Thursday, February 12, 2015

Treasure Chest Thursday - Family History Library Research

For Treasure Chest Thursday, I want to summarize what I got done at the Family History Library on Wednesday.  I spent 8 hours there, reviewed 31 microfilms, took over 200 screen images with my iPhone, and managed to complete 10 of my 19 prioritized to-do list items.

Here's the entrance to the FHL at 7:58 AM on Wednesday:

In approximate order of completion, here was my research effort for the day:

1)  I wanted to find the probate record in Bristol County, Massachusetts for John Seaver, who died in 1853.  FHL film 579917 has complete probate packets for Seaver persons, and I found:

*  John Seaver who died 1853 left a will and assorted papers.  However, none of the papers identified a son Joseph Seaver or his children, which was the goal of finding this probate record.  So I didn't solve the puzzle, but reduced the possibilities.

*  The same film had probate packet papers for Susan Seaver who died in 1854, William Seaver who died in 1815, and William Seaver who died in 1869.  They didn't identify a Joseph Seaver either.

*  I took photos of all of the pages in those probate packets.   So a partial success.

2)   There is a "Jacob Bigelow's Record Book, 1772-1800" on FHL film 185,462 with Seaver, Read and Willis entries throughout.  Jacob Bigelow was the minister of the Sudbury MA Congregational Church between 1772 and 1800.  I saw this film many years ago and extracted information, but I wanted digital images of the book.  So I took photos of all the pages.  A total success.

3)  Washington County, Iowa Deed Records for David J., Rebecca and Henry Carringer.  David and Rebecca resided there in the 1870-1875 time period.  I searched the indexes on microfilm 969360 to 969364 (1840-1885) without success.  The deed indexes had both grantee and grantor indexes on the same page, and the pages were in surname first letter order and then in date filed order.  I really like that format.  A success in the sense that I searched and didn't find, but a failure in the sense that they should be a record and there wasn't.  Frustrating.

4)  Andrew County, Missouri Deed Records for Devier J. Smith and Ranslow Smith.  I know they both resided there in the 1870-1875 period, and Ranslow died there.  Devier was executor of his will.  I searched the Deed Index from 1865 to 1895 without finding any record of them.  The quality of the pages was poor to good, so I may have missed some with the very light pages.  Another success in the sense that I searched and didn't find, but a failure in the sense that they should be a record and there wasn't.  More frustration.

5)    Putnam, Connecticut Probate Records for James Richmond who died in 1912.  The index on FHL film 1376328 said that his records were in Volume 11, pages 425-6 and 567-570.  This was an intestate estate and it names all of his living children.  My great-grandfather, Thomas richmond, was the administrator.  A success!

I went to the lunchroom after that to celebrate actually finding something that helped me add information to at least one ancestor.

6)  I had found some references in a Rhode Island periodical to probate records in South Kingstown, R.I. for Mary (Hazard) Oatley died 1857, Joseph Oatley died 1815, Jonathan Oatley died 1755, and Stephen Hazard died 1727.  They are my ancestors.  Each referenced a different record volume and FHL film number.  I found all but Mary Oatley's records.  I took photos of all of the records found.  These are new probate records for me, so a success.

7)  Sussex County, New Jersey Deed Records for William Knapp, my third great-grandfather.  The Grantee index had no listings for William Knapp in the 1800-1870 time frame, but the Grantor index did - one deed in 1856, which I took a photo of in FHL film 959606.  The index was very difficult to read, so I took a closeup picture of what I couldn't make out and then magnified it in my camera roll.  This was a success although the return was sparse!

8)  Killingly, Connecticut Deed Records for Jonathan White and Henry A. White.  The General Index to volumes 31-64 had both Grantees and Grantors on FHL microfilm 1450884.  I found 18 deeds for the two ancestors on 6 different microfilm rolls - and took photos of all of them.  This was a success.

Afterward, I realized that I should have looked for Jonathan Oatley also - next time!

9)  Red Willow County, Nebraska Deed Records for Devier J. Smith, Abigail Smith, Della Smith, and David D. Smith.  I had forgotten to search the FHL Catalog before I left, so when I did it at the FHL it told me that there was no FHL films of deed records.  A fail!

10)  Sussex County, New Jersey Deed Records for John Able/Auble, Ann Able/Auble and David Able/Auble.  There were separate microfilms for Grantor and Grantee indexes, so I found three probable entries for my target persons.  The handwriting was very light and small for some of the entries.  When I searched the volumes and page numbers I was able to find only one of the deeds I found in the indexes.  So a partial success.

That was my Treasure Chest Thursday one day early!  Not bad, but it could have been better.  I think I could make a serious dent in my genealogy research if I was able to go to the FHL every day for a year, but then I'd have a lot of record images to file, transcribe or extract, source and add to my database.  This haul will last me all of 2015, providing blog fodder for amanuensis Monday and Treasure Chest Thursday, and probably beyond.

On Wednesday night, about 100 media people were treated to a dinner at the Salt Palace by FamilySearch.  The Media now includes genealogy bloggers and audio/video producers, life story bloggers and audio/video producers, and more.  Shipley Munson gave us a preview of some of the Keynote presentations.  David Pugmire announced the four Innovator Showdown presenters and showed a short video of each of the products.

I saw several blogger friends at the library, then on the way back to my hotel, and at the Media dinner.  Several Genea-Musings readers said hello to me at the FHL also.  That's always fun!

Today, RootsTech 2015 Conference officially starts with Keynote presentations at 8 a.m.  After the Keynotes, I'll probably be in the Expo Hall and Media Hub most of the day.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Dana Leeds said...

I've never been to SLC, so I appreciate getting an idea of what you were able to accomplish in a day. Currently, I'm debating about spending my summer week of travel at a genealogy institute, Salt Lake City, or an actual location of some of my ancestors. Decisions, decisions! And, I wish I could spend more than 1 week!