Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Genealogy At Heart - A New Website

I'm heading out to the west coast for a conference but wanted to let you all to know I’ve developed a website to contain my blogs in one handy dandy spot – you can now access it at www.genealogyatheart.com. All blog posts will be listed under Family Stories/Genealogy Hints.
Genealogy is expensive so I will also post any special offers I discover there under the tab "Specials to Share."   
Besides genealogy, I love traveling, architecture and visiting historical sites so I'll be posting some pics of places I recently visited so check out the tab "On the Road Again." It may give you an idea of where you want to explore your family's past.
If you’d like more information about an older posting or have suggestions/ideas for the future simply email me from the About Lori page.  I look forward to hearing from you!
If you are a Family Tree Maker user synching with Ancestry.com and just learned that Ancestry is discontinuing the agreement soon, you may be looking for a new software program.  I'm not making any money off this but here's my advice - check out these GENEALOGY PROGRAMS .  Once you've decided which you're going to use, go to Ancestry.com and click on Trees - Create and Manage Trees on the ribbon.  Then click on "Manage Tree."  On the right hand side, click EXPORT TREE in the green box. It may take some time but when it's ready, click the new green box DOWLOAD YOUR GEDCOM FILE.  You may have difficulty doing that as sometimes it doesn't want to work.  If so, click "download tips" and alternative directions are given.  
I saw the zillions of negative comments by FTM users on Ancestry's blog and for the life of me, can't understand why Ancestry didn't give clear directions in the announcement on how to save your work as a gedcom.  I feel very badly for those unhappy people thinking that they have lost years of work when they haven't.  The only thing they can't do is have their work saved both on Ancestry and on their hard drive at the same time.  Personally, they need to be saving in another location, too, because, if their hard drive crashes and they can't get on Ancestry, then they have a huge problem.  I use the free Dropbox.com cloud to also save my gedcom in Legacy.  That way, I can log on to DROPBOX anywhere and access my tree, in addition to using Ancestry if I'm not on my main computer.
Seriously, you should be exporting your tree at least once a month if you're a heavy user as if something happens to Ancestry your citations are gone!  Notice I said citation and not records.  You cannot download all of your records when you download the gedcom.  You will be downloading the citation of what record was found but not the picture of the actual record.  For example:  You've saved the 1880 US Federal Census for your great grandpa to your Ancestry tree.  When you download the gedcom it will show that the census record was what you referenced, or cited, for the 1880 residence.  If you want the actual picture of the census page you will have to download it to your hard drive. That is time consuming but important.  I haven't done that for most of my lines but plan on beginning that process soon.  
Now, back to the download directions - Once you've exported you will have to import the saved file, called a gedcom, to whatever program you'll be using.  I like Legacy because 1) the Standard version is free and that gave me a good idea if it was a program I could easily use and 2) their support is very good.  They are friendly on the phone and they have an email group that you can subscribe to for free that you can post queries to and the software engineers answer.  Amazing!  I never got that kind of response from Family Tree Maker and when the synch between Ancestry and FTM stopped working, I decided to move to something else.  Now I'm really glad I did!
I ended up purchasing the Deluxe Legacy version six months after downloading the free Standard version and the updates have all been free since then, too.  The program has a lot of bells and whistles I haven't even begun to delve into but plan to do so when my Board of Certified Genealogy portfolio is done.  I also have made a New Year's Resolution that I will stop saving records to my Ancestry tree and just save directly to Legacy.  It's another adjustment but then I'll have all the records (pictures) even if Ancestry becomes cost prohibitive or stops making some records available, which has already happened to me.  
Hope this has helped!

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