Special Interest Groups

The California Genealogical Society sponsors Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and provides a venue, free of charge, for members to pursue the study of a particular geographical research area or genealogy discipline. These groups are a benefit of society membership. SIGS meet on a recurring schedule, as indicated, or provide participation in a closed FaceBook groups.

San Francisco SIG

Leads: Sandra Britt-Huber


Whether you’re just starting out researching your family history or have been doing it for years and need ideas on how to get past brick walls, interested in finding your ancestors (pre and post 1906), looking for gold rush pioneers in the foothills, or  ancestors in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, JOIN THE CONVERSATION WITH US AT CGS LIBRARY.

We help uncover records, view historical photographs, maps, property records, check historical newspapers, search digital databases, films on-line or in institutions. Chat with us at our monthly meetings.

Lots of records have been digitized and are available on-line, however many more are not, so chat with us to find out where they are and how to access them. One of the many resources we suggest for beginners is Nancy Peterson’s Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research. Bring your questions, we may not know all the answers, but we will learn together.

Meetings may include presentations by speakers on specific topics, and field trips to interesting resources.

Meeting Time: 3rd Sat of the month at 10 a.m.

Contact Info: Email questions to [email protected]

Family Tree Maker SIG

Leads: Ron Madson and Karen Halfon

Description: FTM-SIG is a user group founded in 2014. This group has the purpose of helping genealogists at all levels use the popular flexible Family Tree Maker genealogy software  optimally to further their family history work and to promote CGS.  It is led by facilitators Ron Madson and Karen Halfon who offer presentations on special topics as well as discussion about problems. Perfect for new FTM users, people who are just FTM curious, as well as experienced FTM veterans. All welcome!

Checkout the FTM-SIG website, http://ftm-sig.org to find the topics for the upcoming meetings, as well as FTM information and help.

Meeting Time: 3rd Saturday of each month from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the CGS Classroom.

Contact Info: Email RSVP and questions to [email protected]

Eastern European SIG

Leads: Craig Siulinski and Laura Bajuk

Description: Special Interest Group (SIG) discussion, focused on Eastern European Genealogy.

Mission Statement: We are a community of enthusiastic researchers and genealogists who meet on a quarterly basis to support and learn from each other’s contributions and expertise in the areas of Central and Eastern Europe. Sharing is a crucial aspect of our group reflected in the goal statements below.


  • To advance our own research skills.
  • To support each other in our common goals and build community.
  • To share resources and learn from each other as we all have specific areas of expertise.

Meeting Time: Quarterly on the 4th Sat of the 2nd month of the calendar quarter (Feb, May, Aug, Nov) – 10:30 a.m. – noon.

Contact Info: California Genealogical Society & Library – Tel. (510) 663-1358; [email protected]

Irish Ancestry Network

Leads: Maureen Hanlon and Dan Ford

Description: Online group for CGS members researching Irish ancestors to connect, share successes and resources and solve problems.

Meeting Time: In person meeting usually in March and ongoing posts and exchanges on private Facebook group. Non-Facebook members receive a weekly summary of posts by email

Contact Info: [email protected]

Mayflower Descendants SIG

Leads: Robert Trapp

Description: The Mayflower Descendants SIG will focus initially on Mayflower ancestry and how to join The Society of California Mayflower Descendants. The group will discuss research in New England, Parts of Canada and the upper Atlantic seaboard states.  We will be exploring the material and books at the Mayflower library and computer research web sites.  Each month will vary as to subject matter followed by a Q&A session.

Meeting Time: The Mayflower Descendants – SIG is open to all skill levels and meets monthly on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Check EventBrite for exact dates.

Contact Info: Email questions to Robert Trapp or call California Genealogical Society & Library – Tel. (510) 663-1358.