Monday, July 20, 2015




Yesterday was our 3rd blogiversary and I am celebrating by taking a couple of weeks off.


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Friday, July 17, 2015

For those that use BYU’s Relative Finder


If you don’t know what BYU’s Relative Finder is click HERE. Before we go any further, please know that this website is mostly for fun.  If you find a connection to someone that doesn’t mean you are actually related to them. There are many connections errors on FamilySearch so you will need to prove every relationship up the line and then back down to the person you are connected to. 

BYU’s Relative Finder

I have set up a new Group just for the Ancestoring blog readers.  You can see if you are related to me or to any other blog reader that has signed up.

Before you can do this you must have a FamilySearch login.  You also have to have yourself connected in FamilySearch’s Family Tree.

On the top menu bar go to Groups then Join.  Typing in Ancestoring in the Search box. Click Add. Type in the Password which is blog.  Now the group is added to the list of groups you can search. 

Go back to the home page.  Click Relatives on the top menu bar.  You will now see Ancestoring as one of the groups you can select on the left.

If you are related to me, let me know how in the comments.


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yet another reason to join the NGS


If you are a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) you can get a free year’s subscription to FindMyPast. How cool is that!  You do not have to enter your credit card number so that is even better. The signup page is HERE. For more reasons to join genealogical societies click HERE.

Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Monday, July 13, 2015

Thank you, ESM


The 3rd edition of Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained has joined my battered 1st edition in my bookcase. You can see that I also have Elizabeth’s first citation book, Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian. I bought Evidence! in 1997 and it completely changed everything. By 1997 I had been researching my family for six years and I had been doing everything wrong. I read the first two chapters, “Fundamentals of Citation” and “Fundamentals of Analysis,” over and over again. I realized that I just didn’t know enough to do quality research. I immediately enrolled in Brigham Young University’s Independent Study Program and I took every genealogy course they had from 1997 through 2001. I quickly learned just how important continuing education is and to this day I take advantage of as many reference books, conferences, classes and webinars that I can.  That is why I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the 3rd Edition of EE. The first two chapters are “Fundamentals of Evidence Analysis” and Fundamentals of Citation.”  If new researchers would read these two chapters they too would have the eye opening experience that I did.

Thanks, Elizabeth, for everything.


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis


Friday, July 10, 2015

Legacy: Even more searches

In the blog post Legacy: Searches and more searches I told you about the six different tabs on the main search page.   There are three other types of searches Legacy can do.

Search> Search/Replace
This one is used to fix errors in your file or to change the wording of something.  Because you will be making global changes it is very important that you back up your file before you get started just in case things don’t go the way you planned.

Let’s say I have been using the abbreviation Ev. for Evangelisch and I now want the word spelled out.



And here is what it looks like once you click the Start button:


The Replace All button is a great timesaver but don’t click it unless you are 100% sure something you don’t want changed won’t be.  You can use the Replace button which will let you approve each replacement one at a time.


Search > Search Internet
The other type of search in Legacy is an external one.  This is how you can search websites from within Legacy using the information you have already gathered.  Notice how the information defaults in.


Also notice the dropdown arrow next to  There are 30 websites to choose from and you can add your own using the Customize Searches button.  Make sure you click on the Help button on this screen because you will need to learn how to create the search strings to make it work correctly.

There is one more search, Search > FamilySearch.  This will bring up the screen that directly interfaces with FamilySearch’s Family Tree.  Explaining how this works is more than a single blog post can handle so here is some additional information for you.


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Legacy: Searches and more searches

Did you know that there are SIX different search tabs?  Legacy has several built-in searches to make your life easier.

Tab 1 – Query by example
This is a simple fill-in-the blank search form.

I am looking for all male Glaentzers whose first name starts with B, who were born before 1880 in Köln (I don’t have type the rest of the location)

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Tab 2 – Detailed Search
This is the search tab that most people go to when searching.  One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is that you can have as many search criteria you want, not just the three that are on the screen.  The trick is to do your first search using the three search criteria and then Create List.  Then change the search criteria to your next three but this time select ONLY SEARCH THE SEARCH LIST.  You can do this as many times as you need to.  This multi-tiered search is very powerful.  I am looking for every Glaentzer that was was born in Germany and is also on Tag 9.

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Tab 3 – Miscellaneous
This is a fun one.  There are all kinds of great searches here.  Here I am doing a simple search for everyone in my file that has an unknown spouse.

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Tab 4 – Missing Sources
This is a scary tab.  Everyone know how important it is to have a source for every fact in your file.  This tab will help you do that.  I am searching for anyone that does not have a source for the relationship to father and/or the relationship to mother (these are two very overlooked source fields).  Notice the two options at the top, Everything and Anything, as well as the two at the bottom ALL or ONE.

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Tab 5 – Missing Information
This tab isn’t as scary as tab 4.   Here I am searching for missing birth, marriage and death dates.  Why?  So I can go back and estimate these dates based on the information I do have.  It is always good to estimate the dates so that you can do better searches on repository websites.  It also helps you rulle people in and out when you are trying to figure out who could be the parents of whom and whether you are dealing with one person or two people with the same name (it is all about timelines). Again, notice the two options at the bottom ALL or ONE.

Blog 5


Tab 6 – Census List
This is a great way to systematically go through your file and fill in census information.  The state of Mississippi conducted a statewide census in 1866.  I am looking for everyone in my file that was alive in 1866 and should have been living in the state of Mississippi so that I can check to see if they appear in this census.  I also want to exclude anyone that I have already recorded a 1866 census for (Legacy looks at events and sources to figure this out).  There are checkboxes to narrow the search further but I am going to leave it like this.

Blog 6


Notice that ALL of the tabs allow you to append your search list and all but the Misc. Search will also allow you to search just the current search list which means you can switch back and forth between the tabs and mix and match your searches.


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis

Monday, July 6, 2015

Legacy: What do all of those numbers mean?

I posted this on the Legacy User Group Facebook page and I didn’t want a good graphic to go to waste so I am posting it here as well.  Do you know what all of the numbers mean in the extreme bottom right corner of the Family view?


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis