Category Archives: Other

CGSL is Calling All Writers

The California Genealogical Society invites writers to submit articles to be considered for publication in our magazine, The California Nugget. The Nugget is published twice yearly, in spring and fall. We carry a wide variety of genealogical articles by both amateur and professional genealogists.

Articles usually fall into one of three categories: the story of a California ancestor; longer feature articles involving genealogical research; and methodology (DNA, skill-building, research tips), or about a particular archive or repository. Except for articles on methodology, the submissions should have some connection with California history or genealogy. We accept items as short as 750 words or up to several thousand words, depending on the subject.

Complete submission guidelines can be found under the “Publications” tab at our website, www.californiaancestors.org.

Articles may be submitted by email to: nugget@californiaancestors.org

For questions, please email the editors at  nugget@californiaancestors.org

DNA Discussions – zoom at noon on Wednesday – May 4th

MoCoGenSo’s DNA Discussion Group will be meeting Wednesday with an open forum. Join us via Zoom. Feel free to drop in for conversation and stay for lunch.

Check out this great page full of information for newcomers to genetic genealogy isogg.org/wiki/Wiki_Welcome_Page

This meeting will start with discussions about our latest finds. Then we will move on to questions and discussions.

Click to Join Meeting: Zoom Link

Meeting ID: 897 1823 5118
Passcode: 738495


Reviewing the book Research Like A Pro With DNA

Learning how to use DNA with genealogy can be difficult. We have found that trial and error can be costly and time consuming. Finding a good book can quite often help speed up our learning process. Our DNA Discussion Group has found a book that many of us have found useful. But not everyone in the group has bought the book, so we have decided to review it, one chapter at a time. This week we will review chapter 8, the one about Tools and Methodology!

To see my earlier review of Research Like A Pro With DNA, Click Here

Join us Wednesday at the DNA Discussion Group to also hear about Nathan Dylan Goodwin’s latest book about mysteries solved with forensic genealogy titled The Foundlings . I bought the book and attended the webinar with Diahan Southard and Mr Goodwin as they discussed the methods used in the book! The following snippet is from Diahan Southard’s webinar.


  • Puzzles of life:
  • Why is it when we put French bread in the toaster we don’t get French toast ?
  • Why does Hawaii have an interstate ?
  • Why do the Flintstones celebrate Christmas ?
  • Why are nickels bigger than dimes ?
  • Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard ?
  • Why do people say tuna fish but don’t say beef mammal or chicken bird ?
  • Why do mirrors reflect sideways but not upside down ?


Monthly Meeting – May 5, 2022 – “Local History and Creativity in Your Research and Story-Telling” by Mary Smathers

When twenty-something Nicole Sinclair stumbles on DNA reports that document an ancestry far different from her father’s narrative of a white, northern European background, she enlists the help of her great grandmother to investigate their roots. As they search, their true Californio ancestors come to life. They include a Spanish soldier in the Portola expedition to explore Alta California, a captured Ohlone native and a girl whose family walks with the De Anza settlers eighteen hundred miles from Sinaloa to the San Francisco Bay. In This Land of Plenty’s family saga introduces the diverse cast of characters and complex social issues that populate California’s rich history while drawing a direct line to today’s residents.

Come listen to Mary as she tells us how to write your own family’s story using her book IN THIS LAND OF PLENTY as an example.

Mary Smathers grew up in Los Altos, California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Latin American Studies. She earned a Master’s degree in Education and another MA in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. From 1983 to 2013, she worked in public schools throughout California as a high school teacher, administrator, teacher trainer, grant writer and educational entrepreneur. Since then, she has focused on writing, publishing a collection of short stories and the award winning In This Land of Plenty, a family saga based on California history. She recently published her first children’s book, the first in a bilingual series featuring jungle and ocean animals. She divides her time between the Monterey Peninsula and Costa Rica.

The Zoom meeting will start at 7:00 pm sharp. Zoom meeting details will be sent by invitation only. If you are not a member and wish to attend, send an email with your email address to our Membership VP, Marilyn Ruccello.

For additional information, call (831) 915-9465.

If you are not familiar with Zoom, click here.


”Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein


Watch “1950 Census | Weekly Update with The Barefoot Genealogist | Week 1”

Crista Cowan, The Barefoot Genealogist, is doing a weekly YouTube presentation for Ancestry on the progress they are making towards indexing the 1950 Census. They are releasing the indexes for Delaware, Wyoming, Vermont and American Samoa this Thursday and Friday. You can watch the video and then subscribe to the Ancestry YouTube site for weekly updates.

If you go to Family Search, you can help correct the AI generated indices for your state and get it released faster! 😊

As a reminder, MyHeritage and the National Archives also has these records.

1950 Census and AI

I am amazed — the Artificial Intelligence extraction of names from the 1950 census is really working!!! Already !!! Go to the National Archives at https://1950census.archives.gov/ and get into the 1950 census search page at https://1950census.archives.gov/search/?page=1&state=IA and put in your state, county, AND try a name search. It is working already for most!!

One hint, I wasted an hour trying to find the correct pages for my home town. I followed instructions and put in State and the County. It just would NOT find my address. Finally, I put in City first, and then it came up correctly!! Someone made a typo for my city, it is Waterloo, Black Hawk instead of Black Hawk, Waterloo.

The National Archives is open, working, and FREE !!


BTW, if you want to correct some of the data, select the “Help Us Transcribe Names” tab above the image and then check your SPAM folder if the security code does not quickly appear.

1950 Census

By law, census records are sealed from public view for 72 years. The US census has been taken every ten years starting in 1790. When the 1950 census is released Friday, it will not have a name index. So finding people in the census will involve searching by location instead. Even when a name index becomes available, there will still be many reasons for doing locational searches.

The census is organized by Enumeration Districts (EDs), so the location needs to be converted to an ED before the census can be accessed. The One-Step website (https://stevemorse.org) contains numerous tools for obtaining EDs.

The census day for the 1950 census was April 1, 1950. That doesn’t mean that the census taker knocked on the door on April 1 and took down the information. He might have come anytime during the month of April. But the questions he asked pertained to April 1.

Ancestry. com has lots of interesting information about the 1950 census. See https://www.ancestry.com/lp/family-history/1950-census. For example,

“The 1950 Census also included supplemental questions. On each census page, the fourth person and then every subsequent fifth person was asked supplemental questions—for a total of six people per page. This means that for households with five or more members, presumably someone would get the additional questions.”

For many people, including myself, this will be the first time they should appear in a census. There were 151,325,798 people counted that year. I wonder how many of that group are still living, are genealogists and are looking for themselves…

Roberta Estes explains lots on her blog, see https://dna-explained.com/2022/03/30/1950-census-will-be-released-on-april-fools-day/

Searching with enumeration district will be the way to go until the names indexes are ready. If you are having difficulties finding yourself, you can visit our own Family History Center next Tuesday or Thursday. The volunteers are all experts in searching with Enumeration Districts.

If you were born after April 1950, too bad, you might have to wait another 10 years to find yourself! 🙂

The National Archives is located here https://www.archives.gov/research/census/1950