Saturday, November 29, 2008

Photos from Georgie Stillman "Heirloom Discovery Day" Program

Georgie Stillman, ASA, evaluated a number of heirlooms brought in by members of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society for the "Heirloom Discovery Day" program on Wednesday, 26 November. Here are pictures of the CVGS members and their heirlooms, with Georgie.

Gary B. had a large framed picture made from cutouts from seed catalogs:

Ann S. brought her Seth Thomas mantle clock:

Virginia T. showed her carnival glass vase:

Susan Z. displayed her Victorian wedding dress:

Susi P. showed her Hull art deco pottery:

Nancy S. had a 1941 American Woman's Cookbook:

Bobbie L. displayed her Bavarian pressed glass bell:

Phyllis L. showed her hand-painted china salad plates:

Terry Stewart had a hand-painted ceramic pitcher:

Joan L. displayed her antique shaving mug and straight razor:

This was a fascinating program! Thank you to Georgie for telling us about our members treasures, and our members for participating.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Heirloom Discovery Day" at CVGS with Georgie Stillman, ASA

The most enjoyed and anticipated Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting of the year is the November meeting when we have member sharing. For three of the past four years, we have had Georgie Stillman, ASA, a professional appraiser of artifacts and ephemera, review and evaluate items brought in by the members to share. Georgie is an expert in appraising silver, china, glassware, furniture, artworks, quilts and samplers, many dolls and other collectibles.

Today, we had about 30 people at our meeting, and Georgie worked her "magic" on us once again. For each item, the member shared what they thought the article was, and the provenance of the article. Then Georgie told the member and the audience about the article's origin, materials, manufacture, marks, probable customer status, and an approximate value.

We had ten CVGS members bring their articles for discussion and appraisal, including:

* Gary B presented a large framed picture made from seed catalog cutouts and other paper pictures. Georgie thought that this was really unique, and was probably made in the 1880's.

* Ann S. brought a Seth Thomas mantle clock, which Georgie thought was from the 1880 to 1910 time frame.

* Virginia T. had a green carnival glass vase, which was probably created in the 1950's.

* Susan Z. had a wedding dress from her husband's grandmother. Georgie said it was a muslin dress from the 1890 to 1910 period.

* Susi P shows a small art deco pottery from her New England ancestors, and Georgie said it was a Hull piece.

* Nancy S. presented a 4th edition "American Woman Cookbook" from 1941.

* Bobbie L. showed her Bavarian glass bell, which Georgie said was pressed glass from the 1920-1930 time frame.

* Phyllis L. had 7 different hand-painted china salad plates - which Georgie dated to the 1890 to 1920 time frame.

* Terry S. showed a small hand-painted clay pitcher which Georgie said she had never seen in that form. She thought it might be Hungarian.

* Joan showed her husband's grandfather's shaving mug, and Georgie said it was from Pennsylvania in the early 1900's.

Obviously, I didn't take notes on everything Georgie said about each item - she often talked for 5 to 8 minutes about each item. I tried to take photographs of each presenter and their article with Georgie - and I'll post the ones that come out well in a later post.

Georgie's style is informal, enthusiastic and interesting - she really enjoys seeing these types of artifacts and "stuff" because they are, in the main, from middle-class homes from the Victorian era and later. She is used to appraising high-end items for collectors and estates. It is fascinating to see an expert appraiser at work - the words seem to flow effortlessly and I am awestruck by the knowledge level.

It was a great society program.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Some Civil War databases available on through AccessGenealogy

The Birmingham Genealogical Society noted that some Civil War databases and images on are available for FREE through the web site Access Genealogy at Free access to the selected databases is available ONLY through that link and the links on that web page.

The free access is available through 1 December 2008. also has membership specials for Veterans ($39.95/year) and Non-Veterans ($59.95/year) until 1 December 2008 also (regular price is $69.95/year).

CVGS Computer Group pictures

The CVGS Computer Group meets every third Wednesday at 12 noon in the Computer Lab of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista). There are 12 computer stations in this lab, plus the "control computer" that can be used from the instructor's podium to project on the wall of the room.

Here is a picture of the "wall" from a recent Computer Group meeting:

Here are two pictures of the smiling and/or concentrating faces from the front of the room:

The leader of the Computer Group is Shirley B, the lady in the blue shirt on the left of the last photograph.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

CVGS Program on Wednesday, 11/26 - "Heirloom Discovery Day"

The next Chula Vista Genealogical Society Program Meeting is this Wednesday, 26 November at 12 noon, at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista) auditorium. This FREE meeting will feature:

1) A short business meeting with reports of society activities

2) The election of officers for 2009 - 2010 conducted by John Finch, Nominating Committee Chairperson. The following nominations are from the Nominating Committee:

President - Gary Brock
First Vice-President Programs - no nominee
Second vice-President Membership - Virginia Taylor
Treasurer - Paul Price
Secretary - Ann Stevens

3) The "Heirloom Discovery Day" program presented by Georgie Stillman, ASA.Georgie Stillman has been a professional appraiser since 1971. She is a Senior member of the American Society of Appraisers, past President of the San Diego Chapter, and Founding director of the International Society of Appraisers, having held many offices in each organization.

She is an expert in appraising silver, china, glassware, furniture, artworks, quilts and samplers, many dolls and other collectibles. Georgie does not appraise pre-1830 Chinese or Oriental items, oriental carpets, antiquities, fine jewelry, coins or stamps.

In today’s program, Georgie will provide an estimated value of the heirlooms brought by our members and will briefly comment on the origin of the piece.

We have 14 heirlooms from our members' households and collections lined up for Georgie's expert appraisal.

Please plan to attend this meeting. Enter through the Conference Room door in the east hallway in order to register, gather handouts, buy a drawing ticket and have a snack/drink. Guests and visitors are always welcome at CVGS meetings.

Friday, November 21, 2008

CVGS Officer Nominations

A slate of society officers for the 2009-2010 calendar years has been announced by the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Nominating Committee (John Finch, Chairman, Art Roy and Phyllis Learned members). The slate includes:

President: Gary Brock

First Vice President - Programs: no nominee

Second vice President - Membership: Virginia Taylor (incumbent)

Treasurer: Paul Price

Secretary: Ann Stevens (incumbent)

The Society General Meeting on Wednesday, 26 November at 12 noon, in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library auditorium, will feature election of officers.

Officer installation will be celebrated on Wednesday, 10 December at the annual Holiday Luncheon held at the Chula Vista South Library, starting at 11 a.m.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Index to Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California, 1769 to 1850 - Volume II: G, H, I and J Surnames

The Southern California Genealogical Society published three volumes of the work by Marie E. Northrop titled Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California: 1769-1850 (Published by Southern California Genealogical Society, Burbank, California. Volume I - 435 pages. Volume II - 396 pages. Volume III - 525 pages). A description of the work by Northrop, and researchers before and after her, are here.

The index for Volume I is here.

The families in Volume II with surnames starting with G, H, I and J are:


page 88 - Rafael Gallardo (1802-????)

page 89 - Carlos Maria Garcia (1776-1824)
page 91 - Eugenio Garcia (1808-????)
page 92 - Francisco Bruno Garcia (1759-1819)
page 93 - Francisco Maria Leon Garcia (1778-1834)
page 95 - Jose Antonio Inocencio Garcia (1791-1878)
page 97 - Jose Julian Garcia (1779-????)
page 98 - Jose Maria Canuto Garcia (1793-1838)
page 100 - Jose Norberto Garcia (1796-1844)
page 101 - Juan Jose Garcia (1774-1818)
page 103 - Juan Jose Garcia (1912-????)
page 104 - Pascual Antonio Garcia (1784-1841)
page 105 - Tomas Garcia (1806-1845)

page 106 - Jose Vicente Gonzales Garibay (1753-1821)

page 107 - Manuel Ygnacio Martin German (1792-????)
page 109 - Cristoval Antonio German (1790-????)

page 110 - Jose Antonio Gomez (????-1803)
page 111 - Manuel Gomez (????-????), m. 1811
page 112 - Rafael Gomez (????-1838)

page 113 - Diego Gonzales (1733-1814)
page 114 - Jose Rafael Gerardo Gonzales (1750-1797)

page 115 - Jose Julian Guerrero (????-1784)

page 115 - Joseph Ignacio Ladron de Guevara (1762-1820)

page 116 - Miguel Antonio Guillen (1768-1819)

page 118 - Toribio Martinez Guzman (1750-????)


page 119 - William Edward Petty Hartnell (1798-1854)

page 122 - Juan Maria Jorge Hernandez (1776-1852)
page 123 - Justo Lorenzo Hernandez (????-????) m ca. 1775

page 124 - Gregorio Ygnacio Higuera (1789-????)
page 125 - Jose Antonio Higuera (1787-????)
page 127 - Jose Maria Higuera (1786-????)
page 128 - Juan Jose Higuera (1787-1826)
page 129 - Salvador Higuera (1793-1845)

page 130 - Daniel Antonio Hill (1799-1865)



page 132 - Jose Francisco Juarez (????-1782)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CVGS Research Group highlights - Wednesday, 12 November

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting at the Library today had 12 in attendance, including three visitors. We went around the table and everybody shared their genealogy highlights for the last month:

John is still chasing birth certificates from England with some success. He found orphan records in Luzerne County PA that might have information about his 2nd-great-grandmother.

Andi (a visitor) is visiting John from Northern California, and they are having fun chasing some of her ancestors in Tennessee using the census and vital records on Ancestry.

Dearl is still fighting his new computer - he thinks he's losing.

Jerome (a visitor) has been working on his genealogy for awhile and has 2,000 persons in his database. He's looking for a place to get research tips and techniques - we told him he's at the right place. He wondered "how much work should you do on lines?" and Shirley said "as much as you want."

Charlene (a visitor) has been doing her research for about ten years, and has two local ancestors that she is researching.

Virginia received her mitochondrial DNA results from Ancestry - she is in the H haplogroup. She was cleaning a closet and found some treasures that her sister gave her some time ago.

Shirley H. wondered why the 1900 US census index on Ancestry has changed. We explained that they shifted to the index generated by FamilySearch Indexing.

Phyllis wondered if there were marriage records in Brook County VA (now WV) in 1820. We recommended checking the USGenWeb site and the LDS FHL Catalog. She mentioned the BYU family history TV program that is on digital cable channel 435 at 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. No one else knew about it.

Shirley B. received an envelope from her sister with their mother's birth certificate, and her SSN on the back of it. There was also a paper with the names of four Plue relatives - she wonders if they are still alive.

Dick is enjoying working with Family Tree Maker 2009 - especially the links to He gave a brief summary of his uncle's safecracking exploits for the group's amusement.

Nancy wants to reorganize all of her paper files. We recommended the Sharon Carmack book about Organizing Your Family History Research.

Randy discussed the new Google Your Family Tree book and passed it around. He also described his adventures in New York City and on the Wholly Genes Conference and Cruise to the Caribbean, and passed the syllabus around.

Shirley B. demonstrated her new genealogy filing system on her computer. She adopted Leland Meitzler's system that he described at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree in June. The key is to have a fast scanner and a big external drive. She brought her 500 gb external drive and walked us through the computer filing system.

Andi and John described Andi's research problem. She has 1880 and 1900 census data for her George Cory (born ca 1836 in VT) family in Dickson County, TN, and a marriage record in 1870 for George Cory and E.R. Pickett, but her grandmother was positive that Harrell was Elizabeth Rebecca's maiden name. It's made more complicated by two "Hessell" brothers living with the Cory family in 1880. We recommended looking for an earlier marriage of a Harrell to a Pickett, and looking for George Cory, the two "Hessell" brothers, and E.R. (or Elizabeth or Rebecca) with different surname spellings in the 1870 and earlier census records. We also suggested looking in online family trees to find more about the families, and looking in military records, since George was an "engineer" in the 1880 census - perhaps he was a former Union soldier and part of the Reconstruction effort.

Charlene had two problems to discuss: Her Willis Mills was born about 1820 in KY, but resided in IL, MO and TX in his life. She had a timeline with many names marrying Mills people in these places, but is not sure if they are all related or not, and if they are, how are they related? We suggested that she check online family trees and the USGenWeb county sites, and search probate, land and tax records to try to put families together. This sounded like a big kinship problem with several families moving together and inter-marrying. Her second problem is the William and Margaret (Reynolds) Taggart family - were they from Ireland or the Isle on Man? Charlene has found them in PA, IL and MN, last in the 1885 state census in MN. We suggested that their origin might be found in county history books, obituaries, naturalization records and death records.

This was a very lively session - it was fun to have several problems to challenge us.

Genealogy News Summary for November

Here's the genealogy news summary for late October and early November:


a) - the Perry-Castaneda Historical Maps Collection at the University of Texas.

b) - Early American Roads and Trails by Beverly Whitaker.

c) - Census Atlas of the USA for 2000.


a) at - subscription site (US = $155.40, World = $299.40) - now available for FREE at San Diego FHC (Institution with World databases) or San Diego City or County Public Libraries (Ancestry Library Edition). Ancestry has over 7 billion names in over 26,500 databases. See new content at New databases this month include:
* US Army Indian Campaign Service Records Index, 1815-1858
* Brooklyn NY Catholic Church Baptisms (1837-1900) and Marriages (1839-1900)
* US Navy Pensions Index, 1861-1910
* US Military and Naval Academy Registers, 1805-1908
* US Native-American Applications for Enrollment in Five Civilized Tribes, 1896
* US Native-American Enrollment Cards for Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914
* Jewish Records from Holocaust (free indexes) - from (20 million names)
* Many more Canadian books and manuscripts
* British World War I Army Service Records, 1914-1920
* UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1970
* Paris, France Births, Marriages, Deaths, ~1700 to ~1900

b) - subscription site (US = $39.95 for 1 year, World = $119.95 for 1 year) -- now available for FREE at the San Diego FHC. Over 11,000 databases, over 1.3 billion names. Recently added content is at New items are FREE at WVR for 10 days. New databases include:

* More Canadian titles from the Dundurn Group collection
* Some Mexico newspapers
* Some Australian records from Ryerson Index

c) - subscription site ($69.96 annual retail, $11.95 monthly) - now available for FREE at San Diego FHC. They offer 7-day FREE trial. 434 Titles, over 47 million images, over 1 million free. Content list at Information added this month includes:
* Updated Newspaper databases

d) - subscription site (trial $9.95 for one month, $69.95 for 12 months). It has archives for over 2,500 U.S. historical newspapers in all 50 states, from the 1600s to the present day, with over 224 million family history records, over 29 million obituaries from more than 1,140 newspapers in more than 130 million historical newspaper articles, and more than 11,700 historical books. Added content from:
* over 100 newspapers in 31 states.

e) - the LDS FREE site for indexed and browsable databases -- new content includes:
* Vermont Enrolled Militia Records, 1861-1867 (100% complete, index and images)
* Louisiana War of 1812 Pension Lists , 1812-1817 (100% complete, no index, browse images)

Seven new indexing projects were released during the past two weeks:
* Argentina 1869 Census – Buenos Aires (Part 2)
* Argentina 1869 Census – Cordoba y San Luis
* Massachusetts Death Records
* Massachusetts Marriage Records
* New Hampshire Birth Records
* UK – Cheshire – Church Records
* UK– Cheshire – Land Tax


a) The National Genealogical Society, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, announced a new educational course offering, Working With Deeds. This online courses teaches a researcher to recognize and understand various types of deeds and to analyze the information found in them. These skills help family historians sort out the mysteries of ancestral relationships and solve difficult brick-wall problems. For more information or to register for an online course or the NGS Home Study Course, visit the NGS website at and click on Learning Center.

b) Google Your Family Tree -- This book by Dan Lynch is written in a friendly, informative, and non-technical way — but still conveys the depth of power contained within each major part of the Google service. Each concept is illustrated with large, easy-to-view images showing exactly how to execute the command being discussed and what results you will achieve. If you have ever used Google or any Internet search engine and experienced frustration with millions of listings resulting from your query, you are about to discover a true breakthrough! He dissects more than one hundred powerful commands and features of Google, but maintains a focus on how they can be used specifically to conduct family history research. There are special tips for finding people, places, and even filters for searching through different time periods. The book is $34.95 at


a) Releases Free Family Tree Software -- The software enables users to edit and create a family tree on their own PC. If desired, they can then upload it to and share it with relatives and friends. The Home Edition offers state-of-the-art usability and technology at no cost. Besides operating in the standard GEDCOM format the software also allows the printing of various familial lists in an appropriate genealogical standard.

b) FamViewer for iPhones and iPod Touch -- Aster Software announced the release of its new genealogy application, FamViewer, that allows genealogists to carry their genealogy databases with them on their iPhone and iPod Touch. FamViewer imports standard GEDCOM files and displays them on the iPhone. You can carry your genealogy database with you wherever you bring your iPhone or iPod Touch.


a) announced a joint initiative with FamilySearch International. As part of the agreement, FamilySearch will digitize and index Canadian census records that has acquired. These digitized and indexed records will then be made available to members on the company’s website, and the indexes will also be available to the public at The images will be free to qualified FamilySearch members and all FamilySearch family history centers. FamilySearch will deliver images and indexes to for censuses from 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1916 Censuses to launch online in 2009. In return, will provide images and indexes to FamilySearch for the 1851, 1891, 1901 and 1906 Censuses.

b) Library and Archives Canada (LAC) announced a collaborative partnership with, which will allow the two organizations to provide unprecedented online access to the most comprehensive collection of Canadian historical records available. As part of the agreement, will digitize and index microfilm and original records held by LAC and make these available to members. All of the digitized records will eventually be available free of charge to users of the LAC website.

c) announced it has introduced the world’s largest online collection of Jewish family history records. has partnered with two leading organizations committed to the preservation of Jewish heritage – JewishGen, an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City that maintains the world’s premier Jewish genealogy website, and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). These unique records, including photographs, immigration records, Holocaust records and memorials, can now be searched alongside other records already accessible on, creating the largest collection of Jewish family history records on the Web with more than 26 million records documenting Jewish life.

d) Ancestry's online self-publishing service (formerly AncestryPress) -- has a new name, MyCanvas, and a new website. You can check out the new site by clicking the "Print & Share" tab (formerly the "Publish" tab) on Customers who go to will automatically be forwarded to

Monday, November 10, 2008

Index to Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California, 1769 to 1850 - Volume II: E, F and G surnames

The Southern California Genealogical Society published three volumes of the work by Marie E. Northrop titled Spanish-Mexican Families of Early California: 1769-1850 (Published by Southern California Genealogical Society, Burbank, California. Volume I - 435 pages. Volume II - 396 pages. Volume III - 525 pages). A description of the work by Northrop, and researchers before and after her, are here.

The index for Volume I is here.

The families in Volume II with surnames starting with E, F and G are:


page 77 - Jose Mariano Estrada (1784-????)
page 79 - Jose Raymundo Estrada (1790-1830)

page 80 - Joaquin Antonio Jose Ignacio Fernando Ramon Pio Quinto Estudillo (1800-1852)
page 81 - Jose Antonio Ramon Joaquin Ignacio Victorino Estudillo (1803-1852)
page 84 - Jose Maria Estudillo (1722-1830)


page 85 - Joseph Rosalino Fernandez (1756-????)

page 86 - Henry Delano Fitch (1799-1849)


page 88 - Rafael Gallardo (1802-????)

page 89 - Carlos Maria Garcia (1776-1824)
page 91 - Eugenio Garcia (1808-????)
page 92 - Francisco Bruno Garcia (1759-1819)
page 93 - Francisco Maria Leon Garcia (1778-1834)
page 95 - Jose Antonio Inocencio Garcia (1791-1878)
page 97 - Jose Julian Garcia (1779-????)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Perry-Castaneda Map Collection

I found this really neat Exploration and Settlement Map for 1675 to 1800 on the Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection on the University of Texas web site - this map is at

This map collection is very rich - go explore the Historical U.S. maps and see if one or more can help you understand migration trails of your ancestors. The exploration and settlement map for 1800 to 1820 is here, for 1820 to 1835 is here, for 1835 to 1850 is here, for 1850 to 1890 is here, etc.

Does anybody know where Polypotamia and Pelisipia were in the 1783 to 1803 time frame? Check out this great territorial map of the United States.