Saturday, December 14, 2019

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Tell Us Your Best Christmas Memory

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It's Saturday Night again - 

time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along - cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1)  Many of us believing in Santa Claus as children, having a Christmas tree, going to church, and visiting relatives and friends at Christmas time.

2)  Tell us your "best" Christmas memory - what Christmas holiday event is still vivid and real in your mind?

3)  Share it in a blog post of your own, in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment here so we can all read about your memory

Here's mine:

As a child growing up in the 1950s, my family would go to my maternal grandparent's house on Point Loma overlooking San Diego Bay on Christmas Eve and stay overnight and celebrate Christmas there with gifts and an early dinner.  They had a chimney and fireplace (and we did not in our apartment).  Plus, it was convenient for my parents to stash the gifts from Santa away from prying boy eyes before Christmas.

My brother Stan and I were wondering about the reality of Santa Claus when I was 12 (and he was 9) in 1955 because we heard our friends talking about it.  How could we find out for certain?  After we arrived on Christmas Eve, we were shooed outside to go play on the hillside in front of the house.  We did, but we managed to sneak into the garage through the side door very quietly, and looked through the "storage" side of the two-car garage.  We were used to wiggling through tight places.  There, up against the garage door, were two new bicycles, covered with a sheet or blanket.  Aha!  If those show up as "from Santa," we have our proof!  

Of course, they showed up by the fireplace "from Santa Claus" but we hooted and hollered but we kept our mouths shut about our discovery, and enjoyed our new bicycles for many years.

A second very vivid memory:  My parents were not religious, and my grandfather was not religious, but my blessed grandmother was religious.  Stan and I had learned the first verses of many Christmas carols over the years at school, and we heard them on the radio.  On Christmas Eve, Gram would take us into our bedroom (at her house), make us lie down in our pajamas and told us to close our eyes, shut the door, turned the lights out, and we would sing Christmas carols until we went to sleep.  My eyes tear up when I think about this.  It was really the start of my Christian journey.  My Gram was really special.


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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Surname Saturday -- LNU (Susanna, married Edward Richards, England to colonial Massachusetts)

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

I am working in the 9th great-grandmothers by Ahnentafel number, and I am up to Ancestor #2513 who is Susanna LNU (1620-1649). [Note: the more recent ancestral families have been covered in earlier posts.]

My ancestral line back through one generation in this LNU family line is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

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

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

18.  Edward Hildreth (1831-1899)
19.  Sophia Newton (1834-1923)

38.  Thomas J. Newton (1800-????)
39.  Sophia Buck (1797-1882)

78.  Isaac Buck (1757-1846)

79.  Martha Phillips (1757-1830)

156.  Isaac Buck (1732-????)
157.  Mary Richards (1733-????).

314.  Joseph Richards (1703-1748)
315.  Mary Bouden (1705-1755)

628.  Crispus Richards (1681-1763)
629.  Sarah Collins (1678-1757)

1256.  John Richards (1644-1713)
1257.  Mary Brewer (1653-1706)

2512.  Edward Richards, born about 1616 in Plymouth, Devon, England; died 26 January 1690 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married (1) before 1643, probably in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts.
2513.  Susanna LNU, born about 1620 in England; died before 1649 in probably Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Edward Richards and Susanna LNU are:
John Richards (1644-1713), married 1674 Mary Brewer (1653-1706).
*  Bathsheba Richards (1647-1672), married 1667 Robert Brinsdon (1638-1701).

There is no authoritative source that provides Susanna's maiden name.  A FamilySearch Family Tree profile says her maiden name was Hunting, but has a different death date for her and Edward.  The profile for Edward Richards says that Susanna was a Hunting, but has a different profile for Edward Richards. 

One source for the Richards family line is:

Winifred Lovering Holman, "Edward Richards of Lynn," The Essex Genealogist, Vol. 12 no. 3, (August 1992).

I have done no original research on this Richards line.


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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Friday, December 13, 2019

Genealogy News Bytes -- Friday, 13 December 2019

Some of the genealogy news and education items across my monitor the last three days include:

2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

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

 GeneaWebinars Calendar

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Tuesday, 17 December, 5 p.m.:  Marriages Here, There, and Nowhere: Finding Gretna Greens and Borders, by J. Mark Lowe

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Wednesday, 18 December, 11 a.m.:  How to trace your UK ancestry, by Kirsty Gray

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Discovering Immigration Stories from Both Sides of the Pond, by Lisa Alzo

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Using Ethnic Newspapers and Publications in Your Genealogy Research, by Lisa Alzo

4)  Genealogy Education - Podcasts:

*  fisher's Top Tips:  #136r - Digitized Newspapers

*  Ancestral Findings:  German Christmas Traditions | AF-301

5)  Genealogy Videos (YouTube):

*  BYU Family History Library:  How to Take Better Photos for Genealogy - James Tanner

*  Family Tree Live - DNA Lectures:  Ethnicity Percentages Demystified - Debbie Kennett

6)  Genealogy Bargains:

7)  DNA Stories:

8)  Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes - 10 December 2019?


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, 13 December 2019

I received this information from Findmypast today:


New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

Nearly 14,000 new records have been added to our collection of Yorkshire Memorial Inscriptions. These new additions cover churches in Coxwold, Easingwold, Foston, Halifax, Haxby & Wigginton and Holtby as well as King Cross Methodist Cemetery.

Find out when your ancestors died and where they were laid to rest with over 83,000 new records covering 25 locations across Renfrewshire. Some records may also include occupations, residences and even cause of death.
Search these records

Did your ancestor die in Stirlingshire or Perthshire? Search this index of more than 83,000 burials covering the years 1755 to 2019. From the index, you may learn your ancestors’ birth year, death and burial dates, age at death and burial place.
Search these records.

Thousands of new images from the Ontario Genealogical Society can be explored online. The PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) enables you to easily locate key information about people and places. It provides a simple way to access articles, photos, and other material you might not find using traditional search methods.

This week we have added 103,570 new pages to The Archive, with an impressive 6 brand new titles joining our collection. In addition to these new titles, we have updates to 9 of our existing publications. In all, our new pages this week cover 120 years of history, and span the towns, cities and countryside of England, Scotland and Wales.

Our new titles include:

·         Mid-Lothian Journal: 1884-1931
·         Midlothian Advertiser: 1906-1949
·         Leith Burghs Pilot: 1875, 1879-1891, 1900-1902
·         Caithness Courier: 1875-1876, 1878, 1880-1881, 1883-1892
·         Ashby-de-la-Zouch Gazette: 1876, 1878-1888
·         Fife News: 1879-1880, 1888-1889


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

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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52 Ancestors - Week 308: #519 Susannah (Gleason) Willis 1676-1756) of Sudbury, Massachusetts

Susannah (Gleason) Willis (1676-1756)  is number 519 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandmother, who married #518  Samuel Willis (1675-1758) in 1703, in Sudbury, Middlesex  County, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter, #259 Experience Willis (1707-1787) who married #258. Isaac Read (1704-1780) in 1730.
*  their daughter #129 Sarah Read (1736-1809) who married #128 Norman Seaver (1734-1787) in 1755. 
*  their son #64 Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) who married #65 Martha Whitney (1764-1832) in 1783.
*  their son #32 Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) who married #33 Abigail Gates (1797-1867) in 1817.
*  their son #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) who married #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884) in 1851.
*  their son #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)  in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
 *  Name:                          Susannah Gleason[1–3]    
*  Alternate Name:           Susannah Willis [4]

*  Sex:                             Female    

*  Father:                         Joseph Gleason (1640-1715)    
*  Mother:                       Martha Russell (1647-1683)  

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                           24 March 1675/6, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1-3]    

*  Distribution:                18 January 1716/7 (age 40), articles of agreement filed for father's estate; Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[4]    

*  Death:                         12 May 1756 (age 80), Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
* Spouse 1: Samuel Willis (1675-1758)    
* Marriage 1: before July 1703 (before about age 27), Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts,
United States[1-2]    

* Child 1: Samuel Willis (1705-1778)    
* Child 2: Experience Willis (1707-1787)    
* Child 3: Joseph Willis (1712-1799)    
* Child 4: Elijah Willis (1720-1756)  

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

American descendants of Thomas Gleason of Watertown were ably covered in:

Lillian May Wilson, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Gleason of Watertown, Mass, 1607-1909 (Haverhill, Mass. : John Barber White, 1909).

Susannah Gleason was born 24 March 1675/6 in Sudbury, Massachusetts, the 4th child and second daughter of Joseph and Martha (Russell) Gleason[1-3].  She was probably named after her grandmother, Susannah (Page) Gleason. 

Susannah married, as his second wife, Samuel Willis (1675-1758) before July 1703, probably in Sudbury, Massachusetts[1-2].  They had four children (the last two were recorded in Sudbury town records):

*  Samuel Willis (1705-1778), married (1) Rebecca Haynes (1705-1730) in about 1727 in Sudbury; (2) Jerusha Brintnall (1704-1748) on 8 November 1730 in Sudbury; (3) Sybel Balcom (1721-1788) on 6 October 1748 in Sudbury.
*  Experience Willis (1707-1787), married Isaac Read (1704-1780) on 11 February 1729/30 in Sudbury.
*  Joseph Willis (1712-1799), married Thankful Clapp (1707-1794) before 1735, probably in Sudbury.
*  Elijah Willis (1720-1756), married Abigail Smith (1721-1805) on 15 June 1738 in Sudbury.

Samuel and Susannah Willis were mentioned in the articles of agreement drawn by the heirs on 18 January 1716/7 in the intestate estate of Joseph Gleason[4].  Susannah was to receive 60 pounds from her brother Isaac Gleason, administrator of the estate, who received the entire real and personal estate of Samuel Gleason. 

The death of Susannah (Gleason) Willis on 12 May 1756 in Sudbury is not recorded in the Sudbury Vital Records book.  It may be recorded in a church record not available to the author at this time.

There is no burial record available for Susannah Willis, and there is no probate record for her, since she died before her husband.

1. Lillian May Wilson, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Gleason of Watertown, Mass, 1607-1909 (Haverhill, Mass. : John Barber White, 1909), page 38, Susannah Gleason sketch.

2. Francis (David) McTeer and Frederick C. Waters,  "Willis Family of Sudbury, Massachusetts," New England Historic Genealogical Register, Vol. 114, No. 1 ((January 1960), pages 20-42, page 31, Samuel Willis marriage to Susanna Gleason, before July 1703.

3. Vital Records of Sudbury, Massachusetts to the year 1850 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1903), Births, page 50, Susannah Gleison entry, 1676.

4. "Middlesex County, MA: Probate Papers, 1648-1871," digital image, American Ancestors ( : accessed, Probate Packet 9,206, Joseph Gleason, 1715.


NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2019 to 364 Ancestors in 364 Weeks.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Seavers in the News - Mrs. E.F. Seaver Dies in Wyoming in 1914

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 Natrona County Tribune [Casper, Wyo.] newspaper dated 25 June 1914:

The transcription of the article is:

"Death of Mrs. E.F. Seaver.

"Mrs. E.F. Seaver, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Switzer and a former resident of this city, died last Friday morning at 10 o'clock at the family home in Lander after an extended illness.  Several weeks ago she underwent a serious operation at the hospital in Lander and was recovering when heart failure developed.  Mrs. Seaver had been a resident of Lander for a number of years and for a time lived on a ranch near Circle.  She is survived by her husband, two daughters, Mrs. Dwight Woodruff of Shoshoni, and Mrs. C.L. Gillam of this city; one son, Clifford Miller, one brother, John Shaffer, and her mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Switzer of Casper.

"The funeral was held Sunday afternoon from the Episcopal church in Lander and was largely attended."

The source citation is:

"Death of Mrs. E.F. Seaver," Natrona County [Casper, Wyo.] Tribune newspaper, obituary, Thursday, 25 June 1914, page 1, column 3, Mrs. E.F. Seaver   ( : accessed 12 December 2019).

This obituary does not provide the person's given name, birth date, birth place, her age, her marriage date.  It does provide her parents names, her husband's name (with initials only), and the names of her three children at the time of her death.  Based on this obituary, she died 20 June 1914 in Lander, Fremont County, Wyoming.  

Her husband's name is provided as E.F. Seaver in the obituary.  F. Eugene Seaver (indexed as "Scaners") is listed in the 1910 U.S. census residing in Lander, Fremont county, Wyoming, as age 62, born in Wisconsin, parents born in Massachusetts, married 8 years, an assistant manager of a hotel.  His wife in this census is M. Clare Seaver, as 40, born in Iowa, parents born in Iowa, married 8 years, no occupation, three children born and living. A son, A. Clifford "Scaners" is age 20, born Nebraska, parents born Wisconsin and Iowa, single, no occupation.  

In the 1920 U.S. Census, Eugene F. Seavers is listed as residing in Lander, Fremont County, Wyoming as age 72, born in Wisconsin, parents born in Massachusetts, a roomer, a widower, occupation a real estate agent.  

No other information for Eugene F. Seaver(s) (or F. Eugene) was found on or using broad spellings of the surname and a broad birth year range, except as noted below.

In the 1910 U.S. Census, Samuel Switzer is listed as residing in West Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming, age 55, born in Ohio, parents born in Pennsylvania, married for 20 years, a salesman in a general store.  His wife, Mary J. Switzer, was age 54, born in Pennsylvania, parents born in US/Pennsylvania, married for 20 years, 2 children born and living.  

In the 1920 U.S. Census, Sam Switzer is residing in Casper Ward 2, Natrona County, Wyoming, age 65, born in Ohio, parents born in Pennsylvania/Ohio, married, no occupation.  His wife, Mary Switzer was age 62, born in Pennsylvania, parents born in Vermont/Pennsylvania, married.  Also in the household are daughter Clara Gillan (age 30, born in Illinois, divorced) and two grandchildren, Othial Switzer (ge 12) and Lita Switzer (age 10) (probably surname Gillan).  

A search of the 1920 U.S. Census for Dwight Woodruff found he and wife Pearl in Fremont county, Pearl was age 33, born in Iowa, parents born in Maryland/Illinois.

A search of the 1920 U.S. Census for Clifford Miller found him in Casper Ward 2, Natrona County, Wyoming, age 30, born in Nebraska, parents born in Maryland/Iowa, with his wife Tina.  A Washington state marriage entry for Clifford A. Miller to Tena Alberg in 1918 indicates his parents names were Otho Aaron Miller (born in Maryland) and Cora Shaffer (born in Iowa).  A 1900 U.s. census record for the Cora B. Miller household in Casper, Natrona County, Wyoming shows Cora B. Miller (head of household, age 32, born April 1868, born Iowa, parents born unknown/unknown, a merchant) with daughters Pearl J. Miller (age 14, born May 1886, born Iowa), daughter Claire B. Miller (age 12, born Sept 1887, born in Illinois), son Clifford A. Miller (age 11, born Oct 1888 in Nebraska).  

If the obituary and 1910 census records are to be believed, Mrs. E.F. Seaver was born M. Clare Switzer in about 1870 in Iowa, the daughter of Samuel and Mary J. Switzer.  If the 1900 census and Clifford's marriage record are to be believed, Mrs. E.F. Seaver was born Cora B. Shaffer (or Switzer?) in April 1868 in Iowa, married to Otho Aaron Miller before 1886 probably in Iowa, and had three children Pearl J. Miller (married to Dwight Woodruff), Claire B. Miller (Clara married to C.L. Gillan), and Clifford A. Miller.  The children of Cora match the names in the obituary.  She then married Eugene F. Seaver(s) in about 1902, probably in Casper, Wyoming.

This leaves the Switzer and Shaffer mystery.  The obituary says Switzer, the son's marriage record says Shaffer.  The 1920 census record for Samuel and Mary J. Switzer say Clara is their daughter, but Clara is really Cora's daughter, and the Switzer's granddaughter, and Clara's two "Switzer" children are really Gillan children.  Since Cora B. Shaffer/Switzer was born in October 1868, then Samuel Switzer probably had a first wife who was her mother, since Mary J. was married to Samuel for 20 years in the 1910 census.  In addition, Samuel Switzer would have been 13 years old when Cora was born if his birth years was really 1855 as the 1910 and 1920 census records say.

Lastly, I have no strong evidence for the parents are for Eugene F. Seaver(s) - he was born in Wisconsin in about 1848, and his parents were both born in Massachusetts.  

He may be the Eugene F. Seaver born in about 1845 in Wisconsin, the son of Samuel Ross and Diantha (Thompson) Seaver, both born in Massachusetts and who died in Jefferson County, Wisconsin in 1864 and 1852 respectively.  This Eugene F. Seaver was a Civil War soldier, married Addie Elizabeth Layman in 1873 in Wisconsin and had two children, Ethel and Ross E..  In the 1900 U.S. Census, Addie Seaver (divorced) and son Ross reside in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska.  This Eugene F. Seaver dies  in Los Angeles, California in 1931, and Addie Seaver dies in Los Angeles in 1942.  Eugene may have reconnected with Addie after 1920, or this may be coincidence that they both died in the same county.  

If this is really Eugene F. Seaver, son of Samuel Ross and Diantha (Thompson) Seaver, then he is my 4th cousin 4 times removed.  

After all of the above, I checked the FamilySearch Family Tree and found the profile for Eugene Francis Seaver (1846-1931), son of Samuel Ross and diantha (Thompson) Seaver, married to both Addie Layman and Cora Bell Shaffer.  The profile for Cora has her parents as David and Jane (--?--) Shafer, and not Samuel Switzer and his probable first wife.  Perhaps Cora and her siblings, including brother John Shaffer (from the obituary) were adopted by the Switzers?

This obituary had several hidden family stories (and still does) and resulted in a lengthy investigation today - and I think I just scratched the surface of the records.  This rabbit hole was very deep!

There are over 8,000 Seaver "stories" in my family tree - this was one of them.   Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes the life of a person is complicated and shrouded in mystery.  I am glad I can honor Cora B. (Shaffer) Seaver today.


Disclosure:  I have a paid subscription to and have used it extensively to find articles about my ancestral and one-name families.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Treasure Chest Thursday - 1820 U.S. Census Record for John Putman Household in Wayne, New York

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 1820 United States Census record for the John Putman household in Wayne, Steuben County, New York:

The Peter Putman entry is the first entry at the top of the page:

The  family information from this record is:

*  Head of household:  John Putman

*  one male aged 0 to 9 (perhaps son Isaac Putman, born about 1820)

*  two males aged 10 to 15 (perhaps sons Peter born about 1812,  and Martin born about 1816)
* one male over age 45 (certainly John Putman, but born in 1785, so only age 35)

*  one female aged 10 to 15 (perhaps daughter Elizabeth, born about 1818)
* one female aged 26 to 45 (likely Sarah (Martin) Putman)

*  1 person engaged in agriculture (probably John Putman)

The source citation for this record is:

1820 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Steuben County, New York, population schedule, Wayne town, page 251, John Putman household, indexed database and digital image, ( : accessed 10 December 2015), citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M33, Roll 74.

The ages of the children and John Putman from the records do not line up exactly with the 1820 census record.  Perhaps a neighbor provided the information about the family.  

John Putman (1785-1863) was the son of Peter and Sarah (Kinnan) Putman, who moved from New Jersey to central New York before 1810.  John married Sarah Martin (1792-1860) in about 1810 in Seneca County, New York.  They had seven children between 1812 and 1829 in Steuben County, New York.  The John Putman family moved to Norfolk County, Ontario in about 1834 and died there.

John and Sarah (Martin) Putman are my 4th great-grandparents, through their daughter Elizabeth Puitman (1818-1895) who married Alexander Sovereen (1814-1907) on 3 March 1840 in Norfolk County, Ontario.  

My biographical sketch for John Putman is in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 102: #126 John Putman (1785-1863)  and my sketch for Sarah (Martin) Putman is in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 103: #127 Sarah (Martin) Putman (1792-1860).


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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