Saturday, February 6, 2010

SNGF - the Super Bowl of Genealogy

Tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun mission is to describe my dream game of the Super Bowl of Genealogy --

* Where would it be played?
* What teams would play?
* Who would be the head coaches?
* Who would be the stars of the game?
* Who would win?
* Who are the cheerleaders?
* If you were playing in the game, what would be your dream play?

And who do you think will win the NFL Super Bowl Colts-Saints game on Sunday? Your score prediction, please!

My responses --

1) Where would it be played? The obvious answer is Salt Lake City at the Family History Library!

2) What teams would play? The obvious answer, in early 2010, is the commercial one side and the LDS on the other.

3) Who would be the head coaches? Perhaps Tim Sullivan, the CEO of, and David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer, on the FamilySearch side.

4) Who would be the stars of the game? This is more difficult because we don't know the names of many of the players on either team. We only know the names of some of the leaders, and some of the publicity people. Thousands of people toil in anonymity in order to bring new databases and web sites online for all of us to use and learn from.

5) Who would win? The game is still being played, obviously. This is not a one-day or one-season competition. and FamilySearch are competing and collaborating for genealogy business and influence. Their game plans are very different - one team puts information online for a fee (but offers free access at selected places) while the other does it all for free. FamilySearch had the lead for several years (with free access to old databases, and indexes for certain census records), but caught up and passed them years ago (offering more databases with a superior search capability). FamilySearch is aggressively digitizing and indexing records from public sources and their vast microform collection, and they have, in my mind, tied Ancestry at half-time.

6) Who are the cheerleaders? You and me, of course! All genealogy researchers.

Are there other players? Of course - FamilyLink (nee WorldVitalRecords), Footnote, New England Historic Genealogical Society, National Genealogical Society, GenealogyBank, FindMyPast, Godfrey Library, HeritageQuestOnline, MyHeritage, Geni, GeneaNet, OneGreatFamily, RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree DNA, GeneTree, Allen County Public Library, and others are playing in the Genealogy All-Star league. They are all winners, in my book.

Competition between companies and societies are a good thing - they bring out the best for everybody, as long as there is fair play, cooperation and collaboration. I think that we've seen a lot of competition and collaboration over the last few years in genealogy, and I hope that it continues in the coming years. There are many individuals in the wide world of genealogy that make things happen that are not affiliated with companies - bloggers, researchers, speakers, society leaders, writers, editors, and the like - all working to make genealogy research better, and challenging all of us to learn more, perform better research and help others along the path to genealogy research excellence.

The real winners of the "genealogy playoffs" and the "super bowl of genealogy" are the users of genealogy resources and databases - the millions of researchers rooting for all of the teams to play and succeed with their game plans.

I dream of playing in a big game. My dream is to be a wide receiver in the Super Bowl of Genealogy - running down the field in a zig-zag pattern and catching a big database (or even one measly page!) chock full of information about my ancestors. I'd love to score touchdowns in Dodge County WI, Jefferson County NY, Windham County CT, Louisa County IA, Oxford County ME, Barnstable County MA, Norfolk County ON and in Wiltshire in England. In a stadium full of my relatives and ancestors cheering me on ... maybe they'd hold a dinner or a parade in my honor.

Oh - the Colts-Saints game on Sunday? I'm predicting a Saints win - 41 to 38 coming from behind in the last minute for the highest scoring Super Bowl ever.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - the Super Bowl of Genealogy

It's Saturday Night - time for some Genealogy Fun!! It's also Super Bowl Eve...

Many American residents are focused on Sunday's Super Bowl XLIV to decide the championship of the National Football League. After 20 weeks of play, the Indianapolis Colts (16-2) are favored by 5 points over the New Orleans Saints (15-3) in the game to be played in Miami, Florida in an outdoor stadium on real grass, starting at 3:30 p.m. (PST). The pre-game hype, er, programs, starts on Sunday morning on CBS.

So, your mission, if you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible theme), is to:

1) Tell us about your dream game of the Super Bowl of Genealogy!

* Where would it be played?
* What teams would play?
* Who would be the head coaches?
* Who would be the stars of the game?
* Who would win?
* Who are the cheerleaders?
* If you were playing in the game, what would be your dream play?

2) Who do you think will win the NFL Super Bowl Colts-Saints game on Sunday? Your score prediction, please!

3) Post your thoughts on your own blog, on a Facebook comment or Note, or as a comment on this blog post.

My entry will be posted later tonight.

Surname Saturday - SOVEREEN/ZAVERING

On Surname Saturdays, I am posting family lines from my own ancestry. I am doing this in Ahnentafel order, and am up to number #31, who is Mary Jane Sovereen (1840- 1874).

My ancestral line back to the five generations of the Sovereen/Sovereign/Zavering 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)

30. James Abram Kemp (1831-1902)
31. Mary Jane Sovereen, born 29 December 1840 in prob. Delhi, Norfolk County, Ontario; died 20 May 1874 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA. She married 10 March 1861 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Ontario.

62. Alexander Sovereign, born 22 December 1814 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; died 15 August 1907 in Windham, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA. He married 03 March 1840 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
63. Eliza Putman, born 01 January 1820 in Wayne, Steuben County, NY; died 17 March 1895 in Delhi, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA. She was the daughter of 126. John Putman and 127. Sarah Martin. Children of Alexander Sovereign and Eliza Putman are:
.... 1 ... i. Mary Jane Sovereen, born 29 December 1840 in prob. Delhi, Norfolk County, Ontario; died 20 May 1874 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; married James Abram Kemp 10 March 1861 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Ontario.
........... ii. Frederick Sovereen, born 28 November 1842 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; died 11 April 1846 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... iii. Rosa Sovereen, born 10 August 1844 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; died 10 May 1845 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... iv. Amart Ann Sovereen, born 02 October 1846 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; died 03 April 1849 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... v. Rachel Sovereen, born 15 May 1848 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; died 15 September 1849 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... vi. Gertrude Ann Sovereen, born 07 May 1851 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... vii. Sarah Adelaide Sovereen, born 03 May 1853 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; died 28 May 1915 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA; married Frederick Henry Crabb 11 October 1873 in probably Norfolk County, ONTARIO; born about 1851 in ENGLAND.
........... viii. Nancy A. Sovereen, born 22 February 1855 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... ix. Roselia Sovereen, born 12 December 1856 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; died 12 December 1856 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... x. Valzoria Sovereen, born 12 December 1856 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; died 20 December 1877.
........... xi. Hetty Sovereen, born 07 January 1859 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... xii. Frederick B. Sovereen, born 09 March 1861 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... xiii. Addison/Alexander B. Sovereen, born 26 June 1863 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; died 06 March 1942; married Violet Winters.
........... xiv. Wilbert Sovereen, born about 1868 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.

124. Frederick Sovereign, born 14 February 1786 in Schooley's Mountain, Warren County, NJ; died 14 June 1875 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada. He married 17 May 1810 in London District, Upper Canada.
125. Mary Jane Hutchison, born 22 January 1792 in Pleasant Valley, New Brunswick, CANADA; died 16 April 1868 in Delhi, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA. She was the daughter of 250. William Hutchinson and 251. Catherine Lewis. Children of Frederick Sovereign and Mary Hutchison are:
........... i. William Lewis Sovereign, born 17 May 1811 in Charlotteville, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; died 26 July 1892 in Brantford, Brant County, Ontario, CANADA; married Mary Ann Kitchen 23 October 1836 in London District, UPPER CANADA; born 25 September 1815 in ONTARIO; died 23 June 1890 in Brantford, Brant County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... ii. Catherine Ann Sovereign, born about 1813 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; married Allen Smith 11 September 1834 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Upper Canada.
....62 .. iii. Alexander Sovereign, born 22 December 1814 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; died 15 August 1907 in Windham, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA; married Eliza Putman 03 March 1840 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.
........... iv. Jacob Sovereign, born About 1817 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; died 19 May 1909 in Delhi, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.

248. Jacob Sovereign, born 06 November 1759 in Schooley's Mountain, Warren County, NJ; died 1845 in Charlottesville, Norfolk County, Canada West. He married 01 March 1781 in Oldwick, Morris County, NJ.
249. Elizabeth Pickle, born 03 November 1764 in Hunterdon County, NJ; died 02 January 1849 in Delhi, Norfolk County, Canada West. She was the daughter of 498. Henry Pickel and 499. Elizabeth. Children of Jacob Sovereign and Elizabeth Pickle are:
........... i. Elisabeth Sovereign, born 15 December 1783 in Schooley's Mountain, Warren County, NJ; married Jonathan Wade 17 November 1799 in London District, Upper Canada.
...124.. ii. Frederick Sovereign, born 14 February 1786 in Schooley's Mountain, Warren County, NJ; died 14 June 1875 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada; married Mary Jane Hutchison 17 May 1810 in London District, Upper Canada.
........... iii. Henry Baltis Sovereign, born 30 August 1787 in Schooley's Mountain, Warren County, NJ; died 23 July 1878 in Fredericksburg, Norfolk County, Ontario, Canada; married Margaret Brown 04 January 1815 in Charlotteville, London District, Upper Canada; born 08 April 1793; died 02 February 1877 in Fredericksburg, Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA.

496. Frederick Zavering/Sovereen, born About 1715 in probably GERMANY; died 25 October 1805 in Waterford, Norfolk County, Upper Canada. He married before 1757 in prob. GERMANY.
497. Ann Waldruff, born Bef. 1739 in probably GERMANY; died before 1768 in Prob. Morris County, NJ. Children of Frederick Zavering/Sovereen and Ann Waldruff are:
........... i. David Sovereign, born about 1757 in Schooley's Mountain, Warren Co, NJ; died 1845 in Norfolk, Brant County, CANADA WEST; married Anne `Nancy' Culver; born about 1760 in NJ.
...248.. ii. Jacob Sovereign, born 06 November 1759 in Schooley's Mountain, Warren County, NJ; died 1845 in Charlottesville, Norfolk County, Canada West; married Elizabeth Pickle 01 March 1781 in Oldwick, Morris County, NJ.
........... iii. Leonard Sovereign, born about 1763 in Schooley's, Mountain, Warren County, NJ; died 02 January 1823 in Waterford, Norfolk County, Upper Canada; married Rhuhama `Amy' Culver About 1788 in NJ; born 1765 in NJ; died 10 November 1828 in Waterford, Norfolk County, Upper Canada.
........... iv. Frederick Sovereign, born 25 December 1764 in Schooley's Mountain, Warren County, NJ; died 10 August 1851 in Charlotteville, Norfolk County, CANADA WEST; married Patience Brown 04 July 1790 in NJ; born 16 February 1769; died 18 July 1852 in Woodhouse, Norfolk County, CANADA WEST.
........... v. Anna Sovereign, born 01 March 1765 in Schooley's, Mountain, Warren County, NJ; died 1853 in Townsend Center, Norfolk County, CANADA WEST; married John Heath 26 February 1795 in NJ; born 1763 in Hunterdon County, NJ; died 1847 in Townsend Center, Norfolk County, CANADA WEST.
........... vi. Elizabeth Sovereign, born about 1766 in Schooley's, Mountain, Warren County, NJ; married Leonard Clouse in Morris County, NJ; born about 1740; died 17 August 1823 in Townsend Centre, Norfolk County, Upper Canada.

Has anyone taken this Zavering/Sovereign surname back into Germany yet? Does anyone reading this have additions or corrections to the information listed above. If so, please contact me at I noted that I have a mix of location names for what is now Ontario - my database is not yet as consistent as I want it to be!

This Surname Saturday post completes my great-great-grandparents ancestral lines. Next week I'll start on the third-great-grandmother lines.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Remember when the website was going to be released? The first promised date was late May 2009. Nope. Didn't happen. Then it was promised for Fall 2009. Nope, didn't happen.

The site was supposed to be the second coming of the LDS Family History Library Catalog (FHLC), with

* the content of the current FHLC with links to digitized genealogy resources
* content from other repositories and websites
* links to genealogy books or databases available online

In July 2009, they said that it would be the "window to the vast collection of genealogical resources."

In August 2009, the GenSeek Application on Facebook debuted and the Facebook page said it would have "Research tools for every genealogist. GenSeek on Facebook houses a unique method of searching for sources that may contain records of your ancestors that may be housed in the Family History Library."

There has been precious little added to either the website or the GenSeek Application for Facebook since then.

When will come alive? This screen has shown on the site since early in 2009.

I have received no emails about GenSeek launch! Have you?

The Genseek Application page on Facebook looks like this:

There hasn't been a specific post about the GenSeek application on their Facebook page since 14 August 2009 - the only one to date.

When I click on the GenSeek Application link, I see my GenSeek profile on this screen:

And when I click on the "Search" tab on the application I see:

That is exactly what we saw back in August 2009 - six months ago. And the current application works exactly the same as it did in August 2009. Nothing has changed -- especially the silence from about GenSeek.

Here is the list of my Genea-Musing blog posts concerning (working backwards in time):

* Trying to use GenSeek Application dated 30 September 2009
* GenSeek on Facebook Application is Available dated 10 August 2009
* GenSeekers Announced and Delayed dated 13 July 2009
* Lifting the Skirt on, dated 15 March 2009.
* A Sneak Peek at, dated 2 February 2009
* What Will GenSeek Be? dated 22 January 2009

Since the first announcement of in January 2009, only Tamura Jones and myself have posted any significant detail of what might look like and how it will work. Other genea-bloggers have been either silent or oblivious to the absence of what's been billed as the next great thing in online genealogy research. Maybe they're more cynical and realistic than I am?

Some persons have mentioned the dreaded "V word" - Vaporware. Technically, it's not - there is the GenSeek application for Facebook that "works."

Will the actual website look and work like the current GenSeek Application on Facebook? I sincerely hope not - the complaints I had back in September included:

* The listing of resources for a specific topic is haphazard - there are no orderly categories like on the current Family History Library Catalog.
* The information for a specific resource does not include FHLC microfilm or microfiche numbers for the items that are on those media. This makes the site pretty useless for many researchers, at least until all of the microfilms and microfiches have been digitized and indexed by FamilySearch.
* Printing the GenSeek item on the Facebook application is not paper or format efficient. The useful information is in a narrow column that prints on too many sheets of paper.

One more thing - did the Genseekers ever form up and march out to gather genealogy information for imaging and database digitization? That was announced in July 2009 as I recall.

I know what some readers are saying - have patience. I'm trying... major FAIL!

My opinion is that companies should not promise what they cannot deliver, and when they do promise and fail to deliver, that they should own up to it, state a reason and describe the measures being taken to be successful.

I want to be the most useful genealogy resource catalog since, well, the FHLC. High expectations and patience don't wear well, it seems.

The way things usually work out is that I rant about something today and it is scheduled to launch in the very near future. I hope does! We all need what it promises to do.

Internet Genealogy - March 2010 Table of Contents

One of my magazine subscriptions is Internet Genealogy, published by Moorshead Magazine, Ltd, based in Toronto. This is a digital magazine distributed with an email link and password to an online web site. The February/March 2010 issue of Internet Genealogy magazine includes the following articles:

* page 6 -- NET NOTES -- Making of African American Identity; Canadian Records; Devon Wills; GenQueries; Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930; Greek Genealogy
* page 9 -- IRISH ROOTS CAFE GENEALOGY PODCAST -- Cindy Thomson looks at an innovative approach to Irish genealogy
* page 12 -- SCOTTISH ARCHIVES ONLINE -- David A. Norris browses through Scotland’s historical archives
* page 14 -- ARE YOU INFORMATION LITERATE? -- According to George G. Morgan, understanding your resources is key to success
* page 18 -- WHALERS, SAILORS AND IMMIGRANTS -- David A. Norris looks at the wealth of resources available on sailing vessels

* page 24 -- GENEALOGY SOCIETY ANNOUNCEMENTS -- A collection of upcoming genealogy-related events that may be of interest
* page 26 -- BEST CANADIAN GENEALOGY BLOGS -- Janice Nickerson looks at some of the top blogs and newsletters for Canuck researchers
* page 30 -- ROOTSTELEVISION -- Donna Potter Phillips checks out genealogy TV — on the ‘net!
* page 32 -- TOP 10 FRENCH-CANADIAN WEBSITES -- Janice Nickerson explores the best online resources for French-Canadian research
* page 35 -- FAMILYTREE MAKER 2010 -- Tony Bandy reviews the latest release

* page 38 -- ARCHIVES NORMANDIE -- David A. Norris looks at an amazing resource for Allied genealogy research
* page 40 -- ROOTSMAGIC 4: THE NEXT GENERATION -- Tony Bandy tries the newest version of the popular genealogy software
* page 43 -- SIGN OF THE TIMES: TIMELINES IN GENEALOGY -- According to Diane L. Richard, there’s a simple way to chart the life of your ancestor
* page 46 -- IF THESE WALLS COULD SPEAK! -- Donna J. Pointkouski looks at a German hauserchronik

* page 49 -- “TWEETING” YOUR FAMILY HISTORY: USING TWITTER FOR GENEALOGY -- Michael Hait checks out the buzz about Twitter and how it can benefit your research

* page 52 -- ENGLAND AND WALES CRIMINAL REGISTERS -- David A. Norris looks at a new database for ancestors on both sides of the law
* page 54 -- SPECIAL DELIVERY: STATE POSTAL HISTORY -- Diane L. Richard discovers a resource for historic postmarks and postmasters
* page 55 -- WHAT’S COMING IN INTERNET GENEALOGY -- A peek at what we are working on for future issues!

I always find useful information in this magazine about genealogy websites, software and databases. There are always new websites listed in this magazine that I have not looked at, and I learn a great deal about genealogy topics that I'm not intimately familiar with. In this issue, the sailing vessels, the French-Canadian websites, and the England/Wales criminal registers were of special interest. I also enjoyed Michael Hait's article on Twitter - learned some new things there! I note that there is an article about Canadian genealogy blogs too!

Disclosure: I am not a writer for, or on the staff of, Moorshead Magazine Ltd. publications, and was not paid to write this post. I'm just a satisfied subscriber.

Follow Friday - Rootdig and Casefile Clues

On Follow Friday, many genealogy bloggers 'fess up on the bloggers or web sites that they like and appreciate. I have so many that I follow (currently over 600 in my Bloglines list) that it will take many weeks to list them all.

This week, I want to highlight Michael John Neill's two blogs - Rootdig and Casefile Clues, shown below in recent screen shots:

Michael's Rootdig site describes him:

"I'm a genealogy researcher, writer and speaker who is still looking for the answer to several family history questions. I also give family history seminars and lectures on a variety of genealogy topics."

That's pretty understated, I think. Michael is, and has been for many years, a prolific writer on genealogy topics and is a nationally known genealogy speaker and teacher.

The Rootdig blog is a collection of posts concerning Michael's own genealogy and family history searches - and the posts often highlight flaws or quirks in online databases that he finds in his research.

The Casefile Clues blog promotes Michael's Casefile Clues weekly subscription newsletter. I've subscribed to it for several months now, and am enjoying the articles. Michael has a way of presenting them that enables the reader to follow the document trail and logical analysis on each subject. The articles are typically seven to ten pages with some images - this is already an impressive body of work.

I haven't met Michael yet, but I'm looking forward to it at a genealogy conference in the future.

If you don't read Michael John Neill's blogs yet, I encourage you to read his current blog page and put his blogs in your blog reader.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Maureen Taylor's Analysis of Annie Moore Photographs

In my post yesterday More Annie Moore Photos, I linked to Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's article on The Huffington Post Historical Photo? Is this Annie Moore Arriving at Ellis Island?rather than post the images of Annie Moore - known and conjectured.

Maureen Taylor, The Photo Detective, has provided a detailed analysis of the three photographs that may be Annie Moore - see her post Could This be Annie Moore at Ellis Island?

Excellent detective work!

Using Online Genealogy Message Boards - Post 4 (GenForum 1)

There is a second large genealogy message board system available for researchers to read, comment on or add information - at the GenForum boards at

This message board system has a forum for many surnames, all of the US states and their counties, and most countries of the world. I could find no web page that could tell me how many boards and how many messages are on those boards.

Here is the home page:

On the home page, the user can type a surname, locality or topic into the search box and select from the resulting list. For surnames, the user can select a letter of the alphabet and scroll through the list and select the surname of interest. For localities, the user can select between US States and Countries to find one of choice. Note that if the user selects US States, they find only the State board and not a specific county board (apparently, the user has to use the Search to find a specific county). Lastly, at the bottom of the home page, there is a topic list for boards relating to General Genealogy; Immigration, Emigration and Migration; Religions; Wars; Miscellaneous; Genealogy, Software and the Internet.

In the screen above, I typed "san diego" into the Search box, and clicked "Find," which resulted in a list of boards beginning with "san" (but not beginning specifically with "san d" for some reason):

I chose the "San Diego County, CA Genealogy Forum" link and saw:

There are 1,154 messages posted on this specific message board, dating back to December 1999.
The user can scroll down the list of posts and click on any one of interest.

There for four blue buttons in the just below the page header for "Post New Message," "Latest Messages," "Today's Messages," and "Last Seven Days." These buttons seem outdated - not many messages are posted on any message board each week, and on many there are none. A button for "Last 12 Months" would be more helpful.

There is a "Search this forum" box on the left side of the header box, and I input the name "seaver" in the box and clicked on "Go:"

A list of ten posts with the keyword "seaver" in them appeared. I clicked on the fifth one down and saw:

The screen above shows the message that I posted in 2006 concerning the Glen Abbey Memorial Park (Bonita CA) Memorial Records.

At the bottom of each post are three blue buttons to "Post Followup," "Return to Message Listings," and "Print Message."

There is no way to easily search ALL GenForum message boards for a specific person or surname on the web site. However, using a Google site search can find keywords easily. For example, a search for [ seaver ] resulted in 939 messages with "seaver" in the message on all of the GenForum boards. If you wanted to search for only the last year, you can use the Advanced features of the Google site search.

In the next post, I will demonstrate adding a new message to the Genforum system.

Treasure Chest Thursday - My Parent's Wedding Announcement

It's Thursday - time to open the digital Treasure Chest of family "stuff" - and do a show-and-tell of artifacts useful in determining family history and genealogy.

This newspaper article was found in the loose pictures and papers obtained from my Aunt Geraldine (Seaver) Remley - the youngest sister of my father and the keeper of family stories and treasures, who died in 1907.

Aunt Gerry had a few newspaper clippings, including one for my parents wedding in July 1942. This article was published in the "Society" section of the San Diego (CA) Union newspaper on 11 July 1942. The article had a photograph of Betty Virginia Carringer:

The caption on the photograph says:

"Pretty Betty Virginia Carringer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Lawrence Carringer, will be married at 3 o'clock tomorrow afternoon in All Saints' Episcopal Church to Frederick Walton Seaver (Maxwell)."

The article is below:

The article reads:

"Bride, Attendants to be Gowned in White

"REV. FREDERICK J. STEVENS WILL PERFORM the wedding ceremony at 3 o'clock tomorrow afternoon in all Saints' Episcopal Church which will unite in marriage Miss Betty Virginia Carringer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Lawrence Carringer, and Frederick Walton Seaver Jr., son of Mrs. Frederick W. Seaver of Leominster, Mass. The bride, as she approaches the altar with her father, will wear a gown of white marquisette over satin made en train and with bishop sleeves. Embroidered daisies outline the bodice and the top of the bouffant skirt. The bouquet will be composed of white chiffon daisies.

"Immediately preceding the bride will be the matron of honor, Mrs. Roderick Steddom, who will be attired in white organza with which she will wear point d'esprit mitts and cap. She will carry blue daisies.

"Costumes of the four bridesmaids also will be all white organza with point d'esprit mitts and caps. The four, who will carry gerberas in pastel shades with Bristol fairy gypsophillia, will be Miss Edwina Taylor, Miss Marcia Chamberlain, Mrs. George Patrick Lyons and Mrs. Richard Tazelaar.

"Marshall B. Chamberlain will act as best man at the ceremony which will be preceded by Miss Geraldine Seaver, sister of the bridegroom, singing 'The Lord's Prayer' and 'O Perfect Love.' Ushers will include Roderick Steddom, George Lyons, Richard Tazelaar and William Richmond.

"A reception for 250 guests in San Diego Woman's clubhouse will follow the ceremony. Mrs. Carringer will receive wearing a floor- length gown of chili green crepe. She will be assisted by Mrs. Seaver, who with Miss Geraldine Seaver arrived Thursday from Leominster.

"For her traveling costume the bride has chosen a dark green shantung frock to be worn with black and pale pink accessories. She and Mr. Seaver will drive north for a week's wedding trip before returning to make their home at 577 Twin Oaks st., Chula Vista.

"Miss Carringer attended San Diego State college, where she was a member of Phi Sigma Nu. Mr. Seaver, a graduate of Dartmouth college, is with an aircraft company here."

There is a lot of information of family history interest in this article, including their family friends, some family members, the church and number of attendees, where they will live, the colleges they attended, and Fred's occupation. Plus what material, color and style the women's gowns were made of - and nothing about the color and style of the men's suits, of course!

The one item that caught my eye was "Mr. Seaver, a graduate of Dartmouth college..." Wrong. He attended Dartmouth college for a year or two, but never graduated because he lost his baseball scholarship after injuring his knee, and was not quite a devoted student.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Using Online Genealogy Message Boards - Post 3 (Rootsweb 3)

Continuing from the posts Using Online Genealogy Message Boards - Post 1 (where I described how to find a surname or locality message board on Rootsweb) and Using Online Genealogy Message Boards - Post 2 (where I described reading messages on a given board) on the Rootsweb Message Boards (, I want to demonstrate how to used the Advanced Search feature to find posts on specific surnames or topics that might not be on the surname-specific board or the locality-specific board.

On any of the Message Board screens there is a link within the Search box for "Advanced Search." Clicking on that from the main Message Board screen brings up this screen:

The user can put in a choice of Name or a Keyword that appears in:

* the body of a message
* the Subject line of a message
* the Author of a message
* the Last Name (authors can tag surnames)
* Message classification (authors can tag a classification)
* Posted within (choice of Anytime, 1 Day, 3 Days, 1 Week, 1 Month, 6 Months, 1 Year)

I put "seaver" in the Name or Keyword box and found that there were 1,636 messages with "Seaver" in the body of all of the messages in the system. I decided to limit the matches to the past year (screen below):

There were only 48 matches for "Seaver" in the past year - that is certainly easier to manage than 1,636! If I do these types of searches across all message boards each year, I can keep up to speed.
I wondered how effective the classification system was - so I selected the "obituary" classification (screen below):

There were 0 messages in the last year with "Seaver" in the body text and classified as "obituary." Apparently, not every author of messages is putting a classification tag on messages.

How many messages have "obituary" in the title and "Seaver" in the body text in the last year? Only one.

How many messages have "Seaver" and "obituary" in the body text in the last year? Only two.

For the entire Rootsweb Message Board, there are 154 messages with the terms "Seaver" and "obituary" in the body text at any time.

This completes the brief look at the Rootsweb Message Boards. In the next post, we'll look at the GenForum set of Message Boards on the web site.

New Annie Moore Photos

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak has another chapter in the "Search for Annie Moore."

Read her article in the online The Huffington Post titled "Historical Photo? Is This Annie Moore Arriving at Ellis Island?"

Megan shows two photos never seen before - one of a motherly Annie Moore with a daughter on her lap, and one of three youths at (what is thought to be) Ellis Island.

Read the comments to Megan's article also - Annie's grand-nephew explains more background about finding the Ellis Island photograph in the collection of photographs of the Ellis Island commandant when it first opened

Megan's previous article, "Photos of Annie Moore, First Ellis Island Immigrant: Help Solve a History Mystery" about Annie Moore in The Huffington Post discussed this photograph in much detail, but did not show the picture. There is also a pretty complete summary of the Annie Moore discovery saga in this article.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 89: Carlie Brown-Smith

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 managed to scan about 100 family photographs in the Scanfest last Sunday, and have converted the scanned TIF files to smaller JPGs, cropped and rotated as best I can.

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

On the back of this thin-paper photograph pasted onto card stock is the notation: "Carlie Brown-Smith, Caribou, Colorado" The rough edges on the left and right edges indicate that someone cut this image out of some other publication - perhaps a larger photograph.

I don't have any idea who Carlie Brown-Smith is, but since it was in Caribou then she is probably associated with my Carringer family. The David Jackson Carringer (my second great-grandfather) family lived in Caribou, Boulder County, Colorado (note: Caribou was a silver-mining town in the 1870s, and is now a ghost town - see the Wikipedia article) after 1873 until they moved to Boulder (enumerated there in the 1880 census) - perhaps after the town burned down in 1879. Therefore, it is probable that this picture was taken in the years 1870 to 1880.

I have not searched for Carlie in the census records yet, or in online family trees, but I will soon. The hyphenated name is curious too - it is very definite on the back of the photograph. Was her maiden name Brown and she married a Smith? Or perhaps her parents were named Brown and her mother married a Smith? How old does Carlie look in this photograph? I think that she is in the 5 to 10 year range.

Another research challenge. It might be interesting!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Using Online Genealogy Message Boards - Post 2 (Rootsweb 2)

Continuing from the post Using Online Genealogy Message Boards - Post 1, where I described how to find a surname or locality message board on Rootsweb (, I want to demonstrate how to navigate within a specific message board.

I clicked on the message board for San Diego County, California, and saw the screen below:

There are 3,558 posts, as of today, on this message board since it started - most of them are queries for specific persons. That's way too many to sort through looking for one specific surname or topic. There is a Search box - "Names or Keywords" - above the list of messages in the screen above. I typed in the name "seaver" in the search box above, and clicked on the circle for "San Diego - Family History & Genealogy Message Board" so as to limit the search to this one message board - the other choice (and the default choice) is "All Boards."

I clicked on the "Search" button and received a list of matches:

There were three matches for my query of "seaver" on the San Diego message board. They are all mine! I clicked on the top one to see what was written and if it was responded to (two screens shown below):

As you can see, my message was a response to a message originally written asking for the names of the newspapers that publish obituaries in the county. It was the fifth, and last, message in the message thread. In "Thread View," the titles, dates and writers of the messages in the thread are listed.

I want to see what all of the messages in this thread, so I clicked on the link that says "Change to Flat View" and saw:

The "Flat View" of a thread shows the text of all of the messages in the thread so the reader doesn't have to click on all of the messages in the thread. I really like the "Flat View!"

Using the Search for names or keywords in a specific message board can help a researcher quickly determine if there are other researchers interested in their ancestral names in that place. On a surname message board, a researcher might use the first name of their ancestor with the surname, and the name of the person's spouse to narrow the search. On a locality message board, using the surname and perhaps the spouse's surname will usually result in matches that satisfy the researcher's curiosity.

In the next post, we will look at the "Advanced Search" features of these Rootsweb Message Boards.

Using Online Genealogy Message Boards - Post 1 (Rootsweb 1)

Colleague: "How can I find information about my [surname inserted here] in [locality inserted here]?"

Randy: "Have you searched the message boards and mailing lists for the surname and the localities?"

Colleague: "Where do I find message boards and mailing lists?"

Randy: "Message boards are Online at and and" and mailing list archives are at

Colleague: "That's funny, I never heard of these sites."

Randy: "Arrggghhhh. These should be some of the first places to look online for information about surnames and localities. You may find distant cousins quickly there, or other researchers with the same brick walls that you have."

So let's take a look at the Rootsweb Message Boards. There are over 161,000 message boards on this system, with over 17 million individual messages. This is a truly amazing system. There are posts on these message boards that date back to the late 1990s. This was a "social network" and "collaboration" system before we knew what those terms meant.

You can search these message boards and read the messages for free without registering. If you want to answer an existing post or create a new one, you will have to register with Rootsweb. If you have an registration, you can use that. Again - it is FREE to use.

The starting page for the Rootsweb Message Boards is at

In the screen above, you can see that I have some "favorite" message boards - 20 of them - that I can check easily using the links shown on the list. The rest of the screen is shown below:

In the screen above, there is a search box for "Search the Boards" for searching all 161,000 boards using a surname or a keyword (this may result in many matches!). There is also a search box for "Find a Board." If you start typing a surname or a locality, the site will provide a list as shown below - I started typing "dill" and saw:

I could have picked any of those names and gone right to the message board for the specific surname.

I started entering "san diego" into that search box and after three letters saw:

I clicked on "San Diego" and was taken to the San Diego County, California, USA message board.

On the second screen above, you can see that there are categories for "Surnames" (with an alpha list of letters), "Localities Categories" (where you can pick a region and then a country and county), and "Topics Catagories" (which includes Genealogy software, Research Resources and other topics). A researcher can find information about almost any topic or locality using these links.

We'll start there in the next post.

Tombstone Tuesday - Rev. Obadiah Holmes (1610-1682), Baptist Minister

Since I ran out of my own gravestone photographs several months ago, I've gone searching for gravestone photographs of my ancestors on the Internet.

One of my 10th great-grandfathers is Reverend Obadiah Holmes (1610-1682), christened in Didsbury, Lancashire, England, married Katherine Hyde in 1630 in Manchester, Lancashire, England, and died in Middletown, Newport County, Rhode Island.

I don't have a photograph of my own of his gravestone and memorial plaque, but the web site does - here. There is also a Find A Grave page for his wife, Katherine (Hyde) Holmes (1608-1682) here. The stone inscription on Obadiah Holmes' stone says:

Memory of
Rev. Obadiah
Baptist Minister
from Great Britain
who died
October 15th 1682
in the
76th year of his age

The memorial plaque at the grave site says:

Erected to the Memory of
Ancestor of Abraham Lincoln in the Sixth Generation
Born 1606 .......................... Died October 15, 1682
Second Pastor of First Baptist Church, Newport R.I.
Eminent Citizen -- Champion of Soul Liberty
Persecuted at Whipping Post, Boston, Mass.
for his Religious Faith.
His Grave is in the Family Burial Ground
Middletown, R.I.

There are several books written about the life and trials of Rev. Obadiah Holmes. They include:

* Col. J.T. Holmes, The American Family of Obadiah Holmes, Columbus, Ohio, 1915.

* Edwin Scott Gaustad, Baptist Piety, Arno Press Inc., Washington, DC, 1980.

There are other extensive biographies of Obadiah Holmes as part of books and periodicals - just put "Obadiah Holmes" in the Google Books application and you'll find them.

I didn't know that Abraham Lincoln was a descendant of Obadiah and Katherine (Hyde) Holmes. I can add him to my cousin list, I guess!

This is one of my most "interesting" ancestors. Do any of my readers share this ancestry?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tagging Groups of People in Legacy Family Tree

When I made the Birthday Calendar for my ancestors in Legacy Family Tree 7 on Saturday (see SNGF - Creating Ancestral Birthday Calendars), I struggled to "Tag" all of my ancestors so that they showed up on the Calendar. Legacy was the only program of the four that I used that doing this task was not easy - the others had a fairly easy and intuitive way to Tag ancestors.

Legacy Famikly Tree 7 does permit the user to easily "Tag" "Only Living Individuals (and a separate check box for "AND Dead Tagged Individuals")," "ALL Individuals, Living and Dead," "Only Dead Individuals," "Only Tagged Living Individuals," "All Tagged Individuals, Living and Dead," and "Only Tagged Dead Individuals" in the Calendar Creation screen (click on the > Reports button > Books and Other tab > Calendar Creator tab > Include tab). There is no box to click for "Ancestors of Highlighted Person" or "Descendants of Highlighted Person." Perhaps future versions of Legacy will add these options because they would be useful, I think.

In a comment to my post, Gwynn Socolich (of the GSGenealogy blog, Gwynn is a San Diego area genea-blogger) requested a step-by-step of "how to Tag all of your ancestors in Legacy" so here is the process I used:

1) Starting with myself as the highlighted person in the "Family" view, as shown below:

2) I clicked on the "Help" link in the top menu, and in the Search box put "Tags" and from the list of Help articles I selected "Tagging Records" as shown below:

3) The Help paragraphs for this topic told me two things - that I need to "turn the tagging option on" using the General tab on the Options > Customize menu screen. That was the KEY clue to be able to do the task at hand. The screen is shown below, and the check box to "Enable tagging options" is in the lower left-hand corner:

4) After clicking "Save" in the above screen, I went back to my Family view screen and now Tags 1, 2 and 3 (the default tags) are shown next to highlighted person (me) and his spouse (my wife). Tag Number 2 is in Red in the screen below for some reason (perhaps because I tagged myself earlier?). I right-clicked on Tag #2 and the screen for "Advanced Tagging" appeared. I chose myself as the highlighted person, chose to "Tag" rather than "Untag," typed "Ancestors" into the Tag 2 description, and clicked on the "Ancestors" button on the screen:

5) After clicking on the "Ancestors" button above, another screen appeared and here I could choose how many generations back I desired, could pick "Direct Line Ancestors," "Entire Ancestor Line" (which includes anyone linked in any way to an ancestor) and/or "Include Multiple Parents." This second screen is shown below:

6) I chose "Direct Line Ancestors" only (but not "Include Other spouses" or "Include Siblings"), and clicked "OK" and then "Close" on the "Advanced Tagging" screen and I was back to my "Family" view screen. I checked to see if my direct line ancestors were tagged with Tag #2 and they were. Here is the "Family" view for my third great-grandfather, Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) and you can see that both he and his wife have Tag #2 in Red, which means that a group has been created and that the person is part of that group.

I also checked Benjamin's siblings and their Tag #2 was clear, not Red because they were not part of the group of "Direct Line Ancestors" that I selected.

While this seems very complicated when written down in a step-by-step sequence as above, it is really pretty easy to accomplish.

These genealogy software programs are so powerful, and have so many options to learn, that using the "Help" function is really useful when you don't know how to do something. The "Help" function is your friend! Use it!

By the way, have you Legacy Family Tree 7 users updated to the latest version, You should just to keep up to date. The features of the latest version is on the Legacy Family Tree home page. To download the latest version, open your Legacy program, go to your "Legacy Home" view, and over on the right is a box for "Updates" and if you don't have the latest version it will tell you, and you can click on "Download" right there. It installs quickly and you're back in business with the updated version. Read the latest news about Legacy Family Tree on the Legacy News blog.

Win a FREE Subscription to GenealogyToday and GenWeekly - Enter Today!

I met Illya D'Addezio at the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree last year and we had some good conversations about genealogy and people. Illya is the creator and owner of several subscription websites - and, and the free site

During January, Illya emailed me and offered to give away, to my readers, EIGHT free 9-month subscriptions to his database collections. The catch was that I had to come up with a way to pick the EIGHT winners. He noted that if any winner happens to already have a subscription, then he will extend it for 9 months. This sounds like a really good deal, doesn't it?

He only offers annual subscriptions on the sites, so this is a special offer only available to the winners that I pick. No credit cards required, and no automatic renewals of any sort. Just nine months of free access to these databases (regularly $32.95/year):

* Family Tree Connection
* Town Reports Online
* Military Roots Project
* GenWeekly News & Information Service

The four data collections are accessible from either or and appear under the search result heading of "Subscription Data." GenWeekly is accessible at

This sounds like a really good opportunity for eight of my readers to be able to access the databases on Illya's site. Note that it doesn't include several subscription databases because he doesn't control access to those databases (which are identified as separate subscriptions on his sites). Most of the databases that Illya has on his subscription side are relatively small and cannot be found anywhere else on the Internet.

So here are my contest rules:

1) Email me at with your name and email address expressing your interest in winning a free 9-month subscription to Illya's databases. I have to have those two items in order for Illya to sign you up with a password protected login.

2) Only one entry per person is allowed for the duration of the contest.

3) The deadline will be next Sunday night, 7 February 2010, at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Time = 0759 GMT on 8 February), with the email date/time stamp as I receive them.

4) I will make a numbered list of the entries as they come in, and have my wife draw numbers out of a bowl to select the eight winners.

5) Winners will be notified by an email from myself and from Illya, and I will share the winner's names in a blog post.

6) There is no cost to enter...although saying nice things about Genea-Musings and Illya D'Addezio would be great, but won't influence the random selection.

So come on, readers, go check out, and and see if they are sites that you would like to be able to access. If so, just email me your name and email address.

Disclosure: I have not, and will not, received any money or services to host this contest, nor will I receive a free subscription from Illya. I have used his sites before and I think that they are an outstanding example of what an individual can do with brains and hard work to create a useful subscription database site. This was Illya's idea, and his unsolicited offer to me.

Amanuensis Monday - The Probate Packet of Simon Gates (1667-1752) of Stow MA

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.

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."

In colonial Massachusetts, many of the residents owned land and therefore had significant property, both real and personal, when they died. In the courthouses in the Massachusetts counties, there are drawers filled with "probate packets" - the original papers for each probate case were put in an envelope with a tie string or ribbon around the envelope. In Middlesex County, the original papers inside the probate packet were filmed by the LDS Family History Library staff all together, which is a tremendous time and cost-saver to genealogy researchers, since in many of the other counties the probate papers are filmed from the court clerk transcriptions and not the original papers, and the separate papers are on several (or more) microfilms.

As an example of the papers that are found in a typical colonial probate packet, I offer this collection from the probate proceedings of Simon Gates (1667-1752, who died testate in Stow, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. This Simon Gates is one of my seventh great-grandfathers, through his son Amos Gates (1706-1783).

The will of Simon Gates of Stow, dated 22 July 1743, with codicil added 25 May 1747, was lodged for probate by his son, Amos Gates on 9 March 1752 and was proved 22 June 1752.
The will reads (transcribed from Middlesex County Probate Records, Packet #8,994, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,397,071 - the contents of the entire probate packet was included) - note that I have added paragraphs for readability, but have retained most of the written abbreviations; note also that there are portions of the will that I could not decipher (indicated by "..."):

"In the Name of God Amen this twenty second day of July Anno domini one thousand seven hundred and fourty three. I Simon Gates of Stow in the County of Middx in the Province of Massachusetts Bay in New England yeoman being far advanced in years but injoying my reason and understanding and in a good measure my memory thro' the goodness of God to me and the state of my worldly affairs requiring it do make and ordain this to be my Last Will and Testament, that is to say Principally and first of all I surrender my soul to God that gave it, hoping in his mercy thro' ye merits of the Redeemer and my body I recommend to ye Earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at ye expence and care of my execr hereafter named, believing ye Resurrection and the Power of God. And as touching such worldly estate as it hath pleased God to bless me give, devise and dispose of the same in ye following manner.

"Imprimus, I give to Hannah my beloved wife (before ye provision I have made for her by covenant with two of my sons) my whole estate for life by her to be used and injoyed ... of Life and after her death my will is that it be disposed of in ye following manner.

"2. I give to my two eldest sons viz. Joseph Gates and Benjamin Gates all my wearing cloaths besides their deeds of gift.

"3. I give to my son Elisha Gates one set of cast irons besides his deed of gift.

"4. I give to my son Amos Gates (....) one set of cast irons allso I give to my said son Amos that parcel of land yt is called ye pasture joyning to the farm on wch I now live containing by estimation twelve acres be the same more or less both within ye fence and without it obliging him on confirmation thereof to give to me & my wife a decent Christian burial when we shall dye and as to my own burial I so far direct as to say yt my sd son shall give to my three surviving daughters viz. Hannah Heald, Mary Hains & Susanna Fitch mourning aparel that is robe gowns of Norwich ... of black and white ... crape as it is commonly called suitable in price and goodness for people of their fashion together with decent black gloves and vales and to each of my three sons decent black gloves & ... My will further is that my sd son amos Gates shall pay to ye children of my daughter Elizabeth Wheler deceased in money as much as it shall cost him to ... either of daughters abovesd in mourning as above; that is to say to all of my grand children as much as one of my said daughters.

"5. I give to my three daughters above named and the children of said deceased daughter all my household goods to be divided in equal shares allso one cow each my sd grandchildren to make one share as their mother...

"6. I give to my daughter Susanna Fitch eight pounds fifteen shillings lawfull money to be payd her out of my personal estate allso that parcel of division land in Stow abovesd that lyeth on Thettly Plain so called on both sides of Lancaster ... adjoyning southwardly on Thomas Wetherbee ye bounds of which are to be seen in the ... plans containing ... the number of ten or twelve acres.

"Lastly, my Will is yt all my bonds and bills and cash with all that money a bill that is otherways lawfully due to me be divided equally among the persons hereafter named, viz. my sons Joseph Gates & Benjamin Gates & my daughters Hannah Heald Mary Haynes & Susanna Fitch and the children of my daughter Elizabeth Wheler deceased, they to make one share, and I give further to my son Amos Gates all my rights in the common land in said Stow and my whole property in sd Stow commons and I do hereby appoint my said son Amos Gates the sole executor of this my Last Will & Testament and revoking all other wills by me at any time made & constitute ordain & appoint this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament."

"Signed sealed published pronounced & declared by him ye said Simon Gates to be his last will & testament in presence of us the subscribers, John Gardner, Mary Gardner, Mary Gardner, Junr.

"Memorandum before signing & sealing my will & it is hereby declared that ye riding horse & plows that I shall be possessed of at my death be given to my two eldest sons viz. Joseph Gates & Benjamin Gates. And that my son Elisha Gates shall be forth coming of ye cows above bequeathed in ...(3 words)... being given to persons to whom it is above given and my son Amos Gates shall pasture ye ...(4 words) ... each of them ... (4 words)... to my children ...(2 words)... I hereby give and declare that no inventory may be taken of it."

......................................................... his
................................................ Simon X Gates

The codicil reads:

"Be it known unto all men by these presents that whereas I simon Gates of Stow in the county of Middx in the Province of Massachusets Bay yeoman have made and declared my last will and testament bearing date of second day of July Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and fourty and three on ye other side of this paper I the sd Simon Gates by this present codicil do ratifye and confirm ye same as to sd substance of it but as to two charges in same I make some small alteration, first as to the fourth claus wheras I have given to my son Amos Gates a pasture so called as may be seen his charge I do ratifye sd gifts but as to my own and wifes funeral I direct as follows that my said son Amos Gates shall pay twenty pounds at my death all to be laid out ... my funeral at ye discretion of my sd son I allso give to my sd son the bond yt was given me by James Curlye and all that is due by virtue of sd bond and to my son Elisha Gates I give all that is due to me from Fothergill of Boston & my will and meaning is that this codicil be adjudged a part of my Last Will and Testament and that every thing in it be attended accordingly, witness my hand and seal this twenty fifth day of May Anno domini 1747.

"In presence of John Gardner, Mary Gardner, Mary Gardner Junr."

........................................................ his
............................................... Simon X Gates

On 22 June 1752, the will was proved, and Amos Gates was directed to exhibit an inventory of the estate of the deceased according to law. On the same day, Deliverance Brown, Samuel Gates and Joseph Brown, all of Stow, were appointed and empowered to take the inventory of the estate of Mr. Simon Gates, late of Stow.

The inventory of the estate of Simon Gates was presented by Amos Gates to the three apprisers on 10 January 1753. The land that was given to Susannah Fitch was apprised at 72 pounds, the pasture and land adjoining to the farm that was given to Amos Gates was apprised at 100 pounds, money and bonds and notes were apprised at 215 pounds, 6 shillings, 1 pence, a cow was apprised at 20 pounds, and various and sundry items of furniture, kitchen ware, household goods, wearing apparel, etc. was listed. A total was not written down. Amos Gates exhibited the inventory on oath to the court on 5 May 1755, and it was accepted by the court.

There was no distribution document included in the probate record.

Note the presence of the letter "y" in the text of the will - in words like "ye" and "yt." The "y" represents the "thorn" letter - it looks like a "y" but it really represents the "th" sound. Everything you want to know about the letter "thorn" is in

Another common abbreviation in these colonial Massachusetts records is "sd" which stands for the word "said." It is almost always shown with the letter "d" as a superscript to the letter "s" because it is a contraction. Many of the contractions used (e.g., Middsx, Execr, wch, etc.) use superscripts for the letters after the missing letters. In the text above, I haven't used the superscripts, but they are very noticeable in the written documents.

Note that the probate packet records above are not 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.