Saturday, December 21, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Make a Surname Christmas Tree

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

Come on, everybody, join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision.  

Leslie Ann had a post on her Ancestors Live Here blog this week titled Wordless Wednesday -- Surname Christmas Tree which I thought was a great idea for an SNGF challenge on a Surname Saturday.  Are you game?

1)  Go see Leslie Ann's post, and figure out how you could make something similar to hers or to mine below.  

2)  Make your Surname Christmas Tree using your ancestral surnames - there's no limit on the number of surnames - and decorate your tree as you wish.  

3)  Show us your Surname Christmas Tree and tell us how you made it in a blog post of your own, in a Facebook post or in a Google+ post.

Here's mine:

Here's how I did it:

*  I used my word processor to add the surnames in an approximate tree shape.
*  I colored the surnames green for the tree and brown for the trunk.
*  I went to Google Images and looked for tree ornaments to decorate my tree, saved them, and inserted them into the word processing page.  
*  I saved the word processing page as a PDF file.
*  I opened the PDF file, reduced the magnification, and used the Winsdows Snipping Tool to create a JPG image.
*  I added the JPG image as above.

It did take me over an hour to create...I have over 10 generations of ancestral surnames on the tree above.  I hope I didn't spell any names wrong!

I showed you mine, now please show me yours!  

Thank you, Leslie Ann, for a great SNGF idea!

Coyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - TEFFT (England > colonial Rhode Island)

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  #749, who is Elizabeth TEFFT (1687-1750) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 7th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three generations in this TEFFT 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)

186.  Stephen Hazard (1730-1804)
187.  Elizabeth Carpenter (1741-????)

374.  Daniel Carpenter (1712-1784)
375.  Renewed Smith (1717-1766)

748.  Solomon Carpenter, born 23 December 1677 in Rehoboth, Bristol, Massachusetts, United States; died before 08 October 1750 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  He was the son of 1496. Samuel Carpenter and 1497. Sarah Redway.  He married about 1702 in probably South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.
749.  Elizabeth Tefft, born 29 September 1687 in Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States; died before 1750 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  

Children of Solomon Carpenter and Elizabeth Tefft are:
*  Elizabeth Carpenter (1703-????), married 1722 James Braman (1679-????).
*  Solomon Carpenter (1706-1743), married 1732 Deborah Reynolds (1708-1778).
*  Joseph Carpenter (1708-????).
*  Daniel Carpenter (1712-1784), married 1733 Renewed Smith (1717-1760)
*  Samuel Carpenter (1714-????)
*  Sarah Carpenter (1716-????).

1498.  Samuel Tefft, born 1644 in Providence, Providence, Rhode Island, United States; died before 20 December 1725 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  He married about 1675 in probably Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.
1499.  Elizabeth Jenckes, born about 1658 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States; died before 12 May 1740 in South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  She was the daughter of 2998. Joseph Jenckes and 2999. Esther Ballard.

Children of Samuel Tefft and Elizabeth Jenckes are:
*  John Tefft (1676-1762), married 1698 Joanna Sprague (1676-1757)
*  Peter Tefft (1678-1725), married Mary.
*  Esther Tefft (1680-1726), married 1708 Thomas Mumford (1656-1726).
*  Joseph Tefft (1680-1735).
*  Mary Tefft (1683-????), married 1720 Matthew Newton (1679-1743).
*  Samuel Tefft (1685-1760), married 1710 Abigail Tennant.
*  Elizabeth Tefft (1687-1750), married 1702 Solomon Carpenter (1677-1750)
*  Tabitha Tefft (1688-????).
*  Susannah Tefft (1690-1737), married 1705 Peter Crandall (1672-1734).
*  Sarah Tefft (1690-1725), married John Witter.
*  Mercy Tefft (1696-????).

2496.  John Tefft, born about 1620 in England; died before 26 January 1676 in Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.  He married about 1640 in Rhode Island, United States.
2497.  Mary, born about 1618 in England; died 1679 in Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States.

Children of John Tefft and Mary Barber are:
*  Mary Tefft (1642-1682), married 1660 Samuel Wilson (1622-1682).
*  Samuel Tefft (1644-1725), married 1675 Elizabeth Jenckes (1658-1740).
*  Joshua Tefft (1647-1676), married 1672 Sarah.
*  Tabitha Tefft (1653-1722), married 1671 George Gardiner (1647-1724).

Information about these Tefft families was obtained from:

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

*  Linga L. Mathew, "John Tefft and his Children: A Colonial Generation Gap?" Rhode Island Roots, September 1992, page 76-78.

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, December 20, 2013

Dear Randy: "Can I Access for Free?"

I had an email correspondent ask this question (with some explanation before) and I've answered it several times in my local society research group meetings:

"I'm on a fixed income, and I cannot afford to subscribe to  Can I access it for free?  Could someone do lookups for me and send me a record image?"

My answer is:

1)  You can go to some local libraries and local LDS FamilySearch Libraries and access Ancestry Library Edition for FREE.  Ancestry Library Edition has almost all of the historical record databases available, with the notable exception of the Historical Newspapers (last time I checked).  It also doesn't include the Family Trees.  You can see all of the differences at

Look for the online databases that your local and regional libraries have available.  Ancestry Library Edition is not available for home users.  You will have to go to the participating library to use it.

If you want to obtain digital images of different records, then take a flash drive with you to save the records on.  Depending on the computer system at the library, you may have to download the image to a computer folder and then copy it to your flash drive using the "Save" button.  Consult with the computer folks at the library.  You might be able to email it to yourself - if Ancestry Library Edition has that feature (I can't access it at home to test it).

Here in the San Diego area, the San Diego City Library system, the San diego County Library system, and Carlsbad Library have access to Ancestry Library Edition on their public computers.

2)  A friend or colleague could do lookups for you on if they have an home subscription, and then email you the records using the email feature on a record image page.  However, doing more than one or two of them might violate the Terms of Use for your friend or colleague.

I hope that this helps my correspondent and anyone else who has these questions.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Fascinating Composite "Then and Now" 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Pictures

My friend Dennis sent me a link to the web page Composite Then and Now Photos of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake yesterday, and I shared it on Facebook, but I want to share it with all of my readers also:

The site says:

"Since 2010, San Francisco photographer Shawn Clover has been working on a striking series of then and now composite photos of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. To create the series, Clover collected archival photos of the earthquake’s aftermath. He then replicated the photos himself, down to the location, camera position and focal length (to the best of his estimation). The resulting composite photos hauntingly combine stark images of the earthquake’s devastation with modern scenes of life in San Francisco."

Even if you don't have any ancestral image in San Francisco, this technique and the results are fascinating for everyone.  I can see trying to do this with ancestral photographs also, similar to what people did with the "My Photo" feature in 2011 where you held up an old photo in front of the current scene.  

My wife and I were interested in this series of composite photographs because her great-grandparents and her grandmother resided in San Francisco in 1906, experienced the earthquake, and probably saw many of the archive photo scenes.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Follow-Up Friday - Interesting and Helpful Reader Comments

It's been several weeks since I've posted a Follow-up Friday column - I'll try to hit the high points:

1)  On First Look at Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 - Post 11: Migration Mapping Chart (posted 18 December 2013):

a.  Geolover asked:  "The timeline mapping is a nice feature.  Can the pins be moved to the right places? In your first screenshot with pins it looks like all of them are a bit south of actual locations."

b.  Geoff answered:  "As you zoom in, the pins appear to be in the correct places. Legacy does attempt to automatically resolve the locations so there's not much that you manually have to do."

c.  bgwiehle commented:  "It would be an interesting option if the places were linked with lines (ideally the most likely or actual routes taken) and if the intervals in the animation had some kind of count showing length of residence at each location."

My comment:  My observation is that the round pin head is centered on the correct place, and the pin point is not.  I always expect the pin point to be on the location.  bgwiehle's suggestion is interesting - some sort of popup showing a path (even if it's a straight line) and the length of time in one place would be useful.

2)  On "What good is it to access a newspaper image on, and not be able to see it after my subscription runs out?" (posted 16 December 2013):

a.  Rorey Cathcart noted:  "While I realize this a response to an specific question it applies to all subscription services.  I learned the hard way to always 'capture' an image of the resource, i.e. census, article, vitals. This way you'll be able to access it whether your subscription lapses or the site is down or you just don't have an internet connection that day.

"Having a desktop program to which you can attach those images is helpful for organization but not essential. The biggest problems are space and naming conventions so you can find the image again. The first is easily solved with a large external hard drive, relatively cheap these days. The second is a little more tricky because it is often more personalized. If you use a photo program such as Windows Photo Gallery with the ability to add tags, it makes the naming less complicated and finding the images again much easier via tags for surname, location, etc."

My comment:  Excellent observations, and suggestions.

b.  Sara Gredler commented:  "Your post is one reason that I have a desktop family tree program and download everything from all family history sites, subscription or no, onto my hard drive. I want to be able to do my genealogy without an Internet connection."

c.  McElrea ONS asked:  "And what are the rules for using the Shoebox option?"

My comment:  The Online Help article for The Shoebox says:
"In order to view the records in your shoebox you must have a current paid subscription."

a.  Chris offered:  "I think the last column is occupation. Entries 88, 97 and 98 have no ages and the last column is Dødfødt which is stillborn. Record 93 is fattig which means poor. Dødfødt, gammel (old) and fattig are the same words in Danish."

My comment:  Thank you!  All I need for Christmas is a good Norwegian/English dictionary and someone to read the handwriting!

b.  Vinny said:  "Thanks Randy for letting know. Even I didn't know that some of the Norwegian church parish register books have been digitized. I'm glad to learn such educative lessons and looking forward to learn more about such records."

My comment:  Good luck with your learning.  There are so many announcements about digitized records every year, and I can't remember all of them all of the time.  

a.  Grandpa Landmeier noted:  "Randy, I am always concerned that things that are available today may not be available tomorrow. As a Family History Center Director I was recently required to send certain films back to Salt Lake since British Columbia had removed their public access for those records. I suspect that is why films are on LOAN and not owned by local centers."

My comment:  Excellent observation, and my guess is that this happens occasionally.  

a.  NEnglerth asked:  "If these are your ancestors your are researching, then we are related. Last night I found your post about Adam Mott and today I find Henry Tucker. How about the Allens and Slocums?"

My comment:  You can see an almost up-to-date list of my Amanuensis Monday posts at  I do have Allen and Slocum ancestors on the list.  Are any of them yours?

6)  That covers the comments I found most helpful over the past two or three weeks.  

My thanks to all of my readers who are persistent enough to overcome the Captcha trap (I can't imagine how many spam and obscene comments are prevented by it!) - it is necessary for my sanity.  

I do get several other spam comments every day that Blogger puts in the spam folder - why do these people do this?  What a waste of time!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, December 19, 2013

First Look at Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 - Post 12: Family Bow-Tie Chart

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 Version 7.0 - I'm going to highlight new (or old) features I find as I work through the program screens.  New or updated features in Legacy Family Tree are listed in Legacy Family Tree 8.0 Now Available.

Today, it's the "Family Bow-Tie Chart" feature.  The description of this feature is:

"Displays the ancestors of both the husband and wife, as well as their children."

A "bow tie chart" shows the ancestors of a couple for a selected number of generations - the father's ancestors on one side of the chart, and the mother's ancestors on the other side.

Let's see how this works - I will use my parents family as the basis:

1)  On any View tab, click on the "Reports" menu item and then find the "Legacy Charting" button:

2)  I clicked the "Legacy Charting" button on the screen above, and the Legacy Charting program opened, and I could select the type of chart to create:

The "Family Bow Tie" chart is at the bottom of the list.

3)  I clicked on the "Family Bow Tie" chart icon and the chart opened:

The initial chart had only three generations of ancestors for my father (on the left) and my mother (on the right.  My parents were in the middle of the chart, and their three children were below them.  Zooming in to see my parents, I saw:

4)  I wanted it prettier - with gender colors (blue for males, pink for females), with a larger type font, wider boxes, a larger title, wider lines, and no pictures (because I don't have face pictures for all of the people).  I did all of that on the "Appearances" tab.  I also wanted six generations on the chart, and that was on the "Home" tab.

After making all of those changes, I came out with a chart with six generations on each side, is readable, and is 59.5 inches wide (7 sheets) and 66 inches high (6 sheets).  Here is the 100% view:

Here is a wider view of this chart:

5)  How many generations will this chart take?  I went up to 9 generations, and the program showed me a chart 85 inches wide (over 7 feet wide) and 473 inches high (almost 40 feet!).

Hmmm, I'll pass on printing that - 430 pages!  If this were made top-to-bottom instead of left-to-right, it could wall paper a large room!

6)  That is pretty much what I wanted in this chart.  I like this format with father's ancestors on one side and them other's ancestors on the other side.

I would like to have thumbnail pictures, but when I added those, the box height was much more because at least one of the preferred photos was too large and extended the box.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Sheri Fenley's "Dancing Reindeer" Christmas Video With Her Friends

My geneablogging colleague, Sheri Fenley, creator of The Educated Genealogist blog, is the reigning mistress of the JibJab humorous videos featuring geneabloggers.

Here is this year's Christmas video featuring five geneabloggers in her blog post, "Dancing Reindeer."

Click on the video on Sheri's blog, adjust your sound, and enjoy!  And laugh.

Thanks, Sheri, for including me in this.  I've never danced so well, with so many other great dancers, or for so long!  I'm tired just watching it!

The URL for this post is:

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 193: Death Certificate for Betty Virginia (Carringer) Seaver

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 Betty (Carringer) Seaver (1919-2002) death certificate in San Diego county, California:

The transcription of this death certificate is (form fields underlined, handwritten portions in italics):

___________________         CERTIFICATE OF DEATH              3  200237 000283             
State File Number                      State of California                         Local Registration Number

Decedent Personal Data:
1.  Name of Decedent - First (Given):  Betty
2.  Middle:  Virginia
3.  Last (Family):  Seaver
4.  Date of Birth:  07/31/1919
5.  Age Yrs: 82
6.  Sex:  F
7.  Date of Death:  01/04/2002
8.  Time:  0750
9.  State of birth:  CA
10. Social Security No.: XXX-XX-XXXX
11. Military Service:  no
12.  Marital Status: Widowed
13.  Education - Years completed:  16
14.  Race:  White
15.  Hispanic - Specify:  No
16.  Usual Employer:  Self Employed
17.  Occupation:  Artist
18.  Kind of Business:  Art
19.  Years in Occupation:  60

Usual Residence:
20.  Residence - Street and Number or Location:  825 Harbor View Place
21.  City:  San Diego
22. County:  San Diego
23.  Zip Code:  92106
24.  Years in County:  82
25.  State or Foreign Country:  CA

26.  Name, Relationship:  Randy Seaver, Son
27.  Mailing Address: 1154 Via Trieste; Chula Vista, CA 91911

Spouse and Parent Information:
28.  Name of Surviving Spouse - First:  -  
29.  Middle:  -  
30.  Last:  -  
31.  Name of Father - First:  Lyle
32.  Middle:  L.
33.  Last:  Carringer
34.  Birth State:  CA
35.  Name of Mother - first:  Emily
36.  Middle:  K.
37.  Last:  Auble
38.  Birth State:  IL

39.  Date:  01/10/2002
40.  Place of Final Disposition:  Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery; San Diego, CA 92106

Funeral Director and Local Registrar:
41.  Type of Disposition(s):  CR/BU
42.  Signature of Embalmer:  Not embalmed
43.  License No.   -  
44.  Name of Funeral Director:  The Neptune Society
45.  License No.:  FD1352
46.  Signature of Local Registrar:  George R. Flores MD
47.  Date:  01/10/2002

Place of Death:
101.  Place of Death:  Son's Residence
102:  If hospital, Specify One: [none checked]
103:  Facility other than hospital:  [none checked]
104.  County:  San Diego
105.  Address:  1988 Donahue Drive
106.  City:  El Cajon

Cause of Death:
107.  Death Was Caused By:  
           Immediate Cause (A): Lung Cancer; 3 mons
108.  Death Reported to Coroner:  No
109:  Biopsy Performed:  No
110.  Autopsy Performed:  No
111.  Used in Determining Cause:  [left blank]
112. Other Significant conditions Contributing to Death:  None
113.  Was Operation Performed for Any Condition in Item 107 or 112?:  None

Physician's Certification:
114.  I Certify That to the best of my knowledge that death occurred at the hour, date and place stated from the causes stated.  Decedent attended since 07/01/2001, decedent last seen alive 12/20/2001
115.  Signature and Title of Certifer:  C. Redfern MD
116.  Attending Physician's Name, Mailing Address, Zip:  Charles Redfern, MD 8008 Frost St. #300; San Diego CA 92123

Coroner's Use Only:
nothing entered.

Date Issued:  January 11, 2002
George R. Flores, Registrar of Vital Records, County of San Diego

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

Betty Virginia Seaver, Death Certificate, Local Registration No. 7 200237 000283 (2002), Registrar of Vital Records, San Diego County, California.

I see no known errors on this death certificate.

This death certificate was obtained by me after 11 January 2002 by postal mail from the County Registrar of vital Records.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fun With my Christmas iPhone 5s

I can't resist sharing my fascination over the capabilities of my Christmas present, an iPhone 5s.

We went yesterday to the Verizon store, and I upgraded to the 5s, and we installed Linda's phone number on my old iPhone 4, at least until her previous plan can be updated.  I had signed up for iCloud previously, and all of the apps and data (very important!) were transferred onto the new phone from the old phone.  That made the transition really easy!

I missed the introduction of Siri (voice activated knowledge base - ask a question, get an answer) and FaceTime (a phone to phone video conference) on the iPhone 4s and 5, so this has been a new experience for me.

It turns out that Siri doesn't know much about genealogy, but "she" knows how to search for information.  Here are some of my questions:

1)  What is genealogy?

2)  What is the number one genealogy website?

I don't agree with the #1 referral above.  My hope was that it would say Genea-Musings.  Not!

3)  Who is the number one genealogist in the USA today?

Siri missed on that fault I guess for putting USA and Today together in the question.

4)  Why did Frederick W. Seaver move from Massachusetts to San Diego in 1940?

It found my blog, but the specific post isn't the right one.

5)  Why did William Knapp move from Dutchess County New York to Woodbridge New Jersey in 1804?

Siri found my blog post about potential Knapp families, but didn't answer my question directly.

6)  Do you know Thomas J Newton's birthday and birthplace?

Siri has no clue on this one, she somehow found a date of birth for Jane Newton and calculated how old she was.  Why doesn't Siri know that I'm in Pacific time?

7)  Where are my ancestors hiding?

Siri tried to help - she found some blog posts and forum messages.

So that's fun.  I think that it has potential to help with relatively simple things - like county names, distances between places, finding definitions, etc.  At a minimum, there are links to Wikipedia and other resources for the user to click on and learn more about the subject.

I'll keep playing with it mainly for the novelty value.  Do you have suggestions for real questions?  What have you asked Siri about genealogy and family history?

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

First Look at Legacy Family Tree Version 8.0 - Post 11: Migration Mapping Chart

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 Version 7.0 - I'm going to highlight new (or old) features I find as I work through the program screens.  New or updated features in Legacy Family Tree are listed in Legacy Family Tree 8.0 Now Available.

Today, it's the "Migration Mapping" feature.  The description of this feature is:

"Legacy animates the ancestor's movement through time. Watch how they migrated from place to place. View their migration in street, aerial, or 3D modes. Hover over the balloon to see what happened in each location."

This sounds really interesting, let's see how it works.  It took me some time perusing the "Help" article for "Map My Family" but it didn't describe how to animate the map.  It was obvious but it took some time to figure it out.

1)  I wanted to see Devier J. Smith's migration map, so I highlighted him, and selected the "View" menu item and want to click the "Map Family" button on the "View" ribbon:

2)  The list of places and the map of places for events in Devier J. Smith's lifetime opened.  There are push pins for the places on the places list (only if those place names have been "Resolved" previously in Legacy Family Tree)::

Each place on the place list can be found on the map by highlighting it.  The user can choose the pushpin colors.

As you can see, the list above is alphabetical by place name.  That isn't the migration path.

There is a dropdown menu just above the place list, and the user should select the "sort Chronologically" rather than "Sort Alphabetically."

Moving your mouse over one of the pushpins reveals the information about the place - the name of the place, and the events that occurred at that place for the selected person:

3)  In order to animate the Migration Mapping, the user has to click the "Options" button and select "Time to pause between location" and select a time from the list (1/2 second to 5 seconds):

4)  To animate the map (meaning to show one place after another chronologically), the user must click on the blue right arrow to "Play - start animation" (to the right of the "Sort chronologically" menu item, as shown below:

After clicking on the "Play - start animation" button, the screen stepped through the migration map one place at a time at 1 second intervals (I selected 1 second).  Below, it is on St. Francis, Kansas:

To stop the animation, you have to click the "Play" button again.

A user can zoom into the map at any time by clicking on the Zoom controls on the upper left corner of the map, or by clicking on the map and using the mouse scrolling to zoom in.  I zoomed in on the Kansas/Nebraska area in the screen below:

The user can also see the satellite view by clicking on the "Aerial" link above the map.  3D map functions can also be selected.

5)  This new "Migration Mapping" feature is very useful.  

The user does have to "Resolve" their place names so that the map can add pushpins at the event places.  That's a feature of most genealogy software programs, including Legacy Family Tree.

Does any other genealogy software program have this feature?  I don't know.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver