Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Genealogy News for December 2007

Here is the genealogy news of interest to me since late November. I've separated them into categories below.


* MyHeritage Research, the genealogy search engine on, has been significantly upgraded. This genealogy tool specializes in finding ancestors and advancing your family research. There is nothing else quite like it on the Internet. It is free and you're invited to use it on this link: You can search over 1,000 databases (some commercial) with this search engine.


a) at - now available for FREE at San Diego FHC.

* New Jersey Will/Inventory Indexes, Volumes I - III
* Many historical newspapers - Bennington VT, Florence SC, El Paso TX, Yuma AZ, Flagstaff AZ, Ruston LA, San Antonio TX, Newport RI, Honolulu HI, Pinedale WY, Kingsport TN, Oil City PA, Albuquerque NM, Uniontown PA, Winnipeg Manitoba, Brandon Manitoba, Lethbridge Alberta.
* Early Boston MA births, Marriages, Deaths
* Books on Atlantic Canada provincial history
* Early New York state vital record books

b) - now available for FREE at the San Diego FHC. New items FREE at WVR for 10 days.

* Many (hundreds) of out-of-copyright books - W to Z surnames in December.

c) - now available for FREE at San Diego FHC. Information added:

* Thousands of US Air Force photos in the digital World War II collection. This release coincides with the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing, and contains tens of thousands of original World War II photos and documents from the National Archives. Among this collection are missing air crew reports, documents from allied military conferences and photos of Japanese air targets.

d) LDS FamilySearch Record Search site has more databases at
* Freedman's Bureau, Virginia Marriages, ca 1815-1866 -- images and index for 5 Virginia counties
* Georgia Deaths, 1914-1927 -- images and every-name index complete
* Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953 -- images and every-name index complete
* Ontario Deaths, 1869-1947 -- every-name index and database, no images.
* Texas Death Index, 1964-1998 -- every-name index and database, no images
* US Social Security Death Index -- every-name index and database, no images * Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1956 -- every name index and images complete.


* FamilyTreeMaker 2008 Service Pack 2 is now available - see the announcement at This service pack adds many reports, including Genealogy Register Report, Genealogy Ahnentafel Report, Hourglass Chart, Vertical Ancestor Chart, Updates to all reports to better display facts and notes, Updates to exporting of reports to RTF and HTML. It also added many fixes to reported problems.


* The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston has a number of relatively short online seminars for members to benefit at a distance from the expertise of the NEHGS staff. The seminars currently offered at These seminars are FREE to all.


* The Generations Network and announced that they will convert their "Online Family Tree system" to Ancestry Member Tree format. This apparently is the Ancestry World Tree GEDCOMs. Submitters are urged to convert their trees to Ancestry Member Trees before March 2008. See for more information.

* will be available at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and at 13 large Family History Centers, including San Diego. The story is at There is no indication which version of Ancestry will be available.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Dear Genea-Man: What is "proof?"

Dear Genea-Man,

For "proof," must I have a birth, death or marriage certificate or is something else considered "proof", i.e. Census info? Are birth, death or marriage certificates the only way to resolve conflicting information?

Dear Colleague,

Your question about "proof" is the hardest one to answer definitively in all of genealogy research - "how much and what kind of evidence is enough?" And then you asked the next hardest question - "how do I resolve conflicts in information?"

For some organizations such as lineage societies, you must submit "proof" in the form of birth, marriage and death certificates, wills, deeds, Bible records, naturalization records, military records, etc. If you cannot adequately document the relationships to their standards, then you haven't proved your claimed line.

For all of your research problems (especially when there are sparse or no vital records available), you need to collect every scrap of evidence that you can from every place that holds them, and then you weigh that evidence and draw conclusions. If there are vital records available, you should still try to gather all evidence you can, because one or more items in a record may be wrong (e.g., a birth, death or marriage certificate is only as good as the knowledge and communication skills of the person providing the information, and the ability of the clerk to accurately record the information - the clerk is not an omniscient person).

The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) is described in some detail on the Board of Certified Genealogists (BCG) web site at and in lots of detail in the book BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (see

There are examples of sample work products from successful certification portfolios and published articles at Look at the Proof Argument articles and the Research Report examples.

Original source records are better than derivative source records, Primary information is better than secondary information, direct evidence is better than indirect evidence. However, many relationships have been proved by indirect evidence obtained from secondary information in derivative sources, as long as the Genealogical Proof Standard has been applied to the evaluation. The key is the exhaustive search for records and then resolving any conflicts in evidence.

You can learn a lot by reading what other researchers have done. There are case studies in each issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) ( and New England Historical and Genealogical Register (NEHGR) ( journals (among others). Many libraries, including Chula Vista's, has many years of these on the shelf, but they cannot be borrowed. There are also many articles on these subjects online at Ancestry - go to (it's free) and input search words like "proof evidence sources" and you will get many hits. I input "conflicting" into the search box and found these articles (out of 423 matches):

* "Evaluating Evidence" by Patricia Law Hatcher at
* "Corroborating or Conflicting Evidence" by Patricia Law Hatcher at
* "Corroborating or Conflicting Evidence - Part 2" by Patricia Law Hatcher at
* "When It Just Doesn't Add Up" by Juliana Smith at
* "Using Clues: The Pros and Cons of Secondary Information" by Juliana Smith at
* "Weighing the Evidence" by George G. Morgan at
* "Building a Case When No Record 'Proves' A Point" by Elizabeth Shown Mills at

There are many other articles by respected and professional genealogists in this Ancestry article archive.

There are also general and specific books about Records, Information, Sources, Evidence, Proof, etc. - you can buy them at the Ancestry Store (, Amazon ( or the specific book publisher web sites.Stephen Danko had an excellent series of articles in August 2006 discussing these issues, with examples of his critical evaluation of the evidence, on his blog - see

* A Preponderance of Evidence
* The Genealogical Proof Standard
* Complete, Accurate Citations
* Original Sources, Derivative Sources, Exact Images, and Original Records
* New Definitions of Original Source and Derivative Source (A Proposal)
* Primary and Secondary Information
* Evaluating the Quality of Aunt Mary's Records

I am convinced that many genealogy research problems can be solved by applying the GPS - doing the exhaustive record search, critically evaluating all evidence, resolving conflicts and arriving at a reasoned conclusion. The challenge for each of us is doing it with limited knowledge, time and resources.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

NEHGS Online Seminars are free

The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston has a number of relatively short online seminars for members to benefit at a distance from the expertise of the NEHGS staff.

The seminars currently offered at include:

* Finding Your Ancestors Online by D. Joshua Taylor

* Methods of Finding a Wife's Maiden Name by David Curtis Dearborn, FASG

* NEHGS Resources OnLine by Marie E. Daly

* Civil War Pension Research: Union Soldiers by David Allen Lambert

* Who Was Your Mother's Mother's Mother's Mother? by Julie Helen Otto

* Getting Started in Irish Genealogy Part 1 by Marie E. Daly

* Applying to Lineage Societies by Christopher Challender Child

* Genealogical Tips: Transcribing Gravestones by David Allen Lambert

* Getting Started in Genealogy - Part 1 by Marie E. Daly

* Getting Started in Genealogy - Part 2 by Marie E. Daly

* Getting Started in Genealogy - Part 3 by Marie E. Daly.

The presentations are done in FlashPlayer - you see the slide and hear the speaker - you can click on the next slide any time you want, or go back a slide or two to hear something again. These presentations are excellent, and are a great opportunity to learn about the topics presented by expert genealogists.

LDS Record Search has more content

On the way home from the FHC yesterday, I thought to myself "I really need to check and see what the LDS FamilySearch Record Search has added recently."

So - here are the databases that I found at :

1) Census Records

* 1850 US Census Population Schedules - partial set of images for 33 states/territories, no index yet.
* 1850 US Census Mortality Schedules - partial set of images for 16 states/territories, no index yet.
* 1850 US Census Slave Schedules - partial set of images for 18 states/territories, no index yet.
* 1880 US Population Schedules - every-name index, but no images available, no family groups either.
* 1895 Argentina Census - every-name index, with images
* 1930 Mexico Census - partial set of images from 31 states, no index yet.

2) Migration

* New York Passenger Arrival Lists (New York), 1892-1924 -- every-name index, links to images.

3) Military

* World War II Draft Registration Cards (fourth draft, men born 1877-1897) -- partial set of images from 6 states, no index yet.

4) Land and Property

* Vermont Land Records, Early to 1900 -- partial set of images, by county and town, no index yet.

5) Court and Legal Records

* England, Cheshire, Register of Electors (1842-1900) -- every-name index and images complete.
* Freedman's Bank Records, 1866-1874 -- every-name index and images complete.
* Maryland, Cecil County Probate Estate Files, 1851-1940 -- every-name index and images complete.

6) Vital Records

* England, Diocese of Durham Bishops Transcripts, ca 1700-1900 -- images only, no index yet.
* Freedman's Bureau, Virginia Marriages, ca 1815-1866 -- images and index for 5 Virginia counties
* Georgia Deaths, 1914-1927 -- images and every-name index complete
* Ohio Deaths, 1908-1953 -- images and every-name index complete
* Ontario Deaths, 1869-1947 -- every-name index and database, no images.
* Texas Death Index, 1964-1998 -- every-name index and database, no images
* US Social Security Death Index -- every-name index and database, no images
* Utah Death Certificates, 1904-1956 -- every name index and images complete.

You will have to register, for free, to use the FamilySearch Record Search site, but it is well worth the effort.

The image viewer (when there are images) takes a little time to figure out - there is a "Zoom Bar" in the upper right hand corner, and you move around the image by using the "Magic Hand" to move the image up, down, right, left.

There are several new databases on that list that I haven't looked at yet - how about you?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

CVGS Holiday Luncheon highlights

We had our annual Holiday Luncheon on Monday, 10 December at 11 AM at the Chula Vista South Branch Library. There were 31 in attendance. As they entered the room, they put the gifts on the table, put the Salvation Army donations on the floor, took their food items to the kitchen, were given a door prize ticket and bought opportunity drawing tickets for the gift exchange.

Randy Seaver started the meeting at 11:20, with a brief welcome, and he made sure everybody had tickets. He passed out the "Days and Times" survey (because the library killed all of our meeting days and times) to everybody and they filled them out.

Then it was time to eat, and everybody loaded up their plates with salad, ham, turkey, cranberry, potatoes, vegetables, rolls and everything else. There was more than enough food, and excellent variety.

At about 12:15, Randy resumed the meeting with a thank you to the kitchen staff and the cooks, then thanked everybody who has served on the Board this year.

The door prize drawings (a large St. Nicholas doll, a large stand-up angel, a reindeer basket of goodies, and three poinsettia plants) were held, and then it was time for the gift drawings - and that took quite some time even with no "stealing."

It was dessert time, and the choices were plentiful and excellent - pie, cake, cheesecake, cookies, fruit, etc.

Finally, we had the member sharing of their best finds, trips and stories for 2007. Ten people shared their stories - the spirit of genealogy research is alive and well in our society!

We then auctioned off the ham bone and the remaining turkey roll, and then adjourned just after 2 PM with many shouts of "Merry Christmas" and "Ho Ho Ho."

Thank you to Susi, Shirley, Virginia, and May for their hard work making the food service run smoothly, to Susi, Shirley, Nancy and Bernice for the door prize items, and to Nancy for managing the Salvation Army donations.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Were your Ancestors in the Poorhouse?

Each of us searching for "elusive ancestors" has to think "outside the box" in order to find the dates, places, siblings and parents of these "brick wall" ancestors. Resorting to "cluster genealogy" techniques, often found in books and the published journals and periodicals, may find some of them with their families in a variety of records.

Usually, however, there are unusual sources that may contain one or more clues to solve the puzzle. They are almost always located in the places where the "elusive ancestor" lived, and it can be a challenge to find them. They may be in genealogy society files, historical society files, a local library, a local business or church, a school or university, or in someone's private collection.

One excellent example of an online source that might unlock some secrets is a Poorhouse register. Linda Crannell has gathered a wealth of information on her web site - The Poorhouse Story - at Read her own story about looking for and finding her great-great-grandmother, Emma Warner Thorn Pinchin here. Linda has a Letter to Genealogists also, detailing what types of records might be in these records, including:

* Homeless Families (who may have been burned out or flooded out of their homes)
* Destitute Families (who, for a time, could not afford to buy food, clothing or fuel)
* Victims of Domestic Abuse
* Unwed Mothers
* Orphans
* Elderly People (who were frail or ill and had nobody to care for them)
* Seasonally Unemployed Workers (who often were single men needing housing for the winter)
* Occupationally Injured Workers (who often worked in factories or on the canals or roads, or as lumbermen, etc.)
* Handicapped People (mentally ill, mentally retarded, blind, physically handicapped)
* Sick People (who had no money for treatment and may have suffered temporarily from the frequent epidemics of contagious diseases or from chronic diseases)

While we all hope that none of our ancestors lived in a Poorhouse, it is very likely that some of them did at some time in their lives, and Poorhouse records might unlock your own "brick wall" puzzle. Linda has a link for the History of Poorhouses, and a page of links for Poorhouses by State. She also has a page of Tips for searching for these records. You might want to explore her web site and see if there are resources on her list that might help you in your research.

Of course, this is not the only place to look. A search of PERSI (online at HeritageQuestOnline, available at FHCs or through a library online database) for poorhouse records in your state or county of interest might be fruitful, and USGenWeb county sites might have a list of Poorhouse records. Historical and genealogy society web sites or catalogs might also have them noted.

A search of the LDS Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) using the keyword = "poorhouse" resulted in 5,454 titles available in book or microform at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City (microform are available for loan at a local Family History Center for a fee). You could narrow the search by adding your county of interest to the keyword search.

Ancestry's Learning Center has 24 titles with information about researching Poorhouse records. These articles are free. A search of the Ancestry Database Card Catalog found no use of the word "poorhouse*" in a database title.

In our pursuit of "elusive ancestors," we need to leave no record unopened - and Poorhouse records may be just the resource you need to crash through your brick wall. My thanks to our CVGS colleague Penny for sending me the link to Linda's Poorhouse Story web site, and my compliments to Linda Crannell for doing such a wonderful job of sharing her story and compiling all of the great information.

Dear Genea-Man: How do I access this book?

Dear Genea-Man,

I understand the SLC FHL will not lend books. I don't think the Chula Vista Library would have the following book. How do I obtain an interlibrary loan (or find out if it is available re interlibrary loan)? John Mallet, the Huguenot, and Descendants. Author: Anna S. Mallett. Publication: Harrisburg Publishing Company, 1895.

Dear Colleague,

Just ten years ago, Inter-library loan was about your only option, it seemed. Now, there are more options, including:

1) Chula Vista Public Library has an Inter-library loan (ILL) service. You can find out which libraries hold a certain book by using Scroll down to the Search Box. You can input "john mallett" or "anna s mallett" and find matches for the book you want. Click on one of the matches, and you will get a list of libraries that have the book you want. You could print this off and take it to the CVPL and get an inter-library loan. I don't know what the ILL fee is now, but it's reasonable.

2) Another option is to check the LDS Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) at I chose an author search, and input "mallett" for the surname and "anna" for the given name in the search box. A page with a list of her single book - the one you want - came up. I clicked on the book title, and got a "Title Detail" page about the book, which is on the shelf at the FHL in Salt Lake City. They also have the book available for loan on a microfilm - click on the "View Film Notes" in the upper right hand corner. The film number for this book is FHL US/CAN Film 0,982,137 Item 3. You can print that page off (use the printable version link), and take it to the FHC down in Mission Valley and order the microfilm for $6.25 rental fee.

3) Some books in the FHLC are now available online. For the John Mallett book, there is a link on the "Title Detail" page that says "To view a digital version of this book, click here." If you click on this, it takes you to a book in the BYU Family History Archive at This is a digitized version of this book, page by page. You can print the pages on your home printer, or save them to your computer, or just read them online.

4) If you want some pages from a database, book or microform at the LDS Family History Library, you can print out the form here and submit it by mail to the Family History Library. You will need specific pages, book call numbers, microform number and item, but it can be done for a price. Obviously, you can get many microforms at the FHC on rental and copy pages yourself, but for those resources not on microform, this service beats a trip to Salt Lake City. Thanks DearMYRTLE for the suggestion.

5) Google Books ( ) has only a "snippet" view of pages from this book. has the complete book on their subscription side. There are other web sites with digitized out-of-copyright books on the Internet.

As we can see, there are several good choices that genealogy researchers can make to find published works, especially those published before 1923.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

CVGS Holiday Luncheon on Monday 12/10

The Holiday Luncheon of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society is next Monday at the Chula Vista South Library. Here are the details:

Date: Monday, 10 December, 11 AM to 2 PM,

Location: Chula Vista South Branch Library (389 Orange Avenue, in Conference Room B):

Food: Turkey and ham entrees, and beverages, will be provided by the Society.

Potluck items should be brought according to last name:
* A to H: Entree accompaniments
* I to P: Salads
* Q to Z: Desserts
Please contact Susi (619-690-1188) to coordinate potluck items.

Gift Exchange: We will have a Christmas gift exchange by opportunity drawing. Bring wrapped gifts (up to $10 value) for the drawing.

Door Prize: There will be a door prize drawing.

Donations: Please bring groceries or unwrapped toys (infant to teenager) for donations to the Salvation Army.

Program: There will be member sharing about "Best Genealogy Stories, Trips & Finds of the Year"

We look forward to seeing all of our members at this gala event.

Dear Genea-Man: What do those markings mean?

Dear Genea-Man, What do the handwritten markings mean on this passenger list? I'm interested in Alfred Wm. Wilson, line #16 on this list. There is a number 7-185009 and a date 10/24/41 marked on his line.

ANSWER: Genea-Man is not very experienced with passenger lists and naturalization records, but he has a very informative book on the subject.
Looking at the book "They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins" there is a section on page 161 about Certificates of Arrival. It says:

"Probably the most common reentry annotations are related to an immigrant's first step toward naturalization. Verifying that all petitioners for naturalization were legally admitted immigrants was one of the reforms instituted by the Basic Naturalization Act of 1906. Smith further notes that

" 'under the 1906 statute, the naturalization procedure required a step whereby the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization checked ship manifests to verify the legal admission of every applicant for citizenship who had Declarations of Intention or Petitions to a naturalization court. On these forms, the immigrant named the port, date and ship of his or her arrival. Copies of the form were forwarded to the appropriate ports of entry to be checked by verification clerks who located the immigrants arrival record among their immigration manifests. If the record was found, INS issued a Certificate of Arrival and sent it back to the naturalization court.'

"Between 1906 and 1924, the certificate of arrival was a critical identifying factor connecting the immigrant to the port of arrival. Beginning 1 July 1924, the INS began collecting immigrant visas, which subsequently became the official arrival records. One could not be admitted without an immigrant visa, and only a permanent admission could be used to issue a Certificate of Arrival, which would support a naturalization. According to INS historian Smith, an immigrant visa leads to permanent admission, which leads to a certificate of arrival, which leads to naturalization. The alien's immigrant visa file then became the first place to search for proof of legal entry into the United States."

The above was obtained from
Loretta Dennis Szucs, "They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins," Ancestry Inc., 1998, page 161.

The passenger list image was obtained from
Manifest, S.S. Majestic, 25 November 1908, page 11, line 16, for Alfred Wm. Wilson (age 2), digital image, New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006. Original data: Year: 1908; Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll: T715_1174; Image 11, Line: 16 (, accessed 5 December 2007).

Consequently, I think that there is an excellent chance that Alfred Wm. Wilson's Certificate of Arrival was number 7-185009, and that it was signed on 24 October 1941. There is probably a naturalization record for him (and his parents) in a court house someplace near where he lived in the 1940's.

This is a good lesson for all of us who haven't done much immigration and naturalization research. I learned something! I'm going to use this as a show and tell at the next CVGS Research Group meeting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What Genealogy books should you own?

George G. Morgan answered that question in his column on the 24/7 Family History Circle blog. It is an excellent list. I have some of them, and have read the others at the library.

However, I would add a number of books to this list:

* Ancestry's Concise Genealogical Dictionary, compiled by Maurine & Glen Harris.

* Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, by Christine Rose.

* Producing a Quality Family History by Patricia Law Hatcher.

Of course, everybody's tastes vary, but these are indispensable to me.

Many of these books are on the shelf in the Family History Collection at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

CVGS Events for December 2007

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for December 2007 include:

** Monday, December 10, 11 AM to 2 PM, at the Chula Vista South Branch Library (389 Orange Avenue, in Conference Room B):

* This will be our annual Holiday Luncheon (food service starts at 11:30 AM). Turkey and ham entrees, and beverages, will be provided by the Society. Potluck items should be brought according to last name:
A to H: Entree accompaniments
I to P: Salads
Q to Z: Desserts

Please contact Susi (619-690-1188) to coordinate potluck items.

* We will have a Christmas gift exchange by opportunity drawing. Bring wrapped gifts (up to $10 value) for the drawing.

* There will be a door prize drawing.

* Please bring groceries or unwrapped toys (infant to teenager) for donations ot the Salvation Army.

* There will be member sharing about "Best Genealogy Stories, Trips & Finds of the Year"

We look forward to seeing all of our members at this gala event.

** There will be no CVGS Computer Group in December.

** There will be no CVGS Research Group in December.

On Monday morning (10 AM to noon) - December 3 at the Civic Center Branch library - Dearl Glenn and probably John Finch will be at the table by the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library ready to help people with their research, discuss a problem or success, or just tell stories.

The Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library will be closed from Monday, December 10 to Sunday, January 6 for refurbishment. The library hours may change and might affect CVGS Program and meeting days and times in January. We will post dates and times in early January.

We welcome guests and visitors to our CVGS programs and events - if you are in the Chula Vista area and want to attend our events - please come and introduce yourselves. If you have questions, please email Randy at rjseaver(at) or phone 619-422-3397.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CVGS Research Group summary - 11/28/07

The November meeting of the Research Group for the Chula Vista Genealogical society had 11 attendees today.

The first order of business was to talk about the "genealogy news of the month" which is summarized here. As part of that, Randy passed several US passport applications around and several of the township maps from the Ancestry collection. Randy also passed the great "Finding local history buried in the past" article from the Union-Tribune around.

Shirley H. presented the first "research problem" discussed. She has an ancestor named Sarah/Sally Pearce born ca 1787 in RI, who married Peter Hazelton, and they resided in Genesee and Orleans Counties in NY, and then in Berry County MI. They were in the 1850 census in Michigan. A Pierce/Pearce book lists a Sarah/Sally born in 1787 to James and Phoebe (Wood) Pearce in Little Compton RI, but James' will in Cayuga County NY gives her married name as Jayne, not Hazelton. Shirley wanted ideas on how to find Sarah's parents. We suggested that she follow a cluster research approach - find out who the associates of Sarah's family were (the witnesses to deeds and wills, the neighbors on plat maps, deeds or census records, etc.), and find out where they were from (look in surname books, county history books, land deeds, probates, message boards, etc.). Then search Pearce (and other spellings) families in those places, especially looking for vital records, probate records and land records.

Shirley B. shared her success in finding information about her Daniel Miller in NY. A correspondent of hers found a number of obituaries in the Utica NY newspaper for descendants of Daniel Miller in collateral lines, and passed them on to Shirley. She now knows a lot more about the family, and in particular Daniel's birthplace, which will help narrow her search.

Phyllis told us about her serendipity experience - she has been unable to find James Regnol in the immigration records on Ancestry, but she knew the year and ship he came on to New York. She input "james" "ontario" and "1855" into the database and found the complete James "Regwell" family - her missing folks!

Cynthia asked how she could find information about the "American Ammunition Company" in New York City that her grandfather founded in the early 1900's. We suggested a Google search with her grandfather's name, a Wikipedia search for the company, NYC City Directories (on Ancestry, FHC microfilm, NYC library), NYC newspapers online, and NYC library vertical files.

Randy discussed finding living people in public records, obtaining death certificates at the County Clerk's office, and finding an unmarked grave using a cemetery map showing "neighbors" of the deceased.

This meeting was helpful and productive - the attendees openly shared their problems, successes, knowledge and experiences to help others.

Research News for November 2007

Here is the genealogy news of interest to me since late October. We discussed these items at the CVGS Research Group meeting today. I've separated them into categories below.


* - An alphabetical list of useful Family History Internet sites provided by Kip Sperry.

* - searches 8 different web sites for your search target. It's useful.

* - searches over 900 different web sites with databases for your search target. It's useful.

* Some of the Premium Databases at the San Diego Family History Center are available for Free access on their computers. WorldVitalRecords, Footnote and Godfrey Memorial Library databases are available.

* New FamilySearch is also available at the FHC, but only if you are an LDS church member.


a) at

* US Passport Applications, 1795-1925.
* US Historic Land Ownership and Land Reference Atlases - 1507-2000.
* New Jersey State Census, 1895
* Missouri Marriages before 1840
* Muster and Pay Rolls for the Revolutionary War
* Oklahoma Territorial Census, 1890 and 1907


* Digitized and searchable books from the Quintin Publications Collection are being added regularly. This week, most of the books are family histories for surnames that begin with the letters L and T. Other books in the collection include state and local histories.

* As a result of the partnership between World Vital Records, Inc. and Godfrey Memorial Library, more than 1,200 pre-1923 funeral sermons and memorials will be available at

c) - information added to
* Naturalization Records – PA & MA
* Revolutionary War Pension Files
* Navy Widows' Certificates
* Texas Birth Records


* Free Webinars are available at for AncestryPress and FamilyTreeMaker 2008. You can view a 60 minute presentation - hearing the speaker and viewing the slides. Go to, click on the Help button (upper right corner), then click on the Webinar tab and you will see the selection. Here are links to the webinars on the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog:
** "Search like the Pros" webinar --
** "FamilyTreeMaker 2008" webinar --
** "AncestryPress" webinar --

* Check out for special deals for genealogy software and an Ancestry subscription. For instance, you can buy FamilyTreeMaker 16, with GenSmarts and a number of digital books, plus a one-year US Deluxe Ancestry subscription, for $59.95 plus shipping. This is a great deal for Ancestry alone - the software is a bonus (but you have to install the software in order to get the Ancestry subscription).


* ProQuest and the Allen County (IN) Public Library announced an update to the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). With this update, PERSI now contains more than 2 million citations from over 6,600 periodicals published in the United States, Canada, and abroad. The new release includes indexing for over 132,000 articles from 2006 and 2007. PERSI can be accessed online at HeritageQuestOnline through Carlsbad Library.

* The National Genealogical Society announced that the 30th Annual Conference in the States and Family History Fair of the National Genealogical Society from May 14-18, 2008 in Kansas City, Missouri. The 2008 conference will be held in conjunction with local hosts.

* now offers the following Preservation Package services (they claim at a discount to commercial services):
** Converting 8mm, 16mm, miniDVs and VHS tapes to a DVD
** Scanning photos and documents
** Digitizing slides and negatives
** Secure storage filing
A check of commercial web sites who perform the 8 mm film to DVD service reveals costs on the order of 10 to 12 cents per foot.

* "Census Substitutes and State Census Records" (two volumes) by William Dollarhide was announced. The substitutes are those name lists derived from tax lists, directories, military lists, land ownership lists, voter registrations, and other compilations of names of residents for an entire state, one or more counties of a state, or one or more towns of a county. Thirty-seven states conducted colonial, territorial, or state censuses that are extant and available for research today.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Finding records of living persons

In her presentation "Digging Up the Un-Dead" last month for CVGS, Joan Lowrey gave some practical advice for finding living people using online resources. She briefly mentioned online databases for City or County court, probate and land records.

For San Diego County, the County Recorder and Assessor office provides minimal property information online. For land records, the web site is You can use the Search box (use last name first) to find the type of transactions (e.g., trust deeds, deeds, reconveyances, notices to creditors, tax liens, etc) and document numbers for property transactions. With the document number, you can order the document for a fee.

For probate records, the San Diego County Probate Court web site is here. On this page, put "Court Index" in the right hand search box and then select a "Party Name Search." If you input a surname, you get a list of the Probate Court cases on file between 1974 and 2007. Clicking on the Probate Case number gives you some information about the case - the type of case, the case category, the date filed, and the case file location. There is a link that tells you the physical location of the case file. In San Diego, most of them are in the Madge Bradley Building at 1401 4th Avenue in downtown San Diego.

Civil, criminal and domestic court records can also be found at the San Diego County Court web site. You get essentially the same information as for a probate case. The records are stored in a different location than the probate court records.

But you can find more information about property records by going to one of the Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk locations - there are five locations in the county (downtown San Diego, Kearny Mesa, Chula Vista, El Cajon and San Marcos). The offices permit public access to computers with several databases on them. For instance, there is an index of current property owners and the tax assessments on those properties. By inputting a surname, or a surname and given name, you can find the properties they own, the property assessment value, the tax assessment, and a mailing address for the owner. You can also input a street address or a property identification number. This database is fairly difficult to use because it is function key driven, not mouse driven. But it is extremely useful.

The Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk offices also have an index of San Diego county marriages from about 1960 to 2007. The information is sparse - names and date of marriage - but it can be very useful.

All of these records are records that can be accessed by the public. To obtain the actual record, you need to go someplace to obtain it, but a committed researcher, or any person, can find them and obtain them.

Georgie Stillman presented a wonderful program today

November is always "show and tell" month on the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) program calendar - usually it is about our genealogy research, a document or treasure found, etc. Today's program was different!

The CVGS program today, called "Heirloom Discovery Day," was presented Georgie Stillman, an American Society of Appraisers member and a member of several Chula Vista community boards. We had 33 in attendance.

Everybody has seen the "Antiques Road Show" programs on PBS where a team of appraisers visit a certain area and residents there bring in antiques, collectibles, and the like to be appraised by the experts.

Today, 13 CVGS members brought in their treasures and collectibles. Each person gave a short description of what they think it is, where they obtained it, and what time period they think it is from. Georgie then described each article, often giving the method of manufacture, the time period made (and how she knows the time period), and a comment on the value of the item. These were not dry recitals of facts and figures - Georgie is exuberant, extemporaneous and funny, and she loves to see these family treasures. Needless to say, nobody stumped her!

What did our members bring in for evaluation?

* A small stoneware pitcher from the 1850 time frame.
* A decorated lamp fixture from the 1920's.
* A mustache cup from the 1920's.
* An elaborate silver necklace from the 1920's.
* A silver chalice from England, and a small sterling silver plate from 1920.
* A large home-made quilt from the 1920's.
* A glass pedestal vase (not carnival glass)
* A child's red chair from the early 1900's.
* A handmade sewing box from the early 1900s.
* A china pitcher from the 1870 time frame.
* A china export cup and saucer from the early 1800s.
* A child's sampler from the 1840's time period.
* A blown-glass egg with Edwardian lettering from around 1900.
* Two cross-stitch samplers from the early 1800's.

Georgie recommended that the three samplers be preserved by removing the cardboard backing and using an acid-free backing on them. She warned that you should not use dry cleaners for handmade quilts and rugs because of the chemicals used.

Georgie gave us some information about why collectibles and antiques are valued the way they are at present. She said that very rich people buy the higher priced items. These people want status and to display special pieces. They really don't value the "old" furniture, jewelry, art, silver, china, etc. unless it is unique and/or quirky.

Needless to say, the 80 minutes flew by quickly. The members got some idea of the value and rarity of their collectibles, and all attendees marveled at Georgie's expertise and knowledge, and really appreciated her willingness to take time from her busy schedule to inform and entertain us.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

CVGS "Heirloom Discovery Day" Program on 11/26

The next Chula Vista Genealogical Society program will be on Monday, 26 November 2007 at 10 a.m. in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) auditorium.

The program will be an "Heirloom Discovery Day" - a show and tell of family heirlooms brought and described by their owners and then evaluated by Georgie Stillman, a professional heirloom appraiser who lives and works in Chula Vista. These will not be professional level appraisals at this meeting. Georgie will provide an estimated value and briefly comment on the origin of the piece.

Georgie Stillman is a Senior member of the American Society of Appraisers, past President of the San Diego Chapter, and Founding Director of the International Society of Appraisers, having held many offices in each. Her expertise is in evaluating and appraising silver, China, glass ware, furniture, artworks, quilts and samplers,many dolls and other collectibles. She does not appraise pre-1830 Chinese or Oriental pieces, Oriental carpets, antiquities, jewelry with gemstones (costume jewelry is fine), coins or stamps.

We had an immediate signup for this program once it was announced - 15 members will share their treasures and hope to learn something about them. We had Georgie do this same type of program in 2005 and it was very popular and fun.

There will be a short business meeting before the main feature. Please enter the auditorium through the Conference Room so that you can sign in, buy a raffle ticket, pick up handouts and have a snack.

This program should be of interest to genealogists, family historians, and antique collectors. We welcome guests and visitors to all of our meetings.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

CVGS Computer Group Meeting on 11/21

The monthly Genealogy Computer Group meeting for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society was held in the Computer Lab at the Library today. We had 16 attendees, which were more than the 12 available computer stations, so several of us floated and had other things to do.

It took some time for Gary to get the projector and computer station hooked up - it was a computer cable problem. While he got that working, I tried to access Ancestry Library Edition and failed - the Library IT people had moved the Online Databases page to some place we could not find. Shirley went to ask the IT people about it.

Everybody could get on the Internet, so I asked them to go to and showed them how to get to the three Webinar videos at home (click on the "Help" link on the home page, then the "Webinar" tab on the Help page) and also how to use the Ancestry Learning Center ( The Learning Center has thousands of "how-to" articles concerning genealogy research and are an excellent free resource of information.

Shirley came back and led the group through a number of places on - including the Freepages, the Message Boards, Mailing Lists, Town and County templates, etc.

I helped one of our new members find information about church records in Mexico using the LDS databases and the Family History Library Catalog. I also told him about ordering microfilms at the Family History Center. We found out that there is a monthly Hispanic Genealogy Group that meets at the FHC, and showed him the contact information.

After the meeting, I met briefly with the Library IT person and separately with the Branch Manager in order to sort out how we can be assured of access to Ancestry Library Edition. They volunteered to install a shortcut on the Computer Lab screens that go right to the Library Databases. Hopefully, this will solve our access problems and reduce our frustrations.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What every genealogy society needs

What does every genealogy society need? Besides lots of members, "how-to" classes or groups, interesting and helpful programs, work projects and the like?

The biggest thing needed by most genealogy societies is enthusiasm and a steady stream of new and current members willing to volunteer their time and talent.

I was reminded of this last week when I read the article "Youth Leader" in the January/February 2008 issue of Family Tree Magazine. There is a two page article on page 10 about Anthony Ray, a 16-year old young man who has a passion for genealogy and helping others. He holds three positions in the Antelope Valley (CA) Genealogical Society in the high desert northeast of Los Angeles. In addition to being chairman of the publicity committee, he also heads the cemetery committee and leads an effort to form a Hispanic genealogy team. Anthony also presented "How I Researched My Five Hispanic Families" in September to the society members.

Anthony responded back in early March 2007 to the Family Tree Magazine forum question "Genealogy Societies: What's Your Take?" - his response is about 60% of the way down the page. There is a lot of experience and wisdom in his responses.

If you can, please read the FTM article about Anthony and be inspired by his excellent example of being a genealogist, a society member and a volunteer.

All genealogy societies need to broaden their membership to include young people of all ages.

Societies get a real bonus when members volunteer to serve on a Board or a committee, to lead meetings or speak at a program.

Ancestry's "Search Like the Pros" Webinar

I spent an enjoyable hour the other night watching the webinar (WEB semINAR) titled "Search Like the Pros." This webinar was broadcast on 29 August 2007, and is available for viewing here.

If you want some ideas on how to search effectively on, I encourage you to view the webinar video. Suzanne Russo Adams is the speaker for the technical aspects of the video. I learned several new things about ranked and advanced searches in this webinar and can't wait to try them out. They do have several poll questions, and answer several questions submitted by the participants at the end of the 53 minute webinar. You can download the presentation in PDF format (100 slides, 7 mb) for your review at a later time.

About the only link on the main page at that I have not clicked on is the "Help" link. There are six tabs on this page for Ask Ancestry, Videos, Email Ancestry Support, Live Help, My Profile, and Webinar. The Ask Ancestry tab has a list of 15 FAQ articles. The Videos tab includes 7 video demonstrations about using your Ancestry subscription. The Webinar tab has links for the AncestryPress, FTM 2008 and Search Like the Pros hour-long videos.

This type of presentation sure looks like the future of genealogy education to me. When executed by professional presenters, this is an effective way to teach genealogy. This technology could be used to teach groups of people if a high-speed wireless connection is available.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

AncestryPress Webinar is available

An AncestryPress webinar (WEB semINAR) was held on 1 November 2007. The webinar can be viewed by clicking the link at the AncestryPress blog post here - it's down at the bottom of the post by Stephanie Condie - a link labelled "clicking here." This webinar presentation will be available until 31 January 2008. You can download the presentation slides as a PDF file. The link to the summary page that starts the presentation, and the presentation itself, are not able to be copied.

AncestryPress books are described in the presentation as:

"Ancestry’s brand new online self-publishing application presents new ways to preserve, share and give your family’s history as a gift. It also presents plenty of new avenues to explore, and plenty of neat features to master. Please join us for a 30-minute online interactive presentation where you’ll learn how to:

* Build a book, or let AncestryPress build one for you from your online tree.
* Bring your book to life by adding photos, historical records, maps, postcards, newspaper clippings, family recipes and stories.
* Customize the look and feel of individual pages by choosing backgrounds and fonts and adding embellishments.
* Create custom family tree posters and photo pages that you can frame and share with everyone on your holiday gift list.

I posted about my AncestryPress experiences in "Using AncestryPress to Make a Book - Post 2.0" and "Using AncestryPress to Create a Book." I was not complimentary to the final product - it really didn't suit my needs. But I'm willing to be shown the error of my opinions...

The Webinar presentation is excellent. Stephanie Condie shows a beautiful coffee table type family history book with many family photos, some stock photos, document images, etc. Then she shows the process used to generate many of the pages. I can see how this product can be very useful as a family history book that provides significant information to living family members about their immediate ancestors for whom there are photographs.

They took several polls during the webinar where participants could respond to questions, and they showed the poll results a bit later. These charts are not in the downloadable presentation.

They took questions and answers in the last 15 minutes of the webinar. Stephanie said that the current format of the book could not word wrap from page to page - you have to build each page separately using cut-and-paste. That was my biggest complaint about AncestryPress, and I'm glad that she addressed it. Another question concerned the four generation limitation for the charts and the book pages - they said that they were going to increase the number of generations eventually.

If AncestryPress is something you might be interested in, I encourage you to click the link in Stephanie's post and watch and listen to the presentation.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Be Careful with Indexes at

The key feature that makes and other commercial web sites so valuable are the Indexes. Without them, we would be reading handwriting on page images just like we did with microfilm images in years past. The Indexes on genealogy web sites have many excellent features - wild cards, many search fields, exact or Soundex searches, etc. They significantly raise the odds of finding the information that we are searching for.

However, sometimes there are flaws in the indexes, or in the data indexed. I pointed out flaws in the California Death Indexes here some time ago. Now I have found another.

Ancestry has a database called "Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941." The Ancestry source description of this database says:

" Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data:

* Works Progress Administration, comp. Index to Marriage Records Indiana: Indiana Works Progress Administration, 1938-1940.

* Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research, comp. Electronic transcription of marriage records held by the individual counties in Indiana. Many of these records are on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah."

One of our CVGS members was looking for a marriage of Benjamin Reynolds to Cerilda Flinn in Indiana in the 1860's. If he goes directly to this database (which is a logical thing to do), he gets the following results:

* If he searches for the name as "Benjamin" and "Reynolds" - he gets 7 matches, but none to Cerilda Flinn.
* If he searches for the name as "Benj" and "Reyn" - he gets 9 matches, but none to Cerilda Flinn.
* If he searches for the name as "Ben*" and "Rey*" - he gets the 10 matches, but none to Cerilda Flinn.
* If he searches for "B" and "Rey*" - he gets 82 matches, but none to Cerilda Flinn.
* If he searches for "Cerilda" and "Flinn" - he gets 1 match for Cerilda J. Flinn married to Benjamin J. Reynolds on 22 Sep 1867 in Crawford County IN. The same match comes up if he uses wild cards for Cerilda.
* If he leaves the names blank and searches for the Spouse name of "Benj*" and "Reyn*" - he gets 10 matches including the one who married Cerilda Flinn.

But if he didn't know Cerilda's given name, or surname, he would have missed out on this information. Before this search, he thought the name was Sirelda from another record. The Soundex search does not find the record with a given name of "Sirelda" because it works only on the surname. [As a side note, there are 31 "Cerilda" entries in this index! I've never heard the name before.]

I found this record just by happenstance. I put "Ben*" and "Reyn*" in the search box on the Ancestry main Search page. That gave me a long list of matches in different databases. When I clicked on the "Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941" link, I found the record quickly. The search found the spouse's name in this search. It is evident that the search box results for this specific database only finds the name in the "Name" column, not the "Spouse" column. The main Ancestry Search box finds both. I don't know if this holds for all databases or just this one. I tried more spouse's names in the database search box, and while many resulted in matches, some did not - I'm guessing 5% to 10% did not show up as a match.

The lessons here are:

* The Ancestry main search box may provide more matches than the specific database search box.
* Not all names of persons in a specific database are found by a search using "Given Name" and "Last Name" searches.
* In this specific database, some names of spouses are not included in the "Name" database - they apparently were not indexed.
* Searches in specific databases should include not only the search in the given name and last name boxes but should consider putting the target name in the "Spouse's Name" fields if that is available.

Is this's fault? Maybe not, if they took the database from other sources (see above). Perhaps the WPA list did not include the name(s) missing from the "Name" column.

We are so spoiled by the availability of these databases with excellent indexes and search capabilities. If I don't find someone after I use all of my "tricks" to find them in an index, I often will assume that they aren't there. On census records, I have resorted to using spouse names when known, but I haven't used them on vital records indexes and other databases previously. I will now!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

FTM 2008 Webinar Available Online

A Webinar (a WEB semINAR) was held on Thursday, 25 October at 8:30 EDT to demonstrate FamilyTreeMaker 2008 and answer questions the attendees had concerning FTM 2008. The Blog post with the link into the Webinar is at

You can watch and hear this webinar until sometime in early 2008 (I saw the date but can't find it now!). You do have to register your name and email to watch the demonstration. The total time is just over 1 hour.

There is a Powerpoint style presentation with over 140 slides, most of them screen shots showing how FTM 2008 works and the different menus, tabs and options. You hear the lecture but don't see the speakers. You can download the presentation to your computer (13.4 mb).

After viewing the webinar, I have a much better understanding of the capabilities and features are of FTM 2008. I understand why they had to build a new version. Some of the features, especially the maps and web integration are pretty cool (assuming you have a fast Internet connection and an Ancestry subscription, of course).

They answer some common questions at the beginning of the presentation, and then answer questions from webinar participants at the end (you hear the question and response - no visuals).

I encourage anyone interested in genealogy software to spend the hour to register, connect, listen and watch the webinar.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

CVGS Events for November 2007

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for November 2007 include:

** Wednesday, November 21, 10 AM, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- CVGS Computer Group meets in the Library Computer Lab. We will visit some new genealogy web sites and/or Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) databases. This is an opportunity for those members who haven't used computers for genealogy research to practice with a mentor to guide them. It is also an opportunity for members who don't have an Ancestry subscription to dig into the ALE databases.

** Wednesday, November 28, 10 AM, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- CVGS Research Group meets in the Library Conference Room. We will review the genealogy news for August, share success stories and information, and discuss members research problems, and potential solutions, based on the collective knowledge and wisdom of the group.

** Monday, November 26, 10 AM, Chula Vista Civic Center Library -- the monthly Society meeting is held in the Auditorium. This meeting has a short business meeting with announcements of meetings and activities, followed by a presentation on a topic of genealogy and family history interest. At this meeting, Georgie Stillman, a professional appraiser, will evaluate members' heirlooms in an "Heirlooms Discovery Day" presentation.

She is an expert in appraising:
* Silver,
* China,
* Glass ware,
* Furniture,
* Artworks,
* Quilts & Samplers,
* Many dolls and other collectibles.

She does not appraise:
* Pre-1830 Chinese or Oriental (although I am happy to look at these early things – most are not as old as people think)
* Oriental carpets
* Antiquities
* Jewelry with gemstones (costume jewelry is fine)
* Coins or Stamps

These are not extensive professional appraisals at this meeting. Georgie will provide an estimated value and briefly comment on the origin of the piece. The member should share where the piece came from and how meaningful it is to the family. We have time for only 10 to 12 heirloom evaluations. There is a sign-up list if you want your heirloom evaluated - contact Connie to sign up (contact me at the email or phone below for Connie's contact if you don't have it).

Remember that on Monday mornings (10 AM to noon) - November 5, 12 and 19 - that Dearl Glenn and probably John Finch will be at the table by the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library ready to help people with their research, discuss a problem or success, or just tell stories.

We welcome guests and visitors to our CVGS programs and events - if you are in the Chula Vista area and want to attend our events - please come and introduce yourselves. If you have questions, please email Randy at rjseaver(at) or phone 619-422-3397.

Using to find living people

I have struggled over the years to find a reliable telephone number lookup web site to find friends and family addresses and phone numbers. I've tried,,, and several others. Quite often, some of these sites go right to a fee web site that teases me but doesn't provide useful information, and therefore wastes my time.

At our CVGS meeting on Monday, Joan Lowrey recommended and showed examples form her own family members. I decided to try it out, using myself as a test subject.

I input my name "Randall Seaver" in the search box, and it came up with 6 results in the USA, in CA, FL, MI and TN (3). The name, address, phone number and age range (mine's wrong) are given for most of these. If it is a work number, the company and occupation might be provided. There are also "Reverse Number" and "Reverse Address" tabs to search with.

In the results listing, clicking on my name or the "Listing detail" link brings up another page with links to "Map," "Print," "Send/Save," View Web Results and Profiles for this person" and "Find neighbors and home values for this person." The "Map" link gets you a neighborhood map of the address.

The "Find Neighbors ... " link gets up to 30 entries for people living nearby the target person. For some reason, the link for me produced only 7 hits, but they are my neighbors. On this page, there are tabs for "Home values" and "Web results." Clicking on "Home Values" got a list of 10 homes in the area with some real estate value (these may be recently sold homes on the assessors records - I don't know for sure), and a map with stickpins for each house listed. I don't know how they came up with the home value - it's not an average of the 10 homes.

All in all, this site does a better job finding addresses and phone numbers than most of the others that I've tried recently. If you click on the "More results" button you get off to a web page with a link to a fee web site.

How complete is this site? I'm guessing that it includes everybody in the US with a telephone number published in a telephone directory. I checked it out looking for my family and some friends:

* It found one married daughter (they have a land line), but not the other (they have a cell phone only)
* It found one brother in El Cajon CA, but not the one up in Vancouver WA.
* It did not have a listing for my mother, who died 5 years ago. The listings still have her.
* It had 5 of the 6 cousins that I tried. I used the state to narrow the searches.
* It had several of my favorite CVGS members.

I know that some of you will try this out just to make sure that you are listed!The neighbor feature is pretty useful. If you have an old address and you want to see if the person still lives there, you could put the address into the "Reverse Address" search and see who lives at the address. Then if you view the neighbors, you have a number of possible informants to tell you if old Uncle John died, moved, went to the rest home, or whatever.

I tested a few more free People Search web sites, and noticed that produces exactly the same results as - just the web page has a different color scheme!

If you're looking for a web site to find living people, this is definitely one to put on your list. It's free, you get quite a bit of information usually, and it's easy to use.

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Digging Up the Un-Dead" program today

Our Chula Vista Genealogical Society program today was presented by Joan Lowrey of La Jolla, whose topic was "Digging Up the Un-Dead (Finding Living People)." Joan's biography and talk summary was provided here. We had 44 attendees (more than 50% of our membership), of which 3 were guests (two of whom also attended our 10/20 seminar).

This was an excellent program given by an excellent speaker with excellent credentials - one of the very best programs we have had. The subject is of interest to everyone who is looking for living people - distant relatives, old flames, classmates, etc.

Joan went through the different web sites with:

* Free Telephone Directories (she highlighted, the US Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002 on (need subscription to Ancestry) plus others)

* Other Free Sites (she highlighted Steve Morse's site, plus others)

* Free Sites with Fee Options (she highlighted and, among others)

* Fee Sites (she highlighted,, and among others).

In all of her work, she didn't pay a dime to find out what she showed us about her own family and several other families of interest. From bits and pieces gleaned from these web sites - all for free - she was able to find out many useful things about a person - name, spouse, children, age, address, phone number, approximate home value, neighbors, etc. You can choose to subscribe to a fee service that looks for many more items - criminal records, drivers license, court records, email address, utilities bills, etc. Of course, there are many people who don't own a home or just don't want to be found, so it isn't foolproof.

Joan also showed and summarized two articles that compared People Search fee sites - the articles are at:



Joan warned us to be careful about the recommendations at these sites, since we don't know if any of the People Search sites paid to be listed. She also warned us to be careful when using any People Search service - either free or for fee. Use of some sites may generate spam if you give them an email address or a credit card number.

Joan did a really nice job on this presentation, and it generated a lot of comments and questions.

"Mastering Family History" Videos

I must have missed the announcement of this web site - Or maybe it's been kept a secret for some reason.

The web site has a series of videos (saved as executable files for some reason) that have audio with a Powerpoint presentation on the following subjects:

* FamilySearch Indexing (13 minutes)
* New FamilySearch (15 minutes)
* Introduction to Family History (19 minutes)
* Personal Ancestral File 5.2.18 (30 minutes)
* Compiled Genealogies (5 minutes)
* Pedigree Resource File (9 minutes)
* Ancestral File (15 minutes)
* One World Tree (10 minutes)
* Internet Genealogies (6 minutes)
* (18 minutes)
* Documenting Research Findings (15 minutes)
* PAF Insight (18 minutes)
* PRFMagnet (32 minutes in 5 segments)
* U.S. Cities Galore (12 minutes)
* Internet Searches (5 minutes)
* Downloading and Importing GEDCOM Files (10 minutes)

While these are oriented to LDS databases and resources, they may be very useful for beginning researchers to understand and learn how to use the LDS databases, and PAF, effectively. You can view the videos online on a small screen, or download the executable file for viewing at a later time.

Thank you to Jennifer at the JacksBox4You blog for the link to her post here. If there was an award for the best background picture on a genealogy blog, I would vote for Jennifer's in a heartbeat. Go look at it - very cool, great imagery!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bible or Family Record - Isaac Parker (1812-1882) Family

Some of the most useful, and often the most elusive, records for 19th century families are Bible Records or family papers. There are many genealogy organizations and web sites that collect these records so that they are accessible to other researchers.

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society has received family research papers, including Bible pages, from two estates to date (one stored in boxes at a member's garage, the other in a file cabinet at the library). Other societies and repositories have many of these types of records hidden away in a file cabinet where they cannot do a lot of good to other researchers unless they thumb through the file cabinet or box on a shelf (or worse) somewhere.

Here are family records from copies of Bible pages (note that they are not the original pages) removed from a family Bible (Bible edition, publication date, original ownership and provenance unknown). In addition, at least one of the previous "owners" of these pages has handwritten additional data on the copy of the pages so I don't know exactly when they were added.



David Wade Parker - son of Isaac and Evaline Parker, and Ida May McKibben - daughter of Isaac Granville and Margaret McKibben - were married at #2317 Grove St. Kansas City Mo. on the First day of August 1893.

Sarah Elizabeth Parker ^Record #2189^ married Thomas Muir Oct 23, 1866 (Andrew Co., Records; dau. Agness Muir ^desc Nov 17, 1867^.

Mary Catherine Parker married James W. Smith, son Eddie Smith d. Apr. 28, 1881 - 1 yr 11 mo.

Henry Kindle Parker m. Susdan Caroline Hall Dec. 24, 1876; dau. of Charles Wm. Hall (son of David) and Permelia Jane Packson, dau. of Martin Jackson.

Christopher Parker (Sept. 27, 1773 to Sept. 27, 1849) to Elizabeth Hanover (Nov. 27, 1776 to March 1, 1872) married 20 Feb. 1801, Ohio, West Virginia.

FAMILY RECORD (two facing pages) - format is (1) Name, (2) Place of Birth, (3) Date of Birth, (4) Date of Marriage, (5) Date of Death:

(1) Isaac Parker (2) Adams, Brown County, Ohio (3) July 19 1812, (4) empty (5) Dec 20 1882.
(1) Evaline Shelton - Parker (2) Brown County, Ohio, (3) Dec 24 1822, (4) empty, (5) May 4, 1881.
(1) Isaac Granville McKibben, (2) empty, (3) July 5 1834, (4) empty, (5) April 21 1911
(1) Margaret Houseweart-McKibben, (2) empty, (3) Pa. (4) empty, (5) July 18 1913.

(1) David Wade Parker, (2) Bentonville, Adams County, Ohio, (3) Feby 8 1862, (4) Aug 1 1893, (5) April 21, 1943
(1) Ida May McKibben, (2) Butler, Bates Co., Mo., (3) June 4, 1867, (5) Aug 1 1893, (5) Apr. 29, 1939
(1) Forrest Victor Parker, (2) Kansas City, Mo., (3) April 24 1894, (4) empty, (5) June 23 1896.
(1) Richard Marian Parker, (2) Kansas City, Mo., (3) July 16 1898, (4) June 15 1921, (5) Aug. 14 1964
(1) Hubert McKibben Parker, (2) Kansas City, Mo., (3) September 19, 1900, (4) Jan. 4th 1932, (5) empty
(1) Margaret Jane Parker, (2) Kansas City, Mo., (3) October 29 1910, (4) January 3, 1949, (5) Oct. 20 1976.
Margaret Jane Parker married Kenneth Charles Oelfke [?], son of William and Mary Oelfke, Kansas City, Mo. January 3, 1949.

Hubert McKibben Parker and Agnes Rose Bollinge-Dycks [difficult to read] were married January 4 1932.

Richard Marion Parker was baptized Sunday June 12 1910 at Hyde Park M.E. Church Kansas City Mo. by Dr. N. Luecock, Pastor

Hubert McKibben Parker was baptized Sunday June 12 1910 at Hyde Park M.E. Church Kansas City Mo. by Dr. N. Luecock, Pastor.

Margaret Jane Parker was baptized Sunday June 11 1911 at Hyde Park M.E. Church Kansas City Mo. by Dr. N. Luecock, Pastor.

Richard Marion Parker married Marguerite Lucille Fuge [?] daughter of Wm and Margaret Fuge [?] Kansas City Mo. June 18 1921.

Children of Richard M. and Marguerite L. Parker, Marguerite Lucille (Dixie) Parker born May 7 1921, Betty Lynn Oelfke Daughter of Kenneth & Margaret Jane Oelfke born March 16 1930.


Children of Isaac and Evaline Parker:

Sarah Elizabeth, Born Mar. 12, 1846, Died 1867.
John William, Born 1849, Died Jan 1 1866
James Martin, Born 1850, Died Feb. 27, 1934
Lyman Ballard, Born 1853, Died May 3 1937
Mary Catherine, Born 1855, Died Mch 15 1881
Henry Kindle, Born Oct. 10 1856, Died Feb 10 1933
David Wade, Born Feby 8 1862, Died Apr. 21 1943.
Caroline Victor, Born July 12 1865, Died Feb. 22, 1945

Children of Isaac Granville and Margaret McKibben:

Cora Estelle, Born Nov 15 1859, Died Ap. 22 1895
Elmer Ellsworth, Born Oct 23 1861, Died Aug 22 1936
Margaret Jane, Born June 13 1864
Ida May, Born June 4 1867, Died Apr 29 1939
Eva Elzina, Born Sept 17 1870
Myrtle Lenora, Born Ap. 21 1873
Mary Eliza, Born Mch 27 1876, Died May 14, 1943.

Kenneth Charles Oelfke Jr. Born Nov. 28 1931
Thomas McKibben Oelfke Born June 27 1932.


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