2020 Fall Seminar with Lisa Louise Cooke

2020 Fall Seminar -- Gems for Genealogical Research with Lisa Louise Cooke

Coming soon -- sign up now!


Gems for Genealogical Research
Presenter: Lisa Louise Cooke
Saturday, November 7, 2020. 9 am - 3 pm (social time 8:30 am - 9 am)
Via Zoom -- the link will be sent via email to registered participants several days before the seminar.

Members $50, Non-members $60. Registration is now open -- register soon!

This seminar was originally scheduled for Spring 2020 but was postponed until the Fall. If you already registered for the Spring Seminar, your payment will automatically be applied toward the new date. If you're not sure whether you previously registered for the seminar, please email seminars@smcgs.org.

Lisa Louise Cooke is a well-known speaker on genealogy and technology. She is an author, columnist, host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, and podcast producer for Family Tree Magazine Podcast. Her podcast brings genealogy news, research strategies, expert interviews and inspiration to genealogists in 75 countries around the world.

Four topics to up your technology skills for your genealogical research:

  • The 2020 Genealogist's Google Search Methodology
  • Google Books: The Tool I Use Every Day
  • Cool Cases Solved: How to Identity Your Photos
  • Future Technology and Genealogy – 5 Strategies You Need

An online Silent Auction will be part of the Seminar event. All registered participants will receive both the seminar link and the silent auction link two days before the seminar. Auction items include memberships to AncestryGenealogyBankFindmypastfold3, and Newspapers.com. There will also be mystery grab bags of used books on various topics.

Register online here. For a seminar flyer with mail-in registration form, click here.


8:30 – 9:00


Join the Zoom meeting and say hello to the other participants. Bid on Silent Auction items.

9:00 – 9:15


9:15 – 10:15


LECTURE 1 – The 2020 Genealogist’s Google Search Methodology

As genealogists, we follow a process, so why do we Google so haphazardly? Bring method to the madness of millions of results with this tried and true methodology for using Google for your genealogical research. In this session, we will walk through the process, provide you with the tools, and wow your socks off with real-life examples of Googling success. You will leave this class inspired to revisit using Google for your online searches and armed with the latest strategies to do so successfully. Not everything is online by any stretch, but even offline sources are more efficiently discovered and accessed when you start online. And the fastest and most effective way to locate online data, whether it resides on a university website or the blog of a distant cousin you’ve never met, is Google!

10:15 – 10:45


Bid on Silent Auction items.

10:45 – 11:45


LECTURE 2 – Google Books: The Tool I Use Every Day

There’s a wealth of information in out-of-print books that have been digitized by Google and made available for free. We’ll explore the fastest and easiest ways to find this information.

11:45 – 12:45


Bid on Silent Auction items. Bidding ends at 12:35.

12:45 – 1:45


LECTURE 3 – Cool Cases Solved: Howe to Identify Your Photos

We all have unidentified photos and family photo albums in our closets. But don’t be discouraged, because they may contain hidden clues just waiting to be discovered! In this session you’ll learn how free tech tools and creative sleuthing can turn incognito images into identified treasures. We’ll cover the process for identifying the hidden clues, applying the tech tools, and then turning to the genealogical records to solidify conclusions. We’ll explore three case studies and follow them step-by-step so you can see how it all works in real-life research.

1:45 – 2:00


Announcement of Silent Auction winners.

2:00 – 3:00


LECTURE 4 – Future Technology and Genealogy – 5 Strategies You Need

Envision your genealogy as technology speeds ahead into the future. There are five key strategies that you can employ right now that will make the ride easier, and the results more exciting than ever. Discover the paradigm shift that will make finding the right technology for your needs easier than ever. And learn how to capitalize on how technology is changing the flow of information. Finally, explore three areas that are poised to thrust ahead in the future, making this an exciting time to be a family historian!

News & Events

The San Mateo County Genealogical Society supports the study of family history in the Bay Area and beyond. We have monthly meetings, twice-yearly seminarsworkshopsspecial-interest groups, a genealogy library, online databases, and research services. We produce a newsletter, a blog, and a Facebook page, and we send occasional email notices about SMCGS events to anyone who is interested.

For a flyer of SMCGS upcoming events, click here.

A recording of Jan Joyce's Zoom presentation on October 24, Creative Hypothesis Development for Brick Walls, is available until November 23 in the Members Only section of the website, under Handouts/Recordings/Zoom.

Registration for the Fall Seminar, Gems for Genealogical Research, presented by Lisa Louise Cooke, opened on August 15. Register online here -- in the final step of the registration process, you will be transferred to PayPal, where your payment will be processed securely using https. For a seminar flyer with mail-in registration form, click here.

Because of Covid-19 concerns, most SMCGS general meetings, workshops, and interest groups are being held remotely, using the Zoom web conferencing technology. Please watch this website or SMCGS's Facebook page for details. The SMCGS Board is monitoring information from the San Mateo County Health Department (https://www.smchealth.org/coronavirus) and will make decisions based on their recommendations. Stay well!

Everyone is welcome to attend SMCGS general meetings. A link to each Zoom meeting will be sent to SMCGS eNews subscribers (both members and non-members) several days before the meeting. SMCGS members are automatically subscribed to eNews unless they choose to "unsubscribe."  Non-members can also subscribe; if you're not already a subscriber and wish to become one, click here.

SMCGS Board meetings will continue to held by Zoom. See the calendar for dates. If you would like to offer suggestions or attend, please email president@smcgs.org.

Stay connected with SMCGS via Facebook, our eNews mailing list, or our Blog, using one of the links in the box at the lower left of this page. For more details on connecting, click here.​

November 2020 Meeting - Preserving Family Photos, Stories and Documents - via Zoom

Preserving Family Photos, Stories and Documents
Presenter: Carolyn Williams
Saturday, November 21, 2020   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

This presentation provides organizational tips and procedures for capturing the story behind a photo or document, scanning the image, and then preserving both the physical and digital photos.

Carolyn Williams is a family genealogist and recent SMCGS board member. She holds a certificate from the Boston University Genealogical Research program, is currently enrolled in the ProGen professional genealogy course, and is a former Silicon Valley technology marketing professional.

This meeting will be held remotely via the Zoom web conferencing system. Several days before the date of the meeting, a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to SMCGS eNews subscribers (both members and non-members) and will also be posted in the Members Only section of this website.

This event is free and all are welcome. For more information about our monthly meetings, click here.

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DNA Interest Group - via Zoom

Note: During the coronavirus pandemic, this meeting will be held via Zoom rather than in-person, typically on the 3rd Thursday of each month. See the calendar to confirm the times.

The DNA interest group meets regularly on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 2:15 to 3:45 pm. The purpose of this group is to ask questions and get help interpreting your DNA results and deciding on next steps. There is no charge to attend, but membership in SMCGS is a requirement to join. Contact Chris Green at seminars@smcgs.org.

British Special Interest Group

Note: During the coronavirus pandemic, this meeting will be held via Zoom rather than in-person, typically on every other Wednesday. See the calendar to confirm the times.

The British Interest Group meets every other Wednesday at 3PM. Please see the calendar for dates.  There is no charge for the group, but you must be a member of SMCGS. Come and bring your knowledge and questions to share with other researchers.  For more information contact publications@smcgs.org.


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