Thursday, March 29, 2012

Volunteer Opportunity: Pine Mountain Cemetery

SLOCGS has been given permission to photograph the headstones in the Pine Mountain Cemetery in Atascadero. Five people have already volunteered to work on this new project, but it would be nice to have a couple more.

Requirements: 1) a decent digital camera, 2) must live in north San Luis Obispo County or be willing to travel (with gas the way it is, it is preferable for volunteers to live over the Grade), 3) and time to do at least one section. 4) And be sure-footed; it is not called "Pine Mountain" because the land is flat!

Please note that the method of sending in images has changed. We will use the Dropbox system and a dual-pane file manager.

There will be a meeting on Tuesday April 3, 2012, in the San Luis Obispo Genealogical Library, 995 Palm Street in downtown San Luis Obispo, at 10:30 a.m. At that time, section assignments will be given out, and volunteers will view a demonstration on how to use the file manager.

Please consider joining this select group of volunteers. It is a great project, and the last large cemetery in the county to be photographed.

To volunteer, please contact Martha Graham, SLOCGS Projects & Publications Chairman.

Copyright by © San Luis Obispo County Genealogical Society

Monday, March 5, 2012

Social Security and Original Records

Thanks to Barbara McCallum and Cheryl Storton for their presentations at the Genealogy Society General Meeting on Saturday, March 3.

Barbara talked about the Social Security Death Index and related records. If you’ve never gotten a copy of your parents’ or grandparents’ application for Social Security, perhaps you are now motivated to try. Here are a couple of good links:

Cheryl’s presentation entertainingly demonstrated the difference between original and derivative sources and the importance of obtaining the original record (or the earliest derivative, in the absence of the original), even when you have a reliable transcription. The image accompanying this article (from Cheryl's presentation) shows a California Mission original record, an 1897 baptism, with a "bonus" in the left column, a notation about the individual's marriage almost 50 years later in 1946.

It makes me wonder. Do we have all the original sources associated with our parents' and grandparents? Or are we relying on family tradition? Sometimes in our haste to get to that Mayflower ancestor, we casually skip over recent, important original documents which could change everything -- including the ease with which we eventually identify that Mayflower ancestor.   

Cool associated websites Cheryl recommended include: