01 November 2014

Northern California APG Chapter Welcomes Judy Russell!

Genealogists from the Northern California APG Chapter had cause to celebrate.  The San Francisco Giants were rewarded with a parade in San Francisco today for winning the World Series.  We had a Major League player from the genealogical community share a meal and hours of great stories with us.

Judy Russell, Carolyn Ybarra & Corey Oiesen

Judy Russell, The Legal Genealogist, is in Cali Land to give a day long seminar on Saturday for the San Mateo County Genealogical Society.  They had all kinds of plans for Judy this weekend, but SMCGS president Christine Green thought the Northern California APG Chapter might enjoy some face time with Judy as well.  Fifteen of us traveled from all over the Bay Area  and Stockton for this wonderful opportunity.

(back row)  Carolyn Ybarra, Corey Oieson, Janice Sellers
(front row)  Linda Okazaki  & Christine Green

NorCal APG members who joined us for lunch were:  Ellen Fernandez-Sacco (president of the California Genealogical Society), Jeff Vaillant (immediate past president of CGS), Corey Oiesen  ( APG Publicity Chair & CSGA Newsletter Editor ), Kim Cotton (vice president of CGS), Lisa Gorrell ( secretary for CGS), Joyce Morey (SMCGS), Todd Armstrong (CGS), Linda Okazaki (CGS), Christine Green (president SMCGS), Carolyn Ybarra, Janice Sellers and representing the San Joaquin Genealogical Society from Stockton was Jacqi Stevens (vice president) and myself (president).

Jeff Vaillant, Jacqi Stevens, My Empty Chair (I was the photographer for the day), Kim Cotton, Linda Okazaki & Christine Green

Judy had no problem at all feeling right at home with our group.  From the moment she arrived at the restaurant until we all walked out the door (3 hours later), it was non-stop story telling and sharing our most exciting genealogical discoveries.

Kin Cotton, My Empty Chair,  Jacqi Stevens, Jeff Vaillant & Lisa Gorrell

I absolutely love our Northern California group of people.  We do things a little different from other APG Chapters.  For instance - we do not have elected officers (no one is the boss of us :)), we don't charge dues and we don't have traditional chapter meetings.  Instead, one of us makes arrangements with a Northern California library, archives, etc for a "behind the scenes" tour and then we go out to lunch.  This formula seems to work for us and personally I accomplish more networking during one of our field trips than I do anywhere else.  We are a very friendly and happy group of people and welcome any member of  the Association of Professional Genealogists to join us on any of our field trips.  

Ellen Fernandez-Sacco, Todd Armstrong & Joyce Morey

Thank you Judy Russell for sharing your afternoon with us!

11 October 2014

Scholarships, Awards and Cash Prizes . . Oh My!

There are so many opportunities for genealogists to get recognized for their hard work, in some cases cash prizes are on the line.

Time is running for submissions to some of the organizations.  And for a few the deadline has already passed but you can prepare for next year.

While this is an extensive list, it certainly isn't complete.  If I missed one please let me know.

The scholarship is awarded to an experienced researcher in either  a paid or a volunteer position, in the service of the genealogical community.  This $500 scholarship covers full tuition at the (National Institute of Genealogical Research) NIGR, plus attendance at the Alumni Association dinner. Hotel and/or meal costs will be partially defrayed. 
Deadline is January 15, 2015.

All family historians and genealogists are invited to submit their favorite story for the contest. There is no entry fee and OGS membership is not required. Judges and judges’ immediate families may not participate.
Deadline: Entries will be accepted between January 1 and March 1, 2015.

Factual articles: either family history or local history, character sketches, or memoirs. Winning entries capture a sense of a family’s experience(s), the character of a locality, or reveal an individual’s character and personality.
Deadlines: Entries must be received between November 1 and December 31.

Established in 1996, the ASG Scholar Award is an annual scholarship providing a stipend of $500 toward tuition and expenses at one of three major academic genealogical programs in the United States. 
DEADLINE is past for submissions in 2014, however get yours in by September 30, 2015 for the next award.

Established in 2010 as a tribute to the memory of noted genealogist, Birdie Monk Holsclaw, this scholarship funds genealogical related education at the Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) for the awardee.
DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 1st of each year so get going for next year.

This long-running annual genealogy writing contest for New England–based genealogical works, awards a $1,000 grand prize for the best Genealogy, and two first prizes of $500 each for the best Family History and the best Genealogical Resource Publication. There is also a "fledgling essay contest" for new writers—winning entries may be selected for publication in The Connecticut Nutmegger.

This competitive $500 Award, established in 2001 by Merrill Hill Mosher, CG, of Oregon, honoring her late husband, is administered by the BCG Education Fund. The Award funds scholarly research on colonial Virginia topics in the following categories: family genealogy, immigrant place or family origin, and publication of obscure or difficult Virginia resources.

$1,000 awarded to a librarian with at least five years' experience whose primary focus is genealogy and local history and who is employed in a public, academic, or special library.

A three- or four-generation family history is required. The prize is an expense-paid trip to the next NGS Family History Conference and possible publication in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak offers grants, each month, to genealogical societies, libraries, and individuals.

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies offers $500 scholarships that will be applied towards courses in the Certificate in Genealogical Studies program offered jointly by the University of Toronto, Faculty of Information Studies, PLC and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies.

Genealogists between the ages of 18 and 25 who have attended school in the last 12 months are eligible to apply.  SCGS Jamboree will provide the grant recipient with free three-day registration.

This award encourage and recognize our youth as the next generation of family historians. There are two categories, senior and junior. The senior category winner (high school student in grades 10–12 or ages 16–18) receives a $500 cash prize, a plaque, the NGS Home Study course, and a one-year NGS membership. The junior category winner (middle school student in grades 7–9 or  ages 13–15 years)  receives a plaque, the NGS Home Study course, and a one-year NGS membership. Presentation details of the winning submission may appear in NGS Magazine.

To encourage those pursuing a career in genealogy who have demonstrated serious interest in genealogy by attending regional and/or local conferences, undertaking genealogical training, and subscribing to genealogical publications.

Owner Dee Dee King has implemented a scholarship award program to partially reimburse "Transitional Genealogists" for educational opportunities and career-building endeavors.
Applications for scholarships for 2015 open November 1 - 7, 2014.

02 October 2014

The Great Registers of California

"Great Register" is simply the California name for voter registration records. It probably comes from the fact that the old registration books were huge and very heavy. The pages in the book are arranged alphabetically with each new registration appearing under the previous one.

Photo: San Joaquin County Historical Society

California voter registration began in 1867, the state legislature required each county to record voter information on the local level. The registers contained the voter's name, age, occupation, birthplace, when and where the granting of U.S. citizenship occurred and the court where that took place. 

The 1896 Great Register was the first to include detailed physical descriptions:  height, complexion, eye color, hair color as well as visible marks, scars, tattoos, physical deformities.   By 1910, no physical descriptions other than height were included. 

Women first start showing up in 1912, after California passed a state and local suffrage bill. 

By 1914, age was no longer included in the voter registrations, but specific street addresses began appearing, as well as gender. 

The comments column in the registration books can be very useful. They may include the date when the voter first arrived from another county where they were previously registered; when they left the county and for where; or when they died.

Familysearch has the Great Registers 1866 to 1910. They are indexed and searchable and you will find the site HERE

Jim Faulkinbury, CG has indexed all foreign-born voters in California for the year 1872.  You can browse the index HERE.  

Below are a few California Counties that have the Great Registers online:

BUTTE COUNTY:  1872 Great Register

MARIPOSA COUNTY:  1872 Great Register
                                1884 Great Register
                                             1886 Great Register
                                             1912 Great Register

MENDOCINO COUNTY:  1867, 1880, 1890, 1902, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

MODOC COUNTY:  1874 Great Register

SACRAMENTO COUNTY:  1866-1871 Great Registers
                                    1877 Great Register
                                    1914 Great Register

SAN DIEGO COUNTY:  1866-1879 Great Registers

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY:  1900 Great Register

SHASTA COUNTY:  Great Registers for the years 1866-1884, 1894, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1912, 1926

SISKIYOU COUNTY: Great Registers for the years 1867, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1886, 1888, 1892, 1904
                               1894 Great Register

TRINITY COUNTY:  1872 Great Register
                            1885 Great Register
                            1910 Great Register

TULARE COUNTY:  Great Registers for the years 1869, 1888, 1890, 1898

YUBA COUNTY:  Great Registers for the years 1867 to 1930

01 October 2014

Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History - They Have Records!

As usual, I come across these jackpots of great information whilst clicking away aimlessly looking for I know not what.

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History has a collection of Santa Cruz County Records from 1850 to the present.  You will have to visit in person to see most of the collection, but they have put a few of them online:

PUBLIC WORKS (1886 – 1955)
SERIES I.:  Civil Engineers and Licensed Surveyors (1933 – 1944)
Subseries I.A.:  California News Bulletins for registered civil engineers (1937 – 1944)
Subseries I.B.:  State Board of Registration for Civil Engineers (1933 – 1939)
SERIES II.:  County Building Records (1889 – 1925)
Subseries II.A.:  County Court House (1900 – 1925)
Subseries II.B.:  County Hall of Records (1924 – 1925)
Subseries II.C.:  County Jail (1889 – 1900)
SERIES III.:  Building Contracts (1886 – 1892)
SERIES IV:  County Clerk and Commissioner of Roads (1904 – 1955)
SERIES V.:  Blueprints and Maps
SERIES VI.:  Certificates for the Sale of Real Estate (1913 – 1914)
SERIES I.  Register of Arrests, 1876 – 1897
SERIES II.  Santa Cruz County Prison Register, 1884 – 1895
SERIES III.   City of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, Police Court (1933 – 1952)
SERIES IV.   Santa Cruz Judicial Township, Santa Cruz County, California, Justice’s Court (1928 – 1952)
SERIES V.   Santa Cruz Judicial Township, Santa Cruz County, California, Justice’s Court (1952)
SERIES VI.   City of Santa Cruz, County of Santa Cruz, Police Court (1933 – 1952)
SERIES VII.   Santa Cruz Judicial Township, Santa Cruz County, California, Justice’s Court (1928 – 1952)
SERIES VIII.   Record of the Probate Court (1873 – 1875)
SERIES IX.  Certification by Judge of Superior Court for the County of Santa Cruz (1880 – 1907)
SERIES X.  Probate and Miners Court Ledger (1850 – 1950)
SERIES XI.  Coroner's Inquest Records (1901 – 1939)  Scroll down the page and there is a link for a spreadsheet download of these records.
COUNTY TREASURER (1871 – 1984)
SERIES I.   Assessment Notices (1977 – 1984)
SERIES II.   Bond Registers (1954 – 1981)
SERIES III.   Abstract of County Court House Property (1927)
SERIES IV.   Assessment of Property for 1871 & 1873
SERIES V.   Santa Cruz County Treasurer – County Fund Ledger (1916 – 1926)
SERIES VI.   California State Board of Equalization – Board Roll of State Assessed Property for Santa Cruz County
COUNTY CLERK (1866 – 1976)
SERIES I.  Candidate Statements – Record of Income and Expenses for Candidates (1894 – 1956)
SERIES II.  Burial Permits (1897 – 1914)  There is a link for a spreadsheet download of these records
SERIES III.  Voter Registration (1866 – 1976)  There are links to many of these registers
SERIES IV.  Naturalization Records (1871 – 1927)
Subseries IV.A.  Declaration of Intention
Subseries IV.B.  Petition and Record of Naturalization
Subseries IV.C.  Naturalization Citizenship Certificates
SERIES V.  Marriage Applications (1900 – 1975)
SERIES I.:  Medical License Register (1876 – 1939)
SERIES II.:  Register for County Hospital (1873 – 1928)
SERIES III.:  Prescription Scrapbooks for Palmer Drug Company/Palmer Prescription Druggist (1897 – 1910)

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History
705 Front Street
Santa Cruz, California
Open Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Open Fridays until 9:00 PM

25 September 2014

The Importance of a Wedding Veil to Family Historians

My sister-in-law is helping her mother with a very special project. They are creating a scrapbook of 48 women in their family who have worn the same wedding veil in each of their weddings.  The scrapbook will accompany the veil as it continues to be passed down through generations.  They have photos of all the women in the family wearing the veil - except for one.

Her name is Jeanette Augusta Meier, the daughter of Abraham Meier and Minnie Eising.  She was born in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon on 26 November 1902.  Jeanette is the granddaughter of Aaron Meier and Janette Hirsch.  Aaron Meier came to Portland in 1857 and later with  Sigmond Frank founded the Meier & Frank department stores in 1873.  

The Meier family were Jewish pioneers from Bavaria and very  prominent socially.  Aaron and Janette's son Julius Meier became the 20th governor of Oregon in 1931.

Jeanette Augusta Meier

Jeanette Meier was married to Walter David Heller on 14 November 1922 in Portland, Oregon.

Walter Heller, born 18 September 1894 in San Francisco, California to Moses Heller and Adele Walter.  Walter is the grandson of Martin Heller and Babette Kuper.  Martin Heller was a Bavarian Jew who came to San Francisco in the 1850's.  He was president of Congregation Emanuel in San Francisco from 1876 until his death in 1894.  The Heller family was also very socially prominent in San Francisco.

Since the bride was from Oregon and the groom from California, I have been trying to cover both areas.  I have searched these newspaper collections online:

• Chronicling America   http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/
• Historic Oregon Newspapers   http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/
• Californai Digital Newspaper Collection
• ProQuest Historic San Francisco Chronicle online

I found several articles about the wedding, but no photos.  I have also contacted the Jewish Genealogical Society of Oregon, the Oregon Jewish Museum, and the Oregon Historical Society, and no luck there either.  I tried the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the Bancroft Library on the University of California at Berkeley campus.   The collection had previously been housed in the old Magnes Museum in Berkeley.  I was told that the materials are as yet unprocessed and there's no way of telling whether this collection contains the photo I am looking for.

So I have reached out to people who might be able to help.  Like Janice Sellers who is the author of Ancestral Discoveries.  Janice is currently the vice president of the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogy Society and has promised to spread the word.

If you know of any resource that I might try, please let me know.  There has to be a photo of Jeanette Augusta Meier Heller on her wedding day wearing that veil out there somewhere!

23 September 2014

And the Award for County Clerk of the Year Goes To. . .

Jarrod Fritz
County Clerk of Fleming County, Kentucky

This morning I sent an email to Mr. Fritz requesting information on how to obtain a copy of a marriage record from his office dated 1818.  

Four hours later I received a reply with the marriage record in question scanned and sent as an attachment to the email.  

When I replied back asking how much I owed the County of Fleming, he replied that it was "On The House."

I have to tell you it was the nicest thing anyone has done for me in some time -  I got warm fuzzies all over!

Thank you Mr. Fritz! 

14 September 2014


For the past 48 years, Nevada City, California has held its annual Constitution Day Parade.  It is reported to be the oldest and largest Constitution observance in West of the Rockies.

Since my mother lives up in the area of Nevada City, my husband and I drove up there from Stockton today and brought her with us to watch the parade.  Although the weather was very warm, the skies were a beautiful blue in the Sierra Nevada foothills today.

My very pathetic & lame attempt at a selfie of me and my husband.

The judges review stand.  

This marching band traveled 250 miles - Watsonville, California to Nevada City, California - to be in the parade!

Love the authentic Revolutionary War era costumes.

The Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band & Temperance Society - these guys are not really prisoners and most certainly are  not temperate, but they are a most excellent marching band!

Above is Barack Obama and FLOTUS, the tail end of over 150 people who portrayed all 44 U.S. Presidents and their First Ladies. No you aren't seeing things - that is a cardboard cut-out of Michelle Obama! The Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City, California  describe themselves as " a unique collection of citizens who see it as their civic responsibility to portray the 44 Presidents of the United States and their first ladies in honor of Constitution Day, the signing of the document that frames this country."

The parade had over 75 entries from all over California including two high school marching bands and a couple of elementary schools as well.  The wonderful Shriners were there, some dressed as clowns and driving in their little cars.  There were antique automobiles, fire trucks and horse drawn carriages.  There were politicians riding in shiny new convertibles.  The Captain John Oldham Chapter, NSDAR marched in the parade with a 15ft x 21ft recreation of the U.S. Flag that flew over Ft. McHenry when Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner in 1814.  It had 15 stripes and 15 stars.  This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner!

13 September 2014

Two Weeks in September - Great Happenings in Stockton, California

There is a an old saying around my neck of the woods - "Nobody comes to Stockton on purpose."  Well I think that many minds may be changed when they learn about some great events coming up in the next two weeks.

Thursday, September 18th - 6:00 pm - Troke Library, 502 West Benjamin Holt, Stockton
The San Joaquin Genealogical Society will have its first meeting after the summer break.  Local author and historian Barbara Filbin will discuss San Joaquin County Pioneer Cemeteries.  Ms. Filbin has published 19 books, the most recent being "Four Lost Pioneer Cemeteries in Northern San Joaquin County, California.

Friday, September 19th - 5:00 pm - Chavez Central Library, 605 North El Dorado Street, Stockton
There is going to be a whole lot of celebrating going on! The downtown Stockton Cesar Chavez Central Library will be turning 50 years old -- FIFTY AND FABULOUS!!!! Mark your calendars and come spend an evening with them!

Saturday, September 20th - 9:00 am - University Park, corner of California and Magnolia Streets, Stockton
17th Annual Family Fun Day at the Park - There will be so much going on it is best to check out the website and see for yourself all the great activities.  The day will start off with a parade led by  Clifford the Big Red Dog, the mascot of University of the Pacific - Power Cat, dancing clowns and more!

Saturday, September 27th - Free Admission to Participating Museums sponsor by the Smithsonian Magazine.
To receive your free Museum Day Live! ticket for two people you must register at their website.  Once registered, you simply choose the museum you want to visit and download your tickets.  

As a gift for participating in Museum Day Live, you will receive the digital edition of Smithsonian magazine free for one year with no obligation, beginning with the October edition. 

In San Joaquin County, the museum participating is:

The Haggin Museum at Victory Park, 1201 North Pershing Way, Stockton

03 September 2014

Vote For Best Blog With County Clerk Information

Have you checked out my page on California County Clerks?
If you like what I've done then take a minute to vote for me - The Educated Genealogist - at the County-Clerks.com website.  County-Clerks.com is a directory of every single county clerk's office in the United States.

Help County-county clerks contestClerks.com decide who has the best genealogy site on the web! The entry with the most votes (entry in 1st position) by September 30, 12:00AM EST will be rewarded a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Second place (site in 2nd position) a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

To cast your vote for the best blog with county clerk information click HERE.

21 July 2014

Great Indexing Project, GeneaSleepover and Lineage Societies

If you have been living under a rock lately, maybe you haven't heard about the FamilySearch Great Indexing Project.  The goal is for 50,000 people to index just one batch of records in a 24 hour period beginning Sunday July 20th at 6:00 pm and ending Monday July 21st at 6:00 pm.

To help this project along, Dear Myrtle is having a first ever "GeneaSleepover" via Google hangouts.  She and her cousin Russ Worthington will be in the hangout for 24 hours talking about everything genealogy and also serving as cheerleaders for the indexers.

 She has invited oodles of people to help keep the hangout going.  I was thrilled to be invited to appear on GeneaSleepover.  I will be joining Myrt and Russ at 6:15 am Pacific time.  The topic of discussion for this segment is all about lineage societies.

Below is a very brief list of some of the more popular lineage societies:

Any woman age 18 and over who can prove direct blood lineage to a patriot ancestor who performed military or patriotic service between 1775 to 1783.
The application must be submitted with documentation to support each and every NAME, DATES and PLACES of BIRTH, MARRIAGE and DEATH.  The documentation must also show a link from child to parent in each generation from the applicant to the patriot ancestor.

ny woman eighteen years of age or over and is descended from an ancestor who came to reside in an American Colony before 1750, and whose services were rendered during the Colonial Period.

Direct descendants of honorably discharged soldiers, sailors, and marines who served in the Union Army or navy during the War of the Rebellion of 1861-1865.

An applicant for membership must be over eighteen years of age and show proof of direct descent from one of the Mayflower passengers.

Membership is open to female descendants, and legally adopted daughters, ten years of age or over, of honorably discharged Union soldiers, sailors and marines of the Civil War, 1861 to 1865

Any woman eighteen years of age or over and is the lineal descendant of an ancestor who lived and served prior to 1701 in one of the Original Colonies.

members are descendants of a man or woman who rendered patriotic or civil service to the American Colonies prior to 4 July 1776.

Women no less than sixteen years of age who are blood descendants, lineal or collateral, of men and women who served honorably in the Army, Navy or Civil Service of the Confederate States of America, or gave Material Aid to the Cause.