Tag Archives: Ancestry.com

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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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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How To Report Problems

Why doesn’t FTM Mac have an item in the toolbar to report problems? Many programs do. Feedback is valuable. Finding help on Ancestry.com can be a frustrating experience. I admit that I am not a big fan of the Ancestry.com help boards. I seem to spend way too much time reading and looking for specific solutions without success. On the other hand, I understand that Ancestry probably has a hard time with this area because many people can’t separate help-with-the-program from help-with-their-genealogy. Still, it is frustrating for people that really need help-with-the-program.

Here is a link to their Suggestion Box.

Make sure that you include a consise problem blurb and the version of FTM that you are using. Note that they really want input on the current version instead of older ones. Be nice even if you are frustrated – you get more bees with honey than with vinegar.

Here is a problem that I just reported:

Problem Report: Unable to delete Periods from Name Field

FTM Mac v.

I am deleting periods from all names as suggested to increase search hits.

I have two records that won’t allow me to delete periods.

I have compacted file and done shut down and restart.

Thank you.

Now, you probably won’t receive a response but at least you reported and we can only hope that they will listen.

If I were Ancestry.com I would have one portal for all feedback and I would use a form to determine which program version was being used and which category to route the problems so that they could be addressed by the correct department. They could look at how other companies with multiple programs deal with feedback to improve theirs.

Ancestry also takes a survey after each suggestion is submitted. I think that surveys are nice but they don’t give detailed info on problems so that they can be fixed.

Dear Ancestry, Please make it easy to provide feedback.

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How To Increase Ancestry Search Hits

When you search for someone and you merge new info go back to the People Workspace > Tree View. Wait for the Shaky Leaf to reappear and then click it again to search again with the new info that was added. Hopefully the new info will result in more hits.

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How To Convert Social Security Death Records

I have been re-merging all of my Social Security (SS) Death Records recently so that all of my records are listed together, under one Source, in the Sources Workspace. This is a continuation of my conversion to Family Tree Maker from PAF. Right now I have one Source with all of the records I searched (my-SS-Source) and I also have a second Source with all of the records that I have merged from Ancestry.com.

This basically consists of:

  1. Backup before proceeding!
  2. Going to the Sources Workspace.
  3. Selecting my-SS-Source (see above).
  4. Selecting a citation (more on that in a minute).
  5. Double-clicking a fact for that citation – this will open the People Workspace.
  6. Clicking the shaky leaf (if there is one – as I said, more on that in a minute).
  7. Finding the Social Security record for that person and merging.
  8. Go back to the People Workspace and double check that the merge was successful.
  9. Go back to my-SS-Source and delete the citation.

The record will now show up in the Ancestry Sources (see previous post on My/Their Sources) all in one place. It will take me quite awhile to complete this task because I have ~1,500 Social Security Death records to merge – after merging several hundred already.

Is this worthwhile? Yes, because I have found some new info when merging and, more importantly, I can see all my records together in one place. However let’s discuss the issue that I mentioned above…

Regarding #4/6: As of the lasted update to FTM Mac (v., the Web Search ‘New Search’ button seems to only work on records that have shaky leaves. If a person does not have a shaky leaf then you can still search for the records but you must fill out the form manually. So… Right now I am only merging records with shaky leafs. I plan to do several every time I work in FTM and will go through and merge the others manually afterwards. But, hopefully a new version will come out and resolve this issue before I even get there.

Dear Ancestry, Please fix the ‘New Search’ button so that it automatically populates a person’s info to make searching for records easier – with or without a shaky leaf!

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Dear Ancestry, About Ancestry.com in Source Names

Dear Ancestry.com, Please don’t put Ancestry.com in the Author field for Sources. It is much more helpful to be able to see the Title first when looking at the sources for an individual record. Thank you.

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How To Check For Missing Census Media

Sometimes due to Internet gliches media doesn’t download from Ancestry.com when merging census records. To check, go to the Sources tab and find a Census Source. Search down all of the citations for a media icon on the l-hand side. If the media is missing the merge will need to be re-run. Select the citation, select the person that is the Head of Household and go to the Web Search tab and re-run the merge.

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