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August 2011, Vol. 5, No. 8
Holiday Hours
Library Closed Labor Day Weekend
The California Genealogical Society Library will be closed Saturday, September 3, 2011, for the holiday weekend.


Announcing Our Newest Publication!
Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research, Second Edition, by Nancy Simons Peterson 
Raking the Ashes The California Genealogical Society is pleased to announce publication of Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research, second edition, a guide to circumventing the enormous record loss in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
This highly praised handbook has been substantially updated and expanded to include newly released records. Members may purchase with a 20% discount by signing into our website. Copies are also available for sale at the library or from the CGS Lulu Bookstore.



Extended Summer Hours
Library Open Until 8:30 p.m. on Thursdays through August
The California Genealogical Society Library is open from 9:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. every Thursday through August. Informal evening discussions are offered from 6:30 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. Participants of all levels of research experience are welcome to network and join the conversation. Learn more at the blog.



Encore Presentation: Celtic Roots Online
Friday, August 5, 2011, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California 94612 
Back by popular demand! If you missed Cath Trindle's class in March, you will not want to miss her encore presentation! Learn how to navigate the Scotland government web sites to retrieve basic records like statutory registers, census, old parish records, and testaments. Cath will also look at the growing selection of Irish records available online and touch on some online genealogical resources for those with Welsh ancestry. Learn more at the blog.

Register online



Finding Your Ancestors Through Latino/Hispanic Genealogy
Saturday, August 6, 2011, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California 94612
Professional genealogist Sheila Lee Prader will present Digging Deeper: Record Types and Specific Locations of Origin - the second Saturday workshop session on finding your Latino/Hispanic ancestors.

Learn more at the blog.  



New Netherland Genealogy 
Saturday, August 13, 2011, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California 94612 
Dust West India Company flagIn 1624, the Dutch West India Company established settlements in what is now New York and New Jersey which they ruled for the next forty years. Known as New Netherland, its history is fascinating but unfamiliar to most Americans. John Moore and Dorothy Koenig will present an overview of the colony and the genealogical sources that can help you. Learn more at the blog.



Last Chance! A Few Spots Still Available
Allen County Public Library Research Tour, August 21-28, 2011
The fifth CGS Research Tour to Fort Wayne, Indiana has space if you act fast! Email Director Jeff Vaillant as soon as possible to sign up for this trip to the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center. Whether you have visited before or this is your first time, you will enjoy your week at the best public genealogy library in the United States. For more information, download the registration flier.
Register online.



I've Tested My DNA, Now What? 
Saturday, August 27, 2011, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California 94612 
Katherine Hope Borges, co-founder and director of The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), is coming to CGS to answer your questions about DNA. Learn how to understand your test results and the next steps to take. Learn more at the blog.



Fall 2011: Beginning Genealogy Series Starts in September
Two Sessions: Thursday Afternoons or Tuesday Evenings
Oakland Regional Family History Center, 4766 Lincoln Avenue, Oakland, CA
Oakland Regional Family History CenterIn celebration of October Family History Month, the Oakland Regional Family History Center (ORFHC) and the California Genealogical Society (CGS) present the fourth annual Fall Beginning Genealogy Research Series. Six 1-1/2 hour sessions will teach you the basics. Enrolled students may attend classes on Thursday afternoons (1:00-2:30 p.m.) or Tuesday evenings (7:00-8:30 p.m.)

Download the class schedule and information flier. Register online.


September Membership Meeting: Putting Flesh on the Bones with Ron Arons
Saturday, September 10, 2011, 1:00 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California 94612  

 Why limit yourself to simply expanding your family tree by looking for names, dates and places? Beyond the Who, When, and Where, it is possible to explore the far more interesting question: WHY? Learn how to put flesh on your ancestors' bones from our September speaker, Ron Arons.  


Ron's presentation will follow a short membership meeting at 1:00 p.m. Learn more at the blog.



Chasing Your Civil War Ancestors with Jeffrey Vaillant
Saturday, September 17, 2011, 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California 94612

How does one find that Civil War ancestor? What are the steps to take? Where is the information to be found? Come to this class by Jeff Vaillant and find out the answers to these questions and more.


Register online.

Creating Genealogy Timelines with Lavinia Schwarz
Saturday, September 24, 2011, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
CGS Library, 2201 Broadway, Suite LL2, Oakland, California 94612

Timelines are a terrific tool for family research. A personal timeline keeps chronological track of the data we find while placing our ancestor in historical and social context. Learn how charting the migrations and life choices of her ancestors has helped Lavinia Schwarz further her genealogy research.


Register online.



Announcing a Very Special Event: Ancestry Day in San Francisco
Saturday, November 5, 2011, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hyatt Regency, 5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA 94111

Ancestry Day San Francisco 2011 The California Genealogical Society and are pleased to announce Ancestry Day in San Francisco - a day to discover and celebrate family history.

Please help us spread the word about this exciting one-day seminar by  downloading the event flier and sharing it with your family, friends, local library, civic group or other interested parties.

Visit our event page and learn more! Register online.

In Memoriam
Catherine Reid Bedecarre (1926 - 2011)
Catherine Reid Bedecarre Catherine Reid Bedecarre died Thursday, July 13, 2011. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Catherine was an educator, homemaker, mother, entrepreneur and genealogist. She and husband John, who survives her, were leaders of the Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society and have been members of the California Genealogical Society since 1993. Her obituary appeared in the San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on July 15, 2011.


Elizabeth MacFarlane DeBrouwer (1923 - 2011)
Elizabeth MacFarlane DebrouwerElizabeth Louisa MacFarlane DeBrouwer passed away on Monday, May 23, 2011. Known for her oil paintings, she was co-owner with her husband Walter of a portrait photography studio. A native of Utah, she was a member of several genealogical and lineage societies, including The Mayflower Society, Colonial Dames of Seventeenth Century, Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Elizabeth was a life member of the California Genealogical Society; she first joined in 1981. Her obituary was published in the Modesto Bee.

Can You Help?
Volunteers Needed to Help Patrons on Saturdays
The library is getting busier and we could use your help on Saturdays. Are you available one Saturday a month for four hours? This is a great job for members who like to help people and who are frequent users of online subscription sites such as,,, etc. Orientation will be provided.

Qualifications: Able to help patrons with research questions. Familiar with online and library resources.

Time Commitment: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., one or more Saturdays per month.

Please email Volunteer Coordinator Jane Lindsey if you can help. Note in subject line: "Saturday Patron Assistance."


Coming in October
Save the Dates!  
Mark Your Calendar
 10/1    First Saturday Free - Intro to Genealogy, Mary Beth Frederick

 10/15  What Happens to Your Research After You're Gone?, Pat Burrow

 10/22  Book Repair Workshop, Bill O'Neil

 10/22  German Research II, Shirley Riemer

Editor's Picks: Suggested Links From the Blogosphere

The Old Dogs of Genealogy by Kerry Scott

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night by Donna Pointkouski

What's It Worth and What's the Story? by Maureen Taylor

The Top Three Changes in Genealogy by Marian Pierre-Louis

The Pennsylvania 1927 Agricultural Census by Leland Meitzler

How to Wear Grandma's Jewelry: Treasure Chest Thursday by Kirsten

Online FamilySearch Film Ordering Rolling Out to CA/West Coast by Kimberly Powell

False Pedigrees: "I Beg Your Pardon Sir, but That Marquis is Not Yours" by Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman

California Ancestors: From Here, There, and Everywhere!

Photo Tributes to the CGS Family

Edited by Lorna Wallace  


This month, member Dick Rees honors his grandfather, R. George Rees.  

 Railroad Office


Dating an old photo can be difficult. Not so with this one where everything was included except the year!


The young man under the calendar is my grandfather, R. George Rees. The photo was taken in an office at the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad where he worked at the time. Using the Day of the Week Calculator by Ancestor Search, I was able to determine the year.

Colleague and friend Pam Miller noticed that the clock on the wall is a calendar clock which gives the day and month, as well as the time. So this photo was taken at 11:36 a.m., Saturday, 23 August 1902.

My grandfather was nineteen years old and had married his first wife, Eva Bilson, earlier that year. She was the mother of Willis, born the day after Christmas 1902, and Maude, born 1904. Eva died a few months after Maude's birth.

My grandfather left the railroad and was apprenticed to a firm of undertakers in New Haven, later going into the funeral business with a partner. In 1909 he began courting my grandmother, Pearl Mead, a Vermonter who was living in Farmington, Connecticut. (I have no idea how they met.) He would take Willis with him and they would travel on one trolley car until it reached the end of the line, then get on another one, and eventually arrived in Farmington. They were married on New Year's Day 1910. George was 26; Pearl was 33.  

-Dick Rees 


Call For Submissions  - Are you member with a great family photo to share? If you would like to pay tribute to your ancestor in a future edition of the eNews, please email Lorna Wallace and send your image with a brief narrative.



Did you miss these posts in the California Genealogical Society & Library blog?
CGSL blog 063011
Wordless Wednesday

2011 Nominating Committee

 Greek Like Me by Cathy Paris

Do You Descend from a California Suffragette?

"I'm Sorry Those Records Were Lost" - CGS Publication Gives Researchers New Hope

Kathryn Doyle, eNews Editor
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