Saturday, September 14, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do Some Semi-Random Research

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...what is your first name? [This is the easy part!]

2)  Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the first person in your alphabetical name index is with a surname starting with the first two letters of your first name (e.g., my first name is RAndall, so I'm looking for the first person with a surname starting with RA).  [If there are no surnames with those first two letters, take the surname after that letter combination.]

3)  What do you know about this person based on your research?  It's OK to do more if you need to - in fact, it's encouraged!

4)  How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?

5)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook Status post or Google+ Stream post.

Here's mine:

1)  My first name is RAndall.

2)  The first person in my database of over 42,000 persons with a surname starting with RA is William Raby.  

3)  I don't know his birth, marriage or death dates or places at this time.  He married Alice Seaver (born 1858 in Scipio, Hillsdale, Michigan).  That's all I know, and I don't know why I know it (perhaps from correspondence from a Seaver person).

I checked the 1880 U.S. Census on, and found a William (age 28, born in England) and Alice (age 22, born in Michigan) Raby in Homer, Calhoun, Michigan.  

In the 1900 U.S. Census on, William (born Mar 1856 in England) and Alice (born May 1858 in Michigan) resided in Homer, Calhoun, Michigan.  They had been married 25 years, and Alice had had no children.  William had immigrated in 1857 and was a naturalized citizen.  They had a niece, Edna Amy, born July 1896 born in Michigan, residing with them.

The 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census records on supported the 1900 data, but the 1910 and 1920 Census data indicated that William Raby immigrated in 1847 and was a naturalized citizen (the date must be a mistake if he was born in 1856).

An entry in the Michigan Deaths and Burials Index, 1867-1995 on has a listing for William Raby, born about 1857, died 16 May 1923 in Homer, Calhoun, Michigan, and lists his parents as William Mary (Sweeth) Raby.

An entry in the index for Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952 on FamilySearch provides a birth date of 11 March 1857 in England and the death date of 16 May 1923.

A Find A Grave entry for William Raby has a gravestone photograph that says 1856-1923, and he is buried in Fairview Cemetery, Homer, Calhoun, Michigan.  They also had an entry for Alice A. Raby (1862-1920) with a death certificate image attached, which said her husband was William Raby.  

So in about 20 minutes online at Ancestry, FamilySearch and Find A Grave, I was able to find a birth date and place for William Raby, an approximate marriage date, and information about his spouse also.  All of that enriches my database.  

4)  I am not related to William Raby.  I am related to his wife, Alice (Seaver) Raby who is my 4th cousin 4 times removed (our common Seaver ancestor is Joseph Seaver (1674-1754), my 7th great-grandfather).  They are in my database because I "collect" Seaver persons, and their spouses and children, in my Seaver one-name study.  The sources are not original sources, but they are derivative sources based on official records. That's "good enough for me" for the purposes of my one-name study.

5)  I just did!

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


mandorac said...

1) What is your first name? Mandi

2) Gladys (Maxwell) Ford

3/4) This woman is my paternal grandmother. She was born 7 Feb 1927 and died on 4 July 1992. She was first married to a man named Howard Cooper (that I found out about after her passing), then she married my grandfather, Harold Ford, in 1946. My father was born 9 months later in 1947, their only child. She was a lovely lady who loved her family and friends and community.

5) Just shared! :)

Deb Ruth said...


Thanks for another fun challenge! Here is mine

Annette Berksan said...

Thanks for a great challenge. Here's mine:

Cheri Hudson Passey said...

Thanks for this mission! I don't know when I would have gotten back to researching this family without it! The link to my Blog Post is:

Pam Carter said...

This was fun! Here is my entry.

Lisa S. Gorrell said...

Here's my entry. Sorry I'm late getting to it. Been gone all weekend training.