Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vacation Day - Saturday, 12 May

This is the day that we board the Vision of the Seas ship on the Royal Caribbean line and sail away from Oslo for points to the south.  Our next port of call is Le Havre in France on Monday, 14 May.

A short video of the ships on Royal Caribbean:

The highlight today will be meeting all of the Legacy Family Tree cruisers on board the ship at 3 p.m. at the hospitality desk, and pick up our name tags.  Dinner is at 6 p.m.

Tomorrow should be fun!  It's the first day of classes on board the ship.  I'm wondering if I'll even get a chance to walk the deck or play any of the games.

Surname Saturday LNU (Germany? > New Jersey)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  I am up  to number 449, Maria LNU (1714-????). [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back to Maria LNU is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

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

6.  Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976)
7.  Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977)

14.  Charles Auble (1849-1916)
15.  Georgianna Kemp (1868-1952)

28.  David Auble (1817-1894)
29.  Sarah Knapp (1819-ca 1900)

56.  Johannes Able (1780-????)
57.  Anna Row (1787-1863)

112.  Johannes Able (1758-1818)
113.  Sophia Trimmer (1747-1811)

224.  Michael Able (1719-1791)
225.  Christina LNU (????-1804)

448.  Andreas Able, born about 1690 in Germany; died 09 April 1751 in Roxbury, Morris, New Jersey, United States.  He married before 1715 in Germany.
449.  Maria LNU, born in Germany; died April 1771 in Roxbury, Morris, New Jersey, United States.

Children of Andreas Able and Maria are:
i. Mathias Able, born about 1715 in Germany.
ii. Andreas Able, born about 1717 in Germany; died 16 July 1782 in New Germantown, Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States; married Hannah about 1740 in probably New Jersey, United States.
iii. Michael Able, born about 1719 in Germany; died 26 February 1791 in Roxbury, Morris, New Jersey, United States; married Christina before 1757 in New Jersey, United States.
iv. Paul Able, born 25 January 1731 in Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States; died 26 September 1773 in Frederick, Frederick, Maryland, United States; married Maria Magdalena 1753 in Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States; born about 1735 in Amwell, Hunterdon, New Jersey, United States; died 1800 in Virginia, United States.

The only information I have about Maria is from the will of her husband, which names her.  

I have no clue as to Maria LNU's maiden name, and apparently no other researcher does either.  Are there any other descendants of Maria (LNU) Able that are researching this family?

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vacation Day - Friday, 11 May

I doubt that we'll be up bright and early this morning - I hope that we can sleep in some to defeat the jet lag from departing Wednesday evening and arriving Thursday evening.

However, we have plans for our only sightseeing day in Oslo.  Geneablogger Torill Johnsen is meeting us in the afternoon and we will go sightseeing, perhaps at the Viking Ship Museum or the Kon-Tiki Museum, or another cultural attraction in Oslo.

Here is a photo of the Viking Ship Museum:

After touring, we will go to dinner with Torill and perhaps do more sightseeing after dinner.

This may be a relatively early night for us, since we board the cruise ship on Saturday.

There will be pictures of our Oslo sightseeing later!

A prediction:  The Genea-bloggers at the NGS Conference in Cincinnati will be very busy going to presentations, meeting with friends, and enjoying the exhibits.  There will be many blog posts, photos, Facebook posts, etc. to keep the rest of the genea-world up-to-date.

Review: "Genealogy at a Glance - American Cemetery Research"

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for American Cemetery Research by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, CG, MFA.

This "Genealogy at a Glance" booklet has four laminated pages on one 11" x 17" paper (folded). They are 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.

The American Cemetery Research folder has these subjects:

* Contents list
* Quick Facts and Important Dates
* Locating Your Ancestor's Final Resting Place

*  Types of Cemeteries
*  Planning Your Cemetery Field Trip
*  Photographing Markers
*  Tombstone Rubbings
*  Finding the Living among the Dead
*  Databases of the Dead 

This booklet is designed primarily for the person who is not an expert, or has no experience, in American cemetery research.  It provides a summary of the fundamentals of pursuing research in and about American cemeteries. Reference books, online databases and websites for some of the topics are cited in the text.  A researcher wanting additional expertise should rely on quality published books with in-depth knowledge about the resources available.  

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 $5.50; FedEx Ground Service in the USA, $7.50). You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the American Cemetery 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," and Review - Genealogy at a Glance: French 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. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Vacation Day - Thursday, 10 May

It's Day 1 of our vacation, and we spent most of it on airplanes.  We flew British Airways from San Diego (leaving at 8:05 p.m. on Wednesday) and arrived in London at 2:30 p.m.. Then we caught another British Airways plane in London (depart at 5:15 p.m.) and flew to Oslo, arriving at 8:25 p.m. if all went well :)

The Gardermoen Airport for Oslo is quite a ways from the city - it's a 720 kroner (about $120) taxi trip or a 82 kroner (about $15) train trip each, plus a short taxi trip to the hotel.  We will probably do the train trip.

Our hotel in Oslo is the Scandic Hotel Sjolyst.

When I booked the hotel, there was very little choice for a reasonably priced hotel.  We hope to be to the hotel by 10:30 p.m. and the first order of business is likely to be SLEEP.  The hotel description says that they have free wireless access, so this may be the last time I am able to check my email, read blogs, and see what momentous news was announced at the NGS Conference in Cincinnati.

When this is posted, we should be just arriving at the Oslo airport.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1851 English Census for John Richman Family

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to share an artifact or a document image from my collection of ancestral stuff.

The treasure today is the 1851 English Census record for the John Richman family in Hilperton, Wiltshire.

The information for the John Richman family on this census record is:

*  Parish or township of:  Hilperton
*  Village of: Hilperton
*  No. of Household Schedule: 88
*  Name of Street, Place, or Road, and Name or No. of House: Marsh
*  Name and Surname of each Person who abode in this house, on the Night of the 30th March, 1851: [see below]
*  Relation to Head of Family: [see below]
*  Condition: [see below]
*  Age of Male/Female: [see below]
*  Rank Profession or Occupation: [see below]
*  Where Born: [see below]

**  John Richman - Head, Mar[ried], Male, 59, Butcher, Wilts Hilperton
**  Ann Richman - Wife, Mar[ried], Female, 67, ----, Wilts Devizes
**  Elizabeth Richman - Dau[ghte]r, W[idow], 38, Female, Weaver, Wilts Hilperton
**  Mary Richman - Grand-dau[ghter], ---, 8, Female, Peeand Girl, Wilts Hilperton 
**  Rosa Richman - Grand-dau[ghter], ---, 3, Female, Scholar, Somerset Bath

I cannot figure out the rank or occupation of Mary Richman - it certainly looks like "Peeand" to me! 

I could not find this image on in a recent search for any of the persons listed.  It is not possible, as far as I know, to find a specific Folio in a specific town or parish on

I first obtained this record from a Family History Library microfilm, so the source citation I have is:

1851 Census of England, Wiltshire, Hilperton [parish], District 257, Folio 267 recto, household 196, Johns Richman household; Public Record Office HO 107/1840, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah; FHL BRITISH microfilm 220,987.

John and Ann (Marshman) Richman are my third great-grandparents.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And We're Off... to Oslo

Linda and I are excited to do some more genealogy travel.  Some of you are probably saying "Oh, they're going to Cincinnati for the National Genealogical Society Conference on 10 to 13 May." 

Um, no, we're going on the Legacy Family Tree sponsored cruise on the Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas departing from Oslo, Norway on 12 May.

The schedule for our vacation is:

*  Wednesday, 9 May:  Fly from San Diego to London, then London to Oslo on British Airways.
*  Thursday, 10 May:  We arrive tonight, and we're staying in the Scandic Sjolyst hotel in Oslo.
*  Friday, 11 May:  A free day to recover from jet lag, do some sightseeing, and perhaps meet friends for dinner.

*  Saturday, 12 May:  Find our way to the cruise ship terminal, board the ship, and meet the Legacy group at 3 p.m.  The ship departs in the afternoon.
*  Sunday, 13 May:  at sea, but there are genealogy presentations in the morning.
*  Monday, 14 May:  Arrive at 8 a.m. at LeHavre.  We'll probably take a tour of Paris.  Ship departs at midnight.

*  Tuesday, 15 May: Arrive at Cherbourg at 7 a.m.  We'll probably take a Normandy Beaches tour.  The ship departs at 3 p.m.
*  Wednesday, 16 May:  Arrive at Dublin at 12 noon.  We'll probably take a Dublin tour.  The ship departs at 10 p.m.
*  Thursday, 17 May:  Arrive at Liverpool at 7:30 a.m.  We'll probably take some sort of tour.  The ship departs at 6:30 p.m.

*  Friday, 18 May:  At sea, but there are genealogy presentations from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
*  Saturday, 19 May:  Arrive at Edinburgh at 8 a.m.  We'll probably take a city tour.  The ship departs at 6 p.m.
*  Sunday, 20 May:  At sea, but there are genealogy presentations from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

*  Monday, Arrive at Oslo at 7 a.m.  We will transfer to the airport for our flight from Oslo to London to San Diego on British Airways.

I'll have more to post about the presentations in the coming days. 

This should be fun.  We took the 2008 Celebrity cruise from New York to the Caribbean with The Master Genealogist team and had a great time. 

One drawback is that Genea-Musings will not be posted on a regular basis.  I have scheduled some posts for your entertainment before we go, but my email and Internet access will probably be very limited (like never?) on the ship since the Internet on cruise ships is usually very slow and costly.  If it is relatively cheap and fast, I'll probably spend some time every day or so using it.  My expectations are low! 

Please note that some of the weekly posts will not be published for two weeks, including:

"  Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

*  Best of the Genea-Blogs (at least with posts to click on).

The big question is "Will Randy be able to survive without Email, Interweb, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Google Reader, etc.?"  What do you think? ;)

When we get back, I have a presentation 30 May and another on 12 June, and we're going to the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree in Burbank from 7 to 10 June.  I figured that one conference in the spring was enough this year!

SDGS Meeting on 12 May - Peggy Rossi

The May meeting of the San Diego Genealogical Society is Saturday, 12 May at 10 a.m. at St. Andrews Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd, just south of Jackson Drive in San Diego).

The program speaker is Peggy Rossi, who will give two presentations:

1)  "Earning Their Keep: Our Ancestor's Presentations"

Like all of us, our ancestors had to earn a living.  In this talk, Peggy will explore ways to learn about your ancestors' occupations.  We'll look at resources to find your ancestors in business and occupational records along with sources for placing your ancestors' jobs in historical context.

2)  "You Have a Story to Tell: Writing Your Personal History."

Why write your personal history?  Telling your story will give you the opportunity to walk someone through your world and show them the journey you have taken.  This presentation will provide tips to help you get started on your own story so that, step by step, you will be able to share your own family history.

Peggy Rossi is co-owner of StorySeekers, a San Diego genealogical research, family history and memoir publishing company guiding numerous clients to prepare and publish their stories.  She has worked as a professional genealogical researcher since 1996.  Peggy serves as collections manager for the Rancho Bernardo Historical Society museum, as newsletter editor and board member of the California State Genealogical Alliance, conducts classes in genealogical research and speaks on both memoir writing and genealogical topics.

The URL for this post is:

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 204: The Baseball Boys Revisited

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

Here is a small photograph from the Seaver/Carringer family collection handed down by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period: 

This picture was taken in about 1958, probably by my mother (the youngest boy above looks to be about three years old).  These are the three sons of Fred and Betty (Carringer) Seaver posing in their baseball hats and gloves.  From the left, they are:

*  Randy Seaver (a left-hander, who hoped to be a pitcher)
*  Scott Seaver (a right-hander, a future pitcher and shortstop, sporting his father's Luke Appling mitt and holding a baseball in his throwing hand)
*  Stan Seaver (a right-hander, a catcher in almost perfect position)

All we were missing was a playing field and uniforms.  It's funny, we never let that stop us!  We had the sidewalks of 30th Street to play on.  They were only about 8 feet wide between the curb and the house, but they worked for us.  We must have chased a million balls down to the corner, or further, though!  

Another Baseball Boys picture is in

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Looking at Della's Ancestry Hints

One of the persons that I looked at for Shaky Leaf Hints in my post How Accurate are the Ancestry "Shaky Leaf" Hints? yesterday was my great-grandmother, Abbie Ardell "Della" (Smith) Carringer. 

In the "Randy Seaver's Genealogy Database" Ancestry Member Tree (not up-to-date), here are the Hints listed for Della:

1)  Accepted Hints (meaning I attached them to this tree at some time):

2)  Unaccepted Hints (meaning I haven't accepted or rejected them yet):

There are 11 Hints total.  They are (with my discussion of each of them):

1)  Ancestry Family Trees - there is only one other tree listed:

I have not communicated with the owner of this tree.  It is evident that he has copied some information from my tree for some reason (I Can tell because of a spelling error) and has attached several more records to her than I have.  It's a match.

2)  1870 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 7-year old Abbie Smith, born in Wisconsin, in the family of Julia Smith in Prescott, Pierce County, Wisconsin.  This is not my Abbie/Della, but I can understand how it found her - the first name, last name, age and birthplace all matched.

3)  1880 U.S. Federal Census - this lists an 18 year old Abbie Smith, born in Wisconsin, in the household of William Cash in Saint Paul, Howard County, Nebraska.  This is not my Abbie/Della, but I can understand how it found her - the first name, last name, age and birthplace all matched.

4)  1880 U.S. Federal Census - this lists an 18 year old Della Smith, born in Wisconsin, in the household of Abagail A. Smith in Blue Rapids, Marshall County, Kansas.  This is my Abbie/Della residing with her mother, sister, and grandparents.

5)  1885 Nebraska State Census - this lists a 23 year old Abbie Smith, born in Wisconsin, residing in Riverdale, Buffalo County, Nebraska.  I don't think that this is my Abbie, but no image is provided.

6)  1885 Nebraska State Census Collection, 1860-1885 - this lists a 23-year old Abbie Smith, born in Wisconsin in the 1885 Nebraska State Census, residing in Riverdale, Buffalo County, Nebraska.  This is the same as #5, and I don't think this is my Abbie.  However, it matches first name, last name, age and birthplace.

7)  1900 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 38 year old Della A. Caninger (additions made as Della A. Carringer and Della A. Smith), born Apr 1862 in Wisconsin, residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California with her husband, son and mother.  This is my Della.

8)  1910 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 48 year old Della A. Caninger, born in Wisconsin, residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California with her husband, son and mother.  This is my Della.

9)  1920 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 57 year old Della A. Caninger, born in Wisconsin, residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California with her husband and mother.  This is my Della.

10)  1930 U.S. Federal Census - this lists a 67 year old Della A. Caninger, born in Wisconsin, residing in San Diego, San Diego County, California with her husband and mother.  This is my Della.

11)  California Death Index, 1940-1997 - this lists Della A. Carringer (alternate Della A. Smith), born 11 April 1862 in Wisconsin, died 1 January 1944 in San Diego County, California, with father's name smith, mother's maiden name Vaux  This is my Della.

In summary, 8 of these 11 records from Shaky Leaf Hints are for my Della, and the other three could have been.  I can't fault for finding them and displaying them.

Now, what records does Ancestry have for Della/Abbie Smith/Carringer that are not listed above that fit the name, age and birthplace criteria?

1)  1870 U.S. Federal Census - Della Smith, age 8 born in Wisconsin, resided with her family in Benton, Taylor County, Iowa.  (1870 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Taylor County, Iowa, Benton township: Page 13, dwelling #207, family #207, D.J. Smith household; online database, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Series M593, Roll 421.)

2)  1885 Kansas State Census - Della Smith, age 23 born in Wisconsin, resided with her family in Clyde, Clay County, Kansas.  ("1885 Census, Kansas State Census Schedule," Clyde township, Clay County, Kansas, page 35, line 10, D.J. Smith household; Online database, (, original data at Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas., Kansas State Historical Society Microfilm K-23.)

3)  1885 Nebraska State Census Collection, 1860-1885 - Della Smith, age 23 born in Wisconsin, resided with her family in McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska ("Nebraska State Census Collection, 1860-1885," Red Willow County, Nebraska, McCook, 1185, ED 654, Page 3, Dwelling 35, Family 35, D.J. Smith household; Online database, (, citing original data in National Archives Microfilm Publication M352).

4)  California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 - Mrs. Della A. Carringer is listed in 8 separate voter registration lists ("California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968," San Diego County, California, 1908-1912, 1914, 1916, 1920, 1930, 1934, 1936, 1938; online database, (, citing State of California, United States. Great Register of Voters. Sacramento, California: California State Library.

Note that all of these matches are obtained by performing a search for Della Smith on the home page (exact match selected).  However, none of the four above were found with an exact search for Abbie Smith born in Wisconsin on the home page.  Apparently, the search algorithm only used Abbie Smith and not Della Smith.  So I wonder why it found any Della Carringer but not any Della Smith matches.  

In summary, did a good job of finding records for Abbie/Della (Smith) Carringer, even with two different first names.  I wonder why didn't find the four other items listed above?

My conclusion, based on this short evaluation:  The Shaky Leaf Hints find only some of the records in the collection - not all of them.  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

If I Was Going to the NGS Conference...

I will not be attending the National Genealogical Society Conference in Cincinnati this week.  I will miss communing with my geneablogging colleagues and readers, but I know that they will ably "show and tell" their stories from the Conference.

The conference presentation schedule is provided in PDF format at

If I was going, and if I attended a session in each time slot (I usually don't!), I probably would have attended:

1)  Wednesday, 9 May:

*  11 a.m.:  "Strategies for Finding 'Unfindable' Ancestors," by Thomas W. Jones

*  2:30 p.m.:  "Genealogical Research: Are You a Saint, Sinner or Bumfuzzled Soul?" by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

*  4 p.m.:  "Military Bounty Lands: A Rich Resource" by Rick Sayre

2)  Thursday, 10 May:

*  8 a.m.:  "Lies and Sins of Omission" by Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens

*  9:30 a.m.:  "Utilizing Social Networks for Genealogy Research" by Thomas MacEntee

*  11 a.m.:  "One Family, Two Countries, Three States: A Case Study" by Diane L. Giannini

*  2:30 p.m.:  "Pension Research: You Stopped Too Soon" by Craig Roberts Scott

*  4 p.m.:  "Assumptions: A Genealogical Slippery Slope" by Claire Bettag

3)  Friday, 11 May:

*  8 a.m.:  "Okay, I 'Got the Neighbors:' Now What Do I Do With Them?" by Elizabeth Shown Mills

*  9:30 a.m.:  "Tracking Pennsylvania Ancestors: Keys to Successful Research" by Kay Haviland Freilich

*  11 a.m.:  "Advanced Probate Research" by Michael LeClerc

*  2:30 p.m.:  "Taking the 'Awe" Out of the Law Library" by Debbie Mieszala

*  4 p.m.:  "How to Be a Bad Genealogist" by William B. Saxbe, Jr.

4)  Saturday, 12 May:

*  8 a.m.:  "Westward Migration from New England" by David Allen Lambert

*  9:30 a.m.:  "Taking Your Genealogy With You: Mobile apps" by Jordan Jones

*  11 a.m.:  "Should You Believe Your Eyes? Sizing Up Your Sources" by Laura Murphy DeGrazia

*  2:30 p.m.:  "Solutions for Missing or Scarce Records" by Thomas W. Jones

*  4 p.m.:  "Enough is Enough: Or is It?" by Pamela Boyer Sayre

There are, of course, many more sessions of interest.  It's difficult to choose between them sometimes.

I sure wish that I could obtain a copy of the syllabus.  Perhaps NGS will sell extra hard copies, or even better, CDs of the syllabus.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Vote for Del in the Mocavo Mother's Day Story Contest

Have you read the Mother's Day stories in the contest?  You should, they are all great.

Here is information about it from my San Diego-area genealogy friend and society colleague, Del Ritchhart, who is one of the finalists:

Many persons recently entered a Mother's Day Contest run by Mocavo, the relatively new genealogy web-site.  The contest was to write a 1000 word essay about a mother/grandmother or other woman who had a great influence on your life.  Six finalists will compete to win a trip for two to Boston.  The finalist with the most on-line votes by Saturday, May 12 will win the trip.  

You can vote by going to  If for some reason you get Mocavo's home page instead of the Ballot page, click on the lettering in pink at the top of the page that says "Vote for your Favorite Story."  Click on that and it will take you to the voting page.  Individuals may vote once each day until the contest ends.

UPDATE:  Voters must be registered users (it's free).

Del's entry is titled "The Enigmatic Mary O'Malley."

I know that this is a shameless plug for a friend of mine.  I encourage my readers to read all of the entries and vote for the story of their choice.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday's Tip - Watch Legacy Family Tree Webinars

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Watch Legacy Family Tree Webinars at

Legacy Family Tree (a genealogy software company) has a wealth of useful and entertaining webinars available on their website.  Viewers can sign up to watch them live and participate in them by answering poll questions and submitting questions for the speaker to answer.

The web page also lists past webinars, which are free to view for a week or two after the live event.  After the "free period," researchers can purchase a CDROM with the webinar and the syllabus.  Some past webinars are  free to view without buying a CDROM.

Two excellent webinars were presented during the past two weeks.  They were:

*  Reverse Genealogy: Finding the Living, by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak.

*  Researching Your Pennsylvania Ancestors, by Lisa Alzo, MFA.

I always try to view these webinars before they go off the "free" status.  I have learned quite a bit from many of these webinars.  It's like seeing expert genealogy presentations for free without leaving the house.

If you purchase the webinar CDs, or can access them on the Internet, you can show them at a local genealogical society program, per Geoff Rasmussen at Legacy Family Tree.  I have shown several of them, from CDROMs, at the Research Group meetings of the Chula Vista Genealogical Society.

The next Legacy Family Tree webinar is on 30 May at 2 p.m. (EDT) and features Thomas MacEntee presenting:

Researching Your New York Ancestors. While many of our ancestors may have come from New York, finding them and the records left behind is another story. New York research offers certain challenges and it helps to know the strategies needed to tackle those Empire State records. You’ll not only get a quick lesson in New York State history and understand why the different regions are important, you’ll also learn about special record sets and resources unique to New York. Whether your ancestor was a Knickerbocker or an immigrant, you’ll be in a “New York State of mind“ with these research tips, tricks and tools.

You can register to watch this webinar for free at  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Monday, May 7, 2012

How Accurate are the Ancestry "Shaky Leaf" Hints?

I wrote New Hint Notifications on Ancestry Member Trees last Friday, and got to wondering about the completeness and accuracy of the Hints offered by in Ancestry Member Trees.

The pedigree chart for one of my Ancestry Member Trees looked like this:

Almost all of the persons on the tree (five generations) have Hints indicated, and the ones without Hints indicated have had Hints in the past which I've either accepted or rejected.  

I decided to look at the Hints for each person on this tree, and see which Hints (offered, rejected, or accepted) are accurate.  I judged accuracy by whether the Hint was for the particular ancestor, based on my research.  Here are the results:

*  Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-....):  3 Hints - 3 accurate.
*  Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983): 9 Hints - 9 accurate.
*  Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942): 9 Hints - 9 accurate. 
*  Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver (1882-1962):  5 Hints - 5 accurate.

*  Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922):  7 Hints - 6 accurate.

*   Harriet Louisa (Hildreth) Seaver (1857-1920):  7 Hints - 7 accurate.
*  Thomas Richmond (1848-1917):  4 Hints - 4 accurate.
*  Julia (White) Richmond (1848-1913): 3 Hints - 3 accurate

*  Isaac Seaver (1823-1901):  7 Hints - 6 accurate.

*  Lucretia Townsend (Smith) Seaver (1828-1884):  4 Hints - 4 accurate
*   Edward Hildreth (1831-1899):  5 Hints - 5 accurate
*  Sophia (Newton) Hildreth (1834-1882):  6 Hints - 6 accurate

*  James Richman/Richmond (1821-1912):  10 Hints - 9 accurate

*  Hannah (Rich) Richman/Richmond (1824-1911):  9 Hints - 7 accurate
*  Henry White (1824-1885):  2 Hints - 2 accurate
*  Amy Frances (Oatley) White (1826-1865):  4 Hints - 3 accurate.

*   Betty Virginia (Carringer) Seaver (1919-2002): 8 Hints - 8 accurate

*   Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976):  7 Hints - 7 accurate
*  Emily Kemp (Auble) Carringer (1899-1977): 8 Hints - 8 accurate

*:  Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946): 10 Hints - 10 accurate

*  Abbie Ardell (Smith) Carringer (1862-1944):  11 Hints - 9 accurate
*  Charles Auble (1849-1916):  8 Hints - 8 accurate
*  Georgianna (Kemp) Auble (1868-1952):  8 Hints - 8 accurate  

*  David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902): 4 Hints - 4 accurate

*  Rebecca (Spangler) Carringer: 8 Hints - 5 accurate
*  Devier J. Smith (1839-1894):  3 Hints - 3 accurate
*  Abbie A. (Vaux) Smith (1844-1931):  3 Hints - 3 accurate

*  David Auble (1817-1894): 7 Hints - 7 accurate

*  Sarah (Knapp) Auble (1818-1900):  3 Hints - 3 accurate
*  James Abraham Kemp (1831-1902):  8 Hints - 7 accurate
*  Mary Jane (Sovereen) Kemp (1840-1874):  7 Hints - 5 accurate

Adding all of that up for 31 persons:

*  Number of Hints Offered:  197 
*  Number of Accurate Hints:  183
*  Accuracy Rate = 183/197 = 0.929.  

So, 93% of the Hints offered by Ancestry for these 31 persons were accurate.

All 31 of these persons had an Ancestry Member Tree match, which is based on submissions by users.  These included my own "other" tree.  If we subtract those 31 matches from the numbers, we get 152/166 = 0.916.

Most of the Hints provided were for census records, including Canadian and English census records.  However, I know that some of the census records were missing from the Hints.

It strikes me that it must be more difficult for to search the records when persons use different first names, or different surname spellings, or females who marry and are listed with a maiden name and married surname in the records.

In a later post, I'll take a closer look at the hits and misses for one of my ancestors on this list.

My question is:  Does actually search for these records based on the known information provided in my Ancestry Member Tree, or does it use the records that are attached to other Ancestry Member Trees?  Or both?  I can't tell from this first look at the results.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Amanuensis Monday - Obituary of Thomas Richmond (1848-1917)

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

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

The subject today is the obituary of Thomas Richmond (1848-1917), who died in Clinton, Worcester County, Massachusetts on 9 November 1917, at the home of his daughter, Annie (Richmond) Pickford.  His obituary (dated November 17, 1917, unknown newspaper, obtained from family papers) reads:

"Thomas Richmond, one of the best known woolen carders in New England, died in Clinton, Mass., on Friday, November 9, at the home of his son-in-law, Walter Pickford, the well-known secretary of the National Association of Woolen and Worsted Overseers.  Mr. Richmond was born in England in 1848 and came to this country with his parents at the age of eight.  He began his mill career in some Connecticut mill and by the time he had reached his majority he had already become an overseer, holding his first position with the Westerly (R.I.) Woolen Co., long since out of business.  During a long and busy life the recognized ability of Mr. Richmond obtained for him some of the best positions in the country.  Besides being overseer of carding in Westerly, R.I., Mr. Richmond was in the early days of his mill career employed with old time mills in Salisbury and Elmville, Conn.

"He had been ill since last April from pernicious anaemia, and last August went to live with his son-in-law, Walter Pickford.  Although the best medical service was employed, it was without avail.  Mr. Richmond was well and favorably known in the textile industry.  His passing away will be a distinct shock and loss to the overseers of New England, among whom he passed his busy and practical life.  He was of a very affable disposition and his spirit of good will maintained even during his last days illness buoyed him up to the last.

"He leaves one son and four daughters, one of whom is the wife of Walter Pickford, head of the Alliance Chemical Company in Boston.  Mr. Richmond had been a member of the National Association of woolen and Worsted Overseers for many years.  Funeral services were held at St. Phillip's Episcopal Church, Putnam, Conn., and interment was in Grove Cemetery, same city.  He held his last position with the Putnam (Conn.) Woolen Co."

This obituary provides some helpful information about Thomas Richmond's career and last days.  Unfortunately, it doesn't name any of his children still living.  Four of his five sons were deceased when he died.

I wish that I could determine what newspaper this was obtained from.  I have the clipping, but don't know the newspaper name or the date of publication.  

Thomas Richmond is one of my great-grandfathers.  

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Best of the Genea-Blogs - 29 April to 4 May 2012

Hundreds of genealogy and family history bloggers write thousands of posts every week about their research, their families, and their interests. I appreciate each one of them and their efforts.

My criteria for "Best of ..." are pretty simple - I pick posts that advance knowledge about genealogy and family history, address current genealogy issues, provide personal family history, are funny or are poignant. I don't list posts destined for the genealogy carnivals, or other meme submissions (but I do include summaries of them), or my own posts.

Here are my picks for great reads from the genealogy blogs for this past week: 

*  We paid in blood and Readers respond to "We paid in blood" by Judy G. Russell on The Legal Genealogist blog.  Judy discusses Rob Lowe's Hessian soldier who became an American, and his qualifications for the DAR.  The second post is reader comments.  All are interesting.

*  Analysis of the Elizabeth (Smith) Hait Family History, 1938, part one by Michael Hait on the Planting the Seeds blog.  Michael digs into one of the family papers in his possession.  Have you done this?

*  'To gtrandmother's house I go...' by Jennifer on the 'On a flesh and bone foundation:' An Irish History blog.  Jennifer writes about not knowing her grandmothers while visiting their ancestral homes.

*  "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates" - DNA in the Seventh Episode by CeCe Moore on the Your Genetic Genealogist blog.  CeCe had to work really hard analyzing this episode because there was so much xcontent on the show.

* Our local, historical, genealogical, sci fi wedding! by Elizabeth Walne on the Your Local History blog.  Elizabeth did a great job planning and executing her wedding with genealogical highlights - what a beautiful photo blog post.

*  Kinfolio: A Beginner Experience in Alpha (pre-Beta) by Michael McCormuick on the Enduring Legacy Genealogy blog.  Here's a look into the near future for users of the FamilySearch Family Tree.

*  Military Honors by Denise Barrett Olson on The Graveyard Rabbit Journal blog.  Denise describes the military honors of a deceased serviceman.

*  Carnival of Genealogy, 117th Edition by Jasia on the Creative Gene blog.  There were 22 entries for this carnival on the topic of "1940!"

*  Geeking your way to more genealogical productivity? by James Tanner on the Genealogy's Star blog.  Yes, James is, but almost all geneabloggers are also!

*  5 Genealogy Predictions for the Future ... and Beyond by the writer of The Geneabrarian Reference Desk blog.  Here are some sensible predictions of the future for genealogists.

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

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

*  Fab Finds for You - 29 April 2012 by Lisa Frank on the 1 Ancestry 2 Little Time blog.

*  Monday Recap for April 30, 2012 by Amanda on the Geni Blog.

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

*  Follow Friday: This Week's Favorite Finds by Jen on the Climbing My Family Tree blog.

*  Genealogy News Corral, April 30-May 4 by Diane Haddad on the Genealogy Insider blog.

*  Friday Finds - 05/04/12 by Julie Cahill Tarr on the GenBlog blog.

I encourage readers to go to the blogs listed above and read their articles, and add their blogs to your Favorites, Google Reader, RSS feed or email if you like what you read. Please make a comment to them also - all bloggers appreciate feedback on what they write.

Did I miss a great genealogy blog post? Tell me! I am currently reading posts from over 1200 genealogy bloggers using Google Reader, but I still miss quite a few it seems.

Read past Best of the Genea-Blogs posts here.

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2012.