Friday, December 14, 2012

CVGS Research Group Summary - 12 December 2012

The December meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group had 10 members in attendance.  It was a lively group!

Randy discussed some of the news from the last month - the DNA test deals with 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA, plus the Geno 2.0 announcement, and the RootsMagic 6 announcement.  He also shared the SDGS Seminar announcement for 14 January 2013 with David Rencher speaking.  Randy showed off his new free website ( with ancestors, sources, photos and documents.  He also showed his "cousin bait" reports online at Scribd ( (free) with 10 generations for each of his great-grandparents.  He also discussed how he used the free 1000Memories site ( to put his family photographs online.  Lastly, he went through the process of finding and saving New York land records from the FamilySearch record collections.

In the second hour, each person in the group shared their challenges, successes and questions, including:

*  Joanna was very excited after several sessions on Wednesday mornings with John.  They found a 1910 article online (in an Ancestry Member Tree) that was a biography of her great-grandfather.  It discussed his life and work, and his family - parents, grandparents, and children too.  There was a statement that he was related to Roger Williams.  A photograph of the family in the 1920s was also found and displayed.  The plan is to use the census to find out more about these families, and to contact the cousin who posted the information.

*  Jaye is reviewing the research material that she has, and is writing down ideas for further research.  She hopes to avail herself of John's expertise on Wednesday mornings, also.  She told a story about a relative who died, but had no known next of kin.  The funeral home found a $100 bill sewn into his coat that covered the burial cost.  Jaye wants to know more about this man, and the group suggested she look in census records, city directories, newspaper archives, online trees, Google, Find A Grave, and more.

*  Karen had a Christmas card from a cousin asking about cousin Sylvia, who did family history research but is now deceased.  An article was found in a Dallas area newspaper online about her.

*  Ralph's friend had obtained World War II medals for his father from NPRC in St. Louis, so Ralph investigated the process and submitted the SF180 form for his own father.

*  Bobbie wants to set goals for 2013, including upgrading her DNA tests to get more information on her mitochondrial DNA; adding data to her five-generation chart; use a paid researcher to obtain more information about her Bavarian ancestors; they plan a research trip to Buffalo, N.Y.

*  Mary Lou found Turner surname ancestral fmailies from 1830 in Ohio to the 1890s in Nebraska, but some entries were Truman or Furner rather than Turner.  She is looking for more information about her Irish great-grandfather Harnett born in County Cork in about 1840, who served in the Civil War from Illinois.  She has found many records, including a pension record, but none of them list his birthplace or his parents names.  The group suggested local historical society holdings, looking at alternate surname spellings, and pursuing siblings and children's vital records, etc.

*  John has enjoyed helping Joanna with her research on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon in the Family Research area of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.  He hopes that others will stop by and consult with him when possible.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be Wednesday, 9 January in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2012 Holiday Luncheon Highlights

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society celebrated another successful year of serving the Chula Vista area genealogical community with the annual Holiday Luncheon on Tuesday, 11 December, at the Chula Vista South Branch Library.

After a moment of silence for the CVGS members who passed away in 2012, and for our armed forces everywhere, the assembled crowd of 30 hungry members and guests dug into the feast prepared and organized by the Hospitality Committee.  The society provided ham, turkey and beverages, and the attendees brought everything else as potluck.  There was plenty of great food and wonderful conversation at the tables as we enjoyed the meal.

President Gary Brock narrated "Steps in Time," a slide show presentation of CVGS historical highlights - mainly involving food and holiday parties, it seemed, from 1986 to 2003.  Many of the persons shown were identified on the slides, and most others were named by attendees at the luncheon during the show.

Gary next introduced the two new Honorary Life Members of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society - cited for their long membership and service to the society.  Dottie Johnson and Helen Thompson were introduced through short photo presentations, then introduced and honored.

Above:  Dottie Johnson and Gary Brock

Above:  Gary Brock and Helen Thompson

The outgoing Board officers present were honored with certificates, applause and gratitude - Bobbie Lane, Mary Lou Montez, and Virginia Taylor.

Above:  Virginia Taylor, Bobbie Lane, Gary Brock and Mary Lou Montez

The outgoing Committee Chairs present were also honored with certificates.

Above (left to right):  JoAnn Bonner, Dorothy Alvord, Kevin Brown, Gary Brock, Olive Lenane and Janice Nevills receive certificates of appreciation.

Gary then introduced and swore in the 2013/2014 Officers - Diane DeVincenzo (Treasurer), Karen Yarger (Secretary), Barbara Ibaibarriaga (Second VP), Ralph Munoz (First VP) and Virginia Taylor (President).  A notebook containing the Bylaws, Standing Rules, and Officer Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) were presented to each Officer.

Above:  The 2013/2014 Officers (left to right): Barbara Ibaibarriaga, Diane DeVincenzo, Karen Yarger, Ralph Munoz and Virginia Taylor.

There were a number of door prizes, including a Father Christmas, a Nutcracker, and a Christmas Angel.  The table decorations were won in the opportunity drawings.  Lastly, the bring one-get one gift exchange was held.

The attendees donated a large amount of canned food and children's toys for the Salvation Army.  All in all, this was an excellent, and filling, holiday luncheon.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Luncheon on Tuesday, 11 December 2012

from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At Chula Vista South Branch Library (389 Orange Avenue)

It’s December, so the annual CVGS Holiday Luncheon is fast approaching. The event will feature installation of the 2013-14 Officers. The theme this year is “Steps In Time and Those Who Guide The Way.”

The luncheon will have turkey, ham, and drinks provided by CVGS. The pot luck breakdown for the rest of the meal will be coordinated by JoAnn Bonner (phone 619-421-3628, email and Dorothy Alvord (phone 619-469-3483, email– please contact them before 1 December to coordinate potluck dishes. The potluck schedule is:

  • A to F surnames: Potatoes (Irish or Sweet), Veggies, Casseroles
  • G to K Surnames: Desserts
  • L to P Surnames: Salads, rolls, Butter
  • Q to Z Surnames: Snack trays, Condiments, Olives, Pickles, Cranberry Sauce, etc.

There will be a free door prize drawing, and a gift exchange ($10 limit). If you wish to participate in the gift exchange, please bring a gift. Attendees are requested to bring canned food and/or unwrapped toys for donation to the Salvation Army.

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 3, 2012

28 November Program Summary - Georgie Stillman "Heirloom Discovery Day"

Georgie Stillman conducted her sixth annual "Heirloom Discovery Day" for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society program on Wednesday, 28 November.  In this program, CVGS members presented some of their heirlooms to Georgie for her expert evaluation and appraisal.

She noted that markets reflect what people will buy, and that values of heirloom items have changed in recent times.  She noted that "Insurance companies now pay for replacement market costs, not for new item costs, and places like eBay, AmVets, and Goodwill Industries are sources for heirlooms and antiques."  She also said "for wealthy people now, old things don't signify class and wealth."

For each item, each person provided a brief summary of what they brought for appraisal and its' known provenance. Georgie then described what the item was, the approximate time it was created, and its approximate value.  The CVGS members who had their heirlooms evaluated included:

*  Nancy presented her handwoven ABC sampler from 1836 made by her great-grandmother  at age 13 in Kentucky.  Georgie noted that this was part of girls being taught to be good housewives, and that this sampler used vegetable dyes.  Some samplers of this type sell for about $100.

*  Diane displayed a beautiful oil painting of a cabin by a stream with mountains and clouds in the background.  Georgie noted the commercial frame and that it was typical of 1970s decorative commercial art, not fine art.

*  Jaye showed her grandmother's mug inherited from her grandmother that came her Missouri family.  Georgie noted that it was semi-vitreous heavy clay from the 1920s or earlier.

*  Wilma presented a set of 6 colored glass coasters from the 1951 "Festival of Britain."  Georgie said that this type of set doesn't resonate with the public as a coronation or Olympics set would, and the value is limited.

*  Helen had a plate featuring a bird in flight, with "Sterling China" on the back.  Georgie thought it was from the late 1800s to early 1900s in the Midwest.  Helen also had a small plate "the house that Jack built" which was a 1905 wedding gift to her grandmother.  Georgie said it was fine porcelain from Central Europe (Bavaria/Austria) and was probably worth $30 to $40.

*  Janice displayed her quilt of the 48 states with the state flag and state bird on the squares, handed down through four generations.  Georgie thought it was made between 1912 and the 1930s, and had only family value.  Janice also had a cut glass vase that was probably Scandinavian, German or Czech from the 1920s, and might be worth $25 to $35.

*  Sherry showed her mother's pitcher from about 1900 from Trenton, NJ, which is famous for its pottery.  The pitcher had a Spanish-American War design that might bring $150 to $200 on eBay.  Sherry also had a Limoges plate from Plainfield NJ with gold trimming from the 1880 to 1900 time frame.

*  Claude showed a framed newspaper page commemorating the battle of Vicksburg in 1863 which was printed on wallpaper.  Georgie noted that it was a souvenir copy, not a real newspaper page.

*  Joanna had a handmade wooden utensil box.  Georgie noted that it was made by a good carpenter, probably in New England by hand, and was a utilitarian box that might be worth $300 to $400.  Joanna also had a small Limoges cup or pitcher from the 1870s.  Georgie said for the single decorative piece that it might be worth $35 to $40.

*  Joan presented her blue glass vase.  Georgie thought that it was not a collectible, and was art deco from the mid-20th century.

*  Virginia displayed her child's rocker with horses carved on the side panels.  Georgie said it was 19th century, with machine parts made using steam power, and was a collectible worth about $500 to $600.

As always, the time went very quickly, and Georgie displayed her ability to assess and discuss a wide variety of heirlooms.  Georgie's style is informal, enthusiastic and interesting - she really enjoys seeing these types of artifacts and "stuff" because they are, in the main, from middle-class homes from the Victorian era and later. She is used to appraising high-end items for collectors and estates. It is fascinating to see an expert appraiser at work - the words seem to flow effortlessly and I am awestruck by the knowledge level. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - December 2012

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for December 2012 include:

** Saturday,1 December, 1 3 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside (County) Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Outreach Workshop meets in Community Room. Shirley Becker will present  "New York Resources."  

** Tuesday, 11 December, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chula Vista South Branch Library (389 Orange Avenue) -- CVGS Holiday Luncheon in the Conference Room.  Officers will be installed, and a fine holiday party will be enjoyed by all.

** Wednesday 12 December, 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, 19 December, 12 noon to 1:30 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Computer Group meets in the Library Conference Room, led by Shirley Becker. Sharpen your computer skills and investigate online genealogy resources.  Bring your laptop and use the library wi-fi.

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 - turn left on Billy Casper Way, just west of the Otay Lakes Road intersection with Bonita Road, on the north side of Bonita Road. 

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.