Sunday's Obituary: P.J. O'Donnell – Seattle

P.J. O’Donnell Succumbs

Patrick James O’Donnell, veteran Seattle entertainer and writer died suddenly Tuesday at his home at 15904 20th Ave. S.W. He was the husband of the former Viola Bozarth, who wrote for many years under the name of Cynthia Grey for the old Seattle Star.

Mr. O’Donnell, who was 50 years old, was a native of Bayonne, N.J. He had made his home in Seattle for 33 years and was a member of the Wilkes Players and the Duffy Players.

In addition to his widow, he leaves three brothers, Cornelius J., Daniel J. and John J. O’Donnell, in California, and a sister Mrs. Ann Kavet of Portland.

Requiem mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. Francis’ Church at Seahurst. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery under the directin of Joseph R. Manning and Sons.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 15 December 1949

One Child or Two?

More Mellen errors and omissions.

I’m revising Descendants of Simon Mellen, c. 1636-1694, and have found yet another problem with his descendants. This time with the family of John(5) Mellen and his wife Martha Fitch Wendell at pages 109 through 112.

Somehow, I assumed that there were two children, one who died young, the unnamed infant who died in 1802 and another, named Martha F. who was born and died in 1805.

The error came about from misreading some of the records, published sources, that I used to build the family sketch. One of the offenders is Binney’s account of the family which I have described as troublesome. It turns out that he was correct in this instance, however. The other two sources in the problematic sketch are the Cambridge vital records and Sharples’ volume of church records.

In the Cambridge vital records, volume 2, is an entry for an unnamed infant child surnamed Mellen who died 5 March 1802. There is no corresponding entry in volume 1 for a birth of this child. The death entry also appears in the Sharples compilation. Binney, on the other hand, wrote that it was Martha Fitch Mellen who was born on 5 March 1802 and died 6 March 1802.

Binney’s statement is backed up by an account of the family in a handwritten manuscript copied from an original, location currently unknown. The copy apparently is in the possession of the Pennsylvania Historical Society. It is available on the FamilySearch platform.

See also my earlier post on the two sisters who seemed to have been born to close to each other.

Sunday’s Obituary: Alexander Rippett – Seattle

Port Blakely Pioneer Dies

Alexander Rippett, 79, who came to Port Blakely 60 years ago from his birthplace in County Down, Ireland, died Tuesday in Providence Hospital after a short illness.

Mr. Rippett, 2919 W. Haynes St., moved to Seattle 49 years ago. He last worked at the Washington Iron Works and retired in 1944.

He was a member of the Washington State Pioneers Association and was the last living member of the Kane Masonic Lodge No. 5 of Port Blakely.

Mr. Rippett is survived by his widow, Laura; a daughter, Mrs. Edmund Van Wyck, Seattle; four sisters, two of whom live in Belfast, Ireland, one in Kent, England, and the other, Mrs. Harry Swann, in New York City; two granddaughters, and one great-gransdson.

Funeral services will be held Friday at 1 p.m. in the Bonney-Watson chapel. Burial will be in Evergreen Memorial Park.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 15 December 1949

Centurial – Evidence-based Genealogy Software

I’ve been looking at a piece of software called Centurial and it is quite interesting in its approach to doing genealogical analysis. The design of the application is quite different from anything I’ve seen in my 25+ years of playing with genealogical software.

The main features are correlation of source materials to instances of persons in such a way that there is little doubt that they refer only to each other. Centurial has a scrollable and zoomable visual “network” view so you can see the relations of persons to each other. Sources are entered in a very nice way, according to the E. S. Mills Evidence Explained format.

There is a space in the analysis pane to enter a proof argument but there is currently no way to output that information in any manner, other than copy and paste; not even to a basic HTML document. You can, however, export a GEDCOM file with the tree you’ve built for transfer to a GEDCOM-based program such as Family Tree Maker or Brothers Keeper.

The Centurial author discusses the differences between his data model and the GEDCOM model on the website referenced below. His website has some small amount of documentation but otherwise you are on your own to figure out how to use the program.

One of the few drawbacks I noticed is that it takes some time to import and convert an average GEDCOM file. For instance, my regular-use GEDCOM is only about 2.5 megabytes and the converted project file is about 25 megabytes. That is a serious size difference. I haven’t looked at the insides of the project file to see what’s what, but I suspect that there is a heckuva lot of XML markup in there.

Centurial is written in English with a European flavor. You may want to view the three tutorials on YouTube before you download and start working with Centurial. They will explain quite a bit about how the author uses it and the potential use cases you may have for it.

Overall, I think Centurial is quite an achievement software-wise. It is not really intuitive but then genealogy itself isn’t all that easy. As it has only been around for a couple of years, I doubt many people have heard of it, though. I recommend it for intermediate or advanced genealogists.

Centurial is available here: https://www.centurial.net/, and is free at the moment although it does require registration and some data collection by the author. It is also a Windows-only product (7, 8, or 10) and requires a recent version of the .NET framework. Personally, I’d like to see a Linux version as well because that’s what I use most of the time.

Sunday’s Obituary – Louis Doran, Sequim and Yakima

from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Louis James Doran, 67, former Sequim and Yakima rancher, died Tuesday at Swedish Hospital in Seattle after five months’ illness.

Mr. Doran was born in Dubuque, Ia. He moved with his parents to Sequim 61 years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Doran operated a dairy ranch in the Sequim area until five years ago, when they moved to Yakima. They came to Seattle after he became ill.

Surviving are the widow, Mrs. Winona H. Doran; a foster son, Paul L. Stauffer of Alameda, Calif.; five sisters, Mrs. William Wilson of Bremerton, Mrs. Margaret Phelps of Heppner, Ore.; Mrs. Harold Sprague of Centralia, and Mrs. J.R. Denney and Miss Gene Doran of Seattle, and two brothers, Bert Doran of Port Angeles and William Doran of Sekiu.

Funeral services will be at 9 a.m. Friday in the Arthur A. Wright and Son chapel, with burial in Port Angeles’ Mount Angeles Cemetery at 2 p.m.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 15 December 1949

Updates to the Wyeth Family Project

One of my current projects is to document the Wyeth family of New England through the 1600s to the 1900s. The progenitor of the family was Nicholas Wyeth, born in England and emigrated to Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts during the early part of the Great Migration. He died in 1680. He was my 10th great-grandfather.

The genealogy itself, while only partly documented, is coming along nicely. I’ve been touching it off and on for several years now. Parts of this genealogy I’ve lifted off of the Internet. I’ve been looking for documents to back up the assertions made in that version. Some of the undocumented materials seem to be based on personal knowledge and recent events, so there should be documents online.

The genealogy as it exists right now is about 25 8.5” x 11” inch pages with footnotes. It is in a fairly strict NEHGS Register style. I plan to post it somewhere in the future, but not just yet since there is unfinished business with the more recent family sketches. Since it is a fairly short document, perhaps growing to 50 or so pages, I’ll probably not publish it on Amazon or Lulu, where my other publications are available.

One of the more interesting parts I’ve found is: Ruth Shepard, who married William Wyeth (1657-1703), was not the daughter of Thomas Shepard, born say 1635-1637 and died at Milton, Massachusetts 26 September 1719, and Hannah Ensign, born probably at Scituate, Massachusetts circa 1638 (baptized at Hingham, Massachusetts 6 July 1640) and died at Malden, Massachusetts 14 March 1697/8. [Robert E. Bowman, “Ensigns Revisited,” The American Genealogist, 73 (October 1998), 249.] Who she was seems to remain a mystery.

Some of the families covered, in particular the New England families, I’ve fairly completely documented, but trailing the others will be a challenge. Since they seem to have dispersed across the country, some to Washington state and some to the western states, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Notes on Ancestris 10 – Formerly GenealogyJ

I’ve been looking at Ancestris, a free (GPL’d) genealogy program written in Java. It runs on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems.

There is very little documentation with the program and it takes a bit of working with to figure out some of the features included. For instance, when I ran the GEDCOM compliance checks it came out with a categorized list of items in one pane and a linked editor in another pane.

There are three editor panes to choose from. One fairly simple, one fairly complex, and one for directly editing the GEDCOM.

The GEDCOM check feature goes beyond just compliance with the standard and includes some plain old sanity checks. Some of these checks are for settable values and ranges so you can tighten or loosen them at will.

Lifelines, another free genealogy program, has a more robust set of sanity checks. Checking compliance at GED-Inline is also a better, albeit more terse, option.

The general reporting capabilities are lacking, compared to other free and commercial genealogy programs. There is only the option to output to a website, for instance. The styling of the report is fairly simple.

Ancestris is available on the web at http://www.ancestris.org. It is updated often as it is a work in progress.