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08 April 2008

Marin County Genealogical Society's Field Trip to CGS

Members of the Marin County Genealogical Society have journeyed to Oakland as a group twice in the last month. Jim Robinson, who is a member of both societies, organized the field trips, first to the CGS March Membership Meeting at the Oakland Regional Family History Center to hear Margery Bell's update on the changes at the Family History Library. On April 5, 2008, a group of six came from the MCGS for First Saturdays Free to spend a day at the CGS Library to do a day of research.

The group included (L. to R.) Shirley Genetin, President; Jim Robinson, Vice-President; Pam Saulter; Doris Salvisberg, Director of Hospitality; John Bowman, Past Treasurer (also a CGS member) and Will Deady. The Marin County Genealogical Society was formed in May 1977 in Novato, California.

CGS welcomes interested groups to come and tour the library and spend some time exploring our resources. Contact CGS at (510) 663-1358 to schedule a field trip.

06 April 2008

Book Recommendations from Steve Danko

CGS Librarian, Laura Spurrier, sent word that new books were ordered for the CGS Library in anticipation of the workshop this Saturday, April 12, 2008, "Eastern and Central European Genealogy." Specialist Steve Danko of Steve's Genealogy Blog suggested several titles. These are now available at the CGS library:
In Their Words: a Genealogist's Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin and Russian Documents, Volume I: Polish by Jonathan D. Shea and William F. Hoffman.

In Their Words: a Genealogist's Translation Guide to Polish, German, Latin and Russian Documents Volume II: Russian
Jonathan D. Shea and William F. Hoffman.

Avotaynu Guide to Jewish Genealogy
edited by Sallyann Amdur Sack and Gary Mokotoff.

Where Once We Walked : A Guide to the Jewish Communities Destroyed in the Holocaust, revised edition, by Gary Mokotoff and Sallyann Sack with Alexander Sharon.

Additional books on Polish, Ukrainian and Galician genealogy have also been ordered.

The workshop is free for CGS members and there are still a few slots open. Reservations are required; no walk-ins will be permitted. There is a sign-up fee of $10 for non-members. (The fee can be applied toward membership on the day of the workshop.)

Please call (510) 663-1358 to reserve a space.

05 April 2008

Roots Central - Free Advertising for Non-profit Genealogical Organizations

Roots Television announced a new public service and free advertising outlet for genealogical societies and organizations. Roots Central is a slide show of "upcoming events, speaking schedules, new projects, and anything else of genealogical interest."

CGS submitted this graphic for inclusion on the site. Roots Central is updated every Tuesday, and submissions are due each Friday by noon Pacific time. Director of Operations, Samantha Butterworth, says that the CGS contribution should be up on Tuesday, April 8, 2008.

02 April 2008

Genealogy for Beginners

The California Genealogical Society is offering an ongoing, free, introductory class in genealogy, the first Saturday of every month, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the CGS Library at 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California, in the historic Breuner Building. This Saturday's class will be taught by Dick Rees.

The course is part of the "First Saturdays Free" policy that allows open access to the library and resources to non-members and the general public on the first Saturday of every month. The dates for the remainer of 2008 are: April 5, May 3, June 7, August 2, September 6, October 4, November 1 and December 6. The library is a benefit of membership and is available to non-members for a $5.00 day fee during the rest of the month.

For the remainder of 2008, CGS is opening its doors to the tenants of the Breuner Building for use during the lunch hour, at no charge. President Jane Lindsey notified the society's neighbors that CGS will offer this benefit on Thursdays and Fridays, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the remainder of 2008. CGS recently marked the one-year anniversary of the society's move to the Breuner Building.

Please note that the CGS Library will be closed on the first Saturday of July for the Independence Day holiday. Further information is available at the CGS Google calendar.

01 April 2008

Chronicling Events in a Horseless Carriage

One of the photographs from the CGS 110th anniversary bookmark, was this one taken on the wedding day of Clare and Alta McAllister THOMSON, parents of Thomas Thomson, who is the husband of Shirley Pugh Thomson, CGS board member and recording secretary.

The young bride and groom (she only 18, he age 19) were photographed 4 June 1916, in Sullivan County, Indiana. In the back seat are their best friends and witnesses, Paul and Lena Sharpe. The Buick was owned by the groom’s father, as was the camera, and it was dad who took the picture.

The blog description prompted this response from CGS News Editor, Jane Hufft: "The copy you have with the photographs is so informative and interesting. The picture sparked a connection for me: I have a photo of my grandparents c. 1916 that could be a twin to Shirley's; everyone is dressed up, looking out of an open car, event unknown, and it NEVER occurred to me that it possibly is a wedding photo -- and we don't have any others for them. Perhaps that was a photographic style then. Thank you so much for the clue."

I checked with Maureen A. Taylor, the Photo Detective, who has written about old automotive photographs, most recently in an article entitled "Motor Trends" in the July 2007 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

She agrees that there may be other photographs that appear at first glance to be just folks in old cars, but which in fact are chronicling weddings or other significant events.

Maureen notes: "You see a lot more people in front of cars once they are more enclosed. Men drove, women generally didn't. How interesting that the woman is behind the wheel!"

The cover of Katherine Scott Sturdevant's book, Bringing Your Family History to Life Through Social History, depicts a family dressed in their Sunday best in a circa 1910 automobile.

The photograph, identified as "William H. McKernan, Brooklyn" was supplied to the publisher as a research experiment. Ms. Sturdevant analyzes the photograph on page 89 and presents a case study which includes dating the vehicle and city directory and census research on the family. She makes a strong case that it is the family of William H. McKiernan and notes that the children in the photograph match the "genders and ages of the census children... if the oldest child, Mary, was elsewhere when the photograph was taken. She would have been about twenty."

Knowing what we know now from Shirley's and Jane's photographs, I wonder if the family was off to attend Mary's wedding?

Written for the 45th Carnival of Genealogy, Cars as stars!