Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dear Randy: How Do I Publish My Family Tree?

Regular commenter T asked that question on my Follow-Up on Collaborative Tree - Getting It Right post (22 April 2014), saying:

"How does one go about publishing a family tree? I have researched so much of my family that no one else has and I've found errors in research done by others. One quote from a published book is wrong and I have the correct information. And once successfully published, how do I get it 'out there' for others to use?"

That's an excellent question and almost every genealogy researcher asks it at some point in their career.  It has several possible answers, depending on several factors, including:

1)  Write an article for a specific research problem or family line and submit it to a genealogical periodical - a local (e.g., Chula Vista Genealogical Society), regional (e.g., Southern California Genealogical Society), state (e.g., California Genealogical Society) or national (e.g., National Genealogical Society) genealogical organization or publisher.  Each society or publisher will have standards for content (page limits, reader interest, etc.), editing (peer-reviewed, lightly edited, or published as-is), source citations, images, etc.  You should read past issues to determine if the periodical is appropriate for your article.  An article may take some time to publish, depending on publishing schedules and editing issues.

2)  Write a family history book using genealogy software or a word processor and publish it yourself (at a copy service) or using a book publisher.  There are publishing services for small runs like CreativeContinuum ( that will publish your book and provide other services for a price.  Biff Barnes on the Stories to Tell Books website writes about this option and offers services.  There are other genealogy publishers for family history books that might have a wide reader interest.  

3)  Publishing it yourself is easier if you use a publish-on-demand service like  You create the content, edit it (or have someone else edit it), contract with the publishing service, set a price for the book, and publish it, then try to market it.  I have not done this or investigated it much.  Denise Olson on the Moultrie Creek Gazette blog has many posts about this option.

4)  You could write your own genealogy blog and write about each family or family line in your ancestry, displaying record images and abstracts or transcriptions to justify your research conclusions.  Blog posts can be found using a search engine, so your information would be found by a researcher looking for names and places and relationships.  Obviously, I do this!

5)  You could publish the whole book as a PDF file on an online website like, and other publish-on-demand services.  I've put several multi-generational family history reports together and have them on Scribd - see  I can delete them, or add more, and I can even sell them.  The information in the reports is found by a search engine.  

6)  You could use one or more of the many online family tree systems as cousin bait.  An Ancestry Member Tree gets found by the Ancestry search engine, and is free to create.  However, if you want to discuss specific research points in an AMT, you need to attach Stories to the persons rather than rely on Notes uploaded with a GEDCOM file (since Notes are not visible to anyone but the tree Owner).  Some online trees encourage discussions about research problems - WikiTree, WeRelate, Geni and the FamilySearch Family Tree are examples. Content on some of the online trees (not Ancestry, not FSFT) can be found with a search engine.  

7)  You could write posts or comments on Rootsweb surname or locality message boards and Rootsweb mailing lists about specific research problems and issues.  These are also found by a search engine.  

It all depends on how much effort you want to expend to create a family history book or article.  There are cost issues with actual paper and cover books. One risk is that another researcher will take issue with the conclusions that you've published and now you have the same problem that you mentioned in your question.

I'm sure that my Genea-Musings readers will have other ideas for reader T - please comment on this post and help T out with publishing options.  

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2014 Syllabus Material Available

I posted News for the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2014 in Burbank yesterday, and mentioned that the Jamboree 2014 app was now available.

I downloaded the app, registered my email and password, and now can access it on all of my devices.  The Jamboree blog post had a link to access the app content on the Internet at  The screens on the mobile App look pretty much the same as those on the website, so I'll use the website to find the syllabus materials.

1)  Here is the screen for the SCGS 2014 app on the Internet:

2)  The syllabus materials are available in the "Classes" page:

The user has the choice between "Browse by Day" or "Browse by Topic" (shown above).

3)  I clicked on the "Browse by Day" link and saw:

The user can click on one of the conference days - June 5th is shown on the screen above.

Each "class" is shown with the class time, class code, speaker's last name and title of the presentation.  If there is a "PDF" icon next to the class time, it indicates that there is a handout in PDF format available.  Those talks without a PDF icon don't have a handout available at the present time.

4)  I clicked on the TH008 class and saw the class description:

There are three tabs at the top of the description, for "Actions," "About" and "Resources."

5)  The syllabus material is in the "Resources" tab.  When the screen below first opens, you have to click on the blue "Handouts" button to see the link to the handout in PDF format:

6)  I clicked on the title of the talk under the blue "Handouts" button on the screen above to see the PDF of the handout:

I can use the menu strip in the lower right-hand corner to see the full page, go full screen width, zoom in, zoom out, save to a file, or print the handout.

6)  The mobile app uses the same process as the website, except the menu choices are to:

*  Open the Handout In-App
*  Open the Handout in Books, Evernote or Dropbox (on my iOS device).
*  Email the Handout (you have to type in the email address, title and message)

7)  I love being able to access the handout (when available) in the app, although I know that Internet access in the classrooms at Jamboree may not be reliable.  It will probably be best to download them to my laptop computer and be able to access them there if the Internet access is poor or my mobile runs out of battery.  

Another neat thing is that the handouts can be colorful.  But the links are not active, but you can copy/paste from the PDF.

8)  There are other very useful functions in the mobile app, and i'll keep exploring them.

Note that you don't have to be registered for the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree to access the syllabus material on the Internet or on the mobile app.

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copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 211: Sanborn Fire Insurance Map for San Diego (1921-1955)

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the Sanborn Fire Insurance Map page for my Carringer family homes in San Diego.

The block from Book 2 of the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for San Diego is bounded by 30th Street on the west, Ivy street on the north, Fern Street on the east, and Hawthorn Street on the south.  As you can see, the map for this block has been corrected and pasted over the original page (probably several times!).  The latest revision to the map book was in 1955, and this map reflects the block as I remember it in 1955.

The Key to the map book indicates that wood-frame buildings are yellow color, brick buildings are pink, stone or concrete buildings are blue, and fireproof material buildings are orange.  The Key is shown here:

The houses of interest on this block include:

*  2115-2119 30th Street.  This house was originally built in about 1895 by my great-grandparents and was located on the corner of 30th and Hawthorn Streets, then "improved" in about 1927 and moved to the present location then.  The improvement was making it two separate dwellings (upstairs and downstairs) with two entrances.  The notation 2-F on the map indicates that it is a wood frame house with two floors.  The first floor entrance is indicated by a dot in the lower left-hand corner of the house.  The second floor entrance is denoted by a 2 in the upper left-hand corner of the building on the map.  The map shows a dashed lined "PLFM" (platform) on the east side - this is probably the back porch and stairs (which were constructed at about this time).  There is a notation 4' on the north side of the building which is, I think, the clearance between buildings.  To the right of that notation is a notation 41' which is a clearance to the next building to the north, which is misleading since there was a wooden fence and a lath house in between the two buildings.  There is a solid line on the south side of the house that runs from 30th Street to Fern Street.  This is a reinforced concrete brick wall separating the properties.

*  2114-2116 Fern Street.  This two-story wood-frame house, with two dwellings, was built in about 1927 by my great-grandparents.  The two entrances are noted by a dot (first floor) and a 2 (second floor).  The back stairs to the second floor are also shown.  There is a 10 foot separation between this building and the 2115-2119 30th Street building.

*  2130 Fern Street.  This one-story wood-frame house was built in about 1920 by my grandparents.  The entrance is in the bottom right-hand corner.  There is a one-story garage (marked A) to the south of the house.  This property was sold in about 1950 to Mr. Phillips.

*  2123 and 2127 30th Street.  These two small dwellings were built in about 1927 by my grandparents, and are one-story wood-frame houses with attached garages (which are not marked with an A).

*  The seven small apartments in three separate buildings at 2107 and 2111 30th, 3004, 3006, 3008, 3010 and 3012 Hawthorn.  Two of them are one-story buildings, and the one on the right is a two-story building with a garage below the two upstairs apartments.  These were built in about 1953 after my grandparents sold the two lots south of the 2115-2119 building to Mr. Glassford.  

I accessed this Sanborn Fire Insurance Company book at the San Diego Central Library yesterday during my short visit there.  The genealogy, local history and rare book collections of the library are on the 9th floor.  The Sanborn volumes can be requested at the information desk and they will be provided to your workstation.  

A source citation, you ask?  Here's my effort (using the Maps, Historic" source template in RootsMagic 6, using EE 12.67):

Insurance Maps of San Diego, California (New York: Sanborn Map Co., 1921), Volume 2, page 231, accessed at San Diego Central Library (330 Park Blvd., San Diego), Local History collection.

I looked for other ancestral homes also.  I could spend all day browsing through maps like these!

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Getting Mary --?-- As Right As Possible - Not a Sherman IMHO!

I posteAm I Really Benjamin Franklin's 5th Cousin 9 Times Removed? on Monday, and Follow-Up on Collaborative Tree - Getting It Right on Tuesday.  

Reader Diane Boumenot commented on the Tuesday post with:

"Randy, there has recently been a series of articles on the early Shermans in New England Historic Genealogical Register - see the most recent, Volume 168, Whole Number 669, January 2014 p. 16 for part 6. I haven't gone through them carefully yet to determine my Sherman background."

You know, throughout this work I've had the nagging thought that "I know this has been dealt with recently" but it didn't pop up when I searched for Samuel Sherman in the website, which has all but the last year of New England Historical and Genealogical Register volumes.  

Thank you, Diane!  Of course they have!  And I have been reading them each quarter when they came out.  

1)  So I went back through the issues I have (I have them in PDF format from the AmericanAncestors website) and easily found the Samuel Sherman and Grace --?-- who were supposed to have lived in Boston in the 1640s, and had Mary Sherman (1625-1699) who, according to, WikiTree, the FamilySearch Family Tree, hundreds of Ancestry Member Trees, and many websites, was purportedly married to Thomas Fish (1619-1687) of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  

I found the target Samuel Sherman family in the article:

Michael Johnson Wood, "The Earliest Shermans of Dedham, and Theiur wives: Part 3: Henry Sherman the Younger and his Wife," New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 167, Number 2 (April 2013), pages 149-156.

Here are images of the two pages (pages 151-152) which deal with the Samuel and Grace (--?--) Sherman family:

Apparently, there is no marriage record for Samuel Sherman and Grace --?--, and the article lists their six children, including Mary Sherman, born in 1633.  She married a Clarke (probably Emanuel Clarke of Marblehead) before 1662, and Emanuel Clarke died after June 1669 when he was a defendant in an Essex County, Massachusetts Quarterly Court Case.  In addition, Mary Clarke, probably of Marblehead, was age 29 in June 1662 (so born in about 1633, probably in England) when her age was given in another Essex County Quarterly Court case.  Emanuel and Mary (Sherman) Clarke left no probate records in Essex County, Massachusetts.  See page 154 for this discussion.

Since Mary (--?--) Fish was having children with Thomas Fish in Portsmouth, Rhode Island from about 1646 to about 1661, and died in 1699 as Mary, widow of Thomas Fish, it is very unlikely that she is the Mary Sherman, daughter of Samuel and Grace (--?--) Sherman.  

2)  While this is an authored work, a careful review of Michael Johnson Wood's articles (there are at least six of them now) on the colonial Sherman family shows careful and meticulous scholarship with impeccable sourcing of a wide range of original records from England and New England.  Researchers with a New England Sherman family line should rejoice at this excellent work, and find these articles online or in a genealogical library.  

I am convinced that the lines in all of the family trees I mentioned above that show Mary (Sherman) Fish (1625-1699) to be the wife of Thomas Fish are wrong, and the authors of those trees should modify their work to reflect that Mary --?-- was not a Sherman.  

3)  A review of the published literature for colonial New England families is a must for all New England researchers.  Not every colonial family has been treated to this level of scholarship, but many of them have, and reviewing these works is part of a researcher's due diligence.  There is a wealth of similar periodical articles available in the peer-reviewed journals which every researcher needs to be aware of and read cover-to-cover.  NEHGS is on Volume 168 now.  Have New England researchers reviewed them on a regular basis for their ancestral families?  They should!  I try to keep up with them.  

4)  In this case, I doubt that I will ever do the research that Michael Johnson Wood did on the Sherman family, mainly because I don't have a Sherman line yet!.  I wish I did!  If I did, I think I would rely on Mr. Wood's work which is excellent and bookworthy, in my humble opinion.  
Thank you, Diane, for the critical comment to help me resolve this research problem.  And thank you to Michael Johnson Wood for his timely Sherman family articles!  I seem to get by with a lot of help from my readers and friends.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

News for the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2014 in Burbank

The Southern California Genealogical Society (SCGS) Genealogy Jamboree date is fast approaching - June 6-8, 2014 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel (2500 Hollywood Way).  The Genealogy Jamboree webpage is at with links to everything you need to know.  The theme is "Golden Memories: Discovering Your Family History."

There is also a one-day "Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2014" conference at the same venue on Thursday, 5 June 2014.  The registration fee for this event is additional to the three-day Genealogy Jamboree event:

Some updated information about these two events:

*  The Early Bird Discount for registrations for the Jamboree ends on Wednesday, 30 April.  New registrants will pay a higher fee (Early Bird fee for the three-day Jamboree is $125 for SCGS members, $145 for non-members, more for late registrants).

*  The syllabus (both DNA and Jamboree) will be distributed on CD to all registered attendees.  A printed syllabus can be obtained for $25, and an extra CD for $10.  The deadline for a printed syllabus is 30 April 2014.

*  See the Online Registration page for all registration fees for the conference, syllabus, banquets, trips, etc. --

*  The Schedule for the two conferences is at

*  The list of Speakers for the two conferences is at  I don't see a list of the presentations on the website, but they are on the mobile App.

*  The list of Exhibotrs is at

*  The SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2014 mobile app for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows is now available - see more information at

*  There are JamboFREE classes on Friday morning, 6 June 2014 (no registration fee required) -- JamboFREE makes genealogy available at no cost to genealogists at all experience levels, including: 

**  Beginner classes (first steps and next steps)
**  Genealogy World small-group discussions
**  Orientation for new SCGS members and first-time Jamboree attendees
**  Professional-level Librarians' Genealogy Boot Camp
**  Workshop for Genealogical Societies

Check out the Genealogy Jamboree blog for up-to-date news about the sessions, speakers, exhibit hall, events, app, etc. at

I will be there, will you?  I look forward to seeing almost 100 genealogy bloggers, and look forward to the "discussion" sessions in the meeting area between the hotel lobby and the restaurant near the elevators.  The exhibit hall is always a draw for me - I love to visit the exhibitors and find new products and talk about the industry.  I also look forward to the speaker sessions where I hope to learn more about genealogical research - I need to define my schedule on the app soon.

Our plans are to take the train from San Diego to Burbank on Thursday, 5 June, but I'm not attending the DNA conference.  We are staying at the Marriott Hotel, and Linda will probably be in the swimming pool area most of the days we are there, weather permitting.  We will return to San Diego on the train on Sunday afternoon.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

The Austin Carringer House in the Early 1910s -- Post 304 for (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

I'm posting family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they won't be Wordless Wednesday posts like others do - I simply am incapable of having a wordless post.

Here is a photograph from my grandfather's photo album in the Seaver/Carringer family collection handed down by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:

This is a photograph of the Henry Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer house at 2105 30th Street in San Diego, California in the 1910 to 1915 time period.  The distinctive gingerbread around the top of the porch is always my key to this house.  This view is looking directly east from 30th Street (a north-south street).  This photo provides more detail about the upper floor of the house - for instance, I had not seen the rounded trellis over the landing on the second floor on the right side (south side) of the photograph.  

I think that the persons in this photograph are (from the left):

*  Della (Smith) Carringer (1862-1944) - wife of Austin, mother of Lyle, my great-grandmother.
*  Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976) - son of Austin and Della, my grandfather
*  unknown female (to the right of the palm tree) - this may be Abbie (Vaux) Smith (Della's mother), or Mary Ann "Matie" (Smith) Cramer (Della's sister) or another relative.
*  Henry Austin Carringer (to the right of the unknown woman, half off the photograph) - husband to Della, father of Lyle, my great-grandfather.

One Carringer family story was that my grandfather, Lyle L. Carringer, often slept in a sleeping bag out in the open on the second floor landing outside the second story rooms when he was a teenager and in his early 20s.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Follow-Up on Collaborative Tree - Getting It Right

I posted Am I Really Benjamin Franklin's 5th Cousin 9 Times Removed? yesterday, and when I started writing the post I was really hoping that it was true (True confession:  I love being related to famous people).  The collaborative family tree on provided the information.

However, when I did some online investigations, I found several serious flaws in the line shown on from the early colonial and English Shermans to me, centered on the contention that Mary Sherman (1624-1699) was the wife of Thomas Fish (1619-1687), my ancestor.  

1)  I had an email from Amanda of saying:

"Thanks for your post. One of the greatest strengths of collaborative genealogy is that everyone can work together to continuously improve information in tree. The more people we have working on our world family tree, the better it gets. We encourage everyone to start a dialog if they have found any information that seems questionable. There are many ways to do this on Geni. You can start a public discussion from the profile, send a message to the managers of the profile or contact a Geni Curator for help. A Curator may also add a Curator note at the top of a profile to bring any important information to the attention of users viewing the profile."

I appreciate Amanda's comment, and I agree with it - the problem is that very few contributors to do any collaboration.  

I need to put my money where my mouth is and try to fix this issue in the tree.  So I added this "Discussion" on Mary "Sherman" Fish's profile in

My comment says:

"I have seen no evidence that a Mary Sherman is the daughter of Samuel Sherman and Esther Burges, or that a Mary Sherman was married to Thomas fish of Portsmouth.
"The two Sherman surname books I've seen have the Samuel Sherman (1601-1643) son of Samuel Sherman and Phillipa Ward.
"1) The 1920 Sherman Genealogy book by Thomas Townsend Sherman is online at and Samuel Sherman is noted on page 93. It provides a daughter Mary with no birth date and no indication of marriage.
"2) The Sherman Genealogy 1433-1990s by Alonzo Sherman is at Samuel Sherman born 1601 is mentioned on page 16 with a wife's name and no children listed.
"I also note that this profile lists Mary "Sherman" as being born in 1624 in Portsmouth, R.I. Of course, Portsmouth, R.I. was not founded until the 1630s, and that her purported parents were probably still in England in 1624, not to migrate until after 1635 (He's not in the Great Migration book series which covers up until 1635).
Until credible evidence of the birth of Mary, the wife of Thomas Fish, is provided, and credible evidence of the marriage of a Mary Sherman to Thomas Fish is provided, I think that this profile for Mary "Sherman" should be disconnected from the purported parents and the surname "Sherman" should be deleted."

I also added this information from the Notes in my RootsMagic databases to the Overview for this Mary --?-- (not Sherman!), wife of Thomas Fish:

I added:

"Here is what I have in my database about Mary --?-- the wife of Thomas Fish.

"She is probably not a Sherman - there is no credible evidence found to date that she is a Sherman.

"Mary, the wife of Thomas Fish, may have been an Ayres, daughter of a Portsmouth couple who deeded Thomas Fish property in return for maintaining them in their old age. However, it is possible that they were simply a childless couple needing care.

"Mary Fish, widow of Portsmouth, died testate, having written a will dated 9 September 1697, with a codicil dated 12 July 1699. The will was proved on 9 August 1699. The will mentions sons John Fish, Robert Fish, Thomas fish deceased and Daniel fish; daughters Mehitable Tripp, Mary Brayton and Alice Knowles; grandson Preserved Fish, son of son Thomas deceased; grandson Thomas Fish, son of Daniel Fish and granddaughters Comfort fish and Ruth Fish, daughters of son Daniel Fish; granddaughter Mary Fish under age 16, daughter of son John Fish; grandson Robert Fish, son of son Robert Fish (Source: "Portsmouth Town Council and Probate, Volume 2, 1697-1725," pages 170-171, abstracted by Nellie M.C. Beaman, "Abstracts of Portsmouth, R.I. Wills," in Rhode Island Genealogical Register, Volume 5, Number 1, July 1982)."

I haven't tried to edit the person profile, and I'm not sure that I can do that because I'm not a profile manager.  My preference is to wait and see if I get a response, if any, from the profile Curator or from the profile managers.

2)  I had an email from Israel Pickholtz discussing the issue of collaborative trees and the proliferation of erroneous information.  He has written several articles about this topic - see:

*  Genealogy as a Quilting Bee, published 15 December 2013 on the All My Foreparents blog.  Be sure to read his Avotaynu article.

*  Getting It Wrong, published 17 November 2013 on the All My Foreparents blog.  Be sure to read his Avotaynu article.

3)  I agree with Israel - the most important thing in genealogical research is getting the research right!!  

In the every case, Getting it Right requires finding evidence in original sources that can be analyzed so as to draw a conclusion about names, dates, places and relationships.  Derivative sources and authored works can be used to help find those original sources (which may be on paper in a repository or image copies on microfilm).  

Many researchers cannot travel, or have not taken the opportunity, to distant places to do research in original records, for whatever reason - cost, time, language problems, etc.  For those persons, the derivative sources (transcripts, abstracts, indexes, images) and authored works (published books, periodical articles, websites, family trees) are often used.

Whatever source is used, source citations should be crafted when information is used.  

In my own research, I have relied upon authored works and derivative sources that I consider authoritative because I respect the body of work produced by the authors and have confidence that they have done a reasonably exhaustive search and have found the best records available.  

Now I'm curious about what is on WikiTree, WeRelate and the FamilySearch Family Tree regarding Mary (--?--) Fish (1624?-1699).  I have my information on all three sites, which are collaborative family trees.  I'll report on that as time goes by.

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families in FamilySearch Family Tree - Part 2: A Significant Problem

I wrote Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families in FamilySearch Family Tree - Part 1  yesterday showing how I was able to attach a 1900 U.S. Census record to the members of one family in the FamilySearch Family Tree using a new feature.  

Using the same ancestor, Sarah G. (Knapp) Auble (1818-????), I continued attaching the historical records found for Sarah (Knapp) Auble for the 1880 U.S. Census using the same process.

When I tried to add the 1870 U.S. Census record to all members of the family, I had a major problem.  I was able to attach the record to Sarah (Knapp) Auble, but was not able to attach the record to other family members.

Here is the problem in pictures:

1)  After doing the search for Sarah Auble, I found the 1870 U.S. Census record:

As you can see, there are other Auble family members with Sarah - her husband (Daniel, but it's really David, an enumerator error), and five children (Mary, Charles, Kate, Anna and Cora).  I should be able to attach this record to all of those family members using the process described yesterday.

2)  On the screen above, I clicked on the blue "Attach to Family Tree" button on the right-hand side of the screen above, and picked Sarah Knapp from the list of persons, and was successful to attach the record to Sarah.

However, I was not offered the option to attach the record to the other family members - there was no "Attached Successfully" window offered with the opportunity to "Review" the other persons in the family.

I went back to the census record, and now Sarah's Record Summary has a "Review Attachment" link in the upper right-hand corner under "Sources:"

3)  I clicked on the "Review Attachments" link and saw the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" screen:

The screen above shows that this record is attached to Sarah, and to her son Charles (because I had done that previously).  There is no "Attach" link for the other family members for some reason.

4)  In order to add this historical record to each person in the family, I had to go back to the census Record Summary and click on each family member.  I also need to determine the Family Tree ID number for some of the persons because the names didn't match exactly, or they weren't in the "Does This Record Match?" list.  I found the FSFT ID number for David Auble, entered it into the form, and attached the 1870 U.S. Census record to David Auble (Sarah's husband) and now the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" screen looks like this:

Apparently, I have to do this for each family member in the 1870 U.S. Census Record Summary.

5)  The same thing happened for the 1860 U.S. Census record and the 1850 U.S. Census record - I had to click on each family member in order to add the record to each family member rather than just clicking an "Attach" link and then an "Attach" button to perform the operation.

Here is the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree for Sarah (Knapp) Auble in the 1950 U.s. Census before I did the rest of the family members:

As you can see, there are no "Attach" links to attach this record to each family member in the record (in this case, I had already attached the record to son Charles Auble).  After I created the screen above, I attached the 1850 U.S. census record to David, William and Frances.

6)  So why did this happen?  It is evident to me that the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records were indexed as family units - the family members are listed on the Record Summaries.  Why doesn't the "Attach Historical Records ..." to all family members in the record not work?

I don't know what other Historical Record Collections that this feature doesn't work for.  I know that it works for the U.S. Census records from 1880 to 1940.  What about Canadian and England/Wales Census records?  Does it work there?

7)  I will show how these historical records show up in the FamilySearch Family Tree in the next post.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday's Tip - FamilySearch has 12 Maryland Collections

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  FamilySearch has 12 historical record collections for the state of Maryland.

On the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page, if you put "Maryland" in the search filter filter (upper left-hand corner), you can see the list of 12 record collections currently on FamilySearch:

The 12 record collections, with the number of records (or if not indexed, a Browse Images" collection) are:

*  Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists Index, 1820-1897; Browse Images, last updated 20 Dec 2013
*  Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948; 798,916 records, last updated 20 Dec 2013
*  Maryland, Baltimore, Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes, 1954-1957; 16,952  records, last updated 27 Aug 2013
*  Maryland, Births and Christenings, 1650-1995; 199,433 records, index only, last updated 09 Mar 2012

*  Maryland, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865; 43,508 records, last updated 20 Apr 2012
*  Maryland, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865; 642,857 records, last updated  15 May 2012
*  Maryland, Deaths and Burials, 1877-1992; 3,709 records, index only, last updated 25 Feb 2013
*  Maryland, Marriages, 1666-1970; 256,134 records, index only, last updated 05 Mar 2012

*  Maryland, Naturalization Indexes, 1797-1951; 85,222 records, last updated 06 Mar 2013
*  Maryland, Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1931; 45,165 records, last updated 06 Mar 2013
*  Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940; 89,727 records, last updated 21 Mar 2014
*  Maryland, Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999; Browse Images, last updated 03 Apr 2014

There are only three collections that don't have record images;  the other nine have record images.

 Only two collections are Browse Images only, and the other ten are indexed.  For those Browse Images collections, users will have to look for indexes in the digitized record books, and use information from the index to find records for their research target.

Researchers looking for Maryland passenger lists and naturalization records may find records for their research targets in those collections.

The two Civil War Soldier collections are on, and users must have a Fold3 subscription to see the record images.

The gems in this list of Maryland record collections, for me, are the Probate Estate and Guardianship Files and the Register of Wills Records.  Those collections have the potential to solve research mysteries for my wife's McKnew and Pickrell ancestors.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Monday, April 21, 2014

Am I Really Benjamin Franklin's 5th Cousin 9 Times Removed?

The World Family Tree at says that I am Benjamin Franklin's 5th cousin 9 times removed.  Here's the screen shot that shows it:

My line is researched only back to Mary ??-?? (1625-1699), the wife of Thomas Fish (1619-1687) of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  The chart above says that my ancestor Mary ??-?? is Mary Sherman, whose father was Samuel Sherman, grandfather was Samuel Sherman, great-grandmother was Henry Sherman, married to Susan Lawrence, whose sister was Margaret Lawrence, who was the 3rd great-grandmother of Benjamin Franklin.  On the profile for Mary (Sherman) Fish, there are no discussions and no sources.

It would be nice...but a short review of the information I have says that:

1)  Mary, the wife of Thomas Fish), may or may not have been a Sherman.  Some online trees at give Mary as a Sherman, with the line above back to Henry and Susan Renee (Lawrence) Sherman, and others do not provide a surname for Mary --?--.

2)  One of the better online trees I found was on WikiTree, where there is a Mary Sherman, born 1633 the daughter of Samuel and Esther (Burges) Sherman, but she was married (in the tree) to a Benjamin Clark, not to a Thomas Fish.  That could be wrong.

There are some published Sherman resources - see:

*  Thomas Townsend Sherman, Sherman genealogy, including families of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, England : some descendants of the immigrants Captain John Sherman, Reverend John Sherman, Edmund Sherman and Samuel Sherman, and the descendents of Honorable Roger Sherman and Honorable Charles R. Sherman (typescript accessed on FamilySearch Books).

This work has a short listing for Samuel Sherman, the purported father of Mary Sherman (born 1624), in this book, but only a wife's name and no children listed (see page 16).

*  The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633, and The Great Migration, 1634-1635 have several sketches for Sherman persons, but not for Samuel Sherman the purported father of Mary Sherman (born about 1625).  I reviewed all of them for possible Mary Shermans born about 1625, and found none that fit or that were married to Thomas Fish.

*  There are other, earlier, books about the Sherman family in New England also on FamilySearch Books, Google Books, and the Internet Archive.

Two probable wrongs don't make a right, so I am not going to claim ancestry to Benjamin Franklin.  But it was a nice contemplation and a semi-fun romp through the online resources to get to this point.

There is still the possibility that I am related to Benjamin Franklin through some other ancestor of mine who is also Benjamin's ancestor.  But I haven't found it yet.

This exercise points out the real problems of interconnect "universal" world trees - almost anyone can make relationship connections based on some or no information.  This is why I like the features on the FamilySearch Family Tree - there can be useful discussions, it's supposed to be source-centric.

Alas, the FSFT has Mary Sherman, the wife of Thomas Fish, as the daughter of Ezekiel and Rachel (Alefounder) Sherman, with three other possible sets of parents, and another 6 husbands, some simultaneous with Thomas Fish.  There are sources - "Legacy NFS Sources," some of which are for another Mary Sherman.  No authoritative sources.  Oh well!

I should raise these issues on about these relationships.  I'm pondering the best way to do this!

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families in FamilySearch Family Tree - Part 1

I've been remiss in not keeping up with the latest features which have been continually added to the FamilySearxch Family Tree.

One of those features that I really like is attaching historical records to entire families -- Robert Kehrer wrote about it in A Faster, Easier Method for Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families (posted 18 March 2014 on the FamilySearch Blog).  See the complete instructions with examples on his blog post.

I have been working with this feature for awhile now, and want to share my experience with my readers.  I chose my second great-grandmother, Sarah G. (Knapp) Auble (1818-????) for this example:

Note that this work has to be performed while in the FamilySearch Family Tree or in the FamilySearch Record Collections.  It cannot be done from within a software program like RootsMagic or Legacy Family Tree at this time.

1)  Here is the FamilySearch Family Tree Person profile for Sarah G. Knapp (1818-????):

I wanted to Search for Records for Sarah to attach to her in the FSFT, so I clicked on the blue "Search Records" link on the right-hand side of the screen above, in the "Research Help" area.

2)   That opened the "Search Results" page on FamilySearch for Sarah G. Knapp, with the first name, last name, and a birth range of 4 years already entered in the left-hand sidebar, and the results of the search:

While there were matches, they were not for my Sarah G. Knapp.  She married before 1850, so I edited the "Last Names" Search field and entered "auble" and saw more search results:

The first five of these matches were the census records for Sarah Auble from 1850 to 1900.  I wanted to add the 1900 U.S. Census entry as a source for Sarah and other members of her family enumerated in that record.

3)  I clicked on the blue link for Sarah's name in the list above for the 1900 U.S. Census, and saw the Record Summary:

Do you see the link to "Attach to Family Tree" in blue at the top of the right-hand sidebar under "Sources?"  I wanted to attach this source to Sarah G. (Knapp) Auble.

4)  I clicked on the blue "Attach to Family Tree" and the "Does This Record Match?" window opened:

I picked Sarah G. Knapp from the list (of "Possible Matches" or "History List") and the system showed me Sarah G. Knapp's information - birth, spouse and parents, plus a "Reason to attach source" field:

5)  This is the right person, so I entered a "Reason to Attach Source" in the field, and clicked on the blue "Attach" button.  I received this window:

The "Attached Successfully" window told me that "You have successfully attached the record to the person in the tree.  Other people are referenced by this record also seem to be in the tree.  Do you wish to review them?"

I do!

6)  I clicked on the blue "Review" button on the screen above and the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" screen opened:

The screen above has two major columns - one for Parents or Children on the Record, and the other for Parents and Children from the Family Tree.

The screen above shows me that I have already Attached the source to Sarah G. Knapp Auble (the green background), and that I could "Detach" the record if I wanted to.  The screen shows the list of other family members - her husband and her children - in the right-hand column.  In the left-hand column of the screen above, two of the children are listed - Frances M. Auble and Catherine Auble - because they are also in the 1900 U.S. Census record.

6)  I can "Attach" the record to each of the two children who are on the Record by clicking on the "Attach" link between the two columns.  I did that for Frances M. Auble, and the Record information and the Tree information appeared:

I could add a "Reason to Attach Source" but I forgot to do that, and in order to "Attach" the source I have to click on the blue "Attach" button below the "Reason..." field.

7)  I did that and also attached the Record for daughter Catherine Auble and was finished with attaching the Historical Record to all of the appropriate persons in the Family Tree.  The screen showed me:

The background for Sarah, Frances and Catherine Auble are all light green now.

8)  I can go back to the list of Search Matches and add more historical records to Sarah and her family.

9)  Some things I noticed in this example:

*  I had to manually enter the married name for Sarah Knapp to find matches with her Auble married surname.  Unless the user is aware of this, they will miss out on records for the person if the person is female.  This doesn't matter if the user searches on a male head of household because the wife will be found in the search process and the historical record can be attached to her.  But not every record has a male head of household.

*  The process is very functional, fairly fast, and is easy to use.  It is step-by-step, but there are enough helps to get the user up to speed quickly.

*  This is a much faster and easier process of attaching historical records to persons in FamilySearch Family Tree.  It should make the "Source Box" feature obsolete in the coming months. [Reader Geolover commented that the Source Box can be used for non-FamilySearch records and won't go away any time soon.  He's right - thanks!]

I will have several more blog posts about this feature and the resulting entries in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Amanuensis Monday - Post 215: 1864 Deed of William McCullough to Henry Carringer in Louisa County, Iowa

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is a land deed in Louisa County, Iowa dated 15 February 1864, recorded on 8 February 1865, transferring 60 acres in two different parcels in Louisa County for $1200 paid by Henry Carringer to William McCullough.

The transcription of this deed is (handwritten parts in italics):

1 William McCullough }
2            To                } Filed for Record Feby 8 1865 at 7 o'clock P.M.
3 Henry Carringer      }

4                                            Know all men by these presents that William
5 McCullough and Catherine E. McCullough of Louisa County State of Iowa
6 in consideration of the sum of Twelve Hundred Dollars in hand paid
7 by Henry Carringer of Louisa County State of Iowa, the receipt whereof
8 is hereby acknowledged do by these Presents: Grant, Bargain Sell and Convey
9 unto the said Henry Carringer heirs and assigns the following described
10 premises situated in the County of Louisa State of Iowa, to wit: The North
11 half (½) of the South twenty (20) acres of the North west quarter (¼) of the
12 South west quarter (¼) of Section number nineteen (19) in Township 75 (75) Seventy
13 Five North of Range (4) four west of the Fifth Principal Meridian in
14 in the County of Louisa; also, the north west quarter (¼) of the North East
15 (¼) quarter of Section No. (29) Twenty nine, in Township Number (75) Seventy five
16 North of Range No. (5) five, containing 40 acres more or less. To
17 Have and to Hold the said premises unto the said Henry Carringer heirs and
18 assigns forever. And the said William McCullough & Catherine E. McCullough
19 grantors herein does hereby warrant with the grantee his heirs and assigns, that
20 they are lawfully seized of said premises: that the said premises are free from
21 any incumbrance; that they have good right and lawful authority to sell
22 the same, and they do hereby covenant to Warrant and Defend the said prem-
23 ises against the lawfull ????? of all persons whomsoever. And the
24 said Catherine E. McCullough wife of the said William McCullough hereby
25 relinquish her Right of Dower in and to the above described premises. In Wit-
26 ness Whereof, We the said Grantors have hereunto set our hands and seal this
27 Fifteenth day of February A.D. 1864.
28                                                            Wm McCullough {seal}
29                                                            C.E. McCullough {seal}

30 State of Iowa   } ss
31 Louisa County } On the Fifteenth day of February A.D. 1864
32 before me a Justice of the Peace in and for said County personally
33 came William McCullough and Catherine E. McCullough to me person-
34 ally known to be the identical persons whose names are affixed to
35 the above deed as Grantors, and acknowledged the same to be their
36 voluntary act and deed. Witness my hand and seal the day
37 and year above written.
38                                                          James Goble
39                                                          Justice of the Peace

The source citation for this deed is:

Louisa County, Iowa, Louisa County, Iowa, deeds records, 1839-1935; index, 1839-1901, "Deeds, v. 14, 16, 1863-1865," Volume 16, Page 236 (stamped), William McCullough to Henry Carringer entry, accessed on FHL microfilm US/CAN 1,005,863.

I have a significant doubt that the designations of the Ranges for the two different parcels is correct - one says Range 4, the other says Range 5.  Both are for Township 75.  I have not looked at the BLM maps to determine which one is correct.  

The record image was obtained with my iPhone in February 2014 at the Family History Library from the microfilm machine.  The image above is pretty fuzzy, but it is readable.

Henry Carringer (1800-1879) is my third great-grandfather, and the father of David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902).  He came to Louisa County, Iowa from Mercer County, Pennsylvania in about 1858 with several of his children, and died there in 1880.  

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 13 to 19 April 2014

Hundreds of genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for daily blog prompts or meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week:

*  Piecing Together the Puzzle: Some Thoughts on Genealogy by Jeanie Roberts on The Family Connection blog.  Jeanie's thoughtful piece is about genealogy, sharing and working with other researchers.

*  FamilySearch Breaks, Fixes Image URLs by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog.  Mr. AI describes what happened, and comments on FamilySearch source citations.

*  52 Ancestors Challenge: Week 15 Recap by Amy Johnson Crow on the No Story Too Small blog.  Amy lists the Week 15 participants.

*  Did You Turn the Page? by Kimberly Powell on the Genealogy blog.  Kimberly has examples where this might be a really good thing.

*  Can a Complete Genealogy Exist? by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog.  James doesn't think so, and illustrates why using (he broke it!).

*  Keeping My Genealogy Database in Tip Top Shape by Michele Simmons Lewis on the Ancestoring blog.  Michele works at it and succeeds.  Admirable!

*  Easter Bunny Returns With His Family Tree! by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.  Lorine's post explains this confusing family tree.

*  14 Ways Timelines Can Help You In Your Research by Karin Hadden on The Art of Genealogy blog.  Great list, Karin!

*  The Death of Expertise, Part 2? by Michael J. Leclerc on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog.  Michael revisits the discussion about expertise.

These genea-bloggers wrote weekly pick posts and news summary posts this week:

*  NN Genealogy Things You Need to Know This Morning, Sunday, 13 Apr 2014; Monday, 14 Apr 2014; Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014; Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014, Thursday, 17 Apr 2014; Friday, 18 Apr 2014, and Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 by Caroline M. Pointer on the blog.

*  Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds for April 18, 2014 by Jana Last on Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog.

*  Blog Posts and News Stories for Genealogists, April 18,2014 by Michael J. Leclerc on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog.

*  Friday's Finds - 04/18/14 by Julie Cahill Tarr on Julie's Genealogy & History Hub.

Readers are encouraged to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blogs to your Favorites, Feedly, another RSS feed, or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 1490 genealogy bloggers using Feedly, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver