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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.
As you continue to work on your family tree, you'll likely want to fine-tune some of your facts. This happens because you gather more information or you start sharing your family tree and people say oh, wait a minute, you have got that one a little bit wrong. Let me tell you what the real story is there. So there is all kinds of things you can do, all kinds of things you can change. Let me just show you a few of them. For example, I added this John Doe a while ago as an unattached person and I have now discovered that this guy is not part of our family tree. I want to delete him entirely. There are several ways to do that. I can right-click and just say delete this person or I can go to Person, delete this person.
So John, adios my friend. You're gone. I also discovered that I have got this guy name Frederick Carl Sengstack. I got a piece of paper that had his name on it but nothing else and I am going, is this person a member of my family? So I just put him in as an unattached person but I have learned since then that he is in fact the brother of a John Sengstack, a John Frederick Sengstack. So I want to attach him to his parents. So I go to select him, I'll go to Person > Attach/Detach Person. In this case, we are going to attach.
We are going to attach a father to this person. Now, it's going to seem a little backward when I open this interface but I think you'll catch what's going on here. I will click Attach Father. I'll select the father to attach. The father is Johann. Okay. Now it gives you this little dialog box which is a little confusing. It says select the family to which you want to attach Johann as the father. But he already is a father. Really it probably should say select the family to which you want to attach Frederick Carl to, but it doesn't really say that. So we do know that we are attaching Frederick Carl to Johann. We are attaching into this family, the one with his brother.
So we click on this one and click OK. And now if I go back to Johann, there is Johann and three kids because we added Elsa before. There is John, Elsa and now Frederick who we just added to this one. Now in my research, I ran across a guy name John Sengstacke with an E at the end and I know that my granddad did not have an E at the end of his name. So I am trying to figure out why that is. Well, I know the real reason. He just decided to drop the E, which happens a lot in family history. Lots of time family members just change their names either subtly or dramatically. In this case, John dropped the E that his father had on the end of his name.
So I am thinking about, is this John Sengstacke, which is not attached or who is not attached to anybody in any tree, and this John Frederick Sengstacke, are they the same person? And I discovered later that they are. This John Sengstacke, I've got a birthday for him of 1894. This one I've got a different birthday but I did figure out that these are one and the same person. So I just want to merge them together and they might have some information that I want to merge together. So I am going to try to merge these two individuals. I'll select him and I'll go Person > Merge Two Specific Individuals. Before this operation, it's a good idea to make a backup.
In this case, I don't need to make a backup because we are just doing this for the tutorial, so I'll say No. The person we have already selected is John Sengstacke with an E, so I need to find the person to connect him to, to merge him with. So it is this John up here. I'll say OK. And then I get this little dialog box. It says what things do you want to merge together? What things that you got from these two guys do you want to accept as the proper facts? So here I have got his name spelled with an E. Well, I know that's wrong, so I am going to discard that, which makes his spelling over here the preferred fact.
The birth over here was 1894, but in fact this is the correct date that I have got from the birth certificates. So I will discard this fact as well. But sometimes, there are facts that might be in this person that you just randomly found that are facts you want to keep. But in this case, we are going to say no, we don't want those facts and the rest of these facts are not associated with this person because they didn't have those facts associated with them. So I will say OK. We have now merged those two guys and that other one, the John Sengstacke with an E, is no longer in the index because I merged him into this particular name. Sometimes you might want to change a relationship and you do that inside the Person view.
So here is Johann. I want to go to Johann and there is Johann and his relationship is with his spouse, his wife and it says it's Ongoing. Well, I am not going to change that because they stayed married until they died. But if they had gotten a divorce let's say, I could click on that and I could say instead of Ongoing, over here in the right-hand side, I can say they Divorced or it was Annulled or they Separated. We aren't really sure what the relationship is but you can change the relationship over here and make it more accurate if you want to.
The same is true for children. You may discover late on as you do your research that this particular Elsa Sengstacke was not a natural child as you assumed but she in fact was adopted. And so you can go down here to this particular list and say oh, the relationship is actually Adopted instead, or Step or Foster or something like that. We'll keep it Natural because that's really what she was but that's where you can change relationships. You can also edit information. Let me go back over here to Johann. I have got his immigration as 1890, which is wrong, and I have got it to New York, Kings County, which is correct.
We don't know exactly where he stepped off the boat, but we do know that it was New York. I did get a record from a passenger list from a ship that had him on there. So now I know it's not 1890. It's 1882. So I can edit it by clicking in there, go 82, and now I want to update the source. So I'll add a new source citation. Say now I don't have the ship passenger list here so I need a new source. I am going to called it Ship Passenger Lists and click OK. And it will say this is a new one, where is the repository? And I will say it's Jeff's records.
And I will say this was the Mosel - Bremen and it was January 1882. I have a copy of that in my files. Click OK and now I have edited it and added a new citation. So these are the basic functions that you can change inside the Person or Family view.
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