Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Surnames

Randy Seavers of Genea-Musings has posted our weekly challenge game:
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go into your Genealogy Management Program (GMP; either software on your computer, or an online family tree) and figure out how to Count how many surnames you have in your family tree database.

2)  Tell us which GMP you're using and how you did this task.

3)  Tell us how many surnames, and if possible, which Surname has the most entries.  If this excites you, tell us which surnames are in the top 5!


I'm using Family Tree Maker 2011 and this is the first time I've look for this option in this version. It only took me a couple of minutes to figure out I needed to create a report. Go to Publish, choose the Person Reports, then create a Surname Report. In the report options choose All Indiviuals and Sort by Surname Count. Choose Create again and voila!


My report is 25 pages long but, many of the surnames are only recorded once. As my Irish relatives would say, "They're the blow-ins". Really they are just the distant collateral lines I haven't investigated yet.


I like this report because I gives more than just a count of a surnames use; it also breaks the usage down by Male, Female, Earliest, Most recent. I find that very interesting.


Since I always have a problem following directions:) here are my top 12 most used surnames:




Surname Report








Surname
Count
Male
Female
Earliest
Most recent
LEISURE
371
217
154
1719
2004
MILLER
193
106
87
1702
1979
STEWART
179
93
86
1720
1966
WALKER
158
91
67
1655
1923
KENNEDY
155
86
68
1750
1994
BARBER
150
82
68
1652
1896
BENEFIEL
111
53
58
1759
1916
BLUE
94
47
47
1735
1917
STEPHENS
83
45
38
1730
1904
HIGGINS
77
39
38
1808
1996
BUCHANAN
67
33
34
1651
1899



Looking at this, I'm beginning to see why writing up the Leisure family is taking me so long!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is It Procrastination?

Today was going to be the day I worked on my Dad's bio, including all the documents and pictures I plan to use. However, as the saying goes, "the best laid plans..."

After walking the dog, lunching with the hubby, purchasing and preparing a couple of get-well cards (planned to do that yesterday but...), I finally made it into the office and turned on my computer. I thought I'd take a quick look at my Google Reader to catch up on some blog posts - 118 - and check my email . Well, there were some great posts today and a few I just had to comment on and there were a couple a emails that needed immediate attention and thought.

That was three hours ago and now I only have about one hour before I need to start dinner and decide what our evening plans may be. It looks like the bio will be on hold for, at least, another day.

Maybe, it I hadn't spent time working on a totally different line yesterday, just because something peaked my interest, I'd be in better shape today. What can I say, I seem to be in a flit cycle.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Coming to a Decision

Here it is March already and I'm still mulling around trying to decide how to proceed with my Leisure project. The Ruch family wasn't this difficult; once I'd decided to key on the immigrant couple everything just started to flow. However, I only had three generations to deal with at that point.

My Leisure line came to the colonies before the Revolutionary War but there is debate as to the parentage of our  Joseph Leisure. Is he the son of Abraham Leseure, the French Huguenot who was a refugee to Switzerland and then the colonies? Do I want to get into that discussion? I'm thinking - no.

This time, I think, I'll start with my father and work my way back to his Leisure line. Using biographies (long & short) of direct line ancestors, I go back as far as I can prove. Of course, I may veer off some and include bios of collaterals if it seems appropriate.

This doesn't mean I won't include the usual pedigree/descendant/family group forms we genealogists love so much. It simply means I'm going to try my hand at a different format and see how it goes. It also doesn't mean I won't include a discussion of the Leseure issue somewhere; perhaps in the Preface or, maybe, in an appendix.

Anyway, now I feel better about the project and think I can start writing next week!