Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- a 100 Word Genealogy Challenge

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:

This SNGF is based on the 100 Word Challenge ( that school children are participating in around the world.  They are given a word or phrase to write a story about in one hundred words.

1)  Write a short 100 word story using the phrase ",,,the most interesting ancestor I have..." in 100 words.  [Hint:  If you write it in a word processor, you can use Tools > Word Count (or similar) to count words]

2)  Share the story with all of us by writing your own blog post, writing a comment on this blog post, or put it in a Google Plus Stream or Facebook Status or Note.  Please leave a comment on this post so others can find it.

Here's mine:

Devier James Lamphier Smith is the most interesting ancestor that I have. I know that he was born, probably on 7 May 1839, in Jefferson County, New York to unknown parents, and adopted by Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith before they moved to Dodge County, Wisconsin in 1843. He grew up in his parents' inn, and handled the horses and buggies. He married Abigail Vaux in 1861 in Wisconsin, they had five children, and they lived in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. Devier was a farmer, livery man, speculator, and snake oil salesman. He died in 1894 in McCook, Nebraska.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - CUTLER (England to colonial Massachusetts)

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

I am in the 7th great-grandmothers, I'm up to Ancestor #635, who is Ruth CUTLER (1668-1758) 
[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 CUTLER 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)

38.  Thomas J. Newton (ca 1800 - ????)
39.  Sophia Buck (1797-1882)

78.  Isaac Buck (1757-1847)
79.  Martha Phillips (1757-????)

158.  John Phillips (1722-????)
159.  Hannah Brown (1725-????)

316.  Ebenezer Phillips (1695-1746)
317.  Mary Smith (1698-????)

634.  John Smith, born about 1647; died before March 1705/06 in probably Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 18 May 1693 in Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
635.  Ruth Cutler, born 02 February 1667/68 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 17 May 1758 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of John Smith and Ruth Cutler are:
*  Ruth Smith (1694-????)
*  Mary Smith (1698-????), married 1719 Ebenezer Phillips (1695-1748)
*  Elizabeth Smith (1700-????)
*  Hannah Smith (1702-1704)

1270.  Thomas Cutler, born 03 April 1633 in Norfolk, England; died 07 December 1683 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 19 March 1659/60 in Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1271.  Mary Giles, born about 1635 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2542. Edward Giles and 2543. Bridget.

Children of Thomas Cutler and Mary Giles are:
*  Thomas Cutler (1660-1732), married 1685 Elizabeth Felch (1666-????).
*  Mary Cutler (1663-????); married Nathaniel Smith.
*  Sarah Cutler (1666-1748), married 1688 William Eustis.
*  Ruth Cutler (1668-1758), married (1) 1693 John Smith (1647-1706); married (2) 1706 Thomas Upham.
*  David Cutler (1670-1710), married 1700 Abigail Flagg (1681-1768).
*  Jonathan Cutler (1677-1721), married 1717 Abigail Gale.

2540.  John Cutler, born about 1600 in Ipswich, Suffolk, England; died 24 February 1636/37 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.   He married About 1620 in England.
2541.  Mary, born about 1601 in England; died 12 December 1681 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of John Cutler and Mary are:
*  Henry Cutler (1622-1666)
*  John Cutler (1625-1678), married 1650 Olive Thompson (1629-1691)
*  Samuel Cutler (1629-1700), married (1) 1655 Elizabeth --?-- (1627-1693); married (2) 1698 Sarah Church (1627-????).
*  Nathaniel Cutler (1630-1724), married (1) 1655 Mary --?-- (1633-1708); married (2) 1709 Elizabeth Haines (1630-????); married (3) 1715 Sarah Tottingham (1630-????).
*  Thomas Cutler (1633-1683), married 1660 Mary Giles (1635-????)
*  Hannah Cutler (1635-1686), married 1655 Oniferous Marsh (1630-1713).
*  Edward Cutler (1637-????).

I obtained some of my information about this surname line from:

*  Nahum S. Cutler, Cutler Memorial and Genealogical History (Greenfield, Mass. : 1889, Press of E.A. Hall & Co.)

*  Vital Record books of several Massachusetts towns.

Friday, July 26, 2013

More Land Patents in Cheyenne County, Kansas for Devier Smith and Della Smith

I wrote about finding BLM/GLO land patents for Henry A. Carringer, Della A. Smith and Devier J. Smith in Finding Henry Carringer's Land Patents, and Location, in Cheyenne County, Kansas on Wednesday.  In a comment on the post, reader Gerry Sell helped me out with:

"Interesting. You may have figured all this out by now, but I thought I'd add some observations anyway. Both of Henry A Carringer's patents are Cash Entry - I'm pretty sure that means he paid cash for them on the dates listed, and could dispose of them at will. They were definitely not Homestead patents (no 5 year occupancy, no "proving up").

"There are other Carringers, too, in Lane and Decatur Counties.

"There are two Cheyenne County patents for Della A Smith - one in Section 3 and one in Section 2 - and another in Scott County for a Della S Smith. All of them are Cash Entry.

"Devier Smith patents in Section 11 and Section 10 are both Cash Entry. 

"I don't know why the patents are in Della's birth name unless she's a different Della - how likely is that??? Maybe she and Henry were trying to disguise the extent of their holdings!

"Anyway, all of these parcels could have been sold at any time. 

"If you go to the Reference Center tab on the BLM site and then down to the Document Requests section, Land Entry Case Files, you'll find even more possibilities for delicious burrowing. Land research is utterly fascinating."

Thank you, Gerry, for the help!  I did not have the two additional land patents that Gerry found by doing a search for the names, which I, in my excitement, did not complete.  There's a lesson learned her - be patient, check each name in each state.

Here is the complete list of the land patents I've found for Henry, Della, and Devier:

1)  Henry A. Carringer:

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 3, Aliquots NE1/4.  This is 160 acres - the northeast quarter of Section 3 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 11, Aliquots W1/2 SE1/4 and E1/2 NW1/4.  This is 160 acres - the west half of the southeast quarter, and the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 11 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.

2)  Della A. Smith:

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 3, Aliquots SE1/4.  This is 160 acres - the southeast quarter of Section 3 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.  This land is just to the south of Henry A. Carringer's patent in Section 3.

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 2, Aliquots W1/2 of SW1/4.  This is 80 acres - the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 2 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.  This land is just to the east of Della's other patent in Section 3.

3)  Devier J. Smith:

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 11, Aliquots W1/2 SW1/4 and W1/2 NW1/4.  This is 160 acres - the west half of the southwest quarter, and the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 11 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 10, Aliquots SE1/4.  This is 160 acres - the southwest quarter of Section 10 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.

Here is the updated map showing the land on a Google Map - the different owners are:

*  Henry A. Carringer in Red
*  Della A. Smith in Blue
*  Devier J. Smith in Green

The Sections are in Purple, with the section numbers shown:

Gerry made other comments about the Cash Sale Entry, and I checked the reference documents she mentioned, and there appears to be no five-year requirement, or even a building requirement, on a Cash Sale entry.

However, even though Della A. Smith married Henry Carringer in September, 1887, and they moved to San Diego immediately, it is likely that they both had filed to receive these land patents in Cheyenne County, Kansas.  Della was always the "financial person" in their marriage.  

I don't know if the persons who received the Land Patent had to appear on the site, or at the Land Office, in order to receive their patent.  If so, then they apparently traveled to Kansas from California in 1889 and 1890.  Della had her first child in San Diego in August 1889, who died in May 1890.  She had her second child in San Diego in November 1891.

If I ordered the Land Entry Case File from the National Archives, would that file hold all of the correspondence involved for the case?

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Interesting and Helpful Reader Comments for 26 July 2013

It's Friday, time to follow-up on interesting and helpful reader comments to Genea-Musings blog posts.  Here's this week's selections:

1)  On Have You Posted Your Genealogy Research on the Internet? I Practice PMGDOE! (posted 18 July 2013):

*  Christine Manczuk noted:  "Yes, I have my tree on Ancestry (public) and I have started blogging about my direct ancestors by writing up their lives in story/timeline fashion. I try to put as much value into my work so as to pay forward and back to all the other researchers out there. I'm not the only one related to my ancestors! LOL And I have already received so much help from cousins and other interested parties, it makes it all worth it."

*  T said:  "Isn't FamilySearch Family Tree the one anyone can edit? 

"I also have my tree "out there" because I don't want the information to be lost. I have mine on so that only I or the people who have my permission can edit it. I WANT my tree to be found. When I started it was such a mess to sort people I wouldn't wish that on anyone. As long as they had the same first OR last name, they were made the same family. I got the clues I needed from two online trees. It required a lot of reading but I did find it.

"Of course I still have brick walls. I've connected with others looking for the same people. I'm sure if one of us solves any of those mysteries we will be sharing with each other so that we have someone to do the happy dance with."

My comment:  Yes, FamilySearch Family Tree is available for anyone to add, edit or delete content.  The goal is to be open for all, concentrate on sources supporting conclusions, and discussions to resolve issues.

Two other comments were made, which I included in PMGDOE - Different Views About Posting Genealogy Research Online (posted 22 July 2013).

*  The Genetic Genealogist commented:  "My two cents:

"1. Even the BEST genealogical research almost certainly contains errors - not in research or analysis, but in the inherent errors associated with human memory, transcription, etc.

"2. There has NEVER been a genealogist who did his or her research alone; all research has relied on the hard work of others (indexers, transcribers, family members, etc.)"

My comment:  I agree with both of these in general.  I would say that some of the mid-1800s genealogists did their research alone, or with little collaboration, digging in the original town and county records.

*  Linda Schrieber noted:  "I do understand the problems early and now, but I strongly agree with PMGDOE. Better to have many versions out there, some with smaller errors, and some with a mish-mash of copy-paste, than to have only the mish-mash. If the careful researchers hold back, then there is nothing but the mish-mash. No sources, no references or repositories, and lots of lost photos, notes, and memories.

"Future researchers will have a lot more experience, and probably *tools* to help them parse out one from the other, and head them forward.  Gotta trust them...."

*  Barbara McGeachy offered:  "1. I am saving some of my research to share after (if!) I get certified. BCG certification requires that no one has reviewed the work being submitted. I don't want to compromise my application.

"2. I share my research that is straight-forward, and I share the photos I inherited. I have public trees on Ancestry, and a blog where I share my photos and some stories. I attach records I find in Ancestry to my ancestors. Sometimes it takes a while to find a record, and I'm glad if I can help other people. Also, I love photos and I think it's only fair to share the photos I have too. 

"3. I struggle with unsavory history. I am not going to hide it, but I also don't want to hurt living people. Publishing it on the internet would be too public.

"4. I do not put any of my writing on-line. I publish books and give them to family members and libraries. This is because the World Wide Web is really the Wild Wild West! Some people are unscrupulous and steal other people's work. Writing and research are hard work, and I don't want to give thieves an easy opportunity to steal my work. Of course, they could find my books and type them up, but my theory is that thieves are generally too lazy to do that!

"I think if I get to the point where I'm retired from genealogy, I might publish on-line, but I'm not at that point yet."

My comment:  Barbara has two excellent reasons in her list - not writing about your work that you might submit for BCG certification (although an online family tree without notes provided is probably not a problem).  Unsavory history that might harm a living person is certainly an issue to avoid.

*  Tolley Family Historian commented:  "I too have had experiences of someone taking my incomplete data and putting it on-line (before I ever did) with a mish mash of other things. BUT that doesn't affect the quality of MY research. And as that particular gleaner didn't cite me as a source (they seldom do) I don't actually care very much. Putting my own data on-line has actually been a god-send. I have linked up with people who I'm related to, who had really important and novel information, and who put right some of the incorrect assumptions that I'd made. Empowerment only ever comes from sharing data and communicating with others."

*  Anonymous said:  "Online trees (almost always sourceless) often provide clues that lead me to real sources. An un-sourced name is often enough to allow a breakthrough."

*  Colleen G. Brown Pasquale noted:  "I only look at information that has sources. Then I go to those sources & verify the information. Like you, I use that as a starting point to uncover more sources to verify & add to the original information."

*  Anonymous (Dave L.) offered:  "As far as how you evaluate the online trees, I'd say you're on the right track. They're not inherently evil, nor are they inherently trustworthy. Online trees need to be evaluated just like any other source.

"As far as how much you include in your own tree, that's entirely your call, depending on what your goal is. Some people are interested only in the direct line ancestry and begrudgingly include parallel families only because they are a research aid. I'm pretty much at the opposite extreme, as I'm fascinated by the concept of how we're all related to each other -- thus, I'm building my family forest (admittedly, though, with an emphasis on my tree and its immediate neighbors). There's no right or wrong answer to this part of the question."

*  T said:  "I'm doing it the same as the rest of you. For whatever reason, there doesn't seem to be any interest in any of my family for any genealogy. I think everything I've found before 1800 was in a book sometimes leading to a document that I had to buy. I have connected with 3 family members who are tracing other siblings of my parents or grandparents. Other than that, zilch. Nothing. No other trees on Ancestry and the ones on FamilySearch are the hodge-podge of misinformation I've quoted here before. So we collaborate and get our trees to agree. It produces a few happy dances and a lot of bloody foreheads. With so little research and cited relationships it's slow going. My brick walls have all boiled down to deaths that are not recorded. It amazes me that one spouse can be traced to the Mayflower and the other dropped out of a space ship in 1800. I'm afraid I'll grit my teeth so hard I crack a tooth one of these days!"

4)  On Using the Correspondence List in RootsMagic (posted 24 July 2013):

*  Shannon Thomas commented:  "I am a Legacy user and in the to-do list you can put an item in and mark it as correspondence but I prefer to use Evernote to keep track of email from different people. I create a new note for each email and tag with surname and any other necessary tags."

*  Mitch Clendenning noted:  "I had not noticed the correspondence list before. Thanks for the heads up! I entered a few emails, and found it best to enter all the emails in a thread into a single entry, separating the email bodies with a date heading.


My comment:  I like that better than doing a separate item for each "Sent" and "Received." 

*  Lisa offered:  "I use the correspondence list but very sparingly because it has not been developed enough for me to be useful. For instance, I would like to be able to link the correspondence to an individual, or a family (or, but this is pushing it a bit far, to a task, or even a research plan) and then be able to look up the correspondence from there.  And, as you say, the ability to add an attachment would be the icing on the cake.  Meanwhile RootsMagic continues to be the best genealogy software ever!"

*  McElrea ONS said:  "Thanks for this topic, Randy. I am a new RM user and this is new to me. Like you, I had trouble over the years and finally started saving my emails as .txt files. They are listed under the surname, then the researcher and are read and shared easily with that format. I agree there needs to be more to this tool, especially linking to an existing subject in the file."

*  Laura noted:  "Instead of the Correspondence list, I am using the Research log to enter emails and other correspondence in RootsMagic. The Research log is much more flexible than the Correspondence list. I can link the research log to a person or have all the Correspondence in one Research log. And I like being able to sort the Research log, Research items by a column and choose which column to sort on when printing.  There are various ways to set up what to enter in the Research item fields.

"I put a setup note in the Research log objective box which explains which box to enter what information in a Research item item as a reminder."

My comments:  Thank you for the suggestions.  I will try the Research Log suggestion and see how that works for me.  I need to see if the Research Log gets exported in a GEDCOM and imported by the other programs.  I'd hate to lose all of that useful information if I change genealogy programs.

Another thing I thought of was to create an item in Evernote for each correspondent, headed by surname, writer and subject and put all email items in a thread in one note, plus any attachments.  

5)  That's it for this week - thank you to all of the Genea-Musings readers who valiantly sally forth and defeat the dreaded Captcha security system which keeps almost all of the spam comments out of my Blogger system!

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Copy or Print Information From Some Collections in FamilySearch

One of the new features on the FamilySearch website, as listed in Search Gets Major Feature Enhancements (posted by Robert Kehrer on the FamilySearch Blog on 22 July 2013, is the "Enhanced Copy Function on Record Details" feature, described as:

"A common thing to do after finding an ancestor in the historical records is to copy all the data on the record to research notes. Researchers have requested that we enhance the copy function so that all the related people on the record and citation are included in the copy. When it is available, the related people and citation information is now included in the copy after the standard person data."

This is a very useful feature, so I wanted to see how it worked.  

1)  I went to the record summary for my grandfather in the 1940 U.S. Census, and saw:

On the line in blue, below the "Records" tab line and above the name of the person and the record collection, over on the right side, are links for "Copy" and "Print."

2)  I clicked on the "Copy" link and nothing seemed to happen (but it put the copied information in the Clipboard in Windows).

I opened my word processor, and clicked on "Paste" and the information went into the document with left justified formatting, which resulted in the data not being in columns:

Note also that it only includes the indexed information presented in the record summary, not all of the information in the record image.

The good news is that it provides a source and a link to see the record, although the link is not in Evidence Explained format, or even close.

The copy to a document page is not terrible, but it's not wonderful, in my humble opinion.  In order to make that presentable in a Research Note in a document, I would have to spend some time formatting it.

3)  I decided to see how it looked in an Event Note (like a Research Note) and pasted it into the Event Note for the 1940 U.S. Census in RootsMagic 6 and saw:

That is even worse, at least for me.  The line breaks did not copy into the Event Note field.  I would have to do even more formatting to make that readable.  

4)  There was also a "Print" link on the FamilySearch record summary page, next to the "copy" link.  I clicked that and the "Print" page for my printer opened:

That prints out with the proper format, but in two pages for this particular record.  I could also save the file as a PDF file or as a file on Google Drive.  

5)  My conclusion is:  Close, but not good enough.  I want to be able to save it to a Person Note or Event Note in my genealogy program without having to do a lot of reformatting.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - Henry A. Carringer's General Land Office Patent in Cheyenne County, Kansas

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to showcase some of the collected documents and other treasures of my ancestors.

Here is one of the two land patents 
received by Henry Austin Carringer (my great-grandfather) in 1889 in Cheyenne County, Kansas, obtained from the Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records site (as a PDF, copied to a JPG using the Windows Snipping Tool):

The transcription of this document (handwritten portions in italics) reads:

The United States of America
CERTIFICATE No. 4688 }  To all to whom these Presents shall come, Greeting:

WHEREAS Henry A. Carringer of Cheyenne County, Kansas
has deposited in the GENERAL LAND OFFICE of the United States, a Certificate of the Register of the Land Office at Oberlin, Kansas whereby it appears that full payment has been made by the said Henry A. Carringer

                                                                               according to the provisions of the Act of Congress of the 24th of April 1820, entitled "An act making further provision for the sale of the Public Lands," and the acts supplemental thereto, for the west half of the south east quarter and the east half of the south west quarter of section eleven in township three south of range forty west of the Sixth Principal Meridian in Kansas, containing one hundred and sixty acres.

according to the official plat of the survey of the said Lands returned to the General Land Office by the Surveyor General
, which said tract has been purchased by the said Henry A. Carringer

Now know ye, That the 
United States of America, in consideration of the premises, and in conformity with the several acts of Congress, in such case made and provided, HAVE GIVEN AND GRANTED, and by these presents DO GIVE AND GRANT, unto the said Hewnry A. Carringer

and to his heirs, the said tract above described: TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the same, together with all the rights, 
privileges, immunities, and appurtenances of whatsoever nature, thereunto belonging, unto the said Henry A. Carringer 
                                                              and to his heirs and assigns forever.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I. Benjamin Harrison, 
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, have caused these Letters to be made patent, and the seal of the General Land Office to be hereunto affixed.

GIVEN under my hand, at the City of Washington, the twenty eighth day of  October
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighty nine, and of the Independence of the United States the one hundred and fourteenth.
BY THE PRESIDENT: Benjamin Harrison
By Ellen MacFarland, Asst. Secretary,
J.M. Townsend Recorder of the General Land Office.

The source citation for this document is:

U.S. Bureau of Land Management, "Land Patent Search," indexed database, General Land Office Records ( : accessed 24 July 2013), entry for Henry A. Carringer, Cheyenne County, Kansas, Certificate No. 4688.

I wrote about finding this land patent, and several others, in Finding Henry Carringer's Land Patents, and Location, in Cheyenne County, Kansas.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Finding Henry Carringer's Land Patents, and Location, in Cheyenne County, Kansas

I attended Blythe Stokes presentation last Saturday at the CGSSD program meeting on "Land Ho!! Using Google Earth, BLM/General Land Records, and EarthPoint."  Blythe described how to use the General Land Office BLM records to find land patents (, then input the township, range and section information into the EarthPoint site ( and activate Google Earth ( to "fly" to the land and view the section in a satellite view.  She went further, but I won't do that here.

I had done this previously with Ranslow Smith in Dodge County, Wisconsin, but had not looked for my ancestors in other states, or for my wife's ancestors.

At the meeting, I had my laptop, had downloaded Google Earth previously, so I was ready to work along with Blythe on my own search and find (hopefully).  Here was my process, and what I found:

1)  On the BLM/General Land Records website (, I clicked on the "Search documents" button and searched for my great-grandfather, Carringer in Cheyenne County, Kansas:

I clicked on the "Search Persons" button and saw the list of Carringers:

There were two listed, both Henry A. Carringer, as shown above.

The descriptions of the land patents were:

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 3, Aliquots NE1/4.  This is 160 acres - the northeast quarter of Section 3 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 11, Aliquots W1/2 SE1/4 and E1/2 NW1/4.  This is 160 acres - the west half of the southeast quarter, and the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 11 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.

I clicked on one of them, and was able to see the Patent Image (in the "Patent Image" tab):

I saved a PDF of both patents to my computer.

I clicked on the "Related Documents" tab on the screen above, and saw:

The others who received patents for this Section 3 were David Oglesbee and Della A. Smith.  Della a. smith is my great-grandmother, who married Henry A. Carringer in 1885!  I noted the land description and copied her patent also.  Her patent was for:

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 3, Aliquots SE1/4.  This is 160 acres - the southeast quarter of Section 3 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.  This land is just to the south of Henry A. Carringer's patent in Section 3.

2)  The second step is to go to the EarthPoint website (, which is free to use for certain tasks, including this one.  I clicked on the "Search by Description" under the "Township & Range" section in the left-hand frame, and entered the Township, Range and Section information into the search fields (page at

I clicked on the "Fly to Google Earth" button below the search fields.  This created an EarthPointFlyTo.kml file that downloaded to my computer.

3)  I had previously loaded the free Google Earth program to my computer (  I did not subscribe, or take a 30-day trial subscription.

I clicked on the downloaded EarthPointFlyTo.kml file and Google Earth opened and the program flew to the township (outlined in orange below, with Section 3 outlined in purple):

I can zoom in to see the satellite view of Section 3 and because the aliquot parts are rectangular, I can figure out which areas were owned by Henry A. Carringer and Della A. Smith.

I also did the "Fly to Google Earth" for Section 11, and saw:

Google Earth put Section 11 on the same map as Section 3.  That's cool.

I did not use any of the more advanced features of Google Earth for this - everything I've done above is FREE.

While on the Section 11 patent in EarthPoint, I checked the "Related Documents" tab and found Devier J. Smith's (another ancestor) land patent in:

*  Cheyenne County, Kansas, Meridian 6th PM, Township 003S, Range 040W, Section 11, Aliquots W1/2 SW1/4 and W1/2 NW1/4.  This is 160 acres - the west half of the southwest quarter, and the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 11 of Township 003W, Range 40W in Cheyenne County, Kansas.

I clicked on the "View in Google Maps" button in order to get a "flat view," easily saw the distinctive land pattern, saved the image, and drew boxes around all of the land patents (as best I can using OpenOffice graphic tools).  Here are the different areas owned by:

*  Henry A. Carringer outlined in red
*  Della A. Smith outlined in blue
*  Devier J. Smith outlined in green.
*  Sections 3 and 11 outlined in purple.

All of this was new information for me.  I've had some great genealogy fun working on this today.

Readers may have some questions:

*  Is Della A. Smith related to Devier J. Smith?  Yes, she is his oldest daughter, born in 1862 so she was of age in 1884.

*  Why does Della A. Smith have a patent in her maiden name?  I think it's because she received the land as an unmarried woman in 1884 before her marriage in September 1885 to Henry Carringer.

*  Was it happenstance that Henry A. Carringer and Devier J. Smith owned land next to each other in Section 11?  I don't know, but it may have been.  About a year after filing in 1884 for the patent, Henry and Della were married in Wano, Kansas.  Is this how they met?

*  Did they ever build on this land?  I think that both Henry and Devier built on their land - Della's scrapbook has articles that mention a "ranch" as does Devier's Bible.  His ranch was called "Spring Ranch."  I believe that they used the "ranch" as a spring and summer getaway.  Devier had a livery and horse business in McCook, Nebraska, which is down the Republican River from Cheyenne County, Kansas.

*  What happened to the land?  I don't know - I need to go to Cheyenne County to find the land records.  They are not on Family History Library microfilms.  I'm fairly sure that Henry and Della sold their land at some time after their marriage.  Devier's land may have been part of his estate, which I have not found yet in Cheyenne County, Kansas or Red Willow County, Nebraska.

I've always wondered where exactly in Cheyenne County they had land and built the ranch.  Now I know, I think!

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Using the Correspondence List in RootsMagic

I have pondered the best way to save the paper and email correspondence that I receive in bunches every week - at least the emails of genealogical value to me.  Last week, a reader asked me how I keep track of my genealogy email, how do I file it, etc.

Up until now, I have put them in File Folders in my Thunderbird email program.  Before I had this computer, I put them in File Folders in Outlook Express.  Same with the three computers before that.  Every time the computer failed, I lost all of my email files (no matter that I tried to copy it to the new computer...).  Then I decided to create Microsoft word documents for each correspondent - and I did that hit and miss for a year or so, and then forgot to do it on a regular basis.  Then I decided to save the email as an email file in a Correspondence file folder, and I did that for awhile.

I've decided to try to use the Correspondence List in RootsMagic 6.  I can access it in the Lists > Correspondence List:

After clicking on the "Correspondence List" link, the list of items already in my Correspondence List opened:

The items are listed in alphabetical order by the "Description of Correspondence" item.  Highlighting one of the items shows the description title, the type (mail or email), the date, the correspondent, the filename, and the details of the correspondence.

There are four buttons at the top of the screen above, for "Add," "Edit," "Delete" and "Print."

I wanted to add another email to the list, so I clicked on "add" and filled in the fields in the "Edit Correspondence" screen:

 I used the Subject of the email as the "Description," selected "Email" from the "Type" dropdown list, selected "Received" from the "Sent or Received" dropdown list, and copied and pasted the text from the email into the "Detail" field.

Since the email was from a new correspondent to the list, I clicked on "Select Address..." button and added the person, and his email address, to the Address list.

When I was done, the "Correspondence List" had added the item:

While this Correspondence List is fairly easy to use, and enables a user to capture pretty much everything from an email (except attachments - perhaps a link to them in the computer file folder could be added?), I have some problems with it.

*  The list is presented as alphabetical by the Description.  Since I'm using the email subject as the description, I lose the continuity of one email thread.  I could put the correspondents name first, I guess, and that would group a thread together.  I could make all emails in a thread one item in the Correspondents list also.

*  My preference would be to have another field for a Group (one or more surname, or a locality, or a methodology) so that I could put all of the Seaver emails into a Seaver group, all of the DNA emails in a DNA group, etc.  They could mirror the folders in my email program.

The beauty of the Correspondence List is that a user can capture and keep all of their correspondence in their genealogy program, as long as they have a method to consistently title the description and add to the Correspondence List diligently.  I don't know if the Correspondence List is exported to a GEDCOM file or if other programs can Import the correspondents list - i'll have to check that out!

To my thinking, this is a fairly good way to keep correspondence, but discipline to keep it current.  It could be better if the user could add Groups to separate different topics.

How do you keep track of your genealogy correspondents and email?  Are you using something similar to the RootsMagic Correspondence List?  What suggestions do you have to improve the RootsMagic Correspondence List?

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copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 266: My Mother's 1942 Picture

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/Carringer family photograph collection passed to me by my mother, or taken by Linda or me in the 1970s:

This is a studio photograph of my mother, Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) taken in 1942 before her marriage to my father on 12 July 1942 in San Diego, California.  The photo appeared in the San Diego newspaper society sections with the wedding announcement (I have a clipped copy of the photograph and announcement in my treasure box, and a PDF of the page dated 5 April 1942 from GenealogyBank).  My mother was 22 years old when she married my father, who was 30 years old.  

She was the only child of Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer, was born in San Diego, and lived her whole life in San Diego (except for the rare vacation trip out of town).  She grew up on Fern Street in San Diego, and attended Brooklyn Elementary School, Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, San Diego High School, and San Diego State College, graduating in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.  She was the first college graduate in my Carringer ancestral line (that I know of).  She taught Art and English for several years at Wilson Junior High, Memorial Junior High and Pacific Beach Junior High.  

After marriage, Fred and Betty Seaver lived in Chula Vista (a San Diego suburb) until Fred joined the U.S. Navy in 1944, and Betty moved in with her parents on Fern Street.  After the end of the war, Fred and Betty and their growing family (son #2 was born in 1946) moved into the  Carringers' rental units at 2114 and 2116 Fern Street, and eventually into 2119 30th Street (on the same block) in 1947, where the Seaver family resided until 1978.  After Lyle and Emily Carringer died in 1976 and 1977, Fred and Betty moved to the Point Loma house at 825 Harbor View Place, and resided their until their deaths in 1983 and 2002, respectively.

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copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How Much Online Information Should I Use In My Family Tree?

I have not only my own, and my wife's, ancestral family information in my family tree database, but also have significant content in several one-name studies - my Seaver/Sever, Richmond/Richman, Dill, Carringer, Auble, Vaux, and my wife's McKnew family.

An issue for me in using online information to update information on my family tree database is this:

I find information about a family in an online database - let's say an Ancestry Member Tree - and it has much more information than I have about a person in my family tree who is not part of one of my ancestral families.  For example, I find  online information that fills out a tree completely back to an immigrant ancestor and into the ancestral homeland, and would add several generations of descendants to my database down to living descendants.  The person who created this tree has done an excellent job of documenting his ancestry, and has document images and stories in his tree.  We have been emailing each other.  I asked him specifically about adding content to my tree and he is very willing to share his information.

My question is:  How much of this should I add to my tree?  

Here is how I'm dealing with this, and have dealt with it in the past:

1)  I use online family trees that seem to have adequately sourced content as research leads and finding aids, and then try to find supporting source information for the Facts/Events listed as I add content to my tree.

2)  Since Fact/Events (names, relationships, dates, places, etc.) are not protected by copyright laws, I add the content for each family in the online information up to the persons who are still living.  I don't enter the information I find about living people unless I find it in a public record (e.g., a vital records index, a census record, etc.)

3)  I think it's important to have contact with person that provides the tree information using email or a message service (like Ancestry Messages).  Often, they contact me to correct my current information and we have discussions about our research.  When I enter the information about the family, I add the name and email address of the person who provided it in the Notes for each head of household.

4)  I use the Fact/Events in the online information to find the best source available (really good databases and trees provide links to some of it!), and then cite that source for the Fact/Event. I use previously known data to find more online data for the person when possible.  However, I don't cite online family trees in my sources.

5)  For unrelated families in my one-name studies, I add only the parents of a spouse that marries into that surname family, if the parents information is available.  For example, if John Smith marries Mary Seaver, I will add John Smith's parents to the database, with whatever Facts/Events I can find, but not John Smith's siblings.  That will provide researchers looking for the ancestors of the spouse a lead to go on, but spares me research that doesn't really interest me.

6)  For my ancestral families, I try to add at least one more generation of the children (and their spouses) of the siblings (and their spouses) of my ancestors.  After all, these are my cousins.

I can hear some of my readers saying "Ewww, you add information from those terrible online family trees that provide wrong information copied from someone else."

My response is "Well, I don't use the bad ones, I use the good ones (there are many of them!) according to my judgment. The ones I use often have relatively complete family information with attached records and sources; the information comes from official records and family information.  Very few persons will add erroneous content about the families that they knew in real life."

What do you think?  Are my practices reasonable?  What would you add to the list above?

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver