Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What is Your Matrlineal Line?

Hey genealogy buffs - it's Saturday Night again --
 time for more Genealogy Fun!!

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

1) List your matrilineal line - your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!

2) Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.

3) Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Status line on Facebook or in your Stream at Google Plus.

4)  If you have done this before, please do your father's matrilineal line, or your grandfather's matrilineal line, or your spouse's matrilineal line.

5)  Does this list spur you to find distant cousins that might share one of your matrilineal lines?  

Here's mine:

My matrilineal line is:

a) Randall J. Seaver
b) Betty Virginia Carringer (1919 San Diego CA - 2002 San Diego CA) married Frederick W. Seaver
c) Emily Kemp Auble (1899 Chicago IL -1977 San Diego CA) married Lyle L. Carringer
d) Georgianna Kemp (1868 Norfolk County, ON - 1952 San Diego CA) married Charles Auble
e) Mary Jane Sovereen (1840 Norfolk Co ON - 1874 Norfolk Co ON) married James Abram Kemp
f) Eliza Putman (1820 Steuben Co NY - 1895 Norfolk Co ON) married Alexander Sovereen
g) Sarah Martin (1792 NJ - 1860 Norfolk Co ON) married John Putman
h) Betsey Rolfe (1766 NJ - ????) married Mulford Martin
i) Sarah Campbell (1746 NJ? -1838 Tompkins Co NY) married Ephraim Rolfe
j) FNU LNU married Robert Campbell (?)

I have had my mitochondrial DNA tested, and I am in Haplogroup K. I reported on it in My mtDNA is in the K Haplogroup, Working with my mtDNA Results - Post 1 and Working with my mtDNA Results - Post 2. There were two exact matches in the GeneTree database, but their end-of-line surnames don't match mine. I have one exact match with a person in AncestryDNA, but her tree is not visible for comparison.  It appears that mine may be Scottish or Irish, though!

On my Seaver side, the matrilineal line of my father is:

a) Frederick W. Seaver (1911 Fitchburg MA - 1983 San Diego CA) married Betty V. Carringer
b) Alma Bessie Richmond (1882 Killingly CT - 1962 Leominster MA) married Frederick W. Seaver
c) Julia White (1848 Killingly CT - 1913 Putnam CT) married Thomas Richmond
d) Amy Frances Oatley (1826 S. Kingstown RI - before 1870, Killingly CT) married Henry A. White
e) Amy Champlin (1797 S. Kingstown RI - 1865 Killingly CT) married Jonathan Oatley
f) Nancy Kenyon (ca 1765 RI - before 1850 S. Kingstown RI) married Joseph Champlin
g) Anna --?-- (perhaps Kenyon) (ca 1740 RI? - ???) married John Kenyon

I should have one of my female cousins, or sons of the daughters of Alma Bessie Richmond) from this line have their mitochondrial DNA tested (the male children are all deceased now).  Who can I ask?  

My Carringer grandfather's matrilineal line is:

a)  Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891 San Diego CA - 1976 San Diego CA) married Emily Kemp Auble
b)  Abbie Ardell Smith (1862 Burnett WI - 1944 San Diego CA) married Henry Austin Carringer
c)  Abigail  A. Vaux (1844 Aurora NY - 1931 San Diego CA) married Devier J. Lamphier Smith
d)  Mary Ann Underhill (1815 Aurora NY - after 1880 KS?) married Samuel Vaux
e)  Mary (Polly) Metcalf (ca 1780 Piermont NH) - before 1860 Aurora NY) married Amos Underhill
f)  Jerusha --?-- (ca 1750 ??? - 1817 Piermont NH) married Burgess Metcalf

There are no female line X-great-grandchildren of Abbie Ardell Smith or Abigail Vaux alive to my knowledge.  There may be female line X-great-grandchildren of Mary Ann Underhill still alive, but I haven't found them yet.  Another research task!

My Seaver grandfather's matrilineal line is:

a)  Frederick Walton Seaver (1876 Leominster MA - 1942 Leominster MA) married Alma Bessie Richmond.
b)  Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857 Northborough MA - 1920 Leominster MA) married Frank Walton Seaver.
c)  Sophia Newton (1834 Springfield VT - 1923 Leominster MA) married Edward Hildreth
d)  Sophia Buck (1797 Holden MA - 1883 Westborough MA), married (2) Thomas J. Newton
e)  Martha Phillips (1757 Shrewsbury MA - after 1820 Sterling MA), married Isaac Buck
f)  Hannah Brown (about 1725 MA - before 1774 Shrewsbury MA), married John Phillips

There may he female-line descendants of Sophia Buck still living, but I have not traced them past 1900.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Guest Post - Old German Script Need not Fade

I was asked by Peter at Metascriptum if he could submit a guest post to Genea-Musings, and after reviewing his document, I agreed:

Old German Script Need Not Fade
by Peter at Metascriptum

Old German script is difficult if not impossible for younger generations to read. However, this does not mean that old documents need to fade away into nonexistence or misunderstanding. There are many ways that you can keep history alive.

Of course, one way to decipher these documents is to learn the old script that was used prior to 1941. However, this is a tedious task, made more difficult by the fact that the script is no longer taught in traditional schools. Yet, you can still learn what your past family has left behind. All you need to do is find someone that can transcribe or translate the documents for you.

Family History Regained

One of the biggest reasons people have documents written in old German script is to regain pieces of family history and lore. It is entirely possible that there may be stories in your families past that have been lost because no one can remember them. However, if those stories can come out in past personal letters, diaries, journals, and memoirs, you can regain your family history and a sense of your own self.

There are many different types of documents that may be found in the personal belongings of family members past. Personal letters, journals and diaries, or manuscripts may be found. It is entirely possible that you don’t even know what you have because you cannot read the old German script. Descriptions of property owned, business transactions, or personal encounters may all be discovered by having these documents translated.

Discovering New Insights

Since the old German script was faded out during the Second World War, there are many things you may discover in your family’s old papers. If you had ancestors that fought in the war, you may gain new insight to military life in the Nazi regime. You could also learn about your ancestor’s feelings about the war and about the German government of the time. It could give you a fresh outlook on the war itself and on your family’s part in it. This can give one satisfaction or disappointment, but it is important to the history of your family and the world nonetheless.

If you are so inclined, you could use the research gained from having old documents transcribed to write a book about the time period. Or, you could simply use the information to fill in gaps in your family history. Passing down stories about your family to your children becomes much easier when you have a full understanding of those stories from the perspective of those who actually lived in those times.

Of course, the old German script was used long before the Nazi regime as well, so you could uncover a wealth of family history and information by transcribing documents that you find. You could learn about marriages and births in the family, which could lead you in a totally new direction in your quest for family history and genealogy. All in all, it can be very rewarding and informative to have documents written in old German script transcribed for current and future generations.

We at Metascriptum provide professional support for deciphering your documents written in [old German script | link to] and are happy to help you assist you in your research process.


My thanks to Peter for his post.  If you have German script documents and want transcriptions or translations done, please contact Peter at his website above.

Surname Saturday - WHEELER (England > Massachusetts)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  

I am in the 7th great-grandmothers, up to number 525: Elizabeth WHEELER (1664-1744). [Note: The 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].  

My ancestral line back through three American generations of this WHEELER family is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

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

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

32. Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)
33. Abigail Gates (1797-1869)

64. Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)
65. Martha Whitney (1764-1832)

130.  Samuel Whitney (1719-1782)
131.  Abigail Fletcher (1720-1783)

262.  John Fletcher (1692-1749)
263.  Mary Goble (1694-1734)

524.  Samuel Fletcher, born 06 October 1657 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 23 October 1744 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1048. Francis Fletcher and 1049. Elizabeth Wheeler. He married  15 June 1682 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
525.  Elizabeth Wheeler, born 23 February 1663/64 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 26 October 1744 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of Samuel Fletcher and Elizabeth Wheeler are:  Samuel Fletcher (1683-????); Joseph Fletcher (1686-1746); Elizabeth Fletcher (1688-????); Sarah Fletcher (1690-????); John Fletcher (1692-1749); Hannah Fletcher (1694-????); Ruth Fletcher (1696-1700); Rebecca Fletcher (1699-????); Samuel Fletcher (1701-1772); Benjamin Fletcher (1703-1703); Timothy Fletcher (1704-1767).

1050.  Thomas Wheeler, born before 08 December 1621 in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England; died 24 December 1704 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.   He married 14 October 1648 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1051.  Sarah Merriam, born about 1626 in Hadlow, Kent, England; died 01 February 1676/77 in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2102. Joseph Merriam and 2103. Sarah Goldstone.

Children of Thomas Wheeler and Sarah Merriam are:  Sarah Wheeler (1649-1718); Joseph Wheeler (1651-1677); Ann Wheeler (1653-1677); John Wheeler (1655-1736); Mary Wheeler (1658-1668); Thomas Wheeler (1662-1695); Elizabeth Wheeler (1664-1744); Timothy Wheeler (1667-1718); Rebecca Wheeler (1670-1710);  Ruth Wheeler (1673-????).

2100.  Thomas Wheeler, born about 1590 in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England; died 23 August 1654 in Fairfield, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States.  He was the son of 4200. Thomas Wheeler.  He married  05 May 1613 in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England.
2101.  Ann Halsey, born before 30 May 1591 in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England; died 20 October 1659 in Fairfield, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States.

Children of Thomas Wheeler and Ann Halsey are:  Ann Wheeler (1614-1615); Alice Wheeler (1616-1637); Hannah Wheeler (1618-????); Thomas Wheeler (1621-1704); Elizabeth Wheeler (1622-????); John Wheeler (1625-1690); Sarah Wheeler (1628-1669).

The most authoritative book for this Thomas Wheeler family of Cranfield is:

Myrtelle W. Molyneaux, The Wheeler Family of Cranfield, England and Concord, Massachusetts and Some Descendants of Sgt. Thomas Wheeler of Concord (Long Beach, Calif. : M.W. Molyneaux, 1992)

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, September 28, 2012

Massachusetts Town Clerk, Vital, and Town Records on FamilySearch

I check the FamilySearch Historical Record Collections site ( every day for new and updated record collections. There are 1300 collections as of today - that's up significantly from one week ago!

The one that caught my eye today (a NEW collection) was the Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital, and Towns Records, 1579-2001 collection.

This is a Browse Only collection - there are no indexes for this collection.

There are 1,219,396 images in this collection.  The FamilySearch Research Wiki has a page for this collection:

The Wiki page says:

"The collection consists of Vital and town records acquired from local town clerk offices. It covers the years 1579 to 2001."

Of course, not every town has records between those years!

Unfortunately, the example source citations at the bottom of the Research Wiki page are for the 1920 U.S. Census and a Mexico church record collection.  hopefully, a "real" source citation example for the Massachusetts collection will be provided soon!

I clicked on the "Browse through 1,239,396 images" link on the collection page, and saw a list of Massachusetts counties:

I decided to look for records for Sudbury in Middlesex County.  I clicked on "Middlesex" on the screen above and saw the list of towns in Middlesex:

On the list above, I clicked on "Sudbury" to see which record sets were available in this collection:

Just WOW!!!  There are 11 record sets in the collection for Sudbury, including Births, Marriages, Deaths and Town Records.  Some are indexes, others are transcriptions of earlier records, and some are original source records.

I clicked on the "Births, Marriages, Deaths 1638-1850" record set, browsed through it, and saw that it is a handwritten collection of vital records taken from the original town records by a diligent researcher back in 1884.  This particular record set is on FHL US/CAN Microfilm 185,455.

I browsed through to the Seaver surname Births and found:

That is a transcription, not the original record.  After checking some of the other record sets, I figured out the the original birth record for Benjamin Seaver in 1757 is in the "Births, marriages, deaths 1663-1829 Vol 4."  After fifteen minutes of searching where I think it should be, I haven't found it yet!

Oh look, there is a record set  for "Birth Index, 1663-1844 vol. 4-5" - I found that the Benjamin Sever entry is in Volume 4, on page 120
Back to the original records in Volume 4, and on page 120 (penned, not image number - it's on Image 65, since there are two original pages per image) is Benjamin Sever's entry:

Now for a source citation for the original record.  This is a Record Collection, with a specific Record Set, and a specific page in the Record Set.  The goal here is so that another researcher can find this specific record.  Here is my first effort:

"Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Towns Records, 1579-2001," digital images, FamilySearch (, citing original data from Massachusetts town clerk records (images from FHL US/CAN microfilms); Middlesex County, Sudbury, "Births, marriages, deaths, 1663-1829, Vol. 4," page 120 (stamped), Benjamin Sever birth entry, 1757.

The part in red is the "Master Source" entry, while the part in blue is the "Source Citation Detail."

How would you cite an entry on a page within a record set within a record collection?  Would you put the Record Set first, or the Record Collection (as above)?

I am very excited to have this seemingly complete Record Collection available online. has some of these same records (they don't have Sudbury yet), but they are not as well organized as these records are.  However, what has is indexed, and the FamilySearch record set is not indexed to date.

I will have more comments about the navigation to the images, and the manipulation of the images in a future post.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

My Top Ten Genealogy Websites

James Tanner posted his My Top Ten, Can't Miss, Websites last week and I've been thinking about my own.  James concentrated on non-commercial sites, and did not include Google sites or social network sites.

Which websites do I rely upon to pursue my genealogy work, which ones do I use the most, and which ones do I get the most information from?  Here's my list:

1) ($$):  A no-brainer.  I'm in Ancestry every day looking for historical records to add content to my database.  I check for new collections almost every day and explore some of them.  I get messages every week about my Ancestry Member Tree.  I don't use the Learning Center much.  I download record images to my computer and attach them to my genealogy database rather than accept the green shaky leaves.

2) (Free):  Another no-brainer.  I use FamilySearch every day looking for historical records to add content to my database.  I check for new collections every day and explore some of them.  I watch the online videos and use the Research Wiki occasionally.  I use the Family History Library Catalog almost every day.   I've been monitoring the progress of the FamilySearch Family Tree.

3) (free):  Absolutely essential for my day-to-day work.  Calendar, Search, Maps, Books, Blogger (all day!), Reader (all day!), Translate, Images - what's not to like?

4) ($$):  With so many Massachusetts ancestors, I am in this website searching their historical records and periodicals almost every day as I add content to my genealogy database.

5) ($$):  The combination of historical newspapers and current obituaries is wonderful, and they added the historical San Diego papers this year.

6) ($$):  The Record Matches feature on this site has popped it onto this list.  I'm using it to find matches in record collections (especially Find-A-Grave, NewspaperARCHIVES, and social Security Death Index) for persons in my genealogy database.  note that MyHeritage uses historical record collections and links.

7) (free):  I am in this site almost every day finding content for persons in my genealogy database.

8) ($$):  I'm using this site several times a week to capture English records and add content for persons in my genealogy database.

9) (Free):  I use this site almost daily for California Death Index, the WorldConnect tree database, and check the message boards occasionally.

10) (Free):  I watch one or two webinars every week, either live or after the event.  This is a wonderful genealogy educational site, in addition to the software.

Obviously, my selections are calibrated to the needs of my own genealogy research.  My major research needs are in New England, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and England.

Family Tree Magazine recently published their 101 Best Genealogy Websites for 2012 in 13 categories - check it out.

What websites are absolutely essential for your genealogy research?  What websites should I be using for my genealogy research needs?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Who Was the Last Revolutionary War Soldier to Die?

I listened to the interview of Maureen Taylor (The Photo Detective) on Marian Pierre-Louis' Fieldstone Common blog talk radio show today (The Last Muster with Maureen Taylor, the Photo Detective), and enjoyed it immensely.  You can listen to it also, here, at any time!

Maureen, of course, has written several books, including The Last Muster, which has photographs and stories of Revolutionary War soldiers and their families.  amazingly, some of these soldiers survived for over 80 years after the end of the war, and had their pictures, or portraits, taken and it is these photographs that Maureen has collected and printed in her book.  A second volume of The Last Muster will be published soon.

During the broadcast, Maureen noted that the "last" Revolutionary War soldiers lived well past 1860, which would mean an 18-year-old in 1783 would be age 95 in 1860, and 105 in 1870.

I did a search on Google using the search terms "last soldier" 'revolutionary war" and found several web sites that had pictures and descriptions of the "last soldier of the Revolutionary War, including:

1)  Wikipedia lists four:
  • Daniel Bakeman (1759–1869) — Claimed to be veteran and was awarded pension by Congress, though could not prove service.
  • John Gray (1764–1868) — Last verifiable veteran although service period was too short for pension qualification.
  • Samuel Downing (1764–1867)
  • Lemuel Cook (1759–1866) — Last official veteran.
Another man, George Fruits (supposedly 1762-1876) claimed to be the last surviving soldier, but he apparently was born in 1779, and his father's war service has been conflated with him.

2)  An article and picture of Lemuel Cook is available at

3)  A long sketch, including a photograph, of John Gray is in the book, Private Dalzell, his Autobiography, Poems and Comic War Papers, on Google Books (photo on page 188, sketch starts on page 189).

4)  A newspaper article about Daniel Frederick Beakman [the Bakeman above] appeared in the Bostom [Mass.] Journal newspaper on 20 April 1869, page 4 (accessed on titled "Death of the Last Soldier of the Revolution."  The last paragraph of the article says: 

"Mr. Beakman had voted at every Presidential election since the organization of the Government, casting his first vote for Washington and his last for Gen. Grant."

5)  The Cincinnati (Ohio) Commercial Tribune newspaper pubnlished an article on 12 June 1869 (accessed on on page 8, titled "The Last Soldiers of the American Revolution - At Least One Survivor to England."  A transcription of a portion of the article says:

"...a response appeared in the [London] Times from a gentleman in Bath, who stated that a drummer who served in the Sixty-Second British Regiment in the war of the Revolution, is still living in that town at the age of one hundred and five years, that he was very feeble and unable to feed himself, that his pension was only six pence a day, but no argument could persuade him to go to the Union or the poor house.... His name is Jonathan Reeves and whether he is the last surviving British soldier that served in the Revolutionary War is not yet certain, for others still living may be announced in the Times, as some interest seems to be excited by the subject."

I searched through GenealogyBank and the NewspaperARCHIVES collection on and did not see other newspaper articles dated after 1869.

During the radio broadcast, Maureen stated that the last soldier who served in the Revolutionary War died in 1872, but she did not provide the name.  Apparently, he will be included in the second volume of The Last Muster.  It will be interesting to see who she identifies as the last soldier who served in the Revolutionary War.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Creating a Specific Source Usage Report in Legacy Family Tree 7.5

I demonstrated how to create a Source Usage Report for one specific source in two recent posts:

*  Creating a Specific Source List Report in RootsMagic 5

*  UPDATED AGAIN: Creating a Specific Source Usage Report in Family Tree Maker 2012 (this took three tries!)

The third genealogy management program that I use on a regular basis is Legacy Family Tree 7.5.  When I wrote the RootsMagic post, reader Connie Sheets commented with the process to do this task in Legacy Family Tree 7.5 saying:

*Open the Master Source List and tag the source (or sources) you want.
*Open the Reports menu, and choose Source Citations (under the Books/Other tab).
*Under the Include tab, check Only Tagged Sources, Master Sources and All Citations to Each One, Include specific events, and include Citation Detail.
*Under the Options tab, select whatever style you want; you probably want the Printed Style format rather than List Style format.
*Preview or print.

Thank you, Connie!  A user could search for the process in the Help screen also, by using the Sources, Citation Report in the index or searching for "Source Citation Report."

Here is the process I used (helped by Connie's nice list!):

1)  In Legacy Family Tree 7.5, click on the "View" menu item and select "Master lists" and then "Source..." as shown below:

2)  That opens the "Master Source List" window, and to Tag one specific source, scroll down the list until you find the specific source (in my case, the Vital Records of Westminster, Mass. book) and click the box in the "Tag" column:

Close the screen above - the specific source I want is now Tagged.

3)  Click on the "Reports" menu item, and select the "Books and Other" tab (shown below) and then the "Source Citation Report" button (shown below):

In the screen above, in the "Include: tab, I checked the "Only tagged sources" radio button and the "Master Sources and All citations to Each One" radio button, the "Include specific events," "Include citation detail," "Include citation text," and "Include citation comments" check boxes.  I left the "Include surety level of citations unchecked.

4)  I clicked the "Preview" button on the "Source Citation Report" window and saw:

The resulting report was had 6 pages, with the master Source information at the top of the report.  For each person, the person's name in surname alphabetical order (first name first, with person ID number), the Fact(s) (e.g., Birth, Death, etc.), and then the citation detail (if present) is listed.  Note that it provides citation details when provided, but includes those that don't have source citation details.

This report created by Legacy Family Tree is much more compact than those created by RootsMagic 5 or Family Tree Maker 2012, and provides exactly the information that I wanted to create.  The process is very simple once you figure out that you have to Tag the specific source.

5)  There is another interesting report here in Legacy Family Tree 7.5.  If I selected the radio buttons for "all sources" and for "Master Sources and Citation Summary Charts" in the "source citation Report" window, I can obtain a nice list of  all of my Master Sources and how many citations I have in my database:

This report is 64 pages, and lists all 793 of my Master Sources and how many citations are included.  The most was for Find-A-Grave (1420 citations).

6)  I wanted to see how big the report would be for my (approximately) 30,600 source citations in all of the Master Sources, and Legacy created it after about one minute.  Here is the first page:

1,138 pages!  That is a great report!  I'm not going to Print it...but I did save it (only 1,7 megabytes).  Note that RootsMagic 5 and Family Tree Maker 2012 can create a similar report, but I like the format of this report best.

I could save as a PDF file, or print, any of these Source Citation Reports.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Book Review: Genealogy at a Glance - U.S. Federal Census Records

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for U.S. Federal Census Records by Kory L. Meyerink.

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

  U.S. Federal Census Records  folder has these subjects:

* Contents list
* Quick Facts and Important Dates
* The Basics - Time Period, Content, Coverage, Access and Availability

*  Heads of Household Indexes (1790-1940)
*  Census Indexes
*  Soundex: Phonetic Searching
*  When Indexes Don't work
*  Census Search Strategies
*  Online Search Consideration
*  For Further Reference
*  Major Online Resources

This booklet is designed primarily for the person who is not an expert, or has no experience, in United States Census genealogical research.  It provides a summary of the fundamentals of pursuing research in and about U.S. Federal Census records. 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 $4.50; FedEx Ground Service in the USA, $6.00). You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the 
  U.S. Federal Census Records 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. 

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1860 U.S. Census Record for Edward Hildreth Family

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the 1860 United States Census record for my Hildreth great-great-grandparents and their family in Northborough, Worcester County, Massachusetts: 

The entry for the Edward Hildreth family is:

The extracted information for the family, residing in Northborough, taken on 12 July 1860, is:

*  Edward Hildreth - age 28, male, a combmaker, personal property of $500, born in Mass.
*  Sophia Hildreth - age 24, female, born Mass.
*  Hattie Hildreth - age 2, female, born Mass.

The source citation for the census image is:

1860 United States Federal Census, Worcester County, Massachusetts, Population Schedule; Northborough town; Page 955, Dwelling #794, Family #984, Edward Hildreth household; online database, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M653, Roll 528.

I see at least three probable errors in this census record:

*  Edward Hildreth: Vital and Bible records indicate that he was born in April 1831, so he should be listed as age 28.
 *  Sophia (Newton) Hildreth:  Most, but not all, records indicate that she was born in Vermont, not Massachusetts.  
*  Sophia (Newton) Hildreth: Some, but not all, records indicate that she was born in September 1834, so would be age 25.

In my previous looks at this 1860 U.S. census record, I had overlooked the fact that the Edward Hildreth family shared a residence in Northborough with the Theodore McNeil family.  Both couples were young, the males had the same occupation, and were probably friends.  What I had missed was that both Theodore McNeil and his wife Hulda were born in Vermont.  That was a red flag for me today - were they possibly related to Sophia Newton?

I quickly checked the Ancestry Member Trees and did not find a tree for them.  I wondered if they had married in Massachusetts, so I checked the NEHGS site and found their marriage on 11 April 1854 in Fitchburg:

This record indicates that Theodore McNeil was a resident of Clinton, age 23, a combmaker, born in Irasburg, Vermont, to John and Laura McNeil.  Hulda C. Rice was a resident of Clinton, age 20, born in Sheldon, Vermont, to Calvin and Lucretia Rice.

A search for the birth of Hulda Rice in the Vermont Vital records, 1760-1954 collection on FamilySearch did not reveal a birth record.  However, a marriage record was found for Calvin Rice and Lucretia Daines on 8 December 1829 in Sheldon, Vermont.  A search for a birth of Theodore McNeil in Vermont, or for a marriage of John McNeil and Laura in Vermont, found no records, even using wild cards for the vowels in the names.  Lastly, there are several Ancestry Member Trees for John McNeill (1789-1851) and Laura North (1792-1857), but they don't list a son Theodore.  There are no Ancestry Member Trees for a Calvin Rice and Lucretia.  

So, my "hope" that Theodore or Hulda (Rice) McNeil were possibly related to Sophia (Newton) Hildreth were dashed, at least as far as online records are concerned.  Oh well, it was worth the 30 minutes to pursue and eliminate at least "low hanging fruit."  Ten years ago, it would have taken two trips to the Family History Center, six microfilm orders, and over one month's time to do these searches in Vermont and Massachusetts records.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UPDATED AGAIN: Creating a Specific Source Usage Report in Family Tree Maker 2012

After two failed attempts (in Creating a Specific Source List Report in Family Tree Maker 2012 and UPDATE: Creating a Specific Source List Report in Family Tree Maker 2012, I think we've finally figured out how to create the Specific Source Usage Report that I want in Family Tree Maker 2012.  In email today, Russ Worthington suggested using the "Other" radio button in the "Selected Individuals" section.

Here is the process I used:

1)  On the "Publish" workspace, and the "Source Reports" section, highlight the "Documented Facts" report.

2)  When you click on the "Create Report" button above, the "Documented Facts Report" page opens.  In the right-hand panel ("Documented Facts Options"), click on the "Selected Individuals" radio button.  Then click on the "Individuals to Include" button, and the "Filter Individuals" window will open (see below).  Click on the "Filter In >" button and the "Filter Individuals by Criteria" will appear, as seen below:

In order to Filter In only the individuals that have a specific Master Source, enter the following in the fields:

*  Click on the "Other" radio button at the top of the "Filter Individuals by Criteria" window
*  Click the Dropdown arrow in the "Search Where" field, and select "Source Information"  There are different items in the Dropdown box as shown in the screen above.
*  Select "contains" in the second Dropdown box
*  Type in a portion of the title of your master Source in the "Value" field - I typed in "Vital Records of Westminster" because that was in the title of my specific source

3)  I clicked "OK" and after a period of time, 137 persons were added to the "Filter Individuals" window list.  I clicked "OK" and the "Documented Facts" report appeared:

There are 43 pages of entries for persons with a Documented Fact in Westminster, entered alphabetically by person surname and given name.  The report provides the Fact name and value, followed by the Source, Citation and Repository for each Fact with a Source citation.

The list above includes Facts for which the "Vital Records of Westminster, Massachusetts" is in the master source title field.  Note that the information in the "Value" field in the "Filter Individuals by Criteria" window doesn't have to be complete - it can be only a portion of what is in the field.  

However, the "Documented Facts" report above also includes other Documented Facts from other sources for the person.  For example, in the screen above, there are three documented facts for Joshua Bigelow - his birth in Watertown, his marriage in Watertown, and his death in Westminster.

While this is still not "Perfect," it is at least "Good."  The desired master source is included with the source citation detail and it can be used for the purpose I intended - to determine which Facts are sourced to the Westminster Vital Records book (in my example) so that the Source Citations can be reviewed, edited, added or deleted.

As most of my readers know, I go out on the ledge sometimes and crash and burn when I jump off without a net.  This happened in this particular case, but it stimulated discussions from Rosemary and Russ, and we eventually covered all of the bases and came to a "good" conclusion.

I would love to see an addition to the "Source Usage Report" in the "Publish" workspace - a separate radio button for "Find Citations in One Source" with a Dropdown box to select that specific Source.  

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

NewspaperARCHIVES Records in MyHeritage Record Matches

MyHeritage announced their Record Matching technology last week (see MyHeritage Releases Record Matching Technology).  

One of the record collections highlighted in the announcement was the NewspaperARCHIVES collection (a searcher needs a subscription or a MyHeritage Data Subscription to access this collection).

I've been looking through the 982 matches for articles matching persons in my MyHeritage tree.  There are quite a few excellent matches, and many that are not my tree person but someone with a similar name.  

Here is my MyHeritage Record Matches page listing NewspaperARCHIVES.  I clicked on the "Filtering options" link to make sure I had all of the possible matches:

I could include or exclude Pending, Rejected or Confirmed matches, and could specify how many "Stars" to consider.  I  clicked "Apply."

After clicking on the NewspaperARCHIVES link to see the 982 matches, here is the top of the list (the user can choose 20, 50 or 100 matches on the screen):

The first match shown above is a 5-star match (the highest possible), which means there are several matching points like names and dates.  However, the match above is not for the person in my MyHeritage tree, since it announces a marriage in 1982 of a daughter to a couple in my tree that married in 1982 themselves.  It is one generation off, but it's a 5-star match.  That's a problem with any text matching program whether OCR or not, and is to be expected.

Of course, there were many 1 and 2 star matches found by the Record Matches for persons in my tree.  Further down the list is a 2-star match for Joseph Carringer:

On the screen above, the match is highlighted in yellow in the OCR rendering of the text.  To see the actual article, I clicked on the blue "Review Match" button below the transcription:

The newspaper name, publication date and OCR text rendering is provided at the top of the page, but after several seconds (typically 5 to 10 seconds on my computer - remember it goes from MyHeritage to WorldVitalRecords to NewspaperARCHIVES and back in order to show the image).

Scrolling down I can see the newspaper article in the relatively small window, and can zoom into the image so that I can read the article of interest.  The text matching is highlighted in yellow to help the searcher find the information of interest:

If the searcher wants to save the newspaper page, s/he can click on the Download icon (below the page image on the right - the down arrow icon).  Or the searcher can Print the full page by clicking on the Print button next to the Scribd logo above the page image on the left.

I found another really interesting article by scrolling through the matches - the transcription of this one said that Solomon Sovereign died at age 915:

Alas, the OCR got it wrong, he was only age 95.

After each match is reviewed, I decide if I want to add the information to my database.  I also click on the "Confirm" or "Reject" button so that I don't have to see the match again if I choose to limit my searches in the database to "Pending."
For the NewspaperARCHIVES collection, it is probably most time efficient to search by "Last Name" rather than "Confidence" or "Status" so that the matches for one person appear together.  

This system of Record Matches is excellent - especially when there are too many matches to consume in one sitting (I can only take two hours or so at one sitting).  Since I "Confirm" or "Reject" a reviewed match, I can search only the "Pending" matches the next time I review matches.  

As MyHeritage pointed out in their press release, no other provider of record searches provides a similar service for newspaper articles - this one is unique to date.

Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription to both and courtesy of MyHeritage, for which I am grateful.  However, this does not influence my objective opinions in reviews of these websites and their products. 

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Copyright (c) 2012), Randall J. Seaver