Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Degrees of Separation

Hey there, geneaholics - have you missed SNGF? Well, here it is Saturday Night, time for some Genealogy Fun!!

I'm still operating on jet-lag, so I had to borrow a great idea from Chris Staats (thank you, Chris, for a great post on 6 Degrees Of Separation (Genealogy-Style). Chris asks (paraphrased): How far separated are you from a famous person in history?

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (come on, this isn't Mission Impossible), is to:

1) Find an ancestral line that atretches back to the time of the US Revolutionary War (1775-1783), about 230 years. Define your person-to-person connection (the person actually met the next person on the list) back to a historical figure from that time.

2) Tell us about it on your blog, in a note or comment on Facebook, or in a comment on this post.

Here's mine (from my Carringer line):

1) I (1943-????) knew well my maternal grandfather, Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976).

2) Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976) knew his paternal grandfather, David Jackson Carringer (1823-1901)

3) David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902) knew his paternal grandfather, Martin Carringer (1758-1835).

4) Martin Carringer (1758-1835) served in the Revolutionary War in the Pennsylvania 8th Battalion of the Continental Army that wintered at Valley Forge. Surely he saw, and perhaps met, General George Washington.

So I have three degrees of separation from an ancestor that "knew" Washington and four degrees of separation to Washington.

Hmm, I wonder how many degrees of separation I have to someone on the Mayflower?

Surname Saturday - CHAMPLIN (RI)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ahnentafel list each week. I'm up to number 47, who is Amy Champlin (1798-1865).

My ancestral line back through the six generations of my Champlin ancestral 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)

10. Thomas Richmond (1848-1917)
11. Julia White (1848-1913)

22. Henry Arnold White (1824-1885)
23. Amy Frances Oatley (1826 - before 1870)

46. Jonathan Oatley, born 07 July 1790 in South Kingstown, Washington County, RI, and died 10 August 1872 in East Killingly, Windham County, CT. He was the son of Joseph Oatley and Mary Hazard. He married 29 May 1813 in Exeter, Washington County, RI.
47. Amy Champlin, born March 1798 in South Kingston, Washington County, RI; died 08 February 1865 in East Killingly, Windham County, CT.

94. Joseph Champlin, born about 1758 in Charlestown, Washington County, RI; died 17 June 1850 in South Kingston, Washington County, RI. He married before 1785 in probably South Kingston, Washington County, RI.
95. Nancy Kenyon, born about 1765 in Washington County, RI. She was the daughter of 190. John Kenyon and 191. Anna.

Children of Joseph Champlin and Nancy Kenyon are: Samuel (1785-1874); Phoebe (1788-1879); Mary/Polly (1790-????); Joseph (1792-1877); Nancy (1794-1821);
Elizabeth/Betsy (1796-????); Amy (1798-1865); Abigail (1798-1859); George Hazard (1799-1865); Frances Gardner (1800-1880); John Kenyon (1804-????); Alice (1808-1876).

188. Elijah Champlin, born 1730 in probably Westerly, Washington County, RI; died before 19 February 1779 in South Kingstown, Washington County, RI. He married 27 November 1751 in South Kingstown, Washington County, RI.
189. Phoebe Card, born About 1730 in South Kingstown, Washington County, RI; died 19 February 1787 in South Kingstown, Washington County, RI. She was the daughter of 378. Job Card and 379. Judith Greenman.

Children of Elijah Champlin and Phoebe Card are: Phoebe (1752-????); Elijah (1756-1825); Joseph (1758-1850); William (1759-1844); Mary (1760-????); Jeffrey (1761-1837); Hannah (1762-????); Amy (1764-????); Anna (1766-????); Elizabeth (1768-????); Alice (1770-????)

376. William Champlin, born 1687 in Westerly, Washington County, RI; died after 1778 in RI. He married before 1720 in RI.
377. Joanna

Children of William Champlin and Joanna are: William (1720-1778); Michael (1723-1786); John (1727-????); Anna (1729-????); Elijah (1730-1779); Dorcas (1732-????); Temperance (1738-????).

752. Christopher Champlin, born 26 September 1656 in Newport, Newport County, RI; died 02 April 1732 in Westerly, Washington County, RI. He married about 1682 in RI.
753. (unknown), died before 1718 in probably Westerly, Washington County, RI.

Children of Christopher Champlin and (unknown) are: Christopher (1684-1734); John (1686-1746); William (1687-1778); Jeffrey (1689-1751); Joseph (1690-1731); Mary Ann (1692-1725).

1504. Jeffrey Champlin, born about 1618 in probably Biddeford, Devonshire, BNGLAND; died before 06 December 1695 in probably Westerly, Washington County, RI. He married about 1650 in RI.
1505. Ulalia Garde, born before 05 February 1632/33 in Biddeford, Devonshire, ENGLAND; died about 1657 in probably Westerly, Washington County, RI. She was the daughter of 3010. John Garde and 3011. Rebecca Copp.

Children of Jeffrey Champlin and Ulalia Garde are: Jeffrey (1650-1717); William (1654-1715); Christopher (1656-1732).

As noted above, I do not know the maiden surname of Joanna who married William Champlin, nor even the first name of the wife of Christopher Champlin. Does anyone have more information on these families?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Footnote User Survey

I received a user survey from while I was away. I filled it out and submitted it online. The survey said:

Here at Footnote, we are always striving to improve our customer's experience. Please take a moment to complete this short survey, so we can continue to improve

1. How satisfied are you with the content on

* Very satisfied
* Satisfied
* Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
* Dissatisfied
* Very Dissatisfied

2. What content do you use the most on Footnote?

* Census
* Newspapers
* Naturalizations
* Military Records
* City Directories
* Other

3. What content would you like to see more of?

* Census
* Newspapers
* Naturalizations
* Military Records
* City Directories
* Other

4. What time period would you like to see more content from? (check 3 that most interest you)

* Before 1815
* 1815-1860
* 1860-1880
* 1880-1920
* 1920-1935
* 1935-1950
* 1950-Present

I highlighted my answers in red.

The pension applications from the War of 1812 and the Civil War are my main interest in the military records. I would like to see more Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II military records. Then there are City Directories, which has made an excellent start on digitizing and providing (but the indexes suck...).

Take the Casefile Clues Survey

Michael John Neill has a survey for genealogists available - please take a few minutes and complete the survey. Here is Michael's note:

"Casefile Clues is surveying as many genealogists as care to respond to our survey regarding their genealogy experiences. The survey is non-scientific, but results will be posted on our website once the survey is completed.

"Come and give us your feedback on genealogy research in general. The link is:"

I've been enjoying Michael's weekly Casefile Clues articles - he's up to Week 35 now and the collection is helpful and illuminating.

Ellen DeGeneres has some notable cousins!

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) recently announced that entertainer Ellen DeGeneres has New England ancestry and has several notable cousins - including Halle Berry and Richard Gere. The press release is here.

The article mentions that Halle Berry is a distant cousin to Mark Wahlberg, Mark is a distant cousin to Madonna, she is a distant cousin to Camilla Parker-Bowles, who is a cousin of Diana Spencer, who was a cousin to Tim Robbins, who is a cousin to Richard Gere.

This article on Inside TV, with a link to a video of Ellen's show (which is pretty funny), claims that Ellen is related to all of these celebrities, but the NEHGS article indicates that she is related to only Halle Berry and Richard Gere. The article's author forgets that "a cousin of my cousin may not be my cousin." Or probably doesn't understand any of this!

You can see family trees for some of these celebrities, and many others, at including:

* Halle Berry - not much here...there may be more elsewhere

* Madonna - a fine French Canadian ancestry

* Diana Spencer - see also here.

* Richard Gere

There are extensive family trees at the William Addams Reitwiesner's Genealogy Services site for:

* Camilla Parker-Bowles

* Halle Berry

* Tim Robbins

* Mark Wahlberg

I don't see a family tree for Ellen DeGeneres online, but perhaps it will appear shortly.

Gary Boyd Roberts and his colleagues at the New England Historic Genealogical Society have published many ancestries of some of these celebrities but I didn't see them on the NEHGS web site. They may be hiding in the New England Ancestors Magazine publications.

So why do I care? Well, I'm just a sensitive guy interested in everybody's ancestry, but I would like to know if I'm related to these folks too. Actually, I just want to impress my cousins, brothers and offspring so maybe they'll become hooked on genealogy research.

UPDATED: Thanks to reader/blogger Martin for the links for Berry, Robbins and Wahlberg. I missed them on the WARGS site. Martin said that all of Roberts' work is on the NEHGS site, but I don't see them doing a search for several of them.

Bula! Randy's back - but snowed under...

Bula! That's "hello," "good morning" and "God bless you" in Fijian. Everybody says "Bula" ... I was really confused when the Customs inspector said "Bula" to me as we entered Fiji.

Did you follow our exploits on Facebook? See my page at and scroll down. I will eventually put some of our 500 photos in Facebook photo albums to share.

We got home last night at about 6:30 p.m. after a 43 hour day that included much sitting around, squirming in the 747 aisle seat next to a guy bigger than me, and finally dozing off just before breakfast was served. I did stay up until 9 p.m. last night and sorted snail mail and email, and the got nine hours sleep. I think I picked up a flu bug too over the past few days which finally showed up after we got home (sore throat, chills, fever, more).

During the trip, I was able to get on the Internet almost daily and keep up with my email. I had the foresight to unsubscribe from the TGF mailing list in order to keep my email volume down, but still averaged more than 100 emails per day. The bigger problem was Bloglines - I still have 1900 posts in my reader since I never had time to empty the list. That's today's project!

Genealogy highlights were meeting up with geneablogger Schelly Dardashti in Sydney (and her cousin and his wife), talking about genealogy and fmaily history with other folks on the tour, reading some of the WDYTYA? book, and thinking about my upcoming classes and presentations. The biggest disappointment was turning on my iPod and finding that it was not charged up after I loaded it with genealogy podcasts and my music.

From my limited review of blog posts on selected blogs, it appears that nothing really important to genealogy researchers happened over the past three weeks. Sure, press releases were sent, new software versions were announced, and blog memes were followed, but I didn't see anything genea-shaking. Maybe there will be important announcements this month at the NGS Conference!

I have lots of email backed up with helpful information, and will try to get to them over the next week or so.

I also have two magazine articles, a society newsletter, three presentations and a beginning genealogy class syllabus to work on in the next month! No rest for the travel-weary! Oh yeah, maybe I'll blog a bit too.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Got a gig!!!

We are stuck in Fiji and can't get back to the States. Umm, we really don't want to come back to the States. Life here at the resort is so beautiful and peaceful.

The management here has seen the value of genealogical tourism (after I explained the market size by showing them Dick Eastman's column), and offered me a position of "genealogy consultant" here at the resort, and I accepted the offer. Linda was offered a position as a swimming teacher too.

My duties will be promoting genealogy tourism to Fiji, teaching beginning genealogy classes occasionally, and helping tourists with their ancestral search using Internet resources. What a great gig! And I get paid to do this, plus all of the coconut milk and Fijian dancing girls I can watch.

Unfortunately, this means that the Genea-Musings blog will go on hiatus so that I can attend to my onerous duties. But I'm sure that all of my readers will understand!

Hey, please come visit!

UPDATED: Turns out that Fiji has an onerous work permit process for non-natives, and so they hustled us onto the airplane bound for Los Angeles late on 1 April. I couldn't get to a computer until Friday morning. Don't they know that genealogy research is not work, but fun?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Genea-Musings is going touring

My wife and I are off for the South Pacific and will return in early April. We are looking forward to three weeks of relaxation and excitement in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and will celebrate our 40th anniversary in New Zealand, where we hope to visit a good friend of our daughter who lives there.

I have written a number of posts on Genea-Musings to keep my readers somewhat entertained while I'm gone. I don't have posts for every day, but I've written quite a few over the past week.

Unfortunately, I'm going to miss three episodes of Who Do You Think You Are? but I have the book with me and will read along each week. I'm also going to miss the CVGS presentation by Hank Jones, and the SDGS and CGSSD March meetings too. Ah, the sacrifices I make for marital harmony and a good time!

If you really want your Genea-Musings fix, then pick one of the weekly Archives on the right-hand side of this blog and read one week's worth of information about genealgoy in general, my own research and San Diego genealogy society doings.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 97: Emily and her friends

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. Many of these were "new" to my digital photograph collection.

Here is a photograph from the Carringer family collection handed down by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:

Since this photograph has a young girl (the third one from the left) that looks very similar to the girl in Post 96, I think that my grandmother, Emily Kemp Auble, born 19 August 1899, is in this photograph. I'm just not sure which girl she is!

When I first saw this picture, I thought that Emily was the second girl from the left (with the hair bow and the hair part on the left), but if the picture in Post 96 is truly Emily, then she is the third girl from the left.

This photo was probably taken in Chicago, Illinois at a school or playground.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Samuel Prescott (1674-1750)

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog 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."

Samuel Prescott (1674-1750), son of Jonathan and Dorothy (Heald) Prescott, died testate in Acton, Massachusetts, having written a will on 19 August 1750. The probate papers are in Middlesex County Probate Records, Probate Packet #18,104 (original papers (not probate court clerk copies) filmed on FHL Microfilm 0,421,496). The will reads:

"In the Name of God Amen I Samuel Prescott of Acton in the County of Middlesex in the province of the Massachulsetts Bay in New England yeamon being of a Sound and Disposing mind though but weak and Infirme in Body Calling to mind my frailty Do make this my Last will and testament first I Committ my Soul to God who gave it and my body to the Earth to be Decently Buried at the Discretion of my Executor hereafter Named and as touching my worldly Estate I Dispose of the Same as follows.

"Imprimis I Give unto my well Beloved and onely Son Amos Prescott all my Lands and Buildings in Acton with all my Husbandry tools and wearing Apparel my Iron morter and staff He paying out unto the Children of my Daughter Esther Conant deceased the Sum of six pounds and to my Daughter Dorothy Heldreth the Sum of three pounds Six shillings and Eight pence and to my Daughter Mary Fletcher the Sum of Six pounds and to my Daughter Sarah Randal the sum of Six pounds and to my daughter Dorcas Minott the Sum of Six pounds and to the Children of my daughter Abigail Fox deceased the Sum of Six pounds and to my daughter Rebeckah Daves the Sum of Six pounds and to pay them thirty Shillings apeace a year untill the whole be paid the first payment to be one year after my decease.

"Also I Give unto my daughter Davies my pew in Acton meeting House.

"Also I Give unto my Grand daughter Frances Prescott the Bed in which she hath Constantly Lodged in Since my wives decease with the Bolster (and pillows sheets and Blankets and Coverlets Bed Stead and Cord there unto Belonging also my Great Brass Kittle.

"Also I Give unto my daughters above said (the Children of my daughter Conant and daughter Fox to have their equal shares) all the Remainder of my Estate to be Equilly devided Among them my Lawfull Debts Charge at Doctors and my funerall Charges to be first Reducted out.

"And I do hereby Appoint and make my Son Amos Prescott the Sole Executor of this my Last will and testament allowing no other to be my Last Will and testament. In wittness whereof I have Here unto Set my hand and Seal this Nineteenth Day of August 1756 and in the thirtieth year of His majesties Reign.

"signed Sealed and Delivered by the said
Samuel Prescott as his last Will and testament
in presence of us
Jonathan Hosmer .................................... his

Daniel Fletcher ......................... Samuel P Prescott (seal)
William Barker Junr." ........................... mark

On 9 October 1758, Deacon Jonathan Hosmer and Joseph Barker, both of Acton, and Captain Stephen Hosmer of Concord were appointed to a committee to apprise the Estate of Samuel Prescott, late of Acton.

An inventory of the real and personal estate of Samuel Prescott, late of Acton, was taken by the committee on 17 October 1758. The estate totalled 328 pounds, 9 shillings, 3 pence, including 227 pounds, 9 shillings, 4 pence in real estate. The real estate included a dwelling house (10 pounds), a barn (5 pounds), and one half of 163 acres and 104 rods of land (206 pounds, 9 shillings, 4 pence), and one pew in Acton meeting house (6 pounds). The inventory was exhibited on 23 October 1758 and approved by the Court.

On 11 December 1758, Amos Prescott presented the last will and testament of Samuel Prescott, late of Acton, and the inventory to the Court. The first two witnesses made oath to the Court that Samuel Prescott had been of sound mind when he made his last will and testament, but the third witness thought him uncapable. The Court delayed the hearing for three weeks. On 1 January 1759, the Court approved the will, the objections made being waived. Amos Prescott was ordered to present an Account of his proceedings when required.

Amos Prescott charged himself with the money left and the debts of his father, paid the debts, funeral expenses and executorship charges, all of which amounted to 49 pounds, 3 shillings, 10 pence. The Court accepted the Account on 5 May 1760.

I am descended from Samuel and Esther (Wheeler) Prescott through their daughter, Dorothy Hildreth (1702-1774) who married James Hildreth (1698-1761). Note that Samuel Prescott names his daughter Dorothy Hildreth in the will.