Friday, June 28, 2013

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

For Follow-up Friday, I take the day off and let reader comments carry the are some of the helpful and interesting reader comments from the past week, with my own responses when needed.

1)  On Does MyHeritage Show Living Persons in Their Family Trees? (26 June 2013):

*  Taco Goulooze noted:  "Yes, they do. Compare your post with a recent one by James Tanner:"

*  MyHeritage said:  "We're are investigating Anthony's situation right now. We take privacy very seriously."

*  Anthony Steel commented:  "I managed to deal with this and now have kindly fulfilled my request and deleted the said information regarding my family and I from their websites and all is to everyone’s satisfaction.

"I hope this matter is now concluded and I thank everyone concerned, which I am most appreciative."

*  Donna Coutant offered:  "Has Anthony ever used the BackupMyTree service to backup any native family tree files or GEDCOMs? BackupMyTree was acquired by MyHeritage in 2011. They sent the email notice pasted below on 6 Dec 2012, which explicitly states that data from BackupMyTree may be transferred to MyHeritage. I suspect this could be a potential root cause for Anthony's data to appear on MyHeritage."

My comment:  I'm glad that this was settled in a timely manner, and that Anthony is satisfied.  In an email to me, a MyHeritage representative said:  "If you click on 'About Us' at the foot of the home page, you'll see a link to contact us - which has a form for you to ask a question or send an email. Or you can click on 'Support' at the foot of the page, and then click on the company tab which also shows you the link to our contact information."

Donna's comment is especially troubling to me.  Does MyHeritage really add new trees to their collection based on BackUpMyTree content?  I didn't print the MyHeritage email above.  

*  Anonymous said:  "I know for a fact there are more than 2% that use the old search, myself included. I am more than a casual user. I use everyday. I do not like the new search at all. Now that old search is being retired i think it's about time I cancelled by subscription."

My comment:  You know this how?  I asked for more information, and they said in email:  "To determine this number we looked at all search logs for users who have used the site in the last 6 months and based on those logs, 2% of our active users used old search 10% or more of the time when searching. Even if we include those users who used old search for less than 10% of their total searches, the number only grows to 3.6%."

It's still a small number!  The Facebook page is hopping, though.  

*  Lisa Suzanne Gorrell noted:  "My problem isn't about the search. I've been using new search for awhile. I don't like the new viewer! I used to save the image by right-clicking and "save as" right to the folder where I want it saved. Now it seems I have to click save, then save to my computer. Once that is saved, it opens into some windows viewer where I have to open in another program such as Photoshop elements to save finally in the folder where I want it. That's way too many clicks!! Is it because I use Chrome as my browser? Any help on shortening these steps!"

My comment:  When in the "Interactive Viewer," you can switch to the "Basic Viewer" by clicking on "Image Tools" and select "Switch to Basic Viewer."  However, I am able to right-click the image in the "Interactive Viewer" and "Save As" and rename it and save it to a file folder of my choice.  I can't do that in the "Basic Viewer" since it is Flash based.  When I click the "Save" button in either viewer, I click "Save to my computer" and my computer puts the image in my "Downloads" folder, where I have to rename it, and then Cut/Paste the file into a file folder of my choice.  I'm using windows 7 and Chrome browser.

*  Drew Smith offered:  "Randy, instead of having to do an extra click to get to the Advanced Search (to set the Exact Search), why not just bookmark the Advanced Search page directly?"

My comment:  Where did I put my round tuit?  I have the Ancestry Home Page on my Bookmarks bar because I use it to go quickly to a specific census collection, or to see the new and updated databases, etc.  

*  Anonymous commented:  "Changing to New Search won't cause me to abandon Ancestry, but I do prefer the old search. For me, it's just annoying, mainly because of the hits that have nothing to do with my search criteria. Plus there's a lot of wasted space, the records could be more tightly packed. Seems like they don't want you to find things quickly."

My comment:  I don't have the problem you describe.  It's probably because we search using different tactics.  Michael Hait, in "Using's "New Search'" explained how he searches; some of the screens are different now.  My search process is very similar, although I immediately go to wild cards and narrowing using a birth year range and birth place or locality when I can't find results with my initial search.

*  Geolover said:  "OldSearch users have access to single-page scrollable database lists by category (such as 'Military') and the full database-list "Card Catalog" as a browsable and nicely searchable list.  These are not accessible to NewSearch users.

"Since the NewSearch engine does not search all databases, access to database lists is very useful. One area this applies to particularly is a group of church records transcripts from the Mohawk Valley which were poorly produced and OCR-indexed. A third to a half of the entries are not indexed at all.

"One persistent problem with NewSearch is when searching from a tree the search results consistently do not fit the person's vital dates, so for a person born 1869 there are going to be various Civil War and World War I database listings.

"Another is searching in US Census entries for Counties presently in West Virginia. They are not in the drop-down place lists, but are readily findable using OldSearch's type-in fields."

My comment:  Geolover always has helpful hints and database/search quirks, doesn't he?  

I've found that searching from within an Ancestry Member Tree that it uses all of the known information, fills in birth, marriage and death, adds parents, siblings, spouses and children, etc. The initial search is "not exact" and it finds millions of non-pertinent records.  The only "exact" matches are to other Ancestry Member Trees because of the search terms entered automatically.  

3)  On (Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Post 262: My Four-Generation Picture (26 June 2013):

*  Nancy asked:  "Randy maybe you've posted this before and I missed it what brand scanner do you use photo editing software?"

My response:  I use a Hewlett-Packard HP Photosmart C6350 All-in-One Printer/Scanner/copier unit now.  However, many of my photos were scanned using earlier machines with a variety of DPI settings.  I also scanned quite a few photos from photo album pages with the photos stuck to the page.  I don't have PhotoShop, but use the free PhotoScape ( program to edit my photos.

4)  On MyHeritage Record Matches Keep Delivering News! (4 April 2013):

*  Anonymous said:  "I have used FTB6 for about a year and a half. I paid for a data subscription but cancelled within weeks because Record Matching was totally useless, returning thousands of irrelevant and inaccurate matches.

"Currently I'm also 'enjoying' a complimentary data subscription while I run tests for MH so they can try to fix their lousy software.  I just reviewed my tests and have NEVER located anything of value in the newspaper collection. Only in the past few weeks have any relevant records turned up.

IMO the author of this blog would serve his audience better if he were more objective and critical, and less a mouthpiece of MyHeritage."

My response:  FTB6 doesn't work with Record Matching.  You need Family Tree Builder, Version 7.  I try to be objective and critical (when necessary), and I don't think that I am a "mouthpiece" for MyHeritage.  I enjoy and appreciate my relationship with the company.  You're entitled to your opinion.

5)  On "I Am My Own Grandpa" (30 June 2006):

*  Amanda Michelle wondered:  "Okay.. So today in class we did this, it was an option there were a few other options... Anyways, I chose this because I was more interested whenever he said I am my own Grandpa.. It's crazy... I looked at my teacher and I said Incest much? And everybody in the class just laughed their asses off.. I'm on my mobile right now.. Someone please comment and explain deeper to me? It really confuses me.. That's like screwing every family member he has!! That is so sick.. It made me interested in the first line: 'Many, many years ago when I was twenty-three I was married to a widow who was pretty as could be this widow had a grown-up daughter who had hair of red My father fell in love with her and soon the two were wed..'  It really caught my attention.. I have this whole thing memorized.. I have made a pedigree chart myself but it still confuses me.. Someone get back to me as soon as possible please?? "

*  Rick C. helped her out:  "There's no incest involved. He (23) married the widow (46), and his father (46) married the widow's daughter (23). Each couple had a son. The rest is labels.

"The person married to your daughter is called your son-in-law. In this case, his father married his daughter. So his father is both father AND son-in-law.

"Technically, his daughter is his step-mother, because she is married to his father, but is not his biological mother.

"The verses about the singer's [son/uncle/dad's brother-in-law] and the verses about the father's [son/singer's grandchild] are not relevant to the main theme of the song. They're just fun and add to the confusion.

"To clarify: 

"When I was 23, I married a 46-year-old widow, who had a 23-year-old daughter from her first marriage. She became my adopted daughter.

"My father married my adopted daughter. My father's new wife is called my step-mother.

"My wife is the mother to my stepmother (adopted daughter), which makes her my mother's mother, or my grandmother.

"Since my wife is my grandmother, I am her grandson.

"As husband of my grandmother, I am the grandfather to my wife's grandson.

" I am my own grandpa.  Whew."

My comment:  Great explanation.  Thanks, Rick!  It's not often I have a comment on a 2006 blog post.  I wonder if Amanda saw the comment?

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Because of all the complaining on Facebook, email and social media, I suggested to a few geneablogger friends that we should take the Ancestry decision to revoke "old search" to our blogs. This has resulted in the "Flash Blog Mob" yesterday and today. You can catch the roll up at my post and at Jan Brown's post

Anonymous said...

Randy I don't think you meant I think you meant


Randy Seaver said...

Thanks, Nancy - I fixed it. Did it from memory...crash!