Thursday, April 10, 2008

CVGS Seminar on April 5 A Success - Part II

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 second part of the seminar was a panel discussion of "Solving Your Brickwall Problems" with Shirley Becker, Susi Pentico and John Finch as the panelists, and Randy Seaver as moderator. This portion of the seminar lasted from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nine CVGS members presented their research problems to the panel and to the audience. The problems were submitted ahead of time and passed to the panelists for their review and thoughts. Forms with the problem statements, known information and records found, and the sources previously consulted were shown on the screen so the audience could follow along.

Here are brief summaries of the problems presented, in hopes that other researchers may find this post in a search engine and be able to help our members (or commiserate with them).

1) Art's problem: Aida (or Ada) --?-- (born ca 1860 in NY) married Joseph N. Roy (born ca 1842 in Canada, his second wife) and had a son Louis Roy (born ca 1883, Cohoes, Albany County, NY). Family is in the 1880 census in Cohoes NY. Art wants to know her maiden surname and any records after the 1880 census. He thinks that the family moved back to Canada.

2) Dixie's problem: Virginia Elizabeth Kilby (born ca 1845 in MO/IL/TN/KY/MS/?, died 1916 in Madison County IL). She wants to know her parents names, her birth date and birth place. She married (1) Isaac Jim Padrick (died before 1867) and (2) George Edward Franklin in 1867 in Coulterville IL. 1 Padrick child, 5 Franklin children.

3) Sonja's problem: Clarance Larson (born ca 1900 in Norway, died 1958 in San Diego County CA) said he jumped ship when he was 12, and finally settled in Los Angeles and San Diego CA. She wants more information about his life before 1937 when he filed an SS5 which lists his parents as Ludvik Larson and Elise Askedal.

4) Jane's problem: Samuel Hallman (born 1822-1828 in GA, died after 1900 probably in AL) married Matilda Smith in 1850, had 4 children. Census records and Civil War Pension application have been located. Jane wants to identify his parents, birthplace and birthdate.

5) Charlotte's problem: James Dodsworth (born ca 1821 Sheffield, England, died 1876 in Sheffield), married (1) Harriet --?-- and (2) Emma (Rowland?) Spence. Had son James Russell Dodsworth by Emma in 1870 in Sheffield. She has searched census, newspapers and family trees. Charlotte wants to know his parents and his marriage records.

6) Kevin's problem: John McGill (born ca 1800 in Ireland, died before 1866, and perhaps before 1850 in Ireland). Kevin wants to know his parents names, birth, marriage and death dates and places, siblings, children, etc. He married Ellen Kelleher (born 1806 in Ireland, died 1866 in Boston). He has some leads from the "Missing Friends" database and MA VRs. The name is known only from death and marriage records of his son, Michael McGill.

7) Judy's problem: Leroy Douglas Hoffman (born 1859 in Germany or Champaign county IL, died 1922 in Sherman County KS), married Minnie Leota rogers in 1883 in Anderson County KS, 9 children. Judy wants to find Leroy in a family before 1883. Some family stories say he was son of William HH and Ruth (Bloomfield) Hoffman, but he does not appear in any records with them.

8) Manuel's problem: Manuela (Arana) Coppel (born 1852 in Mulege BCS, died 1910 in Berkeley CA), married Isidore Coppel (who died 1895), resided in Guaymas, Sonora, Pima County, AZ and Oakland CA. He has found her in the 1880, 1900 and 1910 census and in a FamilySearch group record. Manuel wants to know her parents names and siblings names.

9) Virginia's problem: Robert Dunlap (born Ireland, died 1841 in Westmoreland County PA), married Elizabeth Schultz (or Patterson?), 5 children. Census, probate, and immigration records have been searched. She wants to know his birth date and birth place, and when he came to the USA.

Each of these problems was discussed in some detail, and suggestions for further research were offered based on the panel's experience and knowledge. In some cases, the panel members did some research to try to find new information, but without much luck.

The audience stayed involved throughout this session, and occasionally offered suggestions.

Everyone present understands better now that difficult research problems are in everybody's pedigree chart, and there are many problems that are not solvable due to a lack of records.

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