Thursday, June 13, 2013

Adding Data to RootsMagic 6 While Enriching Data on FamilySearch Family Tree

I've spent quite a bit of time the last two days trying to improve my process of adding, matching, editing, and sourcing content in FamilySearch Family Tree and my RootsMagic database.  I'm trying to add the families (spouse(s) and children) of siblings of my direct ancestors in order to have a richer database and, hopefully, be able to find, or be found by, more living cousins.

In many cases, I have more information (names, dates, places) for a person than is in the FS Family Tree.  Occasionally, I find that the FS Family Tree has more information than I do.  So the two databases can enrich each other, to their mutual benefit.  Unfortunately, the FS Family Tree information is mostly unsourced, so I've made the effort to find a source for the information and add a source citation to the event and person in my database.  In other words, the FS Family Tree is serving as a "finding aid" for me.

I was working today with Lucy Smith (1804-1884).  Lucy is the daughter of Aaron and Mercy (Plimpton) Smith of Walpole, Mass., a sister to my third great-grandparent, Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1841), and a third great-grandaunt to me.  As an example, here is the RootsMagic "FamilySearch Person Tools" page for Lucy Smith;

There are several tasks to perform for Lucy Smith:

*  Match my Lucy Smith with any other Lucy Smith in the FS Family Tree who is a daughter of Aaron and Mercy (Plimpton) Smith, and/or a spouse of James Woods and John Wardwell.
*  Add birth and christening standardizing place names.
*  Resolve the death date, and find a death place.
*  Resolve the marriage dates and places for both marriages.

In addition, I was able to:

*  Find possible matches in the FS Family Tree for the two husbands and combine them as needed.
*  Add a middle name for James Woods, plus his birth date/place and death date/place.
*  Add more information for Lucy's second husband, John Wardwell.

For Lucy, I copied her death date into RootsMagic, and thought that her death place was probably Providence, R.I., where she resided in the 1880 census with her husband, John Wardwell.  Then I looked on for Rhode Island deaths, and found entries for both Lucy and John Wardwell.  I created a source for both events.

Here is the revised "FamilySearch Person Tool" screen for Lucy Smith (1804-1884):

The death date for James Woods was in the FS Family Tree, and I found the sources for the birth and death of James Woods, and his marriage to Lucy Smith - all in the American Ancestors vital records collections.  I created sources for all of them  Here is the revised screen for James Capell Woods, Lucy Smith's first husband:

For John Wardwell, the 1880 census indicated he was age 83 (born in Rhode Island) in 1880, and the death record said he was 88 when he died in 1886.  I estimated his birth year as 1797, and added that to the FS Family Tree.  The revised screen for Lucy's second husband, John Wardwell:

I still have some loose ends here :

*  Lucy Smith has two sets of parents in the FS Family Tree - I need to merge Aaron Smith and Mercy Plimpton using RootsMagic to try to eliminate the duplication.

*  There are parents for James woods with no name (or perhaps they're noted as "living"?) in the FS Family Tree - I may not be able to fix that.

*  There are parents with only a first name for John Wardwell in the FS Family Tree.  I can try to find matches for them using RootsMagic.

It took me several hours to get the Aaron and Mercy (Plimpton) Smith family in good order on the FamilySearch Family Tree - there are 8 children, most of them have spouses and some have children.  Each person needs to be dealt with - matched to existing persons in the FS Family Tree; birth and death dates and places resolved;  extraneous alternate names removed; spouses and marriage dates/places resolved, and children added or resolved, one at a time.

The FamilySearch Family Tree cannot receive source citations from RootsMagic 6 (or any other software) at this time.  I spoke to Bruce Buzbee about this at the Genealogy Jamboree and he said they were working on it in RootsMagic.  That's good, but now I have hundreds of people with sources in my database that are in the FS Family Tree without source citations.  I'll have to deal with that one person at a time, I think.

This overall task is onerous, but it has to be done by somebody.  My database is pretty good, and is fairly well sourced now, so I'm going to do my ancestral families - descendants of the siblings of my ancestors can do their own.

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Robbhaas said...


I really LIKE the idea of FamilyTree and have done what you did in this post for a few of my family but I got frustrated because of the sources not being transferred from RM-6 to Family Tree.

I have decided to wait on Bruce to get the FamilySearch enhancements completed before I do any more work. I feel confident that once the enhancements are in place the process will be much smoother and make FamilyTree AND RM-6 so much better.

Thanks Randy for all you do for the Genealogy Community.