Monday, July 31, 2017

CVGS Program Review - "Try to Remember -- Never Forget"

We had 42 attendees at our Saturday program meeting on 29 July, including 12 guests.  

They came to hear the testimony of Ruth Goldschiedova Sax, now age 89, a Holocaust survivor who was a longtime Chula Vista resident, and now lives at Paradise Village in National City.  Ruth's daughter, Sandra (Sax) Scheller, has written a book about Ruth's life titled "Try to Remember -- Never Forget."

Ruth's life story includes a happy childhood in Brno, Czechoslovakia with her parents Oskar and Erna Goldschmied; the Nazi occupation starting in 1939; transportation to three different Nazi work and concentration camps; suffering and surviving unspeakable indignities at the camps; liberation and walking over 100 km back to her home town with her mother; finding that her father also survived the camps; rebuilding their lives in Brno; corresponding with a distant cousin, Kurt Sax, who went to America before the war,; marrying Kurt and coming to America in about 1950; settling in San Diego and starting a family, and living happily for over 60 years.  

Ruth's testimony mainly concerned her experiences from age 11 when her world of education and culture fell apart in March 1939 when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia.  In 1941, the family was transported to Theresienstadt, a work camp where Ruth was forced to grow up quickly.  She was shaved to prevent lice infestation, wrapped her feet in paper to keep them warm in the winter time, and witnessed the death of many other people.  Her father Oskar was separated from them, and Ruth and her mother to the Terezin camp, and then to Auschwitz.  She faced Dr. Mengele's "live or die" judgment six times.  Near the end of the war, she was in the Oederan camp and made bullets for the Germans.  Finally she and her mother were liberated by the Russian Army, and reunited with her father, a miracle in itself.

Sandra showed and described the dress that Erna wore throughout the camps, a shift with a chalk X and a vertical stripe on the back.  Every week, she would have to bend over and the X and stripe were painted on it again by the Nazis.  

Sandra presented a slide show of Ruth's life - from childhood through reuniting with her father to her life in the San Diego area.  Sandy showed several records from the concentration camps, and found her parents' love letters over several years before their marriage (more than 1,000 of them!), and showed many photographs from the family's life in San Diego.  Today, Ruth and Sandra give presentations about Ruth's life, and are working on a second book about her life.  

Sharing this story is a reminder to the world that the Holocaust actually happened and that all of us must act diligently to ensure that this type of atrocity never happens again.  Ruth's is an incredible and inspirational story of horror, survival, recovery, love, family, and success.

A personal note:  Ruth and Kurt Sax were Randy and Linda Seaver's neighbors from 1975 to 2012, when they went into an assisted living facility.  Kurt died in May 2012.  We enjoyed sharing our lives, and many meals, with them.  They are the most positive, loving, kind, polite, generous and happy people we've ever known.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 2017 CVGS Newsletter Published

The July 2017 issue of the CVGS Newsletter was published on Monday, 10 July.

The Table of Contents fot this issue is:

*  page 1 - July 29th Special Program
*  page 2 - President's Message
*  page 2 - Membership Address Changes
*  page 2 - Register of Meetings on CVGS Website
*  page 3 - August 5th Saturday Workshop

*  page 3 - Next Computer Group Meeting
*  page 3 - Next Lemon Grove Meeting
*  page 3 - Lemon Grove Research Group Review
*  page 4 - Plan Ahead for the August 30th Program
*  page 4 - Member Services

*  page 4 - Genealogy Blog Posts of Interest
*  page 5 - June 28th Annual Pivnic Review
*  page 6 - June 143th Research Group Review
*  page 7 - RootsMagic Releases TreeShare
*  page 7 - Family Tree Maker 2017 News

*  page 7 - Upcoming Family Tree Webinars
*  page 7 - Genealogy News for June 2017
*  page 8 - Family History Day
*  page 8 - Honoring Our Veterans Display
&  page 9 - CVGS Society Information

*  page 9 - San Diego Area Genealogy Events
*  page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

The CVGS Newsletter is available on the CVGS website ( - members can see the current issue, but non-members cannot see the last two issues of the newsletter.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

CVGS Research Group Summary - 12 July 2017

There were 14 attendees at the CVGS Research Group meeting on Wednesday, 12 July, including two guests.

In the first hour, Randy discussed:

*  Family History Library microfilm distribution to local centers and libraries will be discontinued on 1 September 2017.  Over 50% of the microfilms have been digitized to date, and the remainder should be digitized by 2020.  The digitzed microfilm records are on the websaite.

*  RootsMagic unveiled their TreeShare (sync with an Ancestry Member Trees) and Ancestry WebHints (the user can add content directly from Ancestry Hints) on 28 June.  Users must have an Ancestry subscription to use the WebHints.   The current RootsMagic version is which includes these new features.

*  Family Tree Maker 2017 rollout to all customers is imminent - the target date is 15 July 2017.  FTM 2017 will have TreeSync (a full sync with an Ancestry Member Tree) and several more new features.  Sync to an Ancestry Member Tree will work only with FTM 2017.

*  Randy has transcribed five Suffolk County, Mass. deeds that describe the property inherited by the children of Shubael Seaver (1640-1730) in Roxbury.   Using the land descriptions, he thinks he has found the site of the homestead on present-day maps.

In the second hour, the attendees discussed these questinos, problems and successes:

*  Linda R (a guest) has her husband's step-father's family files because no one else in the family wanted them.  The step-father did a lot of genealogy work decades ago and there are file cabinets full of paper.  How can she deal with this problem (note that it's not her family, or her husband's family)?  The group suggested sorting it into three sectinos - keep family records and artifacts, donate research materials to a local genealogical society, and throw out correspondence and photocopies of book and periodical articles.  Another suggestion was to put the genealogy in a family tree program and interface it with an Ancestry Member Tree and the FamilySearch Family Tree.

*  Helen found some Cleveland, Ohio genealogical society books.  Also, her brother tested on 23andMe and had a cousin contact who thought it was a 75% match, but it was only a 0.75% match.

*  Gary wondered if the Knowlton information about the 1600s sea captain has been expanded or updated.  Randy has this family, and didn't think so.

*  Virginia received her MyHeritage DNA ethnicity results and is 100% European, 56% northern Europe and 28% Southern Europe.

*  Bobbie received her FamilyTreeDNA autosomal matches, and has an 82 cM match who lives in England.  She has found another known cousin from the matches.

*  Karen S. was researching a couple who were born in the 1950s and divorced in 1978.  They hsave unusal surnames.  Where can she find records?  The group suggested online and repository searches for birth records, marriage records, divorce records, newspaper articles, city directories, etc.  She could research the unusual surnames in the 1940 census and in city directories and try to find obituaries for those persons that might name the children.

*  Susi had a cousin contact who helped fill in her great-grandfather's line with family information.

*  Shirley is still working on a Brown line from a published book, adding information to a database that mgiht help connect to her Brown line.  She's finding name spelling werrors andm istakes in marriage dates.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 9 August 2017 at 12 noon, in the Conference Room at the Chula vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista, Calif.).