Friday, May 31, 2013

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

It's Friday, so time for my almost weekly post of helpful and interesting reader comments, and my own responses to them.  

1)  On "Early New England Families Study Project" at NEHGS - WOW!! (29 May 2013):

*  Howard Swain offered:  "You asked for a web page with the new sketches. As was mentioned in today's The Weekly Genealogist (free weekly newsletter from NEHGS) the sketches are here:

"In the Search Fields area, there is a drop-down menu that lists all the families so far."

My comment:  Thanks, Howard.  Good find.  

*  Elizabeth H. said:  "I love that the Denisons are covered - my parents are related through this surname. (And Capen is in my tree - I need to look more closely at that sketch.) And yes, if you have New England ancestors, how can you NOT be a member of NEHGS? (I've been a member for over twenty years.)"

My comment:  So have I, it's a no brainer for people like me with hundreds of New England ancestral families.  That said, I find very few articles in NEHGR about my ancestral families, at least over the past 40 years.  But, the NEHGS website has millions of records pertaining to my ancestral families, so it is very worthwhile for me.

*  Ric Skinner asked:  "I've been researching SKINNER and have documented the line from me all the way back to 16th century England. One of my New England ancestors was John Skinner who was part of Thomas Hooker's party that went from eastern MA to CT in the 1600s. His descendants included Jonathan Skinner, prominent in the formation of Hinsdale (formerly Partridgefield) MA around 1795, his son Stephan, born in Hinsdale, and moved with parents and other family members to NY (Pompey, Van Buren, Barre Center). Stephen was a prominent blacksmith and businessman and built the main part of the Skinner-Tinkham house in Barre Center. He then moved to Rockford, IL in 1830 and his son Marvin was reportedly the 6th white child born there. One of Stephen's sons, Henry Mead Skinner, participated in the Colorado gold rush in 1859-60. Many other details have been uncovered about this SKINNER line. Would this be suitable for including in the NEHGS Project?"

My comment:  The basis for this particular project is families that resided in New England during the 1641-1700 time period whose marriages are included in the Torrey book Early New England Marriages to 1700, but are not included in the "Great Migration study project" (immigrants to New England 1620-1640).  It's likely that your John Skinner, and perhaps his children, will be included in the "Early New England Families Study Project."

*  SearchShack noted:  "Great description on how to mine these records! I'm doing the same thing for Shackfords and have seen the Seaver records. Finding names of spouses (at least the first name) in the deeds and when I got to Middlesex finding so much information in these deeds! Really appreciated your example of naming images you are saving as I'm working out my own standard pattern and it helps to see the wonderful examples that you post. Thanks for sharing these details as it helps those of us reading to get going on some of this great research."

My comment:  The real gems are when you find a man deeding land to his son-in-law and his daughter for "love and affection" because then you have direct evidence in an original source of the wife's maiden name and a father's name.  

The naming convention always seems to be evolving - my problem now is that the entire file folder address sometimes runs over the 255 character limit for some images.  I have too many subfolders, but can't change my system because the images in the present folders arel inked to persons/events/sources in my RootysMagic database.

*  Susan Bankhead said:  "I save the images to my Dropbox files, so I have access to them from any device."

and:  "Can you walk us through how you are saving the image? When I hit the save button provided by FamilySearch, it goes straight to Picassa and I want to put it in my Dropbox files. When I right click and do a "save as" it comes out as a bunch of code. I can clip it and send it to Evernote. Do I have to use a webclipper?"

My comment:  When you right click the FamilySearch page and pick "Save as," you will get a web page file, which is why you get the bunch of code when you open it with a photo editor/viewer.  You could use the webclipper function on Evernote, but that would probably pick up the entire web page rather than just the image.

I have my Windows 7 system with Chrome browser set up so that all Downloads go to the "Downloads" file folder.  The downloaded records from FamilySearch get a "record image.jpg," "record image(1).jpg," "record image(2).jpg," etc. file names when they download.  I have to write down which image is from which volume/page and image number.  Then I go to my Downlaods file folder, change the file names to fit in my naming convention, and then Cut/Paste them into the right Ancestor File/Surname/Family Documents folder.  

You can probably change where your computer system puts downloaded files - in Chrome it's in the "Customize and control Google Chrome" icon, then "Settings," choose "Show Advanced Settings" and scroll down to "Downloads" and edit the file folder.  On my system, the file folder is "C:\Users\Randy\Downloads"  In Chrome, you can also choose to have your computer ask where to save the file before downloading it.

3)  On Wish List for Legacy Family Tree 8 (23 May 2013):

*  Diane O. said:  " I'd like Legacy to incorporate a way to use diacritical marks so I can finally spell my Polish ancestors names correctly."

*  Richard Hallford offered several suggestions:  "The picture/photo function in Legacy looks ancient. I would like to be able to use a picture across several functions. E.g., at the moment, if I want to use a photo for a person, I have to "add" this via the person's edit. If I want this 'picture' to be included in an event, I have to again mount it in an event. Same goes for census. I have to 'add' it to the SourceWriter, but then I have to 'add' it again for an event.

"Additionally, the book writing section is very wanting and un-intuitive. I would like to see an entire update of the book making section.

"I would also like to see easier finding of relationships. A "Mind Map" style of presentation of relationships would be helpful, with the ability to edit the presentation.

"I would also like to see a real update on the Timeline, or Chronology function. Incorporation of audio/visual material. The current timeline events provided for non US users is really woeful. Yes, I know you can add your own, but this takes time.

"I would also like an Android version that synched with my main Legacy program. Its just too bulky to hump a laptop back and forward to the Library/Archive etc, when an Android device can easily handle simple data entry.

"The entire GUI of Legacy, to me, is entirely un-intuitive. I know my way around a lot of it, but functions are buried all over the place and the help file is often incomplete, incoherent, or nonexistent. Perhaps an 'Office Assistant' like there used to be in MS Word, would be helpful that you could switch on and off.

"The Research Guidance needs to be more integrated with the 'To-Do' module (which itself appears old and clunky). There appears to be no link to the individual research notes and the Research Guidance. In other words, you have to go to different places, all related to Research plans, results and 'to-do's' that really should be integrated into one flexible module."

*  Melanie noted:  "The Families app for Legacy has an Android version. I have it on my Nook."

My comments:  Thank you all for offering more excellent ideas for improvements to Legacy Family Tree software.  I will have a report on these new features next week from Jamboree, and I hope that Legacy Family Tree will have a press release at Jamboree about the updated Version 8.

* said:  "I also often find name and date inconsistencies when I research my family. Just yesterday, I noticed that a great great aunt's last name is spelled with an "ie" on her gravestone and an "ei" in the newspaper obituary. I think the spelling in the obituary is the correct one--but I can't figure out how it could possibly be wrong on the gravestone. . . .Something for further research someday, but in the meantime just a note."

My comment:  A dyslexic gravestone carver?  There's is no correction fluid for granite or marble!

*  Sandy Scott commented:  "If I find a name spelled or transcribed wrong on a census that I've found on, I will add a correction note to the record there on Ancestry.

"My surname was spelled incorrectly in the 1940 census and I couldn't find myself. I searched by my father's first name (very unusual) and found the record. I entered the correct spelling and now the record appears when I do a search on the surname (spelled correctly)."

My comment:  Excellent suggestion - I've done that so that I can find my way back to the census record.

*  Sonja Hunter offered:  "Your reader should also keep in mind that we don't know who provided the information to the census taker (it could have been a neighbor). Also, we may be more hung up on spelling than people in the past. For example, I remember reading part of a journal from the Lewis & Clark expedition and saw the same word spelled two different ways in the same sentence."

*  Jim's girl said:  "Thank you for posting this, Randy. After clicking on so many Ancestry records, I have numerous alternate facts cluttering my reports. I like your approach. It will be a godsend to anyone referencing your tree! As usual, Randy, you have reminded me that I have a lot of cleaning up to do in my tree.

I've been tied up with my new hobby 'having cancer' and hadn't read your blog in too long. Oh, what I've missed!"

My comment:  Welcome back, Kate (Jim's Girl).  I hope that you soon change your hobby to "got over cancer" and get back to having genealogy fun.  Life intervenes - we have to do what we have to do when it has to be done.  One of my jobs seems to be reminding others about problems with their research and their trees.  In every case, I've "been there, done that" and, in  many cases, I'm still there trying to work my way through my problems.

5)  On Treasure Chest Thursday - 1870 U.S. Census Record for Jonathan Oatley (30 May 2013):

*  On Twitter, Liz Loveland commented:  "Tried to leave comment on post but (as usual) Blogger ate it. Very short version: Check"

My comment:  YES!  Thank you, Liz.  The explanation for Column 20 (page 12) says:

"It is a matter of more delicacy to obtain the information required by column 20.  Many persons never try to vote, and therefore do not know if their right to vote is or is not abridged.  It is not only those whose votes have actually been challenged, and refused at the polls for some disability or want of qualification, who must be reported in this column; but all who come within the scope of any State law denying or abridging suffrage to any class or individual on any other ground than participation in rebellion, or legal conviction of crime.  Assistant Marshals, therefore, will be required carefully to study the laws of their own States in these respects, and to satisfy themselves, in the case of each male citizen of the United States above the age of twenty-one years, whether he does or does not come within one of these classes."

Well, I think you have to be an attorney just to understand all of that!  It seems to me that participation in rebellion, legal convictions of a crime, and violation of a State law constitutes grounds for abridging a person's right to vote in the 1870 time period.

*  ponyswimgal asked:  "Really interesting. Did he fight for the Rebels in the Civil War?"

My comment:  No, I don't think so.  Joseph Oatley was age 42 residing in Rhode Island when the Civil War started.  He may have been a Union soldier and deserted - I don't know for sure.

*  Celia Lewis wondered:  "Perhaps he had mental illness, or a medical/physical condition limiting his ability to vote (stroke, blindness, epilepsy, etc.)... Maybe there's a clue somewhere in the year or three before this census, in a newspaper? Puzzling, isn't it."

My comment:  Excellent suggestion.  I'll look in the newspaper collections.  Puzzles are fun!

6)  That's it for this week's edition of reader comments, and my reaction to some of them.  Keep fighting through the Captcha hangup and comment on my blog posts so I can highlight your helpful and interesting comments next week!

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Maybe I can not find out how to correct it but in Legacy I would like to turn off the error message when I use a capital letter for the middle name. I want that letter there even if I do not have the whole middle name. I find it helpful to have the letter used.