Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Genealogy Bling!

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 car:

3)  I'm tempted...

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

5)  Hope springs eternal ... will I ever find William Knapp's parents?

That was fun.  Now show me yours!!!

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Surname Saturday -- SMITH (England to colonial New England)

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 #1155 who is Anne SMITH (1627-1671) 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 8th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts].

My ancestral line back through two generations of this SMITH 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)

18.  Edward Hildreth (1831-1899)
19.  Sophia Newton (1834-1923)

36.  Zavhariah Hildreth (1783-1857)
37.  Hannah Sawtell (1789-1857)

72.  Zachariah Hildreth (1754-1828)
73.  Elizabeth Keyes (1759-1793)

144.  Zachariah Hildreth (1728-1784)
145.  Elizabeth Prescott (1734-1812)

288.  James Hildreth (1698-1761)
289.  Dorothy Prescott (1702-1774)

576.  Ephraim Hildreth (1654-1731)
577.  Anna Moore (1666-1760)

1154.  John Moore, born before 11 November 1628 in Henham, Essex, England; died before 23 September 1702 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 2308. John Moore and 2309. Elizabeth.  He married 16 November 1654 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.
1155.  Anne Smith, born about 1627 in England; died 10 March 1671 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.  

Children of John Moore and Anne Smith are:
*  Marie Moore (1655-1705), married 1678 Matthew Gibbs (1656-1732).
*  Elizabeth Moore (1657-1734), married 1705 Matthew Gibbs (1656-1732).
*  Lydia Moore (1660-????).
*  John Moore (1663-1740), married (1) 1683 Mary Whitcomb (1662-1705); (2) 1698 Hasadiah Fairbank (1668-1740).
*  Joseph Moore (1664-????)
*  Anna Moore (1666-1760), married 1686 Ephraim Hildreth (1654-1731)
*  Jonathan Moore (1669-1742), married 1699 Hannah Sawyer (1675-1765).
*  Maria Moore (1671-1671).

2310.  John Smith, born about 1600 in England; died 16 July 1669 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.  He married before 1623 in England.
2311.  Mary, born in England; died 27 December 1659 in Lancaster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of John Smith and Mary are:
*  John Smith (1623-????), married 1647 Sarah Hunt.
*  Richard Smith (1625-1701), married (1) 1647 Mary Kerley (1630-1654); (2) 1654 Joanna Quarles (????-1706).
*  Anne Smith (1627-1671), married 1654 John Moore (1628-1702).
*  Alice Smith (1629-1714), married (1) 1649 John Tinker (????-1662); (2) 1674 William Measure.

Source material for this John Smith family was obtained from:

*  Alven Martyn Smith, John Smith of Lancaster, Mass. and his Descendants in Lyme, Conn. (South Pasadena, Calif. : A.M. Smith, 1931)

*  Henry S. Nourse, The Early Records of Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1643-1725 (Lancaster, Mass. : W.J. Coulter, 1884).

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Big Winner!!! Will of Matthias Trimmer (1722-1793) of Roxbury, New Jersey

Like many of my geneablogging colleagues, I have been rummaging through the Ancestry collection of Wills and Probates.  Today I found something I've always hoped to find - the probate records of Matthias Trimmer (1722-1793) of Roxbury, Morris County, New Jersey.

I knew that he had left a will, and I knew some of the details of his heirs, from the Calendar of Wills, 1791-1795, which is on in the New Jersey, Abstract of Wills, 1670-1817 database.  

Here's the top of the page for Matthias Trimmer's will, which was all I had before last week:

At the bottom of the abstract above, the record was identified as Lib. 33, p. 326, and also as File 831N.

In the New Jersey, Wills and Probates, 1656-1999 database on, I put Matthias Trimmer in the search fields and there were matches:

The third one was for Matthias Trimmer who died in 1793, and I clicked on his link:

There are 8 pages in this file, and 7 of them are "Will Papers."  That sounds good to me!

I clicked on the green "View" link to go to the first document of the eight (which had the File number 831 on it), and reviewed all of the pages.  The third page was the start of the will:

A careful reading of this three page will verified what was abstracted in the Calendar of Wills.

This will of Matthias Trimmer was important to me because it identified his daughter "Sofya Abel" as the wife of John Auble (yes, I know, the spelling is different!).  They are my 4th great-grandparents, and Matthias and his wife, Anna Martha (Nachbar) Trimmer, are my fifth great-grandparents.  

Here is a source citation for Matthias Trimmer's probate record in the Ancestry database:

New Jersey, Surrogates Court, Record of Wills, 1740-1900, 1n-8426n, Morris County Wills 772n-885n, File 831n (images 435-442 of 868), Matthias Trimmer, 1793; "New Jersey, Wills and Probate Records, 1656-1999," digital images, ( accessed 7 September 2015); citing original data from New Jersey County, District and Probate Courts.

I feel like a BIG WINNER today, because this record for Matthias Trimmer is only one of TWENTY probate files I have captured so far from this database for my New Jersey ancestors.  It should keep me in Amanuensis Monday posts for about six months! 

I just saved a lot of time searching a number of microfilms at the Salt Lake City Family History Library because these records are on microfilm there, and my plan was to mine them the next visit to the FHL.  Now I can devote time to other items on my to-do list.

Have you searched for probate records for your ancestors in New Jersey yet? 

What state should I look in next?

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Good News from everyStory - FREE Mobile App for iOS Devices

I received this press release from everyStory earlier this week:


everyStory, new cloud-based story-sharing platform, launches today on iOS
Interactive photo album seeks to preserve memories by adding audio stories to photos

SAN DIEGO (Sept8, 2015) – everyStory, a new cloud-based story-sharing mobile app and platform, announced today that it is now available for free in the App Store for iOS devices. An Android version of the product will be available via open-Beta in the coming months. The company has developed a streamlined mobile application that allows users to create, preserve and share personal stories in one place. Accessible from anywhere, everyStory lets users store audio and image files to a private cloud-based system with the option of sharing photos and stories between other everyStory individuals and groups.

“I created everyStory after being diagnosed with colon cancer and realizing my son may never remember my voice or hear my stories. I am passionate about providing people with an innovative way to preserve and share memories forever in the most interactive way possible,” said Dave Keene, CTO and founder of everyStory. “Now having the app compatible and available for download on all iOS devices, the art of storytelling and preserving memories has never been easier. Users can start creating stories and sharing memories with their loved ones straight from the palm of their hand. We hope to elevate the lost meaning of photos with our unique unlimited audio recording, tagging, sharing and activity tracker features,” said Ed Cox, CEO of everyStory.

Users can import photos from a computer, iOS photo album or scan physical photos directly into the app using a device camera. everyStory integrates a social network component by having an activity view functionality and by encouraging users to tag photos with people, and/or by location, subject or date. To create an interactive photo-album, everyStory lets multiple users record an audio message, on the same photos, in a shared album or within a group. Users can simply tap a tagged person’s name to hear the story that is connected to a specific photo or album.

The everyStory team has plans to launch a full Android version in the coming months as well as implement new sharing, photo and audio features to the existing functionality. The app is free for users and is currently offering space for 1,000 extra photos as a sign-up bonus through September 2015. Various membership options will be accessible for sign-up no later than early 2016 for users interested in receiving increased storage capabilities.


To download and sign up for everyStory on an iOS device, please visit the App Store. For more information on everyStory, please visit:

About everyStory
everyStory is a cloud-based story-sharing mobile app and platform that acts as an interactive photo album allowing users to have access to audio and picture files anywhere, anytime. This multi-faceted system is equipped to record all audio from the storyteller/user as they naturally flip through photos. Users can safely share stories and photos with friends and family, who can then contribute new photos to existing stories or new stories to existing photos. The easy-to-use mobile app partnered with Macphun, a leading photography software developer for the Mac platform, to collectively help users produce the highest quality stories through superior discovery, photo restoration and creativity solution options. The team at everyStory is passionate about creating the most optimal privacy-focused micro-social network that archives important memories through long-term cloud storage.


We had Dave Keene, the CTO of everyStory, demonstrate the use of everyStory at the Chula Vista Genealogical Society Research Group this week.  We had a good time seeing his photos and listening to his accompanying stories recorded on his iPad.  

He also announced that they are working on an Android version of the mobile app.  

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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5th Grade Class Project - Postcards from Afar

Dear Readers,

You know that I have smart and beautiful grandchildren, lucky me!  They are back in school, and one of the projects for Lauren's fifth grade class is Geography.

The class has a competition project to receive postcards from as many places as possible - especially different states.

The due date for the project is next Friday, 18 September, which means she needs to have them by Thursday, 17 September in her postal mail box.  These have to be physical postal cards, not an emailed image of one.

If you want to submit a postcard for this project, please contact me by email at and I will send you the name and address to send the postcard to.

Be sure to write on the card where you live.

Thank you in advance for your willingness to help a ten-year old girl with her geography project.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 89: #109 Mary (Palmer) Vaux (1790-ca 1845)

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 #89:

Mary (Palmer) Vaux (1790-1845) is #109  on my Ahnentafel list, my 4th great-grandmother, who married #108 James Vaux (1787-1839) in 1808.

I am descended through:

* their son, #54 Samuel Vaux (1816-1880), who married Mary Ann Underhill (1815-1883) in 1839.

*  their daughter, #27 Abigail A. Vaux (1844-1931), who married #26 Devier James Lamphear 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), who married #7 Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977) in 1918.
*  their daughter, #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), who married #2 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 Palmer[1–2]
*  Alternate Name:       Mary Vaux[4–5]   

*  Sex:                           Female   
2)  INDIVIDUAL FACTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                       about 1790, probably Martock, Somerset, England   
*  Immigration:           1 May 1832 (about age 42), ship Cosmo, New York, New York, New York, United States[3]
*  Petition:                  30 September 1839 (about age 49), Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[4]   
*  Census:                   1 June 1840 (about age 50), Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[5]
*  Death:                    about 1845 (about age 55), probably Aurora, Erie, New York, United States   
3)  SHARED FACTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):    

*  Spouse 1:               James Vaux (1787-1839)   
*  Marriage 1:            13 December 1808 (about age 18), South Petherton, Somerset, England[1–2]

*  Child 1:                John Palmer Vaux (1810-1874)    
*  Child 2:                James Edward Vaux (1812-1871)    
*  Child 3:                Anne Vaux (1814-    )    
*  Child 4:                Samuel Vaux (1816-1880)    
*  Child 5:                William Vaux (1819-    )    
*  Child 6:                George Vaux (1820-1873)    
*  Child 7:                Josiah Vaux (1822-1888)    
*  Child 8:                Cyrus Vaux (1824-    )    
*  Child 9:                Mary Vaux (1826-1828)    

*  Child 10:              Ernest Vaux (1831-1916)      
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

 Mary Palmer's birth date, birth place and parent's names are not known.  She may have been born in Martock in Somerset.  She was of South Petherton in 1808 when she married James Vaux in South Petherton in Somerset.  If she was at least age 18 at marriage, then she probably was born between 1786 and 1790.  She was age 40 on the May 1832 passenger list in New York, and age 40 to 49 in the 1840 U.S. census.  An estimated birth date of 1790 is reasonable.

The marriage record of James Vaux and Mary Palmer in the South Petherton parish register says[2]:

No.  30                       James Vaux of this Parish                                    
and Mary Palmer                                   
of the same Parish were 
Married in this Church by Banns
this 13th Day of Dec'br in the Year One Thousand eight Hundred and eight
       By me    Thomas Rob???? Vicar
This marriage was solemnized by Us  {  James Vaux   Mary Palmer
In the Presence of {  Hannah Squire                              
                              {  Wm Harding

Their first two children were baptized in the Martock parish church, which signals a possible Martock connection to Mary Palmer's family.  They had ten children between 1810 and 1831, all born in Somerset[1].

Mary (Palmer) Vaux inherited her uncle John's entire estate (worth under L600), proved 14 June 1820[1].  Her son John and daughter Ann also received bequests.  

The passenger list for the ship Cosmo that docked in New York City on 1 May 1832 included these names[3]:

*  James Vous - age 42, male
*  Mary Vous - age 40, female
*  James Vous - age 20, male
*  Saml Vous - age 16, male
*  Josiah Vous - age 8, male
*  William Vous -  age 13, male
*  George Vous - age 12, male
*  Ernest Vous - age 1, male

These names match the known list of names of this family, although some of the children are missing.

After the death of James Vaux on 23 July 1839 in England,  Mary (Palmer) Vaux petitioned the Erie County (New York) probate court for administration on the estate of James Vaux, since he died intestate[4].

"The petition of Mary Vaux showeth that she is the widow of James Vaux late of Aurora in said county deceased.  That the said deceased died in England, while on a visit there, on 23 of July last.  That he left no will as far as your petitioner has yet ascertained but left personal property which in the opinion of your petitioner will not exceed two thousand dollars.  Your petitioner is desirous that letters of administration ... that James Vaux and John Vaux her sons may be appointed with her in said transaction, that Elizabeth John and Daniel B. Stiles be appointed appraisers of the personal property of said deceased."

In the 1840 U.S. Census, Mary Vaux was a head of household residing in Aurora town, Erie County, New York[5].  The household included:

*  one male aged 5 to 10 (probably son Ernest)
*  one male aged 15 to 20 (probably son Josiah)

*  one female aged 40 to 50 (certainly Mary)

The date of Mary (Palmer) Vaux's death is not known, and there is no known burial location.  She probably died in Aurora, Erie County, New York where several of her children resided.  She does not appear in the 1850 U.S. Census, so she probably died before 1850.  A death year between 1840 and 1850 is a reasonable estimate, say about 1845.

1. Sara Anson Vaux, The Vaux Family of England, the United States, and Australia (unpublished), Chapter 6, page 33.

2. Church of England, Parish Church of South Petherton (South Petherton, Somerset), South Petherton Parish Registers, Marriages, 1806-1812, Marriage of James Vaux and Mary Palmer, 8 October 1808; accessed on FHL BRITISH Film 1,526,363, Item 13.

3. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957, digital image, (, accessed 14 March 2013), ship Cosmos, Bristol to New York, arrived 1 May 1832, List 242, Page 2, Line 19, James Vous family entry, (image 5 of 11); citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M237, Roll 16.

4. Erie County, New York, Probate estate files, Estate papers 1800-1929, Case 23178-23220, Case 23181, James Vaux, 1839, image 321, petition of Mary Vaux; "New York , Probate Records, 1629-1971," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch ( accessed 4 April 2014); original records in Erie County Probate Court, Buffalo, N.Y..

5. 1840 United States Federal Census, Erie County, New York, population schedule, Aurora, page 237, Mary Vaux household; digital image, (; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M704, Roll 280.


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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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