Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - "Problems" in your genealogy database

Hey genea-philes (that's Kathryn Doyle's Twitter/Facebook moniker), it's Saturday Night -- time for more Genealogy Fun!

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

1)  Open your genealogy software program (on your computer or online), and use the Help function to determine how to make a "Problem Report" or "Data Error Report" (or something similar).

2)  Create a "Problem Report" or "Data Error Report" in your software for the persons in your tree (either everyone in the tree, or for a selected number of generations of your ancestors. 

3)  Tell us what type of problems or errors that your report found.  Tell us how many errors were found.  Tell us what problem or error surprised you. 

4)  Tell us in a blog post of your own, a comment to this blog post, or a comment on Facebook.

Here's mine:

1)  I decided to use the "Problem Report" in RootsMagic 4.  I can find this by doing a Tools > Problem Search > Problem List from the main menu. 

2)  I left all of the problem definitions checked so I get a complete list.

3)  The Problem types in this report may include:

*  Individuals without sex entered  [57]
*  Proper order of events [61]
*  Birth before parent's marriage [128]
*  Birth before parent's birth [2]
*  Birth after father's death [31]
*  Birth after mother's death [8]
*  Age at death should be less than 100* [28]
*  Age at marriage should be between 14* and 70* [129]
*  Father's age should be between 14* and 70* [26]
*  Mother's age should be between 14* and 50* [50]
(Note:  ages with * can be adjusted)

I had over 11 pages (520) problems reported in my 39,700 person database.  I've added the number for each one on the list above in [brackets] above. 

There were some surprises - and therefore items that are real problems.  I found a father at age 131, and a mother at age 2.  Doing these lists one at a time was really helpful.  I can now save this list as an RTF file, set it up in a separate Window beside my RootsMagic tree, and fix the problems one at a time.  Where's my to-do list hiding?

4)  See the above!

I realize that doing this may not be a lot of FUN, but it is absolutely necessary to do once in awhile because I am not a perfect person when it comes to data entry. 

I hope that the responses provide a broad spectrum of software programs so we can all learn from the experiences of our colleagues. 

Can online family tree databases provide error or problem reports?  I don't know, and am interested in finding out.  If not, they should!

Surname Saturday - Jerusha LNU (New Hampshire)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 223,  who is Jerusha --?-- (1750-1817), another of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back to Jerusha --?-- 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)

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)

222. Burgess Metcalf, born 28 August 1741 in Medway, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 26 September 1816 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United States. He was the son of 444. Michael Metcalf and 445. Melatiah Hamant. He married before 1770 in probably Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United States.
223. Jerusha, born about 1750; died 09 June 1817 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United States.

Children of Burgess Metcalf and Jerusha are:

i. Ephraim Metcalf, born about 1770 in Westmoreland, Cheshire, New
Hampshire, United States; died 08 April 1858 in Newbury, Orange, Vermont,
United States; married Martha about 1791.
ii. Samuel Metcalf, born about 1771 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States;
iii. Burgess Metcalf, born 08 August 1772 in Canaan, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States; died 19 December 1831 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States; married (1) Elizabeth Wait 28 December 1802 in Piermont,
Grafton, New Hampshire, United States; born 1782 in Piermont, Grafton, New
Hampshire, United States; died 08 January 1825 in Piermont, Grafton, New
Hampshire, United States; married (2) Rachel Taplin 16 March 1826 in
Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United States.
iv. Sally Metcalf, born about 1774 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States;  married Edward Chapman 15 July 1794 in Haverhill, Grafton,
New Hampshire, United States.
v. Cyrus Metcalf, born 1776 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United
States; died 03 March 1843 in Irasburg, Orleans, Vermont, United States;
married Lydia A. Root 1798 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United
States; born 23 February 1784 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United
States; died 28 April 1867 in Irasburg, Orleans, Vermont, United States.
vi. Meletiah Metcalf, born about 1778 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States; married Salmon Niles 16 December 1797 in Piermont, Grafton,
New Hampshire, United States.
vii. Mary Metcalf, born about 1780 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States; died before 1860 in Aurora, Erie, New York, United States;
married Amos Underhill 25 March 1801 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States.
viii. Joseph Metcalf, born 1781 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United
States; died 10 March 1796 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United
ix. Jerusha Metcalf, born about 1789 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States; died 22 December 1864 in Troy, Orleans, Vermont, United
States; married John Bickford 04 June 1807 in Piermont, Grafton, New
Hampshire, United States; born 31 October 1786 in Gilmanton, Belknap, New
Hampshire, United States; died 16 July 1859 in Bakersfield, Franklin, Vermont,
United States.
x. Michael C. Metcalf, born about 1791 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States;
xi. Chandler Metcalf, born 07 April 1798 in Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States; died 08 June 1842 in Haverhill, Grafton, New Hampshire,
United States; married Letitia Olmstead 17 December 1827 in Piermont,
Grafton, New Hampshire, United States; born 11 May 1804 in Bradford, Orange,
Vermont, United States; died in Haverhill, Grafton, New Hampshire, United

Some researchers claim that her maiden name was Chandler, although,
apparently, there are no records for that claim, which may come from the
given name of one of her sons.  I looked carefully for Chandler families in
Grafton county, New Hampshire before the Revolutionary War several years
ago without success.

I have not searched for deeds, probate records or tax records for Burgess and
Jerusha (--?--) Metcalf.  They may be available - it's on my to-do list for next
time I go to the FHL in Salt Lake City.

My own ancestry is through Mary/Polly Metcalf, who married Amos Underhill.
If anyone has additions or corrections to this family data, please, please,
please, please (shades of James Brown, eh?) email me at

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hank Jones - "When the Sources Are Wrong"

Hank Jones was the featured presenter at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society program meeting on Wednesday, 27 April;  his topic was "When the Sources Are Wrong."

Hank is, of course, a well-known actor, author and genealogical speaker (see who now lives in the San Diego area, and CVGS has been fortunate to have him in 2010 and 2011.

In his talk, he noted that erroneous sources are part of the territory in genealogy. Each and every family historian has, at one time or other, run into a source that is wrong.  Sometimes, however, the actual source is just fine: it's our perception of that old document that may need a bit of work. The talk discussed our common problem of erroneous sources and offers solutions as to what to do when we encounter them.

Derivative sources were discussed. The genealogical accuracy of the late-19th early 20th century "mug book" sketches of living families may be fine, but colonial generations may be erroneous. Census indices may have errors (for example, a published census index of the 1830 Federal Census of Maryland showed 52% error when compared with the original documents!). The pre-1930 family histories (which often lacked the Jacobus emphasis on documentation and weighing all of the evidence) should be critically reviewed.  Some of the "saints and sinners" of the genealogical past are discussed, and names set forth as to which ones to trust (not Gustave Anjou!).

From his long work with German church books in the northeastern USA, Hank discussed the quirks of old church books, with special note of errors made therein that are contemporary with the actual event - enough to send modern-day genealogists blithering and blabbering off into the sunset. Case studies of actual errors found in church records were presented, with solutions offered as to what to do when errors are discovered therein when compared with other known documentation.

Perhaps the most interesting discussion was the classical way that Hank developed the family sketches in his Palatine books - he used the church books (in German) to make family group sheets to capture all of the details about families, and to link them together.  He had 17,000 family group sheets!  He found it best to look for patterns in the records, and to watch for inconsistencies in the records (for instance, one pastor mixed the columns for witnesses and parents, resulting in many grandparents being named as the parents in subsequent transcriptions and indexes). 

Hank had many words of wisdom for today's genealogists:

"Nothing is ever where it should be."  You may find marriages mixed into births in original records, living siblings may have the same names, and many events were not registered.

"Original sources are often wrong."  The attending midwife or doctor may list the mother's names as "unknown," a church book may provide a wrong birthplace, the writer of the record may not understand the informant's speech or dialect.

"Keep your antenna up when evaluating sources."  "Cousin" and "nephew" did not always mean what they do today, and a "brother" or "sister" might be part of a religious order.

"Put your 21st century minds in the 18th century lives.  Try to be your ancestor"  Don't assume that our ancestors knew what you know, or that their lives were like present-day, or even 20th century times.

"Historians don't have to be genealogists, but genealogists have to be historians."  Amen!

"Write down what you know, and provide your own interpretation and opinion.  Use the 3 P's - perhaps, possibly and probably - appropriately."

"The mark of a really great genealogist is to be willing to modify their own work."  New records are found that provide additional evidence for conclusions.  Amen!

"Bob Anderson's The Great Migration Begins volumes are the books I wanted to write."  I think Hank did fine with the much more difficult to research Palatine books!

This was an engaging, humorous and serious talk about an important subject. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

FamilySearch has Changed their Search Results Page

FamilySearch International ( has changed their Search Results page a bit.  I don't like the change very much.  Here's how they changed it:

1)  I tend to search using a selected database - not using the Historical Records Search field on the home page.  I prefer to use the Historical Record Collections page and narrow my search to a specific state.  I chose New Jersey, and then the New Jersey Birth and Christenings, 1660-1980 collection, and entered "Seaver" in the surname Search field:

2)  The matches came up, as shown below:

The NEW thing, on the left-hand sidebar of the screen above, is the "Filter Your Results" box that has options for "Birth Place," "Birth Year," "Residence Place," "Residence Year," "Gender," and "Category."  Previously, the filters were Regions, Year Ranges and Categories. 

3)  When I click on the "Birth Place" filter, a popup box shows me this:

The options for "Birth Place" are "Australia and New Zealand, (1)," "Canada, USA and Mexico (207)," and "Europe (13."

Wait - I don't need those filters - I'm already where I want to be - searching in New Jersey records.  And if I click on the filter, I then have to click again to close the popup box.

What happened to my Search fields for the specific database?  It is now hidden from my view so that the Filter options can be shown. 

4)  I can get my Search fields back - for the specific database, by clicking on the "New Search" down arrow at the top of the left-hand sidebar.  One more extra click.  Here's the screen after I click on the down arrow:

My Search fields are back, and I can narrow my search in this specific database until I find the information I want.

The Filters are completely useless when searching a specific database, while the Search fields are very useful.

At a minimum, I hope that FamilySearch brings back the Search fields when the Search results screen appears.  I don't care if the Filters are there or not, as long as the Search fields are available for me to use with a minimum of clicks.

I understand that many researchers don't search like I do, and that's okay.  But every click with a mouse button is precious to me, because I make so many of them and I need to keep my carpal tunnel nerves healthy.  I do appreciate the short-cuts that FamilySearch has added to see the indexed details of the results without having to click the person's name and having a separate page open up. has Royal Family in its Database

Following up on my post of yesterday about Prince William's ancestry, I see that has provided an interesting graphic on their The Genealogy of the Royal Family page.  Here it is (thanks!):

Create your family tree on Geni for free, and connect to the World Family Tree to find out if you are related to the Royal Family.

I noticed right away the claim that Charlemagne is the 27th Great-Grandfather of Prince William.  The chart of this ancestral line is here on 

I went back to the Ancestors of Prince William site and noted that on the list there that Charlemagne is listed as a 31st Great-Grandfather (in ten places!).  There is one listing for him as a 30th great-grandfather, but it is as an Alternate sperm donor, er, ancestor.

So which one is right?  I don't know.  I started to compare the two lists.  The first difference I saw was in the 13th generation back from William - has the mother of Christina von Hessen as Christine of Saxony;  the FabPedigree site has the mother as Margaret von der Saale (1522-1566), and lists Christine  Wettin of Saxony (1505-1549) as an alternate.  The trail back on the FabPedigree site is lost after one more generation, wh.  ile the database shows the line back to Charlemagne.

What are the authoritative sources used by these databases?  Jamie D. Allen, who owns the FabPedigree site, lists his sources and contributors - many of whom are fairly well known and active in medieval genealogy circles.  As far as I can tell, doesn't list the sources for Prince William's tree. 

An anonymous comment on my earlier post suggested two websites -

1) - nice site, Prince William's page is here.  Unfortunately, I can see only 8 generations at a time, and can't quickly look at the line back 30-some generations.

2) Paul Theroff's Online Gotha. The Great Britain page has only descendants of George I, King of England.

 I am drawn to this "celebrity ancestor" part of genealogy like a magnet, it seems.!  Or I could add several more generations to my tree and try to show off my own illustrious royal ancestry.  Tough choice!  I'll get back to you on this...

Treasure Chest Thursday - Isaac Seaver's Civil War Pension File: Bureau of Pensions Questionnaire

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 questionnaire sent by the Bureau of Pensions, dated 15 January 1898 (page 48 in the file sent by NARA):

The transcription of the page shown above is (blanks filled in are italicized and underlined):
Department of the Interior
Bureau of Pensions
Certificate No. 850736
Name, Isaac Seaver 3rd
Washington, D.C., January 15, 189 8.
In forwarding to the pension agent the executed voucher for your next
quarterly payment please favor me by returning this circular to him with
replies to the questions enumerated below.
Very respectfully,
Commissioner of Pensions
First, Are you married?  If so, please state your wife's full name and her maiden name.
?Answer. Yes. Mrs. Isaac Seaver Alvina Matilda Bradley
Second. When, where, and by whom were you married?
Answer. Sept. 15th 1888 Married St. Regis Falls N.Y. By J.P. Dunham
Third. What record of marriage exists?
Answer. Record on Town Books Leominster Mass.
Fourth. Were you previously married? If so, please state the name of your former wife and the
date and place of her death or divorce.
Answer. Yes. Lucretia Townsend Smith Married Sept. 4th 1851
She died March 25th 1884 Marriage record Medfield, Mass.
Fifth. Have you any children living? If so, please state their names and the dates of their birth.
Answer. Yes. Frank W. Seaver Born June 5th 1852
Elisebeth L. Seaver Born March 26th 1859
Ellen M. Seaver Born Oct. 16th 1862
Isaac Seaver 3d
Date of reply, June 20th, 189 8
B. Lovering
U.S. Pension Agent
One of the things that distinguishes this document from many of the others is that Isaac Seaver was the respondent - the answers are in his clear and meticulous hand. 
Isaac listed only three of his five children.  His first daughter, Juliet Glazier (Seaver) Bryant, by his first wife, is not listed.  His son, Benjamin Seaver, died in 1894, before this questionnaire was received.
This is the only questionnaire that I've seen in the pension file.  I wonder how often they sent them out to try to keep tabs on the pensioners? 
The introduction mentions a "quarterly payment voucher" - apparently this is how the pensioner received their money.  How and where did they cash it in?  Did they have to go to the Pension bureau office in Boston to do it?  I'm sure one of my readers will know!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ancestors of the Prince of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, William Arthur Philip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor

Have you been wondering about the royal ancestry of Prince William, son of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, and possibly the future King William V of England?  What about his patrilineal line, which has his Y chromosome DNA)?

I was, so I Googled [prince william ancestry] and found a number of websites.  The best one, titled Ancestors of Prince William of England,  I found starts on and has links to pages that go back 67 generations.  This guy has a very rich ancestral history (in more ways than one!), and is descended from most of the royal houses of Europe.  I'll bet he's never searched or to see if he can fill in one or two of the blanks.  Oh yes, there are blanks...but they don't occur until many generations down his pedigree chart!

Since I have a purported ancestry back to Charlemagne and William the Conqueror through several of my colonial Massachusetts Ancestors, I wanted to figure out Prince William's line through as many of the English monarchs as possible, down to, say, William the Conqueror.

Here's the list as I've divined it from the website noted above, listing the ahnenreihe number and the information for each person (with generations numbered G1 through G32, and the English monarchs in red):

G1.    1:   William Arthur Philip Louis WINDSOR  (London 1982) ;  Prince of GREAT BRITAIN & Northern Ireland;

G2.    2:   Charles Philip Arthur George WINDSOR (Prince of Wales)  (London 1948) ;  also m. (2nd) Camilla Rosemary Shand (Parker-Bowles); married  3:   Diana Frances (Lady) SPENCER  (Norfolk 24/1/1961 - 31/8/1997 Paris)

G3.     4:   Philip MOUNTBATTEN (Prince) of GREECE & DENMARK  (Corfu, Greece 1921) ;  GLUCKSBURG; K.G.; Duke of EDINBURGH; married   5:   Elizabeth II Alexandra Mary WINDSOR (Queen) of ENGLAND  (London 1926) ;  Queen of the UNITED KINGDOM of GREAT BRITAIN

G4.    10:   George VI Albert WINDSOR (King) of ENGLAND  (Norfolk 1895 - 1952 Sandringham) ;  aka Albert Frederick Arthur George WINDSOR; married 11:   Elizabeth Angela Marguerite (Lady) BOWES-LYON  (London 1900 - 2002) ;  Queen Mother of ENGLAND; K.G.

G5:   20:   George V WINDSOR (King) of ENGLAND  (London 1865 - 1936 Sandringham) ;  aka George Frederick Ernest Albert WINDSOR of...; married 21:   Mary (Princess) of TECK  (London 1867 - 1953 London) ;  aka Victoria Mary Augusta Louisa Olga von TECK;

G6:  40:   Edward VII of SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA (King) of ENGLAND  (London 1841 - 1910 London) ;  aka Albert Edward WINDSOR; K.G.; married   41:   Alexandra Caroline Marie (Princess) of DENMARK  (Copenhagen 1844 - 1892 (or 1925) Sandringham) ;  Queen of ENGLAND; K.G.; (Alix)

G7:    80:   Albert Augustus Charles (Prince) of SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA  (1819 - 1861 London) ;  aka Albert Franz August Karl Emanuel (Francis.... *** Same as 78; married   81:   Victoria of HANOVER (Queen) of ENGLAND  (London 1819 - 1901 Isle of Wight) ;  aka Alexandrina Victoria GUELPH; Queen of the.... *** Same as 79

G8.     158:   Edward Augustus (Prince) of GREAT BRITAIN & Ireland  (London 1767 - 1820 Devon) ;  Duke of KENT & Strathearn; K.G.; (GUELPH); married   159:   Victoria (Duchess) of SAXE-SAALFELD-COBURG  (Coburg, Thuringia 1786 - 1861 nr. Windsor) ;  aka Victoire (Duchess) of KENT; aka Maria Louisa Victoria

G9:   316:   George III (King) of ENGLAND  (1738 - 1820) ;  aka George William Frederick GUELPH; Elector/.... *** Same as 172;  married 317:   Sophia Charlotte (Charlotte Sophia) von MECKLENBURG-STRELITZ  (1744 - 1818) *** Same as 173

G10:  344:   Frederick Louis (Lewes) (Prince) of ENGLAND  (1707 - 1751) ;  aka Friedrich Ludwig von HANNOVER; K.G.; married   345:   Augusta (Princess) von SACHSEN-GOTHA-ALTENBURG  (1719 - 1772) ;  aka Auguste de WETTIN (?)

G11:   688:   George II Augustus (King) of ENGLAND  (1683 - 1760) ;  also m. Amalie Sophie von Wendt; Elector of HANOVER; K.G. *** Same as 522 ; married   689:   Wilhelmina Charlotte Caroline von ANSPACH of BRANDENBURG  (1682 - 1737) ;  aka Wilhelmine (Princess) of BRANDENBURG-ANSBACH *** Same as 523

G12:    1044:   George I Louis HANOVER (King) of ENGLAND  (1660 - 1727) ;  also m. Catharina Maria von Meysenbug, others; married   1045:   Sophia Dorothea von BRUNSWICK-CELLE  (1666 - 1726) ;  of BRUNSWICK-LUNEBURG; of CELLE (ZELLE)

G13:    2088:   Ernest Augustus I (1st Elector) of HANOVER  (1629 - 1698) ;  aka Ernst August (WELF) von BRAUNSCHWEIG-LUNEBURG; married   2089:   Sophia WITTELSBACH  (1630 - 1714) ;  Princess Palatine of ZIMMERN (SIMMERN); of PFALZ

G14:    4178:   Frederick V (de SIMMERN) WITTELSBACH  (1596 - 1632) ;  aka Friedrich Heinrich V von der PFALZ; married   4179:   Elizabeth STUART (Princess) of GREAT BRITAIN  (1596 - 1662) ;  `the Winter Queen'

G15:    8358:   James I STUART (King) of GREAT BRITAIN  (1566 - 1625) ;  aka James Charles VI (43rd King) of SCOTS; K.G.; married   8359:   Anne (Princess) of DENMARK  (Jutland 1574 - 1619 England) ;  (OLDENBURG)

G16:    16716:   Henry STUART (STEWART)  (1545 - 1567) ;  Lord of DARNLEY; Duke of ALBANY; married   16717:   Mary STUART (42nd Queen) of SCOTS  (1542 - 1587) ;  imprisoned for 19 years

G17:    33432:   Matthew STEWART  (1516 - 1571) ;  4th Earl of LENNOX ; married    33433:   Margaret DOUGLAS  (1515 - 1578)

G18:    66866:   Archibald DOUGLAS  (1489? - by 1557) ;  also m. (1st) Margaret Hepburn, (3rd) Margaret Maxwell; married   66867:   Margaret TUDOR  (London 1489 - 1541 Perthshire) ;  (Archibald Douglas' 2nd wife)

G19:    133734:   Henry VII TUDOR (King) of ENGLAND  (Wales 1457 - 1509 Surrey) ;  (though his claim to the throne was disputed; married   133735:   Elizabeth (of YORK) PLANTAGENET  (1466 - 1503)

G20:    267470:   Edward IV `of Rouen' PLANTAGENET-YORK  (1441 - 1483) ;  King of ENGLAND;
married  267471:   Elizabeth (Lady) WOODVILLE  (Northampts. 1437? - 1492 Surrey) ;  (WIDVILLE; WYDVILLE); Queen of England

G21:    534940:   Richard PLANTAGENET-YORK  (Yorks. 1411 - 1460 Yorks.) ;   or: prob. not (NN : a cuckolder); also begat.... *** Same as 56538; married 534941:   Cecily (Lady) NEVILLE  (1415 - 1495) ;  `the Rose of Raby' *** Same as 56539

G22:    113076:   Richard PLANTAGENET of CONISBURGH  (1375? - 1415) ;  Earl of CAMBRIDGE ; married   113077:   Anne de MORTIMER  (1390 - 1411) ;  (Heiress to throne of England)

G23:    226152:   Edmund of LANGLEY (PLANTAGENET)  (1341 - 1402) ;  Duke of YORK; Prince of ENGLAND; K.G. ; married   226153:   Isabel PEREZ of CASTILE  (Spain 1355 - 1392 Hertfords.)

G24:    452304:   Edward III (WINDSOR; King) of ENGLAND  (13/11/1312 - 21/6/1377) ;  also m. (mistress) Alice Perrers; married   452305:   Philipa d' AVESNES (Countess) of HAINAULT  (Valenciennes 1311 - 1369 Windsor Castle) ;  (Philippe Philippa)

G25:    904608:   Edward II (King) of ENGLAND  (1284 - 1327 Berkeley Castle); married   904609:   Isabella `the She-Wolf' of FRANCE  (1292 - 1358) ;  ruled England with her lover Mortimer

G26:    1809216:   Edward I (King) of ENGLAND  (1239 - 1307) ;  (LONGSHANKS; PLANTAGENET; 31st King of SCOTS); married   1809217:   Eleanor (Infanta) of CASTILE (& Leon)  (1244? - 1290) ;  Countess of Ponthieu; (Alianore Leanor)

G27:  3618432:   Henry III (King) of ENGLAND  (1207 - 1272) ;  (PLANTAGENET; of WINCHESTER); married   3618433:   Eleanor (Alianore) de PROVENCE (BERENGER)  (1217 (or '23?) - 1291) ;  Queen of ENGLAND

G28:    7236864:   John `Lackland' (King) of ENGLAND  (24/12/1167 - 1216) ;  (PLANTAGENET);  *** Same as 5669030 ; married   7236865:   Isabella (d' ANGOULEME) TAILLEFER  (1188? - 1246) ;  Queen of England *** Same as 5669031

G29:    11338060:   Henry II (King) of ENGLAND  (Le Mans, France 5/3/1133 - 6/7/1189 Chinon, France) ;  `Curtmantle' (`Courtmanteau'); married  11338061:   Eleanor (Duchess/Princess) of AQUITAINE  (Bordeaux 1123 - 1204 Poitiers) ;  aka Eleonore d' AQUITAINE (ACQUITANE) & Poitou

G30:    22676120:   Geoffrey V `the Fair' (`Plantagenet')  (Anjou 1113 - 1151 France) ;  Count of ANJOU & MAINE, later Duke of Normandy; married   22676121:   Matilda (Maud Augusta) the EMPRESS  (Winchester 1102 - 10/9/1167 Rouen) ;  de-facto Queen of ENGLAND,

G31:    45352242:   Henry I BEAUCLERC (King) of ENGLAND  (Yorks. 1068 - 1/12/1135 Rouen, France) ;  also m. Lucy (mistress), Adela (mistress), other mistresses ; married   45352243:   Matilda (Edith Eagdith) `Atheling' STEWART of SCOTLAND  (1079 - 1118) ;  Princess of ALBA

G32:    90704484:   William `the Conqueror' (Duke) of NORMANDY  (1027 - 9/9/1087) ;  aka William the Bastard; married  90704485:   Matilda (Maud) FLEMING  (1032 - 1083) ;  Countess of FLANDERS; von FLANDERN

Whew!  There are some twists and turns there! I think hit all of the English monarchs that Prince William is descended from. 

Some readers may say that there are better or more accurate websites with the above information.  Please tell me about them!  This site looked pretty comprehensive, with links to information about each person.  I didn't do any research on my own here - I shamelessly copied and pasted the data into this post.

Now I need to find my own ancestral line back to William the Conqueror and then I can figure out our cousinship, at least to the people in this line.

Some of this ancestry is on the FamilySearch Community Trees site. I've found information for several of my colonial ancestors on the Community Tree site.  I could download information from that site, merge my tree into the downloaded GEDCOM files, and get a quicker reading on cousinship, perhaps through other lines that don't include the English monarchs.

Why did I do this?  I was curious about it, and I have a passing interest in the medieval ancestry.  That doesn't mean that I shouldn't share in the vicarious pleasure of knowing that a very small number of genes are shared by Prince William and myself.  I hope! 

Hmm, I wonder about Catherine Middleton now!

Cousins Release Birth Certificates to Media

As my devoted readers know, I am honored that one of my cousins is the President, Barack Hussein Obama II.  I posted his Certificate of Live Birth here back in 2008.  Soon after I posted that, I was contacted by several persons requesting my assistance to obtain the "other" birth certificate, because I was a relative of his.  I declined at the time.

Finally, after three years of debate, the President, or his peeps, ordered a copy of his "long form" birth certificate, and released it today amidst great fanfare:

Is the image of the "long-form" "Certificate of Live Birth" duplicated above the "Original Source" record?  It appears to be an image of the "Original Source."  The parents provided the information.  The mother signed it.  The attending doctor signed it.  The record and signatures occurred soon after the birth.  The image was printed on "security paper" and the current State Registrar affixed his signature (but no official seal!) and dated it 25 April 2011. 

Why did it take so long to provide this record?  Sane people would say that it should be a no brainer - a person should be able to obtain, for a reasonable fee, a certified birth certificate with all of the necessary information on it, similar to the image above.  Something like the above is required to obtain a Social Security card, to obtain a passport, etc. 

That's all that people wanted.  Why did people question this event?  Because the previously released  "Certificate of Life Birth" was a derivative copy created by a computer database, and therefore able to be manipulated.  Politics brings out conspiracy theories, as we've seen over history.  There were seemingly legitimate questions about the "short-form" document image.

If only the real political problems facing this country were so easy to solve!

In the interest of full disclosure, and in case I decide to run for office in the future, I am releasing an image copy of my own "original source" Birth Certificate:

Everything on that is handwritten, and it has my footprints and my mother's thumbprints on it.  Of course, it doesn't list my parents.  But I think that the above is the "Original Source" recording my birth, with an official seal of the hospital  where I was born. 

Hmmm, I wonder if I'm related to Donald Trump?  Did William Reitwiesner research the Donald too?  Yes - see  It shows only his parents and grandparents.  His father was German, his mother was Scottish, and his grandmother's maiden name was Christ. 

NOTE:  I am not making political statements here, so please no flames.  I have found this discussion interesting, and have had a small stake in it, and have followed it from the beginning.

UPDATE 10:30 a.m.:  John noted in Comments that this was not my official "state birth certificate."  That's true - if I go down to the San Diego County Recorder's office and obtain a state-issued birth certificate, it is different from the above.  My point was that I think the hospital certificate above is the "Original Source" of my birth - the first recorded and provided.  If I go down to the County Recorder and obtain a certified registration of birth, then that document is probably a "Derivative Source" - it's not the first recorded document, and was derived from information previously recorded.  As genealogists, we are encouraged to find "Original Source" documents with primary information, and to evaluate all evidence from all sources to determine Facts.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 150: The Carringer House is Finished!

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 picture was taken in November 1951 in front of the Lyle and Emily Carringer home at 825 Harbor View Place in the Point Loma area of San Diego.  My grandparents moved into this house in November 1951, and lived there until their deaths in 1976 and 1977.

The house is completed, and ready for my grandparents and my great-grandmother to live in for the rest of their lives.  You can tell that it's ready because the mailbox is installed.  That darn mailbox knocked me down more than once as I chased my brother around the property.  I don't recall when it was removed, but I was happy that it was.

Two men are shown in their suits standing on the sidewalk in front of the wall.  The one on the left is my grandfather, Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976).  The man on the right is, I'm pretty sure, Admiral Marshall E. Dornin.  Lyle and Emily bought the lot for their home from the Dornins, and they were neighbors and friends with Lyle and Emily for the rest of their lives.

Do you see the cat in the picture?  I think it is the Dornin's cat, since my grandparents didn't have pets to my knowledge. 

Note the window views through the house.  From the street side, you could see San Diego Bay through two sets of windows. 

Note also the central chimney.  That was the most important feature of this house for this 8-year-old boy - it meant Santa Claus could bring me really good presents.  Starting in 1952, my family stayed overnight with my grandparents and Santa brought gifts around the chimney.  I think the major reason for having the chimney, from my grandparents perspective, was that it might stop a car that went out of control coming down Lucinda Street (if the block wall in front of the house didn't do the job first). 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

California Pioneer and Immigrant Files, 1790-1950 Database on

I often check the New or Updated Collections page to determine what's been added.  Today I found, among several other new databases, the California Pioneer and Immigrant Files, 1790-1950 as a new database.

The database description is:

"Some 10,000 records are contained in this database with biographical information about pioneers who arrived in California prior to 1860. The information is recorded on a series of index cards which were collected into the California Information File beginning in the early 1900s. Many of the facts were contributed by the pioneers themselves, their descendents, or other resources some of which are noted in the records. Available facts about individuals includes name, birth date and location, parents’ names, spouse’s name, marriage date and location, death date and location, and can include extensive personal details like profession or occupation, residence before California, residence in California, political offices held, education, politics, participation in principle events of California history, and lists of descendants."

The source citation, created by, for this collection is:

" California, Pioneer and Immigrant Files, 1790-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc. This collection was indexed by Ancestry World Archives Project contributors.
Original data: California State Library - Sacramento Co, Sacramento, California, Pioneer Index File (1906–1934); A–Z. Sacramento, California: California State Library."

I checked for several surnames, and hit some gold dust with "Whittle."  Remember the Whittle Research Compendium from last fall?  I found something more to add to it!

There was no entry for Alexander of Rachel Whittle, but there was for Elizabeth (Whittle) (Ray) Swerer (found by searching for "Whittle"):

The two images above show four sides of two cards - the bottom of the second image is actually the first side of the first card (these were filmed two to an image).  The information on these cards includes:

Card 1 - side 1:

*  Name in full:  Mrs. Elizabeth Swerer
*  Place of birth: England
*  Date of birth: June first 1839 . 1839
*  Parent-Father: Alexander Whittle
*  Parent-Mother (maiden name in full): Rachel Morley
*  Married or unmarried:  Widow
*  If married, to whom:  first time to William B. Ray, second time to William Swerer June 8, 1863
*  Date of marriage: March 7, 1855  Place: Sonora, Tuolumne, Co
first time Carson, Calaveras Co.

Card 1 - side 2:

*  Date of arrival in California: 1849
*  Ovcerland or by steamer: [blank]
*  If by steamer, give name: ship Julinder
*  States lived in before coming to California: Sydney Australia
*  Places of residence in California: Tuttletown Tuolumne Co. I have lived here for fifty one years
*  Progession or occupation: [blank]

Card 2 - side 1:

*  Public offices held: [blank]
*  Politics: Republican
*  Where educated: in Sydney and happy valley san francisco
*  Principal events in history of California: [blank]
*  Present address:  Mrs Elizabeth Swerer Tuttletown Tuolumne Co

Card 2 - side 2:

*  Miscellaneous notes:  I have got twelve children living the odlest a girl will fifty two next April I have got seven boys and five girls
the first time I was grandmother I was grandmother of twins and the first timre I was great grandmother of twins also.


Well!! Isn't that information interesting?  I now know when she came to California (1849) and the steamer ship she came on (the Julinder).  As a girl of age 10, she must have come with her mother and siblings. 

My guess is that this card was filled out in about 1908, since her oldest daughter was 52, and was born in 1856.  Elizabeth (Whittle) (Ray) Swerer died in 1912.  If I did not know her parents names from previously found records, I would now from this record.  also the marriage dates and places of her two marriages. 

Do you have early California pioneers and immigrants?  If so, you may find your ancestors in this database.  Go forth and search!

I note that my wife's great-grandparents, Elijah and Jane (Whittle) McKnew were not in this database, even though they could have been.

A research tip:  Search for siblings of your ancestor even if your ancestor isn't in a record collection!  You may be pleasantly surprised.

April 30 is Early Bird Deadline for SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Registration

The latest email from the Southern California Genealogical Society about the Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank CA from June 10-12, 2011 arrived, and it noted these facts:

*  The Early Bird Registration Discount ends on 30 April (that's Saturday).   The registration fee for the full conference is $100 with a printed syllabus for non-members before 30 April, $120 from 1 May to 31 May )with a CDROM syllabus), and $150 after 1 June (with a CDROM syllabus).  The Registration form is here.

*   The 30-page Jamboree Magazine has all of the information about program speakers, schedules, exhibits, etc.  Note that SCGS is not sending out printed copies of the program this year.  If you're going to Jamboree, either print out the whole thing or save it to your computer and laptop.

*  There is a Jamboree app for your handheld device - see Jamboree 2011: There's an App for That!

I registered this week through the San Diego Genealogical Society.  Linda and I will be going with the group on the Amtrak out of San Diego on Friday morning, 10 June, leaving at 6 a.m.  It's a leisurely ride, filled with discussions about family and research with other SDGS members, and we don't have to fight traffic or pay a daily parking fee.   

I haven't signed us up for any of the special dinner events yet because I don't know what the special genea-blogger event schedule is yet. 

This is one of the major genealogy conferences now, and is one of the highlights of my genealogy year.  I look forward to meeting many genea-bloggers and Genea-Musings readers at Jamboree.  I'm guessing that we'll have over 70 genea-bloggers there.  It will be difficult getting a picture of all of them in one place!  Perhaps in the 30 minutes between the two Blog Panel sessions.

As we genea-hipsters used to say back in the 1950s, be there, or be square!!

Tuesday's Tip - Olive Tree Genealogy

Today's Tuesday's Tip is to:  Use the Olive Tree Genealogy website to find FREE genealogy records for your American and Canadian ancestors.

Lorine McGinnis Schulze, who writes the excellent Olive Tree Genealogy Blog, started this website in 1996, and now has over 1900 webpages to help genealogists with their research.  There is a three-step "Genealogy Finder" on the site, which includes:
  • First the free transcribed genealogy records - there are over 1,900 now. Look for your family ancestors in free genealogy records marked with the Olive Tree Genealogy logo. Search for ancestors on Olive Tree Genealogy
  • Second the Genealogy tutorials and help files - Genealogy Help on finding your ancestors in census records, land records, ships passenger lists, birth, marriage and death records, and more.
  • Third the Genealogy Resource Guides. Genealogy How-to-Guides help you easily find your ancestors as you search ships passenger lists, Huguenots, Native Americans, Canadian Immigration, Palatines and more.
Olive Tree Genealogy has a wealth of links, and articles, for Passenger Lists, Ships Search, Immigration Tips, Canada, Military, Genealogy Guide, Loyalists, New Netherland, Native American, Palatine Genealogy, Photo Albums, Almshouse, Orphan Records, Huguenots, Mennonites, Quakers, UK Ireland, Genealogy Secrets! & Odds 'n Ends .

Lorine has some sister sites and partners too - have a look at the genealogy databases and goodies on these sites after your visit to Olive Tree Genealogy: Try it out, especially if you have Canadian ancestry or northeastern USA ancestry.
Try out this website, especially if you have Canadian and northeastern USA ancestry.

Monday, April 25, 2011

21st Century Genealogical Societies

I listened to the first "My Society Radio" episode, presented by the Federation of Genealogical Societies,  on BlogTalkRadio today (it is archived here), and enjoyed Curt B. Witcher discussing how to bring genealogical societies into the 21st century with host Thomas MacEntee.  This radio show will be a weekly event on Saturdays at 2 pm. Eastern, 1 p.m. Central, 12 noon Mountain and 11 a.m. Pacific time.

Other bloggers have summarized the show in:

Bringing Genealogy Societies into the 21st Century: Recap by Amy Crow on the Amy's Genealogy, Etc., Blog.  Amy recaps the first show on the My Society Radio channel - some excellent advice here for societies!

Getting others involved in your genealogical society by Paula Stuart-Warren on the Paula's Genealogical Eclectica blog.  Paula has excellent suggestions for local societies to follow to bring their membership into the 21st century.

As a member of three local genealogical societies and two national societies, I think that I understand the dynamics of being a member and a society officer. 

I have some thoughts to offer:

*  Curt's recommendations are well thought out and certainly will help many societies improve their member touching and technology reach.

*  The one recommendation that I disagree with is that the publications go completely digital, eliminating the printed and mailed publication.  ALL genealogical societies include people who do not have Internet access, or are not savvy or trustful of the Internet for whatever reason.  Societies should not throw these people overboard because they are "old fashioned" or "won't change."  Societies need to adapt to the needs of ALL of their members.  Some societies email their publication as a PDF file to members with email and mail them (perhaps for an increased membership fee) to the members that prefer a printed copy.  Other societies put their publications online for free, or behind a subscription barrier, so that members can download them and print them at their leisure.  A society might have a technology oriented member pair up with a non-tech member and print a publication out for them.

*  Most of our local society members are not tech-savvy in the sense that they use the Internet to search for records, go to the society website, read blogs, are active on Facebook or other social networks, or use genealogy software.  It is a challenge for them to keep up with the genealogy world due to health, age or other interests.  In my local societies, perhaps 80% have email and appreciate society news, 20% are online at least several times each week doing research and are Internet capable, and maybe 5% do genealogy work nearly every day.  Only 25% to 40% come to the monthly program meetings, and only 5% to 10% come to the other educational meetings.  Most of those last two groups overlap with the ones that are online.

What is needed here is more education - classes, mentoring or coaching for the persons that cannot or will not use the Internet to find records.  My impression is that many of these persons would like to do more online, but need someone to sit with them on a regular basis and coach them to do basic computer tasks and then basic genealogy research tasks online.  Only by building up their knowledge and experience, in a safe, controlled way, can they gain the confidence to try it on their own.  Societies could have a "coaching" program that pairs tech-savvy persons to help "non-tech" person eager to learn on a regular schedule - once a week, or once a month at a home or a library.  Viewing a monthly presentation, even with a PDF handout with URLs to click will not work with many people until they are shown how to do it and try it themselves.  The ideal situation, in my mind, is using a computer laboratory (at a library, senior center or community center) to demonstrate and practice developng relatively simple computer skills (Windows, file management, photo management, online browsing, etc.).  Often, these lab classes cost money and have limited facilities.  Finding qualified instructors is also a problem. 

*  One of Curt's mantras was "high tech, high touch" - which means use both technology and personal communication (meetings, classes, phone calls, email) to stay in constant touch with a society's membership and provide the members with information about events, news, and opportunities.  If a society needs the high tech part of it, then they're going to need "fresh eyes" to provide it.  There are probably society members who have many of the skills required to create a website, a blog, an email list, a PDF file of a publication, etc.  Or a family member or friend who could provide some help or needs an activity.  So many people with talents hide in our local societies because we don't ask them for help.  Paula's post addressed several ways to provide the "high touch" at meetings and events.

*  The "fresh eyes" that Curt mentions will often be an online-only genealogist, who perhaps is not familiar with the classical genealogy research curriculum, but is a whiz at searching online databases.  These people are often working in society, have growing families, and only have time in the evenings and on weekends for genealogy meetings or classes.  If the local society only has programs during the day on weekdays, these folks will not participate.  The challenge for local societies is to find a way to bring these folks onboard without confusing or upsetting the current members who love getting out on the weekday for lunch and a society meeting.  Many of these current members can't or won't drive at night.  Another problem is that local libraries are cutting back on their evening and weekend hours to meet budget restrictions, and societies that meet at a library may find their meeting time options more limited than they used to be. 

How can societies bring the "fresh eyes" into the society?  Only by offering them something that they cannot get online in databases, webinars, online courses, articles, etc.  The major factor lacking for many of the tech-savvy and online researchers is knowledge of "how-to" research the classical materials - the 97% of genealogical content that is not yet online.  Basic genealogy classes in charts, organization, searching in repositories, local library locations and holdings, genealogy software, research principles, evidence evaluation, etc. can be offered by local societies covering both online and classical methods and resources. 

Once the "fresh eyes" are embedded in the local society, then they can be tapped to provide technology information or services to the society.  A collaboration between the technology-oriented and the non-tech groups is the ideal, but can be difficult to achieve.  Pairing a tech-savvy with a classical genealogist might help both persons become better researchers and society members.  Finding willing participants could be a challenge!

*  Society programs could take advantage of web-based technologies for their society program meetings.  Examples are: using a remote presentation at a program meeting (although speaker fees are pretty high for many small societies; using a free downloaded or live FamilySearch Research Course as a society program; using a free live or archived Webinar (see as a society program.  All of these require a high-speed Internet connection at the meeting venue, and the appropriate computer and projector equipment. 

My two cents, freely offered!  Please add your comments and suggestions to this blog post or in email -