Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Name Acrostics

Hey genea-folks, it's Saturday Night again, and time for more Genealogy Fun!

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

1)  Visit Beverly's Reeves, Reaves and More Rives blog post titled John A. and Nancy Reves Remembered.  Note the acrostic poem made from the letters of their names.  Isn't that cool?

2)  Select one of your ancestors, and make a Name Acrostic for them. If you can write poems like these, please do it.  If you're non-creative like me, then just list the letters of their name and write one word for each letter in the name that describes your selected person.

3)  Show us your Name Acrostic on your own blog post, on a comment to this post, in a Facebook Status or a Google+ Stream post.

Thank you to Beverly for the great example, and to Denise Spurlock who gave me this idea for SNGF.

Here's mine, for my mother, Betty V. Carringer:  


Some help:  I found a good list of positive words at

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - KELLER (Germany > New York)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  I am up  to number 485, Maria KELLER (1729-1789). [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back to Maria KELLER (and two more generations) is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) 

6.  Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976)
7.  Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977)

14.  Charles Auble (1849-1916)
15.  Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952) 

30.  James Abram Kemp (1831-1902)
31.  Mary Jane Sovereen (1840-1874)

60.  Abraham James Kemp (1794-after 1881)
61.  Sarah Sephrona Fletcher (1802-after 1861)

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

242.  Abraham Dafoe (1755-1815)
243.  Katreen (about 1755-????)

484.  Johann Ernst Dafoe, born about 1726 in Dutchess, New York, United States; died 1784 in Saint-Jean, Quebec, Canada.  He was the son of 968. Abraham Defoe and 969. Maria Catharina Reiffenberger.  He married 01 February 1749 in Germantown, Columbia, New York, United States.
485.  Maria Keller, born 27 March 1729 in Athens, Greene, New York, United States; died 12 August 1789 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada.  

Children of Johann Dafoe and Maria Keller are:  George Dafoe (1749-1777); Conradt Dafoe (1753-1853); Abraham Dafoe (1755-1815); John Dafoe (1758-????); Jacob Dafoe (1761-????); Maria Dafoe (1763-????); Michael Dafoe (1766-1860); Daniel Dafoe (1769-????).

970.  Conrad Keller, born about 1695 in Meisbach, Bayern, Germany; died 1742 in Livingston, Columbia, New York, United States.  He married about 1720 in New York, United States.
971.  Maria Barbara Proper, born 27 October 1697 in Germany; died 10 August 1742 in Livingston, Columbia, New York, United States.  She was the daughter of 1942. Johann Jost Proper and 1943. Anna Elisabetha.

Children of Conrad Keller and Maria Proper are:  Anna Elisabetha Keller (1722-????); Christian Keller (1726-1790); Johannes Jost Keller (1728-1796); Maria Keller (1729-1789); Annatje Keller (1730-1790); Hendrich Keller (1730-1764); Catharina Keller (1731-????); Christina Keller (1734-????); Agnes Flora Keller (1739-????); Jacob Keller (1742-????).

1940.  Christian Keller, born in Germany; died about 1710 in East Camp, Dutchess, New York, United States.  He married before 1695 in Germany.
1941.  Anna Margaretha, born in Germany; died in New York, United States.

Children of Christian Keller and Anna Margaretha are:  Conrad Keller (1695-1742); Anna Margaretha Keller (1698-????); Anna Christina Keller (1700-????).

The most complete description of these families was on the website Keller Family Tree - Palatine Refugee and United Empire Loyalist Descendants -- from  The web page provides background information on the Keller family in Germany and early America, and the migration to Canada after the Revolutionary War.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, June 22, 2012

Searching on World Vital Records - Some Problems

Having received the same email as Chris Paton concerning the MyHeritage SuperSearch (see 

MyHeritage releases SuperSearch search engine), and after being a "good example" in the recent MyHeritage press conference (see MyHeritage Announces Record Matching Feature), it is apparent that MyHeritage will be adding some record searching features for their family tree customers, and I'm fairly sure that these search features will involve WorldVitalRecords, which MyHeritage purchased several months ago.

I wondered how global searches on worked out - what options are there, and what resources are found.   I've recently posted U.S. Census Records Summary on and England and Wales Census Records Summary on to cover those record collections.

On the WorldVitalRecords home page, I entered the name Isaac Seaver in the search fields, and added 1823 to the Year field, with 0 years range, and "Exact" in the "Match Type" field.

I clicked on the orange "Begin Search" button and received 8 matches in five collections:

The collections with matches were:

*  Find-A-Grave Photos (2 matches)
*  Find-A-Grave (1 match)
*  MyHeritage Trees (3 matches)
*  Book:  Genealogy and Lineal Descendants of William Wood Who Settled in Concord, Mass. in 1638 (1 match)
*  Book:  History of the Town of Medfield, Mass. (1 match)

The two matches in Find-A-Grave Photos were listed as Paul A. Greiner (1907-1997) and Mildred G. Shough (1908-1997):

I clicked thel ink for Paul Greiner, and it took me to the Find-A-Grave page for him:

Needless to say, this is not Isaac Seaver born in 1823...I checked the cemetery for any Seaver entry on Find-A-Grave and there was none.  Obviously, the search engine is finding a wrong link.  The same thing happened with the other match.

I clicked on the link for the Find-A-Grave collection, and saw:

The record is for John A. Seelig (????-1960) in Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster, Mass. where my Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) is buried.  Again, the search engine is finding a wrong link.

The 3 matches for MyHeritage Trees found my own database, and two others with Isaac Seaver born in 1823.

The William Wood Genealogy book found another Isaac Seaver (this one was 1808-1892):

The other Book match for Medfield, Mass. found my Isaac Seaver marrying Lucretia Smith in 1851 without a birth year listed.

It appears that the Book matches find the name, but don't use the Year field to narrow the search.

The WorldVitalRecords search also found 8 Google Book matches for the name and the year (one match listed the right Isaac Seaver and the year 1823 in the next line).  That is actually a pretty useful search - I saw several entries that I had not seen before.

I decided to see how many matches I would obtain if I expanded the Year search to plus/minus 5 years.  There were 15 matches in 9 collections, including three Massachusetts Vital Record Books.  Interestingly, it did not find Isaac's 1823 birth record in the Westminster, Mass. book, although it found two marriages of other Seaver guys.

What about a search with no Birth year?  There were 82 matches in 26 collections.

A search without a Birth year and with "Soundex" matches rather than "Exact" matches produced 776,692 matches in 17,967 collections.  These searches seem to find any of the search terms on a page, and not necessarily matches with all search terms on the page.  Again, this looks like a significant problem to me.

Frankly, I'm disappointed in the search results.  This is a mature record collections provider.  The issues noted above should have been ironed out years ago.  In my opinion, the problems here on WorldVitalRecords will affect MyHeritage's reputation and usefulness.

Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription, and a complimentary MyHeritage Plus subscription.  The gifts I have received from both organizations have not affected my objective review of these sites.

UPDATE 25 June:  I talked to MyHeritage and WorldVitalRecords personnel today on the phone about the Find-a-Grave link problems, and they assured me that it was a temporary problem that I stumbled across on 22 June.  The Find-a-Grave matches for Isaac Seaver now go to the correct pages on Find-a-Grave.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Reader Comments on the Value of the 1940 US Census

I had many reader comments on my post What is the Value of the 1940 U.S. Census? (18 June 2012).  Here are some of them, with my own comments at the end:

1)  Karen Packard Rhodes noted:  "However, for me, the 1940 census will have value, once the index is complete, in letting me find where in blazes my parents were in 1940, because as of now I have no clue at all. I don't even know which state they were in at the time. My father was Navy, so they moved around a lot. Land records and property records are of no use, because they never owned a house the whole time my father was alive. They always rented. City directories are hit-or-miss. For me, mostly miss. So I am depending on the 1940 census to answer that question for me. I am also hoping to locate in that census collateral kin to fill out the family picture."

2)  Scott Phillips said:  "Yes, the 1940 has some useful information, but it is not the end-all-be-all in genealogy as the industry and many in it would have us believe.   Personally I'll check it out when it is fully indexed (and yes I am volunteering and indexing).  Now I am going back to my 1628 Will that really has priceless information. "

3)  Geneabloggers responded to Scott:  "I don't think the genealogy industry community tried to make the 1940 Census as the "be all, end all" for genealogy records. That may be some folks' reaction to the intense media and social media focus on the 1940 Census.  But look at what such a focus has done: it has not only allowed us to have over 50% of the 1940 Census already indexed (and not even 3 months from its release), but it also has brought more new people into the family history arena.   For that I am grateful not just because it allows me more connections with other researchers, but as a genealogy business owner, it expands the genealogy industry."

4)  Elizabeth commented:  "I have found information in the 1940 census about my husband's family, cousins, etc. which has been very interesting, and that family members had forgotten about.  I also look forward to having it indexed so I can find my paternal grandfather, who was divorced from his first wife. I don't know where he was living in 1940 and if he was living with his second wife or not.  I agree, it's not the "be all, end all" but there are some interesting tidbits to be found that enhance the family story (education level, home value, etc.)."

5)  Rorery Cathcart noted:  "For me personally, I found the first name of a wife to whom my uncle was only married 2 years. No one in our family knew this woman's name. We had no idea which county they married in. It's not much but it is more than what I would have had otherwise.  I'm hoping as Philadelphia becomes indexed to finally track down some of my McDonnell kin which I have otherwise lost.   All they hype has certainly brought more indexers into the fold. Many of these folks will stick around after the census is complete. That is a boon to all of us."

6)  bgwiehle said:  "Like Karen, I'm waiting on the the indexes (especially Ohio & Pennsylvania) because the 1940 census will bridge a lot of gaps in my knowledge - the next generation starting new households, people moving to new states because of the Depression, last chances for immigration before WWII, etc.  But the 1940 census has a lot of more columns for education & employment and fewer for parents' origins and mother tongue - signs of the changes in American life in economics and immigration in the previous decade. And those special enumeration lines are unlikely to help much - the designated line is often blank or that person is a child who does not fit many of the criteria."

7)  Joseph commented:  "Well, Mr. Crowe may wait for his little information until the indexes are complete. Using the Steve Morse process, I located over 125 of my family members in Detroit and over 85 in Bay City, Michigan. Then I found about 40 more in Montana before the index became available. I enjoy the hunt and the discovery, and every family has provided me with new information. I am indexing Michigan, but it does not appear to be a priority yet, because not much is completed. By the time Mr. Crowe gets started with the indexes, I will be looking for the 1950 city directories to get ready for Steve Morse's next database!!"

8)  Pat Richley-Erickson said:  "It is amazing what folks will say or do to get their 15 minutes of fame.  I was particularly pleased with the 1940 census images, and Steve Morse and Joel Weintraub One-Step pages for two reasons:

"1. It got my daughter and two other family members interested in genealogy. My daughter started a blog, and created a custom Google map based on the 1940 enumeration of her great grandparents. The conversations we had facilitated additional sharing of photos and documents.

"2. By looking at the neighbors, I now understand a relationship my maternal grandmother had with the child of the Engsteoms, who owned the corner grocery at the foot of Queen Anne Hill.

"I've also got some other clues from the neighbors in the 1940, though I haven't worked them through yet to be able to submit a report."

9)  Anne Gillespie Mitchell noted:  "It's just darn fun to find your ancestors in any record. Therefore, finding your ancestors in 1940 is fun.  You either get it or you don't :-) Mr. Crowe does not. :-( "

10)  Andria Sprott commented:  "I personally found some rather surprising information about my grandmother in the 1940 census. She was married at seventeen to a man I never knew about. We know that she was married five times in her lifetime, but this is a new surprise for the family to research! I have indeed found some new and fantastic information previously unknown. I will continue to be excited for the 1940 census, as I think anyone interested in their family history should be."

11)  Sonja Hunter said:  "I suppose having access to the 1940 census is a non-event if you know the answers to all of the questions it contains, but I, personally, don't know where some of my people were then. I thought I knew where some of them were, but after using the ED maps (thank you Steve Morse) to learn where to search I came up blank with a few. I actually found the house where my great grand aunt lived for many years before and after 1940 and I expected to find her here in 1940 as well. Nope. Time to wait for Michigan to be posted (and yes, I have been indexing as well).  I'm most curious to see the level of schooling completed and for some, their location in 1935."

12)  Sue notes:  "My mother is still anxiously waiting for me to find her. They had lost their home due to a job lose and she is not sure where they were living. For many of my client projects we have found that the 1940 Census should help to solve family questions. I decided to do indexing after finding a few of our relatives, as it became obvious how important the indexes are. I am grateful to participate in this very beneficial project."

13)  Unknown said:  "I've found 1) the surname of "Aunt Ethel" -- little kids don't always know such things, 2) why a family disappeared shortly after 1940--their only asset was a house and the breadwinner had been unemployed (with no other income) for over a year, 3) really impressed my boss by finding her grandfather, and 4) a descendant, based on a name-change that became apparent in the 1940 census. The first 3 I found using Steve Morse's amazing site (by street, by ed description, and by ed maps). The 4th I found with one of the new indexes. Yes, there was/is "hoopla", but why can't we genealogists let down our hair once in a while?"

15)  Joel Weintraub commented:  "I read about Mr. Crowe's comment about our One-Step 1940 locational tools being relatively useless in his situation and I felt really bad about that. I spoke to Steve Morse and he agreed that we should refund him 200% of the money that he paid for the use of the One-Step tools."

16)  Anonymous commented:  "I agree with Mr. Crowe's comments about the 1940 census. I thought the hype about it to be extremely overblown. I found the information on it to be not that useful genealogically, but much more useful sociologically."

My comments:  Well now, we have a number of excellent examples of how the 1940 U.S. Census had value to researchers.  We also have several commenters who are waiting for the indexing to be completed for their states of interest (as I am).  There are several commenters who had some fun at Mr. Crowe's expense, and several who agreed in principle with him.  All were civilly expressed and well written.  Thank you, commenters!  

I agree with Geneabloggers that the hoopla in print, web and social media helped focus the effort to inspire volunteers to index the 1940 Census, and other collections, and as a result we should have the complete index by September (my estimate), and we have the index for 20 states already on FamilySearch, and for several other states on Ancestry.  Many of those indexers brought into the fold will continue indexing records to the benefit of the genealogy community, and many will be energized to do more genealogy research in other records.  

I found it interesting that no one, besides Joel, mentioned the cost of this effort to researchers using the 1940 U.S. census images and indexes.  They're FREE!!!!   That is a tremendous thing, in my opinion.  The providers of the images had to pay NARA $200,000 for the package (except for, who received the images for free from NARA, had to pay for the servers to host the NARA images), and had them posted within two or three days with waypoints to states, counties and EDs.  Joel, Steve and their team of workers did a fantastic job getting the Enumeration District Finder developed over a decade, and everyone was able to use it when the census was released.  Where would we have been without it?  

The one idea that I especially appreciate, and didn't express in my post, was that the release of the 1940 U.s. census enabled us to get family members or friends more interested in genealogy.  If Pat's daughter continues her research, Pat just extended the interest of her descendants in family history for another generation.  That is a wonderful thing.  The combination of being able to find the census image and show it to your children, or to your mother and father, is great for "show and tell" family gatherings.  

As for me, I agree with Anne's comment: "Finding your ancestors in the 1940 census is fun!"  I can hardly wait to look for all of the Seaver, Carringer, Auble, Vaux and McKnew folks in the 1940 Census using the images and indexes.  It should take me only a few years to have a lot more fun adding them to my database.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, June 21, 2012

More Videos on YouTube Channel has been adding several short videos each week to their YouTube channel (  These videos are usually done by Crista Cowan and Ancestry Anne in 15 to 20 minute segments.  The count on the Channel is 316 as of today!

The video titles for the last two weeks are:

* LIVE: MyCanvas and Other Ideas for Publishing Your Family History

* LIVE: Using Member Profiles

* LIVE: What If There Isn't an Index, How Do I Find Who I'm Looking 

* Father's Day with Alan Thicke

* LIVE: Creating Timelines to Better Understand Records and Families

* LIVE: What's New At, June Edition

*  1940 U.S. Census: Interactive Image Viewer

* LIVE: Keeping Track of All That Research: Using Notes in FTM and Trees

I watched this last one today, and found that Crista Cowan does her research notes differently from the way I do them.

I think that these 15 to 20 minute episodes, on specific aspects of using or other Ancestry properties, is a great way to help researchers focus on one thing and learn how to accomplish a task.  I know that I don't have much trouble finding 20 minutes in my day but I do struggle to carve out 60 minutes or more.  Kudos to Ancestry, Crista and Anne for doing these videos.  I love their enthusiasm too!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Subscribe to or Read the Transitional Genealogists Forum on Rootsweb

Are you trying to improve your genealogy knowledge and research skills?  Are you thinking about being a professional genealogist?

One of the very best, and most interesting, message boards is the Transitional Genealogists Forum  (TGF).
Many professional genealogists, and many "transitionals" who want to improve their knowledge and skills, subscribe to this message board and participate in it.  When you subscribe (here), you can receive messages to the TGF by email, and send messages by email.  

There are archives for all Rootsweb Message Boards, and the TGF message board archives are here.  The landing page is:

The archives are arranged by month.  I have set the list above to display in "reverse" order so that the latest months are at the top of the list.

I picked the month of June 2012, for which there are already 335 messages (about 16 per day):

I chose to display the messages in "threaded" order, with names and dates displayed.  The default is now "reverse chronological" order which is pretty stupid, in my humble opinion.  It is much easier to find messages for a specific thread or from a specific person using threaded messages with names and dates.

Scrolling down a bit, I picked a message about "PA Death Certificates" to read (two screens):

As you can see, the responses to the original message are listed at the bottom in threaded form, and are clickable.

This message board is very active, and has many helpful and interesting message threads.  There have been a robust discussions about:

*  Finding marriage licenses in unexpected places :)

*  Dispelling family myths

*  Citing images at FamilySearch

*  Bad information in trees on Ancestry

Do you want to search this particular message board?  You can do so at

I can hear some of my readers saying:  "Oh yeah, that's just what I need - more email and more genealogy things to read!"  Yep - but it's good stuff!  I subscribe and enjoy the conversations.  The conversations are almost always supportive and civil.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - Birth Certificate for Frederick W. Seaver

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 the birth certificate for Fred Walton 
Seaver in 1876 in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts:

I obtained this birth certificate by postal mail from the Leominster town clerk's office on 9 September 1996.

Here is the transcription of the birth certificate (handwritten parts in italics, form lines underlined):

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Certificate of Birth
From the records of births in the City of Leominster
Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Date of birth:  OCTOBER 9, 1876
Full Name of Child:  FRED WALTON SEAVER
Sex, Color, and if Twin:  -----
Place of Birth:  LEOMINSTER
Residence of Parents:  LEOMINSTER
Name of Father:  FRANK W. SEAVER
Occupation of Father:  COMBMAKER
Birthplace of Father:  MEDFIELD
Name of Mother (Maiden): HATTIE L. (MAIDEN NAME NOT GIVEN)
Occupation of Mother:  -----
Birthplace of Mother:  NORTHBORO

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 Birth in said City, as certified by me.

WITNESS my hand and seal of said City, on the 9TH day of SEPTEMBER 19 96

FILED:  1876
PAGE:  155 ................................................... Beverly J. Davis
NUMBER:  -----  ...........................................     CITY CLERK
AMENDED:  -----

While this "certificate" is an official record of the birth of Fred Walton Seaver, it is not the "original" record.  It is a Derivative Source record since it was not the first record of the event.  

Fred Walton Seaver is my paternal grandfather, whose parents were Frank Walton Seaver and Hattie L. Hildreth.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pennsylvania Tax and Exoneration, 1768-1801, Records for Martin Carringer

One of the recently added new databases on is the Pennsylvania Tax and Exoneration, 1768-1801 set of records for 18 counties.

The original data for this database is from:

Original data:
Tax & Exoneration Lists, 1762–1794. Series No. 4.61; Records of the Office of the Comptroller General, RG-4. Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The description of this database is:

This database contains exoneration returns and diverse tax lists from Revolutionary-era Pennsylvania. These include documents for supply taxes, 18-penny taxes, liquor taxes, carriage and billiard table taxes, and others. Supply taxes were levied to help pay debts from the Revolutionary War, while the 18-penny tax included both a poll tax on freemen and property taxes assessed to back issuances of paper money.
Records from the following counties are included:
  • Allegheny
  • Bedford
  • Berks
  • Bucks
  • Chester
  • Cumberland
  • Dauphin
  • Fayette
  • Franklin
  • Huntingdon
  • Lancaster
  • Montgomery
  • Northampton
  • Northumberland
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington
  • Westmoreland
  • York

I was curious to see if my end-of-line ancestor, Martin Carringer, was in these records, and if there were other persons with that surname (or similar) also.

I searched the database with the surname "car*ger" and received 24 matches.  Martin Carringer in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania had five entries for the 1787 to 1789 time period.  The first one is for Rostraver township in Westmoreland County in 1787:

There are a number of columns on this page and it is difficult to determine the heading when it is vertical on the page, as above.  So I clicked "Rotate" on the Ancestry menu and was able to easily see the headings.

A snippet for Martin Carringer's row in this record looks like this:

The row for Martin Carringer indicates that:

Name:  Carringer, Martin
Land held by Patent:  
Land held by Warrant:
Land held by Location:  150 [acres]
Land held by Improve:
Mulatto slaves:
Horses &c:
Horned Cattle:  1
Grist mills:
Saw mills:
Horse mills:
Mills &c:
Wrought plate:
Hoses &c:
Value:  39 pounds

Unfortunately, there were no earlier Carringer (or variant spellings) entries in Westmoreland County.  There are a number of Hoak/Houk/Hoke entries in Westmoreland county also.  I'm going to enjoy mining this database!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 23 June Features Jean Wilcox Hibben

This month, the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) meets on the 4th Saturday of June (the 23rd) due to graduation at UCSD.  See our map page for directions.
The meeting on 23 JUNE 2012 is from from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Here are the details:
9:00   - User Group: Family Tree Maker. SIG: Ancestry.
10:00 - Break, refreshments.
10:15 - Announcements followed by program:
Clue to Clue: Tracking a Family over Time and Miles, by Jean Wilcox Hibben
Jean is Director, Corona (CA) Family History Center; Board Member, Association of Professional Genealogists; President, So. Calif. Chapter, Assoc. of Prof. Genealogists; President, Corona (CA) Genealogical Society; Secretary, Genealogical Speakers Guild.

Using various clues, this presentation shows how to move from one piece of information to the next to piece together the life of an ancestral family. The steps used are illustrated so that they can be followed by the beginner as well as the seasoned genealogist. Use of census, probate, property, and personal records are explained.
We meet at the Robinson Auditorium complex on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla. From North Torrey Pines Road, turn at Pangea Drive into UCSD. Free parking is available in the parking garage on the left; use any space other than those specifically reserved for UCSD vehicles. Signs will mark directions to our meeting room. Please refer to our website; or the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies website (click here) for driving directions and a map.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday -- Post 210: My Parents Wedding

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

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

My parents, Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) and Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), were married on 12 July 1942 at All Saints Episcopal Church in San Diego.  This photograph was probably taken by a professional photographer.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Winner of the Genea-Musings Father's Day Contest is ...

I announced the Genea-Musings Father's Day contest for some prizes in Father's Day Contest at Genea-Musings - Win Prizes last week.  The deadline was Sunday night at 8:59 p.m. PDT.

There were 25 entrants who fulfilled the entry requirements.  I used the random number generator at, put 25 as the highest number, and it selected #23.

#23 on my list of entrants was Donna Jane Peterson in Texas.  Donna's entry about her favorite father said:

"My favorite father is my son-in-law. He teaches his children by example. He serves his country and his church and shows his respect to God and country."

Donna won these prizes, courtesy of

*  6-month U.S. Discovery membership to
*  1-year membership to Fold3
*  Family Tree Maker (PC or Mac version)

Congratulations to Donna.  And thank you to for offering this contest to me and for the prizes. has contacted Donna to get the prizes to her.

Interesting, isn't it, how much better the odds were for persons entering the Genea-Musings contest (which had only 25 entries) and the contest on Facebook (which probably had hundreds or thousands of entries, although the 20 hours of consultation with ProGenealogists was a more valuable prize).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

England and Wales Census Records Summary on

I've been updating my lists of websites with access to census records, and have found that the WorldVitalRecords site ( has some of the England and Wales census records, including family summaries and census page images, if you have a World Subscription.

Here's the list as of today:

*  1841 England and Wales Census:  searchable index, all page images.

*  1851 England and Wales Census:  searchable index, all page images.

*  1861 England and Wales Census:  searchable index, all page images.

*  1871 England and Wales Census:  searchable index, all page images.

*  1881 England and Wales Census:  searchable index, all page images.

*  1891 England and Wales Census:  searchable index, all page images.

*  1901 England and Wales Census:  searchable index, all page images.

 The UK and Ireland collection page looks like this:

I tried all of the links for the census records, and they all produce results similar to those below.  I clicked on the 1851 census link, and entered "john" "richman" in "wiltshire" into the search fields:

The results obtained did not find just the matches in Wiltshire, but all John Richmans in England and Wales:

I added a birth year of 1790 plus/minus 10 years to the search and it narrowed the search.  That search found my John Richman in Wiltshire in the 1851 England census.  I clicked on the "More Details" link and the family summary looks like this:

Each person in the family unit is listed with their relationship, condition, gender, age, occupation and birthplace.

I clicked on the "Census Image" link and saw:

The image can be zoomed in or out using a slide bar, can be printed, can be downloaded, or sent via email.  

Unfortunately, the researcher cannot navigate to a previous or next page so as to search for neighbors or relatives close by.

One more problem - the site does not have the 1911 England and Wales census records.

One benefit of the WorldVitalRecords subscription is that these records are searchable in a Super Search on for specific persons.

I was very happy to find these records, and they are fairly easy to search and use.  All in all, this is the best search and see website for England and Wales census records that I subscribe to (I don't have a World or UK Ancestry, or a FindMyPast or other UK site subscription).  

Disclosure:  I have received gifts from MyHeritage and in the past, I currently have a complimentary World Subscription to the site.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Which Site Provides "Best" Census Source Citations?

I've been accused of being a "Source Citation Nazi" by email correspondents, which I deny!  I do like well-crafted source citations, however.

I asked myself the question:  "Which website that provides census records does the best job at creating source citations?"  The concept of "best" is subjective, of course, but I will choose to define "best" as the Evidence! Explained source templates.

I chose the 1930 United States census entry for my grandfather, Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976) who resided in San Diego, California in the 1930 U.S. Census.  Here are my findings:

1) (from collection):

Year: 1930; Census Place:  San Diego San Diego California; Roll:  192; Page: 5A; Enumeration District:  116; Image: 688.0; FHL microfilm:  2339927.

When attached to a person (in a Ancestry Member Tree synced to Family Tree Maker 2012), from FTM 2012:, 1930 United States Federal Census (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002. Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626,)


"United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 June 2012), Lyle L Carringer, San Diego, San Diego, California.


There is no crafted source citation.  The image of the Source Information box is:


There is no crafted source citation.  The image of the Source Information is:


There is no crafted source citation.  The image of the Source Information is:


This site does not yet have the 1930 U.S. Census.  

7)  Evidence! Explained template:

A 1930 U.S. Census entry crafted by the census template in RootsMagic (Census: U.S. Federal (online images); using image, developed from Evidence! Explained source templates) for the Lyle L. Carringer entry would be:

1930 United States Federal Census, San Diego County, California, population schedule, San Diego City, enumeration district (ED) 116, sheet 5A, Dwelling #142, Family #148, Lyle L. Carringer household; digital images, ( : accessed 19 June 2012); citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, Roll 192.


1)  None of the historical record collections creates a source citation crafted to Evidence! Explained principles.  It's not even close!

2)  None of the source information in the historical record collections contains all of the elements required to craft an Evidence! Explained style citation.

3)  FamilySearch is the only record collection that puts a link to the specific census image in their source citation.

4)  Any source citation created by the record providers and attached to a tree person will have to be edited in order to meet the Evidence! Explained template standards.

5)  Which historical record collection will be the first to include all of the source citation elements and craft source citations according to Evidence! Explained templates?

Some readers may be asking "Why does this matter?  As long as they provide some source information, you can craft it to your own standards."

My response is:  "With many Ancestry Member Tree users happily accepting shaky leaf Hints, and with the new Source Box on (that can be used to attach a source to a person in the FamilySearch Family Tree), it matters a lot.  Millions of poorly crafted 'source citations' will be attached to millions of persons in these trees.  I think that the historical record collection providers should do source citations better, and should do them to a recognized standard."

What do you think?  Am I being too hard on the providers?  Are the Evidence! Explained templates the best standard to aspire to?

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver