Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Genealogy News Bytes - Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Welcome to Genealogy News Bytes, posted on Tuesday afternoon and Friday afternoon, where we try to highlight the most important genealogy and family history news and education items that came across our desktop over the past four days.

2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

3)  Genealogy Education - Webinars (times are US Pacific):

 GeneaWebinars Calendar

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Tuesday, 18 February, 5 p.m.:  A Convincing Argument or a Convoluted Mess, by Barbara Vines Little

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Wednesday, 19 February, 11 a.m.:  Newspapers for People of Color Genealogy Research, by Nicka Smith

4)  Genealogy Education - Podcasts:

*   Research Like a Pro:  RLP 84: DNA Source Citations

*  Fisher's Top Tips: #155r - DNA Matches

5)  Genealogy Videos (YouTube):

*  Family History Fanatics:  How do I add a Wikitree link to GEDmatch

6)  Genealogy Bargains:

7)  DNA Stories:

8)  Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes - 14 February 2020  ?


Copyright (c) 2020, 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, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

New FamilySearch Tool Unlocks Data in Digital Record Images

I received this information via email from FamilySearch today:


FamilySearch New Tool Unlocks Data in Digital Record Images

SALT LAKE CITY, UT (18 February 2019), Most likely the family history breakthroughs you need to connect to elusive ancestors hiding somewhere in billions of free, unindexed digital record images at FamilySearch.org, are now a simple search away. Thanks to the release of FamilySearch’s new Explore Historical Images feature, your likelihood of finding records about ancestors has increased dramatically. The new tool helps users easily navigate the growing sea of free digital image collections at FamilySearch to make ancestor discoveries more quickly. (Find and share this announcement online in the FamilySearch Newsroom).

Searching Digital-Image-Only Collections  

FamilySearch has published billions of images of historical records from archives worldwide and continues to add over 350 million new record images every year—millions per week. About 80 percent of those online genealogical records are not searchable by name—meaning that you might not be able to just type in the names of ancestors to find them. Filling in the missing branches of your family tree often requires sleuthing through digital images of the original records online.

John Alexander, records experience manager at FamilySearch, said, “If FamilySearch has a digital-only image of your ancestor’s genealogical records—which it most likely does—now, through a friendly interface, Explore Images will enable you to go to a single source to find it.” 

How Does It Work?

Type in a place-name (city, state, county, or country) for an ancestor event (birth, marriage, date, other), and Explore Historical Images searches FamilySearch’s digital-only collections and returns relevant record collections that meet your criteria.  

Alexander said that a very small percentage of FamilySearch.org users have been taking advantage of the rich content in FamilySearch’s billions of record images. For them, Explore Images is going to be a game changer in making ancestor connections. “Previously, you would have to become very familiar with navigating the FamilySearch Catalog online to find what was there. Explore Images simplifies that experience,” said Alexander.

Try FamilySearch Explore Historical Images now. (Requires a free account).



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Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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Tuesday's Tip: Research in Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1967

The record collection for Pennsylvania Death Certificates, 1906-1967 is one of my favorite record collections.  It is online at Ancestry.com with 23,965,999 indexed entries.  I think that the index includes the names of the deceased, their parents (if given) and their spouse (if given).

The original source for this online collection is the set of Pennsylvania (State) Death Certificates, 1906–1963. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons), which contains Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11, archived at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

On Ancestry.com, the user will see this search page:

The user can search using any or some of the fields for first name, last name, birth date or year, death date or year, father's name, mother's name, spouse's name, children's name, and keywords.

The description of the information in this record collection is (from the Ancestry.com collection page):
Pennsylvania’s Department of Health began keeping birth and death records on a statewide basis on January 1, 1906. This collection includes death records beginning on that date through 1967.
Death certificates recorded the following details:
  • name and residence of the decedent
  • city and county of death
  • gender and race
  • marital status
  • age and date of birth
  • occupation
  • place of birth
  • parents' names and birthplaces
  • date of death
  • dates attended by physician
  • cause of death
  • attending physician and address
  • length of stay in hospital or institution or length of residency for transients or recent arrivals
  • place of burial or removal
  • date of burial
  • undertaker name and address
  • name and address of informant
Records of stillbirths were required to be filed as both a birth and death record, so you may find records of stillborn children in this collection.
The record summary for a Rhea Seaver (1890-1967) looks like this:

If the maiden name of a female is on the death certificate, it is listed in parentheses on the record summary.  The parents names and spouse's name, if provided on the certificate, are listed in the record summary.  The birth and death dates and places are listed if provided on the certificate.  More death information is provided on the certificate itself, including cause of death.

Here is the top part of the death certificate:

In this case, the name of the spouse is not provided.  However, the mother's maiden name is provided.

For my key surnames, this collection has these numbers of exact records:

*  Seaver:    64
*  Seavers:   67
*  Seever:      1
*  Seevers:  14
*  Sever:     68
*  Severs:   40
*  Sevier:    10

*  Carringer:  48
*  Caringer:     1

*  Auble:     43

*  Vaux:      84

The Ancestry "database number" for this collection is 5164.  I have over 400 profiles in my Ancestry Family Tree with a pending Hint in this collection.   I have accepted and rejected a number of Hints from this collection.

I was puzzled by the entry for Rhea (Waddell) Seaver in this collection, since I did not have her in my RootsMagic database.  There is a 1918 marriage record for Rhea McClure Waddell with Jno Lawrence Seaver in the Presbyterian Church marriage collection on Ancestry.  I don't have that John Lawrence Seaver in my RootsMagic database either.  So now I have another mystery to solve!


NOTE:  Tuesday's Tips is a genealogy blog meme intended to provide information about a resource helpful to genealogists and family historians, especially in the U.S. online genea-world.

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Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Monday Genea-Pourri - Week Ending 17 February 2020

Here are the highlights of my family history and genealogy related activities over the past week:

1)  Moderated the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group meeting on Wednesday.  I reported on the RootsTech handouts and livestream schedule, the MyHeritage inColor photo colorizer, the 24 hour webinar marathon on 12-13 March, Nathan Goodwin's "The Sterling Affair" book, and demonstrated creating, exporting and importing a GEDCOM file.  

2)  Participated in today's Mondays With Myrt with Pat Richley-Erickson.  We discussed the MyHeeritage InColor colorizing tool, the FamilySearch Family Tree mobile app "My Contributions" feature, Jacqi's "What if it is my Circus" post about bad tree data, the value of online family trees, how do we keep the online trees updated, the RootsWeb mailing list made inactive on 2 March, mindmapping software, and the RootsTech livestream presentations and downloading handouts.

3)  Watched one Family Tree Webinar - "Organize Your DNA Matches (Updated)" by Diahan Southard.

4)  Wrote and posted a biographical sketch of 7th great-grandfather #528 Simon Gates (1667-1752) for my 52 Ancestors biographical sketch on Friday.  

5)  Transcribed an 1804 deed of  Daniel Gates selling land in Gardner, Massachusetts to his sister Elisabeth Gates for Amanuensis Monday.  This was a result of their father's estate distribution.

6)  Added Notes to about 10 more AncestryDNA matches with cM values, relationships and known common ancestors, and added one ThruLines to the RootsMagic family tree database.  Reviewed new DNA matches on AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.  

7) There were several sessions working in the RootsMagic software program to match with and update FamilySearch Family Tree profiles for Seaver families and my ancestral families, with occasional additions to the RootsMagic profiles. I have matched 34,397 of my RootsMagic persons with FamilySearch Family Tree profiles (up 80).

8)  Used Web Hints and Record Matches from Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch to add content and sources to my RootsMagic profiles.  I now have 56,184 persons in my RootsMagic file (up 70) , and 116,203 source citations (up 255).   I TreeShared four times this week updating 298 profiles, and I resolved 571 Ancestry Hints.  I've fallen behind on the Ancestry Record Hints with 124,746 to be resolved, but I work on them weekly.    

9)  Used the MyHeritage InColor feature to colorize about 15 black and white photographs.  The feature works pretty well, except on Santa Claus photos!  

10)  Wrote 21 Genea-Musings blog posts last week, of which four were press releases.  The most popular post last week was FREE Access to Newspapers.com for Ancestry All Access Members This Weekend! with over 813 views.  

11)  Bought a new iPhone 8 to replace my five year old iPhone 5s.  The battery was failing, and the phone was full (only 16 gB), and I couldn't update to the latest operating system.  So now I can take more photos, use the latest apps and features, and am a happy camper.  


The URL for this post is:  https://www.geneamusings.com/2020/02/monday-genea-pourri-week-ending-17.html

Copyright (c) 2020, 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, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

Excel2GED Version 3 Program Now Available

I received an email last week from Brian Smith who is one of the authors of the Excel2GED computer program.  He wrote:
"The new (and free) Excel2GED Version 3 is now available for download and use: 
https://sourceforge.net/p/excel2ged/wiki/Home https://sourceforge.net/projects/excel2ged/files
Here is the screen for the Excel2GED Wiki home page:

The page says:
"Excel2GED is an Excel spreadsheet with a macro for converting genealogy data into a GEDCOM formatted text file with a .ged file extension.  A GEDCOM file is generated by clicking the VBA-coded macro buttons 'Export' or 'Export to GEDCOM' after creating & selecting a recipient folder.  That file can then be imported into a genealogy program, with family relationships already defined, BMD data included, and source notes attached."
I wondered why researchers might use a spreadsheet rather than a genealogy program.  I thought of two reasons:

*  A One Name study where a researcher might use an EXCEL file to list names, birth date/place, death date/place, spouse name(s), marriage date/place, parents names, etc. data.

*  A DNA match study where a researcher might use an EXCEL file to list DNA match information (e.g., relationship, number of segments, centimorgan count, common ancestors, and more).

Brian offered another example:
"As a deputy historian for my local town, we work on all local family name genealogies, i was able to export a list of all the local cemetery interments with the old findagrave into spreadsheets, I am able to copy paste the census data from ancestry for my town into spreadsheets. 
"From there i needed a tool to convert the spreadsheet into GEDCOM, import into family tree maker, but keep the individuals separate, then when we start to work on families, i can start merging people into their families. We all relate eventually :) especially northern New York.  Doing this i work with large amount of data.  Each cemetery has thousands of people in it.
"I so far have the local files in excel, and hope to put into 1 big family tree and start merging."  
The same individual has also built a spreadsheet with people who attended high school in his hometown. He saw Excel2GED as a way to get the listed people into Family Tree Maker without having to retype it all. Once in the genealogy program, he could link those who married others of the same school.
I asked Brian "Are there any GEDCOM to Excel programs?"  I can see a researcher wanting to use the superior sorting ability, and other features, of a spreadsheet to translate a GEDCOM file into a spreadsheet.

He responded, saying:
I had not been aware of a GED2Excel tool, but a Web search with "convert GEDCOM to an excel file" turned up a few things, e.g.: 

If any of these programming options interest you, please click on the links and install the programs and use them.

What other purposes would you want or need an Excel2GED or GED2Excel program?

Thank you to Brian for reaching out to me about this program.


The URL for this post is:  https://www.geneamusings.com/2020/02/excel2ged-version-3-now-available.html

Copyright (c) 2020, 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, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

Amanuensis Monday -- 1804 Mortgage Deed of Daniel Gates to Elisabeth Gates in Worcester County, Massachusetts

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is an 1804 mortgage deed of  Daniel Gates, yeoman of Garner, selling land in Gardner, Massachusetts to Elizabeth Gates, spinster of Gardner, in the Worcester County, Massachusetts Land Records: 

[Volume 160, pages 620-621]

[Volume 160, pages 622-623]

The transcription of this deed is:

[page 621 near the top of the right-hand page of first image]
[in left margin]

Gates Daniel

Eliz^a Gates

[body of text, all handwritten text]

Know all men by these presents that I Daniel Gates of Gard-

ner in the County of Worcester Commonwealth of Massachu-
setts Yeoman, in consideration of Four hundred and eighty
four dollars thirteen cents paid me by Elisabeth Gates of
said Gardner Spinster the receipt whereof I do hereby ack-
nowledge do hereby give grant sell and convey unto
the said Elisabeth Gates her heirs and assigns one
moiety or undivided half in quantity and quality
being in common and undivided with the other
moiety belonging to Simon Gates and is that part
of the homestead farm which belonged to our
honoured father Simon Gates late of said Gardner
deceased and is bounded as described in the
return of the Commissioners appointed by the Hon-
ourable Nathaniel Paine Judge of Probates of wills for the
said County of Worcester reference thereunto being had
may and willfully appear containing in ^said^ said Moi-
ety thirty two acres thirty six rods together with all the
privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging
and with the incumbrances as is in said return.

To have and to hold the same to the said
Elisabeth Gates her heirs and assigns to her and their
use and behoof forever and I do covenant with the
said Elisabeth Gates her heirs and assigns that
I am lawfully seized in fee of the premises that
they are free of all incumbrances and that I
will warrant & defend the same to the said Elisa-
beth Gates her heirs and assigns forever against
against the lawful claims & demands of all per-
sons.  The conditions of the above deed
is such that whereas the above named Dan-
iel Gates hath bound himself in two promissory
notes of hand bearing even date with these prem-
ises to the said Elisabeth Gates in the past sum

[page 622]

of four hundred eighty four dollars thirteen cents
with lawful interest annually one moiety to be paid
at or before the first day of October Eighteen hundred
and six the other moiety at or before the first day
of October eighteen hundred and eight, if therefore
the said Daniel Gates his heirs executors or adminis-
trators or either of them shall pay or cause to be paid
the above said sum as above described with
the lawful interest unto the above said Elisabeth
Gates her heirs Executors administrators or assigns
or either of them at or before the said first day
of October Eighteen hundred & Eight in full
discharge of said note then the abovesaid
deed is null & void otherwise so much of the
abovesaid premises shall be holden to sat-
isfy the then demand with all lawful fees
that may arise.  In witness whereof I the said
Daniel Gates have hereunto set my hand and
seal this first day of April anno domini
Eighteen hundred & four.
Signed Sealed & delivered          Daniel Gates  {seal}
in presence of                 }    
Merari Spaulding          }    Worcester Ss  Gardner
Matthew Mosman        }     April 1 1805  Daniel Gates
                                               above named acknowledged
                                               this instrument to be his free
                                               act & deed
                                  Before me Aaron Wood Justice Peace
Rec^d April 2^d 1806  Ent^d & Exam^d  Pr.  Dan^l Clap Reg^r.

The source citation for this recorded deed is:

"Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 17 January 2015), Worcester County, "Deeds, 1805-1806, Vol. 160-161," Volume 160, Pages 621-622, images 319-320 of 685, Deed of Daniel Gates to Elisabeth Gates, executed 1 October 1804, recorded 2 April 1806; citing records in land offices and county courthouses, statewide in Massachusetts.

This 1804 mortgage deed of Daniel Gates (1782-1847) sells one half of the Gates homestead farm to his sister, Elisabeth Gates (1769-1819) for $484.13 if he does not pay her the $484.13 he apparently borrowed from her.  Daniel is the 7th child of Simon and Susanna (Reed) Gates of Gardner, and Elisabeth is the second child, and is unmarried.  

Their father, Simon Gates (1739-1803) died intestate and left a sizable estate that was divided to his widow and children.  The distribution to the children is described in Amanuensis Monday - Post 252: Setting Off the Portions of Five Children to Simon Gates (1739-1803) Estate.  Daniel and his brother Simon Gates received one-half of the home farm.  Their mother, Susanna (Reed) Gates (1745-1833), received the other half of the home farm as part of her widow's thirds.  Elisabeth Gates was to received $484.13 from her brothers Simon and Daniel.  It is likely that Elisabeth lived with her mother for the rest of her life.  

Daniel Gates married Phebe Mosman on 27 May 1805 in Gardner.  It may be that Daniel executed this deed to pay his portion of the distribution owed to his sister in settling the estate of his father, Simon Gates.  It gets complicated, sometimes!  

Simon Gates (1739-1803), son of Amos and Mary (Hubbard) Gates, who married Susanna Reed (1745-1833) in 1766, is my 5th great-grandfather.  I am descended from their son, Nathan Gates (1767-1830) who married Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855) in 1790.


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

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

The URL for this post is:  https://www.geneamusings.com/2020/02/amanuensis-monday-1804-mortgage-deed-of.html

Copyright (c) 2020, 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, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

How Successful is MyHeritage in Color™? Over 1 Million Photos Colorized In 5 Days

The MyHeritage Blog has posted MyHeritage in Color™ Goes Viral: Over a Million Photos Already Colorized! today.  That is amazing!

There are a number of comments from bloggers (including yours truly), many Twitter tweets (many with photos), and several from Facebook (with photos and comments) highlighted in the blog post.

I displayed a number of my colorized family photographs in Colorizing My Black and White Family Photos Using MyHeritage In Color™.  I have many more to do!

As an added bonus, those colorized photos are also in the MyHeritage accounts of the photo submitters.  Here is a screen shot of the "My photos" page in the Family Tree section of the MyHeritage website:

Each photo that I have colorized is shown with the InColor logo in the bottom right corner of the thumbnail image on the screen.

I am adding names to my colorized photos which attaches them to my tree persons.  When I click on the tree person, and then click on the attached photo, I see the colorized photo as below:

I can move the colorizing arrow to the left to see the colorized photo.  Unfortunately, the black and white photograph still shows on the person profiles.


NOTE:  A subscriber to MyHeritage receives unlimited use of this feature.  A guest user (not a MyHeritage subscriber) can colorize ten photos before being asked to subscribe to MyHeritage.

Disclosure:  I  receive a complimentary subscription from MyHeritage for publicizing MyHeritage events and products.  I have accepted financial considerations from MyHeritage and Legacy Family Tree in past years for services rendered and for conference luncheons.

The URL for this post is:  

Copyright (c) 2020, 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, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.