Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Photo Effects

Attention, genea-philes -- it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun ... again ... every week!

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

1)  Go to the AnyMaking website (  - it's FREE to use) and ...

2)  Doctor some of your priceless photographs using one or more of their photo effects to turn your photo into a cartoon, into a puzzle, into a wanted poster, etc.  Try it, it's fun.  You can spend hours doing this.  Think about Christmas presents for your family or friends... [Note that if you want decent size photos - or real puzzles, portraits, etc., you'll need to subscribe to their Premium service.]

3)  Show off your creations on your own blog, or on Facebook, or some other online photo location.

Here's some of mine:

1)  Think my grandchildren would like a puzzle like this?  Grandpa doing what he loves?

2)  How about a framed picture of some of the world-famous Geneablogger family:

3)  I hesitate to show this in fear that someone might want to claim the reward:

My thanks to Sheri Fenley for finding this site back in April 2010, and posting some of her creations on How I Spent My Sunday Evening And So Should You!

Surname Saturday - FLETCHER (England > MA)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 131, who is Abigail Fletcher (1720-????), one of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts]

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

1. Randall J. Seaver

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

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

32. Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)
33. Abigail Gates (1797-1869)

64. Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)
65. Martha Whitney (1764-1832)

130. Samuel Whitney, born 23 May 1719 in Weston, Middlesex, MA; died 01 January 1782 in Westminster, Worcester, MA. He was the son of 260. William Whitney and 261. Martha Peirce. He married  20 October 1741 in Weston, Middlesex, MA.

131. Abigail Fletcher, born 02 July 1720 in Concord, Middlesex, MA.

Children of Samuel Whitney and Abigail Fletcher are:  Abigail Whitney (1742-????); Mary Whitney (1744-????);  Samuel Whitney (1746-1812); Abner Whitney (1748-1811); Achsah Whitney (1750-1772); Silas Whitney (1752-1798); Martha Whitney (1755-1755); Elisha Whitney (1757-1810); Alpheus Whitney (1759-1821); Phinehas Whitney (1761-1832); Hananiah Whitney (1762-1835); Martha Whitney (1764-1832); Susannah Whitney (1767-????).

262.  John Fletcher, born 26 August 1692 in Concord, Middlesex, MA; died 1749 in Concord, Middlesex, MA.  He married  10 May 1715 in Watertown, Middlesex, MA.
263. Mary Goble, born 19 February 1693/94 in Concord, Middlesex, MA; died 27 March 1734 in Concord, Middlesex, MA. She was the daughter of 526. Thomas Goble and 527. Sarah Shepard.

Children of John Fletcher and Mary Goble are:  Martha Fletcher (1716-????); John Fletcher (1718-1792); Abigail Fletcher (1720-????); Jonah Fletcher (1723-????); Thomas Fletcher (1724-????); David Fletcher (1726-????); Peter Fletcher (1729-????); Elisha Fletcher (1731-????); Mary Fletcher (1733-????).

524. Samuel Fletcher, born 06 October 1657 in Concord, Middlesex County, MA; died 23 October 1744 in Concord, Middlesex County, MA.  He married 15 June 1682 in Concord, Middlesex, MA.
525. Elizabeth Wheeler, born 23 February 1663/64 in Concord, Middlesex, MA; died 26 October 1744 in Concord, Middlesex, MA. She was the daughter of 1050. Thomas Wheeler and 1051. Sarah Merriam.

Children of Samuel Fletcher and Elizabeth Wheeler are:  Samuel Fletcher (1683-????); Joseph Fletcher (1686-1746); Elizabeth Fletcher (1688-????); Sarah Fletcher (1690-????); John Fletcher (1692-1749); Hannah Fletcher (1694-????); Ruth Fletcher (1696-1700); Rebecca Fletcher (1699-????); Samuel Fletcher (1701-1772); Benjamin Fletcher (1703-1703); Timothy Fletcher (1704-1767).

1048. Francis Fletcher, born about 1620 in ENGLAND; died 14 June 1704 in Concord, Middlesex County, MA.  He married 11 October 1656 in Concord, Middlesex County, MA.
1049. Elizabeth Wheeler, born before 03 January 1635/36 in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND; died 14 June 1704 in Concord, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 2098. George Wheeler and 2099. Katherine Penn.

Children of Francis Fletcher and Elizabeth Wheeler are:  Samuel Fletcher (1657-1744); Joseph Fletcher (1661-1744); Elizabeth Fletcher (1663-????); John Fletcher (1665-????); Sarah Fletcher (1668-1744); Hezekiah Fletcher (1672-1747); Hannah Fletcher (1674-1752); Benjamin Fletcher (1677-1703).

2096. Robert Fletcher, born about 1593 in ENGLAND; died 03 April 1677 in Concord, Middlesex County, MA. He married  before 1618 in ENGLAND.
2097. Sarah

Children of Robert Fletcher and Sarah are: Grissel Fletcher (1618-1669); Francis Fletcher (1620-1704); William Fletcher (1622-1677); Luke Fletcher (1625-1665); Samuel Fletcher (1632-1697).

My information is based on my own research in vital, land and probate records, and several published works on this Fletcher family of eastern Massachusetts, including:

1.  Winifred Lovering Holman, Robert Fletcher of Concord, Mass. Bay, 1637, 1930 (FHL Microfilm 0,015,506 Item 11).

2.  Edward H. Fletcher, The Descendants of Robert Fletcher of Concord, Mass., Boston, Mass., Rand, Avery & Co., 1881. 

3.  Joan S. Guilford, The Ancestry of Dr. J.P. Guilford, Orange, Calif., Sheridan Psychological Services, Inc., 1990, Volume 1, page 284.  This covers one line of the Fletcher family.

I am quite sure that there are several readers who share some of these families.  If you can add (or debunk) my information, I would appreciate a comment on this post.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dear Randy: Which program creates the best narrative report?

I received an email yesterday from Genea-Musings reader Michael asking:

"Which program has the best ancestor narrative report?  I am using RootsMagic and it lacks other wives and children."

I currently use Family Tree Maker 16, Family Tree Maker 2010, RootsMagic 4 and Legacy Family Tree 7, all Windows programs, and haven't chosen one to live and die with.  So I can only address those four programs.

Let's rephrase the question to "Which program lists all wives and all children in their ancestor narrative report?"

Here's what I found when I created ancestor narrative reports in each program (eliminating notes, sources, indexes, etc.  I chose a report for my great-grandfather, Frank Walton Seaver, because his father, Isaac Seaver had three wives, and children with two of them):

1)  Family Tree Maker 16 ("Ahnentafel report" selected):

Family Tree Maker 16 does not list the other two wives, or the other child by one of them, of Isaac Seaver in his family description.  It does list the three wives in his listing as a child in his parents' family description.  Clearly, FTM16 does not do what Michael wants done.

2)  Family Tree Maker 2010 ("Ahnentafel Report" selected):

Family Tree Maker 2010 lists the other two wives, and the child of one of them, after the listing of the children of the wive in the direct ancestral line.  In other words, Frank Walton Seaver was the son of Isaac Seaver and Lucretia Smith.  However, Isaac's first wife was Juliette Glazier, who is mentioned after Lucretia in the report.  FTM 2010 does do what Michael wants done, but the wives are not in order.

3)  RootsMagic 4 ("Narrative Report" selected - "Ancestors and Children" selected):

The Ancestor Narrative report lists only the persons in the ancestral families.  The family description for Isaac Seaver does not mention his first and third wives, or the child by his first wife.  In the family description of Isaac's parents, his marriages are not listed at all.  RootsMagic 4 clearly does not do what Michael wants.

4)  Legacy Family Tree 7 ("Books/Other" selected, then "Ancestors" selected):

The Ancestor report generated by Legacy listed the wives and children in chronological order in the family description for Isaac Seaver.  The three wives of Isaac Seaver were not listed in the family description of his parents.  Clearly, Legacy Family Tree 7 does exactly what Michael wants a genealogy program to do.

I focused only on Michael's specific request for the "other" wives and children.  There may be other features that are more important in creating ancestor narrative reports to each researcher.

Some other Windows genealogy program may create these narrative reports differently - a user needs to consider their wants and needs.

Improved FamilySearch Beta Features - Library Catalog

The FamilySearch Beta site has some new features - you can read about them and see screen shots in Dan Lawyer's blog post More New Features for FamilySearch Beta on the FamilySearch Beta blog

The one I was most interested in was the Library Catalog.  I complained before that it was difficult to go directly to a specific locality and that printing Library Catalog entries from the FamilySearch Beta site had too much white space and took too many sheets of paper. 

FamilySearch has streamlined the searching process to the point that I think it is very efficient.  Here is an example sequence:

From the Library Catalog page, type a state or county in the search field - I chose "Dodge" and saw:

A dropdown list shows entries in the location database - I chose Wisconsin, Dodge:

The list for Dodge County, Wisconsin entries in the Catalog appears listed by category.  I scrolled down and clicked on the "Vital Records" entry, and the list expanded to see the entries in the category:

The Registration of marriages entry looked interesting, so I clicked on that and saw (only top of page shown):

There is a "Print" link at the right top of the page, so I clicked on that and could print the page on my printer or save it to a file.  I saved it to a PDF file, which looks like (two pages, only one shown below):

This is a better use of the white space on the print page.  The second page has information about the record itself and the user can choose to not print the information.

It's interesting to see the evolution of the FamilySearch Beta website over the months.  It's gradual, and it's easy to miss some of the major additions and improvements if you visit the Beta site only occasionally. 

Disclosure:  I am not an LDS church member, or an employee, contractor or affiliate of FamilySearch.  I accepted an expense-paid trip to the FamilySearch Blogger Day in October 2010, but made no commitments to write favorable reviews.  I do appreciate and the services it provides for genealogy researchers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Target the FAN Club to tackle "Elusive Ancestors" problems

I love it when respected genealogists take a complex subject and make it simple to understand.

Several professional genealogists have advised and spoken about the "FAN Club" Principle (see while pursuing elusive ancestors - the Friends, Associates and Neighbors.  Now Elizabeth Shown Mills has defined a method she uses - and it makes a lot of sense.  She described it in her Transitional Genealogists Forum post dated 8 November 2010.  The description of the BullsEye concept is:

"It may help to think of genealogical research as a bull's eye. Our specific ancestor is the target. When we start to research a newly identified ancestor, that's who we focus on. Much of the time (or MOST of the time, in some areas!), we do seem to run out of records before we find the clear-cut evidence we need to identity his family or sort him from other same-name individuals.

"At that point, we need to move out a ring on the bull's eye--i.e., we extend the search to all known kin and all records created by those known kin. If that does not produce the evidence we seek, we move out to another ring of the bulls' eye: others of the same surname who are in the same area but aren't known to be kin. From there, if need be, we move out another ring to known associates--and, eventually, to the ring we might call "associates of associates."

I don't want to excerpt too much of that - I encourage all researchers to read all of Elizabeth's post, and the entire thread, for the entire discussion. 

Like I said, it is simple, and elegant.  What I really like about it is that it focuses attention on one group of FANs at a time, but eventually gets to the whole community. 

My guess is that perhaps 10% to 20% of elusive ancestor, or "brickwall" problems, can be solved using this approach.  Perhaps it's more.  I do know that almost all of the Case Studies published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, and other peer-reviewed scholarly journals, are solved by using the FAN Club principle in conjunction with applying the Genealogical Proof Standard.

Recent Collections Added at FamilySearch Beta

As of today, there are 494 Historical Collections on the FamilySearch Beta site.  Those cited as "Recently Added or Updated" include:

Arizona, Service Records of Confederate Soldiers of the Civil War, 1861-1863 (1,173 records, updated 9 November 2010)

Arkansas County Marriages, 1837-1957 (1,694,330 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Belgium Marriages, 1563-1890  (58,674 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Belgium, Antwerp Police Immigration Index, 1840-1930 (343,930 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Canada Census, 1881 (751,227 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Chile, Concepcion, Civil Registration, 1885-1903 (70,449 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Colombia, Catholic Church Records (browse images only, 2,347,585 images, updated 10 November 2010)

France Births and Baptisms, 1546-1896 (6,779,071 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Georgia, Deaths, 1928-1930 (123,419 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Germany, Bremen Passenger Departure Lists, 1904-1914 (44,315 records, updated 1 November 2010)

Guatemala, Guatemala City, Sagrario Parish Baptisms, 1898-1920 (18,535 records, updated 10 November 2010)

Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 (browse only, 37,199 images, updated 9 November 2010)

Jamaica, Civil Birth Registration (947,896 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Louisiana, Eastern District Naturalization Petitions, 1838-1861 (1,450 records, updated 11 November 2010)

Maryland, Naturalization Indexes, 1797-1951 (85,222 records, updated 9 November 2010)

Maryland, Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1931 (45,165 records, updated 11 November 2010)

Massachusetts Naturalization Index, 1906-1966 (388,086 records, updated 9 November 2010)

Mexico Census, 1930 (2,308,802 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Minnesota State Census, 1885 (227,047 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Minnesota State Census, 1865 (47,437 records, updated 9 November 2010)

New Mexico Deaths, 1889-1945 (167,825 records, updated 5 November 2010)

New York State Census, 1905 (2,752,996 records, updated 10 November 2010)

*   New York, Western District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1966 (89,554 records, updated 9 November 2010)

New York, Eastern District Naturalization Petitions, 1865-1957 (675,035 records, updated 9 November 2010)

* Nicaragua, Managua, Civil Registration, 1879-2007 (320,890 records, updated 5 November 2010)

North Carolina Deaths, 1906-1930 (615,656 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Oklahoma, Applications for Enrollment to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914 (882,272, updated 9 November 2010)

Ontario Births, 1869-1912 (163,139 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915 (1,556,855 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Rhode Island, State Census, 1885 (302,482 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Rhode Island, State Census, 1905 (352,019 records, updated 5 November 2010)

South Dakota State Census, 1945 (411.439 records, updated 5 November 2010)

Spain, Catastro de Ensenada, 1749-1756 (browse images, 375,988 images, updated 5 November 2010)

Spain, Catholic Church Records, 1500-1930 (26,298 records, updated 5 November 2010)

*  Tennessee County Marriages, 1790-1950 (24,253 records, updated 5 November 2010)

United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1850 (3,324,742 records, updated 11 November 2010)

United States, Index to Naturalizations of World War I Soldiers, 1918 (18,324 records, updated 11 November 2010)

United States, Mormon Battalion Pension Applications, 1846-1923 (26,830 records, updated 9 November 2010)

Utah, Territorial Case Files of the U.S. District Courts, 1870-1896 (39,040 records, updated 9 November 2010)

That's 39 collections added or updated, but only 17 of them are newly added (there were 477 collections at the end of October).  It would be really useful to many researchers if FamilySearch denoted brand new collections added. 

Researchers interested in any of these record collections should click on the "Learn More" link on each collection page to determine the extent, the source and the use of the records in the collection.

Treasure Chest Thursday - Isaac Seaver's Pension Declaration

It's Treasure Chest Thursday, and on Veteran's Day what better treasure to show than a Civil War Pension Declaration for my second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901).  Isaac is the only ancestor of mine that served in the Civil War.

My uncle, Edward R. Seaver, ordered Isaac's Civil War Pension File from the National Archives back in the early 1990s, and sent it to me in about 1998.  There are only 16 pages in this file, which leads mto believe that he obtained only the Pension Documents file rather than the Complete Pension File.

Here is the Declaration for Invalid Pension for Isaac Seaver:

The transcription of this document is (handwritten information in italics and underlined):

Declaration for Invalid Pension
Act of June 27, 1890
----- xx -----
NOTE: This can be executed before any officer authorized to administer oaths for practical purposes.  If such officer uses a seal, certificate of clerk of Court is not necessary.  If no seal is used, then such certificate must be attached.
----- xx -----
State of Massachusetts County of Worcester, SS,
on this 11th day of June, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and ninety two,
personally appeared before me, a Notary Public
within and for the County and State aforesaid, Isaac Seaver 3d
aged 68 years, a resident of the town of Clinton
County of Worcester State of Massachusetts, who being
duly sworn according to law, declares that he is the identical Isaac Seaver 3d
who was ENROLLED on the 10th day of August, 1864 in  Company H
(private) 4th Reg't H'y Arty. Mass. Vol's
in the war of the rebellion, and served at least
ninety days, and was HONORABLY DISCHARGED at Fort Richardson, Va. on the 19th
day of June, 1865.  That he is ... unable to earn a support to
manual labor by reason of "Varicose veins of both legs. Rheumatism
resulting heart trouble, trouble of the urinary organs having symptoms of
enlarged prostrate gland and results of
carbuncle on back of neck."

That said disabilities are not due to his vicious habits, and are to the best of his knowledge and belief permanent. That
he has never applied for pension made application No. .... That he is a pensioner
under Certificate No. That he has not been in the military or naval service of the U.S. since the 19th
day of June 1865.
That he has never been employed in the military or naval service otherwise than stated above.

Poor Isaac had varicose veins, rheumatism, prostate trouble and a neck carbuncle.  One thing I learned from this declaration is that he resided in Clinton and not Leominster in 1892.  He was in  Leominster in both the 1880 and 1900 census.  In 1892, he may have been living in the house owned in Clinton by his third wife, Alvina P. (Bradley) (Lewis) Seaver. 

Veteran's Day - Thank You, Gramps

On the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month of the year 1918, the guns fell silent. It was called Armistice Day then. Now, we commemorate our veterans on Veteran's Day.

I listed the veterans (of all American wars) in my ancestry in my post Veteran's Day - My Heroes.

The only ancestor of mine that served in World War I was my maternal grandfather, Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976). I posted a biography and muse about him and his life in Today is Gramps' 116th Birthday.

Here is a photograph of Gramps in his U.S. Marines uniform taken in about 1917 in San Diego.

I honor my grandfather and appreciate his service to our country, and his devotion to our family.

I have tremendous respect and appreciation for those serving in the Armed Forces today in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. May God bless them all and bring them home safe.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SDGS Meeting on 13 November features Hal Horrocks

The Saturday, November 13th meeting of the San Diego Genealogical Society features two presentations by Hal Horrocks:

*  Preserving Your Heirlooms

How does on decide what to save, give away, or toss?  Learn how to develop a preservation strategy and which methods and tools to use.

* Cemeteries: What They Tell Us

Have you ever wandered through a cemetery and wondered about the meanings for the designs carved on the gravestones?  Learn the proper etiquette when exploring and conducting research in a cemetery.

Hal Horrocks is a professional genealogist, teacher and lecturer.  He is currently Vice President of Programs for the Orange County California Genealogical Society (OCCGS).   Hal has created a website for the Horrocks surname ( - the website includes a One-Name Study, a DNA surname study, contributed research from other Horrocks researchers, and extracted Horrocks listings from US and British censuses.  Be sure to check it out even if your surname is not Horrocks.

The SDGS meeting starts at 12 noon at St. Andrews Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd., just south of Jackson Drive, in the San Carlos area of San Diego.

The Rootsweb User Group and the Beginning Genealogy class will meet at 10 a.m. at St. Andrews Church.

I look forward to seeing many of my Genea-Musings readers there - please let me know if you saw this notice on the blog.

Where's Randy? Well, something happened...

We returned from the high desert this morning, and I turned the desktop computer on and the Windows bootup screen looked different.  It took awhile to load, but my email worked fine, I printed some stuff off, sent some emails, and took off for the 12 noon CVGS Research Group meeting. 

When I got home at 2:30 p.m., I noticed that my McAfee Security Suite (downloaded on 29 October) was not working.  Hmmm.  So I rebooted.  Still no McAfee, so I went to Cox, my Internet provider who provides the McAfee protection as part of my subscription, and could find no way to download it again and install it.  Some links didn't work.  I decided to see if other links worked.  Web sites with text worked fine, but websites with embedded images or login boxes or other Flash or Java add-ons didn't seem to work.  Twitter said I needed a Java add-on.  I had Java before... Drat.  I couldn't read Google Reader - the page was blank and it said "Loading" but didn't.  I could enter data into Blogger, but there was no Publish button...hmmm, major problem here!  I decided that perhaps I could go back to a previous Windows setting, so I went to the System Tools folder in Accessories and looked at the System Restore list - and it was blank.

I called my son-in-law on his way home from work.  He suggested downloading Malware Bytes, and I did, and it found six problems on my hard drive, including a setup.exe file in Program Files, three infected Registry Keys and two Registry Data Items.   The program quarantined these, but I still haven't been able to do anything on the desktop but do email and save/move/print files.  I did save to my backup system the latest files used since the last backup, plus some of the important email files. 

For information purposes - this is a Dell 3000 computer running Windows XP Home Edition and I've been using Internet Explorer 7.  I tried Firefox and Chrome and they had the same problems.  If anybody has had a similar problem and a fix for it, I would like to hear about it - email me at

So I'm working off of the laptop using the wi-fi router - I can't access my Outlook Express folders but I can do everything else, I think. 

It's been a bad day... after a really fun and tiring week minding the granddaughters.  At least we got home OK.

Now to catch up on blogging...

(Not So) wordless Wednesday - Post 128: Lyle and Emily Dressed Up?

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 family collection handed down by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:

I think that this is a picture of my grandparents, Lyle L. Carringer and Emily K. (Auble) Carringer, locked in an embrace for the camera, although I am not entirely sure of the time or setting, or even if it is them.  It was with their other "couple" pictures, so I think it is them.  I think the photo may have been taken on a beach - that looks like seaweed at the base of the fence.  The time may be after their engagement or wedding in 1918, since Lyle is wearing a wedding ring.

This may have been at a costume party or other event where they dressed up as a cowboy and bar girl or similar - note the fur stole dangling from Emily's side. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FamilySearch Beta Collection Improvements

The FamilySearch Beta collection pages have been improved in a positive way...

The Historical Record Collections page now has 491 which is an increase of 14 over the list of about two weeks ago.

On all of the record collection pages, there are now three columns:

*  Title of the databases

*  Number of records in each database

*  Last Updated date

In addition, the New or Updated collections are denoted with a brown asterisk.

These changes will make finding new collections in the long list of collections much easier to find!

Thank you, FamilySearch, for making this more user friendly.  And to Robert Kehrer for alerting me to the change. 

Can we really build a Better GEDCOM?

The genealogy blogs are alive with the wonderful news that a group has formed to build a Better GEEDCOM, spearheaded by Greg Lamberson, DearMYRTLE and Russ Worthington.  You can read the press release at

The highlight, for me, is these two paragraphs:

"The initial project will be to develop an update/replacement for the de facto GEDCOM standard based on input from end users and developers world-wide. Long-term efforts will include standards for the sharing of genealogical information over the internet, for example.

"A key distinction in this effort from those that have proceeded it is our intention to be a broad-based community development project with an emphasis on codification of our work with international standards bodies such as ISO and IETF. Broad-based community support and international recognition are central tenets of this effort. Please have a look around at  and share your expertise so that we may succeed together in solving the GEDCOM problems for researchers and developers."

I sincerely hope that this happens.  If you, or someone you know, has an interest in this project and skills that can help the group, please volunteer and sign up at the Build a Better GEDCOM website.  It's free.

Greg Lamberson has put together a Wiki in order to coordinate the effort.  Please read all of the pages - the Project Goals,  Data Models, the Sandbox, and the Discussions. 

The items that I found of most interest was the article defining the current GEDCOM Data Model and the GenTech Genealogical Data Model.   As many veteran genealogists know, a similar effort was started in the late 1990's that resulted in the GenTech Genealogical Data Model but did not get as far as creating a replacement for the current GEDCOM model.

Tuesday's Tip - Check out Cyndi's List!

Today's Tuesday's Tip is to use Cyndi's List ( for links to record collections and educational material.  Cyndi Howells started her link list in the mid-1990's, and it currently has over 282,000 links.

The home page has a list of categories that includes topics (e.g., Acadian, Adoption, Names, Numbering Systems, Presbyterians, Land Records, etc.) and localities (e.g., Africa, Canada, Norway, Scotland, United States, etc.).

For a specific locality (I chose New Jersey from the United States category list), there are links to statewide sites, and links to sites in each specific county for research categories.

For a specific topic, the links are grouped logically.  for example, I chose Obituaries, and found that there are four major sub-categories, for General Resource sites, Locality specific, Mailing Lists, Newsgroups and Chat, and Online Memorials. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Family Tree University thinks I am a Genealogy Pro

I missed this little quiz last week when it was first posted - did anyone else take the quiz in What Genealogy Class is for You? at The Genealogy Insider blog?

I answered the questions as truthfully as possible - some questions didn't have options close to my true responses.  The test said I was a:


"When it comes to genealogy, you know what you're doing. But even an old genealogist can learn new tricks. Maybe you'd like to brush up on your tech skills with Advanced Google for Genealogists or Build a Family Website, or dive into a heritage-specific class such as German Genealogy 201 or Finding African-American Ancestors in Newspapers. "

I would love to learn new tricks, since the old ones aren't working so well right now.  I have too many brickwalls and not enough data...pretty common, eh?
But am I really a "Genealogy Pro?"  Based on over a decade of searching, choosing to tour European castles, etc.?  I think that I still have much to learn, and that is why I go to genealogical society meetings, attend one-day seminars and multi-day conferences, and read blogs and more. 
Family Tree University offers Webinars and classes (for a fee) on many subjects.
The list of "On Demand" Webinars (one-hour online lectures) includes (from
*  10 Steps to Discover Your Roots

*  Your Unofficial Guide to Tips, Hints and Hacks for Finding Your Ancestors
*  Ellis Island: Finding Your Ancestor in a Sea of Online Records
*  Brick Wall Busters: Solutions to Real-Life Stumpers
*  Online Military Records: Document Your Family’s Service
*  Making the Most of
*  Photo Sharing 101: How to Organize, Archive and Share Family Memories Online
*  Search Engine Tips & Tricks: Google Techniques to Boost your Research
*  Organization Made Easy
*  Photo Retouching
*  Brick Wall Strategies
*  Vital Records
*  Online Immigration Records
*  FamilySearch Essentials
*  Finding Your Family in Old Newspapers
*  Heirloom Preservation Made Easy
*  Online Census Secrets
*  Googling Your Genealogy

Here is a list of all of the Family Tree University classes listed at
*  Advanced Google for Genealogists: Techniques to Take Your Research to the Next Level

*  Build a Family Website: Make a Site for Your Family in Four Weeks
*  Cemetery Research 101: Dig Up Your Family History
*  Creating a Family History Book: Start-to-Finish Guidance for Assembling and Printing a Family Keepsake
*  Death Records 101: Find What Your Ancestors Left Behind
*  Digital Photography Essentials: Techniques to Capture and Preserve Your Family History
*  Discover Your Family Tree: Genealogy for the Absolute Beginner
*  Exploring City Directories: How to Trace Your Family in Yesterday’s Yellow Pages
*  Find Your German Roots: From America to Deutschland
*  Finding African-American Ancestors in Newspapers: Research Strategies for Success
*  Finding Ancestors in the US Census: Online and Offline Research Strategies
*  Finding Your Ancestral Village: Strategies and Tools to Pinpoint Your Family’s Place of Origin
*  German Genealogy 201: Strategies and Skillbuilding
*  Google Earth for Genealogists: Plot Your Ancestors’ Lives
*  Google Tools for Genealogists: Four Resources to Enhance Your Family History
*  Land Records 101: Using Deeds, Plats, Patents and More
*  Mastering Google Search: Secrets to Smarter, Faster Online Research
*  Newspaper Research 101: Find Your Ancestors in American News Sources
*  Organize Your Genealogy: Get Your Research in Order (and Keep It That Way)
*  Published Genealogies: How to Use Others’ Research to Grow Your Family Tree
*  Research in Foreign Records: How to Find Your Family Across the Pond
*  Reverse Genealogy: Working Forward to Break Down Brick Walls
*  Source Documentation: How to Cite Genealogy Sources Accurately and Effectively
*  Trace Your Polish Roots: Strategies for Searching in the US and Poland
*  Tracing Immigrants: How to Research Your Family’s American Arrivals
*  US Military Records: Trace Your Ancestors’ Service
*  US Vital Records: Researching Births, Marriages, Deaths and Divorces
*  Writing Your Family Memoir: Create a Captivating Record of Your Family’s Story

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Amanuensis Monday - Will of Jonathan Hubbard (1659-1728) of Concord 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 Jonathan Hubbard (1659-1728) of Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, one of my 8th great-grandfathers.

The probate records of the estate of Jonathan Hubbard of Concord (1728) are included in Middlesex County [Massachusetts] Probate Packet #12,191 (accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,397,101). His will was written on 25 August 1724, and was proved on 25 November 1728. It reads:

"In the Name of God amen. The twenty fifth Day of August Anno Domini one Thousand and seven hundred and twenty four. I Jonathan Hubburd of Concord In the County of Middx within the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England yeoman, being of perfect mind and memory and calling to mind the mortality of my body knowing that it is appointed to all men once to dye do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament (that is to day). Principally I recommend my Soul into the hands of God who gave it and my body I recommend unto the Earth to be duried in Decent Christian Burial at the Discretion of my Executor nothing Doubting but at the General resurrection I shall receive the same of the Almighty power of God. And as touching such worldly things and affairs wherewith I hath pleased God to bless me here in this life I Give and Dispose of the Same in manner and form following.

"Imp. I Give and Bequeath unto my well beloved wife Hanah Hubburd all my moveables in the house for ever and the entire use and Improvement of the East end of my house from top to bottom with the use of one half of the cellar under the West end of said house also three pounds of mony to be paid unto her by my Executor yearly, twelve bushels of Indian Corn and Six Bushels of rye, one hundred pounds of pork and fifty pounds of beef and sufficient firewood provided and brought unto her door and all this yearly During her Widowhood. I also Give unto my wife one cow which is to be kept both Summer and winter for her use and benefit during her widowhood by my said Executor. also two Bushels of malt, two Barrels of cyder and what apples she needs yearly and his Improvement of a third part of the garden.

"Item. To my daughter Mary Daviss I give one featherboard and a boulster.
To my son Jonathan Hubburd three pounds of money and my cane.
To my Daughter Hannah Temple three pounds of money.
To my Son Samll Hubburd three pounds of money and my muff.
To my Son Joseph Hubburd three pounds of money.
To my Daughter Elizabeth Heywood one feather bed and a boulster.
To my Son John Hubburd three pounds of money.
To my Son Daniel Hubburd the one half of my village right and three pounds of money.
To my Son Thomas Hubburd three pounds of money, and to my Daughter Abigail fletcher three pounds also.

"Item. I give all my wearing Apparel unto my Sons to be equally Devided among them and my books unto my sons and daughters to be equally distributed among them.

"Item. I Give and Bequeath unto my son Ebenezer Hubburd whom I make the Sole Executor of this my last Will & Testament the residue of all my Estate both real and personal paying out the several legacies abovesaid within four years after my Decease Providing for my wife as aforesd and burying her in case She Dies my widow in Decent and Christian Burial, and I do hereby utterly Revoke and disallow all other Testaments and Wills, Legacies and Executors by me before made or named, Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament and In Witness whereof have set my hand and seal this day and year above.

"Signed, Sealed, Published Pronounced & Declared by sd. Jonathan Hubburd
as his last Will and Testament In presence
of us the Subscribers .................................................... Jonathan Hubburd (signature)
Samuel Meriam
William Good (?)
Timothy Minott"

No inventory, distribution or account for the estate was included in the probate packet.

Jonathan Hubbard, son of John Hubbard and Mary Merriam, married Hannah Rice (1658-1747) in 1681.  They had eleven children between 1682 and 1700.  He named all of his eleven children in his will, all adults in 1724 when he wrote his will, with youngest son Ebenezer Hubbard receiving the real estate.  For genealogy researchers, the real prize in this will is the surnames of his daughters. 

My ancestral line back to Jonathan and Hannah (Rice) Hubbard is their son, Samuel Hubbard (1687-1753), who married Sarah Clark (1681-1720) in 1709. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Best of the Genea-Blogs - Week of 31 October to 6 November 2010

I failed to keep an up-to-date list of my favorites for this week, because we are outtatown making family history with the granddaughters while their parents enjoy a Washington DC vacation. 

Therefore, I don't have a list, but I will refer you to others that took the time to define their picks for the week:

Friday Newsletter and Follow News 5 November 2010 by Greta Koehl on Greta's Genealogy Bog.

Best Bytes for the Week of November 5, 2010 by Elizabeth O'Neal on the Little Bytes of Life blog. 
Please visit these hard-working geneabloggers - it takes a significant amount of time to put these posts together.  I really appreciate them, and hope that you will visit their blogs and comment on their efforts.