30 March 2010

Who Do You Think You Are: Brooke Shields on Friday April 2

This Week’s Episode – Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields’ episode is the most royal of the series, taking viewers to New Jersey, Rome, and Paris. In the episode, Brooke seeks to learn more about her father’s aristocratic roots and to learn the origins of the “Torlonia” family name. Watch for Brooke’s visit to the New Jersey State Archives in Newark and the New York Historical Society.

Check out the teaser featuring Brooke Shields, and tune into NBC for the full episode on Friday at 8/7c.

Last Week’s Episode – Matthew Broderick
In last week’s episode, award-winning actor and performer Matthew Broderick set out to learn more about his father’s side of the family. Matthew begins his journey by visiting battlefield grounds of north-eastern France, where he finds out his grandfather served as a medic in World War I. Matthew is surprised to learn that through his grandfather’s heroic military sacrifice, he was awarded the Purple Heart and recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross. But Matthew’s military roots don’t stop there. On a trip to Connecticut, Matthew discovers his great-great-grandfather served in the Civil War and fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. The last leg of Matthew’s journey leads him to Marietta, Georgia, where he visits his great-great-grandfather’s grave site and also solves a 150-year-old mystery.

If you missed the episode, watch it here.

Who Do You Think You Are: Change in Episode Schedule

NBC has altered a few of the Who Do You Think You Are? episode dates. The updated schedule, provided by Suzanne Russo Adams of Ancestry.com is as follows:
-          April 2nd – Brooke Shields
-          April 9th – Sarah Jessica Parker (Repeat)
-          April 16th – No episode
-          April 23rd – Susan Sarandon
-          April 30th – Spike Lee

27 March 2010

Ch'ing Ming Festival at Evergreen Cemetery on April 3, 2010

We received the following notice from The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California:

You are invited to attend the Ch’ing Ming Festival hosted by CHSSC
Saturday, April 3, 2010, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights
204 North Evergreen Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Enter from Evergreen Avenue and go all the way back, where the Chinese Shrine is. The festival free and open to the public. A light lunch will be served.

The Ch’ing Ming festival is a traditional Chinese holiday that goes back several centuries. Families gather to honor their ancestors by sweeping their graves and making offerings such as food and paper money. It was believed that the ancestors' spirits have to be at peace and that the spirits of those who are not taken care of could cause trouble in the mortal world.

At this year’s festival, there will be a traditional Taoist ceremony to honor all those at the cemetery. Also, the Taoist master will set up several altars, including an altar to honor the graves that were unearthed during the Gold Line excavation (a memorial wall dedicated in the memory of these people is also in the same area of the cemetery).

The second part of the festival will feature the tradition of “grave sweeping.” Participants will walk over to the grave of Donaldina Cameron and help clean her plot.

Ms. Cameron is credited with the rescuing of thousands of Asian women, who were either being held as domestic slaves and prostitutes back in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

Along with tipping off police of illegal activities and sometimes going on police raids herself, she also maintained a women’s shelter, where women could live and where they were taught basic skills.

During the grave sweeping, the grandchildren of people who knew Ms. Cameron personally will share the stories their grandparents told them about her. While it is not completely clear why Ms. Cameron was buried in Los Angeles and not San Francisco, where she carried out her work, Ms. Cameron was very close to her sisters and the burial plot they are all buried in is one of her sister’s husband’s family’s plot.

About THE CHINESE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: CHSSC was created to discover and recognize our pioneers and their history. CHSSC strives to increase awareness of Chinese American heritage through public programs and research. The Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, 11 Bernard St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 • 323.222.0856    CHSSC.org • CHSSC@hotmail.com

26 March 2010

Used Book Sale - April 3, 2010

Put this event on your calendar right now -- don't miss the Spring SCGS Used Book Sale. Thousands of volumes of fiction, non-fiction and children's selections are up for adoption at bargain prices.

You may also donate your gently used books to SCGS. Bring them to the SCGS Library at 417 Irving Drive during office hours before March 31.  Open Saturday March 27 10am-4pm, Tuesday March 30 10am-9pm, and Wednesday March 31 10am-4pm.

No advanced dealer sales.

25 March 2010

Time Travel using The Internet Wayback Machine

Have you ever looked for a favorite website only to find it missing?  It's frustrating, but never fear.  Turn to the Wayback Machine.

The Internet Archive (aka the Wayback Machine) takes snapshots of websites and keeps them for future reference.  The SCGS website has been archived nearly 200 times since October 1, 1999.

It was fun to go back and see the past Jamboree lineups, indexing projects, queries.  The December 2, 2001, copy included the second Family History Writing Contest and the kickoff of the CA-SCGS email list.  Some things are very different, but others are very much the same.

Take a trip back in time and check to see if your favorite website has been archived on the Wayback Machine.  Click on the link and enter the SCGS website address, http://www.scgsgenealogy.com.

24 March 2010

Who Do You Think You Are: Matthew Broderick on March 26

This week’s episode takes a different turn with award-winning actor and performer Matthew Broderick, who sets out to discover more about his father’s side of the family, whom he never knew. As he learns about his ancestors’ heroic military service and sacrifice, Matthew gets closer than he ever imagined to Captain Robert Shaw, who he portrayed in the epic Civil War movie Glory. Watch for Matthew’s visit to the National Archives in New York City, the Connecticut State Archives, and the Marietta National Cemetery in Georgia.

Check out the teaser featuring Matthew Broderick, and tune into NBC for the full episode on Friday at 8/7c.

Last Week’s Episode

Last week’s episode starring Lisa Kudrow was one of the most riveting of the series. In it, Lisa visits the small shtetl of Ilya, Belarus, where her great-grandmother was executed during the Holocaust. Lisa’s father always wondered what happened to Yuri, a cousin who had escaped from Ilya to Poland and who delivered the news of Lisa’s great-grandmother’s death, but was never heard from again. On a visit to Gdynia, Poland, to discover Yuri’s true fate, Lisa is shocked to learn that Yuri was still alive! Despite the tragic history Lisa uncovers, the episode ends with a silver lining – a beautiful reunion between the two families that had been separated by the tragedies of the Holocaust.

If you missed the episode, watch it here.

22 March 2010

That Next Trip to France

So you've done your research tracing your American ancestors back to French Canada and now you realize that you need to go further back to France.

This past Sunday’s (March 21, 2010) French-Canadian Heritage Society of California’s (FCHSC) meeting at the Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) Library in Burbank, entitled “From Here to There – Researching in France” was not to be missed.

The lecture, prepared by Raymonde Motil and Elaine Boulay, contained details on some of the major historical events that occurred in France such as the Black Plague and reign of Napoleon. In addition, those in attendance learned that genealogists can take advantage of numerous civil and religious French records. “Civil records are found at the departmental and communal levels,” reported Motil. She went on to say that “In part due to Napoleon’s insistence on organization, communal records were collected at the departmental level in a standard format. Look for additional goodies at the communal level.” The positive message was that between civil and church records there at many sources available to cross-reference and produce well-sourced genealogies.

For some, attempts to plan a trip to France may be daunting due to high travel costs and a large amount of time off. The fantastic news is that 60 to 70% of the aforementioned records are held in the Family History Library on microfilm. Take advantage of the SCGS Library’s designation as a FamilySearch Center and order microfiche and microfilm for delivery directly to the SCGS Library.

Come to the SCGS Library on any Wednesday from 10am to 4pm to receive assistance with your French-Canadian research needs.

The French-Canadian Heritage Society of California is affiliated with the Southern California Genealogical Society. The primary purpose is to foster an interest in French-Canadian heritage by researching our French-Canadian ancestors as well as helping others research theirs, and by supporting and making available to the public one of the largest collections of French-Canadian genealogical material in the country.

(c) Heidi Ziegler, SCGS Board member

Write Your Names on the Virtual Surname Wall

It's free. It's open to the public. It could hold the key to unlocking that family mystery. What is it? It's the Virtual Surname Wall, sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society. Genealogists from all over the world can add names to the Wall. Add your names today!

21 March 2010

In Memoriam: Beth Maltbie Uyehara

We are sad to announce that Beth Uyehara passed away on March 6, 2010. Her blog carried the following note:
Elizabeth ("Beth") Maltbie Uyehara passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 6, 2010. Her niece and friends were with her for most of her brief hospital stay. They kept her company and shared her last moments, witnessing her passing in a very serene way.

Her husband, Paul, was able to see her before she passed away and is devastated without her. Family members are staying close to him to help him cope and learn to live without her physical being.

Her memory and spirit will be with us forever.

Elizabeth or Beth was such a loving, warm, vibrant, humorous and strong person. We will miss her, but will always feel her presence.

Beth spent thirteen years at the Los Angeles Times, working as a feature writer and section editor for the advertising supplements department. She was introduced to genealogy while editing the genealogy columns of nationally syndicated columnist, Myra Vanderpool Gormley, and began researching her own roots in 1995. In 2003, Beth won first place in the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors contest, and her winning article was subsequently published in Ancestry magazine (read it online here). She was featured in the second season of Ancestors on PBS, and her article leads off the PBS companion book, In Search of Our Ancestors: 101 Inspiring Stories of Serendipity and Connection in Rediscovering Our Family History.

Beth was a dedicated, active supporter of the Southern California Genealogical Society.  The results of her dedication to the Society, creative ability, and commitment to excellence are apparent in many programs and projects that bear her unmistakable mark.

Hoping to return the Searcher to its glory days, the Society recruited Beth to lead the effort. Armed with her journalism expertise, acquired as an editor with the Los Angeles Times, penchant for detail, creative eye, and enthusiastic spirit, she succeeded in developing this publication into one that would win awards for its quality, content, and appearance. Although Beth will be the first to say she didn’t do it alone, those of us who worked with her will argue strongly that it was her vision, her determination, and her ability to get others to meet her stringent requirements that facilitated the improvement of the Searcher.

To help generate articles for The Searcher and to build interest in family history writing, she initiated the GENEii Family History Writing Contest which has been sponsored by SCGS for the past 10 years.  She and Jean Snow were instrumental in the formation of the SCGS Writers Group, and she produced the Family History Writers Conference that was held in 2007.

She compiled the best of the GENEii submissions and in 2006 edited and spearheaded the publication of Celebrating Family History - An Anthology.  She also wrote The Zen of Genealogy:  The Lighter Side of Genealogy.

Perhaps her most enduring contribution will be 1890 Project.  Beth and Louise Calaway spearheaded the project to replace the Los Angeles County 1890 Census, which was lost to fire and mishandling in the 1920's and 1930's.  This project has already spawned the publication of several indexes and will be an ongoing tribute to Beth.

As a personal note, I will miss Beth's wry, self-deprecating sense of humor.  If you didn't know Beth, take a few minutes to get to know her through her blog posts. There, you can view the artwork that she created in the past few years (see photo below, provided by Jean Snow). Once you get to know her, you're likely to miss her too. 

A memorial in Beth’s name has been established by SCGS.  The basic online donation is $10.  Your contribution can be made in any amount by adjusting the number of $10 donations you would like to make.

18 March 2010

Who Do You Think You Are: Lisa Kudrow on Friday, March 19

It appears the success of the Who Do You Think You Are? premiere wasn’t just a one-hit wonder. In fact, more Americans tuned in to watch the second episode than the first!

This Week’s Episode
You won’t want to miss this week’s episode. Lisa Kudrow sets out to learn the hard truth about what really happened to her Jewish ancestors who remained behind in Belarus during World War II. Despite the cold details of how the Holocaust impacted her family, Lisa’s episode ends with a silver lining.

Last Week’s Episode

Faced with the obstacles that surround African American family history research, football legend Emmitt Smith sets out to learn about his enslaved ancestors. The trail takes him to Monroe County, Alabama, where Emmitt traces his family back to his 3rd great-grandfather, Prince Puryear. Prince is found in the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, along with several other Puryears – including one 55-year old woman named “Mariah.” Emmitt calls it destiny when the family historian uses Book 22 (his jersey number) to confirm Mariah is Prince’s mother. Mariah then leads Emmitt on a journey that introduces him to the slave trade in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. Seeking his African origins, Emmitt takes a DNA test that guides him to the shores of Africa.

17 March 2010

Civil War Medal of Honor Ceremony May 15

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

Sgt. Benjamin F. Youngs (1844-1927) of the U.S. Army Volunteer 1st Michigan Sharpshooters received the Medal of Honor during the Civil War.

Military funeral honors and unveiling of his MOH headstone will be on Saturday, May 15th at 11:00 am at the Odd Fellows Cemetery, 3640 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023.

Sgt. Youngs family will be in attendance. They will be traveling from England, Canada and several states.

For more information, directions or how you can participate in this event, please contact the California Medal of Honor Project at blackrose@inbox.com.

15 March 2010

French Focus at SCGS March 13 and March 21

The spotlight this week is shining on French-Canadian research.  The Lunch 'N' Learn on Saturday, March 13, was a triple-header learning opportunity.  Presenting were SCGS President, Pam Wiedenbeck, and Board members Charlotte Bocage and Joan Phillips.  These experienced researchers are all active in the French-Canadian Heritage Society of California, which is headquartered at the SCGS Family Research Library.  The photo above is of Pam in action, speaking about church records, and her attentive students.

On Sunday, March 21, the French-Canadian Heritage Society of California (FCHSC) will meet at the SCGS Library, 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA 91504.  The organization's primary purpose is to foster an interest in our common French-Canadian, Acadian, and French heritage by researching our ancestors and helping others to research theirs. FCHSC sponsors the French Heritage DNA Project as a way to honor French ancestry.  Read more about the group at www.fchsc.org and check out the DNA project at www.frenchdna.org.  Contact the group at fchsc@scgsgenealogy.com.  The meeting is open to the public, and beginners are welcome.

Sunday's schedule of activities is:
11 a.m. - Noon “From Here to There – Researching in France” by Raymonde Motil & Elaine Boulay
Noon - 1 p.m. Social hour with potluck lunch
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Demo of the FCHSC database with over 35,000 surnames – Joan Phillips
2 p.m. - 3 p.m. “Hands-on” research assistance from our team of experts
Join us for one activity or stay the entire time.
Public welcome!

For one-on-one assistance with the talented and skilled French-Canadian researchers, stop by the SCGS Library on Wednesday from 10am to 4pm.  You'll find a strong collection of resource materials and a friendly, helpful group of people just waiting to help you track down your French-Canadian family.  Tell 'em the blog sent you!

14 March 2010

Family Tree DNA Administrator Roundtable

Are you are the administrator or co-administrator of a Family Tree DNA surname or geographical project?  Would you like to share ideas and benefit from the knowledge of other administrators?  
If so, please contact Alice Fairhurst at alicefairhurst@gmail.com to get your name added to the Invitation-Only list for the DNA Administrator's Roundtable.  
Topics include:  
How do you recruit new testers?  
How do you get people out of the projects who don't belong? (Usually they don't understand how the DNA traces.) 
How do you know how and when to put people into subgroups.  
How can you anticipate your tester's questions and issues for the new Family Finder test where matching is much more complicated than for Y-DNA and mtDNA?  
The next meeting of the DNA Roundtable will be Saturday, May 29 at 2:00 p.m. directly following the normal DNA Interest Group Meeting. 

11 March 2010

Who Do You Think You Are: Emmitt Smith on Friday March 12

This Friday night, football legend Emmitt Smith will travel across the U.S. and all the way to the African coast to reveal important answers about his slave ancestry — and his own identity. Click on the image to watch a clip from Friday night's show.

Who Do You Think You Are? is a unique show that takes a personal look into the family stories of seven celebrities, while helping people everywhere understand what they could discover about their own family history.

Bargain Alert: Free Census Records on Footnote.com

The following press release was issued by Justin Schroepfer at Footnote.com. Remember that Footnote is one of the databases that can be used at no charge for SCGS members who visit the Society's Family Research Library.
Lindon, UT - March 11, 2010 – In order to encourage more people to find their ancestors and connect with family, Footnote.com, the web’s premier interactive history site, is opening all of their U.S. census documents for free to the public for a limited time.

Unlike any other historical collection on the web, the Interactive Census Collection has the unique ability to connect people related to ancestors found on the historical documents. Simply by clicking the “I’m Related” button for a name on the document will identify you as a descendant and also list others that have done the same. Never before has it been as easy to connect with distant relatives through historical documents. To learn how to get started with the Interactive Census, visit: http://go.footnote.com/discover.

SCGS Event: Lunch N Learn Saturday March 13

It's a Triple Bill!  Open to the public.

Be at the SCGS Library on Saturday, March 13.

Researching Your Catholic Ancestors
Pam Wiedenbeck
1:00 - 1:45 p.m.
Catholic records are a wonderful resource.  Learn why they were created and where and how to find them.

Are You Lost in Louisiana Research?
Charlotte Bocage
1:45 - 2:30 p.m.
Let the good times roll!  Learn the basics of researching in Louisiana and how it may help you trace your ancestors to French Canada.

Canadian Cousins
Joan Phillips
2:30 - 3:15 p.m.
Arcadian, Cajun, or French Canadian?  Learn the basics of French-Canadian research and how it may lead you to a Louisiana connection.

SCGS Library
417 Irving Drive
Burbank, CA 91504

10 March 2010

Keep In Touch With SCGS

With the premier of “Who Do You Think You Are” last Friday night, the genealogical community is poised to experience a surge in interest in family history research.

Some are saying that the NBC program, along with “Faces of America” which was shown on PBS, will spark an interest level not seen since Roots in 1976.

News is breaking so quickly that it’s hard to keep up. It’s a great problem to have. I’m trying to update everyone on all the news by posting notices on the SCGS blog and on the SCGS website.

You don’t need to ~blog~ or ~do blogs~ or ~read blogs~ or ~anything blogs~ in order to keep up with the notices. All you need to do is go to the blog website and sign up to get email with any posts that were made in that day.

I encourage you to sign up to receive email notices. No one will get your email address. You won’t get posts from other individuals – the emails are one-way communications from SCGS. I’ll do my best to keep you updated on SCGS activities, news of bargains from genealogy suppliers, notices of media focus on genealogy, and other interesting bits and pieces of interest to genealogists.

Oh, by the way…

There’s a companion blog for Jamboree. If you’re planning to attend, or even just thinking about it, you can sign up to get those updates too. It's very rewarding to hear from our Jamboree blog readers that they were much more informed, and they enjoyed Jamboree even more, because of the updates posted to the blog.

As I write this, we have 6 subscribers to the SCGS blog and 367 subscribers to the Jamboree blog. Let’s see how those numbers change in the next 24 hours.

09 March 2010

Bargain Alert! 23andMe DNA Testing

23andMe is offering special pricing in conjunction with Oprah’s show on family history. Through March 31, the ancestry edition is being priced at $199 (regularly $399, a $200 discount).

The $200 discount can also be applied to the complete edition, which includes both ancestry and health analyses.

As reported on the 23andMe website, “Faces of America used 23andMe's ancestry edition to test the DNA of the guests featured in the series. In Episode Four, called "Know Thyself", 23andMe traced the ancestral lineage and global origins of the guests using DNA technology. This segment highlights how DNA is used when the genealogical paper trails ends to give the participants an even deeper understanding of who they are and where they came from.”

Order the test

2010 Census: No Maiden Name

Jean Snow sent an interesting note that the 2010 census form does not include a designated space for maiden name. Our genealogist descendants are going to be disappointed in 2082.

Then again, maybe not entirely disappointed.

I found an online example of the form and counted the number of squares allowed for the first name. I can get both my first and maiden names in there so that's what I'm going to do. You might think about that. Even if all of the letters don't fit, you might be able to include most of your maiden name.

Genealogy on Oprah Today!

Don’t miss Oprah today. She’s shining her very bright light on family history, with guests Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Lisa Kudrow, Emmitt Smith, and others. Check Oprah’s website for background stories, clips of today’s program, and related links, including Megan Smolenyak2’s companion book to “Who Do You Think You Are?”

Check your local listings so you don’t miss this program.

Bargain Alert: Family Atlas

Family Atlas is offering their mapping software for $19.95 through the end of March.  The sale represents a 33% savings over the regular price.  Read all the details - just click on the Family Atlas image.

06 March 2010

Doin' Things Right at the Southern California Genealogical Society

For an organization that came *thisclose* to going the way of the Polaroid and the typewriter, the Southern California Genealogical Society is thriving. Its membership has grown steadily over the past few years, and the Society has earned the reputation of being an innovative and progressive organization. How did it come about? It took a major transformation in attitudes about the Internet, and it didn’t come easy.

Throughout its first three decades, the SCGS library had a steady stream of patrons coming into the library to use the valuable collection of materials from across the US, Canada, Germany, and England. In the early ‘90s, the library was hit with a demographic double-whammy. Its more senior members who were accustomed to traditional research came into the library less often, either due to health issues or a diminished interest in researching. At the same time, online research was becoming more popular for Internet-savvy members. The chairs remained empty, the books remained shelved, and membership declined.

It Was the Internet’s Fault. The Internet Was Bad. Bad, Bad Internet.

Fortunately, the Society had some forward-looking leaders who embraced the opportunity instead of bemoaning the threat. A couple of patron computers were added, and then a couple more. Database subscriptions were added for in-library use, and the library began to offer a wide variety of valuable resources: online databases as well as maps, books, indexes, manuscript files, periodicals, gazetteers, microfilm, microfiche, etc. The Society’s website was updated and became an asset, and e-commerce provided a new way to bring revenue into the organization.

Part of the evolution contributing to the Society’s success was a fundamental change in the structure of its annual fundraiser, the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. For years, the Jamboree was designed as an expo, a place to shop for books, guides, indexes, charts, and other products used by genealogists. It was an all-in-one shopping mall that had a few classes that were repeated throughout the weekend. It was very successful and the Jamboree team did an excellent job.

With the growth of the online marketplace, however, booksellers realized they didn’t need to drag crates of books to Southern California in order to sell them. It became challenging to get exhibitors, particularly book vendors, to attend. Genealogy software began to replace hand-written family group sheets and pedigree charts, and shoppers didn’t need to wait a whole year to buy their goodies. They could order them online and have them in a few days. Toss in some problems caused by a change in venue, and shadows were falling over the event. The design of Jamboree needed to change.

It did change – just in the nick of time. If the old model had continued, Jamboree would be nothing more than a “remember when…” Instead, it adapted to the changing needs of genealogists. It became a conference with an exhibit area, instead of the other way around. It became a place to network with others and to celebrate the thrill of solving an ancestral puzzle. It featured stuff to learn instead of stuff to buy.  The crowds returned, and Jamboree has grown in just a three years to be the largest American conference produced by a single genealogical society.

Jamboree is a great event itself, but it also serves as a motivator for other functional areas of SCGS. You’ll hear, time and time again, that “We want to get this done in time for Jamboree.” Whether it’s producing a new marriage index, or installing new microfilm reader-printer equipment, updating the online catalog, revising brochures for the various interest groups, or even getting the Library curtains washed, Jamboree provides a concrete deadline. Things just seem to get done in time for Jamboree and the entire organization benefits.

SCGS is taking its first wobbly, tentative steps into providing educational content through webinars. The first free webinar will be held Saturday, March 27, with George Morgan leading a session on “How to Get the Most out of a Genealogy Conference.”

None of this evolution could have been possible without the foresight, dedication, leadership, and thousands of hours of time contributed by the librarians, indexers, back-room staff, and other volunteers of the Southern California Genealogical Society. The Society has no paid staff; it is managed entirely by volunteers.  No words of gratitude can come close to expressing thanks for the willing participation of these members.

SCGS has embraced social networking as a way to build involvement, communicate with members and potential members, and to market its various programs, including Jamboree.  Blogs and tweets and Facebook posts have brought increased exposure and we are reaching more members and potential members than ever before.  We are fortunate to have the support and personal relationships that have developed within the geneablogging community, and in that way, everyone who reads this post is contributing to the continued health of the Southern California Genealogical Society. For that, we thank you.

Adapt. Evolve. Change.

And thank you, Good, Good Internet!

This post is being submitted to the inaugural edition of  "Carnival of Genealogical Societies."
The opinions expressed in this post are my own.
Paula Hinkel


All right. What Did You Think of the program, Who Do You Think You Are? that premiered last night on NBC? Didn't watch it? Well, you can catch it online at NBC

Next week's celebrity is Emmitt Smith, former pro football player and winner of "Dancing With The Stars" a few years ago. Maybe you can get your football-loving family members to watch it by telling them it's a sports show. Just an idea...

05 March 2010

SCGS Volunteer Spotlight: Peggy Schulz

Peggy Schulz keeps very busy as the Society's Financial Secretary, Library volunteer, and a valuable member of the Jamboree registration team. She fulfills mail orders and distributes all website orders.

In the past, she has served on the Board of Directors, processed bulk mailings and served as Volunteer Coordinator. Peggy has been instrumental in compiling and producing several publications, including cemetery and death record indices and a family history book.

She was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Houston, lived briefly in Gardena, and has lived in Sherman Oaks for 43 years. Her daughters and their families are in Pasadena and Glendale, and her son lives in Oakland. Her favorite pastimes are genealogy, genealogy and genealogy!

She is chasing the following ancestor surnames: Jayred, Jones, Bierce, Gates, Lock, Taylor, Faries, Hayes, Carey, Whiting, Conant, Lyon, Morris, Conover, Douglas, Page, Duffy, Dod, Star, Hide, Carter, Manley, Hartshorn, Turner, Foote, Lee, Humphreys, Lewis, Wooley, Brown, Spencer, Matthews, Dunkerton, Robinson, Gard, Hayden, Perine, Huntington, Webb, Alden, Price, Howland, Brewster, Fuller, Freeman, Ford, Pierce, Sturtevant, Cushman, Fuller, Sampson, Carter, Lucas, Nettleton, Woodmansee, Hunt, Clark, Janes, Hinsdale, Thacher, Gray, Bridgman, Curtis. Peggy says that those are all names in her family, and she has also researcher her husband's family, her sons-in-law's, and several friends'.

Faces of America: All Episodes Online at PBS.org

The four-part series "Faces of America" by Henry Louis Gates ended with Wednesday night's program. If you happened to miss any of the episodes, all four segments are available online at PBS.org They will be available online until March 18.

Click below to watch the final episode, which aired March 3.

Happy Anniversary to Cyndi's List


The Genuki Internet Timeline indicates that Internet genealogy began in 1983* with posts to the ROOTS.net newsgroup.

So when did internet genealogy get organized? Fourteen years ago today, March 5, 1996, when Cyndi's List first appeared. Cyndi's list remains an invaluable resource to librarians, archivists, family historians and genealogists.

Cyndi has been working hard to keep her links updated and has added a entire new section on social networking in genealogy. If you haven't stopped by lately, check out the freshly updated website. You never know what new links you'll find!

Congratulations Cyndi!

Source: Genuki

04 March 2010

Library Collection Inventory

Thank you to all of the dedicated volunteers who work so hard to maintain the extensive collection at the Southern California Genealogical Society's Family Research Library!

The Highs

The Lows

The In-Betweens

Thanks to Heidi Z. for the photos!

03 March 2010

Budget Cuts Threaten the Los Angeles Public Library

The Los Angeles budget is in financial straits and it's obvious that budget cuts are required. Following the actions of other community leaders across the country, Mayor Villaraigosa has targeted cuts at the city libraries.  We all recognize what a treasure we have here with the Los Angeles Public Library system, particularly the excellent genealogy and history collection at the Main Library. 

We can't allow these valuable intellectual resources to be decimated.

Take a few moments *right now* to register at http://www.savelapl.org and write an email to the Mayor and members of the City Council.  Encourage them to recognize the importance of the library system and make no further cuts to the already-meager funding of the Los Angeles Public Library.

This one hits close to home, SCGS members and friends. Don't leave this one to "someone else" to handle. Write Mayor Villaraigosa today.


02 March 2010

Ancestry.com: Free Webinar Featuring Tony Burroughs

Avoid Traps in African American Genealogy

Session Start Time: Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:00 PM Eastern (New York)

Even the most seasoned genealogist can make mistakes, especially when it comes to the complexities of African American research. World-renowned genealogy expert Tony Burroughs has taken wrong paths in his decades of research, but has discovered ways to avoid some common missteps. Benefit from his unique wisdom and experience with Ancestry.com as we present “Avoid Traps in African American Genealogy.” This free webinar offers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to journey with one of the world’s foremost genealogists and find success as you search for your Black roots.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/yl4f8eu

Holy Smokes! It's Genealogy All Over the Place!

Suzanne Russo Adams of Ancestry.com just sent out a schedule for programs that will feature Who Do You Think You Are?

In the coming weeks, Who Do You Think You Are? is going to be spotlighted in several major media outlets. Among them, Oprah will designate an entire hour to family history next Tuesday March 9!

Here’s a list of a few shows to watch for (all dates/times are subject to change):

Wednesday, March 3
* Today Show (NBC) – 8-9 am
* The View (ABC – check your local TV listings)
* The Joy Behar Show (HLN – Headline News) – 9 pm ET

Friday, March 5
* Today Show (NBC) – 10-11 am

Monday, March 8
* Martha Stewart (check your local TV listings)

Tuesday, March 9
* Oprah (check your local TV listings)
* Craig Ferguson (CBS late night)

Friday, March 19
* Bonnie Hunt (check your local TV listings)

In case you’re curious about the celebrity line up and timing for the episodes, here is the current schedule according to NBC:

* March 5 – Sarah Jessica Parker
* March 12 – Emmitt Smith
* March 19 – Lisa Kudrow
* March 26 – Matthew Broderick
* April 2 – Brooke Shields
* April 9 – Susan Sarandon
* April 23 – Spike Lee

01 March 2010

Roots: How Did It Affect You?

We can't help but compare today's media attention to that following the record-setting book and television mini-series, Roots.

Alex Haley's book was published in 1976, and the mini-series followed the next year. How did these events affect you and or your genealogical research? Tell us about your reaction in 100 words or less.

The best responses will be published in the Summer 2010 issue of The Searcher.

The Searcher will be distributed to all Jamboree attendees, including Chris Haley, Alex Haley's nephew, who will be the keynote speaker at the Jamboree banquet on Friday.

Send your thoughts to alicefairhurst@gmail.com by April 21 in order to be considered for publication.

Faces of America: Final Episode Airs Wednesday March 3

The four-part series by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., closes with tomorrow night's episode, highlighting discoveries through DNA. If you've missed earlier episodes of this excellent series, you can watch them online at PBS.org.

The program airs at 8:00 p.m. Check your local listings for the PBS station serving your area.