Saturday, July 16, 2011

Follow Megan on Google+ and Enter Drawing for a Free Shirt

Genealogical author, blogger, speaker and researcher Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak has offered a drawing for three free T-shirts to her followers on Google+.

The details are in her blog post, Follow me on Google+ to win a customized t-shirt that flaunts your heritage! on the Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak's Roots World blog.  You have until 22 July (that's next Friday) to enter the contest.

If you need an invitation to join Google+, please email me at and I'll be happy to send an invitation out to you.  Then all you have to do is put Megan's name (Megan Smolenyak) in the search field on Google+ and add her to your Circle and you are entered. 

What are your chances of winning?  As of tonight, Megan is in the Google+ Circles of 287 people, so 3 winners out of 287 is about 1 in 100 right now.  But you can't win if you don't enter!

Thank you to Megan, and to Rachel Mehta, for this opportunity

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your "Heritage Pie" Chart

Ah, Genea-folks, it's Saturday Night again - are you ready for more Genealogy Fun?

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

1)  List your 16 great-great-grandparents with their birth, death and marriage data (dates and places).  [Hint - you might use an Ancestral Name List from your software for this.]

2)  Determine the countries (or states) that these ancestors lived in at their birth and at their death.

3)  For extra credit, go make a "Heritage Pie" chart for the country of origin (birth place) for these 16 ancestors. [Hint: you could use the  chart generator from Kid Zone for this.] [Note: Thank you to Sheri Fenley for the "Heritage Pie" chart idea.]

4.  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a post on Facebook or google+.

Here's mine:

My 16 great-greats are:

16. Isaac Seaver, son of Benjamin Seaver and Abigail Gates was born on 16 October 1823 in
 Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. He died on 12 March 1901 in Leominster, Worcester,
Massachusetts, USA. He married Lucretia Townsend Smith on 09 September 1851 in Walpole,
Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA.

17. Lucretia Townsend Smith, daughter of Alpheus B. Smith and Elizabeth Horton Dill was born
before 06 September 1828 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, USA. She died on 24 March 1884 in
Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.

18. Edward Hildreth, son of Zachariah Hildreth and Hannah Sawtell was born on 30 April 1831 in
Townsend, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA. He died on 26 April 1899 in Leominster, Worcester,
Massachusetts, USA. He married Sophia Newton on 25 December 1852 in Northborough, Worcester,
 Massachusetts, USA.

19. Sophia Newton, daughter of Thomas J. Newton and Sophia Buck was born on 14 September 1834
in Springfield, Windsor, Vermont, USA. She died on 29 August 1923 in Leominster, Worcester,
Massachusetts, USA.

20. James Richman, son of John Richman and Ann Marshman was born before 08 April 1821 in
Hilperton, Wiltshire, England. He died on 20 December 1912 in Putnam, Windham, Connecticut,
USA. He married Hannah Rich on 07 September 1845 in Hilperton, Wiltshire, England.

21. Hannah Rich, daughter of John Rich and Rebecca Hill was born on 14 April 1824 in Hilperton,
Wiltshire, England. She died on 08 August 1911 in Putnam, Windham, Connecticut, USA.

22. Henry Arnold White, son of Jonathan White and Miranda Wade was born in 1824 in Glocester,
Providence, Rhode Island, USA. He died on 01 August 1885 in East Killingly, Windham,
 Connecticut, USA. He married Amy Frances Oatley on 30 June 1844 in Thompson, Windham,
 Connecticut, USA.

23. Amy Frances Oatley, daughter of Jonathan Oatley and Amy Champlin was born in 1826 in South
Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, USA. She died before 1870 in Killingly, Windham,
Connecticut, USA.

24. David Jackson Carringer, son of Heinrich Carringer and Sarah Feather was born on 04
November 1828 in Greenville, Mercer, Pennsylvania, USA. He died on 20 January 1902 in San Diego,
San Diego, California, USA. He married Rebecca Spangler on 16 October 1851 in Mercer,
Pennsylvania, USA.

25. Rebecca Spangler, daughter of John Daniel Spangler and Elizabeth King was born on 02 April
1832 in Mercer, Pennsylvania, USA. She died on 13 December 1901 in San Diego, San Diego,
California, USA.

26. Devier James Lamphear Smith was born on 07 May 1839 in Henderson, Jefferson, New York,
USA. He died on 01 May 1894 in McCook, Red Willow, Nebraska, USA. He married Abigail A.
Vaux on 04 April 1861 in Rolling Prairie, Dodge, Wisconsin, USA.

27. Abigail A. Vaux, daughter of Samuel Vaux and Mary Ann Underhill was born on 28 October
1844 in Aurora, Erie, New York, USA. She died on 11 September 1931 in San Diego, San Diego,
California, USA.

28. David Auble, son of Johannes Auble and Anna Row was born in 1817 in Stillwater, Sussex, New
Jersey, USA. He died on 22 March 1894 in Terre Haute, Vigo, Indiana, USA. He married Sarah G.
Knapp about 1844 in Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, USA.

29. Sarah G. Knapp, daughter of William Knapp and Sarah Cutter was born in January 1818 in
probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, USA. She died after 1900 in probably Bushnell,
McDonough County, Illinois, USA.

30. James Abram Kemp, son of Abraham James Kemp and Sarah Sephrona Fletcher was born on 22
May 1831 in Hillier, Prince Edward, Ontario, Canada. He died on 19 September 1902 in Delhi,
Norfolk, Ontario, Canada. He married Mary Jane Sovereen on 10 March 1861 in Middleton,
Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.

31. Mary Jane Sovereen, daughter of Alexander Sovereign and Eliza Putman was born on 29
December 1840 in Windham, Norfolk, Ontario, Canada. She died on 20 May 1874 in Middleton,
Norfolk, Ontario, Canada.

The birthplaces of my 16 great-great-grandparents are:

*  USA 12 (4 in MA, 2 in RI, 2 in PA, 2 in NY, 2 in NJ)
*  England - 2
*  Canada - 2

Here is my "Heritage Pie" chart:

Surname Saturday - RAYMENT (England > MA)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 257, who is Eunice RAYMENT (1707-1772), one of my 6th-great-grandparents. This post starts my 6th great-grandmothers on Surname Saturday! [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts]

My ancestral line back through four  generations of RAYMENT families is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

32. Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)
33. Abigail Gates (1797-1869)

64. Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)
65. Martha Whitney (1764-1832)

128.  Norman Seaver (1734-1787)
129.  Sarah Read (1736-1809)

256. Robert Seaver, born 29 October 1702 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died before 26 September 1752 in Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States. He was the son of 512. Joseph Seaver and 513. Mary Read. He married 02 September 1726 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
257. Eunice Rayment, born 12 June 1707 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died after 1772 in probably Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. 

Children of Robert Seaver and Eunice Rayment are:   Joseph Seaver (1727-????);  Benjamin Seaver (1728-????); Thankful Seaver (1731-????); , born 06 October 1731 in Framingham, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died in Springfield, Windsor, Vermont, United States; Norman Seaver (1734-1787); Moses Seaver (1740-1809); Robert Seaver (1743-1828);  Samuel Seaver (1747-1830); John Seaver (1754-????).

514. Samuel Rayment, born 18 May 1679 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died about 1723 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married  21 November 1704 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
515. Eunice Norman, born 14 March 1686 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died about 1743 in Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. She was the daughter of 1030. John Norman and 1031. Sarah Maverick.

Children of Samuel Rayment and Eunice Norman are: John Rayment (1705-????); Eunice Rayment (1707-1772); Samuel Rayment (1716-????); Sarah Rayment (1718-????); Benjamin Rayment (1719-????).

1028. John Rayment, born about 1651 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died 15 July 1725 in Middleborough, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.  He married about 1673 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
1029. Martha Wooden, born 12 February 1655 in Hampton, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States; She was the daughter of 2058. John Wooden and 2059. Mary.

Children of John Rayment and Martha Wooden are:   John Rayment (1677-????); Samuel Rayment (1679-1723); Martha Rayment (1681-????); William Rayment (1685-????); Thomas Rayment (1687-????); James Rayment (1689-????); Martha Rayment (1692-????).

1056. John Rayment, born before 03 March 1616 in Glastonbury, Somerset, England; died 18 January 1703 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. He was the son of 4112. George Rayment and 4113. Mary. He married about 1651 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
2057. Rachel Scruggs, born before 23 May 1627 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England; died 02 May 1666 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States. She was the daughter of 5114. Thomas Scruggs and 5115. Margery.

Children of John Rayment and Rachel Scruggs are:  John Rayment (1651-1725); Thomas Rayment (1653-1732); Bethia Rayment (1655-1662); Abigail Rayment (1657-1662); Rachel Rayment (1659-1696); Elizabeth Rayment (1662-1662); Abigail Rayment (1664-????); Jonathan Rayment (1666-1745).

John Rayment and his brother William were the immigrant ancestors of this branch of the Raymond/Rayment family. They came to America with their sister Elizabeth before the spring of 1651, and settled in Salem and Beverly Massachusetts

The major source of information for these families was the book:

Samuel Edward Raymond, Raymond Genealogy, Volume II (Seattle, Wash.: the author, 1972)

I also have some periodical articles, land records and probate records (if available) for these particular Rayment families.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dear Randy: Are There Ethical Standards for Genealogical Research?

I received a question this week from a Genea-Musings reader, who asked "Are There Ethical Standards for Genealogical Research?"

I knew that there were, and went off to find them.  Here are what I found:

*  Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) Code of Ethics --

*  Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) Code of Ethics and Conduct --

*  National Genealogical Society (NGS) Genealogical Standards and Guidelines --

The NGS has six separate standards and guidelines, including:

**  Standards for Sound Genealogical Research

**  Guidelines for Using Records Repositories and Libraries

** Standards for Use of Technology in Genealogical Research

**  Standards for Sharing Information with Others

** Guidelines for Publishing Web Pages on the Internet

** Guidelines for Genealogical Self-Improvement and Growth

It is helpful for genealogy researchers of all types and experience to read these and try to adhere to them in their own research work, genealogical society activities, in client research work, and as a customer of genealogical services.

Follow Friday - Weekend Genealogy Fun

Here are my choices for Genealogy Fun this weekend:

1)  Listen to Geneabloggers Radio tonight (Friday night, 10 p.m. ET, 9 p.m. CT, 8 p.m. MT and 7 p.m. PT) hosted by DearMYRTLE.  The topic is "Cool Ideas for Involving Youth in Genealogy."  The guests are:

Drusilla Pair “Professor Dru” of the Find Your Folks blog discussing a youth historical research project she just completed in Newport News, Virginia;
Nicka Smith of the Atlas Family blog who has been teaching high school students in Alameda County, California, how to trace their family histories;
Jari Honora of Bayou Roots, a college student who will share with us his experience as a young genealogist/family historian who began researching when he was about 10 years of age;
Elyse Doerflinger of Elyse’s Genealogy Blog, who will also share her experience as a young genealogist/family historian.

2)  Listen to the FGS My Society radio show on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, 12 noon MT, 11 a.m. PT) hosted by Drew Smith.  The topic is "Who Do You Think You Are? – Events for Genealogy Societies."  The guests include:

Rebecca M. Hill, Head Librarian, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, OH about a local version of Who Do You Think You Are? event recently held at the Center.
*  FGS 2011 Conference Speaker of the Week, Paula Stuart-Warren about her upcoming presentations at the conference in Springfield, Illinois this September.

3)  Respond to my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge, posted on soon after 12 noon Pacific time (that's 1900 GMT for those who understand time zones). 

4)  Go to a local genealogical society program, or go to a library or repository with genealogical resources.  I'm planning on going to the Chula Vista Genealogical Society workshop at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Bonita-Sunnyside Library (4375 Bonita Road), where Mary Van Orsdol will present "Genealogy Research at the Carlsbad Library."

5)  Do you still have material in your "genealogy piles" that needs to be added to your genealogy software program?  I do, and hope to be able to burn an inch off my stack by entering data, notes and sources into my database.

6)  Enjoy your family!  We have our daughter's family coming on Saturday.  We will have the two granddaughters (ages 3 and 6) for the week while their parents take an Alaskan cruise.  Everybody will be making family history memories!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Research Problem Solution Advice

"What should I do next?" 

"How would you solve my research problem?"

"I've looked everywhere online and can't find anything about my great-grandfather."

These are the types of questions I hear every week from my genealogy society colleagues, in my senior adult class members, and in email from my blog readers.  They realize that they're "stuck" or against a "brick wall" and don't know where to turn next.  I'm always willing to help, but it seems like my advice is a broken record:

"The online information is the 'low hanging fruit' - the historical record collections and books online are only 2% to 3% of all of the available records. has over 30,000 collections, FamilySearch is imaging and digitizing collections and has 670 online at present, and there is a wealth of information in other websites, online family trees, Rootsweb and USGenWeb. 

"There are useful genealogy records 'hiding' in county courthouses, state and national archives, genealogical and historical societies, library manuscript collections, etc.  Some - only some - of those records are available on microfilm and microfiche at the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City (and can be ordered at a local Family History Center or participating library).

"Your job is to find everything you can - not just search over and over again in the online databases.  Learn more about the locality history and availability of records."

  My suggestions usually include:

 * Join and participate in a local genealogical society, post queries in their newsletter or periodical, and ask questions and advice of the experienced members and speakers.

*  Look in the LDS Family History Library Catalog ( for your surnames and localities.  Are there microfilms or microfiches there can you should order from the FHL?

*  Go to the FamilySearch Research Wiki ( and Family History Wiki ( and learn the history and available records of the localities of interest (country, state, county, town), and learn about record types and research methods also. 

*  There are over 160 FamilySearch Research Courses ( with video presentations, syllabuses, etc. to help learn about research techniques  in record types and specific locations.

*  Ask for help from other researchers, and search for earlier posts,  on the Rootsweb/Ancestry Message Board Archives ( and the GenForum Message Board Archives ( for your family names and the localities of interest. 

*  Ask for help from other researchers on the FamilySearch Forums (  These forums are monitored and most queries are responded to quickly.  FamilySearch also has some Online Research Communities on Facebook ( and Skype ( 

*  Go to the nearest FHC or participating library, order some microfilms or microfiches, search them for your specific families in specific localities.  Then order some more. 

*  While you're at the FHC and libraries, check to see what online databases they provide to their patrons.  The FHCs has almost all American subscription databases and many European subscription databases available for free on their in-house computers.

*  Review the book, periodical and manuscript holdings of distant local, regional and national libraries and societies (the catalogs are usually online!) to determine if there are unique records in their collections.  Then visit them to do your own research, or hire someone to visit there to research for you.

*  Visit, or have someone visit for you, the courthouses, town clerk, county recorder, cemeteries, churches, etc. offices in your distant localities. 

It is so much easier to "do a reasonably exhaustive search" now, and it can be done much faster in 2011 than it was back before 2001.  I started, back in the old days of 1988, and did everything on paper and microfilm (going to the FHC on Saturdays), and by 1993 had almost all of my current ancestral families identified.  I've spent the time since 1993 trying to "prove" the collected data and relationships by using published, manuscript and online records.  My guess is that what took me five years back in the 1988 to 1993 time frame could be done in one year or less today because of the availability of online historical records. 

The reaction to my "preaching" to the folks is usually "that sounds like a lot of work..."  Yes, it is.

It's your choice - spend the time and solve the puzzle, or let someone else do it sometime.  Each person has a life to lead, with relationships, priorities and commitments, and needs to be realistic about them.  If you can pursue genealogy research once a week, then do that.  Your ancestors won't go away, they'll just have to wait longer for you to find them!

What else would you suggest?  What works for you? 

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 73: Hannah (Rich) Richmond's Death Certificate

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is Hannah (Rich) Richmond's (1824-1911) death certificate in Putnam, Windham County,  Connecticut:

I obtained this death certificate by postal mail from the Putnam CT Town Clerk's office back in the early 1990s.

Here is the transcription of the death certificate (handwritten parts underlined and italic):

State of Connecticut Bureau of Vital Statistics
Medical Certificate of Death

1.  Full name of deceased:  Hannah Richmond
2.  Primary cause of death: Arterial Sclerosis  3.  Duration: many years
4.  Secondary or contributory: Old age  5.  Duration: many years
Remarks: [none]

I hereby Certify that I attended the deceased in h er last illness, and that the cause of death was as above stated.
................................ Signature  J.B. Kent
Dated  August 8th 19 11 ...  Address  Putnam

Undertaker's Certificate Personal and Statistical

1.  Full name of deceased:  Hannah Richmond
2.  Place of Death -- Putnam  Conn.
3.  Number of families in house:  One
4.  Residence at time of death:  Putnam Conn.
5.  Occupation:  Housekeeper
6.  Condition (state whether single, married, divorced or widowed)
7.  If wife, or widow, give name of husband:  James Richmond
8.  Date of death -- year: 1911, month: Aug, day: _____
9.  Date of birth -- year: 1825,  month: April, day: _____
10.  Age:  86 years, 4 months, ___ days
11.  Sex:  Female
12.  Color:  White
13.  Birthplace -- Town:  _______________ State or Country: England
14.  Father's name in full:  John Rich
15.  Father's birthplace:  Town: _______________  State or Country: _"__ [England]
16.  Mother's Maiden Name:  Rebecca Hill
17.  Mother's birthplace -- Town: ______________ State or Country: _"__ [England]
18.  Place of burial:  Putnam Ct Cemetery: Grove St.
19.  Name of informant:  Thos Richmond  Address: Putnam Ct
20.  Was body embalmed:  yes  If so name of embalmer: J.E. Rich License No. 420

Signature of Undertaker:  L. E. Smith  Address: Putnam Ct.

I find it interesting that the informant, Hannah's son Thomas Richmond, did not know his mother's birth date (14 April 1824), birthplace (Hilperton, Wiltshire in England), or her parent's birthplaces (also Hilperton, Wiltshire).  He was born in Hilperton also.  Perhaps he was not asked directly about those items.  Hannah's husband, James Richmond, was alive when Hannah died, and he would surely know unless he was too ill or demented to remember. 

One curiosity - the embalmer was probably a nephew of Hannah Rich, a son or grandson of her brother, Samuel rich, that came to America with James Richman in 1855. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What do they say about Geneology on Twitter?

I have complete writer's block tonight, so went on Twitter and used some keywords to see what tweeters are saying about Genealogy and Ancestry.  Here are some of the best ones...

Tjpitre Genealogy- If you are of European descent you might find your ancestors were a bunch of bored, dirty, self-loathers with blockish physiques.

Jamesmoore80 I'm related to the first action hero/folk hero, Daniel Boone. Awesome! So glad my dad does genealogy!

Queenanthai Found an old sheet of paper with a lot of my genealogy scribbled onto it. As far as my grandpa can remember, anyway.

CheckeredChix The Checkered Chicken: Loads and Loads of Hay… #genealogy #familyhistory #familystories

CousinCeCe How about a tuna salad lunch and a little celebrity genealogy?

Maoz001 Genesis genealogy of isis

fibiswebmaster #genealogy #history Just How DO You Research Armenians in India? #blog #armenian #burials

rpgirl27 Just spent 2hrs w/ a formerly Amish dude paging thru genealogy books trying to get him enuf documentation to get a US passport since his-

babyteejen @melvinwang Mah Mah and I tried to figure out your genius genealogy. She owes it to Uncle Leonard and the bank.

EstoppelFoxdale I've figured out I am of very Irish decent. Maybe Irish/Anglo. Being an American f.cks your genealogy all to hell though.

Inventrix Genealogy, whatever. *files that with dalmatian*

Inventrix Coworker talking about geneology: "I think we ALL can go back to Charlemagne!" Errr... no... pretty sure I couldn't... xD

LaBarraBNini The only ones I know with answers to my geneology are my aunt&Dad. And they're both working. #Frustration  

LaBarraBNini This talk of geneology made me realize that I don't know sh.t about either side of my family.

OpportunityRus Want to join a team that is a real team? We help one another in a permanent geneology. Multiple steams of income.

AshleyJudd Digging deeper into geneology. helped w/ my ep of #whodoyouthinkyouare. Am descended frm Wm & Mary Brewster's 1rst son

crankfetter I can trace my ancestry directly to the Tom who invented foolery.

Then there are thousands of others that make some sense!

FGS 2011 Conference Social Media Policy

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2011 Conference is in Springfield, Illinois from September 7th to 10th, 2011.  I am an "Official blogger" for the Conference, so I will be posting information about it from time to time.

Here is the FGS Social Media Policy for the 2011 Conference:

The Federation of Genealogical Societies Announces a Comprehensive and Balanced Policy for the Use of Social Media at its Upcoming Annual Conference

July 6, 2011 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces a new social media policy which will be in effect at its upcoming annual conference, Pathways to the Heartland, to be held in Springfield, Illinois, September 7-10, 2011.

FGS has developed a comprehensive social media policy for use by its Official Bloggers as well as all conference attendees. This policy seeks to balance the needs of social media users to report on the FGS 2011 conference and the needs of conference attendees for a productive learning environment, while at the same time protecting the intellectual property rights of FGS and its speakers.

Here is the FGS 2011 Social Media Policy in its entirety:

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) does not permit the recording of presentations at FGS conferences or events under any circumstances or in any form or media, including but not limited to audio recordings, video recordings, or literal transcripts, except by specific written permission. Fleetwood Onsite Conference Recording contracts with FGS to audio record the lectures of speakers who provide their written consent to be recorded. Recordings may be purchased at the conference and can be ordered and downloaded after the conference.

FGS does permit and encourage the use of various forms of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and live blogging at conferences and events as a means of summarizing, highlighting, excerpting, reviewing, and/or publicizing sessions, events, syllabus materials, speakers or the conference in general, provided that: (1) only content excerpts are used and that the presentation material is not reproduced in full while using social media tools; (2) the speaker is referenced and cited appropriately in each case; (3) non-flash photos may be taken of any session only with the prior consent of that session’s speaker; (4) while speakers have been informed of this policy and are encouraged to permit the use of social media during their session, they do have the right to make an announcement at the start of the session barring the use of social media during their sessions; and (5) any announcement made barring the use of cell phones or mobile devices does not apply to the use of such devices to access social media tools, but such announcement applies to a) turning off any audible ringer or notification alert on such devices and b) the use of such devices to make a call requiring a voice conversation which can be heard by other event or session attendees.

We ask that at all times you please respect the intellectual property rights and copyrights of FGS and its presenters and speakers.

Learn More and Stay Connected

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 16 July on "Photo Dating"

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) meets on the 3rd Saturday of each month (except December) from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the campus of UCSD, University of California, San Diego. See our map page for directions.
The next meeting will be held on 16 July 2011 from 9:00 am to noon. Here are the details:

9:00 - User groups: Legacy and Roots Magic; SIG: Ancestry
10:00 - Break, refreshments
10:15 - Announcements followed by:

Photo Dating
by Claire Santos-Daigle

In determining when a photo was taken, more has to be considered than just the obvious: such as the clothes worn, the background, objects in the background and the history of the photo (how it was acquired). The photo could be mounted on stiff or thin decorated cardboard, paper, copper or glass. Any writing on the photo could lead to a date, or the name of the photographer. To identify the date of a specific photograph effectively, it may be necessary to study the history of the items in the photograph, along with the history of fashions, methods of photography, customs of different eras, the history of photography, and even the history of wallpaper.

Claire Santos-Daigle and her husband, Michael, own "Photos Made Perfect". They became involved with digital photo restoration when her husband started his genealogy in 1992. In 1996 they began restoring family photos and in 1999 their hobby became a business.
We meet at the Robinson Auditorium complex on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla. From North Torrey Pines Road, turn at Pangea Drive into UCSD. Free parking is available in the parking garage on the left; use any space other than those specifically reserved for UCSD vehicles. Signs will mark directions to our meeting room. Please refer to our website; or the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies website for driving directions and a map.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 161: Emily Auble at age 17

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 is a photograph of my grandmother, Emily (Kemp) Auble (1899-1977), taken in 1916 at about age 17.  She was in high school then, and working at Marston's Department Store in downtown San Diego.  I think it is beautiful! 

This photograph was in the Bessie Pentecost photograph album that is now in my possession, which has photos pasted on the black poster paper.  I scanned some of the pages during the last Scanfest, then cropped some of the individual pictures.  Bessie (Auble) Pentecost was a first cousin of Emily Kemp Auble. 

My guess is that the pictures were sent to Bessie and put in the album at a later date.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

FUN with 1930 United States Census Source Citations

I heard that the 1930 United States Census was now complete on, and I wondered what the source citations looked like for this collection on FamilySearch, on and on  I also wondered how "standard" they were, relative to, say, the Evidence! Explained source citation models.  Here's what I found:

1) -- this site has only the indexed results and not census images on the website, but it's free.  The record page does not have a source citation, but the Research Wiki page for the collection has a sample source citation:

"United States Census, 1930." index and images, FamilySearch ( accessed 8 April 2011. entry for Joyce Baker, age 24; citing Census Records, FHL microfilm 2,340,225; United States Federal Archives and Records Center, Washington, D.C.

This citation does not provide much information for a reader who saw it in a book or report. It provides an FHL film number, but a user would have to order the film, wait for it to arrive, and then search through all of the images on the film to find the record. If s/he wants to find the record, s/he would have to do a search on again, which does provide a place name, an ED, a page number, and the NARA Microfilm Publication Number and Roll number.  Also, the link is to the "old" FamilySearch site, that does not have this database (it should be "https").  The Source of the Source should be the NARA microfilm publication, not the Archives Center itself, and should include the NARA microfilm number and roll number.

2) -- this commercial site has an every name index for all of the images available for the 1930 census.  The record page for a person provides a source citation (I chose my father, Frederick W. Seaver):

Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts; Roll: 964; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 226; Image: 1055.0.

Source Information: 1930 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2002.
Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626, 2,667 rolls.

These three paragraphs have most of the necessary elements (which means they are in a database), but they should be put into the correct order according to some standard format; for instance, the Evidence! Explained models.
3) -- this commercial site has an every-name index and all available census images of the 1930 census.  After searching for my father, the image page has the following census information:

Content Source:  The National Archives
Publication Number: T626
Publication Title: Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930
Content Source: NARA
National Archives Catalog ID: 598030
National Archives Catalog Title: Population Schedules for the 1930 Census, compiled 1930 - 1930
Record Group: 29
Census Year: 1930
Short Description: NARA T626. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930.
State: Massachusetts
Browse Description: LEOMINSTER CITY, WARD 5
Enumeration District: 14-226
Sheet Number: 3a

This provides most of the information needed to construct a standard source citation.

4)  My own source citation, created from the RootsMagic 4 source template creator which uses the Evidence! Explained standardized model for "Census, U.S. Federal (online images)," but relies on my interpretation of what information that goes in the template fields:

1930 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Leominster Ward 5, enumeration district (ED) 226, 3-A, dwelling 44, family 69, Frederick W. Seaver; digital images, ( : accessed 12 July 2011); National Archives microfilm publication T626, Roll 964.

That is really good, but it doesn't exactly match the Evidence! Explained model for digital images on a commercial site.  The Evidence! Explained model for the above source citation would be:

1930 U. S. Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, population schedule, Leominster Ward 5,  enumeration district 226, p. 3-A, dwelling 44, family 69; Frederick W. Seaver, online database,

5)  Some conclusions:

*  The above comparison is why I do not download Ancestry census images into my online Ancestry Member Tree or into my Family Tree Maker 2011 database.  The source citations suck, and I would have to edit them to make them standard.  Will change their source citations to conform to the accepted Evidence! Explained standard?  I doubt it!  They have over 30,000 databases to create standard source citations for! They get a grade of D.
*  The FamilySearch source citation really sucks.  There is no attempt at a citation to a locality, an ED, a page number, or the NARA publication and roll numbers, only to an FHL microfilm.  This gets a grade of F+.
*  The Footnote source citations also suck.  Most of the elements for a source citation are available, but they cite only the page in a non-standard format.  They should invest the time to craft standard quality source citations now, rather than later, or never.  They get a grade of D.
*  The three software programs I use, RootsMagic 4, Legacy Family Tree 7 and Family Tree Maker 2011, create near-standard source citations with their source templates based on Evidence! Explained and several other models.  Good for them - they get a grade of A-.
That was fun!  Which one should I review next?  It's probably not worth the effort - hopefully, the companies will get the message and improve their source citation creation models.  Who will do it first?

Updated 10 p.m.  sorry about the formatting problem.  I didn't look at the posted format...dumb! 

Tuesday's Tip - How to Find New/Updated Collections on

This week's Tuesday's Tip is to:  Check out the latest new and updated historical collections on Family Search ( by clicking on the "Last Updated" link to see them in date order.

The default view any time a user comes to the collections page is the list of Historical Collections available in alphabetical order.  Here is today's screen:

As you can see, there are 669 collections available, listed alphabetically. 

To find the most recent collections added or updated in date order, click on the "Last Updated" link on the screen above, with the result below:

An added bonus:  How to search for collections for a specific country, state, or record type:  Use the search field on the upper left side to find collections - I input "new jersey" in the field and the results were:

The problem I have is when I go back to the Historical Collections page after browsing or searching, it always reverts back to the alphabetical listing. 

After doing a keyword search like the above, you cannot return to that page of results for the keyword - you have to go to the main Historical Collections page and search again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Marriage Deposition in Joseph Oatley'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 a Deposition concerning a marriage included in the Revolutionary War Pension File of Joseph Oatley (1756-1815) of South Kingstown, Rhode Island.  His widow, Mary (Hazard) Oatley (1765-1857), applied in 1838 for a pension based on Joseph's Revolutionary War Service (File W. 21862).

One of the documents in this Pension File is a deposition written by Matthew Waite as dictated by Thomas Vernon, Minister of the Gospel, and Stated Supply of the Presbyterian Church in South Kingstown in 1838 (accessed on

The transcription of this document is:

South Kingstown December 7th 1838
I hereby certify that I find Recorded on the Record Books of Marriage of the Revd Joseph Torry formerly Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in this Town the following marriage viz, 29th Day of twenty ninth day January Seventeen hundred and Eight one Joseph Oatly and Mary Hazard (daughter of Stephen) both of the Town were Lawfully married - 29th Jany 1781. a true Copy with the Exception of the Date in writing, the same being Expressed in fair [??] Legible figures in above written.
Thomas Vernon Minister of the Gospel & Stated Supply of the Presbyt Church in South Kings..

I Thomas Vernon above named Depose and Say that I hold the Place of Stated Supply of the pulpit in the Presbyterian Church in South Kingstown in the County of Washington & State of Rhode Island and that the above is a true Extract from the Records of said Joseph Torry with the Exception above named as Certified by Me.
Thomas Vernon, Minister of the gospel,
& Stated Supply of the Presbyterian Church S.K.

The State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantation
South Kingstown December 7th ???? 1838 There personally appeared the Revd Thomas Vernon & Made ????? affirmation to the truth of the above Certificate & Deposition by him Submitted that the Above Named Extract was made by Me in his Presence and Signed by him in my Presence I also Certify that the Deponents Carracter for Truth and Veracity is Good --
Matthew Waite Justice Peace.

This deposition provides a date of marriage (29 January 1781, although it may have been written wrongly in the Record Book as 1780), the names of the couple (Joseph Oatly and Mary Hazard), the bride's father's name (Stephen), the place of marriage (Presbyterian Church of South Kingstown) and the minister (Joseph Torry). 

Some Google Plus Commentary

Are you on Google+ yet?  Google+ is the newest Social Network, and online genealogists are adopting it in droves.  If you want more information about Google + - see the help page here.

Here is one of the cartoons making the rounds on Google+:

There have been several posts about Google+ by geneabloggers - see:

*  Banai Feldstein's Google+ vs Facebook vs Twitter – 10 Things.

*  Tamura Jones's Google+

*  DearMYRTLE's 3 helpful GooglePlus posts and creating a vanity URL

*  Lorine McGinnis Schulze's Jumping on the Google+ Bandwagon

There will be many more!

The posts above have done a good job of describing the Google+ Project.

Here is my Profile page on Google+:

On my page, I can see who are in my Circles, all of my posts and their comments, etc.  I cannot see all of the posts by other people that I've commented on.

The default Circles in Google+ are Friends, Family, Acquaintances, and Following.  I created several new Circles for my Genealogy, Geneabloggers and San Diego Genealogists friends.  I can add my contacts to any Circle, even to several Circles.  I can send invitations (a limited number!) to people by knowing their email addresses, and Google+ tries to help me by showing me candidates from my Gmail email address book.

People in my Circles can read my posts on Google+ and I can read the posts of people who have me in one of their Circles.  I can read the posts of people in my circles by checking my "Stream:"

I can Comment on, Share and Like (using the +1 button) any post in my Stream. 

So far, I see these significant advantages of Google+ over Facebook and Twitter (perhaps as a result of Google+ being new):

1)  There seems to be more genealogy content on Google+ relative to Facebook.  There are more comments.

2)  There seems to be no limitation on characters or words in Google+ (Facebook has 500 characters, Twitter has 140). 

3)  Some geneabloggers are putting their links to posts, but they don't need to use a filename shortener. 

4)  Having different Circles, and being able to pick which Circles to receive each post, means that I can target only my Family or only San Diego genealogists, or only Geneabloggers.

Do you need an invitation? If so, email me at  I'll try!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Wikis for Genealogy Collaboration" at NSDCGS COGG Meeting on Tuesday, 12 July

The Computer Oriented Genealogy Group Meeting (COGG), of the North San Diego County Genealogical Society (NSDCGS), is on Tuesday, 12 July from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Carlsbad City Council Chambers (1200 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad CA 92008), and is open to the public.

Randy Seaver will present "Wikis for Genealogy Collaboration." 

The program synopsis and Randy's biography:

"What is a wiki, and why do I care?   A wiki is a website that permits easy creation and editing of interlinked web pages using a markup language or WYSIWYG text editor. Wiki software is used to create collaborative and community websites, corporate intranets and knowledge management systems. The origin of the word: “Wiki-wiki” in Hawaii means something quick and fast. The best online example is Wikipedia – the online collaborative encyclopedia.

"In this presentation, Randy will show and demonstrate some of the currently available wikis for genealogy that permit collaboration on genealogy information and family trees. The benefits and drawbacks of contributing to, and participating in, collaborative efforts will be discussed.

"Randy Seaver is a native San Diegan, a graduate of San Diego State University in Aerospace Engineering, and a retired aerodynamics engineer with a 38-year career at Rohr/Goodrich in Chula Vista. His ancestry is mainly colonial New England and Upper Atlantic, with some colonial German, French and Dutch forbears, and several 19th-century English immigrants.

"Randy’s activities include serving the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (former President, currently Newsletter Editor and Research Chairman); speaking occasionally to Southern California societies, libraries and groups; teaching Beginning Computer Genealogy senior adult classes at OASIS; and writing the Genealogy 2.0 column for the FGS’s FORUM Magazine. He is a member of NGS, NEHGS, SDGS, and CGSSD, and blogs daily about genealogy subjects at Genea-Musings, The Geneaholic, and the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe."

If you live in North County, and want to meet me live and in person, or just want to know about Wikis for Genealogy, please come to this meeting.