Saturday, February 23, 2013

Early-Bird Registration Ends March 1st for Root Cellar Spring Seminar

Raise your hand if you like to save money.  How about saving $5 - $10?  Yep, me too.

The March 1st deadline for early-bird registration is almost here.  If you've been thinking about submitting your registration for the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Spring Seminar the time for action is now.  The registration price goes up $5 to $10 after Friday, March 1st.

I've had a glimpse behind the scenes and learned that guest speaker Thomas MacEntee is already packing for his trip west.  The handouts are at the printer.  The raffle baskets are being wrapped with big bows, already filled to the top with treasures.  The exhibitors are fine-tuning their displays. 

Take advantage of this seminar to learn from the expert - how to find your ancestors with new technologies and resources.
Questions?  Drop us a line at

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Calaveras Genealogical Society Seminar with Glenda Gardner Lloyd

The Calaveras Genealogical Society has announced its Spring Seminar on April 20, 2013 in San Andreas.  The speaker will be Glenda Gardner Lloyd, Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society's very own charter member, past president, current Parliamentarian and more.   Glenda has extensive knowledge about genealogical research methods and resources and easily conveys her passion for family history to her audience.  Her classes at the 2012 Family History Day at the California State Archives left quite an impression on the large delegation of members attending from Calaveras County!

The seminar announcement is pictured below but please go to the website to download it to register.

My thanks to Kathryn Doyle of the California Genealogical Society for sending the announcement to me.
Posted by Denise H. Richmond

Sacramento County Historical Society Presents "From Sacramento to Donner Summit"

Norm Sayler, president of the Donner Summit Historical Society, will give a presentation on "From Sacramento to Donner Summit," which will take his listeners on a journey from his Sacramento childhood through more than 46 years as manager and president of the Donner Ski Ranch. Sayler was born in Sacramento in 1933, and will share some vivid memories of his youth here. He left for Donner Summit in 1954, became manager of the Donner Ski Ranch, and later president of the Donner Summit Historical Society. He will offer his unique perspective on the history of "the Hill" which is bound to be most interesting. This presentation will be of interest to any genealogist who has ancestors from the Highway 40/80 corridor of Placer and Nevada County.

Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013
Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society building, 5380 Elvas, Sacramento
Doors will open at 6:30 and the presentation begins at 7 PM.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Society Saturday - Thomas MacEntee Interviewed

Members of Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society have just received the current issue of its periodical, Preserves.  One of the highlights of this edition is the interview with Thomas MacEntee conducted by yours truly in January 2013.

In less than a month, Root Cellar will be welcoming Thomas as the featured speaker at its Spring Seminar on March 16, 2013.  The published interview provides members with a glimpse into Thomas's background and his thoughts about genealogy, technology and social media.

The Preserves is a member's only periodical but as a shameless plug for Root Cellar and a lure for the 'not-yet' members, several excerpts of the interview are included below.


Root Cellar: You have your finger on the pulse of technology and genealogy.  What are some relatively new tech tools you have learned about that interest you?
Thomas MacEntee: With the new year, I am fascinated with the "pinning" concept on sites like Pinterest, Google Maps, History Pin, What Was There and more.  I think this is a fun way to use our research finds as genealogists and to reach others with similar surnames and research.  Also, I've become keyed in to the concept of...
Root Cellar:  What are the future trends for technology and genealogical research that could affect societies and individual genealogists?
Thomas MacEntee: We need to fight for what I call "resource appeasement" - as more content becomes available online, we need to remind new researchers about all that is not yet digitized.  [Also] Copyright, citing resources, and attribution.  There is too much abuse of content with no...
Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree 2010
Blogger Summit. Pictured with Thomas MacEntee (center) are
Root Cellar Technology Committee members
(l-r) Denise Richmond, Sandi Benward & Ron Setzer

About the Spring Seminar March 16, 2013
Society Saturday is one of several Daily Blogging Prompts listed on
posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mortality Schedule 1860 for James Jones, Wayne Co., Kentucky

One of the problems in genealogy is maintaining research logs on where we have previously looked. In this manner we try not to retrace our steps and waste our time. An exception to this is electronic research. Periodically we do have to perform a rechecking of our favorite sites for new postings of information. Whatever your favorite research sites are,,, etc., they continually add more to their holdings. Sometimes you get lucky. An example of this is my discovering my 3G Grandfather's entry in the 1860 mortality schedule of the Federal Census. I learned that James Jones died in June 1859 of Typhoid Fever (line 24). The advice to persevere, persevere, persevere holds true.

James Jones, born 1797, in Tennessee or Kentucky, married Margaret Dobbs in Wayne Co., Kentucky, and died 27 June 1859. They had twelve children.

Posted by Ron Setzer

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Evaluating the Evidence" at Placer County Genealogical Society

The Placer County Genealogical Society (PCGS) will hold its regular meeting on Thursday, February 28, 2013 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Beecher Room of the Auburn Library at 350 Nevada Street. The topic this month is "Evaluating the Evidence - Are Your Facts Proven" presented by Barbara Leak. Visitors are welcome to attend.
Barbara Leak has more than 25 years of experience as a genealogy researcher and educator having presented genealogy and local history programs to audiences ranging from third-graders to senior citizens. A member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, she has lectured at conferences and workshops sponsored by the National Genealogical Society, Federation of Genealogical Societies, California State Archives, and numerous libraries and societies throughout northern California. She is president of the Genealogical and Historical Council of Sacramento Valley and a California State Genealogical Alliance Distinguished Service Award recipient. With a professional background in Business Administration, Barbara demonstrates a practical approach to research, blended with humor, in a presentation style that enlightens her audience.

Submitted by Alora Lipsmeyer
Posted by Ron Setzer

Friday, February 15, 2013

Surname Saturday - "Surnames & Their Meanings"

"Have you ever wondered about the meaning of your last name or where your family surname came from? What your ancestors did, how they looked or where they lived? Surname meanings can sometimes tell a story about your family, one handed down for hundreds of years. By tracing the possible origin of your last name, you can learn more about the medieval ancestors who first bore the surname and, ultimately, handed it down to you"  from

If you go to there is surname & its meaning section. Unfortunately you will find a very limited list of surnames and their meanings. But if you are lucky your surname (s) may be there.  I looked up all my surnames I have and not find one that was on their list. I did find where you can make a request to find out about your surname-  Request a Surname Meaning  - one more item on my TO DO List.

Behind the Name  the etymology and history of surnames - another website to check out Surname meanings and gather more information about the origins of surnames. Again I was not too lucky.

...and yes! also has a surname area (free) - Learn about the Family History of Your Surname "What's in a Name?" 
"Here's some of the interesting facts you'll find about your family name:
Name meaning and history. Where your family lived and migrated in the US and the UK. Where they immigrated to and from. Life expectancy. Civil War. Occupations. You may even find others who have posted information about your family or who would like to contact you. Just enter your last name above to get started.---

 I typed in my SHEERAR line in No meaning of the name listed. However, there are 462 Historical Documents & Family Trees with Sheerar                 147 Census and Voter Lists       8 Immigration Records      89 Birth, Marriage, and Deaths                  194 Member Family Trees   and 24 Military Records. Under the Name Distribution in the states it shows 3 families were in New York and two were in Pennsylvania. I guess all three in New York are mine, I wonder about the Pennsylvania families.... more to do! The message forum shows NO threads or inquiries with the name SHEERAR, so I will start the first one.  

... and there is always Wikipedia - "A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name. Many dictionaries define "surname" as a synonym of 'family name'. In the western hemisphere, it is a commonly synonymous with 'last name' and is usually placed at the end of a person's given name. In Spain and most Hispanophone and Lusophone countries, two last names (or surname's) are used. In Hungary, along with China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam and in many other East Asian countries, the family name is placed before a person's given name. The western style of having both a family name (surname) and a given name (forename or Christian name) is far from universal. In many countries it is common for ordinary people to have only one name or mononym. " (This is an extensive article, and very thorough. This is really very interesting and gives alot of fascinating information about surnames or the lack of them...  and alot of history in various parts of the world on surnames. It does have an area to search on a specific surname. ...... but worth checking it out)

.............and I am sure if you "Google" surnames and their meanings you will probably find many other resources. Good Luck

posted by Sandra Gardner Benward

Friday Following - Sutro Library or Not!!

 So I'll bet you are really wondering how the bus trip to Sutro Library went on Wednesday. This was my first trip down with the new location on the campus of the University of San Francisco. I am very glad I was not driving down there, parking (or lack of ) and coming back home. Leaving the driving to a professional (Kathy) is wonderful.

Thanks to Melanie Howard our organizer from GAS (Genealogcal Association of Sacramento). She supplied coffee, water and donuts plus little prizes. Thanks Melanie.

The bus actually parked in a loading zone on the edge of the campus a short block up the street from the Library. I have no idea where you would park if you drove down on your own. (Maybe someone out there has been and knows where to park). We did arrive 30 minutes early, so we walked down to the library and explored the first floor. Sutro Library is located on the 5th floor and if it is not 10am or later the button in the elevator will not recognize your request for the 5th floor. We know, we kept pushing it and pushing it not realizing this. DUH!! the light finally went on and we understood...........

This is on the building coming in from the campus side of the university

                 This is your view of the library building coming down the hill from the bus stop.

     ...and as you enter from the street side you pass through the computer lab...... on the left side you will see nothing but PC's and on the right side you will see nothing but Mac's. This is a very large room.             

 As you continue through the room at the far end you run right into this wonderful bench......  it shows the history of California in squares of wood in-lay. Sorry that it is not as clear as I would like but you will get the jest of the bench.........  Absolutely wonderful..........
 As you turn left from the bench you will be seeing PEET's Coffee at the far end with lots of tables and booths and plenty of students..........  you can barely see the doors to the library behind and between the white pillars. .........
 Anyway, you enter, turning again to the left and follow along till you get to the elevators....... and finally it is 10am, the elevator 5th floor button works and up we all go......... I think that there were about 40 researchers on our bus........ members from Root Cellar, GAS and Roots & Gold Dust and guests of those groups too.........
Coming around the corner from the elevators is your first view of the library but again you are stopped from going in..... you first need to put all your items in a locker. Because there were so many people at one time it was necessary to share lockers. A quarter does it, and each time you open the locker your quarter returns just to be put back in again after retrieving something from the locker. You are not permitted to take in most things........ computer, iPads, tablet of paper, pencils, camera's no purses, bags, packages, folders, boxes, bacpacks and more. And they after this is complete you stand in line signing in at the entrance of the door........ administrative desk right in frontof that. Tours were given. Just too many people in each tour to make it worthwhile for everyone to hear and see. If you wanted to use computers, catalog online for Sutro, microfilm/fisch, copier you needed to request a library card. With 40 + people this process took quite awhile to complete.

As you are standing at the administrative desks you will look left and then right and you will see stacks of books, tables & chairs.........

 ........looking closer you will see some computers on the left side with tables and chairs ............ 

 ...........looking closer down the right side you will also see lots of tables & chairs, plus Microfilm/fisch area, surname and locality cards ...... cabinets of microfilm/fisch at the furthest end. Also you will find the Restrooms and water fountains.

We were cerainly getting our exercie today, it seems if you were sitting on the left side tables you needed all your books etc on the right side and vice versa.

 And here is the copier area.......  only one station. Yes you heard right only one copier station. It has changed and upgraded just a little..........  you can make your usual paper copy, but now you can also save it to a flash drive (which they had for sale for $5 for 2gigbytes- pretty good deal, but I wouldn't depend on them having them when you go, bring your own and be surprised if they do have one) or you can send the copy by email.......... Now that has really been updated.
Again, looking out the windows of Sutro Library you can see a building peeking out on the left side of the picture......  that is the Student Hall and Food Court. We were all thankful that it is so close by but didn't know what to expect. I think some of us were thinking vending machine 'food'. It was amazing!! The Food Court offers many many different types of food. We had no problem finding something good to eat at a very reasonable price. Lots of variety. This was a very happy surprise. Yes, it was busy with students too but I think the Food Court people are use to the volume of people coming through and getting people through the lines quickly.
Last but not lest, I wanted to show this picture. It was around 4-4:15pm looking out the windows of Sutro Library. No the picture is not out of focuss it is FOG rolling in, very visible and LOTS of it too.

We left the area at 5pm. Smooth ride home with people talking all the way.... discussions of great finds in their research, other things they found, or NOT and what the next step would be.
It was a very good day. Big Thanks for Melanie Howard and GAS for organizing this bus trip,
posted for your enjoyment by Sandra Gardner Benward

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday's Child Generation-Y

I received this in my email and read it top to bottom and felt I wanted to share this article with all of you. It does show that we are all the same.......  yound and old .... just the means are different.

FIND MY PAST: Youth in Genealogy: Generation Y Redefines Family History Research

Generation Y's look at Genealogy

posted by Sandra Gardner Benward through Find My Past

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday Travel - Taking a Bus Ride

On Wednesday several dozen excited family researchers will board a bus in the Sacramento Area and travel down to the NEW Sutro Library now on the University of San Francisco campua.

How to get ready for the trip? How do I ensure that I will be using my time wisely and getting the most out of the materials available?

I guess first you would check your genealogy software program to see who and what you will be researching. What do I have already? What am I missing?

Now after that is done, I would imagine that my next step would be to check the Sutro library catalogue. Search everything. Write or print out what you find. Organize your findings so that you are ready to go when you arrive at the library. Organize what you say? If you found several references in books, put those all together and organize them to their importance to you. Same with references to microfisch/ microfilm, histories, bios, etc. Work smart.

Like alot of other people, I don't have much research in California - just a small twig of my ancestral tree is in Pasadena, CA. So I will be doing some research for my granduncle John E. BRANFIELD and his wife Emma Belle KLINE and their two children Burdine and Paul and of course their grandchildren ..... all in the Pasadena area.

But you do know that the Sutro Library has more than just Northern California materials. It has materials from all over the world, so there is something for everone. You just need to search the catalogue and make a plan and then work your plan.

...from a very excited researcher Sandra Gardner Benward  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Society Saturday - Cox Black and White Lab, Inc. to be at Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Spring Seminar

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that Cox Black and White Lab, Inc. will showcase its photographic services at the Spring Seminar with speaker Thomas MacEntee.

Cox Black and White Lab, Inc. was founded in 1990 by Jeff Cox and Katherine Weedman-Cox.  They specialize in reproducing and preserving photographic history.  Their clients include The California State Library, The California State Railroad Museum, The Center for Sacramento History, The State Archives, The Sacramento Library, Caltrans and various other agencies. 

Katherine Weedman-Cox at Family History Day 2012
Cox Black and White Lab, Inc. has been a long-time supporter of Family History Day at the California State Archives where attendees enjoy the popular exhibit.

The Lab is currently scanning the Jack London nitrate negatives from the California State Parks Collection in Sonoma in an effort to help preserve his images.  Cox Black and White Lab, Inc. also reproduces and restores precious family photos that customers have been bringing them for 23 years.  They love to hear family stories!  Be sure to take this opportunity to talk to Katherine at the Spring Seminar - bring your questions or better yet, your old, faded or damaged family photo to learn how digital photographic retouching may be able to transform your family photo to near original quality.

Cox Black and White Lab can be reached at 916-631-7275 or email

About the Spring Seminar
Register now for the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Spring Seminar on March 16, 2013 featuring technology and social media expert Thomas MacEntee. 

Half the seats are already reserved!  Pre-registration only.  No tickets sold at the door.

Read more about Thomas here and here.  Read about his topics and print the registration form here.  Hope to see you there!

Written in part by Katherine Weedman-Cox
Posted by Denise H. Richmond

Society Saturday - Sacramento County Records Preservation

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society values giving back to the genealogy community through its preservation projects.  One of the Society's major efforts has been to bring Sacramento County records a little bit closer to family historians, Sacramento history buffs and the public at large.

Was your ancestor in Sacramento County back in the day?

Women Proprietors or Sole Traders
Sacramento County 1850-1930.
Click on all images to enlarge
Record types that the Society has indexed tell fascinating stories of the people who settled in Sacramento County and were recorded under a variety of circumstances!   Indexes include civil court cases, delayed births, militia, divorces, Folsom and San Quentin prisons, homesteads, marriages, baptisms, cemeteries, women proprietors, and the list goes on.  The books are available for purchase in the Root Cellar Store or send us a Research Request.

Through Root Cellar's long-standing partnership with the Center for Sacramento History, an active group of Society volunteers organized by Marilyn Ulbricht gathers every Friday morning at the Center.  Generally, everyone is transcribing the same record type because so many volumes exist.  Each volunteer gently combs through the pages, willing to get a little dusty, stopping occasionally to share an amazing story of the person's data being extracted.  Sometimes they pause for a look-up, using a dictionary of historic medical terminology or a book of California place names.  You see, preservation projects are educational on so many levels!

Cover (above) and sample contents,
Sacramento County Coroner's Records
Currently, Root Cellar volunteers are diligently working to finish the last book of the "Coroner Records Collection for Sacramento County".  The collection consists of 20 registers with a treasure trove of information.  Examples of information include, name, place of death, property and to whom distributed, place of burial, physical description of the deceased, cause of death and description of the circumstances of the death to name a few.  These books cover the years 1887 through 1969.  Each volume published (some volumes have more than one book) are indexed and upon completion of all books, a Master Index will be published. There are additional coroner's records available at the Center from years 1970 through 1978 but are not included in this project.

The Committee  has also nearly completed the "Index of Registers of Wills for Sacramento County".  Anyone doing family research will really have to look at these as there is invaluable information to help complete those missing spots in your family tree.  Some of the wills are extremely detailed giving names, addresses, relationship to the deceased, identification of property, etc.

Excerpt from actual Sacramento County Will

Data extracted from Will Books

Three members of the Society are indexing and extracting the information from "The City of Sacramento Deaths and Internments".  The information will include the date of death, names, nativity, cause of death, and internment.
Genealogists are always looking for a picture of an ancestor.  Have you ever considered looking at the police blotter?  Maybe that's why Uncle Zeke or Cousin Edna have been so elusive.  A future project is the "Mug Books from the City of Sacramento Police Department."  Indexing was started but put on hold pending completion of the Will Project.  This book will include the mug shot photos and other information.  Oh my, the stories these photos could tell!
As you can see, Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society is dedicated to making resources and information available to the genealogy community and beyond.  We have reaped from others who have done the same and it is our way to express our gratitude.
Much more information can be gleaned from the original books available for research at the Center for Sacramento History located at 551 Sequoia Pacific Ave., Sacramento, CA 95814.   Appointments must be made by calling 916-808-7072 or email
Marilyn Ulbricht is always looking for volunteers.  According to Ulbricht, "If you have three or four hours a week and would like to participate in our extraction projects, we would encourage you to come join us on Fridays from 9:00a.m. to 12:00 noon.  You will gain far more than you give!"  For further information, please call Marilyn at 916-467-0020.
Submitted by Marilyn Ulbricht
Posted by Denise H. Richmond

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Save the Date: Genealogical DNA Seminar with Katherine Hope Borges

The Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County submitted the following save-the-date announcement:

Genealogical DNA Seminar with Katherine Hope Borges
October 26, 2013
Trinity United Presbyterian Church
1600 Carver Road
Modesto, CA 95350

Katherine Hope Borges is the Co-Founder and Director of The International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG), which promotes and educates about genetic genealogy.  ISOGG has grown to over 8,000 members in 70 countries.

Through ISOGG, Katherine has increased professional standards in the practice, research, and discussion of relevant issues in DNA testing, interpretation, and ethics. She organized a speaker’s bureau and has given many presentations on genetic genealogy to groups across the United States and in the United Kingdom. She administers several surname, regional, and haplogroup DNA projects. 

Katherine currently serves as Chaplain of Turlock Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. She attended Modesto Junior College and California State University, Stanislaus. Katherine was a guest speaker on DNA Genealogy at the 2011 Family History Day at the California State Archives in Sacramento.

Check the Society's website for details.

submitted by Lewis Ruddick
posted by Denise H. Richmond

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Society Saturday - Family Roots Publishing Company at Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Spring Seminar

Image Courtesy Family Roots Publishing Co.
Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that Family Roots Publishing Company will have their genealogy books and related materials available for purchase at the Spring Seminar again this year.

According to owner Leland Meitzler, "Family Roots Publishing will display hundreds of genealogy-related books, and maps, and research guides for sale at the seminar. They will also have selected CD-ROMs, DVDs, and the popular Flip-Pal mobile scanner on sale. They will also demonstrate how to use the Flip-Pal to get the most out of it. This is your chance to actually see and purchase items that you may have only read about before!"

Photo Courtesy Judy Nissila 2012
Last year, seminar attendees flocked to the Family Roots Publishing book tables to browse the extensive supply and make their purchases.  State-specific books, how-to books, and reference books will be available to add to your personal genealogical library.  Book viewing and sales will be open during breaks throughout the day. 

Register now for the Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society Spring Seminar on March 16, 2013 featuring technology and social media expert Thomas MacEntee.  Read more about Thomas here and here.  Read about his topics and print the registration form here.

Hope to see you there!

posted by Denise H. Richmond

Friday, February 1, 2013

RootsMagic Users Group at Sacramento FamilySearch Library

Sacramento FamilySearch Library
Everyone is welcome.
RootsMagic Users Group

Join us at our RootsMagic Users Group meeting is held the 3rd Wednesday of each month 12:00-1:15 pm. Meetings will include: – Webinars – Group Discussions – Demonstrations
Call the Sacramento FamilySearch Library for Reservations 916-487-2090.

Submitted by L Todd
Posted by Ron Setzer