Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Guessing Ages in Photographs

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

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you to:

1)  Go to the "How Old I Look?" website ( and upload one or more of your photos of yourself, your family, or your ancestors.

2)  Show us the results on your own blog post, on Facebook or Google+.  Please post a link to your post as a comment on this blog post.

3)  Come on now, be brave and show us your photos.  You don't have to tell your age, only how many years off the guess is.

Here's mine:

1)  I did my own with a 2014 photo (I was age 71):

So it missed my age by 7 years.

2)  I did myself with a 1969 photo (age 25):

It missed my age by 2 years.

3)  I did Linda (a 2014 photo):

It missed her age by 10 years.  But it was the right way!

4)  I did my family in 1976:

It missed the ages by 12, 2, 45, 8 and 7 years.  My brother Scott looks really young here, and it guessed he was age 66!  Who knew?

5)  My Carringer grandparents in about 1970:

It missed the ages by 13 and 12 years.

6)  A Carringer/Smith group photo in 1920:

It missed the ages by 3, 8, 15, 14, 13 and 10.  I guess it doesn't work for cat ages...

So the average miss in guessing the ages of the folks in these pictures was 181/16 = 11.3 years.

How did I make the images?  I used the Windows Snipping Tool and saved the image to my hard drive before uploading them to the blog post.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday -- CLARK (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 #1111 who is  Sarah CLARK  (1651-1704) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 8th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through four generations in this CLARK 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)

34. Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840)
35. Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869)

68.  Aaron Smith (1765-1841)
69.  Mercy Plimpton (1772-1850)

138.  Amos Plimpton (1735-1808)
139.  Mary Guild (1735-1800)

276.  John Plimpton (1708-1756)
277. Abigail Fisher (1711-1785)

554.  John Fisher (1677-1727)
555.  Abigail Smith (1686-1726)

1110.  Samuel Smith, born 13 August 1641 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 25 October 1691 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2220. Henry Smith and 2221. Elizabeth.  He married 22 February 1677 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.
1111.  Sarah Clark, born 20 February 1651 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States; died 20 May 1704 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of Samuel Smith and Sarah Clark are:
*  Sarah Smith (1679-1769), married (1) 1701 Mathias Evans (1670-1725); (2) 1726 Henry Harding (1673-1764)
*  Henry Smith (1680-1743), married (1) 1703 Deborah Pratt (1684-1706); (2) 1708 Mary Adams (1681-1725); (3) 1730 Ruth Barber (1696-1761).
*  Daniel Smith (1682-1704).
*  Nathaniel Smith (1684-1762), married (1) 1705 Mary Clark (1687-1717); (2) 1717 Lydia Patridge (1687-1773).
*  Abigail Smith (1686-1726), married 1705 John Fisher (1677-1727)
*  Mary Smith (1688-1774), married (1) 1706 Henry Plimpton (1684-1731); (2) 1732 Jabez Pond (1677-1749); (3) 1750 Joseph Wight (1681-1756).
*  Prudence Smith (1691-1784), married (1) 1711 Joseph White (1683-1737); (2) 1739 Benoni Benson (1684-1761).

2222.  Joseph Clarke, born before 11 April 1613 in Banham, Norfolk, England; died 06 January 1684 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.   He married 15 April 1640 in Banham, Norfolk, England.
2223.  Alicia Fenne, born about 1619 in England; died 17 March 1710 in Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Joseph Clarke and Alicia Fenne are:
*  Joseph Clark (1642-1702), married 1663 Mary Allen (1641-1702).

*  Benjamin Clark (1644-1724), married 1665 Dorcas Morse (1645-1725). 
*  Ephraim Clark (1646-1699), married 1669 Mary Bullen (1642-1726).

*  Daniel Clark (1647-1676).
*  Mary Clark (1649-1732), married 1673 Jonathan Boyden (1652-1732).
*  Sarah Clark (1651-1704), married (1) 1673 John Bowers (1646-1676), (2) 1677 Samuel Smith (1641-1691).
*  John Clark (1652-1720), married 1680 Mary Sheffield (1653-????).
*  Nathaniel Clark (1658-1733), married 1704 Experience Hinsdale (1679-1754).
*  Rebecca Clark (1660-1740), married 1679 John Richardson (1650-1697).

4444.  Thomas Clarke, born before 07 March 1568 in Banham, Norfolk, England; died before 10 May 1638 in Banham, Norfolk, England.  He was the son of 8888. Rowland Clarke and 8889. Margaret Micklewood.  He married 17 October 1602 in Banham, Norfolk, England.
4445.  Mary Canne, born about 1580 in Suffolk, England; died 22 May 1642 in Dedham, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Thomas Clarke and Mary Canne are:
*  Thomas Clarke (1604-1656).
*  Rowland Clarke (1607-1639).
*  Rebecca Clarke (1610-1681), married 1630 Ralph Wheelock (1600-1684).
*  Joseph Clarke (1613-1684), married 1640 Alicia Fenne (1619-1710).
*  Mary Clarke (1615-????), married 1641 Benjamin Smith (1612-1685).
*  Elizabeth Clarke (1620-1683), married 1642 George Barber (1617-1685).

Information about these Clark(e) families was obtained from:

*  Christopher Gleason Clark, "The English Ancestry of Joseph Clark (1613-1683) of Dedham and Medfield, Massachusetts," New England Historic Genealogical Register, Volume 152, Number 1, Whole Number 605, January 1998.

*  William S. Tilden (editor), History of the Town of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886 (Boston, Mass. : Geo. H. Ellis, 1887).

*  Several Massachusetts vital record books.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Friday, May 1, 2015

More on New Jersey Probate Records from my Readers

I had several excellent comments from readers on my Down the Rabbit Hole Again -- Finding New Jersey Ancestors Probate Abstracts post yesterday, including:

1)  Sharon wrote:  "Randy: Thought you'd like to know the following about that NJ Archives probate abstract series: There is an index in the back of each volume listing ALL the people named in each probate file -- EXCEPT for the deceased person himself, who is not indexed. (There is a separate index in the back for places named in each estate.) 

"The names in the book index (wives, children, etc.) are NOT included in Ancestry's online index. 

"So, browse to the back of the volume to find wives, sons, daughters, executors, etc. Note the pages listed and browse to those pages. But use the Ancestry index to find the deceased person. 

"Also the file number at the end of each abstract, such as 12290 C, can be used to obtain the original will (with testator's signature) from the NJ Archives by mail or in person. For some counties, wills have been listed this way on FamilySearch.

"Ancestry also has the three-volume index for wills up to 1900. The counties are listed alphabetically, so volume 1 contains Atlantic to Essex, etc. This index is helpful if you want to try to navigate the original documents on FamilySearch. At least you know that there IS a file before you spent hours looking for it.

"Ah, the joys of New Jersey research."

My comment:  Thank you, Sharon, for the enlightenment.  I need to look into the "by mail" option for the colonial wills.

2)  Geolover noted:  "It would be useful to add the County identification to's defective citation :-)"

My comment:  That probably would require them to look at each abstract on the list.  The Ancestry database is one big collection not broken up by counties, but that's the way the calendar of wills volumes are.  Or did you mean in my source citation?

3)  Justin York suggested:  "Have you looked at the New Jersey Probate image-only collection at FamilySearch?"

My comment:  I have, and I did before I wrote the earlier post.  Unfortunately, most of the counties on the FamilySearch collection start their estate files in 1804, at least Middlesex, Hunterdon and Sussex do (my three main New Jersey counties).   I just noted that Morris County was not on the list!

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at

ISHFWE "Excellence in Writing" Competition Closes 15 June 2015

I received this notice via email from Tina Sansone:


May 1, 2015

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors (ISFHWE) is reminding writers IN ALL MEDIA (magazines, newspapers, journals, websites, blogs) that the 2015 Excellence-in-Writing Competition is now open for entries through 15 June 2015. 

 The International Society of Family History Writers & Editor’s “Excellence in Writing” competition has a few more weeks before the June 15, 2015 deadline. Please submit your entries for your chance to win and showcase your work. 

Winning articles will appear in ISFHWE’s quarterly, “Columns,” win a cash prize and certificate. We need entries for Categories 4 & 5, but all categories are open. For more information, please visit

Competition is open to both members and non-members of ISFHWE. For more information, please contact Tina Sansone at We look forward to seeing your submission soon!


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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 70: #79 Martha "Patty" (Phillips) Buck (1757-after 1820)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I am extending this theme in 2015 to 104 Ancestors in 104 Weeks. Here is my ancestor biography for week #70:

Martha "Patty" Phillips is #79 on my Ahnentafel list, my 4th great-grandmother. She married in 1780 to #78 Isaac Buck (1757-1846).

I am descended through:

*  their daughter #39 Sophia Buck  (1797-1882) who married #38 Thomas Newton (about 1795 to about 1840) in about 1834.  

*  their daughter, #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) who married #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899), in 1852.  
*  their daughter #9 Hattie Louise Hildreth (1847-1920), who married #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874. 
*  their son, #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
* 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:                       Martha "Patty" Phillips[1,3]
*  Alternate Name:       Patty Phillips[2,4]
*  Sex:                           Female   

*  Father:                      John Phillips (1722-after 1800)   
*  Mother:                    Hannah Brown (1725-before 1774)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

*  Birth:                       20 August 1757, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[1,3]
*  Death:                     after 1820 (after about age 63), probably Sterling, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States   
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

*  Spouse 1:               Isaac Buck (1757-1846)   
*  Marriage 1:           18 May 1780 (age 22), Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[2,4]
*  Child 1:                 Polly Buck (1782-    )   
*  Child 2:                 Silas Buck (1784-1863)   
*  Child 3:                 Pliny Buck (1790-1874)   
*  Child 4:                 Martha Buck (1791-    )   
*  Child 5:                 Sally Buck (1794-    )   
*  Child 6:                 Sophia Buck (1797-1882)   
*  Child 7:                 Dennis Buck (1802-1873)   
*  Child 8:                 Isaac Buck (1808-1871)   
*  Child 9:                 Leander Howe Buck (1810-    )   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

Martha Phillips was born 20 August 1757 to John and Hannah (Brown) Phillips in Shrewsbury, Worcester County, Massachusetts[1,3].  The Shrewsbury, Massachusetts town record book lists the birth as:

"Martha Phillips, daughter of John & Hannah Phillips, was born
August the 20th 1757"

Isaac Buck and Patty Phillips married on 18 May 1780[2,4].  The Lancaster, Massachusetts town records records the event as:

  "May 18 1780, marriage of Isaac Buck and Patty Phillips, both of Lancaster, consummated by Rev. Reuben Holcomb." 

Martha and Isaac Buck had nine children between 1782 and 1810, born in either Sterling or Holden, Massachusetts.  Isaac Buck resided in Sterling in the 1790, 1810 and 1820 U.S. Census enumerations.

Martha "Patty" (Phillips) Buck probably died after the 1820 U.S. Census, since there is no female of the appropriate age in the 1830 U.S. Census for the Isaac Buck household.  No death record has been found in Sterling town records or vital records book.  There is no burial record for Martha, although it is likely she was buried in Legg Cemetery in Sterling near her husband's gravestone.

1. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, digital images, (, Shrewsbury Births, Marriages and Deaths, Page 108, on Image 111, Martha Phillips birth entry.

2. Henry S. Nourse (editor), The Birth, Marriage and Death Register, Church Records and Epitaphs of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1850 ( Lancaster, Mass. : n.p., 1890), Marriages, page 126, Isaac Buck and Patty Phillips entry.

3. Systematic History Fund, Vital Records of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849 (Worcester, Mass. : Franklin P. Rice, 1904), Births, page 84, Martha Phillips entry, 1757.

4. Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988, digital images,  (, Lancaster Births, Marriages, and Deaths, Page 204, on Image 127, Isaac Buck and Patty Phillips marriage entry.


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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Down the Rabbit Hole Again -- Finding New Jersey Ancestors Probate Abstracts

I updated my Probate Records presentation last week in preparation for "presentation season" (I gave it last week, will give it twice in May, and at least once more after that) and realized that I had not included the colonial New Jersey Probate Abstracts from the colonial New Jersey Archives books.  The New Jersey Archives books are on, in New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817 database (number 22793).  So I added a slide for it with an example abstract.  The audience last week was surprised that there were some will abstracts online.

Of course, the database has more than abstracts in it - there are notes about inventories, administrations and more.

No sooner had I added the slide into the presentation, than I realized that I had not done my "specific database search" on for this database (see Tuesday's Tip - Search Hints by Record Collection for the process I use).  So off I went - it's a BSO!  I used my Seaver-Leland Families" Ancestry Member Tree (because the Hint coverage is better) for this task.

 I used my tree number and the database number (= 2793) and found that there were 19 entries in my Hints for this database.  Of the 19 listed, 7 are for my direct ancestors, and I didn't have this information for any of them.  Here is the top of the list:

And the next screen down:

Benajah Dunham and the second Edmund Dunham are my ancestors.  Cool.

I clicked on the first one for Francis Bloodgood (not my ancestor, but a sibling of my ancestor, Elizabeth Bloodgood (1703-????) who married Thomas Gach (1702-1770).  Here is the record summary:

I clicked on the green "View" link to see the actual page:

I can save this page to my computer, then rename it and add it to my Francis Bloodgood file in my Bloodgood surname file folder.  I can attach this record to Francis Bloodgood in my Ancestry Member Tree, plus a Story that transcribes the record.  I can transcribe the document and add it to my Notes for Francis Bloodgood in my RootsMagic file, along with an event for writing the will and another event for closing the estate, along with source citations for the event.  I can add the image of the abstract to the Media for Francis Bloodgood.

A source?  You want a source citation for this goodie?  Here it is, using the "Book, image copy (online)" template in RootsMagic:

A. Van Doren Honeyman, editor, Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey: First Series -- Volume XXXIII: Calendar of New Jersey Wills, Administrations, etc., Volume IV -- 1761-1770 (Somerville, N.J.: The Unionist Gazette Association, Printers, 1928), page 47, will of Francis Bloodgood of South Amboy entry, 1763; digital images, ( : accessed 20 April 2015.

Note that the record provides an idea of the Source of the Source in the last line -

"Lib. H., p. 622; Lib. I, p. 168."

Now where are those original records from which the abstracts were made?  I think that they are in the "Record of Wills in New Jersey, 1705-1804" in the LDS Family History Library Catalog.  There are 27 volumes there, including Volume H which covers 1763 and Volume I which covers 1767. If a reader knows more about this, then I would appreciate hearing from them.

Some (or maybe all) of these New Jersey Archives books are available on the Internet Archive and other online book sites.  This particular volume was published in 1928, but this volume is available - here.

I much prefer to have the actual will or other probate record, so I will add the probate volume information to my To-do list for the FHL and try to obtain them on my next visit to the Family History Library.

Not a bad haul for chasing the BSO (Bright Shiny Object) down the rabbit hole.  It only took an hour to find these records, and I'm working my way through them and adding them to my database

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at

More HistoryLines Information - Post 6: Answers to Questions/Comments

I have posted a series of articles about HistoryLines over the past two weeks, including;

*  HistoryLines Launched This Week - Post 1: First Look (22 April 2015)
*  HistoryLines Launched This Week - Post 2: Custom Events (23 April 2015)
*  HistoryLines Launched This Week - Post 3: An English Story (14 April.2015)
*  HistoryLines Launched Last Week - Post 4: A Canadian/American Story (27 April 2015)
*  HistoryLines Launch - Post 5: Saving or Printing Your Story (29 April 2015)

In the previous posts, I have asked several questions about using HistoryLines, my readers have asked questions, and I have run into some problems.

Here are some of the responses from Jeff Haddon of HistoryLines, via email to me, about the comments and problems:

"I wanted to make sure you know that HistoryLines currently covers the following countries, with many more coming in the following weeks and months. We're adding countries in order of priority based on surveys of our users.
  • United States
  • Canada
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Denmark
  • Germany"
The HistoryLines site says:

"Stories are currently available in England, Ireland, Scotland,
Wales, United States, Denmark, and Germany, 1600 to 1950"


"Also, here are a few thoughts to address a couple of your questions from the first post.
  • We're working on a variety of ways to save and share the story. We're maybe a week or two away from enabling the ability to output the story to PDF. More to come thereafter.
  • It's possible to remove paragraphs and events from the story and timeline by clicking either the event in the timeline or the paragraph in the story, then clicking the blue Edit link. At the bottom of the resulting edit window is a light blue link that says "Hide this from the story".
  • We don't use Wikipedia as a source for any of our content. Another feature we're enabling in the next few weeks is a full bibliography of all the sources for the content shown in a specific story."

"If you add a relocation or migration event, the system will show the appropriate set of history based on the new location."

My thanks to Jeff for responding quickly to my posts.  

There are a number of user Tips that come via email about HistoryLines once a user registers.  I cannot find them on the HistoryLines website.  They are informational and useful.  

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at

Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 260: 1827 Bounty Land Warrant Awarded to Martin Carringer

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 the  1827 Land Warrant awarded to Martin Carringer for his service in the Revolutionary War:

The transcription of this record is (handwritten portions in italics):

No. 1259                      3.    3.    8.    6.

Pursuant to an Act of Congress, authorizing the Secretary
of War to issue Land Warrants, and for other purposes, passed the
15th day of April, 1806,  Martin Carringer who was
a private in the Pennsylvania Line  is entitled to
one hundred                                          acres of land,
to be located, agreeable to said act, on any unlocated parts of the fifty
quarter townships, and the fractional quarter townships, reserved by
law for original holders of military warrants.

GIVEN at the War Office, this  eighth
day of  December  in the year of our
Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty

Registered,                                         James Barbour
                                                        Secretary of War

Robert Taylor   Clerk

The source citation for this document is (using the RootsMagic source template for Military Records, Images):

"U.S. War Bounty Land Warrants, 1789-1858," digital image, ( : accessed 30 April 2015), 1806 Warrants: 1100-2119; 1835, 1842, and 1848 Warrants: 1299-2479 (Partial Collection), No. 1259, Martin Carringer, awarded 8 December 1827, image 369 of 1069; citing U.S. Revolutionary War Bounty Land Warrants Used in the U.S. Military District of Ohio and Relating Papers (Acts of 1788, 1803, and 1806), 1788-1806; Microfilm Publication M829, 16 rolls; ARC ID: 635444. Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49; National Archives at Washington, D.C.

Martin Carringer is my 4th great-grandfather, and served as a private for several years in the Revolutionary War.  He received a Revolutionary War Pension in 1820.  This record indicates that he received 100 acres of land in the Military District of Ohio for his service in 1827.

I wondered what happened to this parcel of land - where was it located, and if Martin Carringer sold it or held it until his death.  I figured it out, with Ancestry's help, and i'll show the document next week in the next Treasure Chest Thursday.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at