Your Quick Tips

Check for Corner Markers
When visiting cemeteries in search of long-lost relatives, check to see if the particular cemetery used corner markers to mark the lots of families. Local cemeteries in some areas of southwestern Ohio have lots marked at the four corners with the initials of the primary owner. Sometimes you may discover a “new” family member buried within the lot alongside more familiar names.

Cheryl Jordan

Dual Monitors
I work in an insurance agency and recently had a second computer monitor installed on my computer. The second monitor is set up as an “extended desktop.” This enables me to work on a client file while viewing other information on the extended desktop. Information can quickly be transferred from one screen to another using the cut and paste function. It took a couple of days to get used to the second monitor, but soon I was thinking of how useful a second monitor would be for genealogical research on or on the Web.

My home computer recently crashed and I decided to transfer my genealogy files to my laptop computer. (All my files were backed up on CDs.) Since my flat screen monitor was no longer being used, I decided to see if it could be connected to the laptop. My work computer required a new video card to connect the second monitor, but my laptop did not need any additional hardware to use a secondary monitor.

To set up the second monitor, connect the second monitor to the computer. Right-click on the desktop and choose “Settings” then “Properties.” There should be two monitor icons. Drag the monitor icons to match the physical arrangement of the monitors. Click on the secondary monitor icon and check the box “Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor.” I am using my flat screen monitor as my primary monitor, and the laptop monitor as my secondary monitor. The laptop is to the right of the flat screen monitor. It is easier on the eyes if both monitors are on the same level.

Using the extended desktop allows me to open Family Tree Maker and drag it to the extended desktop on the laptop for viewing. (The screen has to be minimized using the middle icon on the top right hand corner of the screen before dragging it to the extended desktop.) I then open a Web browser that appears on the primary monitor. When I find something at or on the Web, I can quickly compare the information to my family file.

Another use of the extended desktop is for recording information I find on the Web. I have a separate research journal in Microsoft Word format for each family line I am searching. I can open the research journal, drag it to the extended desktop, and then copy and paste information from websites into the research journal without having to minimize the Web page. I record the Web address by copying and pasting it into the Word document so I can return to the Web page by clicking the “link” automatically created in the Word document when I paste the Web address. If I later decide to use this information in my Family File, I can just copy and paste it from the document into the notes.

I have scanned many old family photos to be added to the Scrapbook in Family Tree Maker. I found adding photos to the Scrapbook to be very easy with the extended desktop. I open the file with my photos on the primary monitor, choose the photo to insert, right-click and copy it, then go to Family Tree Maker and paste the photo into the Scrapbook.

I believe I will find more ways to use the extended desktop to make my genealogical research more efficient.
Teresa McGowin

Initials in the Census
In searching census enumerations, I’ve found using an initial rare, but when all else fails it sometimes works, especially if the person is an apprentice, patient, or prisoner.

Leaving out all names and using place names also works at times. I found a SMALLPAGE family quite by chance as the index listed them as “Sinallfoge,” and it was only by using place name with nothing else that I found this family.

This is trickier in the 1841 census, where my GREATHEAD family continue to have amazing variations in interpretation, Ger* and Cre* being two alternatives under which they were indexed.

Kind regards,
Ann Shuttleworth

If you have a suggestion you would like to share with other researchers, send it to: Thanks to all of this week’s contributors!

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2 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips

  1. To enlarge on Teresa McGowin’s tip on using two monitors: If only one monitor is available, it is possible to display two separate program on one screen at the same time, and switch from one program to the other, or copy between them. To do this, open both programs. With one on the screen, go to the minimized one on the lower bar, right-click it, and choose whether you want it and the other displayed vertically (side by side) or horizontally. It works beautifully, but you do have a much smaller field for each program than if you had two monitors. (This works with Windows XP — don’t know about the other versions.

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