Saturday, October 22 was a great day for our Society. After months of planning, our free community-wide Family History Day opened at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library to a waiting crowd of seventeen people, eager to see what “this genealogy thing” was all about, or at least to have fun with the various family history-focused activities. Over 120 people enjoyed the day. Our theme was “Ancestors Matter! What Do You Know? What Can You Find?” which was revealed on the new bright green CVGS T-shirts worn by volunteers (and which you can order from Jane Strawn).
Guests were greeted by colorful posters directing them to various activities and a Welcome Table, laden with “freebies.”
The Library was divided into color-coded areas, marked by balloons and bright signs. The children’s area, decorated with yellow balloons and Dr. Seuss posters, offered story times and family-themed crafts for children of all ages.
Other areas, each with their own color scheme, were devoted to “First Steps” in genealogy research, filling out 5-generation charts, and working with one of our volunteers on computer research.
Have you visited our genealogy collection at the Library? Our collection was highlighted to visitors, as were the Library’s books available for check out.
At 10:30 a.m., Randy Seaver gave the keynote address “Be an Ancestor Detective,” with an excellent handout filled with resources for the beginner and advanced alike. Between speakers, Gary Brock ran a series of genealogy-themed videos, running simultaneously in the auditorium and on TVs throughout the Library.
The highlight of the day was Ceasar Castro’s noontime presentation of the family tree of Chula Vista’s mayor in “Who is Mayor Mary Casillas Salas?” in which he presented his research of several generations of the Mayor’s family accompanied by family photos and comments from the Mayor herself. An audience of nearly sixty included many members of Mayor Salas’ family.
Ralph Munoz and Jo Ann Bonner took pictures throughout the day, and they’ll be posted on our website soon.
The organizing committee was chaired by Jane Strawn, who worked with Library Branch Manager Erni Barros, and a team of enthusiastic and talented volunteers.
We are already planning next year’s Family History Day. As great as this day was, next year’s promises to be even bigger and better!
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Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver
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