Breaking Down Brick Walls – July 12, 2008

by Kathryn Doyle (6/9/2008)

Brick WallJuly Membership Meeting
Breaking Down Brick Walls, a Panel Discussion

Saturday, July 12, 2008
1:00 p.m.
CGS Library
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California

For the July membership meeting, the California Genealogical Society is experimenting with a new kind of presentation. Breaking Down Brick Walls brings together three active and knowledgeable CGS board members for a panel discussion of the tools they use to dismantle genealogical barriers. CGS News Editor Jane Hufft, CGS Research Director Nancy Peterson and “Lookup” Maven, Lavinia Schwarz will present their most challenging research problems and the unique strategies they used to solve them.

Nancy Peterson is the CGS Research Director and author of Raking the Ashes, Genealogical Strategies for pre-1906 San Francisco Research. Nancy is a Stanford graduate and certified genealogist.

Lavinia Schwarz’s unique journey into the archives of New Orleans in search of her great-great grandmother, a free woman of color, yielded many important strategies for breaking down not only brick walls, but the invisible walls that so often block our reasoning. Lavinia graduated from Cal with an English major and holds a master’s in education.

Jane Hufft, editor of the CGS Newsletter, has had several articles appear in genealogical publications and has been at work on her own research for many years, developing strategies that go from the paper card catalog days of the Salt Lake City Family Library to the Internet. A Cal graduate in sociology and former school administrator, Jane has a master’s in education.

Please note that the short membership meeting starts promptly at 1:00 p.m. The panel discussion follows at 1:30 p.m. There will be handouts for the audience and time for questions and answers.

Alameda County Fair Genealogy Booth

by Kathryn Doyle (6/4/2008)

Volunteers Needed!
June 20 – July 6, 2008
The Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS) is gearing up for the annual Genealogy Booth at the 2008 Alameda County Fair. This is the ninth year that the society has organized and staffed the popular station in the fair’s Technology Adventures Building at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, located at Valley Avenue and Bernal Avenue in Pleasanton, California.

CGS member and L-AGS Fair Booth Coordinator, Kay Speaks, sent the following:
We are inviting other genealogy societies, DAR Chapters, FHC docents, historical societies and library genealogy docents to join us in this fun and very rewarding endeavor. Want to reserve an entire day for your organization? Please contact the fair booth coordinator to reserve a convenient date.”

The genealogy booth is one of the most popular attractions at the seventeen-day fair, where hundreds of people get their first exposure to the genealogy bug. The booths are equipped with computers, laser printers and Internet access. Each session has three research docents and two greeters scheduled. Many volunteers, like CGS member Lorna Wallace, have wonderful stories to share from past years so organizers are promoting the event as “An Experience You Will Want to Repeat Year After Year.”

The Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society serves the cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin and surrounding areas in the Livermore and Amador Valleys of southeastern Alameda County, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The society was formed in June 1977 by student participants of a Livermore Adult Education Class. General meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Congregation Beth Emek, 3400 Nevada Court, Pleasanton. The Society, in cooperation with the City of Pleasanton Library, maintains the largest collection of genealogical materials in the Valley, numbering over 1000 books.

For additional information about volunteering, e-mail Kay Speaks.

The CGS Style Sheet

by Kathryn Doyle (6/2/2008)

One of the most important works to come through the CGS Publications Committee will never be assigned an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or be found on the shelves of a library. The CGS Style Sheet, contrived and collated by Jane Hufft and Shirley Thomson, was created to help lay the foundation toward a consistent style among the various publications of the California Genealogical Society and Library.

The CGS Style Sheet covers various aspects of usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation and presentation. It is an evolving work based on some of the common problems spotted by Shirley and Jane. The style sheet is to be used for the broad swath of CGS written works, including committee reports, newsletter articles, public relations copy, Web site pages, fliers, and even this blog.

Specifically, the style sheet addresses abbreviations, acronyms, formatting requirements, bibliographies, book lists and titles, capitalization, compound words, dates, electronic sources, numbers, plurals, spacing, voice and several other specific issues. The document also refers users to three additional publications: The Chicago Manual of Style, The Elements of Style and Webster’s Third Dictionary.

Shirley shared these thoughts: “Anyone called upon now and again to write in the name of CGS is urged to make use of it. At first glance the sheet may seem a collection of odd bits and pieces. It is also a useful tool, answering questions, providing examples and creating awareness of the style choices made (often unconsciously) in any written work.”

The creators of the style sheet both serve on the CGS Board of Directors in addition to their work on the Publication Committee.

Shirley Pugh Thomson is the Recording Secretary for the society and has served as chairperson of the Publication Committee. She has many years’ experience in editing, writing, project management and publishing.

Jane Hufft is the editor of the CGS Newsletter. She came to CGS after thirty-six years in education as a teacher, project manager and administrator.

Source: Hufft, Jane and Thomson, Shirley, “The CGS Style Sheet,” California Genealogical Society and Library, Publications Committee, 2007.