Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ahnentafel Roulette

It's Saturday Night - time for some Genealogy Fun (even though I'm stuck in Santa Cruz without Internet access).

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

Here's mine (I had to go into to find this out...):

1) My father was born in 1911, so he would have been 97 right now. Dividing by 4 gives me 18.75, rounded off to 19.

2) #19 in my ahnentafel is Edward Hildreth, born 30 April 1831 in Townsend, Middlesex, MA to Zachariah and Hannah (Sawtell) Hildreth, and died 26 April 1899 in Leominster, Worcester, MA. He married Sophia Hildreth on 25 December 1852 in Northborough, Worcester, MA, and they had two children - Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920) and Clarence Hildreth (1874-1878).

I don't think I've written about Edward Hildreth before on Genea-Musings. He's a second great-grandfather that my father and his siblings never met since he died before his grandson Frederick Walton Seaver was married in 1900. There were no memories of him passed down by his daughter to her grandchildren that I know of.

3) Three facts:

* Edward Hildreth was listed as a combmaker in the 1860 census, worked in a machine shop in the 1870 census, and was listed as a machinist in the 1880 census.

* The Edward and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth home was located at 146 Lancaster Street in Leominster, Worcester, MA.

* Edward Hildreth died intestate. His probate records are in Worcester County Probate Records, Enclosure 25,255 B (reviewed at Worcester County Court House in Worcester, MA). Administration was granted on 24 October 1899 to his widow, Sophia Hildreth, who posted a bond on $3,000 on that date. No inventory was made or filed. The heirs-at-law were listed as:

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

4) I did it in this post!

PS: Will someone please post a link to this on Twitter and Facebook for me? Thanks!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Internet Deprived in Santa Cruz

I am in beautiful downtown Felton CA in an Internet/computer business place paying $6 an hour for connection time... so this will be short (I am such a miser sometimes!). FYI, my daughter's home Internet DSL has not connected for two days and I am suffering serious email, blog, Facebook and other withdrawal symptoms.

When not busy being a chauffeur, cook, bather, shopper, Grandpa monster and other fun personae with my grandsons, I read mystery books. I am having a lot of fun with Lucas (age 6) and Logan (age 3) - they are very cute and very smart and are minding their grandpa very well - I bribe them, though (don't tell my daughter, please).

I will be home on Monday, so blog posts will be pretty sparse until then (unless the DSL comes back on, of course!).

Now I need to think up a SNGF for all of you...

FGS Conference Photographs - Post 2

Post 1 of my photographs from the 2009 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Little Rock is here.

Here are more photos from my five days at the 2009 FGS Conference:

1) The Bloggers summit had a panel of four, with Drew Smith, George G. Morgan, Jim Ericson and Gena Philibert Ortega on the panel shown below. This was a really dark room - and I didn't get pictures of the people in the audience, and we didn't get all of the bloggers present together for a picture:

2) At the exhibit, Jennifer Utley (left) and Juliana Smith (right) posed for a picture (this was my first time meeting Juliana, a blogger):

3) David Allen Lambert was at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society exhibit throughout the conference (along with Tom Champoux and Rhonda McClure):

4) Dean Richardson (blogger at, and owner of, with his display:

5) Gordon Erickson and Pat Richley (DearMYRTLE) were married in mid-August, and it was wonderful to see them at the Conference. Here is the happy couple, who stayed close to the FGS exhibit for most of the conference:

6) had a large exhibit at the end of Aisle 200, and had scheduled "classes" to display their websites -,, and In the picture below, Jim Ericson is presenting one of the talks:

7) Leland Meitzler drove all of his Family Roots Publishing books from Salt Lake City to Little Rock. He seemed to do a good business with his products:

That's all of the pictures that I have that are fit to print. I thought that I took several more photos of notable genealogy persons ... oh, well!

One final note: It sure seemed like the exhibit area was not "buzzing" like we experienced at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree. The exhibit area at FGS was a little larger, but the crowds seemed to be about half of the Jamboree crowd count.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

FGS Conference Photographs - Post 1

I took a few pictures at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas two weeks ago. Not as many as I wanted to - I seem to forget to take pictures when I'm involved in discussions with people, and one day my wife took the camera to Hot Springs to take pictures of Bill Clinton's birthplace for some reason.

There was a restriction on taking pictures during the presentations also, so my hope to get photos of some of the world-class speakers went for naught.

Here are some of the photos from FGS 2009:

1) The FGS exhibit with Drew Smith, Karen Green and Lou Szucs posing:

2) Looking down the "100" aisle in the Exhibit Hall. This was during one of the breaks between presentations:

3) Looking down the "200" aisle (there were six aisles as I recall) with Dean Richardson ( in the foreground:

4) The exhibit showing the mini-theater showing highlights. There were about 20 computer terminals in back of the display with many employees helping patrons find their ancestral data:

5) The exhibit with several interactive computers for patrons to search for their ancestral records:

There will be a second post with some people I met at the FGS Conference.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 19 September features Tom Underhill

Linda Hervig passed this information about the CGSSD program on Saturday:

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego meets on Saturday, September 19, 2009 from 9:00 am to noon.

9:00 - User groups for Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic, and a Special User Group “Computer Genealogy 101”

10:00 - A break and refreshments

10:15 - Announcements followed by Program: "Publishing a Family History Book in the Internet Age" by Tom Underhill

While the Internet and computer-based technologies continue to become more and more prevalent, the only true archival storage medium remains paper. Learn why family history is more than just names and dates. Discover how to preserve your genealogy for generations to come and get new people excited about the past. Tom is founder of Creative Continuum, a publishing company that specializes in custom-designed family history heirloom books and short-run publications.

We meet at the Robinson Auditorium complex on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla. From North Torrey Pine Road turn at Pangea Drive into UCSD. Free parking is available in the parking garage on the left; use any A, B, or S space. Signs will mark directions to our meeting room. Please refer to our website; or the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies website for driving directions and a map.

Wordly Wednesday: Family Photographs - Post 71: My Marine Grandfather

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

This photograph is from loose pictures found in a box, probably from my grandfather's photo album, that I scanned during Scanfest in February:

This picture is of my maternal grandfather, Lyle Lawrence Carringer, all 67 inches and 120 pounds of him. It was taken in about 1918, probably by my grandmother around the time of their wedding in June 1918.

Lyle joined the United States Marines in 1917 during World War I, and to the best of my knowledge, he never left San Diego. After recruit training in San Diego, he was stationed at the Marine Corps station in Balboa Park in San Diego and worked in the PX there.

In another case of "I wish..." I wish that I had known that he had been in the Marines and had asked him about his training and service.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Elvis! (and family)

Genea-Musings readers know that I ran out of tombstone pictures of my own family and ancestors several months ago... but then I went on vacation in late August, and managed to get pictures of some, um, famous, gravestones and monuments. This Graveyard Rabbit struck again...

On the grounds of Graceland (3734 Elvis Presley Blvd in Memphis, Tennessee) is a monument for the Presley family (originally erected to honor Elvis mother, Grace Jones (Love) Presley:

I little further around the reflection pool are four graves set in the ground with large stones - here is the setting with Elvis Aaron Presley's grave in the foreground, with Vernon Elvis Presley's grave to his right, with Gladys (Love) Presley's grave to Vernon's right, and with Elvis paternal grandmother, Minnie Presley's grave to Elvis' left:

The grave stone for Elvis Aaron Presley (1935-1977):

These photographs were taken by Randall J. Seaver (the South San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit!) on Monday, 7 September 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Using Google Earth to find land location in the Public Land Survey System States

I mentioned in my post Day 4 at the FGS Conference that I had attended the "GPS for Genealogists" presentation by Rick and Pam Sayre. In their talk, they demonstrated how the website Earth Point at can be used to identify the latitude and longitude of a land plot in the Public Land Survey System states, shown in Google Earth and Google Maps, and then how it can be put on the Geographical Positioning System (GPS) and found by driving to the site.

I don't have many ancestral families that owned land in the Public Land Survey System states, but I do have at least two. I was curious to see where the plot of land for my 3rd-great-grandfather Samuel Vaux was located in Andrew County, Missouri. I have two deeds (one a grantor in 1869 and the other a grantee in 1880) that identify it as the southeast quarter of the southeast quadrant of Section 21 in Township 61N Range 33W. With that as a guideline, I went to the website and entered the location into the search fields provided (two screens below):

The search fields had drop down menus that made it easy to select from once I put the State and Township Number in first.

I clicked on the "View" button and got this information:

The geographic location, in latitude and longitude, of the corners of the section are defined in the screen above, along with the size of the section (647 acres).

But now I wanted to see the plot of land as it currently stands - to determine the roads it is bounded by, and if there is a house or farm on the 40 acres owned by my Vaux ancestors. To do this, I had to download Google Earth from - that was fairly easy to do, and after testing it, I was ready to use it.

The screen above has a button for "Fly To on Google Earth" so I clicked on it, and a little "Fly To" program had to be downloaded. Then Google Earth opened in a separate window and quickly zoomed in on the Section and Township, as shown below:

The township is outlined in orange, and the Section is outlined in magenta in the screen above. I could not zoom in any further on Google Earth. I went the next step, and found the icon on the menu row of Google Earth that says "View in Google Maps" (it's the right-most icon above the map).

I clicked on that icon, and Google Maps opened and took me right to the map for that location:

But wait - I've lost the section and township outline, so I went back and figured out on Google Earth that Empire Prairie was just to the left of the section I'm interested in, so I came back to the Google Map and zoomed in a bit to see Empire Prairie and the Section just to the left of the location:

The Southeast quadrant of the Southeast quarter of Section 21 is right in the corner of the Section. I zoomed in again to the maximum possible magnification and saw:

There are several buildings on that 40 acres of land, which has its southeast corner where County Road 115 (east-west) and County Road 242 (north-south) intersect. The location is about one mile north of Missouri Highway 48, and about five miles west of King City. I wonder who lives there, and if the farmhouse is the one bought by my Vaux ancestors?

Isn't this site really useful? And it is FREE!!!

If you want to use this site to look for the current location of land owned by your ancestors, go to and input your land description, download Google Earth if you need to, and then you are set to go.

Thank you to Rick and Pam Sayre for the exposure to this website and capability. This is just one of many things I learned at the FGS Conference - I will have more to come!

Where would we be without Google Maps and Google Earth? We have amazing technology these days that make out job much easier!
UPDATED 4:55 p.m: I erred in my original post by saying State Land System - it is the Public Land Survey System or Federal Land States. Thank you to Michael John Neill for pointing it out on Facebook. I erred in my FGS post too, apparently, but nobody read it ;) Instant correction and instant revision!

Madness Monday - Who are Mary Kent's Parents?

One of my persistent "problem children" is Mary Kent, who married William Cutter (1722-1780), probably in about 1744, in Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ. They had children Stephen (1745), Richard, Sarah, Mary, Hannah, Kelsey, Samuel and Keturah (ca 1765) Cutter. Mary was probably born between 1720 to 1726.

There were several Kent families in the Woodbridge NJ area in the late 1600s and through the 1700s, but the records are very sparse. Here is a report of the descendants of Stephen Kent (1648-1719) from my genealogy database:

Generation No. 1

1.... Stephen4 Kent (Stephen3, Thomas2, Richard1) was born 06 March 1647/48 in Newbury, Essex County, MA, and died March 1718/19 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. He married (1) Jane Scott 25 December 1683 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. She was born in of Elizabeth, Union County, NJ. He married (2) Mary About 1710. He married (3) Abigail Bef. 1719.

Notes for Stephen Kent:

Stephen Kent came to Woodbridge NJ with his father and acquired considerable land there. His name appears frequently on the Woodbridge records. He makes several conveyances of land and sold the homestead obtained by inheritance from his father. He is called both planter and yeoman. He did not hold many civil offices and was not as prominent a man as his father. Through him or his father, two localities received names - Kent's Creek and Kent's Neck on the Raritan, and a little stream near the Kent house was called Slingtaile Brook.

In the fourth division of land in 1717, Stephen Kent Jr drew 63 acres of land in his own right and his son, Stephen Kent, drew ten acres.

The will of Stephen Kent, yeoman, was dated 11 April 1716, and names wife Abigail, oldest son David, mentions son Stephen, daughter Hannah, son John and daughter Abigail. His wife Abigail received his movable property for bringing up his two children John and Abigail. Son Stephen Kent was named sole executor for the will proved 25 March 1719.

The inventory of the personal estate was made by James Moores and Thomas Collyer, and sworn to by Stephen Kent, executor, on 25 March 1719 (NJ Archives, Lib. A, p167).

Children of Stephen Kent and Jane Scott are:
..2.....i. Susannah5 Kent, born 21 December 1684 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
+3.....ii. David Kent, born 30 June 1686 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
..4.....iii. Hannah Kent, born About 1688 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
..5.....iv. Stephen Kent, born About 1690 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
..6.....v. Abigail Kent, born About 1692 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. John Kent, born About 1695 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.

Generation No. 2

..3..... David5 Kent (Stephen4, Stephen3, Thomas2, Richard1) was born 30 June 1686 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. He married (unknown).

Children of David Kent and (unknown) are:
+ 8.....i. John6 Kent, born About 1710 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died About 1775 in Piscataway, Middlesex County, NJ.
+ 9.....ii. William Kent, born 1713 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died Bef. 19 June 1761 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
+ 10....iii. Abigail Kent, born About 1716 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.

Generation No. 3

..8. John6 Kent (David5, Stephen4, Stephen3, Thomas2, Richard1) was born About 1710 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ, and died About 1775 in Piscataway, Middlesex County, NJ. He married (1) (unknown). He married (2) Charity Cutter 08 February 1769 in Middlesex County, NJ.

Children of John Kent and (unknown) are:
+ 11....i. John7 Kent, born in Middlesex County, NJ; died About 1775 in Piscataway, Middlesex County, NJ.
..12....ii. David Kent, born in Middlesex County, NJ.
..13....iii. Stephen Kent, born in Middlesex County, NJ. He married Mary Carman 26 July 1768 in Middlesex, NJ.

..9. William6 Kent (David5, Stephen4, Stephen3, Thomas2, Richard1) was born 1713 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ, and died Bef. 19 June 1761 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. He married Charity Freeman 01 May 1756 in Middlesex County, NJ. She died Bef. 24 February 1784 in Middlesex County, NJ.

Notes for William Kent:

The will of William Kent was written 10 June 1761, in which William Kent of Woodbridge leaves wife Charity with all his moveable estate in order to bring up the children, and the use of his land. Son Phinehas was given the land when he is 21, but he is to pay daughter Elizabeth 15 pounds when she is 21. If son Phinehas should die, then the land should go to brother David Evans, his son Lewis Evans, and heirs. Brother David Evans and friend Nathaniel Fitz Randolph were named executors. The witnesses were Mary Stone, Rebecca Stone, Abraham Tappen. The will was proved 15 July 1761. An inventory was taken by Thomas Gach and David Kent on 18 July 1761 and totalled 278 pounds 15 shillings. (NJ Archives, Lib. H, p.4).

Notes for Charity Freeman:
Estate administered 24 Feb 1784 by Henry Sutton. [NJ Archives, Calendar of Wills, 1781-1785, p. 232]

Children of William Kent and Charity Freeman are:
+ 14....i. Phinehas7 Kent, born 11 September 1756 in Middlesex County, NJ.
...15....ii. Elizabeth Kent, born About 1759 in Middlesex County, NJ.

10. Abigail6 Kent (David5, Stephen4, Stephen3, Thomas2, Richard1) was born About 1716 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. She married Tayner.

Child of Abigail Kent and Tayner is:
..16....i. William7 Tayner.

Generation No. 4

..11. John7 Kent (John6, David5, Stephen4, Stephen3, Thomas2, Richard1) was born in Middlesex County, NJ, and died About 1775 in Piscataway, Middlesex County, NJ. He married Lena.

Children of John Kent and Lena are:
..17....i. John8 Kent.
..18....ii. Catharine Kent.
..19....iii. James Kent.
..20....iv. Elizabeth Kent.
..21....v. Phebe Kent.

..14. Phinehas7 Kent (William6, David5, Stephen4, Stephen3, Thomas2, Richard1) was born 11 September 1756 in Middlesex County, NJ. He married Sarah Brown.

Child of Phinehas Kent and Sarah Brown is:
..22.....i. Clayton8 Kent, born 05 August 1794 in Middlesex County, NJ.


I have not investigated land records or tax records for the Kent, Cutter, FitzRandolph, Gach and my other ancestral families in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey. Apparently, nobody else has investigated them either, since I have found no other family tree or web site that adds much more information to this descent from Stephen Kent.

My very best guess is that Mary Kent is the daughter of #5 Stephen Kent or #7 John Kent. She may be a daughter of #3 David Kent. I doubt that she is the daughter of #8 John Kent, since he was born about 1710 and would probably be too young to have a child before 1728 or so.

I welcome any suggestions for ways to uncover the parents of this "problem child."

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Taneya Koonce has a wonderful post on her Taneya's Genealogy Blog titled Cemetery Clearing that is a terrific example of genealogical service to a family and community, and a wonderful "family history" lesson for her children. I plead with you to click on the link and enjoy her post.

At the end of her post, she shows a gravestone for Epluribus U. Lee, a US Army soldier from World War II. What a fascinating name! The middle name has to be Unum, doesn't it? Think about it - we are ALL "From many, One" aren't we?

So was Mr. Lee the only person named Epluribus? Oh no! There were plenty. Just doing a simple search in the census records on Ancestry uncovers:

1) 1850 US Census

** Epluribus Berry, age 6, in Winston, MS (male)

2) 1860 US Census

** Epluribus U. Murray, age 9 in Haywood, NC (male)
** E. Pluribus Baker, age 8 in Tippah, MS (female)

3) 1870 US Census

** Epluribus Shepherd, age 2 in Stump Sound, Onslow, NC (male)
** E. Pluribus V. Perry, age 16, in Shelby, TN (male)
** E. Pluribus Unum Wallace, age 18 in Polk, TX (male)

4) 1880 US Census

** Epluribus I. Martin, age 35 in Bainbridge, Decatur, GA

5) 1900 US Census

** Epluribus U. Medesker, age 10 in Jefferson, Morgan, IN (female)
** Eplurbirst Pinder, age 15 in Drawbridge, dorchester, MD (female)
** Epluribus Powell, age 2 in Orange, Black Hawk, IA (female)
** Epluribus Rigs, age 3 in Oak Grove, Wake, NC (male)
** Epluribus Sanders, age 1 in Flemington, Marion, FL (male)
** E. Pluribus Street, age 10 in Newnan, Coweta, GA (female)

6) 1910 US Census

** Epluribus Elliott, age 4 in Sessums, Oktibbeha, MS (male)
** Epluribus Green, age 2 in Birmingham, Jefferson, AL (male)
** Epluribus W. Husted, age 46 in Guymon, Texas, OK (male)
** Epluribus Riggs, age 13 in Oak Grove, Wake, NC (male)
** Epluribus Swart, age 3 in Spiro, LeFlore, OK (male)
** E. Pluribus Suddreth, age 46 in JP5, Erath, TX (male)

7) 1920 US Census

** Epluribus Thomas, age 13 in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO (male)
** Epluribus Thomas, age 9 in Chickasha, Grady, OK (male)
** Epluribus P. Wallace, age 65 in JP6, Tyler, TX (male)
** Epluribus Whiteside, age 6 in Stonewall, Pontotoc, OK (male)
** Eplurvius Wright, age 8 in Cape Gireardeau, Cape Girardeau, MO (male)
** E. Pluribus Eubanks, age 0 in Braden, LeFlore, OK (male)

8) 1930 US Census

** Epluribus Adams, age 12 in Gary, Lake, IN (female)
** Epluribus Brown, age 32 in St. Louis, MO (male)
** Epluribus U. Ford, age 44 in Carthage, Panola, TX (female)
** Eplura Landrum, age 72 in Smith, MS (male)
** Epluribus U. Powell, age 31 in Polo, Ogle, IL (male)
** Eplurbis Williams, age 7 in Tally Ho, Granville, NC

There are, of course, entries in several other databases with the given name Epluribus or E. Pluribus. And there are many contractions or nicknames of these names too.

For instance, the Epluribus U. Lee buried in Talladega, Alabama is listed in the 1930 census as Pluribus Lee, age 20, in Talladega, Talladega, AL and is not easily found in the 1910 or 1920 census.

Now I'm trying to think of other Latin phrases, or patriotic phrases, that might be used as given names. Any suggestions? I already looked for "In God" (I found none) and "Semper Fidelis" (found some probables).

I had fun doing this! Thanks, Taneya for the inspiration!

Best of the Genea-Blogs - not yet!

We have just returned from our 17 day vacation to the Midwest, and I am still recovering from sleeping on hard and soft beds (not my bed), walking through stores and malls and tourist sites, and eating too much restaurant food.

Consequently, the weekly Best of the Genea-Blogs feature is still on hiatus. And it will be for another week, since I'm off to Santa Cruz on Tuesday to grandpa-enjoy my grandsons - I'll come back home on Monday the 21st. I'm sorry about BOGB but it was too much for me to do the past three weeks - I was lucky to get wi-fi access and to read my email and blogs, and post one or two blogs each day, while we were away.

For those that absolutely, have to have something really great to read on a lazy Sunday surrounded by NFL football season, and we're still in the Baseball season too, here are some links to articles in the best genea-blog-ezine in existence:

* Digi-Scrapping Your Heirloom Pieces by Jasia in her monthly Captured Moments column on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog.

* The Year was 1923 by Sheri Fenley in her monthly The Year Was column on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog.

* History Hidden in the Shed by footnoteMaven on the Shades of the Departed blog.

* Ever Had A Bad Hair Day? by footnoteMaven on the Shades of the Departed blog.

* The Digital Toolbox by Denise Olson in her monthly The Creative Toolbox column on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog.

* Returning Back to the School of Life by Denise Levenick in her monthly Miss Penelope Dreadful column on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog.

* Friday From The Collectors - September 4 by Lisa Jarvis on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog.

Those are the entries on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog from just the last 9 days. There is at least an hour of reading pleasure there for enthralled readers of creative and informative genealogy writing.

My wish is that, in addition to posting these articles one at a time over a month, footnoteMaven would combine them into a digital e-zine in PDF format to be downloaded from a website or emailed to a subscriber list.