Sunday, June 21, 2009

"New Genealogy Websites" SIG meeting at CGSSD

During the first hour of the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) meeting on Saturday, I attended the "New Genealogy Websites" Special Interest Group moderated by John Kracha. There were about 25 in attendance.

John was online on Gene Powell's computer and visited a number of web sites that he had selected before the meeting, including:

* The San Diego Public Library Digital Library Collection has an obituary index from the San Diego Herald newspaper for 1851 to 1860 and The San Diego Union newspaper from 1868 to 1915. The first page of the site is here. I could not figure out how to get there without the aid of DrWeb who commented on my post yesterday! This is a great resource for early San Diego obituaries. The Union obituaries are also on microfiche for the newspaper at several libraries, including San Diego downtown and Chula Vista and probably others too.

* The Biblio web site at has used, rare and out-of-print books available. This site has over 50 million listings and is used by used book dealers and store owners. A check of "genealogy" in the Subject field revealed over 31,000 matches, many of them for $1.

* The American Battle Monuments Commission at has burial locations for World War I, World War II and Korean War service people killed in action. The site says:

"The ABMC commemorative mission is reflected in 24 overseas military cemeteries that serve as resting places for almost 125,000 American war dead; on Tablets of the Missing that memorialize more than 94,000 U.S. servicemen and women; and through 25 memorials, monuments and markers. "

* Prey - a simple and lightweight program that will help you track and find your laptop if it ever gets stolen. It works in all operating systems and not only is it Open Source but also completely free. Download it at One person at the meeting said he had it and it works well.

* The California Digital Newspaper Collection at has over 200,000 pages of California newspapers spanning the years 1849-191l:

** the Alta California, 1849-1891;
** the San Francisco Call, 1893-1910;
** the Amador Ledger, 1900-1911;
** the Imperial Valley Press, 1901-1911;
** the Sacramento Record-Union, 1859-1890;
** the Los Angeles Herald, 1905-1907.

Additional years are forthcoming, as are other early California newspapers: the Californian; the California Star; the California Star and Californian; the Sacramento Transcript; the Placer Times; and the Pacific Rural Press.

* The Association of Public New York State Historians has a list of town historians for all of the New York towns in 12 regions - see

* The Internet Archive at provides access to digital library collections - you can search for digitized books, audio, images, video, etc. It also hosts The Wayback Machine where you can view web sites from the past.

At this point, John opened the discussion for suggested web sites. I mentioned and the County Boundary Maps there, and another person suggested for links to surnames, localities and topics.

This SIG is very useful and helpful to the attendees.

I will discuss the "Genealogy in a Cloud" presentation by Gary Hoffman in a future post.

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