Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Surname Distributions!

Hey, genealogy fans - it's Saturday Night, and time for some Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music...), is:

1) Find out the geographical distribution of your surname - in the world, in your state or province, in your county or parish. I suggest that you use the Public Profiler site at, which seems to work quickly and easily. However, you cannot capture the image as a photo file - you have to capture the screen shot, save it and edit it.

2) Tell us about your surname distribution in a blog post of your own (with a screen shot if possible), in comments to this post, or in comments on a social networking site like Facebook and Twitter.

Here's mine (without editing the images):

I went to the Public Profiler site and entered "Seaver" in the Surname field, and saw a world map:

There is a handy list on the right with the top five countries, in persons per million with the surname.

You can "mouse over" the countries and click on a country - I chose the USA:

Then you can click on a state or province on the USA map - I chose California:

The colors on the map correspond to a range of "low" to "high" surname frequencies based on frequency per million (FPM) people. However, the "high" range for one surname does not necessarily mean it has the same FPM as another surname with a "high" FPM.

Read the "Frequently Asked Questions" page to understand the maps, and to determine the 26 countries for which this site has surname distributions.

The site provides lists of about ten top countries, top regions and top cities for the surname. For the "Seaver" surname, the top paces are:

* Top Country = Ireland (FPM = 24)

* Top Region = South Taranaki District, New Zealand (FPM = 259.24)

* Top Locality = Saginaw, Michigan, USA

Isn't that a neat web site? What uses can you find for a surname distribution map like these?

Surname Saturday - RICHMAN/RICHMOND

It's Surname Saturday. I am listing my ancestral families in the order they appear on my Ahnentafel Chart. Today, I will list my RICHMAN/RICHMOND Families.

The line from myself backwards in time through the Richman/Richmond line is:

1. Randall J. Seaver (1943-....) - moi!

2. Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983) married 1942 3. Betty Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942) married 1900 5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

5. Alma Bessie Richmond, born 16 February 1882 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 29 June 1962 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA. She was the daughter of 10. Thomas Richmond and 11. Julia White. She married 4. Frederick Walton Seaver 21 June 1900 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA. He was born 09 October 1876 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA, and died 13 March 1942 in Lawrence, Essex County, MA. He was the son of Frank Walton Seaver and Hattie Louise Hildreth.

10. Thomas Richmond, born 16 June 1848 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 09 November 1917 in Clinton, Worcester County, MA. He was the son of 4. James Richman/Richmond and 5. Hannah Rich. He married 11. Julia White 20 June 1868 in Elmville, Windham County, CT. Julia White, born 08 September 1848 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 04 October 1913 in Putnam, Windham County, CT. She was the daughter of Henry A. White and Amy Frances Oatley. Children of Thomas Richmond and Julia White are:

........ i. Anne Frances Richmond, born 13 July 1869 in Westerly, Washington County, RI; died 06 July 1939 in Clinton, Worcester County, MA; married Walter Pickford Bef. 1890 in prob. Putnam, Windham County, CT; born August 1864 in ENGLAND; died 02 July 1918 in Clinton, Worcester County, MA.
........ ii. Frederic J. Richmond, born 1870 in Westerly, Washington County, RI; died 1875 in Putnam, Windham County, CT.
........ iii. Everett Glens Richmond, born 24 July 1875 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 04 January 1917 in Putnam, Windham County, CT; married Ethel Pierce 07 December 1896 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA.
........ iv. Grace L. Richmond, born August 1876 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 1963 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA; married (1) Alfred Shaw About 1907 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA; born 1884 in ENGLAND; died 1919 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA; married (2) Moody Aft. 1940.
........v. Emily White Richmond, born 06 January 1879 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 23 July 1966 in San Diego, San Diego County, CA; married George Russell Taylor 10 April 1901 in Leominster, Worcester, MA; born 06 September 1865 in Stamford, CT; died 12 September 1945 in San Diego, San Diego, CA. Charles Percival Richmond, born 25 May 1880 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 29 April 1910 in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, CA; married Jessie Brown About 1908 in prob. Santa Barbara County, CA; born 13 August 1882 in CT; died 27 October 1947 in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA.
..5 ...vii. Alma Bessie Richmond, born 16 February 1882 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 29 June 1962 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA; married Frederick Walton Seaver 21 June 1900 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA.
.......viii. Edwin Thomas Richmond, born 07 December 1883 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 23 April 1935 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA; married Alice B. Corey 11 June 1905 in Danielson, Windham County, CT; born 07 October 1884 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA; died 07 January 1979 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA.
........ ix. James Henry Richmond, born 16 November 1885 in Killingly, Windham County, CT; died 1913 in Clinton, Worcester County, MA; married Ethel Judson 30 November 1911 in Danielson, Windham County, CT.

20. James Richman/Richmond, born Bef. 08 April 1821 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 20 December 1912 in Putnam, Windham County, CT. He was the son of 40. John Richman and 41. Ann Marshman. He married 21. Hannah Rich 07 September 1845 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND. Hannah Rich, born 14 April 1824 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 07 August 1911 in Putnam, Windham County, CT. She was the daughter of John Rich and Rebecca Hill. Children of James Richman/Richmond and Hannah Rich are:

..10... i. Thomas Richmond, born 16 June 1848 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 09 November 1917 in Clinton, Worcester County, MA; married Julia White 20 June 1868 in Elmville, Windham County, CT.
........ ii. James Richmond, born 06 January 1850 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism); died 18 May 1929 in Fairfield County, CT; married (1) Jane White 1869 in (divorced 1871); married (2) Sarah Bigwood 29 May 1878 in Mapleville, RI; born 09 November 1855 in Frome, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 11 January 1932 in Fairfield County, CT.
........iii. Ann Richmond, born About 1851 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.
........iv. Louisa Richmond, born 1852 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 1940 in Putnam, Windham County, CT.
........ v. Elizabeth Ann Richmond, born August 1854 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 1931 in Putnam, Windham County, CT; married Abram Sykes 1876 in prob. Putnam, Windham, CT; born January 1851 in RI; died 1905 in Putnam, Windham, CT.
........ vi. Emma Richmond, born 06 July 1856 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism); married Arthur Lucius Fitts 15 November 1881 in Putnam, Windham, CT; born 11 January 1856 in Pomfret, Windham, CT.
........ vii. Hannah Rebecca Richmond, born 1859 in Burrilville, Providence County, RI; married Frank W. Smith.
........ viii. John Henry Richmond, born May 1865 in Burrilville, Providence County, RI; died 1947 in Putnam, Windham County, CT (burial); married Mary Ann Ramsey 1891 in prob. Windham County, CT; born August 1866 in ENGLAND; died 23 May 1954 in Putnam, Windham County, CT (CT DI).
........ ix. Charles Edwin Richmond, born 16 September 1866 in Grosvenordale, Windham County, CT; died 25 August 1951 in Groton, New London County, CT; married Lavinia Guerten 1895 in CT; born 05 September 1870 in Emilville, CANADA; died 26 February 1936 in Manchester, Hartford, CT.

40. John Richman, born About 1788 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 25 April 1867 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND. He married 41. Ann Marshman 08 February 1811 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND. Ann Marshman, born Bef. 20 June 1784 in Devizes, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism); died About 1856 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND. Children of John Richman and Ann Marshman are:

........ i. Elizabeth Richman, born 1812 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; married Thomas Hogan.
........ ii. Sarah Richman, born Bef. 03 April 1814 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; married James Thompson.
........ iii. John Richman, born Bef. 13 February 1816 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 01 June 1884 in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; married Maria Mathews 11 October 1835 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; born About 1816 in Hilperton Marsh, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.
........ iv. Ann Richman, born Bef. 08 March 1818 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; married John Hall.
..20...v. James Richman/Richmond, born Bef. 08 April 1821 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 20 December 1912 in Putnam, Windham County, CT; married Hannah Rich 07 September 1845 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.
........ vi. Thomas Richman, born Bef. 22 June 1821 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 11 September 1844 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.
........ vii. Mary Richman, born Bef. 22 June 1823 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism); died Bef. 1825 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.
........ viii. Mary Richman, born Bef. 23 March 1825 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died Bef. 22 May 1825 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.

That's as far as I can go with my Richman line. The Hilperton Parish Registers seem to be incomplete before about 1800. There are several John Richmans in the parish records before 1800 that may be #40 above, but there is no clear definition of which one #40 is.

As you can see, the fmaily changed its name from RICHMAN to RICHMOND after James and Hannah Richman migrated in 1856 to New England. The RICHMAN family in Wiltshire kept the family name.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Checking out ourFamily*ology - Post 2

I signed up for the ourFamily*ology family tree web site earlier this week, but ran into a snag, as reported in the first post of this series. They apparently solved my snag problem, and now the site works well for me.

In this post, I want to go explore the Tree features of the web site. I uploaded a 38,420 person family tree the other day, and all of the information seems to be in their system.

I did have one problem - my #1 person has the name "(Unknown)" and is the third wife of Robert Seaver (1608-1683). I figured out how to navigate to more recent people but every time I click on "Home Person," it goes to my miss Unknown. There should be some way to change the Home Person in the family tree. Every other program has that feature.

Here is the "Home" page after I logged in, which tells me that I have a family tree with almost 14 mb of storage used (out of the 25 mb allowed in the first level of subscription):

I clicked on the orange "Tree" tab across the top of the screen (two screens below with overlap) and navigated to my grandparents, Frederick and Bessie (Richmond) Seaver (this was not intuitive, after trial and error I found that clicking the orange "People" tab on the page permitted me to select a person):

This is a pretty nice visual representation of the family. The husband and wife are in different colored outlines, with a place for a picture, and with their vital information, plus links for their parents above their names, and their marriage information below their names. One of the parents is outlined in green as the highlighted person in this family with content shown below. The children are listed with their vital information, and the user can click on a child's name to make that person a parent of another family. The user can click on an "Edit" link to modify or add information for any of these persons. The user can click on the "Add Children" to add to the children's list.

Down at the bottom of the screen, there is a "Content" area with another set of tabs, for "Sources," "Score," "Media," "Notes," "Tasks" and "Events." We'll look at some of those in a minute.

I saw no easy way to print out this "Family View" chart other than to go to File > Print on the Windows menu. The printout is not wonderful, but it does have all of the information on one sheet of paper in a font size almost too small to read.

In the top right corner there is a box titled "Progress Rating Chart" which shows a small box for the eight great-grandparents, the four grandparents, the two parents, the outlined person, and his/her children as a box. The boxes have light blue (males) or pink (females) outlines around them, and are filled if there is information known about that persons parents. One of my boxes is not filled it, because I don't know the parents of Thomas J. Newton. If you run your mouse over the box, you can see the name of the person represented. This is an interesting tool once you know what it is - it tells you if you know the ancestry of the highlighted person.

On the right side, below the "Progress Rating Chart," is the "Smart Menu" which has links for "Family View," "Pedigree View," "Descendants View," and "Home Person View." I was in "Family View" above, so I clicked on "Pedigree View" and saw:

The user can choose the number of generations to view - the chart above is for three generations. If you change the number of generations, then the screen view gets wider. The printout of this page is not wonderful, or readable to my eyes, either.

The next link on the "Smart Menu" list is for the "Descendants View":

This is an interesting presentation - I've never seen it done this way before - with fields for each generation. The user can select more generations and columns are added. The birth and death date and location for each person listed is shown. The left-right scroll bar is at the bottom of the frame. The "Sources" Content is shown at the bottom of the page on all of these "Smart Menu" items.

I went back to the "Family View" and clicked on the "Score" tab on the Content area at the bottom of the page:

I'm not sure what all of that means -I got a green check for my grandfather because I had his name, birth and death data, links to a spouse and a parent in the database, I guess.

I skipped over the "Media" Content, since I don't have any media attached yet. The next Tab over is "Notes" and when I clicked that tab, the first three lines of my notes for my grandfather showed in the box at the bottom of the Content area:

I pondered how to see "all of my notes" since I knew that there were more than three lines. I clicked on the "Edit" link and a popup window opened:

There they are, all of my Notes. All jumbled together. I had them in paragraphs, with bullets highlighting each person in the census records. I could edit the Notes in that popup window, and if I had, I would have clicked on the "Update" button.

I passed over the "Tasks" tab also, and clicked on the "Events" tab:

The Facts that I had for my grandfather - in terms of "Person Events" and "Marriage Events" - are listed with the source citation in the right-hand column (such as they are!).

After navigating through the "Tree" functions, my impressions of the program include:

* It is visually beautiful on the website.

* The printouts are poor - has appropriate information but print is too small and printed page is pretty drab.

* The program takes a really long time to load a page - often 30 seconds or more for any of the pages shown above from my database. No one in their right mind would enter data one person at a time. The desktop genealogy programs have spoiled me to want an instantaneous change from one screen to another or one field to another for editing or adding information.

* Navigation from one person to another works by clicking a link on the page onscreen, but going to a different family is not easy - you have to use the "People" tab.

The next post will look at the other major program Tabs at the top of the screen, including charts and reports.

Three APG/PMC Presentations Available to View

Do you want a peek at some of the presentations made at the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Professional Management Conference (PMC) in September 2009 at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference in Little Rock?

Check out the PMC Webcast page on the APG site. The site says:

"As a result of a trial partnership with FamilySearch, APG is making available three presentations from the 2009 APG Professional Management Conference, which took place on September 2 at the FGS Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

"Lectures by Heather Henderson, Mary Penner, and Elissa Scalise Powell, are available, free of charge, to APG members and the public as a "trial balloon" to see how well this rich professional educational opportunity is received. In the future, we will explore options for pay-per-view, live streaming video, and other possibilities so that more of our members and prospective members can benefit from the PMC when attending the conference isn't possible."

The three presentations available include:

* Bull's Eye! Planning and Delivering a Winning Mark by Heather Henderson

* The Bachelor: Reconstructing a Solitary Life Using Obscure & Far-Flung Records by Mary Penner

* Get Paid for Your Passion: Becoming a Professional Genealogist by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG.

I watched Elissa Powell's presentation last night and enjoyed seeing what I had missed.

The presentations are webcast showing the speaker in a small window and the PowerPoint slides in a larger, more readable, window. The listener can even speed up the presentation (I used 1.4 x normal speed to cut the presentation time from 70 minutes to 50 minutes, without missing anything).

Although the online listener cannot interact with the speaker using this webcast format, there is a benefit to hearing and seeing the speaker while observing the slides.

This is one way that genealogy researchers can receive genealogy education from conference programs that they cannot afford to attend due to time conflicts or financial reasons. There is a cost associated with producing these webcasts. The website indicates that a fee-per-view will be pursued, and that seems fair, both to the speaker, the conference and the webcast provider.

Hopefully, the cost for a one-hour presentation will be reasonable - my own price point is probably in the $5 to $10 range. At the FGS Conference, there were 21 time periods where an attendee could hear a speaker, and the conference charge was in the $200 range. The additional costs of traveling to the FGS Conference (airfare, car rental, hotel, food) made the five day event a $2000 cost for my wife and I (note that the pre-FGS and post-FGS travel to see friends and to sightsee increased our overall costs significantly. If I had traveled by myself to Little Rock for five days, it would have cost about $1300.). So the webcast option, even if it cost me $200 for 20 presentations, would be a significant savings over the cost of attending the Conference.

The issue, of course, is that if all presentations were made in a webcast, then there would be no more large regional or national conferences with exhibit halls, fancy dinners and social networking. Those factors are important to the attendees, but for the other 99% of genealogy researchers who don't attend conferences, they are not really a factor. There would still be local and regional society programs and day-long seminars with speakers. These events could be used to create the webcasts. The speaker's syllabus could be emailed to the online attendees after they paid the webcast fee.

I appreciate the effort by FamilySearch and APG/PMC to create these webcasts, and hope to see more of them. Now I need to watch the other two webcasts that are available. They both sound really interesting!

Follow Friday - Shades of the Departed - WOW!!

My selection of footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog for Follow Friday is a no-brainer - especially today!

What is Shades of the Departed? It's all about images, especially of those that have passed away. Over the past two years, footnoteMaven (we who love her call her fM) has published her own posts about photographs, and has hosted regular monthly columns written by other notable genealogy bloggers, including Craig Manson, Donna Pointkouski, Jasia, Sheri Fenley, George Geder, Rebecca Fenning, Denise Levenick, Denise Olson, and several others that I cannot recall. In addition, the Shades of the Departed blog has produced a monthly Smile for the Camera blog carnival.

The difference between the articles in the Shades of the Departed blog and those on many other genealogy blogs is that they are written in a professional format, include many images, have edited writing, and utilize source citations.

Things changed on Shades of the Departed this week. fM has created a monthly online magazine called Shades - a Digital Magazine - the November 2009 cover is shown below:

The blog post on Shades of the Departed provides some discussion of the creation of the magazine and some directions on how to navigate the online magazine.

The articles in the premier issue of Shades, the Digital Magazine include (there is no easy way to copy and paste these, I typed them):


* page 27 - What is Mary Queen of Scots Doing in Your Photo Album, by footnoteMaven


* page 9 - The Healing Brush: A Very Fitting Tribute, by George Geder

* page 12 - Appealing Subjects: Death of a Photographer, Part 2, by Craig Manson

* page 18 - The Future of Memories: The Sky's The Limit, by Denise Olson

* page 21 - The Year Was ... : The Year was 1867, by Sheri Fenley

* page 30 - In2Genealogy: Making Sense of 1930, by Caroline Pointer

* page 41 - Penelope Dreadful: A Dreadful Portrait, by Denise Levenick

* page 46 - Captured Moments: Forget-Me-Not, by Vickie Everhart

* page 54 - The Humor Of It: The Photo Booth, by Donna Pointkouski

* page 59 - Saving Face: Where Oh Where Did My Photographs Go, by Rebecca Fenning

My initial reaction to this new online magazine is WOW! What a magnificent effort to produce a high-quality and readable genealogy magazine focusing on images. All of the contributors are genealogy or family history bloggers, and most of them are "unknown" to the larger genealogy community of professional researchers, conference-goers, print magazine readers, society officers and members, etc.

Shades, the Digital Magazine is readable online (although you have to move your cursor around the page to see all of the text - it takes some practice) and can be downloaded as a web page and saved and read at the reader's convenience.

I encourage you to read this inaugural issue of Shades, the Digital Magazine, and be sure to put the Shades of the Departed blog in your blog reader.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

More San Francisco Treats

My recent post on "San Francisco Funeral Home Records," caused Kathryn Doyle, of the California Genealogical Society and Library, to comment:

"So glad you found some information but I'm distressed to realize that you have never searched the Names Index database on the California Genealogical Society website. If you had you would have already known about the IOOF records for Dora and Frederick. We have records for the four surnames you mentioned. We need to get you up here to Oakland for a day of digging!"

I don't recall visiting the CGSL website before, so I took the opportunity to do that and see what records they have indexed for the surnames McKnew, Schaffner, Paul, Whittle and Seaver. Here is the Name Search and Order page on the CGSL site:

I entered the surname "Whittle" in the search field and clicked on "Search." The results for Whittle came back as:

Hey, lookee there - a Joseph Whittle died in 1871, age 46. That is, I think, my wife's second great-grandfather, born in England, migrated to the Bay Area from Australia around 1850. The list above provides a source as "Early Death" and requests a fee of $10 to look up and provide the record. The CGSL Lookup Order Form permits the user to request lookups found in the Name Index or in the Library References.

I wondered if the specific Joseph Whittle entry might be in the death records listed on the San Francisco Genealogy website, so I checked there. On the Vitals Records Index page is a link for San Francisco Pre-1905 Deaths, shown below:

I clicked on the Pre-1905 Deaths database link, and then selected the 6 Jun 1871 to 11 September 1871 link, saw (after using the Edit > Find for "Whittle"):

There is Joseph Whittle. The information says:

Death Date = 2 Sep 1871
Name = Whittle, Joseph
Age = 46 years, 11 months
Birthplace = England
Occupation = Painter

I checked several more databases for Joseph Whittle, and found an entry in the 1867 Great Register of San Francsico that said:

Name = Whittle, Joseph
Age = 40
Birthplace = England
Occupation = Grainer
Last Residence = Lake Honda
Ward = 12
Date Naturalized = Sept. 4, 1861
Place Naturalized = San Francisco
Court Naturalized = U.S. Dist.
Date of Registration = June 28, 1867

Okay, all of that matches pretty well with what I've found in the San Francisco City Directories on Now that I had a death date, I went searching for a death notice or obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle on Using the search engine on for [Whittle] and [Joseph Whittle] did not find any matches, even in the early September issues. Oh well!

After these searches, I did a search on Google using the search string ["whittle joseph" "san francisco"] and found both of the records above, plus some message board posts about Joseph Whittle (which I had seen before).

Now the problem with the Whittle line is "what became of Joseph's wife, Rachel (Moore) Whittle." She doesn't show up in any searches on the CGSL site or the San Francisco Genealogy site.

My conclusion here is that at least some of the items that show up in the CGSL Names Index search can be found in other resources, especially on the San Francisco Genealogy website.

I really appreciate the CGSL Names Search capability and the San Francisco Genealogy website. What an excellent service to distant genealogy researchers. If researchers want data lookups from these databases, they can obtain them for a nominal fee.

Thank you, Kathryn, for the very helpful comment and to CGSL for the website.

Are census records reliable for genealogy research?

Michael Hait asks the question "Are census records reliable for genealogy research?" in his 3 November African-American Genealogy Examiner column.

In addition to links to previous articles that examine the 1870, 1880 and 1900 to 1930 US Federal Census records, this article analyzes the reliability of census records by asking the question if it meets the test for being "primary information" - that is, was it provided by someone with direct knowledge of the events described.

We all have the experience that the names, ages, birthplaces, occupations, etc. of the persons in a household in a census record are often erroneous. Michael concludes that any given census record is of "unknown reliability" because the records don't reveal the informant of the information. The informant might be a parent, a child, a lodger or boarder, a neighbor, or even the enumerator, although it was likely that a knowledgeable adult in the household provided the information.

However, Michael also concludes that census records can be judged as reliable if the facts in the records can be verified using other historical records, such as vital records, military records, land records, probate records, other census records, etc. and applying the Genealogical Proof Standard to each asserted fact.

In his article, Michael does not address the issue of "are census records original or derivative sources?" I have always considered them to be derivative sources, since they are usually copied from some other original source material, like handwritten notes, or an earlier census transcription (for example, the microfilms that are digitized for the 1850 to 1880 censuses are the federal copies, the third transcription made by the enumerators after their day of recording information). Other persons consider the microfilmed and digitized census records as "duplicate copies," "image copies" or "record copies" of the original handwritten information, and therefore they should be treated as "original sources." Mark Tucker analyzed this on his ThinkGenealogy blog in the article "Confusion with the Various Definitions of Original Source." Read the comments on Mark's post also. I am sympathetic to the arguments that the original form creates the source, but am still hung up on the idea that the original form may be a pile of scribbled notes that were transcribed or extracted onto the census page forms., resulting in the jumbled names and other data that we all complain about. Maybe that is due to my experience trying to read my own jumbled notes several years after creating them.

Please read all of Michael's article. I appreciate his emphasis on using the Genealogical Proof Standard to evaluate records - we all need to do more of that in our genealogy research. We need more analysis and discussion of the historical records that we all strive to find and use.

This discussion is important because the US Federal Census records are often the first, and sometimes only, source of information found by genealogy researchers, especially beginners and those who only use the Internet for research.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Take a look at Dick Eastman's GenQueries site

Dick Eastman has created a free genealogy queries and advertisement web site at See Dick's announcement here. Why did he do this? His post says:

"For years, genealogy magazines and newsletters have published queries for their readers. These serve as public notices of 'I am looking for...' Such queries have always been valuable but suffer from several shortcomings:"

He then lists several shortcomings, and notes that few genealogy periodicals are publishing queries any longer. So this system will essentially replace what has been lost with the demise of Everton's Genealogical Helper magazine, with the benefit that it is online, searchable, and readable in an RSS feed.

There are categories for the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, and several other world regions. The home page looked like this today:

The actual queries can be read in the little box in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. The query titles are listed there, and the full text can be read by clicking on the "Open this item in a new window" icon to the right of the query title. Here is the full query at the top of the list:

A reader can subscribe to an RSS feed in Google Reader, Bloglines, or another reader of your choice. However, the readers provide only the title and two or three lines of the query, which forces the reader to click again to see the full text of the query.

Is this a good thing? In the large scheme of things - yes, it probably is. Just as GenealogyWise was a good idea - it fulfills a perceived need. Only time will tell if the site thrives or dies.

Is this the most efficient way to post queries on the Internet? In my humble opinion, NO! There are two sets of genealogy message boards for specific surnames, localities (countries, states, counties), and research topics available for people to use - post queries to them, read queries from others, and search for keywords. They are:



The thousands of boards on these two sites are easier to read than any other query system currently available, and they are much easier to search, readers can comment on them, and their content shows up in search engine results.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Family Photographs: Post 78 - Sons and Proud Fathers

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.

This photograph is from the albums of my Aunt Geraldine (Seaver) Remley obtained in 2007 from the family:

This photograph was taken in early 1944 at the home of Fred and Betty (Carringer) Seaver at 577 Twin Oaks Avenue in Chula Vista, California. The persons in the photograph are (from the left):

* Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983) - my father
* Randall J. Seaver (1943-....) - moi!
* Peter R. Seaver (1942 - ....) - my first cousin, son of Edward R. Seaver
* Edward R. Seaver (1913-2004) - brother of Frederick W. Seaver

My Uncle Ed was in the San Diego area for outfitting and training on his Navy ship command (I can't recall the type of ship or the name of the ship). His wife and young son came to San Diego from Massachusetts for several months before he shipped out. My father joined the US Navy in early 1944. We have family movies (on VHS right now) showing this event also.

Don't the fathers look proud? I hope that Peter and I fulfilled their hopes and wishes for success in our lives. The future at this time was very uncertain, and nobody knew if the fathers would return from their service. Two little Seaver boy babies...

More on Databases and Pages

I wrote two posts last week about the Footnote announcement on the Census Records - in BIG Announcement - US Census Records and Follow-up to Announcement.

Because I had more questions, I emailed Justin Schroepfer of, and he responded to my questions:

1) Is your agreement with FamilySearch to only share the indexes for the census records?

A: We don’t have a standing agreement with FamilySearch that requires the sharing of these indexes. However, we do work with them to feature the census and additional indexes from Footnote on their site. We are fairly open with our indexes and have offered them to other sites. We feel that this provides value to the different sites and also helps increase the awareness of (all indexed information links to the images on

2) Is my understanding correct that you are creating unique indexes to all of the US census records? If so, that is wonderful, because of the indexing problems found on Ancestry!

A: You are correct; We are creating our own digital images and indexes for the census records.

3) What about the other census records - the Slave, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Social, etc? Any plans for those too?

A: We have already been discussing processing the slave records from the 1860 census. Any other records associated with the census from the National Archives will be considered for processing as well. We will review these additional records and consider for prioritization.

4) It looks like a user can see a Footnote Page from any of the census records, and can add to it, and I assume it can then be found in the Footnote Pages Search (is that a correct assumption?).

A: This is a good question and a little difficult to describe in an email. Rather than initially creating millions of Footnote Pages, a page will be immediately created from someone clicking on the link in the subdocument on the census record – sort of a “on-demand” solution. If a page has already been created, clicking on the link will take you to that existing page. Therefore, these pages will only be searchable in the Footnote Pages Search if the page has been created from the census sub-document by a user. Let me know if this isn’t clear.

5) Won't there be a number of pages for one person if they are in, say, 3 censuses, the WW2 Army Enlistments and the SSDI? Are you planning to get them all together somehow, or do we have to do it by linking to the other pages (or by downloading the census and other images to my computer and then uploading to the Footnote Page) on a Footnote Page?

A: Tough problem, I fear. Yes, duplication is always a challenge. We are looking at different solutions that will help eliminate the possibility of duplication or at least link similar pages.

My thanks to Justin for answering my questions.

His answer to question 4) explains why the census records are not counted in the Footnote Pages count. The user has to press the link to create the Footnote Page in any of the census records, and then it shows up in a search for footnote Pages. Having more than one Footnote Page for an individual is a challenge - but Footnote does permit you to put a link to the other page(s) on each Footnote page.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of I am a paid subscription customer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Checking out OurFamily*ology

I saw the press release this morning titled ourFamily•ology Web-Based Genealogy Software Program Launches Website, Offers Free Trial and thought that it looked interesting - another online family tree that permits the user to invite family members and other researchers to collaborate, add images or other media, has a GEDCOM capability, and charges by the amount of bandwidth used. Fair enough - sounds good.

The "Home" page for ourFamily*ology (sorry, I can't make the bullet symbol), which actually has the URL, is here, and looks like:

The "Features" page looks like:

Some of the Features listed on this page include:

Unique Features

• Icons to show links for people in multiple files
• Icons for linked attachments to multiple people
• Advanced people search feature by birth, death, notes, or place
• Source Rating calculator
• Family Progress Rating Chart
• Update the same person in multiple files seamlessly!
• Easily attach sources, photos, etc. to multiple family members

Program Management

• Ability to access your family tree any time, anywhere you have internet connectivity
• Web enabled genealogy program
• MAC and PC friendly
• Import/Export GED files
• Ability to have multiple files
• Six different date formats
• Customize your website
• Collaboratively work with family members through your private tree
• Control access to your integrated public tree with required individual passwords
• Import/Export common file types
• Import/Export images and pictures
• Easily view, add, & edit notes, sources, attachments and tasks
• Add stories, notes, personal information
• Ability to mark information as public or private
• Create custom events
• Add LDS Ordinances
• Merge files
• Merge people
• Warnings and reports for probable data issues
• Send messages directly to your contributors and visitors

There are many more - see the Features page for more explanation.

The "Subscribe" page looks like this:

The customer is offered four choices for a one year subscription:

• $18.00 for 25 MB
• $35.00 for 300 MB
• $50.00 for 600 MB
• $75.00 for 1000 MB

All packages have the same features, and the more storage space (in megabytes) you choose, the more family members, documents, and photos you can add!

They have a "Research" page, with links to several websites (including blogs, but not Genea-Musings for some unknown reason):

Since there is a 15-day FREE trial period, without giving them a credit card number (although you do have to register your name, mail address, phone number and email address), I signed up. I quickly received an email with a password, and a 46-page PDF document for how to use the site. I logged in and entered more identifying information. I decided to upload my 38,000 person GEDCOM file (in hopes that it wouldn't bring the system to its knees), and it took about 30 minutes to complete that process.

When the upload was finished, I had to log in again, and worked in the "Tree" portion of the system for a few minutes before I got this screen:

"Your session has expired. Do you want to log back in?"

Hmmm, strange. I logged in again and the same thing happened every few minutes (it seemed like less than five, but I didn't count). While I was logged in, I was clicking away, checking out my tree and the options available for ourFamily*ology system, which says it uses the Family Tree Builder software.

It's not like I walked away to answer the door, talk on the phone, or change the baby. They really need to let users work on the site for a longer session time. Nobody will use a site if it logs you off every few minutes. I certainly won't!

If they fix this, then I'll do more exploring and even a review, but the timeout function really needs to be fixed quickly.

Lemon Grove Researchers Group Brick Wall Ancestors

My CVGS colleague, Susi Pentico, started her own blog, called Susi's Chatty Performances on Genealogy, to document her own research and family history, and has included queries for several of her "brick wall ancestors."

Now she has started a second blog, called Ancestor Seekers by the Root Bound, for her colleagues in the Lemon Grove Library Researchers group that meets twice a month at the Lemon Grove (CA) Library. At present, there are a number of posts written by the group members, describing their research brick walls. The post titles include:

* William Wood Lawrence Union Army

* PHILIP ELLER from Germany

* WILLIS ADAM TWAY, Whom are his parents?

* Robert to Thomas DUNLAP in Pennsylvania

* How I found DAVID MC ARTHUR, my Great Great Great Grandfather

* Timothy DAVIES--Wales ** William THOMAS -- Wales

* Addie Josephine Smith -- Ohio

* Lawrence McGrath ---Nova Scotia/United States

These problems are fairly typical of many research problems that beginner and intermediate researchers have - there usually are not enough records readily available (either in family papers, a book at a local library, or in online resources) to easily solve the problem of the researcher. The solution is often found once the researcher broadens the search to include extended family and associates of their "problem ancestors," records in the Family History Library microforms, records found in local or regional genealogical and historical societies, state archives, county courthouses and town halls. In other words - "It's Not all on the Internet!" and "The Ancestors are Hiding in Places You Haven't Looked Yet!"

There are many ways to put brick wall problems like this on the Internet so that the query is found by a search engine - message boards, mailing lists, web pages, blogs, etc. Anyone that puts queries of this nature on the Internet needs to understand that search engines will only find exactly what you ask them to - so spelling of names, including the maiden name of females, and the complete names of children (including known name variations) are mandatory in order to be found in an online query. Likewise, accurate spellings of localities is necessary - use an atlas to determine the correct spelling of a town or county.

Doing a simple Google search resulted in new information when I briefly worked on two of the problems yesterday. In order to narrow searches for person's names, I typically will use a search query like ["isaac seaver" lucretia leominster] if I want to find information about Isaac Seaver, with a wife named Lucretia, that lived in Leominster, Massachusetts. Note the quote marks around "isaac seaver" - that tells the search engine to find matches with those words in that order. If the person had a middle name, then a search query like ["isaac * seaver" lucretia leominster] should be used in addition to the first one in order to catch matches that have the middle name or a middle initial. Some databases have information listed last name first, so a search query like ["seaver isaac"] might find information on Isaac Seaver also.

I'm trying to go through these problems occasionally and offer some research advice. If you have a spare 30 minutes or so, I'm sure that these researchers would appreciate any comments or advice that you may be able to offer.

I encourage my readers to add these two blogs to your blog reader list - perhaps more queries on these blogs can be answered by your experience and research abilities.

San Francisco Funeral Home Records

The LDS FamilySearch Record Search Pilot site recently added the San Francisco (CA) Funeral Home Records, 1831-1935. The description of the records says:

"This project was indexed in partnership with the California Genealogical Society and Library. Name index and images of funeral home records from the Halsted N. Gray - Carew & English Mortuary Collection, located at the San Francisco Public Library. Images for all years in collection can be browsed, but name index currently covers only years 1896-1931. Collection includes a number of different funeral homes acquired over time by the Halsted N. Gray - Carew & English Mortuary company, most from the San Francisco area, but also including some from Burlingame, Stockton, and Sacramento. The collection includes funeral register books, burial registers, account books, case books, etc. Indexes appear at the beginning of some volumes."

My wife, Linda, is from San Francisco, and has several San Francisco families dating back before 1900 - with surnames McKnew, Schaffner, Paul and Whittle.

I tried to find funeral home records for these surnames, and the only one from her direct line was this one for Dora Schaffner, widow of Frederick Schaffner, who died 11 April 1904:

The information in this record can be very helpful for genealogy researchers. The information written on the record included:

* For the Funeral of: _Dora Schaffner_
* To be charged to: _Estate_ _112 Scott St._
* Date of Funeral: _April 13th 04_
* Place of Death: _112 Scott St._
* Date of Death: _April 11th 04_
* Occupation of the Deceased: _Housewife_
* Cause of Death: _Fatty Degeneration of the heart_
* Place of Birth: _Germany_
* Date of Birth: _Sept 20th 1838
* Married
* Religion: _Prot_
* Aged: _65_ Years _6_ Months _20_ Days
* Funeral Services at: _112 Scott St_
* Clergyman: _Rev. Crocuke_
* Certifying Physician: _Dr. Weiss_
* His Office: _Union Sq._
* Interment: _I.O.O.F._
* Who Conducted Funeral: _Fred_

* Price of Casket = $175.00
* Embalming Body = $15.00
* Singer - Knich Quart =. $30.00
* 10 Folding Chairs
* 6 Lifters, @$2.50 = $15.00
* Number of Carriages: 6 @ $4.00 = $24.00
* Hearse = $10.00
* Death Notices in Newspapers = $6.00
* Outlay for Lot - Opening Niche for Ashes = $6.50
* Cremation Fee = $25.00
* Rev. Krocuke = $10.00
* Total footing of Bill = $316.50
* May 31st 1904 By Cash in Full = $296.50

Other lines on the form, which were not filled in, included:

* Position as Member in Family
* Name of Father
* His birthplace
* Name of Mother
* Her Birthplace
* Lot or Grave No.
* Section No.

From this record, I was able to add Dora's birth date, death date, residence address, and burial location to my genealogy database. Unfortunately, the record did not include her parents names.

Note also that there is a brief newspaper obituary pasted to the bottom of the funeral home record.

Check out the funeral expenses. An interesting list that provides some idea of what things cost in San Francisco in 1904.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Using Quick Links to Navigate and Reduce AFL

Do you get frustrated using because of the difficulty in navigating from one census database to another in your genealogy research pursuits? I do. Terribly frustrated, sometimes. To the point of going back to the "Home" page and starting over to search another census database.

My usual search routine is to search for one family, or a series of connected families, in one census database, then work backwards to the next earlier census, and so on. I usually do not search for a name in all databases, or even in a collection of databases. I almost always use "Old Search" and "Exact Matches" for my search routines, and use wild cards liberally to find surname spelling variations.

Michael John Neill has made it really easy to go from one census database to another - using Quick Links on his Michael's Ancestry Quick Links web page. On this page, there are links to the Advanced Search boxes for all of the US Federal Census Records, the Canadian Census and the United Kingdom census databases available on Plus links to four Newspaper and Periodical collections and eight Passenger List collections.

Rather than "click back" four or five times, from a census image, to an Ancestry page where you can finally click on another census collection, using Michael's Quick Links page means one click for "Favorites" and a click for Michael's page and then a click on the database you want to search. This just seems so much easier for me to do, and I have a certain outcome == less frustration, quicker access, more success.

I'm sure that there are other ways to "get back" to the Search box for another census database. I've tried to use the "Recent Pages" (the Back and forward arrows) to go back to a Search Box with mixed results. I like having a sure-fire way to go to a search box for a specific census year.

Another solution is to put the Ancestry US Federal Census Collection page in their "Favorites." There is a list of the Census years, similar to Michael's page, but it requires a scroll down to see the list.

Thank you, Michael, for reducing my AFL... (Ancestry Frustration Level).

Finding Potential Y-DNA Matches - Post 1: GeneTree

I received my 43-marker Y-DNA test results from GeneTree last week - as reported in Obtaining my 43-Marker Y-DNA Test Results.

My earlier 20-marker Y-DNA test results were disappointing - I found no close matches in the DNA Ancestry or YSearch databases, but there were no apparent descendants of Robert Seaver, the 1634 immigrant to New England, in any of the databases.

When I clicked the "Find others that match your DNA" link on my GeneTree Marker page, I saw this page:

There are two tabs on that page - "Y-DNA Match Search" and "Surname Match Search." On the "Y-DNA Match Search" page, I could choose between Exact, 85% or 70% Matches, so I chose 85%, and clicked on "Search." There were 166 entries in the GeneTree database that matched 85% or more of my markers. Here are the first two pages:

Well, that's encouraging, to say the least! Even some "Exact" matches, but they are limited to no more than 13 markers in common. And none of them are named Seaver.

But on the second page above, there are two entries with 43-marker tests with the Seaver surname, and one matches 41 of my 43 (95% strength), and the other matches 40 of my 43 markers (93% strength). That's two more persons with the Seaver surname with a possible match than I found earlier this year with my 20-marker test results.

I went back to check the "Surname Match Search" results, and saw:

There are only the two "Seaver" entries, but there are some on the list with fairly close spelling or pronunciation - like "Severe" and "Sevy" - but only the two "Seaver" matches have better than an 81% match.

On the results page, there are three links in the right-hand column for each potential match - "View Pedigree," "View TMRCA" and "Invite to GeneTree. For the first Seaver match, the one with 41 out of 43 matches (a strength of 95%), I clicked on "View Pedigree" and this five generation chart appeared:

I have the Charles Edward Seaver, that married Mary Main, in my Seaver database - he is a 5th great-grandson of Robert Seaver (1608-1683) and a 3rd great-grandson of Joseph Seaver (1672-1754). The #1 on the pedigree chart above is an 8th great-grandson of Robert and a 6th great-grandson of Joseph. My guess is that #1 on the chart is the father or grandfather of the person who submitted his DNA for testing.

It so happens that I am a 10th great-grandson of Robert Seaver (1608-1683) and an 8th great-grandson of Joseph Seaver (1672-1754). This means that my MRCA (Most Recent Common Ancestor) with the 41 of 43 matches Y-DNA tester is Joseph Seaver, who is 9 generations back from myself.

When I click on the "View TMRCA" link for the other tester, it says "11 generations estimated to your most recent common ancestor."

I checked the tester with 40 out of 43 matches, and his pedigree in my database goes back to Robert Seaver (1608-1683) as the most recent common ancestor. The "View TMRCA" for this test says 17 generations to MRCA.

There was a third Seaver surname person on the list, with 23 out of 43 matches, a strength of 53%, and a TMRCA of 50 generations. The tested persons pedigree chart shows descent from a Seaver in colonial Virginia that I know does not descend from my Robert Seaver.

There is another link on the Matches page - to "Invite to GeneTree." When I click on that link I get a popup box that says "Invite a protected SMGF participant to connect with you on GeneTree." I can send a message to the other tested person. Apparently, both of the Seaver persons have not signed up for GeneTree to see their Y-DNA results yet.

I'm ecstatic to find some other descendants of Robert Seaver (1608-1683) have been tested and the TMRCA is approximately correct for the genealogy results. This has tremendous implications for all of three of the Seaver testers - it means that we probably do not have a NPE (non-paternity event) in our genealogy, at least back to Robert Seaver!

But wait - what about the matches at the top of the first page, with up to 13 out of 13 markers (100% strength, TMRCA of 0 generations)? Well, there is no way to compare the tested markers in GeneTree, so I can't see which ones matched up. Perhaps those persons will be in one of the other DNA services that compares Y-DNA markers between persons. I have looked at their pedigree charts on GeneTree and see no geographic match. My guess is that we match on markers that are fairly common for descendants of the British Isles.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

San Diego Genealogical Society has a Blog!

Finally, another* San Diego area genealogical society has entered the genealogy blogosphere.

The San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) blog is at, written by Chris Christensen, the SDGS webmaster. As of today, there are 11 posts written by Chris and SDGS members - I really like the blogs written by the members about volunteers, and the SDGS trip to Salt Lake City.

Of course, the SDGS web site at is still active and has lots of information and links on it.

I urge San Diego area blog readers to add the SDGS blog to their blog readers and keep up to date on SDGS activities.

* The "other" San Diego area blog is the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog, sponsored by the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.

Best of the Genea-Blogs - October 25-31, 2009

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

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

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

* A Bar Room Brawl, A Tripple Play and Interview with Forgotten Bookmarks by Thomas MacEntee on the Destination: Austin Family blog. Thomas finishes his series on using Twitter to solve genealogy research problems, and then interviews Michael, the fellow he helped. Excellent research and interview!

* FamilySearch Community Trees by the author of The Ancestry Insider blog. Mr. AI did a nice job of summarizing the family trees currently on the LDS FamilySearch Community Trees site, and some of the problems with the site.

* What (Genealogy) Startups Are Really Like by Dean Richardson on the Genlighten Blog - Genealogy Documented blog. Dean provides an inside scoop on what the process of starting a genealogy business is really like - the joys, the frustrations, the problems, the rewards.

* Federal Land States by Donna M. Moughty on Donna's Genealogy Blog. This post explains the federal land system of principal meridians and baselines, ranges, townships, sections, and aliquot parts very well, with a link to the BLM Map showing the states, meridians and baselines. A keeper!

* Wexford County Deeds, Part 2, Land Records, what next?, What Does the Deed Tell Me?, Locating Property and Landmarks in Michigan., and Granny’s Land Record Transcriptions by Pam Warren on the Granny's Genealogy blog. Pam's series of posts deal with actually finding land records in county archives, along with her description of the land records she worked with. Lots of good detail here, and very helpful.

* …and then the fire alarm went off! by Arlene Eakle on the Arlene H. Eakle's Genealogy Blog. Arlene recounts her experience at the Huntington Library when the unexpected happened. Some excellent suggestions her for researchers on the road.

* History: Dry boring dates, dusty places? by Schelly Talalay Dardashti on the MyHeritage Genealogy Blog. Schelly has some "food for thought" about how genealogists relate to history, and historians can relate to genealogy.

* Truths Behind History-Inspired Halloween Costumes by Diane Haddad on The Genealogy Insider blog. Diane uncovers the true stories about certain costumes.

* What a Group Sheet Tells Me About My Grandpa by Becky Jamison on the Grace and Glory blog. Becky checked off the events in her grandfather's life and then tried to understand his outlook on life through the lens of the events.

* Three Generation Road Trip by Janet Hovorka on The Chart Chick blog. Janet shares her talks with her grandmother and her daughter's talks with Janet's mother...very nice work.

* A Festival Of Postcards (5th Ed.) – Quadrupeds by Evelyn Yvonne Therriault on the A Canadian Family blog. Evelyn hosted this postcard carnival of blog posts about Quadrupeds - some interesting postcards and stories here.

* Halloween fun from by John D. Reid on the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog. John shares an press release with Hallowe'en-oriented names and occupations form the Canadian census records.

* In the Beginning… Resources for Beginning Genealogists by Carolyn L. Barkley on the blog. Carolyn lists six must-read books for beginners - they work for seasoned researchers too!

* Here's My Plan, Stan by Caroline M. Pointer on the Family Stories blog. This is the second post in Caroline's series to investigate suspicious family deaths decades after they occurred. Genealogy and Cold Case are a match! The "to-do" list applies to many genealogy research problems.

* Resources For Backing Up Your Data by Thomas MacEntee on the Geneabloggers blog. This is an updated list of ways and places to backup your precious genealogy and family history data (and everything else too!).

* Halloween Census Whacking by Craig Manson on the Geneablogie blog. The title speaks for itself! Great work, Craig!

I encourage you to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blog to your Favorites, Bloglines, reader, feed or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 530 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

UPDATED 9 p.m.: Added Craig's post since I missed it this morning somehow. Definitely fits into last week!