Tip: Finding a Person by Nickname or Married Name

Name Find

 ”Why can’t I find that person?  I know I entered them into my database!”  Maybe it is because you know them by a different name than the one you entered for them.

We are taught to enter the full birth name for a person, but that person may have changed their surname when they got married, or may have gone by a nickname.  If you do a simple search for that married nickname, you probably aren’t going to find them.

This is where a great feature called NameFind comes to the rescue.  Let’s say you are looking for Mary Smith.  You open the RootsMagic search list (Search > Person List or click the magnifying glass on the toolbar) but you don’t find Mary Smith in the list.  Here’s how you do it.

Just click the NameFind button on that list screen.


That will open a form where you can enter the name of the person you are looking for.  Just type in the name of the person you are looking for and RootsMagic will begin its magic.   This screen looks quite simple, but is the gateway to a very powerful search which looks not only for a person entered with that name, but people who have that given name as their nickname, or that surname as a married name.  It even has an option to allow close matches, which will let it (for example) find Maria even if you looked for Mary.


Once you’ve entered the name you are looking for (and clicked OK), RootsMagic will jump to the first person who matches.  Notice in this case we were searching for Mary Smith, but RootsMagic found Marianne Davis.  That’s because 1) Marianne’s nickname is Mary, and 2) she was married to George Smith.


So there you have it- with RootsMagic’s NameFind, you can easily find anyone in your file, no matter what their maiden, married, or nicknames may be!

Tip: Make a Map of Your Family’s Migrations


Here at RootsMagic HQ, today is “Pioneer Day”, a local holiday where we celebrate our ancestors and the diverse peoples who settled this area. One fun project for Pioneer Day (or any day for that matter) is to make a map showing where our ancestors lived and how they migrated and moved about. There is just something special about looking at a visual map that communicates so much more than a printed list of places can.


We happen to have a product which makes making these maps a snap. It’s called Family Atlas. Now, Family Atlas is a standalone program. You don’t need our RootsMagic software to use its features, although it can read your RootsMagic file as well as genealogy and map files from a variety of different sources.  One common use of it is to import your family data from your genealogy software and then create and print personalized family maps from that data. It is one-of-a-kind software that lets you visualize and publish your family history in a unique and compelling way. Be sure to read to the end of this tip to learn about a special limited-time discount on this software.

 When you first open Family Atlas, you’ll see a blank, interactive, zoomable world map. At this point, you need to add “Marker Sets” to add people, places, and events to your map. To do this, click on the Green “Plus” icon in the upper-left corner of the screen. The “Add Marker Set” screen will appear.


Click Place Marker Set and then OK. The “Edit Place Markers” screen will appear.


This is where you will add all the points that you want to plot on the map. First, give the marker set a title. Click Edit next to “Symbol” to change the color, shape, and connecting lines between each marker.  Click Add to add a new marker to this set. The “Edit Place Marker” screen will appear.


Add a label, date, and location for the marker. If Family Atlas recognizes the place, it will automatically add the Latitude and Longitude for you.  Click OK to finish adding the marker.  Repeat this last step for each marker that you wish to add.


Click OK to save your changes and return the the main screen. Here you can see your map. Pan and zoom the map however you wish. Feel free to explore the various details. You can click Atlas Options to change map colors, fonts, and more.


When you have the map colored and zoomed just as you want it, click Publish Map to take a snapshot of the map and open up the publisher tool.  Here you can add text, pictures, arrows, and more to annotate and beautify your map.


 Now that your map is ready, you may print it or save it to a PDF or graphic file to put online, add to a story, or share with others!

Would you like to learn more about Family Atlas and see it in action? Then watch our recorded webinar on Mapping Your Family Tree with Family Atlas.

Special Discount on Family Atlas

We are pleased to offer a limited-time discount on Family Atlas.  Through August 10, 2014, you can save $10 off the regular price and get Family Atlas for only $19.95 (plus s/h if you want the CD).  You must use the link below in order to get this discounted price.


This special offer is only available until August 10, 2014 so get your copy of Family Atlas today!

Tip: Saving Your Spot in RootsMagic Using Bookmarks


Every person in your family tree is important, right?  As much as we may hate to admit it, sometimes certain persons are more important than others.  For example, imagine wandering around through the outskirts of your family tree when you realize it’s time to shut down for the night.  You wish there was a way that you could just pick up where you left off the next time you get on… and there is.

Meet your new friend the “Bookmark“.  Bookmarks work just like they sound… highlight a person on any of the main screens, press Ctrl+B (or do “Search > Bookmarks > Bookmark person” from the menu), and RootsMagic will remember that person for you.  Any person you bookmark will be listed in the Bookmarks tab of the side list like this…


Just select any bookmark in the list and click Go, and RootsMagic will jump directly to that person.  There’s no limit as to how many bookmarks you create, although if the list gets too long you’ll want to make sure you read last weeks tip on incremental searching.  Your bookmarks are saved with your database so you can keep them as long as you wish, or you can highlight a bookmark in the list and click the red X to delete it.

Bookmarks are also great for when you need to temporarily go somewhere else in your tree and be able to quickly return to the current person.  Just bookmark the person you are on, go do whatever else you need to do in your tree, then quickly jump back to the original bookmarked person.

So remember, while every person in your family tree is important, bookmarks let you mark those that are the most important to you at the time. And, to avoid any hurt feelings, you might want to make sure any living family members don’t notice their absence from the bookmark list.

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