Wednesday, December 5, 2018

CVGS DNA Interest Group 21 November Meeting Notes

The second CVGS DNA Interest Group meeting was on 21 November at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library in the Conference Room.  17 members were in attendance.

Randy demonstrated and discussed AncestryDNA for most of the meeting, including:

*  Settings, and downloading your raw DNA in a ZIP file for upload to another DNA provider.

*  Ethnicity Estimate -- Regions (reference groups), Migrations, and Timeline.  AncestryDNA recently changed and added to their Regions definitions, and now has 15,000 reference group profiles in 350 regions.

*  DNA Circles -- these include descendants from your common ancestors who have an Ancestry Member Tree with your ancestors.  They may not be a DNA Match with you, but are with other DNA Circle members.  A user can see the relationship paths from the common ancestors to themself and to the DNA Circle member.

*  New Ancestor Discoveries -- these are historical persons that may have common ancestors in the trees of DNA Matches with you.  I've never found a tree match.

*  DNA Matches -- these are persons who have a DNA match of at least 6 centiMorgans with you.  The user can search Matches by surname and location; can see how much DNA is shared with a match; can view "Shared Ancestor" matches (a green leaf Hint, with relationship path for you and the match); can view "All Matches" (ordered by amount of shared centiMorgans for each match); can view "Shared Matches" in a list (other matches who share a DNA segment with you and your specific match); indication if a match has a public Ancestry Member Tree, a private tree, an unlinked tree, or no tree at all (you can review public trees and unlinked trees); view a Matches Map on the "All Matches" page.

For each match, the user can Compare ethnicities, send a message, add or edit a Note, and explore available trees to try to find common ancestors.  I use the MedBetter DNA Chrome extension to display my Notes on the All Matches page.

*  Creating a Quick and Dirty Ancestry tree to find common ancestors from public trees or unlinked trees - see Blaine Bettinger's YouTube video here.  I do this in one private unsearchable trees using Ancestry's search capabilities, starting from someone in a Match's tree.

*  To keep track of your AncestryDNA matches, I use a spreadsheet to list Match user name, amount of shared DNA in cM, number of segments, if they have a tree, if they are in another set of DNA matches (like MyHeritage or GEDMatch), and if I have added their line to my RootsMagic tree.

The next DNA Interest Group meeting will be Wednesday, 19 December at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista, CA).

Monday, December 3, 2018

CVGS Program Review - November 28th Show and Tell and Officer Election

The November 28th Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) meeting at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library had two components - election of officers, and a members show-and-tell of oldest heirlooms or antiques.

1)  The slate of Officers elected for the 2019-2020 calendar years were:

*  President -- Karen Smith

*  1st Vice-President, Programs -- Virginia Taylor

*  2nd Vice-President, Membership -- Carrie Holleron

*  Treasurer -- Karen Polk

*  Secretary -- Karen Yarger

The Officers will be installed at the 12 December Annual Holiday Luncheon.

2)  The Show-and-Tell antique presentations included:

*  Karen Y. displayed photographs of her 1790 Pembroke drop-leaf table.

*  Karen S. displayed her 1860s "Shines" doll and a photograph of her grandmother as a child holding the doll.

*  Karen P. showed a photograph of her 80-year old bear doll, which was her grandmother's doll.

*  Rosa G. discussed her 1890s scissors which were her grandmother's

*  Tameron H. displayed her book of her grandfather's bedtime stories titled Indian Wars, and read one of the short stories.

*  Arlene W. discussed five baskets that her grandmother obtained from Pima Indians in Arizona.

*  Sam S. brought his 1936 Crosley battery-operated tube radio that was his grandfather's in Tennessee, and also a cast-iron kettle from the 1800s.

*  Virginia T. showed her small Santa doll, bought in 1936 by a sibling, and on the Christmas tree
every year.

*  Fran C. discussed her hand-made candle holder brought by covered wagon in the late 1800s from the Midwest to San Jose, California.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

CVGS Annual Holiday Luncheon on Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The Annual Holiday Luncheon will be on Wednesday, 12 December at the Chula Vista South Library (389 Orange Avenue in Chula Vista in the Conference Rooms at the west end of the building). Enter the parking lot from Orange Avenue east of Fourth Avenue and park at the west end of the parking lot.  There is a side door near the Conference rooms.

Turkey, ham and drinks will be provided by CVGS. 

The potluck breakdown for the rest of the meal will be coordinated by JoAnn Bonner (phone 619-892-2478 and email and Karen Polk (phone 619-972-7251 and email Please contact them by 5 December to coordinate the potluck dishes. The potluck schedule is:

• A to F Surnames: Salads, Rolls, Butter
• G to K Surnames: Appetizers, Condiments, Snack Trays
• L to P Surnames: Potatoes, Vegetables, Casseroles
• Q to Z Surnames: Desserts

There will be a free door prize drawing, opportunity drawings for table decorations, and there will be an optional bring one/get one gift exchange ($10 limit).

Attendees are requested to bring non-perishable food and/or unwrapped toys for donation to the Salvation Army. Attendees are also requested to wear their best ugly Christmas sweaters.

The program will be the installation of the newly elected 2019-2020 CVGS Board Officers.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Chula Vista Family History Day - Saturday, 29 September 2018

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society and the Chula Vista Public Library proudly present the 3rd Annual Family History Day on Saturday, 29 September 2018 at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista, California 91910) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

The Theme for this event is "DNA Research."

The family history activities will include:

*  10:30 a.m. in the auditorium - Opening session and Keynote address:  "Overview of DNA Testing and Analysis for Genealogy," by Randy Seaver

*  12 noon in the auditorium - Presentation:  "Who Is ... County Supervisor Greg Cox," by Randy Seaver (a definition of Mr. Cox's family history)

*  Throughout the day (hosted by CVGS volunteers, FamilySearch staff, and library staff:

**  Register in the library lobby before entering the library
**  Create your family tree - in the Conference Room
**  Search online for family records - in the Computer Lab
**  Children family history activities - in the Children's library
**  Help with DNA - in the Local History Room
**  FamilySearch Library computers and help - in the main library near the windows
**  CVGS book collection - in the "family research" stacks
**  Research advice and information - in the main library
**  "Ancestors Matter!" family story and photo display - in the main library

There will be door prizes for lucky ticket holders at both presentations and at 3 p.m. in the library lobby.

This is a free activity for all persons interested in their family history.  Please come for an hour or for the entire day.

For more information, go to or call toll free  1-844-268-2847.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Saturday Workshop on 3 March 2018

Susi Pentico will lead the discussion of "Where to Look for Help? at the March 3rd Saturday Workshop.  

It will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road, in Bonita, California).  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

CVGS February Program Meeting: Susi Pentico on "Lost Ancestors"

Wednesday, 28 February 2018, 12 Noon

Program:  Susi C. Pentico on “Lost Ancestors”

at Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) Auditorium

Susi Pentico will be presenting "LOST ANCESTORS.”  We want to break the ice with society members and to learn more about our fellow researchers.  Who are they researching? Who else has my surname? What area are they researching?  Could we team up at times and gain more knowledge?   The last two Saturday workshops have been leading up to this major event.  It is fun to see the faces go from "You do?" to  "Wow!" 

Come prepared to share information with fellow members and see if we can shake a few more leaves out of the trees.  We will be rotating research areas for this event so plan on bringing at least three surnames, places, and times.   You need to bring a Five Generation Chart, an iPad, computer, or pencil and paper, in order to record your potential successes or followups to be further searched and analyzed.

Susi Jones Pentico was born in Wyoming, raised on a cattle and dairy ranch in Wyoming and California.  She started family research at age 12 with her Mom as a guide (she was Mom's helper writing letters).  Susi has been married almost 59 years, is the mother of five, grandmother of ten, and great-grandmother of two. Susi was a founding member of CVGS, and loves to share her knowledge and help others.  

A short business meeting will precede the "Lost Ancestors" presentation. The membership will be presented with the Society's Annual Report and Proposed 2018 Budget for approval. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

CVGS Research Group Review - 14 February 2018

There were 13 attendees at the February 14th Research Group meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.  Nancy treated us with Valentine hearts.

In the first hour, Randy discussed the genealogy news for the last month, including:

*  the RootsTech 2018 video streaming from 28 February to 3 March at

*  how to access the RootsTech 2018 syllabus articles at (one article at a time)

*  the CVGS FamilySearch Library visit and his finds

*  his Lanfear DNA match connection on MyHeritage - the relationship is correct and the location is correct.

*  the George W. Seaver research saga - outlined at

In the second hour, the attendees discussed:

*  Bobbie described a love story about her ancestor Albert LeMagdaliene, who moved from Quebec to Lake County, Illinois.  He married twice, for 25 years and 30 years respectively, and they are buried together.

*  Arlene found a book, Gathering of Zion, on the shelf at the Chula Vista library with a reference to her 2nd-great-grandmother.

*  Karen S. has been working with a DNA match who is adopted.  They think they have found family, and asked about how to contact them.  The group suggested several online resources, including the DNA Detectives Facebook group.

*  John has been successful finding his wife's families in Mexico church and civil registration records.  The group noted that some states now have indexes for Civil registration records.

*  Sam has been working on descriptions of his eight great-grandparents.  

*  Karen Y has been collecting Maryland Eastern Shore information for the 2/28 CVGS program meeting.  She has been trolling for names, dates, and places in online resources for six of her ancestral surnames.

*  Virginia's 5th cousin sent some family material.  She sent messages to 7 AncestryDNA matches, but only 2 have responded.  One sent a photo of Virginia's great-grandfather, and the other has family in Virginia's Indiana home town.

*  Susi discussed her Jones family line, and the contacts she has made.  It seems they have finally decided that Susi is a serious researcher who has lots of information to share on her tree families.

*  Diane has an ancestor named Valentine in Germany born in 1859, connected to her Longhurst family.  She has been corresponding with a cousin who often gets things wrong.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 14 March 2018 at 12 noon in the Auditorium of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista CA 91910).  

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

February 2018 Issue of CVGS Newsletter Published

The February 2018 issue (Volume 28, Issue 2) of the CVGS Newsletter was published on Monday, 12 February.

The Table of Contents for this issue is:

*  page 1 - February 28th General Meeting
*  page 2 - President's Message
*  page 2 - Membership Address Changes
*  page 2 - Register for Meetings on CVGS Website

*  page 2 - Member Services
*  page 3 - Next Saturday Workshop

*  page 3 - Next Research Group Meeting*  page 3 - Next Computer Group Meeting

*  page 3 - Next Lemon Grove Meeting
*  page 3 - Help Wanted

*  page 3 - Scholarship Donations Welcome
*  page 4 - Hispanic Research Classes in San Diego

*  page 4 - Upcoming Family Tree Webinars
*  page 5 - January 31st Program Review
*  page 6:  February 3rd Saturday Workshop Review

*  page 7 - January 10th Research Group Review

*  page 8 - Field Trip to FamilySearch Library
*  page 8-  Recent Blog Articles of Interest
*  page 9:  CVGS Member Wanda Brock Passed Away*  page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

*  page 11 - CVGS Society Information
*  page 11 - San Diego Area Genealogy Events

The CVGS Newsletter is available on the CVGS website ( - CVGS members can see the current issue, but non-members cannot see the last two issues of the newsletter.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Program Review - Marti Lewis on "Exploring Your DNA Results"

There were 34 in attendance for the CVGS program meeting on 31 January at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.  

The speaker was Marti Lewis who discussed "Exploring Your DNA Test Results."

Marti said there were many ways to use DNA to trace your Family History.  The main question most people have is "what do we do with it?"  

Each person receives 23 pair of chromosomes from their biological parents - 22 pair are autosomal chromosomes, and 1 pair of sex chromosomes: Males receive a Y-chromosome from their father and an X chromosome from their mother;  Females receive an X-chromosome from each parent.

There are three types of DNA testing that deal with your 23 pairs of chromosomes:

*  Y chromosome:  A sex chromosome transmitted from fathers to sons.  This follows the paternal line (e.g., 1 of your 32 3rd great-grandparents).

*  Mitochondrial DNA:  Matter outside the cell nucleus, transmitted from females to children.  This follows a maternal line (but males don't pass it on) (e.g., 1 of your 32 3rd great-grandparents).

*  Autosomal DNA:  The DNA on 22 chromosomes that are passed from all of your ancestors through your parents (e.g., all 32 of your 32 3rd great-grandparents).

With Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA tests, you can determine the haplogroup of the paternal and maternal lines - where did they originate, where did they migrate to in ancient times.  The Y-DNA haplogroups differ from the mtDNA haplogroups.  For instance, Marti's mtDNA  haplogroup is L3e, which came from Mozambique.

AncestryDNA, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritageDNA offer autosomal testing, but only FamilyTreeDNA provides Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA tests.  23andMe does provide haplogroup definition as part of their service.

What can you learn from your Autosomal DNA test?

*  Ancestry Composition - your ethnicity, according to how your DNA matches the test company's reference groups.  Marti's ethnicity estimate shows that she is 65% Sub-Saharan African, 32.2% European and 1.8% East Asian/Native American.

*  Compare your DNA to your matches - the percentage of DNA you share helps determine the possible relationships to your matches.  Each DNA match on your list will tell you how much you share with that person.  Typically, you share 50% with a parent, 25% with a grandparent, 12.5% with a great-grandparent, etc.  A first cousin will share about 12.5% with you, a 2nd cousin about 3%, a 3rd cousin about 0.8%.

*  Find common ancestors with your DNA matches.  She explained the concept of cousins and removed cousins - a 3rd cousin shares 2nd great-grandparents, and a 3rd cousin once removed would share common ancestors 4 generations back for one person, and 5 generations back on the other line, in other words one generation different from a common ancestor.

Marti described one of her autosomal DNA matches - William Paxson Gordon (a white man), with whom she shares 26 cM in 2 segments, meaning he is probably a 3rd cousin 1x removed, with common second great-grandparents.  One of Marti's second great-grandmothers is Cynthia Jane Paxson (1825-1886) whose father had one of William Gordon's Paxson ancestors.  

She said that it helps to have an online Family Tree that your family and cousins can find and use - Marti's is on the Tribal Pages website.   The site is free, although there is an annual fee for image storage.

Marti has found that DNA testing and analysis has helped unravel some of her family history mysteries.  In some cases, DNA test analysis can strengthen your research paper trail, and help you avoid false connections.

This was a good introduction to DNA testing and analysis for CVGS members.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

CVGS Program on 31 January: Marti Lewis on "Exploring Your DNA Results"

Wednesday, 31 January 2018, 12 Noon
Program:  Margaret Lewis on “Exploring Your DNA Results”
at Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) Auditorium

Margaret “Marti” Lewis, is a compelling and influential voice in the genealogy community.  She has been  featured, quoted, profiled and published in several major media publications. Marti volunteers as a Contributor to Find a Grave, is a Consultant on African American Research at the San Diego Family History Center, is a former Administrator for the African American Genealogy Research and the California pages on Facebook.  She is also the President of the San Diego African American Genealogy Research Group.  

She is available on Thursday evenings from 6 p.m. To 8 p.m. at the Family History Center (4195 Camino Del Rio South) for personal consultations and a free class.   Although Marti’s focus is African American Research all her presentations offer research strategies for other nationalities as well.  Everyone is welcome!

Marti's presentation will be “Exploring Your DNA Results Today - You Can Discover Who You Are, Where You Came From, and Analyze your Ethnicity with DNA Testing!”  

The presentation will take you on the journey Marti took to unravel the mysteries of her ancestors, and substantiate her Family Tree back to 1522.  Marti admits she is no DNA expert … she would just like to stress the importance of the strategies she uses with pedigree charts and on-line family trees to explore her DNA results to create her Family Tree.   

All meetings of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society are free to attend.  Visitors are welcome.  There will be a short business meeting, and refreshments, after the program presentation.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

January 24th CVGS Research Trip to the Family History Library

On  Wednesday, January 24th, John Finch will lead a research trip to the FamilySearch Center and Library in Mission Valley (4195 Camino del Rio South, ground floor on east side of building).  

The group will meet to carpool on the second level of the Chula Vista parking garage on Third Avenue (between Fuddruckers and Marie Callenders) by 10 a.m., at which time the  carpools will depart. We'll leave the Library at about 2 p.m.  

FamilySearch has ended microfilm rentals, but has added many microfilm collections in digital format, and some of them are available to view on the computers at the FamilySearch Library.  Be sure to bring a USB drive so you can download record mages to the drive for use at home.

If you plan to join us - and especially if you can drive, please contact John at or Karen Yarger at

If you don't want to carpool, meet us at the FamilySearch Library, which opens at 10 a.m.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Research Group Summary - 10 January 2018

There were 14 in attendance at the CVGS Research Group meeting on Wednesday, 10 January 2018, at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Conference Room.

In the first hour, Randy reviewed genealogy news from the past two months, including:

*  FamilySearch now requires a free registration to use any of their services - record search, research wiki, library catalog, Family Tree, etc.  They have added digital microfilm of many of their records for access through the Library Catalog, and some of them require access to be at a FamilySearch Library.

*  The Rootsweb website has been down for awhile due to a data breach on the servers.  They will gradually bring most of the services back gradually. 

*  Ancestry Member Trees have not been indexed since October, and the indexing does not cover trees without an attached Ancestry source. 

*  A new edition of Val Greenwood's Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy was published. 

*  Randy got a new HP Envy laptop computer for Christmas, has loaded his genealogy files, but the HDMI to VGA adapter doesn't work well. 

*  Randy found his own, his brothers and his mother's graduation photos in the new Yearbook Collection on MyHeritage. 

In the second hour, the attendees discussed their Christmas genea-gifts and New Year's resolutions:

*John and his wife got a Christmas card from a Fresno cousin.

*  Arlene went to Salt Lake City and the Family History Library and found ancestry books.  She also bought Dana McCullough's book Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.

*  Virginia found information for her great-grandfather in a newspaper article on

*  Karen S. received a message from a DNA 2nd cousin match on Ancestry who is searching for her birth parents..

*  Susi is working through her 20 boxes of genealogy records in storage.  She received a gift from a cousin of a family photo album.

*  Bobbie reviewed her goals and added a new one for a brickwall ancestor.  She is using a book to find a list of relatives in Bamberg, Germany, and is working with a DNA cousin in London.

*  Connie bought an AncestryDNA test.  She is investigating joining the DAR and Daughters of Union Veterans from the Civil war.

*  Joanna is moving so she can hook up her computer to the Internet.

*  Gary is conversing with a DNA first cousin.  He has a wayward uncle on his mother's side who may have married after World War II.

*  Helen is working on three boxes of photographs, putting them on her computer and plans to send them to relatives.

*  Debbie is just starting, and is looking for information on her mother's grandfather from Poland.

*  Linda has scanned several boxes of photographs at the FamilySearch Library and saved them to a USB drive.  Some of them need to be repaired because of damage. 

*  Sam has a new computer.  He found that a relative was a World War I Army Air Corps pilot in France.  He asked "When you find a photograph on, can you use it?"  The group discussed copyright and provenance.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be Wednesday, 14 February 2018 in the Conference Room of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library.

Friday, January 12, 2018

January 2018 Issue of CVGS Newsletter

The December 2018 issue (Volume 28, Issue 1) of the CVGS Newsletter was published on Monday, 8 January.

The Table of Contents for this issue is:

*  page 1 - January 31st General Meeting
*  page 2 - President's Message
*  page 2 - Membership Address Changes
*  page 2 - Register for Meetings on CVGS Website

*  page 2 - Member Services
*  page 3 - Next Saturday Workshop
*  page 3 - Next Computer Group Meeting
*  page 3 - Next Lemon Grove Meeting

page 3 - Help Wanted
*  page 3 - January 24th Field Trip 
*  page 4 - La Vista Cemetery Project
*  page 4 - Upcoming Family Tree Webinars

*  page 5 - Annual Holiday Luncheon Review

*  page 6 - SDGS Annual Meeting and Seminar
*  page 6 - Notable Blog Posts
*  page 7 - Next Research Group Meeting

*  page 8 - Dear Randy Question
*  page 9 - CVGS Society Information
*  page 9 - San Diego Area Genealogy Events
*  page 10 - Genealogy Days in Chula Vista

The CVGS Newsletter is available on the CVGS website ( - members can see the current issue, but non-members cannot see the last two issues of the newsletter.