Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- the Wayback Machine

Hey genealogy connoisseurs, it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!!
Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is:

1. Go to the Wayback Machine at (it's right in the middle of the web page)

2. Enter the URL (web address) of your first genealogy blog or website into the search field. [If you don't have a blog or website, then enter your favorite blog or website.]

3. Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook. Show us the image of your web page if you can.

Here's mine:

My first genealogy blog was called Randy's Musings, at (you get to if you put that URL in the browser address line even now).

It looked like this on 30 April 2006, about two weeks after I started writing the blog:

The description of Randy's Musings said: "Deep thoughts and shallow feelings about genealogy, family, and San Diego sports and whatever else I wonder about in a day..." Cyndi's List still uses this as my blog description, even though I changed it later in 2006.

This was my "blue period" I think. Then I read that the color blue is really boring and would not attract readers, so I changed to bright colors (reds, blues, yellows, etc.) and got more readers.

Note that The Wayback Machine has an entire web page, not just the "look" of the page.

Surname Saturday - CUTTER (England > MA > NJ)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ahnentafel list each week. I'm up to number 59, who is Sarah Cutter (ca 1785-1878).

My ancestral line back through the seven generations of my Cutter ancestral families:

1. Randall J. Seaver

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

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

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

28. David Auble (1817-1894)
29. Sarah Knapp (1818-ca 1900)

58. William Knapp, born 1775 in Dutchess County, NY, and died 16 June 1856 in Newton, Sussex County, NJ. He married about 1804 probably in Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ.
59. Sarah Cutter, born 06 November 1785 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died 06 March 1878 in Newton, Sussex, NJ.

118. Stephen Cutter, born 10 February 1744/45 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died 21 June 1823 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. He married about 1769 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
119. Tabitha Randolph, born before 06 September 1761 in Elizabeth, Union County, NJ; died 26 November 1841 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. She was the daughter of 238. Samuel Fitz Randolph and 239. Martha Gach.

Children of Stephen Cutter and Tabitha Randolph are: Phebe Cutter (1769-1839); Nancy Cutter (1771-????); Stephen Cutter (1773-????); Mary Cutter (1775-????); Thomas Cutter (1777-????); Richard Cutter (1779-1820); William Whitmore Cutter (1781-1862); Hannah Cutter (1784-????); Sarah Cutter (1785-1878); Samuel Cutter (1787-????); Mary Cutter (1790-????).

236. William Cutter, born about 1722 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died 14 February 1780 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. He married before 1744 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
237. Mary Kent, born about 1726 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ; died in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.

Children of William Cutter and Mary Kent are: Stephen Cutter (1745-1823); Richard Cutter (1746-1770); Sarah Cutter (1748-????); Mary Cutter (1750-????); Hannah Cutter (1753-????); Kelsey Cutter (1756-1798); Samuel Cutter (1761-1805); Keturah Cutter (1765-1794).

472. Richard Cutter, born 13 November 1682 in Cambridge, Middlesex County, MA; died 17 December 1756 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ. He married about 1722 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.
473. Mercy Kelsey, born About 1698 in Elizabethtown, Union County, NJ; died before 28 May 1760 in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, NJ.

Children of Richard Cutter and Mercy Kelsey are: William Cutter (1722-1780); Joseph Cutter (1725-1767); Mary Cutter (1728-????); Rebecca Cutter (1730-????); Ebenezer Cutter (1732-????); Samuel Cutter (1734-1759).

944. William Cutter, born 22 February 1648/49 in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA; died 01 April 1723 in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA. He married 04 December 1679 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ.
945. Rebecca Rolfe, born 09 February 1661/62 in Newbury, Essex County, MA; died 23 November 1751 in Medford, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 1890. John Rolfe and 1891. Mary Scullard.

Children of William Cutter and Rebecca Rolfe are: Elizabeth Cutter (1681-1749); Richard Cutter (1682-1756); Mary Cutter (1685-1685); Hannah Cutter (1688-1764); John Cutter (1690-1776); Rebecca Cutter (1693-1718); William Cutter (1697-1756); Samuel Cutter (1700-1737); Sarah Cutter (1702-1788); Ammi Ruhamah Cutter (1705-1746).

1888. Richard Cutter, born 1620 in Newcastle-on-Tyne, Northumberland, ENGLAND; died 16 June 1693 in Menotomy, Middlesex, MA. He married about 1644 in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA.
1889. Elizabeth Williams, born about 1620 in ENGLAND; died 05 March 1661/62 in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA.

Children of Richard Cutter and Elizabeth Williams are: Elizabeth Cutter (1645-1664); Samuel Cutter (1647-????); Thomas Cutter (1648-1690); William Cutter (1649-1723); Ephraim Cutter (1651-1731); Gershom Cutter (1653-1738); Mary Cutter (1657-1711);

3776. Samuel Cutter, born in Northumberland, ENGLAND; died in ENGLAND. He married in ENGLAND.
3777. Elizabeth Leatherhead, born 1578 in ENGLAND; died in Cambridge, Middlesex, MA.

Children of Samuel Cutter and Elizabeth Leatherhead are: William Cutter (1603-????); Elizabeth Cutter (1605-1670); Joyce Cutter (1606-1638); Barbara Cutter (1609-1687); Joanna Cutter (1612-1679); William Cutter (1619-1663); Richard Cutter (1620-1693); Isabella Cutter (1625-1643); Elizabeth Cutter (1630-1669).

I would appreciate being contacted by anyone else who has this family in their ancestry, especially if they have more information than I do about them! With sources, of course!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Using the 1871 Canadian Census on FamilySearch

I've been looking through the online databases available at the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot site - and came upon the 1871 Census for Canada as one of the recently added or updated databases.

I wondered how I could find the family of Alexander Sovereen in Norfolk county, Ontario in this database. When I selected the 1871 Canada Census from the list, I started filling in the search box for Alexander:

The FamilySearch Record Search site requires the user to choose a place name from a dropdown menu as you type the location into the search field. I chose "Norfolk, Ontario, Canada" for the locality, clicked on "Search" and saw:

Each record listed produces a "mouse-over" when you run your mouse over the person's name, as shown below:

You can click on the name and see essentially the same information for the person:

The record above has no image associated with it. How can I figure out who else was in this family in the 1871 Canada Census? The record data listed the place of enumeration as "Windham, North Norfolk, Ontario" and it was Home Number 174 on Page 49. I should be able to use that to find other persons in the family.

I went up to the "Refine Search" link and clicked on it, deleted the first name, kept the last name, and entered "Windham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada" in the location field, as shown below:

After clicking "Search" I received 40 matches for those search terms. Here is the top of the first page of 20 matches:

I can find the other persons in the family by finding persons that are listed with Page 49 and Home 174 and write them down. In the screen above, the first entry for Sarah Sovereen showed that she was in Home 174 on Page 49.

I looked at the "Filters" listed, but they showed only "Date," "Gender," "First Names," "Event Type" - not Page or Home number. Drat.

I clicked on the "Advanced Search" link on the Search Box and input the Father's name" as "Alexander" and "Sovereen" as shown below:

After clicking on "Search," I got no results for my search:

So it appears that, for the 1871 Canada Census, that the Parents name box isn't "active."

By clicking through the 40 names, I managed to find that the family included:

* Alexander Sovereen, age 56, born O (line 11)
* Eliza Sovereen, age 49, born U.S. (line 12)
* Sarah Sovereen, age 18, born O (line 13)
* Nancy A. Sovereen, age 16, born O (line 14)
* Valzora Sovereen, age 14, born O (line 15)
* Hettie sovereen, age 12, born O (line 16)
* Alexander A. Sovereen, age 8, born O (line 17)
* Wilber Sovereen, age 3, born O (line 18)

This was really a frustrating exercise. This website has been online for several years now, and the Search fields and navigation links are still fairly primitive. Why aren't there links or buttons to "See all Persons in Home Number" and "See all Persons (or Neighbors) on the Page" so that the researcher doesn't have to do the process I followed above? I note that the 1880 US Census, 1881 Canada and 1881 UK Census records on the classic FamilySearch website have the "Family" and "Neighbor" capability.

If some of the "Advanced Search" box field entries don't work for a specific database, then that information should be included on the search box so that researchers don't waste their time and get frustrated.

The 1871 Canada Census is also online on with all of the sophisticated search capabilities and links to images there. But, since I don't have a World Subscription, I cannot access it at home.

The site has a link to the 1871 Ontario, Canada Census head of household index here, but not to every-name indexes or images.

This isn't just about this particular database - the same issues arise for many of the Record Search databases without images.

I understand that FamilySearch Record Search is a "Pilot" site - meaning that it is not fully developed yet (I think). I would love to know if, and when, the search capability for all databases will be improved or enhanced so that the records found can be accessed efficiently.

I keep having a funny feeling that I'm wrong about this - that I've missed something obvious in the search process above. Have I? If so, please tell me and I'll post how it should be done.

Follow Friday - What's Past is Prologue

It's Friday, so time to highlight one of the genealogy blogs that I enjoy reading, and think that you will too.

Donna Pointkouski writes the What's Past is Prologue blog:

She describes her blog as:

"Adventures in genealogy."

Her "About Me" page notes:
"What’s Past is Prologue is my attempt to preserve my personal family history and memories, offer research tips and ideas to readers, and practice my writing skills."

Donna's writing skills are excellent, and this lady has a wicked sense of humor also - she is the "The Humor of it" columnist for the splendid Shades - The Magazine on footnoteMaven's Shades of the Departed blog. Earlier "The Humor Of It" columns (pre Shades - The Magazine)are here.

If you don't have What's Past is Prologue on your genealogy reading list, I encourage you to add it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SDJGS Program on Sunday - Using Effectively

The May meeting of the San Diego Jewish Genealogical Society will be Sunday, May 16 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center San Diego (4126 Executive Drive, near Genesee Avenue in La Jolla, second floor).

The program will be Randy Seaver presenting "Using Databases and Family Trees Effectively."

The subscription website has many wonderful features - it's like a lavish buffet where it is hard to choose what to do and how to use it.

* For searches: basic or advanced search; new or old search screens; exact or ranked matches; full names or wild cards; specific or all databases; restricted collection or whole collection.

* For family trees: public or private; one-editor or group editors; GEDCOM upload or enter-by-hand; upload photos and documents; attach historical documents; add stories; "collect" data from others; synchronization with software; etc.

In this presentation, Randy Seaver will discuss and demonstrate these issues and offer recommendations for effectively using databases and family trees.

Randy Seaver is a native San Diegan, a graduate of San Diego State University in Aerospace Engineering, and a retired aerodynamics engineer with a 38-year career at Rohr/Goodrich in Chula Vista. His ancestry is mainly colonial New England and Upper Atlantic, with some colonial German, French and Dutch forbears, and several 19th-century English immigrants.

Randy's activities include serving the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (former President, currently Newsletter Editor and Research Chairman), speaking occasionally to Southern California societies, libraries and groups, teaching Beginning Computer Genealogy senior adult classes at OASIS, and writing the Genealogy 2.0 column for the FGS’s FORUM Magazine. He is also a member of NGS, NEHGS, SDGS, and CGSSD, and blogs daily about genealogy subjects at Genea-Musings (, The Geneaholic (, and the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe (

For more information, email SDJGS at

I'm looking forward to meeting with this group and sharing my knowledge about and opinions of effectively using

More about Finding and Inputting Record Sources and Citations

My earlier post this week about Source citations leave a lot to be desired highlighted the problems with some sources and citations created by, and passed into online family trees, and then passed into genealogy software databases if the online tree is downloaded as a GEDCOM file.

In the post, I advised that "...all users of online family trees that want satisfactory and useful source citations, is to NOT attach any Ancestry Family Tree data or other database information to your Ancestry Member Tree. If there is data in an online family tree or online database that you want to use, then write it down and add it by hand (or copy and paste it) to your online tree, or to your Family Tree Maker database on your computer. Then create your own sources for that information in either your online tree or your software database, using the principles and models found in the book Evidence! Explained or in the Quick Sheets (both authored by Elizabeth Shown Mills)."

I want to add one more statement to that advice: "Online family trees, online databases, published books and periodicals, and indexes are all 'derivative' sources - they obtained the record information from an 'original' source. Every researcher should strive to find the original source of the information used in their genealogy database and should create a source citation for that information."

In the case of the 1754 birth record for Zachariah Hildreth in the Westford, Massachusetts, I would have created a full reference note citation like this from the printed Westford Vital Records book (using the Evidence! Explained basic format book model on page 642):

Vital Records of Westford, Massachusetts to the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass., The Essex Institute, 1915), 58.

In my genealogy software, I would add the author, book title and publication information in the Master Source field, the page number in the "Citation Page" field, and I would add the record text ("HILDRETH, Zachariah, s. Zachariah and Elizabeth, Jan 13, 1754") in the citation text field. Note: I did this in Family Tree Maker 16 - the terminology for other programs may be different.

This book is on Google Books for reference - here. I'll leave it to the reader to create a citation for this online book source - who will take the challenge?

If a researcher has not found the published book, but has found an online representation of the book, should the source be listed as the online repository (in this case, Google Books) or should the source be listed as the published book? My practice is to cite the published work IF I have photocopied pages from the book and have them in my paper or electronic files, and to cite the online version if that is the only location where I have accessed the work.

Is this Vital Records book an original source for these records? NO - the book is a derivative source (published in 1915) because the information was taken from town record books (handwritten records from about 1701 to 1849). The "Original Source" is really the actual Westford town record books, which may be located at the Westford MA town hall (I'm not sure about this) and are on microfilm through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City -- see this entry in the FHL Catalog for the microfilms of the original town record.

One more nuance - these microfilms are an "Image Copy" of the original handwritten records - should this "Image Copy" be treated as an "Original Source" record? To my mind - it depends on the source. If it is the actual record written by the town clerk (as in this case) at the time of the event, then I consider it an "Original Source" and "Primary Information." If it is a clerk's transcription, a "Record Copy," written some time after the event in an effort to preserve the information in the records (an example would be a land deed or probate record written into a court record), then I consider it a "Derivative Source" and "Primary Information." The reason for the latter practice is that this "Record Copy" may have added errors to the "Original Source" information. Often, we have access, either on actual paper or on microfilms, only to the "Record Copy" of the records.

All of the above is based on the principle that genealogy and family history researchers should seek out, use and cite the most authoritative source they can. In most cases, this should be the "Original Source" in its earliest form, because that is likely to be the most accurate and authoritative resource. Note that there are many examples of "original sources" having erroneous data, and "derivative sources" having more accurate data. Finding and evaluating a range of sources is what "Doing a Reasonably Exhaustive Search" is all about (see the Genealogical Proof Standard for more details).

There were quite a few presentations at the NGS 2010 Conference in Salt Lake City concerning this topic - I encourage readers who want more information to consult the Board for Certification of Genealogists website for more information, and to read articles on the subject on the Learning Center Article Archives and other locations. I input "sources" in the Search box and received 2058 may want to refine the search by adding another term like "Mills" (114 matches).

Treasure Chest Thursday - Mary Jane Kemp's Death Record

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to find and share an artifact or record that contributes to my genealogy and family history.

Mary Jane (Sovereen) Kemp died 20 May 1874 in Middleton, Norfolk County, Ontario. I found an entry in the Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1934 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947 database on (accessed and image captured at the San Diego Family History Center) that contains the register entry of her death:

Mary Jane Kemp's record is on the top half of the third column from the right on the image above (no town or county shown on this page, but it is Middleton, Norfolk County) . The information included is:

* No. 13
* Name and Surname of Deceased: Mary Jane Kemp
* When Died: 20th May 1874
* Sex- Male or Female: F
* Age: 33 Years
* Rank or Profession: Wife of James Kemp, farmer, Middleton
* Where Born: Windham, County Norfolk, Canada
* Certified cause of Death, and duration of illness: Typhoid Fever, ill three weeks
* Name of Physician, if any: A.W. Sovereen M.D.
* Signature, description and residence of Informant: A.W. Sovereen M.D. Delhi
* When Registered: 29th May 1874
* Religious Denomination: Baptist
* Signature of Registrar: J.C.H. Herron
* REMARKS: 004105 [stamped]

I learned quite a bit from this record, although I did not learn her parents names from this record (I do know that her parents were Alexander and Eliza (Putman) Sovereen from other records). I did learn the date of death, place of death, husband's name, cause of death, her birthplace, her physician (probably a Sovereen cousin), and her religious denomination.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vital Records on

Sharon Elliott's blog post How Vital Is VitalSearch? had a table on her Back Track blog in early April that provided a list of state and county vital records available on .

I printed the table out, that Sharon generated herself. I finally found a web page with the list of databases at

VitalSearch is a subscription site - it costs $57.95 per year (or $24.95 for 90 days), but it seems to have some unique vital record data sets that may contain information on 20th century birth, marriage and death records that cannot be found in other online databases.

My thanks to Sharon Elliott for providing the table of records, and the comments about using the website. The search function is very primitive, but the site may be useful for some researchers.

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 15 May - Wikis for Genealogy

The next meeting of the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) is Saturday, May 15, 2010.

The User Group for Family Tree Maker and SIGs for DNA and New Genealogy Websites meet at 9:00.

After a break and refreshments at 10:00, Randy Seaver presents the main program, “Wikis for Genealogy.”

What is a wiki, and why do I care? A wiki is a website that permits easy creation and editing of interlinked web pages using a markup language or WYSIWYG text editor. Wiki software is used to create collaborative and community websites, corporate intranets and knowledge management systems. The origin of the word: "Wiki-wiki" in Hawaii means something quick and fast. The best online example is Wikipedia ( - the online collaborative encyclopedia.

In this presentation, Randy will show and demonstrate some of the currently available wikis for genealogy that permit collaboration on genealogy information and family trees. The benefits and drawbacks of contributing to and participating in collaborative efforts will be discussed.

Randy Seaver is a native San Diegan, a graduate of San Diego State University in Aerospace Engineering, and a retired aerodynamics engineer with a 38-year career at Rohr/Goodrich in Chula Vista. His ancestry is mainly colonial New England and Upper Atlantic, with some colonial German, French and Dutch forbears, and several 19th-century English immigrants.

Randy's activities include serving the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (former President, currently Newsletter Editor and Research Chairman); speaking occasionally to Southern California societies, libraries and groups; teaching Beginning Computer Genealogy senior adult classes at OASIS; and writing the Genealogy 2.0 column for the FGS’s FORUM Magazine. He is a member of NGS, NEHGS, SDGS, and CGSSD, and blogs daily about genealogy subjects at Genea-Musings (, The Geneaholic (, and the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe (

We meet at the Robinson Auditorium complex on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla. From North Torrey Pine Road, turn at Pangea Drive into UCSD. Free parking is available in the parking garage on the left; use any A, B, or S space. Signs will mark directions to our meeting room. Please refer to our website; or the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies website for driving directions and a map.

I plan on being there, but probably won't publish a summary of the talk on this blog.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 102: Lyle in Uniform

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 picture was taken at the United States Marines encampment in Balboa Park in San Diego during World War I, so it was likely taken in 1917 or early 1918.

My grandfather, Lyle Lawrence Carringer, is the man standing to the left of the tent opening. I don't know the names of the other men in the picture.

Lyle enlisted in the Marines Reserve, but apparently never served anywhere else but in the PX in Balboa Park.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010 Source citations leave a lot to be desired

Reader Lenny left a comment on an earlier blog post (FamilySearch Beta Library Search - FAIL) that said:

"I'm not sure if you take questions on FTM. If not, can you direct me to someone who does (other than the company itself)? If so, my question is: I notice that the the reference on facts taken from public member trees do not reference a specific tree - only ", Public Member Trees (Provo, UT, USA....". Am I missing something? Is this a source that will ever help anyone else find the record? It seems too vague to me. Thanks much.-Lenny"

The comment appears to stem from data in an Ancestry Member Tree on that was attached to a person in the tree and then downloaded to Family Tree Maker and when Lenny looked at the source of that data, it said ", Public Member Trees (Provo, UT, USA...."

Lenny really hit the nail on the head, didn't he? It is an excellent set of observations and questions. Lenny, I don't think you're missing anything - it's just that does a poor job of creating useful source citations for many of their databases.

I tried to duplicate Lenny's problem in my Ancestry Member Tree and, unfortunately, succeeded. There were 13 Ancestry Member Trees that include information about my ancestor, Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1828). provided me with a Shaky Leaf Hint and invited me to combine information from one or all of them with my own information. I picked one family tree titled "How Family" and combined the data for Zachariah and his wife to the people in my tree. Here is the Source information for the online family tree that I accessed:

Well, that looks even sparser than the source that Lenny got in his FTM database. I clicked on the "Details" link to the right of the "Source" line, and saw additional information:

This is pretty much what Lenny got in Family Tree Maker. Note that the source citation does not include the name of the particular Member Tree. Why in the world doesn't the source citation at least provide the name of the Member Family Tree that the data was obtained from, and the Ancestry member's name? That information was provided in the "How Family" tree page that I selected from the Shaky Leaf Hints.

Fresh from this frustration, I noticed that there was another Shaky Leaf Hint for Zachariah Hildreth - his birth was in the Westford, Massachusetts Vital Records book. So I attached that hint to Zachariah Hildreth, and took a look at the Source and Citation:

The "Source" line says "Name: Massachusetts Town Birth Records; Repository:" The "Citation" line says: "Actual text: Birth data: Jan. 13 1754, Birth Place: Westford" and the "Web address: with the URL to the record" (not an image, but the Ancestry created "transcription" of the record).

I clicked on the "Details" link again and saw more information:

They added more details in the "Details" including:
"Author: New England Historic Genealogical Society"
"Publisher: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999. Original data - Vital Records of Bellingham Massachusetts to the Year 1850. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1904. Vital Records of Granville Massachusetts to the Year "

Huh? I thought the information came from Westford MA, and not Bellingham or Granville? What in the world has happened here? The answer lies in the "Source Information" on the page of the Ancestry record for this source:

The "Source Information" lists seven "Vital Records of [town] Massachusetts to the Year 1850" that are included in the New England Historic Genealogical Society database. That list does not include Westford or the other hundred and some vital records books in the NEHGS book collection. However, the data from those hundred some towns are in the NEHGS database accessed by

The Source information and Citation details provided for records in this "Massachusetts Town Birth Records" collection are severely flawed - they don't accurately name the town where the record is from, and they don't provide the citation for the actual book with the information that gets attached to the fact, and is downloaded to the Family Tree Maker (or other software) database.

My advice to Lenny, and all users of online family trees that want satisfactory and useful source citations, is to NOT attach any Ancestry Family Tree data or other database information to your Ancestry Member Tree. If there is data in an online family tree or online database that you want to use, then write it down and add it by hand (or copy and paste it) to your online tree, or to your Family Tree Maker database on your computer. Then create your own sources for that information in either your online tree or your software database, using the principles and models found in the book Evidence! Explained or in the Quick Sheets (both authored by Elizabeth Shown Mills). This is unfortunate, but is necessary in order to avoid having thousands of really bad source citations in your family tree database.

For instance, a Full Reference Note for the Online Tree data for Zachariah Hildreth above might read (adapted from: Elizabeth Shown Mills, QuickSheet Citing Databases & Images Evidence! Style, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 2009):

1. "Public Member Trees," database, ( - accessed 11 May 2010), "How Family" entry for Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1828); submitted by [user name], citing New England Historic Genealogical Society. Massachusetts Town Birth Records [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Vital Records of Westford MA to the end of 1849, The Essex Institute, Salem MA, 1915.

Will ever get sources and citations correct in their databases? It's not that hard - even this blithering blogger can do it, but it takes time and practice. The QuickSheets for Historical Resources and Databases really help.

Thank you, Lenny, for the comment, for the opportunity to constructively criticize's source citations (and they are not alone!), and the chance to practice my source citation skills! I hope this answered your question.

Tombstone Tuesday -- Waldo

I ran out of my own tombstone pictures several months ago, so I'm posting some in my "humor?" collection.

Is this a picture of the tombstone of the elusive Waldo?

It is nice and big, isn't it? How could anyone miss it?

However, I have no idea where this tombstone is located or who it commemorates. What is Mr. Waldo's first name and life years?

I thought a clue might be the gravestone of William S. McKemie (1864-1932) in the foreground, but a Google search for the name and years did not turn up a location for this particular stone.

So it looks like I found Waldo in a photograph, but have no clue where he is located!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Online Family Trees Conundrum

I love online family trees, and I hate online family trees - often in the same moment in time.

They can be very useful and helpful when a researcher has posted information about one of my ancestors or collateral family members that I don't have, and has provided a source citation for the information.

They can be very frustrating when a researcher posts erroneous information (in my judgment, which may be faulty) in an online family tree. Typically, I ignore that family tree and researcher. Frankly, I rarely try to "help" them by providing my information - they can find it if they look hard enough - I don't need the ensuing hassle.

I can be very frustrated when someone takes information from my family tree data and posts it as their own work without attribution on their online family tree or website. This has happened to me a few times, especially early in my research "career." It is why I do not share a GEDCOM file anymore (Conveniently, my 40,000 person GEDCOM file is way too big to share now!).

I have put all or part of my family tree on a number of online sites - mainly to test those online family tree sites, but also to get my information "out there" so that cousins can find me. This is especially helpful on the surnames that I collect information on - Seaver, Carringer, Auble, Dill and Buck.

While working on the wiki recently, I noticed that the information for some of my 17th century ancestral New England families is semi-protected - I cannot add to the information without going through some sort of judgment filter. To contribute to the information for those persons, I need to provide a source for any information not on the person's page. I think that this is a pretty good idea - and it creates an "official" or "certified" person page (my terms - I haven't seen anything other than "semi-protected"). The information for many of the persons that I've seen with this semi-protection was based on a recognized source, such as Robert Charles Anderson's The Great Migration sketches for New Englanders arriving before 1635.

It also seems that New FamilySearch is making some sort of effort to collapse all of the duplicate persons in the large Family Tree database into single entries through collaboration and sourcing, and creating Person Pages on, thereby creating some sort of "official" or "certified" person information.

But the big question remains: What about ALL those millions of family trees on, Rootsweb WorldConnect, MyHeritage, GeneaNet, Geni, etc. that stand alone, and are full of errors and inconsistencies? I showed several weeks ago that hundreds of these trees have erroneous data for the parents of my ancestress, Susanna (Page) Gleason. Are the online family tree sites going to campaign for "official" or "certified" person information, and combine duplicate entries currently in their online family trees? I really doubt that they are.

What do you think? Are WeRelate and New FamilySearch on the right track here? Will all of this lead to a One Big Monster Family Tree (OBMFT)? Who will be the first company or organization to "get it right" with the right combination of collaboration, arbitration, judgment, and presentation?

Adding to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy

Dick Eastman created the Encyclopedia of Genealogy ( several years ago in a wiki format, and it is very useful. The index contains many genealogical terms, acronyms, and other articles.

Have you used the Encyclopedia of Genealogy? Have you ever wondered what Accoucheur, Cadastral, and Henry Numbers are? There are plenty more terms on the list! Over 800, in fact!

The home page says:

"Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy, a free-content encyclopedia created by its readers, people like you. The Encyclopedia of Genealogy is available to everyone, free of charge. Everyone can also contribute information, again free of charge."

Here is the home page of the Encyclopedia of Genealogy:

Clicking on the "Index" link in the left sidebar brings up the Index - with links to first letters and a long list of all of the articles in the encyclopedia:

I was working on my CGSSD presentation (next Saturday, 15 May, more later!) about Wikis for Genealogy and include the Encyclopedia of Genealogy in my talk. I wanted to show how easy it was to create an entry in this wiki, so I chose to create an entry for one of my local genealogical societies, so I registered as a new user with a name, email address and a password, and was quickly into the edit screen.

I added "content" about the Chula Vista Genealogical Society into the editing box, which has word processing like icons and features). When I was done, I typed in the Captcha, and hit the "Save and Close" button.

Unfortunately, I made some mistakes in my typing, and had to correct my page several times. Then John Cardinal came along and changed my "*" to letters for numbering (e.g., "a."), and deleted some duplicate text that I had not seen. The changes to my entry can be seen on the screen below:

The user can see how the entry was changed by each person using the "Diff" link, which displays the current and previous entry and highlights the differences.

The finished product (for now, until someone adds to it!) looks like this:

This was so easy that even a complete, blithering blogger like me can edit and add information. I made some mistakes, but there are monitors to correct them, or to delete spam or vandalism edits.

If YOU have helpful information on any genealogical topic, I encourage you to add content to this Encyclopedia in order to expand knowledge, and to gain experience in using Wikis for Genealogy.

I was surprised that there were very few biographical entries in the Encyclopedia - I saw Elizabeth Shown Mills but not Dick Eastman, Megan Smolenyak, David Rencher and other notable genealogists.

I was also surprised that some of the information on some topics was outdated. For instance, the entry for Find a Grave says that there are 13 million entries, when the site now claims 44 million. The entry for indicates 3 billion records in 4,000 databases, when they currently have over 29,000 databases.

Another local society, the Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego has an entry in the Encyclopedia of Genealogy, but the San Diego Genealogical Society does not.

If the entry leads researchers to the Chula Vista Genealogical Society web page, the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog, or to society meetings, then the 15 minutes of effort will be well worth it.

My question now is "will the entry show up on Google and other search engines?" It doesn't show up on Google yet.

Amanuensis Monday - Revolutionary War Pension Affidavit of Mary Row

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme several months ago called Amanuensis Monday.

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."

My subject today is the affidavit written by Mary (Smith) Row, widow of Phillip Jacob Row of hunterdon County, New Jersey. .

Phillip Row was a Revolutionary War soldier in the New Jersey Line. His widow applied for a pension on 4 February 1840 in Morris County NJ. The application states she was 85 or 86 in 1840, and that the soldier married Mary Smith 9 July 1772 at which time the soldier was age of 19 years 7 months and she was age 21 years 8 months and their first child Mary was born 19 July 1773. Phillip lived in Hunterdon County NJ at enlistment and the widow lived there when she applied in Morris County NJ. Phillip died 9 January 1817, and a son Phillip Rowe made affidavit 5 March 1850 from Morris County NJ and stated he was the only surviving son of the deceased widow, who died some 7 years prior to 1 March 1849 when Congress finally issued a pension certificate in her name. In 1850, the surviving children were the son Phillip and two unnamed daughters (Revolutionary War Pension File W2350, 48 pages, accessed on

The widow's declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the 5th section of the act of Congress of the 4th July 1836, reads (pages 4 to 7 of 48):

State of New Jersey, County of Morris,

On this 4th day of February, 1840, personally appeared before the subscriber, a Judge of the Superior Court of Common Pleas of said County of Morris, Mary Row, aged 85 or 86 years, a resident of Tewksbury township in the County of Hunterdon, believed by me to be a woman of truth & unblemished character, & who from age & bodily infirmity, I certify is unable to attend Court at the Court house, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on her oath render the following Declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of Congress passed July 4th 1836:

I am the widow of Philip Row, who was a Militia soldier in the war of the Revolution & performed militia duties as I verily believe in every year of said war from its beginning to its end. He was at first a private soldier & lived in the bounds of Captain Godfrey Reinhardts Company, under whose command as Captain or as Major, most of his Militia duties were performed. He also belonged to Colonel Mehelm's Regiment of the Hunterdon Militia when home he often mentioned as well as the names of Colonel Frelingheusen & Colonel Seely, General Winds & General Dickinson, under whom he served at various times & places. It is not in my power to mention but a very few of the Services of my said husband, but some of his duties I have heard him speak of, as well as of some of the battles in which he was engaged. I have hear him tell of the battles of Millstone, of Monmouth & Springfield, in all of which I believe he was engaged. In the early part of the war, he carried his Rifle as a private, & on the promotion of Captain Reinhardt as Major, my husband was promoted to be an Ensign as I believe & afterward to be a Lieutenant. He had a suit of Regimentals which he wore when he went on duty as an officer a Blue Coat faced with Red, & an Epaulette on his Shoulder. I do not know what became of his commission, nor do I know that he ever recd a discharge in writing. I have often prepared his knapsack with provisions, & fitted him off with clothes & ammunition & he would be absent from home sometimes a month & sometime longer on militia duty, leaving me with our Children to provide for, & the farm to manage in his absence as well as I was able. Sometimes on claims (?) his absence would not exceed two & three weeks. The Comp??? was classed, & one class was called for a month, when it would be relieved by another taking its place, & when there was great danger from the Enemy, the whole would be ordered out. His officers I believe are all dead, & most of his comrades. I know of but two of them living, viz: William Young & John Blane, who served with my husband, whose testimony is hereto annexed, as the only evidence I can produce of his service in the war, upon which I claim a pension from the United States.

My husband performed a months duty under Captain Reinhardt at ar??? [blotch] in July 1776 & under Col. Mahelm & Genl Dickinson. He performed a ????s [blotch] Militia service at Elizabeth town, under the same officers in August 76. He performed a month service under Lt. Cramer at Raritan in October & November 76, & at Elizabeth town, following Genl Washington's retreat through Jersey from elizabeth town to N. Brunswick. He performed a month service at Trenton, N. Brunswick & its neighborhood, under Captain Emmam. The two last mentioned towns, altho as expected to be about a month in each, yet I have from conversation with John Blane, that the service was very unjust, & the Militia, with my husband was detained on duty not less than 6 weeks in each town, & I respectfully claim that period of service in each of the two last mentioned towns. The last town was in the winter, Jany 77 & February. He performed a month's duty with Capt, Reinhardt Col. Meholm, & Genl Dickinson at Millstone in the winter season, with the Somerset troops under Col. Frelinghausen & Col. Nelson & Genl Dickinson, when them was a battle with the enemy at Van Eps mills. My husband once pointed out the spot to me, when this battle was fought, as we were rideing toward N. Brunswick.

He performed another tour of Militia of a month duration at Crane's point near Elizabeth town in the fall season, under Capt. Reid & Major Reinhardt, Col. Puly & Genl Dickinson. On this occasion it is my belief, that he acted as Ensign in the Col. Read being chosen Captain in Major Reinhardts place & my husband as Ensign. I have heard him tell of crossing in the night from Elizabeth town to Staten Island & having a fight with the Enemy on the Island. I also remember him to speak of losing his gun flint in the action, & stopping to put another in its place, & to load his Rifle. Whilst doing this behind a Corn crib, the enemy were close upon him, & as he came to join his comrades he fired his gun at them, & their shot flew thick around him.

He performed another tour of a month's Militia duty at Freehold & English town at the time of Monmouth battle, in which I believe he was engaged personally, & in which I believe he was an Ensign or a Lieutenant. I cannot say certainly which. The first part of this month was spent at Trenton, performing guard duty.

He performed a month's Militia service in December near Springfield, in 1776, under Capt. Reinhardt, & with him was engaged in the Springfield battle at that time, Gen? Hear? commanding the Militia. He performed a month's Militia service in March 77, in Reinhardt's company, near ??ibble town, before the Enemy evacuated N. Brunswick & Amboy. The two towns last mentioned. I learn from conversation with William Young, a comrade of his, although I have heard my husband often speak of the Springfield battle, & the battles of Short hills & Ash Swamp, in which he was engaged, as I believe. He was out on public duty, both as a private & an officer, on many other occasions beside those before mentioned. Some of them were on claim, & some were regular monthly tours, which I cannot particularize, having no memorandums & my memory being frail. I am reminded of another tour which he performed near the close of the war, in February or March 1780, or 1781, when the Pennsylvania troops revolted & the Militia was called out to intercept them in the neighborhood of Pluckemun. For this & the other Services of my said husband in defense of his Country, I respectfully claim such a pension as under the Laws of congress I may be entitled to incur, believing that he has faithfully performed not less than 10 months service for which I ask a pension.

I was married to the said Philip Row by Reverend Frederick Dellicker on the 9th July 1772, & my first child Mary was born July 19th one year & 10 days after my marriage. I do not know of any Church or Parish record of my marriage but have in my possession a leaf, which my husband kept in his family German bible, whilst he lived & upon which leaf he had written in the German language with his own hand, the date of our marriage as well as his age at that time & my own age. Since his death, a School master in our neighborhood, whose name was John Beammer (?), & who understood German & English, has written on the same side of said leaf a translation into English which reads thus, viz: "1772. Philip Row was married to Mary Smith on the 9th of July, then I was 19 years and 7 months old, and Mary Smith was 21 years and 8 months old." This paper, I herewith send to the pension office, & it is in the handwriting of my said husband, who could not write in the English language at all. His books of account were all kept in German, & said John Beammer (?) assisted in settling said books & all his affairs, because he understood the German language. This is the only evidence I possess of my marriage.My husband, the aforesaid Philip Row lived in Hunterdon County in Tewksbury township when he entered upon his Militia duties in the war of the Revolution, where I now live, & where he lived till his death. It is not more than half a mile from the line which divides Hunterdon from Morris County, & the reason why my Declaration is taken in Morris County is because Judge Smith, who is my near neighbour, is better known to me & lives nearer to me than any one of the Judges of Hunterdon County. I am also so blind that I cannot distinguish one neighbour from another except by the voice & I am much too infirm from age & its weaknesses to travel to any Court house & especially to Hunterdon Court which is distant 20 miles.

My husband, the aforesaid Philip Row, died at our dwelling in Tewksbury, Hunterdon Co on the 9th of June, Domini 1817 & I have remained his widow to this day, as will appear by reference & proof hereto annexed.

Sworn to & subscribed at Washington township, Morris County on the 4th day of February Domini 1840.
Mary X Row

Before me Joseph Smith one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Morris County.

This affidavit provides approximate birth dates for Phillip and Mary, their marriage date and place, and Phillip's death date and place. The Pension File also includes one Bible page, written in German by Philip Row, and the English translation by Mr. Beamer is shown, as transcribed above.

This file, plus the abstract of Phillip Row's will in the New Jersey Archives, and baptism records of some of their children in New Germantown, Hunterdon County, NJ, are the only records I have for this family to date.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

CVGS Highlights - early May

Rather than re-post articles from the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog, I'm posting links so that interested Genea-Musings readers can peruse the activities at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.

Recent posts include:

* Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - May 2010

* 28 April Program Summary - Myrna Goodwin on Land Records

* 2011 is Chula Vista's Centennial Year

* The Genealogy 101 - A Beginning Genealogy Workshop class started last Tuesday night with 19 attendees, and about half of them are new members, or non-members, of CVGS. The class continues on Tuesday nights in May. If you want to take this class, please contact me at to get on a waiting list for the next class.

* The May 2010 issue of the CVGS Newsletter should be on the CVGS website page on Monday, 10 May. I printed it up today and sent it to our postal mail list. About 75% of our members got it via email on Sunday evening!

Best of the Genea-Blogs - May 2-8, 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:

* Wrap-Up Report from the NGS Conference in Salt Lake City by Dick Eastman on Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter blog. An excellent summary of the NGS Conference highlights with good photos of important events. Check out Dick's presentation online at too. Is this the future of presentation software?

* Miss Conduct by Footnote Maven on the footnoteMaven blog. The recently proposed Genea-Bloggers Code of Conduct is discussed by fM. I agree with her - we don't need one...

* A Contrary Code of Conduct by Chris Dunham on The Genealogue blog. Chris proposes an alternative genea-bloggers code of conduct - how many of these do you already follow?

* My Mom went to NGS ’10 & all I got was a 15-Generation Pedigree Chart by Elizabeth on the Genealogy Geek blog. Elizabeth learned a few things at the NGS Conference and talks about them - and brought home some charts for her kids too!

* How I spent my Genealogy Vacation by Donna Pointkouski on the What's Past is Prologue blog. Donna talks about her NGS Conference experiences - more learning, the FHL and lots of fun!

* A Celebration of Family History by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog. An excellent summary of the NGS Conference highlight, with links to the videos and performances (except for the podium speakers).

* Maps: Learning about your community by Schelly Talalay Dardashti on the MyHeritage Genealogy Blog. Schelly delves into the Sanborn Map collections that are available, for a fee, for many U.S. cities. However, many of them are available, in full scale, at local historical societies.

* Seven Great Lessons from Who Do You Think You Are? by Jeanie Croasmun on the Blog. Jeanie lists one lesson learned from each of the WDYTYA? episodes. Are those your lessons learned also?

* Carnival of Genealogy, 93rd Edition by Jasia on the Creative Gene blog. The topic for this carnival was a "How-To Series." There were 13 submissions, and Susan A. Kitchens entry on Family Oral History Using Digital Tools From Digital Audio Recording to Audio CD: Part 1 - Audio into Audacity posted at Family Oral History Using Digital Tools [News] was the Featured Article.

* Graphics in Genealogy Programs -- a review by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog. James reviews how several genealogy software programs handle images - very helpful discussion!

* The Online Time Machine: Seeing How Genealogy Sites Looked in the Olden Days and The Online Time Machine, Part 2 by Robert on the MyHeritage Blog. These posts show examples of several genealogy blogs from the past and how to find them on the Wayback Machine.

* Why Can’t You Get It Right? by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog. Mr. AI laments that and FamilySearch don't do evidence and source management the way it should be done, but they are getting there. He has some good advice...

* A Genealogist in Mathmagic Land by Daniel Hubbard on the Personal Past Meditations - A Genealogical Blog. Daniel addresses the mathematics behind pedigree collapse and how it contributed to world history.

* Songs and Stories Keep the Past Alive: A Reflection on Kids' Camp at NGS by Jean Hibben on the Circlemending blog. There was a daylong Kids Camp at the NGS Conference, and Jean provides her observations.

* Copyright and Collaborative Family Trees by Thomas MacEntee on the Geneabloggers blog. Thomas summarizes some of the problems and actions that can be taken to minimize copyright problems.

* Follow Friday: Into the Light by Greta Koehl on Greta's Genealogy Bog. Greta provides her weekly list of good genealogy reads.

* Weekly Genealogy Picks by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog. John highlights his favorites from genealogy blogs, newspaper articles and elsewhere.

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 630 genealogy bloggers using Bloglines, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

Sentimental Sunday -- Mother Memories

Today is Sentimental Sunday (a blog theme), and Mother's Day, and I want to honor my mother on this special day by posting two pictures of her success at being a mother. First off is a picture of my mother holding her first-born - me! - in late 1943:

Second is a picture of my mother near the end of her life with her three offspring - Randy, Stan and Scott, taken on her birthday in 2001:

But my mother was much more than young and then old - she lived a very full life. I still cannot represent it better than I did in my eulogy for my mother at her memorial service on 13 January 2002. Here it is:


A Wonderful Life -- by Randy Seaver

I celebrate the life of my mother, Betty Virginia Carringer Seaver, today with a sense of thanksgiving for her life, and gratitude for the love and encouragement she gave me.

The gravestone up at Fort Rosecrans will read 1919 – dash – 2002, but her life was much more than a beginning and an end. Mikel [the pastor] briefly summarized her life in his opening remarks, and the other speakers have remembered her impact on them.

To summarize the "dash" – she was a child of the Roaring 20’s, a Depression-era teen, a War bride, a 50’s and 60’s mom, a 70’s grandmother, and an 80’s and 90’s survivor. Obviously, it is impossible to cover a life of 82 years in just a few minutes.

The roles that my mother played in her life are many and varied – and typical of many women of her generation and throughout our history: Daughter, grand-daughter, niece, student, friend, sorority sister, artist, teacher, wife, lover, worker, mother, encourager, coach, citizen, patriot, aunt, neighbor, mentor, reader, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother.

As a mother, she provided the family roots needed for her children to grow into responsible adults. She also knew when to give us wings and let us “fly away” from the nest. She emphasized education, and doing well in school. She helped us with our homework, encouraged us to try and succeed in our lives. It was quite a task to manage a home with three active boys and a demanding husband, but she did it extremely well - with grace, good humor, and love.

I am a bit of a family historian. In the last ten years, I especially enjoyed taking her grocery shopping, and afterwards sitting on the patio, listening to her life experiences, looking at family pictures and papers. I was thrilled when she found new treasures in her bookcase or in the cedar chest. I cherish this special time that I spent with her.

The “dash” between the dates on the gravestone covers quite a bit, doesn’t it? My memories will always be of a woman and mother so patient, kind, encouraging, giving, helping, fun-loving, courteous, gracious, wise, honest, independent, organized, intelligent, articulate, confident, private, spirited, positive, good. She enjoyed being with her family, and was very proud of them.

One of her legacies is her genes. Looking at the big picture - she contributed her goodness and love to humanity and was a necessary part in the march of the generations.

Another legacy is the memories we have of her, as her family and friends, and the example of a life well lived – one of love, dignity and goodness. This is expressed beautifully in this excerpt from “How Green Was My Valley” by Richard Llewellyn, which I’ve slightly modified:

“I saw behind me those who had gone before,
and before me those who are to come,
I looked back and saw my father and mother,
and their fathers and mothers,
and all our fathers and mothers.
And in front to see my sons, and their daughters,
and the sons and daughters beyond.
And their eyes were my eyes,
As I felt, so they had felt, and would feel,
as then, so now, as tomorrow and forever.

“Then I was not afraid,
for I was in a long line that had no beginning and no end,
and the hand of his father grasped my father’s hand,
and my father’s hand was in mine,
and my children took my hand
and all up and down the line that stretched
from time that was to time that is, and is not yet,
all raised their hands to show the link,
and we found that we were one, born of Woman, Son of Man,
made in the image, fashioned in the Womb
by the Will of God, the Eternal Father.”

Her best qualities live on in her sons and their children – and they are ours to treasure and share through the years to come.

Thank you all for coming today and blessing us with your witness and your caring.

And Thank you, Lord God, for blessing us with this wonderful woman, my mother. May she rest in peace. Amen!


My brothers also spoke at her service. My youngest brother, Scott, remembered growing up and how Mom was always there for him throughout his life. He was 12 years younger than me, and was an "only child" in his teenage years. He mentioned the love and support as he went through school, played baseball, and started a family. He remembered the mundane things - going to the store, studying, just talking, playing ping-pong on the patio, etc.

My brother Stan, 3 years younger than me, invited the attendees to visualize his effort to describe Mom in words - he looked up words like loving, patience, kindness, goodness, and mother and said that when he saw the words in the dictionary he saw a picture of Mom looking back at him, with a smile and that he was at peace with her life and death.

It was interesting to see how the three of us complemented each other in our words - we covered quite a bit and, I hope, conveyed our love and respect for a wonderful woman who did her best, and succeeded in life.

Mom is up on the green hill with the granite headstones, overlooking the Pacific Ocean on Point Loma, at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery with my dad, under a big tree alongside the road. We still don't visit them often enough, I think.

My mother would be 90 years old now, and has been gone for over eight years. I still remember her gentle and loving voice, and her peaceful and happy outlook on life. I really appreciate her ancestry, and every time I look in my treasure boxes of ancestral "goodies" I think of her and her parents.