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28 December 2018

2018 Annual Appeal: Thank you to our amazing members!

With just four days left in 2018, we are happy to report that it's been a good year for the California Genealogical Society and Library, thanks to our generous members and supporters! To date, we have received $14,923 in donations to our annual fund. We've also received an extra $10,000 for the Sherman-Haughton Fund, our endowment created for the long-term survival of the society. No donation is too small, and we are grateful for the generosity shown by friends far and near.

As you know, CGS is largely a labor of love, staffed by volunteers who do everything from organizing events, classes, and research trips, to maintaining both our physical and online collections, to greeting library visitors and answering their questions. Even so, we have considerable costs for rent and related expenses. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our financial officers, we have seen the society through its first 120 years! (1898-2018) With your support, we hope to keep going strong for another century and beyond.


Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

26 December 2018

CGS Library Collections: Kansas

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

Nicely illustrated cover of History of Kansas
Our Kansas books are contained on the equivalent of one shelf. The section starts and ends with sets of genealogical journals. The first is The Tree Searcher published by the Kansas Genealogical Society, covering the period 1995 to 2010. The second is Topeka Genealogical Society Quarterly, 1988 to 2002. I suspect the time period correlates with the time frame when the donor was actively engaged in researching their family history.

3 volumes of Kansas Historical Collections
We have three volumes (Numbers 10, 11, and 12) of the Kansas Historical Collections, a long-running journal published by the Kansas State Historical Society. These volumes cover the years 1907 to 1912 and were donated by Mrs. Mary Langford Taylor Horn. In them you can find myriad sketches of early Kansas pioneers and historical tidbits. Among them are a fold-out map in the section “Our Earliest Knowledge of Kansas,” words to the "Song of Kansas" by Joseph Stewart, two poems–"The American Flag" by J.W Ozias and "The Pawnee Republic" by A.B. Warner--and a section titled “A Woman’s Greeting” by "Mrs. Gov. E.W. Hoch"--presumably Sarah Louis Dickerson, the wife of Kansas Governor Edward Hoch.

Medicine Lodge: The Story of a Kansas Frontier Town by Nellie Snyder Yost was published in 1970. Its table of contents offers enticing chapter titles including "Legend of Flower Pot Mountain," "Frontier Violence," "Grand Hotel Flood," "The Murder of Sheriff McCracken," "Cyclones," and more. The book includes a number of illustrations and photos.

Medicine Lodge by Nellie Snyder Yost
Who’s Who in Topeka, written by Howard D. Berrett, was published in 1905. The first line of the preface warns the reader:

Don’t expect too much from the title of this book. It is not meant to imply that herein is an array of men each with his pockets bulging with money and a long string of degrees attached to his name; rather, the rich and the poor, the learned and the unlearned, who have been or who are now so connected with the interests of Topeka, that they are well known or worthy of mention. 

Which is to say – you might find one of your ancestors' stories in this book.

Our Kansas books also include a small assortment of cemetery and marriage records and the 1855 Territorial Census.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

20 December 2018

New Intro to Genealogy Series

It’s almost 2019! The New Year is the perfect time to dive into your genealogy with CGS' FREE “Intro to Genealogy” class, Saturday, January 5, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15. p.m.

Due to popular demand, we have expanded the course to a four-session series. The first class offers a basic genealogy overview. Each of the following three sessions will begin with a quick review of the basics, followed by a more in-depth focus on the following topics: Census, Vital Records, and Organization. The classes may be taken in any order, and participation in one class is not required to attend others in the series. The entire series will repeat twice in 2019.

Come join us in January to begin your journey!

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

19 December 2018

CGS Library Collections: Iowa

Cherokee County Biographical History
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

One of the things I’ve figured out while writing this blog series is our physical state collections typically start with a set of journals – if we have one for that state, and we do for most states. The Iowa shelf begins with Hawkeye Heritage by the Iowa Genealogical Society. We have copies starting in 1966 continuing to 2001. Those are followed by four volumes of a Surname Index that looks very useful. Our Iowa books occupy three and a half shelves – of those two and a half are devoted to Iowa counties. For some counties, we have good collections of naturalization, marriage and cemetery records.
One of many beautiful illustrations

The elaborately gilded black leather cover of Cherokee County Biographical History Illustrated appealed to me. It was written in 1889. It is a well-worn volume and feels fragile. The pages have pulled away from the binding, so when I am finished I will tie a blue ribbon around the book to alert our wonderful book repair team, led by Bill O’Neil, that it needs some of their TLC. The book starts with a seventeen-chapter history of the county followed by individual biographical sketches. It is nicely illustrated throughout with richly detailed sketches and portraits. This is just one of at least 19 county histories we have for Iowa.

A hefty tome with a rather crusty cover is the History of Des Moines and Polk County Iowa – a book the library purchased in 1960, according to the bookplate glued to the inside cover. We have Volume II, published in 1911. The book dives right into a biography of Jefferson Scott Polk, without benefit of a table of contents. As in many of its type, most biographies are accompanied by a photograph of the profiled individual. There is an index at the back.
Illustration from an Iowa county history book

Another small book in need of repair is An Illustrated History of Monroe County, Iowa by Frank Hickenlooper, published in 1896. The introduction says this book includes “sketches of pioneer life, anecdotes, biography, and long-drawn reminiscences spun out by the 'oldest inhabitant.'” The table of contents is found at the back. This small book is packed with a great range of interesting background information.

Women who led the effort to research and
publish cemetery records of Linn County
The last volume I chose for this post was Iowa Linn County Cemetery Records 1956- 1958. This is a carbon copy of a typed manuscript. Glued to the front page is a black-and-white snapshot of the three women who chaired the committee that did the work. Sixteen of Linn County's seventy-seven cemeteries are included. The records consist of alphabetically listed names and a transcription of all of the information recorded on each headstone for each cemetery – a true labor of love. The book has 198 pages including a good index.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

12 December 2018

CGS Library Collections: Indiana

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

Fall/Winter 2013 Connections
Our Indiana section of the library occupies seven shelves and includes four sets of journals, published between 1961–2015. Four shelves are devoted to county books. One of the most recent journals we have is Connections: The Hoosier Genealogists. The Fall/Winter 2013 edition features an article entitled How Hoosiers Got Hitched: The Genealogist’s Guide to Indiana Marriage Records. This edition also has an article about Pioneering Women Doctors.

The first book I chose to peruse was Indiana Election Returns 1816-1851, published by the Indiana Historical Bureau. It includes results for the Presidential, Congressional, Lieutenant Governor, and General Assembly elections as well as constitutional referendums. For each contest, it lists the names that appeared on the ballot and how many votes each person received. This is a huge amount of data …. and to think they compiled it before we had Excel.

We have a five-volume set, Indiana and Indianans: A History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood by Jacob Piatt Dunn, published in 1919. These books are bound in forest green textured leather with embossed elements and green marbled page edges. They include many photographs of individuals, buildings and maps.
Indiana and Indianans

There are seven Indiana Source Books, based on records collated by The Hoosier Genealogist. These source books include a dense treasure trove of county and family records.
Volney Willson of Muncie and his wife

One of the county books that impressed me was Portrait and Biographical Record of Delaware and Randolph Counties. Its sheer mass is notable, weighing in at eleven pounds. The book was published in 1894 and includes biographical sketches of "Prominent and Representative Citizens," governors of Indiana, and presidents of the United States. Like many of our other books, this one includes high-quality photographs. The preface introduces the book by describing the “elegance of the binding of the volume, and to the beauty of its typography, to the superiority of the paper on which the work is printed, to the truthfulness depicted by its portraits, and to the high class of art in which the latter is finished.” So, I guess I am not the only one to be impressed by the book.

There is lots more to find in our library for Indiana – stop by and check it out.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

05 December 2018

CGS Library Collections: Illinois

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

Voices of the Prarie Land
The CGS library has twelve shelves of books for the state of Illinois including at least fourteen sets of journals, many source books on individual counties, and several books devoted to cities – quite an impressive set of material. As I took this in, it struck me that even though my paternal grandparents George and Katharine Vetter lived in Cook County, Illinois for twenty-one years, it never occurred to me to check our library for what secrets it might hold for my own family. This is rather embarrassing to admit. Am I the only CGS member who has made this error of omission? I think not. How is it possible that I would seriously contemplate driving halfway across the country to the state of Illinois before I would think to look at the wonderful collection of sources in my own town? This is why I am writing this series for our blog to remind us all of the rich resources we have access to by being members of CGS.
Hiram Revels of Illinois

So, while it was difficult for me to avoid immediately jumping into a search for my own family I focused on writing this post. The first book I found that interested me was Voices of the Prairie Land, Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Martin Litvin. The book was published in 1972 and consists of writings and original papers of early Illinois citizens. Vol. 1 has a chapter titled Hiram Revels and the Negroes of Galesburg. Revels was the first African American U.S. Senator. This lengthy firsthand account includes Revels’ autobiography, comments on race and the Underground Railroad, and much more. It includes a facsimile of Revels’ original hand-written antislavery oration. This is a rich text worthy of review.

Photo from Legends and Lore of Southern Illinois
Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of the Representative Men of the United States, Illinois Edition, Volume II was published in 1896. The embossed leather-bound volume with gilded page edges presents 298 pages of biographies with high-quality portraits and signatures. Unfortunately, the book lacks a table of contents or an index, so I cannot easily tell you how many biographies are included.

Another of our offerings is Legends and Lore of Southern Illinois by John W. Allen, published in 1964. Chapter topics include Individuals, Folklore, Indians, Early Business Activities, Farm Life, Early Schools, Holidays, Slavery and Servitude, Landmarks, Random Stories, and more.
This book looks like a light read with lots of background information.

 Chicago Accomplishments and Leaders
The last book I checked out for this post was Chicago Accomplishments and Leaders. It is organized by different topics such as the Furniture Mart, Music, Steel, Athletics and Recreation, the Shedd Aquarium, and much more. The book includes portraits of the featured men (all men) accompanied by biographical sketches.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

28 November 2018

CGS Library Collections: Idaho

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

Why is Judge Judy's photo on the cover page of
Memories of Market Lake?
What is Judge Judy’s connection to Idaho? Memories of Market Lake, Vol. V is a picture book about Idaho written by Wm. Stibal Pettite and published in 2002. Subjects covered include Idaho Movie Stars, Sorrowful Events, Bingham County, Eagle Rock’s Forgotten Pioneer, Old Time Cars, Farm & Ranch Days, Beaver Canyon, and much more. The book is packed with historic photos, including a photo of Judge Judy on the title page. If you want to find out why you’ll just have to visit the library to read the book.

Our Idaho collection has thirteen books and one box of the Idaho Genealogical Society Quarterly from 1986 – 1996. There are five volumes of Idaho Surnames that were indexed by the Genealogical Forum of Portland, Oregon. For most persons listed only minimal information is provided but for some, a short bio is included.

Photos of old cars in Memories of Market Lake
For general knowledge about the state, we have a three-volume set History of Idaho: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests, written by Hiram T. French, M.S. in 1914. These are books that feel good in your hands. They are leather bound, have marbled page edges, and are hefty, weighing about five pounds each. The table of contents is extensive and there are good illustrations.

A resource book on Boise
One of the newest books in the set was published in 2006. It is Boise, Idaho 1882-1910: Prosperity in Isolation by Carol Lynn MacGregor. Chapters cover The Land, Native People, and Settlers; Transportation, Irrigation, and City Development; Business and Commerce; Government and Politics; Progressive Social Institutions; and Leisure, the Arts, and Religion. The back cover synopsis explains how Boise became a vibrant city even though it was not located on the main railroad line. “Investigating everything from racism and prostitution to hospitals, hotels, and high society, MacGregor takes the reader on an in-depth tour of how this distinctive western city developed.” This is a well-annotated book no doubt packed with useful information about Idaho.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

20 November 2018

CGS Library Collections: Hawaii

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

Screen shot of the WorldCat online library catalog on
our CGS website

I recently visited the library to work on this blog post for Hawaii and I learned a lot while I was there. The first thing I learned is that not all states have a section devoted to them on the library shelves. For those who don’t already know this, there are maps posted on the ends of each of the shelves in our library. The states that are found on that shelf have been colored in on these maps and the names of the states are listed with their call numbers. It makes it very easy to find the state you are looking for. I could not find Hawaii colored in on any shelf, so I asked Arlene Miles, our current Library Committee Chair, where to find our Hawaii books. Arlene replied, “Did you look in our catalog?” That’s the response Arlene gives to many of my questions – rightly so.

I dutifully went to the CGS website and selected “Library Catalog” from the blue box on the left. That action took me to a search box on the World Catalog better known as WorldCat. This is just what it says – an online catalog that shows us what books on a particular subject are in the catalog and where you can find them. When you select Library Catalog the first thing that pops up asks, “Not familiar with WorldCat? Watch this video.” Following that link will open a video that illustrates how to use the catalog. Or, you can just enter a search term like “Hawaii,” hit the blue “Search” button and see what you get. On our website, the default is set to show you what books are housed in the CGS collection, so when I hit the search button it told me we have 51 books with something about Hawaii in them. If you want to know where else in the world you might find genealogical material, in case you are planning a trip, you can use the “Search Tool” to select “Libraries Worldwide.”Doing that will tell you there are 706,406 books with Hawaiian content in the world. WorldCat lists each item and tells you all the places you can find it.
WorldCat Search box 

Fortunately, there are other search tools that will enable you to focus the hunt. You can search by format: books, articles, items on microfilm or journals; or by author, time period, or a number of topics including “genealogy.” This online catalog is available to anyone who visits our website – not just members.

Some WorldCat search tools
Once you’ve found an item you think might be useful you can click on the book title and view more information as well as a list of all the places the book is available.

I also learned more about using our vertical files collection. One of the first items listed for Hawaii is “A Genealogy of the Wilder Family of Hawaii,” printed in 1916 by the Hawaiian Historical Society. This is a seven-page booklet housed in our vertical files. The catalog provided the exact file number so finding it was very easy. Another document in our vertical files was “Thirty Turley Cousins: Grandchildren of Independence Turley and Dora Estelle Hill of Howard County, Arkansas”. Turns out one of the cousins lived in Hawaii in 1968 when the family history was written and that is why it appears in a Hawaii search.
Wilder Family Genealogy in the vertical files
I found one of our Hawaii books housed with directories in the “L” section of the library. We have two volumes of “School Directory State of Hawaii 1961-1963.” These paperback books list the names of all the school personnel, and they identify the special schools available in Hawaii including private schools, sewing schools, commercial and marketing schools, cosmetology and hairdressing schools, and other professional and technical schools.

One of our books that sparked my interest is “Julia Morgan Architect of Beauty” by Mark Wilson. While this book features mostly Bay Area buildings it also includes the Homelani Columbarium, the Honolulu YWCA building and the Iolani Palace that Morgan designed for Hawaii.

The last book I sought for this post led me to our CS section where family genealogies reside. There I found a two-volume set of “Peter and Mary Thomas Their Ancestors and Descendants” compiled by George Mower Hargrave in 1950.  Volume 2 is a Supplement dated 1963. Volume one is a First Edition mimeographed book that was dedicated to the author’s father, John Wilson Hargrave. This is a traditional family genealogy – the kind we all dream of finding for our own family. It is packed with facts about twelve generations of the family and well organized, with an index.
Honolulu YWCA designed by Julia Morgan

For most of the books and articles I glanced at, Hawaii was not the primary focus of the item. For example, Mark Wilson’s book is really about the architecture of Julia Morgan and there just happens to be three buildings she designed in Hawaii, so it makes sense that it is shelved with other books on architecture and not with other state collections.

Back home, I spent some more time perusing the listings in the CGS collection for Hawaii. Doing so takes more time than standing in front of the shelf and glancing at book titles printed on the binding. Using the catalog also lacks the visceral response to seeing and touching the actual books with their bright colors, leather covers, embossed imprints, gilded page edges, etc. It is definitely a different experience – far less satisfying. On the other hand, it can be done in the middle of the night from my comfy chair and avoids paying for parking.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

16 November 2018

Seeking CGS Board Nominations

We are currently accepting nominations for the CGS Board of Directors. Requirements include attending monthly meetings and a willingness to chair a committee. Term is two years.

This is a chance to join a great team of people and help steer our organization into the future.

All suggestions should be emailed no later than Tuesday, November 27th to Nomination Committee chair Richard Kehoe (

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

11 November 2018

A sanctuary from the fires

Veterans' Section, Paradise Cemetery
Member Lorna Jones noticed a poignant detail in the coverage of the fires devastating California this week: in the town of Paradise, resident Mark Kirby found shelter in the historic cemetery. As reported in the Washington Post:

The lifelong Paradise resident had woken to the unnatural darkness outside at 8:30 a.m., and loaded up his trailer. He ended up parking in a cemetery in town — a “large area of green,” he said, where he felt he had room to move if he needed to, despite warnings from fire crews.

"I was totally surrounded at one point," he said. He spent the night there safely; the cemetery was relatively untouched.

It's a bittersweet story in the midst of our ongoing tragedy.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

10 November 2018

CGS Library Collections: Georgia

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

Some of the 24 volumes of The Colonial Records
Now that I’ve gotten to the CGS library collection for the State of Georgia I feel like I want to find a Georgia ancestor – because our collection is so extensive. Our books start with twenty-four volumes of The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia by Allen D. Candler. These volumes have vibrant royal blue covers and cover the fifty years between 1732 and 1782. Frustratingly there is no table of contents or an index so I cannot easily share with you what is covered in the set. You will just have to visit our library and peruse these volumes on your own.

A few of the journals in our collection
When you come to the library you will be thrilled to find six full shelves of books for Georgia including several county books. We have three sets of journals for the periods 1968 to 2015, 1971 to 1998 and 1964 to 1972 – these no doubt cover the period when the donor was actively researching his or her genealogy.

There is a three-volume set titled The Georgia Frontier: Colonial Families to the Revolutionary War Period by Jeannette Holland Austin. Published in 2005, this book provides hundreds of family histories listed by family name and county. It starts with the Adams family of Chattooga County and provides short bios for Edwin and Hopewell Adams and each of their children. The entire text of how Hopewell’s estate was to be distributed is transcribed. These volumes are well indexed.

One of our more unusual books
Cover page of The Georgia Black Book
One book that intrigued me is The Georgia Black Book: Morbid, Macabre, and Sometimes Disgusting Records of Genealogical Value by Robert Scott Davis, Jr.  That title alone should be enough to draw you into the library if you have Georgia ancestors, and maybe even if you don’t have Georgia ancestors. The table of contents lists chapters on Horse Thieves and Other Charming People; Liars; Convicts; Murders, Murderers, and Murder Victims; Convicts; Insane Asylum Inmates; Racial Incidents; More Murders, Murderers, and Murder Victims; and finally Other Sources Equally Disgusting. Out of curiosity, I read the “About the Author” chapter suspecting he was the great-grandson of a notorious Georgia criminal who went insane but instead learned that he is simply a passionate historian who is concerned about preserving historical records – just our kind of guy. 

We have several volumes of Historical Collections compiled by the DAR. There are bible records, a will index, marriage and church records, tax records, censuses, and one book on intestate records published in 1986 – this is an excellent collection of resources.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

01 November 2018

In Memoriam: Gaye Lenahan, 1931-2018

Gaye Lenahan in 2010. Photo: Lacy Atkins, San Francisco Chronicle
Gaye Lenahan, a longtime CGS member and volunteer, passed away at home on October 29, 2018. Her contributions to CGS, her community, and other organizations are too numerous to list, but she was widely beloved and appreciated. Gaye was a docent for 20 years at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, and in 2010 published her extensive research on the cemetery's "Strangers' Plot," which served as the burial place for indigents, unknowns, suicides and criminals from 1863 until World War I. Gaye was featured in a Chronicle article on the subject. Kathryn Doyle's post in this blog gives more information about Gaye's diligent work on this little-known resting place.

Gaye's family wrote in her obituary, "She will be remembered by all who knew her as a kind, generous and brave spirit who did her part to leave the world a little better place." The full obituary from the San Francisco Chronicle can be read online here.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

30 October 2018

CGS Library Collections: Florida

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also listed in WorldCat.

An assortment of The Florida Genealogist journals
Our Florida collection is limited to five boxes of journals – The Florida Genealogist, published by the Florida State Genealogical Society. Our copies run from Fall 1979 through December 2013.

Glancing at the most recent edition reveals an assortment of very interesting articles.
The first is about genealogical resources available at the State Library and Archives. Another appealing story has a tantalizing title, What To Do With a Steamer Trunk of Memories?

A third essay, by Amy Crabill Lay, Pioneer Committee Chair, describes in detail how to prepare a successful application for the Florida Pioneer lineage society. Clyde Pierce Stickney wrote Using Family Occupations as a Lens for Studying Local History: A Case Study for Key West, Florida. The author writes about his ancestors who salvaged shipwrecks, worked as lighthouse keepers, made cigars, were sponge fishermen, and worked for the railroad – quite an interesting combination of trades.
From an article about the Florida State Archives

Each of these articles appealed to me. No telling what you might find if you spend some time looking through our Florida collection.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

24 October 2018

CGS Library Collections: Delaware

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also listed in WorldCat.

Delaware Archives Military Volumes 1-3

The first three volumes of our twenty-four book Delaware collection are Delaware Archives, an impressive set of Revolutionary War military records published by the Public Archives Commission of Delaware in 1911. The records are organized by war rolls and regiments and contain a tremendous amount of detail.

We have two volumes of New York Historical Manuscripts: Dutch–Delaware Papers, 1648-1664. These were a gift from Stanley E. Ross. This specialized source is a collection of documents pertaining to the regulation of affairs on the South River of New Netherland. It was edited by Charles T. Gehring published in 1981. The book lacks a table of contents but is well indexed.

Silversmiths of Delaware 1700-1850
The Calendar of Kent County Delaware Probate Records 1680-1800 was compiled by the state archivist and published by the Public Archives Commission in 1944. The foreword tells us, “This publication marks the culmination of careful and arduous work in classifying, collating, and calendarizing the probate records of Kent County, Delaware.”

We also have several books published by the Colonial Dames of America including A Calendar of Delaware Wills for New Castle County 1682-1800, published in 1911.  Silversmiths of Delaware 1700-1850, published in 1939, has beautiful photographs of Colonial silver objects.

Delaware records compiled in 2006
One of our newest Delaware source books is Delaware Marriages and Deaths from Newspapers 1729-1853, edited by Mary Fallon and John C. Richards and published in 2006. Entries are listed alphabetically by surname and were originally compiled by the Delaware Genealogical Society. Over 10,000 names are included in the publication.

So, Delaware descendants, next time you are in Oakland, stop by to delve into all this data.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

19 October 2018

October Membership Meeting

Past President Jane Lindsey with Linda Longley
Linda Longley was the headliner at the October 13 Membership meeting. She wowed us with a detailed description of her approach to researching and writing her recently self-published Langley & Longley Family, Biographical Directory. Linda is a longtime member of CGS and also a past historian of the Mayflower Society. Linda’s background in marketing and experience working with databases gave her a head start in tackling this comprehensive research project. We were all impressed by the amount of data and diligence that went into recording it in multiple Excel spreadsheets. The book includes three generations of Langley/Longleys from New Hampshire starting with James born in 1680, his eight children, and their descendants. Linda started the project in 2010 with three goals, one of which was to finish the project in two years. She missed her goal by six years but the results are well worth it. Linda has donated a copy of her book to our library. It is also available at Amazon.

Thank you, Linda, for an excellent presentation.

Jane Lindsey gave an update of things that are happening at CGS. Maureen Hanlon reviewed our upcoming programs and Chris Pattillo talked briefly about the 2018 Strategic Plan with specific details on plans for updating our website.

Wrapping up the quarterly Membership Meeting, Volunteer Coordinator Kathleen Beitiks announced recipients of the 2018 Genie Awards - presented to volunteers who “make magic happen” at the CGS.

Kathleen Beitiks with Genie recipient Maureen Hanlon
Awardees this year are facilitators and organizers of CGS Special Interest Groups (SIGs), honored for their work in aiding CGS members with genealogy related research: Lavinia Schwarz and Arlene Georgia Miles (Roots Magic), Sandra Britt-Huber (San Francisco), Ron Madson and Karen Halfon (Family Tree Maker), Vicky Kolakowski and Craig Siulinski (Eastern Europe) and Maureen Hanlon (Irish Ancestor Network - Facebook). Information about SIG meeting dates can be found in the monthly CGS eNews.

Thanks to all who planned and attended the meeting. Mark your calendars for the Annual Membership Meeting on January 12, 2019!

Kathleen Beitiks planned the Genies and brought cake!

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

17 October 2018

CGS Library Collections: Connecticut

Copies of The Connecticut Nutmegger
range from 1968 to 2009.

One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also listed in WorldCat

Our Connecticut collection is large. It occupies fourteen and a half shelves. There are several Who's Who-type books, histories of Connecticut, and many books devoted to individual counties. If you have Connecticut ancestors you are certain to find something of interest.

The collection includes a great number of historical society journals. The largest collection of these is the Connecticut Nutmegger which fills two and a half shelves. Our set starts with Volume 1 in 1968–the year the Connecticut Society of Genealogists began. The most current volume we have is Volume 41 Number 4 from March 2009.

The history of the design of Bushnell Park
is explained in a 1982 edition of
The Connecticut Historical Society journal
The next journal collection we have is The Connecticut Historical Society Bulletin from October 1953 to July 1982. The cover photo of the most recent volume shows a photograph of Bushnell Park in Hartford. As a landscape architect, my interest was piqued. The article dispels the false notion that the park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and ultimately gives credit to Gervaise Wheeler, who won a design competition sponsored by the city. In the end, though, Wheeler’s design proved too expensive and the city ordered that the final design incorporate features of the top two submissions.
(It is not uncommon for Olmsted to be credited with works designed by others–Golden Gate Park, designed by John McClaren, is frequently credited to Olmsted.)

We have a few copies of Connecticut Genealogy News from 2008 and 2009, and a tattered set of The Connecticut Magazine beginning in September 1899. The latter magazine is well illustrated and somewhat surprisingly includes advertising.

The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records
We have the entire 55 volumes of The Barbour Collection of Connecticut Town Vital Records, compiled between 1994 and 2000 by Lorraine Cook White. It's a transcription of many Connecticut vital records (birth, marriage, death) from 1630 to 1850, arranged in alphabetical order by town.

A portrait of Henry Newton, one of the
biographical subjects of the History
of the State of Connecticut
There's also the Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut, a four-volume set donated by Edith Atherton Vaughan Lindenberger. The set was published in 1911 under the auspices of some of the state's leading historians and genealogists. It professes to present “an amount and variety of genealogical and personal information and portraiture unequaled by any kindred publication.”

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

10 October 2018

CGS Library Collections: Colorado

One of several Who's Who-style books in
our Colorado collection
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also listed in WorldCat.

After California, Colorado was a breeze. Our collection includes fifteen print books and two boxes of The Colorado Genealogist – a Quarterly Publication of the Colorado Genealogical Society from 1974 to 2003. The first tome to catch my eye was a dense turquoise-covered volume titled Colorado Families: A Territorial Heritage published in 1981 by the Colorado Genealogical Society. This book offers a short early Colorado history and 629 pages of family histories. For example, the Samuel and Caroline (Smith) Andrew family begins on page 14 and continues to page 33. Each individual has a biography and the names of their children are listed. 173 members of the Andrew family are featured in the book along with many other families. The book is well indexed.

I found three Who’s Who-style books and was not surprised to find the now very familiar George R. Dorman bookplate on the inside cover of Who’s Who In Colorado, which resembles a Bible with its black, leather-bound cover. The volume was published in 1938 and offers biographies of “Leaders in Business, Professional and Public Life.” The book content is organized by county and includes a short county history at the beginning of each section followed by short individual biographies. The index lists each county but not the individuals.

Another Dorman donation is The Glory That Was Gold – Central City Opera House first published in 1932. With that title, one would think it was a book about the opera house or about the impact of gold mining on the state, but it is actually another book devoted mostly to biographies of prominent Colorado citizens.

A student text written jointly with the State
Historical Society of Colorado
This student text includes a chapter on Indian Sign language
The last book I checked was a colorful picture book: Colorado: Crossroads of The West by Matthew T. Downey and Fay D. Metcalf. This is actually an elementary school history textbook first published in the 1970s and used to teach students about the different people and cultures that inhabited the state of Colorado. It is very well illustrated and has some interesting subject matter like a chapter on Indian sign language.

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society

05 October 2018

Genealogical Proof Standard Flowchart!

Anyone who is serious about genealogical research has heard of the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS), first issued in 2000 by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. The GPS's five components, from "reasonably exhaustive research" to a "soundly written conclusion" serve as a guide for best practice in the field.

Recently, genealogy blogger Marc McDermott, author of Genealogy Explained, put out this handy and attractive flowchart illustrating the GPS process. He had the assistance of two of the biggest names in genealogy: Elizabeth Shown Mills and Thomas W. Jones. The chart illustrates the thought process that needs to go into applying the GPS, with some of the most common pitfalls and dead ends. Readers are already clamoring for him to make it available as a poster. That's not currently offered, but McDermott is generously making it available to all through his website. I've printed out my own copy and have it hanging over my desk for handy reference!

Copyright © 2018 by California Genealogical Society