Genealogy Journey
Live and Learn 04/09/2011
 
I got on a roll today and started with some more searching.  I decided this time to try to print out a direct descendants tree.  It came out in 6 pages, so here I am trying to tape all of that together and figure out a way to lay it out and still be able to add essential things to it as I added to the Family Tree Legends software. 

It worked pretty well, but I think the navigational tree would've been easier.  I just wish the navigational tree would put the dates on there.  I started concentrating on the direct line to see how much of the tree I could get filled in.  I got to an area with a lot of branches without a whole lot of leaves tonight!  I did find as far back as a Great(x13) Grandfather....but I don't have a name on him yet.  Just his birth year.  So I should probably say that I found back to Great(x12) Grandparents to be more realistic.

I did go back and print a few charts through the navigational chart.  I figure I can look up the dates for the ones that I see that I need right away to find the next blank unknown name.  Anything to keep from burying myself in the monster taped together paper chart!  I do wish they had the option of a print-to-page option on the charts....but I keep reminding myself...the software was free!

A future project is definitely figuring out a way to make a huge chart that I can add to as I go along.  Who Do You Think You Are made that so easy for Ashley Judd tonight too (even though it was only a small part of her tree.)
 
 
Almost hit major problem today.  Well, actually I did hit a major problem today.  I decided to let my security software scan for any viruses.  It found 3-4 and I promptly deleted them.  All's good, right?  Um, not so much.  I went to get into my Family Tree Legends software tonight and nada!  It was giving me an error message and wouldn't open at all. 

I'm usually really good with missing DLL files as long as I know what they are.  But this was giving me an 'error 126' with a long string of gibberish right before that error.  A google search revealed that several others had received the same message with the same software and there were no successful repairs out there!  I tried installing the software on top of the old.....didn't work.  I tried uninstalling, rebooting, and reinstalling the software....didn't work. 

I had the forethought to copy my "familytree.flt" file before doing anything.  I knew that I had close to 1,000 names already in that file since I started putting stuff in last week (I still have a notebook full to update the file with as well.)  I decided to look for something to convert that file to something readable (ie flw, ged, etc) to another tree program since this obviously wasn't going to work on this computer.  There was nothing out there to convert it.  You had to be able to get into Family Tree Legends to convert the file.  Well, I wouldn't need to do that if FTL was working.  I decided then that IF I did get the software to working again, the first thing I would start doing is making a GED file every now and then (read: everytime I finish a session) as a backup. 

I finally decided to go into the restore feature and selected a file from yesterday, when I knew that the software was working properly.  It took a while, but I figured that it would be worth it, if it worked.  Especially with the thought that if those little files could adjust that software, there is other software in my computer that could've been affected and I might not detect it for a while.  Better to fix it now than fret more later.

It said that it didn't change any files, but that wasn't totally true.  When I went to open FTL, it started reinstalling the software again.  I thought, here we go....dead end again.  But this time it actually worked!  I went back to my familytree.ftl file though and it had significantly reduced in size.  Knowing that meant that it had gone back to a time before all of the additional entries, I closed the software back out and copied my stashed file back over the newly written file.  All is right in the world again.  Well, maybe not everything...but everything is right with my software again! 
 
Fast & Furious 03/29/2011
 
I've hit a good stride this week in finding information.  So fast that I haven't really been able to coordinate my thoughts enough to put them down here or even organize who all of these people are that I'm finding!  The oddest thing was finding that a paternal first cousin once removed married a Charles Newton Myers...well my Great-Grandmother was married to Charles Albert Myers.  It was so odd when I saw that name pop-up last night.  I'm pretty sure there was no relation other than my connecting the two.  It was odd none the less. 

I am still keeping the internet window open while utilizing the software.  Thus making it easier to pull up a "kinship report" telling me how I'm connected to each Tom, Dick & Hariett.  The next thing is going to be figuring out how to rid myself of duplications without screwing it up.  I've found that two sisters in the family married the same man - at different times of course...we're not talking Sister Wives...not yet anyway.  I'm just not sure how to connect the two without putting him in two times?  That's going to be something to figure out hopefully before the program reaches it's maximum number of entries!  I've heard that it has one but I haven't found out what it is yet.
 
 
Off and on, I'd looked at records for my father's side of the family.  I kept hitting brick walls in the very early searches in looking through census records.  I finally had a breakthrough last night simply by googling!  I was able to go directly back as far as my Great x3 Grandparents (born in  1814 & 1819).

With this latest find, it looks like I could be distantly-related to one of my best friends from high school.  Possibly.  It's a common name though.  I also found the surname of another friend that's not as common but it appeared to be questionable.  Definitely intriged to do some more digging to find out!

I started trying to put everything that I was finding down on paper.  I really didn't want to sit here and print the amount that I was finding knowing it was going to take a TON of paper and ink.  But then I found that I was getting myself confused with my notes when you get into children of this one and that one. 

I finally decided to split the screen and open up the Family Legends software and put them directly in there as I clicked on the next finding.  I put a lot of information in there last night.  Luckily, the software has a "relationship" button and I was able to find out who some of these people are to me without a lot of brain power.  Goes back to that "...for Dummies" thing!  Maybe they need to have a series ".....for Blondes!"

I suddenly looked up last night from what I was doing and realized that it was 3am!   I still had a lot of links open though.  I ended up saving all of them to a desktop sticky note and then realized that it wouldn't have saved the "back" feature when I did that.  So I may have to do some redigging...but this time I will have the software open instead of trying the paper and pen route unless it's to make notes about what to look up later at the library.

I guess I learned to never underestimate the power of google!  Well, google or organization!  I'm finding that organization is key and trying to tame myself into not jumping around from relative-to-relative in searches unless I have to.  Sometimes it's unavoidable, but I'm trying to be better about it.
 
 
I love download.com!  Every now and then I look for whatever software I might be in the market for before going out and trying to purchase it.  I downloaded a few the other night and then started working with Family Tree Legends.  It's not been bad to work with so far.  As with everything, I'm sure there's a little of a learning curve.  I also haven't found any significant restrictions considering it's a free software!  Make sure to get the "key" off the download page for your set-up, if you decide to download it yourself.

The best thing about download is that when other people have tried it and found failures with it, they tell you on the site before you mess with it or mess up your computer!