Thursday, August 27, 2015

CVGS Program Review - Problem Solving Panel on 26 August 2015

There were 32 attendees at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society program meeting on 26 August 2015 at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library in Bonita.

The program was a "Problem Solving Panel" answering research questions submitted beforehand by CVGS members about a specific research topic.  

The panel members were CVGS members Shirley Becker, Ceasar Castro, John Finch and Randy Seaver.  They divided the questions between themselves and created short presentations to answer the questions for the questioner and the audience as a whole.  They discussed the genealogical resources found, and provided suggestions for solving a specific research problem.

The questions included:

1)  Where can I find newspaper articles for the early 1800s in Ohio and Connecticut?  Arlene asked the question, and Ceasar provided research guidance for her in both free and subscription websites and onsite repositories.

2)  What passenger lists are available for colonial Virginia (1607-1776)?  Karen S. asked the question, and John listed books, websites and online databases that provide these records.

3)  How does one obtain military pension records?  Susan Z. asked this question and Randy responded with ways to obtain available records online, from NARA by mail on paper or CDROM.

4.  How do I access 19th century naturalization records in New York?  Jean asked this question, and Shirley provided suggestions of online websites and databases, and information from the New York Family History Research Guide and Gazetteeer book.

5.  Why have DNA testing done?  If testing is beneficial, is there a company that is better than others?  The question was asked by Marcia, and Ceasar responded with information about the three types of DNA tests (Y, mitochondrial and autosomal) and the test providers, along with examples of results from 23andMe.  

6.  Where can I find Orphan Lists for all states during 1860-1870?  Bethel asked the question, and John provided information about adoption and orphan articles, websites and databases.

7.  How do I access 19th century Quaker records in England?  Jean asked this question, and Randy reviewed FamilySearch Wiki articles, online databases, and places to get help to obtain these records in England.

8.  When I have exhausted available online data, how can I find out what paper or microfiche information is kept in a particular area?  Karen S. asked this question, and Shirley provided ideas for informational articles, FHL microfilm and microfiche, travel to locales (to visit genealogical and historical societies, courthouses, town or county offices, etc.), write letters, and post messages on Facebook and message boards.

9.  What are the best sources to find passenger lists for ancestors arriving into Canada?  Karen Y. asked this question, and Ceasar reviewed FamilySearch Wiki articles and website links to find the available databases.

10.  A Civil War soldier's records are not in NARA because he died in 1832 and the cutoff was 1928, I believe.  Where could his records be?  Susan Z. asked this question, and John responded with suggestions for the Soldiers and Sailors system, Fold3, and NARA to search for records.  He sent a query to NARA which has not been answered yet.

11.  How do I find records from Alsace-Lorraine (French or German)?  Jean asked this question, and Randy provided historical, geographical and genealogical information from Wikipedia, the FamilySearch Wiki, websites, the Family History Library Catalog, and published book suggestions.  

The program lasted about 80 minutes, and the attendees responded afterwards with many questions and comments about the research problems.  They also enjoyed the dessert goodies provided by Marcia Mautner and Patricia Diane Godinez!

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