Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - A "Brick Wall Ancestor"

Awake and arise, you wonderful Genea-Musings blog-readers, and know that it is Saturday Night - time again for more Genealogy Fun!

We all have "brick wall ancestors" - those for whom we cannot find a complete name, or identify a set of parents. By posting information about a "brick wall ancestor," someone mght find your post and be able to contribute to your knowledge about that ancestor.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I sincerely hope that you do) - is to check your files and sources, advance to your keyboard, and:

1) Identify one of your "brick wall ancestors," and tell us about him or her. What do you know? What would you like to know?

2) Tell us about this person in a blog post of your own, a comment on this blog post, or a Facebook comment or note. Be sure to leave a way for readers to contact you.

Here's one of mine (I chose to use one that I haven't written about before):

Catherine Ruth may have been born 10 March 1770 in Berks County, Pennsylvania, and died 8 December 1813 in York, York County, Pennsylvania. She married Philip Jacob King of York, Pennsylvania before 1790. They had 12 children: Catherine King (1792-????); George king (1794-1860); Elizabeth King (1796-1863); Sarah King (1797-????); Lydia King (1799-????); Catherine King (1801-????); Jacob King (1803-????); Rebecca King (1805-????); Anna Maria King (1806-????); Barbara King (1808-????); Julia Anna King (1810-1825); Henry King (1813-????).

I have two sources that list her father differently. They are:

1) The typescript "The Kings of York County: Pioneers, Patriots, and Papermakers," by Richard Shue (no publication place or date), accessed at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

On page 5 of Part III, it says that "This connection with the eastern Pennsylvania county arouses speculation from the fact that a certain German immigrant, Conrad Ruth, sailed with Jacob's grandfather, Nicholas King, aboard the Ketty in 1752." and "There is the further possibility that the Ruth and King families were neighbors in Berks County before Nicholas King moved his family westward to York County, presumably about 1757."

That is pretty nebulous and conjectural, in my view, but it does provide a lead to follow - Conrad Ruth.

Where did this information come from? Most likely, from family papers and sources that Richard Shue had access to when he compiled the typescript about the three generations of the King family.

2) The website Strine & Yessler Families of York County, PA ( indicates that Catherine Ruth (born 10 March 1770) was the daughter of Johann Peter Ruth (ca 1700-1771) and his second wife, Catherine Meyer (????-????), daughter of Peter Meyer. Johann Peter Ruth's first wife was Anna Sophia Lauer (1703-????), and they had 14 children.

The source provided for the birth of Catherine Ruth in 1770 was: Submissions, Family Group Sheets ( 250 E. Market Street York, PA 17403: York County Heritage Trust); The Historical Society of York County.

There is a source provided for the family of Johann Peter Ruth and Anna Sophia Lauer: Akerboom, Descendents of Peter and Anna Sophia (Lauer) Ruth , Reference no. 929.R974 (; The Historical Society of York County, 250 East Market Street, York, York, PA, US.

This second set of parents is from a new resource for me - I checked today to see if there were any online mention of Catherine Ruth and found this website.

Obviously, Catherine can't be the daughter of both a Conrad Ruth and a Johann Peter Ruth. Johann Peter Ruth was age 70 in 1770 - how likely is it that she was born to a 70-year old man? Now Johann Peter Ruth did have a son named John and a son named Peter, so it could be that either of them was Catherine's father.

I need to obtain the information in the two sources mentioned above to determine whether they solve my brick wall ancestry problem or not.

It is unlikely that Catherine Ruth was a widow when she married Philip Jacob King at the age of 19 or so. There is also the distinct possibility that Catherine is not a Ruth at all.

If a reader has more knowledge about Catherine Ruth's parentage, or can help me obtain the information in the two sources listed above, please contact me at

Surname Saturday - HORTON (England > MA > RI)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 91, who is Phebe Horton (1772-????), one of my 4th-great-grandparents.

My ancestral line back through five generations of HORTON families is:

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)

44. Jonathan White (1806-1850)
45. Miranda Wade (1804-1850)

90. Simon Wade, born 22 November 1767 in Foster, Providence County, RI, and died 26 April 1857 in Killingly, Windham County, CT. He was the son of 180. Simon Wade and 181. Deborah Tracy. He married before 1790 in Foster, Providence, RI.
91. Phebe Horton, born 07 May 1772 in Foster, Providence County, RI. She was the daughter of 2. Nathaniel Horton and 3. Sarah Pray.

Simon Wade and Phebe Horton had children: James Wade (1791-????); Catherine Wade (1793-????); Sarah Wade (1798-????); Arnold Wade (1800-????); Olive Wade (1802-????); Miranda Wade (1804-1850); Fenner Wade (1807-1842); Lawton Wade (1814-1905).

182. Nathaniel Horton, born about 1730 in Rehoboth, Bristol County, MA; died 04 May 1819 in Foster, Providence County, RI. He married about 1755 in probably Scituate, Providence County, RI.
183. Sarah Pray, born about 1734 in Providence County, RI; died after 1819 in probably Foster, Providence County, RI. She was the daughter of 366. Richard Pray and 367. Rachel.

Children of Nathaniel Horton and Sarah Pray are: Nathaniel Horton (1755-????); Abel Horton (1756-1842); Katherine Horton (1758-1779); John Horton (1760-????); Chase Horton (1762-????); Ruth Horton (1764-????); Rachel Horton (1766-????); Sarah Horton (1768-????); Freelove Horton (1770-????); Phebe Horton (1772-????); Olive Horton (1774-????).

364. John Horton, born 21 March 1695/96 in Swansea, Bristol County, MA; died 10 January 1796 in Glocester, Providence County, RI. He married 09 July 1719 in Swansea, Bristol County, MA.
365. Mary Chase, born 15 January 1694/95 in Newbury, Essex County, MA; died 09 March 1731/32 in Rehoboth, Bristol County, MA. She was the daughter of 710. Thomas Chase and 711. Rebecca Follansbee.

Children of John Horton and Mary Chase are: Ruth Horton (1720-????); Mehitable Horton (1723-1806); Mary Horton (1725-????); John Horton (1728-1776); Nathaniel Horton (1730-1819).

728. John Horton, born 06 June 1672 in Milton, Norfolk County, MA; died before May 1752 in Rehoboth, Bristol County, MA. He married about 1689 in probably Rehoboth, Bristol County, MA.
729. Mehitable Garnsey, born 02 November 1673 in Milton, Norfolk County, MA; died 15 October 1742 in Rehoboth, Bristol County, MA. She was the daughter of 1458. John Garnsey and 1459. Elizabeth.

Children of John Horton and Mehitable Garnsey are: Thomas Horton (1690-1733); Sarah Horton (1692-1725); Jonathan Horton (1695-1774); John Horton (1696-1796); Mary Horton (1704-????); Jotham Horton (1705-1797); Henekiah Horton (1714-1787).

1456. Thomas Horton, born about 1638 in ENGLAND; died before 08 March 1714/15 in Rehoboth, Bristol County, MA. He married about 1668 in probably Norfolk County, MA.
1457. Sarah Harmon, born 01 May 1652 in Braintree, Norfolk County, MA; died before December 1693 in Rehoboth, Bristol County, MA. She was the daughter of 2914. Nathaniel Harmon and 2915. Mary Bliss.

Children of Thomas Horton and Sarah Harmon are: Rachel Horton (1669-????); John Horton (1672-1752); Jonathan Horton (1675-????); Thomas Horton (1677-1745); David Horton (1679-????); Solomon Horton (1682-1724).

Are there any Horton cousins from this line reading this? If so, do you have more information about these families? Please contact me at if you want to share information.

UPDATED: One of the benefits of posting these family lists by surname is that other researchers may share part of the ancestry. JT of the filioagnostic blog is a cousin through John and Mehitable (Garnsey) Horton - and posted about it in He notes that the wife of Thomas Horton (1638-1715) may NOT be Sarah Harmon, according to the best available research. Consequently, I have changed my database to detach Sarah Harmon as the wife of Thomas Horton and substituted a wife Sarah with no known maiden surname as Thomas Horton's wife.

Mistakes like this are certainly in my database and resulted from "name collecting" in my early research years. The one thing that I am absolutely sure of is that my genealogy database is very imperfect! Names, dates, places, relationships, sources, etc. are the essence of genealogy, and I'm trying to improve my database to include the best information I can find. I appreciate JT, and others, who take the time to offer additions and corrections to my database!

JT noted that Margaret Jenks and Frank Seymour's book, Thomas Horton of Milton and Rehoboth, Massachusetts, published by the authors in 1984, is available in the BYU Family History Archive here. If you have Hortons of Milton, Rehoboth and Swansea of Massachusetts, and in Rhode Island and eastern Connecticut, then this book probably has your family listed.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Ancestral Golden Arches of Genealogy?

Several of my genea-blogging colleagues have written about Curt Witcher's talk (at the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy) about the coming of the genealogical dark ages, as reported by Michael De Groote in the Mormon Times on Thursday. Some cogent arguments for and against the thesis include:

* Bill West at the West in New England blog - Part 1 and Part 2

* Pat Richley-Erickson on DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog.

* James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog.

The examples given by Curt, as described in the article, are concerning but not fatal, in my view. The one that concerns me the most is the statement that "Courthouses are engaging in 'radical sampling,' where they take a few samples of large collections of old records and destroy the rest." No examples of this were given, but I know that Curt has an excellent network of correspondents and this is probably happening as we think about it.

The only positive response to this is for libraries, museums, genealogical societies and/or historical societies to do something about the loss of any historical record before it occurs. The only acceptable choices are to:

* accept, house, organize and preserve the records for posterity, while making them available to researchers
* digitally image them as quickly as possible and make the digital archive available to researchers.

Vital records are the other significant issue for me - many states have restricted access to their birth, marriage and death records. The Records Preservation and Access Committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies is trying to keep track of what each state is doing with their vital records, and advocates for access to records (with appropriate privacy restrictions) and records preservation.

It is right to be concerned, but my opinion is that we are not in the "dark ages" where historical records are being pulverized under an authoritarian boot, at least not in North America, Western Europe, Australia/New Zealand and other open-government countries.

Every governmental body is struggling to adapt to the digital age, and historical records are some of the primary targets for digitization. The US National Archives are digitizing many record groups through their commercial partners, as are many State Archives. The Library of Congress, and many other national, regional and state libraries are digitizing their holdings also. Unfortunately, everything we want isn't available "right now" but the volume of records available in digital format is steadily increasing.

However, I think that we are also in the middle of the greatest explosion of genealogy and family history records availability in recorded history. The efforts by volunteers at FamilySearch with their Imaging and Indexing projects, who are working on bringing record images of the Family History Library microfilms and indexes for many of them, will bring many records to light that have been hidden in the reels of microfilm for years. has their World Archives Project, who are working with individuals to index and with genealogy societies to image locally held records.

The efforts by,,,,, and many other commercial companies to image and index records continues unabated. These efforts should be appreciated and supported by all researchers.

These imaging and indexing efforts bring great promise to the genealogy and family history world for the preservation of the records and for providing access to them. For many researchers, the number and variety of online record databases is overwhelming, but wonderful, and they feast on them for days at a time.

To me, the record databases on the Internet seem like a good "all-you-can-eat" buffet restaurant - it all looks so good, and seductive, and I can't wait to chomp through the offerings. We have the "Genea-SouPlantation" here, and the "Ancestral Golden Arches" there, and, oh look, there's the "Genealogy Domino's" that delivers right to your door! So is online genealogy only "fast food?" Is it "nutritious" for our genealogy research? Does it satisfy our research hunger? It is certainly "fast," but it is not complete, and it doesn't provide a "reasonably exhaustive search" - yet! [Note to self: quit "eating out" so much, and get your butt down to the FHC more often!]

Many seasoned researchers understand that "it's not all online" and counsel their colleagues to use archives, libraries and other repositories - finding books, manuscripts, periodicals, microforms, vertical files and other resources to find genealogy and family history records. We need all researchers to understand and experience the "full menu" of research offerings - and that's where our genealogy societies and popular magazines come into play.

My conclusion here is that it's not the end of the genealogy research world as we know it - but we need to be wary of the threats to genealogy records and be willing and able to do something about it if there are threats.

Okay, back to FamilySearch, Footnote and Ancestry, and lookee there, more records! Cool. No wonder I'm overweight!

What do you think? Are we on the verge of the genealogy dark ages, or on the doorstep of a golden era of pajama research in online genealogy databases, or are we somewhere in between?'s Second Quarter Results (ACOM) posted their second quarter 2010 financial results yesterday - I read the press release on John D. Reid's blog, Anglo-Celtic Connections, in ACOM (Ancestry) reports positive second quarter first. The press release is here and has more detailed financial information The Ancestry presentation (with graphs) is here and provides more historical context.

Some observations (all mine):

* continues to be profitable (net income of $8.5 million was 11.7% of total revenue of $74.5 million for the second quarter). Profits are good for continued growth and investment in products, content and technology.

* The number of subscribers grew by 8% over the second quarter 2010, to 1,311,000 - that means an increase of about 99,000 persons. However, the number of new subscribers in the quarter was 291,000 persons, which means that they lost about 192,000 previous subscribers in those three months. The average churn rate (the loss of subscribers) was 4.3%, which is slightly increased over the previous quarter.

* The projections for the full fiscal 2010 year are for total subscribers of about 1,370,000, which is only about 60,000 more than at the end of the second quarter. I wonder if the reruns of Who Do You Think They Are? in August and September will give the subscriber a boost?

* In the 2010 second quarter, annual subscribers are 61% of the base, monthly subscribers are 30% and quarterly subscribers are 7%.

* In the first six months of 2010, revenue included $130.1 million from subscriptions and $8.8 million from Product and other revenues (presumably products like Family Tree Maker, MyCanvas and DNA Ancestry).

* In the first six months of 2010, costs included $22.7 million on "costs of subscription revenues" (which probably means providing the website hardware and software) and the cost of Product and other revenues was $2.7 million.

* In the first six months of 2010, has spent $19.9 million on Technology and Development, $46.9 million on Marketing and advertising, and $15.8 million on General and administrative expenses.

* Marketing expense has significantly increased over the past two quarters, but "subscriber acquisition cost" has not increased significantly (now at $74 per new subscriber).

* This is a really interesting company - they have to keep adding to and improving their product to keep existing customers, and they have to keep marketing their product to gain new subscribers to replace the ones that drop their subscriptions.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor, affiliate or shareholder of, although I am a fully paid US Collection subscriber. I am not an expert in financial matters, but am interested in them. The opinions expressed above are all mine.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who is Chelsea Clinton related to?

Chelsea Victoria Clinton, daughter of President William Jefferson and Senator Hilary Diane (Rodham) Clinton is getting married this Saturday in New York.

To celebrate the occasion, the Family Forest organization have released a list of Chelsea's ancestor's and notable relatives at Chelsea Clinton Family Forest Kinship before Wedding.pdf .

There are some notable persons on this list, and Family Forest wonders if any of them are invited to the wedding. Here are some of the notables that I saw on the list:

* Adrienne Barbeau (10th cousin twice removed)
* Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (10th cousin once removed)
* Celine Dion (9th cousin once removed)
* Angelina Jolie Voight alias Angelina Jolie (10th cousin once removed)
* Jean Louis "Jack" Kerouac (9th cousin once removed)

* Alanis Nadine Morissette (11th cousin)
* Sean Justin Penn (spouse of 10th cousin once removed)
* William Bradley "Brad" Pitt (spouse of 10th cousin once removed)
* Guy Ritchie (spouse of 10th cousin once removed)
* Duchess Camilla Rosemary Shand (10th cousin)

* William Robert "Billy Bob" Thornton (spouse of 10th cousin once removed)
* Eilleen Regina Edwards alias Shania Twain (10th cousin twice removed)
* Mark Twain (10th cousin twice removed) - I'll bet this isn't Samuel Clemens!
* Jonathan "Jon" Voight (spouse of 10th cousin)
* Prince Charles Phillip Arthur George of Wales (spouse of 10th cousin)

I admit to being not too hip when it comes to popular culture, so I probably missed some famous people.

Unfortunately, none of my ancestors are listed on this 16-page list, so I guess I'm not a cousin of Chelsea's.

Why is the FamilySearch Labs Standard Finder Important?

I wrote FamilySearch Standard Finder - Post 1, and Post 2 because I thought that understanding standardized place names was important. As many genealogy software users know, the latest versions of many programs use standardized place names to drive their mapping features, and offer the opportunity to "resolve" the place names into a standard format.

In my blog reading the other day, I ran across Geoff Rasmussen's post Update on Legacy 7.5 progress - FamilySearch Sync Certification in Process that had a link to more of his Legacy News posts about the Legacy Family Tree successful effort to be a FamilySearch Certified Affiliate, which means that users of Legacy Family Tree can interface with New FamilySearch through the program. On the page Legacy Family Tree - FamilySearch Made Easy there are links to several other Legacy News posts, including:

1) How to Standardize your Place Names

This post notes that:

"FamilySearch's new Standard Finder, which Legacy 7.5 will utilize, helps you achieve standardization in the way you spell your locations. Its goal is to help achieve consistency in how everyone records their locations. It is not a perfect system yet. For example, we know that correct data entry standards suggest to record the place as it existed at the time of the event. Standard Finder does not yet do a great job with correctly interpreting historical locations. But it has a great start."

It also provides tips on how to "clean up" your place names in your genealogy database by combining duplicates and then expanding or contracting the parts of your place names to provide a complete and standard place name definition (e.g., replacing two letter state abbreviations with the full state name, or country abbreviations with the full country name).

Why should users do this? This post notes that:

"When working with the FamilySearch interface tools, you will no longer have to spend time "resolving" your place names to match the Standard Finder's version. Cleaning up your locations is just the first suggestion in your preparation."

Evidently, if you are going to have your data in the New FamilySearch database, then you are going to have to have standardized location names in your database or resolve all of them when you try to add your data to New FamilySearch.

2) Standardization of Locations - a follow-up

In this post, Geoff uses one of his ancestors as an example, and found over 30 different place name variations for "Taunton, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States" in New FamilySearch. He notes that:

"If, decades ago, when we started doing data entry of our locations, we had a standardization tool that everyone in the world had access to, we probably would not see many people with 30 spelling variations of the same place. And while the new Standard Finder, in its infancy, still has its limitations, it is laying the foundation for us to be more consistent in our data entry efforts.
You can begin now by cleaning up your own Master Location List.

"Watch this video for step-by-step instructions."

The video is only four minutes long and neatly demonstrates how to combine all of the different names for a place into a standard place name.

I think that the bottom line with New FamilySearch, for LDS member and non-member alike, is going to be "if you want to add your data to the New FamilySearch Family Tree, then you need to use standardized location names - the ones in the FamilySearch Standard Finder."

The one drawback of using modern locations for standardized place names is that, as researchers, we are encouraged to put the social and legal jurisdictions at the time of the event in the location field. A location in a county may not have physically moved, but the records for events of that location may be in several counties, states, or even countries. This needs to be addressed by both New FamilySearch and the genealogy software programs.

I need to do this combination of place names into a standardized location names, and it sure looks like it's relatively easy to do in Legacy Family Tree. I'm not sure if RootsMagic 4 or Family Tree Maker 2010 make it this easy, but I'm going to find out so that I can help my society colleagues do the place name standardization.

My thanks to Geoff Rasmussen of Legacy News for sharing the information about how the software is interfacing with New FamilySearch. It has helped me, and I'm sure many others, to better understand how the software is working, or will work, with New FamilySearch.

One thing that I am unsure about at this time - is the FamilySearch Standard Finder in place right now and being used in New FamilySearch? Have all of the place names in New FamilySearch been standardized yet? If not, what is the plan for them to be standardized?

Treasure Chest Thursday - A 30th Wedding Anniversary

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to display another artifact or document from the musty files given me by my mother or from a cranny on my computer hard drive.

Today it is a newspaper clipping of the 30th wedding anniversary announcement of Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Knapp in Riverside, California:

The announcement reads:


"A very pleasant gathering of friends took place at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Knapp on Eight street Monday evening last, it being the thirtieth anniversary of the wedding of the host and hostess. The evening was pleasantly spent by those present in playing games and social conversation. Elegant refreshments were served during the evening. Mr. and Mrs. Funk and others agreeably entertained the company by several selections of vocal music most excellently rendered. The affair was one long to be favorably remembered by all present, and especially by Mr. and Mrs. Knapp, for whose welfare and future happiness and long life many earnest wished were expressed.

"Among those present we noticed the following well known Riversiders. Mr. and Mrs. J. Funk, Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild, Mr. and Mrs. Knowles, Mr. and Mrs. Patchin, Mr and Mrs. Wiggings, Mr. and Mrs. Cook, Mr. and Mrs. Hagen, Mr. and Mrs. Munro, Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Funk, Mr. and Mrs. Fleck, Misses Cora Bates, Ida Knapp, Mrs. Shepperd, John Acket, Ellwin Knapp, Mrs. Kirk, W. Knapp and M. Thurber."

Written in Della (Smith) Carringer's hand at the bottom of the clipping is:

Austin's cousin."

There is no date given on this newspaper clipping, but I'm guessing that it is in the 1890 to 1920 time frame. If someone was researching the associates of the H.A. Knapp family, this announcement would provide some useful clues.

I have always wondered who this H.A. Knapp is, and now I'm going to figure it out. Either Mr. or Mrs. Knapp was Austin Carringer's cousin, so it is in the Carringer, Spangler or Feather family line. I'll post the solution when I find them.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What is this Seaver family line? - Post 1

I've been trying to figure out the ancestral connections noted in this article on page 1346 in the book History of Walworth County, Wisconsin by Albert Clayton Beckwith, published the The Historical Society of Wisconsin in 1912. It is available on Google Books here. I have interspersed my comments in [brackets with red type].


"One of the best known and most successful contractors in Walworth county is William Lyman Seaver, of Walworth, a man who has led an active and useful life in every respect and therefore enjoys the esteem of a wide circle of friends.

"Mr. Seaver was born in Darien, this county, November 24, 1868. He is the son of James E. and Phoebe L. (Dodge) Seaver, the father having come from Darien, New York, in 1839, among the early settlers, being two years old when he came here with his parents, Lyman Hunt Seaver and Sallie (Woodard) Seaver. Lyman Seaver was here a year or two before bringing his family. He probably entered land from the government.

[William Lyman Seaver is the son of James E. and Phoebe L. (Dodge) Seaver.]
[James E. Seaver is the son of Lyman Hunt and Sallie (Woodard) Seaver.]

"The subject grew to manhood on the farm in Darien and lived there until he was married, on March 15, 1896, to Lydia Seaver, daughter of Horace Everett Seaver and Orinda (Lippitt) Seaver. Her father was born in Darien, New York, in 1832, and when about eight years old he came here with his parents, Joseph Warren Seaver and Mary (Long-Hastings) Seaver. Joseph Warren Seaver, Mrs. Seaver's grandfather, and Lyman Hunt Seaver, grandfather of William Lyman Seaver, were brothers. They were sons of William Seaver. The last named was born in 1763 and died-in 1828. He served in the Revolutionary war five different times. The original muster roll at Boston, Massachusetts, shows that he was a private in Colonel Greaton's regiment in the Continental army, and he was detailed as one of the guards at the execution of Major Andre, the British spy. William Seaver was in the sixth generation of the family in America and was educated in this county. The first one came on the ship "Mary and John" in 1634. He was a young Englishman named Robert Seaver, from near London. He landed at Boston and two or three months later married and began farming on ground that is now in the heart of Boston. His son Joshua was the father of Joshua. Jr., born in 1678, the latter a lieutenant in the state militia, and he fought the Indians. He was a weaver by trade, and was a slave holder; he kept a tavern, sold New England rum, and he was a church member. Lieut. Joseph Seaver had a son William, who had a son William, who was a potter, made wooden shoe heels, taught singing school, and was a major in the American army during our war for independence, from Massachusetts. He was very successful as a business man. He was a major in the Bristol county brigade. His son William was in the sixth generation, as mentioned above, the one who guarded Major Andre. He was also in the navy during the Revolution, then followed a seafaring life. He was six feet tall and weighed two hundred pounds, and excelled in athletic feats, at one time defeating the champion wrestler of Vermont. At Arlington, that state, he was captain of the local military company. He is described as a man above the average in intelligence and character. Phoebe L. Dodge, the mother of William Lyman Severance, was the daughter of Josiah and Julia (Long) Dodge. She came from near Darien, New York, coming to Walworth county, Wisconsin, with her parents.

[Lydia Seaver was the daughter of Horace Everett and Orinda (Lippitt) Seaver.]
[Horace Everett Seaver was the son of Joseph Warren and Mary (Long-Hastings) Seaver.]
[Joseph Warren Seaver and Lyman Hunt Seaver were brothers, the sons of William Seaver (1763-1828). He was in the 6th generation of Seaver's in this country. William Seaver served in the Revolutionary War.]
[Robert-1 Seaver came on the "Mary and John" in 1634 and was generation 1.]
[Joshua-2 Seaver was a son of Robert Seaver, and was generation 2.]
[Joshua-3 Seaver (born 1678) was a son of Joshua-2 Seaver, and was generation 3.]
[It is unclear if Joshua-2 or Joshua-3 was the weaver, slaveowner, tavern-keeper, rum seller, and church member.]
[It is unclear (to me) if Joshua-2 or Joshua-3 was the lieutenant in the state militia and fought the Indians. Joshua-3 was too young for King Philip's War, but Joshua-2 was just the right age.]
[William-4 Seaver was a son of Lieut. Joseph Seaver (certainly meaning Joshua-3 here), and is generation 4.]
[William-5 Seaver was a son of William-4 Seaver.]
[Was it William-4 or William-5 that was the potter, made wooden shoes, and was a Major in the Massachusetts militia in the Revolutionary War?]
[William-6 Seaver was a son of William-5 Seaver, and is the father of Lyman Hunt Seaver and Joseph Warren Seaver.]
[Was it William-6, William-5 or William-4 that was the one who guarded Major Andre, served also in the Navy during the Revolution, and was a seafarer after the war.]
[Is William-6 the one who settled in Arlington, VT, weighed 200 pounds, excelled at athletics, and was a captain in the local militia.]

"James Everett Seaver was born at Darien, New York, June 13, 1837. He was a son of Lyman H. and Sarah (Woodard) Seaver, the former born at Arlington, Vermont, October 26, 1796, and the latter was born at Hebron, New York, in April, 1797, and they were married on April 29, 1819. When James E. Seaver was two years old the family came west and located in Darien township, one mile west of the village, the father entering his land from the government. James E. Seaver grew up in Darien township, and on November 16, 1859, he was united in marriage with Phebe Dodge, daughter of Josiah and Julia (Long) Dodge. She was born at Darien, New York, June 20, 1841, and came here with her parents when she was two years old. They also located in Darien township.

"After James E. Seaver was married he and his wife lived in Sharon township about seven years, he having bought a farm there, then moved back to Darien and bought a farm near the village and there he continued to reside until near the end of his life. His death occurred on April 2, 1909, his wife having preceded him to the grave on October 11, 1906. They were the parents of five children, four of whom are living; Josi died when he was eighteen years old; Marcus D. lives at Los Angeles, California; Bertha is the wife of John S. Topping and lives in Delavan; William L. lives in Walworth; Clara M. is the wife of Leander Wright and lives at Los Angeles, California. Joseph Warren Seaver was a member of the state Legislature at one time.

"Orinda Lippitt was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, and came here when two years old with her parents, being among the very first settlers of Darien township. Her parents were Cyrus and Lydia (Bruce) Lippitt. The father came to this county in 1837 and settled in section 35, Darien township. Lydia (Bruce) Lippitt had two brothers, John and William Bruce, who were among the earliest settlers in Darien. Adelai Seaver, sister of Horace Everett Seaver, was one of the three earliest school teachers in Darien township.

"Henry Dodge, the first territorial governor of Wisconsin, was of the same Dodge family as the subject. He was governor in 1836, also in 1845.

"After his marriage the subject of this sketch moved to Richmond, Illinois, where he was manager of a lumber yard until the spring of 1903, when he went to Spring Grove, that state, where he was half owner of a lumber yard, remaining there three or four years. Then he sold out his interests there and took up contracting in concrete work. He moved to Walworth, this county, in October, 1908, and here he has since made his home, continuing contracting in concrete work. He has five children, Lucy, Everett, William, Kenneth and Stuart. He is a member of the Masonic order, both the blue lodge and the chapter."

Isn't this a tremendous family history record? These traditions were handed down over several centuries, and probably were retold thousands of times so that the children remembered them. There are several items in the list above, especially of the family exploits and achievements, that are not written down anywhere else that I've found.

Are the individuals that performed some of the exploits and achievements confusing to you? They are to me. Does it make sense that William-6 Seaver, born in 1763, would be the one to guard Major Andre in 1780, and was also in the Navy? Or was it is father, William-5 or his grandfather, William-4?

Likewise, I'm confused by the exploits of the two Joshua Seaver guys. Was it the father, or the son, that did all those things? Or are all of the family stories put together in one sentence and attributed to one of them?

I'll try to sort these issues out in the next post in this series, based on other resources and my own genealogy database of over 4,000 Seaver persons.

FamilySearch Standard Finder - Post 2

In FamilySearch Standard Finder - Post 1, I covered the Name, Date and Place tabs in the FamilySearch Standard Finder website. The most useful part of the Standard Finder is the geocoding of almost any place name.

There are two other tabs on the Standard Finder page - the "Preview" tab and the "Resources" tab. I clicked on the "Preview" tab and saw a field to enter a location, so I put [chula vista] in the field:

As you can see, all of the locations with [chula vista] in the Standard Finder database shows in a dropdown list. I clicked on the top one, and saw:

As you can see, there is "standardized text" for my selection. This function is, of course, the basis for the dropdown list in the location field on the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot site.

The "Resources" tab opens with (two screens below):

"View maps with clickable links to the holdings of the Family History Library Catalog. There are three options to view the data:

* Google Earth,
* Maps.Google.Com,
* ArcReader from ESRI.

"Google Earth can be downloaded for free from the
Google Earth site. Google Earth can display state and county borders. Google Maps does not require any download, just use the import feature of My Maps. Google Maps only displays state borders. ArcReader can be downloaded for free from the ESRI site. It can display state, county and township borders."

At the present time, the links for Google Earth and Google Maps go to Google Earth.

Click on the "View Sample Screens" and the "Tips and Instructions" links to see what this is supposed to look like. Apparently, there will be links on the displayed map to take users to the Family History Library Catalog for a specific town, county or state.

Why is this Standard Finder important? How will it be used on the soon-to-be-unveiled "New" website? We'll discuss that in the next post.

(not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 113: A View Toward Downtown San Diego in the 1900s

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:

This is a photograph was taken in the decade of the 1900s, perhaps by Henry Austin Carringer or by my grandfather, Lyle Lawrence Carringer. It was taken from the upstairs room at 2105 30th Street in San Diego. It looks approximately southwest. The corner of 30th and Hawthorn is in the right foreground. The trolley going up 30th Street is in the left foreground. The downtown area of San Diego is in the center background, and the shore of Coronado North Island and a faint outline of the end of Point Loma can be seen in the right background.

This is essentially the same view I had every day from about 1947 to 1955 when this room was my bedroom, and from 1955 to 1968 when the sunroom (added on in 1927) was my bedroom. Of course, by then the city had been built up all around this house, but I could still see the taller buildings in downtown San Diego, the end of Point Loma, and more.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Searching the Rootsweb Mailing List Archives

Way back in the heady early days of online genealogy, many researchers leaped on the Rootsweb Mailing Lists found these days at A researcher could (and still can) subscribe to a surname, locality, topic or organization mailing list, and receive each message via email. The emails arrive as either single messages, or in a digest of one or more messages each day.

Did you know that the archives of over 30,000 mailing lists are still available, dating back to them id 1990s? The mailing list archives can be searched by:

* List name and then year and month, in thread format

* The entire archive can be searched at If you choose the "Advanced Search" tab, then you can search ALL mailing lists in this system (over 36 million messages) by:

** Keywords in the body of the message (and you can use quotes to find specific people)
** Keywords in the Title of the message
** From: put an email address in the field
** List: put in a specific list
** Date: put in a specific date (e.g., 2009, Jun 2009, 21 Jun 2009)

The search results provide a list of matches, and it seems like the highest ranked matches have the keywords grouped.

Some things you can find do using this Archiver site:

* Find a later email address for a submitter. For instance, my email address in 1998 was If someone wanted to contact me, they could search the archives with my name and use, say, 2010 in the Date field, and see a current email address.

* Other researchers working on the same family. I usually search for a combination of the husband's and wife's surnames, e.g. [Carringer Spangler] or search for husband's and wife's full names, e.g., [Martin Carringer Mary Hoax], or a person's full name with a place name, e.g., [thomas dill eastham].

* Posts about specific topics, e.g., [Ireland church records], [Virginia probate records], [reasonably exhaustive search], etc.

* Your own past mailing list posts - what you sent out and/or commented upon. This is a better archive than saving email posts in your email program.

* Select a specific list, and read it month by month rather than subscribing to it via email. For instance, I browse the Dodge County, Wisconsin (WIDODGE-L) and Jefferson County, New York (NYJEFFER-L) mailing lists occasionally rather than subscribe to them.

You can find a specific mailing list by searching on the page - put some keywords in the "Find a mailing list" field.

This Mailing List Archive is especially useful when you are starting the survey part of a genealogy search - you're trying to find what other researchers have found.

FamilySearch Standard Finder - Post 1

One of the projects on the FamilySearch Labs site is the Standard Finder. The Labs site describes it as:

"With Standard Finder you can search for a standardized name, date or place based on your input. The Standard Finder will present the standards that will be used in future releases of new FamilySearch. Come and try out your historical and current entries and understand how the system will interpret your input. Use filtered results to see what we think the best match would be or uncheck filtered results to see all the possible standards. Then send us feedback on how the system can do better."

There are five tabs on the Standard Finder site - for Name, Date, Place, Preview and Resources. In this post, we'll look at the first three tabs.

On the "Name" tab, I entered my surname "seaver" and saw:

The site provides variant spellings for the surname, apparently gleaned from some unknown list. A different list appears for "seaver" as a first name.

The "Date" tab provides some logical information. After some experimentation, I entered "3/5/1659" in the search field and saw:

The site said that the date was ambiguous - either 5 March 1659 or 3 May 1659. However, it didn't say that it was 5 March 1658/1659 or 5 March 1659/1660 which is what I expected to cover the double-date created by the Julian calendar issue.

The "Place" tab permits the user to type in a place name. I chose to put in "wano, kansas" since I've heard that Wano is a ghost town. Will it find it? Here is the result:

This screen has several links. There is one for the Place Name (Wano township > Cheyenne > Kansas > United States), one for the Geo Code (39.69028 N, 101.8125 W(, and one for the Identification Number (439087).

I clicked on the Place Name and saw:

There are 13 items on this list, mainly churches and cemeteries, plus the town of Saint Francis.

Clicking on the Geo code link brings up a Google map of the area with a stickpin locating Wano township.

The user can manipulate the Google map to zoom in or out, change to a satellite map or a hybrid map, etc. The map is much smaller than the Google map that you can use at . This is an excellent resource for finding the latitude and longitude of a place.

Why did FamilySearch create this Standard Finder tool? They are using the standard name, date and place entries for the rest of the new and improved FamilySearch web site - including the Record Search Pilot site, the FamilySearch Beta site and the new FamilySearch Family Tree site.

We'll look at the Preview and Resources tabs in the next post.

Tombstone Tuesday - Oral Love (1900-1951)

It's Tombstone Tuesday, and I'm posting posting "interesting" photographs of gravestones and monuments from my photo collection, since I've run out of photos of tombstones of my own ancestors or relatives.

This gravestone commemorates Oral Love, born in 1900 and died in 1951.

I do not know where this gravestone is located. A Google search, a Find-A-Grave search, a USGenWeb Archives search, and an search does not list this stone.

There are at least three other gravestones for Oral Love posted on the Internet -

Does anyone know where this particular gravestone for Oral Love lies?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Whew! Back to the future?

My genealogy pursuits seem to rotate between genealogy speaking and teaching, my own family history research and database management, and doing research for others.

In the past three months, the focus has been on the first item - the speaking and teaching. I counted it up, and I've done the following since May:

* Teach Genealogy 101 Workshop for Chula Vista Genealogical Society (4 two-hour sessions, new presentations and handouts).

* Present "Wikis for Genealogy" at Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) (one-hour, new presentation and handout)

* Present "Using Effectively" at San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society (SDJGS) (1.5 hour, significantly revised presentation and handout)

* Teach "Beginning Computer Genealogy Class at OASIS in San Diego (4 two-hour sessions, revised presentations and handouts)

* Talk on Blogger Panel #1 at SCGS Genealogy Jamboree (Q&A session, no handout)

* Present "Using Effectively" at Chula Vista Genealogical Society (1.5 hour, slightly revised presentation and handout)

* Present "Using Effectively" at Corona Genealogical Society (1.5 hour, slightly revised presentation and handout)

* Present "Finding Your Elusive Ancestor: Doing a Reasonably Exhaustive Search" at Genealogical Society of North Orange County California (GSNOCC) (1 hour, significantly revised presentation and handout)

* Present "Using the Old and New" at Chula Vista Genealogical Society (2 hours, new presentation and handout).

Fifteen speaking efforts in about ten weeks. It's been fun, but tiring, and the preparation has really cut into my blogging time and my personal research time. I have nothing on the speaking/teaching calendar until October when I do the OASIS class again. Or until somebody else asks me!

For the next two months, I'm going to try to do more work in my genealogy database - fixing my source citations, eliminating duplicate persons, combining duplicate places, etc. I will also try to find more information for some of my ancestral families for which I have nothing in my Research Notes - I may have material to enter from my paper collections (if I can find them). I'm looking at my bookcases of research notebooks and thinking that I can probably triage many of them - weed out the useless papers, review the useful pages and enter material into my Notes, and integrate the papers in the "to be filed" piles into the notebooks.

I also need to start going to the Family History Center more often. I've been exactly "zero" times so far this year - that's embarrassing! There are plenty of microfilms that can be ordered, reviewed and images captured therefrom - just need to get off the keyboard and into the Mercury and tool up the freeway to the FHC.

My one-name studies of Seaver, Carringer, Auble, Buck and Dill have sort of been ignored for the past several years - and there are many new databases just waiting to be mined for information about these families. Doing that is "fun" work and I'm going to try to do more of it, but I need a "plan" to make sure I check the available databases once.

Then there is the research work for other persons. I have several projects on hold and hope to be able to finish them in the next few months.

Of course, Grandpa Camp with grandson Lucas is in August, and we expect to see the grandgirls once or twice each month, and we will probably go up to the Bay area in September to see the grandboys and Linda's brother's family.

CVGS Program on 28 July - Susi Pentico on "Vital Records"

The July program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society is on Wednesday, 28 July at 12 noon in the auditorium of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista).

After a brief business meeting, the program speaker will by CVGS member Susi Pentico on "Vital Records and Where You May Find Them."

The program description includes:

Do you really know what is a Vital Record?

This presentation will be filled with some of the very “normal” places to find Vital Records. It will also provide some neat tips on some unconventional places to find information and will share some unconventional methods used to find vital records.

Susi Pentico has been a genealogy speaker for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society for more than ten years. She has given talks throughout the county over the past seven years and has been a research specialist for over fifteen years online, working previously with the old Golden Gate Forum, and with two other online genealogy sites that are no more. She currently co-hosts a class on with old friend Rita Ely regarding Vital Records. They have done this for three plus years, but only recently moved to Susi has been researching her ancestry since she was about 20 years old.

This program is free for all to attend. Please enter the auditorium through the Library Conference Room to sign in, pick up the program and presentation handout, have a drink and a snack, and chat with other genealogists. More information about this program, or about CVGS in general, please contact Barbara at 619-477-4140 or

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784)

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. 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."

My subject today is the probate records of Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784) of Westford, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Zacharish married Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812) in 1753 and they had twelve children between 1754 and 1775.

Zachariah Hildreth died testate, and his probate records are in Middlesex County [MA] Probate Records, Packet #11,391 (accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,397,093). The will reads:

"In the name of God, Amen. The ninth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty one.

"I, Zachariah Hildreth of the town of Westford in the County of Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Gentleman, being sick and weak in body but of a sound disposing mind, Thanks be given to God. Therefore, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that this appointed to all men once to die, do ordain and make this my last will and testament, that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul to God that gave it, hoping thro' the merits and my Saviour Jesus Christ to have full and free pardon of all my sins and to inherit everlasting life; and my Body I commit to the Earth to be decently buried.

"And as touching such worldly estate wherwith it hath pleased Almighty God to bestow upon me and bless me within this worldly life, I give devise and dispose of in the following manner and form, viz:

"Imprimus, I will and order that all my just Debts, Funeral and Probate charges shall be paid and discharged in convenient time after my decease by my Executors hereafter named.

"Item, I will and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth two cows and one heifer such as she shall choose out of my stock of cows after my decease and one swine, two sheep and two lambs, also two Feather Beds and Beding, and the one half of my household furniture and also the one third part of all my possessions that I shall die ... and possessed of to be by her my said wife freely possessed of to enjoyed and to be at her own dispose forever.

"I will to my beloved wife Elisabeth the use and improvement of my Clock and Case of drawers and the one half of my dwelling house thro'out and half the cellar with the Liberty of using the well and laying wood near the House for her conveniency, also the use and improvement of half the Barn and a small enclosed piece of grass ground lying behind my said barn with liberty of passing and repassing to and from my said barn; and the use of a ... and my pannel and third part of my liquor mill, also the use and improvement of my Causeway piece of land on all my fore side piece, so called, and my pasture and other land lying at or on Clay pit Hill so called, also one acre of wood lying near my Blodget's place so called, and the one half of my plough land lying on the pine plain so called, and the one third part of my pond lot so called. Also the use of a pair of oxen and husbandry tools so far as is necessary for the improvement of the land aforesaid in a Good and proper manner and for her comfort and good conveniency, the improvement and use of which to be by her my beloved. But after the decease of my said wife or if she shall marry then I will that the premises aforesaid that I have willed her the use and improvement of be divided, apportioned and settled among my four sons, namely Timothy, James, Jonas and Jesse and my six daughters namely Elizabeth, Esther, Lucy, Ruth, Ede and Hitty in the same form and manner as the Residue of my estate is to be divided among them as shall in this last will and testament hereafter be set forth and willed.

"Item. I will to my son Zachariah to his heirs and assigns forever five shillings lawful silver money to be paid in one year after my decease by my Executors hereafter named.

"Item. I will to my daughter Hannah five pounds lawfull silver money to be at her own dispose forever to be paid in one year after my decease by my Executors hereafter named and the reason I give them my son Zachariah and daughter Hannah no more is because I have given them portions out of my estate already.

"I will to my son Timothy his heirs and assigns forever my yoke of oxen ... riding that was... my beloved wife be not debarred the use of oxen...her improvement as aforesaid.

"Item. I will to my daughter Hitty and her heirs and assigns forever at three years ... with her Mother till she shall ... to the age of eighteen years except she should marry before that age ... which time she is to receive the same or its value.

"Item. I will and bequeath to my sons Timothy, James, Jonas and Jesse to their heirs and assigns all land lying and being in Townsend in the said county of Middlesex with all the appurtenances to ... sons Timothy, James, Jonas and Jesse equally and freely possessed and enjoy forever. Also I will to my said sons Timothy, James, Jonas and Jesse all my wearing apparel to be equally divided among them and by them to be freely enjoyed forever.

"Item. I will and bequeath to my Sons Timothy, James, Jonas and Jesse and to my daughters Elisabeth, Esther, Lucy, Ruth, Ede and Hitty to their heirs and assigns forever all the residue of my Estate of all sorts both real moveable and personal that is mine in possession or reversion that I have not herein otherwise particularly disposed of and except as herein excepted to be by these my said sons and daughters freely possessed and enjoyed forever. That is I will that each of my sons Timothy, James, Jonas and Jesse shall have two parts and that each of my said daughters Elisabeth, Esther, Lucy, Ruth, Ede and Hitty shall have one part the same to be ascertained and determined by a just appraisal. ... nevertheless I reserve to my son Timothy the use and privilege of holding the residue of my lands and other real moveable and personal estate as aforesaid providing that he my said son Timothy shall pay to my sons James, Jonas and Jesse their particular parts when they shall arrive to the age of twenty one years, from time to time as they come to that age without interest providing that the first of said legacies be not paid till one year after my decease except sickness or misfortunes shall make it necessary that the whole or part should be paid sooner and further providing that he my son Timothy shall pay to each of ... my last mentioned six daughters as shall be of the age of eighteen years at my decease the one half of their particular part as aforesaid within one year after my decease without interest and the other half part within two years after my decease without interest excepting that sickness or misfortune or their marrying should make it necessary that the whole or part should be paid sooner. And also pay to the others of my last mentioned six daughters that shall not be of the age of eighteen years at my decease their particular part or portions as aforesaid when or as they shall each arrive to the age of eighteen years without interest providing that may or any of them do not arrive to that age untill two years after my decease excepting that sickness misfortune or marrying so make it necessary that the whole or part hereof should be paid sooner, ... encourage the paying out of the legacies aforesaid, and to prevent many ... in my lands and real estate ... as aforesaid. I will that if ... profits, increase of the bequeathed residue of my estate as aforesaid are not sufficient to defray the publick and necessary taxes shall be assessed on said estate at any time in ... till the expiration of the ... in which the last legacy of my last mentioned four sons and six daughters becomes payable, so that the real estate as aforesaid shall be broke in upon for payment, that then in such case each of my last mentioned four sons and six daughters are each to bear their particular proportion thereof according to ... each own part for that purpose. I will that part... four sons and six daughters who shall ... of their said part previous to the expiration of said . ... shall at the receiving thereof give an obligation to ... his or her proportion of legacy in case the real estate shall be broke in upon for the payment of taxes as aforesaid.

"I will that in case my son Timothy shall decline to hold the land and refuse to pay out as before said, the particular legacies that then my son James shall have the liberty and privilege of holding the land and paying the legacies to all intents and purposes that my son Timothy has reserved for him in this my last will and testament. But if both my sons Timothy and James shall refuse... with cash or to hold the land and pay the legacies as aforesaid that then I will my residue of estate as aforesaid shall be divided and set off to my said mentioned four sons and six daughters as near or may be in the same proportion form and manner as is in this will before set forth namely the sons to have two parts and the daughters one part.

"And I will likewise appoint constitute make and ordain Asaph Fletcher of Westford aforesaid physician and my said son Timothy to be my only executors of this my last will and testament.

"And I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke and disannul all and every other former testaments wills and legacies bequests and executors by me many ways before this time named willed and bequested, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day and year herein before written."
............................................................................ Zechariah Hildreth

"Signed sealed pronounced and declared by the said Zachariah Hildreth as his last will and testament in presence of us the subscribers."
Oliver Sterns,
Peter Hildreth,
Jonathan Hildreth

The inventory of the estate of Zachariah Hildreth was taken 25 July 1785 by a committee of Jonas Prescott, John Abbotsam and Joseph Jewett. Personal property totaled 181 pounds, 7 shillings, and 1 pence, and the real estate was valued at 582 pounds, 13 shillings. It was sworn to by Timothy Hildreth on 21 September 1785.

Timothy Hildreth provided his account of the payments from the estate as follows on 22 September 1790:

"Balance of his former accounts 22 Sept 1790 ..................... L 49:19:00

"cash paid and services rendered as follows:
to Doctor Charles Proctor ................................................ L 1:07:06
paid Thomas Brown ........................................................ 29:15:00
John Robins ...................................................................... 1:06:05
William Whiteing ............................................................ 25:00:00
Samuel Richardson ............................................................ 0:12:00
Ede Hildreth ................................................................... 30:00:00
Jonas Hildreth ................................................................ 51:00:00
Ruth Hildreth ................................................................. 25:00:00
paid to Joshua Reed, guardian of Jesse and Hitty Hildreth 76:00:00
---------------------------------------------------------------------- L 286:19:11

To examaning attorney and recording of this account .... 0:08:06
--------------------------------------------------------------------- L 287:08:05

There are quite a few parts of the will that were not decipherable - those parts are denoted by ellipses ( ... ).

Zachariah Hildreth died with a number of young children, and he tried to provide for them in his will, and it appears that the executor, Timothy Hildreth, tried to distribute the estate according to his father's will. It appears that a son's portion was 51 pounds and a daughter's portion was 25 pounds (Zachariah willed each son a double portion and each daughter a single portion). There are payments to William Whiting (the husband of daughter Lucy Hildreth, 25 pounds), daughter Ede Hildreth (30 pounds), son Jonas Hildreth (51 pounds) and Ruth Hildreth (25 pounds), and the guardian of Jesse Hildreth (51 pounds) and Hitty Hildreth (25 pounds). In addition, 29 pounds was given to Thomas Brown, who was the husband of daughter Esther Hildreth. That accounts for payments to seven of the children. Son Zachariah Hildreth and daughter Hannah (married to another Timothy Hildreth) were given their portions previously. That leaves Timothy himself, son James Hildreth (who died in 1789 before Timothy distributed the estate), and daughter Elizabeth Hildreth (who married Samuel Richardson) without a specific distribution. Samuel Richardson appears on the list of cash paid above - perhaps he borrowed against his wife's portion over the years and the 12 shillings paid off her portion.

Deed records may disclose the location of the family farm and the other properties owned by Zachariah Hildreth. They may also disclose if the real estate was broken up as part of the distribution or if Timothy stayed on the farm, and if his mother stayed on the farm until her death in 1812.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 18-24 July 2010

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:

* Four Tried and True Systems for Organizing Genealogy Research by Denise Levenick on The Family Curator blog. Denise provides links to several file organization systems - good advice for the paper stackers and packrats like me.

* Quantum Genealogy by Daniel Hubbard on the Personal Past Meditations - A Genealogical Blog. Daniel has deep thoughts and interesting parallels of genealogy with quantum mechanics.

* Whirlwind Family Connections - My Big Fat Genealogy Adventure by Greta Koehl on Greta's Genealogy Bog. Greta found a cousin and much more through This adventure has barely begun - road trip!

* John Drake of Windsor, Conn. Redux by Martin Hollick on The Slovak Yankee blog. Martin objectively addresses a commenter's erroneous information. This is a great example of doing it civilly and logically. This type of work has to be done by all of us.

* Docu-Challenge: Charles W. Player death certificate by Pat Richley on the DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog. It's great to see Pat doing what she does best - teach and blog! This is an instructive challenge for readers - what are your responses? Make a comment and perhaps win the Greenwood book. Pat has a pretty new blog look too - I love it!

* Genealogical Confidence Game by JT on the filioagnostic blog. JT describes something that all researchers need to be aware of if they are researching "famous" surnames. He does a fine job of debunking a Sir Francis Drake fantasy civilly and logically. Bravo!

* Can You Do Genealogy Without Technology? by Shauna Hicks on the Shauna Hicks Historical Enterprises blog. Interesting question posed by Shauna. She tried! It's possible, but we sure do like our toys, don't we?

* "Hey, Can you Give Me the Family Genealogy?" by Polly Kimmitt on the Pollyblog blog. Polly wants to share her research at the family reunion, and shares her plans for getting information from the relatives.

* Additional “Best” Free Websites for 2010 by Kory Meyerink on The ProGenealogists (R)Genealogy Blog. Kory has suggestions for researchers to add to the Family Tree Magazine list.

* Genealogy Treasure Hunt by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog. Lorine has more good ideas (read her other ones too!) for involving children in genealogy. I can hardly wait to start with my grandkids (without their moms knowing about it, of course!).

* The genealogy video game by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog. An interesting conversation reported by James - is this how most people view online family tree data? I hope not - if so, we are doomed!

Other "Best of..." weekly pick posts are here:

* Weekly Genealogy Picks by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog. John also links to other weekly pick posts.

* Follow Friday: 23 July 2010 by Greta Koehl on Greta's Genealogy Bog.

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 650 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.