WikiTree FamilySearch Link

Have you ever observed a feature on someone else’s tree or portion of a shared tree that you think would enhance your work? While checking WikiTree to see if it had a surname for the spouse of Nathaniel Sellers (abt 1720-abt 1789) I noticed a link to his profile on FamilySearch.

Such a link would allow me to click to compare what other researchers have compiled for an individual as well as to see what sources or memories have been added. Thus, I want to learn how to add this link!

And like a ‘dummy’, I started looking around for an ‘edit’ button to the RESEARCH area and then searched Help when I could not find the ability to edit. If I would have just clicked on the [more info] link, I would have found the answer much quicker since the link takes me to the help page.

While the help page explains the process, it is the App that is used to create the link. Opening the app in a new tab takes me to a page to login to both WikiTree and FamilySearch.

Once logged in, my WikiTree Watch List loads showing possible matches to the FamilySearch tree.

While I could flip back and forth between the FamilySearch tree and the app to verify the connection, I am going to use my RootsMagic file to compare the FS IDs. I can do this since I’ve previously linked a person in my RM file to a profile on the FS tree. However, I need to change my settings in RM to display the FS ID.

I normally have the RM settings set to display the RIN.

For this task, I can change the settings for the ‘Number to display’ to the FamilySearch ID (FSID).

When I switch to the pedigree view, I can see the FamilySearch ID for each person I have previously linked to the FS tree.

So, for the first person on my Watch List, Bernice (Crawford) Allen, I can compare my RootsMagic person to the proposed match.

Since the vital information and the FS ID match, I can click on the ‘Create Match’ button.

Clicking on the ‘Link in FamilySearch’ link opens a tab to add a source to the FamilySearch tree with a link back to the WikiTree profile.

After saving, clicking on the name opens a column to the right displaying the details for Bernice on the FS Tree. From here, I opened her profile and switched to sources. I normally view sources sorted chronologically which placed the WikiTree link at the bottom of the other sources for Bernice. To create images for this blog post, I switched the order to CUSTOM which allowed the source to come to the top. of the list.

When I clicked on the source, it expanded to show the web link and the information I entered in the app to create the source.

Going back to the app, the next step is to “Update Wikitree” This opened a tab with several sections to the screen. The top section compares the vital information between the WikiTree profile and the FamilySearch profile (External Data). The third column is the data that will ‘survive’ when the match update is completed. This would allow me to compare conflicting information and select which piece of information should be used in the WikiTree profile. Since the two profiles for Bernice Crawford are in agreement, I am leaving the blue check marks next to the WikiTree data.

The next section displays the changes to the ‘biography’ section of the WikiTree profile in a yellow box. Below that is a white box where I can edit those proposed changes.

In this example, the app is adding the information from FS at the end of what I already have entered. The facts are being entered as a bulleted list with the link to the FS tree following as a Source. While one might be able to accept these proposed edits on a biography, I won’t be able to just accept those changes for most of the profiles that I have updated.

When I first looked at the proposed changes, I have to admit to a little confusion. However, I realized that the statement numbered 15 is actually one of the sources I had added to her biography. The next line that starts with an asterisk is where the app starts proposing changes. Since these facts are for census records and burial information, I simply need to check the biography to see whether I have already included that information.

I can also check the formatting I used for the source to verify that I used a numbered list.

Since I already have the proposed facts included in the biography, I am going to remove those changes.

Since the ==Sources== line will place a second instance of the word in the biography, I could also remove it along with the extra spacing. That would place the *”FamilyTree” source at the bottom of my list. Since I’m not using the FS tree to validate any of the information in the biography, I’m going to change ‘==Sources==’ to ‘====FamilySearch Tree====’. [Additional = signs affect the size of font and match what was used for ‘Sources’ above.

After saving the changes, the link to the FS profile is added to the Research section of Bernice’s profile.

And the FamilySearch Tree ‘source’ appears at the bottom of my list of sources.

This process will be slow! However, I think it will be very useful. Thus, I will start with my ancestors and slowly work thru the profiles of their descendants that I manage.

Ancestry – FamilySearch Connection

Are you an avid Ancestry user? Have you noticed the film numbers that appear on some results?

If so, have you ever tried to locate the film on FamilySearch? Using the Catalog, one can search for the film number by clicking on the link to Film/Fiche/Image Group Number (DGS) to open the search box where the film number can be entered.

Thus a quick search for film 183076 pulls up the Marriage records, 1786-1930 for Bourbon County, Kentucky.

What may not be obvious is that the search takes one to the group of records that include the film number. Thus, one has to scroll down the page (or pages) to locate the actual desired film number).

In this example, the desired film has a search function. Thus, I don’t have to scroll thru the film to locate the record but can do a quick search and locate the record.

Clicking on the camera icon, opens an image of the marriage record — which is the same image found on Ancestry.

While my example shows the two databases leading to the same image, that isn’t always the case. Thus, taking the time to follow that film number lead may uncover additional information.


Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1) What is a “new to you” resource that is helping your genealogy research? [Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting topics!]

Looking back over my recent research, the only source that could be considered ‘new to me’ would be the Online Digital Library on FamilySearch. Since I had written a scheduled post about this resource, I decided to use that post for my response to Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge.

Have you used the BOOKS (or Online Digital Library) on FamilySearch? While I had read/heard about this valuable resource, I had forgotten to about it. I actually stumbled upon it when trying to update a very poor citation.

Hoping to find a digital version of the September 1935 issue of the DAR Magazine, I searched Google and and several other sites with digital resources. Not finding anything, I returned to Google and tried a different search. That search led me to a digital copy in the Online Digital Library on FamilySearch!

By locating a digital copy, I was able to create a better citation and transcribe portions of the article into the ‘notes’ area for the citation.

Since creating the new citation, I need to replace the old ones with this new one. Thanks to the changes in RootsMagic 8, I can tell how many times the bad source was used.

To merge the sources, I highlight the source I wish to keep and click on the 3 vertical dots in the upper right corner of the SOURCES screen. This opens a menu where I can select MERGE SOURCES.

That opens the SELECT SOURCE window where I’m prompted to select the source I wish to merge into the other source

Clicking the OK button opens a window comparing the two sources.

Clicking on the MERGE DUPLICATES button merges my ‘bad’ source into my new one. Now, I have 3 citations.

Clicking on the > to the right of the number of citations will open the CITATION window.

Now, using the 3 dot menu, I can highlight the citation I wish to keep and then select MERGE CITATIONS from the menu.

Like the MERGE SOURCES process, this opens a window where I’m prompted to select a citation I wish to merge into the previously highlighted ‘good’ one.

This opens a window comparing the two citations.

Clicking on the MERGE DUPLICATES button merges the ‘bad’ citation into the newer ‘good’ one. While this process works one citation at a time, it allows me to get rid of my ‘bad’ citations.

Now, I need to learn more about the BOOKS – or Online Digital Library at FamilySearch.

Using Trees

OK – I’ll admit it. I use trees from other genealogists!

When I started my genealogy journey, it was common to share pedigree charts and family group sheets. Not only did I feel fortunate when I would receive those in the mail but I felt very fortunate that I received copies of Crawford, Currey and Briles research from other family members. These were the starting points or foundation for my research.

Granted my access to sources and my research skills have vastly improved. However, I still use the research of others. I greatly appreciate the willingness of others to share their findings. Recently, an Ancestry hint led me to a photo of a newspaper clipping that had been shared by another user.

This one photo provided the information connecting Pearl Doolittle Nyson to Pearl Yeagle and enough sourcing information for me to locate the article. Since the newspaper is not on, I doubt I would have found this tidbit of information on my own.

While I accept other trees when working Ancestry hints, I try not to accept any dates or add new people to my tree from those trees. This places Ancestry Family Trees in my list of Ancestry sources without linking them to any facts.

While I’m not linking these Ancestry Trees to any fact, I am saving links to these trees – and to others researching the same individual by accepting the Ancestry Tree hints. When I click on Ancestry Trees in my list of sources, the citation details provides me the ability to ‘view the individual member trees’.

This is a way for me to keep track of ‘cousins’ who are researching the same people.

Even though I typically try not to use Ancestry Trees to add people to my RootsMagic file, I do use FamilySearch to add people. When researching a new branch of the family, I find it helpful to compare what I’m finding with the work of others. Since the FamilySearch tree is a collaborative tree, it represents a ‘consensus’ of other researchers. Thus, I will use the FamilySearch tree to build out a family and continue researching records for that family. By importing from FamilySearch into RootsMagic, the link between RM and FamilySearch is maintained.

If I find that my research provides conflicting information or leads to a different family, I will collect the documentation to support my position and add it as sourcing on FamilySearch. This was the case with Pearl Doolittle. When I started researching Pearl, her FamilySearch profile only had one husband: William Henry Nyssen. However there was another Pearl Yeagle married to Edwin Friend. The newspaper clipping shared on Ancestry along with other sourcing I found allowed me to merge Pearl Yeagle and Pearl Doolittle.

While other genealogists may ‘cringe’ at the use of Ancestry Trees and/or the FamilySearch tree, there are some resources that support their use.

GenealogyTV has a short video “Avoiding Mistakes on Ancestry” that discusses the use of Ancestry Trees.

And Devon Noel Lee of Family History Fanatics has a blog and accompanying video: Three Reasons Not to Use the FamilySearch Family Tree

Disaster Planning

Did you see the series of tweets about the found photos on Saturday Dec. 11th?

The tweeter and others woke up Saturday morning to find family photos that had been carried by the tornadic storms from Kentucky into Indiana. By posting his find on social media, he was able to connect with the owners of the photos. The TV station, KFVS 12, shared the story: Family Keepsakes from western Kentucky blown hundreds of miles into Wave County.

Thankfully, at least some of the families impacted by the tornadoes are getting their family pictures back.

While the saga of the pictures was playing out on Twitter, a discussion about the value of the the FamilySearch family tree was occurring on Facebook. In response to the original post, I had commented that I uploaded the audio files from interviews with my dad in hopes that they would be preserved into the future. Another FB user replied to my comment that she is encouraging others to add family photos and other family documents to the Memories part of the tree as a form of disaster prevention.

Although I have uploaded many of the family pictures I inherited from my grandmothers as a means of sharing them with distant cousins, I had not considered uploading Memories as a means of disaster planning. Thinking about the response to my comment and the devastation from last weekend’s tornadoes, I now think that I need to consider adding this to my list of goals for 2022.

Two Wives – Same Name

Have you encountered people of the same name in your genealogy research? If so, have you ever encountered your same name individuals married to the same person?

As I’ve been researching the descendents of John Lewis Ricketts, I found his grandson, Jason G. Ricketts, on the FamilySearch FamilyTree with two wives. The fact that Jason had two wives isn’t unusual. However, these two wives have the same name: Ruth Lindley.

When I encountered these two Ruth Lindley’s, I was just starting to find information on Jason Ricketts. Since I use the FamilySearch Family Tree to help me fill out the families as I start to research them, I was stumped. I didn’t know which Ruth Lindley was the correct one. However, I found some records that identify the parents of Ruth.

One of the first items found was a newspaper article announcing the marriage of Jason Ricketts and Ruth Lindley. This article identifies Ruth’s parents as Mr. and Mrs. John B. Lindley.

Kempton Young People Married
Jason Ricketts and Miss Ruth Lindley, both of Kempton, were united in marriage in Tipton last Tuesday, at the home of Rv. G. D. Foster. The ceremony was witnessed by Mr. and Mrs. Grant Tudor. Mrs. Tudor being and aunt of the bride. The bride is the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John B. Lindley and the groom is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Ricketts, all of Kempton. The newly weds will reside with the groom’s parents for the present. Both the young people are respectably connected and they have a host of friends in the vicinity in which they live.

“Kempton Young People Married,” The Tipton Daily Tribune (Tipton, IN), 18 June 1915, page 8; digital image, ( : viewed online 27 November 2021).

Even though the marriage announcement identifies the parents, I don’t feel it provides enough evidence to eliminate one of the Ruths. That’s because the FS tree shows John H. Lindley as the father of one and John B. Lindley as the father of the other.

Thus, the search continued. Thankfully, there are some other records readily available on Ancestry that help identify the parents. The first is a database record for Indiana marriages that lists the parents of Ruth.

Name: Ruth Lindley
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 24
Event Type: Marriage Registration (Marriage)
Birth Date: 20 May 1891
Birth Place: Tipton, Indiana
Marriage Date: 15 Jun 1915
Marriage Place: Indiana, United States
Residence Place: Kempton, Indiana
Father: John Braxton Lindley
Mother: Hester Ann Pickerell
Spouse: Jason G Ricketts
Page: 3
FHL Film Number: 002315335

“Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001,” database, Ancestry, ( : viewed online 28 November 2021), Jason G Ricketts.

Since Ruth LIndley Ricketts died in Indiana, there is a death certificate for her on Ancestry. And, that death certificate also identifies her parents as John and Hester Lindley.

Name: Roth L Ricketts
[Roth L Lindley]
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 75
Marital status: Widowed
Birth Date: 20 May 1891
Birth Place: Indiana
Death Date: 23 Feb 1967
Death Place: Anderson, Madison, Indiana, USA
Father: John Lindley
Mother: Hester Lindley

Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011, Ruth L. Ricketts, 23 February 1967; database with images, ( : viewed online 27 November 2021).

For my purposes, I am accepting Ruth G. Lindley, daughter of John and Hester Lindley as the wife of Jason Ricketts. Since I am NOT a descendant of Jason and Ruth Ricketts, I am not comfortable removing the other Ruth Lindley as a wife of Jason Ricketts on FamilySearch.

Even though I’m uncomfortable with removing Ruth, daughter of John and Miranda, I did the following:

  • Added the source for the newspaper marriage announcement to the family of Jason Ricketts and Ruth G. Lindley.
  • Uploaded a screenshot of the marriage announcement to the Memories for both Jason Ricketts and Ruth G. Lindley.
  • Added the source for the Indiana death certificate to Ruth G. Lindley
  • Uploaded the image of the death certificate to Ruth G. Lindley
  • Added a discussion to Jason Ricketts about the parents of his wife.
  • Contacted the individual who added Ruth G. Lindley as a spouse to make them aware of the sources and images I’ve added.

RM and the FamilySearch Tree

Have you thought about what happens to all of the work you’ve put into the research of your family after you are gone? Are you one of those lucky ones who have someone younger willing to take it over?

Unfortunately, I don’t believe I will be so fortunate. Thus, I have sought out ways to share my research. I’ve distributed narrative reports to the societies where my ancestors lived, published my work on a web site, shared my work via gedcom, maintain a public tree on Ancestry and now blog about my findings.

Since I was not actively doing research for quite a few years prior to my retirement, I was not aware of the FamilySearch tree until I started using RootsMagic. Thus, for the past five years, I have been learning more about the FS tree and the FS site in general. Even though I have read or heard all of the comments about others changing one’s ancestors, I appreciate the collaborative aspect of the tree.

Recently, Elizabeth Shown Mills shared the FB post, Why do I support the FamilySearch FamilyTree?

Then on Nov. 17th, Randy Seaver posted the following on his blog: Dear Randy: Should I Use FamilySearch Family Tree as My Maine Genealogy Database?

I readily admit that I’m a novice user of the FamilySearch FamilyTree. At times, I have struggled with adding information to the site. Thus, I rely on the RootsMagic interface with the FamilySearch tree.

When I’m researching descendants, I use the connection between RootsMagic and the FS tree to add spouses and children. For example, I have Francis N Goudy in my RM file but not a spouse or children.

The FS tree has a spouse and four children.

Since I want to document this family, I want their names and dates in my RM file. When I click on the blue FS icon to the right of Francis N Goudy’s name in RootsMagic, a drop-down menu appears where I can click on FamilySearch.

Clicking on FamilySearch from the drop-down menu opens a window comparing what I have in my RootsMagic fild with what is on the FamilySearch FamilyTree.

Not only does this window show me that there are several census records and marriage records that I need to find, but it also identifies the spouse and children of Francis N. Goudy. It is this family information that I want to capture from FamilySearch.

To add an individual from FamilySearch to my RM tree, I click on the icon to the left of their name. This opens a window askinig me to confirm adding the person to my RM file.

Once I have the spouse and children added to my RM file, I then use RM’s TreeShare to add them to my Ancestry Tree. Now, I can research the family adding facts and events. By already having the family names in my database, I can more easily analyze records to see if they apply to this family. I realize that I am assuming the family on FS is correct. Since I work with one family at a time to document the events of their lives, I am willing to take the risk that some of the information on FS might be incorrect knowing that I can always delete them from my RM file. Besides the convenience of adding facts and sources, I like the fact that these new family members are already linked to the FS tree.

After working thru the Ancestry hints, I now have residence facts in my RM file.

I can also compare sources. In the case of Francis Nelson Goudy, someone has already added quite a few sources.

If I have a source that isn’t on the FS side, I can check the source and follow the prompts to add it to FamilySearch.

I struggle with this part a little. The window asks if I want to attach the source to the Name, Gender, Birth, Christening, Death, Burial or Family fields In the case of this source for the marriage, I am checking the Name and Family fields. However, when adding a census source, I only check the Name field.

The next window asks for a ‘reason’ to attach the source. This is another struggle for me. I don’t know if the reasons I enter are sufficient.

Once I have entered a reason and clicked the Attach button, the source appears in the list of sources on the right. If I click on the ‘i’ a window opens showing me the citation and the reason I entered.

I rarely edit or merge on the FS Tree. Before undertaking such a task, I make sure I have added sources to support the action I am taking.

Anyone wanting additional information about using the FamilySearch Tree with RootsMagic should check out Family History Fanatics video: RootsMagic 8: How to Sync Ancestry and FamilySearch Family Trees.


When you log into FamilySearch, do you pay attention to the pictures that ‘pop up’ indicating that someone added memories to a person you are following on the FamilySearch tree? I have to admit that I often just go on by this opening screen to either go to the tree or to the catalog.

However, I recently slowed down and realized that a cousin (likely 2nd cousin once removed) had added family photos to my great-aunt Gladys’ page.

My first response was to contact the poster via FamilySearch’s messages. Then, I dug in my files to compare what was posted with the pictures I received from my grandmother. Finding several items, including her wedding photo, I uploaded images from my files to FamilySearch so that this cousin I have never met could have access to them.

I feel an obligation to share the pictures handed down from my grandmothers with family members. Even though there are a variety of ways to share photos on the Internet, few of them allow for sharing with cousins I have yet to identify. In my opinion, the FamilySearch site is one of the few sites that will likely preserve these photos for future generations.

Since I have quite a few photos and documents for my aunts, uncles and great-aunts/uncles, I have expanded my list of goals to include getting these photos uploaded to FamilySearch. This is one way I can attempt to preserve these items for their descendants.

How are you planning to share or preserve photos and documents for your aunts/uncles and great aunts/uncles?

Lessons Learned

Do you ever have good intentions to share something and then fall flat? Well, I’ve fallen ‘flat on my face’ when trying to share some information on FamilySearch.

I recently received an email from support at FamilySearch indicating that a PDF file that I had uploaded as a memory was rejected. I received four such messages. These PDF files were created by printing one of my blog posts about an aspect of an ancestors life.

When I looked thru the guidelines for submission, the only thing on the list that I thought I might have violated was copyright. Since I wrote the blog posts and thus own the copyright, I sent a reply asking if that was the issue. Thankfully, I got a response back indicating that there was an URL that was causing the problem.

When I looked at the item on FamilySearch, I couldn’t see where I had added an URL.

However, when I opened the ‘offending’ pdf file on my computer and scrolled thru it, I discovered the problem.

There at the bottom of each page was the offending URL. Thankfully, I can edit the PDF and remove that link. So, I tried uploading a new file only to discover that the URL is somehow embedded in the document.

So, I investigated the settings on my non-business WordPress account and couldn’t find anything to allow me to print the post without the embedded URL.

Plan 2 was to go back to the post and try copying and pasting it into Word.

That got the information and the images into a Word document. Resizing the image allowed me to get the information onto one page. I then saved this as a PDF file.

I then uploaded this new PDF file to FamilySearch. When I go to the Memories for Mary Foster (where the file was uploaded) and open the memory, I can click on the file without it opening my blog. Thus, the URL is no longer embedded in the file. Unfortunately, there are links embedded in the document.

To get rid of those links, I go back to the Word document

  • highlight the text
  • right click
  • select remove link

This removes the links – but the text remains blue. Even though the text is blue, clicking on it won’t cause a page to open. However, someone might see the blue and assume there is an embedded URL. Thus, I need to change the text color.

I then save the file as a PDF and upload this new version to FamilySearch.

Hopefully, I found all of the URLs and this file will not become ‘restricted’.

Now, I have to get to work and fix the other files that have been restriced.


My Source Struggle (part 1 and part 2) continues. A reader’s comment suggested that I try the Chrome extension, Record Seek. According to the reader, this extension helps create a source citation on the FamilySearch tree for web based sources.

Seeking to learn more about RecordSeek, I found a FamilySearch wiki page for the RecordSeek extension. Like most of the FamilySearch wikis, this page was very informative, including directions on how to download and use RecordSeek.

So I installed the extension and now have RecordSeek on my bookmarks bar.

I found a source that contains information regarding the marriage of Dolly Crawford to Joseph Ham on FamilySearch.

I scrolled thru this source looking for Joseph Ham and found the marriage information on page 83.

Since this source is an image and not a web page, I am unable to do step 2: “highlight information you’d like to include in the record notes.” Thus, I moved on to the next step which is to click the RecordSeek button on my bookmarks bar. This opened RecordSeek’s ‘Create a Source’ window.

Since this source is from FamilySearch, I clicked on FamilySearch and logged in when prompted. That opened an ‘Attach a Source’ window with many of the fields filled in. (Note that Family Search was entered as the source title.)

I then clicked on NEXT and that opened a window to ‘Search for an existing person.’

I then switched to the tab that had Dolly Crawford open so that I could copy the person ID. Once the ID was copied, the pop-up window for RecordSeek had disappeared behind the full screen browser. I was able to use Alt-Tab to locate that hidden window. I ended up typing in the ID since I wasn’t able to paste the ID in the box, Clicking NEXT opened an ‘Attach Source to Dolly Crawford’ window where I filled in why I was attaching this source.

When I clicked on Create & Attach, it added the source to Dolly Crawford [LLHZ-852] on FamilySearch.

Unfortunately, this process used ‘FamilySearch’ as the title of this source and not the actual title of the book it came from. The ‘Edit’ screen for this source displays what was filled in by RecordSeek.

Since this process is flawed, I decided to work with RootsMagic. I have a personally created template for FamilySearch county records. I modified that template for a digital book. Then, I added a new source for Dolly Crawford.

Then on FamilySearch, I edited the source created by RecordSeek so that it would have better information.

  • Added a standardized date
  • Replaced the ‘FamilySearch’ title with the actual title of the book (copy/pasted from RootsMagic
  • Copied the footnote from RootsMagic into the ‘Where the Record is Found (Citations)’ box
  • Copied the information I had transcribed into the ‘Detail Text’ source tab from RootsMagic into the ‘Describe the Record (Notes)’ box

Since I want the source information in TWO places, RootsMagic and FamilySearch, I likely won’t be using RecordSeek. Instead, I will use my templates in RootsMagic to create the source and transcribe the record. Then I will create a new source on FamilySearch and copy/paste the information into FamilySearch.