Saturday, January 26, 2008

NGS Book Collection at St. Louis County Library

A question was asked on the Association of Professional Genealogists mailing list about the status of the 20,000 book volumes that previously comprised the collection at the National Genealogical Society library in Virginia. Several years ago, the collection was donated, in total, to the St. Louis County Library (SLCL) in Missouri.

The books are now part of the SLCL collection and the catalog may be accessed at In order to see only the NGS collection, you will have to input the Keywords [national genealogical society] in the search box. Using only those keywords, you get 19,921 entries. If you then add a location or a surname, or both, you can see if the NGS collection has books of interest to you.

Strangely, I found that if you input the Keywords [nat* genealogi" so*] with the * as a wild card, you get 20,056 matches. I played around a bit more and found:

* 16 more books with the Keywords [nat* geneo* soc*];
* 19,960 matches with [nation* geneal* soc*]
* but only 637 matches with [nat* gen* soc*].

Hmm, something wrong with their search engine? Obviously, their spell checker didn't work when they entered the collection for a few entries.

Then I read the directions at the bottom of the page, and saw that the * wild card is for up to 5 characters, and to use ** for an open-ended wild card symbol. With that, I got 20,326 matches with [nat** gen** soc**]. That explains everything - as always - RTFM!!

But then I entered [nat** gen** so**] and got 20,893 matches. Hmmm. Are they all from the NGS collection, or are there books with the word "social" or some other "so**" word instead of "society?"?

Of course, if you just enter the surname and the word "family" e.g. [seaver family], you get what is in the whole SLCL collection, including the NGS collection entries.

Alas, I didn't find any new Seaver, Carringer, Auble, Bresee, Rau, Hildreth, Kemp, and other ancestral surname entries.

You can request an Inter-Library Loan (ILL) for some of the books at the SLCL. There are notations on each entry whether the book is Reference, in a Closed Collection, or in an Open Collection. My guess is that you can request anything from the Open Collection via ILL at your local library.

Back to my Genealogy Future

My ten days of intense grandparenting is over ... I took a two hour nap today to celebrate! I love my grandchildren dearly and treasure my time with them. Each has a different personality and skill set, and will continue to have into adulthood. I consider these periods with them as "creating family history and memories." I try to find ways to teach them a bit of my own life and knowledge (e.g., the boys are into airplanes, and the 4-year-old knows how they fly - he can explain the forces weight, lift, thrust, and drag, and the pitch, roll and yaw motions. We're still working on how it happens).

Isn't it funny (peculiar, not ha-ha) and mysterious how children develop from infancy to adulthood? A few are just like their parents, but many have different moods and personalities than their parents have. Siblings are often quite different from each other. We see this in our own families, don't we? I and my two brothers are very different physically, emotionally and intellectually. My father and his brother were significantly different, as were his four sisters different from each other.

Each grandchild is like a scientist with an incubator - they test, they learn, they teach, they frustrate. Each one knows how to light up their parents - make them happy, sad, mad, proud, etc. They push until they reach a boundary, and then they test that boundary. My boundaries are not quite my wife's boundaries or my daughter's boundaries. I try to stay near the boundaries my daughters have set up. I'm a bit more strict now than I was with my own daughters.

I often wonder just what life was like in different places at different times. How did they live without running water, machines, electricity, roads? What did each person in the family do all day long? How did a large family manage to live together in a small house or tenement? Most important of all - how did mom and dad find time alone together - out in the barn?

So after five days with my grandsons in Santa Cruz (and I did nothing in genealogy there but read my email and Bloglines and post several pre-planned blogs), I came home to five days with my granddaughter. This week, I was able to work 3-4 hours a day on genealogy, but nothing like my regular schedule of 8 to 10 hours of genealogy.

I'm still trying to catch up on all of the genealogy news and the posts by other genea-bloggers over the past two weeks. I've concentrated this week on dealing with the genea-blogger challenges that I like to participate in - whether they are Carnival of Genealogy entries or not.

The FHC called yesterday to say that my three microfilms of Oneida County NY deed and probate indexes have arrived, so I have those to go to work on, and report here about my findings. I still have about 10 probate records to transcribe for my Rhode Island ancestors, and more to order on microfilm. I need to finish Della's Journal, and decide if I want to do a series on one of my grandfather's account books.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Walter Goodwin Davis Ancestry Compendium on Ancestry

Over the past 20 years, as I searched for previously written material for my New England ancestral families, I quickly found the 16 volume set of multi-family genealogies compiled by Walter Goodwin Davis from 1916 to 1963. These books provided the ancestry of each of his 16 great-great-grandparents. Unfortunately, the libraries I have visited did not have "every one" of them, and some were hard to find, and I may have missed some of them in the search and research process. The family sketches that I made copies of are now in my large binders in my bookcase and I haven't opened them for years, it seems. just added the three volume set titled "Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis (1885-1966: A Reprinting, in Alphabetical Order by Surname, of the Sixteen Multi-Family Compendia (plus Thomas Haley of Winter Harbor and his Descendants), compiled by Maine's Foremost Genealogist, 1916-1963, with an Introduction by Gary Boyd Roberts...," published by the Genealogy Publishing Company, Baltimore, 1996. There are over 2,000 pages in these volumes, and they are fully indexed. These families are all from eastern Massachusetts, coastal New Hampshire and Maine. I have at least 20 ancestral families discussed in these volumes.

I've been looking for these volumes on the shelf at the Carlsbad, San Diego and Chula Vista libraries for several years, with no luck. Now I can browse them at my leisure in my pajamas.

Davis produced excellent quality biographies of his direct line ancestors, but his direct line is not my direct line, so the biographical sketches of most value to me are the immigrant ancestors and perhaps another generation or two. I will have to go through my binders and check what I have against these the sketches in these three volumes.

When I find works like this, I usually copy the pages and use the information and citations as finding aids and then try to find the documents that support the relationships, dates and places myself. Then I try to write up my own biographical sketches from the collected documents. This is laborious but vital, I think.

Ancestry and WorldVitalRecords continue to add reference works, family histories and town histories to their online collections on a regular basis. I try now to visit both sites on a weekly basis just to see if they have added material that is useful to my research.

UPDATE 1/26, 7:45 PM: Ron C emailed me to say that HeritageQuestOnline has 11 of the Walter Goodwin Davis books online. As always, you can access it through a library card from a participating library. Check Dick Eastman's list at for libraries that have access.

If you don't have a library card, but there is a library near you that has access, you can go get a card! In San Diego County, Carlsbad Library is the only one with access, and about 20 of our CVGS members (40 miles away) have cards.

Thanks, Ron, for the information.

Dinner with my Elusive Ancestors' Children

The topic for the 41st Carnival of Genealogy is -- If you could have dinner with four of your ancestors who would they be and why?

Most genealogy researchers have "elusive ancestors" - the people that we can't find a name for, or determine where they lived, etc. We usually know the names of one or more of their children, but we are usually stymied by a lack of records that provide the parents names and/or the birthplace of the children.

I want so much to have a "meeting" with each of my ancestors because there is so much that I, and other descendants, don't know about their lives and personalities. Relationships are complicated sometimes, and it is often impossible to sort things out without some help from the non-living.

The task at hand is to name the four ancestors that I would like to have dinner with and to answer these questions -

* Would you have dinner in the present day or in one of their eras? I would choose to have dinner - separately - in each of their eras.

* Would you dine out or opt for a home cooked meal? I would choose to have a home cooked meal in each of their homes with their family, if possible. I would request that they include their son or daughter, and their spouse, from whom I'm descended, if possible.

* What would you discuss at the dinner table? At the dinner table, I would ask each person to share their lives to date - where they have lived, what work they perform, what education they have, who their closest friends and associates are, their religious beliefs, and their views on current events (in their era). I would hope that there would be time available to sit with each of them and hear their stories about their ancestry, and determine if there are family Bibles or papers that document their ancestry.

* What would you most like to share with them about your life? First off, I would tell them that they have descendants (well, at least one!) that honors their lives, and their hard work to create and support their family, community and nation. I would tell them about my life, and the times we live in.

I have selected four ancestors solely on the basis of their probable ability to tell me about their own ancestry - their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. They are --

1) Thomas J. Newton (born ca 1795 in Maine, died after 1836) who married Sophia (Buck) Brigham in about 1832. They had children Sophia Newton (born 1834 probably in Springfield, Windsor County, VT) and Thomas J. Newton (born 1833 probably in Cambridge, Lamoille County, VT). I would like to ask him his parents and grandparents names, birthdates, birthplaces and residences. I am sure that there is a fine New England ancestry in the generations before TJN. I would like to visit him and his wife Sophia in the mid-1830's, and hope that they would invite Sophia's parents, Isaac and Martha (Phillips) Buck to dinner also.

2) Elizabeth Horton (Dill) Smith (born in 1791-1794 in Eastham, Barnstable County, MA, died 1869 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA) who married Alpheus Smith in 1826 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. They had children Lucretia Townsend Smith and James A. Smith. I don't know Elizabeth's parents names for sure, although I suspect that they are Thomas and Hannah (Horton) Dill of Eastham, Barnstable County, MA. If so, there are several generations of Cape Cod and Plymouth Colony families in her ancestry. I would like to visit the young woman Elizabeth and her family in the mid-1810's in Eastham and hope that the attendees to the dinner would include her parents and siblings.

3) Ranslow Smith (born 1805 in Oneida County New York, died after 1870 in ???), who married Mary Bell in Henderson, Jefferson County, New York, moved to Dodge County, Wisconsin and then Bedford, Taylor County, Iowa. They had children Devier J. Smith and possibly Mary J. Smith. I now think that I know who Ranslow's father was - Russell Smith, but I don't know the maiden name of his mother, Esther - I hope Ranslow knows! I would ask him about Russell's and Esther's ancestors, their siblings and their families, and where they resided. I would ask him about his time in Jefferson county NY, Dodge County WI and Taylor county IA, and try to find out where and when he died. I suspect that the Smith's are from one of the John Smith's who were early in Providence RI, and there are probably some Plymouth colonists in this line as well. I would love to visit Ranslow and his family in the mid-1850's at his inn, the Four-Mile House, in Rolling Prairie, Dodge County, Wisconsin.

4) William Knapp (born about 1775 in New York, died in 1856 in Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey) who married Sarah Cutter in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. They resided in Newton for many years. I would ask him the names and residences of his parents and grandparnts, and the names and residences of his siblings, if any. I'm pretty sure that his ancestry is colonial New England. I would love to visit them in the mid-1840's after their daughter Sarah Knapp married David Auble, and would hope that David and Sarah would be invited to the dinner.

That's my four - two from my father's ancestry (Newton and Dill) and two from my Carringer ancestry (Smith and Knapp). They are all pretty much New England ancestry, but that's where many of my elusive ancestors are from!

I have a very long list of other ancestors that I would like to speak to or hear from - either in documents, in dreams or whatever. Most of them could provide answers to my ancestry questions, and most could provide answers to questions about their ancestral homes, their immigration or migration experience, their colonial or frontier lives and occupations, their military service to our country, and many more topics.

The big question I have is - what tools can I use to record this information that I obtain from these four ancestors? Do I have to use a quill pen? Do I have to rely on memory? Can I take a digital voice recorder and a digital camera, or even a laptop? Can I take my wife on this time travel, since she likes genealogy adventures, meeting new people, and loves to talk?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Great United Kingdom Genealogy Links site

I've been trying to read what I missed during my week "on vacation" with my grandsons. I found this today --

Dick Eastman posted a link to Price & Associates: Expert Links: English Family History and Genealogy at

This site has an exhaustive list of links by research category. If you have English ancestry and are pursuing English research, this site is the best I've seen for a link collection.

Read Dick's post and see how other readers suggested more links to databases or web sites and how Price & Associates reacted to the comments. Pretty good real time collaboration, I thought!

Where were they in 1808? The Carringer side

Donna at the What's Past Is Prologue blog challenged genea-bloggers to list where their ancestors were located in 1808 - 200 years ago. Read her post "1808: Where was your family 200 years ago?" for her list and observations.

I'm going to do this in two parts because my list is pretty long - that's the benefit of a fine New England ancestry - many lines go back into the 1600's.

Here's the CARRINGER side of my ancestry (my descendant ancestor is denoted with an *):

* Martin Carringer (1758-1835) and Mary Houx (1768-1850) resided in Sandy Creek township, Mercer County, PA with their children Jacob, Elisabeth, Katharine, George, Calli, Heinrich*, Soloman and Joseph Carringer.

* Cornelius Feather (1777-1852) and his wife Sarah --?-- resided in Warren township, Trumbull County, OH with their children Sarah*, John and George Feather.

* Rudolf Spengler (1738-1811) and his wife Dorothea Dinkel (1748-1835) resided in York township, York County, PA perhaps with several of their children, including John Daniel* Spangler.

* Philip Jacob King (1764-1829) and his wife Christina Johnston (?) (1770-1813) resided in York township, York County, PA with their children George, Elizabeth*, Sarah, Jacob, Rebecca, Anna Maria and Barbara King.

* Russell Smith (????-????) and his wife Esther --?-- probably resided in Western town, Oneida County, NY with their children, including Ranslow* and Lyman Smith.

* James Bell (1777-1836) and his wife Cornelia Bresee (1780-1840) probably resided in Henderson town, Jefferson County, NY with their children Sarah, Nancy, David, Mary*, and Cornelia Bell.

* James Vaux (1787-1839) and his wife Mary Palmer (????-????) resided as newlyweds in South Petherton, Somerset, England - they married in December 1808.

* John Vaux (1747-1811) and his wife Joan Laver (1762-1836) resided in South Petherton, Somerset, England with their children John, William, Ann, Joseph, and Samuel.

* Amos Underhill (1772-1865) and his wife Mary/Polly Metcalf (1780-????) resided in Grafton County, NH with their children Cyrus and James Underhill.

* John Underhill (1745-1816) and his wife Hannah Colby (1745-????) resided in Plainfield, Sullivan County, NH.

* Burgess Metcalf (1741-1816) and his wife Jerusha (1750-1817) resided in Piermont, Grafton County, NH with their son Chandler and perhaps others.

* Johannes Able (1780-1831) and his wife Anna Rau/Row (1787-1860) resided in Sussex County, NJ with children William Able and others.

* Johannes Able (1758-1818) and his wife Sophia Trimmer (1747-1811) probably resided in Burlington, Hunterdon County, NJ with their children David, Elisabeth, George and Jacob Able.

* William Knapp (1775-1857) and his wife Sarah Cutter (1785-1878) resided in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ with their child Samuel Knapp.

* Philip Jacob Rau (1752--1817) and his wife Maria Smith (1753-ca1842) resided in Tewksbury, Hunterdon County, NJ with several of their children.

* Stephen Cutter (1745-1823) and his wife Tabitha Randolph (1761-1841) resided in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ with children Hannah, Samuel and Mary Cutter.

* John Kemp (1768-1861) and his wife Mary Dafoe (1776-1851) resided in Fredericksburgh, Addington County, Ontario with their children Abraham James*, Nancy Anna, John Cook, Jacob, George, Elizabeth and James A. Kemp.

* Jacob Sovereign (1759-???) and his wife Elizabeth Pickel (1764-1849) resided in London District, Upper Canada (probably in what is now Norfolk County, Ontario) with their children Frederick* and Henry Sovereign.

* William Hutchinson (1745?-????) and his wife Catherine Lewis (1753-????) probably resided in London District, Upper Canada with some of their children, including Mary Jane* Hutchinson.

* Peter Putman (1760-1835) and his wife Sarah Kinnan (1761-1841) resided in Springwater, Livingston County, NY with their children Victor, John*, Peter, David and Isaac Putman.

My Carringer side is about 40% German immigrants (Carringer, Spangler, Feather, Auble, and Rau lines), 36% colonial New England/NY/NJ (Underhill, Metcalf, Smith, Bell, Knapp, Cutter, Randolph, Hutchinson, Lewis lines), 12%English (the Vaux line), and 12% colonial Dutch (the Bresee and Putman lines) - at least for my known ancestors in this line.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Baby Name Wizard NameVoyager

Have you tried the Baby Name Wizard NameVoyager tool at It's interesting to see how name popularity has grown and ebbed over the years. For instance, my name, Randall, was popular in the 1950s and 1960s, but has ebbed since 1980 -

1930's -- 316th most popular
1940's -- 132nd most popular
1950's -- 58th most popular
1960's -- 65th most popular
1970's -- 122nd most popular
1980's -- 148th most popular
1990's -- 270th most popular
2006 -- 622nd most popular

This NameVoyager tool FAQs notes that

"NameVoyager shows name usage figures from 1880 through 2005 for the top 1000 most common names. The last three years (2003, 2004, 2005) are shown individually. Prior years are shown by decade. The original information was obtained from the Social Security Administration.

"Names are listed alphabetically. As you enter a name you can see the thickness of the band in relation to other names, thus showing how common that name was used in a time period. The database is configured according to the frequency of use, not popularity."

I recommend that you put in only the first 3 or 4 letters of a given name and you can see all the variations.

The current Top 25 baby names are listed here.

There is a book by Laura Wattenburg called "The Baby Name Wizard" available here.

This is an interesting site - I really like the graphs they make! This is a cool time-waster, eh?

DAR Patriot Request

In my ongoing and seemingly never ending search for information about Russell Smith (born RI, resided Oneida County NY in the 1800-1810 time period), I determined that his father may be David Smith, who I surmised probably lived in RI during the Revolutionary War.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) web site has a Patriot Search box where you can put a surname, given name, birth year, birth place, and other information and you can see if they have a proven line to that person in their files. They respond to your information request via email. The web page says:

"The DAR Patriot Index contains names of Revolutionary patriots, both men and women, whose service (between 1775 and 1783) has been established by the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. Additional information available may include: dates and places of birth and death, name(s) of wife (wives) or husband(s), rank, type of service, and the State where the patriot lived or served. If pension papers are known to exist, that fact will be included.

"If you are interested in knowing if your ancestor is recognized by the DAR as a Revolutionary Patriot, please complete the request form below. Our volunteers would be happy to check for you at no charge!"

I entered in the Search Box --

* Patriot: David Smith
* Birth Place: RI
* Death Place: NY
* War Time Residence:RI
* Spouse:
* Comments: I'm searching for a David Smith who had children born In RI and who died in Oneida County or Jefferson County NY.

In two days, I had a response back that said

"Your ancestor was not found in our Patriot Index. This does not mean he did not serve in some capacity during the Revolutionary War. It simply means no one has joined DAR using his service.

"No DAR member has established a record for a man matching the criteria that you gave. If you are interested in membership in SAR for yourself or DAR for a female relative please send a follow up message with your address and phone number."

Oh well, it was a long shot! I know that there was a Captain David Smith from Waterbury CT who also ended up in Oneida County NY but I don't think that he is the one that is the father of Russell Smith.

Have you checked the DAR Patriot Index for your RevWar soldier? You might be surprised to find that someone else has already proven a line to him, and that person or their information may help you with your research.

Where were they in 1808? The Seaver side

Donna at the What's Past Is Prologue blog challenged genea-bloggers to list where their ancestors were located in 1808 - 200 years ago. Read her post "1808: Where was your family 200 years ago?" for her list and observations.

I'm going to do this in two parts because my list is pretty long - that's the benefit of a fine New England ancestry - many lines go back into the 1600's.

Here's the SEAVER side of my ancestry (my descendant ancestor is denoted with an *):

* Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) and his wife Martha Whitney (1764-1832) resided in Westminster, Worcester County, MA with their family - Achsah, Abigail, Job, Benjamin*, Susannah, Martha, Silas, Isaac, and Rosilla Seaver. Benjamin's mother, Sarah (Read) Seaver (1738-1809) probably resided with them. Their home was on Birch Hill in the northwest quadrant of Westminster near Gardner. I have a picture of this saltbox house which was built in the 1770's by Benjamin's father, Norman Seaver, and has been restored.

* Nathan Gates (1764-1830) and his wife Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855) resided in Gardner, Worcester County, MA with their family - Nathan, Abel, Asaph, Luke, Abigail*, Luther, Amos, Susannah, Lucinda, Clarissa, and Jeremiah K. Nathan's mother, Susannah (Reed) Gates (1745-1833) may have resided with them. Their home was on Birch Hill on the northeast side of Gardner, near Westminster.

* Aaron Smith (1765-1841) and his wife Mercy Plimpton (1772-1850) resided in Medfield, Norfolk county, MA with their children Susanna, Patience, Mary P., Alpheus B.*, Lucy, Elizabeth and Nancy Smith.

* Amos Plimpton (1735-1808) resided in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA.

* Elizabeth Horton Dill (1794-1869) probably resided in Eastham, Barnstable County, MA with her natural or (perhaps) adopted parents. I think her parents were Thomas Dill and Hannah Horton, but I don't have proof.

* Thomas J. Newton (ca 1795-????) probably resided in Maine (perhaps Andover or Dixfield in Oxford county) with his parents. I don't know who his parents are.

* Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1828) and his second wife Abigail Hart resided in Townsend, Middlesex County, MA. Zachariah's children by his first wife Elizabeth Keyes (1759-1793) still living in the household were Zachariah*, Patty, and Fanny.

* Josiah Sawtell (1768-1847) and his wife Hannah Smith (1767-1827) resided in Townsend, Middlesex County, MA with their children Hannah*, Josiah, Mary, Chester, Esther, Horace, Neuma and Walter Sawtell.

* Isaac Buck (1757-1846) and his wife Martha Phillips (1757->1820) resided in Sterling, Worcester County, MA with their children Martha, Sally, Silas, Pliny, Sophia*, and Isaac Buck. Their home was in the southwest quadrant of Sterling near Holden.

* Elizabeth (Prescott) Hildreth (1734-1812), widow of Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784), resided in Westford, Middlesex County, MA.

* Humphrey White (1758-1814) and his wife Sybil Kirby (1764-1848) resided in Glocester, Providence county, RI with their children Meribah, Benjamin, David, Elizabeth, Humphrey, Nancy, Martha, Jonathan*, Rhoda, and William White. Their home was on the road from Glocester to Foster.

* Simon Wade (1767-1857) and his wife Phebe Horton (1772-????) resided in Foster, Providence County, RI with their children James, Catherine, Sarah, Arnold, Olive, Miranda*, and Fenner Wade.

* Joseph Oatley (1756-1815) and his wife Mary Hazard (1764-1857) resided in South Kingstown, Washington County, RI with their children Hannah, Betsy, Nancy, Jonathan*, Joseph, Stephen, Mary, Benedict, Susan and Rouse Oatley.

* Joseph Champlin (1758-1850) and his wife Nancy Kenyon (????-????) resided in South Kingstown, Washington County, RI with their children Samuel, Phoebe, Mary, Joseph, Nancy, Elizabeth, Amy*, Abigail, George H., Frances G., John K., and Alice Champlin.

* David Kirby (1740-1832) and his wife Martha Soule (1743-1828) resided in Dartmouth, Bristol county, MA, perhaps with son Ichabod Kirby.

* Nathaniel Horton (1730-1819) and his wife Sarah Pray (1734->1819) resided in Glocester, Providence County, RI.

* Benedict Oatley (1732-1821) and his wife Elizabeth Ladd (1735-1814) resided in South Kingstown, Washington county, RI.

* John Kenyon (ca 1765-1831) resided in Sterling, Windham County, Connecticut. I don't know if his wife Anna was still living then.

* John Richman (ca1793-1867) was probably living in Hilperton, Wiltshire, England. I don't know who his parents were or if they were living in 1808.

* Ann Marshman (1784?-1856) was probably living in Devizes, Wiltshire, England. I don't know for sure who her parents were.

* John Rich (ca1788-1862) was probably living in Hilperton, Wiltshire, England. I don't know who his parents were or if they were living in 1808.

* John Hill (ca1766-1825) and his wife Ann Warren (????-????) resided in Hilperton, Wiltshire, England with their children Rebecca*, George, Samuel, and Lucy Hill.

As you can see, my Seaver side is three quarters colonial New England and one quarter English.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Best of the Genea-Blogs - January 13-19, 2008

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week.My criteria are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy, address current genealogy issues, are funny or are poignant.

I don't list posts destined for the Carnival of Genealogy, or my own posts (hopefully, others will do that!).

* "Snapshots of the world back in 1908" by Lisa on the 100 Years in America blog. Lisa provides a "Carnival" post of responses to her challenge. There are many excellent posts on this list! Well done, Lisa.

* "Excited!" by Jasia on the Creative Gene blog. Jasia won Blaine Bettinger's contest and received a free DNA test from DNA Heritage. Read her reaction to winning, and then her selection of an mtDNA test in her post "My Own mtDNA vs. Y-DNA Test Analysis." Congratulations, Jasia.

* "Top Ten Worst Ways to Begin a Family History" by Chris Dunham on The Genealogue blog. Chris is back with a classic ... our humor fix is in here!

* "The Small World of the 17th Century" by Carolyn L. Barkley on the Blog. This is the first post on the new blog at the book publisher, Carolyn connects some dots about the early North American settlement.

* "Queues: Forming Lines" by Terry Thornton on the Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi blog. Terry finds the most interesting things to write about... I was going to link to his Winter post, but then he wrote about Elvis and Outhouses so now which one do I choose?

* "Family Secrets: The Slave Trade in Early America" by Tim Agazio on the Genealogy Reviews Online blog. Tim highlights a fascinating article about New England people enmeshed in the slave trade. I have several families that owned slaves, so this hits close to home for me.

* "How Good Are the Family Search Indexing Indexes?" on the Legacy News blog. This gives many of us hope that the FSI indexers have done a better job than others did on the 1900 census.

* "They Don't Make Them Like This Anymore" by Chery Kinnick on the Nordic Blue blog. Chery shows us her great-grandparents marriage license and dissects it a bit.

* "Are You Checking Manuscript Collections?" by Michael John Neill on the blog. Michael makes excellent points here and provides some good

* "Organizing and Starting Anew" by Drew Smith on the Rootsmithing: Genealogy, Methodology and Technology blog. Drew has renamed his blog and will, hopefully blog more about genealogy, methodology and technology - I can hardly wait. He shows his desk area in this post - I can hardly wait to see the "other side" of his office!

* "49 Genealogy Uses for a Flutaphone on Genealogy Parade" by Bill West on the West in New England blog. Bill is up to #29 on his flutaphone usage list ... and then challenges geneabloggers to tell about their float in the Genealogy Parade. Excellent thought... I hope he pulls them all together in a post sometime so we can read all of them.

* "1808: Where was your family 200 years ago?" by Donna Pointkouski on the What's Past is Prologue blog. Donna challenges geneabloggers to post about 200 years ago - this will be more challenging for many of us!

Please go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add the blogger to your Favorites, Bloglines, reader, feed or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - we all appreciate feedback on what we write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me!

February 8-9 -- Family History Expo 2008 at St. George Utah

The St. George, Utah Family History Expo has become one of the best regional genealogy conference each year. The 2008 conference is on Friday and Saturday, 8-9 February, in the Dixie Center in St. George.

Pre-Registration for the conference is $60.00, and at the door it costs $65.00. A registration packet, name tag, CD syllabus, and a goody bag are included in cost of registration. They are also offering a printed syllabus to anybody for $24.97. The details are at

Many world-class speakers are making presentations at this Expo -- see the list at There are 10 time periods, and 8 tracks in each time period.

Beau Sharbrough will be the keynote speaker on Friday morning, and Jean Wilcox Hibben will be the banquet speaker on Friday night.

It looks like all of the genealogy software companies and the database providers will be in the exhibition area.

The really neat thing about this conference is that it is just an hour away from Las Vegas. Southern California attendees could have a few days in Vegas before or after the conference.

Monday, January 21, 2008

No rest for the weary genealogist

I made it home on time today from Santa Cruz (flying out of San Jose). Linda picked me up and we went to pick up our nearly 3-year-old granddaughter Lolo at her best friend's house. We went out to dinner at Rubio's (Lolo loves fish tacos, refried beans, rice, almost everything!) and were home by 5:30. On the way home I thought to myself - "Great - I can get back in the swing of genealogy..."

Right... wrong! Linda told me that our home land line Panasonic phones aren't working - the base unit says "E1" on it and four lights are blinking. So far, the only way I can make them stop is by unplugging it. So I went online and downloaded the user's manual - sure enough it doesn't mention any error codes! The Panasonic web site does mention "E1" - in another user's complaint. To get "expert help" you need to pay them $9.95. Arrgggh.

Then I learned that we got new cell phones today, and Linda wanted hers to be working tomorrow. Hmmm. I read the manual and tested it out a bit - pretty nice (you have to realize that I've never had a cell phone and need to read a manual to figure things like this out). So hers is charging. Mine is still in the box.

I played with Lolo a bit, gave her a bath (about the most fun of all) and got her ready for bed - she went down about 7:30 after talking to her mom and dad (they send her on vacations here when they have major time problems - my daughter is in a concentrated PhD course that meets this week for 12 hours each day).

Then Linda got on the computer to do her email, and finally at 8:30 I was able to get on to edit my blog posts, write this one, and will read my email.

I had hoped to write my "Best of the Genea-blogs" tonight so that I kept that string going, but it's going to have to wait until Tuesday since the "Keep New" box on Bloglines didn't work (does it work for anyone?). Hmmm, I see that Donna Pointkouski has listed her Picks on the "What's Past is Prologue" blog - I think I'll just ride with those this week. Thanks, Donna!

If you want a rundown of the genealogy news of the last week or so, go visit Miriam Midkiff's Ancestories: Stories of my Ancestors post tiled "What I missed from Geneablogger Land." Thanks, Miriam!

Since I last checked in on Friday, I've had two nights of interrupted sleep (maybe 4-5 hours each night total) due to the boys being sick and/or overly tired. We went to the Roaring Camp trains on Saturday, but the steam engine didn't run until 12:30, which was too late. So we walked around the train cars, threw rocks in the duck pond, and watched them test the steam engine a bit. Then we went for Chinese food for lunch and home for naps. My daughter had a meeting that night, and the boys were really good for me eating, bathing and going to bed. Sunday was the Chargers game, and I was a subdued fan (actually trying to impress on the boys that "it's only a game"). Hmmpph. My Bolts had their chances and played the Patriots tough, but lost 21-12. Then I took a nap! I'm glad I did because Sunday night was rougher than Saturday night. Today we went to the mall in San Jose - we shopped a bit and had lunch before I was dropped off at the airport for my 1:50 PM flight home.

As you can see - family history was made again this weekend - I'm trying to remember all of it! I hope the grandsons do too. While trying to get the 2-year-old to sleep last night, I recited my genealogy backwards in time like on an ahnentafel list. I can get through the first 5 generations OK, but I have trouble remembering the order of the families in the 6th and later generations. And I couldn't remember Josiah Sawtell's first name - the only mistake I made in the first five generations. The recitation worked a bit - his sleepy eyes opened less frequently as time went on.

I am majorly bushed and will go to bed after a bit of reading email. I love going to see the grandkids, but it sure leaves this weary genealogist looking forward to my own bed and a good night's sleep. Then it's Lolo week...but I imagine that I'll be able to post on a nearly regular basis.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) and Sophia Newton (1834-1923)

One set of my great-great-grandparents were Edward and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth who resided in Leominster, Massachusetts for many years.

Edward7 Hildreth (Zachariah6, Zachariah5, Zachariah4, James3, Ephraim2, Richard1) was born 30 April 1831 in Townsend, Middlesex County, MA (Bible), and died 26 April 1899 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA (Certificate). He married Sophia Newton 25 December 1852 in Northborough, Worcester County, MA, (C), daughter of Thomas Newton and Sophia Buck. She was born 14 September 1834 in Springfield, Windsor County, VT (Death record), and died 29 August 1923 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA (Certifcate).

Notes for Edward Hildreth:

In the 1850 US Census, Edward Hildreth (age 18, male, a clerk, born MA) resided in Berlin, Worcester County, Massachusetts in the household of Rufus Hastings (National Archives Microfilm Series M432, Roll 341, Page 38, Line 32).
In the 1860 US census, the Edward Hildreth family resided in Northborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts with the Theodore McNeil family (National Archives Microfilm Series M653, Roll 528, Page 955, house #795, family #984, line 7). The family included

* Edward Hildreth -- age 28, male, born MA, a combmaker, with $500 personal property
* Sophia Hildreth -- age 24, female, born MA
* Hattie L. Hildreth -- age 2, female, born MA.

The Edward Hildreth family resided in Leominster in the house that is now 149 Lancester Street. An ell was built on the house and his daughter, Hattie (Hildreth) Seaver, and her family lived in that part of the house.

In the 1870 US census, the Edward Hildreth family resided in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts (National Archives Microfilm Series M593, Roll 654, Page 261, house #67, family #86, line 12). The household included

* Edward Hildreth -- age 39, male, works in machine shop, $2,000 in real property, $500 in personal property, born MA
* Sophia Hildreth -- age 34, female, keeping house, born VT
* Hattie L. Hildreth --age 12, female, attends school, born MA.

In the 1880 US census, the Edward Hildreth family lived in Leominster in Worcester County, Massachusetts (National Archives Microfilm Series T9, Roll 565, Page 532A, dwelling #480, family #605, Line 50). The family included

* Edward Hildreth -- white, male, age 49, married, machinist, born MA, father and mother born MA
* Sophia Hildreth -- white, female, age 46, wife, married, keeping house, born VT, father born ME, mother born MA
* Sophia Stone -- white, female, age 84, mother-in-law, widowed,born MA, father and mother born MA

Edward Hildreth died intestate on 26 April 1899 in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. His probate records are in Worcester County Probate Records, Enclosure 25,255 B (reviewed at Worcester County Court House in Worcester, MA). Administration was granted on 24 October 1899 to his widow, Sophia Hildreth, who posted a bond on $3,000 on that date. The heirs-at-law were listed as:

* Sophia Hildreth, Leominster, Mass., widow.
* Hattie L. Seaver, Leominster, Mass., daughter.

No inventory was made or filed.

Edward Hildreth is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster, Massachusetts with his wife, daughter, son and son-in-law.

Notes for Sophia Newton:

There are no available birth records in Vermont for Sophia Newton. She is listed as age 18, born in Vermont, the daughter of Thomas J. Newton, in the 25 December 1852 marriage record in Northborough, Massachusetts to Edward Hildreth.

Sophia (Newton) Hildreth died 29 August 1923 in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. She is listed as age 86 years, 11 months, 15 days. Her birthplace is listed as Springfield, Vermont, her father's name is not listed, but her mother's name is listed as (Buck) Newton, born in Massachusetts.

Sophia Hildreth is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster, Massachusetts with her husband.

Children of Edward Hildreth and Sophia Newton are:

i. Hattie Louise Hildreth, born 28 November 1857 in Northborough, Worcester County, MA (MA VR 107.232); died 29 November 1920 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA (VR). She married Frank Walton Seaver 14 December 1874 in Keene, Cheshire County, NH (VR); born 06 June 1852 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA (MA VR 64.198); died 27 November 1922 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA (VR).
ii. Clarence Edward Hildreth, born 24 May 1874 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA; died 21 February 1878 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA.

The only descendants of Edward and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth are through their daughter, Hattie Louise Hildreth, who married Frank Walton Seaver.