Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Your ancestral home

... Attention, Genea-Musings readers: it's Saturday Night! Are you ready for some Genealogy Fun? Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to: 1) Find one of your ancestral homes on Google Maps ( Put the street address in the search box and find the home. Select Map and/or Satellite view. 2) Find out if this location is shown in Street View (click on the Push Pin, does it show Street View?). If so, click on Street View and manipulate the image to get a good view of your ancestral home. 3) Show us the pictures!! (I use screen shots, but if you want to edit the image, go ahead!) Put them in a blog post of your own, or put the picture(s) on Facebook. If you can't do images, then tell us about what you've done in a blog post, a comment to this post, or on Facebook. 4) Did you learn anything from this mission about your ancestral home? Is it still there? Has it been improved or modified? Here's mine: The last time I checked Google Maps did not have a Street View for my ancestral homes at 2115 30th Street, 2119 30th Street, 22114 Fern Street, 2116 Fern Street and 2130 Fern Street, all in San Diego. I was thrilled to find Street Views now! 1) Here is the Map view of the block bounded by 30th Street to the west, Fern Street to the east, Ivy Street on the north, and Hawthorn Street on the south: This basic Google Map now shows the approximate land plot size for each lot. The push pin above is on 2130 Fern Street. 2) Here is the Satellite view of the block (with maximum zoom in):
The larger building with the near-white roof is 2115-2119 30th Street; the smaller building with the near-white roof is 2114-2116 Fern Street. There are four buildings just to the north of these two buildings with gray roofs - the two on 30th Street are 2123 and 2127 30th Street. The two on Fern Street are at 2130 Fern Street - the smaller one is a separate garage (which may be a granny flat now?).
3. Here is the Street View of 2115-2119 30th Street. There are two separate residences in this two-story building. The apartment house to the right was built in about 1953.
4) This is the Street View of 2114-2116 Fern Street, the smaller two-story building with the near-white roof:
5) The Street View below is of 2130 Fern Street:
My great-grandparents, Henry Austin and Della (Smith) Carringer, built the residence now at 2115-2119 30th in about 1895, but it was located on the corner of 30th and Hawthorn. In the 1920's it was moved to the middle of the block, and the second story was added on to and made into a separate residence. I lived in 2119 30th Street from 1947 to 1968 with my parents and brothers.
In the 1920's, the Carringers built the second two-story building at 2114-2116 Fern Street. After World War II, my parents lived in both between 1945 and 1947.
My grandparents, Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer built the home at 2130 Fern Street in 1920, and lived there until about 1947, when they moved to 2115 30th Street after Lyle's parents died. During World War II<>
I think the thing that I learned from this was the relative size of the lots - the 2115-2119 30th Street lot is larger than the 2114-2116 Fern Street lot. I've always thought that the lots and the buildings were approximately the same size.

Surname Saturday - KEYES (England > MA)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I'm up to number 73, who is Elizabeth Keyes (1759-1793), one of my 4th-great-grandparents.

My ancestral line back through six generations of KEYES is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

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

4. Frederick W. Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank W. Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Harriet Hildreth (1857-1920)

18. Edward Hildreth (1831-1899)
19. Sophia Newton (1834-1923)

36. Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857)
37. Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857)

72. Zachariah Hildreth, born 13 January 1754 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA, and died 17 March 1828 in Townsend, Middlesex County, MA. He was the son of Zachariah Hildreth and Elizabeth Prescott. He married 01 September 1777 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA.
73. Elizabeth Keyes, born 08 April 1759 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA; died 06 August 1793 in Townsend, Middlesex County, MA.

Children of Zachariah Hildreth and Elizabeth Keyes are: Aaron Hildreth (1778-????); Elizabeth Fletcher Hildreth (1780-1792); Hannah Hildreth (1782-1848); Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857); Lucy Hildreth (1785-1865); Patty Hildreth (1787-????); Fanny Hildreth (1789-1865); Nabby Hildreth (1791-1791); James Hildreth (1793-1797).

146. Jonathan Keyes, born 21 January 1721/22 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA; died 20 June 1781 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA. He married 20 January 1745/46 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA.
147. Elizabeth Fletcher, born 09 March 1719/20 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA; died 23 July 1761 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 294. Samuel Fletcher and 295. Hannah.

Children of Jonathan Keyes and Elizabeth Fletcher are: Joseph Keyes (1746-1823; Joanna Kewyes (1749-1753); Aaron Keyes (1751-1753); Stephen Keyes (1754-1758); Joanna Keyes (1757-????); Elizabeth Keyes (1759-1793); Hannah Keyes (1761-1833).

292. Joseph Keyes, born 01 May 1698 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA; died 11 July 1744 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA. He married 28 February 1719/20 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA.
293. Elizabeth Fletcher, born 10 June 1698 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA; died 03 September 1775 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 586. Joshua Fletcher and 587. Sarah Woolley.

Children of Joseph Keyes and Elizabeth Fletcher are: Elizabeth Keyes (1720-????); Jonathan Keyes (1722-1781); Sarah Keyes (1723-????); Lydia Keyes (1724-????); David Keyes (1726-????).

584. Joseph Keyes, born 24 May 1667 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA; died 09 June 1757 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA. He married 28 May 1690 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA.
585. Joanna Cleaveland, born 05 March 1669/70 in Woburn, Middlesex County, MA; died 18 March 1758 in Westford, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 1170. Moses Cleaveland and 1171. Ann Winn.

Children of Joseph Keyes and Joanna Cleaveland are: Lydia Keyes (1693-????); Joanna Keyes (1695-1787); Joseph Keyes (1698-1744); Miriam Keyes (1700-????).

1168. Solomon Keyes, born About 1631 in ENGLAND; died 28 March 1702 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA. He married 02 October 1653 in Newbury, Essex County, MA.
1169. Frances Grant, born before 12 June 1634 in Cottingham, Yorkshire, ENGLAND; died 1708 in Chelmsford, Middlesex County, MA. She was the daughter of 2338. Thomas Grant and 2339. Jane Haburne.

Children of Solomon Keyes and Frances Grant are: Hannah Keyes (1654-????); Sarah Keyes (1656-????); Mary Keyes (1658-????); Jane Keyes (1660-1681); Judith Keyes (1662-????); Solomon Keyes (1665-????); Joseph Keyes (1667-1757); Ruth Keyes (1669-1671); Moses Keyes (1671-1746); John Keyes (1674-????).

2336. Robert Keyes, born about 1605 in ENGLAND; died 16 July 1647 in Newbury, Essex County, MA. He married before 1631 in ENGLAND.
2337. Sarah, born about 1611 in ENGLAND; died 07 July 1681 in Newbury, Essex County, MA.

Children of Robert Keyes and Sarah are: Solomon Keyes (1631-1702); Sarah Keyes (1633-????); Peter Keyes (1635-????); Rebecca Keyes (1638-????); Phebe Keyes (1639-1701); Mary Keyes (1642-????); Elias Keyes (1643-????); Mary Keyes (1645-1668).

Are there any KEYES cousins reading this post? If you want to share information about this family line, please contact me at

Friday, July 2, 2010

Revolutionary War Rolls on

After being frustrated with the poor results on finding the Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 entries for my soldiers (over 15 of them), I turned to to see if the same database was available there. It is!

And the Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783 are available for FREE on through 7 July, as part of their Revolutionary War Collection:

I could have clicked on the link in the ad shown above, but resisted that temptation. That special link may not be there after this free access period.

On the home page, I clicked on "Browse Titles" and then on the Browse screen, I clicked on the "Colonies and Revolution to 1815" link, and saw the list of databases, and picked the Revolutionary War Rolls" link and then was able to put "martin carringer" in the Search box:

There were two matches: one on page 2, and the other on page 4, of Folder 35 of the Pennsylvcania 8th Regiment in 1778:

Here is the first record easily found with one click of the thumbnail image or the link in the results list above:

The second image was found by clicking the "Go Back" link - although I could have opened the filmstrip and picked "Page 4" to see it:

Is this the same record as what I couldn't find on I don't know for sure. The source information for the records found on is:

* Content Source::
The National Archives
* Publication Number: M246
* Publication Title:
Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783
* Publisher: NARA
* National Archives Catalog ID:
* National Archives Catalog Title: Revolutionary War Rolls, compiled 1894 - 1913, documenting the period 1775 - 1783
* Record Group: 93
* Short Description: NARA M246. Muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns, and other miscellaneous personnel, pay, and supply records of American Army units, 1775-83.
* State: Pennsylvania
* Military Org: 8th Regiment
* Date Range: 1778
* Folder: 35

So this is the same Record Group 93 and Microfilm Publication M246 as what is on

This was very easy to search for, review and see on I downloaded both pages to my computer files. Now for my other 14 soldiers!

One more thing., in the search for this specific soldier, found two pages with the name of Martin Carringer on the Revolutionary War Rolls. never indicated that there were two pages with the name. Strange... you would think that every name occurrence on any page in any database would be indexed.

The lesson learned here is to check all possible databases that may contain a specific record. Sometimes, there are significant differences between different websites in terms of search characteristics, results, indexing, and imaging.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of, and have never received any remuneration from them. I am a fully paid subscriber to

Follow Friday: Casefile Clues

For Follow Friday, I'm going to highlight Michael John Neill's weekly email newsletter called Casefile Clues. He is up to week 47 now, and each issue has been five to ten pages of interesting and often useful research tips based on the cases that Michael presents.

In honor of the 4th of July holiday, Michael has made the following offer:

"In recognition of the 4th of July Holiday, Casefile Clues is offering a year of the newsletter and back issues 41-47 for $17.76.

"There is more information on our website at:

"Questions can be sent to me at"

If you've been wanting a weekly newsletter packed full of practical research tips and case studies, I encourage you to subscribe to Casefile Clues.

Disclosure: I have received no remuneration from Michael John Neill. I am a fully paid subscriber to his newsletter.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

FGS FORUM Summer 2010 Issue - Table of Contents

The Summer 2010 issue of the Federation of Genealogical Societies FORUM magazine is available for members to download from the FGS website ( If you are a member, you should have received an email about this issue.

This issue has 61 pages, and is edited by Sandra Hargreaves Luebking.

The cover photograph is unidentified, taken circa the early twentieth century, and may have been taken in Braidwood, Will County, Illinois (photo courtesy of FGS Director Tim Pinnick):

The Summer 2010 issue's Table of Contents includes:

* page 3 - Final Countdown to FGS 2010 Conference in Knoxville, by Lori Thornton.

* page 7 - Ancestry Offers Free Classes at FGS 2010
* page 9 - Librarians Day at FGS Conference
* page 11 - Recovering Family History Through Memories, by Joseph F. Martin
* page 13 - Two Essential Reference Books Now on Wiki

* page 14 - New Source for United Kingdom Research

* page 16 - An Urban-Friendly Resource [about ProQuest Collections]
* page 21 - Tribute to Birdie Monk Holsclaw, by Karen Mauer Green
* page 23 - Early Black Musicians, by Tim Pinnock [related to cover photo]
* page 24 - Malcolm H. Stern NARA Gift Fund

* page 26 - News in Brief

* page 27 - Society Spotlight, Using a Wiki to Preserve a Society's Knowledge Base, by Michael J. Hall
* page 31 - State Reporting [includes info on KY, MS, NC, OH, OK, RI resources]
* page 33 - Ethnic and International [includes info on American Indian, Australia, Haiti, New Zealand and United Kingdom resources]
* page 34 - Column: Records Preservation & Access, by Linda McCleary

* page 36 - Column: Family Associations, by Christine Rose

* page 38 - Column: Genealogy 2.0: Genealogy and Cloud Computing, by Randy Seaver
* page 41 - Board Bytes
* page 44 - Column: Book Reviews, edited by Paul Milner
* page 57 - Federation of Genealogical Societies Membership - as of 1 June 2010

Here is a screen shot of the first page of my Genealogy 2.0 column, titled Genealogy and Cloud Computing:

I encourage genealogical societies to join the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and individuals can subscribe to the magazine [thank you to George Morgan for correcting my earlier statement]. Benefits include receiving the quarterly FORUM magazine and discounts for conference registration. See the FGS website at for details.

Revolutionary War Rolls on Hard to Find Records

I noted yesterday that the Revolutionary War Rolls on had been updated, and realized that I had not saved images of these records for my Revolutionary War soldiers. That lead me to do some searches for these records:

From the Military Records collection page (I tend to search now in specific collections and specific databases, rather than do a "global search"), I input "Martin" and "Carringer" in the search fields:

The list of matches came up, and I noted that the Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, was on the list (note that I tend to search according to "summarized by category"):

Clicking on the link for the Revolutionary War Rolls, I saw that there was one match for Martin Carringer:

The record indicates that he is in Roll Box 83 for Pennsylvania. There is no indication of page number or image number for the entry in the Roll Box 83.

I clicked on the "View Images" link and saw this:

This is the first page of 702 pages on Roll 83. I clicked the right arrow (up next to the "Go" link in the menu line) many times and finally got to the actual records on Page 38 on this roll. I quickly gave up on trying to find Martin Carringer's name on one of the remaining 694 pages!

So let's try to analyze this situation:
* imaged 138 rolls of NARA microfilm publication M246.
* entered names into an created index (or perhaps used a previously created index) of names on the rolls of film.
* then linked to the first image on the roll of film containing the requested name.
* left it to the user to search through hundreds of pages in a treasure hunt for their requested name.

Doesn't run these records through some sort of quality check so that a subscriber is assured of finding the actual record found by a search?

Was additional information added to the indexed information, such as the military organization, the year, the folder containing the soldier's record in this dataset? Having that information might help a searcher browse through the dataset as it is currently constituted.

My guess is that most researchers, encountering this problem on, will grumble about and curse And then try to find the record elsewhere. I found it on - and will show the results in a later post.

Perhaps this problem has existed since the first release of this database, and others have complained about the non-linking of requested names to record images in this particular database. I don't know - but in my first use of the dataset I am pretty frustrated. I think I'm being kind to call this database "Hard to Find Records." Actually, almost impossible.

Disclosure: I am not a paid employee, contractor or affiliate of I am a fully paid subscriber to the U.S. Deluxe collection.

Treasure Chest Thursday - Della (Smith) Carringer's Death Certificate

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to share another genealogy jewel from my collection of stuff.

This week, it is the Death Certificate of Della (Smith) Carringer (1862-1944) in San Diego, San Diego County, California on 1 January 1944.

This is a death certificate created very near the date of death, presumably typed by the Department of Public Health Registrar in San Diego County, and signed by him on 7 January 1944.

Items I learned from this death certificate:
* Della died at home at 2115 30th Street in San Diego. She had resided in the county and in the state for 55 years [actually 56].
* Her birthdate was 11 April 1862, and she was born in Rolling Prairie, Dodge County, Wisconsin to parents Devier I. Smith and Abbey A. Vaux. [Father was Devier J. Smith]
* Her husband's name was Henry Austin Carringer, and he was 90 years old at the time of her death.
* She was cremated on 8 January 1944 at Cypress View Crematory. The Funeral Director was Benbough Funeral Parlor at 711 Date Street in San Diego.
* She died on 1 January 1944 at 5:10 p.m.
* The immediate cause of death was chronic myocarditis occlusion.
* The medical doctor was Julio Paex, who first attended her on 21 December 1943.

Della was one of my great-grandmothers. The only new information on this death certificate, for me, was the death time, the place of cremation and funeral service, and the cause of death. There are several errors on this certificate, including her given name (which was Abbie Ardell Smith if you believe the Smith Bible records).

If I go down to the San Diego County Recorder's office next week and obtain a death certificate for Della, I don't think that all of the above information will be on the certificate.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 has Revolutionary War Collection FREE through 7 July

I received this in an email from Justin Schroepfer at today:

"I wanted to let you know that we will be opening the Revolutionary War Collection free to the public tomorrow. This will be open through July 7. The collection features some of our most popular titles including the Revolutionary War Pension Files. You can point your readers to to access the records in this collection. I appreciate if you could let your readers know of this special promotion."

Here is a screen shot of the Revolutionary War Collection (accessed through "Browse Collection" and then "Colonies and Revolution to 1815"):

The FREE Revolutionary War databases available include:

* Final Payment Vouchers Index for Military Pensions
* George Washington Correspondence
* Revolutionary War Prize Cases - Captured Vessels
* Revolutionary War Rolls
* Revolutionary War Service Records
* Revolutionary War Pensions

This is great news for those readers who do not have a Footnote subscription! I urge you to take advantage of this offer if you have Revolutionary War soldiers in your ancestry. has Complete Revolutionary War Pension Files!

I noted that recently has added the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 to their list of online historical record databases. This is a major addition to the Military Records collection.

Here is the screen for this particular database. The user can search for a name or browse the list of soldiers with pensions or bounty land warrants from this screen:

I put "Martin" and "Carringer" in the search fields and, as you can see (in the screen above), tried to help me by suggesting all of the Martin's in my Ancestry Member Tree. I don't really like that "feature," and wish that there was a way to turn it off.

I clicked on "Search" and there was only one match:

I clicked on "View Record" and saw the Record Summary:

The most useful pieces of information on this Record Summary are the Total Number of Pages in Packet - in this case, it was 47 pages.

I clicked on the "View Image" and the first page of the packet appeared:

The Source tab on the right provides the Source citation for this particular record. It says:

" Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C."

Unfortunately, the source citation does not describe the specific record here. From the Record Summary page, I noted that it is from Archive Roll Number 480, Archive Publication M804. No specific page number is given for the record on the Archive microfilm. From the Record Image page, I noted that the first page is Image 532. Therefore, the last page should be Image 578, since there were 47 pages.

I paged through several pages and often got this screen:

This is very frustrating - you find a wonderful record, and some of the pages cannot be viewed. The screen says "Error Processing Image Request." There was no error on my part ... why does this happen with more regularity now on Ten minutes later, the system produces the requested images.

The user can go page-by-page through the specific file using the small left and right arrows on the far right of the menu bar - just below the green bar and to the right of the "Go" button. The user could enter a number in the "Image" box to the left of the "Go" button and that image will appear.

It appears from my cursory search that only the soldier's name, and those of his spouse if they are on the first index card for each file, are indexed by I put in "Molly" "Carringer" in the search fields and the "Martin Carringer" match came up. I put in his son, Joseph Carringer, and no matches appeared.

This complete dataset has been available on before this addition to The benefit of the collection is that many of the names on the pages of the pension and bounty land warrant files were indexed, and researchers can occasionally find their soldiers or ancestral family members (spouses, children, etc.) in the records.

I'm glad that added this dataset to the Military Collection, but am disappointed that the name index only appears to contain the pensioners.

"Learn from Experts" Articles on

I've been browsing through the website (a subscription site with some searchable databases and an online family tree collection) recently, and came upon the FREE "Learn from Experts" set of articles on various genealogy subjects.

The "Learn from Experts" page is at The most recent articles are:

* Homestead Records: A Glimpse Into Your Ancestor’s Past by Bobbi King

* How To Identify A Photograph Without Looking At The Picture by Colleen Fitzpatrick

* Family Reunion Sense and Sensibility by Maureen Taylor

* Five Strategies For Finding Forgotten Females by Lisa Alzo

* Volunteer Projects Help Family Historians by Sherri Bradley

* Genealogy Resources At The Public Library by Amy Coffin

* Mobile Ancestors: Why They Moved And How To Find Them by Diane Richard

There are currently 33 articles in this series - you can find links to all of them on

Disclosure: I have not written for, nor have I been paid by for any blog post. I am currently a subscriber to through my NGS membership.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 109: San Diego Beach Fun

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 photograph was taken in the 1917 to 1918 time period, probably at a San Diego area beach - probably either Coronado Beach or La Jolla beach (note the seaweed or kelp on the sand).

The three people in this picture are (from the left):

* unknown young lady - perhaps Gladys Nolan, Emily Auble's best friend.

* Lyle L. Carringer (1891-1976), future husband of Emily Auble

* Emily Auble (1899-1977), future wife of Lyle Carringer

Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer were the parents of Betty (Carringer) Seaver (1919-2002), my mother.

They sure look happy in this photograph, don't they? My guess is that Lyle and Emily were engaged at this time, but were not yet married (they married in June 1918). Lyle may have just joined the Marines around this time.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

U.S. Census Records on

One of my OASIS students commented this week that "it is so confusing to use the FamilySearch Record Search - some years they have images and some years they have only index entries."

My guess is that some of my readers have the same complaint. Let's see what the FamilySearch Record Search site, and by extension the FamilySearch Beta site, offers in the way of U.S. Census Records (population schedules):

1) 1850 U.S. Census - 100% complete:

* Complete set of images on FamilySearch Beta site
* Every name indexed - index fields: First Name, Last Name, Census Place (Ward, Town/City, County, State), Age, Birthplace, Gender
* Source information: GSU Microfilm Number, no NARA Film Number/Roll, no Page Number

2) 1860 U.S. Census - 100% complete:

* No images on FamilySearch site. Link from index to (user must have Footnote subscription to access images)
* Every name indexed - index fields: First Name, Last Name, Census Place (Ward, Town/City, County, State), Age, Birthplace, Gender
* Source information: GSU Microfilm Number, NARA Microfilm Series M653, No Roll Number, Page Number

3) 1870 U.S. Census - 100% Complete:

* Images on FamilySearch Record Search and FamilySearch Beta sites.
* Every name indexed - First Name, Last Name, Gender, Age, Color, Birthplace, Residence (State)
* Source information: none provided

4) 1880 U.S. Census - 100% complete:

* No images on FamilySearch Record Search site or FamilySearch Beta site
* Every name indexed - First Name, Last Name, Residence (Town/City, County, State), Age, Birthplace, Relationship to Head, Race or Color, Gender, Ethnicity, Marital Status, Age, Occupation, Spouse Name*, Spouse Birthplace*, Father's Name*, Father's Birthplace*, Mother's Name*, Mother's Birthplace*
* Source Information: NARA Microfilm Series T9, Roll Number, GSU Film Number, Page Number

4) 1900 U.S. Census - 100% complete:

* Complete set of images on FamilySearch RecordSearch and FamilySearch Beta sites
* Every name indexed - index fields: First Name, Last Name, Residence (Town/City, County, State), Birth Date, Birth Place, Relationship to Head, Spouse Name*, Spouse Birthplace*, Father Name*, Father's Birthplace*, Mother's Name*, Mother's Birthplace*, Race or Color, Head of Household Name, Gender, Marital Status, Number of Years Married*, Mother Has How Many Children*, Number of Living Children*, Immigration Year*
* Source Information: No NARA Film Number, No Roll Number, GSU Film Number, Enumeration District, Sheet Number

5) 1910 US Census - 40% completed as of today: records for Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, and Texas.

* No images on FamilySearch sites
* Every name indexed - index fields: First Name, Last Name, Birthplace, Relationship to Head, Residence, Marital Status, Race, Gender, Immigration Year, Father's Birthplace, Mother's Birthplace
* Source Information: No NARA Film Number, No Roll Number, No GSU Film Number, No Enumeration District, Page Number

6) 1920 US Census - 98% Complete as of today

* No images on FamilySearch sites
* Every name indexed - index fields: First Name, Last Name, Residence (Ward, Town/City, County, State), Age, Birthplace, Relationship to Head, Gender, Race, Marital Status
* Source information: GSU Film Number, No NARA Film Number, Sheet Number

As my student noted, the information available is really inconsistent from census year to census year.

Wasn't there any oversight of the indexing of the U.S. census records? There should be year-to-year consistency in:

* Residence format (Ward, City/Town, County, State)
* Relationship, Gender, Race/Color and Marital Information Provided
* NARA Microfilm Number and Roll Number
* GSU Film Number
* Enumeration District and Page Number

As these census records are constituted at this time, they are very frustrating and difficult to use.

When there are no census page images available (in 1860, 1880, 1910, 1920), a family structure cannot be determined without refining the search to include a residence, and then the user has to search one person at a time. Finding persons with a different surname in a family is nearly impossible to do.

While compiling this list, I noticed that the 1850 and 1860 images are not available on the FamilySearch Record Search site. A notice comes up on the Record Search site saying to go to the Beta site and a link is provided.

The 1850 images are not available yet on the FamilySearch Beta site. Are datasets being migrated from the Record Search site to the Beta site? That will create even more confusion! Hopefully, the migration will be conducted in an orderly fashion. It would help if the user in Record Search was told that the images had been migrated to the Beta site and a link provided. When the user goes to the Beta site, the search fields must be re-entered.

The good news:

* It's all free;
* There are census page images for 1850, 1870 and 1900 only;
* There are every-name indexes for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900, 1910, 1920.

The not-so-good news:

* There are no images for 1880, 1910 and 1920, and a user must have a Footnote subscription to see 1860 images;
* The indexed fields are inconsistent year to year;
* The user cannot see whole families in census years without images
* Source information is non-existent for 1870, and is incomplete in all years but 1880

It's probably too late to fix many of these problems. I'm surprised that nobody else has complained about them before (perhaps others have and I missed them? If so, who?). I know that it's "Pilot" and then "Beta" sites - will they be in better shape when the final "new" is up and running? I hope so!

Book Review: The Journey Takers, by Leslie Albrecht Huber

Author Leslie Albrecht Huber has written a wonderful book titled The Journey Takers about her immigrant ancestors and their lives.

The book's back cover says:

"Leslie Albrecht Huber's ancestors were journey takers, leaving their homes in Germany, Sweden, and England behind to sail to the US and start new lives here. Huber sets out to trace these journeys and to understand her family -- who they were and what mattered to them. As she follows in their footsteps, walking the paths they walked and looking over the land they farmed, she finds herself on a journey she hadn't expected. Based on thousands of hours of research, Huber recreates the immigration experience in a way that captures both its sweeping historical breadth and its intimately personal consequences."

The book is divided into four parts:

* In Germany: The Story of the Families of Georg Albrecht and Mina Haker
* In Sweden: The Story of the Family of Karsti Nilsdotter
* In England and Beyond: The Story of the Family of Edmond Harris
* In Fremont, Utah: The Story of the Family of Earl Albrecht

It also includes End Notes (in a separate section) for each chapter providing family and historical source citations. An Appendix provides detailed Family Group Sheets for each family discussed, and there is a selected bibliography of published books and articles and unpublished records and documents.

Leslie's book provides a magnificent example of family history writing - displaying the breadth and depth of her research, weaving historical and cultural events into the lives of her ancestors, and re-creating realistic scenes and family conversations at places in the stories. Throughout the book, Leslie's own family challenges and triumphs are woven into the narrative - she takes you from the ancestral past to her family's present on the same page. This reader felt that he was riding along with Leslie while visiting the ancestral places, and was witnessing her struggles as she tried to balance her family life with the thrill and drive to do more family research.

Significant historical and family research was conducted to generate the factual information in this book. She used published and unpublished resources in family papers, published books and periodical articles, and unpublished records found in the Family History Library microforms and in the local repositories in the places that she visited.

Leslie visited each ancestral place of the immigrant ancestors that she writes about. She spent several days, or several weeks in the case of the German towns, in the places trying to "see and feel" the homes, churches, and countryside of these locales. At each site, she found helpful and knowledgeable local persons that knew the history, the lay of the land and the local record repositories. It helped considerably that the ancestral homes were in small, and mostly rural, towns and villages.

What sets this book apart from a dry "what, when, why, where and how" recitation of the research facts, experiences and conclusions is the use of re-created family stories and conversations between her ancestors throughout the book. While they are based on Leslie's imagination, they seem to be realistically based on the historical situations, and on records and diaries for similar persons in the same or similar situations.

The impact of larger historical events - wars, economic conditions, cultural movements, church upheavals, immigration travails, etc. - on the ancestral families are one of the most interesting parts of the work for me. Woven throughout the stories are the conversion of the ancestral families to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was one of the major reasons for their immigration to the United States.

Of course, there are many more stories for Leslie to tell - this book details the lives of four immigrants from Western Europe to the United States, and then the family line from them to herself. She describes only briefly the parental families of these four persons, and does not treat the ancestral families of the females that marry into her Albrecht line.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it provides excellent examples of family history research. It made her immigrant ancestors - the journey takers - come to life as real people with real feelings and fears. They overcome hardships and family tragedies to persevere and settle in Utah in the late 1800s. Their specific stories are Leslie's stories to tell, but they are instructive to all of us with immigrant ancestors from Europe and the process of migrating and settling within the United States. Leslie tells their unique stories passionately and well.

I also liked the "road trip" experiences that helped Leslie find more family history. They are an integral part of this book. Many researchers can relate to them, and many wish that they could take more of them!

Leslie's own story makes this a very personal family history - the book starts before her marriage and ends with her at age 30 and a growing family. She says:

"I want them [her children] to feel the hand of family that reaches forward more certainly for me because of the strength I now recognize in its roots. To carry forward the legacy of their family though, my children must first know it's there."
This book guarantees that!

Publication details:

Leslie Ann Huber, The Journey Takers, Foundation Books, 2010, 332 pages, 6 x 9, with appendix and bibliography. ISBN 2010924144, $19.95 (paperback).

The book can be ordered through Leslie's website,

Disclosure: I received a complimentary advanced review copy of the book directly from Leslie Albrecht Huber and promised her an objective review by 1 July.

Tombstone Tuesday - Arthur and Katherine Spanks

I ran out of my own ancestral and family tombstone pictures several months ago, so I'm posting some tombstone pictures from my collection of "funny and strange" tombstone pictures - I use some of these in my "Genealogy is Fun - Seriously!" talk.

Today, this photo caught my fancy:

A Google search of ["arthur spanks" katherine 1860] resulted in four matches - two were for entries in the FamilySearch Ancestral File and IGI, the third was the use of the epitaph in a sermon, and the fourth was a GenForum message board post.

There is an entry in Ancestry's One World Tree database also, for this couple indicating that Katherine's birth name was Catherine Whitman.

It's probable that Arthur Spanks and Katherine were born in Nova Scotia, but it's not clear if they stayed in Canada or migrated to Massachusetts at some point in time. I have been unable to determine where this stone rests.

Some questions: Is Arthur Spanks buried here? The years given are for Katherine, aren't they?

Monday, June 28, 2010

CVGS Program: "Infectious Diseases of the Civil War" on Wednesday, 30 June

The June program meeting of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society will be Wednesday, 30 June 2010, at 12 noon in the Conference Room at the Chula Vista South Branch Library (389 Orange Avenue, the southeast corner of Fourth and Orange). Please note the venue change for this meeting - it is at SOUTH BRANCH. You can enter the library through the south-facing door marked "Literacy Center" near the west end of the parking lot.

After a brief business meeting, Barbara Hemmingsen will present "Infectious Diseases of the Civil War." Her CV:

Barbara Bruff Hemmingsen earned a B.A. in Bacteriology, an M. A. in Microbiology, and a Ph.D. in Marine Microbiology from the University of California more years ago than she wishes to remember. She then did research in Environmental Microbiology and taught various lecture and laboratory courses in Microbiology at San Diego State University for 30 years.

When she retired in 2004, she began preparing her great, great-grandfather's letters for publication. Joseph Bruff wrote 240 letters to his wife during the Civil War when he served as an officer in the Union Army, 1862-1865. These letters contain a great deal of fascinating military, political, economic, health, and cultural information. As a microbiologist, Barbara was struck by the many references Joseph Bruff made to illnesses, his own and his men.

Her lecture "Infectious Diseases in the Civil War" will introduce the audience to the diseases which were common in America in the middle 1800s, and will provide an understanding of what it was like to live (and die) before the advent of modern medicine.

For more information about CVGS or this meeting, please contact Barbara I. by phone at 619-477-4140, or email at note that this program will be at Chula Vista South Branch Library (389 Orange Avenue)!

Consoilidated Index to Plymouth Colony Records

I was happy to see Dale H.Cook's recent post to the Barnstable County, Massachusetts mailing list (and I'm sure he posted it to several other mailing lists) concerning his consolidated index to 13 volumes of Plymouth Colony Records. Dale's post said:

"My Consolidated Index to Plymouth Colony Records is now complete. It indexes all twelve volumes published in the 1800s and the volume of probates published in 1996. It is a large (1.45 mb) PDF file which can be read online or downloaded.

"Dale H. Cook, Member, NEHGS and MA Society of Mayflower Descendants;
Plymouth Co. MA Coordinator for the USGenWeb Project
Administrator of "

The index is a 448 page PDF file that indexes vital records, land records, probate records, court records, and many other record types for the period from 1620 to 1692. There are three parts to the index - for names, for places and for other subjects.

Thank you to Dale Cook for his hard work in compiling this index. For those of us with early Plymouth ancestry, it is invaluable.

In my case, I need to go through this index for my ancestral families, pick out the volumes and pages of interest, and find the entries in the books. Of course, that means that I need to find the books in a repository somewhere. I'm wondering if they are on Google Books or any of the other online book sites? I haven't checked yet - maybe later today! If readers have the answer to the question, please let me know in comments to this post.

Amanuensis Monday - Shubael Seaver's (1640-1730) Estate Division

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 agreement drawn by the heirs of Shubael Seaver (1640-1730) of Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. He married Hannah Wilson (1647-1722) in 1668, and they had six children, five of whom were living at the time of Shubael's death.

Shubael Seaver did not write a will, nor was his estate probated. Shortly before his death, he requested Edmund Weld Jr. to hold his lands in trust for his children, to be divided after his death. Edmund Weld Jr. paid 5 shillings to receive the trust (Suffolk County Deeds 44:45, LDS Microfilm 0,493,949). The details in this indenture are identical to those in the settlement of the estate (Suffolk County Deeds 49:235, LDS Microfilm 0,493,951):

"Whereas our Honoured Father Shubael Seaver late of Roxbury in the County of Suffolk in New England Wheelwright Deceased did in an Instrument under his Hand and Seal duly Executed bearing Date the Third Day of January 1729/30 amongst other things and Uses Order that after his the Said Seaver's decease his real Estate should be disposed of to and for the Use of his two Sons Joseph and Shubael Seaver and his three Daughters Hannah Grigory Abigail Cole and Thankful More them and their heirs forever part and part alike save only a double part & portion to the said Joseph Seaver to be divided as the Law of the province directs and appoints. Agreeable to which we the Subscribers & Children to the said deceased have mutually agreed and by these presents do agree to the Settlement of the said Estate as follows viz.

"Impr. Agreed that our Brother Joseph Seaver shall have and hold all the Mansion or Dwelling House Messuage & Garden and part of the Orchard containing about One Acre & an half as now marked out lying in Roxbury aforesd bounded South Easterly on the Country Road leading towards Dedham and North Easterly on Land lately sold to Mr. Davis by Samuel Gore with the Barn on the other side of the Highway against the said house and the land thereunto belonging bounded on the said Country Road Northwesterly and on Land belonging to our Brother Edmund Cole North Easterly and South Easterly And also the One full half part of the Salt Marsh lying at a place in said Rox'y called the Island containing on the whole about Two Acres bounded on the Creek Southerly & Westerly &c. All which to be to him said Joseph Seaver his Heirs & assigns forever.

"2ly. Agreed that our sister Hannah Griggory shall have and hold the remaining Part of the House Lot of Orchard Land containing about four acres and an half in Roxbury aforesd and Bounded North Easterly partly on the land aforesd set off to said Joseph Seaver and partly on Land sold by said Samuel Gore to Mr. Davis South Easterly on the sd Country Road and partly on George Laucklin's Land and Northwesterly on Capt Jos'h Mayo's Land all which said Land to be to the sd Hannah Grigory and her Heirs forever.

"3ly. Agreed that our Sister Abigail Cole shall have and hold part of the Pasture Land lying on the said Country Road in Roxbury aforesaid Northerly and at the further Side of it next to Mr. Abbot's Land called Whortleberry Hill and bounded Westerly on said Land and to extend into the said Pasture Land so as to make about five Acres as the same is now staked out and divided from the Remainder thereof All which said part of the Pasture Land to be to the said Abigail Cole her Heirs and Assigns forever Said Land is bound Southerly on Isaac Curtis's Land.

"4ly. Agreed that our Brother Shubael Seaver and Sister Thankful More shall have and hold the remaining part of the said Pasture Land being about Ten Acres Bounded Northerly on the Said Country Road and Easterly on Land belonging to the Heirs of William Abbot Deceased Southerly on Isaac Curtis's Land and Westerly on Land of Sister Cole the said Ten Acres of Pasture Land to be equally divided between them And to be to them the said Shubael Seaver and Thankful More and their Heirs forever.

"And further it is agreed that our said Brother Shubael Seaver shall have and hold the One full half being the remaining part of the Salt Marsh on the Island aforesd in Roxbury and bounded on the Creek Southerly and Westerly &c to him the said Shubael Seaver his Heirs and Assigns forever.

"And further as Touching and Concerning the personal Estate out of the good Will and Affection that we bear to our Sister Hannah Griggory give the same to her and her Heirs and Assigns And therefore do further agree to pay all the Debts that do or shall appear due from our said Father equally between us.

"In Witness whereof we the said Joseph Seaver and Patrick Grigory and Hannah his wife Edmund Cole and Abigail his Wife Shubael Seaver & Richard More and Thankful his Wife have hereunto put their Hands and Seals the thirteenth Day of March in the Third Year of his Majestie's Reign Annoque Domino 1729/30.

Joseph Sever & a seal

Patrick 'G' Griggory his mark & a Seal

Hannah 'G' Griggory her mark & a seal

Edmund Cole & a Seal Abigail '#' Cole her mark & a seal

Shubael Seaver & a seal Richard More & a seal.

Signed Sealed and Delivered in presence of us Ebenezer Newell Joseph Ruggles Ebenezer Pierpont

"Suffolk Ss Roxbury Apr. 6th 1730. Joseph Seaver Hannah Griggory Abigail Cole and Shubael Seaver appearing before me the subscribers acknowledged this Instrument to be their Act and Deed John Bowles Justice Pacis.

Thankful '#' More her mark and a seal.

Thankful More Signed Sealed and Delivered this Instrument in presence of witnesses Hezekiah Turner Edmund Weld junr

"Suffolk Ss Roxbury May 18th 1730 Thankful More appearing before me the Subscriber acknowledged this Instrument to be her free Act and Deed John Bowles Justice Pacis.

"March 12th 1734 Rec'd & Accordingly Entred & Examined. Samuel Gerrish Reg'r."

Some of the lessons learned from this document include:

* Property can be divided and passed to heirs through a deed or indenture, but all of the heirs need to agree to the division.

* The heirs seemed to amicably settle the estate of their "honoured father" quickly after his death.

* Why did Shubael Seaver bequeath his property in this way? Was he too old or feeble to express his will to a scribe? Did he express his will verbally to one or more of his children, or to his trustee, Edmund Weld?

* The division of the property is very clear, and each heir signed off on the division. The agreement provides the names of the husbands of Shubael Seaver's daughters.

* Sometimes documents such as this are not recorded until years after the events transpired. In this case, this was all recorded in 1734, only four years after the agreement was executed. Researchers need to search for many years after a person's death in order to ensure that they find all recorded documents for the deceased person. Some documents were only recorded when the grantee sold property or died, and that could be decades after the initial property exchange.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Best of the Genea-Blogs - June 20-26, 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:

* Sojourn in Slovakia: Day 2 (Part 1), Part 2, and Part 3 by Lisa Alzo on The Accidental Genealogist blog. Lisa has stories and pictures from her long-awaited trip to one of her ancestral towns in Slovakia.

* The Evidence Architecture of the New FamilySearch Tree by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog. Mr. AI continues his quest for the perfect genealogy evidence management system...nFS isn't it, yet, but they're working on it.

* Charivari by Sheri Fenley on The Educated Genealogist blog. I've always wondered what a "shivaree" really was - now I know! Thanks, Sheri.

* US Civil War Pension Files by Pat Richley on DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog. Ol'Myrt provides a great summary of the topic - these pension records are not yet available online, but are a tremendous genealogical record.

* ACC: Historical Canadian Directories Online, and more by John D. Reid on the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog. John provides a summary of the Canadian city directories on, plus more news for the genealogist with Canadian interests.

* Splog Happens by footnoteMaven on the footnoteMaven blog. fM describes splogs (spam blogs) and the legal aspects of them. The good news is that complaining to the splogger usually gets rid of the splog posts.

* What is going into New FamilySearch? and Discussion Tabs on New FamilySearch by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog. More informative information about new FamilySearch Discussion Tabs, with examples!

* The Gift of Mary Campbell by Becky Jamison on the Grace and Glory blog. Becky shows us her "pot of gold" collection that came out of the blue from a Canadian cousin.

* Making the Leap from From Family Historian to Family Writer by Lynn Palermo on The Armchair Genealogist blog. Lynn has written her book, and encourages all of us to do the same. Excellent work, Lynn!

* Using Evernote for Genealogy by Tonia Kendrick on the Tonia's Roots blog. Tonia describes using Evernote for genealogy work - an excellent how-to guide.

* Family History Expo Colorado–Day 1 by Elizabeth on the Genealogy Geek blog. Elizabeth attended the Family History Expo at Loveland, Colorado this weekend, and reports on her experiences.

* Summer Survival Guide for Genealogy Bloggers – What is Your Blog Doing for Summer Vacation? by Denise Levenick on The Family Curator blog. Some wonderful blog ideas for the season.

* Had To Try It by Louis Kessler on Louis Kessler's Behold Blog. Louis is using Stack Overflow for programming problems, and started a site for Genealogy Software and the Internet. We need more genealogy bloggers and readers to participate - give it a try!

* Follow Friday - 25 June 2010 by Greta Koehl on Greta's Genealogy Bog blog. Greta's weekly picks are very helpful for genea-blog readers.

* Weekly Genealogy Picks by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog. John's list always informs genea-blog readers.

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

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.