Friday, September 12, 2014

Follow Friday : Spending Saturday in Berkeley with CGS & NEHGS

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner Benward

New England Historical and Genealogical Society out of Boston Massachusetts has come west again. They are partnering with the California Genealogical Society out of Oakland to bring us this event. I for one am thrilled, Although I am looking forward to going there one day.  But this a great alternative for now,

In Sacramento I took the Amtrak to Richmond, and the BART System from Richmond to Downtown Berkley, Pretty quick ride all things considered. The BART station is directly across the street from the Hotel Shattuck, couldn't ask for anything more perfect. They say there is parking but very limited so I decided to take the Amtrak/ Bart down down and back home tomorrow evening.

I have already run into our own Lois Shumacher (you know, our new Preserves Editor) with her friend from Grass Valley. I went for a short walk around the block, An interesting mix of people  and businesses. Bought some pop and came right back to the hotel. Berkeley streets have not changed in the past 50 years ,,.. lots of characters young and old, stoned and not, some sleeping on the sidewalk, others just hanging out, and others trying to survive, and still others have their guitars and other instruments out playing and singing for their next meal, for their next dollar. A guy pushing a baby stroller that was completely filled with probably everything he owned plus a huge grey striped cat purring away on top of it all- thank goodness no baby. This all brings me back to days after high school and into college. PEACE MAN!

Registering and coming to this event was the first time I had ever heard of the Hotel Shattuck but then two weeks ago on "Who Do You Think You Are?" with Kelsey Grammer there we were looking at documents about his family with Kelsey from the Hotel Shattuck from I believe the 1920's - 1930's.. Gosh what a small world. Now I am staying in the same hotel.

FYI: Just a little history..........  the hotel was selected and build on the corner of Shattuck & Allston in Berkeley after the 1906 earthquake and opened its doors in December 1910. It is built in the mission style which represents California's  Architectural heritage. It was build by a Francis Kittredge Shattuck, William Hillegass & George Blake. An annex was started in 1914 which increased the hotel's size by 400%  adding 120 guestrooms. The hotel has changed hands several times and a name change also - Whitecotton Hotel. But the name change back fairly soon. In 2007 the Hotel Shattuck Plaza was purchased, it was closed for over a year while undergoing an extensive multimillion dollar renovation, Now it is an upscale boutique hotel within a historic building. On my walk around the block of the hotel I did notice the familiar names of streets- Kittredge & Shattuck for just a couple (sorry for the blurry picture)

 But when you enter the hotel you are greeted with very white and black decor. Very upbeat. The experience starts when you enter the  - it doesn't move till you enter your door card. Then when entering your room, the lights and a/c - heat will not work till you again enter your room card in a card dock on the wall........... Just a little different.  I love the colors of the different carpet and walls, so I took pictures of them.............  This is part of the main floor leading out to an interior outside patio.

This is my favorite...... colorful carpet/ white walls
This is my floor outside my room......... the others are on my floor too but down the next hallway and etc etc,

Tomorrow will be a full day of sessions. I am excited to have the opportunity to mingle and talk with and ask questions of the representatives of the NEHGS - Chris Child and Alice Kane.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thankful Thursday - We Will Never Forget!

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Rebuilding after 9/11

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Society Saturday - September Program with Backblaze

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

September 11, 2014
Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society's 
General Meeting
(something special for our members at this meeting)

BACKBLAZE  Secure Online Backup Made SimpleBackblaze logo
      (be sure to scroll down on their website and read all about Backblaze)

The In's and Out's of Data Backup with Backblaze

We all know we should back up our data, but 91% of people don't do it regularly and risk losing everything. Join us as we show you how easy data backup can be with Backblaze. We'll cover the set-up options and show you how easy it is to recover a single file, multiple files, or all your data whenever you need. We'll also cover how to use the Backblaze Mobile iPhone app to access your data from anywhere.
"We designed Backblaze unlike any other online software.There is no need to pick folders and files.          Easy. Secure. Your computer is going to love it. " 
Christ Community Church
5025 Manzanita Ave.
Carmichael, California
6:00pm to 7pm  Pre-Meeting Activities
7pm to 8:30pm General Meeting

Pre-Meeting: A big surprise for members that bring their laptops.......  Backblaze will be prepared to install the Backblaze program onto your laptop FREE for 3 months. NO credit cards or exchange of money, no obligations. You will have an opportunity for three months to examine and explore this program. All our computers need a secure backup, and there are many to choose from - this is just one but it is an excellent choice and they are giving you a chance to use it for 3 months FREE........ not sure any of the others are allowing the usage of their program for FREE. NOTE: if you have external hard drives that you want backed up bring them with your laptop. It must be plugged into your laptop when they install the program. Just more value for your money ($0)

The installing of the program will be happening between 6:00pm to 7pm. So come early with your laptop and allow them to install the program and then stay for the meeting and their presentation.
NOTE: only will install Backblaze for new Backblaze users/accounts. They can not add to an existing account. If husband and wife each have a laptop that would be two separate installations - not one installation per family but per laptop. The team will stay as long as possible after the meeting ends to try to install all they can. But if any members that brought their laptops that don't get installed that night, they will receive a certificate for three free months of Backblaze and you can do the installation at home.

Backblaze Installer: Yev Pusin Yev is the Social Media Maven at Backblaze. He has presented at multiple events, including being the MC for Backblaze Demo Theater at RootsTech in 2013 and 2014

NOTE: I have had this installed on my laptop & my external drive last year at RootsTech. It was free, quick and painless. It does it's backup thing regularly and if the external drive is not plugged in they will send you a message. It runs in the background and does not interfere with other programs, or the internet. Fortunately, I can't tell you how great it is because my system has not crashed - thank goodness. AND that is a good thing. (knock on wood!)

Pre-Meeting: For those NOT participating in the installation of Backblaze on your laptop and for those that are), we will be having our regular pre-meeting roundtables. Join us for that, meet other members who maybe researching in the same area's as you. It is certainly a small world, you never know who you maybe related too. It will  be held from 6:15pm to 7pm.........

7pm General Meeting activities. Announcements & Other Important Information.
Backblaze Presentation.......  Visit their website, educate yourself and learn more, come prepared.

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
Click here for details.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Thankful Thursday ...... What Genealgocial Needs Do You Have That a Society Does Not Meet?

Editor's note: Today's post was by Sandra Gardner-Benward  - This POST is directly from the San Mateo County Genealogical Society Blog 

The discussion before this point on SMCGS blog  is about "Why do members not RENEW their memberships?"

To this we might add the question “Why have you decided NOT to join a society?”  What genealogical needs do you have that a society does not meet?  Of course, you may not HAVE any genealogical needs, like the researcher I spoke to recently who announced “I’ve traced my family back to William the Conqueror and am taking it to Kinkos to be printed and bound.”  Well fine.  But is it sourced??  Do you have all the photos, maps, documents, wax seals to substantiate and fill out your history?

Oh…you do.  Congratulations.  Will you now take up hang gliding?

Or perhaps, just possibly, the genealogical society, local or otherwise, still has a place for you.  Let’s take a look at the above list from a new perspective:

  • o   I added to the society’s online resources, and explained them to new users
  • o   I changed my focus to another region, or became the society expert in my region.
  • o   I contributed to the newsletter
  • o   I took up photography and created a book about my family
  • o   I showed people how I do genealogical research
  • o   I ran for the board and changed how the society was managed
  • o   I coordinated efforts between my society and another
  • o   I am teaching in the society
  • o   We went online, and open hours became a thing of the past
  • o   Parking is still a problem
  • o   From my contacts, I found new lecturers and workshop leaders
  • o   I’m always glad to share my experience with other members

There IS life after William the Conqueror.  And your genealogical society can be a part of it. It doesn’t mean you can’t take up hang gliding as well.

Thanks to San Mateo County Genealogical Society.  I love the way you turned the questions around to a positive. These suggestions are excellent and when I get to that point that I have nothing else to research I will refer back to all these great opportunities......... although I am already doing several of the items on the list, just ahead of myself.

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
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Those Places Thursday - Library Window Displays

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Root Cellar SGS volunteer members have done it again..........a library display window has been decorated again this year.  It is all in the name of Genealogy, History, Family Researching, & Root Cellar SGS.  AND yes it is a big deal. It takes a number of volunteers to gather materials together and the time to decorate the display window. Don't forget it takes additional volunteers to tear down and clean up the display window at the end of the display time. BIG BIG Thank You to all that were involved.  Check out a post from last year.

Check out Arden-Dimick Library display window; GO NOW. Our display will be up from September 2 -30 ... the entire month of September.  Great job. Let us know what you thought. Leave a comment.  

891 Watt Ave, Sacramento
Hours: closed/ Sunday & Monday; 10-6 Tuesday;  10-8 Wednesday & Thursday; 1-6 Friday; 10-5 Saturday

OCTOBER display windows will be up on October 2- 31, again available to view for the entire month of October. 

North HighlandsAntelope Public Library 
4235 Antelope Road
Antelope, California
Hours: closed Sunday & Monday; 10-8 Tuesday & Wednesday; 10-6 Thursday; 1-6 Friday; 10-5 Saturday 

Fair Oaks Library 
11601 Fair Oaks Blvd,
Sacramento, California
Hours: closed Sunday & Monday; 10-8 Tuesday & Wednesday; 10-6 Thursday; 1-6 Friday & 10-5 Saturday

Shop and Support Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.
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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday OR maybe TOO Wordy: Why Do You Join a Society? Why Don't You Renew Your Membership?

Editor's note: Today's post was partly written by Sandra Gardner Benward and includes an exert from the blog "Genealogy a la carte". Gail Dever ........  

Genealogy a la carte,  a news blog, has results back from a survey Gail Dever (owner of blog) sent out "Survey results indicate genealogists join societies for camaraderie" (but a lot more) And I am sure when you read through the information you will find a lot of your reasons for joining.

.....and then a follow up  "Why did you not renew your genealogy society membership?" (very interesting and something that all societies need to address) You can click on the link above for more information but I have copied some of the suggested reasons that people do not renew their memberships.

This is the exert from the "Genealogy a la carte" blog............We have all joined societies and other groups for a specific reason and then not renewed. WHY?

What are the main reasons you did not renew your genealogy society membership?
  • I had exhausted all of the society’s online resources.
  • My research in that region was finished.
  • The newsletter did not interest me.
  • I moved away.
  • I took up another hobby.
  • The members were snobby about how genealogy research should be done.
  • I did not like how the society was managed.
  • I joined another society.
  • I was no longer learning from the society.
  • Opening hours were not convenient.
  • No parking.
  • The lectures and workshops became stale.
  • Staff/volunteers lacked adequate knowledge to assist members.
  • *There were few benefits for a long-distance membership.
  • Travel and vacation took me away too often.
  • Personal reasons, such as health and family.
  • I preferred to spend my money on subscription websites.
  • The society had become stagnant and was not adapting to new methods and technology.
  • The members were too old.
  • The members were too young.
.............does any of this sound familiar? What would it take for you to continue your membership?

*This is something that is always a problem with membership in societies for long distant member. Do we as a society have projects or activities that will interest long distant members or a draw for long distant membership - to retain them. As a member joining a society a long ways away -Yes I can find someone to help me with my research- sometimes Free sometimes for a fee.  As a member joining a society a long ways away - Yes I can support them with monetary donations to support the organization and their other projects but I only have so much to give. As a member joining a society a long ways away  - Yes there is a website, a publication maybe even a blog but how can I be of service to the organization while I are using ALL their services. Do you feel this way?  Do you want to give back to this organization? Have you asked what you can do for them?

I have one great example to share about helping a society long distance and them retaining my membership: I am a long time member of the Ohio Genealogical Society. I am a Buckeye through and through, I was born in Ohio, barely lived there before my father went into the Army and off our family went to Europe. But I still feel a connection to Ohio and to this organization. They have given me a lot of help over the years and I wanted to help the society somehow. While reading through a newly arrived OSG Quarterly I found a small article that asked for help extracting obituaries .... It said even long distant members could help.  I was excited and answered the request right away and within a couple of weeks I had a package filled with original obituaries to be extracted & keyed into their Ohio Obituary Project online connected to the Rutherford B Hayes Presidential Center & Library. I have since finished that package, sent it back and have received a second package. It is not a difficult job since everything is from the newspapers there is no interpreting handwriting. I am thrilled and I really feel like I am helping and I feel like an active member of the Ohio Genealogical Society, not just a taker so I am a continuing member.

Probably one of the main reasons I do local extractions with Root Cellar SGS at the Center for Sacramento History every Friday morning is that I am hoping that someone(s) in the other U.S. states that I am researching is doing the same as I am here in California - EXTRACTING documents and other materials. I have barely a twig on my tree of a California ancestor but I continue extracting in California in hopes that my Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut ancestors documents are being extracted by someone else living in those places. I also do extractions because it is just fun, very interesting and lots of great stories to read.

Challenge: I certainly would love to see all Societies around the country look at what long distant members can do for them. Extracting and indexing seem to be good projects for those members.     I am wondering about articles for their publications, blog or even website. People can work anywhere in the country and be a part of the technical arena.  A distant member could be a board member when societies meet virtually. Why not? Have you considered Virtual Committee Meetings, Virtual Board Meetings, Webinar's for general meetings, workshops or Seminars. This appears to be the way of the future and is all available now. At least check it out, do the homework and see it if fits your organization. 

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday's Tip- V-J Day

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward


learn more about it.

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