WikiTree Suggestions

Do you try to share your genealogy research across multiple platforms? Around the time I started working on my research full time, (i.e. after retirement), I heard several genealogists discuss ‘cousin bait’. The point of ‘cousin bait’ is to share one’s research on a variety of platforms in hopes of connecting with cousins.

While I have had a tree on Ancestry for quite some time along with a web site, I didn’t have my data on many other genealogy sites. With DNA, however, I found myself transferring my DNA to other sites. Since DNA isn’t very helpful without an associated tree, I also used gedcom to transfer my research to the DNA sites.

Thus, when I learned of WikTtree, I expected to be able to upload a gedcom file. While my initial attempt was not successful, I must have been able to upload a smaller file and make it thru the comparison process. However, at this point I wish that I had created my ancestors one by one versus using a gedcom file. While this process created quite a few profiles, I’ve encountered the following issues:

  • I never learned how to edit or create a biography or sources.
  • Because my computer program was used to create the gedcom, there were links in the sources to documents on my hard drive. While those links work on my computer, they do not work on WikiTree. Thus, the profiles have errors.
  • The profiles are ugly.
  • The sources are messy.

Since I was able to create and link a number of profiles using a gedcom, I thought I had accomplished the goal of cousin bait. And those messy profiles have existed since spring of 2016. As I’ve been learning more about how WikiTree works, I discovered my page of suggestions.

When I first looked at my pages of suggestions, I had no idea what a ‘missing span anchor’ was and was somewhat overwhelmed when it said “Difficulty: Advanced”. Since I consider myself a NOVICE when it comes to working in WikiTree, I had no idea what the error was or how to fix it. I did find a couple of discussions on the ‘WikiTree G2G‘ site that helped me understand the cause of the error.

Both of these discussions indicated that a GEDCOM upload was the cause of the error. They also discussed solutions. However, this NOVICE user hasn’t figured out how the code for spans works in a profile. Thus, ‘fixing’ these errors is definitely at the advanced level for difficulty.

Since I don’t like the idea of ‘errors’ being associated with my work, I have a lot of cleaning up to do. While simply removing the offending span reference might be the easiest way to fix these errors, that does not make the biography more readable. Nor does it help with the sources. The easiest way I’ve found to fix all of these issues is to utilize the narrative reports from RootsMagic to create the biography and list of sources.

Using the narrative reports from RootsMagic not only helps me clean up the profiles on WikiTree but it also is causing me to clean up errors in RootsMagic. While I should be embedding the sources as I fix these profiles, I am just concentrating on getting the profiles corrected for now.

Based on my experiences using WikiTree, my primary suggestion is to create ancestral profiles one at a time versus using a gedcom file.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Well, it is not Saturday night, but Sunday afternoon. However, Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge this week was too good to pass up.

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

1)  Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.

While driving home, I was pondering this challenge and how to figure out who this might be in my RootsMagic file of over 21,700 people. Thus, I was hoping that there was an easy way to identify such a person in my tree.

And I think there is.

My first ‘attempt’ to identify prolific fathers was limited to my direct ancestors. To do this, I used the GROUP feature of RootsMagic. This function can be found under the PALETTE icon in the upper right corner of the program.

After selecting Groups – Add, Delete or Modify from the Command Palette, I selected NEW which opened a window to ‘Enter name for the group’.

Since I wanted to limit it to my direct ancestors, I first highlighted myself and then clicked on MARK to select ‘Ancestors of highlighted person’.

On the ‘ANCESTOR OPTIONS’ window, I set it at 10 generations and selected ‘Direct Ancestors Only’

For the next step, I wanted to get rid of everyone who had small families. Thus, I wanted to UNMARK my ancestors who had less than a specific number of children. Thus, I clicked on UNMARK and selected ‘By data Field’

Since I was after FATHERS, I also unmarked the females to narrow the list down to fathers.

Then I made sure I clicked on SELECT to save the results and OK to close the window.

Once the group was created, I then switched the INDEX in the left side of my people screen from EVERYONE to my new group.

Once the group was selected, I could see the members of the group. Since I was unsure of the family sizes, I started with the ‘Number of children’ less than 11. I kept changing that number until I got a fairly short list of results.

From my list of results, I could click on each one see their information in the window above the index. By clicking on SPOUSES, I could see their spouses and how many children they had by each spouse.

By clicking thru each person in the group, I found that Hendrick Banta had 22 children, 14 by his first wife and 8 by his second wife.

Since Randy’s challenge was for the most prolific father in my database, my next question was whether Hendrick Banta was the most prolific or whether a descendant or someone in one of my many ‘bushes’ was the most prolific.

To figure this out, I created another group. This time, my first step was to select individuals with over 20 children.

That group resulted in 3 individuals, including one female with 23 children. Thinking it HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a female could be the mother of 23 children, I checked her data and found that I had somehow linked her to two spouses with one set of children being born after her death. Thus, I unlinked her from that family, which reduced her number of children to 14.

This left TWO men in my tree with 22 children. Having just discovered one error, I compared the families of these two men with FamilySearch and discovered, that again I had put two John Crawford families together that the FamilySearch tree has as two separate families. Thus, I need to separate these two families until I find sources indicating that the John Crawford in both families is the same person.

That left me with my ancestor, Hendrick Banta. When I checked his profile on FamilySearch, I found that FamilySearch shows 21 children: 14 thru his wife Antjin Demarest and 7 thru his wife, Rachel Brouwer. My eighth child, Leah, has the sane name as another Leah in the list of 7 children but a different birth date. Thus, further research may indicate these two individuals in my tree are the same person.

Even when I subtract the second Leah from the count of children, Hendrick Banta is still the most prolific father in my tree.

Children of Hendrick Banta and Antjin Demarest

  • Rachael Banta
  • Cornelius Banta
  • Samuel Banta
  • Pieter “Petrus” Bnta
  • John “Shaker John” Banta
  • Daniel Banta
  • Captain Jacob H Banta
  • Mary Polly Banta
  • Antje Banta
  • David Hendricksen Banta
  • Isaac William Banta
  • Angenitie Banta
  • Hendrick “Vestus” Banta
  • Garret Banta

Children of Hendrick Banta and Rachel Brower

  • Hendrick Hendricksen Banta IV
  • Lea Banta
  • Abraham Banta
  • Private Abraham Banta
  • Mary Banta
  • Albert Banta
  • Geertruid Henrickse “Gertrude” Banta

RootsMagic to WikiTree

Do you have any of your tree on WikiTree? Although I had heard “Dear Myrtle,” “Cousin Russ” and others talk about “cousin bait” and the use of WikiTree, I don’t have a lot of my data on WikiTree.

That all may change thanks to the recent meeting of Topeka Genealogical Society‘s Computer Special Interest Group (via zoom) last Thursday. During the meeting, Rich shared a lot of information about WikiTree including a GenealogyTV video.

After participating in the group, I decided to give WikiTree another try.

Since I have been updating my 3rd great-grandparents, I decided to see whether I could use a RootsMagic narrative report to create a profile for one of those great grandparents. I started with Henry Burke, whom I had to add. Since I had his daughter, Angelina Burke in my tree, I clicked on her father to add him. Then I

  • entered his birth and death dates
  • verified he wasn’t already in the tree
  • added his place of death
  • added the Find a Grave record as the source

This created a ‘basic profile.’ Then I clicked to EDIT the profile. I copied the RootsMagic narrative report that I had created for Henry Burke into the biography section. This replaced the “generic” birth/death information with the narrative for his life. This process changes the superscript endnotes numbers to regular numbers at the end of each fact sentence.

I had previously tried this with Nelson G. Crawford‘s profile and decided to put parenthesis around the numbers so that readers might realize they were embedded endnote numbers.

When working with Henry Burke’s profile, I explored the help resources and discovered that I could “embed” the sources by using the <ref> tag.

Further down on the help page was information on how to reuse a citation.

Since I’ve used the Find a Grave citation for multiple facts, I wanted to use this technique for that source. So, I assigned the name “find grave”

Then I just referred to that name when I wanted to reuse the citation.

When finished embedding the sources, I saved the profile. This published my narrative report with superscript endnote numbers.

At the bottom of the biography is the numbered list of sources with links back to the biography.

To summarize, I

  • Used RootsMagic to generate a narrative report for my ancestor and open that report in Word.
  • Copied the biographical portion of the narrative report into the WikiTree profile for my ancestor
  • Used the <ref> </ref> tags to create an embedded citation
  • Copied the source information from the word copy of the narrative report (or from RootsMagic) and pasted it after the <ref> tag and before the </ref> tag
  • Used the name= function to assign a name to a citation so that I could reuse it
  • Saved the updated profile when finished embedding the sources (See Henry Burke)

Now that I’ve not only figured out how I can use the narrative report to create the WikiTree biography but also how it fairly quickly and easily embed the citations, I will likely build out more of my tree.

Research Notes Using Narrative Reports

Do you ever feel like you are playing ‘catch up’ with your genealogy research? I know that when I first started, I would come home from a genealogy research trip with a pile of paper notes. That pile of paper would sit for weeks (months and even years) before I would get caught up working thru it.

As I’m reviewing my 3rd great grandparents, I feel like I’m in ‘catch up’ mode again. That’s because I’m finding poor citations and holes in my research. In the process, I’m finding that I need a set of research notes for each of these individuals so I know what I have and what I’m missing.

Since I use Scrivener to keep my research for a county/area along with transcriptions of records, I thought I could use Scrivener to keep these notes. However, after completing a few sets, I found that I either had to spend some time learning more about Scrivener or switch to a different tool. Thus, I re-watched several of Constance Knox’s Genealogy TV videos about research notes.

Following the tips from these videos, I started using her template (available $ here). I’m finding that I like using the ideas from the videos and this template better that what I was doing in Scrivener. Basically, this is due to the fact that my Word skills are better than my Scrivener skills.

In working thru the template, I was copying notes, transcriptions of records and citations from my RootsMagic program. Thus, I began wondering whether I could use a RM report to generate a set of notes. And I thought about using a Narrative Report. I attempted this process using the following settings for the narrative report.

  • One Generation
  • Include Notes
  • New paragraph after every fact
  • Include Private Facts
  • Include Private Notes
  • No Index
  • Endnotes: Print Research Notes
  • Endnotes: Print Comments
  • Reuse Endnote Numbers

When it comes to the Endnotes, this creates a very MESSY report. That’s because I wanted EVERYTHING that I have in RM to be included in the report, including the transcriptions of records that I put in the RESEARCH NOTE field for a citation.

By including those research notes, I discovered that I would also have to use ENDNOTES to create the report and not footnotes. This issue was discussed on the RootsMagic Community where a power user provided a very logical explanation. (See question: Unable to generate any sort of Narrative reports on my win10 laptop)

The problem arises when the footnotes take up so much space on a page that RM’s report writer gets flummoxed with pagination. That’s not an issue with endnotes which can be of any length.

I also found that editing the document containing endnotes did not allow me to remove an endnote and thus renumber the remaining endnotes. Nor, was I able to convert the Endnotes to Footnotes.

Because of these issues with ENDNOTES, I retried creating the report using FOOTNOTES and not asking the report to include the ‘research notes’ attached to the citation. While this report would provide a starting point, working with the footnotes was still problematic.

Not willing to give up, I tried creating the report without sourcing. This pulls the sentences and notes for the person that can be easily copied into the template.

Working with this document, I can add the bold headings.

As I work my way thru the document, I can see spelling and formatting errors in the RootsMagic sentences and notes. I can also add the sourcing for each event.

While creating these research notes will be time consuming, I believe that I will not only end up with better sourcing but also with a better understanding of what I’m missing.


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.

Merging Sources

Do you have a poorly crafted source in your RootsMagic file that you would like to replace with another? I have to admit that I have such sources in my file.

In the past, I have worked my way thru adding the new source/citation and deleting the old one – one fact at a time. Today, as I was working with my WELLS research I came across a source that needed updated – but it had been used 285 times.

Not wanting to work my way thru numerous individuals and 285 facts to switch out the source, I decided to experiment with merging the source.

First, I did a backup of my file. That way, if my experiment failed, I could restore the backup and start switching out the sources.

My next step was to create a ‘new’ source using a template based on Evidence Explained standards. The template I used was one I had copied from one of the built-in RootsMagic templates. It was for a letter.

Using my template, I entered the information for the new source.

With my new source highlighted on the SOURCES screen, I pulled down the 3 dot menu and selected MERGE SOURCE.

Then, I highlighted my ‘bad’ source. (Family-Wells MI)

By selecting the 2nd source (my bad one), a window opened showing the two sources side by side..

This allows me to compare them before merging. If I had selected the sources in the ‘wrong’ order, I could swap them at this point. Since these sources are arranged in the way I wish to merge them, I clicked on MERGE DUPLICATES. That removed my ‘bad’ source and moved all the cited facts to my new source.

I don’t know why I haven’t tried this before! It was a simple way to switch out a new updated source for my older ‘bad’ source.


Have you ever encountered a situation where records disagree about whether a person is living or deceased? I have to admit that this is a first for me!

While researching descendants of Ozias Wells in Michigan records, I encountered such a situation. Because I think the individual is still living, I’m going to discuss my process and hopefully without revealing the identity of this fourth cousin.

My process of researching these cousins centers around Ancestry hints. One of those hints was to a Find a Grave record that included links to his spouse and children. Thus, I started adding those pages as sources for the birth and death dates of the spouse and children.

According to Find a Grave, ChildA died in 2004. ChildA’s surname on Find a Grave is that of her first husband. When I got to ChildB who died in 2019, there was a full obituary. This obituary indicated ChildA was a surviving sister but with a different surname and living in Florida.

In the process of searching for more info on ChildA, I located a Florida marriage record indicating ChildA had a second marriage. ChildA’s second husband died in 2017. An obituary in Florida for the husband identifies his surviving wife and includes the surname from her first marriage. A Tennessee obituary for the second husband identifies his surviving wife as a second wife and includes her maiden name. I also located a 2008 obituary for ChildC that also listed ChidA as a surviving sister living in Florida.

Thus, I believe ChildA did not die in 2004 but was still living in 2019. Since I haven’t found any death notice or obituary for her and have found an address in Florida, I think she is still living. I suggested an edit on the Find a Grave site so that the owner of the site could make the correction.

Because I had incorrectly entered a death date in my file, I also had to change the person back to LIVING in my RootsMagic file. I simply had to open the person and put a check mark in the LIVING box.

Since I had used TreeShare to upload ChildA to my tree, I had to also set ChildA to living on Ancestry. I turned to Google for directions and changed ChildA to living on Ancestry.

That left FamilySearch. I had already changed the death date from 2004 to after 2019 and uploaded sourcing to support that change. Since I’ve never had any ‘training’ on FamilySearch, I had no idea how to change someone from deceased to living. Fortunately, Google helped me find directions on the FamilySearch page, How Do I Change the Status of a Person from Deceased to Living in the FamilyTree?

Now, it is up to the administrators of FamilySearch to evaluate the information I provided and decide whether to change ChildA from deceased to living.

TreeShare Issues

Are you a RootsMagic user who at times likes to work on your genealogy from the comforts of your living room couch or recliner versus from your genealogy office? While I spend most of my time in front my desktop computer, I do want to use my laptop in the living room – particularly to do TreeShare.

Unfortunately, when I was uploading changes from my laptop, those uploads weren’t being recognized by my desktop. Thus, I couldn’t switch back and forth between computers to do the TreeShare uploads. Not wanting to be limited to my desktop, I started trying to research the issue.

After researching on both the RootsMagic Users Group in Facebook and the RootsMagic Community, I finally found a discussion on Facebook that shed light on the issue, Tree share anomaly. In the comments, one user provided the clue to the ‘why’ behind the TreeShare issues: the AMT folder.

Based on this comment, I tried an experiment.

  • Opened TreeShare on my desktop to see who needed to be transferred
  • Closed TreeShare and RootsMagic
  • Allowed my RootsMagic file to upload to Dropbox and then download to my laptop
  • Located the AMT folder on my desktop and copied it to a USB drive
  • Copied the AMT folder from the USB drive to my laptop, overwriting the existing folder and files
  • Ran RootsMagic on my laptop and performed several uploads in TreeShare
  • Closed RootsMagic on my laptop allowing it to backup.
  • Allowed RootsMagic file on my laptop to upload to Dropbox
  • Downloaded RootsMagic file onto my desktop computer
  • Copied the AMT folder from my laptop to the USB drive
  • Copied the AMT folder from the USB drive back to my desktop allowing it to overwrite the folders and files
  • Opened RM on my desktop
  • Ran TreeShare and VERIFIED that those individuals who were uploaded to Ancestry on my laptop were still uploaded on my desktop.

Thus, I was able to verify that the AMT folder contains TreeShare data that is NOT part of the RootsMagic file. While copying the folder back and forth between computers resolves the TreeShare issue, I will have to be diligent to make sure I’m keeping that folder in sync.

That’s why I’m intrigued about another comment in response to the issue, Rootsmagic.exe on the rootsmagic usb, posted in the RootsMagic Community. In this comment, I discovered that I could install RootsMagic on a USB drive. (Directions in the Wiki article: RootsMagic To-Go)

While I haven’t taken this step, I am intrigued by the possibility of being able to have everything, program, AMT folder, file, exhibits all on a USB drive.

So, where is this ‘magic’ AMT folder that stores the TreeShare data. First, on a WINDOWS PC, this folder is a ‘hidden’ folder which means one has to turn on the ability to see ‘hidden’ files before it can be found. To view hidden files:

  • Open Windows Explorer (hold down windows key and press E)
  • Look on the left side of the window and scroll down to find THIS PC
  • The AMT folder will be on the C drive unless the USER folders were moved. (Those who know how to move USER folders, should also know where the folder is located.)
  • Click on the C drive
  • Locate the three dots in the upper left corner of the explorer window and click on them to pull down the menu
  • Click on Options

  • Click on VIEW
  • Locate the section for HIDDEN FILES AND FOLDERS and click on the option to ‘Show hidden files, folders or drives.”

To locate the AMT folder

  • Look on the left side of the window and scroll down to find THIS PC
  • The AMT folder will be on the C drive unless the USER folders were moved. (Those who know how to move USER folders, should also know where the folder is located.)
  • Double Click on the C drive

  • On the right side, scroll down and locate the USERS folder
  • Double Click on the USERS folder and then Double Click on your user name

  • Locate the APPDATA folder and double click on it to open the folder

  • Locate the ROAMING folder and double click on it to open the folder
  • Scroll down and locate the RootsMagic folder and double click on it to open the folder

  • In that folder is the AMT folder


Do you ever get confused by Ancestry hints that use a different surname for a woman? I have to confess that at times multiple marriages can cause me to wonder whether the hint is actually for the person I’m researching. That was my case recently when researching Louise Humeston, daughter of Julius Hermeston and Mary Jane Wells.

While I expected lots of hints for Louise Humeston, I did not expect hints for Louise Getty. Thus, I checked FamilySearch to see if there was another husband. Instead of finding a second husband, I found a second FATHER. (NOTE: FamilySearch gives her name as Louise while Find a Grave lists her as Louisa.)

And that totally confused me! Thankfully, I started searching for Louise Getty in the census records and found the ANSWER to the puzzle. The 1880 census record indicates that Louise was adopted by James Getty.

1880 U.S. Census, Orleans County, New York, population schedule, Albion, Orleans County, New York, ED 142, Page 35 Image 35 of 51, family 380, James H. Getty; digital images, ( : viewed online 22 June 2022)

While this census record cleared up my confusion about Louise’s name, it created a new issue. I did not know how to enter the adoption in my RootsMagic file.

Since I didn’t know how to connect James Getty to Louise Humeston as an adoptive father, I elected to follow my usual procedure for adding family members: downloading from FamilySearch. That process brought James H Getty into my file as a second parent for Louise.

My next step was to create the ADOPTION fact. I used the 1880 census as the source for the adoption fact.

Having never used this fact before, I was not aware of the ability to add parents in the body of the fact. Thus, it took me a bit to realize that I could add James Getty to the Adoption fact.

The other aspect of RootsMagic that I was not aware of was the ability to click on the parents and change the relationship from BIRTH to ADOPTED by pulling down on the relationship field.

Now that I’ve figured out the name change from Louise Humeston to Louise Getty and how to document that change in RootsMagic, I can go back to researching Louise and other descendants of Ozias Wells.

Memorial Day

Today is the day that was established to honor those who died while serving our country. Can you identify your ancestors or cousins whom we would honor today? Although I am aware of some of my cousins, I cannot readily name them.

However, my genealogy program is a database. Thus, I should be able to use the program and create a list. Unfortunately, searching for this type of information in a database requires that data be entered accurately. And I can attest to the fact incomplete or missing data in my file will impact my ability to pull this information.

Knowing that my mom has a couple of 2nd cousins who died during World War II, I started trying to create a list of those who died during that war. My first step was to create a group. This feature is located under the command palette, whose icon is located in the upper right corner of RootsMagic 8.

Opening the list of commands, I scroll down to GROUPS. Since I want to create a group, I’m looking for the command to ‘Add, delete or modify the list of gorups’.

Clicking that choice opens the GROUPS window. This window shows my existing groups and has buttons to add (new), edit, delete or rename a group.

To create my group, I click on the NEW button. A window opens prompting me to enter a name for this group. For this example, I’m going to name my group ‘WWII Deaths’.

That opens a window titled RootsMagic Explorer that shows a list of everyone in my file with boxes for checkmarks to indicate group membership. Since I’m creating this group from scratch, I want to use the MARK button.

Clicking the MARK button opens a pull-down menu showing my choices. Since I’m wanting to create a list based on the death date and place, I want to use the ‘By Data Fields’ choice.

This opens a window that allows me to select data fields and create a ‘sentence’ defining my search. Sometimes figuring out this ‘sentence’ is trial and error. This is also where incomplete data can impact the results. For my first ‘trial’, I’m going to search for those people with a military fact who died between 7 Dec 1941 and 2 Sept 1945. I am using 7 Dec 1941 as my start date since that is the date in which the United States was attacked.

When I click the OK button, the software searches my file and finds 9 people that have a military fact who died during the specified time period.

To finish creating the group, I have to click on the OK button and then click on the SELECT button in the lower right corner of the window. If I forget to click SELECT, my group is not created. That closes the selection window and returns me to the group window, where I have to again click OK to close the window.

The easiest way to review my group is to use the INDEX on the side of the PEOPLE screen. The default for the Index is to SHOW EVERYONE.

When I click on the ‘Show Everyone’ box, a menu opens showing the groups I have created.

If I scroll down the list, I can locate my newly created WWII DEATHS group.

Selecting the WWII DEATHS group causes the index to display the members of this group.

Looking at that list, I have several people born before 1900 who were included on the list. I have two options to ‘clean up’ this list. One option is to look at each person in question, evaluate their information and then remove them from the list if they don’t meet my criteria.

For example, Lloyd William Barnes is on my list with a death date of 14 Dec 1941. He also has a military fact, but it is dated 1918.

Below his parents is the GROUP information. When I click on the word GROUPS, it opens a list of all of my groups on the right side of the person window.

Scrolling down, I can locate the WWII Deaths group and remove the check mark by that group and then close the person window. That removes him from the list of people in the group under the index.

I can continue working my way thru the group one person at a time, or I could edit my group and add a statement to help narrow the selection. In this case, I might add a statement requiring the birth date to be after 1900. To do this, I follow the same procedure used to open the GROUPS menu. Then I scroll down to locate my group, WWI Deaths.

This time, I want to click on the EDIT button. This opens the RootsMagic Explorer window where I can mark/unmark members in this group. Since I’m editing an existing group, I usually check UNMARK and select prior to going back in and editing my selection. This makes sure that those I don’t want in the group are removed. Once I’m back in the RootsMagic Explorer window, I select MARK and pick BY DATA FIELDs as before. My previous ‘sentence’ is still there. I only need to ADD to it. Thus, I’m gong to add a 4th line for the Birth Date is after 31 Dec 1899.

Clicking OK causes the program to search using my new criteria. Five people are now marked. This is where I need to remember to click SELECT after clicking the OK button.

Working my way thru these 5 people, I can verify that I have information entered for each of them about their death during World War II.

Using this process, I created groups for the Korean War, World War II, World War I and the Civil War.

Korean War Deaths

  • John Frederick Christy

World War II Deaths

World War I Deaths

  • None

Civil War Deaths

  • John Nelson Ralston
  • John Wesley Roberts

While creating these groups is the easiest way I know of to identify these cousins deserving to be honored this Memorial Day. However, this method is not perfect. (Remember, it depends on the completeness and accuracy of my data.) Since I remembered writing about a service member who died when his plane crashed, I expected him to be on my list. And, he is NOT.

My blog post, Plane Down, identifies him as 2nd Lieutenant Gene Marion Ashmore.

Checking what information I have for Gene Marion Ashmore, I can verify that he has a military fact. However, his death date is outside of the dates I used for my search. It is a few days AFTER the official end of World War II. Thus, the computer did not add his name to my group of WWII Deaths.

Since I would like to be able to include him in my list of WWII veterans to be honored on Memorial Day, I can manually add him to the list. If I click on GROUPS (below his parents) and then scroll down my list of groups, I can locate the ‘WWII Deaths’ group.

When I return to the index and select the WWI Deaths group, I can verify that he has been added.

As my database grows, I will either need to remember to update these lists as I identify a veteran or use the GROUPS menu to edit the group.

How about you? Can you identify people in your tree to be honored on Memorial Day?