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Santa needs your help because my growing database is outgrowing my genealogical software

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  • Xenia Stanford
    Hi all, I have presented my problem to Elizabeth already but I want to see if any of you come up with different software solutions for my growing database. I
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 4, 2003
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      Hi all,

      I have presented my problem to Elizabeth already but I want to see if any of
      you come up with different software solutions for my growing database.

      I have over 20,000 people in my Family Tree Maker Version 8 main database,
      almost all with source information, many with background notes and a few
      with pictures (though generally I have found it better to keep pictures in
      separate files). The FTW (Family Tree Maker for Windows) file is 38,640 kb
      and has stopped working. What happens in the program is that any time new
      data is added it also writes it to the backup file. If I try to add any new
      data the program freezes as it tries to process it and I receive the message
      "File not responding".

      If I go through and delete names, notes or pictures, the program will allow
      me to add new data until I come up to the capacity again, then freezes. I
      have two 60 gig hard drives and have used less than half of my main one
      since I keep all backup and less used files on my second hard drive.

      Elizabeth informs me that I have to split my file even to upgrade to FTW
      version 11. I cannot see how I can do this as all the individuals are
      related in some fashion. If I work on files for clients that do not have a
      French, French-Canadian, Acadian, Quebec (i.e. non-French who settled in
      Quebec and intermarried with French) or Metis roots, I keep these in
      separate databases. For anyone who has roots in the above areas I keep them
      in the same database as that of my children as I can usually eventually
      connect my clients' lines to work I have already done and thus do not have
      to re-enter or re-do work.

      What I have been doing lately is working alphabetically to connect any
      "orphans" (people in the database without parents) to the ancestral lines
      back to France. I also have been ensuring that I have entered birth,
      baptism, death and burial dates and places as well as any notes of
      significance and of course, citing my sources (which I do with abbreviated
      codes that refer back to a master list in Word containing the full
      citation).

      I want to ask Santa for some new software. I had originally wanted to ask
      for FTW version 11 but now I am concerned this will not meet my needs as I
      am only at the letter C in looking for orphans and I have a long ways to go.
      Many people have multiple marriages and large families and my children
      descend from several lines within a family. Thus I cannot see how I can
      split the database and in fact feel that I will be more than doubling or
      tripling the size.

      Thus I have come to the conclusion that I need to use software with a
      greater capacity. However, Santa is not rich. So what do you recommend?

      à bientôt,

      Xenia Stanford (president@...)
      A.G.E. Ancestree Genealogical Enterprises
      Column: "Nos Racines Francaise" http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette
      Local book and magazine sales: http://www.knowmap.com/age/
      Celtic Stone Art: http://www/celticstoneart.com
      Phone: (403) 295-3490; Fax: (403) 274-0564



      http://www.afhs.ab.ca
    • Ines
      Hi Xenia, I am using TMG (the Master Genealogist), ver. 4 and I am very happy with it. I did not upgrade to the next version because the book was not out and
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 4, 2003
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        Hi Xenia,
        I am using TMG (the Master Genealogist), ver. 4 and I am very happy with
        it. I did not upgrade to the next version because the book was not out and
        they were still fixing things. They have a very good and busy mailing list
        where you get answers right away, usually more than you wanted. I have a
        little over 10 000 people in my database, can't tell you how big it is. If
        you look in the file, they store it by letter of the alphabeth. I am sure
        there are people on this list who know more about it.
        Ines


        At 12:33 AM 12/4/03, you wrote:
        >Hi all,
        >
        >I have presented my problem to Elizabeth already but I want to see if any of
        >you come up with different software solutions for my growing database.
        >
        >I have over 20,000 people in my Family Tree Maker Version 8 main database,
        >almost all with source information, many with background notes and a few
        >with pictures (though generally I have found it better to keep pictures in
        >separate files). The FTW (Family Tree Maker for Windows) file is 38,640 kb
        >and has stopped working. What happens in the program is that any time new
        >data is added it also writes it to the backup file. If I try to add any new
        >data the program freezes as it tries to process it and I receive the message
        >"File not responding".
        >
        >If I go through and delete names, notes or pictures, the program will allow
        >me to add new data until I come up to the capacity again, then freezes. I
        >have two 60 gig hard drives and have used less than half of my main one
        >since I keep all backup and less used files on my second hard drive.
        >
        >Elizabeth informs me that I have to split my file even to upgrade to FTW
        >version 11. I cannot see how I can do this as all the individuals are
        >related in some fashion. If I work on files for clients that do not have a
        >French, French-Canadian, Acadian, Quebec (i.e. non-French who settled in
        >Quebec and intermarried with French) or Metis roots, I keep these in
        >separate databases. For anyone who has roots in the above areas I keep them
        >in the same database as that of my children as I can usually eventually
        >connect my clients' lines to work I have already done and thus do not have
        >to re-enter or re-do work.
        >
        >What I have been doing lately is working alphabetically to connect any
        >"orphans" (people in the database without parents) to the ancestral lines
        >back to France. I also have been ensuring that I have entered birth,
        >baptism, death and burial dates and places as well as any notes of
        >significance and of course, citing my sources (which I do with abbreviated
        >codes that refer back to a master list in Word containing the full
        >citation).
        >
        >I want to ask Santa for some new software. I had originally wanted to ask
        >for FTW version 11 but now I am concerned this will not meet my needs as I
        >am only at the letter C in looking for orphans and I have a long ways to go.
        >Many people have multiple marriages and large families and my children
        >descend from several lines within a family. Thus I cannot see how I can
        >split the database and in fact feel that I will be more than doubling or
        >tripling the size.
        >
        >Thus I have come to the conclusion that I need to use software with a
        >greater capacity. However, Santa is not rich. So what do you recommend?
        >
        >à bientôt,
        >
        >Xenia Stanford (president@...)
        >A.G.E. Ancestree Genealogical Enterprises
        >Column: "Nos Racines Francaise" http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette
        >Local book and magazine sales: http://www.knowmap.com/age/
        >Celtic Stone Art: http://www/celticstoneart.com
        >Phone: (403) 295-3490; Fax: (403) 274-0564
        >
        >
        >
        >http://www.afhs.ab.ca


        http://www.afhs.ab.ca
      • Judith Rempel
        The filesize capacities are one reason that the Mennonite GRANDMA (Genealogical Register ANd Database of Mennonite Ancestors) project doesn t employ FTM. It
        Message 3 of 6 , Dec 4, 2003
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          The filesize capacities are one reason that the Mennonite GRANDMA
          (Genealogical Register ANd Database of Mennonite Ancestors) project doesn't
          employ FTM. It recommends BK6 or Legacy.

          Legacy has the advantage of true merging ability (and is generally a more
          powerful tool), but data entry is painfully slow because of the amount of
          dialogue boxes that one has to go through.

          BK has the advantage of being quicker to learn, has a large number of
          suitable analytical and reporting tools, and very importantly CHECKS THE
          DATABASE each time you try to enter a new person. It offers up a list of
          persons who match the names (first five characters of first and last names),
          in birthdate order. The latter is incredibly important if you have name
          combinations that repeat in large numbers as we do in the Mennonite
          community. Your cultural experience may be the same.

          Both can handle GRANDMA - which now is a file of almost 800,000 names.

          I believe both are XP compatible.

          Above are personal experiences - am sure the gen sig will have additional
          thoughts/recommendations and may well want to finesse some of the factual
          comments above.

          am cc'ing the Computer sig tips group too.

          In Kinship,
          Judith Rempel, Webster
          judith@...

          and

          webster@...
          Alberta Family Histories Society
          http://www.afhs.ab.ca

          Canadian Genealogical Projects Register
          http://www.afhs.ab.ca/registry/

          1906 Census Transcription Centre
          http://www.afhs.ab.ca/data/census/1906/



          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: owner-dist-gen@...
          > [mailto:owner-dist-gen@...]On Behalf Of Xenia Stanford
          > Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 1:33 AM
          > To: AFHS Dist-Gen
          > Subject: Santa needs your help because my growing database is outgrowing
          > my genealogical software
          >
          >
          > Hi all,
          >
          > I have presented my problem to Elizabeth already but I want to
          > see if any of
          > you come up with different software solutions for my growing database.
          >
          > I have over 20,000 people in my Family Tree Maker Version 8 main database,
          > almost all with source information, many with background notes and a few
          > with pictures (though generally I have found it better to keep pictures in
          > separate files). The FTW (Family Tree Maker for Windows) file is 38,640 kb
          > and has stopped working. What happens in the program is that any time new
          > data is added it also writes it to the backup file. If I try to
          > add any new
          > data the program freezes as it tries to process it and I receive
          > the message
          > "File not responding".
          >
          > If I go through and delete names, notes or pictures, the program
          > will allow
          > me to add new data until I come up to the capacity again, then freezes. I
          > have two 60 gig hard drives and have used less than half of my main one
          > since I keep all backup and less used files on my second hard drive.
          >
          > Elizabeth informs me that I have to split my file even to upgrade to FTW
          > version 11. I cannot see how I can do this as all the individuals are
          > related in some fashion. If I work on files for clients that do not have a
          > French, French-Canadian, Acadian, Quebec (i.e. non-French who settled in
          > Quebec and intermarried with French) or Metis roots, I keep these in
          > separate databases. For anyone who has roots in the above areas I
          > keep them
          > in the same database as that of my children as I can usually eventually
          > connect my clients' lines to work I have already done and thus do not have
          > to re-enter or re-do work.
          >
          > What I have been doing lately is working alphabetically to connect any
          > "orphans" (people in the database without parents) to the ancestral lines
          > back to France. I also have been ensuring that I have entered birth,
          > baptism, death and burial dates and places as well as any notes of
          > significance and of course, citing my sources (which I do with abbreviated
          > codes that refer back to a master list in Word containing the full
          > citation).
          >
          > I want to ask Santa for some new software. I had originally wanted to ask
          > for FTW version 11 but now I am concerned this will not meet my needs as I
          > am only at the letter C in looking for orphans and I have a long
          > ways to go.
          > Many people have multiple marriages and large families and my children
          > descend from several lines within a family. Thus I cannot see how I can
          > split the database and in fact feel that I will be more than doubling or
          > tripling the size.
          >
          > Thus I have come to the conclusion that I need to use software with a
          > greater capacity. However, Santa is not rich. So what do you recommend?
          >
          > à bientôt,
          >
          > Xenia Stanford (president@...)
          > A.G.E. Ancestree Genealogical Enterprises
          > Column: "Nos Racines Francaise" http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette
          > Local book and magazine sales: http://www.knowmap.com/age/
          > Celtic Stone Art: http://www/celticstoneart.com
          > Phone: (403) 295-3490; Fax: (403) 274-0564
          >
          >
          >
          > http://www.afhs.ab.ca
          >
          >
          > ____________________________________________________________
          > Free 20MB Web Site Hosting and Personalized E-mail Service!
          > Get It Now At Doteasy.com http://www.doteasy.com/et/

          http://www.afhs.ab.ca
        • Larry McCool
          I m still a BK nut and have been told you can go to as many as a million. If you want more info drop me a line Larry Larry & Doreen McCool Calgary, AB Canada
          Message 4 of 6 , Dec 4, 2003
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            I'm still a BK nut and have been told you can go to as many as a million.
            If you want more info drop me a line
            Larry
            Larry & Doreen McCool
            Calgary, AB Canada
            Our new address is
            mccoollh@...
            Our website is now at
            http://www3.telus.net/public/mccoollh/index.html

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Xenia Stanford" <president@...>
            To: "AFHS Dist-Gen" <dist-gen@...>
            Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2003 1:33 AM
            Subject: Santa needs your help because my growing database is outgrowing my
            genealogical software


            > Hi all,
            >
            > I have presented my problem to Elizabeth already but I want to see if any
            of
            > you come up with different software solutions for my growing database.
            >
            > I have over 20,000 people in my Family Tree Maker Version 8 main database,

            http://www.afhs.ab.ca
          • Bill Mumford
            ... of ... All depends on what your requirements are. Do you require a basic program, an intermediate one or a full fledged powerhouse? How important is the
            Message 5 of 6 , Dec 4, 2003
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              > I have presented my problem to Elizabeth already but I want to see if any
              of
              > you come up with different software solutions for my growing database.

              All depends on what your requirements are. Do you require a basic program,
              an intermediate one or a full fledged powerhouse? How important is the
              search feature? Are you interested in professional source documentation or
              will you settle for the minimal capabilities supported by Gedcom? Is name
              structure and location structure important? Are you just collecting name
              references or are you trying to assemble evidence that can lead to
              assertions? I could continue but I'm sure you see my point. FTM is a nice
              mature basic little program with limited capabilities but some secondary
              features some users find very attractive. Legacy is an intermediate level
              program. Being relatively new (1997) it is still developing the basic data
              recording features. I've tested it with a 60,000 One Name database. An
              automatic merge (not recommended) required over 24 hours to complete but it
              opens the database and index quickly. Has some tagging options and flexible
              search options. Lacks wall charts. Deluxe version is the best bang for
              your buck on the market. TMG 5 is loaded with everything you could ever
              want. That's its main drawback. Data entry is precise and as a result,
              slow. Lots of nice reports and arguably, the best charting program since
              Tree-O. Expensive but worth it.
              Also have the One Name database in it. In this case it is combined with but
              separate from my regular 2000 name database. Index shows which database the
              person is in. Can drag persons across the databases if required.

              Lots of good programs out there. Check my web site scorecards for the
              options in the more popular ones.

              Cheers

              Bill


              http://www.afhs.ab.ca
            • Xenia Stanford
              Bill alias Sudie, Thanks very much for your detailed response and to all others who responded. It looks like I have some important matters to check out and
              Message 6 of 6 , Dec 6, 2003
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                Bill alias Sudie,

                Thanks very much for your detailed response and to all others who responded.
                It looks like I have some important matters to check out and make a
                decision. It may not be in time for this Christmas though!

                You said: All depends on what your requirements are.

                I am taking the time to respond to the questions you asked , Bill, in the
                hopes not only that it will others help Santa for me but will also be of
                value to others having similar problems/needs especially with French
                lineage.

                Your question to me is followed by my response as Q and A even though some
                are not actually Questions.


                Q1. Do you require a basic program, an intermediate one or a full fledged
                powerhouse?
                A1. Full fledged powerhouse!

                Q2. How important is the search feature?
                A2. I use search and replace to ensure consistent entry of Quebec and French
                locations. Since the original parishes, dioceses and archdioceses were the
                methods for pre-Revolution France and similar for pre-English takeover of
                French Canada, I need to ensure full location information for what these
                were at the time so I can cross-reference to the manual I compiled on where
                these records can be found now. Almost every city has a Notre-Dame parish as
                well as several others. Simply saying Montreal, Quebec is meaningless. Also
                saying Notre-Dame, Montreal is one thing for pre-20th century and a
                different for post.
                Besides the importance of standard entry for places, I need to view the
                alphabetical list of names to see how I have entered certain families. The
                feature Judii mentioned where a name is searched automatically each time you
                enter a new person would actually slow down data entry and not be as useful
                as the ability to view the alphabetized surnames. For example, Thomas Hayot
                can be found in one document as Thomas Hayot, Thomas Ayotte in another,
                Thomas Marticotte in a third and Thomas Ayet in a fourth and Thomas Marcotte
                in a fifth where it is a spelling error. Another family line I am tracing is
                that of Paul Talon whose descendants became Talon, Dit L'Esperance, then
                Talon-Lesperance and some branched off to become Lesperance only. I found
                second cousins were married but it appears from the record they are not
                related. One's father is Talon and the other's father was Lesperance (first
                cousins from grandfather named Talon, Dit L'Esperance). There are at least
                three different family lines that used the dit name Deslauriers. Not only
                are descendants found under the first three original names and the Dit name
                alone or in combination, there are as many spellings of Deslauriers as you
                can imaging - e.g. Deslaurier, Delaurier, Delorier, De Lorier... Even to
                search for suspected surnames would not be sufficient. I need to be able to
                scroll an alphabetized list. Then if I am not sure, I do a kinship report
                and find the ancestor to which the new person belongs to determine which
                form of Deslauriers I will use.

                As for searching World Family Tree or whatever FTW connects to is not
                important at all and ditto to submitting my names WFT. As for the CD's, I
                can continue to view those through FTM as I would need to print or cut and
                paste the info from the CD. I never save and enter directly because I need
                to verify the names and relationships as mentioned above.

                Q3. Are you interested in professional source documentation or will you
                settle for the minimal capabilities supported by Gedcom?
                A3. I need Gedcom to give my clients a copy of the file to use in their
                program to eliminate data entry for them, especially because any French or
                Metis client will be connected to the thousands of ancestors I have already
                thoroughly researched.
                However, source documentation is a pain in FTW and any other program I have
                used. I wish I could save the source for each field - however, that said I
                compensate by putting it in the notes field. E.g. I will list birth from ...
                baptism for ... etc. etc. It is very significant for all records pre-French
                revolution, pre-1763 Canada and pre-1994 Quebec that I see a birth, baptism,
                death and sepulture (burial/funeral service) entry for each person. If I see
                only a birth and/or death, then I suspect the indexer, compiler or family
                historian has misinterpreted whatever primary or secondary source they used.
                Thus it is important for me to be able to check that I have entries for
                baptism and sepulture. If I have those and have not checked the original
                record yet, I put in an about date of baptism as the birth date and ditto
                for sepulture as death date. However, in many cases the parish records are
                now lost and then I use census and other records to approximate birth/death.
                In other cases the birth date is not mentioned specifically in the parish
                baptism record - sometimes it gives an approximate number of days, months or
                years so I approximate the birth date from that and like to note the source
                and how I arrived at the calculation. Marriage dates are also very suspect
                for the same locations/periods as what is given in the source as the
                marriage date can often be the date of the marriage contract. Thus I need to
                be able to have a field for marriage contract. Also a marriage can be
                deposed (set down) on a different date than when the marriage actually took
                place or the marriage can be annulled because of relationship issues or in
                some cases bigamy, or it can be "rehabilitated" when a special dispensation
                is given to allow the couple's marriage to take place or to stand if it has
                already taken place. Thus I need several fields for some entries.

                Another problem in these records is that there are often multiple marriages
                per person. As soon as a wife or husband died and young children are left
                behind, the widow or widower remarries fairly quickly. A widow also might
                remarry even if she has no young children because her support was often
                dependant upon a husband. In some cases she might enter the convent instead
                and so date of entry and date of taking her vows are also important facts.

                I usually enter a code for sources I use frequently and then I have a table
                in Word that shows the code in the first column and the full citation in the
                second so that I can reduce entry time and space and yet print the list for
                my clients and my own use.

                Q4. Is name structure and location structure important?
                A4. I think this is answered above and to repeat - yes it is extremely
                important.

                Q5. Are you just collecting name references or are you trying to assemble
                evidence that can lead to assertions?
                A5. I collect evidence and for several clients I may focus on some specific
                request - e.g. medical history of a certain inherited condition (e.g. heart
                mitral valve deformity is common among certain Acadian/French Canadian
                lines) or the client may have a special request for the type of data they
                want to see. I want a program that can deliver a book and/or report feature
                since I supply this to clients and to my own family members. I also want
                fancy charts that I can produce for family and friends as gifts and several
                clients have also asked for these. They vary from one-page pedigrees for
                weddings, births (even birth announcements), anniversaries and birthdays to
                wall charts for family reunions.

                Q6. ... FTM is a nice mature basic little program with limited capabilities
                but some secondary
                features some users find very attractive.
                A6. I do like and use all the features of FTM. I would be sorry to lose any
                of the functionality. However, due to the amount of data (dates, places,
                sources, assertions, notes, narratives, etc.) not just the number of names,
                FTM is no longer feasible for my main file.

                Q7. Legacy is an intermediate level program. Being relatively new (1997) it
                is still developing the basic data recording features. I've tested it with
                a 60,000 One Name database. An
                automatic merge (not recommended) required over 24 hours to complete but it
                opens the database and index quickly.
                A7. I need the ability to merge specific individuals but I never ever use
                the automatic merge because of the chance of error - too many people named
                Joseph Leblanc born circa same date but in totally different lines. Even
                have several totally different men named Pierre Tremblay married to totally
                different women named Marie Simard!

                Q8. Has some tagging options and flexible search options. Lacks wall
                charts. Deluxe version is the best bang for your buck on the market.
                A8. Charts are very important as noted above.

                Q9. TMG 5 is loaded with everything you could ever want. That's its main
                drawback. Data entry is precise and as a result, slow. Lots of nice
                reports and arguably, the best charting program since Tree-O. Expensive but
                worth it. Also have the One Name database in it. In this case it is
                combined with but separate from my regular 2000 name database. Index shows
                which database the
                person is in. Can drag persons across the databases if required.
                A9. I will definitely check this one out!

                Q10. Lots of good programs out there. Check my web site scorecards for the
                options in the more popular ones.
                A10. Again thanks for all your thought-provoking questions and your
                suggestions.

                à bientôt,

                Xenia Stanford (president@...)
                A.G.E. Ancestree Genealogical Enterprises
                Column: "Nos Racines Francaise" http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette
                Local book and magazine sales: http://www.knowmap.com/age/
                Celtic Stone Art: http://www/celticstoneart.com
                Phone: (403) 295-3490; Fax: (403) 274-0564



                http://www.afhs.ab.ca
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