Recent Posts

01 August 2019

August Offerings

Happy August to all! While this is traditionally a holiday and travel month for many, we know there are plenty of genealogically-minded folks who will be here in the East Bay this month. And we have plenty of events to tempt you! In addition to our continuing Thursday night free lectures, you may want to check out the following:

August 10: Hear Oakland Family Search Library director Ralph Severson discuss how to research Portuguese ancestry in "Proud to Be Portuguese."

August 14: Jane Lindsey hosts "CGS Day at the Oakland Family Search Library": all are invited to learn about the vast free public genealogy resources available at the OFSL.

August 17: Maureen Hanlon offers tips on "Finding Your Immigrant Ancestor's Birthplace" using U.S. records.

August 24: Chris Pattillo and Theresa Murphy lead a hands-on workshop for those who want to organize their family history in "Make a Book - the Easy Way."

All our Events can be found listed on the CGS Facebook page
or on our website:
or at (search for California Genealogical Society)

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

31 July 2019

Touring the Bancroft

UC Bancroft Library, with the Campanile in background
One of the many benefits of joining CGS is access to special members-only events, including tours of historical sites and research repositories. Last week, more than a dozen society members enjoyed an instructive walk-through of the marvelous UC Bancroft Library, the University of California's primary special collections library. While the library holds manuscripts and artifacts dating to ancient times, it is best known for its collection of Western Americana--not just for California, but materials ranging from the Rocky Mountains to Hawaii, as well as from Mexico and Central America. Curator Theresa Salazar was our guide.

Upper level and entrance to the Heller Reading Room
Organizer Lorna Wallace (at right, in pink top)
and other CGS members enjoyed our personal tour!
Photos by Kathy Ikeda

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

25 July 2019

A Toast to Georgia Lupinsky

Georgia Lupinsky (center), flanked by Pat Bonderud
and Linda Darby, was celebrated and thanked for her 10 years
as Manuscripts Committee Co-Chair

On July 19 we celebrated Georgia Lupinsky and her many contributions to the CGS library. Since 2009, Georgia has served as co-chair of the Manuscripts Committee with Virginia Turner. Georgia and Virginia took over from Linda Darby and Pat Bonderud, who did the initial organization of the CGS Manuscript Collection, a massive body of family histories, research, and loose papers donated to CGS over its 120-year history. (The searchable index to the collection is available on our website.) “I was most impressed with the way Georgia competently took over the manuscript collection," said Linda. "She did a great job of organizing all the material, was a pleasure to work with, very collegial, cooperative and very diplomatic.”

Georgia has also written for our blog, sharing some of the interesting stories she's uncovered working on the manuscript collection. They include a history of early children's welfare advocate Nellie Patterson Baldwin, and a surprising incident in the life of Swiss immigrant Martina Kurrer, said to have narrowly escaped death on a train to California thanks to a portentous dream.

Asked about highlights of her time as a volunteer, Georgia immediately cited her work on The Ancestry of Samuel Sterling Sherman and Mary Ware Allen. Based on the extensive research of late CGS president Frederick "Rick" Sherman, the book tells the stories of nine generations of the Sherman family as they moved from New England and Kentucky westward to California. "Georgia was absolutely invaluable on this project," recalled past president Jane Lindsey, who coordinated the undertaking. "She reviewed all of Rick's documentation, helped to label hundreds of scanned photos, and reviewed every detail of the manuscript. She was such a pleasure to work with; such a capable and competent volunteer." Georgia also did the detailed Finding Aid of the Sherman Collection for the book and has since created Finding Aids for the Covell and Hale collections.

No gold watch at this retirement ceremony, but we all shared a delicious chocolate cake and Georgia left with a beautiful bouquet of yellow roses. In the language of flowers, “yellow roses are used to convey a number of emotions, with friendship being the main one. The color yellow is often associated with the Sun, known for its warmth. Akin to this, the yellow rose also emanates warmth, affection and joy. When you want to show someone you care, present her with a bouquet of yellow roses” – a sentiment clearly shared by all who attended Georgia’s celebration.

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

19 July 2019

Changes at the Top

An update to our members:

CGS President Vicky Kolakowski has decided for personal and professional reasons that she needs to resign her role as President. Per the CGS Bylaws, Vice President Jim Sorenson has assumed the role of President. Speaking for the Board of Directors, Jim thanks Vicky for her past years of service to CGS and hopes that she will be able to maintain some involvement with CGS in the future, as her time allows. We wish her the best in her endeavors.

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society

18 July 2019

Summer Thursday Evenings at the Library

In case you missed it: our library is open till 8 p.m. on Thursdays in July and August! More time for research, and we offer FREE classes by a variety of our members.

Talks kicked off last week with Robert Jackson speaking on "Discovering Your German Roots." This is a 3-part series, with classes continuing July 18 & 25. Check the listing for more details.

On August 1, Stewart Blandón Traiman discusses "Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Genealogy."

Maureen Hanlon offers tips on research using "Historical Newspapers" on August 8. 

August 15: Therese Hart-Pignotti and Dawn Kosmakos lead a DNA roundtable.

August 22: Keith Montgomery talks about using Genome Mate Pro to keep track of your DNA information.

August 29: Jane Lindsey presents "Beyond the Search Boxes on FamilySearch."

The classes are all free, but size is limited; please follow the link to register your attendance.

Parking is free after 6 p.m. in downtown Oakland, and North Oakland is hopping with new restaurants within blocks. Grab a friend and come on down!

All our events can be found listed on the CGS Facebook page
or on our website:
or at (search for California Genealogical Society)

Copyright © 2019 by California Genealogical Society