San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society

Genealogical Society, San Ramon Valley, Northern California, USA Monthly Member Meetings & Special Interest Groups

We meet monthly on the 3rd Tuesday at 10am at the Danville Family History Center, 2949 Stone Valley Road, Alamo, California 95007. We also have six special interest groups to help with just about any genealogy problem you may have.

Mission: Help Genealogy Enthusiasts

FamilySearch Updates Enhance your Experience • FamilySearch

News from Family Search: FamilySearch updates give users the best experience possible. Read about the latest updates and how they will improve your FamilySearch experience.

Online Resource A-Z

A note from the Contra Costa Library system regarding access to Ancestry from home:

Access to the popular genealogy resource is usually limited to in-library use only, but is temporarily expanded to library cardholders working remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.

Log into Ancestry from our Digital Resources page and begin your genealogical quest. Recent Online Resources

New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy Garners High Marks from Midwest Book Review -

New pocket guide to Irish genealogy now available. Brian Mitchell’s New Pocket Guide to Irish Genealogy just received a stellar review from Mr. Cox, and we are reprinting it below in its entirety.

Polish Genealogy at a Glance | Available in New 2020 Updated Edition -

This useful series has an updated edition for Polish genealogy. In the newly updated edition, expert genealogist Rosemary Chorzempa, lays out the basic elements of Polish genealogical research in four specially laminated pages.


Because of the pandemic, many large genealogical organizations are holding their annual meetings and conferences online. Here is another: Announcement of Virtual Conference (14 June 2020): The IAJGS 2020 Conference on Jewish Genealogy will be held from Monday, 10 August, through Thursday, 13 August, on a virtual platform. Brainstorming and Connectivity will be the focus of four days of live, streamed sessions on broad topics presen...

Coming to an SF street near you: A photo of what it looked like 100 years ago

New historical photo gallery for San Francisco is now online. Something lovely may soon be coming to your daily neighborhood stroll: a glimpse into the...

Original sources

Race: Information original sources can provide... Of original causes These are powerful times in which we live, and part of the power of the moment comes from the tidal wave of history that is sweeping a lot of misconceptions out with it. One of those misconceptions: the Civil War was fought by southern states to “protect states' rights.”

Introducing Cross-Language Record Matches - MyHeritage Blog

New from MyHeritage - cross-language record matching: As many genealogists already know, among the major commercial genealogy websites, MyHeritage is the website of choice for international genealogy — that is, for finding ancestors and relatives all over the world, particularly in Europe. It is also extremely useful for U.S. genealogists as many of ...

Genealogy Bargains Archives -

Who doesn't like a bargain? How about some genealogy bargains?! Bargains, Freebie 15 May 2020 FREE ONLINE EVENT! Libby Copeland with The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are American Ancestors/NEHGS & the Boston Public Library present Libby Copeland with The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are – a virtual event in the American St...

Storing Family Papers and Photographs

The National Archives is a terrific resource for genealogists. Here are some of their recos on storing family papers and photos. Store items at a low temperature and a low relative humidity Different storage conditions changed how these two photographs aged. The lower the temperature the longer your items will last, because cooler temperatures slow the rate of chemical decay and reduce insect activity. Keep the temperature be...

A local library resource that you might not have heard of is Kanopy. It's a streaming service with many, many free videos (including some on genealogy) that you can watch from home or on your mobile device. If you have a CCC Library Card, all that's required is a few clicks to set up a free account.

Want to check out some yearbooks? MyHeritage is opening up their yearbook index collection (1890 - 1979) for free until May 23rd.

April 25th is National DNA Day, and to help celebrate, Family Tree DNA and MyHeritage are currently running great sales!

Watch Past Sessions of RootsTech

Grab some popcorn and find your favorite chair - all of RootsTech is now online! FamilySearch Terms of Use (Updated 2019-12-10) | Privacy Notice (Updated 2019-09-01)© 2020 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

If you missed the free Family History Writing Challenge, good news - all 30 of its videos are available again. "Write now - stories forever!"

Sheltering in place may be a boon for genealogy activities. Maybe this is a good time to curate your photograph collection. Cull the duplicates and duds, label the keepers, scan/digitize the prints and slides, maybe even put together a photo book!

Collections — Google Arts & Culture

While we are staying home because of the pandemic, take a break from doing genealogy research by using your computer to go to a museum. Here are several hundred to choose from! Google Arts & Culture features content from over 1200 leading museums and archives who have partnered with the Google Cultural Institute to bring the world's treasures online.

FamilySearch ​has a new tool for locating hidden digital data. Currently the indexed name records we use for searching only contain 20 percent of the material available on their website. With their new tool you can find data locked inside of digital images. Exploring images allows you to type in places, dates or events instead of a name search. For more information go to:

Next week's program:

Program schedule for 2020!

Request Military Service Records

If you are next of kin (mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son, or unremarried spouse) of a deceased US military veteran, you can easily request a copy of their military records as well as duplicates of medals and decorations by going here, filling out and returning the online form, and faxing or mailing a copy of your signature to the National Archives.

The Library of Congress has many online resources for genealogists, including a really big collection of telephone directories.

Scientists found a 5,700-year-old piece of used gum in a lagoon — and sequenced the entire genome of the woman who chewed it

News on some unique DNA testing: For the first time, scientists were able to extract an entire ancient human genome from a wad of birch "chewing gum" discovered in Denmark.

2020 Census Jobs

As genealogists, we all use census records. Well, now you can help CREATE those records by actually participating in 2020 census data collection! Here is general information about census hiring, which will lead you to Contra Costa County (or any other county) and the census office in Concord. Pretty good pay, too!

A reminder - the annual and delicious cookie exchange is tomorrow, Tuesday, December 3rd, 10am - noon at Francie Lloyd's house (see directory for directions). Bring some cookies, eat some cookies, take some cookies home! All members welcome.

While the upcoming holidays can be hectic, they are also perfect for setting aside some quality time and holding family history interviews. Even though you may have already have all the vital statistics for your Aunt Gertrude, what you may be missing are the colorful family stories that won't appear in any online search, stories that will disappear unless you engage Aunt Gertrude in a friendly dialogue. A Google search for "oral history interview" will reveal many lists of good questions to ask your relatives.

Immigration Documents - Please Comment on Proposed Fee Increase!

If you are interested in immigration documents, please consider responding to a proposal to drastically increase document request fees: Genealogy tips & stories tracing family with microfilmed records, records in Ukrainian archives, and (sometimes) online records. Jewish genealogy blog

Next Tuesday's program:

2019 VGA Conference

No need to travel to every genealogy conference - here's one that's online! The Program (registration links at bottom of page) Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 8:45am Eastern to 6:00pm Eastern Registrants will have access to the recordings and hando…

Program for our October 15th meeting:

How to Save Family History in a Family Archive - The Family Curator

Consider your archives as your own, personal museum. It's not difficult nor expensive to create your own family archive to preserve and organize family photos, documents, and genealogy research.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars

Webinar about "50 Records that Document Female Ancestors." Wed., October 9, 2019, 5 pm, FREE, Legacy Webinars by Gena Ortega, free registration, required. As mentioned in the Castro Valley Genealogy Study Group by Wayne Ainsworth, on Oct. 3, 2019 , Home

Tip of the day: when searching for information about a surname, try not only the common spelling of the name, but also others that sound similar, and those that might have been logical indexing mistakes. Keeping a list of alternate surname spellings to call on can be helpful. E.g., Smith, Smythe, Smithe, Schmith, Simth, etc.

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2949 Stone Valley Rd
Alamo, CA
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