Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The Genealogy Time Capsule Challenge

Hey genea-philes - it's SATURDAY NIGHT!! Time for more GENEALOGY FUN!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to respond to Bill West's Genealogist's Time Capsule Challenge - read his post on West in New England.  Answer these questions:

1. Make a list of what you would put in a time capsule and why you'd choose each item.

2, What would you use for the time capsule? Where would you have it kept?

3. Write a blog post with the above information. If you don't have a blog,  send your time capsule idea to me as a comment to this post or email it to me. If you do have a blog, make sure to send me 
the link to your time capsule post. (West in New England.)

Thanks, Bill, for the great idea!

Here's mine:  

1)  My list of things I would put into the time capsule (labelled, of course...):

*  My manual typewriter -- how we used to type things up.
*  A fountain pen and inkwell (sealed) -- before ballpoint pens...
*  My slide rule -- how I calculated everything in high school and college
*  my grandfather's pocket watch -- from the 1890s
*  my aeronautical vestpocket handbook (from United Technologies) -- useful information about everything aeronautical in the 1970s
*  my Hewlett-Packard HP-45 calculator -- what I used before computers
*  my memoirs -- my life and times, probably boring
*  a collection of all of the Seaver/Richmond Family Journal issues -- for posterity!
*  my Betty Carringer ancestry book (in paper and on a CD) -- for posterity!
*  my genealogy database (on a USB drive) -- forp osterity, and to see if the USB drive can still be read.

2)  I would use a fairly large metal box, seal it with duct tape, and write on it "For my great-grandchild to open when s/he reaches age 12."  I'd also stipulate in my will that my daughter was to keep this in a safe and cool place and to open it with her grandchild (if she lives that long) and that they should have a family get-together to talk about great-grandpa Randy's family history.  

3)  Done!  Now I'll send the link to Bill West at West in New England..

Surname Saturday - LNU (England > Rhode Island)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  I am now up to number 369, who is Deliverance LNU (????- about 1734), one of my 6th-great-grandparents. [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back to Deliverance LNU ancestors 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)

10. Thomas Richmond (1848-1917)
11. Julia White (1848-1913)

22. Henry Arnold White ((1824-1885)
23. Amy Frances Oatley (1826-before 1870)

46.  Jonathan Oatley (1790-1872)

47.  Amy Champlin (1798-1865)

92.  Joseph Oatley (1755-1815)
93.  Mary Hazard (1765-1857)

184.  Benedict Oatley (1732-1821)
185.  Elizabeth Ladd (1734-1814)

368.  Jonathan Oatley, born before 06 January 1689 in London, London, England; died before 03 September 1755 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  He was probably the son of 736. Jonathan Oatley and 737. Rebecca.  He married before 1726 in probably Rhode Island, United States.
369.  Deliverance LNU, died about 1734 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.

Children of Jonathan Oatley and Deliverance are:
i. Samuel Oatley, born 23 October 1726 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; died about 1794 in probably South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; married (1) Mary; married (2) Abigail Nichols 21 November 1771 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.
ii. Rebecca Oatley, born 10 September 1728 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; married Michael Champlin 1745 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; born 1723 in Charlestown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; died after 1786 in Rhode Island, United States.
iii. Rhoda Oatley, born 29 December 1730 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; died 25 September 1757 in Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States; married Ephraim Drake 01 November 1750 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; born about 1730 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; died in  .
iv. Benedict Oatley, born 25 December 1732 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; died 01 August 1821 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; married Elizabeth Ladd 02 October 1755 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.

Some family tree databases on Rootsweb WorldConnect, Ancestry Member Trees and other sites indicate that Deliverance, the wife of Jonathan Oatley of South Kingstown, RI, was born 16 March 1703, the daughter of Deliverance and Mary (--?--) Cleveland, who resided in North Kingstown, RI for some time in the early 1700's.  If this entry is correct, then the father Deliverance Cleveland was the son of Edward and Deliverance (Palmer) Cleveland who resided in North Kingstown and moved to Windham County CT around 1709.  Edward Cleveland was the son of Moses and Ann (Winn) Cleveland of Woburn MA.

One online site that seems to have sourced information is the "Our Ancestors and Cousins" site developed by Stephen Griffiths.  The pages for descendants of Moses Cleveland (1619-1701) lists Edward Cleveland (1664-1746), who married Deliverance Palmer (1665-1717);  Edward and Deliverance Cleveland had a son Deliverance Cleveland (1684-1744), who married in about 1707 to Mary ???? (about 1690 - ????); they had children Josiah, Hannah, Enoch, and Elizabeth.  No daughter Deliverance is listed as born in 1703.  

The extract of the will of Edward Cleveland (1664-1746), lists the heirs of his son, Deliverance Cleveland, as Josiah, Mary, Hannah, Enoch and Elizabeth.  No daughter Deliverance born in 1703 is listed there, although one born by 1710 would be a possible spouse of Jonathan Oatley.  

I reviewed the first four generations of the Cleveland book, and did not see another female Deliverance who could be the spouse of Jonathan Oatley.  

Based on all of the above, I have not added Deliverance Cleveland as the wife of Jonathan Oatley (1689-1755) of South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

There is no evidence where Deliverance was born or married.  She could have been born in England and migrated as a young wife with Jonathan before they had children in Rhode Island.

If other researchers have some original source evidence about the parents of Deliverance (????) Oatley, I would love to hear from them.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, March 2, 2012

Follow-Up Friday - Reader Comments on Evidence and Conclusions

For this Follow-Up Friday, I'm delving into the comments left on recent blog posts over the past week that might have helpful hints from readers, or asked for my comments:  

1)  In More on Conclusion-Based and Evidence-Based Genealogy:

*  Happy Dae  offered an article about the subject on his Shoestring Genealogy site:

"You may also find the following interesting:"

*  Ed said:

"I have been reading some of the same discussions, and since I write code, decided to write myself an app for that. I anticipate two parts to - cataloging sources and the claims they support (assertions, facts, events, whatever); and then putting together a proof for specific subjects and facts. 

"The question is what to do with the proof, and integrating the results of this new app with my genealogy software of choice (in this case RM5). I'm leaning towards using the PROOF document as the source for the facts in RM, knowing that the proof document itself will have citations to all the accounted for sources. However this makes it harder to 'share' sources, since the proof is unpublished.

"Obviously I am still mulling on this, but hope to have a working app in a few weeks."

My comment:  That sounds interesting.  Please share it with us when you have something working.  

*  ColeValleyGirl noted:

"Ed, you might like to look at The app is just going into beta-testing, and isn't coupled to any particular family history programme.
Disclaimer: I'm the author."

My comment:   Another interesting link and possible addition to the genealogy toolbox.

*  Jeff Hodge wrote:

"I like your first citation '1. Conclusion drawn from available evidence . . .' This is how I do it by putting my argument in a footnote. But I especially like the way you make it very clear, after you summarize the supporting and conflicting data, "My conclusion is that he was named . . .' "

My comment:  Thank you, Jeff.  I think this is a way to provide analysis and a proof argument for a name or a specific Fact.

*  Harold commented:

"My main question is what is the purpose of the written account that you ended up with? If it is to refresh your mind (or a descendant's mind!) about your work on this fellow's name, it seems pretty hard to follow. I appreciated the parts where you assessed the information but found I wanted more. Sometimes I find that a table works better than anything for comparing and contrasting the reliability of different scraps.

"These days I find myself concentrating on particular individuals more, and in fact just spent some time excavating information OUT of my database and into a written narrative that made sense, so that I could continue research on a relative that I dropped three years ago. Right now it seems to me that actually writing it up is more help to me than trying to use a genealogy database at all. But that might just be me."

My comment:  The purpose was to provide a summary and analysis of the research.  It could have been more extensive.  Like many researchers, I am trying to keep my information in my genealogy notebooks are bulging and I'm out of bookshelf space.  These are written narratives whether they are in my person notes, in a Fact note, in a word processing document, in an email, or printed out and put in a notebook gathering dust on my bookshelf.  Only by publishing the work (paper or digital) and distributing it will it be assured of being saved.  Some of the current software programs have Research Logs in the form of Tables, and a written narrative can be created in all of the programs.  If you create a written narrative, you can attach the document file (PDF, DOC, XLS, RTF, HTML, etc) as Media to a Person and/or a Fact.  It's possible to do many things with the software, we just have to learn how to use all of the bells and whistles.

*  Ginger Smith commented:

"Randy, this is how I did mine but using only one birth entry with multiple sources:"

My comment:  An excellent article with great examples and discussion.  Thanks, Ginger.

3)  There were lots of excellent comments on Puzzling Over the Evidence-Conclusion Process.  Please read them all.  Some of the highlights:

*  Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith noted:

"I still do not believe I (consciously chosen rather than 'we") ever want to get to the place where "everything I do in family history research' is on the computer. That seems to be the direction of the 'technologist' (all my IT friends, in all fields). The computing devices are great for recording and reporting. But, I still want to write my 'research report' myself, based on my analysis of the facts, the evidence, the conclusions - whatever you want to call them. That cannot (ever) all be on the computing device, controlled by the computing device - the be all, end all - of everything. 
Perhaps I really am to the state of being 'old-fashioned' - but that is where I'm as when I read this. Off-base, or on? ;-)"

My comment:  I think we're all trying to figure this out.  Obviously, repositories and paper documents are necessary for our research.  What do we do with it when we get it?  If we have paper copies, transcriptions, abstracts, extracts, or digital images, they can be put into documents or in notes in the software databases - your choice. You can write your analysis and conclusions  also in the platform of your choice.  The genealogy community has a wide range of individuals with varying skills - some have their information only on paper, some have  everything on the computer, and many of us are somewhere in the middle.   Bill's somewhere in the middle, as I am.  We have to be, because the records we need are not all in digital format.

*  Geolover wrote (in part, see his great examples too):

" The current post is interesting (to me) as it sort of alludes to a major weakness in GEDCOM-based programs. They do not help to evaluate the evidence. One can state a source, put all data from the source in note or comment or document transcript, but there's no major help in comparing what shows what (I do spreadsheets or WP tables for this) or evaluating quality. Note I do not much care for simple numeric ratings because the nature of source, informant, etc. can have more or less subtle differences.

"You say, 'When do I form a conclusion about a family structure based on the evidence collection? The parent-child relationship is probably the most important assertion of all for the family tree! I haven't sourced ANY relationship assertions yet in my database. It never has crossed my mind until now.'

"This is really a key element of the present GEDCOM system that is lacking as in the first paragraph above. Plus, the 7-Step Program breaks down in the GEDCOM system when you don't know which one of an uncertain number of individuals by the same name will turn out to be the son Willie Wonka mentioned in Charlie Wonka's will, and the goal is to establish which Willie is the one who was father of already proven ancestor Sam Wonka."

My comments:  You make the case for users creating more extensive research logs, notes, tables, spreadsheets, etc. and attaching them to the persons in the software as Media.   My research has been tremendously helped by writing evidence analysis and proof arguments for thorny research problems, because I find more evidence than I thought I had without doing it.  In the past, I have created a person in the software (actually, for Devier Smith's father) to collect all of the evidence I have, with transcriptions, abstracts, sources, analysis, discussion and conclusions, to help me sort out the "same-name" or "unknown" person.  

Evidence evaluation can be helped by using a certainty scale like Tim Forsythe suggests, or by using your own scale or description, and putting those in the more extensive notes.  Some of the software programs provide a "Proof" indicator for each Fact - e.g., RootsMagic 5 has a selection of Proven, Proven False, disputed, or blank.  

*  Taco Goulooze, in response to Bill Smith, noted:

"Well, Bill, it's still you who has to set a research goal, and it's still you who has to find a source of information, it's still you who has to enter that information. The fact that you set a goal already implies you have an idea where your research should take you, both physical (to find the information needed) and mental (to make sense of the information gathered). We should never forget that whatever software you use, it should be used to assist you with your work, not to restrict how you work."

My comment:  Amen!   The computer programs we have do have features to help us do these tasks - research logs, research notes, etc.  We just have to use them effectively.   If evidence-based programs become available (are there any yet that satisfy Tim, Louis, GeneJ and others?), then we will learn how to use them to our advantage.  

*  abercrombie uk noted:

"Hi dear. Thanks for your sharing, I just need them, it is very kind of you"

My comment:  Huh?  Linda, is that you?  What do you need now?  Sources?  Esoteric discussion?  You're welcome!  Just thought i'd put this in to see if anyone reads down this far!

*  Tim Forsythe wrote about an ASSOciation tag (interesting!), and then commented:

"As far as data entry, we may be over thinking the entire process. The point of evidence-based genealogy is to make sure we document separately every unique claim for each person. It doesn't matter which record is entered first and which last. People should do it in whatever way they are most comfortable with. Obviously if the person's record already exists, which it does in many cases, then the next step is probably to enter the source, and then fill in all the claims. If you want to enter the claims first and then go back and add the source, have at it. As long as the end result is the same it doesn't matter. If you are not sure if the claims belong to the same person, it would probably be better to add seperate individual records and merge them later if need be, than to try to break them apart later. We've all had plenty of practice at both.

"None of this prevents genealogists from putting pen to paper to derive conclusions. It is simply a method used to gather all the relevant information about a person, and document where it came from. How it is used from there is open to our imaginations."

My comments:  Great observations.  I know that I am trying to understand the concept of evidence-based genealogy, and try to apply the concepts using the genealogy software that I have available to me and have experience in.  

*  ACProctor commented on Bill Smith's comment, saying:

"Although I’m primarily a technologist, I also appreciate that there isn’t – and never will be – a single way of researching, documenting, and storing family history data. It worries me that we may be trying to overly prescribe how things are done for the benefit of computer orientated storage.

"I made a passing comment on BetterGEDCOM , fairly recently, that may have been lost in a Lilliputian discussion of Persona. The essence of that comment was that any new format for the exchange and long-term storage of our data must be able to represent all our data without bias or presumption about the process used to obtain it. In other words, it should be as applicable to rigorously and methodically derived data as to the naïve collecting of names and dates.

"This is a very fine line. It doesn’t dilute these discussions of best practices but a data format should be more concerned with being able to distinguish the types of data (and to link them together) rather than mandate a specific process for deriving them."

My comment:  Ah, technologists and users... we need to work together, don't we!  We need to keep discussing this.

I hope that my posting these reader comments helps readers understand the issues by discussing this important subject.  Excellent reader comments often get hidden in the blog list and are hidden from  view of readers unless they subscribe to a feed for the comments.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver.

Follow Friday - This Weekends Genealogy Radio Shows

There are two genealogy-related radio shows on Blog Talk Radio ( this weekend.  They are:

1)  GeneaBloggers Radio -- Thomas MacEntee hosts the show this week with co-host Lisa Alzo
,  titled "Telling the Story of Your Family History."  This show is on:

Friday, March 2, 2012
*  9 pm-10:30 pm Eastern US
*  8-9:30 pm Central US
*  7-8:30 pm Mountain US
*  6-7:30 pm Pacific US
*  2 am London UK

*  1pm Saturday Sydney AUS  

The show guests are:

*    Carol Rice, founder of Cherish Bound and Executive Chair of the upcoming Story@Home conference in Salt Lake City, March 9-10, 2012 – Carol will explain this exciting new event to our listeners and how to get involved. 

*   Lynn Palermo of The Armchair Genealogist blog in Ontario, Canada who will discuss the Family History Writing Challenge she recently developed. 
*    Tami Koenig of Your Story Coach and author of the Creating Your Personal Timeline eBook who will discuss the importance of writing your family history. 

You can read more information about the guests at 
"Telling the Story of Your Family History." 

Don’t forget that there is a chat room where all the “cool kids” hang out on Friday night! Sign in to BlogTalkRadio with your Facebook account or set up a free BlogTalkRadio account to join in the fun.

2)  FGS Radio - My Society, an Internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio presented by the Federation of Genealogical Societies.  This week's show is "
Technology & Marketing Workshop for Genealogy Societies."    It will be hosted by Thomas MacEntee.  The show airs at:

Saturday, March 3, 2012
*  2-3 pm Eastern US
*  1-2 pm Central US
*  12-1 pm Mountain US
*  11 am-12pm Pacific US 

The special guests and features include:

This is your opportunity to ask your questions about the latest in technology and marketing for your genealogy society with expert Thomas MacEntee. Call in at +1 (619) 638-8565 or email your questions ahead of time to or join us in the online chat room during the show. Afterwards, we’ll post a list of resources discussed during the show over at the FGS Voice website (

*  In addition, we’ll be featuring FGS member society, Delaware Genealogical Society, in our weekly Society Spotlight feature. 

You can read more information about the guests at   "Technology & Marketing Workshop for Genealogy Societies."   

Tune in to FGS Radio – My Society each week to learn more about genealogy societies and join in a discussion of the issues impacting the genealogical community. 

You can also listen to the archived shows on Blog Talk Radio by going to the two show sites:

*  Geneabloggers Radio:

*  FGS Radio - MySociety:   

The URL for this post is: 

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Puzzling Over the Evidence-Conclusion Process

A lot of thinking, and writing, was done on this subject during 2011 and early 2012 in the BetterGEDCOM Project.  See these pages:

*   Evidence and Conclusion Process: What is the Evidence and Conclusion Process and why is it important to BetterGEDCOM (I think this was a group effort). The description of the process is:

"The Evidence and Conclusion Process consists of the following steps:
  1. A researcher finds a source of information that contains evidence that mentions persons he may be interested in. He creates a record to document the source.
  2. The researcher creates records to document each item of evidence in the source that mentions the persons of interest.
  3. The researcher creates records to document each event mentioned in the evidence, where an event describes something that happened to one or more persons. Events occur at specific times and places, involve one or more persons as role players, and may serve to establish or change relationships between persons.
  4. The researcher creates records to document each person mentioned in each event, containing only information available from the evidence. The event and associated person records must be treated as a cohesive whole since the person records may hold information that is true only within the context of the event, e.g., the person’s name or age or place of residence, at the time the event occurred.
  5. The researcher continues this process, completing steps 1 to 4, for a number of sources, until he has built up a number of groups of associated event and person records that contain all he has discovered about a set of persons.
  6. The researcher reasons about the available person records and sorts them into groups, where each group contains the person records that the researcher believes refer to a single real person. The researcher builds these groups based on experience and good practices, and records the justification for each grouping decision. Because later evidence may prove some groupings to be incorrect, the grouping operation cannot destroy or remove original event or person records. Groups need to be supported by the model.
  7. The researcher reasons about the event records associated with the persons in each of the person groups in order to infer the relationships that existed between the real persons represented by the groups. The data model allows him or her to establish these relationships, possibly through new records that represent inferred genealogical events, or possibly by establishing relationship links between groups."

*  Research Process, Evidence & GPS -- contains some diagrams and process descriptions developed in a collaborative environment led by Adrian Bruce.  The research steps outlined include:

In particular see the “input” and “output” Adrian discusses as in his steps: 
  1. Set a focused goal
  2. Create or revise research plan
  3. Carry out research -- Understand the Records
  4. Select & Analyse the Evidence
  5. Has the Objective been met for this Work-Portion? -- Record Conclusions
  6. Go onto next work portion in research plan
  7. Check overall goal has been met
*  How do scholarly genealogists approach the evidence process? -- provides discussion by GeneJ Composer and links to blog posts by Mark Tucker and The Ancestry Insider.  

Louis Kessler, in  Evidence and Conclusion Modelling in Behold, summarizes the Evidence/Conclusion Modeling process as: 
Problem: Your current program has no ability to properly document the evidence you used and the conclusions you formulated.
Solution: Behold’s source-based data entry is the first step. Each source you use becomes evidence - evidence you use to formulate a conclusion. While you enter your sources, Behold will make it easy for you to add your conclusion information to your family information while quickly linking it to the evidence.
Benefits: You’ll never forget how you arrived at your conclusions. You will in the future be able to update your data with confidence as you compare your new evidence to your past evidence to allow you to properly modify your conclusions.

That's probably enough for my readers to chew on... I don't seem to have the patience to read and understand completely everything on these sites - or I'm not smart enough to figure it out.  Probably both.  If there are other explanatory websites or blog posts, please tell me in Comments and I'll add them to the list above.

Frankly, I'm confused.   If I enter a Source into my genealogy program (I can do that...), and identify all of the assertions contained in that source (I can do that - e.g., a name, parents names, a birth date, a birth place), what then do I do with that evidence?   I think I have to have (or create) a person (say Devier J. Smith) to attach the evidence assertions to, right?  Do I need to wait until I've gathered many bits of evidence (say from a Bible entry, a family paper, an obituary, a biography, some census records, etc.), then I attach all of them somehow to a person that I've concluded they belong to?  How is the evidence kept straight without identifying the person referred to?  Do I have to add twelve Devier J. Smith's (with various name spellings and birth dates) because I have 12 different sources for his birth name and birth date?  

When do I form a conclusion about a family structure based on the evidence collection?  The parent-child relationship is probably the most important assertion of all for the family tree!   I haven't sourced ANY relationship assertions yet in my database.  It never has crossed my mind until now.  What original sources provide irrefutable evidence of a parent-child relationship?  A birth record, a Bible record or a baptism record, I guess, if they are contemporaneous with the event, but "official" government vital records are available only since the 1800s, and in some states, the early 1900s.  'Tis a puzzle, methinks!

I appreciate that the BetterGEDCOM folks, and Louis Kessler, Tim Forsythe, the Ancestry Insider, and others have been thinking about this issue for some time.   I wish that I had a better handle on it!

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver.

Updated 8 p.m.  Added a section provided by GeneJ in Comments.  Thanks, GeneJ!

Dear AppleTree - Please Put in Privacy Controls

Do you have a family tree on AppleTree (  I do.  Do you have living persons in your tree on AppleTree?  I do.  My mistake.  The AppleTree website says:

"The world's family tree is public, free and open to edit."

The Help section says:

"Can I delete content from
Once it's been contributed, content cannot be deleted from, however it can be modified to be made more accurate. If you have a dispute with the information in the tree, please email us at dispute (at) appletree (dot) com


"Why is the information about living individuals made public?
Genealogy is a huge field of interest, and focuses largely on the ancestral trail in our lives. Living individuals are typically filtered or eliminated altogether from such user experiences. is a family history website that relies on the contribution of living individuals to make connections in the global family tree, and to record the stories of those still living so those important life milestones are not lost. Our dream of having a single human family tree is larger than the genealogical landscape - it's a landscape of memories, photos, and stories to be recorded for generations to come. We include the living in our tree as public to allow access and collaboration on their stories."

How did that happen?  Well, I don't recall reading their Terms of Service at the time I uploaded my tree (in 2009, I believe, but am unsure of).  Have the Terms of Service changed since then?  I don't know.

What brought this post about?  I was contacted by a distant Seaver cousin two weeks ago asking me why I had uploaded the information about her family that she had sent me years before.  Someone in her family was being harassed and threatened with physical harm and she wanted me to remove everything about her family - names, dates, places, relationships, etc. - from AppleTree.  How did she find out about it?  She did a Google search on her name and the data on AppleTree was easily displayed, to her horror.  As an example, here is my Profile on AppleTree:

The profile for me is  Every profile that goes up on AppleTree gets a similar profile.

I immediately wrote to the AppleTree privacy email and dispute email about the issue, and asked them how this could be rectified to my cousin's content.  I have not heard anything back from them yet.

What have I done to try to ameliorate this situation?  Well, I have hidden as much information about the family of my Seaver cousin as I can. I made the names "Living," I deleted the birth and death date information.  However, while the online profile screen says "Living," the profile URL still has the person's name in it.

I also edited the families of my children, my cousins, and several other known living families.

I would appreciate it if the AppleTree family tree owners would:

1)  Contact me so that we can discuss this matter.

2)  Modify their privacy policy and Terms so that they can delete specific profiles (including the person's name) from their world family tree in circumstances as described above.

3)  Modify their Terms so that a contributor can delete the entire family tree from the AppleTree system.

I fully accept that I screwed up here by not checking the Terms, and I hope that the mistake does not result in harm to my Seaver cousin's family.

Most other online family tree systems have some sort of privacy controls for living persons.  The profile may be added to the tree system, but details of the person are not shown when a search of the tree is performed.

What other online family tree websites show information about living people?  I've been checking many of the family tree websites to which I have contributed GEDCOM files and have not found another one that provides information about living persons in a Google search.  I'm still searching, though.

The lesson learned?  Read the Terms of Service of any online family tree website.  If you choose to upload a tree to a family tree website, submit a GEDCOM file for which living persons have been excluded.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - D.J. Carringer Talks!

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - a time to reveal another gem in my treasure chest of family history. 

This week, it's a newspaper article from the San Diego Union dated 20 February 1899 (page 3, accessed on GenealogyBank):

The newspaper had a "Points for Growers, Helpful Hints by Horticultural Commissioner Hall" column that included this information about my great-great-grandfather, D.J. Carringer:

The article says this:

"D.J. Carringer & Sons, also from Colorado, have and are fitting up pleasant homes on Thirtieth and Watkins.  Mr. Carrington gives a gloomy picture of the fruit industry in Colorado.  He was one of the directors of the Longmont Horticultural Society and Boulder Fruit Association.  He says blight and woolly aphis are fast destroying the apple industry in that state, and having had twenty years experience there he knows some things not known here.  That's right, D.J., when a rancher finds out he can make mistakes he is in a fair way to keep out of the house of correction.  Not only ranchers, but Uncle Sam, who has been playing Ophelia to the Philippine Topsy (who truly, in this instance, just 'growed' onto us), and is finding out there are things we wish we hadn't had to touch.  Woolly aphis and woolly barbarians are a hard lot to deal with.  In Colorado they cut up the trees to get rid of the aphis.  Let us hope a better fate is in store for Uncle Sam's Topsy-turvy people who have had to receive unexpected chastisement, and must feel somewhat cut up."

Unfortunately, the writer of this article goes off on a political tangent after relating D.J.'s comment about woolly aphis.  I wish he had written more about D.J.'s experiences in Colorado.  

The next portion of the article provides comments about my great-grandfather, H.A. Carringer:

"H.A. Carringer has alfalfa cut for his cow, has made nine crops, and in July it was thirty inches.  August ditto, and this, remember, is on red mesa soil.  Maples grew eight feet in a year, cherimoyers are doing well, and white Meshanack potatoes yielded prolifically from a small patch, had enough for his family and a few sacks to sell.  Secret, the land is well fed, hence it returns the compliment."

What's a "cherimoyer?"  The Free Dictionary says:

n.1.(Bot.) A small downy-leaved tree (Anona Cherimolia), with fragrant flowers. It is a native of Peru.
2.Its delicious fruit, which is succulent, dark purple, and similar to the custard apple of the West Indies.

I also looked for "Meshanack potatoes" and found no reference to it in a Google search.  There is a "Meshanick potato" in a search, but I found no definition.

It is apparent that both D.J. and Henry A. Carringer (and their wives) knew a lot about growing crops and food and shared that knowledge with their neighbors.

It's fun to find articles about your ancestors in the newspapers.  

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Does Genealogy Software Force Me to be Conclusion-Based?

NOTE:  Updated 7 p.m. on 29 February after RootsMagic commented about the "Primary" indicator.  Obsolete comments are in strikethrough, revised comments are in red.  Thank you, Bruce!

After I posted Trying to be an Evidenced-Based Researcher- Does This Work? yesterday, I realized that I was forced to be a Conclusion-based genealogist by the genealogy management programs I use.  

Look at the Birth records for Devier James Lamphier Smith.  In RootsMagic 5, I made the 7 May 1839 birth date the "Birth" Fact because that is my current conclusion.  I also had five Alternate birth Facts dating from 1838-1839 to 7 May 1842.  If I had made all of the Alternate Birth Facts I had (5 of them) into Birth Facts, then RootsMagic would have put the earliest (the 1838-1839) Birth Fact into every report or chart I make. Therefore, in RootsMagic I can either choose one Birth Fact to show in screens, reports and charts (but list all of the Alternate Birth Facts in screens and reports), or RootsMagic will make the selection for me (the earliest entry in a Birth Fact).   If I make all of the Alternate Birth Facts into Birth Facts, then I can designate one of them as "Primary" based on my evidence evaluation.    I can modify the "Sort Date" to put them in the order I desire (i.e., I can make the "sort date" 1842 for the 1839 Fact so that it comes after the "Primary" Birth Fact).  That "Primary" Fact will show up in the screens, reports and charts, but the other Birth Facts will also show up in the Reports.  Would an Evidenced-based genealogist be happy with RootsMagic 5 making the selection for them?  How would an Evidenced-based genealogist, who is not ready to draw an evidence-based conclusion, deal with this?

Legacy Family Tree 7.5 requires a Conclusion for each Fact type, but permits other Facts for the type.  If I add five more entries in Legacy for Birth, then if I can make one of them the Fact that shows up in screens, reports and charts using Options > "Swap with Birth Information."  The other Birth, or Alternate Birth, Facts don't seem to show up in screens or reports.  In this case, the user has control of the Conclusion.  How would an Evidenced-based genealogist, who is not ready to draw an evidence-based conclusion, deal with this?

Family Tree Maker 2012 permits any number of Facts for an Event.  For Devier Smith's birth, I can enter all six "Birth" Facts and then I can select a "Preferred" Fact using the Options > "Preferred" button.  I can also add Alternate Birth Facts and make one of them "Preferred."  I could change the Alternate Birth Facts to Birth Facts and make one of them "Preferred."  If I make all of the Birth Facts into alternate Birth Facts, then no Birth Facts show up in screens, reports and charts.   It appears that I have to select one of them as "Preferred" or not have Fact show up in screens, reports and charts.  In this program, the user has control of the Conclusion.  How would an Evidenced-based genealogist, who is not ready to draw an evidence-based conclusion, deal with this?

Please note that I am not complaining about these programs, just pointing out that they handle Facts differently, and seem to promote Conclusion-based genealogy.  That's understandable to me - they are database programs and many researchers "want to have something in every field."  

How do other genealogy management program enable Evidence-based genealogy?  How should these GMPs enable it?  

As has been shown in many of my posts about genealogy management programs, I do not know or use every jot and tittle feature in the programs.  I'd like to think that i'm a knowledgeable user, but evidently I am not!  I appreciate the patience of the software developers!

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver.