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30 August 2020

CGS September Classes and Events


The California Genealogical Society has adapted during the pandemic, moving many of our classes online. To judge from the response we've been getting, this is very popular with many of our members. As we move into our fall classes, you'll see some old favorites as well as exciting new offerings. We hope you'll check them out and consider joining us online!

September 5: 1st Saturday FREE "Intro to Genealogy," our popular monthly series. This month: Genealogy Basics.

September 1, 8, 15, 22: Our "Writing Your Family History" series continues on Tuesdays through September. Join us for tips on citation, graphics, layout, and indexing!

Two special multipart courses launch this month:

September 19: "Exploring Military Records" with Susan Goss Johnson, a 4-part course on alternate Saturdays.

September 29: "Introduction to DNA and Genetic Genealogy" with Mark McLaren, a 6-part course held Tuesday evenings.

National Hispanic Heritage Month spans September 15-October 15. We have two special presentations on the theme:

September 26: "An Introduction to Researching Your Mexican Ancestors" by Colleen Robledo Greene.

October 1: "Researching Mexican Land Grants in Alta California" by Susan Skilton.

All our Events can be found listed on our website
Or at the CGS Facebook page
Or at EventBrite.com (search for "California Genealogical Society")


Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

29 August 2020

Online Genealogy: Week of August 31-September 6


Our "Writing Your Family History" Series continues Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
This eight-part series walks through the steps needed to produce a well-researched and handsome family history book, from the basics of storytelling to the finished product. Sign up for one, several, or all sessions! This week: Stewart Traiman talks about "Citation: Easier Than You Think."

Conferences:

  • The Federation of Genealogical Societies holds a virtual conference beginning September 2, with recorded sessions available to participants until March 2021. Click here for details and to register. (fee)
  • The Association for African American Life and History holds a virtual conference, with events every Thursday and Saturday in September. Visit their website to register. (fee)

Classes:
 
Numerous associations offer online genealogy events every week. Most are free. See our post "Genealogy Learning in the Time of Coronavirus" for links to classes archived online at Ancestry, FamilySearch, RootsTech, and more. To register for one of the events below, click on the name of the host organization. 

September 2: "How to Ask Your DNA Question" with Bonnie Belza

Legacy Family Tree
September 1 & 2
:
"Wilkommen in Australien! Researching German-Australian Families" by Benjamin Hollinger
September 2: "Using Chromosome Browsers, Segment Data, and Triangulation" by Michelle Leonard
 
Southern California Genealogical Society 
September 5: "Who Needed It, Anyway? Researching Around the Missing 1890 Census" by Sara Cochran

Conference Keeper has a large calendar of events (too many to list) hosted by various genealogical organizations. New events are added often, so check back frequently. Here are a few of the coming week's highlights:

September 1: "A Genealogist's Guide to Digital Marketing" with David Ryan
September 2: "An Introduction to Ellis Island Genealogy" (New York Public Library)
September 3: "German Resources to Trace Your Roots" (Germanic Genealogy Society)
September 5: "Using Historical Maps to Research New England and Beyond" by Sara Campbell
September 6: "400th Anniversary of the Mayflower Voyage" (DuPage County Genealogical Society)

Be well, stay safe, and happy learning!


Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

26 August 2020

Two new medals honor World War II veterans: Chinese Americans and Merchant Marines

The history of Americans who served in World War II has been told many times by many different people. One ethnic group that has often been overlooked is that of the Asian Americans who fought for their country – even when that country did not grant them full citizenship. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which prevented Asian immigrants from becoming naturalized and otherwise discriminated against them and their families, was still in effect during World War II. In 1943 the Magnuson Act repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Long-overdue recognition has come gradually to Asian American WWII veterans. Japanese American Nisei soldiers collectively received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2011. Filipino vets were awarded the medal in 2017. Bipartisan legislation to create a Congressional Gold Medal for Chinese American veterans was introduced in 2017 and signed into law in December 2018. This medal was to be awarded collectively this spring at an April ceremony at Emancipation Hall in Washington, D. C., with a regional ceremony to follow in Hawaii. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has delayed those plans.

The front of the 3-inch medal depicts six men and one woman in various uniforms highlighting the fact they served in every branch of service and in every theater. Whether or not they were citizens during the war, the medal proclaims that each was "Proud to serve as an American."

Design for the Chinese American Veterans of WWII Congressional Gold Medal*

There is also a new Congressional medal recognizing those who served in the Merchant Marine, previously unrecognized because they were not part of the military, although they served and supported the U. S. Navy during the war.

CGS member Justine Wong is the daughter of Leland Wong, who served in the Merchant Marine during WWII. “Growing up I heard my dad talk about his time as a Merchant Marine,” she remembers. “He did not talk much in detail but I do remember hearing about the booming of cannons and something about my dad standing up to an officer about turning a ship around because of a sick seaman.” She learned about the Congressional Gold Medal last year, but didn't consider making an application for her late father until encouraged to do so by a friend. Her mother had lots of documents that included slips of paper with names of ships and their departure and arrival dates. The application process turned up some happy surprises: although the family's copy of her father's record stated "no medals," Justine learned from the U. S. Maritime Administration Department that her father was due a Victory Medal and an Honorable Service Medal as well as several others. Her next research project is to try to confirm stories that Leland was at Iwo Jima as well as in China and the Phillippines during the war.


Leland Wong on Catalina Island during WWII

The Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group is trying to raise awareness about the Chinese American Congressional medal so that surviving veterans or their family members may apply to be recognized. Those who served in the Merchant Marine during WWII are also encouraged to apply for that medal. Tributes to Chinese American WW2 veterans are at baccg.org and caww2.org.


BACGG also is hosting several events commemorating the service of Chinese Americans. This year is the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. This coming Saturday, August 29, at 1:15 p.m., a webinar featuring a virtual panel discussion with filmmaker Montgomery Hom, Ret. Major General William Chen, and historian Connie Young Yu is open to all.

On September 26, an online Chinese Genealogy Workshop will help participants with tips on how to research their Chinese ancestry.  That same day, a one-hour virtual celebration will feature presentations from the State of California and from several U.S. military and Veterans organizations. A special short film by Montgomery Hom, co-produced with Chinese American Citizens Alliance, highlights Chinese Americans in military service from the Civil War to WWII. More events are planned for November. See the BACGG website at https://bacgg.org/.

 

Any WWII veteran may be honored with an online profile at the Friends of the WWII Memorial. Fill out the application here:

https://www.wwiimemorialfriends.org/veteran-profile/

To apply for a Congressional Gold Medal, the veteran or next of kin should visit one of the following websites:

1.  Chinese American WWII Congressional Gold Medal Recipient

    Additional resources are listed at www.caww2.org.

2.  U. S. Merchant Marine WWII Congressional Gold Medal Recipient

    Additional resources are at http://usmm.org/contact.html.



Leland Wong and fellow Merchant Marines on Catalina Island


*Chinese American Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Images © United States Mint 2019. Non-journalism use requires U.S. Mint permission notwithstanding any terms of use.

Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

22 August 2020

Online Genealogy: Week of August 24-30


Our "Writing Your Family History" Series continues Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
This eight-part series walks through the steps needed to produce a well-researched and handsome family history book, from the basics of storytelling to the finished product. Sign up for one, several, or all sessions! This week: Matt Berry leads a class on "Genealogical Numbering Systems."

Courses:
August 24-September 20:
"U. S. Land Records: How to Use Them for Family History" (Family Tree Magazine) [fee]
August 25: "Finding Your Ancestors in International Censuses" (Family Tree Magazine) [fee]

Numerous associations offer online genealogy events every week. Most are free. To register for one of the events below, click on the name of the host organization. See our post "Genealogy Learning in the Time of Coronavirus" for links to classes archived online at Ancestry, FamilySearch, RootsTech, and more.

American Ancestors
August 25:
"Jews in the Catskills During and After the Holocaust" by Phil Brown
August 25: "Say I'm Dead: A Family Memoir of Race, Secrets, and Love" Dolores Johnson discusses her book about her mixed-race family

August 26: "2020 Update: Basics of FindMyPast" with James Tanner

Legacy Family Tree
August 25
:
"How to Use MyHeritage DNA Results to Enhance Your Family Tree" by Michelle Leonard
August 26: "Slack for Genealogy Projects" by Thomas MacEntee 

Conference Keeper has a large calendar of events (too many to list) hosted by various genealogical organizations. New events are added often, so check back frequently. Here are a few of the coming week's highlights:
August 25: "Using the Periodical Source Index (PERSI)" by Allen County Public Library
August 26: "Newspapers and Print Resources" by Boston Public Library
August 26: "Googling for Genealogy" by Irondequoit Public Library
August 26: "Family History Resources at the Library of Congress" by Homer (IL) Public Library
August 27: "Finding Pre-Immigration Records: a Three-Step Approach" by Jay Fonkert
August 27: "Hurra, wir fahren nach Amerika: Travel Patterns from the Age of Sail to the Age of Steam" by Wolfgang Grams
August 29: "Introduction to African American Genealogy: Let's Find Some Ancestors" by Annette Burke Lyttle
August 29: "75th Anniversary of the End of World War I" (Colorado Genealogical Society)
August 29: "Operation: WWII Chinese American G. I." (Bay Area Chinese Genealogy Group)
August 30: "Out of the Whirlwind: Finding Your Family Lost in the Holocaust" by Deborah Long

Be well, stay safe, and happy learning!


Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

16 August 2020

Help Find Photos of These California Veterans

California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Sacramento

The California Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Photo by Sarbjit Bahga (Wikimedia Commons)

CalVet Connect has been compiling photos of Vietnam War veterans from California with the aim of creating a "virtual wall" to put faces to the names on the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Sacramento. The task now is almost complete: just four more names need to be matched with photos. They are:

  • Tommy R. Henderson, Los Angeles, U.S. Army
  • John E. Magee, Los Angeles, U.S. Army
  • Vernon P. Smith, Los Angeles, U.S. Navy
  • Frank Spotwood Jr., San Francisco, U.S. Army

CGS Member John Ralls, who belongs to the Northern California post of the Scottish American Military Society, brought this to our attention in hopes that someone with genealogical skills might be able to locate a photo for these fallen servicemen. 

For more details about the project, see this blog post at the CalVet blog. If you are a relative of, knew, attended school with, or served with any of these men, please contact Mike Kennedy at mike3sps@verizon.net.


Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

15 August 2020

Online genealogy, Week of August 17-23


Our "Writing Your Family History" Series continues Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
This eight-part series walks through the steps needed to produce a well-researched and handsome family history book, from the basics of storytelling to the finished product. Sign up for one, several, or all sessions! This week: Jennifer Dix leads a class on "Writing With Style."
 
Courses:
August 17-September 13 "Find Your Italian Ancestors" (Family Tree University) [fee]
August 24-September 20: "U.S. Land Records: How to Use Them for Family History" (Family Tree University) [fee]

Numerous associations offer online genealogy events every week. Most are free. To register for one of the events below, click on the name of the host organization. See our post "Genealogy Learning in the Time of Coronavirus" for links to classes archived online at Ancestry, FamilySearch, RootsTech, and more.

American Ancestors
August 20:
"How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower's Biggest Decision" Susan Eisenhower discusses her book about her grandfather, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

August 12: "How to Ask Your DNA Question" with Bonnie Belza

August 18 & 19:  "The Advance of Research Habits Over Recent Decades--And the Downside" by Tom Jones
August 19:
"Getting to Know Mexican Church and Civil Registration Records" by Colleen Robledo Greene


Densho.org  concludes its "Finding Your Nikkei Roots" series.
August 20
: "Recording Oral Histories" with Tom Ikeda

Conference Keeper
has a large calendar of events (too many to list) hosted by various genealogical organizations. New events are added often, so check back frequently. Here are a few of the coming week's highlights:

 
August 17: "Building a Better Syllabus" (Association of Professional Genealogists)
August 18: "Bounty Land: It's Complicated" (Wisconsin State Genealogical Society) 
August 18: "Unlocking Notation Codes on Alien Passenger Lists" (New York Public Library)
August 18: "Enrich Your Research With Digital Primary Sources" (Allen County Public Library)
August 18: "Genealogy Research Using Southern Manuscripts" (Dallas Public Library) 
August 18: "Successful Strategies for Research Eastern European Ancestors" (Arlington Heights Memorial Library)
August 19: "The Most Prominent Citizens: Using County Histories" (Southern California Genealogical Society)
August 20: "Death By Undue Means: Coroners' Records" by Judy Russell (Florida State Genealogical Society)
August 20 & 21: "Researching Your Ancestors When You're Adopted" by Penny Walters (Utah Genealogical Association)
August 21: "Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy" by Penny Walters
August 22: "LGBTQ Genealogy" by Stewart Traiman (Kentucky Genealogical Society)
August 23: "Researching Displaced People" by Julie Goucher (Virtual Genealogical Association)
August 23: "Discovering Sephardic Roots Through DNA & Family History" by Shelley Talalay Dardashti


Be well, stay safe, and happy learning!


Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

08 August 2020

Online genealogy, week of August 10-16


Our "Writing Your Family History" Series continues Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
This eight-part series walks through the steps needed to produce a well-researched and handsome family history book, from the basics of storytelling to the finished product. Sign up for one, several, or all sessions!
 
Thursday, August 13: Grant Din presents "Genealogical Resources for Angel Island" a FREE webinar about immigrants who entered the country at this station between 1910-1940.

Conferences:
August 9-13: 40th IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy [fee]

Courses:

August 9-September 6: "In Sickness and In Death: Researching the Ill-health and Death of Your Ancestors" Pharos Online course with Janet Few [fee]

Numerous associations offer online genealogy events every week. Most are free. See our post "Genealogy Learning in the Time of Coronavirus" for links to archived classes available at Ancestry, FamilySearch, RootsTech, and more. To register for one of the events below, click on the name of the host organization.

American Ancestors

August 11: "Driving While Black" with author Gretchen Sorin

August 13: "The ABC's of Using School Records in Family History Research" by David Allen Lambert

August 14: "Speed, Style & the English Country House: Auto, Horse, and Airplane Racing at England's Historic Houses" by Curt DiCamillo

 

August 12: “How to Repair Incorrect Merges in Family Tree” with Kathryn Grant

August 10: "Chinese ZhongYuan Festival and Cemeteries"
August 11: "Switzerland Records: the Z├╝rich Census"
August 11: "El Arbol Familiar para principiantes" (in Spanish)

August 11:  "Working with Different Family Tree Views on MyHeritage" by Uri Gonen
August 12 & 13
:
"Dissecting a Civil War Pension Packet—Union and Confederate" by Jill Morelli


Densho.org
continues its "Finding Your Nikkei Roots" series.
August 13
: "Writing Your Family History" with Linda Okazaki

Conference Keeper
has a large calendar of events (too many to list) hosted by various genealogical organizations. New events are added often, so check back frequently.

Here are a few of the coming week's highlights:
 
August 11: "Genealogy Research with Maps" (New York Public Library)
August 12: "Getting Started in Genealogy Research (New York Public Library) 
August 13: "Evaluating Ancestry's Public Member Trees" (Allen County Public Library)
August 15: "2020 Summer DNA EConference" (Family History Fanatics) [fee]
August 15: "The Psychology of Searching" by Penny Walters
August 15: "Study Up on School Records for Success" (Chicago Public Library)
August 15: "Unraveling the Twisted Case of Angie Dodge" by CeCe Moore


Be well, stay safe, and happy learning!


Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society

06 August 2020

Free Webinar about the Angel Island Immigration Station, August 13

Immigrants arriving at Angel Island dock. Department of Photographic Archives, State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation

Angel Island in San Francisco Bay is known as a place to enjoy a picnic or bike ride, or for some, for the Chinese poetry that immigrants carved into the walls of the barracks of the immigration station, which was used from 1910-1940. What is less known is that over 500,000 immigrants from 80 countries spent some time on the island during their immigration journeys.

CGS board member Grant Din worked for the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation for eight years and currently volunteers to manage its Immigrant Voices website, which has over 220 stories of West Coast immigrants, most of whom immigrated through the island. The site includes stories of immigrants from over thirty countries, including those from China, Russia, Japan, Korea, South Asia, Austria, Germany, the Philippines, and even a couple who escaped the Armenian genocide through Siberia and eventually made their way into the United States via Angel Island. Even composer Serge Prokofiev spent several days on the island.



“It’s not as well known as Ellis Island, and the immigrants’ entries into the U.S. were generally more difficult,” said Din. Whether trying to circumvent the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Asiatic Barred Zone, or fleeing Nazi-controlled Austria yet being labeled 'likely to become a public charge,' Angel Island immigrants often faced difficult obstacles to their admission to the United States.

Grant Din

 

Come join a free webinar on Thursday, August 13 at 4 p.m. Pacific time to learn more about these stories and the genealogical treasures that can be found about these immigrants. Register here and we’ll see you online!


Copyright © 2020 by California Genealogical Society