Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - It's Find-a-Grave Time

Hey genea-searchers, it's SATURDAY NIGHT ... time for more GENEALOGY FUN!!!

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

1)  Go to the Find-a-Grave website ( and search for ancestors that you don't know the burial location of.   How far back in time did you have to go to find this person?  Hint #1 - use your ancestor list to help you.  Hint #2 - don't forget to use the last surname for females!

2)  If you think that Find-a-Grave will not have your persons of interest, then check another burial index that might help you.

3)  Tell us about your search - who did you look for, and who was the first ancestor that you found that you did not have a burial location for previously?  Write your own blog post, or make a comment on this post.

Here's mine (in Find-a-Grave):

The first persons on my ancestral list that I don't have a Burial location for in my genealogy database are:

#29.  Sarah G. (Knapp) Auble (1818-after 1900), died in Indiana or Illinois?  No listing.
#38.  Thomas J. Newton (before 1800 - after1835), died ????  No listing.
#39.  Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) (Newton) Stone (1797-1882), died Westborough MA.  No listing.
#40.  John Richman (1788-1867), died in Hilperton, England.  No listing.
#41.  Ann (Marshman) Richman (1784-1856), died in Hilperton, England.  No listing.
#42.  John Rich (1793-1868), died in Hilperton, England.  No listing.
#43.  Rebecca (Hill) Rich (1790-1862), died Hilperton, England.
#44.  Jonathan White (1806-1850), died in Killingly CT. 

SUCCESS!! There's a Find-a-Grave listing for him in the White-Chace Lot in Glocester, Providence County, Rhode Island.  Unfortunately, there are no photographs of the cemetery or the grave.

#45.  Miranda (Wade) White (1804-1850) is also listed in this cemetery, along with a number of other White surnamed persons related to Jonathan.

That's as far as I went, but there are plenty of other good potentials on my ancestor list to find using this technique.

Surname Saturday - GACH/GAGE (??? > New Jersey)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 239, who is Martha Gach (1729-????), another of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back to Martha Gach and two more Gage generations 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)

14. Charles Auble (1849-1916)
15. Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952)

28. Daniel Auble (1817-1894)
29. Sarah Knapp (1818-ca1900)

58. William Knapp (1775-1856)
59. Sarah Cutter (1785-1878)

118. Stephen Cutter (1757-1823)
119. Tabitha Randolph (ca 1750-1841)

 238.  Samuel Fitz Randolph, born about 1730 in Blazing Star, Richmond, New York, United States.  He was the son of 476. Jacob Fitz Randolph and 477. (unknown).  He married  20 October 1750 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
 239.  Martha Gach, born 29 November 1729 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.  

Children of Samuel Fitz Randolph and Martha Gach are:

i. Tabitha Randolph, born before 06 September 1761 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States; died 26 November 1841 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; married Stephen Cutter about 1769 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
  ii. Mary Fitz Randolph, born before 06 September 1761 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States. 

478.  Thomas Gach, born 1702 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died before 09 March 1770 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.   He married 17 August 1721 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
 479.  Elizabeth Bloodgood, born 29 May 1703 in Flushing, Queens, New York, United States.  She was the daughter of 958. John Bloetgoet and 959. Mary Morgan.
Children of Thomas Gach and Elizabeth Bloodgood are:

  i. Elizabeth Gach, born 01 June 1722 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died 07 July 1724 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
  ii. Mary Gach, born 01 February 1723/24 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; married James Eddy about 29 May 1743 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
 iii. Elizabeth Gach, born 30 March 1726 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; married Elisha Inslee 18 May 1744 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States, born 1 June 1722 in New Jersey, United States; died 1751.
  iv. John Gach, born 1727 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died after 1770; married Sarah Dunham.
  v. Sarah Gach, born 25 December 1727 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; married Nathaniel Pike about 16 September 1747 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; born 25 December 1727 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died October 1766 in New Jersey, United States.
vi. Martha Gach, born 29 November 1729 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; married Samuel Fitz Randolph 20 October 1750 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
  vii. Anna Gach, born 18 December 1732 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States;  married Isaac Dunham; born about 1737 in Perth Amboy, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died 1802 in Sterling Grant, New Brunswick, Canada.
  viii. Thomas Gach, born about 1735 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States;  married Keturah Clawson 24 December 1759 in New Jersey, United States.
  ix. Catherine Gach, born about 1737 in Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States;  married Michael Toyin.
  x. Martin Gach, born about 1739 in Burlington, Burlington, New Jersey, United States; married Ann Johnson 27 December 1766 in New Jersey, United States.
  xi. Esther Gach, born 1741 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died before 1763 in New Jersey, United States; married Joseph Shotwell.
  xii. Phillip Gach, born 1744 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; married Jennet Pike; born 1748 in New Jersey, United States; died 1821.

 956.  Thomas Gage, born about 1660; died before 23 April 1703 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.  He married  about 1698 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
 957.  Elizabeth Hunt, born about 1656 in probably Westchester, New York, United States; died 03 November 1747 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.

Children of Thomas Gage and Elizabeth Hunt are:

  i. Mary Gach, born about 1700 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died 28 June 1760 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; married William Bloodgood 16 March 1725/26 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; born about 1698 in Flushing, Queens, New York, United States; died before 22 March 1756 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
 ii. Thomas Gach, born 1702 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died before 09 March 1770 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; married Elizabeth Bloodgood 17 August 1721 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.

 The parentage of Thomas Gage is uncertain.  The book "John Gage of Ipswich, Mass. and His Descendants" compiled by Clyde V. Gage, published 1964 (accessed on says that he was the son of Jonathan and Hester (Chandler) Gage of Bradford MA.  A birth date of 1680? is claimed for Thomas, but that places him well after the death of Jonathan Gage in 1674/5, and has him marrying a woman over 20 years his senior in 1700.

It is apparent that this Thomas Gage is much more likely that Thomas Gage was born in the 1655 to 1660 time frame in an unknown place.  He might have been a brother or cousin of Jonathan Gage, whose widow Hester (Chandler) Gage married John Wilson and resided in Woodbridge, New Jersey after 1680.

There is a sketch for John Gage (1605-1673) in the book Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33, but it doesn't mention a Thomas Gage, and Thomas is not mentioned in the will of John Gage.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Navigating Old and New Search on - Post 1: New Search, Advanced Form

In CONFESSION OF A GENEALOGICAL FUDDYDUDDY by Bill West on the West in New England blog, Bill confesses that he prefers the "Old Search" capability on  Several of his Facebook friends and commenters agree with him.  I used to agree with the sentiment.

I understand the frustration, but my opinion is that the sooner all users of learn how to make the "New Search" on work for them, the better off they will be.  I think that they will eventually come around to my view that "it is the most comprehensive and complex genealogical search engine on the Internet."  That's good (comprehensive), and may be bad (complex).  I think that  everyone should learn how to tame this tiger to get the most out of their genealogical research efforts using their subscription.  Also, it is likely that, at some point, will streamline their operations and eliminate the "Old Search" forms and search engines.  They seem to be hiding "Old Search" better now!

I now use "New Search" exclusively for my research, and demonstrate it in my presentations about effectively searching  But there are some "secrets" to my searching, which I'll try to share with you here:

1) "remembers" which search type (Old or New) you are using, and which form (Basic or Advanced) you are using from your last visit.  Here is my home page on (New Search, Advanced Form):

I like the Advanced Search form in New Search because it gives me the flexibility to get a search right the very first time.  At this stage of my research life, I usually want to find records for a specific person in a specific place, and know something about the person, like a birth date and a birthplace (even if it's only a state or country). 

I almost always search using "Exact search" terms rather than the "Ranked match" search that occurs if I use "Default settings" for first name, last name, place names, etc.  On the "Advanced Search" form above, I can check the "Match all search terms exactly" box (upper left-hand corner) and know that all fields will convert to this standard. 

I added Isaac Seaver to the name fields on the form above, checked the Exact Match box and hit the "Search" button:

2)  The screen above is for the "Summarized by Category" search, which is also my usual preference.  The search results are organized by record type, and then by collection within each record type.  The key to obtaining the screen above is to select "Summarized by Category" in the dropdown box in the line with the dark green background that starts "Matched 470 in All Categories - View" in the screen above.  If I click  on the down arrow to the right of the "Summarized by Category," then I can choose the alternative "Sorted by Relevance" screen seen below:

The "Sorted by Relevance" screen provides matches for the requested search in a seemingly random order (which I cannot figure out!).  The "Sorted by Relevance" list above for my Isaac Seaver has 385 entries, while the "Summarized by category" screen had 470 matches.  I haven't figured that out - why aren't they the same?  Without making a list of both of them, and comparing the lists, I can't determine the results order or the reason for fewer results using the "Sorted by Relevance."

Those two differences are why I prefer the "Summarized by category" screen to the "Sorted by relevance" - I like order, and figure that more matches is better than fewer matches.

The Results screens on "New Search" used to have a link to "Go to Old Search" in the upper right-hand corner.  They don't now, as you can see on the screens above.

3)  How do I get to "Old Search?"  The only link I found to do this was when I clicked the "Search" button on the top menu.  The Search page looks like:

Over on the top right-hand side of the screen, right under the Menu bar, is "Go to Old Search."  A link for the "Old Search" in the "Search: tab is  A link for "New Search" in the "Search" tab is  If you are going to use "Old Search," then I suggest that you save this post, or bookmark/favorite the URL, or remember that the "Search" button is the way there from "New Search."

As I mentioned, the next time you access the home page, you will see the home page and search page corresponding to the Search Form (Basic or Advanced) and Search Type (Old or New) that you last used. 

As I said - these settings are My Preference.  Your preferences may vary, and may work better for you for your research.  That's why has created this comprehensive and complex search engine - to help each of us find the best way to search for historical records, the one that works best.

There are more nuances to Searching Effectively - and I'll write about them in later posts. 

Disclosure:  I am not an employee, affiliate or contractor for, although I have accepted travel expenses and gifts from them in the past.  I have a U.S. Deluxe Subscription that I pay for myself.

UPDATED 30 May: deleted the 29 May update.

GeneaBlogging Works!

I loved footnoteMaven's blog post "Shades and The OverStuffed Baby Make A Connection" yesterday, and my first thought was that "geneablogging works again!"  The post discussed the contact made by a descendant of the baby girl in the "overstuffed baby" picture.  In this post, fM noted that "We research, we write, and sometimes we are rewarded."  Yep -good things come to those who geneablog!!

Today, fM gives us "The Overstuffed Baby Comes Full Circle!" about the rest of the story - a photo essay on the full 102-year life of the baby in the picture.  fM was rewarded!

Yesterday, I noted that I had found a listing for Alexander Whittle in the New South Wales Publican Licences, but couldn't access it without an Ancestry World Subscription.  Voila!  An email from Genea-Musings reader Lisa Nap in The Netherlands (her website is, check it out!) provided me with the image from for this record.  Now I know exactly where in Sydney "The Lancashire Arms" pub was located (and I didn't know the name of the establishment before).  Randy was rewarded! Thank you, Lisa!  This is one reason to put my email address on my blog.

It's not all "taking from others" - we also have to "give back" to make this geneablogging mystery tour work.  My series on the William Seaver murder and the resulting family information is an example - I was contacted in an Message asking for help on that study, which turned into a month long detective story.  Geneablogging strikes again!

On Friday, 20 May, Jasia posted "Jasia's Friday Night Puzzle" at 9:29 PM, and by 9:36 PM reader Chris (Dunham?) had found the image on  By 9:47 PM Chris had found that had skipped imaging and indexing pages 7A and 7B in ED 507 on Roll 1052 of the 1930 US Census.  Geneablogging works again!

I'm often asked "why do you blog?  Who would read your stuff?"  My reason for blogging about genealogy is really simple - "to help other researchers, and to be helped by other researchers."  It's really a two-way street, and the more that readers comment on posts, the better it gets, for everybody!

The capability of search engines to snatch the kernels of ancestral grain from all the genealogy chaff really helps too!  I'm always surprised, and happy, to find a genealogy blog with information about one of my ancestral families when I Google a name with a place.  It turns out that many of the geneabloggers are related back in time, especially those of us with New England ancestry.

Do you have some genealogy puzzles that you can't solve?  Try geneablogging about them.  Blogging is very simple to perform - you type into a box, upload images easily, and attach hyperlinks easily.  It does take a time investment, and may become addictive.  Check out some of the webinars and articles about how to start a genealogy blog.  If I can do it, you can do it.

Yes - GeneaBlogging works!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Educational Events at NEHGS

In the summertime, when all the trees and leaves are green, I get antsy for New England...

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has excellent educational programs for researchers at all levels.  Here is a list of this summer's opportunities (from NEHGS):

Programs at NEHGS
1)  June New Visitor and Welcome Tour
June 1, 2011 10:00AM - 11:00AM
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007

Make plans to start your genealogy with this great tour. This program begins with a thirty-minute introductory lecture and will be followed by a tour of the NEHGS library and its vast holdings.

2)   Come Home to New England
June 13, 2011 9:00AM - June 18, 2011 5:00PM
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007

Dubbed as one of the society’s most popular programs, “Come Home to New England,” is a fun-filled week of family history discovery and education. This program features research, individual consultations, interesting lectures, group meals, and other exciting activities.

3)  Talking Back to Your Ancestors: Reweaving the Family History
June 22, 2011 6:00PM - 7:00PM
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007

Dr. Barbara B. Reitt will describe what she learned in a four-year search for truths long hidden by the family and what compelled her to respond to her late father’s memoirs by researching and writing a biography of his grandmother.

Programs and Events

1)  A Tour Through Ireland and Irish History
July 5, 2011 5:00PM - July 15, 2011 5:00PM

Please join NEHGS as we explore our Irish immigrant ancestors’ native land, the rolling hills of Ireland. We will discover spectacular scenery, and enjoy legendary Irish hospitality in internationally renowned hotels and restaurants and elegant private homes.

Please e-mail if you wish to be placed on a waiting list for the event.

2)  Weekend Research Trip to Albany, New York
July 13, 2011 3:00PM - July 17, 2011 11:00AM
Albany, New York

Join NEHGS as we explore the vast resources of the New York State Archives. The weekend includes individual consultations, lectures, and a group dinner.

 3)  English Research Tour
September 25, 2011 3:00PM - October 2, 2011 12:00PM
London, United Kingdom

Discover the wealth of information available in London's repositories as NEHGS returns to London in 2011. Participants will take part in two group dinners, consultations, and guided research tours through the Society of Genealogists (SOG) and the National Archives (UK).
To learn more about upcoming events, programs, and tours, visit to register online or download a registration form. Please mail your registration form to:

NEHGS, Education & Tours
Attn: Joshua Taylor
99-101 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116-3007
For more information call 1-888-296-3447, or e-mail


NEHGS has a Learning Center on their website which has:

*  A wealth of genealogy-related articles on locality and research topics at

New FamilySearch Family Tree - Post 10: A Better Way to Access nFS using RootsMagic 4

Previous posts in this series can be read in the New FamilySearch Family Tree Compendium. As mentioned in earlier posts, a researcher needs to have registered for a free FamilySearch account, and be granted access to newFamilySearch (currently, only LDS church members and selected non-members, like myself), in order to access the NewFamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch has stated that the system might be open to everyone in late 2011.

In posts 7 and 8, I showed one way to access newFamilySearch using RootsMagic 4.  There is another way that is easier to use.  Here is how:

In RootsMagic 4, go to Tools > File Options > General tab and note the last entry on the window - "LDS Support."  There are three check boxes below that, for:

*  Show LDS status on Pedigree view
*  Show LDS status on Family view
*  Show LDS status on Descendants view.

If you check these boxes, then an LDS icon appears in the right-hand corner in each person's name field, in these three views, in your database (not just the ones that are in the newFamilySearch online tree).  Here's a Family View for Isaac Seaver (1823-1901):

The icon is a green right-arrow pointing into a temple (representing FamilySearch).  Here is the Pedigree View:

If you click on the FamilySearch icon in a Name field, the RootsMagic "FamilySearch Person Tools" window opens.  The first view is the "Ordinances" tab where a list of LDS ordinance events are listed:

If there are ordinances in the LDS church for this person, they would be displayed if the person in RootsMagic has been matched up to a person in newFamilySearch.  If the user is not an LDS church member, they can ignore this tab in the window.

From here, the user can click on the "Find Matches," "Share Data" and "Discussions" tabs to work in FamilySearch for the selected person.  Here's the "Share Data" screen for Isaac Seaver:

Having "turned on" the LDS support icons, the "Edit Person" window for each person now has another button - for "LDS Facts" which looks like this:

Turning on the LDS icon in RootsMagic 4, and just clicking it, instead of clicking on the FamilySearch button (or doing a File > FamilySearch Central), is much easier to perform.  You don't have to use the person index on one of the Views.

Of course, you have to have access to newFamilySearch in order to benefit from this LDS icon on your Pedigree, Family and Descendants views in RootsMagic 4.

UPDATE:  In Comments, RootsMagic offered:

"If instead of turning on the LDS options, you do "Tools > File options > FamilySearch tab" you can turn on FamilySearch support and you will get a FamilySearch icon next to each person's name. The icon will be gray if the RM person hasn't been matched to NFS, and blue when the person *has* been matched to NFS.

"Clicking a gray NFS icon will open the FS Person Tools to the "Find matches" page. Clicking on a blue NFS icon will open to the "Share data" page."

I missed that somehow.  Yep, that works for me!  Here's a Pedigree View that shows this:

Some Interesting New Collections

I try to visit the Genealogy Databases Posted or Updated Recently page on to see what's been added or updated.  I recommend doing this at least weekly if you have an subscription.

Here are several interesting - to me, at least - collections from this list:

1)  U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949 -- here is one of the pages for my father, Frederick W. Seaver:

There are four entries, from February 1945 to February 1946, for my father, all saying essentially the same thing.

2)  U.S. Navy Cruise Books Index, 1918-2009.  Here is an interesting entry for a Clifford N. Seaver:

This article provides Clifford N. Seaver's birth date, birthplace, spouse's maiden name, and parents names, in addition to a summary of his service as of 1966.

3)  California, World War I Death Announcements, 1918-1921.  A lengthy obituary for Kenneth L. Blanchard appeared in the Oakland Tribune and Berkeley Gazette newspapers, dated 16 February 1919:

Kenneth Blanchard was a first cousin, twice removed.  His mother was Elizabeth Seaver, daughter of Isaac and Lucretia (Smith) Seaver, my great-great-grandparents.

4)  New South Wales, Australia, Certificates for Publicans' Licences, 1830-1849, 1853-1860.  I cannot see the entry for "Alexr Whittle" (because I don't have a World subscription) but I'm real interested in having a copy.  I'll have to get it on my next visit to the Family History Center.

There are quite a few other new and updated datases on  Go exploring!

Job Opportunity: WikiTree is looking for a Cousin Connector

I received this in email from Chris Whitten, the webmaster at  It looks like an excellent part-time position for someone that meets the qualifications:

=============================== is seeking an experienced genealogist to be its official Cousin Connector." This person will work from home approximately five hours a week introducing distant cousins to each other, helping them merge their ancestors, and facilitating their enjoyable, productive collaborations.

The full description is at and included below:


As's Cousin Connector, you will help connect distant cousins and facilite their enjoyable, productive genealogy collaborations. This will be your guide. You will be setting an example for what's best about WikiTree:

*  A generous, cooperative, community attitude ...
*  A dedication to discovering and sharing genealogy ...
*  An excitement about the grand goal of growing a single worldwide family tree.

You will be helping make sure that WikiTree really is a worldwide shared tree and not a collection of individual trees. Specifically, we anticipate that you will be spending a few hours a week browsing surname index pages and using our FindMatches tool to look for likely duplicates.

From there, you'll be proposing merges. You will also be improving the overall quality of merged ancestor profiles by demonstrating and explaining good genealogical methods (especially: citing sources).

You'll be making research suggestions and answering questions by e-mail and our message boards. Since disagreements are so common in collaborations, you will be helping diffuse conflicts and encourage a style of WikiTree usage that minimizes them (again, especially: citing sources).

You'll be clicking a lot of "thank you" links to demonstrate how this feature can encourage people to make useful contributions and help maintain a friendly atmosphere through positive reinforcement.


You should have prior experience helping people research genealogy, either as a volunteer or a professional. You must be able to express yourself well in writing. You need to be able to show a smile in your electronic communication. :-)

Most importantly, you need to be genuinely excited about this as an opportunity to help other people with an interest in genealogy and our common mission. This needs to be what motivates you. The compensation is just what enables you to prioritize it.


Approximately five hours a week to start. You can work whenever you want. The only constraint is that if someone asks you a question you can't leave them for days without a response. If you're not going to be available you just have to let people know.


From your own computer, anywhere on the Internet.


We will negotiate a monthly rate that works for you, based on your experience and needs. It won't be a lot of money. WikiTree is a free website; you'll be helping non-paying members with their genealogy. You'll be working alongside volunteers.

On the upside, if you also work as a free-lance professional genealogist, this will be great advertising. WikiTree gets thousands of visitors a day and is growing fast. You will be a highly-visible leader in the community. The job description is to be fun and helpful, so you will get a good reputation. Every person you help is a potential future client.

Plus, if you have a website or page elsewhere on the Internet the search engines will rank it more highly because of your visibility here.


E-mail Chris Whitten at chris -at-

A CV or resume isn't necessary if you don't have one handy. Just tell me about your relevant experience. In particular, are there discussion forums, blogs, or websites where I could see posts from you?

Let me know what you would need for compensation and ask any questions you might have about the position or WikiTree in general.

If you haven't used WikiTree lately, be sure to spend some time using the site and browsing our Help Pages before contacting me so that we can have a more informed discussion.

You might also contact Elyse Doerflinger at elyse -at- She can tell you what it's like to work as part of our team.

You can also get a sense of our community through our Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Genealogy Shows on BlogTalkRadio Flourish

Are you listening to genealogy shows on BlogTalkRadio (  If not, you should think about participating - it's fun and educational.  The current weekly genealogy radio programs include:

1)  Geneabloggers Radio, usually hosted by Thomas MacEntee.  It airs on Friday nights for 90 minutes - starting at 10 PM Eastern, 9 PM Central, 8 PM Mountain and 7 PM Pacific.  There have been 20 programs already, and they can be heard from the archives at

2)  MySociety Radio, hosted by persons active in the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS).  It airs on Saturdays, at 2 PM Eastern, 1 PM Central, 12 noon Mountain and 11 AM Pacific.  There have been five programs to date, and they can be heard from the archives at

Both radio programs have a central theme for each program, and one or more guests that discuss the theme with the host.  For instance, the 21 May episode of MySociety radio was "Bringing Technology to Your Genealogical Society," hosted by the Genealogy Guys (Drew Smith and George G. Morgan)with special guest Paula Hinkel, the co-chair of the Southern California Genealogical Society Jambioree. 

The 20 May episode of "Embracing Technology: Where to Turn Next?" hosted by DearMYRTLE, with special guests Tami Glatz of the Relatively Curious About Genealogy blog, Bruce Buzbee of RootsMagic, and Earl Mott of SharingTime & Noah Tutak of Geni discussing AncestorSync.

To listen to the shows live, a listener can go to the sites above and listen.  The hosts usually take phone calls from listeners, and often have door prizes for listeners to win.  If you want to participate in the online text-only chats during the program, you must sign into BlogTalkRadio - it's free to register, and you can use your Facebook or Twitter account identity.  You can download a program to your computer also and transfer it to your MP3 player, or share it with friends or colleagues.

These shows are an excellent way to "connect" with geneabloggers, society leaders, and genealogists hungry for information on the subjects discussed.  The text-only chat room is a lot of fun - the chatters discuss the topic, ask questions for the host to ask of the guests, and sometimes go off on tangents that are off-the-wall.  It's all friendly and fun. 

Come join us!  And if you cannot make it for the live show, you can catch up by visiting the show archives and listening to a show of your choice (you don't get the chat room fun, of course!).  The MySociety shows may be excellent content for genealogical societies that are trying to improve their technology content.

New FamilySearch Family Tree - Post 9: Combining Records in newFamilySearch

Previous posts in this series can be read in the New FamilySearch Family Tree Compendium. As mentioned in earlier posts, a researcher needs to have registered for a free FamilySearch account, and be granted access to newFamilySearch (currently, only LDS church members and selected non-members, like myself), in order to access the NewFamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch has stated that the system might be open to everyone in late 2011.

In New FamilySearch Family Tree - Post 8: Adding a Family using RootsMagic 4, I added Isaac Seaver (1823-1901), his spouses and his children (and their spouses) to the newFamilySearch system using RootsMagic 4.  I knew that there were several entries in newFamilySearch for this specific Isaac Seaver and his spouses, so now I need to "combine the records" into one Person Identity for each of them.  I didn't do this in RootsMagic 4 because I wanted to put my own person into the newFamilySearch system and see how this record combining works in the system.

In this post, I'm going to demonstrate how to combine records in the newFamilySearch Family Tree. 

After logging in to newFamilySearch, clicking on the "Me and My Ancestors" tab, and then clicking on the pedigree chart to get back to Isaac Seaver (1823-1901), I clicked on Isaac's link on the Pedigree Chart and saw the "Summary" page for Isaac:

The information that I entered for Isaac yesterday from RootsMagic 4 is in the newFamilySearch system (it was there immediately after I entered it yesterday).  He has Person Identifier Number LHT7-5YJ. 

I was curious to see how the information for his spouses and children looked, so I clicked on the link for the "Spouses and Children" page and saw:

That all looks pretty good.  What about the "Parents and Siblings" page?

That doesn't look so good to me!  The parents (Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) and Abigail Gates (1797-1867)) are correct, but 11 children are listed with birth dates from 1789 to 1825.  Two Isaac Seavers are listed - the Isaac Seaver (1802-1870, who married Abigail Gates after Benjamin Seaver died) and my Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) - they are not brothers!  The last five children listed are the ones born to Benjamin Seaver and Abigail Gates.  The other six children were born to Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) and Martha Whitney (1764-1832), the parents of Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) and Isaac Seaver (1802-1870).  This family entry is really messed up - two families have been conflated here.

I'm at a loss now as to how to "fix" this specific problem, which I'm thinking is probably fairly common in the newFamilySearch system.  Should I try to fix it by adding the correct information, and then combining records so that it turns out right?  I may try to do that later.

I now have my Isaac Seaver's information in the system, but I know that there are other records for him, and as a responsible newFamilySearch user (hey, I'm trying to be!), I need to combine as many records for him as I can. 

I clicked on the "Possible Duplicates" button and saw:

In the list of Possible Duplicates are eight names - four named Isaac Seaver married to either Juliet Glazier or Lucretia T.; two named Isaac married to Lucretia T., and two with no name married to Juliet Glazier.  In the screen above, I selected the first six possible duplicates, and clicked on the "Compare in More Detail" button:

The screen above shows the comparison of my information (on the left of the screen) with the first possible duplicate (on the right).  There are three choices at the bottom of the page under "Are these the same individual?":  "Yes, combine the information;" "Yes, but some information is different;" and
"No, or I cannot tell."  I chose the second option, and clicked the "Next" button. 

I did this for the first six possible duplicates and after clicking on "Done" I saw this page:

This "Finalize Your Decisions" page offers a last chance to Cancel, go Back, or Combine the Records.  I clicked on "Combine the Records" and was back to the "Details" page:

While all of the "other information" that I combined is shown on the "Details" page, at least the records in newFamilySearch for Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) is correct and complete (I think!).  Until one of the other submitters of this "other information" changes it. 

During this exercise, I took the opportunity to select the "best information" for Isaac's children, his wives, and Lucretia Smith's parents.  I now need to enter the families for the next generation back from Isaac and Lucretia (Smith) Seaver to see if I can "fix" the wrong information in the newFamilySearch tree.

It took less than ten minutes for me to "fix" the Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) family information (except for the Parents and Siblings problem).  It was fairly straightforward and logical.  I don't see how it could be done easily any other way (as long as someone having the capability to throw out the wrong information!).  But I'm leery of doing this for EVERY family in my ancestry, or worse yet, every family in my genealogy database.

I had a comment on Facebook to one of these posts that said "it's very complicated."  Yes, it is.  But every online family tree system is complicated, and every family tree software program is complicated.  It just takes time to learn and use, and users need to remember that the "Help" button is their friend.  I'm writing these posts so that I can help my readers navigate, enter data, and edit data in the newFamilySearch

I'm not sure what I'll write about next in this series - I have some comments and emails on these posts, so maybe I'll highlight them so that my readers can benefit from their collected wisdom..

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 154: The Carringer Family ca1932

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 is of the Lyle Carringer family - Emily (Auble) Carringer (1899-1977), Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), and Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976).  It was taken in front of the lath house on their home property at 2130 Fern Street in San Diego in about the 1932 time frame (judging that Betty looks like she is aged 12 to 14). 

This is a fairly large photograph (about 6 inches by 10 inches) that I found last week in the treasure box, and scanned during Scanfest.  I don't have many other family photos from this time frame.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New FamilySearch Family Tree - Post 8: Adding a Family using RootsMagic 4

Previous posts in this series can be read in the New FamilySearch Family Tree Compendium. As mentioned in earlier posts, a researcher needs to have registered for a free FamilySearch account, and be granted access to newFamilySearch (currently, only LDS church members and selected non-members, like myself), in order to access the NewFamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch has stated that the system might be open to everyone in late 2011.

In this post, I'm going to demonstrate how to use RootsMagic 4 to add a family to newFamilySearch Family Tree. 

My second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901), is not in the newFamilySearch Family Tree as a well-defined person.  He is listed several times without parents, or without a birth or death date, or with spouses (without a surname).

I got into the FamilySearch Central (using File > FamilySearch Central, or the FamilySearch icon) in RootsMagic 4, and searched for Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) in the index list on the left.  When I selected him, the FamilySearch "Find Matches" screen showed a number of possible matches:

The first one was really the Isaac Seaver (1802-1870) that I've been working with in earlier posts in this series, so I did not choose to Match with him.  All of the other possible matches have no exact match (green) to my data, but does have approximate matches (yellow).  Rather than select one of them, I elected to click on the "Add to FamilySearch" as a new person.  After the click, a popup box appeared:

The popup box said "This will add a copy of your RootsMagic person to FamilySearch. Make sure the person isn't already on FamilySearch before selecting this option."  I clicked on the "Add to FamilySearch" button.   The system gave Isaac Seaver a PIN and showed more possible matches with only names of possible spouses.

 I declined to Match any of them, and clicked on the "Share Data" button just below Isaac's name and ID at the top of the screen, to see the "FamilySearch Person Tools" screen:

In the screen above, the "My RootsMagic Person is on the left, and the "My FamilySearch Person" is on the right.  The items that were transferred into newFamilySearch are highlighted in green on both sides - the birth, death and burial information.  The rest of my RootsMagic information is not highlighted with a background color - the census, pension and probate facts, the three marriages, the three spouses and the five children.  Each of these should be added, one at a time, to the newFamilySearch online tree.

The system would not let me add the Marriage Facts until I had added the Spouse names.  I wanted to add the parents - I clicked on the box to the left of the Father's name (Benjamin Seaver) and saw:

The popup box asked if I wanted to "Add as a new Father in FamilySearch?" I clicked "OK." The system found possible matches for this Benjamin Seaver and I selected the ones that were correct and clicked on the "Match this person" button. The "FamilySearch Person Tools" screen in RootsMagic updated and showed the addition.

I did this operation for Isaac's mother, Abigail Gates, and started in on his spouses and children. When I got to his first wife, Juliet Glazier, there were possible matches in the list, and I selected three that were this Juliet, and when I clicked on the "Match with FamilySearch" a popup box asked "Combine and Match? Do you want to combine the checked people on FamilySearch and match your RootsMagic person to the combined person?" as shown below:

I clicked OK, and the entries in newFamilySearch were combined and matched to my entry. Juliet Glazier was given a new PIN on newFamilySearch because I combined several entries into one entry.

I completed adding all of the spouses and children, but still didn't have the Marriage facts entered, as shown below:

 I then added the Marriage facts, and in the process I had to identify which spouse matched up with the correct date and location as shown below:

I carefully selected the correct spouse, and finished the task of entering all three spouses into newFamilySearch, as shown below:

I'm finished entering data for this family, but now I need to go to the parents, the spouses, and the children and do this same process for their facts, their parents, their spouses and their children.

The actual selecting, matching and adding process took about ten minutes in real time for this particular family.  In the process, I entered data for 18 persons! 

One significant thing I would like to see in RootsMagic is a way to navigate to one of the parents, a spouse or a child in my RootsMagic database.  At present, I have to go to the index and search for the RootsMagic entry for the other person. 

I can see how a user can easily get distracted, or sidetracked, and forget where they were and what they were doing, and leave some families incomplete.  This process is fairly complex, in my opinion, because of all the Fact details to be added or matched, and all of the possible matches, often with erroneous data, in the newFamilySearch tree.

In the next post, I'll go back into the newFamilySearch Family Tree online and see if my Isaac Seaver data was added, and then try to select the best information for Isaac's Summary page.

AncestorSync is coming - I got answers!

I asked a number of questions about AncestorSync ( in my post AncestorSync is coming - I have questions yesterday. 

In email last night, I received answers to those questions from Dovy Paukstys of Real-Time Collaboration, Inc. -

Here are my questions (RS in red) and Dovy's answers (DP in purple) to them:

RS:  Is this a computer program that resides on the user's computer and accesses the online tree website, or is it a website that accesses the user's software, file folders, and the online tree site?  It sounds like the latter - a "service that lets you synchronize the genealogy work from your online pedigree to your desktop program."

DP:  AncestorSync is indeed a web service and a desktop component. We utilize a remote server to interact with the API's directly. Often an API may go down and we found a need to have a server we maintain in the middle. This also means that a user can begin a download/sync and despite maybe even restarting a computer, the process is still occurring in the background. This way we can also tweak API calls without pushing an update to all of the user base. The desktop component is responsible for converting any data to a genealogy application format of the user's choosing. Each peace is necessary and unique.

RS: is a site with a freemium subscription - will users need a Pro subscription to use AncestorSync?
DP:  Although I cannot state this officially, that is still in the works. Rest assured we'll do as much as we can, but on Geni there's a certain point where the freemium must go pro. We're still not entirely sure if that will be a limitation of our application or not. You will still be able to use a certain number of generations with AncestorSync. In fact we intend to offer AncestorSync as a trial for the first 3-5 generations to any users without a paid account.
RS:  Will AncestorSync eventually support other genealogy software programs like Family Tree Maker, Reunion, Family Tree Builder, etc.?

DP:  All I can say is we're working on it.  ;)    
RS:  Will AncestorSync eventually support other online family trees like Ancestry Member Trees, WeRelate, WikiTree, AppleTree, GeneaNet, and other online tree systems?
 DP:  See above. When we can say anything we will.    
RS:  Will the user be able to select the persons and facts/events to be synchronized?  Will they have to select persons, facts and events?  
DP:  We're working to put some limits on the sync as we know some users will be leery to share their entire database. Ideas that we are working on include only syncing the ancestors currently listed at the online service, generation limits, and other ever more granular limitations. This will largely be influenced by our beta testers.

RS:  Will the user be able to upload whole databases to the online system, or vice versa?  Can a user download a whole database into a new software file?
DP:  Yes. We will be releasing a beta for people to try with this feature on June 10th. You can select the generations and download a new file from your information on Geni. This beta will have a generation limit however.

RS:  Will all information in the genealogy software programs be able to be synchronized?  E.g., name, dates, places, relationships, notes (with formatting), sources (with EE-quality fields), media (from user file folders or links to subscription sites), to-do list, research log, etc.
DP:  Yes to everything the online service will allow. Any problems found by our beta testers will be resolved. We want to have perfect migration of data. 

RS:  Will the synchronization happen automatically (say when the program is closed, or when the online tree is closed), or will it have to be intentionally started (when the user pushes a button)?  

DP:  You will be able to initiate a one time download/sync or setup an Auto-Sync which will run as a task on your computer and work in the background.

RS:  Will there be a separate version of AncestorSync for each online tree system with each software program (e.g., will there be, say, a specific Geni to RootsMagic program) or will the user be able to use it for any software program and online tree combination?  If it's for a specific site and/or program, will each version cost money?

DP:  There will be a version for each site we support. That means a AncestorSync for Geni and an AncestorSync for FamilySearch. The desktop conversion to all support applications will be included in each version of AncestorSync. You will, however, need to pay for the version designed for the website you prefer.
 RS:  Why should a user use AncestorSync with newFamilySearch when RootsMagic, Legacy and other software programs already can access and use newFamilySearch?  What benefits are there for owners of the FamilySearch affiliates?  

 DP:  If you use RootsMagic and Legacy there probably isn't a substantial reason. Perhaps the fact that you can utilize more programs. Also if you set it to automatic, the sync occurs without your input unless there is a concern. However the developers of Legacy and RootsMagic have done a fantastic job with their integration. If you're true to either, the FamilySearch integration is more than adequate for your needs. AncestorSync is just another direction toward simplicity.
RS:  I can see why online family tree sites are interested in the AncestorSyncGEDCOM uploads/downloads, the AncestorSync seems to offer synchronization without GEDCOM, which may have advantages.  

DP:  Exactly. This is a direct access to the genealogy program database, not a GEDCOM export.  

RS: Is AncestorSync working with the genealogy software companies to develop their product?  

DP:  Real-Time Collaboration, Inc. acquired Ohana Software, LLC just prior to RootsTech this year. Ohana Software has had a product called FamilyInsight (Previously PAF Insight) which has interacted with many of these applications for years. With each genealogy software integrated a relationship has been built with the developer. Often the developers assisted in the integration of Ohana's offering. We want to ensure the developers success as they have done such wonderful work with their applications. Our hope is that AncestorSync will facilitate online sharing while also bringing an interest back to desktop applications since there are features offered on the desktop that no website can provide.

RS:  What product liability will the software companies have if someone uses AncestorSync to download some or all of a tree from an online tree website and the user's database becomes corrupted?          

DP:  Before we sync a new file we create a local backup. That way if something does get corrupted the user has not lost a thing. We encourage all users to report any bugs and we will resolve the concerns. Again our goal is a perfect migration. If a developer has any concern as well we will gladly make the changes requested.

RS:  If collaboration occurs in an online tree and wrong or corrupted data gets added to a user's database, or worse yet - the user's correct data is deleted - who is liable?  
 DP:  The user will have to setup their permissions to sharing. You can keep the desktop as a master or trust the users you collaborate online. The choice is yours. However, the reverse may be true. What if someone corrects one of your mistakes?  ;)

RS:  The first year is only $10 - but the site does not say what the subscription price for subsequent years will be.  

DP:  AncestorSync is a $15/year service. For the time being while we are in beta we are offering a $10 for your first year. The year does not begin until we have a finalized product to ship. We want your users to know we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee that lasts for your entire year of subscription. If within 365 days of your purchase you're unhappy we'll give you a full refund.
RS:  My opinion is that this synchronization system may provide significant advantages for users that want to keep their genealogy database stored on their home computers with one or more online family tree systems. The user then retains ALL of the reporting and charting features of the software programs (which are lacking in online trees) and yet get all of their information online (with all of the "cousin bait" benefits) with the backup benefits of having the tree stored online.
DP:  Exactly Randy. That's our hope and that's why we're making this.

RS:  AncestorSync use should increase significantly when full two-way synchronization is available.

DP:  That won't be too far off. We're working hard. We're hoping to have the full product out third quarter of this year.
DP:  Also note there is a webinar demonstrating the product and the features that will be offered this Friday. You can register for the event here:

Dovy provided this email address for questions that you might have:

I really appreciate Dovy's openness and responsiveness to my post yesterday.  His answers give us very helpful information to understand how AncestorSync will work.  I look forward to participating in the webinar on Friday (27 May, 8 PM EDT, 7 PM CDT, 6 PM MDT, 5 PM PDT).