Friday, November 17, 2017

Genealogy News Bytes - 17 November 2017

Some of the genealogy news items across my desktop the last four days include:

1)  News Articles:

Findmypast Announces Plans to Publish Trinity Mirror Archive

*  RootsTech 2018 Photo+Story Competition

*  Introducing We Remember – Free Online Memorials

*  FamilySearch Free Sign-in Offers Greater Subscriber Experiences and Benefits

*  23andMe revs up Ancestry Composition feature

*  AncestryProGenealogists Scholarship Announced

*  NEHGS Launches Interactive Mayflower Website

2)  Record Databases:

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, 17 November 2017

New Records at the Genealogy Giants Websites

New Fold3 Database:  Virginia Half Pay Pension Application Files

3)  Genealogy Education:

 GeneaWebinars Calendar

*  Free Family History Library Classes and Webinars for November 2017

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Tuesday, 22 November 2017, 5 p.m. PST:  Research in Federal Records: Some Assembly Required, by Malissa Ruffner

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Searching for a Pennsylvania German Ancestor, by James Beidler

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  British and Irish research: the differences, by Brian Donovan

*  Maureen Taylor Video:  Ask Maureen: Bonus Episode ~ Beth Forester from Animoto

* Maureen Taylor Video:  Ask Maureen: Episode 10 ~ Fun with Family History Videos

*  Genealogy Connection Podcast:  #032 - Kathy Meade, Researcher

*  Cousin Russ YouTube Channel - FTM2017 User Question: How to manage a large Marriage Report?

*  Cousin Russ YouTube Channel -  FTM2017 User Question:Why am I getting Bad Search Results?

*  DearMYRTLE's YouTube Channel:  GenDoc 10 - Chapter 10 Citing Numbered, Grouped, and Subgrouped Offline Sources

*  *  DearMYRTLE's YouTube Channel: WACKY Wednesday - Sharing Genealogical Data

*  Nicka Sewell-Smith YouTube Channel:  BlackProGen LIVE! Ep 46: Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes

*  American Ancestors YouTube Channel:  Navigating Notarial Records in Quebec

*  BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel:  Getting the Most Out of Puzzilla Premium by Judy Sharp

*  Family History Fanatics YouTube Channel:  Can You Trace Your Ancestry to Adam?

4)  Bargains:

*  Genealogy Bargains for Friday, November 17,  2017

*  MyHeritage Complete on Sale for 50% Off – thru Thursday, Nov 23

*  RootsTech 2018 Registration Giveaway Contests

5)  Neat Stuff:

*  12 Useful Web Tools You Didn't Know About

Good Morning America Features MyHeritage DNA Reunion Live on Air!

*  Adopted woman, birth family who thought she died meet after 66 years

Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes - 14 November 2017?


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, 17 November 2017

I received this information from Findmypast today:


New Royal Welch Fusiliers records, National Archives First World War Medical records and Pension Forms available to search this Findmypast Friday

There are over 423,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Search for your military ancestor in The National Archives' collection of medical records from the First World War. Containing over 212,000 names, these records will enable you to discover when and where your ancestor was wounded, the nature of their injuries and how long they were held at the medical facility for treatment. Images may provide additional details including notes on the nature of the wounds or diseases you ancestor was treated for. This collection comprises The National Archives' series, MH106, War Office: First World War Representative Medical Records of Servicemen. They include admissions and discharge records from hospitals, field ambulances, and casualty clearing stations. These records are also available to browse.

It is estimated that three to four million women became war widows during the First World War, most of whom had children to support. Search over 8,000 brand new First World War pension forms to find out whether your ancestor was one of them. The collection consists of transcripts and images from The National Archives' series PIN 82, Ministry of Pensions: First World War Widows' Pensions Forms. Transcripts will reveal your military ancestor's service number, regiment, cause and date of death, spouse's name, marriage year and children's names. Images may provide further details about your ancestor, such as their attestation year, rank and date and place of death. Some records will also note if your ancestor received any awards or medals.

Did your ancestor serve with the? Explore our brand new collection of over 96,000 Royal Welch Fusiliers enlistment registers, transfer registers, discharge registers and casualty reports from 1830 to 1946 to uncover a detailed history of their military service. The original records are all held by the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum Trust. The records include the names of those who served during the Anglo-Boer War, Boxer Rebellion, First World War, and Second World War. Each result will include both a transcripts and an image of the original document. The nature and amount of the details recorded will vary depending on the type of document you are viewing.

Search over 14,000 records from the Portsmouth History centre to find out whether your ancestor sought exemption from military service by applying to a military tribunal. When the British Government passed the Military Service Act on 2nd March 1916, all able-bodied, single men between the ages of 19 and 41 were automatically enlisted in the armed forces. Certain occupations, often referred to as scheduled or reserved, were deemed exempt or essential to the war effort. Others however could also seek exemption by applying to a tribunal for reasons such as illness, potential business damage, conscientious objection, or family hardship. Each result will provide you with a transcript and image of the original record. Depending on the document type, transcripts will list a combination of your ancestor's birth year, marital status, the date of their tribunal hearing and the location. Images may provide additional details such as addresses, occupations, employers' details and decisions or recommendations made by the tribunal.

Explore more than 6,000 pages of Military Historical Society Bulletins to discover historical facts about military events, background information about regimental uniforms, and regimental histories, images of soldiers, uniforms, and badges. Issues from 1950 through to 2017 are available in this collection. For the first time these bulletins are available online as fully searchable, high-resolution scanned images. You can search for a name or a specific issue by month, year, or volume. The text search will allow you to search the full body of text within the bulletin.

View beautifully captured school portraits of Old Harrovians. Each result will provide a portrait or group photograph along with a transcript of details related to the student.  Harrow School, an independent boarding school for boys, was founded in 1572. Among its alumni of Old Harrovians, it can claim Prime Ministers, Members of Parliaments, artists, poets, scientists, actors, and more. The photographic portraits of students found within this collection were originally captured by Hills & Saunders. Findmypast has been able to add additional supplemental information about each student from the Harrow School Registers including their house, housemaster, clubs, monitor, father's name and address.

Explore over 2,000 issues of the War Office Weekly Casualty List, a weekly publication of the names of those who were reported as missing, taken prisoner of war, wounded, or killed in action. Entries will provide the individual's name, rank, regiment, and service number. The weekly lists were updated; therefore, if your ancestor was previously listed as missing, you may find your ancestor's name a second time listed as captured, wounded or killed in action. These records are also available to browse.

Over 47,000 new records Scots Guards records have been added to our collection of British Army Service records. The collection includes a myriad of Army forms including attestation papers, medical forms, discharge documents, pension claims, and proceedings of regimental boards.

New records covering non-British Soldiers have been added to our collection of Prisoner of War records. This collection of records from The National Archives includes papers from the Foreign Office, Colonial Office, War Office, Admiralty and Air Force. The records include the names of thousands of prisoners from nations around the world.


Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription to Findmypast, and have accepted meals and services from Findmypast, as a Findmypast Ambassador.  This has not affected my objectivity relative to Findmypast and its products.

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

52 Ancestors - Week 201: #280 Thomas Dill (1682-1718) of Medford, Massachusetts

Thomas Dill (1682-1718) is #280 on my Ahnentafel List, my 6th great-grandfather, who married #281 Mary Pierce (1682-1713)  in 1706 in Woburn, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their son, #140 Thomas Dill (1708-1761) who married #71  Mehitable Brown (1714-1758) in 1733.
*  their son, #70 Thomas Dill (1755-1836), who married Hannah Horton (1761-1797) in 1782. 
*  their daughter, #35 Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869), who married  #34 Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840) in 1826.
*  their daughter #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884)who married  #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)  in 1851.
*  their son #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) 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 Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                        Thomas Dill[1–6]  

*  Sex:                           Male  

*  Father:                       Peter Dill (1645-1692)  
*  Mother:                     Thanks Shepard (1650-1733)  

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

*  Birth:                         27 January 1681/2, Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1]  
*  Death:                       29 January 1717/8 (age 36), Medford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[4–5]  
*  Probate:                    3 December 1722 (age 40), administration filed; Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[6]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                 Mary Pierce (1682-1713)  
*  Marriage 1:             17 January 1705/6 (age 23), Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[2]  

*  Child 1:                  Mary Dill (1706-    )  
*  Child 2:                 Thomas Dill (1708-1761)  
*  Child 3:                 Elizabeth Dill (1712-1714)  

*  Spouse 2:              Mary Cheney (1695-1735)  
*  Marriage 2:           11 May 1713 (age 31) Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[3]  
*  Child 4:                 Marey Dill (1714-    )  

*  Child 5:                 Rebeck Dill (1716-1803)  

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):    

Thomas Dill was born 27 January 1681/2 in Concord, Massachusetts, the last of seven children of Peter and Thanks (Shepard) Dill[1].  He was a twin with his sister Mary Dill.

Thomas married, first, Mary Pierce on 17 January 1705/6 in Woburn, Massachusetts[2].  She was the daughter of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (--?--) Pierce.  Thomas and Mary had three children recorded in the Medford, Massachusetts town records before Mary died before May 1713.

Thomas Dill married, secondly, Mary Cheney on 11 May 1713 in Cambridge, Massachusetts[3].  They had two children recorded in the Littleton, Massachusetts town records.

He died 29 January 1717/8 in Medford, Massachusetts[4-5].  There is no known burial site.

Thomas Dill died intestate, and an administration was filed on 3 December 1722 in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate Court (see Middlesex County Probate Court Packet 6,281)[6].  Widow Mary Dill of Littleton and Thomas Brown of Cambridge posted a 50 pounds bond.  Mary Dill, widow of Thomas Dill, late of Littleton, was appointed administratrix.  No inventory, account or distribution was included in the probate packet.
1. George Tolman (compiler), Concord, Massachusetts Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1635-1850 (Concord, Mass. : Committee on Printing, 1894), Middlesex County Register, page 25, Thomas Dill birth entry, 1682.

2. Edward F. Johnson,  Woburn Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths [5 Volumes], (Woburn, Mass.: The News Print, 1893), Marriages, page 77, Thomas Dill and Mary Pierce entry, 1706.

3. Thomas W. Baldwin (compiler), Vital Records of Cambridge, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1915), Marriages, page 118, Thomas Dill and Mary Cheney entry, 1713.

4. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, digital images, (, "Medford Town Records, 1657-1718," Volume 1, no page number, Thomas Dill death entry, image 140 of 150.

5. Henry Ernest Woods, (Editor), Vital Records of Medford, Massachusetts, to the Year 1850 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1907), Deaths, page 393, Thomas Dill entry, 1718.

6. "Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed, 1 November 2017), Probate Packet 6,281, Thomas Dill of Littleton, 1722 (3 images).


NOTE:  Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post 

 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2017 to 208 Ancestors in 208 Weeks.

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Seavers in the News - Did Frank Seaver Jilt His Girlfriend?

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a semi-regular feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, useful, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week's entry is from the San Francisco [Calif.] Call newspaper dated Thursday, 13 July 1899:

The transcription of this article is:


Pretty Anita Byrne Ends Her Troubles With Poison. Brooding Over a Possible Dark Future Caused Her to Seek Solace in the Great Unknown.

In a moment of desperation, due to the threat of her lover that he was about to desert her for another, Anita Byrne, chief operator in the telephone office at Sutter and Hyde streets, committed suicide yesterday by swallowing the contents of a phial of carbolic acid. 

Her mother discovered her lying on a bale of hay in a barn in the rear of their home at 16 Bourbon place. She was still alive, but her condition indicated that she could not possibly survive the fatal draught. .Summoning a neighbor her mother had her removed to the house. Dr. C. C. Mohun was at once sent for, but despite his efforts she breathed her last several hours later. 

The man for whom the unfortunate woman killed herself, so it is claimed, is Frank Seaver, a switchboard attendant in the main office. Seaver met Miss Byrne about two years ago, while he was acting as manager of the telephone office at Sutter and Hyde streets. She fell desperately in love with him and he seemed to reciprocate her affections. Frequently they were seen together, and among the .other telephone girls it was whispered that they were engaged to be married. 

Tuesday evening Seaver met the misguided woman by appointment and they went to Oakland. They returned to this city about 10 o'clock and repaired to the Byrne residence on Bourbon place. The family had already retired and the couple sat in the parlor for about an hour. Seaver then took his departure, after promising to sec Miss Byrne "in the near future," as he expressed it.

Shortly afterward the unhappy woman visited the room occupied by her mother and. kissed her good night. It is presumed she returned to the parlor, and after brooding over her troubles determined to end her existence. 

Shortly before 6 o'clock yesterday morning her mother awakened from her slumbers and went to her daughter's room, intending to arouse her so that she would not be late at work, as she was due at the telephone office at 7 o'clock. After entering the room she was surprised to find it empty and the bed undisturbed. 

After vainly searching the house for her missing daughter Mrs. Byrne, suspecting something had happened to her, went to the barn, determined to make a thorough investigation. As she threw back the door she was horrified to see her daughter lying on a bale of hay. fully dressed and unconscious. 

By her side was a half empty phial that had contained carbolic acid. The usual farewell message was not in evidence, the foolish woman evidently concluding to die without acquainting the world with the perfidy of her lover. 

After learning the facts in the case Coroner Hill visited police headquarters and invoked the aid of Captain of Detectives Bohen in finding Seaver. He said he had visited the telephone office, where he is employed, but could get no trace of him. His object in asking the assistance of the police in locating him was to hold him until the inquest on the body was held. 

Coroner Hill is of the opinion that Seaver had jilted the unfortunate woman and after brooding over his perfidy she determined to die. 

Mrs. Byrne, the mother of the young woman, said last night that her daughter had been enjoying a few weeks' vacation from her labors in the telephone office when she took the fatal dose. 

"She seemed to regret that she had to return to work," tearfully remarked her fond parent, "as she feared that she might lose her position for some reason. She frequently spoke of the recent dismissal of several of her chums from the employ of the company and lived in fear that she would be similarly treated. I know she held Seaver in high esteem, but it did not dawn upon me that she was in love with him." 

The bottle of carbolic acid, the contents of which the .woman drank, was purchased in Oakland. 

Seaver was seen last night at the Beresford Hotel, where he is stopping.

He had not heard of the sad event and was much affected when informed of the sad case. "Why, I left her last night at her house," he said, "and there wasn't the lease indication of anything wrong with Miss Byrne. I am simply dumfounded: it seems so impossible. We spent a pleasant evening in the company of her sisters, and when I left her house at 11 o'clock I went directly home. 

"My relations with Miss Byrne have always been pure and honest. I liked her exceedingly and we were more as brother and sister. Now that this has happened  I recall something her sister said to me last night. During the evening in the midst of a general conversation she told me that Anita seemed blue; that she noticed her crying at times, refusing to explain the cause. Last night Anita received a telephone message from the office, saying that she was to report today at 12. Whether it was this or something else that worried her I do not know.  

"I can't understand for a moment why she committed suicide," iterated young Seaver. "We were always the best of friends, and this is a deep shock to me. I swear that my relations with her were none other than the most honorable in the world." 

The source citation for this article is:

"She Died for Love that was Slighted" article, San Francisco [Calif.] Call, 13 July 1899, page 14, column 4, Suicide of Anita Byrne; California Digital Newspaper Collection : accessed 27 July 2017),  accessed using

A search for Anita Byrne in the Call newspaper revealed several later articles, including one the next day that said Frank Seaver and Anita would come to work drunk, and that he was only a switchboard operator and couldn't be trusted.  An article the same day said that Anita was overworked and demented caused by the stress of the telephone office and perhaps a sister's illness. Another articles two days later noted that the coroner's jury decided she was temporarily insane when she committed suicide due to domestic worries.  And then there are no more articles.  

The coroner and the reporter seem fixated on the cause of the suicide as Anita being jilted.  Two things happened the night before - she was asked to come to work at 12 the next day, and Frank Seaver came to visit with her.  It's unknown if he was still employed by the telephone company.

What a fascinating genealogy puzzle.  Who was Frank Seaver?  I figured that he was probably aged 20 to 40 and residing in San Francisco Bay area.  Is he in the 1900 U.S. Census in California?  A search on for a person with the name and in the age group resulted in several results in the Bay area, but none that had an occupation related to telephone operators.  There is a Frank L. Seveir in San Francisco, age 28, married for one year to Jennie.  There was another Frank L. Seaver in Los Angeles aged 21, who lived with his mother and had been born in San Francisco.  There is a Frank G. Seaver, age 33, in the 1910 census in San Francisco.  He was married in 1898, and they had their first child in late 1898, so it probably is not him.

I looked through my list of persons named Frank Seaver (and variants) in my RootsMagic database, but it is incomplete, and I have only vital records and census records for most of them.  The two Frank L. Seavers mentioned above are the only single ones I can place in San Francisco before 1899.  

So I'm stuck.  Perhaps it's for the best that I cannot identify the right Frank Seaver involved in this sad case.  It may be a secret that he took to his grave, wherever that may be. 


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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Genea-Musings FREE RootsTech 2018 Registration Giveaway

I am thrilled to again be a RootsTech Ambassador. I get to share news about one of my favorite genealogy events ... and I get to give away a free registration!

One lucky winner will receive a 4-day registration to RootsTech 2018, held in Salt Lake City, February 28 - March 3, 2018 (valued at $279). This registration includes:

  • More than 300 classes
  • Keynotes and General Sessions
  • Innovation Showcase
  • Expo Hall
  • Evening events

(This pass does not include luncheon events, paid workshops, hotel, or travel.)

Here's how to enter:

1)  This contest will be conducted by a random drawing.  I will make a numerical list of entries, and use a random number selection process to select the number of the winner.

2)  To enter the contest, please go to the official RootsTech website, and perform these tasks:

*  Go to the "Schedule" page  and select one of the speaker presentations that you just have to attend - one that your research depends on.

* There is no list of exhibitors yet, so tell me which genealogy vendor you really want to visit, and why, while you're at RootsTech 2018.

3)  Tell me about your two choices in an email to me at  Title your email with "RootsTech 2018" so that I can add you to the list of entrants.

Easy, eh?  Please enter ONLY if you intend to attend RootsTech 2018.

4)  This contest will end at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on Friday, 24 November 2017.

5)  I will select a winner by 11:59 PM PST by Sunday, 26 November, and will publicize the winner by Tuesday, 28 November.  I will notify the winner, and will send the complimentary registration certificate by email, and the winner will contact RootsTech to redeem the certificate.

6)  If the winner has already registered for RootsTech 2018, then RootsTech will refund the registration fee already paid.

7)  The winner is requested to stop by the Media Center in the FREE Expo Hall to say hello to me and have a picture taken with me.


Disclosure:  I am an RootsTech 2018 Ambassador and one of the perks is this Free registration contest for my readers.  I have received a complimentary registration to RootsTech 2018 also, and look forward to seeing many friends, bloggers and readers there.  It should be fun!

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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

Please do not comment on this post.

1708 Marriage Record of Samuel Brown and Ruth Young in Eastham, Mass. --- Post 390 of Treasure Chest Thursday

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - a chance 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 1708 marriage record of Samuel Brown and Ruth Young in Eastham, Massachusetts:

The marriage record is on the left-hand page, the third record down:

The births of five children of Samuel and Ruth (Young) Brown are also on the page below the marriage record.

The transcription of the marriage record is:

"Samuel Brown senr and Ruth Young were
married by Joseph Doane Esqu^r the twenty first day
of October Anno dom 1708."

The source citation for this record is:

"Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 March 2016), Barnstable County, "Eastham, Orleans, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Land Grants, 1649-1722," page 73 (image 138 of 157), Samuel Brown and Ruth Young marriage entry, 1708.

Samuel Brown (1686-1749) was the son of George Brown (1652-1721) and Mehitable Knowles (1653-1721) of Eastham, Massachusetts.  Ruth Young (1688-1768) was the daughter of John Young (1649-1718) and Ruth Cole (1651-1735) of Eastham, Massachusetts.  Samuel Brown and Ruth Young had 10 children between 1709 and 1732, but only the first five were recorded in the Eastham town records above.

Samuel and Ruth (Young) Brown are my 6th great-grandparents, through their daughter Mehitable Brown (1714-1758), who married Thomas Brown (1708-1761) in 1733 in Eastham, Massachusetts.


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

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"The Wreck of the Hesperus" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Bill West has an annual "Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge" on his West in New England blog, and wants historical poems that may relate to a person's ancestry or heritage.

I have never participated in this, but decided to look for a poem that could be appropriate.  I found one:

The Wreck of the Hesperus - by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  It was the schooner Hesperus
    That sailed the wintry sea;
  And the skipper had taken his little daughter
    To bear him company.

  Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax,
    Her cheeks like the dawn of day,
  And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds
    That ope in the month of May.

  The skipper he stood beside the helm,
    His pipe was in his mouth,
  And he watched how the veering flaw did blow
    The smoke now west, now south.

  Then up and spake an old sailor,
    Had sailed to the Spanish Main,
  "I pray thee, put into yonder port,
    For I fear a hurricane.

  "Last night the moon had a golden ring,
    And to-night no moon we see!"
  The skipper he blew a whiff from his pipe,
    And a scornful laugh laughed he.

  Colder and louder blew the wind,
    A gale from the north-east;
  The snow fell hissing in the brine,
    And the billows frothed like yeast.

  Down came the storm, and smote amain
    The vessel in its strength;
  She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
    Then leaped her cable's length.

  "Come hither! come hither, my little daughter,
    And do not tremble so;
  For I can weather the roughest gale,
    That ever wind did blow."

  He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat,
    Against the stinging blast;
  He cut a rope from a broken spar,
    And bound her to the mast.

  "O father! I hear the church-bells ring;
    O say, what may it be?"--
  "'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast!"--
    And he steered for the open sea.

  "O father! I hear the sound of guns;
    O say, what may it be?"--
  "Some ship in distress, that cannot live
    In such an angry sea!"

  "O father! I see a gleaming light;
    O say, what may it be?"
  But the father answered never a word,--
    A frozen corpse was he.

  Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark.
    With his face turned to the skies.
  The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
    On his fixed and glassy eyes.

  Then the maiden clasped her hands and prayed
    That saved she might be;
  And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave,
    On the Lake of Galilee.

  And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
    Through the whistling sleet and snow,
  Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
    Towards the reef of Norman's Woe.

  And ever the fitful gusts between,
    A sound came from the land;
  It was the sound of the trampling surf,
    On the rocks and the hard sea-sand,

  The breakers were right beneath her bows,
    She drifted a dreary wreck,
  And a whooping billow swept the crew
    Like icicles from her deck.

  She struck where the white and fleecy waves
    Looked soft as carded wool;
  But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
    Like the horns of an angry bull.

  Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
    With the masts went by the board;
  Like a vessel of glass, she strove and sank,
    Ho! ho! the breakers roared.

  At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach,
    A fisherman stood aghast,
  To see the form of a maiden fair,
    Lashed close to a drifting mast.

  The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
    The salt tears in her eyes;
  And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed,
    On the billows fall and rise.

  Such was the wreck of the Hesperus,
    In the midnight and the snow!
  Christ save us all from a death like this,
    On the reef of Norman's Woe!

Read the book - it has pictures!

The source citation is:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Wreck of the Hesperus (New York, E.P. Hutton & Co., 1888); digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 15 November 2017).

Norman's Woe, according to the website "Poetry of Places in Essex County," was named for:
"Location and Description
"The rock and reef of Norman’s Woe are a short distance from the westernmost point of Gloucester’s outer harbor. Norman’s Woe can best be seen from Hammond Castle on Hesperus Ave., off route 127 in Gloucester.
"History and Legends
"There is no clear record of how Norman’s Woe got its name. Tradition tells that a man named Norman was shipwrecked and lost there, and it is for him the rock and reef are named. John J. Babson’s history of Gloucester notes that Goodman Norman and his son settled the headland near the islet.
"The history of uninhabited Norman’s Woe is the history of its many shipwrecks. One noted shipwreck was of the 'Rebecca Ann' in March, 1823. In a snowstorm, all ten crewmembers were swept out to sea, and one survived by holding on to a rock in the water. Perhaps the most famous shipwreck at Norman’s Woe was of the schooner 'Favorite' out of Wiscasset, Maine, in December 1839. Twenty bodies washed ashore, among them that of an older woman lashed to a piece of the ship. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow took that story and named the ship 'Hesperus' after a wreck near Boston in creating the legend of 'The Wreck of the Hesperus,' the most famous 'shipwreck' associated with Norman’s Woe." 
My connection to Norman's Woe is through my 9th grandfather Richard Norman (1580-1653), his son Richard Norman (1623-1683), and his son John Norman (1660-1709).  They were fishermen and shipwrights and settled near Cape Ann in the 1620's as part of the Dorchester Company, and then resided in Salem and Marblehead.   One is are probably the "Goodman Norman" in the description above.  My guess is that they foundered several times on the rocks but survived the experience.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Creating "We Remember" Memorials on - FREE, Easy? announced their newest product, called We Remember on the blog today - see Introducing We Remember – Free Online Memorials.

I have wanted something like this for decades - full featured, easy to use, easy to share, easy for family and friends to contribute to, and FREE.  After my first experiences, I think that We Remember ticks all of my boxes.

But how easy is it to use?  I tried it out, by making a memorial for my mother, and then creating one for my father.  First, though, I had to create a Login and provide an email and a password.  After I created the first memorial, I received an email to verify my account.

I will use my father's memorial as the example:

1)  On the We Remember page, I clicked on the "Create a Memorial" link:

2)  On the new memorial page, I added content to the First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Birth Date and Death Date fields, and then to the fields for where they last lived:

I clicked the "Next" button at the bottom of the screen (not shown above).

3)  The next screen starts the memory portion of the memorial.  I added a photograph (I chose him as a young married man), and added a Tribute headline (which has a 250 character limit):

Further down the page is the field to add an obituary of short biography.  I chose to copy the biography that is in my Person Notes in RootsMagic, and pasted it into the field.  There is a 10,000 character limit on this field.

I edited the biography a bit, and when I was finished I clicked on the "Next" button.

4)  The last step is to identify "How did you know Frederick Seaver?"  I selected the "Family" icon and added "eldest son" to the field to identify the relationship.

I clicked on the "Create Memorial" button.

5)  The memorial appeared with the content I had entered.

The memorial for my father is at

On the page above, I, and also guests, can add questions and memories to add to this We Remember page.  Below the text above, there is a button for "Sharing Options" which include sending me an email with a link to the memorial that I can forward, a link to post it on Facebook, or copy the memorial link to my Windows clipboard.

6)  There is a list of options on a dropdown menu under the username (top right corner of the page), which enables me to:

*  Edit Memorial
*  Privacy and content settings
*  My account

7)  I needed to edit the profile to add more detail to the "Profile" and "Obituary" sections.  I clicked on the "Edit Memorial" link on the dropdown menu:

 I edited the Headline" section on the "Profile" page above.

I clicked on the "Obituary" link on the screen above (next to the underlined "Profile" link, and edited the "Obituary:"

I'm done for now, so I clicked on the "Save" button and the profile was saved.  I received an email that said the memorial was activated.

8)  I clicked through, and was able to see the entire memorial:

9)  I have not worked with the Sharing, Guestbook and other options yet.  I may report on it in a future blog post.

10)  All in all, this was very easy to create, add content, edit content, and post.  

I will wait a while to create more memorials.  I will add more memories to the memorials from the photos I have of my mother and father over time.

I have already sent links to my daughters and my brothers to encourage them to ask questions and/or add memories themselves.

If this works out well, I can add tributes for many of my ancestors - that's why I'm doing the 52 Ancestors biographies!

11)  I wonder if Ancestry will eventually permit digital audio or digital video clips for memories of persons. I would also like an option to save the memorial page as a PDF so that I can save it to my own computer system and back it up so that I don't lose it in case Ancestry decides to remove this feature in the future.  A mobile app would be nice to have also to show the grandkids about their ancestors.  Hopefully, Ancestry will eventually add a search function so a user could search for specific persons to determine if there already is a memorial for their ancestor.

Since it is FREE, I encourage other users to try it out.  This may be something of interest and use to you.


Disclosure:  I have always had a fully paid subscription. has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

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