Thursday, May 31, 2012

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - June 2012

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for June 2012 include:

** Saturday, 2 June, 1 3 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside (County) Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Outreach Workshop meets in Community RoomShirley Becker will present "Organizing for Research." 

** Wednesday 13 June, 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, 20 June, 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. Sharpen your computer skills and investigate online genealogy resources.

** Wednesday, 27 June, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista South Branch Library (389 Orange Avenue) -- General Society Meeting meets in the Conference Room. The program will be "The History of the U.S. Flag" presented by George Zingheim.  
There will be a society business meeting before the presentation.

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-Sunnyside (County) 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.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Genealogy in the Cloud" Program on Wednesday, 30 May 2012

from 12 Noon to 2 p.m.
at Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) in the Auditorium

“Genealogy in the Cloud” 
Panel:  John Finch, Gary Brock, Shirley Becker, Randy Seaver

Our May program will be a panel discussion of doing genealogy research, organization, data storage and communication in the “Cloud.”         

“Cloud computing” includes using Internet-based programs and services instead of programs based on your desktop or laptop computer.  Typical genealogy applications include email, document sharing, online family trees,  information resources, data backup and storage, social media, productivity aids, and mobile devices.  

The topics to be discussed in some detail with John Finch acting as the Moderator are:

  • Gary Brock:  What is the Cloud, why do I need it, and how do I use it?
  • Shirley Becker:  Using Dropbox for Data Backup and Storage.
  • Randy Seaver:  Using Mobile Devices for Genealogy

After the three presentations, the panel will answer questions from the Moderator and the audience.  

The panelists and moderator are long-time CVGS members and former Presidents of the society.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Ohio Gem" by Olive Lenane

Had I packed everything I needed? Had I contacted everyone I should contact? What had I forgotten? My mind was whirling as I went through security and was getting ready to board the plane for my first genealogical research trip.

Yes, I had written to the Darke Conty Genealogical Society and given them the surnames I was researching Yes, I had responded to their note informing me they would let Karen Besecker know I was coming. I told them no need since she was my niece and I was staying with her.

On the first day, with directions to the Garst Museum where the Darke County Genealogical Society was located, I started out not knowing what to expect. When I arrived I checked in at the reception desk. They were expecting me and a lady from the society met me and gave me the tour of the society rooms. Yes, rooms! My mouth must have been wide open as I followed her to her office, signed in the log book, toured the first book room, and then the second book room and research center.

Two walls of a the second 12 x 20 room were lined with four drawer file cabinets. The cabinets were filled with individual files of families who had Darke County connections. Books, folders of cemeteries complete with burial plots, dates, etc., books from the early 1800s of Ohio births, marriages and deaths , census records,etc. lined the other two walls. Above the cabinets on shelves were family books.

As I started my research the most exciting finds were original wills and all types of legal documents. I was then told the story. The court house had put everything on microfilm and was going to throw out the originals. The lady dynamo who is head of the DCGS heard about the destruction of the original papers and told them “No, you aren’t going to throw them away.” She rented a truck, and had six stacks of boxes from floor to ceiling brought to the museum which graciously let her store them until she and the society volunteers could place them in the individual family files. The volunteers are amazing. They cut obituaries, and other articles of interest from local newspapers and put them in the individual family files. There are usually two to four members “on duty” six days a week. I was there 3 days and wish I could have stayed at least a week.

Luckily, I discovered I had two cousins I had never met that are members of the society and they were eager to share family information and pictures. One of the cousins had the same name as my niece which had caused confusion for everyone when I notified the society I was staying with her. My other cousin was a complete surprise from my mother’s side of the family for which I had very little information. She gave me information which took the family line back to my third great grandfather born in 1755 in Germany. He was a Hessian soldier brought by the English to the colonies to fight the “Indians.” When he discovered he was fighting the colonists, he deserted and fought with the colonists.

What a find. I can’t wait to go back. Just to be able to touch the papers my great, great grandparents had touched was a thrill. To be able to read the newspaper articles from years ago about family members, and to visit graves of relatives I never dreamed I would find was so rewarding. If you are lucky enough to have family in Darke County Ohio, you will find a gem when you visit the Darke County Genealogical Society.
I have been told a few of the other county societies are just as good. Since my ancestors have lived in various Ohio counties since the early 18th century, I can’t wait to visit the other counties and find out.

Note:  CVGS solicited articles from the membership about Research Trips to put in a booklet displayed at the Escondido Family History Fair in March.  The authors of these articles are permitting them to be printed in the monthly Newsletters and on the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

CVGS Research Group Summary - 9 May 2012

We had a great turnout for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting on Wednesday, 9 May 2012, with 20 enthusiastic attendees ready to ask questions, share and learn.

In the first hour, Randy discussed source citations - types of sources, the need to cite sources, the different style guides including Elizabeth Shown Mills's Evidence! Explained, and how to use source templates in genealogy software to create EE-quality source citation templates.  He passed around several articles about source citations, showed the two QuickSheets for EE style citations, and his own "source sheet" with sample citations that can be cut and pasted and edited.

Using Family Tree Maker 2012 (which about 10 attendees had), and RootsMagic 5 (which only 2 attendees had, Randy demonstrated creation of a new master source and using an existing source with his own data in the examples.

In the second hour, we opened it up to sharing for research problems, how-to questions, and success reports.  The attendees offered:

*  Armando was a visitor, and has Texas heritage from the 1840 time period in the Amarillo area.  His family thinks they have Native American ancestry, but he can find very little about his family in this region.  The group suggested working his way back in time using vital records and census records, trying to find records that note native ancestry.  There may be distant cousins who have family papers, there may be online message boards and forums that can help for with surname or locality queries, and there may be genealogical or historical societies that can provide records or guidance.

*  Ralph, a new member, has Mexican ancestry, and has been using the church records on to extend his known ancestry back in time.  He noted that it is difficult to use these records because they are not indexed, and the user has to know the state and village to find families of interest.  The group noted that they are from the FHL microfilms and were even more difficult to access and use in years past.  He is also using the Ports of Entry records to find records of his family.

*  The group suggested that the FamilySearch Research Wiki ( and Research Forums ( may be helpful to learn what records are available in specific places and to request help or advice on researching different groups, countries and states.

*  Kitty, a new member, obtained the Social Security Application for her grandfather, and has found census records back to 1910, but cannot find anything earlier.  The group suggested obtaining vital records for the family members, local newspapers for articles of interest, and using alternative names, including wild cards, on the 1900 and earlier census records on Ancestry and FamilySearch.

*  Marie asked about where to find which newspapers were published in a city/town in a specific time frame.  Randy noted that the Chronicling America site (  has lists of every newspaper published since 1690.  Some of them may be available at the Chronicling America site, on GenealogyBank, or

*  Sam wondered if he was using the FamilySearch results page correctly.  He has been clicking the down arrow on the right for each match, then clicking on the link for the match to gain access to the image if there is one.  The group indicated that he was doing what needs to be done.

*  Bobbie knew the death date and location of a second great-grandparent, but not a burial site.  She found an online site that provided the burial site plus a physical description of her ancestor.  She is working to prove a second Daughters of the King ancestry, and determined that this is her mitochondrial DNA line.  She hopes to attend the 350th Daughters of the King celebration in August 2013 in Quebec.

*  Mary Lou found information on Find-a-Grave for her third great-grandparents and two of their sons in Ohio.

*  Karyn was reading obituaries, noted a family connection, wrote a letter to the family and planned a get-together.

*  Randy noted that two distant cousins with San Diego roots had contacted him in the last two weeks, and he found many articles in the San Diego Union on GenealogyBank from the 1920-1950 time frame about the family.

The next Research Group meeting will be at 12 noon on Wednesday, 13 June in the Computer Lab at the Chula Vista Branch Library.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Saturday Workshop on 12 May - "Who Is/Was Your Neighbor?"

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society Workshop in May will be on Saturday, 12 May from 1:00 p.m. To 3:00 p.m. at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) in the Community Room. Susi Pentico will present “Who Is/Was Your Neighbor?”

To learn more about each other in the society, we are going to be doing some 5 generation charts and learning who is researching where, what surnames and times one is looking at. It has been brought to our attention that there is probably a connecting kin within our own society we have not discovered. Genealogy is always more fun when shared with others.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The program, “Who is in Your Family Tree?” was presented by four Chula Vista Genealogical Society members at Norman Park Center on April 26, 2012. The program was intended to introduce attendees to genealogy, and to the Beginners Class taught by Susi Pentico. It was well received by 22 attendees. 

Susi Pentico spoke about the upcoming Beginning Genealogy classes she will be teaching at the Norman Park Center on May 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2012. Randy Seaver’s presentation topic was “Genealogy - Be An Ancestor Detective,” John Finch’s topic was “Your Family Tree, Heroes and Horse Thieves,” and Janice Nevills rounded out the program by sharing the story of her infamous great aunt and giving details about Chula Vista Genealogical Society and the many programs and workshops available. 

This program for beginning researchers and CVGS inquirers was organized by CVGS Public Relations co-chairs Olive Lenane and Janice Nevills as part of the CVGS Outreach program to the Chula Vista community.