Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - A "Where I'm From" poem

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)  Write a poem about "Where I'm From" using the template found at the website

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

Here's mine:

Randy's From Where?

I am from an all grown up small town,
from Rice Krispies and store-bought clothes.

I grew up in a Victorian house with no porches
with angled walls and secret places.
I am from coral trees and boysenberry bushes,
from jacaranda trees with purple flowers.

My San Diego is sun and beach,
sunburn, body surfing and sand castles.
Cavemen, Padres, Chargers and Aztecs,
football in the street, baseball in the park,
bicycles, flexies and scooters, newspaper routes, 
berry sales, Piggly Wiggly and five-and-dime stores.

I am from Seavers and Carringers,
from Aubles and Richmonds,
hard working, easy playing,
laughing, learning, and loving.

I am from a family of encouragers
and triers and second place winners.
From "never give up," "do your best" 
and "well done, you tried hard."

I am from Episcopalians and agnostics,
and turned into a Presbyterian.  

I'm from Chula Vista, Leominster,
McCook, Oak Grove, Sandy Lake, Aurora, 
Killingly, Townsend, Sterling,
colonial America, Wiltshire and Somerset.

From the snake oil salesman, the house painter, 
the blacksmith, the farmer, 
the carpenter, the wheelwright, 
and all of the dear homemakers.

I am from folks in faded and crumbling pictures,
from homes with wood stoves and straw beds,
from sod houses and salt boxes,
from towns built in the wilderness
by the indomitable human spirit.

If I can do it, you can do it!  It's amazing what memories and thoughts come to mind when you write about "Where I'm From."  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - MOORE (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 577: Anna MOORE (1666-1760). [Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two American generations of this MOORE 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)

18.  Edward Hildreth (1831-1899)
19.  Sophia Newton (1834-1923)

36.  Zachariah Hildreth (1783-1857)
37.  Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857)

72.  Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1828)
73.  Elizabeth Keyes (1758-1793)

144.  Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784)
145.  Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812)

288.  James Hildreth (1698-1761)
289.  Dorothy Prescott (1702-1774)

576.  Ephraim Hildreth, born 1654 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 05 April 1731 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1152. Richard Hildreth and 1153. Elizabeth.  He married 08 October 1686 in Stow, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
577.  Anna Moore, born 08 October 1666 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States; died 08 April 1760 in Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  
Children of Ephraim Hildreth and Anna Moore are:  Ephraim Hildreth (1687-????); Joseph Hildreth (1689-1764); Richard Hildreth (1691-????); James Hildreth (1692-1696); Ebenezer Hildreth (1696-1762); James Hildreth (1698-1761); Jonathan Hildreth (1701-1752); Anna Hildreth (1705-1784); Thomas Hildreth (1707-1707); Jacob Hildreth (1709-????); David Hildreth (1711-????).

1154.  John Moore, born before 11 November 1628 in Henham, Essex, England; died before 23 September 1702 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 16 November 1654 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1155.  Anne Smith, born about 1627 in England; died 10 March 1670/71 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2310. John Smith and 2311. Mary.
Children of John Moore and Anne Smith are:  Marie Moore (1655-1705); Elizabeth Moore (1657-1734); Lydia Moore (1660-????); John Moore (1663-1742); Joseph Moore (1664-????); Anna Moore (1666-1760); Jonathan Moore (1669-1742); Maria Moore (1671-1671).

2308.  John Moore, born about 1602 in England; died 06 January 1673/74 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married about 1625 in Probably Henham, Essex, England.
2309.  Elizabeth, born in England; died before 1633 in Probably Henham, Essex, England.
Children of John Moore and Elizabeth are:  Elizabeth Moore (1626-1705); John Moore (1628-1702); Susan Moore (1630-1630).

Information about these families was obtained from:

John Plummer, "The English Origin of John Moore of Sudbury, Massachusetts," The American Genealogist, Volume 66, number 2, April 1991.

Stanley E. Moore, "John Moore of Sudbury, Massachusetts (Living there 3 April 1640)," The Colonial Genealogist, Volume IX, number 1.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, April 5, 2013

Review: Genealogy At a Glance: Finding Female Ancestors

The Genealogical Publishing Company in Baltimore has published another in its series of "Genealogy at a Glance" laminated research guides - this time for Finding Female Ancestors, by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack.

This "Genealogy at a Glance" booklet has four laminated pages on one 11" x 17" paper (folded). It is designed to give the user the basic elements of genealogy research in the allotted space. They provide an overview of the facts a researcher needs to know in order to begin and proceed successfully with research in the subject.

Finding Female Ancestors booklet has these subjects:

*  Contents
*  Quick Facts and Important Dates
*  The Challenge of Researching Your Female Ancestors
*  Determining Maiden Names and Parents
*  Other Sources Created About Women
*  Divorce Petitions
*  Insanity Records
*  Naturalizations
*  Widows' Pensions
*  Dower Releases
*  Sources Created by Women
*  Glossary
*  Online Sources

This booklet is designed primarily for the person who is not an expert, or has little experience, on finding female ancestors.  It provides guidance and excellent ideas to help researchers to find their elusive female ancestors. Reference books, online databases and websites for some of the topics are cited in the text.

For someone like me that teaches and talks about genealogy a bit, it is invaluable because I can pull it out and provide some guidance to my student or colleague interested in the subject.

The beauty of these "Genealogy at a Glance" booklets is that they are very light and portable in a briefcase or laptop case. They are fixtures in my research case.

This four-page laminated booklet costs $8.95,  plus postage and handling (4th Class Mail $4.50; FedEx Ground Service in the USA, $6.00). You can order it through the Genealogical Store, or use the link for the 
Finding Female Ancestors booklet and click on the "Add to Cart" link.  I recommend buying these at seminars and conferences where they are offered in order to avoid the shipping costs.
*  Book Review:  Genealogy at a Glance - Family History Library Research

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2013.

Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this booklet. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review. 

Follow-Up Friday - Interesting and Helpful Comments on Genea-Musings Posts

It's Follow-Up Friday - time to highlight interesting and useful comments on Genea-Musings posts.  

These were only some of the comments on Dear Randy - Why Does LDS Church Exert So Much Control over Genealogy?, posted 29 March 2013:

*  Heather Rojo commented:  "You have an excellent and thoughtful answer, Randy, to a tough question I have heard many time time before. I don't think anyone has answered it better."

My response:  Thank you, Heather, and others who wrote complimentary comments.  I thought about this for awhile, and decided snarky didn't work, and that patience and encouragement would work.

*  Leah Kleylein noted:  "Just last night I spent a couple hours at a local FHC looking at microfilm. I don't view the church as "controlling" that microfilm - in fact, I'm incredibly grateful that they preserved the information I found on it, and let me look at it at their facility for only a few dollars shipping fee."

My response:  I agree 100% Leah - I went every Saturday for about 15 years to the FHC to read microfilms.  The money saved by renting microfilms is immeasurable.

*  Jen Baldwin's observation:  "I have often fielded questions regarding the LDS interest in genealogy, and since I am not a member, I do my best to leave a positive perspective on their collections and contributions as a whole. I'll probably be using this post as an example from now on. 

"My reaction to TANSTAAFL? We're not just getting a free (or close to free) lunch with these sites, we're sitting at a 24/7 buffet that never ends. Looking forward to my next little tidbit already!"

My response:  That is such a great metaphor, Jen - online genealogy feeds our genealogy research so well - a veritable genealogy cafe of education, records, data and surprises.  

*  Connie Giltz said:  "I too am not a church member, but am very grateful for what they provide and am amazed at the record collection the have for us. And to provide it free when you consider what it takes to maintain databases online and the technical people it takes to main a system to handle the traffic, I am very grateful and instead of complaining I say thank you."

My response:  We all should say it more often to the providers, free and commercial alike.

*  Carmen Johnson noted:  "The only thing that I would add over your excellent explanation is that family research is part of the Mormon religion...I've never experienced any problems when going to a FHL center or the SLC library...they don't see a Mormon but rather someone interested in genealogical research."

My response:  I didn't think of that when I was writing the post -- thanks!

*  Jean Hibben commented:  "And, not that anything needs to be added, I am always overwhelmed by the chairs at the Salt Lake FHL. They have to have cost at least $200 each....and each floor Is filled with them. Whenever I am asked about the cost to rent a film at FHC, I mention that they have to pay for the chairs! (joking, if course)....but the LDS library sure makes it comfortable to work there for hours. Wish we could get some of those chairs in our center...but we'll make up for it in friendliness!"

My response:  You know, I've never noticed the chairs - too concentrated on the records.  I've noticed the friendliness at the FHL and in the FHCs - wonderful, helpful people.

*  Kim opined:  "Randy, you wrote an excellent description of the industry, the LDS connection and their support for everyone's family history. And people obviously need to be informed how the genealogical resources of the LDS are available, free of charge with no proslytizing allowed.

"That said, I have to defend your reader just a bit. No, we can't expect that every record will be digitized, indexed and available for free and are thankful for what the LDS church has done to preserve these records which may have been lost without such action. 

"BUT (and it's a big BUT), the LDS church's actions relating to genealogy or politics are not beyond reproach. One only has to look at the number of times Anne Frank has been baptized posthumously or the church's funding of Prop 8 in our state of California (which many of us have been vocal about this week in hopes of seeing it reversed) to see why someone might be hesitant to trust their motives as purely benevolent. I wonder how many people like "E" have found their own ancestors posthumously baptized despite having no relation to the LDS Church. 

"You are right that There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. In which case, I ask, what are we giving the LDS for all they give for free? When we discuss Google or Facebook's free services, we are quickly reminded that if you aren't paying, you aren't the customer. Why should we blindly believe the LDS to be any different without at least asking the question?

"I know many in the genealogical community who are/may be LDS, and I hope not to offend them, for they are kind, welcoming people and often excellent genealogists. But as many Catholics will tell you, church management does not always represent the hearts of the flock. I can't blame "E" for being suspicious."

My response:    People make mistakes.  Organizations make mistakes.  How long do we remember them?  Is there a statute of limitations when past mistakes are no longer held against them for things that happened a long time ago?  How important are the mistakes?  Do hurt feelings equal the holocaust or slavery?  The LDS Church does not completely control what their members do, whether it's in the family tree, ordinances, or political campaigns.  But people and organizations have ingrained traditions, and practice and promote them.  We can disagree all we want with sacraments and traditions, but they will not be changed quickly.  

I think that we actually pay the LDS church, and their community, to some extent with our dollars for microfilm rentals, travel to Salt Lake City, hotels, businesses, restaurants in Salt Lake City, and copy costs at the FHL.  It's not totally free.  Yes, they benefit from the knowledge and research provided by non-church members, and that's a form of payment.  My impression after many interactions with FamilySearch personnel is that they think the genealogical community is their customer.  It seems to me that it's a beneficial relationship for all of us.

*  Jacqi Stevens offered:  "One thing your reader might not have realized--and I haven't seen addressed here--is the operational facts of life, not of LDS or FamilySearch, but of ad-driven organizations such as Google. Your reader, "E," most likely does a lot of online searching using keywords related to genealogy. Thus, Google is built to serve up ads related to that stated interest. If, however, "E" had spent a lot of time searching online for, say, 'cherry flavored backscratchers,' that is what would show up in the ad feeds on "E's" computer. No sinister plot on behalf of FamilySearch or the LDS. Just the automated way Google and other ad sellers are rigged to work."

My comment:  I had not thought of that as to E's online experience.  I guess I'm oblivious to this... I don't know what E's search capabilities are - they may be minimal.  By the way, I got only one Google hit for "cherry flavored backscratchers" - your comment on my blog post, no ads.  Interestingly, I didn't know that Google picked up blog comments too!  Now there will be two matches.

*  Andy offered:  "Some good info, but you didn't say anything about *why* the LDS is dedicated to genealogy.  Would have been good to include something like a link to this: "

My comment:  Thanks, Andy - you just did!

I think that this sets a record for most comments on a blog post, at least so far in 2013.  It's already one of the most visited Genea-Musings posts for 2013.  

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Classes Announced for the 2013 Legacy Family Tree Cruise in September

Legacy Family Tree announced the class schedule today for the 2013 Legacy Family Tree Cruise in September.  Here is the information:
Our 10th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise to depart this September from San Diego, California, is shaping up to be our finest event ever - more cruisers, more speakers, and more genealogy classes than we've ever had! Classes will be held on the days at sea and taught by this all-star lineup of speakers:


Together they will present 25 hours of personalized genealogy education while at sea, along with some small group sessions. You will be able to meet with them during our group lunch and dinner meals, or catch up with them during the optional land excursions in:
  • San Diego, California
  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
  • Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Panama Canal (cruising)
  • Colon, Panama
  • Cartagena, Columbia
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Today we officially announce the class topics which offer a good mix of beginning through advanced classes:
  • Eleven Layers of Online Searches by Barbara Renick
  • Genealogy Secrets by Karen Clifford
  • Trace Your Roots with DNA by Megan Smolenyak
  • Discovering Jane's Roots in California, Australia, and England by Randy Seaver
  • Legacy Family Tree for your Mobile Device and other Tips/Tricks by Geoff Rasmussen
  • Think You Know How to Search Library Catalogs? Think Again! by Barbara Renick
  • Left Only a Trace by Karen Clifford
  • Find That Obituary! Online Newspaper Research by Megan Smolenyak
  • Reporting with Legacy Family Tree by Dave Berdan
  • Fact or Fantasy by Karen Clifford
  • Solving Historical and Family Mysteries with DNA by Megan Smolenyak
  • Effective Sourcing and Documentation with Legacy by Geoff Rasmussen
  • First Do No Harm then Look for Confirming Evidence by Karen Clifford
  • Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing by Megan Smolenyak
  • Keeping Your Legacy Clean: Effective Standardization and Cleanup Tools in Legacy by Ken McGinnis
  • Slow Down and Pick Up Speed by Karen Clifford
  • Giving Back: A Look at 13 Years of Genealogy Grants by Megan Smolenyak
  • Legacy Family Tree: Especially for Beginners by Geoff Rasmussen
  • Watch Geoff Live: Adding Original Source Documents to Legacy by Geoff Rasmussen
  • Digital Cemeteries and Mobile Apps by Geoff Rasmussen
  • plus small group Q/A sessions
You'll also get to meet with the Legacy Family Tree developers to share your ideas or just get the extra personalized help to get you going. We're also always available for a good game of shuffleboard!
There may be cabins still available - check the Legacy Family Tree blog post for more information.
The absolute beauty of cruises with genealogy education content is that it's like a genealogy conference with a number of speakers, held on a cruise ship while at sea, where your non-genealogy spouse can enjoy the cruise perks AND the genealogy social events with friends and colleagues, plus the tour-filled days in exotic ports.  It's a win-win-win-win vacation in my book!  
Oh, the shuffleboard games are one of the highlights, at least for me.  I have fond memories of frozen pucks, caught by the 50-knot cold wind over the top deck, curving off the court from last year!  
I am looking forward to presenting my Case Study on "Discovering Jane's Roots in California, Australia and England" to this audience.  As readers of Genea-Musings may recall, this is an excellent example of online research and crowd-sourcing that resulted in finding several more generations of my wife's matrilineal line.
Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

MyHeritage Record Matches Keep Delivering News!

I have been going through the MyHeritage Record Matches for persons in my online MyHeritage family tree - it's true what the MyHeritage nametag sticker says:  "I Research in My Sleep!"

I was browsing through the Record Matches from the NewspaperARCHIVE collection, which is one of the MyHeritage/WorldVitalRecords collections available with a MyHeritage data subscription.  MyHeritage has taken the persons in my family tree and searched the available data collections for possible matches, and found over 700 in the NewspaperARCHIVE record collection.  This is like the Ancestry green shaky leaves on steroids - you can find matches by record collection rather than by person.  James Tanner says this record matching technology is like magic, and I agree.  It makes researching easier by focusing on records from one particular database at a time.

In the first two pages of matches, I found an obituary from 1976 that I had not seen before, and which shed some light on the life of one of my relatives.

Here is the screen image from MyHeritage Record Matches for one of the records:

I transcribed the obituary for Russell Hemphill into my RootsMagic database:

From:  Fitchburg [Mass.] Sentinel-Enterprise newspaper dated Tuesday, 26 October 1976, on page 2 in the "Obituaries" column (accessed on NewspaperARCHIVE):

STONINGTON, Conn. -- Russell Hemphill, 83, a design engineer at the Cottrell Printing Press Co., Pawcatuck, Conn. for 40 years prior to retirement, died Sunday, Oct. 17 at his home, 84 Circle Drive, AR2, Stonington.  He was the husband of Marion (Seaver) Braithwaite Hemphill.

"Mr. Hemphill attended Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt., and graduated from Union College, Schenectady, N.Y.  He also took courses at M.I.T. to train for his service in Naval Aviation during World War I.

"Born in Westerly on Oct. 4, 1893, he was the son of the late James C. and Etta A. (Stillman) Hemphill.

"He was a past master of the Pawcatuck Masonic Lodge No. 90, AF and AM, and a life member of the Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptsit Church of Westerly, R.I.

"Besides his wife, he leaves a stepdaughter, Nancy (Braithwaite) Arnold of Clinton, S.C. and three sons, Roderick J. Hemphill of Westerly, Dixon F. Hemphill of Fairfax Station, Va., and Dr. David L. Hemphill of Holyoke, Mass., a sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Homes of Asheville, N.C., 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

"Mrs. Hemphill is a native of Leominster and was a onetime employe in the Leominster Public Schools.  She is the former wife of the late Irving W. Braithwaite of Ashburnham.

"A graveside service was held Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the Riverbend cemetery, Westerly."

This obituary provided information about the life of Russell Hemphill, who was the second husband of my father's oldest sister, Marion Frances (Seaver) (Braithwaite) Hemphill (1901-1999).  I didn't know the names of his three children, or of his parents, or where he was buried.  Now I wish that I had met him before he passed away - he flew airplanes in World War I.  I'm sure he could tell some great stories about his aviation career!

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Disclosure:  I currently have a complimentary MyHeritage tree and data subscription, but this doesn't affect my objectivity at all.  I really like the MyHeritage Record Match feature, and use it almost every day to add content and sources to my database.

Treasure Chest Thursday - 1850 U.S. Census Record for Ranslow 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 1850 United States Census record for my Smith 3rd great-grandparents  in Town of Burnett, Dodge County, Wisconsin:

The Ranslow Smith family enumeration:

The extracted information for the family, with an enumeration date of 3 October 1850, is:

* Ranslow Smith - age 44, male, a Farmer, $2000 in real property, born New York

*  Mary Smith, wife - age 45, female, born New York

*  Mary J. Smith - age 12, female, born New York, attended school*  Devier Smith - age 11, male, born New York, attended school
*  Henritette Dickerson - age 21, female, born Germany

The source citation for this census record is:

1850 United States Federal Census, Dodge County, Wisconsin, Population Schedule, Town of Burnett; Page 43,  Dwelling # 609, family #632, Ranslow Smith household, digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 996.

I don't see any glaring errors in this record.

This is the only record I have for the age of the apparent daughter, Mary J. Smith.  She married Lucius Sanborn in 1857, in Dodge County, Wisconsin.  Ranslow Smith's will in 1865 names Mary Jane Bell Smith as the wife of Lucius Sanborn of Iowa.  With this clue, I was able to find all 11 of Mary Jane's children in census records, the marriages of some of the children in Iowa marriage records, and the death information for Lucius and Mary Jane, plus several children and their spouses, on Find A Grave.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Dear Randy - How Do I Cite an Online Newspaper Article?

A reader asked in email:  "How do I create a source citation for a newspaper article found in an online collection, like Ancestry or GenealogyBank?"

The short answer is to "use Evidence! Explained, section 14.22."  I checked that, and then used the RootsMagic 6 Source Template for "Newspaper, Online Images" which should replicate the Evidence! Explained template:

For this exercise, I used the death notice for Elijah McKnew, published in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper dated 5 April 1912, on page 17 in the "Deaths" column, found on in their San Francisco Chronicle collection.

Here is the newspaper article screen:

The RootsMagic 6 source template for the "Newspaper, Online Images" category is:

The "Master Source" elements are (field entries in red):

*  Author: [left blank because none was listed]
*  Newspaper: San Francisco Chronicle [this element doesn't get used in the citation]
*  Title with place:  San Francisco [Calif.] Chronicle [this element gets used]
*  Publish Place:  San Francisco, Calif.
*  Edition Type:  digital images
*  Website:  Fold3
*  URL:
*  Collection:  San Francisco Chronicle Collection [this may be redundant here, but is necessary when a specific newspaper is included in a large online collection with a generic title]

The "Source Details" elements are (field entries in red):

*  Article: Deaths [the column heading]
*  Item Type:  [left blank, I could have put "death notice" but it would be redundant, I think]
*  Issue Date:  5 April 1912
*  Specific Content:  page 17, Elijah P. McKnew death notice
*  Access Type:  accessed
*  Date accessed:  accessed 5 March 2011
*  Credit Line: [left blank]
*  Annotation:  [left blank]

The completed source citation in "First Reference Note" or "Footnote" format is:

"Deaths," San Francisco [Calif.] Chronicle, 5 April 1912, page 17, Elijah P. McKnew death notice; digital images, Fold3 ( : accessed 5 March 2011), San Francisco Chronicle Collection.

With this source template, each newspaper to be sourced from a specific online provider needs its own Master Source.

Obviously, the reader should substitute the specific elements for his problem into the model above to craft his own source citation for a newspaper article found in an online collection provider.

I have quite a few obituaries from online digital image providers, and need to methodically go through them to add source citations for them in my RootsMagic database.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 250: A Teenaged Betty Carringer All Dressed Up

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 is a photograph of my mother, Betty Virginia Carringer, taken in about 1935, probably by her father, outside their home at 2130 Fern Street in San Diego.  If this was taken in 1935, she would have been about age 16.  The occasion may have been an important event in her life, like a high school graduation (in June 1936), a school event, or a family event.  Note the hat, the white high heeled shoes, the longish dress and jacket.  

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The 1940 U.S. Census Release - One Year Ago!

Do you remember the excitement in the genealogy world one year ago today?  I do!  We were so ready, armed with information from the Steve Morse Unified 1940 Census ED Finder tool and our searches in City Directories trying to find out where our family resided in April 1940.  We were going to find our parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins in the 1940 U.S. Census on the very first day that the census images were available.  365 days ago today.

We were also very ready to do some indexing of the 1940 U.S. Census too - and the project really was well planned and was executed within five months - that was a tremendous achievement for the genealogy community, and WE did it!

Thomas MacEntee posted The 1940 Census Release: A Year Later today to encourage discussion on this topic, asking the following questions (with my responses):

1)  What did the release of the 1940 Census mean to you personally? What do you think it meant for the genealogy community and industry?

The release of the 1940 Census meant to me that I might find out more about how and where my ancestral families lived - their occupation, their income, their address.

For the genealogy community, it was a real opportunity to work together in a collaborative effort for the greater good.  Indexing was a really big deal, and its success showed what a large group of volunteers could do to achieve a goal.  I enjoyed my efforts indexing the census, but got frustrated by my own mistakes in doing so, and by some of the arbitration results.

FamilySearch, Archives, and FindMyPast worked together to bring the images online quickly, and then to bring the indexes online. had the images online quickly and built a separate index using  paid indexers, and MyHeritage had the images online quickly and did a separate index, and was the first to complete a state, but didn't do much after that.

2)  What did you hope to find prior to the release of the 1940 Census images and were you successful?  

I had hoped to find my parents living with their parents, and find my aunts, uncles and cousins also.  On a larger scale, I wanted to add 1940 U.S. Census records to my database for as many Seaver, Carringer, Auble, Richmond, Vaux, Leland, McKnew, Schaffner and other surnames as possible.

I was able to find most of the ancestral family members, with the exception of my grandmother, Alma Bessie (Richmond) Seaver (1882-1962) and my uncle, Edward R. Seaver (1913-2004).  I have not completely mined the 1940 Census for the one-name studies, although I find some once in awhile while researching other issues.

3)  Did you feel that the 1940 Census release lived up to the hype or was it overblown?

I thought that the first day when the images were released, and the National Archives site was overwhelmed by demand, was overly hyped, and the result was as I expected.  Once the images were on the FamilySearch, Ancestry and Archives sites, the records were able to be found using the Steve Morse Unified 1940 Census ED Finder tool, and later using the indexes as they became available.

The 1940 U.S. census is what it is - 134 million images of a decennial census, and therefore a very useful genealogy and family history record collection.  It's value to the genealogical community will increase over time, as more persons start working on their genealogy.

The one thing that was not hyped, or overblown, was the Steve Morse Unified 1940 Census ED Finder tool.  That worked so well for so many of us, that it was quickly adopted by and the National Archives to help researchers find their families in the 1940 census.  

4)  Are you still finding treasures in the 1940 Census and how have they helped your genealogy and family history research?

I am still searching the 1940 U.S. Census when I need to, especially when I find new descendants of ancestral family members and when I search for persons in my one-name studies who were alive in 1930 and later.  My goal is to make my database of ancestral families and selected surname groups as complete, correct, and sourced as I can, and having access to the 1940 U.s. census helps me achieve my goal.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Are you watching DearMYRTLE's Hangouts on Air?

Many of my readers know who DearMYRTLE is - the author of DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog, and much more.

DearMYRTLE was one of the first genealogy writers online, and one of the first genealogy bloggers, and one of the first genealogy podcasters, and one of the first web genealogy videocasters.  For several years, she had a Go To Webinar subscription and made many helpful and interesting webinars on her own, and on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Ol' MYRT has given up her Go To Webinar subscription due to the cost and limits on the number of persons she could broadcast to, and has started using Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOA) for her weekly videocasts.  The neat thing about Google+ Hangouts On Air is that they are FREE to attend, easy to archive on a YouTube channel, and can be watched thousands of persons live.

The Google+ DearMyrtle Genealogy Community group is here.  You must Join this group (after joining Google+ if you are not yet a member.  It's all FREE!) in order to comment on the Google+ posts in the community.  On this community page, DearMYRTLE hosts the live Hangout On Air with up to ten participants who JOIN the HOA before the official start of the program.  Russ Worthington is usually Ol' Myrt's partner in presentation, at least for the regularly scheduled Hangouts On Air.  If you are not able to JOIN the HOA live, then you can watch it almost live (a second or two delay) on DearMYRTLE's YouTube Channel as a VIEWer, but cannot go live on the Hangout.  You can have thousands of VIEWers on the YouTube channel.  You can make comments on the Google+ community page and Russ usually provides viewer comments during the broadcasts.

The YouTube channel keeps the archived videos and you can watch them any time you want.  Here is the Mondays With Myrt Hangout On Air from 1 April 2013:

The really neat thing about these Google+ Hangouts On Air is that they have become conversations, not lectures or presentations.  Ol' Myrt and Russ often share their screens and discuss how to do a task online, or in genealogy software, or issues of the day.  The others on the JOIN panel are able to ask questions, provide answers, and participate in the discussions - it's like having a meeting in your genealogy cave with some of your closest friends!

DearMYRTLE's YouTube Channel is at  This has all of her archived Hangouts and more, from the spontaneous 5 minute sessions at RootsTech 2013 to the weekly 90 minutes Mondays With Myrt sessions.

How can you tell when DearMYRTLE's Hangouts On Air (or any webinar) will occur?  Check the Calendar of online genealogy classes at GeneaWebinars (see for the webinars and hangouts for the next month).  And watch the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community group on Google+ for announcements.

I try to attend the Mondays With Myrt Hangouts On Air (usually as a watcher on YouTube) and if I miss one, I spend an enjoyable 90 minutes watching it after the event.

There is so much genealogy education offered these days that it's hard to keep up with.  The YouTube Channels of DearMYRTLE are one outlet - and there are the YouTube Channels offered by, FamilySearch, Lisa Louise Cooke, Caroline M. Pointer, Jill Ball, and others.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Tuesday's Tip - Check out the Pennsylvania Collections on FamilySearch

This week's Tuesday's Tip is to:  Check out the Pennsylvania Record Collections on

You can access all Pennsylvania record collections at - put "pennsyl" in the Search box in the upper left, and the Pennsylvania collections will appear.

There are currently 14 historical record collections on the list, including:

1)  Vital Records

*  Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950 (951,480 records, index only)

*  Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885-1950 (2,221,287 records, index and images)

*  Pennsylvania Marriages, 1709-1940 (476,245 records, index only)

*  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951 (1,830,468 records, index and images)

 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh City Deaths, 1870-1905 (164,424 records, index and images)

*  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915 (2,442,468 records, index and images)

2)  Passenger Lists

*  Pennsylvania, Passenger Lists, 1800-1882 (browse images only)

*  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger List Index Cards, 1883-1948 (browse images only)

*  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1800-1882 (489,494 records, index and images)

*  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists, 1883-1948 (96,769 records, index and images)

*  Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Case Files of Chinese Immigrants, 1900-1923 (browse images only)

3)  Naturalization Records

*  Pennsylvania, Eastern District Naturalization Indexes, 1795-1952 (browse images only) 

*  Pennsylvania, Eastern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1795-1931 (browse images only)

4)  Probate Records

*  Pennsylcania, Probate Records, 1683-1994 (browse images only)

These collections are online, and free to access.  The indexed records can be searched, but the user will have to browse (meaning look through page-by-page, or by using waypointing features) the "browse images only" databases.

 I have been "mining" these records for Seaver, Carringer, King, Spangler and Vaux surnames and adding the information to my database.

When was the last time you looked for your ancestral families in these Pennsylvania records?  

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver