Concern about advice about personal software programs
- When I was a beta tester of the New FamilySearch I copied some
instructions about the use of GEDCOM files. My concern is noteworthy
for one particular reason.
I think that the PAF5 software available for free from
FamilySearch.org will continue to be a very adequate program.
However we have been told in absolutes that PAF will not be
maintained nor revised. A work-around to PAF problems is that the
owner of the original code used to create PAF is still programming
his own product called Ancestral Quest. He invites all who have found
bugs in PAF to help him correct those problems and use a product
named PAFWiz designed to work with PAF.
In PAF4 the language choices are English, French, Spanish, German,
and Portugese. Technically, because of what is called Unicode-8, PAF5
records can be kept in English, German, Swedish, and the non-Roman
languages of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. So there is a template
language problem because PAF5 does not accomodate important languages
Here is the issue: PAF 4 and similar software programs do NOT produce
a GEDCOM file with unique record identification numbers. Why is this
important? Please read the GEDCOM instructions from the New
New FamilySearch: Can I add the same GEDCOM file later with changes
and additions? (105faq0032e)
Yes, you can later add an updated GEDCOM file with changes and
additions. Whether FamilySearch will reconcile the changes with your
previous submission depends on the computer program you use.
If your computer program assigns unique record identification
numbers, the new FamilySearch will:
- Automatically combine information about the same individuals.
- Reconcile the differences between your previous and current
If your computer program does not assign unique record
- The new FamilySearch will not combine information about the same
individuals; you will have to combine information yourself.
- It may be easier to make changes directly in the new FamilySearch
than to add a revised GEDCOM file.
The following programs assign unique record identification numbers
to individuals in a GEDCOM file.
- Personal Ancestral File 5.0 and higher
- Legacy Family Tree 5.0 and higher
- A recent version of Family Tree Maker
- A recent version of Roots Magic
- A recent version of Ancestral Quest
Note: Record identification numbers (RINs) are not unique record
The five (5) software programs listed above were identified in the
last 4th Quarter 2006 Family History Department Memoranum
titled "FamilySearch Affiliate Vendors".
Therefore, it seems to me that any software program recommend by
family history consultants and FH center staff should comply with the
most recent GEDCOM standard that supports unique record id numbers.
Terry Mason, Clermont, FL