Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Finding Court Records in San Diego County, California

I answer the occasional query for my local genealogical society.  Recently, we received one from Rick who said:

"   I am looking for information for an estate belonging to a Thomas Trent who passed away many years ago. He owned property on the 1000 block of Broadway in Chula Vista, we used to live directly behind him when I was a kid. He was already old and I would help him get around his house because he was so old. Anyway I remember one day my mother telling me an attorney came by asking questions about me because he wanted to add me to his will."

Rick wanted to know if there was a will, and was he included in it.  

My first instinct was to determine when Thomas Trent died, presumably in San Diego County.  The California Death Index, 1940-1997 told me that Thomas B. Trent died on 23 December 1977 in San Diego County.  I found an obituary in the San Diego Union newspaper for Thomas B. Trent that noted that he had a son and six grandchildren.

To find out if there is a Probate record for Thomas B. Trent who died in 1977, I went to the Superior Court of San Diego website ( and found the Accessing Court Case Files portal page:

The San Diego Superior Court has digitized the indexed probate records from 1974 to the present, and has images available online for files from 2008.  Before 1974, the files are indexed in record books, and the actual files are on microfilm or microfiche.

I wanted the Probate records for 1977, so I clicked on the green button to "Find a Case Number and Location" (which includes Probate). That took me to the "Party Name Search" page:

On the fields above, I entered the Case Type = "Probate," Case Location = "San Diego," Beginning Date = 1974, Ending Date = 1980, Last Name = "Trent" and First Name = "Thomas."

I clicked "submit" and the search results appeared:

Two items were listed on the same date, with one Case Number = P116618.  I clicked on the Case Number link and saw the description of the file:

The Probate record "In the Matter of Thomas B. Trent" was filed on 30 December 1977.  It is a case with "Letters of Testament/Admin WWA."  I think that means that it is an Administration file With Will Annexed (but I may be wrong!).

The next issue is "how do I obtain it."  The web page to "How to View a Court File" says that "The public may request and view a file by filling out the required court form and showing a valid driver's license or other valid photo I.D. which court staff will record."  However, the file must be viewed at the court's business office, and cannot be removed.

The "Obtain a Copy of a Court File" page is:

That page says:

"Once you have located the case number and court location, there are a number of ways to obtain a copy of a court record. Records may be requested:
  • On-line when accessing imaged court records for limited case types/locations post 2011.
  • In person at the courthouse or branch location where the record is located.
  • By mailing a request for copies to the office where the record is located, along with appropriate fee."
I want the "In person" option, which says:

The "View Case Detail" screen (the third one shown above) had a button for "File Location" which I clicked, and saw:

So in order to see this file, I need to go to the Central Courthouse in downtown San Diego and go to the Other Records office, which is in the Basement, and follow the directions given above.

I need to check back with Rick and see if he is willing to pay the fee for me to obtain the probate file in question.  It appears that the cost of obtaining the file is 50 cents per page copied, but it has to be copied by the Court personnel, and I would have to make a second trip to the courthouse to obtain it.  Alternatively, Rick could save me the trip by ordering the file copies by mail, including paying the correct fee.

This process interests me because my grandparents died in this same time frame and I have not searched for probate records for them, or any other San Diego ancestor or relative.  Four of my great-grandparents, and three great-great-grandparents died in San Diego, as did several aunts and uncles.  This may get expensive!!

Have you searched for Court records in the jurisdictions where your ancestors and relatives (parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) lived and died?  Many counties have these resources available, for a price, like San Diego County above.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Findmypast Announces Free Weekend 6-9 March 2015

FindMyPast has a free weekend from Friday, 6 March (1200 GMT, 7 AM EST, 4 AM PT) until Monday, 9 March (1200 GMT, 7 AM ET, 4 AM PT).  The press release says:


Findmypast Announces Free Weekend 6-9 March 2015

·         Findmypast announces they will be giving free access to all their historical records this weekend
·         Over 2 billion records available to everyone to search for free
·         Local subscribers granted World access, and World subscribers granted 3 extra days to their subscription
·         Getting Started video and Finding Women in the Records webinar will be available to view this weekend

London, UK, 4 February 2015 Findmypast has announced that this weekend, they will be opening up their archives and giving unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world. That means that between midday on Friday, March 6th and midday on Monday, March 9th (GMT), absolutely everyone will have access to their comprehensive collections of historical records and innovative research tools, including:

·         Over 900 million census records from across the UK, USA and Ireland
·         Passenger lists for ships sailing to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA
·         Birth, marriage and death records dating back to the 18th century, and the largest online collection of UK parish records
·         The most comprehensive collection of UK military records anywhere online
·         The largest collection of Irish family history records available online
·         Historical newspapers from across the world, including more than 10 million British newspaper pages from as long ago as 1710
·         An easy to use online family tree builder which allows you to import and export your tree if you’ve built it elsewhere
·         Our automatic Hints feature, which automatically searches our records for you and suggests potential matches to the people you add to your family tree

As well as millions of other records that will give everyone the opportunity to explore their family history and bring their past to life.

Webinar and new Getting Started video

To celebrate International Women’s Day, at 7am EST on Sunday 8th March, Findmypast will be hosting a webinar on searching for women in their historical records. As, historically, women’s names changed or were not recorded, finding female ancestors can be tricky. This webinar will help users trace maternal lines and get further with their family tree.

To help everyone make the most of the free weekend, Findmypast have also created a new Getting Started video which will be available to view from this weekend.

Extended access for existing users

It’s not only new users who will be able to take their family history research further this weekend. Those with current Findmypast Local subscriptions (with an active Britain, Ireland, US & Canada or Australia & New Zealand subscription) will be able to access Findmypast’s historical World records during the free access weekend, and those with active World subscriptions will have an additional three days added on to their subscription.

Find out more at Findmypast’s dedicated Free Weekend page.
Terms & conditions: Free access lasts from 12:00pm midday (GMT) on Friday 6th March 2015 until 11:59am (GMT) on Monday 9th March 2015. To access the records you will need to be signed in at Findmypast: you can register for free using your name, email address and country of residence. The free access excludes the UK Electoral Registers (2002-2013) and the UK Companies House Directors (2002-2013) record sets. Free access is subject to our fair usage policy: each account may view up to a maximum of 1,000 records per day. 


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Randy's 33rd Birthday Gift -- Post 349 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

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

Here is one of the most precious (to me) images from my Seaver/Carringer family collection:

I celebrated my 33rd birthday in Coronado Hospital after receiving the best birthday present ever the day before.  

The best birthday present?  The gift of life for my second daughter, Tami Joy, born on 22 October 1976.

Linda had planned ahead.  She had my wrapped birthday gifts stashed with a friend, plus a birthday cake for me.  It says "Happy 33rd Birthday Randy" - it was probably an ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins.  We celebrated at the hospital, probably in her room.  

I don't remember what was in the packages (probably a shirt and pants), or what the cake tasted like (probably chocolate chip ice cream with white cake and frosting).  I do remember the gift of life and appreciate it every day.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 Subscriptions and the AARP Discount

There has been some discussion in Facebook and other social media sites that the AARP discount on an subscription would be discontinued.

Matt Deighton of just sent this in an email about this subject:


There has been some confusion recently concerning the AARP discount. I wanted to reach out and clarify a few things. Part of the confusion is the difference between the agreement with Ancestry and AARP expiring and an individual account expiring. For simplicity I’ve listed the facts:
AARP Agreement with

·         The original agreement with AARP was for one-year and we are working to renew that contract now
·         The current agreement with AARP will expire March 31st but we are almost certain we will have the new contact signed by then so members will see no lapse in opportunity to sign up for the discount
·         The contract with AARP does not affect Ancestry’s agreement with our members in offering the discount. Even if the agreement was not renewed with AARP, we will still be offering the discount to our members who already signed up for the time agreed upon

Personal Use of the AARP Discount

·         You can only use the AARP discount of 30% one time (the discount only works for Word Explorer)
·         Regardless of what duration of membership you have, the discount will last up to 1-year
·         After receiving a year of the discount, you will be billed at the normal rate
·         If you are already an Ancestry member, simply call into our customer support line no more than 1 month before the end of your contract and we can migrate you over to the AARP discount (if you are monthly we can change you over at any time)
·         You can move over at any point but you will lose the remainder of your current subscription…so better to just wait until it runs out.


There will probably be another notice when the potential agreement becomes operative.

Thank you to Matt for providing this update - it helps.  Carry on!

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Genealogy Gophers Website is Launched - Free Genealogy Books

I received this via email today from Dallan Quass:


I'm launching a new website today: Genealogy Gophers  The goal is to be Google Books for genealogy:

* Completely free. The site is supported by ads and "Google Consumer Surveys" - people are asked to answer a few market-research questions once a day in order to read and download the books.

* Only genealogy-relevant books: 40,000 and growing. These out-of-copyright books have been obtained from FamilySearch, the Allen County Public Library, the Mid-Continent Public Library, and several other libraries.

* Advanced search technology allows searches for people: the names, dates, places, and relatives associated with them, not just words.

* Search results include snippets from the book pages so it's easy to quickly scan the results and find the most-relevant ones.

The website is in beta. Over the coming months I'll be continuing to improve the search algorithms and adding another 60,000 books.

I'm hoping this is a big hit. Free access to records in exchange for answering a few survey questions could open a new avenue for more subscription-free genealogy websites.


This website sounds like a very useful tool.  It's in Beta mode, but it works well.  Dallan notes that it is supported by Surveys and Google ads - I can live with that.

In just a few minutes, I found that I could search for persons or places, could read the books found on my computer, could download them in PDF format, and more.  

Here's the home page of

I looked for books with the surname Seaver in Massachusetts, and found:

I clicked on the second item to see the full page text:

There I saw the first survey.  I answered the question and the box went away, showing:

The search term is highlighted on the page.  The source information is shown on the left (above an ad).  Above the page image are links for "View fullscreen" and "Download PDF."  

The typical controls for single page, double page, four-pages, zoom in, zoom out, back a page and forward a page are in the lower right-hand corner of the page.  There is a slide bar to move quickly forward and backward in the book.  They all work.

In the upper right-hand corner is a link for the FAQ page - - with explanations of the website features.

I've already added this to my Bookmarks Bar - it's that useful!

copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday's Tip - Check Out MyHeritage Webinars and Videos

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Check out the collection of Webinars and online videos.

MyHeritage occasionally produces webinars on genealogical research topics, and they are FREE to watch live or on the MyHeritage YouTube Channel after the live broadcast.

I've found the best place to keep track of upcoming webinars is the MyHeritage Blog page for Webinars and Videos.

Each blog post in that category highlights upcoming webinars or provides information about a past webinar.  The most recent webinar was on 11 February 2015 with A.J. Jacobs on "The Global Family Reunion: And You're Invited."  The webinar is archived on the MyHeritage YouTube Channel:

Other recent MyHeritage webinars include:

*  Discover Your Military Ancestors with Mike Mansfield and Laurence Harris (uploaded 20 November 2014)

*  Death and Genealogy: Cemeteries and Records with Schelly Talalay Dardashti (uploaded 30 October 2014)

*  Enriching Your Family Tree: Photos, Records, and More with Esther (uploaded 27 October 2014).

*  Golden Genealogy Rules: Tips to Uncover Your Family Heritage with Shauna Hicks (uploaded 18 August 2014).

*  MyHeritage Mobile App: Take Your Family Tree On-the-go (uploaded 24 July 2014)

*  Discover Your Family History Through Gravestones with Schelly Dardashti and Daniel Horowitz (uploaded 1 April 2014).

There are more.

The MyHeritage YouTube Channel also has the MyHeritage television commercials, press announcements and interviews.  I especially like one of the most recent short videos, the Discovering Instant Discoveries feature:

The MyHeritage video archives are one of many educational opportunities available online.  I encourage my readers and colleagues to take advantage of every available educational opportunity.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Monday, March 2, 2015

Finding the Alexander Whittle Pub in Sydney with Lots of Help From my GeneaMates

While we were at RootsTech, Linda and I had a fun time talking with the Australian contingent (about ten really enthusiastic and friendly geneamates!) both in the Media Hub and at DearMYRTLE's Geneabloggers dinner and party.

In the discussions, I mentioned that Linda's great-grandmother, Jane (Whittle) McKnew (1847-1921) was born in Sydney, and her parents had a pub there located at 11 Sussex Street (recalled from memory, scary that!  hope it was right).  Geneablogger and RootsTech attendee Sharn White (who blogs at noted that she knew exactly where that was in Sydney and that she would go there and take some photographs when she returned home.

Sharn and her husband went to the Central Business District of Sydney late last week, and she posted a number of photographs on Facebook, addressed to me.  A number of other researchers added research information to the post, and I went exploring in the links they gave me.

A Google Map for this area is below (the stickpin is approximately the location):

Longtime Genea-Musings readers might recall that back in 2010 I wrote a series of blog posts about my research into the Alexander and Rachel (Morley) Whittle family - see Whittle Research Compendium in .  One of the posts was about the newspaper articles I found on Trove in  The result was a lot of helpful suggestions, guidance and record-finding by a number of researchers in a significant crowd-sourcing effort.

Since then, I have found more bits of information - I was surprised to find two of them already in my family file folders!  I explored some of the sites mentioned in the Facebook posts by Michelle Patient, Jenny Joyce and Sharn.  The websites they suggested included:

*  Book: Sydney in 1848 -

*  NSW Government State Records -

*  City of Sydney Archives -

*  City of Sydney Assessment Books -

*  Historical Atlas of Sydney -

*  Claim a Convict -

*  Wikipedia page for Sussex Street, Sydney -,_Sydney

The NSW Government State Records had records for publican licenses, which I could purchase.  I looked in my family folder, and there it was - courtesy of the World subscription of (the New South Wales Publican Licences) and Genea-Musings reader Lisa Nap in The Netherlands.  Here it is:

On 21 June 1848, Alexander Whittle was the proprietor of The Lancashire Arms pub at Sussex Street and Union Lane in Sydney.  This is a closer location than I had before (which I cannot find now!).  I couldn't find Union Lane on a Google Map near Sussex Street.

Back in 2010, I had found that Alexander and Rachel Whittle of Sussex Street had Publican Licences #162 and 163, from an 1850 newspaper article.

Today, I found two entries in the Assessment Books for 1845-1948.  The search results:

There are links to the records.  Here is the top of the second item (which shows the column headings):

Further down the page is the entry for Alexander Whittle:

This entry tells me that:

*  House number: 2004
*  Situation:  Sussex Street
*  Name of person rated:  Alexander Whittle
*  Name of owner or landlord of property:  George Mitchell
*  House, warehouse, or shop:  Public House
*  Brick ,stone, wood or iron:  Brick
*  Slated, shingled or otherwise:  Shingled
*  No. of floors:  2
*  No. of Rooms:  6
*  Gross Annual Value in Pounds:  45
*  Remarks:  Kitchen & Shed detached

The information for the first entry is:

This entry tells me that:

*  House number: none
*  Situation:  Chippendale, Odds & Ends
*  Name of person rated:  Andrew Whittle
*  Name of owner or landlord of property:  Alexander Whittle
*  House, warehouse, or shop:  House
*  Brick ,stone, wood or iron:  Brick
*  Slated, shingled or otherwise:  Shingled
*  No. of floors:  1
*  No. of Rooms:  2
*  Gross Annual Value in Pounds:  9
*  Remarks:  Attached Kitchen

From these records, it looks like Alexander Whittle owned was the landlord of the first property, and Andrew Whittle (I wonder who that is! A brother? A cousin? An uncle?) was residing in it.

The Public House on Sussex Street was owned by George Mitchell, not the Whittles, and did 45 pounds of business on the year.  This list also provides probable neighbors, if the houses on the list are next to each other.

The second item has a house number of 2004.  I don't know if that is just a sequential number for the assessment, or is an actual address of the house.  If it is an actual address, then I'm wrong about the Public House being at 11 Sussex Street.

Once again, a story about my genealogy research led to a search in a distant place by a wonderful lady while at a genealogy meeting.  Isn't it great when that happens?  Sharn knew the geographic area, Sharn and Michelle and Jenny know the resources in the place, and they all freely provided the time and information to help me out.  I really appreciate it!  Thank you, Sharn and friends.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

New or Updated FamilySearch Record Collections - February 23-March 1, 2015

I'm trying to keep up with the new and updated record collections at FamilySearch (  As of 1 March 2015, there were 1,931 record collections on FamilySearch (up 2 from last week).

Here are the new or updated record collections for the past week:

*  Ukraine, Zaporizhia Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1811-1858, Browse Images only, added or updated 27 Feb 2015

*  Tennessee, Freedmen's Bureau Field Office Records, 1865-1872; Browse Images only, added or updated 27 Feb 2015

*  Montana, Big Horn County Records, 1884-2011; 59,997 indexed records with images, added or updated 27 Feb 2015

*  Montana, Judith Basin County Records, 1887-2012; 2,491 indexed records with images, added or updated 27 Feb 2015

*  Montana, Pondera County Records, 1910-2012; 27,157 indexed records with images, added or updated 27 Feb 2015

*  Australia, Tasmania, Miscellaneous Records, 1829-1961; 18,165 indexed records with images, added or updated 27 Feb 2015

*  Slovakia, Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-1910; 13,834,866 indexed records with images, added or updated 27 Feb 2015

*  Philippines, Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1983; 11,684 indexed records with images, added or updated 26 Feb 2015

*  Montana, Sweet Grass County Records, 1887-2011; 7,731 indexed records with images, added or updated 26 Feb 2015

*  Zimbabwe, Death notices, 1904-1976; 133,189 indexed records with images, added or updated 25 Feb 2015

*  Utah, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1879-1934; 5,612 indexed records with images, added or updated 25 Feb 2015

*  Argentina, National Census, 1895; 3,888,939 indexed records with images, added or updated 25 Feb 2015

*  Illinois, Soldier burial places, 1774-1974; 144,735 indexed records with no images, added or updated 24 Feb 2015

Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell which collections are brand new and which ones are updated.  The asterisk they use is for "Recently added or updated."  I am particularly interested in new collections, for the obvious reasons.

In order to select a specific collection, go to and use the "Filter by collection name" feature in the upper left-hand corner.

Each one of the collections listed above has a Research Wiki page (use the "Learn more" link).  It would be very useful if the Wiki page for each collection listed the dates for when the collection was added as a new collection and the dates for major updates also.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Amanuensis Monday - Post 257: 1809 Deed of Thomas Dill of Eastham, Massachusetts

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 the 1809 deed of Thomas Dill of Eastham, Massachusetts selling all of his homestead lands to Ezekiel Dill and Seth Dill (left-hand page below):

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

[page 488]

I Thomas Dill of Eastham in the County of Barnstable yeoman

in consideration of the sum of three hundred Dollars
paid by Ezekiel Dill & Seth Dill of the Town and County abovesaid mariner

the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, do hereby give, grant, sell and convey unto the said Ezekiel & Seth Dill
their heirs and assigns forever, all my homestead viz: the field the said
Dill's dwelling house stands in, bounded on the east by Joseph Linkhornew;
on the north by John Hopkins; on the west by Obed Knowles; on the south by a
cart-way; and also one field to the southward of sd house that the barn now
stands in, bounded on the east by the cart-way that goes to Great Neck (so ca-
lled) on the south by Elkanah Higgins; and on the west by sd Higgins and the wid-
ow Phebe Higgins; and the north by sd way; and also one other piece to the north-
ward of the Dwelling house of John Praro [??”], about two acres be it more or less; and
one piece of Brush lot situate in Wellfleet, bounded on the west by the Poast
road; on the South by Beriah Higgins; on the east by Thomas Cobb; and also one
piece of salt meadow in sd Wellfleet to the southward of the creek to the South of
the Dwelling house of James Dill, bounded on the west by sd James; on the east by
John Gill; and on the north by sd Creek; on the south by the upland; and
one piece of Cleared land, referring to a Deed signed by Obed Knowles, & others, for
the boundaries with all the buildings on the above sd piece of land.

To HAVE and to HOLD the aforegranted Premises to the said Ezekiel Dill & Seth Dill

their heirs and assigns, to them & their use and behoof forever.

And I do covenant with the said Ezekiel & Seth their
heirs and assigns, That I own lawfully seized in fee of the aforegranted Premises; that they are free of all Incumbrances;
That I have good right to sell and convey the same to the said Ezekiel & Seth;

And that I will warrant and defend the same Premises to the said Ezekiel & Seth Dill,
their heirs and assigns forever, against the lawful claims and demands of all persons.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I the said Thomas Dill

have hereunto set my hand and seal this Second day of
January in the year of our LORD one thousand Eight hundred and nine

Signed, sealed and delivered in presence of us.

Heman Smith, Junior }                           Thomas Dill
Parker Brown            }

Barnstable, SS. January 2d 1809
Then the above-named Thomas Dill
acknowledged the above Instrument to
be his free Act and Deed – before me,

                  Elisha Mayo Justice of Peace

Received January 2d 1809 and is recorded in the 6^th Book
of Records for the County of Barnstable, Folio 90th and is compared.

                                                                   Attest, Eben^r Bacon, Register

                             Record and compared per me, Joshua Pittwood [?] Town Register of Deeds

The source citation for this deed is:

"Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 February 2015), Barnstable County, Eastham Town Deeds, Volume 1, Page 488 (image 200 of 205), Deed of Thomas Dill to Ezekiel and Seth Dill, 1809.

Thomas Dill (1757-ca 1830) is my 4th great-grandfather.  This is the only deed in the Barnstable County, Massachusetts deed books for a Thomas Dill, probably because the land record books for the 17th and 18th century were lost.

Ezekiel Dill and Seth Dill are the two eldest living sons of Thomas and Hannah (Horton) Dill in 1809.  There are a number of other males, and my 3rd great-grandmother, Elizabeth Horton Dill, residing in the Thomas Dill household in the 1810 U.S. census.  

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Added or Updated Databases at - Week of February 22-28, 2015

The following databases were added or updated on during the period from 22 to 28 February 2015 (Note: not all new or updated databases are indexed or have images).

*  England & Wales, Criminal Lunacy Warrant and Entry Books, 1882-1898;  indexed database and digital images, updated 2/26/2015

*  U.S., Residents Serving in the British Expeditionary Forces, 1917-1919;  indexed database and digital images, added 2/26/2015

*  U.S., Residents Serving in Canadian Expeditionary Forces, 1917-1918;  indexed database and digital images, added 2/26/2015

* California, Occupational Licenses, Registers, and Directories, 1876-1969;  indexed database and digital images, added 2/25/2015

*  U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970;  indexed database and digital images, updated 2/24/2015

*  Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; indexed database and digital images, added 2/23/2015.

The recently added or updated page on is  at

The complete Card Catalog is at  There are 32,603 databases available as of 28 February, an increase of 2 over last week. 

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 22-28 February 2015

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:

*  Genealogy is Hacking by Tammy Hepps on the Treelines blog.  Tammy is right, I think.  There are some wonderful research examples here.

*  An Open Letter to the Genealogy Community - Part Deux by Janet Hovorka on The Chart Chick blog.  Janet continues the discussion and identifies her own action items.

*  The Real Reasons Why Your Immigrant Ancestors Changed Their Names by Mark S. on the Crestleaf Blog.  This article provides the whys and a list of ways to find the alternate name spellings.

*  How to Organize Your Genealogical Digital Files by Moises Garza on the We Are Cousins blog.  Moises describes his digital file organization system.

*  Family Trees by Diane Boumenot on the One Rhode Island Family blog.  Diane's daughter wanted to see her family tree, so Diane made pedigree charts for her grandparents.  Great idea!

*  Three Questions From Spitland by Sally Knudsen on the SallySearches blog.  Sally asks great questions about DNA testing, and provides her answers.

*  Same Place, Same Day, Two Marys by Jacqi Stevens on the A Family Tapestry blog.  Jacqi solves her mystery - fascinating stuff, good sleuthing.

*  Are Genealogists Wired Differently? by Melody Lassalle on The Research Journal blog.  Yes, of course we are!

*  The 10 Things on My Civil War Bucket List by Cindy Freed on Cindy Freed's Genealogy Circle blog.  A very ambitious list.

*  Switched at Birth: Unraveling a Century-Old Mystery With DNA by Alice Plebuch on CeCe Moore's Your Genetic Genealogist blog.  Wow!!!

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

*  GAGs - GeniAus Gems - 27 February 2015 by Jill Ball on the GeniAus blog.

*  Recommended Reads by Linda Stufflebean on the Empty Branches on the Family Tree blog.

*  Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds for February 27, 2015 by Jana Last on Jana's Genealogy and Family History blog.

*  Friday Finds -- 02/27/15 by Julie Cahill Tarr on Julie's Genealogy & History Hub blog.

*  Friday Finds and Follows: 27 February 2015 by Miriam J. Robbins on the Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors blog.

*  Blog Posts and News for Genealogists, February 27, 2015 by Michael J. Leclerc on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog.

*  This Week's Creme de la Creme -- February 28, 2015 by Gail Dever on the Genealogy a la Carte blog.

*  Saturday Serendipity (February 28, 2015) by John D. Tew on the Filiopietism Prism blog.

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 1560 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) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- How Did You Meet Your Significant Other?

It's Saturday Night, 
time for more Genealogy Fun!!

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

1)  It's story time - tell us how you met your spouse or significant other.  If you don't have one, tell us about your parents met each other.

2) Share your story on your own blog post, or in a comment on this blog post, or in a post on Facebook  or Google+.

Here's mine:

I was 24 years old in San Diego in February 1968, with a good job (finally), out of debt, and just really starting to be "successful" in meeting young ladies.  Bowling was the key - my social life revolved around bowling in mixed leagues (see, pretty smart, eh, looking nifty in my bowling shirts) once a week on a Sunday night.  Friday and Saturday were devoted to bowling and drinking in the bars, kibitzing with my buddies who were all older than I was so they were "helping" me with this.

I was living with my good buddy, John, and John was dating a young teacher named Sherry and she had roped him, and me, into bowling in the Sunday night mixed league at Frontier Lanes.  There was always a need for female substitutes, and Sherry had many friends, and one of them was Linda, a teacher from San Francisco who had just started working in Coronado in September 1967.  Sherry roped Linda into being a substitute on a Sunday night in February 1968.

As luck would have it, Linda was a substitute on the team that my team was playing that night.  Linda was long legged and pretty, and I was a bit distracted.  I don't know how I did bowling that night, but I imagine it was below my 175 average because I was trying to show off for the substitute.

After the league contest was over, we all retired to the bar at the bowling alley, and Sherry, Linda, John and I played some pool, in addition to talking, laughing and drinking.  We were sitting close to the pool table.  One of my shots jumped the cue ball off the table and it landed in Linda's lap.  She was OK, we all laughed, and I was smitten.

In April 1968, all four of us went to the Los Angeles area for something (I really can't remember what - I know it wasn't sports and probably not bowling!), and we stayed up all night.  We headed home after 3 a.m. (only 120 miles or so) and I was driving.  John and Sherry passed out early on, and Linda stayed awake to make sure I was awake.  She sat in back of me, and over the last 50 miles or so, she rubbed my neck to keep me awake.  That worked!  

On Memorial Day 1968, Linda was in bed at her apartment in her negligee, and a pickup truck backed through her bedroom wall and threw her against the opposite wall, breaking a vertebra in her back.  She was taken to the hospital and kept for about a week.  Sherry told John and I about it, so we went to visit her.  On the way, we stopped at a liquor store to get her a magazine and a bottle of beer.  As we are approaching the hospital in Coronado, I see a man trimming his rose bushes, so we stopped the car, I jumped out and asked the man if I can have some roses for my friend in the hospital, and he gave me three or four beautiful roses.  We opened the bottle of beer and put them in the bottle.  At the hospital, we gave Linda the magazines and the roses in the beer bottle, and told her the beer was fresh, and it would be good for her back.  She laughed, drank, and thanked us for being so thoughtful and romantic.

Linda spent the summer of 1968 in San Francisco, and I had several other lady friends at the time, being Mr. Romantic and all, and drinking too much at the bowling alley.  I saw her occasionally at Sherry's, but we didn't really date again until August 1969, because she couldn't bowl with the back problem.  She threw a party on a Saturday night, and some of my bowling and drinking friends were there and gave her my new phone number.  As the party ended, she called and said "I didn't have your number, and you missed my party."  I said something like, "Well, I'll come down now and we can party some more."  Mr. Bravado there!   I did, and we talked a lot, and I helped her clean up the bottles and debris, and went home thinking "wow, what a babe!"  

From then on, we were a couple, going out to dinner, spending time together, attending Sherry's parties, hanging out at King Luis Inn ("our bar"), going to Padre games and Charger games at the stadium.  In February 1970, on Valentine's Day evening, I asked her to marry me. Mr. Romantic strikes again! 

And the rest is, as they say, family history!

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver