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The First Day of Testimony Against the Soldiers

The first witness in the trial of Capt. Thomas Preston for the Boston Massacre was a barber’s apprentice named Edward Garrick.

He testified about how Pvt. Hugh White conked him on the head for speaking rudely about a passing army captain.

Edward’s testimony might have been more useful in prosecuting White, showing he had was aggressive and violent toward locals before anyone threatened him. But the prosecutors at the soldiers’ trial never called the boy, and we have no indication why.

Instead, the Crown’s opening witness on 27 Nov 1770 was “Jonathan Williams Austin, clerk to John Adams, Esq.” Which is to say, an assistant and trainee of the senior defense counsel.

By modern standards, this is a clear conflict of interest. But Austin had already testified for the Crown at the Preston trial. Even though the captain was acquitted, prosecuting attorneys Robert Treat Paine and Samuel Quincy must have felt the law clerk was a solid witness because they brought him back.

“Do you know either of the prisoners at the bar?” Quincy asked as his first recorded question.

Austin replied that he recognized Pvt. William Macauley: “I was about four feet off: McCauley said ‘Damn you, stand off,’ and pushed his bayonet at me: I did so.” After the shots, Austin recalled, he saw Macauley reload.

The prosecutors asked the next two witnesses, merchant Ebenezer Bridgham and James Dodge, the same first question, and similar questions of town watchman Edward G. Langford and clerk Francis Archbald. The attorneys’ goal was to establish that the defendants were definitely among the soldiers on King Street, and hopefully among those who fired at the crowd. Thus:

  • Bridgham said he saw a tall soldier he thought was Pvt. William Warren fire his gun, but didn’t see Cpl. William Wemms do so.
  • Dodge named Warren and White as present, and said the first shot came from the left side of the squad.
  • Langford identified White and Pvt. Mathew Kilroy, also said the first shot came from the left side, and testified that “immediately after Kilroy’s firing” ropemaker Samuel Gray fell dead, and “there was no other gun discharged at that time.”
  • Archbald also testified to Kilroy’s presence.

Determining which soldiers were present and fired was crucial because on the morning after the shooting people had examined the eight muskets and found that one hadn’t been discharged. One of the soldiers therefore hadn’t killed or wounded anybody. But which one? The prosecution had to prove each shooter’s guilt.

Here are some vivid details from the exchanges.

Q. Was you looking at the person who fired the last gun?
A [from Bridgham]. Yes, I saw him aim at a lad that was running down the middle of the street, and kept the motion of his gun after him a considerable time, and then fired.
Q. Did the lad fall?
A. He did not, I kept my eye on him a considerable time.

Q. Was the snow trodden down, or melted away by the Custom-House?
A [from Dodge]. No, the street was all covered like a cake.”

A [from Langford]. Samuel Gray…came and struck me on the shoulder, and said, Langford, what’s here to pay.
Q. What said you to Gray then?
A. I said I did not know what was to pay, but I believed something would come of it by and bye. He made no reply. Immediately a gun went off. . . . I looked this man (pointing to Killroy) in the face, and bid him not fire; but he immediately fired, and Samuel Gray fell at my feet.

A [from Archbold]: I saw a soldier, and a mean looking fellow with him, with a cutlass in his hand: they came up to me: somebody said, put up your cutlass, it is not right to carry it at this time of night. He said, damn you ye Yankee bougers, what’s your business:

At five o’clock, the judges adjourned until the next morning. Since most trials of the time were over in a day, that was unusual, but—after Capt. Preston’s trial—not unprecedented.

Genealogy News and Education Bytes — Friday, 27 November 2020

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:j

2)  New or Updated Record Collections:

3)  Genealogy Education — Conferences and Institutes

4)  Genealogy Education – Webinars and Online Classes (times are US Pacific):

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar – Tuesday, 1 December, 5 p.m.:  Once upon a time: It’s all about the story, by Carol Baxter

*  Upcoming Family Tree Webinar – Wednesday, 2 December, 5 p.m.:  Four ways DNA Painter can help with your family history research, by Jonny Perl

*  Upcoming SCGS Webinar -Wednesday, 16 December, 6 p.m.:  Bounty Land: It’s Complicated, by Annette Burke Lyttle.

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar: The 1939 Register – Why is it invaluable? by Penny Walters

*  Archived Family Tree Webinar:  Tech Zone – Use Two-Factor Authentication for Added Security, by Thomas MacEntee

5)  Genealogy Education – Podcasts:

*  Generations Cafe:  Research Renewal: A New Series
*  Fisher’s Top Tips: #227r – Female Ancestors

6)  Genealogy Videos (YouTube):

*  Cheri Hudson Passey:  GenFriends: FYR Episode 14-Why Ask Why?
*  Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems:  Elevenses with Lisa episode 35 Viewer Voices 2


Copyright (c) 2020, 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

Mondays with Myrt – 12 Oct 2020

Divorce, a contested will and info about canning jams and pickles were our main topics during Mondays with Myrt. We also reviewed how to look things up in the FamilySearch Wiki, specifically for a quick-study of court records in various US states. It’s about learning the name of a court, and what type of cases it handles. Taking Mag’s example of South Carolina research, we then went to the “SEARCH>CATALOG” option at FamilySearch to see what was available for her research.

Sadly, it has come to our attention that a new entity has apparently been using the names of top-tier professional African American genealogist to garner attention for it’s new venture. Nicka Smith writes “There exist several documented incidents wherein BOAAG has falsely claimed formal association between itself and several noted genealogical professionals and speakers without their knowledge or consent.” Statement of non-support My dear readers will note I have added my name to the statement.
Unedited comments and links we mention appear below my signature.

View also here: 

If you value the interactive genealogy education provided in DearMYRTLE webinars, please consider donating. THANK-YOU in advance.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
Your friend in genealogy
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE

Second Life: Clarise Beaumont

00:07:58 Patricia Jackson: Hi from Kentucky
00:08:01 Betty-Lu Burton: I remembered this week
00:08:06 Sheri Snodgrass: Hello everyone from sunny Iowa
00:08:13 Laila Christiansen: Hi all from Oslo Norway! 
00:08:23 Molly McKinley: Hi from Florida
00:08:24 Linda Stufflebean: I’m in still hot Tucson. 100 highs again this week.
00:08:30 Cynthia Hall: Caddo Mills, Texas
00:08:30 Betty-Lu Burton: Hi from Arkansas
00:08:33 Melissa Barker: Hello Everyone! The Archive Lady is here. I’m off for Columbus Day!
00:08:33 Sheryl Whisenhunt: Hello from Pollock Pines, California.
00:08:44 Maria Capaldi: Hello Everyone!
00:08:44 Mags Gaulden: Hey from Thanksgiving Day in Canada!
00:08:45 Frank Jatzek: Hi Melissa
00:08:45 Lindell Johnson: I listening/seeing you from Albany, OR
00:08:49 Penny Walters: Hello from the south west of the UK, Bristol City 
00:08:53 Mags Gaulden: Ottawa
00:08:54 Randy Seaver: I’m from Chula Vista CA south of San Diego.  Expecting warm weather and Santa Ana winds this week.
00:08:55 Else Bratlien: Hi from Santa Rosa California
00:08:59 char Espo: New Mexico
00:09:11 Doris Lanier: Hi from Garrett Indiana
00:09:11 Kathleen Daetsch: from nyc
00:09:18 Sue Tolbert: Hi from Oklahoma!
00:09:20 Melanie Hinds: From Illinois – Chicago area
00:09:46 Cousin Russ: Tina – do you have a question ?
00:10:05 Cyndy Bray: oops forgot to change to everyone. Hi from Central California
00:10:07 Monique Riley: in Idaho
00:10:22 Maria Capaldi: Sounds good
00:10:44 Hilary Gadsby: I am in the Conwy valley in North Wales
00:10:44 Myra Lindgren: good morning from Wyoming
00:10:47 Penny Walters: hi from Bristol, UK
00:10:49 Randy Seaver: and Alona’s koalas
00:10:52 Kathy Richardson: Salt Lake City, UT
00:11:01 Molly McKinley: It’s still in the high 80’s here in Florida
00:11:06 Kathleen Daetsch: We’re in the 50’s today
00:11:16 Cousin Russ: John Boeren Divorce in the Netherlands.
00:11:28 Robbin Smith: goin to be in 90s in Miami
00:11:36 Myra Lindgren: less smoke here thank you to the wind…
00:12:08 Pat Kuhn: in the 50’s and raining here in Central Pennsylvania
00:12:36 Cousin Russ: Married, Divorced, Married
00:14:15 Maria Capaldi: I’d say
00:17:38 Frank Jatzek: Btw. I like the Dutch words for marriage Certificate: “Huwelijks Akte” 
00:18:29 Randy Seaver: One of my favorite sayings is “Real life is much more complex than fiction”
00:19:12 Frank Jatzek: Randy: Real Life still writes the best Stories
00:19:35 Judy Sova: wow.  wish we had that.
00:20:10 Randy Seaver: And we’re stuck with records that reflect only official moments in time, except for family lore and newspaper articles
00:20:38 Betty-Lu Burton: I have seen a few marriage records with a divorce or an annulment note, but usually when the divorce happened near the time of marriage or in the same place of the marriage
00:22:17 marian koalski: Marriage packets in some PA counties do have documents like a divorce decree from an earlier marriage.
00:23:53 Sheri Snodgrass: Husband’s gr grandfather filed for divorce in 1862 in IL as he was abandoned – she left to a ‘far away state’.
00:24:17 Kathleen Daetsch: I don’t think NY checks either, I was a widow and when I remarried I didn’t need to present my late husband’s death cert. 
00:24:51 Randy Seaver: some states now have divorce record indexes online, but I’m not sure that we can access divorce case files except by going to the local courthouse
00:24:57 Michelle Minner: I have been married 4 times….and each time, the states (Georgia, Florida, PA) all took my word that my divorces were final
00:25:33 Melissa Barker: My great grandfather divorced my great grandmother in 1940 and ALSO went to the courts and had her committed to an insane asylum just so he could marry another woman. He married that woman 2 weeks after the divorce and my great grandmother spent 15 years in the asylum. I have the divorce and commitment records and my grandmother told me this story. 
00:25:41 Frank Jatzek: I have to look into the documents of my mothers Father since his former Family thought he where killed in the war. Instead he felt in love with my mothers mom and the rest is history…I never checked if there are divorce documents
00:26:21 Maria Capaldi: Hi Mag!
00:26:48 Maria Capaldi: HI Melissa 🙂
00:27:12 marian koalski: Melissa Barker, what a frightening story! I’ve heard of those things happening but not from a family member’s account.
00:27:35 Maria Capaldi: I agree Marian
00:28:15 Cynthia Hall: Texas has divorce indexes
00:29:11 Robbin Smith: My sister’s divorce is shown on ancestry for Virginia
00:30:07 Betty-Lu Burton: My great-grandfather’s divorce records from his second wife is in his their son’s dependent pension file
00:30:56 Kathleen Daetsch: This is why we have so many bigamy fraud cases in this country. I think there should be a way of checking if someone is married
00:31:51 Sheri Snodgrass: Love those criminals – more documentation!
00:33:03 Pam Wade: Hi Mags. I live in South Carolina and most of my family is from here and N.C. What are your family names from S.C., N.C. & Georgia?
00:35:36 Kathleen Daetsch: I believe  New York courts are county and State
00:35:40 Molly McKinley: My Gaffney’s are from 96th District
00:37:29 Molly McKinley: My Hames line was from Union County, SC
00:38:18 Frank Jatzek: Always remember the Information you are looking for might only be in the Indexes or the actual Pages and vice versa (most of the time because stuff got lost)
00:40:03 Randy Seaver: some counties moved older records to county archives – San Diego has pre-1920 records at San Diego Historical Society
00:40:31 Betty-Lu Burton: I have seen newspaper notices that said as of this date I am no longer responsible for my wife’s debts
00:40:51 Judy Sova: Here they’re called Judgment of Divorce.  Could be under “judgments.”
00:42:14 Mags Gaulden: @Pam Wade – Do I not know you? LOL Gaulden, McElmoyle, Hunt, Templeton, I have a complete list on my WikiTree Profile, under Surnames.
00:42:29 Maria Capaldi: OMG! they are aweful
00:43:12 Pam Wade: Ok I will look. 
00:43:22 Liv Christensen: A publication by the state called Norsk Lysningsblad published information about divorce. The last time they published about a specific person seems to be in the 1970’s.
00:44:26 Molly McKinley: My grandmother’s first marriage was ended in Arkansas in the very early 1900’s with no proof.  My cousin thinks they just decided to call it quits and go on with life.
00:45:51 Maria Capaldi: lol
00:46:25 marian koalski: Molly, that apparently happened among my relatives when they didn’t have money or time for lawyers and courts.
00:46:32 Flo Merritt: Thank you Hilary 🙂
00:46:58 Bobbie Christensen: In  colonial times, and sometimes into the mid-1800’s, you had to get a bill passed in the state legislature in order to get a divorce. Check the annual printed records of the actions of the state legislature for records of the bills passed, under divorce or the individual last name.
00:51:35 Cynthia Hall: If the legislature to approve divorces in this day and age, that is all they would be doing?
00:51:47 Cousin Russ: link to my “mason jar++”;
00:53:25 Maria Capaldi: How about that! Cool
00:53:48 Cynthia Hall: I miss my set of German stoneware!
There is a second type with just one clamp
00:55:37 Betty-Lu Burton: I believe food with high sugar or salt content do not need to be sealed as well as those with lower sugar and salt
00:55:42 Pam Wade: When making jelly and jam I fill the jars up, put the lids on and flip the jars upside down for five minutes. Then when you turn them over, them are sealed and can be stored in your cabinets or pantry.
00:56:17 Betty-Lu Burton: Pam I use to do that with my jams 
00:56:23 Pam Wade: Jellies and jams can last for years.
00:56:38 Maria Capaldi: it reminds me of Williamsburg, VA
00:56:46 marian koalski: One of my women relatives got a patent for a fruit jar in about the 1880s.
00:56:52 Sheri Snodgrass: Not pickles but sauerkraut
00:56:59 Pam Wade: My Mama made sour pickles.
00:57:02 Molly McKinley: We made salt pickles with a big crock like that…they were horrible…lol
00:57:06 Betty-Lu Burton: My grandmother did watermelon pickles
00:57:08 Frank Jatzek: we did in normal canning glasses like the ones I showed above
00:57:10 Kathleen Daetsch: ripening tomatoes in a paper bag with an apple will make them ripen faster
00:58:10 Melinda Culpon: gasket
00:58:19 Monique Riley: Yes, don’t store apples with other things. Apples need to be stored them separately from other produce because they’re big ethylene gas emitters. We can’t get canning lids and really needed some for our produce. Even looked in Utah. No luck!
00:58:31 Pam Wade: I have hundreds of mason jars from the times I canned. One year I canned 100 jars of tomatoes. I did it for my husband, who loved them.
00:58:46 Hilary Gadsby: We called these Kilner jars when I was growing up
00:58:47 Melinda Culpon: gasket is what the ring is called
00:59:41 Maria Capaldi: Yes Kathleen my Dad did the same thing and put in our basement b/c of it being cool. The other thing he did would put our poinsettia’s after the holiday down too(not in a bag) they would come back sometimes…
01:00:05 John Boeren: I visited an old house years ago, they told us that they found jars with food in the cellar when renovating the place… hundreds of years old… some of the food was still edible… wouldn’t try that! this is the house:
01:00:30 Hilary Gadsby: We sealed Jams and jelly with waxed disks and covered jar with paper or fabric circle and elastic band
01:00:50 Kathleen Daetsch: I have a very old crock.
01:00:52 Danine Cozzens: Hilary,
01:01:05 Danine Cozzens: My paternal grandmother put brown paper soaked in whiskey on top of her jam (1950s). Maternal gm used paraffin.
01:02:14 Hilary Gadsby: I made courgette chutney this year
01:02:28 Molly McKinley: We left them for a long time.  They just were way too salty.
01:04:16 Mags Gaulden: How long can wine and other stuff survive from Archealogy finds – seawrecks!!?
01:04:52 Maria Tegtmeier: I have often used USU’s website
01:05:15 Maria Tegtmeier: for canning
01:05:17 Molly McKinley: I have some of those books from early 1900’s when my grandparents moved to Florida.
01:06:02 John Boeren: the jars with a rubber ring and lid, we call weckpot… many images on google 🙂
01:06:08 Cynthia Hall: My son makes his own mozzarella cheese.
01:06:12 Mags Gaulden: Fig Preserves!
01:06:20 Pam Wade: In S.C. we have the Clemson Cooperative Extension service
01:06:43 Mags Gaulden: Blue Cheese from Clemson!
01:07:39 Pat Kuhn: I have some Weck jars
01:08:13 Frank Jatzek: Mags: very Long. I have seen a report where they found old mead from Egyptian time and it was consumable. they even could save and revitalize some of the yeast
01:08:47 Kathy Richardson: My parents, both born in Utah, called the process, “bottling” and called the glass containers, “bottles” not “jars”
01:08:54 Cousin Russ: “There exist several documented incidents wherein BOAAG has falsely claimed formal association between itself and several noted genealogical professionals and speakers without their knowledge or consent.” Statement of non-support
01:09:43 Maria Capaldi: I read this!!  Unbelievable!! 

DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ recognize the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024. We reach out to all regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation or national origin with support for researching family and documenting cultural inheritance.
01:13:35 Maria Capaldi: I agree!
01:13:43 Cousin Russ: We thank Dr. Shelley Murphy for sponsoring our Closed Captioning service for the year. Her blog is found here:
01:14:14 John Boeren: we have a long history of fostering children in our families
01:14:47 Michelle Grant: Thanks for the links and for this webinar. 
01:16:45 Cousin Russ: .
01:17:27 Frank Jatzek: Randy: that’s a lot of text to transcribe. I bet this was an amazing find and source
01:17:39 Maria Capaldi: I can attest to that Myrt is very helpful, sympathetic and genuine! 
01:19:31 Frank Jatzek: the Signature by Thomas looks very nice
01:27:49 Frank Jatzek: that goes for the polish digitalized church and civil records as well. The old Index has lower Quality then the new index!
01:29:18 Randy Seaver: Ancestry has indexes for state wills and probates, but they miss a lot of names.  And their list of “books” ior case numbers are out of numerical order.  It’s a pain.  
01:30:01 Cousin Russ: Miss Peggy Lauritzen makes progress! That’s all that I did. I didn’t enter information. I didn’t tag anyone. I simply uploaded the scans for their family to find someday. Here is an example of one of them. I am not related to this man – but, someone is.
01:30:08 Randy Seaver: Frank, I did each of those posts in less than an hour.  I have over 300 probate record posts – one a week piles up fast! 
01:30:16 Maria Capaldi: Love Miss Peggy!!!!
01:31:12 Maria Capaldi: So thoughtful!
01:32:18 Randy Seaver: In the 1600s and 1700s, almost every New England ancestor of mine (maybe 70-80% of them) had a probate record because they owned land, often several parcels. 
01:32:29 Kathleen Daetsch: I was supposed to go last month
01:33:17 Cousin Russ: Just Genealogy Halloween Dance in Second Life. Skeleton counting contest, maze, carnival. You’ll need to take the tour!
01:33:19 Frank Jatzek: I am
01:33:34 Maria Capaldi: Me, trying to figure it out still….lol
01:35:53 Maria Capaldi: Thank you very much everyone!
01:35:58 Cousin Russ: Robbin Smith Finding your roots airs on Tuesday Night on US PBS Stations.
01:36:03 Cynthia Hall: Mid Atlantic Genealogical Society (MAGS) is having a virtual conference this weekend.
01:37:36 Hilary Gadsby: Who Do You Think You Are is back this evening in the UK
01:37:58 Flo Merritt: Thank you for another great session
01:38:01 Cynthia Hall: Sorry.  MAGS is the Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society.
01:38:02 Mags Gaulden: I like MAGS
01:38:29 John Boeren: Thanks for joining today, Mags! 🙂
01:39:41 Mags Gaulden: Always a pleasure John.
01:40:07 Pat Kuhn: it is the same for a death certificate in New York City
01:40:44 Hilary Gadsby:
01:41:35 Frank Jatzek: Reminds me a bit of Berlin Civil Register Offices. you have to know in what street an Event happened because even one number more or less can end you up in a different civil Office district
01:42:16 Sheri Snodgrass: Like the British version of WDYTYA better than the US version
01:43:29 Maria Capaldi: We don’t get it 🙁
01:43:41 Maria Capaldi: Cool, ill check there.

How I Use Genealogy Software and Online Family Trees

 Roberta Estes wrote a blog post yesterday titled “Genealogy Tree Replacement – Should I Or Shouldn’t I?” on her DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy blog.  I commented on it, but want to expand on my comments a bit.

Roberta explains the situation we all face – we may have a family tree in our genealogy software programs (e.g., RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, etc.) and on a number of websites (e.g., Ancestry, MyHeritage, etc.).  But it’s impossible to keep them all up-to-date without making a new GEDCOM file every so often and uploading it to the online trees.  If I do this, do I delete my old tree which may have many record hints and record images attached to the tree person profiles?

Here is a list of the family trees that I actively manage and what I do to try to keep them all updated:

1) I have a master tree in RootsMagic that now has about 60,000 profiles – ancestral families of mine, my wife’s and my sons-in-law; plus one name studies for Seaver/Sever/Sevier, Carringer, Auble, and Vaux; plus descendants of several other ancestral surnames; plus descendants of my 4th great-grandparents (to aid in DNA matching).

*  I do all of my data entry in RootsMagic, adding names, dates, places, events, notes, sources, and media.  I download record images that I want to save to my desktop computer files – they go into a Family file in a Surname File in a Group file – with a common file naming convention.  

*  RootsMagic permits me to “TreeShare” my person profiles with an Ancestry Member Tree, one person at a time and one event at a time, from within the program.  I can either add content to my Ancestry tree or from my Ancestry tree to RootsMagic.  I do this every week.  I rarely download anything from Ancestry into RootsMagic because Ancestry’s source citations are poorly crafted and any record image I might download goes into another file with a non-descriptive name.  
*  RootsMagic permits me to “match” my person profiles to FamilySearch Family Tree profiles from within the program.  So I can add Family Tree persons, events, notes and sources to RootsMagic, or from RootsMagic to Family Tree.  
*  RootsMagic provides WebHints with links to Record Hints on, FamilySearch, MyHeritage and Findmypast.  I can click right into these sites from my RootsMagic program and go to the records on the WebHints list.  I can then enter information from those WebHints right into RootsMagic,
*  RootsMagic permits me to create a GEDCOM file of all or part of my family tree, which I can then upload to another software program or to an online tree.
*  I have other family tree software programs on my desktop computer – Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Maker, Family Tree Builder and RootsFinder.  I use these occasionally to take advantage of program capabilities that are, IMHO, better than what is in RootsMagic.  I upload a new GEDCOM file to these programs when I need to.

2) I TreeShare my RootsMagic tree with my major Ancestry tree (connected to my AncestryDNA test)  every week to keep the Ancestry tree up-to-date.  I try to prevent Ancestry record images (poorly named) and sources (poorly crafted) from coming into RootsMagic. My Ancestry tree immediately creates Record Hints for new or changed profiles, which I can then mine and add to my RootsMagic tree.  I also do searches on to catch every record for a person.

*  AncestryDNA uses my Ancestry Member Tree (which has many descendants of my 4th great-grandparents!) to find Common Ancestors of my AncestryDNA Matches using the ThruLines feature.  Common ancestors are identified from my tree information, the trees of my DNA matches, and their Big Tree.  I have over 34,000 DNA matches, but only 400 Common Ancestor matches are identified.  

3) I upload a new GEDCOM to MyHeritage every year but save the previous family tree file and delete earlier family tree files. MyHeritage provides Smart Matches and Record Matches for each person profile, and also matches by Source.  I can access the Record Matches from the WebHints in RootsMagic. When I find useful Record Matches on MyHeritage, I add them to my RootsMagic file,  I also do searches on MyHeritage to catch every record for a person.

*  MyHeritageDNA uses my MyHeritage tree to find Common Ancestors of my MyHeritage matches using the Theory of Family Relativity feature. I have almost 9,000 MyHeritageDNA matches, but only 8 Theory of Family Relativity identified matches.  

4) I upload a new GEDCOM to Findmypast every once in awhile.  Findmypast provides Record Hints for tree profiles on their website, or on the RootsMagic Web Hints feature.  I add useful information to my RootsMagic tree.  I also do searches on Findmypast to catch every record for a person.

5)  American Ancestors uses RootsFinder as their online family tree, and I uploaded a GEDCOM file there a year ago.  However, my family tree takes up 1.5 gb when I access it, and slows my desktop computer significantly.  It provides Record Hints but I rarely search for them.   I also do searches on American Ancestors to catch every record for a person.
6) I have an ancestors only tree at FamilyTreeDNA which rarely provides any useful matches.

7)  I have an ancestors only tree at GEDmatch which rarely provides any useful matches.

8) I match profiles in FamilySearch Family Tree (a collaborative tree) with profiles in my RootsMagic tree, or create new FamilySearch Family Tree profiles from RootsMagic profiles, and share information both ways, including sources and notes.

*  FamilySearch provides record matches for person profiles, which I can access from the tree profile or from the FamilySearch WebHint in RootsMagic.  When I find useful record matches on FamilySearch, I add the information to my RootsMagic tree.   I also do searches on FamilySearch to catch every record for a person.

9)  I have added information for most of my ancestral families to (a collaborative tree) over time, but it takes time to add information there with or without a GEDCOM.  

10)  I have added information for most of my ancestral families to WikiTree (a collaborative tree) over time, but it takes time to add information with or without a GEDCOM.


What genealogy software do you use, and why do you prefer it?

What online family tree(s) do you use, and how do you keep them up to date?


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Copyright (c) 2020, 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

MyHeritage: Norway Church Records (1815–1938)

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was received from our friends at MyHeritage.

New historical record collection: Norway Church Records (1815–1938)

The records in this collection were digitized in collaboration with the National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket), and consist of 42.2 million indexed records and high quality scans of the original documents. The records include births & baptisms, marriages, and deaths & burials. This release is the first time the collection’s images are fully indexed and searchable — making it easier than ever to research your Norwegian ancestors. The addition doubles the number of Norwegian historical records on MyHeritage and brings the total number of historical records on MyHeritage to 12.6 billion.


The records in this collection cover a critical period in Norway’s history, beginning just one year after its secession from Denmark. This important collection helps overcome the significant gaps in Norwegian censuses taken from 1801 to 1865. Five censuses were collected in Norway during those years, but they did not record names of individuals, making the church records the definitive source for genealogical data during that period. 

Due to Norwegian privacy laws, the birth & baptism records released in this collection extend until 1919 (inclusive), the marriage records extend until 1937 (inclusive), and the death & burial records extend until 1938 (inclusive). 

In the Norway Church birth and baptism records, a child was often recorded with only his or her given name(s) without an expressly recorded surname, as it was assumed the child would take either a patronymic surname from their father or take a hereditary surname. To overcome the challenge of the missing surname, MyHeritage inferred two possible surname variations for each individual, so users can search for either the patronymic or hereditary surname to find the correct record. MyHeritage indexed the surname variations to make them discoverable, but the actual records were not modified, and the surnames were not inserted into them, to preserve their authenticity.

The Norway Church Records (1815–1938) collection is an indispensable resource for anyone who is looking to learn more about their Norwegian roots during this time period. With the release of this collection, MyHeritage now offers 80 million historical records from Norway, 57 million historical records from neighboring Sweden, and 107 million records from Denmark, positioning MyHeritage as the leader in Scandinavian family history research.


WACKY Wednesday – Database Sorting: Did they serve in the military?

Cousin Russ demonstrates a listing of US War dates with estimated ages of participants. He utilized Google to compiled a list of record sets in which to search for ancestors.Determining which ancestors is a matter of using a “filter” option in Family Tree Maker. He could specify a person living during the time of the war, and then gradually take each ancestor through the possible related databases.

You’ll find Cousin Russ’s post Color-coding and Civil War Soldiers blog post here.
We recommend using the Google Search to find where a specific record set may reside, depending on current contractual arrangements as these change over time.

DearMYRTLE used the RootsMagic-generated the “Who Was There List” as an alternative.

Surely your main-stream genealogy database program can be queried to find people who lived during the time period of a given war. TRY IT!
SPECIAL SEGMENT: Dr. Shelley Murphy discusses her full-time research with the University of Virginia’s Memorial to Enslaved Laborers. She has identified over 500 individuals to date. See the video we explored here:

Or view the video here:

If you value the interactive genealogy education provided in DearMYRTLE webinars, please consider donating. THANK-YOU in advance.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     🙂
Your friend in genealogy
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE

Second Life: Clarise Beaumont