Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from the great central United States. I am in southwestern Nebraska at my Dad's farm. My two sisters and a nephew are here too. This is the first Thanksgiving we have all been together for years, probably decades.

There certainly won't be much activity on this blog, that much is for sure.

I hope everyone who reads this has a bountiful repast and good things to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sparse Posting

New entries on the blog will be rather sparse for the next month or so. I am going to Nebraska to harvest corn and will only have dial up access. Ugh!

If you come up with anything you'd like to see posted, send me an email with the text in the message and I'll see what I can do.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A shameless plug

On Monday Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings was kind enough to make a blog entry about our new venture into the blogosphere. He has an international following of his excellent blog and I noticed an immediate increase in our visitor numbers.

So I figured I had better take a look at all of the blogs that Randy runs. I read Genea-Musings daily and look at his busy life for the jokes. I must admit that I'm lax in visiting the others.

If you are one of the half dozen or so genealogists who isn't familiar with Randy's blog here's a list of all them. I just cut and pasted his own description of each blog, my comments will be in brackets.


Genealogy research tips and techniques, genealogy news items and commentary, genealogy humor, San Diego genealogy society news, family history research and some family history stories from the keyboard of Randy Seaver (of Chula Vista CA), who thinks that Genealogy Research Is really FUN! Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2006-2009.

[This is a really interesting blog. Last spring and summer he wrote a really good series of 24 articles about using Rootsmagic 4. I'm a Rootsmagic user so these were of particular interest.]

Randy's Busy Life - He's a Chargers and Padres fan.

This is a personal life blog - I will post family pictures as I get them, and make comments on current events and San Diego sports. I will also post "good" jokes and trivia quizzes occasionally. Go Chargers! Go Padres!

[I primarily read this one for his jokes. If he's not showing his political side, he is showing that he is still slightly askew. Good qualities.]

The Geneaholic - Randy's personal genealogy blog,

Genealogy and family research are an obsession for me. Yea, verily, I am a Geneaholic!

[Randy's daily genealogy diary.]

Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe - Official blog for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.

This blog is sponsored by the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, located in southern San Diego County in California. The purpose of the Genealogy Cafe is to serve our members and other San Diego genealogy researchers - to answer questions, provide research information, provide notices of programs, etc.

[Has everything you will ever need to know about the CVGS.]

Randy Seaver's Ancestry and Family History - His personal website.

About the only thing that reduces his genealogy output is when he is with his grandkids. But he keeps us informed about "grandkid stuff".

Check'em out.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Library Grand Opening

The San Diego Genealogical Society had its members only Grand Opening today. We had about 120 members and guests come out to check out our new digs. There were library volunteers available to show everyone the layout and introduce them to the layout. A few of the members weren't aware of our computer capabilities or the web access.

Refreshments were available for the event. Just a note: All refreshments were consumed outside! When the library is fully operational patrons will be limited to eating at the tables in the rear of the library. Absolutely no food or drinks in the book stacks or computer work stations. Orders of the librarian.

Marna, the society president, and Pam, the librarian, along with all the volunteers who are doing the grunt work are looking forward to the public Grand Opening on Saturday, 21 Nov 2009, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

There are a few photos at SDGS Web Albums. (If you look at the pictures, ignore the created date. For some reason it is listed as 4 Nov instead of 15 Nov.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A good time was had by all

A great turnout for the Seminar today at the Handlery Hotel. Over 300 people interested in genealogy attended the event.

Suzanne Russo Adams from presented four sessions on different areas available. The first session was on the best strategies to do research, with primary attention to the new search. The second session was an overview of Rootsweb and Ancestry's collaboration functions. These included the mailing lists and message boards at Rootsweb and family tree sharing at Ancestry.

A pretty decent box lunch was provided at the noon break.

In the afternoon she explained the Ancesry World Archives Project. This is an effort to attract volunteers to digital images of records that has created. As the documents are indexed our genealogical research is made considerably easier. The final session was on using a new service of Ancestry called "My Canvas". My Canvas is an online publishing function which helps you construct the books you want to publish. You can create family history books from your family tree or other photo books. My Canvas has numerous ideas and guides to help you create your book. The finished product can be printed on your computer or you can have them print and bind your work.

Randy Seaver will present his views on the seminar later this evening, he will probably have a more thorough synopsis as he attended each session. If you want to check out his entry hop on over to and take a look.

I spent my time helping scan pictures for the attendees. We had one high speed scanner that copied about 1000 images. There were two stations that took digital images of family photos. Our attendees brought old tintype photos, diplomas, funeral guest books, high school annuals and even family snapshots. There were a few glitches in the scanning but we were able to create over 2500 images.

You can view some pictures at SDGS Picasa Web Albums

All in all it was a very good day.

Friday, November 13, 2009

SDGS Library Grand Opening 15 Nov 2009

Don't forget the new Library Grand Opening on Nov 14, 2009. This event is for SDGS members only and is from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. The location is 7343 Ronson Rd, Suite O, San Diego.

The ribbon cutting will be at 1:00 p.m. so don't show up at 1:05 expecting to see the big event.

A big gala with ribbons, balloons and cookies is planned. (Well ok, maybe not a big gala event, but gala anyway.)

If you haven't been to the library in a while come see the new one. We have lots of books and periodicals, over 10,000, microfilm, microfiche, and data on CDROM. There are two computer work stations with net access. Hopefully in the near future we will have an account with for the library. If you have your own account you can access that at the library.

Looking forward to seeing a lot of people.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh dear, Another time waster!

I just added a small photo album to the Picasa Web Albums site. This first album is very small because I was just testing to see if it was easy enough for me to do.

Since I am mentioning it, I was able to create the account and upload some images. I hope to be able to upload pictures from upcoming SDGS events. Since I don't attend every event I will need our members to help by sending me pictures.

All of this is just to make you, dear reader, waste more time.

Check the album SDGS Library at Picasa Web Albums

Catalog Update

Just a quick note to let you know that I just uploaded the latest and greatest edition of our library catalog.

I'm sure that every reader of this blog has used or regularly uses the catalog on the SDGS Website. The link to the catalog is in the left hand column. ( Oh heck, here's the direct link to the Catalog Page.)

For our readers who have just found us, the catalog is several, fourteen for you nitpickers, pdf files. Each file primarily covers a section of the United States, based on the Dewey Decimal Classification. There are also files for patriotic associations, U.S. history, Canada/Mexico, genealogy books and the rest of the world. The only reason it is split in this manner was to keep the file sizes fairly manageable. The catalog is a static series of files. We do not have a searcheable database.

Take a look and spend a few minutes looking for the specific source you haven't been able to find. We just might have it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Free meal at Applebee's

I realize this entry has nothing to do with the San Diego Genealogical Society or even genealogy, but I'm a veteran and think this is a good deal for all hands.

On Veteran's Day, Wednesday, 11 Nov 2009, Applebee's is giving a free meal to all active duty military and veterans. The proof of prior military duty is pretty light too. One way to prove military duty is to bring a photo of yourself in uniform!

I couldn't find a list of specific locations that are offering the freebie, but since the free menu is limited to one of six entrees I assume most stores are offering it.

Take a look at the Applebee's - Veterans Eat Free webpage.

Update: I just called an Applebee's in San Diego to inquire about the freebie. The manager at the location I called said that all of the San Diego Applebee's are honoring the promotion.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Leaves and Saplings

If you are doing San Diego research, the San Diego Genealogical Society has scanned every issue of our quarterly publication “Leaves and Saplings.” Leaves and Saplings has been published since 1972 and provides original source material concerning San Diego City and County.

Our website, SDGS Website, has Volume and Record Type indexes available.

The scanned images are on CD at the SDGS Library, 7343 Ronson Rd, Suite O, San Diego. Each annual volume has its index on the CD.

The library also has the paper edition of every issue.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Scanning Services at Seminar

Just a short note to let you know that the offer to scan documents and photographs is now extended to all participants of the Seminar. There are some appointments left so please contact me to schedule an appointment if interested.  Please ignore this message if you have already scheduled your scanning appointment.
Document types accepted:
We can scan any document type, but the maximum size supported is 36 inches. Any type of photograph (including tintypes) are accepted. We can not scan slides.

More recent photographs or stable documents can be scanned at a much quicker rate on our high speed scanner. Fragile or historical documents will be photographed. Copyright and re-publishing rights for the material is strictly the responsibility of the customer, but we reserve the right to reject any document for any reason.

Document preparation:
All staples, pins, and fasteners must be removed as well as any tape or sticky material. If photos remain mounted in an album, all photos will scanned as a single image. Bound books do not need to be disassembled, but can be quite slow to scan. If material is stored in sleeves, it needs to be removed prior to the scanning session or it will be scanned with the sleeves in place. Please have all of your documents and pictures sorted by size, largest to smallest, before entering your session. This will enable our scanners to more effectively finish you documents in the time allotted.

Each person will be booked for a single 15 minute time slot. This includes any document preparation that was not done prior to the scanning session. Generally this allows us to scan about
50 documents per person, more if they are newer.

We hope you take advantage of this opportunity.

See you there!

Suzette Aprea
San Diego Genealogical Society - Programs

Thursday, November 5, 2009 Seminar SOLD OUT

If you didn't register to attend the SDGS sponsored Seminar, you missed a great opportunity. I have just received notice that the event is sold out. The early birds got the worms.

Monday, November 2, 2009

At the library

If you don't want to hassle with driving to the downtown San Diego Public Library but need to do research in the San Diego City and County directories, consider using the volumes at our library.

We hold the following volumes: 1908-9, 1911-12, 1916, 1924-25, 1931-32, 1934-36, 1939, 1942, 1952-58, 1960-65, 1968, 1971-74, 1976-79. We also have a 1929 San Diego City Telephone Directory that helps fill that blank.

If you are a society member you have 24 hour access to the library. If you are a non-member consider joining the society, or use our library when it is open to the public. In January 2010 we will have the library open to the general public on Thursdays. That gives us a couple of months to get things fully organized.