Monthly Programs

Meetings: Held monthly except for August and December typically on the 4th Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon. Check dates as some meetings are moved to the 3rd or 5th Saturday.

Note: While the coronavirus social distancing guidelines are in place, SMCGS will not hold in-person monthly meetings. Instead, when possible we will hold the meetings 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.

The Zoom meetings will be open for a social mixer for half an hour before the formal meeting begins. The Zoom meetings will be run as follows:

  1. The link will open at 10:00 am on Saturday so that those of you who wish to can chat with each other. 
  2.  At 10:30, the meeting will begin. There will be a few announcements before the speaker is introduced.
  3. Once the speaker is introduced you will all be muted. Please do not unmute yourself during her presentation.
  4. The speaker will answer questions at the end of the presentations. If you have a question, open the chat at the bottom of your screen. Type your question into the chat. The questions will be read aloud, and the speaker will answer.

If you have not previously downloaded the Zoom application, you may wish to do so before the meeting. If you click on the Zoom link, you will be given an opportunity to download the application.

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 (once social distancing is no longer necessary): 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

Recent and Upcoming Meetings


Saturday, September 26, 2020, 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Children Left Behind
Presenter: Judy Fambrough Billingsley
Saturday, January 23, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

Judy was born in Friedberg, Germany, shortly after WWII and was the daughter of a white German woman and a black American soldier, whose mixed race led to her becoming one of many unwanted “Brown Babies” abandoned by their mother.  Her book Too Brown to Keep:  A Search for Love, Forgiveness, and Healing recounts the inspirational odyssey as the search for her birth parents leads to discovery of the good, the bad, and the ugly family secrets that she had struggled to unearth for decades.  

Judy holds a BA degree, a California lifetime teaching credential, and a Master’s in Education Administration.  Retiring after many years of service in Education allowed her the quality time to pursue the writing and self-publishing of her book.  She is blessed to be the mother of two successful sons, two successful daughters-in-law, and “Nana” to four grandsons.  She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and serves her church and community in many ways.  

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.

 

DNA: Finding My Grandfather
Presenter: David Brunzel
Saturday, February 27, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

It was 1974 and David Bunzel was assigned a project for a college history course to create a four generation family tree. A relative from his mother’s side handed him an envelope with some documents regarding his maternal grandparents. One of the documents the relative handed him was his grandparents wedding certificate, which caught David’s attention.  Their marriage date was August 10, 1935, but his mother was born in 1930!  His mother had kept the secret that she was born out of wedlock, but had little information on her biological father.  It took more than 40 years of searching and the introduction of DNA testing to help David get the answers to the “Curious Case of Frank Button.”

David Bunzel is the founder and managing director of Santa Clara Consulting Group (SCCG).  His interest in genealogy complements the work he has done professionally.  David has been involved in archiving initiatives in the National Archives’ in both the U.S. and the U.K.  David has been an amateur genealogist since the mid-1970s. 

David graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Santa Clara University

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. 


Angel Island
Presenter: Grant Din
Saturday, March 27, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

While people who have heard about Angel Island might know about the Chinese poetry carved on its walls, what is less known is that over half a million immigrants from eighty countries were processed by officials on the island, and genealogical resources are still available to researchers.

Learn from examples of Chinese, Japanese, Jewish (from Austria), Korean, Russian, Filipino , and South Asian immigrants, and find out about the National Archives and other resource that might be available for your research.  

Grant Din has been working with Bay Area nonprofit organizations for over thirty years and has conducted genealogical research for even longer.  He was on the staff of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and currently volunteers there.  All four of his grandparents spent time on Angel Island.  Grant’s interest in genealogy started when he was a youth.  He is in the 36th generation of the Gong family.  He holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University and has travelled throughout the US, China and Japan for his research. He and his family life in Oakland. 

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. 


Find us:

During the Spring and Summer of 2020, we will hold virtual meetings via Zoom. When in-person meetings resume, we will meet at the following location:
 
SMCGS Meetings c/o Grace Lutheran Church
2825 Alameda de las Pulgas
San Mateo, CA