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 the 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


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 event is free and all are welcome. 


Sisters Unite!  Two Hundred Years of Women’s Suffrage

Presenter: Lisa Oberg
Sat, Apr 24, 2021    10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

The 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, was ratified in 1920.  The amendment was a culmination of over 70 years of agitating for women's rights that begun in 1848 at Seneca Falls. Lisa will present a brief history of the suffrage movement in the United States.

This event is free and all are welcome. 


The Importance of On-Location Research in a Digital World
Presenter: Craig Siulinski
Saturday,  May 22, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

Computers and technology provide today’s genealogists with many resources for basic research and for communicating/collaborating with family members and other genealogists, but sometimes research on location provides family history information that you just can’t find online.

This event is free and all are welcome. 

Immigration to America Before 1820
Presenter: Chris Green
Saturday,  June 26, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom
Early settlers were primarily English and Irish. Dutch settlers came to New Netherlands between 1630 and 1674, and prior to 1800 about 50,000 immigrants arrived from what is now Western Germany, Alsace Lorraine, Austria, and Switzerland.  Prior to 1820, there is no single place to look for records, and you will learn where to find them.
This event is free and all are welcome. 

Cluster Genealogy
Presenter: Sue Long

Saturday,  July 24, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

In 1687, Thomas Holme, the Surveyor General of Pennsylvania, made a map for William Penn   so Penn could persuade investors back in England to buy land in his new colony - Pennsylvania. Learn how Sue identified some of the early landowners. The names on Holme’s map turned into people with voices of their own. We can hear these stories after 300 years. 

This event is free and all are welcome. 


Presenter: Thomas MacEntee

Saturday,  Sept 25, 2021   10:30am - 12:00 pm, via Zoom
Social hour 10-10:30 am, via Zoom

Many genealogists remember the amount of excitement in April, 2012, around the release of the
1940 US Census. Following the “72 Year Rule” for records at the National Archives, the results
of the 1950 US Census will be made public on Friday, April 1, 2022.


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