Thursday, December 23, 2021

Friday, December 17, 2021

Reader Question: Streamline Source Group List

Here is a Question from a reader:

I want to streamline my Source Group List - for ex. Can I have all 1900 Censuses within one large Source group with subgroups for each State? I would like to see an in depth way you select source groups and your list of source groups. I have narrowed mine to 383 source groups as of now. I didn't see this topic on your website except for the video where you said don't just merge Censuses because they are from different locations. Thanks in advance.

I don't want to streamline my Source Group List. So, I am not sure I can help you. You can submit your request from the Help Menu of FTM2019.

Having said that, why don't I want to streamline my Source Group List. 

First, I don't normally work from that list. That is starting to do something from the Source Group list. I do go the Source Workspace frequently. I do want to see, in your Census example, the Census Year, by State, and County. The Census Source Template feature allows for just the Year, or Year and Location. I want the Year and Location.

I spend a lot of time on my Sources and Citations, but I want to see the details. 

Another example, for me, Email Citations. I have a Source Group for each "cousin" that I have emailed with, as the "cousin" as a Source Group. I would also have a Source Group for myself and each of those "cousins". The Cousin Source Group would be those emails FROM that Cousin, and My Source Group would be TO that Cousin.

Remember, please, that I use the Source Template Feature 100% of the time.

IF that doesn't answer your question, Please (Marnie) help me understand what you mean by "streamline". I am guessing shortening the Source Group List. The way I use them, I need to understand what you are trying to accomplish.
Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Friday, October 15, 2021 - Comments

If you have made a comment on this blog and haven't see it, or have not gotten a response, it's because I had not been notified.

I will be reviewing them, and responding as necessary.

Yes, I am investigating why I am not receiving notices.

Thank you

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Friday, September 24, 2021

Edit - Find Duplicate People

The Find Duplicate People feature is in the Edit Menu. You can be in any Workspace, this image is in the People Workspace.

Selecting the Find Duplicate People menu item will bring up a Back Up window. RECOMMEND that you use that option. (not shown)

Then Family Tree Make will run a People Matching routine.

At the end will be a list of potential duplicate profiles.

At the bottom of this window will give you choice:
  • Go To Person
  • Remove Row
  • Compare-Merge
  • Close
  • Help
There are 44 possible matches. This takes time, but do the "merging" carefully. In many cases, you may just Remove a Row.

This blog post is not going into detail about how to do that, but to show what to do when you are done for this session. That is to CLOSE this list, BUT Saving the Work that you just did.

When Close is selected a Window will pop-up as ask if you want this list to be SAVED. By clicking Yes, that updated list will be saved until the Next Time you run this same report.

Clicking on Find Duplicate Individuals you we see this screen, where you can "Load Saved List"

or you can Perform the Matching Again.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Thursday, September 23, 2021

FTM2019 - File Naming

File Naming that works for me:

Each of us needs to determine what Filenaming scheme works for us. Mine has certainly changes a bit over time, but as I work through my Media Files I am making sure that I have been consistent.

There are two things to remember about Family Tree Maker and it's sorting of Media Files. Sort by Filename OR Sort by Caption. Keep in mind that when you Sync to an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) File Names are NOT involved. Ancestry sorts by Caption.

Here is a example of a Record for a Profile:

File Name

Caption (for the same record)
Firstname Middlename Surname Suffix - YYYY - Event

Same information but the order is different

But, what  about same named people. This works, at least in my database. The biggest reason is the Date and Event, in both the Filename and the Caption. My grandfather, father, and I all have the SAME Name. My Dad would be a Jr, and I would be a III. Those are the preferred Names, that are documented that way. So, the Preferred Name is in the Filename and Caption. Yes, they may change over time. So, I just Rename the File (within Family Tree Maker) and redo the Caption.

What about Females ?

I ONLY use Maiden / Birth Surnames.

But, I don't know her birth surname ! -  ALL Unknown names, I use 5 Underscores [ _____ ] for both Firstnames and Lastnames or Surnames. I have blogged about this in the past.

Place Names:

Smallest to Largest in the Place Name field for a Fact.

City / Town, Township, County, State, County

I ADD the word Township and County, as appropriate that meet the Place Name Authority in Family Tree Maker. The exception is Historical Place names, again, I have blogged about that.

Now, I have Pictures, in the "Cemetery" Database. What about them?


Cemetery Name, City / Town, Township (if appropriate), County, State (no Country, if it is in the USA)



The caption is smallest to largest, the Filename is Largest to smallest.

This works great, for me, using either way of sorting in Family Tree Maker.

There is a Trick, that may or may not be obvious.

My Goal is for the filenames or captions to be Readable. People's name or Place names.

A DASH separates the pieces of the Name, as described here. AN UNDERSCORE keeps the fields together. For example, the Firstname and Middlename are separated with an Underscore. I want those to be a different part of a person name, from the Surname. (I do NOT use ALL Caps anywhere).

The filename for a Cemetery, where I want to spell out the word County, is


State - County - City - Cemetery

No spaces in a Filename, Normal Spaces in the Caption.

Another example: I add the Time that I do a Back Up


My Master File, in FTM2019, backed up in 2021, September 23 at 1507. 


ln my Custom Back Up folder my Back Up files are in Filename order date and time order, so I know which is the most recent.

I have a Fan_Club Family Tree Maker file, so it's filename is Fan_Club.

The use of the Underscores replace a Space, the Dash separates the elements of a Filename.

The choice for the Sort by Filename or Caption is in the Tool, Options, General Tab

Again, it is your choice, but this one works for me. Not just in Family Tree Maker, but ALL of my computer Filenames. I don't have to think about 'what to call this file'?

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

FTM2019 - Find A Grave Memorials - Review what you have

Focusing on Find A Grave is a real bonus, for me at least.

Spending time just on my Find A Grave and Burial information, I found an additional benefit.

Of the 246 Find A Grave Memorials, I added 6 new headstones to my database 3 new records, and 4 new portraits that I added to my database. I did this by relooking at those 246 Citations, clicking on the Link to the Find A Grave Memorial link, in my Citation screen, and founds those records. 

Besides those Memorials that have been removed or merged, I may have found a clue on how to find out where those memorials went. I do remember when this happened, because of my notes, it was when ownership of the Web Site changed to Ancestry. A number of contributors took the memorials down, that they had created.

After I complete my review of the Find A Grave Fact Notes, I will then use my Citation, where the memorial has been removed, and relocate the memorial. One of my clues, was when a Burial had the word "unknown" when I found them a number of years ago, but because I marked them as in my Memorial Number fact (Find A Grave #), I can filter on that and re-search for them OR to check to see if those profiles have a Find A Grave Index Hint.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Sunday, September 19, 2021

FTM2019 - Marking Facts as Private

Had an email from a blog reader:

The email was not a question exactly, but it occurred to me, that there may be others that may be interested in some of the ins and outs of making a Fact Private.

Making an Existing Fact Private on data Entry:

The Edit, Manage Facts is a great feature, but there are some details of managing the facts that I want to provide some details on.

There are two choices to understand. Properties and Data Options.

The Properties option is about "going forward". This is where you can change the Sentence for the Fact in a Genealogy Report. Not addressing that here. The second is making a Fact Private by Default. Putting a Check Mark there, will only mark that FACT on New entries for that fact.

That does NOT mark existing Facts as Private. 

Making an Existing Fact Private Globally (only this specific file)

That is in the Data Options choice. A good feature here comes to play, BACK UP the file BEFORE it is executed.

Of course your option is YES.

The next window is where you select the Existing Fact that you want to globally mark as Private.

Select the Fact, Check ALL, and in the bottom field, Mark the selected facts as Private, selected with the pull down menu.

Also, if you want to Globally Mark a Private Fact to be Public, that is also a menu option in the pull down menu.

Impact on Custom Reports:

In the Publish Workspace, you may have existing reports or create new custom reports (Person Collection) where the Facts in that report, have Including or NOT Including Facts that are marked Private.

This choice is in the Items to Include (in that report).

This screen capture as for the Name Fact, but selecting each of the other Facts, and selecting "fact" Options, there is a check box that says "include private facts".

These are the steps I used is that last several "clean up" blog posts. 

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Friday, September 17, 2021

FTM2019 - Find A Grave Memorials --- Moved Memorials

Clean up, focusing on Find A Grave Memorials.

This clean up of my Find A Grave memorials has been really helpful. What I started with, was to Move any Find A Grave entries, in the Person Notes field, to the Find A Grave Memorial # Fact Notes Field. I had notes in both places but wanted them ALL to be in the Fact Notes.

I have only reviewed the start of the alphabet, up to the letter D. I am doing a Surname by Surname letters to keep track of where I am. Using the Filter In Feature, I used the Find A Grave Memorial # Fact as my Filter.

As I finish a letter or series of names, I remove them from the Filter. So, it's easy to keep track of where I am.

To date: I have reduced 35 Pages of Person Notes, and have added 11 Pages of Fact Notes. Going in the right direction, as I had hoped. I have 322 profiles that have the Find A Grave Fact.

As I am doing this review, I look at the Burial Fact, to make sure that the Cemetery in that Fact is in my "Cemetery" database, which is a Citation. I have 81 Cemeteries in that Database. So far, that means that  ALL of the Cemetery Information from the Find A Grave website, is ALL in ONE place. I had a number of Burial Fact Notes with information about the cemetery, which is why I created the Cemetery Database. That database is anything I can find on the Find A Grave website about the cemetery, including physical locate, contact information (some time), former Cemetery Names, most helpful, and other comments. I don't have to remember to put cemetery information in the Burial Fact Notes.

Also, with the focus on Find A Grave, I was reminded that when there was a change in "ownership" of the Website other things changed. For example, some Memorials did NOT have Cemetery Locations. Many of those Memorials were removed. I HAD marked, in the ToDo list, those memorials in two ways. The ToDo list AND in the Find A Grave Memorial # Fact AFTER the number. So, looking at the Find A Grave custom report I created, I could SEE those memorials I used to have, that no longer exist.

At last count, there are 30 such memorials that no longer exist. But, some of them had been replaced. I have been tracking that. I had 79 "missing" memorials, so I have been finding some of them.

I have also made sure that IF I have a Find A Grave Index record, that I also have the information from the Find A Grave website. I have about 65 of those identified.

As I have been doing in the past, but have been really focusing on this Clean Up (Genealogy Do-Over, my style) to make sure that I have my Evernote Notebook Up to date.

Time consuming, yes, but so worth the time an effort when I do more work on my Prep work for the 1950 Census Release.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Monday, September 13, 2021

FTM2019 - Master File - Clean Up Summary

A Summary of a week long Clean Up project:

A little over a week ago, I started a Clean Up project of my Master Family Tree Maker file (FTM2019). I found notes back to 1997, which reminded me of how long I have been working on this SAME File. More importantly, I was reminded of the Changes that the program has made over the years. Most of the clean up was caused by those changes, which, in fact, is a Good Thing.

The biggest push, for me, to take the TIME to clean up, is the use of the Research Log (Notes) and Person Notes. Most of the work was to take Person Notes out of the Research Notes Tab and move them into the Person Notes Tab.

I started with 742 PAGES of Research Notes and ended with 578 Pages of Research Notes.

About 800 Pages of Person Notes that ended up with 919 Pages of Person Notes.

I now have NO (0 - Zero) Notes that can be seen in the Ancestry Member Tree. Mostly because of the formatting, or lack of formatting in the AMT. It looks very bad in an AMT, so I marked them ALL Private (for now), for the AMT.

When I started this clean up, I realized that in about 2014, I changed the formatting of the DATE in the Research Log and saw where I had played around with several formats in 2014. I took this time to Reform the dates, using the Find and Replace feature in FTM2019 and updated about 1,150 Entries.

I was reminded about the amount of resource material I have in the Person Notes tab. The plan going forward is to work on those Private Person Notes. Mostly for myself, but may re-consider making them public.

The other MAJOR clean up was to Mark ALL FACTS as Private, with the exception of Birth, Marriage, and Death Facts. I now have a record of the FACTS that I use, and have already Deleted 5 or 10 Facts along the way. Mostly, early Facts that I didn't clean up earlier.

I now have an Evernote Notebook with the Facts I have reviewed already, and how I want to use them. For example, my Military Facts are out of control. I had not documented, at the time, how I was going to use them.

Also, I realized that I had some Fact Notes information in the Person Notes Tab. Again, it's one of those things I changed over time, but hadn't made time to clean up those changes.

Of the 919 Person Notes Pages, I expect that number to go down, as the 488 Fact Notes Pages, goes UP. 

My goal is to be Consistent and to document how I do "stuff" in my File.

AND, I have 1,682 Profiles without Documentation, meaning at least ONE Fact without a Citation. I know who they are, but this review have me hints that I really do have the information about where I got that information, just hadn't entered it correctly.

The Filter In, Filter Out feature is my best friend going forward. That is why the FACT Review was and IS so important, as that is what the Filters help with. Knowing who has Undocumented Facts, helps, but along the way, with earlier Do-Over's, I have notes as to where to look for the Citations for those Facts.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Monday, September 6, 2021

FTM2019 - Clean Up - No Documentation - Check Research Log

Not Documentation, check Research Log

I run an Undocumented Report frequently, to make sure All of my FACTS have citations. I will add a "No Documentation" Fact for those profiles that I need to find or create Citations. As long as I know, and can see that I need Citations, I know what I need to do.

During this Clean Up project, Specifically in the Research Log and Person Notes fields, I found a gold mine. 

Way back in 1997 I had merged a file from a Cousin, from his Family Tree Maker program into my file. I had made note of that, in the person notes (at the time), that simply gave me the Date, the Filename, and who sent it to me.

During this clean up of the Research Log, those notes ended up in the Research Log. So, as I was into a specific Surname list, in the log, I saw these entries. When I looked at the Profiles, and I moved the Notes to the Person Notes I saw that many of those Profiles and the No Documentation Fact.

Now I can Document those Facts.

In those "good old days", when a FTM file was Merged, Citations didn't go along with the merge, but at least I had made a notation what I did and when, so now I can go back and Document those Facts.

The whole Clean Up of my working File, is so worth the time and effort to clean up the file.
Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Saturday, September 4, 2021

FTM2019 - Notes Clean Up Project

Clean Up Project:

What does a Family Researcher do on a Holiday Weekend ? Clean House (oops, Family File).

This all started with the change in Terms of Service by Ancestry. That wasn't a bad thing, but I gave me cause to look at my database and do some "house cleaning". 

I have made a couple of Blog Posts about this project:

During that process I wanted to do more Clean Up of my database. I have a "Notebook" in Evernote where I keep "how I do stuff" in Family Tree Maker. I have a lot of documentation in that Notebook because that is one way for me to Standardize my database. Mainly because I will Forget something. For example, how I use certain Facts.

When I Privatized the Facts, I put ALL of the Facts into an EXCEL Spreadsheet, then, one FACT at a time, entered that Fact Name into Evernote, as another Chapter.

Since all of the FACTS, with 4 exceptions, are Private, I wanted to Address NOTES. I did a blog post on Notes, Notes, Notes

I ran a report in FTM2019, from the Person Collection, Notes, and selected Research Notes. (I have blogged about that as well. Although that was back in the stone ages, (FTM2012) they work about the same.

The Report Showed that I had 742 Pages of Research Log. The good thing is that they are ALL Marked Private. That was the good news. The BAD News is that many of the Research Log had Person Notes in them. Remembering that Family Tree Maker has added and / moved features over time, and this file is the one I started with in Version 3.4. I had notes where they didn't belong.

All of the Person Notes have been privatized already. I did not get a count when I started, but when the Research Log page count was at 723 pages, I had 765 Pages of Person Notes. So I have been moving (copy / paste) the Person Notes from the Research Log to where they belong.

Taking a break from that, I looked at the FACT NOTES: There was 208 Pages of Fact Notes that were Public and 488 Pages of Fact Notes that are Private. Working on making ALL of them Private.

This is where Evernote came into plan. Over time, I have changed how I did "stuff". For example, I created a "Cemetery" database, within this SAME file. I had been entering Cemetery Information in the Burial Fact Notes. I realized that I was retyping a bunch of stuff, so that is when I created the Cemetery database (Profiles with the Cemetery Information). So rather than using the Burial Fact Notes, I created a Link from the Burial Fact to the Cemetery Profile. So I now will go back and clean that up. That is one example of Fact Notes that will clean up.

There are also Person Notes, that my "standard" is to Copy / Paste that information into Fact Notes.

One of the reason for this clean up, is because of the way that Ancestry Member Tree's make (or don't make) Notes available or how they are displayed. They certainly do NOT look like how I have them in FTM2019.

I am about 1/4 of the way through my Research Log, but needed a break from that, so I am going after the Fact Notes, to Privatize ALL of them. Then go back to clean them up.
Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Saturday, August 28, 2021

FTM2019 - Web Links Tab

A problem that I have had, with the Family Tree Maker program, is the ability to identify which Profiles use the Web Link Tab, in the People Workspace, Person View.

In this example, the profile has 10 Web Links. I wanted a way to see "who all has Web Links". Understanding the Filter Feature, I created a FACT called "Web Links Tab", and created a Citation for that fact. So, I can create a list of ALL Profiles that have Links in the Tab, but then I can Filter OUT some other Fact. In the Video, I can Filter OUT All profiles that do NOT use the WikiTree Fact that is in use. All profiles that have a WikiTree FACT will have a information in the Web Links Tab, to take me to their Profile on WikiTree.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Friday, August 27, 2021

FTM2019 Clean Up

After I Privatized my Media Files, I thought I would do some File Clean Up.

This is work on my own File, with 12,661 profiles. I have two questions in my mind as I have been doing this clean up.

What do I need / want to see
What do I want YOU to see

Those two questions have been on my mind when I give presentations on Family Tree Maker or when I blog, here, about the program. I have implemented these questions in a couple of smaller files, but not on my own file. I have been cleaning up a lot of information, like Citations in my file, but not really spent some time making this file public. Too messy, and needed to be cleaned up.

Thinking through the Media file issue, those two questions returned to this file and the related, linked Ancestry Member Tree (AMT). In an earlier blog post I figured out a way for someone finding the AMT, to communicate that I had images for the Profile. I can do that with my Master File.

But what about other information, like Facts, Notes, those stories. I know what I want to handle the Person (Profile) Notes. Each Note will have a Citation, keeping in mind that may be many notes in one persons Notes, but each one will have a Citation and that citation is in Bold. I have been doing that. The bolded Citation is a visual for me, that there is the "next" note, in the person note Tab. So, IF I have notes and I have not put the Citation, in bold, I just Privatize that Persons Notes. Looking at what I had left, not made private, I just privatized that note and moved on. I realized that the notes, with citations, were not consistent. So, I went through almost 200 pages of notes and made them Private. I want to see consistent notes, with Citations, but don't want anyone else to see them YET. Also, Ancestry AMTs do not present the Notes with the formatting (like bold Citations) that I have in my version of the Notes. Remember that those notes may appear in a Book that I may create from this file. That Formatting WILL remain in that Book. I can also unprivatize those notes for that book.

All Notes are not marked as Private.

I already have a number of FACTS that I have marked as Private, like Current Place Names for a Historical location (see earlier blog posts on that), but when I was looking at the 200 Facts that I have in my database, again my use of those Facts were not Consistent.

I did two things with the Facts. Marked ALL but Birth, Marriage, and Death Facts as Private, but Default, AND those existing, as Private. I can see that ALL. As I did this, I created an EXCEL spreadsheet with each Fact and the Number of times that Fact was used. As I went along, I made a quick notation that I needed to fix my usage of that Fact, in EXCEL.

What I also have, is an Evernote (another program) Notebook on how I use Family Tree Maker. I have used that for a long time, especially for Citations. So my next task, and I may blog about this, is to put all of those Facts in Evernote, and describe how I use that Fact and Where I get it from.

In EXCEL, I made a couple of Notes. Self, Records, System. Where did that fact come from. Very high level, but I did this to give me a clue as to the Order in which I want to work on those Facts. Some are easy, some, not so much. My Military FACTS are out of control.

Going forward, my workplan is to make those Private Facts public, as appropriate. Keeping in mind those two questions.

What do I need / want to see
What do I want YOU to see

I have not forgotten my prep work for the 1950 U.S. Federal Census project, as I will switch between the two projects from time to time, probably one day with one project the next on the other.

I probably will share some of this work in this blog, if there is any interest. But I want my file to be the way it should be. I have learned a lot of information since I started AND Family Tree Maker has many new features that make it easier to accomplish my goal.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

FTM2019 and WikiTree

I have been a WikiTree user for a number of years, as I recall, from it's beginning. BUT I have not been doing much with it. 

After my experience with doing a Match with the FamilySearch website profiles, I have hint's from that website that I can see and use, as appropriate. With WikiTree there are NO Hints. BUT, it a source of documents / sources, that I might use in my own research. 

That is in addition to what documentation I might contributred. I also, as a Profile Manage, have a responsiblity, I think, to update those Profiles I manage. Also, those Profiles I don't manage, there may be documents I have not seen and/or used. 

What I created is a process in which I can SEE, in my Family Tree Maker File, that there is a WikiTree profile, for the FTM2019 Profile. This video explains that process.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

FTM2019 - Ancestry Member Tree Test

As you may have seen, I have been working on, and thinking about the best use of an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT), for myself and others that might visit my AMT.

With the help of DearMYRTLE I ran a test of what a "Contributor" of an AMT can and can not see and do. It was a learning experience and I thank Myrt for her time.

We discovered a couple of thing that didn't work, but several important things that did work. 

Each of the steps described in the previous blog post worked as expected.
  • Living profiles are all marked Private, using the "guessed" 120 year rule, meaning a given birth date and no death date, where the birth date was more than 120 years (used 1920, was viewable, 1922 was private)
  • A visible indication of the "end of line" profile, where there are no parents
  • A visible indication that I have a Photograph of the person in the Profile.
Was the "test" a Pass or Fail ? [ I would usually give The Legal Genealogist answer, but I will refrain ]

My answer,  Yes / No / Maybe. The work done so far turned out the way I had hoped. The limitations observed are out if my control. 

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Monday, August 9, 2021

FTM2019 - I've got Photographs & Bookmarks

Another in the series on Changes I am making in Family Tree Maker based on the Changes at Ancestry.


 Thinking through this process, I will, most likely, end up by making my Ancestry Member Trees (AMT) public and making the AMT more Cousin Bait. I wanted some why to let a visitor know that I have photographs of the Profile being viewed. ____________________________________________________________
Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Sunday, August 8, 2021

User Question - Fact not listed

Here is a question from a Reader:
Trying to clean up unknown in "facts labels" and found an Indiv unknown fact & source s/be marraige shared fact but marriage fact not an option in fact change list for individuals.
That is because the Marriage Fact is a Shared Fact. ____________________________________________________________
Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

FTM2019 - Update Privatized Facts

In the previous blog post, I marked certain Facts as Private by default. Meaning the next time that Fact is used, it will be private. The one I selected in the previous video, the fact had not been used.

There is a couple of screens that appear, when that Fact is being used. This video will demonstrate that.

In addition, I will show what a "messy" Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) looks like when Alternate Facts are selected in the Facts Tab in the AMT.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Saturday, August 7, 2021

FTM2019 - Just the Facts

As I am considering making my Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) Public, I want to evaluate what Facts in my database, do I want a visitor to the AMT to see. 

I will demonstrate the process that I am going through, making the changes, as to which Facts are Marked Private by default, and by checking the Properties of each Fact, which existing Fact will appear in the Updated AMT.

Keep in mind, that they always can be changed back globally, or individually.


Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

FTM2019 - Renaming a File and linked Ancestry Member Tree

Want to show how to Rename a FTM2019 File and it's Linked Ancestry Member Tree.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Friday, August 6, 2021

FTM2019 - Remove Person Notes from AMT

This is a follow up to FTM2019 - Remove Media files from an Ancestry Member Tree 

Ancestry had made some changes to their Terms and Conditions on the Website that impacts me, and probably everyone else, we read what had been provided. 

The Legal Genealogist blog is on MUST READ blogs, as I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV or on a blog. The bottom line for me, is that I have less than 30 days to remove my Media Files from the website, on any of their properties, including an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT). 

Another MUST READ Blog is Genea-Musings. The author expresses his concern and plan of action.

This post is handling of Person Notes in FTM2019. They were created by me, each note has a citation below each item in the Person Notes. I consider that, my content.

Over time, I have been working on bringing all of my Notes up to My Standards. That is, has been, and will be a work in progress. But, I want to pull them all down, for now. Do some more clean up then I may, or may not include the Person Notes in the Ancestry Member Tree.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

FTM2019 - Remove Media files from an Ancestry Member Tree

Ancestry had made some changes to their Terms and Conditions on the Website that impacts me,  and probably everyone else, we read what had been provided.

The Legal Genealogist blog is on MUST READ blogs, as I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV or on a blog. The bottom line for me, is that I have less than 30 days to remove my Media Files from the website, on any of their properties, including an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT). I probably have 3,000+ images, in my master file that needs to come down.

Another MUST READ Blog is Genea-Musings. The author expresses his concern and plan of action.

This Video explains how I intend to remove my Media Files from the AMT.

Ancestry has updated their initial change.

Making Our Terms and Conditions Clearer: Modifications to our August 2021 Update (05 August 2021)____________________________________________________________
Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Friday, July 23, 2021

Brick Walls (well maybe)

The other day, I was getting ready to go teach my "in person" class, when I received an email. I had not prepared anything special for the class, but the email, I thought, was going to be a great question for the class help answer.
I am having much trouble with one of my ancestors, John Ayers. He would be my paternal 3rd gg. I haven't been able to find records of his birth or his parents. I have census records of John and his wife, Sarah Stephens, being in the household of his son, John Wilson Ayers, my 2nd gg. I have records of his wife Sarah's, father, Uriah F. Stephens Jr., my 4th gg, naming Sarah and her husband, John Ayers, in his will. Uriah would be another patriot for me in the DAR, but I have to have proof of John's existence.

This looks like a "brick wall" question to me, but then I don't have "brick walls", I just haven 't done "reasonable exhaustive" (I usually change the to exhausting, because when you find what I am looking for, I am usually exhausted.

The previous week we had a question from another student, who wasn't present, and talked about "how NOT to ask a research question". So, after reading the above problem to the class, I asked on a scale from 1 to 10, how would they rate the question. Most said 7 or 8, then I asked "why" and what was missing. One of the students said "dates". I was able to answer that, as the student with the question sent a follow up email.

The approximate dates for John Ayers are 1776-1864 and for Sarah (Sally) Stephens, 1786 - 1858.

What else took a bit of pulling of the teeth, but I let that drop (for now). I told the class that I would enter the data that I was provided into FamilyTreeMaker, Including "Sally". I asked, where would I enter that, one student said "Also Known As", she got a gold star for the day.

What I explained about entering of the information was the Relationships what was provided in this information. Knowing that I had some of this information in my database AND online, I went to the Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) that I created for this student in the past. So I did a search for and found John Ayers already in my AMT, with the relationships in the information  that was provided.

Basically, I had what was provided. BUT, I asked what was wrong with this picture? No answer, they didn't understand my question. So, I reminded them that I use Ancestry Hints 90% of the time. I said that Ancestry searches far better than I do.

For some reason, the notion of DAR caught my attention when I read the statement to the class again, and talked (again) about the National Park Service, Soldier and Sailor website, for Searching for Civil War solders and Fold3 for Military records in General. One of the new students didn't know about Fold3, so we went there looking for Uriah F. Stephens Jr., the father-in-law. I mentioned that I browse Fold3, normally, and demonstrated that. BUT one of the questions browsing was a "location". We did not have a specific location, but that he was born in Connecticut. There was NO result in the Browsing of the Revolutionary War, so I did a Search, and found a 20+ page Pension File. Is that our person? The class said "don't have enough information". (Class Star).

But "Uriah" reminded by about searching on Ancestry. I did not want to search for him on Ancestry, but another student has a good example. The Surname of Jones, 50 Million Records. So I dropped Jones and put in "Omar" for the Firstname. Only 10 Million records. Who knew. What else can we do to get from 10,000,000 down to something manageable. What was his occupation ? "Minister". The search results went to 0 (Zero). (I had cheated and marked that entry as Exact). Demonstrated the Ancestry Search Slider bars, when I asked where Omar Jones was born or lived and entered Delaware, (or neighboring states). 5,000 hints, so we are moving in the right direction. The FIRST Hint, of the 5,000, was a World War I Draft Card. We looked at the Image and SAW (wait for it) "Minister". I reminded the class to read the information about the Records, to see what can be found, and what we are provided in the Transcription of that record. Occupation was not in what Ancestry Provided. Another lesson that I had not planned.

So, back to the problem at hand. Still thinking about the military aspect of the problem, I asked where else could I look. The DAR was the only answer. So, I asked "what about the SAR", Sons of the American Revolution. For grins and giggles, I searched for "Uriah Stephens" on Ancestry, but asked out "Stephens" was spelled. The correct answer was said by all "spelling doesn't count", so I entered the name that was provided.

Again, could NOT have planned the First Hint, a SAR Application Record.

Backing up to the beginning of the class, I had mentioned that I will probably NOT find "Sally" in any record, as it is an AKA. Right there on the application was "Sallie" (ok, spelling doesn't count). But the data what we already had, but close, and a lot of data we did not have, but it was clear that we had the right set of relationships.

On the 3rd page of the Application, was the information for the application came from a Revolutionary War Pension File. I wonder if that one we looked at earlier was THE application that was used for this SAR record.

Back to the image, from the AMT, I asked again what was wrong with that Image. Finally, they saw there John Ayers had NO HINTS. Everyone else, and the Wife's side of the tree also had lots of hints, but John had none.

The closing comment from the Class, specifically the person who asked the question to start with was

Maybe I have the wrong John Ayers

Class dismissed.

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Sunday, July 18, 2021

User Question - Next Release

Here is a question from a reader of this blog:

When is the next release of FTM going to be released? Don't want to buy FTM 2019 if new software will be release in the next year or so....

I have two answers.

1 - I have not clue, I am a user

2 - Why Wait ? Usually when a new version is made available, Software MacKiev, as previous developers, offer a "deal".

I don't know for sure, but there may be an update to FTM2019 in the works

Get FTM2019 NOW. 

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Reader Question - Adding Multiple People of a Family

Question from a Reader of this blog

Adding Multiple People of a Family:
Hey Russ, I am seeking a more streamlined method of entering a new family in FTM (2019) than one at a time. Specifically, when I find a census record with, e.g. a family of a couple with 10 children (or several families in one census), it is very labor intensive and time consuming to enter each person of each family into FTM software, especially the repetitive information, e.g. p.o.b. and source information, etc. My wish is that I could enter the entire family in something like an Excel spreadsheet and then import them in to FTM. Do you know of a smoother manner to enter such records?

I know of not easy way to do what you are asking.

However, The built in Web Merge Feature is how I deal with Census Records. I have blogged about this many times. This feature will Merge the Data from the Record, include Citations on each Fact included, and attach any media files to the Citation.

Hope that helps 

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Preparation for the 1950 US Census ==> Part 4 - Profile Review

Are you ready for the release of the 1950 US Federal Census ? Watch for this graphic, on this Blog, and DearMYRTLE's Blog and Facebook Groups as we will use this for the DearMYRTLE's CensusGenie branding.
This  blog will also carry this branding on the blog posts related to the CensusGenie project.

Profile Review
- Residence Fact - 04/01/1940
- SD, ED in Description ==> Changed to Use Citations
- Other Facts - Date on Census Page
- 1935 Residence - Description
- 1940 Residence - Notes
- URL to Record
- Research Log entry -- date - 1940 Census Reviewed
- ToDo - Need 1940 Census [ Hint ]
- ToDo - Preview 1950 - 1940 Census Reviewed
- ToDo - Complete / Low Only when ready

Future blog posts will demonstrate the Profile Reviews that I do, as well as information that I may need to locate.

I intend to provide links in the Blog to educational material that may be discussed in a Video.


Review of the Initial Filter (saved as 1950Census)
  • Include all persons
  • Filter Out: Death is before 1949
  • Filter Out: Birth is after 1950
  • Filter Out: Residence does not exist
  • Filter Out: Address does not exist
  • Filter Out: Birth is after 1940 - Added

1 - Preparation for the 1940 US Federal Census on this blog already, can be found in the "Census1940" Label. The 1950 CensusGenie series will use the "Census1950" Label on the Left Column of this blog, or search for "1940census" or "1950census".

Myrt as a Tab on her Website for easy access to this project.

The usual schedule will be:

Weekly - 7 Apr 2021 14 Apr 2021 21 Apr 2021 
Monthly - May 2021 -Feb 2022 Weekly - Mar 2022 
Daily - Apr 2022 until we get the hang of the indexing. 

3 - Register once for this recurring Zoom Meeting. 

Dates for upcoming will appear below. For the most recent dates, be sure to see DearMYRTLE's Calendar located here

2 Jun 2021 at 9pm Eastern.
21 Jul 2021
11 Aug 2021
8 Sept 2021
6 Oct 2021
3 Nov 2021
1 Dec 2021
5 Jan 2022
2 Feb 2022
2 Mar 2022
9 Mar 2022
16 Mar 2022
23 Mar 2022
30 Mar 2022

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Preparation for the 1950 US Census ==> Part 3 - FamilySearch 2.0 - Follow Up

Are you ready for the release of the 1950 US Federal Census ? Watch for this graphic, on this Blog, and DearMYRTLE's Blog and Facebook Groups as we will use this for the DearMYRTLE's CensusGenie branding.
This  blog will also carry this branding on the blog posts related to the CensusGenie project.

As a follow up to my last Blog Post: 

Preparation for the 1950 US Census ==> Part 3 - FamilySearch 2.0

I thought I would post some statistic from the review of the FamilySearch Matching:

  • 721 Profiles in Database
  • 196 Direct Descendants of the Home Person
  • 108 Profiles of the Direct Descendants with FamilySearch Matches
  • 14 of those already are showing Historical Records from FamilySearch
One thing that I noticed in reviewing this database, is that there are a number of this filtered list that did not have records from the 1940 US Federal Census. I understand why this specific database is like that, so my next task will get those 1940 Census Records into my database. I checked my Ancestry Hint list for that record set and I have 60+ profiles with hints for the 1940 Census.

Future blog posts will demonstrate the Profile Reviews that I do, as well as information that I may need to locate.

I intend to provide links in the Blog to educational material that may be discussed in a Video.


1 - Preparation for the 1940 US Federal Census on this blog already, can be found in the "Census1940" Label. The 1950 CensusGenie series will use the "Census1950" Label on the Left Column of this blog, or search for "1940census" or "1950census".

Myrt as a Tab on her Website for easy access to this project.

The usual schedule will be:

Weekly - 7 Apr 2021 14 Apr 2021 21 Apr 2021 
Monthly - May 2021 -Feb 2022 Weekly - Mar 2022 
Daily - Apr 2022 until we get the hang of the indexing. 

3 - Register once for this recurring Zoom Meeting. 

Dates for upcoming will appear below. For the most recent dates, be sure to see DearMYRTLE's Calendar located here

2 Jun 2021 at 9pm Eastern.
21 Jul 2021
11 Aug 2021
8 Sept 2021
6 Oct 2021
3 Nov 2021
1 Dec 2021
5 Jan 2022
2 Feb 2022
2 Mar 2022
9 Mar 2022
16 Mar 2022
23 Mar 2022
30 Mar 2022

Copyright © 2021 by Cousin Russ

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