Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Genealogy Gift

It's Saturday Night, time for some Genealogy Fun!!

Rev up the olde thynking cap and cue up the Mission Impossible music - your mission should you decide to accept it - keeping with the Christmas theme - is:

1) Pick out a genealogy-oriented gift for someone you know, admire, appreciate or love. It could be for a family member, someone in the genealogy community, or a friend or colleague. What would be your genealogy gift to them? [Note: you don't have to actually gift them, although it would be a nice thing to do!]

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

Here's mine:

I would like to give the "Spirit of Genealogy" to one of my daughters and/or grandchildren. I have tried really hard to get them interested, but my daughters are really busy with family, children and careers. The grandchildren are still too young (oldest is age 6). I tell the grandchildren stories about their ancestors, including myself, in an effort to imbue them with an interest in family history. Although the research on my own family, and the research I've done on my wife's family, is incomplete, it is fairly well defined, but there are plenty of brickwall ancestors to search for. However, the genealogy of the fathers of the grandchildren may be challenging and interesting.

Surname Saturday - SMITH of Medfield and Dedham MA

It's Surname Saturday - and I'm going in Ahnentafel order for my ancestral surnames.

This week's surname is SMITH - a line that comes from the towns of Dedham and Medfield in what is now Norfolk County, Massachusetts. Here is the Ahnentafel list from me to the immigrant SMITH ancestor, Henry Smith:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty V. Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank W. Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie L. Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith, born before 06 September 1828 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA; died 24 March 1884 in Leominster, Worcester, MA. She married 09 September 1851 in Walpole, Norfolk County, MA.

34. Alpheus B. Smith, born 19 May 1802 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA; died 13 January 1840 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. He married30 November 1826 in Dedham, Norfolk County, MA.
35. Elizabeth Horton Dill, born 19 May 1794 in Eastham, Barnstable County, MA; died 28 November 1869 in Leominster, Worcester County, MA. She was the daughter of Thomas Dill and Mary Horton. Children of Alpheus Smith and Elizabeth Dill are:
.... 17 ... i. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884); married 1851 Isaac Seaver.
............. ii. James Alpheus Smith, born 06 June 1833 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA.

68. Aaron Smith, born 29 May 1765 in Walpole, Norfolk County, MA; died 04 December 1841 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. He married 06 October 1795 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA.
69. Mercy Plimpton, born 09 September 1772 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA; died 13 April 1850 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. She was the daughter of Amos Plimpton and Mary Guild. Children of Aaron Smith and Mercy Plimpton are:
............. i. Susanna Smith (1795-1813).
............. ii. Patience Smith (1799-????), married 1823 Royal Blake (1800-1868).
............. iii. Mary Plimpton Smith, born 10 September 1800 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA.
.... 34 .. iv. Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840); married 1826 Elizabeth Horton Dill.
............. v. Lucy Smith (1804-1884); married (1) John Wardwell; married (2) 1825 James Wood.
............. vi. Elizabeth Smith (1806-????), married Jonathan Petts.
............. vii. Nancy Smith (1806-1879); married 1831 Stearns Tarbox.
............. viii. Aaron Smith (1815-1851), married 1839 Martha M. Page.

136. Moses Smith, born 02 April 1732 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. He married 23 September 1762 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA.
137. Patience Hamant, born 06 April 1735 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. She was the daughter of Timothy Hamant and Hepzibah Clark. Children of Moses Smith and Patience Hamant are:
.... 68 ... i. Aaron Smith (1765-1841);
married 1795 Mercy Plimpton.
............. ii. Luther Smith (1766-????)
............. iii. Calvin Smith (1768-????)
............. iv. Timothy Smith (1773-????).

272. Henry Smith, born 16 December 1680 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA; died 14 April 1743 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. He married 01 September 1730 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA.
273. Ruth Barber, born 05 March 1695/96 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. She was the daughter of Zechariah Barber and Abiel Ellis. Children of Henry Smith and Ruth Barber are:
............. i. Ruth Smith (1730-1813); married 1752 Samuel Turner (1724-1784)
.... 136 ..ii. Moses Smith (1732-????), married (1) 1756 Sarah Clark; married (2) 1762 Patience Hamant.
............. iii. Asa Smith (1740-1795)

544. Samuel Smith, born 13 August 1641 in Dedham, Norfolk County, MA; died 25 October 1691 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA He married 22 February 1676/77 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA.
545. Sarah Clark, born 20 February 1650/51 in Dedham, Norfolk County, MA; died 20 May 1704 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. She was the daughter of Joseph Clarke and Alice Fenn. Children of Samuel Smith and Sarah Clark are:
............. i. Sarah Smith (1679-1769); married (1) 1701 Mathias Evans (1670-1725); married (2) 1726 Henry Harding (1673-1764)
... 272 .. ii. Henry Smith (1680-1743); married (1) 1703 Deborah Pratt ; married (2) 1708 Mary Adams; married (3) 1730 Ruth Barber
............. iii. Daniel Smith (1682-1704).
............. iv. Nathaniel Smith (1684-1762); married (1) 1705 Mary Clark (1688-1717); married (2) 1717 Lydia Partridge (1687-1773)
............. v. Abigail Smith (1686-1725); married 1705 John Fisher (1677-1727).
............. vi. Mary Smith (1688-1774); married (1) 1706 Henry Plimpton (1684-1731); married (2) 1732 Jabez Pond; married (3) 1750 Joseph Wight (1679-????).
............. vii. Prudence Smith (1691-????); married (1) 1711 Joseph White; (2) 1739 Benoni Benson.

1088. Henry Smith, born About 1607 in Buckingham, Norfolk, ENGLAND; died 1687 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. He married Elizabeth before 1635 in ENGLAND.
1089. Elizabeth, born About 1603 in ENGLAND; died 12 June 1670 in Medfield, Norfolk County, MA. Children of Henry Smith and Elizabeth are:
............. i. Seth Smith (1635-1682); married 1660 Mary Thurston (1642-1696)
............. ii. John Smith (1637-1691)
............. iii. Daniel Smith (1639-1641)
... 544 ..iv. Samuel Smith (1641-1691); married (1) 1669 Elizabeth Turner; married (2) 1677 Sarah Clark.
............. v. Joseph Smith (1643-1661).

Does any reader connect to this particular SMITH line?

I don't have a lot of family history information for this SMITH line. I still have town, church, deeds and probate records in Suffolk County (before 1793) and Norfolk County (after 1793) to search. One more major task on my "forever" to-do lists!

Advent Calendar - Day 6: Christmas Shopping

On the 6th Day of Christmas,
My true love "ordered" me
To go out and buy some jewelry.

1) How did your family handle Christmas shopping?

When I was growing up, I think my mother did all of the Christmas shopping for all of her boys (three sons and a hubby). I hope (but I don't know!) that my father shopped for my mother - I really don't have a memory of gifts that she received. We usually had gifts made at school for mom and dad.

When I became a teenager, I went shopping with my mother to get gifts for my brothers and my father. I also shopped for my mother - but I don't remember any gifts I bought. I do remember one year, when I was probably in college, that I bought a new mailbox for mom and dad - I was so proud of this practical gift. I got some strange looks that year.

Linda now does most of the Christmas shopping for family and friends, including our daughters, their hubbies and kids. I tag along sometimes for consultation.

She spoils me with gifts - always including chocolate (for my semi-yearglass figure - fully expanded, needing suspenders, yea verily, the sands of time have not been kind), white socks, printer ink cartridges, computer things (I usually pick it out) and some clothes - necessities.

My only real shopping task is to shop for my Angel Linda. It's a big job, but someone has to do it.

I got her a spa subscription last year (she loved it!), a digital camera two years ago (she uses it occasionally, but pictures are usually fuzzy), a laptop computer three years ago (I got it early and use it - she doesn't like it), and a digital camcorder four years ago (she doesn't use it). I try to buy nice clothes for her - essentially blouses, sweaters, pants. Her favorite colors are aqua, green, blue, purple, and red. She likes fancy things, but not items that have to be dry-cleaned. She sometimes buys things for herself and hands them to me to wrap for her. Jewelry is a must each year - and sometimes she tells me what she would like - gold earrings, bracelets, necklaces (but most are not long enough or are too fragile) with angel charms or figurines are prized. It is a challenge each year to find something new and different.

2) Did anyone finish early or did anyone start on Christmas Eve?

I always finish early - at least before Christmas Day. Linda usually starts before Thanksgiving, and usually has things well in hand by a week before Christmas. I'm still shopping this year...

Linda's brother is famous for waiting until Christmas Eve to shop. There were years that he and I would go out shopping on the 24th to find gifts for his sister, his dad, his girlfriend, etc.

3) What are the highlights of shopping for you (an added question)?

The first highlight is finding a real special gift for Linda that will make her face light up and earn me a big hug and kiss, even a leer. The second highlight is watching the little kids sitting on Santa's lap in the little house on the mall walk. I stopped the other day and watched for about ten minutes while four kids talked to Santa. One cried the whole time, one was scared to death and wanted to get away, but two sat there and talked to him and hugged him at the end. Most of the kids are dressed up, and so are the moms accompanying them. I like watching the Santa helpers too...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Names in the Census Records

Here's an oldie but a goodie for my devoted readers --I was devastated when the post came out several years ago about the Christmas characters that Dan Lynch posted on his web site, I had worked on most of those names for two weeks and was waiting for the "season" to post them.

So, here are the rest of my "character" findings (originally posted in 2006) -

1) Ebenezer Scroggs (1850, Harrison County OH) is as close to Ebenezer Scrooge as I can get.

2) Robert Crachet (1880, Scott County AR). Another Robert Crachet flew into New York City from Paris on Air France on 2 August 1956 - maybe to perform in a play on Broadway?

3) Three Grinch brothers (Charles, John and Lenwards) came into New York City on 6 September 1875 aboard the "Egypt." There is no word if they came to steal Christmas. Obviously, if they did, they failed.

4) There is a Jasper Magi and Baldermo Magi (1930, Fairfield County CT) but no Melchior; there are Gaspar Wiseman (1930, Queens County NY) and Melvin Wiseman (1930, Muskegon county MI), but no Balthasar or similar.

5) There are 18 Harold Angel persons in the 1930 census. No Hark Angel, however.

6) Sila Knight (1870, Randolph County, AL) is the closest to Silent Night I could find. Lots of Silas Knight people.

7) There are 3 Noel Noel persons in the 1930 census.

8) Angel Angel (1930, Maricopa County AZ) is one of the repeating angels.

9) There are two Merry Christmas girls in the 1930 census (there are lots of Mary Christmas females too).

10) Holly Bush (1930, Roanoke County VA) sticks out.

11) Christ Tree (1930, LaPorte County IN) probably extended his branches

12) Jessie Manger (1930, Polk County IA) parents were not Joseph and Mary

13) Then there are Santa's reindeer: Were they:

Cupid Wiseman
Melvin Dancer
Hugo Blitzen
Chris Donder
Rudolf Dasher
Dasher Berry
Prancer Saner
Vixen Locke
Theodore Comet

Just wondering!!

You know, if Bah Morgan (1900, Stephenson IL) had married Cecil Humbug (1900, Delaware County PA) we would have had more Humbugs than we would know what to do with.

I'm wondering if Alvin Monk (1930, Schoharie County NY), Simon Monk (1930, Lonoke AR) and Theodore Monk (1930, Cotton County OK) really got together in 1958 to sing The Chipmunk Song. Maybe they weren't a figment of Ross Bagdasarian's imagination.

OK, I'm done! I hope you enjoyed this little prance down Santa Claus lane.

What other Christmas related names are there? C'mon, lay them on me.

Follow Friday -- Family Matters

For Follow Friday, I want to commend the Family Matters blog, written by Denise Olson, for your reading pleasure.

Denise blogs mainly about technology and how we genealogists and family historians can use the tools available to us if we only knew about them. Computer hardware, software, websites, social networks, electronic publishing, audio and video, security and much more are topics for Denise's review and analysis. Check out the subject categories on the right sidebar on the blog to see the breadth and depth of Denise's expertise. I learn more about technology from Denise's blog than anywhere else.

Is Family Matters on your blog list? If you are interested in the topics listed above, it should be!

Advent Calendar - Day 7: Christmas Stockings

On the 7th Day of Christmas,
my true love said to me
"You'd better fill that up, honey!"

1) Did you have a stocking?

Every year ... from childhood to now. Not the same one, of course.

2) Where did you hang it?

When I was a kid, my parents hung it by my grandparents chimney - probably on the firescreen.

Since we've had our own home, the stocking is hung from a nail in the beam over the fireplace.

3) What did you get in it?

When I was a kid, I received little toys, fruit, gum, candy, etc.

As a married adult, the stocking has candy (lots of candy!), socks, small gifts, and sometimes a charcoal briquette (the proverbial lump of coal in San Diego). My favorite candies are See's Peppermints, orange slices, Hershey kisses, gum drops, M&Ms, etc. All of this makes me a really "sweet-lovin'" guy. And adds several pounds each year, but hey, I'm in shape (pear is a shape, right?).

Linda sometimes gets jewelry, lipstick, nail clippers, and candy in her stocking. She used to get panty-hose (hey, a stocking in a stocking, right?) and sexy panties, but she won't let me shop for those any more.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - World War I Draft Registration

It's Treasure Chest Thursday, where we display some of the family treasures that were in the boxes and albums handed down from our parents, or the treasures found in digital format from our family history research.

Here is a World War I Draft Reghistration card for my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver of Leominster, Massachusetts:

According to the information provided by Frederick, he was:

* Name is "Frederick Walton Seaver"

* Residence is "290 Central, Leominster, Worcester, Mass."

* age "41," born "9 October 1876"

* Race "White " is checked

* "Native born" citizenship is checked

* Occupation is "Superintendent at Paton Mfg Co."

* Employed by "Paton Mfg Co."

* Business address is "282 Central St., Leominster, Wor., Mass."

* Next of kin is "Wife, Alma B. Seaver, resides at 290 Central St., Leominster, Wor., Mass."

* Signature as "Frederick W. Seaver"

* Height is "Medium"

* Build is "Stout"

* Color of Eyes is "Blue"

* Color of Hair is "Lt. brown"

* Disabilities is "No"

* Registrar is "J. Ward Healey"

* Date of Registration is "September 12, 1918"

These World War I Draft Registration cards provide a wealth of information and a signature of your ancestor or target person. They have been very helpful in adding full names, birth dates, current residence address, citizenship, occupation and place of work, next of kin, and physical description for my one-name studies on Seaver, Carringer, Dill, Vaux, Auble and other surnames.

The World War I Draft Registration cards were required for all males born between 1874 and 1900, except those already in the Armed Forces, and were gathered in several batches in 1917 and 1918 as the need for soldiers in World War I increased. However, not every male registered, but there are over 24 million of these cards in the collection, which is about 98% of the number of males between ages 18 and 46 in 1918. The form is somewhat different for each group of persons. The complete collection is on's New Database Browse Features

What do you do when you cannot find your target person or family in the US Census Records? You know, after you have used all of the name variations you can think of, used wild cards, used location, birth place and birth year (with a year range), spouse's name, first name only, no name, etc. I don't know about you, but by this time, I'm terribly frustrated. What's next? Scroll through the census one page at a time.

Back in the day, we would scroll slowly and carefully through the microfilm on the microfilm reader.

Until today, users could browse's collections by specific locality (state, county and township for the census) by clicking on the state at the bottom of the web page for the specific database. I doubt that I ever used that feature because it was at the bottom of the page.

Now, has made it a lot easier for us to browse through records for a specific locality (e.g., state, county and township - and Enumeration District in cities - in census records). Anne Mitchell wrote her post Improved Data Collection Search Pages to describe what they have done to help researchers browse through the census pages.

In fact, says they have added this feature to all of their databases. I checked several other databases and the new "Browse This Collection" feature is there.

Here is my look at the process, with a nice little surprise at the end. From my home page, I like to click on the specific year of the census (note that I have customized my home page so that the Census Records are right up at the top of the page):

I clicked on the 1850 US Census link and saw the new census collections page (two screens below):

The large search box is on the left, just like before - note that I use the Advanced Search form where I can check or uncheck the "Exact Search" boxes).

On the right side of the screen is the new feature - the "Browse This Collection" box. There are dropdown selection boxes in this box for State, County , Township and Enumeration district (when available), as shown below for Windham County, Connecticut:

I wanted to browse through Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut, so I chose "Killingly" from the list and the first Page of the census for Killingly came up:

I can navigate this census for Killingly by clicking on the small left and right arrows on the right of the header, just above the actual census record, and to the right of the "Go" link. If I wanted to jump to a certain page, I could click in the field for the page number, type in a page number and click on the "Go" link.

In my opinion, has made this as easy as possible to browse through the indexed and digitized records.

Now for the "little surprise" I mentioned (it may have been there all along...I don't recall seeing it). There is a link at the bottom of the "Browse This Collection" area for "More Help" and a link there for "View a sampling of handwriting examples", which brings up a box:

Isn't that cool? There are four or five handwriting examples for each letter (two upper case, two or three lower case). Of course, it doesn't cover every enumerator's handwriting vagaries and idiosyncrasies, but it's a decent set of examples.

Advent Calendar - Day 8: The Family Journal

On the 8th day of Christmas,
I sent to all my relatives
this year's Family Journal.

1) What helps you remember Christmases past?

My Christmas gift to my cousins, brothers and children is a 16 page (usually) family journal, called the "Seaver-Richmond Family Journal." This is my 22nd year of doing this family journal. I end up sending about 20 copies out every year to the extended family. This is my way of "connecting" to my extended family and sharing some of my family history research.

Fred Seaver and Bessie Richmond married in 1900 in Leominster MA and had seven children, 6 of whom lived to adulthood and married, five of whom had a total of 11 children. This family line is 3/4 New England colonial immigrant (Seaver, Hildreth and White), and 1/4 English immigrant (Richman/Richmond, immigrated in 1855).

The content of my family journal has changed over time. I used to print more lines of descent from famous or notable people, and more lines from immigrant ancestors to my grandparents generation. However, I ran out of these types of articles several years ago - I had covered all of the family lines with 5-generations or more.

In recent years, I've added more family photos - both of the older generations and the new generations - young families with babies and the like. I've also written more memorials as the aunts and uncles have died.

This year, the Table of Contents looks like:

* 2009 Family Search - page 1
* What's Inside? - page 1
* The Ancestry of Fred and Bessie (Richmond) Seaver Book Project - page 2
* Seaver-Richmond Ancestry on the Internet - page 2
* Seaver Y-Chromosome DNA Tests
* Seaver Family Photographs from Aunt Gerry's Collection - pages 3 and 4
* Geraldine (Seaver) Remley's Autobiography - Part 2 - pages 5-7
* Immigrant Ancestors - Giles Slocum (1623-1683) of Portsmouth RI - pages 11, 12
* Immigrant Ancestors - Simon Stone (1586-1665) of Watertown MA - pages 13, 14
* Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) of Leominster, Massachusetts - pages 8-10
* The Blanchard Cousins of California - page 11
* Immigrant Ancestors - William Carpenter (1605-1659) of Rehoboth, Mass. - pages 12-13
* Newspaper Articles - pages 14-16
* Finis - page 16

The production process is pretty simple. I use last year's MSWord document as a template - but delete the content and save it as a new document. Then I add content over a 7 to 10 day period, based on family papers and photographs, material from my blog, the Internet or my genealogy databases. When the content is completed, then I print off 25 copies (16 pages, in color, two-sided). I save it also as a PDF file to put on CDROMs to give to family members who want one.

It's funny - even though I ask the family for pictures and stories, either by snail mail, email or in person, I never receive anything from them. Maybe they are bored by it all; maybe it slips their mind or they think they don't have anything to contribute. I do get compliments in the Christmas cards I receive, so I think they appreciate the effort.

I sent the Family Journal, along with our family Christmas letter, off to the cousins last Monday. I have copies at home for my brother, my niece and my daughters and will gift them with it when we see them to celebrate Christmas. Hopefully, we will share stories and memories of our parents and grandparents.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

CVGS Holiday Luncheon

I spent some of the day enjoying the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Holiday Luncheon at the Chula Vista South Library.

I wrote up the happenings at the meeting in CVGS Holiday Luncheon Highlights on the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog. You have to check out the resolutions for 2010! I will add photos from the event over the next few days. I was very pleased with my gift from the gift exchange - a 4 gb flash drive. A great genealogy gift!

Susi wrote about her experiences in Chula Vista Genealogical Society Christmas Event on the Susi's Chatty Performances About Genealogy blog.

Perhaps Ruth will show some of her photographs on her Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me blog.

It is really neat to have three members blogging on a regular basis.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Too Much Eggnog?

I'm posting 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.

I went looking for Christmas time photographs in my collection and found this one:

Poor old Santa Walter was plumb tuckered out after a long day wagging his tail, getting belly rubs and wearing his funky Santa costume. Or - he drank too much eggnog, I don't remember. I do know that Walter had a wonderful time on this Christmas Day with so many people to love him.

Who is Walter? Walter (1999-2008) was my daughter Tami's basset hound - what a marvelous dog he was. Full of energy, happiness and slobber. He never met a cat poop, peach pit or leftover pizza he didn't like, and would go for a neighborhood walk at any time of day or year. The baleful eyes, the howl, the low-to-the-ground gait, the tail wagging, ah - Walter was the greatest. Walter was one of the featured bassets in the Howl-a-lujah Chorus when they held the Doodah Games in Pasadena each year. Unfortunately, Walter's life was cut short last year by cancer. We all miss him.

This picture was taken on 25 December 2001 at Tami's husband's parents' home in Victorville CA. We had a good time visiting there, but it was a somber week because we knew my mother was dying soon.

Blog Caroling - "Angels We Have Heard on High"

Our dear footnoteMaven is warming up the Choir of GeneAngels for this year's sing-along of Christmas Carols. We are supposed to claim our favorite Christmas Carol. The collection of songs from genea-bloggers should lift all of our spirits as we shop until we drop.

Mine is still "Angels we Have Heard On High" - maybe because of the Latin in it? Or because I can sing it in J-sharp and no one notices because of the joy it brings everyone else? Most likely because Linda collects angels and is referred to as Angel Linda by friends. The rumor that the first angel she collected was me is untrue.

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels we have heard on high,
Singing sweetly through the night,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their brave delight.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why these songs of happy cheer?
What great brightness did you see?
What glad tiding did you hear?
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

Come to Bethlehem and see Him
whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee
Christ, the Lord, the new-born King.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.

See him in a manger laid
Whom the angels praise above;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
While we raise our hearts in love.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.
Gloria in excelsis Deo.


Musicologists have decided that this anonymous French tune was probably created around the eighteenth century. Some legends place its origin as as early as the second century.

Traditional French Carol

Words: Tra­di­tion­al French car­ol (Les Anges dans nos Cam­pagnes).Trans­lat­ed from French to Eng­lish by James Chad­wick (1813-1882); ap­peared in Crown of Jesus, 1862.

Music: “Gloria (Barnes),” French carol melody; ar­ranged by Ed­ward S. Barnes.

Recorded/Performed: Andy Williams - 1970

Also recorded by: Tennessee Ernie Ford; Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Tommy Greer; Clancey Brothers; Scarlet Rivera; Eric Rigler; Madeline McNeil; Sandi Patty; Nat King Cole; Lorie Line; Connie Brown; Scott Miller; Vienna Boys Choir; Percy Faith; Collin Raye; Frankie Gavin; Texas Boys Choir; Mel Weston; Donny Osmond.

Advent Calendar - Day 9: Christmas at School

On the 9th day of Christmas,
I got dressed up as a tree
for the school play pageantry.

1) What did you do to celebrate Christmas at school?

My elementary school days were in 1948-1955, and I really don't remember much about Christmas activities at school. We must have made Christmas cards for our siblings and parents and grandparents. And paper chains to decorate the Christmas tree or the house. We probably made "hands" in clay, or paperweights with our picture on them, or some little gift like that for our parents. We probably sang some Christmas songs - especially the secular ones like Frosty, Jingle Bells, Rudolph, etc.

2) Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant?

Again, I don't recall (perhaps conveniently?). If I was, it was probably as a tree or a shepherd or a wise man with no speaking part. I was terribly frightened of public speaking until after college.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advent Calendar - Day 10: The Holiday Happenings

On the 10th Day of Christmas,
my true love inquired to say
Did any ancestors marry on Christmas day?"

1) Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries on your family tree.

This, of course, requires knowledge of the birthdays, and anniversaries, of my ancestors and other relatives. What better way to find out than to exercise my genealogy software programs. The RootsMagic 4 program easily makes a list of persons born on specific days and couples with specific wedding days.

In my 38,420 person database, there are 48 persons born on 25 December, but only one of my known ancestors - Benedict Oatley (1732-1815) - was born on Christmas Day.

Likewise, in my database, there are 40 couples married on Christmas Day. Only one known ancestral couple - Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) and Sophia Newton (1834-1923) were married on Christmas Day.

I had to use the custom List in RootsMagic 4 to look for the 40 people that died on 25 December, but I found that none of my known ancestors died on that date. I did find that my ancestor, Thomas Wheeler (1621-1704) died on 24 December.

2) Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.

I am, of course, thankful that each one of my ancestors were born on the day that they were born, and that they were married on the day that they were married. There are things that happen in a moment that take a lifetime to explain - a birth, a conception, a marriage, a death, or any of the events that each individual experiences in their lifetime.

I wonder if my great-great-grandparents Edward and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth had some sort of special way each year to celebrate their marriage on 25 December 1852. I hope so! They shared 46 wedding anniversaries together.

Father Jack Pejza - Rest in Peace, my Friend

My longtime friend, Father John Philip Pejza, O.S.A., died last Saturday of a heart attack while debarking from the Holland America cruise ship, Oosterdam. "Father Jack" was an Augustinian Catholic priest for 48 years. His obituary is published online here.

The obituary talks about his profession and service to his church, his order and his students. It is impressive. This man taught thousands of teenagers mathematics and science with an infectious zeal and love of his subjects and his students.

I knew Father Jack mainly as a man with the same hobbies and interests that I had - science, radio and genealogy. I met him in the mid-1960s when we were members of the International Radio Club of America (IRCA). IRCA, and a similar radio club, NRC (National Radio Club) were devoted to "medium wave DXing," basically trying to hear broadcast band (AM - 540 to 1600 khz) stations on radios of all kinds. Amazingly, here in San Diego we could hear stations in Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Central and South America almost every night. The clubs had regular mailed newsletters with columns for members to submit their "catches" and to tell stories about their endeavors. Both clubs still exist today. I was the editor of the "DX Worldwide" column for IRCA for several years, and Father Jack succeeded me as editor and held the editor job for many years. The San Diego IRCA group published the IRCA "DX Monitor" for several years during the 1970s, and Father Jack was an integral part of that team. He also attended IRCA conventions in Vancouver, Sacramento, Los Angeles and several other places over the years.

Father Jack was the first person that I "confessed" to that I was about to pop "the question" to Linda on 14 February 1970. We had arranged to meet at one of my favorite watering holes, and he attended our wedding on 21 March 1970, and was asked by Linda's father if he should give me the key to Linda's chastity belt. We always laughed at that over the years.
Father Jack moved to Ojai for many years, but we always exchanged Christmas cards and occasionally got together when he was in San Diego. Linda and I attended the Mass and dinner reception that honored his 40th year of ordination. We saw him just two months ago - he came to our home for dinner and memories and stories about our DXing friends and our genealogy endeavors.

Over the past few years, Father Jack had a job being the Catholic chaplain aboard Holland America cruise ships that sail in and out of San Diego. He got a wonderful cruise and sightseeing and was able to serve his church and people on the cruise ships. He died debarking from the Oosterdam last Saturday.

Father Jack's family history and genealogy was Eastern European - Polish. He used to have a genealogy web site on GeoCities, but that has been deleted. He has an Ancestry account and a Public Member Tree, which will, hopefully, never be deleted.

Father Jack was one of those persons that you knew had a good heart, a patient manner, a wonderful sense of humor with a hearty laugh, was full of wisdom and knowledge, lived to teach, and comfortably moved between the religious world and the secular world. I am a better person for having known and communed with him.
Rest in Peace, my friend. Thank you, God, for Father Jack and his ministry.
A rosary for Father Jack will be recited at St. Patrick’s Church in San Diego (3585 30th St.) on Wednesday morning, December 16th at 10:30. Fr. Jack’s mass of resurrection will be celebrated at the same church on the same day at 11:00 in the morning. The burial will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego following a light lunch in the parish hall after the liturgy. on Facebook has a fan page and an application on Facebook. Here is the page on Facebook:

When I clicked on the "Info" tab, I found:

There is the Facebook application link - it's When I clicked on it, I saw my Mundia "home page" with the typical Facebook ads on the right sidebar:

Clicking on the "Family Tree" tab, I saw my Public Member Tree in a format identical to that on the website:

The application on Facebook works just as well there as it does on the website. S-L-O-W. Very slowly. But it works, and the user can navigate around their online family tree, can add photographs or document images, can invite friends and family to view it, etc. It works much better (faster screen views, better navigation, easier to understand and use) than the FamilyLink (used to be We're Related) application on Facebook.

Is it better than using Ancestry Member Trees on No, I don't think so.

Is it better than using genealogy software like Family Tree Maker, RootsMagic or Legacy Family Tree? Heck, no - it's not even close! My experience is that online family trees are much slower and less capable in editing, adding data, creating charts, reports and books, than genealogy software.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More Info about

After my two posts (here and here) about, Anastasia Tyler of kindly posted this comment on the second post:

"Hi Randy,

" is a new international website, currently in Beta, dedicated to helping people around the world participate in family history. The Mundia website includes a simplified version of family trees designed primarily for an international audience and expands the network of 12 million family trees into many of the languages spoken in Eastern and Central Europe, Latin America and Asia. The Mundia website is designed primarily for individuals who do not live in countries with existing or localized sister sites (,, etc.).

"Since Mundia and share the same trees database, all family trees created on Mundia by Mundia members will also be available on to members. That means members can get access to family trees from around the globe, resulting in even more connections with living relatives and hints to shared ancestors. Mundia and share the same privacy settings, so if you set your tree to private on it will be private on Mundia as well.

"The Mundia FAQ page provides many additional details, including a specific section for existing members as well as privacy settings –

Anastasia Tyler, PR Manager,"

My thanks to Anastasia for providing this information. It is helpful to understand Ancestry's reasons for creating the site. All users should read the Mundia Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

However, it seems to me that there is much more to than just a family tree portal for researchers and family historians from all around the world (including the USA). Users can add a family tree, and search existing family trees, from the site (they do have to register, of course). Being able to ask family members to join an online family tree from a free site rather than a pay site is much more palatable for many users.

In addition, there is a Mundia Facebook application which will compete with the FamilyLink, Geni and Family Builder applications on Facebook. From what I've seen so far, the Mundia Facebook app is much easier to use and somewhat quicker than the others.

Anastasia's comment above about "all family trees created on Mundia by Mundia members will also be available on to members" may be potentially troubling to some people - some may say that are taking freely given family tree data and putting it behind the Ancestry subscription wall, like they did with the Internet Biographical Database two years ago. However, the freely given data is still free to access whether the user is an Ancestry subscriber or not - no matter if the user is on or They aren't stealing or hiding the data, they are storing it for access by registered users (free or subscription).

The big sticking point for several observers (DearMYRTLE and Bill West (on Facebook dated 13 December 2009 at 8:16 p.m. PST) to name two) is that the Terms of Service for seem to permit to keep any data submitted to and to use it as they wish. The users still "own" the data but Ancestry/Mundia is permitted to use it, perhaps forever. Bill's post has several useful comments from others about Ancestry Terms and Conditions and Mundia's Terms of Use.

Ancestry's Terms and Conditions are here.

Mundia's Terms of Use are here.

At this point in time, they are quite different. As Tamura Jones points out in Bill's Facebook post, Mundia is still a beta site, and the TOU are also in beta. The final TOU may be different from the beta TOU.

More information and commentary to come. Hopefully, some of our attorney friends with a genealogical interest will analyze the Terms and comment upon them.

Dear Genea-Santa Redux

Dear Genea-Santa,

I've tried really hard to be a good genealogy boy this year - served my local society as Newsletter Editor and Research/Queries chair, wrote two online genealogy columns, presented programs at five local societies, taught three series of adult education classes on Beginning Computer Genealogy, gave two lectures on beginning genealogy at public libraries, attended two genealogy conferences, helped several friends and colleagues with their research, added many sources to my database (I'm not done yet, though), and blogged about all of it in deathless prose, er, ramblings.

I guess my 2008 letter to you got lost in the ether or something, since the green Seaver photo album, the Russell Smith family Bible and the Isaac Seaver letters didn't come on Christmas Eve (or at any other time during 2009 - I know you're pretty busy on Christmas Eve!). Maybe they don't exist, or maybe I wasn't that good a genealogy boy, even though I thought I was.

Genea-Santa, old friend, old buddy, can I ask you for three really special gifts that will help me in my family history research? They are:

1) A solid clue as to the parents of Devier J. Lamphier (1839-1894), born in Jefferson County NY to either a Lamphier couple or to a single Lamphier young lady. Devier was adopted by Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith before they migrated to Dodge County, Wisconsin in about 1843. Please, please, please, could you please just help me uncover his parents names? Hopefully, I can take it from there, and will mention your name prominently when I write the article about this family...

2) A solid clue as to the parents of Thomas J. Newton (ca 1795-ca1840), born in Maine and married to Sophia (Buck) Brigham before 1833, had two children Thomas J. and Sophia Newton in Vermont (perhaps Cambridge?). Would you please help me uncover his parents names? I have candidates in Andover and Dixfield in western Maine, but no records to prove any relationship.

3) A Dill or Horton family Bible from the Dill or Horton families of Cape Cod in Massachusetts that might list the parents of my Elizabeth Horton Dill (1794-1869), who married Alpheus Smith in 1826 in Dedham MA.

My list is longer, but these three will suffice for now. Perhaps some distant cousins will find more "goodies" to put under my Christmas tree.

Thank you, Genea-Santa, for listening to my pleas. I will leave a nice steak quesadilla (you can heat it in the kitchen microwave), a rosy red apple, some delicious sugar cookies and a beer by the chimney for you on Christmas Eve just in case you need fortification. You can get a yummy Dove chocolate ice cream bar out of the refrigerator if you'd like. Nothing's too good for Genea-Santa - mi casa es su casa.

CVGS Holiday Luncheon on Wednesday, 16 December

The annual Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) Holiday Luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16th, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the South Chula Vista Library, located at 389 Orange Avenue (southeast corner of Orange and Fourth Avenues). Please enter the parking lot off of Orange Avenue, and enter through the west door on the south side of the building. The room at the Library where the Christmas party will be held has handicap access.

Turkey and ham entrees and beverages will be provided by CVGS. The following food items should be brought by the people with names beginning with these letters. Contact Susi P at (619) 690 -1188 to coordinate all items:

A – F: Snack trays, condiments, olives, pickles, cranberry or applesauce.
G - K: Potatoes (regular or sweet), vegetables, casseroles
L - P: Desserts
Q - Z: Salads, rolls, butter.

Please bring wrapped items for the gift drawing. This will be a “bring one, get one” drawing. A maximum value of $10 is suggested. There will be an opportunity drawing for the table decorations. The program will be Member’s Genealogy Resolutions for 2010.

Also, please bring groceries for donation to the Salvation Army and, if you wish, unwrapped toys from infancy to teenage children.

Madness Monday -- "God, Love and Lust..." Fascinating Article

For the Madness Monday meme, I found this article online --

Genealogist Jillaine S. Smith has written a fascinating family history article titled "God, Love and Lust: The Tale of Four Revolutionary Families in Warwick, MA" based on her own interest in history and family research. It's a 25 page story about four families in colonial New England.

Here is the story shared with Jillaine by another researcher in 2004:

"In the years approaching the American Revolution, one 'Elder HIX' arrived in the young town of Warwick, Massachusetts. He was an 'itinerant Baptist minister,' going from house to house converting people. Apparently a very charismatic individual, he also preached that men and women had spiritual as well as temporal spouses, and when so moved to love another, 'there was no criminality in such a connection.' The 'bubble burst' when HIX absconded with the young daughter of Amzi DOOLITTLE. Another convert, Amos MARSH, ran off with Amzi DOOLITTLE’s wife, and Amzi, 'to be even with the rest of the family, decamped with Mr. Thomas BARBER’s wife.' "

Read all of Jillaine's manuscript for an excellent example of weaving local history information with the family history of each family involved. While it is still a work in progress, the manuscript is well sourced and sensible to this reader. Thank you, Jillaine, for sharing it with us.

Hat tip to Jillaine Smith for posting about her manuscript this morning on the Transitional Genealogist Forum mailing list in her post "When research results in controversy" here.

Why post this for Madness Monday? Well, wouldn't you be mad if you had one of these persons as an ancestor, or had a DAR line from one of the children with disputed paternity? I certainly would be! It also demonstrates how we cannot explicitly trust the town record book data, the biographical sketches in vanity books, the family stories handed down, etc. We need to perform a reasonably extensive search for our ancestral families and relate the records to the social history of the localities they lived in. Jillaine has done this in her research effort and it shows in her manuscript. works great!

Have you checked out the timelines created by the website yet?

The website says:

"This web site generates truly fascinating personalized web pages for you. They show how your life (or the life of anyone else you choose - for instance, your descendants and ancestors) fits into history as we know it.

"You can generate as many timelines as you like. If you're into creating web pages, you can even take the timelines we generate for you here and put them on your own pages - an unmatched personal touch everyone will enjoy.

"In addition, you can insert up to ten custom, color-coded personal time segments (events or ranges) in a time line. These might include schooling, marriages, job assignments, military service and so forth."

The site is free to use. However, if you use their timelines in your web page or a publication, you need to attribute the information to them and put their copyright notice on your product.

At the bottom of the home page is a link to the "Create a Timeline" page at (two screens):

The user can put their name, or an ancestor's name, in the form, along with a birth year and a death year. I used "Isaac Seaver" born "1823" and died "1901" in the form. Note on the top screen the "Printable" link and check box. We'll return to that later.

In the second screen above, the white spaces in the purple background are for the user to insert the "custom facts" for the person being input. I could put Isaac Seaver's, his birth, his death, his three marriages, the births of his five children, the deaths of his first two wives, his civil War service, when he lived in different towns, etc. in the ten blanks provided. But I run out of blanks for all of the events in old Isaac's eventful life. For the timeline below, I didn't input any Facts for Isaac.

After a clicked on the "Generate Timeline" link, the Timeline for Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) appeared (two screens shown):

The list extends several more screens down to 1901.

The user can create a black type on white background by checking the box next to the word "printable" and clicking again on the "Generate Timeline" button on the "Create a Timeline" page. Here is the top of the Isaac Seaver printable timeline:

The user can save the web page as an .htm file, although my system warns that it might not save correctly (it looks just like the above to me). The user can copy and paste the timeline into a word document, although the user might have to adjust the page setup and the table lines to make it look acceptable. The timeline is editable in a word processor also. It's not as "good looking" as the saved HTML file!

This site can be very useful in understanding the history that occurred, and possibly affected, the lives of our ancestors.

Thank you to Elissa Scalise Powell for the link to this website.

Advent Calendar - Day 11: Fruitcake - Friend or Foe?

On the 11th Day of Christmas,
some joker sent to me
the biggest fruitcake I ever did see!

1) Did you like fruitcake?

I don't recall ever eating more than one bite of fruitcake, so I don't know if I like it or not. I think probably not...

2) Did your family receive fruitcakes?

As a kid, I don't think so. We didn't get many gifts from out of town, and no one here, except probably Cousin Dorothy who was "different," received them.

3) Have you ever re-gifted fruitcake?

I recall that Linda and I received one by opening a gift at a Christmas party, and we promptly re-gifted at the New Years Party - to much laughter. We had to disguise it in a box, though.

4) Have you ever devised creative uses for fruitcake?

Of course...examples -- Petrified Fruitcake (surprise your favorite geologist)? Fruitcake fights (hidden in a snowball)? Fruitcake-eating contest (go for a Guinness world record)? Juicy-Fruitcake gum (hide it under your best friend's desk)? Scantily clad girl surprises 90-year old on his birthday by jumping out of a large fruitcake (Ah, the mind wanders, er, well, I should be so lucky in 25 years)?

This post will be part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" carnival - organized by Thomas MacEntee at the Geneabloggers blog. Please go to Thomas' blog and read the submissions for each day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Family Trees on

I posted A First Look at yesterday, which was from the perspective of any researcher that stumbled across the site - a seeker, rather than someone with a family tree on accesses the Member Trees on, but shows a "face" different from the typical home page. On, the user with an Ancestry Member Tree can access their Member Tree(s) after they register (you can use your Ancestry member name and password). You do not have to be an Ancestry subscriber - only a registered member of If you are not registered with, then you can use your Facebook accvount to sign in to, or register yourself separately.

Here's the sign-in screen:

Once a person signs in, then the site requests that you identify which person you are in the Ancestry Member Tree. You would think that it should know that, but apparently it doesn't! There is also a blue Facebook "Connect" button so that Mundia can link to a person's Facebook account and vice-versa.

A person can access their Ancestry Account, add or change a picture of themselves, etc. Here is my "Member" screen:

You can see that it "knows" all about me... my name, my alerts, upcoming birthdays and anniversaries are listed, and the opportunity to invite other family members to the site are all provided in the left-hand column. My picture is there in the upper right-hand corner of the page (apparently from Facebook). The center of the page has any news updates I've posted, plus the opportunity to post more.

There are five buttons on the top menu - for Home Page, Family Tree, Gallery, Messages, and Find People. I was on the "Home Page" above, so I clicked on the "Family Tree" button and saw (after about 30 seconds to load my 38,000 person Ancestry Member Tree):

That's me with a red outline in the bottom center of the screen, with the rest of my family - both ancestors, descendants and collateral family (aunts, uncles, cousins, spouses of relatives). If I had thumbnail pictures attached to myself and my family in my Ancestry Member Tree, then they would have shown up in the Family Tree above.

The user can move around the family tree by holding down the left mouse button and roaming. The user can zoom in or out using the slide scale in the upper left-hand corner of the Family Tree area. I clicked on my great-grandfather, Frank Walton Seaver and saw (again after about 30 seconds):

Limited birth and death information for the person is listed under his name, the Facts for the person are listed in the "Life Story" section of the page, and the "Family Members" section lists parents, spouses, siblings and children. There are links on this page to Edit Profile, see the picture Gallery for the person, see the Map view, or navigate back to the Family Tree, Add the person to my Family Tree, Share the Profile, Print the Page, or Show Sources.

Pictures or documents attached to persons in the Ancestry Member Tree show up in the Gallery of the person on

I clicked on the "Gallery" tab in the top menu, and saw:

Hmmm, the Gallery is empty, even though I have a number of pictures in my Ancestry Member Tree. My guess is that this Gallery is for images attached through, not through I haven't tried to upload a picture to yet. It will be interesting to see if the picture uploaded to Mundia will show up in my Ancestry Member Tree.

The "Messages" tab on the top menu shows my Messages on - essentially the Ancestry Member connect feature where the user can email other people.

The "Find People" tab on the top menu provides a Search field that can be used to search all of the persons in Ancestry Member Trees - not just my own:

That's a very brief look at roaming around in my Ancestry Public Member Tree. Since I was signed in, I could have roamed around my own Private Member Tree (if I had one there - I don't).

In the next post, we'll look at the Facebook side of and then we'll ask and answer some questions after that.

I think it's interesting that, since there has been no "official" announcement of, other than the social media release that few people saw before yesterday, very few genealogy bloggers have even mentioned in a blog post.

Tamura Jones has posted his first look at on his Modern Software Experience website at It includes some screen shots of the Facebook side of things also.

Best of the Genea-Blogs - December 6-12, 2009

Hundreds of 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:

* Shades The Magazine - Holiday Issue by footnoteMaven on the Shades of the Departed blog. The December issue of the very best online genealogy magazine - 84 pages! - is waiting for you to read. Don't miss it!

* A Suggestion for Improving the Rootsweb Mailing List and Other Message Boards Experience by Chris Staats on the Staats Place blog. Chris has some great suggestions here to make the boards even better.

* US Census Shenanigans - Part 1 by Amir Dekel on the I Dream Of Genea(logy) blog. Amir documents his census struggles with one family, and discovers a useful bit of information in the process. I look forward to succeeding parts!

* Sentimental Sunday & Monday Madness - Some Days I Just Wanna Cry! by Sandra Taliaferro on the I Never Knew My Father blog. Sandra's post touched me deeply - the sadness, the joy and the hope. Nice poem, too - we can all relate, I think!

* Genealogy Dreams and Goals by Robyn on the Reclaiming Kin blog. Robyn writes down her dreams for research and goals for 2010 - we all need to do this!

* Utah: 'Genealogical pit bull' Helen Radkey by Schelly Talalay Dardashti on the Tracing the Tribe: The Jewish Genealogy Blog. Schelly has a fascinating story about one woman keeping the LDS Church on its toes with regard to proxy baptisms.

* Who owns the research? by Kory Meyerink on The ProGenealogists (R) Blog. Kory explains the issue, including the "work for hire" provision in copyright law.

* Example of a Timeline: John Alexander McQuarrie by Katrina McQuarrie on the Kick-Ass Genealogy blog. Excellent example of using a spreadsheet and Google to fill out a timeline for one person. Well done! Check out her links too!

* The Ancestor Tree by Ruby Coleman on the You Go Genealogy Girls blog. I've always wanted to do this ... now to see Ruby's tree I want to do it even more! Beautiful! Excellent!

* How to Determine the Size and Scope of Your Family History Book by Lynn Palermo on The Armchair Genealogist blog. Lynn has great information about planning your book - a keeper!

* The History Hare - December 10, 2009 by footnoteMaven on the Online GraveYard Rabbit Journal blog. fM's column article in this weekly journal is about photographing the dead. Morbidly fascinating!

* Why meet at the FHL? by Pat Richley-Erickson on the Teach Genealogy Blog. "A little less talk, and a lot more action" was the theme when Pat did her monthly research class at the FHL.

* "Yes, Mary Jane... there is a Spirit of Genealogy!" by John G. West on the Tri-State Genealogical Society of Evansville, Indiana "TSGS Cruiser" blog. A girl's letter to a librarian...the librarian gives good advice.

* Add a Copyright Watermark to Your Photos by Elizabeth O'Neal on the Little Bytes of Life blog. I've always wondered how that's done - Elizabeth provides advice and examples form several free and/or commercial sites.

* Holiday 2009 Cookbook Now Available by Thomas MacEntee on the Geneabloggers blog. This 50-page cookbook with recipes from genea-bloggers is available as a PDF.

* Weekly Rewind by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. Apple summarizes her week of researching, reading, writing, carnivals and get-well wishes.

* Weekly Genealogy Picks by John Newmark on the Transylvanian Dutch blog. John also has weekly picks - many different from mine.

* The Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories continues at GeneaBloggers - many bloggers are writing about their Christmas memories on a daily basis.
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 550 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

Advent Calendar - Day 12: Holiday Travel

On the 12th day of Christmas,
we packed up the car to go
All the way to San Francisco.

1) Did you travel anywhere for Christmas?

As a kid, we never traveled anywhere for Christmas, other than to Cousin Dorothy's, my grandparents and the Christmas tree lot.

After we were married, we would alternate Christmas between San Diego and San Francisco, because Linda's parents and brother were there. They would come to San Diego one year, and we would go to San Francisco the next year. Until the kids were older, we usually flew to San Francisco on Christmas Day and returned before New Years Day. As the kids grew older, we would drive to San Francisco, usually leaving on the 23rd and arriving on the 24th. This let us do some winter vacationing in Yosemite and other places.

We tried each year to have a get-together and dinner with my brothers here in San Diego. If the girls were here, then we would have a Christmas Day dinner at our house or my brothers' house.. If we were going north, we would get together with the brothers the weekend before Christmas.

Our daughters started their own families, and so now we have to juggle everybody's schedule. Last year, we drove to Monte Rio to visit Linda's brother and his family before Christmas, then stopped at Lori's house in Santa Cruz for Christmas Eve and Christmas, and then home and Tami brought her family down to exchange gifts. This year, Lori is bringing her family down to our house on the weekend before Christmas and Tami will come down for a day and we will have our Christmas dinner then. Linda and I will go to Victorville for Christmas Eve and Day with Tami's family and return home.

2) How did you travel and who traveled with you?

We either flew to San Francisco and were picked up by Linda's father or brother, or we drove the 550 miles, usually up Highway 101 because it wasn't as subject to snow, ice and fog like Interstate 5 was. Now, we almost always drive alone, as described above.

3) Do you remember any special trips?

The trip to Yosemite after Christmas in about 1985 was the best! The girls were pre-teens and loved to travel. We stayed in a motel, but were able to wander around the lodge, see the waterfalls, bike around the valley, and go to the ski resort. There, we did some sliding on mats (I think), had snowball fights, watched the skiers, and enjoyed hot drinks in the lodge. That night, we visited Linda's cousin in Fresno and stayed the night, and headed home the next day.

This post will be part of the "Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories" carnival - organized by Thomas MacEntee at the Geneabloggers blog. Please go to Thomas' blog and read the submissions for each day.