Sunday, September 30, 2007

Book: "The Civil War Veterans of San Diego CA"

One of the absolute "best" genealogy books about San Diego area people is the book "The Civil War Veterans of San Diego, CA" by Barbara Palmer, Ph.D., published by the author, 1999 (on the Genealogy Reference shelf at the Chula Vista, Civic Center Branch, Public Library - Dewey 973.749 PALMER).

This book describes:

* California and San Diego in the Civil War
* Cemeteries Studied for the survey
* Other Cemeteries in San Diego
* Additional Research Sources - includes libraries, historical and genealogical societies, etc.
* Specific Genealogical Records Available in San Diego - by subject (e.g. military, death, probate, etc.)
* General Findings concerning Civil War Veterans
* Civil War Veterans buried in San Diego (in studied cemeteries)
* Civil War Veterans with Burial Locations unknown (but who died in San Diego)
* State of First Enlistment of Civil War Veterans

This is an excellent reference work - not just for Civil War veterans but for all local genealogy researchers - the research sources and specific records available in San Diego are very useful in describing holdings.

Of course, the Civil War veterans, and their burial locations, are the focus of this book. The information available for each veteran found in a San Diego cemetery, using codes, includes:

A. Veteran's Official Tombstone (info. from the official government tombstone)
B. Veteran's Unofficial Tombstone (info. from unofficial or family tombstone)
C. Cemetery information (cemetery name, grave location, date of death/burial, age at death, nativity, marital status, etc.)
D. Heintzelman Post #33 G.A.R. (code for info. for this specific post)
E. Datus E. Coon Post #172 G.A.R. (code for info. for this specific post)
F. Information on Veteran's Wife (if located, including birth/death info, age, nativity, marital status, info in quotes are in cemetery records).

For example, here is one entry:

Adams, Frederick F.
B. F.F. Adams, Co B 43rd Ohio Vol Inf 1861-1864
B. F.F. Adams, October 5, 1842 - October 28, 1928
C. MH/Div. 4 DOD/B 10/28/1929-2/23/1930 A. 86/__/23 O. died Seattle WA (grave stone says date of death is 1928)
D. Frederick F. Adams N: Ohio A:39 O: Merchant CW: Co B 43 Ohio Inf (Sgt) E/D: 10/61 - 9/64 LOS: 34 mos GAR: 3/31/81 SP: 4/30/1890 RE: 12/10/1890 TR: 12/13/1910 S: H
F. Mary Virginia, his wife March 2, 1854 - October 30, 1887 "He giveth His beloved sleep" DOD/B 10/30-11/1/1887 A: 34 N: California M: Married J/S: "Adams, Mary d. 30 Oct (1887), 35 yrs, bur. Mt Hope Cem"

"The cemetery abbreviations are:

* CAL = Calvary Cemetery (also known as Mission Hills Cemetery and Pioneer Cemetery)
* CV = Cypress View Mausoleum (opened in 1927)
* FR = Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (opened after 1883)
* GW = Greenwood Cemetery (opened in 1907)
* HC = Holy Cross Cemetery (opened in 1919)
* MH = Mount Hope Cemetery.

For the Civil War veterans whose burial place is unknown or is outside the city of San Diego, the information offered was gleaned from GAR records of the two San Diego posts.

A typical entry is:

Abrahams, W.F., N. Steubenville, Ohio CW: Co F 84 Ohio Vol Inf (Pvt) Term: 90 days E/D 5/62-9/62 Camp Delaware, Ohio GAR: 5/28/1904 Died 3/31/1915 age 63. Buried: Los Angeles S: DC.

There are 182 pages of veteran listings in this book. The book has source notes and photo credits, and an index of the Civil War Veterans and their wives.

I found this book on the shelf several years ago and have used it often. Recently, I had to answer a query received from a correspondent about a Civil War veteran ancestor and I wanted to find out if he was in the book and if so to gather his information from the book. Unfortunately, he was not in the book even though I found that he is buried in Glen Abbey Memorial Park in Bonita, but without a Civil War designation. This probably means that he was not a GAR Post member and therefore was not a "target" of Barbara Palmer's study.

A book of this type, whose records are not online in any form, but may be available in a cemetery list published by a society, is priceless for a local historian. A bonus for San Diego area researchers is the survey of local repositories and available source records.

A study of this sort would make an excellent genealogy or historical society project.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

"Genealogy blogging" talk summary

I gave my "Genealogy Blogging - Soapbox or Service?" presentation today at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting at the Chula Vista Library. Unfortunately, there was a lot of competition for the entertainment dollar today, and only 12 people attended. I thank them for their perseverance and support! I guess the lesson here is "don't schedule something when there is a community fair just three miles down the road."

In the talk, I discussed:

* What is blogging, who can do it, the advantages and disadvantages of it.
* How do you create a blog, and what should you put on a blog?
* Finding genealogy blogs, keeping track of blogs
* Why did I start blogging?
* Finding your way around a genealogy blog
* Using a service like Sitemeter for statistics and visitor information
* All of my favorite genealogy bloggers (well, I missed some of them, but you don't know who it was!)
* A demonstration of creating a post and publishing it.
* Finally - Soapbox or Service? Yes. Both, at least for me and many others.

The attentive audience wondered how much all of this cost, and they were surprised to learn that everything I've done in blogging has been free - except for my time, of course, which I haven't charged myself for. I'm having fun doing it, making online friends, and learning a lot about writing, web pages, etc.

Then we adjourned to the conference room for shrimp cocktail provided by Jan, one of our members. See what everybody else missed!

I wore my new denim shirt - the one with a family tree logo that says "Genealogy, so many ancestors, so little time." It was a gift from one of our new members for helping her find some of her ancestry earlier this year.

We used Shirley's Epson projector and Gary's laptop for this presentation - we'll use them again on 20 October when I present our "Discover Your Family History Online" seminar.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Genealogy Blogging" talk on Saturday, 29 September

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) has a Saturday meeting several times a year - on 5th Saturdays in the spring, summer and fall. We wanted to provide a meeting opportunity for researchers who are unable to attend our monthly weekday morning meetings.

On Saturday, 29 September, the CVGS program will be "Genealogy Blogging - Soapbox or Service?" presented by Randy Seaver, CVGS President. The meeting will be held at 10 AM in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library auditorium (365 "F' Street in Chula Vista).

The talk summary and the speaker's biography are below:

"Weblogs (known as "blogs" - online journals or diaries) have multiplied over the last two years in all fields, including genealogy. This presentation will discuss the what, when, where, why and how of genealogy blogging, and introduce you to many active genea-bloggers - each with something to say in their own way. Genealogy news, research tips, family history examples, stories, humor, business, education - and more - are covered in genealogy blogs every day.

"Randy Seaver is a retired aerospace engineer, a genealogy researcher and family historian since 1988, with a fine set of obscure Northeast US/Canada colonial ancestors, with some 19th century English immigrants. A native San Diegan, Randy is a member of CVGS, SDGS, CGSSD, NEHGS, NGS and ESOG. He is currently President of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society and has made genealogy presentations to CVGS and several other societies. Randy was the first genealogy blogger in the San Diego area, and you can read his blog "Genea-Musings," with daily postings, at"

If you are in the San Diego area and need a genealogy fix on the weekend, come to our CVGS meeting. Visitors and guests are welcome. There will be refreshments after the meeting.

CVGS Research Group on 26 September

Our monthly Research Group of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society was today at the Library. At this meeting, we discuss the Genealogy News of the Month (prepared by Randy), talk about the research problems and questions brought to the table, and hear success stories and research experiences. We had 12 in attendance today, and it was pretty lively.

Joan received her husband's father's SS-5 application from Social Security recently, and it verified what she knew about his birth date, birthplace and parents names. Now she wants to know what else she might be able to find with his SS number. Can she request death information, employment and wage information, etc. from Social Security? The group suggested that she write the SSA to find out what else might be available, while we search the Internet for answers. Her problem is that she doesn't yet know his death date or place and would like to find that information.

Bob is researching his wife's great-grandfather who immigrated in about 1880 to Boston from Scotland. However, he thinks that this man was born in Denmark. He asked how he could find the man's birth date, birth place, parents names, etc. He has found him in the 1900 to 1930 census records. We suggested looking for a marriage record in the MA VRs on the NEHGS web site, check newspapers for an obituary, and try to find out if he was naturalized, and if so to obtain a naturalization record.

Dave, a new member today, told about having to get a delayed birth certificate to join the Navy years ago. He has a problem using Ancestry to find ancestors with his surname because of his last name - he is a McC***** person, and finds his name McC*****, MacC*****, C*****, etc. The same thing happens with "O'***", "de la ****" and "Van " people (like O'Leary, de la Torre and Van Buren) - the "O' " or "de la" or "Van" sometimes is left off, or the person is indexed with and without it.

Bobbie has a conflict among three records for an ancestor's birth date - a baptism record from October 1885, the WW1 draft registration which says October 1886, and the cemetery tombstone which says October 1886. She asked which one should she trust? The group suggested that the one closest to the event, and the one provided by persons who were present for the event, was the one to believe. In this case, it would be the year from the baptism record, and the day of the month from the other records.

Bobbie told about her trip to Illinois and finding the gravestone for her great-grandmother, Cunigunda Titus hiding in plain site right between her husband and her daughter. The cemetery book doesn't list her for some reason, and the limestone is very worn and almost unreadable. The dates on the stone match well with her probate record, and now Bobbie wants to get her in the cemetery book.

The really fun part of this meeting is to pass papers around so that everyone can see good examples. Today we passed an SS-5 report, military enlistment and discharge papers, pictures of Cunigunda's gravestone, etc.

Dearl offered a bit of parting advice to everyone - to review all of your information every so often - sometimes you find things that you've forgotten, and sometimes you are able to connect the dots with data you found recently.

Genealogy News for September 2007

This is the genealogy news for September that was presented to the Research Group today.


* More social genealogy network sites have appeared including, and Some of these are free for a month but then require a subscription. has improved their free site so that GEDCOMs can be uploaded.


* New York Times newspapers 1851-1923 and 1986-present are now available for FREE (with registration) at 1923-1986 are not available yet for free. You have to use the search box at the top of the web page and choose either "NYTimes 1851-1980" or "NYTimes Since 1981." The file is a PDF that can be downloaded.

* has added many pre-1923 published books on Mayflower families, RevWar Loyalist families, New England colonial families, etc.

* has added US World War II MIA or Lost at Sea database.
* has added Mississippi State and Territorial Census records, 1792-1866.

* has added censuses for Mecklenburg-Schwerin (German states) for the years 1890 and 1900 for Ancestry members with World Deluxe or memberships.

* has added Confederacy Pardon Papers (1865-1867), Mormon Battalion Pension Files, War of 1812 Prize Cases (1812-1816), and several more databases. Check for all available databases.

* has added 15 databases of Virginia records, many family history and locality books, Argentina family tree database, and more. See for recent additions (10 days free for each database from date of issue).

* Cook County, Illinois records are going online - birth certificates that are at least 75 years old, marriage certificates more than 50 years old, and death certificates more than 20 years old. The expected availability date is January 2008.


* Reunion software for the Mac was upgraded - see for Reunion 9 information.

* FamilyTreeMaker 2008 announced Service Pack 1 which adds many things to the software, but not the standard report capability that was in FTM 2006 and earlier. Those may be added in Service Pack 2. SP1 can be downloaded from the FTM site.


* The Generations Network, Inc., unveiled – a new family history Web site focused on Sweden. At launch, the Swedish-language site offers access to more than 37 million names of historical Swedish parish and emigration records, all of which are available for U.S. subscribers on It's in Swedish, and you need a World Deluxe membership.

* removed the Internet Biographical Collection (IBC) after many complaints from web site owners and bloggers about Ancestry caching and indexing web pages without permission and charging subscribers for access to the IBC.

*, the largest newspaper database available online, has partnered with World Vital Records Inc.’s Web sites ( and in a unique way to provide increased access to a half billion records from newspapers ranging from 1759-1923.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"Reunions" talk by John Finch at CVGS today

We had our monthly "last Monday" Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting today at the library. The speaker was John Finch, the CVGS past president, on the topic of "Reunions."

John has participated in several family and military reunions, and has organized a family reunion and a class reunion in the last 7 years. His talk used a Powerpoint presentation with good graphics. He started out with four panels from the Cathy comic strip which ran this past summer - they were funny and appropriate for the topic.

He discussed the three major types of reunions - family, class and military. John spent quite a bit of time discussing how to find information on the Internet about how to organize and execute a reunion. His recommendations were:

* Class Reunions: Events and Reunions tab provides a step-by-step process to create an event (you probably need to have an account, they're free).

* Family Reunions: has a comprehensive format to guide you and has ideas for family history and genealogy in the planning here.

* Military Reunions: has excellent resources for planning this type of reunion here.

Finding the people that make up the class, family or military unit can be a challenge. John used and to find classmates. He used the Navy Fleet Reserve Association and the Military Locator and Reunion Services to find former military personnel. For the hard-to-find folks, he subscribed for a period of time to and used the Public Records Index at

The rest of John's talk was about selecting a date, finding a location. announcing and publicizing the event, selecting dining, activities and entertainment, deciding on souvenirs and memorabilia, and coordinating with the selected site.

All in all, this talk was interesting and helpful, especially if someone wants to plan and execute a reunion. John's experience, and comments about his planning activities, were evident and useful.

My thanks to John for making a wonderful presentation. Our 80 member society tries to encourage presentations by our own members, and we usually have 3 or 4 different member presenters each year. It keeps the costs down and also provides an outlet for presentation experience and improvement.

Chula Vista - The Early Years, Volume 4

The Chula Vista Historical Society published seven small booklets during the 1990's in an effort to capture and document the social history of early Chula Vista.

Volume 4 (published in 1994 by Tecolote Publications, San Diego, California, 979.498 CHULA Vol. 4 at the Chula Vista Public Library) included the following articles:

* "The Little Landers of San Ysidro" by Herbert Hensley - page 3
* "William Smythe" - page 41
* "Herbert Hensley" - page 43
* "The Battle of Tijuana" by Sally Johns - page 47

The two major articles in this volume have lots of pictures included.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chula Vista - The Early Years, Volume 3

The Chula Vista Historical Society published seven small booklets during the 1990's in an effort to capture and document the social history of early Chula Vista.

Volume 3 (published in 1994 by Tecolote Publications, San Diego, California, 979.498 CHULA Vol. 4 at the Chula Vista Public Library) included the following articles:

* "Adobes - Old and New " - page 3
* "Rancho 'La Punta'" - page 5
* "Chula Vista Star - Fuson's Garage" page 7
* "The Harlan Skinner Home" - page 9
* "Rohr Park Adobe" - page 11

* "Imperial Beach Before Incorporation" by Freda Compton Eliot - page 17
* "The San Diego Country Club" - page 33
* "The Indians of Otay Mesa" by Susan Annette Painter - page 49
* "The Cook Ranch in Chula Vista" by John Cook - page 59

CVGS Program on 24 September - "Reunions" by John Finch

The next Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting is Monday, 24 September at 10 a.m. in the Chula Vista Civic Center Library Auditorium. Please enter through the Conference Room in the east hallway in order to sign in, pick up the program handouts, and have a drink and a mid-morning snack.

After a short CVGS business meeting, the program speaker will be introduced. The program presentation this month is "Reunions" by John Finch:

John’s topic, REUNIONS, is of special interest to him. He has planned family reunions and a class reunion that were very successful. It is his goal that you may learn how to plan and execute a reunion that will be a joyful and memorable event and have the benefit of enhancing your family research.

John has been a member of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society since 1999 and has served as Library Coordinator, Program Chair and President (2005 -2006 term). He is also a member of the California State Genealogical Alliance. He retired from U.S. Navy in 1980, and from 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 this library, every Monday morning to assist new and seasoned researchers.

Guests and visitors are welcome to attend all CVGS meetings, which are always free to the public. For more information about this program, or about the Society, please contact Randy Seaver at 619-422-3397 or email

Computer Group Report - 19 September

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society had our monthly Computer Group meeting on Wednesday 19 September in the Computer Lab at the Library. Shirley was back to lead the group. We had 12 people in attendance. We connected one of the library computers to the projector so we could demonstrate using Ancestry Library Edition and other genealogy web sites.

Shirley demonstrated using many of the databases at and

On Rootsweb, we checked out the MetaSearch (searches over 45 Rootsweb databases) and the SearchThingy (a site search for all of Rootsweb) indexes. The attendees input their search names into the search box and links to the databases with the names were listed.

We also visited the Rootsweb WorldConnect database, and the attendees searched for their surnames in the "Find a database by surname(s)" search box and then searched some of the databases that had those surnames. This is a different search technique than putting your surname and given name in the general search box at the top of the WorldConnect page and getting a list of people in the entire WorldConnect database.

Then it was off to the USGenWeb page, where we visited several county web sites and investigated the holdings in those counties. Shirley demonstrated using the New York page and the group looked at several county web pages.

Finally, we visited the "Message Boards" and "Web Pages" links at the top of the Rootsweb page. Finding a surname message board and a locality message board was demonstrated. Many of the attendees had used the Message Boards before, but have found it hard to find a specific board. The "Web Pages" link provides a list to find surnames posted on the FreePages web sites provided by Rootsweb. Many of the attendees have not used these pages before.

This Computer Group provides opportunities for teaching and demonstrating genealogy databases and web sites, and most of the attendees follow along and try their own surnames in the search boxes. Other attendees spend most of the group time exploring Ancestry Library Edition for their own research (since most don't have a home subscription).

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Chula Vista History Timeline

This timeline was obtained from the book "Stories, Tales, Folklore of Our Communities" published by the Chula Vista Historical Society. It obtained the list from the "F" Street School Reunion Program of 16 June 1963.

1886 -- 17 November, work started on the Sweetwater Dam
1887 - National City and Otay Railroad opened for business
1887 - Telephone lines extended to Chula Vista
1888 - 100 house were being built
1888 - 7 April, Sweetwater Dam finished

1890 - First school built at 270 "F" Street
1890 - First Congregational Church formed, was only church in Chula Vista for 17 years
1891 - 4 August, first Post Office started, Mrs. Sarah Fleming, Postmistress
1891 - 27 August, first library attempted with books donated from Colonel William G. Dickinson's collection
1892 - Chula Vista formed own school district

1897 - Pier built at foot of "F" street
1897-1904 - Seven years of drought
1898 - Chula Vista Yacht Club formed
1908 - First hospital started at 183 Third Avenue - Mrs. Emma Saylor
1910 - First Bank established, "Peoples' State Bank" at 3rd and F Street

1910 - About 500 people lived in Chula Vista
1911 - First City Council elected - Mayor E.T. Smith
1911 - Chula Vista incorporated
1911 - First Methodist Church built
1913 - Chula Vista Women's Club started - Mrs. H.S. Penfold, President

1913 - 8 January, had big freeze, temperature approximately 26 deg.
1913 - 17 September, temperature rose to 110 deg.
1914 - Hercules Powder Plant located on Bay Front, foot of "D" Street
1914 - New "F" Street School built at 375 "F" Street
1916 - Charles A. Shaver, Principal of "F" Street School

1916 - Work started on first library building
1916 - 22 January, Sweetwater Dam overflowed
1916 - 27 January, Otay Dam burst
1918 - Christian Science Church started
1919 - Miss Grace Blake, Community Nurse came to Chula Vista

1920 - San Diego Country Club started, 600 membership
1920 - Population now about 1,600
1921 - St. Rose of Lima Church built
1921 - 10 May, Volunteer fire department formed - Chief Charles E. Smith
1921 - Bonita and Sunnyside Districts joined Chula Vista Grammar School District

1923 - Calvin J. Lauderbach, Principal at "F" Street School
1927 - Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce started
1930 - Fiesta de la Luna became annual event
1931 - First Justice Court of National Township - Judge Lowell Howe first Justice of the Peace.
1938 - Population about 6,000

1941 - Rohr Aircraft moves to Chula Vista
1948 - 1 February, Fire Station at Civic Center opened
1950 - Grammar School District becomes Chula Vista City School District
1950 - Population about 16,500
1951 - 5 February, Civic Center dedicated

1951 - Otay School District joined Chula Vista School District
1960 - Population 43,350.

Stories, Tales Folklore of our Communities, Volume 1

The Chula Vista Historical Society published a 57 page book titled "Stories, Tales, Folklore of our Communities" sometime during the 1980's in an effort to capture and document the social history of early Chula Vista.

Volume 1 (in the circulating collection at 979.498 CHULA Vol. 1 at the Chula Vista Public Library) included the following articles:

* Romance of the Ranchos" - page 1
* "They Had to Call it Something" - page 3
* "Here is When It Happened" - page 5
* "La Punta" - page 7
* "Mr. Estavan Etchenique, And Wool, And Lamb, And Mutton" -- page 8

* The Lima Bean" - page 9
* "The Man Who Built Hotel Del Coronado" - page 11
* "John J. Montgomery" - page 13
* "The High School Bus" - page 15
* "The First Citrus Orchards" - page 17

* "The Sweetwater Dam" - page 18
* "How Cockatoo Grove Got Its Name" - page 19
* "The Otay Watch Company" - page 21
* "The Saga of Watch No. 1219" - page 24
* " VFW Post 2111" - page 25

* "Robert H. Scholer" - page 26
* "Border Monument No. 255" - page 29
* "J.C. Davidson" - page 30
* "Colonel William Green Dickinson" - page 31
* "San Diego Land Company" - page 33

* "John E. Boal" - page 34
* "The Story of Maria Christina Schahn Schertzer" - page 35
* "Jesse and Elizabeth Carne" - page 37
* "Chula Vista Yacht Club" - page 39
* "Silver Eagle" - page 40

* "How the Bonita and Chula Vista Lemon Industry Got Started" - page 41
* "Jimmy Dunn" - page 42
* "Chula Vista Mutual Lemon Association" - page 43
* "The Higgs Brothers" - page 45
* "Harry and the Fox" - page 46

* "The Way Our County Roads Were Maintained at the Turn of the Century" - page 47
* "Brown Field's Early History" - page 48
* "Slow Down" - page 49
* "Four of a Kind" - page 49
* "My Eucalyptus Trees" - page 50

* "Friends Church of the Valley" - page 52
* "Bonita Post Office Postmasters" - page 53
* "The Mail Must Go Through" - page 54

There is an excellent street map of early Chula Vista (from National City to the border, the ocean to Sunnyside and Otay Mesa, on page 57. I don't know the date on it, but it is probably about 1910.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Chula Vista - The Early Years, Volume 2

The Chula Vista Historical Society published seven small booklets during the 1990's in an effort to capture and document the social history of early Chula Vista.

Volume 2 (published in 1993 by Tecolote Publications, San Diego, California, 979.498 CHULA Vol. 2 at the Chula Vista Public Library) included the following articles:

Part I: all by Alfred Lansley

* "Indian Harvest" -- page 5
* "A Trip to Coronado Island" -- page 7
* "How Cockatoo Grove Got Its Name" -- page 9
* "Sausage Fit for a King" -- page 13
* "A Very Special Mule Team" -- page 15

* "The Planting of Eucalyptus Trees in the Upper and Lower Otay, and Janal Rancho" -- page 17
* "Henry G. Fenton -- page 19
* "Lima Beans" -- page 23
* "Miss Carrie Haines, Schoolteacher" -- page 27
* "Sheep in Chula Vista" -- page 31

Part II:

* "South Bay Family YMCA" by Art O'Day -- page 35
* "Shangri-La" by John Rojas, Jr. -- page 41
* "Chula Vista Mutual Lemon Association" by John Rojas, Jr. -- page 45
* "The Mysterious Fire" as told by Alden C. Davidson -- page 48
* "Western Salt Company" -- Page 51
* "The Piper Family of Otay Mesa" by Stephen R. Van Wormer -- page 55

CVGS Seminar "Genealogy Online" - Saturday, 20 October 2007

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society and the Chula Vista Public Library are co-sponsoring a FREE all-day seminar - titled:

"Genealogy Online - Discovering Family History"

The seminar will be on Saturday, 20 October 2007, from 10 AM until 3 PM at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch auditorium. Check-in will start at 10 AM and the program will start at 10:20 am.

Four presentations will be made by Randy Seaver:

10:30 am: Internet Genealogy Survey
11:30 am: LDS FamilySearch Resources
1:00 pm: Rootsweb/USGenWeb Resources
2:00 pm: Resources

The emphasis in these presentations will be on finding real genealogy data and information helpful to your search using online resources. A program syllabus summarizing the links in the program content will be available for $5.00 (reservations requested).

There will be a 45 minute refreshment break at 12:15 PM with fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, cookies and desserts provided by CVGS.

There will be an opportunity drawing for several prizes.

Please contact Virginia (phone 619-425-7922 or email to make your reservation or for more information.

San Diego researchers -- Put this event on your genealogy calendar!

Chula Vista - The Early Years, Volume 1

The Chula Vista Historical Society published seven small booklets during the 1990's in an effort to capture and document the social history of early Chula Vista.

Volume 1 (published in 1992 by Tecolote Publications, San Diego, California, 979.498 CHULA Vol. 1 at the Chula Vista Public Library) included the following articles:

* "John J. Montgomery - The Forgotten Man of Aviation" by James R. Spurgeon -- page 3
* "What's a Chula? The Naming of the South Bay" -- page 6
* "The First Citrus Orchards" by Eugene V. Coleman -- page 9
* "The High School Bus" by Helen Burnell Dean -- page 11
* "Russian Spring" by Richard Cerutti -- page 15

* "VFW Post 2111" -- page 19
* "It's About Time - The Otay Watch Factory" -- page 21
* "A Love Story at the Otay Watch Factory" by Meneva Latham -- page 25
* "The Hercules Powder Company" by Peter Neushul -- page 29
* "Fredericka Manor" by Laura D. Crockett -- page 37

* "Bonita, The One-Room School" by Helen Burnell Dean -- page 51
* "Sweetwater Union High School" -- page 57
* "Border Monument No. 255" -- page 61
* "Water Development in the Sweetwater Valley" by Eugene Coleman -- page 63
* "Before Colonel Dickinson" by Art Day -- page 67

* "The Blind Eagle" as Told to Byron Jacquot -- page 69
* "Street Names" -- page 71.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"Recording Your Family History" Class

The Chula Vista Adult School (1034 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista) will offer a class titled "Recording Your Family History" on Mondays in Room 303, from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, starting September 10th until June 2008. The teacher will be Judy Helton, a CVGS member.

The class description reads:

"Learn how to tell the story of your family history through the latest software, search engines, photo restoration and Scrapbooking techniques. This is not an advanced computer class, but meant for the novice who wants to learn while producing an heirloom for generations to come.

"Judy Helton will teach students how to use the following tools to produce a family album or book of their own family's stories:

"* Family Tree Maker software data base to record and retrieve family information
* Photoshop CS3 to restore old family photos and learn to journal right on the pictures
* Free access to many search engines online as well as for existing research and archival information.
* Scrap-booking to be able to display in a variety of formats so you can produce a book/record of your family history."

There is no fee for this class, since it is an "older adult" class. The computers at the school will all have FamilyTreeMaker software so the students may want to bring their records on a portable hard drive or thumb drive. The only requirement is that each person will need their own database from a program such as Family Tree Maker or Legacy. There will also be on 25 of the computers as well as Photoshop CS3. Other tools will be made available as we need them.

This sounds like a great class for beginning genealogists and scrapbookers. Judy will share CVGS program information with the students each month and encourage them to attend CVGS events.

If you are a south San Diego County resident and want to avail yourself of this class, please go to the Chula Vista Adult School to sign up on any Monday in September. For more information, call 1-619-691-5760.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

FamilySearch Indexing Progress

Most readers know that the LDS FamilySearch organization is digitizing images from microforms in the Family History Library collection and is indexing them in a project called FamilySearch Indexing. The goal is to digitize and index all of the microforms (over 2 million microfilms and over 1 million microfiches) and provide them for FREE at the web site.

The indexing effort is being performed by volunteers who sign up, receive training and indexing software, and commit to doing some indexing on a regular basis. Some of the indexing of specific records is being done by members of genealogical societies. The indexing procedure requires two separate indexers to evaluate each record, and if they agree then the record is accepted. If they disagree, an arbiter makes the final acceptance decision.

Some databases have already been completed - they can be found on the FamilySearch Records Search Project here. You do have to register in order to access these records.The databases currently being indexed can be found here. The databases that will soon be started are here. As you can see, the major emphasis is on the 1900 United States census at this time. Several genealogy societies are indexing records specific to their local or regional interests.

This indexing effort will take a long time. The more volunteers there are, the less time it will take. The goal is to index census, military, vital, immigration, naturalization, church, probate, land, Bible, tax and other records and link the index to the record image. This is a very ambitious, and worthwhile, effort.

If you are one of the indexers, I applaud your efforts. Please keep them going! If you want to help, they still need volunteers to help - you can volunteer here. You do not have to be an LDS member to volunteer and do the indexing work.

Do you want to keep up-to-date on what is happening with FamilySearch? Check out the FamilySearch Labs web site at This site has links to their four current projects in work -- Record Search , Indexing, Pedigree Viewer and Life Browser.

The promise of these projects is extremely high. I applaud the vision, goals and results of the FamilySearch staff and leadership, especially the intent to make these records available for FREE to researchers.

"New tools let families dig deeper for roots"

Our local daily newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune finally printed today the New York Times News Service article by Ellen Rosen that appeared back on 18 August in many other newspapers. In the Union-Tribune, the article was titled "New tools let families dig deeper for roots."

The lead paragraph in the article is about Katherine Holden of Connecticut who had a family tradition that a great-grandmother was a Native American, and she had a DNA test for $250 that told her that she was 12% Native American.

All in all, it is a pretty complete and fair article, striking the right balance between traditional and online resources and mentioning DNA research but not going overboard with it. After reviewing some of the online sites, with several paragraphs devoted to OneGreatFamily and Geni, the article moves on to traditional resources. Thomas W. Jones and Kathleen W. Hinckley have several quotes, and the FHL, FGS, BCG and APG are mentioned. The article quotes Tim Sullivan, the CEO of, saying that they have 800,000 subscribers and 14 million registered users.

Family History Month is in October, and CVGS is planning an all-day seminar titled "Genealogy Online." Our quandary is how to get the local newspapers to give us a little publicity - the Union-Tribune has not been receptive in the past but the Chula Vista Star-News has been somewhat receptive, having interviewed me about my research last year.

What methods have other societies used to get some publicity other than sending out a press release and hoping for attention?