Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Volunteer Opportunity: SLO Cemeteries/Headstones Database

Help is needed with updating the SLO Cemeteries/Headstones Database for Arroyo Grande District Cemetery.

The cemetery has already been photographed, but the existing database needs to be updated with the information from the headstones. This process is extremely tedious and requires the ability to focus on both the images and the parameters within the database.

Step-by-step instructions will be given, and it is important to understand the reasons behind them.

Please note that you will need to have a computer with photo-editing software, Microsoft Excel spreadsheeting software, and a DVD drive.

To volunteer or for more information, please contact Martha Graham.

Copyright by © San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The SLOCGS Bulletin, November 2011

The November 2011 issue of the SLOCGS Bulletin, Vol. 44, No. 2, has arrived in members' mailboxes. It is another terrific issue, and kudos go to editor Tim Tryon.

Here is Tim's "From the Editor" message:
This issue of the SLOCGS Bulletin comes at at time of change for our society. We are losing our current president and longstanding member Julia George. She is moving to Texas to be nearer kids and grandkids. She will be greatly missed. Also leaving is Dave Dowell who has been our resident expert for genealogical DNA. Oddly, he is also moving to Texas to be near family. At the same time SLOCGS is moving forward into a whole new world of technology and social media. Elizabeth O'Neal has stepped up to offer her knowledge of the many new possibilities of Facebook, Twitter and a SLOCGS Blog. She and Cafi Cohen have done a lot of work toward moving SLOCGS into the 21st century. If you look to the page to the left at the bottom of the column on the right side you wll see not only the address for our website, but, also the addresses for our various social media pages. Take a few minutes to check them out if you haven't already.

In this issue I have finally managed to get a surname index completed. The index is for both issues of Volume 44 of the SLOCGS Bulletin. I intend to include an index for each volume in the November issue from now on.

Once again I am asking for submissions for our next Bulletin. I know each and every one of you have stories to tell, so get cracking and put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Articles can be about some ancestor that you have researched or about your own quest of discovery and how you went about finding out about your family's story. Almost every article in every issue is written by you the members of our society. It doesn't take a professional writer to tell a good story. Just someone who cares about the story itself.

Thanks for reading.

Table of Contents

Ham and Eggs for Five Thousand by Ed Adler

The Hospital Bill by Janet Solverson Thatcher

Riding into Independence by Sharon G. Whitney

Finding Your Ancestor's Original Records Without Traveling by Janelle Pond Richardson

Rocco Manuto and Coming to America by John and Linda Shorb

J. M. Bonilla: An Early SLO County Resident transcribed by Martha A. Crosley Graham

SLO Civil Case Abstracting Project by Martha A. Crosley Graham

Surname Index for SLOCGS Bulletin Volume 44

Genealogy NOW! (information and registration form)

Upcoming SLOCGS General Meetings

SLOCGS Genealogy Classes

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The SLOCGS Bulletin is the magazine of the San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society, and is published twice a year. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the society. Please submit items for publication to Editor Tim Tryon. To join the SLOCGS, please see our membership page.

Copyright by © San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society

Monday, November 7, 2011

General Meeting 5 November "Family Skeletons" Program

Our main program on Saturday, November 5, 2011, consisted of members’ accounts of researching family skeletons. Thanks to Ginger Goodell for putting together the very-professional-looking Power Point and contributing the following recap of the individual presentations.   

John W. Davis
Cheryl Storton described how she discovered the truth about a family tradition claiming her grandfather, John W. Davis (see photo), went to prison for making moonshine, but walked away and never went back when he tired of being there.

Martha Crosley Graham read a family story her grandmother wrote, describing Martha’s Danish great-grandfather’s colorful background and death.  Martha’s research separated “truth from fiction.”

Greg PisaƱo described his discovery of a family skeleton while going through newspaper microfilm in Arizona’s Sedona/Prescott-area public libraries. His grandfather’s name appeared in headlines as having murdered his wife’s brother at the door of a local saloon.  Greg demonstrated how additional research led to more details about this family secret.

Jan Cannon told how she’d asked her grandmother about her great-grandmother, only to be told she’d died young and that her grandmother had no memory of her. After Jan enlisted the help of a professional researcher and another family member doing genealogical research, she learned her great-grandmother’s name and that she’d died in an “insane asylum,” having lived there the last 45 years of her life.  Jan described her visit to the institution where she was able to view her great-grandmother’s file, see the grave (a numbered brick), and arrange to have a proper grave marker installed.

Carole Ann Davis began seeking clues about when and how her grandfather came from Germany to the U.S. and eventually won medals for his Spanish-American War participation. Using both Ancestry.com and the LDS Family History Center in Utah, she documented his military service, but was taken aback to discover him on the 1900 US census as an inmate at San Quentin. From there, she tracked down his offense--burglary--and even found his mug shots.

Julia George’s research into collateral ancestors led to a family skeleton who appeared to be an adulterer and a counterfeiter.  Looking at censuses and several cities’ newspapers fleshed out more information on this black sheep’s criminal activities.

Lynn Storrs stumbled across news of her father’s previous marriage when her aunt shared with her a prized possession, Lynn’s great-grandfather’s Bible. In it Lynn read a strange woman’s name, a name not found in the family Bible. After talking over her discovery with her mother, Lynn made peace with this upsetting bit of family history, as most of us have likely learned to do with the family skeletons we’ve stumbled across.  

Janet Grummit shared the booklet she recently ordered from the Mason City, Illinois Area and Family Historical Society.  In it she found a three-and-a-half-page article on a great-uncle charged as an accessory to armed robbery. This was the first she’d heard of this family skeleton.  She’s doing further research to learn what became of him.