Saturday, June 29, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
Do you have an excessively big ancestry.com tree? Do you have enough hints to keep you busy for the rest of your life, and possibly your descendant's lives? Curious to see if you've missed any of those key older census records, or maybe you are just looking to search for birth/marriage/death records among the thousands you have? Here's the answer:
To find the record database ID number, go to the card catalogue:
You can do this with every single record database in the catalogue:
Since it's not easy to remember the links - I recommend using bookmarks - one for just the standard record database link (without the record number) -
Then another bookmark folder for all the census (or type of record database search you are interested in):
This can also be a good way to clear out the hints that fill up your "All Hints" list that you aren't as interested in.
Happy genealogy hunting!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
- Complete roll out of the "search all records in this collection" feature beyond the 1930 and 1940 census records. (In case you didn't know about this function - it is available when you open up the 1930 or 1940 census in the card catalogue).
- Ability to filter hints by key word (i.e. by township, county or state)
- Photo cropping from site (right now, if you want to crop a photo, you have to save it to your computer, crop it, then reload the new version and delete the prior).
- A warning "pop-up" if you are saving a record that has already been saved to someone else in your tree (helps avoid adding duplicate people). Right now - you can only tell if you click on the record link to look at the details before adding.
- Faster tree downloading - I am too addicted to stop working on my tree for as long as it takes currently, and then usually it has to start over! boo.
- Place name standardization across record hints (i.e. USA vs United States vs. not listing country)
- Removal of "abt" in front of birth year when adding people via a record hint.
- Faster processing of hint ignoring (it's super fast to ignore hints when in the "view all hints" of one person, but takes longer to ignore hints when not in the person view mode).
Friday, June 3, 2011
The thing is... there are SO many leaves waiting on your tree, if only you manage to open your family tree to that person. Here are a few tips I've found to help the hints show up (even if they are mostly just other people's trees).
1) Try viewing your family tree under the "family" view as opposed to the "Pedigree" view - this will show many more people and it does really help to bring up more leaves.
2) Download a genealogy computer program such as Mac Family Tree, Legacy or Family Tree Maker. You can export your tree out of ancestry.com and import it into the program and then begin to view your data in many different ways. My most recent project has been to try and find a related person from every county in the United States. A challenge, yes, but it's gotten me using tools that I hadn't used and has me going to people in my tree that I haven't gone to in awhile, and is causing literally hundreds of new leaves.
The key to doing this, though, is the computer programs. All the ones that I use have a "Places" view which allows you to see all the places that you have documented your ancestors and relatives in. If you want to get super nerdy, you can start to make all the places consistent - i.e. USA vs. United States, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania vs. Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, or St Louis vs. St. Louis.
Once you have your places consistent and you believe that every single place listed is actually distinct, you can start your checklist of the counties and cities and see how far you can get relatives to go across the state, country, world. In the process, if you have enough people in your tree (like the 6,000 I have in mine) - I PROMISE new leaves will come up!
Right now, I am using the "sources" view on Mac Family Tree to go through all the World War 1 Draft Cards (which only list county and state) to add in the city, which is listed when you open up the document itself. I'm finding lots of new towns to check off!
As far as finding all the cities and towns in counties, the best source I've found is hometownlocator.com - you can copy and paste into excel pretty easily if you are using internet explorer (does not work with firefox) - and you have to use the paste special option (anything other than html will work).
Monday, May 23, 2011
Google Shuts Down Newspaper Archive Project - The Atlantic
There are things that would really make my life easier -
1 – A consolidated/automated to-do list.
What I envision is a tool that you can customize for what information you’d like to have for everyone in your tree. Say, First, Middle, Last Name, Spouse, Mother, Father, Birth Date & Location, Death Date & Location, Marriage Date & Location. The tool would then create a list of to-do items wherever those key facts are missing.
2 – An automated source/research list based on a person’s birth and death dates and location.
I have started an excel sheet that shows the records that are available for different states and the date ranges that they apply to – so this information is very much out there. What I haven’t found is a tool that automatically lists what might be out there for a person as you gather more information about them.
3 – Ancestry.com Hint Leave Categorization.
On ancestry.com – I really wish that the leaves would be broken down into “Historical Documents” and “Family Tree Links”. As more and more people join the site and create their trees, people are ever linking to your tree. It would be really nice to not end up with 900 hints in your tree without being able to sort out the ones that actually do have something new or different, when it comes to trees, and which hints are new historical documents.
4 – Ancestry.com people list sorting options.
The master trees in my research are always on ancestry.com. One thing that can be super annoying when using the site is that the list of people isn’t sortable. It’s only listed in order by last name. Granted, you can filter by first name or last name, but it would be nice to view the list of people by birth or death date, or by location. That would facilitate searching for certain records.
I’m sure there are more, but I’ve been wanting to put these ideas out there for the amazing people that have gotten genealogy research as far as it’s come. Kudos to you all!
I love genealogy. I blame this obsession entirely on my great grandfather who took off during the Great Depression and left my grandfather with a determined curiosity about his family’s past. This drive was then passed down to me, along with a pretty stacked family tree and a handful of family stories.
It’s amazing to think of the people who did genealogy before the internet came around. I only wish my grandfather could see how far technology has come. I have yet to make it to a real world place to do research, despite the fact that I work one metro stop from the National Archives. I consider that next step a deep rabbit hole that I should be ready to fall down.
I’m not sure what it is I have to contribute to the genealogy community, but I’ve spent thousands of hours of my life doing this, and I’m in need of a creative outlet.
If you are reading this, thank you, I love that there are other people out there as weirdly into stalking the dead people of our past as I am.