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The Roots Tracer

Volume XIX   Number 3

August 1999

Editors: Mildred Kirkwood and Vicki Renz

The Roots Tracer is a quarterly publication with articles of interest to the genealogist. Members are encouraged to submit their "Profiles" and articles of general interest. Queries are free. The Roots Tracer is published in February, May, August and November.The deadline for each quarterly 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. Send material to: The Roots Tracer, P. O. Box 901, Livermore, CA 94551-0901 or

Table of Contents

President's Message

In Memoriam and Condolences
L-AGS Seminar Cancelled Golden Wedding Wood's Index
Calendar of Meetings

Upcoming Seminars

Immigration Records Update

Try These Web Sites PAF for Windows Passports
Livermore Valley History Historical Web Sites

Computer Interest Group

NUCMC Library News CD Acquisitions
Shortcuts to FamilySearch Site Past Programs Power of the Internet
Standards for Genealogy Research Things to File Confederate Home Messenger
Bulletin ! What Size Sheets? Donations

Note: This volume consists of continuous articles (an 85 KB file) so you can scroll through to the end. Please be patient while it is loading.

Copyright Notice: No articles may be reproduced for profit or commercial gain without the express consent of the authors, the editors, or the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society.

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President’s Message

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable and rewarding genealogy summer! As genealogists, we always have an excuse to travel and I know a lot of you have taken advantage of the opportunity. I'm looking forward to hearing about all of your successes (and frustrations) at the next meeting!

I would like to welcome Debbie Pizzato to our team of volunteers. She has taken over the job of chairing the Seminar Committee. Debbie brings enthusiasm and a lot of experience planning events for her church. Due to a complication with using the LDS Church grounds and having a paid speaker, it was necessary to cancel the 1999 Seminar. Debbie is putting together a group of people to look at options for a year 2000 Seminar. Please contact her if you are interested in helping.

A big THANK YOU to David and Jolene Abrahams who have so successfully chaired the Seminar Committee for the past several years. Their time and efforts have been well rewarded by an excellent and well attended seminar every year. Their dedication to L-AGS has also helped to create a very strong club.

Until next time…

Lori Codey

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In Memoriam

We are sorry to hear of the passing of L-AGS member LeRoy Erickson on July 17, 1999. He had been
a member of our group for five years. Our sympathies to his family at this time.


Our condolences go out to L-AGS members Edith Guido, Garth Ludwig, and Bill Silver who have
suffered the loss of a loved one recently. Our thoughts are with you all at this time

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L-AGS Seminar Cancelled

We are sorry to have to report that the Annual Seminar hosted by L-AGS and the Livermore and Pleasanton Family History Centers has been cancelled. We were looking forward to hearing Karen Clifford at an all-day seminar this year, but due to a change in policy by the LDS Church regarding registration fees and other concerns, we had to cancel this year. The committee is looking forward to September 2000, though, and is currently looking at options for auditorium spaces with lunch facilities or eating establishments nearby. The committee will keep you posted on their progress.

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Golden Wedding Celebration
By Mildred Kirkwood

On June 6, 1999, the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton was the site of the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of our own George and Harriet Anderson.

Over 200 people attended, including family, childhood friends, fellow workers, and members of the several community and social groups they have belonged to over the years.

During the remembrances from the guests, it was apparent that George and Harriet have been very active in several social and community groups and have formed lasting friendships with a large number of people from the many interests that they have developed over the years.

George, a retired physicist, is webmaster for two groups (one being L-AGS), and is a docent for our genealogy collection in the Pleasanton Library. Both George and Harriet help in the Family History Center at the Mocho Street LDS Church, are active in our Computer Interest Group, our Family Tree Maker Group, and our Study Group. We are honored and lucky to have them as interested and active members of our society, and to be able to share their enthusiasm for genealogy.

Congratulations, George and Harriet!

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Index to Wood’s History of
Alameda County, California Re-printed

By George Anderson

Our society has just published a reprint of a "lost" index to Wood’s History of Alameda County, California, 1883. The full book, reprinted in 1969, is widely held by libraries in California and elsewhere, but it contains only a perfunctory index, mainly keyed on the names of prominent citizens who paid to have their biographies printed in the book.

The Works Progress Administration compiled a complete name and subject index to Wood’s History in 1936. In contrast to the book itself, this index appears to be rare. A search failed to find it in the online catalogs of the LDS Family History Library, the Library of Congress, the University of California, Sutro Library, the California State Library, the Oakland Public Library, or the San Francisco City Library. However, the Alameda County Library has a carbon copy typescript of the index (VCa 974 Wood’s....) housed in a locked case in the Maurice Marks Center for Local and California History in the Fremont Main Library. It is this copy of the index that has just been reprinted by L-AGS.

Our reprint is a xerographic reproduction of the carbon copy index, 8 ˝ by 11 inches, 223 pages, spiral bound, containing about 9000 entries. As a public service, L-AGS is offering the publication to members for a donation of $18 ($20 for non-members) plus $3.20 for shipping. Orders may be sent to:

L-AGS Publications Chair
P.O. Box 901
Livermore, CA 94551-0901

Checks may be made payable to L-AGS.

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Calendar of Meetings

Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society has the following monthly meetings:

Family Tree Maker Focus Group: 1st Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Livermore Adult Education Building, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. During the summer, meetings are held at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore. For information e-mail

General Meeting: 2nd Tuesday (except July), 7:30 p.m., at Congregation Beth Emek, corner of College Avenue & South M Street, Livermore. For information e-mail

Study Group: 3rd Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore. For information e-mail

Computer Interest Group: 4th Thursday (except November and December), 7:30 p.m. at Livermore Adult Education Building, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. During the summer, meetings are held at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore. For information e-mail

Other Area Genealogy Societies General Meetings

Contra Costa County Genealogical Society:
2nd Thursday of each month, 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the new Concord Police Station, 1350 Galindo Avenue, Concord.

East Bay Genealogical Society:
2nd Wednesday of each month, at 10 a.m. at the Dimond Branch of the Oakland Library, 3565 Fruitvale Avenue, Oakland. This location is subject to change.

Hayward Area Genealogical Society:
4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the San Lorenzo Library, 395 Paseo Grande, San Lorenzo.

Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society:
3rd Friday of each month, 1 to 3 p.m. in the Community Room, CivicBank of Commerce, 1940 Tice Valley Road, Walnut Creek.

San Joaquin Genealogical Society:
3rd Thursday of each month at 1:00 or 7:00 p.m. at various locations.

San Mateo County Genealogical Society:
3rd Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. in the Belmont Central School, 525 Middle Road, Belmont. 

San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society:
3rd Tuesday of each month (except August and December), 10 a.m. at the Guardian Rehabilitation Hospital, 7777 Norris Canyon Road, San Ramon.

Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society:
3rd Thursday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. (except August and December) in the community room of the Santa Clara City Library, 2635 Homestead Road, Santa Clara.

Solano County Genealogical Society:
4th Thursday of each month (except July, August, November and December) at 7:00 p.m. in the Fairfield Senior Center, 1200 Civic Center Drive, Fairfield.

Sonoma County Genealogical Society:
4th Saturday of each month at 1 p.m. (except July, August, and December) in Room 2009, Lark Hall, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa.

Stanislaus County Genealogical Society:
3rd Thursday of each month (except July and December) at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Covell hall, 1600 Carver Road, Modesto.

Tracy Area Genealogical Society:
4th Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Lolly Hansen Senior Center, 375 9th Street, Tracy.

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Upcoming Seminars and Workshops

August 11 to 14 - Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference - "Meet Me In St. Louis", Regal Riverfront Hotel, 200 S. Fourth Street, St. Louis, MO 63102-1804. For information, call FGS at 888-347-1500 or check their web site. Call the St. Louis Genealogical Society at 314-647-8547 or see their web site.

August 26 to 28 – British Isles Family History Society – USA in Los Angeles, CA – 12th Annual Family History Seminar features Colin Chapman on England and Wales, Paul Smart of Scotland, and Tony McCarthy on Ireland. For information visit the web site.

August 20 to September 6 - California State Fair - Genealogical and Historical Council of Sacramento hosts the Genealogical & Historical Exhibits.

September 11Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County is sponsoring an all-day workshop at El Vista LDS Family History Center, Modesto.

September 24 to 26Federation of East European Family History Societies and the Immigrant Genealogical Society - joint seminar in Van Nuys, CA. On September 25, Henning Schroeder of Germany will speak on German Emigration and Records. For information, write to: Immigrant Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 7369, Burbank, CA 91510-7369.

October 2 – Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County – Seminar with Marilyn Wellauer speaking on 19th Century Immigration and Tracing Our Midwest German Ancestors. For more information see their web site.

October 9 – Concord Stake Family History Center – "Digging for Your Roots," 3700 Concord Blvd., Concord. Various classes and speakers.

October 30San Mateo County Genealogical Society all-day seminar with Larry Jensen. Topics are: Coming to America; How Can I Research If I Don’t Speak German; Use of Maps in German Genealogical Research; and Records: the Life blood of Family Research. For more information, check the web site.

January 17 to 21, 2000 – Utah Genealogical Society – 5th Annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy offers several course options, including American Genealogy Records and Research; European (German and Swiss); Preparation for Accreditation, Producing a Family History; and Advanced Problem Solving. For information visit the web site.

April 1, 2000 – Sacramento German Genealogy Society will present John Philip Colletta who will speak on immigration and naturalization. For information, write to V. Boisseree, Sacramento German Genealogy Society, P.O. Box 66061, Sacramento, CA 95866-0061 or fax 916-421-8032.

April 28 & 29, 2000 – California Genealogical Society Family History Fair at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

September 6 to 9, 2000 – Federation of Genealogical Societies – National Conference "A World of Records" in Salt Lake City. Information will be available after September 1, 1999, from FGS Business Office. P.O. Box 200940, Austin, TX 78720-0940. Visit their web site; call 888-FGS-1500; fax 888-380-0500; or e-mail

California Sesquicentennial Activities

September 18 - Day of Living History, Paradise. For information: Gold Nugget Days, Inc.: 530-872-8722.

October 2 and 3 - Gold Rush Days, Coloma. For information: Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park: 530-622-3470.

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Sailing ship

United States Immigration Records Update
By David Abrahams

Last year, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced plans to consolidate the thirteen Regional branches of the Archives into fewer facilities in order to save money. Because of meetings and input from genealogists and historians around the country, NARA determined that it would not go forth with the consolidation plans.

At a meeting last year with NARA officials held at the San Bruno branch of the Archives, a group of genealogists and historians in the San Francisco Bay Area urged that the Archives retain historically significant immigration and naturalization records that had been created in this region between 1940 and 1970. This collection is known as "Alien Files," or "A-Files." Many of these "A-Files" contain rare family histories, photos, and documents seldom found in any other resource. They reflect the social history and global migration of our nation’s diversity just before and after World War II.

On April 30, 1999, the Archivist of the United States, John Carlin, met with several representatives of Bay Area organizations. The meeting was arranged and facilitated by Congressman Tom Lantos’ office. It was attended by David Abrahams, representing the California State Genealogical Alliance; Gordon Fine, representing the San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society; Lorraine Dong, President of the Chinese Historical Society of America; and Jeanie Chooey Low, member of the Chinese Historical Society of America. Congressman Lantos was key in maintaining NARA’s Pacific Sierra Regional Offices in San Bruno, and continues to be very interested in preservation issues, as are Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and Congresswoman Pelosi.

At the meeting, Mr. Carlin reiterated the previous announcement that NARA would not proceed with its plans to consolidate the Regional branches of the Archives. As representatives of major user groups in the region, we urged that the older "A-Files" (circa 1940-1970) currently stored at the San Bruno Branch of the Archives be added into NARA’s permanent collection and thus made safe from destruction, and that this project be given top priority. Though "A-Files" are technically owned by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), NARA is under contract with lNS to store and manage these files, and has the authority to take possession of "A-Files" thirty years or older for its permanent collection. These "A-Files" are presently classified by the INS, as "temporary" files and are susceptible to eventual disposal. Among the "A-Files" are the complete immigration files of Chinese American families, Japanese-American War Brides and repatriated individuals, Holocaust victims, Filipino veterans, and other political refugees from WW II and the Indochina war.

In the meeting, Mr. Carlin agreed that the "A-Files" were historically significant but stated he would not make a decision on the "A-Files" on a nationwide basis until NARA conducted an in-depth study. Though he agreed to appoint a person to communicate with concerned organizations and researchers on this issue, he stated that NARA would rely on input from the National Genealogical Society and the Federation of Genealogical Societies for its final decision on the fate of the "A- Files" nationwide. At our request Mr. Carlin appointed his Assistant Director for Policy, Ms. Lori A. Lisowski, as "point-person" for San Bruno.

This writer understands that the transfer of the San Bruno "A-Files" to the National Archives, indexing said files, and performing other tasks, should not be a major financial burden to the taxpayer. However, because of the budget system of the United States, it will probably be Fiscal Year 2001 before funds would become available - if action is taken soon. Moreover, the two Federal agencies (NARA and INS) have to agree to this project.

By the end of 1999, "A-Files" stored at all the other Regional Archives will have been moved to Lee’s Summit, Missouri, for storage. It was only through strong advocacy on the part of this region’s genealogists and historians, and the support of local legislators, that the San Bruno "A-Files" will remain here during the interim until a final decision has been made.

This writer urges all members of the genealogical and historical community to write to various officials who will advocate that the "A-Files," 1940-1970, be designated for NARA’s permanent collection and safe from eventual destruction. Your letters have made a definite impact on public policy and decision-making at NARA in the past. Let your voices be heard once again so that the files of our ancestors will be preserved for our children and accessible to researchers for all time.

The following names and addresses are provided for your convenience.

The Archivist of the United States John Carlin
8601 Adelphi Road, Room. 4100
College Park, MD 20740-6001
To send e-mail regarding planning, you can go to their web site; scroll to the bottom left of the home page. Click on "Contact NARA electronically – Questions and Comments." On this page you will have a choice of addresses to send comments to. The address regarding strategic and performance planning is

Scott Hastings, Director
INS Files and Forms Management
425 Eye Street, NW
Washington, DC 20536
Fax: 202-514-3296

Senator Diane Feinstein
525 Market Street, Suite 3670
San Francisco, CA 94105

Senator Barbara Boxer
1700 Montgomery Street, Suite 240
San Francisco, CA 94111
Fax: 415-956-6701

Congressman Tom Lantos (12)
400 El Camino Real, Suite 820
San Mateo, CA 94402
Fax: 650-375-8270

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (8)
450 Golden Gate Avenue, 14th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Fax: 415-861-1670

Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (10)
100 Civic Center Plaza, #242
Dublin, CA 94549
Fax: 925-829-7318

State Senator Richard K. Rainey
1948 Mount Diablo Boulevard
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Fax: 925-280-0299

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Try These Web Sites! - Historical Data Systems developed this relational database in the hopes that users would experience a "greater appreciation of the expense of the conducting statistical examination of data for the work completed and extrapolating many of the results." A subscription database, it can help bring about an understanding of events and their consequences visually through charts and graphs.  - Camp Life: Civil War Collections from Gettysburg National Military Park shows what life was like for a Civil War soldier. Wonderful photos. – a good starting point to return to often, as content for each state and county represented changes frequently. - lists volunteers who will photograph tombstones in cemeteries in their area. Includes other countries, as well.

For the social history about the times in which your ancestors lived, consider: – has many choices to learn more about American and world history.  – has many choices to see web sites related to programming on public television.   – The Library of Congress’ American Memory Project has over 50 collections available on line.

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World's Largest Genealogical
Web Site Offers Free Software

By Bill Silver

Beginning Monday morning, June 28, just five weeks after the launch of its new Internet genealogy service, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offered free downloads of Personal Ancestral File® 4.0, a new Windows®-based version of its popular genealogical management program for home computers.

The new software program is available free of charge via the Internet at

Personal Ancestral File 4.0 does not provide genealogical data. Instead, the program helps users organize their family history records. It can produce, in automated or manual form, records for personal family histories, charts, and logs to help users in their search for missing ancestors. It also includes new multimedia features and enhances the more popular features of version 3.0. System Requirements:

Personal Ancestral File 4.0 will also be available on CD-ROM for a nominal price in early 2000. Users will be able to purchase it from the Church's distribution centers worldwide.

Ed. Note: There have been reports on the Internet (not confirmed personally) that there is a serious bug in the new PAF 4.0. The reports say that marriage links in PAF 3.0 data are lost when the file is converted to PAF 4.0. It might be best to wait for more information before committing your data to the new program.

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About Passports

All passport applications from 1791 through 1925 are in the National Archives. Before 1905 passports were not required except during part of the Civil War. Many people obtained them, however, because without one, a US traveler visiting the old country could be drafted into military service.

The earliest applications were simply letters of request, but sometimes other papers, such as expired passports, birth certificates, naturalization papers, etc., were filed with them. If the passport was issued in 1925 or earlier, write to:

National Archives Passport Services
Research and Liaison Branch, Room 316
1425 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20524

The US State Department holds passports issued after 1925. Their Archives requires a $15 check and notarized request, which includes your name, date and place of birth. You should provide the date and place of birth of the applicant, and an estimate of when the application was filed. If the applicant was born after 1900, include evidence of death or a notarized statement from the applicant. Write to

Research and Liaison Department
US State Department Archives
1111 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20524

FROM: Zichron Note XVIII: 2, p.8 & Diablo Descendants Newsletter, Contra Costa County Genealogical Society, Vol. 14, No.5, May, 1999.

Livermore Library’s
Application Service

The Livermore Public Library now has a passport application acceptance agent at the Civic Center Library, 1000 South Livermore Avenue, Livermore, CA. The hours are:

Monday – Thursday – 5:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Saturday – 10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Although applications will be taken on a walk-in basis, it is best to call 925-373-5500 to arrange an appointment.

Applications to fill out before your appointment are available at all Livermore Library branches, as is a flyer with a list of the documents you need to bring with you and the fees for the passport and service.

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History book

Livermore Valley History
By Gary Drummond

Editor’s Note: Gary Drummond has long been a student of Livermore Valley History. He is the author and editor of several publications on valley history, including the stories of Mary Ann Harlan Smith, William Mendenhall and James D. Smith, Headmaster of Livermore College from 1875 to 1893. He is on the Board of Directors of the Livermore Heritage Guild

Bifurcation And Consolidation

A hundred years ago, noises were being made about breaking Alameda County off at San Leandro Creek and creating a new county. The Niles newspaper initiated the discussion in a published article pointing out that the three South County townships of Eden, Washington and Murray were paying in taxes 20% of the total raised in Alameda County, but were not receiving commensurate services. The advantages of bifurcation, proponents claimed, were that a new county could be composed of a territory of like interests, that there would be no rule by large city machine politics, that "water-front evils would be unusual" and, most important, that a lower tax rate would result.

Oakland, meantime, was making its own noise about creating a city/county government such as San Francisco had. The proposed consolidation would include the unincorporated settlements of Melrose, Fitchburg, Elmhurst, and Fruitvale (all to the northwest of Fruitvale Avenue), and would require that Alameda and Berkeley agree to be annexed. Arguments put forth included a lower tax rate, as citizens would not be required to support both county and city government. That alone would result in an estimated savings of $400,000 a year.

Progress was slow, nothing had happened by 1906. To split Alameda County required action by the State Legislature. A primary condition was that no city within five miles of the boundary of a proposed county can become a county seat. San Leandro couldn’t qualify. That left Hayward and Niles to fight it out, and since neither wanted the other to have it, Livermore was the next best candidate.

Back in Oakland, efforts to get Alameda and Berkeley to annex into the proposed city/ county were getting nowhere. Neither wanted to lose its autonomy. An ingenious solution was devised: a very narrow strip of land running along the ridgetop from Berkeley to Lake Chabot and another equally narrow strip along the waterfront from Alameda to West San Leandro would provide a means for those two cities to be connected to the new county. "They will be like a couple of balloons on the end of a string." That idea was defeated in the fall of 1910 by voters in both cities.

Suddenly a bombshell dropped: a State Senator from across the Bay proposed legislation in Sacramento by which Oakland would be consolidated with San Francisco. He thus connived to get control of Oakland’s tax base and its waterfront system so that San Francisco could increase its bonding power. Consequently, Oakland, Alameda, and Berkeley would pay for replacing San Francisco’s Earthquake-damaged public buildings. Oaklanders were in a quandary: how could they ask for a law that would force Alameda and Berkeley into Oakland’s city/county government while denying San Francisco the right to add Oakland to San Francisco.

By 1912, the great vision of consolidation stood little chance of becoming a reality. And without consolidation, there was little chance of bifurcation. Livermore’s opportunity to become a county seat appeared lost.

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Covered wagon

Interesting Historical Web Sites

California Historical Society – - the state’s official historical society with links to web sites relating to California history.

San Francisco History – with links to web sites relating to San Francisco history.

Museum of the City of San Francisco – with links to many articles and photos relating to San Francisco history (You could spend hours looking at all this information!).

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Computer Interest Group (CIG) News
Dick Finn at

The Computer Interest Group (CIG) meets monthly to hear speakers on a wide variety of genealogical/computer related subjects such as software (new, revised, how to use it,), hardware (computers, storage devices, scanners, cameras, printers), web sites, useful CDs, etc., that help us in our quest for genealogical information. Often we have useful handouts and even a door prize or two now and then.

We meet the 4th Thursday of every month except November and December at 7:30 p.m. at Livermore Adult Education, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. In June, July, and August, we meet at the LDS church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore. Non-members are welcome to attend.

For information on topics, e-mail Members needing help with a computer problem may call one of the mentors listed in the Members' Handbook.

The Family Tree Maker Focus Group meets on the 1st Thursday of every month at 7:30 at Livermore Adult Education, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. In July, August and September, we meet at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street. Livermore. See the references above for maps to each location.

We are a group of Family Tree Maker users (from beginners to experts) who discuss and share problems and successes and help each other in the use of FTM software.

All persons interested or potentially interested in Family Tree Maker and related software are invited to attend. Guests are welcome. For information on our group, e-mail

Surname Web Page Update

As you know, L-AGS maintains pages on our web site that list the surnames our members are researching. We know that genealogists from all over the world have found our site and have contacted members to share information. I am happy to report that the project is in its final stages and we hope not only our members but also genealogy computer users worldwide will be looking at our updated surname listing very soon.

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National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections

Editor’s note: Having seen articles about the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections in at least four sources in the last two weeks, I decided to spread the word about this resource. The following information has been taken from three articles and the web site itself. (I found that there are some diaries in the Brigham Young University Library that were written in the 1860s by a relative in my father’s line!)

The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections is a cooperative cataloging program operated by the Library of Congress. (A "union catalog" is the term for the result of recording and describing the holdings of multiple libraries, archives and similar repositories.) Only those libraries and archives who are not able to send their cataloging information to the large cooperative databases are eligible to enroll in this program. Each library sends the information about their documents to the Library of Congress, and the NUCMC Team will transcribe it and publish it for all researchers to see. So the NUCMC contains records from small town libraries and other collections that would be hard for the researcher to access from a distance.

Originally, the NUCMC Team surveyed eligible libraries and archives and published the results in many large volumes, which are still available in some libraries. The last print volume was issued in 1994. Now NUCMC is online; therefore, you can search for documents by family names or place names connected with the people you are researching. However, only those documents cataloged since 1986 are on-line. Items may include: letters, diaries, family bibles, family papers, photographs, maps, posters, charts, business records, church records, charity records, ethnic organization records, arts and cultural organization records, political organizations records, etc.

Each record in NUCMC gives a detailed description of the item and identifies the institution that owns it, either using a code or, in most cases, giving the full name and address. But remember, the original documents are not online; just a catalog of those records. To get copies of original documents, you must contact the institution that owns them.

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Blue books

Library News

Books to Check Out
By Judy Person

In discussing our genealogy library with Billie Dancy, the head librarian at the Pleasanton Library, she suggested that rather than checking out some of our present collection, we plan to buy duplicate copies of the books we'd like to check out. We are now open for suggestions of which books to buy for circulation. Tell us your thoughts when you see us. One I know will be on the list is Organizing Your Family History Search by Sharon deBartolo Carmack.

The Pleasanton Library hours are:

  • Monday - Thursday – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

A L-AGS docent is on duty at the library on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members who would like to serve as genealogy docents may contact

Sticky Notes

The National Archives and Records Administration has issued a warning about the use of "sticky notes"* on important papers. The chemicals in the adhesive break down over time and cause deterioration in the paper, making the printing illegible. The Archives’ lab also found that the adhesive lifted the ink from photocopied images in as little as two weeks. In addition, the dyes used to color the "sticky notes" paper run when wet. This type of adhesive-edged note should never be used on any original documents, or on any photocopied items that are going to be saved.

*Editor’s Note: This warning applies to "Flag-Its" as well as "Post-Its."

FROM: Ancestry May/June 1997, via Placer Trails, Vol. 18, No. 7, September 1997.

Sutro Library Adding Saturday Hours

This message is given at the request of the Sutro Library, a branch of the California State Library, 480 Winston Drive, San Francisco, CA 94132, 415-731-4477.

The Sutro Library is pleased to announce the addition of Saturday hours to their regular schedule. It will be open 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This extended hours program began Saturday, July 10, 1999, and will be open every Saturday except on official state holiday weekends.

This is a one year trial program. The financial ability to continue the program beyond June 2000 will be re-evaluated year by year.

This is excellent news to those researchers who work during the week. We should all take advantage of this opportunity to visit one of the largest genealogy collections in the West.

Livermore Family History Center
Bill Silver, Director

The LDS Family History Center, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore, is open at the following times:

  • Monday – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday and Thursday – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Saturday – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

L-AGS members who would like to serve as docents at the Family History Center may contact Bill.

Pleasanton Family History Center
David and Lola Cummings, Directors

The Pleasanton FHC is located at the Pleasanton Stake on the corner of Valley and Paseo Santa Cruz. The building faces north and the entrance to the library is on the east side. The hours are:

  • Tuesday, Wednesday – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Friday – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Saturday – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The center now has four microfilm readers, four fiche readers, and two computers running the Family Search program. Non-LDS patrons are welcome.

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Compact disk

L-AGS Spring 1999 CD Acquisitions
By Jay Gilson

The collection of L-AGS genealogy CDs located at the Pleasanton Library has grown with the addition of our spring order. Included are 4 CD sets purchased under the 50-50 plan and 4 CD sets purchased with donated funds. The new purchases add 22 titles comprised of 51 disks. Broderbund gave L-AGS a 20% discount for the purchase of their CDs and may do so again in the fall, providing our order totals more than $500. The complete list of our CDs is posted on the L-AGS web site via the "Libraries" page. The disks, except for those being used by donors, are ready for use in the carousels at the Pleasanton Library.

CD 019 - Egle’s Notes and Queries of Pennsylvania, 1700s-1800s (a L-AGS 50-50 purchase) contains images of all twelve volumes of William Henry Egle’s Notes and Queries published between 1894 and 1900.

CD 145 - Revolutionary War Pension Lists (a L-AGS 50-50 purchase) contains images of the pages from twelve volumes of Revolutionary War pension records originally published between 1792 and 1841.

CD 155 - Civil War Confederate Pension Applications Index contains images of the pages of Samuel Sistler's book Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications Index as well as an alphabetical name index.

CD 201 - U.S./Canada Surname Folder Index provides unprecedented access to an index of over 100,000 unique surnames that were originally collected in surname folders at local libraries, historical societies, and genealogical organizations throughout the United States and Canada.

CD 202 - Virginia Historical Index (donation) contains searchable text of E.G. Swem’s comprehensive Virginia Historical Index.

CD 203 - The Complete Mayflower Descendant and Other Sources, 1600s-1800s, a 2-CD set, contains images of the pages from the following four texts: The Mayflower Descendant, Volumes 1-46 (including a comprehensive index set for Volumes 1-34); Mayflower Passengers, 1620; Middleborough, Massachusetts Vital Records, Volumes 1-2; and Pilgrim Notes and Queries, Volumes 1-5.

CD 205 - Virginia Genealogies #4, 1600s-1800s contains images of the pages from seventeen volumes of Virginia genealogies and family histories.

CD 207 - Local and Family Histories: Massachusetts, 1620-1930 (a L-AGS 50-50 purchase) contains images of the pages of seventeen comprehensive volumes of Massachusetts local and family histories.

CD 243 - Marriage Index: Indiana, 1851-1900 (donation) contains information on approximately 292,000 individuals who were married in Indiana between 1851 and 1900.

CD 256 - Passenger and Immigration Lists: Boston, 1821-1850 contains alphabetical listings of approximately 161,000 individuals who arrived at the port of Boston, Massachusetts from foreign ports between 1821 and 1850.

CD 257 - Irish Immigrants to North America, 1803-1871 contains images of the pages of twelve volumes of compiled passenger lists and includes lists of approximately 46,000 Irish passengers who arrived in the United States and Canada primarily in the nineteenth century.

CD 304 - Census Records: Indiana, 1860 (donation) includes information on over 1.35 million Indiana residents who were counted in the 1860 United States Census. Retyped and fielded for easy searching, the 1860 Census is especially valuable because it includes information on entire households rather than just heads of household. In addition, unlike census indexes which include just a name index, this Family Archive includes all of the information fields from an individual's census record.

CD 305 - Census Microfilm Records: Pennsylvania, 1850 (a L-AGS 50-50 purchase), an 11-CD set, includes not only an index to the 1850 Pennsylvania census but scanned images of the actual records themselves.

CD 306 - Census Microfilm Records: North Carolina, 1850, a 4-CD set, includes not only an index to the 1850 North Carolina census but scanned images of the actual records themselves providing an electronic name index that allows you to search for your ancestors quickly and easily.

CD 308 - Census Microfilm Records: Connecticut and Rhode Island, 1850, a 4-CD set, includes not only an index to the Connecticut and Rhode Island portions of the 1850 census but scanned images of the actual records themselves.

CD 356 - Passenger and Immigration Lists: Germans to America, 1875-1888 contains information from Volumes 32 through 56 of the same-named series published by Scholarly Resources, Inc., which was the first extensive, indexed source of German surname immigrants.

CD 449 - Local and Family Histories: New England, 1600s-1900s (donation) contains the text of twenty comprehensive volumes of New England local and family histories.

CD 450 - County and Family Histories: Ohio, 1780-1970, a 6 CD set, contains images of the pages of thirty-five comprehensive books of Ohio county and family histories, and includes information on approximately 700,000 Ohio residents and their families.

CD 500 - Southern Biographies and Genealogies, 1500s-1940s, produced in collaboration with the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University, contains the electronically searchable text of the pages of twelve books detailing the origin and descent of various prominent Southern Families

CD 600 - Huguenot Settlers in North America and Europe, 1600s-1900s contains electronically searchable text of the pages from seventeen volumes of French Protestant (or Huguenot) family and immigrant histories.

WFT 23-27 - The World Family Tree CDs contain actual family trees contributed by Family Tree Maker customers and other family history enthusiasts. Individuals are named, complete with event dates and family links where known. Some records contain additional source notes and biographical information. These CDs exclude information about living individuals except for their name, gender, and family links. All pedigrees can be exported as GEDCOM files.

The 1881 British Census and the National Index is a magnificent set of 25 CDs published by the LDS Church which includes information on England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Royal Navy.

"Robbie" Robinson has generously donated the following five new CD titles to our collection at the Pleasanton Library:

CD 15 - Family Pedigrees: Everton Publishers, 1500-1990
CD 18 - Everton’s Computerized "Roots" Cellar, 1640-1990
CD 192 - Genealogical Records: The Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, 1750-1930
CD 193 - County and Family Histories: Pennsylvania, 1740-1900 (2 disks)
CD 335 - Census Index: Idaho, 1910

The total holdings are now 138 titles, or 262 disks. Jay Gilson, L-AGS Library Chairman, was responsible for selecting, negotiating prices for and ordering the CDs.

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Shortcuts to the LDS Search Site
By David Abrahams

As most of you probably know, the LDS Church search site, at, is up and running. Dr. Saul Issroff, a member of an e-mail network I belong to in England, forwarded a "Primer about the LDS Search Site" during the past week. I have excerpted a few lines I thought might be useful to users of the site.

There are quicker ways to search the site than going to its home page. Try the following URLs:

For searching the name of a place:*,180,0

For searching a film number:*,180,0

For searching the LDS library by author's name:

For searching surnames:*,180,0

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Slide Projector

Past Programs
By Jon Bryan, 1st Vice-President and Program Chair

Our May speaker was Douglas Phillip Holmes, a professional genealogist from Sacramento who specializes in Portugal, the Azores, and Hungary. Doug's research shows his ancestry to be 43.75% Portuguese, 25% German, 18.75% Slovak, 6.25% Chilean and 6.25% Hungarian. In 1992 Doug began the Hungarian/American Friendship Society and began working on the first newsletter, "Regi Magyarorszag: Old Hungary." In 1996, Doug’s web site ( contains information on Portugal and the Azores Islands, Hungarian genealogy, Slovak genealogy, and genealogy gift ideas. Doug also writes genealogical articles for newsletters and newspapers.

Doug began by asking the audience for questions related to Portuguese genealogical research. One person asked why the handwriting seemed to be so small. Doug said that parish priests wrote most records, sometimes with beautiful handwriting. He also suspected this researcher might be trying to read 16-mm film with a lens intended for 35-mm film.

About 90% of Portuguese immigrants came from Portugal's Atlantic Islands - the Azores, Madeira, and the Cape Verde Islands. The Azores includes a group of nine islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean about 900 miles west of Portugal. A flood of Portuguese immigrants came after the California Gold Rush and the U. S. Civil War. Reasons for immigration include overpopulation and poverty. Places such as Sacramento wound up with large pockets of Portuguese families.

Portuguese research has some interesting aspects when compared to other ethnic research. The written records are often in "story form" and will include information on two generations or more. Also, the Azores/Portugal do not follow conventional naming traditions which make it difficult to trace relatives. There is no father/son naming pattern. Sometimes it appears that a family does not want the name of an ancestor to die out. The use of a nickname may be more fruitful in locating an individual in a community than a given name. A "devotional name" (de Jesus) will be used like a nickname. The name of a wealthy landowner, for whom someone worked, might be taken, possibly for additional prestige. There are also "double names" such as Doug's name - da Rocha Holmes. But researchers should remember that passenger lists usually use original names because papers needed to be presented for legitimate immigration to persons who were usually fluent in the native language.

Doug brought a copy of the book Portuguese Pioneers of the Sacramento Area, 384 pages, ©1990, from the Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society as a gift to L-AGS. This book was co-authored by his father, Lionel Holmes and Joseph D'Alessandro. It will be put in the L-AGS collection at the Pleasanton Library.

Our special "Thank You" goes to L-AGS member Bill Silver, who recommended Doug as a speaker.

In June, Kathy Watson of Lafayette presented ‘Using the Internet for Genealogy." She spoke at the California Genealogical Society (CGS) Fair at Pleasanton in April. Kathy and her husband, Marston, have a deep interest in their family history. Kathy started in earnest in 1994, Marston in 1992. She is leader of the CGS Computer Interest Group and the webmaster for CGS ( Her presentation was "live" starting from the CGS web site where she followed interesting links to other genealogical web sites. Kathy and Marston are also personally interested in computers and having a presence on the Internet. The Watson Family web site reflects all of these interests. It includes family photos and it changes periodically to highlight different family lines.

Putting their interest in genealogy and computers together, they have started a business called "Genealogy on CD." They used this method to publish some of Kathy’s family history, which includes pictures, videos, and other information. Information on this service can be found at

If L-AGS members are interested in a copy of Kathy's handout, please contact me.

The annual L-AGS picnic substituted for our regular meeting in July. Our August speaker will be Linda Ashworth, Assistant Genome Center Director at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory whose topic will be "Genetics, Genomics, and Genealogy: A Common Root."

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Collecting Family Information
Using The Great Power Of The Web

By Dick Finn

Wanda and I just returned from a family reunion in Louisiana. It was a very interesting event meeting my cousins from Louisiana, Canada, Northern Ireland, and England; sharing descendant charts, old pictures, and stories; eating catfish, jambalaya, and gumbo; and visiting the French Quarter of New Orleans and some old mansions along the Mississippi River. But, the most amazing thing to me is the vast amount of information that we all have accumulated in just over one year.

As some of you know, I have seriously been looking at the family of my great grandmother Caroline Kitchingham for just over a year. My dad’s cousin, Wayne Finn, had spent nearly forty years trying to determine who Caroline’s grandparents were. He had been to England a few times and hired professional genealogists. After all that time, he had come up with only eleven people who shared the Kitchingham name, plus a dozen or so who are related one way or another.

While Wayne was doing his research, two cousins in Louisiana, Richard Arnaud and Frank Martin, had also spent about forty years trying to find out where in England the Kitchinghams had come from. They knew where the first Kitchinghams had settled when they came to America and they knew how the family had moved south from Wisconsin to Louisiana, but they were still looking for the tie to England.

Using the Internet, they listed all of the Kitchinghams in the US (thank goodness the name is not Smith) and called them all. With one person they struck pay dirt. She gave them the e-mail address of a Peter Kitchingham who lives near London. He is perhaps the foremost Kitchingham expert in the world. Peter sent them a vast amount of information on the family and their origins and descendants in England. They in turn supplied Peter with information that he did not have on the Kitchinghams and descendants in Louisiana.

Then, a little over a year ago, another branch of the Louisiana Kitchinghams made contact with the nucleus group as did a Kitchingham from Northern Ireland. They found me from a query that I had posted at the County Kent web site. And the rest is history. In little over a year my list of Kitchinghams has grown from eleven to almost one thousand plus that many related offspring. It is amazing how the use of phone lists, queries, homepages, e-mail, etc., has generated so much energy in a group of people who didn’t even know that the other existed a short time ago. We now have a newsletter, we share vast amounts of information, and we just had a truly international family reunion of people who for the most part didn’t even know each other, but who left Louisiana as family. We are already planning our next international family reunion. It will be near the small village of Hartlip and the town of Rainham, in Kent, England, where the family roots are. I don’t think we will have catfish, jambalaya, and gumbo but we should have plenty of meatpie and warm beer, a lot of history and new cousins to meet.

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Tree icon

Standards for
Sound Genealogical Research

Recommended by the National Genealogical Society

Remembering always that they are engaged in a quest for truth, family history researchers consistently -

  • Record the source for each item of information they collect.
  • Test every hypothesis or theory against credible evidence, and reject those that are not supported by the evidence.
  • Seek original records or reproduced images of them when there is reasonable assurance they have not been altered, as the basis for their research conclusions.
  • Use compilations, communications and published works, whether paper or electronic, primarily for their value as guides to locating the original records.
  • State something as a fact only when convincing evidence supports it, and identify the evidence when communicating the fact to others.
  • Limit with words like "probable" or "possible" any statement that is based on less than convincing evidence, and state the reasons for concluding that it is probable or possible.
  • Avoid misleading other researchers by either intentionally or carelessly distributing or publishing inaccurate information.
  • State carefully and honestly the results of their own research, and acknowledge all use of other researchers’ work.
  • Recognize the collegial nature of genealogical research by making their work available to others through publication, or by placing copies in appropriate libraries or repositories and by welcoming critical comment.
  • Consider with open minds new evidence or the comments of others on their work and the conclusions they have reached.

©1997 by National Genealogical Society. Permission is granted to copy or publish this material provided it is reproduced in its entirety, including this notice.

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Things to File

Introduction to Genealogy

There is a short six-lesson course offered on the NGS web site that teaches beginners how to record genealogical information, get started with family and published sources, find twentieth-century vital records, find earlier birth, death, and marriage information, and write source citations.

Upon satisfactorily completing the six online quizzes, the student will receive a certificate of completion and a $25 coupon that can be used toward tuition for the NGS home study course.

Tuition is $60 for NGS members. Nonmembers enroll at a higher tuition rate. By submitting a pre-enrollment form, you can study Lesson One and preview the Lesson One Quiz free of charge before deciding to enroll in the course. You can enroll online with a Visa or MasterCard, or you can print out the enrollment form and submit it to the NGS Education Department by mail or fax.

For information on the online course, go to the NGS web site (, select "Education" on the left side of the screen, then select "Introduction to Genealogy: An Online Course," and finally select "About the Course." The course is available to: individual members and nonmembers.

FROM: National Genealogical Society, guide to membership services, 1999.

1890 California Great Register Index Update

In their April 1999 newsletter, the California Genealogical Society announced completion of the indexing of the 1890 Great Register of Voters for San Francisco. This was the final county to be completed in a state-wide indexing project started in 1991 and organized by the California State Genealogical Alliance (CSGA). CSGA plans to publish the complete, state- wide index in hard copy first, followed later on CD- ROM. It is intended to help fill the gap left by the missing 1890 federal census.

FROM: Placer Trails, Vol.20, No. 5, May, 1999.

Castle Garden Immigration

Castle Garden was the predecessor to Ellis Island. In 1855, this old fort was designated an immigration station. At this time it was still under the supervision of New York State. In 1882, a change in the laws allowing immigrants into the country resulted in Castle Garden coming under the jurisdiction of the US government. It was in 1890 that the tide of immigrants became too much for Castle Garden and the US government began to look for a more suitable site, ultimately settling on Ellis Island.

Unfortunately, the records for much of the time that Castle Garden was in operation are unindexed. The New York City passenger lists from 1847 to 1896 are unindexed. This means one needs to know more exactly when an ancestor arrived. A year can easily result in searching an incomprehensible number of films line by line.

See if your ancestor was naturalized. It is possible that in locating his naturalization records you will be better able to narrow down the arrival time of your ancestor. And if you are lucky, you will learn the name of the ship he arrived on.

FROM: Family Tree Finder, 9 Apr '99, via San Joaquin Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol.20, No. 3, May-June, 1999.

The Cumberland Gap Roll of Names Project

The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park has recently initiated an extensive project to gather a list of names of people who traveled the Wilderness Road and came through the Cumberland Gap. In addition to their names, the Park would like to gather stories about these ancestors to make them real people and not just names. The Historical Park is attempting to restore the Gap to the way it was 200 years ago and to re-establish the Wilderness Road. This will allow visitors to the Park to retrace the footsteps and experience the same emotions as our ancestors.

For those interested in submitting their ancestors to the list of names, the information the project requires is your name, address and phone number, e-mail address if applicable, your ancestor's name, date, notes that you might care to add such as stories carried down or information you have obtained through your research, and permission to pass information to others.

FROM: "Past & Present," Everton’s Genealogical Helper, 53:1, via Placer Trails, Vol. 20, No. 6, June/July, 1999.

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The Confederate Home Messenger
By David Abrahams

The Confederate Home Messenger was published monthly from October 1907 until December 1911. It included news and stories from the residents of the Confederate Veterans Home located in Pewee Valley, Kentucky (Oldham County). The Home opened in 1902 when it was purchased for $12,500 by the State of Kentucky and operated for thirty-three years. It housed one hundred and twenty-five veterans at any one time and many of the veterans are buried in the Confederate Cemetery nearby. The book, 217 softbound pages, has been indexed and contains more than local news. Articles were written about various unit flags, meetings, celebrations, last roll call, other deaths, reunions, regimental histories, donations, generals and other leaders, lists of inmates, friends and relatives who came to visit, and it even contains some poetry. Each issue of the Messenger was four pages for the subscription price of ten cents per year.

This book is a genealogist’s dream, packed with all sorts of information about the Confederacy. It is a great addition to anyone's library and extremely interesting to read.

To purchase a copy, send $25 plus $3 shipping and handling to:

Mr. James R. Hicks
3715 Stratford Lane #1
Louisville, KY 40207

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L-AGS member David Abrahams forwarded the following information to your editor: It is reported that the Hamburg Immigration Lists for the years 1890-1893 will be on-line starting in October 1999. Each month another year will be added. For more information, see the web site listed here:

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What Size Sheets?

Salt Lake City is so engrossed in genealogy that even department stores carry supplies. But it seems one store hired a sales lady who was unaware of such merchandise.

So when a genealogist came in and asked her where he could find the family group sheets, she stammered in some shock: "Uh, all we have are king and queen size sheets."

From: The Live Oak, East Bay Genealogical Society, Vol. XVIII, No. 6, May/June, 1999.

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Donations to L-AGS

Some of our members have wished to donate books or other items to our group. We will be happy to receive such donations. The donor will receive a Thank You note to use for tax purposes, if desired.

Other members have wished to make a monetary donation on behalf of a loved one or friend. These donations will be used according to the donor’s wishes, or if none is expressed, we will purchase items for our Pleasanton and Family History Libraries.

We welcome such donations and our Corresponding Secretary will acknowledge the gift. If a memorial, an acknowledgment will be sent to the family.

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Last updated 6 June 2003 vlr, 10may04.0547 gwa