Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Google Maps of Ancestral Homes

Hey there, genea-cartophiles, It's Saturday Night - time for more Genealogy Fun!!!

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

1)  Identify an ancestral home address ( preferably one with a street address...) for one of your families (You do know where they lived, don't you?  If not, consult the 1900 to 1940 US Census records or City Directories.

2)  Go to Google Maps ( and enter the street address (and city/town if necessary - usually you can pick from a list) for your selected ancestral home.

3)  Look at the street map, the satellite map, and the street view.  Zoom in or out, or manipulate the image as you wish.

4)  Tell us or show us your map images in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status post or a Google Plus Stream post.

5)  Do you have maps and street view pictures for all of your known ancestral homes?

Here's mine:

1)  I picked my wife's mother's home at 46 Rivoli Street in San Francisco.  Edna May Schaffner was born there in 1913, daughter of Paul and Edna (McKnew) Schaffner, and lived there until she married Leo Leland in 1937.

2)  I did this (there were five entries on the dropdown menu for "46 Rivoli").

3)  and 4) The street Map view is:

This address is in the Cole Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, just northeast of Mount Sutro.

The Satellite view shows the surrounding area with vegetation, and you can get some idea of the terrain:

A zoomed in view of the house on the Satellite view shows that this house is on a street going uphill from left to right:

The Street View picture shows the front of the house:

Of course, the Street view is canted to the right because the Google vehicle was going uphill when it took the picture!  One interesting note - they blurred out the license plate on the car in the driveway!

5)  I have Google Map images for many of my ancestral homes (at least for those after 1900 where I know the street address), but not for all of my homes, and certainly not for all of my wife's ancestral homes.  Another project!

That was fun!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - KELSEY (England > Connecticut > New Jersey)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  I have some blank spots between #455 (last week) so I am up  to number 473, Mercy Kelsey (1698-1760). [Note: The 6th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts] 

My ancestral line back to Mercy KELSEY (and three more generations) 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 (1818-ca 1900)

58.  William Knapp (1775-1856)
59.  Sarah Cutter (1785-1878)

118.  Stephen Cutter (1745-1823)
119.  Tabitha Randolph (about 1751- 1841)

236.  William Cutter (1722-1780)
237.  Mary Kent (1726-????)

472.  Richard Cutter, born 13 November 1682 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 17 December 1756 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.  He was the son of 944. William Cutter and 945. Rebecca Rolfe.  He married about 1722 in probably Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.
473.  Mercy Kelsey, born about 1698 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States; died before 28 May 1760 in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, United States.  

Children of Richard Cutter and Mercy Kelsey are:  William Cutter (1722-1780); Joseph Cutter (1725-1767); Mary Cutter (1728-????); Rebecca Cutter (1730-????); Ebenezer Cutter (1732-????); Samuel Cutter (1734-1759).

946.  Joseph Kelsey, born about 1673 in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States; died June 1742 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States.   He married 1697 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States.
947.  Joannes DeCamp, born before 02 April 1677 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, United States; died before 1739 in Elizabeth, Union, New Jersey, United States.  She was the daughter of 1894. Laurens Jansen DeCamp and 1895. Aeltje DeMandeville.

Children of Joseph Kelsey and Joannes DeCamp are:  Mercy Kelsey (1698-1760); Hannah Kelsey (1700-????): Joseph Kelsey (1702-1753); Mary Kelsey (1704-????); Benjamin Kelsey (1706-1765); Daniel Kelsey (1708-1759); Ruth Kelsey (1710-????); Phebe Kelsey (1713-????); Lydia Kelsey (1715-1764).

1892.  Mark Kelsey, born  about 1626 in England; died before 27 February 1722 in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States.  He married  08 March 1658 in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States.
1893.  Rebecca Hoskins, born about 1634 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 28 August 1683 in Windsor, Hartford, Connecticut, United States.  She was the daughter of 3786. John Hoskins and 3787. Ann Filer.

Children of Mark Kelsey and Rebecca Hoskins are:  Rebecca Kelsey (1660-????); John Kelsey (1661-1685); Thomas Kelsey (1663-1715); Ruth Kelsey (1669-1767); William Kelsey (1670-1698); Joseph Kelsey (1673-1742)

3784.  William Kelsey, born 1600 in Chelmsford, Essex, England; died before 21 September 1676 in Killingworth, Middlesex, Connecticut, United States.  He was the son of 7568. George Kelsey and 7569. Elizabeth Hammond.  He married about 1625 in England.
3785.  unknown.

Children of William Kelsey and unknown are:  Mark Kelsey (1626-1722); Bethia Kelsey (1630-1722); Priscilla Kelsey (1632-1711); Mary Kelsey (1634-1676); Hester Kelsey (1636-1720); John Kelsey (1636-1709); Abigail Kelsey (1645-1717); Stephen Kelsey (1647-1710); Daniel Kelsey (1650-1727); William Kelsey (1654-1698).

Resources for these families include:

*  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Volume 2 (Boston, Mass.; NEHGS, 1995), William Kelsey sketch, pages 1117-1119

*  Gale Ion Harris, "The Family of William Kelsey of Hartford, Connecticut," The American Genealogist (1993), pages 208-215.

*  Several Connecticut town history books, including those for Wethersfield, Hartford and Windsor.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, June 1, 2012

Getting Ready for SCGS Genealogy Jamboree NEXT WEEK!

It's June 1st, and the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree 2012 in Burbank is NEXT WEEK.  Yikes - time sure flies when you're having fun.  And we'll have more fun next week at Jamboree.  We're taking the train from San Diego to Burbank on Thursday next week, so that we have Thursday evening to socialize a bit (anyone have plans?) and enjoy a full Friday schedule.  We'll come back on the 4 p.m. train on Sunday.

Many Jamboree planning posts are on the SCGS Genealogy Jamboree Blog - check it out for information.

I downloaded the SCGS2012 Jamboree app for my iPhone last week, and made my picks for the class sessions that I might attend.  Then I realized, today, that I had not received a link to the Syllabus.  I knew that, being an Early Bird registrant, that I would receive a CDROM and a printed syllabus when I picked up my registration materials.

The SCGS2012 Jamboree app has access to the syllabus articles also.  A user can either download a syllabus article to read on their mobile device, or can send a link to a PDF to their email address.  Since it's hard to read PDFs on my iPhone, I chose to send some links to myself via email, then collect them and read them over the next week so that I'm "ready" to attend the sessions.

When I clicked on the "Syllabi" icon, I received a list of the available syllabus articles (note that not all are on the list):

I clicked on one of the items on the list, and had to choose between "Download" and "Email":

If I download the item, then I can read it on my screen, but apparently it is not saved anywhere (that I've found...).  It can be read with a lot of scrolling:

If  I chose to Email it to myself, I can tap in my email address and a link to the syllabus article will be sent to me.

After clicking the links and reading the articles, I saved them to my hard drive and will print some of them out next week before we go to the Genealogy Jamboree.

I may read the article on my iPhone while in the session if the wi-fi coverage, or cell phone coverage, is good enough.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Creating Research Notes in RootsMagic 5 - Post 2

In my post Creating Research Notes in RootsMagic 5 - Post 1 yesterday, I demonstrated how to create the "Detail Text Note" for a Source in a list of Events for a Person or a Family.  The "Detail Text Note" for a Source might contain a summary, transcription, abstract or extract from the source material, or comments, discussion and analysis of the source material.  In other words, material that might be included in a detailed Research Report by a genealogy researcher.  As far as I can tell, RootsMagic 5 is the only current genealogy software program with this capability.

RootsMagic 5 can create a "Research Notes Report" that includes all Sources on the Events list, with or without "Detail Text Notes."

In order to create the "Research Notes Report," the user must enter information about the sourced Events into the "Detail Text Note" Research Note and/or Comment fields for each Event.  Otherwise, the Event is listed, with the source citation, but with no note or comment.  I will show this later in this post.

The creation of  the "Research Notes Report" is relatively simple in RootsMagic 5.  My process was:

1)  On the "Family" View with your target person highlighted, click on the "Reports" menu item and select "Lists:"

2)  On the "Create a Report" window, select the "Research Reports" item and then select the "Research Notes" item:

3)  The "Research Notes" window opens and the user can select what is to be included in the "Research Notes Report:"

The options available are:

*  Print research notes for Person, or for Family (Father, Mother, Children). [I checked Person]

*  Select person or family.  The user can select anyone from the Person list.  But only one person... [I selected Alpheus B. Smith]

*  Include only sources with research notes [I kept this unchecked - I wanted all Sources whether they had a Research Note or not]

*  Include Comments. [I checked this box]

I could also change the Report Layout by using the "Layout" button, and the fonts by using the "Fonts" button.

4)  I clicked the "Generate Report" button and saw:

There were nine pages on this list with 14 Events, all of which have one or more sources, but not all of them had Research Notes.

The format of these notes includes:

*  A header title with a creation date (on every page)

*  The date and location of the Event (two lines)

*  The text of the Research Note and Comment (as typed into the "Detail Text" Note fields)

*  A source number superscript at the end of each Research Note.

*  The source citation appears as a Footnote at the bottom of the page.

In the screen above, the reader can see that I did not have any text in the "Detail Text" note field for the Birth Event for Alpheus Smith, and the Report says "<<No research note>>"

5)  I created a Research Note for the Birth Event, and it showed up the next time I created the "Research Notes Report:"

As discussed in this and the previous post, the creation of the "Detail Text Note" for each Source citation is the critical feature for this report.  The "Research Notes Report" itself is very easy and quick to create, but the content depends on the Detail text notes for each sourced Event.

I understand that this is the initial version of this Research Report feature, but I have several suggestions to make it more usable and readable:

*  Add the Event name to the heading for every item on the Report.  When I transcribe or summarize source material, I don't always note which Event it applies to.  Without the Event name in the Header for the Report item, users have to write an introductory sentence or two for each item as I did for the Birth Event above.

*  Enable Centering of the Header in the Fonts button menu

*  Add the Source Quality information (Information Type, Source Type, Evidence Type) to the heading for each Source listed in the "Research Notes Report."

*  Add a "Research Notes" button to the "Edit Person" window (shown below):

There is already a "Research Log" button above the Person Event list and Person details.  Simply add another button for "Research Notes" to make this very useful report more noticeable and accessible.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Comments from Readers on Research Reports, Ancestry Trees, and Mitt Romney

For Follow-Up Friday, I'm delving into the comments left on recent blog posts over the past week that might have helpful hints from readers, or asked for my comments:  

1)  On Samples of Essential Reports for Genealogists (posted 28 May 2012):

*  Becky Wiseman commented:

"... it was an awesome presentation as were the other three with her (and the four with Tom Jones)!  One of the things that I took away from that session is that Elizabeth Shown Mills types up a complete research report using a Word Processor.   She does not enter any data (or the research report) into Roots Magic until after the research report using the Word Processor is complete. She then copies the info from the word processor and pastes it into the Research Report in Roots Magic."

My comments:  I knew that I must be doing something wrong...I have been putting my research results into my Notes as I collect them, and entering the Event evidence as I collect it, with Source citations.  My practice over the years has been to put "too much" into the Notes (with embedded source citations - not always complete!) and sort it out when I need to write it up in a word processor.  In order to use the "Research Note Report" in RootsMagic 5, I've had to copy the Note material into the "Detail Text" part of the Source Citation Detail for each source.   In my opinion, this Report gets me closer to being an "Evidence-based Genealogist."

*  Julliana Lund commented:

"Thank for the review of ESM's class ... you sure make me wish I was there. You mentioned that there would be a video available for purchase - any idea where I can find that? I am desperate to improve my "methods" of research and analysis. This sounds like it would be very helpful."

My comments:  See Connie's comment below about the video issue.   It is my fervent hope that some smart conference organizer will engage presenters like Thomas Jones and Elizabeth Shown Mills to do a streaming video series (like RootsTech has done) for wider exposure.  Every genealogist, from beginner to expert, can benefit from watching them, and only a select few can afford to attend the conferences.  FamilySearch, and the National Genealogical Society, have created some videos of "experts" also.  

*  Connie Sheets commented:

"I'm not aware of video being available of this presentation, but one can purchase an audio CD from Jamb, Inc., not only for this but for many of the presentations at the NGS and other conferences.

"It doesn't look to me like much editing was done to the RM5 Research Notes report, other than adding personalized headers and footers, and inserting graphics.  This report functionality was the sole reason I switched from Legacy to RootsMagic. Once you understand the purpose, you won't want to live without it!

"While I agree one should do a research report first, if (like me) you've been guilty of doing a lot of research without that, RM's Research Notes report is a lifesaver in terms of giving you a way to go back and re-analyze everything you've already done."

My comments:  Thank you for the reminder of the audio recordings for conference presentations.  Is the presentation syllabus provided on the audio CD also?  The syllabus is invaluable.  The ideal would be, I think, is buying a video of the presentation so you can hear the speaker, see the visual aids and have the syllabus.  Presenters should be compensated for permitting this.

I agree with you about the value of the "Research Notes Report."  Perhaps RootsMagic 5 will incorporate the Source image in a later version.

I'm in the situation where I have put information into the software first, in Notes and Events, and have not written a Research Report first.   What I've noticed is that the "Research Notes Report" helps me focus on the analysis of the source material and on adding sources for material that I have in Notes but not in Events/Sources (like deed abstracts and probate transcriptions/abstracts).  I'll write more on this.

2)  In Adding a Story to my Ancestry Member Tree (posted 31 May 2012):

*  Ginger Smith commented:

"... anything I write or create (with the exception of my blog posts) or email to someone has either a copyright notice, source citation, or my name, email, and date created noted at the top or bottom of the document. 

"I receive a LOT of documents that people share with me that have no author's name on them. This is frustrating. So I make sure if and when I send something to someone else, whether it is mine or belongs to someone else, I write the author's name, contact info, and date on it. 

"As for the online trees. My tree is private. The most important research I did was already copied and pasted to (not because of something I posted to my tree but from a site) and the author refused to remove at my request several years ago, so I let it be. I think it's funny, though, because everyone who has copied this info, inevitably ends up with a tree with at least 3 "siblings" with the same name! If someone wants to believe a person who has three men of the same name in a single household did all that research themselves, well...they are in for a big surprise!"

My comments:  I put a copyright notice on every one of my blog posts in hope that someone who copies the post will include it so that there is some attribution.  Ah, yes, the "three guys of the same name" trick, that works to sort out who didn't do the research.  I sometimes add a mis-spelling of a name or place on purpose for the same reason (but now can't remember all of the instances).  

*  Jenna commented:

"... I blogged about a similar situation last year:   Be sure to read all the comments, there are some good ones! :) 

"I don't mind that people copy my information at all. That's why I put it out there to the public. But I do expect them to contact me to see what our connection is or what additional information I may have.

"For one particular line that I've spent a lot of time on, I attached a probate document to an individual on my tree...but I redacted all the good stuff...the names and locations of all the heirs including the daughters married names! In its place I added a text box and said: 'Through collaboration we can achieve our end goals quicker and with more accurate information. I am happy to share this and additional documents with fellow researchers, however I have seen too many documents attached to the incorrect person on Ancestry member trees. Please contact me if you believe we are researching the same family and I will be happy to work with you.'  I've not received one email. :( People just want to grab and go!"

My comments:  Jenna tried a different way to try to bring collaborators together.  Unfortunately, it hasn't worked out, but it was a valiant try!  The redacted probate record is an interesting idea.  In my case, I've posted so many wills on my blog that anybody who can Google can find them and add them to an Ancestry Member Tree.  My purposes for transcribing them were to bring the records into the public view, and to encourage collaborators to contact me.  It works, once in awhile.

*  Connie Sheets commented:

"I believe Ancestry public trees are the death of collaboration. Most people just copy mindlessly and never think to contact the person who posted the information. 

"There is a big difference between gleaning facts from me and stealing my copyright. I have had at least one person copy an entire narrative webpage of mine (well, except for my name and copyright notice, which she deleted) and paste it to her own blog as though she had done the research and written the narrative. I need to follow through with this one to have the blog provider remove the post (since my polite requests directly to the thief have resulted in stone cold silence), but I've not taken the time to do it. 

"I have had numerous people take unique documents or results of my research that I shared via e-mail (or snail mail in the olden days) and post them without attribution. While that is not a copyright violation, it is rude and maddening.

"I appreciate those few cousins who have the common sense and good manners to state where they got something I shared that they use."

My comments:  Connie has a contrary view, and it's a valid one based on her experience and that of many others.  I agree that Ancestry actually hinders collaboration.  It fosters an individual approach.  Trees are isolated, not connected  to other trees.  Notes are hidden behind the Owner's wall - no one else can see them.  The Hints and the "Save this document to someone in your tree" encourages attaching records - which is good - but there is no real effective way to discuss them or collaborate with others.  A connected tree that encourages source images, source citations, evidence analysis and discussion, and collaboration is the ideal.  FamilySearch has that goal, but will it work well?  We'll find out soon, I think!

Connie raises an interesting copyright/plagiarism issue - are private emails or unpublished research reports protected by the copyright laws?  A question for Judy Russell and James Tanner! 

*  Susan Petersen commented:

"a) I subscribe to the member connect feature in my RSS reader, so I constantly see who is saving what from my tree to theirs; I also receive notification if another Ancestry subscriber adds a photo or document to the media file of a common relative.

"b) Yeah, it bugs me when Ancestry users grab my entire tree and add it to theirs without even making contact. On the few occasions when I've contacted them to find out how we might be related, the answer has always been, 'I don't know - who was your relative again?'

"c) I've given up on attempting to be the internet police in regard to copyright. I'm with Jenna - the reason that I put as much information online as possible, as well as making my Ancestry tree public, is to make the information available. I don't own the facts. I don't own the links and documents that I locate on Ancestry. I'm doing the research for my own enjoyment and if my legwork helps another family member fast-forward their research, that's fine with me. What bugs me is when an Ancestry user downloads my 'stuff' and re-uploads it as their own original content, rather than using the "Save to my tree" feature. Again, I can't police this, so I don't try.

"d) I'm concerned with the 'you don't need to know what you're looking for; all you need to do is look' mentality. While I find the clues via Member Connect activity helpful, I seldom add the research to my tree without doing the legwork myself. I will view other Family Trees, then follow the trail myself.

"e) So many people have jumped to conclusions with their research that my fear is that some family histories are destroyed beyond repair. It will take the diligent researcher to sort this all out, realizing that just because the name's the same, it's not always the same person. Many times, I have done the research on two people with the same name so as to absolutely rule out the one who isn't my guy.

f) Clearly copyright doesn't mean anything to the average internet user. Years ago, pre-internet, I had a boss who took a publication I had written and produced and used it his portfolio when applying for another job. What I couldn't get over was that he actually showed the portfolio to me. When I called him out about it, his response was, 'I was your supervisor when you did it, therefore I can put it my portfolio.' For me, that was the most blatant and egregious theft of my work ever. So someone stealing the results of my family history research doesn't bother me that much. It bothers me, but not much."

My comment:  Susan should have written her own blog post about this!  Excellent commentary.

3)  On I'm Mitt Romney's (Distant) Cousin (posted 28 December 2011)

*  Anonymous commented:  "I have just recently started using My grandfather used to tell us he was related to George Romney, but I never knew how to check it out. Alma Luella Robison (she is Mitt's maternal grandmother), is my Grandfather's Aunt, which makes Mitt my second cousin, once removed. (Charles Albert Robison, is Grandpa's dad, and Alma's brother). Small world."

*  Anonymous (another one) commented:  "Mitt Romney's maternal grandmother, Alma Leulla Robison is my Grandmother's Aunt, which also makes Mitt my second cousin, Once removed. I am wondering who posted before me?"

My comment:  Hmmm, looks like we have a close cousin match here!  If you both will email me at I'll be happy to facilitate contact between you.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Creating Research Notes in RootsMagic 5 - Post 1

In Samples of Essential Reports for Genealogists, I noted that samples of Elizabeth Shown Mills' research plans, reports and notes were on the Association of Professional Genealogists website (see  

A major takeaway for me was that Elizabeth apparently used RootsMagic 5 software to generate the Research Notes report (and probably edited the report afterward).  Elizabeth's Research Notes report is  Research Notes: Samuel Witter (1787–1876): Research Notes.  That got me to wondering where the Research Notes were in RootsMagic 5, and how to create a Research Notes report.  

I checked the "Help" button because the process was not obvious to me.  The first line of the "Research Notes" item says:

"Prints the research notes and comments for every citation for a person or family."

It appears that a "Research Note" is associated with a source citation.  The "Research Notes Report" contains all of the Research Notes and Comments for every Source citation associated with the selected person or family.  

OK, so the first step is to Create the Research Notes themselves.  Here is the process I used: 

1)  From the "Edit People" window for Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840), I clicked on the 1826 "Deed" Event:

2)  I clicked on the "Sources" button for the "Deed" Event, and the "Citation Manager" for this Event opened:

3)  I want to "Edit" the content of the source citation, so as to add a "Research Note," so I clicked on the "Edit" button and say:

On the screen above (the "Citation" tab), I can edit the Source citation elements, or can click on the "Master Text," "Detail Text," "Media," "Quality" or "Repository" tabs to enter information about this source.

4)  I clicked on the "Detail Text" tab, and saw:

The green background area on the screen above says:  "Changes on this page applies only to this citation."  There are two fields for data entry - the "Research Notes (summary, transcription, extraction, or text from the source)" and "Comments."

5)  I had transcribed this Deed on my blog, so I copied the transcription from my blog post to the "Research Notes" field.  I edited it a bit (taking out the source citation embedded in the text) and it looked like this:

6)  When I was done, I clicked on the "OK" button and on the "Citation Manager" window I saw:

The "Research Notes," and any Comments I make about them, are in the lower right-hand panel of the "Citation Manager" window.

As noted above, In order to create the "Research Notes Report," the user needs to add content (Research Notes and Comments) for all of the Sources that they used for the Person.   

Note also that these "Research Notes," which are associated with source citations, are not the same as a "Person Note" (associated with a Person on the "Edit People" window) or an "Event  Note" (associated with an Event on the "Edit People" window).  

Note also that these "Research Notes" are not associated with the "Research Log" feature in RootsMagic 5.  

In the next post in this series, I will demonstrate how to create the "Research Notes Report" in RootsMagic 5.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Adding a Story to my Ancestry Member Tree

I don't check my MemberConnect notes at the bottom of my home page very often, but sometimes I see something of interest.

Today, I noticed that a searcher had added two photos (of my father) from my database to their database for some reason:

I don't know this person, and have had no contact with him to my knowledge.  I'm not trying to pick on him here - just noting some things that may be of interest to my readers and Ancestry Member Tree users.

I clicked on the link to his tree and found that this searcher had added my entire Seaver line (12 generations); however, only the parents were added, not siblings of my Seaver ancestors.

I worked my way back to Robert Seaver (1608-1683), the immigrant to Massachusetts in 1634.  Robert Seaver had a number of "Stories" attached to him. created the "Stories" feature because the "Person Notes" are accessible only to Owners of Ancestry Member Trees (not to editors, guests or visitors).  In addition, the "Stories" feature can be added to the MyCanvas book, but the Person Notes cannot be.

The two "Stories" of interest to me were these:

1)  A "Story" about the life of Robert Seaver (copied, as best I can tell from my web page at

2)  A "Story" with the sketch from The Great Migration Begins series copied or transcribed from the Great Migration website (

For Robert Seaver's wife, Elizabeth Ballard, a "Story" was posted, also from my web page:

It turns out that many other searchers (117!!) have copied the Robert Seaver "Stories" to their Ancestry Member Trees - there is a long list of them on the Story page.

I decided that I should add my own stories to my Ancestry Member Tree that I want to share with my cousins, siblings and descendants (the one I have on my app).  It was easy to do - just click on the orange button to "Add this to my Tree."  The "Attach to someone in your tree" popup window opened, and I typed in Robert Seaver and had to select from the four Robert Seavers in this tree:

After selecting the right Robert Seaver, I clicked "OK" and the Story was added to my tree.

My thoughts about this include:

1)  Searchers have found my work product (and The Great Migration work product) online and have added it to their Ancestry Member Trees without attribution.

2)  Frankly, there is not a lot of "my original work" in my notes on Robert and Elizabeth (Ballard) Seaver, and using what I posted in 2005 on my web site is not disconcerting to me.  I take the view that "I've posted this material, which is mainly summary and sometimes analytical, in nature, for the benefit of other searchers in hopes that they will attribute it, contact me and share their information with me."  This applies to my blog postings too - people are welcome to use it, as long as they attribute original work to me.

3)  I could add "Stories" based on my Person Notes to my ancestor families so that my extended family members, who may become editors or guests of my Ancestry Member Tree, can read them.  It is not difficult to do - I can just copy and paste from my Person Notes into a new "Story."  I think that I will add a copyright notice and permission statement to the Stories, however.

I'm curious how other researchers have handled this attribution issue.  I'm loathe to write to all of those that have copied my material to persons in their tree, because I think it will be contentious and ultimately unproductive.

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Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - Jane (Whittle) McKnew's Death Certificate

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 Death Certificate of Jane (Whittle) McKnew (1847-1921):

This Death Certificate was obtained from both the County of San Francisco, and from the State of California.  The better image is the one above from the State.  The content in both certificates is identical, but have different reference numbers on them.  The California reference number (on the image above) is 21-007723.  The information on the Death Certificate is (handwritten entries in italics):

Place of Death:  City and County of San Francisco (1288 30th Avenue 5 Ward)
FULL NAME:  Jane McKnew
Sex:  Female
Color or Race:  White
Single, Married, widowed or divorced:  Widow
Date of Death:  February 7, 1921
Wife of:  E.P. McKnew
Date of Birth: August 2, 1847
Age [at death]: 73 years 6 months 5 days
Occupation:  Housewife
Birthplace:  Australia
Name of Father:  Joseph Whittle
Birthplace of Father:  England
Mother's Name:  Rachel Moore
Mother's Birthplace:  England
Length of Residence (Place of Death): 46 years
Length of Residence (California): 71 years
How long in U.S.: 71 years
Informant:  Henry L. McKnew, 3718 16th St.
Doctor's Statement:  I attended deceased from July 1920 to Feb 6 1921 that I last saw her on Feb 6 1921 and that death occurred on the date stated above at 6 A.M.
Cause of Death:  Inannition
Duration: 1 month
Contributory:  Pulmonary tuberculosis
Duration: 2 years
Did an operation precede death? No
Was there an autopsy? No
What test confirmed diagnosis?  clinical
Signed: F.B. Carpenter, M.D.
Date: Feb 8, 1921
Address:  Howard Bldg.
Place of Burial or Removal:  Cypress Lawn Cemty
Date of Burial:  February 9th, 1921
Undertaker:  Bunker & Lott, 2666 Mission St., Undertaker's License No. 1207

There is quite a bit of information in this Death Certificate, but some is inaccurate and some is confusing.

We know now that Jane (Whittle) McKnew's parents were Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley, not Joseph Whittle and Rachel Moore.  Close...but wrong (see The Whittle Research Compendium), and was misleading family members for decades!

The Cause of Death was listed as "Inannition" which is, I think, Inanition:  "Exhaustion, as from lack of nourishment or vitality" (Free Online Dictionary).  Or:  "exhaustion due to starvation: exhaustion caused by lack of food or water or as a result of disease" (Bing Dictionary).  That's a new definition for me

The place of death (1288 30th Avenue) was, I think, the home of one of Jane's children in 1921.  She lived most of her married life in San Francisco at 4131 19th Street in San Francisco (or on the same block).  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Creating an Ancestor List ("Ahnentafel") in RootsMagic 5

In response to my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post, I received an email question from a reader who asked "How do I make an Ahnentafel using my genealogy software?"  It struck me that perhaps some readers do not know what an "ahnentafel" I'll show how my three genealogy software programs create one.

Each program does this differently, with somewhat different results, so I'll go through Legacy Family Tree 7.5, Family Tree Maker 2012 and RootsMagic 5 in a series of posts.   The Legacy Family Tree 7.5 example is here    and the Family Tree Maker 2012 example is here.

Note that I like to use the term "Ancestor List" rather than "Ahnentafel" for this list, since it is really not a "Name Table."  For this "Ancestor List," I want ONLY the ancestor name, birth date and place, death date and place, and marriage date and place.  For me, a printed "Ancestor List" is much easier to use than a series of linked and printed pedigree charts. 

Here is the process I used to create an Ancestor List ("Ahnentafel") in RootsMagic 5:

1)  With myself highlighted, I clicked on the "Reports" menu item and selected the "Lists" item from the dropdown menu:

2)  From the "Lists" window, I selected the "Ahnentafel" item:

3)  The "Report Settings" window opened, and I unclicked all of the check boxes.  I also increased the number of generations to 12:

4)  I clicked on the "Generate Report" and a 12-generation "Ahnentafel Report for Randall Jeffrey "Randy" Seaver was created:

The Ancestor List ("Ahnentafel") report has 97 pages.  It provides only names, birth date/place, marriage date/place and death date/place for each of my ancestors.  It does not list the parents, does not list any other Events, and provides no sources.  

If I want an Ancestor List with all Events, and with Sources, I can create a "Narrative Report" for Ancestors (no children), which looks like this (187 pages):

I can suppress the non-birth, marriage, death Events by going into the Lists > Fact Type List > select each Fact and Edit it so that it does not print out in a narrative report.  

I would like to see RootsMagic add the capability to have baptisms, burials, and sources on this Ahnentafel Report.    

RootsMagic 5 does a great job of creating a classical Ancestor Report, and it does it quickly, but with no flexibility in the information to be included.  The user can save the list as an HTML, RTF, text or PDF file to their computer (using the "Save" button on the "Report viewer" window), or can Print the whole file or a range of pages (using the "Print" button the "Report Viewer" window). 

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Small Town Papers now FREE to access

I received this in email from Paul Jeffko of Small Town Papers today:

"I wanted to let you know that we are making the SmallTownPapers Collection available free. Instead of a membership fee paywall, we are working with Google on a new monetization model they developed for publishers (like us) that have high-value premium content. Anyone can gain access to our content by answering a survey question.

"Google calls the system a "micro-survey". They have customers who pay them to conduct market research. We earn revenue from each user completed survey. Each "survey" is a single or sometimes a 2-part question. For each new page loaded, users will answer a survey question, which takes only a few seconds.

"To access the available free content, users visit, select a title, then look for the link "Scanned Archives of ... <title> ". From there you can search or browse the available archives. There are about a half a million pages available now, and we are adding thousands of pages daily.

"All of the pages and corresponding OCR text are also indexed by Google, so users can do a Google Advanced Search along with "Newspaper Archive of <title>".

"Users are invited to contact us about specific titles found on the SmallTownPapers website that they would like to have more pages made available. For example, if a user wants more pages for the "Shelton-Mason County Journal" from say, 1965, they can let us know and we'll attempt to get those pages uploaded."

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(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 207: Shuffleboard

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

Here is a picture from our recent Royal Caribbean cruise (Norway-France-Ireland-England-Scotland-Norway).  

The time is Sunday, 13 May 2012 at about 2 p.m. (France time).  The place is the 10th Deck of the Vision of the Seas cruise ship in the North Sea between Oslo and Le Havre.  This shuffleboard court is on the port side forward along the walking/jogging track.

The two shuffleboard players in the picture at Geoff Rasmussen (shooting the puck) and Luc Comeau (shivering and watching).  Geoff and Luc are part of the Legacy Family Tree team.  The temperature is about 10 C (50 F) and the wind over this top deck is about 40 knots (ship speed = 20 knots, headwind - 20 knots).  Wind Chill = COLD!

The wind would gust and curve the puck near the end of its' journey, or would lift the puck and make it roll off the shuffleboard court.  

Luc and Geoff invited me to play, so I did.  Fortunately, there are no pictures of me playing.  We had a lot of fun, and many laughs.  Thank you to Geoff and Luc for taking pity on my frozenness and letting me get warmed up a bit.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver