Thursday, November 29, 2012

1 December Workshop: New York Resources

The Saturday, 1 December 2012 CVGS Workshop (1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 bonita road, turn left at the Billy Casper Way light) features CVGS Member Shirley Becker on "New York Resources."

This will be a brief overview of the peculiar setup New York has for keeping records – the town system.  Shirley will explain the way it is set up and then provide links and areas to look for online records. She will also emphasize joining local societies in the area they are researching and suggest they try to get member to do the research for them.  It is cheaper then going to the area for those of us on a low budget. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

"Heirloom Discovery Day" on 28 November


from 12 Noon to 2 p.m.
at Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) in the Auditorium
Speaker: Georgie Stillman, ASA
Heirloom Discovery Day”

Our November 28th program will feature Georgie Stillman, ASA, presenting an “Heirloom Discovery Day.”  Georgie will evaluate, provide some historical background and estimate a value of family heirlooms brought in by CVGS members. Her expertise is in evaluating and appraising silver, china, glass ware, furniture, artworks, quilts and samplers.

Georgie Stillman ( has worked as a professional appraiser in London, England, Phoenix, and San Diego since 1971. She has served as president of the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), vice president of the San Diego chapter, and was founding director of the International Society of Appraisers. She has received numerous awards for her outstanding service, including Appraiser of the Year. Besides being a professional instructor at various colleges, she has made many radio/TV guest appearances and written articles for many publications, teaching audiences about antiques and art.

If you would like your item evaluated by Georgie, please contact Virginia Taylor (619-425-7922, or email ) to get on the evaluation list -- there are a limited number of spaces on the list. Virginia has a form for members to complete and return by November 21st.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Research Group Summary - 14 November Meeting

The November 14th meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group had 13 in attendance.

In the first hour, Randy reviewed Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter as a source for genealogy and technology news, talked about the Family Tree DNA sale (through December), and described the Probate Records on FamilySearch, including how to use the Russell Index.  

Bobbie briefly described and handed out the two surveys and the volunteer form that will be available at the meetings in November and December.  

In the second hour, the attendees described their research problems and successes:

*  Jaye is organizing her research papers so that she can focus on specific research problems.  She will attend John's Wednesday morning Table Talk sessions to try to advance her research.  She had a question about scanning photographs; the group said to scan them as TIFF files at 600 dpi, then edit them (crop, rotate, sharpen, brighten, etc.) and save them as JPEG files at 300 dpi.  

*  Jeanne's California family lost contact with their Belgian Van Orshoven family decades ago, but because of a note on the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog, she was contacted by a distant cousin in Belgium.  They are sharing information - the cousin has records back to the 1400s, and Jeanne is updating him on the California family.  

*  Jeanne described her visit to the National City Public Library and the closure of the Kile Morgan Local History Room, which is shut to the public.  There was discussion of the wealth of material in this room - the URL is

*  Sam found old pictures from his parents collection and is scanning them.  He has had contact with a cousin in Tennessee and hopes to gain family information.  He is planning a trip to Germany in 2013 and wants to learn more about German research.  The group noted that SDGS has a German group he should contact, and he should check CyndisList ( and the FamilySearch Wiki.

*  John is finding a lot of colonial family information in the 13 volumes of the Essex Antiquarian on the shelf at the Chula Vista library, including the will of John Cutting and the descendants of John Brown.

*  Virginia has a contact on MyHeritage for her John Dunlop family and is pursuing that.

*  Ralph is entering his family history information into RootsMagic, including information from emails and letters.  Some of his families were in South Texas, and may not have been Roman Catholic.

*  Diane's Italian grandfather was found only in the 1940 US Census with his family.  She asked how she could find his parents names.  The group suggested the Social Security application, a Massachusetts death certificate, and a World War II draft registration.  Randy went online and found the draft registration  card, which listed the grandfather's birth date, birth place and parents names, on

*  Bobbie has been learning more about Haplogroup X, which is in her mitochondrial line. She bought four DNA books, and has done some research on ancestral migrations at  Her husband will order Y, mitochondrial and autosomal tests through the new National Geographical Society Geno 2.0 Project.  

The next Research Group meeting will be on Wednesday, 12 December in the Conference Room of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CVGS Newsletter for November 2012 Published

The November 2012 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter was published last  week.  You can read it online, in a PDF format - use the Newsletter link at 

The Table of Contents lists:

page 1 - November 28th Program – Georgie Stillman
page 2 - President’s Message
page 3 - Holiday Luncheon Information
page 3 - Membership Report
page 3 - 1 December workshop
page 3 - Lemon Grove Research Group News
page 4 - Research Group News
page 4 - Library Assistance Reinstated

page 4 - Computer Group News

page 5 - October 31st Program Review - Randy Seaver 
page 6 - October 7th Workshop Review – CeCe Moore
page 7 - Revised By-Laws and Standing Rules Approved
page 7 - Officer Election Slate 
page 7 - November 4th Workshop Review – Randy Seaver
page 8 - Book Donations to CVGS and CVPL
page 9 - CVGS Society Information
page 9 - San Diego Genealogy Events
page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Revised CVGS Bylaws Approved

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society By-Laws were revised by the By-Laws Review Committee headed by Olive Lenane, and presented to the society members on 1 October via email and postal mail.  They were approved by the members attending the 31 October CVGS General Meeting.  The revised CVGS By-Laws are available on the CVGS website – see in the “Resources” tab (or see

The Standing Rules, which contain the supporting information for each of the Articles of the By-Laws, were approved by the Board of Directors at the 7 November Board meeting.  They are available to review on the CVGS website – see in the “Resources” tab (or see 

The ByLaws Review Committee is working on Standard Operating Procedures for the elected Officers, and hopes to create Standard Operating Procedures for all of the Committee Chair positions also.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Chula Vista Library "Table Talk" with John Finch on Wednesdays

CVGS member, and a former society President, John Finch has volunteered to provide research assistance and advice ("Table Talk") in the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista, on the south side of the library, past the library Help desk and the CD/DVD section, near the collection of genealogy books and periodicals).

John will be there on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon to help members and community people with their genealogy and family history research.

The Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library has over 3,000 books and periodicals in the Family Research collection, and there are more books in the Circulating collection.  If you have not visited the collection recently, you should - you might find useful resources for your research.  

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

CVGS RootsMagic Workshop #2 Summary

The second Chula Vista Genealogical Society RootsMagic 5 Workshop was held on Sunday, 4 November at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library with 14 in attendance, including several guests.  

Randy Seaver conducted this workshop, which was a follow-on to the 4 August workshop.  

In the first hour, Randy described and explored several of the more advanced features of RootsMagic 5, including:

The Web Search feature - how to search from within RootsMagic to find records on online sites like Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc.  Records found can be downloaded to the user's computer, and added to the Media Gallery.

*  The To-Do List - how to create and maintain To-Do items for a person or family (the To-Do button in the Edit Person window), and how to print them out for everyone, for selected persons or for selected repositories (using Reports > Research Reports > To-Do List).

The  Research Manager - how to create and maintain research logs (the Research Log button in the Edit Person window), and how to print them out (using Reports > Research Reports > Research Log).

Problem Reports - how to find potential errors in your database using Tools > Problem Search > Problem List.

Media Gallery - how to manage media, including tagging persons and events.  Fixing Broken Links was described and demonstrated.

Book Publisher  - how to create a book about your family, including media, charts, etc.  Randy created a five generation book, including a Cover, Table of Contents, Pedigree Chart, Ahnentafel List, Ancestors Report, Descendants Report, a Scrapbook for one person, and an Index.

In the second hour, Randy answered questions about, and demonstrated the process of, crafting Source Citation templates for vital record certificates and Scottish Old Parish Registers records (from FHL microfilm),  and how to change relationships between parents and adopted or step-children.

Another RootsMagic workshop may be scheduled to early 2013.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

CVGS Program Summary - 31 October 2012

The 31 October General Meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society featured CVGS member Randy Seaver presenting "Discovering Jane's Roots in California, Australia and England."

In this case study, Randy described his search for the ancestry of Jane (Whittle) McKnew (1847-1921), who was born in Australia of English parents, married Elijah McKnew in 1865 in Tuolumne County, California, moved to San Francisco in about 1875, and raised a family of 11 children there.  One daughter, Edna McKnew (1884-1974) was Randy's wife's grandmother.  

The story starts with a large 1906 photograph, rescued from the trash bin by Linda's brother, of the McKnew family outside their home after the 1906 earthquake.  In the California records, the search included Jane's death certificate (which listed her parents as Joseph Whittle and Rachel Moore), census records from 1920 back to 1860, San Francisco City Directories, California Voting Registers, and early California newspapers (all online).  In the search, a Joseph Whittle in San Francisco (died in 1871) was found, as was a Joseph Whittle born in Australia in census records in Calaveras County.  The key find was the 1852 California State Census that included a Rachel "Wadle" in San Francisco (born in England), with three children - Elizabeth born in England, Joseph and Jane born in Australia.

The Australian records, all found on the Internet, included birth records for five Whittle children in Sydney, New South Wales, including Jane Whittle in 1847.  However, their parents were listed as Alexander and Rachel Whittle.  Articles in the Sydney newspapers in the 1840s indicated that Alexander and Rachel owned a pub, and that Alexander left for California (gold fever?) in 1850.  The key puzzle piece was the ship passenger list from England to Australia in 1841 - it listed Alexander Whittell and Rachel Morley, both from Bolton in Lancashire, with a daughter Elizabeth.  

Back to California records, Randy found articles about Rachel in San Francisco and Sacramento, indicating that she married again in 1854 and was arrested for being drunk, disorderly and more.  A newspaper article in 1853 documented Alexander Whittle's suicide in Angel's Camp in Calaveras County.  

In English records in Lancashire, the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley in 1840 was found, and their baptism records were found in parish registers.  Rachel was born out of wedlock to widow Jane Morley (formerly Haslam and Bury) in 1821.  The ancestry of Alexander going back several generations and the parents of Jane (Haslam) (Bury) Morley were also found in parish registers, as was the out-of-wedlock birth of Rachel Morley's first child, Elizabeth, in 1839.  

During the presentation, Randy showed the newly found information of Jane's roots using a pedigree chart.  At the end, he summarized the families of Elizabeth, Joseph and Jane, and showed a comparison of the house in the 1906 photograph with the same building in Google Maps Street View.  He also noted that posting his research online on his blog ( really helped solve the challenges - readers suggested resources and even did research.

Lessons learned included:

*  There is a wealth of vital records, church records, census records, immigration records, historical newspapers, city directories, etc. in online record collections (both free and subscription)

*  There is a wealth of records available on Family History Library microfilms.
*  Many paper records are held in National Archives, State Archives, county/city/town archives, public/private/university libraries, historical/genealogical societies, businesses, churches, schools, homes, etc.
*  Not every record is available online or on microfilm. Maybe 5% are online, and maybe 40% are
on microfilm?
*  Posting information online (in a message board, a blog, an online tree, etc.) can provide “short circuit” help – advice on resources, links to online collections, lookups in records
*  Many records have inaccurate information – do a Reasonably Exhaustive Search for every record possible, apply the Genealogical Proof Standard to evaluate evidence to draw conclusions.
*  The “sins of the father...” can be overcome by descendants even in the first generation.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - November 2012

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for November 2012 include:

** Sunday, 4 November, 1 3 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside (County) Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Outreach Workshop meets in Community Room. Randy Seaver will present  "RootsMagic Workshop - Part 2."  

** Wednesday 14 November, 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, 21 November, 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.

** Wednesday, 28 November, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS General Membership Meeting in the Auditorium.  Georgie Stillman will present "Heirloom Discovery Day."

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-Sunnyside (County) Library is located at 4375 Bonita Road in Bonita - turn left on Billy Casper Way, just west of the Otay Lakes Road intersection with Bonita Road, on the north side of Bonita Road. 

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.