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                              May 1, 2022

Dear Fellow Genealogists,

So far our hybrid meetings have been going well. The first of a two part series by Madeline Yanof telling us about how our ancestors might have gotten from the East Coast to the West Coast was well received. 

I look forward to her second presentation on May 20th from 10-12 which will cover the period from the 1820’s to the 1860’s. I had no idea there were so many possible routes that they could have taken. Many did not come directly from the east coast, but may have stopped in one of the southern or midwestern states for a period of time before venturing to the West Coast. 

Those of you who have joined us at the Event Center have been enjoying coffee, tea and cookies while we view the speaker. This in-person gathering is a great chance to visit with neighbors and fellow genealogists.

Be sure to check this website for notices about other meetings in our area. There are many groups offering interesting topics.

Happy ancestor-finding.

Margaret Ready, President

PS: I want to remind a handful of members who haven't yet paid their 2022 dues that they are now past-due! The cost of Membership is $20 for individual and $25 family. You may drop off your payment in person at our April meeting. You may also drop off payment at our Gateway mailbox. Although it's not required for renewal, you can download a membership application from our website,, on the "Contact Page if you wish to update your information and include it with your payment. If your information has not changed, a check is sufficient. 

Our address is: 

Mt. Diablo Genealogical Society

1001 Golden Rain Road

Walnut Creek, CA 94595


(This meeting will be in-person in the Event Center Tahoe Room 

AND ALSO on Zoom)

May 20, 2022 (FRIDAY)

Madeline Yanov Presents:

“Ancestral Road Trips, Part 2

Locating U.S Migration Routes, Trails, and Waterways”

The May MDGS meeting – which will be both in-person and via Zoom - will be held on Friday, May 20th, the second of two presentations by genealogist Madeline Yanov. Her May presentation will build upon her first presentation in April which explored the many migration routes, trails, and water routes that early settlers in the 13 original colonies used to move about and settle in that area as well as to reach the “frontier” and routes to the West and Southwest.

“Ancestral Road Trips, Part II: Locating U.S Migration Routes, Trails, and Waterways” will focus on the routes and trails to the Pacific Coast, Texas, New Mexico, and other parts of the Southwest, including the transcontinental railroad, that early settlers used from about 1820 to the Civil War in the 1860s. 

Generally, these routes began in our current Midwest – which, at the time was “the frontier” for the Louisiana Purchase and the Northwest Territory – and served the hundreds of thousands of migrants that moved west for better lives, gold rushes, adventures, jobs, and “freedom”. It was at the end of this period that the transcontinental railroad was eventually built. Ms. Yanov’s presentation will discuss the important role that the railroad played in the settling of America.

Madeline Yanov, the owner of Time Travel Genealogy, has more than 30 years’ experience, specializing in American research. She has wide experience in European genealogy and has been instrumental in helping reunite adoptees with their birth parents. She is a weekly volunteer at the Oakland Regional History Center and has been an indexer with Ms. Yanov has also been very active in the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society as board member, President, and, currently, President Emeritus. She believes that genealogy is far more than just names and dates; it is the story behind our ancestor’s lives that makes them real to us.

The meeting will be on May 20th between 10 am and 12 noon and will be a “hybrid” meeting – i.e. both Zoom and in-person. The in-person meeting will occur in the Event Center Tahoe Room. This meeting is open to members and nonmembers. Members for whom we have an email address, and others who have previously requested one, will automatically receive an email with the zoom link. Others who would like to view the talk via Zoom can email [email protected] prior to the day of the talk to receive the link.

The meeting will be on May 20th between 10 am and 12 noon and will be a “hybrid” meeting – i.e. both Zoom and in-person. The in-person meeting will occur in the Event Center Tahoe Room. This meeting is open to members and non-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. Others, who would like to view the talk via Zoom, can email [email protected] prior to the day of the talk 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!

Functions that need to be filled in Publicity: 

1. Digger Newsletter, 

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 Event Center Tahoe Room in Rossmoor and via Zoom. Meetings are held every month except August. Please check "EVENTS" page to confirm meeting date as this may vary!

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 on the next street, Stanley Dollar Dr., and make a left turn into the parking lot.


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]