Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - How Many Surnames?

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

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

1)  Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2)  Tell us which GMP you're using and how you did this task.

3)  Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which Surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!  Or 10!

4)  Write about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a status or comment on Facebook, or in Google Plus Stream post.

NOTE:  If you can't figure out how to do this in your GMP, use the Help button and search for "count persons" then follow directions.  

Here's mine:

I'm going to use RootsMagic 5 because that's where I'm doing my current additions, deletions and editing and is my most up-to-date collection.  In RootsMagic 5, go to Reports, then Lists and scroll down to "Surname Statistics List."  I then chose "Frequency of Surnames" from the list presented.

That took about 20 seconds and I have a 124 page list!  I didn't count every one of them - there are 124 pages with 47 names per page, plus the last page has 19.  That's a grand total of 5,847 surnames in my database with 41,274 persons.  The top 10 are, with birth date ranges:

*  SEAVER - 4,167 persons, from 1608 to 2011
*  BUCK - 652 persons, from 1585 to 1965
*  SMITH - 618 persons, from 1526 to 2005
*  VAUX - 508 persons, from 1620 to 2006
*  FITZ RANDOLPH - 498 persons, from 1565 to 1884

*  DILL - 420 persons, from 1645 to 1993
*  RICHMAN - 345 persons, from 1622 to 1985
*  NEWTON - 317 persons, from 1690 to 1997
*  CHAMPLIN - 305 persons, from 1618 to 1903
*  CULVER - 270 persons from 1650 to 1981

I have 161 Mary's without a surname, and 144 Elizabeth's without a surname, and 205 persons without any name at all (there's a blank line for this one!).

Of course, if I added up all the persons without a surname, my LNU's are probably the biggest group on the list.

I didn't see a way to get a count on first names - can anyone figure this out in RootsMagic 5, or in another program?  

Surname Saturday - GRAY (England > Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  I am now up to number 371, who is Lydia GRAY (1707-????), 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 GRAY 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)

370.  Joseph Ladd, born 19 October 1701 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States; died before March 1748 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.  He was the son of 740. William Ladd and 741. Elizabeth Tompkins.  He married 25 August 1731 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.
371.   Lydia Gray, born 16 October 1707 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States; 

Children of Joseph Ladd and Lydia Gray are:  Deborah Ladd (1732-????); Joseph Ladd (1733-????); Elizabeth Ladd (1735-1814); William Ladd (1737-1800); Lydia Ladd (1740-????).

742.  Samuel Gray, born about 1681 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died 23 March 1712 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.  He married  13 July 1699 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.
743.  Deborah Church, born 12 March 1677 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died 08 June 1772 in Lebanon, New London, Connecticut, United States.  She was the daughter of 1486. Joseph Church and 1487. Mary Tucker.

Children of Samuel Gray and Deborah Church are:  Samuel Gray (1700-1764); John Gray (1701-1702); Dorothy Gray (1704-????); Joseph Gray (1706-1706);  Lydia Gray (1707-????); Simeon Gray (1709-1742); Ignatius Gray (1711-1712).

1484.  Edward Gray, born before 15 April 1623 in Stapleford Tawney, Essex, England; died June 1681 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2968. John Gray and 2969. Elizabeth Ward.  He married 12 December 1665 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.
1485.  Dorothy Lettice, born 1634 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died 30 March 1726 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2970. Thomas Lettice and 2971. Anne Savoy.

Children of Edward Gray and Dorothy Lettice are:  Edward Gray (1667-1726); Susanna Gray (1668-1727); Thomas Gray (1669-1721); Rebecca Gray (1670-????); Lydia Gray (1678-1771); Samuel Gray (1681-1712).

The only authoritative source I have is the Mayflower Families book on John Winslow, which provides several generations of the children of Edward Gray and his first wife, Mary Winslow.  My ancestor, Samuel gray, is by Edward's second wife, Dorothy Lettice.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Follow-Up Friday - the Weekly Potpourri

It's Friday, and I like to review my genealogy week and respond to comments on my blog posts or from email.  

1)  I tested out the Legacy Family Tree 7.5 new Census Tools in Legacy Family Tree 7.5 Adds Census Year Reports and then watched Geoff Rasmussen's flash webinar today (go to  to see it -it's free for everyone).   During the webinar, I tried several things that worked:

*  Make a list for the 1940 census for one state.
*  Make a list for the 1940 census for one county.
*  Make a list for the 1940 census for one city or town.
*  Make a list for the 1940 census for only ancestral families (by tagging ancestors and then using that subset to make the list).

2)  I watched the Thomas MacEntee webinar from 7 March titled Navigating the 1940 U.S. Census.  Everyone who will be searching the 1940 US census before the index is available should watch this - it's free until 19 March.  Thomas works through the Steve Morse One-Step page 1940 ED Finder for several examples.  

3)  I presented "Wikis for Genealogy Collaboration" and "Genealogy Blogging - What, Why, Where How" at the Escondido Family History Fair on Saturday, 3 March.  Unfortunately, the first page of my handout for the Wiki presentation was not included in the syllabus.  If you want a copy of my handout, please email me at   Both talks were well received by the audience.  Yvette Porter-Moore took photos of me doing a presentation and posted them on Facebook.  She also posted a photo of she and I in front of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society exhibit also.  

I enjoyed Kendall Jefferson's (Of keynote talk on "Technology Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - From Film to Facebook."  I also attended Gena Ortega's talk on "Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic 5" (comfy seats, and I learned several things about RootsMagic) and Brenda Danielson's talk on "Case Study of the Mysterious McGowans" (in costume and character - a fascinating story of researching which ancestor murdered another).

4)  Linda and I are signed up for the Legacy Family Tree Cruise (leaving Oslo, Norway on 12 May 2012, visiting LeHavre/Paris, Normandy beaches, Dublin, Liverpool, and Edinburgh and Oslo, returning on 21 May).  I agreed with Geoff Rasmussen of Legacy to make two presentations on the cruise to the captive audience...I'm looking forward to this.  This means that I won't be attending the NGS Conference in early May in Cincinnati.  We will be at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree, however.

5)  In my post Dear AppleTree - Please Put in Privacy Controls, reader Gerry commented:

"Randy, you will never hear from a legitimate person at "Appletree" because that site is nothing more than a personal information scavenger. That's the big danger in online genealogy."

You're right, Gerry - they haven't answered yet after 8 days...  My opinion is that every family tree website should be responsive to their submitters, customers and users.  In this case, Appletree had been unresponsive to my emails and blog post.  I don't recommend submitting family tree information to AppleTree.  I wish someone had warned me several years ago, or that I had carefully read the Terms and Conditions.  

6)  My SDGS/CGSSD colleague, Del, experienced a problem with Family Tree Maker 2012 giving him a message "Family Tree Maker 2010- 2012 encountered an error and needs to close or stopped working."  His experience is interesting:

"I uninstalled and reinstalled FTM twice, thinking that would solve the problem.  Finally, I  called FTM technical support.  Very quickly the young lady said she was familiar with the problem, several others had also encountered it and she would e-mail me instructions for solving the problem.  The instructions covered Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows Vista.  Essentially it involved going into drive C, Documents, Profile and Settings, selecting the Local Settings folder, opening the Application Data folder and deleting the file.  I am not a real techy; but believe the problem might have been a glitch with the new "Synch trees" feature in FTM 2012.  However, that is solely speculation on my part--tech support said it was a Windows problem.  Anyhow, that solved my problem; but then I realized that my tree on Ancestry was a later version with 24 more individuals than the one I now had just reloaded on my FTM program. 

"Had I followed the instructions on FTM to "Upload and Sync with Ancestry", I would have uploaded the older version of the tree which had 24 fewer individuals and perhaps (I am not certain) lost the later version that was on Ancestry.  Anyhow, after checking with FTM tech support again, they showed me how to select Plan>New Tree and to select the option to select "Download from Ancestry", select the correct tree and then download from Ancestry back to FTM, thus making sure I had the latest tree on both Ancestry and FTM." 

The email contact from Family Tree Maker provided a link to the Help page for Opening Family Tree Maker 2010-2012, I receive an error message. How do I fix this? that Del referred to above.

Del didn't lose anything in this instance, but if he had changed information in both his Ancestry Member Tree and his desktop Family Tree Maker, he might have lost information.  FTM users beware!  Thank you, Del, for sharing and I hope this posting will prevent others from having similar problems.

7)  Am I being stalked?  A certain commenter sends me about ten comments a week along the lines of:

"Hi dear. This is a happy thing : )." and "Hi dear. Hope to get better."

I guess it could be worse! :)  I hope s/he gets better and quits commenting.  It's a pain to delete comments on a regular basis.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Follow Friday - This Weekend's Genealogy TV/Radio Shows

There is one television show about genealogy and there are two genealogy-related radio shows on Blog Talk Radio ( this weekend.  They are:

1)  Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC, 8 p.m. EST, PST, 7 p.m. CST, MST) -- This week the celebrity is Jerome Bettis.  You can see a short video about this episode at

You can watch past episodes at

2)  GeneaBloggers Radio Episode 58 -- Thomas MacEntee hosts the show this week with co-host 
 Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist.
  titled "Grandma, Is That You? Locating Your Female Ancestors"  This show is on:

Friday, March 9, 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:

*  I
nternationally recognized photo identification and family history expert Maureen Taylor, who will discuss her new book Fashionable Folks: Bonnets and Hats, 1840-1900 as well as how to date photos of female ancestors based on the fashions they wore; 

*  Beverly Rice, a professional genealogist specializing in locating female ancestors, will provide tips and strategies on finding those elusive women in your family tree;
*  Genealogist, blogger and author Gena Philibert Ortega of Food.Family.Ephemera. and who will talk with us about her forthcoming book The Family Table. 

You can read more information about the guests at 
"Grandma, Is That You? Locating Your Female Ancestors"  

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.

3)  FGS Radio - My Society, an Internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio presented by the Federation of Genealogical Societies.  This week's show is TBD.
    It will be hosted by TBD The show airs at:

Saturday, March 10, 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:

*   TBD.

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 8, 2012

CVGS Workshop on Saturday, 10 March - "Maximizing"

The March Saturday Workshop provided  by the Chula Vista Genealogical Society is on 10 March from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m, at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road in Bonita, California) in the Community Room.  

The workshop leader will be CVGS member Myrna Goodwin, who will discuss "Maximizing"  In her presentation, Myrna will discuss the issues concerning public and private trees, syncing with Family Tree Maker 2012 software, plus apps for tablets, readers, and phones will be covered first. Then, there will be a more in depth discussion on finding newspaper articles, using city directories, and utilizing land maps. Successes when connecting with other Ancestry researchers will also be included.

This workshop is free for anyone to attend.  

Legacy Family Tree 7.5 Adds Census Year Reports

I missed the Legacy Family Tree webinar yesterday featuring Thomas MacEntee on

Navigating the 1940 U.S. Census - free webinar now online by Thomas MacEntee but I'm going to watch it later today (it's free until 19 March 2012 here).

In his post today, Legacy Update Now Available PLUS Bonus Webinar on Friday, March 9 - Navigating the New Census Tools in Legacy Family Tree  on the Legacy News blog, Geoff Rasmussen announces a new webinar to be presented on Friday, 9 March, and describes the New Census Tools in Legacy Family Tree, with some screen shots.  He says:

"Legacy Family Tree recently released three major census tools to assist genealogists in their census research. While the first two tools relate specifically to the upcoming release of the 1940 U.S. census (new 1940 U.S. census transcription form and 1940 U.S. census SourceWriter template), the third will help with census research around the globe (the new Census List tool). Join Legacy's Geoff Rasmussen, the brains behind the new Census List tool, as he explores these new features and demonstrates their use."

Users need to update their Legacy Family Tree software, then click on the "Census" icon to use the Census tool.  I did that, and was able to create a nice "Search List" report for persons in my database who may be in the 1940 census in California:

As you can see, this report provides the person's name, birth date/place, death date/place, spouse's name, and marriage date/place.  The user can control these items.  I did not see a way to change the order of the items in the table.

This was really easy to create, and I can save it or print it out for my use.  What I like best is that it only takes a series of clicks, some smart choices, and voila - a report.

Is it perfect?  No, mainly because I don't know the death date of many of the persons on this list, and they may live in a place other than the birth, marriage or death place in my database.  I'll gladly take this imperfect list to doing the 1940 census search by a trial and error process.

UPDATE 10:45 a.m.:  In my haste, I neglected an even better report - the "Print a Census List Report."  Geoff noted this in the comment to my initial post.  This report provides the married name, birth date, death date, age at death, and a possible location, with an estimate of the probability based on all of the information available in the file.  Here's a screen shot of it:

Thanks to Geoff for providing the comment.  I like this list even more!

I'm sure that Geoff will highlight the process, and all of the Census Tool features, in the webinar on Friday, and my guess is that I have missed many of the features that have been added to help researchers with a Census search.  

Now I'm off to look at the 1940 Census source template!

Copyright (c) 2012. Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - Della Carringer's Obituary

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

This week, it's another newspaper article, this time from the San Diego Union dated 4 January 1944 (page 14, accessed on GenealogyBank):

The transcription of this short obituary is:

Della A. Carringer

After living 46 years at the same address, 2115 Thirtieth st., Mrs. Della A. Carringer, 81, died in her home Saturday.  She and her husband, Henry A., celebrated their golden wedding in 1937.  Funeral services will be conducted in the Benbough Funeral parlors at 2 tomorrow afternoon under auspices of the Neighbors of Woodcraft.  Cremation will follow.

Mrs. Carringer, a native of Wapan, Wis., had resided here 55 years.  Besides her widower, she leaves a son, Lyle L., of San Diego; a granddaughter, Mrs. F.W. Seaver jr., and a great-grandson, Randall Jeffery Seaver, both of Chula Vista.

If I was just starting my genealogy research, this would have been a great find on GenealogyBank.  It gives me a death date (Saturday,before 4 January was 1 January in 1944), so I could order a death certificate.  

I am really thankful that GenealogyBank added the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune newspapers to their collection.  It has been very helpful to my search for family history information.  I've been collecting death notices, obituaries, articles, real estate transactions and more about my San Diego families.

The bonus for me was to see my name in another newspaper article, only two-plus months after my birth!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SDGS Meeting on Saturday, 10 March - Joel Weintraub

The San Diego Genealogical Society program on 10 March (St. Andrews Lutheran Church, 8350 Lake Murray Blvd, just south of Jackson Drive) will start at 9:30 a.m. with Morning Coffee.

The speaker will be Joel Weintraub.  He was born and raised in Manhattan, became interested in genealogy 12 years ago, and volunteered at the National Archives and Records Administration in Southern California for nine years.  Joel started transcribing streets within census districts in 2001 to help researchers search the 1930 U.S. Census (released in 2002).  He was joined in the venture by David Kehs and Stephen Morse in 2002, and together they have produced a number of census searching utilities for both the federal and the New York State censuses on the Morse One Step Website.  Joel has been working on finder aids for the 1940 census since 2005, and has given talks on that census since 2006.

Three weeks after this talk, the 1940 Census population forms will be put online, freely accessible.  In the first hour, Joel will discuss the background of the census questions, the controversies surrounding some of the questions, and what to look for when you see your family's census sheets.  He will have original census documents to illustrate this part of the talk.

In the second hour, Joel will deal with how one will search this census for family members by location since there will be no name index when it becomes public.  There are location tools (census maps, district definitions, street and location indexes, etc.) available for free on the National Archives and the One-Step website ( which Joel will discuss.  Get the addresses of your 1940 family before this meeting, and Joel will show you how you can use that information to find which census districts cover those locations.  To prepare for this talk, go through the tutorial/quiz at with your 1940 addresses.

There will be a 15 minute break between the two presentations.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

My Search Engine Shoot-Out

James Tanner writes about many interesting genealogy topics, but this one spurred me to perform my own search using his methodology.  See James' post Search Engine Shoot Out for details of the different search engines, and his own results.

I'm going to do two tests using the same methodology that James used:

1)  A search for "thomas j. newton" "sophia buck": Total 1,417 (including 7 "personal results") Total 9
Yahoo! Total 7 No total given but 6 listed Total 7 Total 7 Total 9
Dogpile  Total 10 Total 0 Total "about" 70

2)  A search for "genealogical proof standard" Total 21,680 (including 180 "personal results") Total 17,000
Yahoo! Total 14,600 No total given but after about 210, the results were duplicated Total about 21,000 Total 1,460 Total 14,700
Dogpile  Total 369 Total 24 Total 3,179

Of course, I did not check for duplications in each of those sites - I just quoted the number provided (or tried to figure out a number if no number was given).

The newest search engine, Mocavo (for genealogy results only), seems  to be holding its own in these tests.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 195: The Seaver Boys in 1958

 I am posting photographs from my family collections for (Not So) Wordless Wednesday (you know me, I can't go wordless!).    

Here is a small photograph from the Seaver/Carringer family collection handed down by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:   

This photograph was taken in about 1958, in the living room at the home of Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer at 825 Harbor View Place in San Diego.  I remember the framed shell display in the background.

This is a picture of me and my brothers - from the left, Stan, Scott and Randy.  Somehow, the photographer (probably my grandfather) caught all of us laughing or smiling at the same time.  It looks like Stan and I have to hold Scott down (holding his hands and on his waist, note the little balloon emblem on Scott's sweater).  Three year olds are like that, aren't they?  Scott is a bit distracted by someone trying to make him laugh.  Check out the hairdos too - I had a longish flattop with lots of Butchwax, as did Stan, but he had curly hair and mine was dead straight.  This was the age of Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show and on the radio, and Kookie on 77 Sunset Strip, but we weren't allowed to have ducktail haircuts.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Individual RootsTech 2012 Videos Available Now

The RoosTech 2012 streaming videos are now available for viewing as separate entities (recall that they were shown live, and the site had them in three long video streams).  

The talks available are:

*  Thursday, 11 a.m.:  Do I Trust the Cloud? by D. Joshua Taylor
*  Thursday, 1:45 p.m.:   Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink
*  Thursday, 3 p.m.: Twitter – It’s Not Just “What I Had For Breakfast” Anymore By Thomas MacEntee
*  Thursday, 4:15 p.m. :  Eleven Layers of Online Searches By Barbara Renick

*  Friday, 8:30 a.m.:  Exabyte Social Clouds and Other Monstrosities By Josh Coates
*  Friday, 9:45 a.m. : Publish Your Genealogy Online By Laura Prescott
*  Friday, 11 a.m.: Optimizing Your Site for Search Engines By Robert Gardner
*  Friday, 1:45 p.m.: Genealogists “Go Mobile” By Sandra Crowley
*  Friday, 3 p.m.: Google's Toolbar and Genealogy By David Barney

Saturday, 8:30 a.m.: Making the Most of Technology to Further the Family History Industry By Tim Sullivan
Saturday, 9:45 a.m.: Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 By Lisa Louise Cooke
Saturday, 1:45 p.m.:  Privacy in a Collaborative Environment By Noah Tutak  

In addition, there are videos from these FamilySearch presentations:

*  Thursday, 1:45 p.m.: YouTube Your Family History By Devin Ashby
*  Saturday, 1:45 p.m.: Reputation Systems for Genealogy By Jimmy Zimmerman 
*  Saturday, 9:45 a.m.: GeneTech: YDNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems By Nathan Murphy
*  Saturday, 11:00 a.m.: Introducing the FamilySearch Indexing & Linking Tool By Grant Echols
*  Thursday, 1:45 p.m.: Using Android Devices for Genealogy and Family History By David Lifferth

There are two presentations that are not listed on the site, and will be posted at a later date:

*   Jay Verkler's keynote "Inventing the Future, As a Community" 
*  Ron Tanner's presentation "Future of FamilySearch Family Tree"