Saturday, December 23, 2023

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Your Genealogy and Family History Christmas Gifts

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It's Saturday Night again - 

Time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

(Photo courtesy of footnoteMaven)

Join in and accept the mission and execute it with precision. Here's your chance to sit on Genea-Santa's lap (virtually) and tell him about your actual or wishful genealogy and family history gifts.

Rev up the olde thynking cap and cue up the Mission Impossible music - your mission should you decide to accept it - keeping with the Christmas theme - is:

1) Pick out a genealogy-oriented Christmas gift for someone you know, admire, appreciate or love. It could be for a family member, someone in the genealogy community, or a friend or colleague. Describe your genealogy gift to them. [Note: you don't have to actually gift them, although it would be a nice thing to do!]

2) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

Here's mine:

1)  I would like to give the "Spirit of Genealogy" to one of my daughters and/or grandchildren. I have tried really hard to get them interested, but my daughters are really busy with family, children and careers. The grandchildren are really busy with school, work and friends (the oldest is age 20, the youngest age 9). I have told the grandchildren stories about myself and my ancestors in an effort to imbue them with an interest in family history. Although the research on my own family, and the research I've done on my wife's family, is incomplete, it is fairly well defined, but there are plenty of brickwall ancestors to search for. In addition, the genealogy of the fathers of the grandchildren is challenging and interesting.

2)  For 25 years (from 1988 to 2013), I wrote, edited, printed and mailed an 8 to 16 page "Seaver-Richmond Family Journal" to my brothers, mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins with information about my Seaver and Richmond family research.  I wonder if my brothers, daughters, and cousins would like to have an eBook of all of them?

3)  I've thought about doing a big family history chart (say 5 generations of my ancestors and 2 generations of descendants) from a commercial company for my brothers and my children.  

4)  I just finished copying/mailing and emailing our yearly Christmas letter to my friends and family which I started in 1983.  I have over 30 years of these letters (I'm missing 1983 to 1991) - many of them with family photos.  I wonder if my daughters would like to have an eBook of all of them?  Some are only in paper, but I could scan them.

5)  One of my Christmas gifts last year was a StoryWorth subscription.  I was told to write family stories and a book can be made from the stories written, edited and submitted.  I've done about 40 stories now, some with photographs, but the total page count is more than 400 pages, which is within the limit for the book.  That's a 2024 goal for this merry old grandpa.  And maybe do another StoryWorth subscription, or an eBook, for, say, ancestor biographies for the last four generations of my ancestors, perhaps including myself.

6)  Another 2024 goal is to create narrated Zoom videos of slide shows about me, my wife, our family, my parents families, and my grandparents families, and put them on my YouTube channel and in my Forever collection.

7)  For my CVGS members and colleagues, I want to update my eight hour "Beginning Genealogy" class notes and do Zoom videos of them for the CVGS website.  I last did this in-person class for CVGS in 2016, and for OASIS in 2019.  


Copyright (c) 2023, 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

Added and Updated FamilySearch Record Collections - Week of 16 to 22 December 2023

  I am keeping track of the new and updated historical record collections at FamilySearch ( every week.

As of 22 December 2023, there are 3,261 historical record collections on FamilySearch (an increase of 3 from last week):

The new and updated collections this week from FamilySearch are:

--- Collections Added ---

*  Canada Census, 1931 (; 1 indexed records with 1 record images, ADDED 21-Dec-2023

*  Montana, Polson, Tribal Census, 1870-1995 (; 52,399 indexed records with 7,714 record images, ADDED 15-Dec-2023

--- Collections Updated ---

Argentina, Catamarca, Civil Registration, 1888-2000 (; 147,987 indexed records with 147,692 record images (was 145,714 records with 145,467 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Argentina, Chaco, Civil Registration, 1889-1946 (; 119,750 indexed records with 119,286 record images (was 118,775 records with 118,315 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Argentina, Córdoba, Catholic Church Records, 1557-1974 (; 1,007,473 indexed records with 419,985 record images (was 1,001,302 records with 419,985 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Argentina, Entre Ríos, Catholic Church Records, 1764-1983 (; 671,139 indexed records with 235,772 record images (was 671,116 records with 235,772 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Aruba, Civil Registration, 1823-2004 (; 506,312 indexed records with 143,186 record images (was 506,057 records with 143,083 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023

Belgium, Brabant, Civil Registration, 1582-1950 (; 77,835 indexed records with 6,411,594 record images (was 76,717 records with 6,411,594 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912 (; 683,002 indexed records with 372,768 record images (was 680,426 records with 372,768 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996 (; 9,381,056 indexed records with 1,649,601 record images (was 9,379,045 records with 1,649,601 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Brazil, Alagoas, Church Records, 1802-2016 (; 1,204,997 indexed records with 181,423 record images (was 1,203,224 records with 181,057 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Brazil, Mato Grosso, Civil Registration, 1845-2013 (; Index only (817 records), no images (was 817 records with 0 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023

Brazil, Minas Gerais, Civil Registration, 1879-1949 (; 899,194 indexed records with 374,291 record images (was 896,508 records with 373,416 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Brazil, Paraná, Civil Registration, 1852-1996 (; 3,130,332 indexed records with 1,689,031 record images (was 3,122,827 records with 1,689,031 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Brazil, Pará, Civil Registration, 1815-1995 (; 238,505 indexed records with 72,280 record images (was 237,115 records with 71,834 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Civil Registration, 1860-2006 (; 1,721,259 indexed records with 877,947 record images (was 1,720,602 records with 877,665 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Civil Registration, 1829-2012 (; 6,909,474 indexed records with 5,100,470 record images (was 6,907,569 records with 5,100,470 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023

Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999 (; 755,849 indexed records with 1,037,638 record images (was 755,284 records with 1,037,638 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Brazil, Sergipe, Catholic Church Records, 1785-1994 (; 1,270,751 indexed records with 273,847 record images (was 1,266,166 records with 273,847 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Chile, Catholic Church Records, 1633-2015 (; 8,153,197 indexed records with 1,028,848 record images (was 8,138,615 records with 1,027,004 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1576-2018 (; 26,319,173 indexed records with 12,659,776 record images (was 26,436,941 records with 12,659,776 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Colombia, Civil Registration, 1553-2021 (; 723,723 indexed records with 854,016 record images (was 799,994 records with 854,016 images), UPDATED 20-Dec-2023

Colombia, DAS Civil Registration Alphabetic Cards, 1937-1990 (; 1 indexed records with 1 record images (was 1 records with 1 images), UPDATED 20-Jun-2023
Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992 (; 4,338,108 indexed records with 962,203 record images (was 4,337,125 records with 962,203 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Croatia, Church Books, 1516-1994 (; 2,994,271 indexed records with 1,421,761 record images (was 2,994,065 records with 1,421,761 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Czech Republic, Church Books, 1552-1981 (; 15,034,995 indexed records with 4,668,489 record images (was 13,259,992 records with 4,668,489 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Census, 1984 (; 12,001,359 indexed records with 2,332,584 record images (was 1,970,160 records with 587,093 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023

Democratic Republic of the Congo, National Identity Cards, 1884-2019 (; 5,909,675 indexed records with 5,948,980 record images (was 5,794,858 records with 5,809,620 images), UPDATED 20-Dec-2023
Dominican Republic Civil Registration, 1801-2010 (; 2,554,851 indexed records with 3,416,801 record images (was 2,471,349 records with 3,416,801 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1975 (; 2,287,230 indexed records with 238,265 record images (was 2,286,677 records with 238,265 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Ecuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011 (; 6,149,971 indexed records with 1,454,787 record images (was 6,149,912 records with 1,454,787 images), UPDATED 16-Dec-2023
Finland, Tax Lists, 1809-1915 (; 962,752 indexed records with 11,757 record images (was 960,870 records with 11,878 images), UPDATED 16-Dec-2023

France, Hautes-Alpes, Census, 1876 (; 96,831 indexed records with 1,528 record images (was 96,831 records with 1,855 images), UPDATED 18-Dec-2023
Germany, North Rhine-Westphalia, Wuppertal, Civil Registration, 1810-1930 (; 85,866 indexed records with 84,238 record images (was 84,556 records with 82,943 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Gibraltar, Church Records, 1697-1991 (; 53,533 indexed records with 5,197 record images (was 52,982 records with 5,123 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Chimaltenango, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 819,599 indexed records with 3,075 record images (was 819,135 records with 3,075 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Chiquimula, Civil Registration, 1877-2008 (; 451,606 indexed records with 352,864 record images (was 451,331 records with 353,008 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023

Guatemala, El Progreso, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 254,427 indexed records with 103,502 record images (was 254,297 records with 103,502 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2006 (; 4,589,636 indexed records with 1,486 record images (was 4,579,089 records with 1,486 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 997,341 indexed records with 17,993 record images (was 997,240 records with 17,993 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Izabal, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 419,861 indexed records with 9,848 record images (was 419,827 records with 9,848 images), UPDATED 20-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Quetzaltenango, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 1,252,732 indexed records with 41,022 record images (was 1,252,635 records with 41,022 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023

Guatemala, Quiché, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 1,064,674 indexed records with 70,397 record images (was 1,064,643 records with 70,397 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Retalhuleu, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 448,859 indexed records with 550 record images (was 448,802 records with 550 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 356,610 indexed records with 63 record images (was 356,519 records with 63 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, San Marcos, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 1,127,629 indexed records with 16,730 record images (was 1,127,541 records with 16,730 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Santa Rosa, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 456,794 indexed records with 97,101 record images (was 456,713 records with 97,101 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023

Guatemala, Sololá, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 498,645 indexed records with 70,746 record images (was 498,584 records with 70,746 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Suchitepéquez, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 717,426 indexed records with 1,312 record images (was 716,890 records with 1,312 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Totonicapán, Civil Registration, 1930-2008 (; 606,976 indexed records with 469,068 record images (was 606,858 records with 411,867 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Guatemala, Zacapa, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 284,257 indexed records with 18,271 record images (was 284,158 records with 18,271 images), UPDATED 17-Dec-2023
Haiti, Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, Catholic Church Records, 1866-2017 (; 79,507 indexed records with 7,439 record images (was 77,942 records with 9,556 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023

India, Catholic Church Records, 1751-2014 (; 3,510,299 indexed records with 67,490 record images (was 845,682 records with 67,490 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
India, Madras Diocese Protestant Church Records, 1743-1990 (; 332,565 indexed records with 39,904 record images (was 332,289 records with 39,904 images), UPDATED 20-Dec-2023
Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1740-1900 (; 5,148,971 indexed records with 183,760 record images (was 5,073,254 records with 175,574 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Italy, Sassari, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1803-1942 (; 51,311 indexed records with 17,842 record images (was 51,057 records with 17,758 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Italy, Treviso, Treviso, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1871-1941 (; 8,998 indexed records with 427,232 record images (was 8,294 records with 427,232 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023

Italy, Venezia, Venezia, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1871-1930 (; 36,046 indexed records with 628,744 record images (was 34,995 records with 628,744 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Mexico, Michoacán, Catholic Church Records, 1555-1996 (; 5,776,589 indexed records with 5,283,986 record images (was 5,772,988 records with 5,283,986 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Mexico, Puebla, Catholic Church Records, 1545-1977 (; 8,981,438 indexed records with 6,124,553 record images (was 8,979,778 records with 6,124,553 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Mexico, Querétaro, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1970 (; 3,035,845 indexed records with 1,380,077 record images (was 3,034,839 records with 1,380,077 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Norway, Probate Index Cards, 1640-1903 (; Index only (609,805 records), no images (was 604,508 records with 0 images), UPDATED 16-Dec-2023

Ohio, Stillbirths, 1918-1953 (; 166,031 indexed records with 165,855 record images (was 164,101 records with 163,927 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Palau, Church Records, 1921-1940 (; 2,953 indexed records with 260 record images (was 2,762 records with 250 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Paraguay, Civil Registration, 1842-2012 (; 4,391 indexed records with 5,303 record images (was 4,078 records with 4,990 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992 (; 21,002,856 indexed records with 4,192,353 record images (was 20,991,656 records with 4,192,353 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Portugal, Setúbal, Catholic Church Records, 1555-1911 (; 1,089,210 indexed records with 829,309 record images (was 1,088,904 records with 829,309 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023

Puerto Rico, Catholic Church Records, 1645-1969 (; 3,319,919 indexed records with 191,547 record images (was 3,319,911 records with 191,547 images), UPDATED 20-Dec-2023
Russia, Lutheran Church Book Duplicates, 1833-1885 (; 366,352 indexed records with 128,317 record images (was 362,625 records with 128,317 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Russia, Tobolsk, Church Books, 1722-1930 (; 8,807,592 indexed records with 660,143 record images (was 364,114 records with 79,932 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Russia, Tomsk, Church Books, 1752-1918 (; 2,185,639 indexed records with 342,503 record images (was 1,241,703 records with 257,222 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Russia, Tver Church Books, 1722-1918 (; 16,136,313 indexed records with 3,278,129 record images (was 16,012,703 records with 3,278,129 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023

South Africa, Western Cape, Deceased Estate Files, 1951-1958 (; 434,185 indexed records with 342,724 record images (was 422,059 records with 342,623 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Spain, Province of Gerona, Municipal Records, 1566-1956 (; 1,272,665 indexed records with 390,067 record images (was 1,260,733 records with 390,067 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Sweden, Stockholm City Archives, Index to Church Records, 1546-1927 (; 1,202,270 indexed records with 78,527 record images (was 1,201,274 records with 69,656 images), UPDATED 18-Dec-2023
Texas, Hidalgo County, Marriage Records, 1875-2021 (; 120,945 indexed records with 131,327 record images (was 47,486 records with 60,413 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Ukraine, Kiev Confession Lists, 1741-1918 (; 2,018,850 indexed records with 40,448 record images (was 1,980,355 records with 40,448 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023

United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, Births, and Marriages 1980-2014 (; 27,606,102 indexed records with 46,885,461 record images (was 27,606,102 records with 46,885,461 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975 (; 53,167,634 indexed records with 8,129,310 record images (was 52,146,805 records with 8,129,310 images), UPDATED 18-Dec-2023
Uruguay Civil Registration, 1879-1930 (; Index only (1,102,776 records), no images (was 1,094,587 records with 0 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Venezuela Civil Registration, 1873-2003 (; 1,080,523 indexed records with 586,312 record images (was 1,078,770 records with 586,312 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023
Venezuela, Archdiocese of Caracas, Catholic Church Records, 1638-2020 (; 189,638 indexed records with 69,877 record images (was 185,755 records with 69,169 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023

Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Birth Records, 1853-1896 (; 1,944,700 indexed records with 42,402 record images (was 1,940,338 records with 42,280 images), UPDATED 21-Dec-2023
Zimbabwe, Diocese of Mutare, Catholic Church Records, 1898-2022 (; 3,151 indexed records with 12,289 record images (was 1,546 records with 7,200 images), UPDATED 22-Dec-2023

--- Collections with new images ---

Arkansas Confederate Soldier Home,1890-1963 (; 1,531 indexed records with 1,393 record images (was 1,531 records with 12 images), last updated 08-Aug-2019
France, Calvados, Military Registration Cards, 1867-1921 (; 144,096 indexed records with 127,060 record images (was 144,096 records with 126,747 images), last updated 04-Jan-2022
France, Rhône, Military Registration Cards, 1865-1932 (; 405,064 indexed records with 404,004 record images (was 405,064 records with 298,203 images), last updated 20-Dec-2021
Puerto Rico, San Juan, Cemetery Records, 1888-1988 (; 83,234 indexed records with 32,990 record images (was 83,234 records with 29,054 images), last updated 28-Nov-2023
Texas, Gonzales County, School Records, 1910-1970 (; 849,777 indexed records with 31,743 record images (was 849,777 records with 31,570 images), last updated 19-Mar-2020

--- Collections with images removed ---

Colombia, Censuses, 1777-1967 (; 9,012 indexed records with 1,016 record images (was 9,012 records with 1,483 images), last updated 30-Nov-2023
Ohio, World War I Statement of Service Cards, 1914-1919 (; 34,728 indexed records with 32,406 record images (was 34,728 records with 33,860 images), last updated 04-Mar-2020
Scandinavia, Mission Emigration Records, 1852-1920 (; 27,406 indexed records with 510 record images (was 27,406 records with 893 images), last updated 11-Jul-2019
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Record of Members (Worldwide), 1836-1970 (; 608,834 indexed records with 48,096 record images (was 608,834 records with 56,981 images), last updated 17-Nov-2023
United States, California, San Francisco, Records of Chinese Laborers Returning to the US, 1882-1888 (; 51,387 indexed records with 5,469 record images (was 51,387 records with 5,842 images), last updated 28-Nov-2023

--- Collections with records removed ---

United States Public Records, 1970-2009 (; Index only (875,610,070 records), no images (was 875,610,080 records with 0 images), last updated 19-Aug-2020


My friend and SDGS colleague, Marshall, has come up with a way to determine which collections are ADDED, DELETED or UPDATED, and to alphabetize the entries in each category. Thanks to Marshall for helping me out here!

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.

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.


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2023 Randall J. Seaver

Note that all comments are moderated, so they may not be posted immediately.

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

Friday, December 22, 2023

Added and Updated Record Collections - Period of 16 to 22 December 2023

 The following genealogy record collections were listed on the Recently Added and Updated Collections on during the period from 16 to 22 December 2023 (but including collections added or updated after my last post): 

The ADDED and Updated collections include:

U.S., Find a Grave® Index, 1600s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Global, Find a Grave® Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Mexico, Find a Grave® Index, 1800s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

UK and Ireland, Find a Grave® Index, 1300s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Norway, Find a Grave® Index, 1800s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Italy, Find a Grave® Index, 1800s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Sweden, Find a Grave® Index, 1800s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Canada, Find a Grave® Index, 1600s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Australia and New Zealand, Find a Grave® Index, 1800s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Brazil, Find a Grave® Index, 1800s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

Germany, Find a Grave® Index, 1600s-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/19/2023

UK and Ireland, Obituary Index, 2004-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/15/2023

Australia and New Zealand, Obituary Index, 2004-Current; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/15/2023

Oklahoma, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1890-1995; indexed records with record images, Updated 12/14/2023

Dordogne, France, Censuses, 1831-1896; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/14/2023

Dordogne, France, Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1540-1896; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/14/2023

Courland, Latvia, Jewish Enlistment Registers and Family Lists, 1845-1874; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/14/2023

Prince Edward County, Virginia, U.S., Deaths, 1880-1896; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/14/2023

Aisne, France Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1408-1930; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/14/2023

Pyrénées-Orientales, France, Censuses, 1836-1906; indexed records without record images, ADDED 12/14/2023

Sacramento, California, U.S., California Biographical Great Books, 1867, 1872; indexed records without record images, Updated 12/14/2023


Ancestry appears to be updating their Recently Added and Updated Collections on page several days later than collections are actually added.  For instance, the post for 9 to 15 December 2023 did not include the 10 collections added or updated on 14-15 December as listed above.

The complete Card Catalog is at  

By my count, there was 1 NEW record collections ADDED this past week, per the list above.  There are now 33,395 collections available as of 22 December, DECREASE of 1 from last week.  


Disclosure: I receive a complimentary all-access subscription from, for which I am thankful. has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

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ICYMI: My Santa Claus Memories

One of the Saturday Night Genealogy Fun posts in years past was four questions about your experiences with Santa Claus.  Here are my responses:

1) Did you ever send a letter to Santa Claus?

I don't think I ever did send a letter.

2) Did you ever visit Santa and "make a list?"

We visited Santa Claus every year down at the Marston's Department Store in downtown San Diego where my grandfather worked for 55 years. I think we "made a list" sometimes, especially as we got older and the desired gifts became more complex. My recollection of visiting Santa is one of awe - this really big fat person in a red suit with a long white beard, who flies around the world in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, who goes down chimneys to leave gifts for children, all in one night - I knew the story and didn't question it for a long time (being a pretty smart kid, I guess).

An aside:  Yes, that's me on Santa's lap in about 1953 at Marston's Department Store.  I really wanted to make this photograph colorized so I did it in both the MyHeritage Photos and Ancestry Photo shops but Santa's outfit turned out black.  

3) Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

They say that in the first part of your life, you BELIEVE IN Santa Claus. In the second part of your life, you DON'T BELIEVE IN in Santa Claus. In the third part of your life, you ARE Santa Claus, and in the last part of your life, you LOOK LIKE Santa Claus. In my case, I have three of these attributes ... still (I hope!).

The magic of Santa Claus in a child's eyes is priceless. Everybody eventually FIGURES OUT that SC is a figment of imagination - why do we fool our children like that? I love giving gifts to my wife, children and grandchildren, especially secret gifts. I've had a beard for 45 years, been practicing my "ho-ho-ho's" forever, but am working on reducing the belly. I still believe ... irrational, isn't it? 

I love going to the shopping center, and sitting on a bench near Santa's workshop and watching the little ones go up and talk to Santa. Several years ago, one little boy waved at me on the escalator the other day - he knew! I've thought about being a "store Santa," but doubt if I ever will.  I even had an offer five years ago to be a "store Santa" - a guy in line at the Padres game invited me to join them!  Then there's my 9-year old grandson, Charlie, who used to call me "Grandpa Ho-Ho-Ho."

I try to watch the movie "Christmas Story" every year and laugh at all of the jokes - especially the Santa Claus, the dad's lamp, the mom working so hard, the boy's tongue stuck to the lamppost, and the BB gun incident.

4) When did you find out "the truth" about Santa Claus?

We lived on the second story of a two-story house at 2119 30th Street in San Diego from the time I was 4 until I left home in 1968 at age 24. The house did not have a fireplace, so my brother Stan and I could never figure out how Santa Claus could bring the presents under the tree. Did he come in the window? Did Dad leave a key or leave the door unlocked?

My maternal grandparents, Lyle and Emily Carringer (“Gram and Gramps”), built a beautiful home on Point Loma in 1951, and Christmas Eves were spent there for many years – and it had a fireplace! Our stockings were hung there in hopes that Saint Nick would fill them to the brim. Before bedtime, my grandmother would lead us in Christmas carols while we lay in bed – it was a wonderful way to fall asleep, and is one of my most cherished memories of her (my eyes tear up every time I think of this! they just did again).

Santa was always good to us, probably because, in retrospect, we were usually pretty good boys – mischievous but not criminal, loud but not abusive, whirlwinds but not destructive. We usually received toys that were all the rage of the day, plus the usual boring clothes, and fruit, candy and small toys in our stockings. The most memorable gifts were the "good" toys, of course. BB guns and Davy Crockett coonskin caps in 1954, Flexible Flyers (sleds on wheels) and a baby brother in 1955, bicycles in 1956.

Of course, Santa Claus isn’t mysterious forever. The Point Loma house had a two car garage that my grandparents had filled with generations of stuff – it was a wonderful place to hide, explore and search. Brother Stan and I wanted bicycles in 1956. We found the bicycles in the garage before Christmas, but didn’t tell anybody else. Sure enough, on Christmas morning they appeared by the fireplace and Christmas tree marked “from Santa Claus.” Aha! So, now we knew, but being rather smart astronauts we didn’t tell the folks – why kill the golden goose?


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Findmypast Friday: Discover Workhouse Records, School Logs and So Much More

I received this information from Findmypast today:


Discover workhouse records, school logs and so much more

From London to Lincolnshire, there are almost 20,000 fascinating new records for you to explore this Christmas.

In our last record update of 2023, we've added over 18,500 English records. These fascinating additions include monumental inscriptions from Yorkshire, Lincolnshire workhouse guardians' minutes, and 18th-century school records from the UK's first free school for deaf children.

We've also added two new titles to our newspaper collection, taking us past yet another exciting landmark.

Yorkshire Monumental Inscriptions

We've added 8,273 transcriptions to our existing collection of monumental inscriptions from Yorkshire. Spanning from 1807 right up to 2022, these latest additions are from parishes across the county. To see the parishes included, check our updated list.

There are now over 318,000 records in this set. Each is a transcription of the details on a gravestone in Yorkshire. In the records, you can expect to learn names, ages, birth years, death years, inscription details, and descriptions of each grave site, as well as the memorials' locations.

Lincolnshire, Workhouse Guardians' Minutes

This week's second update brings a brand-new record set, comprising 9,354 workhouse guardian records from Lincolnshire. These additions span 1837 to 1901 and document poor law relief applications as recorded by the guardians who administered each case.

London, Asylum for the Deaf & Dumb Pupils 1792-1859

Last but not least, we've got yet another brand-new set. Containing 899 records, this collection is from the London Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb - the first free public institution in England to offer education to deaf children from poor families.

Peruse Pictures and more...

This week, we added 127,786 new pages to our newspaper collection, taking our total page count past the impressive 73 million landmark. With two new titles - the Blyth News Post Leader and Pictures - there are more stories to explore than ever.

Here's a full rundown of all that's been added this week.

New titles:
  • Blyth News Post Leader, 1987-1988, 1991-1992
  • Pictures, 1911
Updated titles:
  • Atherstone News and Herald, 1991
  • Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, 1895, 1903, 1905, 1917-1920, 1930, 1960-1970, 1985-1989, 1991-1992
  • Deal, Walmer & Sandwich Mercury, 1986
  • Gloucestershire Echo, 1995-1996, 1998-1999
  • Kent Messenger, 1941
  • Kentish Express, 1976
  • Maidstone Journal and Kentish Advertiser, 1873-1875, 1878-1886, 1909
  • Maidstone Telegraph, 1939, 1941-1945
  • Pateley Bridge & Nidderdale Herald, 1987-1989
  • South Eastern Gazette, 1977
Last week, we added new parish records for Kent and over 187,000 1939 register entries. Discover the full release here.


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.

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Thursday, December 21, 2023

ICYMI: Twelve Days of a Genealogy Christmas - Randy's Version

 A genealogy oriented version of the Twelve Days of Christmas was available on the Internet on  Kimberly Powell's site for many years, but it is, apparently, no longer available.

Way back around 2007, I decided I would do my own "12 Days" based on genealogy, my own needs and my own research (modified occasionally):

On the 12th day of Christmas,

My true love gave to me --

*  Twelve Revolutionary War pension files (with the Family Bible pages included) (12)

*  Eleven autosomal DNA matches with common ancestors noted (22)

*  Ten Social Security Application and Claims records (30)

*  Nine Facebook postings from distant cousins (36)

*  Eight probate files (40)

*  Seven census pages (42)

*  Six land deeds (42)

*  Five obituaries (40)

*  Four church marriage records (36)

*  Three new ancestor names for my family tree (30)

*  Two draft registration images (22)

*  A lost family Bible with births, marriages and deaths in it (12)

I've put the total number in parenthesis of each item - if you sing the song all the way through, going one number at a time.

My true love is a busy girl, isn't she?

But, but, but ... that would take all the fun out of the ancestor search, wouldn't it?

Watch John Denver and the Muppets sing the song in

What do you want for Twelve Days of Genealogical Christmas?


Note:  This is another "oldie but a goodie" post over the past 16 years.  Other genealogy bloggers have done a similar list over the years - can you find them?

Copyright (c) 2023, Randall J. Seaver

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American Ancestors / New England Historic Genealogical Society News

 I received the message below from American Ancestors/NEHGS President and CEO Brenton Simons today and thought my readers might be interested:


Dear Friend, 


Greetings! I write to you with important news from American Ancestors / New England Historic Genealogical Society.  


In early September, I informed our Chair and Board of Trustees of my desire to remain on our staff but to step back from my longtime role as President and CEO in early 2024. After 18 years in the latter position and 30 years as a member of our staff, I felt ready to change my role at the Society to one which develops new scholarship, stewards key personal and institutional relationships, and enthusiastically supports my successor in reaching our ambitious goals and strategic vision.   


Accordingly, I am happy to announce that I will become President Emeritus and Chief Stewardship Officer of the Society as of January 1, 2024. I am not retiring and expect to remain fully engaged as a member of the Society’s staff for years to come, and so this is not a farewell but rather a moment of healthy and positive transition. This model has a wonderful precedent at the Society. When my predecessor, Dr. Ralph J. Crandall, stepped back as the Society’s Executive Director 18 years ago, he transitioned into a role supporting me as the then-new President and CEO for eight highly productive years. So, that excellent example provided inspiration for the present transition. 


Thank you for all your support not just as the organization’s President and CEO, but throughout my entire career at the Society dating back to 1993 (and even as a member since 1985!). 

I am very proud of our accomplishments together, especially over the last 18 years, including our tremendous growth in online content (now with more than 1.4 billion names at, membership growth (now numbering almost 450,000 members and subscribers in 139 countries), our fundraising efforts (now in excess of $100 million just in this period), our new state-of-the-art annex presently under construction in Boston, our sponsorship of groundbreaking research projects such as The Great Migration to New England and 10 Million Names, our service to increasingly diverse populations, as well as youth education programs, outstanding books and journals, heritage tours, our continued involvement with Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS, and much more.


This is only a small sampling of what we have accomplished together. None of this could have been achieved without the steadfast support of loyal members everywhere, a professional and supremely dedicated staff, thousands of volunteers, generous donors, and a highly supportive Board of Trustees and Council. Please accept my heartfelt thanks.  


It has been, and it will continue to be, my great pleasure and honor to meet and work with our members throughout the United States and abroad. As a devoted genealogist, I am happiest when I can help our constituents discover their roots with the best, most carefully vetted genealogical scholarship and historical resources in the field. For our constituents and the public at large, understanding their place in the great American story is an important service to our nation. It is my great privilege to be able to continue this work in a new role.  


I could not be more pleased that the Board of Trustees has selected my colleague of 17 years, Ryan J. Woods, to succeed me as President and CEO. We are thrilled to have him step into the role and lead our beloved organization into the future.  You will be hearing more about Ryan and his vision for American Ancestors early next year.  

In the meantime, I hope to see you soon and I wish you all the best in this special holiday season and in 2024!  


With the greatest appreciation,  

Brenton signature_jp

Brenton Simons OBE

President and CEO 

The New England Historic Genealogical Society and American Ancestors have been extremely useful to me in my genealogy and family history research.  I have been a subscriber since 1992 (I think) and have perused every issue of the NEHG Register and American Ancestors Magazine since then.  I visited the society location in Boston several times in the 1990s, and have enjoyed seeing Brenton and his staff members at genealogy conferences over the past fifteen years.  I also read their free weekly newsletter and look forward to it on Wednesday mornings.

The growth of the society, and its' holdings and digital record collections has been phenomenal over the past twenty years.  They have kept up with the digital revolution and with social media too - I watch their YouTube channel videos every so often, especially when they present new features and collections.  

To Brenton - THANK YOU for steering this magnificent genealogy "ship" so skillfully through the genealogy and family history times we live in!  

To Ryan - Good luck -- you have a big challenge to meet and big shoes to fill, but I know you and your staff are up to it!  


Disclosure:  I have been a paid member of NEHGS ever since 1992 (I think) and have appreciated everything they have produced and provided in that time.  

Copyright (c) 2023, Randall J. Seaver

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