Dear MDGS Members,

As we begin to ramp up for the coming club year, the Nominating Committee is seeking members who might like to be on the Board. I urge any of you who would like to be a part of this amazing group, which plans for speakers and events, to call me at 925-797–8738. Several of the current board members have agreed to be nominated again, so there are only three new officers needed and they are important ones! We will have elections in a few months via zoom. 

In planning for the coming year, the Board would appreciate your input as to what activities you would like to see the club undertake. To that end, please return the questionnaire sent to you by our wonderful Newsletter editor, Susan Rush, so that she can tally the answers and give the board an idea of your preferences on:  Meeting locations (zoom and/or in our usual club rooms)? Speakers? Traveling to other clubs? (And if so, where?). We would be grateful for your ideas.

With thanks for your help,

Margaret Ready, President


June 18, 2021

Thomas MacEntee “ The Genealogy Pit Stop”

You have 15 minutes before you need to pick up the grandchildren / wash the dog /
make dinner. Is it really possible to do meaningful genealogy research in that short
time period? Are you putting off researching an ancestor because you believe you
need a two or three hour block of time? Learn how to use the Genealogy Pit Stop
concept to succeed in the research race!

Participants will learn what race car driving teams already know: you can accomplish important, detail-oriented work in a short amount of time. You’ll learn how to leverage to-do lists, research logs, tracking systems, clue gathering tricks and more to actually do genealogy research every day! No more saving that research for when you have a large block of time . . . which never seems to happen.

MacEntee will present:

1. Why the Genealogy Pit Stop concept works;

2. Case Study: 15 Minute Solution to John Ralph Austin’s World War I Draft Card

3. Solid Research Tools Win the Race

4. Get In and Get Out: Triage Your Research Findings

5. Resource List

We welcome back Thomas MacEntee, the popular founder and CEO at GenealogyBargains.com. He has built his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy and also created an online community of 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.


This meeting will be held on Zoom at our regular meeting time, Friday, April 16th at 10:00 AM, and is open to members and friends.  Join us starting at 9:30 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.

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-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!

    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