29 April 2012

New PBS Genealogy Series Sunday Nights

This is a reminder to watch this season's "Finding Your Roots" on your local PBS station.  Not only does Professor Gates trace his guests' ancestors back centuries, in some cases to the 13th Century, he also discusses their DNA test results in terms of haplogroup and percentage of African-American, Caucasian, Native American and Asian.

The new PBS genealogy series "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates Jr." debuted Sunday, March 25 at 8 p.m.  The 10-part series will explore the genealogy and genetics of famous Americans including Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey Jr., Branford Marsalis, John Legend, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren.

On the show's website, you can learn more about the research team (the New England Historic Genealogical Society staff did a lot of work for the series) and share your story. Find full versions of the show at the video website.

Join SCGS at LA Heritage Day - April 29


500 Years of Fascinamg Fads and Objects on Display at Free Event

Sunday, April 29, 11a.m. - 4p.m.
El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument

(LOS ANGELES March 19, 2012) - Fortune cookies, a Cival War tent, L.A.'s first fire "truck, menus from long-ago restaurants, a wooden nickel, and the city's first grand hotel each have a story to tell about the Los Angeles region over 500 years of recorded history. On Sunday, April 29, 2012, the LA Heritage Alliance will host its Fourth Annual LA Heritage Day in partnership with El Pueblo Historical Monument, to share this history through tours, five museums, a scavenger hunt, childrens activities, presentations, giveaways, food and other activities.

"In an area sometimes perceived as having no 'real' history, LA Heritage Day is an opportunity for people to learn about and enjoy the fascinating people, places, and events that have shaped Southern California said Cindy Olnick, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Conservancy. "It's also a chance to learn about the incredible variety of local preservation groups, museums, libraries,and historical societies serving people today throughout Los Angeles County."

Join SCGS in celebrating Los Angeles and Southern California this Sunday.  Please stop by the SCGS table to say "hi".

26 April 2012

GENEii Writing Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 GENEii Family History Writers Contest, sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society. Judges reported that the entries were exceptional and the competition was very close.

Winners of the two categories will be recognized on Thursday, June 7, during the Family History Writers Conference luncheon in Burbank, California, which will be held in conjunction with the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

Category 1
Family history or local history articles of 1,000-2,000 words in length, published or unpublished.
Awards: 1st Place, $200; 2nd Place, $100; 3rd Place, $50.

1st Place - Douglas Fricke: Halfway Round the World
2nd Place - Emily Pritchard Cary: Crossing the Borders
3rd Place - Willie Wilburn Walker: The Blue Moon Cafe' & A Walk in the Southern Mountains
Finalist - Judy R. Cook: Aunt Pearl, We Did It
Finalist - Diane Altona: What Made Jacob Tick & Who is Elizabeth Douglas?
Honorable Mention - Lynda Wilson Barlow: Mrs. Butterfield's Canteloupe Patch
Honorable Mention - Nancy Walters Lauer: Ella's Letter

Category 2
Family history or local history articles of 1,000 words or less, published or unpublished. Awards: 1st Place, $100; 2nd Place, $50; 3rd Place, $25.

First Place - Raymonde Motil: New Year's Day 1919 & The Funeral
Second Place - Pauline Abbott: The Parting of the Ways & Divine Interventions
Third Place - Denise Spurlock: The Watchmaker
Finalist - Tara McClellan McAndrew: Civil War Soldiers' Christmases
Honorable Mention - Mary E. Nelson: The Telephone

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 13th Annual GENEii Family History Writers Contest.

19 April 2012

Bargain Alert: Holocaust Records Free through April 2012

Through their partnership with the National Archives, Fold3 has scanned and indexed valuable records that help tell the story of the Holocaust. Explore everything from Holocaust assets to death camp records to interrogation reports from the Nuremberg trials.


14 April 2012

Chinese American Interest Group Meets 21 April

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.

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

04 April 2012

1940 Census Means Publicity Blitz for SCGS

Jay Holladay represented SCGS very well with the press this week. Not only was he interviewed by ABC-7, he was also featured in an article in the LA Times. In case you missed the television broadcast, the video has been posted online.

Jay sent the following note to members of the Board:

"Yesterday we managed to snag some great publicity for our society and for genealogy. Somewhat to my surprise, the press got very interested in the 1940 Census story. Both the Los Angeles Times and Channel 7 Eyewitness News found their way to the SCGS Library yesterday. I thought I could spend a quiet day at the library on the indexing project and other tasks, but the day turned out quite differently. Here are a couple of links to my fifteen minutes of fame -



"I found it to be an interesting and fun experience to be interviewed, and I thought both reporters did a fine job."


Fran Bumann was also contacted by the press to discuss the 1940 census. Unfortunately, the reporter did not specify SCGS, but she did help to raise interest in genealogy among the readers. The article can be found here:


The download difficulty with the 1940 census was frustrating for everyone, but it was a real boon for genealogy publicity. It must be true what they say ... there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Thanks Jay and Fran!

02 April 2012

SCGS and the 1940 Census - Featured on ABC7 News

Several members of the Southern California Genealogical Society were featured in a news report that appeared on the 6:00 p.m. news on Monday, April 2.

Watch the video here:


Thanks to longtime volunteer Sally Emerson, IT team leader Jay Holladay, and the other SCGS volunteers who appeared in the video.

Great job everyone!