Saturday, February 06, 2016


It's certainly been interesting opening my email the past few days to find new announcements from the genealogy companies at Rootstech. Today it is a press release from Findmypast about partnering up with a number of genealogy software providers:


Salt Lake City: 6 February 2016

Time: 7am MT, 9am EST, 2pm GMT

Leading family history site, Findmypast announced today at RootsTech a range of new global partnerships with leading technology providers. This will further strengthen its reach in the U. S. as well as U.K. markets.

The raft of new partnerships include deals with RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, FamilySearch, Family-Historian, Puzzilla, Billion Graves and RootsCity. Findmypast will make its vast record collection of more than 8 billion records available to customers via these partners. The rollout of these partnerships will begin in 2016, with exact dates to be detailed later.

Customers using these various family history products will benefit from having Findmypast’s record collection embedded within the actual product in ways that each partner determines will benefit their customers most.  Adding to the excitement, Findmypast also announced that in 2016 it will build on its extensive British and Irish data base by adding hundreds of millions of new U.S. records including the most comprehensive collection of US marriage records available anywhere.

I have some thoughts about this:
-It seems like the smaller genealogy companies are banding together to give Ancestry a run for its money.

-Since I'm a RootsMagic user I'll be interesting to see how this will work.

-I'm not attending Rootstech but from afar it seems like RootsMagic and Findmypast have made the biggest splashes this year.  


I didn't have much luck finding a record that would prove Richard Hildreth was the father of my
9x great grandmother Jane (Hildreth) Proctor. She may ave been born in England; I couldn't find her birth record in Cambridge, Ma. where Richard first settled in the colony. There is no mention of her in Richard's will, either.

But then I found some stories about Richard's involvement in church politics. There are several versions of this story which I found in Wilson Waters' History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts:

Says Arthur Hildreth: When Richard Hildreth removed to Chelmsford in 1656 he was received into Mr. Fiske's church. He had a poor opinion of Mr. Fiske as a minister. He was used to better preaching in Cambridge. He expressed his opinion to Deacon Esdras Reade, who accused Hildreth, and the latter was summoned to appear before a committee, which he declined to do. In 1670, Hildreth and John Barrett obtained the signatures of those who desired the dismissal of Mr. Fiske. On a lecture day Hildreth brought the paper to Thomas Henchman, who "did manifest his utter dislike against it." At Town meeting, so the account goes, Hildreth spoke against the minister, and was cited to appear before the County Court at Cambridge on April 4th, to answer "for reproachful speech of the minister of Chelmsford." Thomas Henchman and Abraham Parker were witnesses. Mention was made of the "very large speech" which Hildreth had made, and it appeared that his grievance was that the minister had prosecuted Josiah Fletcher, (or was it Joshua?) for a grave misdemeanor. The case seems to have come to nought. But such affairs must have stirred the community and furnished a subject for conversation, if not of controversy, among those who had not much to busy their minds.-p412

History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, Printed for the town by the Courier-Citizen Company, Lowell, Ma. 1917

On a hunch I Google searched for Proctor, Hildreth, Chelmsford, church and found this:   

In 1673 he had a stubborn quarrel with his father-in-law, Richard Hildreth, concerning a boundary line between their meadows. He made some unfounded charges against Hildreth, and Hildreth retaliated by preventing Proctor from receiving the church Sacrament, or as Parson Fiske on the church records couches it: " He, Bro. Hildreth, was instrumental of hindering his son Proctor from ye Sact."

This particular entry on the church records, expressly calling Proctor son of Richard Hildreth, proves that Jane Hildreth (Robert Proctor's wife) was a daughter and not a sister of Richard Hildreth.


Richard Hildreth had a falling out with his son-in law Robert Proctor ten years before Richard's death. Ironically it is that dispute that provides evidence of Jane (Hildreth) Proctor's relationship to Richard.

Friday, February 05, 2016


There are two more announcements from Rootstech today:

First, Findmypast followed up the news of their new U.S. Marriages collection with more that
will interest those if us with Irish ancestry. Here's part of the press release:

Leading family history site, Findmypast, announced today at Rootstech that it will launch 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers, one of the most important Irish record collections, in March 2016.

Covering over 200 years from 1671-1900 and over 1,000 parishes, Findmypast has worked to transcribe the National Library of Ireland’s online image collection of 3,500 baptism and marriage registers. This is the first time that the collection has been indexed with the images linked online, making the search much easier and the records more accessible. As a result, family historians will now be able to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers.  These essential records cover the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Then about an hour ago I received this email from Daniel Horowitz of

We're delighted to let you know that we've just released a new version of Family Tree Builder, version 8.0! 

The new version has all of the well-known and loved features of previous versions, including sync, Record Matches, Smart Matching™, charts and more, with a totally rewritten internal infrastructure that adds support for very large family trees (up to 500,000 individuals), and delivers faster performance.

In addition to being much quicker and more responsive, version 8.0 delivers improved data integrity. It's downloadable for free for Windows, with a Mac Extension for Mac users to follow next month.
Our Family Tree Builder team will continue to enhance Family Tree Builder and evolve it in the future, adding new features and making improvements, based on the new infrastructure introduced in version 8.0. We will continue to provide users who like the power and convenience of desktop software with the ideal tool for growing their family tree and advancing their family history research, while the sync allows them to also benefit from having their data online and accessible in a mobile app.

With all these records and product releases. Rootstech feels like Genealogy Christmas!


Findmypast has been very busy this week! (See my next post). Here's the Findmypast Friday
announcement for 5February 2016:   

We are particularly thrilled to announce the release of our brand new United States Marriages, marking the launch of a project to bring you the single largest online collection of US Marriages in history.

Our new collection of Norfolk baptisms, banns, marriages and burials adds yet another county to our already extensive collection of UK Parish records and will allow you to trace your family's British roots all the way back to Tudor England.

This week we've added over 37 million new records including:

United States Marriages
Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across the United Sates.
Millions of connections are waiting to be made »

Norfolk Baptisms
Explore over 1.8 million baptisms from 546 parishes around Norfolk, England. Uncover your ancestors' birth place, parents' names and baptism dates.
Does your family tree have roots in Norfolk? »

Norfolk Marriages
Over 953,000 marriages dating back to the early 1500s are now available to search. Uncover new branches of your Norfolk family tree and learn the names of parents to jump back through the generations.
Even view your ancestors' signatures! »

Norfolk Burials
Delve through over 1.4 million burial records to find out when your relatives died, the date of their funeral, where they spent their final years and if they died in unusual circumstances.
From cradle to grave »

We hope you enjoy immersing yourself in this week's huge tranche of new records. More than 60 per cent of our new US Marriages have never before been published online, making them an integral part of our growing US collection.

Get in touch here to let us know what you discover

Have a great weekend,
Jen Baldwin

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.

Thursday, February 04, 2016


Another big announcement from Salt Lake City: Findmypast and FamilySearch are teaming
up to put 100 million U.S. marriage records online.

Here's part of the press release from earlier this morning:


Salt Lake City: 4 February 2016
Time: 7am MT, 9am EST, 2pm GM

Leading family history company, Findmypast , announced today at RootsTech that, in partnership with FamilySearch International, it will launch the single largest online collection of U.S. marriages in history.

Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across America.  More than 60 per cent of these marriage records have never before been published online.  When complete, this collection will only be found in its entirety exclusively on Findmypast.

To kick start the collection, Findmypast has launched the first 33 million records of this ambitious project today and is offering them to the public for free from now until 15 February.  The records include marriage date, bride and groom names, birthplace, birth date, age, residence as well as fathers’ and mothers’ names. Customers with family trees on Findmypast will benefit from leads connecting relatives on their trees with the marriage records, thus generating a whole new source of research.


9x great grandfather Robert Proctor married Jane Hildreth, the daughter of  immigrant
Richard Hildreth, or at least that is what the Proctor family genealogies say. But in the
various descriptions I've found online for Richard, there is no mention of a daughter named
Jane. For example, here's William Richard cutter's brief sketch:

Richard Hildreth, immigrant ancestor, settled first in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was admitted a freeman May 10, 1643; was town officer 1645. He removed to Woburn and signed the petition dated May 10, 1653, with twenty-eight others, for the town subsequently named Chelmsford. He was before that a petitioner for Woburn and Concord. The Chelmsford town records show that Sergeant Hildreth received, prior to March 3, 1663, from the general court, grants of eight separate lots of land amounting to one hundred and five acres. In 1664 the general court allowed him one hundred and fifty acres additional on account of his having lost his right hand. It is believed that Richard Hildreth and his son James were the ancestors from which all the Hildreths of this country are descended. Richard Hildreth died in 1688, aged eighty-three years. His wife Elizabeth died at Malden, August 3, 1693, aged sixty eight. In his will made February 9, 1686, he mentions wife and children. Children: I. James, born 1631; mentioned below. 2. Elizabeth, born September 21, 1646. 3. Sarah, August 8, 1648. 4. Joseph, born April 16, 1658; married December 12, 1683, Abigail Wilson; died January 28, 1706. 5. Persis, born February 8, 1659-60. 6. Thomas, born February i, 1661-2. 7. Isaac, born July, 1663. 8. Abigail, married Moses Parker, of Chelmsford. 9. (Probably one of the eldest-mentioned as "Natural" in the will), Ephraim, of Stowe, to whom the Chelmsford homestead was bequeathed.-p1874

Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume 4 Lewis historical publishing Company,  NY, NY 1908

And here's an entry for Richard from the Wisconsin Society of Colonial Wars:

RICHARD HILDRETH1 of old Charlestown Village, Cambridge and Chelmsford, Mass. Was of Cambridge, Mass., May 10, 1643. A grantee of Chelmsford in 1653, where he and his descendants lived from 1653, and in which vicinity his lineal descendants still live. Prior to March 3, 1663, was Sergeant in the Military Company at Chelmsford and served until 1664. In 1664 Sergeant Richard Hildreth, "being greatly disadvantaged of the use of his right hand, whereby wholly disabled," received, for the ninth time, an additional grant of land. He was noted in Chelmsford church records about 1670, kept by the Rev. John Fiske, as denying the right of the minister or church committee to compel his attendance at the Meeting House on Sundays and refusing to pay the fines sought to be imposed upon him by the Minister, or Deacon, Esdras Reade, or any other minister or deacon. The record shows that "Sergeant Richard Hildreth used reproachful speech and seditious language concerning the Church." He said that he, and others, had quit England to escape the assumption and interference of the clergy in matters not connected with religion. Their grave-stones are still in the old Chelmsford burying-ground.

Chelmsford Town Records, Book A, p. 22.
Gen. Court of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay in New England, Vol. IV, part 2, pp. 100, 1669.
Allen's History of Chelmsford, 1820.
New England Hist, and Gen. Reg.. Vol. XI, 1857, as corrected, 1892, by Capt. Philip Reade, U. S. A.,
pp. 4-5-39-40.
Register Society Colonial Wars, 1896, p. 334.

Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Wisconsin: list of officers and members, including pedigrees and a record of the services performed by ancestors in the wars of the colonies
Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Wisconsin,  Swain & Tate, Milwaukee, WI, 1906

Notice in the biography from William Richard Cutter, there is a fifteen year gap between the births of
his first two children in the list of children. The reason is that his eldest son James was a child from
his first marriage. But there is no mention of a daughter named Jane. I think I may have the reason for
that, which I'll discuss in my next post.

To be continued.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016


It's RootsTech time again, when the various genealogy software companies and websites surprise
us with big news. Tuesday afternoon Ancestry and RootsMagic had some doozies to announce.

The first involved Ancestry's Family Tree Maker software, which was being "retired" at the end of
2016. Ancestry has sold FTM to Software MacKiev, a software seller and developer. Here's part of the news release on the Ancestry blog

Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.   You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.

This was good news for the avid FTM users who had been upset by the earlier news of its "retirement".

 The second big announcement concerns a new working relationship between RootsMagic and Here's what that means as described on the RootsMagic Blog:

1  Search – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to search Ancestry’s extensive collections of historical records from around the world and let you download those records into your own file.

2  Sync – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to let you share data between your RootsMagic files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees. You’ll also be able to download people, events, and even pictures from Ancestry onto your computer through RootsMagic.

3  Import – RootsMagic will be able to directly import your Family Tree Maker files, without having to go through an intermediate GEDCOM file, giving you the cleanest, most complete transfer of your data. RootsMagic will also be able to download your online trees from Ancestry.

All of these RootsMagic-Ancestry connections will be available by the end of 2016. 

This is especially good news for me since I use RootsMagic and I have a public tree on Now I just need to learn how to do that "sync" thing!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


Here's a quick update on where the Moore research is leading me at the moment:

-As I said in the last post, Abel Moor/Moore's parents were John and Susannah Moore/Moor. I've
since discovered that Susannah's maiden name was Willard, and that she was the daughter of my 8x
great grandfather Henry Willard by his second wife Dorcas (Cutler?). Henry's son Joseph Willard (whose mother was Mary Larkin) is my Dad's paternal ancestor, while Susannah is on the maternal

-Abel Moor/Moore died a month after Stephen's birth.

- Abel's wife Betty Whetcomb/Whitcomb is decended from immigrant ancestor John Whitcomb and is also descended from Peregine White of the Mayflower.

-There's also probably another cousin connection between Dad's parents in the Moore family. On his paternal side he has Meriah (Moore) Houghton who was born in Lancaster to Jonathan Moore
and Hannah Sawyer. I'm trying to determine if she was an aunt or cousin of Abel Moore.

There will be more Moore blogposts to follow as I discover more.

To be continued...

Saturday, January 30, 2016


Another example why it pays to have a geneablog:

Thursday night I blogged about my Stephan Moore and Millie Davis brickwall. Friday morning
when I checked my email I found this comment from Elizabeth Style Handler about my post:

Bill, Look closely at all the birthplaces on this 1850 census page. Me is for Maine and MaSs is for Massachusetts. Stephen and Millie were born in MaSs. (I've had the same question about an ancestral line which is why I'm attuned to this Maine-Mass handwriting issue.)

There is a Stephen Moor born 11 March 1777 in Bolton, Mass. to Abel and Betty Moor ( Mass Town & Vital Records), and Bolton is next to Stow. I look forward to seeing if this helps you break down this brick wall.

I took another look at the 1850 Census image I'd posted. Sure enough, I misread the image. I should have had my reading glasses on.

Elizabeth's information that the parents of the Stephen Moor she'd found on Ancestry were named
Abel and Betty Moor was exciting because of the list of Stephen and Millie(Davis)Moor's
children in the History of Waterford:


Abel, m. Sophia Brigham.

Davis, drowned when young; 1817.

Hilton, married in Massachusetts, name not known to us.

Luke, m. Polly Atherton.

Cyrus, m. Hannah Upton.
Rufus, m. Eunice Barker.


-The History of Waterford: Oxford County, Maine   Hoyt, Fogg & Donham, Portland, Me 1879

Two of Stephen's children were named Abel and Betsey (close enough to Betty) who were probably
named after his parents. I believe this is borne out by another son who was named Davis after Millie's
maiden name.

I looked at FamilySearch to see what records I might find.

I searched for Abel Moor and first found a record of the birth of an "Abell Moor" to John and
Susannah Moor on 17 February 1743 in Bolton, Ma. ( Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915). I was unable to find a death record. But there was also a link to a Find A Grave 
memorial by a Diane D. which showed a gravestone in the Old South Burial Ground in Bolton for Abel with a death date of 1 April 1777 and which listed him as a Private in the Continental Line. It also gave his wife's name as Betty Whetcomb, a misspelling of Whitcomb.

And that's as far as I've gotten tonight. Thanks, Elizabeth Pyle Handler for that tip!

To be continued.

Friday, January 29, 2016


This week's Findmypast record collection releases for 29January include records from England,
Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. Here's the announcement:

This week's Findmypast Friday marks the release of substantial new additions to our collection of Isle of Man births and baptisms, marriages and deaths. The new additions span four hundred years of the island's rich history and can reveal vital information for tracing your family back through the generations.

New records from the now defunct English county of Middlesex are now available to search as part of the Greater London Burial Index and hundreds of thousands of articles, including one brand new title, have been added to our collection of historic Irish newspapers. Plus, we've also added over 3 million births, marriages and deaths from New Zealand as well as thousands of new additions to our collection of funeral records from Queensland, Australia.

This week we're bringing you over 5.1 million new records and newspaper articles including:

Irish Newspapers
Over 970,000 new articles and one new title, the Dublin Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, have been added to our collection of historic Irish newspapers.
Immerse yourself in over 240 years of Irish history »

Greater London Burial Index
Explore over 279,000 new additions to this collection, covering 48 different locations right across the historical county of Middlesex.
Locate your ancestor's final resting place »

Isle Of Man, Births and Baptisms, 1600-2010
Was your ancestor born on the Isle of Man? Uncover their birth date, parents' names and residence with over 422,565 new additions to our collection.
Explore over 400 years of Manx birth records »

Isle Of Man, Marriages, 1598-1979
Explore over 166,000 new records spanning four centuries of Manx history to reveal when, where and to whom your relatives were married.
Did they say 'I do' on the Isle of Man? »

See all this week's new records.

If your ancestors don't feature in our latest collection of vital records, there is a wide array of birth, marriage and death records already available to search on Findmypast so be sure to explore them too. For instance, the United States Billion Graves Index offers over 9.5 million records to help you to find where your relative was laid to rest.

Have a great weekend,

Jen Baldwin

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.


Two  of my brick walls are my paternal 4x great grandparents Stephen Moore and Millie Davis. I have no information at all about their parents. Here's what I do know:

-They were married in Waterford,  Oxford, Maine on 3Oct 1803. No parents are listed.
( "Maine Marriages, 1771-1907," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 January 2016), Stephen Moor and Milley Davis, 1808; citing Waterford, Oxford, Maine, reference ; FHL microfilm 12,625.)

-They were life long residents of Waterford. I've found Stephen on the Federal Censuses for 1820, 1830, and 1840.  They appear together on the 1850 Census where they list their birthplaces as Maine:
"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 January 2016), Stephen Moor, Denmark, Oxford, Maine, United States; citing family 305, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

-Stephen died on 2Apr 1858. Millie died on 28May 1864. They are both buried in Elm Vale Cemetery in Waterford. According to the image below Stephen was 81 years old, which would put his year of birth around 1776-1777.
"Maine, J. Gary Nichols Cemetery Collection, ca. 1780-1999," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 January 2016), Stephen Moore, ; citing Waterford, Oxford, Maine, United States, Cemetery Elm Vale, Maine State Library, Augusta; FHL microfilm 2,184,567.

-The History of Waterford: Oxford County, Maine has this to say about Stephen:
Stephen Moore married Mille Davis in 1804. He came from Stow, Mass.; lived on the east side of "Rice Hill," in "Gambo;" a farmer; was remarkable for his height, six feet and six or seven inches.
-page 273

Given that date of birth I wonder if Stephen's father was a Revolutionary War veteran who got a land grant in Maine. Notice that the History says he came from Stow, Ma., so the birthplace on the 1850 census may be incorrect.

I'll keep looking for more about Moore.