Saturday, December 8, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Cassmob's Christmas Genea-Meme

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

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. Here's your chance to tell us all about your Christmas tales and memories.

Pauleen (Cassmob) who writes the Family history across the seas blog started a Christmas meme last week - see Deck the Halls - 2012 Christmas GeneaMeme.  So we will use that for SNGF this week:

1)  Copy and paste the meme questions into your blog or word processor, and then answer the questions.  You could use short statements, long paragraphs or provide a link to one of your earlier posts.

2)  Tell us about your meme answers in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this post, or on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

3)  Be sure to leave a comment on Cassmob's blog post about your entry in this Christmas 2012 Geneameme.

Here's mine (questions in green, answers in red):

  1. Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?  Just shopping, gifts, Christmas dinner at my grandparents, and then my parents, and then my brothers homes.
  2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?  Not as a child growing up.  After marriage, we attended Christmas Eve services with candles lit around the outside cross.  I was a wise man for many years in the Christmas pageant at church - not a speaking part!
  3. Did/do you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?  Of course we did!  right up until we found the "big" gifts in my grandparents garage when I was 12.  Our kids did, and our four grandchildren (ages 4 to 9) still do (I think, I hope)!  Now I am Santa...
  4. Do you go carolling in your neighbourhood?  Not as a child or young adult.  Our church social group did this for a number of years when we were first married.  I hummed a lot to avoid embarrassing myself (my key is J Flat).
  5. What’s your favourite Christmas music?  I love the traditional hymns and the more modern tunes.  One of my favorite memories is singing hymns on Christmas Eve with my grandmother.  
  6. What’s your favourite Christmas carol?  Angels We Have Heard On High.  It lifts my spirit.
  7. Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read?  I watch "A Christmas Story" every year it seems...not unlike when I was a boy.
  8. Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?  I exchange several gifts with my wife, usually one gift from us to our daughters and son-in-law, and several gifts from us to each of the grandchildren.
  9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?  It is always indoors (it is winter in the USA) and usually at one of my daughters homes.
  10. What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal?  Always roast turkey, usually with stuffing, mashed potatoes and green beans or peas.  Then pie.
  11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?  I don't - I just show up and eat.  Ho ho ho!
  12. Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?  We've never had Christmas pudding.
  13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they?  Not really.
  14. Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?  We used to be in a social group that would re-gift fruitcakes each year.
  15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?  We either host one or both daughters families or we go to one of them on Christmas Day and the other one before or after Christmas (since they live 400 miles apart, and we're 100 miles from the closest one).
  16. Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?  Yes, we are much more religious than our parents were.
  17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins?  Sometimes we drop-in or host drop-ins, and my wife has lunch with other friends with a small gift exchange.
  18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?  We used to string lights around the front edge of the house, but I don't go up on the roof any no, we don't any longer.
  19. Is your neighbourhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue?  It's a cul-de-sac, but there are some good light shows on the block.  Our city has several organized light tour blocks that attract drive-bys and walkers.
  20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?  We used to, but now it's only the Christmas Eve service at church  (when we are in town) where we have candles around the outdoor cross and  sing Silent Night.
  21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?  No...
  22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue?  Sometimes, sometimes and no.
  23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?  San Diego is very temperate, so I've seen snow twice in my life at sea level.  Our mountains have snow every year, and occasionally at Christmas time.
  24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year?  We used to, and do when we are hosting Christmas for the family.  However, we don't have a tree in most years that we travel to be with the daughters and grandkids.
  25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?  Growing up, and it was always harvested.  During most of our married life, the tree was harvested, although we had a potted tree several years.  We have an imitation tree now but rarely put it up.
  26. Do you have special Xmas tree decorations?  Linda insists that all of the decorations on our tree are angels...and we have hundreds of angels on flat space around the house.  
  27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?  Christmas.
The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - CLARK (England > 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 545: Sarah CLARK (1651-1704). [Note: the 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two American generations of this CLARK 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)

34.  Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840)
35.  Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869)

68.  Aaron Smith (1765-1841)
69.  Mercy Plimpton (1772-1850)

136.  Moses Smith (1732-1806)
137.  Patience Hamant (1735-1780)

272.  Henry Smith (1680-1743)
273.  Ruth Barber (1696-????)

544.  Samuel Smith, born 13 August 1641 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 25 October 1691 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1088. Henry Smith and 1089. Elizabeth.  He married 22 February 1676/77 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
545.  Sarah Clark, born 20 February 1650/51 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 20 May 1704 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of Samuel Smith and Sarah Clark are:  Sarah Smith (1679-1769); Henry Smith (1680-1743); Daniel Smith (1682-1704); Nathaniel Smith (1684-1762); Abigail Smith (1686-1726); Mary Smith (1688-1774); Prudence Smith (1691-1785).

1090.  Joseph Clark, born before 11 April 1613 in Banham, Norfolk, England; died 06 January 1683/84 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2180. Thomas Clarke and 2181. Mary Canne.  He married 15 April 1640 in Banham, Norfolk, England.
1091.  Alice Fenn, born about 1619 in England; died 17 March 1709/10 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Joseph Clark and Alice Fenn are:  Joseph Clark (1642-1702); Benjamin Clark (1644-1724); Ephraim Clark (1646-1699); Daniel Clark (1647-1676); Mary Clark (1649-1732); Sarah Clark (1651-1704); John Clark (1652-1720); Nathaniel Clark (1658-1733); Rebecca Clark (1660-1740).

The English ancestry of Joseph Clark was described in the article "The English Ancestry of Joseph Clark (1613-1683) of Dedham and Medfield, Massachusetts" by Christopher Gleason Clark, published in the New England Historic Genealogical Register, Volume 152, Number 1, Whole Number 605, January 1998.

The descendants of Joseph Clark are discussed in the book edited by William S. Tilden, History of the Town of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886 (Boston, Mass. : Geo. H. Ellis, 1887), and many of the vital records can be found in the published town vital records.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, December 7, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Days 1 to 7

I posted my Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories posts every year since since 2007 (I think).  I also made up a bit of doggerel for each day.  Rather than post them again every day, I'm posting one week's worth of links (plus the doggerel), and my readers can pick and choose what they want to read.

Here is the first week of Christmas Memories (December 1 to 7):

*  Advent Calendar - December 1: The Christmas Tree

On the 24th Day of Christmas,
I'm supposed to talk about the Christmas Tree.

*  Advent Calendar - December 2: Holiday Foods

On the 23rd Day of Christmas,
My Angel Linda gives to me
Turkey, mashed potatoes, and peas.

*  Advent Calendar - December 3: Christmas Tree Ornaments

On the twenty-second day of Christmas,
My super-wifey says to me
It's time to decorate the beautiful Tree!

*  Advent Calendar - December 4: Christmas Cards

On the 21st day of Christmas,
my true friends sent to me
Christmas Cards from their family.

*  Advent Calendar - December 5: Outdoor Decorations

On the 20th day of Christmas,
My neighbors gave me a treat,
they lighted up the whole darn street!

*  Advent Calendar - December 6: Santa Claus

On the 19th day of Christmas,
I have many happy memories 
of visiting and being Santa Claus.

*  Advent Calendar - December 7: Holiday Parties

On the 18th day of Christmas,
my relatives acted hearty
at a family Christmas party.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Ancestry Member Tree Hints and Images

I uploaded a new private Ancestry Member Tree today, with just five generations of ancestral families (15 families, 188 persons, including spouses).  I wanted to get a clear picture of just how many Hints that finds within one day of uploading.

After just 5 hours, here is the Pedigree View of the Tree:

There are green shaky leaves for every person on the tree (even the other children, and their spouses, in the ancestral families).  Here are the number of Hints for each person:

1.  Randall Jeffrey Seaver - 2
2.  Frederick Walton Seaver - 41
3.  Betty Virginia Carringer - 21
4.  Frederick Walton Seaver - 57
5.  Alma Bessie Richmond - 42
6.  Lyle Lawrence Carringer - 23
7.  Emily Kemp Auble - 12
8.  Frank Walton Seaver - 42
9.  Hattie Louise Hildreth - 39
10.  Thomas Richmond - 21
11.  Julia White - 20
12.  Henry Austin Carringer - 22
13.  Abbie Ardell (Della) Smith - 22
14.  Charles Auble - 9
15.  Georgianna Kemp - 10
16.  Isaac Seaver III - 60
17.  Lucretia Townsend Smith - 30
18.  Edward Hildreth - 18
19.  Sophia Newton - 29
20.  James Richman/Richmond - 26
21.  Hannah Rich - 13
22.  Henry Arnold White - 4
23.  Amy Frances Oatley - 3
24.  David Jackson Carringer - 28
25.  Rebecca Spangler - 21
26.  Devier James Lamphear Smith - 37
27.  Abbie A. Vaux - 13
28.  David Auble - 8
29.  Sarah Knapp - 4
30.  James Abram Kemp - 5
31.  Mary Jane Sovereen - 5

There are 687 Hints for those 31 persons.  The range is from 2 to 60.

For each person, I ran the mouse over the name and the number of Hints showed up - as for Isaac Seaver below:

Isaac Seaver had the most Hints - 60!  Here is the top of the page of Hints for him:

The 60 Hints include (* denotes actual records that could be attached to Events):

1  Ancestry Family Trees (10 Public Member Trees)
1  1900 US Census Record*
1  American Civil War Soldiers Record*
1  1880 US Census Record*
1 Web-Massachusetts Find A Grave Record*
1 Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 - Birth*
1 1850 US Census Record*
1 1860 US Census Record*
1 1870 US Census Record*
51 Public Member Photos - all of them from my two other public Ancestry Member Trees (I attached images of census, vital, gravestone and other records to Isaac in those two trees)

So there were 8 actual historical records that could have been attached to Isaac Seaver if I wanted to do that.  Some of the 51 Public Member Photos included those 8 records.

I may go through all of the persons and see how many actual records are identified, and how many are correct for the persons in my tree.

One of the benefits of doing this exercise was that I could see which persons in the tree (top image) did not have thumbnail pictures of the persons.  I have one for most of these persons.  I had not added some thumbnails to the database, and for some I had not made the thumbnail photo the top image in the Media collection.  So I was able to add some thumbnails so that the next time I upload a file to an Ancestry Member Tree, the thumbnail images will show on the Pedigree chart.

I think that it is amazing that, as soon as this tree was uploaded, via a Sync in Family Tree Maker 2012, the green shaky leaves started appearing immediately.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

We All Want Seamless Genealogy Data Transfers

In her blog post Who Wants Seamless Genealogy Data Transfers? on 5 December, DearMYRTLE noted:

"Genealogists the world over recognize the problem with a 15-year-old GEDCOM file exchange protocol that hasn't kept pace with the type of genealogy data we're compiling. For instance, when I share my genealogy data with my cousin Russ, the photos and scanned images of documents don't transfer using the current GEDCOM (genealogy data communications) protocol."

Please read all of DearMYRTLE's post, and the links within her post.  She has been a tireless advocate and organizer for this concept, including founding BetterGEDCOM and FHISO.

I'm sure that there are many other issues for genealogists who want a seamless genealogy data transfer using whatever method or program that the industry comes up with.  My issue is that source citations created by many genealogy software programs, online family trees and online record collection services, do not transfer well using GEDCOM because some programs and websites use non-standard data fields and GEDCOM tags (which drove me, and others, to use free-form source citations rather than the helpful source citation templates).

The FHISO organization is committed to make this happen, and needs the support of ALL of the genealogy software program developers, online family tree providers, and genealogy record collection providers.

Why, you might ask, is this so important?  The simple answer is:  Technology has passed the old (25-years!) GEDCOM standard by.  Fixes have been added to GEDCOM to permit the inclusion of links to web pages and data files on a person's computer.  However, those data files on a person's computer (think of images, documents, reports, etc.) do not transfer using the current GEDCOM - from my computer to yours, or from my desktop computer to my laptop computer, or from my computer to some online family tree systems.  We cannot truly SHARE our genealogy databases with another researcher.

What DearMYRTLE is talking about is that she cannot send her complete genealogy database to her cousin that includes the files of the attached media residing on her computer.  The links to the files transfer, but they are useless without the media files themselves.  Granted, she can create a file folder with all of the links, put the file folder in a cloud service like Dropbox, and have her cousin access them, then have his genealogy program deal with the links to the transferred media.  But that is a time consuming and difficult process (especially for persons who are not computer savvy).  And if her cousin adds content to the database, including his own media files, the process has to be done again so that DearMYRTLE can access the updated database.

Yes, DearMYRTLE can create an Ancestry Member Tree with her GEDCOM file, and the media will attach to the persons and events in the Ancestry Member Tree.  She can invite her cousin to share the tree as an Editor or Contributor or as a Gust.  Her cousin can see the images, and can download them one at a time.  But her cousin cannot download the GEDCOM file and the media because he is not the Owner of the Tree.

It would be great if, and other online family tree sites, would allow more than one person to be able to download a GEDCOM file, or Sync a specific tree using Family Tree Maker.  The problem there, as I understand it, is that multiple persons might be working on the online tree at the same time and the download or sync would get messed up.

But some persons don't have an membership, or don't want to put their tree on

What's the solution?  The simple solution is that ALL of the software creators, online family tree and record collection companies should sign up to be Founding Members of FHISO.  Then they should actively work TOGETHER to develop rigorous standard methods to transfer genealogy data seamlessly between persons, websites.  The list of Founding Members of FHISO is relatively short at this time:

Why aren't FamilySearch, MyHeritage, FindMyPast, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Maker, Ancestral Quest, GeneaNet, and other companies on the list of Founding Members yet?  

If your favorite genealogy software company, favorite online family tree, or favorite record collection company is not on that list, please encourage them to join FHISO and contribute to the next data transfer standard so that genealogy users - their customers! - can seamlessly transfer all of their data with their family, friends, colleagues and other researchers.

It's going to take EVERYONE in the genealogy community to make this work well - and the sooner the better!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How Many Grandchildren of a Person Are In Your Family Tree?

Aaron posted Poll: Largest Number of Grandchildren In Your Family Tree on the MyHeritage Blog yesterday.  I was curious about I decided to exercise my genealogy database by:

*  Find persons with a large number of children (i.e., more than, say, 6).
*  Create a Descendants List report for that person, limiting the generations to 3.
*  Count the third generation persons.

1)  Norman and Sarah (Read) Seaver had (that I know about):

*  They had 8 children
*  They had 50 grandchildren

2)  Martin and Mary (Houx) Carringer had (that I know about):

*  They had 8 children
*  They had 45 grandchildren

One problem is that my database is not complete in having all of the grandchildren of my ancestral families.  I have all of the children (I think), but not all of the children of the children.  Only in my one-name studies do I try to capture the grandchildren.  So that limits it to my Seaver, Carringer, Auble, Dill and Buck surnames.

The book First-publication of the Hildreth family association : genealogical and historical data relating to Richard Hildreth (1605-1693), freeman 1643, Cambridge and Chelmsford, Mass., Thomas Hildreth (died 1657), of Long Island Southampton, N.Y. claims that Richard Hildreth (1605-1693), the immigrant, had 76 grandchildren.  

My Seaver grandparents had only 11 grandchildren, and my Carringer grandparents had only 3 grandchildren.  

How about you?  Do you have ancestors who have over 50 grandchildren?  If so, tell me, and add to the MyHeritage poll results.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

National Geographic Unveils Phase 2 of Genographic Project

I received this press release yesterday, and this really sounds intriguing to me.  


National Geographic Unveils New Phase of Genographic Project:
Combines Powerful New Technology, Citizen Science
More than a Half-Million Participants Traced Deep Ancestry in First Phase

WASHINGTON—The National Geographic Society today announced the next phase of its Genographic Project — the multiyear global research initiative that uses DNA to map the history of human migration. Building on seven years of global data collection, Genographic continues to shine new light on humanity’s collective past, yielding tantalizing clues about humankind’s journey across the planet.

“Our first phase drew participation from more than a half-million participants from over 130 countries. It is evidence of enormous interest in deep ancestry among the global public — tracing the paths their ancestors took as they migrated around the world over the past 60,000 years,” said Project Director Dr. Spencer Wells, a population geneticist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. “Now, the Genographic Project’s second phase creates an even greater citizen science opportunity — and the more people who participate, the more our scientific knowledge will grow.”

Geno 2.0
The Genographic Project enters this groundbreaking new stage of research by harnessing powerful genetic technology to further explore and document the historic pathways of human migration. Based in part on a unique database compiled during the project’s first phase, the next generation of the Genographic Project Participation Kit — Geno 2.0 — examines a unique collection of nearly 150,000 DNA identifiers that offers rich, ancestry-relevant information from across the entire human genome. In addition to learning their detailed migratory history, participants will learn how their DNA is affiliated with various regions in the world, and even if they have traces of Neanderthal or Denisovan ancestry — from our ancient hominid “cousins” who lived in Europe and parts of Asia tens of thousands of years ago before going extinct.

Participants will receive their results through a newly designed, multi-platform Web experience. In addition to full visualizations of their migratory path and regional affiliations, participants can share information on their genealogy to inform scientists about recent migratory events. These stories also can be shared with the broader Genographic Project community; as the number of contributions grows, the experience will become richer, as participants learn more about themselves and their shared ancestry. Results also can be shared as an infographic for social platforms.

Already, project results have led to the publication of 35 scientific papers, reporting results such as the origin of Caucasian languages, the early routes of migrations out of Africa, the footprint of the Phoenicians in the Mediterranean, the genetic impact of the Crusades and the genetic origins of the Romanian royal dynasty that included Vlad the Impaler. The project’s DNA results and analysis are stored in a database that is the largest collection of human anthropological genetic information ever assembled.

"The Genographic Project truly represents another facet of a new age of exploration. The newest Genographic technology will push the limits of our research, inspiring us to learn more about ourselves and leveraging the insights gleaned so far to take citizen science and genetic testing to a whole new level,” said Terry Garcia, executive vice president of Mission Programs at National Geographic.

Applications from Scientists Welcome            
            New to the second phase of Genographic, the project will invite applications for grants from researchers around the world for projects studying the history of the human species, which use innovative anthropological genetic tools such as the custom-designed “GenoChip,” a technology developed by scientists using Illumina’s Infinium iSelect HD BeadChips specifically for the study of human migration patterns. Sample research topics could include the origin and spread of the Indo-European languages, genetic insights into regions of high linguistic diversity such as Papua New Guinea, the number and routes of migrations out of Africa, the origin of the Inca or the genetic impact of the spread of maize agriculture in the Americas.

During Genographic’s first phase, Wells and project scientists traveled the globe to collaborate with tens of thousands of indigenous people, whose genetics are particularly significant in determining human migratory routes. Wells and Pierre Zalloua, principal investigator in the Middle East, for example, collaborated with the Toubou people of northern Chad, whose DNA has revealed insights into ancient migrations across the Sahara. Genographic’s principal investigator in the Oceana region, Lisa Matisoo-Smith, worked intensively with people on the remote south Pacific island of Emirau, collecting DNA samples and sharing the results with them.

The Genographic Project team worked with individuals, institutions and organizations all over the world to find and tell their genetic stories, including the prime minister of Kazakhstan, who invited Wells and his colleagues to collect DNA samples in his country after becoming fascinated with his family story as revealed by his Genographic kit results; the people of Barbados, who requested a study on the pattern of diversity in the country using the public participation kits; and members of the public in South Africa, who learned that they carry links to the region’s earliest inhabitants, the San people, in addition to genetic lineages from elsewhere in Africa, India and Europe.

The project also tested 200 random people on a single day on a block of Queens, New York, to demonstrate the area’s diversity. In a collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s multidisciplinary education foundation The Silk Road Project, more than 400 students at four New York City public schools swabbed their cheeks and traced their ancient ancestry.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Genographic Participation Kits funds project research and the Genographic Legacy Fund, which awards grants to support community-led cultural conservation and revitalization initiatives among indigenous and traditional communities around the world. So far, the Genographic Project has provided 62 Legacy Fund grants worth $1.7 million. Efforts supported by the grants include the creation of teaching materials on the ancient wisdom of the Chuj in a Maya community in Guatemala and the revitalization of indigenous languages in Nepal, India, Taiwan, French Polynesia, Mexico and Bolivia.

‘GenoThreads’ Connects Students, Teachers
A new education program called GenoThreads enables science, culture and geography to be naturally woven into a shared educational experience. GenoThreads connects students and teachers around the world who are using Genographic participation kits; this allows a cross-cultural exchange between students via email and videoconference for a truly global experience. In the first GenoThreads project, high school students in Switzerland are sharing their results with those halfway across the world in Singapore.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit the Genographic Project’s newly created website at Featuring National Geographic photography, the website gives Genographic participants the opportunity to learn more about their own ancestry and find ancestral connections. The Genographic Project remains nonmedical and nonprofit, and all analysis results are placed in the public domain following scientific publication. The Genographic Project serves as an unprecedented resource for geneticists, historians, anthropologists and citizen scientists.


A visit to the National Genographic website reveals that a Geno 2.0 test costs $199.95 for USA testers.

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1850 U.S. Census Record for Henry 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 1850 United States Census record for my Carringer 3rd great-grandfather and his family in Sandy Creek township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania:

The entry for the Henry Caringer family is:

The extracted information for the family, residing in Sandy Creek township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, taken on 24 August 1850, is:

*  Henry Caringer - age 56, male, a farmer, real property worth $2000, born Pa
*  Eliza Caringer - age 23, female, born Pa
*  Jackson Caringer - age 21, male, a carpenter, born Pa
*  George Caringer - age 18, male, a farmer, born Pa
*  Cornelius Caringer - age 17, male, a farmer, born Pa
*  Mary Caringer - age 14, female, born Pa, attended school within the year
*  Sarah Caringer - age 13, female, born Pa, attended school within the year
*  Henry Caringer - age 11, male, born Pa, attended school within the year
*  Loisa Caringer - age 9, female, born Pa, attended school within the year
*  Matilda Caringer - age 5, female, born Pa, attended school within the year
*  Harvy Caringer - age 2, male, born Pa
*  Mary Caringer - age 82, female, born Md

The source citation for this census entry is:

1850 United States Federal Census, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Sandy Creek township, Page 312, dwelling #853, family #900, Henry Carringer household, online database, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 796.

There are some errors in the ages of these family members - for instance, my family data shows:

*  Henry Carringer (56) was born in June 1800, and therefore was 49 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  Eliza Carringer (23) was born in June 1827, and therefore was 22 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  David Jackson Carringer (21) was born in November 1828, and was 21 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  George Carringer (18) was born in about 1832, and was about 18 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  Cornelius A. Carringer (17) was born in December 1834, and was 15 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  Mary Carringer (14) was born in November 1835, and was 14 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  Sarah Carringer (13) was born in about 1837, and was about 13 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  Henry Carringer (11) was born in about 1839, and was about 11 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  Louisa Carringer (9) was born in about 1842, and was about 8 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  Matilda Carringer (5) was born in April 1845, and was 5 years of age on 1 June 1850.
*  Harvey Carringer (2) was born in 1848, and was about 2 years of age on 1 June 1850.

So several ages are off by a year or more for some of these persons, which is fairly common to see.  This is the only record I have for several of the children.  We don't know who the informant was for this record; it may have been the oldest daughter, Eliza.

My records indicate that Henry's wife, Sarah (Feather) Carringer, died on 9 April 1848 in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  That narrows Harvey's birth date to April or before of 1848.

Note that Mary Carringer, Henry's mother and the widow of Martin Carringer, is on the next page image of this census record, but part of this family.  This is the only record I have of her approximate birth year of 1767-1768, and her birthplace, Maryland.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dear Randy: How Should I Source My Birth Certificate?

I had a question a few weeks ago in email from a reader:

"Dear Randy: I understand the purpose of a source citation is to provide a way for a reader to access specific information that results in a fact or conclusion in my family tree research.  Some information, specifically birth certificates or death certificates, are only available to family members.  When I cite the source of my birth certificate for instance, the New Mexico Department of Health, that information is not available to just anyone.  Why wouldn’t it be better to cite the copy I’m looking at and use my files as the repository?  I can explain in great detail where it is located in New Mexico, but if they can’t access it, what good is the source citation?"

Dear reader:

The birth certificate itself is the source of the record of your birth, and the repository that you obtained it from is the New Mexico Department of Health, not your family files.  The source citation would highlight the provider of the document, when it was obtained, and the specific person whose birth is recorded.  If the only source you had for the event was a family paper or a family Bible, then that would be your source.  So you should cite the source of the document - including where you obtained it, with the repository address.  Just because another person could not obtain your birth certificate from the Department of Health is not a good reason to not cite the birth certificate and the repository that it was obtained from.

Explaining how you obtained it, and limitations on that acquisition, can be part of your source citation, or part of a Source Comment or Citation Comment in your genealogy software program, in a research log, or in a published Footnote or Endnote.  In cases like this, more information is better than less information.

There's nothing that prevents you from transcribing what is on your birth certificate and including it in your software program - either in a Person Note, a Fact Note or a Source Note.  You can note that it can be found in your family files.  You can also scan the birth certificate and attach the image to the Event in your genealogy software program.  If you write a family history book or report you can include the notes and/or the scanned image in the book as evidence to support the Birth Event.  

The source citation for my own birth certificate, crafted in the RootsMagic template for "Vital Records, local certificates" is:

San Diego County, California, birth certificate no. State of California Department of Public Health, Certificate of Life Birth, 43-144396, District 3703, Registrar's No. 867 (registered 30 October 1943), Randall Jeffrey Seaver born 23 October 1943; San Diego County Clerk's Office, San Diego, Calif.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Ancestry Anne's 10 Favorite Search Tips

I received an email from today providing a link to Ancestry Anne's Ten Favorite Search Tips:

Ancestry Anne is Anne Gillespie Mitchell, who hosts some of the YouTube webinars on a regular basis.  Anne also has her own genealogy blog called Finding Forgotten Stories, and contributes to Ancestry's Sticky Notes genealogy blog.

Anne's Ten Search Tips page is here.   It specifically applies to searching on and using an Ancestry Member Tree.

What do you think of her list?  Do you agree with her ten tips?  What would you remove or replace?  How would you improve on it?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 234: Cement Truck Bashes House

 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.

Guess what happened here!  Guess whose house this is!  No, not mine...but it is the house that my grandparents built at 825 Harbor View Place in San Diego, and that my parents lived in from 1978 until my mother died in 2002.  This event happened between 1978 and 1982, but I can't narrow the date at this time.

The house above is at the foot of a very steep hill (Lucinda Street).  About 100 yards up the hill, a homeowner was having cement poured, and, when completed, the truck started down the hill, and the brakes failed.  The driver managed to turn the truck about 30 degrees to the left before he hit the curb and the brick wall and smashed into the garage (full of stuff, and my father's pink Cadillac).  That stopped the cement truck but ruined the Caddy.  The driver was badly injured.

My father watched this happen in front of his eyes...he was in the den looking out the window (it's under the V in the roofline) and if the driver had not turned the truck a bit, it would have hit my father.  My mother was in the kitchen and she would probably have been injured or killed too.  The incident happened in about five seconds from start to finish.  Someone (probably a neighbor) had the instinct to take a picture.  My parents sent it to Aunt Marion, who put it in her album, and Marion's daughter gave me the album!  

This made the local newspapers, but I can't find it in the San Diego Union on GenealogyBank.  Perhaps it was in the Evening Tribune instead.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I'm Related by Marriage to Hawaiian Royalty

I love finding relationships with famous and important people - historical or living.  I can't help it.  My children, siblings and cousins love it too.  My Seaver aunts and uncle really loved it!!

Thanks to Heather Wilkinson Rojo, who wrote Tombstone Tuesday ~ Seen in Honolulu today on her Nutfield Genealogy blog, I now know that I have a somewhat distant relationship to Hawaiian Royalty!

As stated in Heather's post, the epitaph on the gravestone of Elizabeth Kekaaniau Laanui Pratt reads:

High Chiefess
Elizabeth Kekaaniau Laanui Pratt
Longest Royal Survivor
Born September 11, 1834
Died December 20, 1928
Elizabeth Kekaaniauokalani Kalanijuiohilaukapu
Laanui was a favorite at the royal courts of King's 
Kamehameha III, IV, Lunalilo and Kalakua. The
latter four were her schoolmates at the Royal Boarding
School, founded by Kamehameha III for the preparation
of Hawaii's future Rulers. Kekaaniau was the last
surviving member of it's original 16 royal students.  In
1864, She married Franklin Seaver Pratt of Boston, who 
served as Consul General and Minister of Finance to the
Hawaiian Kingdom.  In 1920, she published memoirs of
the illustrious Kamehameha dynasty and collateral
branches of the Keoua lineage in
"Keoua Nui - Father of Kings"

Here is Franklin Seaver Pratt's ancestry from Robert Seaver (1608-1683), the immigrant to Roxbury, Mass. in 1634:

1)  Robert Seaver (1608-1683) and Elizabeth Ballard (1616-1657)
2.  Joshua Seaver (1641-1730) and Mary May (1657-????)
3)  Joshua Sever (1679-1707) and Mercy Cooke (1679-1759)
4)  William Sever (1721-1782) and Patience Trescott (1723-1799)
5)  Jonathan Sever (1753-1820) and Margaret Harris (1759-1826)
6)  Catherine Seaver (1797-1880) and Joseph Pratt (1791-1873)
7)  Franklin Seaver Pratt (1829-1894)

I am the 12th generation from Robert Seaver through:

1)  Robert Seaver (1608-1683) and Elizabeth Ballard (1616-1657)
2)  Shubael Seaver (1640-1730) and Hannah Wilson (1647-1722)
3)  Joseph Seaver (1672-1754) and Mary Read (1680-????)
4)  Robert Seaver (1702-1752) and Eunice Rayment (1707-1772)
5)  Norman Seaver (1734-1787) and Sarah Read (1736-1809)
6.  Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) and Martha Whitney (1764-1832)
7.  Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) and Abigail Gates (1797-1867)
8.  Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) and Lucretia T. Smith (1828-1884)
9.  Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) and Hattie Hildreth (1857-1920)
10.  Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) and Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)
11.  Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) and Betty V. Carringer (1919-2002)
12.  Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-....)

The common Seaver ancestors are the immigrants, Robert and Elizabeth (Ballard) Seaver.  Franklin Seaver Pratt was a fifth cousin to my 3rd great-grandfather, Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825), and that makes Franklin Seaver Pratt a 5th cousin 5 times removed to me.  Of course, I am a cousin by marriage to Princess Elizabeth...not by blood, as far as I know!  But this still counts in my book!

Just wait till my cousins hear about this!  My aunts would have embraced it, and my father and uncle would have said "so what?"

Thank you, Heather, for all of your information about Franklin Seaver Pratt and his sister, Maria (Pratt) Brewer.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

WikiTree Announces "Cousin Bait" Toolkits

I received this press release from WikiTree today:

WikiTree Announces “Cousin Bait” Toolkits

Dec 4, 2012: has released a special set of tools for genealogists who want to lure distant cousins to help grow their family history and share photos and memories.

Many Internet-savvy genealogists already recommend using WikiTree as a way to fish for new information. Blogger Valerie Craft wrote in her recent post Using WikiTree: The How and The Why: "[T]he biggest reason why you should use WikiTree: cousin bait. ... In my years doing genealogy, I've had the most success thanks to WikiTree."

WikiTree’s new toolkits are for those who want to bait the hooks.

Every ancestor profile has a toolkit that contains a customized set of easy-to-follow action items, such as:
  • Direct links to specific surname forums around the Internet where you can ask for help.
  • A way to create a “family mysteries” page for the surname in order to fish for specific information.
  • Asking a question about the person in WikiTree’s Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Q&A forum.
  • Socializing the profile on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.
  • Sharing the person’s photo on Pinterest.
  • Increasing the profile’s ranking in Google with quick and easy steps.

Cousin Bait Toolkits are free for all WikiTree members, along with all other other features and functions. WikiTree membership is free and unlimited for all those who share the community’s mission to create a collaborative worldwide family tree and agree to abide by the Wiki Genealogist Honor Code.

About WikiTree: Growing since 2008, is a 100% free shared family tree website that balances privacy and collaboration. Community members privately collaborate with close family members on modern family history and publicly collaborate with other genealogists on deep ancestry. Since all the private and public profiles are connected on the same system this process is helping to grow a single, worldwide family tree that will eventually connect us all and thereby make it free and easy for anyone to discover their roots. See

Contact: Elyse Doerflinger