Category Archives: How To

Downloading a GEDCOM from Ancestry and using it elsewhere

Roberta Estes has written a useful post on her blog DNAeXplained about how to download a GEDCOM from your Ancestry.com tree and then uploading it to other sites; includes uploading to FTDNA, MyHeritage and GedMatch.

This is a very good how-to if you have never done this. See the post here:

Download Your Ancestry Tree and Upload It Elsewhere for Added Benefit


Free Online Consultations by FamilySearch

Jo Ann Robinson, Director of the local Monterey California Family History Center, reminded us the other day about a service provided by the Salt Lake City Family History Library. Quoting from her:

In these challenging times, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City is making it a bit easier for you to find your ancestors. They are offering free, 20-minute consultations to help you with your personal research questions, using Microsoft Teams for remote meetings.

Click Here to find out how to use this service: FHL WIKI

The Wiki article provides videos about using Microsoft Teams. It is pretty easy. If you are having trouble with a persnickety ancestor, give it a try.

See other ways you can get assistance at the: Family History Guide

Genetic Affairs has AutoPedigree

Why is it that the virus makes it harder to get things done? Again, I find myself just sitting around, trying to catch up with the next Netflix series….

MyHeritage gave me another suggestion to fix my issues with Theory of Relativity after uploading a new gedcom tree that did not work. Arghh, I get tired telling them that didn’t work either. It is too bad they are so shorthanded that they can’t actually test a suggestion before they feed it to customers. I’m reaching the point that I will stop recommending MyHeritage to newbies.

Roberta Estes wrote a post last week about a new Genetic Affairs product called AutoPedigree that sounded so interesting that I finally tried it.

I’ve always been nervous about the way Genetic Affairs saves your Ancestry or FTDNA account log-on passwords. And there is a fee that requires a credit card. Barbara Ray-Venter recommended it two years ago, but I was just squeamish about it. It took Roberta to push me over the edge (and the fact that I finally had a real unknown in my family). If you have unknown parentage issues in your family, this could be a great tool for you. Be sure to read the post. I will talk a little about it during the next DNA Discussions group. It is really quite slick!

Roberta’s post on the blog DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy can be found here:
CLICK for DNAeXplained


“God forbid we should be 20 years without a rebellion … What country can preserve its liberties if the rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?.” – Thomas Jefferson


Great post at DNAeXplained

Just sittin’ around, trying to add more cousins to the family trees of my wife and self. The easy fruit was picked last year, now it is slow and well, the truth is, you see, I sometimes try to prepare things to talk about in the next DNA Discussions group using my own searching as the backdrop. Trying to explain it to someone else somehow makes it easier. I said “somehow”, it really isn’t easier.

Now then, I don’t really believe in esp nor mind reading nor any of that sort. I did pay money to see Uri Geller bend spoons once, but those days are over. But today perhaps I will revisit the idea that clairvoyance or premonitions actually do exist. For you see, Roberta Estes just wrote a wonderful blog post about the very things I was trying to teach myself these past few weeks! She did a much better job than I could ever do. In fact, I might print her current posting and study it hard! I might be able to actually find that missing father in our family!

The latest post on the blog DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy is all about Chromosome Browsers, Triangulation, and the like with real examples and comparisons of the different companies and links to almost all kinds of genetic sleuthing.

CLICK HERE for DNAeXplained

If you are serious about using your DNA test results to find out more about your relatives, then you really need to visit the above linked post. We might even have a quiz about it at the next DNA Discussions group! 🙂

We (DNA Discussions) are looking for volunteers to present about things you recently discovered.  If interested, send an email to jim.mocogenso@gmail.com.


“Find the job you would want if you didn’t have to work. Don’t sleepwalk through life. You really want to be doing what you love. And you can’t necessarily find it on your first job, but don’t give up until you find it.” – Warren Buffett


Where to download PAF 5.2 from the Internet in 2020

Some people still use PAF (Personal Ancestral File).  If you are one of them and need a new copy for one reason or another, say perhaps buying a new computer, you can still download a copy —  if you know where.  Here are two places that I trust.  They only have PAF 5.2, which is the last version.

Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group

http://www.svcgg.org/pages/downloads.html

Parowan

http://www.parowansoftware.com/


Uploading Gedcoms into FamilySearch

The following information has not been tested by me. But, as a volunteer at the Monterey Family History Center, the question about uploading gedcom files into FamilySearch.org comes up once in a while. I never know how to answer, some of my coworkers say Yes, some say No. In a message site the other day, the subject came up and a couple of links were posted as well as some advice. I have decided to share this information here (before I forget where I saw it!)

Kitty Cooper wrote about this subject 6 years ago, and updated it last year. See here:

How to add a GEDCOM to familysearch.org

Family Search themselves wrote about this subject. Here is the real story:

https://www.familysearch.org/help/salesforce/viewArticle?urlname=Uploading-GEDCOM-Files-and-Copying-the-Information-to-Family-Tree&lang=en

Tim Janzen gave me this wise counsel on the message board:

This is probably best done by people who have ancestries that are not currently very well represented in the FS Family Tree. I think that for most people the best thing to do is to find their grandparents or great grandparents in the tree and then add the genealogical data one fact at a time. I am frequently correcting errors in the tree made by people who uploaded GEDCOMs into the tree and did so in a very sloppy manner resulting in unnecessary duplicates that “cleaners” like me have to merge and get rid of after doing some careful research about the situation.

In any case, the FS Family Tree is a wonderful tool for genetic genealogists. If FamilySearch ever starts integrating genetic data into the tree it will be even more wonderful than it currently is. I learned at RootsTech that about 16 million new people are being added to the tree each month.


”The Internet is making smart people smarter and dumb people dumber.” – Kevin Drum


Things to do: revised

Genealogists who know a bit about history know that the Spanish Flu was not the end of the world.  Many of our ancestors and older cousins lived through that period!  It is import for our children and grandchildren to be told that life will go on through this covid-19 virus period too.

RootsMagic has a “Who Was There”report that is a slick way to find people who lived and died during the Spanish Flu period (Jan 1918 – Dec 1920).   The report will show people who lived in that time, if even for a short time.  Some people lived through the period, some were born during it, and some died during it.  (Please note that not everyone died of the flu, some were killed in the war, some died of “old age” and some had accidents.)

The report can be output to a text file and then imported into a spreadsheet for further  manipulation.  Just note that the file is TAB delimited.

New Basic Genealogy Support Group Starting Up

Come join us, and learn to be a better family genealogist. Bring your questions or problems about your family tree, specific software or websites. We will solve it together.

Some people have very specific reasons for tracing their family tree. Others jump into family history research without giving it much thought, some want to include their family & children in the process. Knowing why people research their ancestors can be a source of inspiration and support for genealogists. This can be particularly important when the inevitable roadblocks and brick walls become a factor. What motivates the broader genealogy community is also helpful in understanding the future direction of ancestral research.


“Success is where preparation met opportunity.” – Neil Armstrong


The Best RSS Readers and News Aggregation Apps

I saw this blog posting about the RSS Reader called Feedly on Dick Eastman’s Blog 16 Oct 2019 and thought it was important enough to share here. Besides, I too use Feedly. It is the only way I can keep up with the rapid changes regarding DNA testing and genealogy!

“I have written before about the many advantages of using RSS Newsreaders to quickly and easily find articles of interest published on dozens, even hundreds, of web sites that interest you, including the EOGN.com web site. You can find my earlier articles about RSS Newsreaders by starting at: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=site%3Aeogn.com+newsreader&t=brave&ia=web.

Brendan Hesse has posted an article that I think everyone should read: The Best RSS Readers and News Aggregation Apps. (I found this article by using my favorite RSS Newsreader, of course.) As Brendan writes, “Without further ado, here are the best RSS readers/news aggregators, plus a few alternatives for good measure.”

I also noted that he claims that Feedly is the best RSS Newsreader available today. I cannot say that I have tested as many newsreaders as Brendan Hesse has, but I will say that I have been using Feedly for several years and am pleased with it.

First of all, Feedly is a cloud-based newsreader that does not require any software installation in your computer. It works equally well on Windows, Macintosh, Chromebook, Android, Linux and Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) systems. It is also super simple to use.

Feedly has three versions: FREE, Pro, and Team.

The FREE version contains ads, the Pro version is ad-free and allows the user to follow an unlimited number of sources. The Team version is for use by corporate teams; I cannot imagine any individual consumer ever needing the Team version.

Of course, Feedly isn’t the only product available. You might prefer something else. You can read a lot more in Brendan Hesse’s article in the Lifehacker web site at: https://tinyurl.com/eogn19-10-16.

Also, see my earlier article, Is It Time to Try a Newsreader?, at: https://blog.eogn.com/2018/03/29/is-it-time-to-try-a-newsreader/.”


The above article is from and is copyrighted by the Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter at blog.eogn.com. Many thanks go to Dick Eastman for his continued support of the genealogy world.