EventsSFBAJGS - Calendar of Genealogical Events


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 1pm, Program begins 1:30pm
Rhoda Goldman Plaza Map
2180 Post Street, San Francisco 94115
Parking Information: Rhoda Goldman Plaza has a private, locked garage on Sutter, between Pierce and Scott.  It is in the middle of the block and large writing on the building says "Parking for Rhoda Goldman Plaza".  Pull up to the gate, press the RGP button on the box on the driver's side, say you are there for the genealogy society meeting, and the gate will be opened.  Then drive down the ramp to RGP's visitor parking.  Take the RGP elevator to the first floor, then make a right and a quick left turn, and walk down the hallway to the lobby.  There you register and the front desk staff will direct you to the Olive Room on the same floor.
 
Topic:
20th Century Immigration and Naturalization Records
Speaker:
Marisa Louie

The National Archives maintains a wealth of records relating to immigration and naturalization in the 20th century. This includes more than 400,000 Alien Case Files or "A-Files" at its facilities in San Francisco, California and Kansas City, Missouri. Created beginning in 1944, these files relate to noncitizen alien residents of the United States and are a potential wealth of genealogical information. At this presentation, you'll discover more about what's in A-Files, who is documented in them, and how to find them at the National Archives. We’ll also explore other unique records relating to naturalization and the stories of Jewish refugees detained at Angel Island Immigration Station.

Marisa Louie is an avid researcher and genealogist who specializes in federal records. She formerly worked as an archivist at the National Archives at San Francisco and is co-author of the article "The A-Files: Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors", published in the Spring 2013 issue of Prologue magazine. She is knowledgeable about the A-Files and other types of immigration case files maintained by the National Archives, having served as a research assistant for the book Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America. A fifth-generation Chinese American, Marisa first delved into federal records as a college sophomore researching her own family's history in the United States. She holds a B.A. in American Studies and Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and is a past participant in the "In Search of Roots" program.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
Bring Your Own Brick Wall
Speaker:
Panel of experienced SFBAJGS researchers

Stuck on a genealogy problem while the Mavens are on summer hiatus? Bring your problems, questions and documents (copies, please, no originals), and a panel of experienced researchers will provide information and suggestions that will show your next steps and may help you solve some family mysteries.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 7pm, Program begins 7:30pm
Congregation Beth Am Rm. 5/6
26790 Arastradero Road
Los Altos Hills, CA
Map
 
Topic:
JRI-Poland: Go for the Record!
Speaker:
Robinn Magid

Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (http://www.jri-poland.org) has the motto "Go for the Record!", and its day has truly arrived. Now you can not only search its online index of approximately 5 million Jewish vital records housed in Poland today, but in many cases, it's possible to click a button, view, and even download your ancestors' vital records without charge. JRI-Poland makes genealogy dreams come true, and this presentation will show you what may be possible for your family from Poland, Galicia/Ukraine, and even Belarus and Lithuania if your ancestors' vital records survive in Polish archives today.

Robinn Magid is a long-time member of the SFBAJGS, a board member of JRI-Poland, and a compulsive genealogist since her retirement from Management Consulting with an international CPA firm in 1991. In 2001 she realized her childhood dream of visiting Poland and “walking a mile in her grandmother’s moccasins.” She has four children, a loving husband, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA. Her family genealogy research includes tracing Jews in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Galicia.


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 1pm, Program begins 1:30pm
Rhoda Goldman Plaza Map
2180 Post Street, San Francisco 94115
Parking Information: Rhoda Goldman Plaza has a private, locked garage on Sutter, between Pierce and Scott.  It is in the middle of the block and large writing on the building says "Parking for Rhoda Goldman Plaza".  Pull up to the gate, press the RGP button on the box on the driver's side, say you are there for the genealogy society meeting, and the gate will be opened.  Then drive down the ramp to RGP's visitor parking.  Take the RGP elevator to the first floor, then make a right and a quick left turn, and walk down the hallway to the lobby.  There you register and the front desk staff will direct you to the Olive Room on the same floor.
 
Topic:
Researching Your Litvak Roots
Speaker:
Judy Baston

Numerous sources exist online and in various repositories for researching your Litvak heritage. Judy Baston will offer an overview of these sources and will detail the best ways to use key Litvak databases and websites to enhance your knowledge and expand your family tree. The presentation will include how to find out what records are available, how to read and understand search results, where the records are, and how best to access the information in them. The presentation will cover LitvakSIG and its All Lithuania Database, as well as numerous resources from JewishGen, Yad Vashem, and other sources.

Judy Baston, Vice President of LitvakSIG, has been researching her family history from Lithuania and Poland for more than 25 years. She has visited her ancestral shtetls in Lithuania, Poland, and Belarus and was involved in the filming of “There Once Was a Town”, about her father’s town of Eishishok (now Eisiskes in Lithuania). She moderates the discussion groups of LitvakSIG, JRI-Poland, BialyGen, and the Lodz Area Research Group and serves on the Board of Directors of JRI-Poland and of LitvakSIG, for which she coordinates the Lida District Research Group. She has been involved with the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco for 22 years and coordinates the Brainstorming with the Mavens Genealogy Clinic at the Library.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Extra Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
3 to 5pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
Beyond Passenger Lists: Documenting 20th-century Immigrant Lives
Speaker:
Zack Wilske, USCIS

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Historian Zack Wilske will use case studies to introduce researchers to a variety of historical federal immigration and naturalization records available through the USCIS Genealogy Program and from the National Archives. Topics will include naturalization records, alien registration records, immigrant visa files, and other records documenting lives of Jewish immigrants during the first half of the twentieth century. Researchers will see example files, hear tips on connecting the records to each other, and learn how to advance their immigration research beyond the basics.

Zack Wilske is Historian for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). His research interests include the history of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the development of federal immigration and nationality policies, and the uses of INS records for historians and genealogists. He speaks regularly at academic and genealogy conferences and has published several articles on research with federal immigration and naturalization records.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 12:30pm, Program begins 1pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
JRI-Poland: Go for the Record!
Speaker:
Robinn Magid

Jewish Records Indexing-Poland (http://www.jri-poland.org) has the motto "Go for the Record!", and its day has truly arrived. Now you can not only search its online index of approximately 5 million Jewish vital records housed in Poland today, but in many cases, it's possible to click a button, view, and even download your ancestors' vital records without charge. JRI-Poland makes genealogy dreams come true, and this presentation will show you what may be possible for your family from Poland, Galicia/Ukraine, and even Belarus and Lithuania if your ancestors' vital records survive in Polish archives today.

Robinn Magid is a long-time member of the SFBAJGS, a board member of JRI-Poland, and a compulsive genealogist since her retirement from Management Consulting with an international CPA firm in 1991. In 2001 she realized her childhood dream of visiting Poland and “walking a mile in her grandmother’s moccasins.” She has four children, a loving husband, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA. Her family genealogy research includes tracing Jews in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Galicia.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 7pm, Program begins 7:30pm
Congregation Beth Am Rm. 5/6
26790 Arastradero Road
Los Altos Hills, CA
Map
 
Topic:
Chasing Portraits:  A Great-granddaughter’s Search for Her Lost Art Legacy
Speaker:
Elizabeth Rynecki

Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943) painted the Polish-Jewish community in the 1920's and 1930's. Although he perished in the Holocaust, many of his 800 works survived, and the Rynecki family has about 100. The artist’s great-granddaughter will speak about her great-grandfather, her quest to find the missing pieces, and where the family’s story rests within the larger story of Holocaust art restitution. Read more.

Elizabeth Rynecki attended Bates College ('91), where she studied Rhetoric, and received a Master's degree in Rhetoric and Speech Communication at U.C. Davis ('94), where her graduate work focused on children of Holocaust survivors and the voice and role of the second generation within Holocaust discourse. Elizabeth is passionate about sharing her great-grandfather’s paintings with others and searching for the lost and missing pieces from the original collection.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Extra Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and anyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
6:30 to 8:30pm
Oakland FamilySearch Library
4766 Lincoln Avenue
Oakland, CA
Directions and Map
 
Topic:
Online Resources for Jewish Genealogy
Speaker:
Janice M. Sellers

Researching Jewish ancestry is in many respects like researching any other family history, but in addition some specialized online sources are unique to Jewish research. Learn about the most useful of these sites and what information you can expect to find.

Janice M. Sellers is a professional genealogist specializing in Jewish, forensic, and newspaper research. She edits three genealogy journals and serves on the boards of San Francisco Bay Area Jewish Genealogical Society, African American Genealogical Society of Northern California, and CSGA. She is also a member of Association of Professional Genealogists, Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy, Genealogical Speakers Guild, California Genealogical Society, and Gesher Galicia. Her Web site is http://www.ancestraldiscoveries.com/.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Membership Meeting

Meetings are free and everyone interested is welcome.
Time and Place:
Doors open 1pm, Program begins 1:30pm
Rhoda Goldman Plaza Map
2180 Post Street, San Francisco 94115
Parking Information: Rhoda Goldman Plaza has a private, locked garage on Sutter, between Pierce and Scott.  It is in the middle of the block and large writing on the building says "Parking for Rhoda Goldman Plaza".  Pull up to the gate, press the RGP button on the box on the driver's side, say you are there for the genealogy society meeting, and the gate will be opened.  Then drive down the ramp to RGP's visitor parking.  Take the RGP elevator to the first floor, then make a right and a quick left turn, and walk down the hallway to the lobby.  There you register and the front desk staff will direct you to the Olive Room on the same floor.
 
Topic:
San Francisco's Own Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico
Speaker:
Joseph Amster

A Jewish businessman originally from England and South Africa, Joshua Abraham Norton arrived in San Francisco in 1849 with $40,000, which after some shrewd investing increased to $250,000 (about $3 million today). After losing his fortune to a bad rice investment, Norton disappeared, returning to San Francisco in 1859 and declaring himself Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. In any other city, he would have been dismissed as a madman, but the people of San Francisco embraced his reign. He ate for free in restaurants and had the best seats in the theater, the police saluted him, and he even printed his own money, which was accepted as legal tender throughout the city. He issued numerous proclamations, calling for a bridge to be built across San Francisco Bay—in the exact spot where the Bay Bridge stands today. Other proclamations called for the founding of a league of nations to promote world peace, and the United Nations was founded in San Francisco in 1945; the erection of a Christmas tree in Union Square, where one has stood ever since he called for it; and banning use of the word "Frisco", punishable by a $25 fine. When he died on January 8, 1880, he was given the biggest funeral the city has seen to this day.

Amster, a displaced journalist with an acting background, wanted to create a walking tour with a twist, offering his patrons a unique experience. “I decided early on that I wanted to do my tour in character and researched the historical figures from San Francisco’s past,” says Amster. “The more I read about Emperor Norton, the more fascinated I became with him.” After completing his research, Amster took on the character of Emperor Norton, complete with uniform, beard, and plumed top hat. He now offers his tour to anyone with an interest in history (http://www.emperornortontour.com).


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