Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CVGS Research Group Summary - 13 October 2010

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting was very lively, with several beginners and new members among the 12 in attendance. 

After introductions around the table, Randy noted the full plate of CVGS activities scheduled over the next four weeks.  He also noted that the FamilySearch Beta website had been given a new look, that the SDGS seminar on Saturday was excellent, and wondered if anybody had a research problem to discuss in depth.

*  Shirley found six newspaper articles in late 19th century New York newspapers on the Fulton County Postcard site that related to the death of Johnson Wright, a brother to her ancestor, Alpheus Wright of Otsego and Delaware Counties.  Each article, published over about two weeks time, had somewhat different information, and from it she was able to glean the death date, the circumstances of death, his burial site, his current and past residences, his age, a son's name and an uncle's name.  Those items may all lead to more records, and perhaps one will identify Johnson's parents.  The group suggested looking for the uncle in the census and other records, and checking for a county map that might show where the known family members resided.

*  Karyn was cleaning out a closet, and found the three boxes of her grandmother's papers - which included several photo albums with captions and lists of family sheets dating back into the 1700s.  She's looking forward to getting it sorted out and put together.

*  Sidnie asked about naming patterns for children, and if there was any significance to three generations of children named George Washington Helton.  The father of the first one settled in Washington County, Georgia in the early 1800s.  The group reviewed some of the naming patterns, mentioned naming locations after people, and using ancestral maiden names as middle names, but thought that the G.W. trail was due to admiration of the father of the country.

*  JoAnn is just starting her research, and needed family group sheets and a pedigree chart to get going.  Susi obtained some from the file cabinet, and helped her understand how to fill them in.

*  Sylvia asked about the wrong birthplace on a death certificate, and the group explained that birth information on a death record is secondary information and should be verified with other documents.  She thinks that her 3rd-great-grandfather adopted his step-father's surname, and is starting to research the birth father's name.

*  Jaye was grinning ear to ear as Ruth handed her a folder with the newspaper clippings found in Hutchinson, Kansas about Jaye's grandfather's death by a street cleaning truck in 1939.  The accident was the result of teenage joy-riding.  Ruth found several articles about the driver, including previous run-ins with the police, and his enlistment, service, capture and death in World War II.  Ruth also found the obituary for Jaye's grandfather, which provided family information and a burial place.

*  Ruth took her father "Wild Bill" to Kansas, Tennessee and Missouri on a three-week family history and father-daughter trip.  She found many interesting records, and passed some of them around the group.  They visited several family homes in Hutchinson and in Tennessee.  A great time was had, but Ruth is tired out and has a 6-inch stack of paper to sort through.

*  Helen has her new computer up and running, and her genealogy database and family photo collection were backed up and installed. 

*  Susi had a call from a distant New York cousin who is a town historian.  She found three boxes of papers in her files that were salvaged after a 1950s courthouse fire.  There was information relating to Susi's Jones and Mattison families.  The town historian will copy the papers of interest.

*  Karen was new to the group, and has the good fortune to have a file cabinet of her father's family papers on Norwegian ancestry and her mother's siblings Maryland Eastern Shore family research on English, Irish and Scottish ancestors.  She asked about places to search for records.  The group suggested the FHLC microfilms for family records, getting local library cards for access to online databases, using and other databases at local libraries, checking,, Rootsweb message boards and Maryland State Archives.

*  Randy reviewed the local library online databases available, then described his Whittle research in online English, Australian, and American records.  He is off to the Family History Library next week to obtain original source record images for the English parish records, and whatever else he can find in the FHL resources.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be on Wednesday, 10 November at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Conference Room. 

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