Scott_J on FamilyTreeCircles - journals

Scott_J on Family Tree Circles

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Journals and Posts

New Features on Family Tree Circles

If you’ve been reading the FamilyTreeCircles newsletter, you know that I’ve been working on some new features on FamilyTreeCircles.

If you don’t currently subscribe to the newsletter, you can sign up here.

I’m happy to say that a number of them have gone live today.

Here’s an overview of what’s new.

New Journal and Comment Views

You’ll notice a new menu item called “Journals”. That brings you to a new series of pages that give different views of journals and comments:

  • Newest: All of the new journals
  • Unanswered: Any journal that does not have a comment
  • Last Activity: All journals sorted by last activity (either a new journal or a comment added)
  • QuickSearch: search in all journals, more on that below
  • Latest Comments: View just the latest comments, not journals

This functionality replaces the old tried and true “Active Posts” page, which remains available if that is what you’re comfortable with.

Take a look through these menu items and see if these offer you any improvement in how to view the journals on Family Tree Circles

Quick Search

While you can use the search box in the upper right, the new Quick Search gives you a fast way to quickly sift through journals in the system to find keywords that you’re looking for. Looking for a surname? just start typing it in to the quick search box and you’ll immediately see any journals matching your search term.

Note: You can also search in just your own journals by accessing the quick search link from your own Journals page from your profile.

Journal “Thanks” and “Flag”

In order to reward people who are writing great journals, I’ve added a “Thank” button to the bottom of all journals.

If you like what someone wrote, just quickly click “Thank”. I’m quietly keeping track of these for now, but soon I’ll be exposing these numbers in the form of “popular journals” or people who get the most thanks. For now, just feel free to use it!

If you have any questions about these features, please drop a comment.

15 comment(s), latest 4 years, 9 months ago

What to do about a member who is upsetting the community?

As communities grow there will be people who disagree, and people who upset the community with their behavior, whether it is intended or not. It is inevitable.

It seems we have ourselves in this situation. I won't name names, but you probably know what I'm talking about. I had hoped this situation would have resolved itself, but it came to a bit of a head over the past several days.

While quietly addressing the situation yesterday, I disabled this member's ability to post comments. I didn't feel it was necessary to publicize that action, but maybe it would have prevented some more misunderstandings.

I learned that later last night this particular member was subsequently deactivated by one of our admins. This is a decision that I understand and respect, but the technical ramifications of that were such that I decided to reverse that -- especially since I had already prevented him from posting comments and been in discussions with him to resolve the problems. More on that in a bit.

Apparently some people noticed both the deactivation and the reversal and are troubled by the apparent lack of action, or worse, the appearance that I'm sticking up for this member.

I want to explain that.

Account deactivation is something that is for the purpose of quickly removing a spammer from FamilyTreeCircles. This action removes all posts and all comments for a particular user. Deactivating a member like this who has posted a large number of posts and comments makes a big mess and fills the site with thousands of "account deactivated" messages. Worse, it potentially took away good information from the comments in some members' journals. I feel that we can address this in other ways. It is also a last resort that I hope to avoid.

I do recognize that there is an issue to be dealt with and I'm committed to getting it resolved.

Here's what I am doing:

  • I've indefinitely disabled this member's access to make comments, as it seems this is the primary source of the behavior that is offending others. The only way I will reinstate that access is if I'm convinced that the member will participate in a way that does not offend other members.

  • I have not disabled his access to posting journals. I don't see the harm in him doing that unless he uses that as a vehicle to address others or this issue, in which case I'll take further action. I don't anticipate that will be necessary.

  • I have been in communication with this member to start a conversation about what has happened and what changes we can make if he wants to continue to participate in this community.

  • I will be investigating ways to improve FamilyTreeCircles to allow the community to better self-manage and deal with these issues better before they get out of hand. For example, voting on comments up or down, so that offending comments can be flagged and hidden. This is something that I'll work on in the coming weeks so the next time this happens, well, hopefully we'll prevent it. (I've already done this on journals with "Thank" and "flag". More on that in another post.)

I care deeply about FamilyTreeCircles. It is something that I've been working on as a passion project for several years and it is distressing to me when there are issues. I hope that I can have your support in getting through this bump in the road.

Pulling your posts and going away is your prerogative, but I hope you will not do that. Instead, if you ever have any comments or feedback about this or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] Heck, call me: +1 617-910-0055. That's how much I care about this.

Thanks for your help, support, and understanding.

Scott Jangro

27 comment(s), latest 4 years, 5 months ago

Children and Ancestors of Martin GINGRAS and Emilie MAYRAND

A member asked me if I had any information on Martin GINGRAS m. Emilie MAYRAND Aug 25 1846.

I found this couple in the GINGRAS FAMILY MARRIAGES book by Andrew GINGRAS, July 1995.

It is important to note that this book is NOT primary documentation. The tireless work of Andrew GINGRAS over the years produced an incredible amount of information, but I am not certain that it is all sourced with primary documentation. It is a wonderful collection nonetheless and we’re lucky to have it.

The formatting of this book can be difficult to get used to, but this first image shows the header format. Here’s Martin and Emilie with their parents Magloire GINGRAS and Vicroire GAVREAU and Children.

Here they have 7 children who were married (non married Gingrases don’t make this book): Rene, Philippe, Alfred, Leopold, Emma, Jeanne, and Emelia.

Going back…

Again, the formatting of this book can be confusing, but the first line in each of these families is the husband/wife. The second line is their parents, and the third+ lines are their children.

Magloire GINGRAS m. Emilie MAYRAND Feb 22 1802

Pierre GINGRAS m. Catherine GRENIER Apr 19 1773

Pierre GINGRAS m. Anne BELANGER Nov 21 1740

Jean GINGRAS m. Madeleine LEFEBVRE Feb 17 1705

which brings us to Charles and Francoise AMIOT at the base of the GINGRAS tree…

Charles GINGRAS m. Francoise AMIOT Nov 05, 1675

New Feature: Genealogy Articles and Answers!

We're on a roll on FamilyTreeCircles, adding new features. We're really trying to round out the types of information that are available on FTC and I'm happy to say that there are now three types of postings available for everyone from new family researchers to experienced genealogists.

Look on the homepage and you'll see the following explanation of the options.

Find Family Tree Researchers and Information for your Surnames | Family Tree Circles.png

The last thing I want to do is introduce any confusion or uncertainty with more options and I've tried to make it as simple as possible. All three types of entries end up in the same places in the list on the homepage and in the active posts page, color coded so you can tell the difference at a glance.


There is still the same, old, tried and true Journal entries. Nothing has changed there. Use a journal entry for posting all your great family research. As a general rule, anything family or surname related should go in a journal. For the time being, only journals can be associated specifically with surnames and therefore show up on the surname page for any given surname.


If you've got a question about any genealogy topic, this is the place to ask. Maybe you're wondering about what sort of resources are available in Cork County Ireland. Or maybe you're stuck with a problem in Personal Ancestral File software. Ask about any genealogy topic, technique, method, or technology. Keep an eye on the open questions to see if you can answer a question for someone else. You can read more about this on our announcement of Answers from a few days ago.


Everybody is an expert about something. Maybe your experience has made you an expert on genealogy research in the state of Vermont, or researching slave ancestry in Virginia. Maybe you're an expert user of certain software or websites. Write an article and you'll not only provide the community with some great information, but you can establish yourself as an expert and direct people to your own blog for more information.

I've got some exciting ideas of where the Articles feature can go...more on that soon.

So there you have it. Something for everyone. It'll take some time for people to get used to the new features on FamilyTreeCircles. If you're one of our more experienced users, please give them a try and show folks how it's done!

How do you cite as a source, a plaque in a precinct for a fallen policeman which details his heroism?

This is a question submitted by a newsletter reader.

2 comment(s), latest 5 years, 8 months ago

Where would I find the manifests on a ship that took my two uncles to Australia?

This is a question submitted via email from a newsletter reader.

1 comment(s), latest 5 years, 8 months ago

Is it possible with Family Tree Maker 16 to add umlauts to German names? If yes, how do I do it?

This is a question from a Family Tree Circles newsletter reader. Unfortunately, I don't have FTM16 to try this on.

1 comment(s), latest 5 years, 8 months ago

Thrice WeddedOnce Bedded

Thrice WeddedOnce Bedded

In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries marriage amongst the Upper and Middle classes was not so much a matter of personal attraction but more a matter of ownership of property and of money. When Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland, died his only child, Elizabeth, became the most desirable heiress in the Kingdom. Elizabeth's mother had scant influence in her upbringing which was taken over by her grandmother, the formidable and well-connected, Elizabeth Howard. A marriage was arranged between the 13 year old Elizabeth Percy and Henry Cavendish, Earl of Ogle, who was two years older. The marriage was not consummated and the couple were immediately parted to await the time that they had reached a degree of maturity. It was never to be as the young earl was soon to die.

Elizabeth's grandmother lost little time in assessing the ranks for a likely second husband for the girl who was now 15 years of age. The selected groom was the very rich Thomas Thynne of Longleat, "Tom o' Ten Thousand." When the pair met for the first time at the home of a Major Brett on 14th July 1681, they were straight away married by special licence. Once again before the marriage was consummated, Elizabeth was whisked away, this time to the Netherlands by Lady Dorothy, the wife of Sir William Temple, who was ambassador to the Hague. Sir William's secretary was a distant relation, Jonathan Swift.

Europe was in its usual state of ferment and was a place of opportunity for soldiers of fortune. One such of these was John Philip Königsmark, a Swedish subject. A look at the Königsmark family will outline their place in European history. John Philip's older brother was accused of an intrigue with Sophia Dorothea, wife of George, the Elector of Hanover and future King of England. She was divorced and locked up in the castle at Zelle. One of John Philip's sisters, Aurora, became the mistress of Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. He was reputed to have had 350 children. Hisson by Aurora became the famous Marshal Saxe. Aurora was made abbess of the convent at Quedlingburgh, in Austria.

John Philip, although penniless, had some idea of gaining the hand and fortune of Elizabeth Percy Thynne. The fly in the ointment was Tom o' Ten Thousand. Konigsmark recruited three desperadoes to assassinate Tom and this was accomplished by discharging a musketoona sort of blunderbussinto his carriage as they waylaid it in Pall Mall. Tom was mortally wounded and died the next morning.

The three villains were soon arrested and Königsmark was apprehended trying to leave the country. Arraigned as an accessory, he was acquitted by the intervention of the King of Sweden. The other three were hanged in Pall Mall at the scene of the crime.

There is a memorial depicting the murder in Westminster Abbey. A mock epitaph appeared in the London coffee houses:

"Here lies Tom Thynne of Longleat Hall
Who never would have miscarried,
Had he married the woman he lay withal
Or lain with the woman he married."

Elizabeth's third marriage was to Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset. She was appointed Mistress of the Robes to Queen Anne and had great influence at Court.
Swift throwing caution to the winds and in his cynical and satirical manner, wrote the following:

"And dear England if aught I understand
Beware of carrots from Northumberland;
Carrots sown Thynne a deep root might set
If so they be in Somer set,
There Conyngs mark thou; for I have been told
They assassinate when young, poison when old."

This seems to implicate Elizabeth and he was in the Hague and in a position to know. Elizabeth wrought her revenge on Swift by using her influence with Queen Anne to deny him the bishop's mitre he so much wanted. He remained Dean of St Patricks, Dublin, until his death.

The Northumberland succession passed to the 7th Duke of Somerset, son of the 6th Duke and Elizabeth.

Family Bee: Genealogy App for Android phones

How many times have you been out visiting family and end up in a discussion about your family tree? It doesn't take too many generations back for the details of who's who to become fuzzy and if you're like my family, you end up spending more time trying to recreate the tree in your heads than having some more productive discussion around family history.

In any case, I like to have my family research with me wherever I am as I never know when I'll need it.

iPhone owners have been blessed with a plethora of GEDCOM-viewing apps that have been available for years now.

Though if you've got an Android-based smartphone (like the Motorola Droid or the Google Nexus One) and have been feeling left out, there's now a nifty application available that allows you to store and view one or more GEDCOM files, called Family Bee, available from Beekeeper Labs.

Family Bee is a simple GEDCOM viewer (not editor), which means you can store your GEDCOM file(s) in your Android phone and view any of the people in your tree in many different ways (more on that below). But you cannot edit and make changes. This is fine with me, as I'd prefer to be able to carefully make edits to my family tree information at the comfort of my computer keyboard.

Set up


After purchasing it from the Android Marketplace and installing it, you're prompted with three ways to import your GEDCOM file:

  1. Download directly from the web
  2. Email as an attachment
  3. Copy from the computer via USB

I chose the third option as it seemed the simplest, and it was. I copied my largest (and most bloated with inaccuracies) GEDCOM file downloaded fresh from into the /familybee folder on my phone's SD card.

Once this was done, Family Bee quickly loaded the file and displayed the list of people in my tree.

Using Family Bee

The first thing you see when loading Family Bee is a list of people in the GEDCOM. You can scroll through this list or search. Here I searched for the name SLADE.

family bee people

Once you choose a person, here Coralinn SLADE, you're presented with the Family View.

family bee 3.jpg

Next you can drill down to the details on a specific person in the Detail View


And finally you can get in to the very specific details on any record such as Residence data, birth, death, etc. Virtually all information included in the GEDCOM source and notes fields are accessible.


And for any person, you can view their list of descendants, here switching to someone way back with a big list, Abigail ADAMS.


Switching to Tree View, you can navigate the entire tree by touching each box. Touching boxes on the right will move the tree to the right. Touching a box on the left will prompt you with a list of children to choose from.

NewImage.jpg NewImage.jpg

Family Bee should with with any Android phone. I scrolled through the comments in the marketplace and didn't see any major issues with specific phones. It currently has a 4.5 star rating and virtually nothing but great reviews.

All in all, this is a very function GEDCOM viewer for the Android OS, and well worth the $10 price tag to always have my family tree in my pocket.