Sunday, November 17, 2013

CVGS Research Group Meeting Summary - 13 November 2013

There were 15 attendees at the CVGS Research Group meeting on Wednesday, 13 November 2013.

In the first hour, Randy described a recent research problem and used it as a challenge for attendees to suggest research tips and techniques.  His friend, John, asked Randy to find a death date for his grandfather, John Louis Burr Powell of Oklahoma, who may have died after 1941, perhaps having been attacked.  Randy found a 1930 US census record for Louis Powell with his wife and three children (including John's mother), and a 1920 U.S. census record with Louis Powell and his mother and siblings, and a potential death date in a Find A Grave record.  The group suggested requesting a death record, looking for an obituary or a cemetery record, etc.  Randy described the help he got from his blog readers, including newspaper articles of the attack and an obituary that mentioned the wife and children of Louis Powell.

His second challenge was to figure out how to find the maiden name and ancestry of Louis Powell's wife, named Ethel (born in about 1899 in Indiana).  John mentioned that his grandmother had married again and lived in Illinois.  The group suggested requesting a marriage record or a death record.  Randy used the 1920 U.S. census in Creek County, Oklahoma to identify Ethels born in about 1899 in Indiana.  He found three candidates.  A blog reader helped Randy find Oklahoma marriages online in a state database, which gave her name as Ethel Hall, who was the most likely candidate from the census record.

The third challenge was to identify John's other grandmother, identified only as R.A. Collins (born 1899 in Illinois) in the 1920 U.S. census in Jasper county, Illinois, with one child born in 1918. Apparently she died before 1930 because John's grandfather was married to a Mamie then.  They were too young to be married in 1910.  The group suggested searching the 1910 census records for the county with an R female name, using given names like Ruth, Rachel, Rose, Rebecca, Ruby, Rita, Rhonda.   Randy solved this problem by looking in Find A Grave for persons named Collins who died in the county between 1920 and 1930.  There was a Ruby A. Collins who died in 1922, and there was an Illinois death index entry for her that provided her parents names, birth date and death date.

In the second hour, attendees discussed their research challenges and successes, including:

*  Diane G. manages a 23andMe DNA account for a young friend and found that the friend's husband's uncle was related to her, and that another friend was also a 4th cousin to her husband.  This was suspected before, but the family had not told them.

*  Diane D.'s cousin went to Sicily on vacation and found church records and took gravestone photographs for the great-grandparents on both sides of the family.

*  Bobbie's niece went to Bavaria on vacation and met a cousin, found records and a house address, then went to the neighborhood and interviewed neighbors.  Three of the neighbors had Boehner ancestry in photo albums.  The niece took pictures of the area, but the house in the records was no longer there.

*  Bethel found a naturalization record for an ancestor that said he was renouncing his allegiance to the Emperor of Germany.  She also wrote to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis to obtain her grandfather's World War I military records.

*  Karen Y. went on the CVGS research trip to Carlsbad last weekend, and found entries in Baltimore City Directories for 1857 to 1923 on (free at the library).  She made a table for names, occupations and addresses to sort out different families.

*  Karen S. also went to Carlsbad, noted that they had two paid staff just for the genealogy floor, and used the library guides for how to research using their resources.  She asked the group how she could find other resources.  The attendees suggested the FamilySearch Wiki for country, state and county resources, Cyndi's List for research topics, and the USGenWeb for user-contributed information for states and counties.

*  Virginia searched for her grandfather's name and found a family Bible page in an submitted by cousins.  The Bible had more family information about her grandfather's siblings.

*  Joanna also went to Carlsbad and found a record for her ancestor John Ward in a census record as a child residing in an orphanage.  She asked how she should research that person to find his parents.  The group suggested birth, marriage and death records, a newspaper obituary, or perhaps a probate record that names a guardian.

There will be no Research Group meeting in December - the annual Holiday Luncheon will be held at the Chula Vista South Branch Library on Wednesday, 11 December starting at 11 a.m.

The next Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 15 January 2014 in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

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