27 April 2010

Congratulations to the LA Times FOB Winners

Winners of the SCGS Booth drawing at the Festival of Books included

Jan Reagan
Jayme Alilaw
Kristin Tang
Vanessa Perez

The drawing gifts included two one-year memberships to Ancestry.com's World Deluxe Edition, one DNA-Y 12-marker test and one Mitochondrial DNA 12-marker test, both provided by Family Tree DNA.

Congratulations to all the winners!

23 April 2010

Attention Amazon Shoppers

The next time you let your fingers do the walking at Amazon.com, please click through the SCGS link.

You can make this your bookmark for Amazon.com.
You can share it with your friends, relatives, enemies, anyone you want.

Why the heck should you do that?

SCGS receives a very small commission on sales made through our link. The funds go to support the many programs and activities offered by the Southern California Genealogical Society.

It costs you nothing. It's painless. It's a good thing to do.

Thanks for thinking of us!

21 April 2010

20 April 2010

Who Do You Think You Are: Susan Sarandon on April 23

"Who Do You Think You Are?" returns to television this Friday night 8pm, 7pm Central time.  Did I see Megan Smolenyak in the preview for this episode?  Why Yes I Did!!  Watch her on Friday night and then visit with her in the SCGS Booth 130 at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday or Sunday.  She'll be selling and autographing copies of her companion book to the series "Who Do You Think You Are."

I know the celebrities are the main focus of this program, but I think the genealogists are *our* celebrities!

Megan will also be one of the featured speakers at the 2010 Genealogy Jamboree. In addition to three lectures, she will also be giving the Saturday banquet talk on the search for Michelle Obama's roots.

2010 GENEii Writing Contest Announced

The Southern California Genealogical Society announces the 11th annual GENEii Family History Writing Contest. The writing contest offers cash awards in two categories:

Category 1: Family history or local history articles of 1,000-2,000 words in length, published or unpublished. If previously published, entries must be accompanied by the written permission of the publisher allowing the article to be reprinted by SCGS. Awards: 1st Place, $200.  2nd Place, $100.  3rd Place, $50. Honorable mentions and finalists, certificate.
Category 2: Family history or local history articles of 1,000 words or less, published or unpublished. If previously published, entries must be accompanied by the written permission of the publisher allowing the article to be reprinted by SCGS.Awards:  1st Place, $100.  2nd Place, $50. 3rd Place, $25.  Honorable mentions and finalists, certificate.

Entries must be received between November 1 and December 31, 2010.

Complete rules and FAQs can be found on the SCGS Website.  This year's contest is dedicated to the memory of Beth Maltbie Uyehara, who founded the contest in 2000.

18 April 2010

World Archives Project - California Naturalization Records

Are you looking for a volunteer project that will help preserve records and also help the Southern California Genealogical Society? We have just the opportunity for you.

SCGS has just joined the group effort to index the US Naturalization Records for California. While there are records for all of the state, most of the naturalization events occurred in Southern California. You may come across a record of one of the show business greats that came to Southern California during the glory days of Hollywood.

Many California genealogical societies are working on this file. We are working with Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles, the California State Genealogical Alliance, Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogical Society, San Diego Genealogical Society and the South Orange County California Genealogical Society.

Each of these participating societies will receive a free index containing all of the entries in the entire file, and the societies' members will be able to take advantage of the entire set of digital images as well.  If  you haven't worked with naturalization records, you're in for a treat. I find them to be some of the most interesting and valuable records.

Index from home with a PC. You download a bit of software from Ancestry.com that guides you in the indexing effort. Unfortunately, a Mac version of the software is not available at this time.

Help preserve these records and help SCGS in the process!

14 April 2010

Bargain Alert: Footnote.com

This Bargain Alert is for current subscribers of Footnote.com.  Here is the announcement from Footnote:
Footnote has hit a major milestone:

1 million members. To thank our Annual Members for supporting us, we are offering a special discount.

Now, for a limited time, you can extend your current membership another 12 months for only $39.95 (that averages out to only $3.33 a month).

Take advantage of this special offer today and continue to enjoy the fastest growing history website on the internet.  Click here to extend your membership.
Footnote.com is available at no charge for our members who visit the SCGS Library.

11 April 2010

Special Sale: SCGS Tree Shirts

You've seen them at Jamboree and now's your chance to get one of your very own!

The famed SCGS Tree Shirts are available for a limited time only.  We will be taking orders for new shirts only through April 30.  Order it now and you'll have it to wear at Jamboree, at your local genealogical society meeting, or to even when you attend another big national conference.  

Here's how it works.  Send us your surnames, spelled correctly and in the order you want them to appear. Please type them in a column, as they will appear on the shirt. Order the shirt through the SCGS shopping cart, and pay $10 for the design and layout work for each set of names. We'll send you the graphic for you to approve. After it's been approved, you'll be able to purchase as may as you want, in whatever sizes you want, directly from CafePress. (By the way, you can get a personalized tote bag if you'd rather.)

It works best if there are 20 or fewer names. If you have oodles of surnames, think about doing a different shirt for each side of your family.

Polo shirts are white.  Tee shirts are available in many sizes and some colors. Polo shirts are available up to size 2x and many styles and some colors of tee shirts are available.  The graphic layout costs $10 (discounted for Jamboree!) and $25 for a polo shirt.  Tee shirts vary in price by style, size, etc.  Let us know what you want and we'll try to make it happen.

Are you having a family reunion?  This shirt is a great idea for a reunion.  You won't have to order a bunch of shirts in advance, only to be stuck because dear second-cousin-not-enough-times-removed didn't pay for the six he ordered.  Reunion orders are accepted year-round.

SCGS Volunteer Spotlight: Connie Wills

Connie Wills is a librarian who gives tours and provides assistance to patrons and, as she puts it, is "general assistant for whatever needs doing, especially if it needs a long or high reach." She also works in the back room, organizing periodicals and helps out at Jamboree. In the past, she was involved with PTA and the League of Women Voters.

She grew up in Hinsdale, Illinois and attended college at Champaign-Urbana in Illinois. She has lived in homes far and wide: Cambridge, MA; The Hague, The Netherlands; Palo Alto, CA; South Pasadena, CA; Taipei, Taiwan and finally Pasadena, CA. She's been married to her husband, Jack for 52 years, who is a semi-retired professor. Jack and Connie have 5 grown children, 7 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Connie is a not-entirely-retired tax preparer and spends her leisure time reading mysteries, doing stitchery and solving jigsaw puzzles.

She is tracking down the surnames Connell, Bickel, Stevenson, McBride, Elliot, Gilliland, Scott, Dosh, Keeports, Irrmann, Kringel, Otto, Schmidt, Bieth, VÅ‘glin, Raasch, Gross, Sensfelder, Wills, Hicks, Ewan, Cast, Whitcomb, Smith, Mitchell, Whitlock, Tunnel.

08 April 2010

One Million Page Loads: The Website Odometer Flipped

Congratulations to 

Bargain Alert: World Vital Records 40% off Through April 12

Sign Up Now to take advantage of a special weekend sale on World Vital Records World Collection Subscription. The regular price of $99.99 is reduced to $59.99 from now through April 12. World Vital Records offers a 30-day Money Back Guarantee so if you have thought about test-driving WVR, now is a good time to do it.

If you have questions, please contact
the World Vital Records' customer service department at
1-888-377-0588 (M-F, 8am-5pm MST).

This offer expires Monday, April 12, 2010.

Remember that World Vital Records is available at any time for our members when they visit the SCGS Family Research Library in Burbank.

Now get out there and save some money!

LA Public Library Curtails Hours

If you have been following the budget woes of the City of Los Angeles, this announcement isn't a surprise. It is very disappointing to see Sunday hours being eliminated at LAPL.  The following announcement was received from Mary McCoy at Los Angeles Public Library.
As you may know, the Los Angeles Public Library's genealogy specialist Michael Kirley retired in October after 39 years of service. Until a permanent genealogy librarian can be hired, I will be overseeing the genealogy collection, so I wanted to write to introduce myself and to share with you some recent news that may be of interest to your members.

First, I am pleased to announce that we have added another volume to our digital collection of Los Angeles city directories and street address directories, the 1923 Los Angeles city directory. This directory is especially valuable because it includes listings for San Pedro, Wilmington, Sawtelle, Palms, Westgate, and the San Fernando Valley.

To access the directories, go to http://www.lapl.org/resources/en/ and click the link for "Los Angeles City and Street Directories." Anyone can use the directories - no library card is required for access.

Unfortunately, there is also some bad news to report. Starting April 11, 2010, the Los Angeles Public Library will reduce service hours at the Central Library and all regional branch libraries and community branch libraries.

New hours for the Central Library will be Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The library will be closed Sunday and holidays.

The change in service hours is needed to enable the library to adjust to recent staff reductions resulting from a citywide early retirement program and a hiring freeze initiated by the City of Los Angeles to reduce its budget deficit. The new service hours were adopted by the Board of Library Commissioners, which sets policy for the Los Angeles Public Library, at the Board’s March 25, 2010 meeting.

More information about the reduction in service hours is available on the Library website at http://www.lapl.org/newsroom/releases/Revised_Hours_2.pdf.

If you have any questions or there is anything I can assist you with, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to working with you and your members in the future.


Mary McCoy
Librarian - History & Genealogy Department
Los Angeles Public Library
630 W. 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 228-7412

06 April 2010

LA Heritage Day on Sunday, April 11

The 3rd Annual LA Heritage Day is Sunday, April 11, 2010 from 11am to 4pm at Heritage Square Museum. Because you're "in the know," you can download a flier for FREE admission by clicking on the image to the left.  (It's $5 without the flier).

Please share this notice with your friends, family, and anyone who has an interest in Los Angeles, history, or just an event that happens just once a year!

Why should you spread the word? Well, over 75 heritage organizations, including SCGS and the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America-Southern California Chapter, will have displays and booths set up. Pink's Hot Dogs will be for sale, there will be activities for kids and adults, and entertainment will be presented throughout the day!

There is a free shuttle from the Gold Line "Heritage Square Station" to the event at the museum, and secure bicycle parking will be provided at Heritage Square. Parking will also be available, but the two former options may prove more convenient.

Don't miss out on this popular event! See you Sunday!

05 April 2010

Nearly A Million...

I've always enjoyed watching the car odometer turn over to some magic number, whether it was all 6's or 123123 or some Big-Zero number.

We're coming up on a million page loads on the SCGS website. Since the counter was installed on 1 April 2005, we've had nearly a million page views. That's pretty darned good for a home-built website. We will probably cross the line later this week.  I'll let you know when we hit our million, give or take a few.

If you want to help make the numbers move, visit the website at www.scgsgenealogy.com.

Thanks to everyone for your support.

04 April 2010

WDYTYA Renewed by NBC

Hurray! We're hearing today that NBC has renewed Who Do You Think You Are? for a second season. No specifics yet about when the new programs will air or who will be featured, but this is great news for genealogy.

The Brooke Shields episode that aired on Friday night got the highest ratings for the time spot, which was very good news. The program's audience had consistently grown over the weeks, and NBC saw a good thing and renewed.

As we reported in an earlier post, the schedule has been adjusted somewhat. Upcoming episodes are scheduled as follows:

- April 9th – Sarah Jessica Parker (Repeat)
- April 16th – No episode
- April 23rd – Susan Sarandon
- April 30th – Spike Lee

Remember that Megan Smolenyak2 is one of the genealogists that appeared in Emmitt Smith's episode, and she'll be in our Festival of Books booth the very next day, autographing her companion book to the television series. Be sure to stop by, pick up your copy, and have it autographed on the spot.