Granddad Daniel Grant Varner

Granddad Daniel Grant Varner
Daniel Grant Varner (front, far right) and siblings with spouses

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Researching the Jesse Smith & Julia Booher family of Athena, Umatillia, Oregon

For the last few weeks I've been concentrating on my Granduncle Jesse Smith (Julia Booher) family.  I've found numerous records on  These included, censuses, marriage records, death records (SSDI & death indexes), burial records (Find A Grave).

I was able to grow the family tree by three first cousins, plus two spouses, and six second cousins.

After finding the record on Ancestry I added it to that person on my Ancestry member tree (this worked great)  and loaded it to my ancestry shoebox.

Then working from my shoebox I downloaded the source records to my computer and updated my Roots Magic 6 database.

Finally I updated my Family Search Family Tree directly from my Roots Magic database.  This process also works extremely well.My Jesse Smith family tree on Ancestry.

My Jesse Smith ancestry tree may be found at Don Varners Jesse Smith ancestry tree

I was also able to acquire several tombstone photo's from find a grave and have received permission to use them.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Working with RootsMagic / Family Search Family Tree and / my Ancestry Member tree

I have spent the last several days working on my online family trees.  I have one on Family Search and one on Ancestry.

I use RootsMagic for the most part to update my tree on Family Search.  The RootsMagic integration with FS family tree works fantastic.  I can easily copy facts, sources and notes as well as add new people or correct the FS record.

I was using Family Tree Maker to integrate with my Ancestry tree.  However, I've now stopped updating my FTM 2012 and am maintaining the tree only on Ancestry.  To do this I've modified my workflow as follows:

  1. Use RootsMagic determine the source documents needed or the person to locate.  I use the ToDo's to keep track of  what to be done.
  2. Manually add the new person to the Ancestry tree (if required).
  3. Find the needed source documents on Ancestry if available.  Add the source to the person on my Ancestry tree.  Add the source document to my Shoebox in Ancestry.
  4. Manually create the person in RootsMagic (if needed).
  5. Manually create the necessary sources and citations in RootsMagic (using the ones in my Ancestry shoebox).
  6. Sync the person, facts, sources and notes from RootsMagic to FS Family Tree.

This workflow is fairly labor intensive but not too bad considering it will maintain three trees.  I have saved several steps by eliminating my FTM 2012 file.

I'm still not completely settled.  I need to spend more time looking at pulling sources from Family Search, updating my FS family tree directly and then syncing back to RootsMagic and finally adding to Ancestry member tree.

I also need to start utilizing the RootsMagic person's research log.  For hard to find source information I find myself wasting time checking the same places for the same source information over and over again.  Maintaining the research log should help eliminate this problem.