Tag Archives: merge

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 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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To Merge or Not To Merge

When I merge FindaGrave or Marriage records from Ancestry into FTM, many times there are other people listed on the record besides the person I am searching for info for. Let’s say that I have a FindaGrave record for Max Muggle. The Web Merge Wizard also shows his father, mother, wife, children. I have found that if I merge these extra people from Max Muggles record that it saves the Source Citation with his name instead of theirs. I have decided not to merge these records so as to avoid confusion and to keep things less cluttered. I merge each FindaGrave record individually which is time consuming but I really like having one Source Citation for each person.

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Dear Ancestry Request for Multiple Source Merge

Dear Ancestry, It would be lovely to be able to merge multiple source citations at one time by selecting them all. This would be especially helpful with Census before 1880 because they download one/person and must be merged manually which is extremely time consuming.

I have submitted this Suggestion.

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How To Merge Names

After I have merged records I go back to the Peope Workspace>Person Tab and do a bit of cleanup. Using ‘Merge Duplicate Facts’ works well BUT not when only part of the info needs to be merged. See the screen clip below. The correct name spelling is Graydon not Graden and this is the Preferred Fact. The problem is that I want the middle name to replace the initial ‘G’. If I merge using ‘Merge Duplicate Facts’ there is no way to just keep the middle name. Here is how I resolve…

Merge Names

Merge Names

Copy the middle name and paste into the Preferred Fact. Now you can ‘Merge Duplicate Facts’ and get the correct results.

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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. 22.2.4.781), 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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