Click Here to Receive New Posts
in Your Inbox

This form does not yet contain any fields.
    SEARCH

    In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” It is the goal of The Family Curator to inspire, enlighten, and encourage other family curators in their efforts to preserve and share their own family treasures.

    Now Available

    Follow Me

    Entries in california (4)

    Monday
    Sep232013

    Visiting Ventura

    Ventura pier

    This past Saturday I presented Preserving the Past: Archiving and Digitizing Family Keepsakes at the monthly meeting of the Ventura County Genealogical Society, and the group made me wish I lived closer to Ventura. With over 200 members, VCGS boasts a VERY active society and a full calendar of events, including their annual seminar next month featuring Lisa Louise Cooke. If you live within driving distance, it's well worth checking out the VCGS website for activities, lectures, and special events.

    I enjoyed meeting many genealogists and talking with members about their family heirlooms -- from family Bibles to wedding gowns to photos and documents. I even heard about a family history "rescue" trip that ended with boxes of memorabilia scattered across the airline baggage conveyer belt. (Thankfully, everything was returned to the boxes and made it home safely).

    The skies were blue when I arrived at the meeting, and dark blustery clouds covered the skies by the time I left to drive south. The weather changes "that" fast! I didn't get down to the pier on this trip, but the skies looked a lot like last year when I snapped this photograph.

    Thanks for the invitation, VCGS! And, it's fun to know that my blog is read by the group, even though I didn't get a new recipe for southern fried chicken from Fran Bumann! She reminded me, however, that it's probably better not to make that deep-fried delicious-ness too often!

    Sunday
    Jul212013

    Orange County Summers ca. 1960

    What's Are You Doing for Summer Vacation?

    La habra library

    I remember when the big question during the final weeks of the school year was always the same, "So, whatareyoudoingforsummervacation?"

    "Nuthin'"

    My friends were carted off on exotic camping vacations to Yellowstone, or spent weeks visiting relatives in Omaha. Hardly anyone I knew went to summer school; it seemed mostly for kids who had to make up classes after they were out for weeks with mono, or for anyone who had the misfortune to flunk chemistry.

    Summer in Orange County, California was hot, smoggy, and wonderfully dull. My mom planned just enough activities to keep us out of trouble (so she thought), and the rest of our days were spent playing with friends, reading, and inventing stuff in the backyard. With four years between us, my sister may remembers those days differently, but I loved the gift of freedom and the challenge "Girls, go find something to do."

    B-O-R-E is a Four Letter Word

    Summers were never boring. We spent days building elaborate Barbie houses and then whined because we ran out of time to play with them. On hot afternoons, we kneeled in the dirt along the shady side of the house and collected iron filings. What do you do with iron filings? I don't know, but they're cool.

    As a pre-teen I babysat for neighbors, ironed hankies for pocket money, and was the driving force behind a variety of start-up businesses. We sold lemonade, lemons, and avocados. We printed out a newspaper using an office mimeograph master and a tray of Knox gelatin. We put on plays, talent shows, and musicals.

    The 60's were good years to keep teenagers busy. I have more memories of psychedelic sunsets at scout camp than I do of concerts and music. Our groovy skits provided campfire entertainment and the best camp crafts were candles and love-beads.

    The activities changed with the years, from iron filings to scout camp to camp counselor, but one annual event remained as popular when I was 15 as when I was 5 -- the public library summer reading program.

    Every June the public library promoted summer reading with a themed program filled with contests and activities. It was the best part of summer for a nerdy girl who loved to read. The only problem was the 10 book limit on how many titles you could check out. Ten books is hardly enough when you are whipping through the Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, and Nancy Drew series.

    I haven't collected iron filings in a long time, but I still see summer as a time to try something new and to read my way through the heat. I mark the end of the school year with my own list of summertime goals, although goals is too business-like to suit the mood of summer. Dreams would be better. Summertime is dream-time. A time to master a new skill, discover a new talent, or read a new book.

    This summer I'm working my way through a stack of new books, learning to make my step-mom's Texas fried chicken, and working through Dr. Tom Jones' Mastering Genealogical Proof. Oh, and I'm going returning to the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), or Genealogy Camp as I've heard it called.

    "So, whatareyoudoingforsummervacation?"

    Monday
    May202013

    Don't Miss #SCGS13 Jamboree

    Geneabloggers Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee always have a great time at Jamboree!

    Early Bird Registration Closes 24 May

    You still have time to register for the upcoming Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank June 7-9, and the Family History and DNA Day on Thursday, June 6. Jamboree gets bigger and better with something new each year.

    The 2013 conference will kick-off Thursday with Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013 featuring Spencer Wells, PhD. and Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Then, on Friday, the 44th Annual SCGS Genealogy Jamboree will open with 50 speakers, 70 exhibitors, and 150 sessions.

    Join us for the Sunday morning Scholarship Breakfast where I will introduce Michael Savoca,  recipient of the 2013 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Student Genealogy Grant. Jamboree is Mike's first national conference -- be sure to say "Hi" when you see him in June.

    Register soon to take advantage of the Early Bird pricing!

     

    Randy Seaver and Angel Linda will be there too! 

    Friday
    Sep212012

    Obtaining a Vital Record for Los Angeles Genealogy

    LA Co Recorder

    Last week I dutifully drove to the Los Angeles suburb of Norwalk to order a death certificate for my great-grandfather Eliphaz B. Kinsel. My helpful D.A.R. genealogist urged me to add it to my application documents, and clued me in on the fast-track to L.A. vital records.

    Obtaining a birth, marriage, or death certificate in Los Angeles County requires a certain amount of stamina. The documents are held by the L.A. County Recorder Offices and regulations for access varies.

    One has several choices --

    1. Request the document by mail and wait up to 18 months for it to arrive.
    2. Request by VitalChek and pay the extra fee. I don't know the turn-around time for this service.
    3. Order the document in person at one of the L.A. County Recorder offices. Older documents are mailed within 20 working days. Some records can be viewed at no charge.

    My closest option would have been the East Los Angeles facility, (7.7 miles / 21 minutes by city streets), but my D.A.R. friend suggested the Norwalk office (22 miles / 21 minutes by freeway). If you know L.A., this makes perfectly good sense. 

    I left Pasadena after rush hour, and made the drive in about 20 minutes. There was a large FREE parking lot adjacent to the building. I noticed that the lot was patrolled by uniformed guards. I also noticed a variety of hecklers, protestors, and yelling people on the walkways and grounds. 

    The vital records request service is located in the foyer. To order a record, you walk directly to one of about 20 computer terminals, enter the information you need, and swipe your drivers' license. A machine prints out your receipt. 

    I dutifully filled out the computer request, and went to the que to wait for a cashier. The Recorder's Office is a busy place midweek, but the facility is set up to accommodate the traffic. In a short time, I paid $14 per record and was on my way home to wait for the documents to arrive.

    Exactly one week later, a certified photocopy of E.B.'s death certificate arrived in the mail. My time to drive to Norwalk and request the document was about one hour, well worth the expedited delivery. 

    Next: What I learned from E.B.'s death certificate.