Sunday, April 25, 2010

CVGS Program on Wednesday, 28 April - Myrna Goodwin on Land Research

The April CVGS program meeting will be on Wednesday, 28 April at 12 noon at the South Chula Vista Library (389 Orange Avenue in Chula Vista).

The speaker will be CVGS member Myrna Goodwin on the subject “Discover Your Roots – Dig Up the Dirt: The Basics of Land Research.”

Using personal examples, anecdotes and a power point presentation, the program will review the benefits of land documents and maps, what advance preparation is needed for research in courthouses or on microfilm, how to identify the proper location for finding records, plus what to look for in these documents. The basic differences between state-land states and federal-land states will be covered with a simple explanation of the survey methods used in these two different systems. Finally, using the computer records for the Bureau of Land Management will be discussed.

Myrna (Beach) Goodwin is a retired high school speech and drama teacher having taught over 35 years -- 31 of them at Mount Miguel High School in Spring Valley. She was passionate about coaching competitive speech and has turned that passion to family history and genealogy. She remembers seeing her first five generation pedigree chart for her Beach family when she was only about 12. In addition, she has vivid childhood memories of visiting family cemeteries, especially the one in Huron County, Ohio, where six of seven Beach generations are buried.

Currently, she and a first cousin are collaborating on a 275 page Born family history covering over 150 years. In addition, she is working diligently to find ‘lost’ relatives plus coordinate photo and map displays for her Kolbe family’s 100th reunion.

Myrna is a member of New England Historic Genealogical Society, the New Haven Colony Historic Society, the Warren County Genealogical Society, the Huron County Historical Society, and organizations in SD County.

For more information about this meeting, please contact Barbara (, 619-477-4140).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

CVGS "Getting Started" Seminar Summary

We had 25 attendees at the Saturday Seminar on 24 April - including 11 who were not members. Several of them joined CVGS after the seminar. The purpose of this seminar was to provide some basic information to interested persons who might be curious about genealogy research after the Who Do You Think You Are? television series.

CVGS President Gary Brock welcomed the crowd at 2 p.m., and briefly described the contents of the welcome packet (which included the April flyer, the May Genealogy 101 class, the newsletter front page, and the membership application).

After a short refreshment break, Ruth Himan introduced the speaker, CVGS member Susi Pentico, to talk on "Getting Started - Finding Who You Are."

Susi introduced the "Family Laundry Basket" concept of finding those family history items we all have in our homes - the pictures, artifacts, crafts, tools, etc. - and noted that we can start our genealogy research by not going outside of our homes - fill up your laundry basket with those items and understand their significance to your family history. She noted that genealogy is fun and educational, often needs to be done for medical history reasons, and is a way to tie family generations together because they have a common bond.

We were encouraged to listen to our head and our heart about the past - what do I have in my family laundry basket, when and where did I obtain it, and what stories are attached to it? For example, Susi passed around two family cookbooks that she has used for years. Several pieces of furniture - a bookcase with books and pictures on it, a spinning wheel, and a rocking chair -- along with homemade quilts, blankets and clothes, were also brought from homes as examples.

Susi showed many of her family photographs during the talk, talked about family legends and memories, and advised us to start with ourselves on a pedigree chart - then fill in parents, grandparents, etc. as best we can. She showed several helpful charts that can be used in research, and mentioned the importance of maps, vital records, newspapers and cemetery records. We were encouraged to share our research challenges and successes, and to help each other in our research efforts.

Susi's presentation handout included Family History Research Tips, Seven Commandments of correspondence, FREE Websites to Search, Oral History Interview Record, a Research Checklist, and a blank USA Map.

Following Susi's talk, the attendees were encouraged to enjoy the refreshments and to pick up more handouts from the forms table, the library table and the research table where CVGS members could provide assistance and advice. Most of the non-members stayed and talked to the CVGS members about their families and their genealogy, and expressed an interest in starting their family research.

In summary, this was an entertaining and informative presentation that helped CVGS attract community people who might attend the Genealogy 101 Beginners Workshop and become members.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New or Updated Online Databases - April 2010

The new or updated databases on several fee-based and free genealogy websites for late March and early April include:

1) New or Updated Databases on ($$):

* Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1926 (World)
* US Public Records Index, Volume 1 (US)
* Improved 1790, 1800, 1810 Federal Census (US)
* Perthshire, Scotland Militia Survey, 1802 (World)
* British Columbia Marriage Index, 1872-1924 (World)
* Many German language family history and locality books (World)
* See New and Updated Ancestry databases at

2) New or Updated Databases at ($$):

* Social Security Death Index (to February 2010)
* American Ancestors Magazine (Winter 2010)
* The Virginia Genealogist, Volumes 26-30
* See list of all document sets at New England Ancestors

3) New or Updated Databases at ($$):

* Homestead Records (partial, Nebraska only)
* Civil War Widow’s Pension Files (partial)
* Naturalization Records – Western PA, Middle PA, Eastern NY, Southern NY, Northern OH
* Passport Applications, 1795-1905
* See list of all document sets on at

4) New or Updated Databases at ($$):

* Revolutionary War Soldier Burial Records
* Added records from 51 newspapers in 28 states
* See list of all available newspaper titles at

5) New or Updated Databases at ($$)

* Records of Italians Immigrating to United States
* Records of Germans Immigrating to United States
* Records of Russians Immigrating to United States
* See list of all document sets on World Vital Records at

6) New and Updated Databases at (Free)

* Florida State Census, 1885 (search or browse)
* United States Census, 1920 (98% completed, search only, no images)
* Mexico Civil Registration (Tlaxcala only, no search, browse images only)
* Norfolk, Church of England Parish Registers, 1538-1900 (complete?, no search, browse images only)
* Spain, Catholic Church Records (six provinces, no search, browse images only)
* Netherlands, Gelderland Province Civil Registration, 1811-1950 (complete?, no search, browse images only)
* Netherlands, Zuid-Holland Province Civil Registration, 1811-1942 (complete?, no search,
browse images only)
* Argentina Catholic Church Records (six provinces, no search, browse images only)
* Puerto Rico Civil Registration, 1836-1901 (complete?, no search, browse images only)
* South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951-1973 (complete? no search, browse images only)
* See all Volunteer-indexed databases on the Pilot Record Search site at

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Genealogy 101 - A Beginning Genealogy Workshop

A “Genealogy 101” workshop for beginning genealogists will be held at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library in the Conference Room on Tuesday evenings in May – May 4, 11, 18 and 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The class will cover getting started in genealogy research, basic principles, charts and reports, file organization, record types, library and online resources, genealogy software, and more.

There will be a $10 fee for class materials (payable at the first class).

Seats in the Conference Room are limited. Reserve your place by contacting Randy Seaver (email, phone 619-422-3397) as soon as possible.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Books Donated to Chula Vista Library

The following books were donated to the Family Research collection at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library in February 2010:

1) Donated by Susan Zimmer:

* Nancy Hanks Lincoln Tent (Descendants of Union Veterans), compilers. Our Historical Heritage, 929.373 ANC

2) Donated by Ann Stevens:

* Redondo Union High School. A Celebration (1905-1980). 373.794 CEL

3) Donated by Dorothy Alvord:

* 1911 Federal Population Census (an index) 317.3 FED
* 1900 Federal Population Census (an index) 317.3 FED

4) Donated by Susan Pentico:

* New England Historical and Genealogical Register. (April 2008 and July 2008) 929.374 NEW

5) Donated by Bernice Heiter:

* National Genealogical Society Quarterly. ( June and Dec 1997, June 1999) 929.1 NAT

6) Purchased by CVGS:

* Kennedy, Brent. The Melungeons: The Resurrection of A Proud People, 929.3745 KEN
* Winkler, Wayne. Walking toward the Sunset, 929.376 8 WIN
* Koebler, Alfred F. The Huguenots or the early French in New Jersey, 929.3744 KOE
* Baird, Charles W. History of the Huguenot Emigration to America VOLS 1 & 2, 301.3284 BAI
* Goethals, Josef J. Searching for Flemish (Belgian) Ancestry, 929.3493 GOE
* William V. H. Early Families of Herkiner County, New York, 929.3747 BER
* Mitchell, Brian. Basic Guide to Irish Records for Family History. 929.3415 MIT
* Faust, Albert Burnhardt and Gaius Marcus Brumbauch. List of Swiss Emigrants in the Eighteenth Century in the American Colomies, 929.3494 FAU
* Smith, E.W. Emigrants from France: Haut Rhin Department, 929.3443 SMI

7) Donated by Dorothy Alvord (for Circulation):

* Barcelona (in pictures) 914.672 WA

These books are currently on the shelf in the Family Research section of the library.

Friday, April 16, 2010

CVGS Seminar on Saturday, 24 April

So, who do you think you are? You watched the PBS television program “Faces of America” with Henry Louis Gates, and the NBC television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” – and you saw the inspirational stories of the family histories of a number of celebrities.

Are you ready to discover your own family stories? Let us help you get started with a “Getting Started – Finding WHO You Are” program tailored to new members and beginning researchers.

The seminar will be held on Saturday, 24 April, from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the South Chula Vista Library (389 Orange Avenue in Chula Vista, just east of Fourth Avenue) in the Conference Room (located at the far west end of the library building. You can enter through the door on the south side of the library near Fourth).

This program, presented by CVGS member Susi Pentico, will discuss the easy way to start your genealogy research. She will show you how to start without a library trip or other data being necessary. This method may come as a pleasant surprise to many. Come learn the "down home" way of doing research, starting with a minimum of fuss and have some fun. Genealogy so helps you to learn who you are.

Following Susi’s talk, CVGS President Gary Brock will discuss the ways that the Chula Vista Genealogical Society can help new and experienced members pursue their research.

Reservations for this seminar will be appreciated so that CVGS can prepare sufficient handouts – please contact Virginia (email, phone 619-425-7922).

It is our intent to have coffee, punch and cookies presented by our members to our guests at this event at the south branch. So if you could step forward with a small plate of cookies to assist us we would appreciate it.

Please coordinate your refreshments with each other or contact Susi or Virginia.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

CVGS Research Group Summary - 14 April 2010

There were 12 attendees at the 14 April meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Research Group at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch library. The highlights:

* Randy returned from his vacation, and passed the NGS Conference program and some articles from Internet Genealogy magazine around. He discussed finding more McCook, Nebraska newspaper articles about his Smith ancestors from the 1885 to 1902 time frame.

* Ruth has been connecting with a Dike cousin online in Washington. Ruth's 2nd-great-grandfather is their most recent common ancestor. They knew some of the same stories, including that Ruth's 2nd-great was killed by an adopted or foster son. Another online Dike cousin had information about the family in early Texas - came from Maryland to Alabama to Texas, served in Texas Rangers, and Texas University in Austin has lots of family records.

* Gary found some Roff data about his Philip Roff in books about Berkshire County, Massachusetts on Google Books (

* Helen pointed out that the latest NGS Quarterly has an extensive article about genealogy research in Nebraska.

* Phyllis has been working on genealogy gifts for her children and grandchildren - a pedigree chart, an ahnentafel list, a descendants chart and a photograph archive.

* Shirley has had several cousins asking her for family information. Her pedigree chart has four dead ends - an adopted Clancy grandfather; Daniel Miller, William Wright and Thomas Graves, all in Oswego County NY in early 1800s.

* David is planning his research and Navy reunion trip to South Carolina, Florida and Georgia in May and June. He found that his grandfather bought land in Quitman GA.

* Virginia went on the Los Angeles Public Library and found a book with a 1737 ships manifest with her ancestor coming to Pennsylvania. She also found and printed some for family members.

* Karen, a new researcher, is just beginning her research - she has some death certificates, an Oregon Trail diary from an ancestor and a family reunion book to work with.

* Susi found 35 documents on her Fuller family on the Frederick County, Maryland website. She noted that Frederick was the parent county of Washington County, where her Fuller family resided in later years. Maps that show parent counties can be found on

This was another lively meeting with lots of sharing and interesting experiences.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 12 May, at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista) in the Conference Room. If you have a research problem to present to the group, or a question about genealogy research to ask of the group, please contact Randy Seaver (email, phone 61-422-3397).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 2010 CVGS Newsletter Available Online

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter for April 2010 is available in PDF format on the CVGS website - at

The newsletter Table of Contents includes:

* April 28th Program Meeting - page 1
* President’s Message - page 2
* March 24th Program Review - page 2
* Chula Vista Research Group News - page 3

* CVGS April 24th Saturday Seminar - page 4
* Lemon Grove Research Group News - page 4
* Genealogy Table Talk at the Library - page 4
* “Genealogy 101” Class - page 4
* SDGS Los Angeles Public Library Bus Trip - page 4

* CVGS General Meeting Minutes – Mar. 24 - page 5
* “Who Do You Think You Are” TV Series - page 5
* CVGS Board Meeting Minutes – April 7 - page 5
* Committee Reports - page 6
* Books Donated to the Library - page 6

* Computer-Related Genealogy News - pages 7-8
* CVGS Board Information - page 9
* San Diego Genealogy Events - page 9
* Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - page 10

Watch for some of the newsletter articles in coming posts on this blog.

Back issues of the CVGS Newsletter are also available on the website.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Interested in Genealogy Research? CVGS Wants You!

The popularity of the PBS television program "Faces of America" and NBC's television program "Who Do You Think You Are?" has spurred interest in genealogy research here in Chula Vista and all over the United States.

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society has created a number of educational opportunities for new genealogy searchers, including:

1) A "Getting Started - Finding WHO You Are" Seminar featuring CVGS member Susi Pentico. This seminar will be presented on Saturday, 24 April, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., at the South Chula Vista Library (389 Orange Avenue, at Fourth Avenue in Chula Vista). Please reserve your spot by contacting Virginia (email, phone 610-425-7922).

2) A "Genealogy 101" Education Series for beginning genealogists featuring CVGS member Randy Seaver. This series will be presented on Tuesday nights in May (May 4, 11, 18 and 25) from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) in the Library Conference Room. Please reserve your spot by contacting Randy (email, phone 619-422-3397).

3) "Genealogy Table Talk" on Mondays (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Wednesdays (5:30 to 7:30 p.m.) and Sundays (2 to 4 p.m.) with CVGS members at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) in the Family Research area of the library stacks (ask at Information Desk for directions). CVGS docents will be happy to discuss getting started in genealogy research, help you fill out pedigree and family group forms, advise you on solving research problems, or just share family stories. No reservations are needed - just come with your information and enjoy the fellowship.

Don't wait - the best time to start your journey into genealogy and family history research is NOW, and the Chula Vista Genealogical Society is ready to help!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hank Jones Program Summary - 24 March 2010

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society program by Hank Jones on "Psychic Roots" at CVGS on Wednesday, 24 March was very well attended - by 38 CVGS members and 20 guests - and was enthusiastically received and appreciated.

CVGS member and Secretary Ann Stevens wrote this article to summarize Hank's presentation:

Those “ah-ha” moments that genealogists live for . . .when, after years of searching, brick walls that come crashing down or when we stumble across (sometimes literally stumble across) someone we can identify as kin! On Wednesday, March 24, speaker Hank Jones informed us, regaled us, and inspired us with stories of the serendipity aspects of family research.

Starting at age 8 when he sneaked into the “forbidden trunk” in his family home, Hank has been fascinated by and committed to investigating not only his own roots, but also those of the Palatine families, other German families settling in America. The so-called random choices he made about where to look and who to look for turned out to be not so random at all . . . they were simply ancestors letting him know that they were ready to be found!

Hank believes that there are only two kinds of genealogists . . . those who have already had those psychic, serendipitous moments . . . and those who will, provided that we leave ourselves open to them! Hank encourages us to embrace those unexplained events in our genealogical research and be open to celebrating them . . . to allow ourselves to go without a tightly constructed agenda and leave room for the surprises . . . to feel free to yell “yahoo” in the library when we experience the thrill of the discovery . . . to applaud those “yahoo” moments of others, knowing that we too will have those moments ourselves . . . and, most importantly, to realize that we are not alone in looking for our ancestors. We can get lots of help from those who are just waiting to be found!

Something with which we can all identify . . .

Genealogy . . . .

Begins as an interest . . .
Became a hobby . . .
Continues as an avocation;
Takes over as an obsession;
And, in its final stages, is an incurable disease!
CVGS member Susi Pentico wrote her own summary of the program on her Susi's Chatty Performances blog in the post Follow Your Hunches, Attitude is Everything Hank Z Jones.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - April 2010

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for April 2010 include:

** Wednesday April 14, 12 noon to 2 pm, Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Research Group meets in the Library Conference Room, led by Randy Seaver. 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, April 21, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Computer Group meets in the Library Computer Lab, led by Shirley Becker. 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.

** Saturday, April 24, 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Chula Vista South Branch Library (389 Orange Avenue) -- CVGS Seminar for Beginning Genealogists, featuring CVGS Member Susi Pentico on "Getting Started - Finding Who You Are" and CVGS President Gary Brock on "Welcome to Chula Vista Genealogy.

** Wednesday, April 28, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Program Meeting at the South Chula Vista Library (389 Orange Avenue), in the Conference Room. After a brief business meeting, the speaker will be CVGS member Myrna Goodwin, speaking on "Discover Your Roots, Dig Up the Dirt!"

** Monday mornings (11 a.m. to 1 PM) - April 5, 12, 19,26 - Genealogy Table Talk with Dearl Glenn and John Finch in the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library. They are ready and willing to help people with their research, discuss a research problem or success, or just tell stories.

** Wednesday afternoons (6 p.m. to 8 p.m.) - April 7, 14, 21, 28 - Genealogy Help with CVGS members in the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library. They are ready and willing to help people just starting on their genealogy research, discuss a research problem or a success.

** Sunday afternoons (2 p.m. to 4 p.m.) - April 3, 10, 17, 24 - Genealogy Help with CVGS members in the Family Research section of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library. They are ready and willing to help people just starting on their genealogy research, discuss a research problem or a success.

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.