Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Share Some Elementary School Memories

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) It's almost time for the new school year to start in the Northern hemisphere, and for most children that meant a new grade, a new teacher, and perhaps new friends.

2)  Tell us about some of your elementary school memories when you were a child.  What are your memories of starting school in a new year?  Who were your teachers?  How did you get to school?  Who were your best friends?  What subjects did you like best?  What extra-curricular activities did you participate in?  Make up your own questions if you'd like!

3)  Share your memories in your own blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

 Here's mine:

I attended all seven years of elementary school (1948-1955) kindergarten plus six grades) at Brooklyn Elementary at 30th Street and A Street in San Diego.  This was about 8 blocks south of my home.  My brother and I either walked or rode our bikes.  It was downhill going, and uphill coming home.  We usually used 30th Street because it was wider and had better sidewalks, plus two mom and pop stores and a drug store.  They built a new school several blocks away about ten years ago, but the old campus is now a Charter school campus called Albert Einstein Academy.  

I was always excited about the new school year.  We never knew who our teacher was gonig to be.  I had Mrs. Cleator for kindergarten (she seemed about 80 years old, but was probably only 60 or so); Mrs. Brown for first grade; I don't recall my second and third grade teachers;  Miss Williams was my fourth grade teacher, and I really liked her;  Mr. de la Torre was my 5th grade teacher, and he was good.  Mr. Wragg was my 6th grade teacher, and I liked him too (he was killed in 1979 by a student shooting at his school in San Diego).  

My best friends during 4th to 6th grade were Gordon MacLennan and Steve Johnson.  I lost track of Gordon after Junior High School.  I went all the way through high school with Steve, who was the smartest, most athletic and most fun guy in the classes - we competed.  Baseball cards were the big deal, and we had a group that traded them like crazy.  We knew the names of all of the San Diego Padre and Cleveland Indian players (Padres were the Indians PCL farm club) -- our favorites were Herb Score, Rocky Colavito, and Luke Easter.  We used to take the #2 bus down to the Padres games at Lane Field (Broadway and Harbor Drive).

Girl friends?  Not many, I was too busy with school and sports.  There was one, named Carrie, when I was in 6th grade.  I don't remember her last name.  I still remember where she lived over on Bancroft Street, but I don't know recall seeing her after 6th grade.  

My favorite subject was mathematics.  I quickly learned to add, subtract, my times tables, and division, and then fractions, and I think we started a little algebra.  I hated doing oral book reports.  My favorite period was recess, of course!  We had a large playground on one block, and a small ball field across Fern Street on the opposite corner.  We usually played baseball or kickball or dodgeball there.  In the spring, there was a travel softball league and I played for several years and got to visit other schools and see their facilities.  I usually played right field or end-of-the-bench, but I rooted good!

The major extracurricular activity for me was the Safety Patrol.  I joined in 4th grade, and did my duty at the corner of Fern and A Street every day after school while in 4th and 5th grade. We wore white uniforms, with a yellow hat and a red sweater.  I became a Sergeant in 5th grade and got to blow the whistle, and then became Supply Sergeant in 6th grade, the second in command;  Steve was the Lieutenant in charge, and then a Captain later in 6th grade.  This was tied into the Police Department, so we had an officer who commanded us.  I was lucky because in 6th grade it was Officer Richard Tazelaar, who was a family friend of ours.  The best part of this was being part of a team and learning discipline (we marched, shouted orders, etc.) but one Saturday a month the Police Department hosted all of the Safety Patrol members at the Fox Theater in downtown San Diego - cartoons, movies, hot dogs, punch, popcorn, peanuts, etc.  It was a great reward!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - WOODEN (England to colonial New England)

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

I am in the 8th great-grandmothers and I'm up to Ancestor #1029 who is Martha WOODEN (1655-????) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 8th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two generations in this WOODEN family line is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

32. Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)
33. Abigail Gates (1797-1869)

64. Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)
65. Martha Whitney (1764-1832)

128.  Norman Seaver (1734-1787)
129.  Sarah Read (1736-1809)

256. Robert Seaver (1702-1752)
257.  Eunice Rayment (1707-1772)

514.  Samuel Rayment (1679-1723)
515.  Eunice Norman (1686-1743)

1028.  John Rayment, born about 1651 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died 15 July 1725 in Middleborough, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2056. John Rayment and 2057. Rachel Scruggs.  He married about 1673 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
1029.  Martha Wooden, born 12 February 1655 in Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States.

Children of John Rayment and Martha Wooden are:
*  John Rayment (1677-????), married 1699 Deborah Perry (1678-????).
*  Samuel Rayment (1679-1723), married 1704 Eunice Norman (1686-1743)
*  Martha Rayment (1681-????).
*  William Rayment (1685-????).
*  Thomas Rayment (1687-????), married 1708 Mary Coombs (1689-????).
*  James Rayment (1689-1771), married (1) 1716 Mercy Tinkham (1687-1723), (2) 1724 Elizabeth Fuller (1697-1753).
*  Martha Rayment (1692-????), married 1718 Edward Bumpas (1688-1745).

2058  John Woodin, born about 1620 in England; died before 30 June 1721 in Berkeley, South Carolina, United States.  He married about 1652 in probably Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States.
2059.  Mary --?-- , born about 1632 in probably England; died 12 February 1681 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. 

Children of John Woodin and Mary are:
*  Mary Wooden (1653-????), married 1683 Lawrence Clinton (1642-1707).
*  Martha Wooden (1655-????), married John Rayment (1651-1723)
*  Sarah Wooden (1657-1734), married (1) 1685 John Edwards (1644-1697), (2) 1712 Joseph Doty (1651-1732).
*  John Wooden (1659-1721), married 1690 Katherine Heard (1669-1725).
*  Samuel wooden (1661-1685).
*  Ithamar Wooden (1663-1702), married 1685 Bethia --?-- (1665-????).
*  Bethia Wooden (1663-1725),. married 1683 Samuel Gaskell (1663-1725).
*  Thomas Wooden (1667-????).
*  Hannah Wooden (1669-1748), married 1696 James Tufts (1667-????).
*  Dorcas Wooden (1672-1722), married 1688 Anthony Coombs (1657-1728)
*  Peter Wooden (1674-1717), married 1696 Elizabeth Mallett (1678-????).

The best resource I've found for this Wooden family is:

Janet Ireland Delorey, "John Woodin, Brickmaker, of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and South Carolina," The American Genealogist, Volume 64, Number 2, April 1989, pages 65-72.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, August 8, 2014

Did You Miss These Genealogy Education Events This Week?

Each week, there are a number of FREEly provided webinars (video presentations) and podcasts (audio presentations) on genealogical and family history topics.   Are you taking advantage of these events to extend and expand your genealogy knowledge and skills?

Here are some of the offerings from just this past week (which can still be watched or heard online):

1)  Family Tree Webinars ( - free for 7 days:

*  Debunking Misleading Records, by Tom Jones (2 August 2014)

*  Researching Your Tennessee Ancestors, by Mark Lowe (6 August 2014)

*  Research Recharge - Turning Old Clues Into New Leads, by Lisa Alzo (8 August 2014)

2)  The Barefoot Genealogist, with Crista Cowan ( YouTube Channel) - free:

*  FAN Club Research to Build Your Family Tree (5 August 2014)

*  How Historical Events Shaped Our Ancestors Lives (6 August 2014)

*  What's New at Ancestry, August 2014 Edition (5 August 2014)

*  Not All Colonial Americans Were Patriots (7 August 2014)

3)  DearMYRTLE's Hangout on Air (on Google+) - also on DearMYRTLE's YouTube Channel - free:

*  Mondays With Myrt - August 4, 2014 and Part b (4 August 2014)

*  Wacky Wednesday - MSExcel for Genealogists (6 August 2014)

4)  GeniAus Hangout on Air (on Google+) - also on Jill Ball's YouTube Channel - free:

*  National Family History Month (5 August 2014)

5)  Fieldstone Common Podcasts - with Marian Pierre-Louis - free:

*  FC 95 The British Raid on Essex, with Jerry Roberts (7 August 2014)

6)  Family Tree Magazine Podcasts - with Lisa Louise Cooke - free:

*  July 2014 Podcast - Learn All About 

7)  Extreme Genes Radio Show - with Fisher - free:

*  Ep. 53 - One Family, Two World Wars, and the Teenager Assigned to Work the Manhattan Project

There are other webinar providers and podcast/radio shows.  In addition, you can search on YouTube for videos about genealogy from the archives, and can subscribe to different channels.

There is a constantly updated list of webinars, online chats and Google+ Hangouts available at

Many of the items on this list are presentations by knowledgeable and experienced genealogists well-known to the online genealogy world - they are usually world-class presentations.  You usually can't beat the price - FREE - although some webinars are free only to the live audience, and some require payment to watch.

I try to watch at least two presentations each week, and I usually participate in the weekly Mondays With Myrt as my little contribution to online genealogy education.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Looking for United Empire Loyalist Ancestors

I watched the Who Do You Think You Are? episode featuring Rachel and Kayleen McAdams on Wednesday night, and enjoyed the story of their search, especially the Canadian aspects of their story.  During the broadcast, I wondered "Why do they use American expert genealogists for the Canadian segments - where are the Canadian experts?"

Kathryn Lake Hogan, a professional genealogist in Ontario, and author of the Looking4Ancestors blog, asked the same question in her post "Where Were the Canadian Experts in WDYTYA? Rachel McAdams Episode?" yesterday. Helpfully, Kathryn provided a link to the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada (UELAC - website in her blog post.

I have been receiving the UELAC weekly email newsletter for several years hoping for information about my Kemp, Dafoe, Hutchinson and Sovereen ancestors who migrated to Canada, but I haven't really delved into the website.

Here's my first look at the UELAC website home page -

There are links on the left-hand side for information about UELAC, and also a Loyalist Directory, information about Resources and other features.

I clicked on the "Loyalist directory" link and the "Information on the Loyalists" page opened:

The actual directory of Loyalists is found by clicking the "Click here..." link - that gets to the "Directory of Loyalists:"

There are letters for alphabetical surnames across the top of the page above.

I wanted to see the Dafoe name, so I clicked on the D letter.  The D surname list opened, and I scrolled down to the Dafoe entries:

Abraham Dafoe is my 5th great-grandfather.  Here is what this directory has for him (two screens):

There is a lot of information here about Abraham Dafoe, and links to additional information - two biographical reports, military details of his service, the UELAC certificate application, etc.  In addition, there is another listing for Abraham Dafoe down the list, which includes the "where resettled" information:

"lot 10, con 1 Fredericksburgh Twp, Cataraqui Twp #3 (later Addington Co. ON)"

The UELAC website does not have the actual records for the land grant, and I've looked at the Libraries and Archives Canada website, but I can't figure out if those land grants are digitized and in an online database.  I'm sure my Canadian friends with more knowledge can tell me where to find them - either online, on microfilm or in person.

I recalled that Lorine McGinnis Schulze had posted 10 Ways to Find Your Loyalist Ancestor on 21 June 2014 on her Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.  I'm going to start there!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 32: #39 Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) (Newton) Stone (1797-1882)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" in her blog post Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  Here is my ancestor biography for week #32:

Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) (Newton) Stone (1797-1882) is #39 on my Ahnentafel List, and is my 3rd great-grandmother. She married #38 Thomas J. Newton (ca 1800 - ?????) in about 1834.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter, #19 Sophia Newton  (1834-1923) who married Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) in 1852.

*  their daughter, #9 Harriet Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) who married #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874.
*  their son, #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.* their son, #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                            Sophia Buck [1–4]   
*  Sex:                                 Female   
*  Father:                             Isaac Buck (1757-1846)   
*  Mother:                           Martha "Patty" Phillips (1757-1820)   
*  Alternate Name:               Sophia Newton [5–6, 8]    
*  Alternate Name:               Sophia Stone [1, 7]    

2)  INDIVIDUAL FACTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                              3 May 1797, Holden, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [1]

*  Census:                           1 June 1850 (age 53), Northborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [5]
*  Census:                           1 June 1860 (age 63), Northborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [6]
*  Occupation:                     1 June 1860 (age 63), seamstress; Northborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [6]
*  Census:                           1 June 1880 (age 83), Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [7]
*  Death:                             6 January 1882 (age 84), of heart disease; Westborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [1]
3)  MARRIAGES AND CHILDREN (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                        Lambert Brigham (1794-1834)    

*  Marriage Intentions:         22 December 1816 (age 19), Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [3]
*  Marriage:                        12 February 1817 (age 19), Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [2, 4]
* Child 1:                            Augustus Brigham (1820-1909)   
* Child 2:                            Aurellus Brigham (1830-1878)   

*  Spouse 2:                       Thomas J. Newton (about 1800-    )   
*  Marriage:                        about 1834 (about age 37), probably Worcester, Massachusetts, United States   
*  Child 3:                           Sophia Newton (1834-1923)   
*  Child 4:                           Thomas Jefferson Newton (1835-1915)   

*  Spouse 3:                        Jonathan Stone (1795-1868)   
*  Marriage:                        7 July 1862 (age 65), Westborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States [8]
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

 Sophia Buck's birth date of 3 May 1797 was calculated from her death record, which indicates, with a death date of 6 January 1882 [1]:  

"Sophia (Buck) Stone, widow, age 84y 7m 3d, resident of Westborough MA, died of heart disease, born in Holden MA, parents Isaac and Martha (Phillips), father born in Southboro MA, no listing for mother."

This date is fairly consistent with ages in other records - age 53 in the 1850 U.S. census, age 64 in the 1860 U.S. census, and age 84 in the 1880 U.S. census.  Her age was given as 63 in 1862 on the occasion of her third marriage.  

She was married three times.  Her first marriage was to Lambert Brigham on 12  February 1817 in Sterling, Massachusetts.  The marriage intention entry in the Sterling town record book said[3]:

"Between Mr. Lambert Brigham & Miss Sophia Buck both of Sterling Dec. 16 1816"

The marriage record in the Sterling town records book says[2]:

"Feb. 12th Joined Lambert Brigm and Sophia Buck both of Sterling in marriage, John Robbins Justice of the Peace"

The entry in the Columbian Centinal newspaper (Boston, Massachusetts), for 22 February 1817, said[4]

"Sophia Buck m. Lambert Brigham, formerly of Westborough, in Sterling."

She had at least two children by Lambert Brigham:  Augustus Brigham (born about 1820) and Aurelius Brigham (born about 1830), in Sterling.  According to the Westborough Town Records, Lambert Brigham died on 5 May 1834.

 It is logical that the widow Sophia (Buck) Brigham resided in or near Sterling in the 1834 to 1835 time period with her two sons and her nearby Buck and Brigham families.  

I have found no marriage records for Thomas J. Newton and Sophia (Buck) Brigham.  At some point, Thomas J. Newton met and married Sophia (Buck) Brigham, or perhaps they did not marry at all.  They apparently had a son, Thomas J. Newton (born 3 June 1835 in Cambridge, Vermont) and a daughter, Sophia Newton (born 14 September 1834 in Vermont) if the accumulated records of those persons are to be believed.  

My hypothesis is that Thomas J. Newton married Sophia (Buck) Brigham in 1834 or 1835 in Worcester County, Massachusetts or in Vermont, and had the two Newton children in Vermont before returning to Worcester County, Massachusetts.   No divorce record was found in Worcester County, Massachusetts between 1830 and 1850.  It is possible that Thomas Newton died before 1850.

In the 1850 U.S. census, Sophia Newton (age 53, born Massachusetts) resided with her daughter Sophia Newton (age 15, born Vermont) in Northborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts.[5]

In the 1860 U.S. census, Sophia Newton (age 64, born Massachusetts, a seamstress) resided in Northborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts in the home of Moses Green, a farmer.[6]  She probably resided in Northborough because her married daughter, Sophia (Newton) Hildreth lived their with her husband and their young daughter.

Sophia Newton married Jonathan Stone on 7 July 1862 in Westborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts.[8]  The information in the vital record register book includes:

*  Jonathan Stone - resident of Westboro, age 66, a stonecutter, born in Shrewsbury to Daniel and Anna Gibson, third marriage
*  Sophia Newton - resident of Westboro, age 63, no occupation, born in Holden, daughter of Isaac and Martha Buck, third marriage.

Jonathan Stone died in Westborough in 1868.

In the 1880 US census, the Edward Hildreth family lived in Leominster in Worcester County, Massachusetts.[7] The family included

*  Edward Hildreth -- white, male, age 49, married, machinist, born MA, father and mother born MA
*  Sophia Hildreth -- white, female, age 46, wife, married, keeping house, born VT, father born ME, mother born MA
*  Sophia Stone -- white, female, age 84, mother-in-law, widowed, born MA, father and mother born MA

Sophia Stone died 6 January 1882 in Westborough, Massachusetts, as described above.[1] The extracted data from the record includes:

"Sophia (Buck) Stone, widow, age 84y 7m 3d, resident of Westborough Mass, died of heart disease, born in Holden MA, parents Isaac and Martha (Phillips), father born in Southboro MA, no listing for mother."

The burial location of Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) (Newton) Stone is not known.  


1. "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915," indexed database and digital images,  New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors (, Deaths: Volume 339, Page 452, 1882, Westborough: Sophia (Buck) Stone entry, age 84-7-3.

2. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, indexed database and digital images, (, Sterling Births, Marriages and Deaths, Marriages, page 261 (penned), image 231 of 1007: Sophia Buck and Lambert Brigham entry.

3. Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988, indexed database and digital images, (, Sterling Marriage Intentions, page 41 (penned): Lambert Brigham and Sophia Buck entry.

4. American Antiquarian Society, Index of marriages in Massachusetts Centinel and Columbian Centinel, 1784 to 1840 (Boston, Mass. : G.K. Hall, 1961), dated 22 February 1817, Lambert Brigham and Sophia Buck entry.

5. 1850 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Northborough: Page 38, Dwelling #165, Family #196, Sophia Nowton household; indexed database and digital image, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 341.

6. 1860 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Northborough: page 184, Dwelling #995, Family #1222, Moses Green household; indexed database and digital image, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M653, Roll 528.

7. 1880 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Worcester County, Massachusetts; Leominster: Page 532A, dwelling #480, family #605, Edward Hildreth household; online database and digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T9, Roll 565.

8. "Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915," indexed database and digital image, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors (, Marriages: Volume 155, Page 224, Westborough, 1862: Sophia Newton and Jonathan Stone marriage entry.


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dear Randy: How Do You Cite an Obituary on GenealogyBank?

Genea-Musings reader John asked this question in a recent email.  Rather than answer him by email, I will answer it on my blog since I need something to write about today.

I have several obituaries in my file that I have captured from the commercial newspaper database provider (I have a complimentary subscription, which I appreciate).  Here is how I crafted a source citation using RootsMagic 6 several years ago.

The obituary for my grandmother, Emily (Auble) Carringer (1899-1977) was published in the San Diego Union newspaper.  I could go to the library and make a photocopy of it, but I found it on GenealogyBank, which is easier to access than the microfilm in a drawer at the library with a balky microfilm reader and printer that may not work.

Here is a screen capture of the obituary on GenealogyBank:

The newspaper information is above the newspaper page image - it is in column 1, on page A-11 of the June 24, 1977 edition of the San Diego Union newspaper.  I could save the page image as a PDF.

To craft the source citation, I used the "Newspaper, Online Images" source template in RootsMagic 6.  Here is the source template showing the fields that I filled in:

The fields and their entries are:

*  Author:  [left blank, no byline]
*  Newspaper:  San Diego [CA] Union
*  Title with place:  [left blank]
*  Publish Place:  San Diego, Calif.
*  Edition type:  online index and digital image
*  Website:  GenealogyBank
*  URL:
*  Collection:  Newspapers Archives, 1690-2010 [the GenealogyBank record collection]

*  Article: Mrs. Emily Carringer
*  Item type:  obituary
*  Issue date:  24 June 1977
*  Specific content:  page A11, column 1
*  Access type: [left blank, use default]
*  Date accessed:  19 March 2012
*  Credit line:  [left blank, not sure what to add here]
*  Annotation: [left blank, not sure what to add here]

The source citation crafted by this source template is:

Footnote: "Mrs. Emily Carringer," obituary, San Diego [CA] Union, 24 June 1977, page A11, column 1; online index and digital image, GenealogyBank ( : accessed 19 March 2012), Newspaper Archives, 1890-2010.

Short Footnote: "Mrs. Emily Carringer," page A11, column 1.

Bibliography: Calif.. San Diego. San Diego [CA] Union. 24 June 1977.

John can use this source citation to create one of his own in his genealogy software of choice by substituting his information into the form fields above and putting them together based on the title, newspaper details, etc.

 GenealogyBank does not provide a source citation for this record, so we have to make our own.

It would be interesting to see how other genealogy software programs would craft this source. Anyone up for that challenge?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Answering Russ's Question: How Do I Enter Census Information in my Genealogy Management Program?

On Russ Worthington's Google+ Page today, and his Cousin Russ Genealogy Community Page yesterday, he asked two questions:

"When recording information from a Census Record (US Federal for example) do you record the DATE at the top of that Census Page in your Residence FACT for that person?"

"What Census Record Fields to you put into FACTS for a 1940 US Federal Census Record?  I am only asking about what FACTS do you include in your genealogy database from a 1940 US Federal Census Record. For each Fact, what do you enter in the Date field, Location field, and the Description field."

Russ has some responses, and some answers, and some interesting discussion.  I thought I would add my two cents, using my RootsMagic 6 database as an example.

As background, I tend to be a "lumper" in terms of data entry (instead of a "splitter" - there's a whole 'nother discussion about that!).  I don't enter each bit of information I find in a source in a "Fact" or "Event" as an "Assertion."  I tend to think in terms of "Events" rather than "Facts or Assertions." I usually note that information in a "Fact Note" or "Person note" in my database.  For example, if I have ten pieces of evidence for a birth date, I usually pick the one with the most authoritative source (using my judgment) to use as the "birth date" in my database.  Sometimes I add "Alternate Birth" Facts if I don't have an authoritative source.  I know that's not what Russ does, or other people recommend, but it's what I've always done.

The "Facts/Events" I enter into my RootsMagic database for a 1940 U.S. Census include:

1)  I use a Census "Fact/Event" (rather than a series of "Facts" like "Residence, Occupation, Birth, Marital Status, Race, Sex, Age, Birthplace, etc.).  

*  I enter the "official" census date (not the enumeration date at the top of the census page) into the "Date" field (because the instructions say to provide information at that date, although I have no doubt that a Residence Fact probably should be the enumeration date).  I enter the city/town. county, state, country in the "Place" field, and the address (if given) in the "Place details" field.  Here is a screen shot for my Grandfather's "Edit Person" screen in RootsMagic 6:

With the "Census" Fact highlighted, you can see the "Date," "Place," and "Place details" field entries in the right-hand panel of the screen above.

*  I create a source citation for this "Fact/Event" using the "Free form" source template (so that the source will transfer nicely during a GEDCOM export/import operation).  The "Edit source" screen for this entry is:

*  I extract the information from the record for the family of interest and add it as a "Fact note."  This is how I capture all of the information in the census record.  It is in a narrative and tabulated form, which I prefer as opposed to a number of "Facts" for each item in the record.  The "Fact note" screen for this record looks like this:

*  I copy and paste that information into the "Person Note" field and adjust the text as required.  I try to keep events in a chronological order.

*  I add the saved Media item to the Person and tag it to the Event (in this case, the 1940 Census event).

2)  I usually add an "Occupation" Fact with the date, location, place of work (if given) in the "Place details" field, and the occupation in the "Description" field.  The screen below shows this Fact/Event entry:

3)  I do add an Alternate Name if one is used different from the preferred name, and attach the same source citation to the Alternate Name field.

4)  I add the same Fact/Event, Fact Note, Source and Media item to each person enumerated in the source record.  

That's what I do, and have done fairly consistently over a number of years.  I am used to the process, and can perform the tasks fairly efficiently now (to the point that for U.S. census records I can create the source citation from memory for most census years).

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copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 226: 1861 Marriage Record of "David Smith" and "Abigal Vanse"

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 1861 marriage record for my second great-grandparents, "David" Smith (sic) and "Abigal Vanse" (sic):

The transcription of the information in this record is:

1.  Full name of husband:                                        David Smith
2.  Name of father of said husband:                       Ranslow Smith
3.   Name of them other of said husband:              Mary Smith
4.  Occupation of said husband:                              Farmer
5.  Residence of said husband:                                Rolling Prairie Wis
6.  Birthplace of husband:                                       Jeff Co N York
7.  Full name of wife previously to marriage:      Abigal Vause
8.  Name of the father of said wife:                        Samuel    "
9.  Name of the mother of said wife:                     Mary Ann  "
10. The time when the marriage was consummated:  April 4th 1861
11.  The place, town or township and county, 
       where the marriage was consummated:        Rolling Prairie Dodge Co Wis
12.  The color:                                                           White
13.  By what ceremony consummated:                 Judicial
14.  Name of person pronouncing marriage:          E U Baily
15.  Residence of person last named:                      Rolling Prairie
16.  Name of person signing the certificate:           E U Baily
17.  Date of certificate:                                              April 4th 1861
18.  Date of registration:                                           May 2nd 1861

The source citation for this record is (crafted using the "Vital Records (FHL/GSU Film) template in RootsMagic):

Dodge County, Wisconsin, Marriages, 1860-1865, 1842-1852: page 195, David Smith and Abigal Vanse marriage entry; FHL Microfilm US/CAN 1,275,941 (accessed 30 July 2014 by Finn Hansen).

I wrote A Nice Surprise - "David" Smith and Abigail "Vanse" Wisconsin Marriage Record two weeks ago, and noted that the record was on a Family History Library microfilm.

My friend, Finn Hansen, who lives in the Salt Lake City area and visits the Family History Library regularly, emailed me and graciously offered to look up the record for me the next time he visited the FHL.  Finn did the task on 30 July, and immediately sent the record image to me.  He noted that "this record was on the first foot or two of the microfilm reel ... how often does that happen?"

I love it when I get some help from a genealogy friend!  I greatly appreciate Finn's excellent work here, and really enjoy his friendship and our regular contact at Salt Lake City conferences.  I owe him a lunch for this effort!

I debated how to cite this record because the names of both parties are wrong.  I know it's the right people - Devier J. Smith (1839-1894) and Abigail Vaux (1844-1931) - because the names of the parents are correct and the marriage date and place match the Smith Family Bible record I have.  I decided to cite it using the names on the record rather than the correct names.

I wondered in the earlier post if the handwriting was so poor on the record that the FamilySearch indexers may have guessed.  The handwriting on the record above is fairly clear - it is clearly "David" and "Vanse" or "Vause."  There may be the actual certificate given to the happy couple that has poor handwriting that this county recorder copied from.  It may be an inattentive recorder also.  

Since this is a county record taken from some sort of certificate, it is a Derivative Source, with Primary Information and Direct Evidence of the party names, marriage date and place.

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reader Comments on my GEDMatch Autosomal DNA Analysis Post

I posted My First Look at GEDMatch Autosomal DNA Analysis on 4 August 2014, and had several very helpful and interesting reader comments, including:

a)  Elizabeth offered:  "1) Currently GedMatch is still recovering from moving server so many features are not available -- many of us are patiently awaiting their return, such as the segment triangulation.

"2) Rather than build your own spreadsheet, consider using Genomemate ( -- a user-created program/database that can collate data from all the testing companies and Gedmmatch and help with statistical analysis as well ass tracking email contacts with matches. I am a proud user of it.

"3) Yes, upload a Gedcom file. In the past you used to be able to go to a linked Gedcom from the one-to-many report -- hopefully that will return when they fully restore the website.

"Elizabeth (in charge of kits A131521, A393287, A501757, A658108, and F278130)"

b)  Doris Wheeler commented:  "I agree with Elizabeth's suggestions, but there is another especially useful feature: DNA GEDCOM matching. It produces a list of people you match who also have matching people in your GEDCOM and theirs. It's a relatively "short list" that is a great starting point. I used it yesterday but then it disappeared when I returned later, so it's one of the features they're obviously working on."

c)  Jennifer Alford noted:  "Thank you for sharing this Randy! I have been slowly dabbling in DNA analysis and learning to use Gedmatch was my next step. I look forward to all the great comments that will come from those who use it regularly. You should also know that there is a Facebook group for users that is quite helpful. "

d)  My comments:  Thank you all for the very helpful suggestions and experiences.  I hope that more will be offered, either on the earlier post or on this post.

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

SDGS Meeting on Saturday, 9 August Features Linda Serna

The next San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) program meeting is this Saturday, 9 August 2014 at 10 a.m. at the St. Andrew's Lutheran Church building (8350 Lake Murray Blvd in San Diego, just south of Jackson Drive).

The program speaker is Linda Serna.  Linda will have two presentations, "Ethnic Groups: They Came to America" (10 to 11 a.m.) and "Foreign Research" (11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.)

Since the United States is a country of immigrants, the history of who came here when does a lot to shed light on this question. Understanding when and why they left, and where they went helps to round them out as people. Their lives are now in context. And then we can dig into the research necessary to follow our family lines further back in the old country.  “Ethnic Groups: They Came Into America” speaks of the history of our immigrant ancestors. “Foreign Research” shows us how to find them. Together, these presentations add depth to the family story and help lead us in the direction in which we want to go.

“Ethnic Groups: They Came Into America:” Looks at the Polish, German, French, Belgium Walloons, Italian, Irish, and Dutch, and explores where they came from, when they came, why they came, and where they went in America to aid us in our research of these particular groups.

“Foreign Research:” Looks at how to go about tracing our ancestors across the ocean. It addresses beginning here in the States, discovering the clues as to where to go next, and then finding resources that are available here and overseas, both online and in repositories, as well as other suggestions that may open the doors to success.

Linda has been involved with genealogy in researching and writing family stories for over 30 years. Just recently, she was honored to work on the PBS program Genealogy Roadshow.

Currently, she is a member of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists (SCCAPG), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG), the California State Genealogical Alliance (CSGA), the Polish Genealogical Society (PGS-CA), and the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America (GSHA-CA) as well as being Vice President of Programs for the Orange County California Genealogical Society (OCCGS).

Over the last 5 years, Linda has written and given several presentations on various topics for different groups in Southern California and New Mexico, as well as teaching the Intermediate/ Advanced class at her home group about twice a year. She is always in the process of writing new presentations. Her loves, in addition to public speaking, include history, writing, and traveling.

There will be a "New Members" meeting at 9 a.m. in the same venue.  Del Ritchhart will discuss getting started in genealogy research.

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Climb Aboard the Swayback Randy Express -- Post 319 for (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

I am posting family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they aren't "Wordless" - I am incapable of having a wordless post!

Here is a photograph from the Seaver/Carringer family photograph collection from my 40 years of photo albums, boxes and piles of family photographs:

Every kid in my house gets a horsey-back ride whenever they want least until they're like, oh, six years old.  In this case, two kids managed to scramble on the swayback Randy back in 1978.  I don't recall how far we went like this, but it was probably from the family room to the kitchen linoleum floor (about ten feet).

The two lucky kids are my daughters, Lori (in  the back seat with the snazzy hat) and Tami (in the front seat).  There's the lovely and tan Linda in the background trying hard to not look at the camera but smiling anyway.  And the swayback Randy had not started growing his beard yet.  I have no clue about the hat either - presumably it got lost soon after this photo was taken.

I have no clue who took this photograph in 1978, but it's a keeper.  This is in our current house in Chula Vista, in the family room, with a dazzling indoor-outdoor carpet pattern (hey, the kids were 4 and 2 at this time).

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver