Submitted by Member Sue Hanson:
James S. Short is the 5th great-uncle to my children, Kristi and David. Abraham Lincoln often helped New Salem friends with chores and sometimes stayed at the Short Farm. In a letter to William Herndon, James commented that Lincoln was the best hand in husking corn on the stalk that he had ever seen. Short made 5 or 6 trips to California during the Gold Rush. He was called "Jim", Uncle Jimmy" and "California Jim". He married Delilah Potter on August 18th, 1859 in Menard County, Illinois. She reportedly died in California, probably while James was an Indian Agent for the Round Valley Indian Reservation in Mendocino County.
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.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our meetings are now being held online using ZOOM. In addition, our Library is closed and will remain closed until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and it is considered safe to reopen. Our friendly researchers are still available to assist you with your research remotely.
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 new 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 us 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, speaking of time, we will hope that the time is not too far off when we can again gather together in person to share our stories, our genealogical finds, our brick walls; and continue to learn how to develop our family trees. In the meantime, there's ZOOM!
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