What to do when Shaky Leaf gives 2 FindaGrave.com records for 1 person

Even with the best search techniques it is possible to miss finding a person in FindaGrave.com: the spelling could be a touch off, the place the next state over, the date incorrect. Ideally there should be only one record per individual unless there is a cenotaph. (This is one of the things I love about FindaGrave -one record per person means that there are many people contributing to a single record instead of each person working independently and many records existing separately.) So duplicates do exist, BUT, we can help reduce the number of duplicates by reporting them to be merged.

Here is a screen shot of a Shaky Leaf Search for Croner Meletus Hess (my 3rd cousin 3x removed) that shows two records existing in FindaGrave.com:

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 5.54.24 PM

I clicked on each one and then clicked on ‘Go To Website’. This opened both pages up in Safari and I can CAREFULLY compare them to MAKE SURE that they are the same person.

I then open Mail and create a new email msg to info@FindaGrave.com with subject: Please combine two memorials. I then copy/paste the URL for each onto separate lines in the email and send it.

Next I want to record BOTH FindaGrave.com memorial numbers in my custom FindaGrave Memorial ID fact field separated with a semicolon. That way I can search for records that have a semicolon and make sure they were combined.

I glean all of the info that I can from both the memorials and add it into my FTM record.

Next I want to go ahead and source one of the Shaky Leaf FindaGrave records. I usually pick the oldest record or which one has the most accurate info. I will do a separate post on how I Create a Source for FindaGrave.com with a video.

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Where is that FindaGrave record on Ancestry.com?

Adding a brand new FindaGrave.com 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 FindaGrave.com records using Ancestry.com Shaky Leaves. Sometimes the Shaky Leaf doesn’t show a FindaGrave record. I know there is one because I store the unique FindaGrave.com memorial numbers in a custom fact field for easy reference. I discovered the reason why by reading great blogs, like GeneaMusings.com. It turns out that Ancestry Updates their databases periodically. So that means that although I have added the record to FindaGrave.com, it won’t show up at Ancestry.com 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 FindaGrave.com 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 Ancestry.com. 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 Ancestry.com

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.

How To Glean Death Certs from Missouri Digital Heritage

Today I am gleaning Death Certificates from the Missouri Ditial Heritage web site:


I created a video to show you my process. This is my first video so keep that in mind. Please give me a thumbs up if you find it helpful.



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Reported Problem: Web Search Merge Stops Working

Re: FTM Mac 3 v.

Problem: Web Search Merge Stops Working sporadically and is greyed out.

I’m still trying to define the variables that lead to this problem but I have figured out that when it does occur I have to go back to People>Tree, find a shaky leaf, and click on it. That seems to reset it and then I am able to use this feature normally.

Note: You can report problems here: http://www.ancestry.com/suggestions

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Update – Mac 3 v.

Mac 3 users waited all year for the annual update that usually comes at the end of summer in August. I was disappointed when I read the update tick list. It appears that once again, some minor tweaking was done without any major improvements. Come on Ancestry.com. Can’t we find a happy medium between the online and program users? We pay for service too!

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