Friday, November 1, 2013

Follow-up Friday -- Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

There have been a number of helpful and interesting reader comments on Genea-Musings posts during the past week, including these:

1)  On CrowdSourcing Opportunity: When and Where did John Louis Powell Die? (posted 29 October 2013):

a)  Sharon helped:  "Some Oklahoma probate records are available on FamilySearch. They are browse only. I looked at the probate indexes for Payne County and found no likely guy. I checked Logan County and found a 'Burel' Powel, whose estate was probated between 1934 and 1936. Unfortunately, the records themselves are not online, only the index.

"The link for the index page is

"This may (or may not!) be the Louis Burr Powell you are looking for. The date does appear to mesh with the find-a-grave entry you found."

My comment:  Great find, thank you!  

b)  GeneGinny asked:  "Have you thought of contacting local genealogical societies? Looks like there's a Cushing Gen. Society at and a Payne County Gen Society at The former does obit lookups."

My comment:  Excellent suggestion!  I had not done it yet, but I will! Thanks.

c)  Anonymous offered:  "The Oklahoma Historical Society has some Oklahoma resources online, including digitized newspapers. It's at, and the newspapers are at . Not sure if they cover the time period in question, but it may be worth a look!"

My comment:  Another excellent suggestion.  Thanks!

d)  Rosemary helped:  "And yet another place to ask for help is the Tulsa Genealogy Center located at

"Also, Tulsa Genealogical Society at which has research services available."

e)  Geolover noted:  "Noting that the 1940 US Census information included that all persons in Ethel's household were in Perry, Noble Co., OK in 1935, that could be a place to look for marriage and newspaper data.

"The note from anonymous regarding OHS's newspapers is apropos. They do have some Perry papers for 1890s, 1910s and 1920s, but possibly not from the 1930s. A query regarding papers from there and elsewhere in the County might gather a more precise list."

My comment:  I saw that in the 1940 census, and forgot to note it in my summary.  Great catch!  Thanks!

f)  Luin gets the gold star and John's appreciation:  "While researching at the Oklahoma History Library today, I browsed the Cushing newspaper around the date of death in the FindaGrave memorial. A small article in the October 20, 1935, issue of The Cushing Daily Citizen states that Louis B Powell died in an Oklahoma City hospital from injuries sustained in a hatchet altercation. The article was datelined Oct 19, Oklahoma City.

"Since the article indicated he was from Drumright, I also browsed The Drumright Daily Derrick and found an obituary in the October 20, 1935, issue, that indicates he would be buried in the Rose Hill cemetery on Monday, Oct 21. The list of survivors include his wife (who was not named) and three children, Agnes Gene, 12, Alfred Nil, 8, and David Lewis, 6.

"I also found a lengthy article in the Oct 8, 1935, issue of The Daily Derrick, entitled "Hulsey Held in Jail Here for Attack with Ax." 

"I am willing to send you copies of these three articles if you desire."

My comment:  BINGO in spades!  Thank you so much, Luin, for taking the time to look for these, and making the extra effort to search more with another lead.  I have emailed Luin requesting copies of the articles and offering to pay expenses.  

Wow.  That made my week, and John will be ecstatic to know the death date and the incidents that caused the death of his grandfather.

Lots of excellent suggestions for Oklahoma resources too from the commenters.  Unfortunately, and FamilySearch don't have a lot of collections online yet.

2)  On What Facts are Included in RootsMagic Software? (posted 29 October 2013):

a)  RootsMagic provided:  "None-Ending, Other-Begin, Private-Begin, and Unknown-Begin are all fact types from the old versions of Family Tree Maker (2006 and earlier). They had something to do with the beginning and ending of couple relationships (besides Marriage, Divorce, etc)."

My comment:  Thanks, Bruce!  

b)  Geolover commented:  "Should be added: Alt. Relationship, Betrothal, Briss, Circumcision, Marriage Bond, Marriage Publication, Godparent.

"Do you have reasons for having both Baptism and Christening?"

My answer:  The short answer is No.  I have used Baptism for American baptisms/christenings and Christening for English christenings.  Other than that, no, just ignorance a long time ago and no energy to make them all one.

c)  Laura provided a list of the standard "come with the program" Facts in a comment on the blog post.  64 of them.   She also noted: "Any other facts are User defined facts which were either created by the user or facts imported from other programs."

My comment:  Great information, thanks!

d)  Linda Schrieber offered:  "Depending on the denomination and time and place, christenings are generally near or within some months of birth. Baptism could be then, or at age 13, or later."

e)  Russ Worthington said:  "Great listing. I didn't do that because I had entered many user created Facts. From what I can tell, once you create a User Created Fact, it is NOT linked to a specific Family File, but to the Program. That may be at the Version level, but once you open a file from a previous version, that custom facts are put within the new version of the programs list of Facts.  I just counted my list and it was 130 Facts. 

"As to the facts that the Roots Magician made, those listings were from the World Family Tree CD's that were in the Family Archive collections, as I recall. You may remember seeing WFT Dates. Those pre-dated our online trees. There was an over lap of the WFT trees and the ability for Version 16 and earlier to have Family Tree Maker User Home Pages."

My comment:  Great information, Russ.  Thanks.

f)  SearchShack said "I've added facts called 
* Biography Notes - add sources that contain biographies
* Other Researchers - keep a list in the notes section and add a source for e-mails received or notes others posted on ListServes. This 'fact' helps me reconnect and collaborate with others. 

"Would LOVE to learn how to print out a report showing what facts are used as some came over here when I imported my FTM file but to clean that up, I need to be able to create a report showing which fact is used for which person."

My comment:  Two excellent ideas for custom Facts.  You could make the "Other Researchers" Fact a private Fact so it doesn't show up in reports.  I've been experimenting with using the Correspondence feature in RootsMagic to document correspondence, but I can't tie it to a specific family.

You can create a "Fact Report" in RootsMagic for one Fact and see which persons it is attached to.  Do Reports > Lists > Fact List and select a specific Fact and create the report.  

g)  Lisa Gorrell offered:  "I have 130 facts but some of them are really strange and I don't know why I created them. Some of the ones I created that I use a lot:

WWI Draft
WWII Draft
Household Examination (Swedish)
Moving In Record (Swedish)
Moving Out Record (Swedish)
Voter Registration

"I was trying to print out the list, and ended up typing it into Word and counting them there. When I tried to print in the list dialog box, I found a way to find out who was attached to the various facts. Some of the facts I would like to consolidate or change and now I have a way to see who has that fact.

"By the way, if you try to delete a fact, you can't if it's a RootsMagic defined fact."

My comment:  The strange ones might be interesting!  The Directory, Voter Registration and Draft Facts would be very useful.  Directory would tell more than just a Residence, you could  include a description of the employment information in addition to street address and other household members.  

a)  John Laws noted:  " l got a snag.  RM6 encourages one to split addresses but then won't geocode them & won't find them in mapping and Bing maps ain't that good and also we are dealing with historical places that are possibly not shown on modern maps . Am l asking too much?"

My comment:  At this point in time, probably you're asking too much.  Hopefully, some sort of database will be instituted with the historical place names on a record date that point to the current place on the map.  

Can you provide an example of a split address?  I use the Place Name field (town, county, state, country for USA), the Place Details (separate field, e.g. address, building, cemetery, etc.) and Description (separate field, e.g.,  for room number or plot number) to separate the information.  The map then shows only the place Name then.  If I put the Address of a place in the Place Name field and click on the Map icon, then select "Online Map" when it goes to the Place List, it shows the address.  

b)  SearchShack noted:  "I had been been putting the source information (i.e. details from a census) in the source detail text field. Not sure I understand why you are suggesting copying this same information into the source note field and the person field - is it because the information will print in different report fields? Does the RM search function also only connect information added to person field to that person (vs connecting found info in a source detailed text field)"

My comment:  I started with them only in the Person notes field in RootsMagic, and they usually had a source in the Notes.  Now I've added Facts, added Sources, and added Media.  I can use the Fact Note to analyze or comment on the Fact itself, which may comprise several sources.  I tend to copy/paste the text for the record transcription or abstract if there is one.  All of those will show up in a "Family Group Sheet" or an "Individual Summary" Report, but are redundant if they are also in the General Person Notes.  In the "Individual Summary" Report they are listed as part of the source citation.  My feeling is that the Fact Notes are best used as research notes, providing comments, analysis, or research ideas for each Fact for a person.  I came to that conclusion after adding hundreds of transcriptions, so I may just leave them there.  

I think that the Narrative Reports print only the Person Notes and not the Fact Notes.  So you can see how a user needs to understand which Note type is used in which report.  I'm just now trying to figure it all out!

Unfortunately, the Report options in RootsMagic don't permit a choice of Fact notes or Person notes, or both if a user has used the different Notes wisely. 

If the information is in the "Source Detail Text" field, then it will print along with the Fact name in the "Research Notes" report, but in nothing else.  

c)  Lisa Gorrell added:  "SearchShack, I think putting the census information in the source note field allows it to be printed out into a different report about the individual. Information under the source note and comments only prints out in the Research Notes report.

"Randy, I add some information about the source before I type in the transcription so I can easily tell with a glance what the source is. I use the comments section a lot to analyse the source information, similar to what I have learned from Evidentia. It's a place to record what I have learned from the record and any discrepancies there may be (misspelled names, wrong birth/death date, etc.)"

My comment:  I think you mean "Source Note" field == "Source Detail Text Research Note" field, and the "Comments" == "Source Detail Text Comments" field for a specific source citation.  Right?   There are also "Source Master Text Source Text" and "Source Master Text Comments" fields for the source itself.    Good idea about using Evidentia analysis results in these fields.

a)  T asked:  "If you have a paid subscription to My Heritage, do you get those documents for free or is there a charge when you get to the source web site? If I were to subscribe to My Heritage, how much money would I end up spending to get documents they have found?"

My comment:  The best information I can find about access to records on MyHeritage is $120 per year for an annual Data subscription. If you have a WorldVitalRecords subscription, that counts as a Data subscription (you might have to call them to make it work).That is on top of your MyHeritage subscription of $75 for a Premium subscription (tree limit of 2500 tree people) or $120 for a PremiumPlus subscription (unlimited number of tree people).

b)  Daniel Dillman noted:  "I've also been doing a lot of this lately, and I've found a problem with using the Census data in this manner. Specifically, when a person is found in more than one Census (US Census in my usage), and you accept the address data for one Census, when you add the next Census in this manner it changes the date but does not allow you to change the address data. It appears to just over-write the existing Census with the new one, although I believe it does add the new citation separately.  Have you tried this? What was your experience with that situation?"

My comment:  No I haven't tried it yet.  I didn't know about that - sounds like a problem.

c)  Daniel Dillman observed:  "I find that the Find-A-Grave matching is excellent, and the records I've matched have supplied a bunch of missing or limited date information. However, the newspaper matching has been rather poor in my experience. The OCR is abysmal, generally. So the success rate is rather hit-or-miss depending on your existing data and which type of records you're matching."

My comment:  I agree with you on all counts.  Apparently the OCR search uses proximity of names or words and cannot discriminate context well.  It's still useful, but a user will have a lot of false positives.  The star system filter might be useful with searching the newspapers to separate the wheat from the chaff.

d)  Gilad Japhet (of MyHeritage) answered the questions:  "Randy, thanks for this post and the answer you have provided regarding subscription prices, which is accurate. I will only add that MyHeritage also allows the purchase of a bundle (data subscription + PremiumPlus) at a discounted price.

"Daniel Dillman, thank you for your feedback. What you describe is indeed a bug, that we have confirmed and will fix very shortly. The 'Extract Info' functionality compares information from the census record to the family tree profile, and currently doesn't let you add residence information from two different census years into the profile. The temporary workaround in this scenario is not to use the Extract page but to edit the profile and manually add the new information. This will be fixed quickly.

"With regards to the newspaper matching, its accuracy is indeed lower than 97% (the avg. accuracy of MyHeritage matching of structured records), as Randy noted and as you experienced. However, it is still the only matching technology for newspapers available on the market; and any correct match it will find for you may be one you would not have found yourself. So despite the errors I encourage you to review your newspaper matches and glean all the value that you can."

My comment:  Thanks for the answers, Gilad, and I'm sure that Daniel will be watching the "Extract Info" problem for his census records.

Where on the MyHeritage site is the Bundle (Data plus PremiumPlus) pricing?  I didn't find it when I looked.  

5)  That's enough for this week.  Excellent commentary from my readers who successfully escaped the Captcha trap and were able to post a helpful and/or interesting comment!

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

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