Monthly Programs

​Vice President Programs - Sarah Coston

Society meetings are held monthly. The meetings are generally held on the 4th Saturday morning of the month.  Meetings begin at 10:30am. Please come 30 minutes before the start of the business meeting for a half-hour of coffee and friendship. A short business meeting will be held to be followed by a program on subjects of interest to all levels of genealogists.

The meetings are held at Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo, CA 94403. (See map below)  For more information, contact us.

Click here to see what programs we have had in the past.


The next meetings are:


September Meeting

Focused Reasearch - Using Research Plans
Speaker: Lisa Gorrell
Saturday, September 16 , 10:30am - 12:00 pm
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Do you feel like your research just goes in circles, that you keep finding the same information, or you have brick walls you can't solve? Being focused in your research will bring better results. This can be done by using research plans. I will explain how to create and use a research plan to help keep you on focus in your research and get better results.

Lisa Gorrell 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, a board member with the Contra Costa Historical Society & volunteer at their archives at the History Center in Martinez, and a past-president of the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society.

She 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 on two blogs: “Mam-ma’s Southern Family” and “My Trails into the Past” She has also written a three-generation family history about her husband’s Swedish ancestors.

October Meeting

Using Maps in Genalogical Research
Speaker: Melinda Kashuba
Saturday, October 28, 10:30am - 12:00 pm
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

This lecture is an introduction to the wide variety of maps and the ways they are used by genealogists. Featured will be an interactive exercise of how to read and interpret one type of urban mapping: Sanborn Fire Insurance maps. Genealogists and historians are no longer simply the consumers of maps but the makers of maps to illustrate the data we collect.

Maps point genealogists to places we can seek records by showing the locations of schools, churches, cemeteries, migration routes, and many other cultural features. Maps also spur our imaginations to think of what life may have been like through their imaging of historic places.

Melinda Kashuba holds a PhD in Geography from UCLA and is the author of Walking with Your Ancestors: a Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography. Melinda’s specialties include 19th century and contemporary genealogical records in California including map and land records. She teaches geography part-time at Shasta College and is the 2016 recipient of the Gerald C. Hayward Award for Excellence in Community College Teaching given by the California Community College Foundation. She is the owner and principal researcher of Kashuba Research Services, an historical and genealogical research company.

November Meeting

Member's Round Table Discussions
Saturday, November 18, 10:30am - 12:00 pm
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

The SMCGS Round Table meeting is an opportunity for genealogists to come together to share with others what research or projects they have done on a particular topic. Everyone is encouraged to share as well as ask questions. Attendees can “hop” from table to table in order to participate in more than one Round Table. 
The Round Table topics for the Nov 18 meeting are DNA, Finding Females, Photo Organization, Writing Family Stories, and SMC First Families.
You are invited to bring resources or other items to share for any of the Round Table topics. We are looking for a few people to help lead the Round Table sections. If you are interested, please contact VP Programs Sarah Coston at
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