My Goal for 2008

by Kathryn Doyle (1/2/2008)

Traditionally, January 1st is a day for New Year’s Resolutions but many years ago I began instead to create a yearly set of Goals. Perhaps this is just semantics but while I am good at deciding or resolving to do something, it’s usually the execution that is the problem. This “goal setting” exercise has evolved into a set of lists that I create for the various parts of my life. I’ve learned to set fewer goals but to include specific “actions” – a technique learned from David Allen’s Getting Things Done, The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. The “next action” is one of the hallmarks of Allen’s GTD philosophy, and he defines it as: “the next physical, visible activity that needs to be engaged in, in order to move the current reality toward completion.”

I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to get one of the local media outlets to do a piece on the California Genealogical Society and Library and so I am hereby making this my 2008 CGS goal. And in keeping with the GTD action step requirement, I’ve created a “Top Ten” pitch list to email to Bay Area newspapers and magazines. I will be modifying it to send to some of the local television and radio talk shows, as well. I’ll keep you posted as I come up with new strategies for reaching my goal and I welcome any suggestions you may have (or the phone number of your brother-in-law who works for KTVU).

Top 10 Reasons to Feature the California Genealogical Society and Library in 2008:

1. The California Genealogical Society (CGS) was the first genealogy society in the state, founded February 12, 1898, in San Francisco. CGS has been located in Oakland since 1998.

2. The California Genealogical Society and Library blog debuted November 25, 2007.

3. A full 73 percent of Americans are are intrigued by their family roots according to a 2005 poll by Market Strategies, Inc. (MSI).

4. A Cal State Fullerton study showed that interest in genealogy spans a wide range of ages with the strongest interest being in middle age, most starting “at an average age of 40.”

5. California Genealogical Society Research Director, Nancy Peterson, literally wrote the book on San Francisco research. Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research was published by CGS in June 2006.

6. In March 2007, CGS moved to its newest location in the historic Breuner Building in Oakland’s Uptown District.

7. The California Genealogical Society maintains a library of over 30,000 genealogy reference materials and has released a beta version of its online catalog.

8. Long-time CGS volunteer Dorothy Fowler penned A Most Dreadful Earthquake, A First-Hand Account of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, with Glimpses into the Lives of the Phillips-Jones Letter Writers. The book was published in April 2006 by CGS to coincide with the centennial of the 1906 Earthquake and Fire.

9. The California Genealogical Society and Library (now 900 members strong) hosts monthly membership meetings and has a First Saturday Free policy of allowing non-members free access on the first Saturday of every month.

10. The Oakland Convention & Visitors Bureau list of 100 Things to Do includes tip #80: “Trace your family history at the California Genealogical Society.”

CGS Annual Membership Meeting – 1/12/2008

by Kathryn Doyle (12/28/2007)

The Annual Membership Meeting of the California Genealogical Society will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2008, at 1:30 p.m., at the CGS Library (2201 Broadway at 22nd, Suite LL2, Oakland, CA). Please join CGS President, Jane Lindsey, for a quick review of the society’s accomplishments in 2007 and a look forward to what’s in store for 2008, our 110th year of helping people find their roots.

This important session will include Colleen Huntley’s power point presentation on the history of the society, an update on our Web site and blog, brief committee reports, approval of the society budget and election of new board members. There will be time for questions and answers.

The annual meeting is always well attended so arrive early to get a front seat, see old friends and meet some new ones. Light refreshments will be available before the meeting at 12:30 p.m.

Some free advice from Maureen

by Kathryn Doyle (12/27/2007)

I’m just back from a holiday vacation and while catching up with the various genealogy blogs, I found some great advice in a recent post to 24-7 Family History Circle. Maureen A. Taylor, the Photo Detective, wrote Saving Your Family Treasures: Four Destructive Habits.

Maureen, who will be our special guest lecturer at the California Genealogical Society and Library 110th Celebration, on February 9, 2008, tells how mishandling, poor storage, laminating and mislabeling practices can harm our family photographs.

Maureen has also submitted a sneak preview of her detective skills to Roots Television. In her 4 1/2 minute slide show Solved by the Photo Detective!, Taylor guides us through three examples as she describes in her own voice the clues she used to analyze photos of a building facade, an immigrant woman and her own grandmother.