Category Archives: Sources

Adding Info From FindaGrave Suggested Edits

I love receiving Suggested Edits via! It would be easy to just click and accept the suggestions, but there are two things I do before accepting them:

  1. I check those suggestions out thoroughly. I don’t want to add incorrect info to FindaGrave, or to my FTM tree.
  2. If the suggestions check out, I make sure to add those little nuggets of info into FTM and source them with the FindaGrave Source Citation.

If nothing else, they serve to make me focus on the particular record and possibly do a little work there.

If the suggestion differs from mine, I try to open a dialog with the person instead of just declining it and sometimes that means more info!

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Are You Missing Details?

Having your family tree in software on your computer is a good way to safe guard it – as long as you do proper backups. Having it online in Ancestry is probably fine if you back that up by downloading as well. But if you don’t have your subscription to Ancestry any more are you going to miss details? I’m talking about Source Citation details.

In the video below I am filling in some missing details. It is important to be able to refer back to these details sometimes, especially when comparing records. This is the info that Ancestry pays people to transcribe and it’s really what you are paying for. Sometimes records are very hard to read so don’t think that you will be able to just-read-them-later either. I like to paste them into Text Editor to help me easily change the tabs to spaces before pasting into FTM. Be sure to grab those details!

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Adding Spouse From FindaGrave

Sometimes you find a person’s spouse on FindaGrave that you didn’t have before. Here is one way to merge a spouse easily. The key is adding the birth and death dates from FaG into FTM BEFORE doing a Web Search. The closer the dates match, the more likely you will be to find the record. Of course, you don’t want to overwrite any existing dates that you might have already – unless they are just estimates.

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Oops I Left Her Off The Census

Today, I was re-checking some of my older census records to make sure that I have everyone linked correctly and that the record doesn’t split over two pages. I always count the number of people in a household and add that info at the top of my ‘added details’. Then I check to make sure that the number-of-linked-people matches this number. If not, I know that I didn’t merge someone for some reason or other. Once I get the number-of-linked people to match the number-of-people-in-household then I mark it as checked. Do I hear someone saying OCD much? Well, yes, probably, however, there are LOTS of times that this happens and it has helped me resolve numerous ‘relationship’ problems too. When does this happen? Census 1870 and below always have to be linked because they don’t have relationships listed at all. For Census 1880 and above that do have relationships, it happens when there is someone in the household that is a grandparent, cousin, in-law, or the relationship isn’t marked correctly on the census. These people must be merged manually and then linked with the household. It’s a fairly simple process if you go step-by-step. The video shows how I merged Bertha R Farnsworth back into her family on the 1930 Census. I’m still not sure how she got left out but that doesn’t really matter – the number-in-household now matches the number-linked. I also checked to make sure that the household didn’t split over two pages. I have another video on how to resolve that problem but will have to find the link. My database is a bit large so my apologies for the wait while loading the Source Index.

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Saving A Second Picture From FindaGrave

FindaGrave often has both tombstone pics and person pics. Sometimes they even have more than one person pic. It’s nice to grab them all and place them in the FindaGrave Source Citation. This will reference them properly and they will be accessible everywhere that Source Citation is added.

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Don’t Forget To Grab The Link

Sometimes when merging records a record will show a link at the bottom. This usually happens for records that fall outside of the Ancestry realm. The link that appears isn’t complete though, and in order to find the record outside of Ancestry, the full link will be needed. To get ‘the whole taco’ click on the link and then R-Click and Copy. Now you can paste that info into your record along with the other details and have a much more complete documentation.


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Ancestry Has Updated FindaGrave Database

I subscribe to a great blog by Randall J. Seaver called Genea-Musings. He just happens to be a cousin-by-marriage which is kinda cool too. He posts when Ancestry updates their databases so that we can check them if needed. This is a great service! Be sure to check out his blog for a list of all the updated databases. Since I work a lot with FindaGrave I watch for that database to be updated so that I can update mine too.

Here’s the skinny. New FindaGrave records do not show up on Ancestry until they update the database. That means that when I add a new memorial they aren’t automatically added to Ancestry and I won’t be able to see them on Ancestry, or use Web Merge until they update the database. That’s one of the main reasons you can search for a FindaGrave Memorial and not be able to find it.

When I add a new FindaGrave Memorial I add the following to my Findagrave Memorial # fact field in FTM after the actual FindaGrave number like this:

1234567 (manage 26 Feb 2017)

This tells me that I manage that particular memorial and the date that I added it. Be sure to use the current date of course.

Now, when Ancestry updates their FindaGrave database, I use Filter to search for the year in the Findagrave Memorial fact field and wha la! – a list of the memorials that I need to do a Web Merge for.

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Maintaining Estimated Death Facts

What does adding estimated death dates do for me? If a person is marked as deceased then it won’t be privatized online. This means that others will be able to view info for this person. It also gives me a list of people to search for death certificates and FindaGrave records.

Here is my Citation Text for Estimated Death:

– If ‘birth year’ < ‘current year’ – 110, then deceased
– Example: If born 1909+, is less than, 2018-110=1908 = no, then living
– Example: If born 1907-, less than, 2018-110=1908 = yes, then deceased

– Unlink when other source citations are found for Death Fact. There should only be Deceased in Death Fact.

When a source citation is found that provides a more accurate death date the estimated date is no longer needed. As part of my maintenance I go through my list of Death Source Citations and delete those that I forgot when adding other Source Citations.

(also see Estimated Birth Facts)

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Maintaining Estimated Birth Facts

I estimate birth and death dates. Some people don’t think this is a wise practice as the estimates can be incorrect and possibly scew search results or miss them altogether but I have found that an approximate date actually helps me find records and helps to narrow down searches.

What does adding estimated birth dates do for me? It allows me to figure out a general time frame for family members. There is a range of error involved (abt 10 yrs either way) but the formulas that I have figured out and use have worked well. Also, if I have an approximate birth date it helps me figure out if the person is deceased or not – more on approximate death dates in another post.

Here is my Citation Text for Estimated Birth:
– Father’s birth date +22.
– Mother’s birth date +20.
– Spouse’s birthday +2 for females, -2 for males.
– Siblings +2 (after parent’s marriage date).
– Unlink when other source citations are found for Birth Fact. There should only be Abt 0000 in Birth Fact.

When a source citation is found that provides a more accurate birth date the estimated date is no longer needed. As part of my maintenance I go through my list of Birth Source Citations and delete those that I forgot when adding other Source Citations.

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Filling In Dates for Civil Facts

I recently figured out that I have quite a few Civil Facts without dates. Places are great but they are most helpful when paired with a date. I found that most of the Source Citations that go with these Civil Facts are marriage and SSDI.

  1. Filter the list: Filter In>All Facts>Civil>Place>Is Not Blank.
  2. Customize View>Individual Facts>Civil
  3. Go to each person on filtered list and open the Source Citation for the cooresponding Civil Fact.
  4. Copy/paste the date.

For marriage records: Use the license date if provided, otherwise the marriage date.

For SSDI records: Use the date of issue, not the death date.

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