Saturday, June 30, 2012

"Flags of the United States" Program Summary - 27 June 2012

Karl Zingheim presented an excellent program on the history of the United States flag - including the origin of flags, the development of the flags of England and Scotland, colonial America, the United States and the Confederacy.

The study of flags is called "vexillology" - see for background.

The origin of flags for use by England had its origin in the Crusades of the 12th century - England used a red cross on a white background (St. George's Cross).  Scotland used the St. Andrew's Cross - white on a blue background.  When James VI of Scotland became King of England in 1606, the flag incorporated the red cross of England, the white cross of Scotland and a blue background, called the First Union Flag.  The present flag of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) is the Second Union Flag which incorporates the English, Scottish and Irish crosses.  See for more detail.

In colonial English America, a succession of flags featured pine trees, the St. George's Cross, or the First Union Flag in the upper left-hand corner on a red background.  The background enabled writing to be put on the flag.  For example, the Taunton flag of 1774 had the words "Liberty and Union" on the background.  At the start of the Revolutionary War, the flag at Bunker Hill had a pine tree and St. George's Cross in the upper left-hand quarter.  A Grand Union flag was also created with the First Union Flag in the upper left, and six white strips on the red background representing the thirteen colonies (six white, seven red stripes).

George Washington's personal emblem had six white stars on a blue background.  The Betsy Ross flag had 13 white stars on a blue background in the upper left quadrant, and the 13 red and white stripes on the other three quadrants.

As states were added, more stars and stripes were added, so that the flag that flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 had 15 stars and 15 stripes.  Subsequently, as more states were added, the U.S. flag had 13 red and white stripes representing the 13 original colonies, and a star for each state in the Union. You can read about the different designs at

When the Confederate states seceded, they initially had a flag with three bars (two red, one white) and seven stars on a blue background in the upper left quadrant.  The official Confederate flag ended up with a red background, a blue X pattern with 13 white stars.  Read about it at

This was an interesting program for the 35 persons in attendance.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Computer Group Summary - 20 June 2012

The June meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Computer Group had 10 attendees in the library Computer Lab.

After finally getting online with Gary's laptop computer, Randy demonstrated how to access and search for FamilySearch historical collections (, how to access and use the FamilySearch Research Wiki (, and how to watch FamilySearch Research Courses (

In the second hour, Gary shared a link to where people can find free training videos on Legacy Family Tree 7.5 and can purchase CD sets as well. He also played an 11 minute video on Barry Ewell's blog site called Barry's Lunch'n Learn series . The video describes the process of setting color coded genealogy paper files, which was fascinating to many in attendance.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be on Wednesday, 18 July in the Computer Lab at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista). 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Jamestown, Kansas - June 2011, by Mary Lou Montez

My sister, Barb Harnett Woodbeck, and I have been hot on the trail of the HARNETT Family History Mystery for the last two years. Family lore says our great-grandfather, David Harnett, came from County Cork, Ireland in the late 1840s and died in Jamestown, Kansas in 1913. We had never seen Jamestown or the cemetery there where the Harnett family was buried, so we headed out from Lincoln, Nebraska last June to “see it in person.”

It was SOOO hot – over 100 – when we arrived in Jamestown. The town was tiny, and there were NO people anywhere. We drove up and down the main street, finally stopped at the City office and went in. A PERSON was actually there – one woman, who not only was in charge of the office but, amazingly, had the cemetery plat maps in the back room. She showed us how to find the cemetery and let us use her bathroom. Our lives were saved.

When we left, she promised to send us anything she could find out after talking about our family to a group of
“old folks” who meet for coffee frequently in Jamestown. She followed through and e-mailed her results – along with suggestions to help us at the Cloud County Historical Society in Concordia, Kansas, not very far from Jamestown.

Although the trip did not lead to a breakdown of the brick wall in our search, the kindness of one person in a
town too tiny to attract the attention of nearly anyone in 2011, helped us wedge a crack in it.

[Editor's note: This is one of a series of “genealogy travel and research” articles submitted by our members.]

Saturday, June 23, 2012

CVGS Program on 27 June: "The History of the United States Flag"

The June program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society is Wednesday, 27 June at 12:30 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista) [NOTE:  This is a location change from previous announcements.]

The speaker will be Karl Zingheim on "The History of the United States Flag."

Our June 27th program will provide an examination of our flag's design origins. Ideally, a national flag should clearly symbolize a country, and in case of the American flag, this actually dates back to the Middle Ages as the different regions of Great Britain took on official emblems and had them combined into the familiar Union Jack. During the Revolution, the Americans modified Britain's flag to suit their need and the distinctive stars and stripes emerged.

Karl J. Zingheim is a 1986 graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy. He is the Staff Historian for the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. He is also a member of the editorial review board for the World War II Quarterly, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to that conflict and has written and presented on numerous topics on naval history including Mains'l Haul and on the History Channel program "Dogfights!"

Please enter the auditorium from the double doors near the south entry of the library.  We are not using the Conference Room any longer.  There will be refreshments before and after the meeting.  There will be a short CVGS business meeting before the program speaker.,

Monday, June 18, 2012

June CVGS Newsletter Published

The June 2012 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter is available on the CVGS website - see

The Table of Contents includes:

page 1 -- June 27th Program Meeting
page 2 -- President’s Message
page 2 -- May 2012 Genealogy News
page 3 -- July Workshop on 14 July
page 3 -- June Workshop Review
page 3 -- Lemon Grove Research Group News 
page 3 -- DNA Study News
page 3 -- CVGS Cemetery Project News
page 4 -- Research Group News

page 5 -- May 30th Program Review
page 5 -- Computer Group News
page 6 -- Jamestown, KS: June 2011, by Mary Lou Montez
page 6 -- "The Tombstone"
page 6 -- Adds New York Census Resources
page 7 -- CVGS Library News 
page 8 -- FamilySearchOnline Collections and Indexing
page 9 -- CVGS Society Information 
page 9 -- San Diego Genealogy Events
page 10 -- Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Saturday, June 16, 2012

CVGS Research Group Summary - 13 June 2012

The June 13th meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group had 14 in attendance in the Computer Lab.  In the first hour, Randy described the format and syllabus from the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree held the previous weekend in Burbank, and passed many syllabus articles around for review.

Susi's favorite session at Jamboree was Joshua Taylor's class on "A Broader Context, Using JSTOR, for Family History."  JSTOR is an online database of scholarly journals covering many disciplines, including areas relevant to genealogical research.  It is, however, available only in libraries and universities in the USA. She also found seven new cousins at Jamboree, and a lead on her Trowbridge line in a presentation.

Virginia's favorite activity was networking and finding speakers for the 2013 year - she signed up three speakers for early 2013 already.  She won three door prizes at Jamboree.

Randy's favorite sessions was Warren Bittner's class on "Complex Evidence: What Is It? How Does It work? Why Does It Matter?" and Janet Hovorka's class on "Hatching Eggs Case Study: Engaging My Teenage Children With Their Family History."  He also enjoyed the Hollywood Gala on Friday night, and participating in a Genealogy Blogger panel discussion.

Diane asked a question about the different types of DNA tests.  Randy drew a family tree on the whiteboard and discussed what Y-chromosome, mitochondrial, and autosomal DNA tests can determine, including rough costs and providers of the different tests.

Karen passed around National Geographic maps for the taking, and discussed a Birdsong obituary she found with a paragraph on the family genealogy.  She's working on her mother's ephemera, and a letter from the 1980s notes that her William Geohagan ancestor taught English grammar and fencing.

Marie asked about how to access online Message Boards and contact contributors.  Randy showed the Rootsweb message board lists and where to find email addresses for contributors.

Kitty discussed her Ancestry autosomal DNA test results and matches.  On her father's side, she is searching for his grandfather, and has only a death record.  Her hope is that the DNA tests will provide some contacts.

A question was asked about the end of the Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are? television shows.  The group noted that this year's episodes are still on the PBS and NBC websites for watching if you missed one.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting is on July 11th at 12 noon in the Computer Lab at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Genealogy in the Cloud" Program Review

We had 40 attendees *including 13 guests) at the May 30th program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.  The meeting featured a panel discussing "Genealogy in the Cloud" with short presentations and questions from the moderator and the audience.

The presentations included:

1)  Gary Brock on "Internet History and Cloud Computing"

Gary noted that "folks know what the Internet is, but not how it works." He provided a year-by-year history of the development of the computer and the Internet, reaching the present state where many computing functions are performed by servers and computers not under the control of the users (in the "cloud").  The cloud consists of platforms, infrastructure, applications and can be used by desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and smart phones through cable, satellite, cell or wireless means.

2)  Shirley Becker on "Using Dropbox for Data Backup and Storage"

Shirley showed how she uses,  a file backup and transfer site that can be used with any computer.  She backs up and saves her most important computer files using Dropbox.  She also uses it to transfer files from her desktop between her laptop computers.  Dropbox is free for up to 2.5 gigabytes, with fees for more storage.  A user can have one big folder, or a set of sub-folders.  Users can share files with other persons using a Public folder.  There are other backup and file sharing services, but they work differently from Dropbox.

3)  Randy Seaver on "Using Mobile Devices for Genealogy"

Randy briefly discussed the different types of mobile devices and their operating systems, and the applications that can be used on them for genealogy.  He used screen captures from his iPhone to demonstrate how he accesses his Gmail account, his Google Calendar, Internet browser, Google Reader, Evernote, Dropbox, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Google Reader, SCGS Jamboree, Billion Graves, and Member Trees.

John Finch, the Moderator, asked several questions of each presenter, as did the audience members.