Category: Genealogy

General discussion. Surname searches.

Genealogy Jamboree 2016 Live Streaming Announced

Registration is now open for FREE live streaming of the 47th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree and the pre-event Genetic Genealogy 2016 The Future of the Past: Genetic Genealogy 2016.Sessions from the Genetic Genealogy 2016 confer…

SCGS Announces 2016 Jamboree Extension Series Webinars

The Southern California Genealogical Society is proud to announce the 2016 schedule for the highly acclaimed, free Jamboree Extension Series Webinar program. SCGS offers an international online audience of genealogists and family historians educational…

Southern California Genealogical Society – Genealogy Jamboree Call for Presentations Extended!

Genealogy Jamboree 2016 Conference Call for Presentations47th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree Jamboree Extension Series WebinarsThe Southern California Genealogical Society announces the extension of the Call for Presentations f…

Congratulations to Winners of GENEii Family History Writers Contest

by Pam Wiedenbeck

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 GENEii Family History Writers Contest, sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society! The Family History Writing Contest honors writers who show mastery in the genres of Memoir and Literary Non-fiction.

223 entries were submitted by 178 authors. This is more than double last year’s participation. The response was truly global. 41 of the 50 states were represented, as well as our first submission from Puerto Rico, a United States territory. In addition, we have entries from Australia, Canada, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Serbia, Turkey and various places in the British Isles. For winners, this seems to be a California year with 5 of 12 winners from the Golden State.

Many thanks to all the authors who collectively contributed these 223 entries making this the largest GENEii contest ever. The winning submissions will be published in The Searcher during 2015 and 2016 as indicated below. Winning entries from past years can be found on the SCGS website.

Category 1: submissions from 1,000 to 2,000 words

  • First Place: “Jonathan Emery ” – Adrienne Boaz of Oxford, Michigan – Summer 2015
  • Second Place: “My Grandmother is My Guru” – Kelly Hirt of Snoqualmie, Washington – Winter 2016
  • Third Place: “Childhood’s Last Stand ” – Lauren Reynolds of Bel Air, Maryland – Winter 2016
  • Runner Up: ” At the Crossroads ” – Amy Gordon of Gill, Massachusetts – Spring 2016
  • Honorable Mention: “Boca De La Playa” – Joyce Roberson of West Hills, California – Fall 2015
  • Honorable Mention: “Veiled Grace” – Cathy Wilson of Huntington Beach, California – Fall 2015

Category 2: submissions under 1,000 words

  • First Place: “Patrol Boat Stop on the Mekong River” – Michelle Robin La of Santa Barbara, California – Summer 2015
  • Second Place: “Under the Sun” – Kharis Adirahsetio of Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia – Spring 2016
  • Third Place: “My Great-Grandmother, Isabella” – Cassie Shehadeh of Monrovia, California – Winter 2016
  • Runner Up: “A Sprig of Life” – Jeremy Flood of Summerville, South Carolina – Spring 2016
  • Honorable Mention: “The Little Engine that Could” – Erika Hoffman of Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Summer 2015
  • Honorable Mention: “Uncovering Dad’s Secret History” – Fred Land of West Lake Village, California – Fall 2015

Note: The Searcher issues cover these dates – Summer 2015 (July-Sept.); Fall 2015 (Oct-Dec); Winter 2016 (Jan-Mar); Spring 2016 (Apr-June)

Genealogy Jamboree 2015 Live Streaming Announced

Registration is now open for live streaming of the Southern California Genealogical Society and the pre-event Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus.  Sessions from Thursday’s Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus are available on a pay-per-view basis on …

Announcement: SCGS Genealogy Jamboree, Burbank Public Library & Ancestry Join Forces

The Southern California Genealogical Society is pleased to announce participation in a new initiative to build an historical photo archive of Burbank, California’s people, places and things for the website of the Burbank Public Library.

According to Melissa Potter, Assistant Library Services Director, Burbank Public Library:  

“As genealogists, we all know the value of local history collections; and if you have historical photos of Burbank, you can help build one! In 2016, the Burbank Public Library will be launching a searchable, historical digital photo collection. We are looking for photos of historical people, places and events in Burbank.” 

Members of the general public will have their first chance to submit photos to the project on June 5, 6, and 7 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, 2500 Hollywood Way, Burbank, in conjunction with the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

The collection event photo project is a collaboration among the Burbank Public Library, online family history website, and the Southern California Genealogical Society. There is no cost to participate in this community project.

Potter continued, “If you have Burbank photos that you would like to submit for this collection, has kindly offered to professionally scan them at Jamboree and give a copy of the digital image to the Burbank Public library. You keep your original photos, and share the scanned images through the library’s website! This is a wonderful way to build up your genealogy karma and repay those distant relatives in faraway cities that have done something similar. Thanks so much to the Southern California Genealogical Society and for this exciting opportunity!”

Here’s what to do if you have photos to be included in the new archive:
1. Sign up for a scanning appointment here: Scanning Appointments with Ancestry.  Walk-ins will be accepted as time permits.
2. Ahead of time, prepare your photos as described here:  Preparation Instructions
3. Bring your photos to the Marriott on the day of your appointment. Allow time to find a parking spot and check in.
4. Go to the Burbank Public Library table #143 in the Convention Center Exhibit Hall, where you will sign a release to confirm that you own the photo, and to identify the people, place or things in the photo. There is no cost to get into the Exhibit Hall.
5. Take your photos and documents to the Scanning Room, Producer A&B. Follow the signs.

Of course, you are welcome to bring your family history documents and non-Burbank photos that you would like scanned for your own personal use. Ancestry will scan your documents and return them to you, along with the scans on an official Ancestry thumb drive.

SCGS Announces 2015 Jamboree Extension Series of Webinars

Click here to view the schedule

The Southern California Genealogical Society proudly announces plans for the 2015 Jamboree Extension Webinar Series. Since 2011, SCGS has offered twice-monthly webinars for genealogists and family historians around the globe.

The goal of the Webinar Series is to fulfill an important element of the Society’s Mission Statement: The Southern California Genealogical Society exists to foster interest in family history and genealogy, preserve genealogical materials, and provide instruction in accepted and effective research techniques.

What does it cost?
The live webcasts are open to the public free of charge. Please tell your cousins, fellow genealogical society members and others about our program. We’d love to have them join us.

When are they held?
SCGS webinars are held the first Saturday and third Wednesday of each month. They are held at hours that most people are not working: Saturday 10am Pacific time and Wednesday 6pm Pacific time.

I’m sold. How do I sign up?
It’s really easy. Go to the SCGS website page with the Extension Series information.

You’ll see a list with all of the upcoming webinars and links to register. Click on the links to register for the live webcasts you want to attend. Fill out the registration information and you’re all set. You’ll get a confirmation email and will also get reminders before the webinar, as well as a link to a handout for every presentation.

On the day of the program, click the link that you received in those emails and you’ll be taken to GoToWebinar for your session. You can watch the webinars on your laptop or desktop, on your tablet or even your smartphone. If you don’t have an internet connection, you can even dial in by phone and listen to the presentation.

What if I can’t watch the live webcast?
As a benefit of membership, SCGS members may view any of the 125 or so archived sessions any time, day or night, on the SCGS website. Webinars are posted online about two weeks after the webcast. A list of the archived sessions can be found on the SCGS website. To learn more about the valuable membership benefits available for SCGS members, visit our membership webpage.

Download the 2015 Webinar flyer and post it on your office’s bulletin board.

Join us for the first session on Saturday, January 3!

Announcement: Southern California Genealogy Jamboree – Call for Proposals EXTENDED

Genetic Genealogy: DNA Day Plus!, June 4, 2015Genealogy Jamboree, June 5-7, 2015Jamboree Extension Series WebinarsWe Want YOU!Have you submitted for the Southern California Genealogical Society 46th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, to be …

Announcement: New Member Benefits at Southern California Genealogical Society

At its annual Genealogy Jamboree, which opened on Friday in Burbank, California, the Southern California Genealogical Society announced the addition of two valuable new member benefits.

“We are honored to have a strong member base of genealogists and family historians and genealogists who recognize the benefits of membership in SCGS. With the addition of these two new programs, an SCGS membership will become even more valuable,” explained David Burde, SCGS president.

The first benefit is the SCGS participation in the Society Membership Program provided by Through this partnership, SCGS members will receive a discount to a twelve-month world subscription on in an amount equal to the cost of a one-year individual membership in SCGS. Since the Society’s annual regular membership is $35, that is the amount of the discount that each member will receive.

Burde continued, “The second benefit is especially exciting, because it adds another remote resource available to our members.” Effective immediately, SCGS members have remote access to millions of military records on Fold3.

Access Fold3 by clicking on the “Members Only” button on the SCGS website,

Since all the SCGS staff will be onsite at the conference and unable to process new membership, there may be a slight delay before new members can utilize these benefits. Thank you for your patience.

Fold3 remote access and the findmypast discount are in addition to the many existing membership benefits, including:
– Remote access to
– On-demand access to over 100 hours of educational videos from past Jamboree sessions and our twice-monthly webinar series.
– Discounts on educational events such as Jamboree, on SCGS publications, and on research team services.
– Online access to Los Angeles area records, as hundreds of thousands of records from the society’s 1890 Project become available.
– Guided research trips to Salt Lake City, Ft. Wayne and other destinations

 Details about these new benefits will be announced over the next few days. Fold3 is available to members now.

Paula Hinkel
Vice President
Southern California Genealogical Society

Jamboree – Announcing the 2014 Jamboree Mobile App

Click here to download the appWe are so excited to announce that the mobile app for the 2014 Southern California Genealogy Jamboree is now available for download!The Jamboree mobile app is available for the following operating systems: iOS (iPad, iP…

Superscripts with Evernote

One of my favorite programs, for genealogy as well as other things is Evernote.  It has always had one shortcoming, though, which is that the computer versions didn’t have a direct way to do superscripts.  That makes transcription of older … Continue reading

Genealogy Jamboree Conference App Available

Want the app? Just click.

It is with great pride that we announce that the Mobile App for the 2013 Jamboree is now available for download. We are exceedingly grateful to for again sponsoring what we think is the Best. App. Ever. for a …

NGS National Conference

I’m at the National Genealogical Society family history conference again this year, this time in Las Vegas. The city is sort of wasted on me since I’m not real interested in gambling but it’s a good conference.  Some highlights after … Continue reading

Review of Evidentia

Evidentia is a different kind of genealogy software, designed to help you implement the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) rather than build a family tree.  I tested the program with a recent line of research I was working on and found … Continue reading

The reasonably exhausting search

I recently decided to try applying the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) to some research I was working on to determine the parents of John McKelvey (1789-1847) of Ionia County, Michigan.  The first requirement of the GPS is that a reasonable … Continue reading

King Richard III and DNA

The story of the confirmation of the discovery of Richard III‘s remains under a parking lot in England is all over the news today and is a great story.  Reading the details it shows that they did their research the … Continue reading

Evidentia pre-review

I just learned of the program Evidentia, which is designed to guide you through the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) process.  I just downloaded a copy to review, and though I’d give my thoughts on what such a program should do … Continue reading

Surname Saturday – Konarski

I was reminded of Surname Saturday and thought I’d give it a try.  I’m going to start out with my own surname, Konarski.  Konarski is a Polish name.  The root “kon” comes from the Polish word for horse, koń.  There … Continue reading

The last person in my RootsMagic file

I’m following the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun assignment from  I like the random topics he suggests. 1. Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very last … Continue reading

Review of

Ancestry recently opened a new site,  It is similar to other newspaper sites like GenealogyBank and NewspaperArchive.  So do we gain anything from another newspaper archive site? has over 800 newspapers.  For comparison, GenealogyBank claims 6100+ newspapers and … Continue reading

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

I just found the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun feature on the Geneamusing blog so I thought I’d try it.  Here is this evening’s challenge: Go to the Baby Name Wizard site and see how popular your name was over the … Continue reading

RootsMagic 6 Review

RootsMagic 6 was recently released.  It’s not a major overhaul but it adds a variety of new features. Installation on a Mac I run RootsMagic on my Mac inside CrossOver, a program that lets you run Windows programs without installing … Continue reading