Putnam/ Dougherty family genealogy

Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Organizing your DNA Matches

William Westfall

J. E. Dougherty









Do you see a relationship?

In school they said that writing down what you are trying to learn will help imprint the information on your brain. That is often what I am doing when I write my blog. Currently I am trying to organize my family DNA Matches. Sorting out all these DNA matches is very tedious work. My list of matches has become unwieldy. Here are my screen shots of each of the websites. (Click on the images to enlarge.) I have blocked out the names of my matches and other identification info.

ada 23 and Me = 1173 matches

mm Ancestry = 820 4th cousins or closer

Doc# 1 –Family Tree DNA =604 on Family Finder and only 28 on the y67

ada My Heritage = 12,400

ada gedmatch  = 3000

Like me some of these matches have their DNA on more then one site. I would say that the total matches are probably closer to 5000 different individuals. Still, way too many. As with any project I’ve taken on, I try not to get overwhelmed by the tasks, but focus on the process, and take it one step at a time.

My objective with my DNA results are two fold.


  1. Determine who William Lyle Dougherty was.
  2. Complete the Dougherty/Putnam tree back to include all 4x great grandparents (64 family names).

The first objective may be the most difficult, so along the way I hope to solve who a few of the unknown 64 ancestors where.

On our Paternal line, the Putnam side of the tree, we were only missing one couple of the 3x great grandparents. Madeleine, my sister, has been doing a marvelous job on that line.

  • Our 3x great grandmother Julia Marsh had been a stumbling block for years until I was contacted by one of my DNA matches on gedmatch, In looking through my DNA matches list of ancestors the only names that  were familiar were Marsh and Crissey. That was all that had been listed on Julia’s death certificate, “Father: Marsh”- “Mother: Crissey”. No first names. Julia’s birth place had been listed as being in several different states in various records so without a first name it was near impossible to determine who her parents were. but with the help of this DNA match we were able to finally give first names to Julia’s mother (Hannah Crissey or Cressey) and father (Augustus Marsh) and complete that side of our tree for our 32 which lead us to sources that showed Augustus Marsh’s parents as Samuel Marsh and Abigail Briggs and we now have leads on Hannah’s parents.

On Our Maternal Line, the Dougherty side, which I mostly work on, I have not been so lucky. I have 4 holes in the 3x great grandparents.

  • Joseph Ferguson’s mother is unknown and while his father is supposed to be a David Ferguson MD of Dublin Ireland I have not proven that yet.
  • Also Joseph Fergusons first wife was a Mary Agnes Hall. Her mother was supposedly an “Ester Hall” and her father was listed on her death certificate as Lambert. Those two have not been found, nor the reason Mary Agnes went by Hall instead of Lambert….? Many questions there that might be solved by DNA.
  • Then there is my William L. Dougherty, my mothers fathers line. It stops with Wiliiam who is my 2x great grandfather.


Determine how you are going to keep track.

Determine how best for you to keep track of each of those matches. Spreadsheets can be down loaded from most of these sites. Some sites allows you to add notes to your individual matches. Some researchers use Evernote, others may prefer pad and pencil. Me, I love spreadsheets.

Look at the Closest Matches

You probably know those first few matches. Maybe you even bought the DNA Kit for them.

  • Indicate actual relationship (ie. Sister)
  • Note most recent common ancestor (ie. Booth/Robinson) I also color code for quick reference.
  • Record shared cMs (centimorgans) across segments (ie. 2886 cMs across 42 segments)

Determine relationship

On the next closest match that is a total stranger (ie. ‘match A’) look to determine their relationship to you. This is where the real detective work comes into play.

  • How may centimorgans (cMs) do you match? (Click on image to enlarge to estimate relationship.)
  • What is their surname? Sometimes the surname is the obvious connection. But you still need to verify the relationship. Even when the surname is not common like Smith or Jones we still need to verify the relationship.
  • Do they have a tree or an ancestor list? As done with discovering the match that tied in with Julia Marsh. Look for names that appear in both trees.
  • No tree? Look for trees elsewhere. If they are on Ancestry maybe the tree has not been connected to their DNA  or is private. If you are on gedmatch.com, check if they have a gedcom file.
  • Look for the next closest match to both you and ‘match A’ using the DNA website for triangulation (FamilyTreeDna.com), shared common matches, or clusters (MyHeritage.com). These tools may give you leads to others that do have trees or ancestry lists that will help identify your relationships.
  • Contact the person who is listed as manager of the DNA match.
Message to DNA match

There are lots of suggestions out there on how to get responses to your email to a DNA match. The reason your matches do not have a presence on their DNA website maybe because

  • They are not looking for the same kind of information from their DNA test that you are looking for.
  • Life has gotten in their way.
  • They do not have any information.
  • etc.

Be mindful of all these reasons when you trying to contact them.

Utilizing clusters, triangulation, and/or shared matches you may need to build a dummy tree. The Genealogy Girl has a blog on how to use Ancestry.com to do that. She calls it a Master Match Tree. You most likely can also do it on MyHeritage.com or even on a poster board. I used Ancestry.com, they will give you potential hints as you build out the tree that you can consider.

I’m thinking that if your eyes haven’t glazed over you are probably ready for a break. I know that after 3 hours of searching for common ancestors I’m ready to call it quits.

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.


Working with DNA matches

I did my spitting in the tube way back in 2013. At that time ‘23 and me’ was my choice for my DNA testing company. I had read all of Bryan Sykes books. Starting with “The Seven Daughters of Eve” And was inspired to take my genealogy to the next level. At that time I had been doing Family History for 27 years and had reached the point where I was looking for means of addressing my ‘brick walls’. After five years there are so many more companies jumping into the DNA pool. The most prominent ones include, 23 and Me, Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, My Heritage, and National Geographic. AncestryDNA touts they have tested a total 9 million. while 23 and Me in has tested 5 million with My Heritage and Family Tree DNA following in the numbers.¹ It is Big Business!

What do these numbers mean for the genealogist that is trying to solve brick walls through genetic DNA.

As more individuals test the chances of solving family questions increases.

Questions to ask:

  • Where in the world will I find the answers to my questions?
  • Are large numbers testing in that region?
  • How many of those 15 million + individuals that took a DNA test did so for reasons other then genealogy discoveries?

What percentage just did it to find out if they really were of a certain ethnic group like Native American, Italian, or say Irish.  That means a percentage of your matches may not have any information such as trees, family names and or family locations attached, or when attempting to contact them for more information they never respond or their response is less then helpful.

The large companies are diligently working to grow their numbers. You see their ads everywhere, especially around the holidays. This is good for business and may increase their numbers to improve their algorithms. But without just a few hints from those signing up, of how they may be related to you (family names and/or locations), just being identified as ‘third to fifth cousin’ does next to nothing to help you solve those questions in your family tree.

My Plan

  • Identify matches that are related to my maternal 2x great grandfather
  • identify their ancestors.
  • Identify location in 1846 and prior.
  • Identify the connection.

Genetically I have three male cousins, a brother, plus two sisters. Those are my closest, oldest known living relatives. Not much there for solving my ‘brick walls’.

All my cousins are on my mothers side of the family, luckily that is where my questions are. One cousin on my mothers line tested for us with Family Tree DNA, that was a yDNA test. My brother also did a yDNA test with Family Tree DNA for us.

Now one of my sisters has tested at Ancestry DNA as well as 23 and me. And another cousin  ( also a cousin to the first cousin) has been tested with My Heritage for us.

  • We recently had the yDNA kits upgraded to include autosomal.
  • I uploaded results from different testing companies to gedmatch.
  • I download from 23 and me to an Excel spreadsheet the data for my matches.
  • I downloaded from gedmatch to another Excel spreadsheet the data for the matches. Some matches were repeats.

So now the tedious task of identifying the family line to attach my matches to.

I’m a very visual person, I like using colors to identify family lines.


  • Blue for paternal line
  • Red for maternal line
  • On my spread sheets I added a column for family line.

  • Identify all known matches and then enter the family name in the newly created column.
  • Determine colors and highlight for all lines represented to date on you spreadsheet using the color code.  (I only color code the first column.)

  • Enter on DNA Painter  the known matches, using your color choices.

23 and me and gedmatch allow you to do comparisons of one to many and many to many. Now this may help you identify a few more lines. If you match subject A on chromosome 12  a large segment from say point c to l and subject B matches both you and  subject A within that same segment somewhere between c to l, does this mean that I can now add them to that line, maybe, but let’s do a little more due diligence.

Do they have a tree on gedmatch?

if they do not you may still be able to find a tree online.

On gedmatch the kit number for your matches indicate the source testing company.

M = 23 and me original (new kits have to be uploaded to gedmatches genius series.)

T = Family Tree DNA

A=Ancestry DNA

H = My Heritage

If you have a subscription to either Ancestry or My Heritage you may be able find their tree on line. If you also tested on the same site you will have access to their tree if it is  public. If not one of the clues may be the name they associate their data to. Often we use the same name or email handle across all formats.

Find their tree and or a list of names on their tree.

  • Look for names that also appear in your tree.
  • If they are a 3x to 5x cousin check location for their 2x to 4x great grandparents if determinable.
  • Contact them to determine and establish relationship.


  • Just because they have a Ferguson in their line and you have one on your maternal side also, does not mean they are one of your Ferguson’s. They could actually be genetically related to you on your paternal line. Do not be quick to jump to conclusions. Look to see who else they match that you match.
  • When you have two matches that also match each other, check further they may not relate to each other on the same line. Similar to above but their relationship is just coincidental.
  • Again do your due diligence.

Progress on my objective?

 Objective in Identify the maternal yDNA line, in order to determine who genetically our 2nd great grandfather was.

  • All the matches I have identified to date are mostly on my Paternal line.
  • Those on my maternal line to date are on my mothers mothers line.
  • I have tried contacting by email 2  third cousins on my family tree from the maternal y line. No response.
  • No success in Identifying any second cousin relationships on this line.
  • Yay! Found and solved one brick wall on my Paternal line.

I could use a few suggestions from you on how I might proceed.



Brick wall help from local genealogical society

If you have not gotten evolved with you local society I would encourage you to do so. They can provide you with great resources, workshops, and discussion groups.

Every year JCGS (Jefferson County Genealogical Society) works on “Brick Walls”. Members submit their brick walls, then a few experienced members review and research the submitted problems. The findings along with a workshop on brick walls is presented at a regular meeting six months later.

This morning I was driving to the monthly local genealogy society meeting, hoping that there would be some specific help for me on my George Jones “brick wall”.  I had submitted “Who were George Jones parents and where was he born?”

George was my 3x great grandfather. Of course I had provided them with what I knew and what I had already researched. I had been having trouble from the very start. Finding George’s first name had been my first stumbling block. I thought once I knew his name I would be able to solve it all. False optimism. That was about 20 years ago. I would like to move on to the previous generation………I have to remind myself, “baby steps”.

Today’s workshop began by walking us through some hints on approaching those brick walls. 

Where to start.

  • Identify your question.
  • Review what is “Known” and the supporting documents.
  • Prepare a time line of facts
  • Layout a research plan

The question 

Try to state the problem in a single objective.  


Sometimes we look at the same document and focus only on what we initially learned and miss some hint. Do not overlook friends, acquaintances, and neighbors (FAN club). Who were the witnesses at a marriage, or godparents at a christening, neighbors on the census or in deeds?

Put the information from the documentation in a timeline. 

What documents are missing? What relevant documents will fill in the gaps and provide pertinent  information.

  •  Censuses – national, state, non population, veteran, etc.
  • City Directories
  • Immigration, migration
  • Church records, marriage, christening, etc.
  • Local court records, deeds, probate, guardianships, naturalization, arrest, etc.

The plan…..

What was happening in this time frame: wars, epidemics, disasters, industrialization, migration, political upheaval that may have affected your family.

Where are the records kept for the, area/areas you subject lived: Parish, courthouse, estate, state, national archives, local libraries, local Historical groups, etc.

Start with the immediate family and work outward. Use a spread sheet to organize the FAN club

Follow ALL the children not just your line. Parents often show up in their adult children’s homes later in their lives, or in the same town. How many of your friends have moved to be closer to their children and grandchildren. One of my ancestors moved from Cambridge , Massachusetts to California gold country to be nearer their daughter and her family when they were in their 70’s (between 1870 & 1877)

Break it into small pieces. Do not overwhelm yourself. Concentrate on one thing at a time. if you are looking for date of death, where were they last. Where were their children in the next record. Check those areas after you have exhausted where they were last known to be located.

So now that I have heard and summarized for myself on how to work on those pesky “ brick walls” I was anxious to hear the problems the society had taken on to attempt to solve. The first three presentations were reviewed and the findings were presented, I listened but kept wondering “what did they discover for me?”. Then they came to mine. A quick summary of the question and then lots of suggestions on where I should look. 

No answers? But a George Jones (19 July 1855) in the New York Herald index to marriages and deaths Vol.1 1835-1855. Something to definitely check out.

Each contributor was given a file with a report on what was done and what was found and where to go next. 

This summary of their search will be great going forward. It also illustrates that fresh eyes on the subject can help you in evaluating what you may be doing, right or wrong. While they did not answer my question I have their input and suggestions to continue my own search.

Top Two Genealogy Forms + cheat sheet

Today I want to share with you, the forms I use the most to help me.  You will also find them on the new forms page.

The First one I am providing today is my Mini Group Sheet it is tablet (5.5″x 8.5″) size and I use it as a work sheet. If I am finding lots of families in the records (such as the Parish records in a specific area) with the same last name. I might start keeping track of these families on these sheets. Later I will review this information with other source information(i.e. Census, marriage records, etc.) to develop family relationships.  I like to color code my family group sheets so I have these forms in Blue and Red.  Be sure that you have your printer set on color otherwise its just black and white.. You will find there are two to a page and you can simply cut apart.

Family group sheet mini

The Second form is a Document Log  check sheet. I create a new one for each individual when I first start researching an individual. This is a log of all the records or documents that I have on file for each individual. Each record or document is filed behind or with this log. This will let me know at a glance where the holes in my research are and what areas I need to focus on next. I have also provided blue, red, green and orange logs if you too would like them.


There are tricks to remember what the relationship is between two individuals with a common ancestor. If the common ancestor for both individuals a:

  • great grandparent ~then they are 2nd Cousins,
  • 2x great grandparent ~then they are 3rd Cousins,
  • 3x great grandparents~ then they are 4th cousins,
  • 4x ~ 5th cousins, etc.
  • but how about those generations once or twice removed.

That gets a little more difficult. so here is my cheat sheet for you. Click here

If you can print in color I encourage you to do so.

Steps to determine relationship between 2 individuals with a common ancestor.

  1. Find relationship of 1st individual to the common ancestor in the far right hand column above the common ancestor box
  2. Find the relationship of the 2nd individual to the common ancestor in the far right hand column below the  common ancestor box.
  3. Follow the path across and down to where the 1st relationship meets the second relationships row. That intersecting box is the relationship of the two individuals.

Feel free to use any or all of these forms and share. I will be adding others from time to time. If you are following me I will let you know as I add more.

Backup your Genealogy

This past week I took a look at Google Drive. I have been very reluctant to use the “cloud” for my genealogy. I live in an area were internet service can be lost for long periods of time . But my day job has been dealing with clients that have lost their homes this past year in the devastating California wild land fires. It has made me rethink my backup systems for my genealogy. There are lots of different sources out there. I have a Dropbox and ICloud accounts but have not taken the time to utilize either for my genealogy files. I keep seeing all these online webinars for using Google Drive and decided to check it out.

Google Drive is available free to Gmail users. Instead of taking one of those webinar courses I daily get notices for, I decided to google “Google Drive” and found quite a few on YouTube.

I was impressed with:

  • 15GB free storage with each Google account.
  • synchronizing files across multiple devices.
  • manage file sharing
  • document files to .pdfs
  • .pdfs to .doc files
  • Create new documents
  • create new spreadsheets
  • Create slides
  • change text images to text documents.

Using my Google account

  1. I clicked on the “google apps” button in the upper right hand corner.
  2. Clicked on the google drive icon.
  3. From there I followed the steps to create a free google drive account.
  4. Once the account was created, I created a file for genealogy.
  5. On the left hand side is an “Add New”  button. Clicking on this allowed me to import my folder &/or files from the hard drive to Google Drive.
  6. Once uploaded…. Here is what I especially liked. You will notice that the folder has files that are colored. Using the color coding I can quickly find the surnames in my paternal line (blue) or my maternal line (red).

Click on image to enlarge for a clearer image.

  1. To add color to the file image right click on the file icon
  2. Click on change color. You have lots of choices. Click on one.
  3. You have now color coded that file.

You could use a different system  but I want to try this for a while. I now have all my genealogy files available to me on my Ipad, and my smart phone by downloading the Google Drive app.

Now you can work on your files from Google Drive. If you are like me and do not like or are unable to work online you will need to schedule when you will manually update your files on Google Drive.


WDYTYA ~ Seeking William L. Dougherty descendants

Who do you think you are? Does this really change after you do a little genealogy research? How about after you get those DNA test results? I thought I knew a lot about who I am. My family was a normal dysfunctional family. We had our rascals and sweethearts. We knew what poverty and wealth looked like. I knew what I did and didn’t want my life to turn into. But who were my people? Maybe that is the question I keep asking and why I still love genealogy. I have learned so much of history and the world. I was not looking for connections to greatness (well maybe at first) and I was not surprised to find just the common folks. But they are still very interesting people that I have discovered. Now I am delving more into the DNA of my family lines and it is interesting and daunting. My motivation was to solve our Brick wall. William L. Dougherty. Click on William’s name to see my earlier blog to learn more about him.

DNA testing
I took my own DNA test back in 2013 with 23 and Me. Gosh was it really 5 years ago. It has not solved my brick wall. I have found lots of connections and we did solve one other brick wall. But not “The One” I was looking for.

So now comes the daunting or maybe tedious work. Finding those collateral descendants who will help us move backward in time.

Who was William L. Dougherty?

Click to enlarge.

The idea is that we need to duplicate our ancestors DNA. The yellow highlighted individual s  the ones that I have. Those with a red dot I am looking for and the orange highlighted ancestor is my target ancestor. The idea is the orange target ancestor gave 50% of their DNA to their children (the next tier to his left) and not the same 50%. Their children gave 25% of the targets DNA to their children (the next tier moving left) and again not the same 25%. The next generation only gets 12.5% of the targets DNA and again not necessarily the same DNA. So my generation only receives about 6.25% of the targets DNA. So ideally if we had 16 descendants tested we may be able to come close to duplicating our targets DNA. That’s a simplified illustration. (Theoretically we could hope to approximate a facsimile of our ancestors DNA but with the endless variables it will be statistically near impossible.)

Start the search

Who is there out there that falls into those boxes?

  • My parent only had two siblings. So my grandparent is as well covered as possible with 5 cousins tested.
  • My grandparent had 6 siblings. 3 died before reaching 10 years of age. Two sisters had children, in this group there are four 1st cousins once removed. I doubt that any here are still alive so I will look for their children &/or grandchildren. The grandchildren will only have 3.125% of targets DNA. Unknown # of 2nd. cousins
  • My great grandparent had 4 brothers. Some time ago I had been contacted by the descendants of one of the brothers. In the mean time we have moved and I lost contact. So I will try to find them again. Of the other three brothers I know of no children. Only one other ever married and I have not as yet found any children for him. That would be a possible 12 3rd cousins.

I will be reaching out to those known to me and see if they have tested or are willing to be tested. So if you are a descendant of William L. Dougherty and you are interested in solving the mystery of who William L. Dougherty was please contact me.



Excel and Genealogy

Jefferson County Genealogical Society held a workshop this weekend presented by Mary Kircher Roddy   Exel-lence in Genealogy.  I had noticed quite a few webinars lately were being presented on this subject and thought, “I know Excel, maybe this is something I should be looking into.” The class had a wide range of family historians from beginners to professionals along with a wide range of individuals familiar with Excel. Once we were through some of the basics of Excel in the remaining two hours Mary was able to show us lots of ways to use Excel for genealogy.

One of the cleaver things she showed us was how to insert the search results from Ancestry, Family Search and others into our spread sheet. Once we had done that we could sort the information by any of the fields.

So putting this into practice I was interested in finding all the Irish immigrants in Pike County Pennsylvania in the 1850. William L. Dougherty my 2x great grandfather had come from Ireland sometime prior to 1842. Understanding that rarely did an individual come by themselves to some arbitrary location, my sister and I had thought to investigate the others in the area to see if we could discover who William was, exactly when he arrived and perchance what became of him.

click on image to enlarge

So I did a search of Ancestry’s 1850 Census of those born in Ireland living in Pike County, Pennsylvania. This is just a fraction of the individuals that I was able to import to an excel spread sheet. From this I can start researching and making notes on this data sheet about the individuals: when they came, who they came with,  where they came from, and where they where in later census.

The second tip I am putting into practice is the tracking of records. Currently I have a Document Log for each individual.

click on image to enlarge

But if I combine those logs in a Spread sheet by families I might be able to see more patterns or holes.

I like to use colors to designate families. Blue my fathers fathers line and Red my mothers fathers line. It was a system that the original family research binders I bought utilized and I have stayed with it.





So now I can use colors to designate other patterns. This may help in finding those family members that went missing. I can already see that I might try looking at Port Jarves for Solomon in 1880.

i’ve used other programs such as Clooz but have spent time typing in data that I never got beyond the imput. What tools are you using to help handle data?

12 Family Lines-12 months ~ The Process

12-family-linesA new year a new challenge. I am working through 12 Family lines this year and January is being dedicated to the Batson Family line. Last week I began reviewing this family line that began when Caroline (Carrie) Batson married my paternal great grandfather Gilmore Francis. I reviewed what records I have for Carrie as detailed in last weeks blog and entered them into my “Clooz” program. “Clooz” is a record keeping software by Ancestral Systems that I use.


This is a screen shot of a census report that shows the records I have input to “Clooz”.


The above is another shot of a Census report for the Batson Surname. Click on the image to enlarge and you can see the individuals and the years that I have them recorded in a census. The last number under personal file # is the file number I have assigned that document. The only significance is the letter B which is the first letter of the last name.

I had none of the Batson documents recorded in “Clooz”, so this is an area that definitely needs work. The other area that need lots of work is the linked documents from the Ancestry.com website to my Family Tree Maker program on my computer. When things work correctly I should be able to go to my FTM program and pull up the profile of Carrie Batson and see the documents that are attached to her under Media. From there I should be able to click on the document thumbnail and the file should open.


I have noticed over the past several years that many of these links are broken. Considering how large the media file for this tree is, it has always been daunting to think about fixing all these links.


I do not understand how this happened, but if you look here, you see the 1860 United States Federal Census 16.jpg~1860 United States Federal Census 27.jpg. I was looking for the one that had Carrie Batson’s parents listed. Ancestry says it is attached to John R. Batson in this media file. It was not shown on his media page. And while I find 5  different ones that were from Hopewell, Muskingum Co. Ohio, the one for John R. Batson’s family was not there, and I looked at all 33 different .jpg’s.


Now you see in the above image were I have identified the 1860  census that contains the John Batson family.

As I go through each family line these are two of the tasks I will need to do for every individual. Then I need to review and update the binder for that family. Included in my binder are:

  • Pedigree Chart
  • Individuals tab
  • Family group sheet
  • Individual’s time line
  • document log
  • photos
  • Documents

Copy of birth record

copy of marriage record/s

copy of each census found

copy of deeds

Copy of death record.

  •  Map of area showing property owners during individuals time frame
  • Photo of internment
  • Other documents
  • Research Log
  • Next individual’s tab
  • Family group sheet
  • etc.

Too often I have been lazy in keeping my research log. Any hints on how to improve on this?

Another record I would like to develop is a log for contacts I have made on each family line. I could call it a “contact log” and place behind the pedigree chart. I would include the contact information and the relationship along with a log of their correspondence. Has any one else developed something similar?

Thanks for visiting my site.

Watermarks and Why Use Them

Watermarks were originally embedded in paper to identify the manufacturer. Wikipedia tells us

A watermark is an identifying image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light (or when viewed by reflected light, atop a dark background), caused by thickness or density variations in the paper.[1] Watermarks have been used on postage stamps, currency, and other government documents to discourage counterfeiting.

We can place watermarks on photos and documents before placing them on the Internet. Have you posted a photo to Ancestry that you took off the Internet? Did you give credit to your source? Maybe the copyright police will not come down on you but it is a sure way to have a “cousin” lose interest in sharing with you.

After seeing over 90 new “hints” last night on my Ancestry App. I thought I would take a look. Imagine my surprise when I found all my photos from my blog attached to a “cousins” family tree. These photo’s did not just appear once in my “hints ” but three or four times.  How do I know they were my photos? Well after 100 years I would be surprised if two photos had creases and fly specks in the same spots. I am conflicted, 1. I want family to share and correspond about genealogy and 2.  I want people to read and enjoy my blog.  Taking  photos off the internet and using in a Family Tree is done all the time. I’m always getting “hints” of a dePutanham Coat of Arms image  for any of my ancestors with the Putnam surname. That just clutters up my “hints” and I have to click on each to “ignore” so they will be eliminated.

Putnam Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms

How can we keep from cluttering the internet and our “hints” on ancestry with images. My solution is that my tree on ancestry is not made public. If a “cousin” asks I will share with them. My next solution is to place a watermark on all my images that I place on my blog or any other place that one of my images might show up.

There are several apps and software that are available to do just that. Photographers who makes their living from selling their prints would most likely invest in a program that would do all their photos from one shoot at a time. Me I just need to do several at a time so I can use one of my photo programs I already have.

Coat of Arms with watermark

Coat of Arms
with watermark

So now if you were to save the photo you would know where it came from. As a courtesy always ask to reuse another’s photo or at the very least give credit for your source. Posting a photo without crediting the source is not proper internet etiquette.



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