Saturday, November 3, 2007

Passing the torch to the next generation

My father was born in 1911, the fifth of seven children born to Fred and alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver. Six of them lived to adulthood and married. Five of them had children of their own. The youngest child was Geraldine Seaver, who married in 1970 to James Howard Remley, a widower. Aunt Gerry passed away in late April, and I memorialized her here and here.

Jim Remley died on 1 November at the retirement home where he lived near Augusta ME. He was almost 96. He had a son, two daughters, and seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren if I remember right.

Jim was a lot of fun to be with. He loved his family, and enjoyed hearing about our family. He told good stories, and had a lot of wisdom to dispense. I loved Jim. Not just because Gerry had loved, married and cared for him as they grew older, but because he was such a gentle, happy and kind man.

Our best memory of Jim and Gerry was the family trip we took to New England in 1982. Our girls were 8 and 5 years old, and loved visiting places, exploring and trying new things. Going to visit Jim and Gerry at their summer cabin in the Maine woods on Lake Cobboseccontee (about a mile from the road on a dirt road) was the highlight of a wonderful vacation. The girls took to Jim right away - they went digging for worms in the woods, they went fishing off the dock on the lake, and went for boat rides to the store at the end of the lake, where he bought them treats. One night, they splurged (and went shopping) and brought live Maine lobsters to the cabin and the girls played with them (carefully!) on the floor before they went to their steamy reward. Jim and Gerry were really special people to our family.

About ten years ago, Jim asked me if I could find anything out about his family. He told me the basics about his parents and grandparents that he knew from the family papers, but wondered where the Remley name came from. I jumped to the task and quickly found information on his ancestors, and took several lines back into the late 1700's. The Remely immigrant came into eastern PA in about 1750 as I recall. I wrote up what I had and sent it to him, and he passed copies to his children. We got to know all three of his children over time, and they really appreciated what I found out and passed around. I'm so glad I did that.

Jim was the last of the "11th generation" of the Seaver family (counting from the immigrant Robert Seaver who came to Roxbury MA in 1634, and including spouses in the generation). It was fittingly called the "greatest generation" in popular books and media. I'm not sure that that generation was "greater" than the generation that fought and won the Revolutionary War, but that's a minor quibble.

Now the family torch has been passed from their generation to the "12th generation" - my generation, and that of my 2 brothers and 8 first cousins. We range in age from 52 to 81, and we have 21 children between us, scattered across the country living productive lives.

I'm feeling a bit older now - I'm officially in the "elder" class now in my extended family. I'm supposed to be noble, wise, fun, and happy. Right now, I'm just sort of sad. I'm also very thankful for Jim and his life. Thank you, Lord, for Uncle Jim.

The American Genealogist - January 2007 Issue

The January 2007 issue (published September 2007) of The American Genealogist (TAG) arrived yesterday, accompanied by the index for the 2006 issues. This is Volume 82, Number 1, Whole Number 325.

Here is the Table of Contents:

* "Ryurik and the First Ryurkids: Context, Problems, Sources, by Norman W. Ingham and Christian Raffensperger - page 1
* "Legalities and Stubbornness" - page 13
* "The Two Bad Marriages of Ruth Aldridge of Smithfield, Rhode Island " by Richard H. Benson - page 14
* "On the Supposed Royal Ancestry of John ap Edward, Evan ap Edward, and William ap Edward of Pennsylvania" by Stewart Baldwin - page 17
* "'Aye, But'" - page 31
* "The English Origin of John Baisey/Baysey of Hartford, Connecticut: Cousin of the Olmstead Family of Hartford" by Leslie Mahler - page 32
* "Much Demented - or Lamented" - page 38
* "Anthony and Grace (---) (Hall) White of Watertown, Massachusetts" by Glade Ian Nelson - page 39
* "Card-Playing and 'The Corrupting of Truth' " - page 48
* "Enigmas #23: Was Capt. Rufus Gardner of New London, Connecticut, a Son of Capt. Christopher Gardner of south Kingstown, Rhode Island" by Roger D. Joslyn - page 49
* "Of Nightgowns and Childish Misapprehensions" - page 62
* "The English Origin of William Dudley of Guilford, Connecticut" by Martin E. Hollick - page 63
* "Theatrical (and Ecclesiastical) Skullduggery" - page 75
* "One Wife Too Many? Two Wives Too Many? 'How It Is and How It Was' " by Ronald A. Hill - page 76
* "Editorial Notes and Observations: Church records; 'Modified Register' or 'NGSQ Style'?; Congratulations to Joe Anderson; The 2006 index and contents." - page 78
* "Book Reviews" - page 80

The book reviews were for:

* "Descendants of John Cox of Abington, Indiana, and Joseph Cox of Hampton, Illinois" by Ruth Ann Hicks and William Jerome Utermohlen (Rockland, Maine, Penobscot Press, 2007).
* "The Genealogist's Address Book: Listing More than 28,000 Organizations Worldwide," compiled by Elizabeth Petty Bentley, edition 5.3, PDF format on CD-ROM (Woodsboro, Md., Bentley Enterprises, 2006).

TAG is my favorite genealogy journal because it has more articles about my New England ancestral families than any other periodical, even the NEHGR. It has the occasional article on medieval genealogy (this issue it's about the early Rus people), Royal ancestry, studies of enigmas, English origins, and the short filler pieces that are often humorous or at least strange.

TAG is a stand-alone publication, not affiliated with a genealogy society or commercial company. The editors are David L. Greene, Robert Charles Anderson and Josepg C. Anderson, who are all Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists - a select group!

What does this mean?

I got an email from with the subject "New content has been added to your family tree." The body of the email said:

Our family tree is growing.
2 people have been added:
Check out all the new updates or add your own memories "

So I clicked on the two links and both took me to my Ancestry account and showed me data for "Unknown," who was the third wife of Robert Seaver (1608-1683) whose name I don't know, and also to my own name at the "Check out all ..." link. Huh?

I uploaded my 20,000 name master database to Ancestry yesterday as a Private Member Tree because I wanted to work more in the AncestryPress feature and to find more famous relatives. The only way I could do that was to have my people in an Ancestry database that can be matched to someone in the OneWorldTree database, which includes the famous people.

I'm wondering why I got only two links in the email? I guess I'm glad I didn't get 20,000 links! Will I get new links every time I add someone to my database?

I'm conflicted about making my databases into Public Member Trees. The databases include all of my research notes and research plans. The names, dates, places and relationships are not sourced as Facts, but there are sources in my Notes. I am willing to share my genealogy data but not the real fruit of my labor - the research notes, at least at this time.

I guess I could make a GEDCOM without the Notes and upload that into a Public Member Tree and submit it to WorldConnect. That at least would make my data available to other researchers. It might also overload my email inbox with messages from other researchers.

Seminal Dates in English Genealogy

The Family Research - English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy blog always has interesting posts and links. Today, one of them is to a web page titled "A Millennium of Records, Seminal Dates in English Genealogy" by Roy Stockdill, written in 2004. The page is at

There is also a link to the article "The Newbies Guide to Genealogy & Family History" by Roy Stockdill at

Both of these pages are very helpful to researchers interested but inexperienced in English genealogy, like me. I've added them to my Favorites list.

Friday, November 2, 2007

FTM 2008 Webinar Available

A Webinar (a WEB semINAR) was held on Thursday, 25 October at 8:30 EDT to demonstrate FamilyTreeMaker 2008 and answer questions the attendees had concerning FTM 2008. The Blog post with the link into the Webinar is at

You can watch and hear this webinar until sometime in early 2008 (I saw the date but can't find it now!). You do have to register your name and email to watch the demonstration. The total time is just over 1 hour.

There is a Powerpoint style presentation with over 140 slides, most of them screen shots showing how FTM 2008 works and the different menus, tabs and options. You hear the lecture but don't see the speakers. You can download the presentation to your computer (13.4 mb).

After viewing the webinar, I have a much better understanding of the capabilities and features are of FTM 2008. I understand why they had to build a new version. Some of the features, especially the maps and web integration are pretty cool (assuming you have a fast Internet connection and an Ancestry subscription, of course).

They answer some common questions at the beginning of the presentation, and then answer questions from webinar participants at the end (you hear the question and response - no visuals).

I encourage anyone interested in genealogy software to spend the hour to register, connect, listen and watch the webinar.

I downloaded the slides so that I can show a few of them to the curious members in our society. This would be a great society presentation for FamilyTreeMaker to take on the road. Wanna come to Chula Vista - it's warm in the winter!

FTM 2008 Books - my wish list

Ben Nettesheim on the FamilyTreeMaker part at the Blog wanted to know what users really wanted for the Books portion of FamilyTreeMaker 2008 in his "Question: What About Books?" post. He makes some interesting observations, like:

* Ancestry Press is not, nor was it intended to be, a replacement to the old book building capability available in previous versions of Family Tree Maker.

* The offline book building option will be available next year. As a result, the finished product is not set in stone.

I provided my opinion as to what the FTM 2008 Books capability should be to satisfy my needs. I put them in as a comment on the blog and on the FamilyTreeMaker feedback form. Hopefully, they will get read and acted upon.

My comments made on his blog are below:


"Thank you for the opportunity to offer my opinions. Here is what I want for the Books portion of FTM 2008 and beyond.

"1) The ability to incorporate descendants reports, ahnentafel reports, pedigree charts, family group sheets, pictures and document images, and text items into a book in the order that I choose. With the ability to have text footnotes and source citations. With an index and Table of Contents and List of Illustrations. Just like we have had in FTM 2006 and before.

"2) However, I would like to be able to export the book to a Word Processing file (especially Microsoft Word!) with the Field codes for the TOC and Index included so that I can edit the book as I wish before I publish it. Presently, the only way to get an index in FTM 2006 and before is to get a PDF format which cannot be edited. The alternative is to collect the edited reports in the Word Processing program and add the Field Codes by hand or with a macro - with 100 pages and maybe 2,000 names, that is time consuming. It’s impossible for a really big book.

"3. For the ahnentafel reports, I would like the option to not include the children listing in the report. This type of name list is very useful to me and others and the lack of it has been a gripe for years. Even lowly PAF can do this. It’s simple. Please?

"4. For the descendants reports, I would like the choice of Register and Modified Register (NGSQ) formats. These are the standard for publications and web pages. The FTM 2006 and before has this option and does an excellent job of them.

"5. For any report or book, I want the ability to tie Sources for Facts to the text Notes - so that a transcribed or abstracted deed, will, census record, Bible record etc. can be given a source number and citation in a Footnote. In FTM 2006, you can add a Fact with a Source, but only by putting the transcription or abstract in the Footnote can you tie the text to a source. Does that make sense? I hope so!"


In general, I really like the way FTM 2006 and before does descendants reports, ahnentafel reports and books. I would like to see Facts, Sources and Notes integrated somehow, and the Field codes for the index produced in such a way that my Word Processor can read it. I also really want an Ahnentafel List - just names, dates, places, no kids, no notes, no sources.

What I didn't say was that most of what I "want" and "need" are available in other software packages - RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree and The Master Genealogist have all of those, I believe. If FTM wants their product to be the choice of professionals, who often recommend software to other users, they need to stay up with the competition. And do it better. Fast.

Out D@mn Sp@m

Arrggghhh. This blog has survived for over 18 months without a major spam attack. Consequently, I've kept comments open to anyone without moderation or word verification.

This morning, I enabled registration and word verification in order to stop the ongoing sp@m attack. I got about 60 emails this morning with comments - one for each post. The comments are about prescription drugs. The spammer has a long way to go, however!

I figure that most of my readers, at least the ones who comment, are registered with Blogger anyway, so it will be a small distraction to most commenters. Of course, I don't get many comments anyway.

Back to genealogy ... by the way, have you seen my Genea-Journal posts over at the Geneaholic? Read all about my so-called genealogy daily life. It's probably much more than you really want or need to know. It's all part of my therapy. How's that for a nakedly obvious blogflog?

Today is "Gramp's" 116th Birthday

My grandfather, Lyle Lawrence Carringer, was born 116 years ago today, on 2 November 1891 to Henry Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer in San Diego, California. He saw so much in his lifetime of 85 years, and enjoyed almost every minute of it, often expressing awe and wonder at nature, engineering feats and science. I believe that he had a wondrous life.

Lyle was over-protected as a boy because his parents had lost a baby boy in 1890. His parents built a house on 30th Street in San Diego and owned most of the block. He learned from the school books of his parents - the McGuffey's readers and almanacs - and attended school, graduating from San Diego High in about 1912.

Here is a picture of Lyle as a boy of 4. Check out the hair and the outfit.

Lyle was curious and inquisitive, and as a boy and teen he explored San Diego and environs on foot or on his bicycle, and on the trolley that ran down 30th Street to downtown. He started working at age 15 as an errand boy at Marston's a downtown department store, and learned how business worked.

As a young man, he stood 5 foot 7 inches and weighed 123 pounds dripping wet. So, he enlisted in the Marines in 1917, but never got out of San Diego, serving at the PX in Balboa Park. He had met, and then married in 1918, Emily Kemp Auble and they soon had a baby - my mother, Betty, who was an only child. Soon, they built a house on the same block as his parents and settled in, with Emily's mother, a widow. The book case in the home was full of popular novels, travel stories, popular magazines and the encyclopedia. Lyle progressed at Marston's and eventually became the accountant and the paymaster for the store.

Here is a picture of Lyle, Emily and Betty in 1919.

Like most people of the time, he had his own account book to tally his income and his expenses. Four of these books still exist - from about 1920 to about 1945. In them, he counted the eggs collected from the henhouse and sold, the daily expenses at the grocery store, his income and bank deposits, the trials, tribulations and expenses of driving and maintaining the car (tires were very fragile, the roads were terrible), and details of where they drove and with whom they visited. The details are fascinating - to me, at least. On the home block, there was always plenty to do. More houses were built for rental, and his parents house was moved from the corner to the center of the block. Repairs to the homes and rentals were endless, furniture was bought, sold or scrapped, gardens were put in and tended. I have rental agreements, rent receipts, home repairs and appliance purchases for the years 1940 to 1975.

Excursions to Balboa Park, La Jolla, the beach, Tijuana, or the mountains were weekly occurrences. There were cousins in Whittier and they often visited them, stopping at Knotts Berry Farm in Garden Grove for dinner. The family took several long road trip vacations - going all the way to Victoria BC one year - and the journal tells all about it (where they stopped, who they visited, how much things cost, etc.) - fascinating!

My mother married in 1942, and I was born in 1943, my first brother in 1946, and my second brother in 1955. My father went into the Navy in 1944 and my mother and I moved back in with her parents. My grandparents doted on me, told me stories, took me places, and let me explore my little world. My grandfather had a movie camera, and I have many 8 mm films of my early childhood. I believe I got my love of history, geography and family from my grandparents - nurtured in my early life by time spent with them.

This is a picture of Lyle and his grandson in 1945 - obviously happy to be so high up in the world.

After his parents died in 1945, Lyle inherited the whole set of property. They moved into his parents home and sold the second home and the vacant lots on the south end of the block (which was my ball field playground). With these proceeds, they bought a small parcel of land on Point Loma with a postcard view of San Diego Bay. They built a home on the lot and moved into it in 1951. This home became our Christmas haven - since it had a fireplace, and we spent many happy Christmas Eves snug in our makeshift beds waiting for Santa to visit us.

Gramp took us fishing down on the Bay, out to the end of Point Loma to visit the lighthouse, and explore the tidepools, or we climbed the hills and explored the canyons near their house. He had always collected stamps and had many overseas correspondents. He went monthly to the Post Office to buy sheets of new stamps, and often gave plate blocks and single stamps to my brothers and I for our collections.

Lyle finally retired in 1961 after 55 years at Marstons, and settled into his retirement. He still came over to the 30th Street property and worked on the buildings and the gardens. And to see his daughter's family and to talk to his grandsons - to hear about their education and exploits and dreams. He was so proud that his daughter and grandson had attended and graduated from college.

Here is a photo of Lyle and Emily in about 1970.

He succumbed in 1976 to colon cancer, and his dear Emily joined him soon after. Their deaths pained me, but became the catalyst that made me examine my own life and beliefs, and firmed up my life's goals.

My grandfather was the most moral, upright and intelligent man I've ever known. He spoke quietly, listened well, even to his loudmouth grandsons, and enjoyed good humor. He never lost his sense of awe and wonder.

During his life, he witnessed and experienced - either in person or via newspapers and TV - the development of the automobile, the movie camera, running water and toilets in the home, the washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator, dirt streets to interstate highways, telegraph to radio and television, barren scrub land to Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo and Palomar Observatory, gliders to airplanes to blimps and rocket ships, Sputnik to the moon landing, war (Spanish-American, WW I, WW II, Korean, Vietnam), peace, boom times, recession and depression times, 16 Presidents, a 58 year marriage, the birth and growth of a daughter and three grandsons. It was a wondrous life.

The best thing he ever did, perhaps intentionally or perhaps subconsciously, was to spend endless time with his family - wife, daughter, grandsons and friends - telling them stories, listening to their stories, hopes and dreams, playing board or card games, and encouraging everyone he met to be a good person - to be the best they could be.

We always called him "Gramp" and we always went over to "Gram and Gramps house." I think my mother called him Dad and my father called him Lyle.

His legacy was threefold. One was financial - the real estate holdings that he built up over his lifetime provided a decent retirement for him and for my parents, and an excellent inheritance for my brothers and I. More importantly, the legacy of kindness, love, thrift, and happiness provided a wonderful example to his grandsons. Lastly, there was the wonderful stash of family history material - papers, books, photos, movies, memories.

I miss him greatly. I wish that I could have him back for just a month or so - to ask him questions, to hear more about his family, his life and experiences, to thank him for loving me and molding me and providing the impetus to study genealogy and family history.

Who do you miss the most? Who had a wondrous life in your family? Who loved you and molded you? Tell me about them - please?

Thursday, November 1, 2007 Special Offer

I received an email from, with this special offer:


"This special offer is our way of thanking current and past registered members for their Basic Membership. For a limited time you are invited to upgrade your Basic Membership to an Annual All-Access Membership for only $47.95! That is a 20% savings on the regular annual membership price of $59.95. Click the following link to sign in and take advantage of this limited time offer.


"Why Upgrade?

"With a Basic Membership to Footnote, you can access Spotlights, Story Pages, and a few free titles. With an Annual All-Access Membership you can view, download, and print millions of documents and images on the Civil War, Lincoln assasination, Revolutionary War, WWI and II, Confederate amnesty papers, Texas birth and death records, and more! In addition, during an Annual All-Access Membership you will get millions of new documents for about $4 a month. Upgrade now!

"Offer Ends November 8, 2007"

Have you looked for information on Perhaps it contains that critical piece of information that you need in your genealogy search. You can "test drive" Footnote with a free Basic Membership. They do have several free access databases.

NARA wants your comments

I received the November issue of UpFront, the monthly newsletter from the National Genealogical Society (NGS), today. It had the following letter concerning the National Archives request for public comment on which databases they should digitize:


"The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is seeking public comment on its draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. This draft plan outlines our planned strategies to digitize and make more accessible the historic holdings from the National Archives of the United States. A copy of the draft is available at

"The document is divided into several sections. The first section, INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND, provides information on NARA's mission, our archival holdings, and our past experience with digitization, to give you the context of the draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007-2016. Section II, PLAN OVERVIEW, describes our planned goals, activities, and priorities for digitization. Sections III through V provide listings of current digitization activities being carried out by NARA and through partnerships to digitize and make available archival materials. Appendix A contains draft operating principles that we are using as we enter into partnerships and Appendix B references relevant NARA guidance that applies to handling of archival materials being digitized and the technical guidelines for image creation and description. NARA in particularly wants your comments on Sections II, III, V, and Appendix A.

"It is important that we receive as much public input on this plan as possible so that our plans adequately reflect the needs of the public. Comments are due to NARA by: November 9, 2007. Send comments to: or by fax to 301-837-0319.

"Thank you for taking the time to comment. Please forward this e-mail to any other genealogist that you may know."


I posted about this in "NARA Digitization Plans" in September. However, I didn't make a list of databases I would like to see digitized. Here is my short list in priority order:

1) Pension Files from all Wars
2) Military Compiled Service Records from all services and wars.
3) Naturalization records from all Courts
4) Passport applications

5) Native American records
6) African-American records
7) Federal court Records - criminal, civil, etc.
8) Land entry and patent records
9) Any other database with names and dates and events.

I know that some of these are already digitized or in the process of being digitized. The naturalization records are usually in State or Local courts - but they could be collected and put in one database.

What other databases would you like to see digitized? Tell them.

If you haven't sent your comments to NARA, I encourage you to do so - be a part of the solution.

The Future of Genealogy - My Turn

At the CVGS "Genealogy Online" seminar two weekends ago, I was asked the question "What is the future of genealogy on the Internet?" I wish I could remember the things that I rattled off in my two minute response - it was at the end of my four hour stand-up stint and I was a bit fried. Having had almost two weeks to think about it, and having reviewed previous predictions by connected genealogy writers here and here, I'm ready to respond - and will muse on the next five years..

1. The future of genealogy research is limitless - genealogy will always be with us to the end of time because enough people will always want to know about world history, local history and family history. In five years, doing effective research may be considerably faster to perform due to the presence of more original documents on the Internet.

2. Genealogy research will always require working with original documents, derivative documents, government records, record indexes, family histories, locality histories, family trees, etc. "Every" document will not be imaged, digitized and indexed - there will always be records not available on the Internet.

3. More images of original and derivative documents will be available on the Internet every year. The number of document images has exploded in the last 5 years - to the benefit of all researchers. Effective use of the images requires accurate indexes.

4. More indexes of person names and locality names will be available on the Internet every year. Indexes are essential for finding of and the effective use of document images. The indexes need to permit sound-alike and wild cards, and specific phrases, in order to consistently find person names. Search engines will have these capabilities also.

5. Freely available records (mainly indexes and transcriptions) will proliferate on the Internet at sites like, and There are many other sites with data posted by volunteers and organizations.

6. The LDS church effort to image, digitize and index the records by volunteers on over 2 million microfilms and over 1 million microfiche will continue at a fast pace and New FamilySearch will be used to access those records and images. In 5 years, New FamilySearch may have most of the US census records, many vital records indexes and many military records indexed and available - but there will be many records currently on microform left to be indexed - land, probate, tax, directories, etc. When the latter records have been indexed, then more research breakthroughs will occur. New FamilySearch will continue to collaborate with other libraries, societies and commercial companies to offer resources either online for everybody or on computers at the FHL and FHCs.

7. Commercial genealogy services (today exemplified by Ancestry, Footnote, WorldVitalRecords, GenealogyBank, etc. - there are many others) will continue to image, digitize and index records. These companies will continue to partner and collaborate with smaller database providers and genealogy societies. New companies may emerge to fill a niche, and companies may merge their assets. Competition will drive the industry to image and index more records. Genealogists will benefit from lower subscription prices resulting from more subscribers and more available records.

8. There will still be books and records that cannot be imaged and indexed due to copyright and privacy restrictions. "Public records" in cities, counties and states after about 1900 and before about 1980 are generally not available in books or microform except in person at a repository. There will be a massive effort by the LDS and commercial companies to image and digitize these records but it will take a long time, and coverage will not be uniform. I think birth and marriage records for living people will not be available for every state for a long time, if ever.

9. Family Tree data submitted by researchers past and present will proliferate and will always contain inaccuracies and outright errors. Online genealogy data sharing sites will also proliferate and will eventually coalesce into a smaller number of databases with large numbers. The challenge for every site will be to choose what data is "right" and to create the Mother of All Genealogy Databases (MOAGD). Will LDS scrap Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File? Will Ancestry scrap Ancestry World Trees and One World Tree? I doubt it - they will likely integrate that information into their new database formats somehow. There will not be just one MOAGD - there will probably be several or many.

10. Sharing between genealogy researchers will continue to grow through message boards, mailing lists, online family trees, genealogy societies and email. Wikis will proliferate on the Internet, but I don't think the majority of researchers will use them to share genealogy data.

11. Publication of compiled genealogies and family histories in book form or on digital media will be more "publish on demand" for family members and correspondents, rather than in traditional book publication. These e-books may not find their way into libraries or magazines.

12. Genealogy magazines in paper and digital formats will continue to provide readers with interesting and useful information. Magazines may go to a dual publication - in both paper and digital formats with a price break for the digital format. Digital magazines may break the mold of a semi-monthly or quarterly formal publication and go to a weekly distribution of timely articles and reviews.

13. Genealogy societies will start growing again as more researchers cannot find "everything" on the Internet. The emphasis will be on collaboration and sharing - "traditional" researchers helping "online" researchers understand and use the classical research process, and "online" researchers helping "traditional" researchers use the Internet effectively. Societies will also use a dual newsletter/journal publication method - on paper format mailed out or online in digital format. There may be more specialized genealogy societies rather than locality-oriented societies.

14. Genealogy societies will have to have an Internet presence - a web site to inform members and sell products, a blog and email list to communicate with members and prospects, and indexing/transcribing projects to provide local family history records. They will collaborate with free or commercial genealogy sites. For example, a society-generated cemetery index might be digitized and indexed and included in the FamilySearch or Ancestry search engine and database, but the inscriptions and photos of tombstones might be available only through the society for a small price.

15. Genealogy software will continue to gravitate to online storage of databases with user-selected access - accessible anywhere a researcher is on a computer (relative, library, airplane, etc) and not subject to a home disaster. Book-making capabilities within the software will improve, especially for constructing indexes, including images, etc.

I think I'll stop there. I realize that I'm hampered by not being on the "inside" of the industry. Reading this over I see that I am not very visionary in this list. It's pretty much "review the past," "glass-half-full" and "genealogy-and-apple-pie" with a dash of hopefulness.

I am really interested in what you think. Tell me where I'm right or wrong. What have I missed? Please blog about this, share your thoughts in comments to this post, or via email to rjseaver(at) If you have visionary thoughts about the future of genealogy, and are willing for me to post them in a separate post, please let me know and I will do that with attribution or anonymity - your choice.

The Future of Genealogy - Part 2 (2004-5)

Other noted genealogy writers and speakers have opined on this subject over the years.

Dick Eastman made predictions in a 2002 article, and reviewed them in January 2007 on his blog in a post "Deja Vu: The Past Four Years of Genealogical Achievements." The predictions he made in 2002 included:

1) Transcribed information will continue to be popular for many years.

2) The present technology of CD-ROM storage of data will probably fade away within a few years. The problem is not a technology issue. Instead, genealogy CD-ROM discs will disappear because of simple economics.

3) The major growth of genealogy software occurred in the 1980s to the mid-1990s. I went on at some length to describe this growth and then stated that the growth had slowed.

4) Aligning with the growth of online usage, the greatest improvements will be in the area of Web integration. Genealogists will look to store and publish their data on the Web and compare their own internal genealogy database against the large online databases for possible matches and additions.

5) Today these [DNA] databases can only prove that two individuals are related in some manner. They cannot give the exact point where each individual's lineage meets that of the other person. Once the accumulated information reaches a critical mass, computers will be able to precisely match individuals who have similar DNA sequences and even to reconstruct the DNA sequences of deceased ancestors.

6) …the crystal ball reveals a global community of genealogists that's open to all. As fast as they can click a mouse, genealogists will scoop up transcribed and scanned original information online, from any location. They will confirm or disprove theories with irrefutable DNA records. The ease with which they will be able to assemble and polish accurate lineage reports will encourage many to add to this wealth of information and to collaborate with distant cousins. They may even gather in online 'virtual reunions' with webcams.

7) As boundaries of time and space evaporate, the opportunity to bring ancestors and extended families into clearer focus will emerge for this lucky generation of genealogists and those to follow.

In his 2007 post, Dick graded himself on his predictions. Go read his article for more context and details. He closed his post with these words: "Whatever method of data input we will use in future decades, I believe that the future of online genealogy collaboration looks better than ever. I am still convinced that this is a great time to be a genealogist."

DearMYRTLE also wrote an article in the 1998 time frame, and updated it in 2005 in "UPDATE 2005: The Internet, Genealogists and the Future." Her points included:

1) Smarter Export Capabilities of Genealogy Software, particularly where it comes to embedding the linked photos and scanned documents.

2) More Artificial Intelligence. “Artificial intelligence" is the up and coming tool for savvy genealogists. Our dining room tables aren’t large enough and our brains aren’t fast enough to correlate the dates/localities where our ancestors once lived with online genealogy databases and library catalogs. That’s where programs like GenSmarts step in and evaluate our compiled genealogies.

3) Creative Tombstoning. How about an interactive tombstone, where you can download the photo and pages of family history of the deceased to your Thumb or laptop?

4) Computer Based Training. Combining online tutorials, interactive chat rooms and detailed genealogy research assignments, we’ll see more genealogy classes.

5) Ordering Microfilm Online to be Presented in Digital Format at Once the film is digitized and placed on a website, it can be available to anyone else online as well.

6) More Source documents. Now, despite improvements in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, which work only on typed documents, we’re still at the mercy of indexers.

7) Wayback Machine Becomes Increasingly Popular. The webmaster explains “Browse through 30 billion web pages archived from 1996 to a few months ago.” All too often a smaller family history website closes down, making links to that source of genealogy data obsolete. Simply copy/paste the original URL from your source citation to the Wayback Machine to view the page in its original form.

Read the whole article for more details and context. DearMYRTLE ended her article by noting: "If genealogists can find online scanned images of the documents in great-grampa’s probate packet, does this mean an end of research in dusty old courthouse books or ancient parish registers? Probably not in my lifetime. "

These two experts in genealogy researching and communication, who were well tuned into the genealogy industry and community (and still are), were thinking fairly "inside the box." They had a good idea of what was to come and told us about it, and their predictions are fairly accurate.

Next up are my fearless predictions...and your chance to be clairvoyant too!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Future of Genealogy - Part 1 (1998 version)

At the CVGS "Genealogy Online" seminar two weekends ago, I was asked the question "What is the future of genealogy on the Internet?" I wish I could remember the things that I rattled off in response - it was at the end of my four hour stand-up stint and I was a bit fried. Having had almost two weeks to think about it, I'm almost ready to respond.

I figured that somebody much more knowledgeable than I has already answered this question and posted it on the Internet, so I went looking for the deathless predictions of genealogy experts.

The first article I found was by Mark Howells (you know, he's married to Cyndislist) who has written many genealogy articles over the years. In 1998, he wrote "The Future of Internet Genealogy - Twelve Predictions." The twelve on his list were:

1) Putting your genealogy research results on the Internet will continue to become simpler and easier.

2) The resulting formats of web publishing will continue to improve.

3) The veracity of the information published on the Internet will continue to be variable but Internet genealogists will recognize and deal effectively with this variability.

4) More genealogically relevant information will be published on the Internet by public institutions.

5) More of our cousins will get "wired" into the Internet.

6) Interacting with institutions will become easier and a more common part of Internet genealogy.

7) Traditional genealogical societies will conduct more organized interaction on the Internet.

8) Genealogy interest groups and associations focusing on the technology of computers or the Internet will decline in prevalence as computers and the Internet increasingly assume their role as standard tools of the genealogist.

9) More collaborative efforts will emerge as a result of Internet-connected genealogists sharing their work towards common goals.

10) Civil registration authorities, archives, and the major genealogy libraries will enter the Internet genealogy marketplace with pay-for-use services.

11) Traditional genealogy societies will increase the number of their goods and services available for purchase over the Internet.

12) Major genealogy companies will continue to develop and sell Internet-provided products and services.

Please read all of Mark's article for more context and information.

For 1998, that was a really good list, wasn't it? Think back nine years - we had decent genealogy software, most people accessed the Internet through a dial-up modem, there were forum sites like Prodigy, CompuServe and AOL with genealogy communities, etc. But there were no large databases online yet, there were few images online, and Web 2.0/wikis had not been invented yet. I think Mark did a great job with his answer.

I'll look for more articles on this subject before I write my own response to the question. Please trhink about it and formulate your own predictions - and either post them on your own blog or as a comment on my last post.

Five Questions - Favorites

In honor of Family History Month, Juliana Smith on the 24/7 Family History Circle blog has been challenging readers to answer five questions from each Weekly Planner topic–or make up five of your own.

This week’s topic is favorites. Here are some questions to get you started:

1) What is your favorite book and why?

Historical fiction - the stories of real people acting in the historical settings.

My favorite author is probably James Michener - and all of his books follow the same format - a multi-generational family history that sweeps through historical events. I'm thinking about Texas, Mexico, Poland, Hawaii, Centennial, etc.

I also like Edward Rutherfurd's books - Sarum, The Forest, London, Russka, etc. These are similar to Michener and just as good.

2) What is your favorite movie and why?

We don't watch many movies. I saw Titanic again recently - it's still a great story wrapped around a fictional romance. Why? The nude scene with Kate Win - no, wait. The love scene in the car? I meant - the evacuation and sinking of the ship was dramatic.

3) Where is your favorite place in the world and why?

I absolutely love and will never live anywhere but San Diego -- even in its toasted splendor. My family, my town, my teams, my history.

I also really enjoy the New England summertime green and fall color, the Hawaii volcanoes and climate, the English countryside and castles, the Norwegian mountains and lakes, the Mexican beauty and squalor, etc. I love cruise ships too.

4) What is your favorite time of day? Are you a morning person, an afternoon person, or a night owl?

I do well in all three periods, except I usually wind down around 4 PM and take a nap then. I find inspiration in the morning, do the genealogy data entry work in the afternoon, and the reading and browsing in the evening.

5) What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas. The Christmas lights on the houses, and the Christmas tree decorations. I love to watch the shopping experience - everybody hurrying and buying, and I try to remain calm and observant. Then get something nice for my Angel at the last minute - usually jewelry or clothes. I love to watch the kids excited around the Christmas tree on Christmas morning - the sense of wonder, the frenzy to open gifts, etc. I love the reason for the season - it brings me peace.

Well, Family History Month is over, so I guess we'll do this again maybe next year. Or maybe not!

Trick or Treat?

Trick or treating as a child and teenager was pretty tame - we always got bags of candy, since the school was 8 blocks away - we always went down Fern street on the way to the Carnival, and up 30th Street on the way back. When we were older, we played some tricks - soaping windows of houses where no one was home, leaving a bag of dog poop on the doorstep (we never lit them off, however, we were "good" boys) when the residents were chintzy with the candy, etc.
My most memorable Hallowe'en "event" was after we were married and had the girls. Our young couples group at church always had a party at Hallowe'en and everybody got dressed up and we had games and stories and prizes. One year, I was still skinny enough to put on my wife's long maternity dress, stuff a bra with small towels, and put on panty-hose and short heels (fortunately, we're about the same height and shoe size), and dabs of perfume in the right spots [Memo to self - I don't want to do that again...]. I also had on my wife's long black wig and a nice mask with a woman's face with eyeholes. So off we go to the party. We always get to parties at the appointed time so as to get a full evenings worth of the punch, food and fun.
Our pastor at the time was divorced and had a reputation as a ladies man. He always showed up late to parties. When he showed up at the door, my wife scurried into the kitchen with several of the other wives while all the husbands milled about, oblivious since they knew it was me. I adjusted everything I could before the pastor walked in. I was sitting on the couch with my legs together (that's still hard for men, you know) and my ankles crossed (not any leg hair showing).
The pastor checked everything out, saw me on the couch, sidled over and introduced himself as Ted and I stood up. He said something like "you sure look nice tonight" and I shook his hand with a limpish wrist and responded in a falsetto voice "Enchante, I'm sure." He was totally confused and I heard giggles from the open kitchen door. I wasn't quick thinking enough to lead him on further, of course, being a staid Presbyterian. I slowly removed my mask and the room erupted in laughter and he turned red. Serves him right, trying to make time with an elder in the church (we didn't have female elders then).
It was a trick (on him) and a treat (for everyone else) and a fine Hallowe'en memory for for us. When we had the church's 25th anniversary party several years later, it was replayed with much hilarity - of course I could barely fit into the dress by then.

Your Hallowe'en Personality

There is a Hallowe'en Personality quiz at

I took this test and answered as accurately as possible. Here's what it said about me:

"You're a friendly person, but not the life of the party. You like making someone else's day - and you'll dress up if you think of a really fun costume.

"You are an overachiever and quite popular. You'd save the world if you could."

"Your inner child is curious, brainy, and maybe even a little gross.

"You fear people taking advantage for you. You are always worried about protecting your own interests.

"You're logical, rational, and not easily affected. Not a lot scares you... especially when it comes to the paranormal.

"You are a traditionalist with most aspects of your life. You like your Halloween costume to be basic, well made, and conventional enough to wear another year."

Now how did they know that? That explains a lot - maybe I should tell my wife? It might help.

What's your Hallowe'en personality? Blog about it, or post a comment here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Testing to find living people

I have struggled over the years to find a reliable telephone number lookup web site to find friends and family addresses and phone numbers. I've tried,,, and several others. Quite often, some of these sites go right to a fee web site that teases me but doesn't provide useful information, and therefore wastes my time.

At our CVGS meeting yesterday, Joan recommended and showed examples form her own family members. I decided to try it out, using myself as a test subject.

I input my name "Randall Seaver" in the search box, and it came up with 6 results in the USA, in CA, FL, MI and TN (3). The name, address, phone number and age range (mine's wrong) are given for most of these. If it is a work number, the company and occupation might be provided. There are also "Reverse Number" and "Reverse Address" tabs to search with.

In the results listing, clicking on my name or the "Listing detail" link brings up another page with links to "Map," "Print," "Send/Save," View Web Results and Profiles for this person" and "Find neighbors and home values for this person." The "Map" link gets you a neighborhood map of the address.

The "Find Neighbors ... " link gets up to 30 entries for people living nearby the target person. For some reason, the link for me produced only 7 hits, but they are my neighbors. On this page, there are tabs for "Home values" and "Web results." Clicking on "Home Values" got a list of 10 homes in the area with some real estate value (these may be recently sold homes on the assessors records - I don't know for sure), and a map with stickpins for each house listed. I don't know how they came up with the home vale - it's not an average of the 10 homes.

All in all, this site does a better job finding addresses and phone numbers than most of the others that I've tried recently. If you click on the "More results" button you go off to a web page with a link to a fee web site.

How complete is this site? I'm guessing that it includes everybody in the US with a telephone number published in a telephone directory. I checked it out looking for my family and some friends:

* It found one married daughter (they have a land line), but not the other (they have a cell phone only)
* It found one brother in El Cajon CA, but not the one up in Vancouver WA.
* It did not have a listing for my mother, who died 5 years ago. The listings still have her.
* It had 5 of the 6 cousins that I tried. I used the state to narrow the searches.
* It had several of my favorite bloggers. I know that some of you will try this out just to make sure that you are listed!

The neighbor feature is pretty useful. If you have an old address and you want to see if the person still lives there, you could put the address into the "Reverse Address" search and see who lives at the address. Then if you view the neighbors, you have a number of possible informants to tell you if old Uncle John died, moved, went to the rest home, or whatever.

I tested a few more free People Search web sites, and noticed that produces exactly the same results as - just the web page has a different color scheme!

If you're looking for a web site to find living people, this is definitely one to put on your list. It's free, you get quite a bit of information usually, and it's easy to use.

William Hutchi(n)son (1745-1826) Family History - Post 1

William Hutchi(n)son (born ca 1745 NJ, died 1826 Ontario) has been one of my stoutest brick wall ancestors for many years. I found several references to him in the various books about Loyalists who settled in New Brunswick and Ontario, but had not found real "human interest" stories for the family history book.

Thanks to Bev Franks in her WorldConnect database, there are quite a few stories for me to pass on to the family. Here is one of the stories:

From "The Loyalists of America and their Times: From 1620 to 1816," Volume 2, by William Briggs, published 1880. This is a history of the relations, disputes, and challenges between Great Britain, the American Colonies and the United States of America. This work is an attempt to present the story from the Loyalists' point of view, with the aid of documents and records. It also gives the early history and settlement in the British Provinces of America by the Loyalist forefathers. This is the second volume in the two volume series. Chapter XLI, Part I, page 218/9, is titled: Adventures and Sufferings of Captain William Hutchison, and his Settlement in Walsingham, County of Norfolk; communicated by his grandson, J. B. Hutchison, Esquire.

"In the beginning of the wars of 1776, William Hutchison (my grandfather) was urged to join the rebel army (he living at that time in New Jersey); but he boldly declared, death before dishonour. After being harassed about for some time, and leaving a wife and eight children to the mercy of their enemies, he with a number of others tried to make their way to the British army, and were followed by a large force of the enemy; but when they found themselves so greatly outnumbered (being about ten to one), they tried to make their escape to an old barn; but every one of the unfortunate men was caught and hanged but himself. They did not succeed in finding him, he hiding among the bushes. While he lay hidden among some elder bushes, one of the enemy pulled up the bush where he lay, saying 'this would be a d-----d good place for a ---- to hide,' but the shadow falling on him completely hid him from sight. His captain, James J. Lett, was among the unhappy victims, grandfather being lieutenant under him at the time.

"His comrades being all killed, he tried to escape from his covert, but they had stationed sentries all around; he could hear them swearing vengeance on him if they could find him. It being bright moonlight, he could see quite a long distance. He crawled along on his hands and knees across a field, and got into the middle of the road; when the sentries, one on either side of him, got into a quarrel and came close to him before they settled their dispute; having done so, they turned to go away; he then made his escape and got to the British army.

"After suffering all the horrors of a war lasting seven years, losing his property--everything but his loyalty--and that, having extended faithfully through the whole family, is not likely to be lost. His wife and six of his children died from the sufferings consequent upon such a war. Previous to this he had received a captain's commission. After the war closed, he went to New Brunswick, and remained there fourteen years, coming to Canada in 1801, and settled in the township of Walsingham. My father, Alexander Hutchison, was the only surviving son by his first wife. In the war of 1812, my grandfather went out against the enemy with his sons, Alexander, David, and James, in which war my father lost his life.

"Hoping you may be able to find something in these fragments which will be interesting to you, I remain, with the greatest respect, Yours most faithfully, J. B. HUTCHISON."

Grandson Joseph Hutchison must have heard these stories from his grandfather - and passed them on in this book for posterity. I am part of that posterity - William Hutchi(n)son is my 5th great-grandfather. I have at least two other Loyalist ancestors from the US Revolutionary War times.

This provides a different outlook on the Revolutionary War, doesn't it?

There is a good web site for The Online Institute of American Loyalist Studies at This page provides a history of the First Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers. One of William Hutchi(n)son's exploits is noted here:

"A party under Lieutenant William HUTCHISON and Ensign James MOODY in early June of that year successfully captured several officers and men of the Monmouth County Militia and then drove off their pursuers at the point of the bayonet after expending all their ammunition. MOODY himself shot dead a militia officer who was in the act of cursing him across the battlefield, so personal was this war between Rebel and Loyalist. This was soon after followed by 40 men of the battalion with a like number of British regulars capturing a number of militia light horse in a tavern after killing their officer, Captain Skinner. "

There are other books that provide more information about William Hutchi(n)son. I'll post some of them later.

I don't know (and nobody else does either, apparently) the parents or siblings of William Hutchi(n)son. He supposedly was born in about 1745 and resided in Knowlton, Sussex County (now in Warren County) NJ in the 1773-4 time frame.

Do you have Loyalist ancestors? What have you found out about them? Are there any readers who are descendants of William Hutchi(n)son? If so, please contact me!

Genealogy road trips

Have you taken a genealogy road trip recently? The ones where you visit aunts, uncles, cousins, cemeteries, ancestral homes, town libraries, county courthouses, local historical and genealogy societies, etc.? Trips like these are an integral part of doing effective genealogy research because they provide opportunities to find unique resources hidden away from the Internet and large repositories.

I have read with fascination the current road trip posts by Arlene Eakle and Steve Danko. Arlene has taken a road trip from Utah to the East Coast and points in-between, stopping along the way to do research for her clients in Denver CO, Republic County, KS, St. Louis MO, Fort Wayne IN, Cleveland OH, Lutherville MD, Richmond VA, Wise County VA, and Pike County KY. Arlene and Kathryn are heading back now with their van chock full of books and papers obtained on the trip. I listed each stop because Arlene's blog format shows only one post at a time.

If you read all of Arlene's posts in order, then you can see the excellent planning involved, the fantastic resources found and the genealogy discoveries made by an expert genealogy researcher. There are many research lessons to be learned by studying these posts.

Steve Danko has just returned from a week-long research trip to Lithuania where he met several cousins and visited several repositories. His planned itinerary was posted here. He has been posting summaries of each of his days on his blog, and he's not finished yet. Read his blog and use the Search box on his home page to find all "Lithuania" related posts.

I am always fascinated by the exploits of other researchers in foreign countries.

My own road trip experiences were extremely challenging, interesting and fun, although they were combined with sightseeing and visiting family and friends. I've posted before about our trips to England in 1993, to Norway in 1999 and to the MD-NJ-PA-NY area in 2004 (Part 1 - preparation, Part 2 - Sussex County NJ, Part 3 - Watertown NY, and Part 4 - Mercer County PA and Prince Georges County MD). I also have been to Salt Lake City twice - in 1995 and again in 1997.

Frankly, I haven't taken many research trips in recent years because I haven't found many "new" ancestors since about 1997. The exception was my wife's Norwegian ancestry which I pursued through most of 1999. We have gone several times to New England in recent years to visit my elderly aunts and uncles and my cousins.

If you have "brick wall ancestors" and have not visited the localities they lived in to explore non-Internet resources, I encourage you to plan well, book the trip and go. You will likely enjoy the experience and obtain more new research data that may help you crash through those brick walls.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hallowe'en Names

There are a number of families in the Rootsweb WorldConnect database at that have surnames connected to Hallowe'en. For instance:

1) The GHOST family - there are 479 entries, including the descendants of Philip Ghost of Westmoreland County PA - see 6 generations here. It looks like at least one GHOST from this family is still living.

2) The GOBLIN family - There are 31 entries for this surname. It looks like there are no real GOBLIN family trees - only isolated GOBLIN women who married men with other surnames.

3) The SKELETON family - there are 380 entries but few trees with many generations. Methinks these are mostly misspelled SKELTON people.

4) The FRANKENSTEIN family - There are 797 entries, and most of them are of German origin. One family that settled in Rochester NY is here.

5) The WITCH family - there are 114 entries, but no long family lines in the database.

6) The PUMPKIN family - there are 67 entries, but no long family lines.

7) The HAUNT family - there are only 4 entries, none with a family line.

8) The SPOOK family - there are 11 entries, and only one with a three generation family.

9) The GHOUL family - there are 11 entries.

10) The JACKO family has 65 entries.

11) The LANTERN family has 214 entries. But there are no people named Jack O. Lantern.

12) There are 190 CAT entries. There are no Black Cat names.

13) There are 13 SCARY entries - many of them still living.

14) There are 35 DRACULA entries, many of them are related to The Count.

15) There are 538 CEMETERY entries.

16) There are 2,769 MONSTER entries. No Monster Mash, though.

17) There are 592 SKULL entries.

18) There are 81 SPIRIT entries. There is a Holy Spirit with a lady named Mary, with a child.

19) There are 4 entries for "Spider Webb"

20) There are 163 entries for SCREECH.

21) There are 5 entries for HALLOWEEN - even a Mary Halloween.

22) There are no VAMPIRE family entries.

Enough!! What other Hallowe'en oriented surnames can you think of? Are they in WorldConnect?

Happy Hallowe'en!! Trick or Treat?

Yep - TRICK has 3,250 entries and TREAT has 45,879 entries!

"Digging up the Un-Dead" program at CVGS today

Our Chula Vista Genealogical Society program today was presented by Joan Lowrey of La Jolla, whose topic was "Digging Up the Un-Dead (Finding Living People)." Joan's biography and talk summary was provided here. We had 44 attendees (more than 50% of our membership), of which 3 were guests (two of whom also attended our 10/20 seminar).

This was an excellent program given by an excellent speaker with excellent credentials - one of the very best programs we have had. The subject is of interest to everyone who is looking for living people - distant relatives, old flames, classmates, etc.

Joan went through the different web sites with:

* Free Telephone Directories (she highlighted, the US Phone and Address Directories, 1993-2002 on (need subscription to Ancestry) plus others)

* Other Free Sites (she highlighted Steve Morse's site, plus others)

* Free Sites with Fee Options (she highlighted and, among others)

* Fee Sites (she highlighted,, and among others).

In all of her work, she didn't pay a dime to find out what she showed us about her own family and several other families of interest. From bits and pieces gleaned from these web sites - all for free - she was able to find out many useful things about a person - name, spouse, children, age, address, phone number, approximate home value, neighbors, etc. You can choose to subscribe to a fee service that looks for many more items - criminal records, drivers license, court records, email address, utilities bills, etc. Of course, there are many people who don't own a home or just don't want to be found, so it isn't foolproof.

Joan also showed and summarized two articles that compared People Search fee sites - the articles are at:



Joan warned us to be careful about the recommendations at these sites, since we don't know if any of the People Search sites paid to be listed. She also warned us to be careful when using any People Search service - either free or for fee. Use of some sites may generate spam if you give them an email address or a credit card number.

Joan did a really nice job on this presentation, and it generated a lot of comments and questions.

Della's Journal - Week 44 (October 29-November 4, 1929)

This is Installment 44 of the Journal of Della (Smith) Carringer (1862-1944), 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 44:


Tuesday, October 29 (cooler): I set out border plants & trimmed catonia aster tree in front [of] waterworth tree. Ma worked on weeds. Miss Maynard came up, wants us to sign a paper so she can get pension for Blind. I will tend to it have to sign before a Notary. Girls up stairs gave a party.

Wednesday, October 30 (cool): I took my bath then did washing. Ma reused & hung out. Miss Thoren came home today, stayed with her sister last night, had a nice time. A[ustin] went down to Dr. Bill's pd him $3.50 & is to pay 50 cts a treatment.

Thursday, October 31, Halloween: I went with Lyle's up to Park to see the kiddies parade. We went after Lyle then ate supper Picnic style. Walked around several blocks then down to stand to watch the show. Was very good, the King & Queen & attendants. We stayed until 9 P.M. Ma & I wrote to Rose Kimball. A[ustin] got pay.

Friday, November 1 (warm): I went to city. Pd last Instalment on 2116 Fern St. and $3.50 for to finish up the business. A[ustin] to dentice 50 cts. Ma took her bath & washed her clothes.

Saturday, November 2 (warm): Lyle's birthday, was 38 yrs old. We went over there for supper. Betty made place cards. Emily gave him a Bridge lamp, Betty handkerchiefs, Mrs Auble box home made candy, Ma hanger for closet. We [paid] money $3.00 for Geographic Magazine & $2.50 to go to see the new Theater of Fox Co. Ed did not come over. We goto ur new telephone book & new number R[andolph] 8453.

Sunday, November 3 (warm): Emily took our pictures of our four generations over at their house. Lyle's got them a wood & coal stove for fire place, very nice. I went out to see Mr. & Mrs. Garlock, she is real lame. His grandson from Minn. has been visiting them had another boy with him, Hattie's boy.

Monday, November 4 (warm): We worked some in Ma's closet & she sewed a little. Got letter from Aunt Libbie. Beulah had gone back to her husband, will give him another trial. I sent Cardiff lots water tax Irrigation $6. Pd Milk bill yo Allen's $4.03. Only one of the pictures good. Emily had her mothers, hers & Bettys taken, one is very nice. Betty cold & had nose bleed, did not go to school.


I know I've seen the four generation picture and several others, but I can't find them on my hard drive. They're not on the wall, either. They must be in the box of unscanned photos that I haven't gotten around tuit yet.

There is no mention of the stock market crash on 29 October in this week's journal. I wonder how it affected Della's family?

I wonder who Miss Maynard is? I need to check the census again, I guess. Della must have known her well in order to be able to sign an affidavit. She may be a neighbor or former neighbor.

My grandfather's birthday was celebrated - at age 38, he had worked for Marston's Department Store for about 23 years.

"Mastering Family Search" Videos

I must have missed the announcement of this web site - Or maybe it's been kept a secret for some reason.

The web site has a series of videos (saved as executable files for some reason) that have audio with a Powerpoint presentation on the following subjects:

* FamilySearch Indexing (13 minutes)
* New FamilySearch (15 milutes)
* Introduction to Family History (19 minutes)
* Personal Ancestral File 5.2.18 (30 minutes)
* Compiled Genealogies (5 minutes)
* Pedigree Resource File (9 minutes)
* Ancestral File (15 minutes)
* One World Tree (10 minutes)
* Internet Genealogies (6 minutes)
* (18 minutes)
* Documenting Research Findings (15 minutes)
* PAF Insight (18 minutes)
* PRFMagnet (32 minutes in 5 segments)
* U.S. Cities Galore (12 minutes)
* Internet Searches (5 minutes)
* Downloading and Importing GEDCOM Files (10 minutes)

While these are oriented to LDS databases and resources, they may be very useful for beginning researchers to understand and learn how to use the LDS databases, and PAF, effectively.

You can view the videos online on a small screen, or download the executable file for viewing at a later time.

Thank you to Jennifer at the JacksBox4You blog for the link to her post here. If there was an award for the best background picture on a genealogy blog, I would vote for Jennifer's in a heartbeat. Go look at it - very cool, great imagery!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Best of the Genea-Blogs - Week of October 21-27

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week. My criteria are pretty simple - I like posts that advance knowledge about genealogy, or are funny and/or poignant. I don't list posts destined for the Carnival of Genealogy, or my own posts (hopefully, others will do that!).

* "More Genealogy Law: Invasion of Privacy" and "Genealogy Law Quiz Answers" by Craig Manson on his Geneablogie blog. Craig provides very useful information for bloggers and researchers. I'm still trying to figure out if I can put Della's Journal online week by week.

* "Locating Alternate Sources, or HOW to find WHICH records should be searched in an ancestor’s DISTANT LOCALITY" by Pat Richley on the DearMYRTLE blog. This is an excellent discussion and advice about doing exhaustive searches for genealogy data.

* "10 DNA Myths Busted" by Blaine Bettinger on his Genetic Genealogist blog. This post discusses common misperceptions, and sets the reader straight, about DNA testing. This sets us up for the next Carnival of Genealogy to be hosted by Blaine.

* "What's Next for" by Kimberly Powell on the blog. This is an interview with Tim Sullivan, the President and CEO of The Generations Network. The best real genealogy interview of the week.

* "A Genealogue Interview" by Chris Dunham on his The Genealogue blog. This is the best unreal genealogy interview of the week. Read the comments too.

* "Was Grandma Stepping Out, Or What?" by Lee Anders on her The I Seek Dead People blog. Welcome back, Lee, I hope you write more about your ancestors. Hmm, maybe I violated my rule about Carnival posts. It's OK.

* "Why Review Old Genealogy Research" by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy blog. Lorine discusses reviewing the research that you did long ago - wise words, indeed!

* "Using DabbleDB to Keep Track of Sources" by Taneya on her Taneya's Genealogy Blog. She describes an online system to keep track of resources - what a great system! And a wonderful post, and an idea that I need to implement!

* "Genealogy is for the Living" by whoever writes The G Files blog. This is touching with good advice, and very true.

* "Are You Prepared? I'm Not" by Becky Wiseman on her Kinexxions blog. Becky was wise observations about preparing for disasters before they strike. I'm not ready either, it turned out after our fire disaster here this week.

* "Using Deeds in Genealogy Research" by Brenda Joyce Jerome on the Western Kentucky Genealogy blog. This is wonderful advice from a voice with experience.

That's it for this week. If I missed some really good posts, please tell me about them!