Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - a Birthday Fun Facts Calculator

Every genealogy researcher has to have a little fun, so climb onboard the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun express and enjoy the ride.

For this week's SNGF, please do this:

1. Go to the web site.

2. Read his Bad Jokes page. What was the first one that popped up?

3. Click on his Birthday Calculator link. What are five Fun Facts you didn't know about your birthday?

4. Click on the "what your name means" link. What are your Number, your Soul Urge number and your Inner Dream number? Do the descriptions of your numbers match your perception of yourself? Note - females need to enter their birth name, not married name.

5. Tell the world your answers (with as much privacy protection as you wish) in a blog post or in comments to this post.

Enjoy!!! You can even do your spouse and kids, huh? Find out anything useful there?

Here are my answers:

2. "What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh. " Terrible... most of them are so bad!

3. * The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2431020.5.
* Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 24 Tishri 5704.
* You are 23,961 days old.
* Celebrities who share your birthday: 'Weird' Al Yankovic (1959), Michael Crichton (1942), Johnny Carson (1925)
* Your birth tree is Maple, Independence of Mind. No ordinary person, full imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-respect, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, many complexes, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

4. * My Number is 9. The characteristics of #9 are: Humanitarian, giving nature, selflessness, obligations, creative expression.
* My Soul Urge Number is 5.
* My Inner Dream number is 4.
* The descriptions match my own perception fairly well. The one thing I disagree with is "You don't want to be tied down to a relationship, and it may be hard to commit to one person." Is that my conscious or sub-conscious mind thinking?
* My numbers are the same as Elvis Presley's!!! I just picked someone famous at random.
* Put in "Barack Hussein Obama" and what do you see?
* I wonder what happens with an adopted child with a changed name? Which one should s/he use?

Isn't this a fun and interesting web site?

Okay - I showed you mine, now you show me yours!

Using "New Netherland Connections" on

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) announced several months ago that they had digitizing and indexing images of the New Netherland Connections periodical and placing them on the NEHGS web site at The eleven year run of the publication, from 1996 to 2006, are currently available. Note: you must be an NEHGS member to access their databases.

Since I have several 17th century Dutch ancestors (Van Vorst, Putman, Mol, Bloetgoet, maybe others) in New York, I wanted to review this publication (of course, before I lost Mary Bell from my ancestry due to Devier Lamphear Smith's adoption, I had many more!).

From the home page, I clicked on the Databases & Research link and saw this web page:

The fourth item down the list was New Netherland Connections, so I clicked on it and the New Netherland Connections web page came up (two screens, little overlap):

Over on the right-hand side of the top half of the screen is a list of the 11 volumes that can be read or downloaded in PDF format. Each volume is between 4 and 5 megabytes, so they take a little time to load, but they are easily readable. Each volume is a calendar year, and there are four quarterly issues per volume. Each volume has 110 to 150 pages, depending on the work submitted to the editor.

Here is the top of the first page of Volume 1 (1996) where editor Dorothy Koenig explains the focus and purpose of her periodical:

Each issue has several feature articles about a New Netherland family, a locality in New Netherland, naming conventions, social customs and other information about the New Netherland period of New York history (basically 1607 to 1664). Some of the articles take descendants reports into the 19th century. All of the articles are well sourced and written in a professional quality manner.

Here is one of the surname articles in Volume 1:

About half of all of the pages are devoted to Queries - including answers to the queries sent in by readers or answered by the editor. The first Queries page looksl ike this:

Each Query has a year and number (in the above case, it is 1996-1) so that replies can be keyed to the query number. It's a great system. Over the years, there are many extensive replies to queries.

At the bottom of the New Netherland Connections web page is a Search area. From my reading of the volumes, I knew that my Van Vorst family was mentioned in some of the volumes. The user can put a given name and surname in the search fields, with or without a publication date range and with a Soundex check box. A user could put the volume and page number at the bottom of the Search page also. I entered "Van Vorst" in the Surname field and clicked on the "Search" button:

The matches to my Search query listed the names, publication year, volume, and page number for the results:

I clicked on the second one down, and the page appeared in a non-PDF format:

I could Print Preview and Print this page, or save it, using the browser File menu.

My first impression of this publication is "Wow. What a great periodical. A lot of effort and research went into the content, and a dedicated editor published it for eleven years without fail." Dorothy Koenig mas to be proud of her effort here - what a labor of genealogy love. I am really impressed by the content and the publication. Scrolling through the volumes and reading selected articles, I learned a lot about New Netherland, its people and customs. Now I know where to go to find out more!

The NEHGS is to be commended for making this publication available to its members and for providing an every name index of the content. This periodical alone is a good reason to join NEHGS, especially if you have early New York and New Jersey Dutch ancestry.

Friday, May 29, 2009 Content Count

The email from provided more information about the web site content. Gary Gibb, the Vice President of U.S. Content, provided this chart of images and records by category:

Based on this information, (in all of its' content areas) has about 240 million images of records (note that this does not include images uploaded by family tree users) and over 8.3 billion records. I'm not sure how that is defined - it's not just names. A record is probably the summary of the indexed information for a particular person, and might be from an image. Some databases on ancestry do not have an image associated with them. All of the records have some sort of source citation, although they are not Evidence Explained quality in most cases.

Those numbers seem fairly staggering for me. A recent press release by claimed that they had 2.8 petabytes of data stored on over 5,200 servers (one petabyte is 1.048576 million gigabytes). My 2005 Dell Windows XP computer hard drive has almost 84 gigabytes of storage. The data would need over 12,000 computers like mine just to hold this data! Then there is the backup problem!

I was surprised by the number of Military images - about one third of the total image count on Ancestry. I looked at the Military databases page and noted that there are over 38 million World War I draft card records for over 24 million men registered. About 8.3 million persons are in the World War II Army enlistment records.

There are 125 million records and 80 million images - about 1.5 records per image. Other databases have a much higher record to image ratio - the entire Ancestry collection has a record to image ratio of 34.5 (8.3 billion divided by 240 million). The record to image ratio for these databases collections are:

* Vital records -- 28.3
* Census and Voter Lists - 32.5
* Court/Land/Probate - 3.5
* Directories and Member Lists - 276
* Immigration and Emigration - 5.7
* Military - 1.5
* Newspapers and Periodicals - 56.5
* Pictures, Maps and References - 15.2
* Stories, Memories and Histories - 17.1

I'm not sure that those numbers are useful, but since I took the time to calculate them I decided to post them.

First Look at - Post 3

I posted about my first look at the new web site,, in Post 1 and Post 2 of this series. I also posted a link to the WorldHistory short demo videos. I believe that this web site is still under development, so some of the features don't work well or even at all.

This post continues where Post 2 left off. After the failure of the "Add Father" effort, I was back to the "Your Ancestors" page. Since I had added a Biography, I wanted to see if my grandfather's biography showed up in the Search engine. I entered "seaver" in the Search field as shown below:

The Search results showed only one Seaver surname person (even though I have about 100 in my database) - and it's my grandfather:

So I learned that the searchable persons have to have a Biography loaded into the web site. Just being in a database doesn't get you into the Search engine results. The "Your Ancestors" page says:

" If no actual BIO is written about them within a week, their biography page will be removed."

Over the last month or so, I've been clicking on the "Show me the MAP" button on the "Your Ancestors" page and then on the Map page clicking on the "Yes, I would like to Geocode my ancestors" link. The program has geocoded only 715 of my 20,755 persons in my database so far. Every time I click on the link, I get a few more. Here's the screen view when I clicked on it yesterday:

It "automatically" selected the year 1545 and showed me the geocoded persons in my database that lived around that year. It found only 10 persons, and all were geocoded in England and North America as shown above. When I clicked on one of the stick pins in North America, the person and place name appeared in a "balloon."

You can change the Year by clicking on a spot on the Timeline above the map. I clicked around 1710 and got 1707, and the site showed me the set of geocoded persons from my database that were living around that time:

Since they are all in north America, I used the Zoom feature and the "magic hand" to manipulate the map to show Eastern North America, still in 1707:

I clicked on another stick-pin out near Iowa and found that it was for "Marcy Hill (1643), Birth Dorchester, Suffolk, MA baptism." Iowa is a long way from Dorchester. My guess is that the word "baptism" threw off the map function somehow.

On the list of persons in the 1707 list (on the right side of the map), I clicked on Samuel Bigelow and the map changed to show this screen:

On the right of the map, it showed Samuel Bigelow's birth year and place, death year and place, and listed his spouse. On the map, the stick-pin shows his birth and death (essentially the same location in Massachusetts. Notice that there are different color stickpins for Birth, Death, Marriage and Event.

Tonight, I decided to Geocode some more of my ancestors in my database, so I clicked on the "Yes, I would like to geocode my ancestors" link. It did 9 more in about 60 seconds - pretty slow. I shudder to think how long it will take to do the remaining 20,031 of them. I clicked on a year near 1670 and got the list for 1666:

Same problem with the geocoding - the "balloon" for the stick-pin out near Detroit says "Eddy, Abigail (1601), Birth Cranbrook, Kent, England christening." The "christening" may be confusing the web site. Or it's just doing something random. I think it's confused by my "cryptic notes" in some of the location fields. At least, I hope so!

Well, I think that's enough work in this web site for the time being. I've sort of figured out what it can do, and how to navigate and use the site. However, it is not densely populated with events or persons with biographies, and it seems to be fairly slow to geocode persons in my database. My guess is that the site is "not quite ready for prime time" yet.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ancestry Member Tree Improvements

I received a nice, long email from about their accomplishments during May 2009 and a preview of what's coming in future months.

Part of the email dealt with the Member Trees improvements. The email said:

" Improvements to the Member Tree System: Our Member Tree system has grown quickly since its inception just about 3 years ago. We now have over 10MM trees online and 1 billion people represented in those trees. We will be making improvements on the tree system over the coming months to prepare it for its next stage of growth. In June, we will be previewing 2 such improvements with launches planned for a little later in Summer:

"1. Redesigned Person Page: We are re-building this page from the bottom up to incorporate a number of improvements. Here is a summary of the changes:

"* Context is preserved across pages related to person: Tabs across the top of the page make it easier to access sources, photos, stories, comments, hints and more. General information about the person you are viewing will remain consistent at the top of the page making is easier to always know exactly where you are.

"* Stronger focus on sources: We have moved the “Historical Records” higher on the page. And also the new "Facts & Sources" tab makes it easy to see what facts and events a person has, and what evidence supports those facts.

"* Re-built for speed & performance: We've completely rebuilt it from the ground up. It's faster than ever to load and navigate around your tree."

Here is a sample Person Page that has the features mentioned:

"2. Tree Viewer: The new tree viewer is being built to be more interactive. By enabling you to drag, pan and zoom, it will be easier to navigate through your tree. This will help you get where you want to go more quickly."

Here is a sample Tree page which includes the improvements:

There was some indication back in January that the Person Pages would be enhanced so that navigation was easier and content was added. At the Blogger meeting at TGN (see Day 2 in SLC - A Visit to TGN - Part 3) , Andrew Wait said his vision included an Individual Page for every person being researched (are we thinking of a billion or more pages?). This would be in a wiki format with photographs attached, stories, sources, research notes and proof arguments attached, with attached data records (census, military, probate, deed, family papers, immigration, naturalization, cemetery, newspaper, etc. - whether from, another database provider or from a contributor).

It looks like has thought this through pretty well. We'll have to see how it is implemented.

Because of the sheer volume of already available family trees and the ease of uploading images, or attaching record images from ancestry databases, these improvements may make the preferred "family tree provider" (assuming that they are not that now). They are certainly the biggest gorilla (er, provider) in the family tree forest and size really counts in genealogy databases. Ancestry has the critical mass of subscribers and family tree users (remember - you don't have to be a subscriber to submit a family tree).

I would like to see the Person Pages embrace a true "wiki" format similar to that on so as to ease collaboration between researchers and creating a MOAFT (Mother of All Family Trees). Will it? We'll see when they release it!

Thanks, Anastasia, for the email and the chance to opine about a portion of it.

New Offerings on RootsTelevision

I had not checked for awhile, so I wondered what new content has been added since my last visit. Here is a partial list for the last month or so:

* Down Under Utah: A Soldier's Story -- Kory Meyerink and Nancy NeSmith explore the touching story of a sildier buried in Spanish Fork, Utah.

* Down Under Utah: Icelandic Minister -- Kory Meyerink and Nancy NeSmith uncover an interesting sotry of an Icelandic minister.

* Thomas Howard - NERGC 2009 -- Dick Eastman interviews Thomas Howard about his expertise in Concord coaches, and the history of these very unique coaches.

* Online Meetings and Seminars -- Denise Olson (of Moultrie Creek) provides an overview of how online meetings work.

* Sylvie Tremblay - NERGC 2009 -- Sylvie Tremblay, Chief of the Canadian Genealogy Centre, talks with Dick Eastman about the library and the services provided to those exploring their Canadian roots.

* Dan Lynch - Google Your Family Tree -- Dick Eastman talks with Dan Lynch, author of "Google Your Family Tree," about some of the tricks for using Google for your genealogy research.

* Irene Lambert - NERGC 2009 -- Dick Eastman interviews Irene Lambert who is a Master Graphoanalyst. She tells Dick how she can analyze handwriting in order to learn about the personalities of your ancestors.

* Donna Walcovy - NERGC 2009 -- Dick Eastman talks with Dr. Donna Walcovy about her work restoring and preserving tombstones and cemeteries.

There are over 1,000 videos on RootsTelevision now (I think I read that somewhere!). How do you find them all? There is a Program Guide here that lists each one of them. On the main page, there is an area below the video screen titled "Choose a Channel" that has 21 colorful boxes. These are channels where the videos are grouped - some channels are New & Featured, Conferences, DNA, etc. On other site pages, there are links to the different channel categories on the right sidebar.

Enjoy Roots Television! I do. It was a fun hour just watching and listening to people talk about and demonstrate genealogy techniques.

I really appreciate this effort to bring quality video segments to the genealogy world. Take some time to go through the Program Guide or the Channel listings. There is a lot here for everyone - beginner to expert. Even some humor - check out Flat Stanley here and here and Og's Home Movies too!

"Newspaper Archiving" Program Summary

The program at yesterday's Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting was "Newspaper Archiving" by Peter Rowe, a staff writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper. Peter is also the newspaper's Archivist. His CV can be read here.

Peter started the program by noting that he likes Chula Vista, but fears that after his talk that it will climb higher on the Forbe's "America's Ten Most Boring Cities" list. I doubt it!

He provided a short history of archiving at the San Diego Union (and Union-Tribune) over the years:

* From 1868 (when the Union was first published) into the 1970's, whole copies of the paper, and cut up stories put in large envelopes by subject, were kept in the newspaper office library. The envelopes were consulted often by reporters and the librarians.

* In the 1970's, the newspaper ran out of storage space, and moved to a new building, and the envelopes with all of the cut-up stories were placed in the San Diego Historical Society collection in Balboa Park. The separate newspaper Photo Archives were also placed at the San Diego Historical Society.

* In 1984, digital archives were started for the newspaper and the practice of cutting up articles and putting them in the envelopes was discontinued. However, the "digital archives" are not available to the public on the newspaper web site. [Note: The San Diego Union (1983-1992, and 1992-present) and the San Diego Evening Tribune (1983-1992) are available thorugh the San Diego Public Library online databases - library card required).]

* In 2000, the site was started, and the online archives cover this time period, but is available only to newspaper subscribers through the web page. There is a Search box on the home page of the newspaper, but it does not always provide accurate results.

Peter observed that a Search for his mother's 2008 obituary using the home page did not find any articles, but using the subscriber Archives search there were four articles about her.

In response to a question, he noted that there were no digital archives for San Diego newspapers before 1984 on any historical or current newspaper web site.

The San Diego Public Library has microfilms of the complete run of the San Diego Union (1868-1992), San Diego Evening Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune (1992 -present) and other San Diego newspapers in the second floor Newspaper Room of the downtown library (820 E Street, San Diego).

Peter suggested using to find the current newspaper in a specific area. To find newspaper articles in other cities, he recommended contacting the local libraries and historical societies to determine the extent and availability of their collections. He searched for specific people requested by the audience in current Seattle and San Francisco newspapers as examples.

For searches of living people, he said that he used, and the Superior Court records (available for San Diego at Peter also provided some "fun" sites - and

This was a fun-filled talk. Peter is pretty laid back and has a dry sense of humor. He spoke without notes. He does look like his picture.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Look at - Post 2

I posted about my first look at the new web site,, in Post 1 of this series. This post described the site pages that an unregistered user would see. I also posted a link to the WorldHistory short demo videos. I believe that this web site is still under development, so some of the features don't work well or even at all.

Notwithstanding that, it is useful to go explore what a registered user can do.
In this post I want to start exploring the web site from the registered users point of view. I registered some time ago, and uploaded a GEDCOM file.

Here is the "My Profile" page with my short biography, my picture, my web site, my tags, etc. as submitted:

As a registered user, I wondered what the options for adding content were. I clicked on the "Add content" link at the top of the page and saw:

There are quite a few options here. I'll have to explore it a bit more later.

Since I had uploaded a GEDCOM file some time ago, I clicked on the "Ancestors" link in the menu row below the Search box. The page below tells me how many persons I have in my database on the site and what I can do with them. There is a link to the Map which I'm going to resist in this post, but will deal with in the next post.

Below the text and map, there is an alphabet list for the surnames in my database.

I clicked on the S item and got the first page (of at least 30 pages) of S surnames. I clicked along until I found my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) on page 10:

I clicked on the link for him, and was able to cut and paste a "biography" into the "About Them" field as shown below:

When that was done, I clicked on "Save New Record" and this page with a map of Leominster, Massachusetts and the biography of my grandfather appeared:

Okay, that's pretty cool. The GEDCOM that I uploaded had this biography in the Notes. Why didn't my Notes go into the biography field when the GEDCOM uploaded? And the site has lost track of the days and months for birth and death. It lists only the years and places.

Scrolling down, I see that I can add Events to this biography, can link to People in their Life, can add Sources and Stories, Artifacts, and Related Projects:

My GEDCOM had Facts for events in his life. And it had the parents, spouse and children for him. Why don't they show up here as "People in their Life?"

Maybe I have the cart before the horse here, and should be patient with the web site. Maybe they want me to attach a Father and Mother (but where is the Spouse(s) and Children links?)? I clicked on the "Add Father" icon and was rewarded with:

Oops - an error message. They obviously have more work to do on the links to family members.

In the next post in this series, we'll look at a Search for a person, and also check out the Maps a bit.

Note that reader "Geolover" had some critical comments about this site in my first post.

Reading "The American Genealogist" issues on

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) recently announced that they were digitizing and indexing images of The American Genealogist (TAG) periodical and placing them on the NEHGS web site at The first five years, Volumes 9 to 13 (yewars 1932 to 1936) are currently available. Note: you must be an NEHGS member to access their databases.

I posted yesterday about the revamped NEHGS home page at The TAG page has the TAG index for the five volumes on the right sidebar - here is a link to a PDF of the index. Here is a screen shot of two of the pages from the index for Volume 12:

I was interested in the Goodrich article on page 44 of Volume 12. I noted the volume and page number, and went to the search box on the main TAG page and entered the Volume = 12 and Page = 44 in the appropriate fields, and clicked on Go (you have to click on the Go button):

The Goodrich article extends to the next page, so I clicked on the right carat (>) button to go to the next page:

Page 45 is the end of the article. How do I advance to the first page of the issue? I could put Page = 1 in the field at the bottom of the screen. If I wanted to go back to the index, I could go to the top of the page and click on the Index link.

At the bottom of each page there are also links for "Back to Last Master Search Results" page, "Back to Search Results page," and "New Search" as seen below:

There is an index for the TAG issues, and a Search for a surname results in a list of given and surnames, the publication year, volume and page number. Clicking on the linked person's name will take you to the page with the person.

Because of the limited number of volumes currently available online, I found that it was easier to browse the TAG Index PDF to find interesting articles than to do a search for a surname. I really appreciate having both options to find articles of interest and to navigate within the database.

Can I print out the article pages? There are no "Print" buttons on the web pages. If I go to "File > Print Preview" on my browser then I see this:

I can then use the Print icon to print this page out. I could also do a "File > Save" and save the page to my computer file folders. I could also do a "Print Screen" and save the text only as an image (which I could then crop to save just the text. I could OCR the image then to capture the text if I wanted to. It's almost easier to transcribe the text!

Family Photographs - Post 57: Buster

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

These photographs are from my grandfather's photo album that I scanned during Scanfest in January:

Fortunately, one of these photographs is labelled with a date and a name for the Carringer family cat - meet Buster! In the top photo, Buster isn't a bit curious about who the other cat in the mirror is. Do cats know that it is their own image? In the bottom photo, Buster reclines gracefully in his basket while showing off his luxurious tail. Cats always seem to have a smile on their faces, dont they?

The picture was taken on 27 April 1919, probably by my grandfather, Lyle L. Carringer, since it is his scrapbook. I think the setting is probably the Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer home on Harrison Street in San Diego. I wonder if Buster was Lyle's or Emily's before their wedding in 1918, or if he joined the family after the marriage.

Now Buster lives on in posterity, one of the many family cats that "owned" the Carringer families. My Seaver family loved cats too, and had many over the years on the block between the busy 30th and Fern Streets in San Diego.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Checking in on

I wanted to check out how the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) had digitized and presented the issues of The American Genealogist on their web site, Note: youm ust be an NEHGS member to see their databases.

But when I went to the web site, I noticed that NEHGS has significantly revamped the presentation of their databases and activities. I couldn't resist making some screen shots so that I can show you their Databases & Research page (two screens below):

I really like how this page looks and feels - my eyes are drawn to each section. There are links for Databases & Research, Our Library, Publications, Programs & Events and Online Store in the top (green) menu. The left sidebar provides links to all of the components for the Databases & Research page, and the right sidebar shows the Database Categories and an ad for an NEHGS program. In the main part of the web page is "Most Recently Added or Updated Databases" on the top of the page, and "Most Popular Databases," "Premium Databases," and "Free Databases" on the bottom of the page.

The second link in the "Most Recently Added or Updated Databases" is The American Genealogist, so I clicked on that and saw (two screens below with some overlap):

This page has a description of The American Genealogist database, and includes a search box that has fields for first name, last name, publication date range, search the Table of Contents, or enter the Volume and Page Number to display pages from the work.

Over on the right sidebar is a link to a PDF of the index of the available issues of The American Genealogist. At this time, Volumes 9 to 13 are available on the web site.

I will show the process for finding, reading and saving the pages of The American Genealogist in the next post in this series.

RootsMagic 4 Wall Chart problems

I posted Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 8: Creating a Wall Chart last month and have been working with it a bit trying to create large wall charts with a proportional background picture on it.

I figured out a fix to one of my problems. For example, here is a RootsMagic 4 wall chart produced by the RootsMagic Chart program for an 8 generation chart of my ancestry. I put the wedding photograph (the original is an 8" x 10" photograph) of my parents in as a background. The 8 generation chart measures 45" x 124" full scale. As you can see below, the photograph is distorted because it fills the space available (I showed only a screen shot of some of the top of the chart, but you can see the distortion):

There are no sizing or transparency options for the photograph (that I can find!) like other software programs have (e.g., Legacy Family Tree 7). In order to get a true size image I reduced the generations to five and then in the RootsMagic Chart program I clicked on Layout and then set the Canvas to be 40 inches wide and 50 inches high. That worked, as shown below (screen shot of the top half of chart):

In my earlier post, I complained that "I still cannot get RootsMagic Chart to export a file. There is no way to register it from the program. I have registered my RootsMagic 4 program."

Below is a screen shot taken today of a chart that I wanted to Export to a file.
When I go to File > Export in the program menu, I get the popup box that says "Export is disabled in the demo version."

I thought, "well, did I register my RootsMagic 4?" I thought I had, so I found my Registration Key and registered it again. In Help > About RootsMagic I saw "Version, 4 Mar 2009, registered to Randall Seaver." So it knows that I'm registered - but is that the Demo version?

I exited the program and started it again, and I still got the "Export is disabled in the demo version."

Then I thought "well, do I have the latest RootsMagic 4 version - maybe they've updated it?" I went to the RootsMagic Update site from Help>Check for Updates (in RootsMagic 4) and the latest version they have there is Version 3.2.6, so I have no clue if I have the latest update or not.

I really like RootsMagic 4, and understand that the program was released just two months ago, but I want it to work flawlessly for my purposes. Am I the only user that has problems like this?

Any suggestions from RootsMagic 4 wizards?
UPDATED: 5 p.m. See the comments from Bruce, Chris and Tamura. My Export problem is solved. I downloaded (using the "secret" web site - there is no link for this on the RootsMagic web page) the updated version of RootsMagic 4 and registered it again. Now I have Version 4.0.2 dated 26 May 2009. Thanks, guys, for good advice. The squeaking wheel gets some grease once in awhile.

Genealogy-Related Bumper Stickers

We had a great response to the last Saturday Night Genealogy Fun topic - Create a Bumper Sticker. Here is a summary of the creations by genea-bloggers and readers:

* Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Create a Bumper Sticker by Randy Seaver. This post has some bumper stickers suggested by readers rehiman, Jean Hibben, Happy Dae, Russ and Jane.

* Slap This On My Bumper by footnoteMaven. Extra credit! Check out this graphic.

* Saturday Night Fun - Create a Bumper Sticker by JamaGenie.

* Bumper Stickers for Genealogists by Mark Tucker. I "stepped on" Mark's idea without knowing it...sorry, Mark!


* Genealogy Obsession Bumper Sticker by John Newmark. Extra credit!

* Saturday Night Fun: Bumper Stickers by Colleen McHugh. Extra credit!

* Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Genealogy Bumper Stickers by Chris Staats. Extra credit!

* Genealogy Bumper Stickers by Melody Lassalle .

* Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Create A Bumper Sticker by Valerie C. Extra credit!

* Genealogy Banner for Saturday Night Fun by Tina Sansome. Extra credit!

* Randy's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Create a Bumper Sticker by Greta Koehl

* Here's My Sign, Oops, I Mean My Bumper Sticker! by Caroline M. Pointer. Extra credit! Nice graphics.

* My Genealogy Bumper Stickers by Thomas MacEntee.

* My Genealogy Bumper Stickers ~ Saturday Night Fun by Linda Stienstra.

* CherryTeaTime posted two stickers on Twitter.

* Kelly Holderbaum posted one bumper sticker on Facebook as a comment to my Status.

* Terry Thornton emailed me two bumper stickers. Extra credit!

If I missed someone, please let me know in a comment to this post and I will add you to the list.

My thanks to Valerie for posting the link to where you can make your own bumper sticker.

Well done, everyone! Which one do you like the most?

Memorial Day Musings

I spent my morning of Memorial Day honoring my ancestors by:

* Posting Honoring my Ancestors who served. This is a yearly post at Memorial Day. I had to remove James Bell from my post because I found out that he was not Devier J. Lamphear Smith's biological grandfather (Devier Lamphear was adopted by Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith).

* Downloading the complete Revolutionary War Pension Files from for Isaac Buck of Massachusetts, Joseph Champlin of Rhode Island, and Joseph Oatley of Rhode Island. I had the "selected pages" from HeritageQuestOnline, but not the complete files.

* Creating a Footnote Page for Isaac Buck (1757-1846) of Sterling, Massachusetts and linked it to Facebook's I Remember application. I included several pages from Isaac's Revolutionary War Pension File as images and added my research Notes from my genealogy database. Isaac Buck is one of my 4th great-grandfathers. The Footnote Page for Isaac Buck is here, and the Facebook I Remember page is here.

* Creating a Footnote Page for Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) of Leominster, Massachusetts and linked it to Facebook's I Remember application. I added a picture of Isaac and his wife Lucretia (Smith) Seaver, added census images for 1850 to 1900, and added my research notes from my genealogy database. Isaac Seaver is a Civil War veteran and is one of my 2nd great-grandfathers. The Footnote Page for Isaac Seaver is here, and the Facebook I Remember page is here. I even invited some of my Facebook Friends to look at the I Remember page in hopes of winning the free Footnote subscription.

I figured that I had done enough honoring my ancestors by noontime, so Linda and I went off to a picnic and pool party at our friends home. I even got to talk genealogy with two of the folks there! We had a fun day!

Monday, May 25, 2009

CVGS Program on 27 May - Peter Rowe on "Newspaper Archives"

The next Program Meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society will be on Wednesday, 27 May 2009, at 12 noon in the Auditorium of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in Chula Vista). After a brief business meeting, the Program Speaker will be Peter Rowe, a reporter for the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, who is currently the newspaper's archivist.

In July 1984, Peter Rowe was hired as a writer for the San Diego Union's Currents section. He has yet to be fired. At the Union, he wrote feature stories and devoted five misspent years to editing. When the Union merged with the Tribune in 1992, he ransomed his byline and became a columnist for the Union-Tribune's Currents section.

A California native, Rowe attended high school in Encinitas (San Dieguito) and college in La Jolla (UCSD). He graduated from the journalism schools at UC Berkeley and Northwestern University. Peter is a past president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, a former Fulbright scholar (Japan, 2003) and owns a smattering of plaques from journalism competitions. But he'd trade them all for a chance to avenge his disastrous third-place finish during a 1994 appearance on "Jeopardy!"

Peter is married to a wonderful woman who does read the column, but refuses to set foot in it. A character known as The Woman Next Door handles all spouse-of-columnist duties. He has three sons. Not one of them reads his column.

Peter currently writes a monthly beer column for the Union-Tribune's Food section. He is also the Archivist for the newspaper. He does not look like his photograph.

Please enter the auditorium through the Conference Room door off the east entrance hallway in order to register, pick up handouts, buy an opportunity drawing ticket and have a snack before the meeting.

CVGS welcomes all members of the community, and all CVGS programs are free to attend.

Honoring my Ancestors who served

On Memorial Day, we honor those who have served our country and have given their lives so that we can remain free.

My known ancestors who have served in the military since the Revolutionary War include:

1. World War II

* Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983, my father) served in the United States Navy aboard the USS Halford. The picture is from 1944.

2. World War I

* Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976, my grandfather) served in the United States Marines in San Diego. The picture is from 1917.

3. Civil War

* Isaac Seaver (1823-1901, my great-great-grandfather) of Leominster MA, a blacksmith, served in the Union Army (Civil War Pension File). The picture is from the collection of my aunt Geraldine (Seaver) Remley, and depicts Isaac and Lucretia (Smith) Seaver, probably in about 1863.

4. War of 1812

* * Amos Underhill (1772-1865) of Aurora NY served in the NY Militia.

5. Revolutionary War

* Martin Carringer (1758-1835) of Mercer County PA (RevWaw Pension file)

* Philip Row (1752-1817) of Hunterdon County NJ (RevWar Pension File)
* Peter Putman (1760-1835) of NJ and Yates County NY (RevWar Pension file)
* Stephen Feather (17??-1804) of NJ and Westmoreland County PA
* Rudolf Spengler (1738-1811) of York County PA
* Philip Jacob King (1738-1792) of York County PA
* Burgess Metcalf (1741-1816) of Piermont NH
* Isaac Buck (1757-1846) of Sterling MA (RevWar Pension File)
* Thomas Dill (1755-1830) of Eastham MA (RevWar Pension File)
* Joseph Champlin (1758-1850) of S. Kingston RI (RevWar Pension File)
* Norman Seaver (1734-1787) of Westminster MA
* Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) of Westminster MA
* Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784) of Westford MA
* Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1828) of Townsend MA
* Amos Plimpton (1735-1808) of Medfield MA
* David Kirby (1740-1832) of Westport MA
* Joseph Oatley (1756-1815) of S. Kingston RI.

Amazingly, each of them survived their wartime experiences. I thank God for these men, the families that nurtured them, the wives that supported them, and the children who learned from them the importance of service to their country.

I continue to pray for the health and safety of all of our armed forces personnel, for the wisdom and perseverance of our leaders, and for the patience and understanding of our citizens as we continue the battle to keep America safe and free.

May God continue to bless the United States of America.

Finding Lamphears in Jefferson County, NY - Post 3

As I've searched for Lamphear/Lamphere/Lamphier/Lamfear/Lamfier and other surname variants in Jefferson County, New York, I've tried to identify families in the records that lived in or near Henderson township.

A little background: I am looking for the biological parents of Devier J. Lamphear, born in 1839 or 1842 according to family records, and adopted by Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith of Henderson, Jefferson County, NY.

Previous posts on this search include:

* Seeking Lamphier Probate Records in Jefferson County NY
* Finding Lamphears in Jefferson County NY - Post 1
* Finding Lamphears in Jefferson County NY - Post 2

I ordered the microfilms for the 1825 and 1835 New York State Census records from the LDS Family History Library Catalog down at the FHC in March, and they came in several weeks ago. I managed to capture images of both 1825 and 1835 census records for several Lamphear/Lanfear persons using the Microfilm Scanner and Printer at my local Family History Center.

The 1835 census images look like this:

There are two pages for each page of the 1825 and 1835 New York state census, and only the head of household have names provided. The 1825 census has 36 questions, and the 1835 census has 24 questions (the same first 24 questions as on the 1825 census).

I made up a Microsoft Word table in order to create an extraction of the records. The form for Isaac Lanfear of Lorraine, Jefferson County, NY in the 1835 New York State Census is shown below (the 1825 form is similar):
Here are the entries for this particular family:
1. Name of head of household - Isaac Lanfear
2. The number of male persons in the Family, including its head, if male = 4
3. The number of female persons in the family, including its head, if female = 7 (I think, difficult to read)
4. The number of male persons in the same family subject to militia duty = 1
5. The whole number of male persons in the same family entitled by the constitution of this state to vote for all officers, elected by the people = 2

6. The number of male persons in the same family, who are aliens, not naturalized = 0
7. The number of persons in the same family who are paupers = 0
8. The number of persons in the same family, who are persons of colour, not taxed = 0
9. The number of persons in the same family, who are persons of colour, who are taxed
10. The whole number of persons of colour in the same family who are taxed, and entitled by the constitution of this state for all officers elective by the people (and not be included in ninth column) = 0

11. The number of married female persons in the same family under the age of forty-five years = 0
12. The number of unmarried female persons in the same family, between the ages of sixteen and forty-five years. = 4
13. The number of unmarried female persons in the same family under the age of sixteen years = 2
14. The number of marriages occurring in the same family where such female married person resided during the year preceding = 0
15. The number of births in the same family, during the year preceding – Male/Female = 0/0

16. The number of deaths in the same family, during the year preceding – Male/Female = 0/0
17. The number of acres of improved land, occupied by the same family = 50
18. The number of neat cattle owned by the same family = 28
19. The number of horses owned by the same family = 5
20. The number of sheep owned by the same family = 20

21. The number of hogs owned by the same family = 12
22. The number of yards of fulled cloth manufactured in the domestic way, in the same family, during the year preceding = 10
23. The number of yards of flannel and other woolen cloth not fulled, manufactured in the domestic way, in the same family, during the year preceding = 20
24. The number of yards of linen, cotton, or other thin cloths, manufactured in the domestic way, in the same family, during the year preceding = 28.

As you can see, there were 11 persons (4 males, 7 females) living in this household. We cannot be sure that they were all family members - some might be laborers or servants that support the family farm. We can also see the livestock count on the farm and the amount of cloth manufactured by family members.

In the 1825 New York State Census, these Lamf*/Lamph*/Lanf*/Lanph* families were enumerated in Jefferson County NY (FHL Microfilm 0,895,239):

* Asa Lamphear in Adams (4 males, 3 females)
* Isaac Lanfear in Lorraine (3 males, 7 females)
* William Lanfear (3 males, 4 females)
* Lewis Lanphear in Wilna (6 males, 3 females)
* John Lanphear in Wilna (2 males, 1 female)
* Lewis Lanphear Jr in Wilna (7 males, 3 females)

In the 1835 New York State Census for Jefferson County, New York (FHL Microfilms 0,895,239 and 0.895,240), the Lamf*/Lamph*/Lanf*/Lanph* families included:

* George N. Lanphear in Antwerp (4 males, 3 females)
* Isaac Lanfear in Lorraine (4 males, 7 females)
* Orin Lanfear in Lorraine (4 males, 2 females)
* William Lanfear in Lorraine (2 males, 3 females)
* John Lanphear in Wilna (5 males, 2 females)
* Hiram Lanphear in Wilna (3 males, 3 females)
* Lewis Lanphear Jr (4 males, 6 females)
* Jeremiah Lanphear in Wilna (2 males, 3 females)

In addition, Ranslow Smith (the adoptive father of Devier Lamphear) was enumerated in Henderson township with 1 male and 1 female.

The challenge for me is to try to identify the males and females in these families who might have been the parent to my Devier Lamphear. Adams township is right next to Henderson, and Lorraine township is just two towns from Henderson, while Antwerp and Wilna are further away.