Thursday, June 10, 2010

CVGS Research Group meeting summary

We had 15 enthusiastic genealogists at our 9 June meeting of the CVGS Research Group. Several of them were beginning researchers or non-members.

* Randy started by discussing the SCGS Jamboree, "cousin bait" and "where to find the 'good stuff'." He noted that web sites with full names, dates and places make good "cousin bait" for a search engine, but you have search in specific online family tree databases too. The "good stuff" was defined as land and probate records that help define relationships, and many can be found on FHL microfilms.

* Jaye had a research problem to discuss - her Aunt Ferol Embody (1896-????) was born in 1896, married Beryle McClelland in Missouri, and divorced him, and died of tuberculosis in her late 30s. She had one daughter, and seven siblings. Jaye wanted to know how to find the death date and location. The group suggested tracking her in the census records, tracing the parents, siblings and daughter, and obtaining family records or newspaper articles or obituaries that might lead to Ferol's death date and location.

* Dolores has a 4th great-grandmother, Elizabeth (Sherk) Wolf, that raised a family in Lancester PA, but was kidnapped by Indians in about 1800 and taken to NC, then lost in the records, according to information on an Ancestry Member Tree. A child was born in NC and died in Oklahoma. She wanted to know how to find out more about the fate of her ancestor. The group suggested looking for journals from nearby forts in Indian Territory, and newspapers around the time of the kidnapping. This lead to a discussion of the Trail of Tears.

* Martha and Mary have a grandmother that was born in Arizona Territory to an English man named Harrop and a Native-American mother. The man was Mormon, and had many wives or consorts. The grandmother died in 1964, and the death certificate does not identify her parents. The group suggested newspaper records, LDS church records, and consulting a Native-American expert for guidance. This lead to a question of how to find which newspapers were published in a given location. Randy recalled that the Chronicling America site at the Library of Congress has a directory of historical newspapers - you can search it at

* Yolanda noted that she had a relative that lived near present-day Laughlin, Nevada in 1880, but it was part of Bernalillo County of New Mexico Territory. She wondered where she should look for records. The group suggested New Mexico State Archives, Bernalillo County NM records, Clark County, Nevada records, and the National Archives branch at Perris CA.

* Ruth has been in contact with an expert on Spanish genealogy and the Conquest of Mexico, in pursuit of her husband's ancestry.

* Susi noted that browsing through the books on the shelf at the Chula Vista library has paid dividends - she found helpful information on three surnames there.

* The other attendees shared their current research challenges and successes. Several have dead ends in the 1800 to 1850 time frame in NY and PA.

The next Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 14 July in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library.

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