Category Archives: Family File Hijinks

That makes sense!

Yesterday I shared with you my forays into researching Hulda Adkins, #0034 from my Random Relative Project ™ (Category coming soon, I’m addicted to categories). Late last night, I was just kind of playing around on my laptop before bed. I had already turned off my desktop and wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing. For the purposes of recreation though, I’m taking a more direct route to my discovery.

Don’t ask me why I was researching Hulda’s father in the middle of the night. In fact I didn’t even have my “official” family files. Only a back up from my thumb drive. So I’m surprised how accurate the file was. I must have been clicking around on the tree in Family Tree Maker doing random “leaf” searches.

It certainly makes all the sense in the world now that I look at it. Why else would someone move or otherwise disappear between 1860 and 1870. Just because I haven’t found anything having much to do with the Civil War doesn’t mean I never will. I just haven’t been looking for it is the problem. I should probably look more into that.


Now that would make even more sense of why they would pick up and move until Harrison had passed away.

Random People: Hulda Adkins #0034

I had an idea! Why not share my progress on my “random people” with you! First up is Hulda Adkins. In my Original file I don’t have much on her yet. I have her 1870 listing, which was when she was just 9 years old.

Hulda Adkins
born: about 1861, Kentucky
Parents: Harrison Adkins, Rebecca Click

Hulda’s family in 1870 (Blue Lick Springs, Nicholas Co, KY)

After this point, in order to research Hulda, I’m going to have to research the rest of her family. I don’t have to fully research them, but I do have to figure out where the family is in later years.

I did find a Huldy Adkins living with this family in 1880. She is listed as a niece of the family. Since this Huldy isn’t living with anyone I have in my family file, I’m going to have to search out the rest of Hulda’s family in 1880 and see where they are. I’m going to have to make sure she isn’t living with them. Then I’m going to have to search out the Barnett family’s origins to see if they are in fact relatives of this Adkins family.

I did find Hulda’s mother, brother and two sisters living in Devils Fork, Elliott County, Kentucky in 1880. Her mother and sister Eliza Jane living with her brother McFarlan, and her sister Melvina living next door with her family. Still no Hulda though. It would make sense for her to be living with relatives in Nicholas County though. Her family originated from Morgan County until they for some reason moved to Nicholas County (where they were counted in 1870). Then the family once again packed their bags and went to Elliott County, which isn’t random, because Elliott County was formed in 1869 from parts of Morgan, Lawrence, and Carter counties. So they most likely moved back to the area their family originated. I’m going to guess it was after the death of Rebecca’s husband Harrison. I haven’t found a death record for him yet though, so I can’t be sure of the timing.

As of 3:54 today, I haven’t found any other location that Hulda could be in. True I haven’t scoured every resource, but I don’t want to get too frustrated. I’ll just move onto the next random number,  just to change it up a bit.

Battle Plan

One thing I’ve learned about myself is I work much better when I have a plan… except not much of one. Too much planning can make me doubt myself. So after a very weird, unproductive few days I had to make a plan. Don’t ask me about all those files from yesterday, some are still there, some aren’t.


Plan Step 1: I booted up a RootsMagic file that had all the names in it and turned on the ‘Reference Number’ option. So I could view who was what number.


Plan Step 2: I went to a random number generator and told it to give me 7 random numbers between 1 and 4215. 4215 being the number of people in my big database.


It gave me these numbers.


Plan Step 3: I matched up the numbers with names from the RootsMagic file. (Note: There may have been a way to get ID numbers in FTM but I didn’t know how/try to do it.


Plan Step 4: Since I want universal reference ID’s between all mediums (RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, my website), I add a new Reference ID into each person on Family Tree Maker.


Extra Step: I added the Ref ID into my view on the Pedigree tab on Family Tree Maker. This is a one time only step which is why I didn’t add it as step 5.


What will I do with these people you ask? One of biggest things when I sit down to work on my big file is where to start? Well I’ll start with these random people. I’ll research these 7 people until I’ve exhausted my online sources or patience. Then I’ll pick some more random numbers. In regards to my start over files, I’ll still slowly work back on those but I want to take the time to send away for records as I go too. Which means it will take some time. This gives me something to do… like spend a day lost in the census.

Extra: I only chose to do this in FTM because I have already been adding census information into FTM this week.

So there is my battle plan, whether it makes sense or not. Now we’ll see if I get anywhere!

Dear Faithful Reader

As someone who has made the effort to come to my blog, I feel I must be completely honest with you. You’ve spent your time reading my random ramblings. That’s a significant commitment to me. My family are the only ones who do that. So if you take the time to read my ramblings, you deserve the truth…


I am crazy. That’s right, I’m certifiable. Your eyes don’t deceive you. That is six different family files. In fact it’s three of each kind from only two different programs. You’d think I’d at least spread the wealth to more than two programs. I should have thrown at least a third into the mix. Backup-File is the RootsMagic I’ve been working on. Big-Family-File is the Family Tree Maker file that has all the people and none of the sources. Big-File is another RootsMagic file but this one has all names and no sources. I was going to go through and add them when I was in a census mood. Instead I’ve been doing that on Family Tree Maker. Not because I prefer Family Tree Maker but because I forgot I was doing it in RootsMagic. Both Family-File files are the current working files. That’s right I started over AGAIN. Who knows why I do this to myself. I’ve got to be crazy to continuously be starting my organization over. I have to find the right balance soon right? I’m already second guessing what I have. is actually my original file. The one that’s been in progress since 2004. I’ll never delete it, I even still open it for reference points sometimes. *sigh*

I’ve been researching my family history for many years. As long as I can remember. At least since I graduated high school in 2001. I’ve had an membership since 2004. It was way more complicated then. They had separate memberships for Census records, Newspaper records, Vital records, Family tree records. It was nuts. I’ve had this domain since 2005. Before the domain I had a tiny little website provided by my internet provider. I was just teaching myself HTML as I went along, I had no idea what CSS or MySQL was. I can’t imagine how I thought my little website would survive in those conditions.

The one thing that has never changed is my one and only talent for messing things up. I’m afraid now that if I keep going on this course I’ll never make any progress in my tree. I’ll just be continually starting over again. I spent yesterday in the censuses, I actually found Joshua Johnson in 1850. It’s a great discovery, I’ve been looking for awhile. Unfortunately my discovery is overshadowed by my indecision about the family files. Maybe what I need to do is delete all those extras except (sentimental) and the Family-File files.



I’m a genealogy hoarder and I need help.


I finally sat down and started playing in my free of sources Family Tree Maker family file. The one with all of the people, and none of the sources. I keep on trying to figure out the Source Citation procedure for Family Tree Maker but it doesn’t ever end with me actually feeling like I’m doing it correctly. Even though in the newer versions, they have templates to aid you in the process. For some reason, I just couldn’t get it to be what I wanted.

I think I may have finally “figured it out.” I have to use the quotes, because… Well, I might not have figured it out. I’m never sure if I ever have things correct or not. It’s a side effect of never reading instruction manuals. One day I’ll be forced to follow the “rules” but so far I’m doing fine bumbling through life at the seat of my pants… or fluffy pajamas as it were.

Okay, after many many combinations of what the ‘Source Title’ should be, I finally settled on ol’ faithful. I threw out using their templates for entering the Censuses. I like simplicity when it comes to the Census. I just want to pick the correct year and divide from that point. The censuses are where I ran into the biggest problem because hello, with 4,000 people in the “Big File” that source list could get very crowded. Then I went ahead and set myself a universal pattern for the ‘Citation Detail.’ Every single one of my Census citations have the exact format as you see above.

My next step was getting the citations onto the other people. In the past when I tried this, it didn’t go well. Mostly because I was using the existing citation, and then trying to change that. Well no wonder it wasn’t working right. So what I tried next was ‘Paste Duplicate Source Citation.’

At first it was perfect. I could note down the line numbers and spellings of the person’s name on their own citation. The problem ended up in my Source List though. That doesn’t exactly leave a lot to be desired does it? Especially when you think about the other 3,992 people I’m going to have census citations for. I’m closer though!

My next step was sorting it by ‘Source Title’ so I could just see that specific Census and not have all the other clutter. Which absolutely makes it a little easier to take, but still a bit much. That was when I had an epiphany.

I realized that I was leaving a whole box blank and why would I do that when Ancestry was so polite to give it to me right? So I noted down names and ages in the ‘Citation Text.’ Then I linked the one citation to the whole family. As you can see it turned a big list into a much more manageable one.

As you can see, it’s much easier to see what is going on in the ‘Source List.’ It may not be the way the sources are officially supposed to be done in Family Tree Maker but it’s the way I’m doing it now.

Why must you do that?

I know it’s an old complaint. Everyone has it. I just don’t know why people can’t just get last names right! I’m not even just talking about record keepers. I’m talking about people too. I don’t have the problem on my Dad’s family, or on the Taylors. I have the misspelling problem with the Mays family. That I can deal with.

The Moyer family has been a whole new frustration though. For some reason the family goes by both Moyer and Myers/Meyers/Moyer. I thought at first it was a miscommunication with the census. However, when I looked again at the Moyer tree that was sent to me a few years ago, some of the Moyer children chose to go by Myers/Meyers eventually.

Oy, this just makes things difficult. :\

Current Family File Stats

Slowly but surely I’m getting stuff entered into my new shiny Family File. I decided to take a break from that today though. I want to get lost in Census stuff. In order to do that, I can’t be nit-picking on every detail. What is my new great idea you ask? Well I exported a gedcom from my HUGE Family Tree Maker file and smacked it right back into Family Tree Maker. Then I deleted all source information. It was scary and liberating all at the same time.

Okay, full disclosure, sorry. I actually did this yesterday, when I hit the jackpot. I was absolutely dying to dive in and find some Taylors in Maryland. I didn’t want to lose my source information mojo and I certainly didn’t want to just add all those people to the new clean file. So I figured a blank source template wasn’t entirely cheating… right? I mean I’m not adding these guys to my website. I’m not announcing them. I am however, adding in the sources. So when I get to these people in my clean file, I already have their source information! Genius right? Okay, maybe not so much. I’m easily distracted though, so it’s a great secondary option for my genealogy time.

Heck, I’m not even sure I ever stay on topic in these blog posts. I know I start typing with the best of intentions. So I’ll just keep working on my genealogy and my writing skills. We’ll see where they land me.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...