Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday's "Good Genea-Reads"

Since I'm not doing a regular Best of the Genea-Blogs this week (with my own picks), I do want to highlight some of my favorite genealogy blog posts that I've read on Saturday:

A first look at the new Facebook profile by Carole Riley on the Social Media and Genealogy blog.  Carole gives us a sneak preview of the new Facebook Timeline and profile that will be released on 1 October to all users.  Great work, Carole!

Two Plus Two May Equal Six: School Days by Susan Bankhead on Susan's Genealogy Blog.  Susan provides several examples of how school records have added to her family history knowledge.

Back to Fair Use for Genealogists by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog.  This is part of James's series on copyright issues, and is very important for genea-bloggers.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What does Spokeo Know About You?

Hey there, genea-philes - it's Saturday Night -- time for more Genealogy Fun!!

I'm always on the lookout for websites that can find living people.  I read about Spokeo this week and thoguht that I would try it out.

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

1)  Go to Spokeo - and put in your name (or any name). 

2)  See what Spokeo says about you.  Is it accurate? 

3)  Share what you want to share with us in a blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook, or in a Stream post on Google Plus.

Here's mine (complete with some screen captures):

I went to and entered my name as Randall Seaver.  It found people with that name in six places:

I figured that I was the one in California, so I clicked on the blue stick pin in Southern California.  The to of the next page is:

This screen tells me the following:

*  Gender:  Male (correct)
*  Age:  Late 60s (correct)
*  Phone:  (right area code and prefix, number hidden, correct as far as I can tell)
*  Address: (right street, number hidden, correct as far as I can tell)
*  Location:  Chula Vista, California (correct)

In the bottom half of the screen above, there are boxes for different items, including:

*  Male (correct)
*  Late 60's (correct)
*  Married (correct)
*  Residence: Single Family (correct)
*  Home Value: $362L (approximately correct)
*  Hobbies: Travel, Cooking (not exactly!)
*  Ethnicity:  African-American (um, wrong according to DNA testing)
*  Zodiac: Libra (I've always thought I was a Scorpio)
*  Politics:  no info
*  Religion:  Protestant (correct)
*  Education:  no info
*  Occupation:  no info

For any of these boxes, if you click on them or a link you are taken to the subscription page.  Presumably, if you pay up, they will provide this information.

Further down the page is a Google Street View picture of my property...but it's the north edge of the property fronting on the street below - a hillside.  Further down are lines for the property information, but it's not filled in.

The next section is Family:

It says that I have seven family members.  There's myself, my wife, my two daughters, and my deceased mother.  The ages are approximately correct.  They added another entry for my wife and one of my daughters (and got her age wrong).

Below that is the Wealth section.  A dial shows my economic health as tending toward low and there is no indicator on the Wealth bar.  I think that these are generic, not exact.  Below that is the Lifestyles and Interests section, and it is difficult to figure out what the symbols mean - again, this is generic without paying the fee.

Next is the Astrological information, then the Photos and Videos (generic, not my photos), the Social Networks (generic), and the Neighborhood (generic, not accurate).

It is apparent that, in order to get the full information set, that you need to subscribe ($2.95 per month for 12 months, $3.95 per month for 6 months, $$4.95 per month for three months).  That is pretty cheap compared to some of the other living person information websites. 

I tried my brothers, my daughters, and several geneabloggers (heh heh) and it found almost everyone.  It didn't list my grandchildren, however. 

I am curious as to their sources and accuracy of the information.  The disclaimer at the bottom of the page says:

"All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a credit reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, or for any other purposes covered under the FCRA."

I believe that we all need to be aware of the various services available on the Internet and the information that each site might provide.  If I was looking for long lost relatives, or supporting a family reunion or class reunion, this might be a good investment.

Surname Saturday - FISHER (England > Medfield MA)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am up to number 277, who is  Abigail FISHER (1711-1785), one of my 6th-great-grandparents. [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts]

My ancestral line back through five generations of FISHER  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)

34. Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840)
35. Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1969)

68. Aaron Smith (1765-1841)
69. Mercy Plimpton (1772-1850)

138.  Amos Plimpton (1735-1808)
139.  Mary Guild (1735-1800)

276.  John Plimpton was born on 18 Aug 1708 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. He died on 8 May 1756 at the age of 47 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. He  married on 3 May 1731 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
277.  Abigail Fisher was born on 10 Sep 1711 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. She died on 19 Feb 1785 at the age of 73 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

John Plimpton and Abigail Fisher had the following children:  John Plimpton (1731-1754); Amos Plimpton (1735-1808); Olive Plimpton (1737-1768); Abner Plimpton (1742-1814); Unity Plimpton (1746-1828).

554.  John Fisher was born on 22 Dec 1677 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. He died on 14 Aug 1727 at the age of 49 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. He married on 23 Apr 1705 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
555.  Abigail Smith was born on 18 Dec 1686 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. She died on 3 Feb 1725/6 at the age of 39 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

John Fisher and Abigail Smith had the following children:  Solomon Fisher (1706-1706); Abigail Fisher (1707-1711); Sarah Fisher (1709-1711); Abigail Fisher (1711-1785); John Fisher (1714-1777); Sarah Fisher (1719-1756); Joshua Fisher (1725-????).

1108.  John Fisher was born on 18 Feb 1652 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. He died on 15 Oct 1727 at the age of 75 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. He was married on 6 Mar 1674 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
1109.  Hannah Adams was born on 16 Jan 1656 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. She died on 1 Nov 1746 at the age of 90 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

John Fisher and Hannah Adams had the following children:  Hannah Fisher (1674-????); John Fisher (1677-1727); Rachel Fisher (1680-1712); Mehitable Fisher (1682-1751); Joshua Fisher (1685-1749); Josiah Fisher (1692-1781); Abigail Fisher (1698-1701).

2216.  Joshua Fisher was born before 2 Apr 1621 in Syleham, Suffolk, England.  He died on 10 Aug 1672 at the age of 51 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. He was married on 15 Mar 1643 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
2217.  Mary Aldus was born before 18 Oct 1623 in Fressingfield, Suffolk, England. She died on 3 Sep 1653 at the age of 29 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

Joshua Fisher and Mary Aldus had the following children: Mary Fisher (1644-????); Joshua Fisher (1645-1646); Hannah Fisher (1647-1648); Abigail Fisher (1649-????); Joshua Fisher (1651-1709); John Fisher (1652-1727); Hannah Fisher (1653-????).

4432.  Joshua Fisher was born before 24 Feb 1585 in Syleham, Suffolk, England.  He died on 9 Nov 1674 at the age of 89 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States. He was married before 1619 in probably Suffolk, England.
4433.  Elizabeth died before 11 Sep 1638 in Syleham, Suffolk, England. She was born in England.

Joshua Fisher and Elizabeth had the following children:  Elizabeth Fisher (1619-1651); Joshua Fisher (1621-1672); Mary Fisher (1623-1691); Hester Fisher (1625-1625); Sarah Fisher (1627-1627); Amos Fisher (1630-1630); John Fisher (1634-1668);  Samuel Fisher (1635-1638).

Useful publications include:

*  Robert Charles Anderson, "English Records of Joshua Fisher of Dedham, Massachusetts," The American Genealogist, Volume 66, Number 3, July 1991.

*  William S. Tilden (editor) History of the Town of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886 (Boston, Mass.: Geo. H. Ellis, 1887).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday's "Good Genea-Reads"

Since I'm not doing a weekly Best of the Genea-Blogs this week, I do want to highlight some of my favorite genealogy blog posts that I've read on Friday:

Darned Second Enumerations by the writer of The Ancestry Insider blog.  Here is an interesting explanation of second enumerations, and why the results don't always match up.

Notes on Preserving Your Family Collections by Lynn Betlock on the Daily Genealogist blog.  This article includes a list of archival supply companies.

Genealogy Columns in Newspapers: Important Resources for Your Research by Carolyn Barkley on the blog.  Excellent article about a rarely mentioned and rarely used resource. 

Why we don’t always need source citation templates … and … but we do need Evidence Explained. by Michael Hait on the Planting the Seeds blog.  Well said!

Dear Randy: " I've searched everywhere for my ancestor. What Now?"

My society colleague "Mary" (not her real name) emailed me recently, saying:

 "Dear Randy:  I've searched everywhere for my ancestor.  What else can I do?  He seems to have dropped out of the sky into the 1850 census with no known parents." 

Dear Mary:  Your problem is a common one for researchers for ancestors in the first half of the 19th century.  I have several similar "brick wall" problems myself that just don't seem to be possible to solve. 

We discussed, via email, your particular problem, and you noted that you have scoured the online databases and family trees at,,,,, Google Books, and the Internet Archive for information about your ancestor in the places that he lived in the 1850 census and afterwards.

Here are the places that I would search next:

1)  Check the Library Catalog ( for the records that are on microfilm or microfiche for the PLACE (state and county and town) where your ancestor resided.  You should pay close attention to the vital, church, land, probate and tax records.  Order the microfilms/microfiches and search them for your ancestor and others of the same surname (or variants). 

2)  Check the Library Catalog ( for the records that are either on the shelf in Salt Lake City or that are on microfilm or microfiche for your ancestor's SURNAME, including variations in surname spelling.  Order the microfilms/microfiches that might have your ancestor in them and search them.  Put any on-the-shelf books at the Family History Library in SLC on a to-do list and travel to Salt Lake City if necessary.

3)  Contact the genealogical and/or historical societies for the state, county and town (if extant) by postal mail, email or telephone, and determine if they have family files (sometimes called "vertical files") for your ancestor's surname, and determine if they will copy them and send them to you (for a fee).  Inquire as to what other records they might have (indexed or unindexed) that you can search (or have searched for you).

4)  Search the holdings of the County or State Archives in the locations where your ancestor lived.  State Archives often have a wealth of material that is not indexed and not digitized.  State Archives collect records from state governments, and often from county or city governments withing the state. You will probably have to travel to the Archive location (or hire someone to do it) kin order to access these records, but they may contain the absolute unique records that you need to solve your problem.    Start at to find the state archive of interest, then search their catalog. 

5)  State and regional libraries collect items that pertain to their state and its inhabitants - like family history books, city and county books, maps, manuscripts, newspapers, paper collections, etc.  Search for the name and location for these repositories on the state or county pages.  Use the online catalog for each library to search for records of interest.  Many manuscript collections at repositories are listed in NUCMC (National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections).

6)  Search the U.S. National Archives for military service and pension records, immigration and emigration records, citizenship records, federal government legislative, employment and court records, land records, and much more in their archival collections.  Start at  Very few of these records are indexed or digitized. 

7)  Historical newspapers may be available for your location or region of interest.  Check the U.S. NewspaperDirectory, 1690 to Present ( for the names of newspapers published in your location, and the years covered.  Then check the Online Historical Newspapers Website (, the Historical Newspapers Online site (, and local, regional and state libraries to determine if they have been digitized or indexed.  

All of these resources may contain original source records that may have information about your ancestral families. 

As most of us know and understand, the online historical record collections are a great benefit to our research, but not all records are digitized as images, and not all historical record images have been indexed.  In fact, some "experts" think that 3% (or less) of "all" genealogy records are digitized or indexed, and some think that the number is even smaller! 

The conclusion that can be drawn from that statistic is that there is a wealth of  genealogy and family history material available only in libraries, archives, homes and businesses that researchers should try to access and review in their ancestral search.

What would you add to my list above?  I tried to make it fairly general so that readers could apply it to their own research "brick wall" problems.  Please make comments on online and traditional resources. 

J.K. Rowling's "Who Do You Think You Are?" episode (England)

I had great genealogy fun last night, and learned quite a bit, and was mesmerized watching the BBC episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" featuring Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling.  The episode can be viewed at, or click on the video below:

All of the publicity and commentary I've read about this episode focussed on the fact that the family thought that her grandfather, Louis Volant, was a Legion of Honor medal recipient, but Jo finds out that it was wrongly given to the family. 

For me, the best part of this story is the challenge of finding her grandfather's mother's name and her family.  It's very touching, and the records reviewed in the entire episode are very interesting.  I noted that they didn't visit very often, either!

Follow Friday - Weekend Genealogy Fun

Here are my recommendations for some 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 "Genealogists Bore Their Families – What You Can Do About It." The special guests include:

Michael Katchen of the startup company discussing ways in which you can engage your family in genealogy and family history.
*  Walt Grady of Couragent, Inc., the innovative maker of the Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner – the hottest gadget in genealogy right now .
*  Genealogy blogger Joan Miller of will share some of the innovative ways in which she personally has been able to share her genealogy research without having family members run in the opposite direction.

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 this week. The topic is "Your Society’s Facebook Presence." 
The highlights:

*   Using a Q&A format which was popular in workshops at the recent FGS 2011 conference, Thomas will review some of the issues involved with making sure your genealogy society can harness the power of Facebook.
*  We’ll be highlighting the Elgin (IL) Genealogical Society in our weekly Society Spotlight feature.

3) Check out the recent Webinars on:

Researching Your Connecticut Ancestors. by Marian Pierre-Louis (free until 3 October 2011)
* Exploring and by their founder, Paul Allen.
* Facebook for Genealogists, by Thomas MacEntee (free until 26 September 2011).
* "Newspapers for Genealogists: Using to document every day of your ancestors' lives" with Tom Kemp.
* "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 (some are free to view) at
* Thomas MacEntee's Explorinar on Easy Website Creation (free to view).
* Thomas MacEntee's Explorinar on Evernote - Easy Note Taking UPDATED (free to view)

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 Chula Vista Genealogical Society Fall Seminar on Saturday featuring Anne Bowman and Donna Bradley.

6)  Go to a local or close repository with genealogy and family history material.  Do some research in traditional resources or order FamilySearch microfilms online with original source records.

7)  do some online research in the latest record collections at FamilySearch  (free,, Ancestry ($$,, Fold3 ($$,, WorldVitalRecords ($$,, American Ancestors ($$,, GenealogyBank ($$,, etc.

8) Add material (names, dates, places, notes, images, sources, etc.) to your genealogy software program. I have three inches of paper collected from my vacation, and will try to enter some of it into my database this weekend.

9) Spend time with your family doing fun things. Linda and I are going to the Padres-Dodgers game on Saturday and the Padres-Cubs game on Monday.

10) Go to a local cemetery and clean stones, take gravestone pictures, or transcribe epitaphs for your local society, for Find-a-Grave, or a similar online service.

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, September 22, 2011

Thursday's "Good" Genea-Reads

Since I'm not doing a weekly Best of the Genea-blogs this week, I do want to highlight some of my favorite genealogy blog posts that I've read since I've been home (since Wednesday night).

Jerks, Genea-Karma, Donuts & Dreams by Caroline Pointer on the Family Stories blog.  She had me just on the title, but the example of using is great!  Makes me want to get smart phone with this App.

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground, Day 2  by Liz Tapley-Matthews on the My Tapley Tree ... and its Branches.  Liz and her mom visited Monticello and shows us what she found.

Genealogy in Greek Speak by Susan Bankhead on Susan's Genealogy Blog.  Susan summarizes what NUCMC, PERSI, worldCat and JSTOR mean. 

BIFHSGO 2011 Conference – Day 3 by Elizabeth Lapointe on the Genealogy Canada blog.  Elizabeth summarized her day at the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.  Read the other day summaries too.  Sounds like it was a good conference.

FHC and Me by Kim von Aspern-Parker on the Le Maison Duchamp blog.  Kim works at an FHC, and extrols the virtues and benefits of using them for genealogy research.  Amen!

Family Tree Maker 2012 Pre-Sale

As an newsletter subscriber, I've received several emails about Family Tree Maker 2012 with TreeSync software.   The 8 September email offered a 20% discount from the retail price of $39.99 to $31.99.  The 22 September email offers a 40% discount price of $23.99. 

If a reader goes to the Shop site, or the Family Tree Maker website (, the link is to the $31.99 site (

The link for the $23.99 price is  I'm choosing this one!

Both sites say that FTM 2012 will start shipping in "the last week of September 2011."

The "What's New" description says:

*  TreeSync — lets you easily synchronize your tree in Family Tree Maker with an online tree.
  • Access and update your tree anywhere. Continue your research wherever you are whether it’s through your computer,, even your iPhone or iPad.
  • Easily share your tree with your family, and even work on it together. Your family and friends can view the online version of your tree without any software or a subscription. They just login with their name and email and they can always see the latest version of your tree, and can even work on adding to it if you’d like them to.
  • Collaborate with the largest, most active family history community in the world. You can keep your online tree private or make it public so that others researching your family can always find the latest version of your research. You may connect with others who have insight on your ancestors or even rare photos to share with you. And you may even find relatives you didn’t know you had.
*  Blended family view — shows combined families, including stepfamilies and adoptees at a glance.
*  Improved Smart Stories — give you new tools for adding and editing details.
*  Chart personalization — lets you personalize charts by adding text and displaying generation labels such as parents, grandparents and great–grandparents
*  Index of individuals report — lists every individual in your tree, plus their birth, marriage and death dates.
*  Customized fact sentences — let you change wording and choose what data is included in sentences that Family Tree Maker generates for certain reports and Smart Stories.
*  Descendent charts between two people — make it easy to choose two individuals in your tree and create a descendant chart that shows their relationship. is also offering a "Family Tree Maker 2012 Complete" package (see the "Compare Products" tab on for $47.99 (retail price $79.99).  This includes (in addition to FTM 2012 and a 14-day free trial to

*  The Companion Guide to Family Tree Maker 2012:
This printed version (size 7x9) of the Companion Guide helps you get the most out of Family Tree Maker 2012. It takes you beyond the simple step-by-step instructions to the why, how and when of the software’s most popular features.
*  The Family History Toolkit:
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms: A Guide for Family HistoriansExplanation of abbreviations and acronyms found in census schedules, soundex indexes, mortality schedules, court records, etc.
  • Ancestry’s Concise Genealogy DictionaryDefinitions of unusual terms you might encounter in cemetery, probate, court, and medical records.
  • Hidden Sources: Family History in Unlikely PlacesOverview of sources that are often overlooked and where and how they can be found.
  • Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical RecordsGuide to printed sources such as vital records, family histories, land records, and more.
  • The Official Guide to Ancestry.comBecome more proficient with searching the site. Explore obscure databases you didn't know existed.
  • The Official Guide to RootsWebLearn to use the resources on RootsWeb and read success stories from the RootsWeb Community.
*  Photo Explosion Album:Make every photo picture perfect with the easy-to-use retouching tools in Photo Explosion Album. Fix exposure, adjust lighting and color saturation, sharpen images -even preserve photos on a DVD or CD. Plus, use with Family Tree Maker to print charts, manage photos, and make your family tree look better than ever., and other online book/software sites do not have Family Tree Maker 2012 on sale yet.  A user can expect to see an FTM 2012 Essentials (with one month US subscription), FTM 2012 Deluxe (with three month US subscription), and FTM 2012 Platinum  (with six month US subscription) in the coming months for a discounted price. New Subscription Discount

I was checking the website and noted that they are offering reduced priced subscriptions for new subscribers:

The deal is:

*  Annual 12-month subscription for the "World Explorer" membership is $19.95 per month, or $239.40 per year.  That is a 20% price reduction over the renewal price of $24.95 per month ($299.40 per year).

*  Annual 12-month subscription for the "U.S. Discovery" membership is $9.95 per month, or $119.40 per year).  That is a 23% price reduction over the renewal price of $12.95 per month ($155.40 per year).

For someone just starting out with, this is a pretty good deal (33 cents per day for the US membership, 66 cents per day for the World membership). 

In addition, a user can sign up for 14 days free membership.  However, if you do this, you need to either subscribe or cancel your trial membership before the 14 days are over in order to avoid paying the monthly subscription rate. 

Why is offering discounted one year membership rates?  I think that it's because of their "churn rate," which has been around 4% per month for the past two years.  That means that 4% of their subscribers drop their subscription EVERY MONTH!  That's almost 50% per year.  If they can keep more of their new subscribers by offering a discounted yearly rate, that is good for

It would be interesting to know the churn rate for the month-to-month subscribers, the quarterly subscribers, the half-year subscribers, and the yearly subscribers.  Is the churn rate that much lower for the yearly subscribers that there is no need for a discounted annual rate for existing subscribers?

Updated 5 p.m.:

In a Google Plus comment, Robert Burkhead noted:  "When checking out, use the coupon code G5JXTRY and the $23.99 price drops to $19.19"

In a Comment on this post, Ben Sayer noted:  "The first price is for the full version and the second for the upgrade."

Thanks guys -now you tell me!  I needed the upgrade anyway.  Will there be any difference between the full version and the upgrade?  Hmmm.

Visiting the Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Community Library

I described my research activities in the Beaver Dam (Wisconsin) Community Library in Day 10 of the Seaver Family History Mystery Tour.

I took some pictures of some of the records that I searched there:

1)  Here is the entrance to the Beaver Dam Community Library at 311 North Spring Street in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin:

2)  As soon as we entered, I asked Anita, a library employee, where the genealogy and local history section was located.  She guided me to the area which has two desks in front of some general genealogy books, and several bookcases with local history material.  There were also two microfilm reader and printer units in the area, and a cabinet full of Dodge County newspaper microfilms. 

Here is a picture of the desk area with the notebook for the indexed Dodge County Citizen newspaper index for 1856 to 1914:

3)  A look in the Dodge County Citizen newspaper index for pages with "Smith" is below:

The index has listings for births, marriages, deaths, anniversaries and probates, but not for general newspaper articles.  Unfortunately, my Devier, Mary and Ranslow Smith were not included.   Needless to say, this is a tremendous resource for Dodge County newspapers! 

4)  The bookcases opposite the desks have more local history records.  The photo below is of the bookcase with the Dodge County newspaper indexes, cemetery indexes, plat maps (1859 to the present), and telephone books:

The library has published a guide to the Beaver Dam Community Library Genealogy and Local History Collection.  The online version is at

The guide provides listings of other local genealogy and local history resources, including research libraries, vital records, and local history.  Anita suggested that I should visit the Dodge County Historical Society in Beaver Dam, and I'm glad I did because that's where I obtained the photo of Ranslow Smith's Four-Mile Inn taken in 1930.

Anita sent me links via email to:

History of Dodge County, Wisconsin (1880)

Dodge County, Wisconsin: Past and Present (1913)

*  The Dodge County Citizen Index, is online at

Genealogy research would be a whole lot easier in every county if volunteers and library staff had done as much work as the Beaver Dam and Dodge County local historians.  This is a gold mine for Dodge County, Wisconsin researchers.

My thanks to Anita for her help in my searches, and for having a great library to visit. 

Treasure Chest Thursday - Rose Anna (Noel) Seaver'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.

This week, the "treasure" is the death certificate for Rose Anna (Noel) Seaver (1897-1948) of Leominster, Massachusetts:

I obtained this death certificate by postal mail from the Leominster Town Clerk's office in 1996.

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

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
United States of America
From the records of deaths in the City of Leominster,
Massachusetts, U.S.A.
1. Date of Death:  April 24, 1948
2. Name:  Rose Anna Seaver
Maiden Name: Noel
3. Sex, and whether Single, : Female
Married, or widowed: Married
4. Age:  51 Years --- Months 9 Days
5. Color: White
6. Disease or Cause of Death:  Myocarditis, Chronic, with Myocardial Insufficiency
7. Residence: Leominster, Mass.
8. Occupation:  Housewife
9. Place of Death:  Leominster Hospital, Leominster, Mass.
10. Place of Birth: Nashua, N.H.
11. Name of Husband or Wife:  Harry C. Seaver
12. Name of Father:  Napoleon Noel
13. Name of Mother: Mary Lemoine 
14. Birthplace of Father: Canada
15. Birthplace of Mother:  Otter River, Mass.
16. Place of Interment: Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster, Mass.
I, BEVERLY J. DAVIS, 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:  5/6/38  WITNESS my hand and seal of said City, on the 7th day of November 19 96.
/s/ Beverly J. Davis, City Clerk.

Rose Anna Noel was born 15 April 1897in Nashua, New Hampshire to Napoleon and Mary (Lemoine) Noel.  She married Harry Clifton Seaver  (1885-1951) in about 1940 in Leominster. Harry and Rose had no children.   Harry Clifton Seaver was my granduncle, since he was the brother of my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942).

Before I obtained this death certificate, I did not know the full name of Harry's wife.  My discussions with my Seaver aunts and uncles told me nothing about her.  I know nothing more about the Noel family, but I wish that Harry and rose had had children because it might have been instructive and challenging to do French-Canadian research!

While Harry is not in my direct ancestral line, I wanted to obtain his death certificate, and that of his wife, in order to have the information available in my genealogy database. Besides, records like this are relatively cheap in Massachusetts - I think this one cost $3 in 1996.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Photos from the Allen County Public Library Visit

I described my activities at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana in Day 7 on the Seaver Midwest Genealogy Tour.  Here are some pictures that I took during my visit:

1)  On the wall opposite the second floor walkway leading to the Genealogy Center:

The sayings on the wall include:

*  "We need to haunt the house of history and listen anew to the ancestors' wisdom" -- Maya Angelou

*  "There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering" -- Theodore Roosevelt

*  How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mother's names." -- Alice Walker

*  "People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors." -- Edmund Burke

*  "For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?" -- Marcus Tullius Cicero

2)  The entrance to the Genealogy Center has an interesting display about Abraham Lincoln's ancestry, complete with an ancestral char (descendants of Samuel Lincoln)t:

3)  The main reading room near the national, state and county history books looks like this:

4)  I was looking for books in the stacks, and geneablogger Tina Lyons (GenWishList) found me to say hello:

5)  In the reading room with the family history books, there were two ladies doing a land records project for a Kentucky county: 

They were creating land maps from the deed records and then trying to tape them together in the proper place relative to geographical features and other land maps.  This is a really daunting project for a local genealogical society to attempt because of the three-dimensionality of the project - latitudinal and longitudinal location and time of the records - especially in a State Land state that does not use ranges, meridians, townships, sections and aliquot parts. 

FGS Photos - More Vendor Shots

I posted some Vendor photos yesterday from the FGS Conference in Springfield, Illinois.  Here are several more from some of the lesser known and very interesting companies:


Amy Coffin wrote FGS2011 - Introducing on 9 September that provides an overview of this site, and a useful comment from Greg Boyd of HistoryGeo and Arphax.


I enjoyed talking to Joy Shivar of, and she provided a press release about the company, which a number of genea bloggers posted - see Just a Joy Press Release from FGS2011 on Jonnifer Holik-Urban's blog.


While I spoke to Gordon who was  demonstrating the Flip-Pal portable scanner, I did not take nohrs or pick up any publicity material.  Lorine McGinnis Schulze wrote More Cool Things About Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner That I Learned at RootsTech in March.  That's geneablogger Caroline Pointer (Family Stories) talking to Joy Shivar in the photo above.


Gary Clark is the owner of PhotoTree (with his colleague Daniel in the photo above), based in Orange County, California.  See their publicity at

There were, of course, many other vendors, including book sellers, stuff sellers, genealogical and historical societies, several government organizations, etc.  However, I didn't take photos of them!  My apologies to the vendors and my readers for missing so many of them.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 171: Geraldine's Graduation Photo

I'm posting old family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they won't be wordless posts like others do - I simply am incapable of having a wordless post.

Here is one of the most precious (to me) images from my Seaver family collection:

This is a photograph of Geraldine Seaver, daughter of Frederick w. and Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver.   My guess is that this was her Leominster (Mass.) High School graduation photograph in 1935. 

Isn't she beautiful?  I love this photograph of my Aunt Gerry, the youngest sister of my father, Frederick W. Seaver.

This photograph was included in the Geraldine (Seaver) Remley "Red Album" and was scanned from the framed photograph.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 15 of the Seaver Family History Mystery Tour

I had another day with absolutely no genealogy, other than writing two blog posts.  I did think about it quite a bit, though!  I fear that I'm having withdrawal pains...and turning to drink.

We left the hotel in Schaumburg at 9:30 a.m. and headed for East Wacker Drive in Chicago (28 miles) to take a Chicago river cruise.  Driving through downtown Chicago (Eisenhower Expressway to East Wacker Drive) was difficult - too many cars/cabs/buses/trucks, too many obstacles, too many road repairs.  We parked at 111 East Wacker Drive ($26 for more than two hours, yikes!) because it was close to 112 East Wacker Drive.  However, we had to hike down about 36 stairs to the river level to buy the tickets and take the boat ride.  That was hard on Linda, but she made it.  We took the Chicago Architectural Foundation River Cruise (90 minutes, $35 each).  We were able to get on the 11:30 a.m. cruise. 

This cruise goes up the river, then up the north branch, turns around and goes down the South Branch, turns around and goes back to the main section and goes out as far as Navy Pier, but not through the locks to Lake Michigan.  The narrator was a professional architect who seemed to know everything about every building.  She must have described 80 to 100 buildings on the tour.  The most impressive, for me, was the Trump International Hotel and Tower next to the Wrigley Building.  It was a beautiful day, the temperature was about 75F, with little wind, and mostly sunny.  We sat in the bow area on the entry level, rather than sit on the second deck in the sun. 

After the cruise, we hiked back to the car pack building and ate lunch at Houlihan's in the building.  Linda enjoyed her corned beef salad and I had a French Dip sandwich.  We retrieved our car from the car park, and drove north along Lakeshore Drive in Chicago, then cut across town on the way back to our hotel.  I think that Maggie, the Magellan GPS Unit, found a new "shortcut" to get from highway I-290 East to I-90 West. 

We rested for a bit, Linda swam in the pool for an hour, and I worked on the laptop.  We went down at 6 p.m. for our free drink in the hotel, then struggled to find the Jimmy John's in the Woodfield Mall for dinner.  Then it was back to the hotel.  We took everything out of the car in an effort to weed out the trash and get our suitcases and carry-on bags ready to go on the airplane on Wednesday.

We need to get the rental car (about 1,500 miles so far in two weeks) back to Alamo by 2 p.m. but our flight on Southwest isn't until 5:40 p.m.  I wonder if Midway Airport has free wi-fi?

CVGS Fall Seminar on 24 September 2011 at Chula Vista Golf Course

The Fall Seminar of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society will be on Saturday, 24 September 2011 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Chula Vista Golf Course (4475 Bonita Road, Bonita, California).

The featured speakers and their subjects will be:

Keynote Address: Donna Bradley -- "Ways of Getting Over, Around or Under Your Brick Walls"

Morning Presentation: Anne Bowman -- "Scots-Irish Research Clues"

Afternoon Presentation: Donna Bradley -- "American Indian Research"

This is an all-day paid event.  The registration fee is $35 which includes morning refreshments, a keynote address, two main sessions, a fully catered lunch, afternoon light refreshments, opportunity drawings and door prizes. There will be vendors on hand with books, CDs, Photo kits, Handwriting Analysis and a Society book sale.

The schedule for the day is:

8:30 a.m. Check-in, registration, Venders setup
9:00 a.m. Opening and introductions by President Gary Brock
9:15 a.m. KeyNote Address: Donna Bradley, "Ways of Getting Over, Around or Under Your Brick Walls", Q and A
10:00 a.m. Drawings, Break, Refreshments, (vendor tables open)
10:30 a.m. Anne Bowman, "Scots-Irish Research Clues", Q and A
11:30 a.m. Drawings, Lunch (vendor tables open)
1:00 p.m. Announcements, Drawings
1:15 p.m. Donna Bradley, "American Indian Research", Q and A
2:30 p.m. Drawings, Refreshments, (vendor tables open)
3:00 p.m. Seminar end

(Click here) if you would like to register on-line for this event.

(Click here) if you would like to register by mail for this event.

For a flyer on this seminar (click here)

FGS Photos - some Vendor shots

I took very few photos in the Exhibit Hall this year.  Here are some of the ones I took of the "bigger" genealogy database providers:


FamilySearch had three "sets" ion their premium space - the view above is the free access to patrons using the FamilySearch record collections.  The other two sets were to educate patrons about the Wiki, the Forums, the Learning Center and more.

2)  The New England Historic Genealogical  Society ( exhibit featured a "research help" area (Chris Child is on the left helping a patron) and an information and book selling area (on the right):

3) was a premium sponsor, and their display looked like this:

On the left, Michelle Pfister and Duff Wilson (not shown) displayed Family Tree Maker 2012 and the TreeSync feature, while on the right there were computers for patrons to search on Ancestry's databases.

4) (formerly had their own exhibit.  That's Gordon Atkinson on the right talking to patrons:

5)  There were many more exhibitors, but I didn't get good photos of them or didn't take photos of them.

I had a good conversation with George and Grant at the exhibit, and with Daniel Horowitz and Schelly Dardashti at the MyHeritage exhibit.

I have a few more pictures of exhibitors, which I'll post on Wednesday.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 14 of the Seaver Family History Mystery Tour

Monday, 19 September was Day 14 of the Seaver Family History Mystery Tour, and it was the first non-genealogy day of the trip.  Days 15 and 16 will probably be non-genealogy oriented too!

We packed up and left Delavan, Wisconsin at 9:30 a.m. and headed for Chicago via US 12.  We got to Palatine by 11 a.m. and found the home where Linda's friend, Marcia, now lives with her son.  Marcia moved from San Diego a year ago, and just celebrated her 91st birthday.  We took her to lunch at the Fox and Hound in Arlington Heights.  It was pretty good.  Back to Marcia's home, and we met her daughter-in-law, who showed us around their property.  They had quite a few family pictures on the wall, and a real nice historical book collection.  We sat in the living room talking (well, I dozed while Linda talked...) until almost 4 p.m. when we decided that they had things to do and we needed to get to our hotel in Schaumburg.

We are in the Quality Inn in Schaumburg for the next two nights, and it seems a good choice.  There are lots of restaurants around, the hotel offers three free well drinks each night per person, and a free hot breakfast in the morning.  We have no clue what we'll do on Tuesday sightseeing in Chicago - the Chicago River boat cruise is a possibility.  Linda cannot walk very far, so a tour of some sort is in order.  I'm sure that we will drive along Lakeshore Drive too!

There were some comments on the Day 12 post about eating at chain restaurants in Madison, rather than the State Street cuisine.  Linda has severe allergy problems, and cannot eat anything but plain food with no seasonings or dressings.  I don't like a lot of ethnic foods, and prefer plain fresh food.  We saw the State Street places, but didn't sample them.  Another comment was that the Wisconsin State Historical Society building in Madison has 11 floors, not four.  All I know is that the Library folks, on the second floor, said that they had records on four floors, all accessed from the second floor via stairs.  The Archives are on the fourth floor and I have no idea how many floors their collection takes up.  Lastly, Anonymous noted that the correct terminology is "Town of Deerfield" rather than "Deerfield town."  I didn't know that, and appreciate the help!

During our trip, we have been guided by Maggie, our GPS unit voice.  She has been nearly infallible, and doesn't even comment negatively when I make a wrong turn or miss a turnoff.  She just recalculates and tells me where to go next.  The only places that Maggie can't direct us is to places without addresses - like the cemeteries and homesteads that we visited in Deerfield and Cottage Grove on Saturday.  We've also been using it to find nearby restaurants and other features wherever we are.  I know, a GPS is obsolete now that many smart phones have an app (we don't have smart phones), but we've had Maggie for three years now and trust her.  Linda is amazed by this technology.

The Tech-Savvy Genealogist Meme - My Answers

Geniaus created The Tech-Savvy Genealogist Meme.

She came up with 50 items.  John Newmark expanded the list to 80, and also reworded two of her entries. (I added "Google Video Chat" to #4 and made #40 more generic), in his Meme: The Tech-Savvy Genealogist post.  John's additions were intermingled so the numbering has changed, though they are denoted by an asterisk  (*) below.  I will resist adding any more!

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?

1. Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad  [but which one to choose?]
2. Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes
*3. Use a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader for genealogy related purposes
4. Have used Skype or Google Video Chat to for genealogy purposes
5. Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
6. Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
*7. Use multiple genealogy software programs because they each have different functionalities.
8. Have a Twitter account
9. Tweet daily
10. Have a genealogy blog

11. Have more than one genealogy blog
12. Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic
13. Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise
  [check it occasionally, don't contribute much]
14. Have a Facebook Account
15. Have connected with genealogists via Facebook
16. Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page
17. Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society [Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog]
18. Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site

*19. Have added content to a Person Page on Fold3 (formerly Footnote)
20. Have registered a domain name

21. Post regularly to Google+
*22. Have participated in a genealogy-related Google+ hangout
23. Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers
*24. Have a blog listed on Cyndi's List
25. Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
*26. Have converted a family audiotape to digital
*27. Have converted a family videotape to digital
*28. Have converted family movies pre-dating videotape to digital.29. Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner
30. Can code a webpage in .html

*31. Can code a webpage in .html using Notepad (or any other text-only software)
*32. Can write scripts for your webpage in at least one programming language
*33. Can write scripts for your webpage in multiple programming languages
34. Own a smartphone
35. Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
*36. Have a local library card that offers you home access to online databases, and you use that access.
37. Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures
38. Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival

*39. Have hosted a genealogy blog carnival
40. Use an Internet Browser that didn’t come installed on your computer

41. Have participated in a genealogy webinar
42. Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes

43. Have a personal genealogy website
44. Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
45. Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
*46. Have tweeted during a family reunion
47. Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files [some of them, er, a few]
48. Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
49. Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry
50. Own a netbook

51. Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes
52. Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit

53. Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget
54. Have listened to a genealogy podcast online
55. Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
56. Backup your files to a portable hard drive

57. Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
58. Know about RootsTech
59. Have listened to a BlogTalk radio session about genealogy
60. Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud

61. Schedule regular email backups
62. Have contributed to the FamilySearch Wiki
63. Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs
64. Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format [shared with family members]
*65. Brought a USB device to a microfilm repository so you could download instead of print.
*66. Have a wearable USB device containing important files. (Watch, keychain necklace, etc)
*67. Created a map on Google Maps plotting ancestral homes or businesses.
*68. Recorded the GPS coordinates for a tombstone, or ancestral home
*69. Edited the Wikipedia entry for an ancestor, or their kin
*70. Created an entry at FindAGrave for a person

*71. Created an entry at FindAGrave for a cemetery

*73. Have downloaded a video (for genealogical purposes) from YouTube or other streaming video site using, or in some other fashion
*74. Have transferred a video from a DVR to your computer for genealogical purposes
*75. Have participated in a ScanFest
*76. Have started a Genealogy-related meme at least one other geneablogger participated in.
*77. Have started a Genealogy-related weekly blogging theme other geneabloggers participated in.
*78. Have used Photoshop (or other editing software) to ‘clean up’ an old family photo
*79. Done digital scrapbooking
*80. Printed out a satellite photo from Google Maps of a cemetery, and marked where a tombstone was located on it.
*72. Uploaded the MediaWiki software (or TikiWiki, or PhpWiki) to your family website.

FGS Photos - the Geneablogger Lounge

I finally loaded my photographs from FGS and the rest of our vacation trip onto the laptop, so here are some views of geneabloggers doing what they do best - blog, talk, smile and laugh!

1)  There were six "regulars" who were at the Blogger Lounge every day and for many hours.  Here are five of them (from the left) - Thomas MacEntee (GeneaBloggers plus several more), Lisa Alzo (The Accidental Genealogist), Amy Coffin (The We Tree Genealogy Blog), Caroline Pointer (Family Stories), and Jennifer Holik-Urban (Generations - Piecing the Past Together):

2)  The sixth is in this picture - from the left:  Randy Seaver, Thomas MacEntee, Jennifer Holik-Urban, and Caroline Pointer.

You can see the black leather couches behind us in the photo above - these were used by bloggers and others for interviews and consulting.  There were two "studios" for this, and they were used occasionally. 

3)  Roger Moffat (Roger's Ramblings)  was a frequent visitor to the lounge - he wore his kilt one day and posed with Pat Richley-Erickson (DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog)  below:

4)  On Friday afternoon, Thomas MacEntee hosted the Geneabloggers Radio show from the Blogger Lounge:

5)  Here are Ginger Smith (Genealogy by Ginger) and Liz Tapley-Matthews (My Tapley Roots ... and its Branches) - both from North Carolina - gracing the lounge couch:

6)  Susan Clark (Nolichucky Roots) and Kim von Aspern-Parker (Le Maison Duchamp) graced the easy chairs in the lounge area:

It was fun to meet many bloggers in person (in the photos above, Jennifer, Roger, Ginger, Liz and Susan were "new" for me).