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                              September 1, 2021

Dear Fellow Genealogists,

As we head into fall, there seems to be less certainty about where and if in person meetings will be held. Based on preferences of those who returned their questionnaires, the Board is researching hybrid meetings, allowing those who want to meet in person to do so and those who would rather watch the program on Zoom to do that. Of course, this is all predicated on being able to meet in person in the future. We are making plans as best we can given an ever- changing environment.

For those of you who want to explore more topics in genealogy online, you might check Family Tree University which has just published their fall programs, including topics like “Using U.S. Vital Records” and Beginner Genealogy Workshop Collection” to name a few. The website is:

I am sorry to say that you have been sent the last edition of the Digger, which has been so magnificently produced by Susan Rush. We have been unable to find a replacement for Susan. I want to thank Susan for her years writing this outstanding newsletter and for her valuable contribution to the Board.

If we can assemble a slate of officers for the coming year, we will have an election at our September general meeting. We are still needing a President, Vice President and Digger editor.

Margaret Ready, President 925-787-8738


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 are WAIVED!!!


September 17, 2021

James Baker 

Google, The Genealogist’s Best Friend”

Our speaker for September is James Baker, who will speak to us via Zoom on September 17 at 10:00 AM on “Google, The Genealogist’s Best Friend.” 

While almost everyone is familiar with google, Baker will give us tips and tricks to help us dig deeper using the application. He is one of our most popular speakers and always has a wealth of knowledge to impart. He will demonstrate Google’s unique capability to find ancestral data that is lost to the more traditional genealogy sites. Several Google apps are discussed: Google Images; Alerts; Books; Translate; You Tube; Maps; and Search, as well as Google’s connection to Wikipedia.

James M. Baker, Ph.D., is a Board Certified Genealogist who has been an active genealogist for more than fifteen years, specializing in German, midwestern U.S., and early American research. A former officer of the Sacramento German Genealogy Society, he has written articles for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the NGS Quarterly. Baker has given numerous presentations in the past five years at local, regional and national events. For the past ten years, he has volunteered at the Sacramento FamilySearch Library. He has given more than 100 genealogy presentations during the past three years at local, regional, and national events.


Google: The Genealogists' Best Friend" Handout


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

Members for whom we have an email address 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: 

President, Vice President, 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]