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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Genea-Bucket List

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Are you ready for Saturday Night, and more Genealogy Fun??  I hope so!

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

Knowing that a "Bucket List" is a wish list of things to do before death:

1)  What is on your Genealogy Bucket List?  What research locations do you want to visit?  Are there genea-people that you want to meet and share with?  What do you want to accomplish with your genealogy research?  List a minimum of three items - more if you want!

2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own (please give me a link in Comments), a comment to this post in Comments, or a status line or comment on Facebook.

Think big!  Have fun!  Life is short - do genealogy first! 

Here's mine:

1)  I really want to visit Wisconsin.  The Ranslow Smith Four Mile Inn is a restored building at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle. Devier Smith grew up in dodge county, Wisconsin, and I need to check newspapers there.  My wife's Leland family migrated from Norway to Dane County, Wisconsin, and I want to visit their old church and look for homesteads there, in addition to visiting the Wisconsin Historical Society.  All of this is planned for our September trip to the FGS Conference in Springfield, Illinois.

2)  I also want to visit the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  This is on the itinerary for September also.

3)  I want to publish books (either digital or paper) for my children, grandchildren, brothers and cousins.  I've done two limited editions myself, but they are out-of-date now.  I also want to publish photo albums (probably digital) for my family. 

4)  I would like to go to every national and regional genealogy conference held during one calendar year.  In the process, I'd like to visit every major regional and national genealogy repository in the same year.  This would be like visiting every major league ballpark in a season.  I'm not sure that I can afford this, and my wife might not approve, but, hey, it's a wish list! 

Okay, I showed you mine, now show me yours!

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/07/saturday-night-genealogy-fun-your-genea.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Surname Saturday - KINNAN (NJ)

...It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 253, who is Sarah KINNAN (1761-1841), another of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back to Sarah Kinnan and to the first known Kinnan ancestor 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)

30. James Abram Kemp (1831-1902)
31. Mary Jane Sovereen (1841-1874)

62. Alexander Sovereen (1814-1907)
63. Eliza Putman (1820-1895)


126.  John Putman (1785-1863)
127.  Sarah Martin (1792-1860

252.  Peter Victorse Putman, born about 1760 in probably Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 03 October 1835 in Barrington, Yates, New York, United States. He was the son of 504. Victor Davidse Putman and 505. Margaret Wieser. He married 20 March 1780 in Wantage, Sussex, New Jersey, United States.
253. Sarah Kinnan, born June 1761 in Wantage, Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 22 November 1841 in Springwater, Livingston, New York, United States. 

Children of Peter Putman and Sarah Kinnan are:

*  Victor Putman, born 26 October 1782 in Wantage, Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 21 May 1845 in Canadice, Ontario, New York, United States; married Elizabeth Kline before 1809 in Probably Sussex, New Jersey, United States; born 20 January 1791 in Hurley, Ulster, New York, United States; died 04 May 1862 in Canadice, Ontario, New York, United States.
*    John Putman, born before 27 September 1785 in Walpack, Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 10 May 1863 in Delhi, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada; married Sarah Martin about 1810 in probably Seneca, New York, United States.
*  Peter Putman, born 1788 in probably Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 21 September 1855 in Springwater, Livingston, New York, United States; married Margaret Saunders about 1812 in New York, United States; born about 1788 in Pennsylvania, United States; died 1855 in Springwater, Livingston, New York, United States.
*  David Putman, born about 1790 in probably Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died before 1855.
*  Isaac Kinnan Putman, born about 1797 in Probably Sussex, New Jersey, United States; married Charlotte; born 1803 in New York, United States.

506. John Kinnan, born about 1736 in New Jersey, United States, died 1784 in Wantage, Sussex, New Jersey, United States. He married before 1756 in New Jersey, United States.
507. Martha Morrison, born about 1739 in New Jersey, United States.

Children of John Kinnan and Martha Morrison are:

*  John Kinnan, born 1756 in Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 12 June 1809 in Sandyston, Sussex, New Jersey, United States.
 Sarah Kinnan, born June 1761 in Wantage, Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 22 November 1841 in Springwater, Livingston, New York, United States; married Peter Victorse Putman 20 March 1780 in Wantage, Sussex, New Jersey, United States.
*  Mary Kinnan, born about 1765 in New Jersey, United States; married Isaac Bedell.

I don't have any original source material for this surname.  Mark Putman has done work on this family, and thinks that the John Kinnan family data above is correct.  There may have been at least one more daughter who married Cornelius Atherton, who administered the intestate estate of John Kinnan in 1784 in Wantage, New Jersey.

The surname KINNAN may be CANNON, CANNAN, CANAAN, etc.

The URL of this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/067surname-saturday-kinnan-nj.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Friday, July 1, 2011

SAR Membership Applications on Ancestry.com are FREE through 4 July

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Ancestry.com added U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 to their collection on 29 June 2011.  There is FREE access to this collection through 4 July, per the email received from Ancestry.com, which describes the collection as:

"The Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications let you trace generations of ancestors in a single document, showing your lineage back 235 years to the Revolutionary War.

This weekend, get free access to more than 145,000 applications and 1.2 million records and discover if your forefathers were founding fathers — or other patriots who fought for America’s independence."


I had to go look for Seaver folks, and found quite a few.  I captured some of the images (there is no Save button on this collection right now, and a right-mouse click doesn't work, so I used the Windows Snipping Tool - the images are fuzzy below, sorry).  Here's one of the Seaver-related applications: (3 images)




The particular application above is from the New Jersey Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) - I think that there are different forms for different states and different years. 

The application above has four pages - the first page is the right-hand page of the first image, the second and third pages are the two pages in the second image, and the fourth page is the left-hand page in the third image. 

The information on this particular application include:

*  Page 1 -- name of the applicant, name of the Revolutionary War soldier, SAR approvals, and dates for the application, approval and certificate.
*  Page 2 -- the specific line of the SAR applicant back to the RevWar soldier, including names of spouses, birth, death and marriage dates and places, and signature of the applicant.
*  Page 3 -- the ancestor's service in the Revolutionary War
*  Page 4 -- maiden name of applicant's wife, children and grandchildren of the applicant, published sources, and signature of the applicant.

Other forms that I've seen in the collection don't have the names of the wife, children and grandchildren.

Now to methodically go through this collection for my ancestral families and determine if someone who sent in an application knows more than I do about my families. 

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/07/sar-membership-applications-on.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS or similar feed), then they have stolen my work.

Looking at the MyHeritage Person Profiles

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The www.MyHeritage.com online family tree provides a Person Profile for each person in my tree.  I wondered what was included in this Person Profile, and how to Edit or Add to it.

1)  On my MyHeritage website, I clicked on the "Family tree" Tab and the "Tree" link in order to navigate to a specific person in my tree.  I chose Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) (of course!), found him in the tree and clicked on his box in the tree:


The summary for Isaac Seaver appeared on the left of the screen. 

2)  I clicked the blue "View Profile" button next to Isaac's picture on the left side of the screen:


Isaac Seaver's information came up, including his vital records, his relationships (birth family, spouses, children), education, work, favorites, contact information, personal info, and source citations, and biography.

3)  I clicked on the "Edit Profile" link on the left side just below Isaac's picture and saw:


The "Essentials" screen for Isaac Seaver opened - it has birth, death and burial (and could have additional names, baptism and cause of death information if it was available) dates and places.  The site manager can edit this information, but cannot see the Source, edit or add a Source on this screen.

The other screens for the person are listed on the left-hand side of the screen.

4)  Next on the list of Person Profile screens is the "Family" screen:


The screen above lists the Parents and relationship to the parents, the Spouse(s) and relationship, with the marriage date and place, with a field for witnesses.  The site manager can add, edit or delete marriage information on this screen.  However, there is no listing of the children with each spouse on this page.  I would have thought that the Children would be shown on this screen with a link to them.  They are on the Person Profile screen (#2 above).

5) The next item on the Profile list is "Biography":


The Biography information reflects the Notes included in the GEDCOM file or typed/copied into the field on this screen.  In my case, I have extensive notes for many persons in the GEDCOM that I uploaded to MyHeritage.  I noted that all of my paragraph breaks are missing in the Biography page above.  It appears that MyHeritage does not recognize the GEDCOM tags that create a paragraph break.  I refuse to go through thousands of people to fix the Biographies.

6)  Next on the list of Profile screens are Contact Information, Work, Education, Favorites, and Personal Info.  I don't have any information in those fields, so I'll skip them.

Next is the "Source Citations" screen:



On the screen above, I could use an Existing citation or Add a new source citation.  If I wanted to use an existing citation, I could click the down arrow on the right of the Source field, and choose from existing sources:


Alternatively, if I click on the "Add new source" link to the right of the down arrow, I could add a new master source (shown below):


There are fields in the MyHeritage master source for Source title, Abbreviation, Author, Publisher, Agency, and Description, with a link to add an image of the source.

If a site manager selects an existing source or adds a new source, they can then add citation text, a page number or URL, a confidence level, and a date for the specific source citation.

8)  The last item on the Profile list is "All Facts":




This is the screen where all of the Facts associated with the person (e.g., birth, baptism, marriage, death, burial, census, military, immigration, occupation, etc.) are listed, along with the source citations for those Facts.  Description fields are available for some Facts to add additional information.  Place names can be typed in or selected from an existing place list.  There is a type-ahead function for the existing place names.  Residence, physical description and favorites are not edited on this screen.

Additional Notes (but not the Biography) and sources can be added on this screen.  If the site manager wants to use an existing master source, they can select it here.  If they want to Add a new master source, they can do it here.  In either case, they can add the citation information and attach an image.

Frankly, I'm not sure that I understand why the "Source citations" screen exists on the Person Profile pages.  The function is duplicated in the "All Facts" screen.  The logical thing for me is to change the "All Facts" to read "Source citations" because they apply to the Person in the Profile. 

If a user has a lot of master source citations (I have over 600), the dropdown menu to select the right one is cumbersome to use - the alphabetical listing of the sources is long, and all the sources that start with a quote mark are at the top of the list.

These Person Profile screens are logical to use whether adding or editing information.

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/07/looking-at-myheritage-person-profiles.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS or similar feed), then they have stolen my work.

My Canadian Ancestors

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In honor of Canada Day today (144 years ago, the Dominion of Canada was created), I thought that I would list my Canadian ancestors - those born, married or died in Canada.  They are all ancestors of my great-grandmother, Georgianna Kemp.  In ancestor name list format:

 1.  Georgianna Kemp, born 04 August 1868 in Middleton, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada; died 08 November 1952 in San Diego, San Diego, California, United States.  She was the daughter of 2. James Abram Kemp and 3. Mary Jane Sovereen.  She married Charles Auble 19 June 1898 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.  He was born 31 October 1849 in probably Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States, and died 23 March 1916 in San Diego, San Diego, California, United States.  He was the son of David Auble and Sarah G. Knapp.

 2.  James Abram Kemp, born 22 May 1831 in Hillier, Prince Edward, Ontario, Canada; died 19 September 1902 in Delhi, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.   He married 10 March 1861 in Middleton, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.
 3.  Mary Jane Sovereen, born 29 December 1840 in Windham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada; died 20 May 1874 in Middleton, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  


 4.  Abraham James Kemp, born 04 November 1795 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada; died Aft. 1881 in Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  He married16 April 1818 in probably Prince Edward, Ontario, Canada.
 5.  Sarah Sephrona Fletcher, born 07 July 1802 in perhaps, Quebec, New France; died Aft. 1861 in probably Hastings, Ontario, Canada.
 

 6.  Alexander Sovereign, born 22 December 1814 in Middleton, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada; died 15 August 1907 in Windham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  He married 03 March 1840 in Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.
 7.  Eliza Putman, born 01 January 1820 in Wayne, Schuyler, New York, United States; died 17 March 1895 in Delhi, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  


 8.  John Kemp, born about 1768 in Schenectady, Schenectady, New York, United States; died after April 1861 in probably Cramahe, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada.  He married 26 January 1795 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada.
 9.  Mary Dafoe, born about 1776 in Vermont, United States; died before 1851 in probably Cramahe, Northumberland, Ontario, Canada.  


 12.  Frederick Sovereign, born 14 February 1786 in Schooleys Mountain, Morris, New Jersey, United States; died 14 June 1875 in Middleton, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.   He married 17 May 1810 in London, Ontario, Canada.
 13.  Mary Jane Hutchison, born 22 January 1792 in Pleasant Valley, New Brunswick, Canada; died 16 April 1868 in Delhi, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  


 14.  John Putman, born before 27 September 1785 in Walpack, Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 10 May 1863 in Delhi, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  He was the son of 28. Peter Victorse Putman and 29. Sarah Mary Kinnan.  He married about 1810 in probably Seneca, New York, United States.
 15.  Sarah Martin, born 07 March 1792 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died 21 December 1860 in Delhi, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  She was the daughter of 30. Mulford Martin and 31. Betsey Rolfe.
 

 16.  John Kemp, born about 1723; died before 15 January 1795 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada.  He married before 1761 in probably Schenectady, Schenectady, New York, United States.
 17.  Anna Van Vorst, born before 22 October 1732 in Schenectady, Schenectady, New York, United States; died before 15 July 1789 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada.  She was the daughter of 34. Jacobus Van Vorst and 35. Anna Beck.

 18.  Abraham Dafoe, born before 11 May 1755 in Albany, Albany, New York, United States; died 1815 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada.  He married about 1775 in New York, United States.
 19.  Katreen Diamond, born about 1755 in New York, United States.


 24.  Jacob Sovereign, born 06 November 1759 in Schooleys Mountain, Morris, New Jersey, United States; died 1845 in Charlotteville, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  He married 01 March 1781 in Oldwick, Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States.
 25.  Elizabeth Pickle, born 03 November 1764 in Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States; died 02 January 1849 in Delhi, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  She was the daughter of 50. Henry Pickel and 51. Elizabeth.
 

 26.  William Hutchinson, born 1745 in of Knowlton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States; died 20 March 1826 in Walsingham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  He married 03 August 1784 in Parr, New Brunswick, Canada.
 27.  Catherine Lewis, born 22 March 1759 in Richmond, New York, United States; died 15 August 1845 in Walsingham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  She was the daughter of 54. Jonathan Lewis and 55. Marie La Tourette.
 
 
 36.  Johann Ernst Dafoe, born about 1726 in Dutchess, New York, United States; died 1784 in Saint-Jean, Quebec, Canada.   He married 01 February 1749 in German Valley, Morris, New Jersey, United States.
 37.  Maria Keller, born 27 March 1729 in Athens, Greene, New York, United States; died 12 August 1789 in Fredericksburg, Addington, Ontario, Canada.  She was the daughter of 74. Conrad Keller and 75. Maria Barbara Proper.

 48.  Frederick Zavering, born about 1715 in probably Germany; died 25 October 1805 in Waterford, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.  He married before 1757 in probably Germany.
 49.  Ann Waldruff, born before 1739 in probably Germany; died before 1768 in Probably Morris, New Jersey, United States.
 

So I have a fairly decent Canadian ancestry - all all but one (I'm not sure about Sarah Fletcher) are families that migrated from New York or New Jersey during or after the American Revolutionary War. 

My ancestral mysteries on this list are:

Sephrona Fletcher - this is a big blank area in my larger tree!

*  The parents of #16 John Kemp (ca1723-1795) - I think that he was a settler or soldier near Schenectady before the Revolution, perhaps an English soldier.

*  The parents of #19 Katreen Diamond.

*  The parents of #26 William Hutchinson.

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/07/my-canadian-ancestors.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS or similar feed), then they have stolen my work.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Uploading My Tree to Mocavo.com

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I posted New Mocavo.com Major Features this morning, with the information that Mocavo.com would automatically search the Internet for persons in a family tree.  The next task was to upload the family tree, in the form of a GEDCOM file, to the Upload link at http://www.mocavo.com/upload.

I created a series of GEDCOM files, finally culminating in my whole database (41,000 persons, 13.4 mb size).  I didn't know if there were size restrictions (there were not).

Here is the process I used:

1)  From the Mocavo.com upload page: 


On the screen above, I had to log into the system.  The only option available seemed to be to use my Facebook account. 

2)  I clicked the blue "Connect with Facebook" button and saw:


The popup window told me that Mocavo wanted to access my Facebook account.

3)  I decided to go for it, and clicked on the "Allow" button.  That brought up the Upload page:


On the screen above, I used the Browse button to add one of my GEDCOM files to the field.  Note that I could have uploaded three different trees on the screen above.

4)  I then clicked the "Upload My Trees" button, and after about 20 seconds, I saw:


The site told me that "You successfully uploaded your tree(s)!  You will soon receive emails with matches for your tree(s)!"

Okay, I'll wait. 

I actually uploaded three trees to date with different sizes.  There is no apparent way to delete a tree without emailing the Mocavo developers.  I will delete all but one of the trees so that there is not a duplication of my data (i.e., I don't want to receive three emails with matches for a specific person in my database).  Now I'm worried that I will receive over 41,000 emails, one for each person in my database. 

Will the site match new information added over time (websites, family trees, blog posts) to the persons in my tree and send me more emails?  I don't know, we'll see! 

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/uploading-my-tree-to-movacocom.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS or similar feed), then they have stolen my work.

New Mocavo.com Major Features

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I received this announcement from Mocavo.com last night:

----------------------------------
We're excited to announce the coming availability of two major new features on Mocavo.com.

1) You can now upload your family tree to Mocavo and we'll send you search results for your ancestors. This will save you the time and effort of having to search for each of your ancestors manually. You can upload your tree now, in GEDCOM format, and then within a couple of weeks you'll receive a weekly or daily email (your choice) pointing you to search results for your ancestors. We think this will be a magical experience as you repeatedly find interesting content about your ancestors as we discover new material all over the Web.

2) When uploading your family tree, you can optionally have it included in the Mocavo search engine, which will allow other Mocavo users to find your content in their search results. We'll prominently display you as the creator and owner of your family tree whenever anyone finds it.  We'll automatically remove living persons in your tree from the search results and you can delete your tree at any time.

We're celebrating the launch of these two new features on July 15th by giving away an iPad 2.  Visit http://www.mocavo.com/upload to upload your GEDCOM file. On July 15th, we'll select one lucky winner from among those who uploaded their family tree and send them a brand new iPad 2. (No purchase necessary. Winner decided by random drawing.)

------------------------------------

This announcement sounds promising - if a user searches www.Mocavo.com for my ancestral names, then they may find the persons I uploaded in my family tree (if I permit it - I will!).   And a contest for a free iPad 2?  That's a no brainer!  I'm in.  However, I don't think that I will upload all of my family tree.  I'll probably include only my ancestors and my wife's ancestors so as to limit the size of the tree (I haven't checked to see if there is a GEDCOM file size).  I'll report on it later.

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/new-mocavocom-major features.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS or similar feed), then they have stolen my work.

Treasure Chest Thursday - My Grandparents Church Marriage Certificate

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It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to find another artifact or document in my ancestral image collection and try to learn more from it.

This week, it's a church wedding certificate for my grandparents, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) and Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962).



The transcription of this document is (with handwritten entries in italics):

In the Name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

This is to certify that on the twenty-first
day of June in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred
 ______________ at Leominster,
 Massachusetts

I joined together in Holy Matrimony
Alma Bessie Richmond
and
Fred Walton Seaver

according to the rites of the Protestant
Episcopal Church, in the United States
of America, and in conformity
with the laws of the state
of Massachusetts.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto affixed my
name, this 21st day of June Anno
Domini one thousand nine hundred,
_____________

Francis A. Brown
Minister of St. Mark's Church
Leominster, Mass.

Witnesses:
Frank W. Seaver
Thos. Richmond

While this document did not add new information to my genealogy research, it does contain the signatures of my two great-grandfathers, Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) and Thomas Richmond (1848-1917). 

I received this image from my cousin, Laura, who is the great-granddaughter of Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver's sister, Grace (Richmond) (Shaw) Moody.  It is a photocopy of the original, color, certificate issued to the married couple.  I wonder how Bessie's sister obtained it? 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

William Seaver Murder Mystery, and Family History Compendium

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One of the most challenging research tasks for me this year was to determine who the William Seaver, murdered in Arlington, Virginia, in 1821, really was - who were his parents, who was his spouse, and what happened to his family after his death.

The study took some unexpected turns, but I think that I've found the answers I was looking for when I started.

The series is composed of these posts:

*  "A Horrid Murder" in Alexandria. (posted 15 March 2011).  The newspaper article about his murder on 6 July 1821 was lurid, but what happened after that? 

*  William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - a Reward Offered (posted 17 March 2011) - by the President of the United States, and three mayors.

*  William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - A Jailhouse Confession (posted 18 March 2011) seemed to solve the case with the arrest of a man who confessed.

William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - Was it Ever Solved? (posted 21 March) was an article from 1874 claiming that the murder was a "cold case," but mentioned a confession to a murder printed in the Alexandria Gazette newspaper in 1866.

William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - the 1866 Confession (posted 30 March 2011), provided the first part of the 1866 Confession of John Trust from the Alexandria Gazette newspaper.

*  William Seaver's Murder in 1821 - the 1866 Confession, Part 2 (posted 31 March 2011) provided more detail of the murder from the confession. 

*  
Clues for the Ancestry of murder victim, William Seaver (posted 5 April 2011) summarized the information I have for William Seaver's ancestry. It wasn't much, but seemed to point to him being the son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Coolidge) Seaver, born in 1782 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, who married a Martha Davis in 1809.

Some Records for the William Seaver Family Members (posted 8 April 2011) described some records found in online census and city directories for the widow and children. 

*  Is this William R. Seaver, son of the murdered William Seaver? (posted 12 April 2011) -  I thought that I had found the son of William and Martha (Davis) Seaver.

More Information on the Family of William Seaver (1783-1821) (posted 4 May 2011) uncovered more information about the ancestral family if Martha (Davis) (Seaver) Bowen, and the wills of the two daughters.

The Family of Martha (Davis) Seaver (1793-1868) (posted 9 May 2011) revealed the family of Martha (Davis) (Seaver) Bowen, and described the will of the last child, Sarah A.C. Seaver and why her will was contested.

This research was conducted completely with a variety of online resources.  Much more research could be performed for these persons in repositories holding vital records, land records, probate records, cemetery records, newspaper records, and many more record types in order to conduct a reasonably exhaustive search.  I think that I've just scratched the surface.  However, I managed to answer, at least to my satisfaction, the challenging questions using only online resources in a relatively short period of time.

I started this research as a result of receiving an Ancestry.com message asking if I could identify the William Seaver who was murdered in 1821, and if I knew what happened to the wife Martha, and the children.  Unfortunately, the person who asked the question has not contacted me since early April.  I hope that she sees this set of posts that answer her questions. 

The URL of this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/william-seaver-murder-mystery-and-family.html.

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Adding Photographs to my MyHeritage Family Tree - Post 2

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Following my ill-fated try at uploading photographs to www.MyHeritage.com, as covered in Adding Photographs to my MyHeritage Family Tree - Post 1, I tried to upload the photos from within the MyHeritage "Family Tree" tab on the home page.

This worked well, although I could upload only one at a time, but they were attached to the person in the tree I selected.

1)  From within the "Family tree" tab, I highlighted one of my ancestors, Henry Austin Carringer:


His Profile appeared on the left-hand side of the screen, and there is an "Add photo" blue button below the "Photos" label.  I clicked on it.

2)  The "Add Photo" browse field appeared above the tree area, and I found the picture of Henry Austin Carringer that I wanted to upload in my computer files:


I clicked on the blue "Save" button and the small thumbnail size picture quickly uploaded to the MyHeritage site:


The screen above shows the picture on the Profile of Henry Austin Carringer.  It  also appears on the Family Tree box for Henry.

4)  I did this task for over 30 people in my tree, and then checked the "Photos & Videos" tab on the main menu, and in the "Albums" link it showed:


Both sets of photographs are in the "Recent Photos" album. 

5)  The "Family Tree" now has photos for some of my ancestors and relatives:


  I need to make more "head shot" photos for other relatives, and then upload some more.

This process was very intuitive and fast, and works!

My main reason for doing this is so that I can have playing cards made for the "Online Memory Game" so that I can get started teaching my grandchildren who their ancestors are. 

The URL of this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/adding-photographs-to-my-myheritage_29.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Using the 1940 Census ED Finding Tool

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Updated, 3 p.m.:  Corrected my major error shown in purple below, with updates in red.

I spent some time last night, and again this morning, using the 1940 Census Enumeration District (ED)Finding Tool to determine the ED for my ancestral families.  See the press release announcing the tool here.  Steve Morse and Joel Weintraub have spent several years creating this tool, and it is how many of us will find our families in the 1940 census until every-name indexes are available after the images are released.

There are two methods to obtain the Enumeration District of a family in the 1940 census:

1)  "I Have No Clue Where They Lived"

In this method, the user tries to find other resources to help determine the address of the family on 1 April 1940.  The tool makes several suggestions for these resources, including birth certificates, city directories, etc.  If you still don't know, clicking the "Still nothing, sorry" button tells you to wait until the index is released.

Assuming you know an address, or can guess a neighborhood, clicking the "Yes, now I have the location" button takes you to the second method below.

2)  "I Know Where They Were in 1940"

The first question in this section is "Did the family move between 1930 and 1940?" 

If the answer is "No," then you are asked if you have time to search for the ED (which takes you to the "Yes" method eventually) or if you are busy now (and want to take a shortcut by using the 1930 ED information to find the 1940 ED).  I chose the latter, and was asked to find the 1930 census ED.  For my Lyle Carringer family in San Diego, California, I knew that the family resided at 2130 Fern Street and was in ED 120.  116.  Then I used the One Step 1930 to 1940 ED Number Conversion Tool to find the 1940 possible EDs.  The conversion tool told me that the 1940 ED was either 62-140 or 62-141.  62-63A-B, 62-64, 62-65, 62-108.

The other, more time consuming method is to use the known address to find the 1940 ED by answering questions, including the type of community (rural, city, institution), and if the city is in the One Step 1940 Large City ED Finder Tool.  San Diego was, so I selected the State (California), City (San Diego), Street name (Fern), and cross street (Hawthorn) from the dropdown menus provided.  The results showed me three EDs:  62-63A, 62-63B, 62-64.  If I click on the link for each one, then the system will show me a list of streets covered by each ED.  I could also click on a button to see a current map of the location.  By clicking on the ED buttons, I found out that Fern Street north of Hawthorn Street was ED 62-63A or 62-63B, and that Fern Street south of Hawthorn Street was ED 62-64.  Since 2130 Fern Street is north of Hawthorn, I know that it is ED 62-63A or 62-63B (I found no difference in the street listings).

Wait!  That ED does not match the 1930 to 1940 ED Conversion Tool.  Hmmm.  I wonder why?  Which one should I believe?  I think that I should believe the 1940 Large City ED Finder Tool.

Update 3 p.m.:  For some reason, I thought the 1930 ED was 120, not 116.  That resulted in the paragraph above now lined out.  I received several emails from Joel Weintraub and Steve Morse who double checked my work and found my error for me.  I checked the census page, my notes, and my source citation and all say ED 116.  I have no clue why I used ED 120.  A senior moment, I guess!  Thank you to Joel and Steve for catching my error - they sprung into action soon after my post, and had the answer within an hour. 

Now what about the case where I don't know the exact street address, but think I know the town but not the address?  I'm pretty sure that my Seaver grandparents resided on West Street in Leominster, Massachusetts the 1940 time period.  Leominster is not in the Large City ED Finder Tool.  In the 1930 Census, the family resided at 20 Hall Street and is in ED 226, and the 1940 EDs for that street is ED 14-179 or ED 14-180. 

The list of EDs for Leominster is pretty long (25 EDs), but provides boundaries for each ED.  ED 14-179 is described as being "LEOMINSTER CITY WARD 5 BOUNDED BY (N) CITY LIMITS; (E) ABBOTT AV, LINDELL AV, HIGHLAND AV, ABBOTT AV, BLOSSOM; (S) GEORGE, HALE, MERRIAM AV, HALL; (W) WEST; ALSO VILLA IMMACULATA."  ED 14-180 is described as being "LEOMINSTER CITY WARD 5 BOUNDED BY (N) MERRIAM AV, HALE, GEORGE, BLOSSOM, WALNUT; (E) GROVE AV, MERRIAM AV, SCHOOL; (S) WEST; (W) HALL." 

I think that it is probably ED 14-180 because the ED is bounded on the south by West Street.  A look at a current map of Leominster will probably help me identify the best ED candidates.

Navigation in the 1940 Census ED Finder tool is best done by using the "Go back" button.  Using your browser's back button takes you out of the tool entirely.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/using-1940-census-ed-finding-tool.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 159: Airplanes over Coronado

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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
1988-2002 time period: 
:


This photograph is from the 1920 to 1930 time period, and shows two aircraft (bi-planes of the same model) flying over the city of Coronado (across San Diego Bay from the city of San Diego.   I can tell that it is Coronado because of the street layout and the presence of the Hotel del Coronado ( partially hidden by the lower aircraft).

My grandfather, Lyle Carringer, loved all sorts of technology - cars, aircraft, cameras, etc.  I think that he purchased this photograph at some point in time.

I wonder why there is a tow line between the two aircraft.  Was that to keep them flying in tandem? 

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/not-so-wordless-wednesday-post-159.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

1940 Census Searching Tools Announced

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Joel Weintraub sent this press release today:

----------------------------------

28 June 2011

In less than 10 months the 1940 US Population Schedules will become public. It will not be name indexed, so it will be necessary to do an address search in order to find families.  Address searching involves knowing the ED (enumeration district) in which the address is located..   The National Archives (NARA)  earlier this year indicated they had plans to make available in 2011 the 1940  ED maps of cities and counties, and ED descriptions,  but their recent move to consider having a 3rd party host all the images may have appreciably set back this timetable.

The only website that currently has location tools for the 1940 census is the Steve Morse One Step site
(http://stevemorse.org).  There are several such tools there, and it could be  overwhelming to figure out which tool to use when.  There is a tutorial that attempts to clarify it http://stevemorse.org/census/intro.html) and an extensive FAQ (http://stevemorse.org/census/faq.htm).

We are announcing the opening of another educational utility to help people learn about the different 1940  locational search tools on the One Step site, and information about the 1940 census itself.  It is in the form of a quiz, and should help many, many genealogists quickly learn how to search an unindexed census by location.  The new utility is at: http://stevemorse.org/census/quiz.php and is called "How to Access the 1940 Census in One Step".  Not only is it informative, we hope it is entertaining.

Thanks

Joel Weintraub
Steve Morse


Joel Weintraub
Dana Point, CA
http://members.cox.net/census1940/

-------------------------------------------------

This One-Step Tool is excellent - fast and accurate (as I expected!).  I was able to find the ED of my maternal grandparents home in about 15 seconds because I knew the street address and the cross streets.  Very cool!

Readers - this is how we're going to start looking for our families in the 1940 Census.  I recommend that you practice this.  Make your list of "target" families, and determine their addresses (from family records or city directories). 

My thanks to Joel and Steve for their hard work in developing this tool to help all of us search the 1940 Census efficiently.  This tool was in development for several years.

What Will the Google+ Project Mean for Genealogy?

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Google announced their Google+ project today - see a news article here and the Google+ page here.  There is a short overview with several short videos here.

The short summary is that Google+ is:

"Sharing is a huge part of the web, a part that we think could be a lot simpler. That’s why we’ve been working on adding a few new things to Google: to make connecting with people on the web more like connecting with them in the real world. We hope you like what we’ve cooked up so far. And stay tuned, because there’s more to come. "

The basic elements of Google+ include:

*  Circles - "You share different things with different people. But sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn’t be a hassle. Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life. "

*  Sparks - "Remember when your Grandpa used to cut articles out of the paper and send them to you? That was nice. That’s kind of what Sparks does: looks for videos and articles it thinks you’ll like, so when you’re free, there’s always something to watch, read, and share. Grandpa would approve. "

*  Hangouts - "Bumping into friends while you’re out and about is one of the best parts of going out and about. With Hangouts, the unplanned meet-up comes to the web for the first time. Let buddies know you’re hanging out and see who drops by for a face-to-face-to-face chat. Until we perfect teleportation, it’s the next best thing. "

*  Huddles - "Texting is great, but not when you’re trying get six different people to decide on a movie. Huddle takes care of it by turning all those different conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone gets on the same page long before thumbs get sore. "

*  Instant Upload - "Taking photos is fun. Sharing photos is fun. Getting photos off your phone and on to the web is pretty much the opposite of fun. That’s why we created Instant Upload: so that from now on, your photos upload themselves. You don’t even have to say ‘cheese’. "

What does all of this mean for genealogy?  Is this going to be "the next big social media thing" for the world, and for genealogy, or is it going to be a "flash in the pan" that fizzles out after several months? 

I'm betting on the former - I think that it's going to be Google's answer to Facebook, and that many genealogy researchers will adopt using Google+ for their circles of friends.  More importantly, genealogy societies and family associations will use it to change the way that the organizations communicate with their members.

I can visualize societies using Google+ by:

*  Using Circles to communicate with members.
*  Using Sparks to provide genealogy news and interesting articles with members.
*  Using Hangouts for chats between two or more members on a subject of interest.
*  Holding virtual board meetings in a Huddle.

How do you visualize using Google+?

Access to Google+ is limited at present, so we don't have an inside look at it except through the online videos.  Stay tuned! 

The URL of this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/what-will-google-project-mean-for.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

The Seasons of my Genealogy Research

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The topic for this month's Carnival of Genealogy is "The Seasons of Genealogy." The challenge is:  "Do you spend more time on genealogy research in the summer or in the winter, or maybe spring or fall? How does the amount of time you put into research and blogging differ from season to season? Or perhaps you'd like to think of things metaphorically... which season is your genealogy research in? Write up your thoughts and observations and submit your articles to the next edition of the COG."

There are two questions here...

1)  I spend about the same amount of time on my genealogy research, my genealogy society work, and on my writing and speaking in each season.  I do very little onsite research these days (I know, I should do more!), and the society support, learning, writing, teaching and speaking is constant throughout the year.  The one difference is vacations and conference going - which seems concentrated in the spring and summer (SCGS Jamboree, NGS, FGS).  RootsTech in February will change this dynamic some for me.  I seem to spend 60 to 70 hours a week doing what I do, whether spring, summer, autumn or winter.  Unfortunately, onsite research has suffered as the hours devoted to the other activities have increased.  I sit in front of my tube and keyboard too much these days, but it is fun!

2)  If I define the "seasons" of genealogy activity as:

*  Spring - excitement in a new interest, searching for family information, searching for ancestral families in published material (print, microfilm or digital), learning new skills and subjects.

*  Summer - performing original research to add content, finding family history in a reasonably exhaustive search, putting the collected information together, drawing conclusions, broadening the genealogy knowledge base.

*  Autumn - maintaining and adding to the genealogy and family history collection, preparing for publication (online or in print), becoming expert in one or more areas, doing research for others (free or paid), speaking and writing (free or paid), continuous learning through study groups, society programs and seminars, attending conferences and learning institutes.

*  Winter - being a genealogy resource for others in research, publishing, writing and presenting, with one or more areas of recognized expertise, teaching and speaking at conferences and learning institutes.

 Each of us go through these "seasons" and we retain the knowledge and experience that we gained. Indeed, it is not unusual to be in two or three seasons at once - being excited with new things, performing research, adding to the database, and being a genealogy resource for others.

Those are my definitions - they describe a recognizable progression from an excited beginner to a seasoned professional.  I welcome comments about them.  What would you add or delete from them?

Where am I?  Well, I think that I'm usually in the Autumn phase.  In recent years, I've been: 

*  Updating and adding to my genealogy software database by adding source citations and editing research notes.

*  Finding new historical records in print, microfilm and online collections.

*  All of that will lead me creating books about my ancestry, my wife's ancestry and several one-name studies.  I'm thinking about it...online or in print?

*  I am currently teaching three "Beginning Computer Genealogy" classes (8 hours over 4 weeks) each year to senior adults, one "Genealogy 101" class (8 hours over 4 weeks) to my society new members each year, and a monthly research group to my society members.

*  Writing efforts include being the Genealogy 2.0 columnist in the quarterly FGS FORUM Magazine, being newsletter editor for one local genealogy society and a writer for another local society, and writing over 900 posts for the Genea-Musings blog each year.

*  Speaking involves 8 to 10 programs each year to Southern California area societies and to several local service groups (Kiwanis, PEO, church groups, etc.).

*  Continuous learning through society programs, online courses, webinars, study groups, radio shows and podcasts, local seminars, regional and national conferences, reading books, magazines, websites and blogs.

*  I am not a certified, accredited. or professional genealogist.  I chose not to follow that path because it is a lot of work and my lifespan is now relatively short.  I would rather enjoy what I do with my own genealogy interests, with complete freedom to add or eliminate commitments, than run a small business, do extensive research for other persons, or have to plan and execute conference presentations months in advance.

My motto is "life is short - do genealogy first" these days.  Genealogy is fun for me, and I'm doing what I want to do in this stage of my life.  I try to avoid stress, and try to help other persons with their genealogical education, while trying to add to and improve my own research.

The URL of this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/seasons-of-my-genealogy-research.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Adding Photographs to my MyHeritage Family Tree - Post 1

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The MyHeritage.com website encourages members to upload family photographs to the web site, and makes it relatively easy and fast to do so.  One good reason to do this is so that other members of your tree - your children, siblings, parents, cousins, etc. - will do the same and enrich the family tree photo collection.

 MyHeritage also offers a family tree Online Memory Game (or sells cards to play the game) that uses the pictures, which is one thing I'm going to try to get my grandchildren interested in the family history (heck, maybe even my children, siblings and cousins too!).

There are at least two methods to add these photos, and I'll demonstrate the first of them below:

1) Method 1 - a Batch upload.

From the "Photos & Video" tab on the MyHeritage home page, and the "Add photos & video" link:


Clicking on either the "Multiple file upload" (many images) or "Simple file upload" (3 images), the user can then select photos from the computer file system.  I chose the "Multiple file upload" and selected 37 photos from my thumbnail photo files.  Here are the uploaded results:


The pictures went into a "Recent Photos" album on MyHeritage.com.  Now I need to "tag" my photos and attach them to persons in my MyHeritage tree. 

I clicked on the "Tag people" link (on the "Photos & videos" tab) and saw my photos, but got an error message:



The system wanted me to tag all photos that belong to the same person, but after about five seconds, I received a "Communication error.  click "OK" to try again.  I got the error message repeatedly and finally Xed out and selected another link before the error message appeared again.

There is another way to add photos, and I'll look at that next time.

The URL of this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/adding-photographs-to-my-myheritage.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Tuesday's Tip - Use the Google Site Search to Find Results on a Specific Website

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This week's Tuesday's Tip is to:  Use the Google Site Search capability to find all instances of a search term on one specific website.

How many times have you performed a Google search and then had a hard time finding the search term on the website? 

The solution is to use the Google Site Search capability.  If you want to see all of the matches on a website, then do this:  After your search terms, add the word "site:" and the website URL.

For instance, I wanted to search www.geneamusings.com for the name "Hutchinson" so I entered this string in the Google search field:

hutchinson site:www.geneamusings.com and received 41 matches. 

I wanted to search for the surname McKnew on the www.SFGenealogy site, so I used the string

mcknew site:www.sfgenealogy.com and received 20 matches.

To search the GenForum message boards for a specific name, I entered this string:

"isaac seaver" site:genforum.genealogy.com and found two matches. 

On FamilySearch, a site search with mcknew site:www.familysearch.org finds four entries in the Family History Library Catalog.

A user could also use the Advanced Search form of the Google search site -- http://www.google.com/advanced_search  The last field on the Advanced Search form is to "Search within a site or domain."

Unfortunately, this does not work well on some database sites like Ancestry.com, Footnote.com, FamilySearch.org, etc.  It finds text entries but not database entries.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pruning My Family Tree - Catherine Lewis

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I'm guilty sometimes ... of growing my family tree without having sufficient evidence to support the assertions made by other researchers.  I can't help it - I see a "reasonable" assertion and adopt it as my own hypothesis.  Then I test the hypothesis and, if the evidence is credible, I add the information to my family tree.

This was the case several years ago with Catherine Lewis (1759-1845), daughter of Jonathan and Marie (LaTourette) Lewis of Staten Island, Richmond County, New York.  She purportedly married William Hutchinson (a New Jersey Loyalist) in Parr, New Brunswick in 1784, and they had seven children.  I saw it in a Rootsweb WorldConnect database.  It made sense (although I've found no Lewis folks going to New Brunswick from New York - why would Catherine go?  Perhaps she went with William Hutchinson). 

Last week, I had talked myself into pruning my tree to disconnect Catherine Lewis from her purported parents and thereby severing my only link to Huguenot French ancestry (I really didn't want to give that up...). 

The Surname Saturday post last week was for Catherine Lewis, and I had to decide - should I prune the tree, or leave it alone and accept that it may be wrong? 

I decided to do a bit more research on Catherine Lewis and her purported parents.  In the process, I found another Rootsweb WorldConnect family tree submitted by Bev Franks.  The page for Catherine's father, Jonathan Lewis (1715-1785) is here.  Bev has transcribed the will of Jonathan Lewis (thank you Bev!!):

"In the name of God, I, Jonathan Lewis, of Staten Island, Richmond County being sick and weak. I will that my executors shall dispose of all my goods, chattel, lands, mill, and tenements as they in their discretion think fit within 2 years after my decease except such articles as shall hereinafter be bequeathed, and I give them full power to sell all my lands, mills, and tenements within the county of Richmond to any persons and their heirs forever by all such lawful ways as to my executors or their Council learned in the law shall seem fit.

"To my dearly beloved wife Mary, my best horse and riding chair, two of my best cows of her own choosing with sufficient of my household furniture to furnish her room together with the sum of 100 (lbs) for life or while my widow. I will that my executors use 10(lbs) for the further education of my son Joseph. After my debts funeral charge and the above legacies are paid, the remainder of my estate shall be divided among my children in the manner following: to my son Jonathan, one eighth of my estate, to my son David one eighth, to my son James on eighth, to my son Israel one eighth, to my son Joseph one eighth, to my daughter Sarah Degroot, one sixteenth part, to my daughter Catherine Hutchinson one sixteenth, to my daughter Elizabeth Lewis one sixteenth, to my daughter Phebe Lewis one sixteenth. None of the said legacies to be paid to my children until they are twenty one years old, but if my executors have money on hand and shall think proper to make a dividend thereof amongst those of my children that are of the above mentioned age shall have the interest of their dividend yearly for their support till they arrive of full age to receive such dividend or their full legacy. If any of my children die underage their part to be divided among my surviving children. I recommend my executors at the sale of my houses and lands to reserve such part as they think convenient for the reception and continuing of my family together during the life or widowhood of my beloved wife Mary, and after her decease or discontinuance of widowhood such house or land reserved shall be sold as also my negro wench and the money divided as fore said. I appoint my wife executrix, my trusty friend and brother in law, David Latourette, my sons Jonathan and David, all of Staten Island Executors. Dated Oct 28, 1785. Witnesses: Jon Latourette, Abraham Vail (weaver) and Edward Hall (schoolmaster). Proved, Richmond County, Jan 5, 1786."

That seems fairly good evidence that Catherine married a Hutchinson ... but is it William Hutchinson?  Now that I know that there is a will for Jonathan Lewis, I can search for the probate records for him.  Perhaps there are other papers that define her husband's name.  Where can I find these probate records?

The list of Probate Records for Richmond County, New York on the Family History Library Catalog lists five items.  However, the first item states that Wills start in 1787.  The fourth item (Miscellaneous genealogical records, wills, deeds, etc. 1649-1925, on FHL US/CAN Film 514568, Microreproduction of ms. and typescript at the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences) looks promising, but I really wish that the specific Will collection was available.  I added this Film to my to-do list for the next time I get to the FHC or go to the FHL.

for the time being, Catherine Lewis will stay in my database as the daughter of Jonathan Lewis. 

What would you do with this?  What other records should I pursue?  I don't know if there are records in New Brunswick for these Loyalists, or if the marriage record there is available on microfilm (another FHLC search!) or if it is whether it will list her parents names.  Or his... William Hutchinson's parents are another brick wall problem!
The URL of this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/pruning-my-family-tree-catherine-lewis.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Answers to my Questions about MyHeritage Trees

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I asked several questions in my 23 June post Connecting to Other Researchers Through MyHeritage.com and received an email yesterday from Gilad Japhet, founder of MyHeritage.com, with responses.  Here are my questions and Gilad's answers:

1)  Can a member of my site add, edit, or delete my data, notes, images, etc. that are in my tree?

The answer is yes by default, but this can be prevented in the site settings, if not desirable. If you wish, you can also prevent others from modifying the tree, but still permit them to add photos. Adding photos is often a great way of collaboration that cannot create much harm especially if you ask your family members to add photos of themselves and family members close to them. It’s also possible to send photos directly to the site from email or a mobile device. Each member of MyHeritage.com can decide whether the tree should be fully collaborative, partially collaborative or not collaborative at all and in their strict control.

2)  Can a member of my site upload a GEDCOM file to my site?

The answer is yes, because a family site can contain more than one tree. The trees are kept separate. However, if this is not to your liking, then as site manager you can remove any tree that others members of your site have uploaded. The facility to upload trees is useful for sites that function as a surname association and collect multiple trees from their members and make them available to the members for perusal.

3)  Can a member of my site download my original GEDCOM file, or a GEDCOM file of the current site?


This is up to you. There is a setting to control whether such download should be permitted or not.

4)  If significant content was added to my site by other researchers, can I download the information via GEDCOM to my desktop software program?

Yes. Exporting your data from MyHeritage.com is always available and always free, and includes all photos added to the tree. There are no size limits to exporting your own data.

5)  If other researchers add content to my site, will the Family Tree Builder desktop program capture it through the automatic or "on demand" synchronization feature?
Not right now, but this is planned for the near future.

6)  Can I remove a site member from site access and privileges if I decide to do that?  How much control do I have?

As site manager you control the member list on your site and all privileges, you can revoke membership of anyone in a few clicks through the site member list.
Comment posted by Caroline Pointer:  Randy, is there a place to put a description of the tree so that visitors to the tree understand that this is a collaborative research tool and not an "end product"?

Answer for Caroline: yes, the site manager can edit the welcome message of the family site to specify what the tree is about and whether collaboration by relatives is encouraged or not. There is also a description message for each tree that can be edited to describe the family tree as a whole and indicate the main ‘missing pieces’ in it where help by others is requested.

I really appreciate Gilad taking the time to answer my questions about the MyHeritage.com website.
I went exploring in the MyHeritage account and found that:

*  The site manager can permit or prevent a GEDCOM download by a site member, or any MyHeritage member, in the "Family Trees" tab, and the "Edit Tree settings" link.

*  Site member contributions can be controlled through the "Settings" tab and the "Privacy" link (click the "Advanced" button for more options on Members).

*  A site member can be approved or removed using the "Home" tab, and the "Site members" link.  The site manager needs to click on the "Review request" to approve or reject a request to be a site member.  For a previously approved site member, the site manager needs to click on the "More" link and then the "Remove from site" link.

I was mistaken in thinking that MyHeritage would synchronize both ways with Family Tree Builder (meaning if I added content to the online tree, then the FTB database would be modified, and vice versa).  It appears that a user with Family Tree Builder 5.1 software can modify the online tree on demand or automatically from within FTB 5.1.  I will look at that soon, because it may be very useful.

Gilad's statement that they are working on the "both ways" synchronization is encouraging.  When that works, then information added or modified on the online MyHeritage tree could be added to the desktop software tree.  However, that adds the complexity of other users potentially adding "wrong data" to my tree, and potential "Content wars."  As Gilad notes above, the site manager can control content additions by guests and site members.

The URL of this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/answers-to-my-questions-about.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Amanuensis Monday - Elisha Ward's Affidavit in Thomas Dill's Revolutionary War Pension File

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Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started a Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the affidavit dictated by Elisha Ward used to prove the Revolutionary War service of Thomas Dill (ca 1755-after 1830) of Eastham, Massachusetts.

The affidavit is shown below:



The transcription of this document is:

I Elisha Ward of Wellfleet in the County of Barnstable & Commonwealth of Massachusetts of lawful age, do testify and declare that I am acquainted with Thomas Dill of Eastham in said County, late a Soldier in the Revolutionary war, and as I was also a Soldier in said revolutionary war, I can and do hereby on oath declare that to my own knowledge said Thomas Dill did Serve his country as a good Soldier against the common enemy full nine months and more, and that he said Thomas Dill was a Soldier, during said term, on the Continental establishment = I further Say & testify that I am well acquainted with his circumstances in life, and that I know he needs the assistance of his Country for support.  -- B  Elisha Ward

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Suffolk ?? Boston June 17th. 1818 Thus personally appeared the abovenamed Elisha Ward and made solemn oath to the truth of the above declaration by him subscribed, the same having been submitted by him in my presence -- Before me
Sam. J. Prescott, Just. Peace

This document is in the hand of the Justice of the Peace, Samuel Prescott, with only the signature of the testator in the hand of Elisha Ward.  Mr. Prescott's handwriting leaves something to be desired!

Previous transcriptions of papers from this Revolutionary War Pension File number S 34,747 include:


The URL for this post is http://www.geneamusings.com/2011/06/amanuensis-monday-elisha-wards.html

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.