Wednesday, November 29, 2017

UTSA Libraries receives grant to digitize The Sons of the Republic of Texas Collection

The Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT) recently received a grant to continue digitization of their archive of 16th - 20th century Mexican manuscripts, housed at UTSA Libraries.

The grant will support the hiring of a full-time digitization technician to scan and catalog the collection, making these valuable materials accessible to scholars world-wide.

The Sons of the Republic of Texas Kathryn Stoner O’Connor Mexican Manuscript Collection includes more than 5,400 items documenting social, political and religious life in central Mexico. Scholars will find information about individuals who influenced the country’s development, including Kings of Spain, two emperors of Mexico, Viceroys of Mexico, and Presidents of Mexico and the United States. Other items include financial records, personal and business correspondence, censuses and maps.

The collection is named in honor of Kathryn (Kate) Carlisle Stoner O'Connor, a preservationist, philanthropist and historian, best remembered for her role in the restoration of Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio in Goliad, Texas.

“This grant will enable us to greatly increase access to the SRT collection by presenting the entire collection in our digital portal,” said Amy Rushing, head of UTSA Special Collections. “We are grateful for the support from the SRT. We have a long-standing relationship with the SRT and we are honored to be the stewards of this important collection.”

Formed in 1893, The Sons of the Republic of Texas seeks to preserve the histories of the men and women who achieved the independence of Texas and secured its admission as a state of the United States, February 19, 1846.

UTSA Libraries’ Special Collections brings national recognition to the university for distinctive research materials documenting the diverse histories and development of San Antonio and South Texas.

- by Anne Peters

Your Genetic Data and Why Family Tree DNA Will Never Sell Your Data

A lot of negative, and often misleading, publicity concerning home DNA testing has been floating around the news services this week. In an effort to clear the air, Family Tree DNA has issued the following statement:

HOUSTON, Nov. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), a division of Gene-by-Gene Ltd, the first to market with a consumer oriented genealogical DNA testing kit and the only genealogical DNA testing company with its own state-of-the-art genetics laboratory, is telling consumers they will never sell their genetic data in a consumer awareness campaign entitled “Can the Other Guys Say That?”

“We feel the only person that should have your DNA is you,” says Bennett Greenspan, President and Founder of Family Tree DNA. “We don’t believe it should be sold, traded, or bartered.”

According to Greenspan, “the value of DNA testing is that the DNA test can tell you things about yourself that you cannot determine by looking in the mirror. It allows you to interrogate the history book written in your cells.”

The media campaign comes at the start of what is traditionally the biggest selling season of the year for genealogically focused DNA testing companies, reminding consumers who flock to genealogical sites to purchase their holiday gifts that, “Finding your roots is fun, but not all DNA test companies are created equal.”

Other DNA testing companies are, in fact, selling consumers’ genetic data to pharmaceutical companies for a profit. While these companies claim to remove personally identifying information prior to selling the data, the question, says Greenspan, is whether consumers feel the sale of their genetic data is “part of the deal [they] really thought [they] were signing up for when [they] ordered a simple DNA test for genealogical purposes.”

The “Can the Other Guys Say That?” campaign launched on Thanksgiving Day and encourages consumers to “Make the Smart Choice this Holiday Season.”

Monday, November 27, 2017

FamilySearch: a New Free Sign-in Process Offers Greater Subscriber Experiences and Benefits

The following announcement was written by the people at: FamilySearch

Salt Lake City, Utah (16 November 2017), Beginning December 13, 2017, patrons visiting FamilySearch.org will see a prompt to register for a free FamilySearch account or sign in to their existing account to continue enjoying all the free expanded benefits FamilySearch has to offer. Since its launch in 1999, FamilySearch has added millions of users, billions of various historical records, and many fun, new features like Family Tree, Memories, mobile apps, digital books, and dynamic help. In order to accommodate continued growth of these and future free services, FamilySearch must assure all its partners that its content is offered in a safe and secure online environment. Patrons creating a free account and signing in fulfills that need.

Patron sign in will also enable FamilySearch to satisfy the ongoing need for user authentication. This authentication can deliver rich, personalized discovery, collaboration, and help experiences. Simply put, signed-in visitors can access more searchable content and enjoy more personalized services.

“A large percentage of our current site visitors are not benefiting from much of what FamilySearch has to offer because they don’t realize the need to simply sign in with their free account to do so,” said Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO. “They are basically arriving in the parking lot but not coming inside for the main event,” he said about website visitors who do not sign in.

FamilySearch is committed to patron privacy and does not share personal account information with any third party without a patron’s consent.

See Registering to use FamilySearch.org for information about creating a free account.


1. Do I have to pay for a FamilySearch account?

No. Your FamilySearch account is, and always will be, free.

2. How do I create a free FamilySearch account?

See Registering to use FamilySearch.org. The only information you will need is your first and last name, a username, a password, and an email or mobile phone number.

3. What if I have forgotten my username or password?
See Recovering a forgotten username for signing in to FamilySearch.org.
See Recovering a forgotten password for signing in to FamilySearch.org.

4. Will you sell my information?

FamilySearch does not share your personal account information with any third party without your consent.

5. How will my experience be enhanced?

FamilySearch offers many services and experiences that are free but that require you to sign in as a subscriber to fully use. In addition to historical records and Family Tree access, signed-in subscribers receive personalized experiences, notifications, and other features (see above).

6. Why do users need to log in to perform searches or to create a family tree?

FamilySearch wants to provide you more access to records and a rich, personalized experience with more successful discoveries. By signing in, you allow the FamilySearch system to customize and deliver its best services to you.

7. How will my contact information be used?
Your information is used in the FamilySearch system to facilitate collaboration between users (you control how much information is shared).
The Family Tree and Memories features display your username and any other contact information you approve when using select features.
Your information allows you to send in-system messages to other users without revealing your personal identity or email address.
FamilySearch will send you email and newsletters to keep you informed. You can specify how much email, if any, you receive.
Your contact information is accessed when you contact the support group for help.

8. Is there anything I can do without signing in?

Absolutely. There are still a number of things you can do on FamilySearch without signing in. You can search the catalog, digitized books, genealogies, the Wiki, and the learning center. You can also view user-contributed photos and stories.


About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

General Meeting and Pot Luck, Saturday, December 2, 2017

Special Presentation:
“Mexican American Baseball”
PRESENTER: Dr. Richard A. Santillán
Richard Santillán, who co-wrote a book on this subject with Victoria C. Norton, Christopher Docter, Monica Ortez, Richard Arroyo, will speak about Mexican American Baseball in the San Fernando Valley. The book explores the teams and players that dotted the valley landscape throughout the 20th century. In a time and place where Mexican Americans were closed off from many city recreation centers, neighborhoods formed their own teams. Baseball and softball reinforced community and regional ties, strengthened family bonds, instilled discipline and dedication that translated into future professional careers, provided women opportunities outside their traditional roles in the home, and fostered lifelong friendships.
Dr. Santillán will be inviting several former San Fernando baseball players to participate in his discussion. He has collaborated on ten books on Mexican American baseball, including the Inland Empire, Pomona Valley, East Los Angeles, Los Angles, Ventura, and Orange County.

Election of our 2018 Board of Directors is coming! Please attend our December 2, 2017 Holiday Meeting to vote. It’s not too late to add your name to the hat to run for any office position, or to be on a committee.

And Holiday Pot Luck
What’s for Lunch on December 2? It’s a Potluck!
In the past, we have enjoyed tamales, enchiladas, delicious casseroles, pozole and more. We need mostly entrees and a few healthy salads, too. Desserts are also welcome. We will provide the drinks and paper goods. This is your opportunity to share with GSHA-SC your favorite cooking recipes. We do not have a stove at the SCGS Library where we meet in Burbank, so please bring a crockpot to keep your foods warm.

Please email the name of the food item you want to share in the great spirit of Christmas and the
holidays to Cathy Romero at cath.romero@sbcglobal.net or 626-485-2276. Please remember to bring your checkbook. Consider buying a book as a gift for the holidays. We are also happy to collect your dues for 2018. Dues help us continue to provide great speakers and events throughout the year. More importantly, sign up to be a volunteer! We will be having a door prize/raffle at the end of our pot luck. Please bring in your items that you wish to be donated as door prizes!

Monday, November 13, 2017

I Can’t Read That! Deciphering Old Handwriting

Gena Philibert-Ortega discusses (and provides links to) several free online tutorials to help you sharpen your skills at deciphering handwriting. To read her article please hit here and to check out the free web sites, place your mouse over the bold words to access their information.

You may go to the following websites, where the information is free.

What Does That Say? provides help with colonial American handwriting, including samples, common name abbreviations, and resources. Another one is  How to Read 18th Century British-American Writing

The UK National Archives web page Palaeography: Reading Old Handwriting 1500-1800. A Practical Online Tutorial is great for learning to read English handwriting from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Don’t forget to click on the Quick Reference link to find information about money, calendars, numbers, measurements and counties.

One website that might be a surprise in relation to handwriting is Stephen P. Morse’s One-Step Webpages. Most researchers are familiar with Morse’s tools that help search Ellis Island and Castle Garden databases as well as the federal census, but he also provides language tools you can find by clicking on the Foreign Alphabets link.

If you are looking for information in old Spanish, check here ¿Qué dice? Reading Spanish Handwriting Helps Find Records and another is Spanish Handwriting

How a DNA Test Can Change Your Life

Judith Fein wrote an interested piece in her blog about "How a DNA Test Can Change Your Life:The surprising results of a DNA test can impact your life.

She points out that " to find commonality over the last few hundred years. In a world where people feel so disconnected, so isolated, it's wonderful to have your feeling of belonging expand and to have, if you wish, the opportunity to connect to unknown relatives. Maybe you'll meet one day. Or talk on the phone. Or email. Or plan a visit to each others' hometowns or countries."

And that is what I did! I hope that you too may have found some peace knowing where and what journey your ancestors may have journey to get to where you are.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

La Historia Historical Society Museum (El Monte) Annual Menudo Fundraiser

Menudo Breakfast Fundraiser
Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017
8 a.m. - Noon

American Legion Post 261
4542 Peck Rd., El Monte CA

Tickets available day of: $10
Includes a delicious bowl of menudo, coffee or soft drink, and pan dulce.
For information and tickets, call Teresa Guitierrez (626) 747-1192 or Dr. Ben Campos (626) 964-6057.

Sponsored by: La Historia Historical Society Museum, (626) 279-1954
3240 Tyler Ave., El Monte CA 91731
Hours: Tuesdays 12 - 2 pm. Sundays 1-4 pm, except holidays.

Who has lived in your home?

Would you like to know who lived in your home or an ancestor home many years ago? One online site can help. Historic Map Works has unveiled a way to link people and places throughout history.

Historic Map Works is a collection of 19th and early 20th century city, town, and county maps. The detailed maps usually show every building and every street in each city or town. Each single-dwelling home contains the name of the family who resided there, either on or beside the building on the map. Apartment complexes contained the property owner’s name.

The new site should be of interest to history buffs, genealogy searchers, and real estate agents. Can you imagine the realtor listing the details of a family that used to live in the house being offered for sale? I suspect that amount of detail might increase the sale price!

The maps are visible on the web site free of charge while higher quality printed maps are offered for sale.

Historic Map Works provides the following description of their site:

Based in Portland Maine, Historic Map Works, LLC is an Internet company formed to create a historic digital map database of North America and the world. Drawing on the largest physical collection of American property atlases of its type, it is our aim to be the single best online destination for map enthusiasts and researchers alike.
In addition to our own atlas collection, we
incorporated our scans of the antiquarian world map collection from the
Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education located at
the University of Southern Maine. Combining these collections allows site
visitors a vast amount of information spanning several centuries of
cartographic information.

Historic Map Works’s map collection includes:

United States Property Atlases
Antiquarian Maps
Nautical Charts
Birdseye Views
Special Collections (Celestial Maps,
Portraits, and other historical images)
Directories and other text documents

The vast majority of our database was created
by scanning an original map at a high resolution by our team of highly
skilled image technicians. After scanning, this team processes out the
major imperfections while maintaining the look of an antiquarian map.

Maps are then uploaded and cataloged for
viewing on our website. Our technicians geocode each map to a modern map
to enable the search by address function. Linking the historic images in
our database with geocode data allows visitors to search by modern day
address or latitude and longitude coordinates. Other methods to view our
maps include browsing by geographic location as well as searching our maps
via keywords, town names, makers names, or simply by year.

Prints and giftware are offered for the vast
majority of images on our site. A Giclee printing process is used to
create the images ordered from our site ensuring an archival print that
will remain vibrant for years to come.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Why is it that AncestryDNA is offering: You Can Now Opt Out of Matches

Ancestry just announced over the weekend that they will now allow you to opt out of viewing and being viewed by your DNA matches. We've got the details on what that means for you by reading their blog.

If you’d like to read the full blog on the topic, it’s located here.

LUNCH AND LEARN, Saturday, November 11, 2017

Members and non-members are cordially invited to:

Southern California Genealogical Society and Family Research Library

417 Irving Drive, Burbank, California 91504 • 818-843-7247
FREE. Open to the public. The library materials will not be open for research.

Saturday, November 11, 2017 • Doors open at 12 noon

Brown Bag Lunch - 12 noon to 1 p.m. • Chat and share your genealogy and questions.

“Easy Interviewing Techniques” 1 - 2 p.m.
Not everyone is comfortable asking questions of even close relatives, but interviewing is one of the skills every researcher should be using to expand their knowledge beyond the written word. Learn the basics and more, as veteran researcher Donie Nelson prepares you to get the facts.

“Writing a Memoir: Your Own Life, In Your Own Words” 2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
The most important history you can leave your family, is the story of your own life. Who else knows you better? Whether you are a minimalist and choose to sum up your life in one page or you decide on a short story, this workshop will get you started and you will go home with tips on how to keep your memoir personal, factual and entertaining.

Presented by Donie A. Nelson

Donie Nelson has been researching her Swedish-Scottish-Spanish ancestry for 35 years and she has fascinating stories to share. She is a featured speaker for many societies and conferences, and also a recognized leader in the genealogical community. She has served on many Boards in California. Donie is a past President of Los Angeles WESTSIDE Genealogical Society (LAWGS), where she supervised the publication of the book: “Abbot (GSHA-SC), serving on their board from 1993-2011, including six terms as President. She currently focuses on outreach and is Editor-in-Chief of Nuestras Raices, the journal published by GSHA. Professionally Donie has worked with writers in the film and television industry since 1971 and now offers her research and editing services to other family researchers.Kinney’s Venice of America.” She currently serves on the board of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America (GSHA) and is a founding member of their Southern California Chapter

Sunday, November 5, 2017

TLC "Long Lost Family" returns

Follow the touching stories of people who have suffered a lifetime of separation and are yearning to be reunited with their birthparents and biological families or find children they had to place for adoption long ago. To learn more about the upcoming season hit here!

66 Descendant Family Trees To Help You Find Your Mexican Ancestors

You may not be aware that there is free information and valuable resource on the web. It is 66 Descendant Family Trees compiled by John Inclan and hosted by Somos Primos. When ever you see information online you may want to verify their facts with sources and research the information. If you used the information presented, please cite where you gathered the information in them, you always want to have the place where your facts came from. Just be warned, as with every thing that you see online that these Family Trees may contain errors. Your job is to verify!

List of Descendant Family Trees
Lieutenant Vicente de Alderete and Dona Maria Josefa Garcia de Rivera y Camacho
Don Francisco Javier de Alcorta
Don Francisco Joseph de Arocha and Dona Juana Ramirez Curbelo Umpierre
Captain Francisco Baez de Benavides and Dona Isabel Martinez Guajardo
Captain Juan Esteban de Ballesteros
Don Nicolas Balli Perez II and Dona Josefa Manuela Guerra de la Garza
Alcalde Mayor Fernando del Bosque Almendariz
Captain Pedro Botello de Morales
Dõn Juan Canales
Captain Alberto del Canto
Dõn Juan de Caliz and Dona Catalina Gomez de Coy (Santos Coy)
The Descendants of Captain Bernabe de las Casas And Dona Maria Beatriz Navarro Rodriguez
Don Juan Cavazos del Campo and Dona Elena de la Garza Falcon
Descendants of Dõn Juan Bautista Cavazos Fernandez
Don Juan Bautista Chapa and Dona Beatriz Olivares de Trevino
Don Pedro Duran y Chavez and Dona Isabel de Baca
Descendants of Christopher Columbus
Don Antonio de Ecay y Muzquiz and Dona Vicenta Vera
General Pedro de Elizondo
Don Alonso de Estrada
Don Juan Fernandez de Jauregui and Dona Isauel de Aldama
General Antonio Fernandez y Vallejo
Pedro Flores de Abrego
Don Juan Galindo Morales And Dona Melchora Sanchez Navarro
Don Blas Maria de la Garza Falcon and Dona Beatriz Gonzalez Hidalgo
Captain Pedro de la Garza Falcon y Trevino
Lord Pedro Gonzalez de Mendoza And Lady Aldonza Lopez de Ayala
Don Miguel de Gortari
Don Jose Manuel de Goseascochea and Dona Maria Francisca Xaviera de la Garza y de la Garza
Don Jose Bartolome Inclan Cabrera
Don Jose Luis Jasso and Dona Maria Nicolasa de Luna
Jean Juchereau, Sieur de More
Captain Antonio Ladron de Guevara
Descendants of Captain Pedro Lozano Urquizu & Dona Marianna de la Garza y Rocha
Don Juan Francisco Martinez Guajardo and Dona Ursula Ines Catarina Navarro Rodriguez
Descendants of Don Pedro Miguel Mendez
Captain Francisco de Mier Noriega
Don Juan Perez de Onate and Dona Osana Martinez de Gonzalez
Don J Clemente Perez de Ancira Gonzalez de Paredes
Don Francisco Perez de Escamilla and Dona Leonor de Ayala
Don Lorenzo Perez and Dona Adriana de Leon
Don Joseph de Plaza and Dona Cathalina de Urrutia y Flores de Valdez
Major Diego Ramon
Gonzalo de Reina and Catarina Gumendio y de la Garza
Captain Antonio Rodriguez de Quiroga
Don Manuel de Sada
Don Pedro de Salazar
Don Francisco Sanchez de la Barrera and Dona Maria Duran de Vzcanga
Don Joseph Antonio Seguin and Dona Geronima Flores de Abrego
Descendants of Dõn Juan Alonso de Sosa
Descendants of Don Martin Sosa y Bravo
Chief Constable Vicente Travieso Alvarez
Don Joseph Diego de Tremino y Quintanilla
Don Pedro Uribe y Vergara and Dona Ana Lenor Tovar
Don San Juan de Urrutia y Allende and Dona Casilda Retes y Retes
Don Joseph de Urrutia y Escurta and Dona Francisca Nicolasa Javiera Fernandez de la Garza
Descendants of Don Andress de Valdivielsso
Don Gutierre Vasquez de la Cueva and Dona Francisca de Carvajal
Don Pedro Fernandez de Velasco, 1st Count of Haro
Don Martin de Veramendi and Dona Benita de Olagrie
Descendants of Don Juan Ignacio de Verridi
Alferez Diego de Villarreal and Dona Beatriz de las Casas y Navarro
Captain Diego de Villarreal de las Casas and Ines de Renteria
Descendants of Juan de Villarreal de las Casas
Jose Benito Zambrano
Dõn Nicolas Zambrano Tresalvo

Again, you can view the above trees at 66 Descendant Family Trees compiled by John Inclan.

Early Settlers of Revilla: Jose Baez de Benavides and Margarita de la Serna

There is a web site put together by an individual that is promoting research on families from a specific community. The only problem is that you will need to become a member of the group at a price. We are not giving a recommendation or any judgement but providing information to those who are not aware of the site.

To read more of the article by Moises Garza please hit here