Wednesday, May 7, 2008

FamilySearch Record Search screens

After my two posts yesterday about the currently available databases and their completion status on the LDS FamilySearch Record Search web site, I thought it might be worthwhile to share some of the "look and feel" of the search process and the results.

After logging in, you get the screen shown below with the list of the available databases. You can click on any one of the databases and get a search box for the specific database, or you can use the Search Box on this first screen. I did the latter and put "seaver" in the Last Name field. There are other options in the Search box - an Event box (All, birth/baptism, marriage, death/burial), two Year Range boxes, a Place box, and a box for the type of search match you want ("Exact match," "Exact & close matches" and "Exact, close & partial matches"). For this exercise, I left All events, left the years and location blank, and chose "Exact & close matches." I think that this means a Soundex match but I'm not sure. There are more search options - you can specify parents and/or spouse names also.

When I clicked on Search, there were 3,900 matches in all of the databases (I think that this is the maximum that they allow at this point - there were probably more matches but they limit them at 3,900).

The screen below shows the first page of matches - the first column has the person's name, which is the link to the detail page for the person; the database name is shown below the person's name on the left; Events are in the second column, Spouse and children in the third column, and Parents in the fourth column. If you put the mouse over the name link, you get the pop-up box with most or all of the information in the record.

I clicked on the first person's name "Jennie Seaver" and got a screen with all of the transcribed and indexed information (screen not shown) for the 1900 US Census. It essentially matches what is in the pop-up in the previous screen. On this page is an icon to click to see the image. I clicked on the icon, and the first image page came up.

The first image page shows the entire image of the record, but, in most cases, you will have to use the Zoom slide above the image to read it clearly. Note the small box with the highlighted area shown in the lower right hand corner of the image.

I slid the Zoom bar a little to the right and got a readable image, as shown below. The "magic hand" (what is it really called?) can be used to move around the image in the frame so you can read the details.

Notice that the yellow highlighted area in the small page view in the lower right hand corner shows the area of the image shown in the frame.

Above the image frame are buttons for Print, Save, Negative on the left and Previous and Next on the right. You can also choose a page number to go to in the box on the upper right.

When I printed the 1900 census image using the Print button, I got an 8.5 x 11 page in portrait mode with the highlighted portion of the page readable and the rest of the page fairly unreadable (too dark). I couldn't figure out how to make all of the page be readable. I changed my printer orientation to Landscape and got the same size image.

When I clicked the Save button, I got a JPG file (3771 x 3778 pixels, 538 kb in size). I can print this image and get a clear print on 8.5 x 11 paper.

I'll discuss the Search process in a later post.

SDGS Meeting on Saturday, May 10

The monthly meeting of the San Diego Genealogical Society will be at 12 noon on Saturday, May 10 at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd (at Jackson Drive) in San Diego).

The program speaker will be Dr. Franklin Gaylis on "My Jewish Ancestry: A Case Study." The program summary and speaker biography are below (from the SDGS Newsletter):

"Sometimes there is no better way to learn the nuts-and-bolts of genealogical research than to see the research of others and their successes. The 'case study' method is often the best way to see how the various research elements fit together and solve difficult research problems. It can also be a most instructive way for beginners to see the end result of painstaking and time consuming research efforts.

"Dr. Gaylis will share his amazing research experiences from his 2001 travels to retrace his roots to the Baltics. Many records had only recently become accessible with the downfall of the Soviet Union in the areas where his grandparents fled at the turn of the 20th century. Be sure not to miss this fascinating tour of discovery, particularly if you have ancestors from this region.

"Dr. Franklin Gaylis, M.D., a La Mesa urologist, was born in England and lived most of his life in South Africa where he went to medical school and married his wife, Jean. In 1982, he immigrated to the US where he did his residency training at the University of Minnesota and Northwestern University. Seeking a more favorable climate, he moved to San Diego and set up his practice.

"Dr. Gaylis has done extensive study on Jewish history in Lithuania and Latvia as well as their general history over the past 3 to 4 thousand years."

I'm looking forward to hearing Dr. Gaylis' presentation about his heritage, his travel experiences and his genealogical research.

Family Photographs - Post 4: Carringer/Auble/Smith Families in 1920

I'm posting old family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they won't be wordless posts like others do - I simply cannot have a wordless post.

Here is one of the more interesting images from my Carringer/Auble/Smith family collection:

This picture was taken in about 1920 in San Diego, California, in front of the Carringer family home at 2105 30th Street. The persons in this picture are (from left to right):
* Georgia (Kemp) Auble (seated, 1868-1952, mother of Emily (Auble) Carringer)
* Mary Ann (Smith) (Chenery) Cramer (standing, known as "Matie," 1866-1922, daughter of Devier and Abigail (Vaux) Smith, sister of Della (Smith) Carringer)
* Abbie Ardell (Smith) Carringer (seated holding cat, known as "Della," 1862-1944, daughter of Devier and Abigail (Vaux) Smith, wife of Austin Carringer, mother of Lyle Carringer)
* Harvey Edgar Carringer (standing in hat, known as "Ed," 1852-1946, brother of Austin Carringer, never married)
* Emily (Auble) Carringer (standing, 1899-1977, daughter of Georgia (Kemp) Auble, wife of Lyle Carringer, mother of Betty Carringer).
* Henry Austin Carringer (seated holding baby, known as "Austin," 1853-1946, husband of Della (Smith) Carringer, father of Lyle Carringer).
* Betty Virginia Carringer (baby on Austin Carringer's lap, 1919-2002, daughter of Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer).
* Lyle Lawrence Carringer (standing on right, 1891-1976, son of Austin and Della Carringer, husband of Emily (Auble) Carringer, father of Betty Carringer).
* Abigail A. (Vaux) Smith (seated on right, known as "Abbie," 1844-1931, mother of Della Carringer and Mary Ann Cramer).
This is a four generation photograph with great-grandmother Abigail (Vaux) smith, grandmother Della (Smith) Carringer, father Lyle Carringer and daughter Betty Carringer. Betty is my mother.
This photograph was in the collection of Smith/Carringer/Auble family papers from the estate of Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer that I obtained from my mother, Betty (Carringer) Seaver after 1988. It is now in the possession of Randy Seaver, Chula Vista CA.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Louis A. "Babe" Sturla - A Beautiful Man

Attentive readers know that I made a quick trip to Santa Cruz last week in order to shepherd my two grandsons while their parents went to Petaluma to celebrate the life and mourn the death of Michael's grandfather, Louis A. "Babe" Sturla.

Babe's obituary is on this page. I'm not sure how long it will be there, so I will include it below.

Louis R. "Babe" Sturla
March 31, 1924 - April 25, 2008
Petaluma, California

Passed away at home in Petaluma, CA , Friday, April 25, 2008, of congestive heart failure. Beloved husband for 62 years of Mary Leda Sturla. Loving father of Cheryl Strubeck and Robert Sturla (Heidi) both of Petaluma and the late Janice Hede Martinez. Adored grandfather of Michael (Lori), Diana (Bill), Kimberly (Bill), Amber, Angelina and Jimmy. Cherished great grandfather of 5. Brother of the late Melba M. Calegari and brother-in-law of Adolph Calegari of Petaluma. Beloved uncle of Arleen Calegari of Petaluma. A native of San Francisco, Ca. Age 84 years.

Babe, lifelong resident of Petaluma was well known for his involvement in youth sports, coaching CYO basketball and Little League teams for many years. Babe also served in the U. S. Army Air Force during World War II. He retired from the Petaluma Sanitary Disposal Co. in 1971 and later was involved in managing St. Vincent de Paul Society Thrift Stores in Sonoma County and later managed the Petaluma Kitchen for the St. Vincent de Paul Society. He was a member of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, YMI #9, Nicasio Parlor #183 NSGW, Harmony Grove #38 Druids, American Legion and SIRS #100.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 1, 2008 at the PARENT- SORENSEN MORTUARY & CREMATORY, 850 Keokuk St., Petaluma from 11:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. with the Vigil Service conducted at 7:00 P.M. Family and friends are also invited to meet on Friday, May 2, 2008 at 8:45 A.M. at the mortuary, thence to St. Vincent de Paul Church where a Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 9:30 A.M. Committal will follow at Cypress Hill Memorial Park. The family prefers memorials be made to Hospice of Petaluma or to St. Vincent de Paul Church.

I loved Babe. I kissed him goodbye last November, but he insisted on living until Michael came home from Iraq. What an absolutely wonderful, vital, loving man. He was always positive and encouraging, interested in everyone's lives, and proud of his family.

He and Leda welcomed Lori into their family and adored her - and the little boys. And he welcomed us - his grandson's in-laws - to his family. We attended one Thanksgiving and several Christmas holidays at their home in Petaluma, and reveled in the beauty and love of this family.

Babe died in the arms of his loving wife; I can't think of a better way to go. He died knowing that he had done everything he could to nurture and support his family and his community, and that his Lord and Savior would welcome him with "Well done, good and faithful servant." May he rest in peace.

LDS Record Search database completion status

In my last post, I highlighted the databases that are available to search or browse on the LDS FamilySearch Record Search list at

Unfortunately, not all indexed databases are complete - yet. Here is the status for the USA Indexed databases:

* 1850 United States Census - 61% complete (states indexed are AR, CA, CT, DE, DC, FL, IL, IA, KY, MD, MA, MI, MN, NH, NM, OR, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT). The other states are browsable only.
* 1850 United States Census (Mortality Schedule) - 94% complete (states indexed are AR, CT, DE, DC, IL, IA, KY, MD, MA, MI, NH, SC, TN, TX, UT). The other states are browsable only.
* 1850 United States Census (Slave Schedules) - 39% Complete (states indexed are AR, DE, DC, FL, MD, TN UT). The other states are browsable only.
* 1855 Massachusetts State Census - indexed and imaged for Boston only.
* 1865 Massachusetts State Census - indexed and imaged for Boston only.

* 1880 United States Census - 100% complete, index only, not browsable
* 1895 Argentina Census - 100% complete (indexed and images)
* 1900 United States Census - 98% complete (all states indexed and imaged, except for Armed forces and Indian Territory which are imaged only)

* Freedman's Bank Records 1867-1874 - 100% complete, but only 67,000 records.

* New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Iaslnd) 1892-1924 - 100% complete

* Georgia Deaths 1914-1927 - 100% complete
* Ohio Deaths 1908-1953 - 100% complete
* Ontario Deaths 1869-1947 - 100% complete
* Texas Death Index 1964-1998 - 100% complete
* Texas Deaths 1890-1976 - 100% complete

* Utah Death Certificates 1904-1956 - 100% complete
* Utah, Salt Lake county Death Records, 1908-1949 - 100% complete
* Washington Death Certificates, 1907-1960 - 100% complete
* West Virginia Deaths 1853-1970 - 41% complete
* Freedmen's Bureau Virginia Marriages ca. 1815-1866 - 100% complete, but only for Augusta, Goochland, Louisa, Nelson and Rockbridge counties.

The message here is that "we need to be patient..." I can hardly wait for the 1855 and 1865 Massachusetts census records to come online. I see that I have some data mining to do in the Vital Records indexes for the available states - I should be able to find quite a few Seaver folks in these databases.

One thing I noticed in the state death indexes was that the father's name, if given, appears in the index also. So a female born a Seaver but married to a Smith will show up if I search for Seaver if her father's surname was given in the death record. That is very good!

LDS Record Search Databases

I haven't checked into the LDS Record Search databases recently, so I clicked over to (you do have to register if you have not been there before) and found that the list of indexed and/or browsable databases now includes:


* 1850 United States Census - indexed and browsable, new or updated in last 30 days
* 1850 United States Census (Mortality Schedule) - indexed and browsable, new or updated in last 30 days
* 1850 United States Census (Slave Schedules) - indexed and browsable
* 1855 Massachusetts State Census - indexed and browsable

* 1855 Wisconsin State Census - browsable
* 1865 Massachusetts State Census - indexed
* 1875 Wisconsin State Census - browsable
* 1880 United States Census - indexed
* 1885 Wisconsin State Census (browsable)

* 1895 Wisconsin State Census - browsable, new or updated in last 30 days
* 1895 Argentina Census - indexed
* 1900 United States Census - indexed and browsable
* 1905 Wisconsin State Census - browsable
* 1930 Mexico Census - browsable


* England, Cheshire, Register of electors, 1842-1900 - indexed
* Freedman Bank Records 1865-1874 - indexed
* Maryland, Cecil county Probate Estate Files 1851-1940 - indexed and browsable


* Vermont Land Records, Early to 1900 - browsable


* New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1892-1924 - indexed


* United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 - browsable


* Cheshire, Church of England Burial Records 1538-1907 - indexed
* Cheshire, Church of England Christening Records 1538-1907 - indexed
* Cheshire, Church of England Marriage Records 1538-1907 - indexed
* Freedmen's Bureau Virgina Marriages ca. 1815-1866 - indexes
* Georgia Deaths 1914-1927 - indexed

* Ohio Deaths 1908-1953 - indexed
* Ontario Deaths 1869-1947 - indexed
* Texas Death Index 1964-1998 - indexed
* Texas Deaths, 1890-1976 - indexed, new or updated in last 30 days
* U.S. Social Security Index - indexed

* Utah Death Certificates 1904-1956 - Indexed
* Utah, Salt Lake County Death Records, 1908-1949 - indexed
* Washington Death Certificates, 1907-1960 - indexed
* West Virginia Deaths 1853-1970 - indexed
* Czech Republic, Litomerice Regional Archive Church Books 1552-1905 - browsable

* England, Diocese of Durham Bishops Transcripts ca. 1700-1900 - browsable
* France, Coutances Catholic diocese 1802-1907 - browsable
* Germany, Brandenburg and Posen, Civil Transcripts of Parish Registers, 1800-1974 - browsable
* Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records 1729-1956 - browsable
* Spain, Albacete Diocese, Catholic Parish Records 1550-1930 - browsable
* Virginia, Fluvanna County Colbert Funeral Home Records 1929-1976 - browsable

The "indexed" databases can be searched (and many of them are linked to images, but not all of them are) and the "browsable" databases can be searched page by page (they appear to be collected into groups - counties or towns, etc.)
From talking to my society colleagues, my impression is that very few casual researchers knows about these FREE databases being available. The LDS people down at the FHC know about them.

FamilySearch Indexing is about a year old now, and has done a tremendous job of indexing these databases, with more in the works. It may take 5 years or more to get all of the US census records online, but it's going to happen. It may take longer to get the vital, deed, probate, tax, town, church and other original sources online, but it's going to happen. I can hardly wait.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hale's Honey of Horehound and Tar

You might wonder, as I did, what in the hail was Hale's Honey of Horehound and Tar? I saw this advertisement on page 3 in the 4 January 1883 issue of The Weekly Hawkeye newspaper of Burlington, Iowa. It says:

FOR THE CURE OF Coughs, colds, Influenza, Hoarseness, Difficult Breathing, and all Afflictions of the Throat, Bronchial Tubes, and Lungs, leading to consumption.

"This infallible remedy is composed of the HONEY of the plant horehound, in chemical union with TAR-BALM, extracted from the LIFE PRINCIPLE of the forest tree ABIES BALSAMEA, or Balm of Gilead.

"The Honey of Horehound SOOTHS AND SCATTLES all irritations and inflammations, and the Tar-Balm CLEANSES AND HEALS the throat and air-passages leading to the lungs. FIVE additional ingredients keep the organs cool, moist, and in healthful union. Let no prejudices keep you from trying this great medicine of a famous Doctor, who has saved thousands of lives by it in his large private practice.

"N.B. The Tar Balm has no BAD TASTE or smell.

Great saving to buy large size.
'Pike's Toothache Drops' Cure in 1 Minute
Sold by all Druggists

Why did I go to all the trouble to type that up? Because it caught my eye while doing a search in newspapers for a colleague, and it applied to my present condition:

Cough - check! Cold - yep! Hoarseness - you bet! Difficult breathing - ask my wife! Influenza - probably not! Hey, I got 4 out of 5. I catch this crud from my grandsons just about every time I see them. This time, the 4-year old had the cough and the 2-year old had the runny crusty nose... I wonder if my Tylenol Cold & Flu white and blue pills are made of this same type of stuff?

I did a Google search on Honey of Horehound and Abies Balsamea and found that the ads were in the newspapers from the Civil War up to at least 1900. There is a good article about Patent Medicines in Quackwatch at

Scattles? What are scattles, you ask? I have no clue .. sounds like it may be related to coughing. All I saw on Google was a game like Skittles.

While Googling, I saw that Janice Brown on the Cow Hampshire blog has a nice picture of the advertisement here from 1876. The ad didn't change in seven years!

Of course, I didn't find what I was looking for to help my colleague, but at least I got a blog post out of the futile search.

Solving Family Mysteries one at a time

Do you have a family mystery? For example, why did a man leave his family? Or why did he move to the west?

One mystery on my wife's side of the family was "why did Elijah McKnew leave Maryland and come to California before 1865?" The "family story" was that Elijah did not want to serve in the Army during the Civil War and went to the "gold country" in California to escape military service.

The US Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914, which is a new database recently added on, provides one of the answers to the family mystery:

Elijah McKnew, age 23, born in Baltimore MD, a laborer, enlisted in the 1st Dragoons, Company A on 3 January 1856. He was 5' 7-1/2" tall, hazel eyes, brown hair, fair complexion. He deserted on 20 January 1856. He served all of 17 days!

My guess is that he came west after deserting. In 1856, he was just 20 years old. His mother died in 1845, and his father married twice more, and they resided in Washington DC for several years. So now we have a probable reason for coming to California.

I can't find Elijah McKnew in the 1860 census. He is in the 1870 census in Tuolumne County CA (listed as E A McNew, age 34 born in MD, with wife Jane and children A.J. and A.R. McNew).

He must have corresponded with his siblings over the years, since he and his family corresponded with several of his siblings and their children. A picture of Elijah and some of his family in 1906 is here.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

US Army Enlistment Records, 1798-1914 has added a significant database to its fine collection of Military records - the U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914. The picture below shows the actual record for a page containing a certain Russell Smith (not the one I'm looking for, but this will do for illustrative purposes.

The headings across the top include (with the entries for this Russell Smith):

* NAMES - Smith, Russell
* AGE - 21
* EYES - blue
* HAIR - Light
* FEET - 5
* INCHES - 7-2/4
* WHERE BORN (State, Empire or Kingdom) - N.Y.
* WHERE BORN (Town, County or Province) - Washington
* ENLISTED When - 1833, Oct. 19
* ENLISTED Where - Rochester
* ENLISTED By Whom - Lt. Hetzel
* ENLISTED For What Period - 3 yrs
* FUTURE HISTORY Regiment and Company - 2 Inf. C
* FUTURE HISTORY Discharge, Date of - blank
* FUTURE HISTORY, Discharge, Cause of - blank
* FUTURE HISTORY, Died - blank
* FUTURE HISTORY, Deserted - 30 May 34
* FUTURE HISTORY, Apprehended - blank
* REMARKS - blank.

As you can see, there are quite a few interesting columns for these Army enlistees, including a physical description.

The citation for this database is:

" U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C."

The database description reads:

"This database contains a register of enlistments in the U.S. Army from 1798-1914. Data in these registers was compiled from a variety of other military records, including enlistment papers, muster rolls, and unit records. Information listed on these records includes:

* Name of enlistee
* Age at time of enlistment
* Birthplace
* Date of enlistment
* Enlistment place
* Occupation
* Physical description (eye color, hair color, complexion, and height)
* Rank, company, and regiment
* Date and cause of discharge
* Remarks

"Note: some of this information be only be obtained by viewing the register image. Also, the register images are usually two pages long. When viewing an image, be sure to scroll all the way to the right in order to see all pages that are part of that record.
"These records are arranged chronologically and alphabetically according to first letter of the surname."

I searched for many of my male ancestors but did not find one listed in this database. I don't know how many persons are listed in this database, nor if the database is completely online at this time.

UPDATE 5/5: Craig Manson posted about this database on Friday and did some investigation into the number of entries in the database. He searched by Country of birth in his post at Craig found that there are over 1 million entries in this database, which doesn't seem "high enough" to me for enlistments between 1798 and 1914. Thanks, Craig, for the research.

Best oif the Genea-Blogs - April 27-May 3, 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, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the Carnival of Genealogy, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

* "Do You Have Taphophilia?" by Lori Thornton on the Smoky Mountain Family Historian blog. Lori defines the term and admits her love for ... well, read her post.

* "Becoming a Top 1000 Web Property" by Paul Allen on the Paul Allen (the lesser) blog. Paul always provides interesting and challenging insights on creating and developing companies.

* "Decline of Letter Writing" by John Newmark on the Transylvanian Dutch blog. John's comments are, I think, exactly right about letter writing, email and telephone use. Of course, that is exactly why some of us blog - so that there is some sort of permanent record of our musings.

* "The Ancestry Insider Unveiled" by the AI on the Ancestry Insider blog. The AI shows us a Simpsonized likeness of himself (hmmm, male, hair, eyebrows, teeth, we've narrowed it down some) and comments on the Ancestry World Archives Project (I missed this last week, but it was the only guess that anyone made).

* "Lessons Learned from a Genetic Genealogist Quiz" by Blaine Bettinger on The Genetic Genealogist blog. Blaine sets us straight on the answers to his quiz. I got 700 on it - missing two questions that Blaine discusses in this post.

* "Royal Me and Thee" by Tim Abbott on the Walking the Berkshires blog. Tim has an interesting take DNA results and the royal European bloodlines. He had me with the Lady Godiva poster!

* "Grandma's Apron" by Ole Bob on Bob and Reb's Genealogy blog. This post gives us some idea about why the women in times before yesterday wore aprons and how they used them.

* "Think it's a man's world? Think again" by Larry Lehmer on the Passing It On blog. Larry analyzes an interesting article about low sperm counts and notes that males may be obsolete in about 125,000 years. Whew...I made it, I guess!

* "Friday from the Collectors - May 2: Oscar Wilde, Sonny Bono and the Naked Orphans" by Craig Manson writing on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog. Craig takes us through copyright and ownership of old photographs. This is one of the most unique blog postings ever too!

I encourage you to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blog 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!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

47th Carnival of Genealogy is Posted - A Place Called Home

Jasia posted the latest Carnival of Genealogy on her Creative Gene blog - the post is at The topic for this edition is : A Place Called Home. We're taking a look at the towns and villages, cities and counties, where our ancestors lived. Come along on a trip across two continents as we explore the fields and streams, mountains and valleys, where our families' roots were planted. I think you'll be amazed at the diversity of culture and lifestyle among our ancestors in their home towns.

There are 32 separate postings from 13 US states and nine European countries (or parts of countries). As always, Jasia does a wonderful job summarizing each post. Mu post was about Leominster, Massachusetts.

One of the very best things about the Carnival is that "new" bloggers submit items to it - while they may have been blogging for months or even years, there were three blogs that were "new to me" - All My Branches Genealogy, Kate's Family Tree and Echo Hills Ancestors Weblog. I added them to my Bloglines so I won't miss a post.

The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: Mom, how'd you get so smart? We'll examine our mothers' education. What schools did your mom attend? Did she graduate high school or attend the school of hard knocks? Did she attend a one room school house or was she home-schooled? Was she the first in the family to attend college? Maybe your mom took self-study courses or was an avid reader. Tell us all about how a mother figure (mother, grandmother, mother in law, godmother, etc.) in your life became so brilliant! The deadline for submissions is May 15th.

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

"New Netherland Connections" coming to

One of the items in the latest issue of New England Ancestors (Spring 2008, Volume 9, Number 2), published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), was that NEHGS member Dorothy A. Koenig granted NEHGS exclusive rights to digitize and publish the full run of New Netherland Connections on the web site. The announcement says:


New Netherland Connections focuses on the Dutch colonial period (1624-1664) in New York and New Jersey. The journal began quarterly publication in 1996 and continues to date.

NEHGS will create an electronic index to all volumes of the journal, and the search results will allow display of the associated scanned pages. There are currently forty-eight hundred published journal pages.

Look for the first issues of New Netherland Connections on the NEHGS web site this spring.


This is wonderful news for researchers with colonial Dutch ancestry. I must admit that I have never heard of this publication, but I'm going to go looking for it at Carlsbad Library. Or I'll use the NEHGS web site, since I have a bit of Dutch colonial ancestry and have several "problem ancestors."

Friday, May 2, 2008

"Organizing Your Files" by Audrey Potterton: CVGS Program on 4/30

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society program on Wednesday, April 30 was "Organizing Your Files" by Audrey Potterton, whose biography and talk summary were given here.

As you can see, Audrey has a lot of experience in doing genealogy research, and has lived through both the "paper era" and the "computer era."Audrey brought some of her research notebooks as examples. She is a believer in taking your pedigree charts and the family group sheet books for the families that you are presently researching to the repository.

She once had 45 notebooks that contained the Family Group Sheets for each family, with the supporting documents with annotated sources. She condensed these notebooks to 4 notebooks with narrative reports (typed in a word processor) with sources noted for all ancestral families, but she kept the documents only for the research in her four grandparent's surnames. She has created CD-ROMs with the narrative reports and supporting data for each family branch for her children and grandchildren.

Audrey had many suggestions for organizing your genealogy files based on her own experience, including:

* Fill out Family Group Sheets for every family that you are researching. Use the landscape FGS form so that the dates are in columns down the page.

* Use 5-generation Pedigree Charts to identify ancestors, and keep them in numerical order (i.e., charts #2 through 17 are pedigree charts for the persons numbered #1 through #16 on the first pedigree chart, and so on).

* On the Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets, highlight in non-photo color the names, dates and places that you have proved. That way, you know what you need to prove.

* Cross-reference the people on the Pedigree Charts on the Family Group Sheets so that you can find them quickly in your files.

* Collect your documents by surname. If a document covers more than one surname, make a copy of the document for each surname.

* Label on the back of each document the source citation including the page number, the repository where it was found, and the surnames it applies to.

* Put the records found or searched for on the back of the Family Group Sheets - include positive and negative results.

* Put all documents in the notebook or file folder for each surname along with the Family Group Sheets.

* Take correspondence out of the envelopes, lay them flat, and put contact information on the back of the correspondence pages.

* Make all notes on 8.5 x 11 paper. Don't use small papers that can be easily lost.

* Make lists of the research items that you need, and where you might find them.

* Create indexes for items of interest for specific surnames - especially for deeds, probates, tax lists, etc.

* Make lists of things to read - books, periodicals, how-to articles, etc.

* Find resources in the Family History Library Catalog and note the resource, the film or fiche number, the library call number, etc. Order microfilms and microfiches to read and copy at the FHC.

* When you are researching, use all of your resources to establish what you know and have proved, and work from there to find additional resources.

* The Internet does not have every record available online. For instance, land deeds, probate records, tax lists church records, cemetery surveys, etc. are not well covered in online databases.

* You cannot trust family tree data submitted by other researchers to Internet databases.

* The Family History Library in Salt Lake City will not take paper collections any longer - they will take only bound books, works on CDROM, and family tree databases in GEDCOM format.

There is a lot of wisdom in those observations and opinions, and they generated a lot of questions from the audience. This was a helpful presentation, especially for the many researchers just starting out in their lifetime work. For experienced researchers, it was an encouragement that the massive files can be managed and even pared down judiciously, but you really need to document all of the records found for each family and put them in a narrative format for each family so that your research can be passed to your posterity and other researchers.

"New England Ancestors" TOC - Spring 2008

The Spring 2008 issue (Volume 9, Number 2) of New England Ancestors, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, arrived late last week. Here is the Table of Contents for the articles and columns:


* "A Genealogical Perspective on the Salem Witchcraft Trials" by Marilynne K. Roach - page 22.

* " 'The Spread of Lithobolia' adapted from The Devil of Great Island: Witchcraft and conflict in Early New England" by Emerson W. Baker - page 29

* "Excerpts from Pilgrims: New World Settlers & The Call of Home" by Susan Hardman Moore - page 31

* "Researching and Writing Pilgrims" by Susan Hardman Moore - page 34

* "Searching for Caleb M. Harrington" by Sara Harrington Clarkson - page 36

* "Of Brick Walls and Pack Rats: A Genealogical Mystery Solved by Harold Hunter Leach, Jr. -- page 38

* "Researching Deaf Members of the Family" by Amy Johnson Crow, CG - page 40

* "What Caused New England's 'Dark Day'?" by John Horrigan - page 42

* "Preserving New England Records: An Update" by Ralph J. Crandall - page 45


* Computer Genealogist: "Creating Your Own Forms for Free" by Rhonda R. Mcclure - page 48

* Genetics & Genealogy: "DNA Results Produce a Probable Ancestor for Ephraim Cox of Rowan County, North Carolina" by Kathleen Ackerman Van Demark, MD - page 50

* Manuscripts at NEHGS: "Lothrop Family Papers" by Timothy G.X. Salls - page 52

* Diaries at NEHGS: "Selected Excerpts from Richard Hazen's 'Coast of Maine' Journal, 1750" by Robert Shaw


The two case studies, the Dark Day article and the DNA column were really interesting to me.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Funeral of Judge Knapp

The article below was published in The New York Times on 31 January 1892.




HACKENSACK, Jan. 30 -- The funeral of the late Justice Manning M. Knapp of the New Jersey Supreme court attracted a great throng of distinguished men to the Second Dutch Reformed Church here this afternoon. At the homestead of the Judge the Rev. Arthur Johnson, pastor of the church, offered a prayer. The casket of black cloth was hidden beneath the floral tributes of friends as it was carried to the hearse for removal to the church. The congregation rose to their feet as it was borne up the aisle of the church. Mrs. Knapp, the Judge's widow, was opposed to an offer of song over the bier, and out of respect to her wishes there was no singing.

"Addresses were made by the Rev. Mr. Johnson, the Rev. James Demaret of Flushing, L.I., a former pastor of the church, and the Rev. John Kramer of New York.

" 'What a splendid dying this was!' exclaimed the Rev. Mr. Johnson. 'While protesting against the slowness of the court officers he dies. His last words under other circumstances might have gone out to the world unheeded, but now they have gone out to the world emblazoned with glory. The more I knew of him the more I became impressed with his sterling qualities. He died doing his duty, and I feel that the noblest way to die is at the post of duty. Although men may wink at violations of law, he never winked, but went on performing his duty like the man he was. He is away from his high station, but his influence will long be felt.'

"Among those in attendance were ex-Gov. Bedle, Supreme Court Justice Depue, ex-Judge Garrettson, Judge Kirkpatrick, Courtlandt Parker, ex-Mayer Collins, Judge Job H. Lippincott, Asa W. Dickinson, ex-Judge John A. Blair, Supreme Court Justice Dixon, Washingtton B. Williams, ex-Judge William Pitt Douglas, ex-Sheriff C.J. Cronan, William H. Corbin, Charles L. Corbin, R.B. Seymour, and Judge Paxton.

"The interment was in Hackensack Cemetery.


Why have I posted the stories of his death and his funeral? Because Manning M. Knapp is my second great-granduncle. His sister was Sarah Knapp, who married David Auble. David and Sarah (Knapp) Auble are two my sixteen great-great-grandparents.

I think that Manning Knapp is probably the closest relative of mine that has served his state or country in a relatively high judicial, legislative or poilitical office. Besides, the stories are interesting!

What a way to go!

Manning M. Knapp (1825-1892) was a Justice in the New Jersey Superior Court for a number of years up to his death in 1892 in the court room.

Manning M. Knapp (1825-1892) was a Justice in the New Jersey Supreme Court for a number of years up to his death in 1892 in the court room.

The New York Times of January 27, 1892, page 1 (accessed at, describes the circumstances leading to his death:




"Supreme Court Justice Manning M. Knapp ended a long service on the bench by dropping dead in the Hudson County Circuit Court room on Jersey City Heights yesterday afternoon. The Judge had been ailing more or less for two or three years. The precarious state of his health necessitated a long vacation last Fall that extended into the opening of the December term of the county courts. He was on hand, however, to receive the Grand Jurors when the term commenced. It was noticed that he failed to deliver to them one of his usual vigorous and caustic charges on the condition of public affairs and the prevalence of public vices throughout the county. It was assumed that this lapse was due to his conviction that, as all of his previous commands that Grand Jurors do their duty proved fruitless, there was no use of his saying more to them. The belief is general now, however, that he was forced to abstain by the condition of his health.

"The failure of the present Grand Jury to indict Cronheim, the Hoboken dive keeper whose frequent arrests for giving Sunday entertainments have been reported in these columns , served, however, to arouse all the Judge's latent energies, and when the Grand Jury went into court yesterday afternoon to make presentments and report progress, he was prepared to lecture them for their dereliction. When the members had ranged themselves in front of his bench in the courtroom he denounced them roundly for their refusal to take cognizance of the proofs in this case.

"Once before, he said, Cronheim had been indicted and had pleaded non vult. That was his confession of guilt. The testimony taken in a more recent habeas corpus case that had involved Cronheim's place was sufficient to have convicted him if he had been on trial, and he declared himself astonished beyond measure that the Grand Jury had not found an indictment.

"The court, the Judge added, felt particularly sensitive over these repeated protections of violators of the law, because in the public mind the court itself was involved in the imputations, though it had no control whatever over the Grand Jury. There was once a time when a charge to the Grand Jury was heeded, and he wanted to know if this time no longer existed. Then he picked up a bundle of manuscript and held it in view of the inquest.

" 'Information comes to the court,' he said, 'which involves it in the protection of crime because of the failure of the Grand Jury to act. You will find here a copy of --'

"The Judge became ghastly pale and gasped for breath. Before Judge Lippincott could reach him he had fallen back in his chair unconscious. The excitement in the courtroom became intense. Grand Jurors and tipstaves and spectators pressed forward toward the bench, while Judge Lippincott, assisted by one or two lawyers, carried the suffering jurist into his private chamber. When they had laid him on the sofa they felt for his pulse and listened for heart beats.

" 'I fear he is dead!' said one as he turned with a despairing air to the throng that was trying to push its way into the room. Messengers were hastened in all directions for medical aid. Dr. Rhodes, who was the first physician to arrive, saw at a glance that the end had come and that the stricken Justice was beyond the reach of medical skill. Dr. Noble dashed in a minute or two later. He said that death had resulted from a ruptured blood vessel.

"The remains were removed to the late home of the deceased at Hackensack.

"Judge Knapp had been on the bench of the Supreme Court of the State for seventeen years. He was a native of Newtown, Sussex County. Born in 1823, he was in his sixty-ninth year, but his wonderful mental acumen and his springy, elastic step indicated a much younger man. He was admitted to the bar at the July term in 1846, and was made a counselor in 1850. He quickly acquired a large practice and attracted attention by his success in the conduct of several important cases. In 1875, Gov. Bedle appointed him to the Supreme Court bench. Gov. Ludlow reappointed him in 1882, and in 1889 Gov. Green signed his third commission. Soon after his appointment by Gov. Bedle the Supreme court Justices assigned him to the busy Hudson County Circuit, which Bedle had vacated to accept the Chief Magistracy of the state.

"Judge Knapp was a widely-read man and an enthusiast in other studies than the law. He was specially interested in the mysteries of the heavens, and at his home in Hackensack had one of the most complete telescopes in this part of the country. He was scarcely up to the medium height, but he had a massive head, and the classic mold of his features was a subject of frequent remark.

"The Grand Jury was to have considered the Guttenberg race-course scandal yesterday. Judge Knapp had prepared to make that the topic of a special charge. His death prevented its delivery.

"Judge Knapp leaves a wife, daughter of Capt. Joseph Mattison of the navy, and a son and a daughter, the latter being the wife of Walter V. Clark of Hackensack."


Isn't that interesting? I wish that more journalists could write as well as this is written! I've given up hope that I could... I'll have more on Judge Knapp in later posts. He's related to me!