Saturday, June 29, 2013

CVGS Annual Picnic Highlights

The Annual Picnic of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society was on Wednesday, 26 June at the home of Gary and Wanda Brock in Bonita.  It was a perfect day, not too hot, with lots of sun, and plenty of shade to sit and talk about genealogy.  There were 27 members and 9 guests in attendance.

This was a pot luck lunch with finger foods, salads, hot dishes, and desserts with an "International" theme, and featured hot dogs and brats barbecued by our host, Gary Brock.

The attendees sat in the shade (provided by trees, awnings and large umbrellas) and shared their lives, and in many cases, their genealogical research and family stories.

While people were talking and eating, Karen had prepared a large board so that attendees could add their own name, the surnames they were researching, and the geographical areas where their ancestors lived.  The attendee then picked a numbered stick pin from the chart and put it on one of the three large maps on easels - one for the World, another for Europe, and a third for the United States.

After everyone had added their names and ancestral locations to the list, Gary, as master of ceremonies, asked each person to stand and tell something about the surnames and places they had listed.  It was interesting to see how many attendees had ancestry in the British Isles.

Gary then had a locality trivia game for door prizes.

Finally, Gary's granddaughter brought Tacoma, a former racehorse, over to the area.  People fed apples to Tacoma, and petted him.  

All in all, it was a fun day, with good food, good friends, lots of conversation, and even some genealogy connections.  Meetings like this are great to promote friendship, camaraderie and get family members interested in the society and genealogy.

We all agreed to have the Annual Picnic at Gary and Wanda's house next year, too!  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

CVGS Annual Picnic - Wednesday, 26 June, 11 a.m. at the Brock's House

from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
International Food Theme!
At Home of Gary and Wanda Brock in Bonita

     Our annual picnic will be held Wednesday  June 26  11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. At the home of Gary and Wanda Brock in Bonita (4397 Allen School Lane, phone 619-475-4054.  

Directions:  From Bonita Road, turn south on Allen School Road, then left on Allen School Lane to 4397.  From Otay Lakes Road, turn west on Allen School Lane to 4397.  The driveway is opposite the intersection of Allen School Lane with Surrey Drive).

     The food service this year will be a little different. We will follow an international theme. Each attendee is  asked to bring a pot luck dish that depicts their ancestral heritage. We also ask that you give a donation of $5.00 to help buy hot dogs, bratwurst, knockwurst, buns, condiments and drinks.

     Please contact Dorothy Alford (phone 619-469-3483 or email with what dish you will be bringing. You will not be assigned a food category but if she starts getting too many items for one category you will have to choose something else. To be sure to get to bring what you want, get your reservations in early.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Research Group Summary - 12 May 2013

The June meeting of the CVGS Research Group on 12 June 2013 had 12 attendees.  We met in the Auditorium this month.

In the first hour, Randy discussed:

* the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree, and passed the syllabus books around;
* the Story View feature on Ancestry Member Trees;
*  finding Record Matches on MyHeritage;
*  using RootsMagic 6 to add content to the FamilySearch Family Tree;
*  the modified FamilySearch web pages;
*  finding Massachusetts Land Records on FamilySearch;
*  the Mastering Genealogical Proof book (and passed it around), and the DearMYRTLE MGP Study Group that starts on 16 June.

In the second hour, the attendees discussed:

*  Karen used the free access to Military Records on Ancestry over Memorial Day to find records for her cousin who took the movie of the flag being raised on Iwo Jima in 1944.  He died on Iwo Jima, received a Purple Heart and Navy Cross, was discussed in the book Flags of Our Fathers, and in an article in Parade magazine.  She is also checking records in the National Archives.

*  Diane has been working with John, and has been able to find five generations of ancestry on her mother's side of the family.  Her father's side is Italian, and she has three known generations there.

*  Shirley received a Record Match on MyHeritage, which gave a spouse's name for one of her Dutch ancestors in New York.

*  Joanna found a Find A Grave memorial for one of her relatives, and wondered how to request a photograph.  We found the memorial, and showed her how to request the photograph.

*  Susi is researching George Alexander (born in Georgia in 1821) for her daughter-in-law.  He had two older brothers born in North Carolina.  She found their mother's name, Martha, but can't find their father's name.  She is looking in land, probate and confederate pension records in Georgia and North Carolina for leads.

*  Helen received her 23andMe results, and asked how to see them and analyze them.  We used Randy's results as the example, going to the website and looking at the "Ancestry Composition" page (under the "My Results" tab) and the Family Inheritance page (under the "Ancestry Tools" item under the "My Results" tab) information.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be at 12 noon to 2 p.m., on Wednesday, 10 July 2013, in the Conference Room of the Chula Vista Civic center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula vista).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

CVGS Newsletter for June is Published

The June 2013 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter was published this  week.  You can read it online, in a PDF format - use the Newsletter link at .

The Table of Contents lists: 

page 1 - June 26th Annual Picnic
page 2 - President’s Message
page 2 - Library Assistance Every Wednesday 
page 3 - Highlights From the NGS 2013 Conference
page 4 - Research Group News 

page 5 - May 29th Program Review 
page 5 - Basic Computer Classes Completed
page 5 - Computer Group Meeting
page 6 - Lemon Grove Research Group News 
page 6 - July 6th Workshop Announcement

page 6 - Two $500 CVGS Scholarships Awarded 
page 7 - June 1st Workshop Review
page 7 - Genealogy Blog Posts of Note
page 8 - Genealogy News for May
page 8 - New or Updated FamilySearch Collectiions

page 9 - CVGS Society Information
page 9 - San Diego Genealogy Events
page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Sunday, June 2, 2013

CVGS Program Review - "New York State Research and Resources"

CVGS member Shirley Becker discussed "New York State Research and Resources" at the 29 May 2013 Chula Vista Generalogical Society monthly program meeting with 30 persons in attendance.

She started with an overview of New York colonial history, from the Dutch in 1624 in New Amsterdam and fort Orange (now Albany) to the English in 1664, through the Revolution to the modern New York state of today.  In the process, she showed how counties developed over time from 1683 to 1830, when the present counties were as they were then.  The patterns of settlement were typical for colonial America - along the coast and along waterways.  There were settlements up the Hudson River to Albany, and then east along the Mohawk River.  Eventually, the Erie canal was built to open up western New York to settlers.

Shirley also described the different land grants made by the New York Land Commission between 1786 and 1791 after the Revolutionary War, notably the Phelps and Gorham Purchase, the Morris Reserve and the Holland Land Company Purchase, all in western New York.  The land purchasers then sold lots to settlers from New York and New England.  

She also discussed state census records (available every ten years from from 1825 to 1925, except 1892 instead of 1895), church records, military records, and probate records.

Local records are divided among counties, cities and towns, villages and hamlets.  There are 62 counties, 62 cities, 932 towns, and over 4,200 local government entities.  Each town is supposed to have a town historian, and sometimes there are also county historians.  The historians have knowledge of the town records, cemetery records, land records, probate records, and more.  

The USGenWeb sites for the counties often have indexes and transcriptions for local records - start at An inventory of New York newspapers is available online at  The New York Probate Records, 1629-1971 collection and the New York Land Records, 1630-1975 collection are online in FamilySearch record collections (, but without indexes.  Most counties have indexes to use to find record volumes and pages, and then the volumes themselves.

This was an informative presentation about the difficulties and opportunities for performing New York research and the resources available in repositories and online databases.