Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year -- Let's Make 2022 a GREAT Genealogy Year!

I want to wish all of my readers a very Happy New Year for 2022.

May 2022 bring you happiness, good health, many friends, lots of love and more time to pursue your genealogy addiction passion.

May you complete all of your genealogy and family history goals and objectives (you do have them, don't you?) and may extra genea-blessings be provided to you! Have fun!!!

Stay tuned to Genea-Musings for more genealogy fireworks in 2022!!!

Let's sing the song:

And a beautiful song and scenery:


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Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

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Top 50 Most Viewed Posts in 2021 on Genea-Musings

 A)  Here are the Top 50 viewed Genea-Musings blog posts from 2021 that had the most page views in 2021 (from View Count statistics on the Google Blogger Posts page as of 30 December 2021):

1)  Findmypast announced major update to the National Burial Index For England & Wales (26 February 2021) - 3864 views
3) and Your Ancestry Member Tree (4 August 2021) - 2123 views
4)  Is This the Best Gravestone Ever? (8 February 2021) - 1940 views
5)  RootsTech Connect 2021 Class Sessions List Released (12 February 2021) - 1671 views

7)  Genealogy Pot-Pourri - Week Ending 2 August 2021 (2 August 2021) - 1254 views
8)  The Long-Awaited GEDCOM 7.0 is Here! (7 June 2021) - 1075 views

18)  Exploring RootsMagic 8 - #1 - the Main Screens (3 October 2021) - 892 views
20)  Changes to Genea-Musings (29 June 2021) - 861 views

23)  Rabbit Holes With Randy -- Wiltshire Probate Records (15 December 2021) - 854 views

26)  The Best Laid Plans -- Life Happens (28 June 2021) - 830 views

45)  What's Coming Soon To Ancestry? (16 June 2021) - 683 views

46)  Disproving an AncestryDNA ThruLine (3 November 2021) - 672 views

Why 50?  Well, the plan was to do a Top 30.  I guessed that 600 views would be #30 this past year, and I was listing them week by week in order and ended up with over 60 on the list.  So I cut it to 50!  

B)  The ten most popular Genea-Musings posts since 2007 (per Google Blogger) are:

1)  Microfilm Scanning at the FHL and FHC (posted 22 July 2009) - 76,910 views.

2)  1940 Census Enumeration District Maps Online at NARA Website (posted 18 July 2011) - 67,300 views.

3)  Genealogy Presentations on (posted 28 January 2010) - 25,940 views.

4)  Dear Are You Fixing These Problems? (17 January 2019) - 17000 views

5)  Merry Christmas to All! (posted 25 December 2011) - 14,900 views.

6)  World records for number of children (posted 21 July 2006) - 14,600 views.

7)  Randy's NGS 2010 Photos - Post 1 (posted 4 May 2010) - 9,345 views

8)  RootsTech 2017 Blog Compendium -- UPDATED (posted 1 March 2017) - 8212 views

9) Says They Will Work on Technical Problems (posted 11 May 2018) - 7910 views

10)  Book Review: "The Spyglass File," by Nathan Dylan Goodwin (posted  29 September 2016) -- 6,410 views

C)  Of course, all of my blog posts are viewed by many more readers than those that go to the specific web page for the post - those who read them on a Genea-Musings archive page, those that read them in an RSS reader, or on a mobile device, and those that receive them via email (Feedburner still works for me!).

Another measure of popularity or readership might be in the number of comments generated by each post.  I don't think that is a reliable measure of popularity because of the proliferation of RSS reader usage, email usage, and mobile device usage, each of which require one or more click throughs to get to the comment box.  In addition, there are thousands of spam comments in the list (now Google doesn't block them and I'm too lazy to do it every day).

It certainly seems like readers search for, Findmypast, DNA, Dear Randy, and genealogy software topics, and find my blog posts.  In recent years, my research posts - Amanuensis Monday, 52 Ancestors, Treasure Chest Thursday, etc. have made the Top 40 list.

D)  Previous "most popular" posts on Genea-Musings are:

E)  Readership of Genea-Musings went up a bit over the past year - perhaps more persons have started reading my blog (and other blogs) on a web browser or moved from a reader or email, or perhaps Genea-Musings has become more interesting and readers are excited by it.  For example, the 30th most viewed post last year had 642 views.  This year, the 30th most viewed post had 808 views and the 50th had 661 views.  

Google says that there were 1.66 million page views for Genea-Musings in 2021, and 13.2 million page views all time (since 2007).  These numbers include views of "Pages" on Genea-Musings - the subject headings at the top of the page.

I wrote about 870 blog posts this year, compared to over 950 for most years since 2007.

F)  I wondered what the least viewed Genea-Musings post was in 2021.  I know that Surname Saturday, Treasure Chest Thursday, Wordless Wednesday, and Seavers in the News posts are not that popular (but some made the Top 50 this year).  The least viewed blog post in 2021 (to date) was Treasure Chest Thursday -- 1693 Marriage of John Smith and Ruth Cutler in Charlestown, Massachusetts posted 23 December 2021, with 91 views.


Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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Genealogy News and Education Bytes -- Friday, 31 December 2021

 Welcome to Genealogy News and Education Bytes, posted on Tuesday afternoon and Friday afternoon, where we try to highlight the most important genealogy and family history news and education items that came across our desktop since the last issue.    

1)  News Articles:

2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

3)  Genealogy Education -- Conferences and Institutes

4)  Genealogy Education - Seminars, Webinars and Online Classes (times are US Pacific):

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar - Wednesday, 5 January, 11 a.m.:  The Only Thing You Need to Know About DNA and Genealogy, by Diahan Southard

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Tech Zone -- Adding a Video to a Microsoft Word Document, by Gena Philibert-Ortega.

5)  Genealogy Education - Podcasts/Radio Shows:

6)  Genealogy Videos (YouTube and Facebook):

*  Genealogy Quick Start: LIVE: Recipes... In Their Own Write!

7)  Did you miss the last post in this series -  Genealogy News and Education Bytes - 24 December 2021?


Copyright (c) 2021, 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, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

52 Ancestors - Week 412: #635 Ruth (Cutler) (Smith) Upham (1668-1738) of Charlestown and Reading, Massachusetts

Ruth Cutler (1668-1738)  is #635 on my Ahnentafel  List, my 7th great-grandmother, who married # 634 John Smith (1667-1704)  in 1693 in Charlestown, Suffolk County,  Massachusetts Bay Colony.

I am descended through

* their daughter #317 Mary Smith (1698-1746) who married #316 Ebenezer Phillips (1695-1746)  in 1717 .
* their son #108 John Phillips (1722-1800) who married #109 Hannah Smith (1725-1774) in 1749.
*  their #79 Martha Phillips (1757-1830) who married #78 Isaac Buck (1757-1846) in 1791.
* their daughter #39 Sophia Buck (1797-1882) who married #38 Lambert Brigham (1794-1834)  in 1817.
* their daughter #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) who married #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) in 1852.
* their daughter #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) who married #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874.
* their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
* their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in 1942.
* their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                         Ruth Cutler[1–3]
*  Alternate Name:         Ruth Smith[4]
*  Alternate Name:         Ruth Upham[6–7]

*  Sex:                            Female

*  Father:                       Thomas Cutler 1633-1683
*  Mother:                      Mary Giles 1635-????

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                          2 February 1668, Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[1]

*  Distribution:              14 June 1705 (age 37), husband's will proved; Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[4]

*  Distribution:              29 December 1735 (age 67), husband's will proved; Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[5]

*  Death:                       12 May 1738 (age 70), Wakefield, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[6–7]
*  Burial:                      after 12 May 1738 (after age 70), Old Burying Ground, Wakefield, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[7]

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

*  Spouse 1:                 John Smith 1667-1704
*  Marriage 1:             18 May 1693 (age 25), Charlestown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States[2-3]

*  Child 1:                  Ruth Smith 1694-1722
*  Child 2:                  Mary Smith 1697-1746
*  Child 3:                  Elizabeth Smith 1700- ????   
*  Child 4:                  Hannah Smith 1702-1704
*  Spouse 2:               Thomas Upham 1668-1735
*  Marriage 2:            about 1710 (about age 42), Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States

*  Child 5:                 Joseph Upham 1712-1792

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

Ruth Cutler was born 2 February 1668 in Reading, Massachusetts Bay, the daughter of Thomas and Mary (Giles) Cutler[1].

She married, first, John Smith of Charlestown on 18 May 1693 in Charlestown, Massachusetts Bay[2-3].  He was the son of Matthew and Alice (Leader) Smith.  John and Ruth (Cutler) Smith had four children, all born and recorded in Charlestown town records:

*  Ruth Smith (1694-1722), married about 1717 Thomas Upham (1694-1730).
*  Mary Smith (1698-1746), married about 1717 Ebenezer Phillips (1695-1746).
*  Elizabeth Smith (1700-????).
*  Hannah Smith (1702-1704).

John Smith wrote his will on 27 March 1704 which is in Middlesex County Probate Records Estate File 20,661[4]. The will is extremely difficult to read, but some parts of it cannot be deciphered.

John Smith of Charlestown, Taylor,  died on 31 March 1704, leaving a wife and four young daughters (ages 2 to 10).  He bequeathed 5 pounds to his wife Ruth in household stuff of her choice, and the use and improvement of the house, buildings, orchards and land that he dwelled on, and all moveable goods or estate within doors and without.  Ruth Smith was named executrix of the estate and the will was proved on 14 June 1705 in Middlesex County Probate Court in Cambridge.

Ruth (Cutler) Smith married, second, Thomas Upham (1668-1735) of Malden in about 1710. He was a widower with five young children.  They had one child, born in Malden:

*  Joseph Upham (1712-1792), married 1739 Elizabeth Richardson (1715-1776).

Thomas Upham, farmer of Reading, wrote his will on 13 January 1725[5].  He bequeathed to his wife Ruth one half the improvement of his homestead in Reading as long as she remained unmarried, and if she married, then his son Joseph should pay her one pound and 10 shillings every year.  He also bequeathed her two cows, his best bed and furniture belonging to it, and one half of the moveables.

Thomas Upham died 28 November 1735 in Reading, and the will was proved in Middlesex County Probate Court on 29 December 1735.

Ruth (Cutler) (Smith) Upham died 12 May 1738 in what is now Wakefield, Massachusetts[6-7], and is buried in the Old Burying Ground in Wakefield[7].  The inscription on the gravestone says:

"Here lyes
 the body of
Mrs Ruth Upham 
who departed this life
May ye 12th 1738 
In the 70th Year of her age"


1. Thomas W. Baldwin (compiler), Vital Records of Reading, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1912), Births, page 59, Ruth Cutler entry, 2 February 1668.

2. "Massachusetts, U.S., Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," indexed database and digital image, ( Charlestown > Archives, Births, Marriages, Deaths, 1629-1800, Marriages, page 515 (image 317 of 385), John Smith and Ruth Cutler entry, 18 May 1693.

3. Roger D. Joslyn, Vital Records of Charlestown, Massachusetts to 1850 (Boston, Mass. :  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1984), 3 Volumes, Marriages, page 754, John Smith and Ruth Cutler entry, 18 May 1693.

4. Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, "Middlesex Cases 20 000 to 21,999," Estate File 20,661 (5 images), John Smith of Charlestown, 1705; "Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871," indexed database and digital images, New England Historical and Genealogical Society, American Ancestors ( : accessed 21 December 2021).

5. Middlesex County, Massachusetts, "Middlesex Cases 22,000 to 23,999," Estate File 23,223 (9 images), Thomas Upham of Reading, 1735.

6. Thomas W. Baldwin, Vital Records of Wakefield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston, Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1912), Deaths, page 331, Ruth Upham entry, 12 May 1738, in her 70th year.

7. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image,  (, Old Burying Ground, Wakefield, Mass., Ruth Upham memorial #62032679.


NOTE: In 2014, 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 2021 for an eighth year to 416 Ancestors in 416 Weeks. The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

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Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

FamilySearch 2021 Genealogy Highlights

I received this information from FamilySearch today:


FamilySearch 2021 Genealogy Highlights

Major milestones include completion of massive microfilm digitization project and unparalleled RootsTech attendance
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—In 2021, FamilySearch completed the digitization of its massive microfilm collection—2.4 million rolls to be exact—and welcomed over 1 million people to its first all-virtual RootsTech Connect online event. FamilySearch International noted these and other 2021 achievements among its efforts to help create fun, free, family discoveries for individuals worldwide, and create the family tree of humankind.

FamilySearch Family Tree

Imagine billions of people making new family connections by sharing what they know about their family history to a free online family tree that ultimately constitutes the family tree of humankind. That is one long term goal of the FamilySearch Family Tree.

Crowdsourcing contributors worldwide added information about millions of deceased relatives to the FamilySearch Family Tree in 2021, making a total of 1.38 billion people now searchable in the world’s largest collaborative—and free—family tree!

Users also added hundreds of millions of sources—supporting facts—to their ancestors’ personal pages in the Family Tree. Sources can come from personal family records or hints generated by FamilySearch’s growing historical record collections. As the family tree of humankind grows, the number of ancestors that users have in common will also expand. Sources are important because they help strengthen the genealogical accuracy of ancestor pages—particularly for common, shared ancestors.

See what discoveries are waiting in the FamilySearch Family Tree for you. It’s free.

FamilySearch Searchable Records

To expand the branches of your family tree, you typically need access to genealogical records—documenting birth, marriage, death, census, military service, etc. FamilySearch now offers more than 14.3 billion searchable names and images from historical records from your ancestral homelands all over the globe. FamilySearch’s predecessors began gathering records in 1893 and started making these available on microfilm in 1938.

A major FamilySearch milestone in 2021 was the completion of the monumental task of digitizing its 2.4 million rolls of microfilm (See FamilySearch Completes Digitization of Massive Microfilm Collection). The initiative makes billions of ancestors from over 200 countries and principalities more readily discoverable online. FamilySearch’s Explore Historical Images feature enables users to effectively peruse digitized images from most of the microfilm collection online and more with a free FamilySearch account.

FamilySearch also added hundreds of millions of new, searchable, historical records in 2021. The top expansions included collections for Scandinavian countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland), the Netherlands, Spain, the Caribbean and Pacific Island countries, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Mexico, Uruguay, Venezuela, Peru, and more.

Search these free collections to see what was added for your ancestral homelands in 2021 now using the enhanced search feature at

FamilySearch Discovery Experiences

Global interest in personal family connections continues to grow. FamilySearch experienced over 200 million visits in 2021, with visitors combing through online ancestor records to extend their family tree and add family memories.

2021 enhancements that visitors can now enjoy include new discovery pages for ancestors in the family tree. These pages are an easy way to see your relative’s life story at a glance, view photos and stories, and understand the historical events they may have lived through.

It’s also easier than ever to see what FamilySearch can tell you about your relatives with the discovery search feature. This search allows you to see results from the Family Tree, historical records, memories and a surname search, all at the same time.

Finding Help with Family History

Need help with your family history? FamilySearch made wonderful enhancements to its menu of helpful services in 2021. You can now simply type in a topic or challenge, and suggested results will appear. The new FamilySearch Community forum enables you to easily find family history solutions and ask questions from—or even join—a helpful community of conscientious volunteers worldwide who are quick to respond—for free.

For those just getting started, FamilySearch also has a new page to guide you through your family history journey. From personal discoveries, to searching records, to creating a family tree or having family history fun, this page can get you started with simple steps.

Get started on your family history journey.

RootsTech Connect 2021 Highlights

RootsTech Connect welcomes millions of people worldwide to celebrate family and make family connections at the world’s largest family history conference and year-long learning platform. It offers thousands of classes, inspiring speakers, and meaningful activities that lead to fun family discoveries and foster new connections. Undaunted by the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and related travel restrictions, the 2021 event was held entirely online for the first time. The results were amazing and far reaching. The all-virtual RootsTech Connect 2021 attracted more than 1 million participants from 242 countries and territories (see RootsTech Attracts Over One Million Participants).

A key learning is attendees are as intensely interested in connecting with their living relatives as they are in discovering their ancestors. The stunning demand for the online event led Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO, to declare online learning a new core FamilySearch priority. He said FamilySearch would continue to explore ways to effectively globalize and localize learning and discovery experiences.

Register now for RootsTech Connect 2022 (March 3–5, 2022). It’s free!

Family History Library Reopening

People from all over the world flock to Salt Lake City, Utah, every year to take advantage of the abundant genealogical resources of FamilySearch’s Family History Library. The library serves beginner and professional family history patrons from all over the world and is a popular tourist attraction for the state of Utah.

The library was happy to begin a phased reopening starting in July 2021 (See FamilySearch Family History Library Reopening), following its closure on March 13, 2020, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Library took advantage of the prolonged closure to make needed renovations that will significantly improve patron discovery and research experiences. Enhancements include the addition of state-of-the-art patron workstations with dual monitors and adjustable height desks to accommodate sitting or standing preferences, enhanced workflow throughout the facility, a new patron dining area, and the addition of nearly 40,000 books from new acquisition and long-term storage.

The library also added or upgraded free patron services (Visit the new Family History Library web page). Guests can sign up for free, one-on-one virtual consultations with a research specialist (available in multiple languages). If you can’t come to the Library, a staff member can retrieve a book from its shelves or help you find what you’re seeking through the new record lookup service. In FamilySearch Communities online, guests can receive assistance from volunteers worldwide, including locating or interpreting ancestor records, asking questions, or sharing their expertise with others. The library also continued to expand its popular free online classes and webinars.

Find and share this announcement and additional images online in the FamilySearch Newsroom.


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Copyright (c) 2021, Randall J. Seaver

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