October 2020

Hello Fellow Genealogists,
I am finding during this crazy time of shut downs and political unrest that working on my genealogy is calming and distracting. I hope you are also able to let go of the external hullabaloo. When we look back on what our ancestors experienced (the 1918 Spanish flu, World Wars I and II) it puts our current situation in proper perspective. Perhaps not the worst that our communities have had to endure.

Digging through old boxes of pictures, I came upon a postcard written in 1910 by my great aunt Jenny to her brother William. It is a postcard sent from Perth, Scotland, where she and her husband were evidently visiting.
She says that she saw their grandfather
’s house that day. That was a very useful piece of information, since I did not know where my great great grandfather lived. I knew he was from Scotland, but had no idea from what part. I am now able to narrow down my record search to a more specific part of the world. I hope you have all been able to discover new things about your ancestors. I would love it if you would share your finds with us. They will encourage me and others to keep plodding along on our own searches.

Our last zoom meeting with Gena Philibert
-Ortega was very successful, and we learned a lot about the suffrage movement. We are looking forward to hearing Thomas MacEntee on Nov. 20th, so save the date.

                                Happy researching and stay safe.

                                        Margaret Ready, President


Thomas McEntee

November 20, 2020 ZOOM Meeting 10:00 a.m. by Thomas MacEntee

”After You're Gone: Future Proofing Your Genealogy Research ”

Thomas MacEntee is a genealogy professional specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community. He lives in Chicago. As well as being a genealogy professional, Thomas is also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, network builder and more. He has built his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy and also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who likes to teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. He offers a variety of skills and services to others: speaking and lecturing, education, self-publishing, marketing, networking, market analysis, coaching, mentoring, and entrepreneurship. Thomas has written seven books and is editor of close to 100 books and guides.

When it comes to years of genealogy research and material that you have accumulated, what plans have you made to ensure that this legacy does not die with you? In After You’re Gone: Future Proofing Your Genealogy Research, you will find valuable advice on creating a realistic plan to get your “genealogy affairs” in order. Make sure that the next generation of researchers can benefit from your years of hard work and following your passion.

An email will go out to members the week of November 20th with an invitation/link to the Zoom meeting.

THERE WILL BE "NO" No Host Lunch at Creekside Cafe per 

COVID-19 Restrictions

Meet the Speaker following the monthly meeting.  Reservations MUST be made by 3:00 PM the TUESDAY prior to the meeting!  To do so, please contact Sue Fernstrom at 510-215-0873 or e-mail her at [email protected].

Purpose of Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society:

  • To promote knowledge of and interest in genealogy.
  • To conduct genealogical research to discover & preserve records,    archives and articles of historical, cultural and genealogical interest.
  • To present educational programs including meetings, seminars, lectures and publications to assist individuals in the study of genealogy and genealogical research.

    Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society attracts top speakers in our area, even some noted statewide speakers.  Topics presented at our meetings have been quite varied including research methods, tips & tricks, libraries & resources, personal experiences, foreign research, patriotic societies and much more. 

    Please join us and make your family history come to life!

    Ancestry Access Through CCC Library

    The Contra Costa County Library has made Ancestry available to the public from their homes for the remainder of the "stay at home" order.  You just need to have a library card to log on to the system.

    1. Go to ccclib.org and click LOG IN/MyCCCLib in the upper right corner.

    2. A login screen will appear. Enter your login information. 

    3. Hover over the "No Card No Problem" box to the far right and click the scroll arrow to the right to display the Ancestry.com screen.

    4. Click on the screen.

    5. Hover over "Ancestry Library Edition" and click it.

    6. A login screen will appear. Enter your CCCLibrary information and click Log in.

    7. AncestryLibrary will open. Begin Searching!


    • To have your records waiting for you when you get home, use the "Send Document" feature. 
    • The Learning Center has guides for beginning searchers as well as tips for the advanced searcher.
    • Download blank ancestral charts and correspondence sheets to keep track of your research.

     NOTE: If you do not have a Contra Costa County library card, you can get one for free by going to:  ccclib.org/get-a-library-card   It also states "...cards that have expired or are scheduled to expire this year have been extended to allow access to all available digital resources."  


    History of Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society

    Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society was founded in November, 1986 by Max Coppage, who believed that an afternoon group might be more convenient for many people. (Previously part of the Contra Costa Genealogical Society which meets 2nd Thursday of month at 7:00 pm) The earliest meetings were held in a meeting room at the San Francisco Federal Bank in Walnut Creek. Among the early members with Max Coppage were John Ferris, Jim Denns, Al Riel, Lindsay Reeks and Catherine Smith.

    As of January, 1987, the meeting place was changed to the Community Room at Home Federal Bank in the Rossmoor Shopping Center. By the end of 1987, the following were added as Charter Members: Madelyn Bowron, John Bedecarre, Jean Sinclair, Nancy Williams and Donald Foxworthy.


    A newsletter was published by Max Coppage with a logo created by a student, Jim Tackitt.  Max brought a lot of know-how to the group and served as President through 1987. Betty Zilen followed Max in 1988. Betty was an authority on research in the British Isles as well as parts of the United States. Betty resigned and Jim Dennis took her place. Jim was a certified genealogist, teacher of genealogy and an expert on New Jersey. New members added in 1988 were Mary Anne King and Isabel Mathews. Mary Anne volunteered to use her van for trips to libraries. Isabel served as corresponding secretary for several years.


    In 1990, John Ferris was elected President. Laurie Taylor took over editing the newsletter until she & her husband moved to Arizona.


    In 1993 the Society moved its meetings a few doors away to the Community Room of Civic Bank of Commerce. Al Riel followed Phil Breck as President in 1993. He was particularly qualified in the area of French-Canadian research and in the use of computers in the field of genealogy. His aim was to get members to help one another.


    In 1994 , Gearhart Weber was elected President, but resigned due to travel commitments. He was succeeded by Charles Sippel, who had been Program Director.

    Generally, the last half hour of meetings were devoted to the exchange of ideas and sampling refreshments. Thanks to the cooperation of members and the organizing skills of refreshment chairman, Mabelle Ebert.


    The topics presented at our meetings have been quite varied...including research methods, resources, personal experiences, foreign research, patriotic societies, Civil War research, use of libraries and much more. 

    Continued success of the Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society depends a great deal on the participation and contribution of its member. Suggestions for programs and projects are always welcome.

    This is paraphrased from the original written by Catherine Smith, Secretary in 1995