Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Three Things About Your Father

Hey genea-folks, 
it's Saturday Night again, 

 time for more Genealogy Fun!

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

1)  Sunday, 16 June, is Father's Day.  Let's celebrate by writing a blog post about our Father, or another significant male ancestor (e.g., a grandfather).

2)  What are three things about your father (or significant male ancestor) that you vividly remember about him?

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 father was Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts to Fred and Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver, died in San Diego, married Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in San Diego in 1942.  They had three sons, and I'm the eldest son. 

1)  My father loved baseball.  He played it as a boy and a young man, going to Dartmouth College to play in about 1932 but suffered an injury.  He grew up listening to the radio and his favorite team was the Boston Red Sox.  After he moved to San Diego, he listened to the San Diego Padres regularly.  He signed up as a manager in 1957 when Little League baseball came to our area of San Diego.  My brother, Stan, was 10 years old, and dad managed the team for three years in Mike Morrow Little League (8 to 12 years old), then two years in Pioneer Pony League (13-14 years old), and two years in Pioneer Colt League (15-16 years old).  My brother, Scott, was 8 in 1964, and dad went back and coached Little League for 5 years, Pony League for 2 years, and Colt League for two years.  In addition to managing teams, he usually worked on the baseball fields for hours each week during the summer - dragging the field, mowing the grass, lining the batters box and foul lines, cleaning up around the dugouts and stands, etc.  He did not attend many pro baseball games in person, but watched the World Series, and other nationally televised games, until he died in 1983.  

2)  My father was a life insurance salesman for Prudential Insurance Company (we had a piece of the Rock!) from 1947 to 1971, when he retired.  His office was in Point Loma, and his "debit" (his service area) was in Pacific Beach - a good 12 miles away from home.  He usually went to his office once a week and to his area two or three times a week.  He went door-to-door selling life insurance policies, and then collected monthly from his customers.  The other days, and into the night, sometimes until 11 p.m. or midnight, he worked at his desk overlooking the front door steps in our apartment at 2119 30th Street.  He had an adding machine (it was great fun to play with when I was a kid!), file cabinets, and many ledger books in which he entered the payments received.  He was always there when I came home from school or work or evening activities.  This work schedule permitted coaching baseball and bowling.

3)  My father was an avid bowler (ten pins), and this was his only "boy's night out" activity from 1950 to 1970.  At the peak of his prowess, he averaged in the 190s (which was pretty good at the time).  He was 6 foot 2 inches tall, right-handed, debonair in his bowling shirt and shoes, and very graceful in his four step delivery, with a great roundhouse curve.  He bowled on several teams in San Diego, including one travel league.  Our summer vacations from 1955 to about 1963 were to the California State Bowling Tournament - we went to Fresno, Sacramento, San Jose, Los Angeles, etc. in the air conditioned Mercury and later Oldsmobile.  I don't think he ever rolled a perfect game, though, but he came close several times.  He was very competitive.  As kids, we didn't go to the league bowling with him because of our early bedtime and the unsavory environment (smoking, drinking, cussing, etc.).  As a young man, I often went with him to the bowling league on Friday nights, and even practiced driving on the way home one year.  However, we gleaned one excellent benefit from his bowling - he always stopped at a bakery after keggling and bought delicious fresh donuts, cream puffs, eclairs, etc.  We loved Saturday morning! 

There are my three memories of my father.  He was not especially communicative with his sons - but we loved and respected him while we were growing up, attending school and starting out work lives.  He was supportive in our athletic endeavors also, attending my brothers' high school baseball games and coaching us with bowling.  We played word games at dinner time, and sometimes we played card games (Canasta) board games (Sorry, Monopoly) in the evening if there was nothing good on television.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - COLBURN (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 599: Hannah COLBURN (1673-1741)[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two American generations of this COLBURN family line is:

1.  Randall J. Seaver (1943-living)

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)

74.  Josiah Sawtell (1768-1847)
75.  Hannah Smith (1768-1827)

148.  Ephraim Sawtell (1735-about 1800)
149.  Abigail Stone (1736-before 1800)

298.  James Stone (1702-1783) 
299.  Mary Farwell (1709-1783)

598.  Joseph Farwell, born 24 July 1670 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 20 August 1740 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1196. Joseph Farwell and 1197. Hannah Learned.  He married 23 January 1695/96 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
599.  Hannah Colburn, born 1673 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died after 1741 in probably Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of Joseph Farwell and Hannah Colburn are:
* Joseph Farwell (1696-????); married Mary Gilson.
* Thomas Farwell (1698-????); married Elizabeth Pierce.
* Hannah Farwell (1701-1762), married (1) Eleazer Gilson; married (2) 1755 Ephraim Sawtell (1685-1768).
* Elizabeth Farwell (1703-1762), married 1722 John Stone (1699-1784).
* Edward Farwell (1706-????); married Hannah Russell.
* Mary Farwell (1709-1783), married 1726 James Stone (1702-1783)
* John Farwell (1711-1771), married 1735 Jane Lakin (1715-1755); married (2) 1755 Susanna White (1715-????).
* Samuel Farwell (1713-????), married Elizabeth Moors.
* Daniel Farwell (1717-????), married Mary Moor.
* Sarah Farwell (1721-1721).

1198.  Thomas Colburn, born about 1649 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died about 1728 in Massachusetts, United States.   He married 06 August 1672 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1199.  Hannah Rolfe, born about 1650 in Massachusetts.

Children of Thomas Colburn and Hannah Rolfe are:
* Hannah Colburn (1673-1741), married 1696 Joseph Farwell (1670-1740).
* Jonathan Colburn (1673-1693).
* Thomas Colburn (1675-1770), married Maria.
* Daniel Colburn (1679-????).

2396.  Edward Colborne, born 1618 in England; died 17 February 1700/01 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 13. Hannah before 1645, probably in Massachusetts.
2397.  Hannah, born about 1620 in England; died before 23 January 1712/13 in Dracut, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Edward Colborne and Hannah are:
* John Colburn (1645-1695), married 1671 Susannah Reed (????-1739).
* Robert Colburn (1647-1701), married 1669 Mary Bishop (1651-????)
* Thomas Colburn (1649-1728), married (1) 1672 Hannah Rolfe (1650-????); married (2) 1681 Mary Richardson (1662-????).
* Edward Colburn (1651-1675)
* Daniel Colburn (1654-1712), married 1685 Sarah Blood (1658-1741)
* Hannah Colburn (1656-????), married (1) 1682 Thomas Richardson; married (2) 1713 John Wright.
* Ezra Colburn (1658-1739), married 1681 Hannah Varnum.
* Joseph Colburn (1661-1733), married (1) 1684 Hannah (????-1721); married (2) 1722 Dorothy Stevens.
*  Lydia Colburn (1666-????), married 1686 John Walker.

The vital data and biographical data of Edward Colburn and his descendants were obtained from:

*  Kenneth L. Bosworth, "Edward Colborne of Ipswich, Massachusetts, (1618-1712) and Five Generations of his Descendants" (manuscript at Huntington Beach Central Library, OCCGS No 14,674, Jan 1995).
*  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999), Volume II, pages 144-149.
*  Massachusetts town vital record books.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, June 14, 2013

Received my Mitochondrial DNA Test Results from Family Tree DNA

I received my mitochondrial DNA test results from Family Tree DNA this week.  I won a $30 discount certificate at the CVGS Spring Seminar in March, and used it for a mitochondrial DNA test - the mtDNAPlus test which provides results from HVR1 and HVR2 (whatever that means).  They already had my sample from the Family Finder test I took in 2011.

I had a mtDNA test done by Sorenson many years ago, and reported on it in My mtDNA is in the K Haplogroup in 2008.  In my 23andMe autosomal test, they told me that my mtDNA haplogroup was K1b2b, which I reported in My 23andMe DNA Test Results - Post 1 in March 2013.  However, 23andMe doesn't provide the markers or any mtDNA matches - it only provides the haplogroup.

The results from this Family Tree DNA mitochondrial DNA test:

The screen above shows the HVR1 and HVR2 regions tell me that I'm in Haplogroup K.  I knew that!

The "Matches" screen shows three matches:

One of those persons has taken the myDNA Full Sequence test and is identified as K1b2b - the same as my haplogroup subclade.

The Advanced Matches screen shows more matches ( picked "Select all mtDNA," and  clicked on "no" for "Show only people I match in all selected matches"):

There is another K1b2b match, but he has tested only HVR1.  There are 16 others that I match in HVR1 only.

Family Tree DNA does not have family tree icons showing for any of the matches.  

All of this is useful information, but I'm not sure what to do next.

1)  I could contact the two persons that identify as K1b2b and see if they will share their matrilineal line with me.  Perhaps we share a female ancestor within the last 6 generations or so.

2)  I could enter my HVR1 and HVR2 markers on and see if there are matches there.  The "Matches" page says:

"Family Tree DNA has created as a free public service so that people who have tested with different companies can compare their results. You will be able to determine what portion of your personal information you want to disclose. " 

I'll try to do that in the next week or so.  Hopefully, there will be family trees there to compare to mine.

3)  I could enter my HVR1 and HVR2 markers on the Ancestry mtDNA database also, and see if there are matches with persons there.  Hopefully, there will be family trees there to compare with mine.

My matrilineal line is posted at Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What is Your Matrlineal Line?

Does any reader have more suggestions?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Interesting and Helpful Reader Comments

It's Friday, so time to highlight some of the interesting and helpful reader comments from the last two weeks:

1)  On Treelines has a Family Storytelling Contest on "Getting Started" (11 June 2013):

*  Cormac noted:  "Several weeks ago, I requested an invitation. The other night I went there again, because I received an invitation, to see what was there. Btw, I am using Safari v5.1.9 (and Firefox v21.0). I had difficulty reading several articles there using both browsers. I couldn't read all of the articles. Until they improve their website and usability for me, I can't recommend their website."

*  Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said:  "I posted my first story on Treelines a few days after I first heard of them. It was easy, I was working on my Mom's diary at the time. When I finished Tammy's story, just now, my Pete and Eileen story was one of the several suggestions along the bottom. Neat! I never had any problem with the site, at all. Fun! ;-)"

My comment:  Treelines seems to be a one-person operation, and I'm sure that Tammy Hepps will iron out the browser problems eventually.  

2)  On Reader Issues, Suggestions and Questions for (6 June 2013):

*  Eric Shoup (EVP of Product, of said:  "Thanks Randy (and all the other posters) for the feedback. We are listening and appreciate the input. It helps us to know where we still need to improve the service."

My comment: has been very receptive to receiving comments from me and my readers over the past years - I really appreciate that.  I emailed the list of reader comments (with several more comments) to Matt Deighton after talking with him at the Genealogy Jamboree.

3)  On Dear Randy: How to Resolve Duplicate Entries in RootsMagic 6 (10 June 2013):

*  RootsMagic advised:  "I would follow the steps Randy provided, except I would leave all the automatic merges selected.

"The ShareMerge option would be useful if the two RM databases both originally started from the same file (for example if a copy was made of the first file to create the second file originally, or if a GEDCOM was exported from the first database and imported into a new database to create the second file).

"Then after running the automatic merges, I would do Tools > Merge > Duplicate search to have RM list any additional possible duplicates that it wasn't sure whether to merge or not, and you can manually choose whether to have RM merge them."

*  Chris commented:  "Since there were problems with opening different files in different folders, that tells me they all had the same, or very similar, filenames.

"It might help to actually rename the file 1,2 and 3 that Randy mentioned to actually file1.rmgc, file2.rmgc and file3.rmgc. That way there is no confusion to where you are.  After all of the corrections are made to file3 it can be renamed to your preferred family file name."

My comments:  Bruce Buzbee (the RootsMagician) is always responsive in his comments to my blog posts - I appreciate his advice here!  Chris made an excellent suggestion.

4)  On SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Day Three (9 June 2013):

*  Elizabeth Lapointe asked:  "What did FindMyPast say when you asked them about the Canadian Census?  They have always been shy when it comes to Canadian records."

My comment:  They said that the Canadian census records are on their list of desired datasets, but that negotiations with some entities are difficult.  That doesn't sound good...  I also asked about Scottish records, and they said that since brightsolid also has the Scotland's People site, FindMyPast won't be providing access to Scottish records.  

5)  On This Week's Genealogical Eclectica (11 June 2013):

*  Antra commented:  ">>>>I'm always impressed and fascinated by genealogists that travel to Eastern Europe and are successful in their search.<<<

"It's really not all that difficult ;) There are a lot of misconceptions out there about research in Eastern Europe, and the big ones are that either a) all of the records are destroyed, or b) the records are difficult to access. Of course, it varies based on locality as to completeness and access to records, but some places have made huge strides in making records available.

"One would often think that because of the wars that the region has endured over the past century that there would be a lot of document loss, but my experience (predominantly in Latvian records) is that it isn't the case. That's the thing with totalitarian powers like the Soviets and the Nazis - they like knowing things about people, so they wouldn't destroy documents that could come in handy in tracking and tracing people and finding out who they are and who their families were. Now, the storage standards that they kept the documents in could be considered questionable, but the documents are still mostly intact.

"Archives all over Eastern Europe are digitizing their collections at exponential rates. The leader in digitization as far as I've seen is Estonia, whose archives have digitized not only church records and revision lists (which were tax lists kept by the Russian Empire), but also list of parish residents, information on military service, name changes and so on.

"I've constructed tours for a number of my clients, and several of them have had success in finding long-lost relatives when arriving to their ancestral home parishes. So much is possible!"

My comment:  Thank you, Antra, for this information - it's encouraging to hear.  For this unilingual genealogist, who's has had some success dealing with Norwegian records, I'm still impressed and fascinated with others who travel and succeed.  I appreciate people like Antra who help researchers like me be successful.

*  Dan Stone said:  "Finally! Now things will get very interesting. I hope this will become universally adopted, although I agree that the transfer of sources between programs/platforms presents a huge challenge. Even so, if the rest of one's data can be moved intact between programs/platforms, that would be a monumental step forward."

*  Sven-Ove Westberg noted:  "You are right Randy the citations will be the problem. Evidence Explained need to be transferred to a standard format such as MARC 21 or MARCXML that is supported by the Library of Congress. This should then be included in the GEDCOM X standard."

*  Louis Kessler commented:  "I disagree with you that a new GEDCOM should transfer citations.  Only the source information to identify the source needs to be transferred. Citations are like formatting. Once you have the source information, you can create the citation. 

"And each program should be allowed to create the citation any way they want. If they use Evidence Explained, then so be it. They may interpret EE differently than another program, and they should be allowed to do so their own way, and display it their own way. They may even give you, if they want, other options, e.g. Richard Lackey or even bibliographic methods such as APA or Chicago. Again, it should be up to the program, and not up to the standard to force it to one interpretation of one methodology.

"The important thing is that your source data can be transferred. And GEDCOM does that reasonably."

*  Geolover offered:  "The FamilySearch-FamilyTree code for the so-called "GEDCOM X" is still quite limited. At least, as Tamura Jones noted, the designers of the misnamed "GEDCOM X" have settled on one of the three programming options they were using.

"The current version is far from being able to be any 'standard'. It is yet to be seen whether future design will ably integrate evidentiary citations with events."

*  Dan Stone pondered:  "After reading Louis and Sven's comments, and pondering the issue a bit more, it would be nice if there was a universal standard for source elements (such as 'title', 'author', 'publisher', etc.). With such a standard in place, these source elements could then be seamlessly transferred between programs/platforms, but the resulting ordering and formatting of the elements could be decided by the receiving program/platform. That way I could display my footnote in Evidence Explained style, and someone else could display the footnote in Richard Lackey style, yet we could exchange our database back and forth because the underlying elements that make up the source, footnote and bibliography listing were identical."

My comments:  Thank you all for the comments and suggestions.  Regarding Louis' comment, when I wrote "source citations" I meant both the source and the citation within that source.  Different people use different terminology.  To me, a "source" is a book, article, website, etc.  The "citation" is the location in the source I found the information (a page number, a record number, etc.).  I think, but am not sure, that what Louis considers a "source" includes the citation part of the source citation.  I think that both parts of a "source citation" need to be transferred, and GEDCOM does that (although source citations get mangled by some platforms reading EE template data from another platform -- that is why I use "free-form sources" in my database). 

Dan's comment about "universal source elements" is helpful.  I've thought about "how to transfer source citations between platforms" at length, and will try to do a blog post about it. 

7)  Thank you to my readers for their interesting, helpful and insightful comments - and congratulations for defeating the Captcha trap.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Adding Data to RootsMagic 6 While Enriching Data on FamilySearch Family Tree

I've spent quite a bit of time the last two days trying to improve my process of adding, matching, editing, and sourcing content in FamilySearch Family Tree and my RootsMagic database.  I'm trying to add the families (spouse(s) and children) of siblings of my direct ancestors in order to have a richer database and, hopefully, be able to find, or be found by, more living cousins.

In many cases, I have more information (names, dates, places) for a person than is in the FS Family Tree.  Occasionally, I find that the FS Family Tree has more information than I do.  So the two databases can enrich each other, to their mutual benefit.  Unfortunately, the FS Family Tree information is mostly unsourced, so I've made the effort to find a source for the information and add a source citation to the event and person in my database.  In other words, the FS Family Tree is serving as a "finding aid" for me.

I was working today with Lucy Smith (1804-1884).  Lucy is the daughter of Aaron and Mercy (Plimpton) Smith of Walpole, Mass., a sister to my third great-grandparent, Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1841), and a third great-grandaunt to me.  As an example, here is the RootsMagic "FamilySearch Person Tools" page for Lucy Smith;

There are several tasks to perform for Lucy Smith:

*  Match my Lucy Smith with any other Lucy Smith in the FS Family Tree who is a daughter of Aaron and Mercy (Plimpton) Smith, and/or a spouse of James Woods and John Wardwell.
*  Add birth and christening standardizing place names.
*  Resolve the death date, and find a death place.
*  Resolve the marriage dates and places for both marriages.

In addition, I was able to:

*  Find possible matches in the FS Family Tree for the two husbands and combine them as needed.
*  Add a middle name for James Woods, plus his birth date/place and death date/place.
*  Add more information for Lucy's second husband, John Wardwell.

For Lucy, I copied her death date into RootsMagic, and thought that her death place was probably Providence, R.I., where she resided in the 1880 census with her husband, John Wardwell.  Then I looked on for Rhode Island deaths, and found entries for both Lucy and John Wardwell.  I created a source for both events.

Here is the revised "FamilySearch Person Tool" screen for Lucy Smith (1804-1884):

The death date for James Woods was in the FS Family Tree, and I found the sources for the birth and death of James Woods, and his marriage to Lucy Smith - all in the American Ancestors vital records collections.  I created sources for all of them  Here is the revised screen for James Capell Woods, Lucy Smith's first husband:

For John Wardwell, the 1880 census indicated he was age 83 (born in Rhode Island) in 1880, and the death record said he was 88 when he died in 1886.  I estimated his birth year as 1797, and added that to the FS Family Tree.  The revised screen for Lucy's second husband, John Wardwell:

I still have some loose ends here :

*  Lucy Smith has two sets of parents in the FS Family Tree - I need to merge Aaron Smith and Mercy Plimpton using RootsMagic to try to eliminate the duplication.

*  There are parents for James woods with no name (or perhaps they're noted as "living"?) in the FS Family Tree - I may not be able to fix that.

*  There are parents with only a first name for John Wardwell in the FS Family Tree.  I can try to find matches for them using RootsMagic.

It took me several hours to get the Aaron and Mercy (Plimpton) Smith family in good order on the FamilySearch Family Tree - there are 8 children, most of them have spouses and some have children.  Each person needs to be dealt with - matched to existing persons in the FS Family Tree; birth and death dates and places resolved;  extraneous alternate names removed; spouses and marriage dates/places resolved, and children added or resolved, one at a time.

The FamilySearch Family Tree cannot receive source citations from RootsMagic 6 (or any other software) at this time.  I spoke to Bruce Buzbee about this at the Genealogy Jamboree and he said they were working on it in RootsMagic.  That's good, but now I have hundreds of people with sources in my database that are in the FS Family Tree without source citations.  I'll have to deal with that one person at a time, I think.

This overall task is onerous, but it has to be done by somebody.  My database is pretty good, and is fairly well sourced now, so I'm going to do my ancestral families - descendants of the siblings of my ancestors can do their own.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1850 U.S. Census Record for Jonathan Oatley Family

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the 1850 United States Census record for Jonathan Oatley (one of my 3rd great-grandfathers) in Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut:

The Jonathan Oatley household:

The extracted information for the Jonathan Oatley household, enumerated on 19 September 1850:

*  Jonathan Oatley - age 59, male, a Stone Cutter, born So. Kingston RI
*  Amey Oatley - age 52, female, born So. Kingston RI
*  Olive F. Oatley - age 14, female, born Killingly Ct

The source citation for this household is:

1850 United States Federal Census, Windham County, Connecticut, population schedule, Killingly town, Page 358, dwelling #548, family #601, Jonathan Oatley household, digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 51.

I don't see any age or birthplace errors in this enumeration.

Jonathan and Amy (Champlin) Oatley had 13 children, and 12 of them survived childhood.  A son, Joseph Oatley, appears on this census page two families below Jonathan Oatley, with his wife Cynthia, and three of their children.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Using RootsMagic 6 to Add a New Person to the FamilySearch Family Tree

A reader asked this question in email recently:  "I want to add a name [to the FamilySearch Family Tree]; it has searched -  but did not find a match - I don't see where to go next.  I'm hoping you can address what to do when there is no match."

Contrary to popular opinion and the wishes of FamilySearch, not EVERY person in the world has been added to the FamilySearch Family Tree.  I run into this problem all the time, especially with 19th and 20th century people.

Let me illustrate how to do this with a screen view of a person not yet added to the FamilySearch Family Tree in my database.  I clicked on the "Find Matches" button (upper left-hand corner under the person's name) with Harvey M. Bradley in the "Family Search Person Tools" window in RootsMagic 6:

As you can see above, the "Find Matches" screen in RootsMagic for Harvey M. Bradley did not find any matches for him in FamilySearch Family Tree.  You could click on the "Search for more matches" button, but that rarely finds additional matches for me.

The key to your problem is the "Add to FamilySearch" button outlined in red on the screen above.  Click it, and the confirmation window opens to finalize adding the person to the FamilySearch Family Tree:

The "Add my person to FamilySearch" message says:

"This will add a copy of your RootsMagic person to FamilySearch.  Make sure the person isn't already on FamilySearch before selecting this option."

Then click the "Add to FamilySearch" button below the message.

Your next task is to go into the "FamilySearch Person Tools" (the blue icon next to the name in the Pedigree, Family or Descendant View) and add the information for your person into the Family Tree.  Adding the Person is not enough - you have to add whatever information you have for the person - birth, marriage, death, spouse, children, etc.  If you add another person (e.g., a spouse or a child), you will have to go through the same process - Match or add the person to the Family Tree, then add their information.

It's easy...I heard the head slap (and the "D'oh" exclamation) of my reader who just couldn't see the "Add to FamilySearch" button without the red outline on the first screen.  We all do things like this!  I do...true confessions!  There are so many little details with every website that it's impossible to remember everything when I need it.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Book Notice: "Aspen's Roots," by Paul Sullivan

I received this information from Paul Sullivan, the author of the book, Aspen's Roots:


Contact Information:
Paul Sullivan
Red Pine Publishing
520 North Main Street, Suite #206
Heber City, Utah 84032
435 671-8730

Aspen’s Roots – Connecting with the Next Generation

The newly released children’s picture book, Aspen’s Roots is receiving rave reviews with the public in general; however, it should especially resonate with the genealogy community. Author, Paul Sullivan, wrote this allegory, based on the science of aspen tree growth, to help his own grandchildren identity with and connect to the past generations that have quietly contributed to their wellbeing. The main character of this story, beautifully illustrated with acrylics on canvas, is a young sapling that is living a carefree life amidst the wonders of nature, unaware of the extensive contributions made by her extended family to soil, roots and her genetics. Through the quiet time of winter, young Aspen learns to feel beyond herself. She discovers that it’s what’s below the surface that really makes us strong. “I’m not alone, it’s not just me, I’m part of a family, a big family tree.”

Unlike most of the children’s books out there whose sole purpose is to entertain, Aspen’s Roots teaches important principles for building good moral character. Following the rhyming text of the story is an aspen-themed family roots blank, complete with worms and ants, ready for the reader to fill in with names of four generations.

While Aspen’s Roots is primarily a children’s book, like many of the old classics, the poem transcends generations and has a poignant message for young and old alike. Aspen’s Roots would be a perfect gift to show appreciation for those of previous generations who have had an impact on your life. As a grandparent you may want to personalize a copy for your grandchildren by filling in the names on their four-generation chart. As James Tanner ( put it: “As genealogists we are currently concerned about reaching out to younger people and including them in our passion for our families’ history. This is the type of outreach that I think is most effective to get young people thinking about their own relationship to their ancestors.”

To get a peek inside Aspen’s Roots visit In addition to this website and the retailers listed, it is also on


Disclosure:  I have not read this book, and did not receive any remuneration of any sort forp osting this book notice.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 260: Dorothy, Emily and Evelyn in 1921

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

Here is a photograph from the Seaver/Richmond family photograph collection passed to me by my cousin Laura in 2008:

This photograph shows Dorothy Taylor (1904-1992), Emily (Richmond) Taylor (1879-1966), and Evelyn Seaver (1903-1978) standing in a garden, perhaps in Massachusetts, in the early 1920s.  I know that Emily and Dorothy took a trip to Massachusetts in 1921, and this was probably taken at that time.

Dorothy Taylor was the daughter of George and Emily(Richmond) Taylor of San Diego, California, and Evelyn Seaver was the daughter of Fred and Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver of Leominster, Massachusetts.  Emily and Alma Bessie Richmond were sisters, so Dorothy and Evelyn were first cousins.  

My thanks to cousin Laura for sending this picture, and many others, to me, and for permitting me to display them.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Treelines has a Family Storytelling Contest on "Getting Started"

I received this press release from Tammy Hepps of Treelines about a Family History Storytelling Contest announced at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree:

June 7, 2013 — Treelines, the winner of the 2013 RootsTech Developer Challenge, will announce tomorrow at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree its first family storytelling contest on the theme of “Getting Started Stories.”  Everyone with a fascination for their family’s history, regardless of their level of experience, is invited to share the story about they first got interested. 

All entries must be composed and published using the Treelines storybuilder, currently available for free to all registered users of the site.  “Treelines’ unique site brings storytelling to a new level of expression by combining words with photos and family history,” said Maureen Taylor, the internationally recognized photo identification and family history expert.  “It’s a perfect way to present and share your family history a picture at a time.”

The contest will be judged by Taylor and Tammy Hepps, the founder of Treelines. They will look for stories that best capture the fun and wonder of uncovering family history, as well as those that are well-written, highlight family photographs, and take full advantage of the Treelines storybuilder’s capabilities.   The authors of the three best stories will each win a personal consultation with Taylor, in which she will help them uncover the stories behind their family photographs. 

Entries will be accepted through July 19.  Complete information is available at

About Treelines
Treelines is a web-based storytelling tool for family historians.  Winner of the 2013 RootsTech Developer Challenge, Treelines is already gaining notice for its story-centric approach to family history, as well as its broad sharing capabilities and interactivity.  Treelines brings those who work on preserving their families’ history the easy tools and beautiful templates to easily share stories their relatives will actually enjoy.

About Maureen Taylor

Maureen Taylor is an internationally recognized expert on the intersection of history, genealogy, and photography. She has been featured in top media outlets, including The View, Better Homes & Gardens, the Boston Globe, Martha Stewart Living, MSNBC, Life Magazine, and PBS Ancestors. Maureen is the author of a number of books and magazine articles, as well as a contributing editor at Family Tree Magazine.  She also shares her tips and techniques in energetic seminars on family history, photography, genealogy, scrapbooking, and New England history.  


I've been working a bit in Treelines learning how to use the website, creating stories, adding photographs, etc, but I'm a long way from having a story to submit.  

There are some wonderful stories already posted on Treelines - read some of them.  When you click on the link, use the advance arrows in the story title to see all of the story panels with accompanying pictures:

*  How I Got Into Genealogy (by Tammy Hepps)
*  A 14-Year Old Girl's Quest To Find Her Grandfather (by Nuthatchgirl)
*  Nels and Ane Marie: Becoming Americans (by KMKeegan)

In the process, you can see how the combination of the story panels and the timelines for the persons in the story interact.  

The URL for this post is:

This Week's Genealogical Eclectica

I receive blog posts and other items in Google Reader, email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and some of them have links of interest.  Here are some of the "genealogical eclectica" that's recently crossed my desk - news I want you to know about:

1)  Geoff Rasmussen is unveiling Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 on the Legacy News blog - see Legacy Family Tree 8 Revealed.

2)  Geoff also posted the Last Call for the Legacy Genealogy Cruise - 2013 on the Legacy News blog.

3)  There are two new Family Tree Webinars this week.  Register for:

*  Wednesday, 12 June, 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT): "New Search Options Let You Target Obituaries, Photos, Passenger Lists, Births, Marriages, and More" by Tom Kemp

*  Friday, 14 June, 2 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. PDT): "Next Exit: Your New Jersey Ancestors" by Thomas MacEntee

4)  Emily Garber is touring the Ukraine and sharing photos and travel stories on her blog (Going) the Extra Yad.  Great pictures and she is breaking down some of her brick walls.  I'm always impressed and fascinated by genealogists that travel to Eastern Europe and are successful in their search.  It's so beyond me.  This is, to me, one of the best things about genealogy blogging.

5)  Joel Weintraub and Steve Morse are looking for volunteers to work on the 1950 Census Project.  Here is their email message:

"If you wondered how we produced free locational tools for the opening of the 1940 census on the Morse One-Step site, wonder no more and be part of the team to do the same thing for 1950.  We have opened up "Project 1950" to prepare searchable ED definitions and street indexes for the opening of the 1950 Census in 2022. With the help of about 125 volunteers we produced our 1940 tools, and now are looking for about 200+ volunteers to help with Phase I (transcription of Enumeration District definitions) and Phase II (creating urban area street indexes) for 1950.  An explanation of the two Phases and what needs to be done can be found at:  

"It may seem too early to be doing this, but it took us over 7 years to produce the 1940 tools that were used by the National Archives, the NY Public Library,, and millions of researchers."

6)  Internet Magazine came out with their list of the 25 Top Genealogy blogs, and Genea-Musings made the list.  The Legal Genealogist  and several other excellent blogs didn't make the list, so I take these lists with a grain of salt.  Miriam Robbins provided the list of 25 in her post AnceStories Named One of Internet Genealogy's 25 Top Genealogy Blogs.  Congratulations to the listed genea-bloggers.  I hope that the magazine does better next year.  

7)  Are you reading Thomas MacEntee's newest blog, 50 Shades of Genealogy?  It's funny!

8)  DearMYRTLE's Mastering Genealogical Proof (MGP) Study Groups start this Sunday, 16 June 2013.  While the panel positions on the Google+ Hangout On Air (HOA) are filled, you can still watch the session on Sunday evenings (8 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. PDT) on the DearMYRTLE YouTube Channel.  Watch the MGP Study Group Orientation video:

9)  Ron Arons showed me his Generation Tap Dance video from his 35th Reunion of Princeton University.  Ron is great in the video (the dance starts about 40 seconds in - wait for it!):


Genealogists are multi-talented, aren't they? 

I may make this a regular weekly post so that I can collect items of interest to me, and perhaps to you, rather than write a post for each one.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday's Tip - Ancestry Anne's Presentation about Fold3

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Fold3 (a commercial site) is a gold mine of information, especially for Military Records. is a commercial genealogy record collection site (owned by with a gold mine of military records, plus an excellent City Directory collection and some large city newspapers.

At the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank this past weekend, Anne Gillespie Mitchell (AKA "Ancestry Anne", author of the Ancestry Reference Desk blog) presented "Everything You Want To Know About Fold3."  Her Powerpoint presentation (in PDF format) has sections for:

*  Home page on Fold3
*  Memorial pages
*  Searching for soldiers
*  Research examples
*  Browsing collections
*  Search tips
*  Image viewer

Anne just scratched the surface of the content at Fold3 - she concentrated on Military Records because of time constraints.  Here is a screen shot of the City Directory listing (of states, with California highlighted):

The list of Newspapers available on Fold3:

In general, the City Directories and Newspapers are from before 1923.

My thanks to Anne Mitchell for posting her presentations online for those of us that didn't attend her presentations.  Anne also posted her other SCGS presentation, titled "Searching and Writing Your Family History As You Go On"

Disclosure:  I have a full paid year's subscription to Fold3, and have for several years now.  I have not been remunerated in any way for writing this post.  It is my go-to site for Military Records, City Directories for large cities, and the listed Newspaper collections.

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dear Randy: How to Resolve Duplicate Entries in RootsMagic 6

I received an email from a reader recently concerning how to resolve different RootsMagic files with the same persons but different source citations.

Here's Sandra's question:

I have just discovered that I have not always been working in the same RootsMagic file.  I have Windows 7 and I really dislike the Library function.  I have gotten into the habit of navigating to the location where the file is (and I thought I was getting the same file) in order to work on it.

However, I’ve also got a copy in Dropbox and have saved various images from Ancestry, etc. to Dropbox.  Those sync to the computer, BUT I’ve discovered that the files are not always the same in the two Dropbox locations.  The first time I noticed this was with a shared folder on another project not genealogy related.

Now I have two RootsMagic files that have different sources (I’ve been working on updating them to the RM templates) from each other, and the file that has the old source format (for the family group sheets) has more people (over 100) than the one with the “right” sources.  Who knows what else one or the other is missing (I’ve printed to PDF an individual list and each file is over 300 pages).

I am wondering how I can get the two files either combined or somehow get all the correct information together.  I would then delete the “wrong” file from every place it might be stored.

I think the resolution is to make a GEDCOM from each file, start a new file, import each GEDCOM and someway be able to tell it to not merge duplicates.  Or perhaps, to bring both GEDCOMs in and then do a merge on duplicates.

Do you have any ideas?

My response:

I always work on just the file that I have in my RootsMagic database file folder, and I always start RootsMagic with my "working" file in order to avoid the problems you've experienced (but I understand that mistakes happen!).  From experience, along the same lines you described.  I keep my ONE RootsMagic "working" file in my Documents > Genealogy > Software > RootsMagic 6 > Databases file folder.

I do copy my "working" RootsMagic file several times a week to Dropbox, but do not sync any of my Dropbox files with the file folders they came from.  This way I can import the most recent file into RootsMagic on my laptop, and it's a cloud backup.  I use Dropbox to save my important files and to transfer files to/from my desktop, laptop and mobiles (photos, files, etc.). 

For your problem:

1)  Before you begin merging your files into (perhaps) a new database, you should click on "Help" in RootsMagic and select "Search" and search for the articles for "merge."  Print out the ones you think will help you the most so you can follow the directions provided.   You have three choices in Merge - Manual Merge, Duplicate Searches and Automatic Merges.  I would try the Automatic Merge first and select the SmartMerge option.  I think that will work for you, but am not 100% sure (that's why you create a third file, and maybe a fourth and fifth too).  You will have to test it out and see what happens.  The way the Help file reads, I think that it will do what you want.

2)  If you have two RootsMagic files (File-1 and File-2) with unique data, you will need to create a GEDCOM of one of the files.  Follow this process:

*  Make a copy of your first file (File-1) to use this as the basis for the combined file.  This is File-3.
*  Make a GEDCOM file of the second file (File-2) to import into the copy of the first file (File-3).
*  Open File-3, then do a File > Import and import the File-2 GEDCOM.  Select GEDCOM from the list of the importable programs and then "Combine into this database."
*  That will put duplicate persons into your File-3.  
*  Then go to Tools > Merge > Automatic Merges and check "Smart Merge," "Source Merge" and "Repository Merge."  Click on "Begin Merge"

You can go back to File-1 and File-2 if it doesn't work and try something different.

For some reason, RootsMagic doesn't allow a user to File > Import an existing RootsMagic 4-6 file into a File > New file.

3)  I just did this with one of my files (File-1, with 86 persons) - made a Copy of the file (File-3) and a GEDCOM (File-2) of the file.  I then opened the Copy (File-3) and imported the GEDCOM file into it.  It created duplicate persons - 175 total.  I then ran Tools > Merge > Automatic Merges and ended up with a file with 92 persons.  It did not merge some persons that had a first name, no surname, and no birth or death data.  So it's imperfect, but it did most of them.  If that happens to you, you should go through your person list and manually merge those persons.  

Also, you may find duplicate Events for some persons.  In your case, you may have to delete the Events with your "old source citations" and keep the ones with the "new source citations."  You may have duplicate Media items for a merged person also, and you'll have to resolve that one at a time, I think.  It might be best to use the Media Gallery to identify the duplicates and delete the duplicates from there.

4)  Does any other reader have a better solution to this problem?  If so, I'm sure that Sandy would like to know about it.

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver