Category Archives: Family File Cleanup Project

Finding hints on a record

Yesterday I wrote about my first productive day back from an unexpected break from technology. As with all research, one thing can always lead to many more avenues of information. Yesterday was no different for me. I talked about my marriage possibility list and how I was going to use the list to see if I could find out the spouses of my 5th great grandfather‘s siblings. Often when I’m coming back from a break, and I’m looking for something specific, I re-examine the records I’ve already found. So yesterday, I decided to go back through the death records I had for all of the children of James Love and Janet Fleming.

click for full size

click for full size

On the death record of Margaret Love, the informant is listed as Andrew Ritchie, nephew. I’ll take that clue! When I looked at my information for Margaret’s sisters (since the nephew did not share the Love surname), I saw that her oldest sister Elizabeth married James Wylie and died 2 years later with that surname. That means she was out as Andrew’s mother. The second eldest sister, Janet, was unaccounted for, which left her as an option. The youngest sister, Jean, was also unaccounted for at that time. That left me with two sisters and one nephew. That seems to be my story a lot! Trying to find out which sister a niece/nephew belongs with.

So I went to my trusty “possible spouses” list, and you can even see in my photo from yesterday who the obvious answer was:

Yesterday's post

Yesterday’s post

With that hint, I verified that Jean Love and James Ritchie had a son named, Andrew.

They did.

They did.

My next step (for now) was to search out a death record for Jean Ritchie. I wanted to verify that her maiden name was Love and that her parents were James Love and Janet Fleming. They were.

click for full size

click for full size

So with that, I’ve tracked another sibling of my 5th great grandfather, and I’ve added another will to my to do list. Those are 5 and 10 credits a piece sometimes, so they come when I’m really blocked or feeling like I want to spend some money. What a rebel I am!

James Love and Janet Fleming's family

James Love and Janet Fleming’s family

All that yesterday on top of surgery on my great grandmother Llewellyn’s sewing machine (according to Grandpa Moore it was hers)! Today I think I’ll stick to some office work for the rest of the day and make sure all my logs and lists are up to date. I also have to add James and Janet’s family to my database on the website so that when I talk about them, you can find out who I’m talking about.

P.S. Just because I was away, doesn’t mean I didn’t notice that nifty new feature on FTM2012!

Web links? Yes please!

Web links? Yes please!

You have no idea how much easier it will be to update my website manually when I’m researching now!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to work on the next RMC update tomorrow and Friday! I’m really ready for the redesign to be moving forward again!

Note: As part of the redesign I’ll be making a disclaimer page. Until I get all that sorted out, just to be clear, I have no affiliation with anyone for any perks. I just really love the tools that I use and I like to get excited about new finds. I do not currently make any money for this website, so please don’t sue me for any reason. I’m really wanting to save up for an iPhone 5 come December. ^.^ <– That’s my giggly face.

Is the computer on or is it just me?

Whew, who knew a break from technology would be that long. I sure didn’t! Yesterday I ended my unexpected hiatus by booting up my desktop and opening every genealogy program I own. I guess I had decided enough was enough and it was time to do something tech related again.

My focus yesterday was the Love family. (Of course I chose them, I always start with them after a hiatus.) One of the first things I did was break out my printout of all Love surname marriages for Beith parish. I made the list months ago using credits from Scotlands People. Since I knew I was going to be dealing with a lot of Loves eventually, I spent the credits at the time and figured it couldn’t hurt.

Once I had the list out, I made lists of my ancestors siblings. Using the list I was able to list possible spouses. I say possible because I wasn’t prepared to make any commitments to a spouse until I was sure of them. So armed with my new lists of possible spouses for the siblings, I bit the bullet and got myself some more credits. However, I like to make my credits go as far as I can. Knowing what I know about the Love migration pattern, I went ahead and just did a general LOVE search for deaths in the Statutory Registers. Note: The Statutory Registers began in 1855, before that they used OPR (old parochial registers), however Scotlands People warns that the OPR’s were infrequently used, so aren’t as accurate. I decided to use the Statutory records because I had already found Robert and Elizabeth Love’s deaths in them, so I thought their five siblings might be as well.

6 pages or 6 credits is worth it for me, because that’s 150 LOVE deaths between 1855 and 1930 in Beith parish. Since the age is also listed, I can narrow down quickly if any of these are my ancestors or their siblings.

I quickly was able to find an Andrew Love that fit the parameters for the brother of my 5th Great Grandfather. The record confirms that this Andrew was the son of James Love and Janet Fleming. It also shows that he was also a Grocer (which definitely runs in the family) and the widower of Margaret Jack. Now that I have a spouse name, I can look on my marriage list and find out when they were married. If I wanted to spend another credit, which of course I did, I could do a search for their children’s names. I held off on looking at the actual records of their children’s births for now. They aren’t in my direct line, so I can hold off on verifying them for a little while longer. I did add the marriage and children into my database with placeholder source citations so that I would know I need to still look at the originals.

I’m making some definite progress on the children of James and Janet. I still have more death records to check to see if I can narrow down the other three children. Then it’s onto the Wills & Testaments database on SP for more records if I can find them. Not to mention the census records, I’ve barely touched the Scotland census yet, since I’m trying to get lists of spouses and children to differentiate between all the same names.

That was actually a pretty productive day for being a day back after an extended break. The only thing left is to transfer my hand written notes into Microsoft OneNote and to finish making the printout for Beith death records. Oh and of course I have to update the database on my website. Sheesh, that stuff sure piles up quick doesn’t it!

The Original Taylor Tree

The Original Taylor Tree

The Original Taylor Tree

I’ve come to the point in my Family File Cleanup where I have to make a decision. Whether or not to enter the descendant report for John Taylor into my family file. I have two Taylor descendant reports, the other being the one for Bartholomew Taylor (pictured above). It was easy to use the Bartholomew report because it was easily backed up with record proof. Not entirely but for the most part. Now that I’ve come to adding John and the earlier Taylors in, it gets more difficult.

The reason there is a decision at all is it gets harder to verify the families are correct because I’m venturing past the 1850 census now and into the 1700′s. So I’ll only have a number count for the children in the census and birth records are less frequent and less accessible. I have to decide whether to add these next few generations in or to leave them off. The pros to leaving them off would mean a complete fresh start with the early Taylor generations. The downside is that I’ve seen enough of the parish records over in Salisbury, Maryland to know that having a guideline would be a tremendous asset. You see, there are a lot of John, William and James Taylors in those records. I’m also finding in this cleanup that my original trees were a bit more accurate then I originally thought. Which is a good thing. There are inaccuracies but they are quickly rooted out.

Jane Menzies-Love

Jane Menzies-Love

What I think I’ll end up doing is adding them into the tree but not adding them to the website until I’ve got more than just my descendant report as a source. I definitely don’t want my website information to get out of hand or inaccurate. I’ve noticed while getting my tree synced on that a lot of my pictures are being added to people’s family trees. I guess I hit the genealogy jackpot with that picture of Jane Menzies-Love because it is a popular one in member trees. The only problem is that no one is contacting me to compare information or trees. Since I know that my tree is being used as a resource, I don’t want to lead anyone in the wrong direction. There’s no reason that adding them to the website can’t wait until I’ve got more information in hand. I don’t like to take family lore completely out of the loop, but I’m definitely learning more about what can happen with internet genealogy.

So for now, I add the descendant reports as unsourced family records and then try and find the proof in the actual records next time I’m over on the Eastern Shore. I know I say I’m going to these places a lot and then never go, but it’s just the way it goes. I’ll get there someday and I just want to be ready for it when I do. My biggest flaw is getting flustered and overwhelmed when I walk into the libraries. Not anymore, I’ll have a clear, concise list and plan in hand the next time!

What I meant about syncing my FTM file

On July 2nd, I posted an entry titled, What I’ve Been Working On. In the entry I wrote:

 If I had synced my FTM file with, then my source citations would have been a little weird. For example, it would have shown everything on the Ancestry tree, however, the census images and death records wouldn’t be linkable to the databases on Ancestry.

After posting this entry, Russ Worthington, who writes the ever helpful Family Tree Maker User blog, posted a comment wondering if what I was saying was true. It’s tough to get points across through blog comments, so I’m going to show an example of what I actually meant. However, Russ is technically right, there are ways to sync the files so that the citations are linked and how I want, it just takes a little work.

Thinking about it now I should have just realized what the complete and utter truth was… I didn’t want to spend too much time messing around with the syncing issue when I’m still working on my Family File Cleanup (which I still need to make a category for and organize). Not to mention the website re-design.

William H Moore example (click for full size)

William H Moore example (click for full size)

Let’s use William H Moore as our example. This is how William’s person screen comes up in FTM 2012. As you can see I use Census to track the census and Address to track when an individual address is given. I do that because I also use city directories, draft cards, and vital records to track when someone is listed as living at a certain address. I’m still trying to figure out how I would like those addresses listed, but as I’m now on the Kentucky side of my family, addresses aren’t given at all most times, so it’s not a pressing issue anymore.

1920 Census Citation (click for full size)

1920 Census Citation (click for full size)

Above, you can see my census source citation for the 1920 Census fact of William. I love how this citation is set up, it makes for easy to read reference notes and finding citations quickly in the source screen.

Source Screen (click for full size)

Source Screen (click for full size)

Here’s my Source screen to show how easy it is to navigate with my citation method. member tree file example (click for full size) member tree file example (click for full size)

Okay, here is my work in progress member tree file. This is the same example as  the other file, the 1920 census citation. As you can see, Ancestry uses the Residence fact instead of census. Which I don’t have a problem with, it’s just not how I want to organize my file. This isn’t impossible to work with though. What I like is I can click directly on ‘View Source Online’ and I can go right to’s 1920 Census page for William H Moore. In fact, I don’t just like that I LOVE that.

The other thing I don't like (click for full size)

The other thing I don’t like (click for full size)

The other thing I don’t particularly like is for some reason, on some records, Ancestry doesn’t pick up the whole household. So this citation for William H Moore is only attached to him. On my working file, I have it linked to him and his daughter, who is living with him at the time. Again though, this is not impossible to work with. I can just link her to the citation later. No big deal there.

Ancestry Member Tree (click for full size)

Ancestry Member Tree (click for full size)

Here’s my Ancestry Member Tree page for William H Moore. As you can see, all the information is there. The point is that I wanted my files to be linked by those database links there on the right. However, if I were to just upload and sync my tree, that wouldn’t be the case. They’d be listed there, but it wouldn’t be as links to the database for the census. In fact, I wouldn’t even be able to link them manually at that point because doesn’t support linking the census information to a fact named Census. If you try to manually link something, your only option is for birth, marriage, death, and residence.

Again, this situation is not impossible to work with. Now that I took the time to play with it, (which you should always do before saying something is “weird”), I can tell you how I would work around these limitations to make a fully synced file with

Download Member Tree Source Page (click for full size)

Download Member Tree Source Page (click for full size)

I manually go into the source citation for William H Moore and put my source information in and edit the Master Source title to something of my liking. Now this citation will come out as the footnote that I like to have. However, there’s one more issue I was working with.

Fact Data Options (click for full size)

Fact Data Options (click for full size)

To make those residence facts into census facts, I bring up the Fact Data Options menu and I change them from residence to census.

Sync Time

Sync Time

Once I’ve changed those facts to census, I go ahead and sync my tree to see if that’s what I wanted to achieve.

Final Product (click for full size)

Final Product (click for full size)

So in conclusion, yes I can achieve what I want, it just takes a little work to get there. :)

I know I’m being a pain about exactly how I wanted it to work. It’s just that I’ve been working for 2 years to get my source citations the uniform and clean way that they are in my file. In fact halfway through the project I finally got my hands on my own copy of Evidence Explained and saw that maybe I wasn’t doing it exactly as clean as I thought. So I’m still cleaning up a bit. My census citations are my pride and joy though. I worked hard to get them to the point they’re at and I didn’t know at the time what syncing would do to them. Now I know though.

Here are my conclusions:

  1. It wouldn’t matter if I were to sync my file. doesn’t recognize the census fact, so it wouldn’t change my citations. I could simply attach the record to my online tree, sync, copy my census source citation onto the residence source citation and then change the residence fact to a census fact. Then on my next sync, voila!
  2. I will think about this hard now because there’s no point in continuing to do a manual online tree, if I can have a fully synced one later.
  3. One huge project at  a time! I will focus primarily on re-adding people from my old “Original” file into the clean file and sourcing them.
  4. What I’m considering doing is going ahead and linking up my family tree and “syncing” as I go because hello, I’m already neck deep in census citations during this project and it would save me time later.
  5. I love learning new things.
  6. Why didn’t I just rehab my Original file?
  7. I’m lazy.
  8. Please let me know if there is an easier way. I won’t be offended I promise. I write this blog to show how I do things and to get feedback! It’s called “Misadventures of a Genealogist” for a reason folks.
  9. I’m kind of lazy.
  10. I’m indecisive too. If you haven’t noticed.

So there ya go. :) I’ve now explained my compulsive indecisive disorder for all. A big thank you to Russ for making me slow down and explain myself! I can really get ahead of myself sometimes.

One Year and Four Months Later

On March 16, 2011, I posted an entry that basically turned into a pep talk for myself. I can’t even believe it was that long ago that I made that pep talk to myself. In that year and four months, so much has happened. Grandpa Moore moved into our house from Seattle, Washington in May of 2011. In May of 2012, Grandpa passed away. We’ve added new additions to the tree and we lost a few too.

In the scope of my family file cleanup (I’m adding a category for that.), I was a year in already at the time. Or close to a year. I had finished up my Dad’s side of the tree and I was working on my Mom’s. In that year, I know I’ve expanded even my Dad’s side, but my Mom’s has grown a lot too.

March of 2011

March of 2011 (click for full size)

July of 2012

July of 2012 (click for full size)

Because my March picture only shows 5 generations, I don’t know exactly how far back on the Mays side I actually was at the time. In the entry though, I mentioned I was nearing the finish line on them. So since March I have finished the Mays line, Slusher line, Moyer line, Evans line, and I’m currently working on the Taylor line. It sounds like I’ve slowed down, and I’m sure I did while I was caring for Grandpa. However, the Mays and Taylor lines are the largest ones on my tree. All my lines except the Taylors only go a few generations past the ones shown above (if any). The Taylors go back many more then that, which is why I’m still working on them right now. If I remember correctly, I have at least five more generations of Taylors to add to my new tree. They are also one of those families that had quite a few children.

What I do have is the stats from when I last posted numerical statistics from my new file in February of 2011.

(click for full size)

I think this shows a better picture of how far my file has come. Since February of 2011 I have added (all sourced) 1075 people, 1 generation, 200 surnames, 203 places, and 74 sources. I have a new earliest birthday in Robert Love (thank you ScotlandsPeople!) and I’ve made a few additions of the newest family members. It’s so fun looking at these numbers because it shows me just how far I’ve come. :)

Oops, it’s been 2 years!

2 years of progress

2 years of progress


Today is a very special day, and I didn’t even know it. Today is the two year blogiversary for Misadventures of a Genealogist! That’s pretty special for me. I can’t help but think of all the cousins and relations I’ve met through this website. The biggest thing this blog has given me though is the foundation to learning more about my passion of genealogy. Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve learned so much from my fellow GeneaBloggers.

One of the biggest projects I’ve undertaken on the blog, is my family file cleanup. I’ve been working on it since shortly after the blog started. I’m actually coming up on the end of the project. I’ve almost sourced everything in my file I can source. The only thing I skipped was I did take a little break from the Mays side with the knowledge that I would come back to them first after I finished the rest of the project. The new file has 1,031 sourced individuals.

Some of you might be asking what the big project will be after I’ve finished getting everything entered into the new file.

Evidence Explained

Evidence Explained

Let’s just say that while everything has a source, it might not be quite… proper. So I’ll go through things one more time and I’ll fix them up a bit. Not that I think they need much fixing up. I do have all the pertinant information in the source, just not in any type of uniform style. So that’s the next.

Though, I don’t think I’ll ever change how I source some of the facts I know through Personal Knowledge. Those are a little near and dear to my heart.

“I called Molly. She told me.”

“Family Grapevine”


“I lived it.”

“I was there.”

“My Mom said so, and I always listen to my Mom.”

Okay, so the last one isn’t an actual citation, but it is true! If there was something that fit with that citation, I’d definitely be using it.

How else do you document things that are just kind of “Duh” to you? Besides, if I did all the work now, what would my non-existent children and grandchildren do in the future?

It’s So Hard to Let Go Sometimes

Even though I’m coming up on the end of my family file cleanup, (which I started sometime in 2010), sometimes I just love to dig into my Original file and clean that up a little too. I just can’t seem to let it go. Am I going to always have two working files? Or will I eventually scrap the original? I just can’t decide. I don’t think I’ll ever fully delete the original file.

With all the new databases that come out on a regular basis, sometimes I want to just dig into that old file, and just test the waters out a bit. Sometimes it’s really just to see if the database is going to be a very prolific resource for my family tree. I’m never really sure if the more rural areas of my family recorded the vital records or not. I know it wasn’t mandated until the 1900s in those states, so I know it’s a toss up.

Two of the databases I’ve really been digging into is the Ohio, County Births and Ohio, County Marriages databases over at FamilySearch. I’m digging up my Ohio roots right now on my file cleanup, so I’m really able to progress. I’ve already had some of these records recorded, but only from an index at FamilySearch, so I didn’t have all the information from the original record.

Ohio Birth Report, 1856-1909

Ohio Birth Report, 1856-1909

Yesterday though, I wanted a little break from the cleanup. So instead of just sitting in front of the TV watching the Housewives on Bravo, I opened up my Original file and I printed out the above report. The great thing is that I used the instructions discussed by Russ Worthington on his blog about preparing for the 1940 U.S. Census. Only I didn’t prepare for the 1940 U.S. Census.

I prepared for the Ohio, County Births database. I filtered in individuals with a Birthplace containing Ohio. Then I filtered out anyone born before 1856 and after 1909. Voila. I had an Ohio Birth Report to work from. It turned out to be 18 pages long, but my printer prints on both sides of the paper, so I went ahead and printed it out for ease of use.

After all that preparation was done, the dryer buzzed and my full day took over. Hey, I have the list though, which means now when I have some extra time, I can just bring up the Original file, take out the list and work from that. The great thing is even if I input information into my old database, I always have that up when I’m working from my new database. So I can easily find my sources and information in my old program once I get to that person in the new database.

Sure it might not make much sense to work in such a haphazard way, but then again if it wasn’t that way, it wouldn’t be me researching. It’s how I roll. That’s right, I roll back and forth over and over again.

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