Welcome to the CCCGS blog.

The purpose of this blog is to promote the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society by announcing upcoming events and reporting on past events. In doing so, I hope it will encourage all who are interested to attend any of our events and meetings, and share in our enthusiasm of genealogical research.

June 29, 2012

Follow Friday: Using Ancestry.com's 'New Search"

    When searching in Ancestry.com, are you using the "New" search or "Old" search?  Are you a diehard fan of the old search and never want to change?  Do you think that the new search is a "dumbed down" search and the old search is more powerful?

    Michael Hait CG has written a great blog about how powerful the new search really is, called "Using Ancestry.com's "New Search""[1].  It's all about using the drop-down menus and using exact searches.  His blog has great instruction and wonderful images showing exactly what he is describing.

    I use the new search, mostly because my Ancestry opened up in that mode.  I rarely begin searching from the opening screen, however, but rather begin by picking the database from which I want to search, for example, the 1930 census, or the California Death Index.  But I learned quite a bit about searching now from this opening screen by focusing my search to particular databases, or types of databases, and by using the "advanced search" form instead of the default one.

   Check out Michael's blog and try some of his suggestions.  You might find you like the "new" search much better!

[1] Using Ancestry.com’s “New Search”, Michael Hait, CG(sm), posted June 19, 2012, Planting the Seeds blog, http://michaelhait.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/new-search/.

Copyright © 2012 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

June 22, 2012

Follow Friday: The Legal Genealogist

     Judy G. Russell is a certified genealogist who is also a lawyer.  She writes a blog called The Legal Genealogist. She has written many blogs about laws and other legal aspects that help in genealogy research.

     But the blog I want you to read is called "Thanks for one government “boondoggle”." She writes about
the government program, Works Progress Administration (WPA), and all of the projects that were created which help genealogists today such as:

    *Historical Records Survey, which produced many inventories, lists, and surveys of government and church records.
    *Federal Writer's Project. There are copies of interviews conducted.
    *Photographs. There are many photographs available at the Library of Congress and National Archives.

 Take a look at Judy's blog post for more details and links to many state and federal sites.

Copyright © 2012 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

June 18, 2012

New Online Irish Genealogy Magazine

A new online genealogy magazine has debuted.  It's called irish lives remembered.  The first issue is focused on County Cork research, from where a lot of immigrants came.

You can get the issue here.

Copyright © 2012 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

June 12, 2012

A Newspaper Article about Margaret Du Bose Intrigued Me

Martinez Daily Standard,  8 Aug 1917, p 4, col 3
    I have been working on an every name index of the Martinez Daily Standard and in the process read a lot of the newspaper to find names to index.  Today an article about a woman, Mrs. Margaret Du Bose, intrigued me.  She was a seamstress from Stege who came up with an idea for adjusting the waistband of women's overalls.  A San Francisco manufacturing company awarded her a $500 bonus and an offer for $100 per month job.

    This article was in the Wednesday, August 8, 1917 issue on page four.  The original newspapers are housed at the History Center, an archive of Contra Costa County, and run by the Contra Costa County Historical Society.

    So I decided to do some research on Margaret Du Bose.  First I found that Stege was located near Richmond, on the southern end, which today is the triangle of land between Interstate 580 and 80.  I decided to check the city directories of Richmond.  I found two on Ancestry.com R. L. Polk and Co.'s Richmond, Martinez and Contra Costa County Directory 1916-1917 and 1918, but I did not find any Margaret Du Bose or any other close spelling such as Du Boise, Du Bois.

     Ancestry.com also has San Francisco city directories,  Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory and I checked 1918, 1919, and 1920, but found no Margaret.

     I also did not find Margaret in the 1920 San Francisco Co federal census nor the 1910 Contra Costa Co federal census.  I do not know her husband's name.  Only that he has died and she was a widow.  I searched the 1905-1929 California Death Index on FamilySearch.org but did not find a man dying in Contra Costa Co before 1917.

     So why am I not finding her?  There are several things that could be impeding this search:

  1. Her name is completely wrong.  Newspapers are notorious in having spelling errors.  I did do some creative spelling searches for Du Bois, Du Boise, Dubois, etc.
  2. She lived in Contra Costa County only a short time, not long enough to be in a city directory at Richmond.  
  3. Her husband did not die in Contra Costa County.  See #2.
  4. She remarried before the 1920 census.
    So what's next?

  1. Research clothing manufacturing companies in San Francisco to see who made women's overalls.  This will help me find her new employer.
  2. Research places near Stege who might have hired Margaret.  Of course she could have been an independent worker, though she did not show up in the directory under seamstresses.
    If anyone has any other ideas, please comment.  I welcome any input!

Copyright © 2012 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

June 1, 2012

How to search for an address in Ancestry City Directories

Ancestry have added a lot of city directories. To find them, open the card catalog -> Schools, Directories & Church Histories -> City & Area Directories -> U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta) .

Ancestry also allows you to search by an address. The search is not well documented by Ancestry. Below is an example on how to do it.

Who lived at the 614 Palisade Ave, Jersey City, New Jersey between 1900-1910.

1) Do not set any name!
2) Set Lived In to "Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey, USA"
3) Set Keyword to "614 Palisade Ave"
4) Set Residence Year to 1905+-5 and set exact only

Click search and you get all people who lived at that address.

Copyright © 2012 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.