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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