Bible Confusion

Are you blessed with a family Bible in your genealogy collection? Are you lucky enough to have several family Bibles? I’ve had the good fortune to have had access to several family Bibles including Crawford, Currey, Mentzer and Wells.

As I’ve been going thru the facts and sources I have for my grandmother’s Mentzer siblings, I’ve become confused about the Bibles. You see, there are four of them. I have one in my possession, a photocopy of one and transcriptions of the other two.

  • Family Bible of Emeline Minnick Mentzer (photocopy obtained from descendant)
  • Charles Mentzer Bible – Bible in my possession but in very poor condition
  • Charles Mentzer Bible – in possession of my 1st cousin – transcription indicates this Bible was given to Charles Mentzer by his daughter Pauline
  • Pauline Mentzer Briles Bible – transcription matches transcription of Charles Mentzer Bible – not sure this is a separate Bible

Thus, when I’m documenting the birth information for my grandmother’s siblings, I have three different Bible records containing that information: the Emeline Mentzer Bible and the two Charles Mentzer Bibles. However, when it comes to the death dates, I only find some of them in the Bible records kept by Pauline Mentzer Briles.

Not only does it get confusing working with the sourcing of these Bibles, but it appears that I have at times attached the images or PDF files to the wrong Bible. Not only that, but it looks like I have multiple sources for two of the Bibles and no source for the Pauline Briles Bible.

I can easily merge these ‘duplicate’ sources in RootsMagic 7. However, I cannot tell where these sources are used. Nor, can I tell what media is attached to the source.

I do have a ‘tool’ that will help me figure out where these sources are used: the preview version of RootsMagic 8. By opening a copy of my file in RM8, and looking at the list of sources, I can see how many times that source has been used. (Since I haven’t merged sources yet, I still have the same duplication as seen in RM7 .)

If I click on the > sign to the right of the number of citations, the list of citations opens. Because this sourcing and accompanying citation was created in The Master Genealogist, this list of citations for the Emeline Mentzer Bible is not at all helpful since it simply tells me the document number for the photocopy

If I click on the > to the right of the CITATION USED line, a window opens telling me which person and which fact the citation is attached.

Most of these citations have no media attached, when they all should have 1 PDF file attached. Several of the citations have 4 or 5 media files attached — and these are images from a different Bible. Thus, my mess (and my confusion).

To ‘clean up’ this mess, I need to work in RootsMagic 7 and not in RootsMagic 8. I think the quickest way to get these sources corrected will be to start over.

  • Make a copy of the Bible source (or create a new one)
  • Delete the original source
  • Attach the media to the new source
  • Enter the transcription as Master Text
  • Attach new source to the appropriate facts
  • Enter their name and the event in the citation details for the source

Once completed for the Emeline Mentzer Bible, the RM7 file was closed and then imported into RM8 to see if this process improved the source in terms of the media, transcription and citations.

Studying the source in RM8 shows that 4 images are attached to the source (the PDF file and 3 jpeg images of the pages from the PDF file) and that a transcription is part of the source.

Going to the citation screen for this source shows improved citations.

That’s one set of Bible records completed and three more to go. However, when I’m finished I will have better sourcing in RM 7 and much less confusion about the Bibles – especially when my data moves to RootsMagic 8.

Boyle’s Company

When researching your family history, have you ever read a county history? I’m not referring to browsing those sections where you think your family might be found but actually reading the history starting on page 1. Well, I have to admit that I’ve fallen into the ‘browser’ method in the past.

As I’m trying to find connections between my Crawford family in Kentucky and Crawford families in Virginia, I decided I needed to read some histories. I was going to start with a history of Montgomery County, Virginia but decided that I need to learn more about early Kentucky history first. Thus, I found a downloadable version of Collins’ History of Kentucky on FamilySearch and started reading it last night.

I only get to page 12 before I find something that may connect with my Crawford research. At the bottom of the page is a list of the members of Captain John Boyle’s Company, April 1, 1780. Included in this list is one ‘Wm. Crawford’. Now, I have no idea which William Crawford this might be. However, there are a couple of other names on the roll that might help me figure this out. The one that stands out the most is Basil Maxwell. The Basil Maxwell in my file is married to Margaret Anderson, daughter of Col. John Anderson. Also in the company are two Andersons: Jacob Anderson and James Anderson.

Not only is the Anderson and Maxwell connections a clue that this Wm Crawford might be the William Crawford who was in early Garrard County, but the description for the company places them in early Garrard County.

Thanks to a deed I discovered years ago, I’ve been able to piece together at least some of the Anderson family. That John Anderson deed identifies his legatees:

This indenture made this third day of October one thousand seven hundred and ninety eight between Samuel Campbell and Mary his wife of the County of Madison, Bez’ l Maxwell and Margret his wife, James Crawford and Rebeca his wife of the County of Garrard, James Anderson and Hannah his wife of the county of Madison, John Gap and Anne his wife of the County of Bourbon and William M. Morrison and Betsey his wife of the County of Madison and all  of the State of Kentucky being the part of the  legatees  to the estate of John Anderson Dec’d  

Three of the names on the list of Captain John Boyle’s company are also found on the list of ‘Early Settlers of Boonesborough‘ including John Boyle, James Anderson and William Hicks. Even though no Crawfords are found on this list there several Andersons on the list.

  • Anderson, James – 1775
  • Anderson, Jemima
  • Anderson, John – 1780
  • Anderson, Mary – married Captain John Kennedy
  • Anderson, Nicholas

Besides the Anderson children, several Anderson spouses are also on the list:

  • Gass. John – 1775 — s/o Capt. David Gass
  • Morris, William
  • Campbell, Samuel

This list of members of Captain Boyle’s company is just one more clue that may lead to confirming these Crawford relationships. However, It provides additional names for my fan club! It looks like more research and more reading is in my future!

Junior High


Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music):

1)  Do you have memories of your Junior High School (or Middle School) years?  Please share several o them.

Instead of sharing about my junior high experience, I’m going to share a couple of items from my dad’s junior high years.

The Class Roll

Adrian, Norma
Anderson, Jack
Arnold, Norma Jean
Arthur, Betty
Bailes, Forrest
Barngrover, Orville
Barton, Virginia
Bayless, Aielene
Beck, Phyllis
Best, Robert
Biehler, Karl
Bierce, Donald
Bierce, Ronald
Bishop, Wanda
Blea, Candida
Bolen, Jimmy
Briggs, Aletha
Brock, Chester
Brody, Mary
Bryan, Billy
Burnett, Betty Lou
Burnett, Geraldine
Burns, Harry
Burr, Verna
Burt, James
Butler, Elanor
Case, Charles
Cleveland, Arnold
Cole, Frank
Conard, Clair
Cooley, Hubert
Cowan, Joleen
Crane, Robert
Crane, Phyllis
Crawford, Eugene
Creech, Verla
Culbreath, Doris
Davis, Coleen
Davis, Harold
Dealy, Thomas
DeFord, Doris
DeFord, Leslie
Deines, Burdena
Doll, Kenneth
Doonan, Eleanor Ruth
Bales, Dorothy
Dover, Darrell
Drake, Jane
Edwards, Bob
Eisenhauer, Faye
Eisenhauer, Marjorie
Ellis, Fred
Eversole, Marie
Finklang, Roselyn
Fleming, Neva
Foulks, Charley
Foulks, Harley
Francis, Thelma
Frankenberger, Theresa
Gean, Patricia
Graham, Ray
Guilford, C. A.
Hahn, Donald
Hargis, Carol
Harms, Carolyn
Harp, LaVonne
Harris, Phil
Heinz, Bobbie
Hensel, Alberta
Hessman, Harold
Holland, Wanda
Holladay, Harvey
Hoofnagle, Glenda
Houser, Mable
Howerter, Wanda
Hunter, Bill
Hutchnison, Kenneth
Imel, Eunice Lee
Innis, Betty
Johnson, Georgene
Johnson, Grace
Johnson, Robert
Jones, Juanita
Jones, Phyllis
Keith, LaVeta
Keenportz, Norma
Kelly, Patricia
Kennedy, Leland
Kennedy, Norman
King, Virginia

Class Roll continued on back of program

Knoy, Joyce
Kregar, Harry
Krueger, Frances
Leasure, John
Leighty, Clydene
Lewis, Opal
Lewis, Spencer
Lighter, Willis
Logan, Bob
Lollar, Nadean
Love, Bobby Jack
McCarter, Barbara
McClendon, Peggy
McDermott, Betty
McElroy, Corabelle
Maden, Bobby
Mallonee, Junior
Manka, Georgia
Mapel, Frank
Maricle, Tommy
Martin, Marilyn
Maskus, Phyllis
Maxwell, Richard
Miller, Carolyn
Morrissey, James
Mussemann, George
Myer, Wanda
Newcom, Delores
Nickels, Doris Marie
Noland, James
Oakes, Richard
O’Bryan, Marvin
Oxford, Vernon
Page, Walter
Parham, Robert
Peoples, Luella
Peters, Johnny
Phillis, Estel
Putnam, Barbara
Quillan, Billy
Railing, Billie Jean
Railing, Melva Deane
Raymond, Ralph
Remigio, Ton
Renick, Mary
Reynolds, Jean
Lindsey, Kathryn
Reynolds, Vernal
Rickman, Marjorie
Riley, Esta Lou
Rivers, John
Roberts, Bob
Robinson, Dorothy
Robb, Gwynne
Rowton, Joan
Sahm, Virgil
Samples, Eugene
Schnellbacher, Ada
Seals, Betty
Setzkorn, Alfred
Shaffer, Phyllis
Shea, Robert
Schiffner, Ella
Shields, Junior
Shuler, Elliot
Simpson, Ruth
Snyder, Esther
Snyder, Jean
Spaniol, Frankie
Stagner, Marie
Swafford, Bob
Taylor, Annette
Theis, Charles
Toynton, Jean
Trent, Jack
Urban, Geraldine
Ward, Gracia
Williams, Dorothy
Williams, Hugo
Williams, Joe
Wimer, Royce
Winfrey, Marjorie
Winger, Lois
Wintamute, Virginia
Westemeyer, Barbara
Woodall, Jenny
Woodard, Algean
Wolf, Roberta
wright, Norma
Yancey, Lyla Jean
Younger, Agnes
Sylvester, Vera

Character of Dodge


What do you think of when you hear the word, character? Do you have a ‘character’ in your family tree?

‘Character’ is the #52Ancestors blogging prompt for this week. Not knowing how to approach this topic, I tried a newspapers search for the term ‘character’ in the Dodge City, Kansas newspapers between 1875 and 1885. I limited the search to Dodge City because that is my dad’s hometown. I used the 1875-1885 date range because it represents the time period in which the Crawford family migrated to Dodge City.

Instead of finding articles about a person, I found several articles about changing the character of the town. One of those articles discussed how the character of the town was appearing in newspapers around the world. So, I changed my search to look for ‘Dodge City character’ in 1883.

That search found a letter from several of the prominent citizens of Dodge City that was published in the Topeka Daily Capital (Topeka, Kansas) on 18 May 1883.

A Plain Statement

Of the Recent Troubles at Dodge City, KS

As Made by the Officials of that City – Simply a Desire to Rid their Community of Blacklegs and Gamblers.

Dodge City, Ks, May 15, 1883 — There has been quite a commotion among the papers of Kansas City and Topeka, and while they would have the readers of their respective papers believe that Dodge is in the hands of a mob, and that the persons and property of peaceable citizens are in constant jeopardy from destruction, the city itself and its inhabitants have been pursuing the even tenor of their way, the city assuming an aspect peaceable — if anything more so than it has for years. The doings of violence to persons and property by the mob in Dodge City is all being done in Kansas City and Topeka through the press, while in fact Dodge City itself, the scene of all the lawlessness as stated, is quiet, orderly and peaceable.

The occasion for what the press have called trouble is only a repetition of what is found to be necessary about every two years in Dodge City; that is, a clearing out of an element composed of bold, daring men of illegal profession who, from toleration by the respectable portion of the community, are allowed to gain a prestige found difficult to unseat. This element has to be banished, or else the respectable people have to be bulldosed and browbeat by a class of men without any vested interest or visible means of support, who should be allowed to remain in a decent community only by toleration, but who, instead, after gaining prestige, they undertake to dictate the government of the better class. This is the element which Dodge City has recently ordered out of town, an act which is done in every town of good government. The facts have been misunderstood, both to and by the press and to the Governor. The true state of facts is about as follows:

At the last April election, Deger and Harris ran for mayor of the city. Harris is a gambler by profession and living in open adultry with a public prostitute, and the interest which he has in the town is merely of a local character. He could close up and settle his affairs one day. The only real estate that he owns, and on which he pays taxes, is a small house in which he lives, and he would not own that only it is cheaper than for him to rent. It is worth about $400. He is a man whose character no respectable man in the community in which he lives would vouch for. He is a man that is recognized by the decent people as a sympathizer friend and shielder of the gambler, thug, confidence man and murderer, who may be arrested by the authorities for offenses against the law. He is always to be found on their bond for recognizance, no matter how glaring the deed or heinous the offense for which they stand charted.

This man was the candidate for mayor representing the gambling element. Dager, who is a man of irreproachable character and honesty, is an old resident o f the town and represented the better class of people and as a matter of course, as was conceded, he was elected by a large majority, but it was very apparent that Harris felt very sore over his defeat. It was also very apparent that he and some of his followers who were mostly composed of gamblers were going to buck against everything the new administration done.

At the first meeting of the new administration it was found necessary to pass and revise certain ordinances and among them was one to prohibit women of lewd character from loitering around saloons and upon the streets. This ordinance was passed upon the application of a majority of the business men including the saloon men of the town. They also passed another ordinance in regard to gamblers, which they considered stringent and loudly denounced it, and upon the application of a committee representing the gamblers, the councilman made conceptions, and in fact, made all the concessions asked, in order to preserve peace and harmony. The ordinance in regard to women, went into effect two days before the concessions was made by the councilmen. The first day and night the women obeyed the ordinance without a single exception, but the second night which was the night of the concession made b the mayor and councilman, Short, Harris and another gambler, who were loud in their abuse of the ordinance, there being no women down town, went to a house of ill fame, and according to their spoken works, forced two of the inmates down to their saloon to violate the ordinance, saying that they would pay the fines and costs assessed against the women. the women, after being tried and fined for the offense had to pay their fines and costs themselves, and when ordered to leave town, and after Short and Harris refused t pay their fines, as above stated, they made a statement as above set forth, before the police judge, and since.

The officers, as was their duty, arrested the women and locked them up in the calaboose, for a violation of the city ordinance. After their arrest, Short, the partner of Harris, who is a gambler and an acknowledged hard character, attempted to assassinate L. C. Hartman, a special policeman who assisted in the arrest, by shooting at him from an obscure spot after night, which happened about as follows:

After making the arrest, Hartman walked down the principal street, and when in front of a general store, which was closed the front being dark, Hartman met Short and another gambler coming up the street. While passing by, Short and his companion, Short turned and drew a pistol and said, “There is one of the son’s of _____; lets throw it into him,” immediately firing two shots at Hartman from his six-shooter. Hartman, in his endeavor to turn upon Short, in some way fell to the ground. Short, supposing he had killed him, started to the saloon of one Tom Land, near by, but Hartman, immediately recovering himself, fired one shot at Short. Strange to say, neither of the shots fired took effect.

Short gave bonds in the sum of 42,000 and afterwards filed a complaining against Hartman, stating that Hartman had fired the first shot, half a dozen of Short’s confederates being ready to testify that he (Hartman) had done so, although there are several reliable business men who witnessed the affair, who will testify that Short fired the two first shots as above stated.

The women were locked up. Short and Harris were bound they should not remain locked up all night, as is customary with prisoners when locked up by city authorities. By intimidating some of the city officers by threats, etc., they affected their purpose. In all these proceedings, Short was the leader and spokesman. He is the man who but a few weeks ago pulled out his pistol and best one of our most respectful citizens over the head until he was carried home on a stretcher, and his life was despaired of for several days. He is a man who, on several occasions, has picked up chairs and broke them over the heads of men who, as it happened, had done something in his place of business that displeased him. He is a man that killed his man, an old gray-headed man 57 years old, in Tombstone, Arizona, and has been run out of that and other places by respectable people. He is a man who was an intimate friend of such men as Jack McCarty, the notorious and well known three card monte and confidence man, known all through the west as being a hard character, and who recently died near this place after being convicted of highway robbery and about to receive his sentence of ten years.

Harris and Short keep a saloon that is a refuge and resort for all confidence men, thieves and gamblers that visit the town, and the statements that have been made in regard to the place kept by Webster are false. He is regarded as a man of personal honor and integrity, and as mayor of the city, an office he held for two terms, he so conducted the affairs of the city, and made such vigorous war on bunko, steerers, thugs and confidence men as to gain the gratitude and respect of every law abiding citizen of the place.

It was very apparent to the mayor and councilmen of the city that this element, with Harris and short at their head, were gong to violate, encourage, shield and protect all violators of the laws of the city, and that the probability was that there would be trouble n the city during the whole of their administration if they and their followers remained. Short had attempted to assassinate an officer in the discharge of his duty, had bulldozed the city officers, had violated, aided an abetted in the violation of the laws, and at a meeting of the mayor and a large number of citizens, including the council, it was after due deliberation and consideration, determined to arrest Luke Short and his followers and let them leave town, and accordingly, he, with six other associates, were arrested on complaint and warrant and locked in the calaboose and precautions taken that they did not escape, and were allowed to leave town the next day. There was no mob violence used whatever. None but regular officers of the city made the arrest, but in the case they were resisted there was sufficient force composed of armed citizens held in reserve to aid in the arrest.

It was afterwards ascertained by one of the parties arrested, who peached on the balance, that it was known by Short and party they were to be arrested, and as soon as the officers came to arrest them it was understood they were organized and that Short was to start the shooting and the balance of the party were to follow it up, but as stated by him “somebody weakened.” The citizens understood the characters of the men they were dealing with and were prepared for them, and this was the occasion for the circulation that it was a mob. It was bona fide citizens armed to aid the officers if necessary in the enforcement of the laws.

Much of the confusion and misunderstanding regarding the situation in our city is due to the misrepresentations made to the Governor by one W. F. Petillon. Petillon is clerk of the district court and lives about six miles north of Dodge City on a claim of 160 acres. He had been recognized and identified as a Harris man some time before the lection, which cam about as follows: Jack McCarty had been arrested at this point for highway robbery, and had given bond for $2,000. Harris, as one of the bondsmen, and Short, having no property against which execution could issue, got a citizen worth some real estate to sign the bond and he (Short) deposited the amount to secure the party so signing. The bond was given for McCarty’s appearance to be tried. McCarty appeared and in the course of the trial it was evident from the evidence McCarty would be convicted. After conviction and before sentence, McCarty escaped. When his escape became known, the clerk, Petillon, was applied to for the bond, he being the proper custodian of the papers in the case. Upon application, he could not give it, as he did not know where it was. He had it at the last day of court and was the one seen to have it last. The bond was never found, although he acknowledged it was properly filed, and it is impossible to obliterate from the minds of a great many respectable people here that Petillon knew why and where that bond disappeared. it has been a noticeable feature that since that time Petillon has been a firm believer and supporter of the Harris and Short combination. This is the kind of man Governor Glick sends for, instead of sending for a proper representative as any reasonable, intelligent, discreet man should to investigate.

The condition of Dodge City at present is orderly and law-abiding, and the prospects are it will so continue if these men remain away. If they are allowed to remain it will be against the will and without the consent of a majority of the law-abiding citizens of this community, and if the Governor, through his interference and encouragement, forces these men back on us he does so at his peril, and if there is bloodshed as a result the responsibility will not rest entirely with the Governor, who had he not given the matter encouragement,, it would have passed by unnoticed, as an occurrence frequent in all cities desirous of being law-abiding, and of good government.

Dated at Dodge City, Kansas the 15th day of May, 1883.

L. E. Deger, Mayor
H. B. Bell
H. T. Drake
George S. Emerson
H. M. Beverly, Councilmen of Dodge City
R. E. Burns, Police Judge
N. B. Klaine, City Treasurer
L. C. Hartman, City Clerk
C. E. Chipman, Assistant Marshal
Fred T. M. Wente, City Attorney
J. L. Bridges, City Marshal
T. L. McCarty, City Physician

About a year after this letter was written, my 2nd great grandfather, Washington Marion Crawford, would move his family from Warren County, Indiana to Dodge City where he would join his older brother who was already living in Dodge City. Obviously the conflict in Dodge City did not prevent my ancestor from moving there. Perhaps that is due to the fact the citizens of Dodge City fought to change the character of the town.

RM8 Ancestry Source

Have you ever documented how you add data and/or sources to your genealogy file? I have to admit that I have not spent much effort documenting my process.

However, I’m previewing RootsMagic 8 and am trying to figure out how my way of doing things in RootsMagic 7 translates to RM8.

One of my typical tasks is to work with Ancestry hints to add sourcing information to my RM tree. That process starts by clicking on a yellow light bulb. In RM8, clicking on the light bulb opens a small window, where I click on PENDING.

That opens the WebHints window which is similar to the window in RootsMagic 7.

Clicking on the number for the pending hints opens the ‘Ancestry WebHints’ window.

On this window, I typically click on the ‘Show on Ancestry’ button to open the selected individual on my Ancestry tree.

On the Ancestry page, I switch to the hints page.

I typically open the suggested hints in a new tab to evaluate the data. One of the suggested hints for Henry Jones is a marriage record in the source, Maryland, U.S., Compiled Marriages, 1655-1850.

In this case, I believe the record is for my Henry Jones, Thus, I want to create a marriage fact and add this source to the fact. Thus, back in RootsMagic, I open the Edit window for Henry Jones.

To add the Marriage fact, I click on the large + sign above the FACT area of Henry Jones’ edit window. This opens the list of Fact Types.

Typing ‘Marriage’ into the Search window pulls up just the Fact Types that contain the word ‘marriage’.

Selecting the Marriage Fact Type and clicking OK opens the window to select the spouse. (This is similar to RM7.)

Selecting Catherine Bovey as the spouse adds the Marriage fact to the time line with Catherine Bovey in the details area. Toward the right of the screen, the fields such as date and place are shown and are blank.

The date and place from the Ancestry record are entered into the Date and Place fields for the marriage fact on RootsMagic.

Next, I add the source. In RM8, I click on the > by SOURCES.

This opens the SOURCES window on the right side of the Edit window.

Clicking on the Add Source Citation opens a window to select a source or add a new source. I will first search for the source to see if it is already in my file. If I don’t find it, then I will use the ADD NEW SOURCE option. To look for an existing source, I know that I would have used MARRIAGE in the source name and that it should have ‘Marriage-MD’ in the source abbreviation. Thus, I will look for that in my list of sources.

That pulls up several options with the 4th on the list looking like it should be the Ancestry source. To be sure, I click on that source to view the footnote.

Then, I click on the NEXT button that opens the screen to ADD CITATION.

This window allows me to enter details regarding the source. It is also where the citation will be named.

Scrolling down on the ‘Add Citation’ window reveals the place where I can add a ‘Research Note’. This is similar to the ‘Detail Text’ area in RM7. My typical practice is to copy the info from the Ancestry screen and paste it into RM. Clicking on Research Note opens the EDIT NOTE window where I can paste the information. Because pasting lumps the information together, I also insert carriage returns so the information will be legible on the screen. In addition, I add a space after the colons. (OR – I can copy the text from Ancestry into Notepad and then copy from Notepad into RM8. Using Notepad keeps the line breaks and spacing and actually takes less time that doing the manual corrections.)

Clicking OK at the bottom of the window saves this information and returns to the Edit screen for the individual with the Edit Citation on the right.

Clicking on the large < symbol to the left of Edit Citation (top of right side) closes the citation screen and returns to the Sources screen.

Clicking on the large < to the left of SOURCES closes that window and returns to the FACT info. This window shows the sentence for the fact, and indicates that there is one source attached to this fact.

Since I want the marriage sentence to show on a narrative report, I share the marriage fact with the groom and bride. To do this, I click on the > to the right of SHARED. This opens the Shared With Window.

Clicking on the +Share Fact opens a window to search for those who share this fact. Typing the name in the search box narrows down the list of people to those with this name.

I then change the role to that of Groom for Henry Jones. When sharing the event with his wife, she will be assigned the role of Bride.

Now two people are listed as sharing the fact.

Then, on ANCESTRY, I will click on YES to add the source to my Ancestry tree.

To finish the process, I use TreeShare to UPLOAD information from RootsMagic to Ancestry. In this case, the Marriage fact has a pink source that could be uploaded.

Clicking on the source icon opens a window to compare the sources.

Since the sources are the same I will IGNORE the pink differences and click on the X to ‘Mark as Not Changed’.

Thus, I have the fact in RootsMagic with a source attached and the same source attached in Ancestry.

Lesson Learned

I believe someone once said that learning something new every day helps keep us ‘young.’ Well, if that is true, then my venture into RootsMagic 8 is going to help me stay young for quite some time.

I have been working thru my great aunts and uncles to recheck the information I have for them. In the process, I’m making sure that the sentences read correctly.

For my residence sentences based on census records, I opted to ‘write’ my sentence in the Description field and then just use the [Desc] for the sentence. This allowed me to recreate the sentences from TMG that used multiple ‘memo’ fields.

However, in RM8 I cannot get the Description field to expand. Thus, my long text does not show.

Since I have already customized the sentence for this fact, I can read the description in the sentence. Unfortunately, it would be tedious to try and edit this field since the entire field is not visible on the screen.

This limitation is causing me to ‘rethink’ these sentences.

To try and figure out how to resolve this issue, I searched the Facebook RootsMagic 8 Community Preview for ‘description.’ That’s when I discovered that there is a 100 character limit to the description field in a GedCom file.

This 100 character limit explains why my sentence solution is not actually a solution!

So, the solution I should be using is to put the bulk of the information in the NOTES field and have NOTES included in my narrative reports.

Working in RM8, I want to cut the information from the Description field and paste it into the Note field. I can use hot keys to select everything in the description field (CTRL-A), then CTRL-C to copy that information.

Then I can click on the NOTE field and use CTRL-V to paste that information.

Once the information is pasted into the NOTE field, it can be deleted from the description field by using CTRL-A to select all and then the delete key to remove the information.

Once the Description / Note issue is resolved, I need to correct the sentence. In RM7, I customized the sentence to only show the Description.

I need to return the sentence to its default format. With the ‘Edit Sentence’ window open, I simply have to click on the ‘Reset to Default’ button in the lower left corner of the window. That simple click changed the sentence back to the program’s original format.

To make sure the information I entered in the ‘NOTE’ field appears on the narrative report, I just need to make sure there is a check mark for ‘Include Notes’ on the narrative report settings.

The narrative report now has the default ‘resident fact’ sentence with the note field following the sentence.

Unfortunately, my new knowledge means I have some work ahead of me cleaning up these sentences in RM8.

RM8 Sentences

In case you haven’t figured it out, I like to use a narrative report when working with an individual in my family tree. I’m guessing this goes back to my years using The Master Genealogist and John Cardinal’s Second Site to create a web site.

The Master Genealogist (TMG) used memo fields in their sentences. Since one could have more than one memo field, it was possible to build fairly complicated sentences. When I transferred my data to RootsMagic, I elected to have that ‘memo’ information placed in the NOTE field of RootsMagic.

Like TMG, RootsMagic has standard sentences with the ability to customize them. I am still learning how to customize those sentences, especially for shared facts.

I am currently previewing RootsMagic 8 and learning how to use the new features of this software. Fortunately, with sentences, there doesn’t seem to be much of a learning curve.

To view the sentences, I must open the ‘EDIT’ window for an individual. When a person is highlighted on the pedigree view, family view or any of the other ways to view people, their information is found to left side of the screen.

One way to open an individual’s EDIT window is to click on the pencil icon below their name in the column on the left. Another way to open the window is to double click on the individual in the larger main window to the right. Once the EDIT window is open, highlighting a fact will reveal the sentence for the fact. The sentence information will appear at the bottom of the column to the right.

Like in RootsMagic 7, the sentences can be customized. I use this ability to customize sentences in several ways:

  • Provide variety in a narrative report
  • Create unique sentences for shared facts

Since many of my facts for an individual are residence facts, a narrative report can get boring when the default sentence is always used.

To add variety, I will edit some of the residence sentences to place the date at the first of the sentence.

In RM7 I have a ‘funeral’ fact where the sentence states that the individual sharing the fact attended the funeral.

This fact is shared with 9 people. Their ‘role’ is as a ‘witness.’

When I look at the ‘funeral’ fact type and open the EDIT window, I can see the sentence structure for witnesses to the funeral fact.

When I create a narrative report, the sentence is correctly formatted, indicating that the subject of the report attended the funeral of someone else.

In RM8, the fact shows in the list with a ‘person’ icon and then the words ‘Witness-Funeral’. The sentence is similar to that created in RM7.

When I click to ‘Customize’ the sentence, the Edit Sentence window opens.

However, I need to remember that customizing the sentence for a shared fact affects the sentence for everyone with the same role who share the fact and not just for the person where the sentence was edited.

Another fact that I share is the Marriage fact. I share this fact so that a sentence for the marriage will be created in the narrative report. In RM7, I use the roles of Groom and Bride. The sentence structure is similar for both roles but specific to the role.

  • Groom – Sentence template: [Husband:heshe] married [Wife:given] [Wife:surname]< [desc]>< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.
  • Bride – Sentence template: [Wife:heshe] married [Husband:given] [Husband:surname]< [desc]>< [Date]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>.

If the Marriage fact has already been shared in RM7, then the sentences appear as expected when the file is opened in RM8.

However, I haven’t always remembered to share that marriage event. In an attempt to create the marriage sentence for the narrative report in RM8, I tried the process I used in RM7 – the sharing of the marriage fact.

If I click on the > sign to the right of SHARED, it opens a window listing those people in my file and allowing me to use the search window in the upper right corner. When I type in a name, my list of people narrows down to show potential matches to the name I typed. (Note: I’m assuming that there is a character limit for the search function. I will inquire about this on the FB group for the RM8 preview.)

Underneath the list of people is the ‘Role’ window. Using this window, I change the role for Lida Crawford to Bride.

Even though the fact is shared, it does not show in the list of events UNTIL AFTER the EDIT window is closed.

Re-opening the edit window reveals the shared fact in the list of facts.

In learning how to share a fact in RM8, I also learned how NOT to share a fact. When I want to share a fact with another person in my file, I do NOT want to use the “Just Type Name” option. That option is prominently displayed in the upper left corner of the ‘Add (or select) witness’ window.

The ‘Just Type Name’ option is for instances when I want a witness’s name in a sentence but do not want to add the individual to my file. If I type in the name of a person in my file, it does not connect to the individual in my file. Nor, will the witness sentence appear on their narrative report. Since I typically add people to my file if I want to include them in reports, I want to use the search box in the upper right to locate the individual.

Another shared fact that I use in RM7 is a custom fact: ChildParent. I use this fact to not only print a sentence identifying the parents but also to document the parent-child relationship. I create the fact for the child and then share it with the parents.

When I look at the edit screen for a parent, the shared Parent-Child fact is in their list of events. Highlighting that fact reveals the sentence that will appear in the narrative report for the parent.

Figuring out how these sentences work is something that still challenges me. I’m thankful that working with sentences in RM8 will be similar to what I have been doing in Rm7.

For additional information on RootsMagic and sentence templates, check out their video, Sentence and Source Templates.

RM 8 Light Bulb Settings

Gossip (i.e. Facebook posts) speculated that RootsMagic 8 might have been nearing release. Thus, I feel like I need to spend more time in the preview version figuring out my ‘work flow’.

So, today, I created a new file from my RootsMagic 7 data file and saved it into my separate RM8 folder. When the file opened, I noticed a lot of the light bulbs were yellow and that I had green ‘temple’ icons.

When I clicked on one of the light bulbs, I discovered that My Heritage and Find My Past hinting was enabled.

I assumed that the ability to configure the light bulb hints would be in a Setting. Thus, I investigated the SETTINGS menu for my file. (Gear icon down left side of screen)

Program Settings

Folder Settings

General Settings

Display Settings


WebHints Setting

Latter-day Saints Settings

After looking thru the SETTINGS screens, I realized that I needed to change the Latter-day Saints Settings since I am not a member of their church. I removed the check marks by ‘Enabled’ and by ‘Check Duplicate ORDS’. This change removed the green temple icons from the pedigree screen.

The other change I made to settings was on the Web Hints screen. I removed the check marks by the My Heritage ‘Record Matches’ and ‘Smart Matches’ fields. I also made sure that there was a check mark by FamilySearch hints but not by Find My Past hints.

Now, when I click on a light bulb, it only gives me information for Ancestry and FamilySearch.

I am now more familiar with the SETTINGS screens. I also know how to manipulate which hints are pulled from the various sites.

New versions of almost any software can challenge users with a learning curve. I’m thankful that I have access to the preview version of RootsMagic 8 so that I can ‘play around’. Thus, I should be able to reduce my ‘learning curve’ when I am working with my actual data file.

My Tree

Are you ‘blessed’ with a window in your office? In the early years of my teaching career at Nemaha Valley, my classroom had windows. Those two small windows got ‘covered up’ by construction. When I moved across the hall to the library, I was in the center of the building — with no view of the outside.

Thus, I cherish my windows in my genealogy office. Not only do I have a window, but I have a tree. This tree is full of life, especially in the winter. The squirrels climb all over the tree and jump from it to neighboring trees as they figure out ways to get to the bird feeders. Since we fill the feeders with peanuts, there are several kinds of wood peckers that can be found in and around the tree. Blue jays, cardinals, and finches can also be found ‘hanging out’ in the tree. And of course, our neighbor’s cat loves to climb the tree in search of those birds.

My tree has had a hard life. It suffered significant damage during the 2007 ice storms.

Not wanting to lose the tree, we had it ‘bolted’ back together. And it thrived.

Until the evening of Friday, August 20th. During a thunderstorm, the wind took out several branches in the center of the tree.

By the time we cut back the branches that hang over the street and those approaching our roof, very little of this tree will be left. Thus, the tree will be coming down in the next few weeks.