Saturday, January 30, 2010

SNGF - Creating Ancestral Birthday Calendars

The Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Make a Calendar! challenge was to make a calendar in your genealogy database software with birthdays of ancestors (or descendants, or everybody's) on the calendar pages, then to show what you made - using January as an example. Finally - to tell who was born on 30 January and what use could be made of the calendar.

Since I currently am using four genealogy database programs (and more online), I thought I would see the differences in the formats of the four programs.

1) First up is Family Tree Maker 16, which has the most up-to-date database of almost 39,000 persons. Here is the January 2010 calendar page with Ancestors only (I have about 2,000 known ancestors in my database):

Note that it says "1 of 3" - some days had more events than space allowed, so it created extra pages to include those events.

2) Here is the calendar page for Family Tree Maker 2010 (again Ancestors only, with a three-week old database):

This one has a little more formatting. I could have added a background picture or a background color. I resisted the temptation.

3) Here is the Legacy Family Tree 7 calendar page (with the three-week old database):

I didn't mess with the formatting on this at all - this is the default layout. This one was the hardest one to create - I had to learn how to tag the ancestors (it wasn't intuitive - there wasn't a tab or button to push to select the persons to be included on the Calendar creation screen).

4) Here is the RootsMagic 4 calendar page (same three-week old database):

This basic view is pretty sparse, but it gets the job done easily. Note that RootsMagic and Legacy put the "extra" people at the bottom of the calendar page.

All calendar creations had the ability to add the years since the person was born, to use females married names (I didn't), and other features. All calendars could be formatted to add color, backgrounds, different fonts, etc.

I have only one ancestral person born on 30 January - Benjamin Allen who was born on 30 January 1661/62 in Newbury MA, son of John and Sarah (--?--) Allen. He would have been 348 years old today! The Legacy program also listed Elizabeth Jasper (who would be age 430 today) - turns out that 30 January was a christening date in my Facts list. The other programs only considered Births - no other Facts.

What use can these calendar creations be? A calendar with birthdays and anniversaries of, say, descendants of your grandparents or great-grandparents could be useful for your cousins to have - to remember the birthdays and anniversaries. A calendar with death dates of family back, say, five generations might be useful if you wanted to honor them with flowers at the cemetery or an online blog post.

Some of these genealogy software programs, and some online family tree sites, will send you an email with birthdays and anniversaries of living people. does this for me on a regular basis, as does one other one but I can't recall which one off the top of my head.

So there are my calendar creations. Each took less than 2 minutes to create, except for Legacy, where I had to use the Help function to figure out how to Tag a group of people - that took about 15 minutes.

I wonder who will come up with the prettiest calendar? With the most interesting person born on 30 January?

My intent with this SNGF challenge was to get my readers and ardent SNGFunsters back into their software to explore some of the capabilities. It will be interesting to see who plays along and learns something new.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Make a Calendar!

Hi SNGF fans - it's Saturday Night, time for some major Genealogy Fun!!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Open your genealogy software or family tree program of choice and make yourself the highlighted person.

2) Find out how to create a Calendar to show birthdays and/or anniversaries of yourself and all of your ancestors (or all relatives, or all persons - your choice!). The "Help" button is your friend here!!! It can be done in all of the current software programs.

3) Create your calendar. Pretty it up if you want. Save it. Can you show us a page from your calendar - say January 2010?

4) Which of your ancestors (or relatives, or descendants - your choice!), if any, were born on 30 January?

Have fun with this. How can you use this information during the coming year?

I know that this is more work than you're normally used to on Saturday Night, but it is a great way to use your genealogy program creatively.

I will show mine in a separate blog post. Just as encouragement that it can be done fairly easily, I was able to do this in FTM 16, FTM 2010, RootsMagic 4 and Legacy 7 in less than 30 minutes total, and will show examples of each in my post.

Surname Saturday - KNAPP

On Surname Saturdays, I am posting family lines from my own ancestry. I am doing this in Ahnentafel order, and am up to number #29, who is Sarah G. Knapp (1818- ????).

My ancestral line back to the one generation of the Knapp families::

1. Randall J. Seaver

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

6. Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976)
7. Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977)

14. Charles Auble (1848-1916)
15. Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952)

28. David Auble (1817-1894)
29. Sarah G. Knapp, born January 1818 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died after 1900 in prob. Bushnell, McDonough County, IL. She married David Auble About 1844 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ. He was born 1817 in Stillwater, Sussex County, NJ, and died 22 March 1894 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, IN. He was the son of Johannes/John Able/Auble and Anna Rau/Row.

58. William Knapp, born 1775 in Dutchess County, NY; died 16 June 1856 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ. He married About 1804 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
59. Sarah Cutter, born 06 November 1785 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died 06 March 1878 in Newton, Sussex, NJ. She was the daughter of 118. Stephen Cutter and 119. Tabitha Randolph. Children of William Knapp and Sarah Cutter are:

.......... i. Joseph C. Knapp, born about 1805 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; married Elizabeth.
.......... ii. Samuel C. Knapp, born 1807 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; married Delia A. Smith before 1830 in Prob. Sussex County, NJ; born about 1810 in NJ.
.......... iii. Cyrus C. Knapp, born 19 December 1809 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died 13 February 1872 in Hackensack, Bergen County, NJ (gravestone); married Catherine Terheun 17 November 1836 in Hackensack, Bergen County, NJ; born about 1818 in Hackensack, Bergen County, NJ; died 31 July 1897 in Hackensack, Bergen County, NJ (gravestone).
.......... iv. Catharine Knapp, born about 1810 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died Aft. 1894 in unmarried, last known residence Terre Haute, Vigo County, IN.
.......... v. Benjamin Knapp, born about 1811 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; married Susan Stewart 31 August 1833 in Sussex County, NJ; born About 1815 in NJ.
.......... vi. Charles C. Knapp, born about 1813 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; married (1) Sarah M.; born August 1814 in NJ; died 18 November 1840 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ (gravestone); married (2) Sarah Smith 03 March 1842 in Sussex County, NJ; born About 1814 in NJ; married (3) Susan Beach before 1880 in NJ; born 1803 in NY.
.......... vii. Hannah Maria Knapp, born 13 January 1816 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died 22 November 1903 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ; married David Lum Foster 06 October 1839 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ; born 11 August 1813 in NJ; died 29 May 1895 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ.
.... 29 .. viii. Sarah G. Knapp, born January 1818 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died after 1900 in probably Bushnell, McDonough County, IL; married David Auble About 1844 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ.
.......... ix. William Knapp, born 09 May 1823 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; married Elizabeth C. Brokaw before 1847 in NJ.
.......... x. Manning M. Knapp, born 07 June 1825 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ; died 26 January 1892 in Hackensack, Bergen County, NJ; married Anna Maria Mattison 01 April 1850 in Hackensack, Bergen County, NJ; born 1828 in NJ.
.......... xi. Elsie M. Knapp, born April 1831 in probably Newton, Sussex County, NJ; died 07 September 1903 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, IN; married John D. Wilson about 1871 in probably NJ; born October 1838 in SCOTLAND; died 04 April 1915 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, IN.

That's as far back as I can go. My William Knapp (1775-1856) is a brick wall problem. I described it in more detail in my post My Elusive Ancestor - William Knapp (1775-1857). I would appreciate any suggestions that my readers might have about his parentage!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Chronicling Rosalie and Jeremiah - Part 1

Following up on my post Using the Library of Congress "Chronicling America" Site from earlier today, I found three articles in The Washington Times newspaper concerning the death of Rosalie B. McKnew. All I knew about Rosalie was that as Rosalie B. Taylor she had married Jeremiah McKnew on 29 December 1852 in Washington DC (found in a Washington DC Marriage Index).

The three articles that I found last night on the Library of Congress Chronicling America site are shown below and transcribed. The first one was published in The Washington Times on 12 June 1906:

This article reads:


"Mrs. Rosalie B. McKnew, mother of the late William H. McKnew, died at her residence, 1324 Q Street, at 2:30 o'clock this morning. although Mrs. McKnew had been an invalid for many years previous to her death she always maintained her naturally cheerful and lovable disposition.

"She was widely interested in charities in a quiet and unostentatious way.She was born in the District of Columbia October 2, 1835, and resided here all of her life. She is survived by her daughter, Miss Susan F. McKnew. The funeral will take place Thursday afternoon."

Another notice in the 13 June 1906 edition of the Washington Times newspaper:

This article reads:

"McKNEW -- On (Tuesday, June 12, 1906, at 2:30 a.m., ROSALIE B. McKNEW, wife of the late Jeremiah McKnew.

"Funeral from her late residence, 1324 Q Street northwest, on Thursday, June 14, 1906 at 3 p.m. Relatives and friends invited."

Another newspaper article published on 19 June 1906 in the Washington Times described the death of her faithful servant, and even more information about Rosalie McKnew:


"Faithful Attendant for Forty Years Follows Her Mistress to Final Rest.
"In the same room where less than a week ago she witnessed the last sad rites over the body of the woman she had loved and served throughout her life, funeral services for Louisa Miller, for forty-one years a devoted and faithful servant in the household of the late Mrs. Rosalie B. McKnew will be held at 10 o'clock tomorrow morning from 1324 Q street northwest.

"When ten years of age, Louisa Miller came to the home of Mrs. McKnew and since that time she has served the family continuously. Respectful and respected, she was a type of the old Southern colored servant that made the race famous before the war for undying loyalty to those they served and honored.

"During the past fifteen years Mrs. McKnew was an invalid, and for weeks at a time the faithful servant would sleep at the foot of her bed, doing everything possible to make her comfortable. When her mistress died she grieved deeply, and on several occasions remarked that she wanted to die. Death came suddenly due to heart failure.

"Louisa Miller had been a member of the Temple Baptist Church, formerly the old E Street Baptist Church, almost ever since she first entered the employ of the McKnew household. Here it was that Mrs. McKnew and other members of the family worshipped, and the old servant had always been a regular attendant at the services."

So what did I learn from these three articles in the newspaper?

* Rosalie B. McKnew died on 12 June 1906 in Washington DC
* Rosalie McKnew was born 2 October 1835 in Washington DC
* Rosalie McKnew was the widow of Jeremiah McKnew
* Rosalie McKnew had a deceased son William H. McKnew, presumably by Jeremiah McKnew
* Rosalie McKnew had a daughter Susan F. McKnew, presumably by Jeremiah McKnew.
* For the last part of her life, Rosalie McKnew resided at 1324 Q Street northwest in Washington DC
* For the last fifteen years of her life, Rosalie was an invalid.
* This McKnew family worshipped at the Temple (formerly E Street) Baptist Church
* Rosalie's faithful servant was Louisa Miller, who died 19 June 1906.
* Louisa Miller was a servant to Rosalie McKnew for 41 years (since 1865?)

What else can we find out about Rosalie McKnew? And who was her husband, Jeremiah McKnew? Was he my wife's 2nd great-grandfather, born in about 1804? I thought he was until I found more records today...stay tuned for the second episode of Chronicling Rosalie and Jeremiah.

Using the Library of Congress "Chronicling America" Site

I love to browse on the Internet, just like I love to browse in a library or repository. I call it my "Forrest Gump Method of Genealogy Research" of finding genealogy goodies - "Genealogy research is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to find, but you have to look everywhere your 'genealogy gem' might be hiding."

Last night, tired from entering names, dates, places and sources in my database all afternoon, I decided to go browsing through the online newspapers. I hadn't recently checked out the Chronicling America set of newspapers on the Library of Congress web site, so I headed there. The home page looks like this:

The description of the site says:

"Welcome to Chronicling America, enhancing access to America's historic newspapers. This site allows you to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). "

What newspapers for what years are available? The list of available newspapers, alphabetically by state, is here. Newspapers are available, from 1880 to 1922, from the following states: Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

Just on a whim, I chose the District of Columbia because I wanted to see if there were any articles about the McKnew family in the DC newspapers. I clicked on the "Search Pages" box on the home page. I picked "DC" from the list of states, kept the search for all years between 1880 and 1922, and when I input "McKnew" to the search box I received 852 results.
That was too many to sift through, so I refined the search a bit. I knew nothing about the wife of a Jeremiah McKnew in my database (I didn't know which Jeremiah it was, either!), except that they resided in Washington DC after their marriage in 1852. So I entered "rosalie mcknew" in the Search box for "with all the words" in the screen below:

The search options include "with any of the words," "with all of the words," "with the exact phrase" and "with the words within '5' words of each other." For the latter, the number of words can be changed - the default is 5.

With "rosalie mcknew" in the Search box for "with all of the words," I clicked on the "Search button and saw:

There were 31 matches for my Search criteria, shown above with thumbnail images of the actual newspaper pages. If I click on one of the images, the page opens in a window, as shown below:

The Search terms on the page are highlgihted in red, as seen above. The user can zoom in or zoom out, use the "magic hand" to maneuver around the page, etc. I zoomed into the article with the red area in the image above, and saw:

That looks interesting. I wonder if that is the Rosalie I wanted? I went back and put "rosalie mcknew" in the Search line for "with the words within 5 words of each other." There were three matches then, all about Rosalie McKnew's death in June 1906. They provided some interesting information - none of which I had before.

I will show the three matches and transcribe them in another post. Suffice it to say, that I received some "genealogy gems" by using my "Forrest Gump Method of Genealogy Research!"

UPDATED 8 p.m.: Edited some of the text since I think I found the "right" Jeremiah, but it wasn't the one I thought it was! Still not 100% sure!

Scott Brown a distant cousin of Barack Obama too!

The Washington Post and other newspapers have articles today describing the relationship of Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown to President Barack Obama.

The press release from the New England Historic Genealogical Society is here, and the descendant chart from their common ancestor, Richard Singletary of Haverhill MA, is here.

Scott Brown joins a lengthening list of famous cousins to the President, including:

* Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush

* Vice-President Dick Cheney

* Actor Brad Pitt

* Many other notable persons (per NEHGS "Notable Kin" article)

* your humble scribe... (I can't help bragging about it - my New England cousins are ecstatic, my readers and audiences are amused or amazed).

An interactive Obama Family Tree is online here.

Thanks to the NEHGS for sleuthing these relationships - I can hardly wait for the next one because it may reveal another distant cousinship of mine. Now, I need to go see if I can find a relationship to Scott Brown. Who else may run for President in 2012? I already have cousinships to Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.

What I want to know is when President Obama will invite all of his distant cousins to the White House for a family reunion. It could be an august and large group. I will be happy to clear my calendar...anytime, cuz!

Follow Friday - ThinkGenealogy

It's Follow Friday - time to highlight a favorite genealogy blog or website. I'm still working through my list of hundreds of blogs - the websites will have to wait!

My Follow Friday blog for this week is Mark Tucker's ThinkGenealogy blog:

Mark's blog summary says:

"Mark is a software architect by day and a family historian on as many nights and weekends as possible. More about Mark "

There is a lot more information on the link! Mark has posted a Mission Statement for his blog - he may be the only one that has one. He also gives a ThinkGenealogy Innovator Award occasionally.

Mark is currently posting daily images and transcriptions from a daily journal of his great-grandfather, Worth Tucker, for the years 1903 to 1907.

Mark also speaks occasionally at genealogy conferences, and has posted his presentations on and on his blog (the image above). Only a few genea-bloggers are doing this - I wish more did. Mark's example has led me to consider doing it myself.

Probably the most useful posts by Mark for genealogy researchers have been his posts about the Genealogical Proof Standard and Source Citations.

I enjoy Mark's blog tremendously, probably because he comes at genealogy research from a software mindset and is always trying to find ways to improve research and analysis processes. If you have interests in these topics, then I encourage you to put ThinkGenealogy in your blog reading list.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Smiths owed tax money!

One of the surest ways to find a newspaper article about your ancestors is if they owed money to someone. I decided to check out the Library of Congress Chronicling America website tonight which now has newspapers pages imaged and indexed (by OCR) from 1880 to 1922, but only for the states of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington. Of course, they have only selected papers from those states.

I noticed that they had the McCook (Nebraska) Tribune available from 1886 to 1922, so I input "Carringer" in the search box and up popped four matches. All four were a notice placed in the paper over four successive weeks (shown below in a screen shot):

The notice reads:


"Abbie Smith, David D. smith, Leva Smith, Matie Chenery, Della Carringer, ----- Carringer, husband of Della Carringer, whose first name is unknown to plaintiff, as heirs at law of Devier J. Smith, deceased, defendants, will take notice that John E. Kelley has filed his petition in the District court of Red Willow County, Nebraska, the object and prayer of which is to foreclose a lien for the delinquent taxes legally assessed and levied on lot number seven (7) in block number thirty (30) in the original town of McCook, in said county, for the years 1891, 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, for which taxes said lot was sold to the said John E. Kelley, by the treasurer of said county on September 24, 1900, at a private tax sale. There is now due plaintiff on said tax sale the sum of $29.12, with 20 percent interest thereon from September 24, 1900, and an attorney's fee equal to ten percent of the amount of the decree entered herein, and plaintiff prays for a decree that the defendants be required to pay said sum or that said premises be sold to satisfy the said amount due for taxes, attorney's fees and the costs of this action. You are required to answer said petition on or before Monday the 15th day of July, A.D. 1901.

"John E. Kelley, Plaintiff.

"McCook, Nebraska, May 29, 1901."

Well -- isn't that interesting! Devier J. Smith died 1 May 1894 in McCook, and is buried there. His wife Abbie and daughter Della moved to San Diego in 1887, and son David and daughter Matie moved there in the 1890s. I wonder if they ever saw this notice or were apprised of it by a family friend or former neighbor in McCook? I wonder if they paid the tax bill, or if the lot was sold to recover the taxes? I'm the oldest living descendant of these people - I wonder if they will come after me?

The notice mentions Lot number 7 in Block number 30 - I have a map of downtown McCook in my computer files somewhere - I wonder if that is the livery stable just one block off the railroad track?

So many questions, so few answers. Isn't that always the way? Now I have another document to put in my "reasonable exhaustive search" presentation.

Isn't it amazing what a random search in an online database will turn up? Initially, I didn't bother to search for Devier Smith - when I went back and input that name in just the McCook newspapers, only these four matches appeared. I was hoping that there would be more since he resided there from 1885 to 1894.

Genealogy Presentations on - DON'T USE IT!

NOTE - please do not click on SlideShare dot net - it is now a scam site per a correspondent.

Did you miss that genealogical conference or seminar that your genea-friends or favorite genea-blogger raved about? Do you want a primer on a certain genealogy topic?

There are several web sites where persons can submit their documents and presentations for persons to find and observe, and even listen to them. In earlier posts, I've highlighted several genealogy websites that have webinars online with audio of speakers and the presentation slides synched with the audio., and are three organizations that have webinars for observation on a person's own time - you don't have to "be there" when the presentation is given.

There are several sites that permit a person to freely add documents and presentations to their site for interested persons to observe the presentation slides. Some have an audio feature also. One such web site is Several genealogists are using this site to put their presentations online.

The home page is shown below:

A person can register for a free account and upload their presentation to the site. The web site accepts the following file types:
Presentations: pdf, ppt, pps, pptx, ppsx, pot, potx (Powerpoint); odp (OpenOffice); key, zip (Apple Keynote).
Documents: pdf, doc, docx, rtf, xls (MSOffice); odt, ods(OpenOffice); Apple iWork Pages.
Max file size: 100MB for presentations & documents.
On any SlideShare page, the user can search for an author, a user, a topic, etc. I put "genealogy" in the Search box and it found over 1,000 presentations with the term "genealogy" in the presentation title or keyword. Here is the first page of one of my searches:

The fourth one down on that list is genea-blogger Mark Tucker's ( presentation "Navigating Research with the Genealogical Proof Standard" presented in 2008. I clicked on the link and saw:

The familiar slide controls are below the slide show screen above - first slide, previous slide, play (automatic 5 seconds) next slide and last slide, page number and a link to show it full-screen. I clicked on the full screen link and saw:

Note that the slide show controls are still below the slides - that is pretty cool. I clicked the last slide button and saw:

If a presenter has more than one presentation, there is a tab to the right of the slide in the smaller-slide show screen - "More by user." I found out that Mark has two more presentations on the site:
What other genealogy bloggers have presentations on There are several users identified:
* Thomas MacEntee (username geneabloggers) has:
* Janet Iles (username researchergal) has:
* Jordan Jones (username genealogymedia) has:
There are a number of other persons and libraries that have put genealogy oriented presentations on the site, and several persons have posted documents about specific family lines.
Go explore, enjoy reading the presentations that are of interest to you, and appreciate the efforts of these presenters. While, in most cases, you cannot hear what they said during the presentation, you can read what their slides say and understand the points they made.
Another web site with similar presentations posted online is Scribd - I will try to find genealogy presentations there in another post.
What other web sites with user-contributed genealogy presentation content are there? But not genealogy video like YouTube or RootsTelevision. Tell me!

Treasure Chest Thursday - Kemp Bible typescript 1

On Treasure Chest Thursday, I'm posting images of artifacts or documents that inform my family history.

There apparently was a Kemp family Bible in the possession of a descendant of Abram Kemp (1795- after 1881) of Norfolk County, Ontario. A transcript of the Bible was typed at some unknown time and a copy of the transcript was donated to the Orange County (CA) Genealogical Society and placed in the Huntington Beach (CA) Public Library in Orange County, California, where I found it in the stacks in the early 1990s. The two pages found are:

The provenance of the Bible is described as:

The Bible was printed by A.J. Holman Co of Philadelphia in 1877. Daisy Rader was given the Bible by John Evans Kemp, who was born in Canada and whose death is the last entry in the book. It is now in the possession of the Orange County California Genealogical Society.

The first page of the typescript notes:

Holy matrimony was celebrated between Peter Evans Kemp of Prince Edward and Catherine C. Ryder of Co.Norfolk on 6th April 1875 at Delhi by Rev. J. Van Loon. Witnesses were Gideon W. Ryder and Emeline Powel.

Sarah Elizabeth 17 Sept 1877
Mary Waity 10 Dec 1880
John Evans 27 April 1883
Peter Gideon 10 July 1885

Gideon P. Kemp married to Florence Bragg on November 20, 1921
Sarah E. Kemp married to Oliver C. Baker June 1922

Mary W. Kemp 26 Nov ---- 6 y 11 m 14 d
Catherine F. Kemp 30 Apr 1919 74 y 4 m 6 d
Peter E. Kemp 10 Apr 1922 84 y 4 week 16 d
Florence Kemp 20 Oct 1922 32 y
Sarah Elizabeth Kemp 28 March 1945 66 y
John Evans Kemp 14 Oct 1956 73 y

The second page of the typescript notes:

The second portion of the Bible record was written in the same hand as the first marriage record but were placed on other blank pages in the book.

The second page includes these notes:

Abraham Kemp was married to Sarah Fletcher on 16th April 1818.

Ab'm Kemp 4 Nov 1795 (4 Dec 1795)
Sarah Kemp 7 July 1802 (about 1807)
Waty C. Kemp 23 Sept 1821 (23 Dec 1820)
Mary Ann Kemp 20 July 1824 (20 Feb 1823)
Stephen G. Kemp 7 Feb 1826
W.H. Kemp 4 March 1829
Ab'm J. Kemp 22 May 1831
John L. Kemp 28 Apr 1834 (about 1835)
Peter E. Kemp 28 Feb 1837
Andrew Kemp 6 Nov 1840 (6 Nov 1839)
Sarah J. Kemp 2 June 1843 (about 1841)
Chas. W. Kemp 14 Sept 184-
Wesley Kemp 16 Nov 1847 (16 Feb 1849)

Peter Evans Kemp was married to Isabella Eagles 22 Feb 1865

P.E. Kemp 28 Feb 1837
Isabella Eagles 10 July 1839
Janet Isabella 22 July 1866
Andrew Evans 9 Sept 1872

Isabella Kemp 14 Mar 1873
Andrew Evans Kemp 29 Aug 1873

The information on the first page was probably entered by members of the Peter Evans Kemp, and probably at or near the time of the event noted. The information about the family of Abram and Sarah (Fletcher) Kemp was entered after 1877, but was probably based on memories of Peter Evans Kemp (1837-1922), a son of Abram and Sarah (Fletcher) Kemp. The information in parentheses ( ) is handwritten by someone after the Bible page transcripts were typed.

This Bible is the only record found to date that provides the name of the wife of Abraham James Kemp (1795-after 1881) - Sarah Fletcher, her birth date and the marriage date as 16 April 1818. Abraham James and Sarah (Fletcher) Kemp are my third-great-grandparents.

This is not the only Bible record extant in this typescript format - I have one for the descendants of my second great-grandparents, James Abram and Mary Jane (Sovereen) Kemp that was found in the family papers given me by my mother.

How should this information be treated? The typescript itself provides direct evidence of names, births, marriages and death dates, it is a mix of primary and secondary information (since some events occurred before the Bible was published), and is a derivative source document (since it is a typescript of a family Bible which may or may not be extant at this time). In many cases, the names and dates provided are the only available record found to date. I have included the typed information in my genealogy software database and sourced the family Bible typescript.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Searching the Past, Looking to the Future" Program Summary

Susi Pentico was the program speaker at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society meeting on Wednesday, 27 January on "Searching the Past, Looking to the Future." There were 32 persons at the meeting, including four guests.

In her presentation, Susi defined three "genealogy eras" - before 1970, 1970 to about 2010, and the future. Using her knowledge and experience doing genealogy from the last 50 years, she discussed the changes in record access, recording methods and social contacts over the three eras. She used her own family research stories and photographs to illustrate her comments.

The pre-1970 methods for genealogy research included family records, reunions, photographs, correspondence with others, library and courthouse visits, road trips, cemeteries, historical records in books or repositories, etc.

After about 1970, these methods to pursue family history were still used, but the telephone (including cold calling from directories) and computer use began and increased. By the 1990s email had replaced much correspondence and online websites and databases proliferated, resulting in fewer people going to libraries, societies and other repositories. Volunteers had populated, and other sites with freely available transcribed or abstracted data, and commercial web sites had large databases of useful records. Many USGenWeb sites have not added content in recent years, which is troubling.

By 2010, some local and state repositories with unique genealogy holdings were cutting back hours and staff, or closing completely, due to lack of "customers" and financial pressures. After 9/11, access to some genealogy vital records was restricted for identity and privacy reasons. Some counties put public records (e.g., probate indexes, deed indexes, property information) online, but not all have done that. People were encouraged to compile their health histories to share with their family. Researchers have found new avenues to share genealogy information using social networks, blogs and online chats.

For the future, Susi thought that there will be more online access to records, that digital storage and transport of records will be pervasive, that educational presentations will be done by speakers from home to remote groups using online services, that online family tree databases will proliferate and be easy to use. She hoped that genealogy research will show that we are all related to one another, that people will be more compassionate and prejudice and bias will be eliminated.

Susi will likely post her script on her blog, Susi's Chatty Performances on Genealogy, in the days ahead. Her description of the day is in her post Wednesday was not Wordless, Genealogy, PPF*. Ruth Himan's description of Susi's talk is on her blog Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me.

Escondido Family History Fair on March 6

The FREE Escondido (CA) Family History Fair is Saturday, 6 March at the LDS Family History Center in Escondido (2255 Felicita Rd, Escondido, CA 92029). Directions can be found here.

The Family History Fair is an annual all-day event with a keynote speaker, five hour-long sessions with seven different program speakers in each session, and an exhibit hall. The presentation schedule is provided here, and includes:

* 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. - Registration and Exhibits open
* 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. - Keynote presentation by David Rencher (Chief Genealogy Officer of FamilySearch)

* 10:10 to 11:10 a.m. - Session I
* 11:20 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.- Session II
* 12:20 to 1:20 p.m. - lunch break
* 1:30 to 2:30 pm. - Session III
* 2:40 to 3:40 p.m. - Session IV
* 3:50 to 4:50 p.m. - Session V

The program presenters are listed here. It is a talented set of speakers! The classes can be attended free of charge. A printed syllabus will be available for $12. A box lunch can be purchased for $8.

Every attendee must pre-register by mail by 20 February 2010. The registration form may be downloaded from Attendees are asked to identify the presentations they wish to attend in order for the Fair organizers to assign presentation rooms.

The exhibit area is primarily for local genealogical and hereditary societies to display their brochures and displays - no selling is permitted on the FHC grounds.

This is the premier all-day seminar each year in San Diego County. If you want to attend, please fill out the registration form and send it in ASAP.

Using the Rootsweb Surname List

How do you find other genealogy researchers that are working on your ancestral families? You can do surname searches on the Internet using Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines. You can search for specific persons, plus their spouses, plus their localities to find other researchers interested in specific families - are these your distant cousins?

One of the oldest and most effective ways of quickly finding other researchers with the same interests is to use the Rootsweb Surname List (RSL).

From the Rootsweb home page ( the Rootsweb Surname List is the first link under the Search Engines and Databases set in the left-hand column:

Clicking on the link for Rootsweb Surname List/RSL takes you to :

On this page, you can enter a surname into the search box (I entered "seaver" in the screen above) and click on "Submit" button, which brought up this screen:

There are a number of entries on the RSL for "Seaver" surname - the table above has columns for Surname, From, To, Migration, Submitter and Comments. My entry is the top one - I entered Seaver from 1608 to now, migrating from England to Roxbury MA, USA to Westminster, MA, USA. My Rootsweb user name is in the Submitter column.

There are 16 entries for the Seaver surname, and not all of them have entries from colonial Massachusetts. But several do. Perhaps they are cousins. Do they know more about this surname than I do?

How can I find out who they are and what other surnames they are searching for? If I click on the username (I chose my own), then I can see the information that person:

My name, current email address, the email address I used when I first added my names to the RSL, and my home address are shown. Not everybody adds all of that information, of course, or has kept their email address up-to-date, but it's a lead.

There is a link to "See all surname entries by this Submitter." I clicked on that, for my own username, and saw:

There are several pages of entries for all of the surnames that I entered into the system back in about 1998. I have a few more to add now, and will probably do that in the next week or so. How do I do that? There is a link at the bottom of the screen above for "Add your surnames to the RSL."

If you know your username and password, you can add to or edit your list quickly. I have forgotten my password, so I requested that my password be sent to my email address.

Are you using the Rootsweb Surname List? Have you even checked it to see what other persons are researching your ancestral surnames? If not, you should! It's one more way to find those distant cousins who may have more information about your families and surnames. If you add your surnames to the Rootsweb Surname List, then other researchers may be able to find you - if they use the RSL.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 88: Randy Smiling

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.

Here is a photograph from the Seaver family collection handed down by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:

This cute and smiling little boy is moi - probably at age two or three (since I have my canine teeth in!). It was taken in 1946 or 1947, probably at a studio in downtown San Diego.

I need to scan more pictures - I'm limited now to posting pictures of myself since I've posted most of the historical family photographs previously scanned - at least the ones that have some interesting content. Fortunately, Scanfest is this Sunday and I hope to attend! I think I will pull out Della Carringer's scrapbook and work through some of the pages. I have photocopies of some of the pages but then a scan is a second or third generation image.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"The Great Migration Begins" is on

How did I miss it? I just found out that the book The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 by Robert Charles Anderson, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1995, is indexed and online in transcription format on

This set of three books are the "Bible for early New England immigrants" for researchers. The sketches are excellent and comprehensive - and reveal the original and derivative source material used by the author and his team. The information on says that this database - not the index - was last updated on 10 December 2002.

The database description says:

"The Great Migration Begins includes more than one thousand, one hundred sketches, each dedicated to a single immigrant or an immigrant family, arriving in New England between 1620 and 1633. Each sketch contains information on the immigrant's migration dates and patterns, on various biographical matters (including occupation, church membership, education, offices, and land holding), and on genealogical details (birth, death, marriages, children, and other associations by blood or marriage), along with detailed comments and discussion, and bibliographic information on the family."


"The Great Migration Study Project (of which The Great Migration Begins is the first phase) aims to investigate all immigrants to New England from 1620 through 1640, with the goal of summarizing all research carried out by previous workers, and providing a solid platform which will allow future researchers quickly to assess the status of research on a given family, without having to repeat work already done, or waste large amounts of time searching the genealogical literature. To this end, the sketches on individual immigrants or immigrant families first review the existing secondary literature, looking especially for conflicting or missing data. Then the primary sources are examined in order to confirm what has already been written about the family, or to fill in the gaps, or to resolve conflicting interpretations and correct errors. In many instances, of course, gaps and discrepancies will remain, and the sketch will then describe the problem, and perhaps suggest a future course of research. In the end, the Great Migration sketches should permit future researchers to use their time more efficiently, and should also serve as a springboard for new discoveries.

"The text of the sketches provides abbreviated citations to the primary and secondary sources that were employed in creating the sketches; pop-up links provide the full citations. In many cases, the sketches also include suggestions for further research on unresolved problems."

There are 1,142 "records" in the database - meaning sketches.
This database can be found on here. The Search box for the database is shown below:

I entered "seaver" in the "Last name" box and clicked on Search button, and got this list:

The sketch for Robert Seaver (1608-1683), who actually migrated in 1634 (but who married an Elizabeth Ballard who was in Massachusetts Bay Colony before 1634), looks like this:

As you can see, the record is a transcription of the sketch, rather than an image of the book page. As such, it is very useful. If I recall correctly, I have about 30 immigrant ancestors in this set!

The source abbreviations in parentheses are links that show the source citation used. For instance, the source abbreviation (RchR) for the church membership of Robert Seaver can be clicked on and the user sees a small popup box that says:

"Roxbury Land and Church Records, Sixth Report of the Boston Record Commissioners (Boston 1884), pp. 74-191"

It was just good luck that I ran across this database while browsing for books on with "Seaver" mentions. I go browsing occasionally in an effort to add family history context to my Seaver family database. My initial reaction was "Huh? When was that added?" Apparently, I've missed seeing it for seven years! Or was it just added recently when and NEHGS teamed up in 2009?

The database is also available on the New England Ancestors website and was first put online in 2002. If you don't have an Ancestry subscription, but do have an NEHGS subscription, you can view transcriptions of the sketches there.

FGS FORUM Magazine - Winter 2009 Issue - and a Discount Deal

The Winter 2009 issue of the FORUM online magazine, the quarterly publication of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), has been published in digital format. It is available to subscribers and FGS delegates on the FGS web site. A sample issue can be downloaded from the FGS FORUM site.

The Winter 2009 issue cover looks like this:

The Table of Contents for this issue of FGS FORUM includes:

* page 3 - A Question for FGS Delegates And All Society Members, by Pat Oxley
* page 4 - FGS 2010: Knoxville, Tennessee, by Lori Thornton
* page 11 - Federation Awards for 2009, by Susan D. Kaufman
* page 14 - National Archives and FGS Formalize Agreement
* page 15 - Ancestor Fair

* page 16 - Kay Dunlap Boyd: Volunteer of the Year, by Susan LeBlanc
* page 18 - Keeping Your Tax Exempt Status, by Cath Madden Trindle
* page 20 - No Will? There Still May Be a Way, by Sandra H. Luebking (research article)
* page 24 - Malcolm H. Stern NARA Gift Fund
* page 26 - News in Brief

* page 27 - State Reporting
* page 29 - Society Spotlight - "Recreating the 1890 Census"
* page 30 - Records Preservation & Access, column by Linda McCleary
* page 32 - Family Associations, column by Christine Rose
* page 34 - Ethnic & International

* page 36 - Notes from the Field, column by Curt B. Witcher, on "Newspapers of Churches and Religious Organizations"
* page 38 - Genealogy 2.0, column by Randy Seaver on "Using Facebook for Genealogy"
* page 41 - Board Bytes, including a great picture of the 2009 FGS board
* page 42 - Book Reviews, column by Paul Milner (9 pages!)

While much of the magazine deals with FGS and member society activities, there are many articles and columns that can help individual researchers. The news digest is very useful to readers. Every society should read Cath Trindle's article about tax exempt status. Linda's RPAC news helps keep us informed about record access in different states, and Curt always has useful research articles about genealogy resources. Paul's book reviews are uniformly excellent and are a must read for societies and individuals trying to add to their book collection or to see what they should look for on their library shelves.

My column, Genealogy 2.0, deals with genealogy in the Web 2.0 environment. This issue's column is about using Facebook to pursue genealogy research. The first page (of three) is shown below:

Earlier columns dealt with What is Genealogy 2.0, Keeping Up with the Genealogy 2.0 World, and Genealogy Blogs - Information, Research and Soapbox (big surprise, eh?). Future columns? Wait and see! Seriously, if you have a suggestion for future columns, please let me know! I have some ideas, but don't want to duplicate topics that have been discussed in other genealogy magazines.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is offering a discount for subscriptions to the FGS FORUM online magazine. The advertisement on Page 40 of the Winter 2009 says:

For a limited time you may
RENEW, EXTEND or BEGIN your subscription to FORUM
the online magazine of the Federation of Genealogical Societies
at just $15 for one year or $25 for two years
Subscribe at

The FGS is sending email announcements to their members and genealogy media outlets saying:

Response to our "Going Green" new format and style, and full color visuals, has been positive and we are able to maintain our subscription rates of the past decade. These features give FORUM the potential to greatly extend our subscription base. To do so, FGS is releasing a special offer for 2010: one year subscription at $15 or two years at $25. Read a sample issue at and get subscription details at the same time.

I encourage you to subscribe to FGS FORUM and enjoy the quarterly magazine in digital format.

Disclosure: I am a columnist for FGS FORUM, but receive no remuneration for the articles I write, and will receive no remuneration for this recommendation.

Tombstone Tuesday - John Cooke (1607?-1695) - Mayflower Passenger

One of my Mayflower 1620 ancestors is John Cooke (1607-1695), the son of Francis and Hester (Mahieu) Cooke. John may have been the last of the male Mayflower passengers to die, and his death is commemorated with a stone and plaque in what is now Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

I don't have a picture of the gravestone - but Susanne "Sam" Behling does on her web page with a biography of John Cooke - see

Isn't that an interesting stone and plaque? It's not original, of course, but it apparently marks the place where John Cooke is buried, and honors his place in history.

Sam has done a fine job of documenting the lives and stories of her ancestors, with photographs when available. We have, as common immigrant ancestors, the following: John Cooke, Francis Cooke, Richard Warren, William Eddy, Obadiah Holmes, John Warren, John Tripp, Henry Brooks, Joseph Holway, Thomas Flagg, Thomas Waite, and probably several others.

UPDATED 1:30 p.m.: Thanks to Heather Rojo and Martin Hollick to point out that he was not the last passenger to die, but was perhaps the last male passenger to die. Martin pointed out that Richard More's death date is before 20 April 1696, so he may have been the last one. Can't slip anything past my readers!

Monday, January 25, 2010

CVGS Program on Wednesday, 27 January

The next Program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society is Wednesday, 27 January at 12 noon in the Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library Auditorium (365 F Street in Chula Vista).

The program speaker is CVGS member Susi Pentico on “Searching the Past, Looking to the Future.”

The presentation will be about past research methods, current methods and where the genealogical world may be headed. Hopefully, everyone will learn new ideas and thoughts about pursuing their research.

Susi (Jones) Pentico has done family research for 40 years. Susi's grandfather's got her started by age 12, and she was into it in depth by age 19 when her first child was very ill and the doctor needed answers about family health. She enjoys the learning and sharing with others, and is fascinated by all the links and interlinks within one group that spread out and encompass other groups. She finds research to be rewarding and relaxing, vexing and frustrating.

Susi has held various offices of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, including President in 2000-2001. She also belongs to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the National Genealogical Society, and the San Diego Genealogical Society. She also leads a Beginners/Intermediate Class for the San Diego County Library System in Lemon Grove twice a month, and works with other organizations to promote a better community for our youth and ourselves.

Susi has talked on a variety of topics to San Diego genealogical societies and edited a newsletter for Mid-Atlantic Researchers for three years.

Please enter the auditorium through the Conference Room door on the east library hallway - and pick up the program agenda, buy opportunity drawing tickets, and have a snack before the program begins at around 12:20 p.m. There will be a brief business meeting followed by the speaker's program.

All CVGS meetings are free to attend by anyone interested in genealogy and family history. The Chula Vista Genealogical Society welcomes all guests and visitors - please come and enjoy our meetings. Of course, we hope that you will join out active genealogy society.

For more information, please contact Barbara at 619-427-4110 or email

Five Fascinating Interviews

Do you want a "behind the scenes" look at the CEOs of five well known genealogy companies - their careers, their companies, their futures? The January 2010 issue of the online magazine Mormon Entrepreneur has lengthy interviews of:

* Paul Allen, Founder and CEO of

* Alan Eaton, Founder and CEO of OneGreatFamily

* Janet Hovorka, Founder and Development Director of Generation Maps

* John Vilburn, Founder and CEO of Ohana Software

* Russell Wilding, CEO of

The interviews were done for an LDS church publication, many of the questions pertain to LDS church issues, and the companies are involved with the church family history department in some way, but they do provide information and insight into each profiled company. The most interesting thoughts for me included:

* "Everything we do will be on including genealogy searches, all the databases that we’ve accumulated over the last 3 years, the 1.2 billion records, and all the family trees that are being built." - Paul Allen

* "OneGreatFamily was built to be the skeleton of the human family tree, and the technology is there ready for people to hang all kinds of meat on the bones, to fill out the stories, and we have stories in OneGreatFamily. " -- Alan Eaton

* "...I am passionate about having family history out where I can see it. We can do any style or any design that someone wants to do. We can do things from any type of file. We’re trying to make this the place to do genealogical printing. There really aren’t any other companies out there that can make any type of chart from any file." - Janet Hovorka

* "I’ve seen some companies that have started to address that portion of the market where you are not just finding out who your ancestors are, but really learning about their lives. That includes journals, histories, photos, and knowing about the way things were at the time your ancestors lived. " - John Vilburn

* "That’s what we’re trying to help tell—their stories. Not just an index. “There is no history—only biographies.” That’s what we are about. That is what is different about our company. That’s why we go after historical content, not just birth, death, and marriage records. We’re after pension files, newspapers, and all kinds of military records." - Russell Wilding

Please go to the Mormon Entrepreneur website and read all of the interviews. There were some statistics embedded in these interviews - the one that surprised me the most was that a survey indicates that only 1% to 3% of LDS church members "do family history work." Each of the interviewees stressed that they are committed to working with the LDS Church members and the larger genealogy community.

Another interesting statistic are the number of employees for each company --

* FamilyLink = 50
* OneGreatFamily = 30
* Generation Maps = 6
* Ohana Software = 9
* = 30

My thanks to Claire LeBeaux of OneGreatFamily for sharing the link to the magazine with me. The Ancestry Insider also linked to the magazine interviews last week.

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Ruth (Hawkins) (Wade) Hopkins

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday theme several months ago called Amanuensis Monday. I loved the idea, and recently decided to follow it in order to share ancestral information and keep the theme going, and perhaps it will expand to other genealogy bloggers.

First of all, what does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

Today's task involves the probate records of Ruth (Hawkins) (Wade) Hopkins (1711-1789, died in Glocester RI). Some online family trees attribute Nathaniel Wade's (1709-1754, died in Scituate RI) six children to Ruth Hawkins and also to a Ruth Hopkins. Rhode Island records show that Nathaniel Wade married Ruth Hawkins on 26 June 1731 in Scituate RI, and they had children Simon, Dudley, Mary, Ruth, Deborah and John Wade. After Nathaniel's death in 1754, Ruth married Zebedee Hopkins on 9 February 1758. Zebedee died before Ruth in 1789 in Scituate RI, and they had no children together.

Ruth (Hawkins) (Wade) Hopkins died testate, having written a will on 23 November 1789 that was proved on 4 February 1790. The will (transcribed from Glocester (RI) Probate and Civil Records, 1731-1915, Volume 2, pages 122-126, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,941,847) reads (with paragraph breaks inserted for readability):

"In the name of God Amen I Ruth Hopkins of Glocester in the County of Providence & State of Rhode Island & Plantations Widow Woman Being Advanced in years & in a Poor State of health at this time But of a Sound Mind & Memory at this time thanks be to almighty God for the Same & Knowing it is appointed for man once to Die I do here by make & ordain this to be my Last will & testament. And as touching such Worldly Estate as it hath Pleased God to bless me with in this Life I Give Bequeath & Dispose of in the following Form & manner as is herein further Expressed.

"Imprimus I Give & Bequeath Unto my well Beloved Son John Wade my Bed whereon I now Sleep together with the Bedstead and all the Furniture thereunto Belonging.

"Item I Give & Bequeath unto my well beloved Cousin Sarah Hawkins Daughter to Uriah Hawkins all my Iron ware of Every Kind.

"Item I Give unto my Grandaughter Deborah Potter one Worsted Duroy Gown the most Palest Blue one.

"Item I Give unto my Son Simon Wade one Silver Dollar or the Value thereof to be Paid him by my Executor out of my Estate after my Decease.

"Item I give unto my son Dudly Wade one Silver Dollar or the value thereof to be Paid him by my Executor out of my Estate after my Decease.

"Item my will is and I hereby order & Give the Remainder Part of my Estate not herein Before Given away, that after my Just Debts & funeral Charges are paid and the Legacies herein Before Mentioned that what then Remains of my Estate, that I have not herein Before Given away my Will is and I hereby order & Give the same to my Son John Wade and to the aforenamed Sarah Hawkins to be equally Divided Between them. And I hereby make & appoint my said Son John Wade to be my Sole Executor of this my Last will & testament & I hereby Revoke Disanull and Disallow all other & former will or wills by me at any time heretofore Made, Ratifying allowing & Confirming this and no other to be my Last will & testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & Seal this twenty third Day of November Anno Domini 1789.

"Signed Sealed & Published and Pronounced by the said Ruth Hopkins to be her Last will & testament in the Presence of us the Subscribers who in her Presence & in the Presence of each other Subscribed our names as Witnesses
Levi Martin ...................................................................... her
Uriah Hawkins ......................................................... Ruth X Hopkins
Zebee Hopkins" .............................................................. mark

The will was presented to the Glocester Town Council on 4 February 1790, who accepted and approved the will:

"Glocester February the 4th 1790. In Town Council this will Being Presented for Probate, and Levi Martin, Uriah Hawkins & Zebedee Hopkins Esqr. the Witnesses did on Solemn Engagement before this Council Declare that they saw Ruth Hopkins sign & Seal this Paper & heard her Declare it to be her Last will & testament, and they in her & each others Presence Subscribed their Names as Witnesses and She at that time appeared to be of Sound Mind & Memory. Wherefore it is Voted that this will be and is Proved & Approved And That it be Recorded
Pr. ordr R. Steere Cou. Clk.
And Recorded Pr. R. Steere Cou. Clk."

The Town Council approved John Wade to be the executor of the will and administrator of the estate:

"Whereas Mrs. Ruth Hopkins of Glocester in the County of Providence & State of Rhode Island who Departed this Life on the 27th Day of December AD 1789. Which said Ruth was Relict of Zebedee Hopkins Late of said Glocester Deceased did in & by her Last Will & testament Name & appoint her son John Wade Sole Executor of her said Will & the said John having since Proved Said Will by & Before the Town Council of Said Glocester this fourth Day of February in the Year of our Lord one thousand Seven hundred and Ninety.

"These are therefore in the Name of the Governor & Company of the State of the State of Rhode Island to order and fully impower you the said John Wade to take into your Care Custody & Possession all & Singular the Personal Estate Rights & Credits of her the said Ruth Hopkins that Did Belong to her at the time of her Death & on the same to administer by Paying her Just Debts & acting in all matters & things Relaiting the aforesaid Premises as you by Law & the aforesaid Will are Required to do & be Ready at all times to Render a true & Just account of your Doings Relaiting the said Premises when Legally Called thereunto unto the Said Town Council or their Successors in said office when Legally Called thereunto.

"Given by order of the aforesaid Town Council the said fourth Day of February & Sealed with their Seal by their Order
Pr. R. Steere Cou. Clk.
And Recorded Pr. me R. Steere Cou. Clk."

"An Inventory of all and singular the Goods & Chattels Rights and Credits of Ruth Hopkins widow and Relict to Zebedee Hopkins Late of Glocester in the County of Providence & State of Rhode Island &c Deceased who Departed this Life on the Seventh Day of December AD 1789. And was Apprised on the fourth Day of January AD 1790 by us the Subscribers."

The inventory was appraised by Samuel Steere and Stephen Irons, and it totalled 36 pounds, 0 shillings and 2 pence.

This probate record names Ruth's three sons Simon Wade, Dudley Wade and John Wade, clearly states that she was the widow of Zebedee Hopkins. It names a "cousin" Sarah Hawkins, probably the daughter of her brother, Uriah Hawkins. The Town Council record says her death date was 27 December 1789 but the inventory entry says Ruth's death date was 7 December 1789. Which is correct? I am using the Town Council date, although it was written after the inventory was taken, based on the fact that her son John Wade made the statement under oath. It could be that he mis-spoke or the council clerk transcribed the date in the Town Council book incorrectly. Does it really matter? Probably not.

Note that none of the records above are available in online databases yet. Land and probate records on FHL microfilms eventually may be imaged and indexed in the FamilySearch Indexing project, but they may be a long time coming. The message here is that all researchers need to use brick-and-mortar repositories - libraries, archives, courthouses and FHCs in order to obtain original source documents that prove events and relationships.

UPDATED: 9 a.m. corrected minor errors in blog text.