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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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
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        http://www.afhs.ab.ca
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