Winter in the San Ramon Valley        Photo courtesy: Ted Shapas  
General Meeting (on Zoom)

Tuesday, June 20, 2023, 10:00 a.m.

Pam Vestal, APG

"Teasing out the Hidden Story Behind the Genealogical Facts"

One of the biggest challenges we face when writing family histories is how to turn the bare facts into tales worthy of being read, but our ancestors were real people, not just names, dates and places. We’ll explore four different approaches that can help us to understand them in the context of the time and place in which they lived, and search for unexpected clues in the information we’ve already gathered. By digging deeply into the genealogical details, we can bring our ancestors’ stories to life.

Pam Vestal is a professional genealogist and speaker from West Linn, Oregon and the owner of Generations Genealogy, LLC. After 20 years as a professional writer, Pam turned her full attention to her long longtime love of genealogy. Since then, her articles have appeared in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly and FGS’s Forum magazine, and her lectures take her from coast to coast. Currently Pam offers genealogical research for clients and works one-on-one with aspiring genealogists who want to improve their skills.

Until the restrictions of 2020, Pam had spoken annually for the previous 5 years at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree. She has also lectured at regional genealogical conferences and societies in Illinois, Texas, Virginia. Her lectures take her from coast to coast.

Pam’s website is

The video from the May 16, 2023 Marian Burk Wood presentation on "Planning a Future for your Family's Past is available for one month by logging in to the member section of our web site.


Our newsletter is published monthly, except for August and December.  In it you will find information on our next speaker, a summary of the  last speaker's presentation, the date and location of the current month’s Special Interest Groups, educational opportunities available in the local area and on-line, a list of webinars you can access from your home computer and other timely notices of genealogical interest. You can look through this month's newsletter or browse previous issues.

Special Interest Groups

Special Interest Groups Image of 5 silhouettes of people

SIG Meetings Will Be Online: ALERT - We are working through guidelines due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and on site meetings where people physically attend, have ceased. Most SIG groups are using Zoom to meet on-line. SIG Leaders will email call-in instructions to SIG members. To be safe, check with your SIG leader before attending any SIG meetings. Review the latest 5 events (on right side of this web page), or click right below on "View Full Listing" to see all events.
SRVGS has had a number of Special Interest Groups over the years in addition to the five that now meet monthly. We encourage members to start their own SIG meetings on topics they are interested in, as a way of learning by teaching. The SIGs come and go, over the years but we promote them and they are a vital part of our Society. There have been SIGs on Macintosh, Azores Research, Using Computers and the Internet, RootsMagic and more. If you are interested in a topic not currently covered please volunteer to lead the group and we will publicize and arrange for a place to meet when we resume meeting in person. In the meantime, our SIG Zoom sessions are the perfect place to meet.

Danville FamilySearch Center Is Now Open

The Danville FamilySearch Center, 2949 Stone Valley Rd, Alamo, California 94507 has re-opened as of Jan 3, 2022. The interim director is: Rudy Wolf.
Handicapped access is available upon request, however, we need to know this prior to arrival so we can open access gates prior to visitor’s arrival.
Hours of operation are limited to 3 shifts a week.
  • Monday 10am -1 pm
  • Tuesday  2-5 pm
  • Wednesday 1-4 pm
  • Other days & hours by appointment only
  • Closed on Holidays
The FamilySearch Center’s Portal provides free access to the following Premium websites: 
19th Century British Library Newspapers, Alexander Street Press - The American Civil War, American Ancestors, Institution, Arkiv Digital Online (Swedish),, FamNet, Findmypast Institution, Fold 3, Geneanet, MyHeritage Library Edition,, Paper Trail, Puzzilla
Appointments may be obtained by calling 926-837-7010.  County guidelines are followed so masks are optional and the six foot rule is no longer required.  Those that need to avoid climbing steps should call the center prior to coming. We will unlock the side & back gates so they can enter the building thru the back entrance.

About the San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society

The San Ramon Valley Genealogical Society (SRVGS) was organized in 1985 with the idea of providing resources, assistance and educational opportunities in a social environment that would allow its members to successfully research their ancestry. To fulfill these goals the society offers monthly meetings with speakers presenting topics covering various aspects of genealogical research. It publishes a monthly newsletter to keep our membership informed of the latest happenings. It offers several Special Interest Groups (SIGs), where members with common interests can meet and discuss their specific areas of research.  It provides resources ranging from a large selection of reference books, conveniently kept at the Danville Public Library, to information on local genealogical libraries. It also offers classes for the beginning researcher and those interested in genetic DNA. All this is done within a community of like-minded individuals ready to encourage and assist others and to share their experience.

Facebook Page

Facebook LogoWe have a public Facebook Page where comments from club officers and visitors are made. Usually the posts are helpful genealogy tips that can be acknowledged and commented on. Join us in educating our genealogy community. 

BOD Meetings

We have a Monthly Board of Directors meeting, currently via Zoom, where any member of our Society is welcome to attend. To receive a meeting invitation, please email our president at before the meeting. The BOD meetings begin on the 4th Tuesday of each month, at 10 a.m. and last between 1-2 hours. The BOD does not meet in August or December. Also, please see our About page for more info about our officers.

Upcoming Events
June 12
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
FamilySearch SIG Online via Zoom
Zoom meeting details will be emailed to members before the meeting.

June 14
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Irish and Scottish Research SIG via Zoom
Zoom meeting details will be emailed to members before the meeting.  

June 15
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Publishing SIG via Google Meet
Google Meet meeting details will be communicated to Publishing SIG members before the meeting. Contact Kathy Javdani at for info on how to join the meeting. ...

June 19
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
DNA SIG Online via Zoom
Zoom meeting details will be emailed to members before the meeting.

June 20
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Pam Vestal - "Teasing Out the Hidden Story" Behind the Genealogical Facts"
Zoom meeting details will be emailed to members before the meeting.