All caught up with this part of the We’re Related APP

November 17, 2016

On 16 Nov 2016, DearMYRTLE actually stayed home to host Wacky Wednesday about the APP. It was a great discussion. Please watch and join in the conversation in the Unified Chat if you have questions or comments. All you need to do is “register” and you will be taken to the recording, but the comments are there for you.

DearMYRTLE’s Wacky Wednesday – 16 Nov 2016

Just as a review, I have made a number of blog posts on this subject already:

25 Oct 2016 — The Ancestry We’re Related APP

08 Nov 2016 — The Ancestry “We’re Related” APP–Update

08 Nov 2016 — The Ancestry “We’re Related” APP–Update

12 Nov 2016 — We-re Related APP–Update

14 Nov 2016 — We’re Related APP–Update

I continue to be very encouraged with the results of the We’re Related APP. I have 39 Cousins in the APP, all but 10 of my initial list have been returned. All of the information from the Spreadsheet / Google Sheets are now in my genealogy database, starting to work for me.

The work involves bringing HINTS to me. My task now is to use those hints to Prove or Disprove that data that has been provided by the APP. Of the 711 people in my database 329 of them have at last one hint. Looking at the linked Online Tree, there are 1,745 Record Hints, 537 Photo Hints, and 51 Story Hints to those 711 people.

I am beginning to work up my lines back to the 39 Common Ancestors finding those records to prove or disprove the information. 20 of the 39 We’re Related Cousins, I was within 1 generation of that common ancestor. The good news, I have hints to confirm that last generation which will be incorporated into my master database.

I haven’t seen any glaring problems so far. I have a couple of questionable lines, from the common ancestor to the new cousin, but I’ll deal with that as I go.

Two observations: 1) My name was changed from my Facebook Name to my Ancestry Member Tree Name, 2) The last entry in the APP screen for the new cousin, has some key information in it. For example: one of my “cousins” is not my cousin, but the Spouse is. Looking at the information on the screen clarified that the previous entry was the Mother, where the cousin’s name was female, and the relationship said Son. So, watch the details.

What is clear to me, so far, is that for a number of generations back, the APP is matching Ancestry Member Trees. Those trees can be Private or Public. What will be interesting to see, is where is the data coming from to make that last generations appear in my “line”.

I have been able to point out to one of my cousin’s that they may have a data entry that they might want so look at, and with that same cousin, who has NOT appeared in my list yet, who else they might be related to, based on my database. We know that we are related, and most likely in several ways, so it will be interesting to see which relationship shows up.

I have also had the APP CONFIRM and DNA Match, and I just found, from the APP, why the Ancestry.Com was giving me a DNA Circle. I didn’t know the surname for the Circle, but I do now. The 2nd DNA Circle that I have may also be connected with data from this APP.

I have been fine tuning the Ancestry Member Tree a little, to provide enough information that a new cousin could help complete their piece of the tree. Also, if a We’re Related APP Cousin is interested, I’ll be happy to Invite them as a Guest to the Tree, and if they want to collaborate in documenting the data from the APP, I’d be happy to have them join in the fun.

Here is my current summary of data:


Thee are only my observation, so far, on this APP. I am encouraged enough to continue to see how good the data is that we are provided with from the APP.

We’re Related APP–Update

November 14, 2016

All of my new Cousin’s are now in my database;


This is taking information only from the APP and adding the names and dates to ONE file, of all of the Cousin’s to date.

another view


Round 1 I had capture in an EXCEL Spreadsheet, so I had the data, and Round 2 was the group (7) that were not in the first round. 12 of the 35 were in before I lost the list but have reappeared.

I just finished entering the data for everyone, got the numbers that you see and had synced my database with my Online Tree.

What was fun here, is watching Hints appear as I entered the date in my program, but then to look at the hints in the Online Tree.

There is plenty of work to do, to prove how good this APP really is.

I hope to track how well my Non-Facebook Cousin’s information is, vs the Facebook Cousins. From what I can tell, the Facebook Cousins information comes from THEIR Online Trees. Matching my tree with theirs to come up with the common ancestor. I am guessing that someone created online trees for the famous people. 22 of the 35 are Facebook cousins.

My next task is to Document my own line, of one of the Famous Cousin’s then follow the information from the APP down to that cousin. I will be looking to prove or disprove the information from the APP, Names, and Dates. I will look to find one or two RECORDS for each item provided. Not a complete research, but to see how well this APP has worked.

Based on the Data Error Report that my program provides, there are not many errors that appeared. The ones that I do have, are, for the most part, from my Facebook cousins.

The really good news here, is that the APP has given me a number of Ancestors that I didn’t know about before. 20 of the Common Ancestors I have already, or one generation after what I already had, leaving 15 more lines that take me back further.

NOTE: As I write this, I should related that I have learned how to use the Ancestry search engine and the Value of the Shaky Leaf Hints. I almost come to rely on them. For this project, I am only going to use Shaky Leaf Hints. I am letting the search engine FIND the records for me, then I will evaluate them to see if that hint is really mine. With 1,296 Record Hints waiting for me know, this should not be too difficult.

Stay tuned

We-re Related APP–Update

November 12, 2016

This has been a fun project. I thought I would pause for a moment and see how it is working.

As a reminder, last weekend my APP crashed so I had to start over. The good news is that I had created an EXCEL spreadsheet to see IF I really wanted to spend time playing around with the APP.

Here is a Status of the work to date:


I have collected 35 We’re Related cousins. This data does not include information from 8 of them. The data is from my Genealogy Program as of a few minutes ago, but captured since 4 Nov 2016. I didn’t start recording this when I started and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to capture for a status, so there are many blank fields.

I have entered 27 of the Cousins information into my database. All 4 of my Grandparents are represented in these relationships.

This chart doesn’t show, but 17 of the 35 We’re Related cousins were already in my database with another 8 I was 1 generation short of the Common Ancestor. So in my real database, I can go back one more generation on those 8 people.

Of the 512 people in this database, I have 200 of them with Hints in my Software, and 1,052 Record Hints in the Online Tree. Not to mention 367 Photos and 22 Stories. Lots of data to work with, to prove or disprove this APP.

What I have learned, so far, is that I think I can use this Online Tree as a way to collaborate with another family researcher. I have my “rules” that I use for my databases, and have found a way to make that information available in the Online Tree. My File Notes in my Program are part of the Ancestry Member Tree. I also have figured a way to share my ToDo list in the Ancestry Member Tree.

My thought here, is making those two items, and probably more later, available to one of my We’re Related Cousins, and have that cousin work one or two HINTS to prove or disprove the data from the APP. My thought here is that this cousin would know their family better than I, they could look at the hints and be able to quickly evaluate if that record was for that ancestor and add that additional piece of information to their ancestors profile. Not to create massive tree, just so that I can determine if the information from the APP was Accurate or Not. All I am thinking of at the moment, is to have one record, or the best record to document dates and / or relationships to say yes the APP was right or the APP was wrong. The merging of the Data from Ancestry will provide the Citation information, so that stressful task is out of the picture.

A Collaboration Tree, of course, would go into much more detail, but I am only trying to determine IF I can communicate with the cousin enough to make this work.

It would be my hope that the Comment section of the Online Tree, per profile, would help communicate specific issues for a person.

ONE Observation about the APP:

It does NOT appear to be static. Meaning that I recorded the information when these items first appeared. I had a question on one of the people in the tree, looked at the APP again, and the Common Ancestor CHANGED. In this case, the first go ‘round, it was the wife who was the Common Ancestor. I didn’t know the father or husband, but HE was the Common Ancestor the 2nd time. It actually made more sense with the updated version, so my guess is that is tweaking the APP.

I only have one of the 27 trees that I have put into may database what I have questions about. I have a couple of individuals whose data I question. From the couple that I looked at, including one of mine, it was a Data Entry problem, not a research result problem.

So far the APP looks very promising. I am hoping to develop a model tree so that I could collaborate with a Cousin.

The Ancestry “We’re Related” APP–Update

November 8, 2016

An additional update, just to give you a sample of the information and Hints produced, so far, from the We’re Related APP.


There are only a few empty names so far, and most of those individuals have Hints to work with. Again, entirely created with data from the APP. And I have a few more “new cousins” information to add.

The Ancestry “We’re Related” APP–Update

November 8, 2016

Beside a melt down of the APP over the weekend, the APP is working pretty well. My goal here, is to put some numbers behind this project, and to see how good or bad it is. My point to date is, I enter a name into my database and I am seeing Hints from Ancestry, some times even before I enter any dates.

All Data in my PC Family Tree Maker (FTM2014.1) file is solely from the APP. No records have been looked at, only what is presented in the APP.

For example:


  • 374 People
  • 14 Generations
  • 1,215 Facts (all documented)
  • 60 Citations
  • 1 Source (the APP)

There are a few Data Errors, that are also documented. BUT the best part is that 148 people had Shaky Leaf Hints to use RECORDS to Prove to Disprove the APP.

I started this project by creating a Google Sheet of each of the relationship charts in the APP. That turned out to be a Back Up when the APP decided to stop working and I had to start over. Actually, that was a help, because I was able to use that time to create an Online Tree from FTM2014.1. The Google Sheet is here:
Cousin Russ We’re Related

Using the APP you can view the Ancestors for the “Cousins” back to their common ancestor. This is what one looks like.


I took that data, and ONLY that data to create that Google Sheet. From there, I created an Ancestry Member Tree, using FTM2014.1.

My goal here is actually had TWO purposes, after I thought about this for a bit.

1 – To evaluate the APP for accuracy. At first, I saw a number of people put the APP down. I don’t know, but I want to see how it might work. I had a bad experience earlier with a web based app like this.

2 – Can an Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) be used for Collaboration. The became apparent with the number of Facebook Friends, who are also Genealogists work on an AMT with the owner of the tree.

I am sure  that each of us has “brick walls” and perhaps working together we can help with those issues. The best example has already happened as one of my new cousins was also a DNA Match. With the APP we are pretty sure who is the Common Ancestor. The APP suggests it, but I am a couple of generations short of that common ancestor. In looking into this one, I have a Local (locally published) book on the Location of our “common ancestor” that actually mentions my known family and my new cousin’s known family AND they were neighbors. That book, doesn’t have my ancestor, but may have my cousin’s ancestor. Together with might be able to help each other. A DNA and Paper Trail working together.

The next example of how this has worked already, is the APP has suggest to DearMYRTLE and I at lease ONE of our Common Ancestors. She mentioned one of her Cousin Connections from the APP, mentioned the Common Ancestor. I looked in my database and I already have her Ancestor in my database, as a brother of one of my ancestors. We didn’t have to research to find the common ancestor, but now we can PROVE this relationship from the Hints generated by our Ancestry Member Trees.

I have figured out how to communicate with my newly found cousins what I can only see in FTM2014.1 but would be helpful to them. For example, I have some File Notes, on how I enter my data, then they need to know. I figured out how to do that. My ToDo / Task list will also be available to them, in the AMT.

The plan, at the moment, is to let my new cousin’s, take their Ancestors and Prove the line. Not with a lot of work, as there are hints there, using the AMT Hints, select a Record that documents the information in the tree, update the profile with that record. I would then Sync the AMT with FTM2014.1, and see how we did. That is Records to Prove the APP data was correct or incorrect.

Just looking at the data so far, there are almost 700 RECORD Hints in the AMT, based on the data entirely from the APP.

Stay tuned.

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)

%d bloggers like this: