California Genealogical Society
and Library eNews
December 2009, Vol. 3, No. 12
Holiday Hours
CGS Library CLOSED Thursday, December 24, 2009 - January 6, 2010.
The library re-opens on Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.

December Workshop - New York City Research
Saturday, December 12, 2009, 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland

Steve Harris New York City: Insider's Guide to Research
A CGS Workshop with Steve Harris

If you are like the majority of Americans, at least one of your ancestors spent time in New York City. Dr. Stephen Harris has an insider's knowledge of the many helpful data sources and indexes that are available for your NYC research.

Learn more at the CGSL blog.

Annual Membership Meeting
Saturday, January 9, 2010
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland

Please join us for this important annual session. Jane Knowles Lindsey will be making her last report as president of the society. She will provide a review of 2009 and a look forward at the society's plans for 2010 (see next article), including details of upcoming meetings, workshops and much more.

Two members will make brief presentations about their interesting genealogical projects. Jeanie W. Chooey Low will discuss her advocacy work on the Alien immigration case files known as the "A-Files." Kathy Beals will describe her writing project about the early settlers of several New Hampshire towns.

The agenda also includes brief committee reports, approval of the society budget and the annual election of new board members.

The annual meeting is always well-attended so arrive early to get a seat. Light refreshments will be served at 12:30 p.m., before the meeting begins.
Coming in 2010
Classes, Workshops and More!
The Events Committee is busy finalizing the 2010 calendar. Here's a preview of some of the programs being planned:
  • Tech Saturday Sessions starting in January
  • The Successful Research Trip: Lessons Learned on the Road by Mary Mettler
  • Tour of Mountain View Cemetery
  • Chinese-American Research Workshop
  • Hispanic Research Workshop
Intermediate Genealogy Series Returns
Classes begin Tuesday, February 9, 2010, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m
Oakland Regional Family History Center, 4766 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland

Light Bulb The dates have been set for an encore presentation of the Intermediate Genealogy Series. Classes are scheduled on eight consecutive Tuesdays beginning February 9, 2010 and ending on March 30, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. All classes will be held at the Oakland Regional Family History Center. In addition, there will be a field trip to the California Genealogical Society Library on Saturday, February 27, 2010.
Details are still being finalized. Look for class descriptions, schedule and registration flier on the society's website and blog in early January.

February Black History Month Program
Saturday, February 20, 2010
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland

Craig Manson Craig Manson will present two talks in honor of Black History Month on Saturday, February 20, 2010.

1:00 p.m. Finding African-Americans in Census Records Prior to 1870

2:15 p.m. Civil War: Military Research with Special Emphasis on African-American Soldiers
Plans are still being finalized for a morning panel session. Look for updates at the CGS website and blog.

Reserve Your Space at the Tenth Annual CGS Salt Lake City Tour
Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Stay and Attend the 2010 NGS Family History Conference

NGS 2010 Conference Logo In celebration of our tenth Research Tour to Salt Lake City, the 2010 trip will conveniently precede the start of the National Genealogical Society Family History Conference. The 2010 theme is Follow Your Ancestral Trail.
The spring tour will begin mid-week on April 21, 2010, and run Wednesday to Wednesday. Those interested in attending the NGS conference (April 28 - May 1, 2010) can extend their stay at the Shilo Inn, located just across the street from the Salt Palace, site of the conference. The block of rooms reserved by CGS for the conference will only be available to those who attend the research week.

Download the registration flier for complete information.
Editor's Picks: Suggested Links From the Blogosphere

Federal Land States by Donna M. Moughty

Anatomy of a Civil War Pension File, Part 1 by Amy Coffin

Shades of the Departed - The Magazine
Using Historical Markers in Your Research by Carolyn L. Barkley

Canada's Home Children - Still Waiting for Recognition by M. Diane Rogers

Parade of States -- online digital genealogy resources -- California by James Tanner

Using the DAR Genealogical Resource System - Ancestors and Descendants by Randy Seaver

CGS Ancestors
Photo Tributes to the CGS Family
Edited by Cathy H. Paris

This month's photograph and story were submitted by Mary Hunt.

Job Semler

This 1886 photo is of my ancestor Job Daniel Joseph Semler (holding donkey), his pregnant wife Lillie Belle (Orvis) Semler (holding child), and their first two children, George (by chair) and Daisy (held by her mother). 

Job Semler applied for this homestead on 20 May 1878. After proving that he had made the necessary improvements to the land and paying the $4 final payment, he was awarded a patent in January 1884. The general land office records documenting his homestead are held at NARA in Washington D.C. and include information about his experience such as details of improvements, his times in residence at and absence from the property and testimony of his neighbors about his lifestyle and credibility.

In the Fall of 1888, after his health had failed, Job Semler moved to the nearby town of Sargent and became a butcher. He was able to support his family until 1895 when a major drought destroyed the local economy. Unable to sell his home for an amount sufficient to cover his mortgage, Job abandoned the house and moved back to Illinois in the fall of 1895. In the Spring of 1896, he moved his family back to Sargent, and started again.

On 25 October 1899, the Burlington & Missouri train arrived in Sargent. The town and many of its occupants began to flourish, including Job Semler who resumed work as a butcher. Records in the county clerk's office indicate that he also became a rather active buyer and seller of land. Job Semler continued on this path until his death 17 May 1939. I descend from his youngest daughter, Rozell Ferne Semler.

This image was taken by a now-famous Nebraskan photographer, Solomon Devore Butcher. He lived in Custer County, Nebraska, and photographed a large number of homesteaders in that area. I found this photograph of my ancestor in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog on the Library of Congress website

- Mary Hunt

Call for Submissions! We're planning for next year and we need your photographs and stories! Do you have some great family photos that are scanned and ready to be shared? Do you have a wonderful family story and a photo to go with it? If you would like to see your CGS Ancestor pictured in a future edition of the CGS e-News, please email Cathy Paris and send your image with a brief narrative.

Did you miss these posts in the CGSL blog?
California Genealogical Society and Library
A Northern California Genealogy Resource
Oakland, CA 94612-3031

Founded February 12, 1898 in San Francisco, CGS, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that seeks to aid, educate and encourage research in family history, is presently located in Oakland, California. The society maintains a library, gathers and preserves vital records and disseminates information through publications, meetings, seminars, workshops, its website, blog and online catalog.