Thursday, November 20, 2014

Last Society Meeting of 2014:
Telling the Family's Story

Thursday, November 20, 2014
5:45 p.m.
502 West Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton

Sometime in the midst of the search, every genealogist comes across a story that just must be told. In Deborah Conner Mascot’s case, the story was an outgrowth of her childhood experiences on the Portola Valley country property of successful San Francisco merchant, Stephen Mariani.

At our November meeting, author Debbie Mascot will share how her family crossed paths with this pioneer San Francisco family and how she came to know their family stories so well. She’ll explain what led up to her decision to write about the Mariani family and what that meant in terms of researching a family to whom she was not related, but of whom her own family had so many memories.

As she has self-published several books, our speaker will share a bit about the process she faced in converting her research into a manuscript, and beyond that into a book for publication.

In addition to her full-time job and partnering with her husband in homeschooling their two children, Debbie Mascot is active with Bay Area genealogical societies and as a leader for 4-H projects. Somehow in the midst of this, she has published four books and spent time in genealogical research projects. For this last Society meeting of the year, we are pleased to present one of our own members as our featured speaker. Please join us in welcoming Debbie Mascot at our November meeting.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lodi Library Series Continues Today

"Grow Your Family Tree," SJGS' continuing series of beginners' genealogy workshops, continues this afternoon at the Lodi Public Library with a hands-on session in the library's Computer Room. Today's topic covers how to find free resources online which can further your genealogical research.

Lodi Public Library is located at 201 West Locust Street in Lodi, California. Come join us this afternoon, from 2:00 to 4:00, and explore which resources will help you with your own family tree.

For more information, email the Lodi Public Library or call them at (209) 333-5503.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Join Us for our October Meeting

Thursday, October 16, 2014
5:45 p.m.
502 West Benjamin Holt Drive
Stockton, California 

Every genealogist has them: those impossible "brick wall" ancestors who seemingly refuse to be found. For our October meeting, we are honored to have as our guest speaker James M. Baker, Ph.D., C.G., who specializes in resolving such impossible research problems.

Our speaker for this month's Society meeting will provide case studies on seven ways to resolve those "brick wall" research dilemmas often encountered by genealogists. If you have found yourself challenged by such research puzzles, please consider yourself invited to join us for this informative session. Attendance is free and we welcome anyone in the Stockton area who has an interest in genealogical research to attend our monthly meetings in the Community Room of the Margaret Troke Library.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SJGS Workshop at Troke Library:
Researching Your Mexican Heritage

How to Research Your Mexican Ancestry
Saturday, October 4, 2014
11:00 a.m. through 1:30 p.m.
Margaret Troke Library
502 West Benjamin Holt Drive
Stockton, California

Join us this Saturday as the San Joaquin Genealogical Society presents another Beginners' Workshop in genealogical research. This month, Sylvia Perez will discuss tips on how to begin your search for your Mexican, Central American or South American roots. Join us at 11:00 through 1:30 for this hands-on class and discussion.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Cesar Chavez Library:
We're Celebrating With You!

The San Joaquin Genealogical Society is pleased to join the Friends of the Stockton Public Library in celebrating the Cesar Chavez Library's fifty years of service to the Stockton and San Joaquin County community. This afternoon, from 5:00 through 7:00, we will gather with other community organizations and library patrons in a public acknowledgement of what the Chavez library has meant to us.

As for SJGS, our partnership with this downtown Stockton facility goes back to the time of the newly-constructed library building, fifty years ago. We have been grateful, all those years, for the opportunity to host meetings and workshops there, provide volunteers to assist library patrons with their questions about genealogy, and continue our fifty-year tradition of donating (at last count) 3,666 books to their genealogical reference section.

Please consider joining fellow library patrons this afternoon as we fete the Stockton-San Joaquin Public Library system's Cesar Chavez library.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pioneer Liberty:
Restoring the Nearly-Lost Legacy
of Local Cemeteries

Thursday, September 18, 2014
5:45 p.m.
502 West Benjamin Holt Drive
Stockton, California

Ever wonder what happened to the now-disappeared pioneer towns of San Joaquin County?

Inspired by a girlhood volunteer project for her 4-H chapter, author and historian Barbara Filbin launched a research quest to honor the pioneers who once settled in Lodi, Acampo and Galt—as well as in those vanished settlements of northern San Joaquin County. Extracting names and dates from the old gravestones of such places as Liberty Cemetery, Barbara has reconstructed the life stories of these pioneers and incorporated them into the many books she has published over the years. The stones of places like Liberty Cemetery have revealed enough detail to lead Barbara to reconstruct the 1850s and 1860s history of the short-lived nearby town of Liberty, as well.

We are honored, this Thursday, to welcome recently-joined new SJGS member Barbara Filbin as our speaker as we kick off the fall season and resume our monthly meetings. We look forward to Barbara's recounting of what she found while researching the Liberty Cemetery—as well as other local cemeteries of historical significance—and how she recorded those in the many books she has published.

Please join us at the Troke Library at 5:45 p.m. tonight to hear Barbara Filbin recount her stories of discovery and research into the local history of the northern portion of our county.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Saturday, September 6
Begins New Workshop Series

Saturday, September 6, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Margaret Troke Library
502 West Benjamin Holt Drive
Stockton, California, USA

The successful SJGS "Find Your Roots" workshop series will once again be offered at Stockton's Troke Library, beginning with the September 6 session, "Taking Your Genealogical Research on the Road."

If you have ever contemplated returning to the original homeland of your ancestors, wish to trace the immigrant paths of your grandparents, or even want to go back and visit the family homes of your childhood memories, join us on Saturday to discuss tips and ideas on planning the successful research trip.

Though all our workshop sessions are free of charge, in order to provide the correct number of laptops and handouts, please call the library to register for this session at (209) 937-8221. Or, you may contact the Society directly to register by email at

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Launching New Workshop Location:
Downtown Stockton

Much like solving any mystery, the quest to uncover the story of your own roots requires thinking like a detective, as well as being able to distinguish between what is true and untrue information. Throughout the past year, the San Joaquin Genealogical Society has been conducting workshops to equip beginners with the tools to get started in your own research and providing guides for those who would like to pursue their research further.

This coming Monday, June 23, volunteers from the San Joaquin Genealogical Society will launch their popular "Digging Up Your Roots" workshop on beginning genealogy research at yet another location: the Cesar Chavez Central Library in downtown Stockton. The new class will begin at 6:00 that evening and continue until 7:45.

Instructor Sally Spenker will lead session attendees through the basics of beginning research on their own family history.

The session is free, but registration is recommended. To insure that there is space for you, you may register online by clicking here, or call the library at (209) 937-8221. 

In addition, if you have already started your family history research, please bring to this session any material you've found, such as birth, death, or marriage certificates, family data, or the beginnings of your family tree. You may also bring your laptop to this session. Volunteers from the Society will be on hand to answer individual questions about your own research.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June 14: "Dig Up Your Roots" Series
Continues at Lodi Public Library

Volunteers from the San Joaquin Genealogical Society will continue their Beginners' Workshop series at the Lodi Public Library this coming Saturday afternoon, from 2:00 to 4:00. The topic for this Saturday's session is "Free Online Resources For Your Genealogical Research." Following the presentation, there will be time for specific questions on attendees' own family history research.

The class will be held in the Library's Community Room at 201 West Locust Street in Lodi. For more information and to reserve your place for this class, you may reach the library by calling (209) 333 5503, or emailing them at

Lodi Public Library collaborates with the San Joaquin Genealogical Society to provide beginners workshops for family history research

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Saturday, June 7:
Last Class for Spring Semester

Saturday, June 7, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Margaret Troke Library
502 W. Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton, California

Our successful "Find Your Roots" workshops for beginners is wrapping up the Spring semester with this final class session, coming up this Saturday, June 7. Our topic for this session is "Listen to Your Family's Memorabilia: It Has Stories to Tell!"

Society members will share how their family heirlooms and mementos inspired them to delve further into the stories of their ancestors.

In this session, class participants will learn how to find identites of those elusive relatives in old photos. Tips on organizing and preserving family treasures will also be included in the session. The class concludes with one-on-one consultation with Society volunteers regarding individual participant research questions.

Though all our workshop sessions are free of charge, in order to provide the correct number of laptops and handouts, please call the library to register at (209) 937-8221, or email the Society at

Friday, May 16, 2014

Beginners' Genealogy Workshops
Continue in Stockton

Saturday, May 17, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
502 W. Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton
The "Find Your Roots" workshop series continues at the Troke branch library in north Stockton tomorrow with a presentation on "Census, Vital and Other Basic Records: How to Use Them Effectively."
The "Find Your Roots" series is designed for people interested in beginning the search for their family roots. This series equips new family history researchers with the tools to jump start their search, combined with one-on-one assistance by trained volunteers from the San Joaquin Genealogical Society. In monthly workshop sessions in the spring and fall, the elements of genealogical research are gradually introduced to class members. Though the program was conceived as a series, the public is invited to join in any of the classes on a stand alone basis.
The classes are free, but pre-registration is required so that we may provide each attendee with handouts and computer access, if needed.
For more information or to reserve your spot at the workshop, email the Society at

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Genealogy Storytelling:
A Different Way to Present Family History

Thursday, May 15, 2014
5:45 p.m.
502 West Benjamin Holt Drive
Stockton, California

Do you worry your family history research will end up in a cardboard box in an attic gathering dust? How do you engage your family of all ages so they send e-mails asking for more family stories? Our speaker this month, poet and genealogist Kay Speaks, will share some of her methods of storytelling and sharing her family history at our upcoming meeting on May 15.

Kay Speaks Chinese American genealogical researcher
Kay joined the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society in 1999 as a newbie genealogist trying to solve a family murder mystery. Since then she has been involved in L-AGS special interest groups and county fair projects, as participant, leader or coordinator. She has organized events for L-AGS, CGS, Chinese American Family History Group, Tri-Valley TMG Users Group, poetry exhibits and public readings.

Kay has presented a variety of family history topics to special interest groups, including Family History Day 2013 on Angel Island at the Immigration Station where her Chinese family members were detainees during the Chinese Exclusion Era. Her family research has been on display at the Museum on Main (Pleasanton), Carnegie Museum (Livermore) and the Alameda County Fair. Kay’s Chinese adventures include the serendipity of ancestors found and discovering a 1928 family murder mystery cited in case law today. She helped edit a genealogy software book that has sold in four countries and is a member of the California Writers Club, Tri-Valley Branch. Kay is a local and international award-winning poet. She finds her family research to be poetic inspiration.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SJGS President to Speak at Merced Meeting

As a representative of the Northern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, our Society president, Sheri Fenley, will participate in a panel discussion, "Calling in the Pros" as a guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Merced County Genealogical Society. Along with panel members Janice Sellers and Corey Oiesen, she will field questions regarding hiring a professional genealogist, how to find one with expertise in your area of research, and what to expect of a professional's services.

If you are in the Merced area this coming Saturday, May 17, you are welcome to attend this noon presentation at the Merced County Library.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tonight's Meeting:
Featuring You!

Thursday, April 17, 2014
5:45 p.m.
502 W. Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton

Round Table Discussions:

Breaking Through Our Brick Walls Together!

Returning to our meeting line-up after its successful inception last year is our Round Table Discussion, an interactive learning session featuring you as speaker!

Anyone who has spent time researching family history eventually comes to that one ancestor whose story seems impossible to trace. We call those instances our “Brick Walls.”

Using the power of collective effort during this month’s meeting, we’ll pool our resources to break through those brick walls. Through informal small round table discussions, we’ll use these cases to help each other find answers to our most challenging research problems.

To prepare for our April 17 meeting, SJGS members have already completed an online survey, allowing us to select the following four topics for discussion:

Research in New England: where to find those elusive documents
Tracing Ancestors to Europe through clues in passenger lists, immigration and naturalization forms
Headed West: Tips on researching Midwest and Western Territories and States
Finding Online Resources: Places to look online for lists, archives, and documents
Tonight, come meet and help your fellow Society members! Share experiences and techniques you’ve used to find elusive ancestors. It does not matter if you are a beginner, a seasoned genealogist, or haven’t even found a “brick wall” yet (you will!). Bring any information you already have about your mystery ancestor, his or her family and descendants—this might provide some clues. We can all learn something from each other, while also getting to know each other better.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

A New Venture: Workshops in Lodi

The San Joaquin Genealogical Society is beginning a new project: providing genealogy workshops in the city of Lodi, California. Although the Society has been providing training to patrons of the Margaret Troke branch library in Stockton, our goal is to reach out to other libraries within San Joaquin County with training sessions in beginning genealogy for their local patrons, too.

Our first session at the Lodi Public Library is an introduction to genealogy, "Digging Up Your Roots: Researching Your Ancestors." Today's session is the first of a two-part series, with the follow-up session on Saturday, May 10, focusing on free online resources for genealogical research.

Join us today, from 2:00 to 4:00 this afternoon, in the Community Room of the Lodi Library, at 201 West Locust Street. For more information, you may reach the library at 209 333 5503, or by email at

Friday, April 4, 2014

Join Us For Another Beginners' Workshop

Saturday, April 5, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Margaret Troke Library
502 W. Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton

The San Joaquin Genealogical Society is presenting another in its continuing Beginners' Workshop Series for this Spring with its upcoming class this Saturday. The April 5 presentation at the Troke Branch Library will be on Basic Internet Family History Research.

In this session, you will learn how to find and use the best free and inexpensive genealogical websites, including Ancestry Library Edition and FamilySearch. Join us to find out which search terms get the best results; how to find distant relatives through social networking sites; and how to order copies of distant county records, or access immigration, ethnic and foreign information and images.

This one-hour training session will be followed by time to consult with SJGS members about your genealogy research questions. Be sure to bring whatever data you have for this one-on-one session: birth, marriage, death dates of ancestors, and where they lived. To access the wi-fi that is available for this workshop session, you may either bring your own laptop or tablet, or use one of the library's laptop computers.

Since space is limited for this workshop session, pre-registration is required. Stop in at Troke Library and sign up for this April 5 workshop at the reference desk. You may also reserve your place by calling the library at (209) 937-8221, or by emailing your reservation directly to the Society at

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Our March Meeting:
Land Records

Thursday, March 20, 2014
5:45 p.m.
Margaret Troke Library
502 W. Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton

Discovering Your Family’s History
Through Land Records

Deeds. Warrants. Patents. Could these provide any hints for the pursuit of your family’s history?

Come join us as we reconvene at the Troke Library on March 20, to examine how genealogists use land records to help trace their family history.

Dr Kathryn Marshall of Lodi Family History Center
This month, we are pleased to have as our speaker Kathryn Marshall from the Lodi Family History Center.

Kathryn Miller Marshall holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley where she taught for many years. Dr. Marshall is the Director of the Lodi California Family History Center, serving there for the last fifteen years. 

Dr. Marshall began to specialize in the history of California between 1840 and 1865 when asked to prepare interpretive panels for museums, edit books for fellow historians, and write books of her own. As a curriculum designer for "Odyssey of the Mind," she particularly enjoyed planning and implementing exciting educational activity days for children and their families. She recently published Discovery of California Gold, a curriculum augmentation book for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th grades, which is being adopted by school districts throughout the state. 

Dr. Marshall is a member of the Advisory Board for the California Pioneer Heritage Foundation, which builds monuments, provides living history re-enactors at state parks and special events, and preserves historical sites in California.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

SJGS Continues its Spring Workshop Series

Saturday, March 15, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Margaret Troke Library
502 W. Benjamin Holt Drive, Stockton

San Joaquin Genealogical Society is continuing with its Beginners' Workshop Series for this Spring with its upcoming class on Saturday. The March 15 presentation at the Troke Branch Library will be on "How Libraries Can Help With Family Research."

While many family history researchers have become accustomed to searching online for information on their ancestors, we can't lose sight of the many resources available to us through our local library system. Many of the reference books in our holdings are not available anywhere online, and we are fortunate to be able to access them in our own city.

The Chavez Library in downtown Stockton has a comprehensive genealogical reference section, with over three thousand volumes donated for public use by SJGS in a program we have had in place since our founding in 1952.

In addition, our library system includes many historical resources of local significance, as well as microfilmed copies of local newspapers.

Of course, the entire Stockton-San Joaquin County library system offers free access to the Library Edition of to patrons while they are in any of the library's branches, county-wide (one of the prime reasons SJGS has partnered with the SSJCPL to provide monthly Beginners' Workshops).

A one-hour overview of how to best utilize the many genealogical resources of our library will be followed by time to consult with SJGS members about your genealogy research questions. Be sure to bring whatever data you have for this one-on-one session: birth, marriage, death dates of ancestors, and where they lived. To access the wi-fi that is available for this workshop session, you may either bring your own laptop or tablet, or use one of the library's laptop computers.

Since space is limited for this workshop session, pre-registration is required. You may sign up for the March 15 session at the Troke Library reference desk. Or you may call (209) 937-8221.

Monday, March 3, 2014

"I Have Searched Every Cemetery in the County, But..."

"...I cannot find the resting spot of my missing relative."

Our Society has gone one step beyond. We have painstakingly indexed all the cremations performed at the Casa Bonita Mausoleum in Stockton, California. These books are now on sale for $15.00 each. Or, you may purchase both books for $25.00.

Death Records of Casa Bonita Mausoleum, Stockton, California: August 1928 to December 1948 - Book I

Death Records of Casa Bonita Mausoleum, Stockton, California: 1949 to 1958 and 1967 to 1970 - Book II

To order your copy of either or both of these two valuable books, you may complete our order form for this special sale by clicking here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

First Stockton All-Day Seminar a Success

One hundred thirty people from all over northern California assembled last Saturday at the University of the Pacific's well-appointed Biological Sciences building lecture hall for SJGS' first All-Day Genealogical Seminar.

The event featured four members of the California State Genealogical Alliance, presenting on a wide variety of topics of current interest in genealogical research.

Attendees joined us in this Stockton, California, event from the Sacramento area, the greater Bay Area, foothill region cities such as Jackson and San Andreas, our neighbors to the south in Modesto, and as far away as Santa Rosa. There were over forty registrants from the Stockton area alone, joined by those in other San Joaquin County cities: Lodi, Manteca, Tracy and Woodbridge.

We are grateful for the generosity of the Jacoby Center for Public Service and Civic Leadership for their support in hosting us at University of the Pacific.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All-Day Genealogical Seminar
This Saturday in Stockton

Almost every seat in the house will be filled by the time of our upcoming all-day genealogical seminar this Saturday, February 22, at University of the Pacific. We are expecting participants from all over northern California.

Featured speakers from the California State Genealogical Alliance will present a variety of topics beginning at 9:00 a.m. until the close of the final session at 3:30 p.m. Doors will open at 8:00 a.m. for check-in and to receive speaker packets.

Linda Serna, a professional genealogist from southern California who is part of the research team for PBS' "Genealogy Roadshow" and who also serves as Vice President of Programs for the Orange County Genealogical Society, will present "Family Stories: Genealogy Beyond Just the Dates," guiding seminar participants in how to tell your family's stories.

President of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, Letty Rodella, will conduct a session addressing resources and techniques for "Researching Your Mexican Ancestors." Letty has spent thirteen years pursuing her own Hispanic ancestry, including working with documents dating from the 1500s.

After ample time for participants to network with other seminar participants and enjoy lunch at local Stockton restaurants, Tim Cox, APG member and Education and Events Coordinator for the California Genealogical Society and Library, will focus on how to maximize use of available technology in genealogical research. His informative and entertaining session, "Fun Tools to Help Genealogists Work Smarter" draws on his expertise in technology and organization.

Wrapping up the afternoon, professional genealogist and journal editor Janice Sellers will share her experience, detailing a case study in her presentation, "Reconstructing Family Information When You Start With Almost Nothing."

Registration for the seminar is free, but is required to receive the package of seminar handouts--as well as free gifts included for each registered participant.

Seating is limited. We have almost reached capacity for this exciting event.

There are only a few seats still available. To be included in this event, hurry and register for this event online at before all seats are taken!  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Speaking In Stockton January 16:
Stephen Morse

San Joaquin Genealogical Society

Annual Dinner Meeting

One-Step Webpages: A Potpourri of Genealogical Search Tools

by Dr. Stephen Morse

Stephen Morse is the creator of the One-Step Website. Many genealogical websites are not easy to use.  Dr. Morse created alternate ways of accessing most of these websites which you will find at the One-Step website. From his site you can search multiple websites at one time.  Sites like:  Ellis Island and Castle Garden passenger arrivals, the collections of Germans, Irish and Russians to America at NARA and census records.  In his other life, Stephen Morse is a computer professional with a doctorate in electrical engineering. He is best known as the architect of the Intel 8086 (the granddaddy of today's Pentium processor), which sparked the PC revolution 30 years ago.

Thursday   January 16, 2014
5:30 pm
UJ's Restaurant
7628 Pacific Avenue, Stockton
Pacific Avenue @ Hammer Lane

For more information on reserving your place for dinner,
email sjcogensoc (at) gmail (dot) com
before Friday, January 10, 2014