Category Archives: How To

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.


Things to Remember when you go to your local Family History Center

Some of our MoCoGenSo members volunteer at the local Monterey Family History Center (FHC).  We see lots of different people over the years and it is always a pleasure to help newcomers get their feet wet!  Ancestors are free at the FHC 🙂

But many folks forget the same things when they come to a FHC for the first time.

  • Bring a flash drive. Call it a thumb drive or USB stick, whatever.  If you do find something on our computers, you can print it of course.  But if you have a thumb drive, you can take a digital copy with you!  And share it and print it many times. The FHC does NOT supply USB sticks.
  • Bring or remember the passwords for your Email and for your Ancestry.com account or your FamilySearch account (or any other account you need help with). If we help you create a FamilySearch account, it will send an email to you for verification.  You either need to have your cell phone or your password!  Likewise, if we help you download your DNA data file, you will need your email access.
  • Bring something (paper, charts, notes, etc.) that has the BMD information for the ancestors (or their close relatives) you are researching. BMD is Birth, Marriage, Death, The info needed is name, date & place. Bring whatever you have, but don’t bring original records.

Bring those things with you and your visit will go more smoothly!


”Failure to plan is planning to fail.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez


Counting SNPs in a raw data file with Excel

At the DNA Sig meeting in May 2019, I showed an Excel file containing my MyHeritage Raw Data file with a table of quantities of SNPs per Chromosome.  Some people wanted to know how to do the same for their data.  I am finally getting around to telling how.

To do this requires a few steps.

  • Download your data file from your provider.
  • Uncompress the ZIP file.  Usually the raw file is a CSV file.
  • Import the CSV file into Excel
  • Delete the first few descriptor lines.
  • Put column headings into the file.
  • Save the file as an Excel file
  • Create a NAME Range over the Chromosome column.  In the snapshot below, I created a NAME called ALLDATA which covered all of my data. Do whatever is easier for you.
  • Manually create column F, called CHROM below, which contains just a number for each Chromosome.  You will need 1-22.
  • In column G, called COUNT below,, use the COUNTIF function over the NAME Range (ALLDATA) to count the associated value in column F. Copy that formula down through the 22 rows.
  • Add a SUM at the bottom of column G to verify totals

It is harder to write this how-to post than it is to do the actual tally.  If you have a spreadsheet program with a COUNTIF function, go ahead, do it for your data.  If you have tested at multiple companies, you could compare totals for each!  Enjoy…