Friday, September 14, 2018

FTM User Question - What Media files are uploaded to an AMT in the FamilySync™ Process

Will try to answer a User Question about what Media files will be included in the FamilySync™ Process. I have blogged about this before But this is a different take on the subject.

Copyright © 2018 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Genealogy Do Over (Go Over) Find A Grave - Photo Citations

I recently did a blog post on Genealogy Do Over (Go Over) Find A Grave, and have since been asked about Citations for Photo's from the Find A Grave Website.

Great question, easy answer. The video has the answer, in that the Find A Grave Citation is how I do that.

I think I know why I was asked the question, so I'll answer it now. The Citation is for the FACTS, right? I have the Headstone Photo's on my computer in FTM2017, but I mark them ALL Private, as I do not have permission to use the photos. That does NOT mean I can't have them in my File.

The bottom line answer for Citations on Photos from the Find A Grave Website is that they are Marked Private and will not be in my Ancestry Member Tree.

I will be doing two of three more Blog Posts on my change in dealing with the Find A Grave website. They will include My Memorials, My Cemetery Source Group, and My Photos on a Find A Grave Memorial page.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Genealogy Do Over (Go Over) Find A Grave Citations

I have reviewed how I had been doing my Find A Grave Citations, didn't like them, and they were confusing to me. The NEW Format of the Website, gave me a reason to Relook (Go Over) my Citations for the website. 

Here are my findings

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Friday, August 10, 2018

User Question

Since neither FTM sync (ancestry) or gedcom support media categories, how do I copy my 5000 media files in about 20 categories so that I can copy them to a NEW family file?

Simple, the FTM2017 FamilySync® Does include Media files. IF you hare having an issue with that feature, go to and use the Support Page, even better the LiveChat option

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Thursday, August 9, 2018

User Question: Multiple Marriages in an Outline Decendant Report (ODR)

A User Question:

How to indicate a second spouse on the Descendants Outline Report?

First, check the Companion Guide in the Help Menu, page 188

Help Menu, Search Tab, select Publish, Relationship Report, Outline Descendant Report.

The bottom line, is that Family Tree Maker does that for you. The indication is the "+" as the same "level" as the Husband (in this case)

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Managing the Data Error Message Report - Follow up

Spent some time revising how I handle all of my Task List / ToDo List Items. It was a follow up from the process mentioned earlier in this series.

Bottom Line, It's Working

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Managing the Data Error Report - Part 4

Final Post on Managing the Data Error Report This is really Part 4, not part 5. User Error Results of the process discussed in the previous 3 videos. Comments in the Community or on the Blog [ blog post link ]

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Friday, July 27, 2018

Managing the Data Error Report - Part 3

Did some clean up and want to see how the Data Error Report is doing. 

Comments in the Community 

or on the Blog 

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Managing the Data Error Report - Part 2

Part 2 - did some update to the file and want to see if I have any new Data Entry Report issues to record

Comments in the Community

or on the Blog

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Managing the Data Error Report - Part 1

Will demonstrate how I now manage the Data Error Report, Part 1

I have figured out a way to Manage the Date Error Report. First, to identify the Potential Errors, Secondly, Give me the ability to SEE that the profile has an Error, Thirdly to Have a ToDo List to work from, by a specific Error Message Group.

I had not been dong a good job of managing these errors at all, until I used the Data Error Report when helping others. (read smaller FILES).

After spending a couple of days, I have 823 Tasks / ToDo Items to work from. 

Part 2 will be, so now what. I identified the Errors, found the reason for the Potential Error, Resolve that error in the database, the make sure the Potential Error has been resolved.

I will add a few people to this database, as see if There are NEW Errors. I will also then, clear some of the ones I have identified.

Comments in my Google+ Community

or on the Blog

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Sunday, May 6, 2018

User Question: What Name to Use

Answering another Reader Question:
What would be the proper procedure to: If a male changes his surname name legally is his birth surname still the name the one used ? Ie: born Gingles Adopted and name changed to Yaworski Legally changes surname to Sundberg What name do I use for my genealogy records? or do I use notes to show the history?

I'll expand on that to "Any Name Changes", including names that the Family knows.

The simple answer is, Record the NAME as claimed by the record? With the appropriate Citation.

Here is an example from my own database:

The "Also Known As" or A.K.A. is what he was called by many, others by the Preferred AKA Fact.

The highest number of Citations, also does not Drive the Preferred Name Fact. In this case, there are 7 records that has his name with "Sr" at the end. I have blogged about that as well. As with females, I make the Preferred Name as the Birth Surname. He wasn't born with "Sr" as part of his name. Later records may reflect "Sr", but I do not use that as the Preferred name.

The control over the Preferred Name comes from User Evaluation of the records.

The Reader's question gets to the next level, where the Surname Changes. My preference, in general, is Birth Surname. The Exception, and I have them, gets down to the reader or audience of your database. My cousin was adopted by her step-father. I made her Preferred Name to be her adoptive surname. So family may drive the name preference. So, the person asking the question might choose to use the most recent surname.

User's choice.

Now, the AKA issue. Not specifically asked, but in Reports and Charts, that AKA field is Optional.

In the Publish Workspace, Chart Collection, Pedigree Chart (and most others) you have this option under Items to Include

In a Descendants Report, with AKA selected, it would look like

Which option to use ? It's up to you. As mentioned, my preference is Birth Names, Family or Given Names and Surnames, but there are times, when it is appropriate to make another Name entry as Preferred. In my example: I have 10 different Name Facts, with 42 Citations for all of the Name facts. In this specific example, the Name Fact with 24 was my choice, as my current thinking it is the most accurate, but I have another example of 8 different Name Facts, 39 Citations, but the Preferred Name Fact only has 4 Citations. 

Or, as I have seen and heard "It Depends"

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Saturday, May 5, 2018

User Question: List of Shared List of Ancestors

Here is another Reader's Question:
Making a List of Shared Ancestors of a Couple
A blog post on making a list of Shared Ancestors of a Couple ??  Sorry, I don't understand what this might be about. Nor what problem is trying to be resolved.

The closed I can come to is when a couple have multiple relationships between each other is by looking at the Relationship Calculator in the Tools Menu.

Selecting Relationship Calculator you will be given two people to calculate the relationship between

This is a husband and wife. (not showing entire screen for privacy reasons). The KEY here is the Relationship (3). Husband and wife, is one, but there are two other relationships that they have.

Viewing the Relationship Chart (bottom of that window), selecting each of the 3 relationships, you will see the list of Ancestors, back to the Shared, COMMON Ancestor(s).

In the example of the Husband and Wife, being related 3 times, which they are, they Share NO (zero) Common relatives according to the Relationship Calculator.

Reviewing the charts, you can see how they are related. One of the relationships is "6th cousin 2x removed of wife of 7th cousin, 1x removed".

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

User Question: Batch Editing of "Source Citations"

The Readers Request for a Blog Post
Working with (or batch-editing) source citations generated by
First, please watch this Video on this topic:

How do I merge duplicate source citations ?

Why? The term "source citation" in the question. That "term" is two DIFFERENT topics. I hope I explained that in that presentation.

Working WITH Source Information from Ancestry is one thing. Crafting a Citation based in the information used from that record is another.

I have blogged about this many times before, but I ALWAYS move ALL Source Information into the Source Template feature in Family Tree Maker. That feature was introduced in FTM2010 and is based on the EvidenceExplained standard that was present at the time. 

The SOURCE Templates are not as accurate as they should be, but I have been successful getting them as accurate as possible. Please remember that this feature only deals with the SOURCE information. The container of the information.

Crafting the Citation, is the next step. I say "craft" as it is not a science, being that you "this, this, and that". It takes time. 

The "out put" of the Source Template and adding the Citation Details will automatically populate the Reference Note. I have explained that with color coding on what information in the Reference Note comes from the Source Template and what information comes from the Citation Detail field.

To make it easiest for me, I use the Citation TEXT field for my information and do NOT include that, nor the Web Address into the Reference Note.

ANSWER to the Question: 

I will NOT and do NOT Batch Edit ANYTHING in Family Tree Maker, let along a Source or a Citation.

The thought that is always on my mind when working on Citations, is that most, if not all websites, that provide us with Source Information MUST BE Cleaned up, if I want for my Reference Notes to be as close to EvidenceExplained as possible, I must to them ONE AT A TIME !

But, that's just me.
Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Friday, May 4, 2018

User Question: Work Around for Sync Issues

Hers is the Question:

Work Arounds for FTM 2107 et al Regarding sync issues with Ancestry
No Work Arounds. However, with FTM2017 (1480),the current, up to date version, you can keep your eye on the FamilySync Status in the upper right corner of ALL Workspaces

Right at this moment, it is Amber. 10 minutes ago, it was Green. I only use the FamilySync feature when it is GREEN.

You can also see this in the Plan Workspace, Left Panel, mid way down the screen.

and in the upper right of the same Workspace

Check the status on the FamilyTreeMaker Support Website

Or get into a LiveChat with FamilyTreeMaker Support
But read:

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

User Question: FTM2017 starting to add 100's of Facts

Here is a Family Tree Maker User Question:

FTM 2017 has started a new fact for 100's of facts that normally would have gone into a regular Fact item. I use Ancestry online to make changes and sync to FTM 2017. Now in FTM 2017 I have all these new fact categories. I don't how or why it is doing it and don't know how to fix them.
Sorry, the question is too vague but I will take a stab at a response. Beware, I will probably have some views along the way.

What I am guessing the question is about, is the types of FACTs that Ancestry will add when a Merge of a record, from Ancestry, OFFERS to the owner of that Ancestry Member Tree (AMT). When a merge is started, the user is offered what Facts to keep, ignore, or accepted as Alternate Facts.

What I don't understand it "facts that would have going into a regular Fact item. A FACT is a FACT. Don't know what a "regular fact" is nor do I know what "new fact categories" means. Above that, how to fix "it".

Various Records from Ancestry offer many different Facts, based on that Record. In other words, these records provide us with INFORMATION about the Profile (person) to help us determine that persons story. If Regular Facts means Birth, Death, and Marriage Facts, then a Social Security Death Index Record might add Facts like "Last Residence", Last Benefit", "Social Security Number".

One of the advantages of doing the Merging of Records in FTM2017 is that you are the "big" picture, all of the Facts, that you have collected so far, before you do the merge, and during the merge you see some of them. That is on the Lower Left Panel of the Web Merge Screen, and in the Lower Right Panel is the FACTS (Information) that is contained in the Record.

Like the merge done online, you have the option to chose which Facts are or are not going to be included in that Merge.

Here is what the Web Merge looks like in the AMT

The information on the Left is from the Record and the information in my database (AMT) is on the Right. In this example, I only have the person's NAME (fact) and some relationships. This was taken from an AMT Hint. The word NEW in the left panel and right panel, is suggesting that I can ADD those FACTS to this profile. AND I have choices.

Sorry, I just can't guess what the real question is, only guessing what it might be.

Finally, IF I were do to this merge in the AMT, then did a FamilySync with FTM2017, those "new"facts would be added to my FTM2017 database.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Dear Randy: How Do You Search For Records on - My Take

My good friend and colleague, Randy Seaver, had one of his readers ask him a question, and his response is here

Dear Randy: How Do You Search For Records on

My approach is slightly different and thought I would share the difference. Please don't get me wrong, Randy will run circles around my research.

His second choice was to use Hints and Suggested Records. Hints, within FTM2017 are my FIRST Choice. Reason, the criteria and data required by the Hints provided in my Ancestry Member Tree are far more accurate from the data on the Generic Search Website.

(I see they have changed the All Records Search screen a bit)

There are many fields that can be filled in, some fields may or may not get the results I might want.

I have mentioned this before, but when I do use the Ancestry Search engine, manually, no hints, I will search in a specific Record Collection, preceded with a specific Genealogical Question. l have learned that the Search Screen fields will be different based on that record collection. Also, I have an Evernote note that I create and update based on that Record Group. I have Citation information, what information I want to gather from that record collection.

For  example: The U.S.,Social Security Applications and Claims Index,1936-2007.

Note the fields that can be completed, if know.

And the U.S., Social Security Death Index,1935-2014

The data fields are different.

But, in most cases, I have a specific question, which would lead me to a specific Record Group, I would go to that Record Group and did the search from there.

I generally start very broadly, then refine (Edit) the information in the Fields, but I do start with the Sliders that Randy describes.

But, I let my Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) find the Hints that I will use, within FTM2017. I do ALL of my Data Entry in FTM2017, including the Web Merge Feature. I do not merge any records in the AMT.

But Please read Randy's Blog Post. (link above)

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Monday, April 30, 2018

Two FTM2017 Clipboards

Attempting to demonstrate the two FTM2017 Clipboards

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How do I merge duplicate source citations ?

My answer to a Facebook Question about "How to Merge Duplicate source citations ?"

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Use of Task ToDo List Categories

This is a follow up on this blog post - - where I shared the results of a Facebook Poll on the use of Categories. This Video is how I use the Task or ToDo List Categories

This file is a new file and will show how I use the Task List in the Plan Workspace to help me stay focused on creating this new FILE.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Thursday, April 19, 2018

FTM2017 - Media and Task List Categories

Earlier today, I posted a Poll in the Family Tree Maker Suggested Innovations Face Book Group.
"Working on a Feature Request. Please indicate your use of Categories. Please choose ONE (1) option"
I did this to see if I should do a blog post or two on this topic. That is the Use of the Categories in the Plan Workspace or Task Tab in the People Workspace, Person View. These two features are a must for me, keeps me focused, on track, and can figure what I have or have not done. I wanted to see IF I should share my use of the two (2) categories and if so, what all should I share.

There are 756 people in that Facebook Group and the poll was open for 11 hours. Here are the results:

I set the poll so that those responding would only be able to select ONE response.

  • Media Categories Only: 28
  • Task List Categories: 0 (zero)
  • Both Media and Task Categories: 12
  • Neither; 6
and the bonus was "What are Categories?"

I think the Media Only and the "use both" were what I expected. The use of ONLY the Task List is also not a surprise to me. 

The majority of those responding, it appears, know the usefulness of putting the Media files into Categories. So, my focus, for a couple of future blog posts will be on the Task List / ToDo List Categories. The file I have open now had 3,500 Tasks / ToDo items in it.

I will attempt to explain why and how I use this feature. The hint for my use is "B.S.O." or Bright Shiny Objects.

If you, as a reader, responded to that poll. Thank you.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

FTM2017 Keyboard Shortcuts

While working on my last blog post, I was reminded that FTM2017 (and most earlier versions of the program) have Keyboard Shortcut key strokes. There is only a mention of this, on page 10 of the FTM2017 Companion Guide.

I had blogged about it "way back when" in 2011

Family Tree Maker Short-Cuts

I have that list, but really only use a couple of them. I may mention them shortly. BUT, the Frequently Asked Questions page, on the Family Tree Maker Website have an article that you might be interested in:

Keyboard Shortcuts in FTM 2017 for Windows

For the most part, normal Windows Shortcut Keystrokes are what I use.

  • F1 = Help (a must)
  • CTRL+A = Select All
  • CTRL+C = Copy
  • CTRL+V = Paste
  • CTRL+X = Cut
  • CTRL+Z = Undo
It's a matter of choice and what I am doing. For the most part, that other shortcuts are a mouse click away.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

People Workspace, Customize View FACTS from Person View

I saw a comment today about a feature that I tried a very long time ago, and was reminded as to why I don't use it. But, since I haven't blogged about this feature before, I thought I would do a blog post about it just to show that it is available.

In the People Workspace, Tree View, information about the high lighted person are in the Right Hand Panel and will display the Facts that you want to see in the Tree View.

Your screen may not have these facts, but I link to have the Burial Fact in the Right Hand Panel in the Tree View.

I added it by selecting the Custom View button, lower right corner of the Right Hand Panel.

A Menu will appear:

I selected Burial from the Left Panel, clicked on the Right pointing Arrow, to ADD the Burial Fact to the Right Hand Panel, and clicked OK. The result is:

I change the Facts in the Tree View based on the work that I am doing at the time. I do 99.9% of my data entry from the People Workspace, Person View.

I know that when I want to Add a new Fact, for a profile, I click on the Green Plus at the top  right of the Center Panel of the Person View, where the list of FACT will appear for me to choose from.

Works for me and I know that I can start typing the Fact I want to select, while that window is open. One letter, slowly, at a time. Works for me.

These are my normal features that I use all of the time. But, to the right of that green plus sign is a pull down menu. The FACTS that are in that Pull Down Window are the FACTS that have been selected for the Right Panel of the Tree View.

So, you don't have to start typing, just use that pull down menu. When you click the "More" button (high lighted item in the above screen capture) the menu from the Green Plus will appear.

My experience with this feature is that I don't always get that pull down menu (my fault) and found in easier just to start typing the Fact name. But, it would help remind me as to what Facts are displayed in the Tree View.

So, to add a new Fact, to that pull down menu, you need to go back to the Tree View and use the Customize View to add a Fact to that menu.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Sunday, February 18, 2018

World War I Draft Registration Card

Was working in some World War I Draft Registration Cards and I have never seen this before, although I have looked a many in that past.

U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 

Its in the Lower Left corner of the "front" side of the card.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Routine - Data Error Report

How I transfer the information from the Data Error Report into my ToDo / Task List

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

How I manage a file that is not mine

Was given a file that I will return to the owner. How to communicate the work that I did and way. A few times on what I have done.


Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

New Option on the Social Security Death Index Record from Ancestry

Ancestry has added a new feature, at least on the Social Security Death Index transcription that we see online.

For example:

This is not an image, this is a transcription from Ancestry from a record that they have and that we can NOT see. The End Users should NOT be able to Add alternate information to what we see.

I, for one, have reported an issue stating that we should NOT be able to add information. Yes, we may have additional information, but not to this type of a record, or INDEX.

It's a great feature when we are looking at an Image AND our view of an item on the Image is different from that which is transcribed, but not to an Index.

If you agree, please report issues on these types of records to Ancestry.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Friday, February 16, 2018

Found 2 Marriages

Discovered that a person had been married twice and have Children connected to the wrong Mother. Here is how to resolve this.


Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Which Hint Do You Merge

With the change in the Hinting system between Ancestry and Family Tree Maker, a little more care needs to be taken, when selecting a Hint that has a media file. I'll share my experience with this.

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Sunday, January 7, 2018

New Hinting System Observation

An observation on Hints in FTM2017 and the New Ancestry interface to Family Tree Maker

Copyright © 2018 by H R Worthington

Monday, January 1, 2018

Why I Use 5 Underscores for Unknown Names

Why, to get hints. Hopefully, will demonstrate that here.

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Print Friendly