Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hispanic Saturday – 27 August 2016 meeting follow up

We had a special guest speaker, Harry Crosby at our 27 August 2016 Hispanic Saturday meeting. The meeting was held in the Neil Morgan auditorium at the San Diego Central library and we had 51 attendees. Harry Crosby is a noted author on early California history. The title of his presentation was California during Spanish Control, 1697-1821. He discussed the early history of Baja California and the people who established Baja California. He also provided the names of some of the early soldiers that came to California. He cited that the establishment of California was different than mainland Mexico because of the Jesuits. The Jesuits had an agreement with the King of Spain that they would establish settlements in California and that they would cover all costs. Part of that agreement gave the Jesuits complete control of the management of California. As a result the Jesuits selected the solders that came to California rather than the Mexican government.

The next Hispanic Saturday meeting will occur on 15 October at 1pm at the San Diego Central Library. It will be the last meeting for this year. Attendees need to go to the 9th floor to find out which room has been assigned for the meeting.
By Ceasar Castro, Outreach Coordinator

Wrap up on the Maritime Presentation

The meeting on August 27, 2016, Alan Kemp, maritime historian gave an indepth talk on "Dangerous Exploration to Alta California in the 1700's". His presentation focuses on the maritime experience of Spanish sailors during the Spanish Colonial period and how the Spanish ships changed the course of history by providing a lifeline to Spanish explorers and mission settlements in California.

A bout fifty people attended our special event at the El Sereno Public Library in Los Angeles.
Alan Kemp’s presentation included diagrams of Spanish ships; famous drawings by foreign artists from the de la Perouse ship expedition. The drawings were of encounters with Franciscans and Native tribes at the Mission San Carlos (now Mission Carmel). These visual records continue to enthrall and intrigue us. In them we see a primitive mission, a tile factory, and converts lined up to welcome visitors.

We learned why sea travel was dangerous. Ships faltered, ships disappeared, and sailors died of scurvy, including sixty on the San Carlos ship, one of three ships from the famous 1769 expedition which landed at San Diego. Father Junipero Serra and renowned military men Gaspar Portola and Fernando de Rivera were entering Alta California for the first time and making history.

Hurricanes in New Spain were a big problem and headache for the Spanish government. Kemp said that it took the Spanish government and sea commanders time to understand the weather cycles and ocean current patterns from New Spain to the Alta California coast. Delays in repairing, building, and supplying ships often meant more risk to the crews who often encountered fierce storms or hurricanes on the high seas. Within time, this problem was resolved by more disciplined planning. Additionally, commanders did not follow a straight linear sea path up the Alta California coast which seemed logical and quicker. “It was not,” said Kemp. Commanders realized that they made better time by avoiding the strong southward currents. Instead, they traveled west in a half circle pattern and then veered east closer to their destination.

Life for sailors was difficult, pay was low, food was substandard and sailors’ rations included rum. Sailors slept on hanging hammocks, worked four hour shifts and then slept four hours. Hammocks were shared by crew members getting off duty. Franciscans and Chaplains had slightly better quarters and could follow their own work and sleep schedules. Pages received the lowest pay, commanders, the highest.
There was little room on board ship for supplies, perhaps the equivalent of two semi-trucks parking at a Ralph’s market. There were no piers to unload supplies. Sometimes it took up to 58 small boat trips to unload supplies. For this reason, the Spanish government later approved an overland expedition in 1775 led by Juan Bautista de Anza. Kemp noted that ship travel remained a safer, but more expensive choice, since Sonora was not a safe place to travel by land due to Indian insurrections. These tribes included the Pimas, Seris, Apaches and others. Constant raids were the reason why many towns in Northern Mexico became depopulated in the 18th century.

Kemp discussed the cordial relations that existed initially with the Chumash in the Santa Barbara Channel who had some things in common with the Spanish sailors. Both had the opportunity to trade and inspect each other’s sailing vessels. In some respects, the Spanish realized that the Chumash were a force to contend with, especially when it came to building canoes and being successful as fisherman and At San Blas, the maritime port near Tepic, Mexico, navy crews provided a lifeline to the missionaries, the military and the Spanish settlers of Alta California. The ships also took on passengers on the return route. Passengers included missionaries who were retiring or became too ill to continue working on the frontier. Father Serra and others sent mail to their religious orders or leaders in Mexico City. San Blas eventually was forced to close around 1810 when New Spain sought independence from Spain. The closure of the San Blas naval base meant that the missionaries, military and settlers were on their own. Help was not coming. This became their next challenge. After Mexican independence, Kemp noted that trade restrictions were lifted and commerce from the United States and other countries began to flood into California. For some settlers, they adapted and tried to retain their culture. For others, such as the missionaries and native tribes, life became difficult.

By Rita Vega-Acevedo, VP Programs & Education

Friday, August 26, 2016

Next General Special Meeting, Saturday, August 27, 2016 3-5 pm

Please join us for our next special meeting on August 27, 2016 from 3 to 5 pm where our presenter Alan Kemp will talk on "Dangerous Exploration to Alta California in the 1700's". This presentation focuses on the maritime experience of Spanish sailors during the Spanish Colonial period. The speaker, will give us an overview of the importance of Spanish ships: how they changed the course of history by providing a lifeline to Spanish explorers and others in California. This reliance on a seaborne connection with the Spanish Empire also had profound impact on social, political, diplomatic and economic development. He will share his research of what life was like for the captains, for the sailors, and how team work was essential to staying alive. He will explain why the California coast was one of the most dangerous routes even for veteran crews. His topic will educate and encourage us to learn more about this fascinating segment of early California history.
Please join us at the El Sereno Library, Community Room, 5226 Huntington Dr. Blvd, Los Angeles, CA (Directions to the El Sereno Library—323-225-9201).

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Genealogy Garage DNA Presentation

Full house at the Genealogy Garage today. Thank you Cheti Mello for an introduction to DNA research at the LAPL downtown.

Friday, August 19, 2016

GSHA Annual Meeting August 6, 2016

For those who couldn't attend the conference or the Annual Meeting, here is the video of the meeting.. It's very informative and worthwhile for all members to hear. It would be wonderful if all annual meetings were videotaped. Video provided by Secretary Izabel Perez

Thursday, August 18, 2016


A Twofer: Enlisting Family Members to Help You

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed with your research? Have you thought of enlisting one or more
of your family members to help you? If not, you are missing out on a support system—and you are depriving your family members of the joy of family history research.

Below are some tips on how to involve your family. And the twofer? If they are younger than you, you might be recruiting more youthful members to join your genealogy society!

Pinpoint the techies: Anyone under 40 probably knows a lot about computers, scanners, social media,
the Internet, etc. Here are some jobs they can do:

• Scan family photographs and documents

• Input your research information into your genealogy software program (you do have one, right?)

• Set up a family Facebook page or Web site

• Handle your e-mail correspondence

Any budding writers in your family?

• Send them a family photo and the facts about that person, and request that they write one to two paragraphs for you to share in the family newsletter

• Ask them to help create a family newsletter

Who are the party-givers in your family? Give them a job:

• Organize a “mini reunion”: one day, potluck, bring family photos (Be sure the family scanner is on hand to scan the photos or documents before they leave—and be sure to get names, dates, etc. so the photos can be identified.)

• Organize a family “breakfast meeting”: once a month on the same weekend (1st, 2nd, last, whichever) at the same low-priced restaurant. Whoever can come, shows up. It keeps the family connected—and you can share your latest research findings.

Who are the travelers/tourists in your family?

• Enlist them to take photographs in the old hometown, at a family cemetery, at a battlefield, etc. Provide them with the background of the site so that they get curious about (and connected to) your family’s past.

• Request that they check out the local historical society, courthouse, or other repository to get first-hand information so that you can follow up. Connect with grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. If they are teenagers or younger, their parents are probably overextended and would appreciate a “date
weekend” or some personal time without the kids. Offer to be the granny/nanny and take one or more of those kids to an age-appropriate, family-history-oriented event. It could be a cultural festival, a visit to a historic site—if it’s connected to your family’s history, all the better. Spend a few hours at the library browsing its photo collection or pictorial publications focusing on historic sites, or in your home as they help you sort family photos and you tell them the most exciting stories of their ancestors. Many genealogists confess that the stories told by the senior members of their
family are what inspired them to research when they became adults.

Be a good genealogical gardener: Plant some seeds! Get assistance! Pay the research forward!

Donie Nelson specializes in establishing outreach programs for genealogical societies. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Nuestras Raices, a national quarterly journal for Hispanic researchers. This article is
©2015 Donie Nelson; all rights reserved.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Autosomal DNA Test on sale right now!!!!!

Check out the low low price for an autosomal test "Family Finder" at FAMILYTREEDNA regularly at $99 plus shipping now $69 plus shipping. Savings of over $30!!! Now is the time to have your Parents, Grandparents, cousins get tested!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Photos from Aug 6th Meeting

Donie Nelson gave an interesting talk on "FAMILY STORIES: Secrets, Lies, & Surprises", where she explained that in her family there are secrets, mistruths or lies that have an underlying surprised to them. The examples she gave told about stories hidden by family members which brought dull facts to life.  She stated that every family historian discovers at least one hidden story and the longer you research, the more you will find!

Next meeting to be held is on 6 Aug 2016

Please join us for our next meeting on August 6, 2016 from 10 am to 4 pm where our presenter Donie Nelson will talk on "FAMILY STORIES: Secrets, Lies, & Surprises". Please join us at the Southern California Genealogical Society Library, 417 Irving Dr., Burbank, California (directions: 818-843-7247).
All families have secrets, all families tell lies and someone is always surprised. Every family historian discovers at least one; the longer you research, the more you find! Stories hidden by family members bring the dull facts to life and can be the lure to involve other family members in doing research. In this PowerPoint presentation veteran genealogist Donie Nelson reveals the surprising stories she uncovered!