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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.
The Places feature in Family Tree Maker allows you to do some pretty exciting things, and I really enjoy working with it. Let's just switch over to Places and I'll show you what I mean. When you go to Places you'll see the map, and the map has a couple of options. This is Ahausen, Germany, so it's showing that general area. Here it is right in the center. If I click on Aerial, it will switch to the satellite photo taken relatively recently as part of Virtual Earth here on Microsoft. If you want to see another thing called Bird's eye, it hasn't been done everywhere around the world, but if you go someplace that's a relatively well-populated like Brooklyn for example, you can switch to the Bird's eye view. And my goodness! Look at that.
If you want to see some current view of a place in the world versus the ancient view, which probably shows New York, but nevertheless you can see what it looks like now. Pretty remarkable. Let me go back to the Road view for the time being. On the left hand side of Places view are all the places that you have attached to something in your family tree. Be it a birth, a death, the marriage, some event. And when you import a GEDCOM file, all places are what are called unresolved. Meaning that Family Tree Maker had not had a chance to take these names and check to see whether they are officially created place names, which means city, town, village, county, state, and country.
Clearly some of these places are standardized place names, but they just haven't been officially resolved yet. So we can do that very easily by just clicking on Resolve All. When you do that, it opens up this big interface, after we say we don't need to duplicate this right now. And it shows every single place name and it says these are all unrecognized. And you can go through here and say Aich is this thing, or Brooklyn is that. You can go through and start checking them all. But rather than check them all now just say Cancel, and all of a sudden everything that was properly named in terms of using the genealogy standardization will now display as being proper resolved place names.
Just by clicking Cancel. That's this little thing with GEDCOM files. Now if I want to resolve a place name, I can just click on it like that and go over here and click on this little button: Resolve unrecognized place name. And it says is this what you mean? You mean Buffalen is not a town that's there anymore. It's actually called Ballyconnell. So if I click this, I am going to change this place to that. I want to remember the word Buffalen. So I am going that and go Ctrl+C to copy it just to get that thing in memory for a second.
Now I am going to say replace it. So wherever it said Ballyconnell Buffalen, it now just says Ballyconnell. I am going to click on this one. That's the particular fact that's associated with our place. I am going to double-click on that fact and there it is. Now I want to add the word Buffalen just to remind me that that was the old name for this place. So I am going to go Ctrl+V which is the way you can paste something, or I can go Edit > Paste. That will type in that word that I copied earlier. Just so I don't forget that Buffalen was associated with this name, even though Buffalen doesn't exist as a town anymore.
I went there and it's just a field now. Oh well. Back to Places. You can do that with individual thing here. For instance Brooklyn, New York Holy Cross Cemetery. Obviously that is not an official place name. That's just a note to myself that this is where the cemetery was. If I want to change this, if I want to resolve this, I do the same procedure I did before, where I'd say resolve this and copy and paste the Holy Cross Cemetery, and then save this as Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. Just the standard way of doing it. But that's the sort one-step-at-a-time process to resolve place names when they are unresolved ones, if you care to resolve them.
Let me click on Person now instead of Place. What's cool about the Person thing is that it shows you where this person has traveled in some fashion or where this person started his or her life and ended his or her life. In this particular case, we are looking at Robert Kells and he was born in England, but died in Ireland. And then Kells' family went from Ireland to North America. But this particular person had that immigration process. And these other places here I could say Scotland, but I don't have a date for it but it will show up as something that he did somewhere in his life.
So this is his route that he took over his years. This can be done with anybody. I am going to look at my grandfather and it always shows, by default, the birth and the death. But I know that he got married in New Jersey. So I'll click on that and now it's going off the map. So I can expand the view of the map. See that route that he took, where he born, married and later died. I can add a residence, the same residence in Marion. So I am going to go some place else. I am going to go to his residence in New Jersey. It adds another little spot on the map. And if I want I can print this map out.
I am thinking that color orange kind of doesn't really show up very well on this map. So I am going to click over here and pick red instead, try that one instead. It gets little bit clearer now. So I can then click Print > Print Map and find a printer and print that out. That's another cool thing you can do in Places. Now one of the drawbacks of using standardized place names is that many times multiple people would be in that place but in different specific locations within that place.
Let me show you what I mean. I am going to Places here and select Brooklyn where a lot of folks in my family spent some time. There are 9 people who have some kind of events that happened to them in Brooklyn. And if I zoom in on the map here of Brooklyn, this is just a little pushpin that says okay, it's Brooklyn, sort of. It's not any particular street in Brooklyn. This is kind of the generic pushpin for Brooklyn. But in fact some people lived on one street in Brooklyn and some people lived on another street in Brooklyn. I'd like to somehow have more than one pushpin, but I can't have more than one pushpin for this place name.
It's an official place name. I can place the pushpin at different location inside Brooklyn but it will still apply to all these nine people and all the various events that happened to them in Brooklyn, which could be many events besides just one. I will show you how that works. All the events that happened in Brooklyn will show up here. So it's not all in that one little spot. But if I want to move the pushpin to a more representative spot in Brooklyn for example, I can click this little pushpin here and that makes the pushpin active. And now I want to have my little target. You can see that little cross there. I want the target to be more up here.
This is really more appropriate, because this is where most of the events happened with my family in Brooklyn. So I'll click there, and will move the pushpin there such that when I go back to Brooklyn, I go to Bremen for a second and come back to Brooklyn, the pushpin will be in that spot that I just placed it toward Fulton Avenue there. So I get a little closer and there is Fulton. I want to do something more specific, not just Brooklyn. So I am going to put in a place that is not a proper place name. It won't be recognized but I am going to tell Family Tree Maker, tough, this is unrecognized one, but I want to use it. So I am going to go to People, Person, not the Family view, the Person view and I am going to go to a different person.
So I am going to click in this little Index here. Go to Johann Sengstack. Now I want to say where he had his grocery store. It was his occupation, grocer. I want to say the place that his grocery store was on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, New York, USA, we'll say is good enough. Or we should say it will sort of be semi-official here. Now I am going to just click away from that and I am going to get this little question mark saying, "well I don't recognize that." Family Tree Maker says "I don't recognize this place name." I am going to click the Resolve unrecognized place name icon here.
And it's going to say "well you want to use something else like New York. So it will be official." In this particular case let's just ignore it. And if I go back to Places and I look at this list of places, I go down the Fulton, you'll see that it's there and it doesn't have that little question mark next to it. As far as Family Tree Maker is concerned this is an okay place name. Then I click on it, this Microsoft Virtual Earth is smart enough to say "okay, you mean the Fulton Street in Brooklyn, don't you? Where would you like me to go?" I'll just pick this and there it puts a pushpin for me in that particular location but it's not exactly where I wanted to be.
But it did though recognize the Fulton Street, Brooklyn address as a generic address. Now I am going to click this pushpin. I am going to put my great granddad's grocery store more closely where it actually was which is right about there actually. So now, every time I go to Fulton Street in Brooklyn, I can associate other things here like where he lived, or where they had their pinochle parties, or where they had there coffee clutches or whatever. I can locate it to that Fulton Street address and that will show up and would be associated with multiple individuals as you saw before when I just clicked on Brooklyn.
I got the same kind of routine as I had before but it will be called, instead of Brooklyn, it will be called Fulton Street. And if I want to give it a short name, let me go back to Fulton Street and give it what's called a short name. I can say the Fulton St. Home, and every time I have these printouts or have reports from Family Tree Maker, it won't say this whole address. It will just say Fulton St. Home for the addresses, instead of their whole long thing like that. So that's basically all the things you can do inside the Places view inside Family Tree Maker.
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