Friday, April 27, 2012

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

It's Friday, so it's time to share some of the reader comments from this blog or from email and share my own responses.

1)  On Adding "Cause of Death" Fact to RootsMagic 5, there were some helpful comments: 

*  Eowyn noted:  "It's interesting to me that RootsMagic doesn't have that as a preset fact since when you are first adding a person there is a specific space to add "Cause of Death." 

*  RootsMagic (Bruce Buzbee) offered:  "
RootsMagic doesn't have a cause of death fact because the cause of death is part of the death fact itself. Just enter the cause of death in the "Description" field for the death fact. The sentence template for the death fact already takes this into account."

My comment:  Oh.  I didn't know that... As my grandson says - "Holy crabcakes..."  Is this another RTFM issue on my part? 

*  Lisa said:  "Randy, why would you want to separate the cause of death from the death fact? I'm sure you were already aware what RootsMagic said in the above comment?"

My response:  Well, no, I didn't know that.  It does make sense.  The blog post is still a pretty good example of creating a new Fact Type it's not completely useless!

I added the Cause of Death to the Description field of the Death Fact and the sentence template was worded:

"Frank Walton Seaver died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 27 November 1922 at the age of 70 at 149 Lancaster Street in Leominster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States."

The part in blue is what I added to the Description field.  I like it!  

2)  On Whose Charts are shown on PBS "Finding Your Roots" Series?, I got the answer to my question in Comments:

*  Dave wrote:  "I'm a production associate for Ark Media, one of the production companies that produces Finding Your Roots. One of my colleagues forwarded me your tweet about the posters in the last episode. One of my jobs is to create the posters you see presented to the guests in the show. Using the information found by our researchers, I use a program called OmniGraffle to custom build the family trees posters. We use a local print shop here in Brooklyn called Remsen Graphics to do the printing, and it can cost anywhere from $30-$400 depending on the size."

*  Eden Joachim wrote:  "I used PlotPro in Los Angeles, CA to print a poster which includes 10 generations and measures 8 feet wide by 4 feet high. They exhibited at the IAJGS Conference in LA in July 2010. I wanted matte white heavy weight stock which could be written on by relatives I was meeting for the first time, but they did offer different papers, weights and finishes, including fabric.  Pricing was reasonable(about $175)and they delivered within 48 hours of submission of a pdf of my tree.  Regarding the Jewish ancestry of the celebrities, I don't know of any particular company being involved. Dorothy Leivers (LitvakSIG) assisted in acquiring records from Prienai, Lithuania for the Robert Downey, Jr. segment."

My comment:  Thank you both for the interesting and helpful comments.  Twitter works!  It's neat when I can ask questions on this blog, tweet it, and get the right answers from persons who know them.

*  plc718 noted:  "I use the trees when I am stuck but I use them as clues, not facts. It's like wikipedia - a great place to look for clues but then one must go do the research on one's own to verify the information."

*  Fi wrote:  "And this is why my Ancestry tree is private.There are too many errors I don't want copied. I also have a warning on my profile explaining that I'm happy to allow access, just be aware it is a work in progress and watch out for mistakes.  I agree with plc718 comment about using the trees as clues, then doing my own research."

*  MidwestAncesTree said:  "I rarely look at the Ancestry member trees unless I am really stuck. But sometimes I do just take a peek, and post a comment when I see incorrect data. In the comment I will direct the person to information I have found that disputes what they have in their tree. I offer to answer questions or assist them in their research. I have done this 100s of times and have heard back MAYBE 5 times.  What can you do? I think a lot of people do not get notified when comments are added to their tree (it is an option thru I believe), and if they don't look at their tree often, they will never notice it. It seems the majority of ancestry member trees have no documentation, no records attached.

"If I notice someone has information that I cannot verify, I will ask them where they obtained the info...often it is from other ancestry trees (both on and other internet trees). Maybe if we all try to teach the people who are assembling and gathering these trees, it will eventually get thru to them?"

My response:  Excellent comments, all!  I have found excellent clues, often with dates and places, on Ancestry Member Trees.  However, they are usually unsourced.  It is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.  I'm always asking myself "Who copied who here?"  My own policy is to post my tree online to use as "Cousin Bait" hoping that other researchers will find family and will then contact me for further information.  I know that I have errors in my's inevitable!  Some of the contacts who nip at my cousin bait may be able to provide correct information based on sources.  

*  Rick emailed with some very interesting comments:  "Ancestry only sent out 10,000 DNA kits for this beta test. Presuming a 90% participation rate means a tiny tiny data base. But wait there's more.  Once the beta is complete, should be in the next 60 days, Ancestry will open participation. I was unable to find out the new cost.  Also people can attach DNA results from other labs but these are not as in-depth nor as helpful for us. 

"I have been a bit more successful in locating "potential" surname connections than you. Also I have lists down to 10%.   Each day the list grows. 

"There is one very annoying issue though. It is not Ancestry but a user one. People who participated but blocked their tree name. I have sent emails to some of these but have had no response. What's their point in participating?

"When one does the DNA testing and the results returns Ancestry's map plotting names on various maps. At first I thought they found one of my relatives birth places. However Ancestry took the names from my tree and plotted them based upon the info I had included in my tree."

My comment:  This is very enlightening to me, thank you for the response.  I followed up with Rick, and he said he obtained the information from phone calls with AncestryDNA staff.

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

rmwilliamsjr said...

If I notice someone has information that I cannot verify, I will ask them where they obtained the info...often it is from other ancestry trees (both on and other internet trees). Maybe if we all try to teach the people who are assembling and gathering these trees, it will eventually get thru to them?"

if you are on another ancestry tree's profile page, go all the way down right column and it will list the evidence for that profile. if it is ancestry trees you can open that link and view the trees used. repeat until you hit the first tree that doesn't reference any other, may require multiple tabs and rinse-repeat several times. email that person for their evidence, you may be surprised at what they have but didn't put on profile.

i've gotten several bible pages and old hand written trees sent to me as a result of asking nicely.