Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Genealogy Online" Seminar a Big Success

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society seminar titled "Genealogy Online - Discover Your Family History" celebrated Family History Month and was a big success for our society. We had 62 attendees, of which about 25 were non-members. Five new members signed up during the program.

The seminar was held at the Civic Center Branch of the Chula Vista Public Library in the 150 seat auditorium, and was co-sponsored by the library, which created the publicity flyer.

Gary Brock was the Master of Ceremonies for the day, and handled the welcome, the speaker introduction, the announcements and the question and answer period with humor and aplomb.

There were four presentations during this seminar, which started at 10:30 AM and ended about 3:30 PM, with a lunch break. Randy Seaver, the CVGS President, presented:

* Internet Genealogy Survey - a review of what is available on the Internet, in terms of searchable record databases, user-contributed family tree databases, through data portals and commercial web sites, and finally by research topic.

* LDS FamilySearch Resources - a review and demonstration of the current LDS databases (IGI, AF, PRF), Family History Library Catalog and Research Outlines, followed by a description of the New FamilySearch features.

* Rootsweb and USGenWeb Resources -- a review and demonstration of databases, mailing lists, message boards, and web sites at Rootsweb, followed by a review and demonstration of USGenWeb and WorldGenWeb country, state and county resources.

* Resources -- a review and demonstration of the databases, family trees, stories and publications and the other resources at

In the presentations, Randy showed screen shots of many of the web sites mentioned, and annotated many of the demonstration charts with comments. A 24 page syllabus was sold for $5 with all of the web site links covered in the presentations. We ran out of the syllabus because of the unexpected number of attendees.

It was a very full day for the attendees - with a lot of information imparted in a short period of time. There were several questions after each session, which Randy answered before the next session started. Many experienced researchers commented that they learned many new things from the seminar content. This seminar was FREE to attend, so people definitely got their money's worth!

Dearl set up all of the library audio-visual equipment so that we could use Gary's laptop and Shirley's projector for the presentations.

Virginia and Wanda manned the registration desk and sold the syllabus, while Martha sold the opportunity drawing tickets. There were two opportunity drawings for books - "The Official Guide to" and "The Official Guide to"

Susi, Shirley and Susan put together a nice light lunch for everyone - breads, spreads, fruit, vegetables, berries, cookies and water. Most people took their plate out into the park next to the library and got some fresh air and sun, talking in small groups.

John Finch handled the Public Relations effort before the event, contacting news media (we had short articles in the San Diego and Chula Vista papers) and other San Diego societies, working with the library to create the publicity flyers, and then distributing the flyers to local libraries and senior centers.

Thank you to everyone who made this seminar a success for CVGS.

Did you miss the seminar? Do you want the syllabus for your own research? We are selling the syllabus for $5 each for the paper copy - and we will send you a PDF version via email attachment also if you buy the paper copy. An alternative is a CD-ROM with the syllabus as a PDF and a PDF of all four presentations (about 400 slides in all). To obtain the paper or email syllabus or the CD-ROM, please mail a check to Chula Vista Genealogical Society, PO Box 3024, Chula Vista CA 91909-3024, or order them from Virginia at a CVGS meeting.

We need a little time to make additional copies of the syllabus and to create the CD-ROM. They should be available in early November.

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