Showing posts with label SmartStory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SmartStory. Show all posts

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Military History in FTM2012

A couple of days ago, had a Webinar on Military Records. I have been tracking down a Civil War relative and have created a file, specifically for he and his ancestors. It was not clear when I started this research that "he was one of mine". I only had a Name, Ridgely Howard, and a place, Culps Hill at the Battle of Gettysburg. I have, in fact, determined that I am related to him. What wanted to do, was to create some sort of story on the 2nd Infantry Regiment, Maryland. I have a couple of books on this outfit, but how to use Family Tree Maker 2012 to reflect the story of this regiment in the Civil War. The Webinar reminded us that they had Regimental Records online. In my research, for Ridgely Howard, a lot of the Civil War records were on What I had not seen, was the records on this regiment on  This is what I found there. Just what I was looking for, a time line of the Battles that they fought in the Civil War.

So, I created (People, Add Unrelated person) a Person in FTM2012 called the 2nd Infantry Regiment, Maryland. I used the Military Service Fact, to capture the Dates, Locations, and Battle, if appropriate, for each event or fact.

From Ancestry, there were write ups on some of these battles. From those write ups, I created SmartStories™ for each of those battles. I used the Caption of the Media File (SmartStory) to make sure they were in the order of the battles.

Below is the People Workspace, Person View for the 2nd Infantry Regiment Maryland.

In the above screen is the Media tab, where a New SmartStory can be added. Clicking on the New, Create Smart Story, a dialog box will appear. For the SmartStories of the battles, I used the Start with Blank Page option and was able to Copy and Paste the details of the battles. But for this post, I wanted to capture the Timeline of the  battles, so that it will appear in the Ancestry Member Tree for this regiment in the AMT. I selected the default, Auto populate Smart Story.

In the Right Hand Panel, of the SmartStory is what information that I wanted in the SmartStory. In this case, I wanted all of the data to be included, what was only the Military Service Facts.

This is the un-edited list of Facts that were populated for this "person".

I have discussed how to use this feature before.

Posts on the SmartStory feature

As you move your cursor over the text, you will see what can be edited and what can not be edited. In the example below, the Date is hi-lighted.

After doing some editing, this is the SmartStory that was created to reflect the Timeline for this Civil War Unit.

The Timeline button, in the People Workspace, Person View would look like this.

The point of this, for me, was to have a view in the Ancestry Member Tree, and in FTM2012, an overview of this Civil War Regiment. When reviewing my Civil War hero, and his dates,  I have a good idea what battles he fought in.

He enlist on August 21, 1862, but into the 1st Regiment Maryland, so would have been in the initial organization of the 2nd Regiment. He was wounded on July 3, 1963 at the Battle of Culp's Hill. This would have put him at the battle of Centreville and Winchester, Virginia and the first day's battle in Gettysburg for this unit on July 2.

He missed the Battle at Martinsburg, but returned to the battle at Cold Harbor, Virginia.

He was wounded on the 2nd date's battle at Weldon Railroad, Virginia and would be out of the rest of the war, as he lost his leg in Weldon Railroad battle.

Copyright © 2011 by H R Worthington

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family Tree Maker 2012 - Improved Smart Stories

Improved Smart Stories

When Family Tree Maker creates a Smart Story for you, the story now includes facts about the individual and his or her spouse and children. Previously a generated Smart Story included information about the individual only.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Family Tree Maker 2011 - Smart Stories

One of the new features in Family Tree Maker Version 2011 was the introduction of "Smart Stories™". I have posted about this in the past.

Family Tree Maker 2011 is coming

The Smart Story™ feature was briefly described.

What new features are available in Family Tree Maker 2011?

This was a Question and Answer page about the new features, Smart Stories™ being one of them.

Family Tree Maker Webinar on September 15th 

This Webinar discussed the feature and is in the Webinar Archives. The Webinar can be viewed by clicking on the above link.

Family Tree Maker Version 2011 - Smart Story - Biography 

This posting was based on my first attempt at using this feature.

Just a little background on this article and feature. My mother had just passed away. Version 2011 had just been released and I hadn't really used the feature before. As has become "something I do", I created a Book for the Celebration of her life that I made available for the gathering the followed her memorial service. The purpose of this book, and others,  were to share her life with those who attended this Celebration.

The article above tells how I used the Smart Story™ feature to create a piece of the book. There are step by step instructions on how that story was created.

A fellow Genea-Blogger, and friend, Randy Seaver has posted a couple of posts about this feature as well.

Adding a Smart Story to Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 1

Randy describes his experience with this feature. I encourage you to read Randy's Blog Post. He goes into some different uses of the Smart Story™ feature.

Then earlier this week he posted this article.

Adding a Smart Story to Family Tree Maker 2011 - Post 2

Again, Randy goes into great detail on this use of this feature. He also raises a couple of interesting findings in his use of the feature.

Then, today, he posted this article:

Dear Randy: Do Family Tree Maker 2011 Smart Stories have any practical function?

He was responding to a Comment made on a previous Blog post.

So, I would like to take a minute to talk about the "Practical Function" of the Smart Stories™ feature.

For me, this feature works very well, at least for me, when I created the book for my mother's celebration  that I talked about above.

One of her Ancestors was a Revolutionary War veteran who served and traveled with General George Washington. Trying to tell "his story" in the book, since I know this story would be missed in a bunch of genealogy reports that were also include, I wanted to have a Chapter in the Book that told Jacob Lurvey's story.

 Without going into the step by step for either the book feature, nor the Smart Stories feature, I want to show some screen images that will show a little more detail.

This first one is within the Book Feature, with the Chapter shown on the Left (Jacob Lurvey, Revolutionary War), the Smart Story information screen on the Right, with the Edited story in the center.

All of the FACTs about Jacob are in the Right Panel. They are inserted in the Center Panel then Edited. As a reminder, the FACT Name and Text (Date, Location, and Description) can NOT be edited from this screen. Going back and make the changes in the Person's Page has to be done and then the FACTS brought into the Center Pane. So, I found it best to try it once, and look carefully at each Fact and Edit on the Person page as required.

To look a little closer at the details:

Focusing on the Military FACTs a bit, you see that the Dated Military FACTs are at the top, as all of the FACTs are 'sorted' in the Right Panel by Date, and the Undated Military FACTs are at the bottom.

The Editing that was done, was to put all of the information in Date Order and putting all of the Military FACTs together.

The end results looks like this:

To add a little more to his story, in the chapter before this was a Time Line, still within the book feature, and also introduced in Family Tree Maker Version 2011, helped set up this Smart Story.

 The time line shows that the Revolutionary  War started when he was 13 and joined Washington's army at 14.

This is one example, for me at least, of the Practical use of this feature.

Thank you Randy for reminding me to post this blog.

Disclosure:  I am not an employee or contractor for or its subsidiary entities. I have accepted travel expenses and Family Tree Maker software from in the past.  I was not remunerated to write this post.

Copyright © 2011 by H R Worthington

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Family Tree Maker Version 2011 - Smart Story - Biography

One of the new features in Family Tree Maker Version 2011 is the Smart Story (Text Item) that can be created from information already in your file.

For this example, Jacob Lurvey (1761 - 1853) and was involved with the Revolutionary War. All of the FACTs on him have been entered in the People Workspace, Person Tab, Fact Button.

To create a Smart Story for him, click on the Publish Workspace and in the Collection column select Other. That will present a Calendar thumbnail and the new Smart Story (Text Item). This can be a stand alone report or it can be included into the Book feature.

To open the Smart Story, you can double click on the Smart Story or click on the Create Report (not shown above) to the Right of the Thumbnail. The will start the creation of a new report.

There are several option that are available for what information will be brought into the report based on the information you have on this Individual: Personal Biography, Notes, Facts, and Fact Sources. You get these options by clicking on the Down Arrow to the right of Personal Biography.

For this example, the Personal Biography will be selected. Below that pull down menu, is the basic information that has been taken from the Facts screen for that individual.

Notice that some text has been included above. Such as "He was buried in".

There is an option to include Source-Citation information for each of the Facts that are included in the above screen.  That is selected by clicking on the Down Arrow to the right of Insert.

Up until this point, the Left portion of this screen has been blank, as with other text items, with word processing features. At this point, Dragging the information from the Right Hand Panel to the Center or Left side of the screen will take all of the facts and put them into the word processing section of this Report.

There are two pieces of information in the above screen, the Facts and some added text. The added text can be edited from this screen. Any EDITING of the Facts, must be done on the Person's Facts screen.

As you move your cursor over the information that is provided, you will see, with the gray background, the Fact information. Any Text that was added will not have that gray background. For example: "was born on" is text that was added. "Military Service, Jan 01, 1776; Joined Washington's Army is from the Military Service Fact. The Date is in the Military Fact Date field, there is no information in the Place field for the Military Fact, and Joined Washington's Army is in the Description field for that fact.

At this point, you can edit and format the text of this report. "Jacob joined the" was added between Massachusetts. and Military Service.

There are some normal word processing features available above where the text is. For this example, the Name has been marked in Bold when Jacob Lurvey is selected and the "B" is clicked.

Further editing can be done through out this screen. Adding text, deleting text, or removing any unwanted Facts that may have been brought into this story.

There are some Military Facts in the file that had no dates. Up until this point, the Facts are in a time order, as indicated on the Fact page. If there are no dates, they are included after the dated fact.

In this story, all of the Military Facts were to be together. Selecting those Military Facts, and using the normal Windows Cut (CTRL+X) / Paste (CTRL+V) functions those Military Facts, without dates, can be moved higher in the report.

Using the normal Save, Print ICONs at the top of the text, that report can be printed, or Saved As a Saved Report for future use.

This is only one of the ways a Smart Story (Text Item) can be used.

As mentioned earlier, this Smart Story can be included in a Book.

For more information, please go to the  Knowledge Base website at

and enter 1815 in the Search Support box on that page.

In Family Tree Maker 2011, what are Smart Stories and how do I use them?

Copyright © 2010 by H R Worthington
Posted by Picasa

Print Friendly