestors ever lived west of the Hudson River. His personal areas of concentration are New England, New York and Central Europe. James has done extensive primary research in these places, and has attended institutes at SLIG, IGHR, Gen-Fed and GRIP. He reads Czech, German, Russian, French, Japanese and Latin. He has a BSFS (Georgetown), an MA in Slavic linguistics (Chicago), a PhD in anthropology (London - SOAS) and is very interested in DNA-related issues. James is on the CGS Finance Committee, is a representative to FGS and has participated in CGS-sponsored events for the Japanese-American community in the Bay Area.

A member of CGS since 2004, and previously on the Board, Chris Pattillo is currently the Chair of the Investment Committee. Chris completed two terms as a commissioner on the Oakland Planning Commission, retired from her landscape architecture practice and is ready to rejoin the Board. During her first term as a Board member, Chris wrote the Investment Policy and helped update all of the job descriptions. She also served as Facilities Chair. In 2015 Chris volunteered to co-chair the first Capital Campaign which will conclude in February 2018. Chris has taught classes for CGS and recently gave a talk about her 2017 Genealogy Journey. She has had articles published in The California Nugget, the CGS blog, the Watauga Genealogy Society magazine, as well as a newspaper in Albany, Texas. Chris has presented her Power Point talk, Preserving Your Family History, at local retirement facilities and plans additional presentations throughout the Bay Area to promote the California Genealogical Society.

A box of old family photographs inspired Nancy Cork to begin researching her family's history. After 23 years of gathering records, she still has questions about her family, but now at least they are different questions: not so much the who's and the when's, but the why's and the how's. Born in New York and raised in Minnesota, Nancy has been living in the Bay Area for 35 years. A student of history and a lover of books, she has been volunteering for several years in the CGS Library, where she manages the periodicals subscriptions. Nancy served on the Nominations Committee for two years and enjoys helping with the publication of The California Nugget.

Marisela "Merry" Meskus became interested in genealogy after a family trip to the Dominican Republic in 2004. Her father was born in the Dominican Republic and her mother's family originated from Mexico. She enjoys telling people that she is a first-generation American as well as a second-generation, third-generation, and fourth-generation Californian. Marisela was born in Merced and graduated from the University of California, Merced with a BA in History. She moved to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco State University and obtained an MA in Linguistics in 2015. She joined CGS in April 2017 and took advantage of all the classes and SIGs before deciding to volunteer. Planning to become a professional genealogist, she enjoys coming to the library to learn from members who are as passionate about the subject as she is.

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

06 December 2017

Wordless Wednesday: California Genealogical Society Volunteers' Holiday Open House


Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society

04 December 2017

Annual Appeal: You Make Our Society Amazing

"I want to thank each and every one of you that have donated or have volunteered in some way this year. Without your incredible dedication, none of this would be possible,” says out-going President, Linda Harms Okazaki. 

Why is the money needed? 
Membership fees only cover 40% of The California Genealogical Society’s operating expenses; most of the rest comes from special events and tax-deductible donations from members like you.  

Treasurer Kathie Jones stated, "The cost of real estate in the San Francisco Bay area continues to be our number one expense for the society---meaning our rent consumes about 70% of our budget." If you haven’t already done so, please consider contributing to the society.

Our library, with thousands of volumes, is one of the premiere genealogy libraries on the West Coast, and is one of the main reasons that many of you joined the society.  We also learned through our member survey results that The California Nugget, our biannual genealogical magazine, is another huge draw for our members.

2018 Goals 
This year, the goal was again set at $15,000 to help us continue offering quality trips, classes, events and speakers for you, such as a first-ever event by the indomitable genealogy lecturer Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist

Judy G. Russell with Linda Okazaki

We had a great turnout for her all-day seminar that received rave reviews from the attendees. Linda said, “It was a delight to have Judy talk to us about everything from copyright to enemy aliens, and from black sheep in the family to DNA." 

Linda also wants to remind you to check your mail to see if you have received the Annual Appeal letter that was sent out in mid-November. Don’t forget that there’s a 2017 tax deduction created by contributing before year-end.

How much have we raised?
Here’s the latest numbers: so far we have raised 41 percent — $6,200 — of our $15,000 goal. We’re currently on-track to meet it (thank you all). However, we still need your help to reach 100%.

What’s ahead in 2018?
Member Lisa Gorrell will lead our 18th annual genealogy research trip to Salt Lake City in April and on March 3rd we will play host to the amazing Blaine Bettinger, also known as The Genetic Genealogist.  We hope you’ll consider one or both of these amazing genealogical experiences. Visit our Eventbrite page for registration.  

Both of these exciting offerings help us raise needed funds for the society and library. We also have an interesting and constantly evolving slate of classes for you to choose from in the New Year.

Our genealogy community is amazing 
In order to ensure that our society remains a leader in the genealogy field (in February, we'll reach our 120th anniversary), your help is needed. 

You may be aware that we also have our Capital Campaign that has been raising money all year and will come to a close in Feb 2018. If you’ve contributed to this effort, then let me be the first to say “thank you”.  I want to stress that the Capital Campaign is for our long-term security, but our Annual Appeal is for our day-to-day expenses. Either way, the money will be put to good use. 

Even with all the constant, rapid advances in technology, we’re managing to stay current and remain a relevant resource for scholarship, education and community because of your generosity.

Please donate today.

You make our success possible.

Thank you. 

Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society