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31 December 2012

A Message from President Jeff

California Genealogical Society President Jeffrey Vaillant sent these words of appreciation.

Members and Friends: 
There is a great deal to be thankful for as 2012 winds to a close. We are appreciative of our loyal members, numbering almost 1150, and for the many volunteers who devote time, energy, and talent to the California Genealogical Society.

Volunteers serve the society through program committees including:
  • Book Repair
  • Desk and Patron Services
  • Education and In-house Programs
  • Events
  • Finance
  • Investments
  • Library Services
  • Manuscript collections
  • Membership, 
  • Outreach
  • Publications and Marketing
  • Research & Look-ups
  • Strategic Planning
  • Technology
  • Website
This long lists translates to more than 100 volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours per year. 
The highlights from the year are a long list and at the risk of overlooking some people here are a few: The Library had its great migration with the addition of shelving and hundreds of books while removing non genealogical materials. The blog celebrated its fifth year of publications. New videos were produced and posted at the website. Successful field trips were held both locally and out of state. Our relationship with the Family History Center flourished. Many hundreds of people attended classes at the Library. Books were repaired on a regular basis. Desk duty responsibilities were covered allowing the Library to be open to members and visitors.

So THANK YOU for being a member and interested person in the California Genealogical Society. We hope you have a wonderful finish to 2012 and look forward as we do to 2013!!

Jeffrey Vaillant, President

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library

28 December 2012

Black History Month Panel Discussion – Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday, February 23, 2013
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

California Genealogical Society Library
2201 Broadway, Suite LL
Oakland, California 94612

The California Genealogical Society (CGS) is partnering with the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC) to present a Black History Month panel discussion. Felicia Addison, Annette Madden, Vernester Sheeler, Nicka Smith, and Jackie Stewart are members of both societies. They will be discussing genealogy research in their respective home states: South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi. The panel will share some of the challenges they have faced and how they overcame them, including the use of DNA. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a strategy session.

The panel session is limited to thirty participants and is a free benefit of membership. Non-members fee is $20.00 (non-refundable) and can be applied towards membership on the day of the of the event.

Register online.

Preregistration is required. Walk-ins will not be admitted. Registration confirmations will be sent to the first thirty registrants. Additional names will be collected and placed on a waiting list in case of cancellations.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

27 December 2012

Genealogy Writing Series Begins Saturday, February 16, 2013

The California Genealogical Society will present an encore of our popular series Writing Your Family History: Start Now. By the end of the course, you will be ready to start writing, or will be already writing, a family history with confidence and style!

Who Should Take this Course?
This course is for genealogists and family historians who are ready to transform their research into a quality family history.

Course Details
This course will meet for a five-hour session one Saturday a month at the library in the Learning Center. Class size is limited to twelve participants. All sessions are on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with one hour break for lunch.

The course will provide participants with all the information and assistance needed to get started on writing a family history. The course includes
  • a copy of the class text Producing a Quality Family History 
  • helpful course materials organized in a binder 
  • step-by-step instruction in organizing and writing your history 
  • a variety of lecturers on topics to expand on reading assignments 
  • experienced instructors 
  • editing and writing help 
Session dates:
  • Saturday, February 16, 2013
  • Saturday, March 16, 2013
  • Saturday, April 20, 2013
  • Saturday, May 18, 2013
  • Saturday, June 15, 2013
The course has been created by a team of dedicated volunteers – Matt Berry, Tim Cox, Lisa Gorrell and Jane Hufft – who have different and complementary skills.

Fee $100*
Non-members $125

Registration Requirements
  1. Attendance is required at all five sessions.
  2. There is no registration for individual sessions.
  3. Participants must be willing to commit a reasonable amount of time to the homework assignments, which consist of reading assigned chapters in the provided text and working on individual writing projects.
Last year's course filled very quickly, so please register now!

*All course fees are non-refundable.

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

24 December 2012

San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar: January 2013 Published

Genealogical societies throughout the Bay Area are gearing up for a new year of meetings and events.

January 2013 events have been published on the San Francisco Bay Area Genealogy Calendar – a collection of local genealogical society classes, workshops and meetings within a 75 mile radius of San Francisco.

The January calendar lists sixty events at various venues around the Bay Area, sponsored by thirty societies, libraries and archives.

If you would like to add your group's events to the calendar, please email the information by the 15th of each month. (Please include "SFBA Calendar" in the subject line.)

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library.

21 December 2012

115th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon with Dr. Andy Anderson

Saturday, February 9, 2013
11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Nile Hall
Preservation Park
668 Thirteenth Street
Oakland, CA 94612

The California Genealogical Society and Library will celebrate the 115th anniversary of our founding at a special luncheon event. Dr. Andy Anderson, Chief Historian of Wells Fargo Bank, will present The Healing Power of Genealogy. Dr. Anderson has given keynote addresses at both the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Society annual conferences. He is an inspirational speaker and we are honored to have him at our event.

The festivities will include a social hour, used book sale and luncheon buffet. Several of the society's committees will have displays tables. Complimentary parking at City Center West Garage.


11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Social hour
                               Mingle and browse book sale and committee displays
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Welcome by President Jeff Vaillant
                               Light buffet lunch (soup, salad, sandwiches)
  1:00 – 1:30 p.m.   A Short History of CGS
                                Introduction of Dr. Andy Anderson, Jeff Vaillant
  1:30 – 3:00 p.m.   "The Healing Power of Genealogy," Dr. Andy Anderson

Seating is limited. Be one of 115 members and friends who will gather to celebrate our 115th anniversary! Tickets are $40, including lunch and parking.

Register online.

If you would like to give a birthday gift to the California Genealogical Society, please round up the ticket price to include a donation to help support our library.
  • $115 – One dollar for every year!  ($75 tax-deductible donation)
  • $100  ($60 donation)
  • $75  ($35 donation)
  • $50  ($10 donation)
If you cannot attend but would like to give a birthday gift, please donate online or send a birthday check to The California Genealogical Society, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, CA 94612.

Dr. Andy Anderson
Andy Anderson is executive vice president and chief historian of Wells Fargo & Company. Over the past thirty-four years, he has built the Wells Fargo archives, several history museums and a modern fleet of stagecoaches. He also has managed Wells Fargo’s corporate marketing, advertising, and brand management programs, and the initial development of in 1994. He is the author of Stagecoach: Wells Fargo and the Rise of the American Financial Services Industry (Simon & Schuster, February 2002).

Dr. Anderson’s interest in history led him most recently to create the Wells Fargo Family & Business History Center to help families and businesses discover their own history and cultural roots. He believes a family can better manage its legacy into future generations by understanding its past.

Dr. Anderson’s most recent publication is an interactive CD and Internet guide titled: "How to Find Your Family History & Cultural Roots." Copies of this CD are available gratis by contacting any Wells Fargo Wealth Management representative. His favorite quote is the advice Henry Wells offered to a young person who asked, in 1864, what it takes to succeed in business: "There is one very powerful business rule. It is summed up in the word — Courtesy."

Dr. Anderson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Villanova University, and his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in History from The Ohio State University. He has taught history at Ohio State, Arizona State, and Stanford universities. He received his archival training at the Hoover Institution and the Archives Institute of the National Archives of the United States.

For more about Dr. Anderson's work, please read this 2007 article from the Wall Street Journal: A Bank's Historian Shakes Money From Family Trees

Copyright © 2012 by Kathryn M. Doyle, California Genealogical Society and Library