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

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Reader Question: Purpose of the Fact Description field

Another User Question (love these questions)
What kind of information goes in the “description” tab and does that information eventually migrate to the “notes” section?
This is a great question. "It depends" is my quick answer.

Each FACT that is created in Family Tree Maker has Three (3) FIELDS. You can see the Facts in your File, in the Edit Menu, Manage Facts item.

That will bring up a list of All of the Facts that you are using, and where you will Select the Fact you want to Edit, or one of the Places where you can Add a New Fact. You can always Add a New Fact in the People Workspace, Person View, which is where I would add a new fact.

In this case, I selected Address. It is an Individual Fact, that can be shared with any other Profile. You will note the Annulment Fact, which IS Shared. So, you enter that Shared Fact, and it can be Shared with only a Spouse. Most Facts are Individual. 

I chose Address, because you might think that many profiles might use that Address. That is True, but the "shared" fact is not broad enough, and it only intend for a "married" couple. Married defined in the Marriage Fact settings, which does mean that the couple of married. That is a topic for another blog post.

I am going to click on the Fact, Properties button:

And we have Choices on what Fields we want to have with that Fact. Date / Place Fields, Date / Place / Description Fields, Description Only.

The default for this (system created Fact) is Date / Place / Description, which makes sense, right?

Below that is "Fact sentence". There is where you can change that the Fact will look like in a Genealogy Report. Below that is an Example of that that Fact Sentence Looks like.

You will notice that I marked this FACT as "Private by default". I do not want the Address Fact in my Online Tree. I want to see it always in my File, just not online. So, every time I Add an Address Fact, to a Profile it will be marked Private.

The question was, what do I put in the Fact Description?

Before the Places Workspace was improved, I would put the Street Address into the Description Field. With the option to use the Historical Place Name option, I put the Full Street Address in the Places Field.

Here is an example from a Profile.

There are four (4) Address Facts. Each with a Date, Place, but the description field is blank (image to follow). I point this one out for a reason. I have 2 Citations on the 1917 Fact, World War I draft), 1930 and 1940 Census Records, and a 1942 Fact, which was a World War II draft record).  That was this persons residence, from those records over time. I mention Census, because I use the Residence Fact, with Citations to the Census RECORD. But, these two census records had the street address. Here is why I do it this way. Who else lived at that address ?

Seven (7) People lived at that address over time. The use of the Historical Name is how this works.

You will notice that the address is in that upper field.

What is not in my earlier screen capture, is the Zip Code. Why didn't I enter is. Answer: It was NOT in the Record. If I have or know of the Zip Code, like from an Public Record RECORD, I would put that in the Description Field.

This is the image, mentioned earlier, from the People Workspace, Person View. I  entered the Date, and the complete address, on that 1940 Census Record. Not the "Lock" or Privacy setting.

The Options, on the screen capture, is another place where you can Change the Properties for that, or any Fact.

The final question ask, Migration to Notes. NO. All Notes fields, and there are many, are manually added. I have a blog post on Notes, Notes, and More Notes.

for all of the blog posts on Notes:

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Monday, September 23, 2019




I have no way to put the text of this article here, but please use this link to see what is going on.

Exciting Times are ahead

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Reader Question: Export / Import

Another Reader Question:
When importing/exporting, the system creates a new tree.  Is this suppose to happen?
The answer is "yes" and "no", or just "it depends".

When you do a FILE, Export, and you make your choices for people and FILE Format, Yes, you will be creating a NEW FTMB (Family Tree Maker Back Up FILE) on your computer. From there, you can do a File, Restore, or send the file to some one else.

When doing a File, Merge, you are NOT creating a New File, You are given two choices, using the Import option. 1) to Amend your current, open File, or 2) Merge that the file you select, into the File you have Open. Two different things will happen.

But, the question was Importing. You get that from the Plan Workspace, New Tree (FILE).

Plan Workspace, New Tree (FILE) Import an Existing Tree

This is where you can Browse to the file you want to Import as a NEW File. You will also be asked for a Tree (FILE) Name. The difference is that you have several options of what that Existing FILE is. A Family Tree Maker Version 5 (not 2005, but very old Version 5), a PAF file, or a Legacy Family Tree File, or a GEDCOM File.

Note: a GEDCOM file will NOT include any images.

Remember that the Import option, is to create a New FILE from another Genealogy Program, or an earlier (old) version of Family Tree Maker.

Please note my use of the work FILE and not Tree, as the screen shows. To me, a TREE is an Online version of the information in the FILE the is on my computer. I have NO Trees on my computer. My computer may be dusty, but it has nothing for a Tree to grow in. It's also easier to tell the difference between information on the Computer (File) and information that is Online (Tree). But that's just me.
Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Reader Question: What is included in the FamilySync

From a reader:
Does syncing your tree include information in the Media and Tasks tabs?
Not everything that is in your Family Tree Maker File, that you see and enter, is included in the Sync Process.

The Names, Dates, Places, Citations, and Media files are all included in the Sync Process.

There are some Media files that are NOT included when you Sync. Any Media File that you mark as Private and those Media files that come from Ancestry. For example, I have Marked this Media file as Private. I do not what this image to be in my Ancestry Member Tree.

Any FACTs that are marked Private, will also not be included in FamilySync. For example, I do not want the Address Facts that I have in my database, in my Ancestry Member Tree. So, I mark them Private.

I have Person Notes, that I am not ready to have in the Ancestry Member Tree, so I mark those notes as Private.

Research Notes / Logs, by default are marked Private and will not be put online. and the Task / To Do list are also not put online during the FamilySync Process.

Here is a link to other FamilySync articles on this blog and links to the Family Tree Maker Knowledge Base website.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Thursday, September 19, 2019

User Question: Merge Two Facts

I saw this question on a Facebook Group, not a Family Tree Maker group, but thought I would address it here. The user, had moved the database from one Genealogy Program to another. The question was:

Is it possible to merge 2 fact types 
[ say Address to Residence]
In FTM2017, you can right click  on any Fact, and there is a "Merge Duplicate Facts" option. That option would not work here. The Data from the Address Fact, would have to be Copied and Pasted into the Residence Fact. I am sure you all know that. 

The Reason I want to post about those two items is this:
The Residence Fact, should be used for ANY Record that claims the Location of where the Profile Resided, by Location. City, County, State, County. It's important for me, so that Place name, puts that Profile on the Map.
The Address Fact. takes that Residence Fact to the next Level. I say that, because, by Default, I have the Address Fact marked as Private. Yes, it's still on the Map, but the use of the Historical Place Name feature, resolves that Place Name, which is also important.  I have chosen, not to include any Address Fact, in the Ancestry Member Tree, since I mark that Fact as Private.
Clearly this is a user's choice. For me, I want the Address, every time I can find one, on the many records that provide it. I do NOT put that Address in the Description field, but the Place Name field and use the Historical Place Name feature.

What I have been known to do, IF that Address is in driving distance, I may go take a ride and take a picture of it. I have one photo, of where my grandmother lived in the last 1800's, in Waltham, Massachusetts. I later took my parents to that same place, so show my mother where she lived, but the house was gone. I only had the photograph to share with my mother. That photo, would be linked to a Citation, and the Citation linked to that Address Fact, marked Private.

On final thought about the Residence Fact. I have seen many users use a Census Fact. My question is always, is a Census a FACT or a RECORD ? I'll leave that answer to you.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

User Question: Ancestry and Media

A Question from a reader:

What can you do once Ancestry media won't process in FTM?
Easy answer: Use Help, Family Tree Maker Tech Support, and on the Right use the LIVE CHAT Support link.

Copyright © 2019 by Cousin Russ

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