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

Print Friendly