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. 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. 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."