Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - 100 Word Challenge - Grandparents

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 
 It's Saturday Night again - 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (where's my Mission Impossible music...drat, lost it), is:

This SNGF is based on the 100 Word Challenge ( that school children are participating in around the world.  They are given a word or phrase to write a story about in exactly one hundred words.  Last week, it was "Grandparents are important because..."  We all know that gran

1)  Write a story using the phrase "Grandparents are important because" in 100 words.  [Hint:  If you write it in a word processor, you can use Tools > Word Count (or similar) to count words]

2)  Share the story with all of us by writing your own blog post, writing a comment on this blog post, or put it in a Google Plus Stream or Facebook Status or Note.  Please leave a comment on this post so others can find it.

Here's mine:  

Grandparents are important because they are often the most loving and giving people that we know as children. They enjoy talking to their grandchildren, teaching them about older things, telling stories about the child's parent, encouraging them, and have been known to indulge them...slipping them goodies without the parents knowing about it (yeah, right!).

Grandparents are also the genealogy gateway to previous generations through family stories, family papers and records. Asking grandma or grandpa about their childhood, their siblings and their own parents often provides stories and life lessons rich in detail about times and places unknown to the child.

100 words, exactly!  Without having to shave or add words to it.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - GRANDE (colonial Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  

I am in the 7th great-grandmothers, up to number 539: Sarah GRANDE (1691-????)). [Note: The 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back to only one American generation of this GRANDE family is:

1.  Randall J. Seaver

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

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

32. Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)
33. Abigail Gates (1797-1869)

66. Nathan Gates (1767-1830)
67. Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855)

134.  Jeremiah Knowlton (1745-1783)
135.  Abigail Pierce (1750-1775)

268.  Jeremiah Knowlton (1713-1752)
269.  Sarah Allen (1717-1796)

538.  Thomas Allen, born 1690 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died about 1777 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1076. Benjamin Allen and 1077. Frances Rice.  He married 27 June 1711 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

539.  Sarah Grande, born about 1691 in Massachusetts, United States; died ????.
Children of Thomas Allen and Sarah Grande are:  Thomas Allen (1713-????); Daniel Allen (1715-????); Sarah Allen (1717-1796). 

The parentage of Sarah Grande is a mystery.  The most likely father is Robert Grande who resided in Roxbury in the 1650 to 1690 time frame, and had a number of children (in the Roxbury VRs as Grande, Grandy or Grundy).  However, there is no birth record for a Sarah Grande/Grundy in Roxbury VRs.  Some Ancestry Member Trees claim that Robert's wife was Mary Parker, and some of the trees claim that she was the Mary Parker hanged as a witch in Andover in 1691 (but then, she would have been Mary Grande, right?).  

The marriage of Sarah Grande to Thomas Allen, and the birth of their three children are in the Sudbury Vital Records.

If anyone has better information than this, I would appreciate an email at

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, November 16, 2012

NEHGS Has Many Searchable Periodicals Online

The website (the New England Historic Genealogical Society) has a number of periodicals available for members to search and read on the website.

You can see the list, and a short description of each periodical at under "Journals and Periodicals."

Here is a list of the presently available periodicals:

*  American Ancestors Magazine - Volumes 1 (2010) and 2 (2011)

*  The American Genealogist - Volumes 9 (1932) to 73 (1998)

*  Connecticut Nutmegger - Volumes 1 (1968) to 43 (2010)

*  The Essex Antiquarian - Volumes 1 (1897) to 13 (1909)

*  The Essex Genealogist - Volumes 1 (1981) to 25 (2005)

*  The Mayflower Descendant - Volumes 1-40 (1899-1935, 1937, 1985-1990)

*  New England Ancestors Magazine - Volumes 1-10 (2000-2009)

*  New England Historical and Genealogical Register - Volumes 1 (1847) to 165 (2011)

*  Vital Records from the New Hampshire Gazette, 1756-1800

*  New Netherlands Connections - Volumes 1 (1995) to 15 (2010)

*  New York Genealogical and Biographical Record - Volumes 1 (1870) to 25 (1894)

*  Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine - Volumes 1 (1895) to 30 (1950)

*  Search for Missing Friends: Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot, 1831-1920

*  The Virginia Genealogist - Volumes 1 (1957) to 49 (2005)

There are several other collections of newspaper extractions available.

  This is an excellent collection of indexed and searchable periodicals concentrating on the northeastern part of the United States.  I hope that they continue to add to these periodical digital collections, and that they add more periodicals from Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Access to all of these searchable periodicals is one of the major reasons that I am a subscriber to the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

It's Friday, and I try to post reader comments to my blog posts that are helpful and interesting.  Here is this week's list:

1)  OFixing My Folks in FamilySearch Family Tree - the Plan (posted 12 November 2012):

*   Lineagekeeper noted:  "You are undertaking big and extremely valuable project Randy. Like you, I've been working on my own ancestral info in FamilySearch Tree and for a while. 

"It is good having sources attached to the records to finally silence some of folks who have historically argued over something they copied from in Internet that had no sources and they assumed was the gold standard for accuracy.  I too am using the Source Box along with creating sources for the source images and records not on FamilySearch. 

"I use Legacy as the interface between my data and the FS data, which also works very well. 

"We all have a lot of work ahead of us insuring the sourcing on FamilySearch Tree is right but once it is cleaned up, we'll all have a wonderful resource that will always be securely backed up."

*  Magda said: "I will definitely be following this series about you PLAN for Family Search Tree . Finally figured out out how to delete a father who somehow became the husband of all his daughter-in-laws !! This is using Roots Magic as my interface liaison to Family Tree. Sometimes it makes me cry how bizarre it is ( yet it looks like it could work like a charm ). "

*  Jilline noted:  "The way I add scanned records is by adding my images to Flickr and then copy and paste the URL for each image into the source info."

My comments:  Jilline has a great idea for adding images URLs to the Source info.

Kudos to Lee and Magda for trying to clean up their little part of the Family Tree.  If we all do our part well, then the Family Tree will be useful to everyone.  

*  Jackie Corrigan noted:  "Glad to see you mention this collection Randy. When I found the Catholic church records last spring I was able to discover a whole new hidden line for my husband. The only clue we had to his grandmother's parents were the names William and Mary Carpenter. By browsing (yes, it took a long time) I found his grandmother's baptism record, an actual photo of the records, not an index, and thus found her mother's maiden name, Davidson. Which of course led to finding her parents and siblings, etc."

My comment:  Well done, Jackie.  The key to using the browse-only collections is to think of it as digital microfilm - where you have to turn the crank and look at each page for the genealogy nugget you are looking for.  You quickly learn to find and use the index, and if you find something of interest there, to find the image with the page number from the index.  It's a bit hit-and-miss sometimes, but it's faster and cheaper than going to the FHC to read an ordered microfilm.  

*  Gerry analyzed:  "I will bet you know someone who is expert at dating photos from the dress and accessories of the subjects, which I am most definitely not, but I purely love solving photo puzzles. I will draw a few details to your attention. 

"The unnamed man is holding two ladies' hats - presumably the ones belonging to our subjects. There is a tweed coat hung over the bench that probably belongs to either the man or the photographer.  The man seems to be wearing a high starched collar with his bow tie. Surely the pegged pants are a clue - but I don't know to what. And is that a pen in his pocket next to what I presume is a handkerchief (but might be a piece of paper)?

"It's possible the lap coverings are blankets, but I think they drape like lighter fabric. The plaid one on Emily continues right on up under the sweater, and I'm thinking it might be a plaid dress. It also seems to me that the lace collar is on whatever Emily is wearing under the sweater. 

"I think the man was standing back where he thought he would be out of the photo. Someone, either the man or the photographer, wanted the photo of Dorothy and Emily together. Dorothy looks happy and relaxed. Emily looks a wee bit irritated (Oh for heaven's sake let me eat in peace!) - which suggests the photographer was her husband . . .

"I'm wondering if this was early in the courtship, and Marshall was working hard to make a good impression on his beloved's parents. 

"Have fun solving your puzzle. I hope you do and that you'll tell us how you did it."

My comment:  Thank you, Gerry, for seeing more details in the photograph than I did.  Emily always looks a bit irritated in're probably right about her husband being the photographer!  I've wondered if this was taken on Dorothy's wedding day - perhaps after the marriage and during a break before a wedding reception.  Dorothy's long white dress could be a wedding gown, and she had a coat to put on because it was cool in November on the beach.  I need to look for the wedding announcement in the San Diego newspaper to see if it sheds any light on the setting of this photo.

4)  On Mocavo Announces Free Scanning Service (posted 15 November 2012):

*  Ryan Hunter, CEO of Mocavo, said:  "Thanks for your review. I wanted to address the concern that you raise about copyrights. We try to make clear on the web page that copyright protected materials should not be submitted. To clarify further, once we receive materials from our community members we will review them to determine their copyright status. If copyright protection is in place, the material will not be included on our site. You can find additional information about our copyright policies in our Terms of Service."

My comment:  Thank you, Ryan, for the quick response to my concern about copyright protection of materials submitted to Mocavo for copying.  

5)  I receive several comments each week on Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your 16 Great-Great-Grands (posted 8 August 2009).  This weeks are:

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*  cheap jerseys said:  "Hope you can take a few days to recover from Grandpa Camp. Those little ones can wear a person out."

My comments:  Thank you, cheap jerseys, for your concern about my energy level.  There are 95 comments on this particular blog post that got through the Captcha trap (and I've deleted a bunch more over the years) - why have they singled this post out for these spam comments?   Is there a list of popular blog posts that get passed around to these folks?  In general, the comments are poorly written and sometimes incomprehensible, and therefore funny (to me) - and totally useless except to pad my Visitor stats.  

6)  Thank you to all of my readers and commenters for their effort to beat the Captcha trap and say something helpful and interesting on Genea-Musings.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Love 1000Memories Site for Photo Sharing

When the 1000Memories site was announced last year, I abstained from trying it out because I was too busy and I was still working out my Photo naming convention and had photos in many different file folders.

However, I have a need to share family photographs with my daughters, brothers, cousins and in-laws, so I decided to try it out about one month ago.  I really like it!!!

After registering for free, I created several albums for different families, and was able to upload photographs to several albums.  I then added dates, places, name tags and comments to the photos, and invited some of my family members to view them.

There were several albums that I did not populate that first time around, but now I'm ready to do that, and I thought I would share my experience.

1)  When I open my 1000Memories website (, I see the Albums that I have created:

2)  I wanted to add photographs from my files to the "Fred and Betty Seaver Family" album, so I clicked on that album on the screen above:

There are several ways to upload photos to the site:

*  Use the red "Add Photos" button to add photos from computer files
*  Scan photos from the iPhone of ScanCafe
*  Import photos from Facebook or InstaGram.

3)  I wanted to upload them from my computer files, so I clicked on the "Add Photos" button and was able to pick from my file folders:

4)  I clicked on the "Open" button and the selected photos were added (very quickly) to the album:

5)  For each photo, I can click on it and add a Date, a Place, tag the persons in the photo, and write a Comment:

In the photo above, I added a date, added a place, and tagged the people in the photograph.  I can make a picture the album cover, and I did that for the photo above.

6)  Lastly, I can Invite family members to view each specific album by clicking on the "Invite people" button.  I can invite one or more persons by adding their name or email address in the blank field:

This works extremely well, it's well organized, and logical.

I can now share my family photographs with other family members easily.  I've added over 580 photos to my albums, and still have more to do.  I need to add the date, place, tag information to some of them.

I love this capability.  It has made photo sharing a snap for me.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver's Wild Card Search Is Broken - Please Fix It!

Michael John Neill wrote Where's My good Customer Experience at today after being frustrated when he used wild cards for a first name and a last name, and received the dreaded "Too many matches with the wildcard search" message.

I have done the search below more times than I can's even in my presentations about searching  Here is what I saw today:

1)  I searched for First name = "isa*" and Last name = "sea*"

Too many matches.  I used to get results with this search.

2)  I added a birth date ("1823 plus/minus 2") and birthplace ("Massachusetts, USA"):

Still too many matches.  I used to get matches with this specific search.  When I did this last week, I had 172 matches:

3)  I added a spouse's first name ("luc*"):

Still too many matches.  I used to get matches (very few!) with this search.

4)  I spelled out the first name = "isaac" and spouse's name = "lucretia" and left the Last name with the wild card "sea*":

5)  Only when I spelled out the surname did I get matches:

6)  My conclusion is that the Wild Card Search algorithms have been corrupted, and the Wild Card Search feature is broken and unusable. 

I sure hope they fix it, because wild cards are often the only way that researchers find records that have enumeration or indexing errors in them.  I use them all the time - almost exclusively these days, ignoring vowels and some consonants.  I get the right match much quicker using wild cards than by substituting name spelling variations one at a time.

Thank you to Michael for highlighting the problem.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1860 U.S. Census Record for David J. Carringer 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 1860 United States Census record for my Carringer great-great-grandparents and their family in Columbus City, Louisa County, Iowa:

The entry for the David J. Caringer family is:

The extracted information for the family, residing in Columbus City, Louisa County, Iowa, taken on 29 June 1860, is:

*   David J. Caringer -- age 31, male, white, a Carpenter, real property worth $200, personal property worth $100, born Penna, a person over 20 years of age who cannot read or write
*  Rebecca Caringer -- age 28, female, white, born Penna
*  Harvy E. Caringer -- age 9, male, white, born Penna, attended school within the year
*  Henry A. Caringer -- age 7, male, white, born Penna, attended school within the year
*  Effie E. Caringer - age 2, female, white, born Iowa, cannot read or write

The source citation for this census entry is:

1860 United States Federal Census, Louisa County, Iowa, Population Schedule, Columbus City, Page 857 (penned), house #558, family #558, David J. Caringer household; digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M653, Roll 331.

The errors I see in this record are the ages of the children - they should be 8, 6 and 1 rather than 9, 7 and 2.

Note that I have included "white" as the "Color" because there was no mark in the column (the 1860 Census: Instructions to the Marshals say to leave the column blank for white persons). 

I had not noticed the information in column 13 before in this census.  The heading says: "Persons over 20 years of age who cannot read and write."

There is a + in this column for David J. Caringer, which I interpret to be that he cannot read or write.  On the page, there are also entries for "1" and "2" (including Effie Caringer).  The "1" seem to be for children aged 6 to 12 (perhaps they can read but not write) and the "2" for younger children (perhaps they cannot read or write, but are younger than age 20).  Now I'm curious...

The 1860 Census: Instructions to the Marshals says for this column:

"17. Number who cannot Read and Write.-- Under heading 13, entitled "Persons over 20 years who cannot read and write," you should be careful to designate every person in the family of this description; and it will be your duty to inquire whether any inmate of the family, being a free person over 20 years of age, is unable to read and write, and opposite the names of all such you will make a mark thus (1). If the person can read and write in a foreign or in our own language, the space is to be left blank."

So, it appears that this enumerator did not follow instructions to the letter.  Shame on you, Assistant Marshall Wesley W. Garner!

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday Features Everett Ireland

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego meets on the 3rd Saturday of each month (except December) from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the campus of UCSD, University of California, San Diego. See our map page for directions.

The next meeting will be held on 17 November 2012 from 9:00 am to noon. Here are the details:

9:00 - User groups: Legacy, RootsMagic. SIG: DNA.

10:00 - Announcements, election of officers, demo of our new website, followed by program:

"Why and Wherefore of Non-Population Census Records" 
by Everett B. Ireland, CG
Where does one find non-population schedules and what do they tell us about our Ancestors? These are typically referred to as “Occupational Schedules of the Federal Censuses: Agriculture, Industrial and Manufacturing, Mining and Fisheries.” Many of these original schedules are hard to locate and have been lost or destroyed over the years. Those remaining are valuable additions to the facts about our ancestor’s lives. The non-population schedules for 1850 and subsequent years have mostly survived but are located in a number of repositories across the country. Many have been digitized and indexed and are now accessible on subscription websites like These will be covered during my lecture.

Everett Ireland is a Board Certified Genealogist (CG), specializing in 19th century genealogical research in the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) and southern California. He has lectured nationally at NGS and FGS conferences as well as in Southern California. He is the author of The Irelands in America (Gateway, 1989,) Adam Vogt, German Immigrant - Illinois Farmer (StorySeekers, 2008) and articles in Western Maryland Genealogy, Genealogical Helper, COMPU.GEN, CSGA Newsletter, NGS Quarterly and the APG Quarterly. He is a past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and served on the Board of Directors of the National Genealogical Society.

The URL for this post is:

Mocavo Announces Free Scanning Service

Mocavo sent this announcement out today - this sounds very useful for those with lots of family papers and photos to scan. See my concern at the end of this post.


It always seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day or enough days in the week, doesn’t it?  Take a look around you.  Do you have piles of research laying around?  Old books gathering dust? Historical documents sitting in boxes?

From now until the end of the year we will scan your documents, send you a digital copy, and put them online at Mocavo -- for FREE!

We work with our community to bring all of the world’s genealogical information online for free putting everyone’s family history within reach.  We are bringing lots and lots of historical information and databases to Mocavo; but, don’t let us have all the fun.  Join in!

The most important piece of your genealogy puzzle might be lying in someone else’s attic or basement.  In fact, your dusty pile of documents could hold the clue to solve another genealogist’s riddle.  Let us knock the dust off and help you tell your story to the world.

Learn more about Mocavo’s Free Scanning Service at


The one concern I have is about copyright. People using this service should not have materials under copyright protection copied by Mocavo and put online at Mocavo. In general, if you did not produce the material after 1923, you should not have it scanned.

The URL for this post is:

Is This the Original Source for Hannah Sartell's Birth?

In my post Finding Hannah Sawtell's 1789 Birth Record in New Hampshire Town Clerk Records yesterday, I wondered if the "Old Book" of Brookline, New Hampshire town records was still extant.  The answer was right in front of me if I had only checked the next link.

In the list of town records for Brookline, Hillsborough County in the New Hampshire Town Clerk, Town and Vital Records, 1636-1947 there were four different collections:

In my earlier posts, I was using the "Town Records, 1758-1907" collection.  The image I found for Hannah Sartell's birth was a transcription of an earlier "Old Book" and the record for Hannah Sartell in the "Old Book" was on page 526.

I decided to check the third collection on the list above, the one titled "Town Records, 1769-1833."  The first image (of 269 images) was:

On the right-hand page of the image above is a list of birth records, including "Josiah Sartell's child's Record of Birth page 526."

I easily found page 526 (stamped) on image 266 (of 269) [I figured that it was near the back of the book!]:

There it is, the birth record of Hannah Sartell on page 526:

"Hannah Sartell the Daughter of Josiah Sartell 
and Hannah his wife Born November 6th 1789."

I believe that this is the Original Source record of Hannah Sartell's birth.  The other collection is a Derivative Source since it was a transcription.  Researchers are urged to find the Original source and use that when it can be accessed and found.  

I have modified my source citation for Hannah Sartell's birth to read:

"New Hampshire Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1636-1947," digital images, FamilySearch ( accessed 12 November 2012), Hillsborough County, Brookline Town, "Town Records, 1769-1833," Page 526 (stamped), Hannah Sartell birth entry, 6 November 1789 (daughter of Josiah and Hannah Sartell); citing New Hampshire Town Clerk Records.

I did not find this particular Town Record book in the Family History Library Catalog, searching for Brookline, New Hampshire Town Records, for some reason.

That's strange, because I recall that, when I searched the Brookline Town Records on microfilm US/CAN 15,354 several years ago, I saw the Brookline town tax lists, warnings out, selectmen minutes, etc. in addition to the vital records.  The vital records are all that are in the 1758-1907 digital collection;  the tax lists, warnings out, vital records, etc. are in the 1769-1833 digital collection.  I wonder if both of these digitized databases are on that one microfilm  and FamilySearch separated them into two different digitized collections?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

2012 GeneaBlog Awards by Tamura Jones

Tamura Jones selected his 2012 GeneaBlog Awards today on his Modern Software Experience blog:

The  categories this year were:

*  Best New Genealogy Technology Blog

*  Best In-Depth Industry Coverage

*  Most Pronounced Genealogy Activism

*  Best Guest Series

*  Best Uniquely Informative Series

Please read who the Award winners were, and Tamura's reason for choosing them, in his Genealogy Blog Awards 2012 post.  Congratulations to the winners!

Tamura's selections in previous year GeneaBlog Awards are in:


Which geneablogs would you have picked in the categories that Tamura selected?

The URL for this post is:

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 231: Sitting on a Bench

 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 Marion (Seaver) (Braithwaite) Hemphill family collection passed to me by Aunt Marion's daughter in 2000 after her passing. 

I know who the two ladies are sitting on the bench - Dorothy Taylor (1904-1992) and Emily (Richmond) Taylor (1879-1966) - but I don't positively know who the young man to the right is.  It may be Dorothy's husband, Marshall Chamberlain, but it might not be.  Dorothy married Marshall in September 1925 in San Diego.

I don't know the setting for this photograph, either.  I think that it is in La Jolla, a section of San Diego, that has homes right on the beach. If a reader knows where this house is, and this bench, I would like to know it.  Based on the apparent ages of Dorothy and Emily, I think that this picture was taken in the 1920 to 1930 time frame, and perhaps around 1925.  

Both ladies are wearing coats and appear to have blankets on their legs, so it must have been a bit chilly at the beach (which is not uncommon for October through June in San Diego).  Dorothy is eating something that was wrapped in a large paper - this is obviously not a posed photograph!  It was probably taken by Dorothy's father, George Taylor.  

It is possible that this photo was taken before or after the wedding of Dorothy and Marshall.  I cannot see Dorothy's left ring finger.  Now I'm wondering if there is a wedding announcement in the San Diego newspapers about the wedding that might shed light on this photograph.  I'll have to check that out.

Emily (Richmond) Taylor was a sister of my grandmother, Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver, and a grand-aunt of mine.  Dorothy (Taylor) Chamberlain was my first cousin once removed.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

FamilySearch Blog Now on RSS Feed (Again)

I complained the other day on the Facebook FamilySearch page the other day that the RSS feed for the FamilySearch Blog wasn't working - and had not worked since 7 September.  The person who answered me was surprised and said she would see if it could be fixed.

I think she did it - good job, Michelle!  I received about 8 posts today from the FamilySearch Blog. Here is the current home page of the blog:

Some time ago, FamilySearch combined all of their genealogical blogs into the one FamilySearch Blog.  You can see the list of Categories on the right side of the screen above - it includes the Tech Tips page.

The list of Categories is:

If you don't have the URL for the FamilySearch Blog ( in your Favorites/Bookmarks or in your RSS Reader, then I encourage you to add it to your list.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Finding Hannah Sawtell's 1789 Birth Record in New Hampshire Town Clerk Records

One of the potential errors I found yesterday in Fixing My Folks in FamilySearch Family Tree - the Plan was the parents of Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857), who married Zachariah Hildreth in 1810.  The FamilySearch Family Tree showed her parents as Simeon Sawtell and Abigail Cory, while my records indicate her parents were Josiah Sawtell and Hannah Smith.  Which one is right?

Fortunately, an exact birth date is provided in the FamilySearch Family Tree for Hannah Sawtell - 6 Novermber 1789 in Brookline, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.  That matches the birth date I have from the Brookline Town history book.  

Is there an actual Brookline town record for this event!  I went searching in the New Hampshire Town clerk, Town and Vital Records, 1636-1947 - a FamilySearch record collection.  Here is the process I used:

1)  The New Hampshire Town Clerk, Town and Vital Records, 1636-1947 page:

2)  This is a Browse only collection, so I clicked on the "Browse through 402,443 images" link on the screen above.  The list of Counties appeared:

3)  I clicked on the "Hillsborough" County link on the screen above and saw the list of Towns in Hillsborough County:

4)  I clicked on the "Brookline" link on the screen above, and there are four different collections available for Brookline:

If Hannah Sawtell's birth record is to be found, it is likely in one of the two Brookline Town Records collections that include 1789.

5)  I clicked on the first one, "Town Records, 1758-1907:"

The first image in this collection shows me a title page, and there is an index.

6)  I found the index page with the "S" families on it, and saw:

There is a listing for Josiah Sartell on page 33 of this collection.

7)  I made my way to page 33 (penned at the top of the page), which was on Image 13 of this collection:

On page 33, the second entry on the page says:

"Hannah Sartell the daughter of Josiah Sartell
and Hannah his wife born November the 6th 1789."

In the left margin on the page is a number "526" (the heading is "Page No." and a note, in a different hand, "copy, Mar. 25 1911 by E.E.P." (I think!).  E.E.P. is Edward Everett Parker, the author of the book History of Brookline, Formerly Raby, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire (Brookline, N.H. : Town of Brookline, N.H., 1914).

7)  Because there is a number "526" denoting a Page number in some other book, I was curious as to what the other book was.  I found the information on the first image - the cover page - of this book.  It says:

"From the 29th Page to the 87th Page transcribed from the Old Book with a Marginal reference sho[w]ing the page of the Old Book from which it was taken."

I wonder if the "Old Book" is still extant, or was it destroyed after this transcription was made?  I checked the FamilySearch Library Catalog and did not see a reference to this "Old Book."

8)  Assuming that the "Old Book" was transcribed perfectly, it is clear to me that Hannah Sartell was born on 6 November 1789 to Josiah and Hannah Sartell. [Note that I use the surnames "Sawtell" and "Sartell" interchangeably in this post - they were both used in the available historical records.]

Therefore the entry in the FamilySearch Family Tree is wrong, and Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857) should be removed from the family of Simeon and Abigail (Cory) Sawtell, and included in the family of Josiah and Hannah (Smith) Sawtell.  I will try to do that soon in the FamilySearch Family Tree and report on the process!

UPDATE:  I realized after I published this that I had done a similar post finding Hannah Sartell's birth record last week in FamilySearch has New Hampshire Town Clerk Records.  Oh well!  A senior moment, I guess.  I did add a bit more information to this post.  

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday's Tip - Check Out Ontario Records on FamilySearch

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Look for Ontario ancestral records in the FamilySearch Record Collections.

There are 8 collections for Ontario records in the FamilySearch Record Collections (put "Ontario" in the search box in the upper left-hand corner at

The available collections  include:

*  Ontario Births, 1869-1912 (1,678,809 indexed records)

*  Ontario Births and Baptisms, 1779-1899 (454,979 indexed records)*

*  Ontario Census, 1861 (1,709,804 indexed records)

*  Ontario Deaths, 1869 -1930 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947 (2,050,112 indexed records)

*  Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927 (782,731 indexed records)

*  Ontario Marriages, 1800-1910 (28,441 indexed records)*

*  Ontario, Roman Catholic Church Records, 1760-1923 (browse images only, no index)

*  Ontario, Toronto Trust Cemeteries, 1826-1935 (57,610 indexed and imaged entries)

The two collections marked with an asterisk (*) are from the LDS International Genealogical index.  

Some of these collections are incomplete and will be added to as digitized records become available.

I have found that the Births, Marriages and Death records are very useful as finding aids for the actual records which are on FHL microfilm and, in some cases, are available on (with a Canada or a World subscription).  For instance, here is a Birth Record for Alfred Francis Kemp (brother to my great-grandmother) from  Ontario Births, 1869-1912:

The record above provides an FHL microfilm number (US/CAN 1,545,399) for the actual record.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver