Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Survey of Genealogy Activities

It’s time once again for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun on Genea-Musings and this week’s challenge is to complete a Survey of Genealogy Activities.

Here are the survey questions and my answers:

1)  Answer these questions in my survey about your genealogy resources and usage:

a)  Which genealogy software programs for your computer do you use (e.g., Family Tree Maker, Reunion, GRAMPS, etc.)?

I was a long time user of Family Tree Maker, but now am mainly using RootsMagic 7. However, I also have Legacy 8 and Family Historian 6, both of which I like and I play with when I have some free time.

b)  Which online family trees have information submitted by you – in either a separate online tree (e.g., Ancestry Member Tree) or a universal (collaborative) online tree (e.g., WikiTree)?

I have online family trees on My Heritage and Ancestry. I’ve never participated in the one-world-tree sites because I don’t like that anyone can change data that might, or might not be, incorrect. I don’t suffer from high blood pressure, but I think I might if somebody wiped out part of a tree I had submitted and THEY were wrong.

c)  For which subscription genealogy record providers (e.g., Ancestry) do you have a subscription?

I have subscriptions to MyHeritage, American Ancestors, Ancestry and, from time to time when there are special deals, to ArkivDigital. I also subscribe to Find My Past because they are working on updating PERSI.

d)  Which FREE genealogy record providers (e.g., FamilySearch) do you use regularly?

I use FamilySearch every day and Find-A-Grave nearly daily. I also use Arkivalieronline, the free Danish National Archives website, to access vital records and censuses when I am working on that branch of the family. I use Google to locate online data and to access digitized books. When I need Missouri death records, I spend a lot of time on Missouri Digital Heritage, as they have free digitized records. Chronicling America has been great for my husband’s family tree, but not so much for mine, as they have no newspapers for Maine or New Jersey. Last, but certainly not least, I use the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick for my Loyalist branches of the family.

e)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research online?  [Note:  not reading, or social networking, but actual searching in a record provider].  Estimate an average number of hours per week.

Lately, I’ve been spending about 30 hours per week researching online, but that amount varies greatly depending on my focus person or family at the time.

f)  How much time do you spend each week doing actual genealogy research in a repository (e.g., library, archive, courthouse, etc.)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

There are no repositories here in Arizona that have the types of records I usually need, so my own opportunity to search at a library is in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library. I probably get in about 20 hours before and during RootsTech. If I am able to get to Salt Lake on a second visit during the year, I accomplish about 30 more hours of research time there for a total of roughly 50 hours per year.

g)  How much time do you spend each week adding information to your genealogy software program (either on your computer or online)?  Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

I spend maybe 5 hours per week adding information into RootsMagic 7. It’s hard to estimate because I am usually updating and looking for new resources on an ancestor while I am putting together a blog post and dealing with the software. That totals a short 20 hours per month.

h)  How much time do you spend each month at a genealogical society meeting, program or event (not a seminar or conference)?  Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

I belong to the Pima County Genealogical Society and spend about 3 hours at each meeting. They don’t meet in July and we’re often traveling so I usually miss about 2 meetings. That leaves about nine meetings that I attend or 27 hours per year.

i)  How much time do you spend each month on genealogy education (e.g., reading books and periodicals, attending seminars, conferences, workshops, webinars, etc.)?   Estimate an average number of hours per month over, say, a one year period.

I attend many webinars each month, at least 10 hours per month for maybe 10 months of the year. That would be 100 hours per year. This year, I went to both RootsTech and SCGS Genealogy Jamboree and I teach a genealogy class and read up to prepare the lessons. I can probably add in about another 40 hours per year, for a grand total of about 140 hours a year.

j)  How much time do you spend each week reading, writing and commenting on genealogy blogs, websites, and social media?  Estimate an average number of hours per week over, say, a one month period.

I spend at least 25 hours per week reading, writing and commenting on genealogy blogs, so easily 100 hours per month.

Can you figure out what my favorite hobby is???

William Coleman and Sarah Moriah Crouse, Calais, ME

William Coleman and Sarah Moriah Crouse were like many of the residents of Calais, Maine in the early 1800’s. Their roots were a mixture of colonial America mixed with Loyalists and pre-Loyalists who migrated to Canada long before the American Revolution.

William’s father, Thomas Coleman, was born in Richmond, Maine, near Portland in 1800. By 1830, he had migrated all the way up to the Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada community of Nelson.

I have no idea how he found Nelson, as it was well over 400 miles from Richmond. However, he settled there for several years, marrying Mary Elizabeth Astle, the granddaughter of Loyalist James Astle. On 10 June 1834, their son, William, my 2x great grandfather was born. Not long after, the young family migrated to Calais, Maine, where they spent the rest of their lives.

The family history of Sarah Moriah Crouse, born 7 May 1833, wasn’t much different. Her grandfather, Phillip Crouse, was a Loyalist from North Carolina, who settled in New Brunswick at the close of the war. Her father, Peter, died about 1836; her mother, Rebecca Jones, married Benjamin Blyther about 1837. Rebecca’s family was originally from Rhode Island, but were pre-Loyalists, tempted by the offers of lands in Canada in the early 1760’s.

Benjamin Blyther was a widower, born in Maine, and not found in the 1830 census. That might be explained by the fact that the Crouse family lived in Keswick, York, New Brunswick, about 70 miles from Calais.

Benjamin may have been living in the same village and, thus, had the opportunity to meet and marry Rebecca. However, by 1840, the blended family was settled in Calais, in the section known as Red Beach, the same neighborhood where the Coleman family lived.

William Coleman married Sarah Moriah Crouse on 6 May 1855 in Calais, Maine.

I don’t know whether William got a taste of ocean life if the family moved to Calais via water instead of land travel or if living in Calais, on the water, sparked his interest in maritime life. Either way, although Thomas was a farmer, young William was showing a preference for life on the water. In 1850, aged 16, he was enumerated as a sailor.

William and Sarah settled into married life and, by 1860, had children at home. Notice that William literally married the girl next door, as they are household 885, William’s parents are in household 884 and Sarah’s mother, two older brothers and her step family were living next to Thomas and Mary in household 883.

Blyther and Coleman Families, 1860
Source: Ancestry

William was a farm laborer, likely helping his father and in-laws with their crops. William and Sarah had daughter Mary A, (Mary Adelaide, known by Addie, aged 4, and son, William E., ten months old. Both were born in Maine. There is a gap of at least 3 years between Mary and William, suggesting a child who died young. In fact, they had a little brother, Alvin D., born 27 November 1857. No death record has been found for little Alvin, but a Coleman family gravestone has a death date of 16 April 1858 for him. Little Alvin was not quite five months old when he died. That must have been heartbreaking, although sadly not uncommon, for William, Sarah and their extended family.

By 1870, William had long left farming behind. He was not only a sailor, but a steamboat captain, working on the St. Croix River.

The family had expanded to include daughter Mary, now 14, William E., now aged 10, joined by brothers Samuel J., aged 6 and Hartwell T., 6 months old, born in December 1869. Although there are gaps again in the children’s ages, Sarah hadn’t lost any children between these censuses.

However, the family did lose one more young child, Ethel H., who was born on 30 December 1873. She appears in the 1880 census, but sadly, only in the mortality schedule.

Little Ethel died of croup, but was well loved and remembered. When my grandmother, Hazel, was born in 1901, Hartwell and Anna gave her the middle name of Ethel, in memory of Hartwell’s beloved baby sister. Ethel’s name and dates are also found on the Coleman family gravestone.

By 1880, Addie had married George Redding, but William and Sarah were at home with their three sons, William and Samuel, now going by their middle names of Edgar and Jones, and Hartwell.

William’s seafaring career was going well, as he had earned the status of master tugboat captain. Through all the years, Sarah was at home, caring for her children.

In 1895, William and Sarah lost another child, their only surviving daughter, Addie Redding, who died of pneumonia, and left seven of her own children behind.

The 1900 census is the last in which William appears. The extended Coleman family included wife Sarah, son Hartwell and his wife, Anna, and son Hazen, along with Anna’s widowed father and Addie Redding’s orphaned daughter, Rebecca.

On 6 February 1905, William and Sarah celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Just three months later, on 30 May 1905, William died of a stroke.

He was remembered in this obituary:

Calais Advertiser, Wednesday, May 30, 1905

Capt. William Coleman died yesterday morning at the age of 71 years. Capt. Coleman was born in Richmond, Maine and came to Red Beach when a boy, moving to Calais 36 years ago. He followed the sea all his life, being engaged in the coastwise trade for several years. Afterward, he commanded the gut, William T. Mason, which he brought from New York, and a number of other boats owned by the Calais Tug Boat Co. For some 10 years he was in command of the boats of the Frontier Steamboat Co., a position he filled to the satisfaction of the traveling public, and to the Company, and which is now being filled by his son. Capt. Coleman was, of course, one of the best known men in the St. Croix Valley, and was as well liked as he was widely known, and many tried and true friends will sincerely regret his disease (sic). Capt. Coleman was married to Miss Sara Crouse of Calais, whom, with three sons, Edgar W., James (sic) S. and Hartwell T., survive him. The funeral services will be held this afternoon at 3 o’clock.

Sarah survived him by another 25 years, passing away on 18 October 1930, also in Calais. Her obituary:

Calais Advertiser, October 22, 1930

Died. Calais, Oct. 18, Sarah M. Coleman, aged 97 yrs, 5 mos and 11 days.

Mrs. Sarah M. Coleman, widow of the late Capt. William Coleman, died Saturday afternoon at the home of he son, Hartwell T. Coleman, after an illness of seven months. Deceased was born at Keswick, N.B. in 1833, but the greater part of her 97 years were lived in Calais, where she made many warm friends. She was a consistent member of the Union Church, the pastor of which, R.L. Buzzell, conducted the funeral services Monday afternoon, the attendance and beautiful floral offerings attesting to the esteem in which the deceased was held.

Both are buried at Calais Cemetery with their children.

Recommended Reads

Recommended Reads


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Source – Census Records by Yvette Hoitink on Dutch Genealogy

I am doing the genealogy happy dance over these two announcements. I just hope they include the Calais Advertiser from Maine and the Passaic Herald News from NJ:
Historical Maine Newspapers to Be Digitized by Gail Dever on Genealogy à la Carte

New Jersey Newspapers to Be Digitized & Posted at Chronicling America by Leland Meitzer on GenealogyBlog

8 Weeks to Better Rhode Island Research – Week 7 – Military and Pensions by Diane Boumenot on One Rhode Island Family

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Launching the Converso Genealogy Project: Tracking the Diaspora of the New Christians by Adam Brown on Avotaynu Online

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A great list of tips here:
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Don’t Ignore Signs of a Genealogy Mistake by Joanne Cowden on Researching Relatives

5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Genealogy When It Has Stalled by Lorine McGinnis Schulze on Olive Tree Genealogy Blog

Genealogy Education

Be sure to check the GeneaWebinar calendar for ongoing hangouts and study groups.

Click on the webinar registration link for local times:
FamilySearch British Research: Ask Your Question, Monday, 29 August 2016