Welcome to SMCGS

The San Mateo County Genealogical Society supports the study of family history in the Bay Area and beyond. We have monthly meetings, twice-yearly seminarsworkshopsspecial-interest groups, a genealogy library, online databases, and research services. We produce a newsletter, a blog, and a Facebook page, and we send occasional email notices about SMCGS events to anyone who is interested.


For a flyer of SMCGS upcoming events, click here.

A recording of Jan Joyce's Zoom presentation on October 24, Creative Hypothesis Development for Brick Walls, is available until November 23 in the Members Only section of the website, under Handouts/Recordings/Zoom.

A recording of Carolyn William's Zoom presentation on Novembver 21, Preserving Family Photos, Stories, and Documents, is available until December 5 in the Members Only section of the website, under Handouts/Recordings/Zoom.


Because of Covid-19 concerns, most SMCGS general meetings, workshops, and interest groups are being held remotely, using the Zoom web conferencing technology. Please watch this website or SMCGS's Facebook page for details. The SMCGS Board is monitoring information from the San Mateo County Health Department (https://www.smchealth.org/coronavirus) and will make decisions based on their recommendations. Stay well!


Everyone is welcome to attend SMCGS general meetings. A link to each Zoom meeting will be sent to SMCGS eNews subscribers (both members and non-members) several days before the meeting. SMCGS members are automatically subscribed to eNews unless they choose to "unsubscribe."  Non-members can also subscribe; if you're not already a subscriber and wish to become one, click here.

SMCGS Board meetings will continue to held by Zoom. See the calendar for dates. If you would like to offer suggestions or attend, please email president@smcgs.org.

Stay connected with SMCGS via Facebook, our eNews mailing list, or our Blog, using one of the links in the box at the lower left of this page. For more details on connecting, click here.​

Website Login Instructions

Most parts of the SMCGS website are open to anyone. However, the Members Only section of the SMCGS website contains a few items that are restricted to members only, such as newsletters, handouts, and recordings of recent monthly meetings.

If you are a member and don't yet have an account, use the Login link at the upper right, choose Create new account, and provide your name, a username, and an email address. It may take a day or two for the account to be created.

If you are a member and have an account, be sure to log in with the username (e.g., "somebody") and NOT the email address (e.g., "somebody@gmail.com") -- this is a common mistake.

If you are unable to log in, please contact webmaster@smcgs.org.

December 2020 -- No General Monthly Meeting

There will be no general monthly meeting in December. However, the DNA and British/Irish Interest Groups will meet, and there will be an SMCGS Board meeting.

Have a wonderful December: relax, enjoy your family, catch up on your genealogy research and writing, and stay healthy!.

January 2021 Meeting - Children Left Behind

Children Left Behind
Presenter: Judy Fambrough Billingsley
Saturday, January 23, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

Judy was born in Friedberg, Germany, shortly after WWII and was the daughter of a white German woman and a black American soldier, whose mixed race led to her becoming one of many unwanted “Brown Babies” abandoned by their mother.  Her book Too Brown to Keep:  A Search for Love, Forgiveness, and Healing recounts the inspirational odyssey as the search for her birth parents leads to discovery of the good, the bad, and the ugly family secrets that she had struggled to unearth for decades.  

Judy holds a BA degree, a California lifetime teaching credential, and a Master’s in Education Administration.  Retiring after many years of service in Education allowed her the quality time to pursue the writing and self-publishing of her book.  She is blessed to be the mother of two successful sons, two successful daughters-in-law, and “Nana” to four grandsons.  She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and serves her church and community in many ways.  

This meeting will be held remotely via the Zoom web conferencing system. Several days before the date of the meeting, a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to SMCGS eNews subscribers (both members and non-members) and will also be posted in the Members Only section of this website.

This event is free and all are welcome. For more information about our monthly meetings, click here.

February 2021 Meeting: DNA: Finding My Grandfather

DNA: Finding My Grandfather
Presenter: David Brunzel
Saturday, February 27, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

It was 1974 and David Bunzel was assigned a project for a college history course to create a four generation family tree. A relative from his mother’s side handed him an envelope with some documents regarding his maternal grandparents. One of the documents the relative handed him was his grandparents wedding certificate, which caught David’s attention.  Their marriage date was August 10, 1935, but his mother was born in 1930!  His mother had kept the secret that she was born out of wedlock, but had little information on her biological father.  It took more than 40 years of searching and the introduction of DNA testing to help David get the answers to the “Curious Case of Frank Button.”

David Bunzel is the founder and managing director of Santa Clara Consulting Group (SCCG).  His interest in genealogy complements the work he has done professionally.  David has been involved in archiving initiatives in the National Archives’ in both the U.S. and the U.K.  David has been an amateur genealogist since the mid-1970s. 

David graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Santa Clara University

This meeting will be held remotely via the Zoom web conferencing system. Several days before the date of the meeting, a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to SMCGS eNews subscribers (both members and non-members) and will also be posted in the Members Only section of this website.

This event is free and all are welcome. For more information about our monthly meetings, click here.

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