Frustration–OnLine Family Trees

March 25, 2016

I  have used a number of On-Line Trees as “cousin bait”, even ran a project that I have blogged about here. I continue to do that in order to collaborate with or help another person with their research. That is what this is all about.

The other day, I received an email alert from one such website, where another person on that website had uploaded a GEDCOM file, where the filename was not informative, nor the description. The alert was suggesting that the person who uploaded the GEDCOM merge that information with mine.

Now, if in one email there are 17 such suggestions, then I might or should know that person, right? I had received such notification in the past and by the Name of the person, the filename, I knew who that “cousin” is or was. This most recent one was now.

Looking at the suggested profile to accept or reject the suggested merge, I find this new profile, needs to be adopted. But wait, some one just posted that profile, suggested a merge, and that profile is orphaned? That, to me, was a RED FLAG.

Reading the may links, that the folks at the website have suggested that I read, indicate that there is NO Delete Button for a profile. I specifically am trying to remove from this website, information about my Living Cousins. As a user, the profiles are Locked, which should mean that someone else can’t see the information on that profile. The public view for the profile doesn’t show too much, but it does have names and relationships, from the way it appears to me.

My family trusted me with this project. From what I read on the Wiki when it started, this was the place to do this collaboration. The problem now is, I can’t remove these profiles, and those that my living cousins created on their living family members.

I guess one of the pieces of my problem here is that of being an early adopter using a new website. I am sure that IF I had read what I have read over the past couple of days, I would probably not have done my project using this platform. Being a Wiki platform, the content of the help pages change over time, which is how it should be.

I will not, at this point, mention the website involved, as they have a mission, and that mission probably hasn’t changed from the beginning, but how their mission is presented to us now, is probably clearer now than what it was when I started.

Lesson Learned: Think before you become an early adopter to a public, crowd sourcing genealogy website. That is going to me tough for me to remember.


FINALLY Get Organized–What to do when you can’t research

March 22, 2016

Big plans today, smashed, as I couldn’t do any research. FTM2014 isn’t “talking” with Ancestry.com, so what I am going to do. Oh, yeah, get organized.

IMDoingIT

I have been really careful in this 5 Generation file about the Citation’s. Not that I haven’t before, but really working on the format and punctuation that is required. In the past, not so much.

Also, making sure that that “accessed date” was included. There is a unique with FTM2014 when using the Template feature about that.

Because I couldn’t do any real research, I decided to spend the time looking at my Citations.

One thing that I had been doing with this file, is entering the full name of the person in my database, as part of the Citation, as it should. Somewhere along the way, I trying to shorten the accessed date to me “Mar” and nor March.

So, I had to check what EvidenceExplained has to say about both. Although not spelled out, the examples were very clear. Then I had my dah moment, of course. The citation will reflect whose record I was looking at, but using the link would get me to THE person whose record I have just found. The examples also had the month spelled out.

So, I am now reviewing my 342 Citations.

So far, it’s going pretty quickly, not done too bad of a job, but well work the time to go back and clean them up. Get my Citations Organized.

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Lesson Learned: Review your reference material, like Evidence Explained, and review how I have implemented that information into my Citations


QuickLesson 2: Sources vs. Information vs. Evidence vs. Proof

March 21, 2016

QuickLesson 2: Sources vs. Information vs. Evidence vs. Proof

Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 2: Sources vs. Information vs. Evidence vs. Proof,” Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage(https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-2-sources-vs-information-vs-evidence-vs-proof : accessed 20 Mar 2015)

ESM_QuickLessons

Have spent the past day or two, spending time NOT researching but really looking at my Citations in my Genealogy Database. This QuickLessoin is very timely for this review.

For a very long time, I learned that I really, really, don’t like the term “Source Citation”. My software uses that term on some of the labels on the screen. I can NOT use those words together. In my mind, I can’t have a Citation, without a Source, but I can of a Source without a Citation.

To me, a source without a Citation is like a couple of the books in my Genealogy Library that I haven’t look at yet.

A Citation without a Source, is that loose piece of paper in a research paper in a folder without a label. Where on earth did I get that one from.

The two terms work TOGETHER, but they are two separate items. I have a Source with Many citations. A Book (source), with many pages where I took information from are reflected in the Citation.

This lesson, for me, starts with the Source. It has in it, INFORMATION that I might want to use in my research. I have learned, that IF there is a possibility that the Information is about my research Question, I am going to start to Craft a Citation. Why do that up front, you might ask, for me is slows me down to really make me LOOK at the information that I might use.

Starting the citation process early, for me, puts me into an evaluation mode, not gathering up the pieces and getting them into my database. My first part of the evaluation is to determine what the Source is, or the Container is. A Source being a Book, it different from a Source that is an Official Document. By putting the Source into the Primary Source of a Secondary Source category, will help me down the road, especially if I run into conflicting or information items.

There is Information in the Source that I might use, but how did that information get into that Source and who provided that information.

In my evaluation of a Marriage Record, that I have in my hands, I might consider it a Primary Source. The information says that the parents of one of the individuals was born on a specific date and place. The document was signed by the party whose parent has been recorded, so that specific piece of information is NOR Primary Information, but Secondary, as the person was not there with his or her parents were born.

At this point, using this example, I have to cycle back to what was my question that made me look at the Record (Source). If my question was about a couple’s marriage, that Birth Information would be just that Information. Now, I am going to record it, but it does NOT prove when and where that parent was born.

Then I need to understand where in the marriage paperwork process that Marriage Record is. Was it a license to get married or an official return from the appropriate authority that signed the document that I am looking at. The license would be evidence that the person was going to get married, but the officially signed an returned might be proof that the person / couple did get married.

But, I know that I can’t stop there, with one piece of information, which may be proof, but I know I need other documents, difference sources to really prove the answer to my question.

If I am trying to prove that tis couple actually did get married, I would see if I could find a record for the person to preformed the marriage. In the state of New Jersey, several groups of people have the authority do perform a marriage. Being part of their normal business, the will probably had to have some record that they officiated at that marriage. A Marriage book in a Church, if it was a Church wedding, is where I would look. In the Church records that I have seen in my research, a copy of that document that I first had in my hands would be stapled on the page that was filled out, at the time of the wedding, signed by the persons present at the wedding.

Bottom line, for me in this lesson is that I would need at least two sources, containing information, that are helping be develop the evidence that proves that the person really did get married.

The Citations (more than one) for a simple Marriage Fact or Event would have to be clear enough to let someone else reading or using my  information could find the same information that I used.

The Citations would be to lead the reader back to the Sources but not to tell the story about that Sources and where in the sources might I find that information.

Example:

This image is with the Marriage Record I have on file.

QuickLesson-2-a

This is to Marriage Applicants with information about what the person needs to do. In this case, the parish priest needs a Marriage License for the marriage, and in the State of New Jersey, they are acting on behalf of the state, so they have the authority.

At the time of the marriage, copies of this multiple copy license is stapled into the Church Records, as as the instructions say, a Pink Copy will be returned to those being married.

QuickLesson-2-e

This is just a part of the pick piece of paper. Interesting that this License has the date and time of the application, the date and time of the license being issued, and a time when it would expire. The instructions clearly say “The copy is NOT a Certified Copy, but merely a copy for your records. If the instructions were followed, this would have been provided Post Marriage.

The top part of THE Certified copy of the marriage certificate.

QuickLesson-2-b

Just below the above part of the one page is this. The Certificate of Marriage.

QuickLesson-2-c

and below that the Marriage License

QuickLesson-2-d

Did the marriage happen? Yes, but what isn’t in these images is the signature line just above the Marriage License section of this one page document. It has a Date and Signature of the “state” official. In this case a township

The Pick Copy, received at the ceremony did NOT have that signature but Certificated copy did.

This example is a 21st century document, that would probably equal to a number of documents for our ancestors.

The other copy of this multiple page form, is stapled and signed by all parties in the parish register. (sorry, no scan for that one)

There is no information on this form that would not have been secondary information.


FINALLY Get Organized–5 Generation Status

March 20, 2016

I started out in one direction, but changed, base on the FINALLY Get Organized project from DearMYRTLE. My project started by trying to prove or disprove a Mayflower connection. It didn’t take to long that the information suggested by the Mayflower Society at Roots Tech was not going to work. RelativeFinder.org and the FamilySearch Family Tree results had issues. Did a straight line back 17 generations and knew there were issues.

So I decided to change that project to a more worthwhile and meaningful use of my time. Just focusing on 5 Generations.

IMDoingIT

I have had other status reports and events as the project has moved along.

Because I am giving a presentation at the Fairfax (VA) Genealogy Society in April, I wanted to capture some real data on how the research process I use for Information Overload really works, when I use that process and follow those Shaky Leaf Hints.

Fairfax Genealogical Society: DearMYRTLE and Cousin Russ’ presentation topics

Here is an update on a fresh database that I created on 08 Feb 2016:

People

231

Generations

17

Surnames

68

Facts

2,525

Places

253

Sources

96

Citations

339

Media Files

294

I have followed 228 Hints and have successfully used 156 of them. Having worked those 155 hints, 57 other hints disappeared, as expected. 14 Hints I have ignored based on the reliability of those hints. They are on my ToDo list if I need hint for those individuals. 2 were not for my person. That was due to limited data on that person in my file at the time I ignored that hint.

107 of the Media files were pictures that I had taken or scanned images that I have in my files. An additional 15 Media files were from the linked Ancestry Member Tree that had Photo Hints. As it turned out many of them were from may main file with 9,000 plus people in it.

All of my Citations are in the Template format, meaning that they are very close to the Evidence Explained format. (that is a work in progress). I have no undocumented Facts. Each of those 2,545 facts have at least one citation linked to them.

Research Log for each person and a ToDo list with 448 items. 235 Items on my ToDo list, of which 15 are notes about the file in general, not work items.

The fun is the stories that are starting to develop. For example, my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother had 10 Children. At no time was there a census record that found the entire family at the same place at the same time. However, one census record did have a child who only lived a couple of months. Another of the children who died early had a Shaky Leaf Hint that was an Index hint, that actually let to the record that the hint was base on. I had blogged about that From an Index to an Image.

Lesson Learned: Having some organization in how I named my files, made my finding those images, specifically, very easy. I knew where to look and new what the filename should be.

I have added some of the data learned from the Finally Getting Organized project to my upcoming presentation.


Just because they “died young” doesn’t mean there won’t be a record

March 19, 2016

As posted earlier, I followed a “shaky leaf hint’ from an Index record to the actual Image on Family Search using the FHL film number.

What I didn’t mention specifically was that he lived only 9 Months. So, that HINT on an INDEX record lead to this death record and that was in 1874.

This baby would have a younger brother, born in May of 1880 that would have made the 1880 Federal Census.

2016-03-09_191658

The date of the  Census was 19 Jun 1880 and died in October of that year.

I just realized that these to records of a “died young” entries were brothers.

Lesson learned: Look for those records


FINALLY Get Organized–Office Organization

March 18, 2016

In my office needed, I needed a little organization, at least on the Shelf above my computer monitors. I took a few minutes to clean up my act.

DSCN0041

My lamp for Hangouts is clipped to this shelf just above the right monitor.

DSCN0034

Getting ready for a Monday with Myrt

DSCN0042

Coffee is front and center, ready to go. Trello on the Left (main monitor), the HOA on the Right.


From an Index to an Image

March 17, 2016

One of the things that I have been doing, is to capture a Family History Library Film Number, on the FamilySearch.org website, and add that film number to my ToDo list.

I was working on a young lad, had a Shaky Leaf hint and it was for one of these records. I wanted to test out my theory that adding the FHL Number to my ToDo list was worth the time and energy.

Bottom Line: It works.

Here is my Reference Note for the Index Entry

“Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates Index, 1803-1915”, database, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 09 Mar 2016), entry for Henry Wilson Worthington III, death date 22 July 1875.

My ToDo list entry was:  FHL Film Number: 2026849

I went to Family Search, searched for the Film Number ONLY, and the result indicated that there WAS an image, so I entered the name, as provided in the Index, and there is was.

2016-03-09_120250

“Pennsylvania, Philadelphia City Death Certificates, 1803-1915,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-11769-96749-42?cc=1320976 : accessed 9 March 2016), 004010252 > image 147 of 1214; Philadelphia City Archives and Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

BOTH the Index entry and the Family Search entries are in my database. The Reference Note in my program is

City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates for Henry Wilson Worthington III, date of death 22 Jul 1845,  FHL Film Number: 2026849; digital images, Family Search, FamilySearch.org (http://familysearch.org : accessed 09 Mar 2016).

Now, the citation just under the image, is in my Citation Text, so I don’t loose that, but when put into the program, provides a good, for me, Reference Note.


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