Sunday, January 31, 2016

Roots Tech Streaming Scheduled Announced

RootsTech is a huge genealogy conference to be held next week in Salt Lake City. If you cannot attend in person, you might be interested in watching some of the presentations that will be broadcast live on the the Internet, including the general keynote sessions on Thursday and Saturday.

All presentations will be available at http://www.rootstech.org. A schedule of presenters and their subjects are available here Please be aware that the times shown are in Mountain Standard Time:

Friday, January 29, 2016

Finding Your Roots – Episode 4, Season 3-Tragedy + Time = Comedy

In the current season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS, this week’s episode featured Jimmy Kimmel, Norman Lear and Bill Hader. The episode is entitled Tragedy + Time = Comedy and can now be viewed online – click here to access the video. Video access expires on February 23, 2016.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


With John P. Schmal

 When: Saturday, January 30, 2016 at 1pm
Where: Los Angeles Family Search Library
10741 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
Training Room 1

Join us in Training Room 1 for “Finding Your Roots in Mexico,” a combined lecture – workshop to help people learn how to trace their roots in Mexico. Veteran genealogist John Schmal will show attendees how to access the records of their Mexican ancestors online and give them pointers about how to use that information once you have located it. Using a 45-page PowerPoint, John will point out some of the potential problems that arise with Mexican research and how to navigate those problems to get the results you need. Bring your family group sheets and pedigree charts to get the best results.

A graduate of Loyola-Marymount University, John P. Schmal is an historian, genealogist and lecturer, specializing in Mexican genealogy. He is the coauthor of Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico, which he co-authored with Donna Morales. He has done extensive research on families from the states of Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Chihuahua. He is a lifetime honorary member of GSHA-SC and a board member of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR).

Monday, January 25, 2016

Finding Your Roots – Episode 3, Season 3-In Search of Freedom

In the current season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS, this week’s episode featured Maya Rudolph, Shonda Rhimes and Keenen Ivory Wayans. The episode is entitled In Search of Freedom and can now be viewed online – click here to access the video. Video access expires on February 16, 2016.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Member shares her story on Ancestry.com blog

Tracing your family history is a very personal journey for some including Cathy Romero of Genealogical Society of Hispanic America- So California (GSHA-SC). Cathy shares what prompted her New Mexican family research, and the exciting discovery she quickly made on her paternal side. - See more at: http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2016/01/22/cathy-romero-shares-what-ignited-her-passion-for-family-history/#sthash.heCce1kr.dpuf


Monday, January 18, 2016

Continuing Education: From the Known Into the Unknown

Often in our search for new information, and new names to add to our research, we forget the known: those sources we already have. If you are a member of more than one genealogical society you have valuable sources that should be revisited periodically. Those sources are your society journals.

Do you recognize yourself in the following: The journal arrives and you scan it quickly for surnames or geographical sites which pertain to your own research; then you either begin searching your own known files for a connection OR flag the article for later scrutiny. Genealogy may be your passion, but often real life interferes, so you set the latest journal aside to read later. Soon stacks of journals sit in your to be read stack. When you finally get around to reading even one issue, months (or sometimes years) have gone by. But whether you discover something or nothing, eventually the issue is stacked on a shelf.

What is missing from that process? You should periodically revisit those stacks. And you should locate back issues that are not in your collection. Sometimes you do not have to buy the back issues, you can simply find the issues at a library and make copies of the pages you need. Or, you can buy an index to the journals so that you can periodically search the index to update your research. Back issues of the New Mexico Genealogist, Herencia, and Nuestras Raices, often reveal new information that did not connect with your research when you originally read the journal, but now it does. So whether the journals are gathering dust on a shelf or the information is in a library or index, now is the time to return to the known and find the unknown.

Check with each society to see if they published an index. Without an index you must either peruse the Table of Contents or review each journal page by page. Sometimes you discover more than just a name or date to add to your charts, you discover collateral information that can open up a new approach to your research. Or you may learn about a library or reference facility that is new to you. I recommend reviewing these publications with the following in mind:

• Make sure you cite your sources. If you are entering the information directly onto a chart or into your computer’s genealogical program, be sure to note where it came from: the title of the article, the author, page numbers, the name of the journal, volume & issue, date of publication. If you are making a copy of the page(s), be sure you have this information with the pages: the name of the journal, volume & issue, date of publication. (Most journals list this information in the header at the top of the page or the footer at the bottom of the page, but not all of them do, so please check to see if you have the full source information.)

• Consider contacting the author of the article, they may have additional information that did not get published.

Copyright 2010 by Donie Nelson 

• Remember that none of these publications are the final authority. They are not primary sources, they are secondary sources. As such, they must be viewed as a directional signal, not as the final destination. The final authority is the original document, the primary source.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Finding Your Roots – Episode 2, Season 3 – The Irish Factor

In the new season of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS, this week’s episode featured Soledad O’Brien, Bill O’Reilly and Bill Maher. The episode is entitled The Irish Factor and can now be viewed online – click here to access the video. Video access expires on February 9, 2016.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Genealogy Workshops by Donie Nelson

Veteran Genealogist, Workshop Leader, and Speaker

Whether you are a veteran wishing to brush up on your skills or a newbie with a lot of questions, the Santa Fe Springs City Library has invited Donie Nelson to produce a series of monthly genealogical workshops in their Community Room.

When & Where
Saturday, January 23, 2016
10 am -12 noon
Santa Fe Springs City Library
11700 Telegraph Rd., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Interviewing Techniques

Whether you are tackling cranky Aunt Irma, memory challenged Uncle Tony or talking to an absolute stranger, it pays to be prepared for “interviews.” You may think of it as a short visit or a telephone chat, but whenever you are asking questions about the family, you need to be prepared. This workshop will prepare you for a basic interview…and provide tips for more difficult quests and questions. If you have some tips you have learned, prepare to share!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Announcement of dates and times for San Diego Research Days!

For those living near and in San Diego looking for assistance with their research, we have the following dates and times.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Finding Your Roots has returned

Finding Your Roots with Professor Henry L. Gates will start its third season on PBS this week on Tuesday, January 5. Gates’s lineup this season will include the likes of Bill O’Reilly, Shonda Rhimes, Jimmy Kimmel, Dustin Hoffman, Mia Farrow, Julianne Moore, Norman Lear, Senator John McCain, LL Cool J, Puffy Combs, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, Keenen Ivory Wayans and Gloria Steinem.

The first episode can be seen here by clicking on it. It deals with the family stories that need to be uncovered and proven true.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Upcoming GSHA-SC General Membership Meeting

Saturday February 6, 2016 10 AM-4 PM

Southern California Genealogical Society Library
417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA
Genealogy Roundup: Filling in the Missing Pieces  
and Setting Research Goals for 2016
Presented by Rita Vega-Acevedo VP Programs & Education

This presentation/workshop is designed as a ‘snapshot’ of where you are in your genealogy research; how to overcome a brick wall and how to set three attainable goals for 2016. Please bring your personal biography and Family Tree/Pedigree charts to share and discuss. If you don’t have charts, they can be purchased at the SCGS library. If you have a PC, please bring it with you, so you can access Family Search.org and Ancestry.com (you must have a subscription to access this website). Materials for Mexican genealogy sites will also be available. Volunteers will be on hand to assist and brainstorm problem areas with you. So, if you have hit a “brick wall” (in your research) and have had difficulty scaling it, this workshop is definitely for you. Hope to see you!

It is time to renew your membership!

January is the time to renew your membership to the organization. If you are not a member and wish to become one, please print out this application, complete it and send it in with correct amount to the address noted on the application. Once received, we will notify you of all the benefits of being a member.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Upcoming Genealogy Garage

Saturday, January 16, 2016

11 am – 1 pm 

Is Your Family in the LAPL Archives?

Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), Central Library
630 W. 5th St., Los Angeles, CA 90071
History & Genealogy Department
Lower Level 4

Beyond the “open shelves and stacks” of the History & Genealogy Department at the LAPL is a trove of material available to the public IF YOU MAKE A REQUEST.  What is in the archives and how do you request it? This will be the topic of January’s Genealogy Garage.

Among the archived stacks are family histories compiled by other researchers and donated to the LAPL. If you telephone or email by January 7, 2016 to Donie Nelson at 310-204-6808 or doniegsha@earthlink.net with no more than two of your family’s surnames, a search will be done to see if there is a family history on those names. If the names are unique, all that is needed are the surnames, but if it is a common name, you must furnish county and state locations.  For example: Surname St. Croix County, Wisconsin.

Julie Huffman, Genealogy Librarian, will show samples of the material in the archives and explain how you can find material valuable to your own family research. You can make requests and see the results after the workshop!

RSVP Central Library 213-228-7000, ask for the History and Genealogy Department Tell them you are making a reservation for the Genealogy Garage workshop on [give the specific date]. Give them your name and an e-mail address or phone number so you can be notified if the workshop is unexpectedly cancelled.

Park UNDER the library, entering at 524 Flower Street just off 5th Street. You need a LAPL card to receive the $1.00 Saturday parking rate. Apply for the card at your local LAPL or at the Circulation Desk when you arrive. Just bring identification. Show your library card to get your parking ticket validated at the Information Desk before returning to your car.

Please travel light. This is a public building—it is NOT recommended that you leave computers, purses or other personal items unattended while researching.

Charlotte Bocage/SCGS Education Chair: 323-669-1982 or rubymoon01@yahoo.com
Donie Nelson: 310-204-6808 or doniegsha@earthlink.net

Monday, January 4, 2016

Continuing Education: Family Treasures

Too often family treasures end up selling for pennies at a yard sale or, sadly, in a dumpster, because the younger generation knows nothing of the family stories associated with them. Each of us has some responsibility for these losses.

While there is still time:
Make a list of items that are special to you, with notes stating why they are special: What is their significance? Who bought them? Where? Who owned them? When and how did you come to have them?

Make a similar list for the treasures still with older relatives.

Use your computer to set up a Family Inventory, noting both paternal and maternal sides of the family.

Create a page to display a photo of each item and the story of its family history. If you are a scrap booker, this is a terrific project—think about involving other members of the family in its creation. Today you can use computer programs to scrapbook OR scan the completed pages and send copies to members of the family so that everyone is familiar with your family’s treasures.

If you are not computer literate and do not have a friend or family member who can help you with the project there are alternatives. Dedicate a scrapbook or photo album to family treasures. Take a photograph of each item. Place it on a page and next to it write a description, answering the questions posed above.

If these are your treasures, note who should receive each treasure at the time of your death. Make sure that the recipients receive a copy of this list.

For the sake of your descendants for generations to come, do not allow yourself, or any member of your family to take memories of treasured items into eternity.

by Donie Nelson

[Inspired by an edited article by the Rev. Charles Stanley, Ret., previously published in RootsWeb Review: 9 September 2009, Vol. 12, No. 9, excerpted from the Whittier Area Genealogical Society’s October 2009 Newsletter, via South Orange County California GS, Saddleback Valley Trails, V. 17, No. 5, May 2010