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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.
I know you can't wait start putting names in the Family Tree Maker and you may have already gotten started, but whether you have started or not, I want to give you a few tips about standardizing names, dates, and places. First of all, don't get too hung up on the correct spelling of family names. Invariably the spelling changes. Census takers misspell them, stuff happens. So be flexible. If one generation spells it one way, and another some other way, use whatever spelling they used. When you input names in the Family Tree Maker, capitalize surnames, last names. That avoids confusion like Jeff SENGSTACK all caps. Use maiden names.
If you want to include someone's married name in their name, put the married name in parentheses directly in front of the maiden name, and after the middle name. You can put nicknames in quotes after the first name. Such as Edward "Ba" MALONEY. If the person is a Junior or a Senior, put a comma after the last name as in Martin Luther King, Jr. For Roman numerals such as III or IV, you don't use a comma. Like George Marshall III. By the way, don't include someone's title in their name like captain, lady or doctor.
You write their titles in the Family Tree Maker Title Fact field. For multi-word surnames like Von Furstenberg, you use backslashes. For persons with no known last name, just type in the word unknown. For example, Jane UNKNOWN. The standard order for dates is date-month-year. Family Tree Maker is pretty good at auto arranging dates. If you're not sure of a date, use Aft. for after, Bef. for before, and Abt. for about. The standard way to write locations is from small to large.
That is city/town, county, state, country. You can use a street address but that's not a standardized place name. In that case, you probably should use the Family Tree Maker Address Fact field. Using the standard genealogical conventions will save you time and make it easier to share your work with others.
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