Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

2 New Tools at “My Heritage”

I have learned that genetic DNA is no magic tool to solving those Brick Walls in our family trees. It is tedious work.
I took my DNA test with 23andme.com 6 years ago. My sister tested with AncestryDNA.com and 23andme.com. We’ve had our brother, and a cousin tested at FamilyTreeDNA.com. Then I won a free kit from MyHeritage.com so we had another cousin tested. I really have been working to sort through the myriad of matches. At the same time learning the different tools to help in my quest.
This week I discovered two new tools on My Heritage DNA matches.


One is called “AutoClusters”. My Heritage is trying to make working with DNA matches easier. Each DNA “AutoCluster” is a grouping of your matches that also match to most or all others in that cluster and are all likely related on the same ancestral line. According to My Heritage

“This new tool was developed in collaboration with Evert-Jan Blom of GeneticAffairs.com, based on technology that he created, further enhanced by the MyHeritage team.”

My Heritage is a subscription based website. If you have tested with My Heritage and already subscribe, or did not test with My Heritage but want to upload your raw DNA Data and use their sources you may find this helpful.
To use this tool you must be a subscriber, then you can begin access at My Heritage.com website:

  • Start with the DNA drop down menu near the top of the page, by clicking on “DNA Tools”.

  • A new tools page opens. In the middle of the page is the AutoClusters icon and the “Explore” button, click on the “Explore” button.

  • On the left side of AutoClusters page is a “Generate” button. Go ahead and click on it.

  • Once the clusters are generated you will receive an email.
    The email will include a zip file. Save the file. I went ahead and saved it under my genealogy, DNA file on my Personal Computer. This file I update periodically to my online storage file for backup.
    There are three files included in the zip file. One is a spreadsheet (CSV), another is a html file and the third is a Read Me .pdf. Start with the Read me file.

  • When you open the html file it will open in your browser. The top part of the page is a really cool graphic that each time you open it sorts through and assembles the matches into the colorful clusters.
  • Now scroll down to “AutoClusters Information”. From here you can click the name in a Cluster that will take you back to the Review DNA Match page for that individual or you can click on the tree data amount and it will take you directly to their tree.
  • Reviewing the clusters I found that most clusters were groups of immediate family members of one of your matches. and as a result if there was not a tree (1) for one there was also no tree for all of them.
  • Known Relative matches in a single cluster can help you identify the family line for that cluster.

The Theory of Relativity

This second tool is called the theory of relativity

This is a notation that may appear at the top of your DNA matches page.

The idea is that the more users connect data  through My Heritage to their family trees the search engines will use those connections in finding possible family connections to those DNA matches. My Heritage emphasizes these are only theories and therefore no connections can be assumed. Both parties will need extensive trees and sources connected to those trees and the connections can only be as accurate as the member trees.

At this time I do not have any sources connected to my tree on My Heritage therefore I was unable to access this new tool.

If you have any questions please comment below. Hope this was of interest.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Tis’ the season to look forward to the promise of the future and celebrate the traditions from the past. In reviewing my blogs I see that the most visited blog continues to be Krebble or Grebble..

Krebbles or Grebbles

An old German family recipe that came to our family through my husband’s Volga German line.

They look festive enough for holidays and special occasions. Would love to hear from those who have tried this and liked it as much as my husband and I.

My second most popular post was when I compared Family Tree Maker and Roots Magic.

Roots Magic Screen Shot

With all the changes in both programs I am considering a second look at both programs. If you are really happy with one or the other I would love to hear why you like like either Roots Magic or Family Tree maker. Sometimes it’s just the little things that keep us using a particular program.


FTM Screen shot

Or maybe it was just something the others did not offer at the time.

I look forward to hearing from you.

My plans for the future are to keep doing what I love, working, researching and

digging up family relatives.



31 Days to Better Genealogy by Amy Johnson Crow is a posting of daily suggestions with “tips, tricks and resources for discovering more” in researching your family history. On day 21 Amy suggestes exploring Genealogy Societies. I had checked out Genealogy Societies at different times when I lived in other areas. So I was not unaware of the resources often found through the local societies, but I am new to the Pacific Northwest and decided that I need to explore what was going on in my new locale, so I took her up on her suggestion. I immediately found several workshops that I could attend within a couple of hours drive and a society that meets on Saturday, very close by. Since I still try to work 5 days a week that was an important factor. So I joined the Jefferson County Genealogical Society and registered for those workshops that were of interest. The first one was in Chehalis,  Researching Your Irish & Scots-Irish Ancestors by the Ulster Historical Foundation, Belfast, Northern Ireland, presented through the Lewis County Genealogical Society.  I came away with lots to do and yet not really too inspired for a blog posting.

Todays workshop was on writing, specifically Writing Family Stories by Wendy Call.

Okay I have been posting my family stories for about 2 years, and I am just now looking at this? Maybe if someone wrote my story it would be that Ada always jumped in feet first then went to work to figure it out.

Writers always seem to say they are writing for themselves but that’s not realistic, otherwise why make your writing public. My goal for todays workshop was to learn how to connect to the reader with the story.  I found that Wendy Call was an engaging instructor who gave us some tools to use and then  an opportunity to write through several interesting exercises. I would definitely recommend her workshop to others.

One of the writing exercise from todays workshop was that we had to list on individual index cards 6 things we were curious about today and six things that we were curious about as a small child. We randomly picked one from each pile. We then had to write how they connected, using free writing or stream of consciousness.  In other words, start writing and do not stop until time is called.

Question: Am I related to the Founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth?

Question: Why couldn’t I have a kitten?

It seemed that every summer my sister and I went to Davis and stayed with my grandparents. There were a lot, and I mean A LOT, of feral cats there. It was a large chicken ranch. There was one large brooder house and at least 4 large hen houses, a huge two story barn, the pump house, with an apartment attached, and a pole barn that was used as a garage. Grandpa allowed the cats to remain to keep the mice population in check. While staying with my grandparents the first thing Madeleine and I did was to go out to the barn and find the new litter of kittens that Grandma was sure were there just waiting for us to discover. Maybe this was a ploy to keep us occupied and entertained on our first afternoon at the ranch. I always loved the kittens and wanted one at home too. But Mom always told me that Dad didn’t like cats (odd since after us kids all left home Dad got himself a cat).

Now one of the other ways to entertain us was Grandma would tell us stories. Some of those stories were about who we were related to. Over the years I heard various names but one that especially resonated with me was that we were related to the founder of the Salvation Army. It seems that my grandmother’s mother was a Booth and William Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army. While staying with our grandparents there would often be a trip to the Salvation Army Thrift Shop in Woodland where Grandma would glean treasures. Grandma would put on her white gloves and hat to go into town. She would say how she was patronizing the Salvation Army because she was related to the original founder. Her treasures where crystal dishes, real Silverware, and real woolen sweaters.

Now this is a rather incomplete story but you might see where I was going with this. That both of these things that I was and am curious about stem from the great memories I have of my time with my grandparents during those idyllic summer days.


Looking at Family Tree Maker and Roots Magic

IMG_0990This is my third blog in my third year of blogging. In reviewing what I have done I have to thank Amy Johnson Crow and the challenge that I had been following for the first two years. 52 Ancestors in the first year was to try and write about one ancestor each week. I did pretty good. Life only got in the way a few times. This past year was a new challenge theme each week. That gave me direction and a schedule to try and meet. I was not always so successful and life interfered more often. This year I will need to find a new challenge. Please email me, any suggestions on topics would be greatly appreciated.

Todays topic is about my changing over from Family Tree Maker software program to the Roots Magic software program. Since Family Tree Maker is going away ( I assume you are aware that Ancestry who owns Family Tree Maker now has made the decision to stop updates and will discontinue support in 2017).  I decided to change my genealogy software to Roots Magic.  I Am not getting rid of my Family Tree Maker (FTM)  program yet! The reason for changing was due more with my unhappiness with FTM  problems that I had been having and had never been able to solve with FTM support team. There were several things about FTM that I really liked including being able to print a Bow Tie chart on my 24×36 inch plotter.

FTM Bow Tie chart

FTM Bow Tie chart

Roots Magic (RM) does not have the bow tie chart option. I also like the older FTM 2012, people, family page. That is where I work most of the time. (Click on images to enlarge)

FTM Screen shot

FTM Screen shot

I read many discussions on other blogs about the discontinuation of FTM. I remember starting out on DOS with the “Dollarhide” program. My first windows program was FTM. It seems like every time I changed computers I had to get new software. I have tried other programs including Master Genealogy. When Ancestry tied their site to FTM I decided to stick with them.  Currently I work on Windows 7 platform and will not change to Windows 10 because I am still using my Excel 2013 program and I know that when I go to  Windows 10 I will have to go to the cloud and Microsoft 360. This may be the trend of the future to have everything in the cloud but I would rather rely on my own system, especially since I live in an area that has dubious internet capabilities.  Yes change is part of life and adaption is one of our great capabilities. So for me it looks like I will try to adapt to the new Roots Magic until I find something I like better.

Remember when we could go to the computer store and stand there and read on the different boxes exactly what the software did. Now we go to some website and try to compare them or read someones blog about them. I waste more time and end up buying nothing. Or we have to go to the online app store for an app. For me this is a little better because at least I can read the reviews from those who have download the app and either praise it or dish it.

Roots Magic Screen Shot

Roots Magic Screen Shot

In RM (Roots Magic) when I experiment with a chart or report I have to close it out to reset something. On FTM you can make changes to the chart or report while viewing the way the chart will look. That I find very convenient.

FTM Family group sheet

FTM Family group sheet

RM Family Group Sheet

RM Family Group Sheet






I have become use to the way FTM family group sheet looks. I find the RM family group sheet hard to read. (I know I like more white space in my reports)

The report I could no longer use on FTM due to a bug that could never be resolved was the Descendants Report.

FTM Descendants Report

FTM Descendants Report

RM Descendants Report

RM Descendants Report







On the FTM report if you could look close enough you would see that all the birth dates are Nov. 1 2012. That is the glitch. While on the RM Descendants Report (same data base) the birth dates are correct.

This is not a review, just a comparison of some features of Roots Magic and Family Tree Maker.

Is there another program you like and how do these items compare?



Recap – The first year

February 16, 2014 I posted my first blog. The past year has been busy. I have continued to work for Duncan Engineering remotely as we moved from California to Washington State.

The Move

The Move

I have continued to design individual homes for clients. I have become an active member of Soroptimist International of Greater North Kitsap.

We traveled to South Dakota to visit family last summer and family visited us here in our new home several times through the past 12 months. My sister and I traveled to Salt Lake City to do genealogy research at the Family History Library, and I was still able to post 47 blogs during those 52 weeks.
Thanks to all of you who have been following this blog. Some, new to me, cousins have contacted me through this blog. It has been very exciting for me to make these contacts. Thank you for reaching out. Other family members and first cousins and once removed cousins are also following and I really appreciate your support. And a special thanks to those who found something in my blog and decided to follow.
My goals in starting my blog were two fold, 1. share my family stories with my family and 2 get my genealogy in some order.
What I have learned in this past year;
#1 how to maintain a blogging schedule,
#2 blogging about my ancestors has given me the opportunity to proof my research one individual at a time,
#3 I found where my file system needs improvement,
#4 I discovered where I had skipped individuals completely.
#5 family members I never knew,
#6 many new helpful and inspiring sites that are on the Internet, and
#7 connecting with collateral relatives has shown me that I need to revamped the way I pursue relatives.
Initially my goal when I started genealogy was to get our lines back as far as possible, where my sisters goal was to find when each family line came to this country. Now I am looking at more down line ancestors finding those contemporaries whose interest in genealogy we share.
I would love for those who are following my blogs to let me know which blogs you especially liked, and what you would like to see more of in this next year.

Tag Cloud

ARK Design

Send more cards.

The Armchair Genealogist

Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Tales of a Family

Finding my Way Home

Vita Brevis

A resource for family history from AmericanAncestors.org

Amy Johnson Crow

Modern Genealogy Made Easy

Ancestry Blog

Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: