Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Follow-Up on Geni.com Collaborative Tree - Getting It Right

I posted Am I Really Benjamin Franklin's 5th Cousin 9 Times Removed? yesterday, and when I started writing the post I was really hoping that it was true (True confession:  I love being related to famous people).  The collaborative family tree on Geni.com provided the information.

However, when I did some online investigations, I found several serious flaws in the line shown on Geni.com from the early colonial and English Shermans to me, centered on the contention that Mary Sherman (1624-1699) was the wife of Thomas Fish (1619-1687), my ancestor.  

1)  I had an email from Amanda of Geni.com saying:

"Thanks for your post. One of the greatest strengths of collaborative genealogy is that everyone can work together to continuously improve information in tree. The more people we have working on our world family tree, the better it gets. We encourage everyone to start a dialog if they have found any information that seems questionable. There are many ways to do this on Geni. You can start a public discussion from the profile, send a message to the managers of the profile or contact a Geni Curator for help. A Curator may also add a Curator note at the top of a profile to bring any important information to the attention of users viewing the profile."

I appreciate Amanda's comment, and I agree with it - the problem is that very few contributors to Geni.com do any collaboration.  

I need to put my money where my mouth is and try to fix this issue in the Geni.com tree.  So I added this "Discussion" on Mary "Sherman" Fish's profile in Geni.com:

My comment says:

"I have seen no evidence that a Mary Sherman is the daughter of Samuel Sherman and Esther Burges, or that a Mary Sherman was married to Thomas fish of Portsmouth.
"The two Sherman surname books I've seen have the Samuel Sherman (1601-1643) son of Samuel Sherman and Phillipa Ward.
"1) The 1920 Sherman Genealogy book by Thomas Townsend Sherman is online athttps://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE9707... and Samuel Sherman is noted on page 93. It provides a daughter Mary with no birth date and no indication of marriage.
"2) The Sherman Genealogy 1433-1990s by Alonzo Sherman is athttps://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE6001.... Samuel Sherman born 1601 is mentioned on page 16 with a wife's name and no children listed.
"I also note that this profile lists Mary "Sherman" as being born in 1624 in Portsmouth, R.I. Of course, Portsmouth, R.I. was not founded until the 1630s, and that her purported parents were probably still in England in 1624, not to migrate until after 1635 (He's not in the Great Migration book series which covers up until 1635).
Until credible evidence of the birth of Mary, the wife of Thomas Fish, is provided, and credible evidence of the marriage of a Mary Sherman to Thomas Fish is provided, I think that this profile for Mary "Sherman" should be disconnected from the purported parents and the surname "Sherman" should be deleted."

I also added this information from the Notes in my RootsMagic databases to the Overview for this Mary --?-- (not Sherman!), wife of Thomas Fish:

I added:

"Here is what I have in my database about Mary --?-- the wife of Thomas Fish.

"She is probably not a Sherman - there is no credible evidence found to date that she is a Sherman.

"Mary, the wife of Thomas Fish, may have been an Ayres, daughter of a Portsmouth couple who deeded Thomas Fish property in return for maintaining them in their old age. However, it is possible that they were simply a childless couple needing care.

"Mary Fish, widow of Portsmouth, died testate, having written a will dated 9 September 1697, with a codicil dated 12 July 1699. The will was proved on 9 August 1699. The will mentions sons John Fish, Robert Fish, Thomas fish deceased and Daniel fish; daughters Mehitable Tripp, Mary Brayton and Alice Knowles; grandson Preserved Fish, son of son Thomas deceased; grandson Thomas Fish, son of Daniel Fish and granddaughters Comfort fish and Ruth Fish, daughters of son Daniel Fish; granddaughter Mary Fish under age 16, daughter of son John Fish; grandson Robert Fish, son of son Robert Fish (Source: "Portsmouth Town Council and Probate, Volume 2, 1697-1725," pages 170-171, abstracted by Nellie M.C. Beaman, "Abstracts of Portsmouth, R.I. Wills," in Rhode Island Genealogical Register, Volume 5, Number 1, July 1982)."

I haven't tried to edit the person profile, and I'm not sure that I can do that because I'm not a profile manager.  My preference is to wait and see if I get a response, if any, from the profile Curator or from the profile managers.

2)  I had an email from Israel Pickholtz discussing the issue of collaborative trees and the proliferation of erroneous information.  He has written several articles about this topic - see:

*  Genealogy as a Quilting Bee, published 15 December 2013 on the All My Foreparents blog.  Be sure to read his Avotaynu article.

*  Getting It Wrong, published 17 November 2013 on the All My Foreparents blog.  Be sure to read his Avotaynu article.

3)  I agree with Israel - the most important thing in genealogical research is getting the research right!!  

In the every case, Getting it Right requires finding evidence in original sources that can be analyzed so as to draw a conclusion about names, dates, places and relationships.  Derivative sources and authored works can be used to help find those original sources (which may be on paper in a repository or image copies on microfilm).  

Many researchers cannot travel, or have not taken the opportunity, to distant places to do research in original records, for whatever reason - cost, time, language problems, etc.  For those persons, the derivative sources (transcripts, abstracts, indexes, images) and authored works (published books, periodical articles, websites, family trees) are often used.

Whatever source is used, source citations should be crafted when information is used.  

In my own research, I have relied upon authored works and derivative sources that I consider authoritative because I respect the body of work produced by the authors and have confidence that they have done a reasonably exhaustive search and have found the best records available.  

Now I'm curious about what is on WikiTree, WeRelate and the FamilySearch Family Tree regarding Mary (--?--) Fish (1624?-1699).  I have my information on all three sites, which are collaborative family trees.  I'll report on that as time goes by.

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families in FamilySearch Family Tree - Part 2: A Significant Problem

I wrote Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families in FamilySearch Family Tree - Part 1  yesterday showing how I was able to attach a 1900 U.S. Census record to the members of one family in the FamilySearch Family Tree using a new feature.  

Using the same ancestor, Sarah G. (Knapp) Auble (1818-????), I continued attaching the historical records found for Sarah (Knapp) Auble for the 1880 U.S. Census using the same process.

When I tried to add the 1870 U.S. Census record to all members of the family, I had a major problem.  I was able to attach the record to Sarah (Knapp) Auble, but was not able to attach the record to other family members.

Here is the problem in pictures:

1)  After doing the search for Sarah Auble, I found the 1870 U.S. Census record:

As you can see, there are other Auble family members with Sarah - her husband (Daniel, but it's really David, an enumerator error), and five children (Mary, Charles, Kate, Anna and Cora).  I should be able to attach this record to all of those family members using the process described yesterday.

2)  On the screen above, I clicked on the blue "Attach to Family Tree" button on the right-hand side of the screen above, and picked Sarah Knapp from the list of persons, and was successful to attach the record to Sarah.

However, I was not offered the option to attach the record to the other family members - there was no "Attached Successfully" window offered with the opportunity to "Review" the other persons in the family.

I went back to the census record, and now Sarah's Record Summary has a "Review Attachment" link in the upper right-hand corner under "Sources:"

3)  I clicked on the "Review Attachments" link and saw the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" screen:

The screen above shows that this record is attached to Sarah, and to her son Charles (because I had done that previously).  There is no "Attach" link for the other family members for some reason.

4)  In order to add this historical record to each person in the family, I had to go back to the census Record Summary and click on each family member.  I also need to determine the Family Tree ID number for some of the persons because the names didn't match exactly, or they weren't in the "Does This Record Match?" list.  I found the FSFT ID number for David Auble, entered it into the form, and attached the 1870 U.S. Census record to David Auble (Sarah's husband) and now the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" screen looks like this:

Apparently, I have to do this for each family member in the 1870 U.S. Census Record Summary.

5)  The same thing happened for the 1860 U.S. Census record and the 1850 U.S. Census record - I had to click on each family member in order to add the record to each family member rather than just clicking an "Attach" link and then an "Attach" button to perform the operation.

Here is the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree for Sarah (Knapp) Auble in the 1950 U.s. Census before I did the rest of the family members:

As you can see, there are no "Attach" links to attach this record to each family member in the record (in this case, I had already attached the record to son Charles Auble).  After I created the screen above, I attached the 1850 U.S. census record to David, William and Frances.

6)  So why did this happen?  It is evident to me that the 1850, 1860 and 1870 census records were indexed as family units - the family members are listed on the Record Summaries.  Why doesn't the "Attach Historical Records ..." to all family members in the record not work?

I don't know what other Historical Record Collections that this feature doesn't work for.  I know that it works for the U.S. Census records from 1880 to 1940.  What about Canadian and England/Wales Census records?  Does it work there?

7)  I will show how these historical records show up in the FamilySearch Family Tree in the next post.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday's Tip - FamilySearch has 12 Maryland Collections

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  FamilySearch has 12 historical record collections for the state of Maryland.

On the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page, if you put "Maryland" in the search filter filter (upper left-hand corner), you can see the list of 12 record collections currently on FamilySearch:

The 12 record collections, with the number of records (or if not indexed, a Browse Images" collection) are:

*  Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists Index, 1820-1897; Browse Images, last updated 20 Dec 2013
*  Maryland, Baltimore Passenger Lists, 1820-1948; 798,916 records, last updated 20 Dec 2013
*  Maryland, Baltimore, Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes, 1954-1957; 16,952  records, last updated 27 Aug 2013
*  Maryland, Births and Christenings, 1650-1995; 199,433 records, index only, last updated 09 Mar 2012

*  Maryland, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865; 43,508 records, last updated 20 Apr 2012
*  Maryland, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865; 642,857 records, last updated  15 May 2012
*  Maryland, Deaths and Burials, 1877-1992; 3,709 records, index only, last updated 25 Feb 2013
*  Maryland, Marriages, 1666-1970; 256,134 records, index only, last updated 05 Mar 2012

*  Maryland, Naturalization Indexes, 1797-1951; 85,222 records, last updated 06 Mar 2013
*  Maryland, Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1931; 45,165 records, last updated 06 Mar 2013
*  Maryland, Probate Estate and Guardianship Files, 1796-1940; 89,727 records, last updated 21 Mar 2014
*  Maryland, Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999; Browse Images, last updated 03 Apr 2014

There are only three collections that don't have record images;  the other nine have record images.

 Only two collections are Browse Images only, and the other ten are indexed.  For those Browse Images collections, users will have to look for indexes in the digitized record books, and use information from the index to find records for their research target.

Researchers looking for Maryland passenger lists and naturalization records may find records for their research targets in those collections.

The two Civil War Soldier collections are on Fold3.com, and users must have a Fold3 subscription to see the record images.

The gems in this list of Maryland record collections, for me, are the Probate Estate and Guardianship Files and the Register of Wills Records.  Those collections have the potential to solve research mysteries for my wife's McKnew and Pickrell ancestors.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/04/tuesdays-tip-familysearch-has-12.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Monday, April 21, 2014

Am I Really Benjamin Franklin's 5th Cousin 9 Times Removed?

The World Family Tree at Geni.com says that I am Benjamin Franklin's 5th cousin 9 times removed.  Here's the screen shot that shows it:

My line is researched only back to Mary ??-?? (1625-1699), the wife of Thomas Fish (1619-1687) of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  The chart above says that my ancestor Mary ??-?? is Mary Sherman, whose father was Samuel Sherman, grandfather was Samuel Sherman, great-grandmother was Henry Sherman, married to Susan Lawrence, whose sister was Margaret Lawrence, who was the 3rd great-grandmother of Benjamin Franklin.  On the Geni.com profile for Mary (Sherman) Fish, there are no discussions and no sources.

It would be nice...but a short review of the information I have says that:

1)  Mary, the wife of Thomas Fish), may or may not have been a Sherman.  Some online trees at Ancestry.com give Mary as a Sherman, with the line above back to Henry and Susan Renee (Lawrence) Sherman, and others do not provide a surname for Mary --?--.

2)  One of the better online trees I found was on WikiTree, where there is a Mary Sherman, born 1633 the daughter of Samuel and Esther (Burges) Sherman, but she was married (in the tree) to a Benjamin Clark, not to a Thomas Fish.  That could be wrong.

There are some published Sherman resources - see:

*  Thomas Townsend Sherman, Sherman genealogy, including families of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, England : some descendants of the immigrants Captain John Sherman, Reverend John Sherman, Edmund Sherman and Samuel Sherman, and the descendents of Honorable Roger Sherman and Honorable Charles R. Sherman (typescript accessed on FamilySearch Books).

This work has a short listing for Samuel Sherman, the purported father of Mary Sherman (born 1624), in this book, but only a wife's name and no children listed (see page 16).

*  The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633, and The Great Migration, 1634-1635 have several sketches for Sherman persons, but not for Samuel Sherman the purported father of Mary Sherman (born about 1625).  I reviewed all of them for possible Mary Shermans born about 1625, and found none that fit or that were married to Thomas Fish.

*  There are other, earlier, books about the Sherman family in New England also on FamilySearch Books, Google Books, and the Internet Archive.

Two probable wrongs don't make a right, so I am not going to claim ancestry to Benjamin Franklin.  But it was a nice contemplation and a semi-fun romp through the online resources to get to this point.

There is still the possibility that I am related to Benjamin Franklin through some other ancestor of mine who is also Benjamin's ancestor.  But I haven't found it yet.

This exercise points out the real problems of interconnect "universal" world trees - almost anyone can make relationship connections based on some or no information.  This is why I like the features on the FamilySearch Family Tree - there can be useful discussions, it's supposed to be source-centric.

Alas, the FSFT has Mary Sherman, the wife of Thomas Fish, as the daughter of Ezekiel and Rachel (Alefounder) Sherman, with three other possible sets of parents, and another 6 husbands, some simultaneous with Thomas Fish.  There are sources - "Legacy NFS Sources," some of which are for another Mary Sherman.  No authoritative sources.  Oh well!

I should raise these issues on Geni.com about these relationships.  I'm pondering the best way to do this!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families in FamilySearch Family Tree - Part 1

I've been remiss in not keeping up with the latest features which have been continually added to the FamilySearxch Family Tree.

One of those features that I really like is attaching historical records to entire families -- Robert Kehrer wrote about it in A Faster, Easier Method for Attaching Historical Records to Entire Families (posted 18 March 2014 on the FamilySearch Blog).  See the complete instructions with examples on his blog post.

I have been working with this feature for awhile now, and want to share my experience with my readers.  I chose my second great-grandmother, Sarah G. (Knapp) Auble (1818-????) for this example:

Note that this work has to be performed while in the FamilySearch Family Tree or in the FamilySearch Record Collections.  It cannot be done from within a software program like RootsMagic or Legacy Family Tree at this time.

1)  Here is the FamilySearch Family Tree Person profile for Sarah G. Knapp (1818-????):

I wanted to Search for Records for Sarah to attach to her in the FSFT, so I clicked on the blue "Search Records" link on the right-hand side of the screen above, in the "Research Help" area.

2)   That opened the "Search Results" page on FamilySearch for Sarah G. Knapp, with the first name, last name, and a birth range of 4 years already entered in the left-hand sidebar, and the results of the search:

While there were matches, they were not for my Sarah G. Knapp.  She married before 1850, so I edited the "Last Names" Search field and entered "auble" and saw more search results:

The first five of these matches were the census records for Sarah Auble from 1850 to 1900.  I wanted to add the 1900 U.S. Census entry as a source for Sarah and other members of her family enumerated in that record.

3)  I clicked on the blue link for Sarah's name in the list above for the 1900 U.S. Census, and saw the Record Summary:

Do you see the link to "Attach to Family Tree" in blue at the top of the right-hand sidebar under "Sources?"  I wanted to attach this source to Sarah G. (Knapp) Auble.

4)  I clicked on the blue "Attach to Family Tree" and the "Does This Record Match?" window opened:

I picked Sarah G. Knapp from the list (of "Possible Matches" or "History List") and the system showed me Sarah G. Knapp's information - birth, spouse and parents, plus a "Reason to attach source" field:

5)  This is the right person, so I entered a "Reason to Attach Source" in the field, and clicked on the blue "Attach" button.  I received this window:

The "Attached Successfully" window told me that "You have successfully attached the record to the person in the tree.  Other people are referenced by this record also seem to be in the tree.  Do you wish to review them?"

I do!

6)  I clicked on the blue "Review" button on the screen above and the "Attach Historical Records to Family Tree" screen opened:

The screen above has two major columns - one for Parents or Children on the Record, and the other for Parents and Children from the Family Tree.

The screen above shows me that I have already Attached the source to Sarah G. Knapp Auble (the green background), and that I could "Detach" the record if I wanted to.  The screen shows the list of other family members - her husband and her children - in the right-hand column.  In the left-hand column of the screen above, two of the children are listed - Frances M. Auble and Catherine Auble - because they are also in the 1900 U.S. Census record.

6)  I can "Attach" the record to each of the two children who are on the Record by clicking on the "Attach" link between the two columns.  I did that for Frances M. Auble, and the Record information and the Tree information appeared:

I could add a "Reason to Attach Source" but I forgot to do that, and in order to "Attach" the source I have to click on the blue "Attach" button below the "Reason..." field.

7)  I did that and also attached the Record for daughter Catherine Auble and was finished with attaching the Historical Record to all of the appropriate persons in the Family Tree.  The screen showed me:

The background for Sarah, Frances and Catherine Auble are all light green now.

8)  I can go back to the list of Search Matches and add more historical records to Sarah and her family.

9)  Some things I noticed in this example:

*  I had to manually enter the married name for Sarah Knapp to find matches with her Auble married surname.  Unless the user is aware of this, they will miss out on records for the person if the person is female.  This doesn't matter if the user searches on a male head of household because the wife will be found in the search process and the historical record can be attached to her.  But not every record has a male head of household.

*  The process is very functional, fairly fast, and is easy to use.  It is step-by-step, but there are enough helps to get the user up to speed quickly.

*  This is a much faster and easier process of attaching historical records to persons in FamilySearch Family Tree.  It should make the "Source Box" feature obsolete in the coming months. [Reader Geolover commented that the Source Box can be used for non-FamilySearch records and won't go away any time soon.  He's right - thanks!]

I will have several more blog posts about this feature and the resulting entries in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/04/attaching-historical-records-to-entire.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Amanuensis Monday - Post 215: 1864 Deed of William McCullough to Henry Carringer in Louisa County, Iowa

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."

The subject today is a land deed in Louisa County, Iowa dated 15 February 1864, recorded on 8 February 1865, transferring 60 acres in two different parcels in Louisa County for $1200 paid by Henry Carringer to William McCullough.

The transcription of this deed is (handwritten parts in italics):

1 William McCullough }
2            To                } Filed for Record Feby 8 1865 at 7 o'clock P.M.
3 Henry Carringer      }

4                                            Know all men by these presents that William
5 McCullough and Catherine E. McCullough of Louisa County State of Iowa
6 in consideration of the sum of Twelve Hundred Dollars in hand paid
7 by Henry Carringer of Louisa County State of Iowa, the receipt whereof
8 is hereby acknowledged do by these Presents: Grant, Bargain Sell and Convey
9 unto the said Henry Carringer heirs and assigns the following described
10 premises situated in the County of Louisa State of Iowa, to wit: The North
11 half (½) of the South twenty (20) acres of the North west quarter (¼) of the
12 South west quarter (¼) of Section number nineteen (19) in Township 75 (75) Seventy
13 Five North of Range (4) four west of the Fifth Principal Meridian in
14 in the County of Louisa; also, the north west quarter (¼) of the North East
15 (¼) quarter of Section No. (29) Twenty nine, in Township Number (75) Seventy five
16 North of Range No. (5) five, containing 40 acres more or less. To
17 Have and to Hold the said premises unto the said Henry Carringer heirs and
18 assigns forever. And the said William McCullough & Catherine E. McCullough
19 grantors herein does hereby warrant with the grantee his heirs and assigns, that
20 they are lawfully seized of said premises: that the said premises are free from
21 any incumbrance; that they have good right and lawful authority to sell
22 the same, and they do hereby covenant to Warrant and Defend the said prem-
23 ises against the lawfull ????? of all persons whomsoever. And the
24 said Catherine E. McCullough wife of the said William McCullough hereby
25 relinquish her Right of Dower in and to the above described premises. In Wit-
26 ness Whereof, We the said Grantors have hereunto set our hands and seal this
27 Fifteenth day of February A.D. 1864.
28                                                            Wm McCullough {seal}
29                                                            C.E. McCullough {seal}

30 State of Iowa   } ss
31 Louisa County } On the Fifteenth day of February A.D. 1864
32 before me a Justice of the Peace in and for said County personally
33 came William McCullough and Catherine E. McCullough to me person-
34 ally known to be the identical persons whose names are affixed to
35 the above deed as Grantors, and acknowledged the same to be their
36 voluntary act and deed. Witness my hand and seal the day
37 and year above written.
38                                                          James Goble
39                                                          Justice of the Peace

The source citation for this deed is:

Louisa County, Iowa, Louisa County, Iowa, deeds records, 1839-1935; index, 1839-1901, "Deeds, v. 14, 16, 1863-1865," Volume 16, Page 236 (stamped), William McCullough to Henry Carringer entry, accessed on FHL microfilm US/CAN 1,005,863.

I have a significant doubt that the designations of the Ranges for the two different parcels is correct - one says Range 4, the other says Range 5.  Both are for Township 75.  I have not looked at the BLM maps to determine which one is correct.  

The record image was obtained with my iPhone in February 2014 at the Family History Library from the microfilm machine.  The image above is pretty fuzzy, but it is readable.

Henry Carringer (1800-1879) is my third great-grandfather, and the father of David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902).  He came to Louisa County, Iowa from Mercer County, Pennsylvania in about 1858 with several of his children, and died there in 1880.  

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 13 to 19 April 2014

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 are poignant. 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:

*  Piecing Together the Puzzle: Some Thoughts on Genealogy by Jeanie Roberts on The Family Connection blog.  Jeanie's thoughtful piece is about genealogy, sharing and working with other researchers.

*  FamilySearch Breaks, Fixes Image URLs by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog.  Mr. AI describes what happened, and comments on FamilySearch source citations.

*  52 Ancestors Challenge: Week 15 Recap by Amy Johnson Crow on the No Story Too Small blog.  Amy lists the Week 15 participants.

*  Did You Turn the Page? by Kimberly Powell on the About.com: Genealogy blog.  Kimberly has examples where this might be a really good thing.

*  Can a Complete Genealogy Exist? by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog.  James doesn't think so, and illustrates why using Puzzilla.org (he broke it!).

*  Keeping My Genealogy Database in Tip Top Shape by Michele Simmons Lewis on the Ancestoring blog.  Michele works at it and succeeds.  Admirable!

*  Easter Bunny Returns With His Family Tree! by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.  Lorine's post explains this confusing family tree.

*  14 Ways Timelines Can Help You In Your Research by Karin Hadden on The Art of Genealogy blog.  Great list, Karin!

*  The Death of Expertise, Part 2? by Michael J. Leclerc on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog.  Michael revisits the discussion about expertise.

These genea-bloggers wrote weekly pick posts and news summary posts this week:

*  NN Genealogy Things You Need to Know This Morning, Sunday, 13 Apr 2014; Monday, 14 Apr 2014; Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014; Wednesday, 16 Apr 2014, Thursday, 17 Apr 2014; Friday, 18 Apr 2014, and Saturday, 19 Apr 2014 by Caroline M. Pointer on the 4YourFamilyStories.com blog.

*  Follow Friday ~ Fab Finds for April 18, 2014 by Jana Last on Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog.

*  Blog Posts and News Stories for Genealogists, April 18,2014 by Michael J. Leclerc on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog.

*  Friday's Finds - 04/18/14 by Julie Cahill Tarr on Julie's Genealogy & History Hub.

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 1490 genealogy bloggers using Feedly, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/04/best-of-genea-blogs-13-to-19-april-2014.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver 

Census-Whacking on Easter Sunday

Arise, ye Genea-Musings readers and Graveyard Rabbits, and spread the good news!  Happy Easter!

In a spare hour, I happened to notice that Ancestry.com shows:

* Easter Bunny, born about 1908 in North Carolina, was the daughter of John and Mary Bunny in Marion county, South Carolina in the 1910 U.S. Census. I wonder if Easter lived to a ripe old age? And spread colored eggs, or chocolate candy, around the countryside?

* Easter Bunny, born about 1826, resided in Yorkshire, England in the 1841 U.K. census.

* Easter Eggers, born about 1820, resided in Cole County, Missouri in the 1850 U.S. census.

* Easter Morning, born about 1905, resided in Williamsburg, Virginia in the 1930 U.S. Census.

* Easter H. Easter, born about 1825, resided in Cherokee County, Texas in the 1850 U.S. census.

* Easter Chick, born about 1910, resided in Cape May County, New Jersey in the 1910 U.S. Census.

* There are several persons named Easter Flowers, Easter Day and Easter Hunt in the U.S. census records.

* Felix Easter resided in Rusk County, Texas in the 1880 U.S. Census.

* There are a few persons named Easter Lily and Easter Lilly in the U.S. Census records.

*  Bunny Sue Easter died in 1972 in Multnomah County, Oregon.

* I found no persons named Happy Easter, Easter Sunday, Easter Rabbit, or Easter Egg in the U.S. census records.

*  There is an Easter Eggers, born in 1914, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in the 1920 U.S. census.

* Peter Rabbit, born about 1833 in Ireland, was residing in New Orleans, Louisiana in the 1880 U.S. census.

* Peter Rabbit, born about 1840 in Ireland, was residing in New York City in the 1880 U.S. census.

* Several other Peter Rabbit persons hop in and out of the U.S. census over the years!

* There are plenty of persons named Peter Cotton in the U.S. census, but no Peter Cottontail persons. Too bad!

* A person named Peter Easter resided in Bourbon County, Kansas in the 1880 U.S. Census.

What other names can you find that appear in the Census Records that pertain, remotely, to Easter?

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/04/census-whacking-on-easter-sunday.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do Some Random Research

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

Go to The Random Name Generator and click the red “Generate Name” button at the top of the screen.  You can pick any random name that is generated in successive tries if you don't like or don't want to research the first name generated.

2. Go to Ancestry.com and enter your generated name in the search box on the main search page. If you don't have Ancestry.com, go to http://www.familysearch.org/ and do it there - it's free.

3. From the results, your research target will be the first census result for your generated name.

4. Using whatever online resources are at your disposal, see what else you can discover about your random person and write about it. It can be a formal report complete with footnotes, or just a “research story” about what you tried, problems you overcame, or success you had. Maybe you want to create a research plan for practice?

5. Post about it on your own blog, as a comment on this post, or in a comment on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.

Here's mine:

1)  My randomly generated name is Monroe Merritt.

2)  I will use Ancestry.com.

3)  On Ancestry.com, the first census match was for J. Monroe Merritt in the 1940 U.S. Census, white, age 69, born in Georgia, residing on Church Street in Byron, Peach County, Georgia.  He had one year of high school education, was a proprietor of a retail grocery store, and was married.  His wife was Susie S. Merritt, age 63, white, born in Georgia.  In 1935, they had resided in Moultrie, Colquitt County, Georgia.

4)  I also found these results for this person:

a)  In the 1930 U.S. Census, James M. Merritt (head, white, age 57, married, first at age 22, born Georgia, , parents born Georgia/Georgia, a salesman, works in a dry goods store) resided in Moultrie, Colquitt County, Georgia at 310 South Main Street.  His wife, Susie H. Merritt (white, age 52, married, first at age 18, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia) was the only other person in the household.

b)  In the 1920 U.S. Census, J. Monroe Merritt (indexed as Merriot) (head, white, age 48, married, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia, a clerk in a clothing store) resided at 113 Green Street in Pelham, Mitchell county, Georgia.  The other persons in the household included:

*  Susie Merritt (wife, female, age 43, married, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia).
*  Bonnie May Merritt (daughter, female, age 21, single, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia, a teacher in a public school).
*  Virginia Merritt (daughter, female, age 19, single, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia, a teacher in a public school).
*  Elizabeth Merritt (daughter, female, age 8, single, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia).

c)  I couldn't find Monroe Merritt in the 1910 U.S. Census.  Nor James, nor any of the children (see below) with their mother.

d)   In the 1900 U.S. Census, Monroe J. Merritt (head, white, born Apr 1870, age 30, married, for 6 years, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia, a farm laborer) resided  in Pearces, Decatur County, Georgia.  The other persons in the household included:

*  Arlin (?) Susie Merritt (wife, female, born Apr 1875, age 25, married, for 6 years, 3 children born, 3 living, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia).
*  Arling (?) Zolia (?) Merritt (daughter, female, born Aug 1894, age 25, single, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia)
*  Lucy Brown Merritt (daughter, female, born Mar 1897, age 3, single, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia).
*  Virgia Merritt (daughter, female, born Feb 1900, age 3/12, single, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia).

e)  In the 1880 U.S. Census, Monroe J. Merritt (son, white, age 10, single, born Georgia, parents born Georgia/Georgia, works on farm) resided  in Pearces, Decatur County, Georgia.  The other persons in the household included:

*  Jacob H. Merritt (white, male, age 38, married, a farmer, born Georgia, parents born NC/NC)
*  Emily Merritt (white, female, age 44, wife, married, housekeeping, born Florida, parents born SC/SC)
*  Susan E. Merritt (white, female, age 14, daughter, single, housekeeping, born Georgia, parents born NC/Florida)
*  Mary L. Merritt (white, female, age 13, daughter, single, housekeeping, born Georgia, parents born NC/Florida)
*  Haywood H. Merritt (white, male, age 12, son, single, works on farm, born Georgia, parents born NC/Florida)
*  Lucius Merritt (white, male, age 4, son, single, born Georgia, parents born NC/Florida)
*  no name Merritt (white, male, age 2/12, son, single, born Georgia, parents born NC/Florida)

f)  James M. Merritt is in the Georgia Death Index, 1919-1998 listed as:

*  James M. Merritt, male, white, age 87, died 20 June 1958, died in Ware County, resident of Peach County

g)  James Monroe Merritt is listed in Find A Grave, buried in Byron City Cemetery, Byron, Peach County, Georgia.  He was born 11 April 1871 in Georgia, and died 20 June 1958.  His wife's maiden name is given as Susan Arline Sutton, with a marriage date of 20 November 1893 in Thomas County, Georgia.  There four children are listed with full names, birth dates, death dates, and spouses.  There are links to Find A Grave for his parents and three siblings, but not to his children.  

h)  I searched on FamilySearch for Monroe Merritt and James Merritt with a birth year of 1871 plus/minus 5 years born in Georgia and didn't find anything more. 

h)  After finding the above, I found a Merritt Family Tree in an Ancestry.com Public Member Tree with all of this information, and not much more.  It did ascribe five children to Monroe and Susie Merritt.  

Not bad for 45 minutes of effort (including writing the blog post)!

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - DeCAMP (France > New York > New Jersey)

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

I am in the 7th great-grandmothers and I'm up to Ancestor #947, who is Joannes "Jane" DeCAMP (1677-1739)
.   [Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

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

1.  Randall J. Seaver (1943-living)

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

6.  Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976)
7.  Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977)

14.  Charles Auble (1849-1916)
15.  Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952)

28.  David Auble (1817-1894)
29.  Sarah Knapp (1818-????)

58.  William Knapp (1775-1856)
59.  Sarah Cutter (1785-1878)

118. Stephen Cutter (1745-1823)
119. Tabitha Randolph (1752-1845)

236.  William Cutter (1722-1780)
237.  Mary Kent (1726-????)

472.  Richard Cutter (1682-1756)
473.  Mercy Kelsey (1698-1760)

946.  Joseph Kelsey, born about 1673 in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States; died June 1742 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States.  He was the son of 1892. Mark Kelsey and 1893. Rebecca Hoskins.  He married 1697 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States.
947.  Joannes DeCamp, born before 02 April 1677 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States; died Bef. 1739 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States.  

Children of Joseph Kelsey and Joannes DeCamp are:
*  Mercy Kelsey (1698-1760), married 1722 Richard Cutter (1682-1756)
*  Hannah Kelsey (1700-1777), married 1726 James Badgley (1699-????).
*  Joseph Kelsey (1702-1753).
*  Mary Kelsey (1704-????), married John Olliver.
*  Benjamin Kelsey (1706-1765), married 1741 Hannah Atkinson (1708-????).
*  Daniel Kelsey (1708-1759), married 1730 Jemima Clark (1701-1759).
*  Ruth Kelsey (1710-????), married 1730 Benjamin Ellstone.
*  Phebe Kelsey (1713-????), married 1734 John Wood (1709-????).
*  Lydia Kelsey (1715-1764), married Barnabas Winans.

1894.  Laurens Jansen DeCamp, born 1645 in Picardie, France; died 1719 in Queens, New York, United States.  He married 1676 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States.
1895.  Aeltje DeMandeville, born about 1650 in Garderen, Barneveld, Gelderland, Netherlands.

Children of Laurens DeCamp and Aeltje DeMandeville are:
*  Joannes DeCamp (1677-1739), married 1697 Joseph Kelsey (1673-1742)
*  Johannes DeCamp (1679-1766), married 1701 Mary Praal (1674-????).
*  Styntje DeCamp (1681-????), married Christopher Christoffel (1676-1727).
*  Hendrik DeCamp (1682-1771), married 1704 Maria de Lamars (1685-????).
*  Agidius DeCamp (1683-1763), married Hendrickje Bastiansed (1692-????).
*  Maritje DeCamp (1686-1781), married (1) Rut Vandenbergh (????-1718); (2) 1718 Chales Ellens (1675-????).
*  Aeltje DeCamp (1690-????), married 17127 Cornelis Egmont (1687-????).

The only resource I have for this DeCamp family is:

George Austin Morrison, DeCamp Genealogy: Laurent DeCamp of New Utrecht, N.Y., 1664 and His Descendants (Albany, N.Y. : J. Munsell's Sons, 1900).

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/04/surname-saturday-decamp-france-new-york.html

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, April 18, 2014

Dee Dee King Reports on SSDI/Death Master File Restrictions

If you've kept up with the news about the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) in recent years, you know that public access was threatened.  Recently, a bill was passed by Congress and signed by the President to restrict pulbic access to death information reported to the Social Security Administration for three years after date of death.

Forensic Genealogist Dee Dee King was written a report on her experiences trying to become certified for limited access to the Death Master File (DMF, which we know as SSDI).  She succeeded in becoming certified, and after paying the necessary fees for access, has written up her experiences in a special Forensic Genealogy News publication:

Demystifying the DMF (Go to the Resources page at http://www.forensicgenealogists.org/Resources.html and click the link for Vol 4 #3 Special DMF Edition).

Please read the entire article for a better understanding of how the new law affects genealogical researchers.  My takeaways:

*  The current Social Security Death Index (SSDI) databases can remain on the subscription and free websites with the same information as before.

*  The next public access edition of the SSDI/DMF will probably be released in 2017.

*  Future editions of the SSDI/DMF may contain less information - only SSN, name, birth date and birth place.

We owe a major debt of gratitude to Dee Dee King for her work in explaining and demystifying the SSDI/DMF.  Thank you, Dee Dee!

Interested readers can read all of the Forensic Genealogy News issues at  http://www.forensicgenealogists.org/Resources.html.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/04/dee-dee-king-reports-on-ssdideath.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver