Welcome! Whether you have Gold Rush ancestors or have no family connection to California, you will find extensive support for your genealogy research at the California Genealogical Society (CGS).

The goal of the California Genealogical Society is to connect people to their family heritage and to promote a spirit of diversity and inclusivity for our members and patrons. The California Genealogical Society does not tolerate discrimination in any form. 

Intro to Genetic Genealogy

New Online Resource
CGS is pleased to provide a word-searchable PDF of The Colored Directory of Leading Cities in Northern California 1916-1917 thanks to the generous efforts of Lorna Jones and Electra Kimble Price. The directory lists nearly 10,000 African Americans in Northern California along with their churches, lodges, and organizations. The directory is free to all and resides on our Databases page. Note that it's a large file and may take some time to download, but it will be worth the wait. Jennifer Dix has written up a wonderful backgrounder in the blog, be sure to read it whether or not you have African American research targets in NorCal.
Building Skills for Successful Family History Research

Pamela Brett will teach beginning and intermediate family historians essential skills for creating reliable family trees without wasting valuable time. Presented at the Oakland FamilySearch Library each Wednesday in March 6:00-8:00PM.

Registration and more information.

Introduction to Genetic Genealogy

Mark McLaren is presenting a six-part class on genetic genealogy based on Blaine Bettinger's The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy. He will cover ethics, test types, strategies, testing companies, and third-party tools.

Presented at the Oakland FamilySearch Library every Thursday from March 7 through April 11.

Registration and more information.

Speaking of Genetic Genealogy...

CGS's Events Committee has a whole year of Genetic Genealogy and DNA Testing classes mapped out for 2019. Read the full story in the blog!

Hispanic Genealogy: Spanish Records
Discover how to search for your Hispanic ancestors, using records such as baptism and marriage. You don’t need to know how to read Spanish. You will receive a resource list of online and print material.
Records in Spanish contain a person’s genealogy. Learn how to verify your family stories, how to use the Spanish naming system, and how to find records for your country and town.
Finding Your Japanese Roots
The first half of the seminar will focus on background and research in the united States:
  • The political climate and pertinent U.S. laws
  • Internment camps and prefectures
  • Repatriation and redress
The second half of the seminar will focus on research in Japan:
  • Finding your koseki
  • Understanding ohaka and kakocho
  • Visiting relatives, cemeteries and temples

The seminar is suitable for both beginners and experienced researchers. 

Details and Registration.


The California Nugget – The journal of the California Genealogical Society is published twice a year. Have you read our recent issue? Would you like to publish an article? See the contribution guidelines.


Tip of the Iceberg Poster – Support the library and help spread this important message. Buy three, get one free! Order now.


California Names Index includes pre-1905 deaths in San Francisco. Search for your surnames to see if we have records for your ancestor. Learn more.


Board of Directors Meeting: Second Saturday Monthly at 10:00 AM.

Excel for Genealogists: Saturday, February 23 1:00-4:00PM. SOLD OUT, join the waiting list.

Hispanic Genealogy: Records with Lucy Jennings Sweeny. Saturday, March 9 1:00-3:30 PM. Details and Registration.

Finding Your Japanese Roots in the US and in Japan: Sunday, March 10 1:00-4:00 PM. Details and Registration.

Hard Drive Organization: Managing Images and Your Computer File Folders: Saturday, March 23 10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon. Details and Registration

You've Got Your Ancestry DNA Results, What Next? Saturday.,March 23 1:00-4:00 PM. Details and Registration

You've Got Your Family Tree DNA Results, What Next? Saturday, March 30 1:00-4:00 PM. Details and Registration

You've Got Your 23andMe or MyHeritage DNA Results, What Next? Saturday, April 6 1:00-4:00 PM. Details and Registration

Read our blog to keep up with the latest news and coming events.

Visit Eventbrite to see and register for CGS events.

Occasionally CGS will partner with the Oakland FamilySearch Library to present events. Visit this Eventbrite page to see the list of upcoming joint events.

Visit Calendar of Events to see future events.

Looking for something genealogical to do this week? The Sutro Library's Genealogy Section maintains a Bay Area Genealogy Calendar with events at many local societies, libraries, and museums.