This week at CGS (Feb. 19-25, 2024)

by California Genealogical Society (2/18/2024)

To register or for more information, click the link for any event. All times are Pacific Time.

head shot lisa gorrellSat., Feb. 24, 11 AM: Our featured presentation this month is an online class by Lisa Gorrell, CG: “How to Leave Your Genealogy: Don’t Let It Get Thrown Away!”  Lisa has put a lot of thought and energy into preserving her more than 30 years’ worth of genealogy research for future generations. In this class, she will discuss organization and other tips to maintain your research and make it easy for your heirs to deal with.

Our free “Tips & Talk” series at the Oakland FamilySearch Center this week features these two compelling sessions:

Head shot of womanWed., Feb. 21, 11:00 am: “Using Mexican Records on FamilySearch and” Robert and Portia NeVille give an overview of Mexican records available on these two major websites. Robert and Portia are serving a one year mission at the Oakland FamilySearch Center. Past missions have been in Peru, Argentina, and Madrid, Spain. Robert also spent two years in Uruguay as a student. Both Portia and Robert speak Spanish and enjoy helping others with their Spanish research projects.

Smiling white woman and black woman standing side by sideWed., Feb. 21, 6:30 pm: “Improbable Family Ties: Connections Recovered from Antebellum Nelson and Fluvanna Counties of Virginia, 1815-1862.” Patricia Smith Jenkins and Martha A. Jessup happened to meet at the library several years ago and began a collaborative research effort to identify a common ancestor in central Virginia. Working through three generations of slavery, they discovered eight paths of connection. They will discuss the historical context, their findings, and the meaning and value of their story for genealogical research and education. Pat Jenkins, retired Manager of the Early Childhood Education Program at UC Berkeley, facilitates monthly research and discussion groups for the African American Genealogical Society of Northern California and Oakland California FamilySearch Library. Marty Jessup is a family historian and retired professor of nursing, University of California San Francisco. A 2017 trip to Fluvanna County, Virginia led her to her previously unknown great-aunt who was buried in the cemetery of an historic Black church where she found family from the community of Shores. Marty conducts research on the people enslaved by her ancestors and her connections to the Fluvanna and Nelson County family lines.

Both talks may be attended in person or via Zoom. Please pre-register at the link.

The following Special Interest Groups meet this month:

Sat., Feb. 24, 10 AM-noon. Eastern European Special Interest Group. Quarterly meeting of this group of enthusiastic researchers and genealogists who meet to support and learn from each other’s contributions and expertise in the areas of Central and Eastern Europe.

Sat., Feb. 24, 1-3 PM: Family Tree Maker SIG. Today’s meeting features a talk by Mark Olsen of MacKiev. Presentation, discussion, and troubleshooting for users of the popular genealogy software. Led by Ron Madson and Karen Halfon. Hybrid (held in person and on Zoom). Please register through the FTM SIG page.

This week at CGS (February 11-17, 2024)

by California Genealogical Society (2/11/2024)

To register or for more information, click the link for any event. All times are Pacific Time.

Two fascinating topics are covered in this week’s free Tips & Talk series at the Oakland FamilySearch Center. Please preregister.

Tuesday, February 13, 11:00 am: “How-to Series: Ancestry Card Catalog and RecordSeek.” In-person and via Zoom. Speaker Annie Dearden, a native of Alabama currently serving as a missionary at the OFSC, shows how to use AncestryInstitution, the library version of (available free at OFSC and at the CGS Library) to search the extensive historical record collections for free that are usually only available to paid Ancestry subscribers. She also gives a quick tutorial on the RecordSeek app, which allows you to quickly save Ancestry record information to the FamilySearch website, and vice versa.

Linda Okazaki

Wednesday, February 14, 11:00 am: “Introduction to A-Files and C-Files” with Linda Okazaki. (Note: this class is in-person only.) What are A-files? Does your 20th-century immigrant have one? Why or why not? If so, where is it located? If he or she doesn’t have an A-file, is there a C-file? This class will introduce you to A-files and C-files, as well as other records held in the genealogy program at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or the National Archives. Linda Harms Okazaki is a fourth-generation Californian who is passionate about teaching people of all ages to research, document, and share their family histories. Her areas of interest include the western U.S., upstate New York, England, Australia, Japanese Americans, and the use of DNA in genealogy. Linda has been researching her husband’s ancestry since 2012, documenting his family in the internment camps and in Japan. A charter member of the Nikkei Genealogical Society, and a consultant for Ancestry’s Progenealogists and Densho, she is also a featured columnist for the Nichi Bei News. Her column, “Finding Your Nikkei Roots,” is published bimonthly. Her guide to “Finding Your Japanese Roots” was updated in 2023. Ms. Okazaki is the author of numerous articles, including the National Genealogical Society Magazine‘s “Paper Sons and Picture Brides,” which was co-authored by Grant Din, and “Japanese American Research,” published in the New York Researcher. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speaker’s Guild, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Linda is a past president of the California Genealogical Society, a former board member of the Nichi Bei Foundation, and the current president of the Northern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

The following Special Interest Groups are meeting this week:

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 6:30 PM: Members’ Roundtable. A forum for asking questions about one another’s genealogical research, to learn from others, share research successes, and enjoy a collegial group of individuals interested in learning together. Particularly for new and remote members, this is an opportunity to meet and feel part of the CGS community. Led by Lisa Gorrell and Jacqueline Henderson.

Friday, Feb. 16, 10:30 AM: Mayflower Descendants SIG. Led by Robert Trapp. Focus on Mayflower ancestry and how to join The Society of California Mayflower Descendants. Discussion of ongoing research.

Saturday, Feb. 17, 10 AM: San Francisco SIG. Sandra Huber leads this group for those interested in finding San Francisco ancestors, with discussion of where to look for records both pre and post the 1906 earthquake.

Saturday, Feb. 17, 1 PM: Family Tree Maker SIG. Presentation, discussion, and troubleshooting for users of the popular genealogy software. Today’s meeting features a talk by Mark Olsen of MacKiev. Led by Ron Madson and Karen Halfon. Hybrid (held in person and via Zoom).

Library hours: Thursday and Friday 10 AM-2 PM and Saturday 10 AM-4 PM

Helpful Links
Special Interest Groups:
Calendar: Google calendar

Report from the Annual Meeting

by California Genealogical Society (2/6/2024)

Members gathered both in person and via Zoom on January 13 for our Annual Meeting at the CGS Library. Business included approval of the budget, election of board members and officers, and brief presentations on upcoming events, Focus 2025 (planning for the future of CGS), and the 10 Million Names Project. Following the business meeting, members enjoyed a potluck and open house featuring the CGS Library.

Current officers are Chris Pattillo, president; Roger Prince, vice president; Matt Berry, treasurer; Evan Wilson, recording secretary; and Cindy Kim Thomson, corresponding secretary. Other board members are Grant Din, Jennifer Dix, Ron Madson, Keith Montgomery, Carly Morgan, Bob Trapp, and Adelle Treakle.

Woman seated at table

President Chris Pattillo addresses the meeting

Man standing near screen

Roger Prince discusses Focus 2025













Evan Wilson introduces the 10 Million Names Project

People seated around table

Members enjoy refreshments and socializing