Monthly Programs

Meetings: Held monthly except for August and December typically on the 4th Saturday. Check dates as some meetings are moved to the 3rd Saturday.

Time:  10:00-10:30 am Social mixer with coffee/tea & cookies; 10:30 am - 12 noon Announcements followed by talks on subjects of interest to all levels of genealogists.

Location: Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, CA 94403. (See map below)  Entrance is at the back of the church off the parking lot. Look for the SMCGS sign.

For more information, contact us.  For a list of past programs, click here .

Sarah Coston, VP Programs

Upcoming Meetings

September 2018 Meeting

Researching Your Civil War Ancestors
Speaker: Mary Boyle
Saturday, September 22, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo


From 1861 to 1865, this country was torn apart by an internal war.  Counting both the Confederate and Union armies, 3.3 million men were in the service. The U.S. population in 1860 was 31,443,321. Find out how you can discover whether or not your ancestor served and what happened in “his” war.

This presentation will cover resources both digital and printed that will help with Civil War research.  We will look at examples from both the Union and Confederate sides. Learn why the war lasted so long and produced so many casualties and get some insight into why it is still impacting us in 2018.

Mary Boyle has been a librarian at the Santa Clara City Library since 2004.  She is currently Local History/Genealogy Librarian and has assisted many people in furthering their genealogy research.  Mary has lectured in California on genealogical topics since 2014 and has been researching her family for more than thirty years.  In 2010, she proved her lineage to a Revolutionary War patriot, Prince Soper.  His grandson, her great grandfather, served on the Union side in the Civil War.

This event is free and all are welcome.

October 2018 Meeting

A Year in Salem: The Witchcraft Crisis of 1692
Speaker: Gay Scott
Saturday, October 20, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Join us for a Halloween meeting looking into what happened in the Salem witch trials. Gay will delve into witchcraft roots from Mesopotamia to Europe and England leading up to the witchcraft crisis of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts. Gay’s 7x great grandmother was accused of being a witch in Salem in 1692.

Gay Scott has a love of history and is a member of the Mt. Diablo Chapter DAR, the Anne Hutchinson Chapter Colonial Dames of the 17th Century, San Francisco Chapter Magna Charta Dames and Barons and now the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches.  She is married with two children and three grandchildren.  She told her two grandsons that now they could be members of the Sons of Witches but they didn’t seem too interested. 

This event is free and all are welcome.

November 2018 Meeting

Speaker: Ray Cosyn
Saturday, November 17, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

From 1920-43, the United States prohibited the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. How and why did this happen and what was its impact? Did this period have an effect on your family? The National Prohibition Act was enacted to carry out the 19th Amendment which formally established the prohibition of the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of alcohol in the United States. Prohibition lasted for 13 years until the election of FDR at the height of the depression.

Ray Cosyn is a resident of Saratoga and is a native Chicagoan. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Master’s Degree in History from San Jose State University. Ray has a passionate interest in the American experience from the Civil War through World War II and has developed a set of lectures which speak to topics that give insight into this period including Prohibition, Lincoln Funeral Train, Peninsular Railroad (rise and fall of local mass transit), “Saratoga a Lumber Town”, and the Flying Tigers. He is a board member of the Saratoga Historical Foundation and has been a docent at the California Railroad Museum in Sacramento.

No Handout.

This event is free and all are welcome.

Find us:

SMCGS Meetings c/o Grace Lutheran Church
2825 Alameda de las Pulgas
San Mateo, CA