Friday, June 29, 2012

Follow Friday.... Preserves is Out- NEW Board Members Installed

My Root Cellar "PRESERVES" publication arrived yesterday. I read it from cover to cover. Ron, great job again.  Again alot of interesting articles.  You will also find in this months issue several family recipes from various members.....  the Cooky-jar Sugar Cookies (and I agree it is the story around these cookies that is extremely interesting) from Elizabeth Parkin and another one is a Hertiage Recipe 'Mama Ruth's Chocolate Cake' from Sammie Hudgens.

I also enjoyed reading Bobbie Rowland's article on POSTERITY, The Musing of a Genealogist. Very good.

This issue also announces the New Board of Officers for 2012-2013 that take over July 1, 2012. Congratualtions and Good Luck...... We thanked the out going board and tried to install the new officers..... I say TRIED because only a couple of them were present. These absences didn't stop Marilyn Ulbricht, Part President and head of the Nominating Committee. She said if they are not hear it won't matter I have it covered, and covered she did.........  Thank You Marilyn.

This is showing the society doesn't work till all the pieces are in place and are around the membership.  Super idea.

As you can see Marilyn did make sure that everyone was there for the installation (yellow smiley face with missing board members name printed on smile) if only in spirit. Great job Marilyn.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Oh Those Places Far Far Away...... Birmingham Alabama

Federation of Genealogical Societiesand the Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc. invite everyone with an interest in genealogy to attend the FGS 2012 Conference - August 29- September 1,2012 at the Birmingham Convention Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

There are only a few days left to register at the reduced price of $195. Thay does includes all four days. The price goes $50 after July 1. This is an excellent savings -  I can use it to purchase more books and supplies for my addiction to my research of my family tree.

To register online or to print out a form to mail in, visit  FGS 2012 Conference 

I have registered and am looking forward to attending another FGS Conference. I like the idea that they have set aside time for societies and a sessions that address needs and problems of societies large, medium and small. (The SO CA Jamboree in Burbank CA this year did a great job of having 5 back to back sessions with societies needs in mind. AND it was excellent. So I am anxious to see what else will be talked about at FGS)

Anyone else attending this conference? If you are, leave me a comment at the bottom of this message under "COMMENT" Maybe we can all get together sometime during the conference, have a meal or just drinks and talk about the sessions you have taken and thinks you have seen.......  I would love that. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - in the Vault

This is only the tip of Root Cellar's transcribing/ extraction /indexing worker bees and  without leader Marilyn Ulbricht. This was taken inside the 'vault' at Center for Sacramento History with  Patricia Johnson, Senior Archivist (Reference, Government Records) and Volunteer Coordinator. (taken in 2009)
(916) 808-7074

Technology At Its Best - 1940 US Census

Congratulations to Team Root Cellar - Look at what you have accomplished. You are part of a very elite group of people- 133,655 people from around the world have signed up with you to index the 1940 Census. Wow! amazing!!

To date the Team Root Cellar has indexed 57, 515 names and arbitrated an additional 3,800 names. You are awesome!! 

We are still encouraging others to join us and make this journey a little lighter. Contact me and we will get you signed up and indexing in no time.

Nationally, the 1940 US Census Indexing Project is already 63.98% complete. GREAT JOB!!

20 states are fully indexed and searchable - Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming

8 additional states are 100% indexed & arbitrated & are in the final stages of being complete
3 additional states are 99% indexed & arbitrated

Soooo what is happening here? No one is claiming this state??? OH MY GOODNESS.....
New Jersey is "0"% indexed

..........and here, why so slow?  I guess I'll be doing some batches in Pennsylvania next.
North Carolina is 26% indexed
South Carolina is 35% indexed
and Pennsylvania is only 40% indexed

If your preferred state(s) are complete, please help with these other states. But whatever you do please don't stop indexing.......  we need you.

Thank you EVERYONE for indexing/arbitrating. You make a big difference and you can see it in the numbers above..........

Saturday, June 23, 2012

GenDetective - does it work or NOT!!

As I said a couple of weeks ago in Burbank, I didn't know what to expect when I choose this session at the So CA Jamboree called "GenDetective" but the session turned out to be very interesting. So interesting in fact that I went into the exhibit hall later on and purchased the software GenDetective. I know, I know, just what I need is another piece of software but I am willing to try it  and see if I can get a little more organized and be more organized with my research…….  this is what the software suggests.

Promotional Info states: GenDetective is suppose to tell you what you DON’T KNOW and what you need to FIND. You install the software on your computer, then you create a GEDCOM of your genealogy software program – Legacy for me. Import the GEDCOM into Gen-Detective. You are able to create research itineraries, take your reports with you via paper or iPhone, iPad, Droids and tablets, eReaders. You can create an ancestors research guide, create census reports, military reports, cemetery research itineraries, and I imagine much more. I am looking at the flyer from GenDetective and they say you can create reports of all types, Examples: What farms should I look for in the 1920 Farm Schedules?, Who in my family tree is missing census records? What relatives could have served in the French & Indian War or War of 1812 or any other war?, If I record Cause of Death, how can I see what diseases run in a family line?  Why do I have to spend days or weeks organizing my data for a genealogy research trip?, GenDetective can organize your trip data in minutes.

WOW! you say, well that is what I said too WOW!!

Ok I installed the software, have completed my GEDCOM and imported it into Gen-Detective. (however I have work to do in my Legacy program and then I think some of the information will be clearer and the reports will be a more accurate. I have good information in my program I just haven't sourced alot of it so that is what I am working on now.)

GenDetective does take a short learning curve but not too bad. I have only begun sifting through all it can do, but so far it does work and is looking gooooood.

If you want more information check out GenDetective -   

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Writer's Tools

What tools are you using to write your essay for the 2nd Annual Family History Writing Contest sponsored by Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society?

Typewriter?  Computer? Paper and pencil?

Lined up some resources to help guide you along?  Here's a few that were provided earlier.

Summer is here.  Vacations are being planned or maybe you're on the road now.  You have lots of distractions.  We don't want to be the pest at the picnic, but the contest deadline is August 1, 2012 which is not that far off.

The prizes are pretty cool.

posted by denise hibsch richmond

Monday, June 18, 2012

Census--Tools for Deeper Digging

The census will always be one of the key record types a genealogist obtains no matter where their family history research began.  For every ten years starting with 1790, the Federal census has recorded where our ancestors lived and much more.  Then there's the State Censuses which were recorded during the non-Federal census years, usually every five years or so, but not in every State.

Here's a link to the 10 Census Questions That Lead To More Answers from the March 2012 newsletter.  [March you question, well I'm behind on my reading.]   It never hurts to read these 'lists' whether you're an expert or just beginning to grow your family tree.  I think genealogy is about continuous education.

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

George Geiger (1873-1965), standing on the far right, was the grandfather of Root Cellar member Richard Hanson.  He was the superintendent of a gold mine near Reno (Nevada) belonging to the Franel M&M Co. during the years 1916 - 1922. The other unidentified miners are likely former associates he recruited from Downieville (Sierra County, California).

Otis Lamoine McAlexander 1914-1996, father of Root Cellar member Marsha McAlexander Wise, taken abt 1955.

Ray Chas. Wilkinson 1906-1977, grandfather of Root Cellar member Marsha McAlexander Wise taken abt 1958.

Alba William Hibsch 1896-1959, grandfather of Root Cellar member Denise Hibsch Richmond, taken abt 1946.

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lisa B. Lee to Speak at El Dorado Hills Genealogical Society

On WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012 please come to the regular monthly El Dorado Hills Genealogical Society meeting in the community room at the El Dorado Hills Branch Library, 7455 Silva Valley Parkway. The meeting begins promptly at 6:15p.m.. We encourage you to arrive at 6:00 p.m. or earlier to become acquainted with our members.

Our speaker this month is LISA B. LEE who will speak on "FINDING YOUR UNFINDABLES - TECHNIQUES FOR USING ONLINE RESOURCES." We are very fortunate to have Lisa B. Lee, a professional genealogist, the owner of, and publisher of the monthly newsletter, The Got Genealogy Gazette.  She will make the trip from Oakland to talk with us about how to search for the"‘UNFINDABLES".

Lisa speaks and conducts workshops at genealogical societies and conferences in the U.S. and Canada where her animated style, infinite knowledge of everything internet, ensures us that we will not only learn a lot, but will have fun doing so.  Our membership always welcomes visitors. If you have any questions email us at

submitted by Marilyn Peters
posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Northern California Family History Expo 2012

July 6, 2012 to July 7, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Sacramento Northeast, 5321 Date Avenue, Sacramento, California 95841, 916.338.5800
More information:

Opening Keynote is Dean L. McLeod
Full-time professional genealogist since January 1975. Founding Board Member, APG. Spent first ten years specializing in Scottish and English research. Former staff researcher, Brigham Young University Family History Services. Employed fifteen years American Research Bureau as Field researcher in San Francisco, CA.
Closing Keynote is Holly T. Hansen
President of Family History Expos, Inc. Through Family History Expos, Holly has helped thousands understand the techniques and technology to trace their roots in today's ever-changing technological environment. She received a B.A. in History from Weber State University and continues to dedicate time to education on a daily basis. She is also an author, lecturer, former editor of Everton's Genealogical Helper magazine, and editor of the 10th and 11th editions of the Handybook for Genealogists.

Workshops —
How to Document your "Common Man" Ancestors in British Land Records
Evernote Fascinating Family History Books
Heritage Collector Software Suite
FamilySearch Online: A Wealth of Resources
What’s New in RootsMagic 5
I LOVE Libraries: Using Libraries for Your Genealogy
How to Plan and Organize a Family History Book
From DNA to Genetic Genealogy: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask
Will You Be Ready When Family Tree Replaces New FamilySearch?
Writing Your Personal History (and Living to Tell About It)
British Isles Migration Patterns to America: Documenting "Original" Settlers to New England, New Netherlands, and The South.
Organization is Everything
10 Techniques to Shoot "Picture Perfect" with Your Cell Phone's Digital Camera
Using GenealogyWise to Find Ancestors
What's in Your Family History Toolbox?
Personal Historian 2: New Tools to Write Your Life Stories
Think Like an Archivist: Finding Hidden Genealogical Materials in Libraries and Archives
Easier Scanning for Better Results
Beyond Names and Dates: Building Your Ancestor’s Profile
Save Money by Designing Your Family History Book for Publishing
Getting Started with
Where in the World? Geography, GPS, and Genealogy
German 101: An Introduction to German Genealogy
U. S. Military Records
Family History Books: Editing, Design and Publishing
Genealogy Beyond the Y Chromosome: Autosomes Exposed
Presentation is Everything Else
Genealogy on the Go
Migrations Within the United Kingdom and Ireland
Genealogy Education on the Internet: The National Institute for Genealogical Studies
Using the Google Gold Mine for Genealogy
Storytelling - Sharing with the Next Generation
Scanning and Photo Retouching for Beginners, Part 1: Foundations and Fundamentals
RootsMagic: FamilySearch Made Easy
The Miller Roll Application A Source for Cherokee & Southern History
The FamilySearch Research Wiki: The most valuable genealogical resource on the internet
DIY Family History Book Design
Getting Ready for the 1940 Census: Searching without a Name Index
Photo Retouching for Beginners, Part 2: Key Photoshop Techniques
RootsMagic: Sharing and Publishing Your Family Tree
Irish Research Online and Offline for Experienced Users
Preparing, Composing and Printing a Family History
50 Internet Sites Every Genealogist Should Know
Managing Your Digital Environment 
Posted by Ron Setzer

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento

Monday, June 18, 7:00 p.m.
Program: City Directories, A  Problem-Solving Approach
Presenter: Glenda LloydArea genealogist Glenda Lloyd  will speak about the value of city directories, published local listings that  date from the early 1800s. City directories offer genealogists a great  resource in finding relatives years before the telephone book, and a way to  locate them between censuses. Glenda Gardner Lloyd is a  fourth-generation Californian who grew up on a cattle ranch in northeastern  California and attended a one-room school. After a lengthy career as an  elementary school teacher, Glenda helped found Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society, and served as its first president.  She taught  genealogy classes through the San Juan Adult Education for the past 25  years.
All are welcome to attend the meeting at the Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright Street,  Sacramento.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

30th and K Streets
4 April 1955

Posted by Ron Setzer

Monday, June 11, 2012

NGS 2012: What I learned from Curt Witcher

Curt B. Witcher was the speaker at a luncheon sponsored by the Association of Professional Genealogists on May 9, 2012    He is the manager of the Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  I've heard him speak a couple of times now and have enjoyed both presentations.  He spoke at the luncheon about the 21sters (twenty-firsters) - the people who have come to genealogy through technology.  This group of people are the so-called "next generation of genealogists".  I heard D. Joshua Taylor speak about this at the Federation of Genealogical Societies conference in 2011.  It's a hot topic.

As genealogy societies recruit new members or educate the general public about genealogy, the audience they hope to engage will be generally more tech-savvy and want to approach family history research using technology.  Small wonder what with television trying to capture this growing market with commercial advertising by and the series Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots on commercial  and public television, respectively. 

The key to be mindful of is that the new generation of genealogists is not necessarily younger people.  They also may seek learning opportunities using technology rather than in meeting facilities.

Curt provided several examples about how the learning environment has changed such as EdX, TED-Ed, Khan Academy and the more familiar YouTube, webinar and apps.  

"Why should a genealogy society pay attention to any of this?" was the question he said that is often asked.  Curt's reply was to ask yourself "Why not do it?"  He posed another question, "Who do you want to engage?"  His point was to sustain genealogy itself or a genealogy society, there's a need to use more and different ways of reaching people.

I think Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society has begun engaging its existing members with technology through its new website, this Blog and the Facebook page.  Some efforts like putting the newsletter online were born out of financial necessity due the cost of mailings.  Root Cellar's electronic presence has also created increased visibility for our organization both locally and nationally, and thus engaged some 21sters.  Will they become members?  Maybe.  Will they grow their interest in genealogy? Probably - because of technology and its many ways to keep them engaged. Now, about that YouTube Channel for Root Cellar...

posted by and opinions of Denise Hibsch Richmond

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Southern California Jamboree - last day

Up again for an early breakfast.....  met Kathleen. And at the same time saying good bye to Kim who is leaving for Alabama and more genealogical classes with who else but Elizabeth Shown Mills. WOW, can you imagine spending several days together. What a great treat that would be.

Here is the Virtual Surname Board.......... sorry for the poor quality of the photo... just too many lights. I have my 5 cards up, no matches yet. I think the names go up in their publication. Good Deal!!

I think I told you about the APP that Jamboree developed for this year. It is great and keeps you right on schedule and on time. It keeps you updated too….. alerts come through during the day letting participants know right away if there is a room change, adding a session on to the schedule, buy raffle tickets, and other great information. Thank you Southern California Genealogical Society for all the goodies from Jamboree. You have made the Jamboree a very high class event that is note worthy of a National Convention.

Breakfast was ok. The Breakfast event is being sponsored by New England Historic and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) with speaker Rhonda McClure " The Strange and Unexpected, Dealing with Research Surprises".........Rhonda spoke about finding the unexpected, having a surprise when you do research and find something…..  an ancestor in jail, insane, committing suicide, family lines that show the same type of death going 2 or 3 generations back. Unfortunately this unusual, the unexpected, the surprises do create more paper trails.
I did not know what to expect when I choose this session but it turned out to be very interesting. "GenDetective" So interesting in fact that I went into the exhibit hall later and purchased the software “GenDetective”. I know, I know, just what I need is another piece of software but I am willing to try it  and see if I can get a little more organized and be more organized with my research…….  this is what the software suggests. I will let you know.
Next session was with Melissa Shimkus "Before Crossing the Ocean: America Records of our Immigrant Ancestors" ...........nothing new for me but I need to do more focused or methodical work. Passenger lists- 1820-1891 passenger lists were finally mandated but no forms were developed so no uniformity. Pre 1820 lists are far and few between. After 1891 the bureau was developed and forms and documents were created. There are lots of other forms that may show immigration:  naturalization papers, passport, land records, voters registration, alien records, census records, wills/probate packets, military records, church records, & yes vital records. Look in local histories, check out family lore, read the newspapers. Check out ethnic records, fraternal organizations, PERSI from Heritage Quest online.  Last screen said “Exhaustive Record Search” “Search those records for ALL details” “Search with Family and Friends”

Signed up for a half hour consult. My consultant was Denise Spurlock, a member of Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) ……      I am still on the search for George A Dietz from Bavaria Germany immigrating around early to mid 1860’s. Wanted fresh eyes on my research and that is what I got. I found that there were several conflicting dates and information that I had not seen before. You know when you look at something you do, you usually see what you think it should your eyes skipping over any problems or errors. How right that is!!  Big Thank You to Denise. I sure appreciate the time you took with me. So when I get home I will go back to basics with this line and get a better handle on it and then go forward.

After lunch (hot dogs……lovvvvvvvve hot dogs just like Matlock!!)

AND speaking of 1812 soldiers look who I found. He is a member of the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Forgot to let you know that I ran into Marian Kile from Family History Center/Sacramento. She is teaching the 10 week or so classes “Learn to Write your Family History Stories”. Anyone signed up for the classes?

A fun session after consult and lunch was Tom Underhill/Creative Continum  "Making a Quality Family History Video with Your Cell Phone" I was very curious about this and was looking forward to the session. It was a little disappointing.  I got a couple of ideas of what to do and not to do, but I am not a film maker so I don’t understand a lot of terms he was using…… he was basically doing another how to interview session rather than concentrating on a Family History Video with your cell phone.

Last session of the day and for the Jamboree too was Family Search Margo McKinstry with England and Wales, Civil Registration and Census Records..............Interesting session. A couple of my lines I think I am ready to make the leap across the pond. A lot of great resources given, including websites. We looked at examples of British census from 1841 through 1911. Their census are released only after 100 years, not 72 like ours. Margo was telling us about an organization has popped up that calls itself Unwanted Certificates. Ok let’ say you order a certificate and you get it and it is not your person, your first thought is to throw it away because there is not returning it and getting your money back. So now you can send it to this organization and they resell them for very little…….. someplace else to check to see if someone else ordered an ancestor of yours. Who knows what you will find!

OK classes are over, the exhibit hall is closed, and we are all waiting for the final raffle drawings. There is nearly $17,000 value in door prizes. For instance, one of the grand prizes was a 7 night stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel – a second is a stay at the Salt Lake Plaza Hotel , along with a research trip conducted by Ancestor Seekers.  Another is a stay at the Crystal Inn in Salt Lake City, another is a weekend at Strawberry Creek Inn at Idyllwild CA. Three annual World Explorer memberships, three gift certificates for 9 courses of your selection at the National Institute of Technology (University of Toronto) and the list goes on and on……….. AND if I had won you would know by now. However, one of my tickets was drawn and I picked a 2 book series of Branching Out from Jennifer Holik. These are workbooks written for Genealogy for High School Students. While in Cincinnati at NGS I met Jennifer (she is a blogger and an author). I got to see the unveiling of her newest book "Enjoying the Next Generation: A Guide for Genealogy Societies and Libraries" And I bought. It really looked good, some great ideas.  Maybe they will be helpful in our campaign to bring in younger members……. (hint hint Jack)

Introducing you to Paula Hinkel, the brave soul that takes on the responsibility(with lots of help from Leo and hundreds of volunteers) for the Southern California Jamboree. As usual she and her millions did a wonderful job. They all should be very proud. But I think she is very tired and ready to go home, put her feet up and relax   Big Big Thanks Paula

Mark your calendars for next year - June 7,8,9, 2013 

OK it is now officially over, it was been a wonderful 4 days for me,  I hope you got something out of my ramblings. 

 I am ready to come home.  


Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Maidu Senior Center, 1550 Maidu Dr., Roseville, CA
Meeting 1-3 pm

Program: "What Can a Genealogist gain from DNA Test Results"
Learn the difference between DNA tests for "close Ancestry," "time of surnames ancestry," and "Anthropology Ancestry." Learn about the second generation of DNA test, which were launched during 2010-11, what information they can add to the first generation of DNA tests. Also learn about the Future of Genetic Genealogy; This field is changing all the time. Learn about the four key areas to watch.
Speaker: Jim Rader
Jim has published the quarterly Rader Rambling surname newsletter 10 years. Genealogical Lecturer since the early 1990s, Taught computerized genealogy topics for the Folsom-Cordova Adult education for 10 years.
His genealogy pursuits include the "Guild of One Name Studies" for surname Rader. He is also the coordinator for the Rader surname study at Family Tree DNA.
He has researched all Rader families, with many books in print and two websites and where you can see his books and many pages of information.
In the past year he has caused two German language surname studies to be translated into English and supplemented them with modern.

Submitted by Helen Astill
Posted by Ron Setzer

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Southern California Jamboree - day 2

I am not a morning person so I am not sure why I signed up a early morning breakfast event but I did it twice - today and Sunday morning. Shoot me now!!

Breakfast was ok but the presentation with Curt Witcher was great. He is a good speaker, certainly knows his stuff, fabulous sense of humor and just a great outlook on life. If you every get a chance to hear him, don't hesitate, sign up. If you are ever in Allen County Library in Indiana, you may see him and say HI. Allen County Library is his home base.

The topic of the presentation this morning after breakfast was "And the Rockets' Red Glare: Online Resources for War of 1812 Research" of course it is, afterall this is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.......  and it is the second war of independance. This war tested us as a nation, there was more participation throughout the country. Curt recommends the book: \"1812- The War that Forged a Nation." it is readable, sourced and accurate. PBS is showing "The War of 1812" I am told that it is downloadable from the website and then you can watch it anytime. Curt showed many many websites that are featuring the War of 1812, and new information coming all the time, just need to Google "War of 1812" and gooooooooooooo.

He shamelessly promoted a program that he is passionate about....... Digitizing the War of 1812 Pension Application Files Project. The Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Archives, and the genealogical community have started a project to digitize the War of 1812 pension files—a fitting beginning to the bicentennial commemoration of this important war. has stepped up and will match every dollar that is donated. These images will remain free. You can go to Federation of Genealogical Society for additional information on the project.

Caught the last 20 minutes of Elyse Doerfinger "Conquering the Digital Monster" .......  She is a very together young lady, very composed, and very dedicated to genealogy, technology and blogging. Last night at the Gala Hollywood Event she was recogniized and awarded a $500 cash prize. CONGRATULATIONS and keep up the great work you are doing.  I will need to read my syllabus for her information and pearls of wisdom.

Next I attended a class with Daniel Horowitz, MyHeritage talking on "Mobile Devises and Applications for Genealogists"...  I was surprised how much I  already knew and understood. NOW THAT IS SCARRY!!  He did speak to APP's for the iPhone & iPad and the Android. There is Mobile Family Tree app for the Reunion Software. There is the Families app for Legacy Software for both the iPhone/iPad and the Android. (I am using this on my iPhone and is truly good and useful). MyHeritage has an app, Family Connect, Traces of the Past app from Family Search (not sure if you need to be a member of the church to use it). has a  their app (I use it and really like it too). Family Search has their indexing tool for the iPhone/iPad (not sure about Android) but you can do only just snippets of indexing. Better than doing nothing. Did you know that Find a Grave, Billion Graves and Resting Spot all have apps.  Now there are plenty of Podcasts to download and listen too......  Family History Expo, Family Tree Magazine Podcast , Genealogy Gems, Genealogy Guys and so many more. All to educate you, and keep you up-to-date on the latest and greatest.  Southern California Jamboree was the first genealogy conference to add  an app for its participants......... that was last year so this is its second year with a terrific app. RootsTech in February had an app available for their conference and now NGS and I think FGS has apps for their conferences, but Southern California Jamboree was the first........  CONGRATULATIONS!! More uses are cemetery locations GPS from your phone, recording for interviews or whatever from your phone, SKPE calls from your phone, web navigation, emails, and so much more all from your phone. Life is good.

Next was Jana Sloan Broglin  (I just met her at the NGS Conference in Cincinnati- what a small world) This presentation was "Understanding the Probate Process: from Death to Disbursement" Jana says that the courthouse is your friend. OK I'll try to remember that. Very important to know the parent counties and the history of the county you will be researching.....  borders shift, counties disappear and reappear again, sometime counties are in other states and then back again. Learn the history of the area, then you will know where the records are kept (well, most of the time). She recommends "Family Tree Resource Book" - haven't found it yet but haven't look too hard either. We went over all the definitions of many words - probate, testate, intestate, with in depth looks at each one with many of the other documents that come along with it in the packet. Examine all document carefully for clues.

LUNCH was quick and I dashed into the Tech Center to check out alot of the programs available free BUT it was full with others waiting............ hopefully another time.Not much free time.

Got locked out of the next two sessions I picked - Megan Smolenyak-Smolenyak for Reverse Genealogy: Finding the Living.......  and then Drew Smith forDNA 102: Understanding and Using Test Results. I am hoping that the syllabus has some good handouts for these two sessions....   JUST FULL SESSIONS. If there is no chair available you cannot stay.

Back to the room, get straightened around, refresh myself and off I go to the Saturday Evening Banquet with speaker Hank Z Jones Jr "How Psychic Roots" Became an Unsolved Mysterry. It was a sold out affair. Dinner was very good, a spinach salad, thick steak with mushrooms and vegetables, ending with chocolate wrapped cheesecake. All of it was so gooooood!! Then Hank took the stage and remeniced throughabout his acting, singing and song writing career and then onto genealogy.Read more about  Hank's activities  Hank is also a genealoical author.......... The Palatine Families of New York- 1710 AND  More Palestine Families AND Even  More Palestine Families  AND Palestine Familiies of Ireland AND Westerwald too America AND Psychic Roots: Serendipity & Intuition in Genealogy AND More Psychic Roots: Further Adventures in Serendipity & Intuition in Germany.......................

So far I have run into 4 other Root Cellar SGS members ... Kim vonAspern Parker,  Barbara Cox,  Marilee Marceau and Kathleen Shannon. 

Let me introduce you to Kathleen Shannon.This is the first time I have met Kathleen. I am certainly glad to meet you and it would be far from home. I wondered why we had not met yet. Well it is because she has a conflict with Wednesday evenings so now I don't feel quite as bad. But she did attend the Spring Seminar (along with 200 other attendees)  Kathleen is an active family researcher. She has been a member of Root Cellar for about a year and a half. A special welcome to Root Cellar Kathleen. .. now we have eaten dinner together and will meet for breakfast in the morning........


Good Night All.................

Southern California Jamboree in Burbank - day 1

And I am off and running for the day displaying my pride in Root Cellar .............

This morning was a great time with lots of great information and speakers......... I attended all the Society based sessions and it was well worth it the time and effort.

Cath Madden Trindle with Projects. (and at 8am who cares) but it was good. Cath goes by the 5 P's - Projects, Planning, Participation, Production and Publication.
Projects and  Partners- partner with someone that can help you  with your goals and mission. Example would be to help digitize a set of special records. Partner with other society's.... example would be for a larger confernece split the efforts, and volunteers -- Partment with another society that is doing a very lasrge project and offer to be responsible for a part of it.. example would be volunteering to be responsible for Sacramento County on the CSGA Wiki project. Any project and partnering needs to have the buy in of the membership otherwise the same people will be doing all the work and it will not be fun. Getting more involved with your community. Enhancing cemetery tours, several memebers writing a regular column for the local newspaper, Publize what you are doing, let the public know, you don't want to be duplicating something already done or being done. Publizing it might get you more volunteers which might mean more members.Consider a blog, a wiki, flickr, facebook, twitter.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti with Publicity is the Society's friend (is that right Denise?) Social Media is key and really be very helpful - facebook, twitter, genealogy networking, websites. We are all losing members because of age factor, so we need to rethink who our audience will be.  Must have a  good website witth complete information. Where you are located, the state, the city,  the street address of meetings plus contact information of board members and committee chairs.......  get away frrom a main email address and let members be empowered to do their jobs and answer questions. Do not remove old/non-members from your email lists. Keep everyone in the loop about society activities and events. Partner with libraries, achives, other society's, schools, churches, museums etc...... you get additional publicity from these  organizations and different people coming to your events because of the partnership. If there are vendors or exhibitors at these events they also will be doing their own publicity. MORE publicity more people attending the event. And you can always negotiate with partners, facilities, vendors.

,,,and our good friend George Morgan speaking on How to Develop and Implement Affordable Membership Benefits........ excellent!! (George said a very big HELLO to everyone in Sacramento especially you John, He is still very impressed with our organization, the seminar itself and the baskets. Oh yes, those baskets for raffle......)

Look and talk to other society's. See what they offer, see how they offer it. Ask would this be good for our members. Need to offer monthly programs but it does not need to be a speaker each time. There is a lot of talent and experience, use the creativety of your members. Show and Tell is an excellent presentation and it is all member driven. (yahoo! we are aobve the curve). Their are all types of free webinars that are being offered and can be used as a topic for an evening. (exambple: Legacy Family Tree) Do your own webinars for the members that can not attend. Beginners Classes are always needed. Collaborate with local library on a community education program.  Working with the library publicize you will be at the library on a certain day(s) for anyone that needs some help in their family research. Plan day trips to other libraries (example would be the bus trip that GAS puts together to go down to the Sutro Library) ...and so many more great ideas that I will want to share with you when I get back home.

Josh Taylor (some of you will remember him from RootsTech  in Salt Lake  City in February and others will remember hime from several episodes of "Who Do You Think You Are?") spoke about Creating a Website for Your Societry. ALOT of excellent ideas for the website- what he thought makes a society website better. I am very impressed.

 Kathryn Doyle and Kim Cotton were as excited about Josh's ideas as I was. I  am right behind them, listening and getting as much information as possible, He really was very good.

Josh like everyone else this morning was just full of great ideas about society websites. First of course, get your membership involved. It is very important to let the public know who you are, why you exist and what you have to offer. Get your membership committee involved, the website sometimes is the first thing a potential members sees....... is it your best foot forward? Is it easy to navigate? Is there content? Is it current? Is the member information where it can be found easily? What are the programs they offer? What programs have they had in the past.? Reuse content when needed. The website can be a great storage resource - treasurers reports, meeting minutes, past publications ( Geni Gram /Preserves  and others). There should be long range planning, a budget. After a couple of years you may want a face lift, add new technology etc There should be Policies, Procedures and Permissions in place - technical support, daily maintenance. You should be able to make purchases directly from website.... Paypal, Elavon, and otheres. Pictures and video's can be added.  Or add pictures to Flickr and link to the pictures....... develop short videos about the society on YouTube and link to it from the website. How about a virtual tour of your library, where things are, how to use things. Create an archival/ history page of your society. Have a What's New at the Society page and keep it current. Create bibliographies, use Google Maps, gather local information (hotels, restaurants, weather, library hours & locations, and whatever else will make a researching traveler comfortable in your city) Spotlight volunteers, former and current officers. Give out awards. Do a research guide for your area, make sure that your hot links are active. Put up a mystery picture and let members and visitors comments and then publicize it. Same thing with a brickwall. Live streaming. Members only acess. Scrapbook page. Expand out.

Lunch time ..........   Exhibit Hall is open. SHOPPING!!! ............................ sorry to say I didn't purchase anything, just alot of looking. Maybe tomorrow.

Robert Raymond  spoke about Baby Steps with Evidence Analysis....... of course Elizabeth Shown Mills name and books were tossed around,  He did a case study with documents with different years of death - how to prove what the  real year is and how to write it up so you remember what you did and anyone looking at this person's information on the family tree. This is something that I need to read over again and digest it better. There is no cut and dry answer for this.

Another friend Thomas MacEntee, Root Cellar's 2013 Spring Seminar speaker...... spoke about "Internet Killed the Family History Star - How Technology has Changed the face of Genealogy" and  you say, What the heck is that all about? It was very interesting, Thomas spoke about the history of technology, how it is really scary because it is hard to keep up with all the changes and new items. His tips are 1)Manage information overload.... Google Alerts, let technology work for you, set up search alerts and let the information come to you. Goodgle Reader is also very helpful in setting up and organizing social media (facebook, twitter linkeden etc), 2) Follow a Curator .... a curator in this realm is someone who makes a point to be on top of technology and/or genealogy ... examples given are Dick Eastman, Kimberly Powell (, Randy Seavors from Genea-Musings, Dear Myrtle, and of cours

and last but not least I attended a "FOLD3" session with Drinkwater. Alot of information. Don't know if you realize that FOLD3 was bought up by They are separate companies, doing different information, FOLD3 focus is with military information and original documents. Ancestry is mainly vital records, yes they have some military some that FOLD3 has and some they don't.

End of the day is the HOLLYWOOD GALA.........  red carpet, lots of glitz and diamonds and tiera's.

                                                               Good Night

Friday, June 8, 2012

Riding the Rails to the Jamboree in Burbank

Thursday was a travel day for me. I caught the Amtrak Train in Sacramento early this morning. The train is clean and roomy. I missed the 6am call for check in baggage so I struggled with two rollers and a large purse. Luckily you can store the larger roller as you get on, the problem is it is all up to you. Finally got it on board and stowed away.  Put my small roller with computer overhead, got a chair with a table and settled in. It was a smooth ride down, stopping about 7 times to let more travelers on and some got off. The Food Car was a car away so I made a dash up for some hot chocolate. I arrived in the thriving metropolis of Burbank about 2:30p, checked in to the Burbank Marriott Hotel, unpacked, found ice and then to the lobby to see who is here already.

Kim vonAspern Parker, my roomy,

is already here and participating in the Kid's Family History Camp. They had around 40 young people ranging in age from 8 to 15. Majority of them were from a local Boy Scout Troop. As they checked in each participant received a goodie bag including different types of genealogy related search for word games. There was a fun active Bingo Ice Breaker game at the beginning - looking for thigs like someine with a size 13 shoe, someone born in Montana, someone weating blue & green etc. They were treated to several lectures and some hands-on activities. As you may or may not be aware the Boy Scouts do have a genealogy badge and alot of the activities helped each of them to complete that badge. I believe the Girl Scouts have a similar badge to earn. Great Job  Kim and all the other staff and youth.

Lots of activity in the lobby earlier today ......... Stephen Morse, Megan Smolenyak-Smolenyak, Lisa Louise Cook, Drew Smith, George Morgan, Thomas MacEntee and so many more faces I recognize but cannot put a name too. Jamboree maybe the meca for bloggers. Fun times.

The weather is in the mid -80's. Very nice. Walked past the pool and outside sitting area and it sure feels inviting. Again, I did not bring my bathing suit. Maybe it's better, don't want to frighten people.

Early check-in for Jamboree tonight (6-9pm) I LOVE LOVE getting my packets earlier than an hour or half hour before the conference begins, You really get to go over all the information in the packet, separate papers out, sign up for give aways, get familiar with the layout, especially where the sessions are that I will be attending. I think it really helps to make the conference a good one, with little misunderstandings or upsets. Again they were very organized and the lines went quickly. Thank you Paula and committee.

Gotta go now, study my packet, check out the syllabus, look over all the goodies, get organized for the first day tomorrow......... nite all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - New York State Census

So there are some State Census!! 
Town of Dryden, Tompkins County, New York 1905
 I found my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother
Munsey & Mary Little with my Grandfather Burton H Little age 13

Friday, June 1, 2012

Announcement - Research Trip to the NEGHS

Our friends at the California Genealogical Society and Library in Oakland, California have just announced their sponsored research trip to Boston to the New England Genealogical and Historical Society.

Whether you have ancestors who lived in New England or beyond, the NEGHS is a premier repository with historic collections waiting for you to use.  The research trip is September 23-30, 2012.  It's a great opportunity to meet new friends, see Boston and hopefully perform a Happy Dance because of all the information you find about your ancestors.

Be sure to send us an email at if you go - we'd like to hear about what you found.

Happy Travels!

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Society Saturday - 2nd Annual Family History Writing Contest

Hi Readers,

Today is June 1st which means that only two months remain until the August 1st deadline for submitting your story for the 2nd Annual Family History Writing Contest sponsored by Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.

Last year, the three writers who won the contest revealed family histories that included secrets from Asia, a Wales connection and links to two Sacramento valley towns.

Will you be submitting your family's story, or the story of a singularly fascinating ancestor?   Hope so.  Need any assistance?  We provided some tools for writing in an earlier article. 

Details about the contest can also be read on the Root Cellar website.  If you have any questions or comments, contact Ron Setzer at

We look forward to hearing from you.  Good Luck!

posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond