Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Release of New Records - I want a report

So, an online database is releasing a new set of records for Deaths that occurred in Pennsylvania between the years 1906 and 1924 and I want to be ready. How do I generate such a report?

Go to the Publish Workspace, selected Person Reports, and Custom Report and click on the Create Report button.


Then click on the Items to Include menu in the Right Hand Panel and UNCHECK the Preferred Only box. That is because you want to make sure that you pick up all death dates.


Then click on "Selected Individuals" Then click on Filter IN.


This will bring up what to Include. For this case, it is Death FACT, Place, Contains Pennsylvania. It's important that you have the Place Names resolved so that the State spelling is consistent.



Also, make sure that Alternate facts is checked.

This will give a list of EVERYONE with a Death FACT in Pennsylvania


This has 162 people in it. Now to Filter OUT everyone who died BEFORE 1906.


That got me down to 54. Now to Filter OUT everyone who died AFTER 1924.


That got me down to 10.


The hi-lited name has no death date, which is why it is on the list.

Then Filter OUT Death DATE is Blank.


Now I have a report to run when the records are released.
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Copyright © 2014 by H R Worthington

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Notes, Notes, Notes and more notes

As a follow up to an earlier blog post, I had to go look at some statistics about my file. That has caused me to go do some clean up work. Specifically, to get ALL of my Find-A-Grave Sources into the Template Format.

With 8,937 people in my file, with 448 Sources only 197 of them were in the Template format. That is a long term "work in progress". I have always thought that my 2nd most used Source was Find-A-Grave memorials. Sure enough, 55 of the 448 were Find-A-Grave sources accounting for 334 Citations and 2,572 Facts.

So I decided to spend some time evaluating how many of the Find-A-Grave Sources were in the Template format. Very quickly into this project, I realized that over time I had entirely too many notes. Actually, not enough notes, but the notes were not in the right place. That was caused because we didn't have some of the notes, and we were not always able to do anything with the notes.

We have the Person Notes, Sources Notes, Fact Notes, and Research Notes, to mention a few.

What I had been doing early on was the put notes from a Find-A-Grave Memorial into the Person Notes pages.


Some time AFTER I did this work I figured that these notes really needed to be in the Fact Notes field. In the Person Notes field I want the stories that I create or newspaper articles, letters, not "data" that I put into the database.

What I want to do, is to CUT (CTRL+X) from the Person Notes field, and Paste (CTRL+V) that information into the Fact Notes field. I keep my Find-A-Grave Notes in a Find-A-Grave Fact. I have talked about that here, but I created a Find-A-Grave Fact, that is Private, that only I can see them. They won't appear in a report unless I specifically ask for Private Notes. This information is helpful to me.


Because I had done some formatting of the information in the Notes field, so it looked nice, I will see a pop-up message on the way.


It's asking me if I want to keep the formatting of the information. I do, so I select the 2nd option.


I Paste (CTRL+V) (CMD+V for the Mac) that information into the Find-A-Grave Fact Notes field.

BUT, I still have something in the Person Notes field. It is a reference number that I had used for my Research Notes. This doesn't belong here. It belongs in my Research Notes.

Like before, I Cut (CTRL+X) from the Notes and Paste (CTRL+V) it into the Research Notes field.


The Research Notes is that 2nd ICON, and the Toggle Research Notes On or Off is next to it, or the 3rd ICON. Like the Fact Notes, my Research Notes are for my information.

I will take me a couple of hours to do this clean up, but it will be worth it "at the end of the day".

The Find-A-Grave project was put on hold, as I found some interesting issues that have come up, but will blog about that here shortly.
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Copyright © 2014 by H R Worthington

Access the Civil War Collection

This announcement came across my desk and thought I would share it with you
Access the Civil War Collection
To remember the commencement of the Civil War in April 1861, Fold3 invites you to explore all records in its Civil War Collection [http://go.fold3.com/civilwar/]for free April 14–30.

Explore Civil War documents featuring everything from military records to personal accounts and historic writings. Soldier records include service records, pension index cards, “Widows’ Pension” files, Navy survivors certificates, Army registers, and much more. Other record types include photographs, original war maps, court investigations, slave records, and beyond. Items such as the Lincoln Assassination Papers, Sultana Disaster documents, letters to the Adjutant General and Commission Branch, and the 1860 census are also contained in the Civil War Collection.

Confederate-specific records include Confederate service records, amnesty papers, casualty reports, and citizens files, as well as Confederate Navy subject files and Southern Claims Commission documents.

Join Fold3 in its commemoration of the Civil War. Discover information on famous participants as well as your own Civil War ancestors through documents, photos, and images that capture the experiences and vital information of those involved in America’s deadliest conflict. Then commemorate your ancestors by creating or expanding memorial pages for them on Fold3’s Honor Wall [http://www.fold3.com/wall/]. Get started searching the Civil War Collection here[http://go.fold3.com/civilwar/].
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FTM2014 + Public Member Trees = Collaboration

It must be the approaching spring weather but I seem to be treading in waters of controversy these days.

I have been blogging about how to cite my sources, when the Source is an Undocumented Ancestry or Public Member Tree,

Until this point I have stayed away from Using information from them, but have looked at them for research hints. But, if you looked in my FTM2014 family file, you wouldn't find a trace that I had looked at any Ancestry Member Tree (AMT).

A while ago, The Barefoot Genealogist Crista Cowan, had one of her weekly videos that I was watching and for some reason she had "MY" family on her screen. That isn't the first time that has happened to me. After all, that's how I found out that I was related to +DearMYRTLE . I have blogged about some of this in the past.

This time, I want to share how I NOW use information in an AMT. I got the idea from a day long presentation at an Ancestry Day in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago. +Crista Cowan made a comment about how others are helping her with her research. How? By telling her she had some errors in her tree. Hmmm, hadn't though about that before. But what was my first reaction when I saw MY family on her screen? I got back to work on that branch of my family, as we descend from two brothers. I spent a number of hours working on "cleaning up my act", so that IF I were to share my tree with her, SHE would not find any errors.

After listening to her at the Ancestry Day, I re-thought what I COULD do. What if I put MY Tree Online and got Crista Cowan to do MY research. The word of wisdom that I picked up from +DearMYRTLE , in the Google+ DearMyrtle Genealogy Community, Collaboration came to mind. Why not Collaborate with the owner of this "undocumented" Ancestry Member Tree, share with the information that I have with her, and maybe I can pick up some information from her. After all, she is descended from a different brother. Oh, did I mention that I only have information from a couple of Family Group Sheets? So, which is worse? Actually, I have some information in my file that Crista doesn't have.

NOTE: the ONLY information that I gather from an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) are the Facts. Only the Facts AND I cite them, as I have recently blogged about. But, look at what I see on the AMT:


There is information that I do NOT have in my file, Richard Ridgeway's father, Robert, and when and where he was born and died.

I wanted to Thank Crista for this new information. I did so in the Comments:



So, WHY would I want information from an UNDOCUMENTED AMT? Those Relationships are MY Relationships. But, I have two children that she doesn't have.


I'll trade you one Great Grandfather for 3 more siblings, including mine. Good deal, right ?

In my Research Notes I entered that I had found the AMT that belongs to Crista.


I also posted some  information that I have in my file, into the Comments for her person:


I have a page of information in the Person Notes already, so I just copied and pasted that into the Profile Comments for this person.

IF there had been any documentation in her tree, I would want to Find those records myself. I would create a Task for that person, such as this.


That is from my To Do List, but if that AMT had a source, I would make that a To Do list to locate it, so I could look at the record myself. That is not a trust issue for me but more about I want to see that record myself. I may be looking for additional information, or look at the record differently.

As I mentioned, I have copied and pasted some information that I have for her. She can do with that whatever she wants. I am not concerned if she even sees what I posted, but it's there if she wants it. In fact, I did put two pieces of sources in the comments. I don't want to update her tree, even if I was allowed, but it's there for her.

So, yes, I am using information in an Undocumented Public Member Tree. For me, the fact that she has many relationships in that AMT that are like mine, why not share the resources? Collaboration should make BOTH of our family trees better. No, I didn't say perfect, just better.

Bottom Line: I may share this branch of my file, Online and Public. I also sent an invitation to my "new" cousin to my public tree.

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Copyright © 2014 by H R Worthington

FTM2014 and Ancestry Member Trees - New Process for Citations

What a great learning experience about How to Cite Public Member Trees.

It started with my first attempt at selecting the "right" Family Tree Maker Template

FTM2014 and Ancestry Member Trees


I shared that in the Evidence Explained Forum (links in the next blog post). I hadn't selected the right Template and was referred to the QuickSheets, also created by Elizabeth Shown Mills


The response to the posting in the Evidence Explained Forum brought forward the finer points of a Citation.

FTM2014 and Ancestry Member Trees - What Next


This is ALL GOOD. What an honor to have Elizabeth Shown Mills help this user of Family Tree Maker understand the art of a citation.

Also, I have seen several colleagues follow suit, using their genealogy programs to show their followers that same process. 

+Shannon Thomas, a Legacy Family Tree has a blog post:


and my friend +Randy Seaver did a blog post for Roots Magic


Reality Check:

Clearly, I have the most "clean up" work in the area of a Citation using the Template feature. That is what I am going to discuss here.

I selected the Online Database, National Archives (United States) as the Template, as it provided the information that was needed for the Source information in the Reference Note. Details of that are in the Update blog post.

Since I may use other Public Member Trees (Ancestry Member Trees) in the future, I don't want to have to Remember what goes where and what I have to change. I have put those notes into the Source Template COMMENTs.

Here is the Edit Template Screen:


That is the large (I enlarged it here) box at the bottom of the Template Screen.

This is the part of the Comment that reminds me what goes into the Citation Detail field
Citation Detail:
"[ Tree Name ]" family tree by [ tree name owner ] profile for [ name, (  [birth information - death information ] undocumented / documented data
This defines the Tree Name that is put into quotes; the text family tree by followed by the tree name owner; the text profile for and the information for the profile that I am looking for, with any information on that profile that will help identify which profile I am looking at. That is followed by either the data is documented or not. The brackets remind me to enter that data from the Profile.

The next step, because the Reference Note information is filled in by the Template and the Citation detail, that needs to be edited next. 

From the Template Comments
Reference Note:
Change The National Archives to Ancestry.com
Put  the "accessed" date inside of the parenthesis (http://www.ancestry.com) with a ":" so that it looks like  (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed  ## Month YYYY) 
This reminds me to change The National Archives from the hidden part of the Template to Ancestry.com and I am reminded to carefully Edit the URL piece of the Reference Note. Adding a space after .com and adding a colon and the date. I use 09 April 2014. That date format is a change for me, based on the Evidence Explained conversation.

The next step is the information that goes into the Citation Text field.
Citation text
Tree owner contact information
Ancestry Member Tree of [ name ] if ancestry.com email is used or email address
Copy the updted Reference Note into this field in case the Reference Note has to be Reset
Copy profile URL into the Web Address
No check marks in Citation text or Web Address
Couple of points here. I want the contact information here. Remembering that Ancestry.com has an internal email system I could put the tree owners, ancestry user name or I can spell out the name of the tree owner. That is what I have done here, because I know the tree owner. I did NOT include the email address in these screen captures, for obvious reasons, but it's in my file. I want the Citation Text to have the information needed to contact the tree owner.

That information and the direct link to the profile page is in the Web Address field but I do not want them in the Reference Note. The Evidence Explained documents so not call for the full URL. The Web Site, ancestry.com is sufficient.

The final note in the Comments:
If the public tree has documentation enter that into the Research Log and create a task to locate that source information
That reminds me that IF the tree has documentation, I want to locate that information myself. I am NOT going to copy or download it from the Ancestry Member Tree. I want to look at it myself. So, I create a Research Log identifying any Source Information in detail, and create a ToDo list for that person to locate that source material.

The Reference note now looks like this:
"Public Member Tree", database, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : 04 April 2014); "Cowan Mulliner Woodruff Kerr" family tree by Crista Cowan, profile for Richard Ridgway (b. 1679, Bucks, Pennsylvania - d. 1718, d. Burlington, New Jersey, USA) undocumented data

I'll do another blog post in more detail on the information that I gather from an Ancestry Member Tree.
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Copyright © 2014 by H R Worthington

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