Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"English Research" presentation by June Hanson

June Hanson was our speaker today at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society monthly meeting. Her topic was "English Research." June's CV is posted at

June provided an overview of research techniques and resources for England and Wales. Not for Scotland or Ireland. She used overheads sparingly to illustrate different types of records. June's outline of English Research included:

* Find United States records that provide clues for English ancestors and localities - vital, immigration, census, church, land, probate, newspapers, cemeteries, etc.

* Use Civil Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales - 1837 to the present. She described the process of finding names in the indexes, then obtaining the records by mail from England for a price. There is no other way. The indexes are available on microfilm at the FHC, on Rootsweb at or Certificates with the vital record information cost 10 pounds each and can be ordered online for delivery by mail at

* Census data is available from 1841 to 1901, with 1911 coming online soon. The census indexes and images are available in the Ancestry World subscription (free at the FHC), in the Ancestry Library Edition (free at some local libraries, including San Diego and Chula Vista) and on English commercial sites like

* Church records are the most complete source for christenings, marriages and burials from 1538 to 1837, and even later. Most church Parish records have been filmed by the LDS and are available on microfilm. Some parish records have been extracted and are in the LDS IGI. There are other church records that may be helpful if they are available - Bishops' Transcripts, Vestry Minutes, Welfare, etc.

* Probate records are excellent if they can be found, since only about 10% of people left wills. Until 1858, wills were handled by the Prerogative Courts of York and Canterbury. Canterbury wills have been filmed by the LDS, and can be searched at After 1858, the government has archived wills.

* Other sources mentioned were Victoria County Histories (in San Diego, available at UCSD and SDSU libraries), Local English Genealogical and Historical Societies, Manor Court Rolls, Monumental Inscriptions, Newspapers, etc.

June covered a lot of ground in one hour and didn't delve into these topics in much detail. It was an excellent summary of how to do English research. A number of our newer members (and some of our older members) have English ancestry, so this was a useful presentation for all in attendance.

June didn't mention it, but the local British Isles Genealogical Research Association (BIGRA) maintains a collection of books, magazines, periodicals, research guides, and other research aids at the San Diego Family History Center in Mission Valley.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"English Research" with June Hanson is the 26 March Program

The next General Meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society will be on Wednesday, 26 March at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library auditorium. There will be a short business meeting before the program speaker.

Our speaker will be June Hanson who is active in the British Isles Genealogy Research Association (BIGRA) here in San Diego area. Her topic is "English Research." This will be about England only, not Ireland or Scotland - we have several speakers planned for these areas in the next few months.

June's curriculum vitae --

June was born in England and graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles and Central Washington State University. She has a Masters degree from Indiana University - all of her degrees are in French. She taught French at Monte Vista High School in spring Valley and at San Diego State University.

June has also taught genealogy at Foothills and Helix Adult Schools, and for OASIS. She taught for two years in Japan and was a Fulbright Exchange Teacher to France.

June is a member of BIGRA and is currently the England/Wales Interest Group chair. She has served four years as BIGRA President. June is also a member of the BIFHS-USA in Los Angeles, and has been England Chair for that group. She is also a member of the San Diego Genealogical Society and the Southern California Genealogical Society.

We look forward to hearing June's presentation about English Research.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Genealogy Forms on CVGS web site

There are many genealogy forms available on the Chula Vista Genealogical Society web site at The forms page is at

The forms are all in PDF format and you will need Adobe Reader to see them.

There are blank census forms, pedigree charts, family group sheets and some basic research forms on the web page.

Friday, March 14, 2008

CVGS Beginning Genealogy Classes in May

There will be a Beginning Genealogy class in May for those interested in learning the basics of genealogy and family history. This will be two three-hour sessions taught by Bernice H. of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society. The dates and location of the class are still to be determined, pending class signups. The class itself is free, but there will be a charge for the class material.

If you would like to participate in the Beginning Genealogy class, please contact Randy at or 619-422-3397, and leave your name, phone number and email address. He will forward your contact information to Bernice.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CVGS Research Group meeting on 12 March

We had our monthly Research Group of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society today at the Library with 14 attendees, including five of our recent new members. After introductions and a brief description of the purpose of the meeting, Randy Seaver presented the Genealogy News of the Month. He also passed around examples of family tree charts made from FamilyTreeMaker 16 and Legacy Charting for comparison and discussion.

Then it was time for description and discussion of member research problems, and two of our new members wanted help with:

1) Charlotte has great-grandparents born in French Canada who died in Massachusetts in 1906 and had children in Massachusetts during the 1890s. She wanted to know how she could find their birth dates, birth places, death dates and places, and parents names. The group suggested using US and Canada census records, newspaper obituaries, city directories, naturalization records, border crossing lists, and the Massachusetts Vital Records (birth, marriage, death) at For the French Canada connection, the Drouin and Loiselle records are online at in the World collection.

2) Toni has an immigrant from Greece in about 1919, who settled in Montana, worked on the Great Northern railroad, and died in 1931 there. She has his death certificate, her mother's birth certificate, some photographs but not much else. She wants to find a marriage record and some sort of immigration record that might lead to his birthplace in Greece (or perhaps Bulgaria or Macedonia). The group suggested a newspaper obituary (from a local library or historical society), passenger lists, border crossing lists, and a marriage record where his wife resided before marriage, and at points between there and Montana.

Bobbie shared the two page article that she had published in the Lake County (IL) Genealogical Society newsletter, and read the society president's message about their correspondence. Bobbie's case study about resolving conflicting evidence with respect to the cemetery listings published by the society and other records that identify the grave of her great-great-grandmother, Kunigunde (Boehmer) Titus. We asked if we could publish it in our newsletter too!

This was a very spirited meeting and was an excellent introduction to our society activities for the new members. We took some time to explain the best San Diego repositories for research, along with basic repository and online research techniques. Randy handed out several copies of his "A Beginner's Guide to Genealogy Research" with some forms attached.

Genealogy Research News for March

Here is the genealogy news for March that we discussed at our CVGS Research Group meeting today:


* The Missouri State Archives has a new online resource for African-American ancestry in the state. While the focus is on Missouri, most of the information in this video applies to other states as well. African-American Genealogy: Putting Together the Pieces of Your Past is available online at

* Mark Tucker has created a Genealogy Research Process Map - you can download a JPG at This is based on the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS).

* is another family and social networking site startup.


a) at - subscription site (US = $155.40, World = $299.40) - now available for FREE at San Diego FHC (World Deluxe) or Chula Vista Public Library (Ancestry Library Edition). See new content at New databases include:

* Five hundred German city directories containing an estimated 27 million names for those with a membership to or a World Deluxe membership. Most are from the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s.You can browse all of the German directories or search the Ancestry Card Catalog by keyword to locate directories of interest to your research.
* Notes and Queries Historical and Genealogical /Chiefly Relating to Interior of Pennsylvania - 1896-1899, plus Series 3 (more to come?). These are now indexed!
* Genealogies of Pennsylvania Families from the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine. 3 Volumes, plus many more PA county biographical books.
* Many marriage record indexes from Missouri Counties.
* Missouri birth index and records, 1805-1941 updated.
* North Carolina Marriage index - 1741-2004, updated.

b) at - subscription site (US = $49.95 for 2 years, World = $149.95) -- now available for FREE at the San Diego FHC. Over 6,500 databases, 1 billion names. Recent content at New items FREE at WVR for 10 days. New databases include:

* Archive CD Books Australia and Gould Genealogy have partnered with, Inc. to make 344 Australian and New Zealand databases accessible on WVR.
* Genealogical Publishing Company ( has partnered with, Inc. to make their databases available on WVR.
* Family history books for B and C surnames

c) at - subscription site ($59.96 annual retail, $7.95 monthly) - now available for FREE at San Diego FHC, they offer 7-day FREE trial. 239 Titles, over 28 million images, 1 million free. Information added:

* Updates to many databases - Revolutionary War Pension files, civil War Widows Pension Files, etc.

d) at - subscription site (trial $9.95 for one month). It has archives for 3,400 U.S. newspapers in all 50 states, from the 1600s to the present day, with over 221 million family history records, 26 million obituaries and more than 112 million historical newspaper articles. Each article is a single digital image that can be printed and preserved for family scrapbooks.

* Added over 4 million historical newspaper articles and modern obituaries to its online digital archive.


* Bad Baby Names: The Worst True Names Parents Saddled Their Kids With, and You Can Too! by Michael Sherrod and Matthew Rayback. These names came from census records. $9.95 retail.

* Discovering Family History, a new genealogy magazine targeted at beginners, will shortly start publishing. A full 56-page preview issue can be downloaded at

* The NGS Conference in the States and Family History Fair is being held in Kansas City, Missouri from 14-17 May 2008. To download a full PDF of the conference brochure go to: Preregistration discounts end March 31.

* The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is June 27-29, 2008 in Burbank. Shee for more information.


* Legacy Charting software - Take a free test drive (until 15 June 2008) of this wall chart software. It is compatible with Family Tree Maker, Personal Ancestral File (PAF), Legacy Family Tree, RootsMagic, and GEDCOM files. Legacy Charting will be one of the new features with the soon-to-be-released Legacy Family Tree version 7. To see what the charts look like, visit

* MacFamilyTree 5.1 Public Beta by Synium Software -- Mac users can download the new beta release as a free demo. More information about MacFamilyTree 5 as well as the free demo download may be found at

* FamilyTreeMaker Version 16 plus 1 year of Ancestry US Deluxe subscription for $99.95 at


* NARA Proposes to Digitize Content in Cooperation with The Generations Network ( The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is giving public notice of a proposal to enter into a non-exclusive agreement with The Generations Network, Inc. (TGN), owners of, to digitize and further expand public access to archival holdings in NARA's custody. This is a NON-EXCLUSIVE agreement and will not replace any of several other agreements with other companies that are already in place. NARA is requesting comments about the terms of the proposed agreement - all comments must be received by April 9, 2008.

* NARA Makes Some Passenger Arrival Records Available Online. This week, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced that it has made available for the first time online more than 5.2 million records of some passengers who arrived during the last half of the 19th century at the ports of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia. The new databases may be found at

Thursday, March 6, 2008

CVGS Seminar "Finding Your Elusive Ancestors" - Saturday, April 5

Seminar on Saturday, April 5th in Chula Vista

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society will host a free seminar on Saturday, April 5th in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library auditorium (365 F Street in Chula Vista) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* After registration and program introduction, Randy Seaver will present the methods and resources for "Finding Your Elusive Ancestors."

* At noon time, refreshments (sandwiches, veggies, fruit, drinks) will be served in the Conference Room.

* At 1 p.m., there will be a panel discussion on "Solving Your Brickwall Problems" with Shirley Becker, John Finch and Susi Pentico on the panel and Randy Seaver as the moderator. CVGS Members will be asked to submit their difficult research problems and the panel will suggest research opportunities to solve the problems.

* Lastly, there will be time for questions from the audience on genealogy research topics and problems - and the panel will try to answer them.

You will need to make a reservation for this seminar so that we can plan the food - please contact Virginia Taylor at 619-425-7922 or email for information and reservations.

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - March 2008

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for March 2008 include:

** Wednesday, March 12, 12 noon, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- CVGS Research Group meets in the Library Conference Room. 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, March 19, 12 noon, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- CVGS Computer Group meets in the Library Computer Lab. We will visit some new genealogy web sites and/or Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) databases. This is an opportunity for those members who haven't used computers for genealogy research to practice with a mentor to guide them. It is also an opportunity for members who don't have an Ancestry subscription to dig into the ALE databases.

** Wednesday, March 26, 12 noon, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- the monthly Society Meeting is held in the Auditorium. This meeting has a short business meeting with announcements of meetings and activities, followed by a presentation on a topic of genealogy and family history interest. At this meeting, June Hanson of the British Isles Genealogy Research Association will present "English Research."

On Monday afternoons (12 noon to 2 PM) - March 3, 10, 17, and 24 - Dearl Glenn and John Finch will be at the table in the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library, ready to help people with their research, discuss a problem or success, or just tell stories.

The Chula Vista Civic Center 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.

We welcome guests and visitors to our CVGS programs and events - if you are in the Chula Vista area and want to attend our events - please come and introduce yourselves. If you have questions, please email Randy at or phone 619-422-3397.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Basic Computer Skills for Genealogists" Class in March

CVGS is having a four session class on "Basic Computer Skills for Genealogists" on Monday afternoons in March, with Shirley as the leader. The classes will be in the Computer Lab at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista) from noon to 2 p.m. on

* Monday, 3 March
* Monday, 10 March
* Monday, 17 March
* Monday, 24 March

The class will learning computer skills on a Windows computer such as

* creating file folders on your computer
* making, saving, organizing and copying files,
* making word processor documents,
* cutting and pasting from and into documents
* backing up your files,
* accessing the Internet.

Please contact Shirley at if you want to attend.

CVGS "Estate Papers" Committee formed

CVGS has two "estate papers" collections - one for Joyce Parker Williams which was dropped on the library doorstep in the middle of the night and resides in a file cabinet at the library; the Chesley Cox collection of neatly organized notebooks was donated to the society and resides in a member's garage.

The papers in the collections are mainly pedigree charts, family group sheets, family papers, correspondence, unpublished research of other people, etc.

We have formed an "Estate Papers Committee" to deal with these files donated to CVGS. We want to make sure that these papers are accessible to genealogy researchers. The committee will determine the best way to achieve that goal, and then execute the selected method.

The committee chairman is Gary. Ann, Randy, Shirley, Bernice and Susi have volunteered to serve on this committee.

Contact CVGS via email at if you have ideas for dealing with these collections, or if you want to help sort them out.