Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - You Might be a Genealogist if ...

Hi genea-buffs - it's Saturday Night -- time for more Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is based on Katie O's post You Might Be a Genealogist If ... on the You Are Where You Came from blog:

"You might be a genealogist if . . . you know exactly what you want to get with your tax refund, and it's your great-great-great-grandmother's death certificate."

Here are the directions:

1)  Make up your own "You Might be a Genealogist if..." sayings.  One or more.  Lots.  The more the merrier.  You can use Katie's tax theme, or any other theme - you're completely free to make up anything you want!

2)  Tell us about them in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, in a Twitter feed, or in a Facebook status line or comment.

Here are mine:

*  You might be a genealogist if ... you love the thrill of the ancestry hunt.

*  You might be a genealogist if ... you stop at every cemetery and take pictures of interesting stones.

*  You might be a genealogist if ... you can"t wait to get into courthouse and library basements and storage rooms.

*  You might be a genealogist if ... you know how to read a GEDCOM file.

*  You might be a genealogist if ... you love writing quality source citations.

*  You might be a genealogist if ... all the people in your social circle are genealogists.

*  You might be a genealogist if ... your friends at church tell you about their grandparents.

Your turn!!

Thank you to Katie O for the idea for this Saturday Night Genealogy Fun!

Surname Saturday - WILHELM (Germany? > Pennsylvania)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 205,  who is Maria Barbara WILHELM (1740-1781), another of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back to Maria Barbara WILHELM is:

1.  Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-....)

2.  Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3.  Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

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

12.  Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946)
13.  Abbie Ardell "Della" Smith (1862-1944)

24.  David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902)
25.  Rebecca Spangler (1832-1901)

50.  John Daniel Spangler (1781-1851)
51.  Elizabeth King (1796-1863)

102.  Philip Jacob King (1764-1829)
103.  Catherine Ruth (1770-1813)

204. Philip Jacob King, born about 1739 in Germany; died before 25 February 1792 in York, York, Pennsylvania, United States. He was the son of 408. Johann Nicolaus Koenig and 409. Maria Margaretha Stuber. He married  01 April 1763 in Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States.
205. Maria Barbara Wilhelm, born about 1740 in Pennsylvania, United States; died before 1781 in York, York, Pennsylvania, United States.

Children of Philip King and Maria Wilhelm are:
i. Philip Jacob King, born 24 February 1764 in York, York, Pennsylvania, United States; died 02 March 1829 in Spring Garden, York, Pennsylvania, United States; married (1) Catherine Ruth before 1790 in probably York, Pennsylvania, United States; married (2) Christina Miller 08 March 1814 in York, York, Pennsylvania, United States.
ii. Elizabeth King, born 17 May 1767 in York, York, Pennsylvania, United States; married Bernard Pentz.
iii. Henry King, born 08 January 1770 in York, York, Pennsylvania, United States; married Eva Weidner
1797 in probably York, York, Pennsylvania, United States.
iv. George King, born about 1774 in York, York, Pennsylvania, United States;  married Catherine Mary.
v. Peter King, born 18 December 1775 in Manchester, York, Pennsylvania, United States; married Susanna
03 March 1800 in probably York, York, Pennsylvania, United States.
vi. John King, born 16 May 1776 in Manchester, York, Pennsylvania, United States.
vii. Barbara King, born 30 November 1777 in Manchester, York, Pennsylvania, United States; died 03
February 1800 in York, Pennsylvania, United States; married John Rouse 1796 in probably York, York,
Pennsylvania, United States.

410 Jacob Wilhelm, died before 17 August 1771 in Lancaster, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States. He married
411. Catharine

Children of Jacob Wilhelm and Catharine are:
i. Maria Wilhelm, married Henry Tank.
ii. Philip Wilhelm
iii. Adam Wilhelm, married Maria Barbara King; born about 1750 in Germany.
iv. Jacob Wilhelm, born about 1735; married Catharine Schupp.
v. Maria Barbara Wilhelm, born about 1740 in Pennsylvania, United States; died before 1781 in York,
York, Pennsylvania, United States; married Philip Jacob King 01 April 1763 in Lancaster, Lancaster,
Pennsylvania, United States.

The only resources I've found to date for the Jacob Wilhelm family are:

1)  Two of Jacob Wilhelm's children married two of Nicholas King's children, as described in the book "The
Kings of York County:  Pioneers, Patriots and Papermakers" by Richard Shue.   The book indicates that
Jacob Wilhelm lived in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania during the 1750's and 1760's.

2)  A short biography of Jacob Wilhelm was published in the biographical record of Frank Wilhelm in the
book "Centennial Portrait and Biographical Record of the City of Dayton and of Montgomery County,
Ohio:"  This work says:

"Jacob Wilhelm was the first of the family to come from Germany to America, brought with him
considerable means and settled in Lancaster county, Pa.  His grandson, also christened Jacob, was the great-
grandfather of Frank, the subject of this biographical notice, and early kept a hotel in Harrisburg.  He also
owned forty acres of land immediately east of the state house, and this ground is now covered with costly
buildings.  He died about the year 1830, at the age of ninety-three years, a member of the German Reform
church.  He served in the Revolutionary war, and had been twice married, and by his first wife was the father
of four children, viz:  John, Peter, David and Catherine; to his second marriage no children were born."

That doesn't make sense to me, because it doesn't mention Adam and Barbara, and has the great-
grandfather living until 1830 rather than 1771.  It may conflate two Jacob Wilhelms, or be another family

Obviously, I need to do more work on this family!  Are there any cousins reading this that want to share?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dear Randy: How do you enter Scandinavian farm names in your database?

Reader Mark contacted me via email several weeks ago with this question.  He noted:

"All [Norwegian] names in the past consisted of baptized given name (and possible a middle name too) and a patronymic (xxx-sen or xxx-datter, where xxx was the father’s given name).  A third “label” was often associated with a person, namely the name of the farm where they lived.  This helped reduce confusion when there was more than one person with the same given name and patronymic.  An excellent article on this whole practice is found at

"My question: How do you enter the various “name” info in your FTM database?  Given & middle names are obvious, but what goes in the surname field – the patronymic only or the name of the farm too? 

"My practice to date: I put both the patronymic & name of farm in the Surname field, separated only by a space.  However, it gets messy when various records for an individual reference different Farm Names – since folks moved around. 

"My work-around: I create another (non-preferred) NAME fact, and associate the appropriate record (that references that other farm) as a source citation for that alternate name.

"My nagging doubt: The article in the URL I reference above states that the Farm’s name is a location, not a part of an individual’s own identity.  That makes me think I should capture names of farm(s) as RESIDENCE fact(s) instead, which then allows me to show a time period associated with that farm.

"I would love to see a “best practice” so it’s easier to compare Public Member Trees for possible matches.  (And how will New Family Tree want to handle this, I wonder?!)"

This is a great question that is important to anyone with Scandinavian ancestry where the families used Patronymic names - see the Scandinavia: Names article in the FamilySearch Research Wiki for information about the patronymic naming system.

I responded to Mark with:

"My practice for the Norwegian research I did on my wife's line was to use the patronymic only, and then to add any other name to the Alternate Name field and in my Notes.  The exception being the immigrants that changed their names in the USA after about 1870 - I used given name, patronymic name and chosen surname for them because they were known by both names and the chosen surname 'stuck.' 

"I had not seen the article on the subject on the Norway site!   I tend to agree with the article about the Farm name being a location, and therefore a Residence fact, but if they were known by that name then it would be appropriate to add it to the Alternate Name field in software and certainly in the Notes."

In reviewing for this blog post, I noted that these issues were well discussed by John Follesdal in his Norwegian naming practices article, saying:

"... we, as genealogists, are faced with a difficult question: "What name do I enter in my database for my ancestor's 'First name' and what name do I enter for his or her 'Surname'?" This question becomes especially difficult if your ancestor moved around to various farms. In addition, your database of Norwegian ancestors may wind up containing three, four or maybe five persons named Ola Anderson. The only way to tell them apart will be the farm name or their dates of birth. Since genealogy software programs can search for any given individual in your database by name, you may want to list both the patronymic name and the farm name as alternate surnames in order to distinguish your Ole Anderson Myrold from your Ole Anderson Ƙdegaard. While the use of these names as "surnames" is not historically accurate, it is a method that will allow you to find the correct Ola Anderson in your database when you need to. (If you use this approach you will need to note the time periods that your ancestor used a particular farm name, since the ancestor may have used different farm names in the course of his or her life)."

So - Mark asked me if I would ask my readers the question at the end of his email:

"Is there a current “best practice” so it’s easier to compare Public Member Trees for possible matches.  (And how will New Family Tree want to handle this?"

What say you, readers and Scandinavian genealogy experts?  What practices do you use, and is there an agreed  "best practice?"

Thank you, Mark, for the interesting question.  I learned something, and I hope my readers did too.

Some Records for the William Seaver Family Members

On 15 March, I posted "A Horrid Murder" in Alexandria.  The newspaper article about his murder on 6 July 1821 was lurid, but what happened after that?  On 17 March, I wrote William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - a Reward Offered - by the President of the United States, and three mayors.  The William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - A Jailhouse Confession post on 18 March seemed to solve the case.  William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - Was it Ever Solved? posted on 21 March was an article from 1874 claiming that the murder was a "cold case," but mentioned a confession to a murder printed in the Alexandria Gazette newspaper in 1866.  William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - the 1866 Confession, posted on 30 March, provided the first part of the 1866 Confession of John Trust from the Alexandria Gazette newspaper, and Part 2 on 31 March provided more detail of the murder from the confession. 

In Clues for the Ancestry of murder victim, William Seaver, I summarized the information I have for William Seaver's ancestry.  It wasn't much, but seemed to point to him being the son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Coolidge) Seaver, born in 1782 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, who married Martha Davis in 1809.  The records I need to find for William Seaver's land and probate records cannot be done online, so I have that on my list for my next visit to the Family History Library or Washington DC area archives.

In the last post, I wondered what happened to the wife and children of William Seaver - his wife Martha, and children Martha, William and Sarah.  I did some more searching in city directory and census records, and found these bits of information:

1)  Washington DC City Directories on

a)  The 1822 Washington, D.C. City Directory (page 68) listed her as:

"Seaver, Martha, widow, fancy goods store, n side Penn av btw 9 and 10w"

b)  In the 1827 Washington DC City Directory (page 70) listed her as:

"Seaver, Mrs. now Mrs. M. Bowen, widow, milliner and ladies dress maker, n side Penn av btw 9 and 10w"

It's not clear if she is a widow of Mr. M. Bowen.

c)  The 1830 Washington D.C. City Directory (page 8), listed her as:

"Bowen, Mrs. M. ladies' dress maker and milliner, Varnum's Row, n. side Penn av. btw. 9 and 10w ent. by D st. n."

The next available Washington City Directory on footnote is 1834, and Martha Bowen was not listed, nor were the Seaver sisters.  I checked up to 1850 and concluded that they moved away from Washington DC.  My correspondent has them in Baltimore for many years.

2)  Census records on

a)  A search for Martha Bowen in the 1850 census did not find her or her daughters with surname Seaver.

b)  In the 1860 United States census, Martha and her two daughters reside in Baltimore Ward 18, Baltimore County, Maryland (Page 853 (penned), Dwelling #5345, Family #5541, accessed on, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M653, Roll 465). The household included:

* Martha Bowen - age 60, female, born Massachusetts
* Martha Coolidge - age 40, female, $3000 in real property, $1000 in personal property, born Massachusetts
* Sarah Coolidge - age 30, female, born Maryland

c)  A search for Martha Bowen in the 1870 census did not find her. She may have died between 1860 and 1870.

In the 1870 United States Census, the daughters resided in Baltimore Ward 19, Baltimore County, Maryland ( (Page 353B, Dwelling #1408, Family #1700, accessed on, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 580). The household included:

* Martha Seaver - age 40, female, white, keeping house, $7000 in real property, $400 in personal property, born Massachusetts
* Sarah Seaver - age 30, female, white, a milliner, born Maryland

e)  In the 1880 United States Census, the daughters resided in Baltimore Ward 19, Baltimore County, Maryland (Page 66B, Dwelling #137, Family #154, accessed on, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T9, Roll 504). The household included (indexed on as "Leevers"):

* Martha C. Seevers - white, female, age 65, single, born Massachusetts, parents born Massachusetts/Massachusetts
* Sarah A. Seevers - white, female, age 57, sister, single, keeping house, born Maryland, parents born Massachusetts/Massachusetts

f)  I did not find Martha Seaver or Sarah Seaver in the 1900 U.S. Census records.

My conclusion is that these are the same persons throughout the census records found. 

In the 1860 census, we find the three women together, although I don't know why the daughter Martha was surnamed "Coolidge" (and Sarah's surname was a ditto mark under Martha's), but the birthplaces are consistent.  The ages aren't!  Their ages are about 10 to 20 years off, aren't they (I think Martha (Davis) Seaver) Bowen was born before 1790, daughter Martha was born in about 1810, and daughter Sarah was born in about 1815).  The "Coolidge?"  Recall that William Seaver's mother's name was Sarah Coolidge, and daughter Martha is Martha C. Seaver - perhaps she was using their grandmother's maiden name for some reason, or she answered "Martha Coolidge" when asked what her name was by the census enumerator.

In the 1870 census, we see that the sisters haven't aged a bit since 1860, and their ages are now 20 to 25 years off.  They may have discovered the "fountain of youth!" 

By the 1880 census, the ages are off by only 5 to 10 years.  It looks like the "fountain" dried up, doesn't it?

One of the most important clues in these census records are the real property values in the 1860 and 1870 census records.  It is likely that the daughter Martha, listed with significant real property, bought the home in Baltimore where she and her sister reside in 1860 through 1880.  Is there a probate record for the estate of William Seaver?  I think it is likely.  Why didn't the mother, Martha Bowen in the 1860, own the property?  I think it was because she married again, and gave up her "thirds" from the estate of William Seaver at the time of her marriage. 

I'm still looking for records of:

*  A marriage record, or announcement, of Martha Seaver to M. Bowen in the 1822-1827 time frame (likely in Washington DC).

*  A death record for Martha (Davis) (Seaver) Bowen (likely in Baltimore).

*  A death record for Martha C. Seaver (likely in Baltimore).

*  A death record for Sarah A. Seaver (likely in Baltimore).

*  What happened to the son, William Seaver?  Where did he live, did he marry and have children, where did he die?

Stay tuned - there are more bits of evidence in the available online records!  I'm having lots of Genealogy Fun with this genealogy hunt!

Updated 9:30 a.m. - every time I copy/paste something from RootsMagic it seems to mess up my blog formatting.  Sorry for the confusing information earlier - I think I have it fixed now.  Stay! darn blog.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Isaac Seaver's Civil War Draft Registration Record announced today that their Civil war Collection is FREE for seven days starting today, 7 April.  The collection is highlighted at

One of the featured databases is the U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Records, 1863-1865.  The description of this database is:

"There were four drafts between 1863 and 1865, which included 3.175 million records. Historically, the 1863 draft was one of the most tenuous moments in the Union outside of the battles fought on Northern soil. Most of the concern was due to the draft riots that took place in New York in 1863.

"These records include 631 volumes of registries and are basically lists of individuals who registered for the draft. The records are split into two different classes, Class I are those aged 20-35 as well as those 36-45 and unmarried. Class II is everyone else that registered.
"The registry contains information including:
  • Class
  • Congressional district
  • County
  • State
  • Residence
  • Name
  • Age on July 1, 1863
  • Race
  • Profession
  • Married status
  • Birthplace
  • Former military service
  • Remarks"
I searched for several of my ancestors who were aged 20 to 45 in the 1863 period.  I found at least two, including Isaac Seaver.  Here is his entry on the Civil War Draft Registrations:

The information about Isaac Seaver includes (on Page 261 of List of Class II persons in the Ninth Congressional District of Massachusetts, which included Worcester County, listed 30 June 1863):

*  Residence:  Westminster, Mass.
*  Name: Isaac Seaver 3d
*  Age, 1st July 1863:  39
*  Race: White
*  Profession, occupation or trade: Mechanic
*  Place of Birth: Massachusetts
*  Former Military Service: [None listed]
*  Remarks:  [None listed]

Isaac was age 39 and married, and therefore in Class II (those not aged 20-35, or age 36-45 and unmarried).

This data can be very useful for researchers to determine residence, approximate birth date and birth place, and occupation. 

There are many more interesting databases in the Civil War Collection, including Confederate Pension Record indexes and military cemetery listings. 

Treasure Chest Thursday - Isaac Seaver's Civil War Pension File: Surgeon's Report in 1900

It's Treasure Chest Thursday, time to share one of the documents or artifacts in my family history collection.  In many previous posts, I have displayed documents from the Civil War Pension File of Isaac Seaver, my second great-grandfather. 

I received the complete Civil War Pension File for Isaac Seaver on 3 January - see my post My Christmas Present Came Today - Oh Boy! - and it has 81 pages in the file.  Some of them have little or no information on them. 

The compendium of previous posts for this Pension File is in Treasure Chest Thursday - Isaac Seaver's Civil War Pension File: Compendium of Posts.

This week I'm posting the Surgeon's Certificate filed in 1900 that supported a request for an increase in pension from $8 to $12.  This is page 30 in the Pension File:

The transcription of the "Surgeon's Certificate" is (blanks filled in are italicized and underlined):


Insert character and number of claim: Increase Pension claim No. 850736
Name of claimant: Isaac Seaver 3d
Pvt. Company H. 4 Reg't Mass. HA.
Address of board: FITCHBURG, MASS.
Claimant's post-office address: Leominster, MASS.
Date of examination: OCT 17 1900
Cause of disability: Varicose Veins of both legs - disease of heart - rheumatism - trouble of urinary
organs having symptoms of enlarged prostate gland and results -
carbuncle on back of neck.  He receives a pension of eight dollars per month.
He makes the following statement upon which he bases his claim for increase -
Veins knot-up, legs get tired walking - short of breath -
palpitation - not much rheumatism now - gets up 3 times nights
to pass water & every 2 hrs daytime - carbuncle on neck 14 years ago
not trouble now - Blacksmith - not worked past 6 yrs. except chores
about house - sleep various - appetite not good - bowels loose lately.

We hereby certify that upon examination we find the following objective conditions:
Pulse rate, 72-100-102 (sitting, standing, after exercise), respiration 18-20-20 (sitting, standing, after exercise), temperature 98.6,
height 5 feet 8 1/4 inches; actual weight, 150 pounds; age, 77 years.
Hands soft,- tongue white - shows his age - His
small varicose veins andorsum right foot and about
ankle and involving internal saph????? vein tok???-
also large veins andorsum left foot and about
ankle tok??? on inner surface of leg - novedema.
Heart irregular - murmur atrophy inattXXXismitted
apex not seen - area increased to nipple line -
revorduma cyanosis or dysphoria -
no muscle joint or tendon affected by rheumatism
Urine - yellow - acid - 1015 - no albumin no sugar.
Prostate gland - very large - not very tender. no evi-
dence of carbuncle.  no other disability found to
exist. We find that the aggregate permanent disabil-
ity for earning a support by manual labor is due to
varicose veins of both legs - disease of heart and en-
larged prostate gland - not due to vicious habits
and warrants a rate of $12--

A J Hitchcock, Pres. E L Fiske, Sec'y. E.P. Miller, Treas.

The doctor's handwriting of the medical terms is difficult to read in spots.  

Comparing Isaac's height and weight between his 1892 examination (page 38 of the Pension File) reveals that he has lost weight (163 pounds in 1892 down to 150 pounds in 1900) and height (5 feet 10 inches in 18923, only 5 feet 8 inches in 1900).  He still has varicose veins, heart problems and prostate problems, but his carbuncle and rheumatism have gone away.

Isaac received the increase from $8 to $12 as a result of his application and this examination. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Another look at - FAIL!

I saw the Mundia Blog post today titled Introducing the Family Tree Side Panel and thought that the new feature looked interesting.  I decided to look at the website again to see how it's changed.  I last reported on Mundia on 15 December 2009 in on Facebook.

What is, you ask? is a free family tree site that adds family trees submitted by GEDCOM uploads, or by building a tree one person at a time, and they are incorporated into the Member Tree system.  Mundia is owned by

Here is the home page for for persons not already signed in:

The home page has a sign-up box, and a sign-in link at the top of the page.  Below the world map, there is a number that denotes the number of persons in the Mundia family tree system - it was over 2.3 billion persons when I captured the screen.  These are, of course, the number of persons in the Member Tree system - both public and private. 

I logged in using my account, and saw my home page:

It told me that I had four messages (they're the same ones in my Messages).  It noted that I have -2.3 billion members in my family tree.  Hmmm, what's that mean?  I clicked on the "Go to my family tree" link in the lower left-hand corner of the screen above, and saw:

An "Error Loading Page" message shows on the screen above.  Aha!  I know what happened.  I deleted earlier family trees late last year and Mundia cannot find the earlier database.  Right?  Okay, how do I make it show my current Ancestry Member Tree?  Ah, there's a "Manage your tree" link on my home page.  I clicked on that, and saw:

I clicked on the green "Set as my private tree" next to the "Randy Seaver's Genealogy Database" and the system worked...and worked... and after two minutes (I timed it), the dreaded FAIL page appeared:

  Why can't Internet Explorer display the webpage?  I tried this three times and it happened each time.  I know, why waste so much time doing it three times - that's a sign of sheer stupidity.  And why write about it - don't I have anything else to blog about these days?  I blog about it because I want to fix the problem, because if it happens to me, it happens to everybody. 

I went back from the start - the sign-in page, signed in, and clicked on "Manage my tree" and selected the right database, and got the same result.  Therefore, it will probably occur for any user that has deleted their earlier selected tree.

SDGS Program on Saturday, 9 April features Paul Lipinski

The next San Diego Genealogical Society program meeting is this Saturday, 9 April at 10 a.m. (note the new time for 2011 meetings) at the St. Andrews Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd, in San Diego just south of Jackson Drive).

The program speaker is Paul R. Lipinski on two topics:

1)  "Gazetteers" -- this presentation focuses on gazetteers and helps genealogists understand how they can be used as a research tool to identify locations with examples covering Poland, Germany, parts of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania.

2)  "History of Eastern Europe with Maps" -- presented is a view of the history of Poland (includes Austria, Germany, Russia, etc.) from earliest times using maps to illustrate the changes in borders.  The impact of key events in history on the origination and availability of records is covered, concentrating on the period after the 14th century showing how historic events and the period of the of the partitions have had affect on the record keeping and what researchers can expect when they find records.

Paul R. Lipinski, BS, a researcher for over thirty years, has traced most of his ancestral lines to the 1700s.  He is a member of the Polish Genealogical Society of California (PGS-CA), serving as President and Vice-President.  Currently, he is Editor of the quarterly publication, the Bulletin.  He has written articles for several publications, has organized and chaired conferences and is consultant at the Los Angeles Regional Family History Center where he teaches and assists with research.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 147: Carringer House Framing in 1951

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.

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

This is the first picture I have of the house built by Lyle and Emily (Auble) Carringer, my grandparents, on Point Loma in San Diego in 1951.  The address is 825 Harbor View Place, right at the foot of Lucinda Street, and the intersection of Harbor View Place and Armada Terrace is just to the right of this picture.  The house was built on a pie-slice shaped lot subdivided from the older redwood home to the left in the photograph. 

There are thee automobiles shown in this photograph - my guess is that one of them was my grandfather's car.  I recall that he had either a Studebaker or a Hudson in this time period.  I looked at a web page with photos of old Studebakers ( and think that the light colored car in the photo above is very similar to a 1948 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser Sedan.  However, I'm not sure that this is the Carringer car.  I have not found another photograph of this car yet in the family collection, but have photos of another car in this same time period in the collection. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Clues for the Ancestry of murder victim, William Seaver

On 15 March, I posted "A Horrid Murder" in Alexandria.  The newspaper article about his murder on 6 July 1821 was lurid, but what happened after that?  On 17 March, I wrote William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - a Reward Offered - by the President of the United States, and three mayors.  The William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - A Jailhouse Confession post on 18 March seemed to solve the case.  William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - Was it Ever Solved? posted on 21 March was an article from 1874 claiming that the murder was a "cold case," but mentioned a confession to a murder printed in the Alexandria Gazette newspaper in 1866.  William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - the 1866 Confession, posted on 30 March, provided the first part of the 1866 Confession of John Trust from the Alexandria Gazette newspaper, and Part 2 on 31 March provided more detail of the murder from the confession. 

So who was William Seaver, where did he come from, who was in his family, and what happened to them? 

I think I can answer the first three questions, and will save the last question for later. 

I did not have a William Seaver with a death date of 1821 in my database. However, a correspondent wrote me that she was researching a William Seaver who married a Martha and had children Martha, William and Sarah (no dates given).  This was the William Seaver that was murdered in 1821, and my correspondent is researching the wife and children of William Seaver.

I consulted The Seaver Genealogy, compiled by Jesse Montgomery Seaver in 1924 and published by the author as a typescript.  This typescript was based on collected records and correspondence with many Seaver families who passed their family data to him. 

One of the families with no further information in The Seaver Genealogy by Jesse Montgomery Seaver (page 64, accessed on was:

 "William was murdered, m. Martha Davis: ch: Martha, William, Sarah."

Comparing my correspondent's secondary information with the Seaver book's secondary information, all of the family names match, and the critical fact of the murder matches.  Is this a fortuitous coincidence?  Perhaps.  But perhaps it is the same family.  Recall that in one of the newspaper articles it notes that William Seaver was born in Massachusetts. 

The Seaver Genealogy notes that the William Seaver that married Martha Davis was born in 1782 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Ebenezer and Sarah (Coolidge) Seaver.  A marriage of William Seaver to Martha Davis on 12 December 1809 in Providence, Rhode Island was found in the book:

David Colby Young and Elizabeth Keene Young, Vital records from Maine newspapers, 1785-1820 (Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 1993)

Where did Jesse Montgomery Seaver obtain the information about the marriage, the names of the spouse and children, and the murder?  It is very likely that he obtained it from a family member who had a family record or memory book - perhaps from William Seaver's siblings or their children.

 I have abstracts of many of the Seaver probate records from Middlesex County and Norfolk County, Massachusetts (Norfolk was formed from Suffolk County in 1793) and do not see William Seaver mentioned in those records.  Ebenezer Seaver died in 1820 in Brighton, Massachusetts (in Middlesex County then).  I don't have Seaver probate abstracts from Suffolk County, however, and several of Ebenezer Seaver's sons also resided there.  There may be newspaper records from Boston at the time of the murder that I haven't found yet.

What about other persons with the name William Seaver (and variants)?  I have several of them in my database who were old enough to marry in 1809, but only one that is not "connected" to a set of parents.  He was born in about 1780, birthplace unknown, and resided in Maine into the 1850s.  He could be the son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Coolidge) Seaver.  The key piece of information is likely to be some sort of record of Ebenezer Seaver that names his children and their residence.

While all of the evidence I have is based on derivative sources, and is secondary information, there are no evidence conflicts yet.  It is likely that the William Seaver murdered in 1821 in Alexandria, Virginia was the William Seaver born in 1782 in Roxbury, husband of Martha Davis, and father of Martha, William and Sarah Seaver.  I am actively searching for further records.  There may be church records, land records and probate records for William Seaver in Washington, DC. 

What happened to the wife Martha (Davis) Seaver, and the children Martha Seaver, William Seaver and Sarah Seaver?  There may be records for them hiding in vital, church, census, newspaper, cemetery and other records.  I'm looking!  My correspondent is looking too! More later!

Does any reader have suggestions for further research?  This is a challenging research problem and I will appreciate any help.  Please email me at  Thanks!

Tuesday's Tip - Use Barbara Renick's ZRoots Site

Today's Tuesday's Tip is:  Use online link collections, like Barbara Renick's ZRoots site (  to find new online resources.

Here is the home page of Barbara's site:

There are link buttons on the home page for:

Links - Barbara's link collection (more on this below)
*  Schedule - Barbara's speaking schedule
OFHC - Orange Family History Center information
Notes - Barbara's lecture notes
My Surnames - Barbara's own surname research list, with locations

The Links page is one of the gems - here is the top of the page:

There are five columns on this page - for Genealogy Sites, Search and Travel, Tools, Organization and Indices, and Library Links.  These are links that Barbara uses all the time, and are an excellent start for searching for records and information.

The bonus on Barbara's site is the lecture notes.   Not every one of her lectures is listed here, but some of them are and you can learn quite a bit about subjects she's spoken about.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Research Courses on the FamilySearch Learning Site

I'm trying to stay up-to-date on the offerings at, and it can be a challenge.  I last reported these on 2 March 2011 in New "Research Courses" on the FamilySearch Learning Site, when there were about 130 courses listed.

One of the most useful educational tools is the genealogical presentations on the Learn tab - go to

Here are the courses listed with a green NEW label as of today:
Australian BDM Civil Registration Research, presented by Allan D. Murrin (23 minutes)

New South Wales Early Church Records, 1788-1886, presented by Allan D. Murrin (21 minutes)

Using the New South Wales Birth, Death, Marriage Index, presented by Allan D. Murrin (26 minutes)

Getting the Most from The National Archives Website, presented by Audrey Collins (23 minutes)

What is Britain? presented by Audrey Collins (32 minutes)

Mentoring class: Introduction to ICAPGEN, presented by Tristan L. Tolman (8 minutes)

Mentoring Class: Research Binder, presented by Tristan L. Tolman (18 minutes)

Mentoring Class: Evidence Analysis, Part II, presented by Tristan L. Tolman (27 minutes)

If those don't wet your genea-whistle, go check the entire list of over 142 research courses at

The neat thing about these courses are that they are taught by subject matter experts, they are free to access, and they can be viewed by individuals or groups with an Internet connection.  Think about how your local society could use them for member programs and classes.

Pink or Blue? Does it Matter? I say No!

The organization published a press release today - New research: Moms keep going until they have a girl!  You can read it at GeneaPress.

The Blog has more information on their site in Global Research: Pink or blue – does a baby’s gender matter?  This article has the statistics from which the press release draws conclusions.

Based on the statistics provided, the main conclusion was:

"The most profound statistic was that families with 2 boys were almost 23% more likely to have another child than families with a boy and a girl, indicating a strong will amongst parents to produce a girl." 

That was probably concluded based on the worldwide statistic for families with "Male-Male" children being 27.9% of the families with three or more children, divided by the average 22.65% for families with "Female-Male" and "Male-Female."  Of course, using that methodology, the statistics show that families with "Female-Female" children that have a third child are 19% more likely to have a third child also.

The number of worldwide families surveyed with the first two children being "male-male" is 172,048, and the number of families with the first two children being "female-female" is 165,851.  The number of families with a male and a female (in no particular order) are 279,255.

I think the analysis and the conclusion are flawed, for these reasons: 

*  The survey was taken using family trees submitted by members, and was not obtained from vital statistics provided by countries around the world. 
*  The members, and their family tree entries, may not match the demographics in age, ethnicity, or income level that is representative of the world.
*  The families surveyed already had at least three children, not two children.  
*  We don't know how many families in the family tree system had only one, or only two children.  We really need a measurement that includes families that had only two children - say how many "male-male" and how many "female-female," so we can determine what percentage actually had another child.  We don't know how many "tried" or "didn't try" to have another child after two children. 
*  The survey period of 1990 to 2010 seems too recent for me.  I would have selected 1980 to 2000, rather than 1990 to 2010, in order to permit families to "finish" their child-bearing and complete their families.

On the other hand, we can say that, using the statistics comparing families with at least three children and at least four children, that:

*  There were 617,154 families in the study with three or more children, and 135,257 families with four or more children, so only 21.9% of the families in the study with three or more children had at least one more child.
*  The 165,851 families that started out with "female-female" produced 35,364 children (21.3%), and had a third female 53.9% of the time
*  The 172,048 families that started out with "male-male" produced 36,797 children (21.4%), and had a third male 56.2% of the time.
*  The 279,255 families with a "male-female" or a "female-male" produced 63,096 children (22.6%).
*  Of the third children, 67,912 were male, and 67,345 were female.  That's a 1% advantage of male births over females.
*  Look at that - the percentages of families having a third child are actually a bit higher for families with a "female-male" or "male-female" in the first two children.  That's a completely opposite conclusion from the study.  And, I think, it is a fairly drawn conclusion.

My conclusion is that the statistics are interesting, but that the study is flawed, and that the conclusions, while they may seem right to readers, cannot be fairly drawn without additional data.  My guess is that genetics plays a part in all of this.

Nice try, MyHeritage.  No cigar from Genea-Musings, who loves problems like this!

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree is only Two Months Away!

The Genealogy Jamboree at Burbank, California, sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society, is only two months away - June 10 to 12, 2011 (Friday to Sunday).  The Genealogy Jamboree website is at

There is information on the site for:

Jamboree registration

Hotel registration

Conference Program - with 130 concurrent class sessions running over the three days, you're sure to find just the tip you need to vault over that stubborn brick wall. Jamboree offers classes for those who are taking their very first step to those who are advanced researchers. Jamboree offers search strategies for using traditional repositories (libraries, courthouses, historical societies), to dozens of resources on the Internet.

Exhibitors - Between sessions, during the lunch breaks and throughout the day, you'll be kept busy by visiting almost 70 exhibitors, commercial vendors, genealogical societies and heritage organizations, speaker / authors, and others.

SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Blog -- up-to-date news and information about this year's Jamboree.

The home page has information about What's New for 2011 - early registration packet pickup, JamboFREE sessions, Genealogy world round table sessions, optional tours, small workshops, etc.

The Special Events (banquets and breakfasts) speakers and topics were announced today via email and will soon be, I'm sure, on their blog.  I will add the link to this post when it is available.

I noticed that there is a photograph of me on the Jamboree home page - can you find it?  There is a nice photo of Leo Myers, but not of Paula Hinkel - how come?  They are co-leaders for this conference.

Linda and I will take the train from San Diego to Burbank with the San Diego Genealogical Society group.  This is fun and easy, except for the transfer to the hotel - they are never prepared for it and it takes an hour or more to get the group to the hotel. 

I look forward to the genea-blogger activities planned by Thomas MacEntee and his crack team of planners...I would really like to hear the banquet speakers, but genea-blogger activities may take precedence.  Looking at the speaker list, it seems that most of them are genea-bloggers!

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Thomas Read (1627-1701) of Sudbury MA

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."

The subject today is the will of Thomas Read (1627-1701) of Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.  He was from Colchester, Essex, England and married (1) Katherine --?-- (1628-1677) in about 1652.  They had one known child - Thomas Read (1653-1733).  Thomas married Mary --?-- in 1678 in Sudbury, and she died in 1689 there.  Thomas married (3) Arabella Thong (1654-1717) in 1689 in Sudbury.

Thomas Read, Senior left a will, which was written 9 September 1701 and proved 6 October 1701 (Middlesex County [Mass.] Probate Records, Packet 18,620, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,421,501, transcribed by Randy Seaver, paragraphs and punctuation added for readability).  It reads:

"These may certifie to all persons whomsoever: that I Thomas Reed senr of Sudbury, in the county of Middlesex in the Province of the Massachusets Bay in New England; Being at this present time well in my understanding, though weake in body upon the account of Illness I am Labouring under, and from whence being Sensible of my great & Last Change: Doe make Constitute and appoint this my Last Will & Testament, disanulling all other Will or Wills, Testament or Testaments by me ... made ...

"Witness In the first place I comit my Spirit unto my glorious Redeemer ... And further as touching my worldly Estate which God hath blest me with (my Debts & funeral charges being payed) My minde and Will is, In the first place that my beloved wife Arrabella Read be well and comfortably maintained out of it, During her life unless she marry again.  Alsoe I give and bequeath to my only son Thomas Read the moyety or one halfe of my meadow known and called by the name of Marshes Meadow to be his forever, and my Great Bible and Anotations. Also I give and bequeath to my Cousen John Bacon of Watertown four pounds, to be payed two years after my deceas.  Allsoe I give & bequeath to the youngest son of my above-named Thomas fourty shillings when he comes of age.

"Allsoe I give and bequeath to the rest of my Sayed Sons Children twenty Shillings each child to be payed three years after my deceas. As for the rest and whole of all my Estate, Housing Lands Orchards ffields, Meadows Woods Chattals movables &c. I give and bequeath them unto my beloved grand-Son Thomas Reed, to him & his Heirs forever: and this to my full Satisfaction, is my last Will and Testament:  So I declare constitute and appoint my abovesaid beloved grand-Son Thomas Reed Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament.  Made this 9th day of Septembr 1701. 
....................................................................................  Thomas Reed"

"Wit:  James Sherman
Samuel How"

On 11 November 1701, an agreement was made between Thomas Reed, executor of his grandfather, Thomas Read, and his grandmother, Arabella Read, about the thirds of the estate.

This is one of the most interesting wills I've found of my ancestor.  The son, Thomas Read (1653-1733) is alive and thriving in Sudbury, and has a fairly large family.  But the father gave his son only one piece of land and his "Great Bible and Anotations."  Wouldn't we love to have that Bible, since the elder Thomas Read may have been literate and may have listed family members in the Bible?  Thomas Read signed his will, also indicating some literacy.

The elder Thomas Read bequeathed most of his estate to his grandson, Thomas Read, son of the son Thomas Read.   The father gave land in Sudbury to the son in 1689 as "part of his portion." 

There was no inventory or account available in the Middlesex County Probate Packet to determine the size of the estate. 

My ancestry to Thomas Read (1627-1701) is twofold -

1) through Mary Read (1679-????), who married Joseph Seaver (1672-1754); Mary was the daughter of the son Thomas Read (1653-1733), the son of Thomas Read (1627-1701). 

2)  through Sarah Read (1736-1809), who married Norman Seaver (1734-1787) in 1755.  She was the daughter of Isaac Read (1704-1780) and Experience Willis (1709-1787).  Isaac Read was the son of Thomas Read (1678-1755) and Mary Bigelow (1677-1708).  Thomas (1678-1755) is the son of Thomas Read (1653-1733), the son of Thomas Read (1627-1701). 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 27 March to 2 April 2011

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:

Census Night: Looking Back - Part 1 and Part 2 by Caroline Gurney on the Caro's Family Chronicles blog.  Caroline shares English census images from 1841 to 1871 in this post.  It's interesting to see the census forms and the information collected on each person and family.

Sourcing in a Digital World by Denise Barrett Olson on the Moultrie Creek Gazette blog.  Denise takes us to the Source Portal on - looks great to me!

Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 by Cheryl Palmer on the Heritage Happens blog.  Cheryl entered the Swedish Television Family History contest and is still in the running. [I know, I have some from the week before, but this is exciting.]

What if it Has Already Been Researched? by Kory Meyerink on the ProGenealogists blog.  Kory answers the question well, and has another one to answer too.

Do you have your genealogical head in the cloud? by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog.  James takes a common-sense attitude toward cloud computing...and thinks we're doing it if we have up-to-date online family trees.

Chatting With Jay Verkler, CEO of FamilySearch International by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.  Lorine talks to Jay about the 2011 RootsTech and also about future RootsTech conferences, and genealogy in general.

Probates can help you, so use them! by Nikki Larue on Blog of a Genealogist in Training.  Nikki is indexing probate records, and describes exactly why indexing is so important - fascinating clues turn up in records that you have no idea are there!

Shipwrecked In The South Pacific – 3 Oct 1855 and Charles and Rosa Logie ~ Shipwrecked in the South Pacific – 4 Oct 1855 by Lee R. Drew on the Family History with the Lineagekeeper blog.  Lee has some really interesting ancestors with harrowing life experiences - check out these articles!  Read the rest of his family letters and stories too!

We had Lunch with Cousin James R. Osgood (1836-1892) by Becky Jamison on the Grace and Glory blog.  A spontaneous look around a restaurant leads to a bit of intentional research by Becky, with interesting results.

Who reads all these genealogy blogs anyway? by the writer of the Geniaus blog.  Excellent question, first asked by James Tanner on Saturday.  Geniaus has answers, and suggests that genealogists could get more out of reading blogs than reading print magazines.  I agree! 

Several other genea-bloggers wrote weekly pick posts this week, including:

Follow Friday: This Week’s Favs by Jen on the Climbing My Family Tree blog.

Follow Friday Newsletter: 1 April 2011 by Greta Koehl on Greta's Genealogy Bog blog.

Follow Friday - Around the Blogosphere - March 25 by Susan Petersen on the Long Lost blog. 

I encourage you to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blogs to your Favorites, Google Reader, RSS 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 860 genealogy bloggers using Google Reader, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.