Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Make Your Own Genealogy Creation

It's Saturday Night - is everyone ready for some Genealogy Fun?

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (and I hope that you do... because this one is really cool!), is to:

1) Go to the website and explore their FREE offerings. Click on the "Create" button, or choose to make a slideshow or posters from their main page (there are more than one screen of poster backgrounds).

2) Make one or more posters or other creation - perhaps they relate to genealogy or your own family history. Save them to your computer (right click, Save as Picture for Windows users).

3) Show your creations to us... in your own blog post, on a Facebook post, or on Google Plus etc. If you make a really neat one and want to show it to the world but don't have a way to do it, send it to me ( and I'll show it off for you in a blog post.

Here's mine:

1)  I've always wanted to put a big ad up on the stadium scoreboard:

Wouldn't that be a great advertisement?  Probably only at a genealogy conference!

2)  I want to find some jewelry like this for my wife:

Wouldn't that be a great prize at a genealogy seminar?  

3)  What would you do if you saw this road sign?

OK, I showed you mine, now show me yours!

Surname Saturday -- TUCKER (England to Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week. I am skipping numbers 319 to 351 because I don't have names or information about them.  I am now up to number 355, who is Content Tucker (1695-1737), one of my 6th-great-grandparents. [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back through three generations of TUCKER ancestors 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)

10. Thomas Richmond (1848-1917)
11. Julia White (1848-1913)

22. Henry Arnold White ((1824-1885)
23. Amy Frances Oatley (1826-before 1870)

44. Jonathan White (1806-1850)
45. Miranda Wade (1806-1850)

88. Humphrey White (1758-1814)
89. Sybil Kirby (1764-1848)

176.  Jonathan White (1732-1804)
177. Abigail Wing (1734-1806)

354.  Benjamin Wing, born 01 February 1698 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States; died after 15 October 1776 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 708. Matthew Wing and 709. Elizabeth Mott.  He married 18 October 1722 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.
355.  Content Tucker, born 12 March 1695 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States; died before October 1738 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States. 

Children of Benjamin Wing and Content Tucker are:  Elizabeth Wing (1724-1778); Sarah Wing (1726-1813); Hannah Wing (1728-????); Benjamin Wing (1732-1801); Abigail Wing (1734-1806).

710.  Abraham Tucker, born 13 October 1653 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, United States; died 16 March 1725 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.   He married 26 November 1690 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.
711.  Hannah Mott, born November 1663 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, United States; died November 1730 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.  She was the daughter of 1422. Jacob Mott and 1423. Joanna Slocum.

Children of Abraham Tucker and Hannah Mott are:  Elizabeth Tucker (1691-1768); Sarah Tucker (1693-1727); Content Tucker (1695-1738); Abraham Tucker *1697-1776); Joanna Tucker (1699-????); Ruth Tucker (1701-????); Hannah Tucker (1704-????)

1420.  Henry Tucker, born about 1619 in East Grimstead, Wiltshire, England; died 21 April 1694 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2840. Robert Tucker and 2841. Susan Barlow.  He married  09 June 1651 in Winchester, Hampshire, England.
1421.  Martha, born about 1625 in England; died 09 November 1697 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Henry Tucker and Martha are:  Abraham Tucker (1653-1725); John Tucker (1656-1751); Martha Tucker (1659-????); Hannah Tucker (1662-1702); James Tucker (1665-1689); Mary Tucker (1668-????); Sarah Tucker (1674-????).

The only book that I have, or a website, with significant biographical information about these families is:

Joseph L. Gahimer, Early Tuckers (, accessed 13 January 2012).

The site provides a list of sources used.

There are a number of databases on the RootsWeb WorldConnect family tree system that provide different information for the Robert Tucker family, including Henry Tucker's birth and marriage.  I don't know which is correct...

Are there any Tucker cousins with authoritative information?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Genealogy Idol Contestants Named!

The Legacy Family Tree News blog has just announced the contestants in the "RootsTech Genealogy Idol 2012" contest to be held at RootsTech 2012 in Salt Lake City (Thursday, 2 February, 1:45 p.m. (MST) online and in person).

See the announcement at:

The blog post above has more information about the contest and the contestants.  Viewers from home need to register to watch it live online.  I hope the room at RootsTech will be large enough!

The four contestants are:

*  Elyse Doerflinger (at RootsTech)
*  Elizabeth Clark (at RootsTech)
*  Michael Hait (from home)
*  Marian Pierre-Louis (from home)

Congratulations to the contestants, and I wish them great luck.

FamilySearch Historical Collections Update - A Quandary

I have a quandary... [SOLVED - see Update at bottom of post]

When I checked the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page, it looks like it's stuck on 1,000 databases.

I check this almost every day, and when I looked at it on 1 January 2012 for my yearly Benchmark Numbers update, it said 1,000 collections.

Today, it still says 1,000 collections:

The screen above is for the "Last Updated" link that I use to see what's been recently added or updated.  There have been 33 databases added or updated on this list since 31 December.

Is the number of collections shown wrong?  Or have no NEW databases been added since 31 December?  Or is something wrong with my computer, or browser?

One more thing - when I click on the "Last Updated" link, I expect to see a clear list from a recent date to the first date on the list (1,000 lines down the list).  I don't see that, and you can see it in the above screen shot.

A ways down the list is this segment:

After several databases added on 12 January 2012, there are ten databases listed with update dates earlier than 11 January, followed by the databases for 11 January 2012.

Is the list messed up somehow?  Are the dates listed when the database was first added, and the database has been updated, but the updated date was not corrected?

I rely on this list to tell me what new databases have been added to the FamilySearch collection so that I can check out the newly added databases and can blog about them.  I wish that it would highlight the absolutely NEW collections somehow.  I hope that FamilySearch will fix these, admittedly minor, problems.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012.

UPDATED 3 p.m.:  Quandary solved ...

Robert Kehrer, Sr. Product Manager for Search Technologies at FamilySearch emailed me with this information:

"We hit an artificial code limit somewhere down in the system. There are more than 1000 collections. Only 1000 of them are displayed however. You would have to use the filters to get to the ones cut off the bottom of the list.  It will be fixed in our next release."

That's good news, and I appreciate Robert's rapid response and permitting this to be shared with my readers.

Follow Friday - Have Some Weekend Genealogy Fun!

The weekend is here!  If you have some free time for genealogy fun, I recommend:

1) Listen to the Geneabloggers Radio show tonight (Friday night, 9 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. CT, 7 p.m. MT and 6 p.m. PT) hosted by Thomas MacEntee, with co-host Sharon Sergeant. This week's topic is 
Information Overload: Finding the Genealogy Data You Need.  The special guests will include: 

*   Dan Lynch, author of Google Your Family Tree who’ll have some tips and tricks and making Google searches work for you and your genealogy research! 

*  Drew Smith of The Genealogy Guys Podcast who as a librarian will offer tips on how to navigate the resources at archives and repositories using finding aids and more! 

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's topic will be The FamilySearch Research Wiki and Your Genealogy Society  
The guests include:

 Lise Embley, of FamilySearch who will help us understand how the FamilySearch Research Wiki works and how it can help your genealogy society. 

*  We’ll be highlighting FGS member society, Fairfax Genealogical Society, Fairfax County. Virginia, in our weekly Society Spotlight feature. 

3) Check out the recent FREE Webinars on: 

*** Digital Books and Sites for Genealogists. by James Tanner (free until 16 January 2012)
*** "Is My Pet Frog Part of My Family?" Children and Genealogy in the Classroom, by Maureen Taylor (free until 26 December, but still available)
*** New Genealogy Technology: Flip-Pal™ Mobile Scanner, by Gordon Nuttall (free)

RootsMagic Webinars (all free) available at Recently added:

*** What's New in RootsMagic 5

National Genealogical Society (NGS) Videos (some are free to view) at

Thomas MacEntee's Explorinars, including:

*** Easy Website Creation (free to view).
*** Evernote - Easy Note Taking UPDATED (free to view)
*** Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Groups (free to view)'s YouTube Channel has over 137 items on it now, including (free to view):

*** LIVE: Using Tree Hints with Crista Cowan
*** LIVE: Exploring the 1930 US Federal Census  with Juliana Smith
*** LIVE: Genealogy New Years Resolutions for 2012  with Anne Mitchell
*** Common Surnames: Strategies to Finding Your Ancestor in the Crowd  with Juliana Smith
*** LIVE: Using Online Trees to Help with Pre-1850 Relatives with Anne Mitchell.
*** LIVE: Reading Handwritten Historical Documents with Anne Mitchell
*** Live: How to Control Your Results with Anne Mitchell
*** LIVE: How to Use the World War II Draft Registration Cards with Juliana Smith
*** LIVE: How do I find the maiden names of women in my family tree? by Crista Cowan
*** LIVE: I believe my ancestor was Native American/Indian, How do I prove that? by Crista Cowan
*** LIVE: Unlock the Secrets of the 1790 - 1840 US Census Records with Anne Mitchell

4) Respond to my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge, posted on soon after 12 noon Pacific time (that's 2000 GMT for those who understand time zones). 

5) Go to a local genealogical society program. Is one of your local societies having a program this weekend?  Go, learn and share with other attendees.  I'm attending the San Diego Genealogical Society's Seminar on Saturday - the speaker is Thomas W. Jones.

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

* FamilySearch (free,, 
* Ancestry ($$,, 
* Fold3 ($$,, 
* WorldVitalRecords ($$,, 
* American Ancestors ($$,, 
* GenealogyBank ($$,,
* Archives ($$,

8) Add content (names, dates, places, notes, images, sources, etc.) to your genealogy software program. I still have many inches of paper collected over time, and will try to enter some of it into my database this weekend.

9) Spend time with your family doing fun things.  Not this weekend...

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, January 12, 2012

Rootstech 2012 Presentations - 11 a.m. Thursday, 2 February

I'm going to list all of the presentations at RootsTech 2012 session by session in a series of posts.  You can see the full schedule of all sessions at

Here is the schedule for Thursday, 2 February at 11 a.m. until 12 noon.  The links provide information on the presentation and the speaker:

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 255E
Presentation for All Users
How Lexmark and FamilySearch Are Working Together to Scan, Route, and OCR Family History Documents
Tim Rowland

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 260
Hands-on Workshop for Intermediate Developers
The REST of the things you should know about HTTP
Timothy Stokes

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 255F
Presentation for Beginner Users
Using WikiTree to collaborate with your non-genealogist family members
Chris Whitten

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 259
Presentation for Intermediate Developers
Top 10 security threats and how to minimize them
Michael Buck

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 355D
Presentation for Beginner Users
Mining Newspaper Archives
Kathleen Murray
Tara Carlisle

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 355A
Presentation for Beginner Developers
IBM InfoSphere Identity Insight Deep Dive
Brad Allen

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 255C
Presentation for Intermediate Users
Genealogists “Go Mobile”
Sandra Crowley

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 255A
Presentation for Beginner Developers
A New GEDCOM: Project Scope, Goals, and Governance
Ryan Heaton

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 257
Presentation for Intermediate Developers
Using Event Driven Architectures in the Real-Time Web
Phil Windley

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 258
Hands-on Workshop for Intermediate Users
How to Create an Exciting Interactive Family History Story Tour with Google Earth
Lisa Louise Cooke

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 255D
Presentation for Advanced Users
One-Step Webpages: A Hodgepodge of Lesser-Known Gems
Stephen Morse

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 155
Presentation for Intermediate Users
Do I Trust the Cloud?
D. Joshua Taylor

*  11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Room 255B
Presentation for Beginner Users
A Genealogical Society Using Social Media
Torill Johnsen

Right away I have a major problem - I would love to sit in on five or six of these talks.  It may come down to "if they have an excellent syllabus, then I'll go somewhere else."  Fortunately, I've seen the excellent Steve Morse presentation!

My preferred choices for this session include:

*  Chris Whitten on Using WikiTree (I use WikiTree...)
*  Sandra Crowley on Going Mobile (I just got an iPhone...)
*  Ryan Heaton on GEDCOM (a developer talk, will I understand it?)
*  Lisa Louise Cooke on Creating Family Stories (I love Google Earth)
*  Josh Taylor on Trusting the Cloud (I need to learn more here...)

By the way, the registration fee for RootsTech 2012 is $149 through Friday, 13 January.  It goes up to $189 after that.

What session would you like to attend?

Disclosure:  I am an Official Blogger for RootsTech 2012, and have had my registration fee paid for by the organization.  I look forward to attending this conference!

The URL for this post is: 

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012

My Family Finder Autosomal DNA Tests - Post 3

I've been writing about my experience with the Family Tree DNA autosomal test results that I received recently. See:

*   My Family Finder Autosomal Test Results - Post 1, where I described finding my autosomal DNA results on the Family Tree DNA website, adding my GEDCOM file and what my "Population Finder" results were.
*  My Family Finder Autosomal Test Results - Post 2, where I described the Matches page and some of the autosomal test matches on some of my chromosomes.

I described finding three test matches on my Chromosome 15 that were three of the five longest continuing strings of DNA markers.  Before I started this series, I received an email from the daughter of one of these persons, and she confirmed that the three persons that I match are known relatives to each other.  Two are siblings.

Two of these persons posted their surname lists for others to try to determine possible relationships.  The two sets of surnames posted were:

*  Leahy (Ireland),  Kerslake (England), Doyle (Ireland),  Flexton (England), Kelly (Ireland),  Collins  (Ireland), Brown (England),  Harris (England), Noad (England),  Allen (England), Edgerley (England),  King (England), Spencer (England), Fell (England),  Daniels (England), Burder (England),  Flaxon (England), Hill (England), Withy (England),  Hunt (England),  Fox (England)

Of these 21 surnames in this person's family tree, the only surname that I match within 10 generations back in time is Hill.  My Hill ancestry is in Wiltshire in England.  Rebecca Hill (1790-1862) of Hilperton in Wiltshire is a third great-grandmother of mine.  If one of her siblings was an ancestor of this Matching Person, then we would be fifth cousins (because our common ancestor would be John and Ann (Warren) Hill of Hilperton in Wiltshire).

Since I have only three great-great-grandparents (out of 16) with known English ancestry in my family tree, and the other known family surnames (Richman, Rich, Marshman, Warren, Ring, Vaux, Palmer, Laver, Terrell) are not in the list above, I'm thinking that the common ancestor with this Matching Person is probably a Hill.

*  Grant ((SC/AL)),  Horton ((AL/SC?/NY?)),  Williams ((AL/NC)), Works ((AL)),  Heald ((AL/GA/DE/ENG)),  Dean ((AL)), Moore ((AL/NC)),  McCartney ((AL/GA/IRELAND)),  Martin ((AL)), Davis ((AL/SC)),  Burns? (GA), Coleman ((AL)),  Cone ((NC)), Bonner ((GA)),  Sansom ((GA)), Banks ((GA)),  Britnell ((SC/AL)), Hinds? ((SC)),  Cross ((NC)), Armstrong ((AL)),  Peacock,  Vann ((GA)),  Marable ((VA)),  Maxwell, Bishop ((SC)),  Arledge ((SC)), Jones,  Alston,  Poellnitz ((AL/SC/Prussia)),  Freeman ((AL)), Williamson ((AL)),  Etheredge ((AL)), Luther ((AL/SC)),  Braswell ((AL)), Hardy ((AL)),  Nichols ((AL)),  Rembert ((AL/SC)),  Rogers ((SC/AL)),  Gibson ((AL)),  Oakley ((AL)), Vice ((AL)), Perry ((AL)), Crenshaw ((AL)), Michau ((SC)),  Pope ((AL)),  Loftin ((AL)),  Bondeli ((Switzerland)), McAllister ((Scotland)),  Miller 

The list of 49 surnames above contains three surnames from my known fourth great-grandparents:

*  I have two Horton fourth great-grandparents:  Hannah Horton (1761-1797) of Eastham, Massachusetts and Phebe Horton (1772-????) of Foster, R.I.
*  I have one Martin fourth-great-grandparent:  Sarah Martin (1792-1860) of Woodbridge, New Jersey and Delhi, Ontario.

The Matching Person's surname list above provides no obvious matching locations in the list or in the family tree provided, but this Matching Person somehow has a significant autosomal DNA match with me.

Family Tree DNA permits a user to search by Surname in the "Ancestral Surnames" listings for the Matching Persons.  Here is a screen shot for the Martin surname:

There are four Matching Persons on my Match list (of 83) with Martin in their Ancestral Surname list.

Of the 32 surnames of my third great-grandparents, the only matches for surnames on my Match list (of those with Ancestral surnames) are Gates (1), Smith (12), Newton (1), Hill (2), White (1), Wade (2), Champlin (1), Carringer (1), King (4), Knapp (1), and Kemp (1).

Of course, the comparisons are only as good as the genealogical research that went into the family tree for each of the matching persons.

I'm not sure where to go next on this project.  I am emailing with my "Hill" cousin, and she has also tested on 23andMe and has much more experience analyzing these results than I have.  Her Hill ancestor is in the Westbury area of Wiltshire in the 1800 time frame, while mine is in Hilperton in the 1800 time period.  The two places are only about 8 miles away from each other.  We have shared our Hill family information already, but have not been able to find a common ancestor to date.  This search is hampered by very spotty records in the Wiltshire parish records in some time periods, especially in this 1750 to 1800 time period.

If someone has ideas on what to do next, I would appreciate your counsel!

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday - Death Record of James A. Kemp

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to show another digital image of a treasured document in my collection.

This week it is the Death Record of James A. Kemp (1831-1902) of Delhi, Norfolk County, Ontario, one of my second great-grandfathers, and the husband of Mary Jane (Sovereen) Kemp (1841-1874) and Melissa (Wilson) Kemp (18401-1902).  

There are two entries on this register image - the death listings for both James A. Kemp and Melissa (Wilson) Kemp.  A two-fer!!

James A. Kemp's death record is on the first line across two pages of this register ("Ontario, Canada, Deaths, 1869-1938 and Deaths Overseas, 1939-1947," online database, (, citing Archives of Ontario. Registrations of Deaths, 1869-1938. MS 935, reels 1-615. Archives of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1902, Volume 7, page 162, No. 17332, James A. Kemp entry).

The information on this record for James A. Kemp is (in columns):

*  Name of Deceased:  Kemp James A.
*  Sex -- M or F:  M
*  Date of Death:  Sept 19 1902
*  Age:  70
*  Residence:  Delhi

*  Occupation:  Farmer
*  Married or Single:  M*  Where Born:  Prince Edward Co
*  Cause of Death, Length of Illness:  Acute Indigestion & Heart Failure, 10 hours
*  Name of Physician in Attendance:  R. Bruce Wells.
*  Religious Denomination:  Bapt
*  Name of Person Making Return: Frank Kemp

*  Date of Registration:  Sept 19 1902

 information on this record for Melissa Kemp (second row) is (in columns):

*  Name of Deceased:  Kemp Melissa
*  Sex -- M or F:  F
*  Date of Death:  Sept 28 1902
*  Age:  62
*  Residence:  Delhi

*  Occupation:  
*  Married or Single:  Widow*  Where Born:  Barrie
*  Cause of Death, Length of Illness:  Pneumonia, 5 days 10 hours
*  Name of Physician in Attendance:  R. Bruce Wells.
*  Religious Denomination:  Meth
*  Name of Person Making Return: Frank Kemp

*  Date of Registration:  Sept 29 1902

I obtained this record image by using the collections at the San Diego Family History Center.  I used the FamilySearch collection entry for this record to determine the microfilm number (1,854,185) and then looked in the Family History Library Catalog to figure out the Volume for the specific registration number in 1902 (see the record description here). 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Goodies from the San Diego Newspapers on GenealogyBank

After the tremendous find yesterday that many years of the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune historical newspapers were recently added to GenealogyBank (see Tuesday's Tip - San Diego Newspapers on GenealogyBank  and The Carringer Gardens in 1935), spent several hours last night capturing interesting tidbits of news about my three Carringer families in San Diego from about 1895 to 1943.  I was like a kid in a candy was truly a Forrest Gump genealogy moment for me as I found one helpful and interesting tidbit after another.  For the Carringer surname in just the San Diego Union newspaper, there were 183 matches alone!  I didn't capture all of them, and there were some that the image would not come up for me.

Two that I had not seen previously included:

1)  The wedding announcement of my grandparents, Lyle L. Carringer and Emily K. Auble (appeared on page 8 of the San Diego Union newspaper edition dated 21 June 1918):

2)  A list of marriage licenses from page 8 of the San Diego Union newspaper edition dated 21 June 1918)::

I did not have either one of these articles previously.  The wedding announcement article sheds more light on Lyle's Marine Corps service, the wedding service itself, and their first home (that was new for me!). 

Tonight, the quandary for me is:  should I work on my Family History Fair presentation handouts or go mining for more articles on my other families in the GenealogyBank treasure chest?  What do you think I'm going to do? 

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012.

Finding U.S. Vital Records on

Continuing my series exploring the databases available on commercial site, I wanted to determine what United States Vital Records were available on the website. 

The list of Vital Record collections (I did a "Birth" search on the Collections page) showed 60 collections (including not U.S. collections);  it showed 71 "Marriage" collections; it showed 63 "Death" collections;  it showed 27 "Divorce" collections.  I'm not going to list them all - an interested reader can do these searches also.

I was most interested in the California collections, and how the results are presented.

1)  For California Births, the collection is described as:

California Birth Index, 1905 to 1995, 24,112,453 records
California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Statistics
The California Birth Index was recorded by the California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Statistics. It contains over 24 million records, including these fields (when available): name, birth date, gender, mother's maiden name, and county of birth.

The search page for the California Birth Index has these fields:

*  First Name [choice of Exact or not]
*  Last Name (required) [choice of Exact or not]
*  Middle Name
*  Maiden Name
*  Location (required)
*  Event Type:  Birth
*  Year: 
*  +/- [choices of 0, 1, 2, 5, or 10 years]

I put Last Name = "seaver," checked the "Exact" box, and saw:

After clicking on the blue "Search" button, I received 254 matches:

The matches were listed alphabetically by first name. 

Unchecking the "Exact" box showed the same 254 matches. No wild cards are permitted for the surname search (only letters, spaces and dashes).  The Birth Year range worked as expected.

I checked this same California Birth Index on, using an exact search for Last Name = "seaver."  There were 490 matches.  An inspection of the list showed there were 261 results with Last Name = "seaver," and the rest had Maiden Name = "seaver."  The results order was by birth date.  I did not compare both list to see where the 2.7% difference in matches occurred. 

On the FREE Family Tree Legends site, this California Birth Index, 1905-1995 has 260 matches for a Last Name = "seaver" Exact name search in birth date order.  A "Soundex" search for "seaver" on this site resulted in 260 matches also.

I found my own birth record, and clicked on the linked name (I could have clicked on "View Full Record") and saw:

The information provided by the record includes:

*  First Name
*  Middle Name
*  Last Name
*  Gender
*  Birth Date
*  Birth Location (note that this is a County, not a City - does not specify this)
*  Record Type
*  Mother's Maiden Name
*  Collection
*  Certificate (a link to buy a birth certificate at an exorbitant price is provided)
*  Source Information

For comparison purposes, the Name, Gender, Birth Date, Birth County and Mother's Maiden Name are provided in the collection, plus Source Information. 

2)  For California Marriages, the database description is:

California Marriage Records, 1960 to 1985, 4,680,201 records
California Department of Health
This collection of California marriage records was provided by the California Department of Health. It contains data from marriage certificates registered in California from 1960 to 1985.
A search of this database for Last Name = "seaver" with the Exact box checked provided 148 matches, listed alphabetically by first name.  A search on this same database on provided 310 matches (155 with "seaver" as a last name).  The information provided on is comparable to that provided by
3)  For California Deaths, the database description is:
California Death Index, 1940 to 1997, 9,289,235 records
California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Statistics
The California Death Index was recorded by the California Department of Public Health, Center for Health Statistics. It contains over 9 million records, including these fields (when available): name, gender, death date, death location, birth date, birth location, mother's maiden name, and father's last name.
A search of this database for Last Name = "seaver" with the Exact box checked provided 164 matches, listed alphabetically by first name. A search on this same database on provided 278 matches (162 with "seaver" as a last name, the other matches are "seaver" with a maiden name).  The same database on Family Tree Legends has 287 matches, including maiden name entries.  The same database on has 166 matches for Last Name = "seaver."  The information provided on is comparable to that provided by the other databases
4)  For California Divorces, Archives has two databases:
California, San Diego Divorce Records, 1979 to 1999, 1,397,948 records
San Diego Superior Court
This collection of San Diego, California divorce records was provided by the San Diego Superior Court. It contains data from 1979-1999.
California, Kern County Divorce Records, 1990 to 2004, 32,066 records
Superior Court of California, County of Kern
This collection of divorce records from Kern County, California was provided by the Superior Court of California, County of Kern. It contains data from 1990 to 2004. has a California Divorce Index, 1966-1984 so it cannot be compared to the databases.
5)  Interested readers can do the same comparisons for other states. 
For the California Birth, Marriage and Death indexes on, the results provided are equivalent to those provided on other websites, although they are in a different order.  The Birth Year filter works well.
6)  My concerns about the databases are:
*  There is no "non-exact" search capability (I got the same number of matches whether the Exact box was checked or not).
*  There is no "wild card" capability to catch name spelling variations
*  Archives returns a slightly lower number of matches than a similar search on other databases.
Disclosure: provided a free subscription to their collection at the SCGS 2011 Jamboree which I appreciate. This did not influence my statements in this blog post, but it did enable them to be made!

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 187: Annie Pickford

 I am posting photographs from my family collections for (Not So) Wordless Wednesday (you know me, I can't go wordless!).

This is a photograph of Anne Frances (Richmond) Pickford (1869-1939), daughter of Thomas and Julia (White) Richmond, wife of Walter Pickford (1864-1918) and mother of Earl Richmond Pickford (1890-1972) and Henry Winthrop Pickford (1895-1987).  The Pickford family resided in Clinton, Massachusetts.

The photograph was in the Seaver/Richmond family collection that I received from my mother in the late 1980s.  My guess is that it was taken in the 1910 to 1920 time period.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Carringer Gardens in 1935

I posted Tuesday's Tip - San Diego Newspapers on GenealogyBank this morning, and wanted to go searching for more, but I had some non-blogging and non-research tasks to work on. 

After a torturous afternoon of updating and adding slides to my Genealogy Is Fun! Seriously! presentation, I decided to go searching for more interesting family history material this afternoon. 

Lookee here!  What a wonderful family history item!  From the San Diego Union, dated 24 March 1935, on page 18 (accessed on

And a more readable snippet:

A transcription:

Carringer Gardens, Model of Beauty, Have Also Wealth of Entertainment

By Ada Perry

Mr. and Mrs. Lyle L. Carringer, 2130 Fern st., are never bored with their garden.  They have four fish pools in it filled with finny pets that are always on the move.  Sometimes they move out on the grass but the Carringers chalk this up to playfulness and continue to enjoy the aquatic aspects of their home.

The Carringer place is distinctly in the livable small garden or outdoor living room class.  The pools are strategically located to invite folks outdoors for pleasure and relaxation.  One pool, the smallest, is placed near the rear door of the house as a starting point.  From there to a sunny larger pool planted to lilies and overhung with shrubs is a natural step.

Other parts of the garden planted in flowers, cacti and succulents and several fruit trees are easily accessible from the second pool and then the Carringers and their friends naturally gravitate to a lath house furnished with chairs and tables.

There are sources of amusement in the lath house.  The remaining pools are located there.  One is a rill in the heart of a pretty rockery and the other a shadowy oval presided over by a rice plant with curving stalks topped with leaves like giant hands.  Directly above the pool a tree rests apparently on the water.  The invisible stand which holds it up represents some clever household ingenuity.  It was formerly a piano stool.

A grill is built at the end of the lath house on a rock structure.  The grill space can be filled with a decorative potted plant when not in use although the Carringers have found it a consistent entertainer.

Next the grill in a glass house annex is a surprise feature.  On shelves are aquariums filled with tropical fish, paradise, moons, guppies and other fancy swimmers weaving about in grassy water jungles; blinking, gobbling and raising families in the most distracting style.  The glass house is heated for them and each aquarium has individual radiators and thermometers for perfect comfort.

Tropical aquariums are often kept indoors but the Carringers have theirs handy to the pools where fish life from goldfish to guppies can be observed.  Certain of the tropicals are moved to the goldfish pools at favorable times for variety.

This is the best description of my grandparents gardens, fish pools and lath house that I've seen.  I played in this garden as a child, but I don't recall all of these details.  When I was 9 years old, they sold this house and the gardens to Mr. Phillips, and he put a wall around it and we never ventured into it again.  I would love to go back and see if the pools and lath house are still there.

My grandfather was a very talented man, and my grandmother was a world class flower arranger.  I'm not surprised that they did this in their backyard.  After all, what was there to do for entertainment without television during the Great Depression?  They enjoyed their backyard, read books, discussed issues, listened to the radio, and worked on their collections. 

I wonder what else I can find?  Indexed newspapers are a Godsend for genealogists - thank you, GenealogyBank?

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012

My Family Finder Autosomal Test Results - Post 2

In My Family Finder Autosomal Test Results - Post 1, I described finding my autosomal DNA results on the Family Tree DNA website, adding my GEDCOM file and what my "Population Finder" results were.

In this post, I want to describe the Matches page and some of the autosomal DNA results on my chromosomes. 

1)  From the MyFTDNA page, I clicked on the "Family Finder" button and selected the "Matches" link.  This opened my "Family Finder - Matches" page, and listed all of my "Show All Matches."  There were 82 of them, and they were ordered by the "Longest Block" of tested markers that I matched with the persons on the Match list:

There are six columns on this list for each matched person:

*  The name of the match person, the names of the tests they have on the Family Tree DNA site, and a link to their GEDCOM (if it was provided).

*  Match Date - date that the matches were listed. In my case, they were all on 28 November when my DNA data was added to the database.

*  Relationship Range - the approximate relationship indicated by the DNA matching

*  Suggested Relationship - the most likely relationship indicated by the match between myself and the matched person

*  Shared cM - the amount of shared DNA (in centiMorgans) shared between myself and the matched person.

*  Longest Block - the longest continuous block of shared DNA (in centiMorgans) shared between myself and the matched person.

*  Known Relationship - if myself and the matched person determine the relationship, we can add it here.

*  Ancestral Surnames - the surnames provided by the matched person - some did not provide any, some provided 3 to 6 generations of surnames.

The top match on my Match list shares 78.89 cM with me, with the longest block being 53.47 cM.  The suggested relationship is 3rd Cousin with a range of 2nd to 4th cousin. The matched person provided a list of surnames and locations, including: 

Leahy (Ireland), Kerslake (England), Doyle (Ireland), Flexton (England), Kelly (Ireland), Collins (Ireland), Brown (England), Harris (England), Noad (England), Allen (England), Edgerley (England), King (England), Spencer (England), Fell (England), Daniels (England), Burder (England), Flaxon (England), Hill (England), Withy (England), Hunt (England), Fox (England)

As you can see, all of the surnames are from England and Ireland.  The matched person did not provide a GEDCOM file to peruse.

2)  I wanted to see which chromosomes that this matched person and others match with my DNA.  I clicked on the "Chromosome Browser" link on the FTDNA "Family Finder" menu bar and was able to select up to five persons from the list of the matched persons to see the chromosome segments that matched.  I picked the top five on my list of "Shared cM" matches and saw:

The chart above shows that I share segments of 5 cM or more on these chromosomes:

*  Chromosome 10 - 8 segments with the first person listed

*  Chromosome 15 - 11 segments with the second person, 13 segments with the fourth person and 12 segments with the fifth person listed

*  Chromosome 17 - 16 segments with the third person listed.

It's interesting to see that the Chromosome 15 matches are in essentially the same location - are these three matched persons related?

For the chart above, the system default was to only show segments of 5 cM or more.

3)  I wondered if I shared more segments with these matched persons, so I changed the box for "Compare Genes" to "+ 1 cM" (the choices were 1, 3, 5 or 10 cM) and saw:

I match these five persons on several more chromosomes, and figured out that the "Shared Segments" shown on the person list refers to the number of shared segments over 1 cM long.  I need to look at the other matched persons also.

4)  The next step in this process is to look at the surname lists and/or GEDCOM files for these five matched persons (and others) to see if there are common surnames in common locations.  Then contact them via email to see if we can share information.

There is a FAQ page for the Family Finder autosomal DNA test at that explains quite a bit about the Family Tree DNA test process and test results.

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012

FREE Webinar Series from APG

I received this announcement from the Association of Professional Genealogists:


Professional Development for APG Members and the Genealogy Community

6 January 2012 – Westminster, Colo., With the increased demand for professional development options for genealogists, the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) announces a new webinar series for 2012. APG webinars will cover topics of interest to professional genealogists with a focus on tools and best practices for running a genealogy business.

Tax Considerations for Your Genealogy Business (U.S.) Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The first offering in the APG webinar series, Tax Considerations for Your Genealogy Business, will be presented by nationally-known genealogist, educator, and writer, James M. Beidler, on Wednesday evening, 11 January 2012, at 8:30 P.M. Eastern time.

Whether you earn your income from research, teaching, writing, or another form of genealogical activity, there are many tax decisions which affect your genealogy business. Should you form a sole proprietorship or an LLC? Take a deduction for your home office? File a 1099 for subcontractors? Jim Beidler, a Senior Tax Advisor for H&R Block and owner of his own genealogy business, will share his strategies for maximizing the deductions on your 2011 tax bill while planning ahead for 2012.

To kick off our webinar series, this first APG webinar is FREE to the public as well as to members of APG. Those wanting to attend are encouraged to register at since space is limited.

APG Professional Development

APG will be offering future professional development webinars to its members, and occasionally to the genealogy community, on a variety of topics related to genealogy as a profession.

In addition, APG members will have on-demand access to webinar recordings as well as to syllabus materials via the Members Only Section of the APG website.

About the APG

The Association of Professional Genealogists (, established in 1979, represents more than 2,400 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter ( and FaceBook (