Wednesday, July 25, 2007

7/25 CVGS Research Group highlights

We had our Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting today at the Library, with 15 genealogy devotees in attendance, including two visitors and a new member. We had to meet in the Computer Lab but the projector didn't come to the meeting so we couldn't project on the wall. We did discuss genealogy research in several areas.

I reviewed the genealogy news highlights for July 2007 (posted here) - covering web sites, online databases and software. Then I passed around the latest issue of the NGS Quarterly and noted that the article about using cluster genealogy might be useful to some of our attendees.

Bill is trying to find records for his great-grandfather and family from Bohemia and wondered if the GGF had to notify someone if he changed the spelling of his surname. We didn't think so, but warned him to look out for spelling variations in the US and overseas records. If he can find a US record of the GGF's birth date/place in a naturalization record or a death record, then he can try to find church records in Bohemia and see how they spelled it there. He also wondered about residency data in Chicago around 1880 - we recommended finding city directories (online, FHLC microfilm, library), tax records, voting records, court records and Sanborn maps.

Bobbie told us about her planned trip to northern Illinois to visit the local historical societies, libraries and cemeteries. She wondered about the best way to do gravestone rubbings. There was no group consensus. We recommended that she find message boards, ask about the different methods and also determine what the cemeteries will allow. Bobbie also commented on some of Bill's questions since she has recently done similar research.

Lillie (a visitor) had just done some research on her ancestry, and with the help of her daughter had made a large family tree chart for a recent family reunion. It was about 3 feet square with a large tree in the background. She was concerned that her family was in the One World Tree database on, and wondered how that had happened. We told her that someone submitted it, and since it didn't have birth or death dates in the submitted database, Ancestry posted the information about living people. She wondered how to contact the submitter. Lillie has traced her ancestry back to slaves in Alabama around 1820, so we recommended that she contact the San Diego African-American Research Group in order to get more help on her specific research problems.

Rita was frustrated because New York would not send her death certificates of her mother and father, even though she sent them her driver's license data and her own birth certificate showing her parents names. They say that she is not named on the death certificate, and therefore cannot obtain one. The group talked a bit about other the policies of other states, and the recent limiting of access to many records due to identity theft concerns.

I showed my Union Case photo of Isaac and Lucretia (Smith) Seaver, and the plat maps I made from the Ontario (Canada) Digital Atlas. Bobbie showed some census data with close family on adjacent pages. Elsie told about phoning the second cousin and getting information about the French church in Haverhill in the 1890's.

The next CVGS Research Group meeting will be on Wednesday, August 22 in the library conference room.

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