Saturday, October 5, 2013

Family History Day at the California State Archives

Family History Day 

Saturday, October 12, 2013 
Doors open at 8:30 am 
Free admission and parking 




Genealogical and historical educational materials 
Learn from the experts at free classes 

Beginning Genealogy • 
Naturalization • 
Census Records • 
Cemetery Research 
Land Records • 
Online Newspapers • 
Military Sources • 
Conducting Interviews 
Courthouse Records • 
U.S. Migration Patterns • 
Travel by Rail • 
Border Crossings 

Chinese • 
German • 
Italian • 
African American • 
Korean • 
Danish • 
Native American • 
French Canadian • 
Eastern European • 
British Colonial • 
Revolutionary War Ancestry 

For more information and to reserve your syllabus visit 

1020 “O” Street, Sacramento, CA 

Sponsored by California State Archives, California Museum, and 
Genealogical and Historical Council of the Sacramento Valley 

Friday, October 4, 2013

October's Meeting

Join us for our October Meeting

October 15, 2013
7:00 PM "Writing Your Ancestor’s Life Story” Robert Givens
"They say that when a person dies a library burns. Family History work should be more than the dates and places of a person's life. To bring a person to life we need to tell their story. This presentation will give you suggestions on how to take a writing project from the beginning to completion. Can you actually write an ancestor's life story? Of course, you can! Come and learn how."

General meeting at 7:oo p.m. with program to follow.
Trinity Presbyterian Church
1600 Carver Rd.
Modesto, CA.

Help Support Our Genealogical Society!

2013 Red Poinsettia Fund Raising Event
Pre-Sale: September 1, 2013 to November 19, 2013
The Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County voted last spring to support a Poinsettia fundraising effort. Orders have been coming in already! Please support this fundraising effort. As your treasurer, I can say with confidence, that this activity is vital to the success and vitality of our great organization. You may be surprised to learn that your annual dues make up only 50% of the costs incurred by your organization.
Remember, they make great gifts for friends and family, and a lovely addition to your own home decor.
You can pre-order your beautiful poinsettia plants for early December pick-up, by completing this form and either mailing the form, bringing it to the November meeting. If you have any questions please call Sharon Hawley-Crum at 209-838-2118. Thanks in advance for your support of our organization!

Please copy and paste the following into a word doc and print for submission:
Genealogical Society of Stanislaus County
Order Form
2013 Red Poinsettia Sale

Name:                                                                                      Date:

Phone Number:                                           Email:

Quantity            X $10.00 each =  Total Due              $                          
Form of Payment:  Cash                                      Check Number

Make checks payable to: GSSC 
Please make a note of “Poinsettia” in the Memo section

Mail to: Sharon Hawley-Crum 16504 Henry Road, Escalon, CA 95320

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Upcoming Events!

Join us in for our Annual Seminar in October. This year we will have Katherine Borges educate us on DNA and genealogical research.

Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Place: Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Telle Center, 1600 Carver Road, Modesto, 95350

More information can be found here

Also, in November, join us for Ancestor Night. Our members bring in family stories and artifacts to share with the membership at our monthly general meeting.

Lastly, we are accepting deposits for our annual Salt Lake City research trip, April 6-14,2014. For more information, please contact Lisa Bruk, or Bev Johnson.

A $200 deposit is due to Bev Johnson NO LATER than October 1st.

September's Meeting

Join us on Tuesday, September 17 at 7: 00 p.m. for a presentation by Stephen Morse.

Stephen Morse's "One-Step Webpages; A Potpourri of Genealogical Research Tools."

Stephen Morse is the architect of the Intel 8086 chip. He has degrees in Electrical Engineering from CCNY, the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and New York University. As the grandfather of microprocessors, Stephen put his smarts to use in making research easier. He worked with various codes to create his One-Step pages that help you search multiple databases and pages in fewer steps.

Meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at:
Trinity United Presbyterian Church
1600 Carver Rd
Modesto, CA 95350

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August's Meeting

Join us for our society's 45th birthday!! We will have some exciting activities!

6:30 to 9 p.m. August 20, 2013
1600 Carver Road
Modesto, CA 95350

Monday, June 17, 2013

Registration for Our Annual Seminar is Now Open!

Registration is now open for our annual seminar to be held in October. This year's seminar will be held on October 26, 2013, and the topic is  genealogical DNA. Information about the seminar along with registration information can be found here, or under our "Annual Seminar" tab above. Sign up early to reserve your spot and receive the early bird discount.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

June Meeting

Please note Ice Cream Social time - if you are helping set up, please be there by 5:30 pm. Bring a friend!!

TUESDAY, June 18, 2013


7:00 pm:  General Meeting
Trinity United Presbyterian Church
Telle Center
1600 Carver Road
Modesto, CA

Program: Dr. Irit Goldman ~ "Out of Auschwitz -- Lost and Found"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Snapshot: Watson & Mack

My friend is an avid coin collector. He started off collecting old domestic coins then branched out to special interest coins. One day I brought over some trade coins to have him help me post them to an online auction site. We were both fascinated at the history we learned when I began digging around. This sparked his interest in collecting some trade coins local to Stanislaus County and surrounding areas.

Here is one of his finds:
Watson & Mack were two fellows who lived and worked in Stanislaus County. They ended up in business in Patterson, California with a cigar/ pool hall business from about 1913 until the possibly the late 1930s or early 1940s. This token was good for $1.00 in merchandise at their business.

May's Meeting

Our next meeting will be May 21, with the general meeting to start at 7 p.m. and program to follow.

This month's program, "What's in a Name?" will be presented by Angela Kraft of Leaves of Heritage Genealogy. We will look at the history and significance of surnames, identify common naming practices, and discuss difficulties in research due to name changes, spelling, etc.

Please join us at:
Trinity United Presbyterian Church
1600 Carver Road.
 Modesto, 95350

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Remembrance: Wilma Martin

This obituary can be found at the Modesto Bee and the Allen Mortuary 

"Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother rejoined the love of her life while surrounded by her family. She is preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, Ozier "Buck" Martin; son, Earl Gene Martin; sisters, Madrene, Helen, Carole, and Connie. She is survived by her sisters: Elizabeth "Betty" Sanders (Alvin) of Hughson and Susan Parton (Larry) of Pleasant Hill, MO; her brothers: Charles Wayne Hedrick (Marsha) of Olathe, Kansas and George (Joann) of Pleasant Hill, MO; 5 children: Betty Davis (Michael) of Ceres, James Martin (Lorene) of Modesto, JoAn Long of Tucson, Bill D. Martin (Jeanne) of Las Vegas, Karen Mendenhall-Kajioka (Eugene) of Turlock; grandchildren: Cheryl Davis-Morrow (Jason), Michael Long, Melinda Davis, Matthew Long, Kelsey Mendenhall, Trenton Mendenhall, Jaclyn Verbeck (Thomas), and Thomas Riley (Maria); great-grandchildren: Corbin Davis-Morrow, Kailee Davis-Morrow, Daniella Long, Ashlynn Long, as well as many special nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Monday, April 22, 2013

News: Wilma Martin passed away

The Society is sad to announce the passing of one our members, Wilma Martin. More information to come, but funeral details are as follows:

Visitation:  Friday, April 26 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at Allen Mortuary, Turlock.
Celebration of Life:   Saturday, April 27 at 10:00 a.m., Samaritan Village, Hughson.
Graveside Service:   Saturday, April 27 at 1:00 p.m., Lakewood Cemetery, Hughson

Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Wilma. She will be missed.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Location and Time Change!!

For April only we will have a location and time change for our general meeting. We will meet on Tues, April 23rd at the Salida Branch library on Sisk Ave. at 6:30 p.m.

4835 Sisk Road
Salida, CA 95368
(209) 543-7353

Friday, April 5, 2013

Snapshot: Actor Jeremy Renner

The Snapshot series will highlight prominent people, places, or events of Stanislaus County and surrounding areas. Have a piece of interest to be highlighted in our Snapshot spot? Send an email to

To celebrate the birth of his new baby girl, we will be taking a brief look at actor Jeremy Renner and his ties to Stanislaus County.

Jeremy Renner was born on January 7, 1971, in Modesto, California. His parents are Lee Renner and Valerie (Tague) Cearley. Jeremy is a graduate of Byer High School in Modesto, and he also attended Modesto Junior College before his career in acting took off.

April's Meeting

***This month's meeting will be on the 4th Tuesday this month ONLY! Please join us on April 23rd.***

6:30 PM Bits & Bytes
7:00 PM American Land Records, The How and The Why
Janet Lancaster and Millie Starr
The differences between state land states and federal land states,
and the records of each, concentrating on BLM records and the
why and how to use them. Why you want to read the deeds, and
the many hidden secrets within them. With a plus by Janet
Lancaster “Footprints in the Cities - Sanborn Maps” explaining
and showing Sanborn Fire Maps.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Come check out the resources we offer:

Civil War Veterans of Stanislaus County Website
Every Name Index to History of Stanislaus County by George Tinkham 1921 (PDF file)
Wood Colony Cemetery (on-line publication)
Stanislaus County Cemetery Files (Tombstone Project)
Stanislaus County Cemetery Descriptions and Burial Permits
St Paul's Episcopal Church Parish Register Modesto 1880 to 1921 Presented here courtesy of Don Sanford and St. Paul's Episcopal Church

"Early Records of Stanislaus County" by Myrtle Dix

All of these links and items can also be viewed at 

We also house a large collection of genealogical resources in our special collections room at the main branch of the Stanislaus County Public Library, located at 
1500 "I" Street
Modesto, CA 95354

Stop by on Monday mornings and talk with Marilyn Belleville. She is happy to direct you to specific resources that might be of interest to your research goals.

And we offer a free query service. Please email Charles Tieman at
** When emailing, please be as specific as possible as to the person, place, and time you are interested in.**

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March's Meeting

Our March Program
The Second Trail of Tears – A Migrant Mother’s Story, by featured speaker, Kay Sprague Ham

* Born Florence Leona Christie, 1903 in a teepee on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma.
* Her famous portrait, “Migrant Mother” has become the Mona Lisa of the Great
Depression and Dust Bowl Migration
* The US Postal Service commissioned a stamp honoring “Migrant Mother," Florence Thompson.
* A trail of picking peas, picking cotton, following harvests, deprivation, humiliation and prejudice, yet one of strength and pride.
* At the end of the trail, a widow and mother of seven, her family resided in a Modesto migrant camp.
* One particular burial plot in Lakewood Memorial Park in Hughson CA holds a
headstone that reads…..”FLORENCE LEONA THOMPSON Migrant Mother – A Legend of the Strength of American Motherhood”.

Kay Sprague Ham is the granddaughter-in-law of Florence Thompson. Her husband Roger Sprague was in the process of writing his grandmother's tale when he passed away from cancer in 2004. Kay, who has a migrant story of her own, completed Roger's effort to tell the true story of Florence (Christie) Thompson's life in their book, Second Trail of Tears.

Please join us March 19, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Trinity Presbyterian Church at 1600 Carver Rd., Modesto, CA to hear this remarkable story. Refreshments will be served after a short general meeting with the program to begin following break.