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Family File Cleanup Project

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.

A Pleasant Surprise

Probate Court, Clermont County, Ohio, “Marriages, 1801-1910”, 1881, p. 516, no 299, Lafayette Moyer-Mollie Howell;

One of the reasons I haven’t been posting much is because I’ve been catching up on my family file cleanup. It’s been going really well. I’m onto the Moyer line of my family tree. I’ve also been soaking up the Ohio, County Marriage and Birth images that were added to FamilySearch. At first I wasn’t going to do new research into Daniel Moyer‘s (my 3rd great grandfather) brother. I know he had siblings, and I knew I’d get back around to it, but I couldn’t help myself with these county marriages. What would a little search hurt right?

Well, I found Henry Moyer up to the 1880 census. I know he had two children, Emma and Lafayette. I was having problems finding the children after they left their father’s house. For Lafayette it would be the 1900 census and Emma the 1880. As you all know, the girls take a little more leg work. Well, I found Lafayette in the marriage records as you can see above. However, it was a pleasant surprise to also find that Henry Moyer, appeared with the couple. This is the first time I’ve actually had a parent appear with the child. Lafayette was well over the age of consent (21), so that wasn’t the reason why.

I think what I want to do is learn more about the marriage records from the 1800’s and figure out what little surprises like this could actually mean about the family.

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