Saturday, August 4, 2012

Genealogy Fun with the SNGF Genea-Lympics - Week 2 Results

The Saturday Night Genealogy Fun(SNGF) Genea-lympics ARE ON...a friendly competition (mainly against myself...) - see Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - the SNGF Genealympics I and Week 2 for details, how to compete, etc.  See Announcing the Summer 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games! for the 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games events and medals.  It is not necessary to post only on a Saturday or to complete everything in one evening or one week. This can be an effort over two weeks.

1)  Here is my competition flag:

2)  I will report next week on the results in the longer-term Events.  

3)  The Events for Week 2 that I have results for are:

a)  The Source Citation Vault:  What is your ratio of source citations to persons in your genealogy software or online tree database?  Tell us:

*  How many persons are in your database?

*  How many source citations are in your database?
*  Determine your source citation to persons ratio by dividing source citations by persons (e.g., 2,000 source citations divided by 3,000 persons gives a ratio of 0.667.)

As of right now, in my "master" database that I work in, I have 41,414 persons, and 29,327 source citations.  That is a ratio of 0.708 citations/person.

Medal earned:  A Silver (for having a ratio above 0.667)

b)  The Genea-Blog Reader's Marathon:  How many Genea-blogs do you read on a daily basis?  Count them in your Reader or your Favorites/Bookmark list.

I have over 1,250 genealogy blogs in my Google Reader.  

Medal earned:  a Platinum Medal (for having more than 800 blogs in my reader)

c)  The Genea-Conference Race:  How many multi-day genealogy conferences have you attended over the past five years?  These can be local, regional or national conferences, or even cruises!

Let's see:

2008:  Genealogy Jamboree (Burbank)
2008:  Wholly Genes Cruise (New York to Puerto Rico)
2009:  Genealogy Jamboree (Burbank)
2009:  FGS Conference (Little Rock)
2010:  NGS Conference (Salt Lake City)
2010:  Genealogy Jamboree (Burbank)
2011:  Genealogy Jamboree (Burbank)
2011:  FGS Conference (Springfield)
2012:  RootsTech (Salt Lake City)
2012:  Legacy Family Tree Cruise (Norway, France, Ireland, England, Scotland)
2012:  Genealogy Jamboree

So, that's 11, good for a Gold Medal!!

My Medal count so far:

1 Silver
2 Gold
1 Diamond
1 Platinum

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - the SNGF Genealympics, Week 2

It's Saturday Night again, time for lots more Genealogy Fun, but also the 2012 Summer Olympics are on all day for 9 more days!!! 

Long time  readers of Genea-Musings and other genea-blogs will recall the 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games, created by Thomas MacEntee, Kathryn Doyle and Miriam Midkiff - see the competition categories here.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to COMPETE in the 2012 SNGF Genealympics. Your effort can extend until Sunday, 12 August. 

For these 2012 SNGF Genealympics, the motto is "Research, Cite, Analyze, Resolve, Conclude!" 

Competitors can:

1)  Perform one or more of the challenges outlined in Announcing the Summer 2008 Genea-Blogger Group Games!  Same medal levels.

2)  Perform one or more challenges outlined below (created by me on the spur of the moment here!):

a)  See last week's post - Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - the SNGF  - Genealympics I - compete in any or all of the events described.  

b)  The Source Citation Vault:  What is your ratio of source citations to persons in your genealogy software or online tree database?  Tell us:

*  How many persons are in your database?

*  How many source citations are in your database?
*  Determine your source citation to persons ratio by dividing source citations by persons (e.g., 2,000 source citations divided by 3,000 persons gives a ratio of 0.667.)

Medal Awards:
*   Bronze:  Ratio of 0.333 or more
*  Silver:  Ratio of 0.667 or more
*  Gold: Ratio of 1.000 or more
*  Diamond:  Ratio of 1.333 or more
*  Platinum:  Ratio of 1.667 or more

c)  The Genea-Blog Reader's Marathon:  How many Genea-blogs do you read on a daily basis?  Count them in your Reader or your Favorites/Bookmark list.

Medal Awards:

*   Bronze:  at least 50 genea-blogs
*  Silver:  at least 100 genea-blogs
*  Gold: at least 200 genea-blogs
*  Diamond:  at least 400 genea-blogs
*  Platinum:  at least 800 genea-blogs

d)  The Genea-Conference Race:  How many multi-day genealogy conferences have you attended over the past five years?  These can be local, regional or national conferences, or even cruises!

Medal Awards:

*   Bronze:  at least 2 conferences
*  Silver:  at least 4 conferences
*  Gold: at least 8 conferences
*  Diamond:  at least 16 conferences
*  Platinum:  at least 32 conferences

NOTE:  This is supposed to be a fun competition, and is based on your word and honor.  No drug tests, no judges.  The intent is to inspire you to do more research, cite more sources, analyze more data, etc.  Bonus points awarded for excellence in humor and style!

3)  Whatever you choose to compete in, please tell us about it in your own blog posts, in Facebook Status posts, in Google+ Stream posts, or as a comment to this post.  You don't have to post your status or accomplishments on a Saturday Night!  Any time is fine! You have until Sunday, 12 August to compete and achieve your medal levels.

4) There will be additional events posted in next week's SNGF.  If you have suggestions for more events for these SNGF Genealympics, please pass them on to me in Comments or in email (  

I will post mine later tonight!

The URL for this post is: 

Copyright(c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - AYERS (England > Massachusetts > New Jersey)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  I am up to number 509: Elizabeth Ayers (1745-????). [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back to Elizabeth Ayers and four more generations of Ayers 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) 

62.  Alexander Sovereign (1814-1907)
63.  Eliza Putman (1820-1895) 

126.  John Putman (1785-1863)
127.  Sarah Martin (1792-1860)

254.  Mulford Martin (1763-????)
255.  Betsey Rolfe (1766-????)

508.  Thomas Martin, born 1737 in Piscataway, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died before 19 October 1767 in South Amboy, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.  He was the son of 1016. Mulford Martin and 1017. Zerviah Dunham.  He married15 February 1762 in Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
509.  Elizabeth Ayers, born about 1745 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.

Children of Thomas Martin and Elizabeth Ayers are:  Mulford Martin (1763-????); Thomas Martin (1765-????).

1016.  James Ayers, born 02 May 1716 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died after April 1794 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.   He married 3 March 1744 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
1017.  Hope Bloomfield, born about 1715 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States. She was the daughter of 2034. Timothy Bloomfield and 2035. Rose Higgins.

Children of James Ayers and Hope Bloomfield are:  Elizabeth Ayers (1745-????); Arisha Ayers (1751-????) Jacob Ayers (1753-1836); James Ayers (1755-1814); Samuel Ayers (1757-1813); Nathan Ayers (1759-????); Rachael Ayers (1760-????); Huldah Ayers (1763-1849); Benjamin Ayers (1765-????); Rhoda Ayers (1767-????).

2032.  Samuel Ayers, born 1669 in Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died after 1740 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.  He married about 1699 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
2033.  Elizabeth, born about 1673 in New Jersey.

Children of Samuel Ayers and Elizabeth are:  Rhoda Ayers (1700-????); David Ayers (1702-????); Elizabeth Ayers (1703-????); Samuel Ayers (1707-????); Rachel Ayers (1710-1744); Jacob Ayers (1710-????); Benjamin Ayers (1712-????); James Ayers (1716-1794).

4064.  Obadiah Ayers, born 01 October 1635 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died 14 November 1694 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.  He married 19 March 1661 in Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
4065.  Hannah Pike, born 26 April 1643 in Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died 31 May 1689 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.  She was the daughter of 8130. John Pike and 8131. Mary Turville.

Children of Obadiah Ayers and Hannah Pike are:  John Ayers (1663-1732); Sarah Ayers (1665-1666); male Ayers (1666-1666); Samuel Ayers (1667-1667); Samuel Ayers (1669-1740); Obediah Ayers (1670-1728); Joseph Ayers (1674-1743); Thomas Ayers (1675-1675); Mary Ayers (1680-????); Sarah Ayers (1683-1683); Hannah Ayers (1685-1685).

8128.  John Ayer, born before 02 September 1582 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England; died 31 March 1657 in Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 16256. Thomas Ayre and 16257. Elizabeth Rogers.  He married about 1615 in England.
8129.  Hannah Evered alias Webb, born about 1590 in England; died 08 October 1688 in Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of John Ayer and Hannah Evered alias Webb are:  John Ayer (1622-????); Robert Ayer (1625-????); Thomas Ayer (1626-1686); Rebecca Ayer (1627-1718); Peter Ayer (1633-1699); Mary Ayer (1635-1692); Obadiah Ayer (1635-1694); Nathaniel Ayer (1638-1717); Hannah Ayer (1644-1676).

Information about these families was obtained from:

*  Patty Barthell Myers, Ancestors and Descendants of Lewis ross Freeman with related families, based partially on the work of Freeman Worth Gardiner and Willis Freeman (Camden, Me.: Penobscot Press, 1995), "The Ayers Family," pages 421-476.

*  "Ayers-Wainwright-Wing-Combe-Foster Families" family tree database created by Chuck (email and posted to the Rootsweb WorldConnect database on 1 April 2009 (

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, August 3, 2012

Research Summary - Joshua Smith of Brookline, NH

I have written a little about one of my brick-wall ancestors, Hannah Smith (ca1767-1824, who married Josiah Sawtell in 1789 in Brookline, Hillsborough, New Hampshire) in Surname Saturday - SMITH (NH > MA) and The Elusive Hannah Smith (ca1767-1827, wife of Josiah Sawtell).

My summary from the second post:

"There were many Smith families in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire in the 1760 to 1770 time frame. Joshua Smith was the only one who resided in the town of Raby (now called Brookline), and he lived in the southeast part of Raby on the road towards what is now Pepperrell, Massachusetts. There are many town records of Joshua Smith, and the town history names his two wives, but they do not name a daughter Hannah Smith."

Today I realized that I committed to creating Research Plans for the SNGF Genealympics Games, and I'd better get my plans in gear ... so I decided to do a Research Plan of my own for Joshua Smith to see if I can find resources that might lead me to more information about him and whether he is the father of my Hannah Smith.

Over the past ten years, I've used a "Research Summary" form of my own design, in Microsoft Word format, to try to keep track of what I know about a person, an Online Research summary, a Timeline, and a To-Do list.  

Here are relatively small images of my updated "Research Summary" for Joshua Smith (ca 1725 - ca 1805) of Brookline, Hillsborough, New Hampshire:

I see that I need to add more online record collections to the list - I edited it a bit, but have not finished adding records to search.  The To-Do list ends in 2004, which is when I last put the "Smith in NH" notebook in the bookcase ... and now it's hiding from me so I cannot review it.  I'm going to look for it soon!

I'm going to count this update to a previous Research Summary for the SNGF Genealympics.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

SDGS All-Day Seminar on 8 September 2012 Features Lisa Alzo

The San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) has an all-day Family History Seminar on Saturday, 8 September 2012 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The seminar will be held at The Handlery Hotel and Resort, 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, California 92110, and includes a box sandwich lunch and drink, and door prize drawings.

The Seminar cost is $40 per person for SDGS members or $45 per person for non-members.  Parking on-site is $3.  Checks should be made payable to San Diego Genealogical Society, mailed to SDGS care of Del Ritchhart, 17544 Plaza Otonal, San Diego, CA 92128.  The deadline for seat reservations is 30 August 2012.  The SDGS flyer for this seminar is online at

The featured speaker for four sessions will be Lisa Ann Alzo, M.F.A.  Any of you who have heard Lisa speak will agree when we say she is entertaining, energetic, knowledgeable and lots of fun.  

Lisa grew up in Duquesne, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Ithaca, New York.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1987 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997.  An avid genealogist for 22 years, Lisa currently teaches online genealogy courses for Family Tree University and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, and has authored nine books.  She is the recipient of the 2002 Mary Zirin Prize given by the Association for Women in Slavic Studies to recognize the achievements of independent scholars, and is a frequently invited speaker for national conferences, genealogical and historical societies.

Lisa's  four presentations will be:

1)  Demystifying Eastern European Research -- Anyone who has attempted to trace their ancestors back to Eastern Europe understands the special challenges and frustrations involved. Border changes, language differences, political considerations, and exotic-sounding surnames often complicate the research process. This session covers the most common myths and misconceptions and how to work around them.

2)  Show, Don’t Tell: Using Nonfiction Writing Techniques to Write Better Family History -- Do your family members start yawning and rolling their eyes when you mention Family History? This presentation will show you how to create interactive family histories using free, or low-cost online tools for adding photos, video, maps & more to bring your ancestor’s stories to life. You have the power to change family indifference or boredom into excitement about family history. Books, e-books, blogs, newsletters, family web sites, online scrapbooks, memory or memorial pages, slide shows or presentations, video tours and social media will all be discussed as tools for making family history more interesting.

3)  Immigrant Cluster Communities: Past, Present and Future -- There are a handful of “cluster” immigrant communities throughout the United States that blossomed during the immigration influx of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Exploring “cluster genealogy” -- the process of researching those relatives, friends, and neighbors who lived near an ancestor -- can often break down brick walls in the search for individual family lines and help to place our ancestors’ lives in historical context. For those descendants who’ve moved away from such traditional immigrant enclaves, 21st-century technology can be used to rebuild “cluster communities” in the virtual world. This lecture will cover: How to identify chain migrations or cluster communities using key records;  ways to share and collaborate with other researchers, and the benefits, pitfalls, and obstacles associated with a shift to “virtual” cluster communities; and how to use tools such as social networking sites, wikis, etc., to build online genealogical communities.

4)  365 Ways to Discover Your Family History -- Serious genealogists recognize that they are never truly “done” when it comes to their research. However, while researching our roots, we often find that the process can become tedious and even frustrating, especially when you stumble across the inevitable “roadblock(s).” This session will discuss some of the ways to make the research process fun and challenging throughout the year, using your calendar as a genealogical research guide, and even how to use holidays to enhance your family history quest. The presentation will offer innovative approaches to common research tasks to assist both the novice and more experienced researcher.

This Family History Seminar should be well-attended and well-received.  I know and appreciate Lisa Alzo, and this seminar should be an excellent way to learn more about these topics.

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Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

It's Friday, so I'm highlighting reader comments and questions and offering my, um, unique, views in response.

1)  In Source Citations Created by Mobile App (2 August 2012):

*  GeneJ asked:  "Being an over 50 iPhone user, do I dare ask if there is an "edit input" screen?  I consider myself reasonably tech savvy. Still, I wanna know if other folks do much actual input on their phone devices. My thought is that I wouldn't want to type much in if I couldn't later later track it down and edit."

My response:  I don't see any way to edit the source citation on the smart phone.  The Hint shows the publisher information, but no source citation information is provided.  When you click on the Source in the ancestry Member Tree, you are taken to the record summary with the usual record citation.  Only in Family Tree Maker 2012 synced to the ancestry Member Tree, do you see the poorly crafted source citation that says it was created by the App.

*  Louis Kessler asked:  "I'm curious Randy. How long (say in minutes), would the procedure take to do.

What if a person wanted to do 100 such entries for various people in their tree? Would it take 100 times as long, or are there shortcuts they could take that would save them time?"

*  Russ Worthington commented:  "As you may remember, I spent some time on this topic. Here is where I ended up:

"Use of a Template

"The only difference in the Citation (Reference Note) using an FTM2012 Template and the Evidence Explained! (page 248) is in two "fields" in the Reference Note. 

"FTM2012 has "Population Schedule" followed by the Jurisdiction, while Evidence Explained has the two reversed. The FTM 2012 would look like this.

"1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Kansas, Morton County, Rolla; enumeration district 65-6; sheet number 3-B; family number 57; Lines 47 - 49; Harold Figart Worthington household; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 1248; digital image, (

"Louis: The Time depends on 1) how you capture the Data, 2) do you have a Citation already (that would be a household citation, 3) Do you have that Source already in a Template and you are adding a Citation, 4) you have to create the Source, then add the citation.

"So, can't really answer how much time 100 people would take.

"Also, in FTM2012 we have a choice of Census Year or Census Year and Location (State and county). I chose the later. The probable average time per person (without doing a Web Merge (FTM2012 feature) would probably be a minute / person may be less. BUT the Citation is in the correct format."

My response: Thank you to Russ for responding to Louis's question.  I ran a little test to see how long it takes to create a master source, and a 1930 U.S. census citation using that master source, and also to find and use the master source again.

a.  Creating a new Master Source:  90 seconds (assuming I had a web page with the information)

b.  Creating the Source citation:  90 seconds (assuming I had the digital image on hand to review)

c.  Finding and using the Master Source:  7 seconds

So, the time depends if you have already created the Master Source, and have all of the necessary census citation information at hand (roll number, state, county, town, ED, page, dwelling, family, name, etc.)

To create 100 source citations for the 1930 census might take on the order of 100 seconds each, or about 167 minutes if you can concentrate for that long (plus whatever time it takes to find the record with the citation information.  Of course, the user may have it all written down somewhere!).  To create 100 different source citations in, say, 10 different record sets, would take 183 minutes of source citation creation time, but you would probably have to spend time finding each record to obtain the citation information.

*  Saskey asked:  "Do I recall correctly that the "transcriptions" for the UK census are less detailed than those found on the site?"

My response:  I don't know, since I don't have a subscription.  Perhaps a more knowledgeable reader can answer the question.  I thought that the UK census transcription that I showed in Searches - Post 2: English Census Records  was pretty extensive.

*  Tolley Family Historian noted:  "Many parish records are simply not available to any commercial organisations. The originals are often deposited in local county record offices and archives who are often reluctant to allow access for filming due to the fragility of some of the records. Many local government organizations see their role as being to preserve first and giving access is only a secondary consideration. There are also copyright issues or permissions that need to be obtained - many churches entered into convoluted agreements with local authorities years ago which forbade the distribution and copying of records etc. The coverage of many counties is also piecemeal and fragmentary at best - many records were kept in local churches for many hundreds of years and have suffered from water, vermin and fire."

*  Caroline Gurney offered:  "Don't be surprised, Randy. There are a very large number of parish registers, covering the period from 1538 to the present day. It will take many years for them all to be digitised and indexed. I am actually surprised at how many have come online over the past couple of years. 

"One problem is that the main players all aim at the same targets, so they all focused on the censuses first, then the GRO indexes to births, marriages and deaths from 1837 onwards and are only now turning their attention to parish registers. If one of these companies had focused on parish registers from the outset, they would by now have a great USP."

My response:  Thank you to Tolley Family Historian and Caroline Gurney for offering their perspectives.  I obviously lack their historical perspective, and appreciate their sharing it.

*  Aillin offered:  " I have been told that the site world collection so far only has 80% of the UK records from including only transcripts of the Military Pension records (not the actual record images as on This may be similar for I was told via email that the remaining UK records will be added later. "

My response:  I think you're right - there may be more records coming online in the near future.  I was also told that in email.  Therefore, we need to check later to see what has been added.  My hope is that there will be a set of Canadian records also.  My hope is also that there will be more record collections for the United States.

*  Geolover said:  "Regrettably, Y-DNA can not identify a specific common ancestor who is not tested. It cannot verify even sincerely held beliefs in paper records. Neighborhood Philanderer could sire two or three children of a woman married to someone documented. Brother and paternal uncle of husband might be actual parent of sons commonly believed to be sons of husband. And so forth."

My response:  I think what you're saying is that the link of President Obama to the Bunch line is not through this Y-DNA line, and the assertion that he has this link is based on the paper line being correct, which no one can state with absolute certainty.

*  Cormac noted:  "Now we know what Ancestry has been spending our subscription fees on."

My response:  They are making profits, and that is good.  They, as a company, choose what to spend their resources on, and Pro Genealogists is one of their resources.  Did they do this research on their own?  Was there a political angle to this particular issue?  Someone may have hired ProGenealogists to perform the research, in which case Ancestry received compensation for it.  We don't know.

5)  On has a New Look (27 July 2012):

*  Anonymous commented:  "For military history research, the changes are simply horrendous.  Last week with the old search features I made note of the total search hits on a subject they were adding new images to. On July 20, I got 809 matches. Now, using exactly the same criteria, I get 510. That's progress?

"My research interest is mainly in WWII weapons. Now, when I revise the search criteria, it takes me back to the main screen. It does not allow me to select WWII and return to that subject. Believe it or not, there were no bazookas in the Revolutionary War, but I have to reselect WWII anyway. What software can you think of that makes navigation a one way street? 

"When you go back after enlarging a thumbnail, it does not take you back to where you were and it doesn't highlight the previous selection. I have to write down where I was before. This is unbelievably primitive. Maybe I should look for my abacus.

"In the entire history of computer software, developers have striven to maintain backwards compatibility. I have lost most of the functionality that served me so well under the old search."

*  David Williams of Fold3 responded:  "Randy, thank you for reviewing our new search capability on!

"As to the Anonymous comment, without the details we can only speculate, but the reduced number of matches is quite likely due to our no longer showing each individual page of a document as a match, but grouping them by document. The results page will now give a count such as '108 matches in 56 results'.

"We will have a patch out this week to fix the disappearing category selections when a user revises the search criteria. That was a bug we did not catch earlier.  As always, please contact our support line if you run into problems."

My comment:  Thank you to Anonymous for highlighting those issues, and to David for responding to the image count issue and for committing to fixing the disappearing category problem.

That's it for this week's readers interesting and helpful comments.  I appreciate my reader's comments and hope that they continue.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Source Citations Created by Mobile App

Over the past few months, I've been adding attached images to the Ancestry Member Tree that I'm sharing with my family (children, siblings and cousins) using my iPhone to read and attach the record images.  Then I sync that Ancestry Member Tree to my Family Tree Maker 2012 database.

In the process, the Media attached gets downloaded to my computer files and I can see the Source citations and the Media found by my searches on my iPhone.  I was curious to see what the Source Citations looked like.

Here is the Person page for my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942).  I highlighted the Birth Fact for him (with the "Media" tab selected), and saw:

There are 9 source citations for this Birth Fact, and 7 media items.  The 7 media items are U.S. census records for 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930, the World War I Draft Registration, and the Massachusetts Town Vital Record Collections, 1620-1988.  The two other Birth sources (without images) are the Leominster, Mass. Birth Certificate and the Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910 entry for his birth, which I created using Evidence! Explained template source citations.

So what do the Source Citations created by the Ancestry Member Tree while using the iPhone App look like?  Here is a screen capture for the 1930 U.S. Census entry in Family Tree Maker 2012:

The resulting "Reference Note," including the citation text section, in Family Tree Maker 2012 is:, 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,), iPhone Tree, http://www.iPhone Tree, 1930 United States Federal Census. residence date:  1930
residence place:  Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts
birth date:  09 Oct 1876
birth place:  Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.

The source citation for this record on the website and in the Ancestry Member Tree is:
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: LeominsterWorcesterMassachusetts; Roll: 964; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 226; Image: 1055.0; FHL microfilm: 2340699.
Source Information: 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. 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, 2,667 rolls.

An Evidence! Explained format source citation for the downloaded record image should be:

1930 United States Federal Census, San Diego County, California, population schedule, Leominster, enumeration district (ED) 226, page 3-A, dwelling 44, family 69, Frederick W. Seaver household; digital images, ( : accessed 12 July 2011); citing National Archives microfilm publication T626, Roll 192.

In my opinion, the source citation created by using the iPhone App is pretty useless.  It doesn't tell me the person's name, NARA roll number, the Enumeration District, the page number, the household information, or the access date.  All of that is available for a source citation of the Ancestry record that was attached.

In addition, it provides a Birth Date and Birth Place in the Citation Text.  That information is not in the census record - the record provided only an age of 52 and a birth place of Massachusetts.  The Source citation and text should reflect what's in the record.  The Birth Date and Birth Place are available in the information for the person for which the Census record is attached.  

Another example:  The United States World War I Draft Registration card for my grandfather.  The  Source citation for the image attached to him using the iPhone App, as recorded in the Family Tree Maker 2012 database, is:, World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.Original data - United States, Selective Service System. World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Admini), iOS Application, http://www.iOS Application, U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. birth date:  09 Oct 1876
birth place:  Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
residence place:  Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts.

The record source citation on the website and in the Ancestry Member Tree is:

Source Citation: Registration State: Massachusetts; Registration County: Worcester; Roll: 1684563; Draft Board: 14.
Source Information: U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.

The Evidence! Explained format source citation is:

"U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital image, ( : accessed 9 October 2010), Worcester County, Massachusetts, Leominster City, Draft Board 14, Frederick Walton Seaver entry, dated 18 September 1918.

The iPhone generated source citation is somewhat mangled with words not completed and the iPhone App URL incomplete.  I captured that several months ago, and the App wording may have changed a bit.  The App citation doesn't tell me the person's name, but it does provide the birth date and a birth place in the Citation Text, but it's not clear to me if that was taken from the record itself or from the information for the person.

I'm frustrated by all of this.  My judggment is that this is a major FAIL for

Ancestry's record source citations are at least somewhat logical and useful, but are not in EE format.  OK, I get that not everyone wants to do that.  But why did create a new and fairly useless source citation for the iPhone and (I assume) the Android app?  Why not just use the Ancestry record source citation, with a notation that the source was attached using the iPhone App?

I think that these source citations are really bad examples for researchers and family members alike.   In the best case, the source citation formats should be modified to reflect modern citation principles and quality.

Millions of document images have been attached to persons, source citations and Facts in Ancestry Member Trees using the smart phone Apps, so the "source horse is out of the barn," so to speak.  I think that now is the time for to improve their source citations, at least for the most popular record collections, not sometime later after billions of records have been attached.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

"Who Do You Think You Are?" at Torrance, California Centennial

There will be a "Who Do You Think You Are?" program on Wednesday, 19 September 2012 at 7 p.m., at the  James R. Armstrong Theatre in Torrance, California, presented by the South Bay Cities Genealogical Society (SBCGS).  The program will celebrate the Centennial of the City of Torrance.  See the program flyer at

Three presentations will be made:

*  "Looking Back with the Post Family" - one of the earliest families to settle in Torrance.

*  "Honoring the Present with The Scottos" - Mayor Frank Scotto and Centennial Committee Cindy Scotto

*  Moving Forward with Michael Shafer - Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce 2012 Citizen of the Year.

The show will be produced and narrated by Lisa Schumacher and Connie Moretti, with guest experts Janet Payne, Eric Siess, and Paul Lipinski.

for more information, contact or

I think that this is a wonderful way to celebrate a city centennial (or any major anniversary) while demonstrating the value and capabilities of genealogy research.  I love that they picked a founding family, the current mayor (brave man!) and a future leader.  I hope that they sell out!

Thank you to Connie Moretti for passing this information to me.  It should provide food for thought to other genealogical societies who want a community-centered program, or for genealogical presenters looking for case study ideas.  Having put together my "Discovering Jane's Roots..." program and presented it twice, there is a definite market and interest for this type of presentation - we all like to see how someone else has succeeded in their research, and learn something about their process, the records searched for and found, etc.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

RootsMagic 5 Workshop in Bonita CA on Saturday, 4 August

There will be a "RootsMagic 5 Workshop," led by Randy Seaver, sponsored by the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, on Saturday, 4 August from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road) in the Community Room.   

If you have RootsMagic 5 genealogy software, then please bring your laptop or netbook (if you have one) to the workshop and work along with Randy, ask questions, and learn more about using the program.  If you don't have RootsMagic 5, but are interested in the subject of genealogy software, please attend to see what a typical program can do to help you with your genealogy organization and research. 

Please note that anyone can download the FREE version of RootsMagic 5 at (however, the free version does not perform some of the useful features of the program, but can be upgraded for a fee).   

The plan for the workshop is to:

1)  Provide an overview of RootsMagic 5 menus and the Help function using my own database.

2)  Start a new family tree from the beginning.

3)  Import a GEDCOM file created from another program or online tree.

4)  Demonstrate the items on the list below. 

**  Using the Help function 
** Using File Options
**  Using Program Options

**  Starting a New File
**  Importing a GEDCOM file
**  Exporting a GEDCOM file

**  Adding persons to the family tree
**  Adding Facts to a Person
**  Adding Media to a Person
**  Adding Source Citations to Persons or Facts
**  Adding Notes to a Person

**  Merging Persons Manually
**  Deleting a Person or Family
**  Unlinking a Person from Parents or Spouse
**  Rearranging Children or Spouses

**  Creating a Pedigree Chart
** Creating a Family Group Sheet
**  Creating a Narrative Report
**  Creating Charts
** Creating List Reports 

5) Answer questions from the group. 

The above list will probably be much more than we can handle during the workshop.  We may have to schedule another workshop to get into the ones we missed and address some of the more advanced features in RootsMagic 5. 

This workshop is free for anyone to attend.  

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copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1880 U.S. Census Record for Isaac Seaver Family

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 1880 United States Census record for my great-great-grandparents and their family in Leominster, Massachusetts: 

Here's a closeup view of the Isaac Seaver family entry:

The extracted information for the family, residing in Leominster, taken on 11 June 1880, is:

*  Isaac Seaver -- white, male, age 56, married, a blacksmith, born Mass. father born Mass., mother born Mass.

*  Lucretia Seaver -- white, female, age 52, wife, married, keeping house, born Mass., father born Mass., mother born Mass.

*  Nellie Seaver -- white, female, age 18, daughter, single, at home, attended school, born Mass., father born Mass., mother born Mass.

The source citation for this image is:

1880 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule,  Leominster: Page 533C (stamped), dwelling #493, family #621, Isaac Seaver household; online image, ( : accessed 29 October 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T9, Roll 565.

By 1880, Isaac and Lucretia's three married children were raising their families and had census records of their own.  My great-grandfather's 1880 U.S. census record was shown last week in 

Treasure Chest Thursday - the 1880 U.S. Census Record for Frank W. Seaver Family.

There is nothing obviously wrong for the Isaac Seaver family entry in the 1880 U.S. Census.  Unfortunately, there is no address provided for the Isaac Seaver residence.  I think it was probably 7 Cedar Street, but I don't know for sure.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver