Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Geneabloggers Pajama Party

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

Of course, I'm at Jamboree and completely forgot about writing this post until someone said "what's our Genealogy Fun tonight?"

Tonight at Jamboree is the Geneabloggers Pajama Party, and everyone knows that fun folks play games at their pajama parties.  So, for SNGF tonight:

1)  Play "two truths and a lie."  Tell us three facts about your family history -- two have to be true and one has to be a lie.

2)  Put them on your own blog post, in a Facebook status or in a comment on this blog.  Ask readers to guess which one is a lie.

3)  After one day, be sure to put the right answer as a comment to your blog. or Facebook status.

Thank you to Susan Kitchens for suggesting this topic.  We're going to play it tonight at the Geneablogger pajama party too!

Here's mine:

* I am a 20th cousin once removed to Queen Elizabeth II of England.

*  My ancestor Thomas J. Newton (1798-1837) committed suicide.

*  I found my great-grandfather's holographic wlll in the Treasure Box 56 years after his death.

Which one do you think is a lie?  Please comment!

The URL for this post is

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work (RSS feed readers excepted).

UPDATED 14 June:  I want to reveal my lie here - it is #2, as reader RBrass189 guessed.  Someone pays attention to the details!  good job.  Janet Iles, Linda McCauley and Julie Cahill Tarr aslo guessed #2.  You all win a lifetime subscription to Genea-Musings - just put your email address in the field and Feedburner will send it to you every day there is a blog post. 

SCGS Jamboree - Post 2: What Happens at Jamboree Shows Up on...

The afternoon and evening of the SCGS Jamboree for me was ... eventful.  And fun.

It is difficult to blog, take pictures, go to presentations and visit friends all at the same time.  blogging takes a back seat to the other things, it seems.  I have photos in my camera but no time to get them onto the computer (a smart phone would solve that problem, I think).

On Friday afternoon, I attended John Phillip Colletta's talk on "Using Original and Derivative Sources: How to Evaluate Evidence."  It was excellent, and I admire his presentation skills. 

Linda came in on the train from Santa Ana in the afternoon, and we went to dinner at The Grill in the hotel.  Many of the geneabloggers had food and drink from the bar menu, but we are in the main restaurant because of her allergy problems. 

I managed to get over to Blogger Island by 7:30 p.m. for the Geneabloggers Radio show and there were about 15 around the table with Thomas MacEntee at one end managing the phones and the chat board.  Susan Kitchens was on the floor down the hall calling in...I wondered what she was up to.  The bloggers at the table were on the chat board and listening to Thomas's end of the conversation. That ended at 7:55 and we were off to the GeneaBloggers Ice Cream Social sponsored by (thank you Grant, Jim, Charles and the team).

It started out pretty calm with a bowl of ice cream and toppings and sharing around tables of eight.  One of the amazing things was that the our table, Cheryl Palmer, Terri O'Connell, Angela Kraft and I all share a common Richmond ancestor in colonial Plymouth, John Richmond.  We were seated next to each other!

Sheri Fenley and Lisa Alzo brought the parrot pinata to the party, and the hula skirts too.  Donna Wendt and Kim von Aspern demonstrated their hula skills, and the long grass skirts ended up on a number of attendees, which set off a frenzy of picture taking.

The only picture I've seen so far of me is courtesy of Elyse Doerflinger on her Twitter account:

It was nice to be a blonde again.  Cheryl was holding Peter the parrot pinata too.  My wife was surprised to see me doing this for some reason.  Hey, we're having fun.

I'll have more posts after the Blogger Summit meetings at 10 and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.  They will be on the SCGSwebinar channel - don't miss them!

Updated 3:30 p.m.:  Diana Ritchie has an album of Geneabloggers Gone Wild at which includes another picture.

The URL for this post is

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work (RSS feed readers excepted).

Surname Saturday - DIAMOND (NY? > Ontario)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 243, who is Katreen Diamond (ca 1755-????), another of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back to Katreen Diamond  is:
1. Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-....)

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 Abram Kemp (1831-1902)
31. Mary Jane Sovereen (1841-1874)

60. Abraham James Kemp (1795-after 1881)
61. Sarah Sephrona Fletcher (1802-after 1861)

120. John Kemp (1768-after 1861)
121. Mary Dafoe (1776-before 1851

242.  Abraham Dafoe, born before 11 May 1755 in Albany, Albany, New York, United States; died 1815 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada. He was the son of 484. Johann Ernst Dafoe and 485. Maria Keller. He married about 1775 in New York, United States.
243. Katreen Diamond, born about 1755 in New York, United States.  Her parents are unknown.

Children of Abraham Dafoe and Katreen Diamond are:

*  Mary Dafoe, born about 1776 in Vermont, United States; died before 1851 in probably Cramahe, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada; married John Kemp 26 January 1795 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada.
*  female Dafoe, born about 1780 in Vermont, United States; died 1784.
*  Jacob Dafoe, born 1784 in probably Quebec, Canada; died 1872; married Anne Phillips 01 October 1804 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada; born 1787.
*  Elizabeth Dafoe, born 23 March 1786 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada; died 31 March 1861; married Henry Sharp 01 November 1809 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada; born 1782; died 1852.
*  George Dafoe, born before 09 March 1788 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada; died 08 May 1887; married Elizabeth Sills 30 September 1806 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada; born 13 February 1791 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada; died in .
*  Lucy Dafoe, born before 11 December 1791 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada.

I do not know Katreen Diamond's parents names.  There are family trees that claim the parents are John Diamond and Christina Loyst, but the John Diamond (born ca 1760) that married Christina Loyst is very likely the same generation as Katreen rather than her father.  There is a Dymond web page at "Dymond of Hudson's River" that has descendants of Edward Dymond (1723).  There is a Catherine Dimond born 1758, daughter of John and Maritie (--?--) Dimond, that married Daniel Emigh that is the right age on the web page. 

If any Dafoe or Diamond/Dimond cousins have more information, I would love to know about it.

The URL for this post is

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work (RSS feed readers excepted).

Friday, June 10, 2011

SCGS Jamboree - Post 1: We're Here!

Yawn...getting up at 4 a.m. is not fun.  It's dark outside... but we were at the train station by 5:30 a.m. to catch the 6:10 a.m. train to Burbank.  Got here at 9:30 and the Marriott shuttle bus arrived soon after. 

I knew exactly where the genea-bloggers would be - in the seating area between the lobby and the West Tower.  Thomas MacEntee and Gini Webb were busy handing out the geneabloggers goodie bags (there's LOTS of good stuff there!  Thank you, sponsors!).  There were lots of hugs from old friends and new - got to meet Caroline Pointer, Diana Ritchie, Angela Kraft, Donna Peterson, Kim von Aspern, and others (I should write them down!). 

Went over and registered with Paula, and then checked into the Marriott.  Took the stuff up to the room,  put all of the collected ribbons on the name badge, and back down to Blogger Heaven (as I call it - we gather there for the free wi-fi, it costs $12.95 a day in the room. 

Stopped on the grassy knoll for a hot dog and cookies for lunch, then off to explore Blogger Island.  It was well populated for awhile.  The wi-fi in the hotel public areas is free, but it is inconsistent.  My Google Reader loads and freezes after 10 or 20 clicks, and need to shut down the browser and load it again.  I'll try reading one blog at a time next time.

Wandered off to the Exhibit Hall to see the vendors.  Quite a few society booths this year, more than usual I think.  Stopped and talked to Earl Mott at AncestorSync/Sharing Time, Bruce Buzbee at RootsMagic, Sandy Rumble at GenDetective, Grant Brunner at, Leland Meitzler at Family Roots Publishing, Ron Arons, Joel Weintraub and Steve Morse at Black Sheep Books, my friends at SDGS, Janet Hovorka at Family ChartMasters, and more.

Returned to Blogger Island (in the corner of the Convention Center) and found that most had gone off to the first set of presentations at 1:30 p.m.  The most popular seems to be Jana Broglin's "Prostitution in the Wild West."  Talked to Drew Smith, George Morgan and Kim von Aspern, and now they're off somewhere too - I'm the only castaway still on Blogger Island right now.  It's lonesome here.  Just me and the Milky Way chews.  Blogging about it, too!

Stay tuned, I'm not sure who will come rescue me.  I'm tempted to leave the laptop here and go wander in the exhibit hall more, but have resisted the temptation so far.

The URL for this post is

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work (RSS feed readers excepted).

First Look at GenDetective - Post 3: Personal Research Guide and Research Trip Guide

In my last GenDetective post, First Look at GenDetective - Post 2: Navigating in GenDetective Reporter, I described how to navigate in the GenDetective Reporter module. 

The most intriguing reports that can be created by GenDetective are the Personal Research Guide and the Research Trip Guide reports.  I wondered what is included in these reports.

I found that I had to be really careful with the Personal Research Guide report.  The Personal Research Guide report can take a group of selected persons and create a list of the records that might be found for those persons, and notes what the user already has in their GEDCOM file as Facts/Events.

While it is possible  to create a report for all of  the ancestors in each of my grandparents ancestral lines, it takes a really long time and creates a really large report. 

I found that selecting one or more persons for this report was much more useful.  Here is the process:

1)  From the "Trip Reports" Research Area list, select the "Personal research guide" item:

In the screen above, the Sample Report shows in the right-hand panel because I clicked on the words and not the green arrow to the right of "Personal research guide."

2)  After clicking on the green arrow next to the "Personal research guide," the "Select your Report Values" window opened, and in the "Select individuals for report" field I had the choice of "All People" or "Selected People."  I chose "Selected People" and clicked on the question mark head icon to the right of the field, as shown below:

The "Select People For Report" window above  permits the user to select everyone in the database (I recommend you not do that!), or select using selection criteria (e.g., "All people," "People related to:, etc.), then select from "Direct," "Close," "Distant," "Unrelaed" or Descendant" of one of the selected key persons (in my case, one of my grandparents.  I tried this the first time around - I selected "Direct" and my grandmother, Emily Auble, and the program worked over ten minutes before I shut it down.  The program says that this report is limited to 500 people. 

Instead, I chose two people by scrolling down the list of persons in the "Select People for Report."  I chose David Auble and Sarah Knapp, a married couple that resided in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana in the 1860 to 1900 time frame.   After scrolling down to their names, I checked the box to the left of their names on the list, as shown in the screen above.

3)  I clicked  the "OK" button and the "Select Your Program Values" window said that I had selected two persons:

After clicking the "Generate Report" button, the program worked for about two seconds and provided the report.  There were two pages for David Auble, two for Sarah Knapp and one for research notes.

4)  The screens below are views of the "Research Worksheet" report for David Auble:

The Research Worksheet for David Auble provides information available for Vital Statistics (Birth, Death, Burial, Will, Obituary, Gravesite); Marriage (spouse's Name, License, Marriage); Religion (Baptism, confirmed, Religion); Immigration (emigrated, Immigrated, Naturalization); Census Records (Federal or State Census Years during their lifetime);  Military Service; Occupation; Parents (Names); Siblings (Names); Spouse(s) (Name, marriage date); Children (with spouse names); Locations (with number of entries for each location); Documents Io locate and where you found them (lines for Birth cert., Death cert., Will, Obituary, Marriage license(s), Land Records, and Religious Records.

Sarah Knapp's Research worksheet is similar, and not shown.

4)  On a separate in the report is a blank sheet for "Pre-Trip Notes" for information about repositories:

The lines include:

*  Courthouse address (Phone numbers, Address, Laptop?, Scanner?, Camera, Phone, $Copies)
*  Historical society (same information)
*  Library address (same information)

Under "Additional Resources" are:

*  Local cemeteries
*  Books, ISBN#s, Films
*  Miscellaneous Notes

A section for Research Notes

The user has to print the report pages out and fill in the blanks.

5)  The "Research Trip Guide" in the "Trip Reports" Research Area works the same way - but you select a place (Country, State, County) in the "Select Your Report Values" window.  I selected Vigo County, Indiana:

6)  The "Genealogy Trip Research Guide" includes a list of the persons on the report, plus the "Research Worksheet" for the persons in the report, and the "Pre-Trip Notes" page.

The "Research Worksheets" and "Pre-Trip Notes" pages were identical to what I showed for the "Personal Research Guide" report.

These worksheets can be very helpful to identify the research items that are already available, and those that are missing.  The Pre-Trip Notes" and "Additional Resources" sections are useful.

I like the idea of columns for the courthouse, libraries and societies and whether they permit laptops, scanners, cameras, etc. 

I would prefer a separate line for a genealogical society, and more than one line for the library.  Many counties in the USA have several genealogical societies and many libraries (then there are likely records at the Family History Library, NEHGS, Library of Congress, etc.).

I would like to see Source citations and notes provided on the Research Worksheets also.

Note that the GenDetective program can only show information from the user's GEDCOM file that are in discreet Facts/Events with specific GEDCOM tags (e.g., Birth, Death, Marriage, Burial, Census, Obituary, Military, Occupation, etc.).  The program does not access the Notes which may have information about these Facts/Events.   If the user has not included these Facts/Events in their database, then they won't show up in the GenDetective reports. 

The URL for this post is:

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Navigating - Post 5: Using the Card Catalog

The posts in this series to date are:

Navigating - Post 1: New Search, Advanced Form
*  Navigating - Post 2: New Search, Basic Form
Navigating - Post 3: Old Search, Basic Form
Navigating - Post 4: Old Search, Advanced Form users should know that there are some record databases that are not indexed. The user has to find them using the Card Catalog and then browse the specific database. 

In this post, we're going to visit the Card Catalog of the 30,151 databases that has available today.  The Card Catalog URL is

1)  The user can customize his home page, and my home page looks like this:

I've customized my home page so that the "Record Collections" box on the right-hand side of the screen is at the top of my page, right next to the Search box (on the left). 

Note that the "Record Collections" box has links to the U.S. Census records, some links to major collections, and the Card Catalog.

2)  After clicking the Card Catalog, the page looks like this:

The user can choose six different lists from the dropdown menu for "sort By" in the green background line - "Popularity," "Database Title," "Date Updated," "Date Added" and "Record Count," as shown in the screen above.

3)  I chose the "Record Count."   On the left side is the "Search Titles" box with fields for "Title" and "Keyword."  Further down the left-hand side is the "Filter Titles" where the user can choose one Record Group (e.g., "Census and Voter Lists").

I entered "California" in the "Title" field,  clicked on "Search" and saw:

There were 341 databases with "California" in the title of the database.

4)  I deleted "California" from the "Title" field and put "California" in the "Keyword" field.  The screen showed:

There are 8,648 Ancestry databases associated with "California," including nationwide databases like the Social Security Death Index, the Federal census databases, many newspapers, and much more.

5)  A user could narrow their search for a specific record type by adding another Keyword.  I searched for keywords of "California" and "marriages" and saw:

There were 38 databases associated with "california" and "marriages." 

However, if I search for Keywords of "california" and "marriage," I get 761 databases associated with those keywords (including the Social Security Death Index).  When I put "california marriage" in the Title field, I get three databases, and when I put "california marriages" in the Title field, I get three different databases.

The key here is to use a number of word combinations so that you find what you're looking for.

6)  The "Filter Titles" links take you to specific record collections - including:

*  Census and Voter Lists (505)
*  Birth, Marriage and Death (3,046)
*  Military (1,059)
*  Immigration and Travel (321)
*  Newspapers and Publications (1,389)
*  Pictures (33)
*  Stories, Memories and History (22,973)
*  Maps, Atlases and Gazetteers (163)
*  Schools, Directories and Church Histories (4,422)
*  Tax, Criminal, Land and Wills (1,000)
*  Reference, Dictionaries and Almanacs (1,327)
*  Family Trees (10)

The user can also filter by Locations, Dates, and Languages (further down on the left-hand side).

When I clicked on the "Census and Voter List" link, I saw:

7)  From this filtered title list, I can search for a specific place within that category.  I put "new york" in the Keyword field and saw:

The "Title" and "Keyword" fields can be used to find specific databases in the Filter Title searches.  If a user puts entries in both the "Title" and "Keyword" fields, the system will find only the "Title" field entries. 

In most of the Record Type category lists, the additional filters include "Collections," "Location," "Date" and "Language."

The Card Catalog search is very useful if you are looking for a specific database or record type.  There is a lot of flexibility on searching by Title or Keyword, by choosing a Record Type and searching within that type, and listing databases by different criteria.

The URL for this post is

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

First Look at GenDetective - Post 2: Navigating in GenDetective Reporter

After writing First Look at GenDetective - Post 1: GenDetective Analyzer yesterday, I thought that perhaps the size of my GEDCOM file (almost 40,000 persons) may have been the problem with the error messages, since it said I had a "System.OutOfMemoryException."

I created a smaller GEDCOM (6,813 persons, with only my direct line ancestral families) in RootsMagic 4 and loaded that into GenDetective Analyzer.  It worked fine, and I was able to get into the GenDetective Reporter.

My summary of this GenDetective program is:

1)  GenDetective Analyzer takes a GEDCOM file, looks at every Fact/Event, and puts them (along with Fact Notes, Sources and Media) into logical categories. 

2)  GenDetective Reporter takes these logical categories and provides genealogy reports for them that a user can save or print out to help guide their research. 

GenDetective has a 30 page "Getting Started with GenDetective 2011" PDF document that a user should read before using GenDetective.  I didn't do that yesterday, and should have!

1)  After successfully surviving the GenDetective Analyzer, the first screen for GenDetective Reporter looks like this:

There is an icon menu at the top left of the screen - for "Family Lines" (choose someone from the persons in the GEDCOM); "General Options" (how to run Analyzer and Reporter, and where to save reports); "News"; "About"; "Help"; and "Close Report Viewer." 

The left-hand panel provides a list of the reports available for a number of Research Areas.  The Report Type shown above is "Statistical" which is about the entire database.  The right-hand panel opens with an introductory page that says:

Welcome to GenDetective™ 2011, your genealogy research and trip planning software.  GenDetective Reporter organizes reports into two areas:

1.  Trip Reports – research itineraries for local or long distance trips where you do not have full access to your genealogical data.

2. Computer Research Reports – reports for research when you have complete access to your genealogical data.

Reports are further organized by area of research:

1. Trip based research
2. Online research
3. People
4. Families
5. Located data
6. Missing data
7. Census data
8. Places
9. Markers & Obituaries
10. Military Service
11. Statistical
12. Sources
13. Events

Most reports can be targeted to include people who have a relationship to a selected person. Choices include:

1. All people
2. People directly related to <person>
3. People closely related to <person>
4. People with an intermediate relationship to <person>
5. People distantly related to <person>
6. People unrelated to <person>

2)  The user can see a "Sample Report" (created by RumbleSoft) by clicking on the text for one of the items in the left-hand column (which is then highlighted), shown below:

Note that the report in the right-hand panel says "GenDetective Sample Report" - it is not the user's data!

3)  To see the Report for the user's database, the user has to click on the green right arrow on the left-hand margin.  I clicked on the green arrow for "First name usage, females" and saw:

In the screen above, there is a "float over"icon menu for "Save a Copy," "Print," "Up," "Down," Number of pages, "Zoom Out," "Zoom In," and "Show Adobe Reader Toolbar."

To change the report within the Research Area, the user clicks on the green arrow next to another Report type.

4)  "Statistical: is only one "Research Area" set of reports.  To access the other "Research Areas," the user clicks on the small down arrow on the right of the "Research Area"box - which opens the list of "Research Areas" as shown below:

5)  The user can select another "Research Area" and can access another set of Report Types.  I clicked on "People" and then "Ahnentafel for Person:"

After I clicked on the green arrow next to "Ahnentafel for Person," a "Select Your Report Values" window opened.  This window has many fields, but not every report type uses every field.  For the "Ahnentafel for Person" report, the only field that is required to be filled in is "Select person for the ahnentafel."  I selected myself from the list of all the persons in the GEDCOM file.

6)  I clicked on "Generate Report" and saw my ancestor report (which the program calls an "ahnentafel"):

I checked to determine if it was properly numbered - it is (meaning that it skips numbers for unknown persons.  Note that some software programs do not have the correct numbers if there are unknown persons in the ahnentafel). 

After generating this report, I could have printed it out using the Print icon on the "float over" menu.  The printout looks exactly like the image in the right-hand panel shown above.  The user's contact information (entered during the Analyzer input) is printed on the last page of each report.

There are hundreds of possible reports.  I haven't checked all of them yet.  I'll have more to say about the reports in future blog posts.

A user needs to be careful when requesting specific reports for the entire database.  The largest report I've created so far is 731 pages, but it took a long time!  Some reports require selecting one of the "key persons" input during the GenDetective Analyzer usage - mine are my four grandparents.

The Reports created from the user's GEDCOM file are saved in a file folder in the user's computer as PDF files.  The report titles are similar to "Ahnentafel for person_19394" and "Families with only a father_Direct_Seaver, Frederick Walton."

My 6,813 person database created a Microsoft Office Access 2007 Database file of over 435 megabytes (almost half a gigabyte). 

The next post in this series will look at some of the "Trip Reports" that could guide a user's research when visiting localities or repositories.

The URL for this post is:

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

Treasure Chest Thursday - My College Diploma

It's Treasure Chest Thursday, and I can't believe that it's been five weeks since the last post for this meme.  I need to scan more treasures!

Here is one treasure that I found in my collection of images scanned over the years:

This is for a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree (I've always used Aerospace Engineering in my resumes, wrong!), and I graduated "with honors - with distinction in engineering."  45 years ago.  It seems like just yesterday, sometimes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First Look at GenDetective - Post 1: GenDetective Analyzer

After writing GenDetective is Available for Download this morning, I tried to download the file and the installation failed, as noted in GenDetective 10-Day Trial, because I messed up downloading the Microsoft Office 2007 Primary Interop Assemblies software.  Reader Jackie helpfully suggested uninstalling and installing GenDetective again.  Thank you, Jackie!

I did that (twice - I made the same mistake with the Microsoft software again!), and GenDetective installed on my computer. 

When it opened, I went through a series of screens, including:

*  A screen telling me that I have to upload a GEDCOM file to analyze.

*  A welcome screen to the GenDetective Analyzer Wizard that told me that the Wizard would help me configure the program with my information and then analyze my information.

*  A contact information screen for name, email, address, web page.

*  A screen for life lengths and blank name options:

I kept the default values of 100 years life expectancy of 100 years and FNU and LNU for unknown names.

*  A screen to identify the GEDCOM file I want to analyze:

I chose my current master database with 39,905 persons.  It took three minutes to upload the file. 

*  A summary page for the GEDCOM file:

It looks like it found all of my data!

*  A screen asking if I have a special locality name like "Unable to locate" for unknown places.  I don't.

*  A screen asking if I use a Burial Fact in my database (I do) and if I require a media item to list it (I don't).

*  A screen asking if I use an Obituaries Fact to note obituaries (I don't).

*  A screen suggesting that I pick myself, my psouse, and my grandparents from the database to use for the analysis:

*  A screen with a list of the persons in my database opened, showing their birth year, death year, and name of each person in my database:

I picked myself, my spouse and my grandparents from the list, using a check box in the left-hand column.

*  The GenDetective Analyzer screen noting that it is ready to analyze my database:

The screen says it will take about 41 minutes to analyze my data, and to press the "Analyze" button to proceed.

*  After about six minutes, I received an error message window:

The error says "Exception of type 'System.OutOfMemoryException" was thrown."  I got two of them. 

*  I clicked "OK' on them and saw this screen:

It says:

"Congratulations!  You are ready to run the GenDetective Reporter or explore the GenDetective analyzer.  If you are new to GenDetective, start with the statistics reports, they can be very interesting!

"To run the GenDetective Reporter, exit the GenDetective Analyzer and run the GenDetective Reporter."

*  I clicked "Exit Analyzer Wizard" and tried to run the GenDetective Reporter.

It didn't run - the GenDetective Reporter started, then said I had to load my GEDCOM into the Analyzer.  At least the information I typed in earlier was still there. 

My guess is that the errors found during the Analyzer run prevented files from being created.  The Microsoft Office Access 2007 database created by the Analyzer is 17 megabytes, but the Reports folder is empty. 

What now?  I guess I wait until Tech Support gets to California, or gets back to their base.  For reference purposes, I'm running Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9 Beta, and the GEDCOM file was created by RootsMagic 4.

So in summary - I downloaded and installed the program, the GenDetective Analyzer uploaded my GEDCOM file, let me pick some significant persons, and there were two error messages.  Then the GenDetective Reporter did not run because the GEDCOM file was not loaded, or the database was corrupted somehow.

The URL for this post is:

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

SDGS Program Meeting on Saturday, 11 June features Franklin Chocco

The June program meeting of the San Diego Genealogical Society is Saturday, 11 June at 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.., at St. Andrews Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd, near Jackson Drive in San Diego). 

The two program segments feature Franklin Chocco speaking on:

10 a.m.:  "12 Tips to Find an Elusive Ancestor"

11:20 a.m.:  "Organizing Your Family History: Three Methodologies"

There will be society announcements and a refreshment break between the two presentations.

The program description:

Typically, family historians are a solo act - it's rare when siblings, parents, children or spouses have the same degree of interest in climbing the family tree as we do.  We are left to our own resources, becoming self-reliant as we wander trails into the unknown on the quest to find traces of distant relatives.  Every now and then the trail goes cold.

Ever wonder why you may be hitting brick walls when searching for an ancestor?  Franklin's first presentation will demonstrate twelve overlooked methods on how to find that elusive ancestor.

An equal challenge, and sometimes the bane of us all, is keeping the clues we've discovered organized.  Franklin's second presentation demonstrates three methodologies for staying organized and how to turn personal computers into a twenty-four/seven research assistants.  Once implemented, researchers receive notification by email when information is found on the Internet regarding their ancestors.  The information is updated in real time.

GenDetective 10-Day Trial

After writing GenDetective is Available for Download, I went to the website and downloaded the program.  The process was:

*  click on the "Download" button
*  Fill in a first name, last name, and email address.
*  An email was sent with a link to a web page that downloaded an executable file.
*  The program downloaded and was installed.
*  During the installation, the program prompts for a download of Microsoft Office 2007 Primary Interop Assemblies software.
*  The program should open when the installation is complete.

Unfortunately, during the installation I did not click on the Microsoft software download, I clicked on Cancel and it wasn't downloaded.  Therefore, I got a message when GenDetective opened, saying that it cannot run without the Microsoft software, and to click on the link to download it.

I downloaded the Microsoft software, and clicked on the GenDetective icon on my desktop and got the same message.

I rebooted the computer, and tried the GenDetective icon again, and got the same message.

At this point, I emailed GenDetective with a summary of my progress.  I quickly received an Auto-Reply that "We will be out of the office from Wednesday June 8 thru Monday June 13th attending the Southern California Jamboree! We will respond to your email as soon as possible."

Rats!  Foiled again.  The GenDetective evaluation will have to wait awhile.

For the record, the retail price for GenDetective is $32.95 for a download, and $37.95 for a CDROM via postal mail. 

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 156: Sherman Heights School Class Picture in 1903

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:

My grandfather, Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1903) attended Sherman Heights School in San Diego.  He was in Fourth Grade in 1903, when this picture of his Fourth Grade class was taken.  Lyle was always a small person, and was physically late in developing as a youth.

There are 42 children in this picture, plus the female teacher and a mature man (probably the school principal).  Note that the sign held by the girl in front reads "Sherman Heights, Grade 4, 1903."

 I believe that Lyle is in the front row, the second boy from the right, but I am not sure if that is him.  No other boy in the picture looks like Lyle as I picture him in this time period (although I don't have a picture of him from about 1900 to about 1910). 

Unfortunately, the teacher and the children are not named on the back of this picture. 

There is a Sherman Elementary School in San Diego, presently at 322 22nd Street, between Island Avenue and K Street.  I don't know if this is the site of the Sherman Heights School in 1903, but I think that it is.  This was probably the closest elementary school to Lyle's home in 1903 at 30th and Hawthorn Streets, but it is 2.2 miles away from his home.  Did he ride his bicycle, or walk?  I don't think that there were streetcars at this time.  Perhaps his father dropped him off on his way to work in downtown San Diego, and picked him up on the way home.  I wish I could ask him!

GenDetective is Available for Download

From my email...


RumbleSoft™ Incorporated has made GenDetective available for download.

GenDetective: Tells you what you DON’T KNOW and what you need to FIND!
Plumsteadville, Pennsylvania (June 8, 2011) – RumbleSoft™ Incorporated, supplier of
innovative solutions for genealogists now has GenDetective™ available for download either
as a ten day free trial or for purchase at

RumbleSoft™ will be demonstrating GenDetectiveTM at the Southern California Jamboree in Burbank, California June 10th through June 12th.

GenDetective™ is a revolutionary new trip planning and reporting tool for individuals doing
genealogical research. GenDetective™ is designed and created to be easy to use and offer
insight where additional research could be performed, and presents this insight in a portable
manner to aid the user while researching. For more information visit the RumbleSoft™
Incorporated website at


This software looks very interesting to me.  I will download it today on the free trial and see if it works for me.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Family Tree Magazine's Best 101 Genealogy Websites for 2011

Family Tree Magazine has published their yearly "101 Best Genealogy Websites" article online at

The categories, which include both free and commercial websites, are:
The lists will be in the September 2011 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

I did not see link collections like Cyndi's List and Linkpendium on the list, but did see the defunct RootsTelevision on the list (I know, editing deadlines always happen to occur before something new arrives, or something old disappears!). 

What other genealogy websites should be on this list, and are not?

FamilySearch has New Research Courses

I'm trying to stay up-to-date on the offerings at, and it can be a challenge. I last reported these on 4 April 2011 in New Research Courses on the FamilySearch Learning Site, when there were 142 courses listed.

One of the most useful educational tools is the genealogical presentations on the Learn tab - go to

Here are the courses listed with a green NEW label as of today:

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 1: Find a Record in Five Minutes by Jessie Davis

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 3: Record What You Know by Jessie Davis

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 4: Learn from Family by Jessie Davis

5 Minute Genealogy Episode 12: Write It Down by Jessie Davis

The English Parish (30 minutes) by Audrey Collins

Building a German Genealogy Library (43 minutes) by Kenneth Craft

Secuencia correcta al buscar en registros parroquiales (16 minutes) by Francisco Javier Gomez

Tuesday's Tip - Find Historical County Boundaries with Randy Majors' Map Tool

This week's Tuesday Tip is to:  Use Randy Majors' Historical County Boundary Map Tool (  to determine county boundaries in a specific year.

Randy Majors announced this tool on his blog in New and simple online tool uses Google Maps to show historical county boundaries.

County governments maintain various types of records that are useful for genealogical research, but the county boundaries occasionally moved. Your ancestors may have lived in the same physical location for decades, but their records may be in several jurisdictions (states, counties, townships, towns) over those years.  John H. Long, the director of the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries Project at the Newberry Library, says "the average number of boundary changes per county in the U.S. Is 4.5." This means that there's a very good chance that you are sometimes looking in the wrong county for some of your historical genealogical records.

To use this tool, a user enters a place name and a year of interest in the fields above the map, and the tool creates a Google Map with the historical county boundaries shown for the year selected. The image below is for Madison, Wisconsin in 1840.

The "Message from webpage" provides information about the county formation date, and the earlier jurisdictions for the county.

This mapping tool uses the Newberry Library historical county boundary atlas data and superimposes it on a current Google Map of the locality.

The tool works very quickly and is a significant help to all genealogy researchers.  Read Randy's blog post about this tool, and check the Comments too.  Many problems with the tool were sorted out in the two days after it was unveiled.  It is still in Beta development, which means that it should work fairly well but there may be problems.

The URL for this post is:

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

SCGS Jamboree Live Streaming Some Saturday Sessions

If you are not attending the Southern California Genealogical Society Genealogy Jamboree this weekend (June 10-12 in Burbank), you can spend your Saturday watching selected sessions from the conference.

The SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Blog announced yesterday that:

The Southern California Genealogical Society proudly announces that several Jamboree sessions will be available at no cost to genealogists and family historians around the globe. This offer is made possible through a special sponsorship provided by one of the conference's exhibitor partners and long-time friend of Jamboree, RootsMagic.

Five sessions will be live-streamed on Saturday, June 11, 2011.  The first session begins at 8:30 a.m. (Pacific Time, GMT - 7 hours) and the last session ends at 5:30 p.m.

"This technological step forward is challenging and exciting for Jamboree," said conference chair Leo Myers. "One of the missions of the Southern California Genealogical Society is to help educate genealogists and family historians, and we take that mission very seriously. We are so excited about the opportunity to reach hundreds of genealogists around the globe." 

Sessions to be live streamed include the following. Click on the link to read more about each session and to register.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF - SA019 - Fingerprinting Our Families - Using Ancestral Origins as a Genealogical Research Key -- 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. PDT

David A. Lambert - SA024 - Researching Your Union Civil War Ancestors -- 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT

Kory Meyerink, AG, FUGA - SA035 - But it Ain't Really the ORIGINAL Record! -- 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. PDT

Kerry Bartels - SA043 - The Many Facets of the National Archives Website (NARA) -- 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. PDT

The recordings are an extension of the popular SCGS online "webinar" (web-based seminar) series. Viewers can listen and watch a presentation by registering and then signing on to a website. The original webcast of the streamed video sessions and webinars are available to the genealogical community at no charge. Subsequent viewings of archived versions of the educational sessions are available to SCGS members through the Society's website,

Other  Jamboree sessions will be available through GoToWebinar. Announcement of the webinar sessions will be made by end of day June 6, 2011.

note that viewers have to register for each one of the sessions that they wish to watch. 

I hope that this sort of coverage of genealogy conferences extends to the other major conferences each year.  Being able to watch significant, live content is a wonderful way to get over the "wish I could be there" blues.

The URL for this post is

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.