Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree
Illustration by Richard Downs

Getting photos and documents onto your computer


Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree

with Jeff Sengstack

Video: Getting photos and documents onto your computer

Now that you have your documents and folders inside plastic sleeves and three-ring binders and file folders, you want to get those printed things into your computer, so you can link to them inside Family Tree Maker and share them online or by emailing them to relatives. Well, that's one thing I want to talk about now, and I also want to talk about how you organize those image files, those document files on your computer so that you can access them from outside Family Tree Maker, just so you can get to them and see what you've got. So I'm going to talk about organization first, and then I'll talk about how you get printed images and documents into your computer second.
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  1. 5m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Why grow your family tree?
      1m 43s
    3. Workflow for growing and sharing a family tree
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 12s
  2. 39m 37s
    1. Installing Family Tree Maker
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing Family Tree Maker
      4m 38s
    3. Standardizing names, dates, and locations
      1m 59s
    4. Getting started with Family Tree Maker
      4m 50s
    5. Including source information
      3m 29s
    6. Adding more names: children, spouses, unrelated individuals, and parents
      6m 0s
    7. Inputting notes, facts, and media
      7m 36s
    8. Fine-tuning information
      5m 45s
    9. Viewing and printing simplified ancestor charts to identify gaps in knowledge
      3m 51s
  3. 16m 44s
    1. Going on a treasure hunt
      1m 20s
    2. Getting photos and documents onto your computer
      12m 12s
    3. Using DNA to trace your roots
      3m 12s
  4. 12m 56s
    1. Finding others who have researched your family tree
      5m 4s
    2. Importing family tree files
      5m 10s
    3. Talking to older relatives
      1m 1s
    4. Visiting ancestral locales
      1m 41s
  5. 24m 10s
    1. Leafing through Family Tree Maker's ancestry hints
      2m 44s
    2. Installing Family Tree Maker's viewer
      1m 34s
    3. Merging ancestry hint document data into your family tree
      12m 23s
    4. Saving documents and linking them to individuals
      7m 29s
  6. 24m 53s
    1. How the internet can help you
      3m 53s
    2. Drawing up an internet research strategy
      5m 28s
    3. Tips, tricks, and techniques for searching
      7m 43s
    4. Reviewing the major internet genealogy sites
      7m 49s
  7. 48m 18s
    1. Associating place names with people and events
      8m 55s
    2. Adding, viewing, and linking images and media to people
      9m 41s
    3. Customizing and printing charts
      9m 34s
    4. Backing up, restoring, and exporting files
      5m 46s
    5. Setting the home person
    6. Finding relationships
      1m 19s
    7. Sorting children
      1m 1s
    8. Replacing terms
      1m 11s
    9. Making facts private
      2m 35s
    10. Moving data items
      1m 42s
    11. Reviewing data
      2m 7s
    12. Merging two trees
      3m 30s
  8. 7m 49s
    1. Creating family history audio recordings, videos, slideshows, and DVDs
      3m 43s
    2. Collaborating and sharing online
      4m 6s
  9. 2m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      2m 17s

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Watch the Online Video Course Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree
3h 2m Appropriate for all Nov 03, 2009

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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 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.

Topics include:
  • Learning multiple methods for tracking down ancestors
  • Exploring the database
  • Working with Family Tree Maker and its ancestry hints
  • Using DNA evidence to trace a family branch
  • Conducting live interviews with family members
  • Importing and scanning photos and documents for use in a family tree
  • Using Family Tree Maker's advanced tools to link images, documents, and places to individuals
Family Tree Maker
Jeff Sengstack

Getting photos and documents onto your computer

Now that you have your documents and folders inside plastic sleeves and three-ring binders and file folders, you want to get those printed things into your computer, so you can link to them inside Family Tree Maker and share them online or by emailing them to relatives. Well, that's one thing I want to talk about now, and I also want to talk about how you organize those image files, those document files on your computer so that you can access them from outside Family Tree Maker, just so you can get to them and see what you've got. So I'm going to talk about organization first, and then I'll talk about how you get printed images and documents into your computer second.

First of all, these are some images that are already on the computer. These are ones that come with the exercise files that you get if you're a premium member of or if you get the DVD of this course. I have them now in a particular view so you can see them as large thumbnails. But I'd rather look at them in terms of their details so I can see the actual titles a little bit better. So I'm going to go up to the top of this window and click on Views and click on Details. If you haven't done this before, this is how you can change how you view things inside a window like this. I'm going to expand the view by dragging this out so I can see the full name of each file.

You're going to notice that the files are named by the surname. This way I can get to them quickly. I can track down, oh yes. I've got a file of Katherine Damke here, a photograph of her here, and Edna Maloney here. I try to name them based on the surname. I do the same routine that you do with a typical Family Tree files and I've put down the surname in all caps. But I've put it first in this case so I can track it down by the surname, then the given name, Katherine in this case. Then I try to get a date if I can, just to give it some more information. So, I want to look at these file names, so I know, oh yeah, that's the one that was taken in 1911.

Notice if I have more than one person in the picture, I just put a little plus sign between them as a way to differentiate them, who is in the photograph and maybe a place if that's possible. Now if I have two surnames, that makes it a little confusing, because I've got Maloney and Kells inside this photograph. So which one do I put first, right? Which one is the most important? Well, I really can't say which one is most important. Since I don't have thousands of photographs, it is probably okay that I just have this one file with two surnames in it. If I had lots and lots of photographs, I'd probably copy this one by right-clicking on it, saying Copy.

Then if I right-click again and go Paste, it will paste a copy. Then I would name this one Kells first and have Maloney second. That way I could have the same photograph twice, but named in a way that I could track it down if it was important enough for me to that. I'm going to delete that now. So that's basically how I name them, but how do I organize them? Let me back up a second here. If you've looked at these folders in the exercise files, you'll see that I have five folders here and I name the folders based upon the content.

So for example, Photos, it is pretty clear what that is and I've got census records that I've downloaded from, primarily. If I just open that up, these are all census records. I've named them again according to generally the father. If it's a census record of a household, I've put down the father's name and then put down the spouse's first name, even though her maiden name would be different, as a way to identify who this is. Then I say the census year and the state in which it was done. It's a US census, but this is the New Jersey part of that census.

Sometimes people appear on two different pages in a census. The census take a record down on to the bottom of the page, wrote down two people in the household and then ran out of room, so they go to the second page, and so here I've got two pages from one census just to differentiate that. That's why there is two with the same name. Again, I do it by the surname as a way to track things down. Let's go back to the previous view and you see that I've got ships and passenger lists. Just take a look at how I've organized that. You can see I've got some photos of ships that some of my ancestors took. You can track down the actual ships and then associate them with the particular ancestors who actually went on board those ships, which I think is really cool to kind of associate that kind of history to those trips across the ocean.

Let me just go back here to take a look at the view. Change that to the Details view. You can see how I wrote that down. I've got the surname again, and then some other information, like the date, the name of the ship and where it came from. This little note to myself, it says it's probably correct, but it says that the woman that she was traveling with is too old for that particular trip. So maybe they made a mistake on her age, but I think this is the right one. It just reminds me maybe of something wasn't quite right about it. That's basically the way you organize it. When you get files from, let's say, relatives that email it to you, they won't be named this way.

So you may need to rename them to match your organization. So when you get a file, if you want to change the name, you just click on it once slowly and click again. Don't double-click. Just click once and then slowly wait and then do it again. That will highlight it in blue like this. If you have trouble getting that little highlight in blue, if you just right-click on it, down here at the bottom it says Rename, and you get that same blue thing. Then you can click on side here. I nstead of Ship I might type Boat or something. There you go. Now once I click away, it'll be called Boat instead of Ship, and notice that it reorganizes in terms of alphabetization again.

So I'll just click that again twice and change that back to Ship, because that is what I want it to be. I don't think a sailor would appreciate calling a huge boat like that a boat. We'll call it a ship. That's basically how you organize things. I'm going to talk about how you get them into your computer. If you've got printed documents or photos, you get them in your computer by scanning them. To scan things, you can use a flatbed scanner. You want a flatbed scanner, because it allows you to put things that are thicker than a sheet of paper and the top can expand or accommodate thicker objects like framed images like this or books.

So what you do is you just open up the flatbed scanner, put the image inside face down and close the scanner. Then you use software to do the scan of that and import that image file into your computer. Well, one of the cool things about Family Tree Maker is they have a scanning connection built into Family Tree Maker. Let me show you how that works. Inside Family Tree Maker on most workspaces there is a button that says Add. Now if you go to the Media workspace, which is where you want to go when you want to scan something, and you've got to Media, click on Add.

There'd be an option called Scan Media. But I'm going to show you something just to avoid confusion. If you go to People, you'll see Add. That doesn't mean add an image from the scanner. That is adding a person. It's context-sensitive to whatever workspace you're on. If you go to Sources, click Add, it'll be adding a source. So it depends on the workspace you're in. So to add an image from a printed image or a printed document, go to Media, click on Add, and click on Scan Media. If you have your scanner connected to your computer and fired up, then your scanner will fire up when you click on that and display a little graphic image saying how you can scan.

In this particular case, we've got this Epson scanner. I could just click Scan. It's completely automated and it'll scan it as if this were a printed document. It'll scan it in 300 dots per inch, which is normally sufficient. But if you're doing something for archival purposes here, something that you're going to want to go back to again and again and again, you really probably want to scan it at a higher resolution. It'll be a much larger image, maybe four times larger if you scan it at 600 dots per inch, but still I recommend scanning it higher than you really need to, because you really want to get it right and not have to worry about it down the road and say, gosh! I wish I had scanned that at a higher resolution.

So if you want to get out of the Full Auto Mode, you can go to let's say a custom mode or any other mode besides Full Auto Mode. If you go to Office Mode in this particular case, you can say the resolution, instead of 300, let's make it 600. That's a really much higher resolution. That will be a much cleaner image, but it'll be much larger in terms of a file. So, it's probably a good idea to preview your scan first, so just click on Preview and that does a rapid scan, not really a full resolution scan. That way you can make sure that things are lined up and that it's seeing the entire image.

We're scanning this one in color and I recommend that you scan in color, which again makes a larger file, but you do want to try to get the original color of the document. Even though it's a black- and-white document, there might be a little bit of a sepia tone to it, and you'll want to retain that sepia tone that you can adjust later if you work in some program like Photoshop. At least you get the original. That's the important thing. Get the archival original view of this thing into your computer. You can always adjust it later. So now that we're happy with the preview, now that we think that everything is lined up properly and the image is going to be fully shot, we'll just go back to the scan side and click Scan to finish this.

The scanning will take longer than the preview. Once the scan is complete I just click Close. Inside Family Tree Maker it says, what category do you want to put this thing in? Well, I just want to put it in Photos. It should be I think the normal thing that I want to do, but you know, this is a group photo and I've decided that I want to make a new type of a category. So I'm going to go Edit > Add, new category. I'll call it Group Photos. There you go. I'm putting that in the Group Photos category and later on I can add things that are already grouped into that category when I want to.

But in this particular case I call it Group Photos and I click OK. Now it says, do you want to copy this file to the media folder? Well, I really have no option. It has to be copied someplace, and it's automatically copied to a media folder that is associated with this family tree. This is not the way that I like to organize things. I'm going to show you the workaround for this in just a second. But I click OK. Now that image has been added to the collection of images here, and the scan is called this number. It's based on the date that it was scanned, and given a _2, because it was the second scan on this particular date.

That's really not how I want to name this thing, but it's done automatically inside Family Tree Maker, and later on I'm going to want to fix that. For the first order of business, let's get this thing straightened out. I'm going to double-click on it. It opens it up in this Preview view. I'm going to click this little guy here, let's say, to rotate it to the right so we can actually see it in the thumbnail. We can see it in the proper position. There we go. I'll go back to the collection and I'm going to rename this fellow. Rename the media file. I'm going to name it SENGSTACK Group and it's about 1905.

Now it's renamed inside the folder that Family Tree Maker wants it to be in, but not the folder that I want it to be in, by golly. So I'm going to go do a little bit work here, and this may be a little cumbersome. If you're uncomfortable moving files around, you can certainly accept this default location. But I like to have my files in my folder so I can track them down later outside Family Tree Maker. So I'm going to move it. So if you're uncomfortable with that, you can just skip the rest of this video. But here we go. So what I do is I go to the folder where that file was placed by Family Tree Maker, and it's placed inside this SampleFamilyTree Media.

So let's put down the name of the family tree that you're working on, and then the word Media is added to the folder automatically by Family Tree Maker. I double-click that and there is that photo inside that location. I'm going to right-click on this fellow. I'm going to say Copy. I could normally say Cut, but for now, I'm going to say Copy just to be safe. I'm going to my Sample Media folder that came with your tutorial, go there. I want to put that photo inside the Photos folder by opening it up and right-clicking and say Paste.

That added that group shot to this folder now and now it's where I prefer it to be, so I can track it down later. Now if I did cut it-- I'll go back and I'll cut it. If I did cut this, I did delete it let's say. Now that I know it's okay I'm going to delete it. When I go back to Family Tree Maker, Family Tree Maker is going to be a little confused. I'm going to click on this thing and it's going to say, "where is it? I can't find it." Because I've moved it from where it thought it was. It says Manually search or Let Family Tree Maker search. Well, for me I would manually search, because I know exactly where I just put it, but let's let Family Tree Maker find this image.

It looks for a while and lo and behold, it found where I moved it to. So now when I click on it, it has no problem finding it again and displaying it. So that's how you add media through Family Tree Maker by going through the scanner, and how you organize media into folders on your hard drive.

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