Friday, January 29, 2010

"Who Do You Think You Are?" TV Shown on NBC

NBC recently announced its post-Winter Olympics schedule. Of major interest to genealogists is the introduction of "Who Do You Think You Are?" which has been a hit on British television for several years. The US-oriented show will air every Friday night at 8 to 9 PM (Eastern, Mountain and Pacific time, 7 p.m. Central time), starting March 5 through April 23.

“Who Do You Think You Are?” gives viewers an up-close and personal look inside the family history of some of today's most beloved and iconic celebrities. Among the celebrities featured are Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Brooke Shields and Emmitt Smith. is NBC's official partner on the series.

From executive producer Lisa Kudrow (“Friends,” “The Comeback”) - in conjunction with her production company Is or Isn't Entertainment and the U.K.'s Wall to Wall productions - “Who Do You Think You Are?” is an adaptation of the hit BBC television documentary series created and executive-produced by Alex Graham.

You can read the official announcement on NBC's web site at

The show description is at

some genealogy bloggers are speculating that this show will result in a wave of interest in genealogy research from the public. If so, genealogy societies may gain membership and program attendance. However, societies should also offer beginning genealogy research classes in order to educate these new researchers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Searching the Past, Looking to the Future" program summary

Susi Pentico was the program speaker at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting on Wednesday, 27 January on "Searching the Past, Looking to the Future." There were 32 persons at the meeting, including four guests.

In her presentation, Susi defined three "genealogy eras" - before 1970, 1970 to about 2010, and the future. Using her knowledge and experience doing genealogy from the last 50 years, she discussed the changes in record access, recording methods and social contacts over the three eras. She used her own family research stories and photographs to illustrate her comments.

The pre-1970 methods for genealogy research included family records, reunions, photographs, correspondence with others, library and courthouse visits, road trips, cemeteries, historical records in books or repositories, etc.

After about 1970, these methods to pursue family history were still used, but the telephone (including cold calling from directories) and computer use began and increased. By the 1990s email had replaced much correspondence and online websites and databases proliferated, resulting in fewer people going to libraries, societies and other repositories. Volunteers had populated, and other sites with freely available transcribed or abstracted data, and commercial web sites had large databases of useful records. Many USGenWeb sites have not added content in recent years, which is troubling.

By 2010, some local and state repositories with unique genealogy holdings were cutting back hours and staff, or closing completely, due to lack of "customers" and financial pressures. After 9/11, access to some genealogy vital records was restricted for identity and privacy reasons. Some counties put public records (e.g., probate indexes, deed indexes, property information) online, but not all have done that. People were encouraged to compile their health histories to share with their family. Researchers have found new avenues to share genealogy information using social networks, blogs and online chats.

For the future, Susi thought that there will be more online access to records, that digital storage and transport of records will be pervasive, that educational presentations will be done by speakers from home to remote groups using online services, that online family tree databases will proliferate and be easy to use. She hoped that genealogy research will show that we are all related to one another, that people will be more compassionate and prejudice and bias will be eliminated.

Susi will likely post her script on her blog, Susi's Chatty Performances on Genealogy, in the days ahead. Her description of the day is in her post Wednesday was not Wordless, Genealogy, PPF*. Ruth Himan's description of Susi's talk is on her blog Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Faces of America" on PBS starting 10 February

There will be a new four part PBS documentary series starting in February hosted by Henry Louis Gates, who previously hosted two series of "African American Lives."

The "Faces of America" series will explore the heritage of eleven luminaries of various races. Included in the list is author Malcolm Gladwell, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, former champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, television actress Eva Longoria, and Oscar-winning legend Meryl Streep.

The series will be broadcast nationally on Wednesdays, February 10, 17, 24 and March 3, 2010 from 8-9 p.m. ET on PBS.

For more information, check out

Monday, January 25, 2010

27 January Program Features Susi Pentico Talk

The next Program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society is Wednesday, 27 January at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium (365 F Street in Chula Vista).

The program speaker is CVGS member Susi Pentico on “Searching the Past, Looking to the Future.”

The presentation will be about past research methods, current methods and where the genealogical world may be headed. Hopefully, everyone will learn new ideas and thoughts about pursuing their research.

Susi (Jones) Pentico has done family research for 40 years. Susi's grandfather's got her started by age 12, and she was into it in depth by age 19 when her first child was very ill and the doctor needed answers about family health.

She enjoys the learning and sharing with others, and is fascinated by all the links and interlinks within one group that spread out and encompass other groups. She finds research to be rewarding and relaxing, vexing and frustrating.

Susi has held various offices of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, including President in 2000-2001. She also belongs to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, and the San Diego Genealogical Society.

She leads a Beginners/Intermediate Class for the San Diego County Library System in Lemon Grove twice a month, and works with other organizations to promote a better community for our youth and ourselves. Susi has talked on a variety of topics to San Diego genealogical societies and edited a newsletter for Mid-Atlantic Researchers for three years.

Please enter the auditorium through the Conference Room door on the east library hallway - and pick up the program agenda, buy opportunity drawing tickets, and have a snack before the program begins at around 12:20 p.m. There will be a brief business meeting followed by the speaker's program.

All CVGS meetings are free to attend by anyone interested in genealogy and family history. The Chula Vista Genealogical Society welcomes all guests and visitors - please come and enjoy our meetings. Of course, we hope that you will join out active genealogy society.

For more information, please contact Barbara at 619-427-4110 or email

Thursday, January 14, 2010

CVGS Research Group Summary - 13 January 2010

Nine genealogists attended the CVGS Research Group on Wednesday, 13 January at 12 noon the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library. Randy announced dates for the Escondido Family History Fair on March 6, the NGS Conference in Salt Lake City from 28 April to 1 May, and the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank on 11-13 June. We went around the table, and discussed these issues:

* Jaye is searching for the parents of her Noah Inbody (1834-1920), who was born in Ohio. Online trees indicate his father was Peter Inbody, but there are no original source records available, and her cousin's wife says the father is somebody else. The group suggested that Jaye collect as much information as possible about Noah - census records, military records, marriage and death records, siblings marriage and death records, obituaries, county history book biographies, etc. She should also post queries on message boards, mailing lists and genealogical societies to find other researchers who might have information. At some point, land and probate records in the counties he lived may reveal Noah's parentage.

* Virginia received the latest Legacies magazine from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, which was the "Mapping Pennsylvania" issue. She passed it around.

* Helen said she has worked on one of her resolutions - to organize her family pictures. With the help of her aunt, she has labelled persons in the pictures (all but one!), and will add them to her Family Tree Maker database.

* John's US subscription expired, so he renewed it by phone and was offered a $45 upgrade to the World subscription, which he accepted.

* Randy shared the Knights Templar membership card for Devier J. Smith, which he found in a scrapbook. He briefly described his research to identify the Seaver male that married Euphemia Marshall before 1880. He found Loren B. Seaver by finding census, city directory and newspaper data online, then corroborating it with Loren's mother's estate papers and a Westminster MA history book mention.

* Ruth is working on her resolution to manage her research better - she has started a Microsoft Project file to keep track of her work. She has access to court and family records with information about slaves, and has contacted the Afrigeneas organization to share it. She also has information on Andersonville Prison to share. Ruth calls her father every week and finds clues about family history in their talks.

* Dick is dropping for now, and is downloading his family tree into Family Tree Maker 2010.

* Dave is emailing with a distant cousin and has included him to access his Ancestry Public Member Tree. He wonders how to contact users who download images from his tree. The group told him that the MemberConnect feature tells him who has done this, and can be used to contact them.

* Gary has been using the Web Search feature in Family Tree Maker 2010 to find online documents in for his ancestors, which leads to source documents.

This was a spirited discussion group, with several good discussions about the issues presented.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New or Updated Genealogy Databases - January 2010

The new or updated genealogy databases added by genealogy companies include (not a comprehensive list):

1) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

o The American Genealogist, Volumes 39–43
o Vital Records of Belfast, Maine, to the year 1892
o Records of the Church of Christ in Buxton, Maine, 1763–1844
o The Virginia Genealogist, Volumes 21–25
o Vital Records of Stamford, Connecticut to 1825
o Vital Records of Hartford, Windsor and Fairfield Connecticut, 1631 – 1691
o Vital Records of Gardiner, Maine to 1892

2) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

The World War II collection includes:
o Interactive USS Arizona Memorial
o Missing Air Crew Reports
o Pearl Harbor Muster Rolls
o U.S. Air Force Photos
o Submarine Patrol Reports
o Japanese Air Target Analysis
o Army JAG Case Files
o Navy JAG Case Files
o Naval Press Clippings

3) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

o Service Records of Confederate Soldiers
o Minutes of Court of Albany NY, 1668-1673
o Selected Town History books for NY and CT
o The History of Georgia - Volumes 1 and 2
o See list of new databases at

4) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

o Over 200 new Newspapers added -- See list of all titles at

5) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

o Updated indexes/images for 1790 to 1870 Census
o Nebraska State Census Collection, 1860-1885
o Allier, France Births, Marriages, Deaths
o Many German language surname and locality books
o See New/Updated databases at

6) New/Updated LDS Indexing Projects (Free Access)

These databases are available for at - the LDS site for volunteer-indexed databases -- recently added projects:
o Florida State Census, 1935, 1945
o Georgia Deaths, 1930 (index only)
o 1920 US Census(84% complete) (index only)
o Washington State County Marriages, 1858-1950
o Cheshire Bishop’s transcripts, Parish Registers, Non-conformist church records
o Borndorf, Germany Church book (1810-1869)
o Posen, Germany Church book (1794-1874)
o Presov Region, Slovakia Church Books (1592-1906)
o Argentina National Census, 1869
o Ciudad de Guatemala Censo de 1877
o Dominican Republic Civil Births
o Brazil Civil Registration, 1870-2006
o Orange Free State (S.Africa) estate files (1951-1973)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 2010 Newsletter is Online

The January 2010 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter is available on the web site - see Enjoy!

If you want to contribute an article to the CVGS Newsletter, please contact the editor at

What information would you like to see in the Newsletter? Please help out the editor with ideas! Emai

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - January 2010

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for January 2010 include:

** Wednesday January 13, 12 noon to 2 pm, Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Research Group meets in the Library Conference Room. We will review the latest genealogy news, share success stories and information, and discuss members research problems, and potential solutions, based on the collective knowledge and wisdom of the group.

** Wednesday, January 20, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Computer Group meets in the Library Computer Lab. We will visit some helpful genealogy web sites. This is an opportunity for those members who haven't used computers for genealogy research to practice with a mentor to guide them.

** Wednesday, January 27, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Program Meeting in the Auditorium. After a brief business meeting, the speaker will be Susi Pentico, CVGS member, speaking on "Searching the Past, Looking to the Future."

** Monday mornings (11 a.m. to 1 PM) - January 4, 11, 18, and 25 - Genealogy Table Talk with Dearl Glenn and John Finch in the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Library. They are ready and willing to help people with their research, discuss a problem or success, or just tell stories.

The Chula Vista Civic Center Library is located at 365 "F" Street in Chula Vista - between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue, midway between I-5 and I-805 (take the "E" Street exit from the freeways).

We welcome guests and visitors to our CVGS programs and events - if you are in the greater San Diego area and want to attend our events - please come and introduce yourselves.