Friday, November 27, 2015

San Diego Colony of Society of Mayflower Descendants on the Front Page

I was pleased and surprised on Thanksgiving morning when I read the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper - an article about the San Diego Colony of the Society of Mayflower Descendants was the dominant article at the top of the page:

My friends, Gail and Ray Raser, were in Pilgrim costume in the photograph.  Ray is holding his replica model of the Mayflower.

The article says that "Hundreds of county resident claim to be descendants of Mayflower's passengers," and notes that while there are 30 million Americans who are descended, only 29,000 are members of the Society, including about 300 in San Diego.

Gail Raser is the current Governor, and Ray is a past Governor, of the San Diego Colony.  Ray's comment also made the front page, saying "It makes Thanksgiving more than just a fancy turkey dinner.  It becomes a history you can be part of."

The articles relates the history of the Pilgrims, the Mayflower, and describes the process required to join the Society by proving relationships for every generation with documents.

I'm sure that Gail and Ray will received many copies of the newspaper this weekend.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 100: #124 Frederick Sovereen (1786-1875)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I am extending this theme in 2015 to 104 Ancestors in 104 Weeks. Here is my ancestor biography for week #100:

Frederick Sovereen (1786-1875) is #124 on my Ahnentafel list, my 4th great-grandfather, who married #125 Mary Jane Hutchison (1792-1868) in 1810.  

I am descended through:

* their son, #62 Alexander Sovereen (1814-1907 who married #63 Elizabeth Putman (1818-1895) in 1840, 

*  their daughter, 
#31 Mary Jane Sovereen (1844-1874) who married #30 James Abraham Kemp (1831-1902) in 1861.
*  their daughter, Gerogianna Kemp (1868-1952) who married #14 Charles Auble (1849-1916) in 1898.
*  their daughter #7 Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977) who married #6 Lyle Lawrence Carringer in 1918.
*  their daughter, #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), who married #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) in 1942.

*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


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

*  Name:                     Frederick Sovereen[1–5]
*  Alternate Name:     Frederick Zavering[6]
*  Alternate Name:     Frederick Sovereign[7]    
*  Sex:                        Male   

*  Father:                    Jacob Sovereign (1759-1845)   
*  Mother:                  Elizabeth Pickle (1764-1849)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                     14 February 1786 New Germantown, Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States[6]
*  Baptism:                16 April 1786 (age 0), New Germantown, Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States[6]    
*  Census :                 1 April 1851 (age 65), Windham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[2]
*  Census:                 1 April 1861 (age 75), Windham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[3]
*  Census:                 1 April 1871 (age 85), Windham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[4]
*  Death:                   14 June 1875 (age 89), Middleton, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[5]
*  Probate:                19 July 1875 (age 89), Windham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada[5]   
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:              Mary Jane Hutchison (1792-1868)   
*  Marriage 1:           17 May 1810 (age 24), London, Middlesex, Ontario, Canada[1]

*  Child 1:                 William Lewis Sovereign (1811-1892)   
*  Child 2:                 Mary Catherine Sovereign (1813-    )   
*  Child 3:                 Alexander Sovereen (1814-1907)   
*  Child 4:                 Jacob Sovereign (1817-1909)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

The entry in the Zion Lutheran Church book in New Germantown, Hunterdon County, Frederick Sovereen was born 14 February 1786 and baptized on 16 April 1786, son of Jacob and Elizabeth "Zavering" with witnesses Frederick "Zavering" and wife[6].  

He married, on 17 May 1810 in London, Ontario, to Mary Jane Hutchison, daughter of William and Catherine (Lewis) Hutchison).  The marriage entry in the list of "Early London District Marriages" says[1]:

"17 May 1810. Frederick Sovereen Jr. of Charlotteville, yeoman and Mary Jane Hutchison of Walsingham, spinster, by Thomas Welch JP. Witnesses-John Backhouse, Cornelius Dedrick, James Hutchison, John Backhouse and Ephraim C. Mitchell."

Frederick and Mary Jane (Hutchison) Sovereen had four children born between 1811 and 1817, all born in Norfolk County, Ontario[7].

A description of the life of Frederick Sovereign is provided in the book Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement by E.A. Owen[7].  This book describes the settling and building of Norfolk County, Ontario, mostly by Loyalist immigrants from the United States.  The section on Frederick reads:

"Frederick Sovereign, eldest son of Jacob, married Jane, daughter of Captain William Hutchinson, and settled on Lot 47, 1st concession, N.T.S. Middleton, about the time of the War of 1812, thus becoming one of the original pioneers of that township.  This lot cost about $40.00 in addition to the settling duties.  It adjoins on the north, and partly includes, the village of Delhi.  Later on Mr. Sovereign purchased the north half of the lot lying directly opposite on the south side of Talbot Street.  This 100 acres cost about $600.00, and put "Uncle Frederick" in possession of all the land on which the village is built, except that portion lying in Windham, which was owned and settled upon by Joseph Lawson a little time before Mr. Sovereign settled on his land.  Uncle Frederick had made his purchase, however, and had performed settling duties before Mr. Lawson came;  he is justly entitled therefore, to the honor of being the first to locate a house in the village he laid out and founded, and which was named after him.  Fredericksburg it was called for many years, and when the Post-office was changed to 'Delhi', the old people at that time never could become reconciled to the new name, and they clung to 'The Burg' as long as they lived.  'Uncle Frederick' kept a tavern in Fredericksburg for more than thirty years."

"He was a great deer hunter, and in the early settlement his table was always plentifully supplied with venison and other wild game.  On one occasion he witnessed an interesting fight between a herd of swine and a huge black bear.  The hogs were his own and were running in the woods on the opposite side of the creek just north of the village. The squealing of the hogs attracted his attention, and taking his rifle he went down the bank to ascertain the cause.  When he reached the creek he saw what was occurring on the opposite side, and he became an interested spectator.  The hogs were nine in number, and every time the bear seized one in his powerful arms, the others would come to the rescue by hurling themselves violently against their adversary, tumbling him over and thus liberating the squealer.  After enjoying the fun for some time, 'Uncle Frederick' raised his trusty rifle and a bullet went flying across Big Creek that laid Bruin low in death."

T"he first, last and only plug tobacco manufactory ever operated in the village and, possibly, in the county, was operated by 'Uncle Frederick'.  He grew and cured his own loaf and pressed it into plugs. The manufactured plugs contained nothing but pure tobacco leaf, molasses and Jamaica rum, and such were its good qualities that the old settlers preferred it to what they called 'boughten tobacco'.

"'Uncle Frederick' donated the land occupied by the Baptist church in Delhi, becoming an early member of the church himself, and serving as deacon for many, many years.  Indeed, when the familiar form and voice of Uncle Frederick Sovereign was seen and heard in the old church for the last time, one of the main pillars fell to the earth, and it lies there still.  A long time ago he retired to his farm east of the village, where he established a home noted for its Christian influences and its generous hospitality.  He died in 1875 having reached his 89th year, and having survived his aged companion several years."

In the 1851 Census for Canada West, the Frederick Sovereen household resided in Windham township, Norfolk County, Canada West[2].  The household included:

*  Frederick Sovereen - farmer, born in United States, Baptist religion, age 66, male.
*  Mary Jane Sovereen - born in New Brunswick, Baptist religion, age 61, female.

In the 1861 Census of Canada West, the Frederick Sovereen household was enumerated in Windham, Norfolk county, Canada West[3].  The household included:

*  Frederick Sovereen - a farmer, born in USA, Baptist religion, age 75, male, married
*  Jane Sovereen - born in New Brunswick, Baptist religion, age 70, female, married

The Agricultural census shows that he had 238 acres, with 169 acres cultivated (134 acres with crops, 32 acres pasture and 3 acres orchard/garden) and 89 acres of wood/wild.  The land had $4000 cash value.  The farm's crops included:

carrots 40 bushels
Fall wheat 21 acres 200 bushels
Spring wheat 4 acres 12 bushels
Rye wheat 6 acres 50 bushels
Peas 8 acres 100 bushels
Oats 4 acres 100 bushels
Indian corn 4 acres 65 bushels
Potatoes 6 acres 60 bushels
Turnips 3/4 acre 200 bushels

7 bushels of clover seed, grass seed, 8 tons of hay
200 pounds of butter, 4 barrels of pork (100 lbs each)
150 lbs wool, 10 yards of fulled cloth
2 horses over 2 years old $100
3 steers/heifers less than 3 years old
4 milch cows(all livestock)
45 sheep   (worth $330.)
8 pigs
orchard/garden produce $50

1 pleasure carriage $80

In the 1871 Canada Census for Ontario, Frederick Sovereen (male, age 85, born in the U.S., widowed, Baptist religion, German origin) resided in Windham township in Norfolk County in the family of John and Mary C. Carlyle (his daughter)[4]

Frederick Sovereen died 14 June 1875 in Windham township in Norfolk County, Ontario, according to the Surrogates Court records[5].  The transcription of the will and other probate papers for Frederick Sovereen is:

"In the goods of Frederick Sovereen deceased Probate

"Be it known that on the nineteenth day of July in the year of our 
Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy five, the last 
will and testament of Frederick Sovereen late of the township of Wind-
ham in the County of Norfolk yeoman, who died on or about the 
fourteenth day of June in the year of our Lord one thousand eight 
hundred and seventy five at the said Township of Windham, and 
who at the time of his death had a fixed place of abode at the township 
of Windham in the said County of Norfolk in the Province of Ontario 
was proved and registered in the said Surrogate Court, a true 
copy of which said last will and testament is hereunder written 
and that the administration of all and singular his personal 
estate and effects rights and credits of the said deceased, and 
in any way concerning his will was granted by the aforesaid 
Court to Jacob Sovereen of the township of Middleton in the County 
of Norfolk Esquire, James Whitside of the same place Esquire,
and John Kitchen of the township of Windham in the said County 
of Norfolk Esquire, the Executors named in the said will. They 
having been first sworn well and faithfully to administer the 
same by paying the just debts of the deceased and the legacies 
contained in his Will so far as they are thereunto bound by law
 and to exhibit a true and perfect inventory of all and singular 
the said estate and effects rights and credits, and to render a just 
and true account of their executorship whenever required by law 
so to do. 
                                  (signed) Clarence Chapelje                         
                                  Registrar of the Surrogate Court                                                                        of the County of Norfolk

"I Frederick Sovereen of the township of Windham in the County
of Norfolk and Province of Ontario in the Dominion of Canada
Yeoman, being of a sound and disposing mind and ????
my thanks be to my Heavenly Father for this and all other of His
mercies I do make write and publish this as my Last Will
and testament.

"I Will unto my son Alexander Sovereen his heirs and assigns
forever all that portion of my homestead farm lying Westerly
of the main road which crossed my said homestead farm, the
said parcel of land being composed of a North Westerly part
of the South half of Lot number twenty one and the Northerly
part of the South half of Lot number twenty two, both in the Ele-
venth concession of said Township of Windham in the
County of Norfolk and Province aforesaid, containing by
admeasurement sixty three acres and one half of an acre
of land be the same more or less.

"I also Will unto will unto my said son Alexander Sovereen
his heirs and assigns forever that Westerly part of the Easterly
division of said lot number twenty one in said eleventh con-
cession of said Township of Windham containing by admea-
surement eighteen acres and one half of an acre of land be the
same more or less, bounded as follows that is to say, commen-
cing on the Southerly limit of the North fifty acres of said lot
number twenty one owned by Michael Beck, at the intersection of
the Easterly side of the main road established across my said
farm thence bounding on the Easterly side of said road South
(about) seven degrees West seventeen chains and seven links to a
stake set, thence North seventy eight degrees and thirty minutes
East eleven chains and thirty four links to a stake set, thence North
(about) seven degrees East seventeen chains and seven links to
a stake set in the Southerly limit of said land of Michael Beck
and thence South seventy eight degrees and thirty minutes
West eleven chains and thirty four links to the place of begin-
ning, to have and to hold said parcels of land with the ap-
purtenances unto my said son Alexander Sovereen his
heirs and assigns forever.

"I will unto my Executors and Trustees hereinafter, or the
survivor or survivor's of them in fee simple, all the rest
residue and remainder of my homestead farm being
composed of that part of my homestead farm lying East
of the Brantford road (excepting therefrom the Eighteen and a
half acres devised to my son Alexander), said parcels
of land devised to my Executors and Trustees being com-
posed of the great Southerly part of Lot number twenty
one and a South Easterly part of Lot number twenty
two in said eleventh concession of said Township of Windham
containing in all one hundred and thirteen aces of land
be the same more or less, this devise made to my Executors
and trustees in trust that as soon after my demise as in
their opinion a fair value can be obtained for the same
shall and do sell the said lands devised to them upon such
terms of payment as will best promote the interests of my es-
tate and shall divide the proceeds arising from such sale
as follows.

"First pay to my son William Lewis Sovereen or in the Event
of his previous demise to pay the same to those to whom my said son
William in his Will may direct, or in the Event of his failing
to leave a devise in writing then to the Heirs of the said William
Lewis Sovereen two thousand and sixty dollars of the proceeds
of the sale of my said homestead farm, and shall and do
therefrom pay to my granddaughter Mary Catherine Carlyle
or her heirs the Same to be for the sole use benefit, and
under the absolute control of my said granddaughter, as if
she was under the absolute control unmarried woman
the sum of six hundred dollars and shall do and after
deducting all reasonable and proper costs and charges at-
tending the sale of said Estate shall divide the then residue
arising from such sale equally between my sons William Lewis
Sovereen and Alexander Sovereen or their Heirs share and
share alike. That is, if either or both of my sons should die
before receiving their portion then the children of such deceased
Parent to Inherit their Father's portion unless such deceased
Father shall by Will have directed otherwise then the
direction of such Will to prevail, and in order fully to
carry into effect this part of my Will to the best advan-
tage I give to my Executors and trustees full power to
and authority to give such terms of payment as will best
promote the interest of my estate to give and to take hold
renew discharge change or say the security for balance
of the purchase money in such manner as to them shall
deem best I Will unto my sons William Lewis Sovereen
and Alexander Sovereen their heirs executors or adminis-
trators equally all such mortgages as I may die possessed
of (it is my wish that my son William shall have the
mortgage given me by Thomas Barker). I give to my Execut-
ors full power to assign to my sons respectively the mortgages
securities the mortgages securities that may fall to each of
my said sons or if that cannot be conveniently done then
my Executors to collect in and divide the monies equally
between my said sons (after deducting all reasonable costs
and charges connected therewith). I will that the Gold
coin I may die possessed of (being now about sixty dollars)
shall be equally divided between my two sons and my Grand-
daughter Mary Catherine Carlyle. I will that my household
furniture and personal property shall be divided accord-
ing to the Memorandum accompanying this my Will.
I give to my Executors and Trustees full power and aut-
hority to make all such conveyances and to take hold
review foreclose discharge or change all such securities
as may be necessary in order to carry into effect this my
Will . To have and To hold the lands as conveyed by
them unto the purchaser or purchasers thereof His her or
their Heirs and Assigns forever. I will that all my just
debts funeral and testamentary expences be paid out of
my estate should my homestead Estate revert to my Exe-
cutors on account of failure in payment by the purchaser
then and in such case I give to my Executors and Trus-
tees or the survivor of them full power and authority to resell
and reconvey the same as fully and amply as by the first con-
veyance made by them, and to take security thereon as in the
first instance.

"I Will that what I have heretofore given to my granddaughter Mary
Catherine Carlyle shall be hers absolutely and in addition to
said six hundred dollars herein devised to her.

"Lastly, I hereby Will to my Executors and any other estate real
and personal nor herein before mentioned, of which I may die
seized in trust that they will convert the same into money and
after deducting all reasonable expenses, divide the residue
equally between my sons William and Alexander, or
their heirs.

"And I hereby nominate constitute and appoint my ne-
phew Jacob Sovereen of the township of Middleton Esquire
and James Whitsides of the same place Esquire, and my most Es-
teemed neighbour John Kitchen of the township of Windham
in said County and Province Esquire Executors and Trus-
tees of this my last Will and Testament,
Hereby revoking all former Will or Wills, or writings of
the nature of a Will by are heretofore made:Hereby I ??
fixing and confirm ??? this and this only
as my last Will and Testament.

"As witness my hand and seal to this my last Will
and Testament / the same having been first carefully read
over to me / this fourteenth day of November eighteen hun-
dred and sixty eight.                                               his
                                                 (signed) / Frederick X Sovereen                                                                        
Signed sealed published   }
and declared by said tes-  }
tator Frederick Sovereen  }
as and for his Last Will    }
and in presence of us and }
of each other.                   }
(signed / Thos W. Walsh }
(signed / Agnes Cluie      }"

1. Bill Martin, "Early London District [Ontario] Marriages," online database, Bill Martin's Genealogy Website (, Frederick Sovereen Jr. and Mary Jane Hutchison entry.

2. Census of 1851, Norfolk County, Canada West, District 25, Windham, subdistrict 237, page 35 (stamped), lines 38-39, Frederick Sovereen household ; digital image, Library and Archives Canada ( : accessed 10 March 2013); citing Library and Archives Canada Microfilm C-11741.

3. Census of Canada, 1861, Canada West, Norfolk District, Windham sub-district, Page 76, Lines 12-13, Frederick Sovereen household ; digital image,  Library and Archives Canada ( : accessed 23 August 2013); citing Library and Archives Canada Microfilm C-1053.

4. Census of Canada, 1871, Ontario, Norfolk North District, District 12, Division 4, Windham District, page 2, John Carlyle household; digital image,  Library and Archives Canada ( : accessed 23 August 2013); citing Libraries and Archives Canada microfilm C-9909.

5. Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada, Probate Records, ca 1839-1931; Indexes, 1842-1967, Surrogate's Registers, Books F-G, 1870-1880: pages 202-205, Frederick Sovereen will and court records; accessed on FHL Microfilm US/CAN 522,630 (accessed 5 February 2014).

6. Ben Van D. Fisher, "Records of the Corporation of Zion in New Germantown in West Jersey - Births and Baptisms," Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey, Volumes XXX to XXXIII (1900-1903), January 1902, page 28, Frederick Zavering birth/baptism entry.

7. E.A. Owen, Pioneer Sketches of Long Point Settlement (Toronto, Ont. :  William Briggs, 1898), page 138, Frederick Sovereign sketch.


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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

My Mayflower Connections - Soule, White, Warren, Cooke, Brewster, Hopkins and Fuller

I've posted before about my own connections to passengers on the Mayflower that landed at Plymouth in New England in December 1620.

Here are my blog posts for each core Mayflower ancestor (with the names of my Mayflower  passengers in parentheses):

*  My Mayflower Connections - 1. George Soule (George Soule)  

*  My Mayflower Connections - 2. William White (William White, Susanna (--?--) White, Peregrine White)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 3. Richard Warren (Richard Warren)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 4. Francis Cooke (Francis Cooke, John Cooke)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 5. Stephen Hopkins (Stephen Hopkins, Constance Hopkins)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 6. William Brewster (William Brewster, Mary (--?--) Brewster)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 7. Edward Fuller (Edward Fuller, Ann? (--?--), Samuel Fuller)

See the 2012 post on this topic to see how I answered the reader comment:   "Why are you boasting about your Mayflower ancestors?  Are you trying to show that you are a better researcher than the rest of us?  Or that these passengers were somehow special?"

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

I Am So Thankful for ...

--- for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

--- for my wonderful loving wife, Angel Linda, who makes every day, and every meal, special.

--- for my two beautiful and smart daughters, and Tami's husband, who work so hard to do so well in order to live securely and happily.

--- for my five precious grandchildren, so innocent and with so much potential, and so much fun to be with.

--- for my enthusiastic father, who provided a large New England ancestry to research, and passed on an undying love for the games of baseball and football.

--- for my loving mother, so patient, supportive and kind, who saved so much family history and whose ancestry provides such fascinating research challenges.

--- for my brothers, their wives and children, who are interested in the family history and remember more than I do about our growing up years.

--- for my grandparents and earlier ancestors, who worked hard, played by the rules, raised healthy families, and provided a firm foundation for their children.

--- for my aunts, uncles and cousins, who opened their homes and their hearts and shared their memories.

--- for the brave passengers on the Mayflower and other early ships who colonized New England, and instilled a republican form of government based on personal freedom and responsibility.

--- for the immigrants that populated our country, diversified our culture, worked hard to succeed, and are woven into the country's fabric.

--- for the courageous citizens who revolted to secure our freedoms, and created the institutions that are the foundations of the USA.

--- for the soldiers, sailors, marines and pilots, of every historical time, who have defended our country and kept us safe and free.

--- for the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights - especially the freedoms of speech, religion and assembly. I am awestruck that the Founders wrote such a magnificent set of documents that have stood the test of time.

--- for educational opportunities, whereby every and any person in this country can be the best that they can be, but they have to really make an effort.

--- for the free market and free enterprise economic system that encourages and rewards work and innovation, and has allowed me and my family to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

--- for the marvels of science and engineering, that drive our health, transportation, communication and entertainment industries.

--- for the wonders of nature that beautify our world, inspire us and occasionally overwhelm us.

--- for my genealogy society colleagues, genea-bloggers, blog readers, Facebook friends and Google+ circle members who challenge, educate, encourage and appreciate me.

--- for,,, GenealogyBank, Mocavo, Geni,  MyHeritage, FindMyPast, AmericanAncestors, Find A Grave, and other genealogy websites that provide online databases to explore into the wee hours of the night.

--- for genealogy software that organizes our family structures and provides incredible reports and charts to share with our families.

--- for repositories that collect, preserve and provide papers, photographs, books, manuscripts and artifacts to expand our research.

--- for genealogy conferences, societies, magazines, books, newsletters, webinars, hangouts, and social media that inform and educate us.

This year, I am really thankful for good health and the joys of going out to dinner with my wife on Thanksgiving (so she doesn't drop another frozen turkey on her toes and have to cook it.)

What are you thankful for on this 153rd Thanksgiving holiday?

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Turkey News in San Diego in 1915

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, and I got curious - were there big writeups in the newspapers 100 years ago about the day?  Were there festivities, did they celebrate it with a feast, etc.

In the San Diego Union newspaper for Thursday, 25 November 1915 (100 years ago today), there were several articles.  The most interesting one was this tale of woe (found on GenealogyBank) found on page 3:

The article says:

"Thanksgiving Feast Spoiled 
When Thieves Steal Turkey 
Carefully Reared in Luxury

"No fattened turkey, roasted a nice brown, will repose on the Thanksgiving table of Patrolman John Schultz and bring joy to his heart and fullness to his stomach.

"He passed two years in developing this bronze bird mentally as well as physically, until she was not only plump but she also cared for all of his chicks, mothering them and feeding them; and besides, she brought to maturity a flock of geese that are his pride, because they take his memory back to the Fatherland where as a boy he herded geese and did it with the same paternal care that characterized the intelligence and special education of his hen turk.

"Tuesday night he went to bed and the last words that melted into his first snore were:  'Tomorrow I'll kill that turkey and Thanksgiving Day I'll have a feast.'

"It was not long before cackling hens and quacking ducks in his miniature barnyard awakened him and raised the alarm.

"'There goes that turkey, I'll bet you ten dollars, by Himmel,' he exclaimed, and with his night fluttering behind, rushed for the kitchen door.

"Sure enough, the turk was gone, and across the canyon back of the house two shadow forms were plunging through the brush.

"'I couldn't follow,' Schultz said sadly, 'because the canyon was filled with glass and cans that had been dumped there and I was in my bare feet.'

"John Schultz lives at 2763 Newton avenue, where he has a lot of tender fowl, including choice pullets, that have not been carried off.  He is a sound sleeper and is slow on his feet."

Poor John Schultz - maligned in the newspaper on Thanksgiving Day and lost his prize turkey to boot.  And the article tantalized the thieves to return for more choice pullets.

This brought me to wondering if my great-grandparents killed a turkey for their Thanksgiving feast in 1915.  I imagine that they did, and wonder who did the deed - my grandfather Lyle, or his father Austin or his mother Della?  Did they raise it themselves, or buy it from a neighbor?  Family history is full of mysteries like this, and we won't ever know the answers unless we get lucky and find a diary or letter.  Oh well, it's fun to wonder.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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"New Ancestry" Member Tree Suggestions - Vote on Facebook

The Facebook group page ( has a poll for readers to suggest additions or improvements to the Ancestry Member Tree feature in the "New Ancestry" format.  Note:  You do have to be members of this closed group in order to vote.

I made four screen captures of the suggestions, and the number of votes, as of this morning, for each:

If you want to make your voice heard on issues concerning the Ancestry Member Tree, I encourage you to go vote on the suggestions above, and add more suggestions if you desire.  I voted - you can see my check marks on the items.  I wonder how I can make those go away?

Here is the profile for my 2nd great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) to show the color scheme and Facts page layout as of today:

I wonder how much it will change in look and feel over the next year?

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Visiting Las Vegas with Kalle and Aila -- Post #388 for (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

I'm posting old (and sometimes new) family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they won't be wordless posts like others do - I am incapable of having a wordless post.

Here are some of the most precious (to me) images from my Seaver/Leland photograph collection:

The parents of Mia, one of our 1994 Exchange girls, visited us in May 2003.  Kalle and Aila traveled from Tornio, Finland to San Diego, and we then drove to Victorville (to see our daughter Tami), Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and Lake Havasu in Arizona.   We had a wonderful time sharing our lives together, sightseeing, and took a few good photographs.

1)  We stayed at the Excalibur in Las Vegas.  Here is Kalle near the registration check-in:

2)  We visited an umber of the Las Vegas Strip hotels.  Here is Aila in front of Luxor:

3)  We ate dinner at a restaurant in New York New York:

4)  We spent some time at the Excalibur pool, which had views of other hotels - the pyramid is the Luxor:

We enjoyed the two weeks we had with Aila and Kalle - they are really happy and friendly people.  They learned a lot about United States history, geography and politics on this trip.  

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dear Randy: Genealogy Software and Online Trees with Royal Name Suffixes

Reader Bill sent in a question in email:

"Are there any genealogy programs out there that lets you enter non-surname people such as George, Duke of York or Eberhard III, Duke of Lower Lorraine that comes out readable in a report? I have FTM 2014 and the names in reports I put out are difficult to make sense of. Example: Friedrich II, Graf von Altena ends up Graf von Altena Friedrich II. Also, Elizabeth II, Queen of England ends up Queen of England Elizabeth II."

My response was:

That's an interesting question.  I opened Family Tree Maker 2014 and noted that it doesn't have a Prefix, Suffix or Nickname field.  I experimented a bit.  If you enter:

*  "Elizabeth II Windsor, Queen of England" you get "Queen of England Elizabeth II Windsor" in the Name field and printouts, and it is indexed as "Windsor, Queen of England, Elizabeth II"

*  "Elizabeth II Windsor Queen of England" you get just that "Elizabeth II Windsor Queen of England" in the Name field and printouts, but it is indexed as "England, Elizabeth II Windsor Queen of."

*  "Elizabeth II Windsor; Queen of England" you get "Elizabeth II Windsor; Queen of England" in the Name field and printouts, and "England, Elizabeth II Windsor; Queen of" in the Index, with a note that says you shouldn't use the ";" character (among others, including "-" or ":").

This is a limitation of the software, I think.  But not using punctuation seems to work if you can live with the index issue.

What about an Ancestry Member Tree?  Interestingly, provides three fields for a name, First/Middle, Maiden Name, and Suffix, so:

* An entry for "Elizabeth II" as first/middle, " Windsor" as Surname, and "Queen of England" as Suffix works, but comes out as "Elizabeth II Windsor Queen of England."

*  If you put "Elizabeth II" as first/middle name, and "Windsor, Queen of England" as the Surname, it displays as "Elizabeth II Windsor, Queen of England."

I tend to use the "House of" names like Windsor, Hanover, Stuart, Tudor, etc. as a surname in my database.  

In  RootsMagic, I put "Queen of England" or "Duke of Wherever" in the Suffix field (there's also a separate Prefix field and a Nickname field).   The result for Queen Elizabeth II was "Elizabeth II Windsor Queen of England" - no comma or other punctuation in reports or printouts, and indexed as "Windsor, Elizabeth II Queen of England."

I wondered how a royal name entered into Family Tree Maker 2014 shows up in Ancestry.  I made a GEDCOM file with some royals in RootsMagic, then imported it into FTM 2014.  

*  The entire name shows up without any commas (e.g., "Elizabeth II Windsor Queen of England)" in FTM 2014.  When I synced it to a new Ancestry tree, the name was included as that, with "Elizabeth II" in the first/middle name field, "Windsor" in the Surname field, and "Queen of England" in the Suffix field.  Interesting - somehow it figured out the Suffix was a suffix.  And there is no comma in the name.

*  I went back into FTM 2014 and added a "-" between Windsor and Queen in the name, and when I synced it to Ancestry, the first/middle name became "Elizabeth II Windsor - Queen of" and the surname became "England," with no suffix. So using a dash or even a colon is a possibility if you can live with the surname being the last word in the surname.

How does a royal name in RootsMagic using the Suffix show up in Ancestry?  I used the GEDCOM file with the royals, and imported it directly into an Ancestry Member Tree.  It kept the given/middle (e.g. Elizabeth II" and surname (e.g., "Windsor"), but did not include the Suffix information (where I have the "Queen of England" type information).  Strange, it didn't recognize the suffix for some reason (a GEDCOM quirk, perhaps?).

I wonder how Legacy Family Tree and other software programs deal with this issue.  What about the FamilySearch Family Tree?  I will let other geneabloggers have at those.

That's enough for now - I hope I answered Bill's question.  Thanks, Bill, for the opportunity to answer the question.

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