Ramblings and Recipes
As I mentioned in my post last weekend, Sunday, my husband and I were married. It was a very simple and intimate ceremony involving close family, a best friend, the minister and his wife. It is everything that we could possibly want, and we are very happy!
I made it a point when we got home to go and update all of the family trees that we have online with all of the pertinent information.
We don't have the marriage license back from the state yet, but as soon as we do, it will be going in a frame on the wall. I am beyond excited as I was pleasantly surprised to note how beautiful the certificate was when we when to get it.
Some things that I decided to include in my family tree notes for future generations is all of the guests, their relationship to either one of us, where they were born, when they were born, where they live now and their employment or student status and location.
I feel that for future generations, this could be the information that breaks down a road block and it makes me feel good to know that in my own small way, I am making a contribution.
Something else that I did was to label each of the digital photos that with the full names of each person that was in that image.
I also listed off the specific location that we were married, not just the city, county, state.
I will be spending a large part of this summer documenting digital photos with this information. I know that I have written in the past about the tragedy of old photos that had no labels on them. Although they were interesting images, they hold no personal or historical significance to me.
I appreciate all of the emails that I have gotten from each and everyone of you wishing me the best of luck for a happy and successful marriage. The wedding, to be honest, is not the part I was concerned about. It is the marriage!
Don't forget to check out my links to the right!
Hugs to you all,
This weekend has been one of a lot of housecleaning of my online family trees. I have been ruthless in pruning and cutting away family members who are not related to me. I am not talking about in laws or anything like that. I am talking about family members who I used to believe were related to me and I now know that they are not. Although I want to have a full and robust family tree, I need to prune the "bad branches" to make sure that I am not getting false positives.
First cuts to make it? Step parents and adoptive parents. I still love everyone, none of that has changed. I am increasing my odds of my parental family finding me by removing the people that I have no biological relation to.
Someone sent me an email explaining how we were related based on a surname that is of no blood relation to me. I sent a nice email and I am still pruning the tree, hours after I started this process.
I learned a couple of things that I would like to share.
When you download the GEDCOM file with all of the "bad" information, don't rename it and don't meddle with that file. If you make a mistake, that is your master copy, there for you in case you need it. I got a little crazy deleting people and nearly deleted myself at one point.
This is for Ancestry.com Other sites will be different, of course.
So, here is how I have done it. I hope that: 1. This is not confusing. 2. That you are able to follow all of this. Let me know if you have any question either by emailing me or by commenting below.
1. Download your GEDCOM file from Ancestry. To do this, go to the main page, click on TREES, then manage your trees. Go to Tree Settings. On the right hand column, there is a green rectangular box that says "Export tree". It will take several minutes to do, but less than 30 minutes unless servers are busy. leave that page open, you will be using it again in a moment.
2. Once the file is downloaded, create a new tree with a name that will let you know that this is for your DNA tree. I included the words Autosomal in there so that I will know which tree is the one for my research.
3. Upload the file you just downloaded. (I know, this is confusing.) This file is your GEDCOM file. Note that the name of the file will be the same as the tree that you took it from. Don't change the name of the file, because again, if you make an error, you don't want there to be a conflict.
4. Do you have family members that are no biological relation to you? Parents who are not your parents? We will use a parent who is not a parent for my example. (Referred to as a non parental event) Don't delete the parent yet. Save yourself some aggravation. Go back on their timeline as far as you can go. All the way back as many generations as there are. Start deleting people that are not related to you all the way back there. Don't forget spouses and children of these genetic non parents! Otherwise you will be forever cleaning up!
5. Remove all of the people that need removed. It may take a while, but be patient.
Now, go back and edit any relationships that may be mis-listed. Change siblings to half siblings and things like that. Ancestry has a setting for step parents, but I removed any and all similar ties because I was still having people contact me in reference to having a match to me.
6. When you are done, if you would like, you can download the GEDCOM file, which should show up with the name of the new family tree that you created. You can then use that new GEDCOM file to upload to any of the places online that host a family tree.
Last week, I did a brief review of the fun to use website for genealogy, Twile. This week, they added to their site the ability to have their graphics printed! Twile is the company that creates fun to see genealogy infographics using your GEDCOM file. My review is right below this post, so check that out for more information.
Since I created my 2 images for free with Twile, some of my younger family members have expressed an interest to know more about genealogy, and a desire to create their own graphics.
Sometimes, the hardest part of doing genealogy is trying to get other family members interested and engaged!
I really like my Twile experience, and I am looking forward to what they have plans for in the future!
There are so many good tools out there for all of the DNA tests that are out there. I will be reviewing helpful sites and tools on this blog.
Today we are looking at Genealogy Junkie's Very helpful article "Help, I recieved my test results from FTDNA, now what?"
When you first get your DNA, the amount of information can be staggering. In an easy to understand format, the writer walks you through the process of making sense of your DNA and points out ways to make your DNA useful to YOU. I found that although they are still editing the page, the article was very helpful. Click on the link, and if you find it helpful, please let them and me know.
I am in the process this weekend of creating my GEDCOM file. The process can be frustrating, but it is also very helpful because once it is done correctly, the sense of accomplishment is palpable.
Additionally this weekend, I am completing the work on my family tree "error" database. This is where I have been keeping a file of known errors, but I needed to be able to back up the fact that I KNEW they were errors with hard facts. One by one, I have gotten that done, but to be honest, it was a lot of work.
Finally, this weekend, I have been organizing my family research files into 2 separate and important bookmark folders, Genealogy and DNA. Although they are assuredly related, knowing that I won't have to wade through the tons of bookmarks that I have collected will be a huge timesaver. I am also in the process of making subfolders as well for some very specific bookmarks.
What are your tools for organization for your family research?
I have been talking to a lot of my genealogy friends in the United States about what software that they use for keeping all of their family tree information in one place. I now know that I need to be a lot more specific about what I need, so I am going to list off a few things here and hope that it makes some sense before I go to bed. Tomorrow is my last day here at home before I go on a long trip and I am both looking forward and not looking forward to leaving.
Back to the software.
A lot of people referred me to the software known as GRAMPS. I hated it. No matter what, it was always running in the background, sucking down my limited resources like an old gas guzzler car. The software was very counter intuitive, it took me forever to create myself in there, and then I am still not sure if I entered my mother correctly. Yes, I get that it is open source, feature packed and free. I get that it is wonderful for all of the people out there that made it work. I am not one of them, so please leave me alone. GRAMPS sucked hard on my machine and caused me to force restart twice, as well as go through some intense cursing at it. Apparently, if you can get it to work, it is awesome. I could not, so, there you go.
I need software that is drag and drop, WYSIWYG, easy and simple to use. I don't want to read chapters and chapters of books to be able to figure out how to add a person. With this software, I felt stupid and I don't like feeling that way. I used CCleaner to make sure that the uninstall was a good one. Additionally, CCleaner has a free version and a more feature rich version. Google it to see what that is all about. Pretty cool.
Since I am going to be out of town for a week, I will be looking at several different pieces of software and reviewing them here. It looks like the next two that I have slated are RootsMagic and Ancestris. I have read a lot good and bad about RootsMagic, but I have read nothing about Ancestris until I found it online, and people seem to like it a lot. As soon as I have completed my review, I will write my findings here.
I will also be going through my records to note the other software that I uninstalled because it kept running in the background. To say that I was unhappy is an understatement.
I created a rookie mistake yesterday and today, and I should have known better. I am going to blog about it to share it with you so that you don't make the same mistake.
I began adding a lot of information to some online family tree websites. A friend called me and I took the call. I began chatting with this friend when was adding the information, and I kept on performing the editing. That was my first mistake.
Finally I realized that I was distracted.
I set the laptop down and had the conversation with the friend. We talked for over an hour. I lost track of where I was in my tree and lost my momentum. That was mistake number two.
I then tried to pick up where I left off without backtracking. Mistake number three.
I went to bed last night, not knowing that I had created this terrible mistake of adding people to the wrong family line. Went back to adding names in the wrong place. Realized it after I was several hours into the mistake. Called the company where I made the mistake at. They are unable to help, understandably. I will have to hand enter all of the information again but attach it to the correct person.
The frustrating part of all of this is that I know better. I have been doing this for many years, and apparently, I got lazy and cocky.
I am now going to be adding everything to one place, creating a GEDCOM and going forward from there, which is what I should have done anyway. Lesson learned. Family research deserves your full attention.