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RootsWeb Help
This page will serve as a short tutorial on what you can do with the Family Tree file on RootsWeb.

Search by Surname (Last Name)  (If you're searching from RootsWeb)
Your only option to start with is to search for a surname.  Enter the last name of the individual you would like more information on.  Remember to use maiden names for women.  Living persons are only listed as "living" but you can still search for that surname.  Enter the surname in the search box and click List (or click Advanced Search for more options).  You can also just click the letter of the last name you are looking for.

(You can also search directly from my eTrees page.  Enter last name or last name, first name then click List.  You will then be directed to the RootsWeb page and the rest of these directions will apply)

Select Surname
After you search, select the surname you are looking for by clicking it.  You will then go to all persons with that last name.  This step will only apply if you only searched for a last name.

Select Name
Now all persons with the surname you searched for will be listed, along with some basic vital information.  Click the person you are looking for and more detailed information will be brought up.

Other Options
On this page, all information I have on that person will be listed, including parents and children as available.  You can click on any of those individuals to go their page.  Also, above the vital information is a series of options you may choose, described below:

  • Index.  This will return you back to the list of surnames you searched for.  You can select another person, or search for another surname.
  • Descendancy.  This will provide a list of all persons descended (his or her children, their children, and so on) from the person you chose.
  • Register.  Similar to the Descendancy, but it will provide a report with all persons vital information rather than a list.  Printing is a possible use.
  • Pedigree.  This will show a family tree for the person you selected, showing his or her parents, grandparents, and so forth as available.
  • Ahnentafel.  Similar to a Pedigree, it will provide a report of the ancestors of a person, numbered in such a way that the starting person is number 1, the father 2, mother 3, paternal grandfather 4, paternal grandmother 5, maternal grandfather 6 and so on. The same numbering is usually used in pedigree charts, though pedigree charts are laid out differently.  Printing is a possible use.
Download GEDCOM File
If you want our family tree viewable on your home computer, you can download the latest GEDCOM file.  TIP
GEDCOM is a specific file format that allows sharing of family tree data between two potentially dissimilar programs. All vital information on each individual in the database is collected and put in a format the receiving computer may understand.  Remember to come back every one in a while and download another file if you wish to have the most up-to-date information.
  1. Go to My RootsWeb page (see above). 
  2. Go to any individual.  In the link bar there will be an option to "Download GEDCOM."   Click it.
  3. Click the option to "Download full GEDCOM as a ZIP file."  Save it to your documents.  Do not click the Download button at the bottom of the page.
  4. Use a Family Tree program (see below) to read the file.

Family Tree Programs
I currently use ancestry.com to work on our file, so I no longer use a computer program.  If you are looking for one, the last one I used was Family Tree Maker (FTM) 16.  I liked it quite well and it was easy to use.  With all the internet resources available, however, it was more convenient for me to keep things online.  If you want to buy FTM 16, you'll have to look to ebay; it's no longer available in stores.  FTM 2008/2009 has taken its place and I didn't like it nearly as well.

Instructions for downloading file to a computer program:  Download the GEDCOM file above first and save it to a location you'll remember.  Then download the FTM software (skip this step if you already have software).  Open the software and click File... Open.  Change the "Files of type" box to "GEDCOM (.GED)".  Change the "Look in" box to the location you saved the GEDCOM file to.  Open it.  It will then ask you to resave the file in FTM format.  Do so.  Then you should be able to view the file.