Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Signs You Have GOCD

Hey genea-addicts, it's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope that all of you do!), is to:

1)  Read Michael John Neill's post 10 Signs You Have Genealogy OCD (come on, give Michael some link love).

2)  Make up any number of sentences that will add to his list of signs that you have Genealogy OCD.  From one to many, no limit!

3)  Share your ingenuity and humor with us in your own blog post, in Comments to this post, in comments to Michael's post, or in a comment on Google Plus or Facebook.

Here are some of mine (I will probably add a few more on Saturday night):

*  You use Google Maps to plot your course on vacation - to ancestral homes, genealogical and historical societies, libraries, courthouses, archives, ancestral cemeteries, and geneablogger homes, and blog about it.

*  You plan out your visit to a genealogy library like Eisenhower on D-day - making to-do lists from the online catalog for books, journals, manuscripts, websites, etc.

*  You try really hard to make your 670 master source citations exactly like the ones in Evidence! Explained, and constantly revise them.

*  You keep hard copies of your favorite genealogical journals in your bookcase, even though you haven't looked at most of them for five years, thinking "I might need them soon."

Surname Saturday - PEIRCE (England > Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 261, who is Martha PEIRCE (1681-1759), one of my 6th-great-grandparents. [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts]

My ancestral line back through three generations of PEIRCE 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 (1719-1782)
131.  Abigail Fletcher (1720-????)

260.  William Whitney, born 06 May 1683 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 24 June 1720 in Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 520. Nathaniel Whitney and 521. Sarah Hagar.  He married 17 May 1706 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
 261.  Martha Peirce, born 24 December 1681 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 15 September 1759 in Weston, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of William Whitney and Martha Peirce are:William Whitney (1707-1789); Judith Whitney (1708-????); Amity Whitney (1712-1760); Martha Whitney (1716-1801); Samuel Whitney (1719-1782).

522.  Joseph Peirce, born about 1647 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died before 22 December 1713 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.   He married about 1667 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
 523.  Martha, born about 1647 in Massachusetts, United States; died before 15 June 1698 in probably Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Joseph Peirce and Martha are:  Joseph Peirce (1669-1753); Francis Peirce (1671-1728); John Peirce (1673-1744); Mary Peirce (1674-????); Benjamin Peirce (1677-????); Jacob Peirce (1678-1740); Martha Peirce (1681-1759); Stephen Peirce (1683-????); Israel Peirce (1685-????); Elizabeth Peirce (1687-????).

1044.  Anthony Peirce, born before 28 April 1611 in Norwich, Norfolk, England; died 09 May 1678 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married  about 1633 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1045. Anne, born in England; died 20 January 1683 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Anthony Peirce and Anne are:  Mary Peirce (1633-????); Mary Peirce (1636-1701); Jacob Peirce (1637-1688); Daniel Peirce (1640-1723); Martha Peirce (1641-????); Joseph Peirce (1647-1713); Benjamin Peirce (1649-????); Judith Peirce (1650-1723).

2088.  John Pers, born 1588 in Norwich, Norfolk, England; died 19 August 1661 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married before 1609 in England.
2089.  Elizabeth, born about 1588 in England; died 12 March 1667 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of John Pers and Elizabeth are:  Anthony Peirce (1611-1678); Esther Peirce (1613-1636); Mary Peirce (1614-1705); Elizabeth Peirce (1615-1665); John Peirce (1617-????); Barbre Peirce (1620-????); Judith Peirce (1623-1650).

These Peirce families (also spelled Pers, Pierce, etc.) are extensively covered in:

Frederick Clifton Peirce, Peirce Genealogy: being the record of the posterity of John Pers, an early inhabitant of Watertown, in New England, who came from Norwich, Norfolk County, England; with notes on the history of other families of Peirce, Pierce, Pearce, etc.  (Worcester, Mass.: Press of Chas. Hamilton,  1880)

The identity of John Pers, the immigrant ancestor, was defined by:

John B. Pierce, "The Identity of John Pers of Watertown." New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 111, Number 2 (April 1857), page 158.

The biographical sketch for John Pers and his family was included in:

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volume III, 1469-1472 (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Joseph Payson Problem - Post 3

Martin commented on The Joseph Payson Problem - Post 2 post that:

"I find it interesting that you mention each couple having children, but fail to name any. Did couple #1 use the names Ebenezer or Seaver? Did couple #2 use Gulliver? I think names of child is a good indicator of who belongs to whom."

He's right, and I just overlooked posting the names (the posts were already long), but I should have listed the children.  Here they are:

1)  Joseph Payson (1739-????, son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Seaver) Payson) and Abigail Pierpont (1740-????, daughter of Ebenezer Payson and Ann Hilton):

*  Joseph Payson was born on 8 Sep 1761 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Sarah Payson was born on 15 May 1763 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Samuel Payson was born on 17 Feb 1765 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  William Payson was born on 21 Aug 1766 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Sarah Payson was born before 1 Feb 1769 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Benjamin Payson was born before 8 Oct 1771 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Anne Payson was born before 16 Jan 1774 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Samuel Payson was born on 22 Jul 1777 in Wayland, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Sally Payson was born on 12 Apr 1779 in Wayland, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Polly Payson was born on 20 May 1781 in Wayland, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Abigail Payson was born about Oct 1785 in Wayland, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

They named children after themselves, and Joseph's mother, but not after their fathers Ebenezer, which would have been a good indication that this was the "right" Joseph Payson. 

2)  Joseph Payson (1740-????, son of Joseph Payson and Mary Gulliver) and Rachel Smalledge (1743-1833, daughter of Samuel Smallage and Ruth Brisco), married 26 April 1763 at New South Church, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts:

*  Rachel Payson was baptized on 25 Mar 1764 at Hollis Street Church in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Joseph Payson was baptized on 8 Feb 1767 at Hollis Street Church in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Joseph Payson was  baptized on 17 Feb 1771 at Hollis Street Church in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Mary Payson was  baptized on 25 Dec 1768 at Hollis Street Church in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
* William Payson was baptized on 27 Jun 1773 at Hollis Street Church in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
*  Betsy Payson was baptized on 17 Dec 1780 at Hollis Street Church in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
 * Ruthy Payson was baptized on 6 Apr 1783 at Hollis Street Church in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
* Samuel Payson was baptized on 12 Dec 1784 at Hollis Street Church in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.

They named children after themselves and their parents.  However, the only relatively rare parents name was "Ruth."

Thank you, Martin, for the suggestion. "You don't even have to know what you're looking for..." - Post 2

After yesterday's post ( "You don't even have to know what you're looking for..." - Post 1) where I tried (and succeeded) to find useful family tree data for my second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver, by systematically checking the shaky green leaves, I tried again today with a family that I had not researched myself.

For this evaluation, I selected someone in my database with a set of parents, but I had not researched the spouse of my relative.  In the process, I found a pretty good method of finding cousins of persons in my database.  I also managed to fill out several generations of ancestors for the selected person.

My selection was David Buntin (born November 1889 in Illinois), son of Henry S. Buntin and Anna M. Auble.  Anna M. Auble was the sister of my great-grandfather, Charles Auble (1849-1916).  The 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census for McDonough County, Illinois listed this family, with children David, Henry (born 1895) and Catherine Buntin (born 1897).

I wanted to just add information to one test family tree (my Isaac Seaver tree), but I could find no way to Add an Unrelated Person to my family tree on  Hmmm, have I missed something?  Does assume that no one will ever want to add an unrelated person (say to start a tree of a friend or client?) to an existing tree?  Perhaps they want a user to either start a new tree or add relatives until the unrelated person in an existing tree is connected by using Add Spouse, siblings or children.

I decided to start a new tree for the Buntin family.  I added David Buntin (born 1889 in Indiana), and his parents Henry Buntin (born 1856 in Indiana) and Anna Auble (born 1860 in New Jersey).  That's what I knew about them (although I have quite a bit of information on Anna's ancestry in my own tree).  Let's see if the claim works on this line - how many generations will I be able to add to this scrawny family tree?

1)  Here's the tree I started with David and his parents:

2)  Both Henry Buntin and Anna Auble have shaky leaves!  There's hope.  There were two Hints - one for the 1860 census for Henry as a son, and an Ancestry Member Tree.  The Tree comparison is below:

A careful review of this tree with the sparse known data that I had indicated that the James Morris Buntyn, born in 1856, suggested by was not Henry Sherman Buntin, born in 1856 in Indiana.  The spouse's name was not correct (Anna Page, not Anna Auble), and the children did not match at all. 

The 1860 U.S. Census item (Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana) listed Henry Buntin's parents as T.C. and Emma Buntin, with three children, including Henry S. aged 5.   I added T.C. Buntin and Emma (no surname) to the tree manually, and got more shaky green leaves. 

It was relatively easy adding parents, spouses and children to the families until the online trees and the indexed documents ran out.  Here is the tree I "created" on going back three generations from David Buntin.  For Anna (Auble) Buntin's ancestry, I did not use my own database, but there are several online Ancestry trees that may have used my data.  It took me about one hour to do this task.

I was unable to find parents of Robert McCollum Buntin (1757-1839), Mary Shannon (1775-1840), Mary A. McMullen (1794-1864), and William Knapp (1775-1856) from the Ancestry Hints in the grandparents generation.  Actually, there was one tree that listed parents for William Knapp, but the father would have been age 18 and the mother age 8 when he was born, so I did not add those parents to my file. 

One lesson I learned was: if there is more than one Ancestry Member Tree in the hints, work with them one tree at a time. And do not click on the "Save" button too early - review all of the data for that tree match before you "Save" to your tree. The reason is that once you have saved data from an Ancestry Hint, it is very hard to find (and then perhaps capture) data that you didn't save but might want to save. I checked four trees for one person, and was unable to "capture" the children when I clicked on "Save" to "capture the parents.

One more lesson: Using the Ancestry Hints, with their linked documents, is a good way to extend descendants lines a generation or two. In the process of reviewing hints for David Buntin, I learned his name was David Cameron Buntin, born 25 November 1889 in Bushnell, Mcdonough County, Illinois (from his World War I and World War II draft registrations), and found him in the 1920 census with his wife Josephine and daughter Anna. I did not click the "Search historical records..." button.

I also found that Catherine Buntin, daughter of Henry Sherman and Anna M. (Auble) Buntin, was born 14 May 1897 in Illinois, and died 2 August 1992 in Contra Costa County, California, with a married name of Deeming (from the California Death Index, 1940-1997).

The information added were not from family trees - they were found in record collections, and thus are somewhat more authoritative than the trees. Those are my distant cousins because they are descendants of David and Sarah (Knapp) Auble, my second great-grandparents. There is the possibility that, since I've added this information and names to my Ancestry Tree, that a descendant of them will contact me.

The combination of being able to find and see historical records on, and to use the information to extend a tree, with the Ancestry Member Tree data makes it relatively easy to extend a person's family history back several generations in a short time period. 

In my opinion, this "you don't even have to know what you're looking for..." attitude worked again.  I'll select another person, perhaps semi-randomly, next time.

Follow Friday - This Weekend's Genealogy Fun

Here are my recommendations for Genealogy Fun this weekend:

1) Listen to Geneabloggers Radio tonight (Friday night, 10 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CT, 8 p.m. MT and 7 p.m. PT) hosted by Thomas MacEntee. This week's topic is "Your Story Matters - Capturing Your Personal Family History The guests are:

Ian Kath from Sydney, Australia, founder of Create Your Life Story;
Zach Weiner of;
*  Amy Coffin of the We Tree blog.

2) Listen to the FGS My Society radio show on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, 12 noon MT, 11 a.m. PT) hosted by Thomas MacEntee. The topic is  TBD. The guests include:

3) Check out the recent Webinars on:

* "Google Images and Beyond," with Maureen Taylor (available free until 1 August from Legacy Family Tree)
* "The Power of DNA in Unlocking Family Relationships," with Ugo Perugo (available indefinitely from Legacy Family Tree)
* "Leveraging the Power of "We": a Watershed Event in Discovering Where to Find Your Ancestors (Research Wiki, Research Courses, and FamilySearch Forums)," with Mitchell Ritchey (available from Legacy Family Tree).
* RootsMagic Webinars (all free) available at
* National Genealogical Society (NGS) Videos (free to view) at
* Utah Genealogical Association Virtual Chapter Videos (free until 1 August 2011) at

4) Respond to my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge, posted on soon after 12 noon Pacific time (that's 1900 GMT for those who understand time zones).

5) Go to a local genealogical society program, or go to a library or repository with genealogical resources.  I'm going with a number of my Chula Vista Genealogical Society colleagues are going on a research trip to the Carlsbad Georgina Cole Library on Saturday, carpooling the 40 miles to Carlsbad.

6) Do you still have material in your "genealogy piles" that needs to be added to your genealogy software program? I do, and have some hope to add more data, notes and sources to my genealogy database.

Whatever you decide, please tell us about your genealogy endeavors on a social network or in a blog post.  You never know when your experiences may stimulate or encourage others to do useful genealogy work.

Thursday, July 28, 2011 "You don't even have to know what you're looking for..." - Post 1

I keep seeing advertisements for on television - and now they all use the line:

"You don't even have to know what you're looking just have to start looking." 

One example is this YouTube channel video:

This lady, Susan Littlewood, shows us how easy it is to do - add your parents, their parents, and then look for the shaky leaves! does the work for you!  It finds people in the family trees of other researchers, and all you have to do is click to add more people to your tree.  Then, in a seeming miracle, you get those shaky leaves with historical records about the persons in your tree. 

Oh, you have to pay for the family trees historical records found by the shaky leaves, don't you?  A minor detail...but look at what you get for 42 cents a day (assuming a one-year US Deluxe subscription at the retail price of $155.40) or 82 cents per day (assuming a one-year World Deluxe subscription at the retail price of $299.40). 

Let's try this out.  I have a "test tree" on for my second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901).  It has only his three wives in it, no children and no parents.  Will I be able to add children, parents and grandparents, and all of their children using the Shaky Leaves?  In this exercise, I will ignore my own online tree, and start with just one person, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901).

1)  Here is the tree I started with:

There is a Shaky Leaf for Isaac!

2)  I clicked on Isaac to see his profile, and then the "Hints" tab - and saw:

There are six hints - one for trees and the other five for historical records.  So far, so good.

3)  I clicked on the "Ancestry Family Trees" link and saw:

There were three family trees that matched my Isaac Seaver.  I selected the one that seemed to have the best  data (a judgment call here).  I could have selected all three of them with one check mark.

4)  I clicked on the orange "Review the selected tree hints" button, and saw (three screens shown, there were more!):

On the screens above, I could choose to add the spouses, the parents and the children of Isaac Seaver from the selected family tree.  I could also choose which data items for each person I wanted to add to my family tree.  Easy peasy!

5) When I had checked everything I wanted to check, I clicked on the orange button on the bottom of the screen to add the selected persons and their selected data to my tree.  The screen showed me:

It told me that I had added 7 people, modified 4 people, and added sources to 11 people.  Sources? Really?  Cool!

6)  I clicked on the "Return to your tree" button (at the top left of the person profile) and saw (after selecting one of the sons, Frank Seaver):

I now have the Isaac Seaver family in the tree (three wives, five children, two parents).  Let's try to add more ancestral families.

7)  After about ten minutes, I managed to add several more families to my tree, using the process above:

I now have 27 people in my tree (only 14 of them ancestors of Frank Seaver) in no time at all!

At this point, I could continue adding persons to the tree, or start collecting, and attaching, the historical records for each person using the Shaky Leaf hints. 

I can hear some of my readers now:

*   "But this is a Massachusetts guy, where there are a lot of records and a lot of descendants."  I agree.

*  "Those other researchers have probably copied data from your tree."  I agree.

*  "You should have picked a person not in your tree."  I agree, and will do that next.

*  How do you know the data is correct?"  I don't, not without useful source citations and using discernment to determine the accuracy and appropriateness of the data.

*  "What do the sources look like?"  I'm glad you asked.  Here is one for Isaac's father:

The source citation is simply:

Title: Ancestry Family Trees.
Publisher: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members.
Publisher location:
Publisher Date:
Call Number:
Notes: This information comes from 1 or more individual Ancestry Family Tree files. This source citation points you to a current version of those files. Note: The owners of these tree files may have removed or changed information since this source citation was created.

Note that the source is not the Ancestry Member Tree of the person that it was taken from, or the source citation that the other person might have entered for the Facts for the person.

But it was really easy to do, and I didn't even have to know what I was looking for. The advertisement seems to be correct. A novice family historian can probably do this in one day of concerted effort using the 14-day free trial account. However, after the 14-day free trial, they can see their tree but not see the linked historical documents (unless they were real smart and downloaded them to their computer files).

Who should I investigate next? What person should I explore to see if can find family trees and historical records for them? A famous person, say a President, or actor, or criminal? A random person from the 1930 census? I have some persons of interest in my tree that I can work with. If someone wants to suggest a person, I'm open to spending 15 minutes checking out the ad claim (Note: I can only check USA records). Or you can do it too, if you have an account. If you have a blog, you can blog about it too! I hope that you will.



Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 75: Harry Seaver's Death Certificate

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is
Harry Seaver's (1885-1951) death certificate in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts....

I obtained this death certificate by postal mail from the Leominster Town Clerk's office in 1996.

Here is the transcription of the death certificate (typed parts underlined and italic):

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
United States of America
From the records of deaths in the City of Leominster,
Massachusetts, U.S.A.
1.  Date of Death:  May 22, 1951
2.  Name:  Harry C. Seaver
Maiden Name:  [blank]
3.  Sex, and whether Single, : Male
Married, or widowed:  Widowed
4.  Age:  68 Years --- Months --- Days
5.  Color:  White
6.  Disease or Cause of Death:  Acute Myocardial Failure
7.  Residence:  Leominster, Mass.
8.  Occupation:  Janitor
9.  Place of Death:  14 Monument Square, Leominster, Mass.
10.  Place of Birth:  Leominster, Mass.
11.  Name of Husband or Wife:  Rose Neel
12.  Name of Father:  Frank W. Seaver
13.  Name of Mother:  Harriet L. Hildreth
14.  Birthplace of Father: Westminster, Mass.
15.  Birthplace of Mother:  Northboro, Mass.
16.  Place of Interment:  Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster, Mass.
I, BEVERLY J. DAVIS, depose and say that I hold the office of City Clerk of the City of Leominster, County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that the records of Births, Marriages and Deaths required by law to be kept in said City are in my custody, and that the above is a true extract from the records of Deaths in said City, as certified by me.

Date of Recording:  1951  WITNESS my hand and seal of said City, on the 7th day of November 19 96.
/s/ Beverly J. Davis, City Clerk.

Harry Clifton Seaver was born 31 March 1885 in Leominster, Massachusetts to Frank Walton and Hattie (Hildreth) Seaver.  He was the brother of my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942).  He married Rose Anna Noel (1897-1948) in about 1940 in Leominster.  Harry and Rose had no children. 

There are no surprises in the data above.  The only errors I notice are his age (actually 66, not 68) and the last name of his wife (Noel, not Neel).  While Harry is not in my direct ancestral line, I wanted to obtain his death certificate, and that of his wife, in order to have the information available in my genealogy database.  Besides, records like this are relatively cheap in Massachusetts - I think this one cost $3 in 1996.  I see that I need to order his marriage certificate.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Joseph Payson Problem - Part 2

For the explanation of the problem, and the list of some of the Joseph Paysons born and married in the mid-18th century colonial Massachusetts, see The Joseph Payson Problem - Part 1.

I decided to see what might be published in online books and databases concerning Joseph Payson and the possible families.  The answer is: "not much."  However, there are some clues in some online resources.  for instance:

1)  On the Rootsweb WorldConnect  database, Helen S. Ullmann (the current co-editor of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register) has a family tree database for the Pierpont family (see for Joseph Payson in this database).  Joseph and Abigail (Pierpont) Payson were married on 1 January 1761 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and had a family of 11 children between 1761 and 1785, the first seven were born in Roxbury, the last four in East Sudbury (now Wayland).  The marriage and the births (and some baptisms) are found in the published town Vital Record books.  Ullmann attributes Joseph Payson's parents as Ebenezer and Sarah (Sever) Payson, but states Joseph's birth as "about 1748" in Roxbury for some reason (there is a birth record for Joseph as 30 April 1739 in Roxbury). 

The source citation provided by Ullman in this online family tree is:

Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG, The Pierponts of Roxbury, Massachusetts (Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2007).

I have not read this book, but it is on my list of books to peruse.  Unfortunately, the closest copy to me, according to, is at the BYU library, over 600 miles away. 

My educated guess is that Helen had a good reason to assign Joseph Payson to Ebenezer and Sarah (Sever) Payson, such as a probate record or a deed.  Time will tell!

2)  The Boston Church Records, found online on the NEHGS site ( website, has many references to several Joseph Paysons, including:

*  Old South Church records for the baptisms of six children of Joseph and Mehitable Payson from 1716 to 1730 (including son Joseph Payson in 1718), and church membership for Joseph Payson in 1720, presumably the father.

*  New South Church records for the marriage of Joseph Payson to Rachel Smalledge on 26 April 1763.

*  Hollis Street Church records for a Joseph Payson and a Mehitable Payson admitted to membership in 1732; a Joseph Payson, baptized in 1741 "mother from Milton, no father listed); a Joseph Payson owning the covenant in 1764; baptisms of nine children of Joseph Payson (no mother's name listed) from 1764 to 1787; a burial of Rachel Payson, widow of Joseph Payson, age 89, in 1833.

Source:  “Boston Church Records,” online database, American Ancestors (, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008), citing The Records of the Churches of Boston, CD_ROM (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002).

3)  The New England Historical and Genealogical Register article on the Winchester family notes this about Mehitable Winchester, daughter of John Winchester and Ann Stevens:

"ix. Mehitable [Winchester],  m. at Roxbury, 4 Mar. 1713, Joseph Pason [? Payson], b. 24 Feb. 1686/7.  They lived first in Milton and afterwards in Boston."

Source:  Henry Winchester Cunningham, "John Winchester of New England and Some of his Descendants," New England Historical and Genealogical Record, Volume 78, Number 1 (January 1924), pages 10 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1924).

4)  A Google search for ["Joseph Payson" Boston] provided some "interesting" information:

*  A Find a Grave memorial for Joseph Payson (1743-1833) in Gardner, Massachusetts, which claims he was a member of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and had resided in Gardner since 1785.  Four wives are attributed to him, but not Abigail or Rachel.

*  Many web pages listing a Joseph Payson as a participant in the Boston Tea Party.

*  Several online family trees and web pages that have limited information about several Joseph Paysons.

5)  Without further information from land, probate, town and other records that are not available online, it is risky to hypothesize who is who, but I think I have some logical and  workable  "hypotheses," including:

*  Joseph Payson, son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Sever) Payson, was born in Roxbury in 1739, married Abigail Pierpont, and had a family with 11 children born in Roxbury and Wayland.  My reasoning here is that Roxbury was separate from Boston, and that Helen Ullmann must have a good reason (like an authoritative source) in her book to "assign" this Joseph to Abigail Pierpont.

*  Joseph Payson, son of Joseph and Mary (Gulliver) Payson, was born in Milton in 1740, and married Rachel Smalledge in New south Church in Boston in 1763, and had at least 6 children in Boston, baptized in the Hollis Street Church.  The father, Joseph Payson who married Mary Gulliver in 1739 in Milton, was the son of Joseph and Mehitable (Winchester) Payson, who were married in 1713 and had children baptized in Old South Church in Boston, and were admitted to Hollis Street Church in 1732.  The church record data seems to provide a logical string of information through these three families headed by a Joseph Payson.

*  There were other Joseph Paysons that may have resided in Roxbury, Boston and other towns.  One of these Joseph PaysonsPaysons that resided in Boston, but I only know of three at this time (the son, father and grandfather in the Boston Church Records). 

What an interesting twist at the end of this... a Boston Tea Party participant!  I'm real curious as to which one he is.

I will leave it to my correspondent to pursue this further in original source records such as land records, probate records, town records, manuscripts, and whatever else can be found in repositories and websites. 

Please leave suggestions for further research for my correspondent in Comments.

California Voter Registers, 1866-1898 on

One of the newest databases on is the California Voter Registers, 1866-1898.  The original data was obtained from the Great Registers, 1866–1898. Microfilm, 185 rolls. California State Library, Sacramento, California.  The database description says:

"The printed copies of the California Great Registers making up this database were compiled at the county level by district, as required by an 1866 law, and list names of eligible voters in California.

"The first voter registrations in California took place in 1866 following the Registry Act, an effort to prevent voter fraud that called for 'the registration of the citizens of the State, and for the enrollment in the several election districts of all the legal voters thereof, and for the prevention and punishment of frauds affecting the elective franchise.' An 1872 law required counties to publish an index or alphabetical listing of all registered voters every two years. These lists were kept by the county clerk and eventually were usually printed in even-numbered years, though a few counties, including San Francisco, published them yearly for a few years at a time. The voter lists produced are known as the Great Registers, and this database contains the printed copies of the registers produced by the county clerks.

"Only men over the age of 21 were eligible to vote until 1911, when women were granted the right, and the state occasionally passed other exclusionary voting laws: an 1879 state constitutional amendment denied franchise to natives of China (it was repealed in 1926), and an 1894 law established a literacy requirement."

I found ten entries for my wife's great-grandfather, Elijah Pickrell McKnew (1836-1912):

*  1868 in Tuolumne County:  McKnew, Elijah, age 32, nativity Maryland, occupation Farmer, residence Tuttletown, registered Sept. 29, 1868
*  1876 in San Francisco:  McKnew, Elijah Pickens, age 40, nativity Maryland, occupation Teamster, residence 19th n Castro, Ward 11
*  1880 in San Francisco:  McKnew, Elijah Pickering, age 44, nativity Maryland, occupation Driver, residence SW s 19th, b Cas & Sher, floor All, registered Sept. 21, 1880
*  1882 in San Francisco: Voting No. 196, Reg'd No. 147, name McKnew, Elijah, age 47, nativity Maryland, occupation Salesman, residence 1013 Nineteenth, registered Oct. 3, 1882
*  1886 in San Francisco:  Voting No. 185, Reg'd No. 96, name McKnew, Elijah Pickrell, age 50, nativity Maryland, occupation Teamster, residence 1013 Nineteenth, registered Sept. 21, 1886
* 1888 in San Francisco:  Voting No. 203, Reg'd No. 174, name McKnew, Elijah, age 53, nativity Maryland, occupation Driver, residence 1013 Nineteenth, registered Oct. 11, 1888
*  1890 in San Francisco:  Voting No. 160, Reg'd No. 201, name McKnew, Elijah Pickrill, age 54, nativity Maryland, occupation Merchant, residence 1013 Nineteenth, registered Oct. 16, 1890
*  1892 in San Francisco:  Voting No. 204, Reg'd No. 124, name McKnew, Elijah Pickrel, age 60, height 5 ft 7-1/4 in, complexion Fr, eye color Br, hair color Med, visible marks Mole right eye, occupation Fruit dealer, nativity Maryland, residence 1015 19th, floor T, registered Sept. 26, 1892
*  1896 in San Francisco:  Voting No. 180, Reg'd No. 3, name McKnew, Elijah Pickrel, age 61, height 5 ft 7-1/4 in, complexion Fr, eye color Br, hair color Gr, occupation Oysterman, nativity Maryland, residence 1017 Nineteenth, floor 2, room All, registered June 1, 1896, read Constitution and write name Yes, mark ballot Yes
*  1898 in San Francisco:  Voting No. 170, Reg'd No. 159, name McKnew, Elijah Pickrel, occupation Oysters, age 63, height 5 ft 6-3/4 in, complexion Dk, eye color Hzl, hair color Gr, nativity Ireland, residence 4131 Nineteenth, floor All, registered Aug. 10, read Constitution and write name Yes, mark ballot Yes

Isn't that an interesting list?  What can be learned from listing persons over a period of time like the above?

*  Names:  Of the seven entries where he gave a middle name, there are 5 different spellings.  I believe that it was Pickrell, after his mother's maiden name. 
*  Age and birthplace:  He was born in 1836, and all of his ages are within one year of what they should be, except 1892 when it is four years off.  His nativity is listed as Maryland until 1898 where he lists it as Ireland (perhaps because he thought McKnew was an Irish name?)
*  Occupation:  there are eight different occupations listed over 32 years!
*  Residence:  the family moved to San Francisco in or before 1876, and lived on 19th Street the whole time.  although the address changed over time, the residence was two buildings beside each other; the address system in San Francisco changed by the 1898 registration.
*  Height, complexion, eye color and hair color:  started with the 1892 registration.
*  Literacy:  by 1896, they started listing if the person could read the constitution, write their name and were able to mark their ballot.

One of the most important pieces of information for many persons in these Great Registers is the naturalization information - the date, place and court.  Elijah was a natural born U.S. citizen, so no naturalization record was listed.

These Voting Registers can be seen as a census substitute, and a city directory substitute. 

I have several more family names to research in this database!

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 163: Lyle and Emily Wedding Photo

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
1988-2002 time period:

This is a photograph of my grandparents, Emily Kemp Auble (born 1899) and Lyle Lawrence Carringer (born 1891) before their marriage on 19 June 1918 in San Diego, California.  This may have been their wedding photograph - I have not found a formal wedding photograph in the Carringer/Seaver treasure box.

I have a sepia-color photograph of this image in a framed picture on my ancestors wall in the hallway.  I scanned the image above from the Bessie Pentecost photo album last month. 

I was interested in what the "badge" on Lyle's Marine uniform said, figuring it would be his name.  It isn't, it says "Marksman," which was a surprise to me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Joseph Payson Problem - Part 1

I've had some genealogy fun this afternoon checking online databases for information about several Joseph Paysons.  My online database and ancestry Member Tree notes that Joseph Payson was born 30 April 1739 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Ebenezer and Sarah (Sever) Payson and that he married Abigail Pierpont on 1 January 1761 in Roxbury.  He is not in my ancestral line, but he is in my database because I try to add the children of Seaver/Sever females. 

I had an email yesterday from a person descended from a Joseph Payson who married Rachel Smalledge in Boston on 26 April 1763.  She inquired if her Joseph was the Joseph Payson in my database. 

Frankly, I didn't know.  I don't know when I entered my information, or the source, but it was probably back in the early 1990s, and likely from the LDS IGI.  I may have guessed that Abigail was the "right" wife, I just don't recall or have data for it.  Such is the state of much of my database in spite of my recent efforts to add source citations to authoritative sources.

Is there more than Joseph Payson born in Massachusetts in the 1730 to 1745 time frame (my estimate for the marriages noted above)?  Well, yes, there are several, including (from searches on, and

*  Joseph Payson, born 30 April 1739 in Roxbury, to Ebenezer and Sarah (Sever) Payson (in Roxbury Vital Records book on
*  Joseph Payson, born 22 June 1740 in Milton (baptized 27 September 1741 in Boston's Hollis Street Church) to Joseph and Mary (Gulliver) Payson ( Church Records database).
*  Joseph Payson, born 2 January 1736 in Dorchester to Jonathan and Ann Payson (in Dorchester VR book on

There are a number of marriages in the 1735 to 1775 time frame in the records:

*  Joseph Payson and Mary Gulliver on 12 April 1739 in Boston (Boston Marriage book) on 24 May 1739 in Milton (in Milton VRs)
* Joseph Payson and Mary Jefts on 25 October 1758 in Roxbury (Roxbury VR book)
* Josepg Payson and Abigail Pierpont on 1 January 1761 in Roxbury (Roxbury VR book).
*  Joseph Payson and Rachel Smalledge on 26 April 1763 in Boston (Boston Marriage book)
*  Joseph Payson and Mary Hill on 27 January 1774 in Sherborn (Sherborn VR book)

There are several other marriages in the records after 1775.  Which marrying Joseph belongs to which set of parents? 

Stay tuned.  I think I've sorted it all out.  I entered quite a bit of data into my database in order to try to noodle through it.  Here's a screen view of my database open on the left and the site open on the right in a separate window:

I often add information to my database this way - it saves clicks since I usually cannot remember more than one fact at a time!

It's been a fun afternoon!

Online Family History Library Microfilm Ordering is Coming

I read Kimberly Powell's blog post Online FamilySearch Film Ordering Rolling Out to CA / West Coast last week, and finally have some time to check it out.  I also saw a notice about it at the Orange Family History Center last week on my visit there.  Read Kimberly's post for more details.

Here are some screen shots from my foray into

1)  The film ordering home page:

There are three links at the top of the page - for:

Ordering Help
Not Set (but goes to the page for selecting your Family History Center)
*  Order Cart icon (with number of items, and order cost)

You do have to sign in using your free FamilySearch account (click on "Sign In" on any FamilySearch page).

2)  I decided that I should look at the "Ordering Help" page:

On this page, there are links for handouts and demonstration of Sign In, Place an Order, Cancel an Order, and Paypal.

3)  The most useful of the Help demonstrations is the one for "Place an Order":

This "Place an Order" demonstration goes through a step-by-step set of screens showing how it is done.  It seems very simple and functional.  The "Place an Order" handout shows this in a three page PDF.

4)  After viewing the "Place an Order" demonstration, I clicked on the "Not Set" link and saw:

This page permits the user to select the Family History Center that will receive the microfilms.  It lists the FHCs that are currently using the online film ordering system.  I entered United States and California.  As of today, there are eight in California,  three in Washington, nine in Oregon, and many in Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas (I didn't check every state).

I will write another post for the actual ordering process when the San Diego FHC is on the list of FHCs with online film ordering.

Kimberly's post indicated that they were rolling this out gradually, so I expect (and hope) that there will be more California FHCs available soon. 

There was a question on Kimberly's post about how users can pay for the film orders.  The Place an Order demonstration shows Visa and MasterCard options.  There appears to be a Paypal option also - see the Paypal handout PDF.

The beauty of the online film ordering system is that users don't have to make two trips to the FHL to view a film - one trip to order it, the second trip to read the film. 

The US dollar price for a short-term film order is $5, so that's less than I've been paying at the San Diego FHC.  That's good news!

I think it will also induce more trips to the FHC - if I pay $5 for an online film order from the convenience of my Genea-Cave, I'm going to go off to the FHC more often!  I have a nice to-do list of FHL films I've been meaning to order, but I never seem to get a round tuit.

Tuesday's Tip - Check Leland's FamilySearch Collections Lists Often

This week's Tuesday's Tip is to:  Add Leland Meitzler's FamilySearch vital records and state census lists to your Favorites/Bookmarks, and monitor them often.

Leland's GenealogyBlog has the following lists of FamilySearch data collections:

United States Birth & Christening Records Found at

United States Marriage Documents & Indexes Found at

United States Death & Probate Records Found at

Canadian Vital Records Databases Posted at

USA State & Territorial Censuses and Tax Records at

Leland updates these lists occasionally.

Add them to your Favorites or Bookmarks, or your Genealogy Toolbox, so that you can easily find them, and check them each month to see if you have missed a database that you really need to search.

All FamilySearch historical data collections can be seen at  I posted Tuesday's Tip - How to Find New/Updated Collections on two weeks ago to show how to find all of the most recently added or updated collections at FamilySearch.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dear Ancestry: Please Fix Family Tree Maker Source Issues

I know that Family Tree Maker 2012 is being developed as we type, and I want, and the FTM 2012 developers, to fix the source citation problems that are currently in FTM 2011 that make it less than useful for me.

In my series The Seaver Source Citation Saga Compendium, I worked with Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011, and found these issues:

1) In Peeking at Family Tree Maker 2011 Source Citations in the GEDCOM File - Post 1, I showed that Family Tree Maker 2011 adds extraneous words and punctuation to source citations such that a GEDCOM file export badly mangles the source citations. 

2)  In FTM 2011 Citations Uploaded Directly to and FTM 2011 Citations Uploaded via GEDCOM to, I showed that more mangling of source citations occurs when an FTM file or a GEDCOM file is uploaded to an Ancestry Member Tree..

3)  In Creating Source Citations in Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 5: Some Issues, I noted that I had trouble finding specific Source Groups and specific Source citations because I have quite a few of them.  The Source lists require me to search for an author by the first word in the master source (e.g., I need to search for "Elizabeth" to find works by "Elizabeth French Bartlett," and I cannot search for a keyword in a source, such as "Bartlett").  I had several other suggestions too, and all are still a problem for me.

4)  Some software programs (e.g., RootsMagic 4) permit use of italics characters in their source citations - in both free-form and template formats.  When these are imported to FTM 2011 via GEDCOM, the codes for these features appear in brackets (like <i> for italics).  The brackets don't work, and now the sources have extraneous terms in them.  In addition, there is no way to create items in FTM 2011 source citation templates using italics as described in the book Evidence! Explained.

5)  One of the biggest problems with exporting Family Tree Maker 2011 files in GEDCOM format is that FTM 2011 apparently uses the CONCatenate tag instead of the CONTinuation tag for text that extends to several lines in the GEDCOM file.  This results in two words "stuck together" when they should be separated by a space.  I've noticed this in Notes and Sources.  I've been told that FTM does not use the GEDCOM 5.5 standard for CONTinuation of text.  They should.

These are my complaints about Family Tree Maker 2011 source citations.  I don't use FTM 2011 as my main program any longer because of these perceived deficiencies.  I sincerely hope that they are fixed in Family Tree Maker 2012. 

What complaints do you have about Family Tree Maker 2011 that should be corrected in Family Tree Maker 2012?

Amanuensis Monday - Widow's Pension Allowed in Joseph Oatley's Revolutionary War Pension File

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a 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 a card awarding a pension to the widow of  Joseph Oatley (1756-1815) of South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and included in the Revolutionary War Pension File.   His widow, Mary (Hazard) Oatley (1765-1857), filed for the pension in 1838 based on Joseph Oatley's Revolutionary War Service (File W. 21862).

The transcription of this document is (handwriting is in italics)

Rhode Island
Mary Oatley
widow of Joseph Oatley decd
who was a pensioner under the Act of ~ ~ ~
and who died on the 28 Nov'r 1815,
of Washington Co. in the State of R. Island
who was a private in the camp commanded
by Captain ______ of the regt commanded
by ________ in the R.I. militia
line for Coventry [???]

Inscribed on the Roll of R. Island
at the rate of 20 Dollars ____ Cents per annum
to commence on the 4th day of March 1836.
Certificate of Pension issued the 12 day of October
1839 & sent to Wm R. Noyes
Newport, R. Island
Arrears to the 4th of Septr 1839 $70.00
Semi-annual allowance ending 4 Mar '40 $10.00
..................................................... $80
................................................. {Act July 7, 1838}
Recorded by D.McCurdy, Clerk
Book A. Vol. 23. Page 18.

This document provides a death date of 28 November 1815 for Joseph Oatley.  The South Kingstown RI Town Records list his death date as 29 November 1815, one day different.  The latter is probably the more accurate since it was written soon after the death.

The widow was eligible for the pension by the Act of 1838, and was awarded $70 for the time between 4 March 1836 and 4 September 1839 (three and one half years).   The pension was awarded on 12 October 1839. 

"Raking the Ashes" Book on Pre-1906 San Francisco Records Published

This press release was received this morning from Kathryn Doyle, communications director of the California Genealogical Society:


“I’m Sorry, Those Records Were Lost”
California Genealogical Society Publication Gives Researchers New Hope

OAKLAND, California–July 25, 2011–The California Genealogical Society (CGS) announces publication of Raking the Ashes: Genealogical Strategies for Pre-1906 San Francisco Research, second edition, a guide to circumventing the enormous record loss in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. This authoritative book by Nancy Simons Peterson, Research Director at CGS, is a must have for researching San Francisco ancestors, providing invaluable guidance on which records were lost in the 1906 earthquake and fire, which records survived, and where to find them.

Peterson alerts the reader to lesser-known sources, recently published references, and newly discovered documents. Sources are clearly identified and evaluated, while graphics, statistics, and historical background enrich the text. Not limited to San Francisco, Peterson's solutions for working around lost records and her emphasis on casting a much wider net than is customary will be especially welcomed by researchers wherever natural disasters have destroyed historical documents. First published in 2006, the second edition has been substantially updated and expanded.

ISBN 978-0-9785694-5-7
Format: Perfect-bound paperback, 242 pages
Dimensions (inches) 8.5 wide × 11.0 tall
Retail Price:  $25.00
Publisher: California Genealogical Society
Additional information at:

About the author:
Nancy Simons Peterson is a certified genealogist and author of numerous articles. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University.

About CGS:
The California Genealogical Society, founded in San Francisco in 1898, maintains a library, gathers and preserves vital records, and offers research services and online databases. CGS disseminates information through publications, meetings, seminars, workshops and its website,


I reviewed this book, in pre-publication format, in Book Review: Raking the Ashes, by Nancy S. Peterson in May.  They used this quote from my review on the back cover:

". . . a unique work for genealogical research, this second edition extensively revises, updates and expands the previous edition, first published in 2006. Along with the records lost or extant is the historical context in which the records were created. There are numerous descriptions and lists of churches, cemeteries, funeral homes, newspapers, city directories, courts, fraternal organizations, and other resources, that trace the history of these institutions... In this book, Nancy Peterson has created a wonderful resource guide to help genealogists find the available pre-1906 records in San Francisco that define their elusive ancestors. Every major city should be so lucky!”
Randy Seaver

Disclosure:  I received a free pre-publication copy of this book for my review.

The "Where I'm From" Poem (for SNGF) Compendium

We had a very successful Saturday Night Genealogy Fun meme this past weekend, with many genea-bloggers writing a poem based on the "Where I'm From" template at

I was impressed by the number of entries and the depth of thoughts and emotions expressed in these poems, and wanted to honor the contributors.  also, I hope that my readers will read these poems, and enjoy them, and will write one of their own for their descendants to enjoy.

Here are the blog posts with poems:

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Write a Poem on "Where I'm From" by Randy Seaver on the Genea-Musings blog.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Dorene is from... by Dorene from Ohio on the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay blog.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Where I'm From by Kevin Huigens on the Family History Nuggets blog.

SNGF: A Poem – “Where I’m From” by Dana on the Just Folks blog.

SNGF: Where I'm From by Caroline Gurney on the Caro's Family Chronicles blog.

I Know Where I'm From by footnoteMaven on the footnoteMaven blog.

Where I'm From - SNGF by Teicha Hill Mailhes, on the Teicha Hill Mailhes, Family Historian blog.

Where I'm From by Tonia Kendrick on the Tonia's Roots blog.

SNGF - Where I'm From by GeneaPopPop on the Stardust 'n' Roots blog.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Write a Poem on "Where I'm From" by Cherie on the Still Digging for Roots blog.

Where I'm From by Linda Robbins on the Holligsworth-Robbins Family Tree blog.

Where I'm From: SNGF by Leah on the Leah's Family Tree blog.

SNGF- Write a Poem on "Where I'm From" by Holly on the Raeburn Family Odyssey blog.

*  SNGF: Where I'm From by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog.
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~Where I'm From  by Tracie on the Spirits of the Old blog.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - WHERE I'M FROM by Renate on the Into the Light blog.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Where I'm From  by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell on the My Trails into the Past blog.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.. Come Sunday Morning!  by Cyndi Beane Henry on the Mountain Genealogists blog.

Where I'm From - Saturday Night Genealogical Fun by Kristin on the Finding Eliza blog.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Poetry by Daniel Dillman on the Indiana Dillmans blog.  Daniel's is different - a haiku based poem!

SATURDAY NIGHT GENEALOGY FUN: "WHERE I'M FROM" by Bill West on the West in New England blog.

Where I'm From, an Adaptation by Pamrela Lloyd on the Searching for Roots and Branches blog.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Where I’m From  by Denise Spurlock on the Denise's Life in the Past Lane blog.

Where I'm From by Claire on the blog. 
In addition:

The “Where I’m From” Poem (for SNGF) Compendium by Jo on the Images Past blog.

*  Susan S. Fredericks wrote her poem as a comment on my post Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Write a Poem on "Where I'm From"

*  Julie wrote her poem as a comment on my post Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Write a Poem on "Where I'm From"

27 to date!

If I have missed your poem, please email me at or comment on this post and I will add it to my list above.

Last updated:  Sunday 31 July, 3 p.m.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

CVGS Program on Wednesday 27 July - John Kracha on "Central European Genealogy"

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting on Wednesday, 27 July is at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (365 F Street) Auditorium. 

The program will feature John Kracha presenting "Central European Genealogy, and How to Get There."

The program description and John's resume:

Political maneuvering and military actions have not been friends to genealogy buffs. Borders of European countries have changed and millions of original records have been destroyed in two world wars and civil disobedience. John will address these issues and define approaches to work around and recover valuable family information from the modern Czech and Slovak Republics and Poland.

John Kracha has been a member of the Chula Vista community for nearly 40 years. He is an active member of the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD), and served as President for two terms. John has been active in the House of Czech & Slovak Republics in Balboa Park and provides assistance to visitors in finding ancestors.

There will be a short business meeting before the presentation.  Please enter through the library conference room door to register your presence, pick up handouts, and enjoy a snack before the meeting.

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 17 to 23 July 2011

Hundreds of genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the genealogy carnivals, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week:

2011 Land Records and Genealogy Symposium Rocked! Day 1 - Friday, July 15, 2011; Day 2 - July 16, 2011; Social Networking at the Land Records and Genealogy Symposium - Part 3 by Susan Petersen on the Long Lost blog.  Susan summarized each day of the conference in Beatrice, Nebraska. 

* The Old Dogs of Genealogy by Kerry Scott on The Clue Wagon blog.  Who's she talking about here?  My bark is worse than my bite...

Historical World Boundary Maps back to 2000 BC! by Randy Majors on the blog.  Randy does it again - historic world boundary maps! 

Immigrant Societies and Genealogy by Kathleen Brandt on the a3Genealogy blog.  Kathleen has an excellent list of resources (most are not online) to help find immigrants that needed assistants.

Bounty Land Warrants by Susan Farrell Bankhead on Susan's Genealogy Blog.  Susan has a great summary of these records and where you can find them.

Calculating Ahnentafel Numbers by Sarah on the My Mouse is Broken blog.  Sara did SNGF and discovered Ahnentafel numbers, plus a binary to base-10 number converter.  I love seeing how my readers work through the Saturday Night Fun challenges and learn from them.  Well done!

Source Citations: Why Form Matters, part four by Michael Hait on the Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession blog.  Michael dissects James Tanner's blog post about citation form, and argues persuasively (to me) that Evidence! Explained source citations should be used by researchers.

6 Types of Genealogical Collaboration and Follow-Up by GeneaPopPop on the Stardust 'n' Roots blog.  This is an interesting muse about collaboration - please add to the discussion if you want!

Genealogist's Shopping List by Susan LeBlanc on the Gopher Genealogy blog.  Sue lists the stuff she needs to do her genealogy work - what can you add?

RevWar At Walking the Berkshires by Tim Abbott on the Walking the Berkshires blog.  Tim's blog has transformed over the years, and he's concentrating on Revolutionary War posts.  This compendium is a wonderful collection of articles about his RevWar ancestors and reenacting experiences.

* Learning from Blogs by Ruby Coleman on the Genealogy Lines blog. Ruby highlights osme of her favorites and gives all of us a word of encouragement.

Several genea-bloggers wrote weekly pick posts and news summary posts this week, including:

Donna’s Picks: July 17, 2011 by Donna Pointkouski on the What's Past is Prologue blog.

Monday Morning Mentions by Lynn Palermo on The Armchair Genealogist blog.

*  Monday's Link Roundup by Dan Curtis on the Dan Curtis ~ Professional Personal Historian blog.

Genealogy Round Up, July 21 by Megan Smiolenyak on the Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's Roots World blog.

Follow Friday: This Week’s Favorite Finds by Jen on the Climbing My Family Tree blog.

Genealogy News Corral, July 18-22 by Diane Haddad on The Genealogy Insider blog.

Week in Review by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDuitch blog.

I encourage readers to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blogs to your Favorites, Google Reader, RSS feed or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 1000 genealogy bloggers using Google Reader, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.