Friday, August 30, 2013

Society Saturday- Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Here is a list of events, aka learning opportunities, we hope you'll take advantage of in September 2013:

Thursday, September 5
Board Meeting, members welcome
Time: 10 am – noon
Location: Sylvan Community Center, 7521 Community Dr, Citrus Heights

Thursday, September 12
Membership Meeting, visitors always welcome
Time: 7 pm – 8:30 pm
Program: "Mining Gold in a County Archives" by John Knox.

Wednesday, September 18
Workshop, visitors always welcome

Program: Share your successful finds and brickwalls.
Topic: Documentation using the Family Tree Maker software program by Jack Banks. 
Time: 1 pm – 3 pm
Location: Sylvan Community Center, 7521 Community Drive, Citrus Heights

Wednesday, September 25
Reunion for Mac Special Interest Group, everyone welcome
Program: Brainstorm solutions to users' problems, questions & explore ins/outs of the best Mac genealogy program. Contact Ron Setzer to be added to our email list. All are welcome. Click Events for details
Time: 10:30 am to 12:30 pm
Location: Family History Center, 2745 Eastern Ave, Sacramento

More Information
We'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about these activities. Leave a Comment on the Blog or drop us a line at See you in September! 

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Virtual Genealogy Fair at the National Archives

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Richard Hanson.

Mark your calendar. One week from now begins the first ever virtual genealogy fair presented by the National Archives. It is a two-day event (Sept. 3 & 4). You can view the presentations on your computer and send in questions.

September 3rd:
  7 a.m. PST – Introduction to Military Records at the
                          National Archives
  8 a.m. PST – Introduction to Genealogy: Civilian
  9 a.m. PST – Alien Files (A-Files)
10 a.m. PST – Native American Records
11 a.m. PST – National Archives Online Resources for Genealogy
12 noon PST – Immigration/Naturalization & Citizenship

September 4th:
  7 a.m. PST – Freedman's Bank
  8 a.m. PST – Military & Civilian Personnel Records: The National Archives
                         at St. Louis
  9 a.m. PST – Civil War Pension Files
10 a.m. PST – Federal Penitentiary Records
11 a.m. PST – U.S. Colored Troops
12 noon PST – Navy Deck Logs
  1 p.m. PST – Chinese Exclusion Acts Case Files

Viewing the streaming video is very easy. You just go to the URL specified in their instructions. It is best to do a test connect prior to 7 a.m. Sept. 3. If there is a problem, you will have time to follow their troubleshooting instructions.

For more information, schedule and connection instructions:

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday's Tip – Sending Return-postage Overseas

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Richard Hanson.
A few of these are still available on eBay.

When writing to an overseas genealogy contact or organization, a key ingredient to getting a response is to enclose return postage. In years past one technique was to purchase an International Reply Coupon (IRC) from your local U.S. Post Office.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Post Office has discontinued sales of such as of January 27 of this year. The reason was declining demand. One contributing factor has been a decline in overseas institutions that accept IRCs. For example, the Hessen-Kassel church archives in German will not accept them. Generally speaking, they want real money in their currency.

The following website contains great guidelines for sending money to Germany. But the options they present really apply almost everywhere.

The website states what you must not do, send U.S. dollars. The unfortunate recipient will have to to go through considerable trouble to convert the currency and pay a heavy fee. The website does recommend the use of money transfer services (XOOM, Money Gram, PayPal). Ideally you should check with the recipient ahead of time to get a recommendation. Not only that, the name used on the payee line must be accurate. If you are after church records, the church and the church's archives are frequently different organizations.

If you have any tips to getting money overseas, please post a comment.

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sentimental Sunday- Final Day of FGS Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward


 Final day at conference in Fort Wayne Indiana, but there is still a lot going on today, people to talk too, exhibitors to see, sessions to go too, one more luncheon and other things to do........ 

"USING THE INTERNET TO RESEARCH SCOTTISH ANCESTRY" with Robert McLaren- Bob is always at the National Conferences and Southern California Jamboree (and I am sure he attends a lot of others) In the exhibit hall he sits with FamilyTreeDNA.

Lots of great supporting information. Finding aids are FamilySearch and Family Search wiki,, Scots Parish List, ScotlandsPlaces, and of course ScotlandsPeople.  For helping with handwriting (omg, it sounds a lot like German)  and oh so much more.     
I can hardly wait to try out these websites and resources. 
 George GARDNER, Jane SMITH from Scotland, and son Harry GARDNER from Glasgow Scotland - BIG mystery since GARDNER doesn't seem to be of Scottish origin.

"AMERICAN RECORDS OVERSEAS: THE UK NATIONAL ARCHIVES" with D Joshua Taylor Sessions, Luncheons and discussions with Josh Taylor are always really good. He is a young man, a the 21sters, who speaks genealogy as a second language. But he brings to the table great ideas, forward thinking and with all the old fashion research options. Very refreshing. Mainly we talked about The National Archives in London England. A lot like our own National Archives except their archives has information on 'the colony's'. I would not have thought about this but it would make sense. Before our independence we were British subjects so all reports about anything were sent back to England and they have preserved a good part of these reports, lists, conflicts, disputes. There is no index of SURNAMES but people are mentioned throughout these papers. You can start by looking up the files that start with CO= colony. Some of the people went to the America's and some came back and some stayed. But then what about the people that didn't go to the America's but waited for their spouse, brother, father to come back.  How exciting! am anxious to look through these resources. Will be searching for my LITTLE & BRISTOL families,  

LUNCHEON: New York Genealogical and Biographical  Society - Stumbling Around New York: How the NYG&B Helped  Me Crack the Case" with D Joshua Taylor ---  Food was not that exciting but the presentation with Josh was great. He went back to his early days (12yo) when he first started getting interested in family roots with his grandmother in New York. He went through how he progressed, the pitfalls, his learning curve, his close relationship with his grandparents. Great stories.

"OVERLOOKED AND UNDERVALUED LOCAL GOVERNMENT RECORDS IN NEW YORK" with Karen Green sponsored by NYGBS ......  more on New York. Yes I have ancestors and family in New York. Basically the LITTLE family... starting in Cuba, Allegany Co, NY and continuing in Dryden, Tompkins Co, & Cortland, Cortland Co, NY. It seems that upper New York (everything but New York City and the 5 boroughs) is difficult to research. Documents and databases were not kept, a lot of the counties did not comply with state laws, and documents and journals and books were passed down to "how ever" and some are in basements, attics, in a spare room of someone's home (boy this is sounding more and more like parts of Pennsylvania). So there are few items indexed and very little digitized. Each county handles this process different and the documents may not be in areas where you would normally find them in other states. Well this really is discouraging. Looks like you will need to go county by county, approaching each one separately. I have had some success in New York but simple items. But she was right information and documents are  not kept where you would imagine.   

"ENGLISH PARISH REGISTERS: HOW TO ACCESS, USE  AND INTERPRET"  with Paul Milner WOW the last session of my day. I almost did not attend, and was going to spend my time in the exhibit hall but the exhibit hall closed mid afternoon so I went. I AM SO GLAD I DID. This was a great session and well worth the time. Paul Milner is a very good speaker with a good sense of humor and really knows his topic. He is Scottish and is from and lives in Scotland. The information we received from him was invaluable. We went through several case studies and looked over many samples of documents. VERY GOOD!! Paul Milner

The FGS Conference has ended. Exhibit hall closed and most everything moved out of that room already. What a great week it has been. Weather was really nice. In my room on the top floor (6th) at the Courtyard faces the Parkview Field ballpark (GO TINCAPS) which gives me a birds eye view of fantastic fireworks each night. What a great way of ending each day.

I will be coming home tomorrow (Sunday). I really have enjoyed my time here but am looking forward to coming home ......I am pooped Out energized to go through my syllabus and notes and do some family research with some success

.NOTE: limited time special offer through FindMyPast  for $79 (50% off) = 12 month World subscription [code: FORTWAYNE]


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Friday, August 23, 2013

Saturday Shopping at FGS Conference

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward


"FINDING YOUR GERMAN ANCESTORS USING US RESOURCES" with G David Dilts sponsored by FamilySearch.  (but also wanted to attend "Effective Use of ScotlandsPeople Website" with Paul Miner)  OK OK I stuck with the Germans. Someway, someday I will find out that elusive German hometown in Bavaria and in Hessen-Darmstadt - George and Caroline DIETZ immigrated in the mid to late 1860's traveling through Baltimore, Maryland ending up in Allegheny City, Allegheny Co, Pennsylvania........  but so far it is not happening. So you see I need all the German instruction I can get. This turned out to be a beginners session, but that is ok,  I can't go wrong going back to basics, looking through the documents and paperwork I already have. I am hoping to find a living relative but not today. The speaker really emphasized checking all your home sources. Unfortunately I don't really have any home sources for this family.  Good session, good speaker. 

"THE OHIO HISTORICAL SOCIETY AS A REPOSITORY OF GENEALOGICAL RECORDS" with Elizabeth L Plummer sponsored by OHS. I was very impressed how active they are in the state, Then it turns out that they are the official repository for the State of Ohio- similar to our own State Archives. They remind me a little of the Center for Sacramento History - maybe 20 years ago. They are slowly getting collections indexed and some digitized, but most of their collections are not indexed so nothing online, you would need to visit in person. They are physically located in Columbus Ohio. Excellent resource if I ever get back there to research. It would be a white glove visit. If anyone is thinking about going in the near future always call first  (614-297-2510).

 "HANSEL AND GRETEL: FINDING OUR GERMAN ANCESTORS' TRAIL HOME with Tamra Stanfield sponsored by FamilySearch. Again, another German session........ A lot of the same as the first session, just presented a little different. I need to read her handouts and gleam some of the tips she was talking about,  Also a good session and a good speaker.

LUNCHEON: Indiana Genealogical Society (IGS) - The Indiana Genealogical Society: A Case in Thriving" with Curt Witcher............ Again what a character and such a fun speaker. He spoke all about the Indiana Genealogical Society. I am very impressed with this organization and all it is doing and going to do. They are a state organization and have 92 chapters - one for each county in Indiana. 1812 Project was also discussed. Their organization did the same as Root Cellar SGS by challenging their members to donate to the 1812 Project and they would match up to $10,000,  well like us, they exceeded that match and decided they would match everything that came in till this conference. So they ended up with approx. a $23,000 donation plus that will also be matched by OUTSTANDING WORK!!  Oh remember I told you yesterday that FGS has set aside $50,000  as matching funds for the 1812 Project and that they would like to raise $20,000 of it during the conference......... well earlier today they were only about $1500 short of this goal. Very impressive.  

"LOC.GOV: GOV: USING OUR NATION'S LIBRARY ONLINE" with Laura Prescott .... I still think that the Library of Congress has wonderful 'stuff' but it is very difficult to maneuver through the maze of pages. But I will try again, she has left us with some good tools.  

"EVERNOTE FOR EVERY GENEALOGIST" with Cyndi Ingle Howells.... and another character. [we were in between sessions when the building alarm went off and we were told this was an emergency - everyone out of the convention center. So we went quickly causing all sorts of traffic problems outside. Too many people for the sidewalks so they spilled out into the streets, traffic stopped. As soon as most were out of the building, they let us back in again.......  just a test]  Well as it turns out we got back in time for sessions to start back as normal........ I am determined that I am going to learn this program/ app and use it effectively. Need to d/l the program to my laptop so I can use it in the cloud and from my iphone and ipad. There are several ad on apps to enhance the program. Think of it as a file cabinet.......your can create over 250 notebooks but there is no layering, one level so using tabs takes care of that. You have up to 10 ,000 different tabs and each notebook can hold up to 10 different tabs. Amazing.  Oh technology!! Now lets see if I can  talk the walk.

"METHODS FOR IDENTIFYING THE GERMAN ORIGINS OF AMERICAN IMMIGRANTS" with Michael Lacopo  Roots4U  --YES one more time. It is German day for Sandi. We went over a little of the history. When we say our ancestors are from Germany, Are they really? There are a lot of German speaking countries in Europe...... Switzerland, France, Austria, Tyrol, Bohemia, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland and probably others. You really need to know the history of Germany....  it has been many things and broken into a lot of small entities over the years.

6-pm Allen County Public Library/ Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana co-hosts of the FGS 2013 Conference, invite conference attendees to "Journey Through the Generations with Our Veterans" a special after hours event sponsored by FamilySearch  AND the library has extended their hours to midnight for those researchers that are still awake. Tired YES but I wanted to be able to use the library one last time. They did have a special program planned. The raffle for the quilt was done. No we didn't win it. Beautiful quilt. AND then they had a drawing for an all expense paid 2014 registration for the San Antonio Texas Conference  which includes hotel expenses. Wasn't that nice. A Southern California Genealogical Society Member won. She is a great volunteer and it is nice to see good stuff coming back around and repaying your good services.

Just wanted to show my respect for a past member of Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society and an FGS member and speaker. Again FGS has dedicated a memorial session to Chuck Knuthson . The Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture honors Chuck Knuthson who was an FGS board member, FGS Vice-President of Administration, FGS treasurer and a friend to everyone he met in the genealogical community. A police captain by profession, Chuck was a professional genealogist who researched for more than thirty years. After a courageous three-year battle with cancer, Chuck passed away in 2008. Chucks primary genealogical interests included German research and involving young people in family history.

FGS is pleased that Teresa S McMillin, CG is "honored to have my lecture, "He Took Her Name: Understanding German Farm Names," as the 2013 Chuck Knuthson Memorial Lecture. Thank You for this opportunity , I think that this lecture is fitting as a memorial to Chuck because of his interest in German genealogy. I believe he would appreciate a unique topic such as this as his memorial lecture.

 Also included is a Memorial Lecture in the name of  James Dent Walker and another Distinguished Lecture in the name of  Helen F. M. Leary.

I was back in my room by 9:30p. I wouldn't be able to make it to midnight and then get up for tomorrow's sessions.  


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fridays Faces From the Past ----- FGS Conference

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

This day started with a lot of  "rock and roll" .......  just trying to stay in my seat was almost impossible, I wanted to jump up and a little twisting and shouting......... The keynote session this morning was "HAPPY BIRTHDAY,  SWEET SIXTY: THE ROOTS OF ROCK & ROLL AND      1950's AMERICA the" with Richard Aquilla, This talk traced roots of rock & roll showing that early rock & roll reflected the 1950 ' ie: switchblades, leather jackets, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard. I found I had a bounce in my walk and the music going through head while my fingers were still snapping away as the session ended. Most of those days were gooooooood times!!

 Exhibit Hall Opened as the keynote opening session ended.........

Kathryn Doyle from California Genealogical Society out of Oakland CA.
 I added this flyer of hers because I really liked it, it is very unique . Great job Kathryn.

and the next table over is Paula Hinkel from the Southern California Genealogical Society (JAMBOREE co-chair) Congratulations to Paula and her fabulous Jamboree Committee - FGS awarded Southern California Genealogical Society an "Award of  Merit in recognition of their vision in conference event planning and creating year round benefits for a global audience" WOW! and I do WOW! I am very impressed but it is all true. Big round of applause! The Jamboree is a top, professional conference, improving and growing every year.


Are you still indexing? Do you want to try and just don't know where to start? Give me a call or drop me an email. Every bit of indexing helps to complete projects and get those documents out to the public.  

Do you use US GenWeb? I use it all the time for a lot of different reasons.  Check out the state and county you are interested it. Did you know that the whole project is run by volunteers? Yes it is. What a remarkable thing.

This was a very different but very good session. "HOMETOWN HEAVEN: DISCOVERING EUROPEAN HOMETOWNS in the IMMIGRANT ANCESTORS PROJECTS" with Jill Crandell, a Professor at the Center at BYU. This session was sponsored by the Center for Famiy History and Genealogy at BYU.
This an amazing project being done by students through donations supervised by Jill Crandell. What an amazing job she has. The project is now in its 13th year and going strong. We watched a video past and present students going through the process.  Center for Family History and Genealogy  The point of this project is indexing Emmigration Records from around the world that may show those hometowns. I have been trying to find my German ancestors hometown for years. Now at least I have another resource to check out. The input of new records continues everyday, so continue to check back if you don't find anything. This is a wonderful project. There are other projects on the website. All databases are FREE. I can hardly wait to check out the website and all the databases.  Good Luck!
LUNCH was good. Service not so good. The luncheon was sponsored by the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH): "There and Back Again: Your British Ancestors on the Move"  with Audrey Collins. Enjoyable, good hearing about her family and their movements throughout the British Isles.

"Going Nuclear: DNA Discoveries to Trace All Lines of Descent" with Debbie Parker Wayne. I was thinking it was an intermediate session on DNA .... Debbie is a good speaker and really knows her stuff I just thought it would be a little more advanced. ...  unfortunately it was more like a beginner session. It was a good refresher but not what I expected. Remember DNA is not a magic bullet, you still have to research the old fashion way.

I took a breather for the rest of the afternoon and played in the Exhibit Hall.. ....  talked to representatives of the Ohio Genealogical Society (my home base GO BUCKEYE's), the Ohio Historical Society (handing out little post-it pads in the shape of the state of Ohio) , Pennsylvania Genealogical Society ( second home base- made a new friend - yeaaaa!), spoke with friends in the Ancestry booth, sat in on a demo of the wiki & learning center at the FamilySearch booth, also sat for awhile and did some more indexing (so how many of you are still continuing to index? - lots of projects to choose from.  Marilyn  this will put a smile on your face -I indexed Immigration cards from Wisconsin-  thank goodness they were all typed- the names were brutal).

Can you believe the numbers below.....  the indexing continues with or without you. But it would be better with you.

 .... visited with JustaJoy booth.  Incredible work they are doing. If you are not familiar with this organization go and visit. They have been approached to do a weekly reality show. How exciting for them.

 Oh information is out for RootsTech 2014 and the discounted cost is $139-  February 6-8, 2014         Salt Lake City, Utah. Early bird price is good till September 9 with promo code RT14ECLSV. This will be the best price this year. Take advantage now.


.... visited with FGS booth and made another small donation to the 1812 Project (yes I am a soft touch for a good cause. How about you?)......... announcement of the FGS 2014 Conference "Gone to Texas" August 27-30, 2014 San Antonio Texas. I understand they have a large and fully stocked genealogical library with items from all over the country and some from the world. (Hey Sammie Is that true?)

Shopped at Family Roots Publishing Co/ Meitzlers (you may recall they have been our book vendor  for our Spring Seminar for several years) Yes, I found a couple of books to bring home with me.. A big surprise  - this is their last conference outside of Utah. They are considering becoming a " .com". Special thanks to the whole Meitzler family for all they have done for us over the yearsat.
Talking with the National Genealogical Society (NGS)......  save the date: 7-10 May 2014 Richmond Virginia for the 2014 NGS Family History Conference-  The First Frontier.   
Lots of good stuff in the Exhibit Hall. A lot of prizes given away tonight but my numbers were not called. Well, there is always tomorrow and the next day.
and finally Root Cellar SGS has a presence here at this National Conference. Our Library flyer and our  Publications flyer are both out on display in the society area. (Mary Anne you might want to have more copies made plus more membership forms- I will be coming home empty handed) 
Sorry for the length but couldn't see where to cut it, or what to cut, so many things going on, and so many things to tell you about. I hope you don't mind.
Tomorrow is another full day of conference and night at the library. 
Nite ! ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Thursday Treasure Chest - Society Day at FGS Conference

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

This was an early morning with a special Society Leadership Breakfast sponsored by FindMyPast.

Cyndi Howell - you know her best by Cyndi's List was keynote speaker this morning speaking about " IS YOUR SOCIETY WEBSITE ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE? You know as well as I do that our website (or any website) is usually the first contact people have with our society (or any society). We need to remember that the Internet is always changing.  How does our website measure up? How many of you are on the website, checking out what is new, what the program will be, who the next speaker or program is, what was the last book that we produced? Looked at any of the digitized Preserves or Geni-Grams lately? Cyndi talked about the look of each of our websites, what should be included on every page, so do's and don'ts on a website. A website should be updated weekly, or monthly but at least quarterly.  It needs to be maintained, updated and be active so that your members and outsiders will come back.

I appreciate some of  the board member voting on what society day sessions would be beneficial for our society? It was a difficult choice since most of the sessions had great stuff to offer a society. So I just had to tally up which sessions got the most votes and go, So here goes.........  thanks.

FINDING AND KEEPING VOLUNTEERS with Amy Johnson Crow & sponsored by We all need more volunteers, but do you just need volunteers or Mr./ Mrs. right. The right person for the right job. What do you need volunteers for, what skills are needed, time requirements, is there a job description, make sure you and the volunteer understand what needs to be done. Have a write up of the task so that the person can take it home and think about it. In the newsletter, website, blog make sure that this is written up with the job description, & contact information. There are also associated people (spouses and children and grandchildren) that maybe able to qualify for some the tasks. ie: they don't need to know about family group sheets etc to help move boxes in the There are always associated groups like library, historical society that may have similar missions may be able to partner with us to complete a task or project. And there are community groups like Boy/Girl Scouts and churches that maybe available to help with a project. Something that would benefit them and benefits the community.

Curt is an excellent speaker, a little off the beaten path but always makes complete sense. SOS does stand for Saving our Societies and also Stuck on Stupid, feeling that a lot of problems that societies have is self inflicted. One form of insanity is to do the same thing but expecting something different. Technology is here and this is how the next generation (21sters - under 40) communicate and bottom line in order to engage them we need to see that this whole thing is FUN and SUCCESSFUL for them. Given a choice, people won't engage when they don't feel successful and don't have fun. Social media (facebook, twitter and others) is a big part of their everyday life. When issues come up, ask Who Cares? or So What? Change is good - service is better. Think Big! You can typically do more than you think you can do and so can your society. Put the organization in the best position to see and be seen. Be proactive and be there before you have to be there. It is not about you, get over yourself - collectively the society is more than the individual. 

LUNCHEON- FOCUS ON SOCIETIES- DELEGATE PIT STOP: TUNE UP YOUR SOCIETY - Curt Witcher spoke about the 1812 Program. They have collected about one third of the money needed. There are 7.2 million pages digitized and 10% of them (about 100,000) are free up online for you to view. Check it out, it could be your ancestor's papers that have been completed.  As I said yesterday, FGS board voted to put $50,000 aside which they will match with donations received this conference. Their goal is to raise $20,000 during the conference. Doable? Well they have already collected over $9,000 with donations that have come in on registration forms. Pretty good Now Ancestry will match that so you can see how this goal is very possible. They are asking that delegates take the challenge back to their society's. Recognize special efforts. Support important efforts. Promote your favorite efforts, Recognize the work being done.
George Morgan (you remember George from our own seminar)....... he also spoke about delegates and their importance to FGS and to their societies. He also conducted what is called a Delegate Shout Out...... and it is just that, delegates get to brag and let the room what they are most proud of for this year- oh my lots of different activities going on all over the country including a lot of indexing and extractions ......  I bragged about the completion of our 20 book Coroner's Records Project with Marilyn Ulbricht leading us for the past 5 years. I am very proud of our participation in this project. Thanks Marilyn for your dedication.

BREAKING OUT OF THE BOX: CREATIVE THINKING FOR YOUR SOCIETY-- Amy Johnson Crow (again)  Sorry there were a lot of visuals in this session and hard to translate into words. We did some brainstorming about a problem given........ and finding out that we really didn't get the  actual problem. You need to really define a problem. You cannot solve a problem if you don't know what the problem is. Some questions to ask "Ask why not? What is the worst that would happen? Why are we doing this? Is it really a problem? If you need to brainstorm, do it another place rather than the same place you meet. It is felt that going somewhere else gives you a different outlook. When you brainstorm you need all  need to agree that all suggestions are taken and without judgment or without analyzing.  There is another method of problem solving called Scamper Method. (stands for Substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to other uses, eliminate, rearrange).
A website for fundraising I want to check out is Kickstart. Others were familiar with it and one has actually used it, and Paula Stuart Warren is using it right now. Everyone has nothing for great things to say.  

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE: CREATING YOUR SOCIETY'S  LONG RANGE STRATEGIC PLAN (2 hours) with Josh Taylor. I have to say this was a very enlightening 2 hour session. I have been through strategic planning with the City of Citrus Heights but never with our society. Isn't this something we should have done over the last few years?  Strategic Planning is like a roadmap - with goals and benchmarks (measured and taking ownership). Goals should be short term and long term. How do you know you are successful?  Did you engage your members? Did your society move forward? We all participated in SWOT session.  SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. We spent over half the time on this exercise, A lot of the audience had others from their societies so they were able to do a good exercise together. I see the value in this exercise but it would be better to have a facilitator/someone neutral to conduct this exercise. 

OPENING SOCIAL - 6:30pm at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical  Conservatory  ........... sponsored by FIndMyPast  Lots of great prizes. Weather is great. Several music groups playing on the grounds and a light buffet is served. Very nice!

Yes, You know me, I am very proud of my association with Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.  I always bring my Root Cellar T-shirt and my  swingers, Swingers are a great ice breaker. Today of all the days was perfect to wear my t-shirt and swingers.

Nothing like relaxing after a great day and a nice buffet dinner, knitting and listening to great music under the stars, Weather is great.
Nite!! zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wednesday Workday - LIBRARY DAY

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

 Hey guess what was waiting for me at the library when I arrived this morning?  YES all my books were just as I left them the night before and waiting for me...... awesome! I just sat down and started working, rather than running down the same books, hoping someone else doesn't have one or more already, gathering them up and getting settled to work. I love it. Why can't other library's do the same thing. This is so cool !!! 
AND,,,,,,,,  I had another great day at the library.  A lot more information, and confirmation of some marriages, some births and a couple of deaths with my New Haven, Connecticut families (Bristol, Trowbridge, Beardsley, Browne, Pecke, Blakeslee, Sperry, Lamberton)

Are you ready? It is time to show off this wonderful library.....


The Genealogical Center is located on the second floor of the Allen County Public Library. You are looking at the entrance. Yes those are metal detectors you pass through as you enter. No fear, they are more worried about materials leaving so be very careful.

First thing you see is the ASK HERE Center to the left. AND they know their stuff. All the maps and information about the library are available here too.

Looking straight ahead are more tables set up than usual. These are resource and reading tables, not wired up, just tables and chairs. And they have really been needed the last two days.

Turning off to the left is a HUGE research room, The tables are wired for computers and other devices (some of outlets actually work). As you look straight ahead you will see nothing but shelves and shelves of books 

Hard to show the whole room but this is the HUGE research room I was referring too and it has been full both days.  Each person seems to have half a dozen to a dozen books next to them at any one time.  And no re-shelving for patrons. I would hate to be the re-shelving staff - the carts seem to always have books in them that need to be re-shelved. Amazing work they do!! 

Only one of many copy stations and they are always busy. Oh duh! It is different than the old days when you carry pocket full of coins for copying, You now get an actual copy card  and you add money to it, The copier recognizes the card. NO refunds from the card. Just put it in a safe spot for a return visit. No,  their card does not work in Salt Lake City. Too bad. 

Heading down that aisle past the research room........  as I said shelves and shelves of books. On the right are moveable shelves. You see one row of many rows. I think they may call these the stacks. Unbelievable how huge this place is and then they add people to complete the mix,

I opened one of the shelves -  you are looking through the moving shelving and you can see that it goes on and on and on

...and if you look left when entering the library you will be looking at another large research room. These are wired tables. NICE. And there are dozens of actual computer stations with working computers. If you don't have a library card (and of course I don't) you can get a temporary card to access the computers, You are limited to  60 minutes at a time 10x in one day. And then you get a new card the next day etc...  There are also copiers in this room too.
And now we come to the MicroText area

Just a small view of all they have on film and fisch.

Microfilm and Microfisch cabinets......  WOW I am impressed.

More aisles and shelves of books..............
........and more-  MORE is better. Hope this was a good representation of the library. You will need to check out their online catalog to appreciate their holdings.
I do have to say that the staff (all staff) have been wonderful. They are friendly and very helpful. They are bracing for the coming days of the conference. It should be really really crowded.
Did I mention that the library will be open until midnight Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
I have to also say that the rest of the library is pretty awesome too.
And here we are at a special gathering at the convention center for  delegates. This is something new that they want to continue each year. Food, drink and socializing, Josh Taylor, President of FGS, led the evening with announcements and a short meeting (something about being mandatory) FGS had their board meeting last night and as an organization they have put $50,000 aside it is ear marked as matching funds for the 1812 digitizing program. WOW! $50,000 to match!!  They hope to raise $20,000 over the conference time. BIG GOAL! Let see how it goes. George Morgan is the membership chair.  I think there were over 50 delegates from society's all over the country. I sat next to Paula Hinkel (Jamboree), and Kathryn Doyle (CGS), Paula Stuart Warren (FGS chair & speaker) (ok ok enough name dropping for today)

 Time to climb into bed.....  tomorrow is going to be another long day and I want to enjoy every minute. .......  Society Day.  Nite .....................................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Travel Tuesday - Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

I have arrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Long day of travel on Sunday- up by 3:00am, dress, last items to pack, something to eat, and off we go to the Sacramento International Airport (yeh!). Did you know that there is literally no one at the airport at 4:15am,,,,,,,, wow! check in baggage and through security in no time at all with no one pushing me along. Easy time, just got to forget what time it is.
United flight was on time and I arrived in Chicago on time. That is good because I need all the time I can get to walk from one side of their airport to the other side. Exhausted, I arrived at the departure gate, but I could have taken even more time since the flight was delayed. Of course it was delayed, the plane had not arrived yet. So almost an hour late, we took off and arrived in Fort Wayne.

Free shuttle from the airport. It was full and of course everyone is coming for the conference, What else is there? The Courtyard Downtown Fort Wayne Hotel is really nice. The hotel and the convention center are connected with a skywalk OR you can step out the front door of the hotel and walk a half block. The Allen County Public Library is about a block further (on the other side of the convention center) Weather is great, not too hot, not too cold, JUST RIGHT!! (but I will bet that my weather is a little more comfortable than Sacramento- too bad, you too could have come to the party.

Today I got a late start but why push myself this early in the week. Shower, breakfast and then off to the country's second largest genealogical library.

For those that have not visited you will have a treat when you do come. It is well worth the time and effort. Just ask Glenda, Sammie, Marilyn -they will tell you. Anyway, I spent the day at the library. I left tonight at 9pm as they were locking the doors. Yes I did find some great books on New Haven, Connecticut - vital records, ancient families, then and now of New Haven in pictures and more. So like I remember, I stacked my books that I wanted to keep that I had not finished with yet, up on the table where I was sitting today with a 8x11 paper covering them  - it says

 "Please leave these books ,Do not shelve them.  I will be returning in the morning. Thank you Sandra Benward."

 I have been assured that my books will be waiting for me in the morning, HOORAY!!!

Today I've seen George Morgan, Josh Taylor and Cindi Howell. (Ok that was my name dropping for the day.)  It is hard to believe how full the library is already -lots of people have decided to come early. (like me)  We will be elbow to elbow, toe to toe by Wednesday. Good news the library will be open till midnight Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,

I will take you on a short tour of the library tomorrow. Otherwise I will be glued to my chair in the library most of the day.

Check in for the Conference will be starting at 3pm through 7pm and then a gathering of the society delegates (that's me).

Nite all......  .ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!

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