Monday, February 29, 2016

"GEDCOM Files" CVGS Sunday Workshop – 6 March 2016

The March 6th  (a Sunday!) Workshop will be from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. In the Community Room at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road).  The subject will be “GEDCOM Files” led by Shirley Becker and Gary Brock.  Bring your laptops with your genealogy desktop software installed and practice exporting and importing GEDCOM files.  You may want to bring a thumb drive also. 

Please register for this event on the CVGS website - so we can plan refreshments and seating.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"New York Revisited" Program on Wednesday, 24 February

from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) in Auditorium
“New York Revisited” with Shirley Becker

     This program will be an overview of upstate NY areas for research, but not New York City which would require at least another hour or two. I have updated some information, rechecked links, and given suggestions for researchers to follow. For those who have seen prior presentations, it will be again overwhelming with facts, but hopefully not too dry. The strange places records can be found in NY will be talked about and the handout will contain links to many areas that were not online even two years ago. 

     In depth coverage of research in NY is not possible in one talk, but there are many areas that a genealogist can use to expand their knowledge and hopefully find a missing ancestor or information to add to their knowledge. Each area such as the Erie Canal merits detailed and in depth coverage, especially those of Irish or Italian descent, as many of them lost their lives working on the canal, the same fact is true regarding the railroads. This presentation should provide clues for further research in a state that was a gateway to the rest of the nation.

     Shirley Becker is a great grandmother to about 13, of whom 4 live with her. Since 3 are teenagers she does occasionally have to battle for computer time. She has been working on genealogy seriously for about 30 years and before that occasionally as she found time. Most of her research is in upstate New York, but as her lines grow she has found some in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and the New England States. She is presently attempting to correct mistakes and add sources that were neglected when she was a beginner in the lifelong work that is known as Genealogy.

Monday, February 15, 2016

CVGS Newsletter for February 2016 Published

The February 2016 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Newsletter was published last week.  

Society Members can read it online, in a PDF format - use the "Members" link (roll over "Members," and click on "Newsletters") at  

Non-members can read CVGS Newsletters two months after publication, per Board of Directors direction (on, roll over "News" and click on "Newsletters").

The Table of Contents lists:

page 1 -- February 24th Program Meeting   
page 2 -- President’s Message  
page 2 -- Register for Meetings on CVGS Website

page 3 -- Next Computer Group Meeting
page 3 -- Lemon Grove Research Group News

page 3 -- March 6th Sunday

page 3 -- Scholarship News
page 3 -- Volunteer Opportunities Workshop
page 4 -- SDJGS 2/14 Program

page 4 -- Floating Genealogy Seminar

page 4 -- More Family Tree Maker News
page 5 -- January Program Review
page 6 -- January Research Group Review 
page 7 -- Finding Your Roots on PBS
page 7 -- Legacy Family Tree Webinars

page 7 -- RootsTech 2016 Blog Compendium
page 8 -- Who's Due to Pay Dues? 
page 8 -- Program Meeting Schedule Changes
page 8 -- Escondido Family History Fair
page 8 -- Chula Vista Family Discovery Day

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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

February Research Group Review

There were 20 attendees at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Conference Room.

In the first hour, Randy discussed:

*  RootsTech 2016 Conference in Salt Lake City, including the program, Keynote and class videos, class syllabus, and parties, plus his photos and commentary about the conference.  He has a RootsTech 2016 blog compendium posted at

*  His one day of research at the Family History Library finding probate and land records for his ancestors.

*  The major announcement about the purchase of Family Tree Maker assets by Software MacKiev, and the announcement of working with FTM and RootsMagic desktop software. 

*  The addition of a large U.S. marriage collection on Findmypast.

In the second hour, the attendees discussed

*  Gary encouraged attendees to register for all CVGS events on the CVGS webpage "Events" page.

*  Karen Y. noted that the FREE Escondido Family History Fair is Saturday, 5 March from 9 to 5.  Registration is online.  CVGS will have a carpool for those interested.  More details to follow.

*  Susi asked how to deal with Smart Matches on MyHeritage.  Users can compare and accept (or not accept) information one person at a time, or many persons at a time.  There are also Instant discoveries which can add 10 or more persons to your MyHeritage tree based on information from other MyHeritage trees.  Record Matches are records in MyHeritage record collections that might apply to your persons in your MyHeritage tree.

*  Diane asked about the proper way to make gravestone inscriptions readable.  The group said to not use organic or corrosive material like shaving cream or flour, to use water to create contrast, to use a reflector to light up a darker gravestone face, to mind the shadows, and to use gravestone rubbings with butcher paper and a crayon.

*  Karen S. asked about finding digital newspaper articles.  The group suggested The Ancestor Hunt blog ( for lists of available digital newspaper issues, the free Chronicling America site, state and regional newspaper collections, and commercial sites like,, GenealogyBank, NewspaperARCHIVE and MyHeritage.

*  Bobbie visited the Lake County, Illinois deed office and obtained several deeds from their record books.  She also investigated the plat maps available.  

*  Susan has had good fortune with Find A Grave requests in cemeteries in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.  She wanted to "pay it foerward" and accepted several requests for Singing Hills Memorial Park in San Diego County.  When she went there to inquire about the location of the graves, the company told her that they would not provide them because they have been sued by people who complained about similar requests and lost the suit.

*  Gary's Roff saga continues - he found a Yates County, New York database that has information about his ancestors, Philip 1, Philip 2, and Solomon.

*  Susan also had a plaque installed on the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery marker for her father.

The next CVGS Research Group will be on Wednesday, 11 March at 12 noon in the Conference Room of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Please Register for Meetings on the CVGS Website

     Please register for the Program Meetings, the Saturday Workshops, the Research Group and the Computer Group on the CVGS website –  Log in with your member ID, then click on Events and the Register button for each event, and follow directions. 

    This will help with meeting planning and speaker handouts.  Soon, members will be able to download speaker handouts to their computer and print them out.  You will receive an email reminder for the events from CVGS based on your registration.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

January 27th Program Review – Gena Philibert-Ortega

Gena Philibert-Ortega was the program speaker on 27 January, presenting “Remember the Ladies: Finding Your Female Ancestors.”  

Gena noted that “Women are half the population but they also seem to be the hardest half to find in a family tree.”  Five aspects of a woman's life need to be researched – The woman herself, the woman's family, the locality where she lived, the time period she lived in, and the neighbors, organizations and the  community around her.

While we usually concentrate on government records (e.g., vital, census, land, etc.), women may be in records such as family papers or Bibles, church records, newspaper articles, journals, scrapbooks, cookbooks, school records. 

A list of names may be helpful in finding records and should consider spelling variations, middle names, initials, maiden names, married names,  husband's names, and prefixes like Miss, Mrs., widow, Grandma, etc.  Nicknames or diminutives should also be considered.  Use these names when you search in online databases or in books, articles or newspapers.  

Maiden names might be found on birth records, baptismal records, marriage records, death records, cemetery records, Social Security records, passenger list records, in newspaper articles, on land deeds, or on her father's probate records.  

If an American-born woman married an alien man after 1906, until the 1930s, she lost her American citizenship until her husband became a naturalized citizen.  If he never did, then she had to apply for citizenship again.

As you gather information about a woman's life, determine her religion, occupation, and organizations that she belonged to, and then use those to identify keywords to use in a search online, at a library or archives.  Library and archival catalogs usually will not be cataloged by names but will be cataloged by organizations or groups.

A timeline of the woman's life is helpful to determine when and where she resided in a specific place.  She also suggested making your own “guide” for each person to list the repositories and records that should be searched for in each family locality.  

Some online resources mentioned by Gena included Google,, Mocavo, FamilySearch, Live Roots, Genealogy Gophers (free books), Find A Grave,, ArchiveGrid (for manuscript collections), state or regional libraries, university libraries, and WorldCat (to find nearest location of a book, or article).  Contacting a librarian online or on the phone can often help a researcher find a work of interest.  The FamilySearch Library Catalog can provide information about holdings in the FamilySearch system, whether, books, periodicals, microfilm, microfiche, in digitized books, or in online databases.  Search for a town-county-state or county-state to determine what is available.  

Many, but not nearly all, newspapers have been digitized and are now searchable at GenealogyBank,,,, and Chronicling America, plus state digital newspaper websites.

This was an interesting and information-packed presentation on a very timely and appropriate subject.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - February 2016

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society events for February 2016 include:

 ** Saturday, 6 February
, 1 p.m to 3 p.m., Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) -- 
CVGS Workshop in Community Room.  Gary Brock and Shirley Becker will lead a discussion of "Scanning."  Saturday Workshops are for hands-on experience with computers, software, websites, etc.

** Wednesday, 10 February, 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, 17 February, 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, 24 February, 12 noon  to 2 p.m., at Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street).  CVGS Program Meeting meets in the Auditorium.  The program speaker will be Shirley Becker on"New York Revisited."  The business meeting will be after the presentation.  Refreshments before and after the meeting.

**  Wednesdays, 3, 10, 17 and 24 February, 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.

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 6th Saturday Workshop is a Continuation of Scanning Event

The CVGS Saturday Workshop on Saturday, 6 February is from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road in Bonita).  

CVGS Webmaster Gary Brock will lead this event on "Scanning."  Different types of scanning devices and software programs will be discussed.  Help will be provided for attendees to learn how to scan items into their computer.

This is a continuation of the 2 January workshop on the same subject.