23 October 2015

Enhance Your Genealogy Research with Old Maps

On Sunday, November 8th at 2:00 p.m. 
the Fresno County Genealogical Society 
will present a Lisa Louise Cooke webinar,

5 Ways to Enhance Your Genealogy Research with Old Maps

In this 77 minute video presentation you will learn:
  • Which historical maps every genealogist should use, including Sanborn maps, census enumeration district maps, plat maps, and more
  • Some of the best online resources for finding old maps
  • How to locate offline historical maps
  • How to create and save your own historical map collection
  • Techniques for using old maps in your research
We invite everyone to attend this free event.  Join us in the Sarah McCardle room, 2nd floor of the Central Library in downtown Fresno.  Free parking. (metered parking only on weekdays during business hours)

If you have any questions, please e-mail Denise at infofcgs(at)gmail.com

Discovering Your Roots: Looking Over the Sea

Come down to the Heritage Center on Sunday, October 25th and join us for our LAST session of
Discovering Your Roots: An Introduction to Genealogy.

We start at 2:00 p.m. in the Sarah McCardle room.

We'll watch Lecture 15: Extending Your Family Tree Overseas

Many of our class participants arrive early to get some research done in the Heritage Center, which opens at 12 noon on Sundays.

Extending Your Family Tree Overseas: Conclude the course with a peek at how to research records outside of the United States.  Focusing on his experiences in Europe, Dr. Colletta reveals what essential facts you need to know about your ancestors, and how to overcome six major challenges to accessing and using historical materials in foreign countries.

Remember that you can come to the Heritage Center and view any of the sessions for Discovering Your Roots, as well as the session notes.

09 October 2015

Discovering Your Roots: Researching and Assembling

Only TWO classes left!

Come down to the Heritage Center on Sunday, October 11th and join us for 
Discovering Your Roots: An Introduction to Genealogy.

We start at 2:00 p.m. in the Sarah McCardle room.

We'll watch Lecture 13: Reseaching in Your Ancestors' Backyards and 
Lecture 14: Assembling An Account of Your Discoveries

There's a short break in between sessions; and many or our class participants arrive early to get some research done in the Heritage Center, which opens at 12 noon on Sundays.

Researching in Your Ancestors' Backyards:  At some point during your detective work, you'll have to actually visit where your ancestors lived.  In this helpful lecture, discover  how to use key local resources you'll need to rely on for success in your research: cemeteries, records of churches and synagogues, city directories, local libraries and historical societies.

Assembling An Account of Your Discoveries:  You've learned how to build context and write an engaging narrative.  Now, examine the best ways to organize your material and assemble a lasting account of your unique heritage. What are the fundamental questions you'll need to answer before writing?  What are the five elements essential to any multi-generational account?

Remember that you can come to the Heritage Center and view any of the sessions for Discovering Your Roots, as well as the session notes.

21 September 2015

Cemetery Treasure Hunt This Saturday!

We'll meet at Kingsburg Cemetery, 12782 E Clarkson Ave, Kingsburg, CA 93631
and wander the older section in search of answers to our Treasure Hunt questions!

Bring a pencil and a clipboard, a camera, and a sack lunch.

There will be a prize for the person or team with the most right answers!

Afterward, we will drive a few short miles to the Kingsburg Historical Park,
2321 Sierra St. Kingsburg, CA 93631,
where we will enjoy a picnic and some great fellowship.

If you have any questions, please email us,  Infofcgs (at) gmail.com

So thankful for Janelle and posting this reminder of our September activity to Facebook!

(and thank you to LadyTimeless at DeviantArt for the beautiful image)

FCGS Logo Contest

Announcing Fresno County Genealogical Society Logo Contest:
To finish our 50th Anniversary year, a contest is being held for a new logo to bring us into the 21st century and launch us into our next 50 years.

Eligibility:  The contest is open to all individuals

How To Enter:  
Entries must be submitted by email to fcgslogo@gmail.com
Entries submitted as an EPS are preferred,  a .jpg may be accepted with a of minimum 300 dpi 
Email must include the name, postal address, phone number and email address of the Entrant.
No more than three entries may be submitted per Entrant.
Entries must conform to the Submission Guidelines below.  Entries which do not conform will be rejected.
Entry deadline is 12:00 noon, December 31, 2015 (PST)
Entries will be acknowledged within one week of receipt, however, we will not be held responsible for entries or responses lost in email.
There is no fee to enter.

Submission Guidelines:
The purpose of the contest is to design a logo for the Fresno County Genealogical Society.  The logo will be used online, in print, and on merchandise.  Flexibility is a key requirement, including the need to re-size easily (up to 12 inches, down to one inch) and to look good in black and white as well as color.  No more than three colors may be used.  The final version of the logo must be suitable for high quality printing.
The logo must contain the words "Fresno County Genealogical Society".
The logo must not contain any other text besides that required above.
We advise against the use of halftones and gradients.  Color in this version must be CMYK, no spot colors.

The winning designer will receive a $150 cash prize

Judging and Selection of Winner:
Finalists will be decided by Fresno County Genealogical Society Board (FCGS) members.
Finalist entries will be voted upon by the members of FCGS.  This decision is final.
FCGS reserves the right not to select a winner if, in its sole discretion, no suitable entries are received.
The winner will be required to sign a contract assigning all ownership of logo to FCGS.

Intellectual Property:
All submitted work must be original and not based on any pre-existing design.  The design may include images that are iconic of Fresno and in the public domain.
All entries will become the sole property of FCGS.

Participation constitutes the Entrant's full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules.  By participating in the Contest, the Entrant is representing and warranting that he/she has read and understood, and agree to be bound by, these rules. Including the guides and rules referred to herein, these Official Rules constitute the entire agreement between the Entrant and FCGS in relation to the Contest.

About FCGS:
Fresno County Genealogical Society is a non-profit organization established in 1965 to
1. Foster and support genealogical and historical interest in Fresno and the surrounding communities
2. Collect and preserve genealogical and historical data.
3. Aid Society members and the general public in compiling genealogies and genealogical research.
4. Establish and maintain a genealogical library, known as the Heritage Center (San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center) in conjunction with the Fresno County Public Library 
5. Publish The Jotted Line newsletter, the Ash Tree Echo journal, and other publications containing helpful information for family research.

20 September 2015

Discovering Your Roots: Lectures 11 & 12 Next Sunday

Come down to the Heritage Center on Sunday, September 27th and join us for 
Discovering Your Roots: An Introduction to Genealogy.

We start at 2:00 p.m. in the Sarah McArdle room.

We'll watch Lecture 11: How to Write Biography and 
Lecture 12: Dos and Don'ts of Writing History

There's a short break in between sessions; and many or our class participants arrive early to get some research done in the Heritage Center, which opens at 12 noon on Sundays.

How to Write Biography:  Explore the process of writing about your ancestors in a way that's memorable - but that always adheres to the truth.  Learn how to compose timelines; how to build historical context around life events; how to search for (and find) a life's central theme; how to select the right literary format; and more.

Dos and Don'ts of Writing History:  Writing about the past is fraught with snares.  Find out how to sidestep them with Dr. Colletta's  do's and don't for writing historical narrative.  These include using period vocabulary; evoking the senses using sounds, textures, and aromas; and avoiding the danger of viewing the past through the lens of the present.

Remember that you can come to the Heritage Center and view any of the sessions for Discovering Your Roots, as well as the session notes.

Monday: 10:00 am - 7 pm 
Tuesday: 10:00 am - 7 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am - 7 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am - 7 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 5 pm
Saturday: 10:00 - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

19 September 2015

Genealogy for the Holidays

The topic for our September General meeting was Genealogy for the Holidays: Making lasting gifts with items from your family tree.  We had such a good time and there were so many great ideas, I thought I would share a few of them here.

In no particular order, some with links and some without, here's a few ideas to spark your genealogy creativity -
A lovely, simple embroidered family tree:

 If you have a history of military service in your family, this is a beautiful way to document and honor your family members and ancestors:

Love this photo idea - Can be photographed in reverse too - youngest to oldest:

Turn a favorite memory into a puzzle for a unique display:

Have you thought of a frame holding photos of only your great-grandmothers?
What a great idea!

Make those treasured photos into gift tags and add sweet memories to each gift! 
Print or copy photos onto cardstock (do not use originals!!) then craft away:

Beautiful photo idea:

This one is professionally made, but if you or a family member has some Photoshop skills . . .

A pictorial family tree, great as a gift for parents or grandparents, 
and a wonderful display for a family celebration :

A sweet shadow box:

A mixed collage of great-grandparents
which includes a few of their personal items.
A really lovely remembrance:

Pen and Ink family tree :

Vintage photo ornaments with scrapbook corners,
again, be sure to copy or print your photos onto paper:

Transfer photos onto wood - genius! 
This is a great little video - 
(Make sure to use a photographic copy, not the original!):

Another great idea for making family photos into ornaments!
Great instructions: 

Photo blocks:

a Family History Game,
Very thorough instructions and ideas to create your own!:

Transfer photo onto fabric and then embellish with embroidery:

Enlarge an old letter or postcard for a vintage display in your home:

Photographic Family Tree going back in time -
Another thoughtful gift or celebration display:

Male Family Line:

Cute idea- a magnetic family tree for little ones!
Can they match the pictures to the right place in the tree?
Can you?

And finally, the stunning tree that is now on my crafting wish list . . . . 

The background is a Plat Map from the area the family lived in:

Punched leaves with family members names ;

Ancestors are the roots and descendants are the leaves.
Just Beautiful.

Are you inspired?

18 September 2015

Clovis - Big Dry Creek Historical Society

Today, Melissa, Janelle, and I (Denise) were out and about in Old Town Clovis doing a bit of reconnaissance before our Seminar next month, and I HAD to share with you a perfect treasure that we found.

I'm sure you've heard of the Clovis Museum.  I'm sure, if you've been to Farmer's Markets or Big Hat Days or Clovis Fest (happening this weekend, by the way), then you've walked right by it.  But have you been inside?

We were very fortunate this morning when we walked in to not only be greeted by the Clovis - Big Dry Creek Historical Society President Peg Bos, but to get a personal tour from her and hear all of the wonderful stories behind the treasure contained within the museums' walls.

The greatest treasure, for family historians, though, is what is contained in their vault.  Binders and binders and more binders with surnames, family stories, newspaper clippings, and more.  And the best part is that they are a work in progress.   The binders are added to as they continue to interview people and delve into historic newspapers and documents.

Best of all, Peg shared their list of surnames contained within the binders and gave us permission to share it with you!  So, be looking for that in the very near future.

All in all, it was a great way to spend a Friday morning - met some great people, ran into old friends, many businesses have posted our Seminar flyer in their windows, and we got a great donation for the Seminar.

Of course, with the great antique shops AND Quilter's Paradise, we will definitely go back again.

Save the Date - Spring Seminar !

Mark March 19, 2016 on your calendars!

You DO have a calendar for 2016, don't  you?

Well, we are busy planning meetings and activities for next year 
and one that we are happy to announce is a 
Spring Seminar 
hosted in conjunction with the
California State Genealogical Alliance.
Janice Sellers and Mary Anne Vincent
will be our presenters.

One more thing to look forward to in 2016!

17 September 2015

Ten Days Left for Early Registration Discount!

Have you registered for our Annual Seminar happening next month?

Have you heard about our Annual Seminar happening next month?

Well, for our 12th Annual Seminar - and the year of our 50th Anniversary celebration - we decided to do something really special.  We invited nationally known speaker, author, pod-caster, and Genealogy Gems owner Lisa Louise Cooke to present, what we hope will be, four informative sessions to jump start your enthusiasm, enhance your skills, and make your research time more productive.  The four sessions are:

How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with Evernote:  Evernote puts all your notes right at your fingertips no matter where you are.  In addition to super fast and easy note taking and retrieval, you'll learn how to clip items from the Internet (rather than saving entire bulky web pages!) use OCR technology to search our digitized documents like newspaper article, and tap into a myriad of apps that help Evernote help you do just about anything you need.  Evernote harnesses the power of the Cloud to allow you to work across all of your computing devices (including your iPad and smart phone.)  Best of all, it's free.

Google Search Strategies for Common Surnames:  Discover tips and tricks to find your ancestors with common surnames and surnames that double as common words in the English language with Google.  Learn how to weed out irrelevant search results to save time and get to what you want faster.  Then save and automate your searches to run for you!  You'll not only improve your searches, but also improve your chances that the information you post online will be found by other gnealogists facilitating collaboration!

How To Reopen and Work in a Genealogical Cold Case:  Become a genealogical detective in this vital session.  You'll learn to track ancestors like a criminal cold case detective, sniffing out holes in your research and getting missing information on the record with cutting edge technology.

Get the Scoop on Your Ancestors with Newspapers:  Yearning to "read all about it?"  Newspapers are a fantastic source of research leads, information, and historical context for your family history.  Learn the specialized approach that is required to achieve success in locating the news on your ancestors.  Includes 3 Cool Tech Tools that will get you started.

Early Registration ends on Sunday, September 27th.

After that date, Seminar cost will be $50 for members and non-members alike, and Registrations will be accepted through Saturday, October 10th.

Our 12th Annual Seminar is Saturday, October 17th.

Please check our website for any additional information.  We hope to see you!

Have you Discovered Your Roots?

We have been enjoying and learning so much from Dr. Colletta's Discovering Your Roots Genealogy Course these past months, and we have a few more sessions to go.

Both experienced genealogists and those new to genealogy have learned and gained valuable information from these video presentations.   As the sessions progress, we have heard the developing stories of several families in Mr. Colletta's tree, as that story correlates to the lesson being taught.  So each new class is like a continuing story as well as being full of tips, methods, and loads of places, sites, and ways to find the information you are searching for.  Have I mentioned the printed session notes that are included with each video?  There is no need to take notes or remember websites.  These notes are so complete, you can sit back and enjoy the lecture, following along, and simply underline a particular point if you feel the need.

There are three sessions left - won't you join us?

September 27th
October 11th
October 25th
Sarah McArdle Room, Fresno Central Library
2:00 p.m.

If you've missed the previous sessions, the videos are available for you to watch in the Heritage Center.  All of the session notes are available for you as well!

What is the Heritage Center?

In 2013, a cooperative effort of the Fresno County Public Library and the Fresno County Genealogical Society, The California History Room was renovated, reorganized, and transformed into the San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center, a better lighted, easier-to-explore, more comfortable Heritage Center.

Main Research Room in the San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center. 

Since moving upstairs in 1993, the Society's holdings have grown from about 60 books to over 12,000. The Society also has periodicals, CDs, microfiche, microfilm, computer, printer, Obituary file, and much more. A partial list can be seen on the Library Resources Page

Main Research Room in The San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center.

The San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center is staffed by County employees and Fresno County Genealogy Society Volunteers. We have been very fortunate to have had a dedicated Society Librarian by the name of Mary Lou Talens since we moved upstairs in 1993. Due to her diligence, the Society Library has thrived and increased in size. Mary Lou retired in 2012. Kathleen Coleman replaced Mary Lou as the current librarian. Already, Kathleen has proved to be a talented and dedicated librarian in her efforts. We are grateful for the hours she expends on behalf of the Society. There has always been an Associate Librarian to help. Kay Brimhall held that position from 2003 to the end of 2010. Zelda Dubel has been in charge of the periodicals for many years and has done a fantastic job, as have so many other dedicated Society volunteers who have worked in the San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center.

Linda Sitterding was the first Librarian in charge of the San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center. She was succeeded by Ray Silvia in 1999; and he, in turn, was succeeded by Historian/Author, William B. Secrest, Jr. in 2005. Nance Espinosa became the current Librarian in charge in August 2011. Senior Library Assistant, Melissa Scroggins, has been on staff and a great asset in the Heritage Center since 2000; and Chris Her, Chris Her began work in the Heritage Center in 2011 as Senior Library Assistant.

The Genealogy Collection is well organized in sections according to the Dewey Decimal System. Bookshelves now have guides to direct customers to specific local, state, national and international records.
Group BiographyFamily Histories (Autobiographical/Biographical)
HeraldryChurch History
Ethnic GroupsCensus Indexes
MilitaryPassenger and Immigration Records
MayflowerNative American Indian
U.S.A. (Sections for each State)International (Sections for individual Countries)
New England"How to" books on genealogy
Vital RecordsDaughters of the American Revolution
FCGS Cemetery ProjectsTranscripts of Fresno County Cemeteries

This is part of the Mayflower section. The Society Library has all 23 Volumes which are a record of the Descendants of Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in December 1620. They are referred to as the "Silver Books."

Mayflower Families through Five Generations

This vital records section has numerous volumes containing birth, marriages, and death records to 1850 which have been published according to Towns in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850

The Military Section is comprised of volumes and sets of Civil War, Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War, WWI, and WWII. Depicted here are just a few of the Civil War volumes. There are many volumes from Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) in the military section.

Civil War Books

The Society's extensive Obituary File is only partially shown here, and it holds approximately 254,000 obituaries. Filling the drawers in alphabetical order are index cards on which Society volunteers have diligently cut and pasted the obituaries for many years.
Fresno County Genealogical

In addition, there are Fresno City and County newspaper collections on microfilm, yearbook collection, and CDs covering state and country records. There are computers for your use in research with free access to the library edition of ancestry.com. A copy machine is available at a moderate cost.

Computers Available

The San Joaquin Valley Heritage & Genealogy Center on the second floor of the Fresno County Central Library has the reputation of being the best and most extensive genealogy library between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Its holdings include genealogy books, related history books covering all the states and many countries, and local and California history—all providing a broad and sourced research experience for customers using the room. The large genealogy collection belonging to the Fresno County Genealogical Society is complemented by two other genealogy collections: that of the Fresno County Public Library and the California State Daughters of the American Revolution Library, donated to the County Library in 2009. Overall, there are approximately 21,000 books and periodicals in the Heritage Room, and there is always someone there to help. We encourage you to stop by the second floor of the Fresno County Central Library,browse and do a little research whenever you have time.