San Mateo County Genealogical Society

Discovering Our Family History Together

Public Events

Upcoming events

    • 24 Feb 2024
    • 10:30 AM
    • via Zoom

    "Introducing 10 Million Names" 

    There are at least 44 million descendants of enslaved individuals alive today, but slavery separated families, erased names, and obscured facts. The 10 Million Names Project, recently launched by American Ancestors and its partners, aims to connect the family stories of these descendants to the 10 million men, women, and children of African descent who were enslaved in the U.S. prior to emancipation and to restore their names to history. Join 10 Million Names Research Director Cynthia Evans and learn about the scope of this project, the objectives, and our methodology.

    Speaker -- Cynthia Evans, Research Director for 10 Million Names.

    Cynthia Evans holds an M.A. in Museum Science. She is a researcher, historian, and genealogist with more than ten years of experience in African American history and research and five years of experience managing a genealogy center that specialized in African American genealogy. As the manager of the genealogy center, she created and implemented genealogical programming for adults and children, genealogical field trip activities for the African American Cultural Center and created a genealogical curriculum. In 2016, she partnered with other local archival institutions to create Austin’s first African American Genealogical symposium.

    • 23 Mar 2024
    • 10:30 AM
    • via Zoom

    Rootstech 2024 is from February 29 to March 2 this year - in Salt Lake City or online.  You can register now for access to all the sessions here.  Ot better yet, let US do the work and present you with (in our opinion) the best takeaways from the best sessions.

    What Is RootsTech?

    RootsTech is the largest genealogy event in the world, sponsored and hosted by FamilySearch. RootsTech brings people from all over the globe together for one common mission: gathering and celebrating family.

    Classes at RootsTech are offered for all skill levels, beginner to expert, so you can learn more about discovering your ancestors and linking them to your family tree.


    • 13 Apr 2024
    • 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
    • via Zoom

    Discover the Power of Your DNA

    Presenter: Michelle Leonard

    April 13 2023 9AM-2PM PDT

    The seminar offers three one-hour lectures on using the power of DNA to aid in family research:

    • Fundamentals of DNA: Overview for both beginner and experienced genetic genealogists on DNA fundamentals covering Autosomal DNA, Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA as well as verifying family tree data, connecting with new cousins and breaking down brick walls·        
    • Organization of DNA Results: Tips and tricks for organizing your DNA results, creating DNA clusters, getting the most of your testing site tools and steering clear of common mistakes and pitfalls.
    • Using DNA in your Family Research: Combining DNA results with family history research to identify connections, case studies to improve understanding of the use of DNA for genealogy and solving mystery relationships.

    Based in Scotland, Michelle Leonard is an internationally-known professional genealogist and genetic genealogist who has a wealth of experience in both traditional and genetic genealogy fields and specializes in solving all manner of unknown ancestor mysteries using a combination of DNA results analysis and traditional genealogical research methodologies.  

    Michelle is also a freelance researcher, speaker, author and historian. Her company, Genes & Genealogy, specializes in DNA detective work in unknown parentage and adoption as well as verifying and enhancing family trees and teaching others how to use DNA to achieve their family history goals. She also undertakes the creation and teaching of DNA courses, coaching, consultations, traditional family history research, lecturing, webinars, podcasts, historical and television research, media consultancy and article, blog and book writing commissions. Additionally, she is known for her work on the WW1 Fromelles Genealogy Project, is a co-author of 'Tracing Your Ancestors Using DNA: A Guide For Family Historians' published by Pen & Sword Books and is a regular speaker at major global genealogy events such as RootsTech.

    Michelle holds an M.A. in English and Modern History from the University of St Andrews and a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), the Scottish Genealogy Network (SGN) and the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG). You can follow Michelle on her Genes & Genealogy Facebook page and as @GenealogyLass on X (formerly known as Twitter).

    The seminar will be online with lectures available for viewing for three weeks following the presentation for all registrants.  

    Log in information for Zoom will be sent to register attendees a few days before the event.  Look for it in your inbox.

    • 18 May 2024
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • SMPL Oak Room

    Death Is Not the End – What Probate Records Can Tell You 

    What is probate? What if there was no will? What are the parts of a probate? Where can you find probate records? What documents should you look for? What are all those things in the inventory? A slay was listed in my ancestor’s inventory in 1827 Alabama. Snow in Alabama? Who bought the items at the sale? What does this tell you about the family status? By putting your findings together and investigating the results, you can create a picture of the life of your ancestor. 


    Bio – Martha Wallace is a retired middle school teacher. She always wanted to be a docent in a castle in England, but the commute was too long, so she now volunteers at Rengstorff House, the oldest house in Mountain View. She also volunteers at the National Archives in San Bruno. She enjoys studying medieval and American history, connecting her ancestors to actual events, and exploring local history. In 2021, she led the Los Altos DAR to compile and edit The Early Settlers of Old Los Altos/Mountain View, a clickable PDF (free download at


    • 22 Jun 2024
    • 10:30 AM
    • SMPL Oak Room

    An Untold Chapter about my Father- The Upper Burma Road

    During WWII the U.S. Army recruited 36 advanced mathematicians and engineers to work on a secret project. Among them was my father, Sherman Hawk Lee, who had arrived in the U.S. from China on a student visa four years earlier. The team’s task was to design an assault glider, light enough to be towed but strong enough to transport 15 soldiers or a fully-loaded jeep. Most of the world never heard of these battle gliders which proved critical to Allied missions over both the Burma Hump into China and on D-Day above Normandy Beach into France.

    I will describe how I discovered my father’s contribution to that glider project, how I put his story together, and why I wanted to tell this story. Along the way I will share reflections about formatting and publishing a family history story.

     Book title: The Upper Burma Road — One Chinese Immigrant’s Contribution to WWII: Sherman Hawk Lee

    Pamela Lee Wong writes about Chinese immigrant experiences against the backdrop of historical events. Passionate about preserving the stories of those elders, Pam writes to reveal their experiences to descendants.

     Other family histories by Pamela Lee Wong:

    • The Mystery Aussie: Jan See China girl
    • CEPCO Company and Its Innovations
    • A Grandfather Unknown: Lee Cheung

  • TBA

    • 27 Jul 2024
    • 10:30 AM

  • TBA

    • 28 Sep 2024
    • 10:30 AM

    Details to follow

    • 19 Oct 2024
    • 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
    • SMPL Oak Room


    Details coming soon.

  • TBA

    • 23 Nov 2024
    • 10:30 AM
    • via Zoom

Past events

27 Jan 2024 Getting Organized Using Technology and a Research Report
18 Nov 2023 Family History Guide with Bob Taylor
28 Oct 2023 Genealogy Fair
26 Oct 2023 SCCHGS: “Census 101” In-person seminar
26 Sep 2023 SCCHGS: “Getting Started with Genealogy” In-person seminar
23 Sep 2023 Finding What you Need and Making the Most of What you Find
26 Aug 2023 Library Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting
22 Jul 2023 So you think you have a brick wall?
8 Jul 2023 SVCGG - Monthly Meeting
20 Jun 2023 SCCHGS Historical Records of the American Colonization Society
17 Jun 2023 Genealogical Gems Found in Ledgers with Diane Richard
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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