Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why I'm so glad I joined the San Joaquin County Genealogical Society.

After a couple of years of doing genealogy research and organization my stuff I found I was missing having someone to share my progress/excitement with.  So enters the San Joaquin County Genealogical Society (sometimes shortened to SJGS). I joined and it was just the fix I needed.  I have met wonderful friends who have encouraged me and shared in my excitement over land deeds and death certs, etc.
SJGS is in its second year of offering free workshops for beginning genealogy.  At our last workshop a couple weeks ago I met an existing SJGS member Harvey. So as Harvey and I are visiting we discover that we both have relatives from the town of Vallecito which is in Calaveras County. Vallecito is historically known as one of California's important early-day mining towns as gold was discovered there in 1849. 

After a very nice visit and discussing a potential day trip in the spring to do some genealogy research we each went on our way. Here's where it gets it really really good!  The next day I receive an email from Harvey stating the following: I am happy to report that I have found evidence (text and pictures) of many of your relatives in the book Vallecito History. You can just imagine how exciting this is for me!  This email came during a very hectic two weeks so I wasn't able to connect up with him, but I will see him this Saturday at a FREE genealogy seminar SJGS is hosting at University of Pacific.  Harvey has 2 copies of the books and is going to lend me one so I can pilferage what I can from it.  WHOOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!

The oldest relative I'm aware of from Vallecito is Moses Saunders.  He came to California in 1850 from Rhode Island. I'm not sure of when he first arrived in Vallecito but I do have a original land deed from 1865 where Moses has purchased 160 Acres. I don't believe I have any pictures of Mose yet, but that may soon change.  :-)  

Summary of the deed below is: Otis Hodgkins of the city and county of  San Francisco CA is the first party and Moses Saunders of the 9th Township, Calaveras County the 2nd party. Moses is paying the sum of $300.00 for a parcel of land (160 acres) known as the Hodgkins Ranch.  It's is located on the on  '?' Flat about one and half mile southeast of the village of Vallecito. 


I'm looking forward to sharing what I learn from the Vallecito book.


  1. Susan, I'm so excited for you that you connected with Harvey and are finding some great resources! You have so much local history in your roots!

    Thanks, also, for the shout-out for our seminar next Saturday. We are all looking forward to that!

  2. Susan - this is a perfect example of why joining a local genealogy society is a good thing to do! I am having some ancestor envy right now with all your deep San Joaquin County heritage!

  3. Susan,

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in my Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Jana, Sorry for the delay in replying and thanks again so much for adding my blog to your Fabs Finds. Your Blog looks wonderful and I've added you to my Blog Envy list! I look forward to following you. I really like the old photo album.