Welcome to Carterville USA!
Remembering those who came before us...
First Name:   Last Name:   

Birth Married
[ Advanced Search ]  [ Surnames ]
The Official Website for:
The Cater/Decatur Family Organization and
The John & Hannah Knight Libby Carter Family Organization


Q. How do I gain access to Carterville USA website?

A. The most important criteria is your relationship to the individuals that make up the Carterville USA family tree. In order to get an account, you must be a direct descendant of Richard Cater 1st, born about 1598 in Devon, England and died about 1678 in the Colony of New Hampshire; or through marriage. In other words, someone in your family tree can be traced back to someone who was related or married to a direct descendant Richard Cater 1st.

An example would be John Carter (1782 - 1852), a direct descendant, and his wife, Hannah Knight Libby (1786 - 1867), through marriage.

From the homepage, click on Register.


This will bring up the Register for New User Account form.

All fields on this form, that are shown as required, must be completed. This will not only expedite your request, but will avoid my having to ask you for this information.

Check the box giving consent to store personal information collected by our website. In other words, you consent to the use of “cookies”. What are cookies, you ask? Cookies are small files which are stored on your–the user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to the user (you) and Carterville USA and may carry that information over from one visit to the next. An example would be using a cookie to store your login information from one visit and carry that information over to the next visit eliminating the need to login again.

Click the Submit button. That will generate a notification email being sent to me letting me know that your request is pending. As long as all required information is provided, the turn around time is 24-hours or less… usually less.

New User Account Form
Q. What are the benefits of Registering as a User?
  • It is completely free, so why not?
  • You must be registered in order to see any details of your ancestors, their descendants, their records, documents, photographs, biographies, etc.
  • Registration also ensures that I can e-mail you when questions arise concerning your family tree.
  • Registration also adds you to our mailing list and the John & Hannah Knight Libby Carter Family Organization Newsletter.
Q. What if I forget my username and/or password?
  • If you can't remember your username then, via the 'Log In' page, enter the email address you supplied when you registered and you will receive a reply via your email address with your username.
  • For your security I do not have access to your password. So, if you forget it, you can ask the system, again via the 'Log In' page. Just enter the email address you supplied when you registered along with your username. Upon receipt of the reply, follow the instructions provided.
Q. How do I look up names of my ancestors on the Carterville USA Website?

A. There are various ways, but the Search function is the easiest method.

In the upper-right hand corner of the homepage, you will find the Search field. Enter the first and last name of the person you are looking for (these fields are not case sensitive). Select Birth (default) and click the Search (blue & white arrow) button.


If your search is successful, a list of matching names will appear on the screen. You can then scroll up or down the list to determine if any of the names provided is the ancestor you are searching for.

If you find someone who you believe matches your search request, use your mouse pointer to hover over the name you want to view (Do not click the left mouse button).

That will bring up a preview detailing what information we have on that individual. If this is the person you were looking for, simply click on the name your mouse pointer has selected.

Search Results
Q. I cannot see detailed information about myself (or other people) on this website. Why not?

A. Due to concerns about security and privacy, Carterville USA is a closed website. That means no one can login or view any information on this website without an account. All account holders are restricted to those family members who descend directly from our progenitor, Richard CATER I, or through marriage. Even with an account, no personal information will be provided for anyone living, except for their names and the word LIVING. An exception to this rule, will be the use of a default photo, when available.

Q. What if I don't find any of my ancestors using Search?

A. Are you certain that you are spelling the surname correctly? Try search the Surnames List.

From the homepage, click on Surnames.


This will display the Surname List. From the list, you can look for similar surnames by clicking on the first letter of the last name your are searching for.

Surname List

It is not unheard of that the spelling of a person's last name may have been changed over time... especially during the 17th and 18th centuries. It's even possible that the surname we bear today may have only existed in its present form for a few generations. Reasons vary, but some of the more common ones are:

  • Illiteracy: The further back in time we go, the more likely we are to encounter ancestors who couldn't read and write. Many didn't even know how their own names were spelled, only how to pronounce them. When they gave their names to clerks, census enumerators, clergymen, or other officials, that person wrote their name the way that it sounded to him. Even if our ancestor did have the spelling memorized, the person recording the information may not have bothered to ask how it should be spelled.
  • Simplification: Immigrants, upon arrival in a new country, often found that their name was difficult for others to spell or pronounce. In order to better fit in, many chose to simplify the spelling or otherwise alter their name to relate it more closely to the language and pronunciations of their new country.
  • Mispronunciation: Letters within a surname were often confused due to verbal miscommunication or heavy accents.
  • Lost in Translation: Immigrants from countries with alphabets other than English had to write names using an alphabet they were unfamiliar with, thus producing many variations on the same name.
  • Fear of Discrimination: Surname changes and modifications can sometimes be attributed to a desire to conceal nationality or religious orientation in fear of reprisal or discrimination. This motive constantly appears among the Jews, who often faced anti-Semitism.
Q. How do I search for a woman who is married, but don't know her maiden name?

A. You can search for a married woman, whether you know her maiden name or not. Simply enter the surname of the husband in the Last Name field; selecting Married, then clicking on the Search arrow.

Search Married Name

If your search is successful, a list of all women, regardless of maiden name, married to a man with the surname you entered in the Search field, will be provided. You can then scroll up or down the list to determine if any of the names provided is the ancestor you were looking for. If found, just click on the name.

Search Married Results
Q. What is Advanced Search and how do I use it?

A. The Advanced Search form is pretty straight forward. It allows you to enter detailed information about the individual for whom you are looking.

If you can find an individual by using the Advanced Search feature, then you will almost certainly be able to find that same person by doing just a regular search. The one advantage of using Advanced Search over a regular search is the ability to greatly reduce the number of potential matches in the search results.

Q. How do I find an individual's ancestors?

A. Locate the individual you are interested in, then click on the Ancestors tab.

Ancestor Tab

This will bring up a graphical pedigree chart of both the paternal and maternal ancestors. Once you have the chart displayed, you can click on any of the individual's names provided. By doing so, you will be taken directly to that individual's information page.

Ancestor Chart Arrow Left

By clicking on the arrow in front of the ancestor located at the far left, the names of the individual's spouse(s) and any children will be displayed.

Ancestor Chart Arrow Down

By clicking on the arrow below any of the ancestors boxes will bring up additional information about that individual, as well as, the names of the individual's spouse(s) and any children will be displayed.

Ancestor Options

Please note that below the Ancestors tab, you have various options available that control how the ancestors information is displayed. By default, Generations is set to 4. As you increase the number of generations, you will notice that the chart will begin to exceed the boundaries of your personal PC's monitor. You will then have to use your scroll bars to view the information. Max generations that can be displayed is 8.

There are also a number of formats from which to choose from: i.e., Standard, Vertical, Compact, Box, Text, Ahnentafel, Fan Chart and Media. Try clicking on the various options to see how and what information will be displayed.

Q. What if I want to see an individual's descendants?

A. The options available to you for viewing the individual's descendants are the same as for viewing the individual's ancestors. For further information, please see Question 6.

Q. Is there a way to determine a relationship between two individuals?

A. Yes. By clicking the Relationship tab the Find Relationship form will display.


In this particular example we are going to try to find a relationship between Person 1: Alma Miner Carter and Person 2. Also in this example we are going to assume that you want to know if there is a relationship between Alma and Randall F Packard.Relationship searches are conducted using a person's ID number, not by name. If you do not know a person's ID number, then click the Find button. That will bring up the Find Person ID form. Enter the First and Last names of the person you are looking for. If that particular person is found, it will be provided in the Search Results. Click on name of the individual found.

Note 1.: If the person you are searching for cannot be found, then No results found. Please try again. will be displayed in the search results.

Note 2.: Unless you feel otherwise, leave the remaining options set to their default settings.


You will notice that the person's ID number has been found and now fills the Person 2: box. Click the Calculate button.


Upon completion, the relationship results will be displayed.

Q. The Timeline feature looks interesting. What can I use it for?

A. The timeline is a chronological listing of historical events that occurred during a particular period of time. When the Timeline tab is selected, it will provide a summary of some important events in history that occurred during the life of the individual you are currently viewing. By scrolling down below the timeline, a list of additional historical events can also be viewed. By clicking the Add People button, additional ancestors can be included in the timeline, as well. An example would be including the person's parents and/or grandparents, etc. in the timeline.


The timeline can be updated and added to. If there are events that anyone would like to appear on the timeline, please let me know.

Q. How do I correct mistakes or add missing information?

A. For the majority of users, the short answer is: You can't; not directly anyway. In the interest of database security and formatting standarization, I have limited that capability to myself. For those of you who are affected by this policy, there are still options available to you.

  • You can request changes to an individual's personal information by going to the particular person's individual record and clicking the Suggest tab.
  • Complete all requested fields and provide a list of what changes you are asking to be made. Then check the consent box and then click the Submit Suggestion button.
  • Please, if at all possible, please provide your references or citation data.