Monthly Programs

Meetings: Held monthly except for December on the 4th (or 3rd) 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 the program 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

March 2018 Meeting - Bring a Genealogy Book(s) to donate to the SMCGS Spring Seminar Book Sale! Thank you!

Making A Family Video to Share
Speaker: Dr. Jan Joyce Aherns
Saturday, March 24, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Sharing Stories: Laurie Coulter will read Imagine San Mateo in the 1950s
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

You love genealogy research but at family gatherings and cocktail parties your relatives’ and friends' eyes glaze over when you start talking about it, right?  This talk/workshop will show you how to make your genealogical information into an engaging video that everyone will love. Create videos for family, friends, and clients.  

You will determine your audience and video topic, identify the materials you have or need to find and how to organize them, write a script, create high impact visual and audio effects, record, edit, and publish your video. This workshop will focus on developing content with a light touch on technology and software.

Dr. Aherns is a genealogy researcher whose personal work has focused on Ohio and Pennsylvania, England, Germany, Ireland, and Norway. She began researching in 1998 to better understand genealogy customers when she managed the marketing initiatives at Before beginning her genealogy career in writing and speaking, Jan earned a B.S. in Business, Marketing, from Miami University; and an MBA, Marketing, from The Ohio State University and a Doctor of Business Administration from Golden Gate University

She has completed the Boston University Certificate in Genealogy Research, the ProGen Study Group, Advanced Genealogical Methods Course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG), Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies Course at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR), British Institute - Researching Your English Ancestors, and the Writing & Publishing for Genealogists Course (IGHR) among others. 

This event is free and all are welcome.

April 2018 Meeting

English Probate and Death Duty Records
Speaker: Christine Bell Green PLCGS
Saturday, April 21, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm  -  Please note: This meeting is on the 3rd Saturday of April (not our usual 4th Saturday)
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Sharing Stories: June Baxter will read My Roommate
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

English probate records, when available, can be instrumental in providing primary information about family relationships. They frequently provide direct evidence that links adult children with their parents and/or siblings. Wills of childless or single people are especially worth collecting as they typically name several family members (including nephews and nieces).  During the 19th century an additional set of records, death duty records, which complement probate records is extant. Death duty records are available for both testate and intestate probate cases. Record types and methodology will be discussed.

Christine Bell Green has a professional learning certificate in Genealogical Studies from the University of Toronto. She is a ProGen graduate and an alumnus of the Salt Lake Institute, the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, and the Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh where she studied a variety of advanced level courses. She is a past president and current seminar chair of SMCGS and a professional researcher who teaches Genealogy in Palo Alto and Mountain View/Los Altos Adult Schools. In her spare time she travels to visit her living relatives.

This event is free and all are welcome.

May 2018 Meeting

The Streets of Menlo Park
Speaker: Bo Crane
Saturday, May 19, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm  -  Please note: This meeting is on the 3rd Saturday of May (not our usual 4th Saturday)
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Sharing Stories: Cindy Wallbrink will read A Picture Worth a Thousand Words
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

The Streets of Menlo Park delves into the genealogical background of many of the street names of Menlo Park and the very special people behind these street names especially those from the Gold Rush Era.

The remote flats south of the port of Redwood City originally had competing rudimentary roads connecting San Francisco with San Jose. With the completion of the railroad depot opposite the Menlo Park Ranch, wealthy city dwellers purchased large estates within the level, vacant terrain, A street grid was developed over time as an American town came to be with many street names chosen for those whom the Gold Rush once brought to the Bay Area and their descendants, whether as property owners and/or developers, many of whom either immigrants or one generation removed. The Streets of Menlo Park delves into the genealogical background of many of the street namesakes: those special persons behind the ordinary street signs.

Bo Crane was born at the Palo Alto Hospital and brought home to West O’Connor Street, then in what was called North Palo Alto, now within Menlo Park. As secretary of the Menlo Park Historical Association (MPHA) and the author of The Life and Times of Dennis Martin, he was assigned the task of researching the origin of the Menlo Park street names. Retired, Bo began his research in earnest and uncovered biographies otherwise dormant. An English major who graduated from Stanford, he has written this new book The Streets of Menlo Park on behalf of the MPHA, which receives all the proceeds of the book sales. The book is at MPHA and will be on hand for purchase for $20.00, including tax, following his talk. 

This event is free and all are welcome.

June 2018 Meeting

Ireland Online
Speaker: Cath Madden Trindle
Saturday, June 23, 2018   10:30am - 12:00 pm
Cookies & Coffee 10-10:30 am
Grace Lutheran Church, 2825 Alameda de las Pulgas, San Mateo

Ireland Online is an exploration of the many Irish research resources available on both free and paid sites on the internet and will appeal to everyone doing Irish Genealogy.  The celebration of the Centennial of the Easter Uprising of 1916 caused a tremendous surge in the availability of online resources, including some unusual and unique records.  Many provide clues about even our poorest Irish ancestors in the Nineteenth Century. 

Cath Madden Trindle, Publication Chair and long-time member of San Mateo County Genealogical Society is a retired professional genealogist who specialized in Irish Research.

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