Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CVGS Picnic - RAOGK Angels

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society annual picnic was today, and we had 25 members and guests in attendance. After a short business meeting, and eating lunch in the shade on an 85 degree day, we shared RAOGK stories - that stands for Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness The question to be discussed was "Who has helped us in our research selflessly, and who have we helped?"

* Joan shared family information on her grandfather's brother with that brother's grandchildren, and has received wonderful information back from the cousin, and has shared lunch with her too! She also took a suggestion from CVGS members to search for "Hans" instead of "Johannes" in the passenger lists and found her ancestor.

* Randy shared his search for the parents of Ben Kaber to help the man in Holland that cares for Ben's grave in a World War II cemetery in Belgium. He also told about finding the house of his wife's great-grandparents in San Francisco on Google Street View that matches the large picture on their family room wall which dates from 1906. A blog reader took pictures of the existing house, and two cousins contacted him, took more pictures, and even knocked on the door of the house in question.

* John discussed his North Carolina research of the William Patrick family. He found that Patrick had a will from the abstract in a book, then obtained, through a friend and the friend's friend, the will and some land records. He followed up and received more information from a county library and the Wake Forest archives.

* Ann was researching her husband's Garvin family, and found a great-grandmother that lived to be 106. From a message board, she found another person researching the same family, but the email address was wrong. A colleague found another email address online, and she was able to contact the man, determined that they were cousins and they are sharing family information.

* Susan was searching for her great-great-grandfather's grave in Richview, Illinois. She had searched the local cemetery with no luck, but asked the man mowing the grass if there were any records, and he knew of a lady who had the maps. She was called, she came over, and they found the grave of her Civil War ancestor.

* Myrna's Beach family lived in Huron County, Ohio, and her aunt knew everything about their live in that county, and showed Myrna around. But they wondered where the family had been before. One record hinted at Pompey, Onondaga County, NY, and Myrna found books on eBay for sale. She called the local Historical Society to contact the book author, who was 85 at the time. It turned out the author was related to Myrna, had access to the records, knew where they were buried in the cemetery, and had been placing flags on the graves of Myrna's Revolutionary War soldier for over 45 years.

* Bobbie had several tales to tell - from her first CVGS Research Group meeting that helped her find Titus family records online, which enabled her to find and contact a researcher in Lake County, Illinois, who provided many family records; the librarian in Lake county that took her into the "back room" to see birth records; and the speaker at the local German society that put her in contact with a distant cousin in Bavaria.

* Ruth brought her Aunt Helen, and two nieces, from Washington to the picnic - Helen has been the one providing Ruth with lots of family information.

* Helen's great-great-grandfather died in the Civil War in Mississippi. She found a book listing his death in Enterprise, MS, and wrote to the mayor for help. A researcher contacted her and sent pictures of houses were sick and wounded soldiers lived during the war, and sent pictures of tombstones in the local cemetery, including that of her Confederate soldier.

* Gary's mother died three years ago, and his 88-year-old step-father married again. The new wife encouraged him to sort out the barn filled with family history things, and Gary recently received a box chock full of photographs, mementos, and his mother's genealogy research papers.

* Ann has been helping her elderly neighbors answer family history questions by finding records online that provide information about family members and homes.

After the RAOGK talks, we had our "bring one, get one" white elephant gift exchange and everyone seemed pleased with their gift. Bernice had a book sale going, and gave away many sets of duplicate periodicals. Randy had received free copies of RootsMagic 4 and Family Tree Maker 2009 recently, and they were given to people that wanted them, for a donation to CVGS.

1 comment:

reh ncw said...

very nice recount also see my blog on the picnic Genealogy is Ruthless without Me. I mentioned the root beer floats lol