Monday, December 31, 2012

"Best" Genea-Musings Posts of 2012

I wrote 970 posts during 2012, and it is a challenge to pick out the ten or twenty best from the list.  I'm going to ignore the daily meme posts of Amanuensis Monday, Tuesday's Tip, Wordless Wednesday, Treasure Chest Thursday, Follow Up Friday, Surname Saturday, Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, and Best of the Genea-Blogs, and try to pick them based on my subjective criteria of relevance to my research, and to the genealogy industry.

My nominations for the Best Genea-Musings Posts of 2012 are (in posting date order)

*  Do you Believe the FamilySearch Vision of the Future? (9 February 2012)

*  Answers to Questions from (10 February 2012)

*  My Software Wish List - A Historical Place Name Jurisdiction Catalog (HPJNC) (14 February 2012)

*  Events, Assertions, Evidence, Facts, Sources, Analysis, Conclusions, Software, Oh My! (20 February 2012)

*  Are You an Evidence-Based or a Conclusion-Based Genealogist? (20 February 2012)

*  Puzzling Over the Evidence-Conclusion Process (1 March 2012) and Follow-Up Friday - Reader Comments on Evidence and Conclusions (2 March 2012)

*  Lesson Learned: Don't Trust Online Family Trees (24 April 2012)

*  Dear Randy - Can You Describe Your Genealogy Workflow? (25 April 2012)

*  How Accurate are the Ancestry "Shaky Leaf" Hints? (7 May 2012)

*  Legacy Cruise Vacation Compendium (23 May 2012)

*  Are We Strangers in Genealogy Land? (5 June 2012)

*  Which Site Provides "Best" Census Source Citations? (19 June 2012)

*  My So-Called "Career" in Genealogy - Genealogy Evangelist (11 July 2012)

*  TANSTAAFL - 2012 Update (12 July 2012)

*  How Do I Make Money in Genealogy? (13 July 2012)

*  The best laid plans of mice and men .. I love it! (23 July 2012)

*  The Value of a One-Name Study (7 August 2012)

*  A Genealogy Butterfly Type of Day (13 September 2012)

*  My Top 10 Genealogy Tools (5 October 2012)

*  My Ancestor Family File Folders and File Naming Convention (22 October 2012)

*  Crowd-Sourcing Cousin Edith (5 November 2012)

*  How Can We Communicate "The Right Way?" (26 November 2012)

*  We All Want Seamless Genealogy Data Transfers (7 December 2012)

*  How Can I Obtain Massachusetts Probate Records? (17 December 2012)

That's the list!  Did you miss any of them?  If so, go read them and make a comment if you want.

Which one is your absolute favorite?

If you have a genea-blog, what were your best genealogy blog posts for 2012? 

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Amanuensis Monday - Martin Carringer's Revolutionary War Pension File: Post 4: Court Declaration of Widow's Death (1851)

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

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

The subject today is a document from the Revolutionary War Pension File of Martin Carringer (1758-1835) of Mercer County, Pennsylvania (accessed on and digital image obtained from

The transcription of this document is (the 12th image in the Fold3 filmstrip):

State of Pennsylvania }
County of Allegheny  } SS

I William McCandless prothonotary of the Supreme Court held in and for said county do hereby certify that at a session of said court held on the Eighth day of September 1851 satisfactory proof was exhibited in Open Court that Mary Carringer who was a Revolutionary pensioner of the United States at the rate of 80$ per annum (wife & widow of Martin Carringer who drew a pension under act of 18 March 1818 at the rate of 96$ per annum) died in the county of Mercer State of Pennsylvania on the thirty first day of August in the year eighteen hundred and fifty (1950) leaveing six children only surviving her whose names are Jacob Carringer, Catherine Cazbe, Henry Carringer, George Carringer, Joseph Carringer, and Elizabeth McCartney who died on the 14th of November 1850.  That the said Mary Carringer did not again intermarry but died the widow of the aforesaid Martin Carringer.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto
subscribed my official signature &
annexed the seal of said Court
on this Eighth day of September 1851.
Wm. McCandless
Prothy. West. Dist. Penna.

I don't know why the death of Martin Carringer's widow, Mary Carringer, concerned the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, but I'm glad that it did.  This document provides the death date of Mary Carringer and of her daughter, Elizabeth (Carringer) McCartney, in addition to naming the six children that were alive when she died.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of the Genea-Blogs for 2012

There is no weekly Best of the Genea-Blogs this week due to my holiday travels.  There were some really good blog posts though - I recommend that you check out the weekly summaries by several geneabloggers that I have listed at the bottom of this post.

For the Year 2012, I posted 48 Best of the Genea-Blogs posts.  I missed the weeks of 1/1, 5/13, 5/20, and 12/30.  There were 141 different genealogy blogs featured in those posts, and a total of 453 blog posts.

While quantity is not necessarily the best metric, for something like a "Best Of" summary it's the only metric I have to determine which genea-bloggers were listed most often in my series.  Therefore, here are the top 20 listed in order of number of mentions (note that persons with multiple blogs are ranked by adding the blog totals):

 1) Judy G. Russell on The Legal Genealogist blog (35 mentions)

2)  James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star   blog (21 mentions) and  FamilySearch Tech Tips blog (1 mention).


3)  Michael Hait on the Planting the Seeds: Genealogy as a Profession blog (15 mentions).

3)  The writer of The Ancestry Insider blog (15 mentions)
5)  CeCe Moore on Your Genetic Genealogist blog (12 mentions) and the Geni blog (2 mentions).

5)  Marian Pierre-Louis on the Marian's Roots and Rambles   blog (13 mentions) and New England House Historian  blog (1 mentions).

5)  Diane Boumenot on the One Rhode Island Family blog (14 mentions)

8)  Harold Henderson on the Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog (11 mentions) and the Archives Expert Series (2 mentions)

9)  Caroline M. Pointer on the blog (7 mentions) and the blog (4 mentions)

10)  Michele Simmons Lewis on the Ancestoring Ask a Genealogist blog (10 mentions)

10)  Jasia on the Creative Gene blog (10 mentions)

12)  Pat Richley-Erickson on DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog (9 mentions)

12)  Writer's on Leland Meitzler's GenealogyBlog blog (9 mentions)

14)  Banai Feldstein on The Ginger Jewish Genealogy Blog  (8 mentions)

15) Bart Brenner (GeneaPopPop) on the Stardust 'n' Roots and Brenner Genealogy blog  (7 mentions)

15)  Denise Levenick on The Family Curator blog (7 mentions)

15)  Janet Hovorka on The Chart Chick blog (7 mentions)

18) Heather Wilkinson Rojo on the Nutfield Genealogy blog (6 mentions)

18) Lee R. Drew on the Family History with the Lineagekeeper blog (6 mentions)

18)  Michael Leclerc on the Mocavo Genealogy Blog (6 mentions)

18)  Thomas MacEntee on the Geneabloggers blog (3 mentions), Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner Genealogy blog (2 mentions) and Destination:Austin Family (1 mention)

There are 21 listed there, and each of them is different and uniformly thought provoking, informative and well written.  Congratulations to these Top 21, and thank you for being such talented and dedicated genealogy bloggers 

If someone asked me "what genealogy blogs do you recommend," these 21 would be on my list, along with quite a few others not on the list above.  

Check out last year's post about the 
Best of the Genea-Blogs - for the year 2011.  11 bloggers are repeaters on this year's list.

My thanks to all of the active genea-bloggers who fill my day with news, views and experiences in the world of genealogy.  I estimate that I read over 300 blog posts each and every day, and I try to highlight 10 to 20 posts each week.  The Best Of posts highlight about 0.1% of the candidates.  I have a bias for thoughtful, poignant and humorous posts... Obviously, I don't read every genealogy blog there is, but I do have over 1,300 on my reading list.  If you know of a really good genealogy  blog, please tell me about it - send me a link in a comment to this post and I'll add it to my Google Reader list.  

For this past week, the following genea-bloggers took the time to compile their own Best Of list:

Follow Friday - Fab Finds for December 28, 2012 by Jana Last on Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog.

*  Anyone else?

Please read their lists and click on their links.  

For what it's worth - this is Post #274 in the Best of the Genea-Blogs series!  That's over five years of trying to review the world of genea-blogs (started 23 September 2007).  

I really enjoyed reviewing my lists today - I cannot remember every post that I've listed, but it was fun refreshing my memory.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Did Santa Bring You?

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1) What gift that you received for Christmas is your favorite for genealogy purposes? Book, magazine, hardware, software, website subscription, research time, DNA test - what was it, and how will it affect your genealogy research?

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

 Come on, spill!  And it's OK to respond to this in the days after Saturday too!

Since I am writing this several days before Christmas, and am up near the Russian River without a w-fi connection with my brother-in-law when this post will publish, and I have no clue what I'm getting (lumps of genealogy coal?), I will write a separate post with my own response!

UPDATED 3 p.m.:  We've been having a fantastic time looking through family pictures and papers and trying to figure out who all of the people in the photographs and papers are, and how they relate to us.  My extensive genealogical database in RootsMagic has been a Godsend - Paul names someone and I try to find them in the database.  

My best Christmas gift for genealogical purposes?  The most useful gift was an Acer 15.6" laptop computer (8 gb memory, 1 tb hard drive) with Windows 7, that we bought at Costco on sale as they closed out their Windows 7 machines.  I wanted Windows 7 so that everything I have on the desktop will be compatible with the new laptop.  This should help me access the Internet while watching TV, make it easier to do presentations at genealogical societies, and be lighter and smaller to take on research trips and to conferences. 

The best family history gift was a CDROM with over 500 photos on it sent by Linda's cousin, Bonnie, up in Washington with many Leland family pictures on it, plus family history reports.  Paul and I have been looking through it today.  We're having fun, fun, fun while we're with family!
The URL for this post is: 

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, December 28, 2012

Assessing My 2012 Genealogy Goals and Objectives

It seems like every year I make a set of lofty goals and objectives, and then fail to meet many of them.  Here are my assessments of my goals and objectives for 2012:

1)  Research:  Grade = C

I did not go to the local FHC or Carlsbad Library once.  I did get to the Family History Library for one day of research.  My to-do lists are lacking and not up-to-date.  I did not solve any brickwall research problems, but I spent quite a bit of time adding information and sources to my genealogy database.  I mined the 1940 U.S. Census for extended family members.

2)  Data Organization:  Grade = C

I managed to create more couple-based digital folders (but there's many more to do) and transferred many, but not all, of my documents and photographs into those folders using a consistent file naming convention.  I failed at reducing the paper piles in the "to be filed" and "to be entered and then filed" stacks and worked through another 20% of the "to be entered..." stack.  I haven't filed anything in notebooks.  I did not create any more  surname notebooks, leaving, oh, maybe 200 to go.  

3)  Genealogy Database: Grade = C+

I have added quite a few new sources, and many source citations, as I add new information and work through my "to be entered..." stack and through online record collections.  However, I've added very few citations for sources previously entered - only when I work on the person for some other reason.  I added many document images and some photographs to the database.  I created genealogy reports on Scribd and a family tree website on RootsMagic for my research.  I did several critical analysis reviews for brickwall ancestral families, including Joshua Smith and Samuel Vaux.  I created many ToDo list items and a few digital research logs in RootsMagic.

4)  Education:  Grade = B

We went to RootsMagic 2012 in February, on the Legacy Family Tree cruise in May, and the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree in June.  I attended several webinars, but watched many more after the event.  I read several new genealogy books and reviewed several on my blog.

5)  Society Activities:  Grade = A

I attended as many CVGS, SDGS and CGSSD meetings as I could, led the CVGS Research Group every month and the Computer Group occasionally, gave two RootsMagic workshops for CVGS, edited the monthly CVGS newsletter, regularly wrote on the CVGS blog, responded to queries for CVGS, and contributed to the SDGS newsletter.

6)  Speaking and Teaching:  Grade = A-

I created two new presentations in 2012, and spoke to CVGS, SDGS, CGSSD, NSDCGS, SOCCGS, OCCGS, TVGS and GSNOCC societies, plus the Escondido Family History Fair, 
one DAR presentation, and two women's club presentations.  I taught three OASIS courses on "Beginning Computer Genealogy" (4 sessions each, 8 hours total) and gave two library presentations on genealogy through OASIS.

7)  Writing:  Grade = A-

I have kept up my writing on my Genea-Musings, The Geneaholic,  and the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blogs, but the the South San Diego County Graveyard Rabbit blog has languished.  I wrote my four FGS FORUM columns, the Graveyard Rabbit Journal columns, but did not write my annual Seaver-Richmnd Family Journal.

8)  Real Life:  Grade = B

We went for the 9 day cruise around the British Isles out of Oslo with 100 other Legacy Family Tree cruisers, went to a wedding in Topeka in November, 
visited Disneyland three times, visited and hosted the daughters and grandchildren, and my brother-in-law, and saw my two brothers, but not any cousins.  I think I slacked off a bit on genealogy, averaging maybe 9 hours a day this year.


So, three A's, two B's and three C's.  The C's all relate to my research, organization and database work, the B to my own education, and the A's all relate to speaking, writing and teaching.  That's not as bad as I thought it would be!

How did you do with your 2012 genealogy goals and objectives?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1880 U.S. Census Record for David Auble Family

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 the 1880 United States Census record for my Auble great-great-grandparents and their family in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana (on two census pages):

The David Auble family entries (on two census pages):

The extracted information for the family, residing at 411 Chestnut Street in Terre Haute, taken on 2 June 1880, is:

*   David Auble -- white, male, age 63, married, shoe maker, born NJ, father born NJ, mother born NJ
*  Sarah G. Auble -- white, female, age 62, wife, married, keeps house, born NJ, father born NY, mother born NJ) 
*  Charles Auble -- white, male, age 30, son, single, painter, born NJ, father born NJ, mother born NJ
*  Fannie Auble -- white, female, age 32, daughter, single, at home, born NJ, father born NJ, mother born NJ
*  Katherine Auble -- white, female, age 24, daughter, single, at home, born New Jersey, father born NJ, mother born NJ
*  Anna M. Auble -- white, female, age 20, daughter, single, at home, born NJ, 
father born NJ, mother born NJ

The source citation for this record is:

1880 United States Federal Census, Vigo County, Indiana, Population Schedule, Terre Haute: Pages 503D/504A (stamped), Dwelling #59, Family #63, David Auble household; digital images, ( : accessed 29 October 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T9, Roll 319.

The only error I see in this family enumeration is the age of Fannie (she was born in October 1846 according to the 1900 census, the only record I have for her birthdate, and therefore was 33 instead of 32).  Note that Charles Auble is age 30 in this record, which conflicts with his age in the 1900 U.s. Census, 1910 U.S. Census and his death certificate.  He was born in 1849 according to the 1850 through 1880 U.S. census records...and lied about his age throughout his married life after 1898.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 237: Randy Visits Santa Claus

I'm posting family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they aren't 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 to 2002 time period:

This photograph was probably taken at Marston's Department Store in downtown San Diego where my grandfather worked for 55 years. This photo was probably taken in the 1947 to 1950 time frame. My guess is that my grandfather, Lyle Carringer, took this picture, although my mother may have taken it. 

It looks like Santa has a good hold on me - an arm around my waist and a hand holding down my left arm. I was never scared of Santa Claus, so my smile is genuine and anticipatory. Either that, or someone made a funny face at me when the picture was snapped.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Book Review: Genealogy at a Glance - Family History Library Research

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for Family History Library Research, by Carolyn L. Barkley.

This "Genealogy at a Glance" booklet has four laminated pages on one 11" x 17" paper (folded). It is designed to give the user the basic elements of genealogy research in the allotted space. They provide an overview of the facts a researcher needs to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with research in the subject.

Family History Library Research folder has these subjects:

*  Quick Facts
*  Background
*  Preparing for a Research Trip
*  Collections
*  State and County U.S. Resources
*  National and Regional U.S. Resources
*  International Resources
*  Family History Books
*  Educational Opportunities at the Library
*  Enjoying Salt Lake City
*  Other Online Resources

This booklet is designed primarily for the person who is not an expert, or has no experience, at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  It provides a summary of the fundamentals of pursuing research in the Library. Reference books, online databases and websites for some of the topics are cited in the text.

For someone like me that teaches and talks about genealogy a bit, it is invaluable because I can pull it out and provide some guidance to my student or colleague interested in the subject.

The beauty of these "Genealogy at a Glance" folders is that they are very light and portable in a briefcase or laptop case. They are fixtures in my research case.

This four-page laminated booklet costs $8.95,  plus postage and handling (4th Class Mail $4.50; FedEx Ground Service in the USA, $6.00). You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the 
Family History Library Research booklet and click on the "Add to Cart" link.  I recommend buying these at seminars and conferences where they are offered in order to avoid the shipping costs.

I reviewed several similar works in:

*  Book Review: Genealogy at a Glance: "How-To" Series (French-Canadian, Scottish and Irish),
*  Book Review: Genealogy at a Glance: German Genealogy Research
*  Review: Genealogy at a Glance: English Genealogy Research 
*  Review - Genealogy at a Glance: French Genealogy Research
*  Review: Genealogy at a Glance: Immigration Research
*  Review: Genealogy at a Glance - American Cemetery Research, 
*  Book Review: Genealogy at a Glance - U.S. Federal Census Records
*  Book Review: Genealogy at a Glance - Pennsylvania Genealogy Research.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012.

Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this booklet. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas to All!


There is a reason for the season! Thank you, God, for your Gift to the Earth. 

Merry Christmas to all of my Christian readers and friends. I hope that this day finds you healthy, happy, with family and friends, and that Santa brings you everything you desire.

We are at the home of my daughter and two granddaughters today, enjoying seeing the girls with their gifts, telling family stories, and eating wonderful stuff.  We are off on Wednesday to the home of my daughter and two grandsons for two nights, and then two nights with Linda's brother's family, and we'll be home in time for New Years Day (I hope).

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the Night Before a Genealogist's Christmas

I received this parody of Clement Moore's masterpiece via email back in the mid-1990's, the author is unknown to me. Kimberly Powell at the About Genealogy page also has it on her site.

'Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
Not even my spouse.

The dining room table with clutter was spread
With pedigree charts and with letters which said...
"Too bad about the data for which you wrote;
Sank in a storm on an ill-fated boat."

Stacks of old copies of wills and such
Were proof that my work had become too much.
Our children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And I at my table was ready to drop
From work on my album with photos to crop.
Christmas was here, and such was my lot
That presents and goodies and toys I'd forgot.

Had I not been busy with grandparents' wills,
I'd not have forgotten to shop for such thrills,
While others bought gifts to bring Christmas cheers,
I'd spent time researching those birth dates and years.

While I was thus musing about my sad plight,
A strange noise on the lawn gave me such a great fright.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
Tore open the drapes and yanked up the sash.

When what with my wondering eyes should appear,
But an overstuffed sleigh and eight small reindeer.
Up to the house top the reindeer they flew,
With a sleigh full of toys and 'ole Santa Claus, too.

And then in a twinkle, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of thirty-two hoofs.
As I drew in my head, and bumped it on the sash,
Down the cold chimney fell Santa--KER-RASH!

"Dear" Santa had come from the roof in a wreck,
And tracked soot on the carpet, (I could wring his short neck!)
Spotting my face, good 'ole Santa could see
I had no Christmas spirit you'd have to agree.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
And filled all the stockings, (I felt like a jerk).
Here was Santa, who'd brought us such gladness and joy:
When I'd been too busy for even one toy.

He spied my research on the table all spread
"A genealogist!" He cried! (My face was all red!)
"Tonight I've met many like you," Santa grinned,
As he pulled from his sack a large book he had penned.

I gazed with amusement--the cover it read
Genealogy Lines for Which You Have Plead.
"I know what it's like as a genealogy bug."He said
as he gave me a great Santa hug.

"While the elves make the sleighful of toys I now carry,
I do some research in the North Pole Library!
A special treat I am thus able to bring,
To genealogy folk who can't find a thing."

"Now off you go to your bed for a rest,
I'll clean up the house from this genealogy mess."
As I climbed up the stairs full of gladness and glee,
I looked back at Santa who'd brought much to me.

While settling in bed, I heard Santa's clear whistle,
To his team, which then rose like the down of a thistle.
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
"Family History is Fun! Merry Christmas! Goodnight!"

--Author Unknown

To all, I wish a very Merry Christmas, and I hope Santa brings you a special gift for your family history.

Twelve Days of the Genealogist's Christmas

A genealogy oriented version of the Twelve Days of Christmas is available on the Internet - see Kimberly Powell's site at

Several years ago, I decided I would do my own based on using computer genealogy, my own needs and my own research:

On the 12th day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me --

Twelve Revolutionary War pension files with the Family Bible -pages included (12)

Eleven passenger lists clearly written (22)

Ten WorldConnect entries of elusive ancestors (30)

Nine message board postings from distant cousins (36)

Eight probate files (40)

Seven census pages (42)

Six deed abstracts (42)

Five newspaper obituaries (40)

Four marriage records (36)

Three family Bibles (30)

Two draft registration images (22)

And a new name in my family tree. (12)

I've put the total number in parenthesis of each item - if you sing the song all the way through, going one number at a time.

My true love is a busy girl, isn't she?

But, but, but ... that would take all the fun out of the ancestor search, wouldn't it?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Historical Records of a Real Santa Claus

There was at least one man who used the name Santa Claus in U.S. history, and there are quite a few records for him:

A person named "Santa Clause" (born April 1887 in MO) was the son of William Clause (born Feb 1857 in MO) and Henrietta Clause (born May 1861 in MO) in the 1900 census, with siblings Emma B. Clause (born Jan 1881 in MO), William E. Clause (born Nov 1882 in MO), Earler (?) Clause (born Dec 1885 in MO), Nellie Claus (born Nov 1889) and Earl Clause (born Dec 1894 in MO). The family resided in Liberty township, Saline County, MO (NARA T623, Roll 902, ED 129, Page 3A).

In the 1910 census, "Sante Claus" was age 23, single, a farm laborer, living as a hired man in the household of David Fleshman in Liberty township, Saline County, MO (NARA T624, Roll 823, ED 172, Page 4A).

In the 1920 census, "Santy Clause" (age 31, single, a boarder) resided with his brother Earl Clause inBlackwater township, Pettis County, MO (NARA T625, Roll 939, ED 125, Page 4B).

In the 1930 census, "Santa Claus" (age 42, married, first at age 24, born in MO, a laborer, works in river construction) resided in Marshall township, Saline County, MO with his wife Mabel Claus (age 36, married, first at age 18 in MO), son William Claus (age 15, born MO), son Raymond Claus (age 12, born CO), son Fred Claus (age 9, born MO), son Joseph Claus (age 6, born MO), son James Claus (age 3, born MO) and daughter Dorthy Claus (age 0, born MO) (NARA T626, Roll 1246, ED 20, Page 12A).

Notice that son Raymond Claus was born in Colorado, not Missouri. And also note that Santa was in Missouri in the 1920 census listed as single, but he obviously had a wife and children in 1920 if the 1930 census records are correct.

In the 1940 U.S. census, "Santa Claus" (age 52, married, born in Missouri, completed 4th grade, a sewer man) resided in Marshall, Saline county, Missouri with his wife Minnie Mabel Claus (age 46, married, born Missouri, completed 6th grade); son William Owen Claus (age 24, single, born Missouri, completed 7th grade); son Raymond Elbert Claus (age 22, single, born Colorado, completed 8th grade, a yard man); Fred Claus (age 19, single, born Missouri, completed 7th grade);  son Joseph Claus (age 16, single, born Missouri, completed 1st year of high school, a new worker); son James Claus (age 13, single, born Missouri, completed 6th grade); daughter Amy Ruth Claus (age 9, single, born Missouri, completed 3rd grade); daughter Edna May Claus (age 3, single, born Missouri).

There is more:

Santy Clause married Minnie Mabel Hill on 9 June 1912 in Marshall, Saline County, Missouri. Their marriage record is in the Missouri Marriage License database on, but it only says that he was from Marshall and over age 21, and she was from Marshall and over age 18.

"Santy Clause" registered for the World War I draft on 5 June 1917 in Prowers County, Colorado. He was age 29, born 4 April 1888 in Marshall MO, a natural born US citizen, Caucasian, married with two children. He was a farmer, and resided in Lamar, Route A, Prowers County, Colorado. He was medium height, medium build, blue eyes, light brown hair, and no disabilities, and had no previous military service.

I was unable to find Mabel Claus or the two children, William and Raymond, in the 1920 census - perhaps someone else would like to try! My best guess is that they may be in Colorado then, or back in Saline County MO.

One last bit of data: Members of the Clause family are buried in Blue Lick Union Church Cemetery in Saline County, Missouri. The list includes:

Donna Clause (died 3 Oct 1942, age 0-4-24)
Earl Clause (1894-1940)
Helen F. Clause (1919-1955)
Henrietta S. Clause (18__-1915)
Minnie Mabel Clause ("mother," 1894-1944)
Raymond E. Clause (1917-1971)
Santa Clause ("Father," 1888-1957)

Silvina Clause (1877-1964)
William Clause (1856-1917)

So, to summarize:

"Santa Claus" was born 4 April 1887 or 1888 in Marshall, Saline County, MO, the son of William and Henrietta (--?--) Claus. He married Minnie Mabel Hill in 1912 and they had at least 6 children.  He was a laborer in river construction in 1930. He died in 1957 and is buried in Saline County, Missouri.

This Santa Claus is, unfortunately, not coming to town soon - he's dead and buried in Missouri. It doesn't appear that he could possibly be the jolly purveyor of toys and good cheer with a big belly and long white beard who lives with his unnamed wife and elves and 9 reindeer at the North Pole, does it? 

Don't tell the kids.

Isn't it amazing what you can find on the Internet with lots of spare time on your hands?

I posted this originally on 27 November 2006 and had two comments from granddaughters of Santa Claus, one from a cousin several times removed, and one from a lady whose parents were married by Santa Claus.  I had another comment from a probable relative last year - see post here.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver