Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking at TMG Places through the eyes of GEDCOM

I've used TMG for several years and really like it's approach to organizing place information.

TMG locations are organized by fields that can be customized by creating unique place styles. The user enters location information on the Tag Entry screen, shown below:
The Master Style List can be accessed from the Tag Entry Screen. That Style list is shown in the clip below (you'll note that TMG's Name Styles can also be accessed from this Master Style List screen):
 
In TMG, a place style is defined by labels. The U.S. Standard Place fields, by default, are listed below:
Label 1: Addressee
Label 2: Detail 
Label 3: City
Label 4: County
Label 5: State
Label 6: Country
Label 7: Postal
Label 8: Phone
Label 9: LatLong
Label 10: Temple

New styles can be added to change the names of the labels.

TMG's Master Place List records all the locations that are recorded in a project. It's readily accessible from the program's top tool bar. A clip of TMG's Master Place List follows. Place information can be edited from the Master Place List.
When TMG's place information is exported via GEDCOM, the otherwise field level information in TMG is transferred as a string of entries, with each part of the place entry separated by a comma. As part of the GEDCOM export process, users are given the options of which fields should be exported and how those commas should be handled. Below is the screen view about that part of the GEDCOM export process.
On that export-place specific screen, above, you'll note the user can control which fields are exported and whether or not missing fields should be separated by commas. If the latter option is selected, the user can further chose to trim (not export) leading commas and trailing commas.

Now then, not all programs store place information in the same way. In a test today, transferring information via GEDCOM from TMG to both FTM and RM, we wanted to see how a particular entry would transfer. For this test, we added a phone number to a residence tag of Annie Eliza Alexander:
We created a GEDCOM using the following place specific export options:
So, in addition to the default selections (Detail, City, County, State, Country), we also included Postal Code and Phone; we included "commas when missing" and "trim lead/trail [commas]."

Below is the resulting import to FTM. You'll note the address precedes the city, county and state, followed by added commas for the missing country and postal code. The entry finished with the phone number we had added.
This second clip is the resulting import to RootsMagic. You'll note the whole entry was imported to RootsMagic's "Place" field, despite that RootsMagic has a field for "Details" (it's called Place Details in RootsMagic.)
Neither FTM nor RootsMagic has an obvious field for a phone number. [Correction: Myrt reports the RootsMagic4 field for phone numbers is located in separate data fields. See the RootsMagic menu, "Lists > Address List").]

As part of today's exercise, we also looked at GENBOX place handling. GENBOX comes preloaded with certain place information. Users create place information and use "higher place"/"lower place" designations to identify place parts.

Hope this helps. --GJ

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Test 8: Torture Test - Many Children - Roots Magic 4

Many thanks to Tamura Jones for providing information about three Torture Tests that has been preformed to test various software packages.

Please read the details of those tests here:

2010-10-10 Three Torture Test

These results are on the Many Children Torture Test with Roots Magic 4



This file could not be opened by Roots Magic 4. There were no error messages. After 8 hours, the program had to be End Tasked from within Windows 7.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Test 10: Torture Test - Long Name Lines - FTM2011

Many thanks to Tamura Jones for providing information about three Torture Tests that has been preformed to test various software packages.

Please read the details of those tests here:

2010-10-10 Three Torture Test

These results are on the Long Name Lines Torture Test with Family Tree Maker Version 2011

Created by:  Tamura Jones 1.2

Import Summary

  Individuals: 26
  Families:    00
  Sources:     00
  Media:       00
  Records:     54
  Errors:      00
  Time:        00:00:01.707
  Rate:        (31 records/sec)


The last and longest name appeared to be correct.

For further details on this stress testing, please review more details on the Data Test tab at the top of this blog. Tamura Jones has more details of his test results and are listed on the Data Test results page.

Test 9: Torture Test - Most Married - FTM2011

Many thanks to Tamura Jones for providing information about three Torture Tests that has been preformed to test various software packages.

Please read the details of those tests here:

2010-10-10 Three Torture Test

These results are on the Most Married Torture Test with Family Tree Maker Version 2011

  Created by:  Tamura Jones 1.2

Import Summary

  Individuals: 1,201
  Families:    1,200
  Sources:     00
  Media:       00
  Records:     4,804
  Errors:      00
  Time:        00:00:06.093

As noted, the initial response while formatting the GEDCOM file into Family Tree Maker took a few seconds longer than the previous test, but the program did not go to not responding, nor were there any errors observed.

For further details on this stress testing, please review more details on the Data Test tab at the top of this blog. Tamura Jones has more details of his test results and are listed on the Data Test results page.

Test 8: Torture Test - Many Children - FTM2011

Many thanks to Tamura Jones for providing information about three Torture Tests that has been preformed to test various software packages.

Please read the details of those tests here:

2010-10-10 Three Torture Test

These results are on the Many Children Torture Test with Family Tree Maker Version 2011

  Created by:  Tamura Jones 1.2

Import Summary

  Individuals: 1,201
  Families:    01
  Sources:     00
  Media:       00
  Records:     2,406
  Errors:      00
  Time:        00:00:05.589
  Rate:        (430 records/sec)

There is not appear to be any Problems with this file.

For further details on this stress testing, please review more details on the Data Test tab at the top of this blog. Tamura Jones has more details of his test results and are listed on the Data Test results page.

Test 2: TMG to Family Tree Maker - 200 Errors

In reviewing the 200 Errors in

TMG to Family Tree Maker - GED2

Each of the errors were:

Errors

Line ### : error 4  : Invalid tag: QUAY. Line ignored.

Each of the 200 errors had

2 QUAY 3

There were 3 QUAY 3 entries that did not appear to be errors.

Test 2: TMG to Family Tree Maker

In our continuing effort to illustrate problems when sharing our research, GeneJ created a GEDCOM file in TMG.

This file was opened in Family Tree Maker Version 2011. The .LOG file indicates"

Import Summary

  Individuals: 63
  Families:    24
  Sources:     99
  Media:       00
  Records:     688
  Errors:      200

The Errors will be discussed later.

The real issue here is the way that TMG transports Place Names (Location Names). It appears to be sending pre-formatted fields for each jurisdiction that makes up a Place Name.


You can see that Pennsylvania is the State. But the jurisdictions, like County, Township, City/Town are separated by comma's.

This is from the GEDCOM file:

2 PLAC , , , Pennsylvania, , , , ,

Family Tree Maker was not expecting the comma's.

Each of the locations that are now in Family Tree Maker need resolved.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Torture Test Links posted

The Data Test page has been updated to include a series of GEDCOM Torture Tests performed and documented by blogger Tamura Jones.
 Results will be posted here, on the 4 Torture Test files created by Tamura.

The BetterGEDCOM thanks Tamura for performing these tests.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Test 4: GEDCOM FTM to TMG - Place properties

When I imported the FTM GEDCOM (Test4) to TMG, I received  a notice (in TMG) to head to its  "Master Place List" and enter corrections there for place/location formatting differences. In TMG, the user enters place information in a customizable template. In FTM, the same information is entered as a string of information, with place parts separated by commas. Since the two program collect information differently, Russ asked me to post some information about how the FTM sources from TEST4.GED actually imported to TMG.

During user entry, TMG's customizable pace template is accessed on the tag entry window. Below is a TMG v7 tag entry window for one of the event entries imported from Test4.GED. You can see the place template--I added a red outline:


The screen shot that follows is a capture of TMG's Master Place List for Test4 after import. I put little red boxes around items that looked out of place without further research.


I did NOT take the time to go back and review the tag level detail for these various places (to learn more about the place and make note of changes in names and jurisdictions that might influence how I should report the place and hunt down records), but I did check to see what a few Wikis had to say about some of the locations. Note the red arrows in the screen shot above.  

Borrby, per Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borrby
Borrby said a "locality" in the Simrishamn Municipaity, Skåne County, Sweden. (Cites a reference dated 2005, please see the link.)

Gladsax parish, Sweden, per FamilySearch Wiki (Swedish Parishes):
https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Gladsax_parish,_Sweden
Describes this parish as located in a Härad (Swedish district) and a Län (Swedish county), but doesn't further specify the identities of those jurisdictions.   

Löderup, per Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%B6derup
Löderup said a "locality" in Ystad Municipality, Skåne County, Sweden. (Cites a reference dated 2005, please see the link.)

As an aside, entering the information into TMG's template does take a little time, but I've ALWAYS found it to have been time well spent. The more I understand locations, the better I am able to trace or make sense of the places when I want to access information in the FHL Catalog, old maps, library reference materials. Oh yes, even on Facebook!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Genealogy Software: The Evidence and Conclusion Process debate

This morning we added an introduction to the Evidence and Conclusion Process on the BetterGEDCOM wiki. I'm blogging about it in the hope more will chime in.

Snippets from the developing page on the BetterGedcom wiki:
"Genealogical software was originally developed for the purpose of recording "conclusions" so that when GEDCOM was developed, it's purpose was to facilitate the sharing of conclusion level communication. As the use of genealogical software was expanded, records of "hypothesis," as opposed to conclusions (I "think"/"maybe," vs I know or I have proved) became recorded using otherwise conclusion-level definitions and mechanics built into the software. GEDCOM not only facilitated the sharing of "maybes" as "I knows," but the limitations of GEDCOMs definitions and mechanics no doubt further conflated think/know communication between users. As our use of the Internet expanded, GEDCOM facilitated "publication" of the conflated thinking.
Part of the current BetterGEDCOM effort is directed at ways to untangle this now long conflated "maybe vs know" issue that likely exists, to one degree or another, in genealogical software and is certainly  believed to exist in GEDCOM. Our effort includes developing an understanding of general and scholarly genealogical practices as we begin to define the more specific role software CAN and SHOULD play to  advance best practices within the greater discipline we know and love as genealogy."

If you've read this far, I'm hoping you have thoughts to share!

Personally, I use research logs and prepare research materials/memorandum. I write conflict notes and proof arguments/discussions (often using word processing or spreadsheet software). Most of my thought process, but far from all, becomes summarized in my genealogical software citations. I have a tag called "research notes" and use it to record lengthy information from third parties and/or items I've located that might not be about the person I'm researching. (Russ and I have been blogging here about how and when we enter genealogical data to our software.)

Does my practice meet the standard for Kinship Determination? What about the Genealogical Proof Standard? (Did someone say "reasonably exhaustive?") I'm sure an editor would have quite a go at the record in my software file.

So then, What's needed?

Is the need as simple as adding "level of confidence" [see Mills, Evidence Explained ... (2007), p 19] such as certainly, probably .. apparently ... to the otherwise "conclusion level" software entries?
Should we use a "?" technique, by which we mark particular kinship determinations as unsure, or must we go further?

If we want to go further, then before we access data models, I think we need to document the current, functional "best practices" steps in the research and recording process.

We'd like to learn from you about your practices and your thoughts. Join the dialog here or over at the BetterGEDCOM wiki, "The Evidence and Conclusion Process."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Test 2: TMGv7 (Sample Proj) to GED ("TEST2.GED")

TMG's Sample project is described as:


GEDCOM created by TMG from this project provided to Russ, who refers to it as "TEST2.GED"

It was not the intent of this GEDCOM test to compare the project creator's usage practice to my personal practice.

Note: A developers upgraded version of TMG is awaited by users at this writing. Results from the newer version, expected to be called TMG v8, will be provided when it becomes available to users.

Update, including change to the GEDCOM file name (now, "TEST2")

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What is research: Understanding the Kaleidoscope


When we research around the body of evidence and focus on individual "data bits," it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture. We need to research right in the kaleidoscope. Consider the reasoning in the table below. Family history should be fun, not fiction.


Updated: Elizabeth Shown Mills refers to Barbara Tuchman's kaleidoscope in the opening to Evidence Explained ... (2007). The "body of evidence" diagram above is my attempt to capture that kaleidoscope at a given point in time. I used the program yEd Graph Editor to create the upper graphic.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Test 1: BetterGEDCOM FTM to GRAMPS-Portable

There is a GRAMPS Portable version that was downloaded and installed on a Flash Drive. The BetterGEDCOM Test1 file was opened in that version.

262 People
267 Families
46 Sources
53 Notes

No error messages were reported.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What is research: Working with documents about a c1815 estate

Continuing the dialog.

Evidence comes in many shapes and sizes.

I'm uploading pages from an estate that is not large. It doesn't appear complex, either. Many names appear in the pages, but we were not initially able to identify family relationships. Nowhere do the words father, son or brother appear, yet this document is ultimately key evidence in a proof argument identifying those very family relationships.

The word "widow" appears in the documents, but still today our research remains incomplete as to the widow's identity. We have identified the woman who married the deceased earlier in life, but do not know if the same woman survived him.

Since the late 1990s, I've had copies of the c1815 items presented here; they came from two different sources. The document uploaded commingles digital images from the two different sources without losing the source identity for any of the items.

All or relevant portions of the items have been separately transcribed or abstracted.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the items in your browser.

Hope this helps. --GJ








Use of a GEDCOM INDI Number

In working with a user of Family Tree Maker, and this problem is probably not just the program, a GEDCOM generated INDI number was used to link a person to an image, on  a Website. The user was using this INDI Number ot image on the website for a while and was working for him.

The user updated the computer, installed the program on the new computer, transferred the file from one PC to another using a GEDCOM file.

It appears that Family Tree Maker does nothing with the INDI number once that GEDCOM file in opened the program. That INDI number of for identifying a person within that GEDCOM file. Once in Family Tree Maker a new or internal number is assigned to each individual.

Now, when Family Tree Maker export this new file, from the new computer, a New INDI number is assigned to that person, again because that number is unique for that GEDCOM file. When uploaded to a website, where the INDI number was linked to a specific image, the links are no longer the same.

The problem now is that all of the Links are incorrect.

It appears that when transferring the GEDCOM file from one computer to the other, the next GEDCOM file created from the new computer will have a different INDI number.

There are other options of tracking a person within our programs, but the INDI may not be a reliable one to make these links.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Test 4: BetterGEDCOM - GEDCOM Summary

Below is a brief summary of the data that was in the GEDCOM file that has been tested this second set of tests:


Lines 9057


Level 0 980
Level 1 5448
Level 2 2544
Level 3 62
Level 4 11
Level 5 2

9047


NAME 627
SEX M 327
SEX F 299


SOUR 435


HUSB 254
WIFE 253
MARR 260
BIRT 624
DEAT 307


@F001 @F267
@I001 @I626

It appears that the 1 number difference was cause by an individual that did not have a SEX F or SEX M associated with the name. The Name in the GEDCOM file was not in Family Tree Maker Version 2011 when the original GEDCOM file was opened, but when the file was returned from The Master Genealogist, the additional name was included. The Name was present and the Sex was marked as Unknown. It appears that TMG counted this person as a person, while Family Tree Maker Version 2011 and Roots Magic 4 does not. Both programs were reviewed for this person.

What is research: Outlining contents of an American Revolutionary War pension file

... with brief comments extending the research.

How do we discover evidence in the research process? Does the research process ever end?

On the BetterGEDCOM wiki, folks are having on-going discussions about the difference between evidence and conclustions. To add to the discussion about the evidence process, I thought I'd post some information about a Revolutionary War pension file.


A pdf of one version of this document was posted to a Wikispaces page. You can probably download that document if you search "William Preston Rumney Pension" (without the quotes).

Click on the images below to read the individual pages. Digital images of the pension file pages are available at Footnote.com:

Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, microfilm publication M804 (Washington: National Archives, 19__), roll 1972, William Preston (Mary) (Sergeant, Continental and New Hampshire lines, Revolutionary War), file no[s. S.3222 and] W.2667, for pages filmed as nos. 1-70; digital images, Footnote.com (http://www.footnote.com : accessed 28 November 2007).
Hope this helps. --GJ


Test 6: BetterGEDCOM TMG to Roots Magic 4

The GEDCOM file created by The Master Genealogist has been imported into Roots Magic 4.

There were 627 individuals and not .LST file generated.

Test 6: BetterGEDCOM The Master Genealogist to Family Tree Maker

Continuing with our testing of a GEDCOM file. GeneJ generated a GEDCOM file from The Master Genealogist (TMG) and it was imported into Family Tree Maker Version 2011. Here is the summary.

  Individuals: 627
  Families:    253
  Sources:     70
  Media:       00
  Records:     2,389
  Errors:      00
  Time:        00:00:10.174
  Rate:        (234 records/sec)

As was reported, TMG has picked up an individual. Will attempt to identify that individual.

Test 5: BetterGEDCOM Roots Magic 4 to Family Tree Maker

It has been suggested that a GEDCOM file be made available to others, I have on such file. It was generated by Family Tree Maker Version 11 and the file was a demo file that came with the program.

Having successfully imported this file into Roots Magic 4, back into Family  Tree Maker Version 2011, the follow are the results:

626 People (same as the original file)
260 Families (267 in the original file)
60 Sources (vs 58 in the original file)
35 Errors

Each of the Errors were:

Line #####: error 9  : Invalid record type: (various)

Further investigation one these errors will follow.

Test 4: BetterGEDCOM FTM to Roots Magic 4

It has been suggested that a GEDCOM file be made available to others, I have on such file. It was generated by Family Tree Maker Version 11 and the file was a demo file that came with the program.

There are 626 People in this file, 252 Marriages, and 43 Master Sources. Other statistics are not reported as each program counts records differently. The key focus for this test, is People, Marriages, and Sources.

Opening this GEDCOM file in Roots Magic 4, there were 262 People. The other statistics in Roots Magic do not appear to compare to those provided by Family Tree Maker.

There did not appear to be any issues importing this file into Roots Magic 4.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Test 4: BetterGEDCOM FTM to GenBox

Here's the summary:

Individuals 626
Families 267
Errors 0
Warnings 31
Lines 9047
Elapsed time: .03 seconds

Warnings:
Warning 1: Custom Event "_DEG" added;

Edit "Event Types", group "Recent Additions" to Initialize
1698: 1 _DEG


Warning 2: Custom Event "_UNKN" added;

Edit "Event Types", group "Recent Additions" to Initialize
7374: 1 _UNKN


Warning 3: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8876: 1 REPO

8877: 2 CALN

8878: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 4: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8881: 1 REPO

8882: 2 CALN

8883: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 5: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8890: 1 REPO

8891: 2 CALN

8892: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 6: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8895: 1 REPO

8896: 2 CALN

8897: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 7: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8900: 1 REPO

8901: 2 CALN

8902: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 8: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8905: 1 REPO

8906: 2 CALN

8907: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 9: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8910: 1 REPO

8911: 2 CALN

8912: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 10: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8915: 1 REPO

8916: 2 CALN

8917: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 11: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8920: 1 REPO

8921: 2 CALN

8922: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 12: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8925: 1 REPO

8926: 2 CALN

8927: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 13: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8930: 1 REPO

8931: 2 CALN

8932: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 14: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8937: 1 REPO

8938: 2 CALN

8939: 3 MEDI Other


Warning 15: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8942: 1 REPO

8943: 2 CALN

8944: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 16: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8949: 1 REPO

8950: 2 CALN

8951: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 17: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8954: 1 REPO

8955: 2 CALN

8956: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 18: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8961: 1 REPO

8962: 2 CALN

8963: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 19: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8968: 1 REPO

8969: 2 CALN

8970: 3 MEDI Other


Warning 20: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8973: 1 REPO

8974: 2 CALN

8975: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 21: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8980: 1 REPO

8981: 2 CALN

8982: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 22: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8989: 1 REPO

8990: 2 CALN

8991: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 23: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
8996: 1 REPO

8997: 2 CALN

8998: 3 MEDI Census


Warning 24: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
9001: 1 REPO

9002: 2 CALN

9003: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 25: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
9010: 1 REPO

9011: 2 CALN

9012: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 26: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
9015: 1 REPO

9016: 2 CALN

9017: 3 MEDI Official Document


Warning 27: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
9020: 1 REPO

9021: 2 CALN

9022: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 28: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
9025: 1 REPO

9026: 2 CALN

9027: 3 MEDI Other


Warning 29: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
9030: 1 REPO

9031: 2 CALN

9032: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 30: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
9035: 1 REPO

9036: 2 CALN

9037: 3 MEDI Book


Warning 31: Record Pointer Missing for Tag "REPO" in Context: SOUR (Storing in notes)
9042: 1 REPO

9043: 2 CALN

9044: 3 MEDI Official Document

Test 4: BetterGEDCOM FTM to TMG

I imported the Test1 GEDCOM to TMG using the simple import. Here are the project summary statistics after import:

People 627
Names 882
Events 1839
Witnesses 2076
Places 195
Relationships 594
citations 434
Sources 63
Repository Links 29
Repositories 29
Tag Types 129
Source Elements 160

Does that look like an extra person again?

Errors/Warnings below:
8912 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
9032 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8991 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8897 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8927 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8883 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8902 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8922 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8998 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Census
8878 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8917 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8907 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8932 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
9012 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8970 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Other
9027 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Other
8939 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Other
9022 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8951 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8963 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
9044 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Official Document
8975 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8944 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8892 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
9037 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
8956 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
9017 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Official Document
8982 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book
9003 Warning : Expected level 2 tag.
3 MEDI Book

Humm... I have 10 sources all titled "Hannah was the widow of James Matthewson."

I will send you, Russ, the export from TMG to GED.

Note: I did not use GenBridge for the import.)

Test 4: Results of a GEDCOM file (for Sharing) into Family Tree Maker Version 2011

It has been suggested that a GEDCOM file be made available to others, I have on such file. It was generated by Family Tree Maker Version 11 and the file was a demo file that came with the program.

There are 262 People in this file, 252 Marriages, and 43 Master Sources. Other statistics are not reported as each program counts records differently. The key focus for this test, is People, Marriages, and Sources.

Opening this GEDCOM file in Family Tree Maker Version 2011 created a file with 626 Individuals, 267 Families, 58 Sources, 0 Errors,  and 0 Media files.

The number of Individuals are the same.

The counting of Marriages / Families are different, and the number of Sources are different.

It does appear that the relationships, sources, and citations came across as expected.

At this point, it might be summarized that the Sharing of this information was successful.

How do scholarly genealogists approach the evidence process?

From the BetterGEDCOM wiki, Tom W., “[perhaps we should ask] … scholarly genealogists to express … [h]ow they do things, and then shape and evaluate our proposed model … to … support their processes. […] Or maybe there’s a book we could all read.”

Mark Tucker, ThinkGenealogy, has done great work on these topics. Perhaps two entries from his blog are a good place to start.

a. Mark Tucker, “Genealogy Research Process Map,” blog entry of 10 July 2008 ThinkGenealogy, for summary of his research map development, with links to blog entries about his work on the map. Lower right of the linked page offers down-loadable PDF of the map as “Genealogy Research Map v2-3.pdf”
b. Mark Tucker, “3 Documents to Improve the Quality of your Research," blog entry of 8 January 2009, ThinkGenealogy, for discussion and link to his video, “Navigating Research with the GPS.”

For another take on the process, see the blog by The Ancestry Insider for “Evidence Management” and the entry 10 May 2010, “Evidence Management Explained.” Also the related comment by "John," in part, “But there's more to evidence management: It's an iterative process, beginning with a research plan to find sources, the search for those sources, abstraction of the evidence, formation of an hypothesis with an analysis of the evidence found so far, and writing up the search so far. … This process doesn't mesh well with a tabular "fact" presentation associated with all the genealogy database programs I've tried …”

On the Standards tab to this blog, Myrt provides references and some links to scholarly resources (U.S. practices). The BCG “work samples,” include proof arguments, providing insight into how scholarly genealogists document their conclusions.

Helen S. Ullmann, CG, FASG, has a GEDCOM posted at WorldConnect. See “Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG, GEDCOM"

One professional genealogist has started an “Ancestry Public Tree.” Mary Douglass indicates her proof arguments will be placed in the Public Tree “stories” section. Those who are members of Ancestry.com can browse her Public Trees here.

The Association of Professional Genealogists has a public mailing list. Anyone can subscribe to the list and participate in the dialog. See this link.

The archives for the public list are accessible here.
Archives of the former list are accessible at Rootsweb, APG-L archives (type “APG” into the “Submit Query” dialog box)

Other good references follow. Hope this helps. --GJ

Board for Certification of Genealogists, The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual (Orem, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 2000).

Elizabeth Shown Mills, ed., Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001), hardcover, 654 pages
Available on Amazon, Association of Professional Genealogists website (offers discount to members) or from the publisher.
See the publisher's link for an outline of the book’s sections and chapters.

For discussions about understanding sources and working with evidence, see Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained – Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 2nd edition, 2009, 885 pp.
An electronic version (pdf) of her first edition might still be available for purchase and download at Footnote.com.

Genealogical narrative style guides and references (U.S.):

Michael Leclerc and Henry Hoff, editors, Genealogical Writing in the 21st Century: A Guide to Register Style and More, 2nd ed. (Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2006).

Helen Schatvet Ullmann, “Writing a Family Sketch in Register Style,” New England Ancestors 8 (Summer 2007): 41, 42, 45.

Joan F. Curran, Madilyn C. Crane, and John H. Wray, edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Numbering Your Genealogy: Basic Systems, Complex Families, and International Kin, rev. ed. (Washington: NGS, 2008).

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Register).

National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ).

Monday, December 6, 2010

More on ... How do I enter information .... (GeneJ)


A few thoughts, followed by an example or two.
1. I see my role as an author, not a compiler. The author role brings with it more responsibilities than does the role of compiler.
2. I try to work from the known to the unknown, so I’m almost always introduced to a “new” person from the records I otherwise associate with a better “known” person.
3. I treat source materials as though each is somehow imperfect for my purpose and believe better information can be learned from the whole body of evidence.
4. I am constrained by time and resources. I recognize that as a persistent deficiency.
5. Analysis. reasoning and/or conclusion is involved throughout my process. Indeed, I "decide" which names to search and in which record groups I look.

Examples:
Last week I found a New Hampshire vital record for the death of Hannah Preston in 1797. For several years, I've had a written proof record that involved reasoning about Hannah's death. The death record clarified much of what had been written in the proof. 

Since the death record was the my first entry from a particular collection of records at Family Search Labs, after celebrating a little bit, I set up a new master source in my TMG database and then developed citations pointing to Hannah's death, the existing proof argument and a separate existing conflict notation. I blogged about the finding ("Love it when a deal comes together"), and still need to update my master sources to record the blog entry.
Some sources, like Hannah's 1797 NHVR death record, are just that simple to record. Other evidence, like say a pension or probate file or a family reunion newspaper item might take a long time to fully appreciate. When a record isn't straight forward, I will set up the master source and then develop a research log and/or research memorandum to sort through and record research about the information in that source. 

I can and sometimes do enter both "births" and "altbirth" tags for a person. Most of the time, however, I record a conflict, and then set out to resolve the conflict by reviewing my body of evidence or finding new evidence, adding notes to the conflict record in that process. If I can resolve the conflict, I'll add proof-oriented comments or a proof argument. 

Sometimes conflicts and proof arguments can be added in a footnote or a proof tag in the file.  Lots of times I need more word processing power to do a good job. In those cases, I'll develop a proof argument in my word processor and set up a master source in the database that points to the word processor document.
Hope this helps. --GJ



Sunday, December 5, 2010

When do you enter data into your database ?

At a genealogy chat in Second Life (SL), there was a discussion as to when one enters information into the database.

I thought it might be interesting to post how and when I enter information into my file. There is already one for entering a Name. So, starting with a name in your genealogy software:

When do you enter additional information about that person?

I will post when and how I enter information and way.

First, the program I use allows me to have that same Event or Fact used more than one time. There are three fields for each fact or event. The Fact Name, the Date of the Event, the Location of the Event. Depending on the Fact, a description field is also available. A citation can be attached for Each Fact or Event.

I should note, that it is rare that I find the complete Event or Fact information in one Source. Generally it takes several documents for a complete statement or details of an Event.

Birth being the Fact Name
Date (of birth)
Place (where was the birth)
Description (more details of the place)

This is the known details of a birth:

Birth was August 7, 1916 in West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania, at home.

Looking at a Census Record, you might find the Birth Year of 1917 and in Pennsylvania.

I, for one, will enter just that information with a Citation for the Census Record.

In an obituary, the complete birth date and West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania is included in the obituary. That is what I enter into my  database, along with the Citation.

At this point, there are two Birth entries. The program wants the user to select one of the multiple entires as the "preferred fact" entry. I select the more complete entry. This is the beginning of the Evaluation of the material I have in hand. Not yet complete, but it may be all that I find.

Later, a diary is found, of the mother, that the child was born in a home, the date and location of that home are in that diary. This would then be another Birth Fact, and since it is more complete and in a diary of the birth mother, this entry would become the Preferred Entry. It is also another piece of evidence of the birth of this person.

I don't go back and delete any of the previous entries, but continue to add additional birth facts / events as they are found.

For example, in this case, the memorial plaque in the burial ground only has the year of birth. Again another Birth fact is entered, with only the birth year and a citation on where the birth year came from.

I would not just attach this citation to the Census entry, because the census entry included the state of birth. This is a different entry.

The reason that I do this is to be able to look at a screen to evaluate the evidence about the birth of this person. In this example, there is a complete entry about this birth, and the additional entries have less information but support the birth of this person.

If there are conflicting pieces of data for any fact or event, it can be seen on one screen for further research and evaluation of the Sources that provided the information.

In my database, I try to record exactly what I find, and cite the source of that information. If I were to share this information, the person receiving the information could look at one of the sources and see what I saw. I will have drawn a conclusion based on the evidence at hand, but the person receiving my information may have additional or different information and draw a different conclusion.

Over time and as additional information is found, my conclusion may change.

Just a note about the "Preferred Fact". There is a feature when generating charts or reports to report the Preferred Only Facts, or all Facts. In most cases, the Preferred Only facts are used for my reports, and that would be my evaluation of the evidence at the time that report was generated.

Each of us needs to make our own decision as to when to enter data into our database, this is just how this user enters this type of information.

Summary of Data Elements in GED file

For those who are interested, here is some of the information that was in the GEDCOM file that was tested to date:

Level 0 530
Level 1 4648
Level 2 3824
Level 3 2559
Level 4 1604
Level 5 246
Lines 13411

CONT 1390
EVENT 212
FAMC 144
FAMS 162
NAME 305
NOTE 195
SEX F 114
SEX M 112
SOUR 1648

The Level listed about is the first column of information that is in the GEDCOM file.

13,411 Lines of data were in the GEDCOM file.

The second group of numbers were a count of some of the TAGS, or second column of data, in the file.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How do I enter information .... (GeneJ)


I set out to research the families of my direct ancestors and four generations of their descendants. (Unless I'm hoping we might find a little DNA.)

_The Master Genealogist_ (TMG) has a "witness" feature, by which one can record associated persons. I might use that feature to add say an estate administrator, someone not known to be related.

In the 1990s, I consistently entered sources to a research log, including record abstractions and notes. I used Microsoft Word for that purpose because of the ability to add specific formatting, tables and images.

When I started working with Massachusetts town records, I used a Lotus 1-2-3 to compile research log information from indexes to those materials.I used those materials to sort information by dates, towns, county and indexed parents’ names. I used the sorted information to refine my interests and prioritize research for more original materials. (I later did the same thing for Vermont and New Hampshire vital records, most of which I clipped from extracted IGI records back then.)

For the most part, my research now is limited to known relations. When I research otherwise, I usually end up learning much about someone else's family member(s). As to brick walls, I research a known relative more and more, hoping information about them will lead me to the unknown. In the worst case, I’ll end up learning even more about those I know, which is always a good thing in my book.

I use the FamilyHistory Library online catalog (http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=localitysearch&columns=*,0,0) to identify sources I may have overlooked. FamilyHistory101.com is another site I’ve used extensively. I contact state and local libraries and archives in an area to find out area specific materials and unpublished family files. I’ve worked extensively with both the New Hampshire and New Jersey “state papers.”

When I find a source of information, I’ll usually try to find other sources that might be about information in the first source. (Learning more about not just known persons, but known events.)

I am most familiar with TMG, but far from an expert.

I’ve learned to take the time to enter my sources to TMG’s “Master Source List” and to develop a citation and source list style. In the 1990's I used Family Tree Maker; I recorded most of my source and research materials in the old FTM "notes" area. 

TMG's "source types" are made up of three templates that match common genealogical needs for first and second reference notes and the bibliographic entry. See http://tmg.reigelridge.com/Sources-Templates.htm

The templates are built from "source elements" (such as Author, Title, Publisher, etc.). Users can develop their own template and I usually do. There is a finite number of available "Real Source Elements"/”Source Groups.” Users can create custom source elements, but those are alias for the Real Source Elements. See http://tmg.reigelridge.com/elements.htm

Only about 14 identifiable real source elements can be used in any one template. (The entry screen developed by the template only has 14 spots for user entry.)

To expand a template beyond the entry screen, you can refer to entries in fields "citation detail," or "citation memo," or "source memo." The three mentioned fields can actually be "split" into as many as 10 fields each (CD1, CD2, etc.). This "splitting" method requires separating the field input with double pipes. The program includes "reminder windows" into which users can record which "split" field is intended for which kind of data.

At the introduction, I imagine TMG’s source methodology was ahead of it’s time. For modern purposes, however, I often have to group elements into those 14 fields to fit my style. Other times, I just have to get creative. Sometimes the “page” field GEDCOM might read is actually a page number; other times, it’s my entry for “digital image” (reference note) or “Digital image” (bibliography). For another source, that “page field” might read, “supplied by XXX, 13 November 2000; held by XXX, XXX, 2002.”

I'm not the only user who feels TMG's Real Source Elements" have outlived their usefulness, but I rather believe that issue is related to old GEDCOM.

When I originally enter information for a given footnote, it’s usually long. I’m not just commenting about where I located the information; I include comments about the information (often abstractions) and comments related to separate sources I’ve already entered. Sometimes I’ll include a comment that references another source.

Contrary to what others have said, I find there are plenty of places in TMG to abstract ordinary information from a source. What is missing is the ability to format material well, including entering information in tabular form. For those needs, I turn to my word processor and/or spreadsheet program. I have the same opinion regarding proof arguments and conflict notes.

Hope this helps.

How do you enter Place Names?

Location or Place Names are clearly important in our research. Having the ability to look at your genealogy application and see who had an event in that location.

The question here is:


What if the Place Name that you want to enter into your file is a Historical Place Name?

My ancestors came into Maryland. At the time the area was made up of Parishes. After the revolutionary was, the parish names went away and were replaces by counties. Over time, even those jurisdiction names changed as the boundary lines changed.

The issue that I have is some tools that use a mapping feature, where you can see, visually on a map, who had an event in a specific location.

I record what I see, for place names, and document where that place name came from in a citation.

However, the mapping feature may not know that "parish" name but I want to take advantage of that feature and to be able to generate a report of everyone who lived in that area or had an event there.

Knowing the Current Place Name, and with some features of various mapping websites, over laying the old name with the current name, I will enter the Current Place Name as well. A Source and Citation has to be created to let the reader know that the 'current name' is not the name at the time of the event.

Some of the mapping websites, genealogical societies, and historical websites may have information on when the jurisdiction lines changed, based on a date.

Any comments?

How do you do data entry?

Each of us handle data entry differently. It is hoped, that you might make some comments about how YOU do data entry. This is not a program specific question, but in general .....

When does a new Name get entered into your Family File?

When I pick up a document or something online (a source) and that person looks familiar or that person my be in my file, I'll look for that person and any relationships or places that are included in that source.

Once it has been determined that yes, this person is related to someone in the file, I will enter the information from that source, AFTER entering the Source information into the program. With the Source in the database, then Citations can be entered and linked to each Fact or Event in the file. That includes a Citation for the Name of that person.

I enter the Names, for example, exactly the way that are in the Source, so that if I share my file, and the receiving person looks at my Source, they will see exactly what I saw and recorded. The spelling or format of the name may be different than what is in my file, but after evaluating the data (in the file and in the source)  the name will be entered. At some point, the 'correct' / most accurate name will be selected.

The key point is, that the name doesn't get entered until the database has been evaluated and the source has been evaluated. Once entered, the Name and all other information has a Citation associated with it.

In doing some research and finding a 'hint' to a brick wall in a Census Record, I have started to record the entire household (not an institution) into the file, including the same type of information for this "unrelated" person that I would 'family'.

Going back to the Census Record as the Citation, I would see the make up of that household in my file and in the census record. With the appropriate documentation.

You never know, when you might find the reason why that 'unrelated' person was in that household at that time.

Even if that person is never connected to that family, the household can be reconstructed as the Census Record showed.

Not everyone does this, and I didn't until looking at a brickwall.

Any comments?

Test 7: Media Files with links in a GEDCOM file

In an earlier blog post, there was an import status of the GEDCOM file from Roots Magic into Family Tree Maker. A GEDCOM file as a plain text file and can be opened by most word processing applications.

The ability to look at a GEDCOM is a good thing, as seen on earlier posts, as it may help you identify a problem from ones the error messages in the .LST file. Some of the messages here have been data from such a file. That is good news for troubleshooting but bad news if there is a Media file in the sending file. (Media might be a picture, an images, a Citation image). Those files are not included.

The first issue is that not all genealogy programs deal with a media file that might be in the Users family file.

Roots Magic 4 does have the ability to include a link to a media file. The GEDCOM file might have an entry that looks like this (from Roots Magic):

1 OBJE
2 FILE C:\Users\(user information and folder name) Media\(media filename).jpg
2 FORM jpg
2 TITL Test Media
2 _TYPE PHOTO
2 _SCBK Y
2 _PRIM Y

If the media file (media filename).jpg was sent along to the other user, and put that image in a similar folder, or to relink the Object to the appropriate field in the users file, that link would appear as it should in the receiving Users file.

So far there is some coordination to reconnect the data in the file to this image.

This specific image (media file) was an image of a Census Record for two people, documenting in this image, their residence for that census year. In this specific case, the image was in the path for that file. When Family Tree Maker imported the GEDCOM file, it picked up that the image was already on the computer, in that folder, so the Image was in the Media Workspace of Family Tree Maker.

That's good news, the image it there, but it also means more work. The User receiving the image would have to know that the image is a Citation Media file. Looking at the Media Workspace the Image is actually show twice. The data for that image is clear that it is ONE file, but two thumbnails are showing up. Family Tree Maker clearly shows the two people who are attached to that one image with two thumbnails.

The Family Tree Maker end user then needs to know that the image is a Citation Media file, go to the appropriate screen in the program at attach that image to the appropriate Source. Repeat that for both people in the file.

That still leaves two images in the Media Workspace. If the end user attached the citation to the same image, the Usage for that image would show that both people are using that image and then can delete the duplicate image.

There is no indication in the GEDCOM file, noting how the image is used, or that there are two links to one image, so the clean up of a complicated GEDCOM, with links to images, will take some work.

This information is in no way reflecting either Family Tree Maker nor Roots Magic. It is to illustrate a serious weakness in the current GEDCOM format. As genealogy applications handle media files very well, the sharing of them is not very simple.

It is hoped that the BetterGEDCOM project will address this issue.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Summary of Test Results

Here is a summary of these test results.

It should be noted that the Family Tree Maker to Family Tree Maker results had 2 Media Files. Details about that will be posted here and is not part of these results and did not impact them:

Counts:

Individuals:

FTM to FTM = 226
FTM to RM4 = 226
FTM to TMG = 227

TMG to FTM = 227
FTM to RM4 = 227

RM4 to FTM = 226

TMG appears to have picked up an individual.


Errors:

FTM to FTM = 0
FTM to RM4 = Not counted, but many
FTM to TMG = None Reported

TMG to FTM = 0
TMG to RM4 = 0

RM4 to FTM = 83

It should be noted that RM4 did not have a summary error count, only the resulting .LST report


Family Counts:

FTM to FTM = 89

RM4 and TMG do not appear to count Families as Family Tree Maker does.

TMG to FTM = 57

RM4 to FTM = 84


Sources:

FTM to FTM = 208
FTM to TMG = 180

TMG to FTM = 148

RM4 to FTM = 207


Records

FTM to FTM = 2,688
TMG to FTM = 2,701
RM4 to FTM = 4,078


Conclusion:

These are the types of results that researchers are experiencing using the current GEDCOM platform.

Again, these tests are only to illustrate the problem and in no way is an attempt to indicate that one program is better than the other.

Test 3: Results of a GEDCOM File created by The Master Genealogist opened in Roots Magic 4

The GEDCOM file that was generated by The Master Genealogist and opened in Root Magic 4, generated no errors.

There were 227 people in the file in Roots Magic 4.

Test 3: Results of a GEDCOM File created by The Master Genealogist opened in Family Tree Maker

GeneJ generated a GEDCOM file from The Master Genealogist, that was imported as a GEDCOM file from Family Tree Maker.

That TMG generated GEDCOM file had the following results:

Import Summary

  Individuals: 227
  Families:    57
  Sources:     148
  Media:       00
  Records:     2,701
  Errors:      00

That same GEDCOM file will be opened by Roots Magic 4.

Test 1: FTM GEDCOM to TMG (without GenBridge)

I imported Russ' GEDCOM to my program, The Master Genealogist (TMG). This is the same GEDCOM file, exported from Family Tree Maker (FTM), that Russ separately imported to Roots Magic (RM4).

I don't own GenBridge, so I imported the FTM GEDCOM directly to TMG. (GenBridge is an application that helps users import genealogical information to TMG.)

Post import, the TMG project summary was:
Persons : 227
Names: 354
Events: 1086
Witnesses: 1169
Places: 425
Relationships: 287
Citations: 1647
Repositories: 67
Tag Types: 129
Source Elements: 160

An extensive LST file was created as part of the import to TMG (13 pdf pages). The warnings included things that mostly appear to be source/citation related. Warnings included descriptors as "Expected level XXX" and "Unknown level XXX." The report remarked that one person appeared to be reported as a children to more than one set of parents (which might explain the difference in "person" numbers between Russ' file and my import).

Some of these entries were reported "skipped", others were not.

I know Russ is crunching away on the LST file reports.

Test 7: Results of a GEDCOM File created by Roots Magic 4 opened in Family Tree Maker

In the earlier blog entry, a GEDCOM file, generated by Family Tree Maker Version 2011 was opened by Roots Magic, with an indication as to the errors that were received.

After that file was opened in Roots Magic 4, a GEDCOM file was generated and opened by Family Tree Maker Version 2011.

The .LST log summary was:


Import Summary

  Individuals: 226
  Families:    84
  Sources:     207
  Media:       02
  Records:     4,078
  Errors:      83

Each of the 83 error messages were  "error 9  : Invalid record type: [ an Event Tag was listed ] Record ignored."

Locating the Line Numbers, associated with the first error, the GEDCOM file reads:

1 _TMPLT
2 TID 0
2 FIELD
3 NAME Footnote
3 VALUE [text], Birthdays and Special Dates
2 FIELD
3 NAME ShortFootnote
3 VALUE [text], Birthdays and Special Dates
2 FIELD
3 NAME Bibliography
3 VALUE [text]. Birthdays and Special Dates.

Note: the word [text], in the LST file has a persons name.

It appears that 83 source entries were not opened by Family Tree Maker.

It should be noted, that the the Source [text], Birthdays and Special Dates, is in Family Tree Maker, but with only one (1) citation associated with it.

The initial observation of this un-scientific test, is that there were issues with Sources and Citations.

Other tests will be reported here.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Going all fundamental

Since some of us are discussing things fundamental to data, thought I'd think about things fundamental, too.  Maybe you'll consider joining me.


1. What are the best tools most used or suggested to those just beginning the family history journey?
2. What are the most common or most discouraging errors made by those new to the practice?
3. What tools help good researchers become great researchers?
4. What tools help great researchers become great writers?
5. What tools help all of us archive and preserve our treasures?
6. What tools are most helpful in breaking down brick walls?
7. What tools help great writers publish?

Add or opine! --GJ

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Test 1: Results of a GEDCOM file, created by Family Tree Maker opened in Roots Magic 4

As part of the BetterGEDCOM project, we thought it might be helpful to post some of our experience about the project on this Blog.

To family researchers, during a conference call, realized that they may be related. As other researchers may do, one of them would generate a GEDCOM file and send it to the other.

A GEDCOM 5.5 file was an existing file in Family Tree Maker Version 2011 and was to be shared with a researcher using Roots Magic 4.

To be clear, this is only to illustrate one issue of a GEDCOM file and not about either of the programs involved.

When there seemed to be some problems, in the Source-Citation by the person receiving the GEDCOM file, and to put a little more control over the test environment, that GEDCOM file was opened by Family Tree Maker 2011.

Number of Individuals: 226
Number of Families: 89
Number of Sources: 208
Number of Records: 2,688
Number of Errors: 0

There were 13,232 lines of data in the GEDCOM, as counted by Microsoft Word.

The same GEDCOM file was opened in Roots Magic 4. The number of individuals imported into Roots Magic 226, the same as Family Tree Maker.
When a GEDCOM file is opened and there are errors on import a .LST file is generated. Below is an example of entries that were in that .LST log file that was generated by Roots Magic 4:

This information was Cut from the error log, and pasted here, and not edited in any way from HERE:

Unknown info (line 933)
    3 _ABBR Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: The
    4 CONC Generations Network, Inc., 2002), Database online. West Chester,
    4 CONC Chester, Pennsylvania, ED 95, roll 2021, page , image 189.0.

Unknown info (line 954)
    3 _ABBR Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: The
    4 CONC Generations Network, Inc., 2002), Database online. West Chester,
    4 CONC Chester, Pennsylvania, ED 95, roll 2021, page , image 189.0.

Unknown info (line 980)
    3 _ABBR Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: The
    4 CONC Generations Network, Inc., 2002), Database online. West Chester,
    4 CONC Chester, Pennsylvania, ED 95, roll 2021, page , image 189.0.

Unknown info (line 996)
    3 _ABBR Ancestry.com, 1900 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA: The
    4 CONC Generations Network, Inc., 2004), Database online. Thornbury,
    4 CONC Delaware, Pennsylvania, ED 188, roll T623 1406, page 1A.


To HERE:

There are personnel information in much of the Error Log, but this is just an example: Many of the other errors were very much like these. These are Citation entries. There were 944 lines of errors. However, some of those lines were blank lines. This test is not for details but an example of issues that two researchers experienced.

The two researcher involved with this test, consider Source-Citations very important, and it appears that some of the Source material was not imported into Roots Magic.

A Follow Up message will contain the results when a GEDCOM file from Roots Magic is opened by Family Tree Maker.