Thursday, January 17, 2019

Dear Are You Fixing These Problems?

Many genealogists and family historians have bemoaned the apparent problems on over the past few years.  I have posted the following over the last two years about some of the perceived problems:

*  Good News and Bad News On Ancestry Member Tree Searches (12 November 2018)
*  How Accurate Is an Ancestry Quick and Dirty Tree? (5 November 2018)
*  The Power of an Search From the Member Tree (10 October 2018)
*  Ancestry Search Quirk - "County and Adjacent Counties" Filter Doesn't Work (2 October 2018)
*  Has Indexed the Ancestry Member Trees Yet? (15 August 2018)
* Says They Will Work on Technical Problems (11 May 2018)
*  Reader Comments on Ancestry Search Problems (1 May 2018)
*  Are There Search Problems on - UPDATED (25 April 2018)
*  Ancestry Member Trees, Indexing Rules, Cousin Bait, Source Citations and Me (18 December 2018)

And more earlier.

I, and my readers have identified significant problems with the Ancestry search engine, presentation of results, indexing of Ancestry Member Trees, and other problems. users have been patient with Ancestry's efforts to fix the problems, but patience has a limit for many of us.

For instance, on 11 May 2018, Ancestry actually responded on the secret Facebook group promising to fix the problems by the end of May 2018.  Unfortunately, the problems persist.  I face them every day as I research my ancestry.  

A)  The problems and issues that I would like to see fixed by include:

1)  Ancestry Member Trees are not Indexed on a regular basis (daily, weekly, monthly at a minimum).  The trees were indexed in October 2017, and again in October 2018.  

2)  Indexing the Ancestry Member Tree profiles apparently depends on them having at least one "Ancestry Source."  Those are records attached to a tree profile.  Only the profiles with an Ancestry Source are indexed.  My tree of over 52,000 profiles has over 100,000 source citations, but only about 20 profiles have an "Ancestry Source."  Almost all of my source citations are to the Evidence Explained standard, and are called "Other Sources" by Ancestry, as if they are inferior to "Ancestry Sources." 

My recommendation is that ALL profiles in Ancestry Member Trees be indexed so that other researchers can be helped by profiles with "Ancestry Sources," "Other Sources," and even No Sources.  

For example, my grandfather's profile above will not be indexed by Ancestry with the current rules, even though I have over 50 source citations on this profile.

3)  Searching for records for a person in Ancestry record collections results in inconsistent results.  The "Records" search works very well, with many search parameters that can be searched using broad or narrow search techniques.  When I switch to the "Categories" list, the list of record collections with results appears with numbers of results.  When I click on one of the record collections with a number of results (e.g., N), the results list for that collection often shows me 0 (zero) results.  Wait - it said there were N!  Where are they?  If I start a new search for the specific record collection, the N results usually appear.  There should be no inconsistencies here - something is wrong - if the Category list says there are N results, then clicking on that collection should provide N collections.

4)  There has been a noticeable lack of Added (new!) record collections since October 2018, and very few collections have been updated.  The "Recently Added and Updated" page on Ancestry lists "Coming Soon" collections; until last week, some said "late 2018;" those now say "Early 2019."  The last new record collection on the Card Catalog today was added on 6 November 2018.  The last Updated collection on the Card Catalog today says 12 December 2018.   Why has the production of new and updated collections stopped?  When will they be started again?

5)  When I click on "View People with Hints"for my Ancestry Member Tree, I can see that there are thousands of "Records" Hints.  However, almost every time I click on the link to see the first Hints, I get a message "We're experiencing technical difficulties. Please refresh this page to try again."  Sometimes, refreshing works, but I often have to click on the "Photos" link and then the "Records" link to see the list of Records.

6)  Apparently, has a "Big Tree" that is used for the "We're Related" mobile app, the "Possible Ancestor" feature in Member Trees, "Life Story Overview" in DNA Circles. and for search results in Google for persons in  Ancestry Member Trees.  The problem is that some of the relationships are wrong because they come from some sort of coagulation of Ancestry Member Trees.

For instance, the "Life Story Overview" for my 3rd great-grandfather William Knapp (1775-1856) collects info from 56 trees, and summarizes is life as:

"When William Knapp was born in 1775 in Dutchess, New York, his father, Shubael, was 18 and his mother, Rebecca, was 8. He married Sarah Cutter in 1804 in Woodbridge, New Jersey. They had 19 children in 39 years. He died on June 16, 1856, in Newton, New Jersey, having lived a long life of 81 years, and was buried there."

Nope...we don't know his parents names, his mother was age 8 when she had him, and they had only 11 children.  This is what happens when some person or algorithm makes decisions based on too much poor data.  My tree probably wasn't considered because it doesn't have "Ancestry Sources."

7)  So there is a BIG Tree.  Where did it come from?  Is it a descendant of the "One World Tree" or the "Ancestry World Tree" databases from ten years ago?  Can it be modified based on some sort of curator, peer review or knowledgeable panel?  Is information being added to it all the time?  If so, by who? Will Ancestry automatically be using it for finding the common ancestors for DNA Matches?

8)  Every informed AncestryDNA user I know (and I know many of them) wishes that AncestryDNA would provide a Chromosome Browser.  A chromosome browser would enable a user to determine the chromosomes and segments of chromosomes that they match on a specific DNA Match.  A good Chromosome Browser would enable the user to download ALL of their chromosome segments for a group (or all) of their DNA matches, and be able to use a spreadsheet to order the matches to see which other users have the same large segment(s) and therefore are related to each other.

I know that AncestryDNA competitors 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and MyHeritage each have a chromosome browser that makes this happen in seconds with a full download of all segments to a file that can be opened in a spreadsheet.  AncestryDNA has the most users, but they have the most primitive relationship finder.  A chromosome browser, a download of a set of segments, an online clustering of matches, and suggested common ancestors from a BIG and accurate Tree would result in a competitive advantage for AncestryDNA.  It's really just database management, right?

B)  Eight is enough!  I hope that will have meetings with users at the RootsTech 2019 conference from February 27 to March 2 in Salt Lake City.  I hope that they address all of the issues and problems raised here.

C)  However, my readers may have suggestions for other and AncestryDNA issues and problems - and I invite them to make a comment to their issues and problems on this blog post, or in their own blog or Facebook posts.  


Disclosure:  I have had a paid subscription to since 2000, and use the site every day.  I have received material considerations from in years past, but that does not affect my objectivity in writing about their products and services.

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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Seavers in the News - Henry T. Seaver Dies in 1942 in Newton, Mass.

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

This week's entry is from The Boston [Mass.] Globe newspaper dated 10 April 1942:

The transcription of the article is:

"Henry T. Seaver

NEWTON, April 9 -- A delegation of 90 members of the Fire Department, chiefs from surrounding cities and towns, city officials and members of the local American Legion post attended funeral services held this afternoon at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Newton Lower Falls, for Deputy Fire Chief Henry T. Seaver.  Rev. Roger W. Bennett, pastor, officiated.

"Acting in the capacity of chief, Deputy Chief Seaver, 48, of 656 Grove st., Lower Newton Falls, died Tuesday night after he had collapsed while battling a brush fire.  He had been deputy chief since 1936.

"Fire Chief Clarence W. Randlett led the delegation.  Honorary pall bearers were Arnold Bake, commissioner of the auxiliary Fire Department; Charles B. Floyd, president of the Board of aldermen; former Mayor Edwin O. Childs; State Representative Douglass B. Francis, William H. White and Roger B. Tyler.

"Active pall bearers were James R. Ford of Engine 2; Lieut. John R. Marchant, Engine 4; Lieut. John Martin, Engine 1; Lieut. George Saunders, Engine 3; Lieut. Joseph P. Murphy, Engine 5 and Lieut. James J. Clark, Engine 2.

"Burial was in St. Mary's cemetery."

The source citation for the article is:

"Henry T. Seaver," The Boston [Mass.] Globe  newspaper, Friday, 10 April 1942, page 30, column 6, Robert Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 17 January 2019).

This obituary is virtually family history free.  There is no mention of a birthplace, or parents, or siblings, or  spouse, or children, etc.  The only helpful items are his name, his age, his date of death (implied as 6 April 1942), his home address, and his burial place.

Henry Turner Seaver (1893-1942) was born 28 June 1893 in Newton, Massachusetts to Joshua Herbert and Ida Eliza (Turner) Seaver.  He married Anna Myra Loud (1897-1971) on 14 December 1922 in Newton.  They had no children.

Henry Turner Seaver is my 6th cousin four times removed.


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Treasure Chest Thursday - 1830 U.S. Census for Daniel Spangler Household in Sandy Creek, Pennsylvania

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - a chance to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the 1830 U.S. Census record for the Daniel Spangler household in Sandy Creek, Mercer County, Pennsylvania:

The Daniel Spangler census entry is the 9th  from the top entry on the image above:

The data extracted from this record is:

Head of household:  Danl Spangler

*  1 male aged 40 to 49 [certainly Daniel, born in 1781]

*  2 females under age 5 [probably daughter Dorothea born in 1827, and an unknown female child]
*  2 females aged 5 to 9 [probably daughter Sarah born in 1824 and daughter Elizabeth born 1822]
*  1 female aged 10 to 14 [probably Anna Maria born in 1818]
*  1 female aged 30 to 39 [certainly wife Elizabeth, born in 1796]

The source citation for this record is:

1830 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Mercer County, Pennsylvania, Sandy Creek township, Page 237, Daniel Spangler household, online database and digital image, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M19, Roll 149.

Daniel Spangler (1781-1851) was my 3rd great-grandfather, who married Elizabeth King (1796-1863)  in 1815 in York, Pennsylvania and they had ten children between 1818 and 1841.  I am descended through daughter Rebecca Spangler (1832-1901), who married David Jackson Carringer in 1851 in Mercer County.


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

AmericanAncestors Introduces American AncesTREES - Part I

The Weekly Genealogist newsletter (published weekly by American Ancestors, owned by the New England Historic Genealogical Society) reveals that they have added a family tree offering to their website for their members.  The information in the newsletter says:

"American AncesTREES is a new, FREE online family tree experience for American Ancestors members. Members can create a tree from scratch, import an existing family tree, get hints to "grow" trees, and use social media features to share trees with friends and family. Higher-level plans with additional features such as DNA tools are available at a low cost. Make sure you're logged into our site and get started today! "

You can't keep me away from a family tree site, and I am an NEHGS/AmericanAncestors member, so I immediately decided to add my content to it.

1)  So I clicked on the link to "Get started today."  First, I logged into my AmericanAncestors account and saw:

2)  Further down the screen is the list of three plans - a Standard Tree (free), an Advanced Tree ($19.95/year), and a Premium Tree ($34.95/year):

The three tree plans provide different features.  The DNA Tools and Private Tree options require a Premium plan.

3)  Further down the page, there is a set of "Frequently Asked Questions:"

4)  I'm ready to start!  I went back up the page to the gold "Access AncesTREES" button on the first screen above.  That opened a Welcome screen, and I chose a username and clicked on the two buttons to agree to the Terms of Use, Privacy policy, and the weekly newsletter:

I clicked the gold "GO" button and saw the "Create Your Tree" page:

I chose a creative name for my tree ("Randy Seaver's AncesTree") and decided I would "Import a GEDCOM file" (the other two options are to "Start with an empty tree" and "Import people from FamilySearch."  My guess is that if I start with an empty tree, that I will have to enter profiles one at a time by hand.

I clicked on the gold "GO" button and saw:

On this screen, I can "Import a GEDCOM" file to populate my AncesTree.  I have to "Choose File" and then identify the Root person of the tree.

There is a note - "GEDCOMs up to 75,000 people and up to 75 Mb are supported."  

5)  My RootsMagic tree is around 52,000 persons and I don't know how many Mb, so I will stop here and make a GEDCOM file from my RootsMagic file.  

This report will continue in a separate post after I work with my GEDCOM file.


Disclosure:  I am a longtime annual subscriber (1992?) of NEHGS/AmericanAncestors, and have received no material considerations from them ever.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Randy as a Baby in 1944 -- Post 549 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

Several months ago, I discovered an envelope of small photographs saved when my mother died in 2002 - it was hiding in plain sight in the Genea-Cave! 

Included in the photo cache was this oldie-but-goodie - a studio photograph of me as a baby:

A baby with 8 teeth, some blonde hair, and I could sit up and laugh or giggle, so that might be age 8 to 12 months?  Perhaps a one-year-old photograph?  So definitely in 1944 (I was born in October 1943).  

I have no idea where this was taken, but it might be a photo taken for my father to have in his wallet when he entered the U.S. Navy in August 1944.  The time is right.  

Cuteness as a baby seems to run in every family.  Who knows how a person turns out 75 years later?


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Genealogy News Bytes - 15 January 2019

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

1)  News Articles:

Third Of Americans Can’t Name All Four Grandparents, Survey Finds

Genealogy Guys and Vivid-Pix Partner to Recognize Genealogy’s Unsung Heroes

*  Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) Registration Opens Soon!

 23andMe Adds 1000+ More Regions and 30+ New Reports for the Most Refined View of Ancestry To-Date

2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

Added or Updated Record Collections at - Week of 6 to 12 January 2019

*  New Historical Records Added in December 2018 (MyHeritage)

*  Advantage Preservation Adds 1.2 Million Historical Newspaper Pages - December, 2018

3)  Genealogy Education - Webinars:

 GeneaWebinars Calendar

*  Free Family History Library Classes and Webinars for January 2019

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Wednesday, 16 January, 11 a.m. PST:  What Would You Do If You Had Five Days in Washington, DC?, by Pamela Boyer Sayre

*  Upcoming SCGS Webinar - Wednesday, 16 January, 6 p.m. PST:  Pandemics & Epidemics: Issues of Politics, Economy, and Religion,  by Jean Wilcox Hibben

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Visualizing Information for Genealogists, by Margaret R. Fortier

4)  Genealogy Education - Podcasts:

*  Genealogy Gems Podcast:  Episode # 356 Introduces New Sponsor Vivid-Pix AND Announces the "Unsung Heroes Awards"

*  Research Like a Pro Podcast:  RLP 27: Personal Genealogy Software

*  Genealogy Journeys Podcast:  #65 - Museums, Part 1: Military, War

*  Genealogy Connection Podcast:  #051 - Kenyatta Berry, Author of the Family History Toolkit

*  Fisher’s Top Tips Podcast:  #36 – Squeezing The Most Out Of Digitized Newspapers

5)  Genealogy Education - Video:

*  WikiTree Scan-a-Thon YouTube Videos:  Channel (many more over the weekend)

*  Ancestral Findings YouTube:  AF-214: Tips for Doing Middle Name Research

*  BYU Family History Library YouTube:  Adding 3rd Party Sources in FamilySearch Family Tree - Kathryn Grant

*  Family History Fanatics YouTube:  AncestryDNA Test Ethnicity Update - A Segment of DNA

*  Genealogy Gems YouTube:  Audio Only: Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode 225 with Kenyatta Berry of Genealogy Roadshow

6)  Genealogy Bargains:

*  Genealogy Bargains for Tuesday, January 15,  2019

7)  DNA Success Stories

 Blonde woman who 'stuck out like a sore thumb' in her Orthodox Jewish community learns her real dad is a STRANGER after fertility doctors in the 1960s mixed two sperm samples 'to spare her infertile father's blushes'

FERRIER FILES: Man never quits on finding dad, reunites after 50 years in Cookeville

8)  Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes - 11 January 2019?


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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23andMe Adds New Features to Ancestry Composition Estimates

23andMe announced new features today to its autosomal DNA Ancestry Composition feature (which includes ethnicity estimates) - see their blog post 23andMe Adds 1000+ More Regions and 30+ New Reports for the Most Refined View of Ancestry To-Date.

I wondered if my Ancestry Composition had changed since I last posted about it on 1 January. 

1)  Here is the top of my Ancestry Composition page on 23andMe:

2)  Scrolling down, I can see my complete ethnicity estimate:

Nope, it hasn't changed a bit.  Disappointing, but then I'm "almost" 100% European.

3)  Further down the screen, here is my "Ancestry Timeline:"

The article said this may have changed.  I agree with the British and Irish" time frame, but the "French and German" time frame is probably too late (all of my known German lines came before 1750), and I have no clue from the paper trail who my "Scandinavian," "North African and Arabian," and "Native American" ancestors are.

4)  Down the screen, the next section concerns how much I inherited from my parents.  This is really an ad to entice you to test your parents.  Mine are deceased.

5)  The next section is about "My Connections."  I can see the same "Ancestry Composition" for one of my DNA Matches.  I didn't bother.

6)  Scrolling down, here is the "Ancestry Composition Chromosome Painting" (two screens shown):

The screens above use the assigned colors for each ethnicity group and paint them on the 22 pairs of  autosomal chromosomes and my X chromosome (from my mother).  This useful information to me.

a)  By running my mouse over one of the ethnicity sub-regions, I can see which part of each chromosome was derived from that sub-region.  

Here is the top of the "British and Irish" ethnicity region:

I can see from this that both of my parents had British and Irish ancestry on most of my chromosomes, but not all of them.  I'm not surprised since my paper trail says my father is about 100% British and my mother is about 50% British and Irish.

b)  And the top of the "French and German" ethnicity region:

I was surprised that there are several chromosomes where both my mother's and father's has French and German ethnicity.  My paper trail indicates that my mother has about 45% French and German ancestry, but my father has none.

c)  Here is the Scandinavian ethnicity region:

Chromosomes 4 and 6 have some Scandinavian segments.  My paper trail shows my mother has one Scandinavian ancestor from the 1600s.

d)  Some of the French and German and Scandinavian may be derived from the Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, etc. that invaded the British Isles over thousands of year.

e)  My "North Africa and Arabian" ethnicity segment is on one of my Chromosome 6, and I have no clue who that may be.  However, it is on the other Chromosome 6 from my Scandinavian segment.

f)  My "Native American" ethnicity segment is on one of my Chromosome 12 which has British and Irish and no French or German.  I think that this may be on my mother's Canadian ancestry from the 1700s.

I really like this type of presentation, but I can't see all 23 chromosome pairs on my screen when I highlight an ethnicity.  I could reduce the screen to about 75% I guess.

Obviously, identifying the ethnicity of a chromosome segment is based on the reference groups that the testing service uses.  GIGO.  

7)  It appears that the "new" Ancestry Composition features on 23andMe don't add much new to my own composition.  The ethnicity estimates haven't changed, but there are other new features in the blog post that provide explanations and stories to explain the composition to users.


Disclosure:  I paid for my 23andMe autosomal DNA test back in 2011, and have received no material considerations from 23andMe.

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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Treasure Chest Tuesday - 1840 U.S. Census Record of Cornelius Feather Household in New Lyme, Ohio

This week's Tuesday Treasure is the 1840 United States Census record of the Cornelius Feather household in New Lyme, Ashtabula County, Ohio:

The Cornelius Feather entry is the third from the bottom:

The extracted information from this record is:

*  Head of household:  Cornelius Feather
*  1 Male, aged 60 to 69 [certainly Cornelius, born in 1777]
*  1 female, aged 0 to 4 [perhaps a granddaughter]
*  1 female, aged 5 to 9 [perhaps a granddaughter]
*  1 female, aged 30 to 39 [perhaps a sister or a niece]
*  1 female, aged 40 to 49 [perhaps an unknown wife, or a sister or a niece]

The source citation for this marriage is:

1840 United States Federal Census, Ashtabula County, Ohio, population schedule, New Lyne township, Page 220, Cornielis Feather household, online database, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M704, Roll 376.
I don't think that the female aged 40 to 49 in the 1840 census is Cornelius' first wife or the mother of Sarah Feather.

Cornelius Feather (1777-1853) is my 4th great-grandfather.  He married --?-- --?-- (about 1785-before 1830) before 1804 when they had my 3rd great-grandmother, Sarah Feather (1804-1848) who married Henry Carringer before 1825.  Cornelius married (2) Mary --?-- (1792-1855) in about 1850.


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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Genea-Pourri - 14 January 2019

Here is a summary of my family history and genealogy related activities over the past two weeks:

1)  Moderated the CVGS Research Group meeting on Wednesday with 16 in attendance.  I highlighted  Finding Your Roots on Tuesdays, Genealogy website rankings and benchmarks, DNA match AutoCluster tool, my 10 Best research finds of 2018, and the RootsTech 2019 livestreaming opportunities.  The attendees shared their activities over the past two months.

2)  Attended the SDGS Winter Seminar on Saturday with Curt Witcher, who talked about Doing Effective Research in Libraries, Mining Periodical Literature, Using Government Documents, and Best Practices for the Internet.  I left after the third talk because I needed a nap.

3)  Transcribed another deed for Amanuensis Monday - 1798 Deed of Isaac Kidder to Zachariah Hildreth in Townsend, Mass.  I have several more to do in this series.

4)  Watched one Family Tree Webinar this past week - A Nose for News: 20+ Tips for Getting the Most Out of Newspapers, by Mary Kircher Roddy.

5)  Ran the Genetic Affairs AutoCluster for my 23andMe matches and received no results - apparently there weren't enough people for a cluster.  Wrote a blog post about the process - see Using to Create DNA Match AutoClusters - Part I.

6)  Created a spreadsheet for my AncestryDNA AutoCluster analysis, and sorted it by cluster and shared cM.  Then I added a column for known relationships and known common ancestors. 

7) There were several sessions working in the RootsMagic software program to update FamilySearch Family Tree profiles for Seaver families and other ancestral families, with occasional additions to the RootsMagic profiles. I have matched 28,672 of my RM persons with FSFT.  I continue to use Web Hints from Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch to add content and sources to my RootsMagic profiles.  I now have 52,078 persons in my RootsMagic file, and 100,082 source citations.   I TreeShared two times during the last week (about 200 profiles), and resolved about 500 Ancestry Hints.  I've fallen behind on the Ancestry Record Hints with 90,777 waiting to be resolved, but I work on them weekly.

8)  I decided to cover the DNA statistics monthly rather than weekly in my Genea-Pourri post.

9) Wrote 17 Genea-Musings blog posts last week, of which two were press releases.  The most popular post last week was Genealogy News Bytes - 11 January 2019 with over 230 views.  


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Amanuensis Monday - 1798 Deed of Isaac Kidder to Zachariah Hildreth in Townsend, Mass.

This week's document for Amanuensis Monday is the 1798 deed of Isaac Kidder to  Zachariah Hildreth of Townsend in the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Land Records: 

[Volume 148, pages 336-337]

The transcription of this deed is:

[Volume 148, page 336, starts at top of left-hand page]

[in left-hand margin]

Isaac Kidder

Zac^h Hildreth

[Body of text]

Know all Men by these Presents that I Isaac
Kidder of Townsend in the County of Middlesex and
Commonwealth of Massachusetts  ^yeoman^ in consideration of
Two hundred Dollars paid by Zachariah Hildreth
of the same Townsend aforesaid gentleman, the receipt
whereof I do hereby acknowledge, do hereby give grant
sell and convey unto the said Zach. Hildreth a certain
peice of land in Townsend afores^d, and a part of two lots 
No. fifty four and fifty five, said lots situate on Bay-
berry Hill, containing forty acres be the same more
or less bounded as follows, viz. beginning at a stake
 and stones, the southeast corner of one of the above
said lots, thence west twenty nine deg^s north about
one hundred rods by Jonas Farmers land to a stake
and stones for a corner, thence north twenty nine deg^s
east sixty four rods by Daniel Fosters & Joseph Walkers
land to a stake and stones for a corner, thence east twen-
ty nine deg^s south about one hundred rods by s^d
Kidders land to a stake and stones for a corner in the
line of said Farmers land, thence south twenty nine
deg^s West sixty four rods by said Farmers land
to the bounds first mentioned.  To have and to 
hold the aforegranted premises to the said Zach
Hildreth his heirs and assigns to his and their
Use and behoof forever.  And I do covenant with the
said Zac^h Hildreth his heirs and assigns that I am
lawfully seized in fee of all incumbrances that I have
good right to sell and convey the same to the said Zac^h
Hildreth And that I will warrant and defend the
same premises to the said Zac^h Hildreth his heirs
and assigns forever against the lawful claims and
demands of all persons.  In witness whereof I the 
said Isaac Kidder with my wife Sarah she

[Volume 148, page 337]

releasing her right of Dower or thirds to the above granted
premises have hereunto set our hands and seals this
twenty seventh day of December in the year of our Lord
one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight.  Isaac
Kidder and seal.  Sarah Kidder and seal.  Signed 
sealed and delivered in presence of us Enoch Kidder
Sally Kidder.  Middlesex Ss November 15, 1800.  Then 
the above named Isaac Kidder personally appeared and
acknowledged the above instrument to be his free act and
acknowledged the above instrument to be his free act and
deed before me Daniel Adams Just. of Peace.
                              Middlesex Ss Cambridge  16^th Decem^r 1802.
Received and Entered
                                 by Samuel Bartlett Regr.

The source citation for this recorded deed is:

"Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 December 2018), Middlesex County, "Deeds, 1802-1803, Vol. 148," Volume 148, pages 336-337 (image 183 of 288), Deed of Isaac Kidder to Zachariah Hildreth, executed 27 December 1798, recorded 16 December 1802.

This deed is for forty acres of land on Bayberry Hill in the southwestern part of Townsend, adjacent to land owned by Jonas Farmer, Daniel Foster, Samuel Walker, and Isaac Kidder.  Zachariah paid 200 dollars in 1798 for this piece of land, which measures 100 rods (1650 feet) in one dimension (northwesterly and southeasterly), and 64 rods (1056 feet) northeasterly and southwesterly, in a rectangular shape.

Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1829) "gentleman" is my 4th great-grandfather, who married Elizabeth Keyes (Hannah Sawtell (1759-1793) in Townsend, Massachusetts in 1777.  I am descended from their son, Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857) who married Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857 in 1810.


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."

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