Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Genies Are Making Genealogical Magic Happen Right Here in Santa Barbara

Let 'genie buddies' at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society show you the way to your past. 
Genies are making magic happen right here in Santa Barbara. These genies don’t live in a lamp. In fact, they have a spacious, well-lit and inviting work area they call the Sahyun Genealogical Library at 316 Castillo St. click here for full story

Friday, April 13, 2012

After 72 years, 1940 Census released: Genealogical society mining data for local gems

Item in the Santa Barbara Newspress........

By CAROLYN BOLTON news-press staff writer

April 5, 2012 6:15 AM

A rule keeping its most personal information a secret for 72 years having passed, the 1940 U.S. Census is now available to the public.

The data was made available Monday and people with an eye toward yesterday are mining it, to see what secrets it might reveal.

Among the organizations ready to help everyone dig deeper is the nonprofit Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society, which will host 1940 Census open houses later this month at its Sahyun Library, 316 Castillo St. in Santa Barbara.

General information from the 1940 Census, including total population, marital status and top industries has long been available. But privacy concerns spurred the 72-year waiting period for release of the manuscript census - individual forms filled out at the time.  to continue reading 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Cieneguitas Cemetery, burial site of many Civil War Veterans of Company C, Native California Battalion from Santa Barbara

On Saturday, March 31,2012, local history buffs and preservationists from around Santa Barbara County teamed up with the Civil War Preservation Trust to help clean and restore Cieneguitas Cemetery on Hollister Avenue as part of Civil War Preservation Trust's Park Day. Some of the weeds at the cemetery had already
been cut by the Catholic church’s annual mowing operation, and the volunteers did additional maintenance, mowing, hoeing, raking and bagging. Joining in the Park Day cleanup were members of the Sons of Union Veterans--Sherman Camp 28, Santa Barbara Civil War Roundtable members, Daughters of Union Veterans --Laura Belle Stoddard Tent #22 members, Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society members, and particularly the E.Clampus Vitus members, who were responsible for having resurrected the site several years ago.
The Cieneguitas Cemetery is the burial site of many Civil War Veterans of Company C, Native California Battalion from Santa Barbara. The cemetery was closed with the last burial that occurred in 1896 when the new Calvary Cemetery on Hope Avenue opened.

For more information check our website 

Photo credit: Sue Cook 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring is Genealogy Seminar Time

While trees are budding and blooming all over the south coast, the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society will present our Annual Spring Genealogy Seminar aimed at solving your genealogy mysteries. For those who would like to find the answers to their family history questions this seminar is a must attend event.  Titled “Solve Your Genealogy Mysteries – Think Like a Detective” and geared to beginners and experts alike, it promises to help researchers discover and organize the hidden clues and evidence hiding in their family tree.

This year’s Annual Spring Seminar takes place on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at the Goleta Valley Presbyterian Church, 6067 Shirrell Way, Goleta CA.  Doors open at 7:45am and the program starts at 9:00am.

The seminar features nationally known lecturer and creator of “Casefile Clues”, Michael John Neill, who will present four mystery solving topics including:

Elementary My Dear Watson – Problem solving for Genealogists utilizing George Polya’s problem solving process.

Cold Case File – Learn how to deal with hitting the “brick wall”.

The Unwritten Laws – Learn how to view the unwritten reasons underlying the existence of many commonly used documents.

Using the Crime Board – How to organize your genealogy searches CSI style.

An additional track focusing on beginning genealogy is also available including:

            The Investigation Starts Here and Data Detectives – Beginning Computer Knowledge for Genealogists

Cost for this fun and exciting seminar is only $30 for members and $40 for non-members in advance ($35 and $45 respectively after April 16). You are encouraged to make your reservations early!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The 1940 US Census is Here and There I Am!

On April 2 at 6 a.m., three devoted SBCGS members arrived at the Sahyun Library to watch the launch of the 1940 Census. More members began arriving thereafter until there were 20 members, all waiting impatiently for the images to appear. Ancestry.com led the race to get the first 5 states' images online.  Jim and Cari were the first to find themselves and other relatives with much hollering and celebration. 

By late evening, five states were ready for indexing from FamilySearch. 1940census.archives.gov had unexpected technical difficulties and is working on the problem as of April 3. 

Over 30 indexers in the SBCGS Project group are anticipating being able to begin indexing Santa Barbara County, if the batches are listed by county.  Otherwise, we will be indexing whichever batch is downloaded for indexing. 

An earlier message from FamilySearch told indexers, "The digital images for the 1940 US Census are larger and of higher quality than typical FamilySearch indexing images. Consequently, downloading batches may take longer than usual."


Wednesday, March 14, 2012


1940 Census Indexing Project for Santa Barbara County

As soon as the images are ready for Santa Barbara County, members and others will be able to join our project the Society has adopted for indexing all 70,555 residents of Santa Barbara County.

But first, those who have not indexed before using the FamilySearch.org indexing program software are encouraged to download the indexing program at Getting Started Try indexing some other projects so you will become familiar with the process.  It is really quite easy.  One batch to index will consist of around 40 lines (one census sheet).  This can be done at your convenience at home any time of the day or night in your jammies. Indexing can be done at the Sahyun Library. You can index as many batches as you wishone or many, it all helps.

Our Society goal will be to finish before other counties and other societies.  We may have local Society contests for the fastest indexer or the indexer who indexes the most batches or names. 

Instruction for those who need it will be available the last week in March at the Sahyun Library.  Contact Dorothy Oksner, the administrator for the Society project, with your enthusiasm and support. 

NARA video of the importance of the 1940 census

A general overview of the 1940 census as the "permanent inventory of the nation," this film emphasizes the responsibility of all citizens to participate. It reviews the three main parts of the census, including the population, agriculture, and housing schedules, and delves into the background of the census and the reasons behind the questions. The duties of the enumerators are also reviewed, highlighting the three major principles of accuracy, complete coverage, and confidential answers.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Backing up your genealogy data

Dick Eastman writes a blog about genealogy with a focus on technology. He posts excellent reviews of equipment and software related to genealogy. He also posts a reminder each month about the importance of backing up your data that you worked so hard to accumulate. We thought we'd share  his monthly reminder. Hope you find this information useful, please post your comments.

Dick Eastman's Blog

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Conejo Valley Genealogists on Field trip to the Sahyun Genealogical Library

A group of genealogists from  the Goebel Center Genealogy Group from Conejo Valley brought 31 individuals on a Research Field trip to the Sahyun Library last Wednesday, Feb.29th.  (also one very young researcher - Baby Aurora)  Her mother, Kathy Wittes organized the trip and worked with our own Marsha Martin to plan the day. 

They were at the library by 9:30 am and stayed until 3:00 closing.  What a wonderful sight to see practically every chair in the main room filled with researchers!  They utilized every room we had and availed them selves of all of our resources including the computers, scanners, our book collection, the Surname and Locality files and especially loved the CD collection. Even the Patio tables and chairs were utilized for a quick snack and lunch.
Working with Marsha to assist our visitors were Kristin Ingalls, Dorothy Oksner, Diane Sylvester and Kathie Morgan.  President Mary Hall stopped by to do some finance work and ended up staying to help with the group as well. 
All in attendance were just amazed at our "new" facility.  The individuals who had been here previously just could not believe the amazing transformation.  Also Bill Hurley a researcher with this group shared with us the results of some research he has been doing concerning Revolutionary military men that were from Weymouth, Mass.  He has left some materials that will be available for us to review including pictures of A monument in Weymouth erected to members of the military that served in all wars.  The visitors were thrilled with their visit and the group made a very generous contribution to our library.   They  are already looking forward to their next field trip here!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

California State Genealogical Alliance Holds Board Meeting in Santa Barbara

Last weekend the CSGA held their annual board meeting here in Santa Barbara, the group met at the Sahyun Genealogical Library in the newly remodeled Jackson Community Room.

As part of their annual session they put on a free seminar on Saturday.The seminar was generously hosted by the Church of Latter Day Saints in Santa Barbara.

The four presentations were well attended and enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Researching the World

Researching the World, this is our tag line, but what does it mean?  Well, it means that the 20,000+ books, periodicals, maps, microfiche and CDs at the Sahyun Genealogical Library consist of resources to help you research most anywhere in the world.

All 50 states are represented, many counties of each state and then cities. As for the world we have a tremendous collection of books and CDs on Irish genealogy, we have the series collection of Germans to America.  Search our card catalog online and find 50 books on Italian genealogy and another 400 on Irish genealogy.  Type in map and you get 725 results, Mayflower and you get 425.

British, French, Swedish, French, Polish and on and on..........

Vital records, military records, census records, yearbooks, family histories and let's not forget Santa Barbara resources, death records, cemetery records, city directories, local school yearbooks.

This is by no means a complete list of all that is available at our extraordinary Sahyun Genealogical Library so please come visit us at 316 Castillo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Sahyun Genealogical Library

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our Italian Ancestors

SBCGS newest Special Interest Group (SIG) Researching our Italian Ancestors met today for the first time. We had an enthusiastic turn out. We exchanged introductions and locations in Italy where our families came from.  We plan to meet each month prior to the general meeting at 9:30 am the 3rd Saturday of the month.

If you have an interest in Italian research please join us next month. Spread the word!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Here comes the 1940 Census!

The 1940 Census was featured at the S.B. Genealogical Society monthly meeting, Saturday January 28. 

Joel Weintraub is an emeritus biology professor at California State University, Fullerton, and has won awards for his science teaching. He became interested in genealogy about 12 years ago, and volunteered for nine years at the National Archives and Records Administration in southern California. Joel started transcribing streets within census districts in 2001 to help researchers search the 1930 U.S. Census and has, along with David Kehs and Stephen Morse produced a number of online census searching utilities for both the federal and the New York State censuses on the Morse One Step Website. Joel has been working on finder aids for the 1940 census since 2005.

Joel presented 2 talks, the first explaining what we can expect to learn from the 1940 census and the second on how to use SteveMorse.org  One Step process.

Join SBCGS members on April 2, 2012 at the Sahyun to be the first to view the release of the 1940 census.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

To all our subscribers and followers a Very
Happy New Year.

Speaking of the New Year, Mike Spathaky has an article on Old Style and New Style Dates and the Change to the Gregorian Calendar: A Summary for Genealogists. He explains the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar and the history of when the first day of the year began in various areas of Europe, some as early as 1522.  Before 1752, not all areas considered January 1 the first day of the year, in fact it could have been on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, as the first day of the new year in. Read more at http://www.cree.name/genuki/dates.htm for a very thorough explanation.  See you at the Sahyun!

Steve Morse has devised a way for you to find your people on the 1940 Census. Obtaining EDs for the 1940 Census in One Step (large cities and some smaller ones):   http://stevemorse.org/census/ .