Friday, July 21, 2017

Reader Question: Unlinked Media Files

I received this question:

How FTM considers media to be unlinked. Media can be linked to a person, an individual's fact eg birth and a shared fact eg Marriage. There appears to be a bug when media is only linked to a shared fact and FTM still regards this as unlinked.
The question was pages long and will not publish this long question.

As a user, I have no way of dealing with "bugs" in Family Tree Maker. Those questions need to go directly to feed back link.

Secondly, I don't understand the question, Unlinked Media to a Shared Fact.

Thirdly, a Media file can be linked to one of two places: to a Person or a Citation

So, there is not a way to directly link a media file to a Fact, shared or an individual fact.

Now, if the Media file is linked to a Citation, and the Citation is linked to a Shared Fact, that Media FILE would be linked to that Shared Fact.

I do not consider the question to be reporting a "bug" FTM2017 works as expected as seen above. That Media file is the record of that marriage.

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Reader Question: Custom Report

A Reader submitted this Question:
I have a custom report that shows all the individuals who are also listed in find a grave, I would like to add a web link to that page to the report, the help says you can do this, but there is no process that shows how to add it, when you "create a Report"
I have a number of Blog Posts on various uses of the Find-A-Grave website. This question is a little confusing for me, and why I haven't blogged about this specific use of a Custom Report. One with links.

Lets break this down a little. First, I would not consider a Link to a Website in a Custom Report. Custom Reports are for People having an event or fact by time and /or place.

To me, Links to websites are part of a Citation. Where did I get that information from? is what the Link provides to us. For me, links in a report would not be helpful, because, in most cases, you can't click on them in a report.

Having said that, if you create the Custom Report that you want, add the "Include Sources" option in the Items to Include list.

You will see the Citations at the bottom of the page. But, you would have to have the Link is the Web Address in the Citation screen, and include that URL in the Citation. I do NOT include any URLs in my Citations. The Source Template feature allows for the publishing of the Web Site address, like

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Color Coding

FTM has a really cool new feature, Color Coding.

In the People Workspace, Tree View, upper right corner is a new ICON, Color Coding

Clicking on that ICON, you have choices.

I chose All Ancestors, (4 colors)

When I turned that on, The parents of the focus person now have a color below their information.

The first time I turned this feature on, I saw a problem.

I returned to myself, and looked at the Index, in the People Workspace, Tree View and scrolled up the index a couple of times.

The colors indicate my direct line ancestors BUT the color for Eliza Pancoast and John are different from the rest of the Worrell / Worrall individuals.

Below is my 4 grandparents, each with their own color. The Green dot above and underline below is for my Paternal Grandmother. The Red dot is for my Maternal Grandfather. So, I probably have some research to do.

These families were all in the same area at the same time, been there for years, but I did not realize that  the Worrall / Worrell may different or the same family. Remember, in old records spelling doesn't count. I know about the different spellings, but without the color coding, I didn't realize that it may be different families.

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Photo Darkroon

Photo Darkroom is a new feature in FTM2017. It will allow you do make some adjustments with an image in your Media Workspace, Detail View.

Just below the Images is the button for "Photo Darkroom"

This will open a simple photo editing tool on the left, where you can adjust the contrast

Hovering over the ICONs on the left you will see what you can do.  "You may click the tool several times to enhance the effect" for example.

There is a drop down arrow (just above) what will give you some sliders that you may also use. You will notice below that the image is different. If you look at the slides on the left, it was a little extreme.

You can move the sliders around so that the image is the way you want it. Below, I manually returned the sliders to 0.

 You can click on the ICONS, in this case the 3rd one and adjust the sliders as well

The image is now worse.

BUT, there is an Undo button that you can undo your last change, but you can also undo a number of changes.

There is another View, the one that I use, where you can have the Original on the Right, and the "proposed change" on the left. On the bottom of that image is two boxes, one for one image, like the ones above, or two images, below. That way you have a better idea of the changes you have made.

Also, the Revert to Original option.

This Photo Darkroom feature is in addition to the photo editing feature that is already part of the Family Tree Maker program.

Suggestion: This feature is one of the reasons I always use a COPY of the original media file, when I Add a Media file to my database. If I mess this image up, using this feature, I can always bring in a fresh COPY of my media file.

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

FamilySearch Hints

One of FTM2017's new features is the ability to see Hints from FamilySearch, similar to what we have experienced from Ancestry.

In the Plan Workspace, upper right corner you will see where you can Login or Logout of either Ancestry or FamilySearch. In this example, I have already logged in.

So I can log out. The usual Ancestry ICON, and the new FamilySearch ICON.

In the People Workspace, at least the first time, you will see:

The usual Login Screen from FamilySearch. Please read the choices and login. The you will see:

This is turning on the Auto-Search feature to FamilySearch. Again, read the fine print and make your choice. There is a FamilySearch Privacy Policy link that you should read.

Once that is done, then you will see Hints, like you see hints from Ancestry.

It's the blue square to the right of the Ancestry Shaky Leaf hint.

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What is a Sync Weather Report

When you do a FamilySync™ you will see a new screen, the Sync Weather Report.

The text in this "Weather Report" will most likely change, as this feature has just been turned on for us, the End User. I wasn't going to post this, because it might and will probably change. But what is important is that we just don't click through (Continue Sync) without READING the content of the information that is provided. In this case, the FamilySync feature has a warning about what is going on. The feature is safe, but read the whole message as to that is going on.

Welcome to the Sync Weather Report system.
We created this system to alert you to conditions that may affect your syncing. A orange window like this one means you should experience caution in syncing. A red window means syncing is down or so dangerous that we will not permit you to sync until these conditions improve.

Current Issues
FamilySync has been officially online for just 48 hours now and we see it has some quirks of its own to work out. Here are some notes.
Ancestry Side Changes: You may see changes on the Ancestry side when you didn't make any, especially on your first sync. This is a known issue and is not dangerous. What's happening is FamilySync occassionally picking up "time stamps" that tell us what has changed and reporting them as real changes when obvioiusly they're not. We're working with Ancestry to fix this.

Safe Mode for Ancestry Syncing. When changes are made only on the FTM side, sync speeds are lightening fast compared to TreeSync. But for the moment, syncing Ancestry side changes take place in "Safe Mode' which takes 2-3 times linger than before. While we work with Ancestry to make an Ancstry side sync that is both safe and fast we'd suggest making all your changes on the FTM side.
We are committed to making syncing faster, safer and smarter. If you have issues with syncing please report them using our Bug Reporter system by clicking here. 
The important point here is the level of communication that has been added to this feature. This message appears very quickly at the start of the process so that WE can decide if WE want to continue with this process.

That last paragraph is probably the most important part. If you see a Bug, Report the Bug. That is the only way they know that there may be a problem to resolve. 

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cemetery Report using the Historic Place Name feature

Going to take a "road trip" to Pennsylvania to visit cemeteries where I know to have people buried there. How do I create a List of Cemeteries and who is buried in each?

The trick starts with the use of the Historic Place Name feature [ Place detail (historical name, address church, cemetery, etc): ] in the Resolve Place Name screen.

Here is the Cemetery Name: 

Birmingham-Lafayette Friends Meeting, West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA

This is the entry in the People Workspace, Person View

The Place Name is entered as listed above. In the Right Panel, with that Burial Fact Selected the Pencil "edit" ICON appears. That is to Resolve the Place Name.

Clicking on that brings up the Resolve Place Name Edit screen

Using the up pointing arrow, on the Left, the information to the first Comma, is moved to the upper field, "Place Detail", and the City, County, State, and Country are searched for and selected. 

This process takes full advantage of the Map feature. It shows where the cemetery is and who is buried there. But, I am going to the State, not just this cemetery, so I need a report.

Go to the Publish Workspace, Person Collection, Custom Report. Individuals to Include (on the right) and this pop up window appears. In the Find Individuals screen, FILTER IN => select ALL Facts and scroll down to Burial.

Now, in the field below Burial, select ANY DATA

and the default "Equals"  changed to Exists. That mean anyone who had information in the Burial Fact will be in the list. 

In my case, there are 642 entries. 

I don't want everyone, I only want those in Pennsylvania. 

I select the <= Filter Out, burial fact, select Place, Does not Contain Pennsylvania.

That gets me down to 246 people, buried in Pennsylvania.

Still in the Publish Workspace, Select the Items to Include ICON>

which will open the items to include in the Report. I removed the Birth, Marriage, and Death Facts  (the Red X) and added (Green +) Burial. The only information I want to Include only preferred Facts. I then selected the Burial FACT and only have a check mark in the Place and again the Include only preferred Facts

I want the report to be sorted by Cemetery. At the bottom of that panel is where the 1st Sort is by Burial Place then by name.

Where is a sample of what that report would look like.

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reader Question: Other Information in Citation in an AMT

Blog Reader Ann asked the following question:
Russ, When you add a source on the Ancestry side of a tree there is a field titled 'other information'. Do you know where or if this information shows up in FTM on the desktop?
 Now, I don't work in my Ancestry Member Tree (AMT) so I had to try it out.

Went to my AMT, selected an Individual's profile and in the Sources Column (Center) I selected Add, and Add Source

Was offered this Screen

Where I filled out 1. Source with "Test New Source" after selected "or create a new source"  In 2. Citation, Detail required, I entered "Test New Source Citation", entered the date, entered "This is a test, Text Transcription", and added "Test Other Information" in the Other Information field.

Yes, I know, not very original.

I then went to look at what I had done. To my surprise, when I linked that citation to the sex Fact and selected it, my newly created Citation was NOT there.

So I clicked on Edit, in the Fact Name and there it was.

However, the Other Information Text is not present. Can't see it.

But, that wasn't the question. Where is the "other information" when I sync to my Desktop computer.

Not there either.

Oh, and I did this twice to make sure I didn't miss something.

Sounds like a question for Ancestry.

I tried.

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How to handle multiple Sources of the Same Information ?

Question from a Reader Mike:

Handling (almost) identical citations when available from multiple sources. Example: a citation was created (using a template) from a source that was originally found only on FamilySearch. Now Ancestry has the same information available, even using an identical database title (and gives a "hint" to it.) How do you recommend handling the "source" which could be argued is identical, although the channel to get to the source, and therefore the citation, is different.
My generic response is:
What am I looking at and Where did I get it from?
The purpose of a citation is to me to be able to locate that specific record again, or for some one else to find "Where did you get THAT from?"

In this case, a Census Record, It came from TWO Sources. A Database on and a Database from The Two Citations would get me back to that specific Record / Census PAGE.

If you look closely, in some cases, the image may be different, usually in the pre-1940 Census records.

To go a step further, lets say I have two families, on the SAME Page of that Census Record. There would be TWO Citations. One for first family, like the line numbers for the Household, and one for the second family or different Line Numbers.

The record on Ancestry is one source, the record on Family Search is another Source of information.

Perhaps, Mike, you might visit the EvidenceExplained website for more information.

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Monday, April 24, 2017

How Do You Handle Female Names?

My friend Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings had a question about how he handles Female Names. I encourage you to read it.

It's been a while since I have blogged about this one, so here is my take on this subject.

The first thing to understand, for me, is the question of how to handle Unknown Names. My rule of thumb, in my database is the use of 5 Underscores [ _____ ]. If it's a female and I don't know the Given nor Birth Surname I enter it as [ _____ _____ ]. If there are other names for this person, like a married name, these 5 Underscores will be the Preferred Name.

My Index, in the People Workspace, Tree View, looks like this:

Yes, I have a lot of Unknown Names. and a lot of unknown Female Birth Surnames:

But, It works for me. For Example, I find a Find-A-Grave Memorial, where the Married name is provided. The husband is George McNaughten Vial and the memorial has for his wife Emma Frost Vial, I add the 5 underscores to the Preferred Name.

This is what the Person View looks like.

The memorial has her married name, and the Find-A-Grave citation is recorded for that Name Fact, but marked as the Alt Name Fact. The Preferred Name is with the 5 underscores.

When I find a Census Record that lists where the Parents were born, I want to capture that. It may be helpful when looking at other records. In this case, I use assume that the Surname for the Father to be the Surname of the person in the Census Record, for recording this. I realize that it may not be the actual surname, but I have not run into that "problem" yet. But I carry the Unknown Given Name and the Surname from the "child" in the Census Record. For the Mother, both the Given and Surname I handle the same way, with my Unknown Name strategy. This important thing is that I capture the birth location and Cite it.

  1. Does not interfere with Hints
  2. Does not interfere with Searching on websites
  3. Reminds me I need to find the Birth Surname
  4. and when others review my work, they help Fill In the Blanks

Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

Friday, April 14, 2017

What's YOUR Plan for FTM2017 ?

While we await the Software MacKiev team continue to test FTM2017, have you thought about Planning what are YOU might be doing to prepare for it's release ?

Used with permission from Software MacKiev

Actually, I thought I would share mine, based on what I have seen on the website.

  • Make an inventory of ALL of my Family Tree Maker FILES on my computer
  • Make an inventory of ALL of my Linked Ancestry Member Trees (AMT)
  • I have a Desktop and a Laptop so, on that 2nd item, Identify WHICH computer is linked to which Ancestry Member Tree
  • I have done this, but my inventory needs to be updated
  • Within the FILES, I need to identify what Version of Family Tree Maker last opened that file
  • For the older files, do I have THAT file in FTM2014.1 ?

So, getting the inventory of what I have to work with. EXCEL works for me. I have NOT done anything to these files at all, just gathering my inventory

When I open or close of my FILE, I do NOT just Exit or use the red X in the upper right to close the Program down. File Close, and File Exist.

  • Review the Inventory and MARK which FILES can be ARCHIVED, meaning I already have a Back Up AND it's in FTM2014.1 already
  • Inventory ALL of the BackUp files. Making a distinction between a manual BackUp and an Automatic BackUp. (the filename will include Auto Back Up, unless you removed that). The Automatic BackUp does not include Media Files
  • Open Each of your "new" working list in FTM2014.1, one at a time
  • Go to Tools, Compact AND BackUp that file, ALL check marks
  • Mine will be to an External Drive

Now, ARCHIVE ALL of those files you marked to be inventoried BUT those files that you have in FTM2014.1, Hopefully, to an external drive, JUST IN CASE.

  • In the Plan Workspace, use the Link to View the AMT from that Link
  • Check the number of Profiles between the File and the Tree
  • Check the number of Gallery Items in your Tree, and the number of Media Files in the Media Workspace

You can skip those steps if you do NOT have a Linked AMT. But you want to make sure that the File on your computer links to the Ancestry Member Tree.

Next, review, in the Plan Workspace, under "Start a new tree" and select Download a Tree from Ancestry. Check that list against your Inventory of Files (on your computer) and Trees (on Ancestry). See if you are missing any files. If you are missing a file, use the Export button, to download the Tree from Ancestry. MARK that file in your inventory. Suggest that you do something about that File LAST. I am guessing that you will have some clean up work to do.

You have your Working Files and it's Media Folders all in one place and you know what you have. You have a BackUp of EACH of them, on that external drive that can be restored if needed. You should be good to go.

Now, if you still have some time left, do a spot check of File, Restore from BackUp. This would be a file and folder that you can delete. When you are offered what the File Name should be when you restore, I add -Restored at the end


The Back file will have everything but -Restored so all you have to do is to add that. That makes it easier to Delete File and the Media Folder. For me, I will Archive that as well to my Archive External Drive.

Now you can prioritize the order in which you want to bring these files into FTM2017.

Things to think about:

  • Make another BackUp and use  a SMALL file to test out the FamilySync™ feature
  • Look at the information in EACH of the Workspaces
    • Plan
    • People - Tree View
    • People - Person View
    • Places
    • Media
    • Media - by Category
    • Source
    • Citations
    • Publish
    • Publish - Saved Reports if you have them
    • Publish - Books, if you have created any
    • Look in the Help Menu for any NEW items in the Help Menu

Notice, I didn't say anything about New Features. What you are looking for is any problems in your File that you might have found during the new FamilySync™ feature. Remember, you have a BackUp..

  • Make ONE, small change, in that "test" file, maybe the real file and do a SyncNow
  • Review as you did before.

Think of this as a test file and don't panic. Remember, if you follow my suggestions, you have at least Two (2) Back Ups.

IF there is an issue, don't ask me, don't go to FaceBook, go IMMEDIATELY to

and let them know, EXACTLY what you did, what you saw, Verify in the Help, About Family Tree Maker and the Version number, include the last four numbers that you will see (FTM2014.1 .... 1510)

You could report a Bug on that website, you could have a Chat with them, but let Software MacKiev know that you have a problem. Posting those problem here or on Facebook is not the right place to get help.

This may look like a lot of work, and it is, but for me to plan this out, ahead of time will help me in the long run.

Because I teach creating and using Files and Trees, I have a lot on my list. Probably 25 or 30. At the End of this project, I will clean all of that up. Then I can get back to my research
Copyright © 2017 by H R Worthington

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