Friday, March 31, 2017

Things to Do While Waiting for the Release of Family Tree Maker 2017 on March 31, 2017

originally posted: March 31, 2017 at 4:58 p.m. ET, I fixed a couple errors
Patiently Waiting.

1. Remember there are 24 hours in each and every day including March 31, 2017.

2. Sleep in  that used up a few of those hours.

3. Do some of those non-fun aspects of genealogy.

  • Clean up your work area
  • Corral those dust bunnies and relocate them to "File 13."
  • Organize those paper files and while doing that re-read them — who knows you might learn something you forgot, or something might click with what you know now.
  • Organize your electronic files but be careful of those files linked in genealogy programs.

4. Bring up five browser windows and keep hitting refresh so you know what is going on.

  • MacKiev's Family Tree Maker FaceBook page (you don't have to be a FaceBook member to take a look)
  •'s Face Book page (ditto above)
  • MacKiev's Family Tree Maker Support Page FTM 2017 FAQ page
  •'s Blog post on the change happening just to keep an eye those comments
  • Your email where the email to the Family Tree Maker 2017 download should appear. Keep hitting refresh/check mail.

    Nope. Nothing yet.

5. If you have not updated your Research Log lately now is a great time to do so. Heck, it's a good time to start one. What have you found and where? What do you want to look for and where?

6. Have an early dinner with the family. You got to talk to them sometime, now is a good time to catch up.

7. Refresh those browser tabs. Nope nothing yet.

8. Remember patience. There are 1,440 minutes in a day. And that the first time does not always go smoothly. Remember being a kid and those party games? The first in line did not always do the best. Those who came after got to see/learn how to do the task better. So let us all exercise patience and not beat up Software MacKiev  the company saved Family Tree Maker after a whole big lot of us shouted out and expressed our feelings for the program.

9. Write a letter or email an elderly relative questions about what they remember and about themselves. We are all supposed to do this, interview our elders, but how many of us have done this?

10. Take a walk, try number 4 again. If negative then repeat from number 1.

Got to run, I am trying number 6. Wonder where we are going.

©2017 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Belated Update 2017: How Many Ancestors Do You Know? Count Your Genealogy Numbers

For the last few years I have been Counting My Genealogy Numbers in January but as you can see it is now March  I am a little behind schedule. I have not worried about doing this task too much because my 2017 numbers did not change from last year, 2016.

I have had a few inquiries about my Genealogy Numbers Form lately. Yes this form can be shared with others but the proper way to share it is to share the URL address to this blog or to the specific blog post containing the form. (You can find the form on my 2014 numbers post.) Please do not just physically share the Genealogy Number Form file (doc file) via email or your own website or distribute it via printed copies because I have not given anyone that permission. I'm simply saying tell them about it by sharing the URL address or linking to this blog/website. And that way each person can download the file for their own personal use, and I can get an idea of how many people are using the form.

Okay back to the form. Now this is not a who has the most "cards" or people in our genealogy program scenario. But rather a look at how many direct ancestors do you know in each generation where you know a first and last name OR at least a first name AND that you have some documentation to go with that linking generation to generation.
My Genealogy Numbers Form

This is the fourth year I have counted "My Genealogy Numbers." You can find my 2014 numbers2015 numbers and 2016 numbers at their respective posts.

The reality is that very, very few -- if any of us -- will have all 100% results all the way back through the generations. Natural disasters, people, and a simple lack of recording information have a way of keeping us from the answers we seek. But still we try.

So did I learn anything or find any new direct ancestors since last year? No.

My Genealogy Numbers are still exactly where they were one year and a couple months ago. Illnesses, surgeries, and other stuff in life in 2016 made little time for researching those end of liners that usually require a research trip to a specific document-rich location, or renting of microfilm for documents that are not digitized yet and might never be digitized.

My Genealogy Numbers at the start of 2017, exactly the same as the start of 2016.
So how did I do this year with my Genealogy Numbers?

Well they did not change so let us say neutral  neither a positive or negative event. As a recap from last year "My Overall Identified Ancestors Total and Overall Percentage" stands at 229 and .70% going back to my fifteenth generation or 12th great grandparents level. Most others have been comparing their numbers at the 10th generation level and in that case my numbers are -- 193 ancestors out of 1023 total or an 18.87% standing.

I made the form I use is in Microsoft Word and it will automatically calculate the percentages with a right-click of the mouse. You can find my form and learn how to count your genealogy numbers on my 2014 Genealogy Numbers postNow I did not come up with this fun exercise, I simply made a form that will do the math for me and save me time.

I still would like the genealogy angels/fairies if they are reading this to help with a few third-great grandparents so I can fill out the sparse areas of my tree but I would not say no to more cousins testing their DNA like descendants of Vincent families of early 1800s Hastings and Prince Edward Counties in Ontario, Canada; Rider of mid-1700s and later Dutchess County, New York; and Dunham of 1700s and later in Connecticut and Dutchess County, New York. Hazzard descendants have been rolling in nicely and it is looking very promising so thank you genealogy angels/fairies. While I got your attention, maybe some of those German lines of mine too if it is not too much. DNA testers who match on any of my lines might help my numbers by perhaps giving me clues as to where to concentrate my searches.

Good results with your research everyone in the coming year!

©2017 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Getting Digitally Organized? Be Cautious with Files Linked in your Genealogy Programs

Note: This post was inspired by a very recent email I sent to a cousin. After my initial email response to her email catch-up and questions I realized that anyone's digital files already linked in a genealogy program are going to cause problems if you decide to rename or move them. Realizing this after a big digital organization project might be classified as devastating. This is essentially the email I sent but with pictures to illustrate what I describe.

Dear Cousin

I am glad to hear my last post made you think of organizing your digital genealogy files but I realized the next day I should warn you that once you decide on a method, you need to exercise caution with your files that are already linked in genealogy programs like Family Tree Maker. If you change a file name or the location of a file in your operating system environment where you see your documents folder and downloads folder, etc., your genealogy program’s established link to that file may be broken.
Manage your media files in
Family Tree Maker's Media Workspace.

How do you avoid that?

File Names: For those files with established links in your genealogy program (Family Tree Maker in our case) you usually need to change the file name from within the genealogy program. That way the file gets renamed and the link does not break. (Yes, you will see it does change the file name in the operating environment not just in FTM.)

Open your FTM file and go to the Media Workspace. (Workspaces are that top tool bar in the FTM interface window.) In the Media Workspace, locate the file you want to rename and select it.
Right-click a file to quickly access the Media Menu.

Right-click on that file’s image icon and a floating menu comes up. Select Rename Media File. In the small dialog box that appears, type the file’s new name and click OK to save the new name. You will see in the Media Workspace that the file name was changed.

The dialog box for renaming a file. Just type and OK.
The file name changes in FTM and your operating environment.
If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with shortcuts like the right-clicks, an alternate way is to go to Media Workspace, click on the file image icon you want to change then go to the Media Menu and select Rename Media File from that menu. Type a new file name and click OK. (The Menus are located in the upper left of the FTM window in a Menu tool bar just below the Workspaces tool bar.)
Or access the Media Menu from the Menu tool bar.

Moving Files: Now if you are simply moving a file that has an established link in FTM, be aware that it is a multi-step process. After you have moved the file in the operating environment, then you will have to open your FTM file, go to the Media Menu and select Find Missing Media.

Access Find Missing Media from the Media Menu in the menu
tool bar or by shortcut right-click in the Media Workspace.

You use Find Missing Media to tell FTM where a file was moved. You can either have FTM look for the missing files by itself (automatically) or do it manually yourself.

Two cautions to be aware of when using Finding Missing Media.

  • If you have more than one copy of a file kept in more than one place on your hard drive you will want to manually locate the missing file so ensure FTM links to the file in the correct location. Otherwise, it links for the first copy it finds which might not be the one you want.
  • Whether manually or automatically locating missing files, make sure the Attach Copy or Attach Link is set to how you want it to behave before you start finding the missing media. Attach Copy will make a copy of the file once found and put it into your FTM file's FTM Media folder and link to that copy it just made. (It leaves the file it found where it was found.) Attach Link will simply re-establish the link to the file in that location where the file was found. (Unfortunately Attach Copy is the default and there is not a quick way to change all selected missing files to Attach Link instead of Attach Copy in one step. Each missing file has to be manually switched to Attach Link before you search for missing files (automatically or manually) and that can get tedious.

Do you want to make a copy to link to OR link to the original?
File Names and Moving Files: If you want to do both to a file, I strongly suggest you do not change the name in the operating environment and move the file at the same time because doing both at the same time makes it difficult to re-do the link in FTM. (What did I call it and where did I move it?) Either change the name in FTM first and then in the operating environment move the file and go back into FTM to find that now missing media. Or move the file in operating environment, then in FTM find the missing media first to fix the link and then once found rename the media file while in FTM.

If a file is not already linked in FTM (or another program) than you can do all (rename and move at the same time) in the operating environment. It is just once it is linked by something (a genealogy program or another program that links to files) you have to be careful.

Take care and good luck in your organization effort. I'm still working on mine.

©2017 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Tip/Reminder for Finding Newspaper Dates and Page Numbers

One of my favorite digitized newspaper websites is the website which if you do not know is run by just one very competent man, Tom Tryniski. Though a little quirky, FultonHistory has digitized, searchable newspapers mostly for New York but there are some for Pennsylvania, a few other states and even Canada; and the site is free but you can donate to support the site. Seven years ago FultonHistory enabled me to track down an entire collateral branch of my family from the late 1700s up to the early 1900s.

At that time I guess I was more into the fun part of genealogy ... the researching and the chase for answers. I entered the names, information and some source information into my genealogy program at the time to keep track of things as I went but did not do the sourcing as we do nowadays. From just two probate ads (one of which I learned of from a mailing list post mentioning a familiar name) I ended up tracing all the descendants of ten of eleven children using the newspapers and other traditional genealogy records. Two additional probate ads found a year or so later on FultonHistory solved the eleventh child whose line I followed to modern day and all I had prior to work with was "married a southern woman and went south." (Remember always go back and re-do searches to see if something new has been added since your last visit.)

For the last year I have been slowly getting "past found" information into my current genealogy program with proper citation. One step of this process is making sure my digital files are named properly which for me means they follow a standard naming pattern  one that works for me.

And so I find myself now revisiting those hundreds of PDF files saved at the time of that great 2010 research adventure. Many of the files have most of the components of how I wish to name a newspaper page/clipping file but these components are not necessarily in the order I finally decided works best for me.
Newspapers with file names
not following my final newspaper name format of

That said, there are many that are missing the publication date and/or page number. Some of this missing information is due to me working too fast and not insuring I included it while sometimes the information is really missing from the saved page. Simply opening each file confirms each file's situation. In this case, it was about 50 percent my fault; 50 percent just not there. Honestly, I was not looking forward to figuring out publication dates and/or page numbers for those 50 percent not there files that I could not resolve just by opening the file.

If you have never taken a look at the help page for I strongly suggest you do. Besides an explanation of the site, there are a plethora of search tips to help you. One search tip in particular has helped me greatly with the task of revisiting my many PDF files to determine the publication date and page number. While Tom does have a video of how to do this, here is how I applied the tip to my task at hand.

Since I have a large number of files to go through, I opened FultonHistory in two browser tabs. The first browser tab is to re-locate the newspaper page(s) I'm working with by either searching for a single result or multiple results for a person. The second browser tab is to perform a second search to bring up all files for a specific newspaper/year(s) so that I can easily move to the page(s) earlier in an issue to locate the missing information.

A search to find back a specific search result.
For this example, in the first browser tab I did a search for "Harvey Marvin" 1845 and then looked for the result in the New York NY Tribune to find back the search result for a previously saved file. I thought of writing this post after I had worked on these files for a while so I do not have a screen capture of the file name from back in 2010. If I recall correctly the file name had a bunch of percent symbols in it but I could make out the paper name, a year and luckily I had added the person/subject to the end of the file name.

Now to do Tom's trick. He has named each newspaper page with a standardized wording and numbered each page sequentially starting with the first page of the first issue available for the year to the last page of the last issue available for each year. The standardized wording may indicate a specific year or range of years. Having done this it is possible for us to do a search for a specific paper and time period. But putting in a paper name and a specific year does not usually work on this site.
Copy the PDF file name for your search result match.

So for this example, I copy the PDF file name New York NY Tribune 1845 June - Oct Grayscale - 0085.pdf for the page result I sought.
Search 2 in the second browser window using the file name
in quotes but without the file number and file extension.
PDF files in sequential order.

Over in the second browser tab in the FultonHistory search query panel, I type a quote mark then paste the newspaper page file name just copied, delete the file number and file extension from the copied file name (0085.pdf) and then type a quote mark. Thus I end up with "New York NY Tribune 1845 June - Oct Grayscale - " in the query box. This is the standardized wording for this batch of newspaper pages. Then in the search options below the query box, I change Sort type from "hits" which I think is the default to "name" before clicking the search button. Doing this last step produces a results list in sequential order starting with the lowest number file and the newspaper pages in order of how they appeared from the beginning of the time period to the end of the time period covered.

After locating your page, easily move to earlier pages in the issue.
Now I locate the specific page file I want which if you remember was 0085. And as you can see in the image I can now easily select the prior page in that specific paper and learn the page I had saved was page two of that issue. You only have to move pages forward (or backward) far enough to where you can read the information (publication date or page number) and determine what would be your page's missing data.

If the article in your page result was continued on the next page, you simply copy the PDF file name to the search query box and change the file number to the next number, for example change 0085 to 0086 to easily get the following page.

With the missing information now found, I can then adjust my file name to include all the information I require for my newspaper page/clipping file names. Which is the publication date in numbers meaning Year Month Day so 1845 June 24 as 18450624 immediately followed by the newspaper name with an underscore p# underscore for the page number followed immediately by LastnameFirst or the subject of the article. So my revised file name is 18450625NewYorkTribune_p2_MarvinHarvey.pdf in this case and I now have details preserved for my source citation.

The revised file name with all information present.
Using the two browser tabs I think helps whether you are searching for the first time or trying to relocate previous finds. The first tab preserves your initial search results so you do not have to keep repeating the same search to move on in the results list while the second tab lets you take a moment to find that pesky missing information like page numbers.

There is an alternative method, manually finding the newspaper on a list and then scrolling thru pages of files to locate your page but I found those pages harder to read due to the type used on the graphics and on the subsequent pages with the file names. Thus this method seemed slower to use.

So do take some time to look over that help page because it can help. And do go back and repeat searches you have done in the past to see what has been added since. And, of course, try this tip.

Oh, those initial two probate ads I located that turned out to be a goldmine? I did that search again the other day and discovered a newspaper page added sometime in the last seven years which reported that probate was said to be the largest number of relatives to be cited in a single probate in the history of that county's probates. I believe it. And no there was not a great fortune to be had by those relatives. Supposedly it took just three years to get to the final settlement. Her uncle's probate (those other two probate ads I found about a year later) still was not settled at that time and he died about thirty years prior to her. And again there was no great fortune. Well, for them I mean because for me ... goldmine.

Hopefully you are not discounting those collateral relatives in your research, especially those with no direct (spouse or children) heirs, because they can be goldmines of information. 

©2017 All Rights Reserved, goneresearching. All text and photos in this post are copyrighted & owned by me (goneresearching) unless indicated otherwise. No republication (commercial or non-commercial) without prior permission. You may share (tell others) of this blog as long as you give credit and link to this site (not by downloading or copying any post). Thank you.