San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Surplus genealogy books?

Surplus genealogy books? 
Here's what to do with them.

You may have a few old books laying around your house that you just hate to part with.  But you want to clear out.  Your spouse wants you to clear out.  What to do?  We’re here to help

Dick Eastman recently ran a column titled: “Why the Library (Usually) Doesn’t Want Your Used Books”  

But if the library doesn't want them, who does?
Allen County Library will take private collections.  This includes family Bibles (with records) and privately published papers.  It does NOT include how-to books from 1960.
The Family History Library will take similar records, and prefers them in digital format.  They will digitize any papers you send.
The NEHGS accepts printed or electronic submissions of family paper and documents.  They do not need to be New England collections, but query first.  BTW – when they say they do not accept permanent deposits, this means something else.  They’ll keep it.

Try the local historical or genealogical society:  Obviously, if the material relates to a certain area, you’ll want to query the local society.  Google is a good place to start, or   

Locally in San Mateo County we have a few places to take books:

SMCGS, of course.  If you have current books or periodicals of interest to genealogists, please consider donating them to our seminar book sales.  They may be dropped off the day before the seminar.  Contact for more information.

Friends of the Palo Alto Library accepts almost any type of book.  But they don’t accept periodicals or loose papers.  And PLEASE don’t give them your old Everton’s genealogy indexes or anything out of date.  Last time I checked they had an entire shelf of outdated genealogy books which should be tossed (hello Janette).

Friends of the Menlo Park Library also accepts books, but be aware that they toss many donations.  Books may be dropped at the back door. 
Encore Books on the Square, which supports the San Mateo County History Museum also accepts books.

Recycle.  Yes, you can recycle old genealogy information. In our area, Stanford Recycling is the only place I know of which accepts hard bound books.

CAVEAT!  Before recycling any book, check to make sure it's available somewhere in both physical and digital formats.  Places to look are and
Bottom line:  Get it somewhere that it can be used, and if it can't be used, you have my permission to TOSS IT!

Monday, February 3, 2020

More February Events: Chinese Exclusion Act and Italian Genealogy

Saturday, February 29 at 1 p.m.: Chinese Exclusion Act 
Jennie Lew, the producer/director of Separate Lives, Broken Dreams, an Emmy award-winning documentary, will be the presenter. This is part of their "Court Docket" series.

Saturday, February 29 at 1 p.m.
Geneology 2.1.20.jpg

Thursday, January 30, 2020

February Events

     Sat, Feb 22, 2020 10:30 am–12:00 pm, Free
Titanic Connections
 Exploring the Legend and Genealogy
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, entrance in back. 

 Sheryl Rinkol

Come aboard and discover the history of the Titanic from design through on-board life to disaster. The genealogy of Titanic descendants, both victims and survivors, will be highlighted including the modern-day genealogy center in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Titanic collectibles will be displayed.

Sheryl Rinkol is a 35-year Titanic enthusiast, both a researcher and lecturer on the topic. She is the author of the book Titanic Today which will be available at the meeting.

               Everyone is welcome at SMCGS events.  Meetings are free 

US Land Records in Public Land States
Presenter: Martha Wallace
Thursday, February 13, 2020   2:30pm - 4:00 pm
Cañada College Library Computer Lab, 4200 Farm Hill Blvd, San Mateo.
SMCGS Members $5, Non-members $10. Free for Cañada College students, faculty, and staff.


Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group

Next Meeting: February 8, 2020, 9am-11:30am
Meeting location: 875 Quince Ave, Santa Clara, CA

  • Beginning Irish Research
  • DNA Painter
  • Reunion - Correcting Mistakes, Using the Clipboard

                 Santa Clara County Historical & Genealogical Society
General Meeting: “Find the Records, Tell the Story”

Victoria Kinnear
Tuesday, February 18, 6:45 - 8:30 pm
Light refreshments will be served 6:30 pm
Santa Clara Central Park Library (map) 
Sonoma County Genealogical Society Presents: 

~Judy G. Russell—The Legal Genealogist~ 
Saturday, April 18th, 2020 - 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.
Scheduled Lectures 
  • Dowered or Bound Out: Records of Widows and Orphans
  • NARA Myth-Busters: Your Family IS in the Archives 
  • Through the Golden Door: Immigration After the Civil War 
  • After the Courthouse Burns: Rekindling Family History through DNA

For More Information or To Register Online:

Save the Date
Saturday 2 May 2020

Lisa Louise Cooke is a world-class genealogy speaker, and the producer and host of The Genealogy Gems Podcast and the Genealogy Gems app. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on the topics for the SMCGS Spring Seminar 2020.

Ticket sales open on February 15, 2020