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Success Stories & Research Suggestions, 52 Threads

Success stories, suggestions, and hints for users of the website.
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ThreadStart DateLast PostMessages
Mitch McConnell story7-9-2019 by Ray Gurganus7-9-2019 by Virginia Sholin Smallwood2
Putting aside whatever you may think about Mitch McConnell (positive and negative) as a politician, there is good news in that this NBC news article links to his page here on Our Family Tree.
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mitch-mcconnell-ancestors-slave-owners-alabama-1800s-census-n1027511?fbclid=IwAR0eeNYlrSYAkv7M9MTcLwM3gJgpW4cCkCl7gevp3nM_CDpIofrhRJYCKN8

Checking the site statistics so far, his page here has had about 260 views in the few hours since the article has been out.  So a couple pointers can be gleaned from this...
  1. Be sure to quote your sources.  As you don't know who might be browsing in to look at your information, be sure to specify where it is that you get any information that you add.
  2. Be thorough.  More details about a person is more likely to be helpful than fewer details.
4,0005-4-2019 by Virginia Sholin Smallwood5-4-2019 by Isabella Fiske McFarlin2
If you are a descendant of a Union Civil War soldier, you might be able to claim one of the 4,000 unclaimed medals from that war.  Many soldiers went out west right after the war and didn't even know they had been issued a medal. You will need to prove your direct lineage, along with copies of documents. If you can prove descent and provide  $50, the medal can be yours.  What a treasure!

Note that our advanced search engine makes it possible to find everyone in your branch who lived or died in a certain place. So one way to see check quickly to see what you might have is to input your name and the place, West Virginia.  

Go to www.wvculture.org/history/archives/civilwarmedals/medals.html to check this out. Note that the page includes a search engine for the remaining medal recipients.
Auto-Complete Dropdowns5-31-2017 by Ray Gurganus5-31-2017 by Ray Gurganus1
When you're typing a place, or tag, or cause of death, a list of existing entries appears below the field. Look at the list, and if what you're starting to type shows up in the list, select it from there, instead of continuing to type it.  Otherwise you may be creating incorrect spellings or variations in punctuation.  This is one of the easiest ways to avoid typos, rather than leaving them for me to find and correct.

If you are adding something that is already there, but is misspelled or not formatted correctly, go ahead and use the wrong version, but let me know, and I can update all of them... rather than creating your own version of the same thing.

In addition to be correct and consistent, each also links to a list of others with that same entry, but only if it is consistent.

Thank you.
Hello Cousin?5-2-2017 by Kenneth F. Carty5-7-2017 by Kenneth F. Carty3
Ray:
Thanks for sharing this excellent site.  While looking around I determined that we may have several ancestors in common.
I find several folks with surname of GURGANUS. Starting with Nicholas Gurganus.

Kenneth Carty
Richmond, Virginia12-19-2016 by Ray Gurganus12-20-2016 by James2
A reminder -- the city fo Richmond in Virginia is not located in or anywhere near Richmond County, Virginia.  When entering either, be sure you are choosing correctly the city or the county.  And as always, be sure the sources listed provide details as to where this comes from.  Thank you.
Calculate Ancestors9-28-2016 by Tom Burks9-28-2016 by Tom Burks1
GO TO THE ACCOUNT TAB,

PULL DOWN TO "CALCULATE ANCESTORS"  and click,

then put in your name or one of your closer ANCESTORS.

Why,   well it seems the majority of my ancestors on Our Family Tree are mine alone.  Not all, many have common ancestery with Ray, Judy Burks, Steve Taylor, and others.

If you have not tried it, please do so.

Many thanks and best regards,

Tom Burks

A reminder about Findagrave sources6-25-2016 by Ray Gurganus6-25-2016 by Ray Gurganus1
When quoting findagrave sources, use the "Site Information" box, and only this box. There's no need to add a separate source for each person, linking to their memorial. All you need to do is to copy & paste the website address of the memorial into the box, and save. (It reduces itself down to only the memorial number.)

Besides being easier, this also shows up as a more distinctive button, making it easier to see, and it can optionally show up on other pages like the pedigree and descendant charts, and is counted as a slice in the little green pie on each person's page.

Though note this is only for the memorial of that person. If you want to quote the findgrave memorial page of a different person that has information about your different person, then I'd return to adding it as a separate source.

Thanks, and let me know if you have any questions.

SOURCES4-10-2016 by Ray Gurganus4-10-2016 by Ray Gurganus1
I have noticed this issue with a couple of different users here, so I wanted to post a reminder for everyone:  Whenever you add a source, be sure that the source is directly relevant to information on that page.  If it is not, then it's no better than having no sources at all.

Here's an example.  One researcher quoted a single find-a-grave page as a source for 7 different people.  This might be OK if the biography had information listed all of the people, but it didn't.  Each person should link to their own find-a-grave page, and this is easily done by copying & pasting the address into the "Site Information" box.

Think about it from the reverse -- if you go to someone else's page, click the link to a source to find more information, and you see that the page not at all relevant, wouldn't you be upset? 

If you have any of these, please correct them as soon as possible.  If you discover these for other researchers, let them know, and let me as well so that I can followup.

Thank you.
A great use for our terrific search engine2-29-2016 by Virginia Sholin Smallwood2-29-2016 by Virginia Sholin Smallwood1

A probate record for Riley Way, who died in North Carolina in Nov 1854, contained a long list of people. Most of them had inherited something from his estate, such as a book or some other small item. These multi-page records are increasingly available at FamilySearch.org and Ancestry.com.  I have created a link on my page for Riley Way to this record at FamilySearch.

Anyway, I wanted to know how these people were possibly related to Riley Way.

Using our search engine, I searched for the surname, "Way," in combination with any surname that came up in the probate record. This was very fast and easy. By this way, I found that at least half of those mentioned had married into the Way family. Looking at associated census records helped to show that some were neighbors. Finding this information helps to create a picture of how these people interacted.

Nowhere else have I found this service. Thank you, Ray!

Tags2-20-2016 by Armour Cribbs2-20-2016 by Ray Gurganus2
Ray,  

I lost your response to editing on "Robert Scott Henry".  I tried to tag the organization "F. and A.M." that stands for Free and Accepted Masons, and their respective Lodges.  They are quite prevalent in my ancestory.
I have noted your other changes, and thank you for your kind addition.

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