Friday, April 28, 2017

26 April Program Review - "World War I"

CVGS member John Finch was the program speaker on 26 April on the topic of "World War I, the Centennial."

He started with a brief overview of the world situation at the beginning of World War I in 1914 and the causes of the war.  His main resource was the book To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild  and the book World War I by the Smithsonian Museum.

In the early 1900s, the European powers had colonies all over the world.  In Europe, the Allied Powers were Great Britain, France, Belgium,  Italy and Portugal; the Central Powers were Germany, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire.  Russia was an Empire and had allies in Serbia and Romania.  Spain, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Netherlands and Luxembourg were neutral.  Many of the most powerful countries had Kings who were related - for instance, the rulers of Germany, England and Russia were royal cousins.

On 28 June 1914, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated in Serbia.  Austria attached Serbia in late July, and Russia retaliated, causing Germany to declare war on Russia and then France, England declared war on Germany, and Germany attacked Belgium and France in addition to invading western Russia.  The infantry and cavalry war in eastern France became tank and trench warfare and bogged down.    The United States did not enter the war until 6 April 1917, and was the results of German U-boat attacks on shipping and the sinking of the Lusitania.  The Bolshevik revolution in late 1917 caused Russia to make treaty with Germany, freeing up German soldiers for the Western Front.  

There were three draft registrations in the United States - in June 1917, June 1918 and September 1918.  Over 24 million males born between 1872 and 1900 were registered, providing information about their birth, employment, and health.  The United States shipped troops to France, where they took part in 13 campaigns before the Armistice on 11 November 1918.  John's grandfather, Elmore Schweser saw service in the Air Corps over France.  

After the Armistice, the Treaty of Versailles resulted in Germany losing territory to France, Denmark and Russia.  Millions of persons on both sides were killed or wounded.  As the war ended, the Spanish Flu pandemic swept through Europe and the USA, killing 675,000 in the U.S. and over 30 million worldwide.

John mentioned record collections that contained World War I records on, and  The largest collection is the World War I Draft Registration cards on Ancestry and FamilySearch, but there are several other useful databases like the U.S. Veterans Gravesites and British Army service records, pension records and medal rolls.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

April 26th CVGS Program Meeting Features John Finch

Wednesday, 26 April 2017, 12 noon To 2 p.m.

General Meeting
John Finch on “World War I, the Centennial”

Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910)

John Finch’s topic, “World War I, the Centennial," examines the players and causes of the War, impact on all populations, and the unstable peace that followed the cessation of hostilities.  A display of the various military and other records and documents will be presented which, hopefully, will aid in your research pursuits of this era.  

John Finch has been a member of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society since 1999 and has served as Library Coordinator, Program Chair and President (2004 -2006 term).  He is also a member of the Lee County, Illinois and San Diego Genealogical Societies.   He retired from U.S. Navy in 1980, and the San Diego County Probation Department in 1999.

 John developed an interest in his own family history at a very young age, but did not begin an active pursuit of research until after retiring in 1999.  Now, he spends several hours each week researching his family and volunteers, at the Chula Vista library, every Wednesday morning to assist new and seasoned researchers.

There will be a short CVGS business meeting and refreshments after the presentation.

Please register for the meeting at on the Events tab so we can plan refreshments and handouts.

This presentation is FREE for all persons to attend.  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April 2017 CVGS Newsletter

The April 2017 issue of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society newsletter contains the following information:

*  page 1 - April 26th Program Meeting
*  page 2 - President's Message
*  page 2 - Register for Meetings on CVGS Website
*  page 3 - May 5th Saturday Workshop
*  page 3 - April 19th Computer Group Meeting 

*  page 3 - April 19th Lemon Grove Group Meeting
*  page 3 - Membership Address Changes
*  page 3 - Member Services Information
*  page 3 - MyHeritage Access at County Libraries
*  page 4 - Lemon Grove Meeting Review

*  page 4 - Upcoming Family Tree Webinars
*  page 5 - March 29th Program Review
*  page 5 - SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2017
*  page 5 - Online Genealogy Link Collections
*  page 6 - March 8th Research Group Review

*  page 7 - Family Tree Maker 2017 News
*  page 7 - RootsMagic 7 Update News
* page 8 - Who Do You Think You Are? Series
*  page 8 - Central Library Research Trip Report
*  page 9 - CVGS Society Information

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

April 12th CVGS Research Group Review

The April 12th CVGS Research Group at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium had 14 attendees, including one guest.

In the first hour, Randy discussed:

* is celebrating their 500th webinar, and is free for everyone over the April 15 weekend.

*  Family Tree Maker 2017 was supposed to be released 31 March but has not been released yet because of issues with synchronizing with efficiently.  See latest news at

*  The RootsMagic 7 update is scheduled for the end of April.  This update will include TreeShare, which will permit sync with an Ancestry Member Tree one person and/or one event at a time - not the entire database.  

*  AncestryDNA released their new Genetic Communities feature.

*  FamilyTreeDNA improved their myOrigins autosomal DNA ethnicity estimate.  

*  Randy was interviewed by Scott Fisher in episode 184 of Extreme Genes (

In the second hour, the attendees discussed:

*  Gary demonstrated the updated CVGS website at

*  Karen Y.'s mother went to Maryland in the 1980s and copied records at the Dorchester Historical Society.  Karen is reviewing these records and is finding some goodies.

*  Arlene is filling out a 12-generation pedigree chart for her latest great-grandchild.

*  Bobbie has a England ancestry on her mother's grandfather's side that she is researching.

*  Susi is helping Virginia with several wills found for the Dunlap family in Pennsylvania.

*  John received an AncestryDNA match with a 6th cousin who has an error in his line.  John shared his evidence of the correct marriage record from Sussex County, New Jersey.

*  Judy did research 6 to 8 years ago, and is returning to it in order to attend a family reunion.  Descendants of two brothers have tested autosomal DNA and have different ethnicities.

*  Helen shared a descendants chart from her husband's Strickland line and her own Mallory line that indicates they have common ancestry back in the 1300 CE time frame.  

*  Gary worked a bit on his Brock line in Lenawee County, Michigan.  He found seven brothers all worked on the railroad.  The ancestry is from somerset in England.

*  Karen S had a cousin killed during World War II three days before Karen was born.  She was contacted for a picture of her cousin by a woman from the Netherlands who is tending American graves in the Netherlands American Cemetery in Margraten.  

*  Linda took a research trip to Mexico.  In Durango, the church office was not helpful and she was unable to obtain records.  In Zacatecas, the church office was very helpful, with a designated person to handle the record books, and Linda received several records there.

The next meeting of the CVGS Research Group will be Wednesday, 10 May 2017 at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.