Saturday, March 9, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - A Fearless Female Blog Prompt

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 
 It's Saturday Night again - 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!): 

1)  Read Lisa Alzo's blog post Back for a Fourth Year: Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women's History Month on her blogThe Accidental Genealogist.

2)  Choose one of her daily blog prompts from the list (this is March 9th, do that one if you don't want to choose another), and write about it.

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

Here's mine:

I'm going to choose the March 5th prompt - "How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?"

From the story I heard from my mother, and from my father's first cousin, Dorothy (Taylor) Chamberlain, how my father met my mother goes like this:

*  My father, Frederick Walton Seaver, came to San Diego in December 1940 from New England, and was staying with his cousin's family (Marshall and Dorothy (Taylor) Chamberlain, and their daughter, Marcia.  They lived at 4601 Terrace Drive in the Kensington neighborhood of San Diego.

*  My mother, Betty Virginia Carringer, was an Art and English teacher at Woodrow Wilson Junior High School, about a half mile away from the Chamberlain's home.  

*  Marcia Chamberlain was a student at Woodrow Wilson Junior High, and was in the Art community there (but did not have Betty as her teacher, but knew her).  

*  After a period of time, around the dinner table one night, Fred said "I need a girl friend..." and Marcia piped up "I know a pretty Art teacher."  

*  Somehow the contact was made, Betty was invited to a dinner at the Chamberlain's to meet Fred, and Seaver family history in San Diego was made!  

*  Fred and Betty were married on 12 July 1942 at All Saints Episcopal Church in San Diego, and resided in Chula Vista until Fred enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944.  They both worked at Rohr Corporation prior to son Randy's birth in October 1943.

In Dorothy's last years, Linda and I used to take her out for lunch occasionally, and invariably she would tell this story to us as if it was new to our ears.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver 

Surname Saturday - LNU (colonial 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 569: Hannah LNU (????-1690). [Note: the 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].  [Note:  LNU = Last Name Unknown...]

My ancestral line back through one American generation of this LNU family line 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)

70.  Thomas Dill (1755-1830)
71.  Hannah Horton (1761-1797)

142.  Nathaniel Horton (1721-1775)
143.  Eunice Snow (1722-????)

284.  Samuel Horton (1686-1778)
285.  Hannah Atwood (1686-????)

568.  John Horton, died before 06 April 1710 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  He married before 1677

569.  Hannah, died 07 January 1689/90 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
Children of John Horton and Hannah are:
i. Hopestill Horton, born about 1677 in probably Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 28 March 1734 in Chatham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; married (1) Ebenezer Snow 22 December 1698 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; born 1680 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; died 09 April 1725 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; married (2) Thomas Atkins 28 June 1739 in Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; born 19 June 1671 in Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; died 1750 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.
ii. Dorothy Horton, born about 1680 in probably Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; died before 1738 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; married David Doane 30 September 1701 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; born about 1674 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; died 18 November 1748 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.
iii. Samuel Horton, born 31 January 1685/86 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; died before 01 April 1778 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; married Hannah Atwood 28 January 1713/14 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.

I know very little about John Horton (whose surname may have been Haughton or Houghton) and even less about his wife, Hannah.  

The one resource that I have for descendants of John and Hannah (--?--) Horton is:

Margaret Horton Weiler, "Descendants of John Horton (Haughton) of Eastham," Bulletin of the Cape Cod Genealogical Society, (Harwich, Mass.: the society, September 1983).  

This work says about John and Hannah:

"John-1 Horton (Haughton) lived in Boston, MA with his wife Hannah, perhaps the Hannah Harden, daughter of Joseph and Mary (Long) Harden, who died in Boston 7 Jan 1690.  On 6 Apr 1710 an administration for the late John Horton of Eastham was granted to his 'brother-in-law' Ebenezer Snow."

Apparently, Margaret Horton Weiler wrote a book about this Horton family:

Margaret Horton Weiler, Descendants of John Horton of Boston, Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut through his son Samuel Horton of Eastham, Massachusetts, (Camden, Me.: Penobscot Press, 1994).

I need to obtain that book, I think.  Where's my to-do list?  Ah, in RootsMagic!!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, March 8, 2013

Review: Legacy QuickGuide for Lineage Societies and 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 Legacy QuickGuide for Lineage Societies and Genealogy was written by Julie Tarr.

The Introduction to this QuickGuide says:

"Sometimes the decision to join a lineage society is easy because you have already done your research and know you have an ancestor by which you would qualify for membership—and you can prove that lineal relationship. Perhaps you are stalling because you do not know where to start or may find yourself intimidated by the process. Other times, you may not be aware that you have an ancestor lurking in your tree that could qualify you for membership in a society. Or perhaps you are missing proof for a link or two in your lineage.

"The Lineage Societies and Genealogy Legacy QuickGuide contains useful information to provide you with an introduction to lineage societies and some tools and tips to help you with your research and the application process. With a little know-how and encouragement, you will be well on your way to exploring the many lineage societies out there and furthering the research of your ancestors. This 4-sided, laminated guide is easily portable to take along on your next genealogy research trip."

The subjects included in the Lineage Societies and Genealogy  QuickGuide are:

*  Overview
*  Resources - Books

*  Resources - Online
*  Archives, Libraries & Repositories
*  Documentation

*  Selected Lineage Societies

*  Tips and Tricks
*  Other Lineage Programs
*  Toolkit
*  Further Reading

For several subjects, the items listed have 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 information about the overview, documentation required, different lineage societies, the organizations list, and the tips and tricks are very helpful, and the links to online resources will be useful.

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  
Lineage Societies and Genealogy  QuickGuide (PDF or printed laminated folder) 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 - Helpful/Interesting Reader Comments

It's Friday morning, so time to recount the helpful and interesting reader comments from the past week, and respond to them if the mood strikes me.

1)  On Surname Saturday - COLE (England > Massachusetts) (2 March 2013):

*  Shirley said:  "I am wondering how the surname cloud was created. Is this something you designed, or did you use a software program?"

My response:  A "Surname cloud" or any other type of cloud can be created using  I put multiple copies of my surnames into the list, according to how many generations I had, in order to get the relative word sizes.

2)  On My 23andMe DNA Test Results - Post 1 (5 March 2013):

*  Dan Stone asked:  "Have you compared the raw numbers, where available, between the various tests you've taken to see how they compare? I'd be interested to know how the Y-DNA test numbers of one company match up with another company's numbers. Ideally, they will be the same for the same markers, and only the refinement of the matching process is different and/or has changed over time. If the raw numbers are different, I'd be extremely curious as to an explanation for why they are different."

My response:  I have not done that yet, because I don't see the "raw numbers" yet.  I got exactly the same Y-DNA results from the two earlier tests for the common markers used.  I got somewhat different results for the two previous autosomal tests.  This 23andMe test covers all three results - Y-chromosome, mitochondrial, and autosomal, and I'll try to compare them with the others when I figure out how to do that.  I'm hoping that CeCe Moore's seminar at CVGS on 30 March will help me with this.

*  Kassie mused:  "I've thought about this, but it seems like the results fed back are sooo complex. Did you find the report "user friendly" or did you do lots of pre-search before finally ordering the test? I think $99 sounds pretty cheap, but I don't want to waste $$ on something I won't understand...thoughts?"

My response:  The results are very complex, but I thought that 23andMe did a pretty good job in displaying them, and explaining them.  With AncestryDNA and FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder autosomal tests, they focused on finding matches to my results in addition to the ethnic percentages (which for me are pretty bland!).  FTDNA also showed the chromosome segments that matched selected other persons.  I don't have the result matches from the 23andme test yet, and when I do, I will report on it.

Considering that the prices just for the autosomal test on Ancestry and FTDNA are equal to or higher than the $99 test on 23andme (which provides health characteristics, plus autosomal, mitochondrial, and Y-chromosome DNA results if males take the test), the 23andme test is more extensive and is an excellent "deal."  It's a one-stop test and includes your health characteristics.

If you study the information on the websites of the test companies, you will understand what they do, and what the test results mean.  You don't have to understand the deep science of how they do it - I don't - but with a little study you can understand your test results.

3)  On FamilySearch Family Tree Open for Everyone (5 March 2013):

*  Geolover noted:  "Randy, glad you posted some helpful resources for those who would try out the Family Search Family Tree. There's one more that could be useful, a message board monitored by some experienced users, as well as by design, engineering and managerial staff who would like to be aware of any bugs or unusual glitches:"

My response:  Thanks - I will add that to my post.

4)  On (Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 246: A Wedding Day Photo (6 March 2013):

*  John D. Tew asked:  "I have to ask though since you have the full original photo -- is your father standing on the train of your mother's wedding gown? It looks like it in the photo."

My response:  Good catch.  I saw it too, when I magnified the image to see the photographer's imprint.  I think that he is stepping on the train, perhaps to hold it down.  I sure hope that he stepped off of it before they went on to the reception.

5)  On Sorting Out Primary and Secondary Information (6 March 2013):

Thank you all for your helpful and challenging responses in Comments.  Many of us are trying to "figure all of this out" still, including myself. 

There are a number of very useful comments on this post and I may deal with them in a separate blog post.  I do agree with Angela Craft that the birth certificate is an abstract from the Original Source and could be considered a Derivative.  But the discussion was about Information rather than Source quality.

I agree that I definitely don't know who provided the information to the town clerk.  I believe, but don't know for sure, that someone in the family, and I think usually the father of the child, went down to the town clerk's office in New England and reported the birth.  It might be another relative - a grandparent, an aunt or uncle, etc. I doubt that many records of this type report the actual informant (i.e., "Benjamin Seaver came to my office and said his wife had a baby we named Isaac."). This town record is the very FIRST record of the birth.  It may be Primary or Secondary, but to me, it is BETTER, closer to PRIMARY than SECONDARY, information than the other records, which are clearly derived from it.  

I had not considered an UNKNOWN classification for Information as Jenny suggested.  It's not in the BCG definitions.  We may want an UNSURE or UNKNOWN classification for Information...

Bob McAlister's comment resonated with me:  "At least part of the difficulty you mention comes from the fact that the first two dimensions are not independent.  Once you decide that the source is derivative, then the information can not be primary. If an eye-witness to the event made a copy of the original source, it would itself be an original source with the same provenance as the first (save for the lapse of time).  It is sleight of hand to claim that we have analysed each document on three distinct criteria when two of them are inextricably intertwined."

That simplifies the Information categorizing a bit.

I do believe that this particular birth record for Isaac Seaver is not a "copy" from another record book, and that Westminster, Massachusetts used this "family group" method to record births and deaths throughout its early history.  To me, it is the Original Source.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, March 7, 2013

WikiTree adds Surname Tagging

WikiTree, the free, connected family tree with a wiki interface,  announced that users can now "Follow Their name" in the press release at

I had trouble figuring out how top make this work, so I asked Chris Whitten on Google+ what the secret was.  Chris said:

" only works when you're logged-in. Here it is:"

Being logged in, I clicked on the link and it worked.  I added a bunch of Surnames to follow, and can always add more.  Here is my "Tags Followed by Randy Seaver" WikiTree page:

I can add more surnames if I choose to by adding them all in the field for "Add tags/surnames to follow:" and clicking the "Save" button.

If someone changes a profile or asks a question about one of my Surnames on the list, I should get an email notification, and it should show up on my G2G Feed (Genealogist to Genealogist...).

On the "G2G Feed..." page (under the "My WikiTree" link on the top menu of all pages) at and saw:

There is a link below the list of tagged surnames to "Add or edit" the Tags, so that is how to find any responses, or add to the Surname tag list.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Westminster, Massachusetts Town Records - What is Original?

I asked what I thought was a fairly simple question yesterday in my post, Sorting Out Primary and Secondary Information.  There are many comments with different opinions and conclusions, and I am thankful for every reader who commented.

One of the issues raised by several commenters was "Are the handwritten Westminster, Massachusetts town records original sources, or are they derivative sources?"

Reader/commenter Geolover noted that "The front cover of the book entitles it 'Births, Deaths and Intentions' and has a notation, "bought 1786." and "...This record book is part of a collection of microfilms of selected documents. The collection was not made as part of an effort to microfilm ~all~ pertinent documents. A check of the Massachusetts State Library website or query to the Town Clerk might indicate what records for this period actually exist."

That piqued my interest, so I went looking for exactly what was included in the "Massachusetts , town and vital Records, 1620-1988" on for Westminster, Massachusetts.  On the database search page, I selected Westminster from the dropdown list and saw:

The different Titles for Westminster include:

*  Births, Marriages and Deaths

*  Court Records, with Births, Marriages and Deaths

*  District and Town Meeting Minutes, Town and Church Records, with Births, Marriages and Deaths

*  Perambulation and Fence Records, with Births, Marriages and Deaths

*  Town Records, Appraisals, Warnings and Animal Ownership, with Births, Marriages and Deaths

Within each one of those elements for one town in this large database, there are often several different "books" or "manuscripts."  For instance, here is the first page (of 8 pages!) - image 3 in the "book" - of the list of what is included in the Births, Marriages and Deaths element:

After perusing these eight pages of description, I conclude that:

*  The first town clerk's book that had birth, marriage and death records was the second "book" listed on the list above, titled "Westminster Town Records, 1738-1803."  These are handwritten records, recorded as information was provided to the town clerk, and the births were recorded in family groups.  They planned ahead (until the page was filled, then they added families later in the book).

*  The second town clerk's book that had birth, marriage and death records was the third "book" listed on the list above, titled "Westminster Births, Marriages, Deaths, 1738-1845."  Within this "book," are sections for year ranges, mainly using family groups to record the birth and death information.  The year ranges overlap, so that not all records for a particular year are consecutive.  The records are handwritten, and are not in a uniform hand or ink quality.  It is evident that the records for families recorded in the first book above before 1786 were recorded again in this second book.  However, I believe that the birth and death records recorded after, say, 1786 are the first recorded records of the birth, marriage and death events.

A visit to the Massachusetts State Library website revealed that the only vital records information they have for Westminster is, apparently, the published "tan" book for Westminster Vital Records to the Year 1849.  The Westminster town clerk's office web page does not list specific records that they have available.

The Family History Library Catalog for Westminster, Massachusetts has several collections, which seem to match the five Titles listed above, including the listing for Westminster (Massachusetts) Vital Records, 1738-1910 on FHL US/CAN microfilm 2313482, which is the filming of the Births, Marriages and Deaths element in the list above.

I haven't queried the Westminster town clerk, so I can't say with 100% confidence that the Ancestry collection of Westminster, Mass. town records,  obtained from the Jay Holbrook collection of microfiche of the different records, is "complete," but it looks pretty complete to me.  There are probably not any other historical Westminster town clerk records available.

I reviewed the town records for about 20 other Massachusetts towns, and only a few of the ones I saw listed births by family unit in the pre-1840 records.  Most recorded them in a serial list by date, noting the child's name and parents names.  So, Westminster is not unique in that regard.  I prefer to think of that method as smart - the records are much easier to find!

My conclusion is that for birth, marriage and death records in Westminster after 1786 - like my Isaac Seaver birth in 1823 - the first recordings of the events are in the third "book" in the Births, Marriages and Deaths "element."  They are "Original Source" records per the BCG definition.   Before 1786, the first recordings are in the second "book" in the Births, Marriages and Deaths "element" and therefore those  are "Original Source" records.  The records before 1786 in the third "book" are transcriptions, so they are "Derivative Source" records.

The above conclusion does not discuss whether the entries in these books are "Primary Information" or "Secondary Information," of course.  That was the discussion in my earlier post.

These discussions are good to have because every researcher needs to understand what records are available, when and how they were created, and where they can be found.  The other recordings of Isaac Seaver's birth in the Westminster Vital Records book and the Birth Certificate obtained from the town relied on the town clerk record - the "Original Source."  I had reviewed these Westminster vital records on the FHL microfilm years ago, and now they are available on as part of a very large collection, and are name indexed.

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Early Registration Deadline for NGS Conference in Las Vegas is 19 March

I registered for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Family History Conference, to be held May 8th to May 11th at the LVH Las Vegas Hotel in Las Vegas, today.  I had reserved my hotel rooms previously.

Information about the Conference is on the NGS Family History Conference page at

*  Early registration and ordering a print syllabus is available through 19 March.  For the full conference, the registration fee is $195 for NGS members, and $230 for non-NGS members, with a syllabus on a flash drive.  A printed syllabus costs an extra $25.
*  After 19 March, the full conference registration fee will be $230 for NGS members and $265 for non-NGS members.  Only a flash drive syllabus will be available if you register after 19 March.

You can register online at

Reservations for meals at breakfasts, lunches or dinners must be made by 22 April.  You can do it during your conference registration, or do it later (will you remember??).

The Conference program - the list of speakers - is at

I was just notified that I will be an Official Blogger for this NGS Conference, and will be able to use the Media Center in the Exhibit Hall.  I still had to pay for my own conference registration, though.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1875 Kansas State Census Record for D.J. Smith 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 1875 Kansas State Census record for my Smith great-great-grandparents and their family in Lincoln township, Cloud County, Kansas:

The D.J. Smith family entry is (two snips):

The extracted information for the family, with a census date of 1 March 1975, is:

*  D.J. Smith - age 35, male, white, Livery and Sale Stable, $750 in real property, $1155 in personal property, born NY, moved from Mo
*  Abbie A. Smith - age 30, female, white, Milliner, $340 in personal property, born NY, moved from Mo
*  D A Smith - age 13, female, white, born Wis, moved from Mo
*  D.D. Smith - age 11, male, white, born Wis, moved from Mo
*  M A Smith - age 8, female, white, born Mo, moved from Mo
*  P. Sears - age 16, female, white, Teacher, born Mo, moved from Wis

The source citation for this record is:

"1875 Kansas State Census Census, Population Schedule," Lincoln township, Cloud County, Kansas, page 12, dwelling #107, family #107, D.J. Smith household; digital image, (, citing original data at Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kans., on Kansas State Microfilm reel K-4.

The only significant error I see in the listing for the D.J. Smith family is:

*  M.A. Smith (Mary Ann) is listed as born in Missouri, but the family Bible, and other census records, list her as born in Wisconsin.  

I am intrigued that Abbie A. Smith, the wife and mother in this household, has her own "personal property" valued at $340.  Abbie's parents, Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux, were still living in 1875, yet Abbie has her own personal estate.  Perhaps it is from her millinery occupation - she may have a small business in her home that has some machinery and/or inventory.  

As of March 1875, Abbie is pregnant with her 5th child, to be born in June 1875.

There is also a "teacher" in this household, age 16.  She may be home schooling the three children while Abbie awaits delivery of her child.  I wonder what happened to her!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sorting Out Primary and Secondary Information

One of the quality measures to be considered in the Genealogical Proof Standard is the issue of Information provided by a source record - is it primary or secondary information?  The definition of these two categories is (from the BCG article here):

*  Primary information:  Recorded by a knowledgeable eyewitness or participant in that event, or by an official whose duties require him or her to make an accurate record of the event when it occurs.

*  Secondary information:  Supplied by someone who was not at the event and may include errors caused by memory loss or influenced by other parties who may have a bias or be under emotional stress.

I have been struggling with this issue for awhile - and thought that I would throw out an example and talk my way through it, then ask my readers for their comments and opinions:

I'm going to use the birth record of my second great-grandfather, Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) as the example because I have at least four Source records for his birth that can provide useful discussion.

1)  This is the Westminster, Massachusetts town clerk's record book that records the birth of Isaac Seaver on 16 October 1823:

I don't know who the informant for this record of Isaac's birth was - my best guess is that his father, Benjamin Seaver, visited the town clerk soon after the event and said something like "my wife had a son and we named him Isaac, born 16 October 1823."  The informant was very likely knowledgeable about the birth, and may have witnessed it or become aware of it minutes or hours after the event.

My conclusions:

*  This record is an ORIGINAL source.
*  This record is PRIMARY information (provided by someone with first-hand knowledge of the event).
*  This record is DIRECT EVIDENCE of the event.

2)  In 1908, the Westminster, Massachusetts Vital Records to the Year 1849 book was published by F.P. Rice (commonly called the Tan Books).  Here is the page recording the birth of Isaac Seaver:

The person who extracted the information from the town records in 1908 is the informant for this record - someone who was not present or had first-hand knowledge of the birth event.

My conclusions:

*  This record is a DERIVATIVE source.
*  This record is SECONDARY information (provided by a person who was not a participant or eyewitness, and who extracted it from the town records and published it).
*  This record is DIRECT EVIDENCE of the event.

3)  In 1990, I wrote to the Westminster, Massachusetts Town Clerk's office and obtained a birth certificate for Isaac Seaver:

The town clerk in 1990 probably consulted the town record book (she listed the year, volume and page number in the lower left-hand corner), filled out the birth certificate and certified her action with a seal and signature.  The town clerk is the informant for this record.

My conclusions:

*  This record is a Record Copy of an ORIGINAL DERIVATIVE source (since it was created 167 years after the town clerk's book)
*  This record is SECONDARY information (provided by a person who was not a participant or eyewitness, and extracted it from the town record and certified its accuracy).
*  This record is DIRECT EVIDENCE of the event.

4)  My quandary has been:  The Town Record (item 1) is the only information that was provided by an eyewitness or participant in the event, and the 1823 town clerk was an official required to make an accurate record of the event.  But the other two sources used the town record book (my assumption, but I think it's realistic), but were not an eyewitness, participant or official who recorded it.  Should the information in items 2) and 3) above be considered PRIMARY information or SECONDARY information?  

Should item 3) be considered PRIMARY information because the informant (the 1990 town clerk) was an official required to record accurate information?  I don't think so.

My conclusion is that items 2) and 3) are SECONDARY information, since the informant for the record is not an eyewitness, participant or official recorder at the time of the event.

What do you, my knowledgeable and faithful readers think?  Have I scoped this out correctly?  Am I worrying too much?  Is this obvious?  Your comments are desired and appreciated!!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

UPDATED:  8 March, to correct the third document's Source label

SDGS Meeting on 9 March Features Elyse Doerflinger

The San Diego Genealogical Society (SDGS) March meeting is on Saturday, 9 March 2013, at St. Andrews Lutheran Church (8350 Lake Murray Blvd., just south of Jackson Drive) in San Diego.  The program starts at 10 a.m., and will feature two presentations by Elyse Doerflinger.  There will be a refreshment break and a short business meeting between the two talks.

Elyse Doerflinger will be presenting:

*  Organizing Paper Research (Conquering the Paper Monster)

*  Organizing Digital Research (Conquering the Digital Monster)

Elyse is a professional genealogist specializing in using technology tools to make research more efficient.  She is the author of Elyse's Genealogy Blog and has created YouTube videos to share her knowledge with others.  Using her ten years of genealogy research experience, Elyse has written for Internet Genealogy Magazine and Family Chronicle Magazine, and speaks at genealogy societies and conferences in Southern California.

Elyse became interested in genealogy in the seventh grade when her history teacher gave an assignment to interview a World War II veteran.  The only World War II veteran she knew was her paternal grandfather, who lived in Tennessee.  She had only met him when she was a toddler and only talked to him once or twice a year.  She was worried that the conversation would be awkward, but after a few questions she was comfortable talking to him.  His stories brought history alive and made her wonder who else in her family had participated in historical events.

This is the first time that Elyse has presented at an SDGS meeting.

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(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 246: A Wedding Day Photo

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 Seaver/Carringer family photograph collection passed to me by my mother in the 1988 to 2002 time period:

This photograph is of my mother, Betty Virginia Carringer, and my father, Frederick Walton Seaver, Jr., on their wedding day, 12 July 1942.  It was taken at All Saints Episcopal Church in San Diego, California (625 Pennsylvania Avenue, in the Hillcrest area of San Diego, just north of downtown).

They are smiling and as happy as they can be.  They didn't know what the future held for them, but they were going to face it together.  World War II had started; a year in the U.S. Navy; motherhood and fatherhood and three active sons; a career in life insurance for my father; a passion for art for my mother; coaching youth baseball for my father; marriages for their sons, and four grandchildren; widowhood for my mother after 41 years of marriage; a quiet place by the side of the road at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery for eternity.

I just found this photograph in one of my "pictures scanned" file folders on my computer, and discovered that I have not yet added it to the photographs in my parents file folder in my Ancestor Files.  I'll fix that right now!  Now I'm wondering how many other pictures in this file folder need to be added to the Ancestor File folders!  Another fun job for today, and more to add to the Media in my database.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My 23andMe DNA Test Results - Post 1

I gave myself a 23andMe autosomal DNA test for Christmas, and sent the sample into 23andMe on 19 January 2013 (after finding where I had hidden the box).

Previosuly, I had tested my autosomal DNA with FamilyTreeDNA and AncestryDNA, my Y chromosome DNA with GeneBase, and my mitochondrial and Y-chromosome DNA with GeneTree (from the SMGF testing about 10 years ago).

I knew that I was in the R1b haplogroup from my previous Y chromosome tests, and in the K haplogroup from my previous mitochondrial DNA test.

I was notified that my 23andMe test results (all but the DNA Relatives matching) were available yesterday, and have been reviewing my health and medical risks and my ancestral results.  Here, in brief, are my test results:

1)  Autosomal Ancestry Composition (Map View):

Am I the "whitest" guy in the world?  99.3% European.  But only 11.5% British and Irish, 7.2% French and German, 1.5% Scandinavian, and 66.4% Nonspecific Northern European.

The above is the "Standard Estimate."  The "Speculative Estimate" is:

The speculative estimate is 43.0% British and Irish, 25.2% French and German, 2.7% Scandinavian, 26.1% Nonspecific Northern European, 0.4% Iberian, 1.2% Nonspecific Southern European, 0.7% Nonspecific European, and 0.6% Native American.

The intriguing part is the 0.6% East Asian and Native American, and the 0.1% Unassigned.  Huh?   Now that whets my research interest - where did that come from?  I need to know how many generations back that might be - I'm guessing in the 6th (128 ancestors) or 7th great-grandparents (256 ancestors).

My FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder results were:  89.15% Western European and 10.85% Middle Eastern.

My AncestryDNA results were 94% British Isles and 6% Uncertain.

2)  Autosomal DNA - Chromosome View:

That's pretty bland, isn't it?  All of that East Asian and Native American, and the 0.1% Unassigned, are on chromosome 12.  If I can find DNA Relatives with that same segment, it should narrow my search for those ancestors.

3)  Mitochondrial DNA Test:

So I'm K1b2b.

I did not know the sub-grouping of this from my GeneTree results - only that I was K.  So this is more definitive.  From what I know about my matrilineal line, it goes through English and Irish (perhaps Scots/Irish) families.  It will be interesting to see if I have mitochondrial DNA matches with somebody specific and not just "50 generations" back.

4)  Y Chromosome Test:

I'm R1b1b2a1a.  The only person identified as such on the list of Famous People is Malcolm Gladwell, so I'm in great company!

My GeneBase test results (20 markers) said I was haplogroup R.

My GeneTree (SMGF) test results (43 markers) said I was haplogroup R-M207, and subgroup R1b1b2a*-S128.

5)  My Neanderthal Ancestry:

I'm 2.9% Neanderthal ancestry, above the average Northern European percentage of 2.6%.  Some Facebook friends would say that accounts for my conservative political views...

When I get some DNA Relatives matches, I will report on them also.

I am struck by the seeming differences between the autosomal test results from 23andMe (11.5% British and Irish), Ancestry DNA (94% British Isles) and the FamilyTreeDNA Family Finder (89% Western European).  Why are they so different?  I guess they are not really that different, since my genealogical research shows that I have about 75% British Isles (almost all England) and about 25% Northern Europe (German, Dutch, French) ancestry in the 6th generation back.

This 23andMe test, which I paid $99 for on their special deal (still available, I believe!), was well worth the money.  In addition to the Health Overview material, I received a more refined mitochondrial DNA reading, a more refined Y chromosome DNA reading, and another autosomal DNA test with a better defined ancestry composition.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

FamilySearch Family Tree Open for Everyone

Larry Cragun, on his Larry Cragun Family and Genealogy blog, just posted Family Tree - It's now Live to All! this morning.

I checked the FamilySearch home page ( without signing in, and sure enough, there is the "Family Tree" link in the top menu.

clicking on the "Family Tree" link brought me to the Sign-in page.  I have had a FamilySearch ID for awhile, so I filled in the fields and clicked on "Sign In."

Because I have added myself, and many family members to Family Tree already, the Tree opens to my entry in the pedigree chart:

If you need help getting started, please see these resources:

*  Using the FamilySearch Family Tree: A Reference Guide (4 March 2013)

*  Family Tree Curriculum (Elder Moon's website)

*  Tuesday's Tip - FamilySearch Family Tree Learning Tools (16 October 2012) - some links may be outdated

*  My own experiences are in my FamilySearch Family Tree blog label.

The FamilySearch Family Tree is a Connected Tree - not a set of millions of separate trees (like Ancestry Member Trees or WorldConnect).  It is completely open for any registered user to add, edit or delete content.  Hopefully, users will not abuse this freedom.

Users can add content directly into the tree by adding persons, vital records, sources, notes, discussions, etc.  Photos can be added at this time by LDS Church members but not non-church members (this may change soon!).

Users can also add content to the Family Tree using FamilySearch certified genealogy software (e.g., RootsMagic, Ancestral Quest, Legacy Family Tree, and others).  That is how I've added some of my families, but we were told recently to hold off adding any more content because it was hindering the conversion of New.FamilySearch to FamilySearch Family Tree.  I don't know if this is still the case or not.

There are significant problems with some persons in this FamilySearch Family Tree.  There are many individuals with hundreds of separate entities in the Tree, most of them seem to be LDS Church founders and their ancestors.  As you go back further in time (e.g., before 1800 or so), you will see that there are many duplicate entries that need to be merged responsibly.

If you don't want to add your own family tree information to the FamilySearch Family Tree, you can still Search the tree.  There is a "Search" link on all of the Family Tree pages - it's between "Photos" and "Watch List on the screen above.  When you click on the link, you see a search box:

I filled in my Isaac Seaver information, and the search results showed:

It found my entry for my Isaac Seaver (with duplicates already merged, facts corrected, sources added, etc.), plus three others with birth dates within five years of my Isaac Seaver.  If I had added  parents names, or a spouse's name, the list would have been shorter.

On the screen above, there are buttons at the top of the screen for "New" "Refine" "First Name" "Last Name" "Gender" "Birth" and any other entry field filled in on the search forms.  If you click on one of those buttons, you can edit the search fields.

It is possible that access to the FamilySearch Family Tree, and perhaps the whole FamilySearch system, will be slow in the next few weeks as more users register and start using the FamilySearch Family Tree.  Larry said they expect two million new users.  So if it's slow, be patient and try later.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver