March 11: “Why They Left, Where They Went”

by California Genealogical Society (3/8/2023)


This Saturday, March 11, CGS hosts a special Zoom presentation by genealogist Pam Vestal, “Why They Left, Where They Went, and What Their Journeys Can Reveal.” In this fresh take on migration, Pam looks at social history, law, and more to learn the secrets of our ancestors’ migrations “from place to place, across the ocean, across the country, even across town!”

Pam Vestal is a nationally known speaker and author. She specializes in turning genealogical research into “illustrated stories” that even non-genealogists can enjoy. This should be a treat. Register now to reserve a spot!

Wednesday “Tips & Talk”

by California Genealogical Society (3/3/2023)

photo of OFSC building

We had a rewarding first “Tips & Talk” gathering this week at the Oakland FamilySearch Library! Our Events link is now active, so you can check out upcoming topics and let us know if you’re coming by pre-registering. Of course, drop-ins are also welcome. This is a fun, free, informal chat session. Join us!

Scheduled topics:

March 8: “Beginning FamilySearch and Recent Changes to FamilySearch”

March 15: “Overview of Ancestry Institution and Using RecordSeek”

March 22: “Finding the Homeland of Your Immigrant Ancestors”

March 29: “Intro to Genealogy”

April 5: “Got Questions?” Bring your genealogical questions to this discussion group for expert help. Also learn how to use the Center’s photo and video digitizing equipment.

April 12: “How Do You Do That in FamilySearch? — Some Questions and Answers”

April 19: “Tips for Using MyHeritage”

April 26: “What You Can Do with Your Autosomal DNA Results”

Daniel Horowitz from MyHeritage Event A Big Success

by Chris Pattillo (2/27/2023)

Jacqueline Henderson, Programs Director, Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage and Chris Pattillo, Preident CGS

Jacqueline Henderson, CGS Programs Director; Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage; and Chris Pattillo, CGS President. All photos taken by CGS Board Member Ron Madson.

Last Friday, CGS hosted its first in-person event since the pandemic began, and it was a big success. Daniel Horowitz from MyHeritage graciously offered to give two live talks on DNA and the tools that MyHeritage offers to help members advance their family history using DNA.

The offer came just a few weeks before the date Daniel was available but that did not deter our able Programs team, led by Jacqueline Henderson; they quickly secured a fabulous venue at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the event. They also arranged everything else needed, including raffle prizes and membership packets to be on hand. Attendees included both CGS members and nonmembers, and people both experienced and new to DNA research. The first talk was a good introduction to DNA research and the second was more advanced. Daniel is an excellent and entertaining speaker who makes all this seem easy to do.

When using DNA as a component of one’s research it is important to remember how interactive it is. The tools MyHeritage offers facilitates our ability to interact with others. They continually change and update their tools making them easier to use and more powerful. Daniel is an excellent speaker–he gives short and clear explanations in response to questions. His explanation of how to map the locations of where groups of ancestors lived over time and follow them as they moved was particularly illuminating for the research I’m doing. I found both talks to be very worthwhile.  

Lavinia Schwarz, CGS Member

CGS Volunteers Adelle Treakle and Joanna Shear at the reception desk greeting some of the talk attendees

The cold and rain kept away a few registrants but those who braved the weather were happy they did. It was very apparent that everyone learned something new, and all were enjoying seeing one another. After each talk the attendees asked lots of questions – always a good sign.

Daniel Horowitz is a very knowledgeable and engaging speaker. I found his comments on endogamy and how it affects one’s interpretation of DNA results to be very interesting.
Cindy Thomson, CGS Board Member

Though I’m a longtime subscriber to MyHeritage, I gained new ideas on how to use their unique features to help my research. I also appreciated Daniel’s clear explanations of DNA fundamentals as a model in communicating with others. It was great to see everyone in person – looking forward to more events in the near future!

Joanna Shear, CGS Vice President

Let’s hope this is the first of many in-person educational events for CGS in 2023.

Daniel Horowitz responding to a question during the break.