Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Have You Visited an Ancestral Town?

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

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Have you ever visited one of your ancestral towns?  If so, tell us the town, where it is, when you went, and who are your ancestors from that town.

2)  Share your experience with us in a blog post of your own, a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook post.  Please leave a comment on this post to lead us to your story.

Here's mine:

One of my ancestral towns is Hilperton in Wiltshire, England.  It is located just east of the larger town of Trowbridge in northwestern Wiltshire.  My 2nd great-grandparents, James and Hannah (Rich) Richman came from Hilperton in 1855-6 and settled in Putnam, Connecticut.  They are my most recent immigrant ancestors.  

In 1993, after I had researched my ancestry for five years, we had a three week vacation in England.  We took the train from London to York to Edinburgh to Burton-on-Trent to Oxford to Ashton Keynes to Bath to Trowbridge to Salisbury to Bath and then back to London.  We stayed in bed and breakfast places in each city, and had a wonderful time sightseeing.  

While in Bath for several days, I visited Trowbridge and went to the County Record Office there, and did some research (looking for land, church and probate records) one day.  I took a bus out to Hilperton (only 3 or 4 miles) and easily found the church (St. Michael's and All Angels), which was locked, and walked around the graveyard.  I left a message under the church door with information and my phone number at the Bath B&B.

That night, the rector called and we had a nice discussion about the church, my ancestors, and the records they might have.  She invited us to attend church on Sunday, and said she would alert Mr. Potts, who was the church warden and keeper of the church chest material.  

Sunday morning arrived, and there was no train from Bath to Trowbridge in time for the service, so we spent 25 pounds on a taxi ride from Bath to Hilperton and got there in time for the 9 a.m. bell ringing.  We sat through the Anglican service, and were lost in the Book of Common Prayer.  Our pew neighbors helped us out.

After church, the rector greeted us and led us to Mr. Potts, who was probably 85 years old.  I explained my Richman and Rich ancestry, and he noted that the "last Richman" had died in the 1980s, but his daughter was still alive and he knew where she lived.  He said he recalled other Americans coming in the 1980s to research the same Richman family, and that he had found information in the church warden vestry book, which he happened to have at his home down the street.  

We walked over to his home, but his wife was ill, and so we didn't go into his house.  He came out after awhile, and said "Your James Richman was accused of stealing coal on the Avon and Kennett Canal, but was found innocent by a jury.  However, his reputation was besmirched, and he left for america taking his growing family with him."  

Mr. Potts offered to take us by the daughter's house, and we went by there, but it was lunch time and she was not home.  Her name was Roma Challis.  Mr. Potts then dropped us at the train station, and we went down to Longleat Manor house (which has an animal park), then to Salisbury church, and took a tour to Stonehenge before taking the train back to Bath, and were on our way to London the next day to fly home.  

I corresponded with Roma Challis for over ten years about the Richman and Rich families, and she passed away several years ago.  I was able to get in touch with the other Richmond family that was descended from James and Hannah (Rich) Richman and we corresponded for over a decade, but they too have passed away.   

I need to go back again to Hilperton to see if I can access the church warden's vestry book and obtain an image of the records pertaining to my ancestral families.  There may be information for earlier families, where I am stymied by a lack of records in the parish registers.  It is not yet online at FamilySearch.

All in all, this was an excellent adventure in an ancestral town and my first experience at a County Record Office, and one I will never forget.  I know a lot more about the Richmans and the records now.

This is not the only ancestral town I have in England.  My next latest immigrants are John and Mary (Palmer) Vaux who came from South Petherton in Somerset in about 1830.  I want to go visit South Petherton also.  However, one of my longtime correspondents and cousins has written the book on the Vaux family.


Copyright (c) 2017, 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.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Surname Saturday - SCRUGGS (England to colonial New England)

It's Surname Saturday, and I'm "counting down" my Ancestral Name List each week.  

I am working in the 9th great-grandmothers by Ahnentafel number, and I am up to Ancestor #2057 who is Rachel SCRUGGS (1627-1666). 
[Note: the earlier great-grandmothers and 9th great-grandfathers have been covered in earlier posts.]

My ancestral line back through three generations in this SCRUGGS 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)

64. Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816)
65. Martha Whitney (1764-1832)

128.  Norman Seaver (1734-1787)
129.  Sarah Read (1736-1809)

256. Robert Seaver (1702-1752)

257.  Eunice Rayment (1707-1772)

514.  Samuel Rayment (1679-1723)
515.  Eunice Norman (1686-1743)

1028.  John Rayment (1651-1725)
1029.  Martha Wooden (1655-????)

2056.  John Rayment, born before 03 March 1616 in Glastonbury, Somerset, England; died 18 January 1703 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 4112. George Rayment and 4113. Mary LNU.  He married about 1650 in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.
2057.  Rachel Scruggs, born before 23 May 1627 in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England; died 02 May 1666 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of John Rayment and Rachel Scruggs are:
John Rayment (1651-1725), married 1673 Martha Wooden (1655-????).
*  Thomas Rayment (1653-1732), married 1680 Mary Bumpas (1655-????).
*  Bethia Rayment (1655-1662).
*  Abigail Rayment (1657-1662).
*  Rachel Rayment (1659-1696), married 1676 William Bradford (1655-1717).
*  Elizabeth Rayment (1662-1662).
*  Abigail Rayment (1664-????).
*  Jonathan Rayment (1666-1745), married 1689 Sarah Woodbury (1668-1747).

4114.  Thomas Scruggs, born about 1588 in St. Sepulchre, London, England; died before 24 June 1654 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.  He was the son of 8228. William Scroggs and 8229. Rachel Prentice.  He married before 1613 in England.
4115.  Margery LNU, born about 1598 in England; died 26 January 1663 in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, United States.

Children of Thomas Scruggs and Margery are:
*  Elizabeth Scruggs (1613-1625).
*  Rachel Scruggs (1620-1625).
*  Thomas Scruggs (1623-1625).
Rachel Scruggs (1627-1666), married 1650 John Rayment (1616-1703).

Information about the Scruggs family was obtained from:

 *  Walter Goodwin Davis, "Scruggs of Salem, Mass.," in English Origins of New England Families, Volume 2, edited by Gary Boyd Roberts (Boston : New England Historic Genealogical Society).

*  Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume VI, R-S, pages 221-223, Thomas Scruggs sketch (Boston : NEHGS, 2011).


Copyright (c) 2017, 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.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Friday, December 8, 2017

Genealogy News Bytes - 8 December 2017

Some of the genealogy news items across my desktop the last three days include:

1)  News Articles:

*  Guide to Finding Your Loyalist Ancestor in Upper Canada

*  Dutch Genealogy News for November 2017

Registration For OGS Conference 2018 Now Open

*  Introducing MyHeritage Surveys

2)  Record Databases:

Introducing the British and Irish Roots Collection

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, 8 December 2017

Latest updates to the Irish Newspaper Archive

TheGenealogist adds 1930s UK outbound passenger lists

*  8 Dec 2017 – New Genealogy Record Releases & Updates

Big Updates at Ancestry for Canadian and German Vital Records
3)  Genealogy Education:

 GeneaWebinars Calendar

*  Upcoming ISGS Webinar - December 12, 2017:  Ephemera, Genealogy Gold, by Sharon S. Atkins

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 5 p.m. PST:  I Thought He Was My Ancestor: Avoiding the Six Biggest Genealogy Mistakes, by James M. Baker

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Friday, 15 December 2017, 11 a.m. PST:  Finding Your Nordic Parish of Birth, by Jill Morelli, CG

*  Upcoming American Ancestors Webinar - Thursday, 14 December 2017, 12 noon PST:  Searching Databases on, by Don LeClair

*  Upcoming SCGS Free Webinar - December 20, 2017:  100 Days to a Better Family History, by Tammy Hepps

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Finding Your Roots in Catholic Records, by Lisa Toth Salinas

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Watch Geoff Live: Adding a Passenger Record, by Geoff Rasmussen

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar: Finding Dirk: Insanity in the 19th Century by Jill Morelli, CG

*  Lisa Louise Cooke's Genealogy Gems Podcast:  Episode #212

*  Pat Richley-Erickson's YouTube Channel:  GenDoc STUDY GROUP 12 - Identifying Offline Publishers...

*  Pat Richley-Erickson's YouTube Channel: WACKY Wednesday - Scanning at Cousin Russ' Office

*  NTGBS YouTube Channel:  Genealogy Q&A with D. Joshua Taylor and Susan R. Miller - December 2017

*  BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel:  Checking the Person Page for Accuracy in FamilySearch Family Tree - Kathryn Grant

*  BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel:   Giving the Gift of Family History - Kathryn Grant

*  BYU Family History Library YouTube Channel:  LDS Census Records, by Ann Tanner

*  Family History Fanatics YouTube Channel:  Finding City Directories with Don's List

4)  Bargains:

*  Genealogy Bargains for Friday, December 8,  2017

*  FRPC Christmas 2017 Blow-Out Sale: Genealogy Books @ 60-95% Off

5)  Neat Stuff:

*  Why You're Probably Related to Nefertiti, Confucius, and Socrates

*  10 Useful Windows 10 Features You Probably Never Use But Should

Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes - 5 December 2017?


Copyright (c) 2017, 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.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, 8 December 2017

I received this information from Findmypast today:


New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

Explore this unique resource, handpicked by our in-house experts. Our new British & Irish roots collection brings together more than 95 million records from across a wide variety of records covering the United States and Canada. Each record identifies a British or Irish emigrant who came to North America. For example, Findmypast identified a population register from California that noted that a widow was Scottish and pulled this record into the collection. This new, first-of-its-kind collection gives North American family historians the chance to search for their British and Irish roots all in one place. The collection includes passenger lists, census records, naturalization applications, and draft registrations, as well as birth, marriage, and death records. The journeys researchers can expect to find include:

·        Anyone leaving the UK or Ireland and emigrating to the US, Canada or the Caribbean
·        Anyone emigrating from Canada or the Caribbean to the US (this covers the large number of British and Irish emigrants who stopped temporarily in Canada and/or the Caribbean)
·        Anyone listed on any US or Canadian record with British or Irish origins, birthplace or parents

Discover photographs and uncover details of your WW1 military ancestor's service with an index pertaining to more than 18,000 records found on the Imperial War Museum website. Each transcript will reveal your ancestor's rank, regiment, awards, soldier number and death date. Additional information, including images, can be found by following links to the source's website.

Over 13,000 records have been added to our collection of Kent Baptisms. The new additions cover the parishes of Meopham, Luddesdown, Cobham, Nurstead and Ifield. Each record includes a transcript of the original source material that will allow you to determine when your ancestor was born, when and where they were baptised, their residence, parent's names and father's occupation. A number may also reveal additional information such as the mother's maiden name and/or additional notes.

400 new records have been added to our collection of Kent Banns. An ancient legal tradition, banns are an announcement in church of a couple's intention to marry. Banns were read in the parish (or parishes) in which the couple lived on three consecutive Sundays before the wedding and provided an opportunity for the congregation to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place. Each record includes a transcript of the original banns book that will reveal the couple's names, their home parishes, marital status, where their banns were announced and the date they were read.

More than 3,000 new records have been added to our collection of Kent parish marriage records. Each transcript will reveal information about both your ancestor and their spouse, allowing you to add a whole new branch to your family tree. Each record will reveal the couple's names, birth years, occupations, father's names, father's occupations, residence, witnesses, marriage date and location.

Over 10,000 new records covering the parishes of Meopham, Luddesdown, Cobham, Nurstead, Ifield have been added to our collection of Kent Burials. Each transcript will reveal your ancestors age at death and their residence as well as when and where they were laid to rest. A number of records may also reveal additional information such as their occupation, dedication and notes on their marital status, parent's names and whether they were a "foundling".

Over 49,000 new probate index cards have recently been added to our collection of Kent Wills & Probate Indexes 1328-1890. The contains consists of records from seven different ecclesiastical Church of England courts across the county and was compiled from four separate sources: the West Kent Probate index 1750-1890, West Kent Probate Index 1440-1857, Kent Inventories 1571-1842 and Kent Will Abstracts 1328-1691, and includes 14 different types of document. Each record includes a transcript of the original index that will reveal your ancestor's occupation, probate date and other names included in the documents. Most records will also include details to help you obtain the original document from the Kent History & Library Centre.


Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription to Findmypast, and have accepted meals and services from Findmypast, as a Findmypast Ambassador.  This has not affected my objectivity relative to Findmypast and its products.

Copyright (c) 2017, 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.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

52 Ancestors - Week 204: #283 Ruth (Young) Brown (1688-1768) of Eastham, Massachusetts

Ruth Young (1688-1768) is #283 on my Ahnentafel List, my 6th great-grandmother, who married #282 Samuel Brown (1686-1749) in 1708 in Eastham, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter, #141  Mehitable Brown (1714-1758) who married #140 Thomas Dill (1708-1761)  in 1733.
*  their son, #70 Thomas Dill (1755-1836), who married Hannah Horton (1761-1797) in 1782. 
*  their daughter, #35 Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869), who married  #34 Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840) in 1826.
*  their daughter #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884)who married  #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901)  in 1851.
*  their son #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) 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 Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Name:                           Ruth Young[1–2]
*  Alternate Name:           Ruth Brown[3–5]
*  Sex:                              Female    

*  Father:                         John Young (1649-1718)    
*  Mother:                       Ruth Cole (1651-1735)  

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                           1688, Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States    
*  Distribution:                23 April 1718 (about age 30), father John Young's estate settled; Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States[3]    
*  Distribution:                4 April 1749 (about age 61), husband Samuel Brown's will proved; Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States[4]    
*  Death:                          28 September 1768 (about age 80), Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States[5]    
*  Burial:                         after 28 September 1768 (after about age 80), Duck Creek Cemetery, Wellfleet, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States[5]    

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                   Samuel Brown (1686-1749)    
*  Marriage 1:                21 October 1708 (about age 20), Eastham, Barnstable, Massachusetts, United States[1-2]    

*  Child 1:                     Abigail Brown (1709-    )    
*  Child 2:                     Samuel Brown (1711-1712)    
*  Child 3:                     Samuel Brown (1712-1738)    
*  Child 4:                     Mehitable Brown (1714-1758)    
*  Child 5:                     Ruth Brown (1716-1794)    
*  Child 6:                     Marcy Brown (1719-    )    
*  Child 7:                     Mary Brown (1722-    )    
*  Child 8:                     David Brown (1726-    )    
*  Child 9:                     Isaac Brown (1730-    )    
*  Child 10:                   John Brown (1732-    )  

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):    

Ruth Young was born in about 1688 in Eastham, Massachusetts, the 5th child of eight born to John and Ruth (Cole) Young of Eastham.

She married Samuel Brown on 21 October 1708 in Eastham.  The marriage record in the Eastham town records says[1-2]:

"Samuel Brown senr and Ruth Young were married by Joseph Doane Esqu^r the twenty first day of October Anno dom 1708."

They had ten children born between 1709 and 1732, but only the first five were recorded in the town records.

Samuel and Ruth (Young) Brown received the following from Ruth's father's estate in Articles of Agreement between the heirs[3]:

 "The parties hereto do hereby mutually agree that Samuel Brown and his wife Ruth Brown shall have for their part of the abovesd Estate to be by them Their Heirs and assigns for Ever freely possessed and Enjoyed The one third part both for Quantity and Quality of the abovesd Twenty acre Lott lying in sd Harwich and also Sixteen pounds and five shillings in full of their parts of y^e abovesd Estate."

Samuel Brown bequeathed the following to his wife Ruth in his will written 1749 and proved 4 April 1740[4]:

"Imprimus I give to my Beloved wife Ruth the whole Improvement of my Grist mill and fulling Mill During her Natural Life and the one half of my Dwelling house During her Natural Life and one feather Bed and Sutible furniture thereto and for her to have as much household Stuff to Improve as She shall have Occations for to use During her life and she shall have that Land and Meadow to Improvement that Lays to the Eastward of the mills that is fensd in and if what I have already set apart for her be not Sufficient for her Comfortable Subsisance. My will is my son Isaac shall help her to what she shall have Occation for."

Ruth (Young) Brown died 28 September 1768 in Eastham, Massachusetts.  Her gravestone is in Duck Creek Cemetery in Wellfleet, Massachusetts[5].  The gravestone inscription is:

"Here lies Buried ye Body
of Mrs. Ruth Brown
Wife of Capt 
Samuel Brown
Died Sept. 28th 1768
in the 81st Year
of her Age."

There are no probate records for Ruth Brown in the Barnstable County Probate Records.
1. "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 March 2016), Barnstable County, "Eastham, Orleans, Births, Marriages, Deaths, Land Grants, 1649-1722," page 73 (image 138 of 157), Samuel Brown and Ruth Young marriage entry, 1708.

2. Col. Leonard H. Smith, Jr. and Norma H. Smith, Vital Records of the Towns of Eastham and Orleans (Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Publishing Company, 1993), page 36, Samuel Brown Senr and Ruth Young marriage entry.

3. "Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991," indexed database with digital images, (, Barnstable County, "Vol. 1-3, 1686-1747," Volume 3, page 455 and 514-516, John Young probate papers.

4. Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991, indexed database with digital images, (, Barnstable County > Probate Records, Vol. 8, 1745-1753, pages 238-242 (images 137-139 of 309, Samuel Brown, will proved 4 April 1749.

5. Jim Tipton, indexed database, Find A Grave (, Duck Creek Cemetery, Wellfleet, Mass., Ruth Brown memorial #36637888.


NOTE:  Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post 
 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2017 to 208 Ancestors in 208 Weeks

Copyright (c) 2017, 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.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Seavers in the News - John W. Seaver Dies in Cleveland in 1911

It's time for another edition of "Seavers in the News" - a semi-regular feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, useful, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week's entry is from the Cleveland [Ohio] Plain Dealer newspaper dated Sunday, 15 January 1911:

The transcription of this article is:


"John W. Seaver Stricken by Apoplexy in Euclid Hts. Residence

"Former Leader in Wellman-Seaver- Morgan Company

"As he was about to leave for his office yesterday morning, John W. Seaver, 56, was stricken by an attack of apoplexy and dropped dead in the hall of his home.  He had been in poor health for some time, but no serious results were expected.

"Mr. Seaver, a consulting and contracting engineer, formerly was vice president of the Wellman-Seaver-Morgan Engineering Co.  When he withdrew from that concern he became associated with James E.A. Moore, forming a partnership of consulting and contracting engineers.

"The firm has had offices in the Canton building.  Mr. Moore did not know of the sudden death of his associate until late in the day.

"Besides his widow Mr. Seaver is survived by four children.

"Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the home, Norfolk-rd, Euclid Heights.  Burial will be in Lakeview cemetery."

The source citation for this article is:

"STARTS FOR OFFICE BUT DIES IN HALL," obituary, Cleveland [Ohio] Plain Dealer, Sunday, 15 January 1911, page 2-A, column 1, John W. Seaver obituary;   GenealogyBank  ( : accessed 7 December 2017), Newspaper Archives collection.

This is John Wright Seaver (1855-1911), born in Madison, Wisconsin to Daniel McCleary Seaver and Charlotte Ann Bennett.  He married Mary Tassey Patterson (1866-1949) in Pennsylvania, and they had four children:

*  John Tassey Seaver (1892-1940), who married Margaret A. Aikens (1897-1991) in 1921, and Mary Josephine Offutt (1903-1980) in 1938.
*  Charlotte DeBeaumont Seaver (1895-????), who married Raymond Turner Kelsey (1892-1949) in 1920.
*  Hugh Davis Seaver (1896-1959), who married Elizabeth Lee Anderson (1906-????) in 1930.
*  William Patterson Seaver (1901-1912).

Another article was published in the Cleveland [Ohio] Plain Dealer newspaper concerning the estate of John Wright Seaver, in the 24 January 1911 edition.  It reads:

"Widow Gets Seaver Estate

"John Wright Seaver, consulting engineer, 2600 Norfolk-rd, Euclid Heights, who died Jan. 14, left his entire $17,000 estate to his widow, Mary T.P. Seaver according to the will probated yesterday.  No mention is made in the will of his four minor children, John T., Hugh D., William P. and Charlotte Seaver.  The will was drawn Dec. 20 last."

John Wright Seaver is my 7th cousin three times removed.  Apparently, he was a genealogist!


Copyright (c) 2017, 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.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Dear Randy - How Did You Find That 1840 Lancashire Marriage Record?

One of my readers asked me that question in an email, referring to the record in Treasure Chest Tuesday -- 1840 Marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley in Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire (posted 28 November 2017).  

The answer to the question is very simple:  I went to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City several years ago, found the microfilm for the Parish Registers for Bolton-le-Moors, scrolled through it to find the page with the record, and took a photograph of the page on the microfilm screen.  

However, I wondered if this particular record, and even more importantly, all of the parish records for this church, was on digital microfilm, and if so, was it available to me at home or did I have to go to the local FamilySearch Library to view it (and other parish records).  

I found today that it IS on digital microfilm, and it is available to me at home if I am signed into FamilySearch (using a free registration).  

To help other researchers interested in how I use the digital microfilm process, here is the process:

1)  I went to the FamilySearch Catalog page ( and entered "bolton-le-moors" into the Place search field:

After I typed the place name in, the screen added the results of the search - for "England, Lancashire, Bolton-le-Moors" as shown with the light green background above.

2)  I clicked on the link in the light green background, and saw the list of record types available for this place:

3)  I want church records, so I clicked on the item for "Church records (61)" and the list of 61 church "record sets" appeared.  Way down the list is the "record set" for "Parish Registers for Bolton-le-Moors, 1590-1974:"

4)  I clicked on the link for that "book" and saw the description of the record set:

5)  There are 43 "books" in this "record set."  I scrolled down and found the "Marriages, 1837-1841" "book":

The microfilm number and the DGS number are listed in columns on the right side of the screen above, along with a "magnifier" (search) icon and a "camera" icon.

6)  I clicked on the "magnifier" icon and the FamilySearch search screen for this "book" opened.  I filled in the name of "alex* "whittle" in the name search fields:

7)  After clicking the "Search" button (not shown on screen above), the search found two matches.  I clicked on the first one and information for the indexed record appeared:

The indexed record is for the right marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley.  On the right-hand side of the page, there is a "camera" icon and the words "No image available."  Huh?  There was a "camera" icon in the Catalog list.

Note also in the lower right-hand corner is information about the source of the indexed record.  It says:

*  Indexing Project (Batch) number:  M00724-8
*  System Origin:  England EASy
*  GS Film Number:  1966480
*  Reference ID:  it3, p155, no309

That last bit is the vital clue to saving time - the record image is on Microfilm 1966480, Item 3, page 155, number 309.

8)  I went back to the Catalog list and clicked on the "camera" icon, and the "filmstrip" view for this "book" of 798 images appeared.

I want Item 3 on this digitized microfilm strip.  Notice the third image on the screen above, with the all black background?  That is the "Item" indicator on the microfilm, and it says it is Item 1.  I want Item 3.

9)  I scrolled down a long way to find the Item 3 image (on image 534 of 798):

10)  I easily navigated to Page 155 (found at the top of the image below) to find the record of the marriage of Alexander Whittle and Rachel Morley on image 696 of 798:

11)  This process took about ten minutes to process.  I did it at home, this morning. I didn't have to fly to Salt Lake City, book a hotel room, or go into the Family History Library, find the right microfilm, find a microfilm reader, scroll through 698 images, and take a photo of the record page.

12)  Not all English parish register record sets are indexed, not all are available on digital microfilm yet, but almost all are available.  Not all of them are available at home with a FamilySearch registration, but some are.  Fortunately for me, this record set is available.  

13)  This is the digital genealogy future - a researcher has access through the FamilySearch Catalog to a lot of record sets at home, and many more at a local FamilySearch Library or Center.  Every researcher needs to learn how to do the process noted above in order to find Original Source records for their ancestral families.  

Are you working as a 21st century genealogist, using all of the online and digital resources available to you?  


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2017, 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.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at