Saturday, October 31, 2009

Surname Saturday: CARRINGER

It's Surname Saturday - and I'm posting surnames and ancestors with that surname from my genealogy database.

My mother's maiden name was CARRINGER, so I'm going to list my Carringer ancestors in Ahnentafel order (with me as #1, and listing spouses, children and birth/death/marriage dates):

1. Randall J. Seaver

3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919 in San Diego CA - 2002 in San Diego CA), married 1942 in San Diego CA to Frederick Walton Seaver (1911 MA - 1983 San Diego CA). Children:

* Randall J. Seaver
* Stanley Seaver
* Scott Seaver

6. Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891 San Diego CA - 1976 San Diego CA), married 1918 in San Diego CA to Emily Kemp Auble (1899 IL -1977 San Diego CA). Child:

* Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002).

12. Henry Austin Carringer (1853 Mercer County PA - 1946 San Diego CA) married 1887 in Wano KS to Abbie Ardell Smith (1862 WI - 1944 San Diego CA). Children:

* Devier David Carringer (1889-1890),
* Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976).

24. David Jackson (D.J.) Carringer ( 1828 Mercer County PA - 1902 San Diego CA) married 1851 in Mercer County PA to Rebecca Spangler (1832 Mercer County PA - 1901 San Diego CA). Children:

* Harvey Edgar Carringer (1852-1946) ,
* Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946),
* Effie E. Carringer (1858-1874).

48. Henry/Heinrich Carringer (1800 Mercer County PA - 1881 Louisa County IA) married ca. 1825 in Mercer County PA to Sarah Feather (1804 OH - 1848 Mercer County PA). Children:

* Eliza Carringer (1826-????), married --?-- Robinson;
* David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902), married Rebecca Spangler;
* George Carringer (1832-before 1880), married Mary --?--;
* Cornelius A. Carringer (1834-1916), married (1) Elizabeth Green, (2) Nancy Donaldson;
* Mary Carringer (1835-????);
* Sarah Carringer (1837-????);
* Henry Carringer (1839-????);
* Louisa Carringer (1842-????);
* Matilda Carringer (1845-????), married John Moore;
* Harvey Carringer (1848-1870).

96. Martin Carringer (ca. 1758 PA - 1835 Mercer County PA) married 1785 in Westmoreland County PA to Mary/Magdalena Hoax/Houx/Hokes/etc. (ca 1768 MD - 1850 Mercer County PA). Children:

* Jacob Carringer (1785-1865), married Elizabeth --?--;
* Elizabeth Carringer (1789-1850), married --?-- McCartney;
* Katherine Carringer (1792-after 1860), married Abraham Kazebee;
* George Carringer (1795-1876), married Isabella Montgomery;
* Clara Carringer (1797- before 1810);
* Henry Carringer (1800-1881), married Sarah Feather;
* Soloman Carringer (1802-after 1820);
* Joseph Carringer (1805-1869), married Mary Ann Spangler.

192. Carringer -- the father of Martin Carringer is not known with any certainty. He may be Henry Garringer who enlisted 10 June 1757 (at age 25, a weaver, and a native of Germany) in Major James Burd's Company of the Augusta Regiment of Foot, stationed at Fort Augusta.

There are other Carringer/Garringer/Geringer/etc. surname variations in Pennsylvania before 1770, including Baltus Gerringer in 1728, Thomas Garringer in 1738, Jacob Gerringer in 1751, John George Gehringer in 1751, and Bestian and Nicolas Garinger in 1754, all of whom appear in the book Pennsylvania German Pioneers by Strassburger and Hinke.

I have created a genealogy report from my database for the Descendants of Martin Carringer here. If any reader can add to, or correct, the information in that genealogy report, please contact me via email at I have also posted the database in an Public Member Tree and on several other family tree websites.

The Carringer surname map for the USA looks like this (thank you,!):

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun --Tricks and Treats

Hey boys and girls, it's Hallowe'en, and time for some Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! Play either before or after your trick or treating experiences, or even on Sunday morning after your extra hour of sleep (you did remember to set your clocks back, didn't you?).

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along - cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1) Think about your most memorable Hallowe'en - was it when you were a child (candy, games, carnivals), a teenager (tricks and treats), or an adult (perhaps a party)?

2) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post of mine, or in a comment on Twitter or Facebook in response to this post.

3) Have fun!

Here's mine:

My most memorable Hallowe'en "event" was after we were married and had the girls. Our young couples group at church always had a party at Hallowe'en and everybody got dressed up and we had games and stories and prizes. One year, I was still skinny enough to put on my wife's long maternity dress, stuff a bra with small towels, and put on panty-hose and short heels (fortunately, we're about the same height and shoe size), and dabs of perfume in the right spots [Memo to self - I don't want to do that again...]. I also had on my wife's long black wig and a nice mask with a woman's face with eyeholes. So off we go to the party. We always get to parties at the appointed time so as to get a full evenings worth of the punch, food and fun.

Our pastor at the time was divorced and had a reputation as a ladies man. He always showed up late to parties. When he showed up at the door, my wife scurried into the kitchen with several of the other wives while all the husbands milled about, oblivious since they knew it was me. I adjusted everything I could before the pastor walked in. I was sitting on the couch with my legs together (that's still hard for men, you know) and my ankles crossed (not any leg hair showing).

The pastor checked everything out, saw me on the couch, sidled over and introduced himself as Ted and I stood up. He said something like "you sure look nice tonight" and I shook his hand with a limpish wrist and responded in a falsetto voice "Enchante, I'm sure." He was totally confused and I heard giggles from the open kitchen door. I wasn't quick thinking enough to lead him on further, of course, being a staid Presbyterian. I slowly removed my mask and the room erupted in laughter and he turned red. Serves him right, trying to make time with an elder in the church (we didn't have female elders then).

It was a trick (on him) and a treat (for everyone else) and a fine Hallowe'en memory for for us. When we had the church's 25th anniversary party several years later, it was replayed with much hilarity - of course I could barely fit into the dress by then.

Hallowe'en Names

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

1) The GHOST surname - there are 448 entries, including the descendants of Philip Ghost of Westmoreland County PA - see 6 generations here. It looks like at least one GHOST from this family is still living.

2) The GOBLIN surname - there are 35 entries. It looks like there are no real GOBLIN family trees - only isolated GOBLIN women who married men with other surnames.

3) The SKELETON surname - there are 393 entries but few trees with many generations. Methinks these are mostly misspelled SKELTON people.

4) The FRANKENSTEIN surname - There are 967 entries, and most of them are of German origin. One family that settled in Rochester NY is here. There is one Frank N. Stein here.

5) The WITCH surname - there are 123 entries, but no long family lines in the database. Some of these are those accused of witchcraft.

6) The PUMPKIN surname - there are 68 entries, but no long family lines.

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

8) The SPOOK surname - there are 11 entries, and only one with a three generation family. There are 32 entries for people with the first name of Spook and 25 for the first name of Spooky.

9) The GHOUL surname - there are 11 entries.

10) The JACKO surname has 271 entries.

11) The LANTERN surname has 284 entries. But there are no people named Jack O. Lantern.

12) There are 223 CAT surname entries and 10,209 CATT entries. There are no Black Cat names.

13) There are 16 SCARY surname entries - many of them still living. There are 69 entries for a given name of Scary.

14) There are 50 DRACULA entries, many of them are related to The Count.

15) There are 549 CEMETERY entries, some of them the name of actual cemetery databases.

16) There are 1,945 MONSTER entries. No Monster Mash, though. Or a Boris Pickett.

17) There are 670 SKULL entries.

18) There are 91 SPIRIT entries. There are 7 entries for a Holy Spirit with a spouse named Mary, with a child.

19) There are 3 entries for "Spider WEBB"

20) There are 182 entries for SCREECH surname. And 32 entries for a given name or nickname of Screech.

21) There are 4 entries for HALLOWEEN surname - even a Mary Halloween.

22) There are no VAMPIRE surname entries.

23) There are 16,241 BROOM surname entries.

24) There are 108 BAT surname entries, 14,491 BATT entries and 9,276 BATTY surname entries

25) There are no ZOMBIE surname entries or given name entries. Whew!

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

Happy Hallowe'en!! Trick or Treat?

Yep - TRICK surname has 3,527 entries and TREAT surname has 53,027. entries!

FYI, started this off with a press release back in 2006 with census entries - see the list here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

San Francisco Afternoon Delights

No, silly, not that! I know what you're thinking. It sounds like fun, but I'm not sure my heart would take too much of it, and my wife might look askance at me. I'm a hard working genealogy researcher. I'm talking about genealogy treats - all found this afternoon to my delight!

One of my long-term genealogy projects is to find more family history information about my wife's ancestors. She has surnames Schaffner, McKnew, Paul, and Whittle in San Francisco.

I checked many of the databases on the San Francisco Genealogy website ( for records of the families. I found several nuggets of information, including this from the 1867 Great Register of Voters:

* Joseph Whittle's record, including information about his naturalization in 1861.
* Frederick Schaffner's record, including information about his naturalization in 1856.

I found a funeral notice for Dora Schaffner in 1904 in the San Francisco Funeral Home Records 1835-1931 on the FamilySearch Record Search site ( That gave me her birth and death dates, and her last address.

I checked on the San Francisco Chronicle 1865-1903 newspaper collection on I was rewarded with death notices or obituaries for:

* John Charles Paul, died on 31 May 1879
* Robert Henry Paul, died on 14 September 1902
* John Charles Paul, died 22 September 1889
* Abbie C. Paul, died 11 November 1894

* Frederick Schaffner, died 29 February 1899
* Herman Schaffner, died 8 December 1921
* Frederick Schaffner, died 5 April 1907.
* Dora Schaffner, died 11 April 1904.

I still have the City Directories to look thorugh on and on the site - a task for another day!

It was a fun and "profitable" afternoon, and I treated myself to my M&Ms because I found so much!

Obtaining my 43-Marker Y-DNA Test Results

Earlier this year, I wrote a series of posts (links to all of them here) about my experience with a 20-marker Y-DNA test performed by Genebase - it was a Christmas gift from my daughters which I greatly appreciated.

Last year, I received my mitochondrial DNA results from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF), and joined GeneTree to share those results.

Earlier this month, I received an email from SMGF that offered my Y-DNA results from the cheek swab taken several years ago for only $19.50. I thought it was a pretty good deal, especially since it is a 43-marker test. I signed up, paid my money, and the results came to my GeneTree account yesterday. I spent several hours working with my markers, entering them into DNA Ancestry and YSearch, and comparing the results to other persons on GeneTree, DNA Ancestry and YSearch.

Most genealogists understand that the Y-chromosome DNA test (Y-DNA) reveals the patrilineal ancestry of a male, his father, his father's father, and on down the line to infinity. Each person in the patrilineal line will have the same Y-DNA markers, except for when mutations occur. If two persons have the exact same marker values, then they share a common ancestor back in history. The differences, caused by mutations, in the markers can indicate how far back there is a common ancestor. The number of markers tested are important, because the percentage of common markers between two people can define the number of generations back to the most recent common ancestor (MRCA). A 43-marker test will provide better results than a 20-marker test or a 13-marker test.

I logged onto my GeneTree account, and saw:

On the DNA Tab, I clicked on the Y-DNA Profile:

This page told me that my Y-DNA results indicate that I am in the R-M207 Haplogroup and have the R1b1b2a*-S128 haplotype. It also told me information about my haplogroup, and about the history and geography of Haplogroup R.

I clicked on the "Maps" tab below the "Y-DNA Results" banner, and saw:

I wasn't surprised that the R-M207 Haplogroup is concentrated in western Europe, and especially the British Isles. My earliest known Seaver ancestor - Robert Seaver (1608-1683) was English, and came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634.

The next tab on the "Y-DNA Results" page is for "Markers," so I clicked on that and saw:

While 47 markers are listed, four markers on the list do not have results for some reason.

I double checked the marker values on my 20-marker test from Genebase and the results are identical.

My next post in this series will describe finding possible matches in the GeneTree database. Later posts will show finding matches in the DNA Ancestry and YSearch Y-DNA databases.

Follow Friday - "GeneaBloggers"

The Follow Friday theme is intended for genealogy bloggers to recommend other genealogy blogs or specific blog posts to their readers.

My recommendation for Genea-Musings readers this week is the GeneaBloggers blog, organized by Thomas MacEntee, and contributed to by Thomas and several other genealogy bloggers.

Every group of people needs some sort of organization, and the genealogy bloggers have this rather informal group (no constitution, no by-laws, no meetings, etc.) that works for all of us.

Posts on the GeneaBloggers blog include:

* Collections of blog posts for the regular daily themes - Black Sheep Sunday, Madness Monday, Tombstone Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Treasure Chest Thursday, Follow Friday, and Surname Saturday. Thomas has created a way to collect these posts into a list, using Google Alerts.

* A weekly article on "May I Introduce To You ..." written by Gini Webb.

* A weekly article on New Genealogy Blogs, written by Thomas.

* A weekly article on Upcoming Genealogy Blogging Events by Thomas, which includes blog anniversaries, blog carnivals, genealogy conferences, geneablogger member appearances, and more.

* Articles on how to blog, how to read blogs, working with Facebook, data backup, and many more, mainly written by Thomas.

The GeneaBloggers blog is indispensable for me - I often add new blogs to my own blog list from the weekly post, and can quickly scan the themes to see what I missed the first time around.

The neatest thing is, I think, that the daily themes provide topics for genealogy bloggers to write about - and in the process they improve their writing skills and we learn more about their lives and their family history.

Have you noticed that almost all of the genealogy bloggers currently producing original writing and reading material are not professional genealogists, and were pretty much unknown before they started writing and blogging? The genealogy world will reap the benefit of this writing "explosion" as the geneabloggers hone their skills - many future professional genealogists, online columnists, magazine authors and columnists will come from the geneabloggers. We are already seeing this, with Thomas MacEntee, Mark Tucker, and several other geneabloggers writing on a regular basis for national online and paper media. I address this, in part, in my own Genealogy 2.0 column in the FORUM Magazine published by the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Try GeneaBloggers - I think you'll enjoy reading it whether you are a blogger or a genealogy blog reader.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Follow-up to Announcement

The Genealogy Insider (Diane Haddad) put on her expert reporter hat and asked Justin Schroepfer, a spokesman for, some important questions about the BIG Announcement - US Census Records that many bloggers posted today.

Diane's blog post is Census Collection Q&A With Footnote. The most interesting question was, I think:

1. Is Footnote creating new census images and indexes? How is this being done?
"We are digitizing the microfilm and indexing the data ourselves the same way we have done the [1860 and 1930] censuses. The way we do the census records is different with the addition of what we call ‘sub documents.’ "

Please read all of Diane's interview with Justin. has already started on the 1900, 1910 and 1920 census records, as you can see in this screen capture from the Census site:

This shows that the completion status for the different census years is, as of today:

* 1860 - 100% complete
* 1900 - 1% complete
* 1910 - 1% complete
* 1920 - 1% complete
* 1930 - 97% complete

Justin answered another question indicating that the entire 1790 to 1930 census collection would be completed by the end of 2010. If so, that is really good news! It certainly sounds ambitious!

I am excited by the prospect of another, separate, set of census indexes, but I wonder who they will be shared with. Footnote and FamilySearch already share the 1860 census indexes.

As with the 1930 US census, the user has the capability to see a Footnote Page created by, for the entries in the available census records. However, each census collection (including 1860 and 1930) creates a separate page for each person, and there will likely be many census pages for many persons in the census.

In my humble opinion, needs to find a way to combine the several records for a person so that there is only one Footnote Page for an individual. If they can accomplish that, then may well be the best place online to have a wiki environment collection of Person Pages, with user-submitted photographs, documents, stories, vital records, etc.

CVGS Program on "Genealogy Vacations"

Some guy named Randy Seaver presented "Genealogy Vacations" to 30 attendees at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting on Wednesday. The talk started with a review of what a National Lampoon's Genealogy Vacation movie might look like - the Griswolds take off for Salt Lake City with the kids and grandma, but not her dog. Mr. G. finds generations of ancestors at the Family History Library, and the rest of the family is really bored at the motel ... but Mr. G. insists on a side trip to Phoenix AZ where grandma keels over and dies when Mr. G. discovers, and then tells her, that her mother was they bury grandma right there in Phoenix. Mrs. G. runs off with the solemnly dapper funeral home director, the kids take off for a bus tour to Disneyland, and Mr. G. spends extra days at the state archives.

And can't you just hear the complaint from the bored teenager - "We spent two days in Phoenix and all I got was this lousy gravestone rubbing - not even a T-shirt."

Randy's program was really in two parts - first, how to succeed in taking genealogy vacations - where and when to go, what to do when you get there, be sure to check repository hours and access rules, figure out what unique resources they may have, etc. Family reunions and special family history trips were addressed, as were technology tools and using the Internet to plan the ideal genealogy vacation.

The second part was pretty much a travelogue from Randy and Linda vacations taken in 1990 to New England, 1993 to England, 1999 to Scandinavia, 2004 to the northeast, 2008 to New York and the TMG cruise, and 2009 to the FGS Conference in Little Rock while visiting friends. He used lots of pictures, itinerary maps, and told many genealogy research stories - most of them with a lesson learned.

The takeaways from the talk include:

* Blend family visits and tourism with genealogy research to keep everybody happy.

* Try to meet as many family members as possible - share information with them, see their pictures and hear their stories.

* Enjoy the historical places, and learn the local history and customs.

* Search for unique records at every repository you can find, because that may be the only place they are located.

* Leave time in the schedule for opportunity to knock and be taken advantage of - find the distant ocusins, go to the cemeteries, research that elusive ancestor, browse the stacks.

* Technology will fail - have backups, chargers and cables.

* Good luck in genealogy research is often the residue of plans made and opportunities taken.

BIG Announcement - US Census Records

From a press release received from, embargoed until 5 a.m. EDT on 29 October:


ENTIRE U.S. CENSUS GOES INTERACTIVE WITH FOOTNOTE.COM to feature original documents from every publicly available
U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1930-

Lindon, UT – October 29, 2009 – Today
( announced it will digitize and create a searchable database for all publicly available U.S. Federal Censuses ranging from the first U.S. Census taken in 1790 to the most current public census from 1930.

Through its partnership with The National Archives, will add more than 9.5 million images featuring over a half a billion names to its extensive online record collection.

“The census is the most heavily used body of records from the National Archives,” explains Cynthia Fox, Deputy Director at the National Archives. “In addition to names and ages, they are used to obtain dates for naturalizations and the year of immigration. This information can then be used to locate additional records.”

With over 60 million historical records already online, will use the U.S. Census records to tie content together, creating a pathway to discover additional records that previously have been difficult to find.

“We see the census as a highway leading back to the 18th century,” explains Russ Wilding, CEO of “This Census Highway provides off-ramps leading to additional records on the site such as naturalization records, historical newspapers, military records and more. Going forward, will continue to add valuable and unique collections that will enhance the census collection.”

To date, has already completed census collections from two key decades: 1930 and 1860. As more census decades are added to the site, visitors to can view the status for each decade and sign up for an email notification when more records are added to the site for a particular year.

View the
Census Progress Page on

In addition to making these records more accessible, is advancing the way people use the census by creating an interactive experience. Footnote Members can enrich the census records by adding their own contributions. For any person found in the census, users can:

* Add comments and insights about that person
* Upload and attach scanned photos or documents related to that person
* Generate a Footnote Page for any individual that features stories, a photo gallery, timeline and map
* Identify relatives found in the census by clicking the I’m Related button

See the 1930 Interactive Census record for
Jimmy Stewart.

“The most popular feature of our Interactive Census is the I’m Related button,” states Roger Bell, Senior Vice President of Product Development at “This provides an easy way for people to show relations and actually use the census records to make connections with others that may be related to the same person.” works with the National Archives and other organizations to add at least a million new documents and photos a month to the site. Since launching the site in January 2007, has digitized and added over 60 million original source records to the site, including records pertaining to the Holocaust, American Wars, Historical Newspapers and more.

“We will continue to move aggressively to add records to the site, specifically those that are requested by our members and others that are not otherwise available on the Internet,” said Wilding.

Visit to see how the census on can truly be an interactive experience.



Note that the only the 1860 and 1930 census records are digitized and indexed on at this time. However, this means that five years after each census is made available, it will be freely available on the site due to their agreement with the National Archives. The census records will also be freely available at National Archives branches on after their release on Footnote.

Some questions (with answers in green provided by Justin Shroepfer via email this afternoon):

* Will the images used by be digitized by FamilySearch, Heritage Quest Online, or by, or will they be new images taken from the microfilms?

* Will the indexes used by be the ones done by FamilySearch Indexing or by, or will they be new every-name indexes taken from the microfilms?

Response: We are digitizing the microfilm and indexing the data ourselves the same way we have done the other censuses. However, the way we do the census records is different with the addition of what we call ‘sub documents’. We create sub documents for each individual on the census that features the indexed information, allows users to click that they are related and add their own contributions in the form of stories, photos or other documents. Essentially, this creates what we term the Interactive Census Collection.

* Will have indexes for all available fields, or will they restrict the number of fields for searching (like they have for the 1860 and 1930 databases)?

Response: Our indexes for these censuses will be similar to the other censuses we have completed to this point. We looked at how much information could we provide, but at the same time keep costs reasonable so we wouldn’t have to pass that burden on to our customers. We are confident that the information we index will make the censuses useful the the majority of the visitors to the site. Additionally, the tools on our site including annotations will enable the community to add additional information from the census documents to the search database.

* It would not surprise me to see an agreement between FamilySearch and to share the images and indexes in a joint effort. That's what happened with the 1860 and 1930 census records, as I recall.

Response: We do not have any agreement with FamilySearch that would share the images from the censuses. However, we do provide our indexes for use on other sites like FamilySearch.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of I do have a paid subscription to the website. I appreciate receiving announcements from them. The opinions shared above are my own.

UPDATE 4:30 p.m. I received an email from Justin Shroepfer of answering my questions (added above) and clarifying the NARA - Footnote agreement. He said:

Response: I also wanted to clarify that at the end of a rolling five year time period, the National Archives records will be available for free on their site, not The National Archives will be able to put the images and the indexes we created for them at no charge on their own site for distribution. However, all these National Archives records are currently available for free on Footnote through the National Archives research centers.

Thank you, Justin for the corrections and clarifications.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eight More Days of Voting for Best Genealogy Blogs

There are only a few more days left for voting for your favorite Genealogy Blogs in the Family Tree Magazine contest. Voting ends on 5 November. The categories and "rules" are provided in the post Family Tree 40 Voting Is Open on The Genealogy Insider blog. The winners will be announced in the May 2010 issue of Family Tree Magazine.

You can vote in ten categories on the Family Tree Magazine website here. The categories are All-Around, Cemeteries, Genealogy Companies, Genetic Genealogy, Heritage, How-To, Local/Regional, News/Resources, Photos/Heirlooms and Personal/Family.

Genea-Musings is in the "All-Around Blog" category competing with many fine genealogy blogs - go see the list and VOTE! I would appreciate your consideration.

Make an Ancestral Map

As part of my "Genealogy Vacations" presentation that I'm giving today at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, I made a map showing the ancestral locations in the United States for my own ancestors and my wife's ancestors.

Here it is:

We have visited and done research in the light blue locations, and want to do research in the dark green (Linda's) and dark red (Randy's) locations. The size of the dots do not reflect the number of ancestral families in those locations, and I've used one dot to represent a general area, especially in New England.

I used Google Maps for this, and then spotted the points on the map using small circles in OpenOffice as part of my presentation. Using this technique, the dots are not spotted at exactly the right location, but it does provide a visual representation of ancestral places. I chose not to use the stickpins in google Maps because they were too big and would obscure the map below.

What other mapping website will do something similar, but better? I would appreciate any suggestions.

Not So Wordless Wednesday - Family Photographs: Post 77 - Della's Relatives in 1913

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 my photograph collection obtained from my mother between 1988 and 2002, which I scanned several years ago:

Della (Smith) Carringer did me the favor of identifying each person in her handwriting on the edges of this photograph, and dated the photograph as taken in June 1913. When I scanned this photograph, I added the names to the digital image. I scanned it as a JPEG, and I need to scan it again as a TIF without the typed word caption.

The persons in this photograph are:

* Back row, left: David Devier Smith (1863-1920), brother of Della (Smith) Carringer

* Back row, second from left: Austin Carringer (1853-1946), husband of Della (Smith) Carringer

* Back row, third from left: Elizabeth (Vaux) Crouch (1851-1931), sister of Abigail (Vaux) Smith, wife of Samuel Crouch, "Aunt Libbie" to Della (Smith) Carringer

* Back row, fourth from left: Amy (Ashdown) Smith (1867-1939), David Smith's second wife and mother of Maybelle Smith.

* Back row, fifth from left: Edgar Carringer (1854-1946), brother of Austin Carringer, never married.

* Back row, third from right: Hattie (Vaux) Loucks (1850-1924), first cousin of Abbie (Vaux) Smith, wife of Matthias Loucks.

* Back row, second from right: Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976), son of Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer, my grandfather.

* Back row, on right: Matthias "Tise" Loucks (1848-1918), husband of Hattie (Vaux) Loucks.

* Front row, seated on left: Samuel Crouch (1841-1931), husband of Elizabeth (Vaux) Crouch.

* Front row, standing, second from left, next to Sam Crouch: Maybelle C. Smith (1902-1964), daughter of David and Amy (Ashdown) Smith.

* Front row, seated, on the right, below Edgar: Della (Smith) Carringer (1862-1944), daughter of Abbie (Vaux) Smith, wife of Austin Carringer, and mother of Lyle Carringer.

If anybody reading this has any of the Crouch family, Loucks family, or David Smith in their ancestry, I would love to hear from you!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mining Google Books for Seaver Data

Google Books has such a rich collection of family histories online now that it has become quite easy to search for and find useful genealogy and family data.

One of my "lifetime" genealogy projects is a Seaver surname database. As more Google Books come online, I've been searching for them, and transcribing information into the Notes of my database, usually quoting the source (at least for "out of copyright" books).

Here is one example (with some paragraph splitting for readability) of a biography in one Seaver line, from: William Richard Cutter, Compiler, "New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial," Volume 1, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York City, 1913, page 372.

"(VIII) Richard Adam, son of Joseph (3) Seaver, was born in Cavendish, Vermont, August 5, 1836. He attended the public schools of his native town. He removed to Pomfret with his parents and assisted his father on the farm during his youth; he has always followed farming for a vocation, and is now living at Hartford, Vermont. He is a member of the Congregational church.

"He has a notable military record. Was a member of the Vermont state militia under the command of Peter Thatcher Washburn, of Woodstock, Vermont, when the call came from President Lincoln for 75,000 troops. He was mustered in with the state militia and left for the front, May 25, 1861. The regiment took part in the battle of Big Bethel, June 12, 1862. Thence the company went to Newport News, Virginia, on guard duty. They helped to move the first rifle cannon that were pressed into service. He was honorably discharged and the company was mustered out of Service, August 16, 1861. He re-enlisted, October 1, 1861, in the First Vermont Regiment of cavalry, the only cavalry regiment raised in this state during the civil war and was mustered into service at Burlington, Vermont. Was made first sergeant of Company E, November 19, 1861, and was made orderly sergeant, March 22, 1863. Was commissioned second lieutenant, July 2, 1864 and was mustered out, November 1, 1864. During his second enlistment he saw much active picket duty and skirmishing and was in various important battles. He took part in the battle of Gettysburg, and was taken prisoner, July 6, 1863, at Hagerstown, Maryland, and confined in the rebel prison at Belle Isle for six months. At the end of that time, he was exchanged and sent to Annapolis. He took part in the siege of Richmond and was in the engagement, May 30, 1864.

"After he left the service he made his home in Queechee, Vermont, where he has since lived. In politics he is a Republican; in religion a Congregationalist.

"He married, October 13, 1861, Maria Eliza Barber, born January 15, 1841, in Woodstock, Vermont, died February 24, 1912, daughter of Warren and Sabra (Smith) Barber. Her father, Warren Barber, was born February 16, 1799 in Springfield, Massachusetts, died December 5, 1873; married (first) May 24, 1826, Abigail Goodman, who died September 27, 1838; (second) January 16, 1840 Sabra Smith, born at Woodstock, Vermont, December 19, 1805, died March 9, 1844. Children of Warren and Abigail Barber: James W., born April 16, 1827, died May 20, 1828; James W., January 1, 1829, died May, 1877; Sophia A., March 12, 1832, died April 10, 1896; Laura G., June 23, 1834, died April 5, 1870; John N., March 17, 1837, died October 24, 1837. Children of Warren and Sabra Barber: Maria Eliza, born January 15, 1841, died February 24, 1912; George E., May 7, 1843, died June 2, 1893; Augusta G., May 18, 1844, died November 5, 1899; Julia, April 20, 1847, died August 24, 1897.

"Children of Richard A. and Maria E. Seaver:

"1. Frank R., born October 31, 1864, resides in Springfield, Massachusetts; married, April 28, 1891, Mary Elizabeth Allen, and they have one son, Blake Allen, born July 26, 1895.

"2. William H., born April 22, 1866, died April 23, 1866.

"3. Fred Owen, born October 13, 1867, resides in Brooklyn, New York; married Annie L. French, born May 22, 1877; children: Helen Tyler, born August 6, 1903; Philip Barber, August 10, 1905, died August 16, 1905; Elizabeth, July 29, 1910.

"4. Philip Henry, mentioned below.

"5. Margaret Evelyn, born April 8, 1871, married, September 27, 1906, James L. Davis, civil engineer of New York City, and they have one child, Rebecca Margaret, born August 16, 1907.

"6. Robert William, born May 24, 1873; farmer in Williamstown, Massachusetts; married, April 17, 1901, Alice L. Leach, of Pomfret, Vermont; children: Edith Rachel, born February 4, 1904; Grace Dorothy, June 10, 1905, Richard Leach, July 25, 1907.

"7. James Thatcher, born January 24, 1875; a civil engineer in New York City; married (first) November 7, 1900, Mary J. Babcock, who died January 17, 1906; (second) September 14, 1909, Idella M. Benjamin; had one child by first wife.

"8. Mabel Jeanne, born April 12, 1878, resides with her parents.

"9. John, born July 21, 1880, a civil engineer in New York."

Isn't that great information? Not only the Richard Adam Seaver family, but the Warren Barber family as well. There was information on nine generations of this particular Seaver line in this book. You never know what you will find unless you do a search for a family.

Of course, this is a "vanity book," where the information has been contributed by a family member, so it is derivative source and often secondary information material. However, some or all of the names and dates were taken from family records of some sort, but many of these family records have been lost to the trash barrel. So these books can be very helpful to determine family members, dates and places, especially before vital records became available in the states.

Books like this should be treated as "finding aids" - to help the researcher find more genealogy and family history records in original sources such as vital records, census records, military records, probate records, land records, etc.

Have you used Google Books to find family history for some of your surnames? Your best chance to find results like that above is to search for late 19th century ancestors or relatives (siblings, especially!) that may have paid to be in the County history books.

Online Historical Directories

City Directories are one of the major resources to determine addresses, occupations and employers for research targets in cities. In many cases, the directories have been published over many years - for instance, the first Boston city directory was in 1789 (available on microfiche in the LDS Family History Library Catalog).

Some City Directories are online in digital format, in either freely accessible databases or in commercial subscription databases. Some are only browsable, but many are searchable by surname and keyword.

Miriam Robbins Midkiff, who writes the Ancestories: Stories of My Ancestors blog, has created a website titled the Online Historical Directories Website, and has spent untold hours finding online city (and other) directories and posting links to them in an organized manner.

Here is the Home page for the Online Historical Directories site:

There are categories for Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. I clicked on the link for the United States:

There are directories listed for all states except for Hawaii at this time.

What about California?

There are directories listed for many of the urban counties in California. I clicked on San Francisco:

And on San Diego:

As you can see, the links for these Historical Directories include public libraries, websites like the San Francisco Genealogy, city directory sites like EveNDon, Google Books, and subscription sites like and

Of course, for subscription sites like and, the searcher needs to be a subscriber to the service.

Other directories, like the California Voter Registrations on, are also included on the list of Historical Directories.

A researcher can spend hours using this site to gather city directory data for their research targets in specific cities.

What a wonderful web site! Miriam has worked hard on this labor of love, and has a lot of work to do to keep it updated with the latest additions to online historical directories.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CVGS Program on 28 October - "Genealogy Vacations"

What is the "ideal" genealogy vacation? Is it to visit five libraries and ten cemeteries in three days and then attend a genealogy conference, dragging your spouse along the way? Or is it to combine genealogy research with family visits (if it's Tuesday, it must be Cousin Virginia's house) and sightseeing (leaf-peeping in New England?)?

How should you plan and enjoy a genealogy vacation? When you visit a repository or a cemetery, how do you prepare for the visit?

The October 28th program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society features Randy Seaver discussing Genealogy Vacations. The meeting will start at 12 noon in the Auditorium of the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library (at 365 F Street in downtown Chula Vista).

Randy’s presentation will provide some planning guidelines, and some examples from his experiences in England, Norway, on cruise ships, in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Salt Lake City, and more!

Randy Seaver is a native San Diegan, a graduate of San Diego State University in Aeronautical Engineering, and a retired aerospace engineer with a 38-year career at Rohr/Goodrich in Chula Vista. His ancestry is mainly colonial New England and Upper Atlantic states, with a few German and Dutch forbears.

His genealogy activities include serving on the CVGS Board (currently Newsletter Editor and Research Chairman), speaking occasionally to Southern California societies and groups, teaching the Beginning Computer Genealogy classes at OASIS, and writing the Genealogy 2.0 column for the FGS’s FORUM Magazine. He is also a member of NGS, NEHGS, SDGS, and CGSSD. Randy blogs daily about genealogy subjects at Genea-Musings, The Geneaholic, the South San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit, and is the editor of the Chula Vista Genealogy CafĂ© blog.

We look forward to seeing you at this meeting - please enter the auditorium through the conference room off the east hallway at the library, in order to register your attendance, pick up handouts, buy an opportunity drawing ticket (the prize is a copy of Family Tree Maker 2010 donated by Randy Seaver). The program will start at about 12:20 p.m. with a short business meeting.

FamilySearch Community Trees - a First Look

FamilySearch released their Community Trees web page last week, so I thought that I woulds go exploring in it today. The home page is and the list of available databases is at The home page says:

"Community Trees are lineage-linked genealogies from specific time periods and geographic localities around the world. The information also includes the supporting sources. Most of the genealogies are joint projects between FamilySearch and others who live locally or have expertise in the area or records used to create the genealogies. Each Community Tree is a searchable database with views of individuals, families, ancestors and descendants, as well as printing options."

Here is the home page:

There is a simple Search box on the home page, and a link to an Advanced Search function. I clicked on Advanced Search and this form opened. I clicked on the list of available databases:

There are only 19 trees on the site at this time. I realized that the British Isles Peerage tree might have some of my ancestors included, so I clicked on that, and then guessed that Olive Welby would be in this database, so I entered her name in the search form:

After scrolling to the bottom, I clicked on Search and was rewarded with one match:

So Olive Welby is included in this tree. I clicked on her name and a Family Group Sheet on the "Individual" tab appeared:

There is a row of tabs at the top of the page - Individual, Ancestors, Descendants, Relationship, Timeline, GEDCOM and Suggest.

I clicked on the "Ancestors" tab and saw a 6 generation pedigree chart for Olive Welby. I scrolled up and down and right and left to see:

The data for each person in the Pedigree Chart can be seen by clicking the down arrow just below the box with the person's name.

On this "Ancestors" page, there is a second row of tabs with Standard, compact, Box, Text, Ahnentafel, Media and PDF choices, along with the number of generations desired.

I clicked on the "Ahnentafel" tab and saw an ahnentafel report which included children but not the spouses of children:

That's as far as I've explored so far. There is an option to download a GEDCOM file of up to 12 generations of ancestors and descendants.

The database format is based on Darrin Lythgoes' The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding software.

This Community Trees feature on FamilySearch has a lot of potential for creative use by community genealogy projects like historical towns, cemetery surveys, migration groups, genealogy society members, etc., but the databases will have to be developed and sourced to be of use.

NOTE: The Ancestry Insider has a post this morning with more information about the site in FamilySearch Community Trees.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Best of the Genea-Blogs - October 18-24, 2009

Several hundred genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the genealogy carnivals, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week:

* "Why" Genealogy in Second Life? by Tami Glatz on the relatively curious about genealogy blog. Tami explains the "Second Life" chat room very well, and explains why she likes it. I haven't been there yet, but I'm tempted! What name should I use? "Gene Aholic" I think!

* Carnival of Genealogy 82: Breaking Into Society by Kathryn Doyle on the California Genealogical Society and Library blog. There were 19 entries for this carnival on the subject of "What is your favorite genealogical society? Do you belong to a society? Tell us why, or why not?"

* The Best Fishing Trip – Ever… by Sherry Stocking Kline on the Family Tree Writer blog. Sherry caught no fish on her best trip, but did catch something else. Read this story!

* Another Date with RootsMagic by Amy Coffin on the We Tree blog. Amy is building a new family tree and sourcing every fact in the process. She had a free day last week and made great progress.

* Warnings Out in New England by Becky Wiseman on the kinexxions blog. Becky has been touring the country doing genealogy, and obtained some of these records in Vermont. This is an excellent article about some little-known records.

* I Think He Had Them at Hello by Elizabeth O'Neal on the Little Bytes of Life blog. This post summarizes Steve Danko's presentation at the Santa Barbara County Genealogical Society meeting last weekend. Excellent photos, too. Do audience members really talk about speakers that way?

* The Clock, the Chart, and the Compass Rose by Miriam Midkiff on the Ancestories: The Stories of My Ancestors blog. Miriam recounts some of the practical lessons she learned growing up in Alaska and laments what kids are missing these days.

* Search for the Living - Honing Your Research Skills, The Search for Marjorie Pauline Frost and So Many Questions - Whither Marjorie Pauline Frost? by Thomas MacEntee on the Destination: Austin Family blog. Thomas's series of posts is a step-by-step, minute-by-minute account of doing online research. These three articles cover about 90 minutes of actual research time.

* He Had Me at "Detective" by Caroline M. Pointer on the Family Stories blog. Caroline writes a fascinating post about the lessons her father taught her that made her a problem solver and a family detective - read it all, and there's more coming!

* Citation Geeks - Elizabeth Shown Mills Bats Cleanup by footnoteMaven on the footnoteMaven blog. As you might expect, this dissertation is about creating and using source citations (for the Find A Grave website - see last week's BOGB). fM consulted with ESM, and did not get a ticket from the source citation police.

* My Search for Mrs. J.H. Belote by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. Apple transcribed a letter from this woman, and wondered who she was and how was she related to her family. She figured it out!

* First 10 Lessons by Ruth Himan on the Genealogy is Ruthless without Me blog. Ruth is the first to answer Holly Hansen's question about the first ten things that a beginning genealogy researcher should learn and do.

* The Writer's Curse by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog. John always wants to write about something, and we are better off for it. No curse at all!

* O Where O Where Has My Ancestor Gone? by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog. Lorine finds a marriage record hiding in plain sight, but very poorly indexed. Check out her search strategy - an excellent example of persistence!

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 - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 530 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

"Every Life Has a Story" Seminar Summary

"Who would want to know about my life? I haven't done anything."

We often hear this lament when we encourage people to talk or write about their life stories, yet every person has a unique story - one that belongs only to them, and that, in most cases, has not been told to anyone. The stories can include the life events, the hardships, the joys, the experiences, the loves, the people they've met, the places they've been.

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) seminar on Saturday, 24 October at Fredericka Manor (a Chula Vista retirement community), was designed to encourage CVGS members, Fredericka residents and community members to share their personal stories with their friends and family.

Our host, Betsy Keller of Fredericka Manor, welcomed the 70 attendees, and then drew tickets for about twenty door prizes. Betsy introduced the CVGS President, Gary Brock, who provided a short description of CVGS activities, and introduced Barbara Ibaibarriaga, the CVGS Programs chairperson. Barbara introduced the program speaker, Susan Walter of Chula Vista.

Susan Walter spoke about "Every Life Has a Story." She talked about her grandmother's life, and played an audio tape that revealed that her grandmother was the May Day Queen for her high school class. Her grandmother had many interesting experiences as a girl, wife and mother and grandmother, and Susan shared stories, pictures, artifacts and a scrapbook.

She noted that every person has wonderful, and occasionally horrid, stories that can be used to reach out to younger generations. Susan told her own story of "The Trip from Hell" - a 30-hour train and bus trip from Guadalajara to San Diego after her plane ticket was stolen.

Susan noted that for your own story, you know all of the characters, you've done all of the "research," use all of your senses, you don't need to start at the beginning - just start telling or writing stories about your life experiences. Some people find it easier to talk about their life stories, others think it is easier to write them down. Whichever way works best - the point is to share your life stories with your family and friends that care about you.

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society wants to help members and community people tell their stories - they are willing to make tape recordings of family stories, transcribe them and provide them in a digital format for posterity.

After the talk, the attendees were assigned to tables for a delicious lunch in the Fredericka Dining Room. Each table had a Fredericka host and a CVGS host - and all were encouraged to tell some of their life stories while feasting on soup, salad, quiche lorraine, turkey sandwiches, and dessert.

It was a fun and interesting day, with a wonderful talk and a great lunch.