Preparation for the Study of Mastering Genealogical Proof

May 10, 2013

I am getting ready for a study of a new book, Mastering Genealogical Proof. My plan is to use the book, to see if I can put a dent in a brick wall. Not that brick walls can be dented, but I won’t go so far to say that I’ll knock down that brick wall. I’ll provide details about this book in a moment.

From a previous study of a work by Dr. Thomas W Jones, author of Mastering Genealogical Proof, I am guessing that I will have to come up with a specific Question. I will use my genealogy database management program, Family Tree Maker 2012, but will use two additional programs. GenDetective, which I have blogged about, and Evidentia, which I have also blogged about.

For this blog post, I am going to use Evidentia to create a Source listing, for this book, as it will become helpful as we study this book.

Understanding that Evidentia was updated as a result of the study of this book, by the developer of this product, I want to verify that I had the correct version. I opened Evidentia, clicked on About Evidentia, which brought up this screen and clicked on Check Version


The result,


Good so far, now to begin entering this new project and database.

Since this is a new database and a New Source, I selected Document Source.


The Source Title is of my choosing and is not used in any reports. I want to have book sources listed together in later data entry or use. So, I entered Book – Mastering Genealogical Proof.

Since this is an Authored Work, in the pull down menu, that is what I selected.


I want to use the Evidence Explained! template, I selected the Template ICON on the right, which brought up a list of templates. I entered “b” so that I didn’t have to scroll down to the Book template and selected Book, Book format, (citing from title page)


I then click on Select, and the fields on the right indicate what data will appear in the Source information.


The next screen is “fill in the blanks”. Information is from the Title Page inside of the book. (that’s easy for me)


Below is the resulting Document a Source screen. The Description field, again is for User Notes. I am just reminding myself, that Dr. Jones also had a presentation on on Inferential Genealogy which I participated in a study on Second Life.


I changed screens to show the Citation so far. But future blog posts on this topic will be used to generate the Citations for this study.


The Source will look like this.

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013)

For more details, Ed Thomson, developer for Evidentia, has a YouTube presentation on this task. Please visit his site.

Evidentia – Getting Started – Part 1 – YouTube

Google+ Communities and Genealogy (part 2)

May 3, 2013

Continuing with my discussion about Google+ Communities, specifically with the Dear MYRTLE Genealogy Community.

Google+ Communities and Genealogy (part 1)

These discussions are about the earlier experience with the Google+ Community feature. Dear MYRTLE has moved to this platform as a way, or Genealogy Tool, to share our genealogy experience.

2 weeks into this new feature is talked about here.

Google+ Communities – What we know after 2 weeks (part 4) HOA

The real focus on this 4th of the series was about Private Communities. In our case, this may not apply. However, What IF you wanted to set up a Family Community or a Local Society Community? You may want to consider this feature.

The 5th in these series is talking about how and where to post on Google+

Google+ Communities – What we know after 4 weeks (pt. 5) 2013 a look ahead

This discussion talks about should WE post to Google+ OR only Post into the Community. The panel talked about how they post. The best example should “I” just post to Google+ or not to post to Google+ but only into the Community. What I got out of it, is that the reason the panel uses the Google+ to gain people into their community.

As I have followed DearMYRTLE, I see her on FaceBook and her Blog, and posting to the Community. That is my observation any way. In both the Google+ stream and from FaceBook, it’s getting the “word out there” that something is going on in the community.

So, for this 5th video, it is talking about Posting Strategy for a community. They did touch on personal communities or “for business” communities.

It was restated that the Community is Topic Focused. There was a work around, where there was a posting into one community, and sharing that post in the community into another community. I know that I have joined a couple of Genealogy Communities to learn what’s going on, but hadn’t thought about sharing some of those posts into the DearMYRTLE community. It does continue the thought about collaboration between communities.

On to part 6.

GooTubePlus in Google+ Communities. GooTube stands for Google and YouTube.

The point of this next video is talking about the transition into the Community feature.

Google Plus Communities – What we know after 2 Months (pt. 6)

It gets to the point from Part 5, that is, double posting, in Google+, to my own stream or circles or to the community.

This reminded me to look at what DearMYRTLE has posted into the **Guidelines category. She reminded us:

Let’s play nice in the sandbox. We respect your right to your religious and political beliefs, but this is no place for off-topic postings or Hangouts in this genealogy-oriented community. This is not a request.

For organization’s sake, first click on the category that matches your subject. Then type your post, and tap the “Share” button.  The post will be seen in “All Posts” and in the appropriate category.

This 6th video opens a new topic, for individuals, for placing or bookmarking posts within a personal community, that is private and you can create categories to put those bookmarks. It will be interesting to see how that will work.

Moving through another month, part 7 is at the 3rd month of communities. At this point in time, DearMYRTLE had moved from the Webinar platform to the Hangout On Air platform. So this next video talks about the communities are developing.

Google+ Communities – What we know after 3 Months (part 7)

I may be wrong, but what I have seen is more dialog. That started in the Hangouts On Air, both within the Joiners AND the Viewers. How DearMYRTLE is engaging the community during the Hangouts On Air. Now we are seeing discussions within the community on the topic of Genealogy. From what I have seen, is that the community is growing and sharing of our experience.

This 7th edition talked more about things to consider when setting up a community, starting with the Title, and the About section for the community. How that information helps the Google search engine and the Google+ search engine “ranks” the results. Apparently these are two different sets of results based on where you search from. The activity within the community (Posts, Plus One, Shares) help raise the community for someone searching in Google Plus.

One of the final comments from the Panel, was to create and participate in a private community.

The 8th edition is here, on Permission Only Communities.

Google+ Communities – What we know after 4 Months (part 8)

This video talked about a Public Community, where someone has to be invited into the community. Chef Dennis had a vision for the community and focus for his topic. He controls who joins and even excludes who can join the community. As DearMYRTLE has done, Chef Dennis has clear guidelines as to who can and who can’t join the community. What was interesting, to me, is that he looks at the Profile of the person who is requesting to join the community. It’s like what I talked about on my blog post.

Technical Tuesday–A thought about your Google+ Tag Line

That talked about how I choose who to add to one of my circles. So, for Chef Dennis, he bases that Tag line and Profile information as to who joins or doesn’t join his community.

This should be the end of this series of blog posts on Google+ Communities. It’s been a great journey watch DearMYRTLE and working with DearMRYTLE in the establishment of the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community.

Google+ Communities and Genealogy (part 1)

May 2, 2013

As some of you know, I have been involved with the DearMYTLE Genealogy Community on Google+. So, I thought I would take a moment or two to see if I can describe what a Google+ community is and why it may be important to those of use to do family history research. I have already benefitted, through sharing, from this relatively new “platform” to talk about genealogy.

I will share the experience with the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community, but I hope that those reading this blog post, that it is really another Tool, for our Genealogy Tool kit. Another online platform to use while doing our research. For example, the Hang Out feature to have a family gathering, on line, around the world, or just next door.

I started by watching a Google Hangout On Air with this title:

Google+ Communities – What You Need to Know (part 1)

What I got out of that YouTube presentation was that a community can be Topic Based. Certainly, that is what Dear MYRTLE has done for us. But what does that mean. If you have been using Google+, it is a stream of postings by other Google+ users. That users are those who YOU have decided to follow. That is your Stream of messages on Google+. If you follow 100 people, you will see what they post.

The “next” level of posting is to a Circle. For example, I have a Genealogy Circle. Those folks that I ‘follow’, who are also interested in genealogy of family history research, I put into that circle. IF I have a message that is on the topic of genealogy, I will select that circle to post that message to. I have a Family Circle. The Family circle may not be interested in what I have to say about Genealogy. Another circle I have is on Headstones. The other two circles may not be interested in my headstone pictures. So, Circles are “private”. Only those in the circle that I post to, will see those messages. I can post to more than one circle, so I control who will see what I post.

So what is different from a Circle (mine) verses a Community. You can join the community, if you find it. DearMYRTLE has a closed group, BUT, it can be found and you can ask to JOIN the Community. Two people monitor those requests to join, and you will be approved.

One major difference is that Communities can be Searched and they are Indexed. Family Historians know what indexed and “can be searched” means. Each post, Each COMMENT, AND Each time you click that +1 ICON, helps get the Community to appear higher in the results using the Google Search Engine. A circle won’t do that.

We have used Twitter as a genealogy tool. Don’t give up on that tool, as it is another useful genealogy tool in our tool box. But, unlike Twitter, Google+ communities are focused, and by replying to a comment or post, you can “continue the conversation”. I find it difficult just watching twitter, to pick up on a Hashtag. If I focus on ONE hashtag, like “ #genealogy ” I would miss out on the “ #genchat “. But a message in a community, such as the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community won’t get lost. Oh, did I mention it’s longer then 140 characters.

You will see, on the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community, some categories on the left side. That focuses the discussion on specific topics, like Hang Outs. So, it’s topic based, within the community.

The referred to YouTube video mentioned Not Competition with other genealogy communities, which are being created, but another place for cooperation, or as I have hear DearMYTLE say Collaboration.

Part 2 YouTube

Google+ Communities – What We Know After 18 Hours (part 2)

In the community, WE talk about what WE want to read about. Google+ would be everything, based on your circles or folks you follow, while the DearMYRTLE community is only talking about Genealogy.

This second video talks a little more about how the information within the Community is “controlled”. Also, ALL posts, even published within a Category, the Community will see those posts. If you, the reader, wants to just look at Hang Outs, just look at that Category.

The hint about “all of the emails” from the community, they suggest that you turn the Notifications (Bell ICON on the Left) OFF. As a moderator, I keep that ON because I want to see want to see the posts and comments. You may not want to see all of them. OR as we suggested in one of our early Hangouts On Air, Turn the Notifications OFF during the Hangout, the turn it back ON following the Hangout.

Part 3 (a week into Communities)

Google+ Communities – What we know after 1 week (part 3)

One of the comments about growing the of Communities in Google+, was encouraging conversation within the community.


End of Part 1

Day One–Searching in Lancashire, England

April 26, 2013

I posted Where do I Start? and thought I would follow up on that post.

Actually, the report really helped. I stayed focused on that list and did an online search at I worked on the first 16 people on my list (males), and actually found 4 records in an Anglican Parish. So, my early guesses were close.

Of interest, one of the results gave me conflicting information. Below is the image in question.


Anglican Parish Registers (Lancashire, England), Lancashire, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials (1573-1812), Burial Record for Edward Worthington, buried 08 May 1629, image 259, accessed 25 Apr 2013; digital images,

The conflict is that there are two people, in the Pedigree Chart, Edward Worthington, and the chart said that they died “1629”. So, which Edward Worthington is this record for?

I am guessing that solely looking at Church Records may present miss leading information. Without any indication of relationships or other information, may lead us to incorrect conclusions.

What I did was to enter the SAME record to both people, with a citation, but marked a To Do List task, to resolve this conflict.  I also send an email to the project coordinator for additional help, as they have information that I do not have.

Bottom line here, the GenDective report has been very helpful.

Where do I Start?

April 24, 2013

Continuing my research for this “ancient” family line, where should I start to look?

The first record that I found was a marriage record in an Anglican Parish in Manchester, Lancashire, England. The Record group covered 1573-1812. Perhaps there are other records that I might find there, since the collection was for Baptism, Marriage, and Burial’s from that parish.

Back to GenDective­™. In GenDective Reporter, there is a listing for “Which reports help with my research efforts?” That sounds like what I am looking for.



Clicking on the “+” sign, I see a report that might be helpful. Families who lived in state.

I selected ALL “Degree of family kinship”, Country is England, and State, territory or region, I selected Lancashire and clicked on Generate Report.



This generated a report of 30 people who had an event in Lancashire. Looking at the report, which included Dates, I might find any one or all of them in that area of England.


So far, with that first “hint” there have been not helpful hints. Because I have so few dates, the hints are not “my person”. So back to AND, as they have Church Records from that area in that time frame. But, at least I can focus on this group of people (30).

Where should I start looking ?

April 21, 2013

Last week, I posted about a Marriage Record from 1663 that I found.

Marriage Record for George Worthington and Elizabeth Sandiford 11 Jun 1663

The file that I am working on, is a collection of Pedigree Charts from a surname project. What I am trying to do, is work from these “undocumented” pedigrees and begin to document them. The Pedigree Charts have been documented by the Compilers, Examiners, and those that are proving them, but I don’t have that information.

Now that I have my first “hit” (or hint), I now want to start researching. But, I want to focus the research by location to see what I can find. All of these records are in the UK. I don’t live in the UK, don’t know much about the areas in the UK, so this is new territory for me.

I have used a program called GenDective® by Rumblesoft.


I have used this program for some analysis, so I created a GEDCOM file, from my genealogy database management software program, imported it into the GenDetective® Analyzer so that the GenDetective Reporter program can be run.

I am trying to determine WHERE I should start looking, or what location will give me the greater number of results, as the records I should find will be church records. Once I know the location, then I can return to my genealogy program and start the search.

Running the GenDetective Reporter, I selected What Place names need to be standardized. My genealogy software does that for me already, so I select the Event Occurrences by Location Report.


I know it’s difficult to read, but the two boxes on the Right are two locations in England, each with 8 events there. Lathom, Lancashire, England, and Manchester Lancashire, England. So, those will be the first places that I will search. Actually, the people who had an event in those two location.

Here is what I see in my genealogy database, as a report. The names and Events that took place in Lathom, Lancashire, England


I can also see it on the map that the program provides.


Now I know who to look for and where. The report from GenDetective helped identify that information for me.

NE Genea-Bloggers gathering at NERGC

April 20, 2013

Made a quick trip to the New England Regional Genealogy Conference  yesterday, to catch up from with some genealogy friends, learn something, and to participate in a Special Interest Group gathering to talk about blogging. Too many Genea-Bloggers for me to list who all was there, because I know that I would miss someone.

A few pictures of the “group” as we started to gather. The room wasn’t a good place for pictures of the whole group, but here are a couple pictures with some comments thrown in.


For example, there are a couple of experienced Bloggers shown above, a “newbee” (at the time of this picture was not YET a blogger), others with websites, and the conversation began.


Our hostess, Heather Wilkinson Rojo of led the group discussion. Each participant talked a little about their blog experience or website experience while others shared their interest in blogging.


The group shared how they got started, talked about the various blogging “platforms”, what to look for when starting to blog, how to handle comments, very much a Community Collaboration on the topic of Blogging, especially in genealogy blogging. Clearly a wide range of experience.


I wouldn’t be surprised if there aren’t a new blog or two, even now only a couple of hours after this gathering, that are either started or about to start in our community.

What a great evening !!!


Thanks to ALL who shared their experience.


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