Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart



                             September 1, 2022

Dear Fellow Genealogists,

I am looking forward to September’s speakers. For the first time in a while, we will have a “mini speaker” to start off the meeting!  Ric Simons will tell us about how to preserve our family stories via videos of living relatives. 

After a short break to greet friends, get a cup of coffee or tea and a cookie, we will hear from the main speaker,  Melinda Kashuba, who will talk to us about “Locating Living Relatives in the 21st Century”. It should be a fascinating program!

I will see you at the Event Center or online. Susan Rush will be our zoom moderator. Thank you Susan.

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 for a family. You may drop off your payment in person at our 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)

Friday October 7

Ann Gillespie Mitchel Presents:

"Cluster Huddle or Flock: Strategies for Research Problems"

Thee October MDGS meeting – which will be both in-person and via Zoom - will be held on Friday, October 7th. Please note that this meeting is earlier than our normal monthly meeting due to a room scheduling conflict. The in-person meeting will occur in the Event Center, Tahoe Room, at 10am, and refreshments will be served. This meeting is open to members and nonmembers. Current members for whom we have an email address will automatically receive the Zoom link. Others, who would like to view the Zoom presentation, can email [email protected] at least 2 days prior to the meeting to receive the link.

Our speaker for October is Anne Gillespie Mitchell, and her talk is entitled “Cluster, Huddle or Flock: Strategies for Research Problems”. Everyone has struck brick walls in their genealogy research - people who appear to have been dropped out of the sky; women whose maiden names seem to be unknowable; and so forth. Cluster research can provide you with new avenues to break down these brick walls by researching their family members, their neighbors, and anyone and everyone with whom they were associated. Ms. Gillespie Mitchell will explore methodologies that will help you uncover new information about your family.

She has been chasing her own ancestors up and down the Great Wagon road through Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina for many years. She currently works for Ancestry on a variety of products including Hints, Search, Ancestry Library Edition, AncestryK12, and Historical Social Networks. She has taught genealogy courses at many national conferences including NGS, FGS and RootsTech, and SLIG. She also teaches many online courses on a variety of topics at Ancestry Academy.

Always looking to increase her knowledge of methodologies and records, Ms. Gillespie Mitchell has completed the Boston University Online Genealogy Certificate course as well as multiple week-long institutes at SLIG and IGHR. Before Ancestry, she worked in the internet industry in software development and has been a product manager for companies including CNET, Webshots, and [email protected] She has a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Purdue University, where she also taught Computer Science for 8 years.

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]