Raymond Burr
Raymond Burr
Raymond William Stacey Burr (1917 - 1993), the famous actor who portrayed "Perry Mason" and "Ironsides" on television, moved to Vallejo with his mother from his native British Columbia in 1923 when he was six years old. Raymond continued to live in Vallejo until he moved to Hollywood to begin his acting career. Photo courtesy of Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
Submitted by Member Carol-Anne Tucker-Watt:
Submitted by Member Carol-Anne Tucker-Watt:
My great-great grandfather, John Green Dunken, was born in Indiana in 1841. In 1847 an epidemic swept through the area and all 3 of John's siblings died between November 5th & 13th of that year. John's parents, Daniel & Elizabeth Gilliland Dunken, went on to have 5 more children. John married Mary Susan Appleby in Wisconsin in 1866 and had 10 children of his own before dying in Nebraska in 1919 at the age of 77.

Welcome

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! 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 levels 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 at 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.   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 has 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 interests 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.
We invite you to join with us to search, discover and preserve your family history. 

Welcome from the Mistresses of the Web!

"Welcome to a new year!" she said. Yes, I wrote those words just a few months ago when the start of the Roaring Twenties looked so promising. Okay, so when I said "Roaring Twenties" I didn't mean "roaring like a fire-breathing multi-headed Dragon-Hydra hybrid"!  So here we are sheltering in place in our homes and trying to avoid COVID-19. Did any of expect to be living through a pandemic that is dragging on and on?  Probably not.  It had been 100 years since the last pandemic of this magnitude and I think many of us figured that with the advancements in science and medicine made in the past century, this would never become our biggest concern, impacting the day-to-day life of everyone in the world. But history does indeed repeat itself and we still need to learn from the mistakes of the past.  Which brings us to genealogy.  This has been an excellent time to do online research. Check out our links page for ideas. Remember that no one site will have all the answers. I struck out on several of my "go-to" sites recently as I searched for an obituary. Finally, I googled it ... et voila! ... there it was.  If you want to focus on something specific right now, research those relatives who lived through that last major pandemic ... Spanish Influenza. You may find that more than one relative did not live through it.  Check those death certificates of the 1918-1920 period not just for date and place of death, but cause of death.  Another task you might want to take on is writing down your experiences of living in the midst of this pandemic.  Just as you would love to read an account by your ancestors of what life was like during the Spanish Influenza outbreak, your descendants  will be fascinated to read about your experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.  So make the most of your time in this unique time! And we will hope that the time is not too far off when we can again gather together to share our stories, our genealogical finds, our brick walls; and continue to learn how to develop our family trees.