Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Gratitude Story

Hey, it's Saturday Night - time for some Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you accept it, is to:

* Read Megan Smolenyak's article 120 Years of Smolenyaks in America: A Note of Gratitude from a Great-Granddaughter

* Do you have an ancestor like Megan's great-grandfather that was the first one to come to America (or your present country of residence) that you would like to thank?

* If so, tell us about that ancestor - and why you are thankful for their effort.

* Write your own blog post, or leave a comment on this post, or on the Facebook entry for this post.

Here's mine:

I would like to thank Samuel Vaux (1816-after 1880), who left Somerset in England in the 1830-1839 time frame with his parents and siblings and settled in Erie county, New York. He married Mary Ann Underhill, and moved to Wisconsin, Missouri and Kansas and died after 1880. He was a farmer throughout his adult life. I know very little about his life, or even why his family emigrated to America, or why Samuel moved his family out of New York to points west. But I am really glad that he did!

Thank you to Marian Pierre-Louis for suggesting this SNGF topic!

I need someone to tweet this on Twitter for me. When this blog posts, I should be staggering off the A380 in Sydney after a 15 hour flight from Los Angeles.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun will be on hiatus until early April due to my vacation. So you have Saturday Nights free - you can still have some Genealogy Fun - go ahead and tell us about it!

Surname Saturday - MARSHMAN (in Wiltshire)

On Surname Saturdays, I am posting family lines from my own ancestry. I am doing this in Ahnentafel order, and am up to number #41, who is Ann Marshman (1784?-1856).

My ancestral line back to Ann Marshman:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty V. Carringer (1919-2002)
4. Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

10. Thomas Richmond (1848-1917)
11. Julia White (1848-1913)

20. James Richman (1821-1912)
21. Hannah Rich (1824-1911)

40. John Richman, born about 1788 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 25 April 1867 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND. He married 08 February 1811 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.
41. Ann Marshman, born about 1784 in Devizes, Wiltshire, ENGLAND; died 31 July 1856 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, ENGLAND.

82. Mr. Marshman I presume.
83. Mrs. Marshman (I presume)

As you can see, this is a brickwall problem here. Here is what I know about Ann Marshman:

From English census records, Ann was born between 1781 (age 59 in 1841 census) and 1784 (age 67 in 1851 census).

An Ann Marshman, daughter of Richard and Rebecca (Phipps) Marshman, was baptized at Southbroom Church in Devizes in Wiltshire on 20 June 1784. Another Ann Marshman was baptized 30 October 1780 there, daughter of Thomas and Ann (____) Marshman.

John and Ann (Marshman) Richman had children named (in order) Elizabeth, Sarah, John, Ann, James, Thomas, Mary and Mary.

If traditional English naming practices were followed by John and Ann (Marshman) Richman, then her parents were James and Elizabeth Marshman (second son named James, first daughter named Elizabeth). However, one cannot be sure that the traditional practices were followed. In fact, it is very likely that they were not in this family. On the other hand, they named their third son Thomas and third daughter Ann, and did not name any child Richard or Rebecca.

Another clue may be that a Thomas Marshman was a witness to Ann's wedding to John Richman in Hilperton in 1811. This might be Ann's father, brother, uncle or cousin.

That's all I know! The other descendants of this couple (I've corresponded with several distant cousins in England) have not been able to find any records for the parents of Ann Marshman either.

Does any reader share this Ann Marshman? If so, do you have any evidence of her parentage?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Family History Library Classes Online

I received an email this morning from that said that the Family History Library has put some instructional videos online here.

The following classes are provided online by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Learn the basic methods and key resources to start your family history:

* England Beginning Research

* Germany Research New!

* Ireland Research New!

* Italy Research

* Principios básicos para la investigación genealógica en Hispanoamérica (México)

* Research Principles and Tools New!

* Russia Research

* U.S. Research New!

Click on the links above to see the available videos.

These look like excellent tools to help beginning researchers with their genealogy research.

Megan Smolenyak's HuffPo Columns

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, fresh from the literary triumph of her Who Do You Think You Are? book, has several new columns up on the Huffington Post website, including:

* 120 Years of Smolenyaks in America: A Note of Gratitude from a Great-Granddaughter - a touching tribute to her immigrant Smolenyak ancestor.

* This Is Annie Moore at Ellis Island: $1,000 If You Can Prove Me Wrong - Megan is offering a reward if you can prove her wrong.

Read and enjoy!

Catching up with CVGS News

There are several posts over at the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog that might be of interest to Genea-Musings readers, including:

* Hank Jones is coming to CVGS on 24 March - yes, the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) is having this world-renowned genealogy speaker talk on "How Psychic Roots Became an Unsolved Mystery." Put Wednesday, 24 March at 12 noon in Chula Vista (Chula Vista Civic Center Branch Library, 365 F Street) on your calendar for a fantastic program.

* CVGS Research Group 3/10/10 Summary - we had an excellent Research Group meeting on Wednesday - several challenging research problems, and many good questions and suggestions.

* CVGS at the Escondido Family History Fair - a summary of blog posts on the blogs authored by CVGS members

* New or Updated Genealogy Databases - March, Post 1 - new databases on and since mid-February. Post 2 coming soon!

That's the CVGS news - what's yours?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Carnival of Genealogical Societies Published

The first Carnival of Genealogical Societies was published yesterday on the California Genealogical Society and Library blog, edited by Kathryn M. Doyle.

The topic for the inaugural edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies is:

Doin' Things Right!
Shine a spotlight on a specific program, project, or publication at
a genealogical society and tell us why it worked.
Tell an anecdote about how you benefited from
a particular genealogical society service.
Share a success story and be specific!

There were fifteen entries to this Carnival, and all of them have something helpful and, in some cases, critical to the success of genealogical societies. In particular, I found the post Doin' Things Right: The Society Welcome Mat posted at the California Genealogical Society and Library blog to be though provoking.

Chula Vista Genealogical Society members have three of the entries:

There are several genealogy blogs on the list of fifteen that I haven't read before.

Treasure Chest Thursday - Church Marriage Record

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to "show-and-tell" some of the treasures found in the papers of my parents and their families. I scanned some of these papers in the February Scanfest, and recently converted some of them to JPG format.

Here is a marriage record from the St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Leominster, Massachusetts for the marriage of my grandparents, Fred Walton Seaver and Alma Bessie Richmond on 21 June 1900:

The real prize for me in this document are the signatures of the two fathers of the couple - Frank W. Seaver and Thomas Richmond in the lower left-hand corner of the document.

Census Records on FREE for awhile

I received this press release via email from



-Finding Ancestors and distant relatives can be as easy as clicking a single button-

Lindon, UT - March 11, 2010 – In order to encourage more people to find their ancestors and connect with family,, the web’s premier interactive history site, is opening all of their U.S. census documents for free to the public for a limited time.

Unlike any other historical collection on the web, the Interactive Census Collection has the unique ability to connect people related to ancestors found on the historical documents. Simply by clicking the “I’m Related” button for a name on the document will identify you as a descendent and also list others that have done the same. Never before has it been as easy to connect with distant relatives through historical documents. To learn how to get started with the Interactive Census, visit:

Finding a record featuring an ancestor’s name provides not only an emotional experience but also a connection with the past. On it’s more than just finding a name on a census record. Interactive tools allow people to enhance the documents by adding their own contributions including:

· Photos
· Stories
· Comments
· Other related documents

Each contribution is linked to a Footnote member and provides a means for people to find each other and exchange more information about their ancestors.

“TV programs including ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ on NBC and ‘Faces of America’ on PBS will surely increase the interest in family history in the United States,” explains Russell Wilding, CEO of “We believe that using our Interactive Census Collection is a great way for those who are new to genealogy to get started.”

In addition to providing the basic information about ancestors with the census documents, has been working with the National Archives and other institutions to digitize and index over 63 million historical records that include:

· Military documents
· Historical newspapers
· City directories
· Naturalization records

“Using the records on Footnote to go beyond the names and dates is like adding color to your tree,” says Roger Bell, Footnote’s Senior Vice President of Content and Product. “The more details you add, the more colorful your family tree becomes.”

To search for an ancestor and experience family history like never before, visit:

Additional Resources
Follow us on Twitter –
Join us on Facebook

About Footnote, Inc. is a subscription website that features original historical documents, providing visitors with an unaltered view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit Contact:
Justin Schroepfer
Marketing Director
(801) 494-6517


Thank you to Justin for sending this information. has the complete 1860 US Census and the complete 1930 U.S. Census - full images and indexes. The indexes are different from's indexes. They are working on adding all of the other US census images and indexes in a long-term project.

The press release doesn't state when this free access to the census collection will end.

Disclosure: I am not a employee or affiliate, and have received no remuneration for posting this press release. I am a satisfied fully paid subscriber.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Give their face a place - Ada Woodward

One of the pictures in the Carringer/Smith family collection is of Ada Woodward, age 13, taken in November 1898 - according to the handwriting on the back of the picture.

Look at the long hair. I wonder what color it was? Look at the eyes. I wonder what color they were? Look at the face - absolutely beautiful. Stunning in fact.

The writing on the back of the picture says:

"Ada Woodward, 13 years old, Nov 1898.

"Nellie Woodward's girl, her father Charlie Woodward played organ at our wedding in Wano Kan 1887, Sep. 11th. Her brother Gene was a little older, after they went away from there he died of Dyptheria."

In the 1900 census, she was age 14, and resided in Belleville, Republic County, Kansas with her grandparents, Frank and Celia Munger, along with her sister Nellie, age 10.

I have been unable to find Ada Woodward after the 1900 US Census. I don't know what happened to beautiful Ada Woodward. I hope that she had a wonderful life and passed on the genetic makeup that her Redfield and Vaux ancestors passed to her.

Posted for the "Give Their Face a Place" theme for footnoteMaven's Smile for the Camera Carnival.

SDGS Program on Saturday, 13 March: Wayne Anderson

The next San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) program meeting is Saturday, 13 March at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in San Diego (8350 Lake Murray Blvd, near Jackson Drive) from 12 noon until 2:30 p.m.

There are two presentations by Wayne Anderson -- “When the Absence of Information was a Clue” and “Times and Chronologies of an Extended Family.”

"Have you come across a published or online family tree that contains information about a distant relative and wondered how much of it was true, or found yourself scratching your head when trying to sort out relationships among multiple family lines in a particular area?

"Our presentation will use case studies that deal with getting beyond a brick wall and illustrate process and methodology in an attempt to prove the conclusion with sound genealogical research principles.

"Our presenter, Wayne Anderson, began genealogy in 1999. He is married and has two daughters. He is an active member of the North San Diego County Genealogy Society and Temecula Valley Genealogy Society. He has done presentations for NSDCGS, TVGS and San Diego chapter POINTers (Italian Genealogy organization). Wayne has a BA in history from the University of Dubuque, Iowa, and graduated from the State Department of Foreign Language Institute with an emphasis in Vietnamese. He has a MA in International Studies (Vietnam) from American University, Washington D.C., and is a retired Lt. Col. USAF, and Vietnam Veteran."

The SDGS day on Saturday, 13 March begins at 10 a.m. with a Basic Genealogy Class and a RootsMagic Users Group meeting from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m, also at St. Andrews Lutheran Church.

I will be away from San Diego for this program, so there will not be a summary afterward from me. The SDGS Newsletter will have a summary article, however.

Check the SDGS website and SDGS blog for more information about all SDGS programs.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 94: Emily Auble, age 1

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 in January, and have converted the scanned TIF files to smaller JPGs, cropped and rotated as best I can. Many of these were "new" to my digital photograph collection.

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

This is a photograph of my grandmother, Emily Kemp Auble, born 19 August 1899 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, the daughter of Charles and Georgianna (Kemp) Auble. The bottom of the card says "Gehrig" and "337 W. Madison Ave., Chicago."

My estimate is that this picture was taken when Emily was about one year old; therefore, in late 1900 or early 1901. Charles, Georgianna and Emily resided at 515 West Adams Street in Chicago in the 1900 US Census.

Look at that dress - isn't it beautiful? Is this a baptismal photograph? It could well be. My impression is that baptisms were one of the events that would be commemorated by a visit to a commercial photographer.

I don't have many photographs of my grandmother as a child. I posted one earlier here, with her as a baby. I do have several more now, and will show them off in the next few weeks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Using GenSmarts - Post 5: Queries

received a copy of the latest version of the GenSmarts family tree analysis software last month - see CGSSD Program Review - Aaron Underwood - GenSmarts for my summary of the meeting. GenSmarts is a Windows only computer program.

In the first post, I demonstrated the "File Open Wizard" that gets a genealogy database file (in my case, from Family Tree Maker 16) into the GenSmarts program. In the second post, I explored two of the program tabs - the "To-Do List" and "My Genealogy File" tabs. In the third post, I demonstrated using the To-Do list for a specific person. In the fourth post, I explored isolating records for a particular person in some of the repository locations available in GenSmarts.

In this post I'm going to demonstrate how the user can obtain a list of research suggestions for any person that the user desires - either from his genealogy database or someone not in the database at all.

I'm still working with David Jackson D.J. Carringer - and I clicked on the "Query" tab on the main screen. This form appeared with David Carringer's birth and death data filled in, his wife's data filled in, and the data for his first child filled in:

I clicked on the "Generate Suggestions" link and this screen appeared (I highlighted the first item):

The screen above doesn't tell me how many research suggestions it found, and I didn't count them, but it looks like about 70 or 80 for the three people. The list above covers vital records, census records, etc. This list was generated independently of the lists shown in the "To-Do" tab. While this is pretty useful, it doesn't include all of the children of the subject couple. If the first child is not the one you want to use, you could add the one you want into the firm.

A user can generate suggestions for somebody not in the genealogy database by filling in the information for husband, wife and child.

Information like this is only useful if you can have a way to see it in a repository. I clicked on the "Print" button on the right of the screen above, and another box with options for creating a To-Do list opened:

The choices include : Print only To-Dos highlighted; Print all Displayed; One Line per To-Do; Multiple To-Dos per Page; One To-Do per Page; Combination of Info and Input Form; Collated Set of To-Dos and People; Which Location; By Record Geography; By Surname; Type of Output. I selected Print All Displayed, Multiple To-Dos per Page, By Record Geography, and Printed Report. I clicked on the "OK" button:

Another window informed me to choose the destination of my printout - to the Printer, to a Preview or to a File (and enter the file name). I chose Preview and saw:

The result is a 15-page report of my 70 to 80 research suggestions generated by the Research Query. I could save this to a file or print it out. The list may include extraneous or previously accomplished To-Do items, but those can be easily checked off the printed To-Do list.

I really like this Research Query option, especially if the user hasn't checked off any To-Do items for the subject family. It can be used for any person that a user is researching, but does require the name of the person and an approximate birth and death date and place for the husband and wife.

If a researcher was going to one of the repositories on the list, say the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, the user could limit the To-Do list to only that repository. If the user had GenSmarts on his laptop or netbook at the library, s/he could create a new list for a newly found ancestral couple right on the spot.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to continue this series this week, so there may be a three or four week hiatus in this series until after I return from my vacation.

The 2010 Census Questions - and why they are asked

We got our letter in the mail yesterday from the U.S. Department of Commerce telling us that the 2010 Census was going to arrive in my mailbox in about one week, and to fill it out and mail it in promptly.

You can see the questions and the boxes to be checked for each question at

I was curious about the questions to be asked, and the reasons for asking them. The 2010 Census website offers the list of questions and reasons:

1) How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment, or mobile home on April 1, 2010?

We ask this question to help get an accurate count of the number of people in the household on Census Day, April 1, 2010. The answer should be based on the guidelines in the 'Start here' section. We use the information to ensure response accuracy and completeness and to contact respondents whose forms have incomplete or missing information.

2) Were there any additional people staying here April 1, 2010 that you did not include in Question 1?

Asked since 1880. We ask this question to help identify people who may have been excluded in the count provided in Question 1. We use the information to ensure response accuracy and completeness and to contact respondents whose forms have incomplete or missing information.

3) Is this house, apartment, or mobile home: owned with mortgage, owned without mortgage, rented, occupied without rent?

Asked since 1890. Homeownership rates serve as an indicator of the nation's economy. The data are also used to administer housing programs and to inform planning decisions.

4) What is your telephone number?

We ask for a phone number in case we need to contact a respondent when a form is returned with incomplete or missing information.

5) Please provide information for each person living here. Start with a person here who owns or rents this house, apartment, or mobile home. If the owner or renter lives somewhere else, start with any adult living here. This will be Person 1. What is Person 1's name?

Listing the name of each person in the household helps the respondent to include all members, particularly in large households where a respondent may forget who was counted and who was not. Also, names are needed if additional information about an individual must be obtained to complete the census form. Federal law protects the confidentiality of personal information, including names.

6) What is Person 1's sex?

Asked since 1790. Census data about sex are important because many federal programs must differentiate between males and females for funding, implementing and evaluating their programs. For instance, laws promoting equal employment opportunity for women require census data on sex. Also, sociologists, economists, and other researchers who analyze social and economic trends use the data.

7) What is Person 1's age and Date of Birth?

Asked since 1800. Federal, state, and local governments need data about age to interpret most social and economic characteristics, such as forecasting the number of people eligible for Social Security or Medicare benefits. The data are widely used in planning and evaluating government programs and policies that provide funds or services for children, working-age adults, women of childbearing age, or the older population.

8) Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin?

Asked since 1970. The data collected in this question are needed by federal agencies to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as under the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. State and local governments may use the data to help plan and administer bilingual programs for people of Hispanic origin.

9) What is Person 1's race?

Asked since 1790. Race is key to implementing many federal laws and is needed to monitor compliance with the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. State governments use the data to determine congressional, state and local voting districts. Race data are also used to assess fairness of employment practices, to monitor racial disparities in characteristics such as health and education and to plan and obtain funds for public services.

10) Does Person 1 sometimes live or stay somewhere else?

This is another question we ask in order to ensure response accuracy and completeness and to contact respondents whose forms have incomplete or missing information.

Questions 5 through 10 are asked for each person in the household. There is a mention on the Census 2010 website that a "household relationship" entry can be made for all of the persons in the household besides for the head of household, but the form shown online does not display the rest of the pages.

Unfortunately for late 21st and 22nd century genealogists, there are no questions about relationships of people living in the household, marital status, birth place, or citizenship status. Too bad. You would think that the government would like to know about these issues.

UPDATED 4:30 p.m. Amanda commented that the "household relationship" is asked for persons 2 through N on the pages we cannot see online. I recall now that such was the case. I modified my text above to reflect that. Thank you, Amanda!

First Look at New Viewer

Roger Bell of alerted me on Saturday at the Family History Fair that the commercial database site would unveil their new record viewer early this week. It's here!

On the previous Footnote viewer screen, there was only one navigation tool to move forward or backward in a particular record - the filmstrip at the bottom of the page. To go Back to the results page, the user clicked on the "Go Back" button.

Here is the screen shot of a page in the Revolutionary War Pension file for Philip Row of New Jersey:

The document page image now takes the full width of the screen. The filmstrip does not appear automatically at the bottom. As shown above, the filmstrip has some added features - the number of annotations on each page are shown in a little box, and the area covered in the document image on the screen is highlighted in yellow. You can click on the filmstrip image and change the area viewed on the screen. The user can still scroll up and down the document using mouse controls.

The user can navigate to the previous page or the next page by using the arrows on the left and right of the image, respectively.

On the left margin are the zoom in and out controls, 2x magnifier, fit to height, fit to width, rotate image, adjust image and full screen tools. Here is what you see with the 2x Magnifier:

The user can grab a corner of the magnifier and expand its scope, and can use the mouse to drag it around the image. I really like this!

On the previous viewer, the Source information for the collection and the specific document was in a static box on the right-side of the screen. In the new viewer, this source information is not displayed unless the user clicks the "About Image" link on the far left side of the menu just above the document image area. Clicking on "View Image" opens the source information box on the left-side of the viewer:

In the screens above, there is a navigation ribbon above the Menu (and below the Footnote viewer banner menu) that displays every step in the process that Footnote takes to get to a specific document image. For this example, the navigation ribbon says:

"All Titles > Revolutionary War Pensions > New Jersey > R > Row > Philip Row > Page 4"

The user can click on any one of the items in the ribbon - I clicked on the "Philip Row" item and the pages in his pension file appeared:

Using this list of pages, I could navigate to another page in the file. I could also have used the Microfilm Strip at the bottom of the page.

I can also see, in the screen above, the names of other pension files in the R list of New Jersey.

I clicked on the "New Jersey" link and saw:

On this page, I could have clicked on another letter and looked for Revolution War Pension files for another surname. Or I could have selected another state to search for surnames.

In my humble opinion, this is a major improvement in navigation and ease of use of the original records on I've been very frustrated by the seemingly long load times for records on Footnote, and by the rather clunky navigation within a set of document pages. This improved viewer is much better - it will save me time and help me navigate records and documents on Footnote.

Disclosure: I am not an employee or affiliate of, and nobody has given me anything to write this post. I am a fully-paid and pretty satisfied subscriber of

Roots Television saved from genea-oblivion

I received the email from Megan Smolenyak overnight that Roots Television has been saved from disappearing from the Internet. You can read Megan's letter to the genealogy community in her notice here.

The genealogical community did this. Megan posted a question to her "Facebook Fans" - would you be willing to endure advertising if it meant Roots Television stayed on the Internet? The resounding answer was "YES."

Megan also received over 20 offers to explore "adopting" Roots Television from individuals, companies and organizations.

This was a really close call, I think. Read Megan's comments about why the video archive would have disappeared if Roots Television had been closed down.

The Roots Television archive of over 700 videos is a priceless treasure for genealogists and genealogy societies. I refer my beginning genealogy students to the site, and mention it as one of the best sites for genealogy entertainment and education in my talks about Genealogy on the Internet. I love Roots Television! I am ecstatic that it has been saved from genea-oblivion.

Thank you, Megan, for listening to the genealogy community and finding a way to keep Roots Television going. We in the genealogy information community (authors, columnists, bloggers, speakers, etc.) need to highlight Roots Television more often and use it more often.

Monday, March 8, 2010

First Pass at Family ChArtist

The new Family ChArtist product from Generation Maps was released today.

Janet Hovorka has been providing tutorials daily on The Chart Chick blog trying to help the customer base get ready for this product.

The Family ChArtist product is an online family tree chart creation website where you, as the customer, can design your own chart, and can order the finished product from Generation Maps for a set price (depending on the size of your chart, and the quality of the canvas you select).

Family ChArtist offers a FREE 8.5 x 11 print of a 4-generation family tree chart - you can save it to their system and to your computer as a JPG file, and print it on your printer.

Here is a screen shot of one of my 8.5 x 11 4-generation charts:

Changing the background image is easy with the ribbon of thumbnail images at the bottom of the screen:

As you can see, the user can modify the horizontal and vertical box spacing, box width, add a title and/or a saying, add a background (including your own image if you choose), LDS temple images, borders and embellishments using the tabs at the bottom of the screen. The right-hand side of the screen provides details of your design for the specific tab you are working in.

Here is the screen view of my 8.5 x 11 chart ready to be printed out on my printer - it is 16 mb in size:

If you want a larger wall chart, you can design them up to 36 x 48 inches. I could get six generations to fit nicely on this size chart in a Bow-Tie configuration:

And with another background:

And with an LDS Temple added over the image:

For a stretched Matte Canvas print, the 36 x 48 chart sells for $215.95, for a Matte Canvas print 139.95, for a Vinyl print $79.95. for Professional Paper $59.95, and for Standard Bond paper $34.95. An extra print is half price.

The choices of chart types is limited right now to a pedigree chart or a bow-tie chart. The user cannot change the text size, color or font of the family tree data, or the box and line colors or weights. I imagine that those features will be added over time as the program and website mature.

The Family ChArtist system works fairly well. I had some glitches:

* loading a GEDCOM file from Family Tree Maker resulted in taking a long time finding myself in the jumbled list of 39,000 persons. I finally made a GEDCOM in RootsMagic and the list was in RIN order - found myself easily!
* I couldn't get my own image to load as a background picture.
* Changing the LDS temple image wouldn't load either.
* I had trouble the first time I tried to get the 8.5 x 11 size print and had to start over. It worked fine the second time.

Janet's posts on The Chart Chick blog provide many more examples of the different looks that can be achieved with this system, and provides some step-by-step tutorials on how to get started and use the program.

For a new product, Family ChArtist is off to an auspicious start. I look forward to experimenting with it in future weeks.

Disclosure: I am not an employee of Generation Maps, nor have I been paid for writing about this product. I do think I will like it!

Fearless Females - Diaries, Journals and Letters

The blog prompt for today for Lisa Alzo's Fearless Females series is:

"March 8 — Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt."

I have several items here:

1) Della's Journal - my great-grandmother, Della (Smith) Carringer, wrote a daily journal entry almost every day during 1929 about her daily life in San Diego. I transcribed it all during 2007 in a series of weekly blog posts called Della's Journal. The post describing the "players" is here. Unfortunately, I never made a post capturing all of the links. The last weekly post is here, and has a link to the one before that, and on back in time.

2) Carringer/Smith Family Letters - I posted 19 family letters to and from my Carringer and Smith families - they are summarized in The Carringer Family Letter Collection (1890 - 1900).

3) Geraldine Seaver College Diaries - I have a three-year diary of my Aunt Geraldine for 1937-1938 when she was attending Lowell State Teacher's College. I have not transcribed them yet, and I'm not sure that I will post them due to privacy concerns.

Pictures from Escondido Family History Fair

I mentioned the exhibit hall at the 2010 Escondido Family History Fair in my post At the Escondido Family History Fair. I took a few pictures (and I thought I took more...but it must have been someone else's camera!), including:

1) The exhibit booths consisted of a table, an easel and a mesh background with the name of the society fastened to it. This is Ruth Himan and John Finch setting up the Chula Vista Genealogical Society booth. Ruth made large posters showing the three CVGS bloggers (Ruth, Susi and Randy) and a poster with her Grandma's Camp newspaper article:

2) We have always been Fair neighbors to the San Diego African-American Genealogy Research Group . Here is Margaret Lewis and the society's display:

3) Gene Powell and (hmmm, I've forgotten, sorry) at the Computer Genealogy society of San Diego display. You can see the video display they set up on the right. A great idea, and effective.

4) The San Diego Genealogical Society had many handouts on the table. Pam Journey and Mary Card are happy campers in this picture:

There were quite a few other genealogical and lineage societies that had display booths, and some of the lineage society folks were in costumes.

Ruth Himan took many more pictures and posted them on her Genealogy Is Ruthless Without Me blog here.

Dcoumenting 10 Generations Revisited

I listed my own number of ancestors in each generation in my post Can you document all names back 10 generations? last night. The intent of the post was to raise the question posed by Tamura Jones comment, and to provide my own research as an example, and state my impression that there are few, if any, completed 10-generation charts (all 1,023 names).

My intent was not to imply that "my tree is bigger than yours" or that researchers who are still working on great-grandparents or great-greats are inferior. The fact is that each of us has a unique ancestry, and some ancestors are much harder to find than others. I am often genea-smacked by the efforts of genealogy colleagues and friends that have struggled mightily to go back five and six generations because of the difficulty of the research - African-American, Native-American, Jewish, and Eastern European ancestries come to mind.

Martin Hollick sent an URL to his blog discussing my post - see . Thank you, Martin.

Tamura Jones sent me a picture of a 12-generation chart from his private research database that is really full of names - only a few small "holes" in the first 10 generations on the chart, starting in the eighth generation. He gave me permission to show it (it was resized so that names are not clearly visible) - see below:

That chart, made by Legacy Charting, is truly impressive to me! There is another generation - children of the #1 person on this chart - that have this ancestry also.

A correspondent asked if all of my "documented ancestors" are fully sourced. Nope, not even close. I admit to being a name-collector in my early research years, and I'm still trying to fixing that with primary information and original sources. Once in awhile, I find a very helpful resource for one of my ancestral families that leads me to records that proves or disproves, to my satisfaction, my ancestral connection. I include those records in my database. Or eliminate the ancestral connection if the records don't prove the connection to my satisfaction.

I showed a 10-generation family tree chart of my father's ancestry in 2006 - see below:

This chart graphically illustrates the "holes" in my father's ancestry. My mother's chart is even more "hole-y." The big "hole" on the left of the chart is the English Richman line, and the two big holes on the right side are the Newton and Dill holes. As you can see, I have a long way to go!

UPDATED 11 a.m. - added the Tamura Jones chart and comments.
UPDATED 1:30 p.m. to fix some errors in the text.

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of John Prescott (1604-1681)

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog 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."

John Prescott (1604-1681) died testate as a resident of Lancaster, Massachusetts. He left a long will and a large estate. The will reads (transcribed from Middlesex County (MA) Probate Records, Probate Packet #18,076, on FHL Microfilm 0,421,496, which includes the original handwritten will, not a probate court copy.):

"These presents witnesseth yt John Prescott of Lancaster in the County of Midlesex in New England Blaksmith: being under the sensible decayes of nature and the infirmities of old age & at present under a great deale of anguish and paine, but of a good and sound memorie at the writing hereof being moved upon considerations aforesaid together with the advis of Christian freinds to set his house in order in reference to the dispose of those outward good things the Lord in mercy hath betrusted him with, therefore I the said John Prescott doth hereby declare his Last will and Testament to be as followeth.

"Firstly and cheifly Comitting and Comending his Soule to almightie God that gave it him and his body to the Comon burying place here in Lancaster, and after his body being orderly and decently buryed and the Charge theirof defrayed together with all due debts discharged the Rest of his Lands and Estate to be disposed of as followeth: First in Reference to the Comfortable being of his loving wife during the time of her naturall Life; it is his will that his said wife have that End of the house where he and shee now dwelleth togather, with halfe the pasture and halfe the fruit of the aple trees and all the goods in the house, togather with two Cowes sp that shee shall Chuse & meddow sufisiant for wintring of them, out of the medowes sp ever shee shall chuse the said winter provision for the two cowes to be Equally and seasonably provided by his two sons John and Jonathan, and what this may fall short in Reference to convenient food and Cloathing and other nesesaries for her Comfort in sickness and health, to be Equaly provided by the aforesaid John and Jonathan out of the estate.

"And at the death of his aforesaid loving wife it is his will that the said Cowes and household goods be equally devided between his two sons aforesaid and the other part of the dwelling house outhousing pasture and orchard togather with the tenn acres of house lott lying on Georges Hill which was purchased of Daniell Gains to be equally devided between the said John and Jonathan and alsoe that part of the house and outhousing which is convenient for the two Cowes and their winter provision pasture and orchard willed to his Loving wife during her Life, at her death to be equaly devided alsoe between the said John and Jonathan, and furthermore it is his will that John Prescott his Eldest son have the Intervaile Land at Johns Jumpe, the Corne mille and all the land belonging to it and halfe the saw mills and halfe the Land belonging to it and all the house and barne their erected, and alsoe the house and farme at Washacomb Pond and all the Land their purchased from the Indians and halfe the medowes in all devisions in the towne acept sum litle part at Bar hill which after willed to James Sawyer, and one halfe of the Comon Right in the towne, and in reference to Second Devision land that part of it which lyeth at Danforths farme both upland and intervaile is willed to Jonathan and sixtie acres of that part at washacom litle pond to James Sawyer and halfe of sum brushie land capable of being made meadow at the side of the great pine plain to be within the said James Sawyers sixtie acres: and all the Rest of the second devision land both upland and Intervaile to be equaly devided between John Prescott and Jonathan aformentioned; and Jonathan Prescott his second son to have the Ry feild and all the Intervaile Lott at Nashaway River that part which he hath in posesion and the other part joyning to the high way and alsoe his part of second devision land aforementioned and also one halfe of all the medowes in all devisions in the towne not willed to John Prescot and Jams Sawyer aforementioned; and also the other halfe of the saw mill and Land belonging to it and it is to be understood that all timber on the land belonging to both Corne Mill and Saw mill be Comon to the use of the Saw mill: And in reference to his third son Jonas Prescott, it is hereby declared that he hath Received a full Childs portion at nonecoicus in a Corne mill and lands and other goods.

"And James Sawyer his granchild and servant it is his will that he have the sixtie acres of upland aforementioned and the two peices of medow at Bare hill one being part of his Second devision the upper most part on the brook and the other being part of his third devision lying on the brook below parkers medow & sum Intervaile Land lying upon Nashaway River purchased of Goodman Allen; Provided the said James Sawyer carie it beter than he did to his Granfather in his time and carie for as becoms an aprentice untill he be one and twentie years of age unto ye Executors of this will namly John Prescott and Jonathan Prescott who are alsoe herby engaged to pforme unto the said James what was promised by his said granfather, which was to Endevor to learne him the art and trade of a blaksmith, And in case the said James doe not pforme on his part as is afore expresed to the satisfaction of the overseers of this will, or otherwise if he doe not acept of the Land aforementioned, then the said Land and medow to be equally devided between the said John and Jonathan, And in Reference to his three Daughters namly Mary, Sara and Lydia they to have and Receive evrie of them five pounds to be paid to them by the Executors to Evrie one of them fifty shillings by the yeare two years after the death of theire father to be paid out of the movables and Martha Rug his grandchild to have a cow at the chois of her grandmother.

"And it is the Expres will and Charge of the testator to his wife and all his Children that they Labor and Endevor to preserve love and unitie among themselves and the upholding of Church and Comon welth, And to the End that this his Last will and testament may be truly prformed in all the parts of it, the said testator hath and herby doth constitut and apoint his two sons namly John Prescott and Jonathan Prescott Joynt Executors of this his Last will, And for the prevention of after trouble among those that survive about the dispose of the Estate according to his will, he hath hereby Chosen desired and apoynted the Reverend Mr. Joseph Rowlandson Deacon Sumner and Ralph Houghton overseers of this his will: unto whom all ye parties concerned in this his will in all dificult Cases are to Repaire and that nothing be done without their Consent and aprobation.

"And furthermore in Reference to the movabls it is his will that his son John have his anvill and after the debts and Legasies aforementioned be truly paid and fully discharged by the Executors and the spesiall trust pformed unto my wife during her life and at her death in respect of sicknes funerall expences, the Remainder of the movabls to be equally devided betwene my two sons John and Jonathan aformentioned. And for a further and fuller Declaration and Confirmation of this will to be the Last will and testament of the afornamed John Prescott he hath hereunto putt his hand and Seale this 8 of the Eight month one thousand six hundred Seaventie three.

"Signed, Sealed, & owned to be ................ Jno Prescott & seale
the Last will and testamt ................................. his mark
of the testator afornamed
in the presents of
Joseph Rowlandson
Roger Sumner
Ralph Houghton"

"Apr. 4, 1682: Roger Sumner, Ralph Houghton appearing in Court md oath to ye abovesd will
......................................... Jonathan Remington Cler"

I descend from John and Mary (Gawkroger) Prescott through their sons Jonathan and Jonas Prescott. More on them in another post.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Can you document all names back 10 generations?

No, I cannot. Even with my "fine New England ancestry" I get "holes" in my pedigree chart in the 5th generation back, I'm missing names for 2 out of 32 3rd great-grandparents; and in the 6th generation back, I'm missing names for 16 out of 64 4th great-grandparents.

Why did I ask this question? Because there has been a civil debate in the Comments of my post I'm Puzzled by DNA Claims on "Faces of America" between Tamura Jones, Martin Hollick and Patti Hobbs after Tamura said:

"Being able to document all names for ten or twelve generations isn't all that rare. In many Western countries, BMD registrations started around 1600 or 1650, that is 350 to 400 years ago."

Martin said:

"I respectfully disagree. Perhaps Randy can ask the question. How many people who read his blog know all their ancestors in all lines up to the level of 10 generations (counting yourself as generation #1). That is 512 ancestors. I'm guessing it's maybe 1 or 2% of people doing genealogy."

Patti commented:

"Tamura, when I re-read Martin's post, he didn't say that it wasn't possible or couldn't be done. He just said it was rare. I agree with him. I'm not saying it's impossible either. Maybe it depends on where your ancestors were, but there are almost no birth, marriage, and death records in much of New York and Pennsylvania until 1883-5. I have a lot of ancestors from those places."

And on it went.

Tamura lives in Europe, where the civil records and the church records usually go back to the 1500s, unless there are major record losses in the country or provinces. I have a 50% American and 50% European ancestry back 10 generations, Martin has perhaps a 75% Slovak and 25% American ancestry back 10 generations, I don't know what Patti has.

Here are some of my family tree statistics (generated by making ahnentafels and counting the number of names in each slot):

1) Number of full names (first name and last name) in my father's ancestry (going back 10 generations, counting him as the first generation). My father has 75% colonial New England and 25% English ancestry:

* Generations 1-4 - 15 out of 15 possible names (100%)
* In the 5th generation - 16 out of 16 possible names (100%)
* In the 6th generation - 24 out of 32 possible names (75%)
* In the 7th generation - 38 out of 64 possible names (59.4%)
* In the 8th generation - 71 out of 128 possible names (55.5%)
* In the 9th generation - 129 out of 256 possible names (50.4%)
* In the 10th generation - 219 out of 512 possible names (42.8%)
* 513 names out of 1,023 possible names in 10 generations (50.1%)

2) Number of full names (first name and last name) in my mother's ancestry (going back 10 generations, counting her as the first generation). My mother has about 50% colonial New England about 37.5% European immigrants (in the 1700s to NY, PA, NJ), and 12.5% English ancestry (immigrated in 1840s):

* Generations 1-4 - 15 out of 15 possible names (100%)
* In the 5th generation - 14 out of 16 possible names (87.5%)
* In the 6th generation - 23 out of 32 possible names (71.9%)
* In the 7th generation - 31 out of 64 possible names (48.4%)
* In the 8th generation - 39 out of 128 possible names (30.5%)
* In the 9th generation - 49 out of 256 possible names (19.1%)
* In the 10th generation - 70 out of 512 possible names (13.7%)
* 241 names out of 1,023 possible names in 10 generations (23.6%)

3) So I have the names of:

* 287 out of 511 ancestors (56.2%) in 9 generations starting with myself (back to about 1700)
* 465 out of 1,023 ancestors (45.5%) in 10 generations starting with myself (back to about 1670)
* 754 out of 2,047 ancestors (36.8%) in 11 generations starting with myself. (back to about 1640)

Now some people may argue that I may have missed some of my people through shoddy research or poor counting, but those numbers are about right. I am doing very little name-gathering these days because there are no records online or in books for ancestors without a name (i.e., parents of the "end-of-the-line" people that I have with names). The one exception is the Martin family ancestry in New Jersey that just came loose last November through Mark Putman's efforts. I'm still in the Survey Research phase for those family lines, but I've included most of them in the numbers above.

In my present research, I am concentrating on finding primary information and original source records for the people that I do have, in hopes of finding the parents names, or leads to those names, in those records. The vital records data is either non-existent or exhausted for the "end-of-the-line" folks - I'm in military, church, land, tax and probate records.

Now there may be 10-generation family trees posted on WorldConnect or that are 100% colonial New England and have all of the ten generations filled up, but I've never seen one. There are too many "females without a surname" that marry in the 1607-1850 time frame. For example, in the 10th generation of my father's line, I have an additional 55 persons with a given name and no surname. That is very typical of New England records - without a marriage record the female surnames are often not known.

On the other hand, I have seen some 7-generation ahnentafel lists posted in periodicals (e.g., The Essex Genealogist) with all 64 slots filled in in the 7th generation.

My English ancestral lines on both my father's and mother's ancestries are hampered by a lack of church parish registry records before 1800 - my Richman family line starts in 1790 and I know nothing about any of the Richman-Marshman-Rich-Hill lines in Wiltshire before then. That's 25% of my father's ancestry. My mother also has a significant English immigrant line, and I have only one family back into the 1600s on that line. Many English parishes have fairly complete records, but they are incomplete for my particular lines.

Massachusetts didn't mandate civil registration at the town level (with reports to the state) of births, marriages and deaths until 1841, and the other New England states did so in the 1790 to 1870 time frame. Before civil registration at the town level, the town record books often included birth, marriage and death record entries, but they were not complete, and in many towns, the returns were pretty sparse, especially in the 1750 to 1850 time frame. Records between 1630 and 1750 are pretty good in most towns. All of this makes it difficult to obtain a complete record of the families involved.

Coastal New York and New Jersey were settled by the Dutch in 1624, and then populated by the English after 1664. Pennsylvania was settled by the English in the 1680's along the Delaware River. German immigration in the early 1700s into all three states expanded the population tremendously. Scots-Irish started immigrating in the mid-1700s into Pennsylvania and points south. In New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, some areas have decent church records once towns were established (New York City and Long Island Dutch and English churches, Hudson River Dutch and German churches, Pennsylvania German churches, New Jersey Dutch, English and German churches), but there is not 100% coverage within a town or 100% coverage of all towns. That's just the facts of genealogy life in the USA. We generally use military, church, land, probate and tax records to try to define our families and relationships before 1850.

I don't have any ancestry in the states south of colonial Pennsylvania so I can't give a general synopsis of availability of records, but the situation is similar to the mid-Atlantic states - researchers have to rely on military, church, land, tax and probate records before 1850.

Martin estimated that perhaps 1 or 2% of all researchers had their 10-generation chart filled up - every name. I'm not as optimistic - I sincerely doubt that any person has all 1,023 names filled out in a 10-generation pedigree chart.

My thanks to Tamura, Martin and Patti for the spirited discussion - hopefully we all learned something useful.

Hmm, I started this at 8:38 p.m. and it's now 10:20 pm. - spent almost two hours crunching numbers. Oh well, sleep comes and goes anyway! I had fun!

Does any reader have a completed pedigree chart back ten generations or more?

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 28 February - 6 March 2010

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

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

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

* What's Happening In The Next Few Years by Renee Zamora on Renee's Genealogy Blog. Renee found an interesting list of predictions for our world and daily lives.

* A Toast To Mom: 6/20/1959 – 2/28/2010 by Elyse Doerflinger on Elyse's Genealogy Blog. Elyse's mother died last weekend and this is Elyse's beautiful tribute to her. Elyse has a new URL and blog design too.

* Genealogy: A $1B Market? Maybe by Dean Richardson on the Genlighten Blog - Genealogy Documented. Dean explains how he estimated the genealogy market size - useful information!

* Strategies for Starting Your Family History: Recording Your Findings by Donna Moughty on Donna's Genealogy Blog. This weekly series is excellent - read them all!

* Top Ten Things a Real Genealogist Can't Live Without by Martin Hollick on The Slovak Yankee blog. Martin made his own list after DearMYRTLE's list last week - major differences, due to different views.

* Genealogy Boot Camp: Get to know Your Research Tools by Thomas Kemp on GenealogyBank - The Official Blog. Tom provides al ink to his latest slide presentation.

* Bloggers & Tweeters & Chatters – Oh My! by Renee on the Above the Trees blog. Renee recounts her experiences at the St. George, Utah Family History Expo last weekend.

* Research Delivered: eBay Saved Searches by Denise Olson on the Family Matters blog. Denise shares how to let eBay tell you when something of interest to you is offered for sale.

* Genealogy As Therapy by Jasia on the Creative Gene blog. Jasia thinks genealogy research is therapeutic, satisfying and fun. I totally agree! Read Jasia's reasons.

* My Luckie Afternoon With Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.!:-) by Luckie Daniels on the Our Georgia Roots blog. Luckie goes to a HLG presentation and gets to ask him a question. Great experience, and excellent job.

* Funding the Genealogy Collections at the Library of Michigan by Roger Moffat on the Roger's Ramblings blog. Roger discusses the problems with the Michigan library genealogy collection.

* Faces of America and Genetic Genealogy Testing by Blaine Bettinger on The Genetic Genealogist blog. Blaine summarizes the different tests shown on the last episode of Faces of America. Thanks for setting me straight, Blaine!

* Genealogy Discussion Group at Osan Air Base and Group Review by Wendy Hawksley on the New England Genealogy blog. Wendy is far away from home and started a new discussion group on their base - with an interesting result. Great opportunity here!

* Rate Your Genealogical Maturity by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog. Mr. AI has modified his Genealogical Maturity Model and wants you to rate your skills. Try it.

* Weekly Rewind by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. Apple always finds posts that I've missed!

* Weekly Genealogy Picks by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog. John's weekly picks and other genealogy news keeps me well informed.

I encourage you to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blog to your Favorites, Bloglines, reader, feed or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 610 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

NOTE: Linda and I are off late next week for a three-week vacation far away from San Diego - to Australia (Sydney, Cairns), New Zealand (Christchurch, Queenstown, Auckland) and Fiji (Suva) to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. I am not taking my laptop, and I will not be reading blogs, so therefore Best of the Genea-Blogs will be dark for four weeks. Please read Apple's Weekly Rewind posts and John's Weekly Genealogy Picks.

At the Escondido Family History Fair

I had the pleasure of attending the annual Escondido (CA) Family History Fair at the Escondido Family History Center on Saturday, 6 March. This is the best one-day conference in San Diego County each year, featuring a keynote speaker, five sessions with seven tracks in each time slot, and an exhibit hall where no vendor can sell anything (the only real drawback).

I usually carpool the 40 miles each way to the Fair with my Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) colleagues, and this year eight of us went in three cars, arriving at 8:15 a.m. Another seven CVGS members attended on their own, for a grand total of 15 in attendance, out of about 200 total attendees.

CVGS had a table near one of the exhibit hall entrances, and we displayed a poster of our three resident bloggers (Ruth, Susi and Randy), had handouts and my laptop highlighting the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog. There was usually one member minding the table while the others went off to the presentations. Almost all of the San Diego County societies were there, plus quite a few lineage and heritage societies. The National Archives and were also represented.

The keynote speaker was David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch. He spoke on "FamilySearch Tackles the Information Explosion," discussing why certain features are being phased out and how and why the new FamilySearch features are being phased in. He noted that PAF, CD products, IGI, PRF, FHLC on CD, Research Guidance, paper publications, microfilms, Scottish Church records, Vietnam and Korean War casualty files are being phased out. Being phased in with newFamilySearch are FamilyTree, FamilySearch Wiki, Standard Finder, Record Search (Pilot), FamilySearch Indexing, and Book Scanning. Not a word about GenSeek!

I didn't attend a presentation in the second hour, but did talk extensively to Roger Bell of, who showed me the new Footnote Viewer that will be available soon.

In the second hour, I couldn't wedge myself into the room for Debby Horton's talk on "Collaborating with Others" so I found a seat in Caroline Rober's talk on "Basic Military Research." She defined the types of military records that can be found, the many wars that there are records available for, some research strategies, what information might be found in different record types, and where the records can be found.

After a lunch (Subway sandwich, cookie, chips, apple, water) prepared by a Boy Scout troop (great service project!), I returned to the CVGS table in the exhibit hall and talked to people as they stopped by, including those minding the other society tables.

In the first hour after lunch, I tried to go to Frank Chocco's talk on "12 Step Program to Find That Elusive Ancestor" but left when I couldn't find a seat.. So I attended Barbara Renick's presentation on "5 C's to Success in Genealogy Today." Barbara used two fairly complex case studies to illustrate how to use classic and computer resources, collaborate with cousins, consistently cite sources (chant: find, cite, search, copy), and perform comprehensive searches (chant: civil, church, family, single source, multiple sources, census, probate). Interesting cases and solutions. My major takeaway here was to search up and down watercourses, rather than over mountain ranges, and to draw a 9-mile radius circle to find spouse's family - 9 miles being distance to walk or ride on a horse in several hours).

In the next hour, I stayed in the cozy seats in the Chapel and saw Barbara Renick's presentation on "Searching Newspapers Online." She walked us through newspaper archives on commercial genealogy sites (Accessible Archives,,, GenealogyBank, com, and; commercial information sites (NewsBank,, ProQuest, ProQuest Historical Newspapers, and Proquest Obituaries); Free genealogy sites (Google News Archive Search and During this talk, Barbara showed screen shots and different search techniques used on each site to find her Renick and Zucknick ancestors. Lots of information here. Her handout is on her website at

I stayed at the CVGS table during the last hour of presentations, and helped John and Ann take down the booth stuff, and put my laptop away.

During the day, I tweeted occasionally (on about my plans and/or events, but I didn't blog about the talks because of the time constraints.

The 159 page paper syllabus provided outlines and notes for most of the talks by the presenters at the Fair. I have some reading to do about the talks I missed.

All in all, this was a good genealogy day - outstanding presentations and excellent company.