The Great Genealogy Clean-up

I am stuck in a rut. I feel like I have so many options and people to research that I just don’t know where to focus next. So, I’m deciding to not focus on any one person and instead focus on … everyone!

Yes, I will be cleaning out my entire database. In preparation for “The Great Genealogy Clean-up” I’ve read various posts that have been helpful.

  • James Tanner of Genealogy’s Star posted Clean up your Genealogy Database where he talked about looking at place names to make sure there aren’t duplicates. I will definitely be doing this, but probably towards the end of the process since I think the method I’ve come up with will solve most of the issues.
  • Tina Lyons of Gen Wish List has a whole series of posts dedicated to Cleaning up My Genealogy Database. I started using her system, and even printed out 60 pages of names! But after about 10 minutes, I knew this wasn’t the method for me. Her process, however, was informative.
So, I made a plan that I think will work for me. My process is more focused on “creation” rather than “deletion.” Just as a reference, as of today here’s what I’m starting with:

 The Plan:

  1. Create a new database that is blank. To this database I will add people one at a time and work on updating them before moving on to the next person. RootsMagic makes this so easy because I can just drag and drop people into the new database.
  2. Only people who currently have sources associated with them or with a fact will move to the new database. If I can quickly find something to support the fact/person I will do so. Otherwise, they get left behind.
  3. To be “complete” and included in the new database all of the following must be true: A. Each fact associated with the person must have a source; B. Each source must have a complete citation, including a image of the source and transcription/translation; C. Relevant notes must be included with each citation or fact, as needed.
  4. Additionally, I will also be updating all file/folder names as I go along and scanning/filing all originals following my “Family History Filing System” (a 4 page description of my system which I’ve included with my physical files). I have so many original photos and documents still to scan…I know those will flesh out a lot of the facts that are missing citations.

I am starting as any new genealogist should, with myself. I’ll me, my husband and kids then move on to our parents and siblings working my way back.

I’m expecting when I’m done to have far fewer people in my database, but only “real” and verified information will be recorded. I will of course keep my “old” database as a guide when I continue research. Just because great-great-grandma’s birth date is not verified (yet) doesn’t mean I can’t use the “alleged” date as a starting point in my research. As Reagan would say, “Trust, but verified!”

Posted by on 6 September 2012 | Posted in Organization, Researching, Roots Magic | Comment

Lund Family – Descendancy Research

Regular family history research has you go back in time to find your ancestors. By doing this, you find your direct line family — grandparents, great grandparents, great-great, and so on.

Decendancy Research on the other hand has you choose an ancestor a few generations back and work your way forward in time to find all their descendants. I’ve decided that will be one of the things I work on … in this case for the Lund line, starting with Didrich and Karen Funk/Lund.

Didrich Funch Lund
Karen Kathrina Christine Hansdatter Funch Lund

Here’s one question I got from my husband Troy – Why?
I have many reasons but one of the biggest is that I want to find out if family documents/artifacts ended up with other lines of the family. Also, I’d like to see if there are others out there doing research on this same family so we can collaborate. I even suggested we hold a “Lund Family Reunion” next summer (2013) and invite all the living descendants we could find. (Case in point – Those photos I have of Didrich and Karen came from a completed Family Group Record Sheet from my father-in-law’s aunt. Who has the originals?)

So, now I’m focusing on Didrich and Karen’s oldest child – Christine Funk Lund and her family. I started by using to see what was already out there.

I then created a separate database for all this un-sourced information and called it “Reunion_Lund”. As I find sources I can add facts to my “real” database.

For more information about descendancy research check out this free course available from FamilySearch.

Posted by on 28 March 2012 | Posted in Funk, Lund, Researching, Roots Magic | Comment

How I Add Sources into my Database

I’ve said this before, and I’ll proably repeat it again in the future — my side of the family is hard to research! Since I was born in Brazil, to Brazilian parents and Brazillian grandparents all our records are there, and Brazil is not the easiest place to do genealogy work. Not only do I struggle with the language (I can speak and read it mostly) but there just isn’t as much available to me here at home (in Utah) as there would be for any other place in the US. I’m sure if I really took some time at the Family History Library I could do a lot, but I have two young boys and just don’t have that kind of time…I’ll just have to work slowly, but surely, I guess.

Anyway, all this is to say that I did find a record for my Maternal Grandparents’ marriage in Joao Pessoa, Paraiba, Brazil. So, I thought I’d use this document to show my process for adding documents and citations to my database (which happens to be RootsMagic5).

Source: Family Search, “Brazil, Catholic Church Records,” digital image, Family Search ( : downloaded 14 March 2012), Joao de Sousa Lima and Lindalva Ferreira da Silva Marriage Record, 30 Sep 1950; Nossa Senhora do Rosario parish, page 35, entry 131.

Whenever I post an image of a document to the blog I like to cite the source so y’all know where it came from and that it is legit. I just enter in the information I know about it. I try to do this right when I find the source if I’m at home, but if I’m at the Family History Center or Library I take extensive notes so I can add it when I get home. I normally use the “footnote” version of the citation on the blog because it includes a lot more information.

File Naming and Organization
I’ve talked about the organization of my file structure before, so I won’t go into that here. But, I will mention that I recently decided to change how I named the files themselves. I followed Calvin Knight’s file naming conventions for the most part and am slowly renaming my files. So this particular file got the name:

Transcription / Translation
I like to transcribe most documents using Microsoft Word. This way I can easily add the text to my database program and to my blog…making it easier for people to search for the names, dates, places etc found in the document image. If the document is in a foreign language then I make sure to transcribe and translate it into English. I also copy and paste the source citation onto that document as well. So, for the above Marriage Record here’s what I have:

131 – João de Sousa Lima e Lindalva Ferreira da Silva


Aos trinta dias do mês de Setembro de mil novecentos e cinqüenta, na Matriz do Rosario, perante as testemunhas justo Lacerda Ferreira e João Cabral Batista, o Revmo Frei Inocencio ofm. assistiu ao recebimento matrimonial de João de Sousa Lima e Lindalva Ferreira da Silva, o nubente con 25 anos de idade, filho legitimo de Manuel de Sousa Lima e Hosana Maria da Conceiçao, natural e batizado em Cajazeiras, a nubente con 17 anos de idade, filha legitima de Joaquim Pedro da Silva e Ernestina Ferreira da Silva, natural e batizada em João Pessoa, residentes nesta frequezia. E, para constar, mandei fazer este fermo que assino.
(signed) Frei Jorge [Bolchaus.?] ofm. Vigário


On the thirtieth day of the month of September of nineteen hundred and fifty, in the Mother of the Rosary, as witnessed by Lacerda Ferreira and João Cabral Batista, the Reverand Frei Inocencio [ofm.?] performed the marriage rite of João de Sousa Lima and Lindalva Ferreira da Silva, the groom with 25 years of age, legitimate son of Manuel de Sousa Lima and Hosana Maria da Conceiçao, born and baptized in Cajazeiras, the bride with 17 years of age, legitimate daughter of Joaquim Pedro da Silva e Ernestina Ferreira da Silva, born and baptized in João Pessoa, residents in this parish. And, for the record, I had this [fermo] sign.
(signed) Frei Jorge [Bolchaus.?] ofm. Vigário

I make sure to copy the transcription/translation into my RootsMagic “Detail Text” tab for this source and to add the image of the original document under the “Media” tab. (Hint: do this for the first citation you make for this document – in my case, for the marriage of Joao and Lindalva. Once I have added all the relevant transcriptions and media I can choose “Memorize” and add this exact citation to any other fact. If I want to add any comments specific to the fact, I’ll go in and do that as well.)

Facts and More Facts
When adding information to my database found in the document I like to have the transcription/translation open next to my database so I can read it as I go, like in the image above. You could also print it out if you’d like. So for this particular document I was able to add this source citation to the following facts:

  • Marriage – Joao de Souza Lima & Lindalva Ferreira Da Silva – date and location, as well as adding the names of the witnesses (they may come up later).
  • Birth – Joao de Souza Lima – made a note that the marriage record gave the groom’s age as 25 at the time of marriage which supports the birth date I have of 4 Jun 1925. It also lists the birth place.
  • Relationship to parents – Joao / Manuel and Hosana. I added a note to this citation that they are listed as Joao’s parent’s in his marriage record. Because this “relationship” source shows up for any of the children, I wanted to specify that it only proves they are Joao’s parents…not necessarily true for any of the other children. (this is an item I’ve requested RootsMagic look into as I’d like a better way to distinguish the relationships I’m citing)
  • Birth – Lindalva Ferreira da Silva – I added a new birth fact because her marriage record states that she was 17 years old but the birth date I have from family recollection would mean she’d be 15 years old at the time of marriage. Either I have the wrong birth date or she lied on her marriage record (was there a certain age she needed to be?). Either way, I now have both facts listed in my database with their corresponding notes so as my research continues I know where these “facts” came from. (See yesterday’s post about dealing with false information.)
  • Relationship to parents – Lindalva / Joaquim and Ernestina.

Depending on the document you may have more or fewer facts associated with it. By citing everything you can get out of a document you can decide how true a fact is.

Posted by on 27 March 2012 | Posted in Da Silva, Lima, Marriage Record, Organization, Researching, Roots Magic, Sources | Comment

Utah State Archives

Wow! Have you used this site yet? It’s amazing! I was looking for Death Certificates for ancestors from Plain City, Weber Co., Utah, United States so I checked out the Weber County Health Dept. They only have records from the last 50 years and they cost $16 each! But, they told me that the older records were at the Utah State Archives…and guess what…they have an amazing website!

There are a ton of records online! For Death Certificates they have 1904-1958 indexed online with images. Some older ones are in microfilm, indexed online, but you have to go to the archives to see them…I’ll plan on doing that later. For now, I decided to find all the online images. Here’s how I found 53 Death Certificates in about 1 hour!

Step 1. Generate report. In Roots Magic this is really easy. I created a list of Deaths in Utah between 1904 and 1958. I made sure to include spouses because the female’s Death Certificates are under their married name.

Step 2. Search. In the right menu from the home page select “Research” then “Research Guides”. Choose the link to the Death Index for 1904-1958. You can search by name or Date. The date search was really helpful if the spelling was off. Using these search options I was able to find all but 5 records. I’ll have to do some more digging to see if the names or dates are wrong…or maybe they didn’t die in Utah!

Here’s my search for Anderson, Oscar. His name is actually Oscar Alfred Anderson, but I didn’t know if the middle name would be on the certificate. There he is:

Then select the name and you’ll get to the List of names that match.

Be sure to write down the Entry and Series number for citation purposes. The series for all these records was 81448, but each entry had a different number. I wrote those on my printed report.

Step 3. Download and Name the File. When you select the name from the list you’ll go to the specific document page. I just right-clicked on the image and selected “save link as…” {Note: DO NOT CHOOSE “save image as…” that saves the teeny tiny image on this page. You want to save the BIG image. You could also open the image and save it from there.} I saved mine as “Death Certificate – LastName, FirstName”. That way it was ready to be filed in my source folders.

Step 4. Add to Database and File. At some point I will go through each file and add the information and citations to my database. That will be a longer process. For now, I’ll just add them to my “to file” folder and let them hang out there for a while.

Additional Awesomeness:

At the top of the windows there is a “Name Search” box. If you use this instead you’ll see ALL THE RECORDS for that name! Awesome! In this case I found a Brand book that included Elijah Swainston’s brand for his cattle. Amazing! I’ll have to go back and check that out later.

Finally, here’s what I accomplished in about 1 hour:

That’s right – 53 Death Certificates, one Brand Book page, and 1 citation file (with the basic info so I can cite all these files later, when I’m ready to it later).

Check out the Utah State Archives for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!

Posted by on 3 June 2011 | Posted in Organization, Researching, Roots Magic | Comment