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.

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