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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 build your family tree, you'll probably start noticing that you have some gaps in your knowledge, some missing branches. Sometimes it's good to step back and take a look at the big picture and see where those gaps are and sort of focus your efforts on those areas. And one way to do that is to have a printout in front of you of your family tree showing those gaps or you can also then share that printout with other people. So let me show you how you go about doing that. I have loaded up the SampleFamilyTree that we have given you with our course and you can see that it's pretty well filled in, no gaps. And all these blue triangles to the right here indicate that there is more information to the right there, more relatives to the right here.
Let me click a little bit farther along here, see there are more relatives. Here is where we have a gap right there with Patrick. We don't know who his parents are but let me going here on the Sengstack line. And sooner or later, I have Johann Sengstack IV here. I see that my great-great grandmother's parents are kind of thin in the information department and their parents are non-existent. So I think I want to concentrate on this particular area. So one way to help me do that is just have a little reference in front of me on the dining room table. So I am going to click on Johann to have him be the centered person, the selected person, and go to the Publish workspace.
The Publish workspace is all these various kinds of documents and if I click through these, you see there's just tons of different kinds of reports and printouts you can get. Well, there are two I am going to talk about now and I'll talk in more detail about all these various reports in another video but right now I am going to focus on two. The Pedigree Chart, which looks very much like that, or the Descendant Report and if you look at this report with all that detail there versus this Descendant Chart, which has very little details, you can see that you'd probably want to use this when you talk about your descendants.
So let's start with this chart first, the Pedigree Chart. To open up the detailed view of the Pedigree Chart, just double-click on it and there it is, with Johann selected. If I want to have somebody else selected, I could click over here and click somebody else and it will change the person selected. If I want to go to Johann IV as the base person and there is that gap I was noting before in the People view, that gap right there and I am back to the Publish view. I want to just print this guy out and just put in onto the dining room table and have it there as reminding me, okay, I need to focus on this particular area.
I want to try to maybe handwrite some stuff here when I call people on the phone, and say, you know who Harm Sendorf was or Asendorf or was his wife really this person? So the way I print it out is I just have this in front of me and I go to Print, then I have to select my printer and print it out. I'm not going to do that right now. The other thing you can do is that you can make a PDF. PDF is a Portable Document Format, which can be opened in any Adobe Reader and just about every computer in the world that has Adobe Reader on it. So if you go over here and go Share > Export to PDF, you can convert this to a PDF file and then email that to relatives and they can put it on their dining room table.
You can talk on the phone about it and say, who was this person here? Let me know. And then they can maybe just handwrite it and mail it back to you or if they are a little more typically savvy, they can type in the names inside the Adobe Reader. Nevertheless, this is a good way to get a sense for what's missing, going back in time, looking from here and looking at the ancestors. The other side of the chart is looking at Descendants and I like looking at the Relationship Reports, Outline Descendant Report, double-click on that. And here I am showing four generations going back to Johann. But I want to go even back farther because I want to see every single descendant we've got.
So I am going to keep on going back in time, back in time all, the way to the very first Sengstack. This gives me a sense of all the descendants from the very first Sengstack we have in our family tree because this in the sense of all the generations, where I can put this in front of somebody to kind of get the sense for, gee, this person needs to be looked at or this person needs to be looked at. So if you want to get a big picture look at how your family tree work is playing out, I think it's a good idea to just make a couple of simple printouts at this point. Just lay them down in front of you and you can see where the gaps are or you can see the extent of your information.
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