Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Lunch With your Fearless Female

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)  Answer the writing prompt for 16 March:  
If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead), or any famous female, who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?

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 would pick my 5th great-grandmother, Jerusha (--?--) Metcalf (ca 1750-1817), wife of Burgess Metcalf (1741-1816) of Piermont, Grafton County, New Hampshire.  They had 11 children together while living near the Connecticut River, really on the frontier.  Hopefully, she would know who her parents were (!!), and where they were born, and who her siblings were.  I would ask her about her childhood, how she met and married Burgess, what she did during the Revolutionary War while Burgess was away from home, how educated she was, and what stories she could tell me about their daughter, Polly, my 4th great-grandmother, and her family.  

Where would we go?  To Piermont, I think, to stand on the land on which she lived out her life.  What would we eat?  Probably something relatively soft, since she probably didn't have great teeth in her later years.  

I have many other females with an unknown surname, or unknown parents, but Jerusha --?-- is one that may open up a new research line for me back into the early 1600s in New England.  

Besides, I like the name, Jerusha.  It's different.  The ThinkBabyNames website says this about Jerusha:

Jerusha \j(e)-ru-sha\ as a girl's name is pronounced je-ROO-shah. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Jerusha is "married, a possession". Biblical: the wife of King Uzziah. Used by the Puritans and revived somewhat in the 19th centuryLiterary: James Michener used the name for the missionary heroine in his novel "Hawaii".

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - BANGS (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 571: Apphia BANGS (1651-1722). [Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].  [Note:  LNU = Last Name Unknown...]

My ancestral line back through two American generations of this BANGS 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-????)

570.  Stephen Atwood, born about 1653 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States; died before July 1722 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1140. Stephen Atwood and 1141. Abigail Dunham.  He married June 1677 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.

571.  Apphia Bangs, born 13 October 1651 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died after July 1722 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of Stephen Atwood and Apphia Bangs are:  Stephen Atwood (1678-????); Malchiel Atwood (1679-1728); Joseph Atwood (1680-1740); Apphia Atwood (1681-????); Eleazer Atwood (1681-1729); Joshua Atwood (1683-1724); Hannah Atwood (1686-????); Thomas Atwood (1696-1784).

1142.  Edward Bangs, born before 28 October 1591 in Panfield, Essex, England; died 16 February 1676/77 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2284. John Bangs and 2285. Jane Chavis.  He married about 1635 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.
1143.  Rebecca Hobart, born before 29 December 1611 in Wymondham, Norfolk, England; died before 1677 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2286. Edmund Hobart and 2287. Margaret Dewey.

Children of Edward Bangs and Rebecca Hobart are:  Rebecca Bangs (1635-1679); Sarah Bangs (1638-1683); Jonathan Bangs (1640-1728); Lydia Bangs (1642-1706); Hannah Bangs (1644-1677); Joshua Bangs (1646-1710); Bethia Bangs (1650-1696); Apphia Bangs (1651-1722); Mercy Bangs (1651-????).

Information on this family was obtained from:

*  Dean Dudley, History and Genealogy of the Bangs Family (Montrose, Mass., the author, 1896).

*  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), Volume I, pages 86-91.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, March 15, 2013

Free eBook of Descendants of Robert the Bruce

I received an email tonight from the folks at FamilyForest.  They are offering a FREE, 2100 page eBook of the descendants of Robert the Bruce of Scotland.

You can read how to obtain the book on their blog post Free Offer, No Strings Attached, No Credit Card Required.

The description of the book can be found at 

If you send FamilyForest an email at and request the book, they will send you a link to a website that will download the book to your computer in PDF format.

You can then read the book at your leisure.

I have no skin in this offer - they just emailed me and asked if I would share their offer with my readers.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

RootsTech 2013 Syllabus Material is Online

I was browsing through the RootsTech 2013 schedule trying to pick out which sessions I might attend, and noticed that the syllabus for almost all of the sessions are available to download.  Many are in both PDF and DOC format.

Here's how to find them:

Go to the RootsTech Home Page -- -- click on the "Schedule" link in the left-hand sidebar, and then on the "Main Schedule" link.

That will open up the "Main Schedule" page with tabs for the three days - Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Pick your day.

I scrolled down a bit and saw a presentation by Kory Meyerink that looked interesting, so I clicked on it:

There are links, in orange, for the Syllabus material.  Here is the top of the first page:

Kory has made a little guessing game out of his presentation - it's interesting.

There are about 250 individual sessions at RootsTech 2013 this year.  Nobody can go to all of them, let alone even 5% of them.

There you have the syllabus materials - download or print the individual presentations out to your heart's content!  As I recall, we received a flash drive with the syllabus material in our registration packet with the presentations organized by day and time and subject.  I'm not sure how we received the syllabus separated by days...was it download, flash drive or CDROM?  Does anyone know for sure?  Note that the syllabus materials are not available on the RootsTech 2013 app.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

UPDATED:  16 March, 5 p.m.Stated my confusion on how we received 2012 syllabus files.

Review: Legacy QuickGuide on Land and Property Records

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 Land and Property Records written by Jennifer Holik.

The Introduction to this QuickGuide says:

"Just getting started with property records or are you a frequent user and you need some help? The Land and Property Records Legacy QuickGuide™ contains useful information including tips on getting started in land records, where to search for records, how to map property, and how to see the property visually through various mapping options. It also includes a glossary of commonly used terms in property research. This 4-sided, laminated guide is easily portable to take along on your next genealogy research trip."

The subjects included in the Land and Property Records  QuickGuide are:

*  Deeds
*  Strategies
*  Tips and Tricks

*  Land Acquisition Process: Government to Person
*  Land Acquisition Process: Person to Person
*  Homestead Records
*  Researching Homestead Records
*  Source Citation Formats

*  Terminology
*  Further Reading

*  Toolkit

This QuickGuide has three pages of explanation on what to look for and how to do it, and only one page of 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 deeds, strategies, terminology, the deed acquisition process 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  
Land and Property Records  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 and Useful Reader Comments to Genea-Musings Posts

It's Friday - when I post reader comments to Genea-Musings posts that are helpful and/or interesting, often with my own comments or explanations.

1)  On My RootsTech 2013 Checklist (14 March 2013):

*  John D. Tew said:  "Whew! After accomplishing all that you need to have on your list (at the bottom). Relax and veg out for three solid days upon return to San Diego!! ;-)"

*  Denise Levenick offered:  "Remember to take your vitamins and drink lots of water. Jamboree is less than 3 months away!"

*  Deb Brunt commented:  "Have you heard of the app "Tripit"? It is available (free for the basic version) for iPhone & iPad as well as PC. You forward all your confirmation emails to Tripit and it creates a trip for you so all of your travel documents are in one place. And you can manually add items to it as well."

My comments:  Thank you all for commiserating and encouraging, and thank you, Deb, for the Tripit lead.

2)  On Finding Genealogy Gems in Ancestry Member Trees (14 March 2013):

*  Tim Forsythe noted:  "I've also found some good sources on trees in Rootsweb's World Connect Project. It pays to go looking sometimes. I recently purchased an Ancestry DNA kit and needed an ancestry tree to connect it to, so I added a few generations to it so that Ancestry would be able to find close relatives based on DNA matches. I found that Ancestry's shakey leaf kept finding new sources based on the vital data I provided and their algorithms that search for people in similar trees. Pretty soon I was building up more and more generations just to see what it would find. It went pretty quickly and even though most of the sources I already had in my database, there were some new ones as well. I was also able to add several new ancestors to my daughter-in-law's tree. That being said, the hints they provide need to be analyzed thoroughly before accepting them. They suggest a lot of poor quality sources as well such as the "Family Data Collection" and the "Millennium File", which are really nothing more than large databases of unsourced family trees. Ancestry does allow you to turn off their Ancestor Trees from the hints, which was nice. Ancestry won't find every source, so a quick search is also useful. My take away is that Ancestry can automatically locate some very good sources for ancestors in matching trees with very little effort."

My comment:  Agreed on Rootsweb WorldConnect - it's where I point my beginning students to find leads for their ancestry because it's free and is a fairly large collection (and most of it is duplicated in Ancestry Member Trees).  When I did my study on "You don't even have to know what you're looking for" last year, I found that about 90% of the Hints that Ancestry offers are for the person of interest.  As Tim says, some of the databases are index collections that I don't waste my time on.  I can ignore them and find the more authoritative sources that are actual records.

3)  On Dear Randy - Two Names, Two Birth Records for One Child? Or Two? (11 March 2013):

*  Geolover noted:  "...your suggestions are good, but the seeker should also look into any surviving newspapers (was there announcement of twins born?), land and court records in addition to divorce proceedings.

"What if there were twins and the husband absconded with one of them? I can think of a scenario unrelated to the following.

"One of my cousins married in the 1830s and had a child. The husband abandoned them, went to another State and filed for divorce, which was granted. He returned and took away the child -- I have not had an opportunity to see whether there were Court records in the husband residence County and State regarding custody of the child. The marriage was not recorded, and births were not being recorded in the mother's home State at this time.

"My only clue to look for something about this woman's marriage was the 1880 US Census notation that she was divorced. Once my eyes were opened I was lucky to locate a report of a lawsuit by the taken child, claiming his now-deceased mother's land. She had conveyed it by deed and died intestate. The court decided that the conveyance was legitimate, and ruled against the plaintiff.  The proceedings commenced some 46 years after birth of this child, which is just a pointer to not confine a search to an immediate time period.  The court record has myriad sworn statements by relatives and neighbors as to relationships between the deceased mother, her sister and various nephews, which helped resolve another couple of issues on this family.

I certainly wish the seeker good hunting."

My comment:  Life can be much stranger than fiction, can't it?  Great detective work, a little luck and good court records solved your problem and added to your family history.  Excellent lessons for all of us.

*  Susan offered:  "Look up the entry, born March 3, 1861, to see if RCE appears in the left hand column.   

"You may occasionally come across a statutory image with a note in the margin ‘RCE’ and a reference number. RCE stands for Register of Corrected Entries. If, after an entry in a register had been completed, an error was discovered or some other amendment was required as a result of new information, the original entry could not be altered. Instead, each registrar kept a register of corrected entries in which such amendments were written, originally after they had been approved by a sheriff. Corrections to birth entries might be to name, residence, identity, or as a result of a sheriff’s finding in a paternity case, with the father’s name being added as directed by the sheriff, or as a result of an illegitimate child being legitimised by its parents’ subsequent marriage. Images of RCEs are now available on ScotlandsPeople. "

*  Dandelion responded:  "Thanks for the suggestion. I have the images from Scotland's People and I just checked both of them. I don't see anything in the left margins. 

"I also looked at the records for another set of twins born the same year in Fife. In the column for the mother’s information one says “Her 1st child.” and for the other “Her 2nd child.” Curiously one of those twins appears to be a third cousin once removed of Alison Naismith McIntyre Milne. 

"I seem to remember also seeing “(twin)” below the names of the children in some cases."

My comments:  Thank you, Susan, for the research tip about RCEs.  I'm glad that Dandelion followed up on it.  

4)  On What I Hope to Hear at RootsTech 2013 (11 March 2013):

*  Tessa wrote:  "Ah Randy, from your post to the Genealogy God's ear! I have been waiting patiently for Legacy Family Tree to upgrade their program - 
(1) hoping for more in the way of research manager type capabilities with good use of scoring (direct, indirect, quality, etc.) and being able to take the research you do and incorporate it easier (similar to RootsMagic - I thought that was a brilliant upgrade)
(2) a mobile app that syncs seamlessly
(3) a number of the fixes or suggestions that forum members have provided over the past two years taken to heart by Legacy rather than more bells and whistles - Legacy has plenty of those already."

*  Tamura Jones noted:  "Not much happens at RootsTech, and Ancestry sure isn't going to introduce FTM 2013 there.   You may recall that decided to not introduce FTM 2013 at all: Family Tree Maker 2013.

"Would not get my hopes up for a free app that works with Legacy 7 either. There is a commercial third-party app already, and Millennia may want to concentrate its efforts on Legacy 8, which may or may not include an app.

"Can't tell all I know. Do expect MyHeritage FTB 8 to be ready soon."

*  Geolover commented:  "Your call for "improved" interaction with FamilySearch-Family Tree on the part of 3rd-party software is premature. FamilySearch has not yet given the code to developers. Some 3rd-party software programs can interact with the new.FamilySearch tree, and FS is still migrating data between new.FamilySearch and FS-FamilyTree. Some of the impacts on FS-Family Tree adversely affect cleanup work done in FS-Family Tree.

"I was not aware that had any version of FTM that worked with new.FamilySearch."

*  Lisa Taisey said:  "GENI will be more user friendly toward the folks who joined when it was a FREE site! I was even willing to pay to become a member BUT they will NOT let you pay a monthly fee like Ancestry they will only accept ONE yearly charge and I can't afford that so No membership for me and unable to access my data there. Not customer friendly!"

*  Sven Ove-Westburg noted:  "My wish list.

"Will here be family tree database software where you can add references direct from the libraries catalog? I doubt that since then they can not follow Mills.

"Will some interface with a reference organizing software such as Zotero?

"An open API to the user trees on Ancestry.

"I would like to see someone start using Maridb or MySQL as their database. So the DB engine is separated from the genealogy program.

"I do not think Legacy will have a new version they may talk about it. They have a slot reserved at the SCGS Jamboree June 7."

My comments:  Thank you all for your comments and wish lists.  I threw in the FTM 2013 part to see if anyone was paying attention - they were!  Obviously, some people are more "tuned in" than I am to the genealogy companies and organizations. I appreciate their sharing what they can tell us without divulging confidences.  

*  Yvette Hoitink noted:  "Civil registration birth records in the Netherlands not only list the informant, they went a lot further: "Derk Jan Hoitink came to me and presented me with his male child called Hendrik". No kidding, the actual child had to be presented to the clerk to register the birth. Doesn't get any more primary than that. The requirement to present the child was not so good for infant mortality rates though, especially since you had to present the child within 3 days of the birth or face a large fine, so that requirement was dropped after a couple of years. To this day, you're still required to register the birth within three days, but at least you can leave the baby at home now if you have a declaration by the doctor or midwife."

My comment:  Thank you for the interesting "real life" registration requirement information...that certainly was "primary information!"

*  Mary Ellen Aube commented:  "I thought that the physician recorded the births in New England. I know that my mother was born in 1896 and the physician recorded her birth."

My response:  I think that the birth registration process changed over time from a "parent report" to a "midwife or doctor report" system.  Since most births before 1900 occurred at home, usually without a "doctor" present, the "parent report" system worked for a long time.  In 1823, when my Isaac Seaver was born in Westminster, Mass., there is no indication of a doctor report.  I do note that the Massachusetts marriage records after 1841 have a minister's name in the right-hand column, and my guess is that the minister reported the marriage to the town.

*  Gerry Sell commented:  "I'll bet the teacher was hired by the township for its public school, and was boarding (at township expense) at the Smith home. By the time 1880 rolled around she was probably married, but perhaps not."

My comment:  That is very logical, and is probably the correct interpretation to this puzzle.  I didn't even think of it.  Thank you!  

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Finding Genealogy Gems in Ancestry Member Trees

I confess to looking at Ancestry Member Trees from time to time, usually looking for leads for more events and records on my ancestral families.  Today was typical - I was trying to find records in Somerset, England for the parents of Mary (Palmer) Vaux, who married James Vaux in 1808, and had 11 children. The family settled to Erie County, New York in 1832.

I searched for Mary Palmer looking to see if anyone has identified her parents.  On one Ancestry Member Tree (thank you, cousin Simon Vaux!!), there was an 1832 Passenger List record for "Mary Vous:"

I clicked on the "source citation" link and went to the Record Summary page for Mary Palmer on the Passenger List for the ship Cosmo arriving in New York from Bristol on 1 May 1832:

Clicking to see the actual passenger list, and zooming in to see the record for this "Vous" family:

There are 8 "Vous" persons on this list:

*  James Vous -  age 42, male, a farmer, belong to Great Britain, intend to inhabit United States
*  Mary Vous - age 40, female
*  Saml Vous - age 20, male
*  Josiah Vous - age 8, male
*  William Vous - age 13, male
*  George Vous - age 12, male
*  Ernest Vous - age 1, male
*  Ann Vous - age 18, female

While the ages don't match the records I have for this James Vaux family exactly, all of the names do!  There are two older male sons in the family who apparently didn't make this voyage, but came later.  There are also several younger children in the family who probably died young in Somerset after their birth but before the voyage.  This is definitely the family of my 4th great-grandparents, James and Mary (Palmer) Vaux who settled in Erie county, New York.

I downloaded the image to my computer hard drive, and have added the Event and the source citation to my RootsMagic database this afternoon.  Here is the source citation created using the source template for "Immigration-Emigration Rolls, Images:"

"New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957," digital image, ( : accessed 14 March 2013), ship Cosmos, Bristol to New York, arrived 1 May 1832, List 242, Page 2, Line 19, James Vous family entry (image 5 of 11); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, Roll 16.

It really pays off to search for your ancestral families once in awhile on, especially if other researchers have attached source citations and document images to their Member Trees!  I feel lucky, and glad that Simon was creative enough to find this Vaux family indexed as "Vous" in these records.

"Good things come to those that search!!"

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

My RootsTech 2013 Checklist

The latest RootsTech 2013 news brief is that they announced the FREE web live-streaming presentations today - see  I guessed 100% in my post of 4 March (see RootsTech 2013 - Live-Streamed Sessions (Updated)).  There was no "crystal ball" or "magic" involved, however - I just listed the Hall 1 presentations on the theory that they wouldn't move the three large camera units from place to place.

I'm trying to get ready for the RootsTech 2013 Conference, and the day before (Wednesday, 20 March) at the Family History Library.  We fly into Salt Lake City on the afternoon of the 19th, and we'll leave for San Diego on Sunday, 24 March.

To that end, here is my checklist of things to do and the status on each.

*  Find my Southwest Airlines reservation confirmation paper, and take a cell phone picture of it.  Put the paper in my RootsTech folder to take on the trip.  Status:  DONE!

*  Find my Radisson Hotel reservation confirmation paper, and do the same.  I couldn't find it in my stacks, but Radisson sent a reminder email about an hour after I couldn't find it!  Status:  DONE!

*  Find my evening event invitation emails and do the same.  Status:  DONE!

*  Find my Genea-Musings ribbons and make more business cards.  Put them in the laptop bag.  Status:  Found the ribbons, cards in work.

*  Review my genealogy database for "low hanging fruit" sources for which I don't have a document image, and determine if I can obtain the image only at the FHL.  If so, add it to the To-Do list.  Status:  In work.  The To-Do list is lengthening...over 16 pages now!

*  When the To-Do list is finished, save it as a PDF and print it out, and also add it to Dropbox and to Evernote.  The value of the printout is I can use it when the iPhone and/or tablet are powerless, and can also use the printout for notes.  LOCKSS! Of course, I can use Evernote for notes too...  Status:  Waiting for To-Do list to be finished.

*  Download the RootsMagic 2013 app with the room maps, the presentation schedule, etc.  Enable multi-platform sharing.  Status:  DONE!

*  Go through the sessions on the App and note the sessions on the Conference Schedule I want to attend.  Status:  First pass completed.  

*  Go through the list of Exhibitors on the App and make a list of "must-see" companies.  Make a list of questions for those "must-see" companies.  Add the list of questions to Dropbox and Evernote.  Status:  not started

*  Gather the electronic stuff in one place to take with me, including:

***  iPhone, including charger
***  Tablet, including charger
***  Laptop, including charger
***  3-prong Extension cord
***  Digital camera, including charger
***  Several USB drives with lots of space on them.  
***  AA and AAA batteries

Status:  not started

*  Make sure programs on laptop are up-to-date, especially Dropbox, Evernote, RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, etc.  Status:  in work.

*  Make sure apps on iPhone and tablet are up-to-date, especially Dropbox, Evernote, RootsMagic, Ancestry.  Status:  in work

*  Lean out deadwood on Dropbox in order to open file space - keep only latest copies of presentations, eliminate unused large files, transfer photos to desktop, etc.  Status:  in work.

*  Go to the Family History Library on Wednesday, 20 March and find as many documents on microfilm and/or books/periodicals on my To-Do list as possible.  Status: Planned.

*  After receiving the USB drive with conference syllabus, save it to the laptop, add it to Dropbox, and add specific items to Evernote (if possible) using the laptop.  Status:  Not started.

*  Get up early enough every day to eat breakfast and get to the Keynote talks.  Then set up in the Media Hub and do my Official Blogger stuff while trying to get to sessions and talk to exhibitors. Status: Planned.

*  Try to write updating blog posts every day, hopefully including pictures of people and exhibitors.   Status: Planned.

I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and I know that I've missed some things that should be on this list.  Are there any other suggestions from my readers?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1870 U.S. Census Record Devier 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 1870 United States Census record for my Smith great-great-grandparents and their family in Benton township, Taylor County, Iowa:

The Devier Smith entry is:

The extracted information for the family, with an enumeration date of 9 August 1870, is:

*  Devier Smith - age 30, male, white, a farmer, real property worth 10,000, personal property worth $800, born New York, a male citizen of the U.S. aged over 21.
*  Abbie Smith - age 26, female, white, keeping house, born New York, father of foreign birth.
*  Della Smith - age 8, female, white, at Home, born Wisconsin, attended school within the year.
*  David Smith - age 6, male, white, at Home, born Wisconsin, attended school within the year.
*  Mary Smith - age 4, female, white, at Home, born Wisconsin.

The source citation for this census record is:

1870 United States Federal Census, Taylor County, Iowa, Population Schedule, Benton township: Page 13, dwelling #207, family #207, Devier Smith household; digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Series M593, Roll 421.

I don't see any errors in this enumeration for the Devier Smith family.  I'm impressed that Devier has a farm worth a lot of money, and I wonder if he owned it outright or if he had a mortgage to pay.  A search of land records in Taylor county may reveal more.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Education, Collaboration, Crowd-sourcing and Cat-herding at CVGS Today

We had an interesting Research Group meeting at the Chula Vista (CA) Genealogical Society (CVGS) today.  This monthly meeting is two hours long, with myself as the moderator, and is in two major parts - the first hour for education and the second hour for sharing.  We usually hold it in a 20 seat conference room at the library, and now can use the library wireless connection or a cell hot spot using my tablet computer, along with the projector, to show a presentation or live Internet research on the screen.

The purpose of the meeting is enhance genealogy education and research skills, and to help our members (and guests) move their research along by answering their research questions and making suggestions for further research.  The members' research skills and knowledge have grown significantly over the ten years we've been meeting like this, and the group is refreshed by new members with zero to advanced knowledge.

In the first hour today, I used the Internet connection to display and discuss my 23andMe DNA results for the group to see and try to understand.  Several other attendees had received their results also, and were able to contribute their knowledge.  We touted the $99 sale price for the 23andMe test (autosomal, mitochondrial, Y-chromosome, plus health genetics) and the 30 March 2013 CVGS seminar featuring CeCe Moore.

We then discussed genealogy video education - highlighting the coming RootsTech 2013 live streaming sessions, the RootsTech 2012 sessions, the Legacy Family Tree webinars, the webinars and DearMYRTLE's webinars on YouTube, and the FamilySearch Research Courses.  There is a wealth of online genealogy education available for free if the genealogist will just search for them and learn from them.

The second hour of our Research Group was devoted to answering research questions from the attendees, trying to help an attendee's research by going onto the Internet to find records or make further research suggestions, and attendees sharing their successes or frustrations.  This part of the meeting gets everyone involved in thinking about what research they would perform or recommend, and invariably provides education and instruction to the attendees through this collaboration and crowd-sourcing effort.

Today, the group answered these questions:

*  Where can I find divorce records?  Answer:  Civil court records in the county where the divorce was filed.

*  How much information do you put into your family trees online?  Do you share sources?  Answer:  Some put everything, some hold back.  Some provide sources, some don't.

*  How do you correct an entry on Find A Grave?  Answer:  Register yourself, and contact the creator or owner of the memorial.

The group also crowd-sourced three brick wall problems:

*  Where can I find a birth record for an Elizabeth Titus probably born in Buffalo, New York in 1855, who moved to Illinois with her family?  The only useful evidence found was an Illinois death record, which stated he was born in New York City rather than Buffalo.  She had already found the death record and an obituary, and could not find church records for her in Buffalo.

*  What happened to Leo Clark Bruns, born in Otsego County, New York in 1889?  We could find him only in the 1900 U.S. Census, despite searching many name variations with other known factors to narrow the search.  He wasn't in the World War I or II draft registrations or the Social Security Death Index.

*  Harold F. Thomas was born in Illinois in 1920, enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943;  what happened to him, and who were his parents?  We found that he received a bronze star in World War II in Burma, and died in Georgia and was buried at Andersonville National Cemetery.  All of this was new information for the attendee.  We suggested she obtain an Illinois birth certificate, a Georgia death certificate and/or a Social Security Application for him to determine his parents, since census research was not conclusive.

It was a fun and informative genealogy day at CVGS...they usually are!  Every meeting there are new educational and research challenges and opportunities, and I'm very happy to be able to contribute to helping resolve them.

Moderating these meetings is sometimes like herding cats - we had 18 attendees today, and they quickly got in the routine of raising their hand to ask a question or comment.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 16 March Features Denise Levenick

The Computer Genealogy Society of San Diego (CGSSD) 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 Saturday, 16 March 2013 from 9:00 am to noon. Here are the details:

9:00 a.m.: User group: Macintosh, with Dona Ritchie. 
9:00 a.m.: SIG: DNA Genealogy, with Corlee Morris
10:00 - Break
10:20 - Announcements followed by program:
Preserving the Past: Archiving and Digitizing Your Family Keepsakes
by Denise May Levenick

Two-part overview of preservation and digitization techniques for family historians. Includes best practices for archival storage and fundamentals of digitization and scanning family history papers.

Denise May Levenick is a writer, researcher, and speaker with a passion for preserving and sharing family treasures of all kinds. She is the author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes (Family Tree Books, 2012) and creator of the award-winning genealogy blog, The Family Curator 
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 247: A Four Generation Seaver 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:

And with the photograph cropped a bit and enlarged:

This house is located at 149 Lancaster Street in Leominster, Massachusetts. This picture was taken in about 1907 based on the children who are pictured, and the one who is not. The people in this picture are (left to right):

* Evelyn Seaver (child born in 1903)
* Stanley Seaver (child born in 1905)
* Marion Seaver (child born in 1901)
* Harry Seaver (male adult standing in back of Marion, born in 1884)
* Frank Walton Seaver (male adult standing, born in 1852)
* Fred Walton Seaver (male adult standing, born in 1876)
* Hattie (HildrethSeaver (female adult sitting, born in 1857, wife of Frank Seaver).
* Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver (female adult standing, born in 1882, wife of Fred Seaver)
* Sophia (Newton) Hildreth (female adult sitting, born in 1834, mother of Hattie (Hildreth) Seaver).

Frederick and Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver, my grandparents, are the parents of the three children, Marion, Evelyn and Stanley. Stanley was born in October 1905. I think that the picture was likely taken after October 1906. Their daughter, Ruth, was born in September 1907, so the picture was probably taken before then (Bess Seaver looks fairly "wide" in this picture, at age 26 - she's probably pregnant). 

Frederick Walton Seaver and Harry Seaver were sons of Frank Walton and Hattie (HildrethSeaver, my great-grandparents.

Frank Walton Seaver was the son of Isaac and Lucretia (Smith) Seaver, my great-great-grandparents, who were both deceased in 1907.

Hattie (HildrethSeaver was the daughter of Edward Hildreth (died in 1899) and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth, my great-great-grandparents.

This is the only picture I have of Frank Walton Seaver (my great-grandfather), Harry Seaver (my great uncle, brother of Frank), and Sophia (Newton) Hildreth, my great-great-grandmother who died in 1923, outliving both her daughter and son-in-law.

A copy of this photograph on cardboard was found in a cedar chest in the possession of my mother in about 1990. I had it duplicated and sent it to each of my aunts and uncles in 1990 - no one else had seen it to their recollection.

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copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver