Saturday, August 3, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Genealogy "Nightmare"

Hey genea-folks, 
it's Saturday Night again, 

 time for more Genealogy Fun!


Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it, is to:

This SNGF is based on the question:  "What is your genealogy 'nightmare?'"  Have you had a "bad" genealogy dream?  Or have a worst genealogical "fear?"  Or have you had a terrible experience concerning your genealogy research?  

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

Here's mine:

I haven't had a terrible genealogy experience, knock on wood!

I don't recall a nightmare dream concerning genealogy, although I have had genealogy oriented dreams like being in my grandparents house with them, a repetitive dream about not being able to wake up until I got a source citation to EE standards, that sort of thing.

My biggest genealogy fear is that all of my research will be lost in a disaster of some sort - e.g., the house burns down, or an earthquake reduces it to rubble, etc.  Another fear is that my wife, daughters and grandchildren don't care about the papers and computer files and throw it all out, or neglect it to the point where it is not saved.  

So what am I doing to prevent these two potential "nightmares?"  First, I've tried to save the important genealogy and family history material in digital format to online cloud services:  
*  the family tree database (on Dropbox and on several online family trees); 
*  the ancestral files (photos, documents, reports, etc. are on Dropbox, Google Drive and; 
*  my ancestral and descendant book manuscripts (on Scribd); 
*  my presentations (on Dropbox);  
*  my family photos (many are on blog posts, some are on photo sites like 1000 Memories and Flickr in the cloud) 
*  my writings (blog posts, magazine and newsletter articles, etc. are online, but not otherwise backed up).  

In addition, all of that is on an external hard drive in the genealogy cave.  That would help me recover from a disaster of some sort.  

The second concern is the physical files - the 40 linear feet of paper, documents, artifacts, photographs, etc.  The copies of pages from books and periodicals, and even the vital record certificates, can all be physically replaced.  The photographs and artifacts are much more difficult to replace.  I've digitized a lot of the photographs and family papers, and the images are in my computer files;  the actual artifacts - some family Bibles, some journals, the photographs, the furniture, the framed pictures, and more - would be difficult or impossible to replace, although I have digital photographs of most of them.

Who knows if or when the material in the cloud will disappear?  And if someone interested in future years will be able to access it or read it, or even use it.  

My last means of defense is a "genealogical will" that I will leave with the estate papers to tell my daughters what to do to preserve most of the information I have.  I've resisted, so far, the temptation to say in that "will" "If you don't do this, you don't get the deed to the ranch."  For the papers, artifacts and photographs, the "will" says to preserve them and pass them on to the next generation.  For the digital material in the database and the cloud, it says to keep paying the website domain fees, submit the last version of the database to many online family trees, and to take the last version of the database and create ancestral and descendant book manuscripts, then publish them in hard copy form (even at a copy shop), and distribute them to local and regional libraries (Chula Vista, San Diego, Family History Library, New England Historic Genealogical Society, etc.) so that others can benefit from my research.  

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - CADMAN (England to colonial New England)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  

I am in the 7th great-grandmothers;  from #637 to #703 in my ancestor list, I don't have any information about them or their spouses, let alone their ancestors.  So I'm up to Ancestor #705, who is Elizabeth CADMAN (1685-1768) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three American generations of this CADMAN family line is:

1.  Randall J. Seaver (1943-living)

2. Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983)
3. Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)

4. Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)
5. Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962)

10.  Thomas Richmond (1848-1917)
11.  Julia White (1848-1913)

22.  Henry Arnold White (1824-1885)
23.  Amy Frances Oatley (1826-1864)

44.  Jonathan White (1806-1850)
45.  Miranda Wade (1804-1850)

88.  Humphrey White (1758-1814)
89.  Sybil Kirby (1764-1848)

176.  Jonathan White (1732-1804)
177. Abigail Wing (1734-1806)

352.  William White (1708-1780)
353.  Abigail Thurston (1700-????)

704.  William White, born about 1683 in probably Scituate, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died before 03 October 1780 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 1408. Sylvanus White and 1409. Deborah.  He married about 1707 in probably Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.
705.  Elizabeth Cadman, born 06 June 1685 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States; died after January 1768 in probably Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of William White and Elizabeth Cadman are:
*  William White (1708-1780), married 1729 Abigail Thurston (1700-????).
*  George White (1710-1764), married 1731 Deborah Shaw (1711-1766)
*  Sarah White (1711-1795), married 1726 John Brown (1705-1773)
*  Hannah White (1712-1792), married 1730 William Taber (1705-1758)
*  Roger White (1713-1802), married 1736 Rebecca Grinnell (1710-????)
*  Christopher White (1715-1795), married 1739 Elizabeth Thurston (1719-1782).
*  Susanna White (1717-1780).
*  Elizabeth White (1719-1749), married 1737 Benjamin Slocum (1714-1792).
*  Oliver White (1723-1791), married 1747 Mary Sherman (1725-????).
*  Abner White (1725-1774), married 1746 Ruth Brownell (1727-1806).
*  Thomas White (1730-????).

1410.  George Cadman, born about 1660 in probably Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, United States; died after 24 November 1718 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.  He married before 1683 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.
1411.  Hannah Hathaway, born 1662 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States; died before 14 March 1748/49 in Dartmouth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 2822. Arthur Hathaway and 2823. Sarah Cooke.

Child of George Cadman and Hannah Hathaway is:
*  Elizabeth Cadman (1685-1768), married 1707 William White (1683-1780)

2820.  William Cadman, born about 1625 in England; died 11 January 1683/84 in Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.  He married before 1660.
2821.  Elizabeth, born about 1635 in England; died Aft. September 1688 in probably Portsmouth, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.

Children of William Cadman and Elizabeth are:
*  George Cadman (1660-1718), married 1683 Hannah Hathaway (1662-1749)
*  Richard Cadman (1663-1695), married 1682 Sarah Almy (1662-1708)
*  Mary Cadman (1665-????), married James Cole (1755-1724)

Information about the Cadman family of Dartmouth in Bristol County, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, Newport County, Rhode Island, is described in the book:

Carl Boyer 3rd, Ancestral Lines, Third Edition (Santa Clarita, Calif. : the author, 1998).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, August 2, 2013

Working in the Massachusetts Town and Vital Records Collection

I take some time each week to look for records for my ancestral families in the Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 collection on

I've finally figured out that if I focus on one family at a time, I can find records that provide an Original Source with Primary Information and Direct Evidence (or nearly so, sometimes they are transcriptions of a not available or unreadable record book) that I can use to support my vital record conclusions in my RootsMagic family tree database.

For example, last week I worked on my John Phillips (1722-????) and Hannah Brown (1725-????) family; they married in 1749 in Southborough.  I found their marriage record, and the birth records of their five children (two in Southborough, three in Shrewsbury), and I know that the John Phillips family resided in Lancaster after that from land records.

Here are the birth record entries from the Southborough and Shrewsbury, Massachusetts town record books:

Hannah (Brown) Phillips died before 1774, and John Phillips married Mary Richards in 1774 in Southborough, and I found their marriage record also.  Mary's son, Isaac Buck (1757-1846) married John's daughter, Martha Phillips (1757-????) in Lancaster in 1780.

The puzzles I still need to solve are:

*  What is John Phillips death date?

*  What is Hannah Brown's birth date, death date, and parents names?

*  What is Mary (Richards) Phillips' death date?

Unfortunately, a search of the Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1622-1988 collection did not answer any of those questions to my satisfaction.  It may be that the deaths were not recorded in town records (but I know that not all of the town record books are in this collection, but those for Southborough, Shrewsbury and Lancaster are) or the handwriting could not be deciphered.  There are other nearby towns also that may provide a clue.

As for Hannah Brown's parents, I've been through many of the town vital record books in past years and cannot find anything positive.  Having identified potential parents for Hannah, I've been through Worcester and Middlesex County probate record indexes and microfilms without success also.  I had hoped to find land records that grant land from a Brown to John Phillips, but that hasn't worked out either.  This may be one of those brick wall ancestors who had no recorded birth date and just appeared ready to marry in 1749 in Southborough.  There were two other marriages of an nearly Brown in Southborough records, a Mary Brown in 1751 and a Susanna Brown who married in 1754.

My next plan is to check out all of the Brown families that moved to Southborough, or had children in Southborough.  The first record book for Southborough says the records are for 1718 to 1796, but I don't see any entries with dates before 1730.

By doing this one family at a time, I look at each family with fresh eyes and more knowledge, and can identify missing information and think of strategies to add more information in a focused way.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Interesting and Helpful Comments From Genea-Musings Readers

My readers comment occasionally, and I appreciate that!  Here are some of the interesting and helpful comments on some of the Genea-Musings posts from this past week:

1)  On Finding More Information About Land Grants in U.S. BLM Tract Books on FamilySearch (posted 30 July 2013):

*  Angela helped:  "Randy, I love that you are using the tract books! I just lectured on them at IGHR and GRIP. You transcribed and interpreted your entries well. Just a few notes to help you --

"In the 'Part of Section' column on the left the register or clerk usually included the type of entry. 'Home' stands for homestead and 'Pre 41' stands for a Preemption under the Act of 1841.

"You can see that the 'By whom patented' column is really used for notes on the transaction. On Nellie's entry the 'Com. to Cash' means that the homestead entry was commuted to cash. She decided to purchase the land for $100 in 1887 instead of completing the five years of residency for obtaining the homestead land for free (after the $5 filing fee). The No. 4686 is the final certificate number of the cash entry and the one you need to order the land entry file from NARA. The file should include all the paperwork she submitted on the homestead entry before she commuted it to cash, so it could have some genealogical information in it.

"I am glad you noticed the pencil notation for Nellie Randell. The 'D.S. 1897' stand for Declaratory Statement number 1897 and means that in April/May 1885 Nellie Randell was living on the land and filed a declaration that she intended to claim the land by pre-emption. Clearly she did not complete her claim, as Nellie purchased the land Nov. 10, 1885, also claiming a pre-emption (see the 'Pre 41' in the left column). Again, even those these records would all be filed with the cash entries, they will contain more than just a final certificate and receipt. Both Della and Henry were claiming a preemption so they would have had to file statements proving when they settled on the land and detailing the improvements they had made. There will probably be affidavits from neighbors as witnesses on their behalf.

"You may be able to find the Declaratory Statement #1897 at NARA if you are interested. These records are filed by land office (Oberlin, Kansas) and then type of transaction (homestead, cash, or declaratory statement) and then certificate number. 

"Let me know if you have any questions on these records. I do love working with the tract books and land entry papers."

My comment:  Your comments cleared up most of my questions - THANK YOU!  It's nice to know an expert that I can call on when needed.  Now I'm wondering how my great-grandfather, Henry A. Carringer, who bought this land knew or was related to Nellie Randell.  And I wonder who Nellie Randell was - was she the original homesteader, or was Henry?   I may have more research to do here.  My obvious next step is to order the Land Entry file for this, and several other entries.

*  Dave L. asked:  "Even before you got to the problem you're really talking about I saw another possible issue. When the file went to your "Downloads" file was that automatic, or the default but you had the choice to redirect it?

"I really don't like programs that tell ME where I want to put something (whether downloading to the Downloads folder, or automatically installing on the C drive when I have a P drive set up for programs). If they're just going automatically to Downloads, then maybe that's something else they can fix."

My comment:  I use Google Chrome as my browser and it downloads the file to a file folder I designate (in Settings).  I chose "Downloads" as the file folder because I wanted one place to capture them., and then I go there and rename the downloaded file(s) and move them where I want them to my preferred file folder.  FamilySearch names the file for me - in this case, it's "fs-yearmody-timeZZ.xls.  At least it's a unique name on my computer - usually the file name is record-search.jpg or similar.  

By the way, this Export feature is still not of this morning.

*  Linda Schrieber offered:  "Gravestones.... Complicated, and potentially full of errors. Depends on the informant, and their knowledge, and the span between the death and the stone order. This stone looks pristine for an 1879 death. And even stone carver errors happen....
The death date is probably correct, because it would have been recorded at the cemetery office, but it's possible it was the burial date. At least the year fits reasonably with your first probate date.

"Birth date? It's a toss-up. I would trust other potentially better sources, and add this computed date into notes for analysis. I wouldn't take a birth date on a gravestone over other evidence. They are so often wrong...."

My response:  I did - I've kept the birth date in the Carringer family Bible as the birth date, but noted the calculated birth date in the Birth Fact Notes.

*  Marshall said:  "Pay it forward. Find an open photo request for Greenwood or Glen Abbey and claim it.

"Gets you out of your 'cave' for an hour, too ;-)"

My comment:  Great advice!  Maybe a new exercise program in the making here?

*  Chuck Livermore commented:  "I won't suppose that I could give you advice. But, since you asked, I will weigh in with an opinion and maybe one of your readers will find it helpful.

"As Linda Schreiber stated, gravestones are often erroneous, but that doesn't mean we should ignore them. They are a piece of evidence and you should keep all your evidence and analyze it until you find better evidence. As you pointed out, the grave marker is probably a better source for a death date than the Bible, but the Bible may be a better source for the birth date. 

"You can take the dates you have and look for confirmation in other sources. He would be elderly during the Civil War, but it is possible he fought. Also, search for military records from the Mexican-American War (1846-1848).

"You may also find his birth and/or death mentioned in church records. Since you indicate he is of German descent, you should look for Lutheran, Reformed, or Presbyterian congregations in the locations of his birth and death.  Wills and probate records, newspapers, and civil records may also be helpful."

My comment:  Excellent advice, Chuck, thanks!  Church records may be the best tip here.

*  Barbara in NC  helped:  "Here's another way to help with Find-A-Grave: take ownership of the memorials for your family members. Here's how:

"Log in to Find-A-Grave (registration is free).  Click the Edit tab, then click "Suggest a correction or provide additional information"  In the blank box, enter a message, such as:
'I'm the great-grandson of X and would be happy for you to transfer ownership of his memorial to me.'

"The owner of the memorial will get an email with your ID and the ID of the memorial, and can easily transfer ownership to you.  Then you can more easily and quickly add photos, a bio, family links, etc."

*  Dave L. noted:  "I use Family Tree Maker, so I have the ability to have multiple entries for a single event and mark one as "preferred." I'd create a second birth entry with the stone's information, but leave the Bible date as preferred and make some notes. With no other evidence to favor one over the other, I agree with the other posters that the Bible entry is much more likely to be reliable."

*  T said:  "Count me in as using other information for birth date, not the grave stone. My grandmother was 6 years older on her stone than her real age. I don't suppose the kids knew her real age but checking all the census records, her age kept progressing 10 years each time. I stuck with the original birth date I had for her and made note that the gravestone was not correct. Some confusion might have come from the 17 years difference in the couple's ages."

4)  On Standards, GEDCOM, FHISO, and my Genea-Fantasy (posted 1 August 2013):

*  Russ Worthington commented:  "Things are finally happening in the area of discussion. Thank you for the summary of  'current events.'

"My only comment is that I HOPE that we don't see the PC / Mac based program to a specific Web based program start to line up. Like FTM2012 to

"I clearly see that one, but one would hope that would encourage an API to their Ancestry Member Trees.

"Or that Family Tree Maker (only using that as an example) would develop to the API so that FTM20XX would sync to FamilySearch Family Trees, without using a generic GEDCOM file.

"I also hope that FHISO is able to get ALL of our Genealogy Database Management program developers and Web site developers to the Same TABLE to develop an International Standard so that we can share, transparently, between the various platforms."

*  Tamura Jones said:  "You write: 'Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if all or most of the genealogy software companies, and all or most of the online family tree providers, adopt (and perhaps modify and improve over time) the FamilySearch API.'

"Riddle me this: wouldn't it make much more sense for FamilySearch to adopt the Geni API then for MyHeritage/Geni to adopt the FSFT API?

"'That would make the FamilySearch API a de facto standard.'

"'That may be a genea-fantasy, but it's one of mine!'

"What a dark, gloomy, distopian fantasy you have.  Having FamilySearch in charge of a de facto genealogy technology standard has been tried already.  The current mess is the result of that..."

My comment:  Not all fantasies are sugar and spice, everything sweet and nice.  Although most of mine are.  The one I mentioned - to have one means to share information across all platforms - is one of my hopeful ones.

If FamilySearch's goal was to develop an API that could share information between Family Tree and a number of genealogy software programs, including sources, discussions and notes, why would it adopt the MyHeritage/Geni API, which doesn't interact with anything but MyHeritage owned entities?  FamilySearch controls their API, and MyHeritage controls their API and they decide who gets to work with it.  The software companies agree to use the FamilySearch API because they have many LDS members as customers who need to use Family Tree, and many customers who are not LDS members but see the potential value of Family Tree.  

Yes, FamilySearch developed GEDCOM 29 years ago, and aren't we glad they did?  I am.  Nobody else did it, or improved it substantially, so here we are in 2013.  It still works, but technology advances and it doesn't handle everything that the users want it to perform.

Apparently, no other entity or group was able to develop and coordinate a genealogy data communication standard.  FamilySearch had the need for the Family Tree API so they developed it to serve their purpose.  If many of the genealogy software programs are then able to connect and interact with the Family Tree using the API, then that serves the purposes of both the software companies, the software users and FamilySearch.  The logical next step, in my mind, is to enable users to interact with each other, and for other online family tree systems to interact with FamilySearch.  If it becomes the "de facto standard," then so be it and kudos to FamilySearch.  

*  Pat Richley-Erickson noted:  "I think the MyHeritage .api has had a lot more experience/testing."

My comment:  I'm not so sure of that.  My guess is that FamilySearch had the new.FamilySearch API working for several years interacting with software programs, and built the Family Tree API using some of that technology, and adding the sources, discussions, and other features in the Family Tree API.  Hopefully, Notes and Media will be added soon.  

On the other hand, MyHeritage released their sync interaction with Family Tree Builder and the MyHeritage app and in the past year, but they are all owned by the same company, similar to the sync between Ancestry and Family Tree Maker.  

5)  On Post #7000 on Genea-Musings (posted 29 July 2013):

*  Louis Kessler said:  "Your comment entry system asks us to prove that we aren't a robot. I'm surprised you can respond to comments on your own site, because you most definitely are an incredible genealogy blogging robot."

My comment:  Thanks, Louis, I think!  Time for my oil change, so blogging will be light today!  A "Blogger Insider" tip: Since it's my blog, I don't have to defeat the Captcha system to post a Comment!!

6)  Thank you to all of my readers for their wisdom and helpfulness, and for their useful comments and email - I love the "crowd sourcing" aspect of genealogy blogging.  

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Listing My Elizabeth LNU Elusive Ancestors

With a significant number of colonial New England ancestors (about 80% of my known ancestors 10 generations back), I have an LNU problem with certain female given names.

What's an LNU?/  It's a Last Name Unknown.

Why do I not know their last names?  Well, I haven't found any sourced records on my own, and other researchers, including many professionals, have been unable to find the last name of many females in either English or colonial New England source records.  It's one of those things - either brick wall or a dead end.

For example, here are my ancestral Elizabeth LNU persons:

*  Elizabeth (???? to ????), married to Michael Bacon (~1535 to ~1614)
*  Elizabeth (???? to ????), married to Nicholas Moses (???? to ~1609)
*  Elizabeth (???? to ????), married to Richard Micklewood (???? to ????)
*  Elizabeth (~1475 to ~1550), married to William Bolles (~1463 to ~1495)
*  Elizabeth (~1495 to 1575), married to Robert Aldous (~1479 to ~1560)

*  Elizabeth (~1505 to ~1555), married to Robert Whitney (~1500 to 1555)
*  Elizabeth (~1515 to 1560), married to James Weeden (~1510 to 1572)
*   Elizabeth (~1545 to ~1604), married to Richard Rolfe (???? to ????)
*  Elizabeth (~1570 to 1611), married to John Mott (1570 to 1656)
*  Elizabeth (~1578 to 1614), married to John Cheney (~1567 to 1624)

*  Elizabeth (~1586 to 1648), married to Henry Loker (1577 to 1631)
*  Elizabeth (~1588 to 1667), married to John Pers (1588-1661)
*  Elizabeth (~1588 to ????), married to Bartholomew Green (~1590 to 1635)
*  Elizabeth (~1590 to 1667), married to Thomas Pierce (~1584 to 1666)
*  Elizabeth (~1599 to 1638), married to Joshua Fisher (1588 to 1674)

*  Elizabeth (~1603 to ~1650), married to William Bassett (~1600-1667)
*  Elizabeth (~1603 to 1670), married to Henry Smith (~1607 to 1687)
*  Elizabeth (~1605 to ~1633), married John Moore (~1602 to 1674)
*  Elizabeth (~1606 to 1657), married to John Remington (1600 to 1667)
*  Elizabeth (~1608 to 1638), married to Robert Jennison (~1610 to 1690)

*  Elizabeth (~1609 to 1687), married to William Ballard (~1603 to 1639)
*  Elizabeth (~1615 to 1684), married to Richard Sawtell (1611 to 1694)
*  Elizabeth (~1619 to 1647), married to Charles Glover (~1610 to 1665)
*  Elizabeth (~1620 to 1662), married to Richard Cutter (1620 to 1693)
*  Elizabeth (~1620 to 1670), married to John Goodrich (1616 to 1680)

*  Elizabeth (~1625 to 1693), married to Richard Hildreth (~1605 to 1693)
*  Elizabeth (~1632 to ????), married to John Smith (1622 to 1672)
*  Elizabeth (~1635 to ????), married to Andrew Phillips (1630 to ????)
*  Elizabeth (~1635 to ~1688), married to William Cadman (~1625 to 1684)
*  Elizabeth (~1645 to 1715), married Nathaniel Harwood (~1640 to 1716)

*  Elizabeth (~1652 to 1714), married to John Garnsey (1648 to 1722)
*  Elizabeth (~1673 to ????), married to Samuel Ayers (1669 to ~1740)
*  Elizabeth (~1731 to ????), married Henry Pickel (1729 to 1765)

Only 33 Elizabeth LNUs in my database who are ancestors!  I have many more Elizabeths who are not ancestors, but are spouses of siblings of my ancestors.

I fear that my genealogy work will never be finished, but I don't lie awake at night worrying about it.  I doubt that very many of their maiden names will ever be found.  I'll leave these ladies to someone else to find their maiden names and their connection to English royalty and/or Adam and Eve.

Surely there's a really big mother of all genealogy databases out there with the name of every -person who ever lived throughout history, right?  Seems to me I heard someone claim that at a genealogy conference last year!

So why did I even bother listing them?  Well, someone may have more, or better, information than I do, and I figured it couldn't hurt to put the names out there in hopes that someone will see it and be able to help me out.  No guts, no glory!

If anyone has sourced information about any of the Elizabeth LNUs listed above, please let me know so I can add the information to my database and perhaps we can work together on our Elizabeth's family line.

The URL for this post is:  

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Standards, GEDCOM, FHISO, and my Genea-Fantasy

It last wrote about genealogical standards and GEDCOM data transfers and the Family History International Standards Organization (FHISO) in FHISO and GEDCOM Musings back on 27 March 2013.

1)  In the past week, we've seen these developments:

*  James Tanner wrote Sharing Data or What Happened to GEDCOM? today on his Genealogy's Star blog.

*  Pat Richley-Erickson posted Genealogy Data Sharing REVISITED today on her DearMYRTLE's Genealogy Blog.

*  Philip Trauring posted Asynchronous Collaboration: A Proposal on his Lexigenealogy blog.  This included a link to a PDF for his White Paper proposal in response to the FHISO Call for Papers issued in March 2013.  This is worth reading although I admit to the details being well over my head.

*  John Yates posted The Genealogical GEDCOM Data Solution on the Transitional Genealogists forum message board.  He provided a link to his proposal about standardizing place names in

2)  Over the past few months, a number of White Papers have been submitted to FHISO for consideration.  You can see the list, and read each submission, at  If you are interested in what FHISO is considering, I urge you to read the proposals that may interest you.

3)  Since my last post on FHISO and GEDCOM X, FamilySearch has released their API for genealogy software programs to interface with the FamilySearch Family Tree.  Several genealogy programs, including RootsMagic and Ancestral Quest, have successfully used the API to facilitate data transfer and synchronization between the software database and the FamilySearch Family Tree connected tree.  Other software programs will undoubtedly add this interface capability in the near future.

4)  Other genealogy software programs can transfer information from the software to an online family tree (one example is Family Tree Builder software with a MyHeritage Family Tree), and this has been a goal for several years by several developers (one example is AncestorSync) but hasn't happened yet.

However, there is no universal genealogy data transfer mechanism at present other than the GEDCOM standard that BetterGEDCOM, FHISO and GEDCOM X seek to replace.

5)  Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if all or most of the genealogy software companies, and all or most of the online family tree providers, adopt (and perhaps modify and improve over time) the FamilySearch API to transfer data between their products and FamilySearch Family Trees.  That would make the FamilySearch API a de facto standard.

I think that it would be very useful to be able to add data (names, relationships, dates, places, events, sources, notes, media, etc.) to or from my MyHeritage tree, or my Ancestry tree, or my Geni tree, or my RootsMagic database, to and from each other, and FamilySearch Family Tree. That would require a uniform vehicle (a "program") to accomplish, and perhaps something like the FamilySearch API is that vehicle.

That may be a genea-fantasy, but it's one of mine!

Is it unrealistic?  Your comments are welcomed.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

P.S.  I have no "inside information" on any of this, so this all off the top of my head (and my friends know there's not much there any more!).

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 175: Death Certificate for Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976)

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to showcase some of the collected documents and other treasures of my ancestors.

Here is the Death Certificate for my grandfather, Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976), obtained from the San Diego County Department of Public Health Office:

Here is the transcription of the information in the death certificate (typed portions underlined, handwritten portions in italics):

State of California - Department of Health
Office of the State Registrar of Vital Statistics
Local Registration District and Certificate Number: 8009   10246
1a.  Name of Deceased - first Name:  Lyle
1b.  Middle Name: Lawrence
1c.  Last Name: Carringer
2a. Date of Death: November 5, 1976
2b.  Hour: 10:30 P.M.
3.  Sex: Male
4. Color or Race: Cauc.
5. Birthplace: California
6.  Date of Birth: Nov. 2, 1891
7.  Age:  85
8. Name and Birthplace of Father: Henry A. Carringer - Kansas
9.  Maiden Name and Birthplace of Mother:  Della Smith - Kansas
10. Citizen of What Country:  USA
11.  Social Security Number: 553-10-9373
12.  Married, Never Married, Widowed, Divorced - Specify:  Married
13.  Name of Surviving Spouse: Emily Auble
14.  Last Occupation:  Accountant
15.  Number of Years in this Occupation:  54
16.  Name of Last Employing company or Firm: Marston Co.
17.  Kind of Industry or Business: Retail sales
18a.  Place of Death:  Knollwood West Conv.
18b.  Street Address:  7944 Birmingham Drive  
18c.  Inside City Corporate Limits?: Yes
18d.  City or Town:  San Diego
18e.  County:  San Diego
18f.  Length of Stay in County of Death:  85 years
18g.  Length of Stay in California:  85 years
19a.  Usual Residence:  825 Harbor View Place
19b.  Inside City Corporate Limits?:  Yes
19c.  City or Town:  San Diego
19d.  County:  San Diego
19e.  State:  California
20.  Name and Mailing Address of Informant:  Emily Carringer, 825 Harbor view Place, San Diego, California
21a.  Coroner:  [blank]
21b.  Physician [attendance]:  From 5-18-71 To 11-5-76, last seen 11-4-76
21c.  Physician or Coroner   J.W. Thomas M.D.
21d.  Date Signed:  11-9-76
21e.  Address:  3025 Canon St., San Diego, Calif.
21f.  Physician's California License Number:  00A078730
22a.  Specify Burial Entombment or Cremation:  Cremation
22b.  Date:  11/12/76
23.  Name of Cemetery or Crematory:  Cypress View Crematory
24.  Embalmer Signature and License Number:  M??? Smith  6382
25.  Name of Funeral Director:  Cypress View Mortuary
26.  Was Death Reported to Coroner?:  Yes
27.  Local Registrar Signature:  John R. Philip M.D.
28.  Date Received For Registration by Local Registrar:  Nov 12 1976
29.  Part I: Death Was Caused By:  Immediate Cause:  (A) Pulmonary Edema & Cardia Failure
                                                    To, or as a Consequence of: (B) Metastatsis
                                                    To, or as a Consequence of:  (C) Inoperable Circinoma Recto Sigmoid
30.  Part II: Other Significant Conditions:  [blank]
31.  Was Operation or Biopsy Performed...:  Bio. 8/6/76
32a.  Autopsy?:  No
32b.  If Yes, were findings considered?:  [blank]
33.  Specify Accident, Suicide or Homicide:  [blank]
34.  Place of Injury: [blank]
35.  Injury at Work: [blank]
36a.  Date of Injury: [blank]
36b. Hour: [blank]
37a.  Place of Injury: [blank]
37b. Distance of Place of Injury to Usual Residence: [blank]
38.  Were Laboratory Tests done for drugs or toxic chemicals?: [blank]
39.  Were Laboratory Tests done for alcohol?: [blank]
40.  Describe How Injury Occurred: [blank]

In the left margin, written vertically:

This is to certify that, if bearing the Official Seal of the County of San Diego Department of Public Health, this is a true and correct copy of the original document filed.  Fee paid $2.00
John R. Philip M.D
County of San Diego Department of Public Health
1600 Pacific Hwy., San Diego, CA 92101
Dated: Nov 18, 1976

The source citation for this death certificate is (using the Evidence Explained template for a Death Certificate, local level):

Lyle Lawrence Carringer certificate of death, Local Registration District 8009 (San Diego), Local Certificate No. 10246 (1976), County of San Diego Department of Public Health, San Diego, California.

The only errors I see on this form are the birthplaces of Lyle's parents - Henry was born in Pennsylvania and Della was born in Wisconsin.  

As a result of this death certificate, I now know the cause of death, the contributing conditions, the date of the cancer biopsy, the physician's name, and the disposition of his body.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nice Surprise - A Find A Grave Photo Request Fulfilled

Several months ago, I filled out the "Request A Photo" form on Find A Grave for a picture of my 3rd great-grandfather's gravestone in Columbus City Cemetery, Columbus City, Louisa County, Iowa.  There had been a memorial for him since 2002, but there were no gravestone photos.

I received an email last night saying that the request has been fulfilled with a link to the Find A Grave memorial for Henry Carringer (1801-1879).

Thanks to the kind and generous volunteer work of Mo and Dave Gates (who manage almost 27,000 memorials, and have added over 32,000 photographs), I now have beautiful photographs of the gravestone, and closeups of the side for Henry Carringer and his son Harvy Carringer.  Here is a screen shot of the gravestone itself (showing Harvy Carringer's side):

The image of Henry Carringer's inscription:

The inscription says:

Henry Carringer
Apr 20 1879
Aged 78 Yrs 9 Mos 26 Dys

This morning, I wrote a thank you note on the Gates' Contributor page, and asked:

"May I save the photos to my computer system and attach them to my RootsMagic database? They would also go on my Ancestry Member Tree the next time I update it. I write one of the most popular genealogy blogs - - and would love to post the photos there also. Will you permit me to do that?"

I got a response within an hour on my contributor page:

"You are very welcome.. we are very glad to help.  Yes you may use the photos on your web site and thank you for asking!"

What does this information tell me?

*  A Death date that I did not have:  20 April 1879

Previously, I was using "before 10 August 1881" which was the date the first probate document was using.

*  A Birth date that I did not have:  25 June 1800 (age at death 78 years, 9 months, 26 days before the death day).

Previously, I was using the date 6 June 1800, which was from Martin Carringer's (Henry's father) Bible entry, which was included in Martin's Revolutionary War pension file.

Close, but not exactly the same.  A small evidence conflict!  19 days - is that important?

Is the Bible date a birth date or a baptism date?  I think it's a birth date, since it's a family Bible and not a church record.  I consider the Bible record to be an Original Source (handwritten, in German, attested to by his spouse after his death), with Undetermined Information quality (since I don't know the publication or purchase date of the Bible or whether the information was entered into the Bible page all at once or one at a time), and Direct Evidence (since it provides an exact date for the Birth).  The Birth Date in the Bible would be considered Primary Information if I knew the information about the Bible.

What about the calculated Birth date from the gravestone?  I consider the gravestone to be an Original Source (probably the first time the death date and age at death were inscribed), Secondary Evidence (a family member provided the information for the death date and the age at death), and Direct Evidence (while I do have to calculate a Birth date, I can do it with this one piece of evidence that contains two information items).  

I think that I will keep the Bible page entry for the Birth date in my Birth Fact field in RootsMagic 6.  I will add the calculated birth date from the gravestone information in my Birth Notes.

What would you do in this situation?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

SDGS Seminar on Saturday, 21 September 2013

The San Diego Genealogical Society "Discover Your Family History" Fall Seminar will be on Saturday, 21 September 2013, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Marina Village - Captain's Room (1936 Quivira Way, on Mission Bay).

Registration for this seminar is $40 for SDGS members and $45 for non-members.  The cost includes the seminar, welcome coffee/teas/danish, a buffet lunch, door prizes and free parking.

The seminar speakers and their topics are:

1)  Karen Clifford - President/CEO, Genealogy Research Associates:

*  Pre-1850 U.S. Research Methodology

*  The Research Cycle -- Successful Genealogists' Secret to Success

2)  Geoff Rasmussen - Legacy Family Tree Software Developer:

*  Digital Imaging Essentials

*  Legacy Family Tree Insights

There is a registration form here to register online.  If you want to register by mail, send your check, name(s), email address, phone number and any special dietary requirements to:

SDGS c/o Del Ritchhart
17544 Plaza Otonal
San Diego, CA 92128

This should be an exciting fall seminar with topics that deal with issues that every genealogist faces in their career.

Karen and Geoff are also on the Legacy Family Tree 2013 Genealogy Cruise that departs from San Diego on Sunday, 22 September through the Panama Canal, ending at Fort Lauderdale on 7 October 2013.  The cruise features a number of notable genealogical speakers and four days of classes.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver