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 cookies, bring your own coffee/tea; 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


January 2020 Meeting

Researching Off-line: Using Archives, Libraries, & Courthouses
Saturday, January 25, 2020   10:30am - 12:00 pm FREE
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Entrance in back.

Presenter: Lisa Gorrell

There is so much genealogical information that is not yet digitized and can only be found in physical locations of archives, libraries, and courthouses. But, how to find where to look? Learn how to use online sources to find the off-line resources to help your family research.

Lisa S. Gorrell is a Certified Genealogist who is a graduate of the ProGen program and an alumnus of the following genealogical institutes:  Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama.  She teaches genealogy courses, lectures to societies, and researches for others.  She is a former Recording Secretary for the California Genealogical Society, the Recording Secretary with the Contra Costa Historical Society and volunteer at their archives at the History Center in Martinez, and a past-president of the Contra Cost County Genealogical Society.

Lisa has also been tour leader with the California Genealogy Society’s research trip to Salt Lake City.  She enjoys giving genealogy presentations and writing about her family in two blogs:  “Mam-ma’s Southern Family” http://mam-massouthernfamily.blogspot.com/ and “My Trails into the Past” http://mytrailsintothepast.blogspot.com/.    She has also written a three generation family history about her husband’s Swedish ancestors. 

This event is free and all are welcome. 


February 2020 Meeting

Titanic Connections: Exploring the Legend & Genealogy
Saturday, February 22, 2020   10:30am - 12:00 pm FREE
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Entrance in back.

Presenter: Sheryl Rinkol

Come aboard and discover the history of the Titanic from design through on-board life to disaster. The genealogy of Titanic descendants, both victims and survivors, will be highlighted including the modern-day genealogy center in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Titanic collectibles will be displayed.

Sheryl Rinkol is a 35-year Titanic enthusiast, both a researcher and lecturer on the topic. She is the author of the book Titanic Today which will be available at the meeting.

This event is free and all are welcome. 


April 2020 Meeting

The Orphan Train Movement - A History and Personal Story
Saturday, April 25, 2020   10:30am - 12:00 pm FREE
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo. Entrance in back.

Presenter: Jeanne MacVicar

The Orphan Train Movement was the largest mass migration of children in American History.  It lasted from 1854 to 1929 and it is estimated that over 250,000 children were moved from orphanages in New York City to rural areas in the United States.  This presentation is an informative history of the Orphan Train Movement on a personal level as Jeanne's great aunt was from the orphan train.

Jeanne MacVicar is from Clyde, Kansas, where her great aunt Great-Aunt Adeline Trowbridge arrived in 1911 at age 3 on the Orphan Train. Jeanne came to California in 1970, was a school teacher, but now is a real estate agent in Los Altos.

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