William Stanford
William Stanford
William Townsend Stanford (1867-1964) was named Vallejo's first Chief of Police on April 4th, 1900. He was a Mare Island Naval Shipyard mechanic with no prior law enforcement experience. He continued to serve as Chief of Police until his retirement in 1936. Photo courtesy of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum.
Submitted by Member Toni Rehmus:
Submitted by Member Toni Rehmus:
My Grandmother Dora A. (Walker) Jones with her children. Standing in the back, left to right, sons Opal Hurst (b. 1906), Joseph Glen (b. 1915), William Frederick (b. 1904) and my father Luther Franklin (b. 1902). Standing behind Dora, daughter Bennie Cleo (b. 1912) to the left and daughter Lois Pauline (b. 1909) to the right. Sadly missing from the family group is Dora’s husband and the children’s father, Joseph Grayson Jones (1874-1915) and Dora and Joseph’s oldest child, daughter Leila Burton Jones (1900-1918). This snapshot was taken at a family outing in New Mexico in the mid-1930’s.

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. 
NEW! Some of our meetings are in person and some are on Zoom.  Please check listing carefully to determine which is the case for each meeting.  In-person meetings will not be zoomed. All times given for events are Pacific Time (either daylight or standard, depending on time of year).  Our library is open and our friendly researchers are available to assist you with your research in person or remotely.

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!


January 5
Buchanan Estate Scam: Detecting and Navigating Genealogical Hoaxes
Genealogy is history personalized. It is the story of the everyday ancestors in our trees who made history happen. Every experience and personality played a ...