Wednesday, October 21, 2015

CVGS October Program: "Tea With Mrs. Roosevelt"

from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
At Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) 
in Community Room

Annette Hubbell and Elaine Litton Invite you to 
“Tea with Mrs. Roosevelt” 

     You are invited to tea with the First Lady, Mrs. Roosevelt, on Wednesday, October 28th at 12:30 in the Community Room of the Bonita-Sunnyside Library.  

    The presentation was written by Sherrie Colbourn, and performed by Annette Hubbell as Eleanor Roosevelt being interviewed by Elaine Litton as Lorena Hickok in an interview brimming with personal insights about her life and family.

     Did you know that Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, is given credit for the invention of afternoon tea? It’s true. The English ate the evening meal about 8:00 at night leaving a very long time from the noon meal. Anna just couldn’t wait, I suspect, and asked for tea and a light meal to hold her over until the later meal. Thus, afternoon tea was born along with the traditions that have followed.   

     But remember these “rules:” pinky fingers are never raised, lift the saucer with the cup to your mouth, no slurping, and when stirring sugar or cream the teaspoon should never make noise. Tea foods are a snack not a meal, so one takes just one of each food item.  Know the difference between High Tea and Low Tea? It's just the height of the table, but that’s an explanation for another time.

     Wear your “Tea Party” clothes and bring your favorite teacup and saucer, not a mug!  See you on October 28th at 12:30 p.m.!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

CVGS Research Group Summary - October 2015

The October 14th meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group had 18 in attendance.

In the first hour, Randy discussed:
  • The FREE online National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair on October 21-22 – 10 classes from 7 a.m. To 12 noon. See schedule at
  • added Wills and Probates for every state and DC, which they obtained from FamilySearch, and indexed the primary person, but not every name. There are 170 million records, and 120 million names. The Ancestry collection is not complete – not all U.S. probate records are available, but it is a significant collection. He demonstrated finding a Wisconsin probate record and showed some of the pages that might be available for one person.
  • MyHeritage searches historical newspapers on NewspaperARCHIVE. He found obituary and death notice articles for several cousins in Kansas using MyHeritage Record Matches and downloaded the newspaper page images, then transcribed the articles. This is one of the benefits of subscribing to MyHeritage – it saves $100/year on a NewspaperARCHIVE subscription.
In the second hour, the attendees discussed their research successes and challenges, including:
  • Ana attended the 10/10 Genealogy Day and enjoyed the two DNA talks by CeCe Moore. She learned more about haplogroups, and the information on the ISOGG wiki (
  • Ralph tested his autosomal DNA on 23andMe, and received little response until recently. A man contacted him noting that Ralph has 1.3% Ashkenazi DNA, and provided much more information about Hispanic descendants of Spanish Jews before the inquisition.
  • Jean tested at AncestryDNA, and was told she was 1% Melanesian. She is trying to find possible ancestors who might carry that DNA. The group suggested that it might be a Polynesian woman who married an English or French colonist there.
  • Arlene asked about the new free DNA analysis site, DNA.Land, which reads raw DNA data from AncestryDNA, 23andMe, and FamilyTreeDNA, and then analyzes it. Randy showed his results to date on the site.
  • Virginia described a story she saw on TV about two Korean women adopted by American families, were friends, and worked in the same hospital. Through DNA, they found they were sisters 40 years later.
  • Helen's maternal grandmother Mallory told the family “we are Irish.” Some cousins told her that it was really “O'Mallory,” which may be Scottish.  She also asked about how to preserve a tightly rolled document. The group recommended consulting a preservation expert and professional archivist, especially if the document is old and has been rolled for decades.
  • Shirley has a 1944 picture of people in an Albany, N.Y. Neighborhood, which includes some of her family. She is trying to identify all of the people, and wondered where she should send the photograph to display and preserve it. The group suggested she contact an Albany historical society.
  • Carole has published two stories in genealogical society publications. They were: “Where Lies John Wesley Akers?” in the 2015 issue of the Memories periodical of the Tehama County [Calif.] Genealogical and Historical Society; and “An Audience with a Future King” in the October 2015 issue of the Root Cellar Preserves periodical published by the Sacramento Genealogical Society.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be on Thursday, 12 November (note the date change because the library is closed for Veterans Day) at 12 noon in the Conference Room of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

September Program Review - John Finch and "The Civil War"

CVGS member John Finch was the CVGS program speaker on Wednesday, 30 September at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library with 36 in attendance (including 5 guests) - his topic was "Our Civil War -- the Sesquicentennial."

John noted that the Civil War ended in April 1865, 150 years ago, but the last surrender occurred in early November 1865.  During his presentation, John showed slides of books and movies that addressed Civil War topics, such as the PBS Ken Burns' "The Civil War" series, "Gone With the Wind," "Killer Angels, "Red Badge of Courage," and many more.

He started the presentation with the basic geopolitical background - in the 1860 time, the U.S. had 31.5 million people and the states and territories were either free or slave.  The border states of Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware did not join the Confederacy although they were slave states.

During the War, which was fought almost entirely in the Confederate states, the Union strategy was to gradually separate areas of the Confederacy - by taking control of the Mississippi River, by Sherman's march through Georgia from Tennessee, etc.  Eventually, the Confederate Army was defeated, and the war ended at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia.  During the war, the Confederate army went up the Rio Grande to New Mexico, but lost when their supply train was captured.  There was even a skirmish in San Diego County - the Affair at Minter's Ranch, and  some of the Confederates in San Diego County went to Texas.

3.26 million men served on both sides, with over 524,000 deaths (364,000 Union, 160,000 Confederate).  45% of the deaths were from battle action, 4% died from wounds, and 50% died from disease.

(photo courtesy of Diane Godinez)

This was the first "modern" war --  some firsts included:

*  first machine guns and repeating rifles
*  first use of railroad trains
*  first effective care of the wounded
*  first organized signal service
*  first use of ironclads and submarines
*  first draft, and first deployment of black troops
*  first combat photography
* first Medal of Honor - to William Pittenger, who is buried in Fallbrook.

John offered methods to find out more about your Civil War ancestors.  He has three - Charles Finch, Henry J. Lowe and Calvin Bentley.  Your pedigree chart may identify men born between 1820 and 1845 who may have served.  The 1890 U.S. Veterans Census is available for some states, and identifies veterans of all wars.  The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors website, run by the National Park Service ( provides resources to identify those who served on both sides, and researchers can find the battles fought by each regiment and persons who were in a specific company.

Service and pension records of Union soldiers are available at the National Archives, and many are online at Ancestry, Fold3, and other sites.  The records for Confederate soldiers are at State Archives, and some are online.  Civil War information may be found in a Homestead record; after the War, soldiers were eligible for 160 acres of free land.  Newspaper articles and obituaries may document a solder's service and family.

During the Civil war, women kept the home fires burning, not knowing whether their soldier would come home alive or not.  They also worked cooking, sewing, nursing and making bullets in many areas.  If a solder's bone was shattered, an arm or leg would be amputated if the soldier did not die of the wound.  Morphine was used for pain control.  Drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide were common after the War, as was "Soldier's Heart" - what we now call shell shock or PTSD.

John's handout listed free and subscription Civil War Websites.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - October 2015

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for October 2015 include:

 ** Saturday, 3 October, 1 p.m to 4 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- 
CVGS Saturday Workshop.  Ken Robison will lead the discussion of "Family Tree Maker 2014." 

** Wednesday, 14 October, 12 noon to 2 p.m., Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) -- CVGS Research Group meets in the 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, 21 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, 28 October, 12:30 p.m.  to 2:30 p.m., at Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road).  CVGS Program Meeting meets in the Community Room.  The program speaker will be Annette Hubbell in a "Tea With Mrs. Roosevelt" dramatic presentation.  Refreshments before and after the meeting.

**  Wednesdays, 7, 14, 21, and 28 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.