Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reviewing 2017

As 2017 winds down, I like to reflect on my genealogy accomplishments. I started 2017 like I do every year with high hopes of making genealogy more of a priority.

During 2017, I finally uncovered my biological grandfather. My three year journey was very exciting and finally being able to put a name to a blank spot on my pedigree chart was very exciting. I was hoping to create a family history book on my biological grandfather that I could share with my siblings, however that was an epic fail. I guess this will get push to my 2018 goals.

I spent most of my genealogy research time this past year not on my genealogy goals, but on researching prospective members lineages who wanted to join my local DAR chapter. DAR is the acronym for Daughters of the American Revolution, in case you didn’t know.  Being my local DAR chapter Registrar means applications of prospective members fall into my lap. I have learned many new research skills with research in areas that I was not familiar with and thus I feel as if I have improved my research skills. Even though the position has been very fulfilling, I am looking forward to the end my term in 2018 so that I can go back to my own research.

I have decided that in 2018, I will more goal orient. What I mean by this, I will have clear goals before each session of genealogy research that I am able to fit into my schedule. I will also make sure to schedule genealogy into calendar, since we need to make time for the things that we find important. I also wanted to do more blogging in 2017 and for me to accomplish this goal in 2018, I will need to schedule that into my calendar too!

Looking back on 2017, I struggled getting into the mood to do genealogy for too many reasons to cover here. However, looking forward to 2018 I will change this. I was looking at my kindle books and I found many books that could help me stay motivated. Such as 52 weeks of Genealogy, Projects for every week of the year by Nancy Hendricks. I was thinking of perhaps obtaining The Genealogy Do Over Workbook by Thomas MacEntee or 31 Days to Better Genealogy by Amy Johnson Crow. Both books have Facebook groups and webpages by the same name that could help keep my genealogy moving forward. I like books better than Facebook, because there are too many Shinning Bright Objects to distract me on Facebook, thus I know I need to stay clear of Facebook when I am supposed to be doing my genealogy research.

Finally for the record, I have not received any compensation nor will I receive any monetary compensation from the three books or authors listed above.  The links provided are just links back to their webpages.

Happy New Year!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Will the real George Summers please stand up!

When searching for your family member, make sure to record those people who have the same name that you figured out is not your person.

This past week I was helping a friend solve the problem surrounding her relative George W Summers. Her cousin shared a family group sheet where George was one of the children. The FG did not cite any sources. She was given a will of George’s step father who listed all his step children. Therefore, we knew George did exist and belonged to his parents.

This branch of her family hailed from Missouri and she loves that Missouri has birth and death records online. Even though the information on the FG for George did match a death record, the record did not list his parent's or spouse. So the next question was, how did her cousin know this was the correct George?

He listed his spouse as Phoebe Dee Dork, however the DC didn’t list Phoebe as a spouse but as an informant. Next we found George's Find a Grave record based on the DC that didn’t have parent's however had Phoebe (the informant) as a daughter.

We searched for all George Summers DC and found another possibility. This DC listed his parents, which didn’t match our FG however listed his wife as Eunice Phoebe Dee. Next we found his Find a Grave record which was tied to his wife Eunice Phoebe Dee Rork.

This means her cousin now has the wrong death information and the wrong spouse. Each fact tied to two different George Summers.

After searching through some census records we determined that neither of these George's was her George. At this point I didn't want to forget all this information since it took us several hours to sort through this mess. Also, we did prove who George was not.

Therefore under the person notes for George Summers, we documented who George was not. These extra notes will prevent us from sorting through these two George's again. Plus, if someone else tries to pass one of these George's as her George, she will have these notes to remind her why they are not her George.

Therefore, remember to document why you exclude people and facts just as you need to cite your sources. This will save you needless repeated research, whether it's positive or negative information.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Where are all my Ancestry trees?

I do not consider myself a beginner when referring to Ancestry and/or Trees. I have numerous trees on ancestry such as my working genealogical tree, another tree that is bare bones that is tied to my DNA test results, my half-sibling ancestors, my husband’s tree and various project trees for branches I am trying to work through.  Currently I am the Chapter Registrar of my local Daughters of American Revolution and I have created several private trees for working on Prospective Members lineage. Plus I have been invited to a number of trees. However I have noticed I can’t find them all. ARGH!

In the list that shows up when I click trees, it appears it might actually be a list of most recent trees. The list is not exactly alphabetized and will only display 10 trees.

When I click on Create & Manage trees, I can find a list of all my personal trees. This list is an Alphabetized list.

It was on this screen that I finally saw “Trees Shared with Me”, I do not know why I never saw this before. Perhaps since the titles, My Trees and Trees Shared with Me don’t really stand out as something one could click.

After selecting the “Trees Shared with Me”, I saw all the trees (12 in total) that are shared with me and my tree role along with who maintains the tree. Many of these I forgot that it was shared with me. I wish I could add a note for myself to remember why this tree is shared with me and perhaps the last time I visited their tree. I do like that I can see when the tree was last modified.

When I click Tree Overview, I see additional information about their tree such as recent photos, stories, audio and videos, along with who the Home Person is and a summary of the number of people, photos, stories, records, audio and videos.

When I click More Info, I am taking to the Tree Settings page where the Tree Name and Tree Description that was created by the tree creator will display.  It appears I can choose a home person and who I am in this tree.

Finally going back to the first image of the list of trees under the menu choice of Trees, I wish it had a direct link to “Trees Shared with Me”, so that I didn’t have to go to Create & Manage Trees and then click on Trees Shared with Me.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

FTM 2017 - Source and Citation Cleanup

I have been using FTM for about 2 decades. In the beginning, I only tapped into the basics of the program. As changes were made with the software, I still only expanded my knowledge a little. In the beginning, I will be honest, I never cited any of my sources. Then as my file grew larger and the Internet became a way of life, I realized the error of my ways.

I remembered when I first started creating my citations, I wish I could copy the citation over and over again, I used notepad to store my citation and then copied and pasted the sections of my citations into the proper place.The process was tedious and I wasn’t always good about developing good citation habits.

I don’t recall which version introduced the copy command for citations, however I was very excited. However, I did not understand the difference between duplicate and link. It was through trial and error that I learned what each meant. However, as I review my citations, I realized that I have many errors or duplicate citations when I should had linked the citations.

For those who don't know the difference, I use linked citations on facts where I want the citations to be the same. This way, if I changed the citation on any of the linked facts, it will change them across all the linked citations. However, duplicate is nice if you want to be consistent on your citations however you might need it to be changed for the new source. For example, if you are referencing a book and the citation is giving page 1 as your citation, when you change the page to 2, you can duplicate the citation, change it refer to page 2, copy and then link it to every fact you find on page 2.

For example I have a source that is showing 29 citations when in fact it is really only one unique citation. I should had used the "link" citation instead of "duplicate" citation.

Luckily I am able to “merge” these duplicates and clean up my files.

I right click the first citation and then select Replace Source Citation.

I must first select the Source title and then click the second citation followed by clicking OK.

I can confirm the Replace Source Citation by comparing the top citation which was my first selected citation to the bottom citation which are exactly the same.

After repeating these steps, I end up with 1 citation.

After doing any amount of work in my database/tree, I make sure I compact my file/tree/database. Since the process of replacing the citations causes parts being removed, the compact will remove these empty gaps and in case a problem arises, I always check the box to perform a backup before compacting.

The back up will be done first and then the compact will occur. Make sure you put the backup someplace where you will find it. Please note, backup to a location on your hard drive (it will be faster) and then manualy copy it to an external drive.

Please note when FTM performs its compact, it will close your file and reopen it. FTM will show you how much the file size was reduced by. Keep in mind, that by cleaning up these citations my file size is getting smaller and will run faster (with luck).

Next I sync my FTM to Ancestry. The Sync Change Log at first glance is a little confusing. I am not even going to pretend that I totally understand what the sync change log is showing. However based on my example, “Citations Added” appears to be the number of unique citations. Since I merged/replaced all 29 citations into 1, the Added Citations is 1. Also this means I deleted 28 citations since I ended up with 1 final citation. As for the People Changed, I am not sure exactly, however my best estimate is that the 29 citations were attached to 47 unique people.

Finally looking at the detail view of the change sync log, you can see some of the actual things happening during the sync. On a replaced citation, one is deleted and when replaced becomes a New citation. Again, since they were all replaced into the same citation, this is the one new reported above. Also note that citations are grouped together at the end even though they are showing with the changes by person.

In Conclusion, just remember when you merge records into one, this will result in deleted records and your file should be compacted to get rid of the empty spaces left behind. Therefore, don't be alarmed when you see the sync will be deleting items.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Does Ancestry contain lots of errors?

I ask this question because I keep seeing comments similar to this “Ancestry is fantastic but contains a lot of errors!” I think what errors? Are you talking about Member Trees? Well of course Member Trees can contain errors; they are only as accurate as the researcher. Are they talking about the “hints”? If so, my next question is, How can “hints” have errors, they are only suggestions and rely on the user to determine if they are for their person or not. Ancestry hints are not saying this is your person and thus you must accept and attach it to your person, no they are suggesting that the hint MIGHT BE for your person, please look over the information and determine if it is for your person.

Did you know that once someone attaches a record to a person that is similar to your person, this then can cause that record to become a hint for your person? Therefore if that person attaches a record that doesn’t really belong to their person, this can cause “hints” to show up that are not really for your person.

Ancestry has two major parts, records and trees. Records are not necessarily original records or even images of original records. Some of the “records” are indexes which can point us to original records. Ancestry allows users to search their records which they call databases. For Ancestry to allow users to search, they have created their own “indexes” for their record collections. I have found these indexes to have errors; however this is because the record associated actually might have the error. If the user can view the actual image, they then can determine where the error lies, in the Ancestry Index or in the original record. When there is no attached image, the user can’t determine where the error is. However, Ancestry has given users the opportunity to “correct” the transcription index with their suggestion variation. This not only helps future researchers, but gives Ancestry another variation for their “hints”.

Member trees are just as suggested, trees that members have created. These trees are created independently and Ancestry will not stop members from creating bogus trees. I once had an associate who was surprise by this statement. I reminded them that a person is not reviewing members’ trees and making corrections. Members can attach any document they find on Ancestry to any person in their tree. Scary right? My rule of thumb, Ancestry Member Trees are my last resort to look for clues, I do not copy other trees into my tree. I review their tree, see if they have sources attached and then review those sources. It is based on sources (records) that determine what I add to my tree.

I feel that Ancestry makes genealogy seem too easy. Their commercials show a person who states they typed in the name of their ancestor, saw a shaky leaf. Next thing you see, they have a complete tree going back several generations. I am glad that Ancestry is drawing new people into Genealogy and that they even hit the 5 million mark for DNA tests, however this as also cause Member Trees with many errors. These people might not realize that “hints” are just hints. They might be added everything Ancestry is suggesting. Many DNA test takers are doing DNA not for genealogy however for ethnicity results and thus might not even have a tree. Many who have trees don’t understand how to attach those trees to their DNA results. Ancestry does have a wonderful knowledge base, however is the average person looking there before creating a tree or are they diving in with both feet.

In conclusion, Ancestry does not contain a lot of errors however Ancestry is promoting, perhaps indirectly, to errors in Members’ Trees. Which then create “hints” that are not really applicable for the person one might be searching.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Chrome Browser not updating?

Connecting to the internet via our devices is something many of us take for granted. This is until something happens and we can't get onto the internet.

Where is the problem? How to fix it?

Let's stop and think about all the places the problem could be. Is your provider sending a signal to your router? Is your router communicating with your device? If your router and device talk wirelessly, is the router sending the signal wirelessly? Is your wireless function turned on your device? If your device has a wired connection to the router, is the ethernet wire damaged? Is the ethernet connection on your device working? Perhaps the problem is in  your browser. Can you access the internet but not the website. Is it all websites or just one or a few? Is the website down? Did you type in the website wrong or did they move the website?

I had a problem today accessing a website. This is a website I use monthly to pay a bill, so not exactly genealogy, however it could had been a genealogy site. I was connected to the internet and could access other websites. I was using Chrome and it stated that "Err_too_many_redirects". It suggested that I clear my browsing history. I thought I had set this to do everything I close the page.

What did I learn? I learned that first of all my bowsing history was not being cleared, and I fixed that. Second, clearing my browsing history didn't fix the problem. I then discovered that my browser needed an update. I updated my browser, shutdown and restarted the browser and the problem was fixed. I now could visit the website.

However, why isn't Chrome automatically updating. I found the following statement online "Normally updates happen in the background when you close and reopen your computer's browser. But if you haven't closed your browser in a while, you might see a pending update:" However, my computer and browser were not turned on this morning.

Maybe this was a fluke. However, in case something bigger is wrong, I will need to remember to check for updates. In Chrome, I just need to click the three vertical dots at the top right. Then click Update Google Chrome. If I don't see this button, then I am on the latest version. If I do the update, then I need to relaunch Chrome to finalize the update.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Ancestry Sync - what gives?

Ancestry Sync  - what gives?
I belong to several Facebook genealogy groups. I am here to talk about the Family Tree Maker user group and the Roots Magic user group. Even though both software vendors have promised to offer a “New” Ancestry sync, neither have been able to deliver on the promise, YET.
For those of you who don’t breathe, eat and live genealogy. Back in Dec of 2015, Ancestry announced that it was going to Retire FTM and thus syncing, hints and web merging was going to end on January 1, 2017.

Lucky for all the loyal FTM users, in Feb of 2016 MacKiev stepped forward and acquired the software line since it was already the publisher for the Mac versions.  Ancestry also announced that they have an agreement with Roots Magic to allow them to connect to Ancestry Trees in a similar fashion as FTM. Both promised to have the “NEW” Ancestry sync logic working by the end of 2016.

So as we got near to the end of 2016, I heard many more rumblings and complaints on the FTM user group page than the RM user group page. I wondered why.
My theory (and only a theory), FTM users are going to lose a feature while RM users are going to gain a feature. Let’s look at this for a moment. People, who are going to lose something, already know how valuable the feature is, how much easier it makes their life and research and they have every right to be upset, while people who haven’t experienced the feature where things aren’t going to change for them come the end of 2016.
What some (maybe a lot) of users of FTM seem to forget is that we now have three separate companies trying to bring you a feature. As a former programmer, I am sure FTM and RM set up a “Mirror” site to test their program. My question, who was testing the program? Was it programmers who don’t understand how the user’s use the program or was it actual users. This makes a big difference. Also, unless Ancestry was in on the “Mirror” testing site, MacKiev could not setup the testing features under normal conditions. It wasn’t until Ancestry finally turns off the old sync logic and then turns on the new sync logic that MacKiev could actually test all the features of the sync. Data in each user’s tree is very unique, some have extremely large tress, I have heard about 100,000 plus people in their trees. Some also have very large media trees but perhaps not as many people while others have some sort of combination. Plus where was the problem, in FTM/RM code or on Ancestry side? Being able to duplicate a user’s error is the key in finding out the situation. Was it a one-time fluke or a recurring error? Having user’s test the system and being able to explain the steps they took that resulted in the error is the key. As a person on both sides of the fence this is difficult to do.
Therefore, I am not going to tell users of FTM or RM for that manner, to relax and breathe. I understand being impatient, frustrated, angry, all the emotions associated with this update/change that is occurring. What I want to say is venting on the FTM user group site doesn’t solve anything. I always say, if you are not part of the solution, you are only part of the problem. Instead of venting, sign up to be a beta tester. When you test, take your time and record the steps you are doing during your testing. If you are not selected as a tester, please don’t take it personally, they have limits on the number of testers they can handle and address the issues. It helps the programmers to find the most reliable, experience users they can find to become beta testers. Is their process on picking the testers infallible? NO, let’s be honest the questions they ask are quite broad, and those who never been a beta tester might not even realize all the work that is involved to become a beta tester.

So I want to thank all the people who agreed to become a beta tester and went through with their promise. It is not easy being a tester. You might end up screwing up your on-line tree, break links that already exist just to name a few problems. You might have to resort to going back to your backup files to continue your research on your previous versions.

I also want to thank all people behind the scenes at FTM, RM and Ancestry. I am sure you worked many long hours, some probably without overtime pay, because you want to make us the users happy in the end by delivering as solid of a package as you can.

This situation is very unique, since FTM and RM are moving from a stand-alone software program to an integrated program that works with a third party, Ancestry. When a company relies on the help and cooperation with another company, things take a while. Each company has a liaison who works with the other liaison who works with the behind the scenes people.  Each company has to bring together their staff and brainstorm on the next course of action. This unfortunately will add to the time table.
I am done with my venting of venters and hope that FTM and RM software is up and running soon. I compare this to our last presidential election, I can’t wait until this is all over with and we can get back to helping people use their software to the fullest on the Facebook user group pages.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Which DNA testing company is best?

As a volunteer at my local Genealogical Research Library I get asked all kinds of questions. Such as which DNA testing company is the best?

First of all, let me say that just because I prefer one company doesn’t make them the best company. It only makes it the best company for me. Therefore my follow-up question to them is, “What do you hope to discover by taking a DNA test?”

For me, I first wanted to find out who my biological grandfather was and his ancestors. I have already blogged about the fact my mother was adopted by her stepfather. Secondly, I want to verify my genealogical research. Confirm that who I am researching are really my lines. Not necessarily saying there are non-paternal events to uncover, but that where I might have done an analysis and concluded these were my ancestors will be verified by DNA matches to their descendants through their other children. Thirdly, expand my tree. Find family, both living and deceased. Hoping to expand my “End of Line” ancestor back more generations, perhaps figure out who the Women are in my tree since I have so many with unknown surnames. Just generally continue my research perhaps with the help of distant cousins who have proven various lines.

For me, this led me to test with AncestryDNA. I already had my tree on Ancestry, I liked that they offer the shared ancestor hints. At the time, they were the least expensive since I purchased the test during one of their sales. I have since tested with 23andMe and find that I have many more closer matches on AncestryDNA. I still go to 23andMe, but I always start at AncestryDNA. I have also transferred my AncestryDNA test results to FTDNA. Since my father tested on FTDNA, I can now quickly see our shared matches and it helps me a little with my matches on AncestryDNA. I have transferred my results to GedMatch and to MyHeritage. I think they are tied to Geni and WikiTree.

I have also tested one of my full-sisters, one half-sister, one half-brother and my husband. My half-siblings and my full-siblings share our mother and this is helping me with my first goal of finding out who my biological grandfather was and his ancestors.  I have also transferred these test to FTDNA and My Heritage.

So if you are like me, and want to work with your AncestryDNA to discover ancestors, cousins and such, then AncestryDNA is a good place to start. Many people have trees, though many do not. Actually, too many don’t have trees. Also those that do have trees don’t always have them attached to their DNA results and thus, Shared Ancestor Hints won’t show even if they exist. However, for my results, I find more trees on AncestryDNA than with other testing companies. Ancestry has shared matches, which means if you figured out how you are related to your match and then look at the shared matches you and your match have in common, most likely they share the same ancestor or one of the ancestor’s lines. It helps you place each match in perspective. The Share Matches tool works for your 4th cousin and closer matches. Ancestry has some other tools that come in handy.

If you just want to know your Ethnic background based on your DNA. Then really any testing company will do. And if money is part of the equation, then pick the company that is offering the test at the cheapest price. However, each company might come back with slightly different percentages. You can look at my example.  Basically they show the same thing, but some breakdown a region a little more.

Therefore, if you ask me, you will get my answer which is based on my goals and needs. Your best bet, ask more than one person who has had their DNA tested and find out where they tested and why they tested and if they are happy with the company. Then you can make your best judgement based on multiple people’s opinions and compare it to your own goals. Or do like I did, just test at them all!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Transfer AncestryDNA Ownership

I had a friend ask “Do you know how to allow someone to be an Administrator of your DNA results? I searched the Help and found an article from March 29, 2017 that only shows Guest and Editor. Surely, they didn’t take Administrator away?”

My answer, Yes and No and don’t call me Shirley!

Joking aside, Ancestry has tightened it rules when it comes to activating a new DNA Test. They are just making sure that each person who test has agreed to it or is legally authorized to give permission for the tester.

I found the following blog post on The DNA Geek as follows: It explains why AncestryDNA is doing this and what it means for you. The DNA Geek even explains that it might be an inconvenience to have to log into each account separately, but it is not the end of the world.

I agree that it is not the end of the world, I currently have to login into separate accounts for the test that I administer through FTDNA. However, I am glad that I can easily change between the tests that I administer via AncestryDNA by using the “View Another Test” drop down located in the upper right hand of the screen when go to view “Your DNA Results Summary” from the top Menu bar in Ancestry, under the DNA option. 23andMe has a similar option for viewing multiple tests that you administer.

After my friend asks me this question, I decided to take a look around and see if there was a way to change the administrator.  

Lo and behold, I found on Ancestry Support “Transferring DNA Results between Accounts”. YES! You can view the help article that was created on Mar 29, 2017 here

The article states you can move DNA results from one account to another by transferring the administrator rights of the DNA test.  Basically the soon to be old administrator grants the future administrator editor rights to their test. Once the future administrator accepts the invitation, the soon to be old administrator goes into their DNA settings and scrolls down to Sharing DNA results section and clicks the transfer your administrator rights. A few more clicks and the test administrator ownership is transferred.  Ancestry Support has easy to follow instructions with screen shots.

My friend was able to do this and now she administers her newly found half-brother’s test results. He isn’t that much into genealogy and his DNA results were matching many more of their shared Father’s relatives. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

BSO – Bright Shinning Objects

I was asked this week what my goal with tracking my DNA matches. My first thought was how I have been distracted by all the BSO’s that have taken me away from my goal.

My main goal with tracking my DNA matches was to uncover who my biological maternal grandfather was. I have been very blessed or lucky or whatever to figure out that mystery once I had the correct people to finally do their DNA test. For me it was basically a waiting game.

So while I waited I decided to take the advice of many in the DNA field (advice I read), that we need to concentrate on our closer matches. I also decided to concentrate on matches with only one of the three companies that I tested with and I used AncestryDNA. Basically because it was simple to use yet they finally introduced the “Shared Matches” which allowed me to some basic triangulation.

Therefore a secondary goal of tracking my DNA matches is to figure out how my 4th cousins and closer matches are related to me.  Currently I have 188 4th cousins or closer plus 34 shared ancestor hints. When I started my journey, I had 16 shared ancestor hints and 134 4th cousins or closer.  

However, I started with the BSO of my ancestor hints. I reviewed each shared ancestor hint and inputted each match into my genealogy software program with their direct line from our shared ancestor back down to them. I entered a simple note in AncestryDNA that listed our shared ancestor and what our actual relationship was.

It was really difficult not to look into the Shared Matches of my ancestor hints (another BSO), however I needed to finish this task first. I knew the shared ancestor hints will mean so much more with the notes from all my ancestor hints.

Only after I had completed my shared ancestor hints did I go back into those hints and start to follow the Shared Matches. I would input more matches into my genealogy software program with their direct line from our newly discovered shared ancestor back down to them. Sometimes I had to do additional research on their line to take it further back until I found how they fit into my tree. While doing this additional research, BSO start to pop up or I get frustrated or bored researching their tree and go wandering from my real goal. However, I eventually found my way back and would do more with my AncestryDNA matches. I still haven’t made it through all those 4th cousins or closer matches and new close matches appear over time. This may seems like a never ending project, but isn’t genealogy in general a never ending project. Truly, will we ever finish?  

Anyway, it was while researching some of those 4th cousins or closer matches that I found some common ancestors among them that lead me to a couple that I speculated might be my maternal grandfather’s ancestors. I did research of this couple’s descendants that lead me to find more matches both distant and 4th cousin and closer. It was through this research that helped me uncover my biological maternal grandfather when those two correct people finally did their DNA test.

The moral of this story, BSO objects will always be around catching our eye while we are doing our research. Even if the project feels overwhelming, by attacking the project in bits and pieces will finally allow you to get through the project or at least reap some benefits of all the work you have already put into it. I am grateful that I didn’t look at the scope of the project and throw my hands up in disgust and quit. When I started over a year ago, I had one 2nd cousin match (who was adopted) and two 3rd cousins matches and starting with 4th cousins was not ideal, but I had to start somewhere.

Like I said, I am still slowing going through all those 4th cousins and closer matches and my new BSO is another common ancestor of many of my matches. I am going to start researching this family. Many of my matches are related to Squire Boone, who happens to be Daniel Boone’s father or to Squire’s father George Boone. Therefore, I have started the major research project of researching this family and perhaps I will be able to figure out how my matches fit into this family and eventually how I might fit into this family. My working theory is perhaps one of my female end-of-lines where I don’t know her maiden name might come from this huge family. I have discovered that there were much intermarriages within the descendants of the Boone family and thus might be why the DNA is still so strong considering how far removed George and his son Squire are from my generation.

Back to researching and being distracted by BSO. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

We're Related App

I have been playing with the We're Related app by Ancestry for a while. Like many other's who have posted about this app, the app will add generations to my end of line ancestor. I can handle that addition because it is giving me clues. However, I have some added that don't make sense.

My end of line ancestor, Margaret who lived during 1789 to 1876 could not possibly have a father who lived during 1901-1964. 

Dear Programmer, Rule #1 - Parent should not be born after child, this should be rejected based on this logic.

I found the my famous line in error for the same reason as follows: 
James Monroe lineage should not go from child Sarah Knott to parent John Lewis Tanner. Again, the app should have some sort of logic checks that would process this lineage as a possibility. 

Of my 10 matches, three are definitely wrong. As for the 6 which has George Lighthall as my ancestor's father, this is something I have been trying to prove or disprove with not much luck. The lineage that they added is correct for George Lighthall, I just can't say he is my George or if my ancestor's father is even named George. This is my problem to deal with. Finally, Hans Engel is one generation added to my end of line and could be a possibility. The date range matches, however I can't determine exactly anything else about Hans.

Finally my wish list to the programmers: 
  • To be able to see what tree's they are getting their lineage from, perhaps then I could contact the individual and shed some light on them that they tied a relationship that could not be a possibility. 
  • To be able to see more about an individual, some of my added ancestors have long names that I can't even be sure what their entire name is. 
  • I would also like to click on a relationship, such as click on Rufus or Margaret in example 1 or click on John or Sarah in example 2 and flag the person as having a relationship error. Next it should ask if between individual and parent or between individual and child. Finally ask the reason, such as such birth dates out of range, surnames don't match, or other reason that a person could type in. 
  • Also I would like to flag a relationship to ignore so I don't have to see it again. 
In closing, the App is fun and a great way to get other's, especially those non-genealogy family and friends interested in Genealogy, however the major logic flaw needs to be corrected. Not everyone is going to examine the line with great detail.