Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 40 Most Popular Posts on Genea-Musings In 2015

Like many other genea-bloggers, I'm curious about which posts on Genea-Musings are "popular" - and why they might be.

Here are the Top 40 Genea-Musings blog posts from 2015 that had the most page views in 2015 (from View Count statistics on the Google Blogger Posts page). 

1)  Tuesday's Tip: FamilySearch Has Added New York City Records (posted 24 March 2015) -- 5,627 views

2)  Why Aren't Researchers Using the FamilySearch Family Tree? (posted 6 January 2015) -- 5,390 views

3)  Tuesday's Tip - A Digital Newspaper Archive Database - UPDATED (12 May 2015) -- 4,429 views

4) Announces Retirement of Family Tree Maker Software (posted 8 December 2015) -- 3,342 views

5)  Lesson Learned Again: Don't Trust Online Family Trees (posted 31 July 2015) - 3,219 views

6)  MooseRoots Is a New Genealogy Research Engine (posted 26 February 2015) -- 2,641 views

7)  Other Genealogy Software Options to Replace Family Tree Maker - UPDATED (posted 9 December 2015) -- 2,501 views

8)  What Do Family Tree Maker Users Do Now? (posted 9 December 2015) -- 2,432 views

9) Hides Record Image Breadcrumb Trails (posted 6 August 2015) -- 2,412 views

10) More on About Family Tree Maker 2014 Web Merge Problem (posted 19 August 2015) -- 2,342 views

11) Yes, Janet, Internet Genealogy is Progress! (posted 10 August 2015) -- 2,196 views

12) My Genealogy Digital File Folder Organization (posted 22 January 2015) -- 2,173 views

13) Printing Pages From the "New" Member Trees (posted 20 August 2015) -- 2,125 views

14) Where Did 567 Databases on Go? (posted 18 September 2015) -- 1,911 views

15) Tuesday's Tip: Use the Family History Guide to Learn Family History Techniques (posted 4 August 2015) -- 1,873 views)

16) RootsTech 2015 and FGS 2015 Conference Blog Post Compendium (posted 15 February 2015) -- 1,808 views

17) New Database: U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (posted 23 July 2015) -- 1,667 views

18) Mining the Ancestry Probate Records Collection - Post 1: Pennsylvania (posted 8 September 2015) -- 1,623 views

19) What Family Tree Program Do You Use for Your Genealogy Research? (posted 25 March 2015) - 1,615 views

20) Many Features Added to the New Site (posted 4 August 2015) -- 1,599 views

21) Where Did 567 Databases on Go? An Answer. UPDATED! (posted 7 October 2015) -- 1,589 views

22) NGS 2015 Conference Blog Compendium - UPDATED (posted 24 May 2015) -- 1,522 views

23) Tuesday's Tip - Search Hints by Record Collection (posted 27 January 2015) -- 1,517 views

24) Twile Converts Family Tree Data into Visual Timelines - Post 2: Photo and Document Upload (posted 19 August 2015) -- 1,491 views

25) Subscription Rates - Are They Changing? UPDATED (posted 17 June 2015) -- 1,462 views

26) Genealogy Gophers Website is Launched - Free Genealogy Books (posted 3 March 2015) -- 1,390 views

27) Dear Randy: What is the Most Important Skill for Finding Digital Records Online? (posted 24 August 2015) -- 1,364 views

28) My Top 10 Genealogy Family Tree Resources (posted 25 February 2015) -- 1,359 views

29) The "New Ancestry Experience" is Active for USA Users (posted 2 June 2015) -- 1,262 views

30) How Did I Miss This Before? Shows Others Researching a Person (posted 29 October 2015) -- 1,255 views

31)  CGSSD Meeting on Saturday, 15 August Features "Digital Microfilm" (posted 12 August 2015) -- 1,250 views

32) More Information About (posted 27 February 2015) -- 1,242 views

33) Tuesday's Tip - Check Out Scribd Genealogy Books and Documents (posted 11 August 2015) -- 1,238 views

34) Happy Thanksgiving! Findmypast 12 Month Subscription for 75% Off (posted 23 November 2015) -- 1,223 views

35) First Look at Virtual Pedigree - a FamilySearch Web App (posted 12 June 2015) -- 1,195 views

36) How Can I Find What Paper or Microform Information is Kept in a Particular Area? (posted 27 August 2015) -- 1,183 views

37) Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Who is Your "Bad Behavior" Relative? (posted 15 August 2015) -- 1,110 views

38)  Checking Out Beta Source Citations in Ancestry Member Trees (posted 4 May 2015) -- 1,062 views

39)  WikiTree Provides More DNA Information About Relatives (posted 27 January 2015) -- 1,047 views

40)  "Old Ancestry" Goes Away on 15 December (posted 18 November 2015) -- 1,046 views

The five most popular Genea-Musings posts since 2007 are:

1)  Microfilm Scanning at the FHL and FHC (posted 22 July 2009) - 76,912 views.

2)  1940 Census Enumeration District Maps Online at NARA Website (posted 18 July 2011) - 63,189 views.

3)  Genealogy Presentations on (posted 28 January 2010) - 25,936 views.

4)  Merry Christmas to All! (posted 25 December 2011) - 14,852 views.

5)  World records for number of children (posted 21 July 2006) - 11,300 views.

Of course, all of my blog posts are viewed by many more readers than those that go to the web page for the post - those who read them on the Genea-Musings home page, those that read them in an RSS reader, or on a mobile device, and those that receive them via email.

Another measure of popularity or readership might be in the number of comments generated by each post.  I don't think that is a reliable measure of popularity because of the proliferation of RSS reader usage, email usage, and mobile device usage, each of which require one or more click throughs to get to the comment box.

It certainly seems like readers search for, source citations, and genealogy software topics, and find my blog posts.

Previous "most popular" posts on Genea-Musings are:

I wondered what the least popular Genea-Musings post was in 2015.  I know that Surname Saturday, Treasure Chest Thursday, Wordless Wednesday, and Amanuensis Monday posts are not that popular.  Best of the Genea-Blogs and Saturday Night Genealogy Fun are usually popular, often with the highest number of views each week.  I found that Visiting the Finnish Olympic Shopping Team in 1999 -- Post 381 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday (posted 7 October 2015) had only 70 views.  

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Treasure Chest Thursday Post 294: Birth Record of Sarah Reed (1736-1809) in Sudbury, Mass.

It's Treasure Chest Thursday - time to look in my digital image files to see what treasures I can find for my family history and genealogy musings.

The treasure today is the  1736 birth record of Sarah Reed (1736-1809) in Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

The record of Sarah Reed's birth is at the bottom of the left-hand page of the above image:

The transcription of this record is:

Sarah Reed the Daughter of Isac Reed and
Expereince Reed his wife was born December 28  1736.

The source citation for this record is:

"Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1627-2001," digital images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 15 April 2014),"Sudbury, Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1663-1829," Volume 4, page 64 (stamped), image 36 of 142, Sarah Reed birth record, 1736; citing original data from Massachusetts town clerk records (on FHL US/CAN microfilms).

The same record was in the Wayland town records also, and in the Sudbury and Wayland published vital record books.

Sarah Read (1736-1809) was the daughter of Isaac Read (1704-1780) and Experience Willis (1709-1787).  She married Norman Seaver (1734-1787) in 1755 in Sudbury.  I am descended through their first son, Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816).

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

NEHGS Offers FREE Access to Important Databases on during the Month of January 2016

I received this press release today from the New England Historic Genealogical Society:


Family Historians Can Fulfill New Year Resolutions with a 
Variety of Resources in Genealogy Available from NEHGS
December 30, 2015Boston, Massachusetts— To assist family historians of all levels with ambitious New Year’s resolutions, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting free access from Wednesday, December 30, 2015, through Sunday, January 31, 2016, to historic vital records from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont which will be available for unlimited access during the entire month after registering for a free account. NEHGS, the most respected name in family history, has also assembled a quick guide to resources, services, and staff expertise to fulfill any genealogist’s resolutions to grow the ancestral family tree in the New Year.

Family historians can start fulfilling their New Year’s genealogy resolutions with NEHGS by visiting

NEHGS Can Fulfill Your Resolution

Aware of the desire by many individuals to begin the study and documentation of one’s family history in the New Year, NEHGS has many resources and services to assist a genealogist at any level of research and publishing.  The Online Learning Center on offers a complete program of instructional resources to guide both the beginner and the more advanced.  In addition, the consultation services and research services divisions within NEHGS provide excellent ways to obtain expert guidance and solutions to the frustrating and mysterious “brick walls” that inevitably appear along the journey of researching ancestral roots.  And, the calendar of guided research tours and heritage tours offered during 2016 by NEHGS provides many opportunities for the ambitious and passionate genealogist to participate in intensive days devoted to research, one-on-one consultations, presentations by NEHGS genealogists and local experts, and social activities.

Free Databases This Month

The vital records on is a collection of valuable information regarding births, marriages, and deaths and is an essential resource for researching ancestral connections. Databases available for unlimited access this entire month after registering for a free account include:

Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1910

From original records held by the Massachusetts Archives, these vital records cover the years 1841-1910. The vital records cover births, marriages, and deaths that occurred in Massachusetts and not only hold the records, but also indices to them. The information from the 1841-1910 Birth, Marriage & Death indices has been entered into a searchable database. Each index entry includes the person’s first and last name, the town or city where the event occurred, the year, volume number, and page number. The database is searchable by first and last names, record type, year, and location.

New Hampshire Births to 1901, Deaths and Marriages to 1937

This database contains the records of births and marriages to 1901, and deaths and marriages to 1937, as filed with the state of New Hampshire. These records are currently held by the New Hampshire Division of Vital Records Administration. The collection includes more than 475,000 birth records, more than 1,000,000 marriage records, and more than 915,000 death records. Names of parents and spouses have also been indexed, when available. Town clerks were required to send copies of vital records to the state beginning in 1866, although participation was limited until the Bureau of Vital Records was established in 1905. The town clerks then extracted historical vital record information to update the files at the state level, although some records were never reported. The database is searchable by first and last names, record type, year, and location.

Vermont Births, Marriages and Deaths to 2008

This database contains the records of births, marriages and deaths to 2008, as filed with the state of Vermont. These records are currently held by the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration. The collection includes more than 1.5 million birth records, more than 1.8 million marriage records, and more than 1 million death records. Names of parents and spouses have also been indexed, when available. The records held in this collection refer to the statewide index of vital records maintained by the Vermont State Archives. Town clerks were required to send copies of vital records to the state beginning in 1857. The state government began creating a statewide index to these records in 1919.  The database is searchable by first and last names, record type, year, and location.

Registration is required at as a FREE Guest User to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of databases and access web content such as making purchases from the online store. Unlimited access to more than 1 billion records and to other benefits is available through membership at NEHGS.


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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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My Best Ancestral Genea-Discoveries of 2015

I guess it's OK to write this post now - I had many ancestral genealogical discoveries in 2015, and I want to list the best ones.  I'll list them in chronological order:

*  Plotting the Metes and Bounds of Simon Gates Home Farm in Gardner, Mass.Farm-Spotting: The Simon Gates Home Farm in Gardner, Massachusetts and More Farm-Spotting the Simon Gates Home Farm in Gardner, Massachusetts, and Finding the Simon Gates 1803 Home Farm Using Historic Map Works Overlays.

*  Amanuensis Monday - Post 258: 1912 Probate Record of James Richmond of Putnam, Connecticut - Part 1Amanuensis Monday - Post 259: 1912 Probate Record of James Richmond of Putnam, Connecticut - Part 2 and Amanuensis Monday - Post 260: 1913 Probate Record of James Richmond of Putnam, Connecticut - Part 3

*  Amanuensis Monday - Post 261: 1875 Probate Record of Frederick Sovereen of Windham, Ontario

*  Yes, Grandchild, We are Related to Princess Charlotte!

*  Mea Culpa - The Ranslow Smith House in Jefferson County, New York

*  Finding Humphrey White's House in Glocester, R.I.

*  Jane and Rachel Morley in the Lancashire Quarterly Sessions Reports on

*  James Vaux Articles in the British Newspaper Collection on FindMyPast

*  Down the Rabbit Hole - Finding the Estate Papers of John Underhill (1721-1793) of Chester, N.H.

*  Winner! Will of Jonathan Lewis (1715-1785) of Staten Island, New York

*  Winner!! Probate Records for Sever Torgerson Leland (1804-1889) of Dane County, Wisconsin

*  Big Winner!!! Will of Matthias Trimmer (1722-1793) of Roxbury, New Jersey

*  Winner: A Twofer in Ancestry's New Jersey Wills and Probate Collection, But!

*  Found: 1906 Death of Charles Woodward in Topeka, Kansas

*  Woo Hoo!!! Worcester County, Massachusetts Probate File Papers, 1731-1881, Now on

*  Enriching My RootsMagic Database - Miss Sadie Vaux

My one-day visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City provided many more probate and deed records for my ancestral families.  In many cases, these don't provide breakthroughs or great finds, but they do add to the information about the lives of my ancestors.  The other major event was in Early September, when added the U.S. Wills and Probates collection for each state.  

Looking back, there's no really big breakthrough there - just a lot of small additions to the genealogy database for my ancestry.  In addition, I transcribed and sourced many of the records and documents on hand in my weekly Amanuensis Monday and Treasure Chest Thursday posts.  With this list, I should be able to remember what I did accomplish in 2015!

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Visiting the Giraffes at the Safari Park -- Post 393 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday

I'm posting old (and sometimes new) family photographs from my collection on Wednesdays, but they won't be wordless posts like others do - I am incapable of having a wordless post.

Here are some of the most precious (to me) images from my Seaver/Leland photograph collection:

Linda and I are longtime members of the San Diego Zoological Society, and have enjoyed visiting the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park and the San Diego Safari Park (used to be Wild Animal Park) near Escondido.  At the Safari Park, visitors can pay a fee to take a truck tour through the different areas of "Africa" where wildlife roams free (but within boundaries to separate predators from their food).

In April 2007, we visited the Safari Park and took the truck tour through the area that has the giraffes.  Of course there is giraffe food to entice the animals.

1)  Here is a giraffe checking out the potential feeders in the truck:

2)  Linda escaped with all of her fingers intact:

3)  Randy has some green leaves that are being eyed by the giraffe:

4)  A giraffe family looking for leaves on the barren trees.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Year in Review: FamilySearch Grows as World’s Foremost Family History Resource

I received this press release from FamilySearch today about their progress as the world's foremost family history resource.


SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, December 29, 2015—, an outstanding free website hosted by FamilySearch International, the foremost family history organization in the world, has released a 2015 year-end summary of its global efforts to ultimately connect families across generations. It has made substantial progress in creating new personal and family discoveries through significantly more access to historical records, expanded partnerships, a more powerful and user-friendly online search experience, and hundreds of free localized events hosted worldwide.

For more than 100 years, FamilySearch and its predecessors have gathered and preserved worldwide records, creating the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world. It continues to digitally convert its vaults of microfilm for online viewing, along with millions more newly captured record images from archives across the globe.

In the past 25 years, it has been influencing technology and initiatives that engage a broadening swath of consumers to have emotional, endearing experiences with their family and family history. It uses its nonprofit status to continue to rally the growing sea of commercial companies—large and small—in the genealogy and family markets to join in the noble efforts.


During 2015, Steve Rockwood took the reins of FamilySearch, replacing retiring Dennis Brimhall as CEO.

Two Family Discovery Centers, which represent a new concept in presenting family history information, were opened in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Bellevue, Washington. Ground was also broken for a new FamilySearch Library in St. George, Utah, which will have some of the new discovery center experiences.

RootsTech 2015, a global family history event held in Salt Lake City, Utah, and hosted by FamilySearch, uses technology and fun experiences to expand family connections. It attracted a record 300,000 attendees in person, online, and through local post–Family Discovery Day events.

During 2015, FamilySearch, in cooperation with several other organizations, launched the Freedmen’s Bureau Campaign ( to finish digitizing and indexing Civil War–era records that are crucial to African American research success. This project should be completed in 2016.

On October 23, 2015, FamilySearch celebrated the 30th anniversary of its well-known Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, which houses the largest and most expansive collection of family history records in the world. Hundreds of thousands of patrons still frequent the facility from around the world.


The My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet, which was launched in 2014, provides an engaging way to capture and preserve family trees—particularly for those individuals and cultures who are less tech-savvy. In 2015 the number of languages the popular booklet was published in was expanded to 42.

More and more people made use of the local 4,891 FamilySearch facilities (family history centers) in 2015. North America alone has seen a 25 percent increase in attendance at these local libraries during 2015. Online, has seen 291,806 visitors daily—an increase of 19 percent.

New patron discovery experiences have been launched in family history centers worldwide during 2015, and 1,505 local post–RootsTech family discovery day events were held.

Enhancements were introduced to the Family Tree to assist patrons in creating more accurate records and to find records of their ancestors more easily. The site has introduced a redesigned landscape pedigree view, easier access to indicators in other tree views, and safeguard reminders to help patrons avoid making common editing mistakes. The indicators clearly show possible data problems for an ancestor and opportunities to provide missing information and help to locate missing ancestors.

Dynamic record hints were added through the Search feature at to aid patrons in making new research discoveries. The hints are more plentiful as they comb through the mountain of new historic records added weekly to the site from its global records preservation efforts, and the interface has been improved to easily follow through with or dismiss hints. Over 670 million new patron hints were generated during the past year.

Through partnerships with other major online genealogy sites, patrons can now use a single click to search, and for the person they are viewing in FamilySearch’s Family Tree.

This year’s FamilySearch innovations have made searching and recording personal and family experiences more user-friendly and have improved the accuracy of FamilySearch’s databases. Searchers can use improved exact matches in their search criteria to more easily locate records, attach records from search results to people in their Family Tree, and gather and sort information in the new hybrid view that combines historical records with their corresponding indexed information.


More than 120,000 new contributors added to Family Tree in 2015, making a total of 2.47 million. The new user-to-user messaging feature in Family Tree simplifies collaboration with others doing research on the same specific ancestors. There are now 1.1 billion persons in the FamilySearch Family Tree.


FamilySearch carries out its mission through a dedicated team of employees and overwhelming contributions of time by volunteers. FamilySearch has enabled the public worldwide to use its constantly expanding record collection to make family connections through 4,891 satellite family history centers in 129 countries, with 2,864 of those satellite centers located outside the United States. That’s an increase of 15% over 2014.

The site launched 158 new historical collections in 2015, (bringing the total to 2,049), and hundreds of millions of new published records have been added to

Personal discoveries are fueled by making historical records easily and quickly accessible online. FamilySearch does this through a combination of digitizing the world’s historical records online and engaging online volunteers to make them searchable by patrons worldwide with a few keystrokes. Around the world, 319 camera teams—an increase of 11%—digitally preserved over 122 million records in 45 countries, and 304,000 online volunteer indexers helped make them searchable.

In fact, volunteers logged in over 9 million hours and indexed over 106 million records in 2015. And 19 million of the records indexed were of international origin, in languages other than English.

At the end of 2015, now has over 5.31 billion searchable names in historical records.

Jennifer Kerns Davis, a manager in FamilySearch’s Records Division, said, “We republished England Wales censuses with more fields and family groupings that will make them more easily searchable. It was a huge undertaking that took a lot of resources. We also have begun similar improvements on the US censuses that we plan to update in the near future.”


The FamilySearch Tree mobile app now enables users to attach photos and stories (audio and text) to individuals in their Family Tree and to receive notifications when others add content to specific individuals.

The new Memories gallery view allows users to more easily organize, sort, and add photos, stories, and scanned documents to their memories collections.

Last year patrons uploaded 4 million personal family photos and 40,000 new family stories.


Volunteerism is one of FamilySearch’s greatest assets. In addition to online volunteers, 3,850 volunteers serve as FamilySearch missionaries, helping support the worldwide operations needs. These generous volunteers donated a staggering 3.04 million hours of service. FamilySearch joined with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and other organizations to index and publish online the Freedmen’s Bureau records, a Civil War era collection that will prove very pivotal for African American research success. A record 12,000 volunteers have enlisted online to assist (

Patrons needing help can get immediate assistance by telephone (one-on-one to online volunteer assistants,) by viewing the hundreds of free video courses online, and by accessing the FamilySearch Wiki, an online reference source with over 100,000 helpful articles that are updated weekly.

FamilySearch enhanced its online help system in 2015. Users will now notice slide outs that provide contextual help in key areas on the site where users might need it the most.

FamilySearch also added 77 new family history centers around the world to provide free personal research assistance to patrons.

Access FamilySearch’s free services online at

- end -
About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is anonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,891 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.


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Use Family Tree Maker 2014 to Save Your Ancestry Member Tree with Media

Do you have an Ancestry Member Tree with lots of attached media?  Do you want to save the media images to your home computer?  Have you synchronized your Ancestry Member Tree to Family Tree Maker?  If you don't already have Family Tree Maker, read on.

If you already have Family Tree Maker 2012 or 2014 (or Family Tree Maker Mac 3), then you can synchronize your Ancestry Member Tree to your Family Tree Maker software any time during the next year.  The synchronization feature of FTM/Ancestry will work until 31 December 2016.  

BUT, if you don't already have Family Tree Maker 2012 or 2014 (or FTM Mac 3), and want to synchronize your Ancestry Member Tree, you may want to purchase FTM 2014/Mac 3 by this Thursday, 31 December 2015.  After that date, has said they will stop selling FTM 2014.  Go to to purchase and download Family Tree Maker 2014 or Family Tree Maker Mac 3.

For more information, see Ancestry to Retire Family Tree Maker Software (posted 8 December 2015) and More Information on Family Tree Maker Desktop Software (posted 9 December 2015) from the Blog.

There is a learning curve to any desktop genealogy software program - Family Tree Maker included.  A new user will have to learn how to use the program so they can synchronize Family Tree Maker with their Ancestry Member Tree, and capture the attached Media.

Researchers with an Ancestry Member Tree can always download a GEDCOM file to their computer at any time, but when they do the attached media is NOT included.  The only way to capture the attached media is by synchronizing with Family Tree Maker 2012 and 2014 (or Mac 3) desktop software, and the ability to download and purchase FTM 2014 (or Mac 3) ends on 31 December 2015, two days from now.

Once the media files have been downloaded from Ancestry to your computer, they will be in the "Family Tree Name" Media file folder in the Family Tree Maker file folder on your computer, where "Family Tree Name" is the name of your Ancestry Member Tree.  If my Ancestry Member Tree name is Randy's Genealogy, then the Media file folder will be Randy's Genealogy Media.

Unfortunately, the actual attached file names do not include the name of the person to which the file is attached.  The file names include the name of the database (e.g., 1900 United States Federal Census).  If there is more than one attached image from that database, then sequential numbers are created by Ancestry and appear in the list of downloaded files.

This is not an optimum situation, but the media are linked to persons and Facts in Family Tree Maker 2014.

Russ Worthington has many helpful short videos on how to sync FTM 2014 with an Ancestry Member Tree, how to download a GEDCOM file from An Ancestry Member Tree, and many more, on his Cousin Russ YouTube Channel.  See also his Family Tree Maker User blog. has instructional Family Tree Maker videos on their YouTube Channel also.  There are free video tutorials and discussion about Family Tree Maker 2014 by Duff Wilson on the Ancestry Academy site.

Now let's assume that a researcher did not obtain Family Tree Maker 2014 (or Mac 3) before 31 December 2014.  In that case, a researcher could try to obtain FTM by:

*  Finding someone in their community or genealogical society that is willing to sell their FTM 2014  (or Mac 3) installation disk.

*  Finding someone on a message board or social media that is willing to sell their FTM 2014  (or Mac 3) installation disk.

However, not everyone has an FTM 2014 installation disk - many researchers downloaded FTM 2014 (or Mac 3)  from the Family Tree Maker website after paying for it.

The Terms and Conditions for Family Tree Maker software should be reviewed by potential buyers and sellers.  They may require the seller to delete their Family Tree Maker installation from their computer if they sell it to another party.

Lastly, the way to ensure that record images or photographs for your ancestral families are attached to persons or Facts in your genealogy software program is to download the record images from the provider website, rename the images to something descriptive, and useful, and then manually attach them to the persons or Facts in your family tree software program (whether FTM or another program).  I will write more about that in another blog post.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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Monday, December 28, 2015

New or Updated Record Collections at - December 20 to 26, 2015

I'm trying to keep up with the new and updated record collections at FamilySearch (  

As of 26 December 2015, there were 2,054 record collections on FamilySearch (an increase of 1 from last week):

The new or updated collections are:

*  Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1576-2014; 1,411,038 indexed records with record images, added or updated 23 Dec 2015

*  Italy, L'Aquila, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809-1865, 1911-1943; 12,240 indexed records with record images, added or updated 23 Dec 2015

*  South Africa, Netherdutch Reformed Church Registers (Pretoria Archive), 1838-1991; Browse Images only, no indexed records, added or updated 22 Dec 2015

*  Austria, Upper Austria, Catholic Church Records, 1581-1919; 74,482 indexed records with record images, added or updated 22 Dec 2015

*  New Hampshire Death Records, 1654-1947; 581,056 indexed records with record images, added or updated 21 Dec 2015

Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell which collections are brand new and which ones are updated.  The asterisk they use is for "Recently added or updated."  I am particularly interested in new collections, for the obvious reasons.  FamilySearch does provide a listing of which collections are new or updated several days after my post.
In order to select a specific collection, go to and use the "Filter by collection name" feature in the upper left-hand corner.

Each one of the collections listed above has a Research Wiki page (use the "Learn more" link).  It would be very useful if the Wiki page for each collection listed the dates for when the collection was added as a new collection and the dates for major updates also.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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