PresidentJames Sorenson has been seriously pursuing genealogy since 1994 and it has led him to visit more than 30 courthouses and at least that number of libraries. In the past couple of years, he has become more interested in DNA as a means of finding cousins, filling knowledge gaps and discovering surprises. Jim still gets excited about tracing a family, even when it is not his own. He has been a CGS member since 2007, and since 2010 he has been an active volunteer on the research and investment committees. Jim has also co-led CGS sponsored research trips to Salt Lake City and has previously served on the CGS Board.
Vice PresidentJoanna Shear was born in Boston, grew up in Missouri, and landed in the Bay Area 21 years ago. A member of CGS since 2016, she has a BS in physics from Indiana University, an MSE in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech, and has completed Boston University’s Certificate Program in Genealogical Research. She was first drawn to genealogy by an unknown name on a mysterious engraved silver chalice, which led to a reunion for family separated by the Holocaust. Eleven years down the road, she is deep into the history of her Jewish ancestors as they moved within Europe and emigrated to other continents. She now also uses DNA to go beyond the documentation and trace new family connections. As her research for family and others has grown into new areas, so has her dedication to making genealogy open and accessible to all.
position is vacant
Matthew B. Berry, CG®
TreasurerMatthew Berry became interested in family history research in 2003 during a family reunion. He was born in San Diego and grew up in Foster City before attending and receiving a BA and MS from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from Santa Clara University. Now retired from Wells Fargo Bank, Matt has been a member of CGS since 2006, has served as a desk duty volunteer in the past, and has taught several CGS classes on Microsoft Word skills for genealogists. His genealogical research has focused on California, New England and the American mid-west.
Recording SecretaryEvan Wilson grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where his love of genealogy was ignited by his grandmother’s stories and dedication to research. After completing a PhD in English and Medieval Studies at UC Berkeley in 2019, he decided to work toward becoming a professional genealogist. His passion is the intersection of genealogy and social history—studying the ties within families, but also between families and others in their society. His own research is heavily Southern, but he’s also dipping his toes into California history and research these days. Other things he gets fired up about include genealogical writing and education, oral history, and the stories of marginalized people and communities.
Cindy Kim Thomson
Corresponding SecretaryCindy Kim Thomson was born in Hawaii and is descended from Korean immigrants who arrived there in 1904. Her childhood interest in family stories morphed into an obsession with genealogy (particularly over the past 15 years) and annual visits to repositories, cemeteries, plantations and churches (as well as family) in Hawaii. She has been a volunteer on the CGS Desk Duty and Events Committees, and is a member of NGS. Reflecting the roots of her multi-ethnic extended family, her research has focused on immigrant sugar plantation workers in Hawaii, East Asian immigrants to Hawaii and California, and Japanese-American World War II internment. She has a B.A. and M.A. from the University of California, San Diego, and is a retired Commerce Department economist.
Board of Directors
Grant DinGrant Din has been interested in genealogy ever since a cousin told him forty years ago that he was in the 36th generation of Gongs! Since that time, he has researched his and many families’ immigration histories including when he was on the staff of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. He has worked in the Bay Area nonprofit sector his entire adult life and has extensively volunteered his genealogical services. Grant moderates a Chinese American family history email group and has spoken at many libraries and genealogical societies. He completed Boston University’s Certificate Program in Genealogical Research in 2015 and enjoyed being a part of the team that researched the six Chinese seamen who survived the Titanic for the film “The Six”.
Jennifer DixJennifer Dix worked as a news reporter and editor for more than 20 years. She has been an active CGS volunteer since 2017 and currently manages the CGS blog and social media. She is also co-editor of our journal, The California Nugget. She completed the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate Program in 2016 and the ProGen Study Program in 2019.
Jacqueline Threet HendersonJacqueline Threet Henderson was born and raised in the Bay Area. Her career consists of retail (Mervyn’s, Nordstrom, imports), two employment agencies and 10 years in telecommunications (Nextel, Sprint, T-Mobile). In the 1990’s she served as secretary for two years and president for four years of a women’s stock club. She became interested in genealogy when an uncle no longer wanted to continue researching the family genealogy and passed it along to her. She joined CGS in 2015. In 2017, she joined the Events Committee and currently sends maintains our communications with ConferenceKeeper and the Bay Area Genealogical Calendar. She also conducts ours post-class evaluation surveys. Jacqueline co-hosts the new CGS Members’ Roundtable with Lisa Gorrell. She has attended institutes at SLIG, GRIP, and IGHR over the past three years.
Ron MadsonRon Madson Ron’s relationship with family history was ignited a decade and a half ago by a photo of his great grandparent’s family. He quickly developed a passion for family history and teaching genealogy related topics having taught more than 70 courses in the past 5 years, primarily for CGS. He has a BS & MS in Math and is a USMC veteran. He had an IT career beginning in the mid-1960s and retired from his final career building custom homes in Silicon Valley and coast side. He served as educational coordinator for the largest international IBM computer users’ group for 7 years and for 10 years he was the technical education coordinator for an international insurance company. Ron is the founder and co-facilitator of the FTM-SIG, chair of the Digital Historian Committee, and served as Eventbrite coordinator for several years.
Carly MorganCarly Morgan is the owner of Family Tree Notebooks, a shop that sells digital genealogy worksheets for people looking to organize their family trees. Her family has been in the Bay Area for almost two centuries and she has strong ties to the Chinese population of San Francisco, although she lives in Salt Lake City. A former attorney, Carly has been working as a marketer and content creator for more than ten years. She’s currently working with the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and RootsTech to improve their social media reach. She is the chair of the Marketing Committee.
Chris PattilloChris Pattillo’s interest in genealogy was piqued during a visit to the Oakland Mormon Temple when it opened in 1964. Since then she has researched and published four family history books and has a family history blog. She has been a member of CGS since 2004. In addition to serving on the board, Chris chaired the Website Development Committee in 2018-19, the Strategic Planning Committee in 2017-18, and the Capital Campaign 2016-17. She also chaired the Investment Committee for several years and the Development and Member Services Committee. She is currently the chair of the Library Committee. Chris is a frequent contributor to the CGS blog, the Watauga Newsletter in Tennessee, and has taught classes and given talks for CGS, and other genealogical societies.
Roger PrinceRoger Prince
worked as a geological oceanographer at Oregon State University, the University of Rhode Island, and Brown University, where he went on numerous research cruises, published more than a dozen original research papers and a nine sheet color bathymetric map series of the Peru-Chile trench, and earned a PhD in geophysics. He joined Gulf Oil as an exploration geologist in 1983 and worked in Angola, Papua New Guinea and other international locations. He moved to the Bay Area in 1985 and later worked in IT systems. He and his family spent five years in Bangkok and Singapore before returning to San Ramon in 2004. He spent the last few years of his career working on IT Reliability/Planning, before retiring in 2011. Roger became interested in family history when he asked his parents who all the ancestors in the unlabeled pictures were. He has published two papers in the NEHGS Register.
Adelle TreakleAdelle Treakle
enjoyed hearing and recording, her family’s Japanese American WW II experiences at family events. She joined CGS in 2013 after taking the ‘Finding Your Japanese Roots’ class. Afterwards, she found her family’s WWII internment records in the National Archives, and traveled to Japan, procured her ancestors’ koseki (family registries), and visited their home prefectures. Her paternal ancestors have deep American roots with the most current immigration being from Ireland in 1835. Adelle has served on the CGS membership committee and is currently the chair of the Remote Communications Committee. She received a B.S. in Information and Computer Science from UC Irvine and worked as a software engineer for 30 years.
Larry YoungmanLarry Youngman is a third-generation Californian, born in Oakland, who has been researching his ancestry for close to fifty years. His research efforts have resulted in publishing ten family history books in addition to serving the Mayflower Society as Colony Treasurer and Governor. His ancestry traces back to England, Ireland, Germany, and Bohemia. Larry has managed the CGS website membership section for over fifteen years.
Having achieved Scouting’s Eagle rank, his volunteer work has also included leading Scout contingents to the east coast, England, Sweden, and Japan. Larry recently retired from his forty-three-year career as a member of senior Information Technology management teams within multiple corporations, including Clorox, IBM, Gap Inc., Charles Schwab, Citibank, and Raychem. Larry and his wife Pam reside in Pioneer, California and enjoy visiting their daughters and two grandchildren in Walnut Creek on a regular basis.