Monday, January 14, 2013

CVGS Research Group Summary - 9 January 2013 Meeting

The January 9th meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society had 15 in attendance, including a visitor from Oakland and two guests who became society members.

In the first hour, we talked about genealogy-oriented gifts received for Christmas.  

*  Helen and Connie teamed up to contact Connie's step-brother's birth mother's family using the 1940 U.S. census and other online resources.  They found a probable living relative online, sent an email to the family member, and receiving a Christmas Eve response.  The birth mother was contacted and the son and mother will meet shortly.  They thought that this was an awesome Christmas gift to Connie's brother, and to his mother.  His mother's sister knew the whole story!

*  John received a Flip-Pal portable scanner for Christmas.  He demonstrated scanning a page, saving the image to a disk, copying it to a flash drive, and displaying it, and saving it, on a computer in seconds.

*  Kaley received a subscription to for Christmas and is finding lots of information about her families.

*  Randy received a new laptop (still in the box), a 23AndMe DNA test kit, and a DVD from Linda's cousin with over 500 family photographs.

Randy then discussed using the Pennsylvania Church Records on to find the original birth, baptism and marriage records of his Spengler family, and using information on the site for Cedar County, Nebraska for his wife's Brocke family, and finding the land where they settled using Google Maps and Google Earth.  He made PDFs of his blog posts using (you can use this for any web page you want to save).

In the second hour, we went around the table and people shared about their research problems and successes:

*  Gary had been to Bernice's home trying to make a Family Tree Maker 16 custom report for Bernice's newly found French-Canadian cousin in north San Diego County.  He managed to create the report in English, copy it into Google Translate, and save the French version, and send it via email to the cousin.  Success!!

*  Karen was intrigued by the "Lost State of Deseret" in the 1849-1852 time period (essentially most of the territory between the Sierra Nevadas and the Rocky Mountains, and between Mexico and Canada).  She also explored the information on Wikipedia about the "State of Franklin" before Tennessee became a state.  She noted that state and county boundaries changed over time, and researchers need to be aware of these changes and the jurisdictions that existed when records were created.

*  Sam watched the TV program "Queen," written by Alex Haley, and noted that she settled in Savannah, Tennessee after the Civil War, where Sam's family resided.  They probably knew each other.

*  Susi is still working on her Susan Mattison problem - she is in contact with the Mattison Association but has had no success yet.  She found several of her surnames on the Greene County, Pennsylvania mailing list, and is contacting the posters.

*  Helen can't find her grandmother and her children in Modesto, California in the 1940 U.S. census, even though they should be there.  We checked online and could not find them, but we did find some of them in the 1930 U.S. Census in Missouri.

*  Gary stated that he had been unable to find himself in the 1940 U.S. Census, but a quick search found him in Michigan living with his adoptive parents.  

*  Lavinia was our visitor from Oakland who was in San Diego County visiting relatives.  She came to our meeting to see how it worked in hopes of starting a similar group at the California Genealogical Society in Oakland.  

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be on Wednesday, 13 February at 12 noon in the Computer Lab (note the change of venue) at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista).

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