Events

May
20
Sat
Lecture – Lyn Gesch & Sara Cochran @ on Zoom
May 20 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Presenter: Lyn Gesch

“Acquiring a sense of place: Using Maps to Help Tell Family Stories”

Have you ever wondered how your ancestors ended up in a particular place? Whether they chose to settle there or other factors drove them to that location, we rely on document research to help us find answers—public records, letters, diaries, local histories, etc. In this hour we will investigate the added value of using maps and gazetteers to help us in that quest to understand how our ancestors navigated those spaces that were “home” and built a life there. We will look at resources for both urban and rural research, with a focus on what is available online, and consider how maps and gazetteers help us tell a story.
Marilyn Gesch, Ph.D., is a longtime member of the Ventura County Genealogical Society. She has served on the Executive Board and has been a frequent presenter in the educational programs. Her background in sociology has led her to lean heavily on using social history in understanding family stories as well as to focus on quality research practices. Recent publications inspired by family histories looked at German immigrants in American wars and appear in the Kansas History journal (2018; WW1) and the Missouri Historical Review  (2015; Civil War) She is currently working on a manuscript following her father-in-law’s WW2 experiences through his letters and scrapbooks.

Second presentation:

Presenter: Sara Cochran

Irish Eyes Are Smiling: Finding Vital Records in the land of Saints and Scholars

Get to know the Irish Civil Registration records! These Birth, Marriage, and Death records began country-wide in 1864 and contain a wealth of information about our ancestors. Learn how to access these records right from your own home through multiple websites.

Sara is a full-time professional genealogist with over twenty-five years of experience. Her research has taken her into nearly every State in the USA as well as Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Britain. She holds a Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate, a Bachelor’s Degree in Library Science, and is an alumnus of the ProGen Study Group. She especially enjoys breaking down brick walls for her clients, discovering the stories of black sheep ancestors, and helping individuals preserve their photographic legacy.

She is currently the Treasurer of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Registrar for the Aurantia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Secretary for the Amanda Stokes Tent, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and volunteers at the National Archives, Riverside office.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


There is no DNA Special Interest Group meeting this month. Our members are encouraged to attend Conejo Valley Genealogical Society’s DNA SIG this month. Contact webmaster@venturacogensoc.org for more information.

Jun
17
Sat
Lectures – Curt Witcher @ on Zoom
Jun 17 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Presenter: Curt Witcher

“Using Periodicals and PERSI to Take Your Research to the Next Level” 

Learn about the various types of genealogy and local history periodicals, and how PERSI can help one find articles to further one’s research.

Curt Witcher is the Director of Special Collections at the Allen County Public Library, managing the widely acclaimed Genealogy Center as well as the Rolland Center for Lincoln Research and the institution’s Fine Books Collection. He is a former president of both the Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Genealogical Society, and the founding president of the Indiana Genealogical Society.

Curt has penned many hundreds of articles on topics of interest to family historians, librarians
and archivists, and has presented lectures to historical and genealogical groups across the
country and beyond. He currently serves on the Indiana State Historical Records Advisory
Board, the board of the Friends of the Indiana State Archives, the Indiana Historical Society’s
publications committee, and the executive committee of the Friends of the Lincoln Collection of
Indiana’s Board of Directors. Curt also serves on the Northeast Indiana Jewish Genealogy
Society board of directors as well as an advisor for the African American Genealogical Society
of Fort Wayne.

Curt is distinguished as a fellow of both the Indiana Genealogical Society and the Utah
Genealogical Association. Over the decades he led collaborative national efforts to preserve
and make more accessible historical data. For those efforts he has received the Federation of
Genealogical Societies’ Rabbi Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award and the National
Genealogical Society’s P. William Filby Award for outstanding, life-time contributions to
genealogical librarianship. Curt’s passion for finding families’ stories and his belief in the power
of those stories to change lives has been recognized by numerous organizations, most recently
receiving the Indiana Historical Society’s 2019 Eli Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award for
extraordinary contributions to the field of history. Curt has completed four decades of service at
the Allen County Public Library.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


The DNA Special Interest Group will meet one week later this month on June 24 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM on Zoom. Contact the webmaster to be added to the invitation list.

Jul
15
Sat
Lecture – Nancy Loe & Chris Pederson @ on Zoom
Jul 15 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Presenter: Nancy Loe

“Beyond Ancestry: Essential Portals for Genealogy Research”

A whole wide world of free resources awaits the genealogist who knows to look beyond Ancestry, FamilySearch, and other major sites. Discover online research portals with newspapers, maps, books and more for your family history research.

After a long professional career in academic archives and genealogy libraries, Nancy Loe, MA, MLS, launched her website, SassyJaneGenealogy.com. Her site features a blog, monthly newsletter, and genealogy e-books on U.S. and European research.

Nancy also provides expert guidance on information management to help genealogists search smart and find more primary sources. She has presented at genealogy gatherings in the US, Canada, and Australia, including NGS, Rootstech, and Legacy Family Tree.

Ask her about the strangest thing she ever discovered in an archives.

Second presentation:

Presenter: Chris Pederson

“Benefits of Using DNA for Adoption Cases” (Mexican American SIG)

Learn about the benefits of genetic genealogy is solving adoption cases.

Chris Pederson has been a teacher and public speaker for over 50 years and a genealogy researcher for almost 20 years. He was introduced to genealogy by an uncle who had done some work on his family history. Later, he was asked by a boss who knew Chris’ interest in genealogy to answer a few questions about searching for his birth parents. Chris found information for this person relatively quickly and that sparked his interest in turning genealogy into a business. Chris turned to DNA to solve other adoptees’ brick wall problem. That started his journey in using genetic genealogy to solve brick wall problems.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


There is no DNA Special Interest Group meeting this month. Our members are encouraged to attend Conejo Valley Genealogical Society’s DNA SIG this month. Contact webmaster@venturacogensoc.org for more information.

Aug
19
Sat
Lectures – Hal Bookbinder @ on Zoom and at Camarillo Library
Aug 19 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter: Hal Bookbinder

“A Murder in Boston’s West End”

Hal used various resources to uncover the story of a relative who he was surprised to find to be an inmate in the Massachusetts State Prison in the 1910 census. The newspaper coverage of Louis Tennis’ murder trial, subsequent divorce, and eventual pardon was extensive and revealing. Additionally, he was able to obtain the actual court records from 1907 to 1909. The supporting documents for his successful pardon included a 14-page, typewritten plea from the prison chaplain… fascinating reading! Old newspapers and old court records, along with census, birth, marriage, and death, records allowed him to piece together lost (or hidden) family history.

Hal Bookbinder is a retired information systems professional who continues to instruct business courses at the university level. He has been actively researching his genealogy for more than three decades, identifying over 4,000 relatives and tracing two lines to the mid-1700s in modern Ukraine. Hal has written and spoken on border changes, migration, citizenship, safe computing unique research techniques. He has served as president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Los Angeles and of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. He also publishes a series of monthly articles on safe computing which are freely available at https://www.tinyurl.com/SafeComputingArticles. He and his wife, Marci, were raised in the Catskills of New York State and now live in the LA area.

Second presentation:

“Practice Safe Computing”  (Tech SIG)

Learn how to stay safe from hackers while using your computer and smartphones in today’s challenging technical environment. The impact of the rise of AI on privacy will also be discussed.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


The DNA Special Interest Group meeting will precede the general meeting from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM on Zoom. Contact the webmaster to be added to the invitation list.

Sep
16
Sat
Lecture – Cari Taplin & David Flint @ on Zoom
Sep 16 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter: Cari Taplin

“The Power of Family Legends”

In this program, Cari Taplin discusses family legends and takes the audience through a brief outline of the life of Roy Rogers (Leonard Slye). Then, through census research, illustrates her family’s legend of being related to Roy Rogers. She also shows a short documentary “Searching for Roy” created by her cousin, Betsy Greer, that further demonstrates the importance of family legends.

Cari A. Taplin is related to Roy Rogers. Or at least that’s what her family told her. As a result, finding her true heritage has been her focus since the year 2000. She is a native of Wood County, Ohio but now lives in Longmont, Colorado. Cari holds the Certified Genealogist® credential and has served in a wide variety of volunteer and leadership positions for state, local, and national societies. As the owner of GenealogyPANTS, she provides speaking services. she also lends help and shares her expertise as an administrator on the highly popular Facebook Group “The Genealogy Squad.” Cari currently works for Ancestry ProGenealogists. Cari’s personal research focuses on midwestern and Great Lakes states. When she’s not working on her genealogy, she is a wife, and a mother of two young adults.

Second presentation:

Presenter: David Flint

“England Census Records (1841-1921)” (British SIG)

England Census Records are one of the three main record groups you are likely to use for researching your ancestors in England. This presentation provides an overview of census records in England and Wales from 1841 up to the recently released 1921 Census. It includes discussion of details included in the census returns and the evolution of the census forms and content for those years. A brief overview of pre-1841 population lists that can be used for pre-census research is also covered. A printed handout with selected bibliography for additional reading is provided.

David Flint has been doing English genealogy research for over 15 years. He was born in England, where he lived until the age of ten, when his family moved to Canada, and then to the United States. He currently lives in Irvine with his wife, Nancy.

David devotes time to genealogy research, attending lectures and seminars, teaching genealogy classes, and occasional speaking engagements. He previously served as President, Vice-President and Treasurer of the South Orange County California Genealogical Society (SOCCGS) where he continues serving on the society’s executive board.

David retired after working for the County of Los Angeles for 40 years, ending his career as Assistant Director of the Los Angeles County Public Library. He began his interest in genealogy at a library conference in Phoenix, Arizona in 2002, where he met two British Isles research specialists from FamilySearch. He likes to say that genealogy found him because he wasn’t looking for it at the time. He enjoys cooking, good wine, travel, and likes to read history and historical fiction. In addition to working on his family history, David is developing a specialized collection of British Isles reference books in his home library. He and his wife Nancy have made trips to England to keep in touch with family and visit the country where he spent his childhood.

At his home society in Mission Viejo he leads a monthly England special interest group, and a monthly Legacy Users Group for SOCCGS members using the Legacy Family Tree genealogy program. He also teaches a beginners class for Legacy and leads an annual week-long research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for SOCCGS members.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


There is no DNA Special Interest Group meeting this month. Our members are encouraged to attend Conejo Valley Genealogical Society’s DNA SIG this month. Contact webmaster@venturacogensoc.org for more information.

Oct
21
Sat
Annual VCGS Seminar @ on Zoom
Oct 21 @ 8:30 am – 3:30 pm

2023 Annual Seminar

Michael Lacopo

Saturday, October 21, 2023
8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Zoom Webinar

Join us for this year’s annual seminar, featuring one of the most sought-after speakers in genealogy. This is a strong program with a good mix of topics that are relevant to all researchers. Door prizes will be awarded throughout the day and this year we will also have an online Silent Auction!

For more information and lecture topics, visit our 2023 Annual Seminar page.

Registration will open on August 16.

 


[This meeting will be held online with Zoom and an invitation will be sent out by Zoom to those who register once their registration is successfully completed. ]

Nov
18
Sat
Lectures – Judy Russell & Judy Janes @ on Zoom
Nov 18 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter: Judy Russell

Colonial Lands: From the Crown to Private Hands

Land records are among the earliest, most complete and most valuable genealogical records-and often among the most puzzling. Learn more about how a colonial-era ancestor could have acquired land.

Judy G. Russell, The Legal Genealogist ® , is a genealogist with a law degree who provides expert guidance through the murky territory where law and family history intersect. An internationally-known lecturer and award-winning writer, she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist ® and Certified Genealogical Lecturer℠ from the Board for Certification of Genealogists ® . Her blog is at https://www.legalgenealogist.com .

Second presentation:
Presenter: Judy Janes
“SURPRISE! You may have a California gold rush ancestor hiding in your family tree”

During the first year of the California Gold Rush approximately 100,000 men came west to seek their fortunes. Some struck it rich, some returned home during the winter of 1849-50, some stayed, and some died in their quest.  Judy Janes will discuss ways to determine whether you have a Gold Rush ancestor in your family tree.

Judy Janes is a past President of the Ventura County Genealogical Society, and currently serves on the Executive Board. Judy is a third-generation Californian who has been doing genealogical research for 27 years. She has successfully tracked several of her 17th century immigrant ancestors back to their roots in France, Holland, England, and Germany.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


There is no DNA Special Interest Group meeting this month and CVGS has no DNA SIG meeting this month.

Dec
16
Sat
Lecture & Pot Luck Lunch – Aimee Cross @ on Zoom and in-person
Dec 16 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter: Aimee Cross

“U.S. Family History in the 1700s and early 1800s – Finding Those Elusive Fathers” 

Learn initial steps and strategies to identify the fathers of those born around the beginning of the 19th century. How do you begin to find a father when you have no census or other record to indicate a relationship? What record groups can provide the answers you seek? Discover the answers to these questions and more. You can find those elusive fathers!

Aimee is a professional genealogist based in California who focuses on United States research. She has been researching for three decades. Aimee’s love of genealogy, instilled by both grandmothers, has been a lifelong gift which she strives to share with others, most recently though her YouTube channel. With the opportunity to help clients overcome brick walls, handle inherited genealogy or simply build their family tree, she is grateful for a rewarding profession. Helping others learn about their ancestors is FUN and she loves what she does!

The meeting will be a hybrid meeting. The in-person meeting will be held at the United Methodist Church located at 291 Anacapa Dr, Camarillo, CA 93010 and will consist of a pot luck lunch starting at 12:00pm, followed by the general meeting. The general meeting will begin at 1:00pm and will be streamed live via a Zoom meeting. Our speaker, Aimee Cross will be at the in-person meeting.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


The DNA Special Interest Group meeting will precede the general meeting from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Zoom. (One half hour earlier than usual to accommodate the earlier starting time for the pot luck.) Contact the webmaster to be added to the invitation list.

Jan
20
Sat
Lecture – Thomas MacEntee & Alexander Tolksdorf @ on Zoom
Jan 20 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter: Thomas MacEntee

“10 Must Haves for Genealogy and Family History Success” 

Whether you’re just “dabbling” in genealogy and researching your roots, or you’ve become a “hard core lifer” obsessed with “the hunt,” there are basic skills that family historians of all levels have in common. We’ll review those skills that can help you find success researching online or in-person.

Thomas MacEntee is a professional genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community.

Second presentation:

Presenter: Alexander Tolksdorf

“Exploring German Handwriting” 

German handwriting can be a major obstacle for researchers looking to extend their ancestor search into German-language record sets! This session will provide an overview of historical German handwriting systems, with focus on Fraktur (often called “Gothic”) typeface, Kurrentschift, and Sütterlinschrift. Letter forms and common genealogical words will be explored during the session, and additional attention will be paid to methodology and technique to decipher words in an unfamiliar text. Lastly, additional resources to help the researcher decipher German handwriting will be provided.

Alexander Tolksdorf is a genealogist and speaker, accredited in the Germany – East region. He has experience researching across Germany, and in Dutch and Eastern European record sets and family lines. He has extensively researched in Germany, particularly eastern Germany and the former eastern territories of Germany, but also in Ukraine, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, and Russia. Alex believes that standard records only tell part of the story, with the many additional forms of documentation and artifacts providing color and texture to a family history.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


There is no DNA Special Interest Group meeting this month. Our members are encouraged to attend Conejo Valley Genealogical Society’s DNA SIG this month. Contact webmaster@venturacogensoc.org for more information.

Feb
17
Sat
Lecture – Cynthia Keefer Patton @ on Zoom
Feb 17 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Presenter:  Cynthia Keefer Patton

“10 Steps for Organizing for the Busy Genealogist” 

As a genealogist who hasn’t felt overwhelmed with volumes of paper, a steady flood of daily emails, and projects that have been started but never finished? This presentation will tackle dealing with these issues.
• Setting up daily routines
• Discover ways to set up filing systems that work across platforms both digital and conventional.
• Step-by-step approach to GET ORGANIZED and a “Tool Kit” of good ideas to take back and implement.

Cynthia K. Patton is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and former owner of Patton Leadership Consulting. Cynthia has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s in Political Science, both from the University of Southern Mississippi. She lives now in Kansas City, Missouri and is a professional genealogist part-time. She is a BU Certification Program graduate and also serves as the Registrar of a local DAR Chapter in Parkville, Missouri. She is a member of APG (Heartland Chapter); NGS; and numerous local historical and genealogical gocieties. She has written two Pro Tip articles for the APG eNews on Work-Life Balance and Time Management and has presented for numerous historical, genealogical, and other organizations.


All our monthly lectures and workshops are free to our members and the public. Non-members should request a Zoom invitation here. Please note that we cannot respond to same-day requests.


The DNA Special Interest Group meeting will precede the general meeting from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM on Zoom. Contact the webmaster to be added to the invitation list.