Friday, April 4, 2014

FTM2014 and Ancestry Member Trees

One of my readers asked me a question and thought I would do a blog post about this topic, as I suspect other followers may have the same question.

How to Cite information from an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT)?

As a general rule, for myself, I don't spend a lot of time on AMT's, mostly from bad experiences early on. I found information in these trees that made no sense and has no documentation. I have about 8,000 Hints to follow that do NOT include any AMT hints, as I have them turned off. I have enough hints waiting for me already.

Since I was asked the question, I turned on the Hints to see what might be there. Far too many to follow, but I did see one that was of interest to me.

Here are two AMT's that might be of interest:


That first tree is clearly marked as Unsourced. From my earlier experience with on line trees, not just on Ancestry but anywhere, I will not look at those trees. What I am looking for in AMT's is for places or repositories where I should be looking, IF I am running into a brick wall. I don't what to, nor will I, take the information in that tree and put it into mine. BUT there are two things I will do on that 2nd tree. That is what this blog post will be about. What Sources did they use that I haven't looked at yet, AND, perhaps make some electronic connection with that person to help collaborate in our research.

What I see is a Public Member Tree, with 6 attached records and 6 sources. Lippincott and Tuckerton, Ocean County are 'mine', meaning right place, right time, right name. Now, I don't know the name Throckmorton, nor Shepherd, nor the middle names of Norris or Arnold but since the tree is Public, I can go look.

I click on the link to that tree and see:


There are two things that I am looking for. The Contact Person and the confirmation that this person has 6 sources, with the information / facts, with source information. It's worth my time to look a little further.

The names on the right still aren't in my tree. In my tree, in a little earlier time were Lippincotts and Ridgway in the same area of New Jersey. I wonder if this tree has any Ridgway's with the Lippencotts?

So, I want to see if Richard Ridgway is in this SAME tree.


As I have learned with Ancestry, start to type and don't type too fast and watch the results start to appear. I got as far as RIDG and there were three Richards in this same tree. This tree certainly is indicating that we might have a connection.

But now, who Owns this AMT?

I hover over the Owner's ID and see this:


This is a link where I can send her a note, if I want to, and make contact. Of interest to me, is that this tree was last worked on "last month". Meaning recent for me. Some one who is active with their research.

That other tree, when I looked, the owner hadn't been on the tree for a couple of years and without any sources.

This tree is owned by Crista Cowan. I did a blog post about my connection with Crista back in September 2013:

FTM2014 - Ancestry Member Tree Connection - Part 1

 What I want to do is actually two things. 1) compare what I have with what is in Crista's AMT, 2) and cite what information from her tree and put some information into my tree, in FTM2014. I will NOT copy what she has, but can CITE any Facts from her tree into mine.  I can then share with her what I have from my research.


I see that Richard was born 27 February 1679/80 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There is a Hint right there, with the "double date". That is a topic for another time and I have talked about that in the past. The hint to me, is that the Month that I might have MAY BE different from what Crista has.

Richard's wife is a Willetts. That's good. Richard is the father and Elizabeth the mother.

Here is what I have in my FTM2014 file:


There is that birth month issue, but the Birth DATE is correct and the Birth Year is one of the two years in the AMT. BUT, I don't have information on WHERE he was born. The parents of Richard are the same, except my spelling is Willits and I also have Jr as a suffix for Richard.

Now, Crista doesn't have any citation in her AMT. My tree isn't too much better, because the course of my information is from a Family Group Sheet.


The creator of this Family Group Sheet is a cousin where his family and mother spent years researching this family line. So, the information is credible, but neither is completely accurate. No way to draw a conclusion on the family based on either tree. It's a matter, at this point of gathering information.

Now, what am I going to do here? I want to Document this new information and Cite these new facts into my tree.

In FTM2014, I go to the Sources Workspace, click on Add, select New, which brings up the screen where I enter the Keyword "fam" and select Family Chart of Family Group Sheet


Why did I select Family Group Sheet instead of something Online?



To me, there is nothing in that list that clearly defines what I am looking for. To me, what I am seeing is an online version of a Family Group Sheet with the same type of information that is in the Family Group Sheet information that I have in my file already.

Here is the Source Template that I created for the information that I will include in my database.


Remember, this is the Source Template. I did put the URL to the page here in the Comments. That is more for me and it won't be seen anywhere else. I will have in the CITATION that this information was found online.

I did a screen capture of Richard Ridgeway's profile page so that I could see it in my file. I will mark it as PRIVATE so that it won't be posted online. It's for my information.

When I clicked OK from the earlier screen, I was taken to the Citation Screen, so I clicked on the Media Tab, so that I could Attach a New Media File.


That took me to the screen where I selected that Screen Capture and that image is now in the Media Folder on my computer in the Family Group Sheet Category that I created.





Now for the Citation;

I entered into the Citation Detail:
Profile of Richard Ridgway (1679-1718), Ancestry Member Tree; accessed 04 Apr 2014

That will be included in the Reference Note. I used the Citation text as a reminder to me that this came form an Ancestry Member Tree and I pasted the URL into the Web Address field. The globe ICON to the right of that line will take me directly to that Profile. I have de-selected the Citation Text and the Web address from showing in the Reference Note field, which will become the Citation / End Notes.

Crista Cowan, Cowan Mulliner Woodruff Kerr; Crista Cowan, Utah, 2014.  Profile of Richard Ridgway (1679-1718), Ancestry Member Tree; accessed 04 Apr 2014.

Is the Reference note.

From there, I then will add the Facts that I will take from that Profile. The other names, dates, places (Facts) that are in  the profile and put them into my tree, with that AMT as the Source of the information.

Remember the Double Date issue that I mentioned, I entered 27  Feb 1680 into the Date field. Having run into this issue before, I entered the 2nd date, which brought up a warning at the top of the page and also the ICON on the right. Clicking on that warning ICON opened the Double Date screen, where I choose to use the double date format. This does two things. The first of which is to record in my file when EXACTLY I was in the AMT, and serves as a reminder that I may have conflicting information in my database.



I proceed with the location / place.


There are two things here to point out. The Place Name, as recorded in the AMT is not in the Place Name Authority, meaning that it may be a Historical Place Name. I covered how to handle the Historical Place Name issue in that earlier blog post. I also made this new Birth Fact is Preferred. This is a more complete Birth Fact, or one might say a conclusion. It's not a conclusion for me, but a working hypothesis of when and where Richard was born.

Two conflicts remain, birth date information and birth location information.

I put them into my Task List for Richard.


I continue to document this Profile in my FTM2014 file. I will make contact with Crista, using the internal Ancestry.com email system, to 1) Thank her for the information in her AMT, and 2) to let her know that I have a connection to her AMT. If you look at the comments from the September Blog post, we have already made that connection.

Again, the purpose of this blog post, is to illustrate how I use and document a find from an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT)
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Copyright © 2014 by H R Worthington

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