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ThreadStart DateLast PostMessages
Ancestors by Grave Location9-18-2023 by Ray Gurganus9-18-2023 by Ray Gurganus1
I have made numerous updates to the funcationality of the page under Places > Cemeteries > My Ancestors, mainly in preparation for a trip I may be doing next year to England.  So I wanted to the site to help me organize an itinerary of where my ancestors are buried.

To do this, a number of updates.  These are mainly focused on my own ancestors, but you probably share some of the same people.  The same updates can also work for your other ancestors that are not mine.
  1. Identified many with grave locations as found on Findgrave.
  2. Identified latitude and longitude coordinates for the cemetery location, as found on Findagrave or Wikipedia
  3. Looking at pictures and descriptions on Findagrave and Wikipedia, determining if the location still exists, and if grave locations are still visible.  If it no longer exists or graves are not visible, the location is marked as "defunct".
  4. The map on the "My Ancestors" page, below the map showing your ancestors' grave locations, is a button "Show UK Rail" which loads onto the same map the rail lines and rail stations for England, Scotland, and Wales.  Based on this, I then marked the grave locations that are more than 2 miles from the nearest rail station, as I'd more likely focus on ones more easily accessible, and sacrifice the ones harder to get to.
  5. At the top of the page there are new options to exclude locations by count of your people there, by the defunct status, and by railway distance.
So if you enter grave locations, be sure to select existing locations if they are are already defined, vs. defining a new variation of the same place.

With all of this together, if you're lucky enough to go to England, Scotland or Wales, and have ancestors there, and are looking ot organize your effort to find them, this may help.  Except for the mapped rail locations, this all works for any other places.
Postcards Update8-2-2023 by Ray Gurganus8-2-2023 by Ray Gurganus1
An update on my previous post about postcards -- the collection is now over 11,000, covering all 50 US states in locations pictured and messages received.  Currently there are over 3,700 senders and recipients indexed, all from the late 1800's through the 1950's.  Some of these families are entered on Our Family Tree, and pictures of the postcards they sent or received attached to their page.

Do you have any old postcards (1950's or earlier) from friends or relatives, and would like to have them listed here?  If so, take pictures front & back, and email them to me.

Interested in researching others listed in the name index?  If you can identify the specific family in other records, and enter them in our collective tree, I can get you easy instructions for linking their postcards.


Postcards!4-27-2023 by Ray Gurganus7-13-2023 by Armour Cribbs2
I'm working on compiling data on vintage postcards, including pictures front and back, and searchable by location, categories, and for those that were mailed, names of who sent and received and place where they were sent.  This is available on the main menu under View > Records > Postcards, or here: https://www.ourfamtree.org/postcards

I have been and will be finding more ways to connect them into Our Family Tree, connecting on places and names where possible.

So far there are 1,500 cards listed, and I still have 1,200 more piled up waiting to be added, and hopefully more coming after that.  If you happen to have any that you'd like to have added, I'd just need you to send me pictures.  I'm mainly looking at ones 1950's or earlier, as the artwork is more interesting and the people named on the back are less likely to be living.
Updates for recent names, record hints4-19-2023 by Ray Gurganus4-19-2023 by Ray Gurganus1
Two updates:

1) On the homepage, in the scrolling slides at the top of the page, there is a slide titled "Recent Surnames". This lists the most frequently added or edited surnames in the previous 7 days, showing the count and states or countries with each. You should see some of your own work here. For others that were not yours, look at the names and places -- someone else may have added information for your family.

The images shown in the background are the last 6 personal photos uploaded, and may correspond to some of the names.

2) On each individual's page, near the bottom there may be a section "Record Hints". This cross-references the 1.7+ million records collected at https://www.ourfamtree.org/records, and lists records that may apply to the current person. If none are found, then nothing will show.

This is fairly narrow in what it checks - a year within the person's lifespan, and the same surname, same or partial given name, and in some cases the same location. This will still result in false positives, especially with common names or fathers and sons who share the same name.

It is still needed for you to detemrine if the person referenced is the same person. The link opens the original source document.  If it is the same person, click the checkbox(es) and "Accept". In some cases, the linked source for the record may contain more biographical information. The information will be added to the main display, and will disappear from the hints. This also makes a link from the larger records list to your person.

If you determine this is not the same person, you can either click the checkbox and "Dismiss", or just ignore it for later research.

It is also good to double-check records at https://www.ourfamtree.org/records, as there may be other name variants of the same person, or the same person in other cities, but don't show as hints.

If you accept a hint and later determine it is incorrect, you can edit the person as you normally would, and remove the event. If so, please also notify me, as the link from the records page to your person should also be removed, and this part is not yet automated.

If you know of other online sources for similar data but is not yet included (and is in the public domain), let me know and I can look into importing the data.  Suggestions welcome.

Events update1-21-2023 by Ray Gurganus1-21-2023 by Ray Gurganus1
An update for displaying events -- in some cases I'm adding 10-15 or more organizations a person worked with, and the list can get overwhelming.  To provide an alternative view of the list, there is now an "expand" option on the left under "Events".  This reloads all of the same events shown, but in a more tabular format with different pieces broken out into more columns... and with everything in separate columns, you can also click a column header to sort by that column, rather than always by date.

As this requires more screen space, this also changes the width to be full screen, when clicked.  If the screen is not wide enough, a person's event table may be cutoff on the right side.

To return the display to normal, refresh the page.

If you find any bugs I overlooked, please let me know.  Comments, questions, additional requests welcome!
Minor Update5-16-2022 by Ray Gurganus10-31-2022 by Horton, William Cecil3
This may be helpful for people entering information for California.  My typing always has problems with selecting counties that begin with "San" and "Santa", as there are many.  So I simplified it.  After choosing "California", and when in the county field, now instead of having to type "San F" to get to "San Francisco", you can type "SF". Likewise for San Diego, San Benito, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo (SL), San Mateo, and Santa Clara. It's not perfect as not all the letters are unique. Like for Santa Barbara, you can do "SB" which gets you to San Benito, and then scroll down to San Bernadino or Santa Barbara.

As a reminder, you can also do the same for states that being witih "New".  Typing an abbreviation like "NH" will select "New Hampshire", and likewise for New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and New Brunswick in Canada.
Military and other updates5-11-2022 by Ray Gurganus5-12-2022 by Ray Gurganus3
  1. Adding many more records of sailors serving on US Navy ships here: https://www.ourfamtree.org/records/sailors.php - now over 71,000 entries, compiled together from 40 different sources.
  2. Many of these are linked to our family tree, and are summarized here: https://www.ourfamtree.org/category/ships.php (on the menu under Categories > Military > Naval Sailors).
  3. For many of the over 2,300 ships, there is added meta data such as who built the ship, the years it was in service, awards it earned, and who the launch sponsors were, linking to their trees. These are all accessible from the above link in (2), and are available to add as columns using the options button in the upper left of that page.
  4. Added many more awards and honors for military service, available when entering a military record, and also linked to ships above where possible (documented in Wikipedia).
  5. Linked to many of the ships are ship sponsors and others who were present at launch.
    https://www.ourfamtree.org/tag/ship-sponsor and https://www.ourfamtree.org/tag/ship-launch
  6. Also, another new page is up here: https://www.ourfamtree.org/category/judges.php listing judges and justices, and the courts where they presided. Currently up to 1,036 entries. This is on the menu under Categories > Tags & Occupations > Judges & Courts.
  7. Also, added a while ago but not previously mentioned is a new page up here: https://www.ourfamtree.org/category/usgovernment.php summarizing people linked to departments of the US government.
Post your ideas if you have any suggestions for improving on any of the above.
Update for Ancestor Percentages4-25-2022 by Ray Gurganus5-1-2022 by Ray Gurganus1
Found under the His/Her menus, under Ancestors > Ancestor Percentages is a summary by birthplace for a person's first 15 generations of their ancestry.  So you can get an idea of where the ancestors came from, by birthplace.  This would normally be run from yourself, for your ancestry.

However, unknown branches and blank birthplaces can overwhelm the numbers, to the point where "unknown" is 99% and everything else less than 1%.  So at the top is now an option to exclude blank birthplaces and unknowns, counting only those that are known.  It can't help you fill in the blanks, but it can get them out of the way.
Judges, Lawyers, & Trials4-12-2022 by Ray Gurganus4-12-2022 by Ray Gurganus1
A new page is up listing a few court trials, each linking to judges, lawyers, and litigants where I've been able to find documentation.  On each of pages for these people, a section at the bottom lists the trials they were in.  This is on the main mennu under Categories > Tags > Lawyers & Trials, or here:

If anyone knows of other trials to be added, you can do so with the "Add" link at the top fo the page, or send me a link with the details, and I can add.
Editing Updates2-19-2022 by Ray Gurganus2-25-2022 by Ray Gurganus3
A couple of editing updates:

1) When adding a new person, the first event type is not pre-selected to be "birth". You can change it if needed, but as you almost always add a birth, you shouldn't need to.

2) When entering place names, the list of existing place names is reworked, mainly to add a choice of organizing the list by category. The default is still alphabetical as it has been, but you now have the option to see the same list by category. In my work I have been adding many schools, colleges, hospitals, etc, and when the list is long, I thought it would help to see it reorganized. At some point I may change the default to be by category, but for now it remains alphabetical.

This is updated in many different areas on the website where place names are selected. If you notice any that are not working as they should, let me know where.