Picked By One of the Best

by Kathryn Doyle (7/26/2008)

Each week several genealogy bloggers select their favorite posts from the blogosphere and link to them. It is a great way to support the genea-blogging community and is a helpful resource for readers to find new blogs and catch good reads.

The California Genealogical Society and Library blog was picked by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings two times in the last month. His Best of the Genea-Blogs – June 22-28, 2008 featured Finding Cousins in the Library and Best of the Genea-Blogs – July 13-19, 2008 included In Case You Missed “A Day of Irish Information.”

I met Randy and his lovely wife, Linda, at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank last month. Randy is a retired aerospace engineer who easily takes the prize as the most prolific genea-blogger. Besides posting several times a day to his blogs (he authors four!), Randy is also the president of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.

Randy always prefaces his picks with this:

Several hundred genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for “Best of …” are pretty simple – I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don’t list posts destined for the Carnival of Genealogy, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

Thanks, Randy, for the honor!

Genealogy Best Bet Web Sites – September 13, 2008

by Kathryn Doyle (7/24/2008)

September Membership Meeting

Saturday, September 13, 2008
1:00 p.m.
California Genealogical Society Library
2201 Broadway at 22nd, Oakland.

Best Bet Web sites for Genealogical Research

Genealogist and author Ron Arons will explore the many “best bet” Web sites that allow researchers to find materials online, including historical documents, newspapers and articles, living people, maps and photos, foreign language translators and aids and more. He will provide numerous examples of how the Internet has worked for him.

Ron will also slip in some tales from his new book, The Jews of Sing Sing, described as “the true story of Jewish gangsters and other shady characters who served time ‘up the river’ and the New York Jewish community’s response.” His interest in Jewish inmates started when he discovered that his great-grandfather served four years at the famous prison. Be sure to read Dick Eastman’s glowing review of Ron’s book and watch Dick’s interview with Ron for RootsTelevision.

Ron Arons has earned degrees from Princeton University and the University of Chicago, and is a member of both the
Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society. Arons has traced his roots to England, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania. A recipient of the 2005 Hackman Research Residency Award, his current research focuses on both famous and lesser-known Jewish criminals.

Please note that the short membership meeting starts promptly at 1:00 p.m. Ron’s talk follows at 1:30 p.m. He will be available afterwards to autograph and sell books.

Report on the First 24 Hours of the Mortuary Indexing Project

by Kathryn Doyle (7/22/2008)

Rose Pierson of FamilySearch Indexing sent some statistics on the San Francisco Mortuary Project. She will be sending reports weekly.

The project includes 38,837 total images in 3,883 total batches.

After 24 hours:

814 total images have been indexed (81 batches)
1560 images checked out for A indexing (156 batches)
1140 images checked out for B indexing (114 batches)

I found time to process a couple of batches. The records were from 1895 (pre-earthquake!) and included one child who died at age 8 of tubercular meningitis. With the missing 1890 census, this is a child who never appeared in a U.S. census. The record gave her mother’s name, another name that may be a sister and a note that she was placed in a vault in May 1895 and shipped to Albuquerque, New Mexico the next January (1896). Good stuff!