Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Ahnentafel Roulette

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) What year was one of your great-grandfathers born?  Divide this number by 75 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an "ah
nentafel" - 
your software will create this - use the "Ahnentafel List" option, or similar). Who is that person, and what are his/her vital information?

3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) NOTE:  If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then "spin" the wheel again - pick a great-grandmother, a grandfather, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, yourself, or even your children!  Or pick any ancestor!

Here's mine:

1)  One of my great-grandfather's was Thomas Richmond, born in 1848 in Hilperton, England.  So my "roulette number" is 1848/75 =  24.64, rounded up to 25.

2)  #25 on my ancestor name list is my great-great-grandmother, Rebecca (Spangler) Carringer (1832-1901).  She was born in Mercer County, Pennsylvania on 2 April 1932, and married David Jackson Carringer in Mercer County, Pennsylvania on 16 October 1851.  She died 13 December 1901 in San Diego, California.

3)  Here are three facts about Rebecca:

*  She and David traveled all the way across the USA during their lifetimes.  They moved from Mercer County, Pennsylvania to Louisa County, Iowa before 1860 with three small children, to Boulder County, Colorado by 1873, and then to San Diego, California in about 1898.

*  Rebecca had three children, Harvey Edgar Carringer (1852-1946), who never married and came to San Diego with his parents;  Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946) who married Della Smith, who came to San Diego in 1887 on their honeymoon; and Effie Eva Carringer (1858-1874) who never married, and died in Boulder.  

*  Rebecca entered the family data in a Family Bible, but the only pages that survived are the vital records pages.  The birth entries for David, Rebecca, Harvey, Henry and Effie are in her hand.

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Surname Saturday -- HOWLAND (England to Plymouth Colony)

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 #1133 who is Abigail HOWLAND (1629-1692) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 8th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two generations of this HOWLAND 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)

70.  Thomas Dill (1758-1836)
71.  Hannah Horton (1761-1797)

140.  Thomas Dill (1708-1761)
141.  Mehitable Brown (1714-1758)

282.  Samuel Brown (1686-1739)
283.  Ruth Young (1688-1768)

566.  John Young (1649-1718)
567.  Ruth Cole (1651-1731)

1132.  John Young, born about 1624 in England; died 28 January 1691 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  He married 13 December 1648 in Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.
1133.  Abigail Howland, born about 1629 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States; died 07 April 1692 in Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of John Young and Abigail Howland are:
*  John Young (1649-1718), married 1671 Ruth Cole (1651-1731)
*  Joseph Young (1651-1652).
*  Joseph Young (1654-1722), married 1678 Sarah Davis (1660-????).
*  Nathaniel Young (1656-1706), married 1680 Mercy Davis (1662-1753).
*  Mary Young (1658-1719), married 1677 Daniel Smith (1647-1716).
*  Abigail Young (1660-1715), married 1683 Stephen Twining (1659-1720).
*  David Young (1662-1745), married 1687 Anne Doane (1666-1758).
*  Lydia Young (1664-1719), married 1686 John Murdock (1660-1756).
*  Robert Young (1667-1742), married 1694 Joanna Hicks (1665-????).
*  Henry Young (1669-1670).
*  Henry Young (1672-1706), married 1695 Sarah Snow (1673-1746).

2266.  Henry Howland, born before 25 November 1604 in Fenstanton, Huntingtonshire, England; died 17 January 1671 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.  He married before 1630 in probably England.
2267.  Mary, born about 1605 in Huntingdonshire, England; died 16 August 1674 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Henry Howland and Mary are:
*  Abigail Howland (1629-1692), married 1648 John Young (1624-1691).
*  John Howland (1634-1687).
*  Zoeth Howland (1636-1676), married 1656 Abigail LNU (1634-1708).
*  Mary Howland (1637-1674), married 1665 James Cudworth (1635-1697.
*  Samuel Howland (1640-1716), married 1681 Mary Samson (1650-1714).
*  Sarah Howland (1642-1712), married 1672 Robert Dennis (1642-1691).
*  Elizabeth Howland (1644-1712), married 1668 Jedidiah Allen (1647-1712).
*  Joseph Howland (1653-1692), married 1683 Rebecca Hussey (1662-1739).

Information about the Henry Howland family was obtained from:

 1)  Robert S. Wakefield, FASG and Robert M. Sherman, FASG, "Henry Howland of Duxbury, Massachusetts, 1633, His Children and Grandchildren,"  National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volume 75, Number 2 (June 1987), page 105ff,

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Dear Randy: I Hate the new LifeStory

I received a reader email the other day essentially saying (I edited it a bit):

"Dear Randy, Ancestry has really messed up their service now.  I hate the new LifeStory and the new look.  I have lost faith in Ancestry, and feel my hard-earned money has been wasted."

 I've seen several similar comments like that on Facebook and on the Ancestry blog posts about the new "improved" website.

For the record, I don't "hate"  I actually love it because of everything it offers for a relatively low cost.  I pay $199 a year for a U.S. subscription, that's only 54 cents a day (I waste, or lose, more than 54 cents a day!).

I use it almost every day to do research.  I can do more research in one day on than I could do in one year in 2005, and before, using repositories with books, periodicals, manuscripts, microfilm, microfiche, etc., not to mention the costs involved.  Nobody has "every" record digitized, and a researcher shouldn't rely solely on

Here are some of the features I like about

*  I love the FREE to build and maintain an Ancestry Member Tree,  Could it be better?  Sure, and it will continue to be improved over time.  I would like to see better charts that can be printed.

*  I love the green leaf "Hints" that push records at me for my ancestral families.  I also love the Suggested Records for specific persons, which are based on what other researchers have attached to the same person profile in their own family tree.

*  I love the complex and sophisticated Search Engine, especially the sliders and wild cards, that help me search for records in their databases.  Search features continue to be improved over time.

*  I love that they continually add content every week, although it has been relatively slow the last month.  There are over 32,000 databases, and they are very helpful.  

*  I like the concept of the LifeStory, and wish it included all of my events, and my attached document images.  I also wish that it showed me at least some Historical Insights on each profile depending on where the person lived.  

*  I like the AncestryDNA test and matches, but wish that the ethnicity estimates were more accurate and that they had a chromosome browser.  I appreciate that they provide relationship charts for DNA matches based on comparisons of family trees.  

*  I love the mobile app that lets me see what I have in my tree so I don't have to carry reams of paper with me to the library or courthouse.

*  I appreciate that offers a source citation for every record they have.  I wish the citations were in Evidence Explained format, but at least they provide one.  

So, if I were a grade school teacher, I would say that Ancestry rates a B+ for overall content, technology and ease of use.  In my opinion, only FamilySearch comes close to a B+, but it doesn't offer everything that Ancestry has (e.g., DNA).

I think the reason for my reader's comment, and other comments I've read online, is that "Change is difficult for some persons."  I consider myself an "early adopter" - I like to try new things, and learn how to effectively use features.  I understand that perhaps 80% of Ancestry's subscribers don't like change and struggle to adapt.  We saw it with "old search vs. new search" where some persons refused to even try the "new search" features because they were comfortable with "old search."  It took me some time to accept "new search" and I did it when the search results became more consistent and reliable.

My understanding is that rolled out the new website design on 1 June 2015 in an effort to update their "look and feel" - the graphical interface - to be more modern, and to make the website look and work like the mobile app.  They also introduced the LifeStory then (there actually was a "Story View" on the now "Classic" site which attempted the same thing), and modified the "Facts" page to bring sources into the mix with links between sources and events.

Form ore information about the "new Ancestry" see and watch the short video. is so much more than the new look and feel in the Member Tree.  It is a full featured company that is a leader in the genealogy industry.  If you don't like a particular feature, then provide feedback to them.  Suggest what you would like to see.  I know that values their customers and will respond to constructive feedback.

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 80: #95 Nancy (Kenyon) Champlin (1765-before 1833)

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 #80:

 Nancy (Kenyon) Champlin (1765-before 1833) is #95 on my Ahnentafel list, my 4th great-grandmother, married in 1785 to #95 Joseph Champlin (1757-1850).

I am descended through:

*  their daughter 
#47 Amy Champlin (1798-1865) who married #46 Jonathan Oatley (1792-1872), in 1813.  
*  their daughter, #23 Amy Frances Oatley (1826-1864) who married #22 Henry Arnold White (1824-1885) in 1848.
*  their daughter, #11 Julia E. White (1848-1913), who married #10 Thomas Richmond (1848-1917) in 1868. 
*  their daughter, #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962),  who married #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) 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:                         Nancy Kenyon[1]   

*  Alternate Name:        Nancy Champlin[2–3]
*  Sex:                            Female   

*  Father:                        John Kenyon (1742-1831)   
*  Mother:                      Anna --?-- (1742-1831)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL FACTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                        about 1765, Washington, Rhode Island, United States[2]
*  Distribution:             6 May 1824 (about age 59), father John Kenyon's will written; Sterling, Windham, Connecticut, United States[3]   
*  Death:                      before 1833 (before about age 68), South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States   
3)  SHARED FACTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:                 Joseph Champlin (1757-1850)   
*  Marriage 1:              before 1785 (before about age 20), probably South Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island, United States[1]    
*  Child 1:                  Samuel Champlin (1785-1874)   
*  Child 2:                  Phoebe Champlin (1788-1879)   
*  Child 3:                  Mary "Polly" Champlin (1790-    )   
*  Child 4:                  Joseph Champlin (1792-1877)   
*  Child 5:                  Nancy Champlin (1794-1821)   
*  Child 6:                  Elizabeth "Betsey" Champlin (1796-    )   
*  Child 7:                  Amy Champlin (1798-1865)   
*  Child 8:                 George Hazard Champlin (1799-1865)   
*  Child 9:                  Frances Gardiner Champlin (1800-1880)   
*  Child 10:                Abigail Champlin (1802-1861)   
*  Child 11:                John Kenyon Champlin (1804-    )   
*  Child 12:                Alice Champlin (1808-1876)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

 Nancy Kenyon was the daughter of John and Anna (--?--) Kenyon, and had at least eight siblings.  She was probably the oldest child based on her parents marriage date in 1764 and her own marriage in about 1785.  The John Kenyon family resided in Exeter, Rhode Island until about 1778, when they acquired land in Voluntown and Sterling, Connecticut.  There are no birth records for any of the children of John and Anna (--?--) Kenyon.

Nancy Kenyon married Joseph Champlin in about 1785, probably in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and they had twelve children between 1785 and 1808, all born in South Kingstown except one[1]:

*  Samuel (born 1785)
*  Phoebe (born 1788)
*  Mary (Polly) (born about 1790)
*  Joseph (born 1792)
*  Nancy (born about 1794)
*  Elizabeth (born 1796)
*  Amey (born 1797)
*  George Hazard (born 1799)
*  Abigail (born about 1802)
*  John Kenyon (born 1804)
*  Frances Gardiner (born 1800)
*  Alice (born 1808)

In the will of John Kenyon, written on 6 May 1824 and proved 8 August 1831 in Plainfield District, Connecticut, Nancy (Kenyon) Champlin and several of her children are mentioned[3].  The text includes:

"Item, I give & bequeath to my daughter Nancy Champlin one dollar to be paid two years after my decease in full of her portion -

"Item I give & bequeath to my grandson  Samuel Champlin one dollar to be paid two years after my decease in full of his portion -

"Item I give & bequeath to my grandson  Joseph Champlin one dollar to be paid two years after my decease in full of his portion -

"Item I give to my grandson  John Champlin one dollar to be paid two years after my decease in full of his portion -

"Item I give to my grandson George Haszard Champlin one dollar to be paid in two years after my decease in full of his portion -"

Nancy was alive in 1824 when her father wrote his will.  She is not mentioned in Joseph Champlin's Revolutionary War Pension application dated 1833.  Joseph Champlin was an elderly man residing in the Frederic Chappell household in the 1840 U.S. Census, and resided with the Joseph Champlin Jr. family in the 1850 U.S. Census.  Nancy probably died between 1824 and 1833.  

No death or burial record has been found for Nancy (Kenyon) Champlin.

1. Robert R. Champlin, Champlin Families in America (Newmarket, Ontario : the author, 2011, provided by email to Randy Seaver), #1691: Joseph Champlin Family sketch.

2. Anne Borden Harding (editor), Mayflower families Through Five Generations : Volume 3: George Soule (Plymouth, MA : General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1980), page 290, John Kenyon sketch.

3. Connecticut Probate Records (Plainfield District), 1747-1918, Register of Probate Records, Volume 19 (1830-1835), Pages 206-209, John Kenyon will; accessed on FHL Microfilm US/CAN 0,005,449.


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Thursday, July 9, 2015

David Kirby (1740-1832) Went Missing on WikiTree!

I had a private message from a person on WikiTree this morning asking me why I had a David Kirby (1740-1832), a Revolutionary War Soldier, in Massachusetts married to a Martha Soule when her David Kirby (1738-1811), also a Revolutionary War Soldier, lived in Virginia and Kentucky and was married to someone else.  She didn't think that her David Kirby had ever been to Massachusetts.  Was I mistaken?

I uploaded the profile of David Kirby-136 (1740-1832) in 2011.  He was my 5th great-grandfather. Apparently, she edited that profile yesterday, disconnected my David Kirby from his parents, spouse and children, erased all of my Notes and Sources, and then added parents, spouse and children, plus notes and sources and media, to reflect her David Kirby (1738-1811).

Same name, both Revolutionary War Soldiers, not the same places or relationships -- what could go wrong?  I was the only Profile Manager for Kirby-136.  It was an Open profile, so any registered WikiTreer could edit it.  Did she find a WikiTree profile that was closest to the 1738 birth date and assume it was the same person?

I can see how that might happen on WikiTree.  When you search for a person, you get a list of people in WikiTree with that name, as seen below:

The list provides the name, birth date, birth place, and death date , and a profile manager link (image taken after I added my David Kirby back into WikiTree).

Rather than fire off a stinging rebuke for changing my David Kirby profile, for which I was still the Profile Manager, I did what I thought was the sensible thing.  I responded back saying these were two different persons named David Kirby, and I will relinquish my Profile Managership for Kirby-136 so she can manage the profile, and I will create another profile for my David Kirby (1740-1832).  My logic here was that I had to re-enter the data for my David Kirby once anyway, and then would have had to delete her work, and I was pretty sure that would upset her, since she did a great job on her profile of her David Kirby (1738-1811).  Essentially, I avoided a flame war, and hopefully, educated her a bit about using WikiTree.

It was easy to create the new profile of David Kirby as Kirby-2316.  all I had to do was:

*  Click on the "add husband" link for Martha Soule (Soule-129)
*  Add name, birth and death information for David Kirby, and save.
*  Add marriage information for David Kirby and Martha Soule, and save.
*  Connect David Kirby to his parents, Ichabod Kirby (Kirby-130) and Rachel Allen (Allen-2030)
*  Connect David Kirby to his two children, Sybil Kirby (KIrby-122) and Ichabod Kivby (Kirby-138).
*  Copy Notes from my RootsMagic database to insert into the Notes for David Kirby, edit and save.

That took all of ten minutes at most.  The result - a new profile:

I left a message on the David Kirby (Kirby-136) profile explaining what happened and what I did to make sure that both profiles are available for WikiTreers.  I then removed myself as Profile Manager of Kirby-136.  I needed guidance to do this so I used the Help button.  Easy peasy.

It's nice to have David Kirby (1740-1832) back on WikiTree after he went missing for a day or two.  I doubt that anyone else missed him!  Amazingly, there have been 15 accesses for this new profile in about two hours!

Events like this are bound to happen on unified and collaborative "Our Trees" trees like WikiTree, and FamilySearch Family Tree when users who don't completely understand the system are able to edit a profile.

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Two More Children's Books on Family History

After I posted Kickstarter Campaign for a Children's Illustrated Family History Book on 6 July, I received an email from reader Kathleen, who noted that there are several well-written and highly recommended children's books about family history available on Amazon (among other sites):

1)  My Family Tree and Me, by Dusan  Petricic:

The publicity says:

"This one-of-a-kind picture book provides a beautifully simple introduction to the concept of family ancestry. It uses two stories in one to explore a small boy's family tree: the boy tells the family story of his father's side starting from the front of the book, and that of his mother's side starting from the back of the book. Four previous generations are introduced for each, from his great-great-grandparents to his parents. The grand finale in the center of the book reveals the boy's entire extended family, shown in one drawing with all the members from both sides identified by their relationship to him. Of particular interest is the cultural diversity of the boy's family, which includes European and Asian ancestors, and readers can visually interpret the family members' physical characteristics as they get passed on through the generations. Award-winning illustrator Du?an Petri?i?'s classic artwork contains thoughtfully selected details with a touch of play and humor. And, since most of the story is told in the art, this is a wonderful tool for enhancing children's visual literacy as they spend time making connections and looking for clues. This book makes a great springboard for lessons on describing and sharing family histories and naming family relationships. Applicable in-class activities could include having children build their own family trees or imagine and draw portraits of their ancestors featuring period and cultural details. This title also lends itself to discussions on multiculturalism in families and in the larger community."

2)  In the New World: A Family In Two Centuries, by Christa Holtei and Gerda Raidt:

The publicity says:

"The story of Robert and Margarete and their children Johannes and Dorothea, who emigrate from Germany to the United States in 1850. After landing in New Orleans and joining a wagon train headed west to Nebraska, the family establishes a farm outside Omaha. The book ends with a switch to modern day with descendants of Robert and Margarete living on the same farm. They make the decision to investigate their roots and visit Germany, reversing the trip their ancestors made."

Both of these books are geared to children from 3 to 7 or 8 years old.

Thank you, Kathleen, for the recommendations!

If my readers have other suggestions, especially for children in the 5 to 12 age range, I would appreciate knowing of them.

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Treasure Chest Thursday - Post 270: 1840 New York State Census for Amos Underhill Household in Aurora, N.Y.

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  1840 United States Census for the Amos Underhill household in Aurora, Erie county, New York:

The lines with three Underhill families are:

The data provided in these three lines includes:

1)  Cyrus M. Underhill household:

*  one male under age 5 [son Don Carlos Underhill, born in 1836]
*  one male aged 5 to 10 [son Delos Underhill, born in 1834]
*  one male aged 30 to 40 [head Cyrus Metcalf Underhill, born in 1804]
*  one female under age 5 [daughter Harriet Underhill, born in 1838]
*  one female aged 20 to 30 [wife Malinda (Harmon) Underhill, born in 1812]

2)  Amos Underhill household:

*  one male aged 20 to 30 [unknown, perhaps a nephew?]
*  one male aged 60 to 70 [head Amos Underhill, born in 1772]
*  one female under age 5 [unknown, perhaps a niece?]
*  one female aged 10 to 15 [unknown, perhaps a niece?]
*  two females aged 20 to 30 [daughter Almeda Underhill, born about 1813]
*  one female aged 50 to 60 [wife Mary (Metcalf) Underhill, born about 1780]

3)  James Underhill household:

*  one male under age 5 [son James Hawley Underhill, born in 1839]
*  two males aged 5 to 10 [sons Horace Delacey Underhill, born in 1834, and Amos Underhill, born 1832]
*  one male aged 20 to 30 [unknown, perhaps a brother of wife Polly?]
*  one male aged 30 to 40 [head James Pierce Underhill, born 1809]
*  one female under age 5 [daughter Hannah Maria Underhill, born in 1837]
*  one female aged 20 to 30 [wife Polly Ann (Hawley) Underhill, born 1812]

I have attempted to guess the names of the family members who might be in these age groups, understanding that there might be errors in the birth years I have in my database or in the enumeration. 

The source citation for the census record for Amos Underhill is:

1840 United States Federal Census, Erie County, New York, Aurora, page 243 (penned), Amos Underhill household; digital image, ( : accessed 19 November 2012), citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M704, Roll 280.

The image of this census page on is not very clear.  The handwriting of the enumerator is not very good.  Amos Underhill was indexed as James (as was his son James listed just below him), but the name could be guessed as Amos, and it is likely Amos's household.  

The three families listed in succession implies that they lived near each other.  

Amos and Mary (Metcalf) Underhill are the parents of Cyrus Metcalf Underhill and James Pierce Underhill, the two other Underhill families on the census image above.

Amos and Mary (Metcalf) Underhill are my fourth great-grandparents.  I am descended through their daughter Mary Ann Underhill (1816-1883) who married Samuel Vaux (1816-1880) in about 1838.

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