Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - True Confessions about Genea-Assets

Hello there, genea-collectors - it's SATURDAY NIGHT, time for more GENEALOGY FUN.

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

1)  Think about this:  Is all of your genealogical material, which you've gathered over the years, well organized?  Do you have papers, certificates, photographs and other ephemera squirreled away somewhere in your genealogy cave center?  Do you have forgotten digital files, including documents, photographs and notes hiding in your computer file folders?  It's Saturday night, do you know where ALL of your family history information is?

2)  Give yourself a grade (from A to F) on how well you've done with your filing of tangible and digital genealogical assets (two grades, one for each).  Brag about your organizational prowess if you deserve it - you can be a good example to the rest of us.  Bemoan your situation if your files are like mine.

3)  Look through your tangible or digital genea-assets and find something you've "lost," forgotten or overlooked that might add to your knowledge about one or more families.  Tell us what you found, how will it help you, and will you commit to analyze it, source it, and use it? 

4)  Write a blog post of your own, make a comment on this blog post, or enter a Facebook Status or Google Plus Stream item concerning your "find" and what you're going to do about it.

Here's mine:

I truly have too much information in both my tangible and digital family history files.  The paper I collected between 1988 and 1999 are in surname notebooks, and, in general, have not been looked at for a long time.  Then there's the tangible assets collected since 1999, which are not in the surname notebooks.  They are in piles on my bookcase shelves and my desktop.  The family photographs are in a big box on top of a file cabinet, under other stuff.  For tangible assets - my grade is a C-minus, I think.

I have my digital genea-assets in file folders with labels of Clients, Correspondence, Education, Forms, Funnies, Localities, Randy's Ancestry, Reports,  Societies, Software, Surnames, Talks and Websites.  My family photograph images are in the My Pictures folder, with the historic photos in an "Old Photos" folder.  Each file folder mentioned above has many sub-folders with many files.  I know that I have many digital files filed inconsistently, and most are named inconsistently. I need to go through these digital files and give them consistent names, weed out duplicates and obsolete files, and reorganize my File Folders.  For digital assets - my grade is a C-plus, I think.

My "Find:"  While clicking through my RootsMagic database yesterday, I noticed that my Vaux family data was poorly sourced, and that I didn't have any research notes for my ancestral line of Vaux back into England in the 1600s.  I recalled that I had downloaded chapters of a book manuscript compiled by Sara Vaux several years ago.  I managed to find the book chapters in a "Vaux Book" file folder in my "Vaux" file folder in my "Surnames" folder.  I eagerly tried to open one of the PDF files, but it required a password.  Hmmm.  I downloaded it in 2008, so if I look in my email files, I think that the password will be there.  Uh-oh, it's on the old computer.  I booted up that computer, searched my email files, and found the password.  I created a Password.rtf file in the "Vaux Book" folder.  It worked!

I read several of the chapters.  Great stuff here.  I had entered many of the persons and vital data before, but had few sources.  I added biographical data to the Notes in my RootsMagic database for three Vaux ancestral families, and entered source citation data for the persons in those families, all citing page numbers in the Vaux book manuscript (citing the source that I used).  There is much more to do on this project! 

I keep finding useful things to do each day - I think I'm avoiding working my way through the piles of unfiled papers, since there is much data that needs to be added to the database.  When that is completed, I can revamp my surname folders.  I have 127 pages of digital images obtained on my last library trip to Carlsbad that needs reviewing, analyzing and entering into the database.  The digital historical photographs need to be organized into person groups.  The digital surname and document folder files need to be put into family group folders. 

Whew.  I'll be up all night now worrying about how long this is going to take!  If I just stopped the paper and file collecting right now, my guess is that it would take me 10 years working 8 hours a day to put this all in order.  But that will not be much fun, and I need to have fun doing this.  I hope one of my daughters wants to sort it all out!

Frankly, it is much more fun to do online research, and write blog posts about websites and software, than to organize my files!

Surname Saturday - HUBBARD (England > CT > MA)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 265, who is Mary HUBBARD (1712-1754), one of my 6th-great-grandparents. [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts]

My ancestral line back through four generations of HUBBARD 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)

66.  Nathan Gates (1767-1830)
67.  Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855)

132.  Simon Gates (1739-1803)
133.  Susannah Reed (1745-1833)

264.  Amos Gates, born October 1706 in Stow, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died before 12 March 1783 in Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 528. Simon Gates and 529. Hannah Benjamin.  He married 07 November 1732 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
265.  Mary Hubbard, born 04 May 1712 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died before 10 December 1754 in Marlborough, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Amos Gates and Mary Hubbard are: Oliver Gates (1733-1813); Amos Gates (1735-1804); Simon Gates (1739-1803); Abraham Gates (1741-1806); Isaac Gates (1746-1831);

530.  Samuel Hubbard, born 27 April 1687 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 12 December 1753 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.   He married 08 December 1709 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
531.  Sarah Clark, born 14 July 1681 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 25 July 1720 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 1062. Samuel Clark and 1063. Rachel Nichols.

Children of Samuel Hubbard and Sarah Clark are: Ephraim Hubbard (1710-????); Mary Hubbard (1712-1754); Samuel Hubbard (1714-1783); Sarah Hubbard (1716-????); Lois Hubbard (1718-????).

 1060.  Jonathan Hubbard, born 03 January 1659 in Wethersfield, Hartford, Connecticut, United States; died 17 July 1728 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.   He married 15 March 1681 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
 1061.  Hannah Rice, born 1658 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 09 April 1747 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2122. Samuel Rice and 2123. Elizabeth King.

Children of Jonathan Hubbard and Hannah Rice are:  Mary Hubbard (1682-1769); Jonathan Hubbard (1683-1761); Hannah Hubbard (1685-1725); Samuel Hubbard (1687-1753); Joseph Hubbard (1689-1768); Elizabeth Hubbard (1691-1757); John Hubbard (1692-1761); Daniel Hubbard (1694-1784); Thomas Hubbard (1696-1728); Abigail Hubbard (1698-????); Ebenezer Hubbard (1700-1755).

2120.  John Hubbard, born 1630 in England; died before August 1702 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States.  He married about 1649 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
 2121.  Mary Merriam, born about 1630 in Hadlow, Kent, England; died 08 March 1721 in Hatfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 4242. George Merriam and 4243. Sarah.

Children of John Hubbard and Mary Merriam are:  Mary Hubbard (1651-1662); John Hubbard (1655-1748); Hannah Hubbard (1656-1662); Jonathan Hubbard (1659-1728); Daniel Hubbard (1661-1744); Mercy Hubbard (1664-????); Isaac Hubbard (1667-1750); Mary Hubbard (1669-1754); Sarah Hubbard (1672-1754).

 4240.  George Hubbard, born about 1600 in England; died January 1683 in Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.  He married before 1625 in England.
 4241.  Mary, born about 1600 in England; died 14 September 1675 in Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut, United States.

Children of George Hubbard and Mary are:  Mary Hubbard (1625-1713); John Hubbard (1630-1702); Sarah Hubbard (1635-1675); Hannah Hubbard (1637-1717); Elizabeth Hubbard (1638-1710); Abigail Hubbard (1640-1680); William Hubbard (1642-1702); Daniel Hubbard (1644-1720).
Sources used for the family information for these Hubbard families are:

Irvin W. Hubbard, Record of the Descendants of George Hubbard, one of the founders of Wethersfield, Milford and Guilford, Connecticut (Stockton, Calif.: the author, 1961).  

Harlan Page Hubbard, One Thousand Years of Hubbard History, 866 to 1895 (New York: the author, 1895).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family Tree Maker 2012 Beta News

I received this in email via the Weekly discovery email distribution about Family Tree Maker 2012 Beta testing:


Thank you for all of the testing and feedback regarding the new 2012 release of Family Tree Maker and TreeSync™: the ability to synchronize information in your tree between Family Tree Maker and This has been very useful to us and effective in helping us to make significant improvements to the software.

We are in the process of making some changes to our servers here at We suggest that you take a break from testing the sync process for the next couple of days. Tuesday morning (Aug. 16) we will post a new update that can be used for further testing. Notification of the new build will be sent in a follow-up email and posted on the Beta message board. In order to continue testing, your current beta version of Family Tree Maker 2012 will need to be uninstalled and the new update will have to be downloaded and installed.

When you get the new software, you'll notice that all of the trees you've been testing are no longer linked between Family Tree Maker and The changes we're making over the weekend will require that you delete all of the trees you have been using for testing. The new update is much more solid and includes some important improvements, and it is important that we start this next round of testing with a clean slate to help us insure that none of the problems with previous beta versions are showing up anymore.

In order to continue using the software after you've deleted the trees you've been using for testing, you will need to re-import new trees from your previous version of Family Tree Maker or download new trees from DO NOT continue to use any trees that have been synchronized during the beta period.

During the beta period, please continue to test only with a backup of your tree. To create and use a secondary copy of your online tree, you can download a current online tree to a GEDCOM file and then re-import it as a new tree. Then use the newly-imported tree for sync testing. To create and use a secondary copy of your tree in Family Tree Maker, use the Backup feature in your previous version of Family Tree Maker to make a backup file and then restore that file in Family Tree Maker 2012.

Please post any issues you find with new threads on the message board.

We are very excited about the new release of Family Tree Maker, and we thank you all for helping us to make it a solid release.

Many synchronization proboems between Family Tree Maker 2012 and Ancestry Member Trees have been reported on the FTM Sync Beta mailing list.  Many of them have been resolved, and most of them have been explored in detail by FTM staff, volunteers and beta-testers.

One of my significant problems was that when I synced my FTM2012 Tree to the Ancestry Member Tree, all of the children disappeared from the Ancestry tree (they were still in the database, but did not show up in the parents profiles.  This problem was traced to using the Version 306 of FTM2012 with an Ancestry tree created by a previous FTM2012 version.  Once I unlinked my Ancestry tree from the FTM2012 tree, copied my FTM2012 tree, loaded the copied tree in FTM2012, and uploaded it using FTM2012 into Ancestry, the children were there.  A subsequent synchronization worked also. 

If you are an FTM2012 beta tester, please follow the directions given above in this email. 

FGS 2011 Conference Program - my Wednesday selections

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2011 Conference, "Pathways to the Heartland,"  is September 7 to 10 in Springfield, Illinois.  i'm looking forward to attending and being an Official Blogger.

The program schedule is at  I decided that I'd better think about the presentations I want to attend.  Here's my list for Wednesday, 7 September:

8:30 a.m. W-100:  Plenary Session: How Will Our Society Survive? Do We Alter, Mutate, Modify, Shift or Switch? - David Rencher

9:30 a.m.  W-104: But It's My Family: Copyright Issues for Genealogists- Cath Madden Trindle

11 a.m.  W-113: Internet Collaborative Tools for Genealogical Societies - Jane G. Halderman

2 p.m.  W-118: Engaging a New Generation of Genealogists - D. Joshua Taylor

3:30 pm.  W-127:  Brainstorming Session - Education and Programs

5 p.m.  W-135:  Brainstorming Session - Marketing Your Society

As you can see from the program schedule, and by my selections above, Wednesday is devoted to genealogical society issues.  As the current Newsletter Editor, and former President, of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society, I am very interested in all of the issues presented throughout Wednesday.  Thankfully, the syllabus should have summaries for all of these presentations (except for the brainstorming sessions, I think). 

Follow Friday - Weekend Genealogy Fun

Here are my recommendations 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 Thomas MacEntee. This week's topic is "Read All About It - Newspapers and Genealogy" The guests are:

*   Tom Kemp of GenealogyBank and ObitsArchive 
*  Miriam Robbins of the Online Historical Newspapers website.

2) Listen to the FGS Radio - My Society show on Saturday (2 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. CT, 12 noon MT, 11 a.m. PT) hosted by Thomas MacEntee. The topic is "Self-Publishing for Genealogy Societies" The special guests are:

Kathryn M. Doyle, of the FGS-member society California Genealogical Society and Library in Oakland, California. Kathryn will tell us how CGSL has been able to move its current publications to a more efficient model using self-publishing platforms.
*  George G. Morgan of Aha! Seminars, Inc. as our FGS 2011 Conference Speaker of the Week about upcoming presentations at the conference in Springfield, Illinois this September

3) Check out the recent Webinars on:

* "Organizng for Success" with Karen Clifford (available free indefinitely from Legacy Family Tree)
* "The Power of DNA in Unlocking Family Relationships," with Ugo Perugo (available indefinitely from Legacy Family Tree)
* "Leveraging the Power of "We": a Watershed Event in Discovering Where to Find Your Ancestors (Research Wiki, Research Courses, and FamilySearch Forums)," with Michael  Ritchey (available from Legacy Family Tree).
* RootsMagic Webinars (all free) available at
* National Genealogical Society (NGS) Videos (free to view) at

4) 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).

5) Go to a local genealogical society program, or go to a library or repository with genealogical resources.   I'm going to the San Diego Genealogical Society meeting on Saturday morning to hear Barbara Renick make two presentations.

6) Do you still have material in your "genealogy piles" that needs to be added to your genealogy software program? I collected 127 pages two weeks ago at Carlsbad Library, and need to start adding that to my database.

7) Spend time with your family doing fun things.  I'm still recovering from Grandpa Camp, but have some photos to offload from the camera. 

Whatever you decide, please tell us about your genealogy endeavors on a social network or in a blog post. You never know when your experiences may stimulate or encourage others to do useful genealogy work.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More WikiTree Widgets available

I posted Check Out my Wikid at WikiTree! back in June, and WikiTree creator has added many more widgets since then.  These widgets can be embedded in web pages or files that use HTML.  The list includes these styles:

  1. Three-generation color tree widget (496 pixels wide by 495 pixels high)
  2. Three-generation black and white tree widget (496 pixels wide by 495 pixels high)
  3. Three-generation pedigree-style widget (400 by 804)
  4. Four-generation pedigree-style (500 by 820)
  5. Four-generation pedigree-style with locations (500 by 850)
  6. Barebones four-generation with no photos, etc. (420 by 420)
  7. Ten-generation paternal line (450 by 200)
  8. Ten-generation maternal line (450 by 200)
  9. Tree for an American immigrant family, with Ellis Island in the background (496 by 510 for this and all the following)
  10. Tree for a New York family
  11. Tree for a Chicago family
  12. Tree for a Massachusetts family
  13. Tree for a Nova Scotia family
  14. Tree for an Irish family
  15. Tree for an English, French, or Northern-European family
  16. Tree for an Italian or Southern-European family
  17. Tree for the World War 2 generation
1)  Here is an example of the Tree for a Massachusetts family:

2)  An example for a Four Generation Pedigree Chart with Locations:

Oops, looks like it ran out of space for the persons 7, 14, and 15.

3)  Here is a 10-generation maternal line:

updated live from WikiTree

These widgets are really pretty cool - and bloggers or website creators can add them easily.  You can add them to a book or family newsletter by snipping the image and saving it as a separate file. 

In order to create them, you do have to have a tree on WikiTree!

Thanks, Chris!

NOTE:  The widgets show up on the web page, but not in Google Reader.  If you lcick the links for each widget in the list above, the page takes awhile to load.

Comparing Vital Records databases with databases

I went to today to "collect" the birth and death record images for Clarence Edward Hildreth (1874-1878), son of Edward and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth.  I didn't have them, but I had the references to them.

FamilySearch has indexed databases with record images for Massachusetts Births, 1841 to 1915, Massachusetts Marriages, 1841-1915, and Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915, all from FHL microfilms of the record books at the Massachusetts State Archives.  These record books contain yearly reports from each town in Massachusetts on forms submitted by the town clerks to the State.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society website, AmericanAncestors (requires a subscription) has the Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910 database indexed with record images, so I want to compare them in this blog post.

1)  Here is the death record index report from FamilySearch for Clarence Hildreth's death:

The information indexed for this record is:

Event date: 21 Feb 1878
Event place: Leominster, Massachusetts
Gender: Male
Age: 3
Marital Status: Single
Birthplace: Leominster, Massachusetts
Estimated Birth Year: 1875
Father's name: Edw'd
Father's birthplace: Townsend
Mother's name: Sophia
Mother's birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Volume/Page/Certificate number: no5 page345
Film number: 960215
Digital folder number: 4221430
Image number 686

Here is the screen image for the record on the FamilySearch site (no sign-in required):

The user can save this image to their computer file folder - the JPG file size for this image is 410 kb.

The FamilySearch index indicates that this is from Volume 5, Page 345 of the Massachusetts Births, 1841 to 1915 database.

The Source citation suggested on FamilySearch for this record is:

Massachusetts Death, 1841-1915. index and images, FamilySearch ( 20 January 2011. death of Clarence E. Hildreth, 21 Feb 1878; microfilm number 960,215; Massachusetts State Archives, Massachusetts Division of Vital Statistics, State House, Boston, Massachusetts.

2)  On the website, the index and image record are shown below:

Above the image is the Page Index information needed for a source citation:

Volume: 303
Page: 345

The information indexed from this page is provided below the image:

The indexed information includes:

Name:  Clarence E. Hildreth
Year: 1878
Year: 1878
Location: Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Record Type: Death
Amended? No

The user can Save the image to his computer, choosing "Save" (puts it in some file folder) or "Save As" (puts it in the file folder you want).  The file size for this image is 7,446 kb. 

The Source citation for this record suggested on the AmericanAncestors site is:

Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1910. (From original records held by the Massachusetts Archives. Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2004.)

3)  Some conclusions:

*  FamilySearch provides only the town, not the county.  AmericanAncestors provide the town and county.

*  The AmericanAncestors image size is quite large, has good contrast, and therefore is very readable when magnified.  The FamilySearch image is smaller, has only fair contrast, but is readable when magnified. 

*  The FamilySearch index information is different from the AmericanAncestors index information.  FamilySearch provides much more information about the individual.

*  The FamilySearch index indicates Volume 5, page 345.  I believe that this is Volume 5 for Deaths in 1878, although the index record does not provide the year number.  These volumes are all on FHL microfilm.  A user can look in the FHL Catalog to determine the year and volume number (although some films have more than one volume), but that is more work for the user and is not always definitive.  The AmericanAncestors Index says Volume 303, Page 345.  This volume number is for the entire Massachusetts Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1841-1910 at the Massachusetts State Archives.  Both citations are correct, but using the overall volume is, I believe, the most useful source citation.

*  A user can search the FamilySearch databases for parents names, or using other fields, and with wild cards.  The AmericanAncestors search is only for first name, last name, a year range, and specific locations.

*  FamilySearch is free, AmericanAncestors requires a yearly subscription (or access at a library with a subscription).

Each website provides useful information, an index and images of the records.  I wish that:

*  FamilySearch included the overall Volume number of the VRs in their source citation, and provided the County.

*  AmericanAncestors provided more indexed information to facilitate searching, and included the record type, year, volume and page number in their source citation.

Treasure Chest Thursday - Sophia (Newton) Hildreth'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 
Sophia (Newton) Hildreth's (1834-1923) death certificate in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts....

I obtained this death certificate in person at the Leominster Town Hall (on election day - they were really busy!).

Here is the transcription of the death certificate (typed parts in italics, form lines underlined):

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
From the Records of Deaths in the City of Leominster, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
1. Date of Death: August 29, 1923
2. Name:  Sophia Hildreth
Maiden Name: [blank]
3. Sex, and whether Single, Female
Married or widowed: Widowed
4. Age: 86 Years 11 Months  15 Days
5. Color: White
6. Disease or Cause of Death:  Old Age
7. Residence: Leominster, MA
8. Occupation:  None
9. Place of Death: Leominster Hospital, Leominster, MA
10. Place of Birth: Springfield, VT
11. Name of Husband or Wife:  Edward Hildreth
12. Name of Father:  Not Listed
13. Maiden Name of Mother:  (Buck) Newton
14. Birthplace of Father:  Cannot be learned
15. Birthplace of Mother: Massachusetts
16. Place of Interment: Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster, MA
I, AUDREY J. JOHNSON, depose and say that I hold the office of City Clerk of the City of Leominster, County of Worcester and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that the records of Births, Marriages and Deaths required by law to be kept in said City are in my custody, and that the above is a true extract from the records of Deaths in said City, as certified by me.

Date of Recording: 1899 WITNESS my hand and seal of said City, on the 17th day of September 19 90.
/s/ Audrey J. Johnson, City Clerk.

I am not surprised that the informant did not know Sophia's father's name, or his birthplace.  Sophia's daughter (Hattie Louisa Hildreth) and son-in-law (Frank Walton Seaver) died before she did, and one of her grandsons, either Frederick Walton Seaver or Harry Clifton Seaver was probably the informant. 

The birth date of Sophia from her death certificate calculates to 14 September 1836.  It is likely that Sophia was born 14 September 1834, rather than 1836.  She was 18 years old at her marriage in 1852, age 46 in the 1880 Census, born in September 1835 in the 1900 census, age 73 in the 1910 census, and age 82 in the 1920 census.  So we have a range from 1833 to 1837. 

Her birthplace is also in question.  In her marriage record, she is listed as born in Vermont.  In her son's death record, she is listed as born in Cambridge, Vermont.  In her death certificate, she is listed as born in Springfield, Vermont. 

I just realized that I don't have an image of the death certificates of Hattie Louisa (Hildreth) Seaver and frank Walton Seaver.  Drat, did I miss them when I scanned all of my certificate collection?  Or do I not have them?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

SDGS Meeting on Saturday, 13 August Features Barbara Renick

The August program meeting of the San Diego Genealogical Society is Saturday, 13 August, at 10 a.m. at St. Andrews Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd, at Jackson Drive, in San Diego). 

The featured speaker is Barbara Renick.  If you've attended a Family History Seminar or Conference in Southern California, you've most likely had an opportunity to sit in on a lecture by Barbara Renick.  She is truly a powerhouse and you've probably walked out of her lecture(s) thinking two things: "I learned a lot about that topic" and "I sure would like to hear another lecture by her."

Because of positive speaker response surveys and the smiles that stretched ear to ear after her last visit to SDGS, we knew our members would enjoy another visit. 

Barbara will present on two topics:

Session 1:  "Eleven Layers of Online Searches."  In this session, Barbara will walk us through using advanced search techniques to help you find more online before switching to classic resources such as books, periodicals, and microfilms/microfiche.  She will provide information regarding alternate search tools and insight, using as an example.

Session 2:  "Techniques for Searching Books Online."  In this session, Barbara will provide information on how books are scanned and indexed and how the method used to scan or index can affect your research efforts.  She includes a summary of what is available, how much is available, and where you can find it.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 165: Betty and the Cat

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 my mother, Betty Carringer, taken in about 1922, and is in the Pentecost album.  She is holding a cat, and the cat has somebody's spectacles on!  To Betty's right is the back end of a dog, but the dog's face is not seen in the picture. 

The photo was probably taken by Betty's father, Lyle Carringer, in the back yard of their home at 2130 Fern Street in San Diego.

Calling Genealogy 911 - Firefighter Needs Help

It's not often that we can help firefighters out, but Tim Werle needs our help as genealogy researchers.  See Susan Farrell Bankhead's post, Firefighter Needs Genealogy 911, on her Susan's Genealogy Blog.  Tim is Susan's son.

Tim asks:

"I am a firefighter in the City of Los Angeles and over the years of our existence a number of great men have lost their lives in the line of duty. We have a hall at our training center that has photos of them all with the exception of just a few. I am wondering how genealogy, record searches, and the internet can help us find a photo of these great men so that we may give them the honor they are due."

There are seven names there, all of whom died before 1944, apparently in the line of duty.

Susan asks:

"So, Dear Readers: How would you go about finding something specific you need in your research? Would you “Tweet” it or “Google” it or post a message on Facebook or head to specific internet sites?"

If you have a little extra time on your hands today, give it a try and please comment on Susan's blog if you find something. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Memorable geneology moments on Twitter

I've been missing all day today because of family history making events - my daughter and grandsons are here for the week and we've been doing all of the "tourista"things. 

Therefore, a quick and dirty post at what people are saying on Twitter about genealo, er, geneology.  Enjoy.  Or not.  Your choice.  I do recommend that you NOT click on the links involved.

spooky  Psychic Reading. Ask about Your Ancestry Geneology Home

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

Heritage Happens  [HH] Sorry...Trying this again...Adventures of a New URL

Traci Jennings  Family isn't defined by geneology...but by loyalty

Guy C  Genesis chapter 11 verse 10, Explains the geneology of Chem. Chem was a black man in Africa, If you repeat this fact they can't laugh at ya

Ms Praxis  They should do geneology - I'm sure they're related to the Palins.

George P.  Are all countries obsessed with geneology? Do the irish say they're like half english? Or chinese say they are 1/60th something?

TracyLynne  U have got to be related to Dolly Pardon, do your geneology chart, the resemb and body shape looks like you could be her dau

lynsey turner  Doing the geneology of my family is fooking confusing

Bob Courchaine  talk w/ the sibs this week. a cuz of my dad did the homework. i'm a descendant of ! i must be a duke or something.

I resisted the urge to comment on most of these...they speak for themselves.  That wasn't all of them, either - only a select few!  Now I'm wondering how many of these are my Twitter followers?  Or that I follow. 

Tuesday's Tip - Check the Chronicling America Website for Historical Newspapers

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Check the Chronicling America website ( for historical newspaper articles in the 1836 to 1922 time period. 

There are now 547 newspapers, with over 4 million pages digitized, included in the Chronicling America website provided by the Library of Congress.  Free to search, download and read. 

The About page on the website says:

"Chronicling America is a Website providing access to information about historic newspapers and select digitized newspaper pages, and is produced by the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP). NDNP, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Library of Congress (LC), is a long-term effort to develop an Internet-based, searchable database of U.S. newspapers with descriptive information and select digitization of historic pages. Supported by NEH, this rich digital resource will be developed and permanently maintained at the Library of Congress. An NEH award program will fund the contribution of content from, eventually, all U.S. states and territories."

Here is what the screen looks like for one newspaper page:

Each page on the site shows a simple search engine at the top of the page - the user can select states, year ranges and enter keywords to search with.  There is also an Advanced Search page where the user can select a specific newspaper in addition to the states and year range, and can restrict the search to "any of the words," "all of the words," ""the exact phrase," and/or "with the words within N words of each other."  Note that the user cannot exclude any  words.  The user should not use quote marks for exact phrases on the Basic Search or wild cards in either search.

Besides the 4 million digitized newspaper pages on the site, there is a U.S. Historic Newspaper Listing, 1690 to the present, which provides the names of newspapers and their publication date ranges, for many historical United States newspapers.  The web page says:

"This directory of newspapers published in the United States since 1690 can help identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them. Use the options below to select a particular place and time, using keywords to locate specific titles. Titles currently listed: 140,115."

Unlike almost every other major historical newspaper website that genealogists use to find family history information, this one is free to search.  It's a tremendous resource!

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Ideal WDYTYA Season

Susan Petersen (Long Lost blog) posted Open Discussion Weekend: YOUR Ideal Season of Who Do You Think You Are? on Friday, but I've been busy, and I wanted to contribute my ideas. 

Susan asks:

"Imagine, just for a moment, that you are the producer of the hit NBC television series, Who Do You Think You Are? What celebrities would you like to see on your perfect season of the show? And why would you choose them?"

Easy, isn't it?  If only some of these celebrities were my first or second couisns, maybe they could solve my Thomas J. Newton, William Knapp, Hannah Smith, and other elusive ancestor puzzles.

Here is my list of wanna-sees for WDYTYA:

1)  LaDainian Tomlinson - This all-pro ex-Charger (broke my heart when he went to the Jets) must have an interesting background - where did the name LaDainian come from?  His mom's still alive (and stars in commercials), so they can ask her questions.

2)  Ted Williams - This all-time favorite San Diego born player had a rough youth - I'd love to know who his ancestors were and how he overcame his life situations to become one of the best baseball hitters over.  He is deceased, but they could work with his children.  Or get his brain out of the deep freeze.

3)  Elizabeth Shown Mills - this all-pro genealogist surely has some elusive ancestors.  If she doesn't, the stories she can tell about her ancestors, and how she researched them, would hold my interest for days if not weeks.

4)  Donald Trump - Where in the world did this guy get his business smarts?  He has German and Scottish roots.

5)  Whoopi Goldberg - her ancestry may be really interesting, and the show may be really funny.  Or sad.  Or both.

6)  David Petraeus - this General and current CIA Director could be a future President too...and his ancestry might be really interesting.

7)  Tiger Woods - he claims to be Cablinasian (Caucasian, Black, Indian and Asian) ...and several researchers have found two or three generations back.  Exploring his claimed Indian and Chinese ancestries might be interesting and instructive.

8)  Rush Limbaugh - I know that this has been done to some degree, but the stories and research into them might be fascinating and revealing.

I really would rather see details about the research - how, where, why, etc. than hear the tug-the-heartstring stories.  But that's just me. 

Come on, NBC, give us some really great celebrities in the next WDYTYA season.

Amanuensis Monday - the will of William Hagar (????-1684) of Watertown, Massachusetts

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 will of William Hagar (????-1684) of Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.  He died testate, and his will was written 10 January 1683/4, and was proved 1 April 1684.  The will reads (transcribed from Middlesex County Probate Records, Volume 6, pages 126-128, LDS Microfilm 0,521,762):

"Dated 10 11 month 1683.

"I William Hager of Watertowne being sick in body, yet through God's goodness sound in my memory, do declare this to be my last will & testament as followeth

"1.  I give unto my loving wife Mary Hager seven pounds a year to be payd quarterly one third part in money & the other two in on halfe in Indian corn & the other in English grain to be payd yearly during the term of her annuall life.   Also I give and bequeath unto my loving wife aforesd the east end of my dwelling house & cellar for her use during her lifetime.  Also my will is that if my loving wife shall stand in need or more than the abovesd seven pounds a year that then she shall have so much out of my estate payd by my executor as my loving wife shall stand in need off.  Also I give unto my loving wife ten pounds to be payd in such necessary household stuff as my loving wife shall choose for her use and to dispose of at her death to whom shee will.

"2.  I give unto my daughter Ruhama Waight two pounds to be payd within one year after my decease in corn & cattle.

"3.  I give unto my daughter Hannah Priest five pounds to be paid within two years after my decease in corn & cattle.

"4.  I give unto my daughter Susannah Grout fifty shillings to be paid within three years after my decease in country pay.

"5.  I give unto my daughter Sarah Whitney five pounds to be paid within four years after my decease in corn & cattle.

"6.  I give unto my daughter Rebecca Healy three pounds to be payd within five years after my decease in corn & cattle.

"7.  I give unto my daughter Abigail Hager eight pounds one halfe to be payd at her marriage the other halfe to be paid within one year after in corn & cattle.

"8.  I give unto Mehitabel Hager eight pounds one halfe to be payd at her marriage the other halfe to be payd within one yeare after in corn & cattle.

"9.  Also I nominate & appoynt my loving sons Samuel Hager & William Hagar Executors to this my last Will to receive all due to me & to pay all my just debts & that my son Samuell shall have thirty pounds more in housing than my son William and then my whole estate both lands & moveables shall be equally divided between my two sons Samuel Hagar & William Hagar also my will is that my two sons pay all debts ... legacys equally.  Also I assigne my body to the dust from whence it was taken & my spirit to God that gave it, declaring this to be my last will & testament.  In witness wherbe I sett to my hand
................................................... William Hagar" (his mark)
"In ye prsnce of us
Robt Harrington
Benjamin Garfield
Richard Cutter"

A true inventory of the estate was taken 10 February 1683 by Robert Harrington, (an unreadable name) and Benjamin Garfield.  It showed real estate valued at 264 pounds:

*    A homestall contayning about eight acres with a dwelling house and outhouses belonging to it with a small orchard (100 pounds)
*    Nineteen acres of upland on the little plaine (30 pounds)
*    Twelve acres of upland on the great plaine (20 pounds)
*    Seventy acres of upland called Dividend land (70 pounds)
*     Eighteen acres of upland lying on Bungry hill (9 pounds)
*    Twelve acres of upland lying near Edward Sanders's (6 pounds)
*    Three acres of meadow in ... meadow (15 pounds)
*    Seven acres of meadow in Thatcher's meadow (14 pounds)

The personal estate totalled 89 pounds, 14 shillings, and the total estate was apprized at 353 pounds, and 14 shillings.

On 1 April 1684, Samuel Hagar and William Hagar took oath in court that this was a true inventory and if any more should appear they will cause it to be added hereto.

My link to William Hagar is his daughter, Sarah, who married Nathaniel Whitney (1647-1733), son of John and Elinor (--?--) Whitney. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 31 July to 6 August 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:

The FamilySearch Tree's "Universal" Future by Michael McCormick on the Enduring Legacy Genealogy blog.  Mike relates Gordon Clarke's comments about New FamilySearch.

Essential NON-Genealogy Books about New England  by Marian Pierre-Louis on Marian's Roots and Rambles blog.  Marian's readers submitted these books for her list - it's superb!

* is an Animal  by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog.  Mr. AI summarizes a talk about's search capabilities from the BYU Conference.  I'm encouraged - I think I hit all of thesep oints in my own talk recently.

BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy 2011  by Susan LeBlanc on the Gopher Genealogy blog.  Susan summarizes her experiences at the BYU Conference.

J.K. Rowling's Case of Mistaken Identity - Why Genealogists Caught What Others Missed by Kimberly Powell on the Genealogy blog.  Kimberly did independent research on Rowling and found what the WDYTYA researchers did - this is a great research story!

Land Records 101: Why Land?, Land Records 102: State Lands vs Public LandsLand Records 103: State Land Descriptions, and Land Records 104: Public Land Descriptions by Susan Farrell Bankhead on Susan's Genealogy Blog.  This is an outstanding series on land records - a keeper!

A Little Land Record Lesson by Anne Roach on The TechnoGenealogist blog.  Anne visited a busy county office and learned a new way to look at land records. In teresting!

5 Tips for Snapping the Perfect Dear Photograph Picture, A Not-So-Wordless Wednesday Post by Denise Levenick on The Family Curator blog.  Denise provides guidance for making a neat Dear Photograph photograph.

Carnival of Genealogy, 108th Edition by Jasia on the Creative Gene blog.  This monthly carnival has 17 posts on the subject of "Food."

Adoption Record Research by Carolyn Barkley on the blog. This excellent article may help many adoptees trying to find their own birth parents, or help researchers trying to help adoptees.

Open Discussion Weekend: YOUR Ideal Season of Who Do You Think You Are? by Susan Petersen on the Long Lost blog.  Susan shares her list, and wants to know yours. 

Are you practicing Genealogy Ethically? by Dave Dowell on the Dr. D. Digs Up Ancestors blog.  It's a good question, and Dave offers some commentary and questions for us to answer.

The Case of the Forged Will and The Court Battle Continues: The Case of the Forged Will, part 2 by Claudia Breland on the Claudia C. Breland Genealogy and Online Research blog.  Claudia's excellent genealogy detective work brings this case back to life.  I found it fascinating.

Are you sure you're looking in the right county for those records? by Randy Majors on the blog.  Randy has tweaked his Historical County Boundary Maps interactive tool so you can see the county boundaries every ten years.  This is really cool.

Several genea-bloggers wrote weekly pick posts and news summary posts this week, including:

Monday Morning Mentions by Lynn Palermo on The Armchair Genealogist blog.

Monday's Link Roundup by Dan Curtis on the Dan Curtis ~ Professional Personal Historian blog.

Ruth's Recommendations by Ruth Blair on The Passionate Genealogist blog.

Genealogy Round Up, August 4 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.

Genealogy News Corral, August 1-5 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 1020 genealogy bloggers using Google Reader, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.