Special Interest Groups

The California Genealogical Society sponsors Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and provides a venue or online forum, 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 (non-members are welcome to attend one meeting free of charge. Thereafter, they pay $10 for each meeting attended, which can be applied toward membership.) SIGs meet on a recurring schedule, as indicated, or provide participation in private Facebook groups.

If you have a particular area of expertise or interest and would like to start a new SIG, CGS will provide support with publicity, registration, and online services. Contact Jacqueline Henderson, if interested.

Our other events are listed under Events and Education

CGS Members’ Roundtable

Leads: Lisa Gorrell, CG and Jacqueline Henderson

FormatMeets Online, Members Only

Description: The purpose of this group is to provide a forum where CGS members will be able to ask questions of the group about their genealogical research, learn from others, share their research successes, and enjoy a collegial group of individuals interested in learning together. Particularly for new and remote members, this will be an opportunity to meet and feel part of the CGS community.

Meeting Time: Second Wednesday of the month 6:30-8:00 PM Pacific Time

Registration Information: Contact Lisa Gorrell or Jacqueline Henderson for more information

DNA Skills SIG

Lead: Mark McLaren

Format: Meets Online

Description: The DNA Skills Special Interest Group members will continue to develop their understanding of DNA techniques, review new developments in DNA testing and tools, and discuss members’ research problems and case studies.

Prerequisite: Completion of CGS DNA Series or equivalent DNA class/experience. If the latter, please contact Mark McLaren. Must have uploaded DNA test results at one of the common DNA websites.

Meeting Time: Fourth Monday of the month 7:00-8:30 PM Pacific Time

Registration Information: Contact Mark McLaren for more information

Eastern European SIG

Leads: Craig Siulinski and Laura Bajuk

Format: Meets Online

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

Meeting Time: Quarterly, fourth Saturday 10:00-11:30 AM PT (February, May, August, November)

Registration Information: EESIG Registration or contact Craig Siulinski for more information

Family Tree Maker SIG

Leads: Ron Madson and Karen Halfon

Format: Meets Hybrid (In-Person at the CGS library and Online)

Description: FTM-SIG is a user group founded in 2014. Its purpose is 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.  We offer presentations on special topics as well as discussions about problems. Check out 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: Third Saturday of each month 1:00-3:00 PM Pacific Time NOTE: No Meetings in November or December

Registration Information: Register through the FTM-SIG website or contact Ron Madson (650) 576-4495 or Karen Halfon (415) 922-2255 for more information

Irish Ancestry SIG (New! Quarterly Meetings)

Leads: Maureen Hanlon and Keith Montgomery

Format: Quarterly Meetings and Private Facebook group.

Description: A group for CGS members researching Irish ancestors to connect, share successes and resources and solve problems. Check out our research links for help in finding your ancestors in Irish records.

Meeting Time: Quarterly Saturdays 1-3 on September 28, December 21

Registration Information: Irish Ancestry SIG. Facebook: CGS Irish Ancestors

Mayflower Descendants SIG

Lead: Robert Trapp

Format: Meets In-Person at the CGS library

Description: The Mayflower Descendants SIG focuses initially on Mayflower ancestry and how to join The Society of California Mayflower Descendants. The group discusses 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 websites.  Each month will vary as to the subject matter followed by a Q&A session.

Meeting Time: Third Friday of each month 10:30-11:30 AM Pacific Time

Contact Info: Contact Robert Trapp for more information

RootsMagic Users Group –  SIG

Lead: Keith Montgomery

Format: Meets Online

Description: Users of RootsMagic will meet to discuss helpful hints for using the software. Group will review their experience in updating to version 8. Topics include review of various screens and functions of RootsMagic with group suggestions on best usage and practice.

Meeting Time: Fourth Wednesday of the month, 6:30 – 8:00 PM Pacific Time

Registration InformationRootsMagic SIG Registration or contact Keith Montgomery for more information

San Francisco SIG

Format: Meets Online

Description: Whether you’re just starting out researching your family history or have been searching for years and need ideas on how to get past brick walls, or are interested in finding your ancestors records pre and post 1906, including those gold rush pioneers, or ancestors in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, join the conversation with online meetings where you will be guided in building skills to uncover information that leads to creating a more complete family story.

Meeting Time: Third Saturday of each month 10:00 AM-Noon Pacific Time

Contact Info: Contact [email protected] for more information