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

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Spread your wings!

Are you stuck in a genealogical rut? Have you researched the Boston civil records until your head spins?
Sometimes it helps to look at your research from a slightly different angle.  Sort of like the way you can see objects in the dark better from the corner of your eye.  (It's something to do with rods and cones.)
What about looking for clues outside of your area of interest (hereafter known as your research bubble)?
My ancestors came from Ireland to Five Points in New York.   Now we know that the Irish and Chinese communities interacted here.  In fact we know there were a number of marriages between the groups.  (Surplus Irish lasses and Chinese men, you get the idea).  And Transfiguration Church, where Maggie and James married, is now in the heart of Chinatown.  Do you think it's possible that the Chinese museum there has information about life back then?  Or records?  Their first born child died there.  Who was the doctor?  Was there a hospital?

They left during the NY draft riots, which were in large part race riots between Irish and Black residents.  The center of the rioting was on their street, and a neighbor was killed.  Do you think I want to know a bit more about this history and the street where it happened?
Another example:  Some of my family came to Wisconsin, where they lived in a largely German community.  How did this affect their occupations?  Religious practices?  Marriage prospects?
You can see that we want to look at the people and places associated with our ancestors.  

But what if I don't HAVE any connection with the Poles of Warsaw?  Oddly enough, I can apply their research to the way I look at MY research.  No copyright infringement involved.
In the interest of spreading your wings, here are some active groups which may repay a virtual visit.  

San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society (SFBAJGS)
Transcriptions!  Events!  At least three former SMCGS speakers!

Sacramento German Genealogy Society (SGGS)

Even though SGGS is based in Sacramento, its over 800 members live in forty states of the United States, and in three foreign countries.  Magazine!  At least one former SMCGS speaker!

African American Genealogical Society of Northern California

For events see:

Also The San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society
The Society collects, preserves and uses archival and print resources depicting economic, political, cultural and religious life of San Francisco's African American community

Chinese Genealogical & Historical Organizations
A listing of URLs including Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.....where SMCGS went for a field trip!

Go figure.
Wow!  Archives.  Land records.  Extensive library

San Francisco Latino Historical Society
The San Francisco Latino Historical Society aims to document and preserve the Latino experience in San Francisco, California.  Resources for genealogists.

There are many more societies in the Bay Area.  Some are connected with museums, or churches, or libraries.  Additions resources may be found at:

Margaret Melaney 2020

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