Saturday, May 24, 2014

CVGS Program Meeting on 28 May - Genealogy Research Panel: "Stump the Chumps"


from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
At Chula Vista Civic Center Library Auditorium (365 F Street)

Genealogy Research Panel: “Stump the Chumps”

This will be a panel of four of CVGS's best researchers (from the left, Shirley Becker, John Finch, Patricia Diane Godinez, and Randy Seaver) who will take research problems and questions submitted from the audience. The panel will be moderated by President Virginia Taylor. Six to eight entries will be selected (time permitting). 

Each selected entry will be presented by a primary panelist who will have performed some preliminary research on the entry. A full panel discussion will follow, including audience participation.

 If you have a problem or are stumped in an area of your research, please obtain an entry form from any panel member or President Taylor, fill it in and submit it to Virginia on or before Wednesday May 21. This is important to give the assigned panelist time to prepare a response.

 So get your entry in early and see if you can "Stump The Chumps." 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May 21st Computer Group Review

The Computer Group meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society on Wednesday, 21 May 2014, had ten in attendance in the Computer Lab using the new library Windows 7 computers.  Shirley Becker demonstrated several websites with free records and web pages, including;

*  Rootsweb/Ancestry Freepages ( - she picked one of the Surname Websites to see examples) and the Freepages directory ( to search for material about your ancestors.

*  Rootsweb/Ancestry WorldConnect family trees ( to search for persons in trees submitted by researchers.

*  Rootsweb/Ancestry Message Boards ( to search for messages or queries submitted by researchers on thousands of surname, locality and topic boards.

*  GenForum Message Boards ( to search for messages or queries submitted by researchers on thousands of surname, locality and topic boards.

Several attendees found interesting entries on these web pages, family trees and message boards.

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 14th Research Group Review

The May 14th Research Group meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society had 16 attendees. 

In the first 30 minutes (without using the Internet since the projector didn't make it to the meeting), Randy discussed the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, Family Tree magazine, Internet Genealogy magazine, and the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks biography challenge that he is participating in.  He passed several issues of the magazines, and several 52 Ancestors articles, around the table.  

The attendees shared their research questions, research problems and research successes for the blance of the meeting.  For example:

*  Sylvia found a set of third great-grandparents and their spouses checking out Ancestry Member Trees.

*  Diane shared a letter from a relative with some family secrets and noted that "sometimes births occur before marriage and people won't share information."  She also showed how she uses a 12-generation chart, noting that it's helpful to put your research down on paper.

*  Marie is trying to find and contact her granddaughter, who recently married and has had several name changes.  The group suggested using social media, checking adoptee message boards and a surname message board to find go-betweens.

*  John has found more wills in the Essex Antiquarian periodicals on the shelves at the Chula Vista library for his colonial ancestors in Essex County, Massachusetts.  He found one for Reverend William Worcester, and he and Randy learned they were distant cousins.

*  Gary is looking for more military records for his Revolutionary War ancestor, Philip Roff.  He knows he was in the 12 regiment of Albany N.Y. militia.  The group suggested the DAR, records, FamilySearch Books, regimental histories, a local genealogical or historical society, and researching others in the regiment.

*  Karen Y is a volunteer for the Midway Museum, and is working on the Memorial Board for servicemen who died while serving on the Midway between 1945 and 1992.  Previously, the Board had only the name and date of death, and she wants to find the squadron, cause of death and other information.  She has been checking and Find A Grave for information.  The group suggested newspaper obituaries and for more information.

*  Jane committed a mortal sin by buying a new Windows 8 computer, and needs help with it.  She did find a connection to an Amish or Mennonite family in Pennsylvania recently, and needs to do more research on the family.

*  Virginia found an 1830 declaration of intent for Robert Dunlap in the Pennsylvania Naturalizations database on  He immigrated in 1799 from County Donegal in Ireland and was naturalized in 1813 in Nisipining.

*  Gerry's husband's father was in the U.S. Navy from 1900-1905, but didn't serve in a war.  She wants more information about his service.  She wrote to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis but received little information.  The group suggested an obituary, an enlistment record, a draft registration, cemetery records, and a town history or family genealogy.  

*  Hazel has been working on her ancestry with Diane's help.  She wondered about copyright and privacy issues with photographs on Facebook and other sites.  The group noted that material published before 1923 is in the public domain is used, but after 1923 the photographs are under copyright protection, and that the creator of the material, or their heirs, owns the material.  Permission to use copyrighted material should be requested, and attribution of public domain material is recommended.

*  Arlene has a new Mac computer, since her PC died recently.  She is working on her tree on Ancestry, and wanted to get a software program.  One recommendation was Family Tree Maker for Mac to synchronize with her online tree.  

*  Helen's 4th great-grandparent moved from Virginia to North Caroline to Tennessee, and three sisters moved to Missouri.  One married an uncle, and the uncle was arrested for murder.  She has found census, land and an article in a county history book about the uncle.  Helen also says that we shouldn't believe everything you find in a book or online.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be Thursday, 12 June 2014 (note the day/date change!) from 1 p.m. to 3 pm. in the Auditorium at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista.

Friday, May 16, 2014

CVGS Newsletter - May 2014

The May 2014 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) 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 - May 28th Program Meeting 
page 2 - President’s Message
page 2 - Library Committee Report
page 3 - April 5th Saturday Workshop Review
page 3 - Subscription AARP Discount

page 4 -- Next Computer Group Meeting
page 4 - Lemon Grove Research Group News
page 4 - June 14th Saturday Workshop
page 4 - Seminar Committee Report
page 5 - SD Central Library Research Trip Review

page 5 - Southern California Genealogy Jamboree
page 6 - Research Group Review
page 7 - April 30th Program Review
page 8 - “Shaking The Family Tree” Fair Review
page 8 - May 3rd Saturday Workshop Review 

page 8 - SCGS Jamboree App and Syllabus Available
page 9 - CVGS Society Information 
page 9 - San Diego Genealogy Events 
page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Friday, May 9, 2014

April 30th Program Review - “The Orphan Train”

Paul Erickson, a local Chula Vista resident, provided his “The Orphan Trains” lecture to a crowd of about 35 CVGS members and 20 guests, many of whom came from Fredericka Manor. Paul's mother was one of the estimated 250,000 orphaned, abandoned or homeless children who were placed in homes all over the United States between 1854 and 1929. There were two large organizations that did this – the Children's Aid Society (started in 1853) and the New York City Foundling Home (started in 1859, about 100,000 babies over the years). The groups wrote to small towns looking for families to take the children. The families could request children by gender, eye and hair color, etc. Special train cars carried 40 to 50 children at a time, with several chaperones.

Each child had their name on their collar, and the destination family name on their jacket or coat. Boys usually wanted to go to farms, and girls usually wanted to be mother's helpers. When they arrived at their destination, the prospective parents met the child and the sponsoring group. The child could be rejected and would then be taken to the next stop for another possible placement. Not all placements worked out. The Orphan Train book has stories about 40 to 50 Orphan Train riders.

Paul's handout had an advertisement that included this information:

Paul's mother was living in an orphanage in 1901 in New York and was sent to Missouri to find a home. She had no idea why she was abandoned. She loved the farm and school, graduated from high school and business college, married and raised a family in Independence, Missouri. Later in life, she hired a tracer of lost relatives, who found a record of a child with her first name and birth date in New York City, the parents marriage date, and the birth of another child in a Presbyterian Church record. After she died, Paul wrote to the brother, Walter, who wrote back saying he had been told his little sister had died. Walter visited Paul, and said “You look just like my dad.”

There is a National Orphan Train Complex in Concordia, Kansas in a historical landmark building of a Union-Pacific train station (see for more information.

Monday, May 5, 2014

San Diego Central Library Research Trip Review (by Karen Yarger)

On Wednesday, April 23rd, a small band of CVGS adventurers, led by John Finch and Karen Yarger, began their trip to the downtown San Diego Central Library. All were armed with info sheets on the library and tips for riding the trolley and doing research in the ninth floor’s genealogy collection.

We met at our usual spot on the second floor of the parking structure on Third Avenue. It’s a good thing we carpooled because the first challenge was finding parking spaces at one of the trolley stations. All of the Chula Vista station lots were under construction, a problem which hopefully will be remedied by the time you read this. Buying a senior trolley ticket ($1.25 one way) was a new experience for some, but with laughter and eagerness we boarded the Blue Line trolley, got off at the Park & Market stop, and walked about two blocks to the library. Did you notice that the windows are shaped like open books?

Karen gave a brief tour of the lobby and first floor and the wonderful Sanford Children’s Library, with its 16’ Dr. Seuss murals. It offers everything from displays of vintage favorites like The Wizard of Oz to the newest kid-friendly iPads and computers, and over 56,000 volumes in several languages.

A quick note of the copy stations on the 2nd, 4th and 8th floors, and off we headed to the ninth floor with its domed-shaded terrace and sweeping views. SDGS’s Chris Christensen met us and gave a personalized tour of the Hervey Rare Book Room with its centuries-old books, manuscripts and art. Steps away, he gave us a tour of the genealogy collection (that’s why we came!) and showed us the computers with access to Then he turned to helping some of our members with their research.

There’s never enough time to do research, is there? 

 Before we left at 3pm, we learned of a $3 parking lot across the street (not on Padre game days; it’s the Tailgate lot) and vowed to return soon. Now that we know our way around this fabulous resource, we can spend all our time in the stacks. It’s a great way to spend the day!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - May 2014

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for May 2014 include:

**  Saturday, 3 May, 12 noon to 3 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Saturday Workshop:  Randy Seaver will lead a workshop on "RootsMagic 6 Software."

** Wednesday 14 May, 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 May, 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. Bring your laptops to sharpen your computer skills and investigate online genealogy resources.

** Wednesday, 28 May, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Program Meeting in the Auditorium:  
"Genealogy Research Problem Solving Q&A" with Diane Godinez, John Finch, Shirley Becker and Randy Seaver. Refreshments before and after the meeting.

**  Wednesdays, 7, 14, 21 and 28 May, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) --Research Assistance in the Family Research area.  John Finch will help you with your research problems.  Bring your laptop if you want to do online research.

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 north 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.  All CVGS events are FREE to attend, except for some seminars and picnics.