L-AGS color logo

The Livermore Roots Tracer

Volume XXIII Number 3

August 2003

Editors: Debbie Pizzato and Mildred Kirkwood

Web Editor: Vicki Renz


The Roots Tracer is a quarterly publication with articles of interest to the genealogist. Members are encouraged to submit articles of general interest. Queries are free.
It 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 E-mail: rootstracer@l-ags.org


Table of Contents

Membership News President's Message Family Tree Maker Group
Study Group Tri-Valley The Master Genealogist Group L-AGS Tape Library
Lyster Project Computer Interest Group Round and Round
Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Virginia Bennett Future Programs Memories of Alameda County Fair 2003
Way Back Then Anniversary Gift Livermore Valley History
G.R.O.W. Fernando Chaffee - Wagon Train to California New URL of Ellis Island and Census Tools
Genealogy Seminar Life in the Past Lane Help from Cemetery Records
California Conference 2003 Upcoming Seminars Roots Tracer Staff

Handshake

Membership News

2003 Membership Chair Jane Southwick

Welcome to Our New Members

Edward O'Donnell Sonya Gividen Louise Lutz
Michelle McCumber Duncan Tanner

Membership Report As of August 1, 2003

Membership Types and Number

Total Individuals

Individual Members

131

131

Family Members

35

70

Life Members

9

12

Benefactors

6

9

Honorary/Charter Members

5

5

Honorary Members

2

2

Total Memberships

188

229

 

Return to Table of Contents


Gavel

President's Message

President Dick Finn

This has been a great summer for genealogy here in the Livermore-Amador Valley. Under the leadership of David Abrahams, many of our members have been doing a great job indexing a number of local directories. David plans to join information from several sources into one index of people living here in the valley before 1905. Much of that collection will be available in the near future. I have been able to index early baptism, marriage, and burial records of the First Presbyterian Church of Livermore. That index is being reviewed now and we hope to have that information available soon. We have learned about other sources of early valley names and hope to start indexing some of them soon. If you know of other records that we might want to index, please let us know.

David and Jolene Abrahams and others are working hard in preparing for our joint seminar with the local LDS churches on November 8. A number of very interesting speakers are lined up. It looks like a "must" event.

Speaking of must events have you attended all of our L-AGS sub-groups? Each week we have meetings that we trust are of interest to our members: The Family Tree Maker software group, The Master Genealogist Group, the Study Group, and the Computer Interest Group. Please look at all of the groups that are of interest to you and offer your suggestions on how they might better serve you and the valley genealogical community. Check page 3 of this newsletter, or our website for content, times, and location.

Did you get to the Alameda County Fair? Under the leadership of Jon Bryan and Leo Vongottfried, we increased the number of hours the genealogy booth was open by 50%. We were able to do that because of the great support of our members and those of the San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society, The Tracy Area Genealogical Society, the Hayward Area Genealogical Society, and the Livermore chapter of the DAR. Did you check out their costumes? A big thank you to all of those who helped out. Even more good news: two more groups want to help next year. It looks like we might be able to be open even longer hours.

Let me finish by writing that for the size of our group our newsletter is tops. I review a number of newsletters and our Roots Tracer stacks up against any of them. A big thank you to Mildred Kirkwood, Debbie Pizzato, Vicki Renz, George Anderson, Eileen Redman, and all of the others who contribute in the writing, proofreading, printing, and distribution. Job well done!

Return to Table of Contents


Looking at computer

L-AGS Family Tree Maker Group

Dick Finn, Acting Leader, ftm.chair@l-ags.org

The L-AGS Family Tree Maker (FTM) Focus Group meets (during the school year) the first Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at the Livermore Adult Education Facility, Room 11, 543 Sonoma Avenue, Livermore. The URL for a map to the school is http://www.L-AGS.org/sonoma.html. Note: the August and September meetings will be held at the LDS Church on 950 Mocho Street in Livermore. The URL for a map to the church is http://www.L-AGS.org/mocho/html. Please use the back parking lot.

Most of our group are FTM users (from beginners – even those who have not yet installed FTM - to experts) who discuss problems and solutions, share successes, answer questions, and in general help each other with the Family Tree Maker software. At recent meetings we have talked about generating different types of charts that show specific information and generations, showing some of the work we have done using FTM, including producing our own low cost family history books, and generating PDF and GEDCOM files.

All persons interested or potentially interested in Family Tree Maker are invited to attend. For information on our group please call Dick Finn at 925-447-9652 or e-mail him at ftm.chair@L-AGS.org. Contact Dick for information about topics to be discussed. Visitors are welcome and there is no charge to attend. Bring your questions, comments, and handbook and if you have a laptop with FTM installed, you might bring it also.

Return to Table of Contents


Student with books

Study Group

By Kay Speaks

Research Procedures: The Naturalization Process

Our topic for the July Study Group was American Naturalization Processes and Procedures, 1790-1985. Nearly all the information was from a paper presented by John J. Newman at the National Genealogical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah, on August 7, 1985. Mr. Newman is an Indiana State Archivist. The Indiana Historical Society published an expanded version of this report in 1985 that is 43 pages.

After reading this paper, it soon becomes evident that in order to successfully locate all naturalization documentation, one must understand the statutes in place during the period of research – both federal and state.

There are five distinct procedures in the naturalization process. A thorough search of all five processes is necessary by the genealogist to get the complete history of the alien's naturalization.

Report and Registry of Aliens, 1798-1828, separate from or combined with

Declaration of Intention

Petition for Naturalization

Order of court granting citizenship, based upon the petition and oath of allegiance

Certificate of Naturalization

The first step did not always occur at the same time or same location as the declaration. Also, an alien could apply and declare his intentions but never follow through with the process and, therefore, never became a naturalized citizen of the United States. For example, Indiana passed a law January 14, 1818, requiring any alien who purchased "lands, tenements and hereditaments within the state" to have made a declaration of intention. This did not necessarily result in citizenship. A thorough search of all five processes is necessary by the genealogist.

Naturalization jurisdiction was not exclusive to one court. "Congress, in 1790, 1795 and 1802, required naturalization to occur in a court of record, that is, "having common law jurisdiction, and a seal and clerk."" The 1906, 1940, and 1952 acts continued this practice, permitting any court to naturalize, "having a seal, a clerk, and jurisdiction in action at law or equity, or law and equity, in which the amount in controversy is unlimited." These courts have had a variety of names, varying from state to state, as supreme, circuit, district, common pleas, chancery, probate, superior, and equity. In 1910, the U.S. Supreme Court decided "A state court which accepts naturalization jurisdiction performs this function as an agency of the federal government."

Because of the interpretation of the law, records of proceedings may be found in various state or federal courts, in various locations, and in a variety of documents. The government was explicit in that the clerk was to permanently record the proceedings. However, the government was not specific as to the method of recording or the form of the documents to be used. The result is that some reports may have 200 words describing the proceedings, while others may have 4,000 word descriptions. A single court may have had several jurisdictions with separate proceedings recorded in probate minute books, chancery order books, or civil order books.

The genealogist should search all of these official proceedings, created in the 19th century, for the court order of naturalization, especially when jurisdictions overlapped.

There are numerous naturalization laws – and each has general laws pertaining to special features for wives, widows, and children. These fall under the "derivative citizenship" category. A derivative citizenship is that based upon citizenship of another or upon some service the applicant performed, causing naturalization not to follow every step generally required of aliens. For example, obtaining one's citizenship through military service.

The naturalization process has a history of statutes changing statutes and of states creating their own courts and proceedings. There was much misunderstanding of the statutes, which resulted in more acts of Congress to validate the naturalization proceedings that were not legal. Because the law was not specific as to the methodology or documentation to use, in some instances records may be minimal at best. Others could contain the alien's name, place and date of birth, the time of his arrival in this country, the place at which he arrived, and the place or places of residence of the petitioner since his arrival, and the names of his witnesses. At one time, although a child would get this citizenship through his naturalized parents automatically, nowhere are the children's names listed in the proceedings. A woman could be a citizen of the U.S. and marry an alien, thus losing her citizenship.

As you can see, depending on the time and place, the naturalization records and laws may be different. One thing all periods had in common – it was the intent of the Congress to have a permanent record of the naturalization proceedings.

The L-AGS Study Group meets the third Thursday of every month from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Livermore LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore, CA. See www.l-ags.org/mocho.html for directions. This group focuses on helping the members develop their skills as researchers, share their research successes, and obtain help when a brick wall is encountered. Persons of all levels of experience are encouraged to attend.

Editor's Note: The L-AGS library has two books on this subject by John J. Newman. They can be found at Useful Internet Links / Libraries and Archives / Pleasanton Public Library.

1. American Naturalization Processes And Procedures, 1790-1985 ; BOOK 1985

2. American Naturalization Records, 1790-1990: What They Are And How To Use Them; BOOK 1998

Return to Table of Contents


Sailing ship

Tri-Valley The Master Genealogist User Group

Leaders - Kay Speaks and Larry Renslow

The meeting date is the third Saturday of the Month from 9:00 a.m. to noon, in the Conference Room at 7077 Koll Center Parkway, Suite 110, Pleasanton, CA 94566 (across from the Alameda Fair Grounds).

The Tri-Valley TMG Users Group is geared toward the beginning user of "The Master Genealogist" (TMG) family research software. Part of each meeting is used to help members with specific TMG questions. The remainder of our meeting is used to teach a new procedure of data input or methodology of the software. Members and guests of all levels of expertise are welcome. If you have a laptop you are encouraged to bring it to the meetings. If you don’t have access to a laptop, bring a backup of your database on a CD. (Be sure to bring a blank CD to copy any class changes made to your database.) An overhead digital projector is used for easy viewing.

TMG is a powerful family history project manager for the serious researcher. TMG Version 5.0 is a 32-bit interface database. This means fields are not restricted to size or preconceived fields. You can also filter and write unlimited custom reports from the database. Exhibits (photos and documents) are easily stored as internal or external files.

Return to Table of Contents


a_ear045.gif (10798 bytes)

L-AGS Tape Library

By Kathleen Young

Two more videotapes have been added to the tape library. They are tapes of the General Membership meetings in April and May, 2003.

The new titles are:

V-24: Mortuary Records

Sonya Gividen, of Callaghan Mortuary in Livermore, talks about information you can find on the funeral arrangement worksheet which is gathered from the family members on the worst day of their lives. Information can lead to veteran's military records, biographical information, religious affiliations, newspaper obituaries, shipping records, disposition permits and the final death certificate.

V-25: Celebrating Family Fun at the Alameda County Fair

Bob and Pat Lane review 90 years of history of the Alameda County Fair through pictures, and interviews. They have produced two books about the County Fair, and work with the Museum on Main Street in Pleasanton.

(Editor's note: The complete list of audio and video tapes in our collection is available on this web site at http://www.l-ags.org/audio.video.html.)

Return to Table of Contents


Group of people

The Lyster Project

By Dick Finn

The following is from a talk that I gave to the Colonial Dames 17th Century in January of this year at the Metropolitan Club in San Francisco. I present it here to further a discussion on finding ways to be more efficient when doing genealogical research. Your comments are welcome.

Part One

In late May of 2002 the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS) received a letter from a Mr. James Lyster of London, England. Mr. Lyster wrote that he was researching his Lyster ancestors, some of which he had found were buried at the Dublin Cemetery and the St. Augustine's Catholic Cemetery, Pleasanton, both here in California. He was interested to learn of any books, booklets, or other literature that he might purchase telling of the early days of Dublin and Pleasanton.

A few of us at L-AGS took this as a challenge to find out what we could for Mr. Lyster. Little did we realize where this project would take us.

We posted a number of queries on websites. Unfortunately, most of them turned out to be dead ends. However, two contacts in Ventura County turned out to be gold mines of information. We learned about the family of one of the Lyster girls as well as a number of others from Dublin who moved to the Ventura and Oxnard areas. The historical librarian at the Oxnard Library was very helpful in finding additional information on the family. Local historians in Livermore and Pleasanton were very helpful in finding details on the Lyster and related families in local papers. The staffs at several local churches were very helpful. Online census records found on Rootsweb and Ancestory.com provided a number of clues for us to follow. The staffs of cemeteries were helpful in searching old records and providing locations of gravestones. St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park allowed us to look at old records for the East Bay area. The online Social Security Death Index was a good source of birth dates. The online California Birth and Death Indexes confirmed birth and death dates as well as providing clues for further research. Microfilms viewed at our local LDS Family History Center were very useful. The LDS CDs for the 1880 US Census and Australian Vital Records were also very useful. The Schellen's Histories had several mentions of Lyster related families that gave us clues to further places to search. One book that we found very useful was The Uncounted Irish in Canada and the United States by Fitzgerald and King. It contains a fair amount of information on the founders and early families of Dublin

We used the Internet a great deal for searches and communication (over 700 e-mails at last count with people all over the world). We used local resources such as historians, cemeteries, LDS Family History Centers, museums and libraries. The bottom line was the book we made for Mr. Lyster and the updated version we will send to interested individuals, libraries and museums. Those of us on this project learned a great deal about our area and the people who first developed it.

Part Two

Looking back, it seems that we approached the Lyster Project in a kind of unorganized manner – perhaps like most genealogical projects. We got bits of information here and there. We didn't know for sure what we were going to do with what we found. We put information here and there. I have been wondering if there might have been a more efficient method for doing a project like this.

I like the six-step approach of Gary Bertoline of Purdue University in his book Technical Graphics Communication. Bertoline has broken the design process down to just six steps:

(1) Problem identification

(2) Preliminary ideas,

(3) Design refinement

(4) Analysis

(5) Optimization

(6) Documentation

There is no straight line from start to finish. Bertoline finds there is a lot of looping between Stage 3 and Stage 4 and between Stage 3 and Stage 5. I think for most of us the Bertoline model is easier to follow and is perhaps more suited for genealogical work.

Let's go quickly through the steps and see how they might be used for our family history research.

In Stage 1 (Problem identification) we defined what we wanted to do and when we wanted to have it done by. We knew we had to have something firmed up by September when Mr. Lyster would be here.

Stage 2 (Preliminary ideas) we collected the concepts and ideas of what we might want to accomplish. We might generate lots of sketches and rough drafts.

Stage 3 (Design refinement) is where a compromise solution was selected from the many rough sketches. It is in this phase that a solution to the problem became much clearer and a fair amount of refining was done on the earlier work.

Stage 4 (Analysis) and

Stage 5 (Optimization) are interactive steps that may be repeated many times before a final design is chosen. By this stage we had collected a great deal of information. We needed to connect the dots and put them into a useful format.

Stage 6 is the documentation or recording stage. In our case this was taking Mr. Lyster on tours of our local area and the production and presentation of our book to him as well as having him address our genealogy society.

The product of our research, so far, is a 112-page book that we had printed in September, before Mr. Lyster returned to London. We have taken the dozen or so names and other information that Mr. Lyster supplied us and have added over one hundred California descendants. The book includes information we have found on the Lyster, Lavin, McLaughlin, Scarlett, McCaw, and other families that descended from Lawrence and Sarah Lyster, pioneers of Dublin, California. I expect in 2003 the book will be updated and copies made available to libraries, museums, family members, and genealogical societies that might be interested.

There were large layouts in several East Bay papers about the Lyster project and what we had found. How could we have done a more efficient job with the Lyster Project?

Return to Table of Contents


Laptop computer

Computer Interest Group (CIG)

By Jim Lathrop at cig@L-AGS.org and

Dick Finn President@L-AGS.org

The CIG meets at 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month (except November and December) at the Livermore Adult Education Facility, 543 Sonoma Avenue. In the summer we meet at the LDS church on Mocho Street.

The purpose of the group is to assist members with computer related problems and share advice, information and horror stories. Recently we have had programs on the subscription service Ancestry. COM, digital cameras, and using power point to illustrate a life. We hope to have programs in the future on search engines, drawing programs, scanning, and storage/organization techniques. Members are encouraged to suggest topics of interest, and suggestions for speakers are always welcome. Any genealogical computer related subject from software, to hardware, to web sites is appropriate.

Members with computer problems are encouraged to discuss their problems, and may call one of the mentors listed in the Members handbook or send a request for help (or a solution) to cig@L-AGS.org.

For information on CIG please e-mail either Jim or Dick.

Return to Table of Contents


CD-ROM disc

Silent Obsolescence: CD-R vs. DVD

Those of you who are depending on recent and current CD-ROM technology to store and share your Family history documents for posterity, take note. John C. Dvorak, a columnist for PC Magazine, warns, "…a lot of the newer DVD drives will not read older CD-R discs, typically discs that were burned in the mid-1990s using early CD-R technologies. I caution readers to keep older CD-ROM drives to read older discs and for transferring the files on those discs to DVD."

From: Inside Track, PC Magazine, April 8, 2003, p. 59.

Return to Table of Contents


Merry-go-round

Round and Round

By Anna Siig

Approximately 35 years ago, my ex-husband and I took a trip to Canada to visit his family. We had our young children along. It was seeing my son's features in baby pictures of the Canadian family that finally settled the question, "Who does he look like?" I was certain he was my son and he sure didn’t look like anyone I knew. Seeing the baby pictures of his great aunt and her children showed us where those genes came from.

On the way home, we stopped in Vancouver, BC, to visit my ex-husband's grandfather who was in a care home there. He was quite invalid due to severe arthritis but his mind was clear. Gerard Clute obviously enjoyed our visit and soon was talking; telling family stories, telling about his youth, his early stop-overs in San Francisco while sailing the coast from Canada to the canal workings, and quoting poetry and words of songs. I knew, even though I'd done little genealogy, that I had to write down everything he said. I used scraps of paper from my purse, even napkins I had for the kid's use and wrote as small as I could to get it all down. It was some time later that I finally transcribed them.

Thank goodness, I then asked about some of the people he mentioned. My former mother-in-law told me that the "Patty Potts from Portland" Gerard mentioned several times was actually Paddy Potts and was a male cousin. I called one P. Potts in Portland. The woman who answered was unsure if I was related to her husband. She certainly hoped so though, as he was recuperating in hospital and it would be such a pick-me-up to him if we were long lost relatives. I called the other P. Potts and that was "our" Paddy. He was a bit different and he was kind enough to send us a copy of written history he had from a couple of generations of the family – Clute and Stillwell – in Canada. Following up on another lead, one woman Gerard mentioned had inherited a Clute family bible and other items, which she was very happy to send to us. She was quite elderly and had been wondering what to do with those things.

As the years went on I kept the genealogy for my children. I transcribed the written histories not so long ago, this time knowing a bit more. I indexed all the names mentioned in the histories and realized that there certainly must be people "out there" who would like this information for their own genealogies. There is information about people, places, activities and trips – great background color for anyone's family story.

So, in 2000, with permission from my ex-husband, I contacted some museums in British Columbia and, while they were mildly interested, they referred me to the BC Genealogist Society. I contacted them and they were delighted to get the information. Later they wrote back asking if they could publish it in their magazine. I agreed and asked only that they send me a copy of it for my files.

As time passed, I didn't hear from them. A couple of times, I wrote the e-mail contact asking if they had published the piece and would they please send a copy if they had. I have yet to hear from them.

Change of scene - last year Gary Drummond (my husband), Barbara Bunshah (Curator of the Livermore Heritage Guild's History Center at the Carnegie Building) and I helped a woman who contacted the Guild about a relative named Church, who had lived in Livermore. We did what we could, which turned out to be little, as he died outside of Livermore. And we were of some help to her. Her name is Kathleen.

In late January 2003, I received an e-mail from Kathleen. I had forgotten that she lived in Canada. Yes, you can guess, can't you? She wrote to say that "once again" I had helped her.

It turns out that the written history from the Clute-Stillwell family had been published in the BC Genealogist and she had found her grandmother in that information!

I was delighted to hear that someone had gained from the information, exactly what I had hoped, and was even more delighted that it was some one we'd had contact with before. When I wrote her that I had yet to see the article, she told me when it was published. I went on the web site for BC Genealogist and received a marvelous reply from their web master, Bob Daniel. He has since sent me a copy of the magazine.

Kathleen wrote again later that there is a Clute Street in New Westminster and wondered if it is named for my children's ancestors. I contacted the city of New Westminster and waited.

An added note: My son was recently married in a resort on the West Coast of Mexico. Due to genealogical research, and that conversation with Gerard Clute when my son was about four, we know that his great-grandfather, Gerard, sailed past that point more than once long ago. We also know that my son's great-great-grandfather, Svenning Larsen, and his brother, each in their own ships, sailed from Denmark, down around the horn and up to Mexico and there "learned to dance the Fandango!" My son had long forgotten hearing those bits of his history and was happily amazed to hear them now as they planned their wedding. He said to me, "no wonder I am the way I am!" (He travels a lot.)

Yet more information keeps coming in! Below is a note I received from someone in the City offices of New Westminster. You can see, she in turn gave me another place to look for information.

"According to our Street Name History report, Clute Street appeared in 1909 and was named for John Stillwell Clute, Mayor (1867) and other Clute family members. I hope that this information helps you. You can also e-mail Jacqueline O'Donnell, Manager - Irving House & Museum at jodonnell @city.new-westminster.bc.ca, to see if the City Archives has any more information on Mayor Clute and the Clute family in New Westminster."

As of this printing, the information from J. O'Donnell has yet to arrive. I am sure it will, one of these days. It all has taken a while and a lot came together in a lovely, happy, surprising way! As Dick Finn and Frank Geasa mentioned on the TV show, it can sometimes take time to get responses. It is worth it, even it does "take a couple of years."

Due to the information about a "Clute Street" in New Westminster from Kathleen, the lady we helped with her Livermore information, I now know that my children's great great, or however many greats, grandfather was the Mayor in New Westminster! That is new. AND the third person down the line I have communicated with has given me yet another site to visit for more information! Isn't it fun? Amazing how a "log jam" can suddenly become unjammed and new information comes out of that! It is just as they said on the TV show.

Return to Table of Contents


Lady

A Biographical Sketch of Mrs. Virginia Bennett

By Judy Person

In view of the April 12, 2003 opening of the beautiful new Dublin Library building, I thought readers might enjoy this update of a sketch I wrote in 1974 of the late Livermore native. The original appeared in the Alameda County Library newsletter, "The Missing Link." Those who knew this warm, gentle, energetic lady will know why I wanted to share her with everyone.

Virginia Smith was born in Livermore in 1909, and shortly thereafter her family moved out of town across the Arroyo Mocho to a farm, which is now part of Sunsettown. The present Vancouver Way was the lane to the family's barn. By coincidence, Mrs. Bennett's daughter, Kathy, and her husband now have a home in that subdivision, on that very land.

Mrs. Bennett attended elementary school at Livermore Grammar School and was taught by Mrs. Emma Smith, a locally renowned teacher who had also taught Mrs. Bennett's father there. Emma Smith had established a "receiving" grade, something like a pre-first, where children learned basic skills before going on to regular classes.

Mrs. Bennett remembered the family story about her mother's industrious days when she would put little Virginia and her baby brother in a wicker baby carriage, with the freshly picked produce she had grown on a rack underneath, and walk down the dirt road to Livermore to sell the fresh vegetables in town.

During the First World War, Mrs. Bennett's father went to work in the shipyards, and they sold the farm and moved to Oakland when she was 10. She attended Bay School on San Pablo Avenue, then transferred to Piedmont Avenue School. Her little brother died when they were young, and Virginia was very conscious of the big "hole" this left in their family.

She went to high school at Oakland Tech, then graduated from UC Berkeley in the midst of the Depression. Jobs were not plentiful, of course. She did not want to teach, and in fact what she wanted to do was to go to the Philippine Islands. She never identified why. She found a job at Woolworth's where she enjoyed working hard in the plant and seasonal department. She related that they often worked until the last streetcar was leaving, with no overtime, to have their displays and counters ready for the next day. We who worked with her thought those merchandising skills brought extra life to Dublin library's offerings.

Virginia married Bill Bennett on Armistice Day, 1939, making good use of the holiday. They lived in a cute little house in Berkeley and planted a big garden the first year. Their daughter, Kathy, now Kathleen Volpe of Livermore, was born in 1941 and son Bill in 1943. After young Bill came, they moved to Mt. Eden, now part of Hayward. Father Bill commuted and Virginia became a farmer. She fondly remembers the help of a Portuguese couple, a farmer and his wife, who helped her plow and gave her other help and gifts of food.

In 1951 Mrs. Bennett became aware that her husband's health was failing, so she began to look for work. The woman who worked at Mt. Eden Library died, and all Mrs. Bennett's neighbors urged her to try for that job. She "donned her best gingham dress, all pleated and pressed," and went to Oakland to see Mrs. Roberts, then Alameda County Librarian, about a job. She missed that one, but was encouraged to check back. A year later she was invited to fill in at Newark Library during vacations. There was no phone, and with the aid of a few minutes introduction, she was on her own. After that she was called to fill in at various places for several months.

Her next assignment was to old, old San Lorenzo Library, where the Doggie Diner was in 1974. The building was all slumped, and there was a wash-bowl but no john, making it necessary to retire to a nearby bar occasionally. No library branch had a phone until 1957, when one was installed at San Lorenzo. Mrs. Bennett substituted there frequently, and eventually became a permanent staff member. Mrs. Bennett became renowned for her ability to advise children on reading.

Bill Bennett died in 1956, and Virginia started library school at San Jose State in 1961. She worked in several Fremont libraries during this time to juggle her obligations. The historical thesis she wrote for her Master's in Library Science began with the history of the Fremont area and then was transferred to the history of the Dublin area. She had discovered a number of early settlers' graves at Mission San Jose. This information was helpful in the Lyster quest that L-AGS members recently completed.

Her photographic thesis became her introduction to community groups, where she showed her slide show to classes and groups, and this integration with the community led to the rapid development of interest in the Dublin Library, which has resulted in the succession of ever grander buildings to house the popular library.

Mrs. Bennett found great satisfaction in her children as well as the library, and enjoyed taking vacation time to be with them. Her energy and dedication to library service are legendary among her former staff and patrons and many others in the valley. She was active in the Amador-Livermore Valley Historical Society, and later helped establish the Dublin Historical Society and the preservation of the Old St. Raymond's Church and the Dublin Historical area. All who knew her are grateful for the fine qualities she manifested all her life.

Return to Table of Contents


Slide projector

Future Programs

By Mary Dillon

August 12 - The Daughters of the American Revolution - Pat Moore, Jane Everett, Glynice Pomykal. They will tell us what we need to do to join DAR and SAR (Sons of the American Revolution).

September 9 - Recording Your Family History - Ray McFalone. He has done a lot of work with people in nursing homes – getting their stories on record for future generations.

October 14 - Trevarno and Coast Manufacturing - Marie Abbott & Bob Manildi

November 11 - Sanborn Fire Maps - Charles Huff.

These maps are valuable tools in finding where your ancestors lived, and who their neighbors were.

December 9 - Member Sharing - What new things have you found in your research? Have you hit a brick wall?

Return to Table of Contents


Fair Days

Memories for Alameda County Fair 2003

By Jon Bryan

Editor's Note: In this article, numbers in parentheses ( ) indicate 2003 figures and those in brackets [ ] indicate 2002 figures.

First, let us say "Thank you very much" to our nearly 50 genealogy volunteers who served at Alameda County Fair 2003 at our Genealogy Booth! This effort would not have been possible without all of you. We had the Genealogy Booth staffed from noon to 6 p.m. for all of the 17 days of the Fair. Our volunteers are Beverly Schell Ales, George and Harriet Anderson, Lois Barber, Bud Barlow, Barbara Barton, Charlene Boyer, Marilyn Carter, Lucy Carver, Sharon Clay, Marilyn Cuttings, Michael Davis, Mary Dillon, Barbara Dittig, Jane Everett, Dick Finn, Jeff and Kathie Fisher, Caroline Foote, Linda Garrett, Frank Geasa, Barbara Hempill, Barbara Huber, Barbara Johnson, Donna Krieg, Carol and Jim Lathrop, Louise Lutz, Mary Maenchen, Pat Moore, Dolores Olness, Sue Overturf, Connie Pitt, Glynice Pomykal, Robbie Robinson, Marie Ross, Sandy Sinwald, Joan Soo, Jane Southwick, John Stewart, Marilynn Tanner, Margaret Toth, Leo Vongottfried, Del Warren, Martha Wensel, Kathleen Young, Gail and Jon Bryan. Thank you also to Vicki Renz and Frank Geasa for sharing some of their favorite genealogy sites for a supplemental handout. We gave away over 500 copies of both our genealogy handout and supplement! Let's not forget Larry Renslow who not only programmed "our high tech sign-up sheet" on our website but also corrected our input errors. Also special recognition should go to Connie Pitt who was there nearly every day of the fair!

Our special "Thank you" goes to Technology (Adventure) Building Coordinator Steve Perich and his fine crew. Every time we needed help from them, this crew provided it.

The organizations that were involved with volunteers included: The Josefa Higuera Livermore Chapter of The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), Tracy Area Genealogical Society (TAGS), San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society (SRVGS), Hayward Area Genealogical Society (HAGS), Thomas Jefferson Chapter - California Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), Livermore Heritage Guild (LHG), Tri-Valley Macintosh Users Group (TMUG) and Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS).

This year we widened our Genealogy Booth by adding two more screens to hold information behind our two tables. We had two PCs plus two Mac computers, which we used to "live access" various genealogy databases on the Internet with DSL connections. I was told that we didn't have to rent the computers because a school loaned them to us.

This was the first year of decreased total attendance (down 9.6 % from 2002) at the Alameda County Fair since our Genealogy Booth began in 2000. Overall, we did very well, "Thank you!" We saw some increases and one decrease. Based on our pushpin count as a measure of things, we are about 44 % ahead for total pushpins in the world comparing 2003 with 2002.

The pushpin count shows at least one pin for each of the 50 states, including one each for Delaware and Rhode Island. This was our first year at the Fair for us to have all 50 states show birth representation. Last year we were close with 49 states, but failed to show a birth representative from Rhode Island.

California had 1,108 birth representatives in 2003 (549 in 2002). After California, our top ten states in 2003 were: Texas 59 [43], New York 58 [43], Washington 46 [31], Pennsylvania 43 [32], Michigan 40 [36], Minnesota 39 [7], Illinois 37 [38], Oregon 37 [24], Ohio 34 [34] and Kentucky 31 [7].

We were nearly 5 percent down for birth representatives in foreign countries when 2003 (371) was compared with 2002 [389]. The ten largest for 2003 were Canada (52) [39], United Kingdom (41) [23], Mexico (34) [26], China (26) [25], Philippines (26) [10], Germany (17) [14], India (16) [18], Japan (10) [7], Australia (9) [5] and Norway (8) [6]. Counting the whole world, we had an increase in 2003 (2,453) compared to 2002 [1,698] or about a 44 % increase. Comparing USA only numbers we show 2003 (2,082) vs. 2002 [1,309] or about a 59% increase.

Our favorite comment that we heard from the 2003 Fair was a compliment from one satisfied visitor who said, "This Genealogy Booth is the best booth at the Fair!" Please plan to join us at the Fair in 2004 and beyond as a Genealogy Booth volunteer. We hope to both extend our hours and add other historical and genealogical organizations next year.

Return to Table of Contents


Carriage

Way Back Then

From Shirley Terry

In 1902 you were not around, but what a difference a century makes. Here are some U. S. statistics for 1902:

The average life expectancy in the U. S. was forty-seven (47) years.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the U. S. had a bathtub.

Only eight percent of the homes had a telephone. A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.

There were only 8,000 cars in the U. S. and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 miles per hour.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the U. S. was $.22 an hour.

The average U. S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the U. S. took place at home.

Ninety percent of all U. S. physicians had no college education. Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month and they used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.

The five leading causes of death in the U. S. were pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease, and stroke.

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was 60.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

One in ten U. S. adults couldn't read or write. Only six percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Eighteen percent of households in the U. S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic.

There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire U. S.!

Return to Table of Contents


Pile of books

Anniversary Gift

By David Abrahams

Last year, the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society celebrated its 25th anniversary. Yes, we have been around since 1977! As part of the celebration, the Society gave us a great gift: The Historian had copies of all of The Livermore Roots Tracers bound into four books. The books are now part of our permanent collection, located in the Pleasanton Public Library. Previously, The Livermore Roots Tracers were in loose-leaf binders or in boxes on the shelves. And, to help us make use of the books, the Tracers have been indexed.

Because the library has to number and log in these books, they may not be on the shelf when you read this. Please bear with the librarians; they have a lot of work to do, and all of this takes time.

Additionally, your Historian has another set of The Livermore Roots Tracers, which have been bound into loose-leaf books. This was done so that if anything happened to the set in the Library, another set would always be available to the members.

We would urge you to look at these journals if you have not done so. They represent us and our growth throughout the years. Much of the material that is published in The Roots Tracer is still relevant!

Return to Table of Contents


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.

WPDepot2x.jpg (44615 bytes)

The Western Pacific Railroad

Once a spot on the south side of the present railroad tracks between North L and K Streets marked the location of the Western Pacific depot from 1910 until 1956 when the depot was demolished. That space is now occupied by a small commercial center.

It was a great day on August 22, 1910 when Livermore greeted the first passenger train over the then new railroad. Livermore declared a half-day holiday for the arrival of the train. The depot had been decorated with flags and plants, bales of hay, casks of wine and cream cans. Small bottles of Livermore valley wine were presented to passengers on the train by a group of young girls. Attached to each bottle was a small card describing the "liquid sunshine" characteristic of the valley.

The rail line had been carrying freight for some eight months previous. The freight house which was located on the north side of the tracks still exists, having been moved to the west side of Vasco Road below I-580.

The first public use of the depot building was a far cry from railroading – on June 24, 1910, the Christian Endeavor Society of the Livermore Presbyterian Church held an ice cream social there as a fund-raiser to send delegates to the State convention in San Jose.

Maitland Henry, long-time Livermore Herald editor and publisher, had first-hand experience with the railroad depot. The building had been furnished many months before it was actually used and insurance regulations required that it be occupied. Henry, as a boy of 18 years, was employed to sleep in the building at night. He related that "the job provided excitement aplenty. First," he said, "Was summoning up the courage to go over to the building at night. Not only was it an isolated location in those days, but it had no lights or telephone, and it had many visitors. These were primarily wanderers who had worked or were seeking work on construction crews. Much finishing work still remained to be done along the right-of-way through the valley. Carrying blanket rolls and looking for a place to spend the night they commonly tried a door and, finding it locked, were on their way, but others were more persistent, trying all the doors, endeavoring to break in. There was nothing to do but wait them out and then try to regain composure and go to sleep."

He continues his reminiscence: "One night, which started badly, turned out to be the most peaceful of all. Arriving at the depot late, I found what was to be the passenger waiting room completely occupied by sleeping men. That posed a problem of what to do. A locomotive was parked nearby, with the engineer and firemen in the cab. They told me the men were a construction crew whose foreman had a key to all station buildings. And that night was one of peaceful sleep. It was pleasant relief to me when that particular method of 'working my way through school' came to an end."

He ended his narrative by recalling, "The year 1910 was an eventful one for Livermore. The new Masonic temple was dedicated, and the Livermore Carnegie Library was nearing completion. But the greatest excitement of all was the anticipation of Halley’s Comet. Livermore, with the rest of the world, approached the fateful May 18, 1910, when the world would go through the tail of the comet, in fearful anticipation of disaster, some even predicting the end of the world. Nothing whatever happened except to provide memory of an unusual event."

In the mid-1970s, both the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific rails through Livermore were consolidated so that the original Western Pacific track is the present railbed through the community.

Return to Table of Contents


Seedling

G. R. O. W.

Genealogy Resources On the Web -
The Page That Helps Genealogy Grow!)
Compiled by Frank Geasa

If you are doing Canadian genealogy and wondering if a local history might exist for your area of research, you will want to visit this site dedicated to cataloging the Canadian local histories that are available. Both English & French versions are offered.
http://www.ourroots.ca/
 
If your ancestors came from Denmark, a visit to the Demographic Database offered online by the Danish State Archives could be very worthwhile. It features name searches of both census and immigration data. It is an ongoing project, so you may want to make periodic visits. Courtesy of Myrna Hunt.
http://www.ddd.dda.dk/
 
The following UNESCO site has URLs for the sites of many National Archives all over the world as well as for many regional, state, municipal and university archives. The little copy and pasting effort required could bring big rewards.
http://portal.unesco.org/ci/ev.php?URL_ID=5761&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201&reload=1055376866
 
The South Carolina American History & Genealogy Project has links to county sites, which are being created and updated by volunteers.
http://www.scgenealogy.com/
 
The site for one of the counties, Pickens County, offers several on-line databases including an index to the 1910 census for that area.
http://www.scgenealogy.com/pickens/
 
If you are going to be researching ancestors in Eastern Slovakia, you will probably find the following site by Bill Tarkulich useful. He offers good general advise, interesting links and specific help with the 1869 census for that area.
http://www.iabsi.com/gen/public/index.html
 
A site with links to free genealogy items such as look-ups, forms, software, etc., is at
http://www.kindredtrails.com/free_genealogy_stuff.html
 
If you have been hoping to find your ancestors on an immigrant ship list, you may want to take a look at the new site of the Immigrant Ships Transcriber Guild. It will allow you to search for a surname across all the ship lists within a volume (there are 6). A Google search allowing a search across the whole site is planned soon.
http://immigrantships.net/
 
The State Archives of New York has an online index of over 360,000 New York soldiers who served in the Civil War. It also offers copies of their military records for sale.
http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/researchroom/rr_mi_civilwar_dbintro.shtml#whatshere
 
DNA studies are a recent and fascinating aspect of genealogical research. If these studies interest you, you might want to see if a DNA research project for one of your surnames is listed on the following site which is attempting to keep a list of such projects.
http://www.duerinck.com/surname.html
 
The Continental European Family History Association site has an index of the San Francisco Call newspaper births, marriages and deaths for the years 1869-1896 with more than 289,500 records.
http://cefha.org/usa/ca/sf/sfcall/sfcalli.html
 
This National Library of Ireland site has a list of the Catholic parish registers available on film at the library.
http://www.nli.ie/
 
If you have roots in the vicinity of Dundee City, UK, the Friends of Dundee City Archives offers several digitized databases for online use. Included is one of some 80,000 entries for the city cemetery. Others cover poorhouse entries and vehicle registrations.
http://www.fdca.org.uk/howff.htm
 
This Veterans Affairs Canada site has Books of Remembrance honoring those who died fighting for Canada beginning with the Nile Expedition 1884.
http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/general/sub.cfm?source=collections/books

Return to Table of Contents


Covered wagon with oxen

Fernando Chaffee – Wagon Train to California

From Robbie Robinson

Fernando Henry Chaffee was born 21 Nov 1827 in Grafton, Windham, VT, son of Eber and Anna (Davis) Chaffee. In 1839 the family moved from Vermont to Kane County, Illinois. Fernando married. 22 Dec 1849 Adaline Worcester and they had one daughter, Abby F. Chaffee, born 28 Feb 1851. Why he decided to leave his family and go to the gold fields of California is unknown. The following is a letter which he wrote to his sister and her husband, Sylvester and Marcia (Chaffee) Ryder, who lived in Iowa.

Placerville, August 23, 1852

Dear Brother & Sister:

I take the first opportunity to address a few lines to inform you that my health is good at present, and hope this may find you the same. We had very good luck in getting here. We arrived here on the 11th of August, well and in good spirits. I mailed a letter at Ft. Laramie. I have not written any since. I send a letter to Father and Mother by this mail.

It has been a long and tiresome journey, I assure you. I will give you a little sketch of our journey from Ft. Laramie, and not but a little. For if I should attempt to do it justice, both room and memory would be lacking. But again to the subject. After leaving Ft. Laramie, we passed over what is called the Black Hills, a very rough, stony road for 25 or 30 miles. After that we had a very good road to Green River. But from the upper crossing of the Platt River, that is about 150 miles from Ft Laramie to the South Pass, we had very poor grass for our horses. For miles, there was nothing but wild sage. Our horses began to fail very fast. Had it not been for what grain we had, I do not know what we would have done. The greatest curiosity after leaving Chimney Rock is Independence Rock, situated on the Sweet Water. It is six or seven hundred yards long by 120 to 150 yards wide. Composed of solid granite. And the names of many a traveler are inscribed thereon. It is a solid, smooth stone, situated on level ground. Near the Sweet Water, six miles from here is the Devil’s Gate, and you would think it was, of you were to see it. It is composed of solid stone, above its walls rising from four to six hundred feet perpendicular from the water’s edge. It is where the Sweet Water makes its course through, rolling from one stone against another. I went upon the stone, above the water, and it is a sight which I never shall forget. The distance down to the water seemed endless. One could not have believed it to be so high before going up on top of it. But after that he would be thoroughly convinced.

We went on from there crossing mountain and stream until we struck Green River. This is a bold, rapid river about 18 rods wide and 10 feet deep. Sixty five miles from here we struck Bear River Valley. This we did not have to cross. We went by what is called Sublette Cutoff, and kept on the north side of the river. So we missed seeing the great Mormon city, or Salt Lake. We traveled up Bear River, or rather down till we came to the Soda, or Beer Springs, which is the greatest curiosity between home and California. They do not, like most springs, run out of sides of hills, but boil directly up from a level surface. The water contains a gas, and has quite acid taste to it. When exposed to the air, it forms a stone. It will form a stone, perhaps, from 10 to 15 feet high and then break out in some other place, or it spurts up in places two or three feet high, keeping a continual boiling and foaming all the time. But I must not dwell any longer on this, this time.

The next point I must notice was Pyramid Circle, five miles long and about three wide; level within the walls, and studed throughout with numerous white and green stones, varying in height from 60 to 150 feet, and from 10 to 20 feet in diameter at the foot; and running nearly to a point at the top. It is covered with cedar and pine trees and altogether a beautiful and picturesque scene. Upon these stones are written the names of many visitors. The circle is entirely surrounded by mountains, except an inlet at the east of about 50 yards, and about 29 at the west.

A few miles from here you strike the Humboldt, the great beau of the route, or has been. We found excellent grass here. The Red Top and Clover was up to my waist and very good. But all the way down, by crossing the river, when we could not find it on one side we did on the other, by swimming our horses. But I must say a little about the water, which was miserable enough, a little worse than anything I ever saw. Whilst we were scorched by a hot summer’s sun, we had to drink the miserable water; so poor our horses would hardly drink it, salty and slimy as dishwater. We kept on down till we struck the meadow. Made our hay the next day, drove to the sink, and the next day about one o’clock started on the desert. We got across the next day about daylight to the Carson River. Traveled up Carson River till we struck the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and from there on for miles, I think it was one of the worst roads that ever a man went over with a wagon, stones of an intolerable size. These is a place where there is only enough room to let a wagon through. Again you will find stones almost perpendicular, which you will have to rise, and again you must make your way over them.

But at last it is all accomplished and I find myself comfortably situated in Coon Holier near Placerville, Keeping old batch. We sold our horses, harness and wagon for $460. The day before we got into Placerville. We have bought four and one-half claims in the Cozumnes tunnel for $65, a claim. There cannot be any bought now for $150. But it is chance game, and how we shall come out, I cannot say. There is no water for washing the dirt, and we shall probably have to wait until the first of December, till a rain comes before we can tell. We are at work now for the Company, getting cut timbers to block up with, at $5 a day. Times are rather dull here at present and not a great deal of mining going on. On account of no water. Provisions are very high here at present. Flour is worth 5 cents a pound, potatoes 10 cents, butter 50 onions 25, ham 37 cents, and everything in proportion. Write as soon as your receive this. Direct your letters to Placerville, Eldorado Co. California.

Yours truly,

F. H. Chaffee

Return to Table of Contents


Statue of Liberty

New URL of Ellis Island and Census Tools

By David Abrahams

There was a short article in ZichronNote, (the Journal of the SF Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society) Volume XXIII, Number 2, May 2003

The home page for the One-Step tools designed by Stephen Morse has moved to the following web address: www.stevemorse.org. Through this page a researcher can link to Ellis Island search forms including the blue form for passengers listed as "Hebrew," the Missing Manifest form, lists of ships and the Morton Allan Directory of ships. Census forms include the 1930 Census ED finder and other census tools. The site also has soundex code generators in which one can enter a name, push a button, and instantly obtain the soundex for that name.

It is now possible to enter the name of an accompanying traveler on his blue search form, thus reducing the number of hits when searching for a common surname.

I’ve used this site and it works really well.

NOTE: There is a link to this site on our L-AGS web site under Useful Internet Links, then General Genealogy.

Return to Table of Contents


Students in class

Genealogy Seminar

By David Abrahams

Once again, the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society is going to partner with the LDS Church to host a genealogy seminar. The date has been set for November 8, 2003, at the LDS Church, 950 Mocho Street, Livermore, California.

Current plans are to provide more than twenty lecturers on topics of interest to all levels of genealogists. Some of the subjects we are including are: using DNA as a genealogy tool; the use of mortuary records; newspaper research; documenting from diaries and letters; copyrights; writing your family history; use of probate records, and many more. We will also have several classes designed to help LDS members do their genealogy for the Church. There will be demonstrations of computer software for genealogists, which will allow attendees to learn more about what is available to them.

Attendees will be able to choose four classes to attend during the daylong seminar. Lunch will be provided for those who register in advance. Look for fliers announcing the seminar by the end of summer.

For further information, please contact Jolene and David Abrahams, 925-447-9386, or e-mail at dmabr1@comcast.net. Warren White, the liaison for the LDS church, may be reached at 925-443-2729, or e-mail at warrenwhite@comcast.net.

Return to Table of Contents


Rolled-up newspaper

Life in the Past Lane

By Jon Bryan

Continuing the Saga of Wendell Jordan and Family

(Mr. Jordan was a brewer by occupation and died when he fell in to a boiling vat of mash.)

Jan 26, 1901

Jordan, Wendell <probate>.

"The will of the late Wendell Jordan was filed for probate in the Superior Court Wednesday by Attorney Thos. Scott, attorney for the estate. This estate consists of the Livermore Brewery property and the real estate in Alameda and San Joaquin counties, aggregating in value between $ 25,000 and

$30,000.

According to the terms of the will, which is dated April 22d, 1896, the property is to be divided equally between the widow, Gertrude E. Jordan and her daughter, Ada Jordan."

If we use the "Inflation Calculator" linked on our web site at "Useful Internet Links" or <http://www.westegg.com/inflation>, the $25,000 mentioned in 1901 is worth about $510,728 in 2001 (or about a factor of 20 larger)!

Snow in Livermore?

How often does it snow in our Livermore-Amador Valley? "Not very often" is the answer, at least in recent history. In our nearly 35 years in Livermore, the Bryans remember only once when snow stayed on our deck overnight. Our puzzled cats did not know how to react when their feet left tracks in the snow.

This newspaper article from the Livermore Echo of January 4, 1917 (2:2) also gives us some clues.

"Snowstorm at Altamont

Snow fell at Altamont Sunday to the depth of two inches and remained on the ground for several hours. Automobiles arriving here from that place were covered with a white mantle, but only a little snow, mixed with rain, fell here. - Observer R. H. Sherman of Altamont reports that the snowfall there Sunday was the heaviest in 35 years, four inches of snow having fallen in December 1881, remaining on the northern hillsides for nearly two weeks."

Return to Table of Contents


Pot of flowers

Help From Cemetery Records

By Susan Renee Henderson

I found you from having to research a divorce certificate for my sister who lives in Dallas, Texas. We lived in Berkeley, California in the 1970s. She was married and I lived with my boyfriend. I was the liberal one. She moved back home and I stayed in California.

My boyfriend, Michael O'Brien, passed on in 1976. I was not even sure of the year. He was my husband and a father to my son. It was very traumatic because he drowned. His aunt lived in Oakland. I don’t recall her name except that Michael called her "Screamin' Mimi." He had a father somewhere and another aunt. He also had a son from a previous marriage.

Anyway...Mimi of course was upset like the rest of us. I had to be the bearer of bad tidings. There was never a funeral. All they told me was that he was to be buried with his mother. I went out to Saint Michael's once, but never could find the grave site. Today, thanks to you and this site, I found him! SM34.

Thank you so much. I can't stop crying. Now, hopefully, I can research to find out what happened to the rest of the family and possibly Michael's son. God Bless you all, even though I'm not really religious. Peace be with you and yours.

Return to Table of Contents


PPLGP168.WMF (50898 bytes)

California Conference 2003

Sign up before September 15 for the Conference at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in Foster City on October 18 and you will save $10. Early registration fee is $40 and late registration will be $50. There will be lots of interesting topics.

For complete details and a registration form, contact Cath Madden Trindle at CAConference@aol.com.

FROM: CGS News, Vol. XXXIV, No. 4, July 2003.

Return to Table of Contents


Instructor

Upcoming Seminars and Workshops

By Mildred Kirkwood

 

Sepember 3-6, Orlando, FL -  Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, "A World of Hidden Treasures." http://www.fgs.org/

October 1 - 11, New England/Canada Cruise - 10 day cruise, Boston to Quebec, on Royal Caribbean . Genealogy lectures by George F. Sanborn, Jr. and David Allen Lambert, both from the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. Contact All Cruise Travel at 800-227-8473 or www.allcruise.com   for further information.

October 11, Auburn, CA - Placer County Genealogical Society Annual Seminar. Details to be announced.

October 12, Los Angeles, CA - Genealogical Society for Hispanic Americans will hold their annual Fiesta in conjunction with the Mexican Cultural Institute at Olivera Street.

October 18, Foster City, CA - San Francisco Bay Area Genealogical Consortium Conference, focusing on California research and ethnicities, will also offer lectures and workshops in preservation and beginning research. Crowne Plaza in Foster City. Contact: CathT@aol.com.

November 8, Livermore, CA - L-AGS Seminar to be held at the Mocho Street LDS Church. Details to be announced in member e-mails and on this web site's Coming Events Page.

Return to Table of Contents


Staff meeting

Livermore Roots Tracer Staff

Editors  Mildred Kirkwood
 Debbie Pizzato
Proofreading  George Anderson
 Vicki Renz
Printing/Distribution  Eileen Redman
Staff Contributors
Computer Interest Group Jim Lathrop

 Family Tree Maker Group

 Dick Finn

 Livermore History

 Gary Drummond
G.R.O.W  Frank Geasa
Life in the Past Lane  Jon Bryan
Study Group  Kay Speaks

 Seminars and Workshops

  Kaye Strickland
Things to File  Vicki Renz
Library News  Judy Person
Tri-Valley TMG User Group  Kay Speaks

Return to Table of Contents


[ Roots Tracer Menu ]  [ L-AGS Home Page ]

Last modified 12 August 2003 vlr, 10may04.0547 gwa