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Select Newsletter by Issue or Topic:

Genealogy HowTo
Issue: May 11, 2001

How To Know When You Have Found Your Ancestors
By Karen Clifford, AG, FUGA

In the last newsletter, we likened genealogy to gardening. One of the realities of most gardens is that they have weeds. In genealogy research, the counterpart to a weed is an unwarranted assumption. This newsletter will cover how to tell the difference between budding plants and unwanted weeds, or, in other words, how to tell where the facts leave off and assumptions begin.

It should be evident to even the novice gardener that a weed does not qualify being nurtured and passed on to friends just because the leaves are green and it appeared among the other plants in the garden. It is the actual planted items that are worth giving. There is something special about those people who are willing to share and receive information on the Internet from family members. They really CARE!

The Care Formula
Telling plants from weeds requires careful examination of each sprout. Likewise in genealogy with assumptions springing up like persistent weeds, careful examination is required of each individual. How can we know, for example, that the John Smith who is listed on our pedigree chart, is the same John Smith that was listed in the will of William Smith as his son John? Or how can we know if the Leonard Jones in the federal census, is the same as the Leonard Jones in our family records? We know by careful examination of the information that establishes a person's identity. The aspects we must examine in this new "sprout" include:

  • the individual's complete name including nicknames, variant spellings, and aliases
  • names of his or her family members (mother, father, siblings, spouse, children)
  • names of his or her associates
  • dates of events in the life of the individual
  • places in which these events occurred
  • established relationships between individuals

Qualified genealogists recommend that we never assume that a relationship exists between two people on a pedigree chart merely on the basis of their name and age without intensive investigation of the documents which lead up to that conclusion. A relationship isn't really established until you have multiple indicators (or more than one witness) supporting that conclusion. Multiple sources must be obtained to provide substantial evidence before you can assume this is a plant you want to keep.

You know how excited you can get when you find that little piece of information that just cements the family together. This happens when someone has taken the time to give you the information you need-the sources necessary to prove the link.

For example, you see that the identifying information elements previously cited are consistent with each record. You see that the ages of the parents compare favorably with that of the children. The ages of the children compare favorably with each other. The people and the personalities involved are compatible with each other (a pauper is not marrying a social butterfly for example). Or, do we get so excited we literally lack sufficient information to come to any conclusion but we grab the people anyway.

The result in the last case is that we have a false genealogy that takes away the fun. We hope to help the situation by sharing the value of entering sources right along with the name, dates, and places. In this way, family members can clearly define where the facts end, and new growth (which might be either garden plants or weeds) begin.

Before this can be done, however, we need to discuss the functionality of the MyTrees.com Web site for handling sources, scanned images of documents, biographies, and just about anything else you can throw our way.

How Do You Upload Your Own Notes?
How do you go about entering your own sources of information? There are actually several ways this can be done.

  • You may enter them into whatever genealogy computer program you are using and then upload a GEDCOM into Mytrees.com.
  • You may use the MyTrees online program and enter your family members and notes as you go along, one source at a time in the source notes area.
  • You may use the MyTrees online program and go back and edit the information to add notes you have forgotten in either the source notes area or the general notes area.
  • Or you may upload your new notes every day, using a gedcom update, if you want, to keep them fresh. The old version will be covered up with the new version.

In the next news letter, we will discuss more options and secrets of success brought to you by trained genealogists.

A Parting Thought
Share the bounty of your garden with others and you'll receive great gratitude and valuable plants in return. Share weeds with unsuspecting neighbors, and you'll reap weeds in return.

A Step By Step Turtoral on How To Adding or Updating your Sources and Notes
This training section will provide detailed instructions on how to

1. Setup and use a new member account,
2. Upload a new Family GEDCOM file for the first time,
3. Update and existing GEDCOM file at MyTrees.com.
4.How to Correct Notes on One Individual or Family.
5. Sharing your Family History Password with other Family Members.

FREE SERVICES - REMINDER:
Using MyTrees.com to share your family data and to update information on your family is ALWAYS FREE. In addition, when you upload a file of 15 families or 60 individuals, you will be given one month free service in the MyTrees.com Research area. Your family members may log on and see what is happening, download the data you have entered, and notify you of any changes if you give them an account main password. They may also help you data enter information if you give them another password. All these services are FREE.

If you are already registered and have a member account number, skip down to the next section. If not, please continue reading.

HOW TO REGISTER
You will need an account number so that you will be able to grant privileges and make changes to your own family.

Click on the button Register.

Under "Select Pricing Plan," click on "Free Account."

Under "Choose Registration Option", select to "Upload a GEDCOM" or "Build your Tree Online."

Fill in your complete mailing address, phone number, and email so that others interested in sharing your research interest may contact you.

Enter a password that is up to 10 characters. WRITE IT DOWN.

Click the button at the bottom to "Submit Registration"

YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER AND PASSWORD
You will now be shown your password and account number. To activate the free member services, just click on the word "Site Map" at the bottom of every page. The "Site Map" option often appears below the header on major sections of the site as well.

SITE MAP INFORMATION
From the Site Map, Free Member Services and Free Guest Services are very visible and easy to navigate. You can go to one of the following:

1. MyTrees Online Genealogy program if you don't own a genealogy computer program and would like to use this free program for entering your information.

2. Submit/update Family Tree if you currently use a genealogy computer program (either MAC, Windows or DOS based), and wish to use the powerful search engines at MyTrees.com to search for information on your family.

3. Extraction Project if you wish to earn free time to use the Kindred Konnections Research options.

4. Member Account to learn more about your personal member account, time earned on the extraction project thus far, and other options.

ENLARGING THE SCREEN FOR VIEWING
Your internet browser may need some adjusting If the entire window doesn't show up as much as you would like when viewing MyTrees.com. To do this, merely move your cursor to the very right or left border of the viewing screen and watch for the arrow to become a horizontal line. At that point hold down your left mouse button and stretch the screen to the size you would like. OR, go to the top right corner of the window and click on the box between the - sign and the X. This is the "maximize" button and will enlarge the screen.

HOW TO UPLOAD A NEW FAMILY
If you are currently using a genealogy computer program and want to share that information, just create a GEDCOM file from your program. In most programs such as Personal Ancestral File, FamilyTree Maker, Legacy, Family Origins, etc., the file button is where you start. By clicking on the file button you are taken to an option to EXPORT your information. You then select the option to export in a GEDCOM format. GEDCOM refers to Genealogical Data Communication. It is like a "translating program" between various computer languages.

Before you create your GEDCOM, set up your preferences to include or exclude information in your file. For example, if you do not want LDS ordinance data to appear on your sheets, turn off that function in your genealogy computer program preferences area. You WILL want to include your notes because this will aid in the research process so two people of the same name will not be confused. So you will want to leave that option open if you have any general or source notes included. All note types can be included on MyTrees.com See the section on NOTES for more information.

Remember the file folder and path where you have saved your GEDCOM. Write it down.

Now it is time to upload the information. Log onto www.MyTrees.com.

From the "Home" page: Click on the words "Site Map" below the MyTrees.com header.

Go to "Submit/Update Family Tree" and click on it.

If you have entered your account number and password to be saved, it will automatically appear for you. If not, type in your account # and password. NOTE: If you click the box by Save Account # and Password, you won't have to type it in each time.

Now click the "Login" button.

At the next screen click on Go to Submit/Update GEDCOM.

You will be asked to provide permission for your submission. Read the information and click "I Agree" at the bottom.

You are now on the GEDCOM File Submission page. On this page all the GEDCOM files you have entered are recorded.

If you are entering a new GEDCOM, click on the "New GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the screen. Also enter a short description of this file that will remind you of which family is being represented.

MAC User Option
If you are using a Windows program, just ignore the next step. If, however, you are using a DOS or MAC computer, click on the appropriate button so the program will accept your data with no problems.

Now you will want to tell the program where your GEDCOM file is found. This is done by clicking on the Browse button so that your own computer files will be displayed. Locate the path and the file where you placed your GEDCOM and click on it.

You should now see the path displayed in the window beside the browse button.

Click on the "Submit GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the page. Please allow time for the files to upload. When uploading is complete an acknowledgment screen will appear.

Allow Time for Creating Indexes
Allow 48 hours for all your new information to be indexed to the millions of other names in the master indexes for searching purposes. But you will still be able to perform many searches and other functions as you learn about this powerful site.

HOW TO UPDATE AN EXISTING GEDCOM FILE
If you are updating your files on your home genealogy computer program, you can easily update the files online by the following process.

Use your file export option on your existing genealogy computer program.

Before you create your GEDCOM set up your preferences to include or exclude information in your file. For example, if you do not want LDS ordinance data to appear on your sheets, turn off that function in your genealogy computer program preferences area. You WILL want to include your notes because this will aid in the research process so two people of the same name will not be confused. So you will want to leave the notes option turned on if you have any general or source notes to include. All note types can be included on MyTrees.com See the section on ENTERING NOTES for more information.

Remember the file folder and path where you have saved your GEDCOM. Write it down.

Now it is time to upload the information. Go back into www.MyTrees.com.

From the "Home" page: Click on the words "Site Map" below the MyTrees.com header.

Go to "Submit/Update Family Tree" and click on it.

If you have entered your account number and password to be saved for future use, it will automatically appear for you. If not, type in your account # and password. NOTE: If you click the box by Save Account # and Password, you won't have to type it in each time.

Now click the "Login" button.

At the account summary screen click on "Go to Submit/Update GEDCOM."

You will be asked to provide permission for your submission. Read the information and click "I Agree" at the bottom.

You are now on the GEDCOM File Submission page. On this page all the GEDCOM files you have entered are recorded.

After selecting a file, click on the button beside the file name you want to replace/update.

Go down to the "Enter description of new GEDCOM" box.

Type in a descriptive name for the file that reminds you of the family you want to update.

MAC Feature
If you are using a Windows program, just ignore the next step. If, however, you are using a DOS or MAC computer, click on the appropriate button so the program will accept your data with no problems.

Now you will want to tell the program where your GEDCOM file is found. This is done by clicking on the Browse button and your own computer files will be displayed. Locate the path and the file where you placed your GEDCOM and click on it.

You should now see it displayed in the window beside the browse button.

Click on the "Submit GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the page. Please allow time for the files to upload. When uploading is complete an acknowledgment screen will appear. You have now replaced an old GEDCOM with a new GEDCOM. It will update and put your file names into the master index within 48 hours. This allows for the upload, removal of the old file, and rebuilding of all the indexes.

You might want to create a "Family Password" so other individuals can go directly into your files and download information. They will not be able to modify your information UNLESS you give them your own member password and login number. See FAMILY PASSWORD.

HOW TO CORRECT NOTES ON ONE INDIVIDUAL
When you are in the MyTrees.com site you can touch the words "mytrees online" below the MyTrees.com banner header, and it will take you immediately to the free member services of My Trees On Line. If, on the other hand, you have just logged on to MyTrees.com, you can use the "My Trees Online" link below "FREE MEMBER SERVICES" on the left tool bar. Both will take you to the opening page of the MyTrees Online option.

Enter your account and password or just click on LOGIN if the account and password is already there.

At the Welcome page for Login Account Status your name will appear and you can click on the "Go To MY TREES ONLINE."

If you have more than one GEDCOM in your MyTrees file, you will notice that the last file you worked on will be displayed. If you want to work on a different file, click on the words "MyTrees File" in the box to the left below your Patron Name.

You now are provided with a drop down box of all your file names. Click on the down arrow to the right of the box and highlight the file you wish to work on. It will now appear in the box by itself.

Click on "Submit Selection." This new file will now appear in a pedigree view.

Notes Overview in the MyTrees Program
Now decide if you want to update 1) individual notes on a person, or 2) notes you have entered on the entire family. REMEMBER: Most genealogy computer programs do not allow a separate "family notes" area. This is one of several unique features of the MyTrees program. Rather, most programs have notes only under each individual. If you update the family notes and then take a download of your file, these family notes might be lost to whoever keeps that file. ALSO, if you ever replace the entire file with a new GEDCOM, you will overwrite all the new changes you made online and they will be lost to you. THEREFORE, determine if you want to work on line or off line. If you are working with others in the family, determine who has priority rights for uploading (and therefore replacing) older files. Or at least download a GEDCOM copy for your home use periodically, or develop your favorite system to to remind you of where the most current copy is situated.

Family Name and Family Notes
In MyTrees.com, Family Notes may be viewed by clicking on the family name (or surname). The form that comes up allows you to enter the date and place entries, to add or delete children, to add family "notes", family "biography" information, "LDS" data, and "pictures." We will focus on notes.

By clicking on the word "Notes" you are provided the Notes and Sources screen for Family Notes. In the MyTrees program source and general notes are entered and viewed in the same place. This makes it faster to search.

If you like to use event tags before your notes, they are provided for you. If you like to enter the year of the event first so that your notes can be organized chronologically to help you in your research, you may enter the year first and then click on the tag word. It will be placed into position in this manner: 1903 BIRTH: or you can type free form using the square form at the bottom.

I CANNOT SEE ANY NOTES IN MY FAMILY FILE
When the genealogy computer program used to enter notes did not provide an area for family notes to be entered, there would be none displayed when viewing the Family Record display (upon clicking the Surname).

Try the Individual display by first closing the Family Record display. (Simply click on the "close" button for the next two screens out of Family Records.) You will be at the Family Pedigree display. Now click on one of the parents, or use the drop down list to go to the children.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES WITHIN MYTREES ONLINE
When you click on the given name, you will go to the Individual Editing Menu. Once again the same options are available to add individual "notes", "biography" information on an individual, "LDS" data on an individual, and "pictures." "Pictures" can include scanned images of the actual documents as well as photos.

Click on the word "Notes" and you are provided the Notes and Sources screen for that Individual's Notes. In MyTrees.com both source and general notes are entered and viewed in the same place. If you like to use event tags before your notes, they are provided for you. If you like to enter the year of the event first so that your notes can be organized chronologically to help you in your research, you may enter the year first and then click on the tag word. It will be placed into position in this manner: 1903 BIRTH: Or you can type free form using the square form at the bottom.

The "Display Formatted Source" button is only used if you are using foreign language characters on your family.

Below this are bracketed examples of how to enter confidential notes in your files. A single bracket will NOT be shown to the general public but will allow family members using the family login option. Double bracketed notes will not be shown to family members or the general public.

Information on source images is provided as well.

The upper left hand corner as well as the bottom of the screen contains the words "Submit Update." Click those words and the information is updated.

If you decide not to update the information, click on the "Close" button in the upper right-hand corner.

FAMILY PASSWORD

Once you have uploaded a new GEDCOM, you can let your family members view your MyTrees pedigree, including living individuals, by giving them your account number and a family password. Your family members will be able to login and view your family tree, but they will not be able to change it.

Share Pictures, Stories, Information As a family member you can share pictures, stories, and information on current family events through the Family Reunion Login at MyTrees.com.

Family Members Can Download Information Your family members can download information and add information about their immediate family to share with you.

To add a family password go to "My Account" on the taskbar. Click on "Set Family Password" under the words "My Account Info", and enter your information.

Login and update your Family Password to a password different form your account password. Then submit your updated account information. Now you are ready to share your new family password, along with the current account number, to any friends or family members whom wish to view your most up to date notes and sources. Keep in mind that your private account password should be kept only by you while the family password can be given to as many people as you wish. Your account password should be different from your family password because it allows you to make updates and changes to your database, while the family password has read only access to your database.

Article written by Karen Clifford from Genealogy Research Associates. Sponsored by MyTrees.com.

Copyright ©: 2011 Karen Clifford. All rights reserved.

No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

Newsletters

Select Newsletter by Issue or Topic:

Genealogy HowTo
Issue: May 11, 2001

How To Know When You Have Found Your Ancestors
By Karen Clifford, AG, FUGA

In the last newsletter, we likened genealogy to gardening. One of the realities of most gardens is that they have weeds. In genealogy research, the counterpart to a weed is an unwarranted assumption. This newsletter will cover how to tell the difference between budding plants and unwanted weeds, or, in other words, how to tell where the facts leave off and assumptions begin.

It should be evident to even the novice gardener that a weed does not qualify being nurtured and passed on to friends just because the leaves are green and it appeared among the other plants in the garden. It is the actual planted items that are worth giving. There is something special about those people who are willing to share and receive information on the Internet from family members. They really CARE!

The Care Formula
Telling plants from weeds requires careful examination of each sprout. Likewise in genealogy with assumptions springing up like persistent weeds, careful examination is required of each individual. How can we know, for example, that the John Smith who is listed on our pedigree chart, is the same John Smith that was listed in the will of William Smith as his son John? Or how can we know if the Leonard Jones in the federal census, is the same as the Leonard Jones in our family records? We know by careful examination of the information that establishes a person's identity. The aspects we must examine in this new "sprout" include:

  • the individual's complete name including nicknames, variant spellings, and aliases
  • names of his or her family members (mother, father, siblings, spouse, children)
  • names of his or her associates
  • dates of events in the life of the individual
  • places in which these events occurred
  • established relationships between individuals

Qualified genealogists recommend that we never assume that a relationship exists between two people on a pedigree chart merely on the basis of their name and age without intensive investigation of the documents which lead up to that conclusion. A relationship isn't really established until you have multiple indicators (or more than one witness) supporting that conclusion. Multiple sources must be obtained to provide substantial evidence before you can assume this is a plant you want to keep.

You know how excited you can get when you find that little piece of information that just cements the family together. This happens when someone has taken the time to give you the information you need-the sources necessary to prove the link.

For example, you see that the identifying information elements previously cited are consistent with each record. You see that the ages of the parents compare favorably with that of the children. The ages of the children compare favorably with each other. The people and the personalities involved are compatible with each other (a pauper is not marrying a social butterfly for example). Or, do we get so excited we literally lack sufficient information to come to any conclusion but we grab the people anyway.

The result in the last case is that we have a false genealogy that takes away the fun. We hope to help the situation by sharing the value of entering sources right along with the name, dates, and places. In this way, family members can clearly define where the facts end, and new growth (which might be either garden plants or weeds) begin.

Before this can be done, however, we need to discuss the functionality of the MyTrees.com Web site for handling sources, scanned images of documents, biographies, and just about anything else you can throw our way.

How Do You Upload Your Own Notes?
How do you go about entering your own sources of information? There are actually several ways this can be done.

  • You may enter them into whatever genealogy computer program you are using and then upload a GEDCOM into Mytrees.com.
  • You may use the MyTrees online program and enter your family members and notes as you go along, one source at a time in the source notes area.
  • You may use the MyTrees online program and go back and edit the information to add notes you have forgotten in either the source notes area or the general notes area.
  • Or you may upload your new notes every day, using a gedcom update, if you want, to keep them fresh. The old version will be covered up with the new version.

In the next news letter, we will discuss more options and secrets of success brought to you by trained genealogists.

A Parting Thought
Share the bounty of your garden with others and you'll receive great gratitude and valuable plants in return. Share weeds with unsuspecting neighbors, and you'll reap weeds in return.

A Step By Step Turtoral on How To Adding or Updating your Sources and Notes
This training section will provide detailed instructions on how to

1. Setup and use a new member account,
2. Upload a new Family GEDCOM file for the first time,
3. Update and existing GEDCOM file at MyTrees.com.
4.How to Correct Notes on One Individual or Family.
5. Sharing your Family History Password with other Family Members.

FREE SERVICES - REMINDER:
Using MyTrees.com to share your family data and to update information on your family is ALWAYS FREE. In addition, when you upload a file of 15 families or 60 individuals, you will be given one month free service in the MyTrees.com Research area. Your family members may log on and see what is happening, download the data you have entered, and notify you of any changes if you give them an account main password. They may also help you data enter information if you give them another password. All these services are FREE.

If you are already registered and have a member account number, skip down to the next section. If not, please continue reading.

HOW TO REGISTER
You will need an account number so that you will be able to grant privileges and make changes to your own family.

Click on the button Register.

Under "Select Pricing Plan," click on "Free Account."

Under "Choose Registration Option", select to "Upload a GEDCOM" or "Build your Tree Online."

Fill in your complete mailing address, phone number, and email so that others interested in sharing your research interest may contact you.

Enter a password that is up to 10 characters. WRITE IT DOWN.

Click the button at the bottom to "Submit Registration"

YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER AND PASSWORD
You will now be shown your password and account number. To activate the free member services, just click on the word "Site Map" at the bottom of every page. The "Site Map" option often appears below the header on major sections of the site as well.

SITE MAP INFORMATION
From the Site Map, Free Member Services and Free Guest Services are very visible and easy to navigate. You can go to one of the following:

1. MyTrees Online Genealogy program if you don't own a genealogy computer program and would like to use this free program for entering your information.

2. Submit/update Family Tree if you currently use a genealogy computer program (either MAC, Windows or DOS based), and wish to use the powerful search engines at MyTrees.com to search for information on your family.

3. Extraction Project if you wish to earn free time to use the Kindred Konnections Research options.

4. Member Account to learn more about your personal member account, time earned on the extraction project thus far, and other options.

ENLARGING THE SCREEN FOR VIEWING
Your internet browser may need some adjusting If the entire window doesn't show up as much as you would like when viewing MyTrees.com. To do this, merely move your cursor to the very right or left border of the viewing screen and watch for the arrow to become a horizontal line. At that point hold down your left mouse button and stretch the screen to the size you would like. OR, go to the top right corner of the window and click on the box between the - sign and the X. This is the "maximize" button and will enlarge the screen.

HOW TO UPLOAD A NEW FAMILY
If you are currently using a genealogy computer program and want to share that information, just create a GEDCOM file from your program. In most programs such as Personal Ancestral File, FamilyTree Maker, Legacy, Family Origins, etc., the file button is where you start. By clicking on the file button you are taken to an option to EXPORT your information. You then select the option to export in a GEDCOM format. GEDCOM refers to Genealogical Data Communication. It is like a "translating program" between various computer languages.

Before you create your GEDCOM, set up your preferences to include or exclude information in your file. For example, if you do not want LDS ordinance data to appear on your sheets, turn off that function in your genealogy computer program preferences area. You WILL want to include your notes because this will aid in the research process so two people of the same name will not be confused. So you will want to leave that option open if you have any general or source notes included. All note types can be included on MyTrees.com See the section on NOTES for more information.

Remember the file folder and path where you have saved your GEDCOM. Write it down.

Now it is time to upload the information. Log onto www.MyTrees.com.

From the "Home" page: Click on the words "Site Map" below the MyTrees.com header.

Go to "Submit/Update Family Tree" and click on it.

If you have entered your account number and password to be saved, it will automatically appear for you. If not, type in your account # and password. NOTE: If you click the box by Save Account # and Password, you won't have to type it in each time.

Now click the "Login" button.

At the next screen click on Go to Submit/Update GEDCOM.

You will be asked to provide permission for your submission. Read the information and click "I Agree" at the bottom.

You are now on the GEDCOM File Submission page. On this page all the GEDCOM files you have entered are recorded.

If you are entering a new GEDCOM, click on the "New GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the screen. Also enter a short description of this file that will remind you of which family is being represented.

MAC User Option
If you are using a Windows program, just ignore the next step. If, however, you are using a DOS or MAC computer, click on the appropriate button so the program will accept your data with no problems.

Now you will want to tell the program where your GEDCOM file is found. This is done by clicking on the Browse button so that your own computer files will be displayed. Locate the path and the file where you placed your GEDCOM and click on it.

You should now see the path displayed in the window beside the browse button.

Click on the "Submit GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the page. Please allow time for the files to upload. When uploading is complete an acknowledgment screen will appear.

Allow Time for Creating Indexes
Allow 48 hours for all your new information to be indexed to the millions of other names in the master indexes for searching purposes. But you will still be able to perform many searches and other functions as you learn about this powerful site.

HOW TO UPDATE AN EXISTING GEDCOM FILE
If you are updating your files on your home genealogy computer program, you can easily update the files online by the following process.

Use your file export option on your existing genealogy computer program.

Before you create your GEDCOM set up your preferences to include or exclude information in your file. For example, if you do not want LDS ordinance data to appear on your sheets, turn off that function in your genealogy computer program preferences area. You WILL want to include your notes because this will aid in the research process so two people of the same name will not be confused. So you will want to leave the notes option turned on if you have any general or source notes to include. All note types can be included on MyTrees.com See the section on ENTERING NOTES for more information.

Remember the file folder and path where you have saved your GEDCOM. Write it down.

Now it is time to upload the information. Go back into www.MyTrees.com.

From the "Home" page: Click on the words "Site Map" below the MyTrees.com header.

Go to "Submit/Update Family Tree" and click on it.

If you have entered your account number and password to be saved for future use, it will automatically appear for you. If not, type in your account # and password. NOTE: If you click the box by Save Account # and Password, you won't have to type it in each time.

Now click the "Login" button.

At the account summary screen click on "Go to Submit/Update GEDCOM."

You will be asked to provide permission for your submission. Read the information and click "I Agree" at the bottom.

You are now on the GEDCOM File Submission page. On this page all the GEDCOM files you have entered are recorded.

After selecting a file, click on the button beside the file name you want to replace/update.

Go down to the "Enter description of new GEDCOM" box.

Type in a descriptive name for the file that reminds you of the family you want to update.

MAC Feature
If you are using a Windows program, just ignore the next step. If, however, you are using a DOS or MAC computer, click on the appropriate button so the program will accept your data with no problems.

Now you will want to tell the program where your GEDCOM file is found. This is done by clicking on the Browse button and your own computer files will be displayed. Locate the path and the file where you placed your GEDCOM and click on it.

You should now see it displayed in the window beside the browse button.

Click on the "Submit GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the page. Please allow time for the files to upload. When uploading is complete an acknowledgment screen will appear. You have now replaced an old GEDCOM with a new GEDCOM. It will update and put your file names into the master index within 48 hours. This allows for the upload, removal of the old file, and rebuilding of all the indexes.

You might want to create a "Family Password" so other individuals can go directly into your files and download information. They will not be able to modify your information UNLESS you give them your own member password and login number. See FAMILY PASSWORD.

HOW TO CORRECT NOTES ON ONE INDIVIDUAL
When you are in the MyTrees.com site you can touch the words "mytrees online" below the MyTrees.com banner header, and it will take you immediately to the free member services of My Trees On Line. If, on the other hand, you have just logged on to MyTrees.com, you can use the "My Trees Online" link below "FREE MEMBER SERVICES" on the left tool bar. Both will take you to the opening page of the MyTrees Online option.

Enter your account and password or just click on LOGIN if the account and password is already there.

At the Welcome page for Login Account Status your name will appear and you can click on the "Go To MY TREES ONLINE."

If you have more than one GEDCOM in your MyTrees file, you will notice that the last file you worked on will be displayed. If you want to work on a different file, click on the words "MyTrees File" in the box to the left below your Patron Name.

You now are provided with a drop down box of all your file names. Click on the down arrow to the right of the box and highlight the file you wish to work on. It will now appear in the box by itself.

Click on "Submit Selection." This new file will now appear in a pedigree view.

Notes Overview in the MyTrees Program
Now decide if you want to update 1) individual notes on a person, or 2) notes you have entered on the entire family. REMEMBER: Most genealogy computer programs do not allow a separate "family notes" area. This is one of several unique features of the MyTrees program. Rather, most programs have notes only under each individual. If you update the family notes and then take a download of your file, these family notes might be lost to whoever keeps that file. ALSO, if you ever replace the entire file with a new GEDCOM, you will overwrite all the new changes you made online and they will be lost to you. THEREFORE, determine if you want to work on line or off line. If you are working with others in the family, determine who has priority rights for uploading (and therefore replacing) older files. Or at least download a GEDCOM copy for your home use periodically, or develop your favorite system to to remind you of where the most current copy is situated.

Family Name and Family Notes
In MyTrees.com, Family Notes may be viewed by clicking on the family name (or surname). The form that comes up allows you to enter the date and place entries, to add or delete children, to add family "notes", family "biography" information, "LDS" data, and "pictures." We will focus on notes.

By clicking on the word "Notes" you are provided the Notes and Sources screen for Family Notes. In the MyTrees program source and general notes are entered and viewed in the same place. This makes it faster to search.

If you like to use event tags before your notes, they are provided for you. If you like to enter the year of the event first so that your notes can be organized chronologically to help you in your research, you may enter the year first and then click on the tag word. It will be placed into position in this manner: 1903 BIRTH: or you can type free form using the square form at the bottom.

I CANNOT SEE ANY NOTES IN MY FAMILY FILE
When the genealogy computer program used to enter notes did not provide an area for family notes to be entered, there would be none displayed when viewing the Family Record display (upon clicking the Surname).

Try the Individual display by first closing the Family Record display. (Simply click on the "close" button for the next two screens out of Family Records.) You will be at the Family Pedigree display. Now click on one of the parents, or use the drop down list to go to the children.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES WITHIN MYTREES ONLINE
When you click on the given name, you will go to the Individual Editing Menu. Once again the same options are available to add individual "notes", "biography" information on an individual, "LDS" data on an individual, and "pictures." "Pictures" can include scanned images of the actual documents as well as photos.

Click on the word "Notes" and you are provided the Notes and Sources screen for that Individual's Notes. In MyTrees.com both source and general notes are entered and viewed in the same place. If you like to use event tags before your notes, they are provided for you. If you like to enter the year of the event first so that your notes can be organized chronologically to help you in your research, you may enter the year first and then click on the tag word. It will be placed into position in this manner: 1903 BIRTH: Or you can type free form using the square form at the bottom.

The "Display Formatted Source" button is only used if you are using foreign language characters on your family.

Below this are bracketed examples of how to enter confidential notes in your files. A single bracket will NOT be shown to the general public but will allow family members using the family login option. Double bracketed notes will not be shown to family members or the general public.

Information on source images is provided as well.

The upper left hand corner as well as the bottom of the screen contains the words "Submit Update." Click those words and the information is updated.

If you decide not to update the information, click on the "Close" button in the upper right-hand corner.

FAMILY PASSWORD

Once you have uploaded a new GEDCOM, you can let your family members view your MyTrees pedigree, including living individuals, by giving them your account number and a family password. Your family members will be able to login and view your family tree, but they will not be able to change it.

Share Pictures, Stories, Information As a family member you can share pictures, stories, and information on current family events through the Family Reunion Login at MyTrees.com.

Family Members Can Download Information Your family members can download information and add information about their immediate family to share with you.

To add a family password go to "My Account" on the taskbar. Click on "Set Family Password" under the words "My Account Info", and enter your information.

Login and update your Family Password to a password different form your account password. Then submit your updated account information. Now you are ready to share your new family password, along with the current account number, to any friends or family members whom wish to view your most up to date notes and sources. Keep in mind that your private account password should be kept only by you while the family password can be given to as many people as you wish. Your account password should be different from your family password because it allows you to make updates and changes to your database, while the family password has read only access to your database.

Article written by Karen Clifford from Genealogy Research Associates. Sponsored by MyTrees.com.

Copyright ©: 2011 Karen Clifford. All rights reserved.

No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

Newsletters

Select Newsletter by Issue or Topic:

Genealogy HowTo
Issue: May 11, 2001

How To Know When You Have Found Your Ancestors
By Karen Clifford, AG, FUGA

In the last newsletter, we likened genealogy to gardening. One of the realities of most gardens is that they have weeds. In genealogy research, the counterpart to a weed is an unwarranted assumption. This newsletter will cover how to tell the difference between budding plants and unwanted weeds, or, in other words, how to tell where the facts leave off and assumptions begin.

It should be evident to even the novice gardener that a weed does not qualify being nurtured and passed on to friends just because the leaves are green and it appeared among the other plants in the garden. It is the actual planted items that are worth giving. There is something special about those people who are willing to share and receive information on the Internet from family members. They really CARE!

The Care Formula
Telling plants from weeds requires careful examination of each sprout. Likewise in genealogy with assumptions springing up like persistent weeds, careful examination is required of each individual. How can we know, for example, that the John Smith who is listed on our pedigree chart, is the same John Smith that was listed in the will of William Smith as his son John? Or how can we know if the Leonard Jones in the federal census, is the same as the Leonard Jones in our family records? We know by careful examination of the information that establishes a person's identity. The aspects we must examine in this new "sprout" include:

  • the individual's complete name including nicknames, variant spellings, and aliases
  • names of his or her family members (mother, father, siblings, spouse, children)
  • names of his or her associates
  • dates of events in the life of the individual
  • places in which these events occurred
  • established relationships between individuals

Qualified genealogists recommend that we never assume that a relationship exists between two people on a pedigree chart merely on the basis of their name and age without intensive investigation of the documents which lead up to that conclusion. A relationship isn't really established until you have multiple indicators (or more than one witness) supporting that conclusion. Multiple sources must be obtained to provide substantial evidence before you can assume this is a plant you want to keep.

You know how excited you can get when you find that little piece of information that just cements the family together. This happens when someone has taken the time to give you the information you need-the sources necessary to prove the link.

For example, you see that the identifying information elements previously cited are consistent with each record. You see that the ages of the parents compare favorably with that of the children. The ages of the children compare favorably with each other. The people and the personalities involved are compatible with each other (a pauper is not marrying a social butterfly for example). Or, do we get so excited we literally lack sufficient information to come to any conclusion but we grab the people anyway.

The result in the last case is that we have a false genealogy that takes away the fun. We hope to help the situation by sharing the value of entering sources right along with the name, dates, and places. In this way, family members can clearly define where the facts end, and new growth (which might be either garden plants or weeds) begin.

Before this can be done, however, we need to discuss the functionality of the MyTrees.com Web site for handling sources, scanned images of documents, biographies, and just about anything else you can throw our way.

How Do You Upload Your Own Notes?
How do you go about entering your own sources of information? There are actually several ways this can be done.

  • You may enter them into whatever genealogy computer program you are using and then upload a GEDCOM into Mytrees.com.
  • You may use the MyTrees online program and enter your family members and notes as you go along, one source at a time in the source notes area.
  • You may use the MyTrees online program and go back and edit the information to add notes you have forgotten in either the source notes area or the general notes area.
  • Or you may upload your new notes every day, using a gedcom update, if you want, to keep them fresh. The old version will be covered up with the new version.

In the next news letter, we will discuss more options and secrets of success brought to you by trained genealogists.

A Parting Thought
Share the bounty of your garden with others and you'll receive great gratitude and valuable plants in return. Share weeds with unsuspecting neighbors, and you'll reap weeds in return.

A Step By Step Turtoral on How To Adding or Updating your Sources and Notes
This training section will provide detailed instructions on how to

1. Setup and use a new member account,
2. Upload a new Family GEDCOM file for the first time,
3. Update and existing GEDCOM file at MyTrees.com.
4.How to Correct Notes on One Individual or Family.
5. Sharing your Family History Password with other Family Members.

FREE SERVICES - REMINDER:
Using MyTrees.com to share your family data and to update information on your family is ALWAYS FREE. In addition, when you upload a file of 15 families or 60 individuals, you will be given one month free service in the MyTrees.com Research area. Your family members may log on and see what is happening, download the data you have entered, and notify you of any changes if you give them an account main password. They may also help you data enter information if you give them another password. All these services are FREE.

If you are already registered and have a member account number, skip down to the next section. If not, please continue reading.

HOW TO REGISTER
You will need an account number so that you will be able to grant privileges and make changes to your own family.

Click on the button Register.

Under "Select Pricing Plan," click on "Free Account."

Under "Choose Registration Option", select to "Upload a GEDCOM" or "Build your Tree Online."

Fill in your complete mailing address, phone number, and email so that others interested in sharing your research interest may contact you.

Enter a password that is up to 10 characters. WRITE IT DOWN.

Click the button at the bottom to "Submit Registration"

YOUR ACCOUNT NUMBER AND PASSWORD
You will now be shown your password and account number. To activate the free member services, just click on the word "Site Map" at the bottom of every page. The "Site Map" option often appears below the header on major sections of the site as well.

SITE MAP INFORMATION
From the Site Map, Free Member Services and Free Guest Services are very visible and easy to navigate. You can go to one of the following:

1. MyTrees Online Genealogy program if you don't own a genealogy computer program and would like to use this free program for entering your information.

2. Submit/update Family Tree if you currently use a genealogy computer program (either MAC, Windows or DOS based), and wish to use the powerful search engines at MyTrees.com to search for information on your family.

3. Extraction Project if you wish to earn free time to use the Kindred Konnections Research options.

4. Member Account to learn more about your personal member account, time earned on the extraction project thus far, and other options.

ENLARGING THE SCREEN FOR VIEWING
Your internet browser may need some adjusting If the entire window doesn't show up as much as you would like when viewing MyTrees.com. To do this, merely move your cursor to the very right or left border of the viewing screen and watch for the arrow to become a horizontal line. At that point hold down your left mouse button and stretch the screen to the size you would like. OR, go to the top right corner of the window and click on the box between the - sign and the X. This is the "maximize" button and will enlarge the screen.

HOW TO UPLOAD A NEW FAMILY
If you are currently using a genealogy computer program and want to share that information, just create a GEDCOM file from your program. In most programs such as Personal Ancestral File, FamilyTree Maker, Legacy, Family Origins, etc., the file button is where you start. By clicking on the file button you are taken to an option to EXPORT your information. You then select the option to export in a GEDCOM format. GEDCOM refers to Genealogical Data Communication. It is like a "translating program" between various computer languages.

Before you create your GEDCOM, set up your preferences to include or exclude information in your file. For example, if you do not want LDS ordinance data to appear on your sheets, turn off that function in your genealogy computer program preferences area. You WILL want to include your notes because this will aid in the research process so two people of the same name will not be confused. So you will want to leave that option open if you have any general or source notes included. All note types can be included on MyTrees.com See the section on NOTES for more information.

Remember the file folder and path where you have saved your GEDCOM. Write it down.

Now it is time to upload the information. Log onto www.MyTrees.com.

From the "Home" page: Click on the words "Site Map" below the MyTrees.com header.

Go to "Submit/Update Family Tree" and click on it.

If you have entered your account number and password to be saved, it will automatically appear for you. If not, type in your account # and password. NOTE: If you click the box by Save Account # and Password, you won't have to type it in each time.

Now click the "Login" button.

At the next screen click on Go to Submit/Update GEDCOM.

You will be asked to provide permission for your submission. Read the information and click "I Agree" at the bottom.

You are now on the GEDCOM File Submission page. On this page all the GEDCOM files you have entered are recorded.

If you are entering a new GEDCOM, click on the "New GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the screen. Also enter a short description of this file that will remind you of which family is being represented.

MAC User Option
If you are using a Windows program, just ignore the next step. If, however, you are using a DOS or MAC computer, click on the appropriate button so the program will accept your data with no problems.

Now you will want to tell the program where your GEDCOM file is found. This is done by clicking on the Browse button so that your own computer files will be displayed. Locate the path and the file where you placed your GEDCOM and click on it.

You should now see the path displayed in the window beside the browse button.

Click on the "Submit GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the page. Please allow time for the files to upload. When uploading is complete an acknowledgment screen will appear.

Allow Time for Creating Indexes
Allow 48 hours for all your new information to be indexed to the millions of other names in the master indexes for searching purposes. But you will still be able to perform many searches and other functions as you learn about this powerful site.

HOW TO UPDATE AN EXISTING GEDCOM FILE
If you are updating your files on your home genealogy computer program, you can easily update the files online by the following process.

Use your file export option on your existing genealogy computer program.

Before you create your GEDCOM set up your preferences to include or exclude information in your file. For example, if you do not want LDS ordinance data to appear on your sheets, turn off that function in your genealogy computer program preferences area. You WILL want to include your notes because this will aid in the research process so two people of the same name will not be confused. So you will want to leave the notes option turned on if you have any general or source notes to include. All note types can be included on MyTrees.com See the section on ENTERING NOTES for more information.

Remember the file folder and path where you have saved your GEDCOM. Write it down.

Now it is time to upload the information. Go back into www.MyTrees.com.

From the "Home" page: Click on the words "Site Map" below the MyTrees.com header.

Go to "Submit/Update Family Tree" and click on it.

If you have entered your account number and password to be saved for future use, it will automatically appear for you. If not, type in your account # and password. NOTE: If you click the box by Save Account # and Password, you won't have to type it in each time.

Now click the "Login" button.

At the account summary screen click on "Go to Submit/Update GEDCOM."

You will be asked to provide permission for your submission. Read the information and click "I Agree" at the bottom.

You are now on the GEDCOM File Submission page. On this page all the GEDCOM files you have entered are recorded.

After selecting a file, click on the button beside the file name you want to replace/update.

Go down to the "Enter description of new GEDCOM" box.

Type in a descriptive name for the file that reminds you of the family you want to update.

MAC Feature
If you are using a Windows program, just ignore the next step. If, however, you are using a DOS or MAC computer, click on the appropriate button so the program will accept your data with no problems.

Now you will want to tell the program where your GEDCOM file is found. This is done by clicking on the Browse button and your own computer files will be displayed. Locate the path and the file where you placed your GEDCOM and click on it.

You should now see it displayed in the window beside the browse button.

Click on the "Submit GEDCOM" button at the bottom of the page. Please allow time for the files to upload. When uploading is complete an acknowledgment screen will appear. You have now replaced an old GEDCOM with a new GEDCOM. It will update and put your file names into the master index within 48 hours. This allows for the upload, removal of the old file, and rebuilding of all the indexes.

You might want to create a "Family Password" so other individuals can go directly into your files and download information. They will not be able to modify your information UNLESS you give them your own member password and login number. See FAMILY PASSWORD.

HOW TO CORRECT NOTES ON ONE INDIVIDUAL
When you are in the MyTrees.com site you can touch the words "mytrees online" below the MyTrees.com banner header, and it will take you immediately to the free member services of My Trees On Line. If, on the other hand, you have just logged on to MyTrees.com, you can use the "My Trees Online" link below "FREE MEMBER SERVICES" on the left tool bar. Both will take you to the opening page of the MyTrees Online option.

Enter your account and password or just click on LOGIN if the account and password is already there.

At the Welcome page for Login Account Status your name will appear and you can click on the "Go To MY TREES ONLINE."

If you have more than one GEDCOM in your MyTrees file, you will notice that the last file you worked on will be displayed. If you want to work on a different file, click on the words "MyTrees File" in the box to the left below your Patron Name.

You now are provided with a drop down box of all your file names. Click on the down arrow to the right of the box and highlight the file you wish to work on. It will now appear in the box by itself.

Click on "Submit Selection." This new file will now appear in a pedigree view.

Notes Overview in the MyTrees Program
Now decide if you want to update 1) individual notes on a person, or 2) notes you have entered on the entire family. REMEMBER: Most genealogy computer programs do not allow a separate "family notes" area. This is one of several unique features of the MyTrees program. Rather, most programs have notes only under each individual. If you update the family notes and then take a download of your file, these family notes might be lost to whoever keeps that file. ALSO, if you ever replace the entire file with a new GEDCOM, you will overwrite all the new changes you made online and they will be lost to you. THEREFORE, determine if you want to work on line or off line. If you are working with others in the family, determine who has priority rights for uploading (and therefore replacing) older files. Or at least download a GEDCOM copy for your home use periodically, or develop your favorite system to to remind you of where the most current copy is situated.

Family Name and Family Notes
In MyTrees.com, Family Notes may be viewed by clicking on the family name (or surname). The form that comes up allows you to enter the date and place entries, to add or delete children, to add family "notes", family "biography" information, "LDS" data, and "pictures." We will focus on notes.

By clicking on the word "Notes" you are provided the Notes and Sources screen for Family Notes. In the MyTrees program source and general notes are entered and viewed in the same place. This makes it faster to search.

If you like to use event tags before your notes, they are provided for you. If you like to enter the year of the event first so that your notes can be organized chronologically to help you in your research, you may enter the year first and then click on the tag word. It will be placed into position in this manner: 1903 BIRTH: or you can type free form using the square form at the bottom.

I CANNOT SEE ANY NOTES IN MY FAMILY FILE
When the genealogy computer program used to enter notes did not provide an area for family notes to be entered, there would be none displayed when viewing the Family Record display (upon clicking the Surname).

Try the Individual display by first closing the Family Record display. (Simply click on the "close" button for the next two screens out of Family Records.) You will be at the Family Pedigree display. Now click on one of the parents, or use the drop down list to go to the children.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES WITHIN MYTREES ONLINE
When you click on the given name, you will go to the Individual Editing Menu. Once again the same options are available to add individual "notes", "biography" information on an individual, "LDS" data on an individual, and "pictures." "Pictures" can include scanned images of the actual documents as well as photos.

Click on the word "Notes" and you are provided the Notes and Sources screen for that Individual's Notes. In MyTrees.com both source and general notes are entered and viewed in the same place. If you like to use event tags before your notes, they are provided for you. If you like to enter the year of the event first so that your notes can be organized chronologically to help you in your research, you may enter the year first and then click on the tag word. It will be placed into position in this manner: 1903 BIRTH: Or you can type free form using the square form at the bottom.

The "Display Formatted Source" button is only used if you are using foreign language characters on your family.

Below this are bracketed examples of how to enter confidential notes in your files. A single bracket will NOT be shown to the general public but will allow family members using the family login option. Double bracketed notes will not be shown to family members or the general public.

Information on source images is provided as well.

The upper left hand corner as well as the bottom of the screen contains the words "Submit Update." Click those words and the information is updated.

If you decide not to update the information, click on the "Close" button in the upper right-hand corner.

FAMILY PASSWORD

Once you have uploaded a new GEDCOM, you can let your family members view your MyTrees pedigree, including living individuals, by giving them your account number and a family password. Your family members will be able to login and view your family tree, but they will not be able to change it.

Share Pictures, Stories, Information As a family member you can share pictures, stories, and information on current family events through the Family Reunion Login at MyTrees.com.

Family Members Can Download Information Your family members can download information and add information about their immediate family to share with you.

To add a family password go to "My Account" on the taskbar. Click on "Set Family Password" under the words "My Account Info", and enter your information.

Login and update your Family Password to a password different form your account password. Then submit your updated account information. Now you are ready to share your new family password, along with the current account number, to any friends or family members whom wish to view your most up to date notes and sources. Keep in mind that your private account password should be kept only by you while the family password can be given to as many people as you wish. Your account password should be different from your family password because it allows you to make updates and changes to your database, while the family password has read only access to your database.

Article written by Karen Clifford from Genealogy Research Associates. Sponsored by MyTrees.com.

Copyright ©: 2011 Karen Clifford. All rights reserved.

No reproduction of this article may be used without the express written permission of the author.

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