Tuesday, April 8, 2008

CVGS Seminar on 5 April a Success - Part I

The CVGS "Finding Your Elusive Ancestors" seminar was held on 5 April at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library. There were two major parts to this seminar which was attended by 51 people, including 6 non-members.

The first 75 minutes were a presentation titled "Finding Your Elusive Ancestors" by Randy Seaver, CVGS President, was made in a PowerPoint format. Randy's outline included:

* The Genealogical Proof Standard - Information, Data, Sources, Evidence, Proof, the Standard:

** Reasonably Exhaustive Search for all Pertinent Information
** Complete and Accurate Citation of the Source of each piece of information
** Analysis of the Collected Information's Quality as Evidence
** Resolution of any Conflicting or Contradictory Evidence
** Arrive at a Soundly Reasoned, Coherently Written Conclusion.

* Records to Find in a "Reasonably Exhaustive" Search -

** home,
** vital,
** burial,
** land,
** probate,
** tax,
** immigration,
** naturalization,
** census,
** voter,
** directories,
** military,
** newspapers,
** published books,
** periodicals.

* Where to Perform a "Reasonably Exhaustive" Search -

** local, regional and national libraries,
** historical and genealogy societies,
** court houses and town halls,
** cemeteries and mortuaries,
** LDS FHL and FHCs, at home on the Internet.

* Online Searches Summary -

** subscription databases,
** free databases,
** user-submitted data,
** free search engines,
** message boards and mailing lists.

* Search Strategies and Procedures -

** Work from Known to Unknown data,
** Work Backwards in Time,
** Use Derivative Sources and Secondary Information to Find Original Sources and Primary Information,
** Keep a "To-Do" List,
** Use group sheets, pedigree charts, timelines,
** Document findings, cite sources,
** Organize data files, etc.

* Meet the SMITH Family - Randy's current research project in progress, with examples of vital records, Bible records, county and surname books, deeds, probate records, etc.

* Use Cluster Genealogy Research Techniques -

** consider the communities involved,
** learn migration paths to and from,
** identify associates of ancestors (witnesses, grantors/grantees, heirs, neighbors, business, church, fraternal groups, etc.)
** Study this group of related and associated people
** Review NGSQ and NEHGR articles for good examples.

* Specific Search Strategies for

** After 1931
** Between 1850 and 1930
** Colonial to 1849
** Special Groups - ethnic, religious, adoptees.

After this presentation, the group had a "make your own sandwich" lunch, with fruit, cold vegetables, salads and cookies in the conference room and in the park.

The second part of this seminar will be described in Part 2.

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