The San Francisco Civil War Round Table Meeting 15th September 2011
The first meeting of the 2011-2012 season started at 6:45pm with the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Winchell Hayward.
New members David Hargrave, Paul and Sherrie Rosenberg, and Mel Clark were welcomed. As is often customary at the first meeting, the members then introduced themselves and their guests.
Former Vice President Bob Quinn gave a brief description of his recent visit to Manassas and wore the T-shirt to prove it.
Patrick Doyle reminded members that the 2011 West Coast Civil War Conference will take place in Sacramento from November 11th to 13th. More information here. He also announced that Living History Day would take place again on Alcatraz on October 1st. More information about this event at here.
The Book Raffle was conducted efficiently by Program Chair Bob Bowen and members' enthusiasm resulted in $95 being collected, a welcome addition to our balance sheet.
Our guest speaker was Jeffrey Vaillant, a professional genealogist. Jeff spoke on "Chasing your Civil War Ancestor." Jeff outlined the various resources available, both online and off, for tracing ancestors who fought in the Civil War. He pointed out that, if the subject was alive in 1910, he might be included in the 1910 Census, which asked (for the first time) if the respondent was a Civil War survivor. Pension information, if available, is another rich source, as it usually includes the details of the subject's service, regiment, postings, etc. However, pensions for Union veterans were only voted on in 1888. Confederate veterans had to rely on their individual states for any benefits. Jeff gave an excellent example, using his own search for his great great grandfather, Archibald Pierson, 1824 - 1906. He showed us the paper trail he was able to follow to determine the entire career of his ancestor. A spirited question and answer period followed and it was apparent that many members are interested in finding out more about their Civil War predecessors.