Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Hallowe'en Personality

Hey Genea-Zombies, it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go take the Hallowe'en Personality quiz at

2)  Post it on your own blog, as a comment on this blog, or on your Facebook page.

3)  Tell us if this is "right on" or note.  Have fun with it!

Here's mine:

You're a friendly person, but not the life of the party. You like making someone else's day - and you'll dress up if you think of a really fun costume.

You are an overachiever and quite popular. You'd save the world if you could.

Your inner child is curious, brainy, and maybe even a little gross.

You truly fear the dark side of humanity. You are a true misanthrope.

You're logical, rational, and not easily effected. Not a lot scares you... especially when it comes to the paranormal.

You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. You like your Halloween costume to be basic, well made, and conventional enough to wear another year.

This comes pretty close, I think, to the real Randy, at least as far as the choices provided go. 

Now I have to go find my Genea-Man costume!  Maybe I'll go trick or treating with my pedigree chart on All Hallows Eve! 

Surname Saturday - MARTIN (England > NH > NJ)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 127, who is Sarah Martin (ca 1792-1860), one of my 4th-great-grandparents.  This post completes my 4th great-grandparents on Surname Saturday!

My ancestral line back through seven generations of MARTIN families is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

6. Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976)
7. Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977)

14. Charles Auble (1849-1916)
15. Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952)

30. James Abraham Kemp (1831-1902)
31. Mary Jane Sovereen (1840-1874)

62. Alexander Sovereign (1814-1907)
63. Eliza Putman (1820-1895)

126. John Putman, born before 27 September 1785 in Walpack, Sussex County, NJ1; died 10 May 1863 in Delhi, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA. He was the son of 252. Peter Victorse Putman and 253. Sarah Mary Kinnan. He married about 1810 in probably Seneca County, NY.

127. Sarah Martin, born 07 March 1792 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ; died 21 December 1860 in Delhi, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.

Children of John Putman and Sarah Martin are:  Peter W. Putman (1812-1882); Martin Mulford Putman (1816-1892); Isaac Kinnan Putman (1819-????); Eliza Putman (1820-1895); Rebecca Putman (1822-1852); Mary Putman (1825-1912); Martha Putman (1829-????); William C. Putman (1834-????).

254. Mulford Martin, born about 1763 in South Amboy, Middlesex, NJ. He married about 1788 in Perth Amboy, Middlesex, NJ.
255. Betsey Rolfe, born 1766 in Perth Amboy, Middlesex, NJ. She was the daughter of 510. Ephraim Rolfe and 511. Sarah Campbell.

Children of Mulford Martin and Betsey Rolfe are:  Rolfe Martin (1788-????); Moses Martin (1790-????); Sarah Martin (1792-1860); Timothy Martin (1794-????); Mulford Martin (1801-????); Phoebe Martin (1807-1874).

508. Thomas Martin, born 1737 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ; died before 19 October 1767 in South Amboy, Middlesex, NJ.  He married15 February 1762 in Middlesex, NJ.
509. Elizabeth Ayers, born about 1745 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ. She was the daughter of 1018. James Ayers and 1019. Hope Bloomfield.

Children of Thomas Martin and Elizabeth Ayers are:  Mulford Martin (1763-????); Thomas Martin (1765-????).

1016. Mulford Martin, born 22 September 1713 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ; died 1743 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ. He married before in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ.
1017. Zerviah Dunham, born 11 November 1716 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ; died before 1741 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ. She was the daughter of 2034. Ephraim Dunham and 2035. Phebe Smalley.

Children of Mulford Martin and Zerviah Dunham are: Mulford Martin (1733-1788); Thomas Martin (1737-1767); Catherine Martin (1739-1755).

2032. Peter Martin, born 19 August 1693 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ; died before 17 March 1756 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ.  He married  in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ.
2033. Marie Mulford, born 1693 in East Hampton, Suffolk, NY; died before 1731 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ. She was the daughter of 4066. Thomas Mulford and 4067. Mary Conkling.

Children of Peter Martin and Marie Mulford are:  Rhoda Martin (1712-????); Mulford Martin (1713-1743); Zerviah Martin (1715-1755); Thomas Martin (1718-????).

4064. Benjamin Martin, born 1659 in Dover, Strafford, NH; died 02 March 1731/32 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ.  He married 10 November 1688 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ.
4065. Margaret Alston, born About 1659. She was the daughter of 8130. Peter Ellstone.

Children of Benjamin Martin and Margaret Alston are:  Samuel Martin (1689-1740); Mary Martin (1691-????); Peter Martin (1693-1756).

8128.  John Martin, born 1620 in Norton, Morell, Warwickshire, England; died 05 July 1687 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ. He married  1646 in Dover, Strafford, NH.
8129. Hester Roberts, born 1626 in ENGLAND; died 06 December 1687 in Piscataway, Middlesex, NJ. She was the daughter of 16258. Thomas Roberts and 16259. Rebecca Hilton.

Children of John Martin and Hester Roberts are:  John Martin (1647-1704; Mary Martin (1649-1694); Martha Martin (1653-1694); Lydia Martin (1655-1731); Joseph Martin (1657-1723); Benjamin Martin (1659-1732); James Martin (1669-1676).

This Martin line is one of the newest additions to my ancestral database.  Mark Putman found the link to the parents of Sarah Martin, wife of Peter Putman, and I've "name collected" in the best resources that I could find.  Many of the Piscataway births, marriages and deaths are recorded in Piscataway and Woodbridge, New Jersey; Extracts of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1676-1784 on FHL Microfilm 0,946,001 which are extracts from the town records by William A. Whitehead.  A recent book that includes this Martin family is by Louise Martin Mohler, The Martin Family of America, published by William Hesler, rev. 1987.

Several of the the Martin males in my ancestral line died relatively young.  Some had children by more than one wife.  There are will abstracts for several of them in the New Jersey Archives.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Genealogical Treats at FamilySearch Beta - New Collections

While I was out pursuing real-life opportunities yesterday, Paul Nauta of FamilySearch sent out a press notice about new additions to the FamilySearch Beta Historical Record Collections.  Here is the press release:

No Halloween Trick, Just Genealogical Treats
Over 2 million records from 6 countries now available

October 27, 2010: People with ancestors from Ghana now have free online access to valuable census records, the first images from that African country to be published on FamilySearch. Other new collections include over two million indexed records from Germany, Norway, Puerto Rico, and three U.S. states: Arkansas, Idaho, and Minnesota. Search these records now at

 See the chart below for the complete list of newly added or updated collections.

Project: - Indexed Records - Digital Images - Comments 
  • Germany, Ludwigshafen Church Record Extractions and Family Registers:  106,564 digital images - New indexed records  
  • Germany, 1890 - Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census: 31,499 indexed records - Additional images added
  • Ghana, 1982-1984 - Census: 458,716 digital images - New indexed records added
  • Norway, 1875 - Census: 41,701 indexed records - Additional images added
  • Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1836-2001:  3,763 indexed records - Additional images added
  • U.S., Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957: 94,181 indexed records; 43,301 digital images - Additional records and images added
  • U.S., Idaho, County Marriages, 1864-1950: 148,053 indexed records; 62,274 digital images - New indexed records and images
  • U.S., Minnesota State Census, 1905:  1,973,884 indexed records; 52,150 digital images - New indexed records and images
  • U.S., Minnesota, State Census, 1865:  3,396 indexed records - New indexed records
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

These collections are, in some cases, incomplete.  They are all new to the FamilySearch Beta site, and they do not appear on the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot site.  Therefore, it is incumbent on researchers to not use the Record Search Pilot site if you are doing a global search for a person - use the FamilySearch Beta site.

For reference purposes, the FamilySearch Beta site now has 477 collections available, while the Record Search Pilot site has 443.  There are no "red stars" on the Record Search Pilot sites since they have not added any new content there since late September.

Thank you to Paul and FamilySearch for providing an easy way to determine what is new in this record release. 

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of FamilySearch. FamilySearch has not remunerated me in any way to write this article.

FamilySearch Bloggers Day - Software Community

One of the presentations on the FamilySearch Bloggers Day (21 October) was by Gordon Clarke (Software Community Manager) speaking on "FamilySearch Software Community: Collaborating Technology to Increase the Frequency of Patron Success."

As part of New FamilySearch, they have been working with software developers to create open source or commercial products that can access and use the FamilySearch platform.  FamilySearch offers an Application Programming Interface (API) to facilitate this access.  Some of these developers have been certified in certain functions to work with the FamilySearch Family Tree, and conform to FamilySearch standards and systems.  You can see the FamilySearch list of Certified Affiliates at

Here are the notes I made for myself and my Twitter audience during this presentation (with a time stamp; #FSBlogDay is the Twitter hashtag useful for collecting tweets; times are PDT, MDT times were one hour later):

#FSBlogDay Gordon Clarke on FS Software Community: cat herder video, who knew? metaphor for software folks? 11:35 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Software: mobile, desktop and web applications. more data, records, images, websites, software - all for FS integration 11:37 AM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Software: direct companies/programmers to 11:38 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay software: they discover, develop, certify and market software that integrates with FamilySearch 11:41 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay software: 776 members, 439 in sandbox, etc. 11:41 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay software: "web services" API - list of them on link at 11:43 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay - 3 products - FamilyTree features, FamilySearch features, others - cemetery, collaborate, DNA, geo-mapping, media, wiki, etc. 11:43 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay software: do they meet minimum standards to certify? No judgment or rating due to non-profit LDS status. Community can rate 11:46 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay software: new certified: TreeSeek; Mac Family Tree; Traces of the Past iPhone; Cemetery Maps; ChArtist by Generation Maps 11:47 AM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay: software: many more, see the list! Try them out. Group software for working together. 11:49 AM Oct 21st
Here are some of the significant points that I heard and saw in this presentation:
1.  The funniest video of the day was played at the beginning of this talk by Gordon - have you seen the Cat Herder video here?  Gordon likened this to working with software developers. 
2.  Software developers that want to interact with the FamilySearch Family Tree (FSFT) can obtain an API at Gordon noted that there are 776 members of the DevNet site, and 439 are working in the "sandbox" to connect to FSFT.  There are aslo 532 web service affiliates.  Of these, there are only 24 Certified affiliates, of which 23 access the FSFT and only 1 accesses the Research Wiki.
3.  The list of the Certified Affiliates are at  Each product has a description, and a list of the features that can be used in FSFT.  The definition of the features is at the bottom of the web page. The Certified affiliates include:
 4.  There are also Related Products and Services that are not specifically designed for the New FamilySearch Family Tree (some of the above sites are on this list also - I added their features to the list above):
5.  FamilySearch will make no judgment or rating as to the "best" software or website service in each category - they will let the market sort it out.  Theoretically, users will find and use the "best" service. 

6.  He noted that Individual Software will provide more privacy, features and processing power than group software or public websites.  The Public Collaborative Software on websites invite everyone to search, post and comment on information and conclusions that everyone can see.  Group Software is for working together on gathering information about persons, places and events.

7.  There was no demonstration of how all of these Certified software applications will work with the New FamilySearch Family Tree.  Obviously, the LDS Ordinance features will work on that part of the FSFT available only to LDS church members.  Desktop genealogy software will be able to "Sync" to the FSFT (upload data to FSFT, download data from FSFT) for user-selected persons.  Collaboration (discussions about persons, places, events, sources, etc.) may occur through the Group or Collaboration websites.  The Media software and websites will enable adding images and other media to persons in the FSFT.  Users of FSFT will be able to use the Print services to print out reports and charts (or contract out the printing for a fee). 

8.  This presentation went by very quickly, and it is potentially the most important presentation for users interacting with the FamilySearch Family Tree.  A user can see videos on several websites on how these Family Tree interactions might work - Legacy Family Tree has some, as does RootsMagic, and I'm sure that others will also.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of FamilySearch. FamilySearch paid my way to this Bloggers Day in Salt Lake City, including airfare, hotel, some meals and incidental expenses. I am trying to be as objective as possible. I really appreciate FamilySearch's efforts to inform the genealogy community about their products and capabilities.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

FamilySearch Bloggers Day - FamilySearch Indexing

One of the first presentations on the FamilySearch Bloggers Day (21 October) was by Jim Ericson (Software Community Manager) speaking on "Volunteer Indexing: Unlocking the World's Records One Name at a Time."

FamilySearch has been digitizing images from historical record collections in their Granite Mountain microfilm stash since 1998, and has been indexing some of those collections using volunteer indexers since 2006.  You can see the Familysearch Indexing information - including current, completed and future project lists - at  This presentation covered the FamilySearch Indexing history, accomplishments and their goals for the future.

Here are the notes I made for myself and my Twitter audience during this presentation (with a time stamp; #FSBlogDay is the Twitter hashtag useful for collecting tweets; times are PDT, MDT times were one hour later):

#FSBlogDay Jim Ericson next about FamilySearch Indexing - started with 11 donated volumes in 1894 8:34 AM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay target is 200 million names in 2010, over 750 million online now from over 100 nations 8:35 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay FS records in vault, can't just put it all online. Renegotiate digital rights for many collections 8:35 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay microfilming started in 1938 to capture records, now scanning and digitizing and indexing before publishing online 8:36 AM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay over 2.4 million rolls of film, over 1 million microfiche, over 3.5 billion images, getting 40,000 rolls per year (equivalent) 8:38 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay over 1/3 images digitized 1.1% of images online, 2.6% of indexes published. 500 million new records online in 2010 8:39 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay some collections are not images, only indexes. Some collections are easy to navigate, some aren't 8:42 AM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay now almost 500 million names index by over 375,000 volunteers 8:43 AM Oct 21st via web

#FSBlogDay doing 1930 census now - adding more fields to index to improve index. YAY! Needed A and B teams 8:45 AM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Ideal Partner Profile: partner IDs collection that fits need of many users, recruits local volunteers with expertise 8:46 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay promote project through society and media, outside volunteers can help complete project 8:47 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay listing upcoming indexing projects - probably on FamilySearch Indexing project site 8:48 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Current needs/challenges: about 10 years to complete digitization of Vault. would take 300 years to index at present rate 8:50 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay expanding internationally, but need people with language skills (only 5% of records being indexed are non-English) 8:51 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Why index? new skills - paleography, transcription, genealogy research, meaningful service, pay it forward, add content 8:54 AM Oct 21st
#FSBlogDay don't need language skills to index many records - there are helps, word lists, etc. 8:56 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Q: how will redirection work to new FamilySearch website - not enough functionality on Beta site yet, need rigor! 8:58 AM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay All released records are on Beta, not on Record Search, a "new collection" indicator will soon appear YAY! 8:59 AM Oct 21st

Some of the issues that Jim shared in his presentation that were of interest to me:

1.  The start of the FamilySearch record collection was in 1894 with the donation of 11 books to the Genealogical Society of Utah.  The collection grew in order to fulfill the genealogy needs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and is funded by church donations.

2.  The Online Record Access process includes acquisition of the record collection, scanning and digitizing it, indexing it, and publishing it online.

3.  The Granite Mountain Records Vault currently has over 2.4 million rolls of microfilm, over 1 million microfiche.  The Vault is adding the equivalent of over 40,000 rolls of microfilm each year.  All of the films and fiche contain over 3.5 billion pages (images) of family history information. 

4.  Digitization of the Vault collection began in 1998, and 12 years later about one-third of the images have been digitized (so, about 1.2 billion images).  However, only 1.1% of the total number of images are published online (so, about 38 million images) from the collection.  About 2.6% of the total number of images have indexes (so about 90 million images) available online.  More than 750 million records are now on the Beta site [What is a record?  Probably a record for a person, a name along with other indexed information for that person].

5.  The FamilySearch Indexing program has indexed more than 300 million names [I thought he said 500 million in the presentation, but the handout says 300 million] since 2006, by more than 375,000 volunteers (church members and general public).  There were 139 million names indexed in 2009, and 148 million to date in 2010.  The goal for 2010 is 200 million names indexed.  All of this is very impressive!  There are more than 750 million records available online from more than 100 nations [Why the difference between 750 and 300 million?  I think it's because FamilySearch already had millions of indexed names in their International Genealogical Record collection, and these are being added to the FamilySearch Beta collection].

6.  FamilySearchThis is one reason that many collections are being added to FamilySearch Beta site as images only, without indexes or with way-pointing and ongoing indexing. 

My view is that we may see much more of this type of historical record collection - let the users browse the collection from home online rather than have to go to the FHC to order a film and go back to read the film (there are financial consequences for this, though - the film rental fees).

7.  FamilySearch would love to have more indexing partners - persons or genealogical societies with expertise and manpower to promote and complete indexing projects.  Ideally, a local society would index a collection that is a Familysearch priority and fills the needs of both the local group and the genealogy world.

8.  Since only 5% of the indexed records to-date are non-English, they are seeking indexers with language skills beyond English.  They can help with word lists and help lists for English speakers indexing records in other languages.

9.  There are benefits to volunteer indexing - the indexer obtains knowledge about genealogy, experience in paleography (reading handwriting), transcription skills, and provides meaningful service to the genealogy community while being flexible and voluntary.

10.  All released FamilySearch Indexing projects are on the FamilySearch Beta site.  Some of the collections have been removed from the Record Search Pilot site, and some are redirected from the Record Search Pilot site to the Beta site.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of FamilySearch. FamilySearch paid my way to this Bloggers Day in Salt Lake City, including airfare, hotel, some meals and incidental expenses. I am trying to be as objective as possible. I really appreciate FamilySearch's efforts to inform the genealogy community about their products and capabilities.

Treasure Chest Thursday - Betty Carringer's Birth Record

It's Thursday, time to dig into the digital Treasure Chest of family artifacts and documents and display them.

Here is my mother's Birth Certificate of Registration from the San Diego County Recorder's Office:

This Certificate of Registration reads:

"This is to Certify, That  -- BETTY VIRGINIA CARRINGER --
was born on July 30th, 191 9, in the City of San Diego, Calif.
"That this birth was promptly reported by the attending accoucheur, as
required by law.
"If in the future a certified copy from the records of the Department of
Public Health is desired, refer to Index No.  798  , year  1919.
 "The record of this birth may be used to prove citizenship
or furnish proof of age for entering or leaving school, securing
working permit or marriage license, holding public office,
securing passports, adjusting insurance, inheriting money or
property, and securing other financial benefits.

"E.P. Charles Martin REGISTRAR

The raised "Official Seal" of the Department of Public Health, City of San Diego is affixed in the lower left-hand corner of the certificate.

I was surprised when I saw this because it has no information about the parents of Betty Carringer, their residence or their birthplaces like some of my other California birth records have. 

What does "accoucheur" mean?  A medical dictionary says "a physician specializing in obstetrics," and another source says that literally it means "one who is present at the bedside."  Another medical dictionary says "French for a male obstetrician, a physician skilled in the art and science of managing pregnancy, labor and the puerperium (the time after delivery)."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quickly Searching for FamilySearch Beta Historical Record Collections

I always want to find shortcuts - ways to quickly get to a specific historical collection on a website, and then shortcuts to find specific records.  After all, time is money... well, for retired guys like me, time is precious too.

The FamilySearch Beta site has a fantastic shortcut to get to a specific historical record collection on the site.  If you click on the "All Record Collections" link at the bottom of the home page, then you see this screen listing all Historical Record Collections:

I used to scroll down to find a specific collection in this very long list of 475 (today) collections to find the one I wanted.  Now, FamilySearch has created a shortcut to specific collections or groups of collections.

See the Search Field in the upper left-hand corner that says "Collection Name?"  Put your cursor in the field.  If you know the words or numbers in the collection name, or the state or country that you are searching, then you can start to type in the field and when you pause, the collections with that search string in their title will appear.

In the example below, I typed in "ca" and saw this list after a second or two:

It listed collections with "ca" in the title - like "California," "Canada," "Catholic," "Genealogical," "America" and several more - they all have "ca" in the collection title.

I really wanted Canada, so I continued typing in "na" to make it "cana" in the search field, and saw all of the collections with "cana" in the collection title:

Isn't that cool?  It saves me a lot of scrolling time (especially when I'm looking for the U.S. Census, which is like over 450 lines down the page of all collections).  If I want the 1870 U.S. census, I can enter "1870" in the search field and the link appears quickly.  If I want all U.S. Census records, I can type in "united" and see all of the U.S. collections, including the U.S. census collections.  Note that this quick search works with only one word in the title of the collection.  If I had used "census" I would have received all census collections - foreign, federal and state collection.  If I had specified "brunswick" I would have received New Brunswick collections, but not the Canada census records.

If you want to see all of the collections for a specific country, or a specific record type (e.g., Census and Lists; Birth, Marriage and Death;  Probate and Court; etc.), or a specific date range, there are dynamic links on the left sidebar that you can click on to see records for your selected country, category or date range.  For instance, I clicked on the "Canada, USA and Mexico" link and the list of collections came up on the right, and the country list on the left changed to show the three separate countries.  Canada has 33 collections at this time, including the federal collections and all of the provincial collections identified with Canada.

This "quick search" feature cannot be used to search for persons - you have to use the Search fields on the FamilySearch Beta home page, or go to this Historical Record Collections page and select a specific record collection (using either the long list, or using this "quick search" method to find a specific collection).

Since the list of Record Collections is changing rapidly, users of the FamilySearch Beta site should get familiar with searching for specific record collections using this quick search feature.  You just have to remember the limitations of the search method.

Thank you to Robert Kehrer of FamilySearch for demonstrating this feature to me at the FamilySearch Bloggers Day last week!

FamilySearch Blogger Day - The Current and Next FamilySearch Site

The last presentation on the FamilySearch Blogger Day (21 October) was Dan Lawyer (Senior Product Manager, FamilySearch Member Needs Division) speaking on "The Next Generation of"

FamilySearch has kept their classic website, but has created the FamilySearch Beta site at with links to many of the projects developed over the past four years (the indexed historical records, the Research Wiki, and much more).  This presentation covered the plans for the near future as they create a new that incorporates the old site and the Beta site. 

Here are the notes I made for myself and my Twitter audience during this presentation (with a time stamp; #FSBlogDay is the Twitter hashtag useful for collecting tweets):

#FSBlogDay Dan Lawyer up on The Next Generation this should be good! 3:31 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: UTGO = Uber-Techno-Genealogist-Ologist - studying genealogists using technology 3:34 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: has maps of Genealogy Workflow - has blogged about this a bit on FamilySearch Labs blog 3:35 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: "Doing Genealogy is Hard" - why? Varied life circumstances; logistic and technical hurdles; not engaging experience 3:37 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: Searches now include wild cards - but site needs search tips on how to search effectively 3:31 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: Search filters on FSBeta include places, categories, year ranges, but after initial search. 3:32 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: "We've tried to get novices to do something on FamilySearch Beta other than Search, and they won't." Interesting 3:35 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: "Getting Started" link on FSBeta - opens with step-by-step videos. Learn tab goes to Wiki, Courses, etc 3:38 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: Pedigree Resource File will be in Family Trees section of FamilySearch Beta 3:40 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: discussion about Learn tab, Getting Started, other education things. Focus is on beginning, why? 3:46 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: on list of collections, will add date added and updated - want to be able to sort by these dates. Also % complete status 3:47 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay one problem is that FamilySearch may not have ALL records in a category - user needs to know that, Wiki article should have it 3:53 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay discussing links between Historical Record page and Research Wiki page for collection and Wiki page for subject area 3:57 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: last topic - Family History Library Catalog 2.0: big fail first time around. second time better 4:02 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: fix was adding place search - user chooses from list. and category and date range searches. better! 4:03 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: integration of records in FHCs to be put into FHL Catalog in future. 4:05 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: FHL Catalog printing will be fixed - now prints what's on the page. Too much white space. 4:06 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lawyer: future catalog will have links to external sites for data, but that's longer term. 4:07 PM Oct 21st

[I don't understand why the time stamps aren't sequential above - there is a jump back at 3:37 PM to 3:31 PM - these are PDT time stamps, by the way - the actual times were one hour later in Salt Lake City.]
The Ancestry Insider has a post titled Genealogist-ologist-ologist today that discusses Dan Lawyer's description of UTGO - the Uber-Techno-Genealogist-Ologist, and more comments about why genealogy is hard.  What is an UTGO?  A technologist specializing in the study of genealogists. 
Here are some of the issues that Dan shared:
1.  "Doing Genealogy is Hard" because of the life circumstances of searchers; residing in one place and searching records from other places; the logistical and technical hurdles that need to be overcome, and it is not an engaging experience for many searchers.  I would add the need to have a logical and inquisitive mind, and the luck of having ancestors that had nuclear families and lived in places that kept records.
2.  Dan mentioned the Genealogy Workflow charts that were on the hallway walls, but he didn't show them in this presentation.  He has blogged about them on the FamilySearch Labs blog, but those posts don't show the detailed workflow.  I wish I had though to photograph them on the walls... I hope FamilySearch publishes them sometime.
3.  The FamilySearch Beta site will evolve into the site with the goals to make it:
  • easier for family and friends to work together on family history and genealogy
  • easier to access, share and preserve artifacts and records of ancestors
  • so that you don't have to be a genealogist to do genealogy
  • genealogically sound so that advanced genealogy will appreciate the way it helps people do research
  • easier to learn how to do research and to provide assistance to researchers.
4.  The FamilySearch Beta programming methodology was designed to provide user feedback early in the development process rather than late in the process - they used FamilySearch Labs for this and encouraging user feedback throughout the process.

5.  The FamilySearch Beta site has enabled search wild cards, exact matches, and search filters for localities, year ranges and record categories.  They have added links to a Research Wiki page for each collection. They have added expansion arrows to the right of each record match that expands to show the indexed information.  An upcoming modification will include the percent completion of collections and the date they were last updated. 

6.  Researchers need to understand that not every possible record is in a specific collection.  The Research Wiki article for the specific collection points this out and links to other Wiki pages for a more complete understanding.

7.  In the next six months, the Beta site should have improved search forms, more search filters, and improved result quality.  The "Getting Started" area will be enhanced, and the Pedigree Resource File data will be added to the Trees collection.

8.  Almost as an after-thought, Dan talked about the FamilySearch [Library] Catalog 2.0 (it was on the agenda, but there was no handout).  He noted that the first addition of the Catalog to the Beta site was a failure because there was no specific place search - the fix was the current dropdown selections for surname, place, etc. and then filters for record types, date range, etc.  Links will be added to the Catalog to record collections in the Historical Records, and, in the future, the Catalog will have links to external sites with digitized collections (e.g.,,, etc.).  [This was, of course, what the ephemeral GenSeek was supposed to be...]  Lastly, Dan noted that the printing of Catalog items would be improved to make better use of paper - there is too much white space if someone prints out the current Catalog page.

This session was information packed and very interesting to me - a user of the FamilySearch records.  I appreciate that FamilySearch makes the effort to develop their site by listening to user feedback - not only LDS church members but non-church users, including genea-bloggers.  While the Search engine capabilities are not as complex and sophisticated as's, they are much better now than they were on the classic site and on the Record Search Pilot site.  My guess is that they will continue to add bells and whistles, but they are trying to keep it fairly simple for beginning researchers.  The Catalog changes make sense and should be extremely useful when links to records and external sites are added.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of FamilySearch. FamilySearch paid my way to this Bloggers Day in Salt Lake City, including airfare, hotel, some meals and incidental expenses. I am trying to be as objective as possible. I really appreciate FamilySearch's efforts to inform the genealogy community about their products and capabilities.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 126: What is Betty Eating?

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.

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

This is a picture of my mother, Betty Carringer (born 1919) with her mother Emily Kemp (Auble) Carringer sitting on the running board of the family automobile (Model T Ford?) eating what looks like a large slice of watermelon (or similar fruit).  It sure looks like a watermelon, doesn't it?  And she's eaten all of it (or did her mother ate some of it?).  From Betty's size, she appears to be one or two years old, and so this picture was probably taken in 1920 or 1921.
What makes this picture really special is that Betty is grinning from ear to ear - I have very few pictures of my mother smiling or laughing as a child.  Perhaps it was because this is a candid photo - taken without posing them - taken by my grandfather.

Also, I do not have a positive memory of ever noticing this picture before - I scanned it in June during Scanfest as part of a larger batch of pictures and I do not recall the watermelon detail at all - I must have not noticed it!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Complimentary Q&A Web Chat with Sally J. for "Accidental Archivists"

I received this press release from Sally Jacobs, who writes The Practical Archivist blog:

An Accidental Archivist is someone who inherits a large family photo collection and is unsure what to do next.

Madison, WI October 25, 2010 - The Practical Archivist announced a new Q&A web chat happening on Friday, October 29, 2010 from Noon-1pm Central Time. The chat will be hosted on Sally's Practical Archivist blog,

There is no charge to participate, no pre-registration required, and no software to download.

Keepers of ancestor photos are encouraged to bring questions about how to organize, preserve and scan these treasures. Not sure what kind of box to use? Wondering whether slip-in sleeves are a good idea? Skeptical about whether an ink pen is the right tool to mark the back of a photo? Confused about the difference between ppi and dpi? Sally can help.

"'m offering this no-cost session to celebrate Family History Month and Archives Month while educating Family Archivist and encouraging them to do the best job they can," explains Sally J. (The Practical Archivist).

"Early in my career as an archivist, I realized the vast majority of historical documents would never be cared for by a professionally trained archivist. I took it as a personal challenge to reach out to family historians and help become better family archivists."

Ermadene Able is currently enrolled in Sally's Joy of Organizing Photos program, and wants other family archivists to hear her tale of narrowly-avoided disaster: "Before, my precious ancestor and family photos, movies, videos and linen heirlooms were vulnerable to damage due to the way I was storing them. Sally taught me how to store them all properly. This was good because not long after I moved them to a new location, our hot water heater flooded where some of the photos had been. How is that for timing? Thank you, Sally!"

Sally Jacobs has a Master's in Library Science with a Specialization in Archives Management, and has worked at the Library of Congress Prints and Photos Division, the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, and American Girl. Her online CV is here:

FamilySearch Blogger Day - Upcoming Collections

Another important presentation at the FamilySearch Blogger Day on 21 October was "Upcoming Collections: Millions Weekly and Climbing" by Stephen Valentine, Lynn Turner and Thomas McGill. 

 FamilySearch has been adding collections, either fully indexed or browse-only, several times each month and adding them to the list of collections at the Record Search Pilot site and the FamilySearch Beta site.  This presentation covered the FamilySearch Publication Strategy, their Collection Strategy, and their Affiliate Strategy.

Here are the notes I made for myself and my Twitter audience during this presentation (with a time stamp; #FSBlogDay is the Twitter hashtag useful for collecting tweets):

#FSBlogDay Steven Valentine up on Upcoming Collections on FamilySearch 1:49 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Valentine: strategies for publications: more records, more people, fast. treatment pyramid - image publication on bottom.. 1:51 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Valentine: light indexes, then heavy index then family linking at top. Way-pointing is light index - where to look, 100-500 images 1:52 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Valentine: use community to improve access by adding more indexing. some collections with indexes don't have rights to images 1:54 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Valentine: example: Argentina church records: 5 million images online, only 68,000 indexed to date. Will take 51 years to finish 1:55 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Valentine: need volunteers to help with way-pointing. Q: Why way-point? Let users browse images. many are easy to use 1:58 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Valentine: affiliate partnerships used; don't own many records. have right to publish. working to obtain rights 2:03 PM Oct 21st 

#FSBlogDay Valentine: cost tradeoff is browse images vs. volunteer indexing by two indexers. Also getting indexes from partners 2:04 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Lynn Turner up next on Collection Strategy. FS has global interest. They have priority list. Localities then collections 2:06 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Turner: focus on ancestral localities, then general interest, then immigration patterns, then opportunities, then operational... 2:07 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Turner: ...realities. List of 16 - US is #1, #2 is UK, 3 is Brazil, 4 is Germany, etc. Mexico, Philippines, Canada, Netherlands, 2:08 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Turner: in each locality, focus on record priority based on richness, availability, access. E.g., US state vital records 2:09 PM Oct 21st via web

#FSBlogDay Turner: in each locality, focus on record priority based on richness, availability, access. E.g., US state vital records 2:09 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Turner: plan publications with 3-5 year view, 12 month rolling plan to focus on specific collections. Plan accounts for resources etc 2:10 PM Oct 21st via web

#FSBlogDay Tom McGill: Affiliate strategy due to volume of records and digital rights to records. Can publish index and links to records 2:16 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay McGill: solutions: use volunteers, build communities, partner with affiliates, might charge for images 2:17 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay McGill: agreements vary: prefer images and indexes free of charge for everyone; next is indexes free for all, but images for ... 2:18 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay McGill: ... FS members, charge for others; another is limited index free, rich index and images for FS members, etc. 2:19 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay McGill: current affiliates: Find My Past (UK); (US Census); Footnote (US Military records, 1860 census); two more 2:20 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Valentine: FS has largest collection of free images, and free name indexes, with new collections every week. 2:21 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay Many collections that were on CD Products are online on 2:23 PM Oct 21st

#FSBlogDay FS Members are members of LDS church, FHC volunteers, some FSIndexers, and use at FHL and FHCs 2:25 PM Oct 21st

There was a lot of content presented here, and a scribe can capture only so much without having a perfect recall (not me!), so I will embellish my notes with information from the handout.

The important points I saw in this presentation were:

1.  The FamilySearch Publication Strategy is to bring more records, faster, to more people, publishing broadly and quickly, and enhance the collections with volunteer indexing over time.  They are still recruiting volunteers to add indexes.

2.  The three publication tactics are to use volunteer name indexing, publishing browseable images, and to use affiliate partnerships.

3.  A triangle with four levels was shown for publishing - image publication at the bottom, light indexing (way-pointing) above that), heavy indexing next (volunteer indexing), and family linking at the top. The browseable image collections will use way-pointing - breaking the collection up into usable segments, by locality, by years, or by first-letter indexing (i.e., A, B, C, etc. in an alphabetical collection). 

4.  The Collection Strategy is to collect and publish records from all cultures and in all localities.  However, there is a list of locality priorities, and collection priorities within those localities.  The list of 16 countries, with the collection priorities (I don't know why there weren't topic categories for all of them), were:
  • United States (Vitals, Census, Probate)
  • United Kingdom
  • Brazil (Catholic Parish and Civil Registration)
  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • Canada (Census, Vitals, Immigration)
  • Netherlands
  • France
  • Italy (Civil Registration and Catholic parish)
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Norway
  • Australia (Civil Registration, Church, Probate)
  • Argentina (Census, Catholic parish)
  • Other
5.  The Publication Strategy includes a 3 to 5 year outlook at a broad collection level.  Specific projects are put on a 12-month rolling plan.  The planning accounts for market opportunities, record custodian issues and the available volunteer workforce.

6.  The Affiliate Strategy has the goal of obtaining economical and timely access to bring as many genealogically significant records as possible to the most people by working with commercial publishers and record custodians. 

7.  Agreements with record custodians involves constraints - some permit freely available indexing and images for all, others permit free indexing for all but online images available to FamilySearch members only or at the custodian's site (behind a subscription wall), others permit free limited indexing for all and better indexing and images for FamilySearch members and at the custodian's site. 

8.  There is debate about who is a "FamilySearch member."  It definitely is LDS members, but is it also non-LDS FHC volunteers, patrons at Family History Centers, and heavy volunteer indexers?  The affiliate agreements need to better define this.

9.  The current large affiliates are Find My Past (for British records); (for US Census collections); (US Military records, 1860 US Census); Belgium National Archives (National Civil Registration, Church Records) and S&N Genealogy (British Non-Conformist Church Records, and more).

10. The status of the FamilySearch products currently available on CDROMs, mainly at Family History Centers.  The status is:
  • Canada 1881 Census - indexed data on FamilySearch Beta, future image links for FS members
  • England, Scotland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man 1881 Census - indexed data soon on FamilySearch Beta, future image links for FS members, Scotland may not be included
  • England 1851 Census - indexed data on FamilySearch Beta, future image links for FS members
  • Freedman's Bank Records - indexes and images on FamilySearch Beta
  • Korean and Vietnam Casualty Files - in future on FamilySearch Beta
  • Mormon Immigration Index - data on BYU Family History Center website, possibly on FamilySearch Beta site in future
  • Scottish Church Records - needs permission to publish on FamilySearch Beta
  • United States 1880 Census - indexed data on FamilySearch Beta, future image links for FS members
  • Vital Records Index (British Isles, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Mexico, North America) - indexed data on FamilySearch Beta, but some restricted by privacy cutoff dates or by contract
  • Vital Records Indexes(Australia) - future indexes on FamilySearch Beta.
12.  FamilySearch Beta has the largest FREE collection of indexes and images available in the genealogy universe, and is adding millions of images on a regular basis.

I had several questions before the meeting from readers about this subject, and I got answers for some of them.  I need to consult with FamilySearch people to answer several others, and will publish the responses in a later post.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of FamilySearch. FamilySearch paid my way to this Bloggers Day in Salt Lake City, including airfare, hotel, some meals and incidental expenses. I am trying to be as objective as possible. I really appreciate FamilySearch's efforts to inform the genealogy community about their products and capabilities.

Tuesday's Tip - Read the and sites

This week's Tuesday's Tip is to use State and County sites, and the sites in order to find out more about specific localities and the resources in those localities.

On the site, there are links to each State's site.  Within each State site, there are links to a site for each County.  For instance, the State of California site is and the Calaveras County site is  On this County site, there are links to user-contributed (volunteer) information about the county history, queries, the historical society, a historical newspaper, county post offices, county government, county archives, county recorder, county cemeteries, and much more.

That's just one example, picked pretty much randomly.  Many of the County websites are very extensive, and a few are fairly sparse - the volunteers determine the content on these web sites.

The USGenWeb Project also has projects - the list can be found at  The USGenWeb Archives are at and a user can search all of the Archives on all of the State and county web pages using the search fields at

When I want to know something about a specific county, the USGenWeb Project is the first website that I visit.  This may change in coming years, the FamilySearch Research Wiki and the Family History Wiki will probably have definitive information about each state and county, including links to repository and online resources.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Genealogy Blogging over 25 days

When I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader about 30 days ago for my RSS feed, I kept the Bloglines account and let it pile up the posts without reading them.  I wondered how many posts that my 670 or so genealogy blogs in Bloglines (not "all genealogy blogs" are on my list - only the ones I subscribed to) would pile up in the next 25 days.

3,739, or about 150 per day!  Of the 670 blogs on the list, 321 blogs posted at least one post during the past 25 days (about 48%).

Who were the most prolific genea-bloggers?  Here's the list of who posted at least 20 blog posts in the past 25 days:

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter - 96 posts
Genealogy Blog - 91 posts
Genea-Musings - 65 posts
Angle-Celtic Connections - 62 posts
Geneabloggers - 62 posts

Indiana Genealogical Society Blog - 46 posts
Geni Blog - 46 posts
Moultrie Creek Gazette - 44 posts
Genealogy's Star - 40 posts
MoSGA Messenger - 39 posts

Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog - 34 posts
Creative Gene - 33 posts
DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog - 32 posts
Genealogy Tip of the Day - 31 posts
A Genealogy Hunt - 31 posts

Reflections From the Fence - 29 posts
Long Lost - 28 posts
Daily Genealogy Transcriber - 27 posts
Olive Tree Genealogy Blog - 25 posts
The Wandering Genealogist - 25 posts

Nutfield Genealogy - 23 posts
Scottish GENES (GEnealogy News and EventS) - 23 posts
The Genealogy Insider - 22 posts
Gene Notes - 22 posts
The Geneaholic - 20 posts

Mike's Genealogy Blog - 20 posts
Mountain Genealogists - 20 posts

That's an interesting list, isn't it?  Are you reading each of these blogs?  Should you be?

Quantity is not as important as quality, in my opinion.  Both are important to a genea-blogger trying to become recognized as a genealogy writer or an influential communicator.

This is not a complete and totally accurate list because:

*  I don't have every genealogy blog in my Bloglines or Google Reader list. 
*  I don't guarantee that all of the posts from 1 October to 25 October were captured by Bloglines.

I just thought that the list was interesting, and that my readers might like to sample some other genealogy blogs that I read on a daily basis.

UPDATED 7:30 p.m. - corrected Mountain Genealogists link - thank you, Geolover.

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Samuel Graves (1655-1723) of Lynn MA

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."

The subject today is the probate file of Samuel Graves (1655-1723) of Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts, one of my 8th great-grandfathers.

The will of Samuel Graves of Lynn was dated 7 Dec 1723 and was proved, allowed and approved by the Court at Salem on 2 Jan 1723/4. The will reads (Essex County [Massachusetts] Probate Court Records, Packet #11,563, transcribed from copy book Volume 315, page 024, on FHL Microfilm 0,875,129):

"In the Name of God Amen. I Samll Graves senr of Lynn In the County of Essex in ye Province of ye Massachusetts Bay In New England Yeoman being sick and weak of Body but Sound in Mind and memory thanks be to God do make and ordaine this my present Last Will and Testament In Manner and forme following that is to say first and Principally I commend my Soule Into the hands of God almighty hopeing through the Merrits of Jesus Christ to have the Pardon of all my Sins and to Inherrit Everlasting Life and my body I committ to the Earth to be buried In a Deacent Manner att the Discretion of my Executor hereafter Named and as touching what worldly Estate itt hath Pleased God to bstow upon me I give and Dispose of the Same as followeth.

"Impr. That all my Just and honest Debts and funerall charges be paid by my Executr hereafter named out of my Reall Estate.

"It. I give and bequeath to my beloved Wife, Sarah all my moveable Estate within doors of what Kind soever to be att her own Disposall and the Improvement of all my outdoor Moveables dureing her Naturall Life and then to be Divided amongst my Children or such of them as my wife shall see cause. also my will is that my Sister Elisabeth Brewer shall Dwell with my Wife dureing her Naturall Life is shee see cause, to be helpful to her In her Sickness and after my wives Decease If itt so happen yt my said Sister shall have one convenient Room in my Dwelling House to Live in and the Improvement of six frute treeswhich shee sees cause Requesting my Wife to Lett her have one Cow to be att her own Disposall all which Dureing her naturall Life.

"It. I give to my Son Crispus Graves Eight pounds to be paid by my two sons Namely Samll Graves and Thomas Graves within one year after mine & Wives decease and that wth what he hath before recd to be his Portion.

"It. I give to my Son William Graves Fourteen Pounds to be paid by my said sons Samll & Thomas Graves within one year after mine and my Wives Decease and that together with what I have before given him to be his Portion.

"It. I give to my Son John Graves Sixteen Pounds to be paid by my sons Samll & Thomas Graves within one year after mine and my Wives Decease and that together with what I have other ways done for him to be his Portion.

"It. I give to my Daughter Rebeccah Collins five pounds to be paid by my said Sons Samll and Thomas Graves within one year after mine and my wives Decease and that together with what shee hath already had done for her to be her Portion.

"And my Will herein and I would be so Understood that after mine and my Wives Decease as aforsd my said two sons Samll Graves and Thomas Graves shall pay the Severall Debts and Legaceys before mentioned out of my Reall Estate or be allowd an Equivalency out of the same and that then the whole of all the Remainder of my Reall Estate both in houseing and Lands Excepting one Room in my Dwelling house as before excepted shall be Equally Divided and are as may be to and among my sons namely Samll Graves Thomas Graves Mark Graves Daniel Graves and Nathll Graves and to be to them and to there heires forever.

"It. My Will herein is and I would be understood that Referring to the Gifts and considerations before made to my aforenamed beloved Wife is in lue or consideration of her thirds or Right of Dower in my Estate Shee accepting thereof.

"It. My Will is and I do hereby appoint and ordaine my two sons Namely Samll Graves & Thomas Graves to be my Lawfull and Sole Executors to this my Last Will and Testament, and they in a more speshall manner to take Care of and show a Tender Regard towards there Hon^d Mother under her weak and low Surcumstances. In Witness whereof I the Above Named Samuell Graves have affixed my hand & seal to all the foregoing Perticulers containing two pages on this seventh day of Decbr Anno Domoni one Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty three.

"Signed Sealed published & Declared .................................. his
In Presence of us ......................................................Samuel S Graves
Theophilus Burrill .............................................................. mark
Samuel Graves Jnr
Thomas Graves Jnr"

Samuel Graves (1655-1723) was the son of Thomas Graves (ca 1620-1697) and Hannah --?-- (??? - after 1697).  He married Sarah Brewer (1659- ca 1724) in 1678 in Lynn.  They had ten children, nine of whom are named in their father's will (Crispus, John, William, Rebecca, Samuel, Thomas, Mark, Nathaniel, Daniel).  The tenth child was Hannah Graves, born in 1681, and she may have died young.
There was no inventory, account or distribution in the Probate Packet on the microfilm.  It would be interesting to see how much real estate and personal property that Samuel Graves had and how they divided it between the five brothers.
My ancestral line is through son Thomas Graves (1686-1756), who married Ruth Collins (1685- bef 1715)  in 1710.

FamilySearch Blogger Day - FamilySearch Family Tree

Perhaps the most important presentation (for me, at least) at the FamilySearch Blogger Day on 21 October was by Ron Tanner, titled "FamilySearch Family Tree: On the Horizon."

There have been rumors coming from FamilySearch in the past few months that the New FamilySearch tree would be open to the public soon, perhaps in the early months of 2011.  From what I heard, I don't think that it will be that soon. 

Here are the notes I made for myself and my Twitter audience during Ron's presentation (with a time stamp; #FSBlogDay is the Twitter hashtag useful for collecting tweets):

#FSBlogDay Tanner: nFS will eventually be Family Tree on coming  Main reason was to reduce research duplication (12:37 PM Oct 21st )

#FSBlogDay Tanner: nFS updated every 3 months. Adding capability regularly, last was Discussions, and exact search (12:37 PM Oct 21st )

#FSBlogDay Tanner: nFS has Standard Place Entry. select from list, but can add descriptive data, has geocoding (12:43 PM Oct 21st )

#FSBlogDay Tanner: nFS has no more disputes! now can delete only info contributed by researcher (12:44 PM Oct 21st )

#FSBlogDay Tanner: nFS now has Discussions; putting legacy disputes into Discussions. discussion size to be 4000 characters (12:46 PM Oct 21st )

#FSBlogDay Tanner: new to be "Watch an Ancestor" in nFS. Email about changes made to ancestors you're watching (12:47 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: customers want: to remove bad data/relationships; want better sources to show what's valid; want to talk to contributors (12:51 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: want to undo a change someone else did; need right-click Undo contributor. Folks have "My Tree-itis" (12:52 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: "nFS is like a refrigerator that you can put stuff in and can’t take stuff out." Need nFS to be "Our Tree" not many MyTree (12:57 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: goal is to make it better! Tanner is funny... (1:00 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: folks want to know when someone changes their data; Sourcing is the answer to changes (1:02 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: where's the proof? balance by notifications/discussions/change log - talk about changes. Abuse to be handled. (1:05 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: only way to resolve is to put sources to assertions, use Master Sources, link to outside resources, artifacts (1:08 PM Oct 21st )

#FSBlogDay Tanner: allow only one name, one birth, one death, etc. Allow alternate facts/assertions. Users need to learn analysis process (1:10 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: "Our Tree" is coming. Notifications by end 2010. 2011 to add sources from Internet (links, no docs); (1:16 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: nFS goal is "Our Tree" with help from billions... RJS: realistic? (1:19 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Q: When release nFS to general public? Tanner: We're not ready yet - need to get further down path. Strategy is to ... (1:20 PM Oct 21st )

#FSBlogDay Tanner: ... slowly introduce to general public. Need to get AF, IGI, PRF out of the connected tree. Left with a Conclusion Tree (1:23 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Tanner: lots of Q&A here about trees, interacting with genealogy software, etc. sorry for break (1:31 PM Oct 21st)

#FSBlogDay Q: will there be standard for sources? A: haven't had conversation yet. They will. (1:37 PM Oct 21st) 

#FSBlogDay encourage users to put in source citations - folks are trying. But it's not perfect. Can be edited. (1:41 PM Oct 21st)

The really BIG NEWS in this presentation was that:

*   The Ancestral File (AF), Pedigree Resource File (PRF) and International Genealogical Index (IGI) source information would be removed from the shared FamilySearch Family Tree. 
*  AF, PRF and IGI information would remain on the website in some sort of database.
*  What would be left is a Conclusion Tree with assertions of facts and events.
*  The Tree would be "Our Tree" rather than the current thousands of "My Trees."
*  No one would own a person in the tree, and anybody could contribute information to it.
*  Customers want to remove bad data and relationships for their ancestors in the tree.
*  Customers want better sources to show what is valid.
*  Customers want to discuss information with other contributors.
*  Customers want to undo a change that someone else added.
*  In "Our Tree," anyone can add information, correct information, remove invalid information, edit other person's submittals, add artifacts as evidence, communicate with each other.
*  There could be alternate assertions submitted to the Tree.

In describing the "Our Tree" vision, Ron noted that users would be able to add data into the tree through their certified software program (e.g., RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, others), but that data could be changed by any other user.  The Change Log would document changes, Notifications would tell a contributor which person had changed data, and Discussions with the other submitters would be encouraged.  There would be moderators to ensure no abuse occurs in the discussions.

He specifically highlighted how Wikipedia operates, with almost instant moderation of abusive or wrong data and discussions, and the cumulative result is accurate and consensual information.  While Ron didn't specifically state that the FamilySearch Family Tree would evolve into a wiki, it was fairly clear (to me) that he was describing a wiki-like system for the Tree, at least in the Discussion area of it.  It would not surprise me if the different tabs on the Person Page remain in order to contain the different information fields.
The issue of master sources and citation formats was raised, and FamilySearch has not decided on a standard format set yet  (and I hope that they are consulting with Source citation experts in the genealogical community and the software companies).  Linking to online websites or documents, and eventually uploading photographs and documents as artifacts to the Tree, will be encouraged.

There are currently 1.4 billion persons in the New FamilySearch Family Tree (presumably, the duplicate persons in the Tree are now combined), and it is unclear how many would be left in the Tree once the Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File and IGI data was removed.  Some questions I have:
*  After removal of the AF, PRF and IGI data, will one name of a person, and one birth date/place, one death date/place, and one marriage date/place for that person, be left in the Tree without any source information?  Will the submitters of information then provide source information and documents to back up their assertions?
*  Will there be a judge and jury system to evaluate conflicting assertions, or to standardize the information for historically significant persons in the Tree? (I'm thinking of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, the Mayflower passengers, Presidents, European royalty, etc.)
*  Copyright infringement will have to be considered for text, documents, photographs and other media.  Who will judge?  Who will correct or edit the material?  What sort of copyright protection will contributors to the Family Tree information have?
*  What will be the reaction of LDS Church Members who previously "owned" persons in the Tree?  Will they even participate in the Discussions? 
*  Wikipedia has many contributors that know the wiki change/discussion process - will Family Tree users be as capable if they are not using the wiki-like features on a regular basis?

This is a very ambitious, but desirable, Family Tree project, in my opinion.  If it works, then it should be a useful family tree system.  It's important that they get this designed right, tested and released in a controlled way.  However, I don't see how they can do all of this before late 2011.  The timeline given was:

*  May 2010 -- Discussions were added
*  late 2010 - Notifications will be added
*  Early 2011 - Internet sources can be added, but no documents
*  May 2011 - ???? (it didn't say - the implication is the Public is IN and Tree is working)

I know that I may have missed crucial points in this hour-long discussion, and if I have points wrong then I hope that FamilySearch personnel, or my blogging colleagues, will correct them.  I have been hampered by not being able to use the New FamilySearch system since I am not an LDS Church member.

Disclosure:  I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of FamilySearch.  FamilySearch paid my way to this Bloggers Day in Salt Lake City, including airfare, hotel, some meals and incidental expenses.  I am trying to be as objective as possible.  I really appreciate FamilySearch's efforts to inform the genealogy community about their products and capabilities.

UPDATED: edited some text, added some text, last at 8:15 a.m.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

27 October CVGS Program - Alfredo Pena on "Exodus"

The October general program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society will be on Wednesday, 27 October at 12 Noon at the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street, Chula Vista) Auditorium.

The speaker will be Alfredo I. Pena on “Exodus: The Reasons for the Massive Immigration from Mexico to the U.S.” He has given two earlier talks about Spanish and Mexican genealogy research in the last two months - this is the third talk in the series.

In this program, Mr. Pena will describe the effects of political events such as the Mexican Revolution and the religious war against the government (Cristeros) that fueled a massive migration from Mexico to the United States.

Alfredo Ignacio Peña was born in 1969 in Los Angeles. He has a degree in Graphic Design and has 25 years of experience with publications and advertising. He has worked with the Ahora-Now, Frontera San Diego, El Informador newspapers and with the PennySaver. Mr. Peña has experience designing publications, editorial design and advertising, and is a member of the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Peña has studied his genealogy following a family tradition passed down for several generations and has been able to trace his ancestry all the way back to Charlemagne. In 2003, he joined CorGoMiUri, the family’s group of genealogists. He is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Genealogical Society of the Valley of Mexico, Genealogical Society of Northern Mexico, Society of Hispanic Historical & Ancestral Research, the Association of Professional Genealogists; is moderator for three of those associations; and is working on his lineage papers to join several lineage and hereditary societies. His biography was recently featured in the June issue of the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Mr. Peña is the director and founder of Ancestros, Investigaciones Genealógicas (Ancestral and Genealogical Investigations). He was invited by the San Diego Family History Center to collaborate with them and is now helping with the Hispanic/Mexican research and history section the first and fourth Thursday of every month. He is a new member of CVGS.

Guests and visitors are welcome at all CVGS events, which are free to attend at the library. Please enter the Auditorium through the Conference Room door so as to register your attendance, pick up a handout and a program, and have a snack. For more information about this program, or any CVGS program, please contact Barbara at or 619-477-4140

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 17-23 October 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:

AFHS Family Roots Event a Success by Joan Miller on the Alberta Family History Society Blog.  Joan sums up the one-day event featuring Dick Eastman, Thomas MacEntee and Lyn Meehan. 

Canvassing a Town for Historical Resources by Marian Pierre-Louis on the Roots and Rambles blog.  I really like what Marian wrote here - it applies to fairly small towns, but is a great summary of how to do it.  This would be useful information for any of the genealogy wikis currently being developed.

Insider Ketchup for 19 October 2010 by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog.  Mr. AI sums up recent events concerning FamilySearch and, and other sites, in his own unique and pithy style.

What I Did Over Summer Vacation: Part 1 - Independence Day and the DAR by Elizabeth O'Neal on the Little Bytes of Life blog.  Elizabeth had a good genealogical summer and she's telling us all about it.  Stay tuned for more!

In Which I Piss Off Pretty Much The Entire Genealogy Establishment by Kerry Scott on the Clue Wagon blog.  Kerry invented a new Genealogy Drinking Game, then played it all by herself.  Funny stuff...title's probably right, too.  The comments are great.  This goes right into my Genealogy Blog Hall of Fame in the Humor category.

Once upon a time or why Uncle Vasil firebombed the church by the writer of the Nolichucky Roots blog.  This family story told over several generations was probably true. 

Preserving Your Family History Digitally by Dick Eastman on Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.  This post provides a link to Gary Wright's White Paper on this subject - available for free to read and download.  It's important for all of us.

Home Sweet Homestead by Carolyn L. Barkley on the blog.  This is an excellent article, with examples, of searching for pre-1908 homestead claims in Federal Land States.

Blogging for Beginners webinar - recording now available to view by Geoff Rasmussen on the Legacy News blog.  DearMYRTLE taught this 90 minute webinar last week - you can view and hear it through

3 Strategies to Work Around Missing Deeds and 3 Tips for Determining if Your House Was Moved by Marian Pierre-Louis on The New England House Historian blog.  Two more excellent articles about historic houses from Marian.

Review: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner - Miracles in Minutes - Part 1 and Review: Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner - Part 2 by Susan Petersen on the  blog.  Susan provides her user-experience on this new handheld scanning tool.  Well done!

*  Latest News from the Family Search Bloggers Day by Thomas MacEntee on the Geneabloggers blog.  This post rolls up all of the reports from the FamilySearch Bloggers Day on Thursday, 21 October.  There may be more posts from the attendees, so check this out occasionally.

 Other "Best of..." genealogy blog posts this week include:

* Follow Friday: 22 October 2010 by Greta Koehl on the Greta's Genealogy Bog blog.  Oh no, Greta's weekly list is going to be more sporadic.  I counted on her to find new genea-blogs for me!

Best Bytes for the Week of October 22, 2010 by Elizabeth O'Neal on the Little Bytes of Life blog.

I know that there were several other bloggers that wrote about their favorite posts in the past week, but I didn't write them all down while I was in Salt Lake City.  If you did one, and wanted it listed here, please email me at or post a comment to this post and I'll add you to the list above.

I encourage you to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blog to your Favorites, Google Reader, RSS 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 690 genealogy bloggers using Google Reader, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.