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.

October 21, 2015

Family History Month at California Genealogical Society's Library

This month is Family History Month. The California Genealogical Society is celebrating by having Lunch Discussions on Thursdays. There are two more this month and you can register here. The discussions a great way to meet and network with other genealogists.

Also, during October, the research fee of $5 is being waived. The library is open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 2200 Broadway, Oakland. That is just two blocks from the 19th Street Station.

The other great news is the library catalog is now a part of World Cat. Check out their website at http://californiaancestors.org/.

Copyright © 2015 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

April 20, 2015

Try Out "Ancestry Academy"

There’s a new feature on Ancestry.com called “Ancestry Academy.”  

There are quite a few courses you can take on a variety of genealogy subjects. Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings wrote a great blog post about it here.

I decided to take a test drive and went through the 1940 Census class because it was free. In fact the classes using Ancestry’s products such as Fold3 and FamilyTreeMaker are free.

"You Found What in the 1940 Census?" with Anne Gillespie Mitchell was about an hour long but presented in short 4-5 minute segments so you don’t have to complete it all in one setting. I have been using the 1940 census since it has been available but I still learned quite a bit from this course.

Each segment begins with the learning objectives. The learning objectives are reviewed again after the presentation. The images all through the presentation were very clear and great searching tips are given as well. Many of the points she made can be applied to the other U.S. census records as well. Besides learning about each column on the census sheet, she covered how to present the data and write the source citation. Anne Mitchell’s presentation of the subject was superb.

At the conclusion, there is a test to test your comprehension of the material. You have all the time needed to complete the test. I passed with a 100% and received a certificate of completion, shown here.

I recommend trying out the free courses, especially this 1940 census class. 

Copyright © 2015 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

April 10, 2015

Follow Friday: Evidence Explained Quick Tip "How to Solve a Research Problem"

Are you ready to take your research from the beginner's stage? Here is a tip from the Evidence Explained website "Quick Tips" written by Elizabeth Shown Mills, entitled "How to Solve a Research Problem."

There are just 5 steps or rather axioms when conducting research and analyzing the information found in the sources.  These steps will help you stay on track and perhaps help solve a research problem.

And when you are at Evidence Explained website, check out the other great tips.

Copyright © 2015 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

March 22, 2015

Are You Using Land Records?

Are you using land records? Why not? Because you find them dry and boring? Well there can be a lot of information you can find from land records. They can help you place your ancestor in a time and place. You might be able to connect your ancestor to his family and neighbors. You might even find the place from where he came.

Susan Bankhead, M.A., CG writes a wonderful blog called "Brick Wall Genealogist." This week her blog post "Challenge #11: Drill Into Land Records" really has some good thinking points about land records.

I found a deed of my great-great grandfather, George W. Lancaster and his wife, Mattie, selling land in Arizona Territory.
Deeds, Maricopa County, Arizona Territory, 1889, p 32,
Lancaster-Coulson, FHL film 2196859

My question was, how did he acquire this land? There was no record of the land purchase in the Maricopa County deed index. Where was this land located? Who was Mary E. Coulson? All good questions to ask.

The best way to learn the most from a record is to transcribe it. As you transcribe it, jot down any questions that come to your mind that you want to know more about or ideas about where else you could conduct research.

Copyright © 2015 by Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.