Category Archives: Uncategorized


I am currently in WA State with my sister who has had a cancerous tumor removed and will probably be undergoing radiation. I am helping her family and may or may not have time to post. Thank you for your kind thoughts and prayers.


Merging 2 Marriage Facts

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Adding Parents of Spouses from FindaGrave

Here is a short video of how I add Parents of Spouses. I don’t research the lines of spouses that are attached to my family members as I need to limit the scope of my project somehow. However, I do like to save info about their parents to add creditability. Adding the FindaGrave ID numbers is just to help others. If there are any parts of the  names that I don’t know, I add five underscore “_____” as a placeholder.

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Backup Using Less Space

Backups are great but FTM saves each backup with a Filename that includes the current date and that means all new backup files each time I backup.

Since I already do regular complete backups of my Mac I decided to only make one FTM Backup file for each database I have.

When I backup, I just change the date portion of the Filename to the text “Backup” and then select overwrite. The date can always be found if needed by looking at the file in Finder.

Time to Update Georgia Death Index, 1919-1998

Every so often Ancestry updates records and sometimes changes Citation Detail. I wish there was some kind of notification but for now this is my method. Updating your records helps keep all the Source Citations in order which then makes it easier to find specific records when needed.

I have a record with Citation Detail:

“Certificate Number: 9444”

When I click on the Web Address and open the record the new Citation Detail is:

“Georgia Health Department, Office of Vital Records; Georgia, USA; Indexes of Vital Records for Georgia: Deaths, 1919-1998; Certificate Number: 9444″

I copy/paste the new info and now the records will sort properly. Now I need to repeat for all the records.

This sort of thing happens all the time so I just correct as I find them. About once a year I go through and check them all.

FTM Maintenance – Updating the FindaGrave Web Addy

FindaGrave has recently been upgraded and updated. Along with that is a cleaner, shorter URL. Many of my Sources reference Memorial Pages and it is nice to clean these up – a great clean up project for the new year!

Most of my FindaGrave URL citings are for Obits. If you haven’t entered Obits this way you may wish to skip below for directions on how to search and replace the URLs.

Note that I use my own Source Citation formating instead of the Evidence Explained as I believe in keeping things as simple as possible. For Obits I create a Source Title that looks like this:

-Obit-DOE, Jane (Smith)

  • Dash: The dash is a prefix for any Sources that I add as opposed to those that I have merged from Ancestry.
  • LAST NAME: all CAPS, married name for females.
  • First Name: mixed CAPS, given name.
  • Maiden Name: for married females.

Ok, back to the URL updating… Since this is my primary use of FindaGrave URLs I will update this first and then use the Filter option to find any other occurences.

  1. Go to Sources and scroll down the list to where -Obit starts.
  2. Click on each one down the list checking the r-hand side of the page under Source Citation Information and find Web Address:
  3. Look for instances where the address looks like this:
  4. Highlight and paste with:
  5. Make sure there are no spaces or the address will not be clickable.
  6. You can make sure that the link works by clicking the Web Link button to the right of the field. It should open directly to the FindaGrave Memorial.

Once that is complete you will want to search to find any other occurences of this URL formatting.

  1. People
  2. Tree
  3. Filter
  4. Filter In
  5. Other
  6. Source Information
  7. Contains
  9. OK

This will produce a filtered list of People that have a Source that contains that URL. You will have to click on each person, open the Person tab, and then examine each Source to find the one that needs replacing.

Yes, my OCD is showing! It is nice to have a cleaner URL and it is also a HTTPS URL which may not matter much in the grand scheme of things but it appears that more security has been added to make FindaGrave a “safer” place to visit on the web.

Happy New Year!

Where is that FindaGrave record on

Adding a brand new record is kind of like finding cookies in the cookie jar! Frustration can turn into reward when you do a thorough search for an individual and can’t find even a close match. Now you get to add a brand new record yourself. Fun!

Fast forward a bit. I am currently working on documenting all of my records using Shaky Leaves. Sometimes the Shaky Leaf doesn’t show a FindaGrave record. I know there is one because I store the unique memorial numbers in a custom fact field for easy reference. I discovered the reason why by reading great blogs, like It turns out that Ancestry Updates their databases periodically. So that means that although I have added the record to, it won’t show up at until they update their records. Ah yes, the hurry up and wait. I now mark my FindaGrave memorial numbers with the date I added them so that I can match them up with the Ancestry Updated Databases and see just when I can document that source.

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How many FindaGrave Matches Do You Have?

I have been a member of for about 5 years now. I created a Fact to hold FaG Memorial #s and saved the numbers for each match I found. In the beginning I didn’t worry about documenting FindaGrave and I’m kinda glad I didn’t cuz then Ancestry purchased FindaGrave and added their records to This meant that I could use Shaky Leaves to find FindaGrave records and add them easily. The only problem? I have 10,289 records to document! I really didn’t realize how many I had found but was thrilled, and I have been working hard, using Shaky Leaves to document each one. I have about 1,000 left to do. And yes, I do each one separately so that there is a record for each individual. While I am at it, I am also merging birth/death/ssn records. I am overlooking census records for now but will come back to them later. I am focusing on individual records right now.

How many FindaGrave matches have you found?

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How to Find Marriage Records Using

Shaky leaves are great! When you click a Shaky Leaf they usually provide several matches for Public Member Trees on top and several matches for Records on bottom. I like to start with the Records on bottom. Then I look a the top records. I noticed that usually Marriage Records don’t appear in the results. Then I noticed that if I click More Results, many times a marriage record will be on top of the list.

When working on finding a record for a woman make sure to check and see if she has multiple marriages hence multiple name changes. Be sure to search using each of her married names in addition to her maiden name. After clicking More Results just use the Edit Search to change her last name.