Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Blog Caroling!!!

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

Are you in the Christmas spirit yet?  I love this time of year - and hearing and singing Christmas carols and songs is my favorite holiday pastime.  

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

1)  Identify your absolute favorite Christmas Carol or Holiday song.  

2)  Share your favorite carol or song in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook status post or Google Plus stream post.  

3)  For extra credit, post an audio or video of the carol or song (almost all are on and the words to the song.  Add the background of the song, and the artists if you can find them.

4)  Enjoy the memories and feelings that the carol or song brings to your heart and mind, and share them too!

5)  Share your entry on footnoteMaven's post footnoteMaven's Tradition of Blog Caroling.

Here's mine:

I posted my absolute favorite in a separate blog post - Blog Caroling (posted 13 December 2012).

Other favorite songs (by genre):

*  Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer  - a funny song

* The Christmas Song - a contemporary song

*  Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - an older rock song

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - ELLIS (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 547: Abiel ELLIS (1662-1716). [Note: the 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two American generations of this ELLIS 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-????)

546.  Zechariah Barber, born 29 September 1656 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 11 August 1705 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1092. George Barber and 1093. Elizabeth Clarke.  He married 30 August 1683 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
547.  Abiel Ellis, born 15 October 1662 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 14 April 1716 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  
Children of Zechariah Barber and Abiel Ellis are: Benoni Barber (1684-1684); Zechariah Barber (1685-1746); Joseph Barber (1687-1770); Abiel Barber (1691-1718); John Barber (1693-1754); Ruth Barber (1696-????); Thomas Barber (1698-1705); Elizabeth Barber (1700-1722); Mary Barber (1703-????).

1094.  Thomas Ellis, born before 13 December 1629 in Wrentham, Suffolk, England; died 12 December 1690 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 21 May 1657 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
1095.  Mary Wight, born about 1638 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 07 March 1692/93 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2190. Thomas Wight and 2191. Alice.
Children of Thomas Ellis and Mary Wight are:  Judith Ellis (1658-????); Mary Ellis (1660-1717_; Abiel Ellis (1662-1716); Samuel Ellis (1664-1712); Thomas Ellis (1666-1670); Patience Ellis (1669-1695); Ruth Ellis (1670-????); Thomas Ellis (1674-1692); Joanna Ellis (1678-????).

The only resources I've found for this Ellis family have been:

*  William S. Tilden (editor), History of the Town of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886 (Boston, Mass. : Geo. H. Ellis, 1887). 

*  The published town vital record books.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, December 14, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories - Days 8 to 14

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 second week of Christmas Memories (December 8 to 14):

*  Advent Calendar - December 8: Christmas Cookies!

On the 17th day before Christmas,
my angel honey presented me
a whole plate of sugar cookies.

*  Advent Calendar - December 9: Christmas Weather

On the 16th day before Christmas,
I want everybody to know
That it doesn't snow (much) in San Diego.

On the 15th day of Christmas, 
my true love gave to me 
The greatest gift of all - her love.

On the 14th Day of Christmas
I tried to share ethnic traditions
but we are plain old Protestant Christians!

On the 13th Day of Christmas,
My true love gives to the community
Her time, prayers and compassion.

On the 12th day of Christmas,
we packed up the car to go
All the way to San Francisco.

*  Advent Calendar - December 14: Fruitcake! Friend or foe?

On the 11th Day of Christmas,
some joker sen
t to me
the biggest fruitcake I ever did see!

10 more days to come!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

"Genealogies" Replaces "Trees" on FamilySearch Home Page

There used to be a "Trees" link on the FamilySearch home page that linked to text records from the Ancestral File (an interconnect tree) and Pedigree Resource File (isolated trees) submissions by LDS members and other researchers.

The "Genealogies" link has replaced the "Trees" link, and the format of the "Genealogies" pages has been revised to look like a family tree.  Here is the FamilySearch home page:

The "Genealogies" link is highlighted on the screen above.

I clicked on the "Genealogies" link and the "Search User Submitted Genealogies" page appeared, with a description of the database as:

"User Submitted Genealogies is a set of lineage linked conclusion trees provided to FamilySearch by users. This data comes from the Ancestral File, the Pedigree Resource File and other user submissions."

The user can check the "Search all terms exactly" box, search by Relationship or AF Number, and search in only Ancestral File, Pedigree Resource File.  Search fields are available for the first and last name of a target person, spouse's first and last names, parents first and last names, and the opportunity to add birth, marriage, residence and death events:

I picked only the "Pedigree Resource File" to search, and entered my 3rd great-grandparents, Benjamin Seaver and Abigail Gates, into the search fields for the person and spouse names.

I clicked on the "Search" button and saw a list of nine matches:

I can click on each of those nine Pedigree Resource Filer entries and see what was submitted by someone in the past 30 or so years.  I clicked on the first one on the list and saw (two screens):

The target person is highlighted in the white box, with his spouse listed below, his children to the left, and his parents and grandparents to the right in a tree configuration similar to what is in the "FamilySearch Family Tree."

A user can navigate to another person on the screen by clicking on the name of the other person.  I clicked on Norman Seaver and saw:

Unfortunately, the information in the selected result for Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) is limited, and some of it is wrong.  For example, it lists his oldest child as being born in 1794 (before Benjamin's wife, Abigail Gates, was born), lists six other children, and does not list any of the four children he had with Abigail, including my second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901).  This is fairly typical of submissions to both the Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File databases - there was no sanity check of the submitted records.

While this is definitely a better presentation of this "genealogy" data than the former "Trees" presentation, it still lacks the most important information of all - the sources of the names, dates and places - and any semblance of family history information (stories, photographs, etc.).  That, of course, was expected since these Pedigree Resource Files were submitted as isolated family trees by individuals over a long period of time, using GEDCOM files.

All (?) of the information in this "Genealogies" database was used to seed the "FamilySearch Family Tree" interconnected family tree system (the "Family Tree" link on the FamilySearch home page, visible to registered users) with persons in the AF and PRF.  Then there was an attempt over several years to combine identical persons to try to get an interconnected family tree without modifying the vital records data. Recently, LDS members and registered researchers (including me) were able to add, edit and delete content, including sources and discussions.   In the near future, Finally, all registered users will be able to add, edit and delete content.

From a genealogical and family history point of view, the "FamilySearch Family Tree" will be the more useful database since it can be modified by users, and sources and documentation can be provided by interested users.

This "User Submitted Genealogies" database may become obsolete.  In the mean time, it serves as another user-submitted database that can be used to search for information provided by other researchers.  However, users of this database should understand that there are no sources and no supporting documentation (e.g., digital images) for this information, and it should be used only as leads and clues for further research in historical record collections.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Interesting and Helpful Reader Comments

It's time for another Follow-Up Friday post - a look at helpful and interesting reader comments you may have missed on Genea-Musings posts.

1)  On We All Want Seamless Genealogy Data Transfers (posted 7 December 2012):

*  Tamura Jones said:  "You ask '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?'

"Some on that list are in talks with FHISO, and announcements will follow in due course. The announcement for, the maker of Family Tree Maker, was the very first."

*  John Carruthers noted:  "FHISO wants individual genealogists to join as well as organizations and companies. I believe individuals will be able to contribute to the process."

*  Russ Worthington offered:  "...It is an important project AND I think serious genealogist need to be involved.  I think as our genealogy database management applications, on a PC, Mac, or Online continue to offer the ability to Share our information, those developers should be involved.

"There is another group that should be involved. (an expansion on "serious genealogist") Those genealogy educators who help us learn about our hobby.  Early in the BetterGEDCOM project, we attempted to get more of our "leaders" to help with our research process. Those who help us understand WHAT to collect, HOW to record what we collect, HOW we should analyze what we collect, and how to Document what we collect.  I could, but won't, suggest any names, but I think you know who I might be thinking about. "Power Users", like yourself, need to be at the "table" when these discussion take place.

"As John suggested, Individuals are encouraged to Join the ORGANIZATION (FHISO).  Its the SHARING and Collaboration with other researchers that FHISO is attempting to enhance and now have so many work arounds to accomplish that."

*  Wyospring commented:  "...this is a BIG CONCERN to me. The reason why I want to give an accurate GEDCOM to family members or persons trying to copy my research that I have posted on ANCESTRY is so they won't have to retype it. Every time something is retyped many mistakes are made in spellings, dates, connections and dates. I have had to add families to connect, and grab all the photos and docs one at time. This is so time consuming!!! Being able to download pics and GEDCOMS for a family would be WONDERFUL!!!"

*  Andy Hatchett responded:  "Accurate according to...?

"1). The exporting program/website/database?
2). The Importing program/website database?

"Until ALL endusers start demanding a single standard from programmers/websites/ content-vendors, etc. there will NEVER be such a thing as 'an accurate GEDCOM'.

"And yes- when all is said and done it really is a war between the genealogical enduser vs. the programmers/websites/content-providers and, IMHO, the sooner this is recognized the better."

*  Alex noted:  "'FHISO wants individual genealogists to join.'

"I am sorry, but this does not seem currently correct. There is no way established for individuals to join FHISO."

*  verybigkid offered:  "While there is more good news in the works, as Tamura commented, some probably need to see the modern FHISO platform in action to be convinced.

"It's time to make that happen!  The Federation of Genealogical Societies has been good enough to feature FHISO on it's radio show next Saturday. I can't think of a better way to widen the dialog and prepare to welcome in a new day.   Hope you'll join us. 
FGS Website:
FGS Radio:"

*  ACProctor commented: "Re: 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? 

"I don't profess know the answer to this Randy but I can take a stab at some possibilities.  As Tamura said, there are ongoing talks with some of these organisations, and we're very proud that Ancestry was our very first founding member.

"Some vendors and content providers may fear that this is somehow anti-competitive, and that it may take away their edge in the marketplace. This view is easily dispelled if we manage to get the corresponding people in a conference with FHISO. The data model standard would enable sharing - without bias towards products, hardware, or locale - and data sharing is a fundamental tenet of genealogy.

"We have definitely encountered companies who thought we were advocating a replacement data model for their existing products, and hence some massive amount of work for them.The fact that the data model is primarily for sharing means it is external to their products, and a superset of what they use now. If that standard data model is good then there is no reason why it cannot be internalised by a product, but that should not be mandatory.

"There may still be folks who view FHISO as small-fry, and that we will fail as other initiative have failed in their ultimate goal. This could be a self-fulfilling prophecy if those folks just sit on the fence waiting, and don't support FHISO. The existing FHISO volunteers are small in number, and some never seem to sleep, but if you truly believe in their goal then come and help them. FHISO has aspirations beyond a standard for data exchange, and they absolutely must happen for all our sakes. 

"Maybe some people feel that they don't want their futures legislated by some new start-up group. I can dispel that now. FHISO is not some separate body attempting to regulate the field or dictate what everyone does. FHISO is made up of the stakeholders in this field, i.e. FHISO is the community. We're therefore multi-disciplinary and multinational.

"Then there may be those who want complete control of this field themselves, and who believe the world will follow their lead. Is that in their interests, or all our collective interests?"

My comments:  I know this is a long recitation of the comments, but I thought they were helpful to the understanding of the issue.  Several of the commenters are very active in the FHISO organization and need to be heard.  Thank you all for adding to the knowledge base of my readers.

*  Geolover said:  "Researchers should bear in mind that the collection is mis-titled. It is New York **Deeds** (not 'Land Records'), which encompass myriad items recorded as deeds -- all manner of agreements, even marriage records, wills and personal property sale agreements of many kinds.

"One nice thing I ran across is that the 1825 Balloting Book, listing original grantees of NY Revolutionary War Land Warrants and related goodies, is in the Onondaga County listing. There are other places to download this book, but this would be a really easy one for viewing and copying selected pages.

"What is included is quite variable for each County. I was hoping for 18th-century Albany County deeds, but they are not uploaded. Maybe some day. The Schuyler County part lists no actual deeds."

*  Richard Holmes noted:  "... For those researching in Albany County, be aware that the grantor index and deeds are not found under the Albany County heading, but under the heading "all counties". Once you click on 'all counties' you will find the deeds and grantor and grantee indexes. Also, for those who have, a searchable file of the grantor index is available there under New York: Albany County Deeds, 1630-1894."

*  Geolover commented:  "PS regarding Albany County Deeds. Unfortunately, although the 'All Counties' index to deeds supposedly covers my time period of interest (1790s), it does not list several that I know to have been recorded in Albany County 1793-1795. I will continue to hope that the actual deed books for the County for this time period will be available in the future."

*  Virginia noted:  "Many thanks for posting this, Randy. I was able to find my 3g-grandfather's given name by finding the deed that matched the selling of the land after he died. I've been searching for this for a looong time."

My comments:  Thanks for the discussion, especially about Albany County.  I hadn't looked for deeds there yet, but I will!  I'm glad you found the name, Virginia.  I assume you searched for the surname in the index knowing the approximate land location - well done!

3)  On Geni Limits Lifetime Memberships (posted 13 December 2012):

*  Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said:  "And, 'lifetime' means as long as the service exists - 'the other alternative' was likely 'going out of business' where 'lifetime' would have really ended, now. Every story has at least two sides, usually many more... I dropped my Geni FREE memberships some time back... I just didn't like what I saw, for me. Life will go on... "

*  Keith Riggle noted:  "Yes, 'lifetime' means both the life of the person and the company, but unilaterally changing the terms of service for what were obviously Geni's most loyal members is penny-wise and pound-foolish. MyHeritage admitted that it terminated the lifetime memberships for revenue reasons, but even if it's not illegal (which remains to be seen), it's unethical and just bad judgment. Geni has a history of treating their members poorly. If people perform their due diligence before joining, they will certainly think twice!"

*  Judi commented:  "Lifetime sometime in Aug, 2011 was double from the original price almost; it was finally dropped down to $417 which is now their 5 year option which they instituted sometime in June 2012"

My comments:  Thanks for the comments.  It still seems like a bad deal to me for the 'lifetime' members who signed up in good faith!

4)  On one of my posts:

* boxbcn stated:   "It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd without a doubt donate to this fantastic blog! I suppose for now I'll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will talk about this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon! Feel free to surf my web site ::"

My comment:  Thanks for the spam...and I'll take a donation any time (my email address is listed, please conract me ASAP).  You didn't give me a website to surf, and I doubt that I would have anyway.  

5)  Thanks to all of my readers for their blog comments, emails, Facebook comments, Google+ comments and Twitter comments.  Congratulations for defeating the Captcha trap, too.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Blog Caroling

Our dear footnoteMaven is warming up the Choir of Genea-Angels for this year's sing-along of Christmas Carols. We are supposed to claim our favorite Christmas Carol. The collection of songs from genea-bloggers should lift all of our spirits as we shop until we drop.  

Mine is still "Angels we Have Heard On High" - maybe because of the Latin in it? Or because I can sing it in J-sharp and no one notices because of the joy it brings everyone else? Most likely because Linda collects angels and is referred to as Angel Linda by friends. The rumor that the first angel she collected was me is untrue.

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels we have heard on high,
Singing sweetly through the night,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why these songs of happy cheer?
What great brightness did you see?
What glad tiding did you hear?
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Come to Bethlehem and see Him
whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the new-born King.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

See him in a manger laid
Whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While we raise our hearts in love.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.


Musicologists have decided that this anonymous French tune was probably created around the eighteenth century. Some legends place its origin as as early as the second century.

Traditional French Carol

Words: Tra­di­tion­al French car­ol (Les Anges dans nos Cam­pagnes).Trans­lat­ed from French to Eng­lish by James Chad­wick (1813-1882); ap­peared in Crown of Jesus, 1862.

Music: “Gloria (Barnes),” French carol melody; ar­ranged by Ed­ward S. Barnes.

Recorded/Performed: Andy Williams - 1970

Also recorded by: Tennessee Ernie Ford; Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Tommy Greer; Clancey Brothers; Scarlet Rivera; Eric Rigler; Madeline McNeil; Sandi Patty; Nat King Cole; Lorie Line; Connie Brown; Scott Miller; Vienna Boys Choir; Percy Faith; Collin Raye; Frankie Gavin; Texas Boys Choir; Mel Weston; Donny Osmond.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Watch Out for Early Dates in Ancestry's "Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988" Collection

One of the very best record collections on is the "Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988" set of town record books.  These are, usually, the original source for most of the vital records that appear in the published town vital record books and in the International Genealogical Index database.

The database was indexed by, which was a monumental task because of the really poor handwriting, or page blotting and damage, on many of the pages from these record books.

There is another significant problem with some of the indexed dates:

Most genealogists are aware of the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar that occurred in September 1752 (see for a detailed explanation).  Many Massachusetts town clerks did not use month names in the 17th century, but rather wrote dates like "12 (1) 1647" denoting the 12th day of the first month of 1647.  The first month was March, and the second month was April, etc., down to the 11th month being January and the 12th month being February.

Consequently, we see entries in the records like this:

My target here is Sarah Larkin, who is the 4th person from the bottom of the left-hand page, with a birth date of 12 (1) 1647.  That should be 12 March 1647.  As you can see, there are entries in early 1647 for 11th month (meaning January) and 12th month (meaning February) above Sarah's entry.  The clerk who transcribed this record book helpfully added "/47" to the year for those entries.

How did the Ancestry indexers index the date?  You guessed it - Sarah's is indexed as 12 January 1647 instead of 12 March 1647, as you can see in the screen below;

So, it appears that some of the early colonial vital record entries in the Ancestry index are incorrect.  It is impossible to know, of course, without looking at the actual records to determine if the month was represented by a number or written out.

Consequently, many persons who blindly attach these records (which are almost the only actual "historical records" available on Ancestry for Massachusetts colonials) will get the dates wrong for these persons.  And proliferate them in their Ancestry Member Trees.

My guess is that there is absolutely no way to correct the indexes at this point in time.  Each image with records before 1752 would have to be reviewed and the index corrected.

The URL of this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Geni Limits Lifetime Memberships

An email from a reader alerted me to an email s/he received from Geni recently.  The email says (name, email deleted):

Dear .............,

Thank you for being a loyal Geni subscriber. As you may have heard, Geni is now part of the MyHeritage family. We’re truly excited about joining forces with such a great partner and have been thrilled with the response we’ve received to this news.

As a lifetime subscriber, we have some good news and some bad news for you. The bad news is that MyHeritage doesn’t support lifetime subscriptions; we are replacing your lifetime subscription with a 5-year Geni subscription that starts today.

The good news is that we are giving you a valuable gift – a 5-year MyHeritage data subscription (a $600 value) – at no additional cost to you. With this subscription you can take full advantage of MyHeritage’s SuperSearch search engine for historical records.

Your MyHeritage data subscription has been added to the MyHeritage associated with your email address (............@..........). If you have trouble logging into MyHeritage with this email address, use the "Forgot your password?" link to reset your password.

Try MyHeritage’s SuperSearch now

With SuperSearch you can search over 4 billion records including birth, marriage, death, burial, census, military, immigration, yearbooks, and newspapers. In the future, we’ll automatically notify you of historical records that match profiles in your family tree on Geni; adding these records to Geni as sources as simple as clicking a button.

Thank you again for being a loyal Geni subscriber, and we hope this gift will help you in your family history research!

- The Geni Team          

I looked on the Geni Public Discussions board ( and found a discussion about this topic.  There is great dissatisfaction expressed by some lifetime members of Geni - that a lifetime subscription should mean "lifetime," and not "five more years."  

You can read one of the threads at (go forward and backward from this page) about this topic.  Many of these users have years of data entry, family pictures, and family involvement in their tree.  Many of the users are, apparently, not interested in accessing historical records or online family trees at  Some persons are concerned that their tree information on Geni will appear on MyHeritage.

Geni has responded to some of the complaints on the thread with this message:

"Thank you for being part of the Geni community. Unfortunately Geni no longer supports lifetime subscriptions. If you are not interested in receiving a 5 year Geni Pro subscription and a 5 year MyHeritage data subscription, which you will be able to use on Geni, we will be happy to refund the full amount you paid for your Geni lifetime subscription. 

"Please let us know how you would like to proceed. We'd like to work with you on resolving this to your satisfaction. "

I don't know exactly what the Geni Lifetime subscription price was in the past - I saw a post on the thread that it cost some subscribers $299 several years ago.

I think that this is a real "social" problem for Geni and for MyHeritage.  It may also be a legal problem.  There is talk on the thread about hiring attorneys and filing a class action suit.  One of the first rules of customer service is to keep your customer happy.  I hope that Geni will find a way to satisfy their lifetime members by limiting access to MyHeritage, or something similar.

I am a Basic (Free) member on, so this change doesn't affect me as far as I know.  If I was a lifetime member, I don't know what my reaction would be - the yearly value of a 5-year subscription for both Geni and the MyHeritage record collections far exceeds what I might have paid for the Lifetime membership.  But "lifetime" needs to mean "lifetime" in my book.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1910 U.S. Census Record for Charles Auble 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 1910 United States Census record for my Auble great-grandparents and their family in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois:

The entry for the Charles Auble family is:

The extracted information for the family, residing at 611 West 70th Street in the 32nd Ward of Chicago, taken on 16 April 1910, is:

*  Charles Auble -- head of household, male, white, age 54, first marriage, married 11 years, born New Jersey, parents born New Jersey, speaks English, a decorator (of houses), a worker, was employed on 15 April 1910, was out of work 16 weeks in 1909, able to read and write, rents home

*  Georgia Auble -- wife, female, white, age 41, first marriage, married 11 years, 1 child born, 1 living, born Canada English, parents born Canada English, immigrated in 1890, speaks English, no ccupation, able to read and write
*  Emily Auble -- daughter, female, white, age 10, single, born Illinois, father born New Jersey, mother born Canada English, speaks English, able to read and write, attended school since 1 September 1909.

The source citation for this census record is:

1910 United States Federal Census, Cook County, Illinois, Population Schedule, Chicago Ward 32: ED 1391, Sheet 2B, dwelling #28, family #33, Charles Aubbe household; digital image, ( : accessed 29 October 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T624, Roll 278.

The errors or descrepancies I see in this entry include:

*  Charles Auble's name was written as "Aubbe" on the census record, and indexed as "Aubbe" by
*  Charles Auble's age is given as 54.  He was born on 31 October 1849, so he should have been enumerated as age 60.  I believe that he lied about his age throughout his married life... his birthdate as listed as 31 October 1854 on his death certificate.  We will see that on the 1880 census, and before, that his age is consistent with the 1849 date.
*  Georgia Auble's immigration date of 1890 is inconsistent with several other records which say 1889.
*  The address of 611 West 70th Street may be in error.  The Chicago City Directory for 1909 lists their address as 611 West 76th Street.

I tried to find the residence of 611 West 76th Street in Chicago in Tuesday's Tip - Find Ancestral Homes using Google Maps.  However, the 1910 census record clearly says 70th Street.  The 1909 Chicago City Directory says that they resided at 611 West 76th Street.  I don't know which source is in error.  I could check the neighbors from the 1910 census for their listing in the 1909 City Directory. 

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Genealogy Mysteries I'd Like to Solve

In her post 12/12/12 Twelve Genealogy Questions on the Leaves & Branches blog, Colleen Pasquale posed twelve questions about her ancestry and family history that she would like answered.

I thought that this was a great blog prompt, so I'm going to list my Twelve Questions on this day of Twelves.  And i'm going to post it at 12:12 p.m. PST.

Here are twelve genealogy mysteries I'd like to solve:

1)  Who are the parents of Thomas J. Newton (ca 1795 Maine - after 1834 ????)?  He married (I think) Sophia (Buck) Brigham, and had two children by her in the 1832 to 1835 time frame.  

2)  What happened to Thomas J. Newton?  Did he die after 1835?  Did he marry again?  Where -  Maine?  Massachusetts?  Vermont? Somewhere else?  

3)  Who are the parents of William Knapp (1775-1856), born in Dutchess County, New York (according to his death record in Newton, New Jersey)?  

4)  Who are the parents of Hannah Smith (1767-1827), ostensibly born in Brookline, New Hampshire, and the wife of Josiah Sawtell?

5)  Who are the biological parents of Devier James Lamphier Smith (1839-1894), the adopted son of Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith?

6)  Who are the parents of John Richman (ca 1788-1867) of Hilperton, Wiltshire, England?

7)  Who are the parents of Ann Marshman (1784-1856), born supposedly in Devizes, Wiltshire, England, who married John Richman in Hilperton in 1811?

8)  Who are the parents of Hannah Brown (ca 1725-ca 1774), who married John Phillips in 1749 in Southborough, Massachusetts?

9)  Who are the parents of Mary Hoax/Houx/Hokes/etc. (1768-1850), who married Martin Carringer in 1785 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania?

10)  What was the name of the wife of Cornelius Feather (1777-1852), married before 1804 in Ohio or Pennsylvania, and had at least four children?

11)  Who were the parents of Jerusha (ca 1750-1817), who married Burgess Metcalf before 1770 somewhere in southern New Hampshire?  They lived in Piermont, Grafton County, New Hampshire.

12)  What is the true story about my father's migration from Massachusetts to San Diego in December 1940?  His story was that he was tired of shoveling snow; his sisters say he got a young Catholic lady pregnant and was forbidden to marry her.

Note that some of the links above go to other blog posts with more information, and there may be more blog posts about these persons.

Those are my 12 on 12/12/12.  If you have research suggestions for any of these, please comment here or email me at

What are your 12 questions?  Why not write a blog post about it!  Maybe someone will read it and know the answer, or provide the clue needed to solve the problem and answer your question.

Thank you to Colleen for a great geneablogging challenge.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 235: Betty and Fred Seaver in 1982

 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.

This may be the last picture taken of my parents, Fred and Betty (Carringer) Seaver, before my father died on 26 May 1983, at age 71.  It's also one of the best pictures of them, ever!

I'm pretty sure that this picture was taken by Aunt Marion (Seaver) (Braithwaite) Hemphill on her first visit to San Diego in the summer of 1982.  At the time, my mother was 63 years old and my father was 70 years old.  They had both been diagnosed with, and treated for, cancer in the spring (my mother with breast cancer, my father with prostate cancer), and were recovering from surgery.

The setting is, I think, the back yard of the home at 825 Harbor View Place in San Diego, and it was probably a flash picture taken at night.

 I know my father was ecstatic to see his oldest sister again - I don't think that he had seen her since he left Massachusetts in 1940.  Aunt Marion lived to be 98, dying in 2000.  

Unfortunately, the picture was glued into the album, so I had to scan the whole album page and then crop this photograph from that image.  

I'm going to add this photo to my database because it shows them in the last year of their married life.  The love is apparent, isn't it? I wonder where my father's gold band wedding ring is?  I wish that Aunt Marion hadn't cut off my father's head in the photo, but beggars can't be choosers, right?

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SDGS Seminar on 12 January 2013 Features David E. Rencher

I received this reminder a week or so ago from the San Diego Genealogical Society, of which I am a member.  I'm posting it here mainly for Southern California genealogists who might be interested in it.  Note that registration is required.

This all-day seminar is Saturday, 12 January 2013, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., including a buffet lunch. It will be held in the Captain's Room at Marina Village (1916 Quivira Way, San Diego CA).  More information and the registration form is on the SDGS site at

The speaker is David E. Rencher, the Chief Genealogist for FamilySearch, the outstanding genealogy research web site of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons).   

Those of you who have not heard David speak are in for a real treat!  He will be giving four presentations at the seminar.  They are as follows:

What’s New at Family Search?—This presentation provides an update of the latest changes and features of the Family Search website.  Family Search is a free data base containing millions of family trees and vital records.  It has undergone major changes over the past year which have significantly improved the user interface and effectiveness of the site.

Interpreting and Evaluating Name Lists—This session illustrates how to use and draw the most information out of name lists as substitute censuses.  When someone says, “the name is there, but it doesn’t tell me anything” this session is especially for them!  Examples used are for both Ireland and the United States.

Irish Estate, Land & Property Records—Prior to parish registers; estate, land and property records are the next best record to identify generational links and family information for land owners and tenants.  This session arms participants with the tools necessary to examine these valuable records.

Framing the Problem for Overseas Research—This session focuses on helping the participant identify the specific objectives for successful overseas research.  Failure to focus the research often leads to discouraging results from the “trip of a lifetime.”

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. and the session will conclude about 3 p.m.  Cost is $40 for members and $45 for non-members and includes danish and coffee/tea, a buffet lunch and door prizes.

Registration forms are available on the SDGS website (


I have registered, and look forward to hearing David Rencher's presentations.

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Adding Amos Underhill's Land Deeds to RootsMagic 6

In Using New York Land Records, 1630-1975, on FamilySearch (posted 10 December 2012), I found two deeds for Amos Underhill (1772-1865) in Erie County, New York.

I wanted to add the information for these two deeds to my RootsMagic 6 database.  Here are the steps that I took:

1)  The "Edit Person" screen for Amos Underhill looks like this (I've already added the two Events for "Deeds" and created the Sources for them):

Note that I have already added the two Deed Events (before I decided to do this post!) and also created a Source Citation for each Event (the green checks in the Source column denote them).

2)  The Source Citation screen for the first Deed Event uses the "Digital Archive" source template model, and the "Edit source" screen is shown below:

The Footnote created by the source template, with my input into the Master Source and Source Details fields is:

"New York, Land Records, 1630-1975," Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 December 2012), digital image of clerk's copy, "Erie County, N.Y. Deeds, 1836, Volume 36-37," Volume 36, Page 175 (image 91), Amos Underhill to Loren Phillips, 19 February 1836; from FHL US/CAN Microfilm 590026, original records at Erie County, N.Y. courthouse, Buffalo, N.Y.

I chose the Source Quality as Original source (a record copy of the original deed), Primary Information (or is it Secondary, since it's a clerk's copy recorded several years later from the original deed?) and Direct Evidence (of the land transaction).

3)  I recalled that I had created a short To-Do list for Amos Underhill, so I edited that list for the Deeds ("ToDo" is a button on the "Edit Person" screen):

In the "ToDo" list, the item said "Search Grantee and Grantor deed indexes for Amos and Mary Underhill, then find and obtain deeds."  I marked this as "Complete" and clicked the button in the "Edit Task" screen to add the task to the Research Log for Amos Underhill.

4)  The "Research Log" (Lists > Research Manager) for Underhill Family Research was opened:

The Erie County Deeds entry in the Research Log was edited and saved:

The Erie County NY Deeds entry for the Research Log results said:

Found no references for Deeds of Amos Underhill in the Grantee index.  Found 3 references for Deeds of Amos Underhill in the Grantor Deed index:

*  Volume 36, page 175:  Amos Underhill to Loren Phillips, dated 19 February 1836.  Found it, and saved the image to Amos Underhill file folder.
*  Volume 196, Page 239, Amos Underhill to Deloss Underhill, dated 25 Match 1856.  Did not find this deed for some reason.
*  Volume 207, page 62: Amos Underhill to Delos Underhill, dated 3 April 1860.  Found it, saved the image to Amos Underhill file folder.

Note that I added the URL for the specific record collection to the Repository field.

5)  After naming the two Deeds using my naming convention (the 1836 deed file name was:
AmosUnderhill-1836-LandRecord-Grantor-LorenPhillips-ErieNY-V36P175-image91.jpg) and put it in the Amos Underhill + Mary Metcalf file folder in my Ancestor Files file folder, I went back to the "Edit Person" screen in RootsMagic and added the image to Amos Underhill, added a caption, and tagged the 1836 Deed in the "Media Properties" screen:

6)  I also added a Web Tag to Amos Underhill and the Source citation, using the "Web Tag" button on the menu line.  here's the "Edit Web Tag" window:

I added the citation name, picked the specific citation, named the record, and copied the URL for the specific image on FamilySearch (I hope they don't change this!):

6)  All that's left to do now is to abstract or transcribe the two deed records into my Notes.  I will probably put the transcriptions into the Notes for the Person (on "Edit Person" window), although I could add it to the Note for the Deed Event (on "Edit Person" window with Event highlighted), and/or to the "Detail Text" field of the Source Citation (Source button > Edit > Detail Text).

As you can see, RootsMagic 6 offers a number of ways that a researcher can add meaningful information for a Person and Event(s), to the point that paper records are superfluous (as long as there is a digital image of them, and they are accessible to the researcher and his/her colleagues).

It would be interesting to see how other genealogy software programs perform all of these tasks.  I may try to do them in Legacy Family Tree 7.5 and in Family Tree Maker 2012 in future posts.

I'm still learning to do all of this in RootsMagic.  What steps did I miss or do poorly in the list above?  What else would you have done?

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver