Friday, October 31, 2014

October Program Review - Annette Hubbell's "Witness to Gettysburg"

Annette Hubbell, in a mid-1800s period costume, wowed the 45 CVGS attendees in the 29 October program with her spellbinding enactment of "Witness to Gettysburg."  In two sessions, she brought Miss Hattie Elizabeth Turner to life as she relives the Battle of Gettysburg and a small town’s courageous efforts to care for 30,000 Union and Confederate casualties suddenly left in its aftermath, weaving into it stories of historic characters. 

She states "I remember everything as though it was yesterday" as she described the times before and during the early years of the Civil War.  Her husband was a Captain in the Pennsylvania 90th regiment of the Union Army, and she and two other women followed the regiment to help, sew, and pray for their men, who ended up in Gettysburg in June 1963.  On June 29th, Gettysburg was a lovely green town with rolling hills and orchards, with 90,000 Union soldiers and 70,000 Confederate soldiers lined up preparing for the fight.  The battle erupted, it's noisy, hot, bloody, and fearful for Hattie and others caught up in it.  She said "We are strong women, but no one is prepared for this."  Then she's notified that her husband is one of the dead.

By 4 July, the battle is over, and there were 8,000 wounded left on the battlefield.  There were 23,000 Union dead, and 28,000 Confederate dead, plus 5,000 dead horses, fouling the streams.  The stench of rotting corpses was pervasive.  What would the people of Gettysburg do?  They burned the horses, buried the dead where they lay, and set up temporary field hospitals in houses and barns within a 30 mile radius.  Those wounded soldiers that could walk went to the train station to recuperate at home.  Those with a hope for survival were treated, operated on, bandaged, and hoped to recover.  Those with no hope of survival were comforted until they died.  

By 22 July, there were 500 tents on 80 acres, and each person like Hattie had 50 to 80 persons to care for.  There were only 3,000 patients by 2 August, and only 100 by early November.  President Lincoln came to Gettysburg on 16 November, and Hattie was there.  She went home on the train, but was not the same person who came to Gettysburg.

After a break, Annette returned for her second presentation in dark clothing.  Set some years later, she noted that the Civil War tore the fabric of social and political America.  The people of Gettysburg did what they had to do and did it well.  Hattie described the 7 layers of dress that she wore, noted that the shackles of traditional activity for women had been reduced, and that, because of the work of women after the battle in Gettysburg, nurses were able to serve in the military after the war.  She discussed the mourning and burial traditions prevalent at the time - boiling and dyeing clothes black, wearing a black cockade, etc.  She told several stories of Gettysburg residents who helped the soldiers, and read several letters from soldiers about their experience.  

Hattie's final words were "We who survived are haunted by what we saw."  What a powerful story!

For more information about Annette and her program, visit

After the program, Annette answered numerous questions about Miss Hattie, the Civil War, and Annette's journey in presenting this one-woman dramatic presentation.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Saturday Workshop on Maryland genealogy on 1 November 2014

The November Saturday Workshop for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) is Saturday, 1 November 2014 at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) from 12 noon to 3 p.m.

\Susi Pentico will lead a discussion of Maryland Genealogy resources.  

Saturday, October 25, 2014

CVGS Program Meeting on 29 October - "Witness to Gettysburg"

from 12 noon to 2 p.m.

At Bonita-Sunnyside Library Community Room (4375 Bonita Road)

Annette  Hubbell – “Witness to Gettysburg”

     The pursuit of family history includes the desire to carve out a place for one's family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for future generations, and a sense of self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling. 

     It is that last point, storytelling, which brings Miss Hattie to our October meeting. Behind the discovery of dates and family lineage are the stories of family. Miss Hattie Elizabeth Turner was a witness to the Battle of Gettysburg. Inspired by the diary of Hattie Elizabeth Unangst, Miss Hubbell spent nearly two years researching and writing this performance after spending time in Gettysburg in 2007. Miss Hubbell also draws upon the words and experiences from other witnesses to the war’s fearful struggle, weaving a compelling story of American grit and determination that cannot help but leave one with a renewed appreciation for the sacrifice our forefathers made to preserve the ideals of this Country. The women, the soldiers, the boys who found themselves in uniforms, and how the sheer number of the war’s dead forever changed our burial customs and traditions is told.

     Writer and actress Annette Hubbell takes us back to Gettysburg and its frightful aftermath. Thousands of soldiers converged, fought, and just as suddenly left, leaving 30,000 casualties. Just what does a town of 2,400 do when suddenly faced with this calamity? “Witness to Gettysburg” opens on the eve of the battle and ends with President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. “I love to tell her story,” Annette says. “It is one of courage and conviction and character.”

     Annette reinvented herself, acting and writing after retiring as General Manager from a San Diego North County water district. Currently she is performing in Witness to Gettysburg (over 120 performances) and as Eleanor Roosevelt in Tea with Mrs. Roosevelt. Witness to Gettysburg is also available on DVD. Adapted from the stage play, the film adds music and original photographs to this dramatic story.  The DVD will be available at the meeting for a special performance price of $10.00.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Research Trip to San Diego Central Library on Wednesday, 22 October

    John Finch will lead a Research Trip to the San Diego Central Library (330 Park Blvd., San Diego) on Wednesday, 22 October.  As, we have done before, we will meet at the Chula Vista parking structure off F St. and car pool, leaving at about 11:30 am. The library opens at 12 noon.  Return time will be about 3 p.m.   Instead of using the trolley for this trip, John thought it might be helpful if everyone learned how to access that $3.00 a day parking in the Padres tailgating parking lot.  Please contact John at to save your seat in the car pool.  

     Unfortunately, the SDGS docents will not be available, but the library staff will help patrons with questions and problems.  There are a number of computers to use with several commercial genelaogy databases for those who want to do online research.  

Not all of the books that were in the SDGS Library have been catalogued at the Central Library.  Check the SDGS Research Catalog web page ( before you go and ask to have the items of interest pulled for you by library staff when you are at the library. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

CVGS Computer Group Meeting - 15 October 2014

The October Computer Group Meeting for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) is on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) in the Computer Lab.

Since Shirley iso ut of town, Gary will be the leader for this meeting.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Research Group Review - 8 October 2014

The October 8th meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Research Group had 14 attendees.

In the first hour, Randy reviewed the upcoming CVGS events, and then reviewed how to obtain a Social Security Application.  He showed some of the photographs of CVGS member dorothy on her trip to Denmark from Facebook.  Lastly, he described the new website,, which has U.S. census and vital records, including a People Finder database that looks free and useful.

In the second hour, the research challenges, questions and successes were shared by the attendees, including:

1)  Kathleen had several questions, including how to obtain a Marriage  record and a Divorce decree in Oregon.  The group suggested searching online databases on Ancestry and FamilySearch, for the marriage record, and checking Oregon county court records for information about divorce record access.

She also asked how she can find more information about her great-grandmother, born in 1817 and died in 1908 in Oregon.  A search on revealed a Find A Grave entry that helped, but few census records, perhaps due to the variable spelling of the surname.  

2)  Arlene noted that a gravestone for Joseph Hartman (1753-1831) has several generations on the stone (found on Find A Grave), but it's not her Joseph Hartman.  Too bad!

3) Linda met with Ceasar at San Diego Central Library to work on Mexico records for some of her ancestors.

4)   Jane's friend insisted that she open the box in her craft room.  When she did, she found family pictures, her father's report card with her grandfather's signature.

5)  Kathleen found a photograph of her grandmother in another person's Ancestry Member Tree.

6)  Sylvia was told that her Hoover ancestor was a Rough Rider with Theodore Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War.  A check on Wikipedia and other sites did not list the name.

7)  Diane noted that, based on the Anderson Cooper episode on Finding Your Roots, that you never know what you're going to find, and that you should contact relatives to see what they know.

8)  Gary laid out several pictures from his step-father to determine if they were the same person, and some had writing on the back with identifications.  He found some matches.

9)  Virginia's neighbor's daughter wanted to tear up a family photograph because the picture showed an ancestor in a Nazi Youth uniform.

10)  Susi noted that a change to the number of AncestryDNA matches is coming soon.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 12 November at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library in the Conference Room.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 2014 Issue of CVGS Newsletter is Available

The October 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 -- October 29th Program Meeting 
page 2 -- President’s Message 
page 2 -- Nametags

page 2 --  Membership Dues for 2014page 3 -- 2014 Season of Finding Your Roots Coming
page 3 -  Obtaining a Social Security Application

page 4 -- Lemon Grove Research Group News
page 4 -- Computer Group Review 
page 4 -- Research Trip to San Diego Central Library

page 4 -- Barbara Zaragoza Book Signing   on 10/18
page 5 -- October 4th Workshop Highlights

page 6 -- Research Group Review
page 7 -- September 24th Program Review
page 7 -- RootsTech and FGS 2015 Registrations

page 8 -- Preserving My Family History for Posteritypage 9 -- CVGS Society Information 

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

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 4th Saturday Workshop Review (by Susi Pentico)

     The “Engaging Your Family in Your Family History” workshop at Bonita-Sunnyside Library had 20 attendees, including 4 visitors.  

     We were happy for those who came and shared and shared and cared.  We all went home happy and tired but felt that the attendees were really getting what we were attempting to share with them.  Research is always easier when you can share and cross-check and discuss the potentials of information. It can be regionally, locally or distantly - it makes a difference to share.

     Much credit goes to the Chart Chick, Janet Hovorka of Family ChartMasters, for her ideas and thoughts and the charts she provided.  

     The first session (of five) was “Create a Keepsake” led by Susi Pentico.  A society tablecloth was signed by the attendees. If you signed it, just think - your name is going to kick around for quite some time. A suggestion was for small families to use a pillow for the signatures.  Wedding gifts, family reunions, baby shower gifts, birthday party gifts could use the same theme idea. 

     The second session was “Storytelling.”  Each attendee told a family story about their own life or that of an ancestor. As one person said, “if we did this question every four years, the stories would change.”  It would almost be like a running diary of their growing up and living life from a small child to an adult.  

     After lunch, the third session, “Design a Family Crest,” was led by Karen Yarger.  She talked about heraldry, and then demonstrated how to inspire family members to make a family crest, based on their interests and creativity.

     In the fourth session, Karen demonstrated “Pictures With Captions.”  Everyone had great fun adding funny captions to sample family photographs using “speech bubbles” and “thought balloons.”

     The fifth and last session was “Family Genealogy Charts,” led by Susi.  The handout packet contained five helpful genealogy charts – a pedigree chart, a family group sheet, a census chart, a research log, and a record type list.  In addition a large multi-generational family tree chart, provided by Janet Hovorka, was given to each attendee.  

     I am hoping the 20 attendees will share in January how these ideas helped to get the family to think a little more about family history and how we lived in the past. Even if the past was only 20 years ago, it makes a difference. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

CVGS October 4th Workshop: "Engaging Your Family in Your Family History"

 FREE October 4th  Workshop

“Engaging Your Family in Your Family’s History”

10 a.m. to 4 p.m, in the Community Room
at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library, 4375 Bonita Road

 Genealogy can be a solitary hobby. How often have you tried to interest your family in their family history and your genealogy research? If you’ve been greeted by “ho hums” and “I don’t have time,” we have the perfect workshop for you. The CVGS Seminar Committee has planned a day of ideas and projects to spark that interest in your family, with special focus on getting the kids ‘hooked.’

 The first of five sessions, “Create a Keepsake” will show you how to have your family help create an heirloom that’s fun and practical. You will laugh when you see what it is.

 The second session is titled “Storytelling.” Bring a short episode to share with the group - just a minute or two. It can be funny or dramatic, from your life or a distant relative’s. You’ll learn how the sharing of stories around the dinner table will get your family to open up. And how the children love to hear of their parents’ misadventures! Family history can be fun!

Bring a sack lunch, and we’ll eat picnic-style on the patio (weather permitting). Coffee, tea and water will be provided.

 After lunch you can try your hand at an artistic project in “Design a Family Crest.” We will offer a brief overview of heraldry and show how you can get your family to design their own coat of arms. If your ancestors had a family crest, please bring it; perhaps you will learn something about its symbolism. And, here’s more fun for the kids – you’ll get some good tips on getting them to design their own personal coat of arms. What little boy wouldn’t want a crest with a T-Rex on it?

 The fourth session, “Pictures with Captions,” will show how old family photos can provide a fun family activity. Bring copies of old photos (the ones from the 1950’s can be a hoot!). We will show you how comic-style ‘speech bubbles’ will get the family giggling and trying to top each other with funny captions.

 We will cover “Family Genealogy Charts” in the final hour. You will receive a packet of useful charts with instructions on how to use them. If you’re a genealogy beginner, bring information on your parents and grandparents and our member experts will assist you. For the more advanced, we will offer useful information; and everyone will take home a large family tree chart to impress your family.

We will provide materials. This will be a great interactive event, so don’t forget to bring a short family story, copies of old photos, a sack lunch, a family coat of arms if you have one, and information to fill out a family tree.

 All this, and a great Door Prize, too, supplied by Janet Hovorka (the “Chart Chick” and owner of, who is providing the large family tree charts! And it's FREE!!

 This is a FREE workshop for all persons to attend, intended to help beginners and seasoned 
researchers engage with their family members in learning about their family history.

 For more information, contact Susi Pentico at or (619) 623-5250. Thank you to Karen Yarger for writing this article! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - October 2014

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for October 2014 include:

**  Saturday, 4 October, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- Saturday Workshop:  Susi Pentico will lead a workshop on "Engaging Your Family in Family History."  
 Bring a bag lunch.

** Wednesday, 8 October, 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, 15 October, 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, 22 October, 10 a.m.  to 2 p.m., San Diego Central Library  -- CVGS Field Trip.  Contact John Finch to sign up for car pool.

** Wednesday, 22 October, 12 noon  to 2 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- CVGS Program Meeting meets in the Community Room.  The speaker will be Annette Hubbell on "Witness to Gettysburg." Refreshments before and after the meeting.

**  Saturday, 1 November, 12 noon to 3 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- 
CVGS Workshop.  Susi Pentico will moderate a discussion on "Maryland Research." 

**  Wednesdays, 1, 8, 15, and 29 October, 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.