Submitted by Member Laurel Carlson Knapp:
My paternal grandfather, Johan Edwin Carlson, was the eldest boy in a family of 11 children consisting of 7 boys and 4 girls. Their parents, Julius & Anna, had been born in Sweden. From left to right, here are the 6 boys (one had died in infancy): Johan Edwin, Joseph Arthur, Paul Ephraim, Frank Benard, Fred Otto, and Nathaniel Tennie, the 10th child. They grew up to be solid citizens of their communities (don't you just know that from seeing this picture?). Their occupations: Ed managed the County Poor Farm, Joe was a mercantile manager, Paul was School Superintendent, Ben was a creamery operator who won prizes for his butter-making, Fred (I believe) was in sales or manufacturing in the Twin Cities, and Tennie was a farmer all his life, having taken over their father's farm after his death. All these boys died of heart conditions, some at an early age; the family came to refer to this phenomenon as "the Carlson heart" and it affected both males and females. Unfortunately, that gene continues today. This photo of the Carlson brothers was taken circa 1908.
Build your family tree, research ancestral history, learn search skills, share ideas and tips with like-minded Northern California enthusiasts ...
A warm welcome to the Genealogy Society of Vallejo-Benicia (GSVB)! We invite you to be part of our congenial group while we all learn and work together to build our family trees and to remember, research and document our ancestors.
Just as a genealogy research project often starts with a question, so did GSVB start as an organization when the question "Would you teach a genealogy class?" was asked on behalf of the Senior Center in Vallejo. Betty Heryford answered "yes" and began her class in March 1993. From the very beginning, Betty and her 17 students wanted three things: they wanted to have a quiet, set-aside place to meet, to grow into a group that would embrace all level of experience, ages and family backgrounds, and to start a library to support their research goals. Their dreams became the foundation of the Genealogy Society of Vallejo-Benicia. We now hold our monthly meetings in the comfortable, quiet Heritage Chamber of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum which is welcoming and comfortable for General Meetings, Guest Speaker presentations, and teaching lessons using Power Point and Video, or our meetings are held online via the Zoom platform. The Museum also provides GSVB members with a central meeting place to carpool for visits and tours of other museums, libraries and historical sites of interest to genealogists. The original group's informal meetings at the Senior Center have expanded into a 501c Society which brings together people of diverse family backgrounds, ages, and experience levels interested in researching family history, not only in the United States but throughout the world. Because of the wide ranging interest of our membership, we continue to learn about new search opportunities and techniques, how to use on-line resources and new software packages, and how to benefit from the new world of DNA testing. The few books collected by the original group has grown to a dedicated Genealogy Library of 2000 publications located in the Museum -- and a very helpful Genealogy Library Staffer to help with research. The library collection includes general publications on building family trees and on how to research and document family histories. It also contains a wide range of individual publications arranged by state, to help researchers to discover more about their ancestors' histories and "home place". In addition to GSVB's library, the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum maintains a library of California, Solano County, Vallejo, and Benicia military and general histories. Both libraries are very valuable to the family researcher. Beginning Saturday, January 7th, 2023, the Genealogy Society of Vallejo-Benicia Reference Library will be open additional days and hours.
The new days and hours are:
Every Tuesday: 1:00 - 3:30 pm
1st and 3rd Saturdays: Noon - 3:30 pm
2nd Thursday of the month: Noon - 3:30 pm
Our library is located on the 2nd floor of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum at 734 Marin Street in Vallejo, California. Our librarian will be there to help with your research. In addition to numerous genealogical publications, Ancestry.com, Newspapers.com, and Fold3 are available for your use.
We invite you to join with us to search, discover and preserve your family history.
NEW: Some of our meetings are in person and some are on Zoom. Please check listings carefully to determine which is the case for each meeting. In-person meetings will not be zoomed or recorded. All times given for events are Pacific Time (either daylight or standard, depending on the time of year).
Welcome from the Web-Managers!
It's been a long road but we are learning how to live with COVID-19 as a permanent part of our lives. There is a new normal in the world and as an organization we are trying to figure out our new normal. In October of 2022 GSVB had an in-person meeting with an in-person speaker at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum for the first time in over two and a half years. Not everybody is into the whole Zoom experience, so we saw members we haven't seen since the pandemic started. There was that human contact with each other that we have all missed. Most of all, it gave us a feeling of normalcy. On the other hand, we have found many pluses to the Zoom experience. We have attracted members who are out of our area. We have obtained speakers from across the country. Due to our early afternoon meetings, it is possible for us to have speakers from places on the East Coast, such as the Library of Congress. With pluses to both in-person and Zoom formats, what are we going to do going forward? The GSVB board is currently trying to work that out. We will try to strike a balance ... our own version of hybrid meetings ... with some being on Zoom and some being in-person. What about hybrid meetings that are both in-person and online? We tried that and had to admit it was a failure, so we won't be pursuing that form of meeting. There were too many technical difficulties and a lack of an in-person audience because, let's face it, get yourself ready and drive to the museum, or stay home in your pajamas with a cup of coffee or tea while you interact online? The latter usually wins!