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.

Advanced DNA Skills

Lead: Mark McLaren

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.

Description:

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

The event is presented online via Zoom

The event will take place via Zoom. If you join, please sign in early to make sure you are able to see the program.  We will send you instructions the night before, and a reminder shortly before the event, which will give you access. Please note all times are Pacific Time.

You do not have to have a Zoom account to attend a Zoom meeting. You will be prompted to download the software, once you have clicked on the link that you have been provided. You may also wish to create an account, but that is not required to participate in a Zoom meeting.

These events are presented live, and will not be recorded.

See you online!

Meeting Time: 4th Monday of the month at 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Registration Information:

Register on EventBrite in order to participate.

• Special Interest Groups are free to CGS members.

• Non-members are welcome to attend two meetings at no charge. Thereafter, you may join CGS and attend for free or pay $10* for each meeting attended.

You can purchase a $45 one-year CGS Basic membership when you check out. To sign up for other membership options go to our web page: CGS Membership application

Contact Info: Email questions to Mark McLaren

CGS Members’ Roundtable

Leads:  Lisa Gorrell, CG and Jacqueline Henderson

Prerequisite: There are no prerequisites to join this group. All CGS members are welcome to attend and participate or just come to listen and learn. Beginners, intermediate researchers and certified genealogists are all welcome.

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.

Online Platform: The Roundtable will be on the Google Meet online platform. You do not have to have a gmail account to participate. A link to the Roundtable will be sent to you via email before the meeting. 

Meeting Day and Time: The Roundtable meets on the second Wednesday of each month 6:30-8:00 PM Pacific Time.

Registration Information: Contact Lisa Gorrell or Jacqueline Henderson to sign up for the Roundtable. They will send you an email with the link before the meeting. 

Contact Info: [email protected], [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.

Goals:

  • 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) – 1:00 p.m.. – 2:30 p.m. via Zoom.

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

Family Tree Maker SIG

Leads: Ron Madson and Karen Halfon

Prerequisites: There is no prerequisite for attending an FTM-SIG user group zoom meeting. This meeting is perfect for new FTM users, people who are just FTM curious, as well as experienced FTM veterans. All welcome!

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.

Checkout the FTM-SIG website, http://ftm-sig.org to find the topics for the upcoming meetings, as well as FTM information and help. See our YouTube channel for recordings of all Zoom meetings.

The event is presented online via Zoom

The event will take place via Zoom. If you join, please sign in early to make sure you are able to see the program.  We will send you instructions the Thursday night before the meeting, and a reminder shortly before the event, which will give you access. Please note all times are Pacific Time.

You do not have to have a Zoom account to attend a Zoom meeting. You will be prompted to download the software, once you have clicked on the link that you have been provided. You may also wish to create an account, but that is not required to participate in a Zoom meeting.

These events are presented live and will be recorded. Two days after the zoom meeting, the unedited meeting recording will be available on the FTM-SIG YouTube Channel. See the FTM-SIG website, http://ftm-sig.org for details.

See you online!

Meeting Time: 3rd Saturday of each month from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Registration Information:

  • Register on EventBrite through the FTM-SIG website in order to participate.
  • Special Interest Groups are free to CGS members.
  • Non-members are welcome to attend two meetings at no charge. Thereafter, you may join CGS and attend for free or pay $10* for each meeting attended.

You can purchase a $45 one-year CGS Basic membership when you check out. To sign up for other membership options go to our web page: CGS Membership application

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. (ON HIATUS)

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

San Francisco SIG

Leads: Sandra Britt-Huber

Description:

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. (ON HIATUS due to the temporary closure of the Library.)

Contact Info: Email questions to [email protected]