San Mateo County Genealogical Society

Discovering Our Family History Together

Public Events

Upcoming events

    • 7 Jun 2023
    • 12:00 PM
    • Flood Park, 215 Bay Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025

    It’s time to gather outdoors! Please join us for a noon spring picnic at Flood Park on Wednesday, June 7. We’ll meet in the Oak area just inside the park. It provides lots of room as well as overhead shelter. This will be a potluck event, so bring your favorite dish to share as well as your own favorite drink. We’ll provide paper goods, utensils and hotdogs. There will be a barbecue ready to go.  Bring yourself and a friend interested in genealogy! It’s time to make the social part of our society an in-person event with food, conversation and games. The picnic will be at Flood Park, 215 Bay Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025.

    • 17 Jun 2023
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • via Zoom

    Small business ledgers are not often examined by genealogy researchers. We’ll talk about why ledgers can be invaluable to your research – there is an incredible amount of genealogically leverageable material to be found in ledgers. You can learn so much about your family, the neighborhood, other local business proprietors, and so much more, through these records. Need a resource rich in FAN club info, check out ledgers. The barter system created a web of relationships involving many in the community. Store, business (e.g., hotels, livery, stable, distillery, blacksmith, etc.), and health-related (e.g., physician, insane asylum, etc.) ledgers can link family members and provide many interesting details invaluable to your family history narrative. Relationships are sometimes noted – e.g., Tom son of William. Enslaved people (and location) are sometimes called out in physician’s ledgers as they were treated. Deaths or weddings might be noted in a livery ledger as a horse is rented. Distillery ledgers show that everyone seemed to buy whisky – including preachers and physicians. Depending on where you lived and when different goods were bought and sold at the local stores. Different industries (e.g., naval stores) proliferated in select communities, and ledgers reflect such. Free persons of color are also mentioned, as are women and children, types of individuals often underrepresented in official government documents. Ledgers are personal and intimate; they include everyday little details about your family that will be found nowhere else. A ledger just may poke a hole in that brick wall you’ve been staring at.

    Diane L. Richard, MEng, MBA, of Mosaic Research and Project Management, has been doing genealogy research since 1987 and, since 2004, professionally focused on the records of North Carolina and southern states. She regularly contributes to Internet Genealogy. She has authored more than 500 articles on genealogy topics. She has been pursuing “small business” ledgers as a genealogical research tool since doing research for “Who Do You Think You Are?” a decade ago. Since 2016 she has been the editor of the North Carolina Genealogical Society (NCGS) journal, which has commenced a focus on publishing abstracted/transcribed ledger material, to continue into 2025. She is a board member of NC Historical Records Online, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing public access to high-quality images of original records and other related information useful for researching North Carolina history and genealogy; including ledgers!


    • 22 Jul 2023
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • via Zoom

    Maggie will take some cold cases from the past - published in journals and online boards - and look at them again using current resources.  How has genealogy changed?  Can we re-examine our brick walls through fresh eyes?

    What information do we have now that didn't exist 10 (or 50)  years ago?  Or are we just better genealogists now?

    Maggie is the wizard behind much of the internal workings at SMCGS.  She currently serves as the research coordinator, blog editor, webmaster, and NGS representative.  She also leads the British/Irish, and Problem Solving interest groups and teaches an intermediate/advanced genealogy class in Menlo Park.  She advises on all things technical.

    • 23 Sep 2023
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • via Zoom

    Pam Vestal is a professional genealogist and speaker who turned her focus to her longtime love of genealogy after a 20-year writing career. Her articles have appeared in the National Genealogical Society MagazineThe Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly, and FGS's Forum magazine, and her lectures take her from coast to coast.  Pam specializes in conducting genealogical research and then transforming that information into illustrated stories that even non-genealogists can enjoy.

Past events

20 May 2023 Extracting Information from German Vital Records
22 Apr 2023 Putting the Flesh on the Bones with Ron Arons
25 Mar 2023 Researching England’s Records with Bill Cole
18 Mar 2023 The Best of Rootstech
25 Feb 2023 Work Your Way to Ireland Using American Records
21 Feb 2023 No More Excuses: Ten Family History Writing Tips for Procrastinators” SCCGS event
28 Jan 2023 The Great Estates of the Peninsula
25 Dec 2022 🎄 Christmas
24 Nov 2022 🌽 Thanksgiving
19 Nov 2022 Genealogy Round Table
31 Oct 2022 🎃 HALLOWEEN
29 Oct 2022 Using Maps for Genealogy - NEW DATE!
24 Sep 2022 National Register of Historic Places
12 Aug 2022 🛠 CANCELLED
29 Jul 2022 Field Trip
25 Jun 2022 Farming families
21 May 2022 Genealogy Resources at the San Francisco Public Library
23 Apr 2022 Mining for Treasures in the Internet Archive
26 Mar 2022 🎤Highlights from RootsTech 2022
26 Feb 2022 🎤 House histories
22 Jan 2022 🎤 The 1890 Census, by Margaret Melaney
20 Nov 2021 🎤 All-Hands Membership Meeting plus Sharing Stories
6 Nov 2021 🎟Fall Seminar - Making Sense of Your DNA Matches, with Diahan Southard
23 Oct 2021 🎤 A Tour of the New SMCGS Website, by Mike Davis
25 Sep 2021 🎤 1950 Census: Are You Ready?, by Thomas MacEntee
28 Aug 2021 Union Cemetery Field Trip
24 Jul 2021 🎤 Using Maps to Tell Stories, by Sue Long
22 May 2021 🎤 The Importance of On-Location Research in a Digital World, by Craig Siulinski
24 Apr 2021 🎤 Sisters Unite! Two Hundred Years of Women's Suffrage, by Lisa Oberg
10 Apr 2021 🛠 Workshop - Using Photos in Microsoft Word, with Maggie Melaney
27 Mar 2021 🎤 Angel Island, by Grant Din
20 Feb 2021 🎤 DNA: Finding My Grandfather, by David Brunzel
23 Jan 2021 🎤 Children Left Behind, by Judy Fambrough Billingsley
26 Dec 2020 🎤 NO General Meeting in December
21 Nov 2020 🎤 Preserving Family Photos, Stories, and Documents, by Carolyn Williams
7 Nov 2020 🎟 Fall Seminar - Gems for Genealogical Research, with Lisa Louise Cooke
24 Oct 2020 🎤 Creative Hypothesis Development for Brick Walls, by Jan Joyce
26 Sep 2020 🎤 The Mystery Aussie, by Pam Wong
22 Aug 2020 🎤 NO General Meeting in August
25 Jul 2020 🎤 Orphan Train and Home Children, by Chris Green
27 Jun 2020 🎤 Northern California Genealogy, by Sean Conley
30 May 2020 🎤 10 Reasons Why You Can't Find Your Ancestors, by Gena Philibert-Ortega
2 May 2020 🎟 Spring Seminar (CANCELED) - Gems for Genealogical Research, with Lisa Louise Cooke
25 Apr 2020 🎤 (CANCELED) - Orphan Train and Home Children, by Christine Bell Green
28 Mar 2020 🎤 (CANCELED) - Preserving Family Photos, Photo Stories, Documents, by Carolyn Williams
22 Feb 2020 🎤 Titanic Connections: Exploring the Legend & Genealogy, by Sheryl Rinkol
13 Feb 2020 🛠 Workshop - US Land Records in Public Land States, with Martha Wallace
25 Jan 2020 🎤 Researching Off-line: Using Archives, Libraries, & Courthouses, by Lisa Gorrell
28 Dec 2019 🎤 NO General Meeting in December
23 Nov 2019 🎤 Brick Wall Busters: Techniques for Genealogical Success, by Sharon Hoyt
2 Nov 2019 🎟 Fall Seminar - The Law, GPS Evidence, and DNA Ethics, with Judy Russell
19 Oct 2019 🎤 Researching Ancestors in Historical Events: A Salem Witch Trials Case Study, by Melinda Kashuba
28 Sep 2019 🎤 What You Don't Know about, by Crista Cowen
24 Aug 2019 🎤 Indexing Work Day
27 Jul 2019 🎤 Round Table Discussions
22 Jun 2019 🎤 Sharing Stories: Readings and Potluck
18 May 2019 🎤 Mayflower Families, by Bob Trapp
4 May 2019 🎟 Spring Seminar - Your Genealogy: Research, Organize, & Solve, with Michael John Neill
27 Apr 2019 🎤 The Power of Digital Photography and Family History, by Ron Madson
11 Apr 2019 🛠 Workshop - Finding Power in Your Family's Story: A Writing Workshop, by Regina Mason
30 Mar 2019 🛠 Workshop - Writing Family Stories, by Craig Siulinski
23 Mar 2019 🎤 Gen Mtg - Lies, Lies & More Lies: Can DNA Solve My Parental Lineage?, by Jeff Valiant
23 Feb 2019 🎤 City Directories: A Window into your Ancestors' Lives, by Pamela Brigham
14 Feb 2019 🛠 Workshop - Hispanic Genealogy: Spanish Records, by Lucy Jennings Sweeney
26 Jan 2019 🎤 Blogging for Sharing Family History Stories, by Craig Siulinski
17 Nov 2018 🎤 Prohibition, by Ray Cosyn
3 Nov 2018 🎟 Fall Seminar - Exploring DNA, with CeCe Moore
20 Oct 2018 🎤 A Year in Salem: The Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, by Gay Scott
22 Sep 2018 🎤 Researching Civil War Ancestors, by Mary Boyle
28 Jul 2018 🎤 Round Table Discussions
19 May 2018 🎤 The Streets of Menlo Park, by Bo Crane
5 May 2018 🎟 Spring Seminar - Forensic Genealogy plus California Research: Missions to Present, with Sheila Benedict
21 Apr 2018 🎤 English Probate and Death Duty Records, by Chris Green
24 Mar 2018 🎤 Making A Family Video to Share, by Dr. Jan Joyce Aherns
24 Feb 2018 🎤 Who's in Your Neighborhood? Meeting the Diverse Research Needs of Your Community, by Linda Harms Okazaki
27 Jan 2018 🎤 The Slave Narrative that Freed Me, by Regina Mason
4 Nov 2017 🎟 Fall Seminar - Federal Records plus Mapping the West, with Pamela and Rick Sayre
3 May 2017 🎟 Spring Seminar - Not Your Usual Records, with Amy Johnson Crow
22 Oct 2016 🎟 Fall Seminar - Research Rewards, with Paula Stuart-Warren
18 Jun 2016 🎤 Ancestry Day by the Bay
7 May 2016 🎟 Spring Seminar - Successful Searching, with Thomas MacEntee
2 May 2015 🎟 Spring Seminar - Immigration and Ancestral Customs, with Warren Bittner CG
1 Nov 2014 🎟 Fall Seminar - How Knowing the Law Makes Us Better Genealogists, with Judy Russell

San Mateo County Genealogical Society

     SMCGS is a 501(c)(3) organization

PO Box 230
San Mateo, CA 94401-0230


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