Preparing your family tree for the trip

For a genealogy trip to a specific location, one important thing to do is make time to clean up the place names on your family tree. If you use Family Tree Maker, this task is easy, but can be time consuming. In order to show all of your family in the same location, each person needs to have the same format for the location of their birth, death, marriage, and other vital records. Otherwise, Logan County, Kentucky; Logan, Kentucky; Logan, KY will each have different lists of people.

In the green  next to “Places” look for “Resolve all”. A list will appear of the place names that need resolved. Choose your naming convention  so that all names match. I generally use City, Township, County, State, USA. FTM gives you alternate places to choose from as defaults in the list, but you can also go to another menu to make another choice. Resolving place names is something you should do at regular intervals.  Since my upcoming trip is to Logan County, Kentucky, I have decided to look at just the listings for Logan County. When I choose Logan County, Kentucky, a list of people appears on the right side.

But notice if I choose the standard naming convention: Logan, Kentucky, USA, I will actually find the majority of my  names. If you don’t have time to resolve your place names before your trip, do this process for each location.

 Now expand your list on the right hand side to show all of the details of what events happened in that location. In order to print the list of this one location, click on “Print” in the upper right corner and choose to “Print Place Usage Report for This Place”.

 A window will come up with the Place Usage Report.

If you would rather not print, but would like a pdf instead, click on the share button in the upper right hand corner and choose: “Export Place Usage Report”.

If you haven’t resolved your place names, don’t forget to repeat this process for other locations. This list is helpful when you are researching in a new library or location. All of the people in the area and how they are linked to the area will be at your fingertips.

The next installment of this blog will be How to be Efficient in the Distant Library.