Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ancestral Name List Roulette

It's Saturday Night again - time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) How old is one of your grandfathers now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ahnentafel"). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!
Here's mine: 

My grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver was born in 1876, so he would be 134 years old today.  Divided by four, that's 33.5, so I'll round it off to 34.

#34 in my Ancestral Name List is  Alpheus B. Smith, son of Aaron Smith and Mercy Plimpton was born on 19 May 1802 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA. He died on 13 January 1840 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA. He married Elizabeth Horton Dill on 30 November 1826 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA.

Three facts about Alpheus:

*  Alpheus B. Smith owned land in Medfield, described as a house and barn and about 16 acres of land (from the inventory of his estate).

*  Alpheus B. Smith died intestate and insolvent and his administrator had to sell the land. 

*  I don't know what Alpheus Smith's middle name is... I'm going to guess that it is Barber after his great-grandmother, Ruth (Barber) Smith, wife of Henry Smith. 

Unfortunately, I picked one of the few ancestors that I do not have much information about!  But the review of the information was extremely profitable - I have a Genea-gasm coming on, I think! 

Surname Saturday - RICHARDS (England to Lynn Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 157, who is Mary RICHARDS (1733-????), one of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts]  I bypassed numbers #151 (the unknown mother of #75. Hannah Smith), #153 (the unknown paternal grandmother of #38. Thomas J. Newton), and #155 (the unknown maternal grandmother of #38 Thomas J. Newton).

My ancestral line back through five generations of RICHARDS 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)

18.  Edward Hildreth (1831-1899)
19.  Sophia Newton (1834-1923)

38.  Thomas J. Newton (ca 1795 - after 1834)
39.  Sophia Buck (1797-1882)

78.  Isaac Buck (1757-1846)
79.  Martha Phillips (1757-after 1820)
156.  Isaac Buck, born about 1732 in probably Wilmington, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA. He was the son of 312. Isaac Buck and 313. Ruth Graves. He did not marry
157. Mary Richards, born 27 Sep 1733 in Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

Child of Isaac Buck and Mary Richards is:  Isaac Buck (1757-1846).

314. Joseph Richards, born about 1703 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA and died 4 June 1748 in Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. He married  05 May 1726 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA.
315. Mary Bowden, born 19 Jul 1705 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA. She was the daughter of 630. Michael Bowden and 631. Sarah Davis.

Children of Joseph Richards and Mary Bowden are: William Richards (1730-1794); Joseph Richards (1731-????); Mary Richards (1733-????); Ebenezer Richards (1738-1807); Martha Richards (1740-????); John Richards (1742-1840); Hannah Richards (1744-1841); Esther Richards (1746-1847).

628. Crispus Richards, born 20 Oct 1681 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; died 17 May 1763 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA. He married 21 Dec 1702 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA.
629. Sarah Collins, born 10 Aug 1678 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; died before 23 Jun 1757 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA. She was the daughter of 1258. Joseph Collins and 1259. Sarah Silsbee.

Children of Crispus Richards and Sarah Collins are:  Joseph Richards (1703-1748); Esther Richards (1705-????); John Richards (1707-1758); Sarah Richards (1709-????); Hannah Richards (1711-1740);  Mary Richards (1713-1758); Deborah Richards (1715-????).

1256. John Richards, born about 1644 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA; died before 10 Mar 1713 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA. He was the son of 48. Edward Richards and 49. unknown. He married  18 Nov 1674 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA.
1257. Mary Brewer, born 1653 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA; died 1706 in Massachusetts, USA. She was the daughter of 2514. Crispus Brewer and 2515. Mary.

Children of John Richards and Mary Brewer are:  Mary Richards (1675-????); John Richards (1677-1733); Edward Richards (1679-1748); Crispus Richards (1681-1763); Elizabeth Richards (1683-????); Joseph Richards (1683-1745);  William Richards (1688-????); Abigail Richards (1690-1774).

2512. Edward Richards, born 1616 in Plymouth, Devon, England; died 26 Jan 1690 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA. He married before 1643.
2513. unknown, died before 1649 in probably Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA.

Children of Edward Richards and unknown are: John Richards (1644-1713); Bathsheba Richards (1647-????).

I wrote about #78 Isaac Buck in Isaac Buck - Revolutionary War Soldier and about his parentage in Isaac

The published resources I've used for these Richards families include:

1)  The biographies and vital records of Edward Richards and his descendants are provided by Winifred
 Lovering Holman in the article  "Edward Richards of Lynn", The Essex Genealogist, Volume 12 (1992),
Pages 142-156, 205-210; and Volume 13 (1993), Pages 29-39, 105-111.

2)  The web page "Richards Family History Website" has a five-generation descendants report online, at

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Illinois State Genealogical Society Website Unveiled

From Thomas MacEntee, the webmaster of the Illinois State Genealogical Society:

For Immediate Release
January 15, 2010

Illinois State Genealogical Society Unveils New Website
New Design Features Illinois Resources for Genealogy Researchers

January 15, 2011 – Springfield, IL. The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) announces the debut of its newly redesigned website available to the public on Saturday, January 15, 2011.

Located at, the new ISGS website features links to ISGS projects as well as links to other records and resources throughout Illinois including those individual genealogical home pages with an Illinois connection!

Visitors are invited to explore the new ISGS website and enjoy these features:
  • The current issue of the ISGS Newsletter and archived copies back to 2008
  • Listings of ISGS events and events for Illinois genealogical societies
  • Highlights of various ISGS projects and initiatives
  • Free databases filled with information on Illinois ancestors
  • A list of Illinois research resources
New Members Section

One of the new features of the ISGS website is a members-only section which will be populated with access to Illinois-related databases for those researchers with Prairie State ancestors. Over the course of the next few months, additional members-only databases will be added.

Stop By and Visit ISGS!

ISGS encourages everyone – ISGS members and the public – to stop by and explore. In addition, visitors are encouraged to leave their feedback with the ISGS webmaster at

About Illinois State Genealogical Society

The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) was organized in October of the Illinois Sesquicentennial Year, 1968, and is a non-profit, educational organization. ISGS was established for the following purposes:
  • To stimulate an interest in the people who contributed to the establishment and development of the State of Illinois.
  • To seek, preserve, and make available data pertaining to individuals, families, and groups who lived in Illinois and to events which took place therein.
  • To inform people of the value of, and need for, preserving family and local history for posterity.
  • To encourage the formation of local genealogical societies and to coordinate and disseminate information.
The ISGS genealogical collection is located in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield and an administrative office is maintained in the Illinois State Archives. For more information visit

Contact:       Illinois State Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 10195
Springfield, IL 62791-0195
+1 (217) 789-1968

Family Tree Maker 2011 can make an Ancestral Name List!

I've whined forever about Family Tree Maker genealogy software not being able to make a relatively simple ancestral name list (many call it an ahnentafel list, and FTM does too) - see Family Tree Maker Cannot Make an Ahnentafel List - Still! for the whine about FTM 2010.  Every other genealogy program that I've worked with has been able to make the ancestral name list (with just names, birth, death and marriage dates and places).

Now I can cross this whine off my list - because in Family Tree Maker 2011, it can do it!  Here's a screen shot of the start of my "Ahnentafel Report" that excludes the children (that was the bugaboo I had about earlier versions):

The key to making the ancestral name list without children is to click on the "Exclude children" box in the "Ahnentafel Report Options" panel to the right of the main panel. 

I've been working in FTM 2011 for the past month, but that's the first time I've seen the "Exclude children" box.  Thank you, Family Tree Maker!  This was one of my major problems with Family Tree Maker in previous versions.

Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 5: Some Issues

I've converted quite a few "Free-form Sources" (no template) to FTM 2011 Source Template sources over the past week.  I've also added some sources to Facts that did not have a source citation previously. 

In the latter process trying to use an existing Source Group or Source Citation, I've found that I can't remember exactly who the author of a work was, or what the exact title of the work is.  FTM 2011 provides several drop-down menus to help the poor user like me with hundreds of Source Groups and thousands of Source citations.

But I still have problems easily finding specific Source Groups or specific Citations.  Here are some screens that illustrate my problems:

1)  I wanted to add a source to the christening record for Caleb Carr in 1615, so in the "People" Workspace and on Caleb Carr's "Person" page, I clicked on "New" in the Source panel on the right-hand side.  The "Add Source Citation..." box opened and I could click on the down arrow in the field:

I scrolled down and found the right Source Group (listed under Beaman, Alden G., ...):

Note that if the Source Templates have been used exactly (as in above example), the author's name, last name first, is listed as the Source Group first element, followed by the Title.  However, if the author's full name was put in the Source Template field, then the Source Group list shows the first name first.  If a free-form source was used, the title of the source is usually listed as the Source Group.

That's easy enough for a source that I know the author of, but if I had been searching for a source without an author that starts "Vital Records of..." (note: I have about 150 of those!), it would be a long scroll down or search.

2)  Alternatively, if I had typed in the "Add Source Citation..." field the name "beam" I would have been shown all of the Source Groups that start with those letters:

That works fine, as long as the user can remember what the author's surname is.

In this case, there are two of them, and the wrong one is highlighted in the field and all of them are shown in the dropdown box below the field.  However, there aren't enough characters shown in the dropdown box for me to make a rational decision if the critical information is to the right of the characters shown.  What if I had 150 Source Groups that start "Vital Records of..."? I may not be able to easily find the right Source Group.

I hope that Family Tree Maker makes this dropdown box much wider so that I don't have to guess.

3)  In this particular case, I wanted to use a previous source citation, so I clicked on the arrow to the right of the "New" button in the "Source" panel, and clicked on the "Use Existing Source Citation" link:

When I do that, the list of all of the source citations (I have over 4,000 now) opens and I have to scroll down to find the one I want:

In this list of "Find Source Citation,"  the citations are listed as the Full Reference Note is listed - with author's first name first.

If the user is entering source citations for a number of facts, then the last source citation used is highlighted on the list when the user selects the "Use Existing Source Citation" link and all you have to do is click on the "Link to Citation" box or "Create New Copy" link.  This is especially useful for Facts on the same page of a document, such as a published book or journal, a census record or a vital record book.

All of this seems much harder than it should be.  I use a work-around when I am entering a lot of data from one source for many people and/or many facts.  In the work-around, I add a keyword at the beginning of the Author's surname field.  For example, using the previous example:

"Carr - Beaman"

so that the Source Group reads "Carr - Beaman, Alden G., 'Lines of Descent from Caleb Carr of Newport"'

When I'm done with entering the information, all I have to do is go to "Sources" Workspace, find the entry in the Source Group, and edit the work-around Keyword out of the Author's field.  For Source Groups without an author, the Keyword can be put in the Author's Surname field by itself (but would still need to be edited out before publishing something).

Family Tree Maker could greatly improve the ease of adding new source citations using existing source Groups by adding a field for Keywords, so that I could add "Carr" to a field that would find all of the Source Groups with the Keyword.  The Keyword would not appear in the Source Citations. 

These comments are intended to highlight problems that I've had working with my source citations in Family Tree Maker 2011.  There is a learning curve to work with the program, especially in the Sources area, because of the complexity of the subject.

Disclosure:  I received a gratis copy of Family Tree Maker 2011 from in November 2010.  I had purchased earlier versions of Family Tree Maker myself, but also received gratis copies of some versions from (which I donated to a local genealogical society).  I try very hard to be objective in my comments about Family Tree Maker, and all genealogy software, subscription sites and websites.

Recent Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe Posts

The Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe is the blog for the Chula Vista [CA] Genealogical Society and posts items of interest to society members and genealogists in the San Diego area.  I am the editor of the blog.

Here are some of the recent posts:

Saturday Workshop, 15 January: "Organization of your Genealogy"

Research Group Summary - 12 January 2011

New Chula Vista Library Hours

Chula Vista Centennial - 1911 San Diego City Directory pages

18 boxes of history archives donated

Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - January 2011

Holiday Luncheon Photos

CVGS Holiday Luncheon Summary

In addition, the January 2011 edition of the CVGS Newsletter is available online at  I am also the editor of the CVGS Newsletter.

Why do we publish our newsletter online for anybody to read?  The simple reason is that it is one way to publicize our programs and activities.  Almost all of the articles in the newsletter are about future programs or past program summaries, plus some computer news, book reviews and "how-to" articles. 

The programs we offer (monthly Speaker Program, monthly Saturday Workshop, monthly Research Group, monthly Computer Group, occasional Research Trip, two seminars each year, etc.) are the real benefit of membership in and belonging to the society. 

Disclosure:  I received no remuneration for flagrantly hyping the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog or the CVGS Newsletter.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) Index Now Online

I just read the blog post NGSQ Index Now FREE and AVAILABLE to the Public on the Upfront with NGS written on 12 January by Diane L. Richard.  The post includes:

"Since 1912, the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) has published material concerning all regions of the nation and all ethnic groups including compiled genealogies, case studies, essays on new methodology and little-known resources, critical reviews of current books, and previously unpublished source materials.

"Articles show how to cope with name changes, burned courthouses, illegitimacies, and other stumbling blocks; how to interpret records that do not mean what they seem to say; how to distinguish among individuals of the same name; how to identify origins of immigrant ancestors; how to research a variety of ethnic groups; how to find a way through the maze of records at the National Archives; how to conduct research in specific states; and how to compile solid genealogies.

"Previously, only NGS members could access the index to search the collection by author or title or browse editions by year. Now ANYONE can search the National Genealogical Society Quarterly Index for FREE, just click here!"
The web page is shown below:
The user can search for an Author Name or for an Article title, or check one of the "Article Category" boxes and hit the "Submit" button.  For instance:
*  Putting "Mills" in the "Author Name" field yields 84 matches
*  Putting "Tennessee" in the "Article Title" field yields 29 matches.
*  The "Bible Records" category has 799 matches.
*  The "African-American Features" category has 11 matches.
Alternatively, the user can select a year in the "Browse by Year Indexed" field and see all of the articles for a selected year. 
There are 99 years of peer-reviewed genealogical articles in this index - now FREE at  Have you searched for your surname, or your locality, lately? 
This is an excellent resource for researchers to find specific articles on surnames, localities or research techniques.  If you find an article of interest, many local and regional genealogical libraries have the print copies.  Or you can purchase a back issue of the NGSQ. Contact to check if it is available. Cost is $12 members/$15 non-members which includes shipping.
If you are an NGS member, the issues since 1983 are available at
I am very pleased to see this index online.  Every society with a research-oriented publication should put their Tables of contents online so that search engines can find articles.  It's a win-win - at a minimum, the society may sell an issue or gain a member.  The searcher gets help with his or her research.

Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 4: Census Records

I'm still trying to transform my "free-form" source citations created in Family Tree Maker 16 over the past 12 years to "template" source citations in Family Tree Maker 2011.  I have hundreds of source citations to United States census records in my database - how can I transform them?

The Evidence! Explained book by Elizabeth Shown Mills (I have the first edition) provides this source citation model for Online Images of U.S. Census Records for 1850  to 1930 population schedules, for a specific person, in Chapter 6, Section 6.25, page 277, for a full reference note:

1850 U.S. census, Marion County, Iowa, population schedule, p. 290 (stamped), dwelling 151, family 156, Virgil W. and Wyatt B. Earp; digital image, image, ( : accessed 16 January 2007); citing National Archives microfilm publication M432, roll 187.

The source citation models for U.S. census images in the QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources and QuickSheet: Citing Database & Images, also by Elizabeth Shown Mills, have essentially the same elements and format.  The latter resource has this example entry for the 1930 U.S. Census:

1930 U.S. census, Boyd County, Nebraska, population schedule, Butte Village, Enumeration district (ED) 8-8, sheet 6-A, p. 239 (stamped), dwelling 139, family 142.  Christena Fast; digital image, ( : accessed 22 January 2009), citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, roll 1265.

Family Tree Maker 2011 offers two different Source Types for U.S. census records - one for "by census year" and the other for "by census year and location."

Here is a specific source citation for one of my persons in the free-form style that came across into FTM 2011:

1930 United States Census, population schedule, National Archives, Washington DC, Hillsborough, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire; ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household, accessed on, citing National Archives Microform Series T626, Roll 1301

Close, but there are some differences relative to the EE and QuickSheet models.  The differences stem from my use of a "Master Source" in FTM 16 of "1930 United States Census, population schedule" in the "Title" and "National Archives, Washington, DC" in the repository field.  I put everything else from the town to the Roll number in the "Citation Detail" for the specific person. 

I transformed my 1930 U.S. Census citations from their free-form style to the
"by census year" source type using the process described below.  Here is the current free-form source citation information: 


I clicked on the "Change" button, and selected:

*  Source Group: Census Records
*  Category: Digital Images
*  Population Schedules - United States 1880 to 1930, (by Census Year)

The "Edit Source" form looked like:

After clicking "OK", I filled in the template fields with:

*  Census Year: 1930
*  Publication number: T626
*  Website title:
*  Database publisher:
*  Publisher location:  Provo, Utah, USA
*  Database year: 2004
*  URL:  

The form looked like this:

I clicked "OK" and the 1930 source citation for George Everett Seaver looked like:

1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, Hillsborough, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire; ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household, accessed on, citing National Archives Microform Series T626, Roll 1301; digital image, (

Hmmm.  There's some duplication because of how I've structured my Citation Details, and the location information isn't the same as the EE and QS models.  I could modify my Citation Details and end up with:

1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, Hillsborough town; ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household,  Roll 1301; digital image, (

That almost meets the EE and QS models - the Roll number is separated from the publication number, it doesn't have the access date, and my citation details could be improved.

What about the  "by census type and location" source type?  I created a new source group for the 1930 U.S. census with this source type:

The resulting source citation for my specific person looks like:

1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1301; Hillsborough, New Hampshire, Hillsborough town, ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household, accessed on, citing National Archives Microform Series T626, Roll 1301; digital image, (

I can edit my Citation Details and come up with:
1930 U.S. census, population schedule, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 1301; Hillsborough, New Hampshire, Hillsborough town, ED 14, Sheet 10B, Dwelling #236, Family #270, G. Everett Seaver household; digital image, (

That's almost exactly what the EE and QS models have - it's missing the access date information, although I could add them to the details.

My conclusions are that:

*  The "by census year" source type template comes fairly close to the EE and QS models.  This source type puts all of the location details in the citation details rather than in the template itself.  One "Source Group" can be used for many locations.

*  The "by census year and location" source type template are almost exactly the EE and QS models.  This source type requires the Roll number and county/State location in the template, and the town/city information in the citation details.  Using this template requires using a different "Source Group" for each census Roll cited.

This leaves me with a dilemma;  which of these actions should I take:

1)  Change my source citations to the "by census year and location" source type template to most closely conform to the EE and QS models.  I would have to create about 160 new Source Groups and change all of my Citation Details to conform to the template.

2)  Change my source citations to the "by census year" source type template to be fairly close to the EE and QS models.  I can do this with my existing Source groups (one for each census year) but I need to edit all of my Citation Details.

3)  Stay with the free-form source citations that I presently have, and edit all of my Citation Details to come fairly close to the EE and QS models.

4)  Does it really matter?  Is this just an exercise in attaining unachievable perfection?  Sometimes I wonder!

I think that there is a bigger question.  If I use the FTM 2011 source templates to create source citations that conform to EE and QS models, how will they translate to other software programs and online family trees?  Will the template fields transfer perfectly to RootsMagic 4, Legacy Family tree 7, Family Tree Builder 5, Ancestry Member Trees, the WeRelate wiki, the MyHeritage tree, or the coming FamilySearch Family Tree?  How badly will my wonderful source citations in my database be mangled? 

Has anybody experimented with that issue?  I dread having to edit my 600-plus sources every time I use a GEDCOM upload.   

Disclosure:  I received a gratis copy of Family Tree Maker 2011 from in November 2010.  I had purchased earlier versions of Family Tree Maker myself, but also received gratis copies of some versions from (which I donated to a local genealogical society).  I try very hard to be objective in my comments about Family Tree Maker, and all genealogy software, subscription sites and websites.

UPDATED:  A whole bunch of editing transpired during the production of this blog post over two hours.  I lost half of it once and had to rewrite it.  Sometimes I really dislike Blogger.  Or my editing skills...darn figners!

Treasure Chest Thursday - Isaac Seaver's Physical Examination for Civil War Pension

It's Treasure Chest Thursday, time to share one of the documents or artifacts in my family history collection.  In previous posts, I have displayed documents from the Civil War Pension File of Isaac Seaver, my second great-grandfather. 

I received the complete Civil War Pension File for Isaac Seaver on 3 January - see my post My Christmas Present Came Today - Oh Boy! - and it has 81 pages in the file.  Many of them have little or no information on them.  I'm going to cherry-pick some pages for this and later Treasure Chest Thursday posts.

The "treasure" this week is the "Surgeon's Examination" of Isaac Seaver when he applied for a Pension in 1892.  There are two sides to this piece of paper:

This side of the Surgeon's Certificate is the form used to catalog and file the record.  There are skeleton outlines on this side to help define any injuries or deformities found in the examination.  The information on this side includes:

Surgeon's Certificate
in case of

Name:  Isaac Seaver
Co. H, 4 Reg't Mass. H.A.

Applicant for Original
No. 1,117,272

Date of Examination:
Aug 10 1892, 189

?????????? Pres., Board
Henry S. Knight, Sec'y, Board
Albert ?????, Treas., Board

Post office, Worcester
County, Worcester
State, Mass.

The side of the paper with the Surgeon's examination details is:

The form has this information on it (information entered  on the form is typed, and underlined in the transcription below):

Attention is invited to the outlines of the human skeleton and figure upon the back of
this certificate, and they should be used whenever it is possible to indicate precisely the location
of a disease or injury, the entrance and exit of a missile, an amputation, etc.

The absence of a member from a session of a board and the reason therefor, if known, and
the name of the absentee, must be indorsed upon each certificate.

Insert character and number of claim: Original  Pension claim No. 1,117,272
Name and rank of claimant:  Isaac Seaver, Rank, Private.
Company H, 4 Reg't Mass. H.AWorcester, Mass. State,
Claimant's post-office address:  Leominster, Mass. (Date of examination) Aug 10 1892

We hereby certify that in compliance with the requirements of the law we have carefully
examined this applicant, who states that he is suffering from the following disability, incurred
in the service, viz:  Varicose veins of both legs, rheumatism, resulting
heart disease, disease of urinary organs, enlarged prostate and
result of carbuncle on back of neck.

He makes the following statement upon which he bases his claim for Original
He has varicose veins on both legs from ankle up, grown worse
during past few years.  Left leg is worse than right.  He
never had much rheumatism, has it in knees and back.  He is
short breathed on exertion.  He has to pass his water fre-
quently at night and it pains him in its passage.  He had car-
buncle on back of neck 5 years ago and back of head is numb.

Upon examination we find the following objective conditions: Pulse rate, 90, 96, 108;
respiration: 18, 24; temperature, 98.6; height, 5 feet 10 inches; weight, 163
pounds; age, 69 years.  His muscles are rather small and soft,
eyes, skin and tongue normal.  Find varicose veins of both
ankles over tops of feet, and up the legs, quite extensive but
not large, four eighteenths.  He has no rheumatism now, noth-
ing. Cardiac area is enlarged, apex 5 and 6 nipple line, im-
pulse diffused, action excitable, very irregular, three eight-
eenths. Find scar, 3 1/2" inch, much contracted, puckered
and hard, four eighteenths.  Examination of urine is negative,
kidneys, nothing.  Prostate is normal.  No other disability
is found to exist.

Rate for each cause of disability:  He is, in our opinion, entitled to a 4/18
rating for the disability caused by varicose veins, 0 for that caused
by rheumatism, and 3/18 for that caused by heart, 0 urinary organs & 4/18 scar.

J. ?????????, Pres.   H.A. Knight, Sec'y   Albert ????? Treas.

The findings are interesting.  I can't read two of the Board members signatures (they're probably physicians!).  It appears that Isaac qualified for 11/18 of a full pension as a result of his disabilities in 1892.  There appears to be a line on the skeleton on the back of the head that indicates where the carbuncle was.

From this document, I know that, at age 69, Isaac was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed 163 pounds, had small and soft muscles, and no prostate problems.  His death certificate in 1901 says he died of prostate cancer.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 3: Online Databases

One of the problems I've faced in creating source citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 using the source templates has been how to create a source for vital records indexes and images found online.  I didn't find a clear model in the available Source Templates.

First, I consulted Evidence! Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills (I have the first edition).  In Chapter 9 on "Local and State Records: Licenses, Registrations, Rolls & Vital Records," there are no Quick Check models for online state vital records indexes and images.  In Section 9.6 for "Basic Formats: Online Databases," there are examples of how to cite vital records index and image databases.  The section notes:

"Online abstracts, databases, and indexes can usually be cited like any authored article at a website. The key issue is that you are not citing original records. You are citing a derivative work created by someone other than the original creator. Therefore, your emphasis will be on the derivative. Whatever data your derivative provides about the original will be cited only as the source of your source."

The example for an Idaho Marriage Index on page 438 provides a good model to follow.  The Full Reference Note using this model is:

"Idaho Marriages, 1842–1996,” database, ( : accessed 3 February 2007), entry for William E. Sebring–Mable Shown, 19 February 1900; citing Ada County, Idaho, [Marriages] Vol. 4: 280.

The source description for this database reads:

Upper Snake River Family History Center and Ricks College (Rexburg, Idaho). Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

There are other source citation models that can be followed based on Evidence! Explained - for instance, the QuickSheet:  Citing Online Historical Documents has a section for Vital Records.  A Full Reference Note for the above database would look like:

Upper Snake River Family History Center and Ricks College (Rexburg, Idaho). "Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996," database,  ( : 2005, for marriage of William E. Sebring and Mable Shown. 

Original data: These records were extracted between 1982 and 1996 primarily from marriage records held at county courthouses. Specific source information is provided with each entry.

The QuickSheet Citing Databases & Images also has a section for Basic Format: Databases (Created by Ancestry).  A Full Reference Note for the above database would look like:
"Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996," database, ( : accessed 22 January 2009, entry for marriage of William E. Sebring and Mable Shown, 19 February 1900, Ada County; citing Ada County, Idaho, [Marriages] Vol. 4: 280.
How does Family Tree Maker 2011 create this source citation?  I will use one of my own database entries in this specific database in the example.  Here's my attempt to create the Source. In the "Sources" Workspace, I selected and double-clicked the "Idaho Marriage Index" item from my Source Group list, and the "Select Source Template" box opened:

Ah, there's the Source Type of "Local and State Records: Registrations, Rolls and Vital Records" and I selected "State Level Records" in the Category field.  The Template field has options of "Miscellaneous Files," "Vital Records Certificate," "Vital Records Register," and "Vital Records amended." 

Hmmm, which one fits best?  I think "Vital Records Register" fits best, so I selected that and clicked "OK."  The Template has fields for (with my inputs):

*  State or country:  I input "Idaho"
*  Agency/creator:  I input "Upper Snake River Family History Center and Ricks College (Rexburg, Idaho)"
*  Record series: I input " Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005"
*  Source repository:  I input " ("
*  Call number:  I left it blank
*  Comments: I input "Original data: These records were extracted between 1982 and 1996 primarily from marriage records held at county courthouses. Specific source information is provided with each entry"

I obtained all of those bits of information from the source citation for the database.  The entry before clicking "OK" looks like this:

After clicking "OK" the Source citation has been created (the Full Reference Note is in the bottom right-hand corner:

The source citation using the specified FTM 2011 Source Template fields reads:

Idaho, Upper Snake River Family History Center and Ricks College (Rexburg, Idaho), Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005; (, Provo, Utah, USA.
Well, that doesn't look like any of the Evidence! Explained models listed above, does it?  Why is that?  I think it's because the Family Tree Maker Source Templates used only the Quick Check Models listed at the start of each Evidence! Explained chapter in the first edition. 

I did find another Source Type that has a template that works fairly well:  the "Archives and Artifacts" type, the "Archived Material" category and the "Digital Archive" template.  The template fields, with my inputs, are:

*  Collection: "Idaho Death Index, 1911-1951 [database]"
*  Collection format: "index of death records"
*  Website creator/owner: " Operations Inc., Provo, Utah, USA"
*  Website title: ""
*  URL:
*  Year: "2003"
*  Comments: "Original data: Bureau of Health Policy and Vital Statistics. Idaho Death Index, 1911-51. Boise, ID, USA: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare."

The screen with the information filled in on the "Archives and Artifacts" is: 

The completed Source citation using this template looks like:

"Idaho Death Index, 1911-1951 [database]", Operations Inc., Provo, Utah, USA, (

That looks more like the Evidence! Explained source citation, and the QuickSheet examples, doesn't it?

I hope that, in a future release, Family Tree Maker will add more Source Templates that enable users to easily create quality source citations for online index and image databases.

Disclosure:  I received a gratis copy of Family Tree Maker 2011 from in November 2010.  I had purchased earlier versions of Family Tree Maker myself, but also received gratis copies of some versions from (which I donated to a local genealogical society).  I try very hard to be objective in my comments about Family Tree Maker, and all genealogy software, subscription sites and websites.

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 15 January: "Using Google Earth to Map Your Ancestor's Home"

From email from Judy Davis, VP-Admin for the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego:

The next meeting will be held on Saturday, January 15, 2011 from to . Here are the details:

PARKING will be free until further notice.

- User groups:
Family Tree Maker
*  Macintosh;
*  SIG: Beginning Computer Genealogy. (Beginners: Please Remember to Bring a Copy of Your Pedigree Chart.)

- Announcements followed by:

“Using Google Earth to Map Your Ancestor’s Home”
by David Armstrong and Anne J. Miller, Ph.D.

    This presentation is an overview of what can be done by combining land records with Google Earth. Topics covered include: Google Earth Settings, Using the Sidebar, Adding Content and Organization.

    David J. Armstrong is a professional genealogist specializing in combining historical records with technology in order to enhance our understanding of ancestors’ lives. David’s background as a leader in math and computer education has served him well in his genealogical endeavors. He is a member of NGS, APG, and numerous regional and local genealogical societies.

    Anne J. Miller, Ph.D. is a professional genealogist, an historian, and a psychologist specializing in combining genealogical and historical resources to provide a better understanding of people. Anne does genealogical and historical research for others and gives presentations. She has published in both genealogical and historical journals.

We meet at the Robinson Auditorium complex on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla. From
North Torrey Pine Road
turn at
Pangea Drive
into UCSD. Parking is available in the parking garage on the left; use any A, B, or S space. Signs will mark directions to our meeting room. Please refer to our website or the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies website for driving directions and a map.
- Break, refreshments

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 135: A Pensive Emily

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

This is a photograph of Emily Kemp Auble in 1918 with a bow in her hair, posed with a vase of flowers on a simple stand.  My guess is that this was taken before her wedding on 19 June 1918 to Lyle Lawrence Carringer.  Lyle and Emily are my maternal grandparents.

I have very few pictures of Emily smiling.  She looks very pensive in this photograph, perhaps pondering her future as an 18-year old bride to a young United States Marine.  She doesn't know how her world will change over the next 59 years of her life, but it was mostly good and wonderful.  They had only one child and three grandchildren, but they loved them all in the very best way. 

I posted a biography, including this picture, of Emily Kemp (Auble) Carringer (1899-1977) in March 2009.

Updated:  Barbara kindly pointed out that I neglected to proof the post. I corrected "60" down to "59" and ended up with "659" in the initial text.  Thanks, Barbara!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 2: Converting Free-form Sources to Template Sources

In Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 1, I described some of my challenges in creating "quality" source citations in my genealogy database using FTM 2011.

I want to convert my "master sources" (most of them created in Family Tree Maker 16 over the past 12 years) into "Source Groups" using the source templates that were developed according to Evidence! Explained principles.  If I do this well, then I won't have to duplicate my earlier efforts. 

For this example, which is typical of what I've done to date on this task, I'm going to convert the Carringer Family Bible "master source" from the free form style to the Template style.  The "free form source" reads:

"unknown, Carringer Family Bible (loose pages) (no publication information), Family files of Randall J. Seaver, 1154 Via Trieste, Chula Vista, California, USA 91911"

I copied this text to my clipboard before I did the following process:

1)  In the "Sources" Workspace, the list of "Source Groups" is on the left.  I selected and double-clicked on the "Carringer Family Bible" entry and the "Edit Source" box appeared over the middle panel.  In the lower right-hand panel is the text above:

In my "free form source," I had entries in the Title, the Publisher, the Source Repository and the Comments.  The "Source Template" field is empty. 

2)  I want to use an appropriate "Source template" so I clicked on the "Change" button and the "Select Source Template" box appeared:

The "Select Source Template" box wants me to select a "Source Group," "a "Category" and a "Template."  After looking through several of the options, I selected a "Source Group" = "Archives and Artifacts," a "Category" = "Private holdings" and a "Template" = "Family Bible Records" in the fields above.  The helpful note below the "Template" field provides a summary of what should go into this particular template.

3)  I clicked on the "OK button, and the "Change Source Type box appeared, which wants me to choose which of the template fields I want to use:

I decided to accept them all... noting that the "Existing template" item was checked, and clicked "OK." 

4)  The "Edit Source" box opened with the selected template fields, but they were empty.  Remember how I copied the previous "free form source" information into my clipboard?   I then pasted it into the "Comments" field at the bottom so that I could cut and paste elements into the template fields. 
I proceeded to put information into the template fields of the "Edit source" box:

After filling in the fields, I edited the "Comments" section.

5)  The "Edit Source" box looked like this:

OK, I'm done editing.  I clicked "OK" and the source was edited.  The "Source Group" screen for this specific Source Group looked like:

The "Source Citation" section of the middle panel shows one citation, with 11 "Links" in the lower part of the middle panel.  The "Source Group" citation reads:

"David Jackson Carringer, 1828-1946, Carringer Family Births, Marriages and Deaths (loose pages), unknown title (unknown location: unknown publisher, unknown date; before 1901); privately held by Randall J. Seaver, Chula Vista, California 91911, 1988-2011."

That one was fairly complicated - not all of them are, of course. 

For me, the key for this process was to copy my "free form source" information into the clipboard a temporary file of some sort so that it can be pasted into the Comments section to help me with the source template fields.  I learned from experience that once you've changed the source information, the previous "free form source" information was eliminated. 

I've changed some of my 640+ Source Groups from the "free form source" style to the "Source Template" style and it goes fairly quickly.

Disclosure:  I received a gratis copy of Family Tree Maker 2011 from in November 2010.  I had purchased earlier versions of Family Tree Maker myself, but also received gratis copies of some versions from (which I donated to a local genealogical society).  I try very hard to be objective in my comments about Family Tree Maker, and all genealogy software, subscription sites and websites.

Genea-Musings Top 20 Hits for 2010

Like other genea-bloggers, I'm curious about which posts on Genea-Musings are "popular" - and why they might be.

Here are the Top 20 blog posts that had the most page views in 2010 (from Google Analytics).  Of course, with almost five years and 4,500 posts, they were not all written in 2010:

1)  World records for number of children (posted 21 July 2006) - 5,610 views

2)  Family Tree Maker 2011 Announced (posted on 6 August 2010) - 3,536 views

3)  John Tyler's Grandson is still alive! (posted 20 February 2007) - 2,715 views

4)  How rare is your personality type? (posted 20 June 2007) - 1,522 views

5)  Tombstone Tuesday - Nathaniel Grigsby (posted 19 May 2009 ) - 1,521 views

6)  Want a genealogy job? FamilyLink is hiring! (posted 15 April 2009) - 1,352 views

7)  I'll wait on Family Tree Maker 2011 posted on 31 August 2010 - 1,239 views

8)  Make Your Own Gravestone (posted 29 July 2007) - 1,118 views

9)  New FamilySearch Record Search Databases - 300 million names! (posted 3 May 2010) - 986 views

10)  I'm Puzzled by DNA Claims on "Faces of America" (posted 4 March 2010) - 831 views

11)  Who has married the most times? (posted 24 June 2008) - 782 views

12)  Exporting a Tree from (posted 9 July 2009) - 711 views

13)  Was Daniel Boone an Ancestor of Pat Boone? (posted 31 August 2007) - 690 views

14)  My mtDNA is in the K Haplogroup (posted 30 September 2008) - 676 views

15)  Is Robert Pattinson a Cousin to Vlad III Dracula? (posted 24 June 2010) - 6095 views

16) Offering 15% Savings on NEW Subscriptions (posted 4 July 2010) - 576 views

17) Source citations leave a lot to be desired (posted 14 May 2010) - 553 views

18)  "I Am My Own Grandpa" (posted 30 June 2006) - 516 views

19)  First Look at - a Database Site? (posted 16 April 2010) - 512 views

20)  The 2010 Census Questions - and why they are asked (posted 9 March 2010) - 479 views

Twelve of these top 20 posts are "oldies but goodies" - posts that people find by using a search engine. The others are more recent posts, and the traffic for most of them peaks right after they are posted and dies down quickly.

Previous Top 20 "most popular" posts are:

*  2009:  Genea-Musings Statistics for 2009 - Post 2
*  2008:  Genea-Musings top posts - by page views