Saturday, June 17, 2006

Great Mapper - GoldBug Sitefinder

I love maps. I could spend all day looking at them wondering where exactly my ancestors lived.

The GoldBug Online SiteFinder is really great. You can put in a site name, the county, the state, then select the type of site it is (town, school, cemetery, courthouse, church, military base), and select "Plot onto Google Maps" and hit "Search SiteFinder" and it will put you onto a Google street map with a pin in your requested site.

You can zoom in or out using the scale in the top left corner.

If you put your cursor on the map and hold down the left mouse button, you can move around on the map. If you want to move to the left, drag the map to the right, if you want to go up, drag the map down. I went all over eastern Massachusetts tonight looking at towns and streets and lakes and everything else.

You can also click on the "Satellite" button at the top right and see the satellite view, or on the "Hybrid" button and see the street names superimposed on the satellite map.

Cool tool! Thanks to Renee Zamora's blog for the tip (of course, she got it from another site - funny how this works!).

Excavating Grandma's Privy

Craig Pfannkuche gave a talk at the National Genealogical Society meeting in Chicago last week on "Excavating Grandma's Privy" - seriously! It won rave reviews.

Richard Eastman has a Podcast of his interview with Craig here. Click on the "MP3 File" link to download and listen to it (it's 29 minutes, so do this only if you have a high speed connection). It's a good interview about Craig's techniques and finds in the privy excavations.

There are at least three genealogy professionals woh are doing podcasts on a regular basis. Have you listened to any of them yet? They are a good use for that iPod you got for your birthday (or will get soon).

My Dad - Fred Seaver (1911-1983)

My father, Fred W. Seaver, was born in Leominster MA in 1911, the fifth of seven children, six of whom lived to retirement age. From the accounts of his siblings, he was a rambunctious kid, always playing practical jokes, teasing his older sisters, and was not a very good student. He loved all sports and played baseball, basketball and football in school, and attended Dartmouth for a year in the 1930's on a baseball scholarship, but he injured his knee and the family couldn't afford tuition. He did odd jobs around Leominster in the 1930's during the Depression and lived with his married sisters some of the time.

In late 1940, Fred left Leominster and drove three days across the country, showing up at the home of his aunt Emily Taylor in San Diego. He boarded with them for awhile, then got an apartment of his own. Soon, Fred met his cousin's junior high school art teacher, Betty Carringer, and they dated. They married in 1942 and settled down in Chula Vista. Both of them worked at Rohr Corp in Chula Vista during the war. He went into the Navy in mid-1944 and returned in early 1946.

They had three children, Randy (1943), Stan (1946) and Scott (1955). We lived in a second story flat on 30th Street in San Diego on property owned by Betty's parents. Fred got a job as an insurance agent working for Prudential in 1947. Our first family vacation was to Bass Lake near Yosemite Park in 1954. He was an avid bowler and was in several top leagues in San Diego well into his 50's. We also took several vacations to bowling tournaments in California during the 1950's.

We had a traditional 1950's family home environment - Dad worked, puttered and read, Mom shopped, cooked, washed, cleaned, and took care of the kids. Dad did a lot of his insurance work at home so he was often home when we came home from school. We enjoyed our cats and played ping-pong, whiffle ball and basketball games on the brick patio in back. We played word games at the dinner table and board games and card games before TV really took over the evenings. We also had Lionel model trains that ran throughout the house and we spent many evenings over many years racing engines and trying to bash them together. Competition was a big thing for all of us.

Dad's real passion was baseball - he was a lifetime Red Sox fan, hated the Yankees, and supported the local San Diego Padres. Youth baseball became his life - he wanted the family to have a baseball star. I never played in a league due to my physical limitations (small, weak, scared, eyes). He managed my brothers Little League, Pony League and Colt League teams as they grew up, and was a successful, competitive and aggressive coach and manager. When my brothers played high school ball, he went to the games. However, they didn't go any further with baseball. We all disappointed him in this regard.

I left home in 1966 after my college graduation. Stan went into the Air Force in 1966, leaving Scott in the house with Mom and Dad. I visited often and talked sports and politics with Dad.

In 1971, he had an accident in the workshop and lost two fingers. He retired in 1972 after 25 years of work at Prudential. They got Charger season tickets during the 1970's (a real bad time for Bolt fans!), but he was always frustrated by their play.

My wife and I had two daughters, and Stan and Scott each had one, born in the 1970's. Four girls - cute, happy and fun, but girls. Dad was disappointed that there would be no star baseball player named Seaver from his family.

Mom's parents died in 1976 and 1977, and she inherited their house on Point Loma. They moved there in 1978 and he became very protective of her and the property, almost reclusive. In 1982, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had an operation and radiation. He died in 1983 of a heart attack (watching a Lakers game on TV at the hospital) that resulted from complications from the surgery. He and Mom are buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay.

Growing up I thought the world of my Dad - he was big, strong, smart, competitive, worked with his hands well, loved sports, especially baseball and bowling. He demanded respect, and was a stern disciplinarian, not very sympathetic to our complaints, and not patient with our failings. My brothers got the brunt of it - I tried to stay out of his way as a teen and young adult.

Needless to say, I struggled over the years with my relationship with my Dad. I realized long ago that he was a pretty normal human being, with wants, needs, cares, worries, strengths and weaknesses. I appreciate his example - and tried to emulate his good traits in my life as a coach, employee, husband and parent. The bad traits? Let's just say that I learned how to overcome most of them.

The thing that I appreciate most about him now is his fantastic New England and English ancestry. Mayflower passengers, colonial governors, a poetess, some Revolutionary War soldiers, and a whole bunch of hard working tradesmen, farmers and housekeepers. It's kept me busy for 18 years now.

Thank you Dad - for teaching me right from wrong, encouraging me to get an education and work hard, and for providing a stable home to grow up in.

7 Genealogical Laws of Success

Lee Anders has a new genealogy blog called Geneaholic - hopelessly addicted. Put it on your blog list.

I really enjoyed her post on the Seven Genealogical Laws of Success. Her third "law" is the one that is most important to me -

Leave no microfilm unreeled at the library, no record untranscribed at the courthouse and no stone unturned at the cemetery. I have no doubt that published indices, databases, family histories and are a godsend, but (listen up now!) they’re only the tip of an iceberg.

Well said!

Read the whole thing.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Genealogy ... of Rock and Roll

Now for something different!

Look at this great chart of the Genealogy of Rock and Roll.

You can use the magnifying glass to see the details of the chart - put your mouse arrow on the glass, keep your finger on the mouse button and move it around.

I spent an enjoyable 10 minutes checking out all my favorite artists. It's interesting to see whole genres of music die out and sprout up. And some genres hang on by a thread and then blossom. Kind of reminds me of my ancestral families.

A good Genealogy day

I posted some weeks ago about copying about 20 probate records (wills, inventories, etc) from the FHL microfilm for Bristol County, Massachusetts in Volumes 1 to 4 for the period 1683 to 1725 or so. I completed transcribing and abstracting these records in my ancestral database just this week.

However, there were several records not on the microfilm in Volume 3, due to the second half of the clerk's copy book being lost. I found out that some of the missing probate records had been abstracted back in the 1920's in Volume 22 of the Mayflower Descendant magazine.

I ordered the FHL microfilm for Volumes 22-25 of the Mayflower Descendant, and they called yesterday to inform me it was available. I went to the FHC to read it today, and I copied the probate abstracts for the estates of George Cadman, Hannah Cadman, William White Sr and William White Jr, all of Dartmouth MA, who died in the 1710-1780 time period. I found several other records of interest in these issues for my RI and MA families, including wills for John Paine and Jabez Snow of early Eastham MA.

I still need to find some early probates in Plymouth County MA and then I'm going to start on my Rhode Island estates. I have indexed the RI ancestral families based on the abstracts in the Rhode Island Genealogical Register journal, and I have found the records on microfilm in the FHL Catalog.

You might wonder why I'm just now doing these searches. My answer is that I concentrated on four other ancestral lines in the last ten years, and am now concentrating on this line. There is another line in Norfolk County MA that I have not done any probate or land research on at all. I am still in the "prove it" phase of my research for these ancestral lines.

I don't see the light at the end of my genealogy research tunnel yet...but I know that I'm working my way toward the end.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Local Library Online Databases

Have you checked what online genealogy-oriented databases your local library might have available for the home-bound researcher?

As an example, I went to my local Chula Vista public library web site tonight, and found a list of online databases, including:

1) America's Newspapers - the Newsbank database - access to 51 US newspapers, including 27 in California. The list includes the NYTimes, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and others. Some go back as far as the 1970's. While these may be most useful for academic research, they could be used for finding obituaries or other family history research.

2) Biography Resource Center - Search for biographical information on famous people by name, occupation, nationality, ethnicity, birth or death year, or gender.

3) California Libraries Catalog (CalCat) - Search California-Discover the World! Search for books, maps, films, audio and other materials held by the libraries of California, plus a link to WorldCat* and a billion library holdings around the world. (*Note: To search all libraries, not just public, click on All Libraries and enter your home zip code. Click on "Databases" and select "WorldCat" to search libraries worldwide.) When I used this recently, I found out the libraries around the world that had a fairly rare typescript on my Seaver family. If I were going to San Francisco, I could use this catalog to determine the books that the Sutro library there has of interest to me.

4) Los Angeles Times Newspaper Archive - this led me to the San Diego Public Library online databases and not the LATimes archive, for some reason. all was not lost, since I could enter my SD library card number and access the Proquest newspaper archives and the historical New York Times archive.

There are other databases for academic or recreational pursuits. I have cards from San Diego and Carlsbad libraries also, and their online databases are different and useful. Carlsbad has the genealogy database HeritageQuestOnline which I use frequently (and blogged about back in April).

My point here is that your local library may have online resources that you might want to investigate. Go for it!

Are you using the FHL Library Catalog?

Is your genealogy research stuck on "brick wall?"

One of the major tenets of genealogy research is that you should obtain primary information from original source documents as direct evidence in order to prove relationships - whether they are vital records, probate records, land records, military records, etc.

A second major tenet is that all records are NOT available on the Internet (yet...) - you have to find some of them in libraries or other repositories. The ones that are not on the Internet are likely the ones you haven't seen yet, and that you need to see.

A third major tenet is that the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City is one of the best genealogy repositories available, especially for original records such as probate, land, military, court, town, etc. They have microfilmed records in every US State and County and many countries - you will be amazed at the quantity and quality of the available records. While a visit to SLC is recommended and very enjoyable and exhausting, there is another way to access these records.

Much of the original source material available at the FHL is also on microfilm, and can be ordered, read and copied at an LDS Family History Center near your locality. To determine what the Library has on microfilm, you can check the online Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) here. From this page, you can do a Place Search or a Surname Search (among the choices). If you look for records in a given state or county, you will find long lists of types of records available, with an abstract for each, and by clicking on "Film Notes" on each page you can determine the film numbers to order.

For example, I am in the process of collecting probate records for my colonial ancestors in Bristol County MA in the time period 1680 to 1800 or so. There is a printed index to the early probate records, which lists the volume and page numbers of the records in the probate books. By renting three films for the first 8 probate books (for $5.75 each), I have been able to copy about 100 pages for about 20 ancestors - wills, inventories, accounts, etc.

I implore you to extend your research into probate records and land records because that is where you will find proof of relationships that will help you find more elusive ancestors.

I also implore you to use the LDS Family History Library Catalog and a nearby Family History Center to access these tremendous resources on microfilm. You will need to make a trip to order the films and a second trip to read the films and copy any records of value to you.

End of sermon - sorry for the preaching; some people don't know this, need to hear this, understand it and take action in order to solve their brick wall genealogy problems.

Please note that I am not an LDS church member, just a long-time satisfied FHC user with bookcases full of copies of original source records that prove ancestral relationships.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Are you using City Directories?

City Directories are one of those genealogy resources that you either absolutely love or you don't know about.

Using City Directories, you can find the location of your ancestors homes, their occupations, place of work and spouse's name year after year.

There is an excellent article on City Directories by Kory Meyerink here. It presents historical data and describes where to find the City Directories online or in repositories. It also provides links to other articles available on the web.

I have traced all of my San Diego families in the SD City Directories. The SD Public library and National City library have the most complete collections in the area. Chula Vista library and the SD FHC have smaller collections.

Recently, I was able to help a correspondent puzzle out where her ancestral home was moved from. It was at one address in one year, then at another address on the same street in a later year. Using the street index for the two years and the known addresses, I figured out where the house was originally built and moved from.

If ancestral your families lived in cities, then you should be able to trace them in City Directories.

Pursuing my Elusive Ancestors - Part 4 (end)

This is the fourth and final installment about my 2004 research trip and vacation to the Northeast. Parts 1 through 3 are below.

After leaving Watertown NY, we drove to Toronto for two nights, and visited the CN Tower and doiwntown Toronto. When we planned the trip, I had hoped to stop in Kinston and Delhi Ontario to visit a cousin, Cheryl Taber, with whom I share Kemp ancestry. But she was unavailable, so I'll have to see her another time.
We drove to Niagara Falls and spent three nights there on the Canadian side. Then it was off to western Pennsylvania.

My third genealogy stop was in Mercer County, PA. Three generations of Carringer families plus the Daniel Spangler family and Cornelius Feather family resided here in the 1800-1860 time frame.

I had identified the Shenango Valley Public Library in Sharon PA and the Mercer County Historical Society in Mercer as repositories to visit. The library had a relatively small collection of books, including some 20th century marriage and death records. The most impressive resource was an entire book rack of Sharon newspaper obituaries – a notebook for each year since about 1950. My best find there was an 1864 plat map and an 1878 plat map of each township in Mercer County. Based on the map, I was able to identify the location of the Carringer 1797 homestead.

We drove out to Perry township after dinner, but the houses were fairly modern and since it was almost dark, we didn't stop to look for the graveyard in back of the house.

The next day, I went to the Historical Society in Mercer, and found an excellent repository for a small county. It is located just across the street from the Mercer County Courthouse and the society folks do a lot of research there. I reviewed the collection of manuscript and vertical files, and found some newspaper articles about the first settler Martin Carringer and the probate records for Cornelius Feather.

The next day we drove from Mercer County to southern PA, then we went on to the Washington DC area.

My fourth genealogy stop was at the Prince Georges County Public Library in Hyattsville MD, just north of Washington DC. My wife’s McKnew and Pickrell families resided in PG County and in DC. This library had a special room with history and genealogy books and reports, but no manuscripts or vertical files. I reviewed cemetery records, newspaper records and vital record books, with a small success – I found that Benjamin Pickrell resided in Washington DC during the 1820-1830 time frame, along with several other Pickrell families. Funny, I hadn’t really considered DC for this family until now – although it was part of Prince Georges County before 1790.

All in all, the genealogy part of the trip was a success. I was able to review records not available in San Diego or on the Internet. While I made no major research breakthroughs, I gathered quite a bit of material on some families and visited two of the homesteads.

I also learned that I need to prepare more thoroughly for my research trips, make better to-do lists, and spend more time at each repository.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More genealogy articles

I posted an article about six weeks ago about where to find helpful Genealogy articles online (you can find it in my April archives).

A post on a mailing list led me to the ProGenealogists web site and their collection of research and genealogy articles -- the list is here.

There is a wealth of information written by professionals who do genealogy work for clients at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

One that caught my eye was the top one -- "10 Things I Could not Live Without". I wholeheartedly agree with almost all of them...especially #10!

Take a few minutes and read the ones that interest you.

Pursuing my Elusive Ancestors - Part 3

This is Part 3 of my 2004 genealogy vacation tales - see the first two parts below. We left Cooperstown NY in the afternoon, drove west on US 20 to Syracuse, then north to Jefferson County NY. Jefferson county is at the east end of Lake Ontario and the largest city is Watertown. The motel had a nice pool area (which Linda enjoyed) and was near downtown Watertown and was just off the freeway.

I was searching for more info on my Ranslow Smith (1805-after 1870) family that was in Henderson township in the 1830-1848 time frame, and the James Bell (1777-1836) family which was there after 1812.

I visited two repositories – the Flower Library in downtown Watertown, and the South Jefferson Historical Society in Adams.

At the Flower Library, there is a small public section for genealogy, plus a closed section with more genealogy materials (which opened at noon). I found some great maps in the public section, and then visited the closed section after lunch. The Jefferson County Genealogical Society volunteers there are available 6 days a week. They brought out 8 folders of Smith data and one folder of Bell data. One half of the folder contents were newspaper obituaries collected over time, and the other half was correspondence to and from the genealogy society from researchers. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anyone else searching for my Ranslow Smith. I did get a copy of an 1860 plat map for Henderson, and some Bible records for a Lyman Smith family that a correspondent of mine will be interested in. They also had the book of "Old Houses of the North Country", and the Ranslow Smith house in Henderson was listed.

At the South Jefferson Historical Society in Adams, there was an alphabetical surname listing of cemetery records, and I obtained Smith and Bell. They also had handwritten family group records gleaned from the county history books and records. The librarian here was very helpful and friendly.

Then it was off to Henderson to find the Ranslow Smith house, which supposedly has “R. Smith 1839” carved in the fireplace mantel. I found the house, and took some pictures (see the one to the right), but nobody was home to show me the mantel. It looks really old, doesn't it?

After two nights, we left Watertown and headed north into Ontario, then west along the north shore of the Lake to Toronto. I'll post Part 4 tomorrow.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Pursuing my Elusive Ancestors - Part 2

In an earlier post, I described my 2004 research trip to PA, NJ, NY and DC. This post covers the research done at my first research stop in Sussex County NJ. Sussex is the most northwestern county of New Jersey.

My Knapp and Auble families resided here in the 1820-1860 time frame. I knew that William and Sarah (Cutter) Knapp were buried in the Newton Cemetery, and the cemetery was on my map of Newton. When we drove up, they said that the older stones were in the Old Newton Cemetery, which has an entrance in back of an auto dealership, and is locked. Oh well – my planning wasn’t good enough, and it was raining!

We drove on to the Sussex County Public Library northwest of Newton, which had a separate genealogy section with books, manuscripts, and microfilm holdings. The library had a book of cemetery inscriptions, and I copied them for my Knapp people. My prize here was an 1860 plat map of Newton with the names and locations of the town residents, including W. Knapp, who lived right on a downtown Newton corner.

My challenge with this family is that I don’t know who William Knapp’s parents were – only that he was born in about 1775 in Dutchess County NY (a well known graveyard of genealogical mysteries). However, one of the treasures found at the Newton library was 16 microfilms of the research files of one Francis Crawn (a form of vertical file!), who had an Abigail Knapp (born in Dutchess County NY in 1769) in his files, who married a William Hill, and resided in the Newton area before 1820. Crawn hypothesized that William Knapp may be a sibling or cousin of Abigail Knapp. This is a decent lead for me, but I still don’t have any real data to support the hypothesis.

After several hours here, we drove on and spent the night in Oneonta NY, and then we visited Cooperstown NY and the Baseball Hall of Fame the next day. Linda took pictures of me with a lifesize Tony Gwynn display and a lifesize Ted Williams display - my two favorite San Diego players.

To be continued...further north.

Pursuing my Elusive Ancestors - Part 1

My wife and I attended my cousin’s 50th wedding anniversary in Easton PA in May 2004, and we also visited Cooperstown NY, Toronto and Niagara Falls in Ontario, and the Washington DC area over 16 days and 2,000 miles. Of course, I was able to do a bit of genealogy research at some of the “in-between” places – Newton NJ, Watertown NY, Mercer PA, and Hyattsville MD. These locations are places where some of my most elusive ancestors lived.

To prepare for the trip, I posted notes on the Rootsweb message boards asking for recommendations for places to do research. I also defined what I hoped to find at each repository. I printed out a map of the area (using and a list of the holdings of each repository. Finally, I printed out a genealogy report for each family of interest including my notes, and put them in my notebook. I thought I was well prepared.

In previous presentations to my local society, I recommended visiting local libraries, genealogy and historical societies to find the records that are not available in publications, at the Family History Library, or on the Internet. This was my quest at each location visited – try to find manuscripts, maps, correspondence files, vertical files, etc. that only a local repository might have. I also wanted to visit as many ancestral homesteads as possible.

Parts 2 through 5 of this series will cover research at each location.

SDGS Program with Kathleen Roe Trevena

I attended the San Diego Genealogical Society monthly program on Saturday, which featured two talks by Kathleen Roe Trevena. The talks were interesting and different - not your usual subject resources talk or personal experience talk.

The first talk was "Our Inventive Ancestors: How Key Inventions and Discoveries Changed Our Ancestors' Lives." She covered the period between 1790 and 1870, and touched on Manufacturing, Transportation, Communications, Weaponry, Agriculture and Home Life. Her theme was that inventions that developed power (steamboats, railroads, etc) or used machines (canal locks, cotton gin, reapers, etc) enabled migration faster to more distant places, and enabled agriculture and trade in those places, than in earlier times.

The second talk was "Crossing a Continent: Migration Between the Revolution and the Civil War." She touched on world politics, laws about land, Geography, Migration patterns and Immigration, while tying in the subjects from the first talk.

It was an excellent program and I learned quite a bit. Half of my ancestors came west from NJ, NY and PA in this time period, and the information from the talks helped me understand the forces in their lives that may have caused them to migrate.

Do you have a local society that has monthly programs such as this? If so, I encourage you to attend the meetings and hear interesting speakers like Kathleen Roe Trevena.

WeRelate is a Genealogy oriented search engine - and more

Are you as tired as I am with Google returning more extraneous hits than good hits on your genealogy searches? There may be a better way - at

WeRelate is a free web search engine and wiki for genealogy sponsored by the Foundation for On-Line Genealogy, Inc., a non-profit (501c3) organization.

The site has three main components - a Search engine, a community to share data with, and a YouRelate section where you can post your own data.

I want to focus only on the Search capabilities, because I think it has real promise. The "Search" tab at the top leads you to a page with a search box and the opportunity to read three tutorials. The data included in the Search is:

Our aim is to provide a comprehensive search of genealogical information, both on-line and off-line.

Unlike a general-purpose search engine, we target only content that is relevant to genealogy for the index. We also index information about off-line microfilms, books, and microfiche found in sources such as the Family History Library Catalog. In addition, we make it easier to search the content by allowing you to include related personal names (nicknames, misspellings) and alternate place names (other names the places have been known by) in searches.

When I searched for my Benjamin Seaver, the search engine found the data on my page, data in the CVGS surname list pages (neither of which come up with Google or other general search engines), Rootsweb freepages, personal web pages, Rootsweb message boards, etc. In addition, it found items that were last name first and items with a word between the two names.

This search engine looks promising for genealogy searches - try it!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

ArchiveGrid access FREE until June 30

Free access to the ArchiveGrid database has been extended until June 30 (previously, it was until May 30). The web site describes the offerings:

ArchiveGrid is an important destination for searching through historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world.

Thousands of libraries, museums, and archives have contributed nearly a million collection descriptions to ArchiveGrid. Researchers searching ArchiveGrid can learn about the many items in each of these collections, contact archives to arrange a visit to examine materials, and order copies.

There are unique resources in this site. I perused the site two months ago for several hours, but found little new information on my ancestral families. However, there might be a real gem or two for YOURS.

Note that if you find an item of interest, you need to contact the repository to obtain a copy or more information about the actual document.

World War II draft registration cards

I finally had a chance to look at the World War II draft registration cards on at the Family History Center yesterday.

The cards that are available so far are for males born between 28 April 1877 and 18 February 1897 - this was the fourth registration and was for males aged 45 to 64. The version of the database I used had cards only for the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West virginia. Eastman's article some time ago included Massachusetts, Ohio and Arkansas, but I didn't see any from those states.

There is a problem with some of the images in the version of the database I used yesterday. Some images show two images - the front of a card and the back of a card. The problem, pointed out months ago by Elissa Scalise Powell, is that the images are not for the same person. Somehow they messed up the filming. When only one side of the card is shown, there is an arrow to go to the next image, but that image is not the back of the card shown in the first image. It's very confusing, since it appears that the back of the card was filmed before the front of the card.

Joan Lowrey, in an APG list post, said that they were trying to fix this, and that you could manipulate the URL to see the back of the card by substituting a ".1" in place of the ".2" in the URL. She also stated that not all of the cards for a given state are presented, only some of them.

If you do find someone on the cards, the information is great! I'll have to revisit this database occasionally to see if new states have been added.

Dick Eastman's blog post has a lot more info here.

Colleen Fitzpatrick's quiz

One of my weekly FUN things to do is to try to solve the weekly quiz at Colleen Fitzpatrick's Forensic Genealogy site.

Some weeks it takes me just a few minutes to use Google to puzzle it out, other weeks it takes me the full week to figure it out (and there are weeks when I've failed to figure it out).

Try it - you will definitely improve your photo analysis and Googling abilities and have a bit of genealogy or history FUN at the same time.

If this is new for you, check out some of her past weeks puzzle solutions - the analysis and history lessons are superb.