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Monday, July 17, 2017

DNA and NodeXL

The Facebook group, Genetic Genealogy Tips and Techniques, has provided lots of opportunities to learn how to use my DNA results to support my research -- and to break thru brick walls. Recently, Shelley Crawford has been posting links to her blog posts detailing how to use NodeXL and Microsoft Excel to find DNA connections. Yesterday, I followed the steps in her post, Visualizing Ancestry DNA Part 2 - Loading the Files. With my first attempt, I downloaded all of my matches and worked my way thru the instructions to get a 'blob'. I went back and rechecked my 'alternate' file to make sure I was skipping my siblings, my mother and 1st cousins (once removed). It took a while for the graph to appear but it was still a blob.

So, I started over and downloaded my matches for 4th cousins or closer. After creating a new file and again making sure the 'skip' information was included, I still had a blob -- just less dense.

Knowing this wasn't what it was supposed to look like, I dug thru her posts and the comments to discover that this whole process is more difficult with lots of data. One suggestion was to change the way the data was grouped. So I decided to try 'grouping by cluster'. That seemed to help since it separated the 'blobs'.

Even though it was still hard to visualize a DNA circle with the above graph, it was possible to click on a dot and see how that one dot was related to other dots (red lines). After some playing around, I figured out that the dark blue dots in the upper left contained a lot of my BRILES matches. So I'm wondering whether I can isolate certain branches of my tree by 'skipping' known matches from other branches of my tree.

Experiment #1: Isolating CRAWFORD line
  • Sort Vertices by shared CM from largest to smallest
  • Using data in 'notes', enter 'skip' in visibility field for known matches to other lines thru 150 matches
  • Save file different name
  • Refresh graph

 Group by Cluster

Unfortunately, that didn't clear out enough data to make it easy to see the 'circles'.

Since my experimentation (playing around) didn't produce a graph anything close to the example, I'm going to give up for now and wait for the next blog post of suggestions.



Friday, June 30, 2017

Citation Length - Using TreeShare to Modify

I'm experimenting again!

Can I use RootsMagic to modify an overly long citation and then use TreeShare to get that citation uploaded to Ancestry.

The first task is to locate the 'offending' citation in my list of sources. Since I know that this citation is associated with several facts for William Taylor Thompson, I'm going to use his screen to locate more info about the citation. When I look at the birth sources, I find the 'offending' citation.



From the info on this screen, I know the citation is listed under 'History-IA Wapello Portrait ...' in my list of sources. Since I only want to change the citation one time, I'm hoping that I will be able to use the Master Source List to make the change. After opening the Master Source List (Lists menu), I scroll to locate 'History-IA Wapello Portrait ...' in the list.


Having found the source, I click on the Edit button to make changes. I'm going to shorten the citation by removing the subtitle, 'Together with Portraits and Biographies of All of he Governors of Iowa and the Presidents of the United States.'

After shortening the title, I have a much shorter citation (but I haven't counted characters).

After clicking OK to accept the change and closing the window, I then opened William Thompson's window to see if the change carried over to his citations -- which it did!


Unfortunately, when I go to TreeShare, the program doesn't recognize the change in the citation since I didn't make the change on an individual's record.

 Nor does TreeShare recognize the difference in the sources when I go to William Thompson.
On Ancestry, I locate William Thompson's profile page.

I deleted the offending citations. His family now appears on the screen.
I re-open TreeShare hoping that the changes in Ancestry will produce prompts to upload the citation. William Thompson now shows on my list of changed people and the affected source citations are pink.
I select the first event and chose the UPDATE option.

I place a check mark in the box next to Sources and click OK

I repeat the process for the other 'pink' citations and then click Accept Changes. This should push those modified sources up to Ancestry -- and if I shortened the citation enough -- the screen should continue to display the family.



It Worked! The shorter citation is there and the family is still showing on the screen!

The next challenge is to figure out who all the citation is attached to and get the revised citation uploaded for them. Another option would be to keep track of citations that have been edited and then when the weird screen is encountered, use the list to determine which citation needs deleted and re-uploaded.

New Tree DNA Issues

On Wednesday (June 28), I uploaded my RootsMagic data to Ancestry, thus creating a new tree. Since I want to be able to utilize the TreeShare features of Ancestry, I want this new tree to be my primary tree in Ancestry. Thus, I attached my DNA results to this new tree.

I knew that when I switched my DNA to this new tree, it was going to cause some 'hiccups' in my DNA screens AND that it might take several days (weeks) for those 'hiccups' to go away.

However, I am seeing some strange, unexpected behavior that I'm trying to figure out the cause.

The first strange behavior is with the 'Shared Ancestor Hints'. I expected them to drop to zero and had documented those matches. Even though I can understand the few I have back, I can't figure out why I got those and not others.

The 5 shared Ancestor Hints are from my Briles (Broyles) / Rush line. I have circles for a couple of men on my Briles line and for my Rush line. However, these 5 people are not on the list of matches for the circles.

In trying to figure out why those I expect to appear aren't showing up, I discovered another strange behavior. I looked at my DNA match with my dad's first cousin. Since she has a tree and since I have accepted Ancestry hints for our common ancestor, she is one of the first people I expected to reappear on my list of shared matches. We also are grouped together in quite a few of my circles.


As indicated in the note, Judson Crawford is one of our common ancestors. Her DNA match screen shows that she has Judson Crawford in her tree.


My tree also contains Judson Crawford.

When I click on Judson F Crawford in my tree, a window opens showing his full name and birth/death information.

If I go back to her DNA match screen and look at her Crawfords, she has the same birth and death years for Judson Crawford that I have.

So, my question: Why is it only showing shared surnames and not a screen comparing our trees back to the common ancestor?



I plan to call Ancestry on this, but am wondering if anyone else with DNA attached to a new tree is having similar issues.


Ancestry Citation Length Experiment

Have you ever had the family disappear off of the profile screen in an Ancestry tree?

I'd experienced it before but when I recently encountered it, I decided to seek guidance from one of my Facebook communities.





Armed with that response, I returned to my tree and, sure enough, there was a citation that had been uploaded with the original gedcom that could be considered 'lengthy'.

When I clicked on 'view', I could see most of the citation.





Clicking the 'Edit Source' button took me to a screen where I could hopefully make some changes to shorten the citation.

So I decided the easiest way to shorten the citation without losing some essential information was to remove some of the subtitling.




I then scrolled to the bottom of the page to locate the button to save the source.



That's when I got the dreaded 'We're Sorry' page



I've tried editing the source multiple times and it always comes to this page.





So, now I'm playing with a 'test' tree to see what happens when I delete the source. If I click the View button for the source, the source window opens. On this window is a 'Remove' button

After verifying that I indeed want to remove the source, the screen immediately reverts to the normal profile screen.

So, my Facebook 'friend' was correct --

There is a limit to the length of a citation on Ancestry!

I have called Ancestry on this issue since I want to know what that limit is. The support person I reached had not seen this issue before. She was very thorough in reviewing the problem and discovered another, potentially related issue: The person's name could not be searched but was in the list of people. My case is being reviewed and hopefully, I will find out the maximum length for a citation.








Ancestry Tree Limit Question

During the middle of beta testing for RootsMagic, my husband asked a very scary question:

"What happened to my tree? It's not there!"

Afraid that in my deleting test trees, I had mistakenly deleted his tree, I was scared too.

Upon investigating, we discovered that his tree was still there! However, it wasn't showing on the pull down list of trees.


Instead it had been shoved aside (to the bottom) by all of my 'trees'. Several of those trees were trees uploaded for the beta testing. Other trees on the list were ones I created for some of my DNA matches.

To get to his tree we had to scroll clear to the bottom of the list of trees and click on the link to 'Create and Manage Trees'


From there we could locate his tree and click to 'View Tree Overview'

On the overview screen, there was the familiar tree icon with a pull down menu that would take us to the tree view.


Relieved that his tree was still there (big relief), I then started cleaning up my 'trees'. I deleted some of my beta test trees and combined my DNA trees into one larger tree. As soon as I had reduced the number of trees I was managing to under 10, his tree popped back up on the pull down list.

So the lesson learned is that there might not be a limit to the number of trees, BUT  there is a

Limit of Ten Trees on the Pull Down Menu

Thursday, June 29, 2017

TreeShare - Downloading Sources

Randy Seaver recently posted, Looking at My New RootsMagic Upload Ancestry Member Tree and Source Citations. A reader posted a comment asking about the downloading of citations from Ancestry. I replied based on my experiences during beta testing. However, I decided to re-look at the issue with the newly updated version of RootsMagic.

To experiment with this, I imported a gedcom of a small portion of my database into RootsMagic.



I then uploaded that database to Ancestry, creating a new tree. Within that tree, I looked at the hints for Albert Hutchinson.
I accepted the hints for the 1850, 1860 and 1870 U.S. Census. On the Ancestry side, this created one source citation and linked it to multiple facts. For example, the 1850 census was linked to both the birth and the residence fact.


On the RootsMagic side, TreeShare indicated that there were three new 'Residence' facts on Ancestry that were not in RootsMagic.

 Working with the 1850 residence fact, I selected 'Add as new event in RootsMagic' and accepted the changes.
The process was repeated for the 1860 and 1870 Residence events. Now RootsMagic 'agrees' (solid green) with Ancestry.

In RootsMagic, the source screen for the 1850 Residence fact contains the newly downloaded census information.


Editing that source reveals a new master source: 1850 United States Federal Census. This source is using the 'Ancestry Record' template.


The 'Ancestry Record' template appears to follow guidelines for citing a book.


The source list reveals that the citations will be 'lumped' together under the broad title of the database:






This handling of downloaded sources is much cleaner than what I experienced mid-beta testing.


TreeShare - 'Bumps in the Road' with DNA

As we all learn to navigate the new RootsMagic TreeShare features, there will be 'bumps' along the way. Having made the decision to UPLOAD my RootsMagic data to Ancestry, I knew that a new tree would create issues with DNA. Expecting to loose both circles and shared matches, I had already documented both.

Yesterday, I not only uploaded my tree but I connected my DNA tests to that new tree. As expected, both the circles and the shared matches were gone. HOWEVER, I was pleasantly surprised to discover all of my circles were back within the hour.

To get my shared matches back is going to require some work on my part -- accepting hints. Yesterday, I started that process by working with hints for my great-grandfather, Judson Foster Crawford. Knowing that several of my DNA ancestors have him in their trees, I was hoping to get their shared matches back. Unfortunately, they are still 'missing'. This could be caused by my not accepting the exact same hint as my 'cousins' or by a processing time lag on Ancestry's part.

I'm going to continue working my way thru hints for my great grandparents knowing that these shared matches will start reappearing.

RootsMagic TreeShare Resources: