Wednesday, June 30, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Summer 1918

Summer 1918 Seattle WA; my grandparents R B Martine & Ruby Bolton (Brown) Martine, and my uncle Ted Martine age 2. Photo likely taken by my grandfather's brother, Walter Lloyd Martine. Copy of original, my collection.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Summer 1920

Summer picnic 1920 Seattle WA: grandfather R.B. "Rolla" Martine eating watermelon, his son Ted Martine b 1916 in front;  Ruby Bolton (Brown) Martine, and Ella (?) wife of Rolla's brother Walter Lloyd Martine, who took the photograph. Their two children William Martine b 1917 and Dorothy Martine b 1913 in front. Copy of original, my collection.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sentimental Sunday: Happy Father's Day

 My dad, WILLIAM HENRY "BILL" HUBER (1922-2001) , with my brother Bob in 1961.

Dad & me, 1955, inside the house he was building for my maternal grandparents.

Dad & me, 1955

Have a great Father's Day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Love/Hate Relationship With Why I'll Probably Keep Subscribing

Well it's nearly the end of June, and time again to pay my annual subscription fee to

Every year I waver back & forth--should I continue subscribing?   There are many things I dislike about the website, but some parts are helpful.  I have been a subscriber since Dec 2000, and have seen a lot of changes in, some good, some not so good. Is it worth it anymore? Let's see....


1) Their search engine, both for general historical records,  and specifically for census and history books and published genealogies.  I don't even bother with general searches for historical records anymore, except as a  diversion when I don't have anything better to do. Usually those searches produce next to nothing for me.  Census searches are usually more fruitful.  However, I have had the unfortunate experience of finding a census record, not bookmarking or printing out the record, and when I return the next day to view it again, having the search engine tell me it doesn't exist.  This has happened numerous times to me. So now I bookmark everything important that I find, and/or write down the page number of the census (Ancestry's census viewer page number, not the page number on the actual scanned record).

Another tip:  When searching in Ancestry's scanned history books or published genealogies, go directly to the index, and don't even bother with the search engine. Chances are the search engine will tell you nothing can be found.

2) The "New" Search format vs the "Old" Search format. I always use the Old Search format.  The New Search format is NOT user friendly.

3) Their family trees.  I had a very bad experience a couple of years ago.  I started my family tree on Ancestry World Connect back in 2000 and was very happy with the format.  I put in eight years of work researching and compiling, including copious notes and documentation.  A couple of years ago,  decided to change/upgrade their format, and insisted that all subscribers using Ancestry WorldConnect Tree upgrade to the new format.  I tested the water with just one of my gedcoms, and uploaded it.  HALF the individuals in the tree were deleted, as were ALL of my notes.  Eight years of work down the drain. I was mortified.

Luckily I  managed to recover the data.  I purchased Mac FamilyTree that very same day and immediately transferred all of my gedcoms from   Now I publish my online family trees only on  (which btw is owned by

The format  for family trees is vastly superior to the format. You can view the data in many different ways, such as pedigree, descendency or text view (which can go out many generations).  Plus you can search indexed surnames for each tree, and see an alphabetized list of all individuals on the tree on Rootsweb, and you can't do that on family trees.

Another big issue with family trees is the mind-boggling level of misinformation in them. Yesterday I was looking at public family trees and found some that included  my paternal  gg grandparents in Missouri (for whom I have tons of documentation). There were over twenty trees with horrendous blatant errors.  Apparently people copy or merge other people's family trees and the horrendous blatant errors get copied, too.  The worst thing is that there is no way for me to leave a message for the other users that the information they have is incorrect.  As least on I can leave a post-it message to correct errors and share documentation.

And then there is the error-filled zombie horror of OneWorldTree.  They need to shoot it and put it out of its misery.

4) Weird computer stuff that keeps me from accessing the website.  Does this only happen to me? I wonder.

 If I've been signed in on the website for more than a couple hours, I start getting weird deflective messages.  For instance, instead of the search page,  I may get a page with a message that "you are signed in on more than one computer (not bloody likely!) and need to sign off on the other computer or wait thirty minutes before you can use again" (??).  Or I'll get a page indicating that --sorry--  is just not available at the moment (but that may be due to heavy use, of course). Or the links to records just suddenly stop working with a continuous bad server connection message (Safari web browser issue?)-- but only when I  am clicking on a link to a record that I really really want!!! :-(

You'd think  that subscribers wouldn't have these kinds of problems--considering  the amount of money charges for a full subscription.


1) Having complete access to US census records 1790-1930.  This alone keeps me coming back year after year. It has been the single most helpful facet of the website for my research.

2) The new Card Catalog search feature.  This comes in handy when I am thinking of purchasing a genealogy source book.   I always check the Card Catalog on  first to see if the book is available there. No sense paying for something I have already paid for!

3) US Military records, especially the WWI draft cards and WWII draft records.  These have proven to be quite helpful in my research recently.

4) City Directories, Wills, Land records, and the US obituary index have all been helpful to my research. But not as much as the census.

5) The Stories, History & Published Genealogies section.  Having access to hundreds of scanned books & manuscripts is really awesome.  Just remember to use the index, not's  search engine.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Follow Friday: Ann's Journey 1867 (Ann M. Frazier Way)

This summer, my 5th cousin Lorraine Fritch will be blogging about an incredible journey.

In 1867 her Quaker great great grandparents HENRY O. WAY &  ANN M. (FRAZIER) WAY made their way from Green Plains, Iowa to Boone Co Indiana.  Apparently ANN kept a diary of the journey, and this summer Lorraine Fritch and several cousins will be following the path laid out in the diary, visiting the places noted therein.

Three years after ANN's journey, in 1870, my Quaker great great grandparents ELI BRANSON FRAZIER  & NANCY (VAN ARSDALE) FRAZIER would follow a similar path in reverse: from Thorntown, Boone Co Indiana to Bangor, Marshall Co Iowa.

My gg grandfather ELI & ANN were siblings, the children of HENRY FRAZER and MARY "POLLY" (OTWELL) FRAZER, who made another earlier migration, with many other Quaker families, from Guilford & Randolph Co, North Carolina to Hamilton, then Boone Co Indiana.

ANN M. FRAZIER WAY was a prolific & accomplished writer, leaving letters, poetry & journals for her descendants and all members of the extended (very extended!) FRAZIER family to enjoy. Her writings were some of the first that I encountered which combined both a writer's voice and priceless genealogical information. Here is a link to a transcribed 1855 letter by Ann M. Frazier Way.

Lorraine's blog site is called  Ann's Journey 1867.

The journey begins June 28, 2010; until then Lorraine is posting photos of ANN and background information.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Summer 1931

Summer 1931: Picnic at Angel Island State Park, San Francisco CA. 

Far left, my Mom's best friend Virginia, my mother Alice, her brother Ted. Also in this photo: my great aunt Gladys (Brown) Dryden and her husband Joseph Dryden,  their children Virginia Dryden and Russell Dryden, my grandfather R. B. "Rolla" Martine, and my grandmother Ruby Bolton (Brown) Martine. Copy of original, my collection.

(Sorry couldn't get this to enlarge more w/o distortion).

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Genetic Genealogy & Me: Part Three

One of the most interesting things about my genetic genealogy experience with 23andme is how it has revitalized my genealogy research.   While comparing my family tree with others who share my DNA, I have made some startling realizations about some of the "brick walls" and lesser known families in my lineage:

1) EDSON--I have long suspected that my great X 3 grandmother (mother of JOHN F MARTINE b 1831 Spencerport, Monroe Co NY)  was an EDSON from the branch of the Bridgewater, Plymouth Co MA family that migrated to Oneida Co NY then Genesee Co NY after the Revolutionary War.  There is enough circumstantial evidence to believe this is true (but no records). Now I have discovered that one of my DNA cousins has a definite shared ancestor with me in the EDSON family. And a second DNA cousin  has ancestors that lived in Oneida Co NY for over 50 years. (Unfortunately she was adopted, and her paternal line has never been traced, but her father's family also lived in Oneida Co NY for a very long time).  This has encouraged me  to do much more research on the Oneida Co NY/ Genesee Co NY branch of the EDSON family.

2) MOORE of Nansemond Co VA to Chowan/Bertie  Co NC to Madison Co KY to Franklin Co TN--I have enough documentation on this particular MOORE family to feel certain that they were my ancestors through my paternal grandmother Minttie Mae Bruton.  Unfortunately, I have very little information on the women in this family, and not much has changed about that in the last five years or so. But now I have three DNA cousins whose ancestors lived in the exact same locations at the same time as my MOORE ancestors and in two cases their ancestral families intermarried (several times!) with my ancestral MOORE family. The new surname possibilities for female ancestors that I obtained from my DNA cousins are: BOYT/BOYET/BOYETTE, MAYFIELD, CLOWER and possibly DOZIER. It will be interesting to see if I can find out  exactly how they are related to the MOORE, BENTON & STANDLY/STANLEY families.

3) WOFFORD of Spartanburg, South Carolina--I have pretty much given up trying to find documentation on my branch of the WOFFORD family (lineage of paternal grandmother Minttie Mae Bruton),  who were supposedly from Maryland and made their way before the Revolutionary War to Spartanburg, South Carolina.  I have not been successful in tracing WOFFORDs in records before  the Rev War, although one must assume they migrated through North Carolina to get to South Carolina!  Anyway, one of my DNA cousins is descended from the CAMP/KEMP family, which intermarried with my branch of the WOFFORD family (although I have not yet found our shared ancestor).   One member of the same CAMP family  ( not a shared ancestor), HOSEA CAMP b Jan 21, 1775 Durham NC married ELIZABETH BETSEY JORDAN,  a descendant of my BRUTON family from Surry Co VA. And this couple lived in Spartanburg SC at the same time as my BRUTON & WOFFORD ancestors. And one of my female ancestors from the WOFFORD family was SARAH HOSEA--another untraceable family.  So many tantalizing few answers!

4) JONES of Stamford, Fairfield Co CT.  My first 23andme contact was an individual who shares quite a bit of DNA with me, about 0.60% (most others described above share about 0.20%).  Her paternal ancestors were from Stamford, CT. When I heard that, I kicked up my heels!  I am descended from nearly all of the original settlers of Stamford. So this was going to be a piece of cake, right?
While I did establish shared ancestors in the WEBB & SLAWSON/SLASON family almost immediately, I was not able to find a connection in her JONES family.  Her ancestor REYNOLDS F. JONES seems to be kind of a mystery man.  He has been listed by some researchers as the son of EPHRAIM JONES & ANNE BISHOP, but his name REYNOLDS (F)inch JONES, is clearly a reference to REYNOLDS FINCH b Feb 19, 1775 Fairfield Co CT, (who was also the namesake of my great X 4 grandfather REYNOLDS FINCH SCOFIELD b Oct 23, 1783). It seems to me  there is some kind of connection to the FINCH family of Stamford CT, but I haven't been able to find out how. While my Stamford CT pedigree is fairly complete, I am still missing maiden names for two women. It is quite possible they were somehow connected to the JONES family.

OK. Enough for now.

Have a great day!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Genetic Genealogy & Me: Part Two

So. It's been about a month now since I received my DNA results from 23andme.  I've updated my profile to include a personal note and  as many surnames as possible, and  I now add my profile when I send out the alloted five email contacts from their Relative Finder page every day. Considering I have 339 possible contacts on Relative Finder as of today, reaching out to all these people will take some time!!

So far, I've sent out a total of about 72 contact emails through the website, and have been accepted by 18 individuals.  Four others I have contacted on my own after doing searches on the 23andme website.

But making contact is only the beginning.  The range of response in those 22 individuals is staggering.  Some have online family trees that they can share with me, so that I can make a comparison, and some do not. Some individuals think I should be able to find a matching ancestor if they give me just the surnames of their grandparents or great grandparents.  And some know almost nothing about their family tree.

In most cases, it's a lot  like looking for a needle in a haystack.  But with a little judicious digging, I have been able to find some very interesting information.

So far, this is what I have found:

4-- from Relative Finder have verified shared ancestors with me, most from the lineage of my maternal grandfather R B "Rolla" MARTINE (although none from the actual MARTINE family). 

1--that I invited on my own after searching for my grandmother's maiden name BRUTON has verified shared ancestors with me; turns out he was on the Relative Finder page further down the list and I wouldn't have sent out a notice to him for quite some time;

7-- have possible shared ancestors with significant circumstantial evidence, such as both of our ancestral families living in same location at same time period -or- evidence of intermarriage between my ancestral families and the contact's ancestral families (thus making it more likely that there was an ancestor-in-common somewhere along the line). 

5-- appear to have no connection to me, (or neither of us have enough information to find the shared ancestor--one lady was a recent immigrant from Germany, and while I do have German ancestors, I have little information on them). 

2--are very new to the list and I haven't had the time to do research on their families--or they haven't sent me information yet, so that I could do so. 

I have also invited 3 individuals outside of Relative Finder who definitely share ancestors with me, but apparently do not share DNA.

 Some might consider this less than a raging success, but it has had some amazing consequences. More on this tomorrow!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Summer 1919

Summer 1919, Seattle WA. Standing: My grandparents Ruby Bolton Brown, and R B "Rolla" Martine. Sitting: My uncle Ted Martine age 3, my grandfather's sister Lizzie, and her husband Robert "Nick" Nichols. Photo: copy of original, my collection.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Friday, June 4, 2010

Follow Friday: The Lineal Arboretum

A few days ago on a forum at the website 23andme I had the pleasure of encountering Dr James M Owston  and his blog The Lineal Arboretum 

Dr Owston was able to answer my question about the random nature of recombination, and deftly explained why some individuals end up with DNA matching mine and others in the same biological family do not.

He gave me a link to his blog, which I have found very interesting and educational. Worth checking out, especially if you are interested in genetic genealogy!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Gleaners

When my mother passed away in 2004, I inherited the few remaining articles that she had inherited from her mother, Ruby Bolton Brown.  Besides the box of  Alaskan photographs, and my grandmother's desk, the item I cherish  most is a small framed print of "The Gleaners", a painting by Jean Francois Millet

This is a photograph circa 1918 of my maternal grandparents' living room.  They were renting a nice Arts and Crafts style house in the Wallingford district of Seattle, and had only been married for three years.  They had one son, Teddy, who was a toddler. My mother was yet to be born.  They didn't have a great deal of money, but my grandfather had a good job with the Seattle office of the General Appraisal Co of San Francisco. Eventually they would move to California, and live there for over thirty years. 

Above the fireplace  you can see the small framed print  on the left.  On the right is a photograph of my grandfather's grandfather JOHN F MARTINE (see my blog post about him)

Today, the framed print hangs in my kitchen, and is one of my most treasured possessions!

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: My Aunt Babe 1930 Marshalltown, Iowa

This is a photo of my aunt Olga "Babe" Huber, taken on a summer's day in around 1930, Marshalltown, Iowa. She passed away in 2004. 

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2010