The Ancestry We’re Related APP

October 25, 2016

Facebook is on fire about this new APP, We’re Related. Lots of Genealogist and Bloggers are “talking” about it on that social media platform.

Since I have seen another website, with similar features, I had to jump in and see what it was all about. I would put is in the category of “cousin bait” or a very “Bright Shiny Object” (BSO).

My GeneaBlogger friend, Randy Seaver, has a number of blog posts on this topic:

In watching his blog posts, I found a number of common people showing up on my list as well.

From my experience with the other BSO, I thought I would check into some of the folks that have appeared on my list. Knowing that there may be some truth in these relationships, but also may be some more work involved, I thought I would see what I was dealing with and IF there were any folks on this list who might be of interest to me, and / or my family and the Next Generation.

What If: one of the next generation was a fan of Carrie Fisher or Johnny Depp. That might get them interested in the research that I have done. BUT, how much work would I have to do, to make that connection.

So, I created a spreadsheet:


I entered the names and relationships, according to the APP, created a Category, as provided in the APP and determined who the common Ancestor “might” be.

In reality, of the 11 famous people, I actually had 2 of the 11 common ancestors in my database and in my Ancestry Member Tree. I have 3 more people, where I was 1 generation from that common ancestor.

Looking at the details of what is on the APP, if have determined that all 4 of my Grandparents have been represented in these relationships. Of the 11, 3 are on my Dads side of my tree, 8 on my Mother’s side of the tree. I really thought that was interesting.

In the above list, blurred out, are 3 Facebook Friends. All Genealogists. This may be a really cool collaboration opportunity. In fact, just last week I had a new DNA connection for my Mother’s great grandfather’s line. That same line is a line of one of these Facebook friends.

At least I know what I have to work with, IF I want to follow any of these BSOs.

I then created a tab in my spreadsheet for each of these famous people.


I chose, for this example, Winston Churchill. my “reported” 7th cousin, 1x removed. This is one of the common ancestors that I already have in my database.

This spreadsheet is giving me an idea as to how much work I might want to undertake to prove or disprove my relationship back to the common ancestor. And / Or do I want to actually follow the other line down to that famous person. I haven’t done this yet, but I may already have information on that other line in my database, just looking at the surnames involved.

I will probably post some additional information on this activity, as I would really like to get back a little further on this Canadian / DNA Connection with my Facebook friend and Genealogist to see if this APP might lead to some Collaboration in the future.

Live Interview–Lesson Learned

August 2, 2016

Today, I paid a visit to a gentleman whose family I have been researching for the past month. I had a couple of questions that I have gathered along the way, and thought I would take a couple of print out with me, made some notes on them, with hope that I could get some answers.

The biggest problem was that I wasn’t in front of my computer, so what when I got a response, I quickly found out I didn’t have what I needed to help continue the discussion. Frustrating to say the least, but I did learn lots. And, I need to re-visit the gentleman soon.

Having about 45 minutes of windshield time (driving to a couple of cemeteries) I figured out what was missing. I needed two things. a Family Group Sheet for the person I was asking the question about. Actually, depending on my question, I might need a Family Group Sheet for the persons parents, or the persons child(ren).

AND, I needed the specific question. I already had the question in my genealogy software, but I didn’t have my computer.

I think I found a solution. I FREE Google program Google Keep. Works with your browser including smart devices.

Family Group Sheets and a print out from Google Keep, or just open Google Keep open on my smart phone.

Here is an example:


The question was copied from my genealogy software, the name that is in my database and the question.

I have a To Do / Task Category called Questions. Those questions have a link to the person. All I have to do, when getting ready for the next visit, is to copy / paste those questions into Google Keep and I am good to go (with the Family Group Sheets)

A Question for Evidentia (part 7)-Follow Up

July 29, 2016

A Question for Evidentia (part _)A Question for Evidentia (part 4) – List of SubjectsA Question for Evidentia (part 4) – List of SubjectsThis series has been an example of how I use the Evidentia Software in my research. I don’t use it all of the time for everything, but there are benefits to have such a tool in my Genealogy Toolbox.

To recap, I started with a problem, Who was the mother of:

Along the way, specifically identified the record that caused the problem for me:


The relationship on this Find A Grave website, between daughter and the mother is where this started. The father was not in question, just the mother.

Don’t be confused about that surname that appears for the “mother” and “spouse”. Her husband was the grandson of the Lucy’s father.

The “fix” is easy. Using the Find A Grave website messaging system I sent this to the Creator of the Memorial:

This memorial has me a little concerned. My research on Lucy H Ort Rinehart is very clear that she was not the mother of Florence Ort. I certainly understand how one might reach that conclusion. The 1880, 1900, and 1920 Census records for Lucy H Ort states that she was single. The 1900 Census asks a specific question of females how many children they had and were still alive. She was marked as Single and had no indication that she had children.

I do believe that Phineas K Rinehart was married earlier, and I have hints as to her name. Still trying to find that record.
I am suggesting, based on my research for the Ort Family that you unlink Florence and Lucy H Ort.
Thank you for your time and consideration.

On problem solved.

A Question for Evidentia (part 6)–Conclusion

July 28, 2016

Wow, this really worked.

I just completed my 9th document. Right there is the document were two pieces of information that I saw the first time, but because I am doing Document based analysis the answer was there all along. Oh, and there will be a follow up post, because I also confirmed, for me, where the problem was that got me off track.

As I have been working with Evidentia, I had two documents right in front of me, and one not too far away. The Evidentia Companion, by Edward A Thompson [ ISBN 978-0-692-59116-1], First Printing, 2016, and the Evidentia Quickstart Guide, also by the developer, and author Edward A Thompson. Both are available at

At the end of my 8th document, I made sure that I had done Proof Reports on the data entered so far, made sure that I had marked the Source, Information, and Evidence categories as described in Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Third Edition, 2015, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland. The inside cover has The Evidence Analysis Process Map, which really helped me “remember” how I was supposed to do this analysis.

Then I opened the 9th document, which was a 1910 Census Record, for the “father” of the child where I wasn’t sure who the mother was. I entered the Claims for him, entered the Claims for his wife, remembering the 2 unique questions of a married woman and there was half of the answer. She had one born and that child was still living. The 2nd part of the answer was that they had been married for 16 years, and the Child, also on that Census Record was 12.

Here is a link to the Proof Report for Lucy H Ort, who is not the mother, of Florence E Rinehart Ort, as reported, where I disprove the mother, daughter relations.

And a link to the Proof Report for Florence E Rinehart Ort, the daughter, where I hope to prove the correct parents.

This process has provided me with the record that raised the issue in the first place. Will do a follow up Blog Post on how I have attempted to resolve it. I had already observed that others had used that same record that has caused others the same issue.

A Question for Evidentia (part 5)–1900 Census

July 27, 2016

I have entered 4 documents to date. In the past, I would have just entered the Source, creating the Citation, then enter Claims. This time around, I have been using the Analyze Evidence for each record. I am also just focusing on a small sample of people.

Up until now, I have only been entering a few people in a household, for each specific household. I had entered a 1900 Census, a 1880 Census, a Find A Grave memorial, and a 1920 Census record.

I had to stop for a moment, as the Find A Grave memorial was for one of the Sons in the family. The 1820 Census shows that his father had died, making his mother a widow. But, this specific memorial had some clues and the hint of the problem I am working through.

When I normally work with these various records, I have a list of Facts / Events that I capture from that record. I relooked at my notes for the 1900 Census (my notes are in Evernote), I realized that I really need to capture two small pieces of information in the 1900 census. That is the Number of Children born to the Females in the household and the number of Children living, in 1900.

Here is the 1900 Census transcription


1900 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Morris County, Washington Township, Supervisor’s Disctrict No. 3, Enumeration District No. 82, Sheet No. 6A, lines 43 – 48, Dwelling 132, Family 136, William H Ort household; FHL microfilm: 1240988; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 988; digital image, ( : accessed 01 Jul 2016).

Since I was doing my Evaluation as I go, I stopped and made a Research Note / Follow Up on the Proof for the Child(ren) of the wife in this household. I didn’t want to loose that thought. As you can see, she had 8 Children, but I had not been cataloguing those claims.

Here is what that looks like in the Proof Report;


The title is “Recommendations for Continuing”. Very appropriate.

I then returned to the 3 Census Records, End Notes 1, 3, and 4 and made the claims of the children listed in those sources. Then I re-ran the Proof Report for the Child(ren) of Elizabeth.


You will see the number (14) at the name of the name. Again, my reference back to my genealogy database, that is her Person ID in that file, so I know who I am referring to, in Evidentia.

A Question for Evidentia (part 4) – List of Subjects

July 26, 2016

To recap where I am on this series

Now on to Evidentia.

There is a feature in Evidentia that I haven’t used before, under the List Manager, where it has the List of Subjects. This is where you will see who all has been had claim in the data entry part of the program. For this problem solving exercise I thought I would enter the Names of the persons from my genealogy database program up front. I hadn’t used it this way before but thought that going forward I would be able to compare my database against Evidentia easier.


But, I only had 3 names in the project so far and the list has 5 names.

In the EXCEL file I had a column called “Record For”. I didn’t expand that column in the previous blog post, but the first record that I will deal with is a Census Record. When I handle this type of record, I do it from the Head of Household, especially for relationships.

Since that first record is a Census Record, the Head of Household’s name and his wife’s name was added to the Subject List. Hopefully, the Census Record will help establish the relationship between the Head of Household, and the daughter Lucy H.

Any claims from the sources will be associated with the Names in my database. Also note, that the second entry does not have a birth surname, so my usual 5 underscores are present.

I would not normally do this, but allow the Subject List be generated by Evidentia as I enter the data.

What I will probably do differently, for this project, is not record all of the names that might be on a Census Record. I am trying to keep the focus on the problem that I am trying to resolve. That may change as I proceed with this project.

A Question for Evidentia (part 3) – EXCEL

July 25, 2016

This is part 3 of a series on my use of the Evidentia Software Program. To see more about this program, click on the link in the Right Menu panel.

To start this project, I wanted to take inventory of where I am and how I got here. Two things became very clear, right up front.

  • The use of a Research Log
  • The “accessed date” in the Citation

Here is an example of a 1910 US Federal Census Record:

1910 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Morris County, Washington Township, Supervisor’s District No. 5, Enumeration District No. 47, Sheet No. 9A, lines 49 – 50, Sheet No. 9B, line 1, Mud Street Road, Visited No. 203, Family Number 206, P. K. Rinehart household; FHL microfilm: 1374916; NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 903; digital image, ( : accessed 10 Jul 2016).

My research log would only say 07/10/2016 – 1910 Census, but it’s easy to see which entry has that citation linked to it, in my genealogy database.

In EXCEL, I entered the Research Logs (one sheet) and related Citations. I am doing this for Sorting Purposes. I must look at the Records themselves to enter the information into Evidentia, so I want to remove my data entry from my genealogy program.

This is the first view sorted by Person, and their research log.


The Person number another way to help be really look at the Source document, that Evidentia wants us to do, and just Enter the Claims from the document. The order from the research log, later, may give me a hint as to where I might have gone wrong. In other words, if I had looked at the records in a different order, I might have had a different outcome.

As mentioned in Part 2, I wanted to make sure that I knew what I was looking at, to remind me of the difference between a Find A Grave source and the Find A Grave Index.

The next column is only a reminder, for me, as to who the record was for, when I entered the fact or event into my program. For example, the first entry on the sheet was for a person NOT one of my three people, but someone else, William in this case.

The last column is the Reference Note (Citation) for that record. That will help when entering the data into Evidentia.

Another reason for entering this into EXCEL is for Sorting. I wanted to Sort by Date of reviewing the Document, not Sorted by Person.


Now, its off to review and enter 25 documents into Evidentia. I will probably do a couple of examples of the data entry into Evidentia as I go.

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