Thursday, June 12, 2008

CVGS Research Group meeting on 11 June

The June meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group was yesterday at the Chula Vista Library, with 10 persons in attendance, including one non-member.

We went around the table at the beginning of the meeting to see what each person was doing in their research.

* John requested four obituaries from Columbus, Ohio via Inter-Library Loan (ILL) and received them within 10 days for $5 to the CV library. They were faxed from Columbus to Chula Vista.

* Joan re-submitted her vital records request to Pennsylvania with the correct fee (she hopes). She's going to start research on her Wallace family.

* Dearl reviewed the Confederate Pension file that he received from the Texas State Archives.

* Charlotte is working on her Dodworth family in Sheffield in England, but has had little time due to family commitments. She will be gone on vacation until August and will visit family in Canada and Kentucky (lucky girl!).

* Shirley H is helping a lady in Tennessee work on a DAR lineage.

* Virginia ordered an Ohio Valley history book on ILL. She is getting her papers organized in folders.

* Shirley B went to the FHC last Saturday, and found census records for her elusive Wright family. Some records confused her more, and some revealed secrets.

* Dick has been working on to correct information in a Texas graveyard, and corresponded with a friend who photographed gravestones in his hometown.

* Ray is just starting out, and has input the family information he has into FamilyTreeMaker. He asked for web sites and databases that might have information on his families.

* Randy described his forays into Legacy Version 7, The Master Genealogist Version 7, RootsMagic Version 3, and Family Tree Builder 2.0. He also talked about the Unclaimed Persons forum on Facebook.

After the table round, Randy briefly discussed the Genealogy News of the Month, highlighting the databases for states mentioned around the table.

During Question time, we discussed:

* Shirley H asked if Revolutionary War veterans were identified in any census records? John noted that the 1840 census identified Rev War veterans by name even if they weren't head of household.

* Shirley B wondered if the early volumes of The American Genealogist were available in San Diego. Randy said he thought they were on the shelf at the SD Family History Center.

* Joan recently received a stack of land records from a Minnesota historical society, and asked about their value to her. Several noted that these records may identify siblings or children, the location of the land, the place the buyer resided previously, neighbors and witnesses who might be family members, etc.

* Randy posed a research question from a recent query - a James B. Garrett resided in Justice Precinct 5 in Kaufman County, Texas in the 1880 and 1900 census. The correspondent wanted to know how he could identify the land that was sharecropped by Garrett. John suggested finding the names of owners of land near Garrett in the census records, then finding that owner's name on a plat map or in land records to identify the approximate location. Shirley recommended using that information to find tax lists, voter registration lists, the 1880 agricultural census, and other local records to try to identify neighbors and associates of Garrett.

After the meeting, Randy provided the syllabus material from the last two seminars to Ray to help him get started in online research. He also showed Ray the library computer terminals and how to access Ancestry Library Edition on them.

This meeting had excellent sharing to answer questions and recommend ways to solve research problems. It's fun to hear the research stories, the successes and frustrations, of each attendee, and to be able to help researchers knock down their brick walls one brick at a time.

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