Friday, August 29, 2014

August Program Review - Hall Horrocks on "British Parish Registers and Census Records"

The August 27th program for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS)  featured Hal Horrocks speaking on "British Parish Registers and Census Records."  There were 35 persons in attendance.

Hal provided a list of important dates for British genealogical research, ranging from 1215 (the "Calling of the Banns" for marriage) to 1853 (the Cemetery Act).  The most important dates were 1538 when Parish Registers began, 1643 to 1660 when the British civil War caused disruption in registers, 1812 for better regulation of parish registers, 1754 when Lord Hardwick's Marriage Act enforced banns and licences, and 1837 when Civil Registration was started.

A "Parish Register" is a book kept by a parish church that recorded details of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials.  The originals are usually kept in vaults in a county office or at the British National Archives, may be microfilmed (the Family History Library has many of them), or online in the International Genealogical Index (on FamilySearch) or in a county Online Parish Clerk (OPC) website.

The baptism records usually record the baptism date, the name of the child, the parents' names, the father's occupation, and the family's abode.  The marriage record usually provides the marriage date, name of both parties,their condition (e.g., bachelor, spinster, widow), the type of marriage (banns or licence), sometimes their parents names, and their abode.  The burial records provide the burial date, the person's name, their age, and where the person lived when they died.

The British Census was taken every 10 years since 1801 (except for 1941), but census records with every name in a household started in 1841.  The last census presently available is the 1911 census.  All of the 1841 to 1911 census records are available in searchable databases with linked images on several record providers (e.g.,,,, etc.).

Many mistakes were made in census entries.  For instance, in the 1841 census, ages were rounded up to the next five years for adults, but not for children.  Many persons were not enumerated because the enumerator failed to call back or collect the form.  Name spelling errors are common.  Hal reviewed a list of why your ancestors may be missing from the census (e.g., they may not have been home, or working away from home, or travelling, very young infants were often not recorded, older children may be living outside the home, children of remarried widows may be listed under their stepfather's surname, enumerator handwriting may have been poor).

Hal showed a case study of Eliza (Horrocks) Mason, born in 1819  - starting  with the 1841 census, backtracking to find her baptism and marriage records in a Parish Register, then finding her in the 1851 to 1891 census records, and finding a death record in the Civil Registry.

All in all, this was an excellent review of how to find and use the British Parish Register and Census record resources.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Hal Horrocks is Presenter at 27 August CVGS Program Meeting

 WEDNESDAY, August 27th
from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
At Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) Auditorium

Hal Horrocks: “British Research – Parish Registers and Census Records”

 Parish registers and census records are the core to British research. How to find and use them is the key to finding your English ancestors. All the basics necessary to effectively use them are covered.   

Learn the important dates necessary for proper British research and how they relate to church records and the census. Baptism, marriage and burial registers will be explored in detail with many examples given and also how to find them. The British census will be explored in detail from 1841 to 1911 with examples of each along with their anomalies. How to search the online census records will also be explained in detail. Finally, an example of tracing an individual through the census records from 1841 onward using only the information given in a will as the clue is shown using online resources.

 A native Californian and longtime Orange County California resident, Hal Horrocks is a professional genealogist, teacher, author and lecturer. He has been doing family research for 15 years and is a member of Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), Orange County California Genealogical Society (OCCGS), Guild for One-Name Studies, Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society (UK), and Cheshire  Family History Society (UK). Hal is also the current President of OCCGS. He has written  articles for publication in both the U.S. and the U.K.

This meeting is free to attend.  There will be a short society business meeting before the presentation.  Snacks and drinks are provided by society members before and after the meeting.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 20th Computer Group Review

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Computer Group meeting on Wednesday, 20 August had 8 attendees.  Randy led this session since Shirley was just back from Utah and Gary was away on vacation.

The group visited three of Randy's favorite FREE websites:

1)  Find A Grave ( which has over 116 million entries.  Searching using names, birth/ death dates, and States/Counties was covered as was requesting photographs of gravestones (you have to be registered Find A Grave member).  Some memorial owners or photograph providers permit users to use their material with attribution or permission.  

2)  Google Books ( which has millions of digitized books, many of which are out of copyright protection and can be downloaded as a PDF file or added to a user's "My Library" feature on Google.  Books that still have copyright protection are listed, but don't provide a full preview of the book and they cannot be downloaded.  

3)  Chronicling America ( is a free digital newspaper website for the Library of Congress.  A user can determine which newspapers were published in a specific location (State/County/City) or can search, using keywords, the over 8 million newspaper pages available between 1836 and 1922.  Users can narrow their search by state and by year range.

Google Translate ( was also visited - useful for translating messages to or from one language to another for 82 languages from Afrikaans to Zulu.  This is very useful for translating genealogy information in books, periodicals, messages, and social media.

Lastly, there was a question about finding the population of a place in a historical time.  The suggestion was to look on Wikipedia ( for the place name and read the history of the city or county or state.  Many U.S. cities and counties have a list of population statistics from U.S. census records provided.  

The next Computer Group meeting will be Wednesday, 17 September 2014 in the Computer Lab at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista, Calif.).  

Friday, August 15, 2014

August Research Group Summary

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Research Group meeting on 13 August had 17 attendees.  

In the first hour, Randy discussed the Who Do You Think You Are? episodes to date, and rmeinded attendees that it would be on the next three Wednesday nights on TLC.  He also noted his Genealogy Links web page at as a place to find online resources.  After showing how to find the UEL land petitions for Loyalist ancestors on the Library and Archives Canada website, he demonstrated using the site to create a file to use in Google Earth to "fly to" a land plot in the Federal Land system.  

In the second hour, the attendees discussed their own research problems, asked questions, and showed their recent discoveries:

*  Susi asked about the value of as a commercial research site.  The site is free to search over 300,000 databases, but is difficult to use without a subscription.  

*  Carole's second great-grandfather immigrated before 1857, but she cannot find an immigration record.  She asked how could she find out more about him, his immigration, and his life?  The group suggested a naturalization record, an obituary, a vanity book entry, census records, genealogical and historical society files, land records and probate records.  

*  Helen's great-grandmother's family was in only a few records, and it's confusing.  A Mary had a Margaret Redmond in 1825 in Alabama who had a Mary Burleson in 1863 in Arkansas.  There is a Thomas Burleson (age 37) living next door to Margaret (age 55) and Mary Burleson (age 17) in the 1880 census in Dade county, Missouri.  The group suggested looking for a Civil War Pension File, checking probate and land records in the Arkansas and Missouri counties, and checking Find A Grave.  

*  Ralph has an ancestor who was a Mason and wanted to know if there were records from a Masonic repository.  The group suggested finding a local chapter, or the national organization, and asking if they have records for the person.  

*  Linda is trying to find a court record in Durango state in Mexico for a name change.  The FamilySearch Research Wiki was suggested, as well as contacting Moises Garza in Texas for advice.

*  Sylvia showed off her genealogy tote bag with family pictures, and passed around more family records, including an 1857 land certificate for 640 acres in Texas, plus a San Bernardino, Calif. homestead record.

*  Virginia's cousin in Indiana provided copies of handwritten wills of her great-grandfather Joseph Artman and his wife.  Joseph's will didn't name his children, but Elizabeth's will named them all.  There is also a guardianship record of Virginia's mother choosing her own guardian.

*  Carole had a published book about the 1834 Giessen group of immigrants from Germany to St. Charles, Missouri.  The book was in both German and English, and was full of pictures of pictures and homes.

*  Bethel found wills on FamilySearch from Madison county, North Carolina  from the 1774-1781 period that gives ancestors as witnesses and provides a location of family land on Cape Fear River.

*  Sam sent to the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis for military records for his father, who had a Navy career during and after World War II.  He ordered the records online at 

*  Gary found an online veterans group that has the "Daily logs" for his step-father's World War II Army Air Corps service, which has the list of missions for each serviceman.  A story on the site doesn't match his step-father's recollection of the mission date and crew members.

The September meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be on Wednesday, 10 September at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street).  

All meetings of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society at the Chula Vista and Bonita-Sunnyside Libaries are free for all interested persons. to attend.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 2014 CVGS Newsletter is Available

The August 2014 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) 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 -- August 27th Program Meeting 
page 2 -- President’s Message 
page 2 -- Nametags
page 2 -- Do You Have Something Belonging to CVGS?
page 3 -  CVGS Member Geni Powell Passes Away

page 3 -  CVGS Research Trip to FamilySearch Library
page 3 -- 2014 Who Do You Think You Are TV Show 
page 4 -- September 6th  Saturday Workshop
page 4 -- What State or Resource topics?
page 4 -- Lemon Grove Research Group News 

page 4 -- Next Computer Group Meeting 
page 4 -- Randy's Genealogy Links
page 5 -- FamilySearch News
page 5 - New Content at
page 6 -- Research Group Review 

page 7 -- July 30th Program Review
page 8 -- Library Book News
page 9 -- CVGS Society Information 
page 9 -- San Diego Genealogy Events 
page 10 -- Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 9th Workshop on Family Tree Maker

There will be a special August 9th CVGS Workshop at Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. In the Community Room.  

Ken Robison will demonstrate and discuss “Family Tree Maker 2014” genealogy software, and answer questions from the July 12th workshop.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Program Review - Donna Bradley's "How to Prove Your American Indian Genealogy"

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society program meeting on Wednesday, 30 July was well attended with 33 members and 6 guests.  

Donna Bradley, from Anza in Riverside County, presented "How to Prove Your American Indian Genealogy."  Donna had provided a chart and five maps of California to the society to use as learning aids, and Gary showed them on the screen while Donna lectured.  

The chart showed the heirarchy of how Native Americans were categorized anthropologically, linguistically and socially - from core groups (many tribes with a similar language base) to tribes (in a core group) to bands (in a tribe) to villages (in a band) to families (in a village).  Researchers need to understand the heirarchy in order to do Native-American research.  She noted that some native Band names have been lost due to time, and English or Spanish names have been substituted.

The maps showed the different core groups in the Americas, the tribes in California (in several different core groups), and the tribes in Southern California, and the bands in San Diego County area.  For instance, the coastal California core group is the Athabascan, who migrated over eons from Alaska into Western Canada, Washington, Oregon, California and Baja California.  

Donna noted that the DNA website, offers a 26-marker autosomal DNA test that can distinguish between core groups.  However, she did not display her own results, nor results from any other autosomal DNA test.

She noted that if Native-American heritage is not proved, then the heritage will be forgotten, and the opportunity to receive U.S. government benefits will be lost.  Tribal benefits might include government, medical, legal, financial, college and tribal income.  To receive benefits, a person must have a family member on the tribal rolls after 1900 and before 1972.

Donna provided some of the history of how American Indians came to be on Indian reservations, and some of the problems that occurred over centuries of mistreatment by the European colonists and immigrants, including:

*  Indians did not have surnames until the late 1800s
*  If they were on U.S. census records, they often said they were White
*  Some Indians married white people, especially on the frontier.
*  They are usually buried on on tribal land.
*  They could not own land or vote until they became American citizens in 1924
*  They did not start scalping, the whites did.  The U.S. government paid a $50 bounty for every Indian scalp in about 1850.  The goal was to annihilate the Indians.
*  By 1900, the Indian population was down to about 400,000.
*  The non-tribal education system tried to "civilize" Indian children by stealing them and teaching them white social values and practices
*  Tribal identification is through the mother's tribe, not the father's tribe.

Donna said that proving American Indiana heritage is difficult.  She recommends not going to the tribe for genealogical information.  There are records in the National Archives, especially Indian agent reports in the Bureau of Indian Affairs, that might provide useful information. 

Donna wrote the book Native Americans of San Diego County in 2009, published by Arcadia Publishing.  You can order it at .

This was an informative talk for those interested in Southern California Native-American history and ancestry, but did not discuss Indian history, culture, migration, or records in other parts of North America.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - August 2014

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for August 2014 include:

**  Saturday, 9 August, 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Saturday Workshop:  Ken Robison will lead a workshop on "Family Tree Maker 2014"

** Wednesday, 13 August, 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 August, 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, 27 August, 12 noon to 2 p.m., 
Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Program Meeting meets in the Auditorium.  The speaker will be Hal Horrocks on "British Isle Research."Refreshments before and after the meeting.

**  Wednesdays, 6, 13, 20 and 27 August, 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.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

CVGS Research Trip to FamilySearch Library was a Success!

15 CVGS members took a research trip to the San Diego FamilySearch Library in Mission Valley (4195 Camino del Rio South) on Wednesday, 23 July 2014.  Most attendees left the Chula Vista parking garage around 9:45 a.m. and were there just after 10 a.m.  

A small group took a guided tour of the Library escorted by library staff, which included a description of their latest hardware - a book scanner and a fast photo sheet-feeder scanner.  

Other attendees found useful research materials in the book shelves.  Several worked on the computer systems which have all of the commercial genealogy databases to find information about their ancestors. 

Here is a photo of several CVGS members hard at work:

We left after 1 p.m. and headed to Marie Callender's for lunch and/or genealogy pie:

It was a good genealogy day!