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Computer Users’ Group

September 16, 2009

We have several things to cover today; a brief discussion of FTW, Rootmagic and PAF but an important discussion on Relationship Calculators. Then we’ll discuss taking research notes, updating what we covered on Dec 15, 2004 when we discussed using Notepad as a research log. After that, we’ll cover seeking and searching books in Heritage Quest and in Google Books. But before we do all of that, we’re going to take a look at a genealogy toolbar created by Tami Osmer Glatz at You can download it here: and it will adapt to whatever browser you use to get it. Mine is for Firefox.

Genealogy Toolbar:

The toolbar provides quick links to dozens of genealogy sites and a link to Tami’s home page that has many more useful links. We’ll look through what’s available. First is Internet Genealogy that takes you to Tami’s home page. Next is a search box for searching the Internet. You can either type in search terms or highlight the text in the document that you have open and click on the pencil, and it will search for that. Next is Resources which has links to several different types of databases such as Cemeteries or Vital Records. Next is a list of Free Sites and then a list of $$$Paid sites. Connect takes you to email and social sites, while Blogs takes you to a list of genealogy blogs including Tami’s and shows the number that you have not yet read. Gadgets has a calculator, todo list and other tools and Hi has messages from Tami. The last item is the temperature in Clermont and you can see a forecast by clicking on it.

A Note on Rootsmagic: Rootsmagic has a free demo into which you can enter up to 50 people. But it allows you to import data created from another program such as Familytreemaker so it’s easy to give it a trial. You can get it here and click on Free Trial. A word of caution, however. It’s a 39MB download and when you install it it gets a location database of 69MB for about 110 MB total. Don’t try it on dial up unless you do it while you’re taking your nap.

Entering data into genealogy programs is relatively simple. You enter the data about that person where it’s asked for in the program including the spouse and children and then move up or down the line depending upon where you started. Entering data in older versions of FamilyTreeMaker is probably best done using the Family View but newer versions offer a Plan view that lets you select to create a new tree and then provides places for the initial entries and a place to name the tree. That lets you enter the father, the mother and the children, all on one page. In older versions, at the end of each entry is a scroll that you can click on to enter source information. You should have some for every entry. Where did you get the information? If it’s just someone’s input on the Internet, where did they get the information? The closer you get to the original source, the better your information is. And you can click on Edit under either spouse to enter more data or notes about the person. I like to follow the male line far as I can go and then the first male’s spouse’s father’s male line and so forth until I cover everyone.

We’ll cover creating custom reports in FTW which will update what we covered in June, 2005. There are almost endless ways to present the data that you’ve entered in FTW and you can select what data on which to sort. Rather than manually entering data on individual charts, genealogy programs let you enter data once and then reformat it and print it out in whatever form you want.

In FTW, click on Reports which is the icon that looks like a printed page. From there you can select Family Group Sheet, Outline Descendant, Genealogy Report, Kinship Report, Custom, Alternate Facts, Address, Medical Information, Birthdays of Living Individuals, Marriage, Parentage, Bibliography, Data Errors and Documented Events. We won’t cover all of these now but will touch on a few. You can check each item in the list to see what it does and you can click on Contents to see what you can put into each report.

Family Group Sheet. A snapshot of a family which shows the husband and his parents, his wife and her parents, and their children and their children’s spouses.

Outline Descendant Report. Starting with the selected individual, the report lists in outline form all of the individual’s descendants. A compact way to show relationships among ancestors and relatives.

Genealogy Report. This report provides a writeup of your family. You get to choose from two types of descendant reports or one ancestor report. Then, starting with the selected individual, ancestors or descendants are presented in a written format suitable for inclusion in a book. There are several options on what to include and what fonts to use. The descendant report called Register Format is the format derived from the New England Historic Genealogical Register.

Custom Report. In this report, you get to choose from among all of the data that you’ve entered and can sort on any item that you want. Click on the Reports icon and select Custom. Then click on Contents and select Items to Include. You’ll find a long list of items, If you’re going away to do some research, you might want to order your data by Place so you can find all of the events that happened where you’re visiting. From the list select Name, Birth Location, Birth Date, Death Location and Death Date. Once you have the report created, you can click on Format and choose what event to sort on. Sort on Birth Loction. You have to then export the file by going to File/Export Report and select Plain Text. Name it and save it and then open it in a wordprocessor. You’l have to select Landscape as the page format and may have to reduced the font size to make it fir. As an alternative, you can leave out the two Date columns and it may fit in Portrait format.i Then scroll down until you find those people born where you’re going to visit. Swipe across them to select them, Press Ctrl-C to copy the selection, select New in your wordprocessor and press Ctrl-V to paste it in. Repeat for Death Location and copy that to the same document as above. If you want to find every event for a given state, scan down the list and select and copy all events that took place there. Save it as Research Trip or some similar name.

Relationship Calculator. Using the same database, we’ll look at relationship calculators in FTW 2005, FTW 2010, Rootsmagic and PAF. We’ll see if my wife and I are related. (FTW is FamilyTreeMaker for Windows). Some calculators consider blood relationships so that married people do not show a blood relationship so no mother or father-in-law relationships would be shown.

In FTW 2005 we get the statement that Dotty and I are 8th cousins; 8th civil and 9th canon. Our children think that we’re married. If we check to see how my father is related to Dotty it says his wife is Dotty’s mother.

FTW 2010 says Dotty is my wife and my father is her father-in-law.

Rootsmagic lists us as being related 17 times and shows the common ancestor, the closest relationship being 8th cousins but it doesn’t show the line of descent from the common ancestor to each of us. Of course, we could look at the tree and figure that out.

PAF (Personal Ancestral File) says that we are related as spouses and in 18 other relationships, the closest being 8th cousins. Both being from early New England settlers, we share a lot of common ancestors. But the really good part is that it shows the path of descent from the common ancestor to each of us. For my father and Dotty it says that there are no documented blood relationships between them. The major point here is if you want the best relationship calculator, use PAF. You can use both FTW and PAF by exporting a file to GEDCOM from one program and import it into the other. Just remember which one you consider the master and if you make changes, delete the GEDCOM file and re-export the new version.

Research Notes. Back in December of 2004 we covered Wordprocessing and one of the items was using Notepad for taking notes. There you typed .LOG into Notepad and saved the file naming it something like Genealogy Notes. Every time you opened the file, it would insert the date and time. But all of your notes were in one file, not separate files for each surname. There’s a free program called Edit Pad Lite that you can get here: . The nice thing about Edit Pad is that you can open many files, say one for each surname that you plan to research, and they reside as tabs along the top of the page. Select a tab, enter or paste in data and then return to the Internet and seek more data by clicking the Browser link in the System Tray. You can continue to search the Internet for more data and when you find something, you can select it, copy it and then click on Edit Pad in the System Tray to open it, select the proper tab and paste in the data. Don’t forget to annotate the data with the source from which you got it.


I organize my genealogy data by creating a folder in My Documents called Genealogy and in that folder I open up a folder for each surname that I use. To create a folder, go to the folder in which you want to create it and click on File, New, Folder and name it Genealogy (or whatever you want). Then open that folder and create folders for each surname. Be sure you are in the Genealogy folder and that you do not have the surname file you just created selected (highlighted) or your next folder will be in that folder. You can tell that because when you go to File, the word New is further down the list of selections and not the first one.


Searching Books:

Google: Google has partnered with many libraries around the world to scan their books and make them available on the Internet. We had a brief discussion of Google Books on September 17, 2008. Many older books are available in Full View so that you can see the entire volume and download it if you wish. Other views offered are Limited Preview, Snippet View and No preview Available. These are determined by copyright and/or author’s preference. But Google is awaiting court approval of a new agreement that will make many more books available in Full View. You can see the agreement here. .

To start searching in Google books, go here: .In the search box, enter the subject of your search. You’re searching through the full text of every book that Google has, so don’t limit yourself to just words in a book’s title. For instance, in a search for an ancestor, try Surname Location. Google will try to find every book that contains both terms. I tried to see what I could find on my loyalist ancestor, James Wetmore of Rye NY. I entered Wetmore Rye and found The Wetmore Family which is the complete genealogy starting with the immigrant, Thomas with considerable material on Rev. James and his son, Rev. James, before and after his move to New Brunswick, Canada in 1783. There were other books as well but this was enough to start. We can download the book and add it to our library of ebooks or we can go to Find this Book in a Library and we can go to the library or order it through interlibrary loan. The nearest library with this book is The University of South Florida in Tampa, 51 miles from Clermont.

Let’s try John Dwight and we find the first entry is The History of the Descendants of John Dwight of Dedham, Mass. The family was associated with Harvard College so let’s search for Harvard in the Search in this Book search box. It shows up 87 times and Yale shows up 100 times. All my other ancestors answer only to Farmer. Google varies in format from one result to another so the search box may not say Search in This Book and may have your original search terms entered. Enter what you want to search for; it won’t affect your original search results.

HeritageQuest: In searching HeritageQuest, you can search through Censuses, Books, PERSI, the Revolutionary War, Freedman’s Bank and the US Serial Set. We’ll consider Books and when we select Books we’re offered a choice of People or Places or Publications. If you know the title of the book that you want, go to Publications and enter it there; otherwise choose one of the others. We’ll select People and we are presented with three boxes; one for a Person’s Name, one for a Place and another for a Keyword. Let’s try James Wetmore, Rye, New York. We’ll enter James Wetmore in the Person’s Name box and Rye, New York in the Place box. The first book listed has the most relevance so we’ll click on View Hits which will take us to each entry for James or Wetmore or Rye. When we get the page we see that there are three hits in the book. Scrolling down we see a 3 in front of Afternoon Service. Click on the number 3 to see the hits and after the first hit, click the arrow in the box market HIT to go to the next hit. Apparently, HeritageQuest does not have the Wetmore Biography. That’s the quick way to see if the books contains any material pertinent to your needs.

Let’s try John Dwight and we get the same book as we got in Google Books. There are others listed here as there were in Google Books but their relevance is low as indicated by only one box being filled so we’ll settle for what we’ve found. We can download it here but we’re limited to the number of pages we can do at once.

Getting on the Internet at the Library. If you cannot connect to the wireless network at the library with your laptop, turn off your firewall in your security program. If that works, then find out how to tell your security program to accept lakernet, which is what their network is called. Look for something called Trusted Zone. When you do get there, you’ll need to go here to get to all of the library databases; . Save this in your favorites folder (IE) or in Bookmarks (Firefox). Using that at the library will allow you to use Ancestry and you can save what ever you find in your laptop as we covered in Research Notes, above.