Monthly Programs

Meetings: Held monthly except for December on the 4th (or 3rd) Saturday. Check dates as some meetings are moved to the 3rd Saturday.

Time:  10:00-10:30 am Social mixer with coffee/tea & cookies; 10:30 am - 12 noon Announcements followed by the program on subjects of interest to all levels of genealogists.

Location: Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, CA 94403. (See map below)  Entrance is at the back of the church off the parking lot. Look for the SMCGS sign.

For more information, contact us.  For a list of past programs, click here .

Sarah Coston, VP Programs

Upcoming Meetings


February 2018 Meeting - Bring a Genealogy Book(s) to donate to the SMCGS Spring Seminar Book Sale! Thank you!

Who's in Your Neighborhood? Meeting the Diverse Research Needs of Your Community
Speaker: Linda Harms Okazki
Saturday, February 24, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am

Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

This talk will focus on examining the different cultures within our community of San Mateo County reaching back through historical events, laws, immigration patterns, and primary source documents. Many examples from local ethnic groups including Japanese Americans, Chinese, Filipino, and Pacific Islanders will be presented.

In order for genealogical societies to become more diverse, we need to examine and embrace the different cultures within our communities. Is your genealogical society inclusive? Does your membership reflect the diversity of your community? What immigrant populations have historically lived in your county? Who currently lives there? Does your genealogical society reach out to the surrounding community? What records are specific to certain ethnic groups?

Linda Harms Okazaki is a fourth generation San Franciscan and has been researching her husband’s ancestry for the past several years, documenting his family in the internment camps and in Japan. She is passionate about researching, documenting, teaching, and sharing the stores of Japanese Americans. Her other areas of research include California, upstate New York, England and Australia. Linda is a member of APG, the Genealogical Speakers Guild, and the DAR. She is a graduate of GenFed, ProGen and several genealogy institutes. She recently served as the president of the California Genealogical Society.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and a Master of Arts degree in Education. You may find her blog at LindasOrchard.com


March 2018 Meeting - Bring a Genealogy Book(s) to donate to the SMCGS Spring Seminar Book Sale! Thank you!

Making A Family Video to Share
Speaker: Dr. Jan Joyce Aherns
Saturday, March 24, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

You love genealogy research but at family gatherings and cocktail parties your relatives’ and friends' eyes glaze over when you start talking about it, right?  This talk/workshop will show you how to make your genealogical information into an engaging video that everyone will love. Create videos for family, friends, and clients.  

You will determine your audience and video topic, identify the materials you have or need to find and how to organize them, write a script, create high impact visual and audio effects, record, edit, and publish your video. This workshop will focus on developing content with a light touch on technology and software.

Dr. Ahrens is a genealogy researcher whose personal work has focused on Ohio and Pennsylvania, England, Germany, Ireland, and Norway. She began researching in 1998 to better understand genealogy customers when she managed the marketing initiatives at Genealogy.com. Before beginning her genealogy career in writing and speaking, Jan earned a B.S. in Business, Marketing, from Miami University; and an MBA, Marketing, from The Ohio State University and a Doctor of Business Administration from Golden Gate University

She has completed the Boston University Certificate in Genealogy Research, the ProGen Study Group, Advanced Genealogical Methods Course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies Course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), British Institute - Researching Your English Ancestors, and the Writing & Publishing for Genealogists Course (IGHR) among others. 


April 2018 Meeting

English Probate and Death Duty Records
Speaker: Christine Bell Green PLCGS
Saturday, April 21, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm  -  Please note: This meeting is on the 3rd Saturday of April (not our usual 4th Saturday)
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

English probate records, when available, can be instrumental in providing primary information about family relationships. They frequently provide direct evidence that links adult children with their parents and/or siblings. Wills of childless or single people are especially worth collecting as they typically name several family members (including nephews and nieces).  During the 19th century an additional set of records, death duty records, which complement probate records is extant. Death duty records are available for both testate and intestate probate cases. Record types and methodology will be discussed.

Christine Bell Green has a professional learning certificate in Genealogical Studies from the University of Toronto. She is a ProGen graduate and an alumnus of the Salt Lake Institute, the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and the Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh where she studied a variety of advanced level courses. She is a past president and current seminar chair of SMCGS and a professional researcher who teaches Genealogy in Palo Alto and Mountain View/Los Altos Adult Schools. In her spare time she travels to visit her living relatives.


Find us:

SMCGS Meetings c/o Grace Lutheran Church
2825 Alameda de las Pulgas
San Mateo, CA