Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pre-RootsTech Reflections on New FamilySearch

It has been a while since I made any comments on New FamilySearch. This does not mean that the controversy has diminished in the least, but it does mean that little has changed on the website over the past couple of months. As a site to qualify names for ordinance work in the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it performs admirably. It is, on the other hand, controversial in its value as a research tool and it is definitely not a good source of reliable genealogical information. As I set out for RootsTech this week, I assume that I will hear something about the program if I listen carefully. But I thought a summary of my pre-conference impressions would be helpful.

First, I will give an example of the problem and challenges of the program starting with William Tanner (abt 1660 - abt 1735) of Rhode Island. I chose him because of my page by page research of the early Rhode Island town records concerning him and his descendants. My research to date leaves open some obvious questions. When did he arrive in Rhode Island? Which of the various "William Tanners" shown on early immigration and passenger list records is my ancestor? Since his arrival in Rhode Island is still undocumented in any source or record I have yet seen, there is no way to connect him to the various William Tanners listed in the passenger lists and therefore connect him with any of the William Tanners listed in England about the same time. The earliest record is the The Record of the Proprietors of Narrangansett. Otherwise Called the Fones Record, Arnold, James N., Editor of the Narrangansett Historical Register, Compiler, Rhode Island Colonial Gleanings, n.d. 974.5 R2 Mesa Regional Family History Center., 41 S. Hobson, Mesa, Arizona 85204 USA. At the bottom of this post I have listed my present list of sources of William Tanner and his family. By the way, if you have any additional information, please let me know. I still have an extensive list of sources to search.The Fones Record list William Tanner of Rhode Island as the witness to a will.

Now, let's have a look at what is recorded in New FamilySearch.  Since this will undoubtedly be one of my longest posts ever, I will have to condense some of the issues and leave out a few screen shots in the interest of not turning this into a book. I will also skip all of the extraneous material in the New FamilySearch file in between me and my ancestor William Tanner. Here is the first level of information in the file on William Tanner:

Let's just say that the entry for William Tanner has almost 80 different birth dates and places from 1657 in various places in England to 1682 in Rhode Island. There are at least eight different places in England listed with one in Wales. This is not at all helpful. Looking at the individual sources for William Tanner are even less help.  The Fones Record which is the earliest source is not listed.  As to his death and burial, I have personally visited his gravesite located His burial location has also been reported to be Usequepaugh, Kent, Rhode Island. He is actually buried at the Laurel Country Club, 309 Laurel Lane, West Kingston, Rhode Island off of the 3rd tee.

Who could possibly sort out the mass of confusion in the New FamilySearch record for William Tanner? But wait, let's go back a couple of generations. I mentioned above that I have yet seen one documentary source identifying William Tanner with any one of the possible immigrants in that time period with the same name. I do have my opinion, but that is not the point. In New FamilySearch he is listed with 13 different wives one of which is identified as "Living." She must be the oldest human ever documented. Despite the fact that there is no documentation as to William Tanner's birth in England or where ever, there are more than thirteen generations of William Tanners shown as ancestors of the William Tanner in Rhode Island. I finally stopped clicking on the links back. Each of the William Tanners have their own Person Identifier Number which is in addition to the 150 combined records of the original. There are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of entries identified as ancestors of the original William Tanner.

There is no connection between what is shown in the program and anything approaching reality. Further, there is not even a hint that there is any way to solve this problem of historic proportions.  For example, all of the supposed ancestors of William Tanner should simply be erased from the database. They do not exist. If by some rare chance, one of them or more is an actual documented ancestor, then there should be some way to show the sources of how that conclusion was reached.  As a side note, many of these bogus ancestors show availability for Temple ordinances.

Here is a list of the main issues:
1. There is no way to correct this mess and weed out the duplicates.
2. There is no way to adequately document the sources, if any.
3. There is no way to stop even more confusion.
These are the same issues I have had since shortly after the program was introduced.

Now, what happens when and if New FamilySearch is opened to the general public and added as a menu item to the website? That is the question.

How will the website be viewed as a an authority when it will contain the mess of information in New FamilySearch which violates almost every possible guideline or instruction given on how to do genealogy?

This is my request: Give me some way to correct the pedigree information and supply real source information and I will do so. Let's hope that I hear something promising in Salt Lake this next week.

Partial Sources for William Tanner and his family:

1790 US Census; Image Source: Year: 1790; Census Place: Hopkinton, Washington, Rhode Island; Roll: M637_10; Page: 44; Image: 0076. Joshua Tanner
Alden G., Washington County, Rhode Island, births 1770 to 1850 : comprising the towns of North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Exeter, Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond, Hopkinton  vol. 5, Washington County,  East Princeton, Mass. : A.G. Beaman, 1976, c1976.
American Indian Place Names In Rhode Island Database,
Arnold, James N., Editor of the Narrangansett Historical Register, Compiler, The Records of the Proprietors of Narrangansett. Otherwise Called the Fones Record, Rhode Island Colonial Gleanings, n.d.
Arnold, James N., Index to civil and military list Providence?, R.I. : Narragansett Historical Publishing? 191-?.
Arnold, James N., Vital record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850, first series, births, marriages and deaths : a family register for the people, (6 vols.), "Published under the auspices of the General Assembly." Providence, Rhode Island, Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, 1894.
Austin, John Osborne , 1849-1918. (Main Author) Moriarty, G. Andrews (George Andrews), 1883-1968. (Added Author), The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island : comprising three generations of settlers who came before 1690 (with many families carried to the fourth generation (Albany, N.Y. : Joel Munsell's Sons, 1887. viii, 440 p. [With a new foreword by Albert T. Klyberg, librarian, The Rhode Island Historical Society, and the additions and corrections, Baltimore, Maryland Genealogical Publishing Inc., 1969].
Austin, John Osborne, Ancestry of Thirty-Three Rhode Islanders (Born in the Eighteenth Century) also Twenty-Seven Charts of Roger Williams’ Descendants to the Fifth Generation, and an Account of Lewis Latham, Falconer to King Charles I, with a Chart of His American Descendants to the Fourth Generation and a List of 180 Existing Portraits of Rhode Island Governors, Chief Justices, Senators etc. and of Certain Military Officers, Divines, Physicians, Authors, Lawyers, Merchants, etc. (Albany, New York, Joel Munsell’s Sons, 1889).
Barnes, Robert and Catherine, Genealogies of Rhode Island Families from Rhode Island Periodicals with the Gore Roll of Arms and Other Records, 2 Vols., (Baltimore, Maryland, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983) LC #82-84324, Set #0-8063-1016-2.
Beaman, Alden G., North Kingstown, South Kingstown, Exeter and Richmond, Rhode Island marriages from the probate records, 1692-1850, Princeton, Mass. : [s.n.], c1975.
Beaman, Alden G., Ph.D., Editor, Rhode Island Genealogical Register, 20 Vols. 2nd Ed. Revised and Enlarged, (East Princeton, Massachusetts 01517Alden G. Beaman, P.O. Box 585, 1986).
Beaman, Alden G., Rhode Island Vital Records, New Series, Vol. 4, Washington County, Rhode Island Births from Probate Records, 1685 – 1860, Princeton, Mass. : [s.n.], c1978.
Card, Lester L., Births, marriages and deaths taken from Nailer Tom Hazard's diary, So. Kingston, R.I., Microfilm of manuscript in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, New York City, New York. 62, [15] leaves, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1941, FHL US/CAN Film 22498.
Chapin, Howard Millar and Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, Rhode Island) (Added Author) Rhode Island in the colonial wars; a list of Rhode Island soldiers & sailors in the old French & Indian war, 1755-1762, Providence, Rhode Island, Printed for the Rhode Island Historical Society, 1918.
Coldham, Peter Wilson, Bonded Passengers to America. 9 vols. in 3. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983. Vol. 6. Oxford Circuit, 1663-1775: Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Worcestershire. 95p. Page: 54,
Coldham, Peter Wilson, The Complete Book of Emigrants: A Comprehensive Listing Compiled from English Public Records of Those Who Took Ship to the Americas for Political, Religious, and Economic Reasons; of Those Who Were Deported for Vagrancy, Roguery, or Non-Conformity; and of Those Who Were Sold to Labour in the New Colonies. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. 1661-1699. 1990. 894p,
Cole, J. R., History of Washington and Kent Counties, Rhode Island including Their Early Settlement and Progress to the Present time; A Description of Their Historic and Interesting Localities; Sketches of Their Towns and Villages; Portraits of Some of Their Prominent Men, and Biographies of Many of Their Representative Citizens, New York, W.W. Preston Co., 1889 [Facsimile Reprint: Higginson Book Company, 148 Washington Street, P.O. Box 778, Salem, Massachusetts 01970, 508-745-7170].
Colonial genealogies #1, 1607-1920 : from the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., [S.l.] : Brøderbund, c1998.
Comstock, Charles and William Davis Miller, A History of South-Kingstown, with a particular description of the Hornet's Nest company and the cats let out of the bag, Reprint of the 1806 edition published in Newport, R.I., Kingston, Rhode Island : [s.n.], 1934, Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988, FHL US/CAN Fiche 6048173 Fiche 1.
Cowell, Benjamin, Spirit of ’76 in Rhode Island, with Cowell’s “Spirit of ‘76” An Analytical and Explanatory Index, by James N. Arnold, Baltimore, Maryland, Genealogical Publishing Inc., 1973 [Originally published as “Spirit of ’76 in Rhode Island, or, Sketches of the Efforts of the Government and the People, in the War of the Revolution, Together with the Names of Those who belonged to Rhode Island Regiments in the Army, with Biographical Notices, Reminiscences Etc. Etc. by Benjamin Cowell, Boston, Massachusetts, A. J. Wright, Printer, No. 3 Water Street, 1850].
Daughters of the American Colonists. Old New York Frontier Chapter (Rome, New York), Rhode Island historical cemeteries, Kingston, Rhode Island : bible records from New York, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, FHL US/CAN Film 376988 Item 1.
De Brouwer, Elizabeth, Compiler, Under the Direction of George Shepherd Tanner, Sidney Tanner, His Ancestors and Descendants, Pioneer Freighter of the West, 1809 – 1895, Sidney Tanner Family Organization, 4545 South 2760 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84117, 1982.
Denison, Frederic, Westerly and its witnesses : for two hundred and fifty years, 1626-1876; including Charlestown, Hopkinton, and Richmond, until their separate organization, with the principal points of their subsequent history, Providence [Rhode Island] : J.A. Reid & R.A. Reid, 1878, Also on microfilm: Salt Lake City: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1976, FHL US/CAN Film 928181 Item 11.
Dougine, Genevieve N., Detailed Index to Rhode Island Land Evidences, Vol. 1 (1648 – 1696), Microfilm #22254 R Is G 6, (handwritten).
Dougine, Genevieve N., Index to Rhode Island land evidences, 1648-1696 : also record of marriages, 1800, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1941, FHL US/CAN Film 22254.
Farnham, Charles W. F.A.S.G., Rhode Island Genealogy, typed manuscript, n.d. 15 pages.
First Baptist Church (South Kingston, Rhode Island), Church records, 1781-1927, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, FHL US/CAN Film 930984.
Gale Research. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA:, Inc., 2005. Original data: Filby, P. William, ed.. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s. Farmington Hills, MI, USA: Gale Research, 2005.
Giswold, S. S., Historical Sketch of the Town of Hopkinton: From 1757 to 1876, Comprising a Period of 119Years, Salt Lake City, Utah, Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982 (Microfilm of original published: Hope Valley, Rhode Island, L.W.A. Cole, printer, 1877, 94 p.
Hazard, Caroline , 1856-1945. The Narragansett Friends' Meeting in the XVIII century, with a chapter on Quaker beginnings in Rhode Island  Boston : Houghton, Mifflin, 1899, c1899 (Cambridge, Mass. : Riverside).
Hopkinton (Rhode Island) Court of Probate, Probate Bonds (1872 – 1915) and docket books (1895 – 1928), Salt Lake City, Utah: filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1993, Bonds: vol. 1 1872 – 1900, vol. 2 1895 – 1906, vol. 3 1907 – 1915, Docket Books: vol. 1 1895 – 1909, vol. 2 1909 – 1928; FHL US/CAN Film 1872371.
Hopkinton (Rhode Island). Court of Probate, Probate records, 1757-1920, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, 1993, Probate records vol. 1-6 1751-1841; FHL US/CAN Film 931571.
Hopkinton (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Land evidence books 1757-1888 (Hopkinton, Rhode Island), Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, 1993, Land evidence books Vol. 1 1757-1766; FHL US/CAN Film 931561, Land evidence books Vols. 2-4 1766-1794; FHL US/CAN Film 931562, Land evidence books Vols. 5-6 1791-1815; FHL US/CAN Film 931563, Land evidence books Vols. 7-8 1815-1836; FHL US/CAN Film 931564.
Hopkinton (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, List of militia 1808-1868 and World War I era veterans 1898-1932 (Hopkinton, Rhode Island), Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1993, List of militia (1808-1868) and World War I era veterans (1898-1932) - FHL US/CAN Film 1872373 Items 6-7.
Hopkinton (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Probate index cards, 1757-1993, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1993, FHL US/CAN Film 1877394.
Hopkinton (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Town records, 1743-1920, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1993, FHL US/CAN Film 1902556.
Hopkinton (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Town records, 1743-1920, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1993, FHL US/CAN Film 1902556.
Hopkinton (Rhode Island). Town Council, Records of the Town Council, 1751-1916, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, 1993, Town Council records vol. 1-8 1751-1854; FHL US/CAN Film 931574.
Hopkinton, (Rhode Island), Town Clerk, and Matthew Stilman, Marriages, 1706 – 1903, Hopkinton, Rhode Island, Salt Lake City, Utah, Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1993, marriages, 1706 – 1903; FHL US/CAN Film 1872372 Item 4.
McAleer, Althea H., Beatrix Hoffius, and Deby Jecoy Nunes, Graveyards of North Kingstown, Rhode Island, North Kingstown, R.I. : A.H. McAleer, 1992, c1992.
Miller, William Davis, Dr. Joseph Torrey and his record book of marriages, Microreproduction of article taken from a publication of the Rhode Island Historical Society. [S.l. : s.n., 19-?]. p. 102-111, 142- 153 : facsims., Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1950, FHL US/CAN Film 22395 Item 1.
National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society, Map, Close-up U.S.A., New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., National Geographic Society, 1975.
Parker, J. Carlyle, Rhode Island biographical and genealogical sketch index 1991 compiled by J. Carlyle Parker, California, Marietta Publishing Co., 1991.
Pioneer Immigrants to Utah Territory, Electronic Database,, Downloaded information for John Tanner, John Joshua Tanner, Julia Ann Shepherd Tanner, Martin Henry Tanner, Nancy Agnes Keys Tanner, Nathan Tanner, Rachel Neyman Fulmer Tanner, Sidney Tanner, Sidney C. Tanner, Thomas Tanner, William Stuart Tanner, 10 May 2006.
Potter, Elisha R., The early history of Narragansett : with an appendix of original documents, many of which are now for the first time published, Ann Arbor, Michigan : University Microfilms, 1987, [Microreproduction of original published: Providence : Marshall, Brown & Co., 1935. (Providence : Printed by E.A. Marshall). xix, 423].
Representative men & old families of Rhode Island, genealogical records and historical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and of many of the old families  Chicago, Illinois, J.H. Beers & Co., 1908.
Rhode Island Census, 1740-1890, Record; Name: Joshua Tanner; State: RI; County: Washington County; Township: Hopkinton; Year: 1777; Page: 004; Database: RI 1777 Military Census Index;
Rhode Island Genealogical Society, Rhode Island Roots, Vol. 13, No. 4, December, 1987 (Warwick, Rhode Island, Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 1987) [P.O. Box 7618, Warwick, Rhode Island 02887-7618].
Rhode Island Graves Registration Committee, Rhode Island town of South Kingstown historical cemeteries, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, VAULT US/CAN Film 931841 Item 5.
Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries Descriptions,
Rhode Island State Library On-Line Catalog,
Rhode Island. Graves Registration Committee, Rhode Island town of Hopkinton historical cemeteries, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, FHL US/CAN Film 931577 Item 4.
Rhode Island. Secretary of State, Bartlett, John Russell , (Added Author)  Census of the inhabitants of the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations 1774,  (Reprint of 1858 edition, arranged by John R. Bartlett) Lambertville, N.J. : Hunterdon House, c1984.
Sons of the American Revolution, Manual of the Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, 1900 – 1910 Inclusive, Providence, Rhode Island, Published by The Sons of the American Revolution, E.A. Johnson & Company, 1911.
Sons of Utah Pioneers Memorial Gallery Index Cards, Electronic Database,, Downloaded John Tanner, Elizabeth Beswick, Nathan Tanner Sr., Nathan Tanner, Jr., Rachel Neyman Tanner, William Smith Tanner, 10 May 2006.

Additional Sources:

South Kingston (Rhode Island). Justices' Court, Court records 1782-1821, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, FHL US/CAN Film 931842.
South Kingston (Rhode Island). Town Assessors, Tax lists 1735-1867, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, Tax lists 1735-1802; FHL US/CAN Film 931844 Items 2-4, Tax lists 1803-1844; FHL US/CAN Film 930982.
South Kingston (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Highway tax lists, 1797-1854, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, Tax lists 1797-1803, 1814-1854; FHL US/CAN Film 931843 Items 4-6, Tax lists 1804-1813 (includes a list of proxy votes for governor from 1810); FHL US/CAN Film 931844 Item 1.
South Kingston (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Land evidence 1696-1885, Salt Lake City, Utah, Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, Grantee index 1696-1855; FHL US/CAN Film 931832 Item 1, Grantor index 1696-1885; FHL US/CAN Film 931832 Item 2, General index for v. 1-13, 1696-1823; FHL US/CAN Film 931299 Item 1, Land evidence, v. 1-3 1696-1723; FHL US/CAN Film 931299 Items 2-4, Land evidence, v. 3 1723-1735; FHL US/CAN Film 931300, Land evidence, v. 4 1736-1748; FHL US/CAN Film 931301, Land evidence, v. 5 1748-1757; FHL US/CAN Film 931302, Land evidence, v. 6-7 1758-1784; FHL US/CAN Film 931303, Land evidence, v. 8-9 1785-1802; FHL US/CAN Film 931304, Land evidence, v. 10-11 1802-1815; FHL US/CAN Film 931305.
South Kingston (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Mortgage deeds 1715-1788, Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, Mortgages 1715-1756; FHL US/CAN Film 930985, Mortgages 1744-1761; FHL US/CAN Film 932339, Mortgages 1786-1788; FHL US/CAN Film 932340 Item 1.
South Kingston (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Town Council records 1704-1943, Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1973, Index 1705-1943; FHL US/CAN Film 931833 Item 1, Index 1704-1917; FHL US/CAN Film 931837 Item 1, Probate and Town Council records vol. 1-3 1704- 1743; FHL US/CAN Film 931833 Items 2-3, Probate and Town Council records vol. 4-5 1743- 1772; FHL US/CAN Film 931834, Probate and Town Council records vol. 6-7 1772- 1854; FHL US/CAN Film 931835, Probate and Town Council records vol. 8-9 1854- 1886; FHL US/CAN Film 931836, Probate and Town Council records vol. 1-4 1799- 1828; FHL US/CAN Film 931837 Items 2-6.
Sperry, Kip, Rhode Island Sources for Family Historians and Genealogists, (Logan, Utah, Everton Publishers, Inc. 1986).
Sterling, John Eylers, James Lucas Wheaton, and Cherry Fletcher Blamberg, South Kingstown, Rhode Island, historical cemeteries, Greenville, Rhode Island, Rhode Island Genealogical Society, 2004.
Stutz, Jean C., South Kingstown, Rhode Island, town council records, 1771 – 1795, Kingston, Rhode Island, Pettaquamscutt Historical Society, 1988.
Tanner, Elias, Reverend, The Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas Tanner, Sr. of Cornwall, Connecticut, with Brief Notes of Several Allied Families, also Short Sketches of Several Towns of their Early Residence. Lansing, Michigan, Darius D. Thorp, Printer and Binder, 1893.
Tanner, George C., Reverend, William Tanner of South Kingston and his Descendants, Faribault, Minnesota (Self Published, 1910).
Tanner, George C., Reverend, William Tanner of South Kingston and his Descendants, Faribault, Minnesota (Self Published, 1905).
Tanner, George Shepherd, John Tanner and his Family, Salt Lake City, Utah; The John Tanner Family Association; 1974.
Tanner, Maurice, Descendants of John Tanner, Born August 15, 1778, at Hopkintown, R. I. Died April 15, 1850 at South Cottonwood, Salt Lake County, Utah, The Tanner Family Association, 1942.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Genealogical Department, South Kingston, Washington, Rhode Island computer printout: births or christenings, 1769 – 1850, FHL US/CAN Film 1205776 Item 8.
The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Salt Lake City, Utah, The Genealogical Society of Utah, Vol. XXX, January, 1939. Page 215, “Finding the Ancestors of Susanna West.”
U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, Electronic Database,, Record; Name: Joshua Tanner; Gender: male; Birth Year: 1757; Spouse Name: Thankful Tefft; Spouse Birth Year: 1757; Marriage Year: 1775; Number Pages: 1, 10 May 2006.
United States Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at the time of the ratification of the Constitution from 1777 and 1795 Originals in the Library of Congress at Washington, [reprinted, 1936 by U.S. Geological Survey, Original Engraved and Printed for Wm Feden, Charing Cross, July 22, 1777].
Virkus, Frederick Adams, The abridged compendium of American genealogy: first families of America : a genealogical encyclopedia of the United States, Baltimore, Maryland; Genealogical Publishing, 1968 [Chicago, Illinois, A. N. Marquis, Virkus Company and Institute of American Genealogy], 1925-1942, 7 v.
Wills [abstracts, ca. 1704-1814], South Kingstown, Rhode Island, Microfilm of typescript (leaves 189-235, 95-127). Contents: Samuel Helme, will probated 1728 -- Nathaniel Gardner, will probated 1734 -- Henry Knowles, will probated 1726 -- Robert Knowles, will recorded 1759 -- William Knowles, Sr., will probated 1727 -- Peleg Mumford, will probated 1745 -- Thomas Mumford, will recorded 1728 -- Ichabod Potter, Sr., will probated 1729 -- John Potter, will probated 1739 -- Samuel Potter, will probated 1739 -- William Robinson, will recorded 1751 -- Copy of commission of Captain Richard Updike, 1776 -- Richard Updike (d. 1805) grave inscription, Wickford, Rhode Island -- Ephraim Bull, will recorded 1721 -- William Gardner, will probated 1732 -- Henry Gardner, will probated 1744 -- Adam Gould, will probated 1807 -- Thomas Hazard, will probated 1746 -- Jonathan Hazard, will probated 1746 -- Robert Hazard, will probated 1752 -- Robert Hazard, will probated 1718 -- Rouse Helme, will will probated 1712 -- Samuel Perry, will probated 1716 -- Thomas Potter, will probated 1728 -- Rowland Robinson, will probated 1716 -- Job Babcock, will probated 1755 -- John Browning, will probated 1777 -- Jeffrey Champlin, will probated 1717 -- John Crandall, will probated 1704 -- William Gardner, will probated 1732 -- Thomas Greenman, will probated 1728 -- Richard Hazard, will probated 1762 -- Susannah Hazard, will probated 1767 -- Nathaniel Niles, will probated 1727 -- John Potter, will probated 1715 -- Thomas Potter, will probated 1728 -- James Rogers, will probated 1755 -- Samuel Rodman, will probated 1777 -- Alice Seagar, will probated 1778 -- John Seagar, will probated 1754 -- Abiel Shearman, will probated 1742 -- Nathan Sheffield, will probated 1744 -- John Sheldon, will probated 1705 -- Isaac Turner, will probated 1726 -- Jeremiah Wilson, will proved 1740 -- James Wilson, will probated 1705/6 -- Rebeccah Congdon, will probated 1796 -- Stephen Hazard, will probated 1727 -- Christopher Helme, will probated 1732 -- James Helme, will probated 1777 -- William Mumford, will probated 1765 -- Benjamin Perry, will probated 1748 -- Freeman Perry, will probated 1814 -- John Sweet, Jr., will probated 1716 -- George Hazard, will recorded 1738 -- William Gardner, will probated 1710/11 -- John Gardner, will probated 1770 -- Benjamin Hollway, will probated 1761 -- Joseph Torrey, will probated 1791 -- James McSparran, will probated 1757 -- Samuel Fayerweather, will probated 1781. In Cemetery inscriptions, church records, vital records, marriage records, wills, Revolutionary soldiers, and family Bibles / Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America. Vol. 7. FHL US/CAN Film 165997.


  1. James,

    What you want is pretty much what I heard from the Fa milySearch team in October at the Blogger Day. They will open up the entire tree to anybody and let conclusion based source-centric research to be added.

    It will likely be messy! In the end, it will probably work if enough dedicated researchers participate.

    Please write about what you hear at RootsTech on this! Have fun...I'm missing it due to a prior speaking commitment.

  2. James, this is yet another useful and succinct post. I would have appreciated just a tad more detail concerning why/how you cannot make pertinent deletions/corrections. Is it because the original submitters of the birth dates or pedigree assertions are anonymous and/or deceased (or for other reasons cannot be contacted)? Or because there is a requirement to submit evidence that the submissions lacking evidence are incorrect? Other factors?

    Thank you for your always sensible and helpful posts.

  3. I understand that New FamilySearch will someday allow sources and provide links to the records in FamilySearch (and possibly elsewhere?). Of course that was "someday," but hope it is soon. This would definitely help. However, I have found sources disproving long-held beliefs, and some extended cousins still don't want to believe it. That is another hurdle - changing minds as well.