Thursday, December 5, 2019

Reader Suggestion: Pre-USA

Here is a Reader's Suggestion:
Suggested use of British Colony vs United States when the USA did not exist
Thanks Lee for that suggestion.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Reader Question:Best Practice on Data Entry

Responding to a Reader Question:

Do you have a blog / blogs on best practices for entering data so that it is a consistent format ?
That is a difficult question:

Data Entry, Best Practice: RECORD (enter the data) that is provided by the Record. (and look at the original image, if there is one).

In many cases, that will result in very inconsistent Facts. For example: I have my father's name entered at least 7 different ways, ALL based on the Records, appropriately cited, where that name came from.

There IS a Best Practice for Place Names, and like the above, I have blogged about this. Best Practice for Consistent Place Names, use the Place Name Authority, in the Places Workspace, with the Resolve Place Name tool.

I have blogged about Dual Entry of Historical Place Names, where I enter the Historical Place Name AND the current place name, as I rely on the Map feature. In the blog post, I mention that I mark the Current Place name a PRIVATE, so that it does NOT appear in the Ancestry Member Tree.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Friday, November 29, 2019

Census Records - Extra People in Household

What do you do, when the Census Record has people listed, that may not be family?

This is a 1940 U.S. Federal Census Record, where Raymond Lane and Donald Dutton are both listed in the Household. Since this is a 1940 Census Record which indicates that they both are Hired Hands.

I have spend a couple of days thinking and seeing if it is important to capture this information. That is, add these two people to the database. So, I played around with this to see if there was any benefit.

When I enter a Census Record, I Copy what Ancestry provides in the Transcription and Paste it into the Residence Fact NOTES.

You will notice, that these two "extra" people are in Bold. That is the indication to me, that I have entered them into my database, as Unrelated People. The Data Error Report will show them with that they have No Spouse, No Children, No Parents. I can deal with that.

But, what about later, I find that person again, in another record. I wanted to be able to see, that in a Census Record, there were in a Census Record, but NOT related to the Head of Household. So, I created a Fact called "How Related", where I enter the Census Year, Head of Household, and what the relationship is. Here is what Donald looks like, with the Data Error Report and the How Related Facts appear.

He is unrelated, and will appear in the Data Error Report, but when I run that report, I filter OUT everyone who has a Data Error Report Fact. Meaning, I KNOW about that error.

Why the Extra Work?

I found this one person, Relation to Head of Household as Boarder. A throw-away, right ? Wrong.

As it turns out, the Head of Household would become his Mother In Law.

Here she is in the 1900, 1920, 1930, and 1940 Census (haven't gotten to the 1910 census yet)

1900 she is Head of household where I found my person as a boarder. 1920, 1930, and 1940, she is the Mother-in-Law to the Head of Household. (don't jump to conclusions please).

Those are the Residence facts as recorded, but look at the How Related Fact looks.

The 1940 Census record shows that she had moved into another Daughter's home. Because the 1940 has the reference to 1935, showing Same House, I can now pin point as to WHEN show moved from on daughter's house to another, and in a different state.

My records indicate that the "mother in law" was widowed about 1911. I have not yet found a reason why she might have moved back to Pennsylvania, only that the "son in law" and her daughter had 6 children in the 1920 Census and the second daughter, the one in Philadelphia, only had 1 daughter.

I have added this to my new Best Practices: Add seemingly Unrelated Individuals to the Database.

The secret to this is the Bolding of the Name, in the Residence Fact Note, when you Add that "Unrelated" person to the database.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

And a Citation to the rescue !!!

And a Citation to the rescue !!!
In Family Tree Maker, when you do a Web Merge (probably the Real Reason, I rely on that feature. When you do that, you get a Web Address for the Record. But there is also a "View Source Online"

I went to one of the Fact, so that I could click on the Globe on the Right, to look at the Record, from the Sources Workspace. JAW Dropped, not globe, no link.

I then went to the Source Workspace to see what was going one. There was a link in the Citation just above I was looking at and there was a Link, so I clicked on it. Something is wrong. It looked like I have not merged every one.
But, half of the family was on one of the citations and the other have on the 2nd one. Then I looked at the Citation.
Sheet 14A Lines 38 - 40 and Sheet 14B, Lines 41 - 43.
HeadSlap: The family was on two pages, so I was NOT missing a link after all.
Since what we see on the Record from Ancestry, it's one Link, and I use the Head of Household for ALL census record, Copy/Paste the Link in the 2nd Citation.

Citation to the Rescue

1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Delaware, New Castle County, Delaware City,S.D. No. 1, E.D. No. 243, Sheet No. 14B, lines 41 - 43, 312 Fifth Street, House Visited No. 35, Fouracre, R. Roger household; NARA microfilm publication T627, roll 546; digital image, Ancestry ( : accessed 11 November 2017).
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Monday, November 25, 2019

Reader Question: One Photo, Many People

Here is the question:

(first, please don't use all caps, it's difficult to read -- Thank you)

Actually, FTM2019 added a New feature, which I will have to blog about, where you can use ONE Image, and use that one image to be the Person Profile picture in Family Tree Maker. There may be a limitation as to how many you can do that for, my Max, so far, is 4. I have a photo of my grandmother, and 3 of her siblings, as young children.

I used that one photo, and selected each of the four children, and made a profile picture for them. Not additional photos are in the Media file.

You can do as you suggest. I have a FlipPal, which allows my to scan an image, then make a 2nd scan, and write a number of a name on that image.

You still need to know who is in that photo.

The issue that you did not mention, is How and Where are you going to present or show that picture with 40 people in it.

The other option, probably an easier solution is to use the Media Description field in the Media Workspace, where you type in the Names by Row.

Back Row, Left to Right

Name 1, Name 2, Name 3.

Just like you would on the Back of that photo, in the good old days.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Saturday, November 9, 2019

No Ancestry Hints -- What's up with that ????

I created an Active filter, while working on a project. I was looking for Ancestry Hints for some specific profiles, as created in the Filter.

No Hints from Ancestry, but most had Hints that there are Profiles on FamilySearch for most of them. I like that option, because it tells me that my data may be correct. I have blogged about how I use the FamilySearch match feature before.

But WHY no Ancestry Hints.

I went to the Plan Workspace, because I thought this file was uploaded and sync'ed to Ancestry and that I have been working on my 5,000 hints from this file before.

No Connection ???

But, there is a link to the Ancestry Member Tree.

What is going on here ?

Then I looked in the upper Right Corner of the Plan Workspace to find the answer.

I was no longer looked it.

This is not a bug, this is not a problem, it was a change in the interface between Family Tree Maker and Ancestry.

Easy fix ... Log In.

AND I have the 2-Step Verification turned on. All part of helping keeping our information safe.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

What? No Citations? Update 1

The first step, for me, is to Identify, with a FACT, everyone in the database that does NOT have a Citation. In this case, everyone.

But, in reviewing each profile, other things are looked at. For example, Place Names. I can fix many of them, as I go.

I have all Birth, Marriage, and Death dates, where I only have a Year in the database, I change that to ABT. To make sure I have done that, I use a Saved Report to review the work that I have done.

This is an example of this process.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Monday, October 28, 2019

What? No Citations ?

I have a Family Tree Maker file that I had researched 10 to 15 years ago. Many versions of the program ago, but a friend asked me for some information from that file.

I had opened it several times over the years, but was very disheartened to notice that ALL of my Citations were gone. ALL of them. I went to my oldest back up, same deal.

I did have an external drive crash, had recovered it, but still no back up's with Citations.

This is one reason why I recommend "testing" your back ups.

So, what do I do ? I have this very important person asking me questions about folks in this database. I, of course, wanted to be able to say yes or no to questions, but be able to provide Source Information.

After some dialog, mostly that I didn't have answers to the questions, I thought about what I should do, This database has about 1250 profiles, with some good information. Some Dates, some places, many relationships, but no Citations.

I should mention, that this line has some stories that I know about, and have a cousin connection, in my Master File, but that cousin connection also happens to be in THIS FILE. That is one of the reasons that I had looked at this file some time ago. I need to get this file, up to my standards.

Here is my PLAN:

Get this file Online to see IF what I have, will generate HINTS from Ancestry?
7,039 Hints
5,595 RECORD Hints

The data that I have, Names, Dates, Places AND Relationships are doing what they should be doing, Generating Hints.

I totally use these hints for all of my research, that I can Online, to gather enough information to know what I need to look for, and where, when a visit to a repository / archive it required.

I did a couple of Web Merges, to make sure that I would get the expected results, that is GOOD Hints. The one's I have tried, all were accurate, presented no conflicting information (so far). So the theory that the file and linked Ancestry Member Tree would give me good hints.

As I said earlier, I have created my standards for my file (now files). How I do things, manage Filenames, Citations, Place Names (historic and current), Research Log and ToDo Lists.

My first step is to Marks ALL Profiles with a Fact that I will use to show me that this Profile is NOT Documented. I use the Undocumented Fact Report on a routine bases (usually daily). That would be of no use on this file. So, ALL profiles will have this Fact, so when I run the Undocumented Fact Report, I can Filter OUT, all profiles that have this Fact. When all of the Facts for each profile is documented, I can Remove that Fact and run that report again.

While I am Adding that Fact to each profile, I am looking at the profile, mostly for Place Names. This file is so old, that we did NOT have a Resolve Place Name utility, so place names were not in the proper format. So while I am looking at the Profile, I will resolve those Place Names that I am able to (quickly). For example, I had 341 Unresolved Place Names and now am down to 224. Still a lot, but most of those unresolved place names will require a RECORD to correct the place name. There are many that are involved with Virginia / West Virginia historic place names. As I have posted before, I will double enter those place names to include the historic place name and the current place name for the Map feature.

Also, there are many place names from England and Ireland. I am not even trying to address those place names until I look at the records. Many of the 224 Place names all into that category.

ALL of my Birth, Marriage, and Death Dates, that only have the Year, I change to "Abt. YYYY". So, that clean up is being done. I have also deleted a number of Birth, Marriage, and Death Dates where I might have the Year, AND another entry for complete data and place name. I'll delete that Year only entry.

I have already run the Data Error Report with ALL Profiles what appear in that report are Marked with a Fact with that name AND a ToDo item for that profile. I know that the only way I will resolve most of those errors, is with a Record. They are ALL Marked and will resolve them when I am looking at records.

When I finish marking all of the Profiles as being not documented, I will invite this researcher to this Ancestry Member Tree to allow them to look at my data themselves. I have a "File Note" profile, in my database and in the AMT, where I add all of the information on how I handle this file. Why I do "stuff" in the file. Why did I do THAT ??? see the File Notes.

I already have a number of "stories" about the people in this File. I have visited a number of place where this "line" traveled through or to. One of the stories, that I have documented, is this line had an encounter with George Washington and his brother, as the family were neighbors of the Washington's.

I can't forget my Cousin Connection from my Master file, NOR can I forget the connection to my Mother's family, that may have a connection. I had forgotten that connection until I started to look at the file.

Finally, I am writing this blog post, as one of the things I am tracking, is how good or bad are the Hints we get from our online trees, from Ancestry. I have done this study several times in the past, and in the past I have experienced a high rate of success (90% - 95%). With all of the changes in Family Tree Maker and how we receive our Hints, I want to see how the hinting system is working today.

Lesson Learned:

1) Test your Back Up's

2) Don't Delete your "old" Back Up's.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Reader Question: How to Compare "Trees"

A Question from a reader:
Updating an FTM Tree with updates made to a separate FTM Tree. I started my FTM tree from a GEDCOM file of family member but have not kept the tree up to date. I now want to update my tree with additions my family member made to their tree but do not want to replace my tree since I have added a lot of data. Other than comparing trees person by person and adding the additions manually is there a way to compare the tree and select the items to be added (e.g., merge only the additions).
First, let me clarify something. A TREE is Online a FILE is on our computer.

So, I am guessing that you are asking about Comparing TWO or more Family Tree Maker FILES. So, rephrasing your question:

Is there a way to Compare two FTM FILES in Family Tree Maker (version doesn't matter in this case).

Short answer is NO. BUT

You can have two FILES open at the Same Time, as we have a File, Open in New Window option. Yes, it's all manual.

I just did a project like this myself, and I created both FILES. It took a month to clean up the Merge. I didn't even have to compare the two files, I knew I wanted the two files combined

"Merge only the Additions" would really mean Merge, ONE Profile at a time OR you can create a List in FTM2019 and merge the List from the "other file" into your Master file.

I will be postings how to do that in the future.

From what you have described, I would manually enter the data from the "other file" into my Master File, Citations and all. I am very picky in how I enter my data.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Sunday, October 20, 2019

FTM2019 - People - Ignored Hints

What ?? Ignoring Hints ?? Yes, I Ignore some, very specific Hints offered by

I have chosen to Ignore Certain Record Group Hints from I hope to explain why, and what I can do IF I run out of hints for a person whose hints I have ignored.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Monday, October 14, 2019

Reader Question: FTM2019 and FamillySearch Images

Here is a Question from one a blog Reader
How do you attach documents in family search to a person in FTM 2019?
The easy answer, the same way you do from Any website, like Ancestry, The Web Merge feature. I have many blog posts on that.

I may do another blog post, specifically now that we had the FamilySearch 2.0 features. (upcoming blog posts on that as well.)

In the meantime, in the Help Menu, select Companion Guide, and go to page 145 for the details.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Reader Question: How to open Old Files

Here a question I received from a reader:
I have several old versions of my ancestry trees of over 3000 individual's going back to the late 1400s, that I can't open in current operating systems. I never learned and have no help to convert them to Geodom(sp?).

So this is my question: can Family Treemaker open and preserve all this work completed by an older relative who left it to me, and myself???

If it can't be saved, it will be lost for good, which seems a shame.
And the Good News is,FTM2019  will open all previous versions of the Family Tree Maker program.

And, if you don't remember where those files are, on your computer, the New, Tree Browser, will find them for you.

I did a blog post on that one.

and, the Tree Browser will find files on any external hard drive connected to your computer.

The one that is high lighted in on an external drive and I haven't touched it for 15 years.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Thursday, October 10, 2019

FTM2019 - People Workspace - FamilySearch 2.0 - My Implementation

After looking into how I might use this new feature, I determined that I would review the FamilySearch Family Tree profiles, and do a Match, where appropriate.

In my database, I have identified each of my Direct Line Ancestors, End of Line. I have an End of Line Fact (marked Private) that I can Filter on and I have an Image that is an End of Line Ancestor's profile picture.

In reviewing the FamilySearch Hints, I chose only to Match those profiles where only ONE Hint was presented. As I recorded this video, I talk though this process.

It works for me. I already of about 15 Historical Record Hints from FamilySearch and can do a Web Merge for those historical records, as I have time.

Clearly  these Historical Records hints will be helpful.

A new "Cousin Bait" feature for me.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

FTM2019 - People Workspace - FamilySearch 2.0 - Match Profile

In FTM2017 we have been receiving hints from FamilySearch. With FTM2019 that has been enriched. In a previous video I demonstrated how to Download from FamilySearch Family Tree and a second post, what you might consider to clean up after that Download.

In this video, I will show you FamilySearch 2.0 but in the People Workspace and what the Change is, in the People Workspace, specifically on how I am using this new "Match" feature.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Reader Question about "emotives"

A Readers Question:

Hi Russ.
I have noted that in FTM 2019 there are 'emotives' next to some of the names in the people work space. These 'emotives' are hearts, squares, etc. Can you explain what they represent and how do you add or remove them. I cannot attach a screen shot , but you can clearly see these 'emotives' in some of the FTM instruction video's on the web.
Here is a link as a good example:-
Sorry, have no clue what you mean by "emotives". I have NONE. I did look at that YouTube Video and still don't know what you mean.

There are HINTs, both from Ancestry and from FamilySeach, but they were there in previous Versions of Family Tree Maker. The FamilySearch Hints came with FTM2017.

I haven't blogged about the hints, yet, but will in the next day or two.

Sorry. They are not part of FTM2019 that I have seen.


UPDATE: This question should be posted on that You Tube Channel. It is NOT part of the Family Tree Maker program nor a feature of it.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

macOS Catalina Compatibility for Family Tree Maker

If you are a Mac user, I suggest that you read this Knowledge Base article at

macOS Catalina Compatibility for Family Tree Maker
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

FTM2019 - Plan Workspace - FamilySearch Download - Clean up

This is a follow up to the previous Blog post

FTM2019 - Plan Workspace - Download from FamilySearch Family Tree

I suggested that I would have some clean up to do for the FILE to meet my standards. I won't go into that, but will provide some areas of the File where there may be things that you would want to change.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Monday, October 7, 2019

FTM2019 - Plan Workspace - Download from FamilySearch Family Tree

A short demonstration on the new feature, Download from FamilySearch Familiy Tree (FamilySearch 2.0)

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Sunday, October 6, 2019

FTM2019 - Plan Workspace - Change Log

Brief overview of the Change Log in the Plan Workspace:

I want to suggest that this may not by your first line of defense when you discover a problem in your database. I do recommend the Tools Menu, Compact File, using the Back Up feature.

Don't forget that Edit, Undo option or, CTRL+Z for Windows users.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Saturday, October 5, 2019

FTM2019 - Before you Install

Some suggested steps to do, BEFORE you Install FTM2019.

The Links mentioned in the recording:

Sign Up for Newletter

Family Tree Maker News, Offers and Other Emails

Launch Status


Sync Outages for FTM 2017 and FTM 2019
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

FTM2019 - Plan Workspace, Tree Browser

A new feature in FTM2019 is in the Plan Workspace. It is the Tree Browser. This feature gives you access to and will allow you do find ALL Family Tree Maker FILES on your computer, as well as a view of all of your Ancestry Member Trees.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Thursday, October 3, 2019

FTM2019 - People Workspace

More for the People Workspace

Saved Filters

Counters on Tabs

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

WACKY Wednesday, with DearMYRTLE - FTM2019 Overview

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

WACKY Wednesday with DearMYRTLE - Demonstration of FTM2019

Tonight, I will have the honor of presenting a high level overview of Family Tree Maker, version 2019 (FTM2019) that was released on the 30th Anniversary of when the program was first introduced to us. I have been using the program for 26 of those 30 years.

I will be joining DearMYRTLE in our usual WackyWednesday Webinar 
where we will spend an hour talking about the new features.

You will need to Register for the Webinar to watch live, and it will be recorded in case you are not able to watch live. When you Register, please use your Real Name (first and last) so that we can answer any specific questions that you might have.

To Register:

WACKY Wednesday with DearMYRTLE
Wednesday, October 29:00 – 10:00pm

Description:If you are new, the registration link is here:
9pm Eastern US (New York)
8pmam Central US (Chicago)
7pm Mountain US (Denver, Salt Lake City)
6pm Pacific US (Los Angeles)
UTC-7 hours

If you need a time zone converter, this is the one Ol' Myrt uses:
This DearMYRTLE Webinar is presented at no cost. If you find the information useful, consider the Pay What You Want business model Ol' Myrt employs:

If you miss the live events, catch the archived version at your convenience. It's usually available within 24 hours after the *live* recording has concluded.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

FTM2019 - People Workspace

New Features in the People Workspace

FamilySearch 2.0

Improved Color Coding

Hints in Index

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

FTM2019 - Media Workspace

A Couple of new features in the Media Workspace

AlbumWALK Media Player

Photo Darkroom Tools

Profile Cropping

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Monday, September 30, 2019

FTM2019 - Plan Workspace

Two new features in the Plan Workspace:

Download from FamilySearch:

This feature will allow you do download information from FamilySearch. I will be calling this FamilySearch 2.0.

A much needed (for some) a Change Log.

More information on these two features will be posted here.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Undocumented Fact Report - Update

UPDATE: Undocumented Fact Report Management

Actually, that worked out well, and I have marked all 1,678 Profiles that have undocumented Facts. Far more than what I wanted, but it is now manageable. I know what I have to work with AND a Plan on what to do, going forward.


There were two observations: 1 - Most of the Undocumented facts, not going into detail, was PRE-Family Tree Maker Version 2010. As I did not see many Citations that were using the Template Feature, which was added in  FTM2010. 2 - Some of the Undocumented Facts were probably entered in a Version, prior to Version 16,  the last of the DOS Family Tree Maker versions.

We didn't have the tools / features that we have today. AND it reminds me to use the Undocumented Fact Report daily. That does NOT mean that all of the Facts are Documented (yet), but at least I KNOW which profiles have Undocumented Facts.

Going Forward:

Over the past number of years, I spend time moving my Sources (Source Groups) into the Source Template Feature. As I work these undocumented facts, I MUST look at the Citations for the Fact WITH Citations and then make sure that those Sources of the Citations are using the Template Feature.

I have a spreadsheet with all of my Source Groups, I know how many each Citations the Source Groups have, and how many Source Groups are using the Template Feature. So I know where this project stands. As I clear any Undocumented Facts in a profile, I will Delete the No Documentation Fact (marked Private), just to make sure that I did, in fact clear that undocumented Fact.

In the description Field, I entered:

  • Find A Grave
  • No Documentation
  • Undocumented Fact
  • Undocumented Facts
  • and 4 specific Source names, that are books in my library
I explained  about the 2nd though 4th item in the earlier blog post. I did not have to change that Plan.

Using the new "Smart Filter" feature of FTM2019, it really helped me keep track of which Profiles I had identified and those that I needed to identify. It also helped me actually clear the Fact that did not have a Citation in earlier versions of Family Tree Maker. IF the profile fit into those description listed above, I did not resolve them in the report, but will use the No Documentation Fact to clear those up.

I had to keep in mind, which category I was dealing with. For those with the "sex" Fact, I used the Name Citation, and Pasted it, into that Fact. But, for the others, I wanted to use my No Documentation Fact citation for that. Remember that Family Tree Maker has TWO "clipboards", the Windows Clipboard, and the FTM clipboard for those Citations.

The Undocumented Fact Report provides the ability to use the "Individuals to Include" option. I selected Include ALL, then Filtered OUT, any profile where the "No Documentation" fact Existed.

This next image is the New "Smart" Filter feature. I call it the Dynamic Filter. In previous versions, once you set a Filter, it is static. Each time I return to the Individuals to include that number on the Right would decrease, meaning more profiles had that Fact. IF I put that Fact on 5 profiles, that number would decrease by 5. Applying (button at the bottom) the report would update.

I started with 12,636 Profiles (People) in the Left Column and there are 1,678 in the Right Column when I completed AND the Report had NO entries. I have identified everyone that had at least one fact without a citation.

Because I Cited each of that "No Documentation" fact, I had a check and balance. I went to the Source Workspace, found my No Documentation Citation and ensured that I had used that Citation 1,678 times. And I did.

Here is where the "Smart Filter" / Dynamic Filter feature really helps. In the People Workspace, Tree View, Filter, it will open the existing Filter window, where I select Filter IN, No Documentation Exits, which moved that 1,678 names into the Right Panel. 

Then I wanted to Filter OUT the No Documentation (description) "No Documentation", so I can see only those that does include that description. In this case it was 605. None of those profiles have any documentation. Sounds like a lot, and it is, BUT I will look at those profiles that are related to that profile. I got that information from somewhere, and most likely from one of those other family members.

It's not clear on this screen capture, but there is a pencil ICON on the Right, next to the "trash can" where I can Edit that Filter Out, to get the other numbers for each of the above description items. AND, this "Smart Filter" / Dynamic Filter, shows exactly what the various items that make up what has been filtered in and out.


Profiles with Undocumented Facts =1.678
No Documentation = 605
Undocumented Fact = 286
Undocumented Facts = 386
Find A Grave = 3

The four books that I have as sources = 398

Now for the Undocumented Fact, where this started, I didn't count. But, I know that my Undocumented Fact Report, when I started this, was 169 pages long. When I completed this, that report was 122 pages. If the report has 20 Profiles per page, that would mean that about 940 profiles, and they have been resolved.

Lesson Learned: Run the Undocumented Fact Report FREQUENTLY, my, now best practice, DAILY.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Sunday, September 29, 2019

FTM2019 New Features - Plan Workspace - Part 1

This is the first of many Blog Posts on the 30th Anniversary Edition of Family Tree Maker, FTM2019.

First up is the new TreeVault. This is only the beginning post on this new feature.

I will go into more detail of item in the near future.

These are that main new items in the Menu (once you have created the TreeVault account) (later blog post)

  • Emergency Tree Restore
  • FTM Connect
  • Historical Weather
  • Next of Kin
  • Manage TreeVault Account
  • Log Out
I will post comments and observations on these features as soon as I can. 

I will attempt to have a the TreeVault tag on each blog post that addresses these features.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Saturday, September 28, 2019


From a posting on Facebook:

It's Family Tree Maker's birthday today and we're going to party like it's 1989. We're taking a nostalgic look back at the brand's roots and looking to the future by launching our ambitious new edition – today! Let's get started.
Back when software came on floppy discs that were actually floppy, Ken Hess decided to leave his secure tech industry job to start his own company, Banner Blue Software. Five years later Family Tree Maker was born – 30 years ago today. I caught up with Ken this week and he told me how pleased he was that Family Tree Maker was not only still around but still the leading brand and still pushing boundaries. Ken wrote a book called Bootstrap about his building Banner Blue, and you'll find it in the gift collection when you pick up your copy of FTM 2019.* Congrats, Ken! Big day for both of us.
More than two years in the making, FTM 2019 was officially released today, thirty years to the day from the launch of version 1.0 on floppy discs by Ken Hess and Banner Blue back on September 28, 1989. It's the smartest, safest, most complete Family Tree Maker ever built, and includes our first mobile app for FREE, and a year of free cloud services for all those who pre-ordered a copy.
Our engineers and 275 beta testers have agreed that it's time to let the rest of you have at it. To ensure that we don't overwhelm the new TreeVault cloud service servers, we are rolling out email notifications over the next week or so to those who have pre-ordered – ten thousand emails at a time. The emails will go out in the order in which copies were purchased. So those who have been waiting the longest get their copies first. Please be patient – everyone will have their copies soon.
As we celebrate this big anniversary we are grateful to all of you who have been so supportive. For those of you who've always had our backs, we thank you for your confidence in us. For those who cheered us on, we've heard you and it made a difference. For those who let us know that “when it's ready” is exactly when you wanted the new edition, thanks for getting it. And for those of you who just left us alone to get our work done, we thank you for understanding and the space to breathe.
Can't wait to hear what you think of our two and a half year labor of love – and to share with you a map of the road ahead. Stay tuned!

Jack Minsky
President of Software MacKiev Publisher of Family Tree Maker

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Undocumented Fact Report Management

I understand that many users don't care about Sources and Citations. Over the years, I have learned how important they are. I have also learned how to manage that issue. I want ALL Facts with a Citation, even those Facts that I create and the I use for my purposes to maintain the file.

Working with two (2) new files, in the past three years, I learned to run the Undocumented Fact Report Daily. By doing so, and I can keep this issue under control. That is FIX the issue, based on the work that I did that day.

I took those two files and merged them into my Master database. That experience is a whole other topic. Because for the past two or three years I was in the habit of running the Undocumented Fact Report I ran it for the first time in my Master database. What I ended up with was a 169 PAGE Report. Shocked, to say the least.

To run this report, go to the Publish Workspace, select the Source Report in the Collection Tab, select Undocumented Facts, then Create Report.

When the "Create Report" button is selected, I want to make sure ALL Individuals are included.

Then I realized one problem that really brought the importance of this report. A change, many versions ago, about the "Sex" Fact had been changed requiring a Citation. Many Records either state that as a fact or can infer that fact, and should be documented. Family Names / Given Names are not always obvious. So we were given the Citation field for that Fact.

That second image is the clue /  reminder to me as to why there were so many pages of Undocumented Facts. I have some clean up work to do. I had to develop a Plan to deal with all of these Undocumented Facts. What I was NOT going to do, is clean them all up right now.

As you may know, we can Edit the Profile, from the Report, by double clicking on the Name (that is bolded) and the Person View will appear.

The Sex Fact does not have a Citation, but the Name Fact does have a citation, This is a quick and easy way to resolve this problem, Copy the Citation from the Name Fact, and Paste Link to Source Citation. The Copy source citation is the ICON to the Right of the "New" and left of the Edit (Pencil) ICON. That is the Family Tree Maker Clipboard (not Windows Clipboard)

Then select the "Sex" Fact, and Past Link to Source Citation.

That process will take care of those Facts that did not require a citation from previous versions. Easy but time consuming and needs to be done.

BUT, the next profile had other Facts that did not have Citations. From my analysis since I started this clean up project, over the many versions of Family Tree Maker, some Citations were lost and / or unlinked from Facts. So I needed a PLAN.

My plan is to use the Filter Feature to help me manage those profiles that have one or many Facts without a Citation. To do that, I created a "No Documentation" Fact. That way, I can Filter In or Filter Out, anyone with the No Documentation Fact. The name of the fact is not important, that was just the one I chose.

Keeping in the Undocumented Fact Report, I would ADD that Fact to every person in that report AND put a Citation on that Fact. Here is my citation (Reference Note)
Worthington, Russ, [ ADDRESS FOR PERSONAL USE, ], File Citations; This is a "No Documentation" citation, where there are no citations on Facts.
As I started to go through this process, three things were seen.

  1. No Citations on any Facts in that profile
  2. Only ONE Fact without a Citation
  3. A number of Facts without a Citation
Number 1 was may be a large problem, as there is not clue, on that screen to tell me where that information came from. More time involved, but in the People Workspace, Person View, looking at other information, especially a spouse, parents, or children. Clearly not in the report.

It became clear, that this phase of the project is to Mark All Profiles with a Citation issue. 

Number 2 and 3 are a little easier, in that I have at least ONE Citation on other Facts. I can review those citations to see if that record addresses the Fact(s) that are not documented. The Only one fact, should be an easy fix.

This is time consuming, but here is where the Filter In / Filter Out feature comes in very handy.

Lets say I added the No Documentation Fact to the First Page in the Report. I can now go back to the "Individuals to Include". Select ALL, Filter OUT, select the "No Documentation Fact", Any Data, and those profiles with that Fact will be removed from the report.

For me, this does a couple of things, Lets me focus on the easy fixes, or the ones that will take more time, and I can resolve that one fact that doesn't have the citation from previous versions of the program.

In looking at the Undocumented Fact Report, it became obvious which Profiles had that one fact, not documented. It included on the Name and the Fact.

I can fix them right then and there, as noted above.

Once all of the Undocumented Facts are identified what the No Documentation Fact, I can then get back to research and when I come across a Profile with that FACT, I can deal that that undocumented fact then, because I can see it in the List of Facts.

I marked the No Documentation Fact as Private, so only I can see it. In this example, I do not know the persons Name, (5 underscores), but when I look at the full profile, I see that this is a Spouse of someone in my database. I can look at the Citations for the Spouse, to pick up the Citation for this person, that has NO Citations on either Fact.

The No Documentation in the Fact Description field, may be an easy fix, or may be  not so easy.

My goal is to KNOW who has one or more Facts that are not documented. Using the Filter In / Filter Out feature, and get that Undocumented Fact report to Zero, then I can go back to my research. AND I can also go to the People Workspace, and use the Filter In Feature, to Filter IN all who have the No Documentation Fact, and further include, if I want, the No Documentation, Undocumented Fact, or Undocumented Facts in the description.

NOW, once I have all of the Facts documented in the Profile, I can DELETE that No Documentation Fact from that Profile. Now running the Undocumented Fact Report is important to be run frequently, with the goal of No / Zero profiles on that report (again, filtering out the No Documentation Fact).

Lesson Leaned: Run the Undocumented Fact Report daily
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

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