Saturday, September 13, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Show Us Your ImageChef Creations

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

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!): 

1) Go to the website and explore their FREE offerings. Click on the "Create" button, or choose to make a slideshow or posters from their main page (there are more than one screen of poster backgrounds).

2) Make one or more posters, piece of jewelry, tattoo or other creation - perhaps they relate to genealogy or your own family history. Be sure to check the Photo Frames and Fun template collections.  Save them to your computer (right click, Save as Picture for Windows users).

3) Show your creations to us... in your own blog post, on a Facebook post, or on Google Plus etc. If you make a really neat one and want to show it to the world but don't have a way to do it, send it to me ( and I'll show it off for you in a blog post.

Here are some of mine:

1)  More bling for my wife:

2)  Perfect for my new grandson:

3)  I'm tempted...

4)  Which genea-babe will be the first to show this off?

5)  Hope springs eternal ... will I ever find Thomas J. Newton's parents?

That was fun.  Now show me yours!!!

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - REYNOLDS (England to colonial Massachusetts)

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

I am in the 8th great-grandmothers and I'm up to Ancestor #1041 who is Ruth REYNOLDS (1623-1706) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 8th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two generations in this REYNOLDS family line is:

1. Randall J. Seaver

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

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

8. Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922)
9. Hattie Louise Hildreth (1857-1920)

16. Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)
17. Lucretia Townsend Smith (1827-1884)

32. Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825)
33. Abigail Gates (1797-1869)

64. Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)
65. Martha Whitney (1764-1832)

130.  Samuel Whitney (1719-1782)
131.  Abigail Fletcher (1720-1783)

260.  William Whitney (1683-1720)
261.  Martha Pierce (1681-1759)

520.  Nathaniel Whitney (1647-1733)
521.  Sarah Hagar (1651-1722)

1040.  John Whitney, born befiore 14 September 1621 in Isleworth, Middlesex, England; died 12 October 1692 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2080. John Whitney and 2081. Elinor.  He married about 1642 in probably Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
1041.  Ruth Reynolds, born 1623 in Aylesford, Kent, England; died before 1706 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of John Whitney and Ruth Reynolds are:
*  John Whitney (1643-1727), married 1669 Elizabeth Harris (1644-1727).
*  Ruth Whitney (1645-1744), married (1) 1664 John Shattuck (1647-1675); (2) 1677 Enoch Lawrence (1648-1725).
*  Nathaniel Whitney (1647-1733), married (1) 1674 Sarah Hagar (1651-1722); (2) 1724 Sarah Shepard (1667-1748).
*  Samuel Whitney (1648-1731), married 1684 Mary Bemis (1644-1730).
*  Mary Whitney (1650-1693)
*  Joseph Whitney (1652-1702), married 1675 Martha Beach (1650-????).
*  Sarah Whitney (1654-1720), married 1681 Daniel Harrington (1657-1728).
*  Elizabeth Whitney (1656-1712), married 1678 Daniel Warren (1653-1713).
*  Hannah Whitney (1658-????).
*  Benjamin Whitney (1660-1736), married 1687 Abigail Hague (1663-????).

2082.  Robert Reynolds, born about 1586 in probably Aylesford, Kent, England; died 27 April 1659 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 4164. George Reynolds and 4165. Thomasyn Church.  He married about 1615 in England.
2083.  Mary Pulleyne, born about 1590 in England; died 18 January 1663 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 4166. George Pulleyne.

Children of Robert Reynolds and Mary Pulleyne are:
*  Ruth Reynolds (1623-1706), married 1643 John Whitney (1621-1692).
*  Tabitha Reynolds (1625-1661), married 1646 Matthew Abdy (1620-????).
*  Nathaniel Reynolds (1627-1708), married (1) 1657 Sarah Dwight (1638-1663); (2) 1664 Priscilla Brackett (1641-1744).
*  Sarah Reynolds (1629-1718), married 1655 Robert Mason (1590-1667).
*  Mary Reynolds (1631-1711), married 1650 Richard Sanger (1620-1691).

Information about this Reynolds family was obtained from:

Susan Rogers Clement (compiler and editor), Reynolds Family Association Centennial Collection (Cullman, Alabama : The Gregath Company, 1992).

Stephen Tillman, Christopher Reynolds and his Descendants (Chevy Chase, Md. : 1959).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, September 12, 2014

A New Leaf on Our Family Tree - Charlie is Here!

Charles James "Charlie" L...... was born today, 12 September 2014, in Huntington Beach, California.  He's 19.5 inches long, and a 7 pounds 9 ounces bundle of joy.

Daughter Tami had this scheduled, and it went off without a hitch.  Charlie's world just really changed and it's no mystery why he's napping.  It's bright out, and there are different sounds.  He cried a bit during the process, which is good.

Charlie joins his two older sisters, Lauren, age 9, and Audrey, age 6.  They are really looking forward to being big sisters!

Charlie is our 5th grandchild, and third grandson.  The more the merrier, I say.  Another descendant.  I added him to my RootsMagic database today.

I posted his picture on Facebook, and bragged that he is an 8th cousin, 6 times removed to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States.  He's also the descendant of 9 Mayflower passengers and several colonial New England governors.

We may go visit Charlie next week when they come home from the hospital, so if Genea-Musings is "light" for several days, you'll understand (I hope!).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Cousins, Kinship, AJ Jacobs and King David

I received several cogent comments on my post A.J. Jacobs Cousin Connections - Um, Not Really (10 September 2014) - even one from A.J. himself!

1)  Geoff Trowbridge noted:  "Via the ever-resourceful E. Randol Schoenberg, it turns out that both you and A.J. are descended from King David, at least according to tradition.

"See here:
And here:

"So there is a common bloodline, albeit not one that is easily verifiable. ;-)"

2)  Ashley Odell offered:  "I still don't get why people are surprised that it's been difficult to get him directly connected to most celebrities. Jacobs is Jewish. He connects as a direct, even rather close cousin to many Ashkenazi Geni users -- users who happen to be one of the most thriving, vibrant parts of the userbase -- but of course he's not going to be very close to people tracing our Mormon and Mayflower ancestry. Were people expecting that? 

"I'm not disagreeing with you at all that the crazy-long paths to in-laws of in-laws are a poor use of the word "cousin." But:

"1) I think his real point is to show connections, not cousinship, in which case he's correct;

"2) I'm starting to get really fed up with many bloggers -- certainly not you, Randy -- who almost seem to be shaming Jacobs for not being born a good Englishman like them; and, 

"3) instead of blog after blog making this same post over and over, why doesn't someone take a constructive approach and propose a better way Jacobs can communicate his idea about connection in a way that doesn't irritate genealogists so much? He's still writing the book. He has an e-mail address. He replies. Make a difference if you want. Now is the time. Maybe I'll even co-sign whatever thoughtful correspondence you post here. But this argument without advisement is becoming white noise. You're a smart guy, Randy. Solve the problem."

3)  A.J. Jacobs commented:  "Hey Cousin Randy! Thanks for the post. And thanks for the positivity (e.g. that the Global Family Reunion will be fun -- it will!) as well as the skepticism about whether we are truly 'cousins' with these historical figures. You make a good point. 

"I know we're using the word 'cousin' in a pretty broad sense of the word. But if you Google the word 'cousin,' the second definition, right after 'a child of one's uncle or aunt' is this: 'A person belonging to the same extended family.' In that sense, I think it's fair to say that these folks are all cousins, even the ones who don't share a bloodline that we can identify yet. As Ashley says, we want to show connections. 

"I suppose I like the expansive definition of family -- that it should include marriages as well as DNA. I consider my brother-in-law family (and he'd be quite annoyed if I didn't). 

"Plus, as we all know, we DO share the same bloodline if you go back far enough -- to mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam. 

"Part of my hope with the Global Family Reunion (along with raising money for Alzheimer's and getting more people hooked on genealogy) is to make people realize that we are, in the broadest sense, part of the Human Family. That we share 99.9 percent of our DNA. So that's my long-winded answer as to why we use the term 'cousin' broadly. 

Your cousin (?) A.J."

4.  Ashley Odell extended her remarks:  "My endless respect for coming and directly addressing this, A.J. I'm starting to feel like your defense attorney in the blogosphere. ;)

"I think of your project as worldwide mishpocha. Maybe that concept is lost on people used to insular genealogy, where research is conducted through specific surname societies and reunions involve an admission fee. 

"My Old New England WASP family reunions involve handshakes, Robert's Rules, and the rigid, clinical definition of 'cousin.' My mixed-race West Indian family reunions involve hugging, all fun and no business, and everyone addressing each other as 'cuz' regardless of relationship. I think the genealogy community needs to remember that a majority of Americans fall into that second category when it comes to thinking about family. Applying the Anglocentric concept to everyone is a losing battle. Time to accept a shift in definition and thinking."

I have several responses to the commenters.

1)  I appreciate the discussion content and tone.  Thank you to Geoff, Ashley and A.J. for their comments, and for not calling me names.

2)  I was not aware that A.J. is Jewish and has an extensive Jewish ancestry, and that this really restricted his family tree and his links to non-Jewish cousins.  

3)  Like most Anglo-Americans, I use the term "cousin" to mean a person with whom I have a consanguineous relationship - meaning we have a common biological ancestor.  Wikipedia defines Cousin as:

"cousin is a relative with whom a person shares one or more common ancestors. In the general sense, cousins are two or more generations away from any common ancestor, thus distinguishing a cousin from an ancestor, descendant, sibling, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew."

4)  It was from that understanding, as Ashley pointed out, that I based my blog post.  

5)  What Ashley and A.J. describe is more appropriately called "Kinship," in my humble opinion.   The Wikipedia article for Kinship defines it as:

"In anthropologykinship refers to the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of most humans in most societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often debated. "


"Broadly, kinship patterns may be considered to include people related by both descent (one's social relations during development), and by marriage. Human kinship relations through marriage are commonly called "affinity" in contrast to the relationships that arise in one's group of origin, which may be called one's descent group. In some cultures, kinship relationships may be considered to extend out to people an individual has economic or political relationships with, or other forms of social connections. Within a culture, some descent groups may be considered to lead back to gods[2] or animal ancestors (totems). This may be conceived of on a more or less literal basis."

6)  I think that A.J.'s "Global Family Reunion" is a Kinship event.  The way he describes it in his comment to me is a classic example, I think, that meets the Kinship definition well.  

7)  It's great for A.J. to highlight his kinship to other individuals (I do it too!) - but I would prefer that he call them "Kinship Connections" instead of "Cousin Connections."  

8)   I'm always amazed at how diverse the USA is. We can only follow the threads back in time and connect to ancestral homelands and distant cousins in those places, and marvel at the relationships. As A.J. notes, we are all related - the mystery is when and where. For A.J. and me, the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) is probably back in medieval Europe or even the Dark Ages.

9)  Actually, Geoff's comment indicates that A.J. and I do share at least one common ancestor:  King David from Biblical times.  

Here is my relationship chart to King David, my putative 91st great-grandfather:

I can vouch that my line back to Deborah Bachiler is correct, but I don't know about the other 80-some generations.  

Here is A.J.'s relationship to King David (two screens):

So King David is A.J.'s 114th great-grandfather.

My thanks to E. Randol Schoenberg for finding the King David link for both of us.

That makes A.J. and me probably 92nd cousins 23 times removed?  

A skeptic would ask why is there a big difference in the number of generations?  One answer might be that folks in his line married younger and had children younger.  But 23 generations?  The right answer is probably that the genealogy research before 1600 or so is suspect - one or both of the lines may have missing ancestors or phantom ancestors.  As Geoff noted in his comment - "So there is a common bloodline, albeit not one that is easily verifiable."

There are about 3,000 years between the putative birth of King David and myself.  At 4 generations per century (a birth every 25 years on average), that works out to 120 generations.  If you look closely at the birth dates of persons in each descent from David, you'll see gaps in birth dates, and many estimated dates.  But then, I expect that because there probably aren't birth records for any of them before about 1800.

The relationship charts above are from  I don't know, and haven't really investigated, if the pre-1600 information on Geni is from the published and authoritative royal and noble works for non-Jewish families.  I have no clue about the Jewish ancestries - perhaps a reader can comment on them.

The bottom line for me is that A.J. Jacobs is throwing a "Global Family Reunion" on 6 June 2015 in New York City and we're all invited, and we should enjoy our kinship.  I'm looking forward to it!  Party on!

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 37: #44 Jonathan White (1804-1850)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks" in her blog post Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  Here is my ancestor biography for week #37:

Jonathan White (1805-1850) is #44 on my Ahnentafel list, my third great-grandfather.  He married in about 1823 to #45 Miranda Wade (1804-1850).  

I am descended through:

*  their son, #22 Henry Arnold White
 (1824-1885). who married #23 Amy Frances Oatley (1826-1864)
*  their daughter, 
#11 Julia E. White (1848-1913) who married #10 Thomas Richmond (1848-1917)
*  their daughter, #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962), who married #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), 
* their son, #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983), who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                       Jonathan White[1-14]   
*  Sex:                          Male   
*  Father:                     Humphrey White (1758-1814)   
*  Mother:                    Sybil Kirby (1764-1848)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL FACTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                       about 1805, Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, United States [2]
*  Guardianship:         12 February 1814 (about age 9), Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, United States [3]   
*  Deed:                     1821 (about age 16), bought land in Glocester, R.I. from Peleg and Elizabeth Wood; Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, United States [4]   
*  Deed:                     3 April 1821 (about age 16), bought land in Glocester, R.I. from his brother, Benjamin White; Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, United States [5]   
*  Deed:                    15 October 1824 (about age 19), bought land in Glocester, R.I. with brother Benjamin White from Erastus and Rhoda Clark; Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, United States [6]   
*  Census:                1 June 1830 (about age 25), Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, United States [7]   
*  Deed:                   March 1839 (about age 34), sold land in Glocester R.I. to James White; Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, United States   
*  Deed:                  7 October 1839 (about age 34), bought land in Killingly, Conn. from Joseph Arnold; Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States [8]   
*  Census:                1 June 1840 (about age 35), Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States [9]
*  Deed:                   12 September 1845 (about age 40), bought land in Killingly, Conn. from Alvin Cutler; Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States [10]    
*  Deed:                   5 October 1846 (about age 41), bought land in Killingly, Conn. from Reuben Robinson; Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States [11]   
*  Death:                  19 April 1850 (about age 45), of lung fever; Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States [1, 12–13]
*  Burial:                 after 19 April 1850 (after about age 45), White-Chace Yard, Glocester, Providence, Rhode Island, United States [1]   
*  Probate:              27 April 1850 (about age 45), will proved, Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States [14]   
*  Census:              1 June 1850 (about age 45), Killingly, Windham, Connecticut, United States [15]
3)  MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

*  Spouse 1:             Miranda Wade (1804-1850)   
*  Marriage:             about 1823 (about age 18), probably Foster, Providence, Rhode Island, United States [2]

*  Child 1:               Henry Arnold White (1824-1885)   
*  Child 2:               Albert Henry White (1827-1910)   
*  Child 3:               Harriet A. White (1836-    )   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

Jonathan White was born in about 1805 in Glocester, Providence County, Rhode Island, the son of Humphrey and Sybil (Kirby) White.[2]  His mother was appointed his guardian in 1814 when his father died.[3]

He married, probably before 1823, Miranda Wade.[2]  She was born 25 Jan 1804 to Simon and Phebe (Horton) Wade in Foster, Providence County, Rhode Island, and died 27 Aug 1850 in Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut.

Jonathan bought land in Glocester, Rhode Island in 1821 from his sister Elizabeth and her husband Peleg Wood with his sister Nancy White as a witness.[4]  He also bought land there on 3 April 1821 from his brother Benjamin,[5] and, with Benjamin, from his sister Rhoda and her husband Erastus Clark on 15 October 1824.[6]

In the 1830 US Census, the Jonathan White family resided in Glocester, Providence County, Rhode Island.[7]  The household included one male under age 5, one male age 5-10, one male age 20 to 30, one female age 20 to 30, and one female age 30-40.

In March 1839, Jonathan was of Killingly, Connecticut when he sold the land in Glocester purchased in 1824 to James White, with release from his wife Miranda, and Simon Wade as a witness.

The family lived on Chestnut Hill in East Killingly.  Jonathan was a farmer.

Jonathan and Miranda (Wade) White bought land in Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut on 7 October 1839 from Joseph Arnold,[8] on 12 September 1845 from Alvin Cutler,[10] and on 5 October 1846 from Reuben Robinson.[11]

In the 1840 US Census, Johnathan White resided in District No. 6 of Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut.[9]  The household included 1 male age 10-15, one male age 15-20, one male age 30-40, one female under age 5, and one female age 30-40.

Jonathan White died 19 April 1850 in Killingly, Connecticut at age 47 of lung fever.[1, 12-13]  He was white, a farmer, resided Killingly, born Glocester, Rhode Island.

In the 1850 US census, the remnant of the family resided in Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut.[15]  The household included:

*  Albert H. White -- age 23, male, a farmer, $1200 in real property, born Glocester RI
*  Harriet A. White -- age 14, female, born Glocester RI
*  Maranda White -- age 46, female, born Glocester RI.

Jonathan White died testate, and his will dated 18 April 1850 was presented to the Killingly, Connecticut Probate Court on 27 April 1850 by the executor, Samson B. Covill.[14]  The will reads:

"In the name of God Amen.  I Jonathan White of Killingly in the State of Connecticut being sane in mind though weak and debilitated in body in view of approaching dissolution do make this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say,

"1st  I give and devise to my beloved wife Maranda White the improvement of all my lands in the State of Connecticut during her natural life to manage as she sees fit, also my household furniture to dispose of as she sees fit, thinks just and right in any manner she chooses.

"2nd I give and bequeath to my sons Henry White and Albert White all my lands in the state of Rhode Island to dispose of in any way they choose, share and share alike to them, their heirs and assigns forever.

"3rd  I give and devise to my said sons, after the decease of their said Mother Miranda all the lands and improvements thereon that I own in the State of Connecticut to them their heirs and assigns forever, providing they pay to their sister Harriet White two hundred dollars within one year from her said Mother's decease.

"4th  I give and bequeath to my two sons all the residue of my estate both real and personal, wherever it may be found, and said Henry & Albert are to pay all my just debts and funeral expenses in order to make this my will valid on their part as aforesaid.

""5th  my said wife is to suffer my daughter Harriet White to live and board with her until she is married free of expense, also her clothing if she stays at home.

"Lastly, I hereby nominate and appoint Deacon Samson B. Covill of Killingly in the State of Connecticut hereby sole Executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking and annulling all other and former wills by me made, and establishing this and this only as my last will and testament.  In testimony whereof I do hereunto set my hand and seal this 18th day of April AD 1850."

Jonathan   White

The inventory of his goods and estate totaled $1,227.55 (including real estate valued at $900.00), and was accepted by the Probate Court on 28 May 1850.  

Jonathan and Miranda White have gravestones in the "White-Chace Yard" in Glocester, Providence County, Rhode Island.[1]

1. Jim Tipton, indexed database, Find A Grave (, White-Chace Lot (Glocester, R.I.), Jonathan White entry.

2. Ruth Wilder Sherman, "Some Descendants of Jonathan White of Dartmouth MA and of Humphrey White of Glocester RI," The American Genealogist, Volume 56, Pages 113-118, page 116.

3. "Probate Records, 1731-1915 (Glocester, Rhode Island)," on 6 FHL Microfilm reels, Volume 3, page 360, Guardianship record for minors Rhoda, Jonathan, William and Nancy White.

4. Glocester [R.I.] Town Clerk, Deed Records 1730-1893, General Index to Deeds 1730-1856, "Deed Records, Vol. 16-17, 1763-1815," Volume 16, page 352, accessed on FHL US/CAN microfilm 0,941,836.

5. Glocester [R.I.] Town Clerk, Deed records 1730-1893, general index to deeds 1730-1856, "Deed Records, Vol. 16-17, 1763-1815," Volume 16, page 353, accessed on FHL US/CAN microfilm 0,941,836.

6. Glocester [R.I.] Town Clerk, Deed records 1730-1893, general index to deeds 1730-1856, "Deed Records, Vol. 18-19, 1814-1831," Volume 19, page 351, accessed on FHL US/CAN microfilm 0,941,837.

7. 1830 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Providence County, RI, Glocester town, Page 297; online database, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M19, Roll 168.

8. Killingly (Connecticut) Town Clerk, Land Records, 1709-1907; General Index, 1709-1908, "Deed Records, Vol. 31-32, 1839-1843," Volume 31, page 103, accessed on FHL US/CAN microfilm 0,004,670.

9. 1840 United States Federal Census, Windham County, Connecticut, population schedule, Killingly town; Page 152, Jonathan White household; online  database, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M704, Roll 32.

10. Killingly (Connecticut) Town Clerk, Land Records, 1709-1907; General Index, 1709-1908, "Deed Records, Vol. 33-34, 1843-1846," Volume 34, page 85, accessed on FHL US/CAN microfilm 0,004,671.

11. Killingly (Connecticut) Town Clerk, Land Records, 1709-1907; General Index, 1709-1908, "Deed Records, Vol. 33-34, 1843-1846," Volume 34, page 246, accessed on FHL US/CAN microfilm 0,004,671.

12. Killingly, Connecticut, "Killingly Births, Marriages and Deaths" (Register at Killingly Town Hall, Danielson, Connecticut), Volume 2,  page 466.

13. Connecticut. Windham County. Killingly. Town Registrar's Office. Birth Registrations, Certified Copy of Death Record, Jonathan White, 19 April 1847; Registrar of Vital Statistics, Killingly, Ct. (certificate dated 27 November 1990).

14. "Probate Records, 1849-1920" (Killingly District, Connecticut,  Probate Court), on 11 FHL Microfilm reels, Volume  1, pages 170-171, 181-182, 252.

15. "United States Census, 1850 (Mortality Schedule)", Windham county, Connecticut, Killingly, Page 92 (stamped), line 33, Jonathan White entry; indexed database and digital image, FamilySearch (, FHL Microfilm US/CAN 234536, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T655.


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mining the Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards Collection on

I check the list of "Recently added and updated collections" on hoping that a newly added database will provide more information about my ancestral families.  The link for this page is at

One of the collections updated today is the Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990 database:

I had a few minutes (which turned into an hour and a half!) today, so I searched for the Seaver surname.  I was rewarded with 103 matches:

Some of the records had only a name and a last residence, but some had a birth date, birth place and death date, occupation, plus information about their Mason membership - the lodge name, dates for initiation, passed, raised, and reinstated.

I worked down the list and picked one to show you.  Here is the record summary for Harry Wendell Seaver, who was a member of the Washington Lodge in Roxbury, Massachusetts:

Harry's membership card looks like this:

I had Harry Wendell Seaver in my RootsMagic database, but I didn't have his exact birth date or death date, so that was good information for me.

From this card, I had event information and a source citation for his:

*  Name
*  Birth date and birth place
*  Death date and death place (I assumed the Residence)
*  Membership (I created a new Fact type)

The source citation crafted was:

Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990, indexed database and digital images, (, Washington Lodge, Roxbury, Mass., 1924, Harry Wendell Seaver entry.

The source citation information is: Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Masons Membership Cards 1733–1990. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts

I found that I had almost all of the persons listed in my database already, but I did not have death dates for about 20 of them.  Also, the cards usually included the full name including the middle name.  For a number of the matches, I was able to add the middle name to my RootsMagic database entry, replacing the middle initial that I had from vital, census or other records.

The information in this record collection really added some useful information to my RootsMagic database.  Unfortunately, none of the persons found in the collection were a member of my ancestral families.

Do you have a family member who might have been a member of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Masons in the 1733-1990 time period?  If so, there may be a membership card for him.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver