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Methods of Checking All My Ancestors have been added to Lost Cousins

Discussion in 'Advanced techniques for experienced users' started by Jacqueline, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. Jacqueline

    Jacqueline Moderator Staff Member

    Oh how I agree with you all! I have been very good and have 491 blood relatives entered and have only 4 hits (mainly the second and therefore irrelevant wife past childbearing age of a very very distant ancestor) and 1 I'd met already through another FT site. I live in hope that Peter's constant reminders - and now the forum - will find me some cousins that I haven't found already by my own efforts.
  2. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    I have written a program that can read a GEDCOM file and view census facts recorded in that file. This requires software that writes properly compliant GEDCOM files, which most modern programs should. Unfortunately when Tim helped in testing we discovered that GenoPro the program he uses doesn't write properly compliant GEDCOM files as it doesn't store census facts correctly only as notes. That said I've tested numerous other programs and they work.

    Basically the program will display a report showing everyone in your tree who you have recorded a Lost Cousins census for. You can then check that list against your "My Ancestors" page on the main website. If you go one step further and tag those ancestors with Lost Cousins GEDCOM "EVEN" (event) tag it will then filter the list showing you only those ancestors you have that you have not yet entered. Having a program automatically scan your file and produce a printout for you of people to enter makes adding extra ancestors easy.

    Note that it does this entirely on your PC there is NO upload to any website or anything like that your GEDCOM never leaves your PC so it remains entirely private.

    I'd be interested to hear from others who might be interested in testing the program further. I and a small band of enthusiasts have used it myself for several years but its always good to add new features or to have others comments on what else they'd like to see the program do. You can get it completely free of charge on CodePlex.

    For some users if you don't already have certain Microsoft software installed on Windows you will need a couple of extra bits from the Microsoft website. ie: you will need Microsoft's .Net 4 free software if you don't already have that installed and Microsoft's free Report Viewer again if you haven't already got it installed if you want to print out the reports.

    It does several other things in addition to providing Lost Cousins lists, eg:
    • it can display lists of locations you've entered and who is at that location (which is also helpful for spotting typing errors and inconsistencies in how you record your locations),
    • it can display lists of people you know are alive on a census but for whom you have yet to record a census fact.
    • it can display lists of men likely to have fought in either world war - handy for looking up war record websites
    • it can display lists of the people at the tops of your tree (Treetops report) so you can see how far back you are on every branch, this often prompts you to look again at branches you previously haven't paid that much attention to
    • it can display lists of "loose deaths" ie: where you haven't narrowed down the possible dates of death. When searching records knowing the period during which someone must have died is handy to limit searches. eg: if you know a female ancestor was born in 1856 and died between 1881 and 1911 (due to finding her married in 1881 and widow in 1911), then when searching death records you can narrow searches to that period. Sometimes you record facts without noticing that it narrows the death period ie: a birth of a son for that woman happened in 1892, you know she must have been alive in 1892 and thus you can narrow the death to 1892-1911 noticing that you don't have her on the 1891 census but she must have been alive. So something else to find.
    The basic idea is it can produce research lists for you to work from giving you guidance as to what you are missing. Sometimes with family history we can get bogged down in a single line or two and not notice we are missing details from siblings or other lines etc that could if researched actually prove to be the hammer that smashes through the brick wall on the main line. By using a program like this I aim to assist "Seeing the wood in your family tree". (pun on "you can't see the wood for the trees").
  3. Cathy

    Cathy Moderator Staff Member

    Legacy has a specific search to find people alive at a certain time in an area designed originally for identifying who to look for in the census. Combined with a tag group if your file includes bits of one name study and village studies as mine does, it creates a useful list. I've used it for checking the census but must admit I haven't used it to check who I could have in Lost Cousins and don't. Reminder to self - do it some time soon.

    I just ran the search and ended up with about 1500 for the 1881 census down from well over 2000 when I filtered for just those connected to my main tree. Me thinks I need to start with a place narrower than "England".

    Looking at my sources I see I've found about 700 of them. How many have I entered? All my direct line, most of their siblings.

    What would encourage me to add more to Lost Cousins? Success in finding cousins by doing it. I've taken to adding people when I'm puzzling over a line and looking for living descendants but I've never got a match from this. It's circular isn't it:rolleyes: The more you add, the more chances you have of making a match but without matches the incentive to continue is low.
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  4. AdrienneQ

    AdrienneQ Moderator Staff Member

    I had been going to suggest that this program (which you had mentioned briefly in the past) might be a way of helping people who want to enter data to know what to put in. I would be very happy to do some testing, I use FTM to produce my GEDCOM files
  5. AndyMick

    AndyMick LostCousins Star

    For my own tree, I use Generations 8 - it's a bit long in the tooth, but so am I, or I would be if I didn't keep having to have them extracted:( Generations has the facility to create flags for a person, so not only have I created flags to show when I've extracted someone's details from a census, but also flags to say they're on Lost Cousins.

    For my One Name Study I use Excel. Since starting to do this I've learnt how to use macros. I discovered that Excel macros can interact with Internet Explorer. So I've written a couple of interesting macros. I used one to enter data from my census worksheet in to LostCousins. Another went on to Ancestry to extract mother's maiden name on the post 1911 births. I did flag this use of macros to Peter but he said no-one would be interested - was he right?
  6. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    You can download the program from here and see what you find. I'm happy to fix any errors you encounter.
  7. AdrienneQ

    AdrienneQ Moderator Staff Member

    Alexander I am getting version 1 although you page says its version 2
    After downloading v1.3.7.1 told me there was a new version available however that took me back to the page I had started from and I again got V1
  8. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    I got the same when I tried it.
  9. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    I got the version numbers wrong it should be fine now with download of new version v1.3.7.3.
  10. AndyMick

    AndyMick LostCousins Star

    Thinking about this on the fly, and rewriting it several times already...

    Tim's right about it being easy to miss someone. It's probably about time I checked if I've missed anyone, particularly as I occasionally do go back to see if I can find someone who's not on the census and once in a while I succeed, but I might well have forgotten to update on LC. So it's a question of working through 2 databases simultaneously checking one against the other. No short cuts really - just a case of getting on with it! Perhaps I'd print one off and check it against the other. I wonder which would be best printed?

    However as these databases are both on computer, there has to be a way of automating it. To do that, both need to be put into the same format so that they can be compared by programme. I can do that with my data, but not with the LC data. What format would be best and how could it be generated? Getting it into Excel or Access would be a start.

    I tried to extract the data from "My Ancestors" with Table2Clipboard, but there's another table picked up in preference. Selecting all the text picks up the menus etc. How can I get this data into Excel?

    I've just checked - I've got 793 entries on my own tree, 1579 on my ONS - and yes, I do need to update as some of the figures look low. But with those numbers, I need some automation.
  11. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Andy the reason I wrote my FTAnalyzer program was for precisely the purpose of automating searching for things. You don't need a fancy format GEDCOM is fine. It will take your GEDCOM process it and the provide you with various lists.

    See earlier post about details of what it can do.
  12. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    I've tried this with a gedcom from my data, and although it reads the data ok, it seems to get stuck at "Calculating relationships...please wait". I have now left it for a couple of hours to see if it would resolve itself, but it's still chugging away. Should it take this amount of time? It also doesn't recognise "Dec Qtr 1911" (a Legacy standard date format) as a date, which may cause problems when it is calculating reports later on (if I ever get that far :()
  13. Tim

    Tim Megastar and Moderator Staff Member

    Hi AndyMick,

    I've been able to export my LostCousins data into excel. This what I did.

    Change the sort order to how you want your data, Name, Type or Household. The Sort tickboxes are at the top right of the screen, to the right of Add New Household.

    Press the Show more detail button (its an arrow that points to the right).

    A new window will open with your data in, press CTRL A to highlight and select everything on the page.

    Press CTRL + C to copy the data.

    Open a new workbook in Excel, and press CTRL V.

    The data is now in Excel for you to do your compares. I used some simple IF statements to match people. I can help further on the IF statements if people need help with that part.
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  14. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    I've never had any problems, I regularly take my "Ancestors list" from Lost Cousins and put it in Excel.....highlight the list, then copy and paste special text into Excel. I can then compare to a list from my Legacy data of those I could expect to find on the census, and enter any that I have missed.
  15. Tim

    Tim Megastar and Moderator Staff Member

    This discussion is about methods that people use to check that they have added everyone possible to the LostCousins website.

    Please add the ways that you check yours or feel free to make any suggestions on how people could check.
  16. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    No Anne it should take less than a minute to calculate relationships. I'd be interested to see what might be causing that. I've added extra functions this evening that may solve this issue.

    Dec Qtr 1911 is not a valid GEDCOM 5.5 date format. However I can add support for something that is an official date format in a specific software program.

    Edit: I've now added support for Mar Qtr, Jun Qtr, Sep Qtr, Dec Qtr, and Jan-Feb-Mar, Apr-May-Jun, Jul-Aug-Sep, Oct-Nov-Dec (with or without the dashes).
  17. VTinOZ

    VTinOZ Member

    I just scroll through my list of Census images, kept in my RY3 genealogy program & also in a different folder in my docs. Count eg., 1881 or 1911, & then compare to what I have on LC.
    Not very sophisticated :D
  18. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    Thanks Alexander, I will give it a go. Sorry, I should have checked further when I said about the qtr dates - Legacy format is Dec Q 1911, I must have the DEC QTR from some other previous program. I'll report back my findings!
  19. AnneC

    AnneC LostCousins Star

    I downloaded and gave it another go, but it's still calculating relationships after more than 10 minutes. There is a Count:0 at the bottom left of the screen, should that be counting up? Can I check anything else to see why it takes so long?
  20. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Are there any boxes popping up? Particularly any that say click details, continue etc? Does it say the right person its using as the "starter" person. ie: Calculating Relationships using X as starter person.

    Barring not starting at the right person I can't see where the issue might be. It should just traverse your tree working out relationships. One thing that just occurred to me is any form of looped relationships in your tree. I've not tested a tree with any cousins marrying cousins type tree, do you have anything of that nature. I'm happy to have any answers via Private Conversation if you prefer.

    The Count:0 at the bottom is used on other tabs. I've added Mar Q, Jun Q etc as valid dates for v1.3.7.6 (not yet released).

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