Preparing for Ancestry Sync

TMG –> RootsMagic Cleanup

Randy Seaver recently discussed the upcoming ability of RootsMagic to sync with Ancestry and what he is and isn’t doing to prepare for that in his blog post, “Dear Randy: What are you doing to prepare for the RootsMagic program sync with your Ancestry family tree?” While reading Randy’s blog, I realized that I was in the middle of such a preparation with my work on my census facts.

My genealogy data was migrated from The Master Genealogist version 9 to RootsMagic. When I selected The Master Genealogist (around version 4 or earlier), it was because I wanted something that allowed me to add citations for each event. Thru the TMG community, I developed my research and documentation skills. I also applied several TMG ‘hacks’ — especially if they helped visualize the events in someone’s life.

tmgcensusOne of those ‘hacks’ was a modification to the census tag developed by Terry Reigel. It took me some time to implement this hack, but once completed, it allowed me to see the family in the timeline for the head of the household.

Since RootsMagic would not handle the ‘split sentences’ in the census-head or census-enum tags, I did have to modify the sentences. I was able to do this in TMG prior to the migration. Because, I liked how the census tags worked, I did not modify them in TMG but let them migrate into RootsMagic as custom event (fact) types.

As I began to learn to use RootsMagic with Family Search, I realized that my custom fact types were not lining up with the corresponding fact type on Family Search. Since the tree on Family Search is a community tree, I’m very hesitant about making changes – but also want to see more documentation for my ancestors. Thus, the conflict — my custom fact types would ‘foul up’ the Family Search tree but the census records have not been sourced. Because of that conflict, I decided to figure out how to revert my custom fact types (census-head and census-enum) to the standard type.

Knowing that there wasn’t an easy way to do this from within RootsMagic I turned to the SQLite Tools for RootsMagic community. There, I found directions on how to setup SQLiteSpy so that it would read and modify the tables in the RootsMagic database. Once I had this software downloaded and correctly configured, I used the SQL script, Facts – Change Fact Type to change all of my census-head and census-enum fact types to the standard census fact type. Since this SQL script directly modifies the database, I copied the database and worked with the copy FIRST. That allowed me to make sure the script was doing what I wanted without the danger of corrupting my data. Once I knew it was working, I backed up the data and then ran the script on the original copy of the data.

After running the script, the census citations in my RootsMagic database lined up with any census citations on Family  Search. Step one accomplished!

Besides changing the custom fact type to the standard, I had two other potential issueds with my census facts. The first involved the sentences. It appears that what was in the memo field in TMG was dumped into the note field in RootsMagic while the sentences pull the information from the description field. Thus, all of the information I had entered about the individual wasn’t being pulled for the sentence. Since almost all of my census facts had witnesses associated with each fact, individual reports and web output was showing extra sentences/facts for other members of the household.

So, my next step was to move the info in the note field to the description field while also removing any witnesses. Since I couldn’t get the SQL scripts for this process to work (they do exist), I resorted to doing this one person at a time. With over 10,000 census entries this is no small task. I started with my ancestors who were living in 1850 and worked thru their descendants. However, I’ve been researching several neighbors and other potentially connected families and their descendants. Thus, I needed some sort of report that would help me know who was left to do.

The SQLite Tools for RootsMagic came thru again! On their site, I found a link to the “People who share a fact with a principal list” script. This particular script just creates a list, it doesn’t modify the database. However, the script must be run with the RootsMagic database closed. I have the script saved in my SQL directory. Each time I want to run it, I open the script with Notepad and then copy and paste it into SQLiteSpy. Once executed, the script will create a list. I copy the info in that list and paste it into a blank Excel spreadsheet. That way, I can close SQLiteSpy and open RootsMagic and still have a list to work with.

Once the data is in Excel, I do a multilevel sort: Fact, Surname1, Given1, RIN1. This allows me to easily delete everything but the census records. Armed with that list, I just work my way thru the records. I’m down to about 1300 census events.

Will this be worth it? Because this is cleaning up my data and making it easier to see corresponding census records on Family Search, I will continue until finished. I’m also hoping that by using the standard ‘census’ fact type, this data will also line up with Ancestry. My wish is that all of my census data will keep me from having shaky leaves for those same census records.




ancestryblogFor the past few months, I have been slowly whittling away at the green leaves on my Ancestry family tree – Heartland_Genealogy. When I look at the pedigree view, it looks pretty good since almost all of the leaves are gone.

I have to admit that the initial pedigree view is somewhat deceiving since expanding the pedigree on almost any branch will produce green leaves.

hintsThis morning, I made the mistake of looking at the ‘View People with Hints’ page and discovered that I have lots of work yet to do.

Yes, that is over FIFTEEN THOUSAND records to look at and see if they fit someone in my tree.


That’s a lot of records to look at!



Some might assume that I’m just a collector of names when they look at the summary for my tree. After all, I have over 9000 names and only a little over 1500 records.  However, those stats are deceiving!

Some in the genealogy community have stated that they don’t worry about the green leaves and continue following my previous research pattern. However, I have found these hints to actually be helpful since they


  • force me to review my data
  • allow me to update citations to current standards
  • allow me to download and attach the images
  • attach documentation to my Ancestry tree

rootsmagicFor years, I was using my computer program — Master Genealogist — to record the events and sources for those 9000 people. About 2 years ago, I switched to Roots Magic, continuing the process of recording events in the lives of my ancestors and their descendants and then documenting the source of the information.  My sources are not up to the standards of Evidence Explained. Nor do I have images attached to anything entered before 2014.

Even though my Ancestry data is daunting, my RootsMagic data provides a better picture of my status. I do try and cite the source of my data!

Getting these two trees in sync in one of my Christmas wishes since RootsMagic is working on the ability to sync with Ancestry.

websiteMy other Christmas wish is that I will be able to update my web site with my RootsMagic data. My website was created with SecondSite from my Master Genealogy data. John Cardinal, creator of SecondSite is working on replacement software that hopefully will be able to accomplish this task. I anxiously am waiting for an announcement that the new software, GedSite, has been released.

The numbers on Ancestry may look overwhelming, but knowing they will lead to new information and help me improve my current documentation, I will keep working to reduce that number.



Veterans History Project

In researching my father’s military service aboard the USS Oneida (APA-221) during World War II, I stumbled across the Veterans History Project. Within that collection, I found an interview with John H. Garner, seaman 1st class, US Navy. Mr. Garner’s experience is similar to my fathers: training at Great Lakes Naval Station and service aboard the USS Oneida (APA-221).

I am thankful for the work of the Library of Congress to organize and preserve these resources and for groups like the Daughters of the American Revolution and other for conducting the interviews. Thru the Veterans History Project, the experiences of our veterans is being preserved.



My Military Heroes

In honor of Veterans’ Day this Friday, I would like to honor my ancestor Veterans.

crawford-eugene-b1927-1945-us-navyWhile still in high school, my father, Eugene David Crawford, enlisted in the US. Navy and attended training at the Naval Training Center (EE & RW) in Gulfport, Mississippi and at the Naval Training Center in Great Lakes, Ill. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Oneida (APA-221) from May 1946 to July 1946. The U.S.S. Oneida was part of Operation Magic Carpet to bring troops home from the Pacific Theater. Eugene received an honorable discharge from the service in August 1946.

crawford-leon-b1894-1917-wwi-portraitEugene’s father, Leon Russel Crawford, began his military service on 26 Apr 1917 in Dodge City, Kansas and was appointed wagoner 2nd class gunner in the 25th A. A. Battery 1st A.A. Sector. Leon’s unit was at the St. Misner 2nd Battle of the Marne from 31 Mar 1918 to 31 May 1918 in France. Later in 1918, his unit was assigned to the outer defense of Paris. On 28 Mar 1919, Leon received an honorable discharge from the service and returned to Dodge City.

None of my great-grandfathers served in the military. However, most of my great-great grandfathers and one great-great-great grandfather served during the War Between the States.

  • Washington Marion Crawford — Sergt in Co. H of the 2nd Regiment New York Calvary Volunteer — better known as the “Harris Light Horse”. Washington Marion was captured on 22 Sep 1863 in Liberty Mills, Virginia and imprisoned at Andersonville and Belle Isle.
  • Richmond Fisk Hammond – began his military service as a private in Company E 17th Illinois Volunteers later joining the 1st Illinois Cavalry Volunteers and Company D in the 14th Regiment Illinois Cavalry. Richmond was captured near Atlanta and taken as a prisoner to Andersonville on 5 Aug 1864.
  • Hiram M. Currey — served in Company B of the 12th Cavalry Regiment of the Kansas State Militia under Captain Samuel Hollister
  • Albert Hutchinson — served as a private in Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Iowa Cavalry Volunteers commanded by Captain Jinks and re-enlisted as a private in Iowa First Calvary Company D
  • Noah Washington Briles — served as a private in Company I, 1st Regiment Iowa Volunteers
  • Alexander Briles (Noah’s father) — served under Captain John Douglas in Company I of the Kansas State Militia
  • James Marshall Ricketts — served in Company K of the 7th Indiana Cavalry
  • George Mentzer — served in Company C of the Twenty-Foruth Massachusetts Infantry

According to my great-grandmother’s (Josie Hammond Crawford) DAR application, her ancestor, Jason Hammond, served as a private in Captain Coon’s Company of Col. J. Well’s Regiment in the Connecticut line. There is some question as to whether this military record is for my ancestor or another Jason Hammond. Thus, my DAR membership is thru his father, Nathaniel Hammond, for giving service to the cause.

Since almost all of my ancestors were in the colonies prior to the revolutionary war, it is likely that many of them served during the revolutionary war. It is even possible that at least one line traces back to loyalists.

It is thru this type of military service that our country was built. May we all pause to honor our military this week.

Hutchinson / Merry Ties

We’re Related Potential Success

img_7007img_7008img_7009According to the We’re Related app from Ancestry, I am related to Winston Churchill (7th Cousin 4x Removed).

Our common ancestor is Elizabeth Pye (1579-1638) — but it takes me 11 generations to get to Elizabeth. According to Ancestry, my ancestor, Albert Hutchinson is the son of Sarah Merry. If I can verify this relationship, it would extend my tree a generation and add the MERRY surname.

Currently, I am stuck on Albert Hutchinson. Albert Hutchinson married Julia Harding in 1859 in Black Hawk County, Iowa. According to his military record, Albert was born about 1838 in Northhampton, Fulton County, New York. Albert consistently appears in census records starting in 1860 thru 1895 in Iowa, Missouri and then Kansas. However, neither potential parents or brothers have been found in these records.



An Albert Hutchinson was found in the 1850 census living in Wheatland, Monroe County, New York. A 14 year old male born in New York identified as Albert Hutchinson was listed in the household of Ephraim Finch and his wife Cynthia. (Ancestry – Year: 1850; Census Place: Wheatland, Monroe, New York; Roll: M432_528; Page: 240A; Image: 207)



According to Find A Grave, Cynthia Hutchinson Finch (#14430101) was the daughter of Aaron and Hannah (Nettleton) Hutchinson and sister of the Aaron Hutchinson who married Sarah Merry. If the 14 year old Albert Hutchinson was the son of Aaron and Sarah (Merry) Hutchinson, then Ephraim and Cynthia (Hutchinson) Finch would be his aunt and uncle.

A lot of additional research will be needed to verify the relationship between the 14 year old Albert Hutchinson and Cynthia Finch and to verify that the 14 year old Albert Hutchinson migrated to Iowa where he married Julia Harding. However, this hint provided by the We’re Related app is definitely worth pursuing.




Hints Discovery

Thanks to Randy Seaver and his blog about using the links from Family Search to access hints from Ancestry and other genealogy sites, I retried the links. I did discover that (for me at least), I have to use Chrome for those links to work.

grandad1The Ancestry link gave me 111,849 hints — and the first 50 appear to actually be for my grandfather!

grandad2In that list of 50 were a couple of links to high school yearbooks. Following the first of those links, I discovered a list of ‘Athenian’ members that included my grandfather’s name.



Since I have no idea what the ‘Athenian’ group is, I started browsing the yearbook from the start to make sure I was looking at a yearbook from Dodge City and to see if I could find my grandfather elsewhere in the publication. That’s when I found the unlabeled picture of the freshman class that includes my grandfather. (The next page of the yearbook lists the members of the class.)


I could see my grandfather in this picture before finding the list of class members on the next page. I see a lot of my nephew in the way my grandfather is standing. I wonder if other family members will be able to pick him out!


We’re Related – Success Story

What started as genealogy fun turned into a genealogy BONANZA!

For the past week, I’ve been playing around with Ancestry’s We’re Related app. This app takes my Heartland_Genealogy tree on Ancestry and compares it to trees of famous people – and Facebook friends (if desired). My list of matches (to date) include: Miley Cyrus, Eminem, Britney Spears, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Matt Damon, Marilyn Monroe, Walt Disney and Winston Churchill and John Kerry. After connecting to a few genealogy friends on Facebook, it added Peggy Lauritzen and Drew Smith. For the most part, I didn’t recognize the common ancestor and didn’t take it seriously.

burkeHowever, when Peggy Lauritzen, was added, I was curious about how our lines might connect. The app had taken my tree and added several generations of women to make the connection — mothers, grandmothers, etc. that were not in my tree. Our connection goes thru my BURKE line — particularly Elizabeth Graves who the app indicated was the mother of my ancestor Henry F. Burke.

Thus, began my quest to see if I could find documentation supporting the relationship between Henry F. Burke and Elizabeth Graves. Using Ancestry, I found the Burke Family Tree by Barbara_Parker1510. This tree indicated that John Burke and Elizabeth Graves were the parents of Henry F. Burke. Not only did I find a tree supporting the pedigree in the We’re Related app but I hit the jackpot. Barbara had transcribed a lengthy court record that outlined many of the descendants of John Burke in a dispute over his land. Not only did Barbara transcribe this document but she provided enough info to locate the original images on Family Search!

Unfortunately, my link with Drew Smith did not expand my SMITH line(s). Nor have any of the links expanded my CRAWFORD or CURREY lines. However, it seems to add people every few days — so hope is still alive.

My Retirement Task – Puzzling It Out

jigsaw-305576_1280The number one question I’ve been asked in the last month has been, “How do you like retirement?” Quickly following that question is one wondering what I do with all my time. My answers to the 2 questions are ‘loving it’ and ‘researching my family’. Since they rarely understand that I could spend all of my time working on my family history, I quickly follow my answer up with the fact that I’m volunteering at the Nemaha County Historical Society.

For me, researching my family history is like doing a jigsaw puzzle.

Do you like putting together a puzzle? Are you glued to that puzzle and not realizing how much time you have spent looking for that one piece? After finding what you think is the right piece and struggle to make it fit, do you finally give up realizing that it just isn’t the right shape or the colors don’t match exactly? And then you start the process all over again looking for that one piece?

If so, then you have an idea of what genealogy is like. Unlike a puzzle with a fixed number of pieces, the number of people in a family history project grows as you go back a generation and grows even more when tracking descendants and spouses. Thus, a genealogy is never done — there is always someone else to research or another piece of information to find and add.

Right now, my piece of the puzzle is in Kentucky prior to 1800. I’m trying to find my James Crawford in the midst of several other James Crawfords in the same area of Kentucky. I’m relearning some U.S. history as I’m working with records in the 20 years after the revolutionary war as well as an area settled by those who came across the Cumberland Gap (think Daniel Boone). Like that puzzle, I’m searching thru my pieces (court, land, marriage, tax records, etc.) to find one that might fit. Then I compare all of the information to see if it truly could be my James — similar to color matching on a jigsaw puzzle. If it doesn’t fit, I start the process over and look for another piece.


(Note: The James in the photo is likely a different James. 1787 Madison County, Kentucky Tax Record on Family Search)

Even if I magically find that piece for James Crawford in Kentucky, the puzzle isn’t done. I can either move on to James’ parents or switch to one of my other lines — many of which take me right back thru early Kentucky. Or, I could be really adventurous and research one of several SMITH women in my tree.

As one of the genealogy jokes says:

“Done! Everything in the family tree has been found and everything is perfectly organized, including the photos,” said not genealogist EVER!


Crawford Puzzle – One Piece at a Time

jigsaw-305576_1280My Crawford lineage has always been like putting together a jigsaw puzzle — trying to figure out how hundreds of pieces fit together. Many years ago, I wrote about dissecting these pieces in order to identify my line. At the time, I identified four James Crawford families that were in the same region of Kentucky prior to 1800.

  • Rev. James Crawford (1752-1803) who married Rebecca McPheeters
  • James Crawford who married Rebecca Anderson
  • James Crawford (1772-1854) who married Sally Duggins in 1799 in Garrard County, KY
  • James Crawford (1770-1833) who married Martha Knight in 1793 in Lincoln County, KY

I descend from Nelson G. Crawford (1808-1864) of Warren County, Indiana. Nelson is the son of James and Sally (Duggins) Crawford. James and Sally lived in Preble County, Ohio from about 1810 until their deaths after 1850. Besides Nelson, the household included a daughter, Polly, and Sarah’s two sons from her marriage to Alexander Duggins: Henry Duggins and William Duggins.

Also living in Preble County Ohio from about 1810 until the late 1820’s is the family of James and Martha Crawford. James and Martha, their children and Nelson G. Crawford migrate from Preble County Ohio to Warren County, Indiana where they purchase land in 1829.

The question has always been: how are these two James related?

DNA results may help with this puzzle. My brother’s yDNA test has shown a close relationship to a descendant of William N. Crawford. Unfortunately, the ancestry of William N. Crawford is currently unknown. I can’t place William N. Crawford as a descendant in my tree, nor can I place him as a descendant of James and Martha Crawford. However, recent Ancestry matches indicate a likely relationship to both men. The descendant of William N. Crawford share the following in a recent email:

maybe William N. was living with relatives. (in reference to 1850 census showing a William N. Crawford in household of William & Lutitia Crawford) [Ancestry – Year: 1850; Census Place: Pike, Warren, Indiana; Roll: M432_178; Page: 3B; Image: 319]
Ancestry DNA has:
  • One fourth cousin match to a descendant of James Crawford m. Martha Knight.
  • Two matches to descendants of James Crawford m. Sally Duggins/Smith, Marcia and another distant cousin.
  • Ancestry has also proposed his inclusion in a NAD circle with other descendants of Nathan Douglas Sellers (1797-1874).  Three of whom are fourth cousins.

Not only was this DNA suggesting a relationship to both Crawford lines, it was suggesting a link to the SELLERS family. The James/Martha line has several ties to the SELLERS family but the James/Sally line has no known ‘direct line’ ties. (Henry Duggins, step-son of James Crawford, married Jane Sellers.) My AncestryDNA results also suggest a SELLERS link. Thus, we are beginning to think the SELLERS family might show how these puzzle pieces fit together.

While going thru my Crawford notes and looking for more documentation on Ancestry, I discovered that several researchers had a completely different name (Jane Jean) for the mother of James (md to Martha). Since I could not find this name on any of the documents I had collected for Crawfords in Kentucky prior to 1800, I decided to check Family Search to see what the ‘tree’ indicated. There I found another Crawford researcher who had made a correction on the tree changing the name back to Rebecca. I contacted this researcher to see if he could shed some light on where this other name came from. I have received several lengthy emails from him regarding our shared research.

He believes the ‘Jane Jean’ came from combining two James Crawfords. His Crawford research, along with the tree on Family Research, indicate that John Crawford was married to Rebecca (not Jane Jean) and was the father of James (md to Martha). According to Family Search, John Crawford was a brother to the James who married Rebecca Anderson. Thus, two of my original James Crawford families can be pieced together as uncle (James md to Anderson) and nephew (James md to Knight).

The puzzle is coming together, but I still can’t connect my piece (James and Sally) into a Crawford line.

One Person or Two — Elizabeth Harding

Since I hadn’t worked Ancestry’s ‘shaky leaves’ until recently, they have provided a ‘golden opportunity’ for a go-over. I have done a lot of research for my tree and have sources cited in my database — much of it based on paper/microfilm research. Since following Ancestry’s hints to access the online records is quicker than searching for the same record, I’ve been using them to locate the  digital record, save the image and update my computer database.

This is a slow process and I’m not sure I’ll ever get done but I do appreciate the challenge — both of getting rid of a leaf and of checking my research for errors. Over the weekend, I switched to my Harding line. My 3rd great-grandfather, William G. Harding, settled in Black Hawk County, Iowa prior to 1860. The 1860 census contains lots of clues about the family:

  • came from New Brunswick (birthplaces of Harding children)
  • blended family (both Ponsford and Harding children in home)
  • wife is likely a 2nd wife (Ponsford children)
  • family was in Wisconsin around 1857 (birthplace of Hattie)


(Iowa. Black Hawk County. 1860 U.S. Census, population schedule. Digital image. : 2016.)

This census led me to New Brunswick where I found the Harding family living in Westfield Township, Kings County, New Brunswick. Noticeably absent from the 1851 census is his wife, Elizabeth and the Ponsford children.


(Canada. New Brunswick. Kings County. 1851 Canadian Census, canadian census. Digital image. : 2016.)

Based on these two census records, I concluded that William G. Harding was likely married twice. I associated the Elizabeth Harding listed in the 1860 census as the mother of Hattie Harding and the Ponsford children. However, based on the fact that she is missing from the 1851 census, I did not associate her as the mother of the other Harding children.

Thus, began my hunt for the mother of my ancestor, Julia Harding. In my search for William’s wife, I came across an extensive history of the Harding family in New Brusnwick by Mrs. Raymond Caron and Brenda Beryl (Harding) Caron. (Caron, Mrs. Raymond, author. Life and Times of George and William Harding: Newburgh, New York 767-1783 and Saint John, New Brunswick; vol. 2. Canada: n.p., n.d..)

According to this book, the New Brunswick branch of the Harding family was Loyalists during the revolutionary war. After the war, they migrated to New Brunswick. Since this 2 volume work includes descendants of these Loyalist families, I searched it for William and found that William was a family name. However, there were only a handful of Julia Hardings in the index — most of them dying as infants. The possible match to my Julia Harding was the daughter of William Gillies Harding and Elizabeth Fowler. Unfortunately, the book only identifies 2 children when there were 7 children in the 1851 census.

I was able to locate the marriage record on Family Search. William G. Harding and Elizabeth Fowler were married in Kings County, New Brunswick in 1830. Thus, Elizabeth Fowler could be the mother of the children in the 1851 census.


(New Brunswick Marriage Registers, 1789-1889. Provincial Archives, Fredericton. database with images. Family Search.

If that is the case, then she either died or left the family sometime between 1846 (birth of William Henry Harding) and the 1851 census. Since the census records (including those past 1860) consistently list either New Brunswick or Canada (Eng) as the birthplace of the children, it is likely that the family did not leave New Brunswick until sometime after the 1851 census.

Thus, I am working with the theory that William had TWO wives: Elizabeth Fowler and a second Elizabeth that he married sometime after 1851. Yesterday, I located the marriage record for his daughter, Hattie, who was born in Wisconsin. According to this record, her mother was Eliza HENDERSON.


(“Iowa, Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996.” : Sept. 2016.)

If only I could find a similar marriage record for one of the older Harding children identifying their mother!

Until someone provides documentation to disprove it, my current theory is that William G. Harding was married twice, with his first marriage occurring in New Brunswick and his second marriage occurring after 1851. So my quest continues:

  • Locate marriage record for William G. Harding and Eliza Henderson Ponsford
  • Locate records supporting or disproving Elizabeth Fowler as the mother of the Harding children
  • Locate marriage record for Eliza Henderson and ? Ponsford
  • Locate death information for Elizabeth Fowler Harding
  • Work to keep these two ladies from being merged