USCIS Historian Will Speak about Immigration Records in Oakland in October

SFBAGS_logo_color-SmThe San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society is pleased to announce it has scheduled a presentation by Zack Wilske, Historian with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  The topic will be “Beyond Passenger Lists: Documenting 20th-century Immigrant Lives.”

Zack will use case studies to introduce researchers to a variety of historical federal immigration and naturalization records available through the USCIS Genealogy Program and from the National Archives.  Topics will include naturalization records, alien registration records, immigrant visa files, and other records documenting lives of Jewish immigrants during the first half of the twentieth century.  Researchers will see example files, hear tips on connecting the records to each other, and learn how to advance their immigration research beyond the basics.

Zack Wilske is Historian for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  His research interests include the history of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the development of federal immigration and nationality policies, and the uses of INS records for historians and genealogists.  He speaks regularly at academic and genealogy conferences and has published several articles on research with federal immigration and naturalization records.

Sunday, October 4, 2015, 3:00–5:00 p.m.
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA 94602

The talk is free, and everyone interested is welcome to attend.  For more information, visit or the SFBAJGS Facebook page at

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“We Are All Californians” Family History Day at the California Museum

We Are All Californians - Family History Day at the California MuseumThe California State Genealogical Alliance (CSGA) has been invited to participate in the “We Are All Californians” Family History Day, to be held on Saturday, July 18, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., at the California Museum in Sacramento. Admission and parking are free.

This event is for the entire family, and it would be great if our member societies shared their organization’s brochures at the CSGA table. Our goal for this event is to emphasize the importance of belonging to a genealogy society.

If you would like to share your society’s brochures, please contact Sheri Fenley, CSGA 2nd Vice President, as soon as possible. Sheri has some excellent ideas to help promote member societies and genealogy at this event!

Please visit the California Museum’s web site for more information about this event.

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Debbie Gurtler Lectures on Finding Hispanic Ancestors

Debbie GurtlerDebbie Gurtler will present two free lectures on resources and research techniques for finding your Hispanic ancestors from Spain, Mexico, or other Latin American countries on Saturday, July 11, 2015, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 2107 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, California, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00.p.m.

Debbie graduated with honors from Brigham Young University with a BA Degree in Family History. She worked for several research firms in Salt Lake City before beginning her present employment at the Family History Library, where she is currently the supervisor of the International Floor. She is fluent in Spanish and presents classes in both English and Spanish. Her areas of research specialty include Spain, Latin America, Brazil, Portugal and the United States. She is also familiar with the research basics for Quebec, France, and Italy. In addition to Spanish, her language expertise includes the ability to read documents in Portuguese, Italian, French, and Latin. She is an Accredited Genealogist® for the United States, Mid-south region and Spain. She is a commissioner on the board of ICAPGen where she serves as webmaster. She is the mother of three and the grandmother of three.

She also worked with a team of genealogists on the ancestry of Tim McGraw for the NBC program “Who Do You Think You Are,” and has taught various Hispanic research beginner and methodology classes at conferences and in the Family History Library in both Spanish and English.

Registration: 8:15am to 9:00am. Register here for FREE.

This lecture is co-sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society and the LDS Family History Center of Santa Barbara. You do not need to be a member to enjoy this wonderful, free presentation.

For information about this event, contact or visit

To find more genealogy events in California, please check the calendar on the CSGA Website.

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Join the CSGA Meeting via GoToMeeting

woman_computerIf you can’t make it to the SCGS Jamboree in person, but would still like to attend the CSGA meeting on Friday, you can can, from the comfort of your own home (and in your pagamas, if you prefer)!

Just log into GoToMeeting on your computer, tablet, smart device, or telephone:

Friday, Jun 5, 2015 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM PDT
(The meeting space will open at 11:45 AM)

Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
You can also dial in using your phone.
United States +1 (646) 749-3131
Access Code: 228-907-725

We hope to see you (virtually) there! :-)

Please note this service is limited to the first 25 attendees.

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CSGA Upcoming Meeting @ Jamboree

icon-jamboreeThe California State Genealogical Alliance will be holding it’s annual meeting at the upcoming Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree.

When: Friday, June 5, 2015
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Where: Burbank Marriott, Parlor 123

This meeting is open to everyone. Please bring your lunch and join us! Light refreshments will be provided.

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