Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20th Computer Group Review

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Computer Group meeting on Wednesday, 20 August had 8 attendees.  Randy led this session since Shirley was just back from Utah and Gary was away on vacation.

The group visited three of Randy's favorite FREE websites:

1)  Find A Grave ( which has over 116 million entries.  Searching using names, birth/ death dates, and States/Counties was covered as was requesting photographs of gravestones (you have to be registered Find A Grave member).  Some memorial owners or photograph providers permit users to use their material with attribution or permission.  

2)  Google Books ( which has millions of digitized books, many of which are out of copyright protection and can be downloaded as a PDF file or added to a user's "My Library" feature on Google.  Books that still have copyright protection are listed, but don't provide a full preview of the book and they cannot be downloaded.  

3)  Chronicling America ( is a free digital newspaper website for the Library of Congress.  A user can determine which newspapers were published in a specific location (State/County/City) or can search, using keywords, the over 8 million newspaper pages available between 1836 and 1922.  Users can narrow their search by state and by year range.

Google Translate ( was also visited - useful for translating messages to or from one language to another for 82 languages from Afrikaans to Zulu.  This is very useful for translating genealogy information in books, periodicals, messages, and social media.

Lastly, there was a question about finding the population of a place in a historical time.  The suggestion was to look on Wikipedia ( for the place name and read the history of the city or county or state.  Many U.S. cities and counties have a list of population statistics from U.S. census records provided.  

The next Computer Group meeting will be Wednesday, 17 September 2014 in the Computer Lab at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista, Calif.).  

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