Sunday, March 15, 2009

3/14 SDGS Meeting Summary

I attended the San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) meeting on Saturday, 14 March. The program was a British Isles Panel Forum with June Hanson (England/Wales), Mary Russell (Ireland) and Jackie Webster (Scotland). The program summary and speaker CVs are here.

The presentation was in two parts. After introductions, June, Mary and Jackie each spoke for 15 to 20 minutes to summarize research opportunities and challenges in their respective areas. A two-page handout was provided with their main points. It was interesting to see the significant differences between the three areas in terms of available records and research process.

After a 20 minute break for snacks, the meeting resumed with questions from the audience and responses from the panel. There were over ten questions, and several asked about records that might be available beyond church, civil and census records.

There is a special British Isles genealogy section at the San Diego Family History Center in Mission Valley (4195 Camino del Rio South) which is available to San Diego area residents. The section holdings for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are available in PDF format at

Before the meeting, I had a chance to meet two new Facebook friends - Gwynn Socolich and Jack van Wingerden. Jack started the SDGS Facebook Group and Gwynn started the Lost Treasures Group on Facebook. We talked about how to create more interest in the Facebook groups - my suggestion was to try to enlist SDGS members in projects like San Diego Resources, helping Members with their research, and the Lost Treasures activity.

There were over 120 people at the SDGS meeting, with 15 of them guests and visitors. The Beginner's Class before the main meeting had over 20 attendees for the first session. SDGS is doing a lot of things right and well, IMHO. The Saturday meeting day is helpful in drawing a range of age, skills and experience. The classes are excellent, and the programs are too.

1 comment:

Terri O'Connell said...

Randy, Just wanted to pass some advice for you face book groups. Someone asked me to be an Admin on the Genealogy Cottage board, the first concern was to bring up membership and then to get the members involved. Here's what I did. I took a cue from Geneabloggers and started creating weekly "events" first being a member ship blitz. We went from 28 members to over 100 in 2 days. So now, we are continuing with this method to get everyone to come back and post. It is working. Hopefully it will continue. Hope this helps you, and feel free to stop by Genealogy Cottage to join us.