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Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree shows how rewarding and informative building a family history can be. Genealogy instructor Jeff Sengstack teaches how to find lost ancestors, connect with living relatives, and collaborate with others to grow a family tree. He explains how to use the Family Tree Maker application along with Ancestry.com and other internet sites to track down census data, immigration records, and other important documents, and then organize family tree data. Jeff also presents tips on how to scan old photos, create video slideshows, and build family web sites. Exercise files accompany this course.
Download Jeff's free genealogy tips from the Exercise Files tab.
Now that you've gotten started with your family tree, it's time to start adding more persons. So let's start by adding a child. There's a simple way to do that, but the easiest way is when you select the particular set of parents, just go down below here in the family group and click on Add Child. We just add a child here Elsa. I won't give you all the details with this Elsa, but we'll say that she is a female. We'll say OK. Now we can put in her birth by clicking over here, her birth date. Her birth date was let's say November 13th, 1891.
When I press Enter, it will do what it's supposed to do. It will just put that 13 in the front of it and also make it a three-letter abbreviation for November. That's the standard genealogy way to enter dates. Now, I've just put this in and notice there is a little plus sign saying well, don't you want to put a source citation here? Yeah, we do. So we'll just click on that and say add a new source citation. I'm not going to use an existing one. We'll add a new one. I'm going to go, let's say, the Source title will be, and now we've got this source now with Birth Records. So I'm going to take Birth Records. What's the detail here? I'm going to say Letter from John F. Sengstack.
So now I've taken the Birth Record, that sort of generic thing, and I've made it more specific in the source citation. That's that process I mentioned in another video. Let's add a spouse. So here's John. He doesn't have a spouse. Let's give him a wife, shall we? So you click on Add Spouse, and you add it right there, right below him. I'll put down his wife Edna Josephine MALONEY, all caps, and I'll say OK. That puts her down here on the Family Group sheet, and I can put in her birthday as well. I can source her birthday as well.
But I won't go through all these details here. We can add a child down here to this couple, if we care to. We won't do that right now. Let's move on from there and notice that I want to add her father now. So, how do I add a father? I've got her selected. Now she is down below here, and she is not active. So I can't add a father to her. I need to click on her to make her active. That puts her up here now, and now I can add a father to her. Notice the little Add Father hints here. I'll click on Add Father. His name was Edward, and his nickname was Ba, so I'm going to put his nickname in quotations, "Ba", then you put his middle name after that and then MALONEY.
Now notice it automatically fills the field for me as I start typing it. It assumes that oh, you want to put MALONEY, don't you? Well, I do. Thanks for helping me out there. Now, that adds a father, and it says here, oh, look it. Edward "Ba" MALONEY's name may include a nickname. Yes, it does. I did that on purpose. I'm going to say stop showing these messages, because now I know that I'm doing what I'm doing. So I'm going to click this thing and we'll close it. Now I can add a mother as well. But notice I added this nickname here. I forgot, because I want to add a nickname to my great grandmother. So, I need to go back to her somehow. I'm going to go down here and click on John.
There is Johann and there is Katherine, and I fully forgot to put in her nickname. So with her name selected, I can always go back up and edit this. So click inside her name and put in her nickname, which is Kate. And it says a little message popped up, but then it disappeared again. So, we know that we've put in her nickname and that's what we wanted to do. Now, let's say I want to source something a little bit differently this time. I know that Edward MALONEY, I'll go back to him, Edward MALONEY, right there, was born in London. I don't know when he was born, but he was born in London.
So I'm going to start typing London here, put a comma there. There it's trying to help me out in the place name. So, I'll just take London, England. Again, I need to check the source on that. So I can go let's have a source, and I could say well, click on this, and that was let's say a letter from his wife or something like that. We'll just not do that now, but I think you get the sense of how that works as you put one thing in after another. You now want to add somebody that you know somehow is related to somebody in your family, because you've seen their records lying around and you've seen that they're somehow connected to your family, but you're not sure where they're connected.
So, it's a good idea just to add them to your tree, but not connect them to anybody. So the way you add an unrelated person is by going to the Person menu. Clicking on that and selecting Add Person > Add Unrelated Person. I'm going to type in John DOE. That was a male. Now he's just going to sit off all by himself in his own little one-person tree. He's in our index of names, but he's got his own little tree there. Sometime down the road, I might want to finally connect him when I get some more information, but at least will be there for me to sort of remind me that this guy is hovering out there at some place and I need to add him.
Now you want to add some other people to your tree too occasionally, and typically, you'll find that some ancestors or some close relatives have more than one spouse. Lots of times people get divorced or a spouse dies or even some people actually have multiple spouses. So there's a way to add multiple spouses, and let's go do that. Now none of the people in this me tree here had multiple spouses, but I'm going to make believe they did. We'll go to Johann here. You'll notice that Johann is a number 1 with a female icon next to him, and he had one spouse and Katherine had one spouse as well, John/Johann.
When I click on this little icon, it's going to say Add Spouse. That's the easy way to add a spouse. Just click on this little Spouse icon, then Add Spouse. I'll type in something like a Jane SPOUSE, that for now. She is a female. We'll click OK. Now you'll see there are two spouses associated with Johann. The thing as you probably want to have the spouse that will be displayed when you're working on your tree be the one that's related to you right now. Jane SPOUSE is showing up and she is not related to me. So I'd rather have the person that's related to me show up, because I want to make the other spouse, Katherine, be the preferred spouse.
Well, she is already, but I want to show you how to do that. So, I'm going to say Set Spouse Order. It opens up this little box and says currently Katherine is the preferred spouse, because she was there first. But you can change that to the other one by clicking Preferred spouse. So that one would be the one that typically is the one that shows up when you go to Johann, and you'll see that spouse show up. But in this case, I don't want her to be the spouse, so I'll go back again, click on that, Set Spouse Order. We'll go back to have Katherine be the preferred spouse. So that's how easy it is to add children, add spouses, parents, unrelated people, to your family tree.
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