28 March 2011

Area Event: Pioneer Cemetery's Lost Graves

Results of Pioneer Cemetery’s Lost Graves
Survey to be Presented Thursday, April 28

The question of how many burials are actually located at the San Fernando Valley Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in Sylmar will be discussed on Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at the Andres Pico Adobe when archaeologist Brian Damiata presents findings from his extensive archaeo-geophysical investigation. Unconfirmed cemetery records indicate more than 600 people could be buried at the historic site, which is owned and operated by the San Fernando Valley Historical Society (SFVHS).

Dr. Damiata, a Cotsen Fellow at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, has extensive experience in ground-based geophysical methods to locate unmarked burials and clandestine graves. In the last few years, he has completed similar surveys at various family, pioneer and Native American cemeteries throughout the United States. Internationally, other recent projects have taken him to China, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Iceland, and Turkey.

The archaeo-geophysical survey he conducted at Pioneer Cemetery involved land surveying of all visible features within the boundaries of the cemetery using a Global Positioning System (GPS) in conjunction with a robotic total-field station. Geophysical surveys that were conducted included Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR), electrical resistivity, and magnetic methods. Most of the accessible areas of the cemetery were surveyed. Additional historical research has revealed further details about some of the burials.

A portion of the $20,000 survey was funded by a $5,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation-Los Angeles County Fund, plus generous contributions by $1,000 angel donors, the “Voices of Pioneer Cemetery: Flashlight Ghost Tour,” engraved brick sales, yard sales, bottle/can recycling, and cash donations.

“Dr. Damiata’s presentation will be an exciting new chapter in the history of Pioneer Cemetery,” notes Jacky Walker, co-chair of the SFVHS Pioneer Cemetery Committee. “Be sure to arrive early for a good seat, and allow time to ask questions and enjoy refreshments.”

For additional information, please contact the San Fernando Valley Historical Society at 818-365-7810, or visit the Society’s Web site at http://www.sfvhs.com.

The adobe is located in Andres Pico Adobe Park, 10940 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills (across from the Mission Hills Post Office at Brand Boulevard).

19 March 2011

Washington Post Tweets the Civil War

As a contribution to the American Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration, the Washington Post has been running a series of articles. In early December 2010, it began tweeting reports (military reports, quotes from politicians, excerpts from letters and telegrams) of the build-up to the war, focusing upon Charleston and Fort Sumter.

"On the day of the Civil War event, hear words from the people who lived them."

One can sign up for the tweets or read them on-line at:

17 March 2011

A Day of French DNA - March 27

The joint French Canadian Historical Society of California and SCGS DNA Interest Group March 2011 meeting is dedicated to learning about the power of genetic genealogy.

During the morning session Alice Fairhurst, SCGS DNA Project Leader and DNA Interest Group Chair, will lead a panel discussion of how DNA testing complements our French and French-Canadian research.

Following a potluck luncheon we will break into Round Table discussion groups to discuss how y-DNA, mtDNA, and autosomal DNA testing can be used to resolve French naming conundrums (i.e., those challenging dit names), help trace our Québec ancestresses, and to connect with our close and distant cousins/cousines. The power of the French Heritage DNA web site will also be explored.

Information: fchsc@scgsgenealogy.com or 818-843-7247 - Public welcome!

14 March 2011

DNA Webinars Coming Up March 15, March 22

Passing this along for our friends at ISOGG.

Just wanted to post a reminder that I have two more Genetic Genealogy webinars still planned for this month:

Tuesday, March 15
Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results
Part 2: mtDNA

Tuesday, March 22
Genetic Genealogy Demystified: Reading and Understanding Your Family Tree DNA Results
Part 3: Family Finder

For more information and to register, please visit the Relative Roots
webinars page at:



Elise Friedman
Relative Roots

12 March 2011

Area Event: Soldados de Anza - March 19

We pass on the following information on behalf of the San Gabriel Mission.

Experience Southern California Spanish History!

On Saturday, March 19, the San Gabriel Mission will be hosting a program dedicated to the De Anza expeditions of 1774 and 1775. There will be re-enactors of the historical expedition that started in Tubac, Mexico.

It's the 237th anniversary of the 1774 expedition.

Time: 11am to 4pm
Location: San Gabriel Mission

More info at this link or contact Chuck Lyons 626-457-3048.

08 March 2011

Area Event: Movies Filmed in the San Gabriel Valley - March 12

We pass this on for the Joint Historical Societies: Temple City, Alhambra, San Gabriel, and Montebello.

Fourth Annual Joint Dinner Meeting
Guest Speaker: Marc Wanamaker of Bison Archives
Time: 7pm
Meeting Location: Temple City Historical Society Hall, 9704 Woodruff Avenue, Temple City
(corner of Kauffman Avenue, one block north of Las Tunas Drive)

Reserve by Sun., March 6 (for dinner)
For more information, call 626-300-8845 or see this link

Marc Wanamaker will speak on locations/movies from Selig Studio Zoo and Jungle on Mission Road in the Lincoln Heights district of Los Angeles to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Arcadia. There will also be a Show and Tell, with two members sharing their movie memorabilia.

(If you're not having dinner, the meeting is free although they will probably accept donations.)

03 March 2011

SBGS: One Incredible Genealogy Seminar - April 9

We advertise this on behalf of the Santa Barbara Genealogical Society:

One Incredible Genealogy Seminar, Saturday 9 April 2011 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at Goleta Presbyterian Church, 6067 Shirrell Way in Goleta 93117.

The German Focus speaker is Dr. Roger P. Minert, from Brigham Young University, who will give four talks specifically on Germanic topics, based on his German Genealogy expertise and experiences:
  • German Immigrants in American Church Records This is a major project of Dr. Minert and his Germanic Family History students at BYU over the past several years. Eight volumes of midwestern USA immigrants, by name and German birthplaces, have resulted from this project, from church records in Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nebraska. The SBCGS library on Castillo Street currently has 3 of these 8 volumes.
  • Marriage and Courtship in Germany, 1500-1800. Social and religious customs, associated with courtship and marriage, are discussed in detail.
  • Illegitimate children, inheritance, and property acquisition are an integral part of this presentation.
  • Church Records in Germany. The most valuable records containing data on our Germanic ancestors are religious baptism/christening, marriage, and burial/death records, considered as Vital Records prior to Civil Registration in Germanic countries.
  • Conducting Family History Research in Europe. The emphasis in this talk is on preparation, communication, avoiding and or solving problems, and will include contacting resources in Germanic countries from here in the U.S.
For members and/or spouses in your group who may not have Germanic ancestry, we hope they will be interested in our Seminar alternative track on United States Genealogy, which will be presented by Mr. Lloyd De Witt Bockstruck, award-winning professional genealogist, educator, librarian, author and columnist who for 36 years worked for the Dallas Public Library (the last 30 as Supervisor of their Genealogy Section), an institution which was recognized by the Family Tree Magazine as one of the Top 10 Public Libraries for Genealogists in the USA. Mr. Bockstruckąs topics:
  • Revolutionary War, Patriots and Tories. Americaąs first civil war took place during the Revolution, an ultra violent, family-splitting, and often vindictive conflict between patriots and loyalists (Tories). It became a conflict between Americans as well as a struggle for independence. Lecture will focus on demographics of both groups, migrations after the war, and available records for genealogical research.
  • Early U.S. Migrations: from Trans-Appalachia to the west bank of the Mississippi, 1763-1850. Lecture will focus on push/pull reasons for migrations and the rich sources of records available in various states.
  • U.S. Probate Records and Deeds. Information accessible via ancestral and collateral wills, intestate proceedings and land deeds can solve some of your most bricked-up problems. Learn new search techniques, sources, and clues.
  • Huguenots and Quakers in America. Learn about your immigrant Huguenots, i.e., French Calvinists or members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, and about your Quakers, i.e., members of the Society of Friends. Learn what about them? Their lives in the new country, their courtship and marriage customs, their persecutions, their burial customs, their records, and where to find them.
Complete information will be available on February 1 on the SBCGS website with the capability to register and pay online by clicking on the homepage Registration button.

02 March 2011

Area Event: JGSCV Assisted Research at LA Family History Library

Our good friend, Schelly Dardsashti, posted a notice about the Jewish Genealogical Society of Conejo Valley's "assisted research" event on Sunday, March 6, at the Los Angeles Family History Library.

According to the post, this special program runs from 1-5pm, at the library, 10741 Santa Monica Blvd. West Los Angeles. Parking is free. It is open only to current paid JGSCV members, although anyone may join or renew memberships at the door.

Experienced JGSCV members and Family History Library volunteers will be available to help attendees get the most out of the library's resources, including computer assistance with popular genealogical databases including Ancestry.com, Footnote.com, Heritage Quest, World Vital Records, Godfrey Memorial Library on-line resources and more.

For more information, visit the JGSCV website.

01 March 2011

SCGS Lunch and Learn - March 12

The SCGS March Lunch and Learn program is a Double Bill.

Lunch - 12:00 noon to 1p.m.
Sit, chat, and share your genealogy stories and questions while eating your
brown bag lunch.

Learn - 1:00p.m. to 4:45p.m. with questions and answers

First Speaker - Gena Philibert Ortega
This presentation goes over resources for tracing the women in your family. Sources discussed include census records, immigration, vital records, church records, journals, newspapers, court records, library archives and manuscript collections.

Gena Philibert Ortega holds Master's degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies and Religion. The author of Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra and articles published through online newsletters and magazines. Gena’s writings can also be found on her blogs, Gena's Genealogy and Food Family Ephemera.

Second Speaker - Charlotte Bocage
2:15-3:15p.m. I Thought I Was Organized, So Don’t Do What I Did!
3:15-4:15p.m. Why and How to Source Your Documents
4:15-4:45p.m. Getting Ready for the National Archives Field Trip

These presentations will prepare you for getting organized. We will explain the need for and types of forms, a filing system, and other genealogical paraphernalia. You will avoid the sin of incomplete sourcing by organizing your source citations. Then the mini lecture will prepare you for our field trip to the National Archives on April 2.

Charlotte M. Bocage has over forty years of genealogy experience, a full-time genealogist, lecturer, author, and Louisiana specialist. Also on the Board of Directors and Education Committee chair for the Southern California Genealogical Society, First Vice President for the Pasadena Area African American Genealogical Society.

The library will not be open for research.

Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library
417 Irving Drive, Burbank, California 91504

For more information: contact Charlotte rubymoon01@yahoo.com