Category Archives: How-to-do genealogy

Some Family Tree Software And On-line Options To Consider

Some Family Tree Software Options To Consider

May 16, 2018

Vicki’s note – Once you find several families in your family history, it is time to look into organizing them onto a computerized family tree.  Here is an update on some options that you may want to consider:

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From Ancestry.com Family Tree Maker FAQ

In 2016, Ancestry.com got out of the software business to concentrate on their database.  They sold their Family Tree Maker software to Software MacKiev.  There has been a transition to the new owner with Ancestry.com continuing support of Family Tree Maker support.  

It seemed that I did not hear a lot about a finished stable product,until I searched the Ancestry.com website for this information.  The beta testing is over and they worked closely with MacKiev to make sure there would still be the ability to upload, download, and sync Family Tree Maker to Ancestry.

Software MacKiev is using a new syncing technology incorporated into Family Tree Maker 2017, called FamilySync™. Family Tree Maker 2017 is now available for purchase on MacKiev.com. The new technology, FamilySync™by Software MacKiev, replaced Ancestry’s TreeSync®.

“What you should know:

  • On March 29, 2017, Ancestry and MacKiev permanently retired TreeSync.
  • FamilySync is available only in Software MacKiev’s Family Tree Maker 2017.
  • Family Tree Maker editions prior to 2017 are no longer able to sync with Ancestry trees, but older software is still usable as a standalone program.
  • Ancestry search, merge, and tree hints will continue to work in Family Tree Maker 2017.

How can I continue to connect Family Tree Maker to Ancestry?

You’ll need to upgrade to Family Tree Maker 2017. Family Tree Maker 2017 allows you to sync Ancestry trees, search Ancestry records, and receive Ancestry hints.

The features below are available in Family Tree Maker 2017:

  • Syncing your trees in Family Tree Maker to your Ancestry trees
  • Searching Ancestry’s databases and merging data into your tree
  • Viewing Ancestry hints
  • Uploading and downloading a trees
  • Web dashboard Information
  • The interactive map
  • Viewing sources on Ancestry

How can I purchase Family Tree Maker 2017?

Family Tree Maker 2017 for Mac and Windows is available for purchase by visiting MacKiev.com.

Do I need a new Ancestry subscription to use FTM 2017?

Any Ancestry subscription may be used with Family Tree Maker 2017.”

If you have an Ancestry.com subscription, you can build on-line family tree(s).  Once your subscription ends, you can no longer access your family tree to make additions or to edit it, until you pay for a new subscription.

“From https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/Differences-between-Ancestry-and-Family-Tree-Maker :

Ancestry is a website, and Family Tree Maker is software you install on your computer. Ancestry can be accessed only from web browsers (such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox) and (on mobile devices) the Ancestry app, while Family Tree Maker can be accessed even when a computer is not connected to the internet.

Though Family Tree Maker software works with Ancestry, Family Tree Maker is sold and supported by Software MacKiev.”

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From http://www.rootsmagic.com/ancestry/

RootsMagic and Ancestry: Working Together at Last

“Last year, we announced we were working with Ancestry® to integrate Ancestry Hints® and Ancestry’s records and online trees with our software. After months of development and the feedback of thousands of testers, we’re pleased to announce the release of RootsMagic 7.5, a free update to RootsMagic 7 that adds two amazing new features: TreeShare™ for Ancestry and the addition of Ancestry Hints to RootsMagic’s WebHints™ feature.

TreeShare for Ancestry

RootsMagic’s TreeShare for Ancestry will let you move data between your RootsMagic files on your computers and your personal Ancestry online trees. You can transfer people, events, notes, source citations, and even pictures between the two systems.

RootsMagic users also gain the ability to easily share and collaborate with others by giving family members access to their Ancestry online tree. Using the new TreeShare feature, family members can then synchronize the latest changes and additions to both the online tree and their desktop computers.

Ancestry Hints Integration

RootsMagic leverages the Ancestry Hints capability, and as possible matches are found, users may conveniently review them from within the software. RootsMagic then lets you add new information and media from matching records into your file.

Free RootsMagic Essentials Software

For those that are just starting their journey into the world of genealogy, RootsMagic offers “RootsMagic Essentials”- a free version of their software with a limited set of features tailored towards beginners.

If you have an account with Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials includes the ability to upload your file to Ancestry or download your existing online trees from Ancestry. If you are a subscriber to Ancestry, RootsMagic Essentials also allows you to search and view all of the content in your subscription. Those wishing to compare and transfer individual records between RootsMagic and Ancestry will want to use the full-featured RootsMagic software.”

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Here are some other Software products to record your family tree on:

LegacyFamilyTree.com – has a robust, free “Standard” computer software version, and the option for a paid “Deluxe” version.  I have used the basic free software, and decided to purchase the deluxe for the enhanced features.  Your Family Tree is not on-line.  MyHeritage.com and Legacy Family Tree have created a partnership (separate yet linked).  On LegacyFamilyTree, you can receive hints for MyHeritage.com, but can only see brief information without an additional subscription.

MyHeritage.com itself has a free basic (on-line) family tree (250 people) that you can create, with a full (on-line)family tree available as part of a subscription.

TribalPages.com is another free (on-line) family tree  – Family Tree Maker.  Others can only see it if you invite family and relatives to view or update your family tree website.

“Each ancestry project becomes its own private and secure website that can be loaded with photos, charts, reports, maps, relationships, events and stories. Just add names of your relatives & ancestors or import a GEDCOM file and instantly create your free family tree. Your site can create custom newsletters for each member with birthday and anniversary reminders, recent site activity and send them out every two weeks.”

You can share/copy your family tree to any of these by importing a GEDCOM file from any other site, and instantly create/duplicate your family tree.

FamilySearch.org is another on-line site where you can create a family tree.  It is my understanding that, not only is it on-line, but that anyone in the world can add/change “your” tree.  It is a shared tree.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints manages FamilySearch.org.  You can send in corrections for them to consider changing.

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Genealogy Facebook Groups

Vicki’s note: A posting from another source – If you have specific questions about genealogy or want on-going support – here is a list of Facebook (usually closed) groups that you can ask to join:

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Genealogy on Facebook List

By Katherine R. Wilson.

“Katherine R. Willson of Ann Arbor, MI is a highly acclaimed and nationally-known public speaker. She gives keynote addresses & conference presentations, facilitates workshops & seminars, and conducts training on many varied topics within genealogy, military family life and art.

 

Download the 337 page PDF file containing 11,700+ links (updated in November 2017) to English-speaking Facebook groups & pages related to genealogy & history here:

“Genealogy on Facebook” List

Please note that the first section of the list is a clickable table of contents – if you click on the country you’re interested it, you’ll be immediately directed to that portion of the list.  Also note that the links within the list are clickable and will take you directly to that page or group.

To be notified each time the list is updated, please “like” my professional Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SocialMediaGenealogy.org.

Gail Dever has a broader Canadian list that includes French-speaking groups & pages, and that can be downloaded at Facebook for Canadian Genealogy.  Alona Tester has an Australian list that can be downloaded at Facebook for Australian History & Genealogy.”

Another Chance to Get Training on How to Use Familysearch.org – Saturday March 3, 2018

Another Chance to Get Training on How to Use Familysearch.org – Saturday March 3, 2018

3-1-2018

Vicki Ruthe Hahn

I just got this notification:

WBCGS Winnebago & Boone Counties Genealogical Society will be having a meeting Saturday, March 3, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. at the Spring Creek United Church of Christ, 4500 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, Illinois, free to all.  (Directions Here.)

The program is on Familysearch.org, by Lori Bessler, Reference Librarian at WHS Wisconsin Historical Society Library.  Lori does a nice job training on genealogy topics.  It will be worth the drive down to Rockford, IL.

Here is your chance if you missed the snowed out (Feb. 9) and rescheduled (Feb. 16) Stateline Genealogy Club @ Beloit Public Library program on How to Use Familysearch.org, by Nancy Ritter.  We really learned a lot, and even practiced afterwards by setting up our own Family Trees on the Computer Class computers, with Nancy’s help.

The most interesting thing that I learned was that all of the family trees are held in common, and contributed to by users – similar to a wikipedia.  Users that make corrections put in a source or reason (i.e. “personal knowledge”, etc.) for why they change information on any person already listed on the website.  FamilySearch.org monitors any difficulties in doing that.

FamilySearch.org is a free site with access to many sources.  You can search there, even if you decide that you don’t want to create/add to a family tree.

Nancy Ritter is available for further help, and to use research databases  at the Beloit Family History Center.

 

 

Take a free on-line 6-week genealogy class through Gale Courses

 

Take a free on-line 6-week genealogy class

through Gale Courses

2-28-2018

Vicki’s note – Take a free class if you have a Beloit Public Library card or any Rock County Library card.  This is a new benefit of  Arrowhead Library System, part of the ShareLibraries.info group, and is due to a recent increase in state funds.  Gale Courses are on genealogy, and many basic computer classes, etc.

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Use your library card to take a free 6-week genealogy class through Gale Courses – a service of your Rock County public Library. New classes start monthly.

The next

Genealogy Basics class starts March 14, 2018.

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Tracing your family’s history is a fascinating journey. Who will you discover? Genealogy Basics will help you understand the genealogy research process and the way we interpret the information we find. This course guides you through the search process for family names using several subscription-based Web sites, which you can access while you’re enrolled in the class. Along the way, you’ll learn through hands-on examples that help you dig deeper into your family’s past. You’ll develop a strategy to accomplish your objectives, evaluate the results, and share that information with others. You’ll discover, in simple terms, where to look, who to contact, and how to make your family history come alive. Was it truth or goof? Where’s the proof? Find out why close counts not only in horseshoes, but also in hunting your heritage.

About The Instructor

Bob Moyer is a college instructor, graphic designer, and technical writer. Bob has degrees in education, business, and Civil Engineering. He has over 12 years of experience as an instructor and has developed genealogy courses for several colleges. His passion for research and family history has resulted in several genealogy-related books and speaking engagements.

This course will be facilitated by Megan Churchwell. Megan has a personal interest in genealogy, and has built an extensive family tree on Ancestry.com, tracing some branches of her family back as early as the 1400s. Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in History and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies. Her day job is Curator at a U.S. Navy museum, where she often assists researchers in tracing the military records of their ancestors.

 

There are other classes as well:

 

 

More than 365 engaging, online, instructor-led courses focused on professional development, technology skills, and personal enrichment that are informative, convenient, and highly interactive. Courses run for six weeks, with two new lessons released weekly (for a total of 12), and new sessions begin monthly. The courses are entirely web-based with comprehensive lessons, quizzes, and assignments–many of which are optional. Dedicated professional instructors, who are professionals in their fields, coordinate every course by pacing learners, answering questions, giving feedback, and facilitating discussions.

• Enroll in as many classes you like, as often as you like

• Pass the final exam on the first try and receive a certificate of completion

• Repeat classes if you want

• No penalty for not completing a course, simply stop logging in to your classroom

• Some courses are accredited as continuing education credits

Welcome to Gale Courses!

Gale Courses offers a wide range of highly interactive, instructor led courses that you can take entirely online.   As a library card holder in good standing, you are entitled to these courses at no cost. Courses run for six weeks and new sessions begin every month.

How to Enroll:

1. Find courses by browsing through the categories on the left of your screen or by using the search bar above.  Click “Enroll Now” next to the course of your choice.

2. Select your course start date and click “Continue.”

3. Create a free Gale Courses account, or sign in to an existing ed2go account.

  • New Students – Enter your email address in the New Student area and click “Create Account.” Complete the “Account and Student Information” page and then click “Continue.”
  • Returning Students – Enter your account email and password and then click “Sign In.”

You will use your Gale Courses account email and password to log in to the My Classroom area to view your lessons once your session begins.

4. Enter your library barcode in the box labeled Submit.  Then click “Use Library Card” to complete your enrollment.

IMPORTANT!

Students who have enrolled in a course must log in and view lessons one and two within 13 days after the start date of the course, or they will be automatically dropped.

Students who are dropped from a course will be able to enroll in the course during a later session.

https://education.gale.com/l-arrowhead/

 

ALS NEWS


Gale Courses

Due to an increase in state funding for libraries, Arrowhead Library System has added a new lifelong learning service to its offerings by purchasing a systemwide subscription to Gale Courses.

Gale Courses provides six-week online programs taught by college instructors who are experts in their field to library card holders at no cost to the patron. The 365+ classes offered cover an astounding variety of topics, which can be narrowed down into three broad areas of focus: Professional Development, Technology Skills, and Personal Enrichment. A large percentage of course offerings are tied to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ fastest-growing occupations positioning our libraries to help our patrons meet demand for top workplace skills and drive economic development in our own communities.

ALS officially launched GALE Courses on February 5, 2018, with press releases, in-library signage, and a social media blitz. Statistics collected on February 28 reveal Rock County library patrons have enrolled in more than 181 classes, representing a commitment to more than 4,344 hours of continued learning.

More information:

“Cenotaph” – Genealogy Word for The Day.

“Cenotaph” – Genealogy Word for The Day.

Vicki Ruthe Hahn

February 9, 2018

Your ancestor may have more than one FAG FindAGrave.com memorial ID #.  You would add an (Alternate) Alt. Burial event to record the second memorial ID numbers/location.  It may be that FAG needs to merge 2 records, or (a common situation) is that a person will be buried in one place and have a Cenotaph in another location.  I had not really heard of that term before.

 Here is the Wikipedia definition for all of us –

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cenotaph

” Cenotaph – A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire.”

 

 

Here is further information from FAG FindAGrave.com about how they use cenotaphs-

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“A cenotaph is a marker within a cemetery placed in honor of a person whose remains are buried elsewhere. It may also be the original marker for someone who has since been reinterred elsewhere. To add a cenotaph, create a memorial. Then email edit@findagrave.com with a link to the memorial and request to have the memorial designated a cenotaph. Only add relationship links to the actual burial memorial when both a cenotaph and actual burial exist.”

So to find the family relationship links in FAG, we would look at the actual burial memorial ID# , not the cenotaph memorial ID# .

 

Here is another variation of a cenotaph, and a personal example – my Great-grandmother:

Minerva Christiana “Crissie” Shultz

1867–1950

Birth 3 APRIL 1867 Mayberry, Montour, Pennsylvania, United States

Death AFT JULY 1950 Elyria, Lorain, Ohio, USA

Burial

abt 1950Unknown

The headstone (in Sharp Ridge Cemetery, Montour County, Pennsylvania,USA) with her husband (Henry A. Bennett) has her birth date, but not her death date. She may not be buried there, but near where she died in Elyria, Ohio while living with her sister.

I have not been able to pinpoint Crissie’s exact date of death, nor where she is buried. My Mom just knows it was in late 1950 after July. My parents had just moved to a new place in Illinois with a very little baby, and did not go to her Grandmother’s Pennsylvania? Ohio? funeral.

This headstone would probably be a cenotaph, but we don’t know for sure.  My Mom might have remembered better before memory loss set in.  She is the last one of her family generation.  None of the genealogy-searching cousins have any idea either.  A cautionary tale – ask your relatives while they can still tell you.

Crissie headstone

Interpreting what it says on a death certificate

Interpreting what it says on a death certificate

February 3, 2018

Vicki’s note – some helpful genealogical links that can help you interpret what it says on a death certificate. The death code numbers make the cause of death clear if you can’t read  the Doctor’s handwriting.  I got the link to Will Moneymaker’s AncestralFinding.com article from Facebook postings that I get. You can sign up for a  free on-line newsletter:

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International List of Causes of Death, Revision 3 (1920):

195 Lightning

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International Classification of Diseases    http://www.wolfbane.com/icd/index.html

(Tells what the 3 digit code of disease means, if you cannot read what disease/cause of death is written on the ancestor’s death certificate.)

Rootsweb Genealogists, who seem to be willing to answer any question. https://www.facebook.com/groups/17834741205/

 

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Death Records Research

Death Certificates: Your Doorway to Your Ancestor’s Life

https://ancestralfindings.com/death-certificates-doorway-ancestors-life/

“It might seem strange that a death certificate, which is a document of an ending, could be the beginning of your journey into your ancestor’s life. However, a death certificate can hold a wealth of information that either directly tells you things about your ancestor that you didn’t know, or points you to where you can find more substantial and important information. You’ve got to study the death certificate closely, though. Don’t skim over or ignore any line. Each line on the certificate has the potential to tell you something useful about your ancestor. Here are the top things you should be examining (but again, remember not to ignore any line)…”

Marital Status, Full Name, Names and Birthplaces of Parents, Informant, Cause of Death, Name of the Attending Physician, Method of Disposal, Place of Burial, and Name of the Undertaker.

Will Moneymaker founded Ancestral Findings back in 1995. He has been involved in genealogy research for over 20 years. The thrill of the hunt, the adventure, and the excitement begin when he started investigating the meaning of his surname. Why I Love Genealogy (And You Should, Too!)

FamilySearch.org “Homework” for Stateline Genealogy Club Program February 9, 2018

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Finding Elusive Records on FamilySearch

Relatives Around Me

Citing Derivative Genealogy Sources

Citing Derivative Genealogy Sources

Vicki’s note – excerpts from an article by Michele Simmons Lewis below.  Read her entire article by clinking on the title link. The book that she mentions is one of several genealogy abstracts/index books from southern states. Southern Historical Press, Inc. Genealogical Book Publisher:

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The Abstract Trap

Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage.

A derivative source is defined as:

“materials that offer alternate versions of the original—typically transcripts, translations, abstracts, extracts, nutshells, indexes, and database entries. The best derivatives will preserve all the essential details of the original. Still, errors are frequent.(emphasis mine) [1]

Some of the common derivative works are cemetery surveys, marriage abstracts, deed abstracts and will abstracts. These can be in book form, published in a periodical, or in some sort of online database. I want to alert you to a specific trap that I don’t want to you fall into when working with these types of sources. …

One of the books I have in my private library is Marion County, Mississippi Miscellaneous Records. I like this book because it has all kinds of court abstracts…

So what is my source for the evidence contained in this will? Some researchers will cite Marion County, Mississippi Will Book A, page 70-71 and that is the trap. Your source is not the original will book but rather it is the book of abstracts, Marion County, Mississippi Miscellaneous Records. You can’t cite the Will Book unless you actually viewed it yourself. The best-case scenario is to obtain a copy of the will from the will book so that you can analyze it yourself. If you do, you can then cite the will. If not, you need to cite the abstract book…

Free Family History/Genealogy Forms & Charts from The Family Historian.com

January 21, 2018

Vicki’s note – click on the link below to download free forms that you can edit.  I trust this source.  The Family Historian Warwick Lyons will send you updated versions of the fillable Family History/Genealogy Forms & Charts , and tutorials on how to fill them in, by email if you want to subscribe (at no cost.)  You can unsubscribe from email updates at any time.

Fillable Versions of Your Forms and Charts Now Available by clicking this link –

The Family Historian.com

100% FREE and TOTALLY EDITABLE
Family History and Genealogy Forms and Charts

 

Genealogical DNA Testing Not Perfect!

Genealogical DNA Testing Not Perfect!

Vicki’s note – Here is a partial transcript of a NPR National Public Radio broadcast from Gisele Grayson  – Senior Producer, Science Desk explaining how DNA tests can be “inaccurate” and how different companies can have different results.  You can read the entire transcript linked below, or listen to it.

This may be a partial explanation/answer of Kim Caswell’s DNA questions and dissatisfaction about her MyHeritage DNA test results.  Kim brings up some valid considerations and cautions on getting and interpreting DNA tests for genealogy.

It is always a good idea to always be careful in what we do with Genealogical information that we discover, including DNA testing.  Remember that we only get 1/2 of  each parent’s genes, and any siblings get their own variation of 1/2.  So it is wise to have several people in your family tested if possible to get comparisons, and to get tests at more than one company if you can afford it. 

OR maybe not?  Read the NPR article to help you decide if it is worth it to you.

 

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“Friday, 19 January, 2018

Comment: Hello Everyone,
I have been away from Gen. Club and the blog for far too long but I feel I need to post this warning.
My husband got me the MyHeritage DNA kit for my birthday, I got my results and they are bogus.
First of all, my results came back titled ” Kimberly Buetow’s Ethnicity Estimate”. I never, anywhere, gave my maiden name – they should not have been able to know that. And why come back with my maiden name and not the name I put on the paperwork anyway? Then I got to thinking… at one point I started a family tree search using my maiden name. That could be the only place that they got the name from.
Then I get an email saying they located DNA matches. Surprisingly all the names can be found on MyHeritage web site. Not one name they gave me matches anything I have uncovered. I have been working on my ancestry nearly 30 yrs. with the assistance of actual hand written letters, diaries, journals and verified documents and records handed down through family members going back to as early as 1549. Every one of my grandparents, g-grandparents and back to 4x G-grandparents were born in cities and villages in Germany, Prosen and Prussia but the results say I am 21.2% Polish and the map does show Poland. BUT – many years ago, Poland was Prussia and a part of Germany.

It also says I am 1.1% Nigerian. When I spoke with a contact person I was told that basically every one of us has some African DNA. I’m sorry, bull.
Therefore, I believe people are getting false or misleading results because they are going by what some or many places are called today, not what they once were. Many people are not aware of name or country changes so will take results at face value.
It is my opinion that this will lead many down a false path in their genealogical searches.
SO – after all this rambling – I just want everyone to be very careful in the paths they follow after receiving DNA results.

Kim Caswell”

 

Click here for the following NPR full article.

 

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My Grandmother Was Italian. Why Aren’t My Genes Italian?

 

“Maybe you got one of those find-your-ancestry kits over the holidays. You’ve sent off your awkwardly-collected saliva sample and now you’re awaiting your results. If your experience is anything like that of me and my mom, you may find surprises — not the dramatic “switched at birth,” but results that are really different than you expected….

Last fall, we sent away to get our DNA tested by Helix, the company that works with National Geographic. Mom’s results: 31 percent from Italy and Southern Europe. That made sense because of her Italian mother. But my Helix results didn’t even have an “Italy and Southern European” category. How could I have 50 percent of Mom’s DNA and not have any Italian? We do look alike, and she says there’s little chance we were switched at birth.

We decided to get a second opinion and sent away to another company, 23andMe. We opened our results together and were just as surprised. This time, I at least had a category for southern Europe. But Mom came back as 25 percent southern European, me only 6 percent. And the Italian? Mom had 11.3 percent to my 1.6. So maybe the first test wasn’t wrong. But how could I have an Italian grandmother and almost no Italian genes?…”