Archive for August, 2009

Family Tree Maker 2010

After much debating, considering the fall out from the last release, and a coupon to order 2010 for just $19.95, I bit the bullet and ordered. It was a prerelease sale and I have been waiting anxiously for it to arrive. My ordered version was not the first to show up. Instead I received the sales version with a free 2 week trial arrived on the 24th. I sent off an email asking where my purchased version was. The returned response, 2 days later, was that I purchased a prerelease and that it had been mailed on the 24 of August. Strange that they could get me the sales copy first.


I went ahead and installed the sales copy, I will register my account when the purchased version finally shows up. The software installed fine but when I went to import my ftm file the first time it stalled. I cancelled out and tried again and it went smoothly to completion. My first surprise after upgrading from 2006 to 2010 was the look of the interface. There were bars and windows of all types with information and the navigation was a bit different too.


One of the interesting things I found was that in the family view, there is a bit more information concerning the individual to keep you from completely getting lost. It gives the family relation to your home person for the individual you are currently working on. For example, Peter Coble is the 2nd great grandfather of the brother-in-law of the mother-in-law of me. Ok, it is still a bit convoluted but at least I will know when I have completed fallen out of my own orchard.


I am beginning to like having the family tree view along with the family listing in the same location, one window under the other. The index on this view is open to the left and detail information on the person being researched to the right. Changes to detail information are very handy this way without having to snap open another box and click save.


FTM 2010 ties in with your online ancestry subscription and brings what would have been 2 windows for me neatly into one. Clicking on the green leaf “hints” pops opens the search view window. Merging information into your personal data base becomes relatively simple. You can search all of the same records available to you on the online site.


The next tab for more detail information on the person lays out all of the census and factual data that you have and allows edits. Sub tabs along the bottom allow you to view any media saved to that specific person.


There is a map feature that is new, once selecting a person you can view the migration of up to 4 generations of ancestors. I haven’t figured out where best to use this information by saving it. You have to hover over each unmarked location dot to determine what belongs to each person. Using it for one relative that moved a lot helps get the feel for that particular migration.


One of the things that kept me from purchasing the previous version was the inability to create books, the one feature I use constantly to transport a family line data easily. These are the books that were devoured at the family reunion. I guess it was included in later updates to the previous version, but for me, at the time, it was too little to late for me to invest.


Before purchasing I had searched the web for user reviews for this version and didn’t find any. A complete reversal of what had happened in the previous release. All in all, so far so good with this version as I am getting use to where they “moved my cheese” to.


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The Real Hazard in Machias

I was hoping that during my trip north I could run to Machias, New York and get a picture of the headstone of Elizabeth McFarland Booth Canfield Oakley, known as Lizzie. From what I had read there was a headstone in the poorhouse graveyard that had her name on it. I have been in communication with a historian for Cattaraugus County concerning Lizzie’s life at the poorhouse and untimely death and burial.

Today she sent me information that made me very sad. It would seem impossible to do anything more to Lizzie than had already been done that I knew of until this information hit my email. It seems in November 1941 the Commissioner of Public Welfare for Cattaraugus New York, Hazard E. Robinson, had destroyed the cemetery, piling the headstones in a corner and plowing up the graves. H. E. Robinson had been in office for 3 years and was lauded in a Salamanca Republican Press newspaper article by a resident of the county that Mr. Robinson “had made a good record.” In the same article the writer claims that because of Mr. Olson’s “intimate knowledge of Commissioner Robinson’s work, Mr. Olson’s testimony is particularly valuable.” Mr. Olson went on to further state “Let’s keep a good man as long as he does good work.” “There is no hazard in Robinson.”

In August of 1941 James J. Crowley threw his hat into the ring for welfare commissioner. He posted the photos of the damage done to the cemetery on handbills that were passed out days before the November 4 opening of the polls. The reply to the charges printed in the November 3, 1941 Salamanca Republican Press was:

“It is hard to speak without indignation of another “issue” – if such it can be called – dragged into the campaign only today by Mr. Crowley. For years the burial plot in connection with the county home at Machias was neglected, grown up to weeds and briars. When Mr. Robinson came into office, he felt this condition to be a disgrace to the county and took steps to correct it. He had a map prepared, on which was shown the precise location of every grave. Some of the markers had become illegible. He searched through the Home records to identify such graves. He cleared the ground, graded it and seeded it. The first sowing of grass did not come well. He sowed rye, and turned it under. Like the good farmer that he is. Now he has a good seeding of grass. He has further beautified the place by setting out trees and shrubbery, and plans to follow the modern practice of marking graves with metal plates flush with the ground. Before doing this, of course, it was necessary to remove the old markers.

“There is nothing new about all this. The work has been in progress for months. If anyone thought that Commissioner Robinson was doing something that ought not to be done, not a word of objection was heard during the weeks that have elapsed since he was re-nominated at the primaries. Now the day before election, within a few hours of the opening of the polls, photographs are widely circulated showing the piled up markers removed to make way for improvements, with textual matter alleging that the identity of graves has been destroyed and implying that sacred ground has been desecrated.”

James J. Crowley would lose to Hazard E. Robinson November 5, 1941. H. E. Robinson would remain in office through 1951. A newspaper article inthe Olean Times Herald, February 21, 1951 reported that Robinson had made the Alms house in Machias self sufficient with a working farm that produced beef, milk and produce for the residents. The cemetery at the Mahcias Home for the Poor would remain empty of markers and the records identifying the location of all of the graves in the cemetery remains missing to this day.

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Getting Ready to Travel

In preparation for my northern journey coming up in the next couple of weeks, I have been digging through my more immediate ancestors to find holes in my research. I have a book coming in on the Davis family from Pennsylvania that I am hoping will fill in blanks from my relatives that came through Pennsylvania and settled in Somerset. With luck I will break through a miserable standing brick wall. Somerset is on my radar for the trip up, it is close to Pittsburgh where I will be spending some time with a good friend.


The next part of my research is turning towards the Bartletts in my family tree. I have been looking for my great-great-grandmother Maria Bartlett Oakley’s brother. I think I may have finally found him. It seems that Lambert W. Bartlett married Flora Madany Wright and had a son, Guy Bartlett who went by Guy Comes. Lambert died when Guy was quite young and Flora remarried for what would be the third time to Marvin Smith Comes. Flora’s first husband was Willis J. Ripley and they had two sons, Fred and Frank. The family seemed to have located to McKean County, just outside of Smethport at Marvin Creek, named for Marvin Smith Comes.


What I have learned about the Comes family is that Marvin Smith Comes great uncle Calvin S. Comes was reported to have been the first white child born in the county in 1815. Calvin’s maternal grandfather, Seth Marvin, was one of the first settlers of the area.


Flora and Willis Ripley’s first son Fred has a middle name of Oakley. I haven’t found the connection yet with the Oakley family in my tree, but it has to be there somewhere. This non related relative could become blood relation in a big hurry.


For the next two days will allow people to sign up for free access, and you don’t have to use a credit card to do it. I decided to give it a try and see what new and interesting facts I might find. This would give me the chance to see if there were records available here that I didn’t currently have access to.


I started by randomly inputting names from off the top of my head to see the results. The results included social security numbers, military records and birth records. These were the same records that my membership to provides. I  searched the newspaper articles that were available and found that they were some of the ones found on and there is a link to’s web site on the results page. I currently have a subscription to web site which seems to have a more complete selection of papers available.


For me the purchase of this subscription wouldn’t buy me anything that I don’t currently pay for with my other subscriptions. For those just starting out this might be a good purchase, the prices seem to be a good deal cheaper with still a large selection of information available.

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