Genealogy Education

Introduction to Genealogy Workshops  

Introduction to Genealogy Workshops are scheduled frequently during the year and are held at a variety of locations throughout San Diego County.   Classes are free and open to the general public.  New members are encouraged to attend.  Topics covered include:
  • Getting Started
  • Census Records
  • Helpful Forms and Charts
  • Online Research Resources
  • Identifying Resources, including Local Research Resources
  • Recommendations for Selecting Genealogy Software Programs
  • Tips for Getting Organized
Introduction to Genealogy presentations are available for organizations that are interested in conducting a class or need a guest speaker for their group. 

Check the Calendar of Events for the next scheduled Introduction to Genealogy Workshop.

Genealogy Classes 

A series of genealogy classes is offered by the San Diego Genealogical Society on a continual and revolving basis. Interested persons may join the classes at any time. Classes are free and open to the public. Class size is limited and advance registration is requested (but not required).  To register, or for more information, please contact us.   Classes are designed for a variety of research levels and emphasize best practices, from getting started to intermediate and advanced level research, and are often used as a refresher. Attendees are encouraged to bring a notebook (for taking notes and holding handouts) and any records they already have on themselves, their parents and grandparents.

Classes are held before the regular monthly Society meeting. Attendees are encouraged to bring a notebook or mobile digital device (i.e., iPad, laptop, tablet, etc.) for note taking and to bring any pertinent family records they possess. All are welcome and encouraged to stay for the Society meeting and presentation sessions.   The monthly Society meeting is on the 2nd Saturday of the month (February through November) at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church, 8350 Lake Murray Blvd. (at the corner of Jackson Drive), San Diego, California.

The topics for this series of classes are:

  1. Introduction to the British Isles
  2. Census Records
  3. Vital Records
  4. Computer Resources

  In addition to Saturday classes, additional classes on a variety of subjects are offered on varying days of the week at different locations around San Diego. These educational resources are available to SDGS members and the public. Refer to the SDGS Calendar of Events on this website for dates, times and topics. 


Youth Genealogy

  • Genealogy for the Classroom
    A family history presentation for students has been designed to meet California Grade 2 Common Core Curriculum standards. It is adaptable to all grade levels. In the 'Be a Family History Detective!' program, students learn about families who lived long ago, the search for genealogical clues and interview skills.  The 30-minute presentation can be customized to the teacher's plan to include mapping (geography) or writing (biography) skills. Handouts are available. There is no charge for this program. Advance scheduling is required. 
    Contact the SDGS Youth Program Coordinator to make arrangements.
  • Genealogy for Boy Scouts
    An experienced genealogist and SDGS member is registered with the Boy Scouts of America, San Diego - Imperial Council as a Merit Badge Counselor for the Genealogy Merit Badge.
    Contact the SDGS program coordinator for more information or to schedule a presentation for your troop.

  • Genealogy for Girl Scouts
    Experienced Girl Scouts leaders are working to coordinate a program that will be available to Girl Scout troops seeking family history education in relation to 'Across Generations', 'My Heritage', and other badges. In the meantime,
    contact the SDGS Youth Program Coordinator if the we can be of assistance to your Girl Scout or Girl Scout troop.

Presentations available for the classroom and for Scouts


Contact the SDGS Youth Program Coordinator  to make arrangements

Special Interest Genealogy 

The San Diego Genealogical Society offers focused genealogy assistance and education in a number of areas.

More information about these special interest groups follows. Consult the SDGS Calendar of Events for dates, times and topics.

German Genealogy
Family historians researching their Germanic ancestors will find the presentations on German genealogy sponsored by the San Diego Genealogical Society especially helpful. The Society's collection at the Main San Diego Library, as well as the San Diego Regional Family History Center, have resources that will help. Refer to the
SDGS calendar of events and the SDGS Quarterly for upcoming classes and seminars focused on German genealogical research. The group meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 1p.m at the Family History Center located in Allied Garden at 6767 51st Street, cross street is Zion St.  
Amy Chidester or GIG for more information.  

Writers Group
The SDGS Writers Group serves to light the creative fire in its members, helping them to weave the stories of their ancestors' lives, going beyond the often dry lists of ancestral birth, marriage and death dates. The group is peer-led and writers read their work aloud. Gentle critiques guide writers to better express themselves, and brain-storming provides ideas to unlock writer’s block. Both novice and experienced writers are welcome. All that is required is a genuine willingness to learn and produce. The SDGS Writers Group meets on the first and third Friday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at the Family History Center in Allied Garden at 6767 51st Street, cross street is Zion St.  

Facilitator: Diane Altona.  

San Diego County Ancestry
The San Diego County Ancestry Group supports and encourages San Diego genealogical research, on a monthly basis, by visiting various research/historical sites where our ancestors lived, worked and played. The San Diego Ancestry Special Interest Group meets the 4th Friday of each month from 10a.m. to noon. 

Contact Education Director for details at 

Hispanic Research Group

Join Hispanic researchers, and experts, on Saturday afternoons, as scheduled, at Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., 9th floor, downtown San Diego.  Check the Calendar of Events for dates and location.  Be sure to bring your pedigree charts, family group sheets and/or your laptop.  

Contact: Ceasar Castro at

Genealogy Software Users Groups  

The San Diego Genealogical Society conducts monthly user groups to assist members in learning and getting the most from their genealogy software programs. User groups for popular genealogy programs are offered. Members are encouraged to bring laptop computers to the sessions. Contact the group facilitators with questions or for more information.

Family Tree Maker User Group
Meets the first Saturday of each month at the Family History Center in Allied Garden at 6767 51st Street, cross street is Zion St.  , 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., facilitator -
Dave Tooley.

Family Tree Maker was an program developed by Nova Development Corporation. The program was taken over in 2016 by The Software MacKiev Company. It is available for both Mac and Windows. Family Tree Maker combines the standard genealogy software features with the ability to integrate with features. The SDGS Family Tree Maker Users Group assists members in understanding how to best use their genealogy program on personal computers. All Family Tree Maker users are invited to attend [both for PC and Apple/Mac]. 

Reunion User Group
Meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Scripps Ranch Library, 10301 Scripps Lake Drive, San Diego, CA, 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., facilitator -
Anne Alves

Reunion, developed by Leister Productions, is family tree software for Macintosh users. The programs helps document, store and display family information. It is available as a companion product on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad. All Reunion users are invited. 

RootsMagic User Group
Meets the 4th Saturday of each month at the Family History Center in Allied Garden at 6767 51st Street, cross street is Zion St.  10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., facilitator -
Randy Seaver
is the award-winning genealogy software that makes researching, organizing, and sharing family history easy. It is available in standard, Essentials and 'To Go' versions. A free version is available. Companion products include 'Personal Historian', 'Family Atlas' and 'Family Reunion Organizer'. RootsMagic will generate shareable CDs and websites for sharing your genealogy research data. The SDGS RootsMagic User Group strives to help members get the most from their genealogy software. All RootsMagic users are welcome to attend. 

SDGS Speaker's Bureau

The San Diego Genealogical Society is happy to offer guest speakers to community organizations, schools, and social clubs who wish to learn more about genealogy and family history research. If you are planning a program for a meeting, seminar or conference, our speakers are ready to assist you.

Our Speaker's Bureau offers a variety of topics for your group. Most programs run 45-60 minutes. A series of presentations is also available, workshop style; as are customized presentations to fit your specific needs.

There is no fee required to schedule one of our guest speakers. Help with the reproduction of handout material is encouraged, and an honorarium to the Society would certainly be appreciated!

contact the Speaker's Bureau coordinator by email for further information and/or to schedule a presentation.

Address: Post Office Box 635057

San Diego, CA 92163


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software