Saturday, May 21, 2016

CVGS Program on Wednesday, May 25th Features Jim Bregante

from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

At Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) in Auditorium

“San Diego's Waterfront Through the Eyes of a Child” 
with Jim Bregante

Take a historical journey along the waterfront and Little Italy, from the 1930's to present, narrated by Jim Bregante, a native San Diegan.  An experienced speaker, Jim is a Docent for the San Diego Maritime Museum, a member of the San Diego History Center and the Italian Historical Society of San Diego.

Jim shares his experience of growing up in Little Italy, near all the vibrant waterfront life, via a PowerPoint presentation, featuring pictures from historical and family archives. Depicting his family's start in the fishing industry, his experiences on the waterfront as a youth and life in Little Italy; Jim's memories are shared and treasured by many San Diegans.

All CVGS Programs are FREE to attend.  There will be a short business meeting after the speaker's presentation.  Refreshments will be available AFTER the business meeting.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Family Discovery Day at Chula Vista LDS Stake on Saturday, 21 May

3rd Annual Family Discovery Day on Saturday, 21 May

The third annual Family Discovery Day at the Chula Vista Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints  Stake (1590 East H Street) is on Saturday, 21 May 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The theme is “Family History For Everyone.”  The schedule is:

8:30 a.m.: Doors Open, Free Continental Breakfast, Exhibits, Labs and Displays

9:30 a.m.:   Keynote Speaker:  Randy Seaver on “Be a Family History Detective”

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.:  Classes, Exhibits, Labs, Ddisplays, Genealogy Merit Badge Class, Free WiFi

10 a.m. Classes:  
Kathleen Winchester – “Lineage Societies” in Primary Room
Alvaro Cordova -- “Capacitacion para consultores de historia familiar de barrio” in RS Room
Grabado de RootsTech – “Pasos basicos para la investigacion genealogica: Como puedo empezar mi arbol genealogico” in Multi-Purpose Room
RootsTech Recording – “Become a Master Searcher on Ancestry” in YoungWomens Room

11 a.m. Classes:
Randy Seaver – “FamilySearch Family Tree - A Unified Source-Centric, Open Family Tree” in Primary Room
Carlos Yturralde – “Pasos basicos para la investigacion genealogica para hispanos” in RS  Room 
Marti Lewis – “Exploring Your DNA Results” in Multi-Purpose Room 
RootsTech Recording – “5 Steps to Identify a Family Photo” in Young Womens Room

12 noon classes:
John Finch – “The Civil War” in Primary Room
Carlos Yturralde – “Intermediate Hispanic Research” in RS Room
RootsTech Recording – “Finding Elusive Records on Family” in Multi-Purpose Room
RootsTech Recording – “Proven Methodology for Using Google for Genealogy” in Young  Women's Room

This seminar is FREE for all persons to attend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 2016 CVGS Newsletter Published

The May 2016 newsletter of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society was published last week.

Society Members can read it online, in a PDF format - use the "Members" link (roll over "Members," and click on "Newsletters") at  

Non-members can read CVGS Newsletters two months after publication, per Board of Directors direction (on, roll over "News" and click on "Newsletters").

The Table of Contents lists:

page 1 - May 25th Program Meeting
page 2 - President’s Message 
page 2 - Register for Meetings on CVGS Website
page 3 - Next Computer Group Meeting
page 3 - Lemon Grove Research Group News

page 3 - June 11th Saturday Workshop
page 3 - Scholarship News
page 4 - April 27th Program Review
page 5 - Chula Vista Family Discovery Day
page 5 - SDGS Software User Groups 

page 6 - April Research Group Review 
page 7 - Genealogy Roadshow on PBS
page 7 - Legacy Family Tree Webinars
page 8 - April 30th MyHeritage Review
page 9 - CVGS Society Information 

page 9 - San Diego Genealogy Events

page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Monday, May 16, 2016

May 11th Research Group Review

The May 11th meeting of the CVGS Research Group had 17 enthusiastic attendees.

In the first hour, Randy discussed genealogy news and his own research, including:

*  RootsMagic software has added WebHints to Findmypast collections, in addition to FamilySearch and MyHeritage WebHints.

*  AncestryDNA updated their match algorithms - most people gained new matches and lost old matches.

*  Genealogy Roadshow starts on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on PBS starting 17 May.

*  While has indexes for their Wills and Probate Records collections for all 50 states, the indexes are incomplete.  You should browse through County digitized volumes to find all potential probate records.

*  MyHeritage has over 447,000 published books in their "Compilation of Published Sources" collection - any researcher can search this collection for FREE.  See for more details.

*  He found an 1893 will for Elizabeth Auble (1814-1899), his second great-grandaunt, in Philadelphia PA via an Ancestry Hint which named her siblings and other relatives.  Three of the named siblings were new to his research and he has been researching their descendants.  The point made was that the heirs-at-law of spinster aunts, bachelor uncles, and folks with deceased spouses and no children will be their siblings and their descendants, which mat lead to more knowledge of the family.

In the second hour, the group discussed their research questions, challenges and successes, including:

*  Karen S. asked about Y-DNA projects for surnames on FamilyTreeDNA and YSearch.  She found that several with her surname providedl ines of descent.

*  Sylvia asked about the process to add a photograph to her Ancestry Member Tree.  Randy demonstrated this using one of his photos aon his Ancestry tree.

*  Karen Y. asked the process to add a photograph to a Find A Grave memorial.  The group said she had to be a registered user, and to contact the memorial "owner."

*  Linda noted that some FamilySearch collections the year range does not include some record dates.  She also received a family chart from a cousin.

*  Diane learned that Sarah Lindquist's (1840-1921) mother, Flora McDonald, was born in 1814 in Glasgow, Scotland.  She received information from Sarah's descendant.

*  Shirley found conflicting information about Ann Almy, who died in 1709, married Job Greene (born 1620) in Rhode Island.  The group suggested the MyHeritage book collection may provide more information.  

*  Pam has a family that had three children but the parents died and they were never together in the census records.  The group recommended looking for guardianship records in probate records.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 12 noon in the Conference Room of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista).  All CVGS meetings are FREE and open to any person.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

April 30th MyHeritage Presentation Review

Mark Olsen, the Business Development Manager at MyHeritage presented “MyHeritage – Amazing Technology Changing the World of Genealogy” to about 40 members and guests on Saturday, April 30th, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium (365 F Street in Chula Vista).

(photo courtesy of J. Paul Hawthorne)

Mark briefly described the history of MyHeritage from the 2003 start in Gilad Japhet's garage in Israel to the second largest commercial genealogy family tree and records website today.  In 2011, they acquired WorldVitalRecords, and in 2012 they acquired

MyHeritage has developed several amazing technologies for facial recognition, matching users to other users, matching family tree persons with records, newspaper articles and book, etc.  The amazing thing is that the Matching technology is 97.6% accurate.

Mark played one of the MyHeritage videos, this one made in Norway, where people on the street walked up to a computer screen, entered their name, their parents and grandparents names, and were presented with more family names , photos and stories.

On the MyHeritage website, a new user can do the same thing - enter self, parents and grandparents, and immediately receive Smart Matches (matches your tree persons to tree persons in other user trees), Record Matches (records for persons in your family tree), and Instant Discoveries (more persons, photos and records from other user trees).  Mark walked us through creating a new family tree on MyHeritage.

Other technologies developed in recent years include:

*  Newspaper Matching -- provides Record Matches for your tree persons from digitized Newspapers.
*  Record Detective - Finds other records for the person you found a record for
*  SearchConnect - finds other users who searched for the same persons you are searching for.
*  Global Name Translation - searches across 42 languages for similar names, especially when searching for Jewish and Eastern European records.
*  Book Matching - finding matches with your tree persons in over 447,000 genealogy and family history books in "Compilation of Public sources."  Anyone can search this collection for FREE (without a subscription).
*  Community - Users can ask for help for translation, for record interpretation, etc. from other MyHeritage community members.

Mark said that MyHeritage has partnerships with FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe for DNA testing, with NewspaperARCHIVE for newspaper content, with ArkivDigital in Sweden for records, with Billion Graves for cemetery records, with RootsMagic for WebHints, and with FamilySearch for sharing records and technology.

In addition, MyHeritage provides free desktop genealogy software called Family Tree Builder now in Version 8 for Windows and Mac computers.  Family Tree Builder 8 can synchronize your software family tree with your MyHeritage tree.

MyHeritage also has a MyHeritage Library Edition for free use at libraries and FamilySearch Centers.  There are MyHeritage mobile apps for iOS and Android smart devices, including audio recording of memories that can be attached to a person.

MyHeritage retail yearly costs are $119 for a no-limit family tree subscription, and $119 for a Data subscription.  There is a Premium Plus yearly subscription for $238, but often there are special offers available.

This was an interactive, informative and entertaining presentation - our thanks to Mark Olsen for visiting Chula Vista while he was in San Diego on business.

Monday, May 2, 2016

April 27th Program Review - Ten Best Free Genealogy Websites

On Wednesday, 27 April, CVGS member Randy Seaver presented "The Ten Best FREE Genealogy Websites" to about 40 attendees at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium.  

He started with a Top Ten countdown, highlighting the free features of each website.  The ten free websites were:

10)  Family Tree Webinars ( -- 60 to 80 webinars each year, over 335 in the Archive, presented by noted genealogists on a range of topics.  You need to register for each webinar.  They aree to watch live or in the archive for one week, and then go behind the subscription wall ($50/year).

9) ( -- has over 700 FREE databases and indexes (see,   The Learning Center (see a Family History Wiki featured articles, the blog, and Ancestry Videos (on their YouTube channel).  Any registered user can create and edit an Ancestry Member Tree (but cannot attach records to it without a subscription).  Ancestry Library Edition is FREE to access at subscribing libraries and FamilySearch Centers.  Save  information to your flash drive or email them to yourself.

8)  Cyndi's List ( -- a free, volunteer driven website with over 330,000 genealogy links to websites in overv 200 categories.  Readers can report a broken link and submit a new link.

7)  Joe Beine's Death Indexes ( -- a FREE volunteer-driven set of websites with links to free and subscription sites with genealogy records.  Links are provided to Death records, birth and marriage records, military records, passenger list records, naturalization records, and German records.

6)  U.S. GenWeb ( -- FREE genealogy information by many volunteers, organized by states and counties. Information may be maps, text, lists, indexes, links, Has U.S. GenWeb Archives ( )

5)  RootsWeb ( -- FREE genealogical Information contributed by many volunteers; website owned by Content is Searchable by Search Engines ( ); Beginner's Guide to Genealogy Research ( ); User-Submitted Family Trees – WorldConnect ( ); Free Web Pages ( ); Mailing Lists ( ); and Message Boards (

4.  Chronicling America ( ) -- Directory of all U.S. newspapers published from 1690 to the present.  Over 2,014  newspaper titles digitized, 1836-1922, but not all issues of every newspaper (over 10.7 million pages digitized).  Advanced search engine permits Select by State, Select Specific Newspaper, Select Year or Date Range.

2)  Find A Grave ( -- 143 Million Memorials, many with gravestone photos, some with vital record information, biographies or obituaries.  Has a primitive search engine, users can search by name, location, birth/death years, with a specific cemetery.  Registered volunteers can create memorials, upload photos, etc.  Registered users can request photos.  They have a mobile app for iOS/Android.

1)  FamilySearch ( -- Over 2,091 Record Collections (all FREE) (; FamilySearch Research Wiki (ttps://; Family History Library Catalog – with Links to Online Collections (; Family History Books – over 200,000 volumes (; FamilySearch Family Tree – Photos, Stories, Notes, Sources, Discussions, Record Hints ( - Has a Mobile App; Learning Center – Videos and Texts (  Users need to register to use some features.

Attendees got a bonus - ten more FREE websites with great genealogy information.  The refreshments were excellent - thank you to Shirley Becker and Marcia Mautner.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - May 2016

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for May 2016 include:

 ** Saturday, 7 May, 2:15 p.m to 4 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- 
CVGS Workshop in Community Room.  Susi Pentico will lead a discussion of "Land Records." Saturday Workshops are for hands-on experience with computers, software, websites, etc.

** Wednesday, 11 May, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Research Group meets in the 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, 18 May, 10:15 a.m. to 2 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, 25 May, 12 noon  to 2 p.m., at Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street).  CVGS Program Meeting meets in the Auditorium.  The program speaker will be Jim Bregante on "San Diego's Waterfront - Through the Eyes of a Child"  The business meeting will be after the presentation.  Refreshments before and after the meeting.

**  Wednesdays, 4, 11, 18 and 25 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.