Disk Clean Up Time: Out of My Comfort Zone


RootsMagic export GEDCOM

Part of staying organized is making sure your computer is up-to-date, remove excess files, or as they say Data Clean. I worked only with my FTM2014 and Roots Magic Backups files for today’s exercise in clean-up. I decided to down load my very first Family Tree Backup/GEDCOM from 2012 and my RootsMagic to a DVD, download a current GEDCOM from both FTM2014 and RootsMagic to my G: drive. This verifies that my current backups are not corrupted. I watched the RootsMagic webinar #6 “Working with Files and Folders in RootsMagic” for instructions on RootsMagic. The FTM2014 worked the same way. I backed up my Legacy program also. It looks like this is the second time I backed it up, interesting. I will leave that for another days learning.

FTM2014 Export GEDCOM

The Legacy GEDCOM looks a little out of my current comfort zone. Time to learn before doing. This Bright Shiny Object ( B.S.O.), I will not follow, today.

Legacy export GEDCOM


After copying the backups for FTM2014 and RootsMagic to DVD and the most recent to G: drive, I deleted them from the C: drive. The most recent two backups for each were left on the C: drive. I’m not a computer whiz by any chance of the imagination. I’m happy to report that both my FTM2014 and my RootsMagic programs are working fine. Happy Dance there. It was a jump out of my comfort zone to do this on my own.

The C: drive changed from 205 GB used/26.7 GB Free to 111 GB used/121 GB Free.

C Drive used_free space 14 Feb 2016


I did this by watching and re-watching the webinars, stopping them mid way as needed and proceeded with success to clean up some much needed space on my C: drive without ruining either of my programs. A big step for me.

Now back to working on my first four generations checklist from Dear Myrtle’s “Finally Get Organized”. I found some great photographs and new (actually old) documents to transcribe to my Dad, Nelson William Stearns. I have made my “To-Do” list for the first four generations on both my father’s and mother’s side.


My goal today is to transfer those photos and documents to the surname folder for each person. That will keep the link for them in one place when I upload them to my tree program. Most are scattered in different family photo folders from the year taken or obtained, in research folders both paper and digital. I will have digital copies of all files I will be adding to my family tree program.

Tomorrow’s goal is to put my FTM2014 GEDCOM into my RootsMagic program and compare what I have side by side. I will determine which program is more up-to-date, I will do the same with my Legacy GEDCOM. Once I have reviewed them against each other and work with them, I will decided what program I will use going forward.  The big question is, will I keep them all current for different reasons or go down to one program. The big down side to keeping all three is keeping them all up-to-date.

I think the bottom line will be what will be the easiest for my non-genealogy family members to use when the time comes for me to pass on the program. I will always have my Microsoft Word program up-to-date. It is where I work from before adding anything to the family tree programs.


Source Citations:

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/p/finally-get-organized.html: Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.

First Four Generations of the Stearns/Pease Family Update


Wow! I’m feeling very empowered right now. Maybe I shouldn’t be.  My new lighted, large print keyboard is installed and working like a charm. I just looked at Finally Get organized! 7th-13th Feb 2016 checklist. I know that the first four generations do not have any hastily added people. I can’t say that for all my generations, I’m human after all. In my first four generations I can say that maybe I error too much on the side of caution. I rather not enter a person to my tree until I feel confident by the Genealogy Proof Standards (GPS) that they belong there. [The reason for 46 individual trees (only one or two people in each,) they are waiting for approval from me to be added.]

The reason I feel empowered is because I already began working on the weak areas in my first four generations. I’m adding daily to my “To-Do” list using RootsMagic. Why RootsMagic? It is a new program to me. I can start fresh with my research data entry, thus verifying my previous research, finding areas that need strengthening and learning to better cite my sources. My goal is to continue following the GPS standards and Elizabeth Shown Mills Evidence Explained citation format.

My goals this week:

  1. Continue reviewing the 1st four generation records (ongoing)
  2. Adding the areas of need to the person’s Research Log “To-Do list”
  3. Re-watch Dear Myrtle’s Hangout on Air What Does She Say? Study Groups from 2015 [goals 3 &4]
  4. What Does She Say? Study Group – 14 Aug 2015 Fundamentals of Analysis (120 minutes)
  5. What Does She Say? Study Group – 21 Aug 2015 Fundamentals of Analysis (cont.) (90 minutes)
  6. Continue scanning and adding photos to my genealogy photo album for the 1st four generations
  7. Verify the siblings for the first four generations (ongoing)
  8. Indexing on Family Search Indexing at least one document daily

My To-Do List I started on my father, Nelson William Stearns [I forgot about this online tree-more research needed there] last week:

Research log Nelson W Stearns To Do List

Source Citations:

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/p/finally-get-organized.html: Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.

Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 3rd edition (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2015). [Book available from the publisher athttp://www.genealogical.com and in digital format from the author’s website http://www.EvidenceExplained.com]


Data Clean Names: Finally Getting Organized


Data Clean Names; Getting Organized

Data Clean Direct Ancestor Names
Data Clean Direct Ancestor Names

Yes, today is a day of rest. A genealogist never has a total day off if they want to continue researching and organizing their data. My day of rest is not spending more than 1-2 hours spread out over the day on my family genealogy.

Today I will continue data cleaning my RootsMagic Family Tree. I spoke yesterday about Data Cleaning Places, today it will the start the Names Data Clean with my direct ancestors. This breaks the task down to a manageable work load. (Remember I told you the importance of pacing yourself. It will be there later. Genealogy should be fun, informative and for me a passion I enjoy.)

Today’s goal:

  1. Write Blog Post (a daily goal)
  2. Direct ancestor name data clean
  3. One person index on Family Search (a daily goal)
  4. Enjoy the day with Family and Friends or in this case cuddling with Ninja Buddy. My family all have the Stomach Bug going around. Mike is working. Ninja Buddy and I will watch videos/webinars and enjoy the day together. Maybe even take a walk mid-day to see the glistening snow banks, in the 40 degree sunshine predicted here in Merrimack, Hillsborough, New Hampshire.


Source citations:

Finally Getting Organized with DearMyrtle

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/p/finally-get-organized.html: Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.

Data Clean-Places: Finally Getting Organized


Data Cleaning your family tree program is a must to keep yourself organized. If you do a monthly data clean on your tree, it will help reduce duplication as you proceed. It will also pace your clean up of your older tree, as you work forward. I know that my, FTM2014 and Legacy, still have clean up needs from when I first started putting information into them. I was overwhelmed with the repairs that were needed. Pacing myself makes it manageable. Choosing one type of Data clean at a time.

Doing the first five generations with last years Genealogy Challenge from DearMyrtle’s and Thomas MacEntee’s Genealogy Do-Over/Go-Over, helped me learn the importance of starting from my root person, me, and working with my known family members first, moving on to lesser known families members gave me the confidence to pace myself. I will always find new information on my ancestors. I will add that information, to the best of my abilities, into my research excel to-do list with proper citation, links and notes, so that when the time comes to add them to my family tree program of choice, it will be the most accurate. Doing the monthly Data Clean, reminds me of the importance of recording correctly in my To-Do list. It will also limit the number of tree in my database. I should not be adding people to my database until I know their family relationship. I will have the information at my fingertips when needed.

Dear Myrtle may not have mentioned this in her getting organized blog, YET, I’m sure she will for whatever family tree program you have. I have down it for my other two programs; FTM2014 and Legacy. I just uploaded my “My Heritage” family tree GEDCOM to my Roots Magic tree. I have been working on this tree, so I felt confident it was fairly accurate in its files.  When I did the Data Clean overview, as per the webinar instructions, I found my Place names were not that bad. A good place to start.

However, missing information Data clean will be a challenge that will take several days, if not weeks or years to resolve.  Many are unknown surnames for the wife, date of birth, date of death and/or marriage/divorce. I knew my distant generations were missing information, but 23 pages of missing information surprised me. What also surprised me was that I have 46 trees in my database. I thought I only had one tree. When I saw 46 I was in shock. Then I thought about it. I have several people I found that I believe are related but was not sure how. Each person is not linked in my tree, but are in my database. It make sense why I have 43 trees, most with 1 – 5 people (a family.)

Data Clean-Places: Finally Getting Organized

Places Data Clean
Places Data Clean

I decided while waiting for RootsTech 2016 to restart the afternoon Live streaming I would check my RootsMagic program place names for errors.

I watch the Cleaning Your Family Tree in RootsMagic webinar #7 previously. I started with the Data Clean drop down menu under tools. I had 53 Place problems. [Sorry no photo.] I corrected the places; mostly were missing United States, had an extra punctuation marks, and the Street Address was not in the description.  I did have a few with duplicate county entries (Hillsborough and Merrimack Counties for the same location.) I noted the time period for that record added the current county it is listed by and placed the Historical/Parent County in the description box. I pressed clean places, closed out when it was done and finally re-did the Data Clean search for places. I did a, Happy Dance, when the screen popped up without problems.

Source citations:

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/p/finally-get-organized.html: Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.

Day 36 of 365 Days of June: Thank You Genealogy Peers


Indexing: A New Batch to Start

Here are the links of my Blog Posts that I created for this project. When I review my post, it seems like my thought process is a little scattered. May it is. My goals in writing about my family history research included; my approach to research, capturing family traditions, memories and stories, getting my research organized for future generations, the importance of finding the first four generations medical history and giving back to the genealogy community. How I plan my week is divided into daily goals.

  1. Each day of the week is set aside for eight grandparents lineage [at least one new member updated daily per grandparent line.]
  2. I save Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays for Webinars and indexing [for Family Search or Find-A-Grave] in addition to the daily family additions.
  3. Some weeks I stay on track better than others. Life and family time comes first.
  4. A day of Rest usually means I complete the daily family addition, scan or organize my digital photos [1-2 hours spread out over the day.] There are some days that nothing gets done. Don’t fret about it. It will be there when you get back to it.
  5. Finally Getting Organized with DearMyrtle

Most of my work periods are set to 15 minute intervals [you can get a lot done in that time.] My blog post usually take about an hour, sometimes more if verifying information. The hardest part for me, still remains the proper citation for sources. I lean toward using the links available in my blog post saving the proper citations for my family tree program. It is an ongoing challenge and process of updating to Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained citation format. I began my research in the mid 1970’s with the college style citations. At least I was citing my sources back then or it would be even more difficult to cite the sources now.

I hope my overview of my approach is helpful to newbies to genealogy. I know that the support of people like DearMyrtle, Cousin Russ, Thomas MacEntee, Lisa Alzo, Geoff Rasmussen, Lisa Louise Cooke, the Ancestry.com, Familysearch.org, Legacy, RootsMagic teams, my Geneablogger Peers, along with many others in the genealogy world, provided and continue to provide that support to me.

I want to give a special shout out to Heather Wilkinson Rojo  of NutfieldGenealogy  for warmly welcoming me to the Special Interest Group of Geneabloogers at my first New England Genealogy Conference  [2011] in Manchester, New Hampshire. I met so many interesting genealogy peers that night. I started my first blog about genealogy with their encouragement. I learned so much about researching on-line, citing source the genealogy way, and that I wasn’t alone in my passion of genealogy.

Thank you all for your encouragement and support over the years.

1 Jan – 31 Jan 2016

#365daysofJuneday1 Welcome 2016!
#365daysofJuneday2 Tree People, That’s Me!
#365daysofJuneday3 Sit and Chat A While
#365daysofJuneday4 Tea Is Just Not Tea
#365daysofjuneday5  The Practical Side of Family History: Part 1
​#365daysofjuneday6  The Practical Side of Family History: Part 2
​#365daysofjuneday7  Cooking Time With the Family Challenge
#365daysofjuneday8  Family Time Memories
​#365daysofjuneday9  Organized, Me? It might happen in 2016
​#365daysofjuneday10  Town or County Clerk-Oh, No!
​#365daysofjuneday11  De-cluttering = Disencumbering Your E-mails, too!
​#365daysofjuneday12  Maps = Clues to Family’s Life
​#365daysofjuneday13  It’s In The Records. So…
​#365daysofjuneday14  A Day of Rest
#365daysofjuneday15 What, She is Married?
​#365daysofjuneday16 Family Tree Done!!! Really?
​#365daysofjuneday17 K.I.S.S. Method of Genealogy-My Way!
​#365daysofjuneday18 Family and Humor
​#365daysofjuneday19 Remembering Our Pets-Tess
#365daysofjuneday20 Remembering Our Pets-Yoda
#365daysofjuneday21 Remebering Our Pets-Duchess
#365daysofjuneday22 Horsing Around can lead to…
#365daysofjuneday23 Transcribing Everything is the Key!
#365daysofjuneday24 Tess and Yoda Cuddling
#365daysofjuneday25 Pictorial of Nelson William Stearns
#365daysofjuneday26 Shooting in the Woods: He made it out alone
#365daysofjuneday27_ Snapshot of My Family Stats
#365daysofjuneday28_ From A Distance: The Challenger Remembered 30 years later
#365daysofjuneday29_Teenagers and Haunted Places
#365daysofjuneday30_Finally Getting organized with Dear Myrtle-Update
#365daysofjuneday31 Day of Rest – Sorta

1 Feb – 29 Feb 2016

#365daysofjuneday32 First Day of the Month = Backup Time
#365daysofjuneday33_Finally Getting Organized: Packing Slips and Genealogy Research
#365daysofjuneday34_Transcriptions of a Different Kind: Find-A-Grave
#365daysofjuneday35 Mother’s Binder: Finally Getting Organized

Source citations:

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/p/finally-get-organized.html: Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.

Mother’s Binder: Finally Getting Organized


Mother’s Binder: Finally Getting Organized 1 Feb -7 Feb 2016

Daily work on getting organized is a challenge and a pleasant adventure. One of DearMyrtle’s challenges this week is to work on the first four generation binders, starting with your mother’s maiden name binder. I have folders not binders for my ancestors. I created “coffee table” books with photographs and stories for some of my more recent family members, as Christmas gifts. I will continue doing so.

DearMyrtle’s idea of 3-ring binders with archival safe materials is a more cost effective way of providing a “coffee table” book for little fingers to explore. It also forces me to go through those file folders. While reviewing the folders I can discard duplicates, saving originals, scan to my digital surname/maiden folders on my computer and enjoy the memories that come flooding back. I will also verify that my FTM2014 Family tree program is current with the same information. [I’m happy that Ancestry.com announced that a company has purchased the software and will continue with updates and syncing with Ancestry after the end of 2016. FTM2014 is my program of choice, although RootsMagic is coming in a close second with Legacy. I can’t wait for RootsMagic to be able to sync with Ancestry.com at the end of the year. End of my digression.]

Here is a brief overview of what’s in my Mother’s Binder:

  1. Narratives of traditions, life story and family memories,
  2. Family Group Sheet
  3. Four generation pedigree chart
  4. Original documents,
  5. Copies of on-line documents that I think the family will enjoy,
  6. Photographs of interest [I have photograph albums and scrapbooks also,]
  7. Some trinkets or photographs of my mother’s memorabilia.

Here are a few photographs and a quick story that is in my mother’s binder.

My mother has two 1940 US Census records listing here residence. I know this is the year Shirley’s mother, Irene Elizabeth Place Pease, became ill [listed on New Hampshire Hospital 1940 US Census.]

Shirley’s father, Charles [Lawrence] Pease [informant,] is listed on the 22 Apr 1940 US Census in Monmouth, Kennebec, Maine, living with his mother, Mary [Downs] Pease; son and Shirley’s brother, Arthur Pease; Shirley [Beatrice] Pease and a housekeeper Ethel Hoyt [cousin.]

1940 US Census Monmouth, Maine
1940 US Census Monmouth, Maine

Shirley [Beatrice] Pease  is listed on the 26 Apr 1940 US Census Sutton, Merrimack, New Hampshire in the household of William E Doyle [informant and step grandfather to Shirley,] Tina May [Hutchins-Spooner-Towle] Doyle [Shirley’s maternal grandmother,] her half brother, Fredrick [Francis] Allen.

Here is a photograph of Shirley from 1940.

Shirley playing the Ukulele
Shirley playing the Ukulele

Shirley over the years:

Shirley circa 1948 Sutton, New Hampshire
Shirley circa 1948 Sutton, New Hampshire
Shirley 1978 Pembroke , New Hampshire
Shirley 1978 Pembroke , New Hampshire
Shirley 1984 baptism, Kezar Falls, Maine
Shirley 1984 baptism, Kezar Falls, Maine
Shirley drawing the P.E.T Project Raffle winner 2000
Shirley drawing the P.E.T Project Raffle winner 2000

Shirley was known for making and donating her handmade quilts to various charity fundraisers throughout her lifetime. This was one of the last quilts she donated to the Pets and Elders Together Project (P.E.T. Project) for Rockingham County Visiting Nurses Association & Hospice [Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire] in 2000. The following year the P,E.T. Project quilt raffle was dedicated in her memory.

I have added a copy of this post to her binder and digital Surname/Maiden name folder.

Thank you DearMyrtle for the challenge and memories you have given me. Each day of organizing forces me to review work from years ago. I almost always find something I forgot was in the file folder. The memories are precious and are meant to be remembered and shared.

Source Citation:

Finally Getting Organized 1 Feb -7 Feb 2016

Richley-Erickson, Pat “Finally Get Organized,” Dear Myrtle, DearMyrtle’s Genealogy Your Friend In Genealogy since 1995 Blog, 31 Jan 2016. http://blog.dearmyrtle.com/p/finally-get-organized.html: Access 2 Feb 2016, checklists.