Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 25: Doing a Web Search -Case 1

See all posts in this series at Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 Compendium.

I have not done many Web Searches from within genealogy management program software, mainly because I'm past "family trees" and "census records" for most of my research.  A user can do a Web Search from within FTM 2012 in and add the Fact, Source and Media for a record to their FTM 2012 database. 

I'm going to do several posts about this feature, using persons in my FTM 2012 database. 

For Case 1, I'm going to pick one of my "brick wall ancestors."  William Knapp (born 1775 in Dutchess County NY, died 1856 in Newton, Sussex, NJ), who married Sarah Cutter in about 1804 and had 11 children.

With William Knapp (1775-1856) highlighted in the "People" Workspace, I clicked on the "Web Search" Workspace button in the top menu on the FTM 2012 screen:

On the screen above, there is a list of six web sites to use in a Web Search in the left-hand panel (,,,, and is the default choice the first time a user clicks on Web Search.

In the screen above, the top panel has the information for William Knapp (1775-1856) from my database already entered into the fields, including (with all fields checked Exact):

Name:  William Knapp
Birth:  1775 +/- 0 years, Dutchess, New York, United States
Death: 1856 +/- 0 years, Newton, Sussex, New Jersey, United States
Spouse:  Sarah Cutter
Gender:  Male

The bottom panel has two sections - the one on the left with my information for William Knapp, and the one on the right is blank.

I didn't edit any of the entries in the search fields in the top panel, and scrolled down and clicked on the "Search" button:

The screen shows only two databases with matches for the specified information:

*  Public Member Trees (3)
*  Private Member Trees (1)

I clicked on the "Public Member Trees" link and saw:

With one of the matches selected, the right-hand side of the bottom panel shows the information in the matched record for comparison to my information in the left-hand side of the bottom panel.  The information for William Knapp is the same for the name, birth year, birth place, death year, death place, spouse, and 11 children (the match lists one more child).  However, the match provides parents names of Shubel Knapp and Rebecca Mead.  These parents are listed in the book Nicholas Knapp Genealogy by Alfred Averill Knapp, but the book says their son was born in 1786.  I have not accepted those parents as the parents of my William Knapp because all other records say he was born in about 1775.  The Ancestry Member Tree with the matched record has used those parents in his tree. 

There are two other matches from this Web search - one is my own AMT, and the other is an Ancestry Private Tree with the same information as above.

Are those the only records available on for my William Knapp?

I don't think so, so I went back and edited the search fields to widen the search for records.  I eliminated the Death Year and Death Place, and also the spouse's name.  Here's the Search screen:

Note that the last Search results are in the right-hand side of the bottom panel.  I scrolled down and clicked on the "Search" button:

There are matches from the Public Member Tree (6) and the Private Member Tree (1).  Here is the list of matches for the "Public Member Tree" database:

This search found more trees, including three that didn't have a death place listed.  Two of those listed in the "Public Member Trees" matches say that the data is Private.  Why are they in the Public Member Trees?

Now I could have dona a Non-Exact Match search for everything and probably would have received many more matches.  I unchecked the "Exact Matches" box and there were 299,095 matches for the "automatic" filled in fields (with Default settings).  With only the Name (exact), Birth Year (exact, +- 2 years) and "New York" as a Birthplace (exact), there were 47 matches, which is manageable.

I'll investigate that search in the next post, and determine how to Merge Facts, Sources and Media into the FTM 2012 database.

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