Saturday, December 28, 2019

Randy's Best Genealogy Discoveries in 2019

Here is my end-of-year review of my "Best Genealogy Discoveries" for 2019:

1)  With the advent of AncestryDNA's ThruLines, I may have cracked open the mystery of the birth father of my 2nd great-grandmother, Sophia Newton (183?-1923, born between 1833 and 1836).  My traditional research indicated that her father was Thomas J. Newton (180?-18??) who married widow Sophia (Buck) Brigham (1797-1882) in about 1834, after Sophia's first husband, Lambert Brigham (1791-1834), died in May 1834.  I discussed all of this in my post Who Really Was the Father of Sophia Newton (183?-1923)? (posted 12 May 2014).  

With the advent of DNA matching and ThruLines on AncestryDNA, I tested both hypotheses - see Can DNA Determine Who My 3rd Great-Grandfather Is?:

*  With Thomas J. Newton as the biological father in my Ancestry Member Tree, I had no ThruLines with him.  AncestryDNA gave me "Potential Ancestors" for his parents and grandparents, and I had no ThruLine DNA matches for them either.  

*  With Lambert Brigham as the biological father, and adding ancestors of him to my tree, I had one ThruLine for a son of Lambert and Sophia Brigham, but I had that before, since Sophia (Buck) Brigham was the mother of my Sophia Newton(183?-1923).   That ThruLine is at least a half cousin because the mother was Sophia (Buck) Brigham.  That match also confirmed that Sophia (Buck) (Brigham) Newton was my third great-grandmother.  When I checked for Thrulines from Lambert Brigham's parents and grandparents, I had five more ThruLines with 6 cM to 13 cM in common.  Two of them are shown below:

*  However, the DNA matches only prove that we share common segments of DNA, not that they are from the Brigham side of the family.  My task now is to research those five lines to see if there are any other common ancestors within, say, 6th great-grandparents of mine.  I have kept the Brigham line in my RootsMagic and Ancestry Member Trees connected to Sophia Newton (183?-1923) for the time being.

2)  I followed an Ancestry Photo Hint down a rabbit hole, and was able to add several more generations to my grandsons' Italian lines.  I wrote 
Finding 1838-1859 Italian Records for My Grandsons' AncestorsFinding More of My Grandsons' Italian Ancestral Records - Updated!, and ear Randy: How Did You Find the Birth Record for the Italian Ancestor? to document these lines.

3) provided the " Obituaries Index, 1800s-Current" in September, and I have used the Hints to obtain obituaries for many of the persons in my Ancestry Member Tree.  In addition, the Obituaries Index has made it much easier to find obituaries for my weekly "Seavers in the News" series.

4)  I continue to use the "Mining Hints From a Specific Collection" Tool to find Record Hints in a specific Ancestry database for persons in my Ancestry Member Tree.  The results come out alphabetically, with tree persons with an unknown-to-me surname at the top of the list.  I can find that unknown surname about 50% of the time by using the Hint shown and then using Suggested Records and Searching from the tree person for more information.

5)  I made significant progress in finding common ancestors for autosomal DNA matches on the various websites.  AncestryDNA released their ThruLines in late February that provided over 300 "Common Ancestor" links (a few of them for "potential ancestors) with lines to AncestryDNA matches.  MyHeritage released their "Theory of Family Relativity" in late February that provided 12 "Common Ancestor" links with lines to MyHeritageDNA matches.  A few of both were, in my judgment, wrong in the connections between my tree and the match tree.

6)  For DNA matches at AncestryDNA, MyHeritageDNA, 23andMe and FamilyTreeDNA, I have added Notes to the matches that include the relationship, the cM and segment numbers, the tree size of the match, the number of shared matches, the common ancestors (if known), and whether the match is in my RootsMagic tree.  When I know the common ancestors and there is a documwented path to the DNA match, I add that path to my RootsMagic tree with a "DNA Match" event that provides information about the DNA relationship.

7)  I used the Auto-clustering programs at Genetic Affairs and Shared Clustering to group my AncestryDNA and MyHeritageDNA matches in hopes that they would provide information about common ancestors, especially for the DNA matches without a known common ancestor.  

8)  I sent 23 home movies (from my grandparents and my parents) in a FOREVER box to be digitized, and was genea-smacked by the results.  There was a movie of my parents wedding, my own wedding, and many from my early childhood.  I wrote about it in 
My FOREVER Home Movie Digitization Experience - Wonderful! 

9)  My great-grandfather, Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946) was a Mason in San Diego Lodge 35 in 1900.  I contacted the Lodge and they provided his membership transfer papers from Boulder, Colorado in 1896. 

10)  I search for Seaver/Sever/Seever/Sevier/s/ persons almost every day, and add them to my RootsMagic family tree.  I find them with database searches, and in the online collaborative trees.  If I am lucky, I can connect them to parents already in my tree.  If I don't have parents for them, they are the start of a new Seaver bush that may grow into a tree.  After I add them to RootsMagic, I TreeShare with my Ancestry tree and obtain Web Hints, and then search the online databases, and update the RootsMagic profiles.  For persons born after 1800, I can almost always find birth, death and burial records, and sometimes marriage records.  

11)  Needing blog fodder, writing the Amanuensis Monday, Treasure Chest Thursday, Seavers in the News, 52 Ancestors, and Surname Saturday blog posts keeps me searching and finding records to add to the RootsMagic family tree, and thereby "advancing the ball" of my ancestral research.  Every little bit helps!  


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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- What Did Genea-Santa Bring You and Your Family?

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It's Saturday Night again - 

time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along - cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1)  What genea-gift did Genea-Santa bring you and/or your family this Christmas season?

2)  Tell us in a comment to this blog post, in your own blog post, in a Facebook post, and be sure to leave a link to your post.

Here's mine:

Genea-Santa brought me another FOREVER box to put movies, videos, tapes, photos, slides and other items to be digitized and preserved for my family posterity.  I wrote about my first FOREVER box in My FOREVER Home Movie Digitization Experience - Wonderful!   Now I have to find the videotapes and the audio tapes.  I still have enough home movies to fill the box, but I want to have the video and audio tapes digitized too if I can find them.

Our daughters gave Linda a Skylight digital touch-screen photo frame that can show photos in a slide show, videos, etc.  The family members can email photos and videos to the photo frame (it has it's own email address) and the "master" of the frame can caption items.  We spent some of Christmas Day emailing photos to the screen.  Linda watches them every day, so we need to keep adding photos. 

I gave all of my descendants and my son-in-law a 7-generation fan chart of their ancestors on an 8.5 x 11 sheet, suitable for framing, using the GeneaNet fan chart.  I uploaded a GEDCOM file, and made the charts in GeneaNet, saved them as a PDF, and printed them out for each person. 

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Added and Updated Record Collections at - Week of 22 to 28 December 2019

I am trying to keep up with the new and updated record collections at FamilySearch   ( every week.

As of 28 December 2019, there were 2,697 historical record collections on FamilySearch (an increase of 2 from last week):

The added or updated collections this week are (as Marshall provided them):

--- Collections Added   --

*  France, Loiret, Civil Registration, 1793-1906   (; 3,030 indexed records with 3,030 record images, ADDED 23 Dec 2019
*  Mississippi, County Marriages, 1858-1979        (; 988 indexed records with 988 record images, ADDED 28 Dec 2019

--- Collections Updated ---

*  Peru, Áncash, Civil Registration, 1888-2005     (; 1,192,774 indexed records with 903,067 record images (was 1,192,774 records with 903,067 images), Updated 24 Dec 2019

*  Uruguay, Passenger Lists, 1888-1980     (; 1,646,489 indexed records with 61,731 record images (was 1,181,160 records with 44,798 images), Updated 24 Dec 2019
*  Belgium, Antwerp, Civil Registration, 1588-1913 (; 437,813 indexed records with 3,208,748 record images (was 369,246 records with 3,208,805 images), Updated 27 Dec 2019
Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912   (; 283,440 indexed records with 372,768 record images (was 230,370 records with 372,768 images), Updated 23 Dec 2019
*  England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904 (; 100,867 indexed records with 6,220 record images (was 100,605 records with 6,204 images), Updated 26 Dec 2019
*  Nova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001   (; 2,030 indexed records with 16,188 record images (was 0 records with 16,188 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  North Carolina, Center for Health Statistics, Vital Records Unit, County Birth Records, 1913-1922       (; 169 indexed records with 168 record images (was 51 records with 50 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887    (; 9,404 indexed records with 9,346 record images (was 7,590 records with 7,542 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Georgia, Chatham, Savannah, Laurel Grove Cemetery Record Keeper's Book (colored), 1852-1942     (; 28,230 indexed records with 723 record images (was 28,015 records with 716 images), Updated 26 Dec 2019
*  England, Northumberland, Parish Registers, 1538-1950    (; 2,488,685 indexed records with 61,776 record images (was 1,930,692 records with 61,776 images), Updated 23 Dec 2019
*  American Samoa, Vital Records, 1850-1972        (; 2,501 indexed records with 15,778 record images (was 20,514 records with 14,310 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Chile, Catholic Church Records, 1710-1928       (; 24,790 indexed records with 2,830 record images (was 23,919 records with 2,717 images), Updated 27 Dec 2019
*  Hawaii, Board of Health, Marriage Record Indexes, 1909-1989     (; 239,676 indexed records with 70,388 record images (was 228,437 records with 70,142 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014      (; 34,153,310 indexed records with 46,885,712 record images (was 34,153,310 records with 46,885,712 images), Updated 27 Dec 2019
*  Georgia, Columbus, Linwood and Porterdale Colored Cemeteries, Interment Records, 1866-2000      (; 31,311 indexed records with 1,403 record images (was 31,096 records with 1,394 images), Updated 27 Dec 2019
*  Italy, Trieste, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1924-1944   (; 1,459 indexed records with 789 record images (was 1,149 records with 621 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  United States, GenealogyBank Historical Newspaper Obituaries, 1815-2011 (; 9,584,169 indexed records with 1,413,300 record images (was 9,584,169 records with 1,413,300 images), Updated 21 Dec 2019
*  South Africa, Pietermaritzburg Estate Files 1846-1950   (; 441,537 indexed records with 309,689 record images (was 439,965 records with 309,432 images), Updated 26 Dec 2019
*  South Carolina, Charleston City Death Records, 1821-1926        (; 99,483 indexed records with 4,089 record images (was 49,944 records with 2,149 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  South Africa, Orange Free State, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1832-1989        (; 638,400 indexed records with 82,254 record images (was 459,453 records with 60,174 images), Updated 23 Dec 2019
*  South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-1976   (; 2,513 indexed records with 2,484 record images (was 0 records with 18 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  South Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-1973 (; 977 indexed records with 128 record images (was 714 records with 92 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Sierra Leone, Civil Births, 1802-1969   (; 1,141 indexed records with 1,134 record images (was 375 records with 374 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Belgium, Hainaut, Civil Registration, 1600-1913 (; 330,431 indexed records with 3,858,982 record images (was 321,664 records with 3,858,982 images), Updated 23 Dec 2019
*  California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994   (; 5,442,962 indexed records with 2,843,790 record images (was 5,441,340 records with 2,843,790 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  United States Public Records, 1970-2009 (; Index only (875,610,624 records), no images (was 875,610,621 records with 0 images), Updated 24 Dec 2019
*  Puerto Rico, Civil Registration, 1805-2001      (; 4,947,651 indexed records with 4,581,756 record images (was 4,947,173 records with 4,581,756 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Peru, Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, Catholic Church Records, 1665-2018(; 5,329 indexed records with 1,875 record images (was 4,985 records with 1,701 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Louisiana, New Orleans, Interment Registers, 1836-1972  (; 328,626 indexed records with 8,835 record images (was 327,129 records with 8,798 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Alabama Births and Christenings, 1881-1930      (; Index only (164,710 records), no images (was 5,191 records with 0 images), Updated 21 Dec 2019
*  England, Herefordshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1583-1898  (; 1,054,321 indexed records with 87,636 record images (was 1,054,294 records with 87,636 images), Updated 21 Dec 2019
*  Michigan, Civil War Centennial Observance Commission, Committee on Civil War Grave Registration, Burial Records (; 83,859 indexed records with 64,349 record images (was 45,478 records with 25,975 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999   (; 33,689 indexed records with 1,038,133 record images (was 31,313 records with 1,038,133 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Tennessee, Shelby County, Memphis, Board of Health Death Records, 1848-1913     (; 106,474 indexed records with 46,238 record images (was 103,665 records with 46,177 images), Updated 24 Dec 2019
*  Colombia, Bogotá, Burial Permits, 1960-1991     (; 139,155 indexed records with 85,355 record images (was 139,155 records with 80,909 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Peru, Ayacucho, Civil Registration, 1903-1999   (; 13,023 indexed records with 12,293 record images (was 9,934 records with 9,240 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Louisiana, New Orleans Index to Passenger Lists, 1853-1952      (; 439,344 indexed records with 434,904 record images (was 151,894 records with 150,390 images), Updated 26 Dec 2019
*  Peru, Huánuco, Civil Registration, 1889-1997    (; 104,670 indexed records with 708,628 record images (was 95,894 records with 708,628 images), Updated 28 Dec 2019
*  Ohio, County Births, 1841-2003  (; 4,063,199 indexed records with 1,431,304 record images (was 4,005,319 records with 1,431,304 images), Updated 23 Dec 2019

--- Collections with new images ---

*  Spain, Aragón, Electoral Censuses, 1890-1934    (; 4,972,408 indexed records with 43,925 record images (was 4,972,408 records with 35,863 images),  4 Jun 2019

*  United States, Native American, Census Rolls, 1885-1940 (; 5,620,882 indexed records with 299,631 record images (was 5,620,882 records with 293,739 images),  8 Nov 2019
*  Germany, Rhineland, Diocese of Trier, Catholic Church Records, 1704-1957        (; 2,043,205 indexed records with 206,456 record images (was 2,043,205 records with 203,211 images),  12 Sep 2019
*  Italy, Bologna, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806-1899   (; 27 indexed records with 18 record images (was 9 records with 6 images),  21 Dec 2019

--- Collections with images removed ---

*  Kentucky Death Records, 1911-1965       (; 1,681,924 indexed records with 1,676,683 record images (was 1,681,924 records with 1,680,433 images),  4 Nov 2019

*  United States, Native American, Eastern Cherokee Enrollment Records, 1908-1910  (; 129,983 indexed records with 3,638 record images (was 129,983 records with 3,831 images),  8 Jan 2019


In order to select a specific record collection on FamilySearch, go to and use the "Filter by collection name" feature in the upper left-hand corner and use keywords (e.g. "church england") to find collections with those keywords.

My friend, Marshall, has come up with a program to determine which collections are ADDED, DELETED or UPDATED.  Thanks to Marshall for helping me out here!
Each one of the collections listed above has a Research Wiki page (use the "Learn more" link).  It would be very useful if the Wiki page for each collection listed the dates for when the collection was added as a new collection and the dates for major updates also.


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Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Friday, December 27, 2019

Randy's "Best" Genea-Musings Posts in 2019

I guess it's OK to write this post now - I wrote over 960 blog posts in 2019, including some pretty good ones, IMHO.  I want to list the "best ones" - according to me!  They are the ones I want to be able to easily find later, or ones that might help another researcher.  I'll list them in chronological order:

 Dear Are You Fixing These Problems? (17 January 2019)  NOTE:  They Did!!

45 of them ... and I could have added more. It is heavy with Dear Randy, DNA, Ancestry, MyHeritage and personal research posts, but those are the ones that I want to easily be able to find and those that might help another researcher. 

 I hope you enjoy clicking through some of these over the New Year's holiday.  I did!  It's funny (haha, not strange) that I don't recall writing some of them.  More Gene-amnesia?  

 In addition, I transcribed and sourced many of the records and documents on hand in my weekly   Amanuensis Monday and Treasure Chest Thursday posts, plus the ancestor biographies in the 52 Ancestors series.  

With this list, I should be able to remember some of what I did wrote in 2019!


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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Genealogy News Bytes - 27 December 2019

Some of the genealogy news and education items across my monitor the last three days include:

2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

3)  Genealogy Education - Webinars (times are US Pacific):

 GeneaWebinars Calendar

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Wednesday, 8 January 2020, 5 p.m.:  Mistakes I Have Made: Confessions of a Repentant Genealogist, by Cheri Hudson Passey

*  Upcoming SCGS Webinar - Saturday, 4 January 2020, 10 a.m.:  Migration Trails Are Paper Trails: Let's Pick Through the Crumbs, by Sheila Benedict

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Google's Reverse Image Search, by Geoff Rasmussen

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Treasures and Hidden Secrets of the Illinois Regional Archives (IRAD), by Luana Darby

4)  Genealogy Education - Podcasts:

*  Fisher's Top Tips:  #140r - Family Archives

*  Generations Cafe:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

5)  Genealogy Videos (YouTube):

*  DNA Family Trees:  Top 10 Must watch Videos of 2019

6)  Genealogy Bargains:

7)  DNA Stories

7)  Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes - 24 December 2019?


Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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