My Kindle Books


Monthly Archives:

Monday Genea-Pourri – Week Ending 20 October 2019

Here are the highlights of my family history and genealogy related activities over the past week:

1)  Moderated the Chula Vista Genealogical Society (CVGS) DNA Interest Group Meeting  on Wednesday with 12 attendees.  I reported on the Ancestry Health announcement, the FamilyTreeDNA health announcement, the 23andMe updated ethnicity and family tree, the MyHeritagwe Live 2019 DNA videos, the RootsTech London livestreams and handouts, and my Newton/Brigham DNA matches.  The attendees reported on the status of their DNA test results and analyses.  

2)  Participated in Mondays With Myrt today.  The panel discussed the Zoom webinar and meetings features, RootsTech London, the Society of Genealogists, the Irish Genealogy site with free BMD records, removal of FamilySearch records, and the obituary hints.  

3)  Finished up my new presentation on “Researching in Historical Newspapers” which I will give at the 30 October CVGS general meeting.  I still need to do the syllabus.

3)  Watched one MyHeritage Live 2019 video –  The Worldwide DNA Web by Alon Diament Carmel. 

4)  Wrote and posted a biographical sketch of 6th great-grandmother #511 Sarah (Campbell) Rolfe (1746-1838) for my 52 Ancestors biographical sketch on Friday.  This completes my known 6th great-grandparents and closer ancestors.

6)  Ancestry added about 4,000 record hints for the Obituary Index and I started resolving them, adding content and sources to my RootsMagic tree.  I used the mining tool for a specific Ancestry record collection.
7) There were several sessions working in the RootsMagic software program to match with and update FamilySearch Family Tree profiles for Seaver families and my ancestral families, with occasional additions to the RootsMagic profiles. I have matched 33,163 of my RootsMagic persons with FSFT.

8)  Used Web Hints and Record Matches from Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch to add content and sources to my RootsMagic profiles.  I now have 55,167 persons in my RootsMagic file, and 111,073 source citations.   I TreeShared thrice this week updating 276 profiles, and I resolved 1105 Ancestry Hints.  I’ve fallen behind on the Ancestry Record Hints with 120,220 to be resolved, but I work on them weekly.

9)  Added several more ThruLines to DNA matches to my RootsMagic file.  Added Notes to about 5 AncestryDNA matches.   Downloaded  new MyHeritageDNA shared cM match list and got it into a spreadsheet, hoping to find common ancestors for my matches.  Tried to obtain the Auto cluster analysis but it failed for some reason.

10) Wrote 17 Genea-Musings blog posts last week, of which two were a press release.  The most popular post last week was 
New Collection on – Obituary Index, 1800s to Current  
with over 472 views.


The URL for this post is: 

Copyright (c) 2019, 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

Chaplin on Climate Recording in Almanacs, 18 Oct.

Joyce Chaplin, Professor of Early American History at Harvard University, is compiling a large database of the notes people kept in their almanacs about the daily weather.

On the afternoon of Friday, 18 October, Chaplin will speak on “Climate in Words and Numbers: How Early Americans Recorded Weather in Almanacs” as part of the M.I.T. Seminar on Environmental and Agricultural History. In particular:

Her talk focuses on how people recorded weather in numbers (including degrees Fahrenheit) and in words, ranging from “dull” to “elegant!” These notations are significant as records of a period of climate change, the Little Ice Age, also as records of how people made sense of and coped with that climatic disruption.

This talk and discussion are scheduled from 2:30 to 4:30 P.M. in Room 095 of Building E51 at the corner of Amherst and Wadsworth Street in Cambridge.

Chaplin is also scheduled to present her research in the Environmental History Seminar at the Massachusetts Historical Society on Tuesday, 3 December, starting at 5:15 P.M.

Here’s a sample of the sort of data Chaplin is working with. It’s a page from interleaved almanac kept by Andrew Bordman in 1743, now part of the Harvard libraries’ vast holdings.

This shows that November 1743 started out “Very pleasant,” but the 3rd brought “wind Fogy & Rain.” There were three straight days of rain at the middle of the month, and on 23 November “great Storm Snow over Shoes.” How will next month compare?

Genealogy News Bytes – 18 October 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, 23 October, 11 a.m.:  Privacy: How to Protect Your Information Online, by Judy G. Russell
*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar – Wednesday, 23 October, 3 a.m.:  Die MyHeritage Matching Technologien (German), by MyHeritage
*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Civil Law Records in Genealogical Research: Notarial Records, by Claire Bettag

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Italian Civil Registration (Stato Civile): Going Beyond the Basics, by Melanie D. Holtz

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Long Distance Italian Genealogy Research, by Shellee Morehead

4)  Genealogy Education – Podcasts:

*  Fisher’s Top Tips:  #120r – Immigration Records

*  Ancestral Findings:  How to Find Distant Relatives | AF-290

5)  Genealogy Videos (YouTube):

*  Amie Bowser Tennant:  Family Story Friday: When Her Baby Died
*  DNA Family Trees:  New Ancestry Product Released Today!
*  Family History Ron:  Family History Ron Q&A 14 Oct 2019

6)  Genealogy Bargains:

7)  DNA Stories

8)  Did you miss the last Genealogy News Bytes – 15 October 2019?


Copyright (c) 2019, 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

Seavers in the News – Nellie Agnes Seaver Dies in Kansas in 1893 at Age 17

It’s time for another edition of “Seavers in the News” – a weekly feature from the historical newspapers about persons with the surname Seaver that are interesting, useful, mysterious, fun, macabre, or add information to my family tree database.

This week’s entry is from the The Miami Republican [Paola, Kan.] newspaper dated 24 November 1893:

The transcription of the article is:

MRS. NELLIE SEAVER, wife of Arthur Seaver, died Tuesday, November 21, at 12 o’clock noon, t their home a mile and a quarter east of Hillsdale.  Her age was seventeen years.  She was the second daughter of W.P. Officer of Hillsdale, and was married to Mr. Seaver a few days less than a year.  About five months ago she was taken with hemorrhage of the lungs and two weeks ago was confined.  She was a member of the Presbyterian church and was a kind, affectionate wife and daughter, and her death brings extreme sorrow to her husband and parents.  The funeral services were held Wednesday at 11 o’clock, Rev. Boaz conducting.  The remains were buried in the cemetery at Hillsdale.

A second article was published in The Western Spirit [Paola, Kan] newspaper dated 24 November 1893:

The transcription of the article is:
Mrs. Nellie Agnes Seaver, wife of Arthur Seaver, died November 21st, 1893, aged 17 years, 1 month and 29 days.  Just one short year ago she put on her bridal robes and plighted her vows to him whom she loved.  Though she suffered much, her peace in God was unbroken.  Retaining consciousness to the last, she gave detailed directions concerning her burial.

“Funeral services were conducted at Hillsdale C.P. church by the pastor, Rev. E.C. Boaz, assisted by Rev. R.H. Sherar.

“In the great future day, when we brush off the dust
From the glass, and we see face to face,
When backward we look o’er the path of the just,
And our own weary foot-prints we trace,
Then we’ll know how it was the Great Father above
Upon each the best lot did bestow,
How he gave with each sorrow a touch of his love —
And we’ll know it was best it was so.
                                — Wagstaff C.P. Church News.”
The source citation for the first article is (indexed as “Akllie Seaver” for some reason):

“Mrs. Nellie Seaver,” The Miami [Paola, Kan.] Republican newspaper, obituary, Friday, 24 November 1893, page 3, column 2, Mrs. Nellie Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 17 October 2019).

The source citation for the second article is:

“Died,” The Western Spirit [Paola, Kan.]  newspaper, obituary, Friday, 24 November 1893, page 3, column 3, Nellie Agnes Seaver obituary;   ( : accessed 17 October 2019).
Arthur Wilson Seaver (1871-1939), the son of George Washington and Sarah Belle (Welch) Seaver, married Nellie Agnes Officer (1876-1893) on 23 November 1892 in Hillsdale, Kansas.  After the death of Nellie, he married, secondly, Floy M. Mount (1873-1952) on 22 January 1895 in Marysville, Kansas.  They had one son, Richard Leonard Seaver (1898-1956).

Arthur Seaver is not a Seaver cousin to me.  This Seaver line descends from a German immigrant to Virginia before 1770.

What a family tragedy.  A young woman marries her beau, soon contracts hemorrhaging of the lungs, and five months later dies leaving grieving parents and husband.  The hopes and dreams of the couple are shattered, and only memories are left.  I am glad that Arthur married again, had a child, and moved to Washington state to escape this difficult event.
There are over 8,000 Seaver “stories” in my family tree – this was one of them.   Life happens, accidentally and intentionally, and sometimes folks live a short life and die suddenly.  I am glad I can honor Nellie Agnes (Officer) Seaver today.


Disclosure:  I have a paid subscription to and have used it extensively to find articles about my ancestral and one-name families.

Copyright (c) 2019, 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

Daughter Tami’s Junior High Graduation in 1991 — Post 587 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

I can’t help it, I can’t do a wordless post!  I found some more family photos hiding in my voluminous My Pictures file folder – I don’t think I’ve posted this one yet.

This photograph was taken in June 1991 at Hilltop Junior High School in Chula Vista.  Our daughter, Tami, holding the flowers, had just graduated from 9th grade at this school.

From the left are my mother, Betty (Carringer) Seaver (1919-2002, so she was 71+ in this photo), myself (at age 47+), Tami (at age 14+) and my wife Linda (at age 48+).

My mother loved to go to graduations of her grandchildren!  I look forward to doing that too – only three more years!


Copyright (c) 2019, 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

IGRS Revives its Student Membership Scheme

The following announcement was written by the Irish Genealogical Research Society:

The Irish Genealogical Research Society is pleased to announce that it has revived its Student Membership Scheme and admitted a young enthusiast under the category. Daniel Loftus, a teenager from Co. Cork, has been made a student member of the IGRS, with annual membership fees waived, for a period of three years.

The status was granted to offer encouragement for Daniel to develop experience and knowledge of genealogy. It was given in recognition of the commitment to the subject he has shown already in setting up a website, a blog and social media accounts to engage with people, sharing his enthusiasm for family history.

The Student Membership Scheme was first introduced over a decade ago and awarded at the discretion of the Society’s Council, though it has not been active in the past few years. This is the first time it has been granted to a secondary school student. Daniel responded ‘Wow, this is an honour!’ when informed that he was to receive this concession from the IGRS.

Daniel came to the attention of the IGRS through his participation in @ancestryhour on Twitter (Tuesdays, 7pm GMT). He began researching his family history in January 2017, following the death of his granduncle. His research was entirely online, but he also contacted family members for information. Having completed his Junior Certificate, he started a website and blog in June 2019. He posts helpful hints, reviews of software and interviews.

The Chairman of the IGRS said: ‘Being someone who has been interested in genealogy since I was a child, it is good to see that family history still resonates with young people. It was immediately clear to us that Daniel’s interest in the subject was genuine and something to which he was already dedicating a lot of time. It’s good to know that the IGRS can help to encourage and foster his interest.’

Over 14 Million New Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Greater London Burial Index

Were your ancestors buried in Greater London? Over 45,000 new records covering 10 parishes across the region have been added to the index and are now available to search. The records in this collection date all the way back to 1399 and will reveal the date and location of your ancestor’s burial as well as their occupation, address, denomination and age at death.

The Greater London Burial Index is a collection of the Middlesex Burials & Memorial Inscriptions, South London Burials Index 1545-1905, City of London Burials 1754-1855 and Middlesex Burials 1538-1992. Each record contains the transcription of an original parish record. A small number of records will also provide you with an image provided by The National Archives and created by the College of Arms.

Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions

A further 3,400 records from the parishes of Harefield St Mary the Virgin and Sunbury St Mary have been added to the collection. Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions spans the years 1485 to 2014 and includes transcripts for each entry. Transcripts may include your ancestor’s age at death, death year, burial location and inscription. Inscriptions can reveal the names of relatives as well as other biographical details.

Many of the transcripts will include a document link. Follow the Document link on your ancestor’s transcript to learn more about the church and graveyard your ancestor was buried in. Included in each will be a brief history and image of the church, as well as burial plot maps.

Dorset Memorial Inscriptions

Over 13,000 additional records from 35 burial sites across Dorset are now available to search.Each record contains a transcript of an original inscription taken from gravestones, tombs, monuments and even stained glass windows. The information contained in each record may vary considerably depending on a number of factors such as weathering or the type of memorial.

There are now over 126,000 records in this collection, covering over 250 Dorset parishes. The records were transcribed from all kinds of permanent monuments around the county by volunteers from the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society and the Dorset Family History Society.

England & Wales Government Probate Death Index 1960-2019

Find a probate record from 1960 to 2019 with the England & Wales government probate index containing more than 14 million records. You can now search the government probate index on Findmypast.  The index will give you a person’s death date, probate date, residence, next of kin and more.

Probate is the legal right to deal with a deceased person’s estates; such as property, money and possessions.  The index will explain what type of record is available.  You will find ‘will’ if the individual created a will with his or her wishes for the estate.  If a will was not created, you will find ‘administration’.   A probate record was not created for every person who died.

British & Irish Newspaper Update

This week we have added 182,823 brand new pages including six brand new London titles to our collection. This week’s new additions span the first half of the nineteenth century and include the world’s first ever evening newspaper, the Star (London).

Our most recent update also includes the Statesman (London) and the Express (London). The Statesman (London) was a daily title owned by Robert Wardell, but the newspaper went out of print in 1824 when Wardell sailed to Australia to found the country’s first ever independent newspaper, The Australian. Also now available to search is the Express (London), printed by William Anselm Jones in the mid-1800s, the British Press, a daily newspaper published in London in the early 1800s, and the Press (London), a Saturday paper from the mid-1800s.

Great Chicago Fire of 1871

One dark night, when people were in bed,
Mrs. O’ Leary lit a lantern in her shed,
The cow kicked it over, winked its eye, and said,
There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.

Exactly 148 years ago, a great fire roared through the city of Chicago. No one knows for sure whether a lantern-kicking cow of the O’Leary’s was really responsible for starting the Great Chicago Fire on October 8, 1871. In fact, some believe the fire was started by a comet from outer space.

Helpless Citizens Attempting to Escape the Fire

The fire started in the cow barn at the rear of the Patrick O’Leary cottage at 137 DeKoven Street on Chicago’s West Side. The blaze began about 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 8, 1871. By midnight the fire had jumped the river’s south branch, and by 1:30 a.m. the business district was in flames. Shortly thereafter the fire raced northward across the main river. With the limited firefighting equipment of 1871, the city’s fire department was helpless as the flames jumped from building to building.

The waterworks were evacuated although the tower was not badly damaged and still stands. During Monday the fire burned as far as Fullerton Avenue. Rainfall started about midnight and helped put out the last of the flames. Three hundred Chicagoans were dead, 90,000 people (about 20 percent of the city’s residents) were homeless, and the property loss was $200 million. Four square miles of the city burned to the ground.

Chicago quickly rebuilt, and by 1875, little evidence of the disaster remained. You can read more about this cataclysmic event on the Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory web site, sponsored by the Chicago Historical Society and Northwestern University. Look at

Other sites of interest include:

The official inquiry and the exoneration of Mrs. O’Leary:

A photograph of the O’Leary house:

While many of the neighboring residences (not to mention a third of the entire city of Chicago) went up in smoke, the home of the O’Learys escaped destruction. The infamous barn behind the house and most of the animals within it—a horse and the five cows that provided the milk that Catherine O’Leary sold locally—were not so fortunate (a calf was saved).

Ironically, the Chicago Fire Academy now stands on the O’Leary property.

Finally, did a comet cause the Great Chicago Fire of 1871? Don’t laugh. It seems that other fires occurred on the same day in Wisconsin and Michigan, burning an area the size of Connecticut and killing more than 2,000 people. Many of the deceased included people who showed no signs of being burned, consistent with either the absence of oxygen or the presence of carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide above lethal levels, both conditions that could happen in a comet strike.

You can read more about the comet theory at and in many other web sites by starting at:

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a day to honor and celebrate the strength that all women share. In honor of this special day, we are highlighting five customers’ ancestors this week who embody grace, determination, and perseverance against all odds. Check back each day to read another incredible story. “My grandmother, Ruth Helen Jines Varner, was Read More

The post International Women’s Day appeared first on Ancestry Blog.

Facebook Advertising, Google, Tech Training, More: Friday Evening ResearchBuzz, October 4, 2019


GlobeNewswire: NYU Tandon data scientists launch tool to analyze Facebook political advertising in Canada (PRESS RELEASE). “Computer scientists at New York University Tandon School of Engineering today launched a new website that analyzes all Canadian Facebook political advertising in the leadup to the October 21 elections. The interactive, user-friendly website lets users easily explore the data and break down the advertising spend based on party, target demographic, region, and other factors.”


TechCrunch: Google announces Action Blocks, a new accessibility tool for creating mobile shortcuts. “Google today announced Action Blocks, a new accessibility tool that allows you to create shortcuts for common multi-step tasks with the help of the Google Assistant. In that respect, Action Blocks isn’t all that different from Shortcuts on iOS, for example, but Google is specifically looking at this as an accessibility feature for people with cognitive disabilities.”

CNET: Google CEO and Ivanka Trump announce plan to teach workers tech skills. “Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday unveiled an initiative to provide 250,000 training opportunities over the next five years for Americans to learn technology skills. Pichai made the announcement with Ivanka Trump at a round table event in Dallas.”


BuzzFeed News: Political Operatives Are Faking Voter Outrage With Millions Of Made-Up Comments To Benefit The Rich And Powerful. “A BuzzFeed News investigation — based on an analysis of millions of comments, along with court records, business filings, and interviews with dozens of people — offers a window into how a crucial democratic process was skewed by one of the most prolific uses of political impersonation in US history. In a key part of the puzzle, two little-known firms, Media Bridge and LCX Digital, working on behalf of industry group Broadband for America, misappropriated names and personal information as part of a bid to submit more than 1.5 million statements favorable to their cause.”

BBC: Vienna selfie museum aims to make art more enticing. “An Instagram-friendly museum is opening in Vienna, with interactive spaces for young people to create their own art. Filled with brightly-coloured walls and giant objects, it has everything needed for the perfect selfie.”


Reuters: London court allows mass claim against Google over iPhone data. “London’s Court of Appeal gave the go-ahead for action against Google over claims it collected data from more than 4 million iPhone users, overturning a ruling in 2018 that in effect blocked any route to legal redress.”

New York Times: Egypt Is Using Apps to Track and Target Its Citizens, Report Says. “A series of sophisticated cyberattacks targeting Egyptian journalists, academics, lawyers, opposition politicians and human rights activists has been traced to Egyptian government offices, a cybersecurity firm has found.”


Hollywood Reporter: Geena Davis Unveils Partnership With Disney to “Spellcheck” Scripts for Gender Bias. “Named ‘GD-IQ: Spellcheck for Bias,’ the new tool leverages patented machine learning technology developed at the University of Southern California to rapidly analyze the text of a script to determine its number of male and female characters and whether they are representative of the real population at large. The technology also can discern the numbers of characters who are people of color, LGBTQI, possess disabilities or belong to other groups typically underrepresented and failed by Hollywood storytelling.”

Phys .org: US government research in ‘crisis,’ warns think tank. “Interference in government research by US President Donald Trump’s administration has reached a ‘crisis point’ with almost weekly violations of previously respected safeguards, a report by a think tank said Thursday, warning that ignoring science has led to ineffective and costly policy.”


NASA: NASA’s InSight ‘Hears’ Peculiar Sounds on Mars. “Put an ear to the ground on Mars and you’ll be rewarded with a symphony of sounds. Granted, you’ll need superhuman hearing, but NASA’s InSight lander comes equipped with a very special ‘ear.’” Good evening, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!