Saturday, June 16, 2007 Overview

I haven't discussed very much on this blog. I am not a subscriber, but I have wandered through the site several times, but not on a regular basis.

I was going to summarize what has on their site, but I think Dick Eastman has done this better than I could - in three recent blog posts.

You can read a summary about at has an agreement with the National Archives to digitize and provide images of original documents in the Archives. The historical documents available at present are summarized at

One of the unique features of is the "Story Pages" - where contributors can share ideas, web pages, personal documents, photographs, etc. with others. The Story Pages summary is at also has an official blog at There is also an Unofficial footnote blog at

Dick Eastman's three blog posts titled "An In-Depth Look at" are at:

1) Part 1: The Original Documents

2) Part 2: Free Story Pages

3) Part 3: You Are In Control

Finally, Dick Eastman also provides a video interview of Beau Sharbrough, the Senior Director of Content Strategy and Acquisition at

Fathers I Have Known

I have known four generations of fathers - the husbands of my daughters, myself and my brothers, my father and his brother, and my mother's father.

Being a father requires being --

* caring and protective - both a teddy bear and a grizzly bear
* nurturing and disciplining - children need both, and it needs to be consistent
* a role model - as a husband, as a worker, as a friend, as a citizen

I have written posts before about myself, my father, and my maternal grandfather. I will list them below:

1) Myself: I Learned from my Dad...

2) My Father: My Dad - Fred Seaver (1911-1983)

3) My Maternal Grandfather: A Wondrous Life

4) Pictures of My Father and his Boys

I did not know my paternal grandfather, Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942), but I've heard a lot about him over the years from my father and his siblings. I wish I had known him. I would have loved to hear about his childhood, his education, his family life, his work, his baseball playing, his friends, his life interests.

I have written biographies of the fathers in each generation that are in my ancestry. That is one reason I am doing my family history research - to get to know my ancestors, to try to understand them, and to appreciate them - and to pass that knowledge on to my siblings, cousins and children.

But I do not "know" those older "fathers" in the intimate way - the daily contact, the sharing of life experiences, the attitudes and opinions - that I knew my father and my maternal grandfather.

What I do know is that each and every person in my ancestry is unique - there is no other exactly like them (with the possible exception of identical twins - of which I have none in the recent generations). Each was an imperfect person - as I am. Each had emotions, attitudes, views, tempers, etc. that their descendants may strive to follow or try to avoid in their own lives.

I appreciate and respect each of the fathers in my ancestry - for their caring and protection of their families, their commitment to their wives, the nurturing and disciplining of their children, for their hard work to support their families, for serving their country as a military man and as a citizen, and so much more.

Without the injection of the "spark of life" at certain points in time - in every generation from time immemorial - I would not be the exact genetic person that I am. My hands, my feet, my eyes, my ears, my voice, my hair (I know, what hair - thanks Charlie Auble!) and the rest of me would not be what it is.

So here's to all the Fathers in my life - past and present: Thank you for being who you are or were. May the memories of you be wonderful ones!

RootsTube videos

Some time ago, RootsTelevision asked people to send in short videos about their families, their ancestry, or other related family history topics. They called it WildRoots or something similar. There are about 15 of them now at the RootsTube channel site.

The most poignant short film I saw was about Zuza Dalova, an immigrant from Hungary. The video opens with her singing, then shows pictures of her as a child, through her migration to America to an American woman.

The funniest short film was "Our Summer Vacation" - about a trip to the FHL in Salt Lake City.

I thought that the most interesting one was "Beneath Los Angeles" - the graves of movie stars and folks with "interesting" last names.

I enjoyed my hour or so just watching these short films - most of them held my interest throughout, and many were very well done with music and video effects.

Why don't you take a free hour or two (yeah, right - we all have a free hour, don't we?) and watch the videos on RootsTelevision. They're a lot better than watching MTV or CNN, and not as stressful either!

Friday, June 15, 2007

What to Keep, what to pitch?

We discussed this question a few months ago - concerning obtaining, sorting, keeping, or pitching memorabilia, photographs, ephemera, etc.

There is an excellent article in the Fort Wayne (IN) News-Sentinel newspaper on Friday 15 June by Cindy Larson - read it here. The article extensively quotes Curt Witcher of the Allen County Public Library genealogy collection.

Hat tip to Megan at for the link.

Genealogy Gems Podcast

While reviewing the podcasts at the Genealogy Guys, I noticed a link to another genealogy podcast collection - at

Lisa Louise Cooke is the voice on this podcast - and she has created 15 podcast episodes so far - each with several "gems" useful for genealogy and family history research. I've downloaded several of them and will listen to them soon.

How about you? Are you listening to genealogy podcasts regularly? If so, which ones?

Pretty much a genealogy-free week!

This has been pretty much a week free of genealogy research, web browsing or genealogy blogging.

I was on jury duty from Tuesday through Friday. You can read about my experiences here.

During most weeks, I post on this blog 3 or 4 times a day, often without much planning. I'm browsing, I find something interesting or funny, and I post about it. Or I recount my genealogy research experiences and society events. Sometimes, I plan a blog post based on something a society member asked me.

This week, I've tried something different. I got home from court around 5 PM, and after dinner came to the computer, read the blogs, read the genealogy news, mailing lists, etc. and then prepared at least two posts for the next day. In the morning before I left, usually around 8 AM, I would then post these two items so there was fresh morning content for my faithful readers (all, what, 100 of you? I do appreciate you!). There were some evenings, like tonight, when I wrote another post if I found something of interest.

I wish I could say that I was going to the FHC tomorrow and read several microfilms and do hours of research. Actually, I'm going to go out to my men's group breakfast and come home and watch my Padres beat the Cubs on TV. Then I'm going to work on entering my Bresee church record data (captured at the FHC in recent weeks) into FamilyTreeMaker, and then work on my FamilyTreeMaker class presentations. Then we may go out looking for furniture and a big-screen TV.

It's almost Father's Day, and I always enjoy the cards and gifts my wife, daughters, and grandchildren give me. I hope there are handscrawled cards and neat pictures of the kids and heartfelt sentiments from the girls, and a nice dinner with my Angel Linda. I may treat myself to some books afterward!

That reminds me - I need to submit my blog post to the Carnival of Genealogy about fathers...that looks like another Saturday task.

Who is Jim Killeen?

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak reported on her weekend at SCGS here, and had a link to a movie trailer here about Jim Killeen.

Who is Jim Killeen, you ask? You'll have to go view the video to see for yourself. Now which Jim Killeen is it that is making the movie?

I find that I don't go visit the RootsTelevision videos and blogs often enough. There is always new material there and I fall behind on it. My reason for not going regularly is that I can't put the RootsTV blogs into Bloglines for some reason. I have put the four blogs in my Favorites in IE7 and click there.

Next CGSSD Meeting is 23 June

A note for my San Diego area readers - the next meeting of the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) is NEXT Saturday, 23 June, not this coming Saturday, 16 June (usually, the meeting is the third Saturday, but is the 23rd this year because graduations at UCSD are the 16th).

The next meeting will be held on 23 June 2007 from 9:00 am to noon. Here are the details:

9:00 - User groups for Family Tree Maker and Macintosh, and Special Topic Session: Computer Genealogy
10 to 10:15 - Break, refreshments.
10:30 - Announcements followed by Program.
Trees Grow on the Web
by Gary B. Hoffman

Gary will demonstrate several new online tree-oriented services being introduced by heavyweights in the genealogy world:, FamilySearch (LDS Church) and some well-funded Internet startups. He will examine the features of these services and why you might want to put your genealogy on a central web site (or not). Free wireless access is available during the meeting to those who bring their own wireless-capable computers.

Gary is a computer manager at UCSD and has been involved with computers and genealogy for over 20 years. He is a former president of CGSSD and is our current webmaster.


I'm looking forward to Gary's talk. I have posted quite a bit about these online family trees, as have many other bloggers.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Translate your ancestor's name

Amanda Forson at the WorldVitalRecords blog has an interesting and useful post about translating a person's given name from one of 55 languages into English, or vice-versa. The main reason for doing this is to see how the name may have changed from the "old country" to the "new country."

The Behind the Name web site name translator is at

Try it - it's FREE - and it may be helpful.

Solve the puzzle - GenealogyPays!

I rarely get press releases from anybody - but I got this one from Dan Lynch about The press release says:


New Genealogy Site Offers $30,000 Cash Prize
And Free Features for Genealogical Societies

Trumbull, CT – 14 June 2007 – Organizations serving a growing worldwide interest in genealogy and family history will get a unique boost in their sustained online marketing efforts today as Mattatuck Consulting launches – a new service designed to connect family historians with products, services, events, and destinations relating directly to their ancestral pursuits.

The site is free to consumers and features a series of genealogy challenge puzzles, one of which carries a prize payout up to $30,000. This unique puzzle will award half the prize payout to one winning entrant, with an equal amount paid to a genealogical society selected by the winning entrant from among those organizations registered on the site. All genealogy and local history societies are eligible to register at no cost. Featured sponsors pay to participate in the challenge puzzle which officially begins on 01 July 2007.

“We’re excited to launch this innovative and fun site,” said Mattatuck co-founder, Dan Lynch. “During the last four years, we’ve helped increase online visibility for hundreds of products and services. provides a sustained effort enabling even the smallest organization to bring cost-effective and qualified online visibility to their offering.”

A recognized expert in online marketing, Lynch is also a professional genealogist and has developed marketing and business development strategies for some of the most notable organizations in the genealogy market. London-based, a Mattatuck client since early 2006, is among a group who joined as sponsors during the pre-launch phase.

“We think this is a brilliant idea and were quick to join as sponsors,” noted Elaine Collins, commercial director for Title Research Group, Ltd., parent company of “Dan has an extraordinary understanding of online marketing techniques, as well as the genealogy market in general and we’re confident this new service will help bring visibility to our offering during the upcoming year.”

Each year, organizations dedicate significant time, money, and personnel to participate in one or more genealogy trade shows – all in the hopes of meeting potential new customers. provides this same opportunity in a virtual setting, but with the added benefits of a worldwide audience, round-the-clock availability, and cost effective participation. By building a bridge between consumers and the organizations hoping to serve them, GenealogyPays hopes to become a central meeting place for “all things genealogy”.

Although the official launch date is still two weeks away, the site is live and accepting free registrations both from users and the organizations they belong to. A free
genealogy events calendar highlights a range of upcoming even – everything from seminars to cruises.

“All societies, clubs, family associations, and other groups are welcome to participate."

About Mattatuck Consulting
Established in 2002, Mattatuck is a technology marketing firm based in Trumbull CT. Serving a wide range of clients in both traditional and online marketing, Mattatuck has a specialty emphasis in the genealogy and family history marketplace. Co-founder Dan Lynch is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) with more than 25 years research experience and a popular author and presenter covering genealogy topics.

Daniel M. Lynch
Mattatuck Consulting, LLC
(203) 459-4949 (Connecticut)
(801) 623-6955 (Utah) or


This web site is interesting - there is a Rebus beneath the Grand Prize puzzle that can be solved by anyone - there is no entry fee. But the squares get uncovered only by companies or folks buying puzzle squares and thereby showing the puzzle. A sample Rebus is here. Solve the Grand Prize puzzle and win a prize for yourself and your favorite society.

UPDATED 6/14/07 7:40 PM. "Improved" the last paragraph after Dan's suggestion in comments.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cricket's "50 Years of Memories"

I caught Cricket Hackmann's post about "50 Years of Memories" on her Shaking the Family Tree blog.

What a beautiful thing to do for her parent's 50th wedding anniversary! Please go to Cricket's post and read the whole thing. She does an excellent job of describing the process they used to do this project in like 5 days. Amazing.

I have two thoughts about applying this to my own family photographs:

1) I need for my daughters to find this in time for our 50th anniversary (of course, it could be done sooner!). I have given them both a CDROM with our family photos (at least the ones I've digitized so far) on it for safekeeping.

2) This might be a way to pass family photographs to cousins for remembrance sake. I'm thinking that my father and all his siblings have died, and there are at least 40 cousins out there. I have at least a partial photo collection of 3 of the 6 siblings!

Cricket didn't provide a link for this company, but it's easy to find - The prices seem very reasonable for something like this:

Classic hardcover in leather, 11.25" x 8.75"
cover plus 20 pages - $39.95
printed book jacket - $4.95
each additional page $0.99
up to 100 pages.

That seems very reasonable for a single book for a very special occasion. To hand out to cousins who may never open it, at about $50 a pop it is pretty pricey!

There are other cover options - deluxe hardcover (15" x 11.75") and paperback pocketbook (7.75" x 5.75").

If this interests you, go visit the site for more details.

Thanks to Cricket for sharing this with the genealogy world!

Linda's Top 10 Free U.S. Websites

One of the very best society newsletters is COMPU.GEN, published quarterly by the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD), edited by Joan Lowrey.

Each issue has a column called "Lindy's Links" written by Linda Karcz. In her column, she provides a number of links to new and/or useful genealogy web sites. In the June 2007 issue, she has an article titled "Top 10 Free U.S. Websites." The article describes the features of each web site.

I hope it is "fair use" to just list Lindy's Top 10 below:

1. LDS Family Search -
2. USGenWeb -
3. Linkpendium -
4. Rootsweb -
5. Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Systems -
6. GLO Land Patent Records -
7. GenForum -
8. Heritage Quest Online (through subscribing libraries)
9. One-Step Webpages by Stephen P. Morse -
10. Census Online -

Do you agree with Linda's Top 10 Free Sites? What would you add or subtract from it?

COMPU.GEN has several more great articles in its 24 pages - I recommend being a member of this fine organization. I am!

Family Tree Maker tutorials

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society is planning a six hour class in three sessions in July on using FamilyTreeMaker (FTM) effectively.

We will be using a laptop computer with an LCD projector in a conference room. The class will likely be more demonstration than tutorial since not all attendees will have their own computer at the class (although we are encouraging them to bring a laptop if they have one).

The class will cover the basics of using FTM - building a family file person-by-person, adding facts, sources, and notes; creating charts; creating reports and books; importing and exporting GEDCOM files; adding scrapbook items; and probably several other topics. We hope to create a handout showing screen shots and "how-to" lists for the basic tasks.

I went looking in Google for online tutorials for FTM and found only one online - at This site has tabs for Intro, Build, Search, Design, Share, What's New and Conclusion. Each tab has a number of pages, and some of them have animated demonstrations of the steps to be taken to perform certain tasks.

In the process, I also found the FamilyTreeMaker Knowledge Base at At this site, you can explore a number of articles by general subject - for FTM for Windows Version 6.0 or 5.0. There are a number of helpful articles to choose from in each of these subject areas:

* General Questions
* Installing
* Import/Export
* Entering Data, Correcting Errors
* Online Issues
* Family Archive CDs, Search Tools
* Creating/Formatting Your Output
* Printing
* Error Messages
* Tips and Tricks
* Windows Basics

Unfortunately, they don't have similar articles for the latest versions of FTM.

The Help Files found in the FamilyTreeMaker software have tremendous information if only people would look there! In the FTM Version 2005 that I have, the Help menu item leads to:

* Contents - with an outline, an index and a search capability, and many many many articles with step-by-step instructions.
* Search for Help on...
* Technical Support - links to FTM's Tech Support web page
* Online Help Center - links to FTM's Online Help Center
* Getting Started Tutorial - links to FTM's "Getting Started" tutorial - the one noted above.
* Books Tutorial - links to FTM's tutorial at
* Learn More About Genealogy - links to Ancestry's Library at
* Take an Online Class - links to training courses offered for a fee at

I'm not enamored with the links back to FTM (not all of them work from FTM 2005!), but I do like the Index and Search capabilities to find Help on any topic.

Are there other online tutorials on the Internet for FamilyTreeMaker? If so, please let me know.

What topics should we cover in our class? How would you design it for a group of researchers with a range of "some" knowledge of FTM to "lots of" knowledge of FTM?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wikipedia's list of unusual names - and more!

John Reid at the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog posted today about the list of unusual personal names found at Wikipedia - the link is

John then went looking for more information about "Alphabet" Pepper - whose real name was Anna Bertha Cecilia Diana Emily Fanny Gertrude Hypatia Inez Jane Kate Louise Maud Nora Ophelia Prudence Quince Rebecca Sarah Teresa Ulysis Venus Winifred Xenophon Yetty Zeno Pepper.

John posted about "Alphabet" Pepper at Please go read John's post.

Isn't that a great name? Did your mother call you by your full name when she was upset with you? Mine did - and I always knew that the only acceptable response was "yes, mom." Pity poor Anna's mother - I doubt if anybody could remember that whole list of given names.

Thanks to John for a great post, a good link to the Wikipedia page, and a hearty laugh (over the Wikipedia entries).

Commercial Genealogy Web Sites

It is difficult to stay up to date with the different sets of online databases offered by commercial genealogy services. A list of the different commercial web sites is in order. The member or reader can then go to each web site to determine the current content, the cost of a subscription, etc.

The online commercial genealogy web sites with data from the United States that offer subscriptions to individuals for in-home access include the following:

1) Ancestry (part of The Generations Network)

2) (partnered with FamilySearch Inc.)

3) GenealogyBank

4) (part of The Generations Network)

5) Genealogy Today

6) Godfrey Memorial Library (partnered with FamilySearch Inc.)

7) Kindred Konnections (partnered with FamilySearch Inc.)

8) One Great Family

9) World Vital Records (partnered with FamilySearch Inc.)

The list above does not include commercial sites that market mainly or only to schools and libraries. Many national, regional and state genealogy societies have databases behind their subscription firewalls - I will deal with these in a separate post.

There are other commercial web sites with databases for Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia, etc. I will post those in a separate list.

If I have missed some commercial sites with personal subscriptions (and I'm sure that I have out of ignorance), please make a comment to this post and I will add them to my list.

Canada (partial) Digital Atlas, 1874-1881

While browsing tonight, I ran across a link to the Canadian County Atlas Digital Project at This site has digitized maps of Counties in Ontario. A full description of the project says:

"Professional genealogists have recognized the importance of these atlases for many years. Although some of these atlases were reprinted during the 1970s, the fact is that many of these reprints are becoming as rare as the originals. McGill's Rare Books and Special Collections Division is fortunate in owning copies of many of the original atlases.

"Begun in July 1998, the County Atlas pilot project initially encompassed ten atlases. Two subsequent Phases allowed the completion of the Ontario map, ultimately totalling forty-three atlases.

"The County Atlas Digital Project is a searchable database of the property owners' names which appear on the township maps in the county atlases. Township maps, portraits and properties have been scanned, with links from the property owners' names in the database."

You have a choice of selecting "People" or "Maps" when you go to the Search page. If you select "People," then you can enter a surname and a county (and a township if you wish). The results page will tell you the surname, given name, county, township, town, occupation and birthplace. There is a "GO" link on the right side of each name listed.

When you press the "GO" link, you will obtain a full record for the person you are seeking. For my James A. Kemp, the record says:

Last Name -------------- Kemp
First Name ------------- James A.
Nativity ----------------- Canada
Business ---------------- Farmer; Carpenter; Joiner
Year Settled ------------ 1855
Post Office ------------- Delhi
Township -------------- Middleton
County ----------------- Norfolk
Concession and Lot -- 1 NTR

Lot size ----------------- 100

At this point, you can click on a link and go to a Map page. You get two images - one a small map of the township, the other a close up view of the target land location. You can zoom in and out on the close-up view. You cannot save these maps to a file, but you can copy them to a document or photo program if you desire.

Back on the Search page, you can select "Maps" instead of "People" and you will then see a map of Ontario with the Counties shown. Select the County from the list, and you will see a map of the entire county with all of the townships (with the lots but not the names of the land owners). You can click on each of the townships and then see the full township map with better detail (with the lot lines and land owners names) - they are large and take some time to load. You can right-click and "Save Picture As" in a file folder on your computer.

I was able to find the location of the land of James A. Kemp in Middleton township and Alex Sovereen in Windham township. I've always wondered where these folks lived in Norfolk County - I knew the townships but not the specific locations.

For reference purposes - Georgianna (Kemp) Auble was the daughter of James A. Kemp and Mary J. Sovereen who resided in Delhi, Middleton Township, Norfolk County, Ontario. Georgia is the "Mrs. A[uble]" in my Della's Journal series.

This was a nice surprise to find and to be able to download the maps for reference purposes.

If you have Ontario ancestors, then I urge you to find them on these maps. The web site says they are working on Quebec and the Maritime Provinces, but I could not find them on the web site.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Visiting the "MyHeritage" data portal

Many of us visited the My Heritage web site last year when they offered the face matching game, but I haven't been there since. I was reading an article by Schelly Talalay Dardashti and saw the link to My Heritage in her article "Cutting Edge Genealogy."

So I tried the My Heritage site and had to have them send me my password again, but I quickly got on. This site is interesting in that it accesses over 900 online databases that match your search terms. And the site itself is FREE. There are several different options on the main page - Products, Face Recognition, Community, Genealogy, Research.

I was interested in the "Research" part of the site so clicking on that tab gets me to

The "How We Do It" link on the Research site says:

"MyHeritage Research is a search engine built specifically for genealogy, capable of searching hundreds of major genealogy databases in a single query. It's the most comprehensive genealogy research tool existent today and the first of its kind. In simple terms, this search engine runs each query simultaneously in hundreds of genealogy databases, aggregates the results and displays them in one consolidated report. This gives you more genealogy search power than has ever been available before, in a simple, friendly and convenient interface.So if you want to learn more about your heritage, or find information about ancestors, you've come to the right place."

There is a search box with Given Names and Last Name options. The default setting is for a "Megadex" search - meaning they decide alternate spellings of the surname and you can pick up to 10 spellings to search on. You can choose Exact or Soundex.

The search engine goes through all the available databases, and provides a number of hits for each one that has a match. The list of databases shows a thumbnail picture of the web site, the name of the web site with a short description and parameters for it (new, popular, indexed, supports soundex, and requires payment), and the number of hits.

You can click on each web site and be taken to the matches (assuming they don't require payment).

There are the usual US-based databases, plus a number of New York small town newspapers (which require payment for the entire article). There are also links to many UK and Canada databases.

It takes a while to search all of the databases, and you have to wait until the list stops "moving" to see all of the results. The bottom of the web page says "Done" even when it is not finished, so be patient.

At the bottom of the results page is a list of all the researchers searching for the surname and their last access. You can view their profiles and make comments to them, but you cannot email them.

You can also save your searches (but it takes a real long time to do it). I tried this, but gave up after 10 minutes of watching the rotating ball until I nodded off).

Based on the two searches I tried, it appears that some of the databases don't provide searches for the specific "Given Name AND surname" but for pages with both the Given Name and Surname on the same page. This results in many extraneous matches, of course, and renders the search fairly useless if you are using a common surname (I used Given name = "Robinson" and Surname = "Hall").

For the "Robinson" "Hall" name combination, I got 60,871 matches in 208 databases, although 25 databases timed out (they don't tell me which ones) using the default "Megadex" search.

Using the Advanced Search link, you can select a birth year, birth place, death year, death place, gender, types of records, and specific sources. Doing this with "Robinson" Hall" born in 1886 in the US, I still got 709 matches in 5 databases (out of a total of 83 US databases available). Most of the results were in and the UK BMD indexes at .

All in all, this site is good for what it does - collect research matches in one place. You do get to search some unusual databases. It would help if it used the input search names to find people with only those specific names.

Have you used this My Heritage site? Have you had success with it? I need to search a bit more on it to make a judgment about its usefulness.

Della's Journal - Week 24 (June 11 - 17, 1929)

This is Installment 24 of the Journal of Della (Smith) Carringer, my great-grandmother, who resided at 2115 30th Street in San Diego in 1929.

The "players" and "setting" are described here. Pictures of some of the players are here. Last week's Journal entry is here.

Here is Week 24:


Tuesday, June 11 (nice weather): I cleaned kitchen floor, it looks fine. A[ustin] feet pretty sore. Ma wrote Mary.

Wednesday, June 12 (warm): Mrs. Watson Pd last rent for them to July 12. I trimmed cassia tree on N looks good. Trimmed night blooming jasmine & other plants. Watered cassia tree. Letter from Aunt Libbie.

Thursday, June 13: I Painted back stairs. Made curtains for dining room.

Friday, June 14: Washed. Advertised flat 2119 [30th St] - $1.98 for 3 days in Union & Tribune. Mr. Joe Mutters called.

Saturday, June 15: Ironed. Ed over, mowed lawn, gave him $5.00. A letter from Frank Munger that his Grandpa died the 9th was buried the 10th, was helpless 6 mo[nth]s, had bed sores. Lyle's went to country .

Sunday, June 16: No one answered Add. We did not go away.

Monday, June 17 (warm): I went downtown, pd our street paving on lots 8 & 9, Bk 61, Seaman & Choate, & on Ed's paving. Pd telephone & deposited
A[ustin]'s $90 & Watson's $60 = $150. Trimmed trees and vines.


The "cassia tree" is probably an acacia tree. I don't remember it.

Last week they fixed up the flat at 2119 30th, and this week they tried to rent it by placing an ad in the newspapers. The reference to Seaman & Choate on the 17th is to the housing subdivision for the property - Lots 8 and 9 were on Block 61 of the Seaman & Choate Addition in San Diego.

There is one item of genealogy interest this week - Frank Munger's grandfather died - one of Abigail (Vaux) Smith's sisters, Celia Ann Vaux, married a Munger and resided in Kansas. Celia's husband is probably the man who died. Frank Munger is probably a first cousin of Abigail (Vaux) Smith - "Ma" in our journal.

A word about the San Diego weather in June: we call it "June gloom" (and it follows "May gray") for a good reason - the night and morning low clouds extend inland about 5 miles throughout May and June, and it is the rare day that has sun all day long. The high temperatures in June rarely exceed 75 F in downtown San Diego or along the coast, and are usually in the high 60's. It is very pleasant, but depressing because you know the sun is up there trying to burn off the clouds, especially if you are a tourist at the beaches. Of course, if you go another 5 miles east, you have temperatures routinely in the 80's, and in the desert in the 100's. I love the cool - we don't have air conditioning in our house, and I grew up without it on 30th Street. We just open the windows and let the onshore breeze flow through in the afternoon and evening.

"I've Inherited an Attic Full of History"

I love to browse the shelves at the library. Even though I have scouted these shelves for six years on a regular basis, I almost always find something that I have not read, or even seen, that could help me in my family history research.

Today was no different - I found the two paperback volumes titled "HELP! I've Inherited an Attic Full of History" by Althea Douglas, Ma.A., C.G.(C), published in 1998 and 1999, in Toronto by The Ontario Genealogical Society. The subtitle is "A guide for genealogists -- and others -- on ways to hand the past on to the future." The two volumes have titles of:

I: Dating, evaluating and disposing of the accumulation of a lifetime."

II: Archival conservation in the home environment: How to care for organic materials, older artifacts and photographs, with some thoughts on obsolete technology."

These little volumes are jam packed with great descriptions and useful tips to date, evaluate, sort, dispose of, save, and care for the stuff you find in an attic, a garage, a basement, a closet, or a den of your relatives.

Volume I covers physical management of the treasures, intellectual evaluation and valuation, how to dispose of items, a good summary of the types of historical photographs, including a chronology, and a discussion of technology found in the attic.

In Volume II, author describes how to conserve, care, store and display organic materials (e.g., papers, fibres, leathers) and non-organic materials (e.g., stone, glass, ceramics, metals). There are also chronological histories of sound, video, computer and other technologies that can be really useful.

I wonder if these books are still available for sale by the OGS? If so, I'd like to buy them!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More genea-blogging milestones

There are a few more genealogy blogging milestones to celebrate, to wit:

1) Miriam Midkiff's Ancestories blog - her 200th post. She describes how she got drawn into genealogy blogging, and found a community of like-minded geneaholics who wrote about the ideas that interested them. Now she can't help but post something interesting on a daily basis! Congratulations, Miriam, and THANK YOU for your wisdom, wit, experience and grace.

2) Tim Agazio's Genealogy Reviews Online blog - his 200th post. Tim was also surprised to find the community of genea-bloggers, but that didn't stop him from sharing his news and views over the last year or so. Congratulations, Tim, on your effort and success, and THANK YOU for your enthusiasm, persistence and good humor.

So who do we think has blogged about genealogy the longest?

Who do we think has written the most genea-blogging posts?

How can we tell how many posts have been written by a blogger?

Why do we not see more professional genealogists blogging on a regular basis?

Are there any more genealogy blogger anniversaries or milestones coming up? Tell us about them so we can celebrate!

Anne J. Miller speaks at SDGS meeting

The San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) monthly meeting was Saturday, June 9th, with Anne J. Miller from Temecula speaking on two topics:

1) "Overcoming Obstacles that Interfere with Finding Your Ancestors"

2) "Less Commonly Used Resources in Genealogy"

Since Anne will be speaking on the first topic to Chula Vista Genealogical Society on June 25, I won't cover that talk in this post, but will after the CVGS meeting.

In her second talk, Anne went through a list of 26 "uncommon" resources that can be used to find genealogy and family history data about your ancestors. The list was (from her handout):

a) Land and property records (deeds, mortgages, homesteads, patents)
b) Assessment and tax records
c) Probate records, including wills and guardianship records
d) Court records, including divorce records
e) Town/District Road records
f) Mortality schedules (1850 to 1880 census records)
g) Burial permits
h) Obituaries (not just the deceased - look for parents, siblings, children)
i) Cemeteries (not just the inscriptions - look for plot owners, neighbors, contracts, etc.)
j) County histories
k) City and county directories
l) Passport applications
m) Military records (especially pension applications)
n) Maps (including land ownership maps)
o) Poorhouse records
p) Prison and/or criminal records
q) Profession or job-related records
r) Church records
s) Voter registration records
t) Diaries (including midwives diaries)
u) Newspapers (not just obituaries - look for news stories, anniversaries, visitors, etc.)
v) Biography or journal of a contemporary to your ancestor
w) Family Bibles
x) County or township historian or archives
y) Genealogical and historical societies (in area being researched)
z) Library files (in area being researched).

For many of these records, she showed examples from her own research, especially from the 1800 to 1860 time frame. One of the most interesting was a midwife's diary showing the birth of a previously unknown child. Another was a probate record with not only a will (which named several children) and inventory, but also a separate record naming all the descendants, including grandchildren.

Some of those records are on the checklist I use to try to find "all of the records" for my ancestors, but quite a few are not. They will be soon!

Anne did a nice job with both talks - she spoke without notes using the slides on the screen to discuss the details of the records.

I look forward to hearing the first talk again in two weeks, and having the opportunity to speak with her at some length about both talks.

UPDATE 6/12 8 PM: Craig Manson at his Geneablogie blog is providing research tips on where to find these unusual resources - see his first blog post (covering resources down through Passport Applications) at

Thanks - Craig - great advice and an example of how genealogy bloggers are "cross-pollinating" the genealogy world.