Sunday, October 16, 2011

CVGS Research Group Summary

The CVGS Research Group meeting on Wednesday, October 12th was attended by 16 avid genea-philes. 

During the first hour, Randy presented "Lessons Learned on my Midwestern Family History Mystery Tour."  He described his two week September vacation in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, which included:

*  Attending the FGS Conference in Springfield, Illinois
*  One day researching at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana
*  One day visiting friends in St. Joseph, Michigan, highlighted by a visit to replicas of the Pinta and Nina.
*  One day researching in Dodge County, Wisconsin
*  One day researching at the Wisconsin Historical Society and Norwegian-American genealogy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
*  One day finding ancestral homes and graveyards in Dane County, Wisconsin.
*  One day at Old World Wisconsin (a WHS building collection) in Eagle, Wisconsin
*  One day sightseeing in Chicago.

During the presentation, he showed many photographs, research examples and results.  The lessons learned included:

*  Allen County Public Library is marvelous!
*  Check open hours of libraries and societies.
*  Some local libraries have wonderful resources
*  State Archives have excellent resources, but are difficult to use. Some permit digital pictures of fragile documents.
*  Heritage, ethnic and religious societies have excellent resources.
*  Use 19th century plat maps to find ancestral land holdings, and 21st century plat maps and Google Maps to find ancestral homes.

During the second hour, several attendees described their research successes and challenges:

*  Ruth described some of her Cherokee research, finding a picture of an ancestor in Indian dress, and finding names in treaties in state archives.

* Bobbie used Google to search for Lake county, Illinois information, and found the newsletter article that she submitted about her visit several years ago.  She and Dennis went to North Dakota on vacation in search of his Russian German heritage, found some ancestral graves, and met a third cousin, sharing information and pictures.

*  Ann used tips she learned at Jamboree from Tom Underhill about using Picasa facial recognition software to identify unknown persons by finding similar faces on computer files.

*  John notede that FamilySearch has added mamny collections with Germany and Mexico records.  However, many are not indexed yet.

*  Viola displayed the four-generation family history book that she wrote, which includes many stories and pictures.  She wrote this after her daughter asked Viola's mother who the people were in the box under the bed.  It was beautifully done.

After the meeting closed, Randy briefly demonstrated using Family Tree Maker 2012 and describing his experiences synchronizing with an Ancestry Member Tree.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group is Wednesday, 9 November 2011 at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, in Chula Vista).

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