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, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : 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, (www.ancestry.com : 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, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : 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.

Sharing

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.

RecordSeek

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.

RootsTech Connect 2021

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) Did you attend the free and virtual RootsTech Connect 2021 this week? What was your favorite moment, experience, session, and/or feature?

Well, let’s say I tried to attend RootsTech 2021. That is before I had a Thursday afternoon appointment and ended up under the weather on Friday.

In my limited viewing, I

  • created my playlist of sessions to watch.
  • checked out many of the exhibitors in the Expo Hall Wednesday evening.
  • watched the Main Stage opening session on Thursday morning.
  • left the Main Stage to watch a presentation by the Library of Virginia.
  • forgot that the sessions were on YouTube and finally realized that I was watching older genealogy presentations when YouTube just kept going after the Library of Virginia presentation.
  • watched several of the FamilySearch sessions on Saturday.

But, my favorite moment has to be using Relatives at RootsTech. Yes, the concept of 88,907 relatives is beyond comprehension. But the app of my phone took about the top 300 of those and sorted them by common ancestor! Using that feature, I now have a spreadsheet of those contacts with their user name, relationship, and the common ancestors. On Wednesday, I sent a message to quite a few of those ancestors. Since my list has changed from Wednesday, I could make more connections.

So, why is this my favorite part?

One of those relatives is the great grandson of my great aunt. I haven’t heard back from him yet — but I’m going to keep trying to make a connection. Hoping that he is active on FamilySearch, I uploaded the pictures that I have of his great-grandmother to the tree.

Another of the relatives is a descendant of my 3rd great grandfather, Ozias Wells. When I got a response from this relative, I went digging in my files to locate the photocopy of the Wells family Bible. Even though most of the Wells family, including her branch, stayed in Michigan, the Bible found its way to Kansas. I’ve also uploaded this resource to the tree.

But the best part was seeing all of my 5th cousin descendants of my brick wall ancestor, James Crawford.

So, I have a full to-do list: watch all of the sessions on my playlist and work on connecting with these cousins!

Thank you RootsTech for this opportunity!

Sources Struggle Part 2

Have you ever wished for an ‘easy’ button when working on your genealogy? Well, I found a “button” that makes my struggle to add sources to someone on the FamilySearch tree easier.

One of my struggles is what appears to be a lack of order to the source listing.

While starting to add sources for my grandfather, I was curious about what the options button did. So I clicked on it.

That’s when I discovered the option to put the sources in chronological order.

Using this option, the sources are now in timeline order. However, sources that don’t have dates appear at the bottom of the list of sources.

If I click on the title of the source, the source expands and shows the various actions, including ‘edit’.

Clicking on the blue ‘Edit’, the source expands. I can see that the date field is empty.

When I enter the date (1942 for above source) and click save, the source is now appears in chronological order.

Now that I have the sources on FamilySearch in chronological order, I can scroll thru the ‘Edit Person’ screen on RootsMagic to locate facts in RootsMagic that don’t have a source on Family Search. (Note: I use two screens which makes this comparison much easier. I put RootsMagic on the left screen and FamilySearch on the right screen.)

With my grandfather, the newspaper articles and advertisements tell a story about his life not found in other records. Thus, the need to add them to FamilySearch. One of those sources is from a 1933 edition of the Emporia Gazette. Not only do I have the citation in RootsMagic, but I also have a transcription of the article.

On FamilySearch, I click on the blue ‘Add Source’ link. In this window, I add the date and create my title for the source. Then I copy the footnote from RootsMagic into the ‘Where the Record Is Found’ box. Since I have a trannscription in the details window of RootsMagic, I copy that and paste it into the ‘Describe the Record (Notes)’ box. Clicking save will add this source to the list of sources.

When I have an image for the source, I can click on ‘Add a Memory’ to get to the options to either upload a memory or to select one from the gallery.

Once the source is saved with the attached memory, an icon that looks like a photo will appear in the left column.

When I click on ‘view source’ a thumbnail of the attached image (memory) is shown.

Working with the two sets of information (RootsMagic and FamilySearch) side by side helps me see what sources are already attached and which events don’t have a source attached. The ability to copy/paste the footnote and the detail (transcription) from RootsMagic into the FamilySearch fields makes it easy to add the sources. Finding that option to sort the sources in chronological order was the key!

Sources Struggle

Do you struggle adding sources to the FamilySearch tree or is it just me? I’m not a member of their church and have only been using the FamilySearch website, including the tree, for about five years. Thus, I am still learning.

With the recently released Ancestor Discovery pages, I want to use those pages as one way to share my family history. Even though a casual viewer won’t be interested in the sources, other researchers will. So, I need to get past the struggle and figure out how I can get my sources onto FamilySearch.

Since I’m a RootsMagic user, I tried using the interface between RootsMagic and FamilySearch to upload these sources.

This is where my struggle begins. On this interface, I have a hard time figuring out whether one of my sources on the left is already on FamilySearch on the right. Once I manage to figure out a source that has yet to be added to FamilySearch, the window that opens up is the next challenge.

Since my sources could be attached to a variety of facts/events beyond the basics of birth, marriage and death, I don’t know what I’m expected to check. Then comes the ‘reason’ to attach, which I also struggle with. Once completed, the source now appears in the FamilySearch list on the RootsMagic interface.

In trying to figure out how I enter sources in RootsMatic impacts this interface, I noticed that the name of the source is how the source is listed in the RootsMagic list and how it is listed on FamilySearch once transferred. I also discovered that my ‘lumping’ tendancy hinders my ability to upload sources.

Instead of individual sources for each article in a newspaper, all of the articles from that newspaper are lumped together. Curious about how the way RootsMagic 8 uses citations, I wondered if RootsMagic 8 would lump the sources in the same way. When I looked at RootsMagic 8, the list of sources appeared to be the same.

Since one of my dad’s first cousins is active on the FamilySearch tree, I decided to see if I could learn anything from the sources she has added.

Studying sources she added as well as sources added by others, I noticed a pattern:

Name as listed in record followed by an abbreviated name of the record

The other thing I noticed was the date associated with each source. When I switched back to my grandfather’s sources page, I found that the date is not listed for some of the sources I transferred, while it is listed for other sources I transferred.

Thus, I don’t think the RootsMagic interface is the best way for me to transfer the sources in my file. So my other option is to use the ‘Add Sources’ page.

Using this screen to add a source allows me to add the transcription and add the media.

Using the add source screen would be easiest to use at the same time I’m creating the source in RootsMagic.

This is also how I will need to add all of my newspaper sources. Thus, I likely need to work with a report for the individual that includes the Endnotes to figure out which sources need added and reference back to the citation on RootsMagic so I can copy it to FamilySearch.

Using the ‘Add Sources’ screen will take longer to get my existing sources attached to my ancestors on the tree, but I understand that process. Thus, it will be less of a struggle.

Over 19,000

Have you attended RootsTech? I’ve never had the privilege of attending RootsTech, but I have been a ‘Not at RootsTech’ participant. This year, everyone will be a ‘Not at RootsTech’ participant by attending the virtual RootsTech Connect.

For those who were able to attend last year, they could use the “Relatives around Me” task on the FamilySearch app. This year, we can all take advantage of this technology.

To get to the screen informing me I have over 19,000 relatives who will be attending RootsTech, I simply clicked on the red ‘Join’ button at the top of the FamilySearch screen after I logged in.

I have to wait until Feb. 25th when RootsTech starts, but then I will be able to see how I am related to these other attendees.

This is just an added benefit of RootsTech. If you aren’t registered to attend, you might want to register.

It will be interesting to see what happens with all of these relatives! Join me so we can see if we are related.

Addendum:

The Site is LIVE!

There is a ‘See Relatives’ button that takes you to your relatives.

The ‘Relatives at RootsTech’ page has a list of relatives on the left with a map of where those relatives reside toward the right side of the page.

Of my over 25,000 relatives, I currently only have about 15 4th cousins or closer. The rest are 5th cousins or greater. Curious as to whether I am related to any of the ‘big’ names in genealogy, I did a search for DearMyrtle, Pat Richley-Erickson and found that we are 11th cousins. My connection is thru my WELLS line.

These results are similar to those on the old ‘We’re Related’ app: they depend on both parties having an accurate tree. So, I’ll admit right now: I don’t have my tree back that far! I have documentation back 6 to 7 generations.

So, for most of my numerous ‘relatives’, my tree doesn’t go back far enough to prove distant cousin relationships. Sorry! But it is fun to see who I might be related to!