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                              November 19, 2021

Greetings to MDGS Members,

I am sorry to report that, at last week‘s board meeting, we decided that if we could not fill the empty board positions by December 31, we would close down the club. Those empty positions include:  a person to write the monthly article for the Rossmoor News; a membership chairperson; someone to send out occasional emails to the membership; someone to write our online newsletter, the Digger; and someone to record the board meeting minutes.

We hope some of you will step forward to help out. None of these positions takes a great deal of time, but they are essential for us to continue to maintain the club. If you can help, please contact me at:  [email protected]

In December, instead of a holiday get together, we will have a Zoom presentation by Nancy Calhoun. Nancy’s will be “Running Down Grandma“ (Finding Women in Your Family Tree). We hope this will not be the last meeting for MDGS!

Best wishes to all for a blessed Holiday season.

Margaret Ready



PS:  It's time to renew your membership! 

See below for information on how to apply or renew your Membership! 

Dues paid October through January will be considered paid through 2022!

Dues for 2020-21 were WAIVED!!!


December 17, 2021

Nancy Calhoun

“Runnin' Down Grandma"

The topic for our December meeting is "Runnin' Down Grandma." Female ancestors are more difficult to trace because they appear in fewer records than men, or were ignored altogether. Nancy Calhoun will give us tips to find those elusive female ancestors that are the researcher's kin and often the foundation of “brick walls.” We all have them. We just don't always know who they are. A handy tip sheet may lead you to their identity and to learning more about them and their lives.  This presentation emphasizes the classic genealogy sources, as well as more specialized resources.

Calhoun has been chasing relatives for over 40 years. While in Teacher Corps and graduate school in Kansas, she enrolled in a semester long genealogy class and has been pursuing family, both her own and others’ since that time. She found it to be a perfect combination with her bachelor degrees (history, English, vocational home economics with a minor in photography) and a masters in curriculum and instruction. With a teaching background and 20 years in newspaper work and publishing, she often used her research skills in the classroom and in writing.

A professional librarian, Calhoun worked at the Muskogee, Oklahoma, Public Library as head of the Genealogy and Local History Departments, has worked at the Oklahoma Historical Society, worked at a university library and was in journalism and printing for many years. Her education includes a B.A. in History and English. She is a member of DAR, United Daughters of the War of 1812, plus national, state, and local genealogical and historical societies.

This will be our last presentation unless some generous folks step up to take over our empty Board positions. This includes need for a person to: write the monthly article for the Rossmoor News; a membership chairperson; someone to send out occasional emails to the membership; and someone to write the newsletter. If you are interested in helping with any of these tasks, contact Margaret Ready, [email protected]


This meeting will be held on Zoom at our regular meeting time at 10:00 AM, and is open to members and nonmembers. Join us starting at 9:45 to 'chat" with fellow members.

Members for whom we have an email address, and others who have previously requested one, will automatically receive an email with the zoom link prior to the meeting. Others who would like to view the talk can email [email protected] to receive the link.

All of our member communications are now done via email, including our monthly newsletter, The Digger. Due to the size of our mailing list, it is not unusual for emails to end up in spam folders. To prevent this, put our email (above) into your contact 

To become a new member, go to the “CONTACT” Page and scroll down to “Application Form.” Fill it out and mail to Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society, 1001 Golden Rain Road, Walnut Creek, CA 94595.

If you are a renewing member and your information is the same you only need to send your check for $20 (one member) or $25 (family membership).

There Will  Be "NO" No-Host Lunch at Creekside  Cafe Per COVID 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].


Searching for Volunteers to serve as Board Members!

Positions to be filled: 

Membership Chair, Publicity Chair,

The future success of the Society depends upon the contribution of its members, so please consider stepping up to volunteer. See July Digger for job descriptions. 

For more information contact Margaret Ready.

Phone: 925-787-8738 Email: [email protected]


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!


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

Club Email Address:

[email protected]


Our General Meetings are held monthly at 10:00 A.M.on the Third Friday of every month in the Club Room at the Creekside Clubhouse in Rossmoor. Meetings are held every month except August.

For Non-Rossmoor Residents:

At the gate, say you are attending Mt. Diablo Genealogy's meeting and they will allow entry.

Once inside the gate follow Rossmoor Pkwy past the golf course. Turn right after the tennis courts into the entrance to Creekside. If you miss this entrance, turn right on the next street, Stanley Dollar Dr., and make a right turn into the parking lot.

Additional parking is available across Stanley Dollar Dr near the Event Center.


You are also welcome to attend our Board Meetings which are held monthly at 2:00 P.M. on the second Friday of every month at the Rossmoor Creekside Club House in the Mulligan Room.

Creekside Club House,

1010 Stanley Dollar Dr.,

Walnut Creek, CA 94595

(click "Get Directions" for map)

For more information send us an email at [email protected]