Welcome to my genealogy blog. Genea-Musings features genealogy research tips and techniques, genealogy news items and commentary, genealogy humor, San Diego genealogy society news, family history research and some family history stories from the keyboard of Randy Seaver (of Chula Vista CA), who thinks that Genealogy Research Is really FUN!
Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2006-2013.
.... It's Saturday Night - time for some Genealogy Fun!
Happy Valentine's Day (well, technically, it's the Eve of Valentine's Day) to all of my SNGF fans - here's a Valentine's Day heart just for you:
Back to SNGF! Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:
1) Recall a memory of a Valentine's Day in your life. Is it the first love of your life? A special day with your lover, spouse or significant other? Do you have a picture of a Valentine's Day event, or a special Valentine that you received, to share?
2) Describe your Valentine's Day memory, activity and/or image in a blog post of your own, a comment to this blog post, or a comment on Facebook.
On Surname Saturdays, I am posting family lines from my own ancestry. I am doing this in Ahnentafel order, and am up to number #33, who is Abigail Gates (1797-1867).
My ancestral line back through the seven generations of the Gates families:
1. Randall J. Seaver 2. Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983) 3. Betty V. Carringer (1919-2002) 4. Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942) 5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) 8. Frank W. Seaver (1852-1922) 9. Hattie Hildreth (1857-1920) 16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) 17. Lucretia Smith (1827-1884) 32. Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) 33. Abigail Gates, born 24 February 1797 in Gardner, Worcester County, MA; died 04 January 1867 in Westminster, Worcester County, MA. She married (1) Benjamin Seaver 02 March 1817 in Westminster, Worcester County, MA. He was born 15 November 1791 in Westminster, Worcester County, MA, and died 25 May 1825 in Westminster, Worcester County, MA. He was the son of Benjamin Seaver and Martha Whitney. She married (2) Isaac Seaver 13 November 1832 in Westminster, Worcester County, MA. He was born 20 December 1802 in Westminster, Worcester County, MA, and died 01 July 1870 in Westminster, Worcester County, MA. He was the son of Benjamin Seaver and Martha Whitney.
66. Nathan Gates, born 23 February 1767 in Stow, Middlesex County, MA; died April 1830 in Gardner, Worcester, MA. He married 17 June 1790 in Westminster, Worcester County, MA. 67. . Abigail Knowlton, born 21 January 1774 in Lincoln, Middlesex County, MA; died 28 January 1855 in Gardner, Worcester County, MA. She was the daughter of 134. Jeremiah Knowlton and 135. Abigail Peirce.
Children of Nathan Gates and Abigail Knowlton are Nathan (1791-1865), Jeremiah (1792-1802), Abel (1793-1870), Asaph (1794-1859), Luke (1796-1796), Abigail (1797-1867), Luther (1798-1847), Amos (1799-????), Susannah (1801-????), (infant) (1803-1803), Lucinda (1805-????), Clarissa (1806-1868), Jeremiah Knowlton (1808-1845), James Eliot (1810-????), Benjamin Adderson (1813-????).
132. Simon Gates, born 1739 in Stow, Middlesex County, MA; died 11 March 1803 in Gardner, Worcester County, MA. He married 27 May 1766 in Marlborough, Middlesex, MA. 133. Susannah Reed, born 04 December 1745 in Woburn, Middlesex, MA; died 18 December 1833 in Gardner, Worcester, MA. She was the daughter of 266. Nathan Reed and 267. Susannah Wood.
Children of Simon Gates and Susannah Reed are Nathan (1767-1830), Elizabeth (1769-1778), Susannah (1772-1778), Simon (1774-1778), Anna (1777-1778), Simon (1779-1852), Daniel (1782-1847), Gerry (1784-1784), Reuben (1786-????), Ezekiel (1789-1809), Elizabeth (1794-1819).
264. Amos Gates, born October 1706 in Stow, Middlesex County, MA; died before 12 March 1783 in Marlborough, Middlesex County, MA. He married 07 November 1732 in Concord, Middlesex County, MA. 265. Mary Hubbard, born 04 May 1712 in Concord, Middlesex County, MA; died before 10 December 1754 in Marlborough, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 530. Samuel Hubbard and 531. Sarah Clark.
Children of Amos Gates and Mary Hubbard are Oliver (1733-1813), Amos (1735-1804), Simon (1739-1803), Abraham (1741-1806), Isaac (1746-1831).
528. Simon Gates, born 05 June 1667 in Cambridge, Middlesex County, MA; died 22 June 1752 in Stow, Middlesex County, MA. He married 04 May 1688 in Stow, Middlesex County, MA. 529. Hannah Benjamin, born 07 February 1667/68 in Yarmouth, Barnstable County, MA; died Aft. 1752 in probably Stow, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 1058. Joseph Benjamin and 1059. Sarah Clarke.
Children of Simon Gates and Hannah Benjamin are Hannah (1688-????), Joseph (1691-1748), Simon (1693-1736), Mary (1695-????), Elizabeth (1701-????), Israel (1703-1726), Benjamin (1704-1758), Elisha (1705-1762), Amos (1706-1783), Susannah (1709-1748).
1056. Stephen Gates, born About 1634 in Norfolk, ENGLAND; died 09 July 1707 in Stow, Middlesex County, MA. He married About 1664 in probably Watertown, Middlesex County, MA. 1057. Sarah Woodward, born 03 February 1642/43 in Watertown, Middlesex County, MA; died 21 October 1706 in Stow, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 2114. George Woodward and 2115. Mary Gibson.
Children of Stephen Gates and Sarah Woodward are Stephen (1665-1732), Simon (1667-1752), Thomas (1669-1726), Isaac (1673-1748), Nathaniel (1675-1731), Sarah (1679-1724), Rebecca (1682-1754), Daniel (1685-1759).
2112. Stephen Gates, born about 1600 in Norwich, Norfolk, ENGLAND; died September 1662 in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA. He married 05 May 1628 in Norwich, Norfolk, ENGLAND. 2113. Anne Neave, born about 1603 in ENGLAND; died 05 February 1682/83 in Stow, Middlesex County, MA.
Children of Stephen Gates and Anne Neave are Elizabeth (1629-1704), Stephen (1634-1707), Mary (1636-1679), Isaac (1646-1651), Rebecca (1646-1650), Simon (1646-1692), Thomas (1646-1726).
I changed my posting method this week, and I'll keep it this way for now - listing only the child names and dates, but not listing the place names or spouses for the children.
Are there any Gates cousins out there reading Genea-Musings?
Cue up the Mission Impossible music, it's the Third Annual iGene Awards, The Best of The Best!
It's Academy Awards time... time for the Academy of Genealogy and Family History, aka AGFH, to honor their best blog posts of 2009 in the following 5 categories:
1) Best Picture - Best old family photo that appeared on your blog in 2009. Tell us which you liked best and why.
Ta-da - the iGene goes to:A June Wedding.The wedding picture of my paternal grandparents is the only one I have of them together in a formal setting. They are young and ambitious, little did they know what role in our family history they would play.
2) Best Screen Play - Which family story that you shared in 2009 would make the best movie? Who would you cast as your family members?
Ta-da - the iGene goes to:The Good Earth? Sometimes not good enough.Struggle is a part of every life, and my great-great-grandparents, D.J. and Rebecca (Spangler) Carringer, had enough of it as they moved west from Pennsylvania to California during their lifetime.
3) Best Documentary - Which was the best informational article you wrote about a place, thing, or event involving your family's history in 2009?
Ta-da - the iGene goes to: the series of Day 1 in Salt Lake City,Day 2a,Day 2b,Day 2c,Day 3, Day 4. This series documented my experiences attending the first Bloggers Day at Ancestry.com in Salt Lake City. I really enjoyed my time there meeting with the Ancestry.com staff, fellow bloggers and writers, and the larger group of active genealogists attending or planning the Salt Lake Institute of genealogy. While this did not directly pertain to my family's history, it helped me by providing tools and contacts to pursue my family history research.
4) Best Biography - Which was the best biographical article you wrote in 2009?
5) Best Comedy - Which was the best funny story, poem, joke, photo, or video that you shared on your blog in 2009?
Ta-da - the iGene goes to:My Interview with Lisa Louise Cooke at Jamboree. This is the only video that I am in for all of 2009. I found it Genea-musing, but I'm not sure that other viewers did! My society colleagues thought that it was cool.
It was a struggle to pick some of these because I had so many choices from almost 1,000 posts. I probably posted 100 or more photographs during 2009, and selecting one that was the "best was a challenge. I finally went with the one that depicted an event that made a significant difference in my family history - a wedding! I didn't really do a family history documentary during 2009; I did plenty of how-tos but nothing that fit the requirement, except for the Good Earth piece.
One reason that I subscribe to so many genealogy blogs (I have 614 in my Bloglines account today) is that genea-bloggers often write about their own research findings, and occasionally they provide a website or a database that can be helpful to me in my research.
I checked first for Westmoreland County, but there are not any maps on the site yet. I recalled that Martin Carringer had a land warrant for his Revolutionary War service in Mercer County, so I went to the Mercer County site, and opened the map file for Perry township (it uses current township locations). The Warrantee Patent Map for the township looks like this:
In the third column, the sixth person down is Martin Garringer, with the information:
N 87-1/2 E 261
200 A[cre]s + Allowance
Surveyed Oct. 3, 1785
Patented August 28, 1787
S 87-1/2 W 261 [upside down]
In the four corners are notations for types of trees:
* Ash [NW corner]
* Walnut [NE corner)
* Dogwood [SE corner]
* Cucumber [SW corner)
On the side of the Martin Garringer plot are notations for:
* N 2-1/2 W 130 [West boundary]
* S 2-1/2 E 130 [East boundary]
Isn't that interesting? Do the tree names at the corners of the plot mean that they planted trees of those types there, or were the trees already there and they are noting the tree type?
The land boundaries are defined in the classical metes and bounds way "N 2-1/2 W 130" for the west boundary means go North 2-1/2 degrees to the West for 130 rods (??) - I wonder if that's the right unit of measure? 200 acres with the width twice as long as the height means that the height is 2,087 feet (assuming half of the 200 acres is a square, so 5280 [feet] x 5280 [feet] x 100 [acres] / 640 [acres/square mile] = 2087.1 feet). That is 31.62 chains (a chain is 66 feet), 126.5 rods (4 rods to a chain), 3162 links or 695.7 yards. Since it is closest to a rod, that's probably what was used. We don't know what the "allowances" are - perhaps the allowance was 5.5 acres, which would make it exactly 130 rods high and 260 rods wide. I used the conversions at http://www.convert-me.com/en/.
I downloaded the 4.5 mb PDF file and saved it in my Martin Carringer file under Land Records on my computer. I took a screenshot of the map, cropped it to the image above, which I can print on my printer.
Do other states have records of this nature? I don't know. It would be great if New York did!
The length measurement exercise was fun too!
Thank you to Kris Hocker for the really great tip about the Warrantee Patent Maps. I looked a bit further down Kris' blog and saw a post about the Lancaster County PA grantor deed index being online. I don't think I have any Lancaster folks, but I may go check just to make sure!
"Family history, related news and independent views with a British-Canadian perspective, from Ottawa, Canada's Capital for more than 150 years."
John provides complete coverage of genealogy news for Canada and the British Isles, and often provides helpful leads to online resources and databases that have escaped my attention. He also speaks to societies and conferences - see his list of presentations at My presentations portfolio.
If you want to know all about Canadian and British Isles genealogy news, add Anglo-Celtic Connections to your RSS reader of Bloglines, or subscribe to his blog via email.
Observant Genea-Musings readers know that I'm the Newsletter Editor and Queries/Research chairman of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (Chula Vista is in south San Diego County in California, south of downtown San Diego and north of the US/Mexico border, stretching from the bay to the mountains, with a population of about 230,000 people).
Do you want am easy-to-use online backup for your most important genealogy files? Do you want to be able to share documents or files with email correspondents or on a web page? Do you want to collaborate with other persons on a document, spreadsheet or presentation?
I've thought often about using online backup services like Mozy or Carbonite and others. Some of them are free for a limited number of files or gigabytes used, and all cost money for a large number of gigabytes.
I've been keeping copies of my desktop computer files on an external hard drive, on my laptop computer, on a Western Digital My Passport, and some of them on a 16-gb flash drive. However, all of these devices are currently stored in my genealogy cave. If there was a house fire or other disaster, then I would lose all of them. Sure, I could rent a safety deposit box at the bank, but that costs money too. I could keep the storage devices in a place away from my house also, but that reduces my control of them, and doesn't protect them from a local or regional disaster like a major earthquake, nuclear explosion or electromagnetic event.
Along came Google Docs (http://docs.google.com) offering up to 1 gigabyte of free storage for any file type. I decided to see how easy it was to use. I've uploaded 90 files so far, of all file types, that take up 317 megabytes of space. They include most of my presentations in OpenOffice format, my presentation handouts in MSWord or PDF format, my Christmas letters and Family Journal documents in PDF format, and my Family Tree Maker database (a 44 megabyte .FTW file).
Google Docs will convert and permit editing of files that are in .doc, .docx, .odt, .sxw, .rtf, .txt, .htm, .html, .ppt, .pps, .xls, .xlsx, .ods, and .csv, but the file sizes are limited. I haven't chosen to do those tasks yet.
When I click on the link for Google documents, my screen looks like this:
There are actions in the left-hand column, and the list of my previously uploaded files in the center and right of the screen. If I click on one of the files that Google docs will not convert, I get a screen that shows the file name and file size and the ability to open or save the file:
Some of my Microsoft Word files don't open well in Google Docs - here is one of my CVGS Newsletter files that uses Tables:
It looks all messed up. However, if I download it and save it, it opens fine in Microsoft Word. The PDF files look fine when opened and can be printed directly from Google Docs. The second task I want Google Docs to perform is to permit sharing of files with selected persons, or with anybody via a web link. On the list of files, I can select a file and click on the "Share" button above the list, and have a choice of "Invite People," "Get the link to share," "See who has access," and "Email as attachment."
I chose "Get the link to share" and saw:
I can copy the link (highlighting then pressing Ctrl-C) and put it in an email or on a web page. If I click on the "Invite People" link, then I can select persons to receive it via email (I can select from from my Google Gmail contact list or type them in), pick whether they can only view it or edit it, add a message to those persons, send a copy to myself, etc:
This Google Documents service is very easy to use and serves the needs I have to save my important genealogy files out of my house and (hopefully) safe from disasters, and to be able to share files with specific persons (via email) or anybody (through a web link).
I can replace my Family Tree Maker database(s), and any other files, whenever I modify them, or on a regular basis. This doesn't save all of my files, but it does save the ones that are not easily replaceable.
I can sleep better tonight knowing that a home or local disaster won't completely wipe me out now. Of course, security is an issue - a Google account is only as safe as a user password, so I've taken steps to strengthen that also. None of the files I've uploaded contain any real private information like passwords, bank account or credit card numbers, financial data, etc.
In the next post in this series, I'll demonstrate how easy it is to upload a file to Google Docs.
It's Smile for the Camera carnival time, and the theme is "Valentine" - a picture or a story, or both. Here's a picture of my really special Valentine taken 40 years ago on her wedding day:
Yep, it's a 1968 Ford Mustang - we loved that car! It's outside our first apartment in Chula Vista. She's about to jump in it and go get ready for her walk down the aisle.
Linda had all of five weeks to plan and execute a wedding - and she managed it extremely well. I was so happy to see that she had project management skills in addition to all of her other talents.
Back up five weeks and what day is it? Yep - it's Valentine's Day. Here's the story of that day:
Flash back to 14 February 1970 - it's a Saturday night. I'd been dating Linda seriously for about six months and we know that we are "in love." We've had a lot of fun, met each other's families, talked about the future, what we want from a marriage, and know each other pretty well.
We were invited to a Valentine's Day party at Linda's cousin's house in Ocean Beach. I'd met them before, and Sue's husband, Bill, is a funny and raunchy guy - as I thought I was. We go, and meet many of their friends, and I'm introduced as "Linda's good friend, Randy." One of the ladies (Sue's age then - maybe 40ish) corners me and says "How good a friend are you?" giving me a wink and raised eyebrow.
Without a blink, I blurt out "well, I'm proposing to her tonight, but don't tell anybody!" She says "Don't worry, I'll keep your secret" and gave me knowing glances the rest of the night. After we leave the party, she went to Sue and said "Guess what Randy told me" and tells Sue the secret (there's a lesson learned here, eh?).
We don't go directly home, as I still have to fortify my courage a bit more. We stopped at our favorite bar, King Luis Inn, for a drink and some bar singing (we loved doing this while dating). None of the regulars were there, so I can't blurt out the secret to them. I had talked to my Catholic priest friend, Father Jack, who was visiting San Diego, and had suggested that we meet at the bar, so he is there when we get there. When Linda goes to the ladies room, I tell Father Jack my secret.
Now well fortified and well committed, I carefully drive us to Linda's apartment and we have an appropriate amorous interlude. It's time to exchange Valentine's Day cards and gifts, and I only have a card. She opens my card and inside I've written "Will you be my Valentine ... forever?" She looks at me, now down on my knees, and says "does this mean your proposing to me" and I said "Will you marry me?"
Of course, another appropriate amorous interlude occurred, and I went to my apartment an hour later. We went to the church on Sunday (after about 3 hours sleep!) and talked to the pastor, and asked him if he would marry us on 21 March 1970. He said he would, and we set off on the whirlwind five weeks of preparation and planning, that culminated in a 7-day honeymoon in Acapulco, but that's another story.
So Mr. Romantic did a pretty good job of finding an excellent woman to marry, and after forty years we're still in love and living amicably together. It hasn't been much of a struggle. Life has been good for us with health, work, children, friends, church, hobbies, vacations and now grandchildren. We look forward to spending our 40th anniversary in New Zealand on a Grand Circle Travel Tour to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji - making more family history!
The February San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) meeting is this Saturday, February 13th at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd, just south of Jackson Drive in San Carlos), starting at noon. Caroline Braxton Rober will be the speaker on two topics:
“Land and Probate Research: Twin Headaches!” -- How to find these records and what to do with them once you have! This lecture will help you understand how these records work together to solve some major genealogy brick walls.
“Analyzation and Research Strategy for the Family Historian” -- Learning how to take the things you find and understand them which will lead you into further genealogical research. The “Research Strategy” is taught as well as how to analyze a document and the best ways to get out of your research what you put into it.
Our presenter, Caroline Braxton Rober, is a professional genealogical lecturer, teacher and researcher for 39 years. She motivates with her trademark high energy and high level of common sense tips. She is Past President of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and currently serving as the Staff Training Coordinator for the Orange CA Regional Family History Center in Orange, CA. She is a member of the National Genealogical Society, New England Historical Genealogical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society.
Caroline is a native southern Californian. Her proudest accomplishments are her three children and seven grandchildren.
I hope to see many of my San Diego area readers there!
I'm posting 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.
I managed to scan about 100 family photographs in the Scanfest in January, and have converted the scanned TIF files to smaller JPGs, cropped and rotated as best I can.
Here is a photograph from the Carringer family collection handed down by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:
This is a photograph on card stock of Effie Smith, taken in Concordia, Kansas (according to the back of the card) in about 1885. She appears to be a young lady in her late teens or early twenties.
My great-grandmother, Della Smith, daughter of Devier J. and Abigail (Vaux) Smith, was age 23 in 1885, and her scrapbook includes calling cards from Effie Smith and other friends.
I don't know anything else about Effie Smith. I don't think that she is related to Della Smith because Devier was an adopted child to Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith, and although he had a sister, he didn't have any brothers (that I know of!). Ranslow had brothers named George and Lyman, and Effie may be a granddaughter of one of Ranslow Smith's brothers. I'll have to double check this, I guess!
Are there any descendants of Effie Smith out there? If so, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those are the first real United States records added (not updated) since Delaware births, marriage and death records over one month ago.
I was eager to look at the Vermont databases because they hold the promise of adding significant content to my Seaver database. Here is the search result for "Seaver" in the Vermont Births 1909-2008 database:
There are 126 entries in the Births database alone. I have many Vermont Seaver families gleaned from census records and Social Security Death Index, but these databases will help my "Seaver surname collection" tremendously.
I clicked on one of the entries down the list - for Allen Wendell Seaver, born in 1919 and saw the familiar record summary for him:
I clicked on the "View record image" and saw:
There is a significant amount of information on this registration card, including:
* Town or city = Williamstown
* Name of child = Allen Wendell Seaver
* Date of birth: Month = Dec, Day = 15, Year = 1919
* Full name of father = Guy R. Seaver
* Residence = Williamstown
* Color = White
* Age = 27
* Birthplace = Williamstown Vt
* Occupation = Farmer
* Maiden Name of mother = Inez Belle Poor
* Residence = Williamstown
* Color = White
* Age = 26
* Birthplace = Williamstown Vt
* No. of children born to this mother, including present birth = 2
* No. of children of this mother now living = 2
* Condition of child as to live or still birth = Live (Still crossed out)
* Name of Informant = E.H. Bailey
* Address = Graniteville, Vt
Besides the child's name, birth date and birthplace, the mother's maiden name was new for me (I only had Inez B. from a census record) and her birthplace was new for me also.
I kept my FTM 16 database open while I was browsing through the Vermont births, and used two open windows to enter data directly from the Vermont birth record into the database entry for the child:
Lastly, I took the source citation from the record and input it into the source field in the database for the birth of Allen Wendell Seaver. I wonder if he is still alive? I guess I'll find out in the Vermont death records, assuming he still lives in Vermont.
Now - what about the Vermont vital records for the 1800 to 1908 time period? There are similar cards on microfilm in the Family History Library collection. If those were imaged and indexed, it would probably be the best vital record collection of any state in the USA.
It's been a fun day finding cemetery stones on web pages and now I have about 12 hours of data entry to put these Vermont records into my Seaver database.
Pam Journey, the San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) librarian, passed this information to SDGS members two weeks ago, and I thought that it would be of interest to all San Diego area researchers (but I'm a week late!)
‘Wednesday at the Library’is a new series of ongoing genealogy classes from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the San Diego Genealogical Society Library, 7343 Ronson Road, Suite O. All members are invited to attend. There is no charge for any of the classes. Donations to help cover the cost of handouts will be accepted.
1st Wednesday of each month – genealogy research topics
1. Making a plan (Feb 3) 2. Record keeping / Organizing (Mar) 3. Bibliographies / Indexes (Apr) 4. Church records / cemeteries (May) 5. Passenger lists (June) 6. County History books (July) 7. Land / Homestead Act (Aug) 8. Probate records (Sept) 9. Military records (Oct) 10. Newspaper research (Nov)
Other possible topics: Genealogy research libraries, PERSI / Periodicals, timelines, Patriotic Societies
2nd Wednesday of each month – general computer use topics (led by Dave Tooley, assisted by Lance Dohe)
1. Computer file management (Feb 10) 2. Scanner help 3. Moving data to CDs 4. Backup systems 5. Browser basics / e-mail 6. Printer controls 7. Mac users 8. Image keeping 9. Understanding Microsoft basics 10. How to deal with Tech help
3rd Wednesday of each month – location specific genealogy research (how to get started with genealogical research in this area)
1. Germanic peoples (Feb 17) 2. English / Wales 3. Canada 4. American Indian 5. Czech-Slovakia 6. Spain / Mexico / Hispanic 7. Denmark / Sweden / Norway 8. Ireland/Scotland 9. San Diego County 10. Poland / Russia / Hungary
4th Wednesday of each month – tearing down ‘brick walls’ together
Attendees are encouraged to bring one ‘brick wall’ they want help with. After a ‘round robin’ of describing the research problems, a facilitator will lead a discussion, with suggestions for solving specific problems. Time for using the SDGS library materials will be available. People with similar problems can work together. Hopefully, some problems will be on their way to being solved.
Input from members about other desired class topics is welcomed and solicited.
To sign up for any class, call the SDGS library at (858) 279-7347, or email@example.com. Please include your name, telephone number, e-mail, and the class you are interested in attending. Enrollment is limited to 15 people per class.
Members with expertise in any of the subject areas are encouraged to share their knowledge by teaching one of the classes. Please contact me about this if you are interested.
We encourage your participation in these ‘Wednesday at the Library’ classes. Please feel free to sign up for all of the classes that interest you, bring a friend, make use of the San Diego Genealogical Society’s wonderful library and resources, and have fun!
This is a major effort by SDGS to expand the society's service to its members. It is ambitious, but the rewards to the members and the society are wonderful. I encourage all genealogists, members of SDGS or not, to take advantage of the SDGS library and classes.
Since I exhausted my own supply of gravestone photographs, I've been searching for online photographs of gravestones of my ancestors.
One of my ancestral lines is the ZAVERING/SOVEREIGN/SOVEREEN families that I featured in a recent Surname Saturday. This family line came from what is now Germany, settled in New Jersey, and migrated to Canada after the Revolutionary War, settling near what is now Delhi in Windham Township, Norfolk County, Ontario.
My ancestral Sovereen family line that resided and died in Norfolk County includes:
* Jacob Sovereign (1759-1845) and Elizabeth Pickle (1764-1849)
* Frederick Sovereign (1786-1875) and Mary Jane Hutchison (1792-1868)
* Alexander Sovereen (1814-1907) and Eliza Putman (1820-1895)
I wondered if there were photographs of the stones for some of these ancestral families, so I Googled [ sovereen delhi norfolk gravestones ] and was rewarded with the Field of Stones website which includes a number of photographs of gravestones in Delhi Cemetery in Windham Township, Norfolk County, Ontario.
I also found the stone of John Putman (1785-1863) and Sarah (Martin) Putman (1792-1860) in this list, noted as John and Sarah Putnam.
I actually started this search looking for my Kemp families, but did not find them in this cemetery, or in any other cemetery listing for Norfolk County, Ontario.
Searching for gravestones in this way will usually result in success if there are photographs available online. When I search for these, I often put the name in quotes to limit the search, but also use last name first and given name in quotes to cover the last name first listings.
Thank you to Sheila Hill and Janet Jones for their work on collecting and posting the gravestone pictures on the Field of Stones website.
In this post, I will demonstrate thow to post a new message to one of these message boards. Here is the GenForum page for San Diego County, California:
To post a new message, click on the dark blue button below the header block that says "Post New Message." A new message form will open and you can type a message title and text:
I wrote a new message describing the activities for my local society, the Chula Vista Genealogical Society. When you're done typing your message, then you can click on the buttons "Preview Message" and "Post Message" below the text entry field. Use "Preview Message" to make sure that your spelling and grammar are correct, and click on "Post Message" when you're satisfied with it. That produces another screen after several seconds:
The screen above tells you that your message has been added to the message board. To see how your message looks in the message board format, click on the "Go to your message" link," and you'll see:
To go back to the Message Board itself, click on the "Return to Message Listings" blue button in the screen above and you'll see:
My newly added message is at the top of the list! Hopefully, many people will see it and come join CVGS!
The content of the messages on the GenForum message board system can be found by persons using search engines.
Unfortunately, use of the Rootsweb and GenForum message boards has dropped off significantly over the years. It may be because of:
* Researcher fatigue --meaning that people posted items before, had no response, and so they don't use it any longer. * Unawareness by new researchers -- they may be using the online family trees and the free or subscription databases, but are unaware that these message boards exist or can be useful.
Other genealogy message board systems have been created - for instance, GenealogyWise and GenQueries were created in the last year. However, those message systems have nowhere near the number of queries that are on the two large message board systems. And they are not well organized into topics and sub-topics. What do you think? What reasons are there for the dropoff in users of message board systems?
Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday theme several months ago called Amanuensis Monday. I loved the idea, and recently decided to follow it in order to share ancestral information and keep the theme going, and perhaps it will expand to other genealogy bloggers.
What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:
"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."
After my last post in this series, reader Geolover commented that:
"Amanuensis is used most often for a person who writes for/about/with? one person, such as a philosopher's acolyte. A person who writes down documents from verbal accounts or from a combination of verbal and written items (usually for a fee) was a Scrivener.
"This occupation can be found in deeds and wills, but hardly at all in US Federal Census enumerations, as more persons became literate in 19th century USA.
"One of the witnesses to a deed or will often was the scrivener."
The Wikipedia definition for Scrivener agrees with Geolover's comment. But I'm not doing this for pay, or in an official government capacity. I'm doing it for myself, and to help other researchers understand what resources might be available in different repositories to help them in their research. If I were doing this for a paying client, then I would probably be "Scrivener Seaver." It seems that neither "amanuensis" or "scrivener" describes transcriptions of documents not made for government or profit! So maybe this should be Transcription Monday, but that's not alliterative like most of our day-based blogging themes are.
Onward to this week's transcription.
I found that there were no probate papers filed for my 9th great-grandfather, Shubael Seaver (1640-1730) of Roxbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony, the eldest son of Robert and Elizabeth (Ballard) Seaver, the immigrants in 1634 and (probably 1633, respectively. However, a search of the Suffolk County MA Deed records produced records described by:
Shubael Seaver did not write a will, nor was his estate probated. Shortly before his death (he died on 18 January 1729/30 in Roxbury), he requested Edmund Weld Jr. to hold his lands in trust for his children, to be divided after his death. Edmund Weld Jr. paid 5 shillings to receive the trust (Suffolk County (MA) Deeds 44:45, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,493,949). The details in this indenture are identical to those in the settlement of the estate (Suffolk County (MA) Deeds 49:235, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,493,951), and read:
"Whereas our Honoured Father Shubael Seaver late of Roxbury in the County of Suffolk in New England Wheelwright Deceased did in an Instrument under his Hand and Seal duly Executed bearing Date the Third Day of January 1729/30 amongst other things and Uses Order that after his the Said Seaver's decease his real Estate should be disposed of to and for the Use of his two Sons Joseph and Shubael Seaver and his three Daughters Hannah Grigory Abigail Cole and Thankful More them and their heirs forever part and part alike save only a double part & portion to the said Joseph Seaver to be divided as the Law of the province directs and appoints. Agreeable to which we the Subscribers & Children to the said deceased have mutually agreed and by these presents do agree to the Settlement of the said Estate as follows viz.
"Impr. Agreed that our Brother Joseph Seaver shall have and hold all the Mansion or Dwelling House Messuage & Garden and part of the Orchard containing about One Acre & an half as now marked out lying in Roxbury aforesd bounded South Easterly on the Country Road leading towards Dedham and North Easterly on Land lately sold to Mr. Davis by Samuel Gore with the Barn on the other side of the Highway against the said house and the land thereunto belonging bounded on the said Country Road Northwesterly and on Land belonging to our Brother Edmund Cole North Easterly and South Easterly And also the One full half part of the Salt Marsh lying at a place in said Rox'y called the Island containing on the whole about Two Acres bounded on the Creek Southerly & Westerly &c. All which to be to him said Joseph Seaver his Heirs & assigns forever.
"2ly. Agreed that our sister Hannah Griggory shall have and hold the remaining Part of the House Lot of Orchard Land containing about four acres and an half in Roxbury aforesd and Bounded North Easterly partly on the land aforesd set off to said Joseph Seaver and partly on Land sold by said Samuel Gore to Mr. Davis South Easterly on the sd Country Road and partly on George Laucklin's Land and Northwesterly on Capt Jos'h Mayo's Land all which said Land to be to the sd Hannah Grigory and her Heirs forever.
"3ly. Agreed that our Sister Abigail Cole shall have and hold part of the Pasture Land lying on the said Country Road in Roxbury aforesaid Northerly and at the further Side of it next to Mr. Abbot's Land called Whortleberry Hill and bounded Westerly on said Land and to extend into the said Pasture Land so as to make about five Acres as the same is now staked out and divided from the Remainder thereof All which said part of the Pasture Land to be to the said Abigail Cole her Heirs and Assigns forever Said Land is bound Southerly on Isaac Curtis's Land.
"4ly. Agreed that our Brother Shubael Seaver and Sister Thankful More shall have and hold the remaining part of the said Pasture Land being about Ten Acres Bounded Northerly on the Said Country Road and Easterly on Land belonging to the Heirs of William Abbot Deceased Southerly on Isaac Curtis's Land and Westerly on Land of Sister Cole the said Ten Acres of Pasture Land to be equally divided between them And to be to them the said Shubael Seaver and Thankful More and their Heirs forever.
"And further it is agreed that our said Brother Shubael Seaver shall have and hold the One full half being the remaining part of the Salt Marsh on the Island aforesd in Roxbury and bounded on the Creek Southerly and Westerly &c to him the said Shubael Seaver his Heirs and Assigns forever.
"And further as Touching and Concerning the personal Estate out of the good Will and Affection that we bear to our Sister Hannah Griggory give the same to her and her Heirs and Assigns And therefore do further agree to pay all the Debts that do or shall appear due from our said Father equally between us.
"In Witness whereof we the said Joseph Seaver and Patrick Grigory and Hannah his wife Edmund Cole and Abigail his Wife Shubael Seaver & Richard More and Thankful his Wife have hereunto put their Hands and Seals the thirteenth Day of March in the Third Year of his Majestie's Reign Annoque Domino 1729/30. Joseph Sever & a seal Patrick 'G' Griggory his mark & a Seal Hannah 'G' Griggory her mark & a seal Edmund Cole & a Seal Abigail '#' Cole her mark & a seal Shubael Seaver & a seal Richard More & a seal. Signed Sealed and Delivered in presence of us Ebenezer Newell Joseph Ruggles Ebenezer Pierpont
"Suffolk Ss Roxbury Apr. 6th 1730. Joseph Seaver Hannah Griggory Abigail Cole and Shubael Seaver appearing before me the subscribers acknowledged this Instrument to be their Act and Deed John Bowles Justice Pacis. Thankful '#' More her mark and a seal. Thankful More Signed Sealed and Delivered this Instrument in presence of witnesses Hezekiah Turner Edmund Weld junr
"Suffolk Ss Roxbury May 18th 1730 Thankful More appearing before me the Subscriber acknowledged this Instrument to be her free Act and Deed John Bowles Justice Pacis. "March 12th 1734 Rec'd & Accordingly Entred & Examined. Samuel Gerrish Reg'r."
Isn't that amazing? It's equivalent to a will and distribution of an estate. The children came to an amicable agreement (and only four months after their father died) and split the estate along the legal lines according to their father's wishes. Of course, they were all mature adults - the oldest surviving son was Joseph (1672-1754), who was age 58 in 1730, and the youngest surviving child was Thankful (Seaver) Mower (1684-????), who was age 46 in 1730. My guess is that they were anxious to receive their shares of the estate.
From this document, I learned:
* Wwhere Shubael Seaver's property was located in Roxbury. I don't know exactly where this lands were located - I haven't checked for a map from that time period.
* The children surviving Shubael, and the names of his daughter's husbands, and where they resided at the time of the transaction.
Land records are one of the best genealogy resources available, and are useful to define relationships, property location, history and value. The land records of almost all counties (and towns when they are recorded there) are available only in local courthouses or archives. Many, but not all, of these deed records before 1900 have been microfilmed by the Family History Library and are available on microfilm on loan at a local Family History Center.
Eventually, the deed indexes, and the deed records themselves, will be imaged, digitized and indexed by FamilySearch Indexing. That cannot happen soon enough for me! I still have a lot of deed research to do in colonial Massachusetts, not to mention my ancestral counties in Ontario, New Brunswick, NH, VT, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, IN, IL, WI, IA, NE, KS, MO and CA. Then there's my wife's ancestral counties...this could take more than my lifetime to complete!
Hundreds of genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.
My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for 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:
* Goth Genealogy? by Thomas MacEntee on Katrina McQuarrie'sKick-Ass Genealogy blog. Some good ideas about getting the younger generations involved in genealogy from Thomas in this guest post (TM sure gets around, eh?).
* Weekly Rewind by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. As always, Apple finds really interesting blog posts and stories that I've missed.
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 600 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.