Officers:

  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., President

James Sorenson has been seriously pursuing genealogy since 1994 and it has led him to visit more than 30 courthouses and at least that number of libraries. In the past couple of years, he has become more interested in DNA as a means of finding cousins, filling knowledge gaps and discovering surprises. Jim still gets excited about tracing a family, even when it is not his own. He has been a CGS member since 2007, and since 2010 he has been an active volunteer on the research and investment committees. Jim has also co­led CGS sponsored research trips to Salt Lake City and has previously served on the CGS Board.
 
    Vice President

 
 
Matt Berry   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Treasurer

Matthew Berry became interested in family history research in 2003 during a family reunion. He was born in San Diego and grew up in Foster City before attending and receiving a BA and MS from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from Santa Clara University. Now retired from Wells Fargo Bank, Matt has been a member of CGS since 2006, has served as a desk duty volunteer in the past, and has taught several CGS classes on Microsoft Word skills for genealogists. His genealogical research has focused on California, New England and the American mid-west.
 
  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Recording Secretary

Genealogy has been an obsession for Stewart Blandón Traiman for 30 years. He began by interviewing parents, grandparents and other relations about his roots in Nicaragua. He is still hoping to prove the family legend of escaping the Spanish Inquisition. When he married Leland Traiman, 25 years ago, he took on the new adventure researching Ukrainian and Polish Jews. Stewart has also researched his children’s origins back to the colonial United States. Whenever a friend asks, Stewart is happy to trace their family stories and among his family tree collections, he now has 8 trees in perpetual progress.
 
 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Corresponding Secretary


A box of old family photographs inspired Nancy Cork to begin researching her family's history. After 23 years of gathering records, she still has questions about her family, but now at least they are different questions: not so much the who's and the when's, but the why's and the how's. Born in New York and raised in Minnesota, Nancy has been living in the Bay Area for 35 years. A student of history and a lover of books, she has been volunteering for several years in the CGS Library, where she manages the periodicals subscriptions. Nancy served on the Nominations Committee for two years and enjoys helping with the publication of The California Nugget.

Board of Directors:

 
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Felicia Addison became fascinated by an older sister’s school project and decided at age twelve that she would one day pursue family research. Twenty-seven years later a television commercial for Ancestry.com was the final bug that bit her with an incredible passion for genealogy. By profession, Felicia has been a Customs House Broker for more than twenty years. Felicia has been a member of The African American Genealogical Society of Northern California (AAGSNC) for five years where she’s served on the Outreach and Program committees and is currently the Treasurer.
 
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Jennifer Dix worked as a news reporter and editor for more than 20 years. She was born and raised in New England, misspent her youth mostly in the Midwest, and came to California in 2000. About that time, she began investigating her own family history. Jennifer has been an active CGS volunteer for the past couple of years and currently manages the CGS blog and social media. She completed the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate Program in 2016 and is currently in the ProGen Study Program for professional and aspiring genealogists.
 
  Stacy Hoover

Stacy Hoover has been intrigued by genealogy since childhood, when she discovered her name in a massive family history text. A photo of her paternal great-grandparents reignited this interest many years later. Stacy grew up in Marin County and attended Stanford as well as Santa Clara University. She has spent 25 years as a school counselor and special education teacher. She completed Boston University's Certificate Program in Genealogical Research in 2015, joined CGS in 2016, and finished the 18­month ProGen Study Program in 2017. Stacy's research interests include colonial-era New England and DNA, and she loves a good handwriting transcription challenge! She has served as a volunteer genealogist with the 2016 and 2018 Nikkei Pilgrimages to Angel Island and as Assistant Editor of The California Nugget.
 
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Richard Kehoe became interested in family history research years ago during visits with his mother and aunt, listening to their spirited discussions about growing up in San Francisco. Rich is a 6th generation San Franciscan. His ancestors came to San Francisco in 1769 with the Spanish Portola Expedition. He also has extensive Irish roots. Rich did not become obsessed with genealogy until 2010, and discovered CGS two years later, after retiring from a sales and marketing career in the educational technology business. He has been a volunteer with the Educational Programs & Events Committee, and has attended SLIG and taken many of CGS’s wonderful classes, seminars and trips. Rich is a member of UGS, NGS and Los Californianos.
 
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Marisela "Merry" Meskus became interested in genealogy after a family trip to the Dominican Republic in 2004. Her father was born in the Dominican Republic and her mother's family originated from Mexico. She enjoys telling people that she is a first-generation American as well as a second-generation, third-generation, and fourth-generation Californian. Marisela was born in Merced and graduated from the University of California, Merced with a BA in History. She moved to the Bay Area to attend San Francisco State University and obtained an MA in Linguistics in 2015. She joined CGS in April 2017 and took advantage of all the classes and SIGs before deciding to volunteer. Planning to become a professional genealogist, she enjoys coming to the library to learn from members who are as passionate about the subject as she is.
 
Arlene Miles Photo   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Arlene Georgia Schroeder-Miles A native New Yorker, she’s been a San Franciscan since 1984, when she and her husband, Ted Miles, moved out west. Her credentials include an Associate Degree in Library Technology from City College San Francisco. Prior to retiring and becoming a volunteer with us, she served as an assistant librarian at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. A member of the society since 2007, she began her genealogy journey in the fourth grade, when she had an assignment to draw a pedigree of three generations. She added her parents, then grandparents and found some hints that maybe there were more people in the family tree... She likes to ‘pay it forward’, by helping others to research and record their families.
 
  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Past President

Linda Harms Okazaki is a fourth generation San Franciscan who has lived all but two years of her life in the Bay Area. Her interest in genealogy began as a hobby in 1998 but has since grown to a personal quest. Linda has been researching her husband’s ancestry for the past several years, documenting his family in the internment camps and in Japan. She is passionate about researching, documenting, teaching, and sharing the stores of Japanese Americans.
 
 

Chris Pattillo


A member of CGS since 2004, and previously on the Board, Chris Pattillo completed two terms as a commissioner on the Oakland Planning Commission, retired from her landscape architecture practice and is ready to rejoin the Board. During her first term as a Board member, Chris wrote the Investment Policy and helped update all of the job descriptions. She also served as Facilities Chair. In 2015 Chris volunteered to co-chair the first Capital Campaign which will conclude in February 2018. Chris has taught classes for CGS and recently gave a talk about her 2017 Genealogy Journey. She has had articles published in The California Nugget, the CGS blog, the Watauga Genealogy Society magazine, as well as a newspaper in Albany, Texas. Chris has presented her Power Point talk, Preserving Your Family History, at local retirement facilities and plans additional presentations throughout the Bay Area to promote the California Genealogical Society.

 
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Jeffrey Vaillant dipped into and out of genealogy with the middle part being raising a family. He dipped back into genealogy about ten years after his mother's death. She researched via pen and paper and postal mail. Jeff took her research and with the DNA and virus triggers plowed into family research. Research led to classes at CGS, SLIG, GRIP and local, regional and national conferences. Continuing education is a key to good research. He is a past President of CGS and the Sonoma County Genealogical Society and has served on the boards of many other genealogical associations. He has a BA in history and has a special interest in American Civil War research. He teaches genealogy each month at the San Rafael Public Library. Jeff is a member of APG and is working toward certification as a professional genealogist.