Wednesday, May 14, 2008

CVGS Research Group Discussions - May meeting

The May meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group was today at the Library, with 11 members in attendance.

We went around the table at the beginning of the meeting to see what each person was doing in their research.

* John tried to find his ancestors in the 1776 Census book for New Hampshire, but struck out.

* Dearl has a collection of the US state resource guides from Family Tree Magazine available.

* Dave was able to GEDCOM his data files into FTM 8.

* Myrna described her recent trip to New England and walking cemeteries all over western CT and MA.

* Bobbie is working on her father's German Titus line, and is looking for a living male to do a Y-DNA test.

* Virginia received a surname book and family newsletters from a distant cousin.

* Shirley has been adding to her Pearsall database with information from surname books.

* Dick is trying to find his father's military records from World War 1, and made his uncle's criminal and prison records into a timeline.

* Julie wondered where she could find cemetery records in Texas.

* Joan went down to the Social Security office recently and is now confident that SS does not know John Robinson Hall's death date.

* Randy shared his Russell Smith research status, the email from his newly found second cousin, and the SCGS Jamboree program.

Randy then shared a bit about the genealogy news for the month, especially the new Ancestry and FamilySearch Record Search databases, and passed around examples of the different records.

Joan shared the military pay records that she got from the National Personnel Record Commission in St. Louis for her John Robinson Hall. He apparently was in the Air Service from 1918 to 1920 and again around 1930. She had to pay $50 for these records on about 8 pages. Shirley made a handwritten timeline for the records and gave it to Joan to help sort them all out. Joan is still searching for a death date for JRH, who probably died in Philadelphia after 1942.

Myrna shared her search for Bounty Land records on the site with examples for several of her ancestors. She also sent away for the War of 1812 Widow's Bounty Land Warrant for Elias Beach of Huron County, MI. She received many pages for $25, which provided the widow's maiden name, the wedding date, and former residences of the family. Myrna also mentioned that she looked again at some older papers and gleaned a few clues and leads from them with this new information at hand. She passed out a one-page summary of her BLM and BLW pension research.

The group suggested that Julie find the US Genealogy Web site ( for her Texas counties of interest to see if they list cemeteries in the county, or have transcriptions from the cemeteries. She could also check and to see if her family is listed.

This was a very spirited meeting, and everyone was amazed at the records found and the research in progress. I found it interesting that the papers shared by the group today were all obtained the "old-fashioned way," by writing to a repository and receiving a package of paper.

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