Category Archives: Sources

Source Names Updated (Multiple)

FYI, the following Sources have been updated:

U.S., School Yearbooks, 1880-2013
U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1990

– – –

Washington, Marriage Records, 1865-2004
Washington, Marriage Records, 1854-2013

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Wisconsin Death Index, 1959-1997
Wisconsin, Death Index, 1959-1997

– – –

Wisconsin, State Censuses, 1895 and 1905
Wisconsin, State Censuses, 1855-1905
And Source Citation Detail has been added.

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Source Name Update (Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007)

FYI, the Source
“Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007” has been updated to become:
“Ohio, Death Records, 1908-1932, 1938-2007”.


You may wish to Replace the older record with the newer record so that all records for that database reside together.
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Removing Source Author

I realize that Ancestry is a business and therefore wants to promote itself as much as possible however, I find it very irritating that they add their name to the Source Author for almost every source when they weren’t the original Author.

In the People tab the Sources for a person in the right-hand column are sorted alphabetically by Title. Granted, it doesn’t sort by Author but the Author shows up first which is just a bit confusing and awkward to say the least. I have put in a suggestion to MacKiev that we be allowed to view the Sources in People tab without the Author to make the Sources clearer.

In the meantime I figured out a workaround. I go to Sources and arrow down the list keeping an eye on the Reference Note (r-hand corner). If I see as the first thing in the Reference then I double click the Source to open it and delete from the Author field. Rinse, repeat. Now my Sources are much clearer in the People tab.

Note: Be sure NOT to remove Titles for legitimate Sources.

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Source Update (Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002)

FYI, the Source “Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002” has been updated to include additional Source Citation info.


This update isn’t crucial! It adds the following text:
“Missouri State Archives; Jefferson City, MO, USA; Missouri Marriage Records [Microfilm]”.
You may wish to check your records and update the Source Citations for this Source. This is easy enough to do, although time consuming. Click ‘View Source Online’ and copy/paste the new Source Citation info in the the Citation Detail for each record.
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Source Update (Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952)

FYI, the Source “Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952” has been updated to include additional Source Citation info.

You may wish to check your records and update the Source Citations for this Source. This is easy enough to do, although time consuming. Click ‘View Source Online’ and copy/paste the new Source Citation info in the the Citation Detail for each record.
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Fixing SSDI Facts

The Social Security Death Index has long been an asset to genealogy. The way that facts merge into FTM from Ancestry’s index has changed a bit over the past few years and unfortunately they still merge incorrectly. Even if they correct the problem you and I will still need to correct exisiting records. Previously, SSDI merges added an additional Death fact which comes from the Last Residence and should be merged as a Residence fact. Now, SSDI merges adds a Civil fact that is incomplete and adds the Death fact but puts the Last Residence info under Death fact. This is a big problem because the place a person died is not necessarily where they lived. Ok, how to sort out this mess.

All merged SSDI records should have a Civil fact that includes a date, place, and “SSN Issued” in the Description field (to distinguish it from other Civil facts). For those that are Railroad Board issued, that info should also go in the description field.

Most merged SSDI records should have a Residence fact (not all do) that includes a date and place. The “PostalCode: 99999”, should be recorded in the Description (not in Death fact).

All merged SSDI records should NOT HAVE a separate Death fact BUT SHOULD be a source for the Death fact. The date of death is the source reference, not the place (which is the last residence). The “Age: 99” should be recorded in the Description field (not in the Residence fact).



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Resolving 2 Fact Dates

What do you do when you have two Facts with two different dates and no way to find out which is more accurate and both sources are credible? I try to only have a single Fact for Birth and Death per person – they are only born once and they only die once. Obviously Facts like Residence, Civil, Military will have multiple occurances per person. I observed that when I used Web Merge Facts of the same kind and date merged into one Fact. I also observed that there is a report under Publish>Person>Data Errors Report>Possible Duplicate Events. This lead me to believe that the program was designed for certain Facts to have only one occurrence although it also allows for multiple occurrences so that they can be saved and worked on.

Some researchers keep all of their Facts separate and I believe that they do this so that they can keep the Source Detail separate. I save my Source Detail under the Source Citation Text as in the following image (I added the 3 dashes and below) so that I have all the Details saved with the Source Citation and they always go whereever the Source Citation is used. It would be nice if this was automatic… It also allows me to mouse-over a Source Citation and view the Details whenever I need to see them. Saving the Details this way allows me to combine Facts without losing Details or becoming confused about which piece of a Fact came from which Source Citaton.

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Now back to resolving 2 Facts:

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Adding Description To Civil Facts

As I was working through and checking my SSDI Sources I have been adding Civil Facts when needed. I realized that there are also Civil Facts for many other Sources. I have decided to add a short description in each Civil Fact Description Field. The most common so far are SSDI and Marriage to which I will add “SSDI” and “Marriage” to each respective Description Field. I use Filter to find Civil Facts with any data and then change each one in People>Tree tab.

Yes, this is an extra step but I think it will help distinguish between Civil Facts when you aren’t able to see the Source Citations. It would be nice if this happened automatically but I’m not holding my breath. What do you think? Good idea or extraneous? I’m going to continue but I might possibly change my mind down the road.

Update: I have decided to change “SSDI” to “SSN issued” to more accurately reflect what the Civil Fact represents. I will probably add a description to all Residence Facts as well and will be on the lookout for other Facts that need a description as well.



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Fixing WWII Draft Reg Source Citation Facts

I have put in a request for Web Merge to utilize full dates when available as opposted to just a year. Here is an example. You can see the Residence Fact shows a year of 1942. If you look at the Citation Text field you will see a full date of 16 Feb 1942. That is the date I want to use because it will then sort in chronological order with other Facts  much better. In my opinion, more exact is always a better thing when it comes to dates.Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 10.44.59 AM.png

Here is how I fixed my 125 Source Citations:

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How To Save Your Place When Working On Source Citations

I am slowly working through my SSDI Source Citations when time permits. Life happens so I need to save my place for when I return. I use the handy little app TextEdit that comes with my Mac to accomplish this. The key here is to combine the Citation Detail with the Citation Text, separated by “. ” and then you can paste that into the search field and the record will come up.

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