Ventura County Genealogical Society


Free Lecture

Saturday, September 16, 2017
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Camarillo Public Library, 4101 E. Las Posas Rd, Camarillo, CA
Presenter: Susan Morris
"New Discovery of Native Peoples of San Nicolas Island In Nineteenth Century Los Angeles"
Susan Morris, a local researcher and writer, will discuss new research into the 1835 removal of native peoples from San Nicolas Island (the Nicoleños) and give details about their lives in the growing city of Los Angeles. Her presentation is titled, Finding the Lone Woman’s People: the Nicoleños in Los Angeles.

The story of the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island has fascinated people for generations and formed the basis for the popular children’s book, Island of the Blue Dolphins. In 1835, the Nicoleños were removed from their island home, except for one woman, who remained on the island for 18 years. In 1853, she sailed to Santa Barbara with George Nidever. Efforts were made to find people who could communicate with her, but she died seven weeks later, unable to fully share her story.

Morris will discuss new research using provincial Mexican papers, Los Angeles documents, American records, and church registers, which identified the Lone Woman’s people in Los Angeles. At least five men, women, and children are confirmed or are likely to have come to Los Angeles from San Nicolas Island in 1835. One Nicoleño, a 5 year-old boy who was given the name Tomas, was alive and living on Spring St. when the Lone Woman was brought to Santa Barbara in 1853.

Susan Morris is a researcher and writer who has been involved in Channel Islands research since 1987. She has participated in field studies on 7 of the 8 Channel Islands working on archaeology, paleontology, geology, and biology projects. Morris was the Principle Investigator of a cave-associated archaeological site survey in Wreck Canyon on Santa Rosa Island.
Her focus for the past six years has been historical research for the Lone Woman of San Nicolas Island/Island of the Blue Dolphins website to be hosted by Channel Islands National Park. Her investigation into events connected to the Lone Woman’s story led Morris and coauthors to publish articles on the 1814 San Nicolas Island massacre and on the 1835 removal of the Lone Woman’s people to the mainland. She has also presented new information on the location of the Nidever adobe where the Lone Woman lived when she was brought to Santa Barbara in 1853. Morris’ research continues as she follows the paper trail left by the Lone Woman’s people, their family and friends, who lived in Los Angeles during the nineteenth century.
Workshop following the lecture:
"Autograph Albums"
Presenters: Carley & Don Worth
Traditionally autograph albums were exchanged among friends, colleagues, and classmates to fill with poems, drawings, personal messages, small pieces of verse, and other mementos. Their modern derivations include yearbooks, friendship books, and guest books. They were particularly popular among students and young adults in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Carley and Don Worth will give a brief history of these momentos and describe their search for living members of the family of two women whose long lost autograph books were recently donated to SCGS.
All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public.
The DNA Special Interest Group meeting will precede the general meeting from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM (NOTE TIME CHANGE) at the Camarillo Library, 4101 Las Posas Rd, Camarillo.


Benefits of Membership

  • Monthly lectures and workshops with talented and exciting speakers.
  • Yearly Fall seminar. Review our EVENTS page to keep informed of our upcoming activities.
  • Our monthly newsletter. Each issue contains articles and information of interest to family researchers.  
  • Access to our members-only section on the Society's website.
  • Members-only email notification of special genealogical interest items and local, state, and national genealogical events.
  • Opportunity to participate on special projects.
  • The most compelling reason to join VCGS is the friendships you will establish with fellow researchers in the area. Those with a new interest in genealogy can learn from experts, and the experts can share the wealth of their experience. Membership is from January 1 to December 31 of each year. 
Click on the JOIN US menu item to pull up a Membership Form.

Reference Library

Ventura County Genealogical Society provides full maintenance and development of the Genealogy Collection housed within the Camarillo City Library (upper level), 4101 Las Posas Road, Camarillo, California.  You can access the catalog using the Library choice on the left-side menu. Library volunteers are regularly scheduled to help you use the collection, answer genealogy questions, or get you started with genealogy. 

Get Involved!

All VCGS activities are brought to life by the hard work of our volunteers.  Society elections are held each year in November, and vacancies on the VCGS board are filled as needed.  If you would like to volunteer your assistance, please contact the president.

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Federation of Genealogical Societies
Representing the members of hundreds of genealogical societies across the United States and other nations, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is here to link the genealogical community and help its members grow.
California State Genealogical Alliance - Member
The National Genealogical Society was organized in Washington, D.C. in 1903. NGS's mission is to serve and grow the genealogical community by providing education and training, fostering increased quality and standards, and promoting access to and preservation of genealogical records.
California State Genealogical Alliance - Member
Founded in October, 1982, the California State Genealogical Alliance serves as a statewide association of independent genealogical societies, individuals, and non-profit organizations.
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Family Tree DNA: Y DNA Testing at discounted rates

myHeritage for DNA - Weds Class
Wednesday, Aug. 23rd
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Ray Roth will take us through myHeritage's DNA test functionality and go over what he's learned with it.

VCGS Library Workshop - Weds Class
Wednesday, Aug. 30th
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Bring your research questions and Kay will help you find books in our library that will help in your quest ...

VCGS British Isles Special Interest Group Meeting
Friday, Sep. 1st
10:00 am to 11:30 am
This group is devoted to the researching of ancestors from England, Scotland and Wales – the inhabitants of the isle ...

Beginning genealogy - Breakout Workshop
Wednesday, Sep. 6th
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Fran will lead a special small group session for beginners. Limited to 5 attendees. You may wish to reserve your spot by ...

Keep Your Genealogy Out of the Dumpster DISCUSSION - Weds Class
Wednesday, Sep. 6th
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Don will lead a discussion about techniques for "future proofing" your genealogy so that it lives on after you're gone. ...

DNA - Breakout Workshop
Wednesday, Sep. 13th
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Ray Roth and/or Don Worth will work with those who would like help interpreting their DNA results. Limited to 5 ...

Storytime with Ray Roth - Weds Class
Wednesday, Sep. 13th
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Ray will regale us with his finds from his recent trip to Kentucky.