April 19, 2015

iPentimento Genealogy Search Quick Tip

Surnames Search

This shows a search in Ancestry, but try it too at any genealogical database like Family Search, Rootsweb or even FindAGrave.  Family Search might be a little difficult since they have a set way to do searches with surnames, but Rootsweb will look in any nook and cranny (including archives) for that combination of names.  At FindAGrave, many times the woman is listed with her maiden name along with her married name.

Don’t forget to leave a (genealogy related) comment today to be entered in our giveaway!!

JMK Genealogy Gifts – iPentimento $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway

Genealogy Inquiries That Get Results

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Get The Most From Your Posts

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from doing genealogical research it’s to be specific and precise.  Early on in my online genealogical pursuits I was a member of mailing lists and message boards.  At first, I just “lurked” on the list and boards to see what other people were saying and looking for, and I quickly found out that the best way to get quality replies was to use a certain format for my subject line.

As you can imagine, some people with little patience would get a bit angry with individuals who would post something like ” Need help with my genealogy“, or even the overused, “Genealogy inquiry“. That’s not the way to ask for and get help, believe me.

 

Name, Date, Location, Migration

  • A better example would be (without quotes) ” John Q Public b. 1850 Cumberland, KY”. That would be the bare minimum if indeed you have that information.

The whole idea is to save yourself and your mailing list time and confusion.

  • Now, there are other abbreviations that you should get familiar with such as the b. being for born, d. for died, m. for married, d/o for either “ditto” or “daughter of”. etc.
  • If you would like to show the migration pattern for a family surname then you might use carats like this: Smith: VA> KY> TN> MO. If you have the dates you can also include ballpark or specific years.

KISS it!

I can’t emphasize enough the KISS (keep it short and simple) method for the body of your inquiry.  No one wants to (or has time to), read your whole family tree, so keep to the subject at hand.  Give enough information to show your ancestry or descendancy, but not ten generations worth unless someone has specifically asked for it.

As my Mom would say, “Don’t keep us in suspenders“, give us the details!

Yates and Edgemon family members per the inscription on reverse. Taken in Roane County, TN, probably near Erie or Ten Mile. Photo belongs to Carol Yates Wilkerson – do not download without permission.

 

Adding An Ethnicity Fact In Family Tree Maker

FTM fact window

Isn’t it amazing how our friends in the genealogy community can open our eyes to not only new tools, plugins, and other handy blog add-ons?  And, they do the same thing when it comes to making genealogy programs work for 21st century researchers.

As an example, George Geder at Geder Genealogy has done a whole series this week on genealogy software and how it needs to change to reflect the needs of blended families, etc..  I was left asking myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”.  One suggestion that he made really hit home with me:  the ability to add ‘ethnicity’ to a person’s individual profile.

I’m still using FTM 2006, so I can’t speak to more recent versions, but I was able to add a new fact quite easily, and it might be something you would like to add also. Here’s how I did it:

Add Fact

The Add Fact dialog box lets you add a new fact to an individual or marriage record.

To select from the existing fact list, click the down arrow attached to the Type field and select the Fact Type from the list that appears.

To add a new Fact Type, enter a brief description in the Type field. [ I added Ethnic Origin as my fact name] Note that there are separate Fact Type lists for individual and marriage records, and that a new Type added to one list will not be added to the other.

Enter the Date and Place or Description information in the appropriate fields; then click the OK button to save your new Fact.  Entering date for ethnic origin wasn’t relevant exactly, so I left it blank, but in Place or Description I added African American for this particular family member.

By adding this new fact category, I will now be able to add more detailed information about family members.  Since our families [mine and Jim’s] are predominantly Caucasian, denoting ethnic heritage will only be added when it’s a known fact.

The above photo was taken in May 2000 when my cousin Tracy Prantl Richardson turned 86 (near center in pink sweater) and my cousin Fran Prantl Harbeston’s widower Herb (front row, right of Tracy) Harbeston turned 90.  Everyone in this photo is related by blood or marriage. I too am in this photo just back from Herb in the second row.

When my first cousin Gordon Yates married his wife Christl Messerschmidt in 1976, our family was enhanced by Christl’s Indonesian ethnicity. (Photo above was taken in 1996; left to right: Dustin, Gordon, Brett, uncle Wally and Mike Yates.

And the ladies of the Wally Yates family – 1996: L-R Sandy (Boom), Stephanie, Twyla, Jennifer, Sarina and Christl Yates.

Celebrate Your Differences

One last note, I think we should celebrate our differences, not let them divide us.

Two Upcoming Centenarian Birthdays In Our Family

– Tracy Prantl Harbeston passed away in 2007, but Herb Harbeston turned 100 on May 20, 2010.  The other centenarian was one of my Breedlove cousins.

Two Genealogy Tips On Tuesday

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The title sounds catchy, but if I come up with more than two, I’m not changing it!

Fill Our Your Profiles!

Here’s the first one:  Fill out your profiles on sites such as Ancestry.  It doesn’t take that long to type in your name, add a profile photo, etc.  I am currently exchanging messages with a very nice lady who is probably a cousin, her name sounds familiar, but she has not yet filled out that profile so I’m left scratching my head and wondering how I connect. Which leads me to tip number two.

The Home Person In Your Family Tree – Shouldn’t It Be You?

On Ancestry, if you have uploaded a GEDCOM (privatized, of course) you have the option of making yourself the home person.  This just makes sense since you’re the one who uploaded the file and will be sharing it with the world.  People would like to know who the owner is and this is another easy thing to do.

I’ve said it many times before, but I’ll say it again: Genealogical research is all about connecting. Connecting with people, connecting your family trees, and even connecting your profiles. I don’t know how long it’s taken me, but I always take the time to connect my social networking sites to one another.  When I sign up for a new site I take the time to add them.  Genealogy isn’t for hermits, is it?