Saturday, June 28, 2014

CVGS Annual Picnic Review

The Annual CVGS Picnic was held on Wednesday, 25 June at the ranch-style home of Gary and Wanda Brock in Bonita.  We had a wonderful time, with about 35 members and guests attending.  It was a wonderful early summer day, sunny with breezes and about 75F.

Their grandchildren were the parking lot directors and shuttle drivers to deliver attendees to the large shady areas amidst the trees near the house, with tables under awnings and a large tarpaulin.  The food tables, and barbecue area, were nearby.  Gary had set up a large display board and some tables to show the military memorabilia of some of the members.

This was a pot luck picnic, with hot dogs, bratworsts and hamburgers supplied by CVGS and cooked to perfection by Gary.  The members brought a wide range of hors d'oevres, salads, beans, veggies, fruit and desserts.  Nobody went home hungry - that's for sure!  

After an hour of sharing with our table mates, we ate the food, and then had an hour of hearing members speak about their ancestors who were in the military and describing the memorabilia they brought to share.  In the last hour, we got to stroke and feed carrots and apples to Tacoma, the Brock's thoroughbred (retired racehorse) who loves people.

I took lots of pictures!  Here are some of them:

1)  Linda, Ann, Susan, Wanda and Jane at my table:

2)  Chef Gary working his magic on the meat:

3)  Arlene and Jane enjoying the food variety:

4)  Ana, Bethel and Jacquie enjoying lunch:

5)  Arlene, ????? and Karen enjoying dessert:

6)  Diane describing her ancestors' military service:

7)  Linda feeding Tacoma a carrot, with Gary supervising:

This was a wonderful picnic with excellent and plentiful food, lots of table sharing and it was fun!  Let's do it again next year!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

CVGS Annual Picnic is Wednesday, 25 June 2014

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

     Our annual picnic will be held on Wednesday  June 25th  from 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 theme will be about our ancestors who have served in the military.  Who were they and when did they serve?  If you have any items from their time in service, we would enjoy seeing them.  Bring items such as letters, photographs, clothing, war souvenirs, medals, etc. to share with everyone.  Make certain only copies, not original items of paperwork and/or photos are brought to be displayed.  We want to honor all men and women who served their countries.  We are a hodgepodge nation and items from around the world would be fascinating to view.  

     Please sign up to bring food for the potluck.  There are several categories.  Just like last year, there will be a $5.00 fee, per person, to cover the cost of grilled hot dogs and hamburgers.  Please contact Jo Ann Bonner (phone 619-421-3628 or email to coordinate your potluck contribution.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

CVGS Newsletter for June 2014 is Available

The June 2014 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Newsletter was published last week.  You can read it online, in a PDF format - use the Newsletter link at

The Table of Contents lists:

page 1 - June 25th Annual Picnic 
page 2 - President’s Message
page 2 - Library Committee Report
page 3 - Sign the "Genealogist's Declaration of Rights"
page 4 - June 14th Saturday Workshop

page 4 - July 12th Saturday Workshop
page 4 - Lemon Grove Research Group News
page 4 -- Next Computer Group Meeting
page 4 - May 21st Computer Group Review
page 5 - "7 Habits of Frugal Genealogists"

page 6 - Research Group Review
page 7 - May 28th Program Review
page 8 - "Advice to the Ancestry Lorn"
page 9 - CVGS Society Information 
page 9 - San Diego Genealogy Events 
page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 12th CVGS Research Group Review

The June Research Group of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society was on Thursday, 12 June at 10 a.m..  There were 13 members in attendance.

In the first hour, Randy discussed the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree conference that he attended from June 5-8, 2014.   Syllabus material is available at  You can download individual handouts for many of the presentations by world-renowned genealogists. 

There were 14 live-streamed presentations that genealogists all over the world could view for free.  Most of them are on the website, and will be available until July 5th.  

Randy also showed many of his photographs from the Jamboree, highlighting exhibit hall vendors, his own panels and presentations, and his geneablogging colleagues.

In the second hour, several attendees highlighted their recent genealogical activities:

*  Jane attended the free Friday activities at Jamboree, including the three hour Beginners' class and the Exhibit Hall, and enjoyed it.  

*  Sylvia added comments to another person's Ancestry Member Tree profiles that have the wrong relationships.  

*  Sam's father thought he was an only child, but Sam has found records for two other brothers - one died young, the other was stillborn.  He found a Tennessee death certificate for the stillborn.

*  Susi's sister-in-law, Mary, made a Y-DNA connection of her brother on Family Tree DNA, and is exploring it.  Susi went to the FamilySearch Library in Mission Valley on Wednesday, and the new fast document scanner/feeder was demonstrated.  It costs $1 per hour, and the scanned images can be saved to your own flash drive or to a purchased flash drive.  A sizable stack of papers can be scanned in an hour.  This may be useful for the CVGS Estate Papers project.

*  Virginia debunked a family story that her ancestor was a circuit rider minister in the Midwest.  She found that he was a Baptist minister from his obituary, but not a circuit rider.  The group suggested that the Baptist church archives may have minister's records.

*  Gary received some World War II photographs in email, and one was of a B-52 with the crew standing beside it.  He noted that one of the men was his father!  

*  Arlene found some postcards from the early 1900s that her mother had saved, and wondered what to do with them.  

*  Randy demonstrated how to access MyHeritage Record Matches and how to confirm or reject them, and how to extract information from them into his MyHeritage family tree.

The next CVGS Research Group will be Wednesday, July 9th from 12 noon to 2 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (360 F Street, Chula Vista).

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Saturday Workshop on 14 June - "Iowa and Illinois Research"

Susi Pentico will moderate a discussion of "Iowa and Illinois Research" at the Saturday, 14 June 2014 workshop from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) in Bonita, California.  The meeting will be in the Community Room at the library.

This program is free to attend.  If you have ancestral families in Iowa and/or Illinois, please come and learn what resources are available for you to perform genealogical research in those states.  Also, please share what information you may have about genealogical research in those states.  

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May 28th CVGS Program Review - “Stump the Chumps”

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society program meeting on Wednesday, 28 May was a research panel that discussed possible solutions to CVGS member research questions.  

This was the CVGS version of a Genealogy Roadshow program - eight to ten minutes to describe the research performed in response to a member's research problem or question.  

The nine "elusive ancestor" problems were reviewed by four experienced researchers (Shirley, John, Diane and Randy) were:

*  Who were the parents of Margaret (Armstrong) Tompkins (ca 1765-ca 1815) of Ontario and Westchester County, New York, wife of Nehemiah Tompkins (married 1787)?  

*  Birth place/occupation of Zacarias Guerra (ca 1817 to ????) of El Paso, Texas, married 1852 to Tomasa Bermudes, and where were his parents from?

*  Who were the parents of David Dickinson (1806-1879), born in Green County, Kentucky, husband of Mary Louise McKibben?

*  Find out more about Gaetano (or Thomas?) Del Vecchio (1839-????), married to Columba Buccini (1839-????), and his ancestors. They immigrated in 1899 to New York and resided in Troy, New York.

*  What is birth date, name of wife, marriage date and children of John Bellwood, Jr. (ca 1797 in Ohio -????), father of James Bellwood?  

*  Confirm parents of John Wesley Akers (1839 Kentucky - 1888 California), who married 1866 Sarah Ellen Hughes.

*  Was Margaret (Fleming?) Wilson (1803 S.C. - after 1880 Mississippi), wife of Francis Wilson, a Native-American?

*  Who were parents and siblings of William Francis Greene (ca 1835 N.Y. - 1897 Nebraska), married 1873 to Mary Jane Pollard?

*  Was Eliza (Gailor) Ward (ca 1847 N.Y. - 1876 N.Y.), married 1867 to David Ward, the daughter of Samuel and Almina (--?--) Gailor?

     The members/researchers who posed these "elusive ancestor" problems range in experience from beginner to very experienced, and all were stuck - they wanted confirmation of what they knew and suggestions for further research.  None of the researchers are professional genealogists, and I don't think any of them pursue research more than 10 to 20 hours a week, if that.  All had  done extensive online searching, and most had done some research in repositories or visited the localities in question.  However, none of the researchers had really tried to find probate or land records to help solve their research question.
The four members of the research panel divided up the problems, did some online research and thinking about research opportunities, and presented their findings to the members at the meeting.  I spent six to eight hours on each of my problems to try to answer the research question at hand.  Each panel member prepared a short (6 to 10 slides) presentation to summarize what they found in 10 minutes, with text, record images, and maps, plus conclusions relative to the question at hand, and suggestions for further research.  In every case, there were no firm answers to the "elusive ancestor" questions. 
In summary, it seemed to me that the researchers with the problems had done a pretty good job of getting to the present state.  However, they were stuck, at a "brick wall" point, and needed suggestions to help them further their research.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - June 2014

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for June 2014 include:

**  Saturday, 14 June, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Saturday Workshop:  Susi Pentico will lead a workshop on "Illinois and Iowa Research."

** Thursday 12 June, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, 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, 18 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. Bring your laptops to sharpen your computer skills and investigate online genealogy resources.

** Wednesday, 25 June, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Home of Gary and Wanda Brock -- CVGS Annual Picnic
Potluck with hot dogs and hamburgers (contact Jo Ann Bonner for potluck list.

**  Wednesdays, 4, 11, 18 June, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) --Research Assistance in the Family Research area.  John Finch will help you with your research problems.  Bring your laptop if you want to do online research.

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 north 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.  All CVGS events are FREE to attend, except for some seminars and picnics.