Friday, November 27, 2009

Some Heirloom Photos from Georgie Stillman program

The CVGS "Heirloom Discovery Day" program on 25 November was successful and interesting - see the summary at "Heirloom Discovery Day" Program Highlights - 11/25.

Here are some photographs from the program, with CVGS members showing off their heirlooms.

First up is Gary B. with his Grandma's cookie jar:

John F. and his robin's egg blue hand-blown glass vase:

Virginia T. with her precious mother's doll:

Susan Z. proudly displays her aunt's plastic purse:

Susan W. and her Dutch or German doll from the early 1800s:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Heirloom Discovery Day" Program Highlights - 11/25

The most enjoyed and anticipated Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting of the year is the November meeting when we have member sharing. For four of the past five 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. We call this program an "Heirloom Discovery Day."

On Wednesday, 25 November, 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 eleven CVGS members bring their articles for discussion and appraisal, including:

* Nancy S. presented four silver plate pieces from the Stein Farm collection (in National City). Georgie dated them from the 1850 to 1890 period and said there would be museum interest in the pieces.

* Gary B. showed his large family ceramic cookie jar from grandma's house, which looked like an Aunt Jemima article but wasn't. Georgie said it was probably from the 1940s but wasn't a consumer item - it was fairly rare.

* Joan L. brought her grandmother's home-made little brown glazed pottery salt holder. Georgie loved the feel of it, and thought that it was made by a local potter.

* Barbara I. submitted a beautiful medium sized dressed doll with a porcelain head. Georgie said that it was machine-made, probably from the 1940s.

* John F. presented a beautiful robin's egg blue Victorian glass vase with a serrated opening, which was a gift to his great-grandmother from her brother. Georgie said that it was hand-blown, probably English and made in the 1880s.

* Virginia T. showed off her mother's doll in a farmer's wife dress. Georgie said that the molded head was probably made in Germany in the 1890s and sold separately, and then the dolls were created locally using the head.

* Wilma P. brought a 1933 Chicago "Century of Progress" World's Fair program and Oneida silver plate spoons. Georgie said it was a collectible and not rare.

* Helen S. had metal meat tenderizer and cabbage cutter. Georgie said they were post-Civil War items, probably commercially made in Grand Rapids MI.

* Susan Z. presented her Aunt's plastic purse from the 1950.s. Georgie loved it, said it was made of Bakelite, and was fairly valuable.

* Susi P. had a third generation apron. Georgie said that it was handmade in the late 1800s from commercially available material.

* Susan W. showed a small doll - from her grandmother's grandmother's grandmother, with a wooden body and a porcelain face, from Holland or Germany. Georgie said it reminded her of Jane Austen period books, was probably from the 1810 to 1820 period, and was fairly valuable.

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.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Heirloom Discovery Day" - CVGS Program on Wednesday, 25 November

The next Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting is Wednesday, 25 November 2009, at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Library Auditorium (365 F Street in Chula Vista).

The program will be Georgie Stillman, a certified ASA appraiser, who will present an "Heirloom Discovery Day."

Georgie will evaluate, provide some historical background and estimate a value of family heirlooms brought in by CVGS members. Her expertise is in evaluating and appraising silver, China, glass ware, furniture, artworks,quilts and samplers.

Georgie Stillman ( has worked as a professional appraiser in London, England, Phoenix, AZ and San Diego since 1971. She served as president of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), vice president of the San Diego chapter, and was founding director of the International Society of Appraisers. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding service, including Appraiser of the Year. Besides being a professional instructor at various colleges, she has made many radio/TV guest appearances and written articles for many publications, teaching audiences about antiques and art.

Please enter the auditorium through the Conference Room door on the east library hallway - and pick up the program, buy a drawing ticket for Family Tree Maker 2010, and have a snack before the program begins at around 12:20 p.m.

For more information, please contact Barbara Ibaibarriaga at 619-427-4110 or email

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New or Updated Genealogy Databases - October 2009

The list of new and/or updated genealogy databases for October includes:

1) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

o The Virginia Genealogist, Volumes 11-15
o Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911-1915: 1914 – Marriages
o Probate Records of Barnstable, Massachusetts, 1685-1789
o The American Genealogist, Volumes 34-38

2) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

o Announced that the 1790-1850, 1870-1880, and 1900 - 1920 US Federal Census records would be digitized and indexed and available on Footnote within one year. Site already has 1860 and 1930 census online.
o 1900 US Census – 1% complete
o 1910 US Census – 1% complete
o 1920 US Census – 1% complete
o Texas Death Certificates – 56% complete

3) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

o Roll of Honor: Names of Soldiers Who Died in Defense of the American Union, Interred in the National Cemeteries, Numbers 1 – 27
o Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants
o Resolutions, Laws, and Ordinances Relating to the Officers and Soldiers of the Revolution
o Scottish-American Court Records, 1733-1783
o Scots in Georgia and the Deep South, 1735 – 1845
o Several Alaska newspapers
o Many English parish records books
o Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia

4) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

o (ACOM) is now a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange.
o Historical Postcards Collections – several countries.
o Reports of Deaths of American Citizens Abroad, 1960-1974
o Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1954
o Atlanta, Georgia, Federal Penitentiary Index, 1880-1922
o British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920
o Many German Surname and Locality books

5) New/Updated LDS Indexing Projects (Free)

These databases are available for FREE at - the LDS site for volunteer-indexed and browsable databases -- recently added or completed projects:

o Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959 (no images)
o Massachusetts 1865 State Census
o Minnesota Will Records, 1849-1918 (no images)
o Wisconsin State Census, 1855
o Italy, Napoli Province Municipal Records, 1809-1936 (browse images only)
o Netherlands, Limburg Parish Register Transcripts, 1600-1822 (browse images only)
o Brazil, Catholic Church Records (browse images only)
o Spain Municipal Records (browse images only)
o 1920 US Census (51% complete, 32 states, no images)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Genealogy Blogs You Should Read...

Here is the list of genealogy blogs that were listed in the November 2009 CVGS Newsletter:

o Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter –

o Leland Meitzler’s GenealogyBlog –

o Thomas MacEntee’s Geneabloggers –

o James Tanner’s Genealogy’s Star –

o The Ancestry Insider –

o The Genealogy Insider (Diane Haddad) --

o Craig Manson’s Geneablogie –

o footnoteMaven’s Shades of the Departed –

o The Graveyard Rabbit cemetery blog –

o Gena Ortega’s Gena’s Genealogy blog --

o Tami Glatz’s Relative Curious About Genealogy blog –

o Michael John Neill’s Genealogy Tip of the Day blog –

o Lorine Schulze’s Ask Olive Tree Genealogy a Question blog –

o Arlene Eakle’s Genealogy blog --

o Blog –

o Blog --

o Blog –

o GenealogyBank – The Official Blog –

o Genealogical Inc. blog –

o California Genealogical Society and Library blog –

o San Diego Genealogical Society blog –

o Susi Pentico’s Chatty Performances blog –

o Ruth Himan’s Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me blog –

o Randy Seaver’s Genea-Musings blog –

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CVGS Research Group Summary - 12 November 2009

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group met on Thursday, 12 November at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library at 12 noon. There were eight avid story tellers and researchers in attendance.

Randy opened the session by noting that Family Tree Magazine has changed their cover design, and that the latest issue has a free CDROM of Family Tree Builder 4.0 software. He also noted that is a publicly traded company and wondered if anybody owns stock in it yet.

* We were happy to have Martha back with us after her surgery. She has been accepted as a member of the Flannery Clan in Ireland and has the colorful certificates to prove it. More importantly, she has corresponded with a researcher in Ireland that has taken the Flannery line back to 1800 - it added several more generations to her line. Martha wanted to know how to access only Ireland databases on - we told her to select "Irish Collections" in the New Search box.

* David has done no new research, but has noticed lots more Member Connect activity on Some of his research is being attached by other researchers.

* Dick sent a pedigree chart and family group sheets to two sibling cousins requesting help with family information. One sent it back filled out, the other is working on it. Dick has all of his genealogy data in Ancestry Member Trees, but downloads it occasionally to make reports and charts.

* Virginia went to Indiana last month to visit her sister and do research. She looked for her cousin's papers in a local museum - they aren't there yet. She did find a family reunion photograph from 1928 with about 50 people in it - all named on a separate sheet of paper.

* Ruth brought her six generation ancestors chart and talked about the one who was put in a well by his father. She met a new cousin and they are sharing lots of information, including about Elizabeth Jane, a child that was adopted out and was lost to her cousin's family. Ruth knows all about her! She wants to write books for Christmas and is thinking about doing a website.

* Gary has had some success with "leaves" while doing Web Searches in FTM 2010 on his Roff family. He's now expanding his search to New England for his Roff surname line. He's working on a new project, which he'll unveil at the November meeting.

* John had a nasty computer virus that cost him two weeks of effort, but he recovered his files and email. He noted that some family trees have bad information - so be careful what you bring into your online tree.

* Randy shared a San Francisco Funeral Home record, and his search through San Francisco Chronicle newspapers and city directories for ancestral death dates, occupations and residences. He also talked about his Y-DNA results through SMGF and GeneTree, and finding two other Seaver researchers with close matches.

The next CVGS Research Group will be at 12 noon on Wednesday, 9 December, in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Conference Room.

Monday, November 16, 2009

November Issue of CVGS Newsletter available online

The November 2009 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter is available on the CVGS website - this issue is here.

You can read past issues on the Newsletter page.

The Table of Contents includes:

page 1 -- November Program Meeting
page 2 -- President’s Message
page 2 -- October 28 Program Meeting Review
page 3 -- Holiday Luncheon - December 16
page 3 -- October 24 Seminar Review
page 4 -- Research Group News
page 4 -- Computer Group News
page 4 -- SDGS Library Moves
page 5 -- CVGS General Society Meeting Minutes – Oct. 28.
page 5 -- CVGS Board Meeting Minutes – November 4
page 6 -- It’s Membership Renewal Time
page 6 -- Update Your Pedigree Charts
page 6 -- Lemon Grove Genealogy Group Notes
page 6 -- Make Your Own Ancestral Map
pages 7-8 -- Computer-Related Genealogy News
page 9 -- San Diego Genealogy Events
page 10 -- Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

The Genealogy Cafe is open again...

Avid readers (thank you!) and followers (all five of you?) probably noted that there haven't been any posts of the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe since 2 November. Believe me, I tried!

Our favorite blog host, Blogger, somehow thought that the Cafe was a spam blog, meaning that we re-publish blog posts from other sites without attribution. As a consequence, they put the blog in "blogger limbo" until they could check it out. It disappeared sometime between 3 November and 9 November when I tried to post something. I complained through the official Blogger Help system (it does work, but sometimes slowly) and was notified on 14 November that it was being returned to "Blogger heaven" and it was on 16 November.

Thinking about the possible reasons that it could be considered a spam blog, I realized that I have been publishing some posts on this blog and also on my personal genealogy blog,, for quite awhile. I may stop posting the complete CVGS meeting material on my personal blog and see what happens. Or, I'll just change the text enough that it won't be a complete copy of what I post here.

Anyway, we're back, and I will post material shortly!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - November 2009

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for November 2009 include:

** Thursday, November 12, 12 noon to 2 pm, Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- 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.

PLEASE NOTE THE DATE CHANGE for the Research Group meeting - the library will be closed on 11 November for Veterans Day.

** Wednesday, November 18, 12 noon to 2 pm, Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Computer Group meets in the Library Computer Lab. We will visit some helpful genealogy web sites. This is an opportunity for those members who haven't used computers for genealogy research to practice with a mentor to guide them.

** Wednesday, November 25, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Program Meeting in the Auditorium. After a brief business meeting, the speaker will be Georgie Stillman, a professional appraiser, with an "Heirloom Discovery Day."

** Monday mornings (11 a.m. to 1 PM) - November 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 - Genealogy Table Talk with Dearl Glenn and John Finch in the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library. They are ready and willing 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 greater San Diego 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.