Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do Some Semi-Random Research

It's Saturday Night - 
time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1) We're going to do a little bit of Semi-Random Research tonight...

2)  Go to your family tree database of choice (you know, like RootsMagic, Reunion, Ancestry Member Tree), and determine who the very last person on your list of B names is.  Or the last person on your list of D names.  Or H names.  Or any other name you need to research.  Your choice!

3)  What do you know (or not know) about this person based on your research?  It's OK to do more research if you need to - in fact, it's encouraged!

4)  How are you related to this person, and why is s/he in your family tree?

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

Here's mine:

2)  The last name on my B surname list is John Francis Byrnes (born in 1851, died in 1896 in Windham County, Conn.), who married Mary Seaver (born 1845 in Massachusetts, died in 1902 in Windham county, Conn.) in 1886 in Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut.  I have no children listed for them.  I received the information from a correspondent in 2000.  I don't know the names of John Byrnes parents.

3)  Let's see what I can find doing online searches:

*  In the 1870 U.S. census, John Byrnes is age 19, born in Connecticut, with parents John (age 50, born Ireland) and Bridget (age 50, born Ireland) and sibling Michael (age 21, born Conn.), residing in Hampton, Windham county, Connecticut.

*  In the 1880 U.S. census, John J. Burns is age 29, born in Connecticut, residing in the William Bennett household in Hampton, Windham County, Connecticut.

*  In the 1860 U.S. census, John Burns is age 9, born in Connecticut, with parents John (age 36, born Ireland) and Bridget (age 35, born Ireland), with siblings Martin (age 13, born Conn.) and Michael (age 11, born Conn.) residing in Hampton, Windham County, Connecticut.  

*  There is an entry for John Francis Byrnes (1851-1896) in the "Connecticut, Hale Cemetery Inscriptions, and Newspaper notices, 1629-1934" collection on, listing him in Old Westfield Cemetery in Danielson, Windham County, Connecticut.  Also on the listing is Mary Seaver Byrnes (1845-1902).

* had a birth record for John Burn, son of John and Bridget Burn, on 15 December 1850 in Brooklyn, Windham County, Connecticut.  

*  There is a 1900 U.S. Census entry for a John Burnes (born Dec 1850 in Conn.) with a wife Mary A. Burnes (age 44, born R.I.), and four children, residing in Danielson, Windham County, Connecticut.  However, the age for Mary doesn't match other information, they were married in about 1875, and this John Burnes apparently lives until after 1910.  I don't think this is the same couple.

*  There is no Ancestry Member Tree for John Francis Byernes besides my own.

*  There is no entry for John Francis Byrnes in the FamilySearch Family Tree, but John Burn, born 15 December 1850, son of John and Bridget Burn, is in the FSFT, but without a spouse.

So I've managed to add a birth date, birth place, parents names, and a cemetery record to John Francis Byrnes, and some information for Mary (Seaver) Byrnes also.  

4)  I am not related to John Francis Byrnes.  Mary Seaver is in my database as the daughter of George W. (1806-1858) and Emily (Chamberlain) Seaver (1811-1872).  I don't know George W. Seaver's parents names, but I think he is a grandson of Moses Seaver (1740-1809).  That would make George a first cousin 7 times removed, and Mary a first cousin 8 times removed.  John Francis Byrnes is in my family tree database because I "collect" Seaver persons and their spouses.

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - CHURCH (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 and I'm up to Ancestor  #743, who is Deborah CHURCH (1677-1772) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three generations in this CHURCH 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)

46.  Jonathan Oatley (1790-1872)
47.  Amy Champlin (1798-1865)

92.  Joseph Oatley (1756-1815)
93.  Mary Hazard (1765-1857)

184.  Benedict Oatley (1732-1821)
185.  Elizabeth Ladd (1735-1814)

370.  Joseph Ladd (1701-1748)
371.  Lydia Gray (1707-????)

742.  Samuel Gray, born about 1681 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died 23 March 1712 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.  He was the son of 1484. Edward Gray and 1485. Dorothy Lettice.  He married 13 July 1699 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.
743.  Deborah Church, born 12 March 1677 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died 08 June 1772 in Lebanon, New London, Connecticut, United States.  

Children of Samuel Gray and Deborah Church are:
*  Samuel Gray (1700-1764), married 1721 Hannah Kent (1702-1796)
*  John Gray (1701-1702)
*  Dorothy Gray (1704-1740), married (1) 1722 Samuel Throop (1700-1726); (2) 1729 Ebenezer Hyde (1702-1742)
*  Joseph Gray (1706-1706)
*  Lydia Gray (1707-????), married 1731 Joseph Ladd (1701-1748)
*  Simeon Gray (1709-1742), married 1731 Ann Hide (1713-1773)
*  Ignatius Gray (1711-1712).

1486.  Joseph Church, born 1638 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died 05 March 1711 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.  He married 13 December 1660 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.
1487.  Mary Tucker, born before 08 October 1640 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died 21 March 1710 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island, United States.  She was the daughter of 2974. John Tucker and 2975. Ann.

Children of Joseph Church and Mary Tucker are:
*  Joseph Church (1662-1715), married 1688 Grace Shaw (1667-1737)
*  Elizabeth Church (1664-????), married 1685 Joseph Blackman (1661-1720).
*  Mary Church (1666-1748), married 1688 John Wood (1664-1740).
*  John Church (1668-1756), married 1693 Rebecca Blackman (1668-1748).
*  Alice Church (1670-1671)
*  Benjamin Church (1671-1672)
*  Sarah Church (1672-????)
*  William Church (1675-????)
*  Deborah Church (1677-1772), married (1) 1699 Samuel Gray (1681-1712), (2) Daniel Throop.
*  Abigail Church (1680-1720), married 1696 William Simmons (1672-1765).

2972.  Richard Church, born about 1608 in England; died 27 December 1668 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He married before 14 March 1635 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.
2973.  Elizabeth Warren, born about 1616 in England; died 09 March 1670 in Hingham, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 5946. Richard Warren and 5947. Elizabeth Walker.

Children of Richard Church and Elizabeth Warren are:
*  Elizabeth Church (1636-1659), married 1658 Caleb Hobart (1633-1711)
*  Joseph Church (1638-1711), married 1660 Mary Tucker (1640-1710)
*  Benjamin Church (1639-1718), married 1667 Alice Southworth (1646-1719)
*  Nathaniel Church (1642-1689), married 1665 Sarah Barstow (1641-1717)
*  Charles Church (1644-1659)
*  Caleb Church (1646-1722), married (1) 1667 Joanna Sprague (1645-1680); (2) 1680 Deborah --?-- (????-1690); (3) 1691 Rebecca --?-- (1644-1715).
*  Abigail Church (1648-1677), married 1666 Samuel Thaxter (1641-1725)
*  Sarah Church (1652-1693), married 1674 James Burroughs (1650-1699)
*  Mary Church (1654-1662)
*  Deborah Church (1657-????).

The most authoritative sources for these Church families are:

1)  Robert S. Wakefield, compiler, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Volume 18: Richard Warren (Plymouth, Mass., General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2004), 3 Volumes.

2)  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, NEHGS, 1995), Volume I, pages 360-364.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, November 29, 2013

Who is William Widley?

Over the past 20-some years, I entered information in my genealogy database program based on information in a source.  Often, the information was sparse, as is the case with William Widley.

As I "collected" Seaver people, I used the information in the manuscript by Jesse Montgomery Seaver, The Seaver Genealogy (Philadelphia, Pa.: the author, 1924).  One of the entries in the manuscript is for Mary Caroline Seaver, daughter of Silas Howe and Louisa (Reynolds) Seaver, born in 1849. Here is the entry in a transcription published by a Seaver researcher in 2000:

When Jesse Seaver wrote this manuscript in 1924, he relied on information obtained by corresponding with Seaver families all over the United States.  Of course, he provided absolutely no sources!  My guess is that the information about William Widley was obtained in this fashion based on family papers or letters sent to him by a descendant of Silas Howe and Louisa (Reynolds) Seaver.

I'm working in my genealogy database almost every day, trying to find information for persons that I need more information about, especially those for whom I know nothing.  Persons like William Widley.

I know that Mary Caroline Seaver (my 4th cousin, 4 times removed), daughter Silas Howe and Louisa (Reynolds) Seaver, was born on 24 December 1848 in Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts.  The last record I have for her is in the 1860 U.S. Census when she, as Mary C. Seaver, was age 11 residing in Manchester, Bennington County, Vermont with her parents S.H. and Louisa Seaver.  I can't find an 1870 U.S. census record for her, or for her parents.  In the 1880 U.S. census, Mary C. is not in the Silas H. Seaver household in Manchester, Bennington County, Vermont.   I can't find a Marriage or Death record for Mary C. Seaver (or Caroline Seaver) in the Vermont vital record cards.  Of course, she might have married or died in another state.

I have two persons to search for - William Widley and Mary Caroline (Seaver) Widley.  One may lead me to the other and their life stories, or at least more information than I currently have.

1)  William Widley is in my Ancestry Member Tree with no birth, marriage or death data.  Here is his profile page:

I can click on the "Search records" link below the profile photo to have Ancestry perform a global search for the name.  I guessed that he might have been born in 1845 plus/minus 10 years (since he apparently married Mary who was born in 1848).  Here is the search box for my first search (with nothing checked as "Exact"):

I clicked on "Search" and had a list of over 6,000 matches:

I doubt that the first one is the right one - married in England to Mary Ann Harrison.  There are two Civil war Muster rolls entry for a William Widley born in about 1843 in Nova Scotia.  It turns out he was in the U.S. Colored Troops.  He might be the right guy, though!

There are a number of surname variations that could be searched - Wadley, Wedley, Woodley, Weedley, Widleigh, Wadleigh, Whidley, etc.  And some further afield like Widdle, Whiddle, Woodhall, Wardley, or Wardell.  I worked my way through the first 200 matches on the Ancestry match list without seeing someone with a Mary C. of about the right age.

I also looked through the 1870, 1880 and 1900 U.S. Census records, and the Vermont death records, and did not find a candidate William Widley, or any of the surname variations, although their were some who had other spousal names.

So I think I struck out on finding William Widley, at least in this first pass.  There is another tree with William Widley (born 1845) married to a Mary Adaline Seaver, daughter of Silas and Louisa Seaver; but it has no useful information besides a birth year that is probably an estimate.

2)  I also searched for Mary Widley on Ancestry, and since I knew her birth date and birth place, I had more information to search with.  Here's the Ancestry search form I used, with Wi*d*l* as the surname (not with an exact search):

There were only 47 matches, and I looked at every one of them, and did not see an entry that I could even consider as possible.

I also searched for Mary on, and had 123 results:

My judgment is that none of those apply to Mary Caroline (Seaver) Widley.  There is an entry in the FamilySearch Family Tree, but it has only the 1845 birth entry (probably submitted by the same person with the Ancestry Member Tree).

Searches on the website, on, and on Google for William and/or Mary or Caroline Widley (and wild card variations on AA) don't produce a possible match, either.

3)  My guess is that the name "Wm. Widley" in the Jesse Seaver manuscript is either spurious, a misunderstood name, or he died soon after he married Mary and is not listed in Find A Grave.   Mary C. (Seaver) ????? may be in the 1880 and 1900 U.S. census records with another husband.

So, I'm stuck here - I cannot find anything about "William Widley" or his wife, Mary Caroline (Seaver) "Widley" after 1860.

I will probably add much of this narrative to the Person notes in my database for William Widley so that if I look at this guy again, I can see that I tried to find him.  My database has hundreds (maybe thousands!) of persons like this that I know absolutely nothing about.  I can usually find at least an approximate birth date for about 90% of them, but can't find anything for the other 10%.

I guess my purpose in writing this post on a holiday weekend is to show that not every research problem can be easily solved with an online search.  There may be a published book, besides the Seaver Genealogy, that has information for this William Widley, or a probate or land record for him in some state.  I'll keep looking.

I am not asking for any help with this problem from my readers - I think that it's unsolvable with the information I have and don't want folks wasting their time searching online.

If you have suggestions as to where William and Mary Caroline (Seaver) Widley (or surname variants) might have resided, or for record collections to be searched, please let me know.

UPDATED: 30 November - changed title to Widley from Widdle.  Duh...title content check, aisle 6!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Reader Comments About Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 Posts

I've had some helpful reader comments about my two Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 blogp osts to date, including:

A)  In First Look at Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 - Post 1: A Walk Around the Menus, Buttons and Tabs (posted 27 November 2013):

1)  Lauren Mahieu noted:  "I agree - the look and feel of the UI is great. There are lots of really neat features that I'd hoped to 'test drive.' However, I'm running Legacy on a Mac using Crossover....not sure if that is what is causing the 'bugginess' or if others on PCs are experiencing the same issues. It seems most of my issues stem from changing settings from the default - primary family, colors, etc. I'm sure those issues will be addressed in upcoming versions/upgrades. I was really hoping that Legacy would adopt more of the RootsMagic spreadsheet approach. While they did for events (you can see what sources and media you have for each item), it doesn't appear that you have the same ability for b, m, d...the most important events..."

I think what Lauren is saying is that, on the "Individual's Information" screen, you can see the list of Events and that there is an icon indicating the presence of a Source and/or a Media item (or not) for the Events, but they cannot see a Source or Media icon for the vital record (e.g., Birth, Marriage and Death) Events, as shown below:

However, if you click on the "Sources" icon (the three books) next to the person's name, you can see all of the "Assigned Sources" that includes the vital record Events:

2)  TangledRoots asked:  "I've been anxiously awaiting this update. I've used version 7.5 for about 2 years. I would like your opinion on what to purchase. I own the manual and DVDs to support version 7. Can I get by with the upgrade alone or would you recommend buying the support materials for version 8? I'd like to make the purchase all at one time if possible. I look forward to hearing your thoughts."

There are many changes, and many new features, in Legacy 8.0 over Legacy 7.5 and earlier, so the Legacy 8.0 book may be helpful if that is your preference.  There is a "What's New in Legacy 8" video at, and that web page has a comparison chart.  It appears to me that the last four video items mentioned on the chart are from before Legacy 8.

I use the Help function, and check the available online videos when I need more information about how to do something I haven't done before.

3)  Anonymous inquired:  "Just read your latest post. Do you advise waiting to purchase until some of the bugs are out?"

My answer is this:  While this is the initial release, I'm pretty sure that updates to Version 8.0 will be free to registered users and will be ongoing over the years.  So if you buy it now, you will be able to update it for free when updates occur.  

B)  In First Look at Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 - Post 2: Pedigree Charts (posted 28 November 2013), I had a problem with several items, including:

1)  The four-line color coding didn't work for me when I clicked on the radio button in the "Custom Color" screen.  My expectation was that all of the boxes in the pedigree chart would show the color scheme when this was checked.

Debbie Blanton McCoy commented:  "Randy, the 4 colors show up in my report. I think you have to set the ancestor colors before they will show up. Go to Tools - Set Ancestor Colors and be sure you select yourself as the starting person."

That sounded promising, so I went to the "Tools" menu, clicked on the "Set Ancestor Colors" and for the "Ancestor Group 1" tab I selected the "Track the eight great-grandparents lines with eight colors" and clicked on the "Apply Ancestor Group 1 colors" and saw on the "Pedigree" View:

That certainly is colorful!  I like it.

Having done that, I then tried to use the four-line colors on the "Pedigree Chart."  Here is the result:

It colored the boxes for myself, my parents and my grandparents, but not for the ancestors in earlier generations.  My expectation was that all of the boxes would be colored in.

When I make a pedigree chart for one of my parents, only the boxes for my parent and grandparents are colored in.  If I make a Pedigree Chart for a great-grandparent or earlier, none of the boxes are colored in.

2)  I noted that the source list had put all of the sources for a name or Event in one source number, separated by four periods.

The Lurking Genealogist commented that: "I  was just experimenting with Legacy and when I printed the Pedigree Chart with sources, I clicked on the combine sources to turn it off and then the sources showed up individually in my report."

In the "Report" menu and "Pedigree Chart" button and the "Select A Report" for the "Pedigree" tab, the "Report Options" button has a "Sources" tab, and I unchecked the check box that says "If an event has multiple citations, combined them into one paragraph."

Here is the resulting "Pedigree Chart:"

As you can see, there are multiple numbers for some names and events.  Here is the "Source Citations" listing for the sources noted on the Pedigree Chart:

There were 127 sources (listed over five pages) for this one Pedigree Chart.  

3)  I noted that Sources for the Events for females on the "Pedigree Chart" were not denoted at all - that is still the case, as shown on the Pedigree Chart above.  There are source numbers for the Names of females, but not for the Events.  

C)  As you can probably tell, I'm blundering my way through learning the nuances and new features of Legacy Family Tree Version 8, and once in awhile I find something intriguing or seemingly a bug and write about it.  My readers help out, for which I am thankful!  I'm sure that, once the Legacy Family Tree gurus dig out from their pile of orders, they'll chime in on the real problems and my outright mistakes.

UPDATED:  Debbie suggested Setting Ancestor Colors to the four grandparent lines rather than the 8-great-grandparent lines.  I did that, and she was right - the Pedigree Chart looksl ike this:

Thanks, Debbie!!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, November 28, 2013

First Look at Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 - Post 2: Pedigree Charts

Rather than do a comprehensive look step-by-step at Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 - I did that for Version 7.0 and 8.0 is an improvement on 7.0 - I'm going to highlight things I find as I work through the program screens.

Today, it's the Pedigree Charts.  There are several different charts offered, as shown below:

1)  From the "Family" view tab, I click on the Reports menu, and see the different buttons for the different reports and charts, including:

*  Pedigree Charts
*  Family Group
*  Chart Reports - Descendant, Individual, Timeline, Ancestor, Lineage
*  Other Reports - too many to list!
*  Statistics Report
*  Publisghing Center - to compile a book
*  Ancestor Book 
*  Descendant Book
*  Descendant Narrative Book
*  Multiple Lines of Descent Book
*  Blank Charts - Questionnaire, Research Log, forms Center
*  Legacy Charting - creates wall charts
*  Last Report

Here is the "Reports" screen, with the mouse over the "Pedigree Chart" button:

2)  After clicking the "Pedigree Chart" button, the "Select A Report" screen with the "Pedigree" tab selected opened:

The user can click on the three buttons at the bottom for "Index Options" and "Report Optiions" (which includes format, sources and media) to pick what they want included in the report.  The "Report Language" can also be selected.  There is a button for "Color Text and Boxes" that I looked at:

There are four color options - none, all boxes same color, two-color male/female color boxes, and four-color boxes.  Here is the "None" option - black and white, without any boxes:

Here is the constant color box background - I chose light yellow:

Here is the two-color male/female chart:

And the four-color chart:

No matter how many times I tried, the four-colors did not show up! I think that's a bug that can probably be easily fixed.

3)  In all of those charts, the names and dates for birth, marriage and death may have a superscript number that leads to a source list on the pages after the chart.

Here is the top of the page that starts the source listings:

As you can see, if there are multiple source citations for the names or dates, they are all included in one source number.  The different citations are separated by four periods.  I kind of wish they had listed them separately for each source number - indented with a line between each citation.

However, there are no source citations for the females in the pedigree charts!  I think that's another Bug that needs to be fixed.  When I first saw that, I thought "I wonder if I didn't source those names and events?"  I fear my source list will be six pages instead of three pages when it is fixed.

The source citation feature is new, and is much welcomed and appreciated!

4)  The user can print the report, or save the report as a PDF file.  

UPDATE:  I addressed some of the comments about these issues in (posted 29 November 2013).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

My Mayflower Connections - Soule, White, Warren, Cooke, Brewster, Hopkins and Fuller

I've posted before about my own connections to passengers on the Mayflower that landed at Plymouth in New England in December 1620.

Here are my blog posts for each core Mayflower ancestor (with the names of my Pilgrim ancestors in parentheses):

*  My Mayflower Connections - 1. George Soule (George Soule)  

*  My Mayflower Connections - 2. William White (William White, Susanna (--?--) White, Peregrine White)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 3. Richard Warren (Richard Warren)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 4. Francis Cooke (Francis Cooke, John Cooke)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 5. Stephen Hopkins (Stephen Hopkins, Constance Hopkins)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 6. William Brewster (William Brewster, Mary (--?--) Brewster)

*  My Mayflower Connections - 7. Edward Fuller (Edward Fuller, Ann? (--?--), Samuel Fuller)

See last year's post on this topic to see how I answered the reader comment:   "Why are you boasting about your Mayflower ancestors?  Are you trying to show that you are a better researcher than the rest of us?  Or that these passengers were somehow special?"

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

I Am So Thankful ...

--- for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

--- for my wonderful loving wife, Angel Linda, who makes every day, and every meal, special.

--- for my two beautiful and smart daughters, and Tami's husband, who work so hard to do so well in order to live securely and happily.

--- for my four precious grandchildren, so innocent and with so much potential, and so much fun to be with.

--- for my enthusiastic father, who provided a large New England ancestry to research, and passed on an undying love for the games of baseball and football.

--- for my loving mother, so patient, supportive and kind, who saved so much family history and whose ancestry provides such fascinating research challenges.

--- for my brothers, their wives and children, who are interested in the family history and remember more than I do about our growing up years.

--- for my grandparents and earlier ancestors, who worked hard, played by the rules, raised healthy families, and provided a firm foundation for their children.

--- for my aunts, uncles and cousins, who opened their homes and their hearts and shared their memories.

--- for the brave passengers on the Mayflower and other early ships who colonized New England, and instilled a republican form of government based on personal freedom and responsibility.

--- for the immigrants that populated our country, diversified our culture, worked hard to succeed, and are woven into the country's fabric.

--- for the courageous citizens who revolted to secure our freedoms, and created the institutions that are the foundations of the USA.

--- for the soldiers, sailors, marines and pilots, of every historical time, who have defended our country and kept us safe and free.

--- for the entire Constitution and Bill of Rights - especially the freedoms of speech, religion and assembly. I am awestruck that the Founders wrote such a magnificent set of documents that have stood the test of time.

--- for educational opportunities, whereby every and any person in this country can be the best that they can be, but they have to really make an effort.

--- for the free market and free enterprise economic system that encourages and rewards work and innovation, and has allowed me and my family to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

--- for the marvels of science and engineering, that drive our health, transportation, communication and entertainment industries.

--- for the wonders of nature that beautify our world, inspire us and occasionally overwhelm us.

--- for my genealogy society colleagues, genea-bloggers, blog readers, Facebook friends and Google+ circle members who challenge, educate, encourage and appreciate me.

--- for,,, GenealogyBank,, MyHeritage, FindMyPast, AmericanAncestors and other genealogy websites that provide online databases to explore into the wee hours of the night.

--- for genealogy software that organizes our family structures and provides incredible reports and charts to share with our families

--- for repositories that collect, preserve and provide papers, photographs, books, manuscripts and artifacts to expand our research.

--- for genealogy conferences, societies, magazines, books and newsletters that inform and educate us.

This year, I am really thankful for good health and the joys of going out to dinner with my wife on Thanksgiving (so she doesn't drop another frozen turkey on her toes and have to cook it.)

What are you thankful for on this 151st Thanksgiving holiday?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Dear Randy - How Do You Do Your Record Transcriptions?

I received a question from Genea-Musings reader Sandra, asking;

"How do you do your record transcription? Are you using a particular software program and/or system for your research?"

Dear Sandra,

I don't use special software to do it.  I've heard of Transcript, which some genealogists use to transcribe records and documents, but I haven't used it.  

I used to do it in the dark ages (about 5 years ago and before digital images became prevalent) by having the photocopy on my physical desktop and then type into the word processor.  Since the photocopy was fixed resolution and size, I used the magnifying glass a lot and often lost my place in the document when I looked away to type and then looked back to see what to type next (I have to watch my fingers when I type...not the screen!).

1)  Now I do mine the enlightened digital way (well, the old digital way) - I use two windows on my desktop PC - one window for my word processing program and one window for the digital image.  I usually do them top and bottom rather than side-by-side, like this:

I like having a full screen width for the document image so I can try to read the letters and words.

When I need the next bit of the document image, I just scroll down a little.  Then I click back into the word processor (I use LibreOffice Writer) and type until I have to scroll the document some more.  I can resize the two windows as I wish.  I can also change the magnification of the document image to show more lines or zoom in to decipher letters or a word as I need to.

This works well for me...I can focus on the 3-5 lines of document image and type the lines, and proofread them, before I  go on to the next set of lines.  I don't get lost using this method because I have only a few lines to compare.  This is particularly useful for handwritten documents like probates and deeds.  I save the word processing file and put it in the file folder for the person of interest - the same file folder that has the document image.

When I'm done with the transcription, I can copy the text and paste it into the Blogger editor field and write text around it for an Amanuensis Monday post.

2)  However, when I do blog posts transcribing (usually) typed documents for Treasure Chest Thursday, I usually do it the other way - with windows side-by-side.  That's easier for me because the Blogger editor doesn't do top-bottom very well - the Blogger header and menu take up most of the room for half of the window height.  Here is how it looks top and bottom:

And here is how it looks side-by-side:

I find it easier to do it side-by-side when I transcribe right into the Blogger editor.

3)  Either way I do it, I then can copy the text transcribed and paste it into the Person Notes and/or Fact Notes in my database program.

That's what works for me.  If you had two screens, it would be easier, but there would be more glancing between two monitors.  This way it's a vertical or sideways glance to see the next set of words to be transcribed - I usually don't have top move my head, only my eyes..

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

First Look at Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 - Post 1: A Walk Around the Menus, Buttons and Tabs

For the record, yesterday Legacy Family Tree gave gifts to the Legacy Family Tree cruisers from 2009 to 2013 - a free Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 and a one year subscription to Family Tree Webinars!  Thank you, Legacy Family Tree!!!

I downloaded the Standard version of Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 last night (63.7 mb download), and received my Customer Number email early this morning, and upgraded to the Deluxe version immediately.

I uploaded a GEDCOM file of my master database (over 42,000 persons), selected a color scheme, and selected a startup family.

I want to show you the look and feel of Legacy Family Tree 8.0 in this post.  To do that, I have created screenshots that include one of the 11 menu items with their buttons (no dropdown menus!) along with one of the 7 View tabs (with some of the "Individual Information" dialog box icons also).

1)  The "File" menu, its buttons, and the "Legacy Home" tab:

2)  The "Edit" menu, its buttons, and the "Family" View tab (husband and wife have icons): 

3)  The "Add" menu, its buttons. and the "Pedigree" View tab (4 generations shown):

4)  The "View" menu, its buttons, and the "Descendant" View tab:

5)  The "Reports" menu, its buttons, and the "Chronology" View tab:

6)  The "Tools" menu, its buttons, and the "Index" View tab:

7)  The "Search" menu, its buttons, and the "Research" View tab:

8)  The "Internet" menu, its buttons, and the "Family" View tab (again! - do you see the red ! circles that indicate potential problems?):

9)  The "My Toolbar" menu, its buttons, and the "Individual's Information" dialog box (has icons for alternate names, address, notes, sources, media, calendar, to-do/research log, and LDS ordinance):

10)  The "Options" menu, its buttons, and the "Notes" icon button in the "Individual's Information" screen (fairly primitive editing functions, although has some symbols with diacriticals):

11)  The "Help" menu, its buttons, and the "Media Gallery" icon button in the "Individual's Information" dialog box:

12) Navigation to a related person is best done using the "Pedigree" View, and navigation to an unrelated person is best done using the "Index" View.

13) All of the menu buttons and screen views are available to investigate.  I won't write about all of them, but I will highlight some of the features that I am particularly interested in, including:

*  Source Citations
*  Media 
*  FamilySearch Family Tree interaction
*  Research Guidance
*  Reports and books
*  Charts

I REALLY like the look and feel of the graphic interface.  The screens are very clean looking, and there is liberal use of color to highlight person names, and to denote gender.

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copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver