Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Rootsweb Lists Spring Back to Life!

Rootsweb was offline for some months, and is now coming back online,
one piece at a time. First to return was World Connect: and the Message Boards have
continued to work and were not offline.

Now lists have been upgraded and restored, and the archives are being re-filled from backups. Find your way here: Create a new login here:
Once you have set up your account, you will be able to control list mail and how you receive it. Remember to link older email accounts as well.

Washington State lists are here: -- including the Washington State Genealogical Society lists.

If you would like to support this effort, why not become a listowner?
Create a login: and then head over to to adopt one. There is even a list for new listowners:

Once lists are working perfectly, the websites will return too!

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Tip of the Week: search

I was reading the excellent genealogy blog on, and came across the Tip of the Week: about surname search in the National Archives Catalog.

Just put your surname of interest in the search box at the top right of the home page: I did so and my first hit was an unknown cousin! I searched for "baysinger" and the first hit was I was both saddened and proud to read of my cousin's sacrifice and service.

Using MyHeritage to search for Donald Freeman Baysinger with the keywords of his hometown Buckley, Pierce County, Washington where my daddy used to live, led right to FamilySearch where I found his family tree.

We share gxgrandparents Peter Baysinger 1808–1886 and Elizabeth Rice 1814–1895 whose gravestone my cousin Terri placed for them in the Bear Canon Cemetery, Sedalia, Douglas, Colorado, USA.

My line to Peter and Elizabeth is through my mother, Lola McBee Cowan, through her mother Anna Baysinger and her parents John Alfred Baysinger 1872–1942 and Minnie Disney 1876–1959 and his parents Elias Henry Baysinger 1832–1900 and Sarah Maria Goosic 1842–1882. Elias Henry is the oldest brother to Zacharia Taylor Baysinger below.

Donald Baysinger's line goes through Peter and Elizabeth's son Zacharia Taylor Baysinger 1849–1923 and his wife Mary Elizabeth Toliver 1860–1924, and their son Charles Elmer Baysinger 1882–1970 and wife Retta May Akers 1890–1970 to their son Earl Clifford Baysinger 1908–1989 and wife Ella LaRue Smith 1916–2001. I'm so sorry to hear of their loss, and want to thank Earl and Ella Baysinger for their sacrifice.

You can see the tree on FamilySearch here:

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

23andme once again becoming useful for genetic genealogy

For quite awhile, I've been cautioning people that 23&me did not want genealogists, and was not serving us. Now although they still hide the tools, they are available.

First, many people have now "opened" their profiles, allowing matches to see what the match IS. Of course this is the default on all other sites. And I've figured out how to see all those opened matches on your matches page: Sort by Open Sharing.

Now for the fun stuff. Go to and search for your first open match. The code controlling the search is a bit funky, but keep at it and search for the rare part of the name, rather than the common part -- "hiram" rather than "smith". One can compare two other users as well as with yourself. I do that before before writing to people, so I can give them a bit of information. Be sure to scroll down below the simplified chromosome map to the detailed information. I paste all that into a text file; those who love spreadsheets will use those instead.

The first time one writes to a match, it is always good to have some information to them. Many of these people will be new to genealogy, new to genetic testing for genealogy, or even just new to the site. They may not know they the conversation can move to email, or how to use Gedmatch, or anything about their other matches - yet. We can help them get started by giving them some information that gets them interested in doing the work.

So digging out the information from those open profiles can provide (along with the Gedmatch matches) the information about exactly how you match, and who else might be part of the search for the common ancestor.

By the way, I'm also encouraged today by FTdna. Last time I tried to upload my raw 23&me dat to go along with my mtDNA kit, it was disallowed. Today I re-downloaded my raw data from 23&me, and was able to upload to with no problem. So I'm looking forward to being able to see a few more matches there. My mother's brother has a kit there, and I will enjoy looking at that match using the FTdna site. Of course I will add this information to my text file too!

This should give another boost to my McBee, Baysinger, Disney, Walters, Triplett, McFarland, Jack research!

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Book: The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome

This book by Alondra Nelson is only tangentially about genealogy and family history and sheds no light about how to use DNA to do research. It is about how our recent knowledge of the genome has fundamentally changed how we view facts about our ancestors.

The modern popularity of genealogy research began with Roots as a mini-series being televised in 1977. Before then, genealogy in the US had been mostly an upper-class pursuit, by white people. Of course, the LDS (Mormon) church had long been encouraging their members to document their ancestry -- also a mostly white project. Roots changed that, and now there are large numbers of black Americans looking for their ancestors both black and white, slave and free. And many want to go beyond the racialized labels assigned by the culture and the records and the African continent to find ancestral countries or tribal groups of origin.

Research both archaeological and "coroner's method" removal of graves in the "Negro Burial Ground" in the 90s exposed an old, racialized way of classifying the bones, in contrast to the new archaeological research which focused on using every clue found to place the person in the context of their lives in New Amsterdam, now lower Manhattan (near Tribeca). For instance, patterns of wear on the bones reveal the nature of the work these enslaved people did, and the African birth of some of them.

Once local people became aware of the excavation of graves, groups formed of probable descendants and others interested in preserving and studying and preserving the graveyard, which is now a National Monument. Another eventual outcome was the establishment by Rick Kittles, a brilliant scholar and activist, of African Ancestry, a company founded to help slave descendants find their African origins, and reconciliation with their history. His company offers both yDNA and mtDNA tests to help people connect with a country, a tribe.

There is a great deal more in this slim volume: the use of DNA to unite grandmothers with their missing grandchildren separated by the "Dirty War" in Argentina, forensic use of DNA to solve crimes of genocide, and eventually a very nuanced discussion of reparations politics in the USA.

This is not an easy read. It made me wonder why my genealogy society is all white. It made me ponder the history of how we've made use of our new knowledge of the genome, and what is ahead. It made me think about reconciliation with the past, and how we move forward once we know the truth.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Thinking about ordering an DNA test? What can you do with it?

If you have been considering buying a DNA test to use for genealogy, here are a few things to consider.

First, have you found most of your ancestors through old-fashioned research? If not, DNA might not yield you much information. That said, even if you are adopted and don't know much about your birth lineage, with a lot of work, you can make some matches, and learn more. However, the more you know, the better you will be able to use what you learn from DNA.

Next, what sort of test will help you learn the most? If you want to learn more about your "surname line," that of your birth father, his father, and on up -- then you want a yDNA test, and FamilyTreeDNA is the only place to get it. You will need a male of this line to do the test; daughters do not inherit their father's yDNA. Of course, you can test a male in *each* of your surname lines, but again, this only tells you about the male lines. You will want to test as many markers as you can afford; at least 67 markers if possible.

If you want to learn about all your relatives, then you want an autosomal DNA (auDNA) test from Ancestry, FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe, or the new one on the block, MyHeritage. If you are already an Ancestry member and don't care about what your DNA says about your health, Ancestry is the right choice (Ancestry has removed some of the genes which have health implications from their testing).

Update: the newcomer is now LivingDNA. If you want to find out a lot more about your British and Irish ancestors, then it is your best bet. Their website says: If you have British or Irish ancestry then it’s the only test that shows where within Britain and Ireland your ancestry comes from.

If you are already testing at FTdna for yDNA or mtDNA, then "Family Finder" is your best choice.

If you care a bit about genealogy, but really want to know what your DNA says about your health, then 23andMe is the most popular. However, I think that their genealogy "helps" are the opposite these days, the health information seems over-simplified, and the high cost of the kits leads me to advise against using 23andMe. And yes, I tested there! At least it used to be less expensive. I found out more about health effects from Promethease than I have from 23&me.

The new choice, MyHeritage is my current favorite, since it is inexpensive ($75) and you can nearly always see a family tree, which is a problem with the others, even sometimes Ancestry. They use FTdna to do the processing, so they'll be top-notch results. They offer only autosomal DNA too.

If you want to know about your mother's ancestry, then you need mitochondial DNA (mtDNA). Taking this test follows your mother's mother's mother's line far into the past. People have gotten matches from doing this test, but since mtDNA is so stable, it is more about your deep past than present-day cousins. Again, FTdna is the only major company doing this testing.

No matter what company you choose, get your "raw results. If you do an auDNA test, you can upload to GEDMatch if you wish. GEDMatch offers a lot of interesting stuff, such as comparisons with ancient DNA on file, possible localities where your ancestors lived, and the ability to partially reconstruct the genome of a missing relative, given enough other testing. I do not yet know whether or not the MyHeritage kits will offer me the opportunity to download the raw data. I very much hope so, and that GEDMatch will find a way to let me upload this data easily.
* update -- they do.

I think it is also important, if you use Wikitree (and you should) to link in your various tests there too. You do not upload results; simply put in your tests and also report matches among your relatives you have already made. This solidifies the results for cousins who tie into your tree, and may induce them to test too! They make it very easy. Wikitree is all about collaboration, and is the main reason I love this site! Gedmatch has a page about how to make the Wikitree link as well:

If you do mitochondrial DNA at FTdna, they make it easy for you to upload to Mitosearch, which allows people who have tested elsewhere to upload their raw data. I've done it, although without any hits I've not seen on FTdna already. They have a similar free service for yDNA called ysearch. One can upload a gedcom, and I think it is worth doing so, if you have done the tests.

For health effects, there is a site called Promethease, which gives you an amazing amount of information for $5.

Other options: describes four of the best, including GEDMatch and Promethease.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Genealogy goals for the new year

Given the way that autosomal DNA tests for genealogy work, there are two things that are important for success in using that DNA data to find matches: finding your ancestors back to ten generations, and finding all possible descendants from them.

I came to this conclusion after reading the excellent blog post, How Much of Your Family Tree Do You Know? And Why Does That Matter? where the author says,
whenever we make a conclusion about a particular ancestor or ancestral couple based on segments of DNA shared with a relative, we absolutely must address whether we do, or could, share other ancestors with that relative.

The author made a nice little chart summarizing how much he knew, so I did the same thing. Mine is not as pretty, but here it is anyway:

Key:  Generation: from me; Relationship: to me; Date of Birth: roughly averaged; Matches: description; # Poss. Anc.: total number of possible ancestors in each generation; # Identified: number of ancestors identified by name in each generation; % Identified: percent of generation identified
Totals - Total Poss: total possible ancestors; Total # Indent: total number identified of total possible additively; Total % Ident: Total number of ancestors identified of total number possible additively in each generation
As you can see, I'm missing a lot of information! So I will prioritize finding more of those ancestors, even as MyHeritage continues to make it easy to find their descendants. And I will continue to add that information to Wikitree as I find the time. I really love having all the information open to everybody. That said, if you are a cousin, and want to see what I've got on MyHeritage, just ask to join the tree. Occasionally I also download a gedcom from there and upload that to Rootsweb as well.

Gedmatch: M186808

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Monday, August 08, 2016

MyHeritage and Wikitree: new tools

* Outreach - finding cousins and other relatives
* Research - answering questions and solving mysteries
* Paying respect - finding and telling the stories of those who can no longer speak

All of these aspects of family history research have energized my interest in the past, and I'm liking the new tools available to support that. A few years ago I was fascinated by the new use of DNA in genealogy research, and have used 23andme, Ftdna, and Gedmatch.

I started using MyHeritage because 23andme chose to use that site to display family trees. When MyHeritage offered a special deal ($99) for one year of access to their research resources, I bit. One feature I particularly enjoy is that when you find a person in, say, the census, the MH software queues up the rest of the family as well. You can quite easily not just link the family together, but also attach the source attribution to each of them.

Another nice feature is their software matching each person in your tree to resources you have not yet found, and finding that person in other trees. These both end up being very powerful. I began the tree there by simply putting in myself, my husband and our parents, and letting the software begin the work. After getting more and more census, birth, marriage, death and marriage records to the various people in the tree, I began working a bit, and filling in the holes.

As I added details, relatives, and evidence, the MH software kicked in and often suggested "Discoveries" which are sets of relatives which match one of the people in my tree. If they seem likely, I add them, as I don't consider this tree proven beyond the people whom I've researched.

I've made a real effort to bring all the trees as far forward in time as MH offers, since this is the best way to find cousins. And for cousins I already know or have proven to be related, I spend some extra time trying to make the evidence as complete as I can. Then I transfer what I can to Wikitree.

I began using Wikitree a year or so ago, by uploading my newly-cleaned GEDCOM file. Now that I have all those nice census images and other cool evidence, I've begun uploading the images, etc. to wikitree pages. Creating and linking pages for each person is a bit intensive, but it is well worth it in the end. It's quite easy to link all the people in a census image, for instance, if you've already created the pages for each.

Wikitree is created for collaboration, which is really my end goal. I don't consider any of my ancestors and other relatives as MINE, but shared with my family. So I honor each person with the parts of their lives that I've found, and hope that others will do the same.

Lately I got another special offer from, which has very clear census images. Since MH's census and some other images have been broken for some months, it's come in very handy. For building a tree, however, it seems hopeless. So if I already have a person in my tree, I can link the evidence I find. I've found no way to add people to the gedcom I uploaded, however. That will have to happen on Wikitree.

Recently I figured out how to access my complete and detailed list of matches from 23andme, so I downloaded that, and sorted by chromosome, then split the spreadsheet into one for each chromosome so I can sort by the start of each matching segment. Now to get the Gedmatch matches divided up that way, for better analysis. The text files I've been using so far are just not cutting it.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Immortal Irishman and other windows into the past

Hi everyone, there are lots of ways to delve into history, including genealogy and your own family history research. One of my favorite ways to get a new view on the past is reading a biography. One of my favorites of the past few years is The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, by David Nasaw. Read more about it That book in particular gives some insight about the present political situation both here and in Europe, since Joe Kennedy Sr. was a famous isolationist.

Another very revealing one is that of President Wilson in Woodrow Wilson: A Biography. He's more than the president who led us into and through World War I and then failed to create the League of Nations. In some ways he reorganized the American government for the future, and in other ways, by encouraging official segregation, set us back generations.

Recently finished: Immortal Irishman, by Timothy Egan, about Thomas Francis Meagher, an Irish aristocrat first sentenced to death for speaking out against the English grinding down of the Irish, banished to Tasmania, then escaping to the US where he became a celebrated general of the Irish Brigade in the Civil War; then serving as the Acting Governor of the Montana Territory before his murder.

It is a truly gripping tale, although I must warn that the first chapters, during the Great Hunger, were painful to read. The deliberate starving of so many was difficult to read about. I never knew about this great man, or his life. The book was well worth the time. Listen to the author discuss it:

I was inspired to find his widow Elizabeth Meagher's grave in Brooklyn: and that of his great-grandson in St. Helena, California:

Looking at my list, I see only men. I need to seek out some good biographies of women. In the past, I've read Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera which was great. OK! Just checked out the ebook Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1: The Early Years, 1884-1933 by Cook, Blanche Wiesen from my wonderful local library system, King County Library System.

Please suggest other histories or biographies you have found engaging and enlightening in the comments. Thanks!

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Goosics, early residents of Warren County, Iowa - findings on the Warren Co. IA Genweb, Linkpendium

The Goosics didn't come quite as early as the Disneys, and were not as numerous as the Baysingers. Here is what I find on a search of the Warren Co. IA Genweb:

in Washington Township: Goosic, Andrew

Index of Warren County Marriages 1849-1899 (Brides)
Goosic, Delilah Nichollson, Elisha 15 Oct 1854
Goosic, Margaret Stierwalt, William A. 14 Apr 1870
Goosic, Mary Nichelson, William 8 Aug 1866
Goosic, Sarah Basinger, Elias H. 15 Aug 1861
Wilkinson, Nora C. Goosic, James E. 1 Mar 1877

Index of Warren County Marriages 1849-1899 (Grooms)
Nichelson, William Goosic, Mary 8 Aug 1866
Nichollson, Elisha Goosic, Delilah 15 Oct 1854
Goosic, A. T. Jr. [Andrew Jackson Jr.] Burner, Lavina 17 Jun 1813
Goosic, James E. Wilkinson, Nora C. 1 Mar 1877

In order to take a more global look, I went to Linkpendium's Goosic page.

* Findagrave reports 54 Goosic graves, mostly in Nebraska, some in Iowa, Wyoming and other places.

* Ysearch reports that someone is doing a Ydna study of the Goosic line! That's exciting.


* FamilySearch yields 412 results for Name: Goosic. Some of those are immigrants from various countries in Europe, so it seems we have a few very different lines of Goosics.

Linkpendium also yielded some pages such as this, which I got via FTP (excerpted):

* Switzerland, IN 1820  Federal Census [Indiana, not Switzerland!]

                                         |WHITE MALES            |WHITE FEMALES      |     |OCCUPATIONS|MALE SLAVES    |FEMALE SLAVES  |FREE BLACK MALES |FREE BLACK FEMALES|
                                         |    10  16  16  26     |    10  16  26     |# of |           |    14  26     |    14  26     |    14  26       |     14   26      |
       Head of Household                 |to  to  to  to  to  45 |to  to  to  to  45 |For- |           |to  to  to  45 |to  to  to  45 |to  to  to   45  |to   to   to   45 |
PG#    LAST NAME        FIRST NAME       |10  16  18  26  45  up |10  16  26  45  up |eign |AGR COM MFG|14  26  45  up |14  26  45  up |14  26  45   up  |14   26   45   up |REMARKS

172b   Goosic           Peter             2   .   1   2   .   1   1   .   .   1   .   .     2   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .    .    .    .    .    .

Findagrave seems a very rich source, and I'll continue to use it to find my elusive ancestors and other relatives. Linkpendium itself is so rich! If you are not using it, you are losing out.

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Disneys, Pioneers to Warren County, Iowa - findings on Warren Co. IA Genweb

The history of the Disneys in Warren County, Iowa begins very early, 1846, and continues in pioneer deaths, as is told in the Warren County, Iowa Genweb page here:

Hadleys, Ormes and Browns, and even a connection to the underground railway during the Civil War also weave into this story.

Names, dates and places:

* Jacob Disney arrived in the Summerset-Carlisle, Iowa, area in the spring of 1846, from Knox County, Ohio. With him: Richard Hadley and Jacob's brother Mordecai Disney.

* Hadley and Disney were the first burials in Carlisle Cemetery, in summer 1846, both dead of cholera.

Eliza and Joseph Petre, relatives of Disney, finished out the claim and deeded the cemetery to the county in 1860. Eliza and Joseph's son, Albert Petre, was the first [white] child born in that area.

* Mordecai Disney, blacksmith, later went to California (1849?) to dig for gold.

* "The third burial in Carlisle Cemetery was that of a little girl, Cordelia Orme, who had been born in Knox County, Ohio. Her grave is unmarked. Cordelia was the daughter of Jesse and Nancy Disney Orme, married Jan 27, 1850 in Knox County, Ohio. Nancy was a sister of Jacob Disney's so Cordelia was buried beside her uncle. The little girl had died while the family was migrating to Nodaway in Page County, Iowa."

* "The next grave in the first row is that of Harriet Anderson. Legend says she was the sweetheart of Richard Hadley and came to Iowa intending to be married to him. Possibly she came from Ohio with her sister and brother-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. George Disney, or with her brothers, Charles Luther Anderson and Leonard Anderson. They all came to Iowa about 1850. Harriet was the daughter of Leonard and Nancy Penn Anderson, and she died in Iowa in 1851 at the age of 20 years, 4 months and 16 days. "

Mr. & Mrs. George Disney (Anne Elizabeth Anderson) came from Ohio to Carlisle ~1850.

* "The next stone marks the grave of Alice A. Disney, daughter of G.I. and A.E. Disney, who died June 11, 1852 at the age of 2 years, 4 months. Next is Martin Luther Disney who was 8 years, 8 months and 21 days when he died in 1855. Beside him is the grave of George Disney who died August 8, 1855 at the age of 39 years, 8 months and 15 days. His wife, Anne Elizabeth Anderson Disney is beside him. She died March 14, 1856 at the age of 31 years, 5 months and 7 days."

Carlisle Cemetery Burials
DISNEY, Alice A. 3 Feb 1850* 11 June 1852
DISNEY, Ann Elizabeth 11 Oct 1824* 18 Mar 1856
DISNEY, George N. 24 Nov 1815* 8 Aug 1855
DISNEY, Jacob 1846
DISNEY, Martin Luther 19 Apr 1846* 9 Jan 1855
In addition, Amelia Jane Disney Brown is buried in Carlisle Cemetery.

My thanks to the photographers and researchers who created the Findagrave tribute pages and those on the Iowa Gravestone Photo Project.

Warren County Iowa Probate Index
3693 Disney G. N. OFA  Courthouse
3694 Disney George N. 3 Courthouse

There is a mention on the history of the Indian Valley Cemetery, that "The Christian Union Church at Cool, Iowa, was organized November 11, 1893. The first members were Elizabeth Morris, Maude Butler, Sarah Goodrich, Rebecca Coatney, Lizzie Hess, Ella R. King, Anna R. New, Lizzie Disney."

Warren County Iowa Original Land Owners
DISNEY, George N.

The BLM website reports:

Names On Document Miscellaneous Information
  Land Office: Fort Des Moines
  US Reservations: No
  Mineral Reservations: No
  Authority: September 28, 1850: ScripWarrant Act of 1850 (9 Stat. 520)
Document Numbers Survey Information
Document Nr: 74075 Total Acres: 40.00

In short, he got 40 acres for his service in the War of 1812. Dated 2/1/1854 , Doc #74075, State of  IA Meridian: 5th PM, Twp - Rng: 077N - 022 W, , Aliquots: SE¼SE¼, Sec # 36, Warren County.

Who is Samuel Williams? There is a Samuel Williams listed in Warren County Iowa Original Land Owners.

The Code of Iowa 1853, chapter 95, a act to provide for taking the census of a part of Warren County, the township assessors of township 77 north, ranges 25, 24, 23 and so much of range 22
as lay in Warren County were to take a census of this township when they assessed it in 1853.

Township 77, ranges 22 - 25 comprise just the top tier of Warren County; therefore, the 1853 Warren County special census only included the green area on the map to the right.

This census included the following information:
NAME = Name of head of household
MALES = Number of males
FEMALES = Number of females
VOTE = Number of persons entitled to vote
MILITIA = Number of persons elligable for military duty
TOTAL = Total number of people in the household

DISNEY, G. N. 3 3 1 1 6 Richland
DIZNEY, Andrew 1 2 1 1 3 Richland

Richland Township: Disney, G.N.

Index of Warren County Marriages 1849-1899 (Grooms)
Phillips, Harry (26) Disney, Hester (18) 11 Jan 1899

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Warren County, Iowa, USA on USGenWeb site -- Baysingers

Quick shout-out to the fine work that Iowa GenWeb does. My mother was born in Warren County, and her Baysingers, Disneys, Goosics had all been there for generations. Her father's people, the McBees were there for a time as well. (Below is what is found for the Baysingers, not including the Census, which I find at MyHeritage.)

Tonight I happened upon a database I've never heard of before, the OLD AGE PENSION TAX LIST – 1935 Otter Township

Assessor’s List of Those Subject to Old Age Pension Tax for the Year 1935, 
Otter Township, Warren County, Iowa, Filed March 16, 1935 by A. H. Traub, Warren County Auditor

To the Treasurer of said County: This book contains a complete list, arranged alphabetically, of residents of Otter Township in the said county, who are over 21 years of age, and subject to a tax of $2.00, payable in 1935 for the benefit of the Old Age Pension Fund, as required by Section 34, Chapter 19, Acts of the Forty-fifth General Assembly in extraordinary session.

You can consult it here:

Listed are:


Byers, Charles William Indianola, IA Dec 6, 1892 W M IA Jefferson Byers Sarah Baysinger
Byers, Sarah Frances Indianola, IA Sep 8, 1865 W F IA Elias Baysinger Martin
Clary, Nora E. Ackworth, IA Nov 18, 1886 W F IA Jeff Baysinger
Mosher, Grace Indianola, IA Sep 15, 1892 W F IA Pete A. Baysinger Byers
Oldaker, Edna Fae Indianola, IA June 3, 1912 W F IA Olin Mosher Grace Baysinger

By the way, there was one person on that page listed with an employer. Hard times in Otter Township. Of course, most were farming.

The same tax in 1936 Linn Township yields
Baysinger, Nellie Cumming, IA Nov 4, 1873 W F Mahaska Co., IA Frank White Kit Ogden

Prall, Eva Carlisle, IA Feb 2, 1894 W F Carlisle, IA William Baysinger Sarah Borrall House Wife
Prall, Kail Carlisle, IA Jan 27, 1913 W M Carlisle, IA Fred Prall Eva Baysinger None

Prall, Eva Carlisle, IA Feb 2, 1894 W F Carlisle, IA Wm. Baysinger Sarah Borall None
Prall, Kail Carlisle, IA Jan 27, 1913 W M Carlisle, IA Fred Prall Eva Baysinger None

OLD AGE PENSION TAX LIST – 1935 Belmont Township
Baysinger, Ferris H. Pleasantville, IA M
Baysinger, Martha May Pleasantville, IA M
Baysinger, Pete A. Pleasantville, IA M
Baysinger, Roberta L. Pleasantville, IA F

OLD AGE PENSION TAX LIST – 1936 Belmont Township
Baysinger, P. A. Pleasantville, IA M

1879 Directory, Otter Township
BAYSINGER, E.H., farmer, and brick-maker, Sec. 4; P.O. Indianola; was born in Breckenridge county, Kentucky, in 1833, and removed to Illinois in 1835, and afterwards to Indiana, and came to this county first in 1852; he is a farmer and owns 90 acres of land; he spent six years in Kansas, from 1854 to 1860, and was in the John Brown raid; after his return to this county, he engaged in brick-making, and has made the largest portion of the brick used in the buildings of Indianola; he has held township offices; he married Miss Sarah Goosic, in 1861; she was born in Ohio; they have eight children: Phebe A., Mary E., Sarah F., Peter A., William, John F., Eda B., James.

In the Index of Warren County Marriages 1900-1920 (Grooms)
M 466 Baysinger, Carl 21 Gregg, Nellie 25 9 June 1914
L 53 Baysinger, Elias W. 38 Person, Ida May 38 11 Dec 1907
L 498 Baysinger, Henry 23 Kendall, Bertha 18 15 Nov 1910
O 290 Baysinger, Henry 31 Archer, Grace 19 25 Oct 1919

K 4 Baysinger, James A. 27 Clary, Mary Ethel 18 1 Dec 1903
M 118 Mosher, Olin John 18 Baysinger, Grace 19 3 Mar 1912
L 448 Prall, Fred L. 21 Baysinger, Eva May 16 3 July 1910

Index of Warren County Marriages 1900-1920 (Brides)
O 290 Archer, Grace 19 Baysinger, Henry 31 25 Oct 1919
L 448 Baysinger, Eva May 16 Prall, Fred L. 21 3 July 1910
M 118 Baysinger, Grace 19 Mosher, Olin John 18 3 Mar 1912
K 4 Clary, Mary Ethel 18 Baysinger, James A. 27 1 Dec 1903
L 498 Kendall, Bertha 18 Baysinger, Henry 23 15 Nov 1910
L 53 Person, Ida May 38 Baysinger, Elias W. 38 11 Dec 1907
M 466 Gregg, Nellie 25 Baysinger, Carl 21 9 June 1914

Index of Warren County Marriages 1849-1899 (Grooms)
Baysinger, Elias Jones, Margaret 9 Jul 1854
Baysinger, Elias W. (23) Burrall, Sarah F. (22) 11 Jun 1893
Baysinger, John (22) Stephenson, Viola (19) 3 Jul 1893
Baysinger, John (22) Disney, Minnie (17) 25 Apr 1894

Baysinger, Peter A. (24) Byers, Martha M. (19) 11 Oct 1891
Byers, Elijah J. (21) Baysinger, Sarah J. (20) 14 Mar 1886
Sipult, William Baysinger, Mary E. 15 Feb 1881
Snyder, Fletcher Baysinger, Phoebe Anne 4 Sep 1875
Dilley, Joseph R. (43) Baysinger, Belle (18) 17 Jun 1892

Index of Warren County Marriages 1849-1899 (Brides):
Baysinger, Belle (18) Dilley, Joseph R. (43) 17 Jun 1892
Baysinger, Mary E. Sipult, William 15 Feb 1881
Baysinger, Phoebe Anne Snyder, Fletcher 4 Sep 1875

Baysinger, Sarah J. (20) Byers, Elijah J. (21) 14 Mar 1886
Burrall, Sarah F. (22) Baysinger, Elias W. (23) 11 Jun 1893
Byers, Martha M. (19) Baysinger, Peter A. (24) 11 Oct 1891
Disney, Minnie (17) Baysinger, John (22) 25 Apr 1894
Stephenson, Viola (19) Baysinger, John (22) 3 Jul 1893

Index of Warren County Divorces 1904-1960
Number Husband Age Marriage Date # Prior Marr. Wife Age Divorce Date # Prior Marr.
5343 Baysinger, Henry I. 28 Nov 15, 1910 none Bertha E. Baysinger 24 Nov 11, 1916 none

Index to Warren County Deaths 1880-1903
Baysinger, E. [Elias] H. m Kentucky 69y November 8, 1900 Otter Township Indianola 44 2
Baysinger, Laura f Otter Twp, Warren Co, IA 4 hrs October 1, 1882 Otter Township Indianola 28 1
Baysinger, Leonard M. m Otter Twp, Warren Co, IA 9m February 2, 1898 Otter Township Hammondsburg Cemetery 13 2
Baysinger, Sarah M. f Ohio 40y October 1, 1882 Otter Township Indianola 28 1

Warren County Iowa OBITUARY Index
Baysinger Charles W. 1995 21
Baysinger Donald 1997 8
Baysinger Ethel 1950 5
Baysinger Ferris H. 1983 10
Baysinger Ferris H. 1983 11
Baysinger Ferris H. 1983 13
Baysinger Ferris Herbert 1983 24
Baysinger Grace Archer 1934 3
Baysinger Isaac Henry 1964 9
Baysinger James Absolom 1962 9
Baysinger Mary Ethel 1950 6
Baysinger Roberta L. 1989 15
Baysinger Wm. 1923 7

Hammondsburg Cemetery Burials (the Iowa Gravestone Photo Project has the photos)
BAYSINGER, Elias W. 1869  - 1923
BAYSINGER, George 1 Nov 1914 - 27 Jan 1916
BAYSINGER, infant son 1914 - 25 Apr 1914
BAYSINGER, Leonard M. May 1887 - 2 Feb 1888
BAYSINGER, Sarah F. 1870 - 1904

IOOF Indianola Cemetery Burial Records
BAYSINGER, Elias Henry 26 Dec 1832 8 Nov 1900
BAYSINGER, Elizabeth J. 23 Aug 1862* 27 Dec 1862
BAYSINGER, Grace 1900 1933
BAYSINGER, Henry 1887 1964
BAYSINGER, Sarah Maria 13 Feb 1842 1 Oct 1882

Motor Cemetery Burials
BAYSINGER, Martha M. 1871 - 1937
BAYSINGER, Peter A. 1867 - 1942

Peterson-Richardson Funeral Home Book INDEX
Baysinger Elias William 1923 Book 1 71
Baysinger George 1916 Book 1 71
Baysinger Paul Earnest 1936 Book 1 71
Baysinger Robert Eugene 1914 Book 1 72

Warren County Iowa Probate Index
757 Baysinger Elias H. 1819 Courthouse
758 Baysinger F. H. 13358 Library
759 Baysinger Lydia A. 2139 Courthouse
760 Baysinger Nancy Ann 2170 Courthouse
761 Baysinger Peter A. 6167 Library

Some of the records can be copied; contact the Warren County Historical Society for more information.

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Friday, June 03, 2016

Mysteries and questions

Mysteries and questions are what got me hooked doing genealogy, many years ago. My sister had found our great-grandfather in the 1900 Warren County, Iowa census, and with the help of a cousin, we found his will, since he died soon after 1900. But what was described in his will did not seem to match the family we had seen in 1900. And of course there is no 1890 census to consult, so real digging and thinking was required.

And so it has continued. Every time I've gone back over stuff I've found before, I see it with new eyes, and it both teaches me to see what I didn't see before, and always also raises more questions.

The latest: one of my mother's cousins was listed as a widow, living with her family of birth and young child in rural northern Missouri in the 1900 census. So of course once I found the name of her first husband, I searched for their marriage record and his death. And then I found him, apparently alive and well, living with his family, in the same county. You can see the census image on his page,

Now, this could be an entirely different person, perhaps? Boyd is a rather common surname, and some of the other names don't match. But Almarion? Not too many men about with that name! So I'm thinking that either the marriage was one of convenience, or fictional. I know that she married later, although I've not found that marriage record either. Now: what happened to Almarion?

Fortunately right now I have a subscription to, which makes it easy to find people, link them up, and prove their existence with census images and other public records, as well as check with some other online databases such as FamilySearch family tree, other MyHeritage trees, Geni and Wikitree.

Wikitree is fantastic! Now that I'm using it heavily, I find more and more profiles I can link to, and contribute to, rather than have to create them all. I hope by uploading census images and other information, I can find more prospective cousins to upload family photos, letters, and stories concerning their ancestors and relatives. My focus right now is to find all the recent* relatives I can on MyHeritage, and create wikitree profiles for them. It's a bit of work to add the spouse, children, sibs and parents for each person, and link each image to all the people, but it's well worth the work, in my opinion. The wikitree experts are very helpful, too.

When my daddy died it comforted me to write little stories I remembered about him. This is one lovely way to use Wikitree. Another is to upload photos and other documents, which I am doing now. My ultimate goal is to connect with cousins and do more difficult research, further back in time. But while I have MyHeritage, I will use it until I have sucked all the relatives out if it that I can find. Join me, cousins!

*recent means those found in the 1940 census. Living people's profiles are private by default on Wikitree.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rest in peace, Ted Cowan 1926-2016

Ted Cowan of Issaquah and more recently of Buckley, Bonney Lake and Puyallup died Thursday, May 12, 2016 at Puyallup Nursing and Rehab., Puyallup, Washington. He was 89.

Ted was born the 7th of August, 1926 to Thomas Cowan and Elsie Schell Cowan in Seattle. He grew up in Montlake, graduated from Garfield High School, and soon after was drafted into the US Army. After training as a medic, he shipped out to the Pacific Theater. As a medic, he followed the Marines into battle to treat his fellow soldiers in many of the largest and most brutal battles in World War II.

He married Lola McBee September 3, 1949. They built their own house south of Issaquah, and lived there until Lola’s death. They also built a log cabin near Mount Rainier which became their most beloved retreat.

Ted and Lola had two daughters; Valorie, married to Bob Zimmerman; and Kimberly, married to Guy Rick Betts. They loved their ten grandchildren and great-grandchildren and spent as much time with them as possible. After Lola’s death, Ted sold the house on Hobart Road, and moved into a small house in Buckley.

After returning from war, Ted had lost the desire to become a doctor, and soon moved into selling hardware at Seattle Hardware, and then then industrial parts for the Houston Company and then Atlas Packing and Rubber. After a serious health scare, he decided to change careers, and became a real estate salesman, then a broker. He worked at Maple Valley Realty, then  started Valley Realty.

He was always interested in Republican politics and conservative public policy, often traveling to Olympia and sometimes even Washington, DC to lobby for his interests in gun rights, public lands and private wells. He also loved traveling with Lola, and then with his daughters, to Scotland in particular.

Gather at the LDS church (26800 236th Pl SE, Maple Valley) at 11:00am to share memories, look at photos and celebrate Ted’s long life. He will be laid to rest 1:30pm Monday, May 23 at Tahoma National Cemetery.

His graveside ceremony:

Slideshow of photos shown at the memorial gathering:

If you are on Facebook, Bryan Hildebrandt took some amazing photos:

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Adventures in genetic genealogy: my progress so far

It's been about a month since I gave up waiting and started "making something happen" on 23andme. I have 983 "DNA Relatives" there, and Gedmatch shows me my top 1000 matches. I've messaged all of the 23andme matches, with mixed results.

First, only about one-third of the cousins have a name or profile that I can see on 23andme. Those people I have messaged by name, and if they have surnames and/or localities listed, I often mention those if they sound interesting or familiar. Many people have nothing listed in their profile but a name. Those folks without a name can be messaged, but it has to be generic. A few of those nameless people have accepted contact, and some "sharing", which is what 23andme calls comparing genomes.

Of course sharing genomes is the whole reason I'm doing this, so it has been a lot of work just to get to starting line. For those who are not interested in doing this work to get matches, my advice is: use FTDNA or Ancestry. 23andme does not make it easy. Even when you have contact information and can use email, finding the common ancestor is work; although more fun than writing endless messages on a crappy message system.

After one month, there are still 203 outgoing invitations, and perhaps 500 messages to nameless persons still sitting in their 23andme inboxes. I have 203 people sharing with me; 15 of those are not matches, which happens when one person administers a group of kits and allows sharing on all of them. Realistically, I expect another 10 to 20 more sharing matches over the next year. On the upside, that is 200 more cousins!

Now the bad news. Perhaps 35 of those 200 are on gedmatch; and most of them already were there before I found them. I've talked only 5 or so people into uploading there. Of course I need to make another push and re-message *all* my sharing matches, whether they are in a shared-segment group or not. And even being on gedmatch is only the first step to finding that common ancestor.

I focused at first on those shared-segment groups because it seemed obvious to me that they would *want* to get onto gedmatch (and hopefully wikitree), but that doesn't seem to be the case. And really, all of my 23andme matches are part of a shared-segment group, even if there are no matches with us on gedmatch, which is highly unlikely. So if I want to play the numbers, I'm going to have to write to all those singletons, and those whom I've not messaged for a month.

After all, when I first sent in my kit, after I spent some time setting up a profile (only to see my tree disappear), it was nearly a year before I checked in again and started figuring out how to use the site. I assume that most people are about the same, and have no clue 1. how or why they should set up a profile and make it public, 2. where they can get and send messages, 3. why and how they should compare genomes, and 4. why they should care at all. Much less know what the next steps might be.

It is too bad that 23andme don't do any of the education of their users, but they seem content to get their money and then leave them alone. Maybe that makes business sense, because the only way they make money on people is when they buy more kits. Ignorance on the part of their customers perhaps makes them the most money?

Whatever. They have given me some matches, and some tools. I need to make the best of what I have. Cousins, cousins, and more cousins! On to Wikitree, research, and finding those common ancestors.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Genetic Genealogy, Why?

I've loved the search for genealogy and my family's history since my children were young. I wanted to understand my roots, and why some of the difficulties my family endured happened, and how those events changed all those who were touched by them.

I found young orphans, babies born before marriage, rape, and tragic death by fire among the more normal events. I've also found some family lines that are rather well-researched, which took away the challenge. For some years other projects took my time.

Then, the yDNA tests became affordable, and I bought an Family Tree DNA kit for my dad for Father's Day. Because those "beginner kits" don't tell you much, and have far too many meaningless matches, I kept paying for upgrades, all the way up to 67 markers. This took his high-quality matches down to under 10, but as we followed up on these matches, we realized that this line of Cowans came from Stirling, in Scotland. The recorded part of the family went to the Irish Plantations as merchants. The Sterling Cowans were wealthy and powerful. They established the Cowane Hospital in Stirling, which we were able to see on a trip with Dad, my sister Kimberly and me a few years after my mother's death. I have yet to find documents proving the link between my Selkirkshire Cowans and that powerful family, but my dad's yDNA prove that it is there.

Now, autosomal DNA is affordable, and much more powerful than they have ever been before. The segments of each chromosome which are sampled are only the parts where we humans show difference. Most of our DNA is identical. So I asked for a 23andme kit for Christmas, and when my husband bought one for me, spit and spit and spit until I filled up the test tube.

See and for more. This is what really got me going:

It took a few weeks before I got results, and I saw very little that meant anything to me. Every time I re-visited the site, I saw more that made no sense, until I ran out of patience, and started the attack. Now I'm really getting results, if by results you mean cousins. As described in detail in my previous post, I wrote to all my 23andme matches. And as 23andme emails me about new matches, you can be sure I will follow up with them.

The reason we want all these matches is not just social; it is triangulation, which is assembling known data, and using that to solve the unknown. Described here:

So, a few hundred messages are sitting in cousins' inboxes. Meanwhile, 150 of us are beginning the process of finding our common ancestor. Some of those cousins are in groups of two to ten matches on the same segment with me. I hope to get those singletons in a group one way or another.

While these match requests are trickling in, I've been flogging Gedmatch. If you are wondering how to get started, there is an exhaustive PDF about how to use gedmatch:

What to do on the site?­hat-to-do-at-the-gedmatch-site­/,­edmatch-a-wonderful-tool/, and for those of you with a bit of cash to spare to help out the site. I have a membership now and find it well worth the ten dollars per month.

My main use so far is to find more cousins, and as more folks from 23andme upload there, we are able to verify which segment groups on gedmatch match us. Now we've started including those Gedmatch folks in our group mails. I will end up emailing them all too. Gedmatch doesn't send out emails about new matches, but when you do a "one kit with many" search, the new kit numbers are green.

Of course, it is still a waiting game; send out emails, and then wait for the replies. Kitty Cooper recommended using Wikitree, so I began investigating that too. I have a gedcom at Rootsweb: I love Rootsweb, and I love WorldConnect, but aside from the Postems, the trees are not interactive, or connected up.

Wikitree is set up differently. The goal is to collaborate on the research about each ancestor, and link up to cousins along the way. That alone is wonderful, but it also integrates DNA testing results into the ancestral profiles. I've uploaded my gedcom, and checked each possible match, and now my upload will be examined by one of the helpful experts who help keep the site humming. Politeness, integrity and downright friendliness are built into Wikitree. I love it.

See for some detail, and Randy Seaver's blog about doing the actual gedcom work. Of course I will keep my own database in Gramps, but I really love the idea of public collaboration with cousins.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

How to win at 23andme

It took me a year to really start using 23andme. I think it was because it is hard to know what to do.

Recently I got tired of waiting for something to happen, and decided to just wade in and make it happen. As of now, I have over 85 people I'm sharing with, with another 252 invitations to share. Altogether, tonight I have finished contacting all 962 matches that they report, unless I skipped someone inadvertently.

The page where you can make this happen too is This page links every match up to 1000, and you can sort it various ways. What I did first was sort it this way and that, randomly messaging people, with very few responses. When I got serious, instead I made a little text:
We may be related according to 23&me. I've been doing genealogy research for quite awhile, and my old GEDCOM is online at Rootsweb: And GEDMATCH: kit # M186808

Main surnames are Baysinger, Booth, Cowan, Disney, Goosic, McBee, McPhail, McPherson, McQueen, Walters. I have a genealogy blog:

Email:, and I'm on G+, Facebook, Twitter, etc. -

All the best,

Make your own, and use it! I ended up with this text because I can paste it both as an introduction, and in invitations. Many people don't know how to use the site, and don't make themselves publicly available. However, if you take the time to introduce yourself, many of them will share genomes and their information, if they have any. So while you are watching tv, or listening to music, just go down the relfinder page, click the Introduction link, paste your text after the boilerplate, and click send. And on to the next. The link changes so you can keep track.

People who have names I treat a bit differently: click the name and you'll be taken to their profile. Click the Invite to share genomes link, and then customize. These folks I address by name, and then paste in the text and send. If they are not accepting invitations to share genomes, I write them a note anyway. Maybe they will change their mind about that at some point. You can close their profile, and you'll be back on relfinder. It is a bit harder to keep track of those with names, but if everything is working well, you'll be warned that you can't send another invitation to share.

As people accept my invitations, I check them out and I've made a little text file with all the chromosomes listed to keep track of my matches. There might be a better way to do this, but it's working so far. I'll explain the parts of a sample entry below:

John Samplename(X): 65% down X [sample@email](Sample surname list)

  • The bar above John's name means he matches with the person above him. If there is no bar, I've not found another person who matches us yet. Sometimes I make a note about his match with the other person if necessary.
  • The (X) is all the chromosomes we match on; in this case only X. I list all the chromosome matches so I can scroll to the other matches with them easily.
  • 65% down X is how I describe the match. Add more words if necessary. If I get a group of matches, I label their email address 65% down X for instance. I put the matches in order down the chromosome, which makes it easier to spot groups. I test the possible group matches against one another before messaging them about the match.
  • I try to get email addresses for every matching person in every group of matches. The messaging system at 23&me is less than optimal. Be sure to set up a filter in your email though, so you don't miss any. As I get emails of people, I add them to that filtered group.
  • Some people list surnames on their profiles, some send them to you later if they know any, and I also link to their public trees, their gedmatch if they  have one, etc.
One note about testing matches against one another: first, this is done here: To quickly find the name you want to compare, type the first letter of the name and use the arrow keys to scroll up and down. You can alternate sides to compare yourself to one match, then that match to another person. It's quite interesting; play with it.

Once you get an accepted invitation, what do you do with it? 23&me doesn't make it obvious. If the person isn't sharing genomes, I respond with some more information, for instance about next steps in figuring out our common ancestor, and ask again about sharing genomes. This is really the basic step needed for progress.

If they have accepted sharing, you'll be able to find them on this page: Here you find all persons sharing genomes with you, and a link to their page. Right-click on their link and open in a new tab, and you can quickly message all members of a group. I make a generic message I can paste to all of them, such as:
Our match on Chromosome X

Same message to Person1, Person2, Person3:

Thanks for sharing, cousin. We all share the same segment on X. From your profile I see Suspicious Surname/ Interesting Locality which we may all share. My own Surname/Locality blah blah.

I notice that some of you match more closely with one another than me/some of you don't match with everyone in the group, even though you match with me.

Shall we take this to email?

Valorie, valories@email

My text file makes it easy to keep track of everyone, so I don't give out bad information, or confuse people. But I try to get everyone to email as soon as possible.

Now, GEDmatch. I think this site is essential, since it allows uploads of genome test data from 23&me, Ancestry and FTdna. So you can compare your genome no matter where people tested. This is only autosomal DNA, and the X and Y chromosomes are not included, sadly.

Also, you can upload your gedcom and compare that with others! This is a step I've not taken yet, as my gedcom is so old and small. But once I get it buffed up again, I will surely do this. So many people only have trees on Ancestry which are not available publicly. And their search is horrible, even if you get an invite. Even on Rootsweb, it is difficult to find a common ancestor. So GEDmatch! Even if you match only on X or Y with someone.

 So, 23&me users, what have I forgotten, or gotten wrong? Please feel free to complain about 23&me, or better yet, share your success stories in the comments. Taking these steps has made me feel that the hundred dollars spent is a bargain!

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