Saturday, January 6, 2007

What happened to Virgil?

I went to bed last night wondering what happened to Virgil Corporon, the 13 year old boy in 1913 who was found on the streets of Kansas City by the cops after his parents divorced and nobody wanted him. He seemed like an enterprising lad. I was hoping that he turned out to be a successful person.

In the 1910 census, he resided with his parents Edward and Annie Corporon in Centerville, Appanoose County, Iowa. I couldn't find him in the 1920 census records. I did find him in the 1930 census records, living in Norwalk, Los Angeles County, CA, with a wife Edith and a daughter Viola. He was a truck driver.

There are no WW 1 draft registration or World War 2 Army enlistment records for him. The CA death records (1940-1997) and SSDI did not reveal a death date. There are no obituaries or newspaper articles about him in the newspaper and obituary collections. He is not listed at or at

A good Google search revealed nothing but the Kansas City story. He is in the LDS Pedigree Resource File, based on the KC story (it was a Sebree (one of the cop surnames) researcher).

There are several entries for Lewis Virgil Corporon in the Ancestry World Tree files. It says he had a second child by Edith, that he married a second wife Nettie Mae Barton in 1942, and that he served in the US Navy during World War 2, and that his daughter Viola Corporon married Earl Jones in 1946. The WW 2 military records at were searched without finding a record of him.

Unfortunately, we don't have online access to ALL of the newspapers of the past, nor to ALL of the state death indexes, nor to ALL of the military, land and court records. But isn't it amazing what resources are available online now, and just think what it will be like in 5 to 10 years!

I'm glad that Virgil found a job, got married, and had at least one child. I still hope that he was successful in life.

UPDATE 7 January, 7 PM PST: Sharon Elliott took the new information about Virgil and found Louis Corporon in the SSDI - he died in 1975 in Oklahoma. She also found him in the 1920 census in Iowa living with his brother, Leo. Thanks, Sharon!

More UFO attempts

I posted three days ago about my search for the Robert Leroy Thompson family here.

UPDATE 7 January: Note that "UFO" refers to "Unidentified Family Origin" in the original post.

Sharon Elliott was kind enough to find another sighting of Leroy Thompson in a Shelby County TN hospital after WW 1, and commented that perhaps the birth date I have is incorrect - he may be younger.

I tried more searches tonight using only the given names:

1) Lois (and Loi* and Lou*) born 1924-28, with father Rob* (and Lee* and Ler*) and mother Lil* (and Lel*). Lois/Rob*/Lil* turned up 13 hits in the whole USA - none close to Thompson, and only one in TN. And a few more with the alternate spellings, but again nothing close.

2) My friend and her sister thinks the family was in Kingsport, Sullivan County, Tennessee in 1930, based on the birthplaces of the children (the one born in 1926 is still living). So - on the theory that the family is hiding under another surname - either intentionally or by an enumerator mistake - I searched Sullivan County TN for all Loi* (and Lou*) to see if I could uncover a family with about the right structure (father b. ca 1885, mother born ca 1900, daughter Gwen b. ca 1922, daughter Lois born ca 1926). There were 12 Lois hits, but none of them had the family structure. There were no Gwen hits at all.

3) Perhaps they all used their middle names? I searched for (Gwen) Margaret and (Lois) Elizabeth in Sullivan County TN without success.

My next step is a line-by-line review of Kingsport, Sullivan County, TN to see if the family was missed by the indexers. Any bets on this? Any suggestions?

Friday, January 5, 2007

Tough times in Iowa

One of the surnames I'm working with in my friend's ancestry is Corporon. She has a family by that name in Centerville, Appanoose county, Iowa. When I put the surname into the Linkpendium surname search, and clicked on the message board link, I was surprised to find this message on the board:


"The Kansas City Times" (Missouri) Monday, April 21, 1913


A 13-year-old boy walked into the station between J. F. Darnell and S. J. Sebree, the largest two patrolmen on the police force, last night. When Samuel I. Reed, sergeant, asked what his crime was, he said: "Nothing, only asking these gentlemen where I could get something to eat."

Darnell and Sebree explained that the boy was so gentlemanly that they had taken him to a restaurant, where he ate a steak, four eggs, two cups of coffee and two stacks of hot cakes. He said his name was Virgil Corporon and he formerly lived in Centerville, IA. He said his parents were divorced and each had remarried and he was welcome in neither home.

"When I went to my father's home," he said, "my stepmother would tell me I had better go and live with my mother and when I went there my stepfather would tell me to get out. Mother cried and begged my stepfather to let me stay with them."

Here the boy paused and wiped away a tear. "But he said that he didn't want anybody else's brats about."

"I worked my way to Kansas City be sweeping out the caboose of a freight train. I got here yesterday morning and the brakeman bought me something to eat. I tried all day yesterday and today to get a job, but nobody wanted a boy. Tonight I got so hungry that I stopped these policemen."

He was taken to the Detention Home. An effort will be made today to obtain a job for him.


Virgil is not my friend's ancestor, but he certainly must have been her distant cousin.

I can't help wondering what happened to Virgil Corporon. Did he go back to his family? Did he survive his teenage years and become a working man and a family man? I hope so - he sure sounds like a responsible 13 year old young man in the article. Hungry too.

Surname Searching in

I listed a number of free databases in my post yesterday that I frequent when I'm starting my search on a new family, and then I posted about an "all-in-one" web site to do some of those searches.

Today, I went to and used their surname search, and was really impressed by the number of links to different web sites, many of them free. These searches encompass my own list, and adds a few more database opportunities.

For example, I started on the LeMaster surname today in Iowa, because that is one of my friend's family names. I quickly found them in the 1900, 1880, 1870 and 1860 census records. Then I went to the databases, the Rootsweb WorldConnect database, and the surname message boards and found some information on the particular line that settled in Monroe County and then Appanoose County, Iowa.

Tonight, at, I found more links to information about this family (by inputting "Lemaster" into the surname box), including:

* Cemetery listings (using
* Searches in databases
* Searches in Rootsweb databases (WorldConnect, USGenWeb archives, etc)
* LDS Family History Library sources
* Mailing lists and message boards
* Surname distribution
* LDS Ancestral File, IGI and PRF search
* Rootsweb site search (includes Home Pages and Free Pages)
* Photographs (at

All in all, I like Linkpendium even more than I like the other genealogy search engine I posted about yesterday!

Are you using for your survey searches of surnames? If not, you might want to try it.

Isaac Buck in the Woodpile? - Post 1

One of my most challenging genealogy mysteries has been to identify the father of Isaac Buck, born in 1757 in Southborough MA.

According to the Southborough (MA) Town Record book:

"Born to Mary Richards, a son named Isaac Buck reputed by her to be a son of Isaac Buck on Sepr 27, 1757."

This record is on the same page, and just below, the list of children born to Joseph and Mary Richards, including their daughter Mary in 1733.

While browsing through The American Genealogist for 1992, I found an article called "Southborough MA Notifications", which included the following:

"I have taken into my house ... a famaley Last from Framingham the
name of Isaac Buck and his wife Ruth and ther Children Susanna and
Joseph, March ye 25:1756. Joseph Richards."

This Joseph Richards is the son of Joseph (died 1748) and Mary (died 1755) Richards who also were the parents of Mary Richards (born 24 September 1733 in Lynn MA). It may be that the young Mary Richards lived with her brother Joseph Richards (and his wife Lydia) when Isaac and Ruth (Graves) Buck moved into the home of Joseph Richards in 1756. Isaac and Ruth went to Southborough to close out her father's estate.

It would appear that Isaac Buck, husband of Ruth, or some other, perhaps younger, Isaac Buck had the opportunity to impregnate Mary Richards. It is most likely to have been a younger Isaac Buck.

In 1765, "spinster Mary Richards" and her siblings conveyed their share of the homestead land to their brother, William Richards. This is the last found record of Mary Richards, and indicates she was known as Mary Richards and not Mary Buck at that time.

A Mary Richards married John Phillips in 1774, according to records in both Southborough and Lancaster MA. They had no children recorded.

Isaac Buck, son of Mary Richards, married Martha (Patty) Phillips, daughter of John and Hannah (Brown) Phillips, on 18 May 1780 in Lancaster MA.

It is apparent to me that Mary Richards, mother of Isaac Buck, married John Phillips, father of Martha (Patty) Phillips. Isaac and Martha were probably living in the same house in Lancaster MA as teenagers!

But - the question remains - who is the Isaac Buck that fathered Isaac Buck in 1757 by Mary Richards? Was it the older Isaac Buck, husband of Ruth Graves? Or was it another Isaac Buck who was perhaps an unrecorded son of the older Isaac and Ruth (Graves) Buck?

More later about a probable solution to the mystery.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Having written the post below, I knew that there was a "catch-all" web site that will perform many of the searches mentioned for you - all in one place.

The site is . At this site you can enter names for the Rootsweb WorldConnect database, the LDS FamilySearch databases, databases, and many more.

Many of the sites listed are pay sites or link to pay sites like, but if you want just one Favorite or Bookmark to help you remember where to go, this site is pretty good.

Genealogy Database Searches

I'm occasionally asked "what steps do you take to perform a search for a person in databases available on the Internet?" This usually occurs during or after one of our society's Research Group meetings.

In response, several years ago I prepared a checklist of Internet databases to visit and investigate. The updated list includes:

1) The WorldConnect database (includes Ancestry World Tree submissions) at

2) The LDS IGI, Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File databases at

3) The Family Finder database at The only free part is the Family Web Pages and the links to Genforum message boards.

4) The MetaSearch facility at .

5) Surname and locality archived mailing lists at .

6) Surname and locality message boards at

7) Surname and locality message boards at

8) The USGenWeb archives at

9) Find online web pages with specific names using Google ( or other search engines (e.g., put names in quotes, use husband and wife like "Isaac Seaver" "Lucretia Smith" to find pages with those names).

All of the above are free of charge and don't link to a subscription site. Some are easy to use, some more difficult - you have to learn the best way to work on each site.

If you have access to an subscription, whether your own at home or a local library's Ancestry Library Edition subscription, offers a wealth of data, especially census, military, passenger list, newspaper, member submitted data, etc.

However, let the researcher beware! The Internet does not have all the genealogy data in the world - yet!! Far from it, actually, although more and more digitized information is available every month. You still have to track down vital records, probate records, land records, military records, naturalization records, etc. for your ancestor, using traditional resources in libraries, archives, courthouses and local or state genealogical/historical societies.

What other genealogy databases, especially free ones, do you recommend? Please help me update my list.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

15th Carnival of Genealogy is Posted

The 15th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is posted at Jasia's Creative Gene blog at . The topic this time is New Year's Genealogy Resolutions, and she had 12 submittals for this carnival. Read them all - there are some interesting newer genealogy blogs on this list.

The next Carnival of Genealogy will be about Food and Family Recipes, with a submission date of January 15. I'm afraid that I'm a red-blooded meat, potatos, vegetables, chocolate, ice cream type of guy - and my mother was not a creative cook by any means. I am a clean plate soldier of my wife's wonderful cooking. I'll have to see if she can do a guest blog post about her grandmother's favorite dishes.

Go visit the latest carnival and think about submitting one next time. It's easy to do at

Rootsweb Message Boards are better - but not great

I posted about a month ago complaining, along with others, that the change to the Rootsweb/Ancestry message boards appearance and user-friendliness were a step backwards. I also opined that I was sure that they would fix all of the bugs and try to improve the mailing list functionality, but that it would take time.

I took a look at some of the message boards today, and noted that there have been many improvements, including:

1) The useful screen area has increased, and the posts are now along the left hand margin of the web page rather than centered. The post titles are fully displayed.

2) For each thread, you can select "Thread View" where you see the original post and links to the responses, or you can choose "Flat View" where you can see the post and all responses on a single page (max of 25). I like "Flat View."

3) You can now view all the posts of a given author. Of course, that assumes that the author's name has stayed the same through time - mine hasn't! It's still a good feature.

4) When you do a Search, you have to choose "All Boards" or a specific board. I usually search in a specific board. However, to search again in the same specific board, you have to return to the first Search box. This is frustrating - I'd like to search a specific board several times for certain strings, but I have to waste clicks and pageloads to do it.

5) The Search algorithms do not search for word strings, only the words themselves. If I want only posts with "Robert Seaver" in them I also get the ones with "James Seaver" and "Robert Smith." Is it that hard to do?

6) They still do not have web links active inside of messages. They were in the pre-change format. Perhaps they will in new posts, but not update older posts?

The Rootsweb Newsroom blog is at I check it out occasionally to see what has been done recently. Several posts in the last month explain how they responded to the user and admin uproar over the format change.

All in all, I think the Message Boards have improved somewhat over their capability right after the change, but they can still be improved significantly.

My UFOs are hiding

My latest research project concerns the ancestry of Robert Leroy Thompson (born 12 Aug 1880 Huntland TN) and Lillian Daniel (born 14 Feb 1900 Coal Creek TN). I had little problem finding Lillian's Daniel and Slover lines online in the census and Rootsweb's WorldConnect database, aided by names and dates provided by my friend.

However, the hunt for Robert Leroy Thompson has turned into a frustrating chase of his Unidentified Family Origins (UFO). My friend's family papers say his parents were William A. Thompson and Frances Elizabeth Childress (or Lydia Frances Childress??), and that Frances' parents were Joseph Childress and Jane Johnson. I have asked for the source of these names and dates - whether Bible records, family papers handed down, someone's memory, etc.

The first frustration was trying to find Robert and Lillian (Daniel) Thompson's family. The family data says they were married 21 July 1917 but we don't know where - probably TN. Robert was in the Army and served overseas in WW I, and is buried in the National Cemetery in Salisbury NC. They had two daughters, Gwen in 1921 and Lois in 1926 (born in Kingsport TN) before the 1930 census. I tried using Gwen and Lois as given names, with no surname, and Rob* / Ler* / Lee* with Lil* as parents given names with no success. Lillian was not found in the census with the two daughters, but I only searched in TN. After many tries, I can confidently say that they are not in the 1920 or 1930 census in TN with Thompson or a similar surname.

There was one Robert L. Thompson of about the right age in eastern Tennessee in 1920 who ended up in Guilford County NC, with a wife Lila and daughter Hazel, in 1930 but I don't think that is him, unless he is a bigamist. His age and birth date don't match up with August 1880 from the family records.

My next tack was to try to find Robert Leroy Thompson as a younger man in the 1900 census (since the 1880 census was taken before his supposed August birthdate). More frustration - I can confidently say that he is not in the 1900 (or 1910 for that matter) census with the Thompson (or similar) surname. I tried variations on Thomp* / Thoms* / Toms* with given name Rob* / R / Ler* / Lee, etc to try to find him, searching in the entire USA.

Next I turned my attention to Robert Leroy's parents - if he was born in Huntland, Franklin County, TN in August of 1880, his parents probably are in that area when the 1880 census was taken. Since Franklin County is on the Georgia border, I decided to expand my search area to include at least TN, northern GA, western NC and western VA. For this search, I checked all Wm / Will* / W given names with Thomp* / Thoms* / Toms* surnames with a spouse given name Fran* / Fan* / Lyd* / Eliz* / Liz* looking for potential parents for Robert Leroy Thompson. There was one potential family of a William Thompson (age 25) with Frances Thompson (age 27) in Overton County TN. But Overton County TN is some distance from Franklin County TN, so I can't be sure that this is the correct couple.

From my search so far, I fear that these folks may have never been enumerated between 1900 and 1930. That seems far-fetched, so I'm starting to think of other possibilities:

1) Is the Thompson name correct? The daughter Lois is living and all the records say Thompson. I think it probably is correct.

2) Perhaps Robert Leroy went by another name before he had children - but his Army records say Leroy Thompson.

3) The odds are pretty small that he was enumerated with another surname in 1910, 1920 and 1930 - like maybe 1 in 1,000.

4) Is my search too limited? One family member thought that Robert L. Thompson was from Arkansas. Perhaps - I haven't looked there yet, but I think that's my next step.

If you have any good ideas, please pass them along. I've spent about 6 hours chasing these UFOs and I'm not ready to stop. But I am a tad frustrated!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Online Historical Newspaper sites

The latest issue of Family Tree Magazine has an article about online historical newspaper web sites, with a summary of costs, extent, etc. This is really helpful to me.

I went browsing at the magazine web site and discovered that this page provides the index to the current issue. There are some "web extras" for the major articles, so I clicked those also - content that is not in the magazine itself, including more of the interview with Steve Morse.

You can also download all of the web links in the current magazine articles in a PDF document. This can be extremely useful - you can click the web links with the PDF document open. There are 6 pages of links!

Back to the Newspaper Archives - there are these web sites available for you to use (most for a subscription fee, of course):

1) Historical Newspaper Collection - at There are 16 million pages from more than 1,000 newspapers in the US, UK and Canada. You can search the full text with key words, but not strings of words. You need an Ancestry subscription ($155.40 for US Deluxe) to access the pages.

2) Accessible Archives - at This includes selected newspapers, including African-American newspapers, from the 18th and 19th centuries. They also have a section for county histories. It appears that it uses advanced search capabilities. The subscription cost is $59.95 per year.

3) Newspaper Archive - at This is advertised as the largest online newspaper collection, with over 2,400 titles dating back to 1759. The subscription cost is $71.40 per year, but a subscribing library may offer it for free. I think that uses this archive, so if you have an Ancestry subscription, check it out first.

4) GenealogyBank - at There are more than 500,000 issues from over 1,300 newspapers dating back to 1690. There are also obituaries since 1977, 17,000 historical books, and more. The subscription price is $19.95 per month, but the web page currently shows a deal for 66% off.

5) ProQuest Historical Newspapers - at This site provides access to 9 major historical newspapers. The access must be through a subscribing library.

6) Small Town Newspapers - at This site has free access to the archives of over 250 small town newspapers. If your town is here, go for it!

Before you invest in a subscription, you should check with the local libraries in your area and determine which, if any, newspaper archives they subscribe to. You may have to go to the library to access the archives, but some libraries permit home access using a library card.

Excellent article about genealogy research

There's a great article published yesterday in the The Register-Guard newspaper in Eugene, Oregon titled "Internet a Vast Playground for Amateur Genealogists: Getting to Your Roots" by Mark Baker - the link is here.

The article has two major sections- "Getting Started" and "Playing Detective." There are several interesting quotes from local genealogists about their interesting ancestors, the use of the FHC and using the Internet for research. All in all, it's a great article - a model for any genealogical society that wants publicity in the local newspaper. All you have to do is find the interesting ancestors that your members can talk about!

There is a minor error in the article - can someone spot it?

Monday, January 1, 2007

Della's Journal - January 1 to 7, 1929

This is Installment 1 of the Journal of Della (Smith) Carringer, my great-grandmother. The "players" and "setting" are described here.


Tuesday, January 1, warm. Lyle's went to country, Gene to horse races in TiaJuana, he got back to town at 7 PM came home before 12, met a man from home. I went out to Mrs. Garlock's in afternoon.

Wednesday, January 2, warm. Ma washed, Gene went to town, home by 6 PM, showed him pictures and visited Lyle over a while. Betty sick this A.M, but better rest of day. Emily worked, Ma wrote to Mrs. Moorland.

Thursday, January 3, cloudy. Emily worked. Betty went to school. I gave Lyle two checks for him to buy stock in Marston's. Gene & I took our lunch and went to Coronado then to Rockwell field, then to Naval Training Station, Ocean Beach, Old Town & Mission Hills then home. Ma had letter from Mrs. Sample.

Friday, January 4. Gene started for Long Beach. Emily worked. I did not feel very well so did not work much.

Saturday, January 5. Emily worked. Ma worked on fig tree. I did not do much. A went downtown then got groceries. I sent Pros. Bank $3.00 Post Office order.

Sunday, January 6. We did not go out much. Lyle's stayed at home & worked on the place. Mrs. Auble's cold bad others better.

Monday, January 7, pleasant. I washed. In afternoon I went out to Mrs. Schmidt. She rented house Sat. we got her letter and check for $20 this AM. People moved in Sat. the 5th a young married couple. Emily worked.


Notes: Gene was a cousin to Della, surnamed Woodward, I think. Abby (Vaux) Smith's sister, Libby (Vaux) Crouch, lived in Long Beach.

Austin Carringer worked as an aircraft mechanic at Rockwell Field on Coronado Island (now North Island Naval Station). Lyle Carringer worked as an accountant at Marston's, a locally owned department store in downtown San Diego. Emily worked part-time at Marston's as a saleslady.

Della's Journal - The Players

I recently found a Journal amongst papers and books that my parents gave me back in the 1970's. It is a daily Journal of my great-grandmother for each day in 1929, plus some additional pages with notes on them. I will transcribe these notes from the Journal a week at a time as we go through the 2007 calendar.

My great-grandmother was Abbie Ardell (Smith) Carringer, known as Della to the family. She was born on 11 April 1862 in Waupan, Dodge County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Devier J. and Abigail (Vaux) Smith. The family moved from Wisconsin to Taylor County, Iowa, then Andrew County, Missouri, then Cloud and Pottawatomie Counties, Kansas and finally McCook County, Nebraska by 1885. The family invested in a "ranch" in Cheyenne County, Kansas. While at the ranch, Della met Henry Austin Carringer, and they were married on 11 September 1887 in Wano, Kansas. They rode the train to San Diego for their honeymoon, and settled there. Austin was a carpenter, and worked initially in the railroad yards in National City. They had two sons, Davier David who died in infancy, and Lyle Lawrence Carringer, born in 1891, who was my grandfather.

They bought a lot in San Diego in about 1895, and had built a house on what is now the northeast corner of Hawthorn and 30th Streets. By 1927, the house had been moved to the middle of the block, and is now a two-story building with two apartments at 2115 and 2119 30th Street.

The major players in this Journal include:

1) Della (Smith) Carringer, age 67 in 1929, my great-grandmother.

2) Henry Austin Carringer, age 76 in 1929, my great-grandfather. The Journal refers to him as "Austin" or "A".

3) Abigail (Vaux) Smith, ge 85 in 1929, Della's mother. She is usually referred to as "Ma." She lived with Austin and Della.

4) Lyle Lawrence Carringer, age 38 in 1929, son of Austin and Della, my grandfather.

5) Emily (Auble) Carringer, age 30 in 1929, Lyle's wife, my grandmother.

6) Betty Carringer, age 11 in 1929, daughter of Lyle and Emily, my mother.

7) Georgiana (Kemp) Auble, aged 61 in 1929, Emily's mother, a widow, usually referred to as "Mrs. Auble". She lived with Lyle and Emily.

8) Harvey Edgar Carringer, aged 77 in 1929, brother of Austin, a bachelor, referred to as "Ed."

Other people mentioned include renters, neighbors, friends and acquaintances, and more family. Della had many aunts, uncles and cousins, plus a brother and a sister.

In 1929, the Carringer family owned 5 buildings on the block. Austin and Della lived at 2115 30th Street (the ground floor), they rented the upper floor at 2119 30th Street; there was another two story building at 2114/2116 Fern Street that had two rentals. Lyle's family resided at 2130 Fern Street in a one-story house. There were two small cottages at 2123 and 2127 30th Street that were rentals. Along the street sides of and in between the buildings were gardens, trees, and bushes of all types. Della's mother owned a house in East San Diego, which was rented.

That's the brief rundown on the "players" and the "setting" for this year-long story. I hope it doesn't bore everybody - we'll see.

At the end, I will have a complete transcription of the Journal which I can send to my brothers and children as a Christmas gift! See, there's method to my madness!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Looking back - 2006 genealogy activities

We can often learn from reviewing what we've done before. I didn't set New Years resolutions last year, so I can't compare my results to my expectations. Over the months of 2006, my genealogy effort has accomplished:

1) Found probate records for ancestors in colonial Bristol County MA and some Rhode Island towns - copied from microfilm and entered into my ancestral database.

2) Added text notes and VR data for some ancestral families based on data collected previously.

3) Added text notes and data obtained from Ancestry databases (newspaper, military, passenger lists, etc) for my Seaver database. Also started to standardize my notes and sources in the Seaver database.

4) Performed basic online research for four close friends and provided a genealogy report of the findings.

5) Conducted 10 research group meetings for CVGS - each with a brief lesson, then open discussion of members problems or successes. Led 4 research trips of CVGS members to local repositories, and consulted with members.

6) Planned and executed 12 monthly programs for CVGS - arranging speakers, doing publicity, etc.

7) Planned and executed the "Discover Your Family History Day" on 14 October in conjunction with the CV library - intended to draw community interest in genealogy. We discovered a lot of talent in our members and put it to use as organizers and mentors!

8) Prepared and presented three genealogy talks to local societies

9) Subscribed to in November - now I can do more research at home and spend my time at the FHC viewing more films.

10) Created the 19th yearly edition of the Seaver-Richmond Family Journal - a 16 page family newsletter sent to family members.

11) Spent too much time reading blogs and posting on Genea-Musings and not enough time researching, inputting data to the databases, and going to repositories.

In order to create more free time, I retired from my part-time job and stopped watching so much evening TV (I'm down to Padres baseball, Desperate Housewives, ER, and 24).

On to 2007 - HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!!!

PS. And why am I posting at 9 PM PST when I should be out partying? Dedication, right? Nope - I caught the grandson's crud this week and am home all doped up while my wife parties with the church group.

Necessary Computer Tools

The Family Matters blog (Tech Support for the Family Historian) aka "Moultrie Creek" has a nice list of computer software that are useful for the computer genealogist - see

The recommended tools include the Firefox browser, Rojo newsreader, Yahoo, Flickr and Diigo accounts, Skype phone service, a screen capture program, a PDF reader/writer, a blog web site and a Lulu account. Go to the site to see his explanation of each and follow the links - it's a nice list.

I use Microsoft IE7 as my browser, Bloglines as my newsreader, Yahoo for several things, Flickr and others for pictures, "Print Screen" for screen captures to MSWord, CutePDF to create PDF files, and this blog. I don't use Diigo, Skype or Lulu - yet! At least I knew what they were!

It strikes me that, compared to say the year 2000, that everything we do is much more complex than it used to be. Using tools like these make the tasks easy to perform - it's just that we didn't do some of these things years ago! Are human minds evolving to be able to grasp these advanced concepts and complex tools, or are we just using a larger fraction of our gray matter? Methinks the latter (or maybe that's why I'm forgetting more as the years go by?).