22 February 2012

1940 Census: Three Three Stooges - No Census, No Feeling

Who would have thought that The Three Stooges would have been so thoughtful as to create a training film for the 1940 census? Even more, one that would be used 72 years later by a bunch of people who are hoping to see a few names scrawled across paper that has been converted to pixels. As if anyone could even conceive of something called a pixel!

If you were lucky enough to watch the first episode of Who Do You Think You Are at RootsTech, you saw this short Three Stooges film "No Census, No Feeling."

But if you weren't there, you can still watch it. The first fifteen minutes are here:


The second part of the video is also available on YouTube. (It needed to be split into two parts because YouTube's limit is 15 minutes, and the short runs about 22 minutes in length).

Enjoy it and think of the laughs as you are slogging through page by page until the indexing is done.

19 February 2012

SCGS DNA Interest Group March 31

Southern California Genealogical Society
417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA 91504
(818) 843-7247 http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/
Sat, March 31, 2012 – Genetics, Genealogy, and Ethics
Presenter: David Dowell, Ph.D, Genealogist and Research Librarian
10:00-10:30 Answering questions about DNA testing.
10:30-12:00 Bioethicists concerns versus the public's right to know.
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Individualized help
$5.00 donation is suggested for attendance. Individualized help will be available after the formal presentation for those who want to order DNA tests or who have received DNA results and need help managing their personal page or interpreting their results. A drawing will be held for a $30 discount certificate for ordering a DNA test.
Brown bag or join us for pizza for an additional $5.00.
For additional information contact Kathy Johnston at kjohns7900@aol.com or phone (310) 213-1207.
Following the regular meeting from 2:00-4:00 p.m., those who are Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Project Administrators or Project Co-administrators are invited to remain to discuss how they are managing group projects. The Roundtable format allows people to share expertise and create solutions to issues.

Future Meetings:
Sat., June 30, 2012 – Alice Fairhurst, Understanding Deep Clade Testing
Sat., Sept. 29, 2012 – Douglas Neslund, An Adoptee's Quest

SCGS Offers Genealogy 101 Course March 10

Like to brush up on your basic genealogy skills? SCGS has just the course for you.

Part I of  the SCGS Beginning Genealogy Course will be offered in March.  The course includes an introduction to the basics including: setting goals, keeping organized, identifying resources, using Federal and state census records and an introduction to Ancestry.com.

Date: Saturday, March 10, 2012
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Location: At the SCGS Library

Fee: free to SCGS members, $10.00 for non-members

Sign up by emailing: beginner@scgsgenealogy.com or call 818-843-7247
Space is limited

18 February 2012

RootsMagic User Group Meeting Feb 19

The next meeting of the SCGS RootsMagic User Group will be held this coming Sunday:

Date: Sunday, February 19, 2012
Time: 2-4 PM
Place: SCGS Library
         417 Irving Drive (near Glenoaks) in Burbank
Our February program will over a number of areas following a plan I want to try for the next few meetings. Each month I'd like to have at least one discussion topic in each of a number of categories in order to better cover of range of interests and experience of our meeting attendees. Here's the plan for February -

    - Updating to the latest version of RM 5 and how to find out what it contains.

For the beginner or new user
    - The sidebar - Five different panels

From the Forums
    - Updates to the Places capability and discussion about Places

For advanced users
    - Tools for manipulating and querying the RM database
        SQLite tools for RootsMagic databases are at http://sqlitetoolsforrootsmagic.wikispaces.com/ 

Personal Historian corner
    - Discussion, questions, user experiences with PersonalHistorian 2

Different categories will be emphasized on different months, depending on timeliness and attendee interest, and we may not have time for all categories every month, but above is the general plan.

RootsMagic Webinars - Do you have some favorites from among the 28 Roots Magic webinars that have been presented? See the RM webinar page at http://www.rootsmagic.com/Webinars/ for a complete list. At the meeting, please tell us about one you have found to be helpful. 

Next Month's Meeting - March 18, 2012

Future Meetings - April 15, May 20, June 17
Latest Version of RM5 - Version (26Jan 2012)
For more information see the RootsMagic blog. (http://blog.rootsmagic.com/)

For further information about the meeting or the user group, contact Jay Holladay: jholladay@ca.rr.com

February Hispanic Outreach Events Feb 21, 25


We have several events scheduled in February for you to learn more about genealogy and/or move your research forward. Here are the highlights:

February 21, 2012 - 1-9pm
Hispanic Tuesday: Get 1:1 assistance from skilled researchers using the internet and a genealogical library with over 35,000 books.
SCGS Family Research Library in Burbank.
Co-sponsored by SCGS and GSHA-SC

Saturday, February 25, 2012 - 11am-1pm
Researching Your Mexican Roots: Following the Paper Trail
With John Schmal as your guide, you will probably rave that this is the best workshop on Mexican research that you have ever attended. You will be in a room with computers so that your can follow the lecture and then get see what results you get when you follow John's trail.
Brown bag it and have lunch on-site then continue your research in the afternoon.
West Los Angeles Family History Library (WLA FHL), Training Room

17 February 2012

How to Write a Family History That People Will Read - 21 Feb

We pass this on for our friends at: Los Angeles WESTSIDE Genealogical Society:

"How to Write a Family History That People Will Read"
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012
-- Admission is Free! Help for Beginners --
Tom Underhill
Most non-genealogists rank reading a "family history book" right up there with a root canal and taxes. Unfortunately, it's often a deserved perspective. However, give them the chance to snuggle up with a "historical novel" and you might not see them for a week. Learn the writing skills to merge the two genres and discover how to write a family history that people will actually want to read! Tom Underhill published his first book 15 years ago. Since 1999 his company, Creative Continuum, has specialized in publishing high-quality, short-run books, including family histories, memoirs, and photo and fine art books. Among them, The California Missions as Art won a Davey Award in 2007 for design. A History of African-American Families and Slaveholders in Cass County, East Texas was awarded the Best Genealogy in Texas in 2005.
7:00 Pre-meeting activities - Announcements,
Surprise Drawing (a different donated prize each month)
7:10 Business Meeting
7:15 Tom Underhill's Program
8:15 Q&A
8:30 Socializing
on the Westwood Mormon Temple grounds
Family History Library

10741 Santa Monica Blvd. @ Overland Avenue
Get directions from Tom Lane at (310) 393-5574
Check out our website at:
Next Month: Eric Siess on "Introduction To The 1940 Census"

Program Schedule
7:00 - 9:00 PM

Chinese American Interest Group Meets 18 Feb

SCGS is pleased to announce our newest interest group.

The Chinese American Interest Group is newly formed and will begin meeting in 2012. The formation of this group is an outgrowth of a group which has been meeting informally for the past year.

Our focus is on gathering information and resources to assist those on a quest to trace their Chinese American ancestors, with special attention to the impact on family histories of the Exclusion Act
(1882-1943) and restrictive quotas which did not change until the late 1960's.

We will meet from 10am to 12 noon on the third Saturday of the dates listed below. As the times may change, please confirm the date and time with the office. Also, we may have additional activities such as
field trips. If you are attending for the first time, you may wish to notify the group of any special research issues you may have.

February 18, 2012
April 21, 2012
June 2012 SCGS Jamboree
August 18, 2012
October 20, 2012

08 February 2012

SCGS: Call to Action - Please Help NOW

Dear members and friends of SCGS:

You may have heard of the threat to close access to the Social Security Death Index. You may have already tried to do a look-up, only to turn up shorthanded.

The genealogical community is rallying together to send a concerted message to legislators to try to prevent this. The first step is this:

Please sign the petition at http://wh.gov/khE

It's a register-then-confirm-through-email process, so if you get hung up, refer to the instructions (link below).

This is White House petition which requires 25,000 signatures before the administration will respond. It deals with the pressing problem of identity theft and the IRS doing its job, instead of blaming others for their failure to identify fraud.

The petition seeks to stop fraudulent use of Social Security numbers - not by eliminating SSDI, but by using it properly.

Sign the petition now. We need over 1,000 signatures a day to be able to reach the required number in time.

Please pass this message along to all of your friends, family and associates and ask for their support. Further information can be found at

Dick Eastman's Online Newsletter

Talking Points on Why Genealogists Need the Social Security Death Index

SSDI Frequently Asked Questions

Instructions on How to Fill out the Petition

Area Events: FREE "Jews in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Polish Republics" - February 16, 2012

This message is being shared for our friends at the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles. For more information, please contact Pamela Weisberger, Program Chair, JGSLA, pweisberger@gmail.com

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles invites you to join us for "The Jews in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Polish Republics: Discontinuity and Reinvention” with speaker: Konstanty Gebert

Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM
Skirball Cultural Center ~ Magnin Auditorium
2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049

For much of contemporary history, Poland, home to the world's, and then Europe's, largest Jewish population, did not exist as an independent country. The two periods of foreign occupation separate what is known as the three Polish republics. In each republic the Jews perceived themselves, and were treated, very differently: as an indigenous social caste, as an alien ethno-religious minority, and as equal citizens. The republics, too, were fundamentally different countries, in terms of political system, demography and borders. Furthermore, developments in the periods of foreign occupation (the onset of modernity, the Shoah) were crucial for Polish Jewry. In this sense one can say that, as Poland periodically had to reinvent itself, so did Polish Jews: with fundamental consequences for Jewish identity and fate.

Konstanty Gebert is board member of the Taube Centre for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland and an international reporter and columnist at “Gazeta Wyborcza”, Poland’s biggest daily. He was a democratic opposition activist in the Seventies, when he was also an organizer of the Jewish Flying University, and an underground journalist in the Eighties under martial law. He is the founder of the Polish Jewish intellectual monthly Midrasz, and board member of Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany. He has taught in Poland, Israel and the US and has written books on the Polish democratic transformation and on French policy toward Poland, the Yugoslav wars and the wars of Israel, Torah commentary and post-war Polish Jewry.

Mr. Gebert will be introduced by the Honorable Joanna KoziƄska-Frybes, Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles.

Co-sponsored by UCLA’s Center for Jewish Studies & the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles. Free to all. Traveling Library opens at 7:00 PM.

For more program details and directions go to http://jgsla.org/meetings/upcoming/february-16-2012-jews-in-the-1st-2nd-and-3rd-polish-republics-discontinuity-and-reinvention

Pamela Weisberger
Program Chair, JGSLA

07 February 2012

Area Event: John Philip Colletta, PhD - March 24, 2012

Passing along information about this great opportunity. For further information, please contact Bill Hurley at hurleygen@verizon.net

The Conejo Valley Genealogical Society annual seminar will be from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm on March 24, 2012 at Ascension Lutheran, Thousand Oaks. Nationally renowned genealogist Dr. John Philip Colletta will speak on:
- Lesser Used Federal Records
- State Archives
- County Courthouse Records
- Breaking brick walls.
For details, costs & registration please see:
Bill Hurley seminar co-chair

CVGS 2012 Seminar

Conejo Valley Genealogical Society web site

Area Events: Researching your Catholic Ancestors - February 17, 2012

Here's another area event, this time from our friends at the San Fernando Valley Genealogical Society. For more information call John Lindsay at (818)349-0878.

San Fernando Valley Genealogical Society

"Researching Your Catholic Ancestors: The Evolution of Church Records for the Sacraments Including Catholic, German Lutheran and Church of England" will be the topic of speaker, Pam Wiedenbeck, at the San Fernando Valley Genealogical Society February 17, 2012 meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the Meeting Room at the Chatsworth Train Station, 10038 Old Depot Road, Chatsworth CA 91311.

Ms. Wiedenbeck has worked in both consulting and management roles since 1983. As a senior project manager she specializes in assisting clients to plan their genealogical projects. She has been a practicing genealogist since 1994. She is a Project Management Professional (PMP), as certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI). She has degrees from the University of Michigan, California Institute of Technology, and Claremont Graduate University. She is past president of the Southern California Genealogical Society.

Join us for this interesting and educational presentation. Learn how your ancestors may have crossed the continent in those early years.

Visitors are welcome. Our programs are free, but donations are appreciated. You can also find us at the following web site:  http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~casfvgs/index.html

For more information call John Lindsay at (818)349-0878.

Area Events: "Mother of the American Valentine" - February 17, 2012

From our friends at the Don Jose de Ortega Chapter of the NSDAR.  For more information, please contact Ellen Fisher, Regent, at (323) 255-9536.

"Esther Howland, Mother Of the American Valentine" will be the topic of speaker, Mary Alice Ambrose, at the Don Jose de Ortega Chapter National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution at the February 17, 2012 luncheon meeting at 10:30 am at the Braemar Country Club, 4001 Reseda Blvd., Tarzana, CA, 91356.

Mary Alice Ambrose will tell us facts that we haven't heard before. She is a historian and a genealogist.

Mary Alice Ambrose has served in many offices of Daughters of the American Revolution. She is a member of the DAR as well as several lineage societies. Please join us for a very informative program.

The meeting is open to the public. For reservations, call Bee Jay Farmer by February 10-13, 2012 at (818) 702-9048 or Hazel Prize at (818) 884-0224. The cost of the luncheon is $24.00. For more information, please contact Ellen Fisher, Regent, at (323) 255-9536.

SCGS Lunch 'n' Learn Saturday, February 11 - "Introduction to the National Archives"

February Lunch 'n' Learn at the
Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library
417 Irving Drive, Burbank, California 91504
Saturday, February 11, 2012
12:00 - Doors open
12:00 to 1:00 p.m. - Lunch (brown bag or pizza, Subway or Starbucks)
1:00 to 4:00 - "Introduction to the National Archives" presented by Kerry Bartels

This lecture will cover four major categories of records held by the National Archives that are most commonly used by genealogists, a discussion of record digitization of the National Archives records, and an introduction to the partnerships for digitization. Examples of records that are rich in genealogical value but are little known and little used by genealogists will be explored. Kerry will provide information on African American research, Chinese research, and Hispanic research available at NARA.

Kerry Bartels is an Archives Specialist at The National Archives and Records Administration facility in Riverside, California. He has been a professional archivist since 1977 and has worked in historical societies, libraries, museums, universities, state archives, and now at the National Archives. He has been a genealogical practitioner since 1962 and has done extensive research in the United States and Canada as well as many nations in Europe.

This will be the only lecture discussing the available records at the National Archives. You'll be able to use all you learn during our NARA field trip in April. There will be NO lecture on the day of the Field Trip.

The library will not be open for research.