Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Elevator Speech

Hey geneaphiles, it's Saturday Night, and time for another dose of Genealogy Fun!!!

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

I saw Tonia Kendrick's post #31WBGB: Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Blog and thought to myself "self, that would make a good SNGF - and lead more readers to Tonia's 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy blog too" which may help all of us!  So:

1)  Write your Elevator Speech...see suggestions in #31WBGB: Write an Elevator Pitch for Your Blog.  The essence of it is:  "It’s a brief overview that can be delivered in the space of an elevator ride (hence, the name). “The idea is that you have a short and sharp piece that you can say about yourself when the opportunity arises..."

2)  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.

3)  Leave a comment on Tonia's blog post too telling her where she can find your "elevator speech."

Here's mine (I've done this before ... and always had too many words for me to remember):

"I'm an evangelist for genealogy and an ancestor detective - I write, speak, teach and learn about genealogy and family history.  It's a lot of fun being an ancestor detective, provides an intellectual challenge, and I travel all over the country searching for records of my ancestors.  My genealogy blog is Genea-Musings (, where I write about my genealogy endeavors. Now, tell me about your grandparents..."

Only 66 words, and maybe I can remember it! 

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

Thank you, Tonia, for the inspiration.

UPDATED:  9 pm. to make it blog-oriented.  I missed that nuance before!

Surname Saturday - ROLFE (England > MA > NJ > NY)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 255, who is Betsey ROLFE (1766-????), another of my 5th-great-grandmothers. [Note: The 5th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back to Betsey ROLFE and to the first known Rolfe ancestor in America 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)

254. Mulford Martin, born about 1763 in South Amboy, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States. 
He was the son of 508. Thomas Martin and 509. Elizabeth Ayers.  He married about 1788 in Perth Amboy, Middlesex, New Jersey.
255. Betsey Rolfe, born 1766 in Perth Amboy, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.

Children of Mulford Martin and Betsey Rolfe are:  Rolfe Martin (1788-????); Moses Martin (1790-????); Sarah Martin (1792-1860); Timothy Martin (1794-????); Mulford Martin (1801-????); Phoebe Martin (1807-1874).

510. Ephraim Rolfe, born 1743 in probably Perth Amboy, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States; died 27 May 1818 in Ithaca, Tompkins, New York, United States.  He married about 1762 in probably Perth Amboy, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
511.  Sarah Campbell, born 1746; died 14 September 1838 in Ithaca, Tompkins, New York, United States. She was the daughter of 1022. Robert Campbell.

Children of Ephraim Rolfe and Sarah Campbell are:  Mercy Rolfe (1763-????); Betsey Rolfe (1766-????); Phoebe Rolfe (1766-????); Mary Rolfe (1769-????); Robert Rolfe (1771-????); Jonathan Rolfe (1773-1851); Jemima Rolfe (1778-1848); Samuel Rolfe (1778-1845); Ann Rolfe (1783-????).

1020. Jonathan Rolph, born before 30 August 1714 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.    He married
1021. Hester

 Children of Jonathan Rolph and Hester are: Martha Rolph; Mercy Rolph; Isabell Rolph; Elizabeth Rolph; Phoebe Rolph; Jemima Rolph; Esther Rolph; Ephraim Rolfe (1743-1818); Jonathan Rolfe (1754-1830); Moses Rolfe (1755-1832).

2020. Moses Rolfe, born 14 October 1681 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died Bef. 24 April 1746 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.    He married 04 June 1702 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
2021. Mary Hale, born 28 November 1678 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States. She was the daughter of 4042. Samuel Hale and 4043. Sarah Ilsley.

 Children of Moses Rolfe and Mary Hale are:  Samuel Rolph (1703-1774); Elizabeth Rolph (1705-????); Esther Rolph (1707-????); Apphia Rolph (1707-????); Richard Rolph (1710-1711); Nathaniel rolph (1712-1758); Jonathan Rolph (1714-????); Richard Rolph (1717-1719); Robert Rolph (1719-????); Sarah Rolph (1721-????); Henry Rolph (1723-1804);

4040. John Rolfe, born 10 March 1633 in Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England; died 01 October 1681 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 04 December 1656 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
4041. Mary Scullard, born 09 January 1641 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died 10 April 1687 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. She was the daughter of 8082. Samuel Scullard and 8083. Rebecca Kent.

Children of John Rolfe and Mary Scullard are:  Mary Rolfe (1658-1658); Mary Rolfe (1660-????); Rebecca Rolfe (1662-1751); John Rolfe (1664-1690); Samuel Rolfe (1666-????); Sarah Rolfe (1667-????); Joseph Rolfe (1670-1708); Hannah Rolfe (1672-1696); Benjamin Rolfe (1674-????); Esther Rolfe (1675-1742); Henry Rolfe (1678-1723); Moses Rolfe (1681-1746).

 8080. Henry Rolfe, born before 05 September 1585 in Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England; died 01 March 1642 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. He was the son of 16160. John Rolfe and 16161. Honour. He married 28 May 1621 in Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England.
8081. Honor Rolfe, born about 1590 in Whiteparish, Wiltshire, England; died 19 December 1650 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States. She was the daughter of 16062. Richard Rolfe and 16063. Agnes Rolfe.
Children of Henry Rolfe and Honor Rolfe are:  Anna Rolfe (1626-1697); Hannah Rolfe (1630-1678); John Rolfe (1633-1681); Benjamin Rolfe (1638-1710).

The best resource I've found for this family is:

Frederick G. Rolfe, The Early Rolfe Settlers of New England, Volume I, Baltimore, Md: Gateway Press, Inc., 1995, accessed on the BYU Family History Archive at

This work covers all of these families.  I have found records for several of the families in the Woodbridge vital records on FHL microfilm.  

Friday, July 8, 2011

This Weekend's Genealogy Internet Radio Shows

There are two genealogy oriented Internet Radio shows this weekend.  If you want to learn more about genealogy education opportunities and genealogy societies, I suggest that you tune in to:

1)  Geneabloggers Radio (Friday evening, 10 p.m. EDT, 9 p.m. CDT, 8 p.m. MDT, 7 p.m. PDT, 90 minutes) on  This is hosted by Thomas MacEntee, and the topic is "Don't Know Much About Genealogy Education?"  Featured guests will be:

*  Lee Maxey, of the Boston University Center for Professional Education,
*  Elissa Scalise Powell of the Genealogy Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP)
*  Linda-Rae Palmer discussing the University of Washington Continuing Education Certificate Program in Genealogy & Family History.

See the Show Notes with more detail at GeneaBloggers Radio – Show Notes for Friday, July 8, 2011.

2)  My Society Radio (Saturday, 2 p.m. EDT, 1 p.m. CDT, 12 noon MDT, 11 a.m. PDT), 60 minutes) on www.BlogTalkRadio/.com/mysociety/.  This show will be hosted by Thomas MacEntee, and the topic is "Selecting and Hiring a Genealogy Speaker."  The featured guest will be:

*  Jean Wilcox Hibben, a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Genealogical Speakers Guild (where she serves as secretary), various societies in the areas where she does research, the Association of Professional Genealogists (serving as president of the Southern California Chapter), and the Corona (CA) Genealogical Society (where she serves as president).

See the Show notes with more detail at FGS Radio - Selecting and Hiring a Genealogy Speaker.

You can listen to Blog Talk Radio without registering.  However, if you register then you can sign in and participate in the Chat Board with other users during the radio show.  If you go to the Geneabloggers Radio or the MySociety Radio pages, you can listen to previous shows (but can't see the Chat board).

I will listen to the GeneaBloggers Radio show tonight, but will miss the My Society show on Saturday (due to the SDGS meeting).  I'll try to catch it later.

The URL of this post is:

(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.

Genea-Blogging Works - more help from my readers

There were several very helpful comments from readers on my post Pruning My Family Tree - Catherine Lewis, including:

1)  Howard Swain offered in Comments:

Harry Macy wrote a very useful article, "New York Probate Records Before 1787" in The NYG&B Newsletter of Spring 1991. This is available online at in the members-only area.

As he writes, NY probate records may be in many places including town deed books and notarial records. But the best place to start (for probate after 1664) is the abstracts of wills published in the Collections of the New York Historical Society. These are now online at:  
Scroll down to: New York (County) Surrogate's Court

Your Jonathan Lewis (1715-1785) is in Vol. XIII, p, 251. It appears to me that what you found online was a copy of this abstract (but missing a couple of lines). Note that even though this is quite long, I do believe it is still just an abstract because 1) I've seen others like this that were, indeed, abstracts and 2) note that it begins on p.282 of the liber and the next one starts on p. 285.

In addition to the abstract, the Collections serve as an index to tell you where to find the complete will. Original wills from about 1200 early estates have survived, but this JL is not one of them. So, the best you can do is the version copied into the will liber. The heading at the top of the page shows you that this is in Liber 38. Sometime in the 19th C. these libers were copied. For most, there is thus an original and a copied liber. (I'm never sure which one the page number refers to.)

These have been filmed by the LDS. To find the LDS film number, refer to another excellent resource: New York State Probate Records by Gordon L. Remington. From his Table II, we see that the original liber 38 is on #484023 and the copy is on #866989.

I believe I found your other J. Lewises in these Collections as well as the will of David La Tourette mentioning Jonathan Lewis as a son-in-law (vol VI, p. 315).

Also, I can't believe I forgot to mention that with these NY Historical Society Collections of Will Abstracts, you always need to check vol 16 or 17 to see if there were any corrections. There were quite a few corrections to the early wills and not so many later on. Also, some volumes may have errata or addenda at the start.

2)  Geolover offered in Comments:

Among possibilities are petitions for New Brunswick land grants plus claims of Loyalists petitioning for reimbursement for damages suffered at the hands of Rebels. There can be a variety of family accounts and specific locational information.

If Hutchinson was indeed living in NJ he still might have shared some background with the Lewis family, perhaps in CT or on Long Island, such in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

In the NJ Archives you might find proceedings seizing Hutchinson's land, if he had any, though this might well not help with the Lewis connection. Have you looked at the Secretary of State's website indexing Supreme Court records?

Another possibility is relatives' wills - admittedly a haystack, but one will I saw in NJ Archives had a bit of narrative about a disenfranchised Loyalist son in New Brunswick.

I looked in R. Wallace Hale, _Early New Brunswick, Canada Probate Records, 1785-1835_ (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 1989). The book encompasses abstracts of estate records, not just probates of wills. No estate of a William or Catherine Hutchinson is listed, but several items list William Hutchinson of Saint Johns as fellowbondsman for estate administrators as late as 1834. This suggests that (if the references are to the same person) he had appreciable property to post as surety, so grants, estate records and deeds should be on your want-list. One might find a document referring to something due the decedent's estate from X in New Jersey or NY. There are Lewis' listed in the book as well.

Some Loyalists sold land to trusted kin in order to avoid having it seized by the State. Deeds in NJ are worth looking at, but you probably are aware that a great many land transactions were not recorded until after legislation ca. 1835 requiring recording. Still, the NJ State Archives acquired records of the West Jersey Proprietary a few years ago and has been working on indexing and organization. It also has records of the East Jersey Proprietary. Both have many types of items. One might find some quit-rent records that could reflect transfers of land titles.

The requisite caveat here is that trees often are plausible yet contain little but hot air upon closer examination of records.

3)  Reader Eileen offered in email:

I think if you check with New Brunswick archives, you’ll find the record of William and Catherine being married by his former commanding officer . William was with 1st New Jersey volunteers, and fled to New Brunswick, then moved to Ontario in 1803, settling near Dedrick’s Creek and Backus Mill near Port Rowan.   A lot of records available on-line from New Brunswick archives in Fredericton.

Norfolk County records at the Eva Brook Donley museum in Simcoe, Ontario , including the book on the Hutchinsons by Robert Mutrie have more detail.

I’m still hoping to find out more about William’s first wife and children who died near Philadelphia, and wondering how two of the children stayed with William to arrive in New Brunswick, or survived what killed their mother and siblings and got re-united with their father.  I went to New Brunswick two years ago and found maps showing the original land grant locations to William and his daughter Agnes (from 1st marriage) I think she was given land in lieu of her mother. She stayed in New Brunswick, however her father’s will left something to her or her survivors if they came to Ontario to claim it. 

There are some neat details about William’s Loyalist activities in a book on a website digitalbookindex – under American Revolution/Loyalists.  They have entire books that were discarded from libraries about 1890-1900. There is some info under New Jersey Volunteers website, including modern re-enactments.

I received many clues for further research from these comments.  I added them to my "To-Do" list for the FHL/FHC, for online searches, and for on site research.

I know that a researcher cannot know "everything" about the history and the available records to be found for every locality.  Therefore, I don't have any qualms putting my semi-ignorance on display for all readers to see, especially if it produces research suggestions from knowledgeable readers like Howard, Geolover and Eileen, who have done much more research than I have in these localities and/or on these families. 

I am very appreciative that they were willing to share their knowledge and expertise.   This is the essence of collaboration - and is one of the very best features about genea-blogging.  It is also one excellent reason to join or visit genealogical societies and historical societies in the localities.

The URL of this post is: help-from-my.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.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Amy Coffin Rocks the Geneablogger World

Once in awhile, a genealogy blogger posts something so absolutely fantastic that I have to devote a whole blog post to it.

Go read - right now - Amy Coffin's post  If Genealogy Ran Hollywood on the We Tree Genealogy Blog.

Laugh, cry until tears run down your face, then share it with your genealogy friends. 

I tried to capture this theme in Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Genealogy TV Show last year, and there were several excellent ideas for TV shows about genealogy.

Well done, Amy!  It really brightened my day (which was bogged down in presentation and syllabus preparation).   

Using the Relationship Finder on WikiTree

The "Relationship Finder" on WikiTree was announced yesterday - see the press release here.

I have uplaoded a limited tree to WikiTree, so I was curious toi see how the Relationship Finder worked.  It was not obvious, so I emailed Chris Whitten about it, and he pointed out the little arrow icon next to a person's name in the "Profile Private View" tab for a person in your own family tree on WikiTree.  I think that this is the only place that has the icon.

Here are some screens that show how to use the Relationship Finder in your own tree, or between two specific persons in the entire WikiTree system:

1)  I navigated to the Private Profile page for my uncle Milo Hildreth (1824-1893) in WikiTree (I am the profile manager for Uncle Milo), and saw:

Within the large yellow frame, the name Milo Hildreth is in the upper left-hand corner.  There are presently five small icons just to the right of Milo Hildreth's name - these icons create reports, including an Ancestor Pedigree Chart (a pedigree icon), an Ancestor Ahnentafel List (a list icon), a Printer-Friendly Tree (a printer icon), a Wikid Shareable Tree (a tree in a yellow square icon), and now the Relationship Finder (an icon with two arrows pointing at each other).

2)  I clicked on the Relationship Finder icon (the two arrows pointing at each other) and saw:

The Relationship Finder noted that "Randall Jeffrey is the second great-grand-nephew of Milo" Hildreth.  It then described how it found the relationship, saying:

To calculate this, we searched for the first ancestor shared by both Milo Hildreth and Randall Jeffrey Seaver.

Milo is the son of Zachariah Hildreth.
===> Zachariah is the father of Milo.

Randall Jeffrey is the son of Frederick Walton Seaver.
Frederick Walton is the son of Frederick Walton Seaver.
Frederick Walton is the son of Hattie Louisa Hildreth.
Hattie Louisa is the daughter of Edward Hildreth.
Edward is the son of Zachariah Hildreth.
===>Zachariah is the third great grandfather of Randall Jeffrey.
Knowing the first common ancestor, Zachariah Hildreth, and knowing the name of the relationship between Zachariah and Milo, and the name of the relationship between Zachariah and Randall Jeffrey, we used a family relationship table to name the relationship between Milo and Randall Jeffrey.
3)  There is a link to a general family relationship table in the screen above, which looks like:

That is a very readable and useful chart for users to determine relationships within family structures, with helpful information about common ancestors, deeper ancestry, half-relationships, relationships by marriage, and number of ancestors.

4)  If you want to calculate the relationship between any two persons in the WikiTree, you can do it using the form at

To use this form, you need to know the Person Identity Number of the two persons - for my test case, Milo is Hildreth-61 and I am Seaver-15.  I entered those into the form, and received the same result.

There are some limitations to using this Relationship Finder:

*  The Relationship Finder provides results for only ten generations (according to the "Deeper Ancestry" paragraph in the Explanation).

*  While a Registered WikiTreer can use the Relationship Finder from the Profile Private View tab, a non-registered searcher cannot do that.  They can, however, use the Find a Relationship form to find the relationship between two persons in the WikiTree.

Chris Whitten just emailed me that "I just added a "What's New" section to everyone's Navigation Home Page."  Chris is really helpful and responsive!

The URL for this post is

(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.

What's on My Bookshelf?

In her post The Top 5 Books on My Bookshelf  on the Marian's Roots and Rambles blog, Marian Pierre-Louis listed the genealogy reference books that she uses the most.

I thought that I would list the Top 10 books that I consult regularly and consider the most important  (I have no clue of the order):

*  Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence! Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Baltimore, Md: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007.

*  Elizabeth Shown Mills (editor), Professional Genealogy, Baltimore Md: Genealogical Publishing company, 2001.

* Helen F.M. Leary (editor), North Carolina Research: Genealogy and Local History, Raleigh NC: North Carolina Genealogical Society, 1996.

*  Val D. Greenwood, The Researchers Guide to American Genealogy, 3rd Edition, Baltimore Md: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2000.

*  Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case, San Jose,Calif.: CR Publications, 2009.

*  Christine Rose, Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures, San Jose Calif.: CR Publications, 2004.

*  Kathleen W. Hinckley, Your Guide to the Federal Census for Genealogists, Researchers and Family Historians, Cincinnati Ohio: Betterway Books, 2002.

*  E. Wade Hone, Land and Property Research in the United States, Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1997.

*  Loretto Dennis Szucs, They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins, Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry, 1996.

*  Meredith B. Colket, Jr., Founders of Early American Families: Emigrants from Europe 1607-1657, Cleveland Ohio: General court of the Order of the Founders and Patriots of America, 1975.

*  Martin E. Hollick, New Englanders in the 1600s: A Guide to Genealogical Research Published Between 1980 and 2005, Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006.

*  Marcia Wiswall Lindberg, Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, 3rd Edition, Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1993.

*  George K. Schweitzer, Pennsylvania Genealogical Research, Knoxville, Tenn: G.K. Schweitzer, 1986.

*  William Dollarhide, Census Substitutes and State Census Records, Volume 1 - Eastern States and Volume 2, Western States, Bountiful, Utah: Family Roots Publishing Company, 2008.

*  William Dollarhide, Genealogical Resources of the Civil war Era: Online and Published Military or civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869, and Post-War Veteran Lists, Bountiful, Utah: Family Roots Publishing Company, 2009.

Hmm, that's fifteen, not ten.  I have not listed all 100 or so genealogy-oriented books that I have on my bookshelf, on my computer hard drive, or in my Google Books reading list.

 I did not list surname books, locality books for specific towns or counties, or books for European research. I have a major interest in colonial New England. The one that may surprise is the North Carolina book by Leary, which includes an excellent summary of general genealogical research in many topics.

I do not have some important books for general or New England genealogical research - for instance, I don't have a general Military Records or Passenger List book on my bookshelf, and I don't have The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633 and The Great Migration, 1634-1635 series that provide authoritative family sketches of early New England families.  I do have access to those books, and many others at my local libraries.

What is on your bookshelf?  What books do you suggest that I add to my bookshelf?

The URL for this post is

(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.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Live births outside of marriage - colonial times to the 21st century

One of the comments on the APG Public List that I mentioned in Who Should Be On the Family Tree? today was that "the-husband-of-the-mother-is-not-the-father-of-child" percentage may be about 10%."

I believe that the intent of the writer was historical data - from colonial times to modern times, or at least into the 20th century.

In a subsequent reply, V.C. Tinney replied:

"It seems to be a very complicated issue.  There is no easy answer. Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) graph shows:  Births, where the mother's marital status at the time of birth is other than married. This resource has data going back to 1999, which can be shown various ways."

I went to the site and made this chart using the options there:

The chart shows that many of the countries in Europe, for the time period 1999 to 2010, have a share of "live births outside of marriage" much higher than 10%, with Iceland leading the way with 64% and Estonia with 59%.  Some countries in Europe did not provide data.

This trend in live births outside of marriage obviously complicates the family tree, as discussed in my earlierp ost.

There are some studies published about earlier European births - for instance, the Catholic Encyclopedia page for Illegitmacy shows the percentage to be 1% to 15% in the 1880 to 1905 time period, with many countries in the 1% to 5% range. 

A graph in the CDC report  Changing Patterns of Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States shows the growth of non-marital childbearing from 1940 onwards.  In 1940, the percentage was about 4%, in 1980 it was 18%, and in 2007 it was 40%.

What about colonial times up into the 20th century?  The FAQS page on Bastardy says:

"The rate of extramarital births during the sixteenth century is generally perceived to be quite high, but it later sank during the age of absolutism. It is stipulated that only 2 to 3 percent of all births in the mid-1700s were extramarital, but a century later numbers hovered between 7 and 11 percent in the Nordic countries and around 7 percent in France and England. Certain countries and regions had higher figures; in Iceland more than 14 percent of all births occurred outside of marriage, and in the Basque Country the illegitimacy rate was exceptionally high. The following century or so, from the 1840s to 1960, witnessed a new decline of illegitimate births, particularly conspicuous around the turn of the century. Regional differences, however, were still to be found."


"In America it has been claimed that illegitimate births during colonial times were relatively rare, and that the ratio remained low at the beginning of the twentieth century."

Other web pages make similar statements.

It appears that the "live births outside of marriage" for colonial times up until the mid-20th century in the USA was in the 3% to 4% range.

Does anyone have valid statistical data for "share of live births outside of marriage" for colonial times and the pre-1950 United States? 

Note that this is a quick literature review and not an exhaustive search for absolutely correct and vetted statistics.

One comment:  A review of the Y-DNA matches might reveal some interesting facts.  One question might be "does a given male Y-DNA line match surnames with other male Y-DNA lines."  Of course, the Y-DNA matches are cumulative through many generations, so the potential errors can add up.  A 3% rate over 10 generations might result in a 30% "error rate" if every generation was a live birth outside of marriage. 

The URL for this post is

(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.

SDGS Meeting Saturday, 9 July: Paula Sassi on Handwriting Analysis

The July meeting of the San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) is Saturday, 9 July at 10 a.m. at St. Andrews Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd., near Jackson Drive). 

The program speaker is Paula A. Sassi, a Certified Master Graphologist, who will present:

*  What Was Great Grandpa Really Like?

Genealogy helps locate and track ancestors, but how do you gain insight into their true personalities including how they thought, processed feelings and interacted with others?  Paula will show you how handwriting analysis can be applied to the research and study of ancestors.  By analyzing old documents, records and letters, you can discover what great grandpa or other people in your family were really like.  From colonial times to the present, you can discern personality and behavior from the strokes of writing no matter what period or heritage of the person.

*  Handwriting and History

Handwriting analysis gives a glimpse of the past through antique handwritten books, letters and documents.  By exploring these samples, you will achieve an insight into what handwriting can reveal about bygone eras.  From paupers to presidents, the personality of writers becomes evident from the words they wrote and the letter formations they used.  Examples of old hotel directories with famous signatures, an 1890 Mayor's Docket from the City of Waco, Texas, letters from Civil War and WWII, autograph books, and other unique memorabilia.  Take a trip back in time to experience history in a whole new way and find out information the history books never told you.

In between the two sessions will be the Annual Ice Cream Social with cones or sundaes. 

There will be SDGS announcements before each presentation, and an opportunity drawing.

Who Should Be On the Family Tree?

The New York Times published "Who's On the Family Tree? Now It's Complicated" yesterday (note, the article may disappear soon) describing modern family structures that include blended families, surrogate mothers, sperm donors, adoptions, etc.

So just who should be included in our genealogy and family history research?  Several genea-bloggers discussed this in June - see my post More Thoughts on "Scientific" and "Traditional" Genealogy and linked posts to other writers for the discussion. 

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) have a Public Mailing List (see Archives here) and have been addressing the Times article over the past two days.  There are several threads in the July 2011 posts.  Some of the interesting and challenging posts include:

Michelle Kemper has three present-day examples
Ray Beere Johnson suggests "Cultural," "Biological/Medical" and "Legal" definitions
Jacqueline Wilson notes that, as an adoptee, she is prohibited from joining some lineage groups (e.g., DAR) on her adoptive parents lines
Gayle A. Livecchia thinks the DAR rule is disgusting and discriminatory.
Joan Young explains that the DAR membership is based on blood lineal descent.
John Wiley notes the "the-husband-of-the-mother-is-not-the-father-of-child" percentage may be about 10%

The discussion continues - I selected some of them above, please read all of the threads in the Archives for content and context.

Some of the discussion on the APG list went into an "inclusive" vs. "exclusive" argument about rules and membership criteria (gee, just like the current American cultural discussions, eh?), but done in a civil manner (good, the APGen list has rules too!). 

I like Ray Beere Johnson's categories of "family types" (my interpretation):

1.  "Cultural" (or "Emotional," "Private" or "Social") -- those in a "family" structure (married, unmarried, adoptive, same sex, sperm bank, surrogate, etc.)

2.  "Genetic" (or "Biological") -- those with DNA from the provider of the sperm and the egg.

3.  "Legal" --  those specified in a legal document (e.g., birth record, marriage record, adoptive, probate, deed, etc.)

My opinion:  I think that every genealogical researcher should know the differences between those three categories, accept them as such, and perform whatever research they choose to follow.  Genealogy software and online trees should be inclusive and permit identification of the correct relationships and permit reports and charts to reflect what the user desires.  Genealogists who enter data on forms, into software and family trees, or books, articles, manuscripts and websites should be truthful, but sensitive about "family secrets" and information about living people.  Private groups can create whatever rules they want to, and people can choose to apply or not. 

What say you?  Do you agree with the three categories above?  How would you better describe them, or categorize them? 

Isn't it interesting how a human interest story about two children who are step-siblings and cousins can lead to the genealogical community discussing the broader issue?

The URL for this post is

(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.

UPDATED:  Edited and added some terms in my definitions. 

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 160: the Charles Auble House in San Diego

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 of the house at 767 14th Street in San Diego in the 1915 time period (known from city directories).  Charles and Georgianna (Kemp) Auble lived here with their daughter, Emily Kemp Auble (my grandmother), from about 1912 until 1916, when Charles died after falling down stairs (indoors or outside?  I don't know). 

There is a sign in the yard to the right of the house that says "Painting Decorating" and there is a sign on the side of the house, facing the street on the right, next to the door) saying "Furniture Shop" and more words that are not decipherable from the picture scan.  Charles Auble (1849-1916) was a painter and a decorator.

The house must have had two floors - the main living area above a workshop or basement.

I had a loose print of a similar picture about 20 years ago and cannot find that photograph, but I have a photocopy of that photo.  The photograph above was scanned from the photograph album of Bessie (Auble) Pentecost, the niece of Charles Auble, who gave the album to Emily (Auble) Carringer at some time during her life.  There are quite a few photographs of my Auble and Carringer families in this album, and many more of the Pentecost family.

If I have my address correct, this house was on the southeast corner of 14th Street and F Street, facing west.  There is a fireplug on the corner, next to the telephone or electric pole.  A quick of Google Maps shows that the house and phone pole is no longer there, but there is still a fireplug!

The URL for this post is:

(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, July 5, 2011

Some Answers About Uploading My Tree

I asked several questions in my post Uploading My Tree to and received answers to them recently.  The Questions (adapted by me) and Answers are:

Q:  Will I receive emails for every person in my database (I have 41,000)?  How often?
A.  You'll begin receiving emails in 2-3 weeks. We'll send you 1 email daily or weekly (your choice) with a few people chosen from your tree. By no means will you receive 41,000 emails! :)

Q.  Will there be a Delete button on the Upload page?
A.  There is now a Delete button on the Upload page.

Q.  Will a user be able to login from a non-Facebook account?
A.  We'll definitely offer a login option besides Facebook in the near future. We've had several people make that request and certainly want to offer that.

Q.  Will Mocavo match people in my tree with people in other people's trees?
A.  We won't match people in your tree with other trees for now.

Q.  Will Mocavo send me emails for persons in my tree when additional websites are added to Mocavo?
A.  You correctly guessed where we're going with this -- as we index more websites, we'll send you new information about your ancestors without resending material you've already seen.

Thank you to Richard and Cliff for answering my questions.  I'm off now to Delete my first two uploaded databases!

Note:  The Mocavo blog just posted Family Tree Upload and Contest for iPad 2, which is a summary of the tree uploading process and the news that a FREE iPad2 will be given to one person on 15 July 2011 who has uploaded a tree.
The URL for this post is:

(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.

The Dale Evans Census Search

Michael John Neill posted a challenge his Casefile Clues blog on Saturday - in Win a Year of Casefile Clues--Find Dale Evans in 1930 - can you find Dale Evans in the 1930 U.S. Census?  He provided links to two online websites with biographical data - Wikipedia and Internet Movie Database .

From those sites, a reader can learn that Dale Evans was born Lucille Wood Smith, born in Uvalde, Texas; had her name changed by her parents in infancy to Frances Octavia Smith, married Thomas F. Fox at age 14, had a son Thomas F. Fox at age 15, divorced him in 1929, married August Wayne Johns shortly after, and divorced him in 1935.

I decided to search for Frances Octavia (Smith) (Fox) Johns in the 1930 census - how hard could that be?  I figured that she was listed with Mr. Johns and her son, Thomas Fox.

I struck out searching for given name = "Franc*" or "Oct*" or "Fan*" with last name = "Fox" or "John*" and a birthdate = "1911" plus/minus "2" years and birthplace = "Texas."  Deleting the birthplace of Texas didn't help either, nor did expanding the search to "1911" plus/minus "5" years. 

I decided to search for given name = "Tho*" and last name = "Fox" with a birth year = "1928" plus/minus '2" years.  That gave me 48 matches, including the last one:

1930 United States Census, Cobb County, Georgia, population schedule, Marietta Ward 5 (Militia District 698), ED 15, Page 6B, Dwelling #145, Family #161, Thomas S. Smith household; online database, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T626, Roll 347.

The summary of the information (residence at 300 Lemon Street, enumerated on 9 April 1930):

*  Thomas S. Smith - head, rents home for $11/month, no radio, male, white, age 23, married, "N" for age first married, did not attend school in last year, can read and write English, born South Carolina, father born south Carolina, mother born South Carolina, a laborer, works in a furniture factory.
*  Octavia F. Smith - wife, female, white, age 21, married, first at age 19, did not attend school in last year, can read and write English, born Georgia, father born Georgia, mother born Georgia, no occupation.
*  Thomas Smith - son, male, white, age 1-6/12, single, did not attend school in last year, can read and write English, born Georgia, father born South Carolina, mother born Georgia, no occupation.

Why did this entry come up when I searched for the son, Thomas Fox?  Because user "beverlyleach75" had entered an alternate name into the database for the son - noting that he was  "Fox, Sr. rather than Smith" and that "Frances Octavia Smith Fox later became Dale Evans who married Roy Rogers, Sr."

 How does this happen in the census?  Why is Frances Octavia (Smith) (Fox) Johns using her maiden name after two marriages, listing her supposed husband and son her maiden name, giving the wrong age and birthplace, and wrong age married? 

My analysis is that she was escaping to Georgia from wherever (some people think it was Memphis, Tennessee) with her son, and gave the false information to the census enumerator.  I can imagine this conversation between Frances and the enumerator:

Enumerator: "What's your name"
Frances:  "Octavia Smith."
Enumerator: "Do you have a husband?" 
Frances: "Yes, his name is Thomas."
Enumerator: "Do you have children?"
Frances: "Yes, one son, Thomas."

Most researchers know that census enumerators are under no requirement to question the answers or to prove anything.  Their job was to count people, their relationships, gender, race, age, birthplace, occupation, etc. 

Therefore, the husband and son were named Smith also.  I've seen occasional entries like that in my experience, as I'm sure you have, where the census taker assigns a surname to the whole family that is wrong. 

The scenario above makes some sense, and would have been much more difficult to find if there had not been the "Alternate Name."  A 1930 census search for first name = "tho*" with birthdate = 1928 plus/minus 2 years, father = "tho*" and mother = "franc*" yielded 162 matches, but not the right one.  A search with mother = "Oct*" yielded five matches including the one above.  Because Octavia was such a rare name, it could have been found. 

It turns out that there is another probable entry for Thomas and Frances Fox in the 1930 US census.  There are 643 entries for a match with given name = "franc*" and last name = "fox."

One of them is in Memphis, Tennessee (residence at  41 Bellevue Street, enumerated on 3 April 1930):

1930 United States Census, Shelby County, Tennessee, population schedule, Memphis Ward 19, ED 71, Page 13B, Dwelling #195, Family #250, Tommy Fox household; online database, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T626, Roll 2275.

*  Tommy Fox - head
*  Frances fox - wife

The entries are crossed out.  There is no other data about them, and the son Thomas is not listed.  The Ancestry name index lists them, but the index below the image on the Record Image page does not list them.  Is this Frances Octavia (Smith) Fox?  Why are the entries crossed out?  Did they move away before the enumerator came by, but someone said that they resided there and when the enumerator returned they had moved away?  I don't know!

However, note that six families below this entry in Memphis is a family headed by Wayne E. Jones, age 23, with a wife and two children?  Is that August Wayne Johns?  I don't know, it might be. 

There is a birth certificate record for Lucille Wood Smith, born 30 October 1912 in Uvalde, Uvalde, Texas, daughter of T. Hillman Smith and Bettie Sue wood (accessed on the Texas Birth Certificates, 1903-1934 collection at  This entry is not in the Texas Births and Christenings, 1840-1981 collections on

What about August Wayne Johns?  Where was he in the 1930 census?  Was that him in Memphis enumerated on the same page as the Fox family?  I don't think so - there is an August W. Johns, age 21 born in Mississippi, living as a boarder in Memphis Ward 25 in the household of James E. League.  My guess is that he's the guy. 

When were Frances and August married, and where?  Since she was listed as both Fox and Smith in the two entries above, were they married by April 1930?  Franly, I doubt it, because the August W. Johns in Memphis is listed as single in the census record.

This case illustrates that there are many people "hiding" in the census records - with wrong names, relationships, ages, etc.  Many persons were not enumerated in each census (my guess is about 10% in 1930), for whatever reason.  A researcher cannot take anything for granted. 

Michael John Neill awarded a one-year subscription to myself (since I found the Georgia entry first) and to the person that found the Memphis entry first.  Thank you, Michael!

Michael has other contests for a free year of his excellent Casefile Clues newsletter - see the list (with links) of these contests at Open Contests for a Free Year.

(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, with proper attribution. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Tuesday's Tip - Check your State Archives, Libraries and Historical Societies

This week's Tuesday's Tip is to: Check the holdings - both online and in repositories - of the State Archive, State Library and State Historical Society where your ancestors resided.

Most researchers understand that "it isn't all on the Internet," and "it isn't all at the Family History Library," and "it isn't all at [insert your favorite repository here]". 

Just like the National Archives, which collects Federal records from all United States government agencies, State Archives collect records from state governments, and often from county or city governments withing the state.  State Libraries and Historical Societies collect items that pertain to their state and its inhabitants - like family history books, city and county books, maps, manuscripts, paper collections, etc.

Most State Archives, State Libraries and State Historical Societies have an online catalog to help researchers find holdings of interest.

You can search for the website of the state archive or state library or state historical society of interest using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo. etc.).  You can use the excellent list at to click to the state archive or historical society of interest.

As an example, the Maryland State Archives has a section devoted to "Family Historians."  On that web page, there are links for researchers to determine:

*  How to Obtain Copies of Records
*  What We Have
*  Beginner's Guide to Research
*  Guide to Family History Research
*  How to Find Specific Records (Guide to Government RecordsSpecial Collections Archives of Maryland)
*  Online Genealogy Workshops
*  Genealogy Topics

A Maryland researcher could spend hours going through these materials online, and if they have the opportunity, could spend days working at the State Archives finding unpublished material that is not available at any other repository.

Go forth and research at State Archives, State Libraries and State Historical Societies - you'll be glad that you did!

(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, with proper attribution. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - James H. Dill's Inquiry in Thomas Dill's Revolutionary War Pension File

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 letter from James H. Dill to the United States government inquiring if he is eligible for Bounty Land as a result of Thomas Dill's Revolutionary War service.  The  letter of inquiry is included in Thomas Dill's Revolutionary War Pension File (image 9 of the Thomas Dill file in the collection from National Archives Microfilm Publication M804):

The transcription of this letter is (punctuation interpreted as best possible):

New York, Augt 22. 1836

Dr Sir.

An answer to my Inquiry if I was Entitled to Bounty Land or other Emolument as the Surviving Son of Thomas Dill of Massachusetts a Revolutionary Soldier.

My Father I think Recd a Pension in 1830, or near that time, for several years - he died at a very advanced age and left no Widow.

Will you Please inform me as to the rules of the department to which I am to apply In case I have a claim as the Heir of Thomas Dill, also, what Evidence will be necessary to Establish my Claim, and oblige Sir

Your obt Servt

James H. Dill

Ja S. Cole Esq.

This letter is to James S. Cole, Esquire, who I believe worked for the agency that administered Revolutionary War Pensions in the 1836 time period.  The letter is in the hand of the inquirer - James H. Dill, and is a very distinctive hand.  You can see, on the image, that he put his quill down at the end of almost every word!

The document above provides an original source document, with secondary information, and direct evidence that James H. Dill is the son of Thomas Dill of Eastham, who served in the Revolutionary War and received a pension.

Who is James H. Dill besides the son of Thomas Dill (his birth is recorded in the Eastham, Massachusetts Town Records)?  As I mentioned in Amanuensis Monday - Insolvency Sale of Land of Alpheus B. Smith, a James H. Dill purchased the land of Alpheus Smith (1798-1840) in Medfield, and the widow's dower, at auction in 1840. 

Alpheus Smith's widow was Elizabeth Horton (Dill) Smith (1794-1869), and I believe, but have not yet proven to my satisfaction yet, that Elizabeth Horton (Dill) Smith was the daughter of Thomas and Hannah (Horton) Dill, and sister to James H. Dill.

I've also found other records for James H. Dill in James H. Dill in the Vital and Census Records and James H. Dill in Newspaper, Cemetery and Book Records, and I believe that the information pertains to the same person as the son in the Thomas Dill pension file and the Alpheus Smith probate file.

(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, with proper attribution. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

My Revolutionary War Ancestors

I am posting my list of ancestral Revolutionary War soldiers in order to honor them for their service:

* Martin Carringer (1758-1835) of Mercer County PA (RevWar Pension file)

* Jacob Philip Row (1752-1817) of Hunterdon County NJ (RevWar Pension File)

* Peter Putman (1760-1835) of Hunterdon County NJ and Yates County NY (RevWar Pension file)

* Stephen Feather (17??-1804) of Middlesex County NJ and Westmoreland County PA

* Rudolf Spengler (1738-1811) of York County PA

* Philip Jacob King (1738-1792) of York County PA

* Burgess Metcalf (1741-1816) of Piermont, Grafton County, NH

* Isaac Buck (1757-1846) of Lancaster and Sterling, Worcester County, MA (RevWar Pension File)

* Thomas Dill (1755-1830) of Eastham, Barnstable County, MA (RevWar Pension File)

* Norman Seaver (1734-1787) of Westminster, Worcester County, MA

* Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) of Westminster, Worcester County, MA

* Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784) of Westford, Middlesex County, MA

* Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1828) of Townsend, Middlesex County, MA

* Amos Plimpton (1735-1808) of Medfield, Norfolk County, MA

* David Kirby (1740-1832) of Westport, Bristol County, MA

* Joseph Oatley (1756-1815) of South Kingstown, Washington County, RI.

* Joseph Champlin (1758-1850) of South Kingstown, Washington County, RI (RevWar Pension File)

Amazingly, each of them survived their wartime experiences.

I thank God for these men, the families that nurtured them, the wives that supported them, and the children who learned from them the importance of service to their country.

I continue to pray for the health and safety of all of our armed forces personnel, for the wisdom and perseverance of our leaders, and for the patience and understanding of our citizens as we continue the battle to keep America safe and free.

May God continue to bless the United States of America.

Eleven Score and Fifteen Years Ago...

Eleven score and fifteen years ago our forefathers brought forth a new's our Nation's BIRTHDAY!!

What a magnificent work that Thomas Jefferson penned ... see the text here.

And the Trumbull painting of the presentation of the Declaration to the Cointinental Congress...

Thank you, gentlemen. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Freedom is so precious. May our leaders be wise enough to preserve it, and may our citizens be brave enough to defend it.

For the Seaver folks in Chula Vista, today will be a day of rest. We will watch the Padres baseball game on TV, then go to church for a picnic with friends, capped by the fireworks display at 8:30 p.m. over the Country Club grounds - less than a quarter mile away. Big booms. 
On the genealogy front, I will write a bit, work on a presentation, and probably go hunting graves in Find-a-Grave to add to my genealogy database.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New FamilySearch Historical Collections - June 2011

I last listed the new or updated collections on the FamilySearch Historical Collections website on 2 June, when there were 633 collections on the list. Since then, these Historical Record Collections have been added to make a total of 665 collections as of today

Germany, Pomerania Church Records, 1544-1945, new collection, added 1 Jul 2011, browse images only
New Zealand, Probate Records, new collection, added 30 Jun 2011, browse images only
West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971, new collection, added 29 Jun 2011, browse images only
Mississippi Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892, 1908-195, new collection, added 29 Jun 2011, browse images only
Tennessee Probate Court Books, 1795-1927, new collection, added 29 Jun 2011, browse images only

North Carolina Probate Records, 1735-1970, new collection, added 29 Jun 2011, browse images only
Poland, Roman Catholic Church Books, 1600-1950, new collection, added 28 Jun 2011, 1,002,155 records
Czech Republic, Třeboň, Nobility Seignorial records, 1664-1698, new collection, added 27 Jun 2011, browse images only
Mexico, Oaxaca, Catholic Church Records, new collection, added 27 Jun 2011, browse images only
Czech Republic, Land Records 1450-1850, new collection, added 27 Jun 2011, browse images only

South Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1690-2007, new collection, added 27 Jun 2011, browse images only
North Carolina, County Records, 1833-1970, new collection, added 27 Jun 2011, browse images only
Ohio, Montgomery County, Probate Estate Files, 1857-1900, new collection, added 27 Jun 2011, browse images only
Maine, State Archive Collections, new collection, added 27 Jun 2011, browse images only
Washington State, Army National Guard Records, 1880-1947, new collection, added 24 Jun 2011, browse images only

California, San Mateo County, Colma, Italian Cemetery Records, new collection, added 24 Jun 2011, browse images only
Utah, Davis County Records, 1869-1920, new collection, added 24 Jun 2011, browse images only
England, Cornwall Parish Registers, 1538-1900, new collection, added 24 Jun 2011, browse images only
Ohio, Cuyahoga County Records, new collection, added 23 Jun 2011, browse images only
Switzerland, Vaud Terrier Records, 1234-1798, new collection, added 22 Jun 2011, browse images only

Washington State County Records, 1885-1950, new collection, added 22 Jun 2011, browse images only
Louisiana, Second Registration Draft Cards, compiled 1948-1959, new collection, added 20 Jun 2011, browse images only
Mexico, Yucatan, Catholic Church Records, new collection, added 20 Jun 2011, browse images only
Massachusetts, Plymouth County, Probate Estate Files, 1686-1881, new collection, added 20 Jun 2011, browse images only
Spain, Municipal Records, new collection, added 20 Jun 2011,20,068 records

Texas, Eagle Pass Arrival Manifests and Indexes, 1905-1954, new collection, added 20 Jun 2011, browse images only
England, Northumberland, Miscellaneous Records, new collection, added 20 Jun 2011, browse images only
Wales, Glamorgan Marriages, 1837-1922, new collection, added 20 Jun 2011, 58,798 records
Italy, Waldensian Evangelical Church Records, new collection, added 20 Jun 2011, browse images only
Tennessee Probate Court Files, 1795-1927, new collection, added 19 Jun 2011, browse images only

Idaho, Clark County Records, new collection, added 19 Jun 2011, browse images only
Florida, Key West Passenger Lists, 1898-1920, new collection, added 10 Jun 2011, browse images only
New York, New York, Index to Passenger Lists, 1820-1846, new collection, added 10 Jun 2011, browse images only
Hawaii, Honolulu Index to Passengers, Not Including Filipinos, 1900-1952, new collection, added 10 Jun 2011, browse images only
England and Wales Census, 1911, new collection, added 8 Jun 2011, 36,354,828 records

Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934, new collection, added 7 Jun 2011, 131,790 records
Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959, new collection, added 3 Jun 2011, 1,160,821 records

In the list above, I tried to identify many of the collections as newly added by comparing them to last months listing. When FamilySearch sends their email notifications to interested parties, they are identifying whether they are new or previously existing collections.
There are 37 items on the list above, but only 32 newly added databases since 2 June, so I have some updated ones that I didn't catch. Oh well! I will update the list as I receive information about the new databases.
All FamilySearch Historical Record Collections can be accessed at You can see the date that collections were recently added or updated by clicking on the "Last Updated" link.

(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, with proper attribution. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 26 June to 2 July 2011

Hundreds of genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the genealogy carnivals, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week:

Bent Handles by Greg Ross on the Futility Closet blog.  I know, this isn't a genealogy blog per se, but this list of humorous real names is priceless.

The Estate of John Rupert :: Goods and Chattels, The Estate of John Rupert :: Bill of Sale, and The Estate of John Rupert :: Widows Allowance, The Estate of John Rupert :: The First “Final Account”, The Estate of John Rupert :: The final “Final Account”   by Becky Wiseman on the kinexxions blog.  Becky continues her review of the probate records for John Rupert.  This series is an excellent lesson in finding, transcribing and analyzing an estate packet.

The Other Side of Serendipity in Family Research, Part 1 and Part 2 by Patsy Hendrickson on the - Indexing, Records, Resources blog.  Patsy has a list of 46 examples of solid research activity that prompted a serendipitous find.  In other words, luck is the result of intent.

Part O - The Browning Progenitor Question by Patti Browning on the Consanguinity blog.  Patti posted something in 2001, gets help from another researcher, and now has more clues.  Sometimes it takes time... and luck.

Information or data? Facts or Evidence? and We must begin with doubt  by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog.  James continues his series on evidence, proof and the elements of the GPS.  There is wisdom and experience here.

A Newbie's View of the National Archives - Those Places Thursday by Susan on the Nolichucky Roots blog.  Susan went to the Archives in DC and has advice for others making the trip.

A Cool Genealogy Thing Happened When I was Bored and A Chance Genealogy Revelation by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog.  Lorine was bored for only a short time, then was off researching for hours.  Lucky gal!  You know, good things happen to those that search!

Resource for Finding Females and More on Finding Females by Susan Farrell Bankhead on Susan's Genealogy Blog.  Excellent suggestions from Susan to catch those elusive females.

The Difficulty of Obtaining Vital Records in Pennsylvania by Sarah B. on the GeneApprentice blog.  Sarah describes the requirements, process, and problems with obtaining vital records in Pennsylvvania.

Veterans’ Burials – Researching Applications for Government Headstones by Carolyn Barkley on the blog.  Finding the headstone is just the first step - there are government records associated with veteran burials.

Open Discussion Weekend: Non-blogging Genealogists by Susan Petersen on the Long Lost blog.  Susan wants to know if geneabloggers hang out with other bloggers, or with non-bloggers?  Take a minute and tell her.

My Struggle with Legacy Family Tree Sourcing – part 1 and Part 2 by Janis Tomko on the Janis' Genealogy blog.  Janis analyzes how Legacy Family Tree does source citations, and explains lumpers and splitters.  I'm a lumper too.

Genealogy Success Team - Week Seven by Jenny Lanctot on the Are My Roots Showing? blog.  Jenny and Laura are challenging each other every week to pursue and complete goals and objectives.  It's working.  Might be an excellent example for others to follow!

Naming Patterns and your Genealogy by Arlene Eakle on the Arlene H. Eakle's Genealogy Blog.  Arlene has so much experience and knowledge - it's great that she shares it with us.  I learned al ot from this post! 

Genealogy Without Proof is Mythology by Tamura Jones on the Modern Software Experience blog.  Where did the aphorism originate?  Tamura dissects the online and published record, and finds the answer.  Excellent detective work.

Several genea-bloggers wrote weekly pick posts and news summary posts this week, including:
Monday's Link Roundup by Dan Curtis on the Dan Curtis - Professional Personal Historian blog.

Monday Recap for June 27th, 2011 by Grant Brunner on the blog.

Genealogy Round Up, June 30 by Megan Smolenyak on the Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's Roots World blog.

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

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

Genealogy News Corral, June 27-July 1 by Diane Haddad on the Genealogy Insider blog.

Week in Review by John Newmark on the TransylvanianDutch blog.

I encourage readers to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blogs to your Favorites, Google Reader, RSS feed or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 950 genealogy bloggers using Google Reader, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

Updated 4 July:  a reader recommended Tamura Jones's post in email, and I had missed it, so I added it today.

The URL for this post is

(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.