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Ask Ancestry Anne: Where is The Source Citation Information?

On a few of our census records, the source citation information was inadvertently turned on the “record page.”  We are in the process of getting those back on the record page.

In the meantime, you can find the information on the image page, on the source panel.  To see the source panel, first go to the image, and open the panel by click on the grey arrow on the right hand side.

Once the panel is open, you will see the information you see for the source citation.

We are currently updating all the UK and the US 1800 and 1790 census.  If you see something else, please feel free to leave me a comment.

Ask Ancestry Anne: I’m Bored! Give Me Something To Do!

It’s Friday. You are at work.  Your mind is wandering.  Work is not keeping you focused. (Don’t worry, I won’t tell.)

You can’t drag out your own genealogy.  Maybe you could sneak a peak at a few genealogy blogs and get inspired.

Thomas MacEntee who runs the ever popular Geneabloggers sponsors daily blogging prompts to inspire those who write blogs. For example, today is Friday, and the prompts are:


If you have that “foodie” obsession, check out Family Recipe Friday and you’ll find:

If you click on the Follow Friday link it will lead you to a list of people who use that blogging prompt:

I usually do a Follow Friday column so that I can give a quick shout out to those that have inspired me throughout the week.  Check out Ancestors From Outer Space and Constructive Criticism or Moonshine, Civil War, Newspapers and an Assassin to see what I’ve been reading.

Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne

Ask Ancestry Anne: Want to Learn Something New?

Looking to learn more about how to use  Check out our Tuesday and Thursday livestream presentations.  And if you can’t view them when we do the original presentation, catch the video later.  Here’s how.

Signing up for events

Go to the face book page:

Click on the arrow:

This will expand that area.  Now you can click on Events:

And you’ll see what we’ve got planned:

Click on one of the Events:

Then click on Join and Facebook will send you a reminder:

Missed a presentation?

Not a problem.  Go to our livestream channel: and you can see our past presentations.

Maybe you’ll learn that trick that will help you break down that brickwall!

Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne

Ask Ancestry Anne: How Do I Rename a Tree on

Question: Cecile St. John sent in a question about syncing trees and changing trees names.  In short, she is wondering why if she changes the name on her Family Tree Maker 2012 tree and syncs it, why doesn’t it change on the site.  And how does she change it?

Answer: In short, I don’t know why it doesn’t update. :-) But I do know how to change it! 

One of my trees has the odd name, “gilberts new tree” which now that I look at it seems kind of strange. 

I click on Tree Pages and then on Tree Settings:

Now I see:

I type something more meaningful into the box labeled Tree Name:

The message “The tree information has been updated” tells me I was successful.

This is also where you can change your Privacy Settings.

You can choose from a Public Tree, a Private Tree, or a Private Tree that is not indexed.  A Private Tree means others can find it, but have to ask (hopefully politely!) to look. 

Choosing the check box “Also prevent your tree from being found in searches” means no one will know that it is there.

Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne

Ask Ancestry Anne: How Can I Remove the Country from Places in Family Tree Maker?

Question: How do you configure FTM 2012 so that it does not show “USA” in the place names?

— Livestream Viewer

Answer: When you are in Family Tree Maker 2012, you start by selecting Tools and then Options


In the bottom right hand corner, you will see the Place Options section:


Make sure that you have a check next to “Check place authority when entering place names” and then select the country your ancestors are from.  I assume that all of my ancestors are mostly from the USA, so I don’t need to see that in every place.


Now when I look at places, I will see, for example, Virginia instead of Virginia, USA.  It’s a little bit shorter and easier to read.


Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne

Ask Ancestry Anne: What Should I Do With A Census Image?

Question: I found my family in the 1940 Census, but I’m not sure what to do now. Is there something else I should be looking for?

— Jo Anna Worthington

Answer:  Finding the record is only part of the game. The next step is to figure out how to use the information in it. I’ll use George J. Hickman’s family from the 1940 census as our example.


Step 1.  Learn everything you can from the record.

The 1940 census has a lot of information.  For now, we’ll look at

  1.   Names, ages, birthplaces, and relationships
  2. Residence in 1940 and 1935
  3. Occupation

Get started by selecting “View image.”


Names, ages, birthplaces and relationships.

The image shows that George is living with his wife, Edna; four daughters, Doris, Deloris, Frances, and Betty Joyce; his son, George; and his Uncle William.  Everyone was born in Virginia except Edna, who was born in West Virginia.

Doris and Deloris are both 8.  Twins?

Uncle William is listed as single. He was likely never married; otherwise, he would probably be listed as divorced or widowed.

Where they lived in 1940 and 1935.

The Hickmans lived on Road #685 in Natural Bridge, Rockbridge County, Virginia.


Street names and addresses, when available, are listed vertically in column 1.


If the family lived in the same house in 1935, you’ll see “Same House” in column 17, or if they lived in the same town but a different house, you’ll see “Same Place.” The Hickmans have an “R” in column 17.  This R means rural and tells us they lived in another town with a population under 2,500.


What they did for a living.

Columns 28 and 29 tell us George was a tinner in the building industry, and Uncle William was a section hand for the railroad.


Step 2.  Write down what you learn.

Don’t tell yourself, “Oh, I’ll remember this.”  You won’t.  Save the record to your family tree. If you don’t already have an family tree, you’ll have the option to create one using this record.


Also, take notes about what you find on a record – even consider creating a notebook with a page or tab for everyone in the family. That way you’ll know where you found that key birth date or maiden name and you won’t have to dig through all of the records you’ve discovered to find that information again.

Step 3. Ask new questions.

Every time you learn something new about your ancestors, chances are you’ll end up with a few more questions, too. Here are some things we don’t know about the Hickmans:

  1. Where exactly did they live in 1935?  Why did they move?
  2. When did George and Edna marry?
  3. When did Edna move to Virginia?
  4. Why was Uncle William living with the family
  5. Were Doris and Deloris twins?
  6. What is a tinner? What did a section hand do? 
  7. Who were their neighbors?  Did any other Hickmans live in the area?

Each of these questions are linked to another record collection.

Question 1 – where they lived in 1935 – may be answered by a city directory, which may also tell you George’s occupation. If it changed between 1935 and 1940, that may mean George took a new job with a new employer, which triggered the family’s move.

Question 2 could be answered by a marriage record.

Question 3 will require Edna’s maiden name, which can be found on that marriage record, which can then be used to find Edna with her parents in earlier census records, and so on.

Familiarizing yourself with all of the records available on and the type of details contained in each will make your search for more answers simpler.