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

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Virtual Research Strategy Sessions!

Can't wait to get back to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City?  Now the Family History Library will come to you!
The FHL volunteers are still on duty and ready to answer your questions.

Genealogical research strategy sessions are free, virtual meetings designed to provide you with research guidance, methodology, and next steps.
These are bookable sessions of 20 or 40 minutes with an expert in a variety of regions and topics.  Take a look at some of the choices:


For information and to sign up, go to

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

January is (apparently) Orphan Month in the Bay Area

I got a note this week from the genealogy librarian at Sutro, Dvorah Lewis. She noticed that there is "a bit of a theme this month" about orphans, with the SMCGS talk, her talk at Sutro, and Judy Russell's talk on "widows and orphans" for the Sonoma County Genealogical Society.

Must be the cold weather which makes us think about orphans:

Saturday, January 16th Sonoma County Genealogical Society. Judy Russell on "Dowered or Bound Out: Records of Widows and Orphans" Do you know who was considered an orphan in early years? You'd be surprised. Register at

Thursday, January 21st at 3PM "Finding your Orphan Ancestors" with the Sutro Genealogy Librarian Dvorah Lewis where she will talk about her own journey and provide tips for researching orphan ancestors. Sponsored by the Sonoma County Library.
See all the Sutro Library listings at:

AND see a link to Dvorah's own case study on the Sutro site at

Saturday, January 23 10:30 San Mateo County Genealogical Society
Children Left Behind    Presenter: Judy Fambrough Billingsley
Judy was born in Friedberg, Germany, shortly after WWII and was the daughter of a white German woman and a black American soldier, whose mixed race led to her becoming one of many unwanted “Brown Babies” abandoned by their mother. Her book Too Brown to Keep: A Search for Love, Forgiveness, and Healing recounts the inspirational odyssey as the search for her birth parents leads to discovery of the good, the bad, and the ugly family secrets that she had struggled to unearth for decades.

Check out the Bay Area Genealogy Calendar for more events at Sutro and beyond.