All posts by qhgs

Our January Meeting

Sunday, January 19, 2020 at 1:00pm

To start the year off, we have two presentations that might spark some new ideas for those pesky brick walls you have. Questing Heirs Member and Newsletter Editor Janice Miller will present Discovering Your Family – The Importance of a Timeline and Finding Records for Your Female Ancestors – What Undiscovered Records Might Reveal.

About the Presentations

Discovering Your Family – The Importance of a Timeline

Do you know the when, where and why of your ancestor’s life? There is more to their story than their birth, marriage and death. If you map out their life using a timeline, it can help identify the holes in their life and clear up contradictions in your research.

Finding Records for Your Female Ancestors – What Undiscovered Records Might Reveal

Do you know where to look for your female ancestors? Are you tired of hearing that your great grandmother’s name was Mrs. Robert Smith and not knowing her birth name? We will explore records to search, see concrete examples and perhaps find clues to break down a brick wall that has you stumped.

About Janice Miller

Janice has been doing genealogy research for her family for more than thirty years. She is an avid reader and attends various genealogy workshops and conferences to further her knowledge base. Janice has been the QHGS newsletter editor for the past two years and is currently taking online classes through the National Genealogical Society.

In the course of her research for her DAR membership, she found an ancestor that was an aide to General Washington. Another ancestor, Rebecca Nurse, was one of the last women hung at Salem in 1692. Throughout the years, Janice discovered there is never an end to one’s research. New records come online each month. There is always something fun and interesting to learn no matter how long you’ve been researching your family tree.

Our December Meeting

Our December meeting is always a great time to connect with fellow genealogy enthusiasts and share experiences. In December, we gather to install our new officers, share stories and eat great food.

Join us and share one of your favorite family dishes with your Questing Heirs friends at our Annual Potluck. Please bring your favorite food. Plates, utensils and drinks will be provided.

The program section of December’s meeting is Heroes, Rascals and Ne’er-Do-Wells. You all know who those folks are in your family. Tell us about one of yours. Participation is voluntary.

We will also hold the drawing for November’s cup of coffee question.  The possible answers are found on page 89 of the December newsletter.

We hope to see you there!

Our October Meeting

Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 1:00pm

Our October meeting will feature an ask-a-professional panel discussion with guests from the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (SSCAPG). After brief introductions, the panelists will take audience questions related to professional genealogy. Topics might include such things as preparing to become a professional genealogist, running a successful genealogy business, and/or hiring and working with
professional genealogists. Bring your questions and join us for an informative and enjoyable afternoon.

We are excited to have the opportunity to host four professional genealogists at our next meeting. If you have attended a panel discussion before at a genealogy conference, you know how valuable these can be. You don’t have to have a degree or initials after your name to be a researcher for others. Get ready to take some notes!

The panelists are:

Kimberlie Guerrieri, MA is a professional genealogist, author, and educator. As the founder of The Ancestry Agency, she spends her days helping people discover their family histories and solve some pretty cool mysteries. She recently appeared on “We’ll Meet Again” with Ann Curry on PBS.

Jean Wilcox Hibben, PhD, MA is a genealogical speaker, musician, and folklorist. She taught speech communication before leaving academia to pursue two passions: folklore and family history. Jean has held board positions with the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the International
Society of Family History Writers and Editors. She is the current president of SCCAPG.

Christina “Tina” McKillip has been doing family research for 30 years and adoption research in California for 25 years. Tina doesn’t have a certification in genealogy research but relies on genealogy meetings, seminars and webinars to educate herself. Tina has her own business of viewing and extracting vital records in Los Angeles County for various clients. Tina is a new member of APG and SCCAPG and currently the President of Questing Heirs Genealogical Society.

Cyndy Richardson (Bio not available at time of publication.)

Our September Meeting

Our September Speaker is Sara Cochran, whose presentation will be on Disaster Proofing Your Genealogical Research.

Family historians spend years gathering and compiling records, photographs, and family heirlooms to preserve the past and guide the future. Let’s talk about ways to ensure that all this hard work isn’t lost in any number of potential disasters.

About Sara Cochran

Sara Cochran has been conducting genealogical research for 25 years, and her research has taken her into nearly every state in the USA, as well as Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Britain. She holds a Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate, a Bachelor Degree in Library Science, and is an alumnus of the ProGen Study Group. She especially enjoys breaking down brick walls for her clients, discovering the stories of black sheep ancestors, and helping individuals preserve their photographic legacy.

Sara began her career as a professional genealogist in 2016 after spending over 11 years working for a pre-employment background check company. She is currently the Treasurer of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Registrar for the Aurantia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Secretary for the Amanda Stokes Tent, Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, and volunteers at the National Archives, Riverside office.

Our August meeting

Sunday, August 18, 2019, 1:00pm

Our August speaker is Connie Moretti, who will be giving two presentations: The In’s and Out’s of Indexes and Destiny’s Documents. We hope you will join us for these informative talks.

About Connie Moretti

A third-generation Californian, Connie developed her love for genealogy from a story-telling grandmother who enrolled her in Knotts Berry Farm’s Covered Wagon Club at age nine.

She taught beginning and internet genealogy classes for South Bay Adult School, served as editor of the South Bays Cities Genealogical Society Newsletter for five years and continues to write a regular column. She is the co-author of two genealogy books, Stepping Stones to Genealogy and On the Road: Day Trips to Local Genealogy Research Sites.

Connie is a member of APG, NGS, NEHGS, VGS, NSDAR, USD1812. She also has assisted a number of ladies with DAR applications and supplementals and has successfully documented 17 patriots for herself.

Our July Meeting

Sunday, July 21, 1:00pm

Questing Heirs’ 50th Anniversary Celebration

This is one meeting you don’t want to miss! The 50th Committee has been working hard since last September to make it a special event.

Besides some yummy food, there will be multiple raffle drawings for gift baskets which will include an Ancestry DNA kit, three different online subscriptions, four items with the QHGS logo plus some jewelry, etc.

Do you know the oldest locations of your maternal and paternal lines? Be ready to locate them on a map.

Proceeds from the raffle will help support our speakers and other activities so please plan to buy some tickets for these great raffle items. Come and help us make this a great success!

Our June Meeting

Sunday, June 16 at 1:00pm

Members Solving Brick Walls

Is your ancestor research stuck and you can’t figure out key information about one of your ancestors? Most of us have hit a snag in our research at one point or another. We’d love to hear about one of your current research brick walls. Maybe one of our members has figured out a similar issue and can help you.

We are setting aside time for members who’d like to tell us about a brick wall that they are working on. Let’s draw on each other’s experiences and see if one of our members might have a suggestion that leads you to your ‘Ah-Ha’ moment.

If you’d like help, please come prepared to tell our members about it and hopefully leave with a suggestion that solves your mystery.

Our Annual Ice Cream Social

Sunday, June 16 is also the QHGS annual ice cream social hosted by our Executive Board. Please come join us for some yummy ice cream and plenty of toppings.

Our May Meeting

Sunday, May 19 at 1:00pm

We look forward to seeing you at our May meeting. Our speaker is Christine Elia, who will be giving a talk on the following two topics.

Genealogy Software:  Useful Features to Make Your (Genealogy) Life Easier

This presentation will show you various features of genealogy software you probably aren’t aware of, and how to find out which programs have which features. Using three different programs as examples (Legacy, RootsMagic and Gramps), we will explore features that can help us organize our data, display it in various ways, and find out what data we are missing. There will be time for audience questions so bring your software questions with you and let’s see if we can answer them.

What Are GEDCOM Files and Why Do I Need to Know About Them?

If you will ever want to share your data (or part of it), change to a different software program, or upload some of your data to a DNA matching website, you will want to know about GEDCOM files. GEDCOM is the standard format used by genealogists and software developers for exporting and importing data into genealogy software. We will also see how data from one software program can be imported into another program and why some of the data can be lost along the way. Without understanding what may be lost, you could lose some bits and bytes of your long-sought data!

About Christine Elia

Christine Elia retired as a programmer analyst in the aerospace field and IT department of a school district. She became interested in genealogy about 25 years ago when one of her kids had a school assignment to interview the oldest relatives they knew. At the end of the project, she was shown the finished assignment and was amazed at what she hadn’t known about her parents and in-laws. She held onto the report and it became the first “round” of collecting information.

Since then, she has located and visited distant relatives her immediate family had never heard about, traveled to her ancestral villages and met more relatives, and exchanged information with them. To date, she has been to Poland, Italy, Greece, Lithuania, and Denmark to see relatives. Along the way, she has collected old letters written by relatives to each other, brought home tile pieces from her grandmother’s kitchen, a brick from a textile mill, milk bottles (her dad was a Carnation milkman), a window frame from a Polish barn (really! — it is soon to be a picture frame), and ethnic music records. Of course, many cemeteries have been photographed as well as the homes where relatives once lived. She has also become the family archivist since she seems to end up with boxes and suitcases full of photos and papers after elders die.

Besides researching her own family and that of her husband, she is interested in immigration history from any country to any other country and has collected hundreds of books on this topic. She also is working on a chain migration project for the Polish towns two of her grandparents came from.

Our March Meeting

Sunday, March 17 at 1:00 pm

Our March speaker is David Flint.  He will present the following two lectures:

Overview of Genealogy Research in England

This program reviews the three main record groups you are likely to use when doing genealogy research in England: Census records, Civil Registration records and Church parish records. Each of these record types covers a different time period ranging from 1538 to the present, and each can provide key information about your ancestors in England. The program will compare the different types of records with illustrations of the content, historical context, and some websites to access them online. A printed handout, with bibliography, is provided.

Location Finding Aids:  Maps, Gazetteers and Websites to Find Your Places in England

This presentation will focus on location finding aids to help you find the places in England where your ancestors lived, including maps, gazetteers and websites. The talk will include demonstrations for using specific websites that are helpful in researching place names and counties in England. A printed handout, with bibliography, is provided.

About David Flint

David Flint has been doing English genealogy research for the past 15 years. He was born in England, where he lived until the age of ten, when his family moved to Canada, and then to the United States. He currently lives in Irvine with his wife, Nancy. David devotes time to genealogy research, attending lectures and seminars, teaching genealogy classes, and occasional speaking engagements. He is Past President, Vice-President and Treasurer of the South Orange County California Genealogical Society (SOCCGS) where he currently serves on the society’s executive board.

David retired after working for the County of Los Angeles for 40 years, ending his career as Assistant Director of the Los Angeles County Public Library. He began his interest in genealogy at a library conference in Phoenix, Arizona in 2002, where he met two British Isles research specialists from FamilySearch. He likes to say that genealogy found him because he wasn’t looking for it at the time. He enjoys cooking, good wine, travel, and likes to read history and historical fiction. In addition to working on his family history, David is developing a specialized collection of British Isles reference books in his home library. He and his wife Nancy have made trips to England to keep in touch with family and visit the country where he spent his childhood.

At his home society in Mission Viejo he leads a monthly England special interest group, and a monthly Legacy Users Group for SOCCGS members using the Legacy Family Tree genealogy program. He also teaches a beginners class for Legacy, and a class in computer basics. He leads an annual week-long research trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City for SOCCGS, and is currently planning their 2019 trip.

Our February meeting

Sunday, February 17, 2019

With a Little Help from My Friends with Tina McKillip and Becky Moore

Imagine being adopted and not having any information about your birth parents because you were abandoned as a baby.

Becky and Tina will take you on a journey of DNA and genealogy research to find the biological parents of Daniel. Together with a DNA expert and the inclusion of Daniel’s help, this mystery was solved. How do you start with nothing but DNA matches to come to a conclusion? Come to the February meeting to find out.

Christina “Tina” McKillip is a native of Lynwood and lives in Long Beach. She has been doing family research for 30 years after being intrigued by her own mother’s estranged family. In the early 1990s she did a birth parent search for a coworker and found that this type of research was very rewarding. After 25 years of doing adoption research, the power of DNA has made these searches more accurate and sometimes easier to solve. Tina recently solved a 20-year-old case that would have been impossible if not for DNA. As far as education, Tina relied on genealogy meetings, her curiosity and tenacity and the help of her various mentors in the adoption search community. Lately she has teamed up with Becky Moore and a few researchers to help adoptees who are searching for their biological families. Tina also has her own business of viewing and extracting vital records in Los Angeles County for various clients.

Becky Moore intuitively knew the man raising her was not her biological father. The path to discovering who her biological father was began with very little information and pre-internet. Finally, at the age of 37 after spending hours, reading, researching jumping over hurdles, and contacting agencies, Becky found her dad, living mere blocks away from her and thus began her passion for locating biological family members. Becky is very resourceful, possessing a wide base of knowledge to draw upon. She is observant, creative, detail oriented, dependable and can do anything she sets her mind to. In addition to being a self- motivated, she works efficiently, effectively and competently. Becky believes meeting Tina in court, while on Jury Duty was part of a divine plan from a higher power. Their passion for connecting families has intensified with the discovery of DNA testing, the use of multiple databases and most importantly teamwork. Together they are dedicated, and very committed to finding the missing link, for adoptees and biological family.

Bad Handwriting Day: Why Every Genealogist Needs to Be a Paleographer! with John McCoy

Genealogists encounter all sorts of handwritten documents that are difficult to read. Paleography is the art of reading old handwriting. The principles of paleography are easy to grasp, and excellent tutorials can be found on the internet. The same principles apply to the problem of reading bad handwriting from all periods. The real work consists of studying enough samples of various handwriting styles to be able to read them fluently. We will present examples of English and American handwriting from a variety of sources and periods. Bring your own favorite examples of illegible genealogical documents, which we will discuss during the program as time permits.

John McCoy is Past President of Questing Heirs Genealogical Society in Long Beach, CA. He has well over 50 years of research experience covering six centuries and many countries. Since 1994, he has devoted most of his efforts to his French and Swiss ancestry. He is site coordinator for the Swiss Canton of Vaud in the World GenWeb project (