Saturday, January 19, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Make ONE Resolution/Goal for 2013

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)  Did you make any New Years Resolutions, or state Goals and Objectives, for genealogy research in 2013?  If so, tell us about them.

2)  If not, then make ONE resolution, or state one goal, for your genealogy research that you are determined to keep during 2013.  We'll check on progress toward that resolution/goal during the year in SNGF.

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

Here's mine:

1)  I have NOT made resolutions or stated goals for 2013, based on my seemingly poor performance in recent years.

2)  The ONE, most important, Goal that I have for 2013 is to:  Get more information sitting in my piles, on my computer, and on my bookcases into my genealogy database, including narrative information, transcribing/abstracting documents, source citations for events, etc.  

I have a wealth of information that needs to be added to my genealogy database to make it "better" by using authoritative references, transcribing/abstracting documents, and adding events with source citations as needed.  This is a seemingly endless task because I keep finding and saving (photocopies or digital files) information about my ancestral families in repositories (I get to so few these days) and online (there is so much to find!).

So, my GOAL is to burn down my "to be entered" pile from 18 inches to 6 inches, and to enter at least 6,000 new source citations in 2013.  I currently have 35,837 citations in my database.

3)  There!  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013), Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - SMITH (England > Medfield, Mass.)

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 555: Abigail SMITH (1686-1726). [Note: the 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three American generations of this SMITH 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)

34.  Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840)
35.  Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869)

68.  Aaron Smith (1765-1841)
69.  Mercy Plimpton (1772-1850)

138.  Amos Plimpton (1735-1808)
139.  Mary Guild (1735-1800)

276.  John Plimpton (1708-1756)
277.  Abigail Fisher (1711-1785)

554.  John Fisher, born 22 December 1677 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 14 August 1727 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1108. John Fisher and 1109. Hannah Adams.  He married 23 April 1705 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

555.  Abigail Smith, born 18 December 1686 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 03 February 1725/26 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  
Children of John Fisher and Abigail Smith are:  Solomon Fisher (1706-1706); Abigail Fisher (1707-1711); Sarah Fisher (1709-1711); Abigail Fisher (1711-1785); John Fisher (1714-1777); Sarah Fisher (1719-1756); Joshua Fisher (1725-????).

1110.  Samuel Smith, born 13 August 1641 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 25 October 1691 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.   He married 22 February 1676/77 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
1111.  Sarah Clark, born 20 February 1650/51 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 20 May 1704 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2222. Joseph Clarke and 2223. Alice Fenn.
Children of Samuel Smith and Sarah Clark are:  Sarah Smith (1679-1769); Henry smith (1680-1743); Daniel Smith (1682-1704); Nathaniel Smith (1684-1762); Abigail Smith (1686-1726); Mary Smith (1688-1774); Prudence Smith (1691-1785).

2220.  Henry Smith, born about 1607 in Buckinghamshire, England; died 1687 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He married before 1635 in England.
2221.  Elizabeth, born about 1603 in England; died 12 June 1670 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
Children of Henry Smith and Elizabeth are:  Seth Smith (1635-1682); John Smith (1637-1691); Daniel Smith (1639-1641); Samuel Smith (1641-1691); Joseph Smith (1643-1661).

Information about these families was obtained from the town vital record books and the book:

William S. Tilden (editor), History of the Town of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886 (Boston : Geo. H. Ellis, 1887).  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, January 18, 2013

Review: Legacy QuickGuide on New York Genealogy

Legacy Family Tree has commissioned a series of four-page booklets on various aspects of genealogical research.  Each laminated guide contains four pages of valuable information covering a variety of genealogy research topics. Legacy QuickGuides are written by genealogists and family historians who are experts in the subject areas.  These QuickGuides are oriented towards the online researcher - there are several pages of website links on selected subjects for the specific topic covered by the QuickGuide.

You can see the list of available Legacy QuickGuides at  They are available as laminated four-page folders ($7.95 each) or as downloadable PDF files ($2.95 each).

The New York Genealogy QuickGuide was written by Thomas MacEntee. 

The description of this QuickGuide says:

"In a New York genealogy state of mind? Looking for those elusive Empire State ancestors? The New York Genealogy Legacy QuickGuide™ contains useful information including a timeline of New York history events, tips on New York research strategy, a list of New York migration routes and more. Also included are over 140 links to websites and resources covering vital records, church records, census records, as well as general New York resources. This handy 4-page PDF guide can be used on your computer or mobile device for anytime access."

The subjects covered in the New York Genealogy QuickGuide include (4 pages):

*  Timeline of New York History

*  New York Research Strategy
*  Migration Routes and Motivations

*  Basic New York Resources
*  New York History
*  New York Geography and Maps
*  Census Records
*  Vital Records

*  Adoption Records
*  Birth Records
*  Court Records
*  Death Records

*  Marriage Records
*  Church Records

*  Cemeteries
*  Military Records
*  Tax Records
*  Immigration & Naturalization
*  Wills & Probate Records
*  Newspapers & Periodicals

*  Directories - City & Business

*  Libraries & Archives*  Forums, Groups & Mailing Lists
*  Genealogy & Historical Societies
*  Family Trees, Files & GEDCOMs
*  Miscellaneous & Fun Stuff

For most of the subjects listed above, the items listed for each subject are website titles with links to the websites.  In some cases, there are shortened URLs for websites with long eddresses.

This Legacy QuickGuide is very useful for beginners and seasoned researchers alike.  The New York history timeline and the Research Strategy sections are especially helpful.  The other subject areas, with links to websites, are oriented towards the online genealogist.  I am sure that I will use this QuickGuide to help me find records of my New York ancestors.

The laminated version of this QuickGuide is very handy for researchers going to repositories or society meetings - it is light and easy to carry in a briefcase or computer case.  I much prefer the PDF version because I can save it to my computer (and laptop, tablet, and smart phone using Dropbox or another cloud service) and have it available in digital format for instantaneous usage by clicking the links provided rather than typing the links into my web browser. 

Order your copy of the New York Genealogy QuickGuide (Printed or PDF) at the Legacy Family Tree Store.

Disclosure:  I was provided a complimentary copy of the PDF version of this Legacy QuickGuide on the condition that I provide a timely review of each QuickGuide provided.  Look for more in the near future!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Reader Questions and Helpful Comments

It's time for another Follow-Up Friday post where I try to answer reader questions and pass along helpful and useful reader comments.  Here is this week's selection:

1)  On Wall Street Journal Article Features Genealogy! (17 January 2013):

*  Sharon asked:  "Wouldn't printing out and distributing a copy of this article at your meeting infringe on WSJ's copyright?"

*  My response:  My intent is to print out one copy for my own personal use, and then pass that around the group to read it and perhaps note where it was obtained.  I will not charge for it, and will share it with the group for educational purposes.  My opinion is that this falls in the "fair use" category of copyright law.  Now if I had made 30 copies, one for everyone at the meeting, that would violate the WSJ copyright IMHO.  Note that I am not an attorney and am not an expert on copyright law.

In her post "A Calculated Risk," Judy G. Russell highlighted the fair use paragraphs of the copyright law.

2)  On UPDATED: Genealogist Beware - Checking Out (14 January 2013):

*  Miss Penelope Dreadful noted:  "This company might consider using proceeds to hire a proof-reader. Quite Dreadful!"

My comment:  Agreed!  And it's consistent on all of their websites.  

*  Emily Garber said:  "What I think is interesting is the use of a URL with a .org suffix. I mistakenly thought that only nonprofits could use that. But a perusal of Wikipedia disabused me of that notion. Apparently, commercial companies can hide behind the .org URL."

My comment:  After all, a COMpany is also an ORGanization, right?  I note that Walter Scott said: 'O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive! '"  I don't think he knew about the Internet, though!

*  M.J. offered:  "I've received several unsolicited emails from this "company" over the last week or so. I was also suspicious after taking a look and agree it's a site to avoid."

*  Dave L. commented:  "Not to distract from the central point of this post, but please remember that it's important to review the terms and conditions of EVERY online service you think about using. When you click on the button that says, 'I have read and agree to the terms and conditions...' that's exactly what it means -- you agree to the terms and conditions. If you don't like them, don't sign up for the site!"

*  JJT said:  "In light of those interesting terms of service, I think people might find this description on the main site humorous:

' is a new domain extension for organizations, projects, websites and people with a higher standard of social responsibility and ethical behaviour.' "

and "Also, plenty of people reporting this and other related sites here:  A very busy bee."

*  Debbie Parker Wayne noted:  "BE AWARE: For those using ads on your blogs, you may see this company's ads in your posts - and they own more than the two domain names I see listed in Christine's and Randy's posts. I went to Christine's blog to read the posts linked by Randy. The ad displayed at the top of Christine's blog post was for a similar domain name. A whois check shows that domain (not entered here so they don't get more publicity) is owned by the same person who owns the two domain names listed in the article.  Kind of ironic to be advertising for the company being described as a scam. I wish I had done a screen grab."

and: "... And apparently the ad displays frequently. I refreshed the page four times and once again got the ad for the domain named owned by the same person as the questionable domains."

My comments:  Thank you for all of the links and help and commentary on this issue.  Hopefully, we have alerted the genealogical community to the practices of this "organization."

*  Dick noted:  "Unfortunately, I can only provide documentation of my ancestry back to the time of Noah. It seems all of the older certified copies were damaged in the Flood. I'm now trying to put them all in proper citation format (yeah, right).  I'm still trying to figure out who certified Adam's birth certificate."

*  Tammy said:  "Randy, thought you might be interested to see how this "works" in Jewish genealogy, where families claim descent from King David (and then use the Bible to get from King David to Adam):

While the lineages I wrote about suffer from the same flaws as the non-Jewish trees you discussed, I learned afterwards from Schelley Dardashti about the Dayan family of Aleppo. Their documentation is viewable here, relying on 700+ year old parchments from the Cairo genizah:"

*  Heather Rojo commented:  "Isn't it fun! Don't worry about taking it seriously, the royal family of England has their pedigree back to Adam, too. If they can do it, I guess it must be more than just fashionable."

4)  On Whose Hand Is This? (11 January 2013):

*  Michele Zenner Bertals offered:  "We should make a book exclusively with Google book scan errors. LOL"

My response:  Good one, nice ring, isn't it?  Who has found similar Google book scan errors?

*  Richard Trudel offered:  "Left Handed-male in my op. But looking at the bottom right of this picture, it seems that this picture was 'doctored'."

My response:  I agree on the left-handed...male because of fingernail treatment and hair on fingers?

5)  Thank you to my readers for their comments.  I know that the Captcha "feature" is difficult to overcome at times, and appreciate your persistence.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wall Street Journal Article Features Genealogy!

I was pleased to see the article "When a Genealogy Hobby Digs Up Unwanted Secrets," by Sue Schellenbarger, in the Wall Street Journal newspaper dated 15 January 2013.

The second headline of "Some One in Five Find Unsavory Ancestors; How 'Sausage King' Got Rid of Wife" was a little "different," but it does persuade the reader to continue reading, I guess.  I loved seeing Dr. Jean Wilcox Hibben and several other well-known genealogists quoted and their pictures displayed in the article.  Here's a view of the first online page:

Those are Jean's eyes peeking over the bottom of the screen.  Ron Arons photo, and his family story, are also highlighted in the article.  Besides several pictures, stories, and quotes from several genealogists, there is a four minute video on the web page featuring Heather Quinlan and Sue Schellenbarger that is worth watching.  

Articles like this appear in the national press on occasion, and it's almost always a positive thing for genealogy.  

I wanted to print out and save the article so that I could share it at the next society meeting, so I put the URL for the article in, and saved the article, with the photos, as a PDF.  I can print it out and pass it around later this month.

Sue Schellenbarger wrote a WSJ blog article today titled "'Grandma Did What?' Digging Up the Roots of Family Lore."

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1850 U.S. Census Record for David Auble Famikly

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 1850 United States Census record for my Auble great-great-grandparents and their family in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey:

The David Auble family entry:

The extracted information for the family, residing in the West Ward of Newark City, taken on 3 August 1850, is:

*   Daniel Auble -- age 32, male, white, Boot & Shoe man, born N. Jersey
*  Sarah Auble -- age 30, female, white, born N. Jersey 
*  William Auble -- age 5, male, white, born N. Jersey, attended school
*  Francis Auble -- age 3, female, white, born N. Jersey
*  Charles Auble -- age 1, male, white, born N. Jersey

The source citation for this census entry is:

1850 United States Federal Census, Union County, New Jersey, population schedule, West Ward, Newark; Page 363 (stamped verso), Dwelling #580, Family #826, David Auble household; digital image, ( : accessed 29 October 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 448.

I don't see any significant errors in this census record.

As I've pointed out in other census records for this family, Charles Auble's age in the 1850 census reflects his 1849 birth date, as did the 1860 census (age 11), 1870 census (age 21) and 1880 census (age 30).  In the 1900 census (age 35), 1910 census (age 55), his 1898 marriage record (age 34) and his 1916 death record (age 61), he lied about his age, apparently for vanity reasons (When he married he was age 49, and his wife was 30).  

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Using New Brunswick County Deed Registry Books

I had seen references that William Hutchi(n)son (1745-1826), one of my fifth great-grandfathers, had sold land in Kings County, New Brunswick in the 1790s and had subsequently moved to Upper Canada (to what is now Norfolk County, Ontario).  He was a Loyalist during the American War of the Revolution and had been granted land in New Brunswick in the 1780s.

I noted today that FamilySearch had added, or updated, the New Brunswick, County Deed Registry Books, 1780-1941 on 12 January 2013.  I wondered if William Hutchi(n)son was listed in them.  He was!

Since this is a "Browse only" database on FamilySearch, there is no index to search for specific surnames.  Consequently, the user has to use the available indexes in the records themselves, if they are present.  The process here is similar to using the microfilm for this collection at the Family History Library - you work it as "digital microfilm" to find the records you seek.  The process for finding the actual deed records is fairly straightforward for this set of county deed books.

1)  From the FamilySearch historical record list page, I clicked on the New Brunswick, County Deed Registry Books, 1780-1941 link and then on the "Browse through 792,235 images" link, and saw:

The screen above shows the list of Counties available, and I chose Kings County (knowing that other resources said they had settled there).

After clicking on Kings County, the page with the available record sets appeared:

There are only two available record sets - the Index book, Grantor-Grantee set, and the Deed Book set.  In order to find the actual deeds, I had to use the Deed Index book.

2)  I picked the "1785-1880, A-L" index book from the list, and eventually found, by estimation and page-by-page browsing, the index page with William Hutchinson on it:

There were Hutchinsons on the previous page also, and I saved both pages.  I noted that the first two deeds listed for William Hutchinson was for land in Sussex in Kings County, and were in Deed Book D-1 on pages 75 and 77.

3)  Back to the Kings County page, and I selected the "Deed Books" set this time.  The link led me to the list of available Deed Books:

I see Deed Book D-1, 1793-1795 on the list, and clicked on that one, and easily found William Hutchinson's deed on page 75 of the book (image 78 of 373):

I used the "Save" icon button (in the menu on the right side of the image above) to save this image, and the three following images, to my computer hard drive.  Since they downloaded with file names of "record-image(n)," I renamed the images to reflect the person's name, year, county/province, Deed book number/page number.

How do I know that this is the correct William Hutchinson?  His wife, Catherine (Lewis) Hutchinson, also signs the deeds.  I think that this is the my William Hutchinson.

FamilySearch provides a general source citation for this particular record collection as:

"New Brunswick, County Deed Registry Books, 1780-1930." Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing Registrar of Deeds. New Brunswick, county deed registry books, 1780-1941. Service New Brunswick, Woodstock, New Brunswick.

I will use that to craft an Evidence! Explained quality source citation for the specific deeds I downloaded later.  

I will also transcribe the deeds for an Amanuensis Monday post sometime in the future.  I also need to download and examine all of the other Hutchinson deeds listed in the index, and see if I can find Lewis deeds also.

I had some genealogy fun this afternoon?  

Do you have early New Brunswick settlers who might be in this Deed Registry Book database?  If so, go see if you can find them in this FREE online "digital microfilm" database!

The URL for this post is:

Coyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 19 January Features Donna Bradley

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego meets on the 3rd Saturday of each month (except December) from 9:00 a.m. to noon on the campus of UCSD, University of California, San Diego. See our web page  for directions.

The next meeting will be held on 19 January 2013 from 9:00 am to noon. Here are the details:

9:00 - User group: Family Tree Maker with Ken Robison

          SIG: Beginning Computer Genealogy 101 with Judy Jiru

10:00 - Break, refreshments.

10:20 - Announcements followed by program:

Researching Your Native American Ancestry on the Internet

By Donna Bradley

Where do you go and how do you find Native American genealogy on the internet?  We will be discussing how to find Native Americans on census records, in books, on government documents as well as on the Indian Rolls.

Donna Bradley is an author, genealogist, historian and Native American.  She has worked with several tribal enrollment departments both for enrollment and disenrollment. She is the author of Native Americans of San Diego County and is currently writing another book. She has given several lectures and has taught genealogy on a beginning and intermediate level. Donna has been a professional genealogist for over 20 years and is a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG). Although she has worked in many aspects of the field, she specializes in Native American Genealogy which is one of the most difficult areas in the profession to locate and prove.

We meet at the Robinson Auditorium complex on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus in La Jolla. From North Torrey Pines Road, turn at Pangea Drive into UCSD. Free parking is available in the parking garage on the left; use any space other than those specifically reserved for UCSD vehicles. Signs will mark directions to our meeting room. Please refer to our website; or the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies website (click here) for driving directions and a map.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 239 - Emily and Dorothy Taylor in 1920

I'm posting family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they aren't Wordless Wednesday posts like others do - I simply am incapable of having a wordless post.

Here is a photograph from the Marion (Seaver) (Braithwaite) Hemphill family collection passed to me by Aunt Marion's daughter in 2000 after her passing. 

This photograph is of Emily White (Richmond) Taylor (1879-1966) and her daughter, Dorothy Richmond Taylor (1904-1992), It was probably taken in about 1920, perhaps on the street where they lived in San Diego.  They are sitting on the running board of the Model T Ford (I think) owned by George Taylor, Emily's husband and Dorothy's father.

Dorothy Richmond Taylor was my father's first cousin, since Emily White (Richmond) Taylor and my father's mother, Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver were sisters.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Collaboration at Local Genealogical Society Meetings

I went to the Sun City Palm Desert Genealogy Club yesterday to present "Finding Your Elusive Ancestor: The Genealogical Proof Standard and Doing a Reasonably Exhaustive Search." I had an excellent and responsive audience, which extended my time to two hours (planned 90 minutes).  I also had the opportunity to speak at length with their President, Gary Fredericksen, and vice President, Sondra Lucas, about their programs.

All of their members are Sun City residents, and they have about 50 members, but many are "snowbirds" who are there during the winter and spring.  They have weekly meetings, and one of them is usually a speaker on a genealogy topic.  The other meetings are "Genealogy Forums" where they discuss genealogy research, software programs, show and tell, answer questions, help each other, etc.  I complimented them on their meetings that foster connectivity and collaboration for their members, and provides them educational opportunities on a regular basis.  Their handout table had many forms on it, including a list of Legacy Family Tree webinars, the Legacy cruise, NGS registration forms, SCGS information, and much more.

I also told them about the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) efforts to foster communication and collaboration, using the monthly Research Group (in a conference room to discuss issues and research problems), the monthly Computer Group (in the library computer lab to work on computer problems and online resources), and the monthly program meeting (with a speaker presentation or special event).

I regularly articles regularly on the Chula Vista Genealogy Cafe blog for CVGS - recent articles include:

*  Genealogy Days in Chula Vista - January 2013

*  Family Tree Maker 2012 Workshop on Saturday, 5 January

*  CVGS Newsletter for January 2013 is Available

*  CVGS Research Group Summary - 9 January 2013 Meeting

CVGS also has a Facebook page at for announcements and discussion of CVGS activities and genealogy issues.

While a website, blog, Facebook page and other social networking sites connect to about 20% of the CVGS membership, they provide the door through which local genealogists can find a genealogical society in their area, can get education, help and research advice, and can become part of a group that encourages them and provides a connection to other genealogists in their community.

Does your local genealogical society have a website, blog, Facebook presence, activities and programs to stimulate the genealogical juices of its members and local community?  I hope so!

Thank you to Sondra, Gary and their members for their hospitality yesterday in Sun City (it was cold outside, but warm in the club room!) and I look forward to seeing them at future seminars, conferences and Sun City programs.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

"What Do You Do With a Document for a Potential Ancestor?"

In Nancy's blog post titled "You Genealogists With More Experience Than Me..." on the My Ancestors and Me blog yesterday, she asked the question:

"When you find a document that may be about one of your ancestors (or may just as well not be about one of them), what do you do with it?"

I have faced this problem several times, and my answer is "it depends."  Let me give three examples of what I've done in the last five years for problems of this nature:

1)  I don't know the names of the parents of Hannah Smith (1768-1827) who married Josiah Sawtell in New Hampshire in 1789, but I think that her parents names are Joshua and Hannah (Baldwin) Smith.  I have no records linking Hannah to these potential parents, but they are the only Smiths in Brookline, NH in the 1760s.  

Consequently, I added Joshua and his three wives, and their known children, to my RootsMagic database, and have added their vital events and all other records I've found about any of them to my RootsMagic database, including document images when available.  I created a Research Log in RootsMagic for this project, and have a To-Do list for the project.  Joshua's little tree is part of my big tree database, but is not attached to Hannah Smith.  I also have a notebook for all of the papers collected for the Smiths of Hillsborough County, NH in past years.  If I find Hannah's parents, then I will digitize the documents I have on paper and attach them to the right persons.  

My research on Joshua Smith will live on in my database for others to see online even if I don't connect Hannah to this set of parents.

2)  My second great-grandfather, Devier J. Smith, was adopted and had a birth name of Devier J. Lamphier, according to Wisconsin State Senate records and his adoptive father's will.  I started a separate database in RootsMagic for the Lamphier family line, and have added all of the families that I've found with the surname Lamphier (and alternate spellings) that resided in northeastern New York before 1850 in hopes of finding his birth parents.  I've added many records and sources to the persons in this database, including document images, and have created a Research Log and To-Do list.  I also have some documents on paper in a file folder labeled "Lamphier."  

If I ever connect Devier with a set of Lamphier parents, I can merge the Lamphier tree into my ancestral tree.

3)  When I save documents in digital format in a file folder on my computer for persons that are not my known ancestors (including potential ancestors, but also persons of the surname who are not my ancestors), I put them in a file folder titled "Other 'Surname' Families" (where "Surname' = the actual surname - e.g., "Other Smith Families").

Here is my file folder for "Other Smith Families" documents:

I hope that answers Nancy's question about "what do you do with a document for a potential ancestor?"

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Monday, January 14, 2013

UPDATED: Genealogist Beware - Checking Out

I have seen several questions on social networking sites about the seemingly new website,  The banner for the site says "Your best choice for genealogy records!"

Here is the home page (two screens):

Under the search box, it says:

"Learn more about the people associated with any Genealogy Records.  When available, our reports include:  Genealogy Records; Photos; Search ancestors; Family History; Family Tree; Birth/Death Records;Military Records; Family Genealogy; Adoption Records; Obituaries."

There's a nice green button that says "Find People Anytime."  Does "anytime" mean any historical person, or now, and another time, and later again?

At the bottom of the page, it says:  "Search Any Name to Get Full Results."  Really?  Full results??  No one gets "full results" searching one website, do they?

So what is this website?  Is it a site that will find actual genealogical records for a real person - living or dead?  Or is it a "find living people" site?  It costs $1 to find out.

I entered the name Isaac Seaver and the state Massachusetts into the search box, and the site found 75 Records (it said...).  I saw this page:

There are eight databases listed there that were, apparently, "searched":

*  Background Database
*  Public Records Database
*  Phone Numbers Database
*  Associates Database
*  State Records Database
*  Nationwide Databases
*  State Criminal Records Database
*  Criminal Records Database

These lines showed on the screen above for a few seconds, and then it quickly showed me this screen:

So for one dollar I can get all of my genealogy problems solved by this website?  That seems like a bargain.  Clicking on the "Show Me My Report" button leads to the payment page where they will charge your credit card $1.00 for their service.  There is a customer support phone number (1-866-434-4253) and the statement:

"If for whatever reason your unhappy with your report please contact customer support for a refund."

There are images of a "Sample Report" on the website.  It wasn't possible for me to magnify those images (you can't save them...) to see what they say.  I think that a "good" genealogy website would encourage you to look at them and provide a way to do so.

Then I realized that the search engine didn't bother with things like birth date, death date, spouse's names, and the like.  How did it ever figure out which Isaac Seaver for whom I was looking for information?

I went to and did an "exact match" on the name Isaac Seaver.  There are 508 exact matches in the records available on

So perhaps doesn't search and find all records?  It found 75, and Ancestry found 507.  And only some of those are for my Isaac Seaver (1823-1901).  What are the odds that found ANY records for my Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)?  My guess is SLIM or NONE.  And I'm not willing to bet even $1 to find out.

Maybe I'm wrong, but this site looks like a "living person records" site that finds phone numbers, addresses, family members, court records, criminal records, etc.  Sites like that have value if that is what a researcher wants.

My conclusion is "Genealogist Beware!!"  Before I pay for anything on this site, I want to know what records it searches, what the report looks like in some detail, and how is it a "genealogy" search engine?  Does it really find birth and death records, military records, etc. for historical persons, or just for living people?  How does it discern one Isaac Seaver from another in Massachusetts?  Is it just a living person finder?  I want to know a LOT MORE about this service before it gets my hard earned dollar (and has my credit card number)!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

UPDATED 7 p.m.:  Thomas Macentee commented:

It is very important to read the Terms and Conditions on including this paragraph:

"You will receive your report for $1.00. Our customer service phone is 1- 866- 434- 4253. If for whatever reason your unhappy with your report please contact customer support for a refund.

"After you purchase your report for $1.00, you have the option to purchase our volume discount package for $199.50 details below: 

"Services, we offer twelve months of twenty five reports a month for one year to search from millions of records around the United States. By ordering today you are agreeing to the total cost incurred from the payment plan by accepting all ten payments outlined below, and we agree to deliver all services pursuant to these terms. Refund policy, if you are unsatisfied with your order you may cancel your payments and receive a refund on your latest month's charge. Call: 1- 866- 434- 4253. Billing Information: This offer does not automatically renew. $199.50 billed over ten equal monthly payments starting today and prices are subject to change. In addition to our refund policy we also offer a search credit for any unsuccessful search. View a map of participating states click here. You may search for Genealogy Record reports for millions of records around the united states. This offer does not automatically renew. $199.50 billed over ten equal monthly payments starting today . We offer twelve months of twenty five reports a month for one year to search from millions of records around the United States."

I am genea-smacked.  We have to get used to reading the Terms and Conditions on these companies that are trying to "help" us with our research.

Check out the Privacy policies too -  I'm glad that I didn't register!

My thanks to Thomas for digging this up for us.

UPDATED 15 January, 10 a.m.:  I knew that I had read some posts about this site - and Christine Blythe has been a lone voice in the wilderness until now - see her summary post 

The Saga of and on the Empty Nest Genealogy blog.  Christine has been threatened by the company with legal action.  We need to stand with her and support her.

My apologies to Christine for not linking to her posts when I originally wrote this post.

Amanuensis Monday - Martin Carringer's Revolutionary War Pension File: Post 6: son George's 1851 Declaration

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme several years 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 a document from the Revolutionary War Pension File of Martin Carringer (1758-1835) of Mercer County, Pennsylvania (accessed on and digital image obtained from

The transcription of this paper (image 17 on the Fold3 filmstrip) is:

State of Pennsylvania }
County of Mercer .... } SS

On this 28th day of August 1851 personally appeared before me Thos Robinson a Justice of the Peace in and for said county George Carringer aged 56 years resident of Perry Township in said county Who being first duly sworn doth on his Oath make the following declaration under act of Congress passed first July 1848 & 2d February 1848.

This declarant further states that he is the lawful child of Mary Carringer who was the lawful wife & widow of the aforesaid Martin Carringer that the maiden name of this declarants Mother was Mary Hoax and that she the said Mary was a pensioner of the United States at the rate of 80$ per annum and that the said Mary Carringer died in said county on the thirty first (31) day of August in the year eighteen hundred and fifty leaving six children only surviving her whose names are Jacob Carringer, Elizabeth McCartney deceased on the 14th day of November in the year 1850, Catherine Cazbe, George, Henry and Joseph Carringer.

Sworn and subscribed to
on the day and year first .......................................... George Carringer
above written before me
Thomas Robinson J. P.

I certify that I am well acquainted with George Carringer and that the above written declaration subscribed to by him is believed to be correct and true and that his testimony is entitled to full credit and beleif.
.................................................................... Thomas Robinson J.P.

This paper in the Martin Carringer Revolutionary War Pension File provides the death date of his mother, Mary (Hoax) Carringer, the death date of his sister, Elizabeth (Carringer) McCartney, and the names of four other siblings of George still alive.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver