Monday, October 31, 2011

Cemetery Clean Up

Genealogists love cemeteries! We love to walk around them and read the inscriptions. We love to find our ancestors. We enjoy taking photos of markers for people out of town. We even like to clean up old cemeteries.
 Recently a couple of us spent several hours doing just that. We pulled weeds; we raked leaves and generally made a small, little known burial area clean and presentable.
 The burial ground is the Santa Barbara County Hospital Cemetery; sometimes know as Potter's Field. You can read more about it on our website and click on County Hospital Cemetery Register.
 There is also a book compiled by one of our society members, Michel Nellis, detailing the history and genealogy of the 100 or so souls buried there.  Visit the Sahyun Library to view the book.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Family History Month Open House at the Sahyun

The Sahyun Open House
Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23, the Sahyun Library was open to the public.  Several classes were held attracting non-members as well as members. There were beginner classes on Saturday and Sunday with Cari Thomas, and  a class on Sunday called, "The Road Less Traveled," taught by Bonnie Raskin, on finding those elusive ancestors.

The scanning booth was open for the public to bring their documents and photos to be scanned by Rosa Avolio and Dorothy Oksner. Flash drives were available for purchase to store those photos on to take home.

The next classes during the month of October will be conducted on:
1.  October 25, 10-12 noon.  Ancestry's MyCanvas. Learn how to produce a genealogy book using MyCanvas. Bring a laptop and try it. Instructor - Diane Sylvester. Prior registration is required to determine classroom set up.

2.  October 26 2-3 PM. Castle Garden: History and Research. Predecessor to Ellis Island. Learn about the history and how to research your family using the Castle Garden website. Instructor - Bob Lynn. Prior registration is required to determine classroom set up and handouts.

3. October 27, 1-3 PM. Introduction to the New Computer Lab with Emphasis on Ancestry Library Edition (no longer available at the Public Library). Learn to navigate the Library Edition where answers await everyone inside more than 7000 available databases like censuses, vital records, immigration records, military records, court and legal documents, photos, maps, and much more. Instructor - Rosa Avolio.

Contact for more information on classes and events.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lompoc Valley Historical Society to Digitize Old Newspapers

October 6, 2011 on Page A5:

The Lompoc Valley Historical Society wants to make sure future generations have access to newspapers of the city's past. The society is now trying to raise $7,200 to microfilm and digitize some 9,400 pages of century-old newspapers -- some published only 20 years after the city incorporated in 1888.
One newspaper was known as The Lompoc Journal, or People's Journal, and was published 1908-18, according to Karen Paaske, the society's president. The other paper is the Lompoc Review, published 1919-21.
Microfilming will make them available to patrons of the library before they disintegrate, Ms. Paaske said.
"They are the only ones in existence, so far as we know, and are deteriorating with use and age," said Myra Manfrina, a Lompoc historian. "If they were microfilmed, the public could be free to use them for research, while the original papers could be put aside to be preserved."
The microfilm cost is $4,500. The society would also like to raise $2,700 to digitize the volumes of papers.
Once that is done, the California Digital Newspaper Collection, based at the University of California at Riverside, will add the papers -- free of charge -- to its searchable online collection. That collection is searchable through the collection's website,, and the Library of Congress.
Donations are tax deductible and may be sent to the Lompoc Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 88, Lompoc 93438. For more information, email or call 735-4626.