L-AGS color logo

The Livermore Roots Tracer

Volume 25 Number 3

August 2005

Editor:  Editorial Board, rootstracer@l-ags.org

Web Editor: Vicki Renz, webmaster@l-ags.org

The Roots Tracer is the quarterly publication of the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society. The mission statement of the Roots Tracer is: "Instruct. Inspire. Inform." In keeping with this mission and in the spirit of our Society's motto, "Members Helping Members," we encourage members to submit articles for publication. Material can be e-mailed to: tracer@L-AGS.org or mailed to L-AGS, P.O. Box 901, Livermore, CA 94551-0901.

The deadline for each quarterly issue is the 15th of the previous month. Submissions must contain the name of the submitter, as well as the name of the author, publication and date of any published article that is being quoted.

Queries are free. Please send your queries to querymaster@l-ags.org.

Table of Contents

Membership News President's Message Future Programs
Genealogy Demonstrators Get Their Highs at the Fair Online Searches Amaze Public L-AGS in Photos at the Fair
What's in It for Me You? Coming Attraction Finding My Ancestors in a Ziggurat
Whetting Interest in Ancestors G.R.O.W. Fireworks in Scott County, Kansas on July 5!
Please Meet the New Members Livermore History Preserved Inside the Walls Four Cemeteries
Meet the Members Seminars DNA Testing for Genealogy
My Most Notorious Relative Converting Slides into Digital Files Searching for My Family Pioneers
Original County Records Found at a Small-town Museum Inherited Diseases, Deformities and Other Disabilities A Wonderful Phone Call
Roots Tracer Staff


Member News

Membership Co-Chairs - Marilyn Cutting & Jean Lerche, membership@l-ags.org

Welcome to Our New Members

Rose Marie Phipps Debbie Young Charles Cunningham
Lori Bautista Ileen Petersen Elizabeth Dallman
Craig Fish

We are grateful for the generosity of these members of L-AGS:

James Bahls, Lois Barber, Dick and Wanda Finn


Membership Report As of July 31, 2005

Membership Types and Number

Total Individuals

Individual Members



Family Members



Life Members






Honorary/Charter Members



Honorary Members



Total Memberships




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A Message from President Jane Southwick

This has been a busy summer for L-AGS. With Leo VonGottfried's help we had a booth at the Scottish Games of Livermore in May. The games were established to enable contestants to qualify for the Pleasanton Games in September. Our booth attracted people who were interested in Scottish ancestry. Jon Bryan compiled a list that showed where Scottish information could be found, including our Genealogy collection at the Pleasanton Library. Incidentally, I discovered that a name I had in my family, which I had always considered Irish, had its origins in Scotland. Therefore, I am indeed Scottish.

Gail Bryan volunteered to set up our booth at the Pleasanton Fair. In speaking with some of our members who volunteered at the booth, they felt that our presence was a good thing to do and that many people now have been introduced to genealogy. While I was there I was able to help a man who was looking for his illegitimate grandfather. We found him in a census which included other people he knew living in other houses listed on the census. This answered some questions for him and posed others. Needless to say he was delighted. There was also a 12 year old boy who knew a great deal about his family, and he wanted to know more about his great grandfather. I was able to give him Internet sites to use at home, and was impressed that, at his age, he already had such an interest in genealogy.

Our booth was manned by a great many volunteers from L-AGS, San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society, Tracy Area Genealogical Society, Josefa Higuera Livermore chapter NSDAR, and Jose Maria Amador Danville chapter NSDAR. However, there were some time periods that were not covered as well as they could have been, which means that we are hoping for more volunteers next year. There were a few people who put in a great deal of time, including Frank Geasa who went way beyond the call of duty. Thank you to all who gave your time to make our presence at the Fair a successful one.

We can be proud of two of our members, Mary Dillon and David Steffes, who submitted award-winning items to the Pleasanton Fair. Mary’s award was for beautiful crocheted afghans, and David’s was for outstanding photographs.

We have had very interesting talks at our General Meetings, including those by Dick Finn, who talked about the "Tri-Valley Heritage Family Project"; Kenneth Miller, who talked about the "Resources available at the Oakland Family History Center"; and Bill Harlan, who spoke on the "Harlan/Young/Donner Party wagon train of 1846 and the Harlans in the early days of California." Bill also gave us two websites www.harlanfamily.org and http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/. The latter is a Library of Congress site and is outstanding.

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L-AGS Programs for the Remainder of 2005

Date Speaker Subject
August 9 Don Dickenson Mayflower Society
September 13 Linda Garrett Tombstones
October 11 Chuck Knuthson Research Facilities in the Golden State
November 8 Frank Geasa Research at the Pleasanton Library
December 13 Mary Dillon 101 Ranch Genealogy

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Genealogy Demonstrators Get Their Highs at the Fair

A Fair Experience

By Susan Silva

Isabel Nolte, Jon Bryan and Bud Barlow help patrons

Don't want to commit too soon…maybe SOMEONE else who has been in the group longer will want to take up the slots on the signup list. I wait until just about the very last class offered by Gail and Jon Bryan for "fair training." During the short session, Gail gives me new tools to use to research vital records. Gail quickly finds the county where my maternal grandmother died. (Unknown to me…family stories just mention an auto accident between Los Angeles and San Francisco.) Then, I sign up for two spots wondering if that is too many. I watch the list and soon add another spot.

Upon arriving the first night, I get a quick overview and some ideas from Frank Geasa and begin talking with fair participants. Our booth soon gets very busy.

It is so exciting to help fairgoers find a relative or themselves on various sites. Most are really amazed. A few bring specific information… "my mother never had a birth certificate," "our family name is 'Smith.'" Well, we search and search various avenues with the "Smith" name, a few relatives, but not the one. Finally, I ask for a sister or brother's name. We search under the sister's name and come up with a listing on the 1930 US Census. Opening that listing, we find head, wife, daughter "Smith" AND the mother's name listed as a "niece," age 6, born in another country, with a different last name! Apparently, sometime after the 1930 Census, the "niece's" name was changed to "Smith." The fairgoer is excited to now have a few more clues for further family questions and research.

This is my kind of fun…I still see empty slots on the signup list so I fill in two more spaces.

My last night at the fair I had the most interesting conversation with a bright, articulate and interesting young elementary school age girl. As she was born in California, we look her up. Noting her mother's maiden name, I ask about her ancestry and she proceeds to tell me about her mother's journey to California from a foreign country. We talked about family, relatives, family get-togethers (she also has relatives living in other countries) and, most importantly, family history stories and the importance of recording as much information as possible about each family member. If she starts now, her grandchildren (in about 60 years) will have a wealth of information.

This experience was so enjoyable and very rewarding. I enjoyed every minute. I will definitely sign up again next year!

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Online Searches Amaze Public

By George Anderson

Barbara Huber, Frank Geasa and George Anderson busy with fairgoers

It's a strange thing - I can get just as excited about helping other people find their ancestors as I can about finding my own. It's often a lot easier, too, since I have been chasing mine for many years and have found all of the easy ones. So it is rewarding to work at the fair and get a vicarious high from others' discoveries. One I remember well. I will use fictitious names.

A middle-aged adoptee, Mary, and her husband came by - not casually stopping at the booth, but heading directly there with a purpose. Mary's adoptive mother would tell her nothing about her biological parents. Her adoptive father was more sympathetic and told her that her real mother was Jane Doe born in San Francisco in 1934 and that Mary herself was born when Jane was a mid-teenager. Using Ancestry's birth, marriage and death records, we found Jane's birth. Using VitalSearch, we found Jane's marriage to John Jones at age 19, presumably after Mary was adopted out. We found the death of John in the Social Security Death Index. We did not find Jane Doe in SSDI, so she is likely still living - leaving the possibility that Mary could still reunite with her biological mother. Each discovery was greeted with amazement and joy.

With exact names, dates and places, Mary could now get birth, marriage and death certificates and John Jones' obituary, which might give information about Jane. They left with effusive thanks. I was left with the feeling that all the hours at the fair were worth it for that one experience.

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One of the most feared expressions in modern times is, "The computer is down."

Norman Augustine, retired CEO of Lockheed-Martin Corporation

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Bob Dougherty (SRVGS) and Leo Vongottfried (L-AGS) set up the booth

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A teen-age girl is delighted to see her own birth record; George Anderson and her father look on

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The award-winning genealogy quilt
created by Caroline Earhart

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What's in It for Me You?

By David Abrahams

[Editor's note: Second in a series about volunteer opportunities in other local history and genealogy organizations.]

As many of you know, Jolene and I have long been active members of L-AGS. A few years ago, when I was looking for a new project, having completed my genealogy research (yes, you can finish in your lifetime!), I became interested in volunteering at the Livermore Heritage Guild. We already knew many of the active members of the Guild, having worked on community projects with them in the past.

After we started attending their Board meetings, we realized that many Guild members are also members of L-AGS. I'm sure you know some them: Bev Ales, George and Harriet Anderson, Gary Drummond, Dick Finn, Anne Homan, Richard and Jean Lerche, Anna Siig, and Kathleen Young, just to name a few! As we have all discovered, there is a great overlap between genealogy and history. All one has to do is look at the make-up of the Tri-Valley History Council.

Now that Jolene and I are volunteering at the Carnegie Building, we are beginning to learn a little more about Livermore's history. One of my tasks is to help reorganize our holdings and material, and computerize the inventory. The Guild has some wonderful research material available to the community. And we keep getting more.

Just recently the Guild was invited by the Foresters to take possession of their memorabilia, since they have sold their building on J Street and will no longer be meeting there. Some of this material will be put on display in the Carnegie Building as soon as it can be inventoried.

Did you know that the Guild owns the Duarte Garage, on the corner of North L Street and Portola Avenue? The Garage was built in 1915 and is now a museum which houses the Livermore fire truck, the History Mobile, and much other automotive memorabilia. Bill Junk, the Garage curator, can always use some help from those who like old cars and mechanical things.

How can you, as genealogists and family historians, help? The Livermore Heritage Guild would like to invite interested people to volunteer to help us inventory material such as the Foresters and other donated material. The goal is to put these inventories on a computer database, thus making it more accessible to researchers.

Moreover, we would like to have more docents at the Carnegie Building on the days it is open. Current docents and Board members will train new volunteers. Just think of the opportunities you could have to learn about Livermore and the Tri-Valley!

The Heritage Guild has microfilm copies of the Livermore Echo, The Enterprise, and The Herald. The Guild has old tax rolls, maps of early Livermore, material donated by various "old" families, and much, much more that can help you learn more about the history of Livermore.

Other areas where volunteers are needed by the Guild include working on the Oral History Project, Historic Preservation Awards, Public Relations, and working with us to complete an inventory of our holdings.

If you are interested in helping us, please contact the Guild by email: <larrym49@comcast.net>, or by calling the Heritage Guild at 925-449-9927.

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Coming Attraction

By Anna Siig

What do a man from Olympia, Washington, people in Livermore who didn't know him, and residents of the Azores Islands have in common? In a future issue of the Roots Tracer you will read a story that puts it all together and tells of a serendipitous, wonderful connection through genealogy and history!

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Finding my Ancestors in a Ziggurat

By Susan Silva

Vacation…a time for relaxing and lounging or maybe flying to some exotic destination for sightseeing. Not for me. I used four hard-earned days in a concrete building taking a series of classes at the National Archives and Records Administration, Pacific Region, San Francisco…well, really San Bruno…in my quest to find answers to many questions about my family (my mother passed away when I was ten, my father when I was eleven in 1958); and, to become a "genealogist," not just a "hunter gatherer."

I'm hoping the first class, "Immigration and Naturalization," will give me the tools to find the information I am seeking; namely, when, where and how my father entered the United States. The class, taught by Rosemary Kennedy is outstanding. Rosemary is both knowledgeable and fun. At the end of class, Rosemary takes us on a short tour of the facility. My fellow "classmates" are a wealth of information. I sit next to and meet Kay Speaks who introduces me to L-AGS. A few classes later, I see Kay in the Researcher's Room and she lets me see the pages she is scanning. I am so amazed at how carefully the documents are filed and stored.

So, what am I waiting for? I have my father's Certificate of Naturalization so I do have the Petition Number and the Certificate tells me the Naturalization took place at the Southern District Court at Los Angeles, California. Rosemary tells me, "Send in your $10.00 to The National Archives—Pacific Southwest Region, Laguna Nigel." But, I can't. For some reason I feel I must be the first person to view the "Petition for Naturalization" since its filing at the NARA.

Months go by. The Los Angeles Public Library, Genealogy Department has the microfilm rolls of the "Naturalization Index Cards of the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1915 – 1976." So on a weekend trip to Los Angeles I find my way to the library. The staff is excellent at the equipment desk and helps me find the exact roll of film. I find the index card that I am searching for. There is my father's signature; I recognize it immediately…even after 46 plus years. The information is the same as on the original "Certificate of Naturalization," so I do not gain any unknown facts.

Time to plan my trip to NARA, Laguna Nigel. I'll be burning a few more vacation days, but I will be able to spend an entire day at the Archives. This is going to be a great vacation day!

It is 7:00 a.m. and I am standing in front of a large yellow "Ziggurat" style building filled with excited anticipation. As I check through security, I realize this building is not just the Archives, it contains offices for the IRS, Social Security Administration, and Homeland Security; and, is also the Los Angeles Federal Records Center. The guard explains the layout of the building (including a great cafeteria) and I'm off to find my information.

The doors open at 8:00 a.m. and with the help of a staff member, I complete the paperwork necessary to view the original documents filed in this facility. I am now registered as a NARA Researcher with a card valid until April 2006. Next, I complete the form to see my father's Petition for Naturalization. By 8:20 a.m., the archival file box is wheeled in on a cart. The staff member opens the box, then the folder, then hands me the document. It is all I can do to NOT run my fingers across the signature let alone the entire document which is now yellowed around the edges, but perfectly flat and smooth. Briefly, I scan the pages then place them on the copy machine to make several "original" copies. There is a heading stating, "Reproduced from the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration Pacific Region (Laguna Nigel)." The pages are whisked away, refiled and returned to storage. According to the "Reference Service Slip" I received, the box was out of the storage area for only five minutes!

The research produced the following information not previously known: Date and Port of Arrival, date entered California. and, the date my parents met as my mother signed the document as a witness stating how long she had known my father!

So now I know my father entered the United States at Seattle, Washington from the Philippine Islands aboard the SS Empress of Russia on August 14, 1930. He was 21 years old. Also, from the declaration of the witness, my mother, they met on January 1, 1942.

After viewing index records of other petitioners, I checked a few more Petitions (names from my baby book) and found my Godfather and my brother's two Godfathers. (One I am not sure about as the first name on the petition states "Carl" and my baby book states "Carling.") I take a chance and have the petition pulled. On the first page nothing is familiar; then, as the page is turned…there is my father's signature as a witness!

All in all a great successful day at the Archives. I am so impressed with how these documents are accounted for, handled and stored at our National Archives. And, that NARA deems the Naturalization records historically valuable and they are marked for permanent retention. It was such an amazing, satisfying day.

For more information about the "Historical Resources of the Federal Government in the National Archives – Pacific Southwest Region," check out the following websites and article. (The Journal of San Diego History article is dated 1992, but has good general information.)



The Journal of San Diego History, "Historical Resources of the Federal Government in the National Archives – Pacific Southwest Region," Spring 1992, Volume 38, Number 2, article written by Suzanne J. Dewberry.

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Whetting Interest in Ancestors

My children (in their 40s) show about the same amount of interest in our family's genealogy that I did when I was their age — polite, but eager to get on with other things.

I have found a way to painlessly distribute some of their heritage to them. I scan and convert old-time family pictures to the jpeg format to include them into my family tree. (This can also be accomplished with any digital camera with a macro lens.)

I also make heirloom-style note cards using the photos. First, I do my best to remove any bad blemishes and restore them with a photo manipulation program. Then I adjust the size, if necessary, to take up 1/4 of a good matte finish 8 inch x 11 inch photo paper and position them in the upper right hand corner. The next picture or print is made on the diagonal corner by reinserting the paper upside-down in the printer thus making two cards from each sheet of paper. The identity of the person or object in the picture and the approximate date the photo was taken is then printed in place of a logo.

To finish up, I carefully cut the paper's length in half and then fold each half to a finished size of 4 inch x 5 inch for which envelopes can easily be found.

My wife and I limit the use of these cards to relatives and always mention the relationship of the person in the photograph to the recipient in the context of our letter. Our children, grandchildren, and other relatives seem pleased with them and the amount of background each represents. These cards frequently, albeit briefly, whet their interest in our family history.

From: George Collier, in Ancestry Daily News

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Genealogy Resources on the Web — The Page that Helps Genealogy Grow

Compiled by Frank Geasa

This Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library site offers online search list of obituaries, cemetery lists and the 1896 Sierra Madre Great Register.
An unusual Civil War site, this one focuses on Canadians who served in the war, most if not all in Union forces. The site creator also provides sources for the information.
If you are doing German research and need to locate a municipality, this site may help you. It not only locates them by administrative jurisdictions, but also gives the postal code and license plate prefix for the location.
If you are researching in South Carolina, that state's Department of Archives and History site has several on-line indexes including those for wills and land grants (about 1780–1860) and for Confederate pension applications.
This Harrison County, Indiana site has an impressive array of various name lists – marriages, naturalizations, land patents and others, with more in progress.
If you are researching ancestors in northeastern New York, you might want to visit this site of the Northern New York Library Network, which has an ongoing project digitizing area newspapers. These are available for online searching.
The Placer County Genealogy Society (California) has BMD indexes for 1852-1885 taken from the Placer Herald Newspaper. It offers several other local indexes as well.
The Nevada Historic Preservation Office has indexes of the 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 Nevada census available for online searching.
If your ancestry includes the Calabrese area in southern Italy, this site offers a good search list of surnames being researched by others. It also offers form letters for making requests to Italian genealogical resources.
The Manatee County Genealogy Society (Florida) has several interesting search lists and its last “marriage” link takes you to the county clerk's site offering an index of items including marriage licenses from 1978 forward.
This Indiana University School of Medicine has a search list of more than 15,000 19th century Indiana physicians and midwives. In some cases there is considerable narrative included.
The Weber County Clerk's Office (Utah) has an online list of marriage licenses starting June 1888.
If you have ancestors from the Lake District of England, you might want to visit this work in progress site by volunteer transcribers.
If you are doing Portuguese research you might find the following site of genealogy terms useful.
This site of the Dutch Indies Genealogical Society offers an online index of almost 51,000 family names found in genealogical related items for the Dutch East and West Indies. It gives the index sources and is in English and Dutch.

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Fireworks in Scott County, Kansas, on July 5!

By Jon Bryan

When Gail and I were back in my hometown of Scott City, Kansas this summer, we gave a free presentation titled "A County Fair Genealogy Booth California-Style" to a small audience of townspeople and friends from the Wichita County Historical Society ( http://www.wichitacountymuseum.org ) and the Scott County Genealogical Society ( http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/scott/ ). The intent was to encourage local genealogists to set up a county fair genealogy booth similar to the successful booth that L-AGS has had at the Alameda County Fair for several years.

The meeting was held on July 5th in the Bryan Education Center, the former Bryan Hardware Store located at 416 Main Street in Scott City, Kansas. The store had been gifted to Garden City Community College (GCCC) in Finney County by our family and renovated with Finney County funding. The center boasts a T-1 Internet connection used primarily for distance learning at GCCC 38 miles away.

Gail began the presentation with our Microsoft PowerPoint show from CD-ROM describing the L-AGS booth at the 2003 fair. Next she gave a version of what we cover in our Review Sessions, based largely on Genealogy for Students on our L-AGS webpage at http://www.L-AGS.org.

The last topic, which I like to call our "extemporaneous genealogy session," uses a computer with live Internet connection, screen and projector. I like this because it seems like a natural environment to encourage audience participation.

We were using our Scott Community High School 1958 classmate Morris Hess for our first example, partly because at least one of his relatives was expected to be in the audience. I think we have been looking for him for about three decades. His relatives had also lost track of him. We thought we knew that Morris qualified for Social Security, so when the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) first came out on CD-ROMs, I began searching them for him. Of course my search became better when SSDI became available on the Internet. I had not found any entry that looked like Morris or M. in the 19,744 Hess entries in SSDI. Separating Hess deaths by State, Kansas has about 236, Texas about 346 and Florida has about 744 currently.

My negative findings convinced me that Morris was probably still alive through early 2005 because I didn't seem to find him in SSDI. At the time of our talk, SSDI had had another update through May 18, 2005, but I had not yet searched it for Morris.

Morris's sister-in-law was in the audience. She knew his exact date of birth, which I had not known before. I put that in SSDI. That narrowed the hits down to one – the Morris we had been looking for! Sadly, he had died in March 2005. The audience and I were stunned. The sister-in-law left almost immediately to call her husband with the news. Genealogy is not usually known for drama, but that was the most dramatic moment I have experienced in my 50 years of research.

One classmate summarized things very well by simply saying, "Our class of 1958 just lost another member!"

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You are addicted to genealogy if you get to Adam and Eve and don't want to stop.


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Please Meet the New Members

We always ask new members to introduce themselves to the Society, so that they and current members can discover possible kinships and common research interests. Please welcome our new members when you see them at one of our meetings.

Heather (Haugen) Rizzoli and Chris Rizzoli, Livermore

Heather is Armenian (Sakejian); Swiss (Frey and Seligman); Norwegian (Haugen); Scottish (Russell, McPherson and possibly MacDonald, and Stewart or Stuart). And perhaps British (Gardener and Walker)

Heather thinks she might be related to Yellow Beard the Pirate—and also possibly to Anders Haugen the ski champion.

She is Education Director at the Museum on Main in Pleasanton.

Chris is Italian, Scottish and Irish with surnames of Rizzoli, Campagna, Goodwin and Campbell, Zenounou and Cavali.

Peggy W. Dearman, Danville

Her surnames include:
Crosby — Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana (1800-1860)
English — Virginia (1793)
Warnock — South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas (1770-present)
Dowdle — South Carolina (1750-1800)
Sells — Georgia (1830-1880)
Bolin — South Carolina, Georgia (1800-1870)
Stephenson — South Carolina, Georgia (1800-1900)
Wilcox — Connecticut, New York, Illinois (1840-1870) (orphan train rider)
Wilson — New Brunswick, New York (1840-1900)
McGraw — North Carolina, South Carolina (1750-1840)
Hogan — North Carolina (pre 1750)
McDade — Virginia, Georgia (1750-1850)
Vandiver — Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina (1750-1850)
Davis — South Carolina (1790-1840)
Dearman — Alabama, Arkansas (1850-1900)
Guinn — Arkansas (1889)
Reinhardt — Arkansas, Texas (1860-1900

Craig B. Fish, Livermore

I am researching Fish, Dean, Garside, Curtis, Burroughs, Chase, Bradford, Harding, Hall, Simmons, Henderson and Wells.

Localities of Interest: Eastern Massachusetts 1700s to 1900s (Duxbury, Marshfield, Hanover, Assinippi, Pembroke, Quincy, Sandwich, Wakefield and Stoughton); Watauga, South Dakota; Manchester and Leicestershire, England; Ireland.

Interesting Facts: Mother's father was an electrical inventor who invented a mine detector that was used in WWII and Korea … Mother's mother's siblings homesteaded in Watauga, South Dakota … My father was a biochemist with the Worcester Foundation in Massachusetts. They developed an early birth control pill … My paternal great-great-grandfather, Charles Austin Dean, was a Massachusetts State House Representative for seven terms; his parents died before he came to the U. S. from England; his wife also came from England as a child, sailing on a ship that lost its mast and was almost pulled over and sunk by the rigging … Uncle Harold Fish was an officer on the WWII submarine that was in Tokyo Bay during the surrender of Japan.

Charles George Cunningham, Livermore

The surnames Charles is researching are Cunningham and Walker and the localities of interest to him are North Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Debbie "Menezes" Young, Los Banos, California

Debbie's grandmother's family was born in Mission San Jose, California, married and some died there. They are Manuel Pinheiro "Pine" Escover and Adelaide Silva.

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Livermore History Preserved
Inside the Walls

By Gary Drummond

Livermore Collegiate Institute

It's amazing what you might find when an old building is taken down. The Livermore Herald reported in 1931 what had been found in the walls of the old Livermore Collegiate Institute.

Rev. W. B. Kingsbury opened the doors of the Institute in 1871. It was located on, appropriately named, College Avenue near P Street, on land donated by William Mendenhall. Its purpose was to provide further education after the eighth grade.

Dr. Kingsbury failed to attract enough students to make the school a paying proposition, so in 1877 James Dale Smith purchased Dr. Kingsbury's interest and operated it for 15 years, until the public high school was established.

In 1893, Dr. John Robertson bought the building and opened the Livermore Sanitarium. Later, the property was sold to John McGlinchey, who had the building razed.

So what was found in the walls? Letters, books and pamphlets, dating from the beginnings of the school. Several of the books had obviously belonged to Dr. Kingsbury. One, for example, was entitled "Memoirs of Nancy F. Eastman," published by the Boston Sabbath School Society in 1846. Other items were an 1870 Mason and Hamlin Organ Co. catalog, and a program for a musicale that included the names of the scholars in 1871. And the interesting thing about these items was that they were in as good condition as the day they were printed.

Moving on to the turn of the century and the tenure of the Livermore Sanitarium, the Herald reported that a worn and dirty plush case with a tarnished silver clasp had been recovered. Inside was a small case that contained four tiny vials, one of which was still filled with pellets of morphine, a syringe and needles.

The last item removed from the old building was forty pounds of honey, an accumulation of many years of bee activity.

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Four Cemeteries

By Jane Southwick

As President of L-AGS, I recently received an e-mail from a resident of Livermore asking about the Oak Knoll Cemetery in Livermore. She had seen an article in the www.Findagrave.com  web site (the article on this site is no longer available) about a city using prisoners who had been sentenced for minor offenses to clean up a very old cemetery that was in dire straits. She wanted to know if Livermore could do this for the Oak Knoll Cemetery. I answered her to the effect that the gravestones have already been moved.

I also told her that much information about this cemetery can be found in our L-AGS Web site, www.L-AGS.org. If you go to our Web site and use the Google search feature using L-AGS instead of the World Wide Web, and enter Oak Knoll Cemetery, it will take you to an article entitled Four Cemeteries in Livermore. This article gives information about Oak Knoll and the other three cemeteries. I found this article to be very interesting.

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Meet the Members

Betty (Harriet Elizabeth) Ryon

She was born in San Jose, California. Her father's line is Holmes (John [1632-Plymouth]). Her mother's line is Letsom (Wisconsin) and Schaufel (Germany and Wisconsin).

Her spouse is Bill Ryon, who was born in Louisville, Kentucky. His father's line is Fust (Kentucky). His mother's line is Edmondson (Kentucky).

They have lived in Eureka, Hayward and Crescent City, California. Four children complete the family.

Look for her at a meeting!

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Compiled by Eileen Redman

August 19, 2005, San Bruno, CA
National Archives Workshop – Military Records, Part 2: Spanish-American War – Viet Nam. To register call Rosemary Kennedy at 650-238-3585.
September 7-10, 2005, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Federation of Genealogical Societies and the Utah Genealogical Association are pleased to announce the FGS/UGA Conference to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah.
September 10, 2005, Oakland, CA
California Genealogical Society. Speaker Jeremy Frankel on "Non-Traditional Source Material at UC Berkeley." Further information at www.calgensoc.org
September 10, 2005, Santa Clara, CA
Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group all day seminar featuring Alan Mann. Information forthcoming at http://www.svpafug.org/
September 17, 2005, Napa, CA
Napa Valley Genealogical Society 2005 Fall Seminar, "Taking the Big Leap From Grandma's Attic to DNA Research." Napa Senior Activity Center, 1500 Jefferson Street, Napa, California. The California State Genealogy Alliance will join us for their annual meeting on that day. Further information at http://www.napanet.net/~nvgbs/index.shtml.  
September 23, 2005, San Bruno, CA
National Archives Workshop. Census Research. To register call Rosemary Kennedy at 650-238-3485.
October 1, 2005, Livermore
Livermore Public Library. It's not easy to test-drive each of the genealogy software programs on the market before you buy one. If you're looking for a genealogy program or you're dissatisfied with the one you have, this is your opportunity to see three local experts put some of the top programs through their paces. Time to be announced.
October 15, 2005, Concord, CA
"Digging for Your Roots" seminar co-sponsored by the Concord-Walnut Creek Family History Center and the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society to be held at the LDS building at 1590 Denkinger Road, Concord.
October 22, 2005, Modesto, CA
The Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County will present a seminar featuring Hank Jones. Further information at http://www.cagenweb.com/lr/stanislaus/gssc.html.  
April 22, 2006, Santa Rosa
Sonoma County Genealogical Society and Barbara Vines Little, CG, to present All-Day Genealogy Seminar in Santa Rosa, California. Pre-registration is highly recommended to reserve your seat for this event. Admission at the door, beginning at 8 a.m., 22 April, will be $25. Send your reservations to Registrar Audrey Phillips, 96 Eastside Circle, Petaluma, CA 94954-3609. Questions about the seminar should be directed to Lois Nimmo: LoisNim@aol.com or 707-537-1684.
June 7 – 10, 2006, Chicago, IL
2006 NGS Conference in the States Chicago, Illinois

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DNA Testing for Genealogy

By Doug Mumma

There are several laboratories in the Bay Area that do DNA testing for genealogy. One is located in San Jose (GeneTree) and the other is in Davis (Trace Genetics). GeneTree has their DNA analysis done by Relative Genetics in Salt Lake City. Selecting a laboratory for testing depends on what type of results you desire, price and reliability. Selecting a laboratory because they are local to you generally has no advantage.

For a full listing of laboratories that perform DNA testing for genealogy, go to this web site:


I have used Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) since I began my Mumma Surname DNA Project over 5 years ago. I can recommend them highly. Information and results of my project can be viewed at:


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My Most Notorious Relative

By Linda Garrett

I really have fun when I research my husband's families. That's where I find my "outlaw in-laws."

While at the library at Ft. Smith, Arkansas, a few years ago, I found some articles in the paper about my mother-in-law's great-uncle, William Lee Henley, who, in April 1871, shot the Baptist preacher in the face and then "went on the lam." The Tri-Weekly Fort Smith Herald headlines were: "COLD BLOODED MURDER – Preacher Killed in his Pulpit. – No Provocation – The Murderer Escapes. – Unfortunate Occurrence."

But of course there had been provocation. I have had a few other descendants tell me the stories they heard from grandparents that it could have been an old feud from the Civil War. Another told me the preacher had embarrassed the man in front of his girlfriend. Still another said the preacher had been making moves on the man's girlfriend.

The story, according to our branch of the family, went like this: At a baptizing at a creek, the Rev. Deschamps asked someone to lead in a song. Will said he only knew one song and sang softly, The Old Gray Mare. Not everyone heard him but it was reported to the preacher. He had Will arrested and he was fined $50 for disturbing worship. Later the preacher denounced Henley from the pulpit while Henley and a young lady were there. These incidents started the ill feelings that came to a head with the shooting. At any rate, we were all told he changed his name to either Robinson or Robertson.

And I did find the name Robinson mentioned as someone questioned after the murder in one of the articles. So it appeared to me that William might have taken the name of a friend.

We went on down to Mansfield, Arkansas and found a man at a local diner who knew the Henleys. He took us out to the old farm where the Henley family still lived. We asked permission to go out in the field to see the graves of the parents of the man who shot Rev. S. C. Deschamps. Our guide from the diner visited with the current Henley resident and afterward we got to talking to him. It turned out his grandfather had become the next preacher to take the place of Rev. Deschamps and he knew the story quite well. He said that in William's later years he came back to Mansfield and had wanted to "come home" to live where he had been born. But there was still animosity among some of the residents.

I got some good pictures of the headstones of William's parents, William Lee Henley, Sr. (1806-1875) and wife, Nancy (Bethel) Henley (1810- 1900). They had moved to Arkansas from Tennessee about 1836 and raised seven boys and two girls. Three of their boys fought in the Civil War. We also visited the Pea Ridge Civil War battlefield where they had all been in Company G of the 35th Arkansas Infantry of the Confederate Army. Since their father had a large ramada of horses, they were assigned to be horse wranglers during the Civil War. A younger brother of these boys was my husband's great-grandfather, James Darbin Henley, called "Darb." My mother-in-law remembers him quite well as he and his wife lived with her family in their later years.

As far as I could find out, My Most Notorious Relative escaped the long arm of the law all of his life.

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Converting Slides into Digital Files

By Ed Mason

Slide holder for the Canon Canoscan 9950F scanner

From about 1951 through 2001 my main picture taking medium was color slides. As a consequence, I ended up with a collection of 7,462 slides, stored in 61 carousels in chronological sequence, but mostly uncataloged. Since 2001 I have been shooting digitals stills and video. Now my main presentation media are edited videos or stills posted to Shutterfly or another service. However, when I want to do a special project, such as a video or slide-show in celebration of a grandchild's sixteenth birthday, I have had to rely on pictures donated by their parents, while being unable to access the many valuable pictures buried in my slide collection.

For the last two or three years, I have considered several ways to get my slides digitized. Commercially it would cost 26 cents (Costco) to 50 cents per slide. I was not ready to spend a minimum of $2,000. Quality is an even bigger issue and I wanted to be able to name the pictures for sequencing and location. About two years ago I spent just under $400 for a slide scanner, the SmartScan 3600. It does a nice job and will scan at very high resolution, but it requires loading one slide at a time and is very slow. I tried digitizing a small number of slides by projecting on a screen and photographing the screen with a digital camera. I did use the results in a few videos but was not happy with the misalignment and generally poor results. Earlier this year I purchased a CanoScan 9950F USB flatbed scanner for $400 (Epson has a similar model). It includes film guides for twelve 35 mm slides, also filmstrips and 4x5 transparencies. It works with Windows, up to XP, and Mac, up to OSX. It also handles conventional flatbed scanning and includes Optical Character Recognition software.

It took me 9 weeks to scan all 7500 slides and I am very pleased with the results. It takes me about 36 minutes to process 12 slides, but I can be doing something else for eleven of those minutes while the scanner is doing its work and placing each of the 12 slides into a separate Photoshop CS file on my desktop. My time breaks out approximately as follows:

— 5 minutes: Removing the slides from the carousel, vacuuming both sides of each slice and placing them in the film holder. I added vacuuming as a step when I found too many dust particles showing up, despite the fact that the slides have been stored in carousels inside of closed boxes.

— 11 minutes: The scanner scans while I am able to do something else. Each slide is placed in a separate Photoshop file on my desktop

— 15 minutes: making adjustments to the pictures as needed, including cropping, shadow and highlight control (most common), color balance, etc. This includes titling the slides by their carousel, position in the carousel and the year.

— 3 minutes, returning the slides to the carousel.

— 2 minutes placing the files into Macintosh iPhoto (PC people can use Picasa – a free download from Google) and then into separate folders. This is actually done for the whole carousel after all slides have been processed and placed in a folder with the same number as the carousel.

The scanner only provides one resolution for batch scanning, 1200 dpi. The average JPEG file size is 380KB. The pixel counts are 1,800 by 1,200, less if the picture is cropped. However, for scanning of individual slides, resolution of up to 4,800 dpi is available. I find 1200 dpi to be very satisfactory. It is certainly good enough for videos or slide shows, posting into Shutterfly, and, I suspect, good for prints up to 8 by 10. Any time I need to do a higher quality scan, I easily can go back to the original, do a higher resolution scan and preserve it in a less compressed file format. Anyone wishing to produce large, high quality prints or to publish in National Geographic would use something other that the JPEG. However, considering the volume of data and my end-use applications, JPEG was ideal for me.

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Searching for My Family Pioneers

By Barbara Huber

Years ago, when I worked for the Livermore Public Library, I was invited to a special tour of the Sutro Genealogical Library in San Francisco. I searched the card catalog for any of my family names. Surprise! I found a book, "Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Moses Pengry." This was close to my family name, Pingree! I checked out the book to research at home.

My great-grandfather's name was Lewis Clifford Pingree, and there he was recorded — born in Albany, Maine in 1857, unmarried, and living in California. That Moses Pengry book gave me seven generations of secondary information about my father's family!

Recently I have been researching the families of some of the Pingree wives. In 1906, my grandfather, Earl Atkins Pingree, married a young lady named Maude whom he met while delivering the mail in Auburn, California. Earl went to work for the Southern Pacific Railroad, and they moved to Oakland, California.

I found Maude's family in the 1920 US Census for Auburn, Placer County, California. Her father, George Hiram Walters, was born in Pennsylvania, and George's father, who spoke German, in Switzerland. Her mother was Sarah Lloyd. Grandmother Maude Emilia Walters Pingree Wight was born 29 April 1890 in Grass Valley, Nevada Co. and lived one month past her 98th birthday, on 20 May 1988. She was listed in the Social Security Death Index under the last name Wight so I discovered that she had been divorced. How I wished I had started my research before Maude passed away!

My great-great-grandmother, Emilia Knight, was Sarah's mother and Maude's grandmother. I was unable to find any more information about the Lloyds and Walters until I visited my father's sister in Redding. She showed me a book of short biographies of early pioneers entitled, "History of Placer and Nevada Counties," in which Emilia, who was born in Grundy Co. Missouri, 24 March 1845, was included.

Emilia's mother, Margaret Dring, was born 18 July 1820 in London and her father Henry L. Knight was born 18 October 1817 in Manchester, England. They immigrated to America in the early 1840s and in 1852 they migrated across the plains in two covered wagons when Emilia was seven. Margaret's father, John Dring, led them. They met friendly Indians along the way. It took 6 months and two days to reach San Francisco.

They moved to Marysville in 1853 and built a house on Third St. Henry Knight did paper hanging and did mending with a sewing machine by contract. In the fall they moved to Grass Valley and lived several places while Emilia was growing up. A fire in 1855 swept the town and the family lost everything except the clothes on their backs and remarkably, their sewing machine.

In August 1861, Emilia married John Lloyd, of Liverpool, England. John had come to California as a blacksmith and engineer in 1853 and worked in the Eureka Mine of the Comstock Lode in Nevada. They had five boys and two girls and lived in Virginia City. John died in 1880 and left his widow with seven children and no income.

Emilia located a homestead in the Magnolia District, Nevada County. For twenty years she worked hard to support her children by running a boarding house and raising poultry, turkeys and cows. In 1912 Emilia married George Marshall, a native of Michigan, who was a carpenter, but she was widowed again in 1915. She endured hardships with great strength and by 1915 she was comfortably independent owning desirable ranch property and other real estate.

On September 15, 1920, at age 75, Emilia married James Corbin Hewitt, who had never been married, in Auburn.

James Hewitt was born August 25, 1848 in Cherokee Nation, Missouri. He had come to California with his widowed mother in 1853 in a train of 55 wagons led by his uncle, Capt. James Hewitt. He grew up in Rough and Ready. He had to pay 50 cents every Monday for tuition at his school.

When the Civil War came, James volunteered with his mother's consent in August 1863. It took six months for him to go through Los Angeles and the Arizona Desert to get to the war front. He was in Company C, 4th California Volunteer Infantry under Capt. Curtis, He was wounded fighting in the Battle of the Wilderness, and was in the Gettysburg campaign, and he was one of 7 out of 112 men who survived to return home. The flag his company carried was returned to its donors at Shasta Public School. Then he found employment in the mining industry. I found the Hewitts still together in the 1930 federal census. Close to them were a number of Emilia's children and grandchildren.

I am very proud to call these wonderful pioneers "My Family"!

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Original County Records Found at a Small-town Museum

By Mildred Kirkwood

I was in Oregon last month and went to the Yamhill County Historical Society and Museum in Lafayette, Oregon. This is a small museum located in an old church in the small town of Lafayette. There is a whole four-drawer filing cabinet with my family's history. Because they are having trouble finding volunteers to staff it, the museum opens one day a week from 1 to 4 p.m. I was there at one o'clock and took my scanner/printer, so I spent the whole time copying documents and photos.

About 3:45, I opened the top drawer in the next filing cabinet and found myself staring at what appeared to be original copies of birth certificates. There were two drawers crammed full, then more drawers with original marriage, death and burial records. I asked the volunteer about them and she said the county had microfilmed all of the original records, but didn't want the originals anymore, so they donated them to the museum!

It makes me nervous to think that all the originals are crammed into a filing cabinet inside an old wooden building! The fire danger alone is frightening. I didn't have time to really look at them, but I can imagine the damage that must be done to them by anyone trying to get one out or to refile it.

I was too stunned to think then, but I've sure thought about it since. I wrote to the museum to suggest that they donate these original records to the Oregon State Archives in Salem. There, the records would be placed inside manila file folders inside storage boxes and kept in a climate-controlled room inside a marble building. They would also be more accessible because the Archives is open every week day, and many more researchers go to Salem than to Lafayette.

Since then, others have told me that they have found the same situation in other areas. Considering the difficulty we have in reading some microfilmed records, it seems imperative that the original records be kept in a more secure place.

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Inherited Diseases, Deformities and Other Disabilities

By Mildred Kirkwood

From: www.cafamily.org.uk/inherita.html. More details about the underlined diseases can be found on this site.

Single Abnormal Gene: A mutant (abnormal) gene is one where a gene may be considered as a variant of a ‘normal' gene. This change may occur spontaneously by chance and have no significance for the individual concerned. In other cases, the gene, which mutates (changes its character) may give rise to specific inherited disorders where there is no previous family history. Such a gene, in specific circumstances determined by status, can cause a specific disorder. Inheritance may be autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked recessive.

More research has shown that in many conditions there may be different spelling mistakes or mutations in the gene, which can cause the disease. For example, in cystic fibrosis over 200 different mutations can occur in the gene, but they mostly produce the same disease pattern.

Autosomal Dominant Inheritance: Autosomal means that males or females are equally affected. In dominant inheritance the chance of passing on the disorder is 50 per cent for each pregnancy. If the gene is inherited it will result in an affected individual. Examples of such conditions are Huntington's Chorea or Tuberous Sclerosis. In some cases penetrance may not be complete in some individuals, resulting in a mild form of the condition. Sometimes the condition with autosomal dominant inheritance may arise due to a mutation in egg or sperm, and in such cases there would be no preceding history.

Autosomal Recessive Inheritance: In this form of inheritance the affected gene is recessive: two of the same gene mutations are required for the child to be affected by the disorder. In such cases the parents are unwitting carriers of the gene. The risk of an affected child being born will be 25 per cent for each pregnancy. Examples of such conditions are Friedreich's Ataxia, Cystic Fibrosis or Phenylketonuria.

Unless the parents are related, the chances of marrying a carrier of the same recessive gene is low, though the incidence of the existence of recessive genes in the population varies with condition. Genetic counseling can help to predict the occurrence for individual families.

X-Linked Recessive Inheritance: This is a recessive form of inheritance where the mother carries the affected gene on the X chromosome. This means that girls are carriers and that usually only boys are affected by the disorder. Examples of such disorders are Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Haemophilia (Hemophilia - US) or Hunter disease (a mucopolysaccharide disease).

Affected men will not pass the condition on to their sons but all their daughters will be carriers. This is because a man passes his Y chromosome on to his sons and his X chromosome to his daughters.

In some rare situations, female carriers may show mild features of an X-linked disorder, for example in fragile X syndrome.

X-Linked Dominant Inheritance: There are few examples of this type of inheritance; one such is Coffin-Lowry syndrome. In this form males and females are both affected. An affected female will have a 50 per cent chance of passing the disorder on to both her sons and her daughters. An affected male will pass the condition on to all his daughters, but not to his sons.

Mitochondrial Inheritance: The genetic material (DNA) is largely located in the nucleus of the cell, but in the surrounding cytoplasm of the cell there are small bodies called mitochondria, which are responsible for energy production and also carry their own genes and DNA. These genes can also be passed on during reproduction. However, the pattern of inheritance is not always predictable since there is a chance element in determining the amount of cytoplasm and hence the amount of mitochondrial DNA that is passed on. Mitochondrial DNA is passed on through the egg but not by the sperm, as it is only the nucleus of the sperm that enters the egg during fertilization. Hence the pattern we see with mitochondrial inheritance is transmission through an affected female to a variable number of male and female offspring, but no transmission from an affected male.

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A Wonderful Phone Call

Lois Barber

My husband’s family. Back row, left to right: his brother, George Kenneth Barber; his father, Harry Eugene Barber, Sr.; his brother, John Lyman Barber. Front row: Harry’s father, Frank Barber, and Harry’s grandfather, Lyman Barber. About 1915.

It pays to let family members know of your interest in family history and photos.

I recently returned home to the following message on my phone. "Lois, this is Jane. I think that I just hit pay dirt as far as pictures of old people are concerned. I've got one of my dad and Johnnie when they were about eight and ten, their father, the grandfather and the great-grandfather. Also, another five generation photo. Give me a call and let me know if you want the pictures."

Of course I returned her call immediately. Jane is my niece by marriage, but not one bit interested in family history. Several years ago, after much pleading and sending of money for copies and postage, she had finally mailed some family history on her grandmother's family. She is now preparing her home for sale and found these photographs taken by a professional photographer.

My husband was a brother to Jane's father and Johnnie, but he was born very late in his parent's lives. By the time I married into the family, everything had been dispersed from the family home. I was lucky enough to become interested in the family's history while a sister-in-law was still living and willing to share all that she knew and had in her possession.

I am now glad I kept reminding Jane so often of my interests – she did remember me when the time came!

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"This is our family tree."

By Bunny Hoest and John Reiner
From The Prospector, V. 25 No. 2

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Staff meeting

Livermore Roots Tracer Staff

Reporters Marie Ross, Lois Barber, Eileen Redman
Advisor & Editor Emeritus Mildred Kirkwood
Compositor George Anderson
Web Editor Vicki Renz


Eileen Redman
Staff Contributors
G.R.O.W  Frank Geasa
Local History Gary Drummond

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Last modified 9 august 2005 vlr