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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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