What is the 5-generation Genealogy Project?
By the time the residents of the three Mexican and Mexican-American neighborhoods of Palo Verde, Bishop, and La Loma were evicted during the 1950s, more than 6,000 people had been documented as their having lived in the neighborhoods of the so-called Chavez Ravine in the Stone Quarry Hills. Every one of those residents has a genealogical history, much of which goes back to México in the 18th, 17th, and, in some cases, the 16th and even the 15th Centuries.
A complete five-generation 'family tree' chart contains the names of 30 of the immediate ancestors of any given person (see the author's chart at the top of this post for an example of a 'full' 5-generation chart), for a total of 31 people per chart. In chart form, a 5-generation family tree typically extends back in time about 200 years, on average. Some of you may already know the names of the 30 immediate ancestors of yours; but some of you may not and you may wish to know more.
That is where the role of a competent genealogist come in. Using expert knowledge acquired through long experience doing research on family genealogies, an experienced genealogist is often able to locate documents that establish the identities of people in one's chart.
The 5-generation Genealogy Project is a new and ongoing project of this blog that allows people who are interested in documenting their genealogies to acquire that information at a reasonable cost and to obtain copies of the birth, marriage, death, and other records of their ancestors that they might not already have. The 5-generation Genealogy Project is focused entirely on the genealogies of the people who lived in Palo Verde, Bishop, and La Loma between 1909 and 1950 — in other words, the residents of Chavez Ravine.
Using publicly-available records, the 5-generation Genealogy Project will attempt to fill in and document the names in any 5-generation family tree chart, beginning with a documented Chavez Ravine resident, even if that person was not actually evicted during the 1950s. Please be aware that, unfortunately, it is not always possible to fill in every blank on every chart.
What does it cost to join the project?
A quick online check of the cost of genealogy research shows that it can cost anywhere between $20–$100 an hour or more to hire a genealogist. The average is probably somewhere between $35–$60 an hour.
The cost of becoming a member of the ChavezRavine.org 5-generation Genealogy Project is $149. This is a flat fee that represents the total cost of your participation in the project. There are no additional costs or charges involved in participating as a member of the project.
What will I get for my money?
This is the right question to ask. Beginning with the information you initially provide, the project will conduct the research necessary to document what you already know and will attempt to extend it for at least five generations. I say "... at least five generations ..." because in one recent case, it was possible to document not just 5, but 13 generations — into the late 1500s! You will eventually receive all relevant charts — which may extend for more than five generations onto additional charts (see the previous comment) — along with digital images of all census records, marriage records or certificates, and any other records that were located during the research to document your ancestors. Other records may include immigration records, draft registrations, naturalization records, and anything else that was located. You will also receive an ahnentafel, which is a record of every family member that was located during the research process, including siblings of your ancestors (your cousins). The word 'ahnentafel' literally means 'ancestor table', and has been in use since it was first 'invented' in 1590. It is the basis of the 5-generation chart. [Michaël Eytzinger, Thesaurus principum hac aetate in Europa viventium, Cologne, 1590.]
What experience does the project have?
That's another great question. The author has been conducting genealogical research for more than 45 years. In terms of Mexican research, he has viewed, documented, and translated more than 20,000 Mexican records, dating from 1588 through the present. Nearly all Mexican records, both religious and civil, have been microfilmed and are available — the trick is in knowing where, and how, to look, and how to interpret the information that is contained in the records.
How do I apply for the project?
A participation form has been developed for you to apply to be a part of the ChavezRavine.org 5-generation Genealogy Project. If you want to apply, simply click on this link. That will bring up an online application that you may fill out and submit on your computer. Provide all the information you can, based on what you already know. Some fields on the form are required; the form will prompt you if information is required. When you have provided all the information you can on the form, simply click the "SUBMIT" button at the bottom of the form, and it will be emailed to the 5-generation Genealogy Project.
The next step is to pay the $149 fee. There are many ways to submit online payments, and in fact, you may already be using one of these convenient online methods. Payment may be made using Zelle, Square Cash, Venmo, or any other online digital payment system. Digital online payments typically require the recipient's email address and contact telephone number. Direct your payment to the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and use contact telephone number 925-357-5294. Alternately, you may mail a check directly to the author at the following address:
640 Moraga Rd Apt 211
Moraga, CA 94556
How long will the research take?
That's a good question, and one for which, unfortunately, there is no good answer.. The truth is that is will take as long as it takes, although the time it does take — whatever that is — is completely covered by your one-time project fee of $149. Once your application has been received, there will undoubtedly be some — perhaps many — questions that the author will want to ask to clarify the family or the individuals you want to document. Since you must provide an email address on the application form, you will be contacted by email directly with any questions.. Of course, you may always contact the author at any time using this email address.
The 5-generation Genealogy Project has become the author's life work; I look forward to working on your project. I believe it is critically important that we not forget the more than 6,000 residents of Chavez Ravine: those who lived in the neighborhoods of Palo Verde, Bishop, and La Loma. I further believe that we honor those residents by documenting their (and, by extension, your) ancestors.
Want to know more about the project?
If you have questions about the 5-generation Genealogy Project, contact the author here:
About the Author
Bouett is a retired research scientist and registered professional
engineer who now conducts historical and genealogical research
full-time. A ninth-generation Californian, he is particularly interested in the displacement of the nearly 1,100 families that lived in the Chavez Ravine communities of la Loma, Palo Verde, and Bishop to make way, ultimately, for the construction of Dodger Stadium. His ancestors arrived in California with Portolá in 1769 and came to Los Angeles with the founders on September 4, 1781.
"Thank you for such an informative site which highlights the plight of those relocated from Chavez Ravine. My stepfather was a happy child growing up in the Palo Verde area. He had many stories about living in the area and working at the [Ayala] store."