Saturday, April 11, 2015

April Research Group Review

There were 20 attendees at the CVGS Research Group on 8 April 2015.

In the first hour, Randy discussed and demonstrated:

*  AncestryDNA "New Ancestor Discoveries" - Ancestry claims that "You don't need to research records or build a family tree -- AncestryDNA now transports you to the past."  Um, really?  

*  Chronicling America newspapers ( is a FREE website with historical newspapers from 1835 to 1922 at the Library of Congress, searchable by keywords, date ranges, etc.  There is also a listing of all of the newspapers ever published in the United States from 1690 to recent times.

*  GenealogyBank newspapers ( is a commercial ($70 per year retail) website with several different collections - Newspaper Archives (1690-2010); Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977-today); Historical Documents (1789-1994); Historical Books (1749-1900); Social Security Death Index (1936-2011) - FREE).  There are 6,500 newspapers, and over 1.8 billion records, available on GenealogyBank.  They can be searched by name, keyword, and date range.  The full run of the San Diego newspapers are online there.

The second hour was devoted to answering questions, discussing research problems, and telling about research successes.

*  Tameron's uncle was kicked out of the Los Angeles Police Department in 1938.  She wants to find out why.  She has family information, but no death date.  She found his wife in the 1940 U.S. census living without him.  A search in the California Death Index found he died in 1941 in Los Angeles.  With the date, Tameron can look for more newspaper articles and perhaps an obituary for him.  

*  Jean wanted to know how to sync her Family Tree Maker database with an Ancestry Member Tree.  The FTM Knowledge Base has explicit directions.

*  Lorrie's ancestor was Isaac Stallings (1810-1893), migrating from North Carolina to Indiana to Iowa.  We found his Find A Grave memorial, and had a number of Suggested Records for him.  But she doesn't have a subscription - we recommended using the computers at the FamilySearch Library in Mission Valley, or San Diego City and County public libraries.  

*  Virginia found a newspaper article with the 1911 marriage of her ancestors on MyHeritage.

*  Diane G. shared her poster of her ancestor "Don Martin Casillas" who was a Spanish architect who built cathedrals in 16th century Spain and Mexico.  She likes the MyHeritage smart matches because she can contact other researchers.  Diane has done autosomal DNA tests on 23andMe for her four sons - the results say two are Britain/Ireland, one is Iberia, and one is French/German.  

The next Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 13 May 2015, at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.  

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