Saturday, March 23, 2013

RootsTech 2013 New Product Alert - ReelGenie

In the RootsTech 2013 Expo Hall, the ReelGenie booth was directly across from the Media Hub.

The ReelGenie founder and CEO is David Adelman, on the left in the picture above, with Elisha Milner in the middle and Carlton Anderson on the right.

ReelGenie can be described as:

"ReelGenie helps people create and share family videos online. Users select a storyline for their movie, and ReelGenie guides them through the process of uploading photos, videos, and historical documents; recording voiceovers; and adding music to generate an online movie that can be shared with family and friends. Geared toward the creation of personal history movies for birthdays, memorials, anniversaries, and reunions, the service is the first of its kind. It improves upon slideshows and photo books by guiding users to tell a compelling story while incorporating a variety of rich content."

The online service will cost $9.95 per month, or $19.95 per movie.  Having seen what my brother-in-law's daughter went through to create a similar movie with other applications - it took weeks to create and publish - this ReelGenie application looks to be less costly, faster and easier to use.  All of that is win-win for those of us that want to create movies about our families.

The website is, but it doesn't have any content on it at this time - only a registration box.

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Copyright (c) 2103, Randall J. Seaver

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - How Many Surnames?

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

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

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!): 

1)  Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2)  Tell us which GMP you're using and how you did this task.

3)  Tell us how many surnames are in your database and, if possible, which Surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!  Or 10!

4)  Write about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a status or comment on Facebook, or in Google Plus Stream post.

NOTE:  If you can't figure out how to do this in your GMP (Genealogy Management Program), use the Help button and search for "count persons" then follow directions.  

Here's mine:

I'm going to use RootsMagic 6 because that's where I'm doing my current additions, deletions and editing and is my most up-to-date collection.  In RootsMagic 6, go to Reports, then Lists and scroll down to "Surname Statistics List."  I then chose "Frequency of Surnames" from the list presented.

That took about 20 seconds and I have a 150 page list!  I didn't count every one of them - there are 149 pages with 39 names per page, plus the last page has 13.  That's a grand total of 5,824 surnames in my database with 41,533 persons.  The top 10 are, with birth date ranges:

*  SEAVER - 4,360 persons, from 1608 to 2011
*  BUCK - 680 persons, from 1585 to 1965
*  SMITH - 644 persons, from 1526 to 2005*  FITZ RANDOLPH - 483 persons, from 1565 to 1884
* VAUX - 465 persons, from 1620 to 2006

*  DILL - 421 persons, from 1645 to 1993
*  RICHMAN - 320 persons, from 1622 to 1985
*  NEWTON - 317 persons, from 1690 to 1997
*  CHAMPLIN - 302 persons, from 1618 to 1903
*  CULVER - 270 persons from 1650 to 1981

I have 141 Mary's without a surname, and 127 Elizabeth's without a surname, and 307 persons without any name at all (there's a blank line for this one!).

Of course, if I added up all the persons without a surname, my LNU's are probably the biggest group on the list. 

I didn't see a way to get a count on first names - can anyone figure this out in RootsMagic 6, or in another program?  

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

RootsTech Day 3 Keynotes - David Pogue and MyHeritage

Time sure flies - it's the last day of the RootsTech 2013 Conference and we were treated to two stirring presentations today by the Keynote speakers.  If you didn't watch it live, on streaming video, you can catch it on the video a little later today.

1)  David Pogue is a technology columnist for the New York Times, creator of the Missing Manual book series, and a PBS NOVA host.  He treated the audience to 30 minutes of non-stop technology comedy...with some Tom Lehrer-type piano comedy bits about technology at the end.  There wasn't any genealogy content here, but some of the technology content was mind boggling, and the comedy was great.  Watch it if you can.

I figure that @Pogue will receive thousands of new followers on Twitter.  I followed him.

2)  The second Keynote was supposed to be Gilad Japhet of MyHeritage, but his father died and he flew back to Israel.  The MyHeritage Marketing director Oeri Soen introduced MyHeritage to the audience, then introduced geneablogger James Tanner (Genealogy's Star) who discussed the new technology that will be available at MyHeritage.  James noted that "sufficiently advanced technology s indistinguishable from magic" and thinks that the MyHeritage technology is approaching that level.  Here are the highlights from his talk:

* Users will be able to save record matches to their tree - hopefully, this will be retroactive so that the matches previously confirmed will be attached.

* Recommended records combines smart matches with record matches - if I attach a record match to a person in my tree, and another user has that same person (Smart Match), then the other person will be able to attach the same record.

* Geni (now owned by MyHeritage) will have record matching and searching for their users.

* MyHeritage (and their WorldVitalRecords site) will soon have all of the 1790-1940 US census records and images online and searchable.  The Record Match service will work with these records to provide users with census records.  This is a really BIG deal for MyHeritage - it adds millions of images and hundreds of millions of indexed names to their database collection.

*  MyHeritage gave away 500 free 6-month PremiumPlus and Data subscription passes with a unique user code.  The voucher expires on 7 April 2013.

Geneablogger James Tanner did a great job presenting the technical parts of the MyHeritage presentation with one day notice.  If you want to learn more about MyHeritage, please watch the video presentation at or visit their website at

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - TREAT (England > New England)

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 573: Elizabeth TREAT (1676-1755). [Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].  [Note:  LNU = Last Name Unknown...]

My ancestral line back through two American generations of this TREAT family line 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)

70.  Thomas Dill (1755-1830)
71.  Hannah Horton (1761-1797)

142.  Nathaniel Horton (1721-1775)
143.  Eunice Snow (1722-????)

286.  Jabez Snow (1696-1760)
287.  Elizabeth Paine (1702-1772)

572.  Jabez Snow, born 06 September 1670 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; died 14 October 1750 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1144. Jabez Snow and 1145. Elizabeth Smith.  He married 1695 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.

573.  Elizabeth Treat, born 24 July 1676 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; died 03 March 1755 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of Jabez Snow and Elizabeth Treat are:  Jabez Snow (1696-1760); Joshua Snow (1700-????); Elizabeth Snow (1702-1759); Sylvanus Snow (1705-1772); Tabitha Snow (1707-1743); Samuel Snow (1709-1784); Edward Snow (1711-????); Phebe Snow (1713-1743).

1146.  Samuel Treat, born 03 September 1648 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States; died 18 March 1716/17 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.   He married  16 March 1673/74 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.
1147.  Elizabeth Mayo, born 22 May 1653 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; died 04 December 1696 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2294. Samuel Mayo and 2295. Thomasine Lumpkin.

Children of Samuel Treat and Elizabeth Mayo are:  Jane Treat (1675-1729); Elizabeth Treat (1676-1755); Sarah Treat (1678-1728); Samuel Treat (1680-1733); Mary Treat (1682-1723); Robert Treat (1683-1701); Abigail Treat (1686-????); Joseph Treat (1690-1756); Joshua Treat (1692-1753); John Treat (1693-1762); Nathaniel Treat (1694-1735).

2292.  Robert Treat, born before 25 February 1624/25 in Trendale, Pitminster, Somerset, England; died 12 July 1710 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.  He was the son of 4584. Richard Treat and 4585. Alice Gaylord.  He married 25 December 1647 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.
2293.  Jane Tapp, born before 14 February 1627/28 in Bennington, Hertfordshire, England; died 08 April 1703 in Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.  She was the daughter of 4586. Edmund Tapp and 4587. Anne.

Children of Robert Treat and Jane Tapp are:  Ann Treat (1645-1647); Jane Treat (1647-1647); Samuel Treat (1648-1717); John Treat (1650-1714); Mary Treat (1652-1704); Robert Treat (1654-1720); Sarah Treat (1656-????); Abigail Treat (1660-1727); Hannah Treat (1661-1706); Joseph Treat (1662-1721); Jane Treat (1664-1710); Anna Treat (1666-1700).

Information about these Treat families was obtained from:

*  Lonnie Chrisman, "Notes of Chrisman Pedigree," web page (, 2007.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, March 22, 2013

RootsMagic 6 Certified to Work with FamilySearch Family Tree

I just had a conversation with Bruce Buzbee, the RootsMagician, about the RootsMagic capability to interface with the FamilySearch Family Tree.  [Note:  RootsMagic 5 and 6 were able to share data with the new.FamilySearch tree.]

Bruce said that RootsMagic 6 is now CERTIFIED to share data with the FamilySearch Family Tree.  The API that enables this is now in "Pilot" mode meaning it shouldn't "break" but there still some aspects of sharing with the FSFT that are not included - including sources, notes, and discussions.

Users can download the RootsMagic Family Tree Beta at  When the API from FamilySearch is completed, RootsMagic will update the software.

This is good news for RootsMagic users who have been holding off adding content to new.FamilySearch during the switchover from new.FamilySearch to the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Thanks to Bruce and his team for adding this capability.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

RootsTech New Product Alert - Treelines

The winner of the RootsTech 2013 Developer Challenge is Tammy Hepps, who has developed a browser-based application called Treelines (

Tammy was about to be interviewed in this photo taken by the TreeLines booth:

The promotional material for Treelines says:

" is more than a storytelling platform -- it's a whole new approach to writing and sharing your family's history."

On the site, you can link to your existing family tree or build one as you write.  In Treelines, you can write a story about a person, or groups of people, upload your favorite family photographs and records, design your story pages, and tag the people, places, dates and sources on the page.  A story playback is accompanied by an animated Treelines graphic, which tracks names, dates and relationships in a timeline format.

This looks like a really useful program for telling stories and linking them to persons, especially if they find a way to work within a genealogy software program or an online family tree (like, say, FamilySearch Family Tree).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

RootsTech Day 2 - Morning Keynotes

There were two keynote speakers at RootsTech 2013 this morning, and I hope that you saw both of them on the Livestreaming. If you didn't here are the highlights:

1)  Jyl Pattee - the MomItForward blogger/story expert gave an energizing talk on WOW moments - saying that "Life is measured by the moments that take your breath away, rather than the breaths you take."

She had a recipe for creating WOW moments, and showed pictures and videos to demonstrate them:

*  Create the WOW - set a goal, and do it.  Her example was visiting all 50 states and she had photos from all of them.
*  Capture the WOW - use audio, video, photos, words - whatever you can use to record a family story.  Her example was her audio interview with her grandmother with photos in the background.
*  Archive the WOW - save it.  Her example was using blog-to-book services, or Instagram-to-book services.
*  Share the WOW - with your family, friends, on social media, etc.  Blogs, books, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Jyl noted that it's never too late to create WOW moments.  She and her cousins had her grandmother's banana cookie recipe (they grew up loving them!) and spent a morning baking, and made a video of it.  Looked yummy!

2)  Tim Sullivan, the CEO of, was the second Keynoter.  He noted that it is a challenge for Ancestry to create content that helps beginners and experts alike.  Collaboration is the key.  One example was Crista Cowan, a professional who works at Ancestry, was contacted by someone who had a common ancestor with Crista, and thought that Crista's information in her tree was incorrect.  And it was...and Crista learned about the value of collaboration.

Tim provided two examples of how Ancestry fosters collaboration - the shaky leaf that leads to a record, tree, photo or story; the interaction between subscribers who share information via messages.

Ancestry has 45 million trees online, with over 4 billion people in them.  Tim noted that they are not all 100% accurate!!  Who knew?  But they are still valuable as sources for discovery.  Subscribers have attached 174 million photos and attached 2 billion records to the Member trees. has over 2.7 million subscribers across all of their sites (Ancestry, Fold3, Archives, Newspapers, Genealogy, etc.).  They have two major goals - to digitize and index new content, and to make the website as user friendly as possible.  Tim noted that they have 1,200 employees, with over 200 of them with more than 5 years at; and about 400 employees have joined in the past year.

Tim made several announcements:

*  There will be an updated iOS application with additional features
*  One third of new registrants come from the mobile applications, and indicate younger generations are interested in family history.
*  The AncestryDNA service has 120,000 persons now, and there have been 2 million 4th generation connections made.
*  The AncestryDNA autosomal test will cost $99 for subscribers and non-subscribers alike.
*  Ancestry has committed to spending $100 million over the next five years on acquiring, digitizing and indexing new record collections.
*  Ancestry will collaborate with FamilySearch to digitize and index 140 million pages of U.S. probate records (early to 1930) in a three year project.

Stay tuned for more news from RootsTech 2013.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Review: Legacy QuickGuide on Finding Your Female Ancestors

Legacy Family Tree has commissioned a series of four-page booklets on various aspects of genealogical research.  Each laminated guide contains four pages of valuable information covering a variety of genealogy research topics. Legacy QuickGuides are written by genealogists and family historians who are experts in the subject areas.  These QuickGuides are oriented towards the online researcher - there are several pages of website links on selected subjects for the specific topic covered by the QuickGuide.

You can see the list of available Legacy QuickGuides at  They are available as laminated four-page folders ($7.95 each) or as downloadable PDF files ($2.95 each).

The Legacy QuickGuide for Finding Your Female Ancestors written by Lisa Alzo.

The Introduction to this QuickGuide says:

"Most historical records have been created for and about men, making it more challenging to research and write about female ancestors. The Finding Your Female Ancestors Legacy QuickGuide™ contains useful information including best places to find maiden names, locate women’s history resources, and other key strategies for tracing your maternal lines. This handy 4-sided laminated guide easily slips into a backpack or laptop bag for those genealogy research trips."

The subjects included in the Finding Your Female Ancestors QuickGuide are:

*  Selected Key Dates
*  How to Get Started
*  Strategy
*  Tips and Tricks

*  Best Places to Find Maiden Names
*  Toolkit

*  Archives, Libraries and Repositories
*  Organizations
*  General Research Resources

*  Terminology
*  Further Reading

This QuickGuide has two pages of explanation on what to look for and how to do it, and two pages of website titles with links to the websites.  In some cases, there are shortened URLs for websites with long eddresses.

This Legacy QuickGuide is very useful for beginners and seasoned researchers alike.  The information about places to find maiden names, tips and tricks, terminology, and the toolkit are very helpful, and the links to online resources will be useful.

The laminated version of this QuickGuide is very handy for researchers going to repositories or society meetings - it is light and easy to carry in a briefcase or computer case.  I much prefer the PDF version because I can save it to my computer (and laptop, tablet, and smart phone using Dropbox or another cloud service) and have it available in digital format for instantaneous usage by clicking the links provided rather than typing the links into my web browser.

Order your copy of the  
Finding Your Female Ancestors QuickGuide (PDF or printed laminated folder) at the Legacy Family Tree Store.

Disclosure:  I was provided a complimentary copy of the PDF version of this Legacy QuickGuide on the condition that I provide a timely review of each QuickGuide provided.  Look for more in the near future!

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, March 21, 2013

RootsTech New Product Alert - Legacy Mobile

I was wandering along the Expo Hall aisle, and stopped at the Billion Graves display, and they had a second mobile App in their display called Legacy Mobile.  I don't have a website to refer you to, or an image to show you right now.  I do have a flier.

Here is part of what the flier says:

"Legacy Mobile is the new App that allows you to take your technology with you wherever you go.  Your family tree just became mobile -- with the Legacy Mobile."


"Lehacy Moble syncs with your family tree data on 'FamilySearch Family Tree' and soon with other providers as well."


"Legacy Mobile allows you to create and/or edit your family tree on your mobile device."


"Legacy Mobile lets you add pictures to your family tree from your mobile device."

The Legacy Mobile app will be available soon for download, with an anticipated release in April 2013.  It is "Tree Access Certified" with FamilySearch.  They told me that the App would be free to download on iOS and Android mobile devices.

My comments:  This will be really big news for those with information on the FamilySearch Family Tree.  Being able to add, edit, delete and merge information on the FSFT will be important.  I immediately asked "will we be able to search FamilySearch record collections from the App and add links and sources to persons in the FamilySearch Family Tree?"  That's the logical "next step" after they get the basic App functioning.  The answer I got was that they would mention it to the developers.

This is another example of a nimble, entrepreneurial company creating something useful to add to FamilySearch's capabilities.  This type of App will fit very well with the FamilySearch emphasis on Photos and Stories to draw young people to genealogy and family history.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

RootsTech - Day 1, Part 1

Thursday morning dawned with snow flurries and a quick walk to the Salt Palace Convention Center (I'm so glad we're in the Radisson, right next door!) for the opening day at RootsTech 2013 Conference.

The morning started with a 7:30 a.m. geneabloggers walk through the empty Expo Hall...and then we joined the other 4,000 people in the Hall 1 where the Keynote would be presented.  I managed to get a third row seat right in front of the stage... here are some shots from this vantage:

Dennis Brimhall's message was about what's coming to FamilySearch - Stories and Photos, in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Then Syd Liberman came onstage and told stories for 30 minutes - weaving family with history, and encouraging us to tell our stories to our family and to the world.

D. Joshua Taylor was the third Keynote speaker and he discussed genealogy, technology and young people, noting that it's a connected world and that stories will win them over when documents won't.

I made a run to the Media Hub where all the official geneabloggers hang out and all of the famous people come to be interviewed, on video or audio, by other famous people.  I don't do that.  DearMYRTLE did a short Hangout around the table and then interviewed Dennis Brimhall right at the table.

I wandered around the Expo Hall a bit, meeting people, asking questions and checking out exhibits.  At about 11:15 a.m., I realized that the Future of genealogy panel was in session, so I tuned in on and watched it while also reading blogs and filling out my RootsMagic Treasure Hunt card.  Then I beat the crowd to the lunch area.

The Expo Hall is really busy at this conference, even though the hall is 40% larger than last year.  There are quite a few small companies with a Story, Photo and Video theme.

I picked a place in the Media Hub where I could talk to folks across the fence, so to speak.  I'm still amazed by people that stop to say hello that read this blog - I appreciate all of them!  I've also connected with three geneabloggers who I do not have on my Reader, so I've added them.  I'll try to take more pictures of what's happening here, but I struggle to find time to write about everything here.

Other geneabloggers that seem to be able to blog on the run include:

*  James Tanner's Genealogy's Star.

*  Jill Ball's Geniaus blog.

*  Banai Feldstein's Ginger Jewish Genealogist blog.

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1870 U.S. Census Record for Ranslow Smith 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 Smith 3rd great-grandparents  in Benton township, Taylor County, Iowa:

The Ronslo Smith entry is:

The extracted information for the family, with an enumeration date of 9 August 1870, is:

*  Ronslo Smith - age 65, male, white, a farmer, real estate worth $700, born New York, a male citizen of the U.S. over age 21
*  Julia M. Smith - age 47, female, white, keeping house, real estate worth $3000, born New York
*  Edwin Johnston - age 19, male, white, at home, real estate worth $950, born Pennsylvania, attended school within the last year.

Note that the enumeration for Ronslo Smith's family is three dwellings below the enumeration for his son's family (Devier Smith) in Benton Township.

The source citation for this census record is:

1870 United States Federal Census, Taylor County, Iowa, Population Schedule, Benton township: Page 13, dwelling #210, family #210, Ronslo Smith household; digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Series M593, Roll 421.

The only obvious error I see in this enumeration is in Ranslow Smith's first name - it is "Ronslo" in this record, and that may be a clue as to how he pronounced the name. 

Ranslow's first wife, Mary (Bell) Smith, died in 1865 in Wisconsin, and it is apparent that he married a second wife, Julia (--?--) Johnston before 1870 (I don't have a source for the marriage in Bedford, Iowa on 8 October 1868).  Julia's son, Edwin, is residing with Julia and her new husband.    Both Julia and Edwin own some real property somewhere, perhaps it is in Taylor County, Iowa.  

I know that Ranslow Smith moved to Andrew County, Missouri before his death in 1875, but I don't know what happened to Julia and Edwin. Ranslow Smith's will, written in 1866 in Wisconsin, does not mention his wife, Julia, and the probate records in Andrew County, Missouri don't mention her either.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 1 in Salt Lake City - At the FHL

You've probably been wondering if I've been kidnapped by rogue geneabloggers, or got locked into the Family History Library overnight, or worse.

Linda and I arrived on Tuesday evening - we flew from San Diego to Las Vegas and then on to Salt Lake City.  We arrived after 6 p.m. and were in the hotel by 7 p.m.  We quickly adjourned to the restaurant, and joined Schelly Dardashti (from New Mexico), and Heather and Vincent Rojo (from New Hampshire) for dinner at the hotel restaurant.  Daniel Horowitz joined us after awhile, and then it was off to the hotel bar where two groups of genies were discussing the events of the day.  I sat with Thomas MacEntee's group - Sheri Fenley, Jane Halderman, Amy Coffin, Kim Cotton, Lisa Alzo, Jill and Robert Ball.  There were lots of good's fun being with my geneablogging colleagues.  Here's Sheri and Thomas surprised by the snap:

Today, I made it to the Family History Library with my 60-odd item to-do list.  I think I completed about 10 items...and some of those were failures.  It always takes longer to find the information on a specific film, then go make an image copy of the record on the microfilm reader/computer system than I think it should.  A 15 minute task turns into 30 minutes, I can't find the record I want because I don't know a specific page number (a 20-year old overlook!).  I did manage to get about ten English parish register images for my Richman and Vaux families, which was my primary goal today.  I also was able to find the John Horton book written by Margaret Weiler and copy some pages from the book.  Then I struck out finding a will for David Auble in Vigo County, Indiana...he may have died intestate - that's another microfilm lookup to be made.

I knid of like this photo - the "light at the end of the tunnel" of FHL microfilms is the computer with FamilySearch record collections on it.

The Library was pretty full today because of the RootsTech conferees.  I am always surprised how many people there are on the computer systems, with the free access to many of the world's commercial genealogy databases.

I was able to meet some new people - Kelvin Meyers and Michael Hait for instance, and renew acquaintances with many others at the library.  It was fun to talk to Russ Worthington, Harold Henderson, Jan Davenport, David I can't remember all of them.

Tonight is the Blogger dinner hosted by FamilySearch, so I may or may not have a report for you later tonight.

Tomorrow is the first day of the RootsTech 2013 Conference, and it starts for me at 7:30 a.m. with an exhibit hall tour, followed by the Keynote talks (some of the geneabloggers are in the front row).

The Keynote talks, and a number of other talks, will be livestreamed on the RootsTech website - see  The schedule for Thursday is (times are PDT, add 3 for EST, add 7 for GMT):

7:30 AMKeynote – Dennis Brimhall, Syd Lieberman, Josh Taylor
10:00 AMThe Future of Genealogy - Thomas MacEntee and panel
12:45 PMTell it Again (Story@Home) - Kim Weitkamp
2:00 PMThe Genealogists Gadget Bag - Jill Ball and panel
3:15 PMFinding the Obscure and Elusive: Geographic Information on the Web - James Tanner

This livestreaming is an excellent way to virtually attend this conference - be sure to tune in and enjoy a day of genealogy education.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 248: Brothers Ed and Fred in 1981

I'm posting family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they aren't Wordless Wednesday posts like others do - I simply am incapable of having a wordless post.

Here is a photograph from the Seaver/Carringer family photograph collection passed to me by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:

This is a photograph of one of my best-ever family history memories.  Two brothers - my father, Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983) and Edward Seaver (1913-2004) - sharing a laugh together at my parents home in about 1981.  

I can't remember and have always wondered what was said by Ed to make my father laugh so hard with his eyes closed!  Perhaps it was about the "golden glow" from their childhood.  I don't think Ed goosed him, but I wouldn't put it past him!

They are in front of the fireplace in the living room of the Carringer/Seaver home at 825 Harbor View Place on Point Loma in San Diego (built by Lyle and Emily Carringer, my grandparents, and then owned by my parents after Lyle and Emily died).  

This was the last time that the brothers got together.  Ed and his wife, Janet, lived in Leominster, Massachusetts at this time, but moved later in the 1980's to Sun Lakes, Arizona.

I can't help thinking that both of these guys were about my present age...

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Copyright (c) 2013), Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

We're off to see the RootsTech 2013!

We have a 1:55 PM flight out of San Diego for Salt Lake City this afternoon, and will be staying at the Radisson Hotel in case anyone cares.  We'll be ready for dinner when we get there, and will probably stay in the hotel for dinner.  I hope to find some genea-peeps in the bar or lounge area after dinner to enjoy their company..

I ran down My RootsTech 2013 Checklist today and finished most of the items, and packed the laptop bag with everything.  I'm taking much less paper this time!

On Wednesday, I'm going to the Family History Library bright and early (well, when they open at 8 a.m.) to do some research.  I have my list of To-Do items to work on.  The priority this year is obtaining images of English parish register records for my Wiltshire (Richman, Rich, Marshman, Hill, Warren, Ring families) and my Somerset (Vaux, Palmer, Laver, Axe families).  I have abstracts from the records, but not images or exact wordings or page numbers in the registers.  Hopefully, that doesn't take the entire day.  I have plenty more records to find on microfilm and even some books and periodicals to find on the shelves.

Thursday is the start of the RootsTech 2013 Conference and I hope to be in the Keynote presentation at 8:30 a.m. MDT.  I hope my CVGS colleagues and my Genea-Musings readers will be tuned in to the livestreaming video at all day!  If you're looking for me in the exhibit hall, check the Media Hub where I'll probably hang out on occasion slaving over my laptop.

Blogging may be relatively light this week if I concentrate on attending sessions and wandering the exhibit hall rather than writing blog posts during the day and in the evening after the various festivities.  Then there is the issue of Internet connections at the hotel and in the conference center.  I have the usual theme posts scheduled so Genea-Musings will not be completely dark, but there might not be as much content as usual.

There will likely be NO Best of the Genea-Blogs this week due to lack of time on my part.  Just sayin'.

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Copyright (c) 2103, Randall J. Seaver

Record Matching Progress on

I wrote fairly extensively last September about the MyHeritage Record Matching feature - see:

*  MyHeritage Releases Record Matching Technology (19 September 2012)

*  First Look at Record Matches on MyHeritage (19 September 2012)

*  Using MyHeritage Record Matches to Find Find-A-Grave Entries (20 September 2012)

*  NewspaperARCHIVES Records in MyHeritage Record Matches (26 September 2012)

*  Finished Using MyHeritage Record Matching for SSDI Matches (20 December 2012)

Since then, I have continued methodically going through the matches found on the MyHeritage search engine, one block at a time for several of the record collections available, and adding content and source citations to my genealogy database in RootsMagic. 

Here is the top of my Record Matches page in MyHeritage showing only the Pending items (I have already confirmed many matches, and rejected some that were not correct) on the "By Collections" tab:

There are 28 collections with 12,057 Pending record matches on the list. The Top 10 collections with Pending matches are:

1.  WikiTree -  10,611 matches - I haven't started these, mainly because they are almost all my own data from the family tree that I uploaded to some time ago.

2.  Newspaper Archive - I have 584 pending matches to review, and have confirmed 130 matches and rejected 268 matches out of a total of 982.

3.  Find A Grave - I have 264 pending matches to review, and have confirmed 1,062 matches and rejected 19 matches.  This is my primary area of current review and has been since December (I've reviewed 634 matches in four months).

4.  Maximilian Family Tree - 161 pending matches to review.  I haven't looked at this resource to any great extent.

5.  California Deaths, 1940-1997 - I have 101 pending matches to review, have confirmed 137 and rejected 2 matches.  I will finish this collection after I finish with Find A Grave.

6.  1940 United States Census - I have 61 pending matches to review, and haven't started on them yet.

7.  Texas Births, 1926-1995 - I have 56 pending matches to review, and haven't started on them yet.

8.  England & Wales Deaths, GRO Indexes, 1970-2007 - I have 54 pending matches to review, and haven't started on them yet.

9. - I have 52 pending matches, and haven't started on them yet.

10.  Texas Marriages and Divorces - I have 38 pending matches, and haven't started on them yet.

I noticed that MyHeritage has another tab on the Record Matches page, called "By People" - here is the top of this list:

The top person on this list has 101 record matches - almost all of them are in the Newspaper Archive collection.  Herbert Innerasky is in my database (the husband of a distant cousin), and he is in many issues of the Fitchburg (Mass.) Sentinel newspaper.

The second person, Garrett Branisel, is a distant cousin of mine who is featured in many recent editions of the Chicago Herald newspaper.

Further down the list are record matches for many of my ancestors, but more often siblings of my ancestors.

I hope to finish at least the Find A Grave, California Death Index,, Texas Deaths, Texas Marriages and the 1940 Census record matches by the end of the summer.

I really like this Record Matching feature on MyHeritage because it helps me FOCUS on one record collection as I add content to my genealogy database.  It has been very helpful to my effort to update my database with additional dates, places and source citations.

The accuracy level in the record databases (like Find A Grave, SSDI, etc.) is very good - better than 98% if the SSDI and Find A Grave are any indication - I'm actually surprised when I find one to be rejected.  The newspaper match record is not so good because there is usually only a name without some other corroborating data like a birth or death date or spouse's name.  I have found many newspaper articles for persons in my database, and have transcribed the information into my person notes in my database.

However, I have three issues:

1)  I don't believe that the Record Matches for the different record collections have been updated since September 2012.  I know that about 6 million entries have been added to Find A Grave since then, and I don't see that the total number of my record matches for Find A Grave has changed.

2)  I need to update my MyHeritage tree so that it can find Record Matches for the 1,600 persons I've added to my genealogy database since I uploaded my tree to MyHeritage in 2011.  Will MyHeritage come up with a synchronization between the Family Tree Builder software, and the MyHeritage online tree?  I would have to merge my bigger tree into the smaller tree and eliminate duplicate persons in Family Tree Builder, I think.  I don't want to upload the new tree and start all over with all of the Record Matches.

3)  Record Matching is only as good as the number of Record Collections available to match tree persons with.  Has MyHeritage/WorldVitalRecords added many new record collections since September 2012?  And what record collections are going to be added in the near future?

I'll speak to the MyHeritage folks at RootsTech 2013 and see what they have to say about these three issues.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Monday, March 18, 2013

RootsMagic Treasure Hunt Clue #11

RootsMagic is offering a FREE iPad to two winners of their 2013 RootsMagic Treasure Hunt Contest.

The RootsMagic Treasure Hunt starts on Thursday, 21 March.  Here is the RootsMagic press release with directions on how to enter and win:

It's been a tremendous last few months here at RootsMagic. We've been busy with the new releases of RootsMagic 6 and RootsMagic for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. We're also excited to participate in one of the largest genealogy events in North America- RootsTech!

We want to celebrate these momentous events with you, our loyal users! And what better way to celebrate than with a treasure hunt where you could win one of many prizes including an iPad (4th generation)!

Online Treasure Hunt

Once again, we've partnered with 15 of the best and brightest genealogy bloggers who will be reporting at the RootsTech conference. Each blogger will place one of 15 clue words on their website.

From Thursday, March 21 through Wednesday, March 27, 2013, visit for a complete list of the blogs where the 15 clue words can be found. Visit each blog, collect all 15 clue words, and you could win software, prizes, or an iPad!

Enter at RootsTech or at Home

Once you've collected the clues there are two ways to enter. The first is at the RootsTech conference itself. Pick up an entry card at the RootsMagic booth (#401) in the Exhibit Hall. Write the clue words on the back of the card and return it to the RootsMagic booth in the Exhibit Hall by Saturday, March 23 at 1:20 pm. At that time, we will hold the prize drawings. You must be present to win.

We didn't want those who aren't able to attend RootsTech in person to feel left out so we're holding a second drawing and giving away more prizes including a second iPad. To enter this drawing, visit anytime between Thursday, March 21 and midnight MST on Wednesday, March 27, 2013. Fill out the online form to be entered into the second drawing. You may enter both drawings but one entry per person, per drawing. Winners will be picked at random and notified via e-mail by Friday, March 29, 2013.

Remember, the treasure hunt doesn't begin until this Thursday. Good luck!

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Disclosure:  I am an Official Blogger for RootsTech, but I don't have any relationships with RootsMagic, other than being a satisfied user and a recipient of free software twice in the past five years.

My 23andMe DNA Test Results - Post 3: Finding Matches and Seeing Connections

I shared my 23andMe Ancestral Composition results in  My 23andMe DNA Test Results - Post 1 (5 March 2013) and my chromosome details in My 23andMe Test Results - Post 2: Chromosome Views UPDATED! (12 March 2013).

Today, I want to show how 23andMe matches my results to other testers.  

1)  Here is the first page of my DNA Relatives list (Family & Friends > DNA Relatives) showing 25 of my 991 matches (with 5 cm segments or larger) in the List View (the other options are Map view and Surname view in upper right-hand corner):

The default list is sorted by Relationship; other options (dropdown menu is above the names) include percent shared; number of segments; contact status; first name; last name; age; maternal haplogroup; paternal haplogroup; most recent first.

The columns on the screen above are Name, estimated relationship, profile information (regions, names, mtDNA, Y DNA haplogroup), and status relative to yourself.

Some persons permit anyone to view their information (a Public Match), and a few have uploaded a Family Tree, but many have kept their information hidden.  A user can "Send a Message" to those who have a Public Tree and ask if they will share their results with the user.  For the hidden ones, a user can send an Introduction through 23andMe to determine if they want to make contact.

2)  Here is the note sent through 23andMe to one of my matches who has chosen to remain hidden:

3)  The Surname List of matches is shown below (from the DNA Relatives page):

I can click on a surname and see a list of matches that have that surname.

4)  After my autosomal DNA results were received last week, two persons contacted me asking to share my results with them.  I agreed.  They are listed on the Gene Comparison page (Family & Friends > Gene comparison):

5)  That page doesn't tell me a whole lot - I want to see the matches on the chromosomes, so I found the Family Inheritance: Advanced page (My Results > Ancestry Tools > Family Inheritance: Advanced) and added them to the "With" list as shown below:

I clicked on the "Compare" button and the chromosomes with the matches to these two persons were identified:

Obviously, I need to make more connections with persons via the 23andMe message system in order to see chromosome matching with them.

There are a lot more features to explore.  I noticed that geneablogger Diane on Nuts From the Family Tree is doing a similar "show and tell" to my posts.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver