Sunday, July 24, 2016

CVGS Annual Picnic is Wednesday, July 27th at the Brock's Home

from 11 a.m. To 2 p.m.
At Home of Gary and Wanda Brock 
(4397 Allen School Lane, Bonita)

     Attendance is free but we ask that you bring a dish as a potluck item and a $5 donation to cover cost of hotdogs, brats, hamburgers, fixings.  Plates, utensils and water will be furnished by the society.  Please contact Ana Castro (, 781-8441) to coordinate your potluck contribution – it could be a side dish, appetizers, salad, beans, fruit, veggies, or desserts.

     The theme will be "Digging the Dirt – Our Family Stories" about a “misbehaving ancestor” and will include a large display board  and table  where you  can display an article or artifact about your ancestor.  Bring your stories!!

     Parking will be available on the property with assistants to help you park. No need to park on the street. Golf cart service will be available to transport you and your belongings to and from the parking area if needed.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

July 13th Research Group Review

There were 13 attendees at the CVGS Research Group meeting on Wednesday, 13 July at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

In the first hour, Randy discussed these highlights from his month of genealogy work:

*  MyHeritage released their PedigreeMap which shows where your ancestors resided when they were born, married and died.
*  MyHeritage released their new Sun Chart, which shows names and photos of ancestors or descendants in a circular fashion.  This may be useful for DNA matching.
*  He received five New Jersey vital record certificates for his Auble relatives from a colleague who visited the Archives in Trenton.

In the second hour, we went around the table and folks shared about:

*  Arlene has been working in MyHeritage and finding records.  She also likes the "On Granny's Trail" channel on YouTube.
*  Gary has been working on his royal lines and is back into the 700s.  He found a family box in his garage that had a big 1903 Bible, but the family pages were blank.
*  Shirley wondered how to search the Gallery in her Ancestry Member Tree.  We found that Ctrl-F works but only on the current page.  She is adding media to her Ancestry and MyHeritage trees when relationships and events are proved.
*  Susi and Mary had a breakthrough at the FamilySearch Center - they found books on the shelf for several ancestral towns in North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin and went back another generation.  Susi thinks she has identified a wife's maiden name on her PA Higgins line.
*  Virginia found vital records for her siblings and grandparents in the Indiana certificate databases on Ancestry.
*  Jane has been working with Ana on their 50th high school reunion, trying to find death records and living person addresses.  
*  Helen is working on her husband's genealogy, and found NJ and NY probate records that indicated there was an unknown stepson in one family.  
*  Karen S. had a contact from a 4th cousin on Ancestry from her tree.  She has a trunk of family treasures from her deceased aunt, which includes a 1916 scrapbook, letters to grandparents from a World War II son.  She wondered how to save therm.  The group suggested scanning them to save them and pass them to family members, and to preserve them in an archival scrapbook or album.
*  John has had good luck finding useful information about families in Ancestry's "North American Family Histories" database.  He has done his mitochondrial DNA on FamilyTreeDNA, and he and his wife also tested on AncestryDNA and have lots of matches.
*  Diane had a 23andMe DNA contact with a adoptee who lives in Carlsbad that connects with her son.

The next Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 10 August 2016, at 12 noon in the Conference Room of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Monday, July 18, 2016

FREE Genealogy 101 and 102 Classes on July 21 and 28

     The FREE Genealogy 101 and 102 classes will be on Thursdays, 21 July and 28 July from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Community Room of Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road, Bonita CA 91902).  

The instructors will be Susi Pentico, Shirley Becker and Randy Seaver.  Please reserve your spot by registering on the CVGS website ( and by contacting Susi Pentico (619-623-5250).

     You will learn about:  What is genealogy; Collecting family records; Organizing your information; Where to search.  What to search for.  

     You will need:  pencils (#2 preferred), paper (yellow note pad, 8 1/2” by 11” tablet), eraser, and a 3 ring binder type notebook.  Bring all the information you can gather on your families.

     We will furnish: 2 Pedigree Charts (1 to use in class); 2 Family Group sheets (1 to use in class), Research Log, and a Resource List.  You will use the Yellow Tablet to start your Correspondence Log.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

July 2016 Newsletter is Published

The July 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 - July 27th Annual Picnic
page 2 - President’s Message 
page 2 - Register for Meetings on CVGS Website

page 3 - Upcoming FREE Genealogy 101/102 Classespage 3 - Next Computer Group Meeting

page 3 - Lemon Grove Research Group News

page 3 - August 6th Saturday Workshop
page 4 - June 29th Program Review
page 5 - June 22nd Genealogy Field Trip

page 5 - Save the Date: Family History Day

page 6 - June Research Group Review 

page 7 - Save the Date: Stump the Chumps
page 7 - New CVGS Nametags Available
page 7 -  Scholarship Presentations Read
page 7 - July 2nd Workshop Review

page 8 - Legacy Family Tree Webinars

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

Friday, July 15, 2016

CVGS Computer Group Meeting on 20 July 2016

    The next CVGS Computer Group meeting will be on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista, Calif.).  There will be a “Beginning Computer Genealogy” class at 10:15 a.m. in the Conference Room, followed by the regular “Computer Group” meeting in the Computer Lab from 12:30 to 2 p.m., both led by Shirley Becker.  

          Class will start at 10:15 a.m. in the Computer Lab and go until 11:45 a.m. when we will break for lunch. It is called a “Beginning Computer Genealogy” group. If you have a laptop, you should bring it. Gary Brock will be demonstrating very basic computer tasks such as how to find tutorials and use them. We will move to the computer lab at 12:30 p.m. and stay until 2 p.m.  Basic genealogy tasks are planned, such as going to a website, copying an item and placing that item in your database. We will use the lab computers at this point with a kind of fake database set up in Microsoft Word. We will delete those databases when we leave the lab. Hopefully, the attendees will have some basic knowledge at that point to follow on the computers.  We want their input on what they would like to learn.

     The expectation is that the attendees will follow up at home by practicing on things they will learn in class.  In two months, if they practice we will try for more advanced things in the lab. If it doesn’t work that way, we will answer requests for assistance and we will discontinue the extra class. 

Please register for this evento n the CVGS website on the Events tab -

Saturday, July 2, 2016

June 29th Program Review - Annie Moore of Ellis Island

The June 29th program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) was supposed to have CVGS member Shirley Becker as the speaker on "New York Revisited", but she had a family emergency.  President Virginia Taylor asked Randy Seaver if he had any ideas, and he suggested watching a CDROM he obtained at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree from a Legacy Family Tree webinar titled "Annie Moore of Ellis Island, A Case of Historical Identify Theft?" by renowned author and genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak.

The historical background is that Annie Moore (age 13?) was the first immigrant to step onto Ellis Island in New York harbor on 1 January 1892, accompanied by her two brothers, Anthony and Philip, from the ship Nevada.  Apparently, her parents Mathew and Mary were already in New York City.  She received a $10 gold piece and there were several articles about this plucky Irish girl coming to America.  She disappeared into the melting pot of America.

When Ellis Island was being restored in the 1980s and 1990s, a commemorative plate was being sold to raise funds, and a granddaughter of a woman named Annie Moore inquired and it was thought by the family that Annie Moore O'Connell of Texas was the Irish lass, but she had died and there were only memories and a photograph.  A newspaper article and a magazine article were written about her.

In 2006, Megan Smolenyak was writing a book titled "They Came to America," and she decided to track down the paper trail for Annie Moore in historical records.  She easily found the 1900 and 1910 U.S. census records for Annie (Moore) O'Connell, in Texas and New Mexico, respectively, but they indicated that she was born in Illinois.  After more searching, Megan concluded that the 1986 claim was wishful thinking on the part of the O'Connell family.

Megan started a new search for the real Annie Moore, and it was apparent that it would be a challenge because of the fairly common name and the lack of records in many localities.  She ran a crowd sourcing contest on her blog, offering a $1,000 for conclusive proof of the identity of the real 1892 Irish immigrant.  Bits and pieces of evidence was found by researchers, including a 1902 death record of Anthony Moore in New York City, son of Mathew and Julia (not Mary!) Moore; next, a 1900 U.S. census of Mathew, Julia and Annie in New York City, but was it the right family?  A 1915 New York State Census entry and the 1920 U.S. Census entries tied Philip Moore to Mathew and Julia;  Philip Moore's 1921 Declaration of Intention said he arrived on the ship Nevada in January 1892, which corroborated that this was the correct Philip, whose parents were Mathew and Julia Moore;  Philip had a daughter Anna in 1925, and from her Social Security Application information Megan found Anna's son, Michael Shulman.  She phoned Michael and he said immediately "you have the right family."

Gradually, the life of Annie Moore was pieced together.  She married Joseph Schayer in 1901 and lived on the lower east side of Manhattan near the Brooklyn Bridge.  They had a number of children, and Annie died at age 47 in December 1924.  A New York City resident obtained the death certificate which named her spouse and her parents.  Annie was buried in an unmarked grave in Woodside Cemetery in Queens.

After identifying Annie's life story, Megan started another project, to track down Annie's descendants and other Moore relatives, and they held a family reunion at the New York Biographical and Genealogical society building in 2007. In the process, they collected several family photographs of Annie.  Eight different ethnic groups were represented at the reunion.  A New York Times article in 2007 described the research.  A photograph was found of the three children in the photograph album of Mr. Weber, the Superintendent of Ellis Island.

A new memorial at the cemetery was erected with much fanfare (see A statue of Annie and her two brothers was installed at Ellis Island, and a plaque was put on the family home in Cork, Ireland.  A movie was made by students in Cork describing Annie's life (see and they found Annie's birth and baptism records in Cork records.  A play was written and performed about the Annie Moore story in Washington DC.

All in all, this was a historical genealogy mystery story in two parts, with the end result  that her descendants reclaimed their rightful place in history.  You can see several videos about this story at Megan's website -