Saturday, November 29, 2014

Day 1 on the Crown Princess - We're Off!

Linda and I are on the Crown Princess cruise ship, leaving Los Angeles on 29 November, stopping at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas, and returning to Los Angeles on Saturday, 6 December.  This is a genealogy cruise, sponsored by Heritage Books, and organized by Craig Scott.

The Genealogy Cruise part of this cruise is four days of genealogy education presented by Craig Scott, Cyndi Ingle, Angie Bush, Bill Litchman, and J. Mark Lowe.  What a great lineup!  You can see details at We're Going Cruising on 29 November to 6 December Out Of Los Angeles.

We drove to Huntington Beach today to our daughter's home, and she drove us to the cruise ship pier in San Pedro for a 1 p.m. boarding.

The planned activities today on board are:

*  4:30 to 5:30 p.m. - Conference Registration in the Conference Center
*  6 to 7 p.m. -  Dinner

*  7 p.m. to 8 p.m. - Cash Bar, in Club Fusion
*  8:30 to 9:30 p.m. - One on One Conferences in the Conference Center

We will be at sea on Sunday, on our way to Puerto Vallarta, arriving on Tuesday, 2 December.  Sunday will be our first day of genealogy presentations!

I do not have my laptop computer with me on this cruise, and refuse to pay the high fee for Internet access, so I will post summaries and photographs after we return.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Thanksgiving Memories

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) We just celebrated Thanksgiving in the USA, and many of us have celebrated it every year for decades.  For this SNGF, please share a favorite Thanksgiving memory - it can be sentimental, humorous, reflective, etc.

2)  Share your Thanksgiving memory with us in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or on Facebook or Google+.

Here's mine:

I've celebrated 72 Thanksgivings now, and very few are memorable.  I don't recall my first one, being barely a month old, or many from my childhood.  For every year of my childhood and early adulthood, up until the time I married and had children, my family would go to my Carringer grandparents house for Thanksgiving dinner.  The fare was the typical carved turkey cooked in the oven, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and pumpkin pie a la mode.  

When I married Linda, and after our children were born, we took turns hosting Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and brothers.  Linda brought her own Thanksgiving traditions to our palate, sweet potatoes and boiled onions as I recall.  We always enjoyed the football games in the afternoon, playing outside in the yard or on the street with the kids, and eating in the late afternoon.  We had to set up a kids table after awhile in the living room and usually had 8-10 people around our dining room table in a relatively small dining room.  The big game we played was "toss the peas in the wine glass" or "toss the balled-up napkin in the drink glass."  My brothers and father were real competitive, so this was fun.  My mother hated this "tradition."  My wife and my brothers' wives tolerated it, and the kids wanted to take part in it.

For several years, friends invited us to their homes to have Thanksgiving dinner, and that was fun and saved Linda the task of cooking the feast for just the two of us.  Now, with the kids gone, Linda and I have gone out to a restaurant the last two years. and enjoyed it, but there isn't the family and friend camaraderie there.  It was like a weekend evening out.

My two most memorable Thanksgiving meals were:

1)  In November 2001, my mother had decided to not have any more treatments, and was slowly dying.  My brothers and I tried to make her last Thanksgiving meal memorable - we took her out to a Thanksgiving dinner at one of her favorite restaurants.  We shared laughs and stories, and shared how special she had been for each of us.  

2)  In 2012, Linda was going to cook a Thanksgiving turkey and all of the accompaniments, and Tami and her family were going to come, along with several of our friends.  Linda put the turkey in the freezer, and the Sunday before Thanksgiving, she decided to take it out and thaw it in the refrigerator.  It slipped from her hands while removing it from the freezer, and fell to the floor crushing the right toe next to the little toe.  The toe was smashed and lacerated (think of dropping a 14 pound bowling ball on your foot...).  It was 5:30 a.m., but she managed to wake me up, I got her to the Emergency Room, and they stitched it up, took X-rays, gave her pain meds, etc.  Tami brought her family down early to take over making the Thanksgiving dinner, the friends came as scheduled, and the meal was a great success.  This is one reason we now go out to friends, or to a restaurant...

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday - PIERCE (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 #1065 who is Abigail PIERCE (!660-1719) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 8th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through three generation in this PIERCE 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)

66.  Nathan Gates (1767-1830)
67.  Abigail Knowlton (1774-1855)

132.  Simon Gates (1739-1803)
133.  Susannah Reed (1745-1833)

266.  Nathan Reed (1719-1802)
267.  Susannah Wood (1724-1784)

532.  Ebenezer Reed (1690-1767)
533.  Huldah Blodgett (1689-1777)

1064.  George Reed, born 14 September 1660 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 20 January 1756 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2128. George Reed and 2129. Elizabeth Jennison.  He married 18 February 1685 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1065.  Abigail Pierce, born 20 November 1660 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; died 09 September 1719 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of George Reed and Abigail Pierce are:
*  Abigail Reed (1686-1767), married 1706 Samuel Stone (1684-1769).
*  Ebenezer Reed (1690-1767), married 1714 Huldah Blodgett (1689-1777)
*  George Reed (1697-1697)
*  Elizabeth Reed (1700-1786), married 1720 Christopher Paige (1691-1774).

2130.  Thomas Pierce, born about 1617 in probably Norwich, Norfolk, England; died 06 November 1683 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 06 May 1635 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.
2131.  Elizabeth Cole, born about 1619 in England; died 05 March 1688 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.  She was the daughter of 4262. Rice Cole and 4263. Arrold Dunington.

Children of Thomas Pierce and Elizabeth Cole are:
*  Abigail Pierce (1639-1643).
*  John Pierce (1643-1720), married 1663 Deborah Converse (1647-????).
*  Thomas Pierce (1645-1717), married (1) 1669 Eliza (1647-1679); (2) 1680 Rachel Bacon (1652-????).
*  Elizabeth Pierce (1646-????), married (1) 1666 Thomas Whittemore (1645-1670); (2) 1670 Hopestill Foster (1648-1679); (3) 1680 Nathaniel Pierce (1655-1692).
*  Joseph Pierce (1648-1649).
*  Joseph Pierce (1649-1716), married 1681 Mary Richardson (1657-1720).
*  Stephen Pierce (1651-1733), married 1676 Tabitha Parker (1658-1742).
*  Samuel Pierce (1654-1656)
*  Samuel Pierce (1656-1721), married 1680 Lydia Bacon (1656-1717).
*  William Pierce (1657-1720), married 1690 Abigail Warren (????-1726).
*  James Pierce (1659-1742), married (1) Elizabeth (1653-1719); (2) 1688 Elizabeth Parker (1652-1715).
*  Abigail Pierce (1660-1719), married 1685 George Reed (1660-1756)
*  Benjamin Pierce (1662-1739), married 1688 Mary Reed (1670-1747).

4260.  Thomas Pierce, born about 1584 in probably Norwich, Norfolk, England; died 07 October 1666 in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He married about 1610 in England.
4261.  Elizabeth, born about 1590 in England; died after 22 March 1667 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Thomas Pierce and Elizabeth are:
*  John Pierce (1610-????)
*  Thomas Pierce (1617-1683), married 1635 Elizabeth Cole (1619-1688).
*  Elizabeth Pierce (1619-1692), married 1642 Randall Nichols (1612-1678).
*  Robert Pierce (1621-1706), married 1645 Mary Knight (1621-1701).
*  Persis Pierce (1626-1683), married (1) 1646 William Bridges (1611-1652); (2) 1652 John Harrison (1607-1684).
*  Mary Pierce (1628-1703), married 1648 Peter Tufts (1616-1700).
*  Samuel Pierce (1630-1678), married 1654 Mary (1630-1705).

Information about this family line was obtained from:

*  Frederic Beech Pierce, Pierce Genealogy (Worcester, Mass. : Charles Hamilton Press, 1882).

*  One line of the Thomas Pierce family was treated in the book:

Joan S. Guilford, The Ancestry of Dr. J.P. Guilford (N.p. : Sheridan Psychological Services, Inc., 1990), Volume 1, page 607.

*  Several published town vital record books.

The URL for this post is:

copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Ultimate Challenge - Building a Family Tree From Sources - Post 4: Westfall Family

Noted geneablogger James Tanner wrote Building a Pedigree From Sources -- The Ultimate Challengeon his Genealogy's Star blog on 22 November 2014.  See the post for more background.

I wrote The Ultimate Challenge - Building a Family Tree From Sources - Post 1: Crawford Family on Monday,  I was able to take the paternal half of the ancestry of Betty Lee Crawford back four more generations using only leaf Hints and judgment.  On Tuesday, I wrote The Ultimate Challenge - Building a Family Tree From Sources - Post 2: Meyers Family and was unable to find any other records about the three known persons in the census record.  On Wednesday, I wrote 
The Ultimate Challenge - Building a Family Tree From Sources - Post 3: Alford Family, and was able to expand the family tree only by doing a search in other records, but only for the father of the family.

1)  In this post, I'm going to try to do the same thing with another family - the Louise L. Alford family - in the 1940 U.S. Census.  I used a neighbor of my great-grandparents in San Diego, California - they lived across the street at 2108 30th Street.

Here is a screen shot of the census page from

I have highlighted Joanne W. Westfal in the screen above.  She was indexed as Joan ME W. Westfal.

The persons in this family are:

*  Gerald F. Westfal - head, male, white, age 49, married, born California
*  Katherine A. Westfal - wife, female, white, age 47, married, born California
*  Joanne Westfal - daughter, female, white, age 15, single, born California

2)  After entering Gerald, Katherine and Joanne into the Ancestry Member Tree, I had several green leaf Hints, and those led me to a fairly well populated family tree.  After about two hours of effort, here is the Family view of the tree with Joanne Westfall as the starting person:

Joanne's Pedigree View chart looks like this, with 12 of the 16 second great-grandparents identified:

I didn't go any further back on the 12 lines.  I didn't do any searches for more Hints, except as noted below.

3)  I did a search for Joanne Westfall, and found a birth record and a death record for her in California.  These were not provided by Hints, but by a search, perhaps due to the indexing of her first name.

4)  So I've done four of these "Ultimate Challenge" searches, and I had a good experience with the first one, a total shutout with the second, had to search to succeed on the third one, and had a good experience with the fourth one.  

To obtain a decent statistical percentage of tests like this - i.e., to be able to say that Ancestry leaf Hints can be used to find your ancestry 67.4% of the time - I would have to do several hundred.  Right now the number is 75% plus or minus about 15%.

The URL for this post is:  

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 48: #55, Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux (1815-1883)

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 #48:

Mary Ann Underhill (1815-1883) is #55 on my Ahnentafel list, my third great-grandmother. She married in about 1839  to #54 Samuel Vaux.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter, 
#27, Abigail A. Vaux (1844-1931), who married #26 Devier J. Smith  (1839-1894),  in 1861.
*  their daughter, #13 Abbie Ardell "Della" Smith (1862-1944) who married #12 Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946) in 1887.
*  their son, #6 Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976), married Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977) in 1918. 
* their daughter, #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), who married Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


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

*  Name:                   Mary Ann Underhill[1]   
*  Sex:                      Female   
*  Alternate Name:  Mary Ann Vaux[3–5,7]    
*  Alternate Name:  Mary A. Vaux[2–3,8]

*  Father:                 Amos Underhill (1772-1865)   
*  Mother:                Mary "Polly" Metcalf (1780-1855)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                   5 March 1815, Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[2]
*  Census:                1 June 1850 (age 35), Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[3]
*  Deed:                   21 July 1853 (age 38), sold 53 acres in the southwest portion of Lot 22 to Robert Bartlett; Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[4]   
*  Deed:                   4 August 1869 (age 54), bought 40 acres in the Southeast quarter of the Southeast quarter of Section 21 in Township 61 of Range 33; Andrew, Missouri, United States[5]   
*  Census:                1 June 1870 (age 55), Platte, Andrew, Missouri, United States[6]
*  Deed:                   31 January 1880 (age 64), sold 40 acres in the Southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 21 in Township 61 of Range 33; Andrew, Missouri, United States[7]   
*  Census:               1 June 1880 (age 65), Blue Rapids, Marshall, Kansas, United States[8]
*  Death:                 2 November 1883 (age 68), Concordia, Cloud, Kansas, United States[2]
*  Burial:                after 2 November 1883 (after age 68), Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Concordia, Cloud, Kansas, United States[2]
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:             Samuel Vaux (1816-1880)[1]    
*  Marriage 1:          before 1839 (before about age 24) Aurora, Erie, New York, United States   
*  Child 1:               Mary Almeda Vaux (1839-    )   
*  Child 2:               Celia Ann Vaux (1842-1919)   
*  Child 3:               Abigail A. "Abbie" Vaux (1844-1931)   
*  Child 4:               James P. Vaux (1847-1902)   
*  Child 5:               Elizabeth B. Vaux (1850-1931)   
*  Child 6:               Amos S. Vaux (1854-1876)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

 Mary Ann Underhill was the fourth child of Amos and Mary (Metcalf) Underhill, and was born in Aurora, Erie County, New York.  Her gravestone in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas says she was born 5 March 1815.[2]

The 1850, 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census records indicate that a Mary Ann was married to Samuel Vaux.  The death certificate of Abigail (Vaux) Smith in San Diego, San Diego County, California indicates that her parents were Samuel Vaux and Mary Ann Underhill.[1]  This is the only record found to date that identifies Mary Ann's maiden name.

The exact date of her marriage to Samuel Vaux, probably in Aurora, Erie County, New York, is not known, and no record has been found.  The first child of Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux was born in about 1839, so a marriage date of "before 1839" is very likely.  In 1839, Samuel was age 24 and Mary Ann was age 23, so this is a feasible approximate date.

Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux had six children born between 1839 and 1854, all in Aurora, Erie County, New York.

In the 1850 census, the Samuel Vaux family resided in Aurora township, Erie County, New York.[3] The family included:

*  Samuel Vaux, age 34, male, a farmer, $1166 in real property, born England
*  Mary Ann Vaux, age 35, female, born NY
*  Mary Vaux, age 11, female, born NY, attends school
*  Cele Ann Vaux, age 9, female, born NY, attends school
*  Abagail Vaux, age 5, female, born NY, attends school
*  Jane Vaux, age 3, female, born NY

On 25 July 1853, Samuel Vaux and Mary Ann, his wife, of the town of Aurora sold land in Aurora township, Erie County, New York to Robert Bartlett of the town of Sullivan, New York for $1,500.[4]  The land comprised 53 acres, and was in the southwest corner of Lot 22, called the Sprague farm.  The land was bounded on the North by land owned by Gordon Pierson, West by the highway, South by the highway, and East by lands owned by Hezekiah Mosher.  

The Samuel and Mary Ann Vaux family moved to Dodge County, Wisconsin after 1853, and Samuel's initial is on an 1859 plat map of Burnett township.  

A search of the 1860 census for Dodge County, Wisconsin failed to find this family.

Samuel Vaux is listed on the 1865 Wisconsin State Census in Burnett, Dodge County, Wisconsin.

Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux bought land in Andrew County, Missouri on 4 August 1869 from Mary Jane and L.S. Munger for $2,000.[5] The land was the Southeast quarter of the Southeast quarter of Section 21 in Township 61 of Range 33, containing forty acres.  

In the 1870 census for Andrew County, Missouri, this family resided in Platte township, Andrew County, Missouri.[6]  The household included:

*  Samuel Vaux -- age 51, male, white, a farmer, $3500 in real property, $490 in personal property, born England, parents foreign born
*  Mary A. Vaux -- age 50, female, white, keeping house, born NY
*  James P. Vaux -- age 23, male, white, a farm laborer, born NY
*  Elizabeth Vaux -- age 19, female, white, at home, born NY
*  Amos Vaux -- age 15, male, white, a farm laborer, born NY, attended school
*  James Woodward -- age 33, male, white, a farm laborer, $500 in personal property, born VT
*  Mary A. Woodward -- age 31, female, white, keeping house, born NY, father foreign born
*  Orpha A. Woodward -- age 7, female, white, born WI, attended school
*  Mary Woodward -- age 4, female, white, born WI

Samuel and Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux sold land in Andrew County, Missouri on 31 January 1880 to William H. Bulla for $800.[7]  The land was the Southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 21 in Township 61 of Range 33, containing forty acres.  

In the 1880 US Census, this family resided in Blue Rapids township, Marshall County, Kansas.[8] The household included:

*  Abagail A. Smith -- white, female, age 36, married, keeps house, born NY, father born England, mother born NY
*  Della Smith -- white, female, age 18, daughter, single, at home, born WI, father and mother born NY
*  Mary A. Smith -- white, female, age 14, daughter, single, born WI, father and mother born NY
*  Samuel Vaux -- white, male, age 65, father-in-law, married, without occupation, born England, father and mother born England
*  Mary A. Vaux -- white, female, age 65, mother, married, without occupation, born NY, father born VT, mother born NH
*  Orpha Woodward -- white, female, age 17, niece, single, at home, born WI, father born VT, mother born NY.

Neither Samuel or Mary Ann Vaux were found in the 1885 Kansas State Census.

Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux died on 2 November 1883 in Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas,[2] where her daughter, Abigail A. (Vaux) Smith resided.  She was buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas.  The inscription on her gravestone says:

"Mary Ann Vaux
Mar. 5, 1815
Nov. 2, 1883"

Probate records for Samuel or Mary Ann Vaux have not been found to date in Andrew County, Missouri, Marshall County, Kansas, or Cloud County, Kansas


1. San Diego County, California, Standard Certificate of Death, Abbie A. Smith, 11 September 1931; State of California, Department of Health Services, No. 31-050190 (certificate dated 18 June 1996).

2. Jim Tipton, indexed database, Find A Grave (, Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Concordia, Kan., Mary A. Vaux memorial # 96353683 (with gravestone picture).

3. 1850 United States Federal Census, Erie County, New York, population schedule, Aurora township; Page 103, Dwelling #1589, Family #1605, Samuel Vaux household, indexed database and digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 498.

4. "New York, Land Records, 1630-1975," Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2 February 2013), digital images, "Erie County, New York Deeds, 1852-1853, Volumes 142-143," Volume 142, Page 21, Samuel Vaux deed in Aurora, N.Y. to Robert Bartlett, 1853.

5. Andrew County, Missouri, "Andrew County Deed Records, 1841-1900," Deed Book 22: page 406, Mary Jane and L.S. Munger to Samuel and Mary Ann Vaux, 4 August 1869; FHL microfilm US/CAN 1,006,163.

6.  1870 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Andrew County, Missouri, Platte township: Page 304 (stamped), Dwelling #314, Family #319, Samuel Vaux household; indexed database and digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M593, Roll 755.

7. Andrew County, Missouri, "Andrew County Deed Records, 1841-1900", Deed Book 43, page 565, Samuel and Mary Ann Vaux to William H. Bulla, 31 January 1880; accessed on FHL microfilm US/CAN 1,006,174.

8.  1880 United States Federal Census, Population Schedule, Marshall County, Kansas, Blue Rapids township: Page 205C, dwelling #57, family #65,  Abagail A. Smith household; indexed database and digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication T9, Roll 388.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Book Review: Crash Course in Family History, 5th Edition, by Paul Larsen

Paul Larsen recently published a 5th Edition to his popular and beautiful genealogy book, Crash Course in Family History.  You can see pages from the 344 page book on the Preview page -

There is more information about the book contents on the book product page here.

The book uses font sizes, columns, text boxes, headers, photographs, cartoons, tables, and color very effectively. My first impression when I opened the book was "wow, this books invites me to read it - it is very attractive."

One of the most useful features of this book is the Jump-Start Chart (two screens below):

The Table of Contents pages are (two screens):

This page, from the first chapter in the book, is typical of the format and appearance of the book.  There is lots of color, lots of graphics, helpful hints, and many links to online web pages.

Here is the first page of the Step Two section:

A typical page in the text is this one:

If this book is of interest, please check out the Preview pages at

This book is ideal for researchers interested in online genealogy resources - there are hundreds of links to websites.  I learned a few things just browsing through the book this past week.  I have it on my PC and my laptop in PDF format.

It's Christmas gift-giving time - is this a book you want in your Christmas stocking, or want to give to another genealogy friend or colleague, or perhaps to your local genealogy library?

You can order the book on the Easy Family History website here.  It sells for $39.95 in hardback book format, and $33.95 in PDF format.  The PDF format, which can be read on PCs, Macs, iPad and other tablets, eReaders and smart phones..

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Disclosure:  Paul Larsen provided me with a PDF version of this book for the purposes of reviewing it.  My thanks to Paul for his offer.

RootsTech 2015 FREE 3-Day Pass Winner: Janice Sellers

I posted Win a Free Registration to RootsTech 2015 (February 12-14, 2015) on 12 November, and had only seven entries, even though I publicized it several times on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+).

The odds were pretty good for persons who took the minute or two to enter the contest.  There are other contests available - search them out and enter them if you are planning to go to RootsTech 2015.  You never know when something good will happen - it's worth the effort.

I used the random number generator at to select a winner.  I had saved all of the entries in a special Gmail folder so all I had to do was have the random number generator pick a number between 1 and 7.

When I looked at my list of entrants, the 5th one was Janice Sellers who writes the Ancestral Discoveries blog and lives in the Bay area.  Congratulations to Janice.

I asked for two things - a presentation that the winner wanted to attend, and a vendor that they wanted to visit with in the Expo Hall.  Janice's two things were:

1. I want to attend the "School Daze-Finding the School Records of Our Ancestors" session because I know several schools associated with my family members and I would love to be able to find school records for them.

2. I hope NIGS is one of the vendors, so I can stop by and visit with the always pleasant Louise St. Denis.

Janice also needs to come by the Media Center in the Expo Hall and take a picture with me for this blog!

Thank you to all of the entrants who took the time to enter my contest.  I hope that they will enter other contests and win a free 3-day pass to RootsTech 2015.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, 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 the 2012 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) 2014, 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 five 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, Mocavo, Geni,  MyHeritage, FindMyPast, AmericanAncestors, Find A Grave, 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 152nd Thanksgiving holiday?

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver