Sunday, October 19, 2014

Importance Of Learning GEDCOM

If you haven't learned how to export and import GEDCOM files with your genealogy program you are missing out on some of the fun.

A GEDCOM file is a "text" file format created by the genealogy programmers and the LDS genealogy staff that allows the various genealogy programs to exchange information. You don't have to know anything about the internal structure of a GEDCOM file to take advantage of its power.  My illustration for this post shows, for those who are curious, the first forty lines of a GEDCOM I created from Personal Ancestral File (PAF 2.31) and loaded into my current genealogy program RootsMagic 6. Notice that it's "text" that you can read, with data tags like "2 DATE" and "2 PLAC" on the left of each line in the file.

A GEDCOM file can be created (exported) and shared by attaching the file to an Email. They can also be staged on the Internet (uploaded) for sharing with others. I've found several on the Internet that were of interest.

If you get lucky enough to find another researcher who is working on the same families that you are you can use GEDCOM to exchange the information each of you have recorded.

When loading a GEDCOM from someone else into your genealogy program always create a "new" file with your genealogy program, with a "new" name before you load (import) the GEDCOM.  That way you can check the quality of the work of the other person.  For example, you can see if you both enter place names in the same way.  And, you can see whether there are duplicates in the file you are receiving.  It's never fun to remove duplicates once they are in your master genealogy file.

To learn more about GEDCOM you can practice creating a GEDCOM (exporting) and then adding it to a "new" file (importing) on your own computer.  Backup you own genealogy file first, just to be on the safe side. Just remember that when you load the GEDCOM into your genealogy program you want to create a "new" file with a "new" name.  You don't want to load your practice file into your main genealogy file.  That would create a mess because every record would be duplicated.

You don't have to include all the records in your file when you create a GEDCOM. You can tell your genealogy program which records to include in the GEDCOM.  For example, you may only want to share a branch of your tree rather than the entire file. Practice this also to see how it works.

Dick Henthorn
19 October 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014

GenViewer Update

In the past some researchers shared their information with me in the file format used by their genealogy program.  For example, some Family Tree Maker users sent me a file with the .ftw file extension of Family Tree Maker. Several computer disasters back I owned a copy of Family Tree Maker.  Therefore, it wasn't a problem to load their file into my program when I wanted to view the information.  This was so long ago I no longer remember which computer allowed me to do this.

I still have copies of some of these Family Tree Maker files on floppies and on Zip Discs.

The paid version of GenViewer can read GEDCOM files and some files of genealogy programs such as Family Tree Maker.  

Yesterday I realized that it would be convenient if Windows 7 had an association for the .ftw with the GenViewer program.  That is to say, if I clicked on a file name with that extension the GenViewer program would start up and load the file I clicked.

I had an awful time establishing the association.  I read my Windows 7 book.  I read the Windows help file.  I looked at online tutorials.  After about thirty minutes I was ready to tear my hair out.

When Cyndi came home I asked if she knew how to do it.  She stood behind me and talked me through the process.  In less than five minutes we'd accomplished what I never got close to doing.

The blog post image is a screen capture (that's another story) of a file on a floppy named: bacus.ftw. I have a floppy drive connected to the laptop computer via a USB hub.

Dick Henthorn
18 October 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

Transcript: makes transcribing easier Transcript: makes transcribing easier:

Here's a link to the website for the program: Transcript.

I'm trying out the program to see if it will be useful for transcribing information from scanned images.  I like to include typed text from documents in the Notes of my genealogy files.

The program displays the scanned image in the top half of the screen and you type in the bottom half. You can Zoom in on an image and you can change the contrast.  Bold face, italics, underlining and so on are supported.

I tested the program by typing the information about a log cabin at Blue Springs, NE that I found on the Facebook.  I was pleased with my first experience. I shared what I typed on Facebook where I found the image and in my own family's Group.

Dick Henthorn
17 October 2014

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Another Mess

Years ago I divided my own genealogy information into two files, one for my maternal line and one for my paternal line. I can't remember why I did this. I must have thought it was a good idea at the time. Now I think it wasn't such a good idea.  This is my the family of my grandmother, Augusta (Anderson) Carlson.

I have some backups. I'm not certain which backup is the latest version. The data was in Personal Ancestral File (PAF).  On my old computer I don't have a copy of my maternal line available to PAF. As a matter of fact I can't remember how long ago it was when I last looked at this information with PAF.

Yesterday, I found three backup floppies with the latest backup dated, 24 Aug 1998. Using the old computer I created a folder to house the files that make up my maternal line and I loaded the backup file into PAF.  It worked. I recovered a copy of the information that I can access with PAF.

Unfortunately moving the information from PAF to RootsMagic isn't a simple matter.  There are  edits that need to be accomplished to get ready. From past experience, with larger files, I know that this task can take several days, if not weeks.

  • I want to add the county abbreviation, "Co.," to county names.  
  • I want to expand cemetery names to eliminate truncation. 
  • And, most important of all I need to edit the textual information in the Note fields so word wrap will work in RootsMagic.

Dick Henthorn
16 October 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I've been learning more about FindAGrave.

My member number is: (#48542447)

My Profile Page

Here's a search box for the application.

Search 123.3 million cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search:

I created several Virtual Cemeteries. This kind of cemetery doesn't actually exist. Rather, it's a collection of links to the graves of people of interest. I populated two of the Virtual Cemeteries I created.  One is for members of my maternal line, the Hagstrom and Carlson family, and the other is for my paternal line, the Henthorn family.

Carlson and Hagstrom Cemeteries

Henthorn Cemeteries

I made Find A Grave Friends with several people who have made extensive posts about families of interest.  Friends show up in each member's profile.

Dick Henthorn
14 October 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Elias Darby Conger, Sr.

Elias Darby Conger Sr.

PARENTS: David Conger, Sr. and Mary Darby

BIRTH: 8 Jun 1763, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ
DEATH: Abt. 13 Sep 1843 in Adams Twp., Monroe Co., OH

Elias Darby Conger enlisted in the Revolutionary War but was too young to fight, so he "ran bullets."  His granddaughter, Elizabeth Conger Henkle, remembered him as a good sized man, sitting in his arm chair reading, and that he had quite a library.

Elias and wife, Mary Goble, accompanied his brother, David, and wife, Sarah, from New Jersey to Western Pennsylvania in 1791.  After Mary's death, in 1804, Elias married Mary Gregory and they moved on into Monroe county, Ohio, where they both died.  Family tradition says that Mary Darby Conger, mother of David and Elias, went with them to Pennsylvania.

To prove that you can't believe everything you read in print or what family traditions says, the following article from the "Centerville Iowian," 10 January 1934, is given in full.

The following Conger family data is furnished by J.C. Harvey of Seymour: "Appanoose county's history may not be complete without the mention of the name Conger.  This family dates its beginning in America in the year 1669, landing at Plymouth Rock.  They were of French-Hugenot descent.  Hence in years each generation emigrated westward until you find the name Conger in all parts of the United States.  They are all related, as the original name, was Koniger, and was changed to Conger by John Conger, the first.  (This has not been proved nor disproved.)

The Congers were first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of their countrymen.  They furnished soldiers in every war from Colonial wars down to the World War.  The first death recorded at Camp Dodge in Des Moines was Conger from Appanoose county.

John Conger, III, was a captain in the Revolutionary War.  His son, Gershom, was George Washington's orderly at Valley Forge, and he became the grandfatheer of the sons and daughters of the Congers who emigrated to Appanoose county in pioneer days. (There is no record of a John Conger having a son named, Gershom, other than John Belconger.  Capt. David Conger of the Pennsylvania Militia had a son, Gershom born 1792, after Valley Forge.  A Gershom, born about 1763 in N.J., son of Enoch and Berzillah, might possibly have been an orderly to George Washington, but no Gershom in this line could have been.)

Gershom resided and ended his days in Green county, PA. (Son of Elias Darby Conger)  His descendants moved over into Monroe county, Ohio, and his grandchildren moved on into Iowa later (this Gershom evidently confused with his father, Elias Darby).  Enos and Jane Strayer Conger came first, in 1845 (brother and wife) and homesteaded on the Charlton River.  Then came Elias and John in 1849 (brothers) and they homesteaded claims in Caldwell township.  They were followed in the early 50's by Benoni, James, Morris, Moses, Max, Mark and Stephen (brothers and nephews), with cousins Charles, Elias and William.

At one time, prior to the Civil War, all these Conger families resided in Appanoose county, Iowa, and Putnam county, MO, and each of these families furnished soldiers in the Civil War -- they were abolitionists and were interested in the underground route in getting slaves north to freedom.

John Conger (John B. 1808) was progressive in the early day movements.  At one time he lived in Centerville and built one of the first brick residences in the town.  He helped to organize the first bank in Appanoose county, and later was among the founders of Seymour, Iowa.  In the early days he owned and operated one of the first tread-powered threshing machines ever run in this section of the state,   This was an advancement over the old chaff-piler and flailing system.

Benoni took to growing blooded cattle, and at one time had one of the best herds of Shorthorns (Durhams) in the state.

Elias (Elias Gregory 1806) drifted into growing blooded horses, and Enos was noted in the county as a horticulturist and farmer.  All the other Conger boys became thrifty farmers, and their children likewise took up agricultural pursuits, at which most of them were successul.

Many of the Conger descendants moved westward and became great benefactors in building up the great west.  However, at this time possibly over 500 of the Conger descendants live in Appanoose and adjoining counties."
(Source:  The Conger Family of America, Vol. I, p. 142-143 - Maxine Crowell Leonard).

EMIGRATION: The Conger family left Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ in 1790, moving to Washington Co., PA.  In the party were:  1) Elias Darby Conger, Sr. and his wife, Mary Goble and their five children (Sarah, Mary, Ruth, Hannah and David); 2) David Conger Jr., and his wife, Sara (Welch) and son (Elias); 3) the mother of Elias and David Conger, Mary Darby (Green) Conger and their sister, Mary E. Conger.

CENSUS: 1800, in Greene Co., PA, Morris Twp., page 87
    Elias Congar [Conger]; Males: 3 - - 1 -; Females 2 1 1 1 -
(Furnished by Joyce Posey)

TAX_LIST: 1801, in Morris Twp. Greene Co., PA; Elias Conger. Page 258 of Mrs. Hennen's Cemetery Record Book.
(Furnished by Joyce Posey)

LAND: 6 Sep 1806
Deed: William Rogers and Cartrey, wife, to Elias Conger, all of Greene Co. [PA]
Dated Sep. 6, 1806; Deed Book 2, p. 409; $300.00; 102 acres
Part of "Rogers Fancy," Morris Twp., on Bates Fork of Tenmile. Patented to said William Rogers Nov. 27, 1805.  Adjoins Frederick Lughman, Grantee, Wm. Green and Reuben Wright.
(Received from: Greene County Historical Society; R.D. #2, P.O. Box 127; Waynesburg, PA 15370 - furnished by Joyce Posey)

CENSUS: 1810, in Greene Co., PA, Morris Twp.
     Elias Conger, males 3,0,0,1,0; females 2,1,1,1,0
(Furnished by Joyce Posey)

LAND: 8 Apr 1812
Deed: Elias Conger and Mary, wife, to Benjamin Lyons of Greene Co. [PA]
Dated Apr. 8, 1812; Deed Book 2, p. 649; $628, 102 acres
Part of "ROGERS FANCY" in Morris Twp. patented by Wm. Rogers, Nov. 27, 1805.
Witnesses: John Han, J.P; Richard R. Iiams.

EMIGRATION: According to Joyce Posey and Bob Guilinger: Elias Darby Conger Sr. and his family later left Morris Twp., Greene Co., PA removing to Monroe Co., OH about 1812/1813, probably about the time of the 8 Apr 1812 land sale in Morris Twp., Greene Co., PA.  According to Maxine Crowell Leonard this was after Elias had remarried in 1804/1805.

              Early Records of an Elias Conger in Monroe Co., OH

Baptists organized in 1813, the first ministers were Rev. Phillip Skinner and Elias Conger.
(Source:  History of Monroe Co., Ohio, 1813, page 16)

19 Dec 1815: Road from Woodsfield, [OH] to Elias Conger's viewed:  The Commissioners have entered into bond with James Henthorn and Phillip Nolan to pay the expenses of the cost should fall upon petitioners.  Mitchel Atkinson surveyor.  The road beginning at Woodsfield and ending near or at Elias Conger in Center township.
(Source: Monroe Co., Ohio: The First Twenty Years, Commissioners Journal 1815-1835, Transcribed by Carolyn Zogg Wolf for the Monroe Co., OH Historical Society - furnished by Joyce Posey)

4 Sep 1816: Road from Woodsfield to Elias Congers.  Commissioners viewed where line crosses the road that runs from Woodsfield to Sunfish Creek and proceed to view the ground for a road from thence on eastward course to intersect a road near H. Jackson's leading from Woodsfield to Elias Conger's.  Mitchel Atkinson, surveyor.
(Source: Monroe Co., Ohio: The First Twenty Years, Commissioners Journal 1815-1835, Transcribed by Carolyn Zogg Wolf for the Monroe Co., OH Historical Society - furnished by Joyce Posey)

Monroe Co., Ohio Tax List, 1816, page 55; Elias Conger, R4, T3, S24

Adams Twp., Monroe Co., OH was organized on 6 Mar 1826.  Elias Conger Sr. was among the early settlers.
[Note: Elias Conger's land was in Center Twp., Monroe Co., OH until the formation of Adams Twp. after which it was in the new township.]
(Source:  History of Monroe Co., Ohio, 1813, page 22)

17 Mar 1817: Road from Woodsfield to Elias Conger's established: Commissioners agreed an order to view a road beginning at Woodsfield, thence to Elias Conger's.  Commissioners consider the road to be of Public Utility and recorded the same a Public Highway.
(Source: Monroe Co., Ohio: The First Twenty Years, Commissioners Journal 1815-1835, Transcribed by Carolyn Zogg Wolf for the Monroe Co., OH Historical Society - furnished by Joyce Posey)

RESIDENCES: A Brief History of Adams Township, Monroe Co., OH
Adams Township was organized on 6 Mar 1826.  Sunfish Creek flows through the middle of Adams Twp.  Piney Forks is a tributary of Sunfish Creek.  The township is bordered by Sunsbury, Switzerland, Salem, Green and Center townships.

Early settlers of Adams township were Charles and James Atkinson, Gilbert and Mitchell McCoy, Elias Conger, Christian Hartline, Phillip Noland, Robert Norris, Samuel Bracey and the families of Mellott and Powell.

The village of Cameron was established in 1837 by James and Mary (Brown) Atkinson.  James was an early settler and a Revolutionary War veteran.  Cameron was originally named Jamestown.

The first church in Adams Twp. was built near Cameron in 1825.  Other churches: Mt. Zion Church of Christ (formerly known as the Bracey Church), Goudy Church of Christ, Mellott Ridge Church of Christ, Pleasant Grove Methodist Church, Cameron Church of Christ.
(Source: The Navigator, Monroe County Chapter OGS, June 1991, Vol. 4, No. 2 - furnished by Joyce Posey)

Census: 1820, in Monroe Co., OH, Centre Twp, #17
    Elias Conger, agriculture (living next to Abner Powell)
    3 males under 10; 2 males between 10-16; 1 male between 16-26;
    1 male over 45; 1 female under 10; 1 female between 16-21; 1 female
    over 45
(Early records furnished by Joyce Posey)

Census: 1840, in Monroe Co., OH, Adams Twp.
    Elias D. Congar (sic)
    00-05, 0; 05-10, 0; 10-15, 0; 15-20, 0; 20-30, 1; 30-40, 0;
    40-50, 0; 50-60, 0; 60-70, 0; 70-80, 1; 80-90, 0; 90-100, 0; 100&up, 0
    00-05, 1; 05-10, 1; 10-15, 0; 15-20, 0; 20-30, 1; 30-40, 0;
    40-50, 0; 50-60, 0; 60-70, 1; 70-80, 0; 80-90, 0; 90-100, 0; 100&up, 0
(Source: The Federal Census Monroe County, Ohio 1820-1830-1840 - Monroe County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society)

CONFLICT-DEATH:  Was the date of death, 3 Sep 1845 or 13 Sep 1845 or 13 Sep 1843?  Maxine Crowell Leonard lists, 3 Sep 1845.  Robert Guilinger believes the date should be 13 Sep 1845.  Joyce Posey obtained two records from Page 485-486 of the Tuesday, 26 Sep 1843 Journal of the Monroe County, Ohio Common Pleas Court which indicate that the death probably occurred in 1843, Abt. 13 Sep 1843.  The Ancestral File lists, 3 Sep 1845 in Adams Twp., Monroe Co., OH.

PROBATE: Elias D. Conger Will Recorded
Common Pleas Court Record, Journal 3, p. 485
Monroe County, Ohio
September Term A.D. 1843
Tuesday September 26, 1843
The last will and testament of Elias D. Conger late of the county of Monroe, deceased, was this day presented in court for probate.

Whereupon John M. Boughner and Benjamin Trimbly the two subscribing witnesses to said will being severally duly sworn, the said John M. Boughner deposeth and saidth that he saw the testator sign and seal said will as and for his Last Will and Testament, that he was at the time of signing and sealing of the same, of sound mind and memory of full age & under no restraint and that he, said Boughner, signed the same as a witness in the presence of said testator and at his request and the said Benjamin Timly saith taht he heard the said testator acknowledge the signing and sealing said will as and for his Last Will and testament that he was at the time of sound and disposeing mind and memory of full age and under no restraint and that he in the presence of said testator and at his request signed the same as a witness thereto which testamony the court order to be reduced to writing which is done and the same ordered to be certified and the same together with said will ordered to be recorded.

Common Pleas Court Record, Journal 3, p. 486
Monroe County, Ohio
September Term A.D. 1843
Tuesday September 26, 1843
Stephen Conger, Elias Conger and Benoni Conger the executors named in the Last Will and Testament of Elias D. Conger Late of Monroe County deceased, appeared in open court, accepted said trust and gave Bond in the sum of six thousand dollars conditioned according to Law with which the Court accept.  The Court appoint John D. Glenn, William Alexander and Stephen Atkinson appraisors of the personal property of said testator.
(Furnished by Joyce Posey from copy of the record in her possession, obtained for her by Shirley Neiswonger, researcher of Monroe Co., OH, Oct 1996)

PROBATE: 17 Jul 1847, Stephen, Benoni, Elias Conger Executors of the Estate of Elias Conger, deceased.
[Note: Joyce Posey reports that Catherine Fedorchak wrote, "a general rule of thumb seems to have been that a person's estate notice was carried (in the newspaper) about a month after the death, it was customary for such notices to be carried for several successive weeks and sometimes months."  Since the estate notice was found in the July 17, 1847 issue of "The Spirit of Democracy" it appears that the settlement..."]

Richard E. Henthorn
13 October 2014

Transcript: makes transcribing easier Transcript: makes transcribing easier:

'via Blog this'

This freeware might be useful if you are trying to extract information from a hard to read image of a document.  The source document appears in the top half of the screen and you type in the lower half.  I haven't tried it yet.

I'd be interested in hearing and reporting the comments of anyone who has tried this program or anything similar.

Dick Henthorn
13 October 2014