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The Livermore Roots Tracer

Volume XXIV Number 2

May 2004

Editor:  Diana Carey, rootstracer@l-ags.org

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

The Roots Tracer is a quarterly publication with articles of interest to the genealogist.  It is published in February, May, August and November. Members are encouraged to submit articles of general interest. The deadline for each quarterly issue is the 15th of the previous month. Submissions must contain the name of the submitter, as well as the name of the author, publication and date of any published article that is being quoted. Send material to: The Roots Tracer, P. O. Box 901, Livermore, CA 94551-0901 or e-mail rootstracer@l-ags.org.

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

Table of Contents

Member News President's Message Family Tree Maker Focus Group
Computer Interest Group Library Notes Finding Old Medals
G. R. O. W. Puzzle Page Life in the Past Lane
Livermore Valley History Chemical Family Tree Upcoming Programs
Heraldry Roots Tracer Staff


Member News

Membership Chair Jane Southwick, membership@l-ags.org

Welcome to Our New Members

Robert Hall & Mary Jane Hall Betty Sharp Forrest Griswell
Richard Keup Jan Watling Lauren Flaherty
Betty Ryon Philip & Deborah Eckert Ann Duff

Membership Report As of January 15, 2004

Membership Types and Number

Total Individuals

Individual Members



Family Members



Life Members






Honorary/Charter Members



Honorary Members



Total Memberships




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President's Message

President, Jolene Abrahams, president@l-ags.org

The first four months of this year for L-AGS has been at a fast pace. Several changes have been made that I feel you should be aware of.

Our tape library has been taken over by our Library Committee. They are reviewing the tapes for their quality before the Pleasanton Library considers housing them. All of us thank Kathleen Young for taking such good care of the tapes for the past few years.

L-AGS has had a wonderful experience of receiving several books in the past few months.

The October 2003 Seminar was a huge success. We actually made some money! So we shared it with the LDS Church located on Mocho Street, Livermore. They have worked with us on the Seminar for the past 10 years, for which we are very grateful. David Abrahams presented the church with a $200 gift certificate from Office Max. A copy of the Seminar syllabus has also been placed in the Family History Center at the church.

Dick Finn is chairman of a 'new' group in the Valley. Several of the Tri-Valley museums, libraries, etc., have formed the Tri-Valley History Council. All of these groups will inventory, index and compile their holdings (books, maps, etc.) so the index can be SHARED by all groups. This will be quite an undertaking by everyone but most rewarding to everyone doing genealogical and historical research. Thanks to Dick and George Anderson for attending the meetings of this most important new venture.

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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. URL for a map to the school: http://www.l-ags.org/maps/Liv-SonomaSchool.html. Plans are being formulated for a place to meet this summer.

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, what is new with Version 11, little known tricks our members have found, 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 loaded, you might bring it also.

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Laptop computer

Computer Interest Group

Jim Lathrop and Dick Finn, cig@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 months 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 drawing programs, photo software, computer viruses, and Power Point presentations . We hope to have programs in the future on search engines, scanning, and storage-organization techniques. Members are encouraged to suggest topics of interest, and suggestions for speakers are always welcome. Any genealogical computer related subjects 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 or call either Jim (443-4640), or Dick at (447-9652).

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Library Notes

By Judy Person

Many thanks to our faithful docents, who help more and more users on Wednesday mornings. It will be great if anyone wants to volunteer another time period, especially on an evening or weekend.

As I said at the April meeting, I checked with the Doe Library at UC Berkeley about access to the complete file on microfilm of the Draper Manuscripts. They urge you to check the indexes at our library, in the Guide to the Draper Manuscripts and the three other volumes, before going to UC. The staff there tells us that the microfilm is on the first floor and open to the public. If you need to go into the stacks for something else and don't have the $100 non-student library card (!), you may go to the Reference Desk and ask for a 1-day pass. The Doe Library is open

Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.,
Friday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. –5:00 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

It is located at the center of the campus, just west of the “Campanile” (Sather Tower). You can get there with BART and “Humphrey GoBART.”

For PERSI, this service from the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana is provided by contract with Heritage Quest Online. We do have an earlier CD in our collection, and I mentioned two possibilities for access to this most valuable tool. Remember, nearly 2 million articles are indexed by Surname, Locality and Date. The one I didn’t have much information for was Tazewell County Genealogical and Historical Society in Pekin, Illinois. Their e-mail address is tcghs.org. To access Heritage Quest Online, with all their services, at the lowest cost I know, you may join their library for $15 and add HQOnline privileges for $12, renewable annually, making a total of $25. I don’t know what other books and services they have that might be of interest to us.

The other great deal is at the Godfrey Library in Connecticut (just Google Godfrey Library) for Godfrey Scholars, at $35 per year, for census, newspapers, PERSI, and many full texts of books. They have a large genealogy library.

After finding the articles you want in the PERSI index, you snail mail the form you find online to the library in Fort Wayne with your check. They don’t do phone or e-mail for the thousands of requests they must get. By the way, the people at ProQuest, the owners of HQOnline, are aiming to provide full text of articles someday.

There is a new online service from the Wisconsin Historical Society allowing researchers to request a search of Wisconsin Pre-1907 vital records and pay with their credit cards. Cost is $15 for non-Wisconsin residents, limit 2 at a time.

I am pleased to announce that we are the recipients of three gifts to the library. The Josefa Higuera Livermore Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution has graciously donated the three volumes of the 2003 Edition of the DAR Patriot Index to the Pleasanton Library. This was recommended as a great advance in content and length over the old edition, and we are very grateful. It will be housed in the genealogy collection. At the April meeting, Diana Carey gave us Scottish Roots, From Gravestone to Website, and Mildred Kirkwood gave us Christopher Gist’s Journal, which features her ancestor, Andrew Montour. Mildred gave this book in honor of our late member Robert Gest, who was related to the explorer Christopher Gist.

Earlier we were given the book, A Story of Two Tennessee Families: Edwards and Hyder. These families were chiefly in Cooke County, Tennessee, and the author includes early history of Edwards, then on to the 1720-1757 first American generation.

Now, on to the new things we have been buying.

The Pedigree Resource File CDs, volumes 1-75, from the LDS church. They will be our much more reasonable substitute for the World Family Tree series. They include the lineage-linked pedigrees that have been submitted, unedited, with a master index.

The British Isles Vital Records Index, second edition, for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 10.4 million birth and christening records and 1.9 million marriage records, dating from 1530-1906.

Finding Your Roots Online, 025.06929 HENDRICKSON, by Nancy Hendrickson, an experienced San Diego researcher and writer. We’ll put it in checkout books, but note the number, since it won’t be with the 920s, where most of our genealogy books are.

Creating Family Newsletters: 123 Ideas for Sharing Memorable Moments with Family and Friends. How to make newsletters, get organized, collect family stories and invite family members. This will check out, also.

Locating Your Roots: Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records. Land was one of the main reasons for immigration and movement in America. Using and interpreting all the records.

New York State Probate Records: A genealogist's guide to Testate and Intestate Records. Explains the roles of record agencies, how records are held, then lists records by county, e.g., Cayuga County Surrogate’s Records are on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake, which records are published, and which records are in periodicals.

New York State Towns, Villages and Cities: a guide to genealogical resources. County records, whether a town has a published history, church and cemetery records, many of which are hidden in larger collections, like whether they are in the Family History Library collections.

Ancestors in German Archives: a guide to family history sources. From the German Immigration Ancestry project at Brigham Young University, arranged by locality. Gives addresses, what districts are in a jurisdiction, whether there are published guides, the kinds of records they have. I got three e-mails suggesting we acquire this, and I’m grateful for your sharp eyes, folks.

Romanians in the United States and Canada. Comprehensive, by a chair of European migration studies for the American Library Association. Includes the various ethnic groups who spent time in Romania.

Genealogy for Armenians. Basics of Armenian family research, a guide to the language, and finding information in the Ottoman Empire Records. Includes the Armenian Microfilm Index by Locality of the Family History Library, and lists of Armenian names and surnames.

Remember to check the catalog before you go to the library to get the call numbers, since processing these things takes time!

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Finding Old Medals

By Beverly Schell Ales

In June of 2003 I requested information on the WWI medals due my father, a soldier over seas. The address to write to is:

Department of the Army
US Army Reserve Personnel Center
9700 Page Boulevard
St. Louis, MO63132-5200

You should have Name, Rank, Serial Number, Dates of Service and your relationship to the Veteran included in your request. My information was obtained through the Ohio Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, World War, 1917-18, Volume 15075 and his discharge papers. I am sorry that I did not keep the address of said Volume.

The above will then contact you with a Certification of Military Service. The medals will be sent from:

US Army Soldier & Biological Chemical Command
IMMC, Soldier System Team
P. O. Box 57997
Philadelphia, PA 19911-7997

My request was dated June 3 and I received the medals on or around the first of December 2003, not bad for a government reply.

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G. R. O. W.

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

The site for the archives of Westchester County, just north of New York City, contains several extensive indexes online including marriages (1908-27) and naturalizations (1808-1927). Use the site map.
The Arizona Department of Health Services now has online search indexes available for births 1887-1928 and deaths 1878-1953. Courtesy of George Anderson.
If you are trying to locate Catholic Church records as part of your ancestry search you may find the following site helpful. It offers advice and information on locating these across the globe.
If your genealogy research interest includes New England you will want to visit this growing free site of digitized books and maps. Courtesy Eileen Redman.
If you are doing African American research, you might want to visit this work in progress site of the University of South Florida’s Africana Heritage Project.
This site offers general advice on Italian genealogy research as well information on such unusual topics as tracing adoptive lines and cultural impacts on Italian research efforts.
The Alberta (Canada) Digitization Project has made many local histories available for searching on-line. If you have ancestors from this locale, enter the name as a keyword, then search the individual works returned by the same keyword to get the pages.
A handy tool for quickly setting up genealogy searches on Google can be found at:
If your roots trace to The Netherlands, there is now a treasure trove of digital archive sites online with large indexes of vital records for the areas indicated below. An English version is available at each site:
This web site focusing on Oregon County, Missouri offers several online indexes including land, marriage, cemetery and early census records.
This British Columbia Cemetery Finding Aid site contains over 344,000 transcriptions of burials in that Canadian Province.
This is a great gazetteer site, which offers maps and in many cases aerial photos of thousands of points in the US, perhaps even of your home.
If your roots include the Azores, you might want to visit this site, which has very informative information, some passenger list indexes and many good links to other Azores genealogy related sites.
An 1863 city directory of Cleveland, Ohio is at:

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Puzzle Page

Which states came first?

A Crossless Word Puzzle

All 50 US states are listed in sequence along a meandering path in this rectangle. They are arranged in the order in which they were admitted to the Union. For the original 13 colonies, that is the order in which they ratified the constitution. See if you can follow the path to discover the seniority of the states.

Start at the upper left-hand corner and follow the meandering path through the entire 480 cells. The path can go right or left, or up or down, but not diagonally. There is one space between states and one space between parts of names. Every cell is visited once and only once.

Don't peek now, but the answer is farther down this page.

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There once was a man who paid a genealogist $500.00 to look up his family history...

Then paid another $1,000.00 to keep quiet about it!

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Life in the Past Lane

By Jon Bryan

I found this obituary in a June 23, 1894 issue of the Pleasanton Times (3:2) when this publication was a weekly. Thus far, I have not found many old copies of the Pleasanton Times.

Tuesday morning word came to town that Luigi Marchino, an old Italian who has been about Pleasanton for a number of years, had fallen dead at G. B. Sportono’s place about two miles, south of town.

Schweer & Detjens, undertakers, proceeded to the scene of the death but under the circumstances they could do nothing until an inquest was held. Judge Brophy was notified and summoning A. W. Sanford, J. B Sanford, Jas. W. Hortenstine, Frank Kimmerly, John Theissen, Chas. Starr and Wm. Napier to act as jurors, proceeded to Mr. Sportono's place to hold the inquest.

A number of witnesses were examined and the gist of their testimony was that the deceased had been complaining of ill health for some time and had determined to go to the County Hospital for treatment as he had no means of support; that he was about 75 years of age and a native of Turin, Italy; and that about ten minutes past five o'clock Tuesday morning, June 19th the deceased came into the kitchen for his breakfast, and after saying “good morning” fell to the floor and expired immediately.

The verdict of the Coroner’s jury is as follows:

We find from the testimony given and to the best of our belief that the said Luigi Marchino, a native of Turin, Italy, came to his death at about 10 minutes past 5 o’clock, on the morning of June 19th, 1894, at G. B. Sportono’s farm, about two miles south of Pleasanton, Alameda county, California, from heart failure. We further find that the deceased was about 75 years of age and was in destitute circumstances.

The remains were interred in the Odd Fellows’ cemetery from Schweer & Detjens Undertaking Parlors Wednesday afternoon.

PUZZLE: Why do you think I chose this Marchino obituary for Roots Tracer? I plan to reveal my answer in the next Roots Tracer.

This is one of those obituaries that I tend to criticize not for lack of words but for lack of information. Missing are:

Basically this obituary just said Luigi died near Pleasanton at about age 75. Sadly he apparently is the only generation listed. We don’t even learn his profession before he retired. Apparently to fill space, the obituary gives a layman’s version of what happened followed by a repeat with the coroner’s jury version!

If his surname were Maraschino (with an extra syllable) rather than Marchino, it would mean “An Italian cherry cordial or a cherry preserved in true or imitation maraschino liqueur.”

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Genealogy is not fatal...

But it is a grave disease.

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.


Anybody remember the Chicken-on-Call scandal??

Chicken-on-Call was a drive-in restaurant that opened in December 1956. It was located at East Avenue and Seventh Street, near the Callaghan house. And it closed the next April.

It turned out that the business was a front for a huge check forging operation run out of Camp Parks. A sergeant in the Camp Parks finance office was making out government checks using the names of transient airmen or fictitious, whichever was most convenient. He endorsed them over to the Chicken-on-Call restaurant operator who used them as second-party checks to buy supplies locally. And because they were Government checks every merchant thought they were good. It was estimated the value of the checks was over $100,000.

In some instances the restaurant operator would rush into a store and claim that had cashed the check for a customer and that left him short of cash at the restaurant. Of course, the merchant trusted a government check,

When the swindle had well-saturated Livermore, one of the operatives took $1,200 dollars in checks to San Francisco to be cashed. Perhaps his contacts in the city were a little skeptical, because he didn't come back with the money. He came back with five taxicabs for providing a service in Livermore and at Camp Parks.

Finally the law caught up with the miscreants. The sergeant and the restaurant operator were each indicted on several counts of forgery at 10 years per charge.

But it was the local merchants who had taken the checks that were left holding the bag. They had no idea of their liability because they kept no record of the checks. With an estimated $100,000 at stake, the General Accounting Office in Denver had to sort through about 375,000 checks to find those that had been forged and returned them to local banks.

Bottom line: the local Chamber of Commerce got the attention of Livermore's congressional representative who successfully guided a relief bill through the House. It went on to the Senate where it was again passed and was finally signed off by John Kennedy in 1963, over five years after this mess was discovered.

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If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton,

You may as well make it dance. - George Bernard Shaw

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Chemical Family Tree

By Kaye Speaks
Study Group Leader

For those scientific minds in our genealogy group – this is a new one for me. I was researching information about the “invisible” or “deep” databases that are stored on the web. These databases aren’t normally included in today’s popular search engines queries, as they are not indexed. The meta search engine I used for this project is called ResourceFinder, http://www.rdn.ac.uk/resourcefinder. I entered “genealogy” in the search engine to see what results I would get and found something rather unusual. The second listing from this query was http://www.rdn.ac.uk/resourcefinder/?query=genealogy which had this description:


A professional genealogy (as opposed to a family genealogy) traces a person’s intellectual line of descent via one’s PhD advisor or mentor for one’s highest non-honorary degree.

The starting points for this Database are usually chemists, so that this is a Chemical genealogy database; some scientists from other disciplines are included as the lines are traced.

The Database contains information about each person’s birthdate, death date, highest non-honorary degree, degree date, degree place, degree advisor, scientific accomplishments and references from which the information was compiled.

This is a family tree of the Chemistry Department at the University of Illinois. I clicked on individuals with a tree icon, and saw charts going back to the very early 1400s. I think back about my former teachers and who influenced me most (in a positive and not so positive manner) – my wonderful second grade teacher, my sixth grade teacher who was a demon for grammar, a high school Spanish teacher and a college chemistry professor – both who would be news in these modern times for sexual harassment. Hey, I never said I was from the higher echelon of intelligence! But to trace back to the 1400s for professional persons influencing someone in modern times -- that is some achievement! All I can say is WOW!

The third and four queries were about the Sorensen Molecular Genealogy Foundation, http://www.smgf.org/, and Genealogia dynastyczna (Dynastic genealogy) an amateur web site in Polish and English which focuses on noble Polish aristocratic families, http://www.rdn.ac.uk/record/redirect/oai:rdn:humbul.ac.uk:10942. Deep databases like I said.

Some time in the future I plan a CIG presentation on the “Invisible Web,” “Search Engines,” and “Web Directories” -- what they are and how to use them for successful Internet research. If you think this would be of interest to you, please let me know via e-mail at study.chair@L-AGS.org. It is said there are billions of unindexed pages on the web that your “normal” search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, Alta Vista, All The Web, etc., never touch. Think of the possibilities this could add to your research!

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Upcoming Programs

Don’t forget to mark your calendars so you don't miss these exciting programs at our monthly General Meetings.

June 8, 2004

Member Sharing

L-AGS at the Alameda County Fair

Jon Bryan

Sign up volunteers for fair booth


July 13, 2004

Writing Your Life Story

Marge Stout


August 10, 2004

“Once Upon a Time” - Genealogical Storytelling

Cath Madden Trindle, CGRS

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By Diana Carey

Heraldry: all that which pertains to the office of herald, including the recording, granting, and regulation of armory as well as precedence, state ceremonial, tournaments, diplomacy, genealogy and pedigree, etc.

The early heralds (12th and 13th century) were originally free-lancers who specialized in the running and scoring of tournaments. Heralds were migratory, going from tournament to tournament and had an unsavory reputation in this period, rather like the ‘carnies’ of today.

Armor, the protective body suit worn by lords and knights participating in the tournaments, originated in the 12th century. As the tournaments of that time were free-for-all melees (much different from the later, more ‘civilized’ tournaments of the Tudor periods), the wearing of full face helmets came into vogue. This made it difficult to identify the combatants in the tournaments (and in the frequent wars). Great lords (and soon all knights) decorated their shields and surcoats (“coats of arms”) with their own distinctive designs – their “arms.”

Heralds became experts at identifying knights by their arms, that being part of their job, and they started recording the ‘arms’, developing armorials (a reference book or roll picturing or describing the various arms). Since heralds were familiar with arms they were consulted by knights wishing to assume arms. The herald could tell the knight if their desired design conflicted with that of another knight or lord.

By the fourteenth century, lords began hiring their own private heralds, who added to the lord’s prestige by announcing his name, titles and boasts as he entered the tournament field. The herald would be given a title derived from his employer’s titles, badges or mottoes. It became fashionable for the lords to have their heralds wear the lord’s coat of arms (a surcoat bearing the lord's design). By the fifteenth century the tabard (a piece of cloth that fits over the head and hangs loosely down front and back) replaced surcoats, and remains the distinctive uniform of their office to this day.

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Puzzle Solution

Which States Came First?

Here are the states in order of their admission to the Union. Delaware was first, on December 7, 1787; its license plate has the motto, “First State.” Then followed Pennsylvania on December 12, 1787.

Delaware 1787 Michigan 1837
Pennsylvania 1787 Florida 1845
New Jersey 1787 Texas 1845
Georgia 1788 Iowa 1846
Connecticut 1788 Wisconsin 1848
Massachusetts 1788 California 1850
Maryland 1788 Minnesota 1858
South Carolina 1788 Oregon 1859
New Hampshire 1788 Kansas 1861
Virginia 1788 West Virginia 1863
New York 1788 Nevada 1864
North Carolina 1789 Nebraska 1867
Rhode Island 1790 Colorado 1876
Vermont 1791 North Dakota 1889
Kentucky 1792 South Dakota 1889
Tennessee 1796 Montana 1889
Ohio 1803 Washington 1889
Louisiana 1812 Idaho 1890
Indiana 1816 Wyoming 1890
Mississippi 1817 Utah 1896
Illinois 1818 Oklahoma 1907
Alabama 1819 New Mexico 1912
Maine 1820 Arizona 1912
Missouri 1821 Alaska 1959
Arkansas 1836 Hawaii 1959

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Staff meeting

Livermore Roots Tracer Staff

Editor  Diana Carey
Proofreading Mildred Kirkwood
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

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

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Last modified 10 May 2004 vlr