Thursday, August 26, 2010

CVGS Annual Picnic - "Wheel of Fortune Surname Game"

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Annual Picnic on August 25th featured an audience participation game called the "Wheel of Fortune Surname Game." CVGS President Gary Brock devised this game featuring information taken from surnames and information taken from the participant's five generation pedigree chart.

Gary created a 16 segment "Surname Wheel of Fortune" with randomly distributed numbers corresponding to randomly distributed numbers on a large map of the USA and the World. The Wheel was spun, and the first audience member, who had an ancestral family on their chart that resided in the selected geographical area, that stood up was selected to be the contestant.

The contestant then explained information about their selected surname, the research performed, and answered questions about the surname and their research. Points were awarded for 11 criteria, including:

* the number of times the selected surname appeared on their pedigree chart (up to a 7 generation chart);
* the number of generations with the surname that the contestant has photos for;
* the number of generations with the surname that the contestant has newspaper clippings for;
* the number of audience members with the same surname on their chart;
* the number of audience members with names on their chart with the same region as the contestant.
* number of centuries in which the selected surname appears on the chart
* number of lines on the chart with the selected surname
* possession of primary information on the selected surname
* selected surname appears in a published book or journal article
* completion of five-generation chart with at least a name and date or place.
* Pedigree Chart has been submitted to CVGS collection.

Points were awarded for each response and added, using a spreadsheet, to provide each contestant's score. Mary P won with 78 points for her Hatch surname in the New England region. Randy S. was second with 76 points for his Smith surname in the New England region. Myrna G was third with 73 points for her Beach surname in the Midwest region. The lowest scores were 28 for surnames in the Pacific Island region and the Eastern European region. 18 attendees participated in the game and a good time was had by all.

The Annual Picnic also featured a very short business meeting, a duplicates book sale, and a white elephant gift exchange in addition to the bring-your-own lunch.

Surnames used for the game were L'Magdalen (UK/Canada), Erdman (Mid-Atlantic), Beach (Midwest), Whittle (Pacific), Quintero (South America), Page (Pacific), Smith (New England), Self (South), Bellwood (West), Hoffman (Mid-Atlantic), Bricvan (Eastern Europe); Hildreth (UK), Weber (West), Busing (Western Europe), McCall (Mid-Atlantic), Hatch (New England), Tway (West) and Inbody (Midwest).

The origin and meaning of these surnames will be discussed by Gary in his Weekenders presentation at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library at 1 p.m. on Sunday, 29 August.

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