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11 March 2008

CGS Ancestral Chart Project

Like most genealogical societies, CGS has received many donated items over the years, and as is usually the case, things sometimes get "lost" in the archives. One of the benefits of moving last year was the rediscovery of some 100 ancestral charts of assorted size and vintage. Volunteers had carefully labeled each chart with a primary surname title and stored them alphabetically in eight long boxes. Many hours had been spent creating a surname index of all names found on the charts. A card file is available in the CGS Library where one can look up a surname of interest and find a card listing each of the donated charts that feature the surname in question.

Despite the elaborate surname index, the charts were a seldom-used resource in the library. Unless a surname is extremely rare, there is little practical reason to use the index cards or to examine a chart, based on surname alone.

In July 2007, 14 volunteers met at the home of CGS President, Jane Lindsey, for a potluck work party to search through the charts. The purpose of the session was to examine and abstract information from as many of the charts as possible with the intent of creating an online database so searchers could more precisely determine a chart's relevance to their research. Unfortunately, the work proved more tedious than anticipated and even a second session later in the summer proved inadequate to finish the job. Several more charts remain to be examined before the information can be collated and put into a database. However, a couple of the charts warrant further attention in the blog. Stay tuned.

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