Saturday, March 24, 2007

Bobbie's Classroom has lots of useful info

I ran across Barbara Snow's blog, Genealogy, Etc. tonight and noticed that she had written several excellent articles about different aspects of genealogy research. After reading more on her blog, I discovered that she has her own web site, which includes Bobbie's Genealogy Classroom.

Needless to say, I am very impressed by the lists of resources - by state, country, information type, and research subject. I read several of the articles on the site, and have put it into my Favorites for future reference. I will probably pass it along to the members of my local society too.

This is a wonderful web site with excellent research tips and articles - done by a person with a lot of experience and knowledge sharing it with the genealogy world. I appreciate people like Barbara Snow!

More Channels at Roots TV

Have you visited Roots Television recently? They have moved their content into 20 distinct "channels" for easier use. Rather than Tabs to move between general topics, there are 20 icons that represent each channel.

There are channels for:

* New and Featured
* Conferences
* Rootstube
* Roots Books

* How-To
* Dearly Departed
* Immigration
* Military
* African Roots

* Ancestors Series
* Roots Living
* Preserving the Past
* Kids
* Irish Roots

* Story Telling
* Jewish Roots
* Family Reunions
* Roots Shopping
* Pay TV

For the money (BG), this is by far the best bargain for online video relative to genealogy and family history. There is also a Program Guide that provides a listing of the available videos - this is very useful - you don't have to search through the different channels to find a particular video. There is also a Search box available on the Program Guide page.

Do you want to be on Roots Television? You can submit a video of your own and be seen all over the world. Information is here.

RootsTV adds new content regularly. The best way to keep track of the new content is to visit the Og Blog regularly, or to sign up for the RootsTV Newsletter.

Boston Library Map Collection

A collection of historical maps is available online at the Boston Public Library site -

The information page says:

"The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library has been established to provide free worldwide public access to an extraordinary collection of more than 200,000 original historic maps and 5,000 atlases that will be integrated with the technologies of Geographic Information Systems through its programs, exhibits, lectures and website.

"It is intended that these resources will be used for study, research, exhibitions, and public events, open to students of all ages, scholars, teachers, educational institutions, and all who are interested in enhancing their understanding of the world.

"The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library is committed to maintaining a state of the art facility, physically, educationally, and programmatically, that will be a powerful tool for understanding human history and civilization."

A list of the currently available maps is located at

There are currently 24 maps of Boston (Mass) available (makes sense, eh?) from early colonial times into the 20th century. Clicking on Boston (Mass) brings up a thumbnail of each available map. When you click on one of them, you then have to click on "Open in Map Viewer." In the Map viewer, you can increase the magnification, and then put the cursor inside the map image and move it around using your mouse. In many cases, there is amazing detail.

I love to view these old maps. I look forward to BPL adding more online maps to this collection.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wisdom about Sources, Evidence and Documentation

I am a "geneaholic" when it comes to information about documentation, source citation and evaluating evidence. I just can't get enough of it. I have to collect it...and read it...try to absorb it...and try to apply it to my own research. I must admit that I usually fail - badly at times!

Richard A. Pence, a well-known and respected genealogist posting on the APG mailing list, provided a link to one of his web pages that provides wise guidance, and a little humor too, to the subject (copyrighted in 1998). The web page is titled "Understanding Sources, Citations, Documentation And Evaluating Evidence In Genealogy" and is at

While some of the discussion doesn't exactly follow the present standards for Source Citations (e.g., Elizabeth Shown Mills' book Evidence) or the Genealogy Proof Standard that has become the golden tablet for excellent genealogy research methodology, the article does promote critical thinking, especially with regards to how much documentation and source citation is required for a given project.

I have made this a Favorite on my computer so that I can revisit it when I'm faced with these types of issues in my own research.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Look on the brighter side

While we all appreciate the opportunity to access at the FHL and Family History Centers over the past seven years (and for the next 9 days), we need to think about what will happen when that access is lost after April 1.

Why do people use at the FHCs? Because it is there and they can access it for free, and they can get help from the FHC staff while they are using it. I believe that since the emphasis at the FHCs has been towards internet access, and away from using microfilms and microfiches, that the FHCs have suffered a loss in patronage.

The Internet is seductive - and some of us understand that not everything is online, and that serious research must include primary information documents, like deeds and probate records, that are not found online yet.

My opinion is that all is not lost! In fact, this situation may bring more casual users of at the FHCs into local libraries that have Ancestry Library Edition (and to local societies that step up and offer help accessing ALE), and it might drive more regular FHC patrons to purchase a personal subscription. I think the biggest positive may be that it will drive more researchers back into the FHCs in order to do serious research in primary information records.

There is an opportunity here for the FHCs to increase their "business" - which has been and still is renting microfilms - so that researchers can find evidence that prove relationships. But there is a generation of FHC patrons who need to be educated in everything that the FHCs can offer - and it is much more than access to databases.

The savvy genealogy researcher uses the resources that best solve his/her research problems - whether it is an subscription, Internet web sites, local libraries and FHCs, or distant repositories. The main reason I go to the FHL in Salt Lake City is to be able to access the mass of microfilm (rather than have to order many films over many months at my FHC), not to access

Looking long-term, the LDS goal of digitizing all of their microfilms and microfiches in the granite vault in Utah will cover many of the databases lost when withdraws access to the FHCs. However, the digitizing won't be completed for many years. Since is allowing access to 1880, 1900 and 1920 census data, the LDS should prioritize the 1790 to 1870, 1910 and 1930 census indexing and digitizing. They are all on microfilm now, of course.

Perhaps this dispute between and the LDS will be a catalyst that enables genealogy researchers to understand the role of online resources, the role and benefits of the FHL and FHCs, and the need to conduct serious genealogy research using all available resources, not just on the Internet.

Your own Ancestry access may be restricted in LDS buildings

Did you know that you may not be able to use your personal subscription in an LDS church building - like the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, or a local Family History Center? James W. Petty's post on the APG list explains why.

The money part of James' post says:

"When the Family History begins using an extremely reduced form of on April 2nd, patrons, including professional researchers will not be able to access their own subscriptions of on computers used within LDS Church buildings. Ancestry has assigned an ISPN address to the LDS Church in general, which includes the Family History Library, all Church administration buildings around Temple Square in Salt Lake City, and all LDS chapels where Family History Centers are located (including church owned schools like BYU), causing the computers detected as operating at those places to automatically log on to the LDS ISPN. Anyone doing research at any of these facilities desiring to access will have to go away from the buildings to access it with their own laptop computers, or go to public libraries that carry, or wait until they go home to their desktop computers. This is a situation that Ancestry set up, and the Family History Library has no control over it."

This may raise even more antagonism to than the initial announcement, since most of us comprehend that Ancestry was providing free access at the FHCs. Let's remember that there will still be limited access at the FHL and FHCs, just not full access. It may be that the FHCs, and the FHL, will set up a separate wireless network that would permit personal user access to and other web sites.

From my own experience at my local library, I can log in to my own Ancestry subscription even though the library subscribes to Ancestry Library Edition. The wireless network at the library for personal computer users is separate from the wireless library computer network with ALE access.

I hope that my subscription agreement with permits me to access the service anywhere I am - whether at home, at an Internet cafe, at a local library, or in an FHC. Of course, they may change the agreement at some point. Can some lawyer-type check into what the subscription agreement actually says concerning this?

On the related subject, Renee Zamora has an interesting response from Ancestry to her question about FHC access - read it at They didn't answer her reasonable question - they sent her a form letter!

This bomb just keeps exploding, doesn't it? Who wants to bet that there will be some sort of agreement reached for FHL/FHC access to the full subscription? I think there will be - the issue is when?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Blogging may be light through Saturday

I am on the road again, at my daughter's home through Saturday. They have wireless Internet access, but my laptop wouldn't connect tonight for some reason. My son-in-law is away on business and so I'm on his desktop machine for now.

The problem for me is that all of my genealogy files and web site Favorites are on my laptop and so working on the desktop machine is somewhat limiting. I'm also away from all of my notes and papers at home so I will be limited to what I receive in email or read on the genealogy blogs.

Ah, the price we pay to visit a beautiful and really fun 2-year old granddaughter. She has finally learned how to kiss, she now has a name for me (Baba), and her eyes light up when she sees me ... my heart melts in her presence. Life is good, except I have a sore throat from the weekend with the two grandsons! I can blog a bit after her bedtime or when they are out of the house.

CVGS Computer Group today

We had our monthly Chula Vista Genealogical Society Computer Group meeting today at the library, with 13 in attendance. We use the computer lab two out of every three months, and the conference room in the third month. This was a conference room day.

We try to use this meeting to address computer problems, genealogy software problems and demonstrate genealogy web site access. We went around the table and the attendees described their research problems - there were no real computer problems (that's good!). One attendee asked about making a GEDCOM for part of his FamilyTreeMaker11 database.

Three of us brought laptops and tried to access the Internet through the library's wireless connection. Mine was the only one that had a weak signal, but access was fairly quick - better than three weeks ago! I was able to pull up the census data for several attendees when we discussed their problem, and also the USGenWeb county sites for some attendees. We had a discussion of mailing lists also.

Even though all of the attendees have a computer, and access their email, only about half of them venture out on the Internet to sites like Rootsweb and USGenWeb. That is the challenge that we, as a society, face - providing education and confidence in using the Internet to find online genealogy data to our members. Not just to the ones that attended this meeting - also to the other 50% of our members that have a computer and email and need help accessing the Internet. Many of them would do it with some demonstration and practice.

We have a four session class scheduled in April for basic computer skills and web access using the library Computer Lab. We are going to plan some FamilyTreeMaker sessions using the laptop and projector in the next few months. We are also going to look for another venue with better wireless connectivity to do the Internet tutorial work using the online genealogy tutorials.

My guess is that only about 20% of our members are "ept" doing Internet genealogy research. If we can raise that percentage to 40 or 50%, we will have really helped our members.

How does your society address this problem? What has worked for you?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Looking for Bresee's in Jefferson County

I posted yesterday about finding "all" of the Bresee (and variant) surname families residing in Albany and Columbia counties in New York in the 1790 census.

What about later census records? Although Cornelia Bresee married James Bell before 1800 in Schodack, Rensselaer County, NY, the census records for 1800 to 1850 may be helpful in narrowing down the search for Cornelia's parents.

It comes down to two questions:

1) What Bresee (and variants) families were enumerated in Rensselaer and Columbia Counties NY in 1800? Did any of them have an "extra" male that might be James Bell? This is admittedly a stretch.

2) James and Cornelia (Bresee) Bell migrated to Jefferson County NY in the 1810 to 1815 time period. Are there any Bresee families in the 1820 to 1850 census that might be her parents or her siblings? There is no guarantee that a sibling migrated with Cornelia, but family members often migrated together, and it is a possibility.

In the 1800 census, there are four Bell entries (William, David, Samuel and David) in Rensselaer county NY, three of them in Schodack. Unfortunately, only Samuel has a male in the 16 to 26 age range, and it is Samuel. So it looks like James Bell is not enumerated separately in Rensselaer county. There are three Bresee (and variant) families in Rensselaer county:

a) Anthony Breese in Greenbush (has one male aged over 45, one male aged 16-26, one female aged over 45, one female aged 16 to 26, and one female under age 10),

b) Gerrit T. Brace in Greenbush (3 males under age 5, one male aged 26 to 45, 1 female aged 16-26)

c) Henry Breec in Hoosick (1 male aged over 45, 1 female aged over 45).

So the James Bell family might be residing with Anthony Breese in Greenbush, Rensselaer County, NY.

There are 20 Bresee (and variants) in Columbia county in the 1800 census. Of these, 8 of them have males and females aged 16 to 26.

In the 1810 census, there are no James Bell entries in Rensselaer, Columbia or Jefferson counties NY. There are 4 Bresee (and variants) in Rensselaer county, many in Columbia County, and none in Jefferson County.

In the 1820 census, James Bell (2 males under age 10, 1 male aged 26 to 45, 1 female aged under age 10, 2 aged 10-16, 1 aged 16-26, and one aged 26-45) and Thomas Bell (1 male under age 10, 1 male aged 10-16, 1 male aged 26-45, 2 females under age 10, 1 female aged 10-16, and 1 female aged 26-45) resided in Henderson township in Jefferson County NY. A William Bell (aged over 45) had a large family and resided in Henderson also.

Interestingly, there were three Bresee families of interest:

a) Nathan Bracy (2 males under age 10, 5 males aged 16-26, 1 female age 16-26) resided in Henderson and was enumerated 5 families after James Bell.

b) Cornelius Bracy (2 males under age 10, 1 male aged 16-26, 1 male aged 10-16) in Adams township

c) Jacob Brazee (1 male aged 10-16, 1 male aged 16-26, 1 male aged 26-45, 4 females under age 10, 1 female aged 10-16, and 1 female aged 26-45) in Brownville.

In the 1830 census, there is one Bresee (and variant) families in Jefferson County NY:

a) Cornelius Bracey in Hounsfield (1 male under age 5, 1 male 5-10, 2 males 10-15, 1 male 30-40, and 1 female aged 30-40).

In the 1840 census, there are three Bresee families in Jefferson County:

a) Cornelius Bracy of Sackets Harbor (1 male under 5, 1 male 10-15, 2 males 15-20, 1 male 20-30, 1 male 40-50, 1 female 5-10, 1 female 15-20, 1 female 40-50).

b) Parthena Bersee of Clayton (1 female 15-20, 1 female 50-60)

c) Peter Burzee of Alexandria (2 males under 5, 1 male 5-10, 1 male 30-40, 1 female 20-30).

In summary, there are some potential clues there. Finding the link between any of these Bresee families and the James Bell family will take some sleuthing in the land and probate records.

I checked my Bresee database, and did not find any Nathan Bresee or Jacob Bresee, but there are several Cornelius Bresee's born in the 1790's, and several Peter Bresee's born in the 1800-1810 period.

Are there suggestyions for further research here? I realize that not many of you "care" about this, but maybe something stands out that I've missed.

Essex County MA Vital Records to 1850

The vital records for Essex County, Massachusetts have been transcribed and placed online - for FREE access - through a volunteer effort led by John Slaughter and Jodi Salerno. Below is the text from the post on the MAEssex mailing list from John describing the effort:

The early vital records of Essex County to 1850 is now 100% transcribed and online for everyone to search. This includes the additional volumes that were published for Ipswich, Marblehead & Rowley. Those are all linked from the main records. They are indicated by a red link to the additional information.

We still have nine towns to finish getting images. If you get a page can not be found, the link isn't broken. We just haven't got the images up. Send a request to MAVitalRecords for the image and we'll get it for you.

The surname index is probably 99% in agreement with the full database. I'll try to update that tomorrow night - IF I'm not too tired when I get home. I'll be moving a lot of steel pipe and might only want to sit and relax.

This is a huge milestone. The thanks all go to all of the people who have pounded their keyboards for us over the years. These people are absolutely phenomenal. "Thank you" does not convey the feelings I have for these people.

Essex County has well over 18,000 pages of actual records. This doesn't include all of the introductory pages in each book. Last weekend we passed three-quarters of a million records. Of those, Essex County comprises about two-thirds, over half a million individual records.

I started this about seven years ago with the intention of only transcribing Ipswich. How it has grown. We intend to make this the absolute best vital records data base on the web. Best of all, it is absolutely FREE.

Thank you to all of you who have continually given us support in this project. Also, thank you to everyone who finds errors and reports them to us so we can continue to make this an even more reliable database. I have looked at many databases, including the pay sites, and I think ours has the absolute lowest error rate. This is mostly thanks to the hard work of the transcribers, but also to you for when you find the ones that slip through.

BTW, if you're new and don't know about this, visit

These vital records are available online behind the New England Historic Genealogical Society firewall, and some of the towns are available on Google books. The books themselves are available at libraries all over the country, and are on microfiche as part of the University Microfilm International collection.

This is a huge milestone, and is worthy of the accolades given to the volunteers on the MAEssex list. The volunteers are working on the VRs of other towns in the other MA counties. The total effort is admirable, and a tremendous service to online genealogy researchers.

Well done, John, Jodi and all of the volunteers.

California Vital Records searches

I mentioned yesterday I was going to try to find birth, marriage and death records for my Crouch cousins who resided in Long Beach.

California has a significant collection of vital records available online. For instance:

1) BIRTHS - 1905 to 1995 are available on:

a) You can search on first name, last name, county, mother's maiden name, birth day, month, year, or any combination thereof.

b) The same database is available at if you are a Premium Member. For those that aren't Premium members, you have to use a Guest Pass (give them an email address and they will email one to you). You can search by last name only (four letters maximum, with % as a wild card) The results are in first name alphabetical order and you can page through the entries (30 to a page). This works OK for uncommon surnames, but is nearly impossible for common surnames. You cannot skip ahead to a certain given name - you have to go one page at a time. As an example, I can find Crouch entries by entering Crou% and get 3,103 results, many of them Crouch.

2) MARRIAGES - 1949 to 1986. Online marriage records are at the site. With a Premium membership you can search both of the bride and groom marriage lists. Without a membership, you can access the Bride marriage list for 1986 only. Until recently, any searcher could enter the marriage index for 1949 to 1959 and 1960 to 1985. The 1949 to 1959, and 1986, records are scanned lists from microfiche, and the 1960 to 1985 records are in an SQL database. The microfiche for 1960 to 1986 are available at many Family History Centers in California.

3) DEATHS - 1905 to 2000. There are several online portals for death indexes:

a) has Deaths for 1940 to 1997 in their offerings. You can input first name, last name, county, mother's maiden name, father's surname, death day, month, year, and birth day, month, year, etc.

b) (free access) has Deaths for 1940 to 1997 - similar to, but with more listings for some reason (as discussed here earlier). You can input birth place (state or OTHER) and death place (County), but can input only a birth year or death year.

c) has death indexes from 1905 to 2000. Unless you are a Premium Member, you will have to use a guest pass, but using the system is not onerous (like births) or restrictive (like marriages). There are three databases here: 1905 to 1929 in scanned images, 1930 to 1939 in scanned images, and 1940 to 2000 in an SQL database. You have to scroll through the scanned images, but can input last, first and middle names, birth day, month, year, death day, month, year, county of death, birthplace (state), mother's last name, father's last name, SSN, age, etc.

There are other sources for California births, marriages and deaths, but they are not comprehensive. See the lists at for births and marriages, and for deaths.

If you know of additional resources, please let me know!

For my Crouch people, I found only the birth of Betty W. Crouch on 21 November 1920 in Los Angeles county (mother's maiden name Clusholm - a misspelled Chisholm). I couldn't access the Marriage records.

In the Death records, I found the following:

a) Samuel Crouch died 18 May 1931, Los Angeles county, age 90.
b) Elizabeth B. Crouch died 10 May 1931, Los Angeles county, age 81.
c) William S. Crouch died 15 Dec 1940, Los Angeles county, born 25 Nov 1874 in MO.
d) Elizabeth Crouch died 11 Oct 1951, Los Angeles County, born 23 Jan 1871 in IA, father's name Riley, mother's name Wardle.
e) Vivian Meigs died 26 Dec 1992 in Los Angeles county, born 18 Jul 1899 in IL, father's name Crouch, mother's name Riley, SSN 558-70-1514.
f) Evangeline Crouch not found in CA Death Index
g) Louis Crouch not found in CA Death Index
h) Ruth Adeline Crouch died 17 Mar 1989 in El Dorado County, born 2 Nov 1894 in MO, father's name Chisholm, mother's name Rounds, SSN 56y4-24-6542.
i) Marion Lee Davisson died 9 May 1993 in Tulare County, born 3 May 1915 in MO, father's name Crouch, mother's name Chisholm, SSN 564-10-9974.
j) Betty Crouch not in CA Death Index
k) Myrtle E. Milbank died 23 Nov 1963 in Los Angeles County, born 14 Nov 1872 in MO, mother's name Voux, SSN 549-66-9210.
l) Benjamin R. Milbank, died 21 Oct 1947 in Los Angeles county, born 15 Sep 1876 in IL, father's name Milbank, mother's name Yandell, no SSN

Not a bad haul for about 20 minutes of work! I added all of the data to my master database last night.

Apparently, up to five people can use a Vitalsearch membership. If a group of people have many lookups to perform in California vital records, it may be wise to pool resources and obtain a joint membership.

The long weekend

This past weekend was long - because it started on Thursday and didn't end until today. I posted about it at my Busy Life blog.

Of course, my talk about Genealogy Blogs to the CGSSD was part of my busy weekend - I posted about it here.

We are off to my daughter's house on Wednesday to see her and my granddaughter, so genea-blogging may be light until Sunday.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Finding Della's cousins

Della's Journal in Week 11 mentioned Ruth and Louie, and I didn't know who they were, so I decided to look for them. I figured they were family, so I decided to check the Vaux family - Della's mother was Abigail (Vaux) Smith.

I had found Abby's sister, Elizabeth (Vaux) Crouch in the 1920 and earlier census records many years ago, and knew who her children were. Elizabeth was born in NY to Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux, moved to WI, then MO where she married Samuel Crouch in 1871. The Samuel Crouch family had children in Missouri, went to Iowa, then Nebraska and came to Long Beach CA before 1900. I knew that her oldest daughter, Myrtle, had married Benjamin Milbank, but I didn't have spouse names for her other children.

In the 1930 census, I searched first for the Crouch family in Long Beach CA. My reward was immediate:


1. NARA Film T626, Roll 130, ED 1123, Page 1B, Line 98 (California, Los Angeles County, Long Beach township, 627 Chestnut Street, owned, worth $25,000, have a radio set):

* Samuel Crouch - head, male, white, age 89, married, first at age 31, born England, parents born Eng/Eng, immigrated 1842, naturalized, no occupation
* Elizabeth B. Crouch - wife of head, female, white, age 79, married, first at age 21, born NY, parents born England/NY
* Myrtle Milbank - daughter, female, white, age 57, married, first at age 37, born MO, parents born England/NY
* Benjamin R. Milbank - son-in-law, male, white, age 54, married, first at age 34, born IL, parents born England/NY, a commercial trucker, works in groceries
* Mary McPherson - servant, female, white, age 69, widowed, married first at age 26, born OH, parents born OH/PA, a servant, works for private family


2. NARA Film T626, Roll 129, ED 1110, Page 7B, Line 57 (California, Los Angeles County, Long Beach township, 3810 East Sixth Street, owned, worth $15,500, has a radio):

* Louis W. Crouch - head, male, white, age 38, married, first at age 21, born MO, parents born TN/MO, no occupation
* Ruth Crouch - wife of head, female, white, age 34, single, married first at age 18, born MO, parents born NY/IL
* Marion L. Crouch - daughter, female, white, age 14, single, born MO, parents born MO/MO
* Betty W. Crouch - daughter, female, white, age 9, single, born CA, parents born MO/MO
* Lydia Chisholm - mother, female, white, age 73, widowed, married at age 26, born IL, parents born OH/IL
* Arthur Crouch - brother, male, white, age 49, single, born MO, parents born TN/MO, a painter, works for paint company


2. NARA Film T626, Roll 129, ED 1087, Page 1A, Line 47 (California, Los Angeles County, Long Beach township, 549 St. Louis Ave, owned, worth $15,000, has a radio):

* William S. Crouch - head, male, white, age 55, married, first at age 24, born MO, parents born England/WI, a landlord, works as apartment house manager
* Elizabeth Crouch - wife, female, white, age 58, married, first at age 27, born IA, parents born England/England
* Vivian Crouch - daughter, female, white, age 30, single, born IL, parents born MO/IA, a teacher, works in public school
* Evangeline Crouch - daughter, female, white, age 28, single, born IA, parents born MO/IA,


I looked for another daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Vaux) Crouch - Amy Crouch, but I don't know if she married and, if so, where she lived. A search for an Amy of the right age turned up many possibilities in LA County. Unfortunately, did not index the birthplace of family members in the 1930 census - only the birthplace of the head of household or household members not related to the head.

I learned several things from these three census entries:

1) Samuel and Elizabeth (Vaux) Crouch are still alive in 1930 and had a fine estate in Long Beach.

2) Their son, William S. Crouch, and his wife Elizabeth, had at least two daughters, Vivian in IL in about 1900 and Evangeline in IA in about 1902.

3) Their son, Louis W. Crouch, and his wife Ruth (probable maiden name Chisholm), had two daughters - Marion L. in MO in about 1915, and Betty W. in CA in about 1921.

4) Myrtle Crouch married Benjamin Milbank and they probably had no children.

5) Arthur Crouch, born about 1880, was single in 1930. I did not have Arthur as a son of Samuel and Elizabeth, but did have a son Ralph born about 1880. I will have to check the earlier census for him.

There are some differences in the records: The father of Louis and Arthur Crouch is listed as born in TN rather than England. The mother of Louis and Arthur Crouch was born in MO, the mother of William Crouch was born in WI, but Elizabeth (Vaux) Crouch was born in NY. I can't explain the differences easily, but I am fairly sure that all of these folks are connected to Samuel and Elizabeth (Vaux) Crouch.

My next step is to check the California Birth Index for the children and the California Death Index for death dates and locations. I can also search for Amy Crouch using her maiden name, if she died after 1940.

I started out looking for Ruth and Louis - not knowing their surname - and quickly found them and expanded my knowledge of the extended family. I would still rather be lucky than good! All of these people are my cousins. The grandchildren of Samuel and Elizabeth Crouch are my second cousins twice removed.

One of the reasons for posting this is to put this data online so that these distant cousins can find me and perhaps provide more information about our common ancestors.

Della's Journal - Week 12 (March 19-25, 1929)

This is Installment 12 of the Journal of Della (Smith) Carringer, my great-grandmother, who resided at 2115 30th Street in San Diego in 1929.

The "players" and "setting" are described here. Pictures of some of the players are here. Last week's Journal entry is here.

Here is Week 12:

Tuesday, March 19: Betty sick, did not go to school. We worked in yard before noon & I went down to Mrs. Turner's, got my dress, $5.00. Her father sick, she had to go away. Then Emily took me for a ride out to Murray dam, then we stopped at market, got eggs, came by Gladys school, she came home with us. Stopped for Oranges. Emily got two pail fulls @ 25 cents each. Showers in the Mountains and a little here but we got home before it rained much, rained in the night. We voted on Water bonds.

Wednesday, March 20: We worked outside, Betty went to school, took her lesson. The water bonds did not carry but the harbor 10 cent tax did. Mayor Clark won & Milan for Treas. Letter from Ruth.

Thursday, March 21: We washed. I took day bath. did not do much. Wheezed up. Threatening rain. Mrs. Nolan paid with check $55.00.

Friday, March 22: Rained in night and showered. We did not do any work & I was sick. Ma & I set in kitchen & read.

Saturday, March 23 (rained, cold): Lyle deposited $55.00 in Bank of Italy for me. Rained & hailed twice today. I feel better. Sewed some. Ma took a sponge bath. Jack called this afternoon. Cold & wind.

Sunday, March 24 (cool): Lyle's rode out to country, we did not go any place.

Monday, March 25: I went to town. Paid A[ustin]'s Lodge, Gas & Electric, Water bills. Ed over, cut lawn, finished setting out Plants, $5.00 check. Got Betty Easter eggs 15 cents.

Della talks about baths and doing their hair throughout the year. It is clear to me that they took a bath only occasionally, and therefore it was noteworthy. Little did Della know that her great-grandson would be worrying about these personal habits 78 years later!

It is also clear to me that "Ed," who is Austin's bachelor older brother, gets support from Austin's family for doing some of the yard work almost each week. He lived in Pacific Beach - about 10 miles away - in a house of his own.

We get a fairly clear understanding of day-to-day household activities throughout this Journal - Della, at 68, goes to town to pay the bills, she or Lyle deposits bank funds, they vote, etc. Austin, at 76, is working while all this goes on. Della shops, cooks, cleans, washes, sews, writes letters, works in the yard, looks after her mother, and finds some time to read when she is sick.

Gladys was Gladys (Nolan) Taylor, who was Emily (Auble) Carringer's best friend. Gladys was a widow in 1930, aged 30, living with her parents Ed and Winnie Nolan, and Gladys' 7 year old daughter, Edwina at 3761 Granada Street in San Diego, near 29th and University Avenue. Gladys wrote a detailed journal in 1916, which her grandson deciphered and published for the family. Emily is a prime player in this journal, which the editor gave to me many years ago (and I have now misplaced in the Genea-Cave). I interviewed Gladys on tape in about 1991, but learned very little new about Emily and my family members. Gladys was my "date" at the SDGS luncheon in about 1993 - Edwina and her husband had an extra ticket and invited me to attend with them.

Weeks like this are filled with information, but I keep hoping that Della will tell me more. We are getting only the highlights of her days.

Finding Census data for the Bresee surname

The point in a research survey that a researcher looks for census data usually depends on the time frame being researched. For instance, if an elusive ancestor is born in the 1850 time period, a researcher would probably search the census data for them as a child, in the 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 census records, soon after starting the research survey.

In my search for the Bresee (and variant spellings) surname in eastern New York, I have only the 1790 census that might include her as a child of her parents (name unknown). Cornelia Bresee was born in 1780 and married in south Rensselaer County NY in about 1797, and while she might be in the household of a parent, a sibling or other relative, it is not possible to tell which person she is in the 1800 and later census records. So all I have to work with is the 1790 US Census where Cornelia would be a "female" of any age.

Using census records, I searched for all surname spellings by using wild cards - I searched Bra*, Bre*, Bri*, Bro* and Bru*. I also looked for Bars*, Bers*, Birs*, Bors* and Burs* just in case the letters were transposed.

I am pretty sure that the family was in Albany County (Rensselaer was not formed until later), or in Columbia County, although I checked Dutchess County listings also. There were Bresee families in Berkshire county MA and Rutland county VT in 1790 also.

The surnames I found that are probably Bresee or Bries related include:


When you look at the cramped handwritten names on the census pages, you can see how the spelling variations occur. The last letter often looks like a c, e, n or r. In the middle of the name, a double S usually has the leading S that looks like (but isn't) a lower case f.

The 1790 census has three columns with numbers - the first one is white males over 16, the second column is white males under 16 and the third column is white females. The people enumerated in those columns may or may not be related to the head of household named on the census.

The search resulted in:

6 entries in Hillsdale (Columbia county)
p264 Cloe Bressan (1 - 3 - 5)
p267 Andrew H. Brissee (3 - 0 - 1)
p266 Andries C. Brissee (2 - 2 - 3)
p263 John H. Brissee (2 - 2 - 5)
p263 John C. Brisser (1 - 2 - 3)
p266 Nicholas G. Bissee (1 - 1 - 5)

3 entries in Hudson (Columbia County)

p278 John Bressar (1 - 1 - 2)
p279 John Bressar (1 - 3 - 3)
p279 Winson Bressar (2 - 5 - 4)

16 entries in Livingston (Columbia county):

p271 Andreas C. Bressac (2 - 5 - 2)
p271 Andreas F. Bressac (1 - 3 - 4)
p271 Cornelius Bressac (1 - 0 -2)
p269 Cornelius W. Bressac (1 - 1 - 2)
p271 Francis Bressac (3 - 4 - 3)
p269 Gabriel Bressac (1 - 2 - 2)
p271 Johannis C. Bressac (2 - 3 - 4)
p271 Johannis N. Bressac (1 - 2 -3)
p269 John Bressac (1 - 2 -4)
p271 Nicholas Bressac (1 - 0 - 1)
p271 Nicholas C. Bressac (1 - 3 - 4)
p271 Dolph Brassac (1 - 3 - 6)
p269 Peter Brassac (1 - 0 - 2)
p269 Themis Bressac (2 - 3 - 4)
p269 Johannis J. Bressee (2 - 3 - 3)
p270 Cornelius Brassac (3 - 3 - 2)

2 in Rensselaerwyck (Albany county)

p284 Anthony Brees (2 - 2 - 2)
p287 Joseph Brass (1 - 2 - 1)

3 in Hoosick (Albany County)

p319 Daniel Bressar (1 - 6 - 7)
p318 Gerrit T. Bresse (1 - 2 - 6)
p318 Henry Bressar (3 - 1 - 4)

How do I know that all of the above are really "Bresee" families? The only real indicator is the given names - every one of them, except Dolph Brassac and Joseph Brass, are in my Bresee database compiled form all of my other searches.

So there are 30 possible entries in these two counties. How do I find the family that she might be in? I can't eliminate any one of them - they all have females in their families (the third number).

I thought I could try to eliminate families by identifying the families in my database in the census records, and matching known family members to the census numbers. This fails in the 1790 census because there are no age brackets like in the later census records. If Cornelia had been living with her family in the 1800 census, I might have had a chance to eliminate many of the census families. However, with only the 1790 census data to work with, I can't eliminate any families at all.

This part of the search has been frustrating, since it revealed no new information. But it had to be performed for the sake of completeness. There are other census studies to be done in this survey portion of my research, and I'll cover them in a later post.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The funniest thing happened...

At the CGSSD meeting yesterday, just before my Internet connection froze up and aborted my well-planned presentation, I was showing the different features on my blog.

One of the features is, of course, the Archives of posts. I choose to archive them monthly. I randomly picked June 2006 to show that there are archived posts - and guess what post shows up on the screen.

Check out the first post at

The laughter started as people read the first five or so of Chris Dunham's Top Ten List of Why I Love Genealogy. It was one of the highlights of the talk - and the last one too!

20th Carnival of Genealogy is a great one!

Ask a bunch of genealogists to write about their favorite woman in history and our cup runneth over. The 20th Carnival of Genealogy is available at Jasia's Creative Gene site -

Read them and enjoy. 15 contributors this time, including myself. I did submit an entry, but apparently the entry got lost. It was about my grandmother, Emily Kemp (Auble) Carringer - at I wrote it back in August on her birthday.

The next Carnival of Genealogy is about "Funny, Foolish, Family" and the deadline is, of course, April 1st! You can submit an entry to the Carnival of Genealogy form at That link also takes you to past Carnivals.

Ancestry's Story

A number of genea-bloggers have provided the announcement about cancelling the access to Ancestry at the LDS Family History Centers.

Leland Meitzler's take is here, while Dick Eastman's is here. Dick provides some commentary about the business arrangements and some good reasons why Ancestry made this move.

It looks to me like made this happen for business reasons, but had tried to reach an understanding with the FHL, to no avail.

My other comments from Friday still stand, since I addressed them from the user's point of view.

I'm sorry I've been a bit light this weekend - my daughter's family with the two grandsons (ages 3 and 1) came on Thursday and things have been hectic and fun.