Friday, January 6, 2012

Follow-Up Friday - You Comment, I Respond

Trying to keep up with email with comments about blog posts, and with the relatively few comments I receive on this blog, can be a challenge.  Here are some of the recent comments and my responses:

1)  On Finding Census Records on - Last Name Variations (4 January 2012), reader bgwiehle asked:

"Were the index entries of the censuses different from those at ancestry or familysearch? You need quality indexing, especially when there is no flexibility in surname search. 'Creatively' entered and indexed entries require creative search processes."

My response:  I am certain that does not use for their indexes or images.  I believe, but am not 100% sure, that they use FamilySearch's indexes.  However, the number of matches is slightly different, and the order of the matches is definitely different.  for instance, a search for "Last Name" = "Seaver" (exact) in the 1930 U.S. Census for Massachusetts, there are 363 matches on and 364 on  For comparison, there are 316 entries in's indexes for this search.  I wonder why that is so different? The order is alphabetical by first name on  On FamilySearch, the order seems to be by Roll Number, then ED number, then Sheet number, then Line number (although there are some not in this order).

I'm glad that someone was reading my posts about the collections - I was wondering!

2)  Reader Cathy Champion commented on I'm Mitt Romney's (Distant) Cousin (28 December 2011):

"...I've had several people get very upset when my meandering relates me to their fairly common trees; they say I'm straying too much. What would you say to them?"

Reader Unknown suggested:

"I don't even understand the complaint! It's your genealogy, your tree, you can meander however you want!"

My response:  I'm with Unknown on this one!  I'm confused a bit by Cathy's comment about "meandering relates me to their fairly common trees" - does she mean that they are upset because she is related to them and to several U.S. Presidents?

3)  Louis Kessler commented on GenSoftReviews 2011 User Choice Awards Announced (posted 2 January 2012):

"Other notables missing include:
Family Tree Builder, which won in 2009 and 2010 but only achieved 3.71 this year.
The Master Genealogist which only achieved 3.61.
Gramps which won in 2009 but only achieved 3.21 this year.
MacFamilyTree at 2.89.
and Geni got demolished with just a 1.71 rating.
The users spoke!"

My response:  Yes, they have, and the news isn't good for some programs.  Thanks, Louis!

4)  Reader J. Paul Hawthorne asked on Ancestry Member Trees, Family Tree Maker 2012, and the iPhone Ancestry App - Post 2 (posted 20 December 2011):

"Why do you have both census and residence facts for David Auble? I think I know why. Because you can't use the mapping feature if you use Ward 4, etc. in the same line as the city. If that's the case I like how you get around this, But what I do is put "Ward 4" in the "description", that way it only takes up one line."

My response:  Good question!  Most of the "Residence" facts come directly from the Ancestry Member Tree source/image download on this particular tree (because I attached the census page image to a person in my Ancestry Member Tree).  I try not to have any source/image downloads from the AMT in my master database (it's another file) because of how and/or FTM 2012 have crafted these sources.  My "Census" Facts are my own source citations crafted using Evidence! Explained models.  I also add "Residence" Facts in my master database for street addresses and street names from sources.  Note that the "Residence" Facts created by the AMT for the document source/image don't capture the actual address on the U.S. census pages. 

I hadn't thought about the mapping feature issue.  When I enter the "Census" Fact, I include the street address and/or the Ward number to the "Description" field also.  Unfortunately, those don't always transfer into another program through a GEDCOM upload.

5)  Thank you to all of my readers, and especially those who take the time to comment on my posts.

While working with my iPhone and the My Feeds (Google Reader) app, I noticed that there is no way to get to the blog post and make a comment.  I'm going to start putting the blog post URL at the bottom of my post so that readers using smart phones can comment.

The URL for this blog post is:  Please comment if you wish!

Copyright (c) 2012 by Randall J. Seaver.

1 comment:

gems said...

nice blog and informative articles