Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy ALMOST New Year Eve - Celebration!

It is almost time to ring that bell, clink those glasses, make those resolutions, make those toasts and wish all your family and friends the best during this brand new year coming up soooooooon.

What are your rituals? What do you do on this night? Are you in bed by 9pm or do you party the night away? Are you celebrating with your spouse or are you at a party with friends? What is your best story? Any New Year Eve Family stories you would like to share with us? Leave your story on comment or email us.

ohhhh, don't forget the New Year's Day Parade in Pasadena tomorrow morning. Well worth the early morning rising.

(...from wikipedia) New Year's Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar used in ancient Rome. With most countries using the Gregorian calendar as their main calendar, New Year's Day is the closest thing to being the world's only truly global public holiday. on link for more information

History of New Years and How the World Celebrates

Looking back at Root Cellar's December Celebration



posted for your enjoyment by Sandra Gardner-Benward


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Did You Know There is a Genealogical Hall of Fame?

Did you know that there is a Genealogy Hall of Fame?
Yes there is. It was created and maintained by the National Genealogical Society (NGS).
Is there a Root Cellar member that qualifies for this award? Of course all our members are winners but............  It would be wonderful to nominate one of our own members.

Nomination to the Hall of Fame is open to anyone who qualifies. It certainly would be amazing to have a nomination from California. Give it some thought.
from Christine Rose, CG, CGL, FASG, Chairman, NGS Hall of Fame Committee

"I am Chairman of the 2013 National  Genealogical Society Hall of Fame committee. Do you or the group know of a  deceased genealogist who you believe would be eligible for this award? There are  many worthy candidates but often they are best known to the  regional societies but overlooked when it is time to file papers for this  prestigious award. Our committee would be grateful if you would bring this to  the attention of others so that papers could be prepared and submitted by January 31,  2013.


• A nominee must have been actively engaged in genealogy in  the United States for at least ten years, must have been deceased for at least five  years at the time of nomination, and must have made contributions to the field of genealogy  judged to be of lasting significance in ways that were unique, pioneering, or  exemplary.

• The National Genealogy Hall of Fame is an educational project in which the entire genealogical community is invited to participate.  Affiliation with the National Genealogical Society is not required.

• The National Genealogy Hall of Fame Committee elects one  person to the Hall of Fame annually. Those elected are permanently commemorated in the  Hall of Fame at Society headquarters, Arlington, Virginia.

• Nominations for election to the Hall of Fame are due by 31 January each year. Official nomination forms are available from our website,           National Genealogical Society , Awards & Competitions, or by contacting the National Genealogical  Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22204‐4304; phone 1‐800‐473‐  0060.

If you have any questions, please either contact NGS or  contact Christine. Your help with this will be sincerely appreciated. It  would be wonderful to have a worthy California candidate nominated!
posted for your help in the search by Sandra Gardner-Benward




Saturday, December 29, 2012

Society Saturday - Wikis for Genealogists Webinar Reprise Presented by Thomas MacEntee

Source: By Luigi Chiesa (Own work)
via Wikimedia Commons
New Year, New Tool.  Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society invites you to its first general membership meeting of 2013 to learn about a new research tool to further your search for ancestors.

DATE:  [New Day] Thursday, January 10, 2013

PLACE: [New Place] Christ Community Church, 5025 Manzanita Avenue, Carmichael, CA 95608. Google Map link and see image below.

TIME: 7:00pm - 8:30pm

PROGRAM:  Wikis for Genealogists presented by Thomas MacEntee*. While many think of a wiki as an on-line, collaborative encyclopedia, wikis can be used by genealogists to document their genealogy and collaborate with other researchers or family members. Learn the various wiki platforms and the basics of setting up a wiki.  Note: This presentation will be the CD version of Thomas's live webinar conducted on August 8, 2012 in collaboration with Legacy Family Tree webinars.  Webinar handouts will be available with permission of the presenter.

FREE, everyone is welcome so bring a friend.

View Larger Map

*Read more here and here about Thomas MacEntee, the featured speaker at the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Spring Seminar on Saturday, March 16, 2013.  Registration details coming soon.

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Society Saturday - Great Moves for Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society will be on the move in 2013 (if not already).  An exhaustive and lengthy search for a new location for monthly gatherings ably conducted by members Richard Hanson, Lois Shumaker and Marilyn Ulbricht has concluded.  Following site visits, the Board approved a new day and two new locations for Board, General Membership and Workshop meetings.  

If you're a regular at any of these meetings, you already understand the necessity for the moves.  The community room at the grocery store where the board meetings were held was free but at the discretion of the manager so bumping was always a concern.  The historic schoolhouse where the general membership meetings were held had a nominal rental fee but it lacked adequate space, handicapped accessibility features, a paved and lighted parking lot, and reliable heating and air conditioning.  The former workshop location was free but adequate parking became an issue.

Scheduling issues at the new locations precluded Root Cellar from having only one location and the same day for all meetings.  However, the sites had nearly all items on our must-have list and the Board didn't want to pass up these opportunities.  Change isn't easy but hopefully members will be just as impressed with the new locations and adapt to the new schedule. 

Not surprisingly, the new locations mean increased rental fees for Root Cellar.  The Board continues to be vigilant with the Society budget, making ongoing adjustments for such increases while being mindful of maintaining reasonable membership fees. 

Please read the the following information carefully and make a note on your new 2013 calendar.  Don't hesitate to contact Root Cellar at if you have any questions or comments.  Let us know what you think!

Board of Directors Meetings - new location/day (effective December 2012)
Meets 1st Thursday of the month
10:00a.m. - noon
Sylvan Community Center (across from Old Schoolhouse)
7521 Community Drive at Sylvan Road  [Google Map]
Citrus Heights, CA 95610

General Membership Meetings - new location/day (effective January 2013)
Meets 2nd Thursday September - June
7:00p.m. - 8:30p.m.
Christ Community Church
5025 Manzanita Avenue  [Google Map]
Carmichael, CA 95608

Workshop - new location only (effective November 2012)
Meets 3rd Wednesday of the month year-round
1:00p.m. - 3:00p.m.
Sylvan Community Center (across from Old Schoolhouse)
7521 Community Drive at Sylvan Road [Google Map]
Citrus Heights, CA 95610

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Friday, December 28, 2012

2013, a Genealogy Learning Extravaganza!

Note to self: #1 top priority - mark 2013 calendar for genealogy classes, webinars, and more.  Let's get started...

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society: programs, workshops and seminar.  First up, Thursday, January 10th, learn about using Wikis for your genealogy, a webinar presentation via CD by Thomas MacEntee with handouts.

January 2013 Genealogy Programs at the Sacramento Central Library:
Jamboree 2013 Extension Series by the Southern California Genealogical Society: free webinars

Illinois State Genealogical Society 2013 Webinar series: live webinars are free to nonmembers

2013 Legacy Family Tree Webinar Schedule: free webinars that benefit everyone whether or not you use this family tree software. The Root Cellar workshop is scheduled on some of the webinar dates. No problem, go to the workshop and listen to the archived webinars which are available free for about 10 days.

I encourage you to roam around the individual websites provided above because other content could be very useful in your genealogical research.   However, if you want even more than what's listed above, go to, a centralized calendar for webinars.

Happy New Year!
Happy Learning!
posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Top Reads for 2012

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society would like to thank all of its followers for reading this blog during the past year.  Whether you live near or far, member or not, we hope the blog articles have helped you become more informed and educated. 

Thank you also to our members who contributed personal ancestor stories, photos and mysteries in hope for a cousin-connection or brickwall-breakthrough.  Remember, the blog is a member benefit so keep the contributions coming in 2013!

Year-end lists are quite popular so let's review a selection of the most read articles during 2012.  Who knows, maybe you missed a couple!

Posted by Sandra Gardner Benward:

Letters from the War Front -- Wordless Wednesday

NARA Citizen Archivist Dashboard Live!

Second Day at Roots Tech Conference

Posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond:

Tuesday's Tip: Death Records: A Check List of Ten Documents Every Genealogist Should Acquire

Follow Friday: National Library of Medicine and Your Ancestors

Society Saturday - Sacramento County Coroner's Records Collection Completed

Posted by Ron Setzer:

Technology Tuesday – NGS Recommendations on Standards for Use of Technology

Tombstone Tuesday - John McLearie, Sr.

Follow Friday – Your Genetic Genealogist

As always, we love receiving your contributions, suggestions and comments.  Send them to  Have a happy, healthy, and ancestor-rich New Year!

Daily blog prompts are used with permission of
Images from Microsoft Office Clipart.
posted by Denise H. Richmond

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Geni Blog – Follow Friday

The Geni Blog is one you may wish to follow ( The blog deals mainly with profiles and genealogy tips. But the subject that I find the most entertaining is the "Monday Recap" for the week. They list "On Geni" and "Profile of the Day." Also listed is "The Genealogy Sphere." This section introduces you to a variety of blog entries you might have not run across on your own. Here is an example. This is Ashley Gilreath's genealogy jewelry ( – Great idea. Check out Geni Blog and, or course, Ashley's story.

Wearing the family tree

Not every family picture is fit to be seen by outsiders, but there’s a certain charm to old black-and-white photos that begs to be taken off the shelf and with you wherever you go.
This incredible creation is the work of Ashley Gilreath, who explained that:
This necklace was made to represent the memory of my grandparent's long staircase in their house. I want the viewer to see my history as the necklace wraps around, and to feel the sensation of climbing up and down the stairs as the images of my family line the walls. More importantly, I wanted my skin to show through as my family's skin, so that my stories, my life and who I am as an individual is shown as the sum of all of the people that came before me.
In this case, the family is the heirloom, and one that all members can share.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday – The Snow is Coming

With the pending storm in the Sierras, I think back to my first career. As a locomotive engineer, I spent many hours during the winter months on snow removal equipment like this rotary for the Southern Pacific RR.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Reminder of today's workshop:
Wednesday, December 19, 1 pm - 3 pm
Root Cellar Workshop, visitors always welcome

Program:  Help with brickwalls; helpful research and tech tool tips
Host: John Jay
Location: Sylvan Community Center, 7521 Community Drive, Citrus Heights, CA. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Technology Tuesday – NGS Recommendations on Standards for Use of Technology

Some guidelines to keep in mind as you do your genealogical research online.

Standards for Use of Technology in Genealogical Research

Recommended by the National Genealogical Society

Mindful that computers are tools, genealogists take full responsibility for their work, and therefore they
  • learn the capabilities and limits of their equipment and software, and use them only when they are the most appropriate tools for a purpose;
  • do not accept uncritically the ability of software to format, number, import, modify, check, chart, or report their data, and therefore carefully evaluate any resulting product;
  • treat compiled information from online sources or digital databases in the same way as other published sources--useful primarily as a guide to locating original records, but not as evidence for a conclusion or assertion;
  • accept digital images or enhancements of an original record as a satisfactory substitute for the original only when there is reasonable assurance that the image accurately reproduces the unaltered original;
  • cite sources for data obtained online or from digital media with the same care that is appropriate for sources on paper and other traditional media, and enter data into a digital database only when its source can remain associated with it;
  • always cite the sources for information or data posted on-line or sent to others, naming the author of a digital file as its immediate source, while crediting original sources cited within the file;
  • preserve the integrity of their own databases by evaluating the reliability of downloaded data before incorporating it into their own files;
  • provide, whenever they alter data received in digital form, a description of the change that will accompany the altered data whenever it is shared with others;
  • actively oppose the proliferation of error, rumor and fraud by personally verifying or correcting information, or noting it as unverified, before passing it on to others;
  • treat people online as courteously and civilly as they would treat them face-to-face, not separated by networks and anonymity;
  • accept that technology has not changed the principles of genealogical research, only some of the procedures.
© 2000, 2001, 2002 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is granted to copy or publish this material provided it is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.

Article found on NGS website > References for Researching >Standards for Use of Technology in Genealogical Research (
Posted by Ron Setzer

Monday, December 17, 2012

SCGS 2013 Webinars Announced

The Southern California Genealogical Society has announced their webinars for 2013. Sign up early for the ones you want to view. The live version of the webinar is free to those who sign up and is made available to SCGS members as an archival file. We can all learn something new from these webinars.

 Extension Course 2013

check webinars
Registration is Now Open
for the 2013 Jamboree
Extension Webinar Series 
The Southern California Genealogical Society announces that registration is now open for the popular Jamboree Extension Webinar Series for 2013. The webinar series provides web-based family history and genealogy educational sessions for genealogists around the world.

Jamboree Extension Series webinars are conducted the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. Saturday sessions will be held at 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time. Wednesday sessions will be scheduled at 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.  

Upcoming sessions are listed below. Click on the link to register for any session you want to attend. For more information on each of these sessions, check out the SCGS website.
Saturday, January 5 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time  
Lisa A. Alzo

Wednesday, January 16 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Linda Geiger Woodward, CG, CGL  

Saturday, February 2 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time.
Eric Basir  

Wednesday, February 20 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Michael John Neill  

Saturday, March 2 -  10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
Lisa Louise Cooke    

Wednesday, March 20 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Michael Brophy  

Saturday, April 6 -  10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
Denise Levenick   

Wednesday, - April 17 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Janet Hovorka  

Saturday, May 4 -   10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time

Wednesday, May 15 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time.
Debbie Mieszala, CG   

Saturday, June 1 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
Jane Neff Rollins  

Saturday, June 1 -  2pm Pacific time / 5pm Eastern time 
Leo Myers and Paula Hinkel   

Wednesday, June 19 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Valerie Brown Elkins, CG 

Saturday, July 6 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
Tonia Kendrick   

Wednesday, July 17 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Nancy Lauer    

Saturday, August 3 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
Jay Fonkert, CG    

Wednesday, August 21 -  6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Mary Roddy   

Saturday, September 7 -  10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
George G. Morgan    

Wednesday, - September 18 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Beth Foulk    

Saturday, October 5 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
Taneya Koonce    

Wednesday, October 16 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Drew Smith  

Saturday, November 2 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, CG  

Wednesday, November 20 - 6pm Pacific time / 9pm Eastern time. 
Leland K. Meitzler  

Saturday, December 7 - 10am Pacific time / 1pm Eastern time
Gena Philibert Ortega  

Please share this notice with your fellow genealogical society members, librarians, cousins and others that share your interest in genealogy.

The initial (live) webcast is offered free of charge and open to the public. "We offer these webinars as part of our educational mission," said SCGS president Alice Fairhurst, "but are always grateful for contributions to offset our costs." Donations can be made through PayPal, online through the SCGS website or by check made out to SCGS and mailed to the address below. 

As a benefit of membership, SCGS members can review archived sessions at any time by accessing the SCGS members-only section of this website.  

To join a webinar, most participants attend via computer with audio speakers or a headset. Those with a fast Internet connection (either broadband or DSL) will have the most satisfactory experience. It is possible to phone in to listen to the presentation. Long-distance charges may apply. 

For more information contact:
Paula Hinkel ( ) 
Vice President
Southern California Genealogical Society  
417 Irving Drive
Burbank, CA 91504  

Posted by Ron Setzer

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Obiturary Sunday – Caruth Smith Washington

It has come to my attention that a Real Daughter, Caruth Smith Washington, age 104 of MonroeNew Jersey, passed away on November 20, 2012, at Cranbury Nursing Home, Monroe.  She was the daughter of a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient and believed to be the last direct descendant of a slave in America.            

Born to the late Gertrude Catlett Smith and Color Sergeant Andrew Jackson Smith, Caruth was an educator and community activist in CA and NY.  She was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Edward L. Washington: son, Ricque Le'Seur, Sr. and sister Susan Shelton.  Survived by her grandchildren,China, Bart, Che, and Ricque Le'Seur, Jr., two nephews; one niece and a host of relatives and friends.
The memorial service was Wed., Dec. 5th at 7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, 771 Somerset StreetSomerset, NJ The arrangements are by Anderson Funeral Service. No mention of where she is buried.

The obit is a Central Jersey newspaper, online (see below) and published in Home News Tribune on December 4, 2012:

Submitted by Jim Monteton
Posted by Ron Setzer

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mocavo Christmas Gift

A holiday gift to their favorite genealogists: free scanning until New Year's!
FREE Scanning with Mocavo until December 31st, 2012

From now until the end of the year Mocavo will scan your documents, send you a digital copy, and put them online at Mocavo - for FREE! They will even send your materials back to you, if you choose. They work with they comminity to bring all of the world's genealogical information online for free, putting up everyone's family history within reach. They are bringing lots and lots of historical information and databases to Mocavo. 

Read more about it and you decide if this is something that you would like to do. Keep in mind that this offers expires at the end of the month, end of year - December 31, 2012. 

........posted to help you advance and keep organized by Sandra Gardner-Benward 


Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Questions Questions and more Questions????

I have now received the following email from three different sources with the same questions? It is a legitimate email with questions that are important?? Can you help?

Do you know where all the records for your county are stored?

Representatives of FamilySearch were recently told that many California counties were transferring older records to historical societies and museums. For genealogists this may be a good move as often records are more easily accessible.

However, it is important to know where the records are. Can you help? The answers to the following questions will put us on the right track.
1. Do you know of any transfers of records from government agancies to Historical Societies, Libraries or other repositories?
2. Do yo know of inventories of records of government records or records that have been transferred to repositories? If online, please send a link. 
3. Do you have contacts in government agencies or other repositories that could help in accessing their record holdings?  



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday - Those Special Places - Sutro Library

If you are not aware, SUTRO LIBRARY has moved and is now located in it's new home on the campus of the San Francisco State University. (1680 Holloway, San Francisco, CA 94132)

My check is has been mailed and now I am waiting. I am anxious to go and explore the new building (actually it is now located on two full floors). I am going to go down with lots of friends on February 13, 2013 Wednesday on a planned bus trip. Melanie Howard from GAS organization (Genealogical Association of Sacramento) is organizing this annual event.

The Sutro Library moved to their new 6 floor facility located on the San Francisco State College  campus - J. Paul Leonard Library -Sutro Library, Location: 1630 Holloway,  SanFrancisco, CA 94132. They are located on the top two floors. As many of you know, the Sutro Library not only has the distinction of having one of the most comprehensive Genealogical and Family History collections in existence, but houses some of the rarest and most unique manuscript and book collections the world has to offer.

 When : Wednesday February 13 , 2013

Time: 7 AM to 7 PM

Where: Bus trip to the new, expanded,  6 floor Sutro Library building in San Francisco

Cost: $35.00 for GAS members, $40.00 for non-members (need at least 30 to make it a go)

Send your check now. It will not be cashed until 2 weeks before the trip
Make the check out to Genealogical Association of Sacramento or G.A.S.
Include your name, address, phone number, email and where you want to catch the bus.

Questions: email Melanie Howard

Mail your check to
Melanie Howard
7345 Pritchard Rd
Sacramento CA 95828                                                                                                                                    
Want to come along?  Don't wait too long to reserve your seat, do your homework (check the catlague, get whatever line you want to work on in order with the areas you want to search on), meet at whatever pick up is convenient for you and we will see you on the bus......... might want to consider 'brown bagging it',  but I am told there is a cafeteria not too far away on campus......... 

NOTE: FIRST PICK-UP at 6:45 AM In front of the CHP office on Massie Circle ( near the intersection of Stockton Blvd and Massie Circle)  SECOND PICK-UP : between 7 and 7:15 AM on Point West Rd in front of the Doubletree Hotel (Near Arden Fair)  Parking on both sides of  Point West Rd THIRD PICK-UP is new this year: It is in the Car pool Parking lot on Enterprise Blvd and West Capitol Ave in West Sacramento about 7:30 AM and the  FOURTH PICK-UP will be in the Car Pool lot on Mace Blvd and Hwy 80 about 7:45 AM

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom .... Is it STILL fun?

I received an email the other day from Upfront with NGS and it made me really think about my own research.

The question was "At some point, does your genealogy and family history research stop becoming fun? Yes, at sometimes it does. I think sometimes I get overwhelmed with the whole task and don't break it down in to smaller pieces, ones I can handle better. I am obsessed with solving this puzzle NOW. Also, I guess I keep bumping up against the same brick walls.

Do you only do one line - your direct line only? OR do you reasearch other lines too? I do research all lines and I DO MEAN ALL LINES not just my direct line of GARDNER. I have learned a little bit about everyone but not alot about anyone.

This articles suggested that there are three other ways of going when your genealogy stops becoming fun........
    1) Stop doing genealogy for a while.
    2) Switch the focus of your research (refocuss on another line or a different time peroid)
    3) Produce something to share that you have learned

Genealogy research is really a journey and not just a destination....  we do want to enjoy the whole journey. You need to 're-energize' yourself, feel good about what you are doing. Don't frustrate yourself......  put it away and start researching somewhere else.

Besides creating family books, you can create CD's and DVD's, scrapbooks. If you 'google' different ideas you will find company's that specialize in mugs, Christmas ornaments, t-shirts, family reunion shirts, and so much more. I know my father got some type of gadget that converted his glass slides to picture form. Now that was a large project for him since our family has YEARS of taking slides. Make yourself feel good by sharing family information with extended family members. Whether it is in the form of binders with written information, published books on a single person, or event, record family stories and share them, scanning those scrapbooks that you can not get the pictures out of without tearing them (so frustrating) scan them or take pictures of them.........

Another source on this subject: Kenneth R. marks of The Ancestor Hunt website posted a peice with the title "Why Aren't You Having Fun with Your Family History Research? In the article, he asks a few questions to ask yourself about your research and why it's no longer fun and then he suggests....

"Stop focusing on the ancestors you don't know and start focusing on the ancestors you do know"

When you stop having fun with your genealgoy research, who do you do?
 ...........posted by Sandra Gardner-Benward to help you think about other ways of doing something to change the outcome