Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Patti Beatty is CVGS Program Speaker on 31 May 2017

Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 12 noon To 2 p.m.
General Meeting
Patti Beatty on “From Chula Vista to the Mouseketeers”
Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910)

Patti Kutch Beatty is a Chula Vista/San Diego native, a former Disney Mouseketeer and Author of the book Feathers In The Wind. She will share memories of her childhood in the area and information on gathering data for writing her book about the history of her family and the Shoshone-Bannock Indians on the Ft. Hall Reservation in Idaho.

Several Photo Boards will show events of the “early years” of Chula Vista such as: Hilltop Elementary School photos, Fiesta De La Luna Parade, Rohr Aircraft buildings, Dance Programs at the City Park Stage, Flower Fields and the Sunkist Packing Plant. Also, many Native American family heirlooms will be on display.

Copies of her book will be available for purchase for $15.00 with a percentage being donated to the Beta Sigma Phi Lupus Philanthropic in honor of her mother, Virginia Kutch.

There will be a short CVGS business meeting and refreshments after the presentation.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Research Group Summary - 10 May 2017

The CVGS Research Group meeting on 10 May 2017 had 15 attendees, including two guests.

In the first hour, Randy discussed:

*  Family Tree Maker 2017 software has not been released yet - there were problems with the sync with Ancestry Member Tree feature, and they are being worked out.  It may be released in the next two weeks.

*  The RootsMagic 7 software TreeShare feature (which interfaces with an Ancestry Member Tree and with Ancestry Hints) has not been released yet.  It may be in the next two weeks.  RootsMagic released a video showing the capabilities of TreeShare - see

*  Legacy Family Tree Version 9 software was released in mid-April, with many new features, including Web Hints with FamilySearch, MyHeritage, Findmypast and GenealogyBank.  This is a new release so users must pay to use the full capability of the program.  

*  AncestryDNA Genetic Communities, Shared Ancestors, and Shared DNA Matches were discussed.  Sometimes you can get an idea of the family connection from a person without an attached tree by looking at their Shared Matches with known ancestry.

*  GEDMATCH ( can upload your autosomal raw DNA data from a test site (e.g., AncestryDNA, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA) and provide DNA matches with other persons in GEDMatch, including a chromosome browser (which AncestryDNA does not provide).

In the second hour, the attendees shared their research problems, questions and successes:

*  Linda E. asked how she can solve an adoption problem on her father's side - they know the date and location.  The group suggested joining the DNA Detectives group on Facebook ( and asking for help.

*  Helen found a listing of "Austrian mistress" as a spouse in an Ancestry Member Tree and thought it was humorous.  

*  Susi has been using the We're Related mobile app to find famous cousins and Facebook cousins.  She and Shirley have 6 of the same cousins with the same common ancestors.

*  Jean had a success when she contacted the Rochester N.Y. town historian who sent church, burial and obituary records for her great-grandparents from their files.

*  Karen P. has an old Family Tree Maker file and program, and needs the new FTM program.  She wondered if the old file would work - the group thought that it would after being converted.

*  Bobbie is looking for death and burial records in Lake county, Illinois and will contact the local Catholic church and the historical society.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be at 12 noon on Wednesday, 14 June in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 2017 CVGS Newsletter Published

The May 2017 CVGS Newsletter was emailed to the membership and mailed to those members without email.

The Newslrtter Table of Contents is:

page 1 -- May 31st Program Meeting
page 2 -- President’s Message 
page 3 -- June 3rd Saturday Workshop 
page 3 -- Next Computer Group Meeting 
page 3 -- Next Lemon Grove Meeting 

page 3 -- Membership Address Changes 
page 3 -- Member Services
page 3 -- MyHeritage Access at County Libraries 
page 4 -- CVGS Member Jane Dale Passed Away 
page 4 -- Register for Meetings on CVGS Website 

page 4 -- Upcoming Family Tree Webinars 
page 5 -- April 26th Program Review 
page 6 -- April 12th Research Group Review
page 7 -- Family Tree Maker 2017 News
page 7 -- RootsMagic 7 Update News

page 7 -- Legacy Family Tree Version 9 Released 
page 7 -- SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2017
page 8 -- Book Review – The Missing Man
page 9 -- CVGS Society Information
page 9 -- San Diego Area Genealogy Events
page 10 -- Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Society Members can read the newsletter online, in a PDF format - use the "Members" link (roll over "Members," and click on "Newsletters") at  Non-members can read CVGS Newsletters two months after publication, per Board of Directors direction (on, roll your mouse over "News" and click on "Newsletters").

Friday, May 5, 2017

MyHeritage Is Now Offered at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library

Genealogy record provider MyHeritage ( is now offered at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road in Bonita).

The San Diego County Library system no longer offers free access to the Library Edition of; they have replaced it with free access to MyHeritage. The good news is - MyHeritage is available for in-library and at-home usage. Just think, you can access billions of historical records from over 48 countries with just your San Diego County library card.

Just go to, click on 'eLIBRARY' at the top, then "Research & Online Learning.'  Click on the gray bar that says 'GENEALOGY', then the little box "MyHeritage." That will pull up the screen for you to enter your library card number and PIN. And you're all set!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 6th Saturday Workshop

The May 6th Saturday Workshop will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road).  

The subject will be “Migration and Humans” presented by Susi Pentico, plus a follow up on the 1 April meeting to discuss brick walls and share information learned.  Come early to connect your laptops to the Library wi-fi.  

Please register on the CVGS website ( on the Events tab so we can plan refreshments and handouts.

This event is free for all to attend. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - May 2017

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for April 2017 include:

 ** Saturday, 6 May, 
1 p.m to 4 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- 
CVGS Workshop in Community Room.  Susi Pentico will present "Migration and Humans" and followup on the discussion at the 1 April meeting on brick walls, five generation charts.  Saturday Workshops are to discuss and demonstrate genealogy and family history topics, especially related to computers, software and websites, etc.

** Wednesday, 10 May, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) --  We will review the latest genealogy news, share success stories and information, and discuss members research problems, and potential solutions, based on the collective knowledge and wisdom of the group.  

** Wednesday, 17 May, 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- 
Bring your laptops to sharpen your computer skills and investigate online genealogy resources.

** Wednesday, 31 May from 12 noon to  2 p.m., at Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- 
CVGS General Meeting meets in the Auditorium.  The program speaker will be Patti Beatty on "From Cheerleader to Mouseketeer"  The business meeting will be after the presentation.  Refreshments after the meeting.

**  Wednesday, 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 May, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- Research Assistance in the Family Research area.  John Finch will help you with your research problems.  Bring your laptop if you want to do online research.

The Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library is located at 365 "F" Street in Chula Vista - between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue, midway between I-5 and I-805 (take the "E" Street exit from the freeways).

The Bonita-Sunnyside (County) Library is located at 4375 Bonita Road in Bonita - turn north on Billy Casper Way, just west of the Otay Lakes Road intersection with Bonita Road, on the north side of Bonita Road.

We welcome guests and visitors to our CVGS programs and events - if you are in the greater San Diego area and want to attend our events - please come and introduce yourselves.  All CVGS events are FREE to attend, except for some seminars and picnics.

Friday, April 28, 2017

26 April Program Review - "World War I"

CVGS member John Finch was the program speaker on 26 April on the topic of "World War I, the Centennial."

He started with a brief overview of the world situation at the beginning of World War I in 1914 and the causes of the war.  His main resource was the book To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild  and the book World War I by the Smithsonian Museum.

In the early 1900s, the European powers had colonies all over the world.  In Europe, the Allied Powers were Great Britain, France, Belgium,  Italy and Portugal; the Central Powers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire.  Russia was an Empire and had allies in Serbia and Romania.  Spain, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands and Luxembourg were neutral.  Many of the most powerful countries had Kings who were related - for instance, the rulers of Germany, England and Russia were royal cousins.

On 28 June 1914, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Serbia.  Austria attached Serbia in late July, and Russia retaliated, causing Germany to declare war on Russia and then France, England declared war on Germany, and Germany attacked Belgium and France in addition to invading western Russia.  The infantry and cavalry war in eastern France became tank and trench warfare and bogged down.    The United States did not enter the war until 6 April 1917, and was the results of German U-boat attacks on shipping and the sinking of the Lusitania.  The Bolshevik revolution in late 1917 caused Russia to make treaty with Germany, freeing up German soldiers for the Western Front.  

There were three draft registrations in the United States - in June 1917, June 1918 and September 1918.  Over 24 million males born between 1872 and 1900 were registered, providing information about their birth, employment, and health.  The United States shipped troops to France, where they took part in 13 campaigns before the Armistice on 11 November 1918.  John's grandfather, Elmore Schweser saw service in the Air Corps over France.  

After the Armistice, the Treaty of Versailles resulted in Germany losing territory to France, Denmark and Russia.  Millions of persons on both sides were killed or wounded.  As the war ended, the Spanish Flu pandemic swept through Europe and the USA, killing 675,000 in the U.S. and over 30 million worldwide.

John mentioned record collections that contained World War I records on, and  The largest collection is the World War I Draft Registration cards on Ancestry and FamilySearch, but there are several other useful databases like the U.S. Veterans Gravesites and British Army service records, pension records and medal rolls.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 26th CVGS Program Meeting Features John Finch

Wednesday, 26 April 2017, 12 noon To 2 p.m.

General Meeting
John Finch on “World War I, the Centennial”

Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910)

John Finch’s topic, “World War I, the Centennial," examines the players and causes of the War, impact on all populations, and the unstable peace that followed the cessation of hostilities.  A display of the various military and other records and documents will be presented which, hopefully, will aid in your research pursuits of this era.  

John Finch has been a member of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society since 1999 and has served as Library Coordinator, Program Chair and President (2004 -2006 term).  He is also a member of the Lee County, Illinois and San Diego Genealogical Societies.   He retired from U.S. Navy in 1980, and the San Diego County Probation Department in 1999.

 John developed an interest in his own family history at a very young age, but did not begin an active pursuit of research until after retiring in 1999.  Now, he spends several hours each week researching his family and volunteers, at the Chula Vista library, every Wednesday morning to assist new and seasoned researchers.

There will be a short CVGS business meeting and refreshments after the presentation.

Please register for the meeting at on the Events tab so we can plan refreshments and handouts.

This presentation is FREE for all persons to attend.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 2017 CVGS Newsletter

The April 2017 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society newsletter contains the following information:

*  page 1 - April 26th Program Meeting
*  page 2 - President's Message
*  page 2 - Register for Meetings on CVGS Website
*  page 3 - May 5th Saturday Workshop
*  page 3 - April 19th Computer Group Meeting 

*  page 3 - April 19th Lemon Grove Group Meeting
*  page 3 - Membership Address Changes
*  page 3 - Member Services Information
*  page 3 - MyHeritage Access at County Libraries
*  page 4 - Lemon Grove Meeting Review

*  page 4 - Upcoming Family Tree Webinars
*  page 5 - March 29th Program Review
*  page 5 - SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2017
*  page 5 - Online Genealogy Link Collections
*  page 6 - March 8th Research Group Review

*  page 7 - Family Tree Maker 2017 News
*  page 7 - RootsMagic 7 Update News
* page 8 - Who Do You Think You Are? Series
*  page 8 - Central Library Research Trip Report
*  page 9 - CVGS Society Information

*  page 9 - San Diego Area Genealogy Events
*  page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 12th CVGS Research Group Review

The April 12th CVGS Research Group at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium had 14 attendees, including one guest.

In the first hour, Randy discussed:

* is celebrating their 500th webinar, and is free for everyone over the April 15 weekend.

*  Family Tree Maker 2017 was supposed to be released 31 March but has not been released yet because of issues with synchronizing with efficiently.  See latest news at

*  The RootsMagic 7 update is scheduled for the end of April.  This update will include TreeShare, which will permit sync with an Ancestry Member Tree one person and/or one event at a time - not the entire database.  

*  AncestryDNA released their new Genetic Communities feature.

*  FamilyTreeDNA improved their myOrigins autosomal DNA ethnicity estimate.  

*  Randy was interviewed by Scott Fisher in episode 184 of Extreme Genes (

In the second hour, the attendees discussed:

*  Gary demonstrated the updated CVGS website at

*  Karen Y.'s mother went to Maryland in the 1980s and copied records at the Dorchester Historical Society.  Karen is reviewing these records and is finding some goodies.

*  Arlene is filling out a 12-generation pedigree chart for her latest great-grandchild.

*  Bobbie has a England ancestry on her mother's grandfather's side that she is researching.

*  Susi is helping Virginia with several wills found for the Dunlap family in Pennsylvania.

*  John received an AncestryDNA match with a 6th cousin who has an error in his line.  John shared his evidence of the correct marriage record from Sussex County, New Jersey.

*  Judy did research 6 to 8 years ago, and is returning to it in order to attend a family reunion.  Descendants of two brothers have tested autosomal DNA and have different ethnicities.

*  Helen shared a descendants chart from her husband's Strickland line and her own Mallory line that indicates they have common ancestry back in the 1300 CE time frame.  

*  Gary worked a bit on his Brock line in Lenawee County, Michigan.  He found seven brothers all worked on the railroad.  The ancestry is from somerset in England.

*  Karen S had a cousin killed during World War II three days before Karen was born.  She was contacted for a picture of her cousin by a woman from the Netherlands who is tending American graves in the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten.  

*  Linda took a research trip to Mexico.  In Durango, the church office was not helpful and she was unable to obtain records.  In Zacatecas, the church office was very helpful, with a designated person to handle the record books, and Linda received several records there.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

CVGS Workshop on Saturday, 1 April Features Susi Pentico

The April 1st Saturday Workshop will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road).  

The subject will be the “5 Generation Charts, Forms and Tips on Finding More Information” presented by Susi Pentico  

Come early to connect your laptops to the Library wi-fi.  This event is free for all to attend. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CVGS Program Meeting on 29 March Features Jeanette Shiel

Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 12 noon To 2 p.m.
General Meeting
Jeanette Shiel, CG on “Newspapers: Beyond the Vital Records”
Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library 
(365 F Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910)

There’s more to newspapers than just birth, marriage, and death notices.  Discover newspapers across the country and what secrets they hold about your family!  Garner those often overlooked golden nuggets of your ancestors’ daily lives from gossip, tax notices, business advertisements, etc.  You’ll be surprised just what you can find!  

A Board Certified Genealogist, Jeanette Shiel has been involved in family research for over 15 years.  Jeanette is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and the Southern California Chapter (SCCAPG); President of North San Diego County Genealogical Society; life member of Utah Genealogical Association (UGA); and National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, currently serving a nine-year appointment on DAR’s Long Range Planning Commission. 

Jeanette was born and raised in New York State and moved to Southern California in 2004. She continues to trace her ancestors in New England, New Jersey and New York back to the 1600s in colonial America.  One of the most important aspects of research that she likes to explore is placing historical events into the timeline of her ancestors and including the push/pull factors that contribute to what and why her family members did what they did….and utilizing newspapers is a great source of information that builds her ancestors’ life stories. 

This program is FREE for all persons.  There will be a short business meeting after the program, followed by refreshments provided by CVGS members.

Friday, March 17, 2017

CVGS Research Trip on 22 March to San Diego Central Library

John Finch will lead the next Research Field Trip to the Genealogy collection at the San Diego Central Library (330 Park Blvd., San Diego) on Wednesday, 22 March 2017.  

We will carpool from the Chula Vista parking garage (between Fuddruckers and Marie Callenders, meet on the second floor midway between the entrances) and leave at 10 a.m., and park in the lot across from the Library.  We will leave the library at about 2 p.m.

The San Diego Central Library has a genealogy book and periodical collection on the 9th floor, along with a Rare Books and a San Diego archival collection.  There are several computers with and other subscription and free record providers.  The San Diego Genealogical Society provides docents to help researchers.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 8th Research Group Review

The March 8th Research Group meeting had 15 in attendance.

In the first hour, Randy reviewed what he learned and experienced at RootsTech 2017 in Salt Lake City, including:

*  Family Tree Maker announced FTM 2017 will be available in March, which has an improved and much faster user interface, an interface with FamilySearch Family Tree, and an improved TreeSync with an Ancestry Member Tree, including one AMT can sync with FTM files on several computers.

*  RootsMagic did not announce a release date for their update that includes a sync with an Ancestry Member Tree.

*  MyHeritage announced two new features, Photo Discoveries and Tree Consistency Checker.  

*  The RootsTech 2017 videos are available at with the keynote addresses and selected classes on each day. 

In the second hour, the attendees discussed their genealogy problems and successes, including:

*  Diane was researching her Longhurst ancestors, and found that one of her relatives married Samuel Boone, the younger brother of Daniel Boone.  She also asked "why did our ancestors migrate from one place to another?"  The group suggested because of other family members, religious reasons, opportunity to work and own land, etc.  

*  Bobbie is working on her goal to find parents for Marguerite Baker, one of her great-grandmothers.  Her cousin in Germany sent information that her parents were Philipp Baker and Barbara Batz who had several children, including Marguerite, before their 1853 marriage.  Bobbie sent for the birth registry to verify the information.

*  Carole is writing family stories, and has found that Frank Lockwood Renwick married Annie Smith in 1857, according to her father's obituary.  She also found that there were seven suicicdes in the family. 

*  Jo Ann is trying to find the father of John Sadler in England.  He may be a Martin Sadler.

*  Jean worked all day after the 4 March workshop on her Hannah Runyon problem and didn't find her parents.  

*  Shirley found an obituary that verified her William Wright ancestor.  She found more obituaries and articles about social activities in newspapers to connect some of her unknown Wrights to the family in New York.  There are similar names in families two generations apart.

*  Karen S. found Texas Land Grants that linked her great-grandfather to her grandfather's neighbors in Louisiana.  Two of the 640 acre grants in 1885 were originally owned by a man who shared a deed with her grandfather's brother.  

*  Helen has been researching children in her father's ancestral families, there are lots of German names.  She found many obituaries for relatives in Iowa.

*  Sam couldn't find his 2nd great-grandfather or his wife in Tennessee after 1870.  He found that the wife married again in 1891 in a Google search and found a newspaper article for her death.

*  Arlene wondered about the middle name of Hiram Bowles Morris.  She found that his father's second wife Lucinda had a brother Holman Bowles who married the father of Hiram Morris.  

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 12 April 2017 in the Conference Room at 12 noon at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista).

Saturday, February 25, 2017

March 4th Saturday Workshop is "Search and Research"

The March 4th Saturday Workshop will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road).  

The subject will be “Search and Research” presented by Randy Seaver. 

Please bring information about one of your brick wall problems to discuss with the group.  This event is free for all to attend. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

CVGS Annual Meeting and Sharing on Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Wednesday, 22 February 2017, 12 noon To 2 p.m.
General Meeting
Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library 
(365 F Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910)

      The February general meeting on 22 February will be our Annual Meeting. At this time, the 2017 budget will be presented to the membership for a vote of approval. The membership will also receive a synopsis of the activities for the last year. 

     Gary Brock will present a slide show of many of our activities in 2016, courtesy of photos by Patricia Diane Godinez. Come and see yourself on the big screen.

     At the end of the formal meeting we will share our 5-generation pedigree charts with each other. See how many people you can find who share your surnames and had ancestors in the same areas as yours. The sharing will be while we enjoy refreshments.  I wonder how many new cousins we can find? 

     Be sure you bring a copy of your 5-generation pedigree chart so you can leave it with a board member to be included in a notebook which will be kept in the library for future reference.   There will be extra copies of the chart at the meeting (or email Randy Seaver for one at  

This meeting is free for all persons to attend.  CVGS welcomes enquirers and is very happy to help persons interested in finding their ancestors and learning their family history.  

Monday, February 6, 2017

January 25th Program Review on "Digital Microfilm"

     The Jauary 25th General Meeting program was CVGS member Randy Seaver presenting “Using FamilySearch Digital Microfilm to Find Genealogical Records.”

     Randy said that “digital microfilm” is the record collections that have been digitized but are not indexed.  FamilySearch has indexed only about 50% of the available digital collelctions on their website (  You can use the “Filter by collection name” to find records for a specific subject – some examples are “new york,” “probate,” “land,” “church,” “Mexico,” “Italy,” etc.  

     There are many collections that have to be browsed at this time – especially vital, church, probate, land, town, tax and other record types.  Many of these are “golden” sources – original souces with primary information and direct evidence.  There are over one billion “hidden” records waiting to be found.

     FamilySearch has organized these “digital microfilm” collections into convenient groups – for example, surname letters, locality (state, county, town), volume numbers, and record topic (usually alphabetical).  These groupings are called “waypoints” and mark the pathway to specific image groups. 

     Randy then provided four case studies from his own research.  The four cases were:

1) Find James Vaux (died 1839) probate records in Erie County, New York.  From the “New York Probate Records, 1629-1971” record collection, which has over 14 million images, he selected Erie from the county Waypoint list, then found a probate index on the list of county probate volumes.  There may be hundreds of volumes, and each volume may have hundreds or thousands of images in each volume.  Using a “guess and estimate” process, he found that James Vaux's records were in Estate File 23181.  Back to the list of probate volumes, he found the correct volume and found that the Estate File 23181 had 26 images and started on image 304 of 1536.

2) Find James Vaux (died 1839) land records in Erie County, New York.  From the “New York Land Records, 1630-1975” record collection, which has over 8 million images, he reviewed the grantor and grantee deed indexes for the time period on the list of county deed records, and found that there were several deeds in the indexes.  He wrote down the deed volumes and page numbers and other information from the indexes, and then reviewed every deed volume on the list to find the deed records.  In the example, James Vaux had a deed in Liber 13, page 318 of the deed records and he used the “guess and estimate” system to find the deed on image 433 of 525.
3) Find 1823 birth record of Isaac Seaver in Westminster, Worcester County, Massachusetts town records.  For this example, Randy selected the “Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1627-2001” record collection on FamilySearch, which has over 1.7 million images.  He selected “Worcester” in the list of county waypoints, and “Westminster” in the list of towns in Worcester County.  There were 15 record volumes, and he found the birth record in one of them. Many of these town records have an index within the volume, but some don't.  An index listed the family on page 312 in the original record book, but he found it on page 246 of the copied record book.

4) Find the 8 July 1896 birth record of Maria Angeli in Bagni di Lucca, Italy.  He selected the “Italy, Lucca, Lucca, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1929” record collection on FamilySearch, which had over 1.3 million images, all in Italian.  The first waypoint was the town names, so he selected “Bagni di Lucca” and then found a volume that had 1896 births in it, which had 3,003 images.  Before searching, Randy used Google Translate ( to list the Italian words for years, months, days, key words, etc. so that he could review the records.  He found that there was a yearly index after the records for each year.  He narrowed the search down to 1896, and found the birth record for Maria Angeli.  A bonus was that the date of her marriage to Leone Morandi was provided in the margin of the birth record.  He found that too.

     Randy ended the presentation by providing some wisdom on the perils of trying to find original town, vital and church records, some lessons learned and some final thoughts.  Many research problems can be solved using records on digital microfilm without going to the local FamilySearch Center or Salt Lake city.  It is faster to use digital microfilm than analog microfilm, and it is easier and cheaper to capture digital images using digital microfilm than a camera at home.  Users need to practice using digital microfilm so that they can do effective research.  FamilySearch has tremendous resources in these browse-only collections, with much more to come.  

     CVGS members can download the four page handout from the CVGS website (, log in with your username and password, click on the “Members” tab, and then the “Handouts” tab and then the “Program Handouts” and the handout for January 25, 2017. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

February 4th Saturday Worshop is on MyHeritage

The February 4th Saturday Workshop will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road).  

The subject will be the “MyHeritage” website with record collections and separate family trees, presented by Susi Pentico. 

This event is free for all to attend. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 11th Research Group Summary

There were 16 CVGS members at the 11 January 2017 research group meeting at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library Branch.

In the first hour, Randy discussed:

*  The new book, Stranger in my Genes, by Bill Griffeth.  Bill found out that he was adopted from a Y-DNA test.  The book describes his search for his biological father.

*  Living DNA ( is a new autosomal DNA testing service.  At present, it provides only ethnicity estimates, and they are focused on the British Isles.

*  Family Tree Maker announced their long-promised Update for FTM 2014/Mac 3 users - it's free to download.  The update permits synchronization to an Ancestry Member Tree.There is also an upgrade coming in the next months.  

*  A "2017 genealogy industry benchmark" post about online genealogy sites was posted at

In the second hour, the attendees discussed:

*  Shirley is working on the Greene family in Rhode Island and New York.  She has about 3,000 persons in her database now, but is having computer problems.

*  Karen S. downloaded the Family Tree Maker Mac 3 update, but her latest Ancestry tree didn't sync with the FTM update.  The group said that she needs to download the Ancestry tree from Ancestry, then merge it into the existing FTM tree, merge duplicate profiles, and then sync it to a new Ancestry tree.

*  Gary is reviewing his 23andMe autosomal DNA matches.  He has a second cousin match with 3.8% in common.

*  Susi put some Jones information on her blog, and a distant cousin provided more Jones data.

*  Bobbie is trying to get started again.  She has three goals for the next two years to research her German, English and French-Canadian ancestors.

*  Mary N. belongs to a German society, where a member said that sometimes when you contact a cousin family in Germany that they think you're trying to claim an inheritance.

*  Bette is a new member with ancestry in Messina, Italy.  She found the naturalization record for her grandfather in 1904 in Boston.

*  Helen S. received an email from Wales on her son's DNA line saying that 3rd great-grandfather John Williams (1805-1851) may be from Wales.

*  Virginia received an email from a FamilyTreeDNA match on her Erdman line from PA, perhaps a 4 or 5th cousin.

*  John is helping Bea each week.  They found family information in the Mexico Civil Registry, and a family member had written a book about the family.  John has had some contact with a few of his over 400 DNA cousins;  one said "none of your business."  Another match said they were related to John Allen and Priscilla Mullins of the Mayflower.

*  JoAnn is working on her father's ancestry in England, and found great-great-grandfather John Sadler on MyHeritage and Genes Reunited trees.

*  Sam is working on sourcing the collected material from his Tennessee research trip.

The next meeting of the Research Group will be on Wednesday, 8 February at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista, California).  

Friday, January 20, 2017

CVGS General Meeting on 25 January Features Randy Seaver on FamilySearch Digital Microfilm

Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 12 noon To 2 p.m.
General Meeting
“UaingFamilySearch Digital Microfilm to Find Genealogical Records”
 by Randy Seaver
Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium 
(365 F Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910)

 FamilySearch has over 2,180 record collections, and many of them are not indexed and cannot be searched using search fields. They are digitized from Family History Library microfilms. Think of them as "digital microfilm" - you have to browse these records (look through them, not search them). There are finding aids to help the researcher find records for their ancestors - waypoints, lists of volumes, volume indexes, etc. 

This presentation will demonstrate how to find records for your ancestors in probate, land, town, tax and other unindexed records, using several record types – probate records, land records, town records, and Italian civil registry records.

 Randy Seaver has been pursuing his elusive ancestors for 29 years, and has been a member of CVGS since 1993.  He is a CVGS Past President, and is currently the Newsletter Editor, and the Research and Queries chairman.  He is also a member of NGS, NEHGS, SCGS and SDGS.  Randy blogs daily at and also on the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe (

This program is free to attend.  There will be a short business meeting after the presentation, followed by refreshments provided by CVGS members.