Friday, August 31, 2012

Day Three from the FGS Conference in Birmingham Alabama

Up bright and early NOT! Dragging a little this morning, torn between watching the RNC and going to bed, I chose RNC.... oh well we all make the wrong choices at one time or the other....  but it only seemed wrong this morning when getting up. Weather seems to be the same and no rain.

First session: Getting the most out of the census: Finding Ancestry Clues in Census Records: 1790-1930 with Frazine K Taylor.......  I have to admit that talking census at 8am is not something I really want to do. This session moved forward very slowly. Frazine handed out sheets with just the headings of the 1820-1930 census (no the 1940 was not incluuded) and then we went over each year, the differences, how to interrupt each one and comparisons between them all. And then she discussed the 1940 Census. The one thing I took away was it may be immportant to transcibe each census you find so that you are aware of all the information on each census.

Second session: Railroad Retirement Board Application Files, 1930's-   1960's with Connie Potter and Maureen Hill.- both Archivists in Washinton DC and Altanta GA respectfully ........ I have been really looking forward to this session. My Grandfather worked on the Pennsylvania RR starting around the 1910's through retirement in 1955. I have not been able to find out anything about his railroad career except through the census records.  l found out today that all Railroad Pension records are now located at the Archives in Atlanda Georgia AND I have made friends with Archivist. I have my grandfathers social  security number which falls into the '700-729' numbering reserved for employees of the railroad. Now I just need to send an email which includes certain imfornation and she will look up his file and contact me before making copies. YIPPPPPEY!!! Score!!!

Third session: Smiths and Joneses: How to Cope with Families of Common Names with Elizabeth Shown Mills......... well what can I say when you are in the presense of the master. Alot of discussion because everyone has a Smith o Jones OR both on the family tree. It is just a matter of elimination. JUST? ha ha

LUNCH: sponsored by National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)- 'The 1940 Census and the Great Depression' with speaker Connie Potter (name sound familiar remember the railroad presentation earlier)....... What a great sense of humor. Alot of fun. She used examples from the 1940 census to  show the differences and different questions asked in the 1940 census. Very entertaining.

Next session: this is a two hour session (which actually turned out to be almost 3 hours) with Pamela Boyer Sayre and Riichard G Sayre titled 'Apps Galore for Genealogists.........learning about many iPhone and iPad applications that will increase productivity for all genealogists. Wow, where do I start, it was great. So many ways of using your smartphone along with the ipad. They presented the session as a normal day in their lives. Excellent!! (airport remote; board the plane; adobe photo shop express; bar code scanner, quick scan; good reader; PDF pro; google earth; keynote; quickoffice; printer share; skype; cardstar; dragon dictation; billion graves; mocavo; last names & last names Canada; puffin web browser; Yelp; ibooks; qr code and som much more)

Last  session of the day: German Resources and Beginning Basics with Sonja Hoeke-Nishimoto..... learning about German resources on microfilm, in books, the internet and other media. (sponsored by FamilySearch) ......... I did find out alot about FamilySearch Wiki, FamilySearch catalog, Meyers online gazetter, Hessin online gazetter, Sachsin online gazetter, Passenger lists for Hamburg, Bremen & Stetten & .....  one thing that is always stressed for German research is you HAVE to know the town./village your German ancestor was born in. AND SO FAR I DO NOT KNOW THIS LITTLE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE YET!!. George & Caroline Dietz, from Bavaria./ Hesse Darmstadtr  - they are a mystery.  

.........and then there was the extended hours of the exhibit hall and a party like feeling, with lots of prizes and more drawings......  and my name was not called at all - disappointing but not the end. They had hundred's of frosted cupcakes and 1940 t-shirts and 1940 bags for everyone or while they lasted. FamilyTreeDNA is giving discounts during the show time (wow, what a surpirse) so I upgraded my brothers DNA from 37 markers to 67.  Results will take 4-6 weeks. This is my direct line so I will be anxious to see if the upgrade will make a difference. No reeal hits so far. What a mystery this DNA thing is to me.

........... another full day of sessions and going back through the exhibit hall too. ........ I need to call my DH, watch the news and get to bed. Nite all.

posted for your enjoyment by Sandra Gardner Benward

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Day TWO at FGS Conference in Birmingham Alabama

Another great day at the conference. Up not as early but early enough, breakfast and off to the Special Presentation with Keynote Speaker Chris van der Kuyl, CEO, brightsolid Group. Presentation was "The Family History community: A global powerho use for collaboration". Very Impressed, Very good presentation........ he discussed and explored the opportunities for the global family history community to become the greatest collaborative online force in the world today. Chris is responsible for the overall corporate performance of brightsolid Group. As the CEO, he manages the executive team consisting of seven members, and reports to the Group Board. He was widely recognized as one of the UK's leading entrepreneurs and joined brightsolid Groups as CEO in 2007. Chris talked about himself, growing up, education, jobs etc...... he spoke about his time with brightsolid and all the companies owned by them.......; Genes Reunited; Scotlands People (they don't own but maintain & run the site); Ancestors on board;  Friend Reunited; and I am sure more. Brightsolid does have an office in the United States - Santa Monica, California, of course in the British Isles and Australia.

EXHIBIT HALL is OPEN - "76" exhibitors, what a great treat. The hall is large, very well lit, spacious and welcoming. Didn't have alot of time, so didn't get too far before I had to leave for the first session. I could see that there aare going to be alot of drawing for many great prizes. I need to get back. Friday night seems to be the night they have picked for extended hourse and big prize drawings. Looks like alot of conference deals too. Sorry.  BUT I do have a great deal for any of you to take advantage of. FindmyPast is offfering a Pioneer offer of $4.95 a month for subscription (usually $20.83 a month). You can sign up right on line. Yes, I have taken advantage of this offer. You can sign up for one month on up to 12 months. BUT the offer does end on September 9, 2012. So if you are interested you need to act now. They have plenty of records in UK, Ireland, Australasia and of course US and they are growing growing each day.

First session: "DNA Testing for Genealogy: The Basics" with Robert McLaren. Later in the day I took another session from Robert McLaren : Understanding Your DNA Test Results and What to do next" I did not get much out of either class, and I am sure it is just me. It just is not making any sense. And what to do next ? not sure!! I did understand that it is no value and waste of oney to get a Y-dna 12 or 24 marker test. Y-dna 37 marker test is better but he really recommends the 67marker test. It eliminates alot of the doubt and questions. He also made it clear that he really recommmends FamilyTree DNA above all others. I will keep trying to learn this stuff.

LUNCH: sponsored by National Genealogical Society with speaker Rec Dr David McDonald with the theme of Genealogy from the Homestead.  It was all about those silly objects that are around us while growing up and finding out what the stories are about it. Find out the story and wrtite it down for future generations.

Next Session: The Power of PDF: Tools for Every Genealogist with Josh Taylor..... what a ggreat session. Of course he is using and taliing about the full program from Adobe to create PDF's and what you can do with this documents or files. He also gave alternative programs to try. This was eye opening for me and exciting. I am looking forward to trying these things. I wonder if we are able to purchase Adobe through techsoup? Just a thought

LAST SESSION of this day: Write as you Go with Elissa Scalise Powell. I had  in my mind something different but I stayed and listened and learned. This concept is to write up your findings in research as you find it. There is a process that has 13 elements for the report. You need a written plan of your goal for your research..... proof summary vs proof arguments, narritive complilations for lineage, for pedigree, for genealogy. Research report. Including timelines, images, research log. Summarize, itemize findings, and bibliography. OK OK I am still digesting this whole concept.

So that is it for the day. Dinner and then......

Big party sponsored by FindmyPast earlier tonight, Lots of games, discussions and sharing of ideas.  Good to relax and talk to other people from around the country.

Night to all. Tomorrow will come soon enough. Alot more great classes all day tomorrow.

posted by Sandra Gardner Benward

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day of FGS Conference in Birmingham Alabama

Hello Hello....... Birmingham looked cold outside today but apparently it was overcast but warm and very humid. UGgggg!!! but inside the hotel and convention center it has been a wonderful day. An amazing day for societies, sharing the good and bad information between societies. Root Cellar SGS is way above the standard of alot of the societies around the country but there is still plenty of room for us to grow and invest in ourselves, our membership, and our activities. I am excited to share with all of you. I will try to keep it short here..... (I do have to make a disclaimer... my mini computor is not working that well and I am struggling to get these posts completed, I don't believe I will be able to manage too many if any pictures this time around.. sorry!)

Special start for the day... 8am-9:15am "Transforming Your Society into a Dynamic 21st Century Destination" delivered by D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS. Taylor is a nationally known and recognized genealogical author, lecturer, and researcher. He is a Business Development Manager for brightsolid online publishing, the creators of (you might remember him from at least 4 episodes on the show 'Who Do You Think You Are?'  Taylor says, "At present, societies face the task of shifting form current business models to solutions and practices that attract and meeting the needs of modern family history enthusiasts. Discover how a blend of tradition, technology, and new techniques will transform our societies into thriving destinations, built for long term growth and success. " Family History IS a destination. It is all about the journey- new discoveries but an emotional journey also. What type is our society? How do we look from the outside? Are we inviting and warm or broken windows, worn looking and cold? Are we active or passive? We need to be the destination for a diverse audience... there are three groups 'the curious', the new generation' and the 'established'. Who do we serve? Where do we use our resources, which group should we be looking for? Define success and failure! Was the last seminar a success because we made money or was it a success for other reasons or was it a failure for other reasons? Success is fulfilling your mission, failure is not fulfilling  your mission.  We need to proactive, we need to make sure that we make sure that we listen rather than talk, we need to be part of our community. We need to be essential to our communitiy community we need to add value to our  community. Survival is not enough, we need to go into thrive mode..... share, engage and participate.

Next session: Delegate 101 with our old friend George Morgan, Sue Tolbert & other FGS board members. This is a very basic session... there are guidelines for a 'delegate' under the members only section on the FGS website. So I will be going there and reading up. Thhere is also a Membership Handbook that I want to read  through also.  This session after the basics we discussed went to the audience and brainstorming. Brainstorming the successful parts of many societies and  the problems that they see. Most of the discussion was 'mind set of board members - what is working has worked so no need to change, how to get the word out - publicity,  dealing with overbearing members, volunteers - how to get them, how to retain them. Website/ blog is our 24 hour embassador. (never looked at it that way but it would be true- I think our best foot is forward)

Next session: Going Green with Your Society with Randy W. Whitied (you may have heard that name if you listen to the radio show online from FGS every Saturday) Most of this presentation had to do with going digital. No more paper newsletters/publication - but always exceptions. Survey your members and educate your members. Root Cellar is  past this point and on our way to digitizing our publications. Some discussion was around digitizingmonthly newsletters and have them sent out in the form of a blog like look. E-Publishing has another way of publishing. This would be more time comsumming and takes a learning curve.

LUNCH - 'Records Accessisn a post 9/11 World' .... with David Rencher. 'The movement to close records has been steadily increasing on all fronts - local, state, and federal since 9/11.Records used by genealogicists are at risk of being closed or having valuabble date elements removed from public view. Each of us needs to be aware, and let your legislatures know how you feel about records being closed.

Next session: 'Brainstorming Session: 21st Century Marketing' with our friend Thomas MacEntee and Amy Coffin. And it was a fast paced session of technology and how to use it. We talked in depth about Facebook, Twitter and Google +(hangout) , Google Chrome, MailChimp (mass mailing program), Bottlenose &  Hootsuite ( google them), Google Alerts used for many different reasons. Thomas feels that tap the new generation Facebook and Twitter are most important.

Final Session of the day: Your Society and the Internet - where does it End? with Linda Woodward Geiger (5-6p) - very interesting session. talked about websites and getting started, what to look for, what is good for your group, domain name, hosting fees, privacy, content from HTML or template based. Make sure your mission statement is easy to find and reflects your society. Make sure addresses, contact info , programs, projects, membership are all easy to find and are up to date. How do you get the word out about your pu ordered and paid for? Discussion about  using Pay Pal and the square. Alot of discussion about using Skype for presentations, creating webinars and videos created for your own channel on Youtube.... just short little how to's. Talked about Got to Meeting and Citrix  and vimeo.

I am excited but I think I am already on overload. So much information in one day. Time for clearing of the mind (a little knitting should do it)  and then to bed because a new day will be here quickly.

...... hopefully this helps to bring you closer to the action through Sandra Gardner Benward

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Day of Travel to the Confernece in Birmingham

I can't even describe "O dark hundred"....  it is so dark, cold and quiet, I am sure that we are not meant to be moving around at this hour. (I just wanted to go back to bed) This makes you wonder, what about the pilots and staff - how much sleep have they had? MORE than me I hope. Anyway, it was an early morning start, check in bag, go through security and then off to your gate. (I just cannot believe how many people are up and traveling so early- where are they all going? It was a very long day of travel......  going from Sacramento to Houston Texas and then onto Birmingham Alabama. I was a little concerned about the Isaac and the weather coming up Florida and the Gulf. Thank goodness there was nothing for my travel day. Birmingham did get a little rain earlier in the day.

While waiting at the airport to be picked up I met alot people coming in from all over the country , who are attending the FGS Conference. Our shuttles were full.

The Sheraton Birmingham Hotel is beautiful, my room is great and I am on the 16th floor overlooking the inside of the hotel. It's wonderful.

I was able to register this evening. Now that is out of the way, and I can sleep in a little bit in the morning. I have been studying the schedule of classes, special offerings, drawings, raffles, luncheons etc and trying to get organized. Last week I did download the FGS app and have that programmed in my iPhone and my iPad, & marked my paper schdule  (I know I know overkill but then I will be covered whatever way I go.) I was able to download the syllabus onto my iPad so that will be handy. We did receive a CD with the syllabus but my mini computer does not have a CD player and I forgot to bring the little portable CD player. Oh well, I tried to remember what I would need but that just wasn't even thought about.

I think if you would describe Birmingham it would probably be - diversity. There is alot of diversity and variety in entertainment, cuisine, the arts, fun places... Bouillabaisse and barbeque. Fried Okra and foie gras. Sushi, sweet tea, and seven layer salads. Slab of ribs and rack of lamb. Tapas and turnip greens. ....... There is Alabama's Splash Adventure Water park - Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame -- Alabama Museum of Health Sciences -- Alabama Sports Hall of Fame -- Birmingham Botanical Gardens -- Birmingham Civil Rights Heritage Trail -- Birmingham History Center -- Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum and a wonderful Birmingham Public Library,  Birmingham Race Course, and Birmingham Zoo and so much more. I hope to actually get to some of these great attractions.

Birmingham - the city that changed the world. .... remembering the second American Revolution took place in the streets of Birmingham Alabama. The city was a battlefield for America's Civil Rights Movement, a struggle for simple decency and common sense.

.....coming to you directly from Birmingham with Sandra Gardner Benward

Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting Ready for FGS Conference in Birmingham Alabama

Well I am running around with my head cut off (where in the world did that saying ever come from- the visualization is ugly!) ........  washing clothes, cleaning, getting suitcase back out, snack shopping (lots of chocolate), get necessary paperwork done and out before leaving, also working on September Geni-Gram, print out boarding pass, updating my genealogy software, packing and more packing...........   I do need my laptop because I will be blogging from the conference this week. YEA!!! I've got my iPhone, my iPad, chargers, batteries, extension cords, camera & paper tablets as backup. I need to take lots of pictures too. I have no connection to Birmingham or Alabama - too bad because it would be a great opportunity to research but NO I have no research there.

I am concerned about the weather for this week and tomorrow in particular. The hurricane seems to be going to the west more and unfortunately for New Orleans is headed straight for them somewhat by-passing Alabama......... well, somewhat because it is about 700 miles wide so I am sure Birmingham will feel some of it - probably more rain and wind. However, I will be flying out of Sacramento to Houston first (too close to New Orleans for my comfort) and then onto Birmingham. I just hope flights aren't delayed or worse - canceled!! So everyone starting sending positive thoughts.

There is a lot planned for this conference. I am especially looking forward to Wednesday and a full day of sessions that are directly related to society's and their members.........  I hope to take lots of notes and bring some good help and suggestions back with me. While attending So. CA Jamboree in Burbank a couple months back they had something very similar, so I am anxious to see if this is more and better information or are some of these the same sessions. I will only have to wait a couple of days to find out. So keep turned in.

Back to packing, eating dinner and to bed.......  up at "O dark hundred" 3am.............

posted by Ssandra Gardner Benward

Saturday, August 25, 2012

September Classes at the Sacramento Public Library

Beth Daugherty, Librarian at the Sacramento Public Library Central Branch, has scheduled an exciting line-up of genealogy programs for September.  Registration is preferred by calling (916) 264-2920.  The genealogy programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Central Library.

September 9
Genealogy On the Go with the iPad or Tablet with Lisa Louise Cooke
Llearn about the top apps and best practices to make your iPad or tablet a genealogical powerhouse.  A nationally known author and host of Genealogy Gems Podcast, Lisa's books and CDs will be available for purchase at the program.

September 16
Build Your Own Genealogy Blog with Craig Siulinski
Are you interested in blogging about your family history research or other aspect of genealogy?  Learn how to get started in this presentation by Craig Siulinski.

September 23
The WPA: Resources for your Genealogy with Gena Philibert Ortega
From 1935 to 1943, the staff of the Works Progress Administration created indexes of historical records across the U.S.  Lecturer Gena Philibert Ortega will show how this unique resource can benefit your research.

Central Library, West Meeting Room
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

See you there!
posted by Denise H. Richmond

Society Saturday: Lisa B. Lee to Speak in September

Lisa B. Lee
Welcome back Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society members and guests!  Hope you had a great Summer of successful family history finds.  Come to the our meetings and workshops to share your stories.  Root Cellar's new membership year begins in September and Program chairperson Carolee Jones has scheduled a wonderful line-up of speakers for the upcoming months.

On Wednesday, September 12, 2012, Lisa B. Lee will present How to Prepare a Genealogy Legacy for your Online Presence.  You've heard the saying that "anything you put on the internet will be there forever". Well, have you thought about the online presence you'd like to leave after you're gone? Whether it be a blog, family tree, Website, or YouTube video, tonight's program will help you consider what steps you need to take now to ensure that the stories you've left for the world to see will continue to be there for your descendants to find them. We'll discuss where & how to leave passwords, arranging for registration & renewal fees; writing your own obituary and how and where to post it. We cannot control when we're going to die, but we may be able to ensure that our legacy endures long after we're gone.

About the Speaker
Professional genealogist, Lisa B. Lee, is owner of, a Website designed to help genealogists make the most of their online searches. A graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies (University of Toronto), she obtained her PLCGS with certificates in U.S., Canadian and Irish genealogy and methodology.  Since the inception of ExpertConnect, by in 2009, Ms. Lee was one of the original Experts, and conducted professional research for clients in the U.S. and Europe, until the demise of ExpertConnect in Early 2011. In addition to the Got Genealogy Gazette, dozens of her articles have been published in numerous genealogical journals and newsletters in North America.
Ms. Lee speaks and conducts workshops at genealogical societies and conferences in the U.S. and Canada where her animated style, infinite knowledge of everything internet, wit and perverted humor ensure that attendees will not only learn a lot but will have fun doing so.  All of her workshops feature a free raffle where attendees can win valuable prizes, and if you ask her a genealogical question she can’t answer, you’ll win an awesome reward.  Mind you, your question has to be pretty hard to stump her, especially since she’s memorized the internet by heart.  If genealogy isn’t fun, then why do it?  She invites you to join her on Facebook: She may be contacted at

Date: Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012Time: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Location: Citrus Heights Community Clubhouse 6921 Sylvan Road, Citrus Heights
Cost: Priceless - Free, guests welcome

Find Root Cellar Online:

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Thursday, August 23, 2012

NARA comes to the Big Apple

Recently read on UpFront, the NGS blog:

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) recently announced a fall 2012 opening of the new location for the National Archives at New York City—the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan.

Great news if your research takes you to this region!

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Research Trip with Stanislaus County Genealogy Society

Here's an opportunity to meet new genealogy friends and conduct some research at the same time:

The Stanislaus County Genealogy Society will sponsor two research trips on Thursday,  September 27, 2012, 7:30 am – 7:30 pm.
  • National Archives in San Bruno - Restrictions at this location now include a 15 min. intro for showing Identification, obtaining a NARA Research Card-good for one year, using NO PENS, No drinks including water, small coin purse ok (lockers available), 10 by 10 inch plastic bags for items to carry inside, etc., please go online to see other restrictions).  Holdings from 1850-1980, (text, documents, photos, maps, genealogy research) Fed. census, census for Samoa/Native Americans in CA, Passenger arrivals for port of SF, Index to naturalization records, maritime records for SF and other ports, Rev. War military service, Early pension & bounty land warrants, NARA online microfilm catalog, Chinese Immigration in U.S
  • Sutro Library at its new location on the San Francisco State University campus -Books, newspapers (SF Newspaper Index 1904-1949) on microfiche, periodicals, manuscripts with online catalog, maps, history room data bases, telephone directories on microfilm, pioneer card files before 1860, Bio Files for CA. artists, authors, writers, musicians, state officials, and other genealogy resources.
Cost: $40.  Registration form due September 12th.  Contact Wendy Craft for more information.

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

September Classes at the Sacramento FamilySearch Library

The Sacramento FamilySearch Library, also known as the Sacramento Family History Center has announced its September line-up of public classes:

September 12, 2012
2pm - Kathryn Moore
Newspaper Research - Birth announcements, marriage announcements, obituaries, court proceedings, town news and much, much more - historical newspapers can be a treasure trove of genealogical information. Come learn all about using newspaper records, with emphasis on how to identify and access the newspapers you need.

7pm - Pamela Dallas
Social Security - Get the most out of the social security records. Learn who was eligible and when, the changes in the law and why it matters to your research.

September 19, 2012
2pm - Jerry Goggiel
Italian Research - A brief outline of Italian political jurisdictions and timeline of Italian history, types of records, where to find them and how to read them.

7pm - Marian Kile
Using Dropbox for Genealogy and More
Dropbox is one of the most popular free "cloud computing" applications. Marian will show us how to: access, add and update files, share folders with other people and get more free space on Dropbox.

September 26, 2012
2pm - Glenda Lloyd
City Directories-A Problem Solving Approach
City directories may locate your family between federal and state census. This lecture will give you a problem-solving approach.

7pm - Gordon Orchard
Family History Center Portal - Introduction to the 13 Free Premium Genealogical Websites that are furnished to the patrons on the Family History Center's computers. Where else can you go in Northern California that you will have the use of 13 premium genealogical websites for free? You will want to try these great sites after this presentation.

NOVEMBER 3, 2012

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Online Courses: Power Searching with Google - Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Today's article on Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter (standard edition) begins with "Want to become an Google Expert? There is one organization that will show you how: Google."   

Dick continues...Google used to conduct occasional live "webinars" that taught the finer points of using the search engine. In the past, you had to be seated at your computer at a designated time to participate in the live seminars. The company has now "canned" those lessons...

Read more:  Online Courses: Power Searching with Google - Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

I use Google a lot for my genealogy and other searches, even have a book about using it.   Probably you do too.  These online courses intrigue me though since they're by Google.  If you view them, let us know what you think.  Send a comment to

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Follow MacGenealogist and not just for Mac people

I have been following Ben Sayer's blog and website for some time because of his great tips and how–to's for Mac software – in particular, Reunion. But I would like to point out that Ben reviews and demonstrates both PC and Mac genealogical software. He was a beta tester for Family Tree Maker 2012.
His latest blog informs us that is not going to be coming out with Family Tree Maker 2013 next year. They have announced enhancements brought about by users' comments for both the Mac and PC versions during the upcoming year.

Some of the improvements to look forward to are:
  • Numerous enhancements to TreeSync so syncing your tree to is faster and more reliable
  • A new Family View Report that displays a person’s ancestors, spouse, and children together (similar to the Family View in the People workspace)
  • A new Undocumented Facts Report that lists people’s facts that have no source documentation
  • The ability to merge info from multiple versions of the same fact
  • New source templates for the 1940 U.S. census and improved support for city directories
  • Dozens of report enhancements including performance improvements and new options in the relationship chart, family group sheet, Individual Report, Notes Report, Data Errors Report, Outline Descendant Report, Media Item Report, photo albums, Media Usage Report, Documented Facts Report, and calendar
Check out Ben Sayer's website at and just browse.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Thursday, August 16, 2012

FGS RADIO - "My Society"

                                                       FGS Radio- Join the fun!

Saturday, August 18, 2012  
1:00 pm Central (11am Pacific)

If you have not joined in and listened to a broadcast now is the time. The next episode of FGS Radio, called My Society which is an Internet radio show on Blogtalk Radio which will be hosted by Randy Whited is entitled How to Keep Your Genealogy Speaker Happy
The guests this week will be the Genealogy Guys - Drew Smith and George Morgan (you remember George from our 2012 Spring Seminar! Great itme. ) Also featured will be the Alabama Genealogical Society since this is where the FGS Conference will be held at the end of this month (Birmingham, Alabama) Will I see you there?

Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento Meeting

Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento
Monday, August 20, 2012, 7 p.m.
"Searching for Living People"

Bay Area genealogist Ron Arons will talk about the value of finding people who might know more about your family than can be found in any document. His presentation will include scores of websites to find almost any living person, whether you know their correct surnames or not.

In 2005, Ron won a New York State Archives grant for his historical criminal research of Jews in new York City. In 2008, he published "The Jews of Sing Sing" about Jewish criminals who served time "up the river" at the famous prison in New York. Ron appeared on the PBS special, "The Jewish Americans," talking about famous Jewish criminals.

All are welcome to attend the August 20, 7 p.m. meeting at the Albert Einstein Residence Center, 1935 Wright St., Sacramento. For more information about the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento, visit, e-mail

Submitted by Susanne Levitsky
Posted by Ron Setzer

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wordless Wednesday – Family History Day

Family History Day in 2011

Come to the next Family History Day at the California State Archives October 13, 2012.
See the event flyer.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Follow QuickLessons by Elizabeth Shown Mills

If sourcing and citing your research is a daunting task and one that is many times postponed, perhaps reading the "QuickLessons" on Elizabeth Shown Mills's website Evidence Explained would be worthwhile exploring. The website centers around her well–known work, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Second Edition. It contains reviews, examples from the book, FAQs, a forum page for posing questions, and a store to purchase her book and QuickSheets, 4–page laminated "cheat sheets." The acknowledged "Queen of Citation" has posted several mini–lessons on how to deal with a variety of topics:
  • Analysis & Citation
  • Sources vs. Information vs. Evidence vs. Proof
  • Flawed Records
  • NARA Citations & Finding Aids
  • Analyzing Records
  • Mindmapping Records
  • Family Lore and Indian Princesses
  • What Constitutes Proof?
  • Census Instructions? Who Needs Instructions?
  • Original Records, Image Copies, and Derivatives
Visit the site and read one "QuickLesson" a day. You will appreciate Elizabeth Shown Mills's insights.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Monday, August 13, 2012

Learning more about DNA …and taking those steps

I am having my DNA tested for my genealogy research. Being a "newbie" at DNA, I am always searching for more information about the tests and what I should expect. As I have posted in the past, I follow CeCe Moore's "Your Genetic Genealogist" blog. Saturday she posted links to her series that she did for on DNA testing for genealogy. The series covered the three types of DNA testing. As CeCe states "The series will be too basic for some of you, but for those of you just starting out, it may be exactly what you need." The link to that blog posting is If you are interested in DNA, you might want to read the series and follow her blog. The links to the individual articles are:
Part One, Intro and Y-DNA
Part Two, mtDNA
Part Three, autosomal DNA (23andMe, Family Finder, AncestryDNA)
Part Four, ancestral origin tests and summary

Posted by Ron Setzer

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday's Obituary – Luella June Lage Givens

Burial: Buffalo Township Cemetery ~ Titonka, Iowa 
Luella June Givens was born June 14, 1917 in Latimer, Iowa the 11th of 13 children of James and Augusta (Witt) Lage. She grew up in Latimer graduating high school in 1936.
Luella was united in marriage to Morris O. Givens on June 5, 1936 at Calmar, IA. In earlier years, they lived in Latimer and Council Bluffs and then lived in Algona from 1947 to 1956. They then moved to Titonka where Morris was a rural mail carrier. 
Luella and Morris enjoyed traveled to many conventions and enjoyed being with family. They spent some of their retirement summers working at a resort in Minnesota. She was a member of the United Methodist Women, the Titonka Care Center Help Mates, the Birthday Club, the Friendly Club, and the Titonka Lions and Lioness Clubs. 
Luella J. Givens died Friday, August 10, 2007 at the Hancock Memorial Hospital in Britt at the age of 90. She had been a resident of the Titonka Care Center since November 1999. 
She is survived by a son, Jae Givens and his wife Janet of Algona; two grandchildren, Melanie Matheny of Des Moines, and Michael Givens and his wife Alesha of Berwick; two great-grandchildren, Isaac and Kierra Matheny; one brother, Leland Lage of Sacramento, CA; a sister-in-law, Agnes Lage of Meservey, and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her step-mother, Hazel Lage; her husband, Morris on February 10, 1987; and 11 brothers and sisters.

Submitted by DeAnna Lage Setzer
Posted by Ron Setzer

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!!!

Have you marked your calendars yet? Have you made your hotel reservations yet? Time to do this is now............   

 National Genealogical Society 2013 Family History Conference will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference will be held 8-11 May 2013 at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino (formerly Las Vegas Hilton), 3000 Paradise Road, Las Vegas.

During the next ten months, NGS will be posting on their blog the latest conference news about accommodations, lectures, presenters, events, vendors, registration, local research and historical sites, and practical tips for conference veterans and first time attendees alike. So if you are not receiving their blog posts please go to their website and sign up Very valuable tool.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Follow Friends of Friends

For those of you that have German Ancestry- here is another opportunity to listen to one of the best in our are - Joan Gunn. Mark your calendar.

Roseville Genealogical Society Meeting

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Maidu Senior Center, 1550 Maidu Dr., Roseville, CA

Meeting 1-3 pm

Program:   "Getting Started in German Research"

Presentation will include four reasons for starting your German research now, and descriptions of three problems you will encounter and what to do about each of them.

Speaker:   Joan Gunn

Joan is a Graduate of Vassar College, Bachelor of Arts and well-trained in research in original sources, she has a California teacher's credential (taught evenings at American River Community College).  Sometime around the late 1980s she got to her German ancestors and has been hooked on German genealogy ever since, leading to many trips to Salt Lake and Germany.

She has researched in the records of over 60 German churches. She volunteers at the Eastern Avenue Family History Center giving advice on German research on Thursday afternoons.  She is also the Baden-Wurttemberg mentor for the Sacramento German Genealogy Society, and is posted on WorkGenWeb as a research advisor who also does look-ups for Wurttemberg.

SPECIAL NOTE: There will be an auction of home made cookies at this meeting. If you want to participate, please bring your home baked cookies (not store bought) to this meeting with your recipe.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Are you a member of National Genealogical Society?

There are many benefits to joining a National Genealogical Organization and here is just one of the benefits:

New NGS Course Available: Genetic Genealogy, The Basics

NGS is proud to present its newest American Genealogy Studies course, Genetic Genealogy, The Basics, developed by Dr. Thomas H. Shawker. In this six-lesson self-paced course, you will learn about the structure of the DNA molecule, how the Y chromosome is inherited, the two types of DNA markers used in genetic genealogy, haplotypes and haplogroups, how to evaluate the test results, and how the mitochondrial DNA molecule is inherited and how it can be used in genealogy.
The course is designed for independent study. Students check their work with an answer key that immediately follows each self-test. Genetic Genealogy, The Basics is available on a PC- or MAC-compatible CD in a PDF format. The tuition is $45.00 for members and $70.00 for non-members. For further information, or to purchase the course, Visit the NGS website     and click on the Educational Courses tab, or visit the course web page for more information.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wordy Wednesday

A truly Happy Person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour, 
and, one who can enjoy browsing old cemeteries.....   


Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:
Born 1903- Died 1942
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the
elevator car was on the way down.
It was.


In a Thurmont, Maryland cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up
and no where to go.


On the grave of Exekial Aikle
in East Dalhousie Cemetery, Nova Scotia:
Here lies Exekial Aikle, Age 102
Only the good die young


In a London, England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann,
who lived an old maid
but died an old Mann
Dec 8, 1767


 In a Ribbesford, England cemetery:
Anna Wallace
The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna
Clark Wallace wanted a wife,
And the devil sent him Anna.


 In a Ruidoso, New Mexico cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast
Pardon him for not rising.


In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake


In a Silver City, Nevada cemetery:
Here lays The Kid
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw


A lawyer's epitaph in England:
Sir John Strange
Here lies an honest lawyer
And that is strange.


John Penny's epitaph
in the Wimborne, England cemetery
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny


In a cemetery in Hartscombe, England
On the 22nd of June
Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune


Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls, Vermont:
Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low
But the skin of the thing that made her go

On a grave from the 1880's
In Nantucket, Massachusetts:
Under the sod and under the trees
Lies the body of Johathan Pease:
He is not here, there's only the pod
Pease shelled out and went to God 


In a cemetery in England:
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so shall you be,
Remember this and follow me


How will you be remembered?
Have you decided what will be on your tombstone?


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Museum Curator Wanted

Could this be you?
WANTED Museum Curator

..........follow the instructions to fill out the online application and supplemental questionnaire. Resumes will NOT be accepted in place of an online application.

Contact information
Melanie Barton, Administrator
Placer County Museums Division
Department of Facility Services
101 Maple Street
Auburn, CA 95603


Monday, August 6, 2012

1940 US Census Nears Completion - NOW WHAT?

Amazing! We passed the 5 million records goal in less than 16 hours and just kept going! Thank you to the 46,091 indexers and arbitrators who participated in this historic event.

  Final Record Count:
■7,258,151 Indexed
■3,082,728 Arbitrated
■10,340,879 Total

The 1940 US census index is now 99% complete! It's hard to believe that we began just 4 months ago. Thank you for your help! Keep reading to celebrate the 'end' of the project and find out what that means, learn why it will take three to four weeks to publish  all of the remaining state indexes, and find out how you can continue to make historical records online  as part of this amazing volunteer community. Click on the links below to learn more.

Congratulations to Root Cellar team and all the other teams and individuals who participated in this one project. Please continue. Find another project and continue indexing and helping to get all records into public accessablilty.

I am hard at work weekly transcribing/indexing California records at the Center of Sacramento History and almost nightly doing some indexing of other records other than the 1940 Census for those who are searching for these records in hopes that someone(s) in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut are hard at work indexing their records for me. Thank you in advance.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Were you adopted in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island is making adoption records available for the first time to adults 25 years or older. HOOOORAY!!!

A state law adopted in September, 2011 has recently taken effect, and on 2 July 2012 Governor Lincoln Chafee ceremoniously handed birth records to four adoptees, as dozens more looked on at an auditorium at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Hopefully this will be the first of many states that will release their adoption records to the public.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Thomas MacEntee Reviews

Thomas MacEntee
Source: Thomas MacEntee
Thomas MacEntee has been to the tech toy store again and found a product that has a genealogy section. Read his review of allows the user to cluster their family or "pin" them on a virtual map.  The social media side of the product allows users to connect to determine if shared lines exist.  "Cousin bait" said Thomas!  Other products such as Google Maps have a similar function he reports, but takes it a step further.   Follow Thomas in his review as he shows you step-by-step how he clustered one of his family lines.

Try it and send your own review to us at  We'll share it with others on this blog.

Take Note:  Thomas MacEntee is the creator of GeneaBloggers, High Definition Genealogy, and several other blogs.  He will be the featured speaker at the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Spring Seminar on Saturday, March 16, 2013.  Mark your calendars.  Details about the seminar will be forthcoming.

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Friday, August 3, 2012

Follow Friday - Sacramento Archives Crawl

What's an Archive?  What does an Archive have that can help me with my family history research?
Answers to these and other questions can be found at the second annual Sacramento Archives Crawl on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.   This is an annual Archives Month event that takes place the first Saturday in October. Participants tour among four host archives in Sacramento, gathering stamps in their passports as they view treasures from dozens of archives and special collections libraries, visit with archivists, and go on special behind-the-scenes tours.

The four venues include the California State Archives, California State Library, Center for Sacramento History, and The Sacramento Room (Central Library).  This year's theme will be Building Sacramento/Building Communities, so crawlers can expect to see a wide range of materials documenting the growth of the region. Visit at least three of the four venues and leave with a set of four limited edition coasters.

As with the 2011 Sacramento Archives Crawl, participants will start at any of the four host locations and gather stamps in their passports as they view treasures from dozens of archives and special collections libraries, visit with archivists, and go on special behind-the-scenes tours.
Sammie Hudgens, Library Chairperson, will head the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society and Library delegation  at its exhibit table.  The library, housed at the California State Archives, will be open for crawlers to peruse its extensive collections. 
Crawling has never been such fun!!
posted by Denise H. Richmond

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Sutro Library Reopens

Genealogists will be thankful for this news from the California State Library:

The Sutro Library is re-opening at its new location August 1, 2012.  Since its establishment in 1913, the Sutro branch of the California State Library has never had a permanent home.  Now it does--on the fifth and sixth floors of the newly renovated J. Paul Leonard and Sutro Library building on the campus of San Francisco State University.  The fifth floor reading room is bright and spacious, with brand new furniture, computers, and scanners for both print and microform.

The Sutro Library is, once again, providing no-fee interlibrary loan service; and, starting August 1, 2012, will be open to the public from 10 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.

Our new address is:

Sutro Library
1630 Holloway Drive
San Francisco CA 94132

Please note that the Sutro telephone number has also changed.  Our main number is now 415-469-6100.

 Our e-mail address remains the same:

For more information about the Sutro Library, please visit:

The Sutro Library is located in the southeast quadrant of the SFSU campus. For a map, please visit:

For information about campus parking, please visit:

We are excited to have the Sutro Library back in business!  We look forward to serving California's libraries and patrons from our new location.  Please don't hesitate to call us or send us an e-mail for more information.

California State Library
900 N Street
PO Box 942837
Sacramento CA 94237-0001

news submitted by Lois Shumaker
posted by Denise H. Richmond

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wordless Wedesday - Topo Gigio Bobblehead

Topo Gigio, 1961-1972 on the Ed Sullivan Show

posted by Denise H. Richmond (from her personal collection)