Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Finding Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) in Record Collections

One of the ways I test out every online U.S. record collection is to search for my second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901).  There are a lot of records for him available online, and it's a good measure of the breadth of the different record collections.

Today, it is's turn in the barrel - what information is there about Isaac Seaver on

I used Search criteria of:

*  Not exact search
*  First name = 'isaac" (default settings)
*  Last name = "seaver" (default settings)
*  Birth year = "1823" plus/minus 2 years
*  Birth place = "Massachusetts, USA" (default settings)

1) Here is the Search box:

2) After clicking on the "Search" button, I was presented with a list of 84,655 matches (using the "Sorted by relevance" list).

The top of the matches looks like this (the highest on the list are the "best" matches found, according to the star system used by Ancestry) (two screens shown):

3) A summary of the results for Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)  includes:

*  Matching Person from Ancestry Member Trees (from my AMT)
*  U.S. Census Records for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900
*  Public Member Photos and Scanned Documents:  20 from my two AMTs
*  Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988:  birth, marriage to Lucretia Smith,  and marriage to Alvina Lewis. 
*  U.S. Civil War Draft Registration Record 
*  U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles
*  Web, Massachusetts, Find A Grave Index, 1620-2013

There were 42 matches listed in the results section titled "Matching Records."  Of those, all but 4 were for Isaac Seaver (1823-1901).

In the next results section titled "Matches below are less likely to be your ancestor, but still might be helpful" are these results for Isaac Seaver (1823-1901):

*  U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989:  1880, 1890, 1891, 1893, 1895-1901.
*  Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988:  marriage to Juliet Glazier
*  Massachusetts Town Marriage Records, 1620-1850:  marriage to Juliet Glazier
*  U.S. Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
*  American Civil War Soldiers
*  Leominster, Massachusetts City Directories, 1883-1895:  1883 to 1886, 1893 to 1895
*  Worcester County, Massachusetts, Probate Index, Vol. 1 & 2, A-Z, July 1731-1881

4) All told, there were 109 matches that pertained to an Isaac Seaver before the search algorithm started searching for persons without the first name Isaac.  There may be other records that I didn't find with a surname variation from "Seaver" - like Seavers, Sever, Severs, etc.  

There were 14 different databases on that had Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) included in them.  

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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