Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Tell Us About an Elusive Ancestor

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)  We all have elusive ancestors - those persons that we cannot connect to parents or children, or a wife without a known surname.  Identify one of those elusive ancestors, and how they are related to you..

2)  Tell us what you do know about your elusive ancestor - what events, dates and places do you know for them?  Who did they marry, what are the names of their children?

3)  What research do you plan to perform to solve your elusive ancestor problem?

4)  Share your information in your own blog post (but please comment on this post with a link to your post), in a comment to this post, in a Facebook status or a Google Plus Stream post.  

Here's mine:

My elusive ancestor is Mary Kent.  She was born in about 1726 in New Jersey, and married William Cutter (1722-1780), and they had 8 children, all born in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey:  Stephen, Richard, Sarah, Mary, Hannah, Samuel, Kelsey, and Keturah. 

Mary is one of my 5th great-grandmothers, and I descend through her first son, Stephen Cutter (1745-1823).

Mary Kent's parents are unknown. It is possible that she was the daughter of Stephen Kent, and the granddaughter of another Stephen Kent who resided in WoodbridgeMiddlesex County, New Jersey.  There are some town records with birth, marriage or death entries in this area in this time period, but there are very few records for Kents.  I have reviewed the will abstracts of all of the Kent persons in northeastern New Jersey in the 1700s and Mary is not identified in them.  

It is possible that she was the daughter or sister of William Kent, who witnessed the will of Richard Cutter, her husband's father, in 1757.
However, there are no records to prove these suppositions. 

What I plan to do next:  Obtain and review land records for Middlesex County for all Kent persons and Cutter persons in hopes that a Kent is mentioned in one or more of them.  

I hope that other descendants of Mary (Kent) Cutter will contact me ( if they have more information about her.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - WHEELER (England > colonial Massachusetts)

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

I am in the 7th great-grandmothers, up to number 579: Esther WHEELER (1678-1756). [Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three American generations of this WHEELER 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)

18.  Edward Hildreth (1831-1899)
19.  Sophia Newton (1834-1923)

36.  Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857)
37.  Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857)

72.  Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1828)
73.  Elizabeth Keyes (1758-1793)

144.  Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784)
145.  Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812)

288.  James Hildreth (1698-1761)
289.  Dorothy Prescott (1702-1774)

578.  Samuel Prescott, born 1674 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States; died 25 July 1758 in Acton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1156. Jonathan Prescott and 1157. Dorothy Heald.  He married  05 May 1698 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

579.  Esther Wheeler, born 01 December 1678 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died before 19 August 1756 in Acton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  
Children of Samuel Prescott and Esther Wheeler are:  Esther Prescott (1699-????); Dorothy Prescott (1702-1774); Amos Prescott (1705-????); Mary Prescott (1708-????); Sarah Prescott (1710-????); Dorcas Prescott (1712-????); Abigail Prescott (1718-????); Rebecca Prescott (1719-????); Dinah Prescott (1725-????).

1158.  John Wheeler, born 19 March 1642/43 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 27 September 1713 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 25 March 1664 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1159.  Sarah Larkin, born 12 March 1647/48 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 12 August 1725 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2318. Edward Larkin and 2319. Joanna.
Children of John Wheeler and Sarah Larkin are:  Samuel Wheeler (1664-1717); Sarah Wheeler (1666-1692); Edward Wheeler (1669-1734); Joanna Wheeler (1671-1748); Mary Wheeler (1673-????); Lydia Wheeler (1675-1720); Esther Wheeler (1678-1756); Ebenezer Wheeler (1682-1748); Thankful Wheeler (1682-1716).

2316.  George Wheeler, born before 23 March 1605/06 in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England; died 02 June 1687 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 4632. Thomas Wheeler.  He married 08 June 1630 in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England.
2317.  Katherine Pin, born in England; died 02 January 1684/85 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
Children of George Wheeler and Katherine Pin are:  William Wheeler (1631-1683); Thomas Wheeler (1633-1686); Elizabeth Wheeler (1636-1704); Sarah Wheeler (1640-1713); John Wheeler (1643-1713); Mary Wheeler (1645-1679); Ruth Wheeler (1647-1703); Hannah Wheeler (1649-1697). 

I have these resources for these Wheeler families:

*  M. Wheeler Molyneaux, The Wheeler Family of Cranfield, England and Concord, Massachusetts and Some Descendants of Sgt. Thomas Wheeler of Concord (Long Beach, Calif. : the author, 1992)

John Brooks Threlfall, 50 Great Migration Colonists in New England and Their Origins (Madison, Wis. : the author, 1990)

Dean Crawford Smith, edited by Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, 1878-1908; Part III: The Ancestry of Henry clay Bartlett, 1832-1892 (Boston : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004)

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, April 12, 2013

Dear Randy - Why Do You Post Your Own Genealogy Stuff?

Email correspondent John asked:  "Why do you post so much of your own genealogy stuff - like the Amanuensis Monday, Wordless Wednesday, Treasure Chest Thursday, and Surname Saturday posts?"

The simple answer is:  Because I can, because it helps me in my genealogy research, because it may help other researchers,  and because it might connect me to cousins who can help me.  Collaboration, education and cooperation are important to me and my genealogy research.

Some explanations about my "theme posts" (see suggested daily genealogy blogging prompts here):

*  The Amanuensis Monday posts (amanuensis means to transcribe) may help other researchers by providing a transcription for a will, deed or other document.  I am contacted occasionally by researchers who share the person for whom I've transcribed a document.  Transcribing the document helps me - I often see details that I missed earlier, and leads to additional research for more family history data and documents. I've created an Amanuensis Monday page to make it easier to find these posts.

*  The Tuesday Tip's post series are to help other researchers investigate genealogy resources that I discover and mention.  I often explore a new genealogy website, or describe a record collection on a free or commercial website.

*  The Wordless Wednesday posts are presentations of my family photographs, and an explanation of them. It seems that some of my readers have a better eye than I do, and tell me of details that I've missed.  At some point, my goal is to collect these posts in family groups and produce digital books of the photos and posts.

*  The Treasure Chest Thursday posts are presentations of heirlooms and documents, and my analysis of them as they pertain to my family history.  When I post and transcribe or extract from them, I often learn something new that I've missed from earlier analysis.  Sometimes, these posts spark a reader comment that provides more pertinent analysis, or tells me that I've helped someone.

*  The Surname Saturday posts are pure "cousin bait" - somebody may do a Google search on an ancestral name and find my post, and either comment or contact me.  I try to add authoritative source listings to these posts.  Other researchers comment on these posts with suggestions for additional resources, or to point out problems or errors in my listings.

*  The Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) posts are intended to add a little levity, challenge and fun to our genealogy week, and often lead readers to check out a new resource, test a software feature, or write a  post on a specific topic.

*  I often write blog posts about my current genealogy research in hopes that readers will comment on my findings, or suggest other research opportunities.  I'll take help from anybody, and appreciate it. I realize that I don't know "everything" about every locality, genealogy subject or record repository collection, but am willing to learn, and  sometimes my readers significantly contribute to my research effort.  Some examples of crowdsourcing my genealogy research include The Whittle Research Compendium and Crowd-Sourcing Cousin Edith.

*  All of these "theme" posts, and the others that fill out the week, keep me busy writing something every day, and I have fun doing them while learning something myself, helping readers with educational or challenging tips and techniques, and keeping me in the Genealogy Cave instead of out roaming the bars, bowling alleys and the mean streets of Chula Vista from early morning to late at night.  Linda usually knows where I am!  I do get out occasionally to genealogy society meetings (once or twice a week), cemetery excursions (rare now), and library visits (rare now), or to seminars and conferences.  

So that's the answer to John's question, and I thank him for asking it.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Twitter Chat with D. Joshua Taylor on Monday, 15 April

I received this information from

Expert Genealogist Q&A Session
Who: D. Joshua Taylor
When: Monday, April 15, 1:00 PM EDT (that's 12 noon CDT, 11 AM MDT, 10 AM PDT)
Follow: @FindmypastUS
Hashtag: #FMPexpert
D. Joshua Taylor, leading genealogist for, will be answering your questions about genealogy live on Twitter. 

If you have questions about genealogy or want to learn tips and tricks from an expert, be sure to join the Twitter feed for @findmypastUS on Monday, April 15, or search for the hashtag #FMPexpert. 

Follow-Up Friday - Interesting and Helpful Reader Comments

It's Friday, when I try to share reader comments on my blog posts, along with any additional comments or reactions of my own.

1)  On 2013 Readers Choice Awards in Genealogy (28 March 2013):

*  Kimberly Powell commented:  "I agree with everyone else that some of these categories should have been further broken down for more valid results, and the Education category is a great example. However, there is a limit on the number of categories and to include the obvious ones like software, I had to make choices. Genealogy education is my passion, so I was happy to at least be able to include the category. While the winners deserve a huge congratulations, there is a lot to be proud of for being one of the top 5 nominees. The goal was not just 'bragging rights,' but also to let readers know of opportunities and tools which they might not have otherwise explored. From emails I've received, I do think the contest achieved some of this.

"The Readers' Choice Awards are governed site-wide, so I have no input into items such as voting, etc. I do agree the captcha made things clunky, but this was put into place to help limit voting fraud. I know is continuing to refine and improve the process, and it is entirely possible that the recent appointment of Neil Vogel (the man behind the success of the Webby Awards) may help with this. Either way, I was proud that Genealogy was included this year and hope it brought some well-deserved recognition to all of the winners and finalists."

My comment:  Kimberly organized the genealogy section of these awards, and I thank her for explaining more about the process and the problems.  As Kimberly noted, inclusion of Genealogy as one of the award subjects was a big deal, and is real progress.  

2)  On Using Filters (9 April 2013):

*  Sonja Hunter noted:  "I have found certain items that Ancestry has in their databases, but they do not show up when I look at the county page. The last time I had a subscription, Ancestry had numerous city directories for Kalamazoo, Michigan. They simply do not appear when you look at the list of Kalamazoo county resources. Why they don't list them I have no idea."

*  Russ Worthington helped:  "I just found a bunch of Kalamazoo, Michigan City Directories, the first being 1889.

"I did not find it the way Randy showed us, with the filter, but I got there by selecting Michigan, as Randy showed but selected the "Schools, Directories & Church Histories" Category and the first item listed was U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta), then in the right panel selected Michigan, Kalamazoo.  Then you can select the year of the directory. 1880 to 1960 were selectable."

My comment:  You have to check both methods I think - some of the goodies, like City Directories and School Yearbooks, may be hiding in large record collections, as Russ demonstrated.  Items like these need to be added to the County pages on the FamilySearch Research Wiki and the Family History Wiki so that researchers can find them.

*  SearchShack asked:  "Am wondering if you have an example of a digital pension record index. Roots Magic doesn't seem to have an option for a digital record. In this case so far I've just seen the reference to it in Family Search which refers me to Fold3. Will see the record later but would love to know how to document the document so I source it correctly when I do research at our local Family History Center."

My comment:  RootsMagic does have source templates for:

*   "Military Records" (Federal service records, federal veterans benefit files, military service); 
*  "Military Records, Database" (Military Records, databases, online; war records, enlistment papers, POW); 
*  Military Records, Images" (Military Records, images, online; war records, enlistment papers, POW); 
*  "NA (U.S.) Images, Online" (National Archives (U.S.), Text and Image databases, online images; Database title as lead element);
*  "Pension Files, NARA Microfilm/fiche" (Pension File (Filmed); Publication title as lead source list element; Person of interest as lead footnote element); 
*  and several others.  

Look through the list of Source Templates to find the right one for your situation.  Create an Event for your person, then click on the "Sources" button for that Event and then the "Add New Source" button to find the right template.  You could print out the screen of the source template(s) you choose so that you can fill it out with all of the information when you see the actual record.  

For a "pension record index," presumably on microfilm, you probably want the  "Pension Files, NARA Microfilm/fiche" template;  for the actual file on Fold3, you will probably want the  "NA (U.S.) Images, Online" template.  If you see the record on Fold3, be sure to capture the source information for the record that is very complete on Fold3, and capture all of the images on a flash drive or cloud storage site.

*  Dan Stone said:  "You can also use the 'report a problem' feature, which I hope you did. Just yesterday, I came across a city directory from 1892 which was mistakenly referenced as 1829, which I reported. They seem to be good at making corrections, and users reporting problems is an important part of the databases continuing to get better."

*  Geolover commented:  " has been deleting a lot of stuff from citations. I have not been able to detect a pattern. They also have been revamping some indexes and extracts from relatively accurate to absolutely wrong in some cases.

"In the case of the Revolutionary War Rolls, they had the name index very early in their corporate internet installation, long before they had the microfilm images. Thus there was no indexing project that would have linked names to actual uploaded images. Every online index link to this group is to the first image that was uploaded from each microfilm roll, no matter what it was.  In this record group there are image sections and individual images that are not indexed at all.

"At the beginning of each roll is a summary of what is on each of the rolls, plus a list of what is on the particular microfilm roll. This can be tedious to page through, but can give a rough idea of where in the images one could best start browsing: the Jacket [file] Numbers are given here, and are in the microfilm images at the beginning of each Jacket, although not included in the index.

"A general list of what is on each microfilm roll (not broken down by Jackets) has most generously been provided by John K. Robertson and Bob McDonald: "

My comments:  My thanks to Geolover for adding pertinent information that explains how this problem happened.  The Robertson/McDonald website provides interesting context for the records in addition to a description of each microfilm roll.

I did not notify about this problem - I've been told that they read my blog and highlight issues raised on the blog for possible action.  

*  Genealogy in Ireland said:  "I am very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that's at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc."

My comment:  I love spam fan mail!  I wonder if there is a BS meter that can tell what is random misinformation on other blogs?  It would sure simplify my day.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Finding Martin Carringer's Revolutionary War Rolls on - Difficult!

I was tapping around in my Ancestry Member Tree App on my iPhone last night while watching the Padres baseball game on TV, and noticed that there was a Hint in the Revolutionary War Rolls of my 4th great-grandfather, Martin Carringer (1758-1835).

The App showed a black image, which I thought was strange, so I went in today on my desktop computer to take a look at it.  In my Ancestry Member Tree, there was a Hint for this record:

I wanted to look at the image, so I clicked on the thumbnail image above and saw:

Hmmm.  Zooming out, I see that this is the leader on the microfilm roll that was digitized.  The heading above the image says:

"Pennsylvania > 7th Regiment, 1777 (folder 34), 8th Regiment 1778 (folder 35), 9th Regiment, 1777-78 (folder 36) ... > 1"

It is apparent that the link from the Martin Carringer Hint does not go to a page with Martin Carringer on it, but to the first image of 702 images, and that this microfilm contains one (or more) pages with the name of Martin Carringer on it.

That really sucks!  Apparently, I need to look through up to 702 pages on this microfilm to find Martin Carringer's entry (or entries).

I checked my Notes in my database, and found that Martin Carringer was a member of Colonel Carnahan's Company in the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment of Foot in the Pennsylvania.  I found (finally) the 8th Regiment on this microfilm stream, and on Page 286:

And another entry on Page 284:

How many researchers would go through this on this database?  Perhaps 10%.  Certainly no one using the App would.  I wonder how many App users accepted this hint and now have a black image on their smart phone?  How many users have attached the black image to their Ancestry Member Tree?

I saved the two page images to my computer files under Martin Carringer, and will attach them to my RootsMagic database, and might even upload them to Ancestry Member Tree.  I rejected the Hint on my Ancestry Member Tree for obvious reasons.

But now I need a source citation.  The Ancestry source citation given on the screen says: U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data:  Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M246, 138 rolls); War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, Record Group 93; National Archives, Washington. D.C.
Records indexed by Direct Data Capture.

That doesn't work for me -  Ancestry has non-standard source citations.  Here is what I crafted using the "Military Records, Images" source template in RootsMagic:

National Archives, "U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783," digital image, ( : accessed 11 April 2013), Muster Rolls, Pennsylvania 8th Regiment, Colonel Carnahan's Company, June 1778, unnumbered page (image 286 of 702), Martin Carringer (Private) entry; citing citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M246, Roll 83.

I could not find the NARA Microfilm Roll number on Ancestry's image page or database information page, but it was in the link to the Roll on the record summary for Martin Carringer when I searched for him.

How many databases does have that have an index but don't link to the actual record pages? has an index - it says it was indexed by Direct Data Capture - why don't they link to the actual image?  They do for millions of other records. Why doesn't the Ancestry source citation provide the NARA Roll number?  They do for other NARA records.

Why does Ancestry make this so difficult?

After I wrote that, my thought was "You're so spoiled ... five years ago, you would have ordered that microfilm at the FHC, or at an Archives branch, and searched page by page until you found it (or passed over it with my eyes glazed over).  We're lucky to have this database in digital format."

Yes, we are ... but Ancestry provides a Hint, and every user's expectation is that they will see the image.  That's part of the deal, isn't it?  We pay money to Ancestry to provide a record image when it's available.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1870 U.S. Census Record for Samuel Vaux 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 Vaux 3rd great-grandparents  in Platte township, Andrew County, Missouri:

The Samuel Vaux household:

The extracted information for the family, with an enumeration date of 8 July 1870, is:

*  Samuel Vaux - age 51, male, white, a farmer, $3,500 in real property, $470 in personal property, born England, father and mother of foreign birth, a male citizen of the US over age 21.
*  Mary A. Vaux - age 50, female, white, keeping house, born New York
*  James P. Vaux - age 23, male, white, a farm laborer, born New York, a male citizen of the US over age 21
*  Elizabeth Vaux - age 19, female, white, at home, born New York, 
*  Amos Vaux - age 15, male, white, a farm laborer, born New York, attended school within the year
*  James Woodward - age 33, male, white, a farm laborer, $500 in personal property, born Vermont, a male citizen of the US over age 21
*  Mary A. Woodward - age 31, female, white, keeping house, born New York, father of foreign birth
*  Orpha A. Woodward - age 7, female, white, born Wisconsin, attended school within the year
*  Mary Woodward - age 4, female, white, born Wisconsin

The source citation for this census record is:

1870 United States Federal Census, Andrew County, Missouri,  Population Schedule, Platte township: Page 304 (stamped), Dwelling #314, Family #319, Samuel Vaux household; digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 755.

I see some minor errors in this enumeration, based on the collected evidence for the family:  

*  Samuel Vaux should be age 54 (born in January 1816)
*  Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux should be age 55 (born in March 1815)
*  There should be a mark for "father is foreign born" for James P., Elizabeth and Amos Vaux.
*  I think that Amos Vaux was born in Wisconsin in late 1854 based on the land records, but the record says New York.  

Mary A. Woodward is the daughter of Samuel and Mary (Underhill) Vaux, and is the mother of Orpha and Mary.  This is the only record I have of James Woodward that indicates his age and birthplace - I think that both James and Mary A. Woodward died before 1880, since I cannot find them in the census, and their daughter Orpha Woodward resided with Samuel Vaux in the 1880 U.S. census.

Samuel Vaux bought land in Platte township in Andrew County from L.S. and Mary Jane Munger in 1869.  The family just after the Samuel Vaux household is that of Emmetus and Carolina Munger with sons Francis and George.  Francis Munger married Celia Ann (Vaux) Redfield (daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux and widow of Milo Redfield) in 1872 as her second husband.  They had two children, and resided in Belleville, Republic County, Kansas in 1880 and afterwards.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

United States Records Available on

I was curious as to what record collections from the United States are now available with my subscription.  I went to the "List of all Records" page (on the "Search Records" tab) and saw:

Here is the list of United States record collections:

Census, Land & Substitutes

1790 US Census
1800 US Census
1810 US Census 
1820 US Census 
1830 US Census 
1840 US Census 
1850 US Census 
1860 US Census 
1870 US Census 
1880 US Census 
1890 US Census
1900 US Census 
1910 US Census
1920 US Census 
1930 US Census 
1940 US Census (Free Access)

Immigration & Travel

Germans to America, 1850-1897
Irish Famine Immigrants, 1846-1851
Italians to America, 1855-1900
Japanese-Americans WWII Relocation Files
Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960
Russians to America, 1834-1897

Military Service & Conflict

American Prisoners of Korean War, 1950-1953
Korean War Casualty File
Korean War Deaths, 1950-1954
United States, World War One (WWI) Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
US Army Casualty File, 1961-1981
Vietnam War Casualties
Vietnam War Casualties Returned Alive
Vietnam War Deaths
World War II Army Enlistment Records
World War II POWs

Vital Records (Birth, Marriage, Death)

Kentucky Birth Records, 1911-2007
Kentucky Death Records 1911-2007
Kentucky Marriage Records 1973-1999 
Montana Deaths, 1954-2011
Ohio Death Records 
Ohio Divorce Records, 1962-2011
Ohio Marriage Records, 1970, 1973-2011 
Social Security Death Index
Texas Divorce Index 1968-2010 
Texas Marriages, 1968-2010
US Veteran's Gravesites

U.S. Newspaper Archives

The U.S. Newspaper Archives collection is from the commercial website.  It says it has 5,350 newspapers with 120 million page images.

I was curious to see if the 1880 United States Census data included a census page image, since several other sites do not (unless you have an subscription).  It does, but the system takes a really long time to search and load the page:

You can print or save the page to your computer files.  There is a record transcription available for the person searched, and with another click, a full transcription that includes other persons in the household:

Note that the person searched for is not included in the listing of the persons in the household, and that the other persons in the household have only a name, birth year, age, birth place, and relationship to the head of household listed.  

My hope is that will continue to add significant content for United States resources as time goes on.  For a company that started up last summer, they have made excellent progress in adding U.S. content.  

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Barry Ewell's Family Treasures eBook is Available for FREE

I received this information from Barry Ewell, the owner of the MyGenShare website:

Special Free eBook Offer:  Family Treasures—15 Lessons, Tips and Tricks for Discovering Your Family History
This is a limited time offer.   Barry J. Ewell will share with you a PDF of his book Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering Your Family History (437 pages).  The resource will help you increase your skills and speed at which you are able to improve you genealogy research success. 

If you or your friends would like a PDF copy of the book, do the following:
    Send email:
    Subject Line: Free eBook

Book Overview
The following is an outline of the book and what you will find. The genealogy journey is not an easy one, but the treasures you'll discover on the way make the path well worth traveling —something Barry J. Ewell knows from personal experience.  In his travels he has found clues in everything from dusty relics to modern technology.  Now he is ready to share his experience and guide you through each step of your personal family history journey. Whether you're just beginning your family history journey or you're a seasoned genealogist, this book is the perfect road map to all the treasures still waiting for you in your personal family history.

Following is the book’s Table of Contents:
    Lesson 1: Genealogy Is a Repeatable Process
    Lesson 2: Start Organized, Stay Organized
    Lesson 3: Every Record Has Value
    Lesson 4: Where to Find Records
    Lesson 5: How to Search the Internet Like a Genealogist
    Lesson 6: Field Research Is Required
    Lesson 7: Cite and Verify Every Source
    Lesson 8: If Sherlock Holmes Were a Genealogist
    Lesson 9: Learn to Network
    Lesson 10: Stay Connected to the Network
    Lesson 11: Carefully Search Ancestor Writings
    Lesson 12: Search Every Page of Hometown Newspapers
    Lesson 13: Learn to Find the Origins of Immigrant Ancestor
    Lesson 14: The Oral Interview Is the Most Valued Research
    Lesson 15: Write and Publish Your Story
    Epilogue: Genealogy, Prayer, and Inspiration

Reviews of the book Family Treasures
The following reviews have been provided by genealogists who have read and used the book to enrich their research. 

Family Treasures is just that, a Genealogical Treasure
"From the beginning, this is a book that is designed to help the genealogy researcher accomplish more and in a more logical way. After starting two family tree projects about eighteen months ago, I adopted suggestions from a handful of newsletters along the way. What I found was a mixture of methodologies that didn't always work together well. My solution was to stop using the ineffective processes."

"The author, Barry Ewell, has the insights, ideas, and methods that seem to have evolved over years of genealogy researching. Most important for me is his way of keeping track of the work. "Where is it?" is a phrase that comes up too often in my conversations and thoughts. Maybe you can remember every research project you've taken on in the past year or more. I have too much going on to recollect what I've worked on, what the results were, and how it fits with my current work. Thank you, Barry Ewell, for making my genealogy work better, more efficiently, and faster." Dennis

 Family Treasures 15 Lessons, Tips, and Tricks for Discovering your Family History
"This is an excellent book for the beginning genealogical Research. Full of great ideas, tips and resources to complete your research projects." Kathy

Learning My Lessons
"This is one of those books that I wish I had been able to read when I first began researching my family history.

Barry's suggestions about ways to keep the answers to those questions organized would have helped me to make better use of my research time. Using his approach to research, focusing on events rather than records, might have made my ancestor hunting a little more fruitful." Sherry

Great "How To" for Beginning Genealogist & Great Refresher Book
"I wish this book had been around six years ago when I first began my genealogy research. I was so lost and didn't know where to begin. I was fortunate enough to go to a Family History Fair where Mr. Ewell spoke. I was impressed by his knowledge and expertise in researching and how to organize your research plan BEFORE you go to a source." Lamb

For any and all genealogists!
"I would challenge any seasoned genealogist to read this and not find some new tip or a clearer explanation of something they already knew about.  I feel this book will make your research blossom anew for you, your uninterested-in-genealogy relatives, your clients or your students. I've been researching awhile and I took copious notes for myself in reviewing Family Treasures." Donna

Very helpful resource, especially for beginners
"I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in genealogy, but especially new genealogists. With his easy, clear narrative style, I enjoyed reading Ewell's book. With his well organized approach to family history research, Ewell walks us step by step through the process that helped him become an avid genealogist.." Monifa

Family Treasures: a treasure
"This is a very comprehensive book of genealogical resources and organization tips with a step by step approach ideal for the beginning genealogist. I was captivated by the introduction. Anyone who has done genealogy has experienced some of these same miracles." Susan

Family Treasures: 15 Lessons, Tips & Tricks for Discovering Your Family History
"Those serious about finding and accurately documenting their ancestors, their families, and fleshing out a picture of their lives together now have a volume designed to enable them to do that.  Family Treasures guides you in your research to find that elusive ancestor while continuing to be an "easy read"." Richard

Great Help, Great Read
" I just returned from spending two days at a genealogy expo - $75.00 dollars to attend. Add in a half tank of gas and two days of convention center food! And in two days, sitting at my desk in my bathrobe, I learned more from Barry Ewell's book, Family Treasures, than at the expo." Mike

I have downloaded this eBook, but have not yet read it.

SDGS Meeting on Saturday, 13 April Features Nancy Loe

The April 13th meeting of the San Diego Genealogical Society will feature Nancy Loe.  The program starts at 10 a.m. at St. Andrews Lutheran Church at 8350 Lake Murray Blvd. in the San Carlos area of San Diego (at the intersection with Jackson Drive).

Nancy will present:

*  "Think Like an Archivist:  Uncovering Hidden Genealogical Resources in Libraries and Archives"

*  "Managing Your Digital Research Environment."

The first presentation will explain how to locate genealogical materials held in manuscript collections in libraries and archives worldwide, using online archival portals and digital finding aids.  You will learn how archival materials are prepared for public use, including where family records are located in digital finding aids; effective search terms and strategies; specific URLs for institutional, regional, and worldwide archival portals and gateways; and how to search across multiple institutions to locate family history records.

"Managing Your Digital Environment" for effective research is essential.  This session presents simple, effective, and demonstrable strategies for naming and organizing digital files for quick retrieval, and using online tools to help you stay organized.  Professional archivists manage vast amounts of paper, visual and digital records, so archival concepts can help.  Topics covered include using controlled vocabulary to organize and retrieve your records; file naming conventions for scanned documents and downloads; file folder structure; authority files; and using metadata to label your family photographs.

Nancy Loe is a professional archivist, librarian, and genealogist. She has managed archives and genealogy collections in public and academic libraries for nearly 35 years, recently retiring as Head of Special Collections at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In addition to directing NEH grant projects to digitize archival collections for users, she maintains the Sassy Jane Genealogy Blog. Nancy recently presented at RootsTech 2013 and is the author of Sassy Jane’s Guide to Organizing Your Genealogical Research Using Archival Principles. Visit her on the Web at

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(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 251: Austin and Della Carringer in 1939

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 my great-grandparents, Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946) and Della (Smith) Carringer (1862-1944) taken in about 1939 in San Diego, California, probably in their garden at 2115 30th Street.  I think that their son, Lyle L. Carringer, took this picture of them.

Austin's left hand is resting on Della's right shoulder - is he steadying himself at age 82, or is it a sign of affection?  Austin is wearing suspenders and a long sleeve shirt, and Della is wearing a flowery dress and a long scarf.  They are both wearing spectacles (my daughter has Della's spectacle collection - I will have to get a photo of it soon) and Austin's hair has gone fully white, as has his full mustache.  I hope I look as good as Austin when I reach that age!

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver