Saturday, February 2, 2008

Genealogy Fun on Saturday Night

Tim Agazio found the Blog Addiction test and "made" many of us take the test (heck, who can resist?) at

I got an 80% but can't figure out how to make the graphic show up on this post. I managed to get most of it on my blogger page by sticking the HTML in the Template (I'm stlll working on the old blogger where it isn't easy to put stuff on your blog).

The highest score I've seen so far is Miriam at 82%.

Then Janice Brown at Cow Hampshire stuck a dancing video in her "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" post starring three nefarious genea-bloggers - you can see the video here (click on Replay if it doesn't work when you hit Play). Thanks, Janice (I think!)! My Angel Linda loved this - and wished that I was still that thin and agile - it's been about 35 years, I fear. If I tried that now, the earth would shake and grown women would laugh themselves silly - not to mention my grandchildren. I might even strain something or two.

Let me add some "What were their parents thinking?" names from the 1930 census here just to liven up this Saturday night at the old genea-bloggers hangout:

* Devil Cochran (age 16, Jackson county, AR)
* Satan Scott (age 5, Malheur County OR)
* Scare Gartley (age 38, Butte County SD)
* Godly Gengenbach (age 37, Dawson county NE)
* Godlift Horasta (age 48, San Bernardino County CA)

* True Lover Smart (age 3, Mecklenburg County NC)
* Happy Day (age 5, Letcher County KY)
* Peerless Love (age 6, Wilkes County NC)
* Unique Glass (age 27, Oklahoma County OK)
* Kindness Price (age 29, Jefferson County AL)

* Funny Price (age 37, Harris county TX)
* Humble Mister (age 11, Upshur County TX)
* Playfair Plybon (age 26, Wayne County WV)
* Lovely Kidd (age 37, Jefferson County AL)
* Hater Perks (age 44, Hanover county VA)

* Evil Mink (age 8, Bristol VA)
* Fonzie Outlaw (age 9, Dale county AL)
* Dynamite Partee (age 30, Forsyth NC)
* Super Williams (age 5, Mercer County WV)

That's enough for now - isn't it amazing the names that people gave their children?

Visit to San Diego Public Library today

We changed our CVGS Research Trip plans and visited the San Diego Public Library (SDPL) genealogy collection today, because the FHC was closed. This library is in downtown San Diego and is difficult to access during the week, but on Saturday there is free parking nearby and smaller crowds in the library.

SDPL has local and California history resources in the California Room, and a small genealogy book collection in the Genealogy Room nearby. The book collection was donated to the library by a local DAR chapter years ago, but they have added new resources over time; however, the collection is space constrained and a number of books and periodicals are stored in closed stacks, which are accessible using call slips.

In the California Room, the library has:

* Nearly complete collection of San Diego City Directories from 1887 to 1980
* Complete Haines County Directory (by street addresses, with names and phone numbers) from 1970 up to 2006.
* Microfiche index for the San Diego Union newspaper for 1851-1915, 1930-1975, 1976-1980 and 1981-1983. The complete San Diego Union (and Tribune) newspaper archives are available on microfilm in the nearby newspaper reading room (the only complete collection in San Diego County).
* Microfiche file for the San Francisco Newspaper Index (1904-1949) and the San Francisco Chronicle 1950-1980.
* Vertical files of newspaper clippings by subject and name.

In the Genealogy Room, there are several unique (to San Diego County) genealogy resources, including --

* New England Genealogical and Historical Register (NEHGR - 1847 to present)
* American Genealogical Biographical Index (AGBI - complete set)
* Periodical Source Index (PERSI, 17 volumes, and 1986-1997 supplements)
* Filby's Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (1982-2008)
* Filby and Glazier's Germans to America series (65 volumes)
* Filby and Glazier's Italians to America series (12 volumes)
* Domesday Books
* Pennsylvania Archives
* DAR Lineage Books (166 volumes, to 1921).
* Boston Transcript genealogy columns on microfiche (index in AGBI).
* Vertical files of donated periodicals and family papers.

They have two computers reserved for genealogy users with the library databases, including Ancestry Library Edition, plus a CD collection.

There were only four of us today, and we worked from about 10 AM to 1 PM. I checked the AGBI for Russell Smith and several other names, and checked the NEHGR Index for Russell Smith. It's handy to have all of the books there to flip open and check a page. I used the Haines directories a bit also. I spent some time taking the resource inventory above, working on Ancestry for specific names, and talking to the staff about genealogy in general and library resources in particular.

San Diego is supposed to build a new main library in the near future, but it's tied up by local politics. If a new library is built, I hope it will not be in downtown San Diego where it will be more expensive to build and constrained by traffic and homeless issues. We would love to have a dedicatedx Genealogy and Local History area with a world-class collection, but that would take a lot of time and money.

We hope to take our next CVGS Research Trip to the San Diego Family History Center next month and try out all of the online databases on the computers there. These trips are useful for our new members because many of them have only done Internet research. Some of our senior members can't drive to these repositories so it gets them out and researching also. We carpool from downtown Chula Vista and have a great time talking genealogy on our excursions.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Genealogy video workshop survey

I just participated in a Family Tree Magazine survey about Genealogy Video Workshops. The questions asked (and my responses) were:

1. Have you ever taken a genealogy class via online video? If yes, what type of class and how was it offered? I put "Yes" and entered "a) The FTM 2008 and AncestryPress videos offered by - watch the presentation, hear the voices, communicate by email. b) Many videos at Roots Television of classes - but not participating in the class."

2. What topics would be of interest to you in a genealogy class via online video? (Please rate all that apply). Choices were Very Interesting, Somewhat Interesting and Not Interesting.

* Internet research - "Very"
* Identifying and preserving family photographs - "Somewhat"
* Cemetery research - "Very"
* Foreign/ethnic research, such as German, British or American Indian genealogy - "Very"
* Civil War or Revolutionary War research - "Very"
* Finding and using basic records such as censuses, vital records, wills -'Very"
* Genealogy in specific US states or regions - "Very"
* Oral history - "Somewhat"
* Genetic genealogy - "Somewhat"
* Getting organized - "Somewhat"
* Other (please specify) - I listed "Newspapers, Immigration and Naturalization."

3. What skill level best describes you? Choices were Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Professional. I put "Advanced"

4. What would be most helpful to see in an online genealogy video? (Please rate all that apply). Choices were Very Helpful, Somewhat Helpful, Not Helpful.

* Advice from an expert in the class topic - "Very"
* Step-by-step demonstrations of computer or Internet techniques - "Very"
* How to use a particular Web site or software program - "Very"
* Virtual tours of libraries, archives and research repositories - Somewhat"
* Explanations of research methods/techniques - Very"
* Range of the above - "somewhat"
* Other (please specify)

5. What would interest you most: paying for video workshops on a per-class basis or buying a package that gives you access to multiple videos for a year? I put "Pay per class."

6. What would influence your decision to purchase a specific online video? Choices were Very Important, somewhat Important and Not Important.

* The featured expert - "Somewhat"
* The topic or focus of the video - "Very"
* The format (demonstrations vs. lecture-style) - "Very"
* The price - "Somewhat"

7. How much would you expect to pay for one 45-minute class? Choices were $5-10, $11-15, $16-20, $21-25. I put "$5 to 10" (naturally)

8. How much would you expect to pay for a package of five videos? Choices were $20, $30, $40 and $50. I chose $30 (cheap guy, eh? Hey, I'm retired).

Isn't that interesting? I'm wondering if Family Tree Magazine is planning on offering Online Video classes with special deals for those with a subscription? Or offering a subscription to the magazine if someone signs up for a number of video workshops?

There is probably a market for relatively cheap online video workshops if they are "on-demand" - essentially a lecture/demonstration format with no instant interaction (perhaps an email contact). Being able to select 10 or 20 videos from a national conference and see what you missed, for a price, is really attractive to me. Of course, that could lead to a virtual conference, I guess, where groups in different locations could sit together and watch a presentation from afar (which is already being done by some presenters for some societies, I understand); or where a number of presentations are made on video and individuals can watch them at their leisure at home.

There may not be as much of a market for an interactive "connect at this specific time" format due to personal scheduling issues. Perhaps a blend would work, like what Ancestry did with their FTM2008 and AncestryPress tutorials - offer the tutorial live with interaction, then archive it and make it available for others to view/hear without interaction. Of course, Ancestry was selling a specific product each time and was using the video as a sales promotion.

Just my opinions, for which I hope I don't become logophagous (look it up).

Tracing Immigrant Origins

With so much colonial American ancestry migrating from England (75% of my father's side, 40% of my mother's side) before 1700, and then another 25% of my father's side, and 12% of my mother's side, emigrating from England in the mid-19th century, I have not done a lot of research in European resources. All of my German and Dutch ancestry came to America before 1775 as far as I can tell.

The only other European research that I've pursued extensively was in Norway, which is 25% of my wife's ancestry. That turned out very well, and I am eager to try more European research, especially in Germany.

I went looking for some online articles and tutorials about researching immigrant ancestors, and found an excellent FREE series of articles at -

This site has

* Introduction to Tracing Immigrant Origins - 12 lessons

* Post Civil War Immigrant Sources - 6 Lessons

* Sources Between 1820 to 1865 - 6 Lessons

* Pre-1820 Immigration - 7 Lessons

* European Sources - 9 Lessons.

These all-text lessons were developed by Genealogy Research Associates ( and are very easy to use either one at a time or in a series. After completing one lesson, you will have to go back to the main GRA page and select the next lesson in the series.

I've learned quite a bit just paging through many of the lessons. If you want to hone your knowledge of immigrant origins and how to trace them, consider using this FREE resource.

I no sooner post the above and I see that Michael John Neill has a European Origins Online summary at This serves as a nice complement to the GRA lessons, which don't deal with online resources.

I welcome any other suggestions to help me with my search for European immigrant resources.

FHCs may be closed on Saturday 2 February

Many, or all, LDS Family History Centers will be closed on Saturday, 2 February, in honor of their deceased President, Gordon Hinckley.

I called the San Diego FHC on Wednesday and they said that they would be closed on Saturday.

If you were planning on going to an FHC on Saturday, I recommend that you call them today and see if they will be open on Saturday.

My CVGS Research group had planned an excursion to the FHC on Saturday, so we've changed plans and will visit the San Diego Public Library genealogy collection in downtown San Diego instead!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

More on the John Horton family

The John Horton (1696-1796) family of Scituate and Glocester, Rhode Island is one that I know very little about. I recently obtained the probate record for John Horton, which I transcribed today into my database and posted on Genea-Musings in hopes that it will help somebody. I posted the will of Nathaniel Horton (1730-1819) of Foster RI, the son of John and Mary (Chase) Horton, here back in July.

I spent some time today going through the WorldConnect database entries for John Horton and his family, trying to find spouses for his children and death dates for his descendants. I also have pages from the "Thomas Horton of Milton and Rehoboth Massachusetts" book by Margaret R. Jenks and Frank Seymour, published in Kirkland, Washington circa 1984, which has provided most of what I know about this family line.

I Googled ["John Horton" Glocester] in hopes that somebody else has posted something online. This hit a bit of pay dirt with a deed in 1779 in Scituate RI between John and Elizabeth (--?--) Horton of Scituate RI and Noah Miller of Glocester RI. This is my John Horton and sheds light on where he lived until 1779. The property description reads:

"A Certain Farm lying and being in Scituate & lyeth on both Sides of the highway that leadeth from Amos Hammons to Job Shippee, and is the farm that the Grantor Now Lives on Containing by Estimations Sixty Acres be the same more or less, Together with the Dwelling House and Out Houses thereon Standing the Highway and Burying Place Two Poles Square Excepted & is buted and Bounded as followeth beginning at the Northeast Corner a white Oak Tree marked which is Nathaniel Horton's Corner from thence Westerly Nath. Hortons land to a Corner & then turning a little North Still Westerly to an Ash Saplin Standing on the West Side of George's Brook so Called thence Southerly a Strait line to a heap of Stones and Southwest corner thence Easterly with Joseph Round Land to the vc. Highway Thence Northerly 8 Poles to a stake of Stones thence Easterly 10 Poles toa Stake and Stones thence Southerly 8 Poles to a Stake and Stones thence Easterly to a Stump from thence a Strait line to the first mentioned bound, the Same borrideth Northerly on Nathaniel Horton West on Job Randal on the South on Joseph Round East on George Westcots Land"

The deed ends with -

"FURTHERMORE, I the said John Horton-- for myself my Heirs, Executors, and Administrators, do convenant and engage the above demised Premises to him the said Noah Miller his Heirs and Assigns, against the lawful Claims or Demands of any Person or Persons whatsoever, forever to Warrrant, secure, and defend by these Presents. And Elizabeth Horton the Wife of John Horton Doth by these Presents give up and Surrender all her Right of Dowrey and Power of Thirds in and unto the above bargained Premises in manner and form as above written in Witness Whereof we have hereunto Set our Hands and Seals this 13th Day of January Anno Domini 1779 -
John Horton (LS)
Elizabeth Horton (LS)
Signed Sealed & Delivered in the Presence of us
Waight Wood
Caleb Arnold
Rec'd Feb. ye 15th 1779"

One of my hypotheses is that this land in Scituate belonged to the family of Elizabeth --?--, John Horton's wife in 1779. While she is not my ancestor, it would be wise to find earlier deeds that might shed light on her parents or an earlier husband. It is possible that she is a Wood or Arnold since those are the surnames of the men that witnessed the deed.

I mentioned in my John Horton post that the proceeds of the sale of John Horton's farm was to go to Mary Horton, only child of John Horton, son of John and Mary (Chase) Horton. I wondered if there were records of Mary's birth, marriage and/or death. My Google exercise found that Margaret Jenks posted a message on the HORTON Rootsweb mailing list in January 2007 that provided information about the son, John Horton, who died in 1776. Sarah Hix, the wife of the son John Horton, married (2) William Ross, who was one of the executors of the will of John Horton. A Polly Horton married Nathaniel Walker, both of Providence, on 20 December 1794. This may be the granddaughter Mary Horton. Or maybe not!

My reason for blogging about this deed and the probate records is to demonstrate that NOT ALL RECORDS useful to clearly defining family members are online YET! More and more are coming online all the time, and the digitization and indexing of the LDS Microfilms, including the probate and deed records described herein, will be a big step toward being able to do research in primary records a lot faster - but it's still years in the future.

Researchers still have to dig through deed indexes, deed books, probate books, town records and the like to find the primary records that provide direct evidence of family structure and relationships. That's why I go to the FHC occasionally!

Probate Record of John Horton (1696-1796) of Glocester RI

John Horton, yeoman of Glocester, died testate, having written a will dated 7 April 1784, which was proved on 20 February 1796 (Glocester (RI) Probate Records, 1731-1915, Volume 2, Pages 122-126, on FHL Microfilm 0,941,847). The will reads (a clerk's copy in the town records):

"In the Name of God Amen I John Horton of Glocester in the County of Providence & in the State of Rhode Island yeoman being now an ancient Man but of sound mind & Memory (blessed be God) do this Seventh Day of April in the Eighth year of American Independence AD. 1784. Make and Publish this my Last Will and testament in manner following (that is to say)

"Imprimus I Give & bequeath unto Elisabeth My well beloved Wife all her wearing Apparel that she brought with her and what was made for herself since she Married me with all the Household goods she brought with her at the time of our Marriage. Also I Give her Nine Pounds Lawful silver money to be Raised & Levied out of my Estate all Which I give unto my said Wife in Lieu of her Right of Dower and no otherwise;

"Item I Give to my Beloved Son Nathaniel Horton all My wearing apparel and farming Tools.

"Item I Give unto my three Beloved Daughters namely Ruth Round Mary Round & Mehitabel Hammon all the Remaining Part of my Household Goods that belongs to and Which I had in my said Daughters own Mothers lifetime Equally to be Divided between my said three Daughters.

"Item I Give unto my four Grandsons namely Nathan Hammon son of Amos Hammon John Round son of George Round Moses Round son of Joseph Round & Nathaniel Horton son of Nathaniel Horton the sum of one Pound and ten shillings Lawful ['Silver lined out] Money a Piece to be raised out of my Estate.

"And I do hereby Constitute make & ordain William Ross & Jonathan Harris both of said Glocester yeoman my sole Executors of this my Last Will and testament and for the true Performance of this my said Will. I think it Proper that my farm be sold; therefore, I do hereby and Impower my said Executor to sell and give a Deed of sale of all my Homestead Farm Situate in Said Glocester as soon as they Conveniently Can after my Decease and that the Deed so Given by my Executors aforenamed shall be as Good and valid as though I had given a Deed of the same in my life time. And that my said Executors shall pay all my Just Debts and Charges that shall be due for the Execution of this Will or otherwise, as also the aforesaid Legacies out of my Estate.

"Item I Give unto my beloved Grand Daughter Mary Horton the Daughter and only child of my son John Horton late of Scituate Deceased all my Estate whether Real or Personal that shall Remain after the Paying my Debts and Legacies as aforesaid. And I hereby order my aforesaid Executors to take Care of all the said remainder of my Estate And after the Sale of my Farm as aforesaid they shall Let out the money to Interest in the Best and safest accountable for the bad Debts for the use of my said Grandaughter Mary Horton and in Six months after her Marriage shall Pay her the aforesaid Legacy and Whether my said Grand Daughter Mary be married or not I order my said Executors to pay to her, her aforesaid Legacy when she shall arrive to the age of twenty one years and in Case she Die unmarried & under that age then her said Legacy to be paid to her Right heirs.

"In Witness Whereof I the said John Horton have hereunto Set my hand & Seal the Day and year first above Written.
................................................................John Horton {seal}

"Signed sealed Published & Pronounced
by the said John Horton as and for his
Last Will & Testament in the Presence of us
Who at his Request in his Presence and in
the Presence of each other have subscribed
our names as Witnesses hereto ---

John Howland
George Brown
Willard Eddy"

The will was received and recorded by the Glocester Town Council clerk:

"At a Town Council held at Glocester on the 20th day of February AD 1796
this Will presented to this Council by the Executors for Probate and John Howland and George Brown two of the above Witnesses Declared on solemn Engagement that they Saw the testator John Horton Sign and seal this Paper and heard him Declare the same to be his Last Will and testament and that they together with Capt. Willard Eddy in his Presence & in the presence of each other Subscribed their names as Witnesses hereto. And he then appeared to be of sound mind & memory. Wherefore it is voted and Resolved that this Will be proved approved & hereby is allowed of as a Good and Lawful Will and that the same be Recorded. Witness Richard Steere Junr, Assist. Court Clk. Recvd the 20th of February AD 1796 and Recorded per Richard Steere Junr Assist. Court Clerk."

An inventory of the personal estate of John Horton was taken:

"A true Inventory of the Personal Estate of John Horton Who Departed this Life at Glocester on the 10th day of January AD. 1796. Taken by us the Subscribers the 9th day of February AD. 1796.

Imprimus to his Wearing Apparel .................................... 2-04-0
to Pewter ...................................................................... 0-10-7
to Iron Ware .................................................................. 0-03-6
to old Wooden Ware ...................................................... 0-02-6
to one bed & bedstead and other furniture ........................ 2-07-6
to one old Chest and old box .......................................... 0-04-0
to an old Coverled and an old tea Kittle & Chest ............... 0-12-0
to one Staff with an Ivery head ......................................... 0-01-0
to articles in the Possession of Arnon Hammon of Foster ... 1-12-0
L-s-d 7-17-7
Whole amount 26 Doll. 26 Cts
Timothy Dean
George Brown

[In margin on page:} Further addition of this inventory on page 325.

The Town council accepted this inventory:

"Glocester May ye 21st 1796 In Town Council it is voted and Resolved that this Inventory be accepted & hereby is ordered Recorded Voted & Post as Per order.
Richard Steere Junr Assist. Court Clerk.

"Whereas Mr. John Horton of Glocester in the County of Providence &c Husbandman Who Departed this life on the tenth Day of January AD. 1796 Did in & by his last Will & testament name and appoint William Ross yeoman and Jonathan Harris Esqr both of said Glocester Sole Executors of his said will and the said William & Jonathan having since proved said Will by and before the Town Council of said Glocester on the 21st Day of May AD 1796. These are therefore in the Name of the Governor & Company of the State of Rhode Island &c to order and fully Impower you the said William Ross and Jonathan Harris to take into your Case Custody and Possession all and singular the Personal Estate of him the said John Horton that did belong to him at the time of his death and on the Same fully to administer by paying all his Just Debts and Legacies and to act and do in all matters & things Relating the aforesaid Premises as you by law and the aforesaid Will are Required & Directed to do. And be ready at all times to render a Just and true account of your doings Relating the aforesaid Premises Whenever you shall be Legally called thereunto unto the said Town Council or their successors in said office, Given by order of the said Town Council aforesaid the said 21st Day of May and sealed With their seal by their order. Per Richard Steere Junr Assist. Court Clerk, and Recorded by Richard Steere Junr Assist. Court Clerk."

Some resources were added later to the inventory:

"Added by William Ross & Jonathan Harris Executors to the Personal Estate of John Horton late of Glocester Deceased as follows (viz.)

"To one Note Signed by Daniel & Elisha Sayles in Company Dated April.14.1795 on Interest from Date for one hundred and fifty Dollars

"To one other Note Dated April 14th.1795 on Interest from Date signed by Daniel & Elisha Sayles in Company for one Hundred & fifty Dollars.

"To one other Note Dated April 14th 1795 on Interest from date Signed by Daniel & Elisha Sayles in Company for one Hundred and sixty Dollars.

"Glocester Decemr 12th 1796
N.B. this addition Refers to John Horton's Inventory Which is Recorded in the 327 page of this book. Recvd Jany 4th 1797 and Recorded by Richard Steere Junr Assist. court Clerk."


I transcribed this probate record today. Think about what this man witnessed during his almost 100 year life. He was born in Rehoboth MA, married Mary Chase in Swansea in 1719 (she died in 1732) and moved with his family to Glocester before 1755. I really like the way he says "in the 8th Year of American Independence AD 1784." I am amazed by the relative paucity of his personal estate - he must have passed much of his estate to his children earlier. He left the proceeds of his real estate to his grand daughter, Mary Horton, for whom there is no record of a marriage. I wonder if she lived long enough to receive her legacy? If not, I wonder who received it? Unfortunately, these records do not include Accounts or Distributions that would tell us who received exactly what when.

I love probate records! I just wish they were more understandable.

California Voter Registration Lists - 1900 to 1944 just added California Voter Registration Lists to their databases. The announcement is on their web site at The highlights include:

", the largest online resource for family history, today announced the launch of California Voter Registration Lists documenting more than 30 million names of Californians who registered to vote between 1900 and 1944...

"The unique collection reveals the political persuasions of California residents -- including famous celebrities who registered to vote during the first half of the 1900s. The collection also documents the voter's name, occupation, gender, age, street address, voting district, and city and county of residence. Many of the earliest voter registrations include detailed physical descriptions of the register and even naturalization information. Because the lists were updated every two years, the collection enables users to track their ancestors through time and serves as a valuable replacement for census records since California did not take state censuses."

Naturally, I had to try it out. The database summary page is here. There must be many people trying it out because there were many "Check Back soon" messages when I just searched on a surname.

When I searched on a specific name, e.g., Lyle Carringer, I got matches for my grandparents and great-grandparents, and even my mother in 1942. The views below are from 1908, 1924 and 1942.




As you can see, they list the name, the address, the occupation (sometimes pretty general) and the political party. The description says that they list age, but I haven't seen any that do. The lists are alphabetical by precinct so you can see all of the neighbors too.

They do not have every year in the database. For San Diego County, it appears they have 1900-1906, 1908-1912, 1914, 1916, 1918, 1920, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1940, 1942 and 1944. Those match election years, which makes sense. Each county has its own set of voter registration lists. You can select a county from the database main page, but then you have to scroll through the pages.

These Voter Registration Lists are almost as valuable as City Directories, in my opinion. They provide an occupation and a residence location over time. There are no City Directories online that cover such a wide span of time. However, these Voter Lists don't include every adult resident, since some people did not register to vote. Some of my family were not on some of the registration lists. The early years don't include women since they didn't get the vote in California until 1911.

Were my ancestors Democrats or Republicans, or something else? I've always been curious about their political persuasion, especially during the Depression. I checked great-great-grandmother Abbie Smith (Prohibition), great-grandparents Charles and Georgia Auble (Republicans), great-grandparents Henry Austin and Della Carringer (Republicans), grandparents Lyle and Emily Carringer (Republicans) and my mother Betty Carringer (Democrat in 1942 as a student - actually a teacher!). My father, Fred Seaver, came to San Diego in 1940 and married mym other in 1942, but he isn't listed in this database (records go up to 1944).

This database will be very helpful to all researchers with California families in the 20th century.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Research in New York State" presentation at CVGS today

We had our Chula Vista Genealogical Society program meeting today at the Chula Vista Civic Center Library. This was our first meeting on our new day (last Wednesday) and new time (12 noon to 2 PM). The change (from the last Monday at 10 AM) was caused by the Library changing its open hours. We had 35 in attendance, which is fairly typical of our meetings.

Our speaker today was our own Shirley Becker, who presented "Research In New York State - not in New York City." She used a Powerpoint style presentation with many maps and photos, and reviewed the history timeline from 1609 to 1845, discussed the different administrative entities in New York (county, town, city, village, hamlet - different from all of other states), and covered the different types of resources available for New York State research. I now have a much better understanding of "how things happened" with respect to the Dutch, German, and English settlers, and the events leading to development and settlement of the western part of the State.

Shirley provided a 10 page handout, including a timeline, four pages of New York Internet resources, and five pages of a Bibliography list of books and periodicals by subject.

Shirley covered quite a lot in her hour-long presentation, but this subject could easily take 8 to 10 hours or more. In her talk, she showed maps of the New York counties over the years, and made the point that records for a certain town may be in several different counties, especially in the early years of settlement.

The attendees now have a better understanding of the available resources and research techniques used for researching this "Black hole of genealogy research" (Shirley's description!).

Now I have pages of resources to go search through in my pursuit of my elusive New York ancestors, including Russell Smith, James Bell, William Knapp, Cornelia Bresee and several others.

Bridging the Internet vs. Traditional Genealogy Gap

James M. Beidler's article in the Lebanon (PA) Daily News titled "Genealogy's 'Big Bang' Theory" postulated that the Internet is killing off genealogy societies, but held out hope that Internet researchers would eventually come to their senses and join societies, attend conferences, visit repositories, etc.

Leland Meitzler noted the article, but didn't comment extensively. Dick Eastman disagreed with the article, and reprinted his two-year old opinion piece that showed that heritage society membership was increasing and posited that genealogy societies should reach out to Internet researchers.

Denise Olson and Jasia recently wrote blog posts discussing the Beidler article noting that they have had problems with local societies and their publications, and making constructive suggestions for genealogy societies. Jasia posted a Carnival of Genealogy in August 2006 about improving genealogy societies that included many contributors, including her own series of articles.

Thomas MacEntee posted "The Pajama Game: Can a Romance Blossom Between Genealogy Societies and Stay-at-Home Genealogists?" today in which he compared the debate to the movie The Pajama Game, and showed that both sides have similar attitudes on genealogy, but different outlooks. It's an interesting post by an excellent writer.

As a President of a small genealogy society (90 members) with an active membership and volunteer corps, I have my own opinions about this topic. I firmly believe that genealogy societies can thrive if they plan and promote the following -

1) Education through programs, seminars, and classes. Help the traditionalists learn computer techniques and help the Internetters understand genealogy research methodologies. Provide links to members for online learning opportunities. Have a mentor program to help beginning genealogists learn both traditional and online techniques.

2) Communication through newsletters, email notices, web sites and blogs. Newsletters can be both paper and electronic, and societies can save money by shifting willing members to the electronic version. Publish articles about using both traditional and Internet resources. Email can be sent regularly keeping the members reminded about programs and activities. Web sites and blogs can draw Internetters to genealogy societies (e.g., if you Google [chula vista genealogy] you find the Chula Vista Genealogical Society web site and the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog at the top of the list).

3) Foster collaboration between researchers with "user groups" for Internet genealogy, genealogy software or genealogy problem solving that bring people together and demonstrate the benefits of working "both sides" of the research aisle. Hold programs that discuss problem solving while demonstrating using all types of resources. Facilitate research trips to libraries and other repositories. Design a matching program to enable computer experts help computer novices with computer problems.

4) Offer society developed databases on the society web site for researchers to find and use. Offer online query research and resolution. Offer locality specific publications for sale or for free. Involve members in creating local databases like cemetery records, obituary indexes, member ancestries and biographies, etc.

5) Adapt society programs, classes and meetings to meet the realities of younger and working genealogists by holding more on weekends and evenings. There are problems with having only weekday meetings - students and workers cannot attend. Evening meetings are difficult for many seniors to attend. Weekend meetings seem to be the best solution. A society can do both weekday and weekend meetings throughout the year.

I am a firm believer in using surveys to gauge the pulse of the society membership. CVGS did an extensive program survey and computer skills survey a year ago (which I posted on Genea-Musings). As a result of this, we put together and executed a basic Computer Skills class, a FamilyTreeMaker course and an Online Genealogy seminar to help our members improve their computer skills and knowledge. The seminar also drew many genealogists from the community that were not society members, and we gained a significant number of new members.

Smaller genealogy societies may have an advantage in present times - they are often more nimble, more innovative and better able to "reach out" to new members than larger societies. Large societies have resources to do large projects, hold regional seminars or conferences, and produce high quality periodicals. The best solution might be local chapters of a larger regional society or association. An arrangement like that would combine the best of both worlds.

The old society model of a monthly paper newsletter and a monthly meeting with a speaker is not enough. Societies need to expand their horizons and try to attract young and inexperienced genealogy researchers. When new members join, they need to be welcomed and enmeshed in the society activities, thereby suffusing the society with enthusiasm and innovation.

The new society model encompasses all of the above and more. There is room for Internet genealogists in local and regional genealogy societies, and they are vital for the future success of societies and all genealogy researchers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finding Newspaper Web Sites

You can find almost any print newspaper in the world at the RefDesk site -

They have newspapers by state and country, plus the Top 100 US newspapers, and those with searchable archives. Of course, the searchable Archives are only for recent years - not every year of publication. For some of them, you have to sign up for a free account in order to use them.

These sites are useful for local news and sports, plus obituaries and death notices.

National Genealogical Society Quarterly - December 2007 Issue TOC

The December 2007 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly (Volume 95, Number 4) has the following Table of Contents:


* "Identifying Benjamin W. Cohen of New York and New Orleans" by Teri D. Tillman, CG - page 245

* "The Bourn Identity: Meredith Bowen Alias Bourn of Frederick County, Virginia" by Victor S. Dunn, CG - page 265

* "Who Was Eleanor Saxon of Fayette County, Indiana?" by Dawne Slater-Pitt, MLS, CG - page 271

* 2007 Winner: Family History Writing Contest - "A Family for Suzanne" by Ruth Randall - page 281.


* Jennings Family Bible Record - page 303


* "A Disgraceful Condition?" - page 264

* "The Waye to Hell?" - page 279

* "The Newgent Family" - page 280

* "Marriages of Stubborn Mules to Fine Fillies (or Brood Mares?)" - page 302.


ANNUAL INDEX - page 321.


As always, this NGSQ issue is chock full of articles that describe solutions to seemingly unsolvable research problems. The "Family for Suzanne" article was especially interesting to me, because it involved slave records reaching back into the 18th century. The "Eleanor Saxon" article was excellent also - the author sorted out a complicated family with two Eleanors.

What always strikes me every time I read the NGSQ, NEHGR and TAG (among others) articles is the stark fact that these research problems are almost always solved by researching in records that ARE NOT in online databases or in published family or locality books. The records are found in archives, courthouses, historical and genealogy societies, libraries and other private or public repositories.

It reinforces my firm opinion that researching in the LDS Family History Library collection of microforms, and in the localities and regions themselves, is required to solve most elusive ancestor problems.

John Richman (1788-1867) and Ann Marshman (1784-1856)

One set of my 3rd great-grandparents are the John and Ann (Marshman) Richman family residing in Hilperton parish, Wiltshire, in England. The picture below is of John Richman, taken in the 1850's or 1860's.

John Richman was born about 1788 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND, and died 25 April 1867 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND, (burial). He married Ann Marshman 08 February 1811 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (parish). She was born before 1784, probably in Devizes, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism), and died about 1856 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.

Notes for John Richman:

The parentage of John Richman is unknown. From census records, his approximate birth date is between 1788 (age 52 in 1841 census, age 79 in 1867 on burial record) and 1792 (age 59 in 1851 census). There are no baptisms of a John Richman found in the Hilperton church records in the period 1779 to 1795. However, the church records are fairly sparse during this time (Hilperton, Wiltshire Church Records, Bishop's Transcripts, 1748-1812, FHL Microfilm 1,279,404, Item 13). Searches were also made for Trowbridge and several other nearby parishes during this time period without finding a John Richman born between 1788 and 1792.

If English naming practice traditions were followed, then the parents of John Richman were John and Elizabeth Richman. However, one can't be sure that the practices were followed.

The first record of John Richman is at his marriage by banns to Ann Marshman on 8 February 1811 in Hilperton, in the presence of Thomas Marshman (Hilperton, Wiltshire Church Records, Bishop's Transcripts, 1748-1812, FHL Microfilm 1,279,404, Item 13).

The baptisms of the children of John and Ann (Marshman) Richman are in the Hilperton church records during 1814 to 1825, with John Richman listed as a weaver and/or a laborer (Hilperton, Wiltshire Church Records, Bishop's Transcripts, 1622-1880, FHL Microfilm 1,279,404, Item 14).

In the 1841 Census for Wiltshire, the John Richman family resided on Marsh Lane in Hilperton Marsh. The household included John Richman Senior (age 52, coal hauler), Ann Richman (age 59, weaver), Elizabeth Richman (age 30, weaver), James Richman (age 20, Ag Lab), with a second family in the same dwelling -- John Richman Junior (age 25, Ag Lab), Mariah Richman (age 25, weaver), Elizabeth Richman (age 5), James Richman (age 3) and David Richman (age 9 months).

In the 1851 Census for Wiltshire, the John Richman family resided in Hilperton Marsh, Wiltshire, England. The household included John Richman (husband, age 59, butcher, born Hilperton, Wiltshire), Ann Richman (wife, age 67, born Devizes), Elizabeth Richman (daughter, age 38, weaver, born Hilperton), Mary Richman (granddaughter age 8, born Hilperton), and Rosa Richman (granddaughter, age 3, scholar, born Bath, Somerset) (1851 Census for Wiltshire District 257, taken 31 March 1851, FHL Microfilm 0,220,987, page 267A).

In the 1861 Census for Wiltshire, John Richman (widower, pauper) resided in Hilperton Marsh with his granddaughter.

A copy of a picture purported to be John Richman was provided by Russell Richmond of Putnam CT and also Barbara Richmond of Washington state, which had been provided by Roma Challis of Hilperton. The picture shows a seated older male. Roma Challis showed the Ambrotype picture (common in the 1850's and 1860's) to the Wiltshire Family History Society several years ago, and one of the members, who was an expert in period clothing, said: "He is wearing a traditional Wiltshire smock, his neckerchief would most likely have been red and his hat was fashionable about 50 years before the picture was done, so he probably had it for years, but kept it for Sunday best. I think you will find he was a farmer as well as a butcher. The smock he is wearing was made in Keevil, a village about four miles from Hilperton."

John Richman died 26 April 1867 in Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire, and was buried in Hilperton, listed as "age 79."

Notes for Ann Marshman:

The parentage of Ann Marshman as Richard and Rebecca (Phipps) Marshman is conjectural. From census records, Ann was born between 1781 (age 59 in 1841 census) and 1784 (age 67 in 1851 census).

An Ann Marshman, daughter of Richard and Rebecca (Phipps) Marshman, was baptized at Southbroom Church in Devizes on 20 June 1784. Another Ann Marshman was baptized 30 October 1780 there, daughter of Thomas and Ann (____) Marshman. Of course, there may be another Ann Marshman not in any church parish records.

If traditional English naming practices were followed by John and Ann (Marshman) Richman, then her parents were James and Sarah Marshman (second son named James, second daughter named Sarah). However, one cannot be sure that the traditional practices were followed. In fact, it is very likely that they were not in this family. On the other hand, they named their third son Thomas and third daughter Ann, and did not name any child Richard or Rebecca.

Another clue may be that a Thomas Marshman was a witness to Ann's wedding to John Richman in Hilperton in 1811. This might be Ann's father, brother, uncle or cousin.

Children of John Richman and Ann Marshman are:

i. Elizabeth Richman, born 1812 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND. She married Thomas Hogan.

ii. Sarah Richman, born 03 April 1814 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism). She married James Thompson.

iii. John Richman, born 13 February 1816 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism); died 01 June 1884 in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, ENGLAND. He married Maria Mathews 11 October 1835 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (parish); born About 1816 in Hilperton Marsh, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.

iv. Ann Richman, born 08 March 1818 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism). She married John Hall.

v. James Richman/Richmond, born Bef. 08 April 1821 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND, (baptism); died 20 December 1912 in Putnam, Windham County, CT, (vc). He married Hannah Rich 07 September 1845 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND, (parish); born 14 April 1824 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 07 August 1911 in Putnam, Windham County, CT, (vc).

vi. Thomas Richman, born 22 June 1821 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism); died 11 September 1844 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (burial).

vii. Mary Richman, born 22 June 1823 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism); died Bef. 1825 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.

viii. Mary Richman, born 23 March 1825 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (baptism); died 22 May 1825 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND (burial).

My descent from John and Ann (Marshman) Richman is through their son James Richman, who married Hannah Rich, and emigrated to the United States in 1855.

My search for this Richman family is described in my post "Chasing my Richmans in England."

Monday, January 28, 2008

What happened on this day, or in that year?

After writing my "Where were they in 1808" posts here and here, I wondered what happened in the world in 1808. A quick search turned up the fact that Wikipedia has a good summary of what happened in almost every year. 1708 is here. 1808 is here. 1908 is here. 2008 is here (well, part of it!). The information is more complete for later years. Each year has significant births and deaths also.

Then I wondered about each day - what happened on today, 28 January, in history? Wikipedia has that too - January 28 is here. January 29 is here. Did you know that William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was probably first performed in 1595 on 29 January (now it doesn't indicate Julian or Gregorian calendar, however)? And in one of the most forgettable games ever, the 49ers beat the Chargers in the Super Bowl in 1995 on 29 January. Sack cloth tomorrow in remembrance ...

Oh - 1808 -- here are the January 1808 entries:

* January 1 - Importation of slaves into the United States is banned; this is also the earliest day under the United States Constitution that an amendment could be made restricting slavery.
* January 12 - The organizational meeting that led to the creation of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, was held in Edinburgh.
* 26 January - Rum Rebellion: On the twentieth anniversary of the foundation of the colony of New South Wales, disgruntled military officers of the New South Wales Corps (the "Rum Corps") overthrow and imprison Governor William Bligh and seize control of the colony.

This is pretty cool - I didn't know about any of those historic events before, and I'm not sure that I'll even remember them. I have always wondered where these "On This Day in History..." blurbs came from. The Wikipedia articles are much more complete, I think.

Finding cousins through Ancestry Member Trees

In order to "test" and report on the AncestryPress service provided by, I had to upload a family tree to the Ancestry Member Tree system. I chose to upload my Seaver database (about 10,000 names) as a Personal Member Tree named "Descendants of Robert Seaver (1608-1683)." Later, I uploaded my Master ancestral database as a Personal Member Tree named "Ancestors of Randy Seaver."

Naturally, as other researchers searched Ancestry's Member Trees, they found some of their people in my Trees, but when they clicked on the link, they got the note that says -

"The owner of this member tree has chosen to not make this tree publicly viewable. Click the "make connection" button below to contact the tree owner using Ancestry's anonymous Connection Service."

A link is offered to make a connection with the person who submitted the tree. If a person clicks the link, they can write a message to the submitter through the Ancestry Connection Service and request more information. An email is then sent by Ancestry to the submitter forwarding the requester's email address and information request. The requester does not see the submitter's email address or name, so it is a blind request for information, which protects the submitter's privacy.

When the submitter receives the email, they do not see the requester's email address or name (unless they provide it in the message) - they see only the Ancestry Username. The submitter can do one of three things:

1) Ignore it and delete the request.

2) Click on a link that grants the requester access to the Personal Member Tree, and Ancestry will send an email to the requester informing them that they can access the tree.

3) Respond to the requester via the Ancestry Connection Service with information that answers their question without granting access to the Tree. The response sends the email from the Submitter's email address.

I've been a "bad boy" in recent months - I've ignored and deleted a number of these as they piled in. I decided that I'd be better off answering them one-by-one, so I've started using Option 3) above. If possible, I open my database and make a genealogy report for the requester and pass an RTF file on as an attachment. If they want more information, we can continue our email correspondence.

I have added several persons to my "club" of Seaver researchers using this method, and have also found several other researching cousins on other surname lines.

What do other Submitters do? Do you grant access to the Personal Tree? If I really wanted people to have access to it, I would have made it a Public Member Tree. I think my method of responding to each request is the right thing for me to do with a Personal Member Tree.

Have you been the Requester on Trees like this? What has been your response rate? Do most people grant access to their Personal Trees, do they contact you via email, or do they just ignore your request?

My Family History Parade Float

Bill West is holding a Genealogy Parade on 6 February on his West in New England blog with floats, marching bands and other parade-type entries defined by genealogy bloggers.

This is my definition of a large float that depicts my family history. Naturally, a float can contain a limited number of elements - I chose four to represent different time periods in my own family history and our nation's history.

My concept is a long, 100-foot long, 15 feet wide float with four main scenes, and smaller tableaux with people in period costumes representing my ancestors in between those four main scenes. Here are the four scenes:

1) Up front - Coming to America - a scale replica of the Mayflower that sailed into Massachusetts Bay in 1620. There would be Plymouth Rock nearby, with several people near the rock - I want Miles Standish (not mine), Richard Warren (mine), Susanna White (mine, holding her newborn son Peregrine) and George Soule (mine) with a flutaphone in his hand whacking the corn stalks. On the sail of the ship would be the Mayflower Compact.

Between 1) and 2) - Figures representing a blacksmith, a wheelwright, a minister, a governor, a militia man, a brickmaker, a spinner with their tools and machines. Also, a salt box house representing Norman Seaver's home in Westminster MA.

2) 30 feet aft - Revolution - a scale replica of Lexington Green, with Redcoats in the road and Minutemen behind the stone wall and trees, dressed in farmer outfits with muskets, and a town crier with the Declaration scroll in his hands. Yep, they'd be firing at each other...

Between 2) and 3) - a town hall with selectmen, a farmhouse with livestock, and a "little house in the forest" scene depicting early settlers in Western Pennsylvania.

3) 60 feet aft - Westward Ho - a scale replica of the Four-Mile House in Rolling Prairie WI (built by my ancestor Ranslow Smith), with a wagon, livery stable, farm implements, livestock, etc, plus family members in prairie dress.

Between 3) and 4) Scale replicas of a Civil War soldier with his horse, a steam railroad engine, a shoemaker, a teacher with books and children, a World War I Marine, and an early automobile (that says "San Diego or Bust" on it).

4) 90 feet aft - Settlement - a scale replica of the house I grew up in in San Diego, 1920 vintage, with my family members standing nearby. On the aft-facing wall of the house would be pictures of my grandparents, parents, me and my siblings, and our spouses and children, with a banner at the top "We Must Give Our Children Roots and Wings."

Overarching the last tableau - a banner that reads "Randy's Family History - Honoring My Ancestors."

Along the sides of the float would be a time line from front to back, with surnames of my father's ancestry on one side and from my mother's ancestry on the other side, culminating in large print SEAVER on one side and CARRINGER on the other side.

I wish I was artistic - I would sketch something out to depict what I mean. You can see some fancy Rose Bowl floats at

I toyed with the idea of having about 10,000 descendants (13 generations?) of the immigrant Robert Seaver, who settled in Roxbury in Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634, come running down the street after the float, each playing a flutaphone, but I couldn't gather all of the names in time. Besides, it might cause significant aural damage, not to mention wake up Bill's little town of Abington.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Data from 1940 and more recent US censuses

I posted over a year ago about how to obtain census data for specific families in the 1940 and more recent US census data.

The blog post is at The links still work and the fee is the same amount of money as a year ago. Unfortunately, the link to Bill Dollarhide's "Census Book" doesn't work any longer. [See the UPDATE below]

Has anybody actually tried requesting these census records? If so, what was the response time and the quality of the results?

The alternative is, of course, to wait until 2012 when the 1940 census should be available online. I wonder which commercial genealogy company will get the rights to digitize and index the 1940 census? Will it be by then?

UPDATED 1/28: In Comments, cm said that the Bill Dollarhide Census book IS still available online, but you have to use this method to obtain it:

1. Logon to HeritageQuest with your participating public library card number
2. Select “Search Census”
3. Select “Browse”
4. Select “Help with the Federal Census”

Yep - that works. Thanks, cm!!

Best of the Genea-Blogs - January 20-26, 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!).

* "Essence of New Mown Hay" by Lee Drew on the FamHist blog. Lee's comments struck me as funny at first (the thongs, you know) ... but then as very true. I need to review the account books, letters and journals and see if I can come up with some idioms of my ancestors.

* "These Ten Things: Ten Things That Every Man Worth His Salt Should Know How to Do" by Thomas MacEntee on the Destination: Austin Family blog. Besides having one of the longest blog titles ever, this intriguing list is splendid, I think. I don't cook much...

* "Reflections on GPS" by Sharon on the Family History Research:Methods and Writing on Genealogy blog. Sharon discusses the Genealogical Proof Standard, along with the earlier Preponderance of Evidence standard. I think she makes excellent points! I can't wait for succeeding posts to explain GPS in more detail.

* "The Big Bang Already Exploded" by Denise Olson on the Family Matters blog. Denise discusses her views on Jim Beidler's article about declining genealogy society membership, and has totally different views from Mr. Beidler!

* "What If ..." by Jasia on the Creative Gene blog. Jasia discusses the Jim Beidler article about declining membership in genealogy societies, discusses her own ambivalence about renewing, and makes suggestions for genealogy societies to improve their renewal rates. All good - and the comments are too.

* "Tips: Surnames" by Ben Nettesheim on the blog. Ben provides useful tips for getting those pesky little prefixes into the surname in FamilyTreeMaker 2008. They apply to most other programs too.

* "Qualities of a Good Genealogist" by Brenda Joyce Jerome on the Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog. Brenda lists four interesting qualities and I agree with all of them, especially the humor part!

* "10 Top Web Sites for African-American Genealogy" by Kimberly Powell on the About:Genealogy blog. This is a great list of resources, especially for those of us without much experience but some interest in this topic.

* "Research Toolbox: Lulu Publishing Service" by Denise Olson on the Family Matters blog. Denise is going through her technical toolbox to help all of us understand what sites and services are available to us - this week it was the Lulu publishing service, which I hope to use at some time.

* "Winter on Tug Hill" by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. I had not heard of Tug Hill before - but it is the exact area that I'm studying presently, so Apple's dissertation on geography, weather and settlements is much appreciated!

* "Give It Your All" by Pat Richley on the DearMYRTLE Blog. Pat provides wonderful advice for readers who want to be "real genealogists" - she tells it like it should be.

* "America Letter" by Chery Kinnick on the Nordic Blue blog. Chery provides a fascinating transcribed letter from Norwegian immigrants to Wisconsin to the folks back in Norway, dated from the 1850's. My wife's has immigrants in this time and place.

* "The Bad Side" by Drew Smith on the Rootsmithing: Genealogy, Methodology and Technology blog. I linked to Drew's neat desk picture last week - here's the picture of the other side of the room! Looks familiar to me! Compared to my piles, it looks manageable!

I want to welcome Lisa Alzo back into the land of regular bloggers - she has started the Gen365 blog to talk about her genealogy activities every day of 2008.

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!

CVGS meeting on Wednesday, 30 January - "New York State Research"

The next Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) general meeting will be on Wednesday, 30 January at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Library auditorium.

Our speaker will be Shirley Becker, on "New York State Research." Her focus will be on upstate New York research, not New York City.

Shirley calls New York "the black hole of genealogy" and has been working for 15 years on finding her elusive ancestors in New York state. She is very experienced in research methods involving traditional resources and Internet resources.

Shirley is a past President of CVGS and is currently Newsletter Editor and she leads the CVGS Computer Group each month in the Library computer lab. Shirley hopes that her research problems and her discoveries will give insight and examples to others researching in New York state. Come, and let Shirley give you the benefit of her years of dealing with New York state genealogy.

This will be our first meeting at our new time (Wednesdays at 12 noon) and we may be late getting started. Please enter through the Conference Room in the easterly hallway to sign in, pick up handouts, buy a raffle ticket and have a snack before going into the auditorium. There will be a short society business meeting before our speaker is introduced.

CVGS welcomes guests and visitors. We hope that you will attend our meetings and join our active society.