Thursday, November 29, 2012

Root Cellar's November General Meeting

The Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln entertained Root Cellar members and guests at the November General Meeting. December's meeting will be our last meeting at the Citrus Heights Community Clubhouse. Beginning in January we will move to a larger and more modern facility.

President John Jay conducting the business portion of the meeting.

Members interested in the anecdotes of the presentation.

The hearty members who stayed until the end when the heating failed.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sign up today for a free Legacy Family Tree webinar

Legacy Family Tree Webinars is offering a free webinar on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2pm Eastern U.S., The Big 4 U.S. Record Sources presented by Mary Hill. Research in the United States depends upon census, vital, land, and probate records, the bread and butter of American research. Get an overview of each type of record. Learn where to find them and how to use them effectively in your research.
Registration is free but space is limited to the first 1,000 people to join that day. When you join, if you receive a message that the webinar is full, you know we've reached the 1,000 limit, so we invite you to view the recording which should be published to the webinar archives within an hour or two of the event's conclusion.


Webinar time
The webinar will be live on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at:
  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain/Arizona
  • 11am Pacific
  • 7pm GMT
Here's how to attend:
  1. Register at today. It's free!
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email during the week prior to the webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Make sure you have the latest version of Java installed on your computer. Check at
  6. Check your GoToWebinar connection here by clicking on the "Test Your GoToWebinar Connection" link.
  7. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  8. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone.
Posted by Ron Setzer

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Following Genealogy Blogs – Search Tip of the Day

At last week's Root Cellar's monthly workshop, a hint was offered by a member. It was suggested that instead of repeatedly doing searches in for relatives that had not yet been posted, you should create alerts in Google search. It is very simple to create an alert that will search for you in this format: beyer findagrave. Google will send you a message if information is posted on with that surname. This idea works best if the surname you are researching is uncommon.
A couple of days later, I was catching up on the various genealogy blogs that I follow and I discovered Michael John Neill offered a similar tip on his blog "Search Tip of the Day." It reminded me that I must keep up with the good blogs out there, and Michael John Neill's blog is one of the best. Go to to follow his "Search Tip of the Day – Almost Every Day," you won't be disappointed. Remember: Good ideas that we run across should always be added to our genealogical toolbox. Happy hunting!!

Posted by Ron Setzer

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Society Saturday: Why People Blog?

[Editor's Note: Republished by permission of GeneaBloggers. Click all links for the original posts.]

I've been reading the "May I Introduce To You..." article series which is posted periodically on Geneabloggers.  The series is written by Gini Webb and the actual interview subjects.  Gini interviews people who use a blog as one tool to document their family history research.  She asks the interviewees to respond to various questions such as:
  • How did you get started in genealogy
  • Thoughts on creating a blog
  • How do you follow other bloggers
  • Favorite blog post
  • Tips for new genealogy bloggers
  • Favorite ancestor
  • How genealogy improved their life
  • What they love most about genealogy
  • Their time capsule message
I learned the various reasons a personal blog is created, that not all bloggers are 'techies', surprises await as to who reads your blog, and, a huge plus, you may get answers or more clues to a brickwall from a reader or connect with a new-found relative.  Read a sampling of interviews posted below with permission and their blog.  Read other interviews by subscribing to GeneaBloggers.

Joan Hill interview and blog Roots'n'Leaves.

Holly Spencer interview and blog Raeburn Family Odyssey

Craig Manson interview and blog GeneaBlogie.
Do you have a blog or are you thinking about creating one?  Let us know.  Send the Root Cellar Tech Team an email  We can help.  And remember, the blogging guru himself, Thomas MacEntee, will be in Sacramento in person on March 16, 2013 at the Root Cellar Spring Seminar.   

About the Interviewer
Gini Webb lives in San Diego, California and manages her own blog, Ginisology., while also researching her own German heritage, recently retired, enjoying life with wonderful husband Steve and visiting with her now seven grandchildren!  [Nice genealogy research toolbox on her blog also.]

posted by Denise H. Richmond
My thanks to Thomas, Gini and the interviewees for permission to republish.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Dust Bowl and Your Family History

[Editor's Note: this information is copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.orgRepublication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS.]

Take a look at the UpFront at the NGS blog article by Diane L. Richard posted on November 14, 2012.  Titled "The Dust Bowl -- a Natural Disaster Which Affected Many -- Also Affects Family History Research!", Richard alerted readers to the program on public television this Sunday.  She wrote:
"This Sunday on PBS starts a 2-part Ken Burns series about the Dust Bowl! I plan to watch it. Though I had no family affected by this disaster, I am very curious to learn more about it – both what caused it and also how it impacted those directly affected. The extent of my knowledge are the hardships conveyed in The Grapes of Wrath (by John Steinbeck) which I was required to read in high school. Though I did find it a gripping tale (even if unfathomable to a New Englander) I didn't have the perspective I have now of more fully appreciating how scary natural disasters can be, the hardships that result and the impact on genealogical research which may ensue."  [Read more]
Richard also provided several websites that talk about genealogical research and that may help if you are doing family research during this period.

Whether or not your ancestors were affected by the Dust bowl, the stories about what people endured in this natural disaster are nevertheless moving. 

Posted by Denise H. Richmond

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Translation Help with ViewMate at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento

Need help with translations of historical or family documents?  Consider the Viewmate program.

"An Introduction to ViewMate" will be presented at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento on Sunday, November 18, 2012 starting at 10 a.m.

Gary Sandler will talk about the award-winning ViewMate program he helped create. The program, found at, offers free translations of old passports, postcards, gravestones, official documents and more.  Sandler has been the programmer for ViewMate and will introduce its features and capabilities.  It has helped thousands of people move past brick walls in their family research.

About the Speaker
Gary Sandler has been a computer guy and project planner for over 30 years. His interest in genealogy sprang from his curiosity about whether he was related to the actor Adam Sandler.  He has been applying his obsessive-compulsive behaviors to researching and documenting his Russian, Lithuanian and Polish roots for over a dozen years. In 2006-07, Sandler worked with Steve Morse to create the “Gold Form” one-step tool for searching Ellis Island passenger records.

All are welcome to attend the Sunday, November 18th 10 a.m. meeting at the Albert Einstein Residence Center,1935 Wright Road, Sacramento. 

For more information about the Jewish Genealogical Society of Sacramento, visit or e-mail Mort Rumberg at

Submitted by Mort Rumberg
Posted by Denise H. Richmond

Monday, November 12, 2012

Military Monday - Root Cellar Members Honor Veterans

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society honors the military service and sacrifices of its members and their ancestors.  Click on each link for an expanded story about these heroes.

George D. Marks
August 22, 1921 -
World War II - July 7, 1942 - November 10, 1945
PFC , 117th Radio Signal Intelligence Company

Born 9 December 1831, Warren County, Pennsylvania
Died 24 March 1905, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Civil War Service: 23 Sep 1861 - 5 Feb 1863
PFC, Company A, Michigan 8th Infantry Regiment
Great-greatgrandfather of Ron Setzer

Donald L. Whitney

Born 31 March 1926, Wentworth, New Hampshire
Died 6 March 2010, Lincoln, Placer, California
Coast Guard:  WW II and Korean War
Father of Robyn Whitney Fitzwater

Donovan K. Webster

Born 6 Jan 1931, Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas
Died 14 Jan 2008, Paul, Minidoka, Idaho
Korean War: Field Artillery unit operating
the 155mm Howitzer in the Fifth Armored Division
Recipient: Korean Service Medal with two service stars and the United Nations Service Medal for Korea
Father-in-law of  Curtis Jones

Edwin Hanisch
Born May 1917, Cleveland, Ohio
Died 1973, Sacramento, California
WWII Navy radio operator, where his German language skills monitoring German communications; served on the SS Tucker, a U.S. destroyer
Father-in-law of John Jay


Herman A. Hibsch
Herman August Hibsch (1878 - 1939)
Spanish American War, U.S. Calvary, 4th Regiment, Company M
Great-great Uncle of Denise H. Richmond

Alba W. Hibsch
Alba William Hibsch (1896 - 1959)
(standing second from right)
World War I, U.S. Army
Grandfather of Denise H. Richmond

Gian G. Fiorini
Born 1897, Traona, Italy, immigrated to the United States in 1914,
and became a U.S. citizen in 1928
Father-in-law of Nancy Fiorini
born 19 Jul 1892, Albany, Gentry County, Missouri
died 13 Mar 1966, Whittier, Los Angeles County, California.
Letter from the Front, a transcription of a letter written by Denise Miller's maternal grandmother’s brother Sherman Franklin Snow
Paris France Nov 11th 1918
Dear Folks:-
This morning at sunrise I was in this city on my return to camp and will go out to night. This has been the most wonderful day I ever spent. In fact I suppose it is that to every one but being in a city like this and some thing happens like this is beyond comparison. At 11 oclock no one knew of the armistis being signed, but...[Read More]

posted by Denise H. Richmond
Military Monday is one of many daily themes suggested by

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Society Saturday: Thomas MacEntee Reinvented

Thomas MacEntee
(Source: Thomas MacEntee)
Thomas MacEntee is a new man.  When you listen to him at the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Spring Seminar on March 16, 2013, you'll think he's been conducting genealogical research for decades. 

You'd be correct. 

What's new is that Thomas is now a professional genealogist, having turned his hobby into his livelihood -- and fairly recently.  Read more about our speaker's transformation in the recent article "Career Shift: Turn Your Hobby into a New Job" by Nancy Collamer.  Thomas' technology expertise acquired in his previous career has also served him well as he adapted it to the field of genealogical research. 

I hope you'll plan on attending the Spring Seminar next March.  You'll have an opportunity to meet a very friendly guy who will take you and your family history research gently toward the use of new technologies and social networking.  Read more about the topics he will present at the seminar.

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Root Cellar

October is our birthday month and Root Cellar – Sacramento Genealogical Society celebrated its 34th birthday. Founded in 1978 to meet the needs of genealogists in the area, Root Cellar is still going strong and growing into the 21st century.

As you can see – a good time was had by all!

Posted by Ron Setzer

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Saturday Society -- Preserve the Pensions War of 1812

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is spearheading "Preserve the Pensions  - a $3.7 million nationwide fundraising initiative to digitize the long-neglected War of 1812 pension records. This is the first time in history that the entire genealogy community is coming together to see a project of this magnitude to completion.....  from the National Archives to fold3 to individual state and local genealogical societies. has generously stepped up and agreed to cover costs to digitize HALF of the War of 1812 pension records. So every dollar donated will actually go twice as far.

Crunching the numbers so you can see what a donation could do:
     At a cost of $.45 per digitized page, your tax deductible gift of $45 would normally digntize 100 pages. But with the help of it will digitize 200 pages. $112.50 will digitize 250 pages or 500 with's help. and $450 will digitize a totoal 2,000 pages.

All of the War of 1812 Pension Records digitized with donations will be made available to the public on the fold3 website.

Why is it so critical  to preserve the War of 1812 Pension Records?
   Right now, there are 180,000 Pension records from the War of 1812 housed at the National Archives, a total of 7,200,000 pages. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812, a war some hail as our second Revolutionary War. . So digitizing these fragile  records now is timely.

Why is there such urgency for your support today? has generously agreed to step up and cover half of the costs of the project to digitize the War of 1812 pension records to that each dollar donated foes twice as far.  But time is of the essence. These documents are fragile and need to be digitized quickly to preserve the best possible image of each page.

Another thing to consider also is that Preserve the Pension project is much more than the War of 1812.......  there are millions of Civil War, World War I and II records waiting to be digitized. War of 1812 pension file is only the first step.

If you are interested in the project talk to your board members. This seems like a good cause to get behind......  ((I had a dream that we raised money among our members, and then Root Cellar matched the money raised and then we sent our funds to FGS who doubled our money again with help. Wow, what a great dream!))

Information from Preserve the Pensions War of 1812 booklet written by FGS

Giving you some food for thought .........  Sandra Gardner-Benward

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Friday - Friends of Friends NEHGS is Here!!

What a great setting for this day long conference......  I am sure you will agree.

 "His Lordships" at the Berkeley Marina . And as you can see with the next two pictures we really has a wonderful view from any pary of the His Lordships. Just Amazing!! As you can see the weather was just right and you could see both bridges and more.

New England Historic  and Genealogical Society (from Boston, Mass) came West and partnered with California Generalogical Sociiety (CGS) based in Oakland and held this one day event at the Berkeley Marina Berkeley CA .........
 Introducing Rhonda R McClure, NEGHS Senior Researcher.........  with the subjects she presented I think I took 3 out of the 4 sessions with her.  1) Unique Resources in the NY State Research ... probably one good idea is to be familiar with the history of the state. New York is one of the states that did take state census inbetween the federal census. The 1892 census caught my eye, but then it was destroyed too, but the good thing is there are duplicates at the county levels. HIP HIP HOORAY!
2) The Golden dorr has Locks Tracing Immigrant Ancestors.......Rhonda took us through the Immigration Process with the law of the land at that time, changes in the immigration law, immigrant inspection, detention and deportation, records of the detained immigrant. A good start would be looking through the Record Group 85 in the National Archives, but also RG21, 36, 56, & 90. ........
3) I Can't Find It: Understanding Online Search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) take the search terms you type in and compare them to the lasrge database of websites that has been compiled by that search engine site. .......  don't depend on one search engine, try a different search engine, they are not all created equal......... try getting more bang for your search by using a metasearch, try a metasearch program such as Copernic. Thank you to Rhonda for a great day of learning and growing.

 ........ and David Allen Lambert, NEHGS Online Genealogist............  *New Resources on AmericanAncestors.or for New England Research........ David gave an impressive list of new acquistions month by month. Wow!!  very impressive. He actually gave a little caption for each new works. .......... and with the remaining time he gave us a great tour of their website. Lots of great stuff.
New England Historic and Genealogical Society shipped a great many of their books, some that they have produced (and that is ALOT) It was great to touch and read the volumes that I have only seen in their catalogs. There were new and used books. ........ 

 I was not sure how many people would be attending this event and I was pleasantly surprised to find a room full of people. I had a hard time finding a seat.
 Didn't see anyone from Root Cellar. I did run into the President of CGS Jeffrey Vaillant (you may remeber him from our own Spring Seminar) and of course Kathryn Doyle, Blog Webmaster ...............  and then I heard a voice saying HI SANDI......
............  someone from home..... it was Barry Travis from Root Cellar ... we had a good day.  And then I also ran into Kathleen Shannon also a Root Cellar member ( no picture though-- see pictures from So California Jamboree)
The day ended with a wonderful dinner at Spencer's Fish Grotto just blocks away from the Marina. (I remember coming here too many years ago to even think about and it was just as good then too) I had an excelletn white fish with rice. Oh my goodness it was sooooo good.  And after dinner there was a short presentation "Red Alert, Save Your Family History NOW! by Brenton Simons, NEHGS President and CEO. 

And now how appropriate in the wake of Hurrican Sandy. I hope that their huge building and millions of records survived and their people are OK. My positive thoughts and prayers are with everyone on the east coast.......... 

Thankful Thursday - NEHGS comes West

I am very excited to attend the NEHGS and CGS one day conference in Berkeleyat the Double Tree Hotel Marina. I'll be traveling down the day before so I will get a good night sleep and be rested and alert for this special day.        

The New England Historic and Genealogical Society based in Boston, MA and the California Genealogical Society and Library based in Oakland partnered and brought the NEGHS west for a one day conference and another day of consultations on brickwalls.

    Rhonda R McClure, NEHGS senior researcher is a nationally recognized proferssional genealigist and lecturer specializing in New England and celebrity research as well as computerized genealogy.

    David Allen Lambert, NEHGS Online Genealogist, has been on the staff of NEHGS since 1993 and has published articles in The New England Historicial and Genealogical Register; the New Hampshire Genealogical Record; Rhode Island Roots; The Mayflower Descendant; and American Ancestors magazine.  (I have taken a several sessions from him. He has been a keynote speaker at several luncheons in the past. I look forward to hearing him once again)

There are two options for each session time:
  Beyond the Grave and Looking Past Your Ancestor's Death Records  OR
  Unique Resources in NY State Research

 New Resources on for New England Research  OR
 Researching NY City Ancestors

  Getting the Most out of New England Vital Records Online, in Print and on Film  OR
  The Golden Door Has Locks, Tracing Immigrant Ancestors

  Researching New England Military Records  OR
  I Can't Find It: Understanding Online Search Limitations

So now my homework is to make sure my Legacy program is up-to-date as possible and see which of these sessions will be a benefit to my research.

....posted by Sandra Gardner-Benward