Saturday, May 12, 2012

CVGS Research Group Summary - 9 May 2012

We had a great turnout for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting on Wednesday, 9 May 2012, with 20 enthusiastic attendees ready to ask questions, share and learn.

In the first hour, Randy discussed source citations - types of sources, the need to cite sources, the different style guides including Elizabeth Shown Mills's Evidence! Explained, and how to use source templates in genealogy software to create EE-quality source citation templates.  He passed around several articles about source citations, showed the two QuickSheets for EE style citations, and his own "source sheet" with sample citations that can be cut and pasted and edited.

Using Family Tree Maker 2012 (which about 10 attendees had), and RootsMagic 5 (which only 2 attendees had, Randy demonstrated creation of a new master source and using an existing source with his own data in the examples.

In the second hour, we opened it up to sharing for research problems, how-to questions, and success reports.  The attendees offered:

*  Armando was a visitor, and has Texas heritage from the 1840 time period in the Amarillo area.  His family thinks they have Native American ancestry, but he can find very little about his family in this region.  The group suggested working his way back in time using vital records and census records, trying to find records that note native ancestry.  There may be distant cousins who have family papers, there may be online message boards and forums that can help for with surname or locality queries, and there may be genealogical or historical societies that can provide records or guidance.

*  Ralph, a new member, has Mexican ancestry, and has been using the church records on to extend his known ancestry back in time.  He noted that it is difficult to use these records because they are not indexed, and the user has to know the state and village to find families of interest.  The group noted that they are from the FHL microfilms and were even more difficult to access and use in years past.  He is also using the Ports of Entry records to find records of his family.

*  The group suggested that the FamilySearch Research Wiki ( and Research Forums ( may be helpful to learn what records are available in specific places and to request help or advice on researching different groups, countries and states.

*  Kitty, a new member, obtained the Social Security Application for her grandfather, and has found census records back to 1910, but cannot find anything earlier.  The group suggested obtaining vital records for the family members, local newspapers for articles of interest, and using alternative names, including wild cards, on the 1900 and earlier census records on Ancestry and FamilySearch.

*  Marie asked about where to find which newspapers were published in a city/town in a specific time frame.  Randy noted that the Chronicling America site (  has lists of every newspaper published since 1690.  Some of them may be available at the Chronicling America site, on GenealogyBank, or

*  Sam wondered if he was using the FamilySearch results page correctly.  He has been clicking the down arrow on the right for each match, then clicking on the link for the match to gain access to the image if there is one.  The group indicated that he was doing what needs to be done.

*  Bobbie knew the death date and location of a second great-grandparent, but not a burial site.  She found an online site that provided the burial site plus a physical description of her ancestor.  She is working to prove a second Daughters of the King ancestry, and determined that this is her mitochondrial DNA line.  She hopes to attend the 350th Daughters of the King celebration in August 2013 in Quebec.

*  Mary Lou found information on Find-a-Grave for her third great-grandparents and two of their sons in Ohio.

*  Karyn was reading obituaries, noted a family connection, wrote a letter to the family and planned a get-together.

*  Randy noted that two distant cousins with San Diego roots had contacted him in the last two weeks, and he found many articles in the San Diego Union on GenealogyBank from the 1920-1950 time frame about the family.

The next Research Group meeting will be at 12 noon on Wednesday, 13 June in the Computer Lab at the Chula Vista Branch Library.

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