Ventura County Genealogical Society


Free Lecture

Saturday, January 18, 2020
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Camarillo Public Library, 4101 E. Las Posas Rd, Camarillo, CA
Presenter: Hal Bookbinder
"Changing Borders of Eastern Europe"
As Russia expanded west, it absorbed millions of Jews. This talk examines Russia’s efforts to limit the Jews and the associated border changes impacting our ancestors. With them, town names, record-keeping and archive locations might change. This overview may help researchers in determining where records might be located, their format and languages.
Hal writes and lectures extensively on diverse genealogical topics, including border changes, migration, citizenship, safe computing, Jewish culture and Jewish history. He has identified over 4,000 relatives to the mid-1700s in modern Ukraine. Other roots reach into adjacent areas of Moldova, Poland, Belarus and Russia. He has served as president of the IAJGS and has been honored with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Professionally, he is a healthcare IT director, a university instructor and directs a recovery-to-work training program. Hal and his family reside in the Los Angeles area. Check out his articles on safe genealogical computing.
Second presentation:
"Butcher, Baker & Candlestick Maker: The Guild System of Old Europe"
Presenter: Lyn Gesch
Our ancestors had work lives. Those who were craftsmen, merchants, even farmers, since the 12th century likely worked within the system of guilds. This applies to those with origins in Europe or in colonies of European countries. In this talk, Lyn will cover different kinds of guilds, what they provided in benefits to members, how one got to be a member, and what kinds of rules members had to comply with. We will also look at how a typical craftsman’s shop would be set up and the roles different workers would have.
Lyn Gesch is a VCGS member and has held several positions on the Executive Board in the past. She is involved in the Wednesday genealogy class and the German Special Interest Group. She specializes in German ancestry research and has published articles on German immigrants in American wars in the Missouri Historical Review and the Kansas History journals.
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 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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Follow us on our FaceBook page to receive timely updates about genealogical activities and our society.  You don't have to be a member of Facebook to view our page, but Facebook requires you to be a member to post comments. 


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.
National Genealogical Society NGS 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.
FamilyTreeMagazine Family Tree Magazine: Half of your total paid will go to support the FGS and hundreds of local member societies that need your help!
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VCGS DNA Special Interest Group Meeting
Saturday, Jan. 18th
10:30 am to 11:30 am
  Format: DNA Stories & Questions and Answers    Join us for discussion on using DNA results to further your ...

Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society - John Schmal
Saturday, Jan. 18th
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
“Finding Your Roots in Mexico”   John Schmal will present “Finding Your Roots in Mexico” at the Saturday, January ...

VCGS general meeting - Hal Bookbinder
Saturday, Jan. 18th
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  Presenter: Hal Bookbinder   "Changing Borders of Eastern Europe"   As Russia expanded west, it absorbed millions of Jews. ...

Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy - Chinese Ancestry
Monday, Jan. 20th
Chinese Ancestry: Research Methods and Sources   Chinese Ancestry: Research Methods and Sources is a week-long institute course taught by experts ...

Legacy Users Group - Breakout Workshop
Wednesday, Jan. 22nd
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Members who use Legacy (Windows) as their genealogy program will get together to share information about its use. Limited to ...

Discussion: Changing Borders of Eastern Europe/Guilds - Weds Class
Wednesday, Jan. 22nd
10:30 am to 11:30 am
Ken will lead a discussion of the lectures given at the general meeting the previous Saturday.

Snag-It Users Group - Breakout Workshop
Wednesday, Jan. 29th
10:30 am to 11:30 am
John Callahan will lead a group in the use of the Snag-It utility. The group is limited to 5 participants. If ...