Friday, July 29, 2011

Program Summary - John Kracha on "Central European Genealogy"

The CVGS program speaker on Wednesday, 27 July 2011 was John Kracha, who spoke on "Central Europe Genealogy and How to Get There."
John's presentation was about genealogy research and resources in Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. He recommended doing all possible research in North American before going to Europe to research, and to try to identify the town and province where your ancestor migrated from to America.
For each country, historical maps showed how the boundaries of these countries changed over historical time. Due to the different religions in these countries, and the different languages used in the records, finding records and translating them is a challenge for researchers.
In each country, surnames can take many forms, and records can be found in local, regional and national archives and repositories. Records in Poland are restricted, and you really need someone to help you research in the country. In the Czech Republic, land records are important when the church records are exhausted. Slovakia is 69% Roman Catholic, and church records are important.
John's one-page handout listed many online resources - especially maps, archives and organizations - that will help the researcher get started and find help to pursue their ancestral family history in these countries. He also did some show-and-tell with documents and artwork from each country, and a published book about his great-grandfather, Johann Carl Schultz of Gdansk.
John's advice for persons starting their research in these countries is to:
* Use genealogical and historical societies (in the USA and in Europe) to learn and get help
* Use maps and websites to find towns and provinces
* Use mailing lists and message boards to get advice and help
* Use email and social network sites to make contacts with knowledgeable people in the USA and Europe
* Hire professional genealogists and translators in Europe to expedite research ($100 a day for a researcher is cheaper and better than doing research on-site yourself)
* Visit your ancestral towns and homelands, learn their history and enjoy their traditions.
* Use Paypal for payments to professionals, translators, archives, etc.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

CVGS Program on Wednesday 27 July - John Kracha on "Central European Genealogy"

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting on Wednesday, 27 July is at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) Auditorium.

The program will feature John Kracha presenting "Central European Genealogy, and How to Get There."

The program description and John's resume:

Political maneuvering and military actions have not been friends to genealogy buffs. Borders of European countries have changed and millions of original records have been destroyed in two world wars and civil disobedience. John will address these issues and define approaches to work around and recover valuable family information from the modern Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland.

John Kracha has been a member of the Chula Vista community for nearly 40 years. He is an active member of the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD), and served as President for two terms. John has been active in the House of Czech & Slovak Republics in Balboa Park and provides assistance to visitors in finding ancestors.

There will be a short business meeting before the presentation. Please enter through the library conference room door to register your presence, pick up handouts, and enjoy a snack before the meeting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

13 July Research Group Summary

We had 15 eager learners at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group on Wednesday, July 13th, including one guest and many recently joined members.

Randy discussed the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree briefly, and passed around the printed syllabus.  He then demonstrated the new Google Plus feature on Google (, and described Circles, the Stream, Notifications, and Hangouts.

Then it was time for the main event - the Legacy Family Tree Webinar on CDROM, featuring Thomas MacEntee on "Google for Genealogists."

In this 75 minute video, Thomas takes the viewer on a whirlwind tour of many of the Google website's major features, including: Advanced Search; Books; Scholar; Images; Picasa; Documents; Calendar, Mail; Sites; Groups; Translate; Transcription; News; Reader; Alerts; Maps; Earth; and Patents.

Thomas used some of his own research to demonstrate the use of some of the features.  We stopped the video every so often when one of the attendees had used one of the features effectively.  For instance, several attendees had used Google Maps to find the location and street view of ancestral homes, and had used the Translate feature to write letters and read foreign language web pages in English.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be Wednesday, August 10th at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista CA 91910).  The group will watch another Legacy Family Tree Webinar on CDROM.

CVGS Research Trip on July 30th to Carlsbad Library

The next Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Trip is Saturday, July 30th, to the Carlsbad Georgina Cole Library (1250 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad CA 92008).  The library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We will carpool from the Chula Vista Parking Garage (leaving at 9 a.m.) and be at the Georgina Cole Library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Contact Randy Seaver (email:, phone 619-422-3397) to go on the carpool.  If you prefer to drive yourself, please let Randy know so that there is an accurate head count.

Check the Carlsbad Library Catalog: for surname and locality books before you go.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Upcoming Chula Vista Centennial Events

The Chula Vista Centennial Committee ( has these events planned in July and August:
  • July 20th – Author Steven Schoenherr, author of Chula Vista Centennial book, will speak at 6 p.m. In the Chula Vista Civic Center Library Auditorium.

  • August 7th – TAVA Centennial Lemon Festival

  • August 14th – Centennial Military Appreciation Picnic – 12:30 p.m. At Veterans Home (700 E. Naples)

  • August 14th to 20th – Spirit of '45 / Centennial Military Week of Recognition on the USS Midway
CVGS Members are encouraged to attend these events and enojy the centennial festivities!

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 2011 CVGS Newsletter is Available

The July 2011 issue of the monthly Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter is on the CVGS website at

The Table of Contents includes:

July 27th Program Meeting  - page 1
President’s Message - page 2
Lemon Grove Research Group News - page 2
Ask Gene E. Allogee, Tips and Techniques - page 3
Research Group News - page 4
Computer Group News  - page 4
Upcoming Chula Vista Centennial Events - page 4
July 16th Saturday Workshop - page 5
July 30th Saturday Research Trip - page 5

*  CVGS Goes to SCGS Jamboree - page 5
*   June 30th Program Review - page 6
August 7th Sunday Workshop - page 6
Computer-Related Genealogy News - page 7
*  Upcoming Webinars in July and August - page 8
New Chula Vista Library Hours - page 8
CVGS Fall Seminar Announcement - page 8
CVGS Society Information - page  9
San Diego Genealogy Events - page 9
Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - page 10

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CVGS Saturday Workshop on 16 July - "Genealogy Researching at the Carlsbad Library"

The July 16th Saturday workshop is at 1 pm. at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) in the Community Room.
The featured speaker is Mary Van Orsdol, who will present information about the genealogy collection at the Carlsbad Georgina Cole Library (1250 Carlsbad Village Drive in Carlsbad CA). This talk will help researchers going on the CVGS Research Trip to the Cole Library on Saturday, July 30th.
Mary Van Orsdol is the Genealogy Librarian at Carlsbad City Library. She received her B.A. in History from the University of California, San Diego, and her M.A. in American History from the University of Minnesota. She received her M.L.S. from UCLA and has worked as a librarian for nearly 30 years. Mary has been the head of the Genealogy division at Carlsbad City Library since 1997. She researches her own family and has a strong research background in New Netherland.
The holdings at the Carlsbad City Library can be seen at

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - July 2011

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for July 2011 include:

** Wednesday 13 July, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Research Group meets in the Library Conference Room, led by Randy Seaver. 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.

** Wednesday, 20 July, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Computer Group meets in the Library Computer Lab, led by Shirley Becker. Sharpen your computer skills and investigate online genealogy resources.
** Saturday, 16 July, 12:30 3 p.m., Bonita County Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Outreach Workshop meets in Community Room.  Mary Van Orsdol will present "Carlsbad Library."

** Wednesday, 27 July, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- General Society Meeting meets in the Auditorium. John Kracha will present "Eastern European Research." There will be a society business meeting before the presentation.

** Saturday, 30 July, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Research Trip to the Carlsbad Library (1250 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad), led by Randy Seaver.  Cointact Randy ( for car pool information.

The Chula Vista Civic Center Branch 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). The Bonita Library is located at 4375 Bonita Road in Bonita - just west of the Otay Lakes Road intersection with Bonita Road, on the north side of Bonita Road. The Chula Vista South Library is at 389 Orange Avenue (southeast corner on Fourth Avenue) - parking lot is off of Orange east of Fourth.

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.