Saturday, October 2, 2010

CVGS Fall Seminar featured Jean wilcox Hibben and Alfredo I. Pena

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Fall Seminar titled "Where Do We Go From Here?" (a sequel to "Who Do You Think You Are?") was today at Norman Park Senior Center in Chula Vista. There were about 50 in attendance. See CVGS Seminar -- Where Do We Go From Here? for the program schedule.

The speakers, the titles and brief summaries of their talks are in Jean Wilcox Hibben is Featured Speaker at CVGS Fall Seminar on 2 October and Alfredo Pena to Speak at CVGS Fall Seminar on 2 October.

Jean's first presentation was "Graveyard Gumshoe: Lessons Written in Stone" which had the audience in stitches as she regaled us with examples of her taphophilia. Did you know that on her honeymoon they visited graveyards from the California Gold Country to Tombstone, Arizona (fitting, eh?). She managed to show us many ancestral gravestones and the stories that went with them, plus provide advice on searching for them. At the end, she sang an original song of hers about gravestones of young children in one of her families.

CVGS President Gary Brock provided a short summary of what the Chula Vista Genealogical Society offers to members - monthly Wednesday programs, monthly weekend programs, a research group, a computer group, a newsletter, website and blog, plus a group of enthusiastic and helpful genealogists.

Jean's second talk was "This is Not Your Grandma's Genealogy: Making the Move from Paper to Electronic Record Keeping." This presentation covered decisions to be made, equipment to consider, and approximate cost estimates. A list of pros and cons about using a computer to organize your genealogical records was provided. Equipment discussed included computer systems (desktop, laptop or netbook) with pros and cons, Printers (inkjet or laser), Scanners (flatbed, handheld, or all-in-one), Storage media (external drive, USB drive), GPS systems, Digital Cameras and Mobile devices (PDAs, Camera phone, smart phone, etc.).

Lunch was provided by Jimmy's by the Park, a local restaurant, which served club sandwiches, Mexican pizza, spicy meatballs and cheesy bread, with a peach cobbler dessert.

Jean's third presentation was "Deliveries in the Rear! Getting Family History through the Back Door." She explained that her grandfather always said that "The best things come through the back door." She described searching for information to fill missing events in the lives of five ancestors - and finding data in newspaper articles, in military pension records, on eBay, in family letters, in wills and probate records, in local history books, in census records, in cemetery records, and many more. Often, the key to finding the records was the siblings, neighbors or associates of her ancestors. Jean sang an original song about the lives of some of these ancestors.

After a break, Alfredo I. Pena presented "Coming to the New World After the Conquest, 1600-1900" about Spanish and Mexican genealogical resources. Resources discussed included the Gary Felix Genealogy Page (, the websites for databases and microfilm access, and the Portal de Archivos Espanoles (PARES, website for Spanish records.

Throughout the day, there were opportunity drawings for research services, books and genealogical supplies. The Door Prize was a one-year subscription to

Jean Hibben's music CDs, CVGS books, genealogical forms, Chula Vista library information, and a computer table for research consultations were available at breaks throughout the day in an adjacent room. Several students from Chula Vista High School helped with the sales and information tables.

It was a major effort by CVGS to produce this seminar - the first held offsite in about ten years. The efforts of many CVGS volunteers were coordinated by Susi Pentico, the Seminar chairperson.

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