Monday, February 16, 2015

CVGS Research Group Review - February 2015

The 11 February 2015 Research Group meeting had 16 attendees and met in the auditorium. 

In the first hour of the meeting:

Karen Yarger reminded everyone about the Escondido Family History Fair with particular attention to registration mechanics.

John Finch facilitated the meeting, beginning with a discussion of the website Genealogy Today at The cost is $9.00 per year and it has many features, such as blogs, a daily news email, and several family charts.

John focused on a case study where he could not find available records and initially relied on other sources. Searching for his wife’s grandmother, he found she disappeared after the 1930 census. Family members were tight-lipped about her story, but he persisted and finally discovered the answer to the mystery – the grandmother murdered her husband in a desperate act. Searching for the complete story in newspapers from Gallup, N.M. for the year 1932, he continued his search in Chula Vista using an inter-library loan. It was a remarkable story because even though she was convicted and sentenced to 99 years, women petitioned the court and Teresita was released from prison. John later found even more when the New Mexico Department of Corrections released its records and there was a photo and background information about Teresita. His message was twofold: be persistent in asking questions of family and search all types of records.

In the second hour of the meeting, John first took questions. 

*  Scarlet asked about an ancestor originally in North Carolina but later moved to Indiana and Iowa. The only thing she knew was that this person was a Quaker. John suggested the person started in the Shenandoah Valley and migrated to Indiana and Iowa because of the homesteading available for fertile land. He added that most of the North Carolina area was settled by plantation owners, indentures, and slaves.

*  Sylvia asked about a second great grandfather who immigrated from Germany to Indiana in about 1855-1857. John suggested she look at manifests for Castle Garden, but cautioned they have no indexes. He added that travelling to Illinois he found family information in a Cook County library, adding that once again the information was in an unexpected place.

Then attendees went around the room and shared their current status: 

*  Gary is busy with Wild Apricot and not doing genealogy right now!

*  Arlene is looking for a Smith or Hastings ancestor that may have been illegitimate

*  Mary Lou seems to find brick walls everywhere and is looking for an Irish ancestor that enlisted in the Civil War, was released in Houston and then continued to travel. She also pointed out that the website now has information that was previously only available to DAR members, such as Bible records and other affidavits.

*  Karen Y. is focused on recording family stories, such as a French Huguenot and Irish immigrant here during the American Revolution. Her interest is when and why they chose a side to fight for during the conflict.

*  Ralph seems stuck on his father’s side, a great grandfather who lived on both sides of the border in Ozona, Texas and Del Rio, Mexico in about 1900 and is difficult to pin down.

*  Carole is working on an email received through She has located some new relatives on her great grandfather’s side. She also brought a news article and news photos about the driving of the golden spike that joined the California and Arizona railroads.

*  Karen S. is integrating some old information she collected in the late 1970s with information collected in the past two years.

*  Sam Seat can’t seem to go beyond a second great grandfather on his line and tried to attach it to a Creech, but was unsuccessful so far. He also asked how to identify old photos and got several suggestions.

*  Linda put together old family pictures to show at a family reunion and got cousins involved.

*  Ana found a 1797 baptismal record from a Catholic mission near Juarez, Mexico. It has her third great grandfather’s name on it. She is trying to learn where the family came from in Spain or the Canary Islands.

*  Sylvia –is searching for Thomas Benton Hoover, born in Tennessee 1843 and died about 1888 in Texas.

*  Kathleen is grateful she contacted relatives who successfully labeled the old photos she inherited.

*  Gary did a short presentation on Wild Apricot, showing several features of the website such a the searchable book list, information about other surnames members are looking for, and the features only available to members.

The next meeting of the Research Group will be on Wednesday, 11 March 2015, at 12 noon in the Auditorium of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista).

My thanks to Karen Smith for this review!

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