Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Mining Genealogical History in Kansas" with Ruth Himan

Chula Vista Genealogical Society member Ruth Himan presented her program about finding her Hayley ancestors in Kansas records on Wednesday, 26 January at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library to 40 attendees.  Ruth's CV is here.

Ruth's presentation started with the story of her great-grandfather, John Christopher Hayley, born in Tennessee in 1871 who died in 1931; the story is that he ran away from home when he was age 14, and family information indicated that he resided in Kansas.  In the effort to document his life, Ruth used six tools - pedigree charts, family group sheets, migration maps, timelines, networking and library searches.  On the migration map, she entered the known birth and death locations for family members (children and grandchildren).

In mining for genealogical history, she kept the CGSL Tip of the Iceberg chart in mind - it notes that only a small percentage of genealogical records are online.  Ruth knew that much of the information on the Internet  is inaccurate and unsourced, and she referred to the chart often to make her points.  Her research steps included doing preliminary searching on the Internet, collecting evidence, verifying and validating her data with sources, using a research log, keeping a daily journal, and hiring researchers to do courthouse, library and cemetery work.

Ruth took her father and step-mother on a trip to Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee in search of their Hayley ancestors in 2010.  She described her travel toolkit - a laptop, camera, phone, recorder, chargers, magnifying glass, comfy shoes, tourbook and door hanger. 

Their first stop was in Reno County, Kansas where they met extended family.  Then to Hutchinson, Kansas, her father's birthplace.  She tracked down several addresses where the family lived, using a gazetteer and and newspaper articles at the library, and they took pictures in front of them.  At the courthouse, she found that she needed a lot number rather than an address, so at the library she found the lot number on a Sanborn map.  The courthouse archives were in the underground "salt mines" and she visited them. 

Ruth also did some pro bono research for her CVGS colleague, Jaye, who wanted to know how her grandfather died in Hutchinson in the 1930s.  Ruth found several newspaper articles, an obituary, and a death record - she found that he was run over by a young man driving a street cleaner. 

Ruth's presentation was interesting, humorous and made the point that you have to get out to the libraries, courthouses and family homes to put the jigsaw puzzle of a life together.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

CVGS Research Trip to LDS FamilySearch Center on Saturday, 29 January

The first Research Trip of 2011 for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society will be on Saturday, 29 January.

We will go to the LDS FamilySearch Center in Mission Valley in San Diego (4195 Camino del Rio South, east of I-15, south of I-8, west of Fairmount Avenue, across from the Penske Rental building, on the south side of the street, in an LDS office building).  The Center entrance is on the eastern side of the building on the ground floor.

The Center opens at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, and closes at 3 p.m.  In addition to a significant genealogy book and periodical collection, the center has many microfilm and microfiche sets on site, with microfilm and microfiche readers and scanners.  There is a nominal cost for photocopies.  The microfilm/fiche scanners can be used to copy images to your flash drive. 

There are many computers available with a number of commercial databases, including,,, and several others.  Use of the computers is free, and printouts can be made for a nominal fee per page.  Users can download computer images to their flash drives.  The Center has volunteers to help you on the computers if necessary.

If you wish to car-pool with the group, we will meet at 9:30 a.m. on the second level of the parking garage in downtown Chula Vista (enter through either the F Street entrance near Marie Callender's, or the Third Avenue entrance near Fuddrucker's and go up one level to the middle).  We will plan to leave by 9:40 a.m. and get to the Center at 10 a.m.  We will leave the Center at about 2 p.m. and hope to return to Chula Vista by 2:30 p.m.

Before you go to the FamilySearch Center, check the FamilySearch Library Catalog at for surname and locality books on microfilm or microfiche.  You can order microfilms or microfiches for a nominal fee at the FamilySearch Center.  You will be notified when they arrive and when they will be returned, and you will have to visit the FamilySearch Center again to review them.

Bring a sack lunch (there are no vending machines or restaurants nearby), your research notes and papers, a flash drive (if desired), and your enthusiasm for a day of research.

If you wish to carpool with the group, please contact Randy Seaver (619-422-3397 or before Thursday, 27 January.

CVGS Program on Wednesday, 26 January - Ruth Himan presents "Mining Genealogical History in Kansas"

The next program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) is Wednesday, 26 January at 12 noon at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista, between Third and Fourth Avenues) in the library Auditorium. 

After a brief business meeting, CVGS Member Ruth Himan will present "Mining Genealogical History in Kansas."  Ruth's CV and talk synopsis is:

Ruth Himan will be sharing a CASE STUDY of a child left fatherless by the Civil War. John Christopher Hayley (1872-1931) was born in Tennessee, and died in Arizona. Ruth's research of the "dash" led to research in the state of Kansas.

Demonstrating the principle that "The internet is only the tip of the genealogy iceberg," Ruth ventured out to Kansas with her family in search of the life of John Christopher Hayley.

This presentation will include preparing for the journey, gathering genealogy tools, establishing maps and contacts. Ruth will will explain how a little digging into the history of the dash, can lead to some very unexpected findings for the family and for genealogist as a whole. Everyone has a story well worth exploring.

Ruth's professional experience includes being a Quality Assurance and Documentation Manager, with full responsibility of a QA department from Receiving Inspection to Shipping, including engineering drawings, change orders, work instructions, and Quality Manual. Her experience and knowledge of military specifications enabled her to quickly and effectively develop result driven Quality Management Systems.

Ruth is the author of the genealogy blog,  Grandma's Genealogy Camp and and numerous other genealogical articles, presentations and blog posts.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Computer Group Summary - 19 January 2011

We had 13 members at the Computer Group meeting at 12 noon on Wednesday, 19 January, in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Computer Lab. 

Randy led the meeting this month, and we visited the updated web site, where everything is FREE to any researcher.  The pages visited and demonstrated included:

*  The Home Page that has links for Learn, FamilySearch Centers, Give Back (volunteer indexing) and the Blog.  And the Search Box tabs for Historical Records, Family Trees and Library Catalog.

*  There are currently 530 Historical Record Collections with 20 to 30 being added each month by the imaging and indexing efforts.  The user can find databases for a specific state or country, or choose by places, categories, or date ranges.  Some collections have only an index, some have only images arranged in a logical fashion, and some have both indexing and images.  Some collections have only indexes that link to images on a subscription web site.

*  The Library Catalog page accesses the Family History Library Catalog in Salt Lake City, and is composed of books, periodicals and manuscripts on the shelf at the library, and microfilms and microfiche that can be rented at a FamilySearch Center for about $6 for a four-week period.  The Catalog can be searched by place name, surname, subject, author, title, microfilm number, call numbers and keywords. 

*  The Learn page includes the Research Wiki and the educational Research Courses and Get Started.  The Research Wiki has information about countries, states, counties, and general topics that can be added or edited by any registered user in a wiki format.  The Research Courses page has more than 120 courses taught by subject matter experts at the Family History Library or professional researchers that can be watched and heard on the Internet.  Some courses can be downloaded to a computer. 

This was a whirlwind tour of the website, and many of the attendees found useful historical records online or microfilms to order at the FamilySearch Center next week.  Everyone is now more aware of the offerings on the site and have some insight as to how to navigate the site to help their research.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CVGS Newsletter for January 2011 Available

The January 2011 edition of the CVGS Newsletter is available online at

The Table of Contents includes:

page 1 -- January 26th Program Meeting

page 2 -- President’s Message
page 2 -- Saturday Workshop Meetings
page 2 -- Sunshine Report
page 3 -- December 15th Holiday Luncheon Review
page 3 -- Saturday, January 29th Research Trip
page 4 -- Research Group News
page 4 -- Computer Group News
page 5 -- Citing Sources by Dick Eastman
page 6 -- Book Review: If This Land Could Talk

page 7 -- Computer-Related Genealogy News
page 8 -- Lemon Grove Research Group News
page 8 -- Ask Gene E. Allogee, Research Tips and Techniques
page 8 -- Chula Vista Centennial Celebration
page 9 -- CVGS Society Information
page 9 -- San Diego Genealogy Events
page 10 -- Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Friday, January 14, 2011

Chula Vista Centennial News - Schoenherr Talks on Tuesday, 18 January

The Friends of the Chula Vista Library and four civic associations are sponsoring a Tuesday, January 18 presentation by Steven Schoenherr, author of Chula Vista’s centennial history book, Chula Vista Centennial: A Century of People and Progress.

Schoenherr, a retired professor of history from the University of San Diego, will describe what he learned about Chula Vista’s history while researching for the project. Chula Vista’s centennial will be celebrated throughout 2011. The event is free and open to the public.

It will be held at 6 p.m. in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium at 365 F St.

To receive a special discount, pre-order your copies of the book (available May, 2011), go to

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saturday Workshop, 15 January: "Organization of your Genealogy"

The CVGS Saturday Workshop on 15 January will be at the Bonita Library (4375 Bonita Road) at 12 noon in the Community Room.

CVGS Member Shirley Becker will lead a discussion of "Organization of your Genealogy" based on her experience and knowledge.  Attendees are requested to bring a pedigree chart and some of their family group sheets.

Research Group Summary - 12 January 2011

The CVGS Research Group meeting on 12 January 2011 had 17 in attendance.  The format of the meeting changed a bit - Randy chose a topic of "Military Pension Records" before opening the discussion to member's research problems and questions.

Randy discussed the information offered by the National Archives - a person can order military pension files, with a limited number of pages or the complete file.  The file can now be ordered online at, and sent as paper files or as a PDF file on a CDROM, and paid for with a credit card.  Online subscription services have some military pension files available:

1) has:

**  Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 (indexed, images)
**  American Revolutionary War Rejected Pensions (indexed, images)
**  War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815 (not indexed)
**  Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (index only)

2) has:

**  Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files (NARA M804, indexed, images)
**  Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Index (NARA T289, index only)
**  Civil War "Widow's" Pensions (indexed, images, only 2% complete)

*  Randy ordered a Civil War Pension File on CDROM from NARA on 15 December for $75, and received it in the mail on 31 December - 81 pages.  He described some of the papers in the file, and passed them around.  They included declarations, affidavits and vital records.  Randy also passed around some pages from a Revolutionary War Pension File that included family Bible pages to prove the marriage and names of the children.

*  Mary Lou ordered a Civil war Pension File online on 28 December and received it on 10 January.  She shared some of the details, although it did not have the soldier's father's name which she had hoped for.  She noted that the 1913 death certificate for the soldier in the file had somewhat different information than the death certificate she obtained in 2010. 

*  Helen told the story of Maude, mother of John Franklin Ables born 1902, one of her ancestors who married three times and was married in the 1920 U.S. census to Samuel Monroe Harris.  A John Frank Glenn was enumerated, age 17, as a step-son to Monroe Harris.  Helen wanted to know if this was an enumeration error, since "John Franklin" sounds like "John Frank Glenn."  The group thought that that was the case, and encouraged Helen to create a convincing proof argument.

*  Bobbie has asked the Lake County, Illinois Deed office to search for a specific deed, but they won't do it because she cannot provide some sort of finding aid - a deed number or a volume and page number of a deed record book.  She knows the name, date and land description from a will, but needs to find the deed reference number.  The group suggested go there to find it, hiring someone to find it there, or to use the Family History Library microfilms to obtain the reference number and even the deed image.

*  Ruth noted that she found a useful family Bible being sold on eBay.  She bid on it, but didn't get it.  However, she captured the page images shown on the eBay page.

*  Lana asked where is the best place to do genealogical research in San Diego.  The group responded with at home on the Internet, at the FamilySearch Center in Mission Valley, at Carlsbad Library, at the SDGS Library, at the downtown San Diego Public Library and at the Chula Vista Public Library.

*  Lana also asked where she can find colonial records for Virginia and North Caroline.  The group suggested the Family History Library microfilms for church, land, probate and tax records, in addition to any published family history books.

The topic for the next Research Group meeting on 9 February will probably be "Land Records."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Chula Vista Library Hours

The Chula Vista Public Library has cut back their open hours due to budget cuts at the City level.  The revised hours are, effective 7 January:

1)  Civic Center Branch (365 F Street, Chula Vista):

*  Tuesday through Thursday - 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
*  Friday - 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
*  Saturday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
*  Sunday and Monday - closed

2)  South Branch (389 Orange Avenue, Chula Vista)

*  Monday throughuh Thursday - 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
*  Friday - 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
*  Saturday and Sunday - closed.

Fortunately, the monthly CVGS Board meeting, Research Group, Computer Group and Program Meeting, and the weekly Table Talk meetings, are on Wednesdays at 12 noon at the Civic Center Branch and were not affected.  However, the Table Talk sessions scheduled for Monday mornings and Sunday evenings are affected and will not be held. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Chula Vista Centennial - 1911 San Diego City Directory pages

Chula Vista, California is celebrating its Centennial in 2011 - the city was founded in 1911.  The Chula Vista Centennial website is at

After reading about some early San Diego City Directories being available online at DonsList in Some City Directories Online at DonsList, I accessed and saved the three pages that were published for Chula Vista:

There are 59 entries on page 714, 97 on page 715, and 94 on page 716.

Unfortunately, the Directory lists only a name and an occupation, but has no addresses for the persons in the Chula Vista portion of the Directory, with the exception of those that reside in the Fredericka Home.

Perhaps the 1910 U.S. Census will help identify approximate locations of the residents of Chula Vista.  More later!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

18 boxes of history archives donated

The San Diego Union-Tribune had an article titled "Historian's 18 boxes of archives donated" by Matthew T.Hall  on 3 December 2010.  CVGS member and Membership Chair Bobbie Lane provided the clipping.  It reads:

"The papers, photographs and other documents that constitute the archives of am an who documented hundreds of years of San Diego history have been donated to Save Our Heritage Organisation, a local historic preservation association.

"The group announced this week it had received the gift of 18 large boxes -- the archives of San Diego historian Richard Pourade -- from David Copley, former publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

"Pourade, editor emeritus of The San Diego Union, wrote more than a dozen books, including a series of seven that chronicled the region's history from 1492 to 1970.

"Pourade's archives had been part of the library collection of James Copley, David Copley's father, who commissioned the first of Pourade's books.

"Said SOHO in a statement, 'The copious illustrations, artwork and accompanying maps and diagrams make up them ost complete portrait of San Diego still to date, nothing has surpassed it.'"

This native San Diegan hopes that the Pourade collection will be displayed in an appropriate place so that all San Diegans can enjoy them.

More news articles from SOHO can be found at

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - January 2011

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for January 2011 include:

** Wednesday 12 January, 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.

** Saturday, 15 January, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Bonita Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- CVGS Genealogy Workshop meets in the Community Room to hear Shirley Becker speak on "Organizing Your Genealogy." Participants should bring their pedigree chartss and family group sheets for one family.

** Wednesday, 19 January, 12 noon 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.  

**  Wednesday, 26 January, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch library (365 F Street) -- General Society Meeting meets in the Auditorium.  After a short business meeting, CVGS Member Ruth Himan will present "Mining Genealogy History in Kansas."

** Wednesday mornings (11 a.m. to 1 PM) - January 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 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.) - January 5, 12, 19, 26 - 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 Road intersection with Bonita Road, on the north side of Bonita Road. The Chula Vista South Library is at 389 Orange Avenue (southeast corner on Fourth Avenue) - parking lot is off of Orange east of Fourth.

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 Virginia (email for more information.