Friday, July 18, 2014

July Research Group Summary

The July 2014 meeting of the CVGS Research Group on 9 July had 15 attendees, including one visitor.

In the first hour, Randy discussed some recent additions to the online genealogy world, including:

*  Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1944, on
*  Find-A-Record ( - a new website that provides online and offline resources for a specific geographical location
*  FamilySearch Family Tree Hints for persons in the Family Tree
*  Puzzilla (, an add-on to the Family Tree that finds descendants of a specific person
*  Uploading a GEDCOM file to a new Ancestry Member Tree

In the second hour, the group discussed their research challenges, questions and successes:

*  Susi described the problems she has with her Meyers line (John - Valentine - Philip) in Pennsylvania.  There were two Valentine Meyers in the 1790 census, and researchers have struggled to sort them out.  Susi's Valentine Meyers died in 1822, and his probate record identifies his son John.  However, the county boundaries changed often as the population went west, and records for one location are often in several county jurisdictions.  She had a Meyers book that described her Meyers families, but wanted to know how she could find more records to prove identities and relationships.  The group suggested finding records of all Meyers persons, including siblings of her known ancestors, in order to find probate, land, church, tax, military, cemetery, newspaper and other records that would provide evidence with which to draw conclusions.

*  Diane D. has had problems entering persons into the FamilySearch Family Tree without a birth or death date - the system won't let her do it.  The group suggested estimating the dates so that other researchers could contribute more information.

*  Helen has entered information for several generations of her husband's family into the FamilySearch Family Tree, but has been unable to connect them to other persons in the Family Tree.  She has received emails saying her work will be deleted if she doesn't add more persons and/or link to other persons in the Family Tree.  The group suggested adding herself and her ancestors until she can link to others already in the Family Tree.

*  Sylvia received some original Travis County, Texas marriage certificates about 20 years ago when she visited the county courthouse.  The office was trying to empty their file cabinets, and gave them away to persons who wanted them.  She passed them around, encased in plastic to preserve them.  

*  Joanna is trying to connect to Roger Williams of Rhode Island, and asked if she should work on descendants of Roger.  The group advised working backwards in time and find the link that way in order to avoid making mistakes and negating years of work.

*  Diane G. shared her father's obituary that she found using Google.  Her father's second family did not mention her mother or herself in the obituary, but listed her children as his grandchildren.  She also found the obituary of her step-father, which didn't mention Diane either.  She described visiting her father's family in Canada several years ago, and not being well accepted.  She also provided information on her father's surname line back into the 16th century to a cousin, and received a nice report from him.  Her point was that obituaries and stories may be incomplete.

*  Sylvia asked "What is the purpose of a marriage bond?"  The group noted that a bond was a guarantee that the groom was not currently married and would show up at the wedding.  The bondsman was usually a friend or relative of the family.

*  Gary was checking online trees on and found Anne Boleyn on two lines of his wife's ancestry.

*  Mary Lou took the "Google for the Wise Genealogist" at NIGS and found some photos of her ancestors.  She also found a diary of one of the men in the Civil War regiment that her great-grandfather was in that mentioned his name.  There was lots of great information about the regiment's activities during the war.

*  Jane won one hour of research from SCGS at Jamboree, and recently received her results.  The researcher found naturalization records from Rhode Island and vital records from Nova Scotia for her ancestors that extended her ancestry two more generations.

*  Karen also took the Google course with NIGS and noted that it opened up quite a few research possibilities and opportunities.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be on Wednesday, 13 August from 12 noon to 2 p.m. in the Conference Room of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista).  

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