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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Finding My FAN Club

Lately, there has been an emphasis on using the FAN club to help break down brick walls. Evidence of this interest is the recent Legacy Family Tree Webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills titled "FAN + GPS + DNA". Tonight's "Wacky Wednesday" DearMyrtle Hangout is scheduled to discuss this same topic.

I've previously used the FAN club principle in my research. However, I did not branch out as much as Ms. Mills suggested in her presentation. Since I have a brick wall in Kentucky prior to 1800, I want to revisit my research and see if I can apply a broader FAN club along with DNA to make some headway on my CRAWFORD line.

My CRAWFORD research is one of the places where utilizing the FAN club has helped. My ancestor, James Crawford, was married in Garrard County, Kentucky in 1799. In researching my James Crawford, I basically collected data on all James Crawfords prior to 1800 in the vicinity of Garrard County. (Garrard County was formed in 1796 from Lincoln, Madison and Mercer counties.) However, I didn't research neighbors and am hoping that by branching out I can place my line into the larger CRAWFORD line.

Since I already have done quite a bit of CRAWFORD research, I feel that I need a 'timeline' type document to pull together the various James Crawfords (and their families) to show where they were when. This information is in my RootsMagic database -- by the individual. However, analyzing this data would be easier with a spreadsheet. Thus, I needed to figure out how to get all of this information out of RootsMagic and into a spreadsheet.

To do this, I first created a marked group for the descendants (and spouses) for James Crawford (1772-1854).

  • On sidebar, go to groups and click on the group folder to open the menu for creating a new group

  • Once the window opens, I just click on the + sign to create another named group







  • The 'select people window will open. From here, locate the desired ancestor and click on MARK GROUP 
  • Clicking on MARK GROUP will open up the dialog box to select the descendants.
  • For my project, I have been clicking "Descendants and spouses" in the next window
  •  This will place a check mark beside all of the descendants and their spouses
  •  Clicking the OK button in the bottom right opens the window to name the group
  •  Clicking on OK will save the group
Now that the group is created, a BIG timeline can be generated from the REPORTS menu.

  • From the REPORTS menu, I've been selecting LISTS and then clicking on ALL Reports. 

  •  Scrolling down the list of reports, there is a TIMELINE (Chronology) List towards the bottom
  • I've been selecting GROUP TIMELINE LIST so that I can get the list of events for everyone in my marked group. I then selected my marked group and made sure that the place is being included for every place. I turned all of the sources off since I wanted to pull this information into EXCEL. However, I could leave that turned on and get a list of sources used for the timeline if desired.

  •  Clicking on Generate Report will pull all of the events for each person in the marked group into a report.
  • Save the file as a text file (paying attention to where the file is stored.
 
  •  Open Excel and open the TXT file. The TEXT IMPORT WINDOW should open

  • I select DELIMITED and then click NEXT. This next screen will determine how the data is split into columns. Tab is the default character that is used to build the columns. Adding the comma will separate the place fields  into separate columns. Since I don't use a 'leading comma' when I don't know a city, my data will not line up correctly. However, I use the comma and then clean up the data since I want to be able to sort by county. The two images below allow for comparison of just using tab versus using tab and comma.

  • On the next screen, one can set the data format for each column. With this genealogy data, I've just ignored this screen and clicked FINISH.
  • Because I used the comma, my places are split -- AND -- the state isn't always in the correct column. Some tweaking and cleaning up is required -- BUT -- when finished, I have a list of events complete with names, dates and places for all of the descendant data I have. I can sort by name or by date or by county -- or get creative.


For my list, I pulled together data for my James Crawford along with data for two other James Crawford lines and a Sellers line. Color coding is helping me see my line in relationship to the others. 

Now -- on to researching that FAN and finding the link between these families!


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