Sunday, September 28, 2014

September Program Review - Ceasar Castro on Mexican-American War - Part 2

Part 2 of Ceasar Castro's presentation on "California and the Mexican-American War From a Genealogical Point of View" was attended by 30 CVGS members and guests on Wednesday, 24 September at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Ceasar noted that historians want to highlight leaders and events, but genealogists want to find information about individuals - not only the leaders, but the soldiers and residents also.

In this talk, Ceasar provided a detailed history timeline of the events that 
covered the second capture of Alta California in late 1846, the battles in Baja California, and the end of the war in California in mid-1848.

In San Diego County, Colonel Stephen Kearny and his dragoons fought the Californios at the Battle of San Pasqual in December 1846, arrived in San Diego, and soon went to Los Angeles.  In the meantime, Major John Fremont moved south from Monterey to meet Kearny in Los Angeles.  Commodore Robert Stockton also moved from San Diego to Los Angeles to quell the Californios.  The last battle for Alta California was in early California, and the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed with the Californios on 13 January 1847.  

 Kearny claimed command of California at the end of hostilities, and had a rivalry with Stockton.  Fremont was named Governor of California, but was succeeded by Kearny as Governor in Monterey on 1 March 1847.  

In the mean time, other military units arrived overland and by sea to help in California, and were soon directed to the southern tip of Baja California, traveling by sea.  There were battles at San Jose del Cabo, La Paz and Mulege, with the Americans eventually subduing the Mexicans.  The Battle of Todos Santos ended the fighting on 30 March 1847.  

The fighting in Mexico ended in early 1848, and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was signed in Queretaro on 2 April 1848.  The treaty made Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California part of the United States, and Mexico received $15 million.  Mexican residents of the captured territories were free to remain or go to Mexico, their property rights and land grants were respected.  Some Baja California residents were granted transportation to Monterey and to make property claims in late 1848.

During this presentation, Ceasar highlighted the names of many of the members of the American forces who served in the different military units, and the Californios who fought with them.

Ceasart's handout was a general description of his two presentations, with a bibliography of published books and local places of historical interest.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Books in the CVGS Collection

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society has over 1,800 titles in the book and periodical collection at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library at 365 F Street in Chula Vista, California.

 Thanks to the generosity of some of our members, and thanks to the Friends of the Library for looking out for us as genealogy books are donated to them, and thanks to our own Society for purchasing books in order to continually improve our collection, we have added several new books to our shelves. In case you are interested, you might want to take a look:

359.7097 MCH San Diego & Honolulu: A PhotoJournal through a Sailor's Eye, 1920-1943, by 
Petei McHenry

929.1072 KEN Genealogical Records in Texas, by Imogene Kinard Kennedy & J. Leon Kennedy

929.1072 KRU A Guide to Chicago & Midwestern Polish-American Genealogy by Jason Kruski

929.1072 PET Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research,
by Nancy S. Peterson

929.3 DOB The French in the Americas, 1620-1820 by David Dobson

929.373 ARO Wanted: US Criminal Records, by Ron Arons

976.4004 ZES The Captured: A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier, by 
Scott Zesch

978.1 RIL Pioneers of the Bluestem Prairie, compiled by Riley County Genealogical Society

979.478 CHU Chula Vista-The Early Years, Vol. 1, compiled by the Chula Vista Historical 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

9/24 Program is Ceasar Castro on Mexican-American War - Part 2

from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
At Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium

Ceasar Castro – “California and the Mexican-American War
from a Genealogical Point of View– Part 2”

Ceasar Castro is a local boy. He graduated from Hilltop High School and San Diego State with a degree in Electrical Engineering.  He worked at the Navy R&D Laboratory on Point Loma for 36 years before retiring.

Ceasar started working on his genealogy in 2008 when his sister, who had started earlier, asked him for help. However, slowly he took over the research. He joined the San Diego Genealogy Society and the Chula Vista Genealogy Society to learn more about genealogy. All of his ancestors come from Baja California. In researching his Castro ancestors, he discovered that two of his great-grandaunts married Irishmen in Baja. This puzzled him - how did the Irishmen end up in Baja around 1850? This started him delving into the history of Baja and resulted in his research on the Mexican-American War.

When historians write about history, they are interested in who made decisions and the result of those decisions. If an army is involved, they may give the names of some of the officers but not of the common soldiers. They usually only give the number of soldiers. But we are  genealogists; we seek the names of all the soldiers. That is because we are usually looking for a particular person(s). This presentation on the Mexican-American War is from that perspective; what were the names of all the people involved in the Mexican-American War in California.

This presentation is a continuation from the February 2014 presentation.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

CVGS Research Group Review - September 10th

The September 10th meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Research Group had 21 attendees.

In the first hour, Randy reviewed upcoming CVGS meetings, the SDGS seminar on 27 September, and noted that the FamilySearch Obituary Collection now includes GenealogyBank obituaries.

He described helping CVGS member Dorothy, who is going to Demanrk in late September, with her Danish genealogy research.  After writing a post on his blog, there were several helpful comments from readers and Facebook members, including offers for help from researchers in Denmark.  The blog post provided a list of websites to check for Denmark resources.

In the second hour, the research challenges, questions and successes were highlighted by some of the attendees, including:

*  Jean asked for help finding probate records of Nehemiah Tompkins, who died in Ontario County, N.Y. in 1836.  Randy showed to find this record in the New York Probate Records collection on FamilySearch, but there was no entry for him in the Probate record index.

*  Sally wanted help finding information for the ancestors of her husband's second great-grandfather, Julius Schaefer (1866-1968).  She had a 1966 Wichita, Kansas newspaper article celebrating his 100th birthday.  The article said his birthplace was Schramberg in West Germany.  The group suggested finding all possible records in the United States that might name his parents, such as a death certificate, the Social Security Application, a passenger list, and a naturalization record.  Then look for church records in Germany on FHL microfilms.

*  Diane found a family coat of arms and wondered what the difference was between a crest and a coat-of-arms.  Karen explained that the crest was part of the coat-of-arms.  A Wikipedia article was found to explain it.

*  Helen is still researching her Burleson family in Arkansas.  She found land records in Clark County, Arkansas in 1858.  A recently found correspondent has more records to share with Helen.

*  Sylvia's great-grandfather immigrated in 1857, resided in Fargo, N.D., and then moved to Tulare, Calif.  She found a naturalization record in Tulare, but it was not the declaration of intent.  She asked if there might be more records.  The group suggested checking the National Archives branch near Fargo to determine if one is available.

*  Ana asked if FamilySearch has removed record images from some of their collections.  The group noted that every collection has contractual obligations, and some contracts expire.  The removed images might be available on microfilm at the FamilySearch Library.

*  John was contacted by a lady in Spokane who had been adopted.  Due to a change in records access law for adoptees, she found out her birth mother's name, and found it in John's Ancestry Member Tree.  After she contacted him through Ancestry, John's response to her was "I'm her brother, and I've been waiting for your call for a long time."  John's family knew about the baby that his sister had as a teenager.  He has shared more family information and is looking forward to meeting his niece sometime soon.

The next Research Group meeting will be on Wednesday, 8 October at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 2014 Issue of the CVGS Newsletter is Available

The September 2014 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Newsletter was published this week.  You can read it online, in a PDF format - use the Newsletter link at

The Table of Contents lists:

page 1 -- September 24th Program Meeting 
page 2 -- President’s Message 
page 2 -- Nametags
page 3 -- 2014 Season of Finding Your Roots Coming
page 3 - Mobile App New Features

page 4 -- Lemon Grove Research Group News
page 4 -- Computer Group Review 
page 4 -- San Diego OASIS Classes
page 5 -- FREE October 4th Workshop
page 6 -- Research Group Review

page 7 -- August 27th Program Review

page 7 -- RootsTech and FGS 2015 Registrationspage 8 -- New Books in CVGS Collection
page 8 -- SDGS 9/27 Seminarpage 9 -- CVGS Society Information 

page 9 -- San Diego Genealogy Events 
page 10 -- Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 6th Workshop at Bonita-Sunnyside Library - "Basic Genealogical Research Information"

The September 6th CVGS Workshop will be from 12 noon to 3 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road).

Susi Pentico will lead this workshop of "Basic Genealogical Research Information."

This workshop is intended for beginning genealogists who want to understand the basics of genealogical research.  The topics covered will include:

*  A 5-generation pedigree chart
*  A Family Group Sheet
*  A Census record form
*  A Research log
*  A Research checklist

The forms will be provided to the attendees.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - September 2014

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for September 2014 include:

**  Saturday, 6 September, 12 noon to 3 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Saturday Workshop:  Susi Pentico will lead a workshop on "Basic Genealogical Research Information."

** Wednesday, 10 September, 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, 17 September, 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, 24 September, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Program Meeting meets in the Auditorium.  The speaker will be Ceasar Castro on "California and the Mexican-American War, Part 2." Refreshments before and after the meeting.

**  Saturday, 4 October, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- 
CVGS Workshop on "Engaging Your Family in Family History."  Bring a bag lunch.

**  Wednesdays, 3, 10, 17 and 24 September, 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.