Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Using My Tools - GenSmarts

With the release of the 1960 Death Certificates online at the Missouri State Archives, I've been concentrating on updating my death certificates and searching for people for whom I don't have any death date at all. One of the ways I do this is to use my GenSmarts program. Yes, I do have the stand-alone program, and it was well worth the dollars I spent on it. So far, it has helped me find 62 death certificates in this latest quest.

What I've done is set up GenSmarts to search for deaths in Missouri for people who have no status, which means I don't have a tag set up for them, and their RootsMagic record does not have a death certificate assigned.
Click on image

For instance in the image on the right (Click on it) you will see that I have my to-do list up and set for Suggestions not marked, sorted by date (this seems to default to most recent to oldest), and I've just typed in "missouri deaths." The first person, whom I've already checked as not found is Amber O. Bowman. Bowman is her married name. She probably died in Kansas, since she married Robert T. Bowman, son of Joseph & Susan Bowman, and he is last found on the census in Kansas. The second person listed, is Thomas Nathaniel Roupe, and I found his death certificate, so I've checked him as found. The third person listed is Robert L. Minor, and GenSmarts says he may have died around 1933. The paragraphs at the bottom show what I actually have on him, whom he married and when, and then projects a death date if I don't have one recorded. While GenSmarts suggests 1933, in actuality, he died in 1957.

The other thing this has helped me to find are marriage records in Missouri. Often I come across a woman for whom I have no marriage information for, and Missouri's online marriage records on Ancestry are actually quite extensive. In this case, Robert L. Minor married Katie Evans on April 4, 1896 in Platte county, Missouri. So not only did I find their marriage record, but the death records for both spouses. That's a win!

Could I set up GenSmarts to look for marriages? Absolutely, But since I am concentrating on the death records for now, it works just as well the way I am using it.

Are YOU using all the tools at your disposal? I know a lot of people buy programs that they think they might use, and then don't know what to do with them. I urge everyone who has ever done that to sit down with the program and learn it. Learn the best way to utilize your time and you will become a more efficient and proficient researcher.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. So, does it choose 1933 as a possible death date because that's when your information on the guy runs out?

    BTW, I picked up Sure-Cuts-A-Lot on sale for $50.00! Woohoo!

  2. No, I think it uses averages - someone would have been 60 in 1933, so that's the estimated date.

    Have fun with it. I love my program.