Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Genea-Wish List

It's Saturday Night again - time for lots more Genealogy FUN!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Think of the genealogy related wishes you have - what education, database, or information would make your genealogy research dreams come true?  Be specific - as many wishes as you want to list!

2)  Tell us about some of your genea-wishes in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

Here's mine:

1)  I wish that the Massachusetts Land Records and Probate Records from the 1630s onward were imaged , indexed and available online so that I could find my known ancestors and my elusive ancestors, in them.

2)  I wish that I could find a record that provides the birth parents of my elusive ancestor, Devier James Lamphier Smith (1839-1894), who was adopted before 1843 by Ranslow and Mary (Bell) Smith.. 

3)  I wish that I had started this genealogical research journey many years before 1988.  [But would I be any further along in my efforts?] 

4)  I wish that all of the source citations hiding in my 40 linear feet of paper on my bookcases was flawlessly included in my genealogy database!

Your turn!!

Surname Saturday - COLBY (England > Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 219,  who is the unknown mother of Mary Palmer (wife of JamesVaux).    Next on the list is number 221, who is Hannah COLBY (1745-????), another of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

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)

26.  Devier James Lamphier Smith (1839-1894)
27.  Abbie A. Vaux (1844-1931)

54.  Samuel Vaux (1816- after 1880)
55.  Mary Ann Underhill (1815- after 1880)

110.  Amos Underhill (1772-1865)
111.  Mary Metcalf (ca 1780 - ca 1860)

220. John Underhill, born 20 June 1745 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States; died 1816 in Plainfield, Sullivan, New Hampshire, United States. He was the son of 440. John Underhill and 441. Joanna Healey. He married 1767 in New Hampshire, United States.
221. Hannah Colby, born 14 February 1745 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States;

Children of John Underhill and Hannah Colby are:  Joseph Underhill (1770-1843); Amos Underhill (1772-1865); Nancy Underhill (1774-????); John Underhill (1776-1858); Susan Underhill (1778-????); Jonathan Underhill (1779-1875).

442. Joseph Colby, born 30 July 1707 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died after 1768 in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States. He married 18 March 1736 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
443. Abigail Worthen, born 14 May 1714 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died in Chester, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States. She was the daughter of 886. Ezekiel Worthen and 887. Abigail Carter.

Children of Joseph Colby and Abigail Worthen are:  Ephraim Colby (1736-????); Joseph Colby (1739-1839); Abigail Colby (1742-????); Hannah Colby (1745-????); Ephraim Colby (1750-????).

884. Joseph Colby, born 01 August 1680 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died before 23 May 1754 in Hampstead, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States. He married  22 November 1704 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
885. Anne Bartlett, born 19 March 1684 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died 24 October 1721 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. She was the daughter of 1770. Christopher Bartlett and 1771. Deborah Weed.

Children of Joseph Colby and Anne Bartlett are:  Benaiah Colby (1705-1746); Joseph Colby (1707-1768); Nathan Colby (1710-1759); Judith Colby (1712-????); Hannah Colby (1714-????); Martha Colby (1717-????); Ann Colby (1718-????); John Colby (1721-????).

1768. John Colby, born 19 November 1656 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died 06 April 1719 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married  27 December 1675 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
1769. Sarah Eldredge, born 10 October 1660 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died July 1692 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. She was the daughter of 3538. William Eldredge.

Children of John Colby and Sarah Eldredge are:  John Colby (1675-1718); Sarah Colby (1678-1720); Joseph Colby (1680-1754); male Colby (1687-1687); male Colby (1688-1688); Judith Colby (1690-1703); Hannah Colby (1692-1703).

3536. John Colby, born before 08 September 1633 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 11 February 1674 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 14 January 1655 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
3569. Frances Hoyt, born about 1636 in Massachusetts, United States; died 02 January 1721 in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. She was the daughter of 7138.  John Hoyt and 7139. Frances.

Children of John Colby and Frances Hoyt are:  John Colby (1656-1719); Sarah Colby (1658-1711); Elizabeth Colby (1660-1704); Frances Colby (1662-1731); Anthony Colby (1665-1721); Susanna Colby (1665-????); Thomas Colby (1667-1738); Mary Colby (1670-1716); Hannah Colby (1671-1746).
7072. Anthony Colby, born before 08 September 1605 in Horbling, Lincolnshire, England; died 11 February 1661 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. He married before 1633 in probably Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
7073. Susanna, born about 1600 in England; died 08 July 1689 in Salisbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Anthony Colby and Susanna are:  John Colby (1633-1674); Sarah Colby (1635-1663); Samuel Colby (1639-1716);  Isaac Colby (1640-????); Rebecca Colby (1643-1672); Mary Colby (1647-????); Thomas Colby (1651-1691).

My sources for the family information are:

1.  David Webster Hoyt, The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts ; with some related families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich and Hampton (Providence, R.I., Snow & Farnham, printers, 1897-1917)

2.  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995).
My ancestral line through five generations of COLBY is:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Follow Friday - the Podcast

One of the newer entries in the genealogy podcast derby is  They have a regular podcast (audio only) hosted by Grant Brunner and with featured speakers. 

The Podcasts can be accessed through the Blog ( and the Podcast category is at

From the individual Podcast posts, the reader can download the episode to their computer, subscribe via iTunes or subscribe via your favorite podcatcher.   The individual Podcast posts usually have the show notes, with a transcription of the show.

Recent podcasts have included:

*  22 April 2011 - Starting Genealogy the Right Way with A.C. Ivory

*  21 April 2011 - Engaging with the Genealogy Community with Thomas MacEntee

*  20 April 2011 -  A User’s Perspective with Don Otvos

*  18 April 2011 - Getting Family Involved with Genealogy with Thomas MacEntee

*  14 April 2011 - Mobile Genealogy with A.C. Ivory

*  12 April 2011 - Interview with Pierre Clouthier of Progeny Genealogy

*  11 April 2011 -  Interview with Matt Johnston of Tpstry

*  7 April 2011 - Citing Your Sources with Thomas MacEntee

*  31 March 2011 - Collaborative Genealogy with Thomas MacEntee

*  24 March 2011 - Hiring a Professional Genealogist with Thomas MacEntee

*  17 March 2011 - Genealogy Conferences with Thomas MacEntee

*  10 March 2011 - What's a Webinar with Thomas MacEntee

*  28 February 2011 - Welcome, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak

Have a listen to the podcast or download them to your player and listen to them at your leisure.

I appreciate the access to noted speakers and many of these topics!

UK and Canada Marriages FREE on until 30 April

I was checking on new databases on this morning, and saw this box on the home page:

I vaguely remember seeing a note about this - it's apparently to honor the marriage of my cousin Prince William to Kate Middleton (apparently not my cousin).  [I did not get a wedding invite - did you?  I'm really disappointed!.]

You do need to be a registered user of, but don't have to be a paid subscriber.
There are a number of databases included in this FREE offer that expires on 30 April, including:

Acadia, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1670-1946
Births-deaths-marriages, Christian messenger
British Columbia Marriage Index: 1872 to 1924
Canada Parliamentary Marriage and Divorces, 1867-1919
England & Wales, FreeBMD Marriage Index: 1837-1915
England & Wales, Marriage Index: 1916-2005
Mariages de l'Enfant-Jesus de la Pointe-aux-Trembles, 1674-1975
Marriage Notices of Ontario 1813-1854
Ontario Marriage Notices [1830-1856]
Ontario People: 1796-1803
Ontario, Canada Marriage Registers by Clergy, 1896-1948
Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1801-1928
Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967
Ontario, Canada, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869
Ontario, Canada: Civil Marriage Registrations, 1869-73
Ontario, Canada: Roman Catholic Marriages, 1827-1870
Quebec Notarial Records (Drouin Collection), 1647-1942
Quebec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967
Répertoire des mariages de Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham, comté de Gatineau : 1853-1963
Répertoire des mariages du Lac-Sainte-Marie (Comté de Gatineau) : (1881-1963)
Repertoire des mariages, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade, 1684-1900
Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Genealogies

Note that the only UK marriage records included are the two collections of Civil Registration records - both of which are freely accessible on other websites.

Since I only have a US Deluxe subscription, this is an opportunity for me to go data mining for records and images of my Canadian and UK ancestors.  I found over 100 listings for "Seaver" in these records, and will add the new ones to my genealogy database soon (and will add sources for the ones that are not previously sourced!).

Do you have any ancestors, or collateral family members, that might be in those collections?  If so...

Genealogists -- start your data searching!

Update 9:45 a.m.: just added a number of marriage databases from Liverpool, and there are other marriage databases on their Card Catalog (e.g., London Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921) for England and Scotland.  Why aren't they included in the free offer? 

Updated 11 a.m.:  Added link to the collection page.  Removed the links to individual collections which didn't work for some reason because I copy/pasted them from  Thank you Banai!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Have you checked the collections recently? You should!

Some readers may have noticed that I'm listing the new and updated historical record collections on FamilySearch (see every month.  They seem to be adding 20 to 30 new collections each month, and updating many others eachm onth.  The list is at 600 collections as of today.

I finally got around to checking the Maryland Register of Will Books, 1792-1983 in the historical record collections.  This collection was added on 17 March 2011.

I want to demonstrate the searching process for this collection, because it requires browsing through the collection - meaning that there is no index, other than the index in the collection itself.

I find it easiest to search for collections for specific states.  To start this search, I started on the Historical Collections page, put "Maryland" in the search field, and without clicking anything, I saw:

The Maryland Register of Wills, 1792-1983 collection is the last one on the list.  I clicked on it, and saw:

The page above tells me that this collection is not indexed - and that there are 170,228 images to browse.  I could click on the "Learn more" link and go to the Research Wiki page for this collection.  so I clicked on the "Browse this collection" link, and saw:

The screen above provides a list of Maryland counties currently in this collection.  I was curious to see if there were any Seaver records in Baltimore City, so I clicked on Baltimore, and saw this list of records:

The will books for Baltimore (and there are several other types of records besides wills on the list) run from 1853 to 1950, but the list is not complete - there are "holes" with missing volumes.  In addition, the list is more than the width of my monitor - I ran the scroll bar to the right and saw many out-of-order volumes, but not every one.  I hope that they put this list in year order.

I had a clue that Martha Seaver, the daughter of William R. and Martha (Davis) Seaver, had died in 1888.  I checked the two volumes with wills for 1888, and in Liber R.T.B. 61 I found a listing for Martha C. Seaver in the index for the volume:

The index indicates that the will for Martha C. Seaver is on page 423.  I navigated to Image 448, which was the page numbered 423, and saw:

Breaking the record collection down into counties, and then into specific books by year, is called "Waypointing."  Within a specific book, the user can advance to the next or previous page, or can type a page number in the box and hit "Enter" and find the page of interest fairly quickly.  Other collections might have the records separated by alphabetical letters for surnames.

That was fairly easy to do, considering the complications of most probate records on microfilm.  It took me all of 10 minutes to find this record, save it, and create the screens above.  I did this task at 6 in the evening, but it could have been at midnight sitting here in my snugs, or in the evening when I'm minding the laptop while watching the baseball game.

Using microfilm, I would have had to go to the San Diego FHC, order the right film from the FHL in Salt Lake City for $6, wait two weeks to view it, then run it through the microfilm machine to find the index and then the page with the will on it, then take the film to the microfilm scanner (rent an hour for $1) and save it on my flash drive.  The total time from start to finish would be at least two weeks and one hour, plus $7 in cash. 

I can hardly wait until there is more records of this type - massive collections with self-contained indexes and page images of the actual records.  Even better will be when these pages are indexed with the names of testators, heirs and witnesses!  When the indexes are available is when many of us will solve some of our elusive ancestor problems.  Until then, the browsing system using waypointing works well! 

FamilySearch - bring on more Waypointed collections!  As soon as possible, please!  Can I make specific requests? 

Readers - have you checked the FamilySearch record collection list recently for your states of interest?  You really should!

Early Plymouth Colony Sketches in FREE Articles on

Do you have ancestral families that resided in Plymouth Colony before 1635?  If so, you will want to consult the family sketches provided on the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, which is the largest genealogical society in the United States.  This site has a significant collection of online databases for New England states behind their subscription wall.

However, the American Ancestors website has a FREE Learning Center, with sections for Getting Started, Online Seminars, and Articles:

I wondered what was in the Articles section ( and clicked on the list of topics and saw (at the top):

The Topics include:

*  African-American Family History
*  Bible Records
*  Canadian Family History
*  Computer Genealogist
*  Ethnic Research
*  Family Health Histories
*  Genealogy and Technology
*  Genetics/DNA Research
*  Getting Started in Genealogy
*  Hot Topics
*  Mayflower Research
*  Military Research
*  Passenger Lists
*  Royal Descents, Notable Kin and Printed Sources
*  NEXUS Archive

I was interested in the section for Mayflower Records.  These articles discuss early Plymouth Colony, and include sketches for all of the known Plymouth residents before 1635:

There are over 200 sketches for these early residents of Plymouth.  I think that all of the sketches are summaries from the books The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633, and The Great Migration, 1634-1635, both written and edited by Robert Charles Anderson and his NEHGS colleagues.

Here is the sketch for my ancestor, Francis Cooke (two screens, with some overlap):

These sketches summarize the life of the subject, with information about origins, residences, life in New England and family information.  While no sources are provided on these pages, they are considered authoritative by most researchers.

The articles do not provide a reference to the published books, which do have extensive source citations, but they should!  Frankly, a complete source citation to the sketch in the published book would be useful for researchers interested in pursuing the original source material. 

At a minimum, these articles can be used to help researchers find authoritative published books that reference original source records.  Researchers should not just copy and paste these sketches into their genealogy databases (since that would violate copyright protections) - they should do the research required in the original sources, or published authoritative derivative sources,  that prove the vital records and family history events for their ancestors. 

Treasure Chest Thursday - Isaac Seaver's Civil War Pension File: Claim for Increase in Pension

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 Claim for Increase in Pension, dated 20 June 1900 (pages 44 and 45 of the pension file sent by NARA):

The transcription of the page shown above is (blanks filled in are italicized and underlined):

Act of June 27, 1890
CLAIM FOR Increase of Pension
on account of reaching the age of 75 years

State of Massachusetts, County of Worcester, SS:
ON THIS 20th day of June 1900 A.D., personally appeared
before me, a Justice of the Peace in and for the aforesaid County, duly author-
ized to administer oaths, Isaac Seaver 3d, aged 76 years, a resident of
Leominster, in the County of Worcester, and State of
Massachusetts, whose Post Office address is Leominster Mass.
#7 Cedar Street, and who, being duly sworn, declares as follows: That
he is a pensioner of the United States, enrolled
at the Boston, Mass Pension Agency by Certificate
No. 850,736 at the rate of eight dollars per month
by reason of disability "Varicose Veins of both
legs and disease of heart."  That he was a
member of Co H 4th Regt Mass Vol Hvy
Arty.  That he was born in Westminster
Mass on the 16th day of October, 1823 and
consequently was 76 years of Age on the
16th day of October 1899 - He makes this
claim for increse of pension to the rate
of $12 per month in accordance with ruling
by bureu of pensions giving soldiers as
pensioner $12.00 per month upon arriving
at said seventy (75) years of age.

The declarant hereby appoints, with full power of substitution and revocation,
Himself af Leominster, Mass.
his attorney, and authorizes himself to present and prosecute this claim, to receive and re-
ceipt for the certificates, check, draft or money that may be issued or paid in satisfaction of
this claim, and to do any and all acts necessary to effect the purpose of said appointment.

Nettie I. Smith  ..........................................  Isaac Seaver 3d
Abbie M. Campbell  ............................. (Signature of claimant)
(Two witnesses who write, sign here)

  The reverse of this page is shown below:

The transcription of the page shown above is (blanks filled in are italicized and underlined):

Also, personally appeared Nettie I. Smith, residing at Fitchburg
Mass., and Abbie M. Campbell
residing at Fitchburg, Mass., persons whom
I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn according to
law, declare that they have been for 10 years acquainted with Isaac
Seaver, the above-named applicant, who was a Private in Company
H of the 4 Regiment of Hy Arty, Mass. Volunteers, and
know him to be the identical person named in the foregoing declaration; that they have no in-
terest whatever in the claim, and their Post Office address is Fitchburg, Mass.


...................................................... 1 Nettie I. Smith
...................................................... 2 Abbie M. Campbell
..................................................... (Signature of Witnesses)

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 21st day of June 1900
and I hereby certify that the contents of this paper were fully made known to the affiants before
the execution; that they are credible persons, and that I have no interest, direct or indirect, in this application, nor am I concerned in its prosecution.
.............................................................. Charles W. Kendall
.............................................................. Justice of the Peace

This document provides Isaac Seaver's address, birth date and birth place, in addition to the names and post office of two persons that had known him for over ten years. 

Who were Nettie Smith and Abbie Campbell?  I don't know, but I suspect that they are long-time friends of Isaac Seaver or his third wife, Alvina (Bradley) (Lewis) Seaver.  Isaac never lived in Fitchburg (a town just to the north of Leominster), but Alvina had and would again after Isaac died.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Genea-Fun with Sheri, Thomas, Craig and Elizabeth

The JibJab Genealogy Wizard, Sheri Fenley who writes The Educated Genealogist blog, has done it again.

Just in time for Easter, my friends and I dressed up as Easter Bunnies and sang and danced to At the Hop (appropriate, no?).  I've never done so well! A little Wednesday Night Genealogy Fun!

Here it is (link is

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!


In Genea-Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) on the Geneabloggers blog, Thomas MacEntee has created a series of posts for this week concerning genealogy and, horrors, money!   Is there money to be made in genealogy research, teaching/speaking and writing/editing?

Wednesday's question is:   "What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free? – how do we as a community deal with the perception that everything – and I mean everything – is free for the taking when it comes to genealogy? From commercial databases, to freely stealing content from a blog or website, to being incensed when a genealogist charges for a webinar or a syllabus."

  TANSTAAFGS???  It's not a weird surname from Lower Slobovia... it means "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Genealogy Service."  It's true - even in genealogy!!  My observations and opinions:

*  Every website costs money for hosting the servers (both the physical machine and all of the chips and boards necessary to store all of the zeros and ones that comprise digital data) and renting (for a fixed period) the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - the website address like

*  Every online historical collection of digital images and indexes, and the file allocation tables required to find them, costs money to the provider - obtaining the image using a digital camera of some sort, the camera operator, transferring the data to the database creator, naming and indexing the file name, getting the data ready to index, the actual indexing by a volunteer or an employee, putting the index into a searchable form, linking it to the overall  database structure, supporting the database, maintaining and fixing the database, etc. etc.  All of that takes time, and money to pay for employee time and benefits, software and hardware.

*  Many "free" websites (e.g., do these types of activities as part of a religious or social commitment.  Thank goodness for them!  Some free sites were started by volunteers (e.g., Rootsweb, USGenWeb) and gained financial support from one or more companies or through voluntary contributions for support and maintenance (e.g., Rootsweb is supported by  Thank goodness for them!  We should thank them every day.

*  Some "free" websites, including many genealogy blogs, use advertisements and affiliate links to support some or all of their expenses.  More power to them - if it works for them, that's great.

*  The commercial genealogy websites (e.g., Ancestry, Footnote) require a subscription for long-term access to their record collections.  Are they worth it?  My answer is:  YES - if you use it regularly.  For instance, Ancestry's retail price for a yearly U.S. Deluxe subscription is $155 per year - that's 42 pennies per day!  It's $2.94 per week.  I waste that much money every week on non-essential things - it's less than a Starbucks latte, three lotto tickets, or two packages of Ding-Dongs (I love Ding-Dongs!).  I access Ancestry almost every day, and couldn't do what I do on my blog or my teaching/speaking without it.

*  Conferences and seminars usually require registration fees from attendees to pay for their space, support and lecturers - and that is pretty much accepted by the persons that attend them.  Similarly, genealogical societies usually have to pay speaker fees or honorariums in order to have the speakers provide content for the society's programs.  They pay for it either with membership fees or program fees.  Exhibitors at conferences pay to rent space and services, and sell their products.  People seem to have no problem with paying for their products and services.

*  While there are several free genealogy software programs available, the most popular, most complete and most complex programs are not free, but the cost is pretty reasonable.  For Windows machines, FTM 2011 is $40 retail, and RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree are $30 retail.  In addition, the latter two only require payment for an upgrade when a major upgrade occurs.  People seem to have no qualms about paying for software, probably because it is usually a tangible product e.g., (a CDROM).

*  Genealogy magazines are not free - people seem to have no qualms about paying for a print magazine about genealogy - it's a tangible product.  What about a digital magazine like Internet Genealogy?  Only a  

*  Some professional genealogists charge fees for their research services.  No person interested in their family research can expect to not pay for genealogy research performed by another person, other than out of the good heart of the researcher.  It's like paying your electrician or your plumber, isn't it.  They provide a service, and you pay based on the service performed, the "parts" required for the repair, and the time it takes to perform the service.

*  In all of these cases - you get what you pay for!  Pay for nothing, and the websites, databases, conferences, societies, software, magazines, research, services, etc. will eventually disappear. 

*  Most people inherently understand all of the above, and appreciate the information and services provided online, and on paper or in software, by all of the providers included in the list above.  Some websites, database providers and software providers provide free content - selected databases, educational videos, webinars or articles, etc. 

*  It is true that some searchers for genealogy data freely copy and paste information from a website and put it into their database, or copy pages from a book or periodical, and type it into a database.  I know that I have, and continue to do so.  However, I try to follow the copyright provisions as best I can, citing my sources and copying within fair-use guidelines.  It's difficult to do this because it is so easy to copy/paste or copy/type.  Note:  I used "searchers" intentionally - people who copy/paste are not "researchers" when in that mode!

*  Having suffered through the use of some of my genealogy data because I shared my genealogy database using a GEDCOM file many years ago, I don't do that any more.  I will provide a genealogy report in a PDF or RTF format to another researcher who is willing to share their information with me, but I usually provide only limited data (e.g., one family line, with notes and sources).  My online web pages with my research ( have only assertions with no notes and sources, and are now dated (last updated in 2005 - another project on the back burner here in the Genealogy Cave!).  Persons that find my site, and avail themselves of my information, are encouraged to contact me to share their information and to add to or revise my information, and many do, for which I am thankful!

For a good summary from a genealogical educator and speaker viewpoint, see Thomas MacEntee's post Genealogy – What Do You Mean It Isn’t Free? on the Geneabloggers blog today.

The answer to Thomas MacEntee's question is:  Everyone involved needs to educate their readers and customers as to what the true cost, and appropriate use, of the information, services and products provided.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 149: The Carringer House View

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 photograph shows the Lyle and Emily Carringer home at 825 Harbor View Place on Point Loma in San Diego soon after it was ready for occupancy, probably in November 1951.  The landscaping is installed, the roof is on, and the external walls are finished.

Look at the million dollar view.  It sat about 150 feet above sea level less than half a mile from San Diego Bay, with a view from the airport to the north, downtown San Diego and beyond to the east, and North Island Naval Station to the southeast.  As soon as they moved into the house, my grandparents bought binoculars so that they could see the numbers and names on the ships entering or leaving San Diego Bay. 

The street coming down the hill to the house is Lucinda Street, which has a high slope.  The view from the top of the street is spectacular, but not from the houses along the street since they are not pointing towards the city. 

I loved this house, and not only because of the view.  It was fun to play in and around as a boy (I was 8 in 1951).  My brother and I had a lot of fun finding hiding places around the ohuse, running up and down the streets, and going exploring up the hills and down the hills.  Unfortunately, there were no other children in this neighborhood, so we made up our own games.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Careers in Genealogy - My Choices Work For Me

Continuing the series of  Genea-Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) on the Geneabloggers blog, Thomas MacEntee has written Careers in Genealogy – “Off the Chart” Thinking today.  He identifies ten potential careers doing genealogy work - Researcher, Author, Educator, Curator, Archivist, Librarian, Analyst, Marketer, Retailer and Technologist.  Read the comments on his post for opinions of several readers.

My opinions and experiences:

1)  Can any of those career labels support a family full-time?  Yes, if you're really good at it (i.e., have a degree and/or relevant experience in the specific field) and work full-time for a profitable company in the genealogy field.  A top-of-the-line independent Researcher, perhaps with one or more specialties, can make a living wage, but unless they have one or two long-term clients, they will always be looking regularly for more clients. 

2)  My major interests in that career list include Researcher, Author, Educator and Analyst.  I pursue all four regularly with:

a)  Researcher:  My own ancestral family research, plus research for selected persons, usually friends from the "real world" who might be interested in family history.  Sort of a "priming the ancestral pump" sort of operation.  I love doing research both online and in repositories, but I don't really like spending weeks on end in repositories.  Of course, my Research efforts inform my author and educator efforts.

I realized several years ago that, at my age, I didn't really want to become a "Certified Genealogist" or take a series of short-term or long-term clients that would require many hours of slogging through FHL microfilms or musty archives records looking for somebody else's long lost ancestors.  I really didn't want my own small business, with the accompanying accounting and marketing problems.  Becomng a CG requires several years of dedicated work, and I chose to not dedicate those years to that (maybe I should rename this blog the Slacker Genealogist?).

b)  Author:  Other than my four genealogy blogs, which take 1-3 hours each day to feed, I am editor for the monthly Chula Vista Genealogical Society Newsletter, write the "Genealogy 2.0" column for the quarterly FGS FORUM Magazine, write regular articles for the San Diego Genealogical Society newsletter, and a yearly Seaver-Richmond Family Journal newsletter.  None of those pay anything, but they are excellent experience and useful to the genealogical community (I hope!).

I've had inquiries from several of the print/digital genealogy magazines to write articles for publication, but have decided not to pursue it because of the time required to write them well.  I greatly admire the authors that do submit and have their articles published in the magazines - my material always seems to pale in comparison (at least to me!) as far as grammar, brevity and breadth.

c)  Educator:  I teach two series of classes to genealogists, concentrating on the start of the education cycle; this includes a four session (8 hour total) class on Beginning Computer Genealogy (online education, online research, genealogy software) three times a year for the San Diego OASIS adult education program.  I am paid for these efforts.  I also teach a once-a-year class on Genealogy 101 (Beginner level) at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, for which I volunteer my services.

My speaking schedule has evolved from doing one or two presentations each year to CVGS for free to providing 8 to 12 presentations (or seminars) to Southern California genealogical societies for a nominal honorarium and expenses.  I also speak occasionally to library, civic and church groups about genealogy and family history topics, concentrating on what, when, why and how to get started.

d)  Analyst:  I do this mainly in my Genea-musings blog, where my experience as a research specialist in aerospace engineering comes in handy.  I'm good with numbers, figuring things out, and being able to write coherently about them.

I make enough money from the teaching and speaking to cover my expenses for research books, genealogy society memberships, genealogy software, record database subscriptions and conference registrations.  We usually go to two conferences each year as part of our vacation schedule.

The above, plus my volunteer work for the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, fill my genealogy plate to overflowing.  I spend 8 to 10 hours each day doing genealogy work of some sort, and it keeps me entertained and intellectually challenged.  There's no boss to tell me how to do something, and no hassles with co-workers.  I'm very much into the no stress, no deadline, let's see what happens lifestyle now (unfortunately, the only muscles exercised seem to be in my fingers and between my ears).  I own it, I love it, I'm having lots of Genealogy Fun doing what I do.

Mocavo Search Engine adds Blogs, more sites coming!

The people have been busy adding websites to their genealogy-only search engine - read the press announcement at Adds Thousands of New Sites to the World’s Largest Free Genealogy Search Engine, Including More Than 3000 Genealogy Blogs on the GeneaPress website.  I appreciate my blog being listed in the press release.

I tried some searches using the current site (my search terms are in [brackets]:

1) A search for ["isaac seaver"] gives me 467 matches, including many from my own blog, Genea-Musings.  That certainly helps any cousins find me on Mocavo! 

2)  ["isaac seaver" 1823] narrows the search to 263 matches - that's my guy.  The first release of Mocavo five weeks ago gave me only 56 matches for this search.

3)  ["isaac seaver" 1823 "lucretia smith"] narrows the search to 91 matches.

4)  But what if I want other mentions of Isaac Seaver, not my own blog posts?  I can use the "-" operator and search for ["isaac seaver" -geneamusings] and receive only 134 matches that are not my blog.  If I've already checked the books with Isaac Seaver mentioned, then I could do a search for ["isaac seaver" -geneamusings -archive] and receive only 57 matches. 

Using search terms like a birth year, spouse's name or place name can help you narrow the matches to the ones you really want.  Using the operator "-" can help you eliminate certain websites from your search.

Like Google, this search engine uses many of the operators to help users narrow their searches down to the "wheat" instead of including all of the "chaff." 

Give a try, but if you get too many matches try to narrow your search down by adding search terms specific to your target person, and then eliminate specific websites (like your own blog). 

I was curious about how many matches that Mocavo finds now for ["randy seaver"] - yikes!! 38,567 matches (a Google search shows only 22,200).  Too many to search through!  ["randy seaver" -geneamusings] gives me 29,983.  Still too many!  ["randy seaver" -geneamusings -genealogy] results in only 617. 

My Uncle, Asahel Read (1753-1775) died at Lexington on 19 April 1775

 Asahel Read was born before 20 March 1753 in Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, the youngest son and youngest child of Isaac and Experience (Willis) Read. 

The book The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts. 1638-1889 by Alfred Sereno Hudson notes (accessed on Google Books, page 381):

"During the day Sudbury sustained the loss of two men, Deacon Josiah Haynes and Asahel Reed. Joshua Haynes was wounded. Deacon Haynes was eighty years old. He was killed by a musket bullet at Lexington. He belonged to the old Haynes family of Sudbury, where his descendants still live. He was one of the original signers of the West Precinct Church Covenant, and was made deacon May 24, 1733. He was buried in the Old Burying Ground, Sudbury Centre. The grave is marked by a simple slate stone. Mr. Asahel Reed was of Captain Nixon's minute men. His name is found on that company's call roll to which we have before referred; it is left out after the battle, probably because after his death the name was stricken from the list. He belonged to the old Reed family of Sudbury, whose progenitor, Joseph Reed, settled at Lanham about 1656. Probably he was also buried in the old ground at Sudbury Centre. Mrs. Joseph Reed, a member of the same family and grandmother of the writer, said many years ago that the body of Mr. Reed was brought to Sudbury. So, although no stone has been found which marks the grave, he doubtless rests somewhere in the old burying-ground at the centre, which was the only one at that time in the West Precinct."

The periodical The Magazine of History with Notes and Queries, Volume 1, January-June 1905, (accessed on Google Books, page 244) has a list of the dead on Patriot's Day (19 April 1775) and Asahel Reed is listed as from Sudbury and buried in Sudbury Centre.

So there is no gravestone for Asahel Read.  And there is no government military record for Asahel Read, only a Sudbury town record, as noted in the Hudson book. 

Why do I care?  Because Asahel Read was my fifth great-grand-uncle, since I am descended from his sister, Sarah Read (1736-1809), daughter of Isaac and Experience (Willis) Read, who married Norman Seaver (1734-1787), and they were my fifth great-grandparents. 

The death of Asahel Read at the start of the Revolutionary War affected the Read and Seaver families.  Norman and Sarah (Read) Seaver named their next child Asahel Reed Seaver, born 2 October 1775 in Westminster, Worcester County, Massachusetts.  He married Hannah Gager in 1809, and Asahel died in 1849 in Westminster. 

Unfortunately, I have no family stories handed down over two centuries about Asahel Read's participation in the rush to Lexington and Concord on the morning of 19 April 1775.  I am quite sure that his namesake (Asahel Reed Seaver) was told the story about his uncle Asahel and, hopefully, repeated it to his children. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Genealogy Blogging - for Fun or Profit?

In Genea-Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money) on the Geneabloggers blog, Thomas MacEntee has created a series of posts for this week concerning genealogy and, horrors, money!   Is there money to be made in genealogy research, teaching/speaking and writing/editing?

Monday's question is:
  • Monday: Genealogy Blogging – For Fun or Profit? – we’ll discuss whether or not a blog should have advertising, affiliate links, etc. and what constitutes a commercial genealogy blog, an individual genealogy blog and is there a balance that can and should be maintained?
Here are my two cents:

1)  It's entirely up to the genea-blogger whether to have advertising and/or affiliate links, or any other sort of money-making method.  Or not.  I choose to not do any of that - it's not worth the hassle to me.  I think that I would feel beholden to promote the affiliates or whoever has remunerated me. 

2)  Some might say that I'm a bit hypocritical here, and I'm aware of it.  I have accepted travel expenses, database subscriptions, review books and commercial products as a result of being a genea-blogger.  I have not overtly requested any remuneration, but have accepted some offers over the past three years.  I've also disclosed these facts at the time of the events in my blog posts.  This remuneration came about solely because of my genea-blogging activities.  My readers can judge my objectivity. 
3)  I write my genealogy blogs for FUN, not for profit.  They are personal genealogy blogs, with my own research experiences, reviews and opinions.  I try to stay on top of the genealogy industry news and online resources, and will often publicize and try out databases or trees that I'm experimenting with or use.  I try to be objective when I write about these websites, and will often complain or recommend actions to genealogy providers.

4)  Why not for profit?  Since I have not done this, I don't know how much time and commitment are involved in setting up affiliate links, or Google Ads, or whatever. My opinion is that there is very little money to be made with ads and links, and, frankly, it's not worth the trouble to me.  Maybe I'm wrong.   I'll be interested to see other responses! 

5)  Why not blog for money if it is offered?  I teach for money, speak for money, and have done research for money.  Why not write for money?  I would write for money if my goal was to write for a living and publish articles in genealogy magazines or in books.  It's been offered before, and I have not accepted the offer because of my time schedule and the effort involved.  I do write for the FGS FORUM Magazine, but the only remuneration is a free digital copy of the magazine and the satisfaction of seeing my name and work in print (well, digital print!).  Frankly, I'm retired with a pension, and we live within our income and still take tourist and genealogy vacations. 

6)  Every time I make, or contribute to, a presentation about genea-blogging, I get the question "Do you have ads on your site?"  The implication is that having ads makes a blogger beholden to the companies providing remuneration.  This goes along with, I think, one strain of thinking about the genealogy industry that "everything should be free."  That's a topic for Wednesday in this series.

7)  Does the fact that some genea-blogging colleagues write for money, or accept remuneration for their efforts, affect my opinion of them?  Nope - I continually read and evaluate the body of their work, and see objective and reasonable efforts from them.  The disclosure rules that most of my colleagues follow help me to judge their objectivity.  Each genea-blogger has a reputation to form and keep, and it is a precious thing.  I think that we're all aware of that, and work hard to keep it.  My opinion of the work of my genea-blogging colleagues, many of whom I have corresponded with and met in person, is based solely on their body of work, and the personal interactions I've had with them.  My own philosophy is that everyone is unique, and nobody's perfect.  I enjoy meeting and discussing genealogy with different people.

Tuesday's topic is Careers in Genealogy.  Stay tuned for Randy's musings about that.

Amanuensis Monday - the Will of Nathaniel Knowlton (1658-1726) of Ipswich, Massachusetts

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a 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 Nathaniel Knowlton (1658-1726) of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts.  Nathaniel Knowlton married Deborah Jewett (1664-1743) in 1682, and they had seven children:  Nathaniel knowlton (1683-1760); John Knowlton (1685-1760); Joseph Knowlton (1687-????); Thomas Knowlton (1692-1718); Abraham Knowlton (1699-1751); Elizabeth Knowlton (1702-1776); David Knowlton (1707-1737).

The will of Nathaniel Knowlton was dated 25 July 1726, and proved 21 October 1726 (Essex County [Massachusetts] Probate Records, Docket 16,089, also in Essex County Probate Records, Volume 315, page 404, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,875,129).  The will reads:

"In the Name of God Amen the twenty fifth Day of July 1726 I Nathll Knowlton of Ipswich in ye County of Essex Cordwainer being sick & weak in body but of Reasonable understanding and Disposeing mind not Knowing how it May Please all mighty God to deal with me as to this life Do Make and Ordain this my Last Will & Testament that is to say Principally and first of all, I give and Recomend my Soul into the hands of God who gave itt and my body to a Deacent and Christian Buriall att ye Discretion of my Execr nothing Doubting but att the General Resurection I Shall Receive ye Same again by the Mighty Power of God.  And as touching such Worldly Estate wherewith it Pleased God to bless me in this Life after my funerall Charges and all my Just Debts are Paid by my Execr hereafter named, I Give and Dispose of in Manner & form following.

"Impr.  I give unto my beloved Wife Deborah all my Personall Estate (Excepting my Silver Tankard) to be att her Disposall And all my Real Estate that shall remain after my debts are paid Dureing her Naturall Life.  I also give unto her ye Disposall of a Wood Lott in Rowley Division containing about nine acres among her Children as Shee shall think Convenient.

"Item  I Give to my Son Nathaniell after my Wifes Decease (upon his giving a final Discharge to my Estate) one New Common Right.  As also two acres and fifty seven rods of Mowing and Tillage Land out of my Lott in Mannings Neck on ye Lower side of said lott Running through ye Lott next ye way sold Danll Smith.  The whole of my marsh lott in ye Hundred Marsh next Rowley River, But if he shall refuse to give Discharge to my Estate then my that he shall have Ten shillings paid him by my Executor in full of his Portion.

"Item  I Give to my son John, after my Wifes decease - one Quarter part of my Portion on the Town Hill one half of my Marsh Lot att Ready Marsh, as also half an acre of my lott in Mannings Neck.

"Item  I Give unto my son Abraham, after my Wifes decease one Quarter Part of my Pasture on ye Town Hill as also ye free use of my well with a suitable way to Pass and Repass in, he being att halfe ye Charge in Keeping the same in Repair.

"Item  I Give unto my Daughter Hart Seventy Pounds in Bills of Creditt, to be paid by my Executors out of my Estate over and above what shee hath Received, as also my Silver Tankard to her and her heirs of her body.  And if shee dye without heirs of her Body then I give the said Tankard to my son Abraham.

"Item.  I give unto my son David after my wifes decease my Mansion House with the Homested thereto belonging with ye Old and Largest Barn standing att the corner of my Son Abrahams Land, with halfe ye Barn Yard adjoyning to said Barn as itt Shall be Divided best to accommodate both Barns as heretofore hath been Reserved in my Deed of Gifft to my son Abraham.  Three acres of my Lott in Mannings Neck running through said Lott from End to End next adjoyning to my son Nathlls Part before given.  One Quarter of my Pasture on ye Town Hill and one halfe of my lott in Ready Marsh.

"Lastly I Do hereby Constitute and appoint my beloved wife Deborah to be my Sole Executrix to whom I do give full Power and authority to Make sales of that Part of my Estate wch is not mentioned in this my Will nor otherwise disposed of the better to enable her to Discharge my Debts but if itt should not appear necessary to make sale of ye whole of those my lands not given away then such part as shall remain shall att the Death of my Wife be equally divided among our Surviving Children and further my Will is yt my Wife should dye before she hath compleated her Executorship that my two sons Abraham & David should be and I do hereby appoint them to be joynt Executors to this my Last Will & Testament to Execute what Part of my Will that shall remain not fulfilled.  And I do hereby utterly disalow null and make void all and Every former Will Testament or Legacy bequest or Executors by me in any wayes before named Willed and bequeathed Ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament In Wittness whereof I have hereunto sett my hand and seal ye Day and Year above written.

"Signed Sealed Published and Declared by ............................ Nathll Knowlton (seal)
Nathaniell Knowlton aforesd to be his Last
Will & Testament in Presence of us
John Dennis  Thomas Dennis  John Staniford."

The will was proved and allowed by the Court at Ipswich on 21 October 1726, with witnesses John Staniford, John Dennis and Thomas Dennis all making oath that they were present when Nathaniel Knowlton, late of Ipswich deceased, signed, sealed, published and declared the above written instrument to be his Last Will and Testament.

Five children are named in the will - Joseph and Thomas are not named.  I know that Thomas died in 1718 and must not have left any children.  I don't have a death date for the son Joseph, but it must have been before 1726, and perhaps was soon after his birth. 

I have only the will from this probate packet because I searched the FHL microfilms to find it.  The other papers in the probate packet may shed some light on the children, and the widow Deborah Knowlton may have her own probate records since she apparently retained the real estate. 

My ancestry is through the eldest son, Nathaniel Knowlton (1683-1760), although I have absolutely no records for him for some reason.  I have not looked for land records or town records for him, and have not found any printed material about him. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 10-16 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:

Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 9 and Part 10 by Cheryl Palmer on the Heritage Happens blog.  We're all waiting to hear if Cheryl gets picked to be on the TV show!

Civil War Ancestor? A New Mystery! by Cheryl on the Two Sides of the Ocean blog.  Cheryl has this thought in her mind, and finally figured out what it was, and now has a new mystery.  The lesson here is to review your "stuff" every once in awhile!

Fifty Questions for Genealogy Interviews by Lee R. Drew on the Family History with the Lineagekeeper blog.  Excellent list! 

Finding US Naturalization Records by Philip Trauring on the Blood and Frogs blog.  Philip's post makes ordering Naturalization records from NARA easier to do.  Nice work!

THE CIVIL WAR GENEALOGY BLOG CHALLENGE IS HERE! by Bill West on the West in New England blog.  Bill summarizes the entries in this theme.

Myrt's Day at the Archives by Pat Richley-Erickson on DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog.  Ol' Myrt describes how it's done at the National Archives in Washington DC.  She also captured Isaac Seaver's Civil War Pension File in color for me.  Thanks, Myrt!!

Finding Enumeration Districts in the 1940 Census by Melody Lassalle on The Research Journal blog.  Every genealogist anxious to check the 1940 census should read this post!  Thanks, Mel!

Two Common Mistakes People Make Tracing Immigrant Ancestors by Leslie Albrecht Huber on The Journey Takers blog.  The title says it all - Leslie knows!

Favourite Genealogy Form - Certificate & Census by Tony Timmins on the Ancestral Wormhole blog.  Tony has created Excel spreadsheets for birth, marriage and death, plus census records, and shares them.  While they are UK-oriented, they could be easily adapted to other countries.  Excellent useful charts!

Speaker Tip: An Easy Way to Become a Better Speaker by Marian Pierre-Louis on the Marian's Roots and Rambles blog.  Marian has tips for genealogical speakers - try them!

Finding a Loyalist Ancestor Part 2 by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.  I love series like this by expert researchers, and will use the tips to find out more about my own Loyalist ancestors.

Canadian Vital Records Databases Posted at by Leland Meitzler on the GenealogyBlog.  I love Leland's collection posts - they will be very handy over time (if he keeps adding new FamilySearch databases to them). 

Genea-Bodies: The New Somebodies by Joan Miller on the Luxegen Genealogy and Family History blog.  Joan defines Genea-bodies as geneabloggers with influence.  I think she's right. 

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

Follow Friday: Around the Blogosphere - April 15 by Susan Petersen on the Long Lost blog. 

Follow Friday Newsletter: 15 April 2011 by Greta Koehl on Greta's Genealogy Bog blog.

Best Bytes for the Week of April 15, 2011 by Elizabeth O'Neal on the Little Bytes of Life blog.

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