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Location: Arizona, United States

My name is Colleen and I find dead people.

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20 April, 2009

Database Overhaul: Day 3

Today I started creating To-Do lists with RootsMagic4. I started by identifying the need for my nearest deceased ancestor, my mother, who died in Tempe, Az in 1988. I first did a search of the Internet to determine where to request her death certificate, as I'm keeping with the traditional method of genealogical research by starting recent and moving backwards.

Once I obtained the location to which I need to send my request, I added the task to RootsMagic4: All's well and good, no? Well, no. For a few reasons. First, I entered the information in the wrong menu option for "To-Do" list. What I did was highlight the person I was seeking in the Family View screen and navigated to "Lists" on the top tool bar. I then chose "To Do" and entered necessary information into the appropriate fields and clicked "OK". Done. Except I wasn't.

See, I didn't have a way to identify for whom this task was assigned. Simple solution: Open the Task and enter mom's name in the "Reference Number" field, since I am not using reference numbers (if anyone has input on whether I *should* use reference numbers and if so, how do I do that, please "Comment" below). Done. Except I wasn't.

Because when I double-clicked on my mother's name in the Family View screen to see her data sheet, I noticed in the bottom-right-hand corner, where the buttons are for sources and files, a button for "ToDo". Clicking on that, I expected to see the tasks I'd entered (obtain death and birth certificates). But I didn't. Perhaps this would have been resolved had I used reference numbers? Will have to research that. In the meantime, since I am oh-so-impatient, I simply re-entered the information here.

What I found odd is that if I enter a task under the top tool bar "Lists", the task does not show in the person's "ToDo" screen when I click on that button on the personal data screen. But if I enter the information on the person's data screen, then later go to the top toolbar option "Lists>ToDo", the tasks I had entered in the person's screen DO appear. {whew}. Now the question remains: Once I enter in a series of "ToDo" tasks for different individuals (on their worksheet screens), will I be able to print a single report of all tasks I have entered for all individuals? I'm betting I can.

And I can. I suppose I need to add obtaining her marriage certificate to the mix, since I'm sure my dad does not have this. I'm almost sure many of our family documents (including birth certificates for us kids [I had to order a copy of my own], marriage certificate, and goodness knows what else) "got lost" during my dad's second marriage, though it seems odd since his second wife's mother was into genealogy (by hand). Course, his second wife hated her mother's obsession with it.

Another obstacle to obtaining records is going to be states' rules on requesting them. I should be able to get my mother's death certificate here in Arizona without a problem. However, New York State, where she was born, requires that the certificate be on file for at least 75 years and that I be able to prove she's deceased (this one is not a problem). I could, as my mother's child, request a certified copy of her birth certificate, but that would require me to obtain a court order from the State of New York. Might be easier to wait four years for the genealogy copy!

I will need my dad's help to obtain copies of his parents' death certificates from New York State, as he is entitled to it as their child, but I am not as their grandchild. I should be able to get his grandparents' death certificates on my own, since they died over 50 years ago.

So far I am liking RootsMagic. It certainly is quicker to load and navigate through than my FTM. I wish I wasn't as impatient and actually read instructions more! But, on the same token, I tend to remember more by doing it, so the time lost by re-doing something is often worth it. Assuming, of course, I catch my mistakes right away, and not 4 years after starting the project!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi I was searching my great grandfather's name and I came across this document. I was wondering if it is the same person. Perhaps we have a common ancestor.

10:44 AM  

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