Saturday, January 5, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Where Were They 100 Years ago?

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 1 January 1913 - 100 years ago.

2)  List them, their family members, their birth years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?

3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

Here's mine:

*  My grandparents Frederick W. Seaver (born 1876) and Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver  (born 1882) resided at 290 Central Street in Leominster, Massachusetts with their children:  Marion (born 1901), Evelyn (born 1903), Ruth (born 1907), and Frederick W (born 1911, my father).  I have recent pictures of this residence, which still stands in Leominster.

*  My great-grandparents Frank W. Seaver (born 1852) and Hattie (Hildreth) (born 1857) Seaver resided at 149 Lancaster Street in Leominster, Massachusetts with my great-great-grandmother Sophia (Newton) Hildreth (born 1834).  I have a 1910 picture of this house, plus recent photographs, which still stands in Leominster.

*  My great-grandparents Thomas Richmond (born 1848) and Juliett (White) Richmond (born 1848) resided in Putnam, Connecticut, perhaps at 6 Church Street (given on Juliett's death certificate in October 1913).  I don't have a picture of that residence.

*  My great-grandparents Henry Austin Carringer (born 1853) and Della (Smith) Carringer (born 1862) resided at 2105 30th Street in San Diego, California with their son, my grandfather Lyle L. Carringer (born 1891).  I have many pictures of this residence, which now stands at 2115 30th Street..

*  My great-grandparents Charles Auble (born 1849) and Georgianna (Kemp) Auble (born 1868) resided at 767 14th Street in San Diego, California with their daughter, my grandmother Emily Kemp Auble (born 1899).  I have one picture of this residence, which was demolished many years ago.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - WIGHT (England > Medfield, Mass.)

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 551: Mary WIGHT (1667-1705). [Note: the 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three American generations of this WIGHT 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 (1732-1762)
137.  Patience Hamant (1735-1780)

274.  Timothy Hamant (1699-1774)
275.  Hepzibah Clark (1699-1791)

550.  Joseph Clark, born 14 June 1664 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 13 July 1731 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1100. Joseph Clark and 1101. Mary Allen.  He married 08 April 1686 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
551.  Mary Wight, born 20 February 1666/67 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 16 December 1705 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of Joseph Clark and Mary Wight are:  Mary Clark (1687-1717); Mehitable Clark (1690-1765); Hannah Clark (1692-1773); Esther Clark (1695-1774); Joseph Clark (1697-1731); Hepzibah Clark (1699-1791); Thomas Clark (1703-1776).

1102.  Thomas Wight, born about 1629 in England; died 25 September 1690 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.   He married about 1661 in probably Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
1103.  Mehitabel Cheney, born 01 June 1643 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 1693 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2206. William Cheney and 2207. Margaret.

Children of Thomas Wight and Mehitabel Cheney are:  Mehitable Wight (1663-????); Thomas Wight (1665-????); Mary Wight (1667-1705); Eleazer Wight (1670-1747); Joshua Wight (1679-1762); 

2204.  Thomas Wight, born about 1607 in England; died 17 March 1673/74 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He married about 1627 in England.
2205.  Alice, born about 1608 in Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England; died 15 July 1665 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Thomas Wight and Alice are:  John Wight (1627-1653); Thomas Wight (1629-1690); Anne Wight (1634-????); Mary Wight (1638-1693); Samuel Wight (1640-1716); Ephraim Wight (1646-1723); Henry Wight (1646-1680).

Information about these Wight families came from:

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

William Ward Wight, A Record Of Thomas Wight Of Dedham And Medfield And Of His Descendants 1635-1890 (Milwaukee, Wis. : Swain & Tate, Printers, 1890).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, January 4, 2013

Family Tree Maker 2012 Workshop on Saturday, 5 January in Bonita CA

There will be a "Family Tree Maker 2012 Workshop" led by Randy Seaver, sponsored by the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, on Saturday, 5 January from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library(4375 Bonita Road) in the Community Room.   

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

The plan for the workshop is to:

1)  Provide an overview of Family Tree Maker 2012 menus and the Help function using my own database.

2)  Start a new family tree from the beginning.

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

4)  Demonstrate the items on the list below. 

**  Using the Help function 

** Using Tools > Options
** Workspaces (Plan, People, Places, Media, Sources, Publish, Web Search)

**  Importing a GEDCOM file
**  Exporting a GEDCOM file
** Syncing with an Ancestry Member Tree

**  Starting a New File
**  Adding persons to the Family Tree
**  Adding Facts to a Person
**  Adding Media to a Person
**  Adding Source Citations to Persons or Facts
**  Adding Notes to a Person

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

**  Creating Charts
** Creating Person and Relationship Reports
**  Creating Genealogy Reports
** Creating Place, Source and Media Reports
** Creating Books

5) Answer questions from the group. 

I'm sorry that the call for this workshop is so late - I was asked to do it one week ago and have been up to my ears in granddaughters ever since...

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Genealogy Searching Then and Now - Part 1: Then (pre-1999)

I talked genealogy research with my brother-in-law over the holidays.  He did quite a bit of genealogy research in the 1980-1985 time period and has done nothing since.  We searched for records on some of his ancestors over the holidays online and he was amazed at how much is available online and how fast results can be obtained.  Then I showed him RootsMagic and the genea-magic it could perform...

I thought that it would be interesting to compare "Then" (say pre-1999) and "Now" (2013):

1)  Genealogy Research "Then" (before 1999):

*  Libraries, archives, courthouses, vital record offices, family history centers, genealogical societies and historical societies held many linear feet of books, periodicals, and paper records, and only some of them had indexes.  Some records were on microfilm or microfiche at the repositories.  You had to visit these repositories, and it took awhile to browse through all of the paper on the shelf!  Researchers wrote letters to government record offices or repositories requesting information, especially certified copies of vital records.  Photocopy machines were used to obtain copies of records, or records were abstracted or transcribed.

*  After about 1980, the LDS Family History Centers had the Family History Library Catalog, 1790 to 1850 U.S. Census index, International Genealogical Index and Ancestral File on microfiche.  As CDROMs became available in the 1990s, family trees were published on CD, as were additional census indexes for 1860 to 1880, as were other resources.

*  The local FHCs had some microfiches and microfilms in their file drawers, and more could be ordered from Salt Lake City.  My local FHC had most of the available census records on microfilm at the center.  I usually had to order films of manuscripts, typescripts, state vital records, state census records, military records, immigration records, and much more.  The ordering process took two to three weeks, and you had to order the items at the FHC, pay the rental fee, and wait for the phone call that the items had come in, and then you had to go back to the FHC to review the item within two to four weeks.  There were usually microfilm and microfiche printers available.  I spent almost every Saturday between 1988 and 2002 at the local FHC.

*  Researchers collected paper - the photocopies and microfilm copies of book chapters and records - for each surname or locality, and created more paper - family group sheets, pedigree charts, research logs, to-do lists, etc. - to organize and plan their research.

*  Genealogy software became available in the 1980s with Personal Ancestral File, and then other programs were developed over time to automate the data entry process, to make charts and reports, etc.  By 1999, Family Tree Maker was the most popular software program, and was "improved" every year.

*  Researchers corresponded with other researchers found through the LDS Ancestral File, other LDS resources, or through genealogy periodical/magazine articles and queries.   They exchanged information by handwriting or typing information, and in some cases by photocopying their charts or copied records.  By the 1990s, personal computers were used to create reports and charts that could be sent via letter, or via email, to correspondents.

*  I'm sure I've missed some vital points here due to memory loss...

2)  How long did it take to obtain certain records before 1999?

*  Obtaining a census record before 1999 involved searching one or more microfilms one image at a time at the FHC, eventually finding the family of interest, and transcribing or abstracting the census information.  If I was lucky, there was an index to help me.  This often took one to six hours depending on how many microfilms I had to search.

*  Obtaining a Massachusetts vital record (between 1841 and 1895) before 1999 at the FHC involved ordering the Index film, finding the person in the index film with volume and page number, then ordering the correct volume with the record, and finding the record of interest, then transcribing,  abstracting or photocopying the information.  This task took at least six weeks to complete.

*  Obtaining a land record or probate record before 1999 at the FHC involved ordering the Index film, finding the probably entry(ies) in the Index film with volume(s) and page number(s), then ordering the correct volume(s) with the record(s), finding the record(s) of interest, then transcribing, abstracting or photocopying the information.  This task often took six to 15 weeks to complete, depending on how many microfilms had to be ordered to obtain complete land or probate record entries.  I ordered multiple microfilms (often 6 to 10) at a time to keep my projects going.

3)  I will post about "Now" in another blog post, since I have to take the grandgirls to meet their mother to go home today.  I may even get to work in the database this afternoon!

How did you do genealogy research back in the old days Before Computers (B.C.) and before 1999?  Tell us in your own blog post, or in a comment to this post.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ancestry's Wild Card Search is Still Broken For Me - Please Fix It!

I posted's Wild Card Search Is Broken - Please Fix It! back on 15 November 2012.  In that post, I demonstrated that, for some reason,'s global search was not working properly when using wild cards, at least for some names.  Michael John Neill had the same experience around the same time, and recently posted again about the problem.  I had an email from an employee who said they would look into it, but I've heard nothing back since then.

Since then, I've checked almost every day with my isa* sea* (Isaac Seaver, and other variants) using both Chrome (my preferred browser on my desktop using Windows 7) and Firefox (my preferred browser on my desktop using Windows XP), and nothing has changed.

I used other names today, and here are the results:

1)  Using First Name = "joh*":

That worked - over 488 million matches returned in less than ten seconds!

2)  Using First name = "joh*" and Last name = "smi":

That worked too!!  Over 2.8 million matches in less than 6 seconds!  Is the problem fixed?

3)  Using first name = "joh*" and Last name = "sea*":

That didn't work.  It took five seconds to tell me that there were too many matches.  Really?  How can it be more than 2.8 million matches for those search terms?

4)  Using First name = "joh*" and Last name = "seav*":

That worked, resulting in over 18,000 matches in less than two seconds.  So if I use 4 letters in the surname, the global wild card search appears to work.

5)  Using First name = "john" and Last name = "car*":

That didn't work, I don't know why!  Same problem as with "sea*".  So some three letter wild cards work, and some don't work.

6)  Using First name = "joh*" and Last name = "*ver":

That worked!  Why?  There must be many more matches for "*ver" than for "sea*".

7)  Using first name = "joh*" and Last name = "s*v*r":

That worked also.

Isn't this strange?  There is something in Ancestry's search algorithms (biorhythms?) that make the "Too many matches" screen come up for some global wild card searches and not on others.

8)  Note that I am using the "Summarized by category" results screen on the searches above.  When I change over to the "Sorted by relevance" results screen, go back to the Home page, and use First name = "joh*" and Last name = "sea*" I get this result:

That worked.  476,000 matches.  The search criteria are exactly the same as 3) above.  Why?  Does use different algorithms for "Sorted by relevance" and "Summarized by category" results?

9)  I have noted that wild card searches on specific databases always work (as long as I obey the wild card rules).

10)  It seems to me that this problem of three-letter wild cards occurs for some names and not for other names when the "Summarized by category" result screen is used.  Is it random?  If it was, it would not work for "smi*" some percentage of the time, and would work for "sea*" some percentage of the time. I got matches for "smi*" ten tries in a row, and did not get matches for "sea*" twenty tries in row.  So it doesn't seem random.

11)  Do you get the same results as I do with a First name = "joh* and Last name = "sea*"?  If so, which search results setting was used, and which browser and operating system are you using?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1870 U.S. Census Record for David 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 1870 United States Census record for my Auble great-great-grandparents and their family in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana:

The David Auble family entry:

The extracted information for the family, residing in the 4th Ward of Terre Haute, taken on 27 June 1870, is:

*   Daniel Auble -- age 53, male, white, a Boot & Shoe maker, real property worth $2500, personal property worth $200, born New Jersey, a male citizen over 21 years of age
*  Sarah G. Auble -- age 50, female, white, Keeping house, born New Jersey 
*  Mary F. Auble -- age 23, female, white, Teacher, born New Jersey, a male citizen over 21 years of age
*  Charles Auble -- age 21, male, white, Painter, born New Jersey, a male citizen over 21 years of age
*  Kate Auble -- age 17, female, white, at Home, born New Jersey, attended school in last year
*  Anna Auble -- age 10, female, white, at Home, born New Jersey, attended school in last year
*  Cora A. Auble - age 8, female, white, born New Jersey, attended school in last year.

The source citation for this census entry is:

1870 United States Federal Census, Vigo County, Indiana, population schedule, Terre Haute City Ward 4: Page 503, Dwelling #117, Family #118, Daniel Auble household; digital image, ( : accessed 29 October 2011), citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, Roll 366.

The errors I see in this enumeration include:

*  David Auble is listed as Daniel Auble.  Most other records I have say his name is David.  

*  Sarah Auble's age should be 52 years old, not 50 years old.

*  Mary Auble is listed with a tick mark in the "male citizen over 21 years of age" column.  That may have been crossed out later, since the page total doesn't seem to include her.

*  Charles Auble's age should be 20 (born in October 1849) rather than 21, which means he is not 21 years of age.

*  Kate Auble's age should be 18 rather than 17.

David Auble moved his family to Terre Haute, Indiana in the mid-1860s and resided there until his death in 1894.

Charles Auble's age in the 1870 census reflects his 1849 birth date, as did the 1880 census.  In the 1900 census (age 35), 1910 census (age 55), his 1898 marriage record (age 34) and his 1916 death record (age 61), he lied about his age.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top 25 Most Popular Posts on Genea-Musings in 2012

Like many other genea-bloggers, I'm curious about which posts on Genea-Musings are "popular" - and why they might be.I cannot see the statistics from Google Analytics any longer for some reason - it worked fine until 2012...and provided much more information than Google Blogger View Counts does now.  Oh well!

Here are the Top 25 Genea-Musings blog posts from 2012 that had the most page views in 2012 (from View Count statistics on Google Blogger Posts page, not Blogger Stats, which differ significantly from the View Count). 

1)  "The Chart Chick's Quick Insider's Guide to Salt Lake City" book is out! (23 January 2012, 2,815 hits).  I guess folks looking for Janet's book generates a lot of hits!

2)  My Fold3 Subscription was Discounted Because I have an Subscription (24 February 2012, 2,505 hits).  I can see how this would be a popular page!

3)  Neil Armstrong - Rest in Peace, Son of America (25 August 2012, 2,091 hits).  This drew hits from folks outside the genealogy community.

4) Will there be a Family Tree Maker 2013? (9 August 2012, 1,582 hits).  

5)  Amanuensis Monday - Will of Solomon Keyes (1631-1702) of Chelmsford, Mass. (24 September 2012, 1,544 hits).  I have no idea why this one Amanuensis Monday post got so many hits - perhaps the name?

7)  Winner of Second Genea-Musings Ancestry Membership Contest (30 October 2012, 1,278 hits).  Contests were good hitters.

11)  My Top 10 Genealogy Tools (5 October 2012, 1,068 hits).  

12)  Are You an Evidence-Based or a Conclusion-Based Genealogist? (20 February 2012, 1,026 hits).

13)  Win an iPad2 in the RootsMagic Treasure Hunt! (30 January 2012, 1,010 hits).  This contest used Genea-Musings for one of the clues.

14)  Comments on Acquisition by (25 April 2012, 998 hits).

15) Are You Prepared to Research Without the SSDI? (13 February 2012, 983 hits).

16)  WikiTree Launches G2G Q&A Feature (14 March 2012, 922 hits).  

17) Results from Autosomal DNA Tests - Post 1 (16 April 2012, 906 hits).

18) Ten Reasons Why I Use a Genealogy Software Program (12 March 2012, 883 hits).

19) NARA Responses to 1940 Census Comments (30 March 2012, 861 hits).

20) Pennsylvania Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 on (26 January 2012, 796 hits).

21) New Family Tree Maker 2012 Update (21 September 2012, 793 hits).

22) How the World Views Genealogists... (17 February 2012, 779 hits).

23) Citing an Unsuccessful Search (29 June 2012, 757 hits).

24) Trying to be an Evidenced-Based Researcher- Does This Work? (28 February 2012, 747 hits).

25) Samples of Essential Reports for Genealogists (28 May 2012, 743 hits).

Interestingly, the #1 Page View post during 2012 was for:

Merry Christmas to All! (25 December 2011, 14,941 hits on Blogger Stats).  This must have shown up near the top of a Google Search page, perhaps on the Images page.

Note that that post was written in 2011, not 2012.  There may have been other posts from 2011 and earlier that had more hits in 2012 than the list above, but probably not many.

Of course, all of my blog posts are viewed by many more readers than those that go to the web page for the post - those who read them on the Genea-Musings home page, those that read them in an RSS reader, or on a mobile device, and those that receive them via email.

Another measure of popularity or readership might be in the number of comments generated by each post.  I don't think that is a reliable measure of popularity because of the proliferation of RSS reader usage, email usage, and mobile device usage, each of which require one or more click throughs to get to the comment box.

It certainly seems like readers search for pop culture topics or for genealogy software topics and find my blog posts.

Previous "most popular" posts on Genea-Musings are:

*  2011: Top 25 Posts in 2011 on Genea-Musings
*  2010:  Genea-Musings Top 20 Hits for 2010
* 2009: Genea-Musings Statistics for 2009 - Post 2
* 2008: 
Genea-Musings top posts - by page views

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

GenSoftReviews Announces the Top Genealogy Software Awards for 2012

Louis Kessler sent this press release today:, is where users go to rate and review their genealogy software. The site has more than the 700 programs listed, and users have contributed almost 1,500 ratings and reviews.

January 1, 2013

The 4th annual Users Choice Awards have been tabulated at the GenSoftReviews website, and 19 programs have been awarded the "Top Rated Genealogy Software" designation for 2012. To qualify for the award, a program must have achieved a user-assigned average score of at least 4.00 out of 5, based on a minimum of 10 total ratings with at least 1 rating or review in 2012.

The programs winning a "Top Rated Genealogy Software" designation include:

Ancestral Quest - 4.94 out of 5
Ahnenblatt - 4.83 out of 5
Family Historian - 4.82 out of 5
Personal Ancestral File - 4.80 out of 5
XY Family Tree - 4.70 out of 5

The Next Generation - 4.67 out of 5
GenSmarts - 4.62 out of 5
Clooz - 4.49 out of 5
iFamily for Leopard - 4.47 out of 5
Brother's Keeper - 4.46 out of 5

Family Tree Maker - Up to Version 16 - 4.36 out of 5
Heredis for iOS - 4.33 out of 5
Heredis for Mac - 4.33 out of 5
Reunion - 4.19 out of 5
My Great Big Family - 4.18 out of 5

RootsMagic - 4.18 out of 5
Genbox Family History - 4.18 out of 5
Legacy - 4.17 out of 5
Family Echo - 4.09 out of 5

Congratulations go to all the 2012 winners. They have developed programs that their users rate highly.

For more information and a complete listing of current and past winners, see the Users Choice Awards page.

About Louis Kessler:

Louis Kessler has been a genealogist and a programmer for over 35 years. He developed and maintains the GenSoftReviews site. He is also the author of his own genealogy program known as Behold that can be found at

The URL of this post is:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Genealogy Database Statistics Update - 1 January 2013

I last updated my Genea-Musings readers on the "numbers" in my genealogy database in Genealogy Database Statistics Update - July 2012 . I was curious to see how much progress I had made in the last six months.

Here are the "numbers" from 8 July 2012 in my RootsMagic database:

* 41,313 persons 
* 16,442 families 
* 112,948 events 
* 5,477 places  
* 780 sources 
* 28,890 citations 

*  140 Multi-media Items

Here are the "numbers" as of 1 January 2013 in my RootsMagic database (with increases from 8 July 2012):

* 41,498 persons (+185)
* 16,539 families  (+97)
* 117,599 events  (+4,651)
* 6,030 places  (+553)
* 832 sources (+52)
* 35,222 citations (+6,332)

*  371 Multi-media Items (+ 231)

*  1,199 Multimedia links

In the past six months, I've averaged adding 27 events and 36 source citations a day.  I've been trying to work at least an hour in the evening (since baseball season ended).  Consequently, I've  managed to improve my citations/person from 69.93% to 84.87%, and my Citations/Events from 25.58% to 29.95%.  Obviously, I don't have a citation for every event, and in some cases I have more than one citation for an event.  At that rate, to reach 100% in citations/events will take about six more years!  

I have added persons to my database, mainly in my son-in-law's Lincoln and Lowell lines.  I have deleted many persons in peripheral lines for whom I have no data - most of them living persons gleaned from GEDCOMs received from distant cousins long ago. I have also corrected some relationship errors found while working on the database.  The additions are the result of systematically "mining" online databases (notably Find-a-Grave, the Social Security Death Index, new Ancestry and FamilySearch databases, etc.) and intentionally finding additional information (dates, places) for persons in the database in the U.S. census records and American Ancestors database.

I still have my pile of "information to be entered" for entry to the database, and have made some progress on reducing that pile in the past six months, but there is lots more to add in terms of events and source citations.  

I updated my Ancestry Member Tree on in August 2012 with the latest tree information, and will update it again in the near future.  I do not attach "shaky leaf Hints" to that Ancestry Member Tree because I know that it will be replaced eventually.  I do attach selected records to my RootsMagic database manually and those will upload to a new Ancestry Member Tree.  

My conclusion is:  I'm still actively improving my database in both quantity and quality, but still have a long way to go to have a "fully sourced and accurate" family tree.  It's better than it was, and can still be improved.  It is a lifelong task, I think!  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

SDGS Seminar on 12 January 2013 Features David Rencher

I received this reminder today 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 by 6 January 2013.

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. 

The URL for this post is:

Genealogy Industry Benchmark Numbers for 1 January 2013

I'm still a "numbers guy" and like to try to keep track of various numbers in the genealogy world. So this is a list of genealogy numbers as of 1 January 2013 (see last year's numbers at 1 January 2012 Benchmark Numbers):

1) ($$)

*  about 2.0 million paying subscribers (2012: about 1.7 million)
* 31,322 Databases in the Card Catalog (2012: 30,482; 2011: 30,006)
*  29 million family trees with over 3 billion profiles (2012: 29 million trees, over 3 billion profiles)
* 2,147,483,647 persons in Public Member Trees (2012: 1,838,295,985; 2011: 
* 619,560,089 persons in Private Member Trees (2012: 448,817,254; 2011: 308,674,051)

2) (free)

* 1,413 Historical Record Collections online (2012: 1000; 2011: 519)
* 70,171 Research Wiki articles (2012: 65,815; 2011: 46,002)
* 432 Research Courses (by level) (2012: 252; 2011: 109)
* 91 Community Trees (2012: 67; 2011: 64)

3) ($$)

*   150 sets of original documents (counted) (2012: 218; 2011: 509)
*   101,795,063 images online (2012: 85,413,046; 2011: 71,731,610)
*  99,000,000+ Memorial Pages (2012: 100,036,579)

4) ($$)

*  22,336 collections (2012: 28,700)
*  more than 4.2 billion names (2012: 4.2 billion)
* over 158 million record images (2012: 158 million)
*  over 100 million newspaper pages (2012: 100 million)

5) ($$)

* 321  databases (2012: 268; 2011: 140)
* over 2.5 billion  records (2012: over 1.5 billion; 2011: 1,158,738,805)

6) ($$)

* over 6,400 newspapers (2012: 5,800; 2011: 4,600)
* over 1.365 billion records (2012: over 1 billion; 2011: 700 million)

7) (free)

* 698,798,164 persons in WorldConnect family trees (2012:L 667,438,708; 2011: 630,984,813 )
* 437,989 WorldConnect databases (2012: 434,729; 2011: 430,030)
* 282,193,587  records in FreeBMD database (2012: 266,785,174; 2011: 195,536,463)

8) ($$)

* almost 3,000 databases

9) ($$)

*   over 72 million Members (2012: 61,626,012)
*  27 million Family Trees (2012: 20,920,031; 2011: 16,306,687)
*   1.5 billion individuals in family trees (2012: 906,702,547; 2011: 645,780,280)

10) ($$)

*  almost 60 million users (2012: almost 60 million)
* over 100 million profiles in family trees (2012: over 100 million)
*  over 65 million profiles in Geni's World Family Tree (2012: 60,629,166)

11) wiki (free)

* over 2.3 million  persons in family tree (2012: over 2 million)

12) wiki (free)

*  57,000 WikiTreers (2012: 43,000)
*  4.2 million profiles (2012: 2.9 million)

13)  ($$)

* about 750 million family history records (2012: about 750 million)

*  about 640 UK/Ireland/Australasia databases
*  24 U.S.A. databases

14) (free)

* 325,819 genealogy links (2012: 309,467; 2011: 291,330)


*  10,049,723 genealogy links (2012: 9,948,990; 2011: 9,239,987)

16) (free):

*  over 91 million grave records (2012: over 73 million)

17) (free):

*  5,206,652 newspaper pages available (2012: 4,540,417)

I obtained those numbers from publicly available information on the websites.  Several sites have not updated their numbers, or have hidden the numbers.

There are many free and subscription websites that do not publish easily findable numbers.

What other websites and what other numbers should I be benchmarking? Are some of the numbers wrong? Please tell me in Comments and I will edit the list above!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver 

Happy New Year!!

I want to wish all of my readers a very Happy New Year in 2013. 

May 2013 bring you happiness, good health, many friends, lots of love and more time to pursue your genealogy addiction passion.

May you complete all of your genealogy and family history goals and objectives (you do have them, don't you?) and may extra genea-blessings be provided to you! Have fun!!!

Stay tuned to Genea-Musings for more genealogy fireworks in 2013!!!

I see I have a new reader:

Hey, I'm his cousin!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Monday, December 31, 2012

"Best" Genea-Musings Posts of 2012

I wrote 970 posts during 2012, and it is a challenge to pick out the ten or twenty best from the list.  I'm going to ignore the daily meme posts of Amanuensis Monday, Tuesday's Tip, Wordless Wednesday, Treasure Chest Thursday, Follow Up Friday, Surname Saturday, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, and Best of the Genea-Blogs, and try to pick them based on my subjective criteria of relevance to my research, and to the genealogy industry.

My nominations for the Best Genea-Musings Posts of 2012 are (in posting date order)

*  Do you Believe the FamilySearch Vision of the Future? (9 February 2012)

*  Answers to Questions from (10 February 2012)

*  My Software Wish List - A Historical Place Name Jurisdiction Catalog (HPJNC) (14 February 2012)

*  Events, Assertions, Evidence, Facts, Sources, Analysis, Conclusions, Software, Oh My! (20 February 2012)

*  Are You an Evidence-Based or a Conclusion-Based Genealogist? (20 February 2012)

*  Puzzling Over the Evidence-Conclusion Process (1 March 2012) and Follow-Up Friday - Reader Comments on Evidence and Conclusions (2 March 2012)

*  Lesson Learned: Don't Trust Online Family Trees (24 April 2012)

*  Dear Randy - Can You Describe Your Genealogy Workflow? (25 April 2012)

*  How Accurate are the Ancestry "Shaky Leaf" Hints? (7 May 2012)

*  Legacy Cruise Vacation Compendium (23 May 2012)

*  Are We Strangers in Genealogy Land? (5 June 2012)

*  Which Site Provides "Best" Census Source Citations? (19 June 2012)

*  My So-Called "Career" in Genealogy - Genealogy Evangelist (11 July 2012)

*  TANSTAAFL - 2012 Update (12 July 2012)

*  How Do I Make Money in Genealogy? (13 July 2012)

*  The best laid plans of mice and men .. I love it! (23 July 2012)

*  The Value of a One-Name Study (7 August 2012)

*  A Genealogy Butterfly Type of Day (13 September 2012)

*  My Top 10 Genealogy Tools (5 October 2012)

*  My Ancestor Family File Folders and File Naming Convention (22 October 2012)

*  Crowd-Sourcing Cousin Edith (5 November 2012)

*  How Can We Communicate "The Right Way?" (26 November 2012)

*  We All Want Seamless Genealogy Data Transfers (7 December 2012)

*  How Can I Obtain Massachusetts Probate Records? (17 December 2012)

That's the list!  Did you miss any of them?  If so, go read them and make a comment if you want.

Which one is your absolute favorite?

If you have a genea-blog, what were your best genealogy blog posts for 2012? 

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver