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Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1)  Almost  all of us have genealogy software that we use to manage our research and our family tree.  Some researchers use only an online family tree.  What do you use?

2)  For this week’s SNGF, tell us how many “trees” (or “bushes)” you have in your genealogy management program database.  How did you figure it out?  Also, where do you have online trees?

My first genealogy software program was PAF (Personal Ancestral File). I migrated from PAF to The Master Genealogist (TMG) because of TMG’s ability to document sources. When TMG was no longer supported, I experimented with several programs before choosing RootsMagic.

I am currently using RootsMagic 7. In RM7, I can count how many trees I have in my file by pulling down the TOOLS menu and selecting COUNT TREES.

Before revealing how many trees I have in my file, I need to issue a disclaimer. I tend to research FAN (friends, associates and neighbors) clubs. I have also tended to research people of the same name that might be the same person. I treat my RM7 file as a database — a place to store information. Thus, I am sure that I have lots of trees in my file.

So, how many ‘trees’ do I have in my database? Let’s just say I have a lot! Could some of them connect to other trees in my database? That is highly likely. At some point, I probably need to do some investigating to see if I can merge individuals and thus merge one tree into another.

For example, I have data on several different James Crawford families from early Kentucky. I also have data on some of the descendants of Alexander and Mary (McPheeters) Crawford. In both cases, the data is in my file so that I can separate out the various Crawford families. The same is true for other lines. For example, I have information on the family of Col. James Curry of Ohio because I think he might connect to my ancestor, Hiram Currey.

I used RootsMagic’s TreeShare feature to upload my file to Ancestry. When I did the initial upload, I excluded living people, but uploaded everyone else. Thus, all of those different trees were uploaded to Ancestry and are considered ‘floating’ trees.

I also have my data on MyHeritage, FamilyTree DNA and GedMatch. For those trees, I created a gedcom file and uploaded that file. My tree on MyHeritage contains the Crawford/McPheeters data while my tree on FamilyTreeDNA does not. My tree on FamilyTreeDNA only contains my ancestors. However, my GedCom file on GedMatch contains my ancestors and the descendants I had at the time I uploaded the file.

Currently, RootsMagic offers the ability to have a free website containing my RootsMagic data. Thus, I have my file (excluding living) online using this resource.

Another location where I share data from my tree(s), is FamilySearch. I utilize RootsMagic’s ability to connect to individuals on the FamilySearch tree. I am slowly working on adding sourcing and pictures that are in my collection to the FamilySearch tree. In 2017, I submitted my data to FamilySearch Genealogies. The file is named Heartland_Genealogy_2017 and was submitted under the name Marcia Philbrick.

Another place that I have information about my ancestors is this blog site. I often create posts that transcribe documents in my collection. Other posts are created using RootsMagic’s ability to produce a narrative report complete with citations. Although not an actual tree, my blog contains lots of information about the people in my RootsMagic file – including people that don’t connect to my ancestral tree.

Even though I have data online, the most current copy of my work is my RootsMagic file.

I realize that there are other sites where I could have a tree. However, I am concentrating on Ancestry, FamilySearch and sites where I have DNA data.

One thought on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

  1. I think you make much more good use out of the many RootsMagic features available. That’s my main program, but I pretty much just enter data. I guess I should check out more of its features. I might find I’ve been missing out on something really good.

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