Monday, February 27, 2017

What Are the Most Popular Databases on Ancestry.com?

Ancestry.com's Card Catalog (http://search.ancestry.com/search/cardcatalog.aspx) provides several ways to list the available databases on Ancestry.com - by:

*   Popularity
*  Database Title
*  Date Updated
*  Date Added
*  Record Count

The dropdown menu on the upper right-hand side of the Card Catalog screen can select one of those metrics.

Here is the list for "Popularity":


The top ten most popular - probably based on number of clicks in a search - are:

1)   Public Member Trees (2,147,483,647 records)

2)  1940 United States Federal Census (134,484,648 records)

3)  U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 (1,560,284,727 records)

4)  1930 United States Federal Census (124,964,074 records)

5)  1920 United States Federal Census (107,694,890 records)

6)  1900 United States Federal Census (77,277,539 records)

7)  U.S. Find A Grave Index, 1600s - Current (139,958,050 records)

8)  1910 United States Federal Census (93,627,798 records)

9)  1880 United States Federal Census (50,840,843 records)

10)  1911 England Census (33,847,776 records)

This list doesn't really surprise me - the census records, city directories and cemetery records are databases that researchers doing 20th century research for their ancestry would use on a regular and sustained basis, going back in history one generation at a time.

I think that the Public Member Trees database probably has a lot more records than what is listed - the same number was provided in 2013 to 2017 (see Genealogy Industry Benchmark Numbers for 1 January 2017). 

The other database on the list that should increase with regularity is the Find A Grave index, since researchers are actively adding to it over time.  The Find A Grave website says that there are over 158 million profiles, which includes profiles from other countries.  

I wonder what the least popular database is?  I couldn't find a way to get to the end of the list except by stepping through 10 pages of 25 at a time.  After several minutes, I found that:

32,836)  Twenty years of church life in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, 1861-1881 (23 records)

Who knew?  I wonder if that will be the least popular database next year?  I wonder if the Top Ten databases will change next year?

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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Amanuensis Monday -- 1761 Probate Records of Thomas Dill (1708-1761) Estate in Barnstable County, Massachusetts

This week's documents for Amanuensis Monday are the 1761 Barnstable County, Massachusetts probate documents for the Thomas Dill (1708-1761) estate of Eastham, Massachusetts:

1) Probate Index pages:


The probate records index shows these records for Thomas Dill:



This was an intestate estate, so the index proceeds through the Probate Court volumes in approximate date order.  

For this blog post, we will consider the Letter of Administration and the Inventory.

2)  Letter of Administration - Volume 10, page 81 (right hand page of image below):



The transcription of this record is (with italics for handwritten information):

Province of the Massachusetts Bay
By the Hon. Silvanus Bourn Esqr.

Judge of the Probate of Wills, and for granting Letters
of Administration on the Estates of Persons deceased,
having Goods, Chattels, rights or Credits in the County
of Barnstable within the Province aforesaid,

To George Brown of Eastham in the County
of Barnstable yeoman Greeting

Whereas Thomas Dill late of Eastham
in the County of Barnstable yeoman,

Deceased, having while he lived, and at the Time of his Decease,
Goods, Chattels, Rights or Credits in the County aforesaid, lately
Died Intestate, whereby the Power of committing Administration,
and full Disposition of all and singular the Goods, Chattels, Rights and
Credits of the said Deceased; and also the hearing, examining and
allowing the Accompt of such Administration doth appertain unto Me :
Trusting therefore in your Care and Fidelity, I do by these Presents,
commit unto you Full Power to Administer all and singular the Goods,
Chattels, Rights and Credits of the said Deceased ; and well and faith-
fully to dispose of the same according to Law ; and also to Ask, Gather,
Levy, Recover and Receive all and whatsoever Credits of the said Deceased
which to him while he lived, and at the Time of his Death did
appertain, and to pay all Debts in which the said deceased stood bound
so far as his Goods, Chattels, Rights and Credits can extend, according
to the Value thereof ; And to make a true and perfect Inventory of all
and singular the Goods, Chattels, rights and Credits ; and to exhibit
the same into the Registry of the Court of Probate for the County
aforesaid, at or before the Seventeenth Day of June
next ensuing ; And to render a plain and true Account of your said
Administration upon Oath, at or before the Seventeenth Day of
March which will be in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand
Seven Hundred and Sixty two. And I do hereby ordain,
constitute and appoint you Administrat or of all and singular the
Goods, Chattels, Rights and Credits aforesaid.
In Testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my Hand, and the Seal of
the said Court of Probate. Dated at Barnstable the Seventeenth
Day of March Annoque Domini, 17 61.
                                                                     Silvanus Bourn

                       Exam. LS Da^d Gorham Reg.

The source citation for this document is:

"Massachusetts (Barnstable County), Probate records, 1686-1894," handwritten, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah (51 rolls of FHL US/CAN Microfilm), citing original Barnstable County Registers, Thomas Dill probate records: Letter of Administration (Volume 10, page 81).

3)  Inventory of Estate (bottom half of the right-hand page on image below:


The transcription of the inventory is:


To the right Honourable the Judge of Probate for the County
of Barnstable &c: Pursuant to your Order in the Prire Warrant
we whose Names are underwritten have taken a True Inventory
of the Estate of Thomas Dill Deceased and is as followeth.

The House and Barn and Land adjoyning it
£27..12.. 0
To the Meadow
16..  5.. 4
To the Stock
07..10.. 4
To a Third of a Schooner
46..16.. 1
To the Best Feather Bed
04..  0.. 0
To 4 Beds and furniture and Linnen
17..10..10
To Wearing Cloathes
10..  9.. 1
To Chirs Tables wheels and other Small Wear
08..12.. 5
To Caps and aprons
01..  4.. 8
To Iron Ware
01..13.. 9
To Puter
02..  1.. 4
To Glassware
1..  7.. 6
The Hou??? Estate both Real and Personal
143..18.. 2

1..  4.. 8
Dated at Eastham the Twentieth fourth
Day of March 1762 Witness
£145.. 2..10

Silvanus Snow
Samuel Walker
Ebenezer Atwood

Barnstable Ss By the Hon^e Silv^s Bourn Esqr Judge of Probate &c
fors^d County George Brown adm^r presented the foregoing and made
oath that it Contains a true and Perfect Inventory of the Estate of
Thomas Dill late of Eastham dec^d so far as he hath come to his hands
& knowledge & if more hereafter Appear he will cause it to be added
&c he ??????? Apprisers ware sworn as the Law directs. Silvanus Bourn

Sept: 17. 1761        Exam^d Da^d Gorham Reg^r

The source citation for this document is: 

"Massachusetts (Barnstable County), Probate records, 1686-1894," handwritten, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah (51 rolls of FHL US/CAN Microfilm), citing original Barnstable County Registers, Thomas Dill probate records: Inventory (Volume 12, page 221).

Thomas Dill married Mehitable Brown in 1733 in Eastham, and they had eight children between 1734 and about 1755.  Mehitable died before 1758, when Thomas married, secondly, Mary (Higgins) Baker, and they had no children.

George Brown, probably a neighbor or associate of Thomas Dill, and perhaps a cousin or nephew of Mehitable Brown, was named administrator of the estate and charged with obtaining an inventory, keeping an account, and dividing the estate according to the state law.

The inventory, apprised by three men of Eastham, found an estate worth 145 pounds, 2 shillings, and 10 pence.  Of that, about 44 pounds was real property, and the personal property included one third ownership of a schooner worth 46 pounds.

Thomas and Mehitable (Brown) Dill are my fifth great-grandparents, through their son Thomas Dill (1755-1839).  

NOTE:  These records are now online on Ancestry.com in the Barnstable County, Massachusetts Probate Court record volumes.


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NOTE:  Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent  TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme years ago called "Amanuensis Monday."  John offers this definition for "amanuensis:" 

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

My list of previous Amanuensis Monday posts is at  http://www.geneamusings.com/p/amanuensis-monday-posts.html.  

The URL for this post is:  

Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver


Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.


Added or Updated Record Collections at FamilySearch.org - Week of 19 to 25 February 2017

I am trying to keep up with the new and updated record collections at FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list) every week.

As of 26 February 2017, there were 2,202 record collections on FamilySearch (an increase of  2  from last week):


The added or updated collections are:


*  Mexico Baptisms, 1560-1950; 35,314,530 indexed records without record images, Updated 24 Feb 2017

*  Michigan, Eastern District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1995; Browse Images only, no indexed records, ADDED 24 Feb 2017

*  Mexico, Oaxaca, Catholic Church Records, 1559-1988; 1,265,104 indexed records with record images, Updated 24 Feb 2017

*  Costa Rica Civil Registration, 1860-1975; 3,683,881 indexed records with record images, Updated 22 Feb 2017

*  Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records; 5,265,282 indexed records with record images, Updated 21 Feb 2017

*  Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006; 614,468 indexed records with record images, Updated 21 Feb 2017

My friend, Marshall, has come up with a way to determine which collections are ADDED, DELETED or UPDATED.  Thanks to Marshall for helping me out here!

It looks like they added only one new record collection, but the count shows two new collections added.  A miscount?


In order to select a specific collection, go to https://familysearch.org/search/collection/list and use the "Filter by collection name" feature in the upper left-hand corner.

Each one of the collections listed above has a Research Wiki page (use the "Learn more" link).  It would be very useful if the Wiki page for each collection listed the dates for when the collection was added as a new collection and the dates for major updates also.


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The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2017/02/added-or-updated-record-collections-at_27.html

Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.



Sunday, February 26, 2017

Added or Updated Databases at Ancestry.com - Week of 19 to 25 February 2017

The following databases were added or updated on Ancestry.com during the period from 19 to 25 February 2017:

The databases added or updated include:

*  Web: Scotland, Rolls of Male Heads of Families, 1834-1842; indexed database without record images, ADDED 2/23/2017

*  Rinteln, Germany, Births, 1874-1904; indexed database with record images, Updated 2/23/2017

*  London, England, London Transport Staff Registers, 1863-1931; indexed database with record images, ADDED 2/23/2017

*  Pennsylvania, County Slave Records 1780-1834; indexed database with record images, ADDED 2/22/2017

*  U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925; indexed database with record images, Updated 2/22/2017

*  Tamaulipas, Mexico, Civil Registration Marriages, 1860-1950; indexed database with record images, Updated 2/22/2017

*  New Zealand, The New Zealand Gazette, 1860-1894; indexed database with record images, ADDED 2/22/2017

*  Tamaulipas, Mexico, Civil Registration Births, 1860-1930; indexed database with record images, Updated 2/22/2017

*  South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1965; indexed database with record images, Updated 2/22/2017

*  Tamaulipas, Mexico, Civil Registration Deaths, 1860-1987; indexed database with record images, Updated 2/22/2017

*  U.S., Obituary Collection, 1930-2016; indexed database without record images, Updated 2/21/2017

*  New York and Vicinity, United Methodist Church Records, 1775-1949; indexed database with record images, ADDED 2/21/2017

*  U.S., Passenger and Crew Lists for U.S.-Bound Vessels Arriving in Canada, 1912-1939 and 1953-1962; indexed database with record images, Updated 2/21/2017

*  Netherlands, Baptism Index, 1569-1907; indexed database without record images, Updated 2/21/2017

*  New South Wales, Australia, Sheriff's Papers, 1841-1850; indexed database with record images, ADDED 2/21/2017

*  Netherlands, Civil Marriage Index, 1795-1950; indexed database without record images, Updated 2/21/2017

The recently added and updated page on Ancestry.com is at http://www.ancestry.com/cs/recent-collections.

The complete Ancestry.com Card Catalog is at  http://search.ancestry.com/search/CardCatalog.aspx. 
 

By my count, there were  6 NEW databases ADDED this past week, per the list above.  There are now 32,836 databases available as of 26 February, an increase of only 1 from last week.  What are the 5 databases taken from the list?



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Disclosure:  I have a fully paid Ancestry.com subscription.  Ancestry.com has reimbursed me for travel expenses to meetings and has hosted meals in Salt Lake City in past years.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2017/02/added-or-updated-databases-at_26.html

Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver


Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 19 to 25 February 2017

Hundreds of genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.


My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or arepoignant. I don't list posts destined for daily blog prompts or meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week:


*  Presidents' Day Genealogy Trivia by Linda Stufflebean on the Empty Branches on the Family Tree blog.  Who knew?

*  RootsTech 2017 Session Videos Now Available by Thomas MacEntee on the GeneaBloggers blog.  You can watch these at your leisure.

*  DNA Testing: Seven Guidelines for Adoptees by Richard Hill guest-blogging on the MyHeritage Blog.   Good advice from someone who has done it.

*  Revolutionary Privateering by Nancy Bernard on the Vita Brevis blog.  Nancy reviews this topic from the Revolutionary War time.

*  Passionate Genealogist is Core - Tim Sullivan at #RootsTech by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog.  This is a blueprint for the near future of Ancestry.com.

*  DMF — How Did The Congress Get So Far Off Track? by Fred Moss on the Records Preservation and Access blog.  Good analysis and commentary.

*  RootsFinder - a New Online Family Tree by David Taylor on The Family Nexus blog.  David reviews this new online family tree program.

*  The Biological Father of My Foundling Ancestor? by Tree Jensen on the Resurrecting Roots blog.  This is a fascinating study and detective work.

*  Doleri or Doten? Why It Is So Important That We View Actual Records and Not Just Transcripts by Diane Gould Hall on the Michigan Family Trails blog.  Diane persevered and found the answer.

*  Endogamy and DNA by guest blogger Paul Woodbury on Kitty Cooper's Blog.  Paul explains it.

Here are pick posts by other geneabloggers this week:

*  Friday Fossicking 24th February 2017 by Crissouli on the That Moment In Time blog.


*  Friday's Family History Finds by Linda Stufflebean on the Empty Brsnches on the Family Tree blog.

*  Friday Finds: Week 8 - 2017 by Martin Roe on the Norwegian Genealogy and then some blog.

  Friday Finds 24 Feb 2017 by Nichelle Barra on the Copper Leaf Genealogy blog.

 This Week's Creme de la Creme -- February 25, 2017 by Gail Dever on the Genealogy a la Carte blog. 

*  Saturday Serendipity (February 25, 2017) by John D. Tew on the Filiopietism Prism blog.

Readers are encouraged to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blogs to your Favorites, Feedly, another RSS feed, or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 1600 genealogy bloggers using Feedly, but I still miss quite a few it seems.


Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.




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The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2017/02/best-of-genea-blogs-19-to-25-february.html


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.