Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- The Time Capsule

Hey genea-fanatics, it's Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you deign to accept it (come on, it's fun!), is to:

1) Go to the dMarie Time Capsule Website -

2) Select a date in your family history that you want to know about. You might pick a birth date or wedding date of your parents or grandparents.

3) Enter the date into the search form, and select the news, songs, toys, books and other things that you want to feature.

4) Share the date, why you picked it, and the results of your Time Capsule study on your own blog, in a comment to this post, or in a comment or post on Facebook.

Here's mine:

I chose my grandparents (Frederick Walton Seaver and Alma Bessie Richmond) marriage date - 21 June 1900. I found out that the news of the month included:

* Jun 1 - British army occupiers Pretoria South-Africa
* Jun 8 - Start of Sherlock Holmes "The Adventure of the 6 Napoleons"
* Jun 12 - German Navy Law calls for massive increase in sea power
* Jun 13 - China's Boxer Rebellion against foreigners & Christians
* Jun 14 - Hawaiian Republic becomes the US Territory of Hawaii
* Jun 26 - Dr Walter Reed begins research that beats Yellow Fever

The United States President was William McKinley and there was no Vice-President (Garret Hobart had died in 1899).

Prices in 1900 included:

* Bread: 3 cents
* Milk: 30 cents per gallon
* Car: $500
* House: $4,000
* Stamp: 2 cents
* Average Income: $637 per year

Toys Used in 1900:

* Ouija Boards
* Tiddledy Winks
* Gund Soft Toys
* Parcheesi
* Cap Guns
* Snakes and Ladders

Top Books in 1900:

* Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
* Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

That's enough! What year should I do next?

Surname Saturday -- FLETCHER (Ontario? Quebec?)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ahnentafel list each week. I'm up to number 61, who is Sarah Sephrona Fletcher (ca 1802-????).

My ancestral line back to Sarah is:

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)

30. James Abram Kemp (1831-1902)
31. Mary Jane Sovereen (1840-1874)

60. Abraham James Kemp, born 04 November 1795 in Fredericksburgh, Addington County, Ontario, CANADA, and died after 1881 in Norfolk County, Ontario, CANADA. He was the son of John Kemp and Mary Dafoe. He married 16 April 1818 in probably Prince Edward County, Ontario, CANADA.
61. Sarah Sephrona Fletcher, born 07 July 1802 in perhaps, Quebec, France or Lower Canada; died after 1861 in probably Hastings County, Ontario, CANADA.

I do not know who Sarah's parents are. The only information about Sarah's maiden name, birth date and marriage date was obtained from a typed transcription of a Kemp family Bible record of her grandson, John Evans Kemp, which is now in the possession of the Orange County Genealogical Society, Huntington Beach, California, and was accessed at the Huntington Beach (CA) Public Library.

The birth place of France is based on the 1851/2 Census records but this is not proven since the 1861 Census records show her born in Ontario. Also, the 1851 and 1861 census places her birth year about 1806/7. The 1851/2 census records indicates that Sarah's religion was "R.C." which is, I assume, Roman Catholic. That correlates well with the "France" birthplace in the 1851/2 census.

I have searched the available online Ontario and Quebec birth/baptism records for a Sarah or Sephrona Fletcher (and for a "Sephrona" without a surname) without success. I have also looked for a Fletcher family, without success, in Prince Edward County, Ontario where their first children were baptized.

If there are any Kemp cousins that haven't contacted me about the Abraham and Sarah (Fletcher) Kemp family, I would appreciate hearing from you at

APG Professional Management Conference Announcement

Debbie Parker Wayne sent this notice about the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Professional Management Conference (PMC) on 17 August 2010 in Knoxville:


Charting Your Path to Success – APG PMC, 17 August 2010, Knoxville, Tennessee

As professional genealogists we must educate ourselves on business issues, methodology, technological advances, and many other issues related to research. Conferences offer formal training opportunities as well as the ability to network with other professionals. Lunchtime and after–hours are often great times for networking. Put education at the top of your priority list and join us at this upcoming event.The 2010 APG Professional Management Conference (PMC) on 17 August 2010 in Knoxville, Tennessee offers great educational opportunities. Register by 1 June and save $20.00. For more information see:

The topics for the 2010 PMC include:

* From the Trenches: How We Manage Clients, Time, and Projects, by Laura Prescott

* A Key to Success: Your Online Presence, by D. Joshua Taylor

* Overcoming Obstacles that Interfere with Genealogical Research, by Anne J. Miller, PhD

* Expand Your Revenue: Produce and Sell Your Lectures in Video Format, by Donna M. Moughty

* Niche Planning and Marketing, by Paula Stuart Warren, CG

* Choosing the Best Continuing Education Opportunities, by Elissa Scalise Powell, CG

* Get Published in Magazines!, by Leslie Albrecht Huber

Notice: There are two important changes to remember about the 2010 PMC. Prior PMCs were held on the Wednesday before the FGS conference started, but this year the PMC is a day earlier. The 2010 PMC is scheduled for Tuesday, 17 August. Lunch is included this year and is not a separate registration item.

Go to for program details.

To register, go to In order to attend the PMC, individuals must also register for at least one day of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Conference.

For Facebook members, information and a list of some attendees is available on the event page:

Permission is given to forward this to all interested parties.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Follow Friday - The Educated Genealogist

For Follow Friday, I want to highlight the genealogy blog of Sheri Fenley called The Educated Genealogist.

The description of this blog is a quote: "Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire. ~W. B. Yeats"

Sheri (pronounced "sha-ree") is working on being a certified genealogist, and is active in her San Joaquin Genealogical Society in Stockton, California. She was the leader of my small group in the ProGen 1 study series.

Sheri is a really fun and funny person in person and in print. Almost everything she writes, even serious things, are done with a gleam in her eye and with wit. Read her posts about the 2010 NGS Conference and you'll see what I mean.

If you haven't been reading The Educated Genealogist, please make it a point to go to the blog and laugh your head off, and then put it in your favorite blog reader.

Nebraska Marriages (1855-1995) on FamilySearch Record Search

I found more interesting information about my great-great-aunt, Matie (Smith) (Chenerry) (Cehway) Morrill (1866-1928) on the LDS FamilySearch Record Search site in the Nebraska Marriages (1855-1995).

I knew that she had married George Chenery in 1889 from family letters, but I didn't know much about the man. The information in the marriage record shows:

* Groom's Name: George M. Chenery
* Groom's Birth Date: 1854
* Groom's Birth Place: Bungay, England
* Groom's Age: 35
* Bride's Name: Mattie A. Smith
* Bride's birth Date: 1866
* Bride's Birth Place: Dodge County, WI
* Bride's Age: 23
* Marriage Date: 10 Dec 1889
* Marriage Place: McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska
* Groom's Father's Name: Fred Chenery
* Groom's Mother's Name: Elizabeth Mills
* Bride's Father's Name: D.J. Smith
* Bride's Mother's Name: Abbie A. Vaax
* Groom's Race: White
* Groom's Marriage Status: Single
* Groom's Previous wife's Name: [blank]
* Bride's Race: White
* Bride's Marital Status: Single
* Bride's Previous Husband's Name: [blank]
* Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M00325-5
* System Origin: Nebraska-EASy
* Source Film Number: 1994204
* Reference Number: Vol2Item2Page397cn396

This particular record provided not only information about the marriage, but also information about the age, birthplace, and parents of the bride and groom. If they had been married previously, the name of their previous spouse would have been included.

Not every entry in this database has all of this information, of course, but it might!

Unfortunately, I cannot find the marriage of David D. Smith to Leava Smith in this database. I thought that they were married in McCook, but now I'm not sure.

Information about this database can be found on the FamilySearch Research Wiki here. There are "only" 195,329 records in this marriage database. That doesn't seem like many, considering it goes through 1995. But there's a note that they have not included recent records due to privacy concerns. By using a surname of "Smith," I determined that there are no records after 1915!

FHL Microfilm 1,994,204 is in the LDS Family History Library Catalog as:

Nebraska. Probate Court (Red Willow County) (Main Author), Marriage records, 1874-1993; index, 1845-1993 (Microfilm of original records at the Red Willow County Courthouse, McCook, Nebraska).

Marriage records v. 1 1874-1900 v. 4 p. 1-101 1900 - FHL US/CAN Film [ 1994204]

That's interesting, because it doesn't indicate that Volumes 2 and 3 are on this microfilm, it just says Volume 1 and Volume 4. But Mattie Smith's marriage to George Chenery was in Volume 2 on page 397.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

2010 FamilySearch Software Awards - what they mean

The FamilySearch 2010 Software Awards were announced in late April by FamilySearch at the Developers Conference. You can read the press release at Renee Zamora's blog (among others - I briefly met Renee at the NGS Conference) that was released yesterday (why did they wait over three weeks?).

The following recipients were announced and the awards were presented at the FamilySearch Developers Conference:

1) Best New Product Awards

* The MagiKey for the “Best New Windows” product --
* Arcalife for the “Best New Web site” --
* MobileTree for “Best New Mobile” product --
* FamilyInsight for “Best New Macintosh” product --

2) Best New Feature Awards

* OurFamilogy for “Best Research” feature --
* SharingTime for “Best Collaboration” feature --
* Genetree for “Best DNA” feature --
* Ancestral Hunt for the “Best Geo-Mapping” feature --
* FamilyPursuit for the “Best Groups” feature --
* Photoloom for the “Best Media” feature --
* FamilyChArtist for the “Best Print” feature ---
* AppleTree for the “Best Celebrity Tree” feature --

3) Community Player Awards

* Gaylon Finlay, Incline Software, “Bug Hunter” award --
* Michael Booth and Bruce Buzbee, Roots Magic, “Trailblazer” award --

These software awards are important for ALL genealogists (not just genealogists who are LDS church members) because these companies are either FamilySearch certified affiliates already or are striving to be affiliates. As certified affiliates, it is very likely that there will be links to these companies in the New FamilySearch Family Tree online database.

I speculated about how online collaboration was going to occur in New FamilySearch Family Tree in my post Genealogy Collaboration, Take Two, which noted that Sharing Time ( was one of the companies working with FamilySearch to enable real-time collaboration.

My speculation is that persons with a family tree database in RootsMagic will be able to add their tree content to the Family Tree database from within RootsMagic without using a GEDCOM file. Changes to the family tree added to RootsMagic may be able to be added to FamilySearch Family Tree through some sort of synchronization process. Likewise, if your tree data is in FamilySearch, then you can click on Family ChArtist from within New FamilySearch Family Tree and create a beautiful tree chart. And so forth for each software company listed.

The New FamilySearch Family Tree database is currently available only to LDS church members, but FamilySearch has said that it will be opened to the genealogy world in late 2010 or early 2011.

Someone at the NGS Conference told me something like this: "All of the certified affiliates are entrepreneurial companies - they saw the opportunities and are pursuing them. Much of the content produced by these companies will be hosted by the companies, and not on FamilySearch servers. FamilySearch will provide the family tree data, and links to the services." I don't recall who made that comment to me (if you did it, I would appreciate knowing, but then you might want to remain anonymous - your choice. Sorry, I'm a bad reporter here... I forgot to write down my source!).

That's why I think that it is important to investigate and test out these award winning companies. They are going to be the "winners" in their specialized field and many more genealogy researchers will be able to use those services whether through New FamilySearch Family Tree or not.

Some of the selected software winners are already online with significant content and anybody can use them if they wish to. Many of these companies had an exhibit at the NGS 2010 Conference and may be at the SCGS Jamboree in June in Burbank, and at the FGS Conference in August in Knoxville.

As I mentioned above - this is my own speculation based on what I've read, seen and heard over the past months - I'm trying to read the tea leaves here without knowing who is pouring the hot water. If I'm wrong with my speculation, I would like to know it (even anonymously via email, I had only a few responses to my earlier posts about collaboration, but nobody said I was wrong.

UPDATED 4 p.m.: A reader provided the link to the New FamilySearch list of certified affiliates - see There are descriptions of each product and their compatibility with New FamilySearch Family Tree. Note the Certified Features Legend at the bottom of the page. Interesting!!

Genea-Musings makes the Newspaper

When I posted (Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 98: A Picnic at La Jolla last month, I didn't expect it to make the newspaper.

Shortly after I posted the picture of my grandfather and his colleagues at La Jolla beach in 1915, I received an email from the editor of the La Jolla Light newspaper, who asked if they could run the photo in their newspaper. I said "of course" and forwarded images of the front and back of the picture.

The picture, with a short article, appeared in the May 19th edition of the newspaper - a screen shot is below:

The article, headlined, "A Look Back," notes:

"Chula Vista resident Randy Seaver, a retired aerospace engineer and genealogist who has been sifting through what he calls an 'endless collection' of family photos and papers, came upon this photo of his grandfather Lyle Lawrence Carringer, second from left, taken in 1915. He knew only that it was taken in La Jolla and likely was a group of employees from Marston's Department Store where his grandfather worked. With the help of La Jolla Historical Society archivist Mike Mishler and historian Carol Olten, he learned it was taken at Devil's Slide, by Goldfish Point, along what is the Coast Walk trail. Seaver, a native San Diegan, writes a blog at"

Thank you to the La Jolla Light for the article, and to @SouthwestArkie on Twitter for tweeting about it! News travels fast sometimes! I think that my grandfather would be amazed by websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and then he would jump into it!

50 Best Blogs for Genealogy - from

A list of the 50 Best Blogs for Genealogy Geeks was posted on the blog yesterday. The list is in four parts - General, Specific Research Projects, Libraries and Resources, and News. There are 11 to 14 blogs listed for each category.

Genea-Musings was listed in the General category, and I thank the blog authors for the mention.

It is unclear if the blogs are listed in some order of preference, in other words 1 to N in each category, or even 1 to 50. I don't think they are, and I don't think readers or bloggers should treat them as numbers 1 to N. They were, I think, chosen without any order whatsoever.

When anybody lists a "Top 50" or some other number, I really think that they should make their selection criteria known. This may be another list of "Genealogy Blogs that I read and you might like" similar to the MyHeritage list we recently read.

There were several blogs on this Top 50 list that were not in my Bloglines reader, so I added several of them. The blog was not in my Bloglines but it is now, although it doesn't return the blog posts for some reason (I think the RSS feed doesn't find the blog, only the website).

I have resisted making a list of my favorite blogs, although I try to select one each week for Follow Friday. I note that many of my Follow Friday blogs are not on this list. That's OK - we all have favorites.

Treasure Chest Thursday - Auble/Kemp Marriage Record

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - a time to reveal another gem in my treasure chest of family history.

I found the marriage record of Charles Auble (1849-1916) and Georgianna Kemp (1867-1952) in the boxes of family records that my mother had after her parents died. There are two images below:

1) A Milwaukee County, State of Wisconsin, certificate with seal for from the Office of the Register of Deeds certifying that the attached record of Marriage has been correctly copied from the records in Volume 119, Page 48. This certification was performed on 28 May 1948:

2) The Registration of Marriage form for the marriage of Charles Auble and Georgia Kemp on 19 June 1898:

The information on this marriage certificate includes:

)* No.: 1941
* Full Name of husband: Charles Auble
* Full name of the father of husband: David Auble
* Full name of the mother of husband (a): Sarah G. Knapp
* Occupation of husband: Painter
* Residence of husband: Chicago, Ill.
* Birthplace of husband: Newark, N.J.

* Full name of wife prior to marriage: Georgia Kemp
* Full name of father of the wife: James H. Kemp
* Full name of the mother of the wife (a): Mary Jane Sovereen
* Birthplace of wife: Ontario

* Time when marriage was contracted: June 19 -98
* The place, town or township, and county where the marriage was contracted: Milwaukee
* The color of the parties (b): White
* By what ceremony contracted: Methodist Episcopal
* Names of subscribing witnesses: Laura Masden, W.B. Masden
* Any additional circumstances: [none written]

The clergyman that performed the marriage was C.P. Masden, a resident of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

This is the first "original source" document that lists the parents of Charles Auble and Georgianna Kemp. There are no birth records for either of them. I do have census records that shows them with their parental families before their marriage, and death certificates for both of them that list their parents.

There are at least three errors in the information above: Georgia is consistently named as Georgianna in the Ontario census records; she went by Georgia, I believe. Charles Auble's mother was Sarah Cutter Knapp, not Sarah G. Knapp. The father of Georgianna Kemp was James Abram Kemp, not James H. Kemp.

It's interesting that the birth dates and/or ages of the husband and wife are not listed on this document.

Charles Auble and Georgia Kemp resided in Chicago, Illinois before their marriage, and almost certainly met there. Why didn't they marry in Chicago, Illinois? They were both of age (he was 49, she was 30). I don't know - perhaps they went to Milwaukee and, on a whim, got married. They returned to Chicago and lived there until after the 1910 U.S. Census when they moved to San Diego with their only child, Emily Kemp Auble, my grandmother.

UPDATED 22 May: Reader Linda commented that:

"I am a Masden researcher, and I know who Rev. C.P. Masden was, although I'm not related to him. I am a friend of one of his descendants. I have an article about Masden that was probably a human interest wire story, as it appeared in a Wyoming paper. It says Masden was the "Gretna Green" minister of Milwaukee. E-mail me, and I'll send you a PDF copy."

Thank you, Linda, for the information about Mr. Masden being a "Gretna Green" minister. I wondered about that when I noticed that the two witnesses were also named Masden.

Unfortunately, Linda didn't leave her email address, so if she sees this, please email me at I am definitely interested in seeing the article.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Massachusetts Vital Record collections on FamilySearch Pilot

The LDS Pilot website recently added a number of databases to their collection, including many vital record collections from US states. I was particularly interested in the Massachusetts vital record collections.

Five vital records collections are listed:

* Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915 (5.9 million records)**
* Massachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910 (3.7 million records)**
* Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915 (only 1906 to 1915 at present, 58% complete)
* Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910 (3.0 million records)**
* Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915) (only 1896, 1897 and 1906-1915 at present, 27% complete)

Why are there two sets of Deaths/Burials and Marriages? They apparently come from two different sources. The three noted by ** above have extracted information and no images, while the other two, partial, databases have extracted information with images.

I wanted to see how the new databases worked, so I clicked on the Massachusetts Marriages, 1695-1910 database and entered Isaac Seaver into the search fields:

Rather than search immediately, I wanted to determine the sources of the information in this database. I clicked on the "About This Collection" link below the search box and saw:

The link takes the user to the FamilySearch Research Wiki page with information about this specific database. Further down the page is the information about the Sources of this collection:

For this database, the Source is shown to be:

"'Massachusetts Vital Records Index,' database, FamilySearch. Digital copies of originals housed in various repositories throughout Massachusetts.

Each entry in this index has a source listed. The index may be a compilation of records from a variety of sources, including the following:
Family Records
Church Records
Civil Registration

That's fairly useless, isn't it? It does say that "each entry in this index has a source listed." OK, let's see if we can figure it out.

Back on the Search page, I clicked on "Search" with the name "Isaac" "Seaver." The results looked like this:

There were 17 matches. The second one down is my Isaac Seaver's third marriage, and when I ran my mouse over his name the information box with the indexed data shows up:

If I click on Isaac Seaver's name, then the information from this record shows up in the right hand panel:

The icon for "Record Image" is gray, so there are no images for this record, only the extracted data in the results panel for the specific person.

Both the mouse-over box and the record data page show the same items:

* Groom's Name: Isaac Seaver
* Groom's Age: 64
* Groom's Birthdate: 1824
* Bride's Name: Alvina M. Lreis Bradley
* Bride's Age: 40
* Bride's Birthdate: 1848
* Marriage Date: 15 Oct 1888
* Marriage Place: St. Regis Falls, New York
* Groom's Father's Name: Benjamin
* Groom's Mother's Name: Abigail
* Bride's Father's Name: Harvey
* Bride's Mother's Name: Sarah F. Bradley
* Indexing Project Number: M01822-6
* System Origin: Massachusetts EASy
* Source Film Number: 1415225
* Reference Number: Page 373

So how can I find the source of this information? The best way is to look up the LDS Microfilm Number in the Family History Library Catalog. Using the Film/Fiche Search, I easily found the film information here. The specific film is:

In this case, there are two volumes for this record range, and I don't know which volume has this record, specifically on page 373. The record also does not tell me in which Massachusetts town records the event was recorded. I'm pretty sure that it is in Leominster in Worcester County, but the record in Record Search does not state the town.

These records are also online at the New England Historic Genealogical Society website,, but the researcher must be an NEHGS subscriber.

To summarize, the indexed records are excellent, but the sources for this dataset leave a lot to be desired.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 103: Little Lord Lyle

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:

The handwriting on the back of this card says that this is Lyle Carringer and that it was taken 2 December 1894. It was taken at Klindt's (of Chicago) Photo Studio located at 657 Fifth Street in San Diego.

Lyle was just age 3 when this photo was taken. Look at that beautiful full head of curly hair. I don't recall that he had curly hair when he was an adult - he usually kept it short but did not have male pattern baldness, and neither did his father. Perhaps this is where my brother's curly hair came from!

The outfit is interesting too. Is that a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit he has on, with a kilt? I think it is!

The rocking horse in the background is probably a prop at the photographers, but I'll be Lyle climbed on it and went to town riding on that pony.

Top 50 Genealogy Sites for 2010

The ProGenealogists, Inc. company released their list of the Top 50 Genealogy sites today - the press release introduction says:

"ProGenealogists, Inc., announced today that it has again identified the 50 most popular genealogy websites, updating an important and useful tool for the world’s family history searchers. This year’s list shows some significant changes from 2009, reflecting shifts in the importance and popularity of some websites. While many well-known sites remain on the list, seven sites moved into the top 50 from lower positions; while one site did not even exist for the last list."

The 50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites for 2010 now includes the "movement" in the Top 50 from 2008 to 2009 to 2010. The selection criteria were not listed in the 2010 press release, but there was a link to the Digital Genealogist magazine (now defunct) where the criteria was provided. I found the 2008 article by Kory Meyerink here, which provides the ranking process and criteria.

Who's #1 on the genealogy hit parade? Why,, of course.

But who's number 2? A surprise, since the website has no historical data, doesn't permit a GEDCOM upload, users cannot search it for potential cousins, but it has a lot of traffic because millions of people put an average of 5 family members on the Facebook application once upon a time. While it certainly has traffic rankings, is really pretty useless for most genealogists.

The only website on the list that I have not visited and used is, described as "A site where families can establish their own pages to share news, photos, events and genealogy with each other." It was #30.

The listings for the commercial database and family tree sites have some surprises after being #1:

5. (down from #2 last year)
9. (was #9 last year)
17. (down from #10 last year)
19. (up from #41 last year)
29. (was #19 last year)
32. (up from #39 last year)
37. (down from #8 last year)
41. (new to the list this year)

The highest ranking "newcomers" to the list were:

9. (which split off from, which fell to #56)

There were no genealogy blogs on the list again this year. Of course, traffic to genealogy blogs cannot be measured by unique visits and page views on a web site because of the efficiency of using RSS readers. The 2009 Top 25 Genealogy Blogs were listed by ProGenealogists here.

What rankings on this list surprise you? Have you visited all of these sites? Do you use all of these sites? Which sites are useful to you, and which are useless?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Can Your Software Make A Place-Name-Event-Source List?

I have struggled for over 20 years to get source citations for each fact and/or event in my genealogy database. With over 39,000 persons in my database currently, that means that I have over 100,000 source citations to create, if I have a fact for each birth, death and marriage, not to mention facts and events like baptisms, christenings, residences, occupations, deeds, wills, etc. (I don't have all of those for each person in my database, but my guess is about 100,000 total at this time).

My problem is that I have master sources for some events, and even source citations (master source, volumes, pages, notes, etc.) for some events, but I'm struggling with how to find the events for which I have no sources and citations so that I can try to provide an appropriate source and citation.

Some people would say "your database is so poor and/or corrupted, that you should start over with a new database and only input data for which you have a source and citation." That would work, but is really unreasonable, to my way of thinking, because it would take years to accomplish it. I'm not a young person any more (I know, Amy Coffin has done this in the past year or so - more power to her!). If I worked 8 hours a day on inputting persons, events, sources and citations, and was able to do one every minute, it would take 208 days to enter the information for 100,000 events. But that doesn't count the research time it would take to find each source, create a proper master source, the proper citation and note, etc. It would take me more than one minute to find the information in my 30 feet of paper in notebooks for each fact - perhaps even ten to twenty minutes, assuming I can find the paper with the information on it. Now we're talking years if not decades.

So my choice is to use my existing database and try to fix it as best I can - to add quality master sources and quality citations, with citation notes, if possible, to as many events as possible.

How can I figure out the combination of persons with events in locations that already have sources attached to them, but have no citations? And those which do not have sources or citations attached to them?

What I need is a report that lists - for a specific location - the following:

* Person's name (and for a female, the name she was born with, married with and died with)
* Person's event (e.g., birth, baptism, marriage, divorce, death, burial)
* Event source (e.g., master source name, volume/page citation, citation notes)

Can any current genealogy software do this? I've really tried to find something like this in Family Tree Maker 16, Family Tree Maker 2010, RootsMagic 4 and Legacy Family Tree 7, but I have been unable to figure it out. One of the other software programs may have this feature - I haven't checked them. The solution may be in Custom Reports of some sort, but I haven't been able to configure a report the way I want it in the four programs I regularly use..

The closest I've come in RootsMagic 4 is to:

* Create a Source List report (Reports > Lists > Source List > Print a single source) for one master source (e.g., Westminster (Worcester, Massachusetts, USA) Vital Records to 1849 - I had two master sources in my database for this source, and had to merge them into one master source). This list gave me the birth names, event, event date and source citation (Volume, Page) of the persons and events for which I had an entry for this master source.

* Create a Place List report (Reports > Lists > Place List > Print all events in single place) for one place name. I had about 15 different locality names for Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA in my place name list, and had to merge all of them into one place name. This list gave me the birth names, events and event dates in my database for the selected place name, but not any source information.

* Compare the two lists, and note which persons and events do not have either a Citation (from the Source List) or don't have a Source (from the Place List). Then go find the source and citations. This still has the problem of the females married names in the event records.

* Do the same process for every place name in my database... there are thousands of them!

Obviously, this process will also take a long time, but at least I have a head start on it with the thousands of existing source citations and the 600 master sources already in my database (although many of them are "shorthand" master sources without the proper sourcing format).

An even better option for me would be if one or more of the genealogy software companies would create this super-duper Place-Person-Event-Source report (the PPES report?) in their software so that I, and others that might need it, could use it and improve my database quality to the point that I would be proud to share it.

Perhaps one of the software programs can already do this - if so, I would appreciate knowing how to create this desired report.

Does anybody else have this problem with their genealogy database? If so, how do you resolve these issues? I would love to hear your ideas!

CVGS Highlights - mid-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:

* CVGS Research Group Summary - 12 May 2010

* New or Updated Genealogy Databases - Early May Report

The May 2010 Genealogy Days in Chula Vista are covered here on the CVGS website.

The May 2010 issue of the CVGS Newsletter is on the CVGS website here.

The Chula Vista Genealogical Society will start Sunday afternoon programs (4th Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m.) on June 27th - leading off with Randy Seaver discussing "Using Effectively." Put the date on your calendar!

Tombstone Tuesday -- Stiff

It's Tombstone Tuesday, and I've run out of my own photographs of gravestones and markers, so I'm going through my collection of "different" gravestone photos collected over the years via email and web surfing.

Levi Stiff (1837-1900) and Emeline Stiff (1842-1913) are buried beneath this stone:

I searched for Levi and Emeline Stiff on the cemetery sites, and did not find them.

However, Levi Stiff died in Bozeman, Gallatin County, Montana and, presumably, Emeline Lucy (Philpott) Stiff did also. They, and their known ancestors and descendants, are listed in the online family tree on Rootsweb's WorldConnect database titled "My Irish/Greek Family" submitted by Christina Robertson.

So, my best guess is that they are buried in one of the 28 cemeteries in Gallatin County, Montana, perhaps in Sunset Hills Cemetery where Chet Huntley is buried.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Casting Call for Professional Genealogists

I received this from Tim Hedden, and am posting it at his request and as a public service:

Calling all Professional Genealogists

Travel Channel is casting an exciting new series about the journey and process of locating missing heirs. We are looking for professional genealogists only. Must have a proven track record of successful investigations resulting in the location of missing heirs – preferably internationally as well as domestically. Must be charismatic and comfortable on camera and MUST HAVE photos and video of yourself.

Contact Timothy Hedden @

This sounds like a terrific opportunity for someone. Unfortunately, I don't consider myself a professional, charismatic, comfortable on camera, and the only video I have of myself is my interview with Lisa Louise Cooke last year at Jamboree (with all of about 600 views on YouTube). Oh well! I hope someone gets this gig and that the show is a success!

Do you have any good sources for ...?

Reader Lenny asked in his comment on an earlier Genea-Musings post "...Any good sources besides AdotCom - especially looking for Italian and Irish records?"

My short answer is "I don't know much about Irish or Italian records, but there are ways to find out." Having an extensive English and German ancestry has deprived me of the wonderful experiences of researching for Irish and Italian ancestors, much to my dismay. I haven't even been to Ireland or Italy, yet.

But there are online resources to help Lenny, and anyone else, searching for their roots in other countries. When I'm researching a new locality, I usually start with articles about that locality that I might find on:

* The LDS FamilySearch Research Helps and Research Guidance pages -- both have articles available in web pages or in PDF format for Ireland and Italy, including the Research Outline for Ireland (no PDF version, but some of the articles in the Research Guidance list are in PDF format) and the Research Outline for Italy (with a PDF version).

* The LDS FamilySearch Research Wiki will eventually have all of the information, and more, from the Research Helps and Research Guidance. You can browse or search by countries - the Ireland pages are here, and the Italy pages are here. Be sure to click on the topics in the left hand column of the pages for detailed information about history, record availability, etc.

* There are published books to help a researcher get started in research in different countries. Go to, or another online bookstore, and input [ireland genealogy] in the search box, and you'll see a list of currently available books for your country of interest.

* If you want to try and find other persons researching your specific surnames, then you can visit the online Message Boards for those surnames. Go to the Rootsweb/Ancestry message board system ( and use the "Find a Board" box to see if there is a surname board for your surname. Or you can search all of the Rootweb Message Boards for your surname in the "Search the Boards" box. When you find a surname message board, then search within that board for your specific location (country, province, town, etc.). You might want to find a locality message board (country and/or province/state/shire) to determine if someone has information about local families and record accessibility. The GenForum message boards are similar -- go to and use their Forum Finder to search for a board, or search the surname listings and/or locality listings.

* The WorldGenWeb site ( has information about researching in nearly every country in the world - Ireland and Italy included. This is all user-contributed information.

* There are a number of websites with collections of articles about research in your subject countries - use a search engine and search for [irish genealogy articles] and you'll find a wealth of information, much of it based on expert researchers and case studies. Cyndi's List also has sections for most countries, including for Ireland (over 3,000 links) and Italy (over 400 links).'s Learning Center has an extensive library of articles (see about many countries and record types -- use the search box to obtain a list.

The online genealogy world is changing so fast that it is difficult to keep up with all of the new websites, database offerings, and available records for a specific country or research subject.

Not all genealogy records are on the Internet in websites, or in online databases, and they never will be ALL online.

Online researchers should remember that there are many useful records in local, province or national repositories or archives that are not available online, or even indexed. The compleat researcher needs to be aware of all available records and how to access them for a given research topic or locality. Many records in Ireland and Italy (and many other countries) have been microfilmed and are available in the LDS Family History Library Catalog (to view at the FHL in Salt Lake City, or to borrow at a local Family History Center), and in repositories in the home countries.

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of David Kirby (1740-1832)

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme many 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 will and probate records of David Kirby (1740-1832) of Dartmouth and Westport, Bristol County, Massachusetts. He was the son of Ichabod and Rachel (Allen) Kirby, and the husband of Martha Soule (1743-1828).

David Kirby died testate in Westport, Massachusetts, having written a will dated 22 March 1822. The will reads (transcribed by the author from the Clerk's copy in Bristol County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, Volume 71, Page 102, on FHL Microfilm 0,462,659):

"The last Will and Testament of David Kirby of Westport in the County of Bristol and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Yeoman.

"Imprimis - my will is that all my just debts, funeral charges, and expenses of settling my estate be paid by my executor herein after named out of what I shall herein give him.

"2d. I give to my beloved wife Martha Kirby all my household goods of every sort and kind except what I shall herein other wise dispose of together with my side saddle. I also give her my said wife, all the Estate that come to us, out of the Estate of her honoured Father Benjamin Sowle, that we are possessed of, or that we may be possessed of at my desease, be it money, securities for, money, or of what sort or kinds of goods or property, it may consist of, all the aforesaid a free gift at her own disposal, forever. I also give to my said wife so long as she remains my widow the use and improvement of one half of my now dwelling House, with a privilege in the cellar, to the well, and around the House as she may need. I also give her to be provided by my Executor herein after named, and delivered to her daily, and every day, during the term aforesaid, the milk of one good cow; and yearly, and every year, one hundred pounds of good pork, eighty pounds of good beef, two geese, nine bushels of good Indian Corn, two bushels of rye or barley, ten pounds of good sheep wool, eight pounds of ???? flax from the Swingles, forty pounds of good cheese, eight pounds of good butter, four gallons of molasses, eight bushels winter apples and summer apples and summer & winter sauce as much as she may need for her own use. And as much fire wood as she may need for one fire at the door, and cut a suitable length for her fire, and two hens to be kept for her so long as she may need. All the aforesaid gifts to my said wife to be in lieu of her right of dower in my estate, if she is pleased to accept, and not otherwise.

3d. I give to my daughter Sibbel White, Two hundred silver dollars to be paid her in one year after my decease, by my executor herein after named, which with what she has already had of me, is to be her share of my estate.

4th. I give to my son Ichabod Kirby and to his heirs and assigns forever, my clock, and desk, one large silver spoon, two feather beds, bedsteads & ends, with a sufficiency of furniture for the same both for winter and summer, my loom and tackling belonging to it, my largest brass kettle, trammels and handirons, one large iron kettle, & one six Qt. kettle, my cupboards, and one meat tub & one meat Barrel, a chest with one draw, and a small chest, one case knives & forks, and half a doz. chairs, together with my homestead farm, and all the rest and residue of my estate both real and personal wherever and whenever it may be found, not herein otherwise disposed of, he doing and performing what I have herein ordered for him to do and perform.

"Finally and lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Ichabod Kirby sole executor of this my last Will & Testament, desiring him faithfully to execute the same agreeable to true intent and meaning thereof.

"In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this twenty second day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty two 1822.

"Signed sealed and declared by the said
David Kirby to be his last will & testament
....................................................... David Kirby S. S.

at whose request & in whose presence & in presence of each other, we hereto set our names as witnesses
Isaac W. Brownell
William Case
N.C. Brownell"

"At a Court of Probate Holden at New Bedford in and for the County of Bristol, in the first day of May AD 1832. Then before the Honorable Hodijah Baylies, Judge of the Probate of Wills, &c, for said County, came Isaac W. Brownell, William Case and Nathan C. Brownell all the witnesses to the foregoing instrument purporting to be the last Will and testament of David Kirby late of Westport in said County deceased, who made oath that they were present and saw the said instrument to be his last will and Testament and that they subscribed their names together, as witnesses to the execution thereof, in the said testators presence, and that he was then to the best of their judgment of sound and disposing mind & public notice having been given as ordered & no one appearing to object I do therefore approve and allow of the said instrument as the last Will & Testament of the said deceased and do decree that it have full force and effect as such. Given under my hand and the seal of the said Court of Probate on the day above written. ............................................................... H. Baylies"

"By the Honourable Hodijah Baylies Judge of the Probate of Wills and for granting Letters of Administration within the County of Bristol aforesaid.

"Know ye, that upon the day of the date hereof at New Bedford in the county aforesaid an instrument purporting to be the last will & testament of David Kirby late of Westport in said county, deceased (a copy whereof is hereunto annexed) was presented to me and proved. Know ye therefore, that I do, by virtue of the power and authority given to me by the laws of the said commonwealth, hereby commit the execution thereof in all things the same concerning, unto Ichabod Kirby the Executor in the same Will named, well and faithfully to execute the same and to administer the estate of the said deceased according thereto; who accepted the said trust, and gave bond to pay debts and legacies and render a just and true account of the proceedings, when thereunto lawfully required. In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and the seal of my office the first day of May AD 1832. .......................................... H. Baylies"

I learned several things from this probate record, including:

* David Kirby died before his will was proved on 1 May 1832. I don't have any other death date for him.

* The will names his wife's father as Benjamin Sowle and that he left some of his estate to his daughter, Martha (Sowle) Kirby.

* David Kirby provided a fine list of items, in his will dated 1822, that his wife would be provided after his death by his executor. Alas, Martha Kirby died before David Kirby.

* David Kirby left 200 silver dollars to his daughter Sibbel (Kirby) White (widow of Humphrey White), who is my link to the Kirby line.

* David and Martha (Sowle) Kirby had only two known children - which was fairly unusual for those times. Sybil was born in 1764 and Ichabod in 1782 - 18 years between them. They were both listed in Dartmouth (MA) Vital Records. Perhaps there were a series of stillborns or miscarriages in the intervening years that were not recorded.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Best of the Genea-Blogs - May 9-15, 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:

* Evidence Management Explained by the author of The Ancestry Insider blog. Mr. AI unveils a nifty set of evidence and analysis forms to be used to reach research conclusions. Read the comments too.

* NGS 2010 Family History Conference Was a Huge Success! by Pam Cerutti on the Upfront with NGS blog. This is the "official" summary of the NGS Conference, with a link to the Thursday night program segments.

* Facebook for Genealogists Cheat Sheet by Thomas MacEntee on the High Definition Genealogy blog. Thomas has a two page summary sheet to guide genealogists who use Facebook.

*’s Top 100 Genealogy Sites and Announces Its Top 100 Genealogy Sites by Robert on the MyHeritage Blog. This list is really 100 genealogy sites (many blogs are listed) that you should visit and read, because it leaves out many of the top bloggers (e.g., Dick Eastman, DearMYRTLE, Leland Meitzler, footnoteMaven, and many more.) IMHO.

* My Abominable Online Tree and OBMFM by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. Apple comments about her experiences with online family trees - excellent thoughts and read the comments too.

* A Man on a Mission by Leah on The Internet Genealogist blog. Leah's post about her great-great-grandfather John Berger discusses his religious fervor and life - and her discussion about the role of religion in American life is excellent.

* Are you Building Brick Walls? by Brenda Joyce Jerome on the Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog. An interesting question, and Brenda has great advice.

* Researcher concerns about the digitized records available on the web sites of NARA’s digitization partners by Rebecca on the NARAtions blog. This post discusses the quality assurance measures being taken by NARA and its' partners in digitizing and indexing databases.

* Online Trees by Greta Koehl on the Greta's Genealogy Bog blog. Here is another take on online family trees - using them as "cousin bait" and the "tip line"(I like those terms!).

* Follow Friday: 14 May 2010 by Grata Koehl on the Greta's Genealogy Bog blog. Greta often finds excellent blog posts that I've missed. Read her picks.

* Weekly Genealogy Picks by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog. John's weekly reads are often different from my own - read his list too.

* Weekly Rewind by Apple on the Apple's Tree blog. Apple reveals her weekly picks on readings, carnivals and memes, and her week. It's good to have Apple blogging again after her surgery.

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.