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16 June 2020

Website Content Committee: Pedigree Charts Project

Chris Pattillo writes:
If you have not already seen the video about our Pedigree Charts project made by Ron Madson, you can see it by clicking on the link. Ron is one of a number of CGS volunteers who are working with the Website Content Committee to put more source material on our website. The idea to do this is one of the many good suggestions that were put forth by our members during the Strategic Planning process.  
Ron Madson in his studio with the equipment he is using to
photograph two volumes of pedigree charts

This project began over one hundred years when some of the founding members created pedigree charts and had them bound into books. We have two volumes of CGS Pedigree Charts on the back wall where the oversized books are shelved. These books are beautifully done. They are eight-generation charts written in ink. In addition to birth, death and marriage dates and places, some charts include photographs, obituaries and newspaper clippings.
These books were made ca. 1920
The Pierson Worrall Banning Chart was completed on
September 13, 1916
Years later other volunteers indexed the names from these books. They extracted the data and typed it onto 3x5 cards. Each card provides the individual’s name, the name of the chart it appears on, and what volume and page that chart appears on.
Other volunteers typed the data from the charts onto 3x5 cards
We are now converting the data on the 3x5 cards into a searchable database so that members can easily search for an ancestor online. Once the project is complete our members in other states and countries will be able to easily access this wealth of records without having to come into the library.

Our current team includes Stewart Traiman, who scanned about 8000 index cards, and Theresa Murphy, who created a data entry spreadsheet, a completed sample and instructions for how to index the data. Kathleen Beitiks is identifying and coordinating a team of volunteers who have agreed to do the indexing, and as the data comes in John Ralls will be putting it up on the website. I have had the pleasure of leading this team effort and keeping us all focused on the end goal.
One of about 200 8-generation pedigree charts that Ron is
photographing. Note: this is my iPhone snapshot. Ron's
photos will be much better.
Ron Madson agreed to take high-quality photographs of each tree – about 200 of them. He has an impressive set of equipment and is using Adobe Lightroom to organize and edit the photos.

Many of the charts have photos attached
The Banning chart includes this obituary
If you are interested and have time to help with the indexing please contact me at cpattillo@californiaancestors.org or Kathleen Beitiks at kbeitiks@californiaancestors.org. The Website Content Committee is working on several other projects. I’ll share more about those as we make progress.
This box of 3x5 cards was scanned for the internet
Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

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