Sunday, July 15, 2012

CVGS Research Group Summary - 11 July 2012

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting on 11 July had 14 enthusiastic attendees.

Randy did not have a presentation, but highlighted some of the local educational opportunities at CVGS and SDGS in the next two months.  He also passed around samples of Michael John Neill's Casefile Clues newsletters if people wanted to subscribe.

A question was asked whether it would be better to enter your family tree data into a software program, like RootsMagic, or to enter it into an online family tree, like an Ancestry Member Tree.  Randy pointed out that folks can create a free Ancestry Member Tree, and sync it to Family Tree Maker 2012, or download a GEDCOM file of it and import it to their desktop software.  A GEDCOM file can be exported from software and imported to many online tree systems.  The major difference, in Randy's opinion, is that software does a much better job of creating reports and charts and is easier to navigate.

Diane received a GEDCOM file from her aunt, and merged it into her own tree in RootsMagic, and now has some duplicate people that she is merging.  She asked how to make relationships show up in the Family View, and the group said to use Tools > Set Relationships to set the key person.  She also asked how she can create a report for the family.  The group said to go to Reports > Narrative Reports to create ancestral or descendant reports.

Ralph visited Salt Lake City and the Family History Library on his vacation, and enjoyed two days of research there.  He said that his research was "wide but not deep."  Ralph recommended asking for help at the FHC immediately to optimize your research time there.  He asked about finding the local FamilySearch Centers and using microfilms there.  The group discussed the holdings at the Mission Valley FSC and the information available there.

Jaye made some progress on her Robert Murphy problem on a Murphy message board,a local history book, and online Missouri vital records.  She asked how to find out about newspaper and probate records for a county, and the group suggested the USGenWeb site for the county and to contact a local genealogical or historical society.

Sue is a new member, overwhelmed by all of the information offered over the past few months.  She asked about the 1752 calendar change from Julian to Gregorian in the USA and other places, and the group described the reason and effect of the addition of 11 days to the calendar.  Doing online research, she found her great-grandfather on her father's side.  She has asked her brother to take a DNA test.

Kitty is stuck on two grandfathers in the 20th century.  The group suggested obtaining vital records, and writing to local genealogical or historical societies to see if there is information in local files.  She had a hard time registering for the beta trial at MyGenShare.

Dan is a new member, born in Puerto Rico, and has lived in California for 33 years.  He has written a book on California's First Puerto Ricans, 1850-1910, and published it as an e-book, but would like a hard copy publisher.  The group suggested Tom Underhill's Creative Continuum company.  

Pam has been watching the PBS series"History of England" online and enjoying it.  She's had success finding her families in the 1940 U.S. Census by finding their address in City Directories on  Pam donated a book on Indian Abductions and Captures to CVGS recently. She posed a challenge to identify the relationship of the great-grandchild of her first cousin's wife, who was also her great-grandfather's second wife.  The group suggested that she listen to I Am My Own Grandpa for guidance.  Seriously, we charted it out and she's not blood related to the wife of her cousin, but is a first-cousin once removed to her great-grandchild.  

Karen Karen's photo mystery was solved. She found a mailing tube with a large photograph that had no information. She also found a 1992 letter from a relative that provides information about the picture and the family history from Norway to Quebec to Wisconsin to Iowa.  Her warning:  If you have family photographs, please date it, identify people and places.

Virginia won one hour of research from SCGS at the Jamboree, and during the time they found a living cousin in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania that had information on her Dunlop family.  

Sam has found lots of shaky leaf hints on his Ancestry Member Tree and has been busy accepting them and adding the information to his database.  He asked how he could create a migration map using Family Tree Maker 2012.  The group suggested he read the blog post on the subject on Russ Worthington's Family Tree Maker User blog (   Sam is preparing for trips to Tennessee and Europe.

Mary Lou discussed her New York "black hole" and asked how to find probate, land and cemetery records.  The group suggested the New York Probate Records that were added by FamilySearch, and are also on microfilm from the Family History Library.  For cemetery records, the group suggested using Find-A-Grave online, to look on the USGenWeb county websites, and to contact local libraries or societies in the area.

This was a very full two hours of nonstop discussion and interaction. The next Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 8 August in the Conference Room in the Chula Vista Civic center Branch Library, hosted by Randy Seaver.

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