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

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  • 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 1 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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