While scrolling down list after list of individuals with the very same name, I discovered a helpful tool. I subscribe to the Google Toolbar, and it has a highlighter as one of its tools. In the search box associated with the toolbar, I place pertinent info, such as, the birth year, death year, maybe the state initials, or any other info I deem helpful. I do not click in the search bar, but instead allow the highlighter to go to work. If it finds any info corresponding to what I have in the search box, it will highlight the info. I would imagine Yahoo has the same arrangement. It truly does help immensely.
Cleaning Up Shared GEDCOMS
We all know how important it is to have a source for our information and to share our findings with others in our family. When I started ten years ago, if I found someone with a lot of my ancestors, I would ask for their GEDCOM file and merge it into my file immediately, with no source info, many duplicates, misspelled places, and with their formats for sources, place names, etc.
I later learned the importance of having consistent sources. I had to clean up several source citations that only read, â€œI have original birth or death certificate.â€ After spending several weeks putting sources with every fact in my file, I have a new way of approaching a new GEDCOM or FTM file.Â
When I get a new file, I save it with the family name (e.g., John Smith). Then I save it again named â€œJohn Smith-cleaned.â€ In the cleaned file I delete duplicates, and add a source to every name, fact, and note in the file. I also make sure that all the place names are in the same format, city, county, state, country, and that the spelling is consistent (not Ft. Worth, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; or Fort Worth TX).
After I have done all this, I then merge it with my file. Not only is it easier to do this in a smaller file, it also helps you to get familiar with the new names and places in their file.
It also helps you decide on other research to do. I make a list of people more than 100 years old to check for death records. After I have merged the file, I also back up their original and cleaned file onto CD to clear up space on my hard drive.
Garden City, Kansas, US
Back Up Digital Photographs
Hereâ€™s some advice to those using digital cameras based on bitter experience. Please remember to make separate back-up copies of all your camera uploads. I use USB memory sticks that can be easily updated. A bonus is that you can take your photos with you when visiting other people and give an impromptu slide show.
If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: mailto:email@example.com. Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!
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