Thursday, July 29, 2010

CVGS Program Summary - "Vital Records" by Susi Pentico

CVGS member Susi Pentico presented "Vital Records - and where you may find them" at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) program meeting on Wednesday, 28 July at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium. Susi's presentation description and curriculum vitae is listed here.

In this talk, she defined a "vital record" as a document that attests to a person's major life event. The documents could be:

* birth, marriage or death certificates issued and maintained by civil authorities
* church baptism, marriage and burial records created and maintained by a local or national church
* Bible pages, papers, letters, photos, albums and scrapbooks held by a family
* cemetery records at the cemetery office or on a gravestone
* newspaper articles that mention a major life event, including obituaries which often provide a life summary and family members
* military pension files, including applications from widows and children, may provide birth, marriage and death information
* probate records and land records held by civil authorities
* published books and periodical articles with biographical data

Susi said that vital records can be found almost anywhere you look for them.

In 1833, it was reported that vital records were being recorded by 10% of the world's countries, and 6% of the United States. By 1880, only 14 US states were recording them.

The availability of "official" vital records in each US state can be found in Val D. Greenwood's book, The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy. She mentioned that many local, state, regional and national libraries and archives have vital records in index, book or manuscript format. Early marriages for many states were compiled by Jordan R. Dodd of Liahona Research and are available at libraries.

Susi's handout listed some vital records collections for many eastern states, and where they might be accessed (generally, in the state itself or in a major genealogical library). She noted that some vital records could be found at (she probably meant, but she did not list any online data portals or websites that have vital records information in index, transcript, microfilm or image format.

Before Susi's presentation, the 2009 CVGS scholarship winner, Amy Hocza of Chula Vista High School, and now a sophomore at UCLA, was introduced, thanked the society for her award, and described her freshman year at college. She is a neuro-sciences major hoping to be a medical doctor.

Monday, July 26, 2010

CVGS Program on 28 July: "Vital Records" by Susi Pentico

The July program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society is on Wednesday, 28 July at 12 noon in the auditorium of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista).

After a brief business meeting, the program speaker will be CVGS member Susi Pentico on "Vital Records and Where You May Find Them."

The program description includes:

Do you really know what is a Vital Record? This presentation will be filled with some of the very “normal” places to find Vital Records. It will also provide some neat tips on some unconventional places to find information and will share some unconventional methods used to find vital records.

Susi Pentico has been a genealogy speaker for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society for more than ten years. She has given talks throughout the county over the past seven years and has been a research specialist for over fifteen years online, working previously with the old Golden Gate Forum, and with two other online genealogy sites that are no more. She currently co-hosts a class on with old friend Rita Ely regarding Vital Records. They have done this for three plus years, but only recently moved to Susi has been researching her ancestry since she was about 20 years old.This program is free for all to attend.

Please enter the auditorium through the Library Conference Room to sign in, pick up the program and presentation handout, have a drink and a snack, and chat with other genealogists. More information about this program, or about CVGS in general, please contact Barbara at 619-477-4140 or

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weekender Program - Sunday, 25 July on

The next Chula Vista Genealogical Society Weekender program is Sunday, 25 July at 2 p.m. in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium. This program is FREE for all to attend.

The program speaker will be CVGS member Randy Seaver on "Using the Old and New Website."

The classic LDS FamilySearch offerings have been online for many years, and are still useful to genealogy researchers. Digitizing of microfilm images by FamilySearch, and indexing by volunteers, has brought many new databases online for FREE use by researchers. In addition, the FamilySearch Research Wiki will replace the Research Guides, and the Family History Library Catalog will be improved. Lastly, a new FamilySearch Family Tree, currently being populated by LDS church members, will become available to all researchers by early 2011.

In this presentation, Randy Seaver will cover the education opportunities, the available record databases, the Research Wiki, the Family History Library Catalog, the Family Tree, and more. He will also discuss the collaboration feature coming to FamilySearch as it creates an interconnected Family Tree.

For more information, please contact Randy Seaver at

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society welcomes guests and visitors. If you have an interest in genealogy research, this society is the place for you!

Monday, July 19, 2010

New or Updated Record Databases - July 2010

Record databases added or updated to these genealogy websites during late June and early July include:

1) FamilySearch Record Search (

o Mexico, DF, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933
o USA, Georgia Deaths, 1928-1930
o USA, Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959
o France, Coutances, Catholic Diocese, 1802-1907
o Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1793-1923
o Netherlands, Civil Registration, 1792-1953
o England, Cheshire Workhouse Records, 1848-1967
o Brazil, Civil Registration, 1870-2009
o Costa Rica, Church Records, 1595-1992
o Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1836-2001
o Australia, NSW and ACT, Masonic Lodge Records
o See all Volunteer-indexed databases on the Pilot Record Search site at

2) On ($$):

o Nova Scotia Births, Marriages and Deaths
o US Indexed County Land Ownership Maps
o UK Waterloo Medal Roll, 1815
o UK Boer War Casualties, 1899-1902
o Canadian City and Area Directories, 1819-1906
o US Compiled Rev. War Service Records, 1775-1783
o US Rev. War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900
o Canada Militia and Defence Forces List
o Seone-et-Loire, France Births, Marriages, Deaths
o US Births, Marriages in Newspapers
o Updated Obituary Collections
o See New and Updated Ancestry databases at

3) On ($$):

o California Birth Index, 1905-1995
o California Death Index, 1940-1997
o Queensland School Pupils Index, Parts 2, 3, 4
o See list of all document sets on World Vital Records at

4) On ($$):

o New Content for 186 Newspapers in 40 States
o See list of all available newspaper titles at

5) On ($$):

o Launched Civil War Collection
o South Carolina Estate Inventories and Bills of Sale, 1732-1872
o See list of all document sets on at


Saturday, July 17, 2010

50% Off subscription for CVGS Members

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society is pleased to announce that we have worked on a special offer with, the premier history website featuring over 67 million records. You can now go to this URL , as a member of our society and receive a 50% discount off of an annual Footnote membership (retail cost is $79.95 per year). It is now only $39.95 for our society members. Please take advantage of this limited time offer. A member can add on to the existing membership for the same annual rate.

The $39.95 offer will be good through September 11th . On September 12th, the price will go to $49.95 and remain there until the end of the year.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

CVGS Research Group Review - 14 July 2010

We had 15 attendees (including one visitor) at our monthly Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting on Wednesday, 14 July. The attendees discussed several research problems, and asked some research questions which the group answered.

* Dearl passed the latest Family Tree Magazine issue with the Best 101 Free Genealogy Websites.

* Randy discussed the subscription 50% off offer for CVGS members through 11 September; the upcoming CVGS meetings and presentations; the five-generation charts project; and passed around the "Is Robert Pattinson a real cousin of Dracula?" Everybody said that he was not, based on the article.

* Karen has had good success at Bonita Library using Ancestry Library Edition to find ancestral families. She asked "where do I find probate and land records?" The group suggested the LDS Family History Library Catalog and ordering microfilms at the FHC, or going to the localities and visiting the courthouse or historical society.

* Earl has several immigrant families in the 1840 to 1860 period, but cannot find them in the passenger lists on, and wondered how to find where they came from. The group suggested using census records to determine the approximate immigration date and citizenship status, then try to find death certificates, newspaper obituaries, gravestones, ethnic newspapers, county history books, and naturalization records that might provide the information. Children and siblings of the immigrants should be researched also.

* Joan's cousin was adopted from the Cradle Society in Chicago in 1937, knows her birth date and birthplace and her mother's name, but cannot find out any more information from the Cradle society records. She cannot find the mother's name in the 1930 census, but knows that she was born in 1908 and lived in Texas. The group suggested looking for Cook County birth records, looking for the mother's SSDI record or obituary, and consulting an adoption registry.

* Dolores wondered "how helpful is it to go to the FHC?" The group said that they have free access to many commercial databases, you can order and read microfilms from the FHLC there, and the microfilm scanner/printer works great. She also asked "how accurate are online family trees?" The group noted that there is a lot of inaccurate data in these trees, and they should be used as "finding aids" and "cousin bait" only.

* Helen went browsing in some databases and found some Lawrence County MO marriage records in lists of stillborn records. She had a Missouri death certificate that had unclear words, and the group figured out what it said.

* Ruth is writing her mother's family history using her mother's stories. She's passing these to her siblings, their children and her cousins.

* Kevin is looking for his great-grandfather that may have died in the San Francisco 1906 earthquake. He disappears from the records after 1906, but his wife is still living. The group suggested for records and newspaper articles. He also wondered where the California Birth Index 1905-1995 was available, and the group noted it was free on, and is also on the and commercial

The next CVGS Research Group meeting is on Wednesday, 11 August in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 2010 Newsletter Available Online

The July 2010 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Newsletter is available on the CVGS website in PDF format - see

This issue covers:

* page 1 - July 28th Program Meeting: "Vital Records and Where You May Find Them," by Susi Pentico
* page 2 - President’s Message, by Gary Brock
* page 2 - June 28th Program Review: Barbara Hemmingsen's "Infectious Diseases of the Civil War"
* page 3 - Weekender Program Meeting, July 25th: "Using Old and New" by Randy Seaver
* page 3 - Genealogy Table Talk at the Library
* page 3 - CVGS Nominating Committee
* page 3 - Sunshine Corner, by Ruth Himan
* page 3 - Five Generation Chart Class, by Ruth Himan

* page 4 - Research Group News
* page 4 - Lemon Grove Research Group News, by Susi Pentico
* page 4 - New Chula Vista Library Open Hours
* page 5 - General Meeting Minutes – June 30

* page 5 - Board Meeting Minutes – July 7
* page 6 - Committee Reports
* page 6 - CVGS By-Laws Revisions, by Gary Brock
* page 7 - Computer-Related Genealogy News

* page 8 - Donations to Chula Vista Library, by Bernice Heiter
* page 8 - July 10th Class Review: Susi Pentico's "Medical Genealogy"
* page 8 - 2011 CVGS Scholarship News, by Susi Pentico
* page 8 - Hospitality Help Needed, by Susi Pentico
* page 8 - SCGS 2010 Jamboree Highlights
* page 9 - CVGS Board Information
* page 9 - San Diego Genealogy Events
* page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

If you live in the San Diego area, please consider joining us for our CVGS programs. All programs held in the local libraries are free to attend.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"Medical Genealogy" Class at Bonita Library on Saturday, 10 July

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society is starting a monthly Saturday afternoon program at the Bonita Library. Susi Pentico is organizing these classes. Here is the announcement of the class on 10 July (this Saturday):

"Medical Genealogy" will be presented by Susi Pentico of CVGS on Saturday, July 10th from 1 to 3 p m. at:

San Diego County Library Bonita Branch
4375 Bonita Road
Bonita, CA 91902

Why learn about" Medical Genealogy" you may ask. There are many reasons for doing so. The first may be it can save your life or a member of your family's life. No, you do not have to lose your privacy to do this.

It may amaze you to learn what it can do to help you and your family. It may also help you to locate more kin, even if it is a back door method.

Susi can be reached at or through her blog at:

Watch the CVGS Newsletter for notices of future meetings of these classes at Bonita Library. They are FREE to attend.

Monday, July 5, 2010

New Chula Vista Library Hours

The Chula Vista Public Library has modified the days that each branch library is open and the hours on each day. Here is the schedule, effective 6 July:

1) Civic Center Branch:

* Sunday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
* Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
* Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2) South Chula Vista Branch:

* Sunday: Closed
* Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
* Thursday, Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
* Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

3) Eastlake Branch:

* Sunday: Closed
* Monday: 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
* Tuesday: Closed
* Wednesday: 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
* Thursday, Friday: Closed
* Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Unfortunately, this schedule makes an all-day weekend seminar (say 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) unavailable at the Civic Center and South Branches.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - July 2010

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for July 2010 include:

** Saturday, 10 July, 1 pm. to 3 p.m., Bontia Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- CVGS Helpful Genealogy Topics Class: Medical Records, led by Susi Pentico.

** Wednesday 14 July, 12 noon to 2 p.m., 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, 21 July, 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.

** Sunday, 25 July, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Special Program Meeting in the Auditorium. The speaker will be CVGS Member Randy Seaver on "Using Old and New"

** Wednesday, 28 July, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) in the Auditorium -- After a brief business meeting, the speaker will be CVGS Member Susi Pentico, speaking on "Vital Records and Where You Might Find Them."

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

** Wednesday evenings (6 p.m. to 8 p.m.) - July 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.) - July 11, 18, 25 - 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 Branch 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). The Bonita Library is located at 4375 Bonita Road in Bonita - just west of the Otay Lakes intersection with Bonita Road, on the north side of Bonita Road.

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.

Please contact Barbara (email, phone 619-477-4140) for more information.