Tag Archives: census

How To Clean Up Census Citations – Step 1

Since the US Census is the backbone of my documentation I really want to have it done right! In a previous post I told you how I discovered that I had oodles of census images taking up a lot of valuable disk space. I have now figured out a method for combining the Citations into one, cleaning up the Media Workspace, and deleting the extra images. Your task may not be nearly as lengthy as mine. Remember that I have 31,000+ records which is a large database. I am also still converting info from my old PAF program into FTM so a lot of the records are old and named incorrectly. Another factor is that Ancestry changed the way they named Source Citations and downloaded images – which is a good thing but it means that I need to clean up the old stuff too. The 1850, 1860, and 1870 census do not provide relationships and therefore each record for each person is downloaded separately and then needs to be merged into one record. You could keep them separated but I find it very helpful to merge them, here’s why:

  • It takes up less space in FTM and so the program runs faster.
  • It takes up less space on your hard drive storing the Media images for each person.
  • It is very difficult to see if you have everyone in a household – the names appear at the end of the citations and are sorted by first name instead of by last name so they don’t necessarily appear altogether.
  • It allows you to quickly see who the Related-Head-of-Household is and how many related-people were in the household.

I’m currently working on the 1870 Census so we will start there.

Step 1 – Combine Source Citations for Related-Heads-of-Household

  1. In FTM go to the Sources Workspace. Navigate to the ‘1870 United States Federal Census’ and select it. Drag the arrow next to Source Groups to close the left Source Groups window. This gives you maximum viewing space.
  2. Go to the topmost Source Citation. Double-click to open it. Click on the link at the bottom ‘View Source Online’. Your browser will open the cooresponding Ancestry file.
  3. Note the name of the top person that is related to you. This will be your Related-Head-Of-Household (RHOH). Copy the Names/Ages info.
  4. Switch back to FTM. Go down the Source Citations and find the name that you noted above. Double-click to open that Source Citation.
  5. Under ‘Citation Text’ and after ‘Record for _____’ press Return and then type ‘- – -‘. The three dashes help separate the info for easier viewing. Next, paste in the names/ages info from the Ancestry page. Press OK to save.
  6. Reopen the Source Citation again. Double click after each name to select the space and hit delete. This will move the age up on the same line as the name and removes the extra spaces. Note any family relationships to the HOH: (mother), (brother), (niece), (unrelated). If Press OK to save. Now we have our HOH Source Citation with all of the family members listed and their relationships.
  7. Switch back to your browser and back-highlight the next person down from HOH. Switch back to FTM and find their Source Citation. R-click on them and select ‘Replace Source Citation’. When the next window comes up you will need to click and drag the right-side to to see the names at the end. When you find the HOH select it and then REPLACE. The person’s facts will now appear under the RHOH.
  8. Continue replacing citations until all of the people are listed under the RHOH.
  9. Double check to make sure all people in the household are listed. Count all of the people that have been merged and compare to the Ancestry record. Sometimes it’s even wise to compare the names. So that I know which records have been checked I add the number of people in the household in parenthesis after the dashes: – – – (9). If there are unrelated I put the count of related + unrelated: – – – (9+2 unrelated). The key is that first number matches the number of people that you have attached to the citation.
  10. Continue for all citations.

This is the method that I will use from now on when merging 1850, 1860, 1870 census records. Here are my new rules for these census records:

  1. Merge the Related Head of Household first with media, then merge the other people in the household WITHOUT MEDIA!
  2. Always copy/paste the names/ages of the Household members and clean it up.
  3. Always replace all household members into the Head of Household record.
  4. Always double check the number of people that have been merged and add that number after – – -.

It seems like a lot of work but it sure makes a difference. I found people that were connected to the wrong household, people that were missing, and people that I thought were unconnected that actually were. It won’t be nearly as time consuming if I keep up with it as I go.

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How To Reduce The Number of Images

I noticed that my disk drive space has decreased significantly. Yikes! What have I done now? Well, I have been working on my Census before 1880. I was saving each record individually and each one had an image saved with it. That is a lot of images, which take up a lot of space. I have decided that instead of saving each one separately as I have been doing, I will merge all individuals for each record. Then I will be able to delete the extra images and save disk space on my hard drive. This is a time consuming task especially since they had soooo many kids back then.

In the future I plan to add the image for the Head of Household but when I add the other household members I will not download the image. There is an ‘Items To Merge – Media’ check box at the end of each merge that needs to be unchecked if you don’t want to download the image. Then I will go to Sources and use ‘Replace’ to merge everyone into the Head of Household record.

Yay! More disk space coming up.

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How To Merge Two Databases (Update)

After matching/merging my people I found that many people had NUMEROUS Residence facts and these facts were linked with census records that weren’t even closely related to the location or people that they were attached to. Oh my! After further investigation I figured out that there was one record for each census year that held all of these links. This was not what I expected but I figured out how to fix it.

  1. Open the source citation and copy the place and ‘record for…’ info over to a text file so that you can easily find the source citation.
  2. Go to Sources, find the source citation (using the info you copied to the text file) and delete the source citation.
  3. Recreate the source citation for the family you just deleted.
  4. Merge all of the remaining facts – this is going to take even more time. ARGH!

I am also going through each of my Ancestry Sources to make sure that they aren’t old. When I open the source citation it should have a link in the bottom left-hand corner that says ‘View Source Online’. If it doesn’t have this then I rerun the search/merge so that the source citation is current and saved in the correct place.

Note: This process took a lot longer than I thought it would. I’m not sure if I will do it again.

Recommendation: I recommend that you don’t merge the sources when merging people. Run your own sources – it’s cleaner.

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How To Merge 1870, 1860, 1850 Census (UPDATED)

Did you know that Family relationships weren’t recorded in the US Fed Census 1870 and beforehand? This means that when you merge 1870 census info from Ancestry.com into FTM you will need to merge each individual record for each person. Note: I highly recommend that you only download the media (census picture) for the head of household to save disk space. Then, if you want them altogether under the same Source Citation you need to merge the records. This can be quite time consuming. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was an easy way to select several family members in FTM at the same time when merging this census info?

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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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