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04 January 2006 @ 02:31 pm
I have been working on my old database (1994) and comparing it to my current databases to make sure I transfer all the old notes and information over. It's going along pretty well. I have my current database in Legacy and the old one in PAF. I view the two databases side by side and can open both to edit information. I found this works better than using Legacy's split screen. I can only open one individual's personal information at a time that way. I need to be able to open both, so two programs side by side is great.

One of the things I have noticed is how much better I like Legacy than PAF. In Legacy I do my searching for people in the Index view. At the top of the screen there are boxes to search by RIN, Given name or Surname. It really speeds up the process. In PAF the tab is called Individual, but it's like the Index view. The thing is it doesn't have the boxes to search for people. I have to scroll through the list, it's a pain.

I also miss my Descendant view while in PAF - it doesn't have one. It doesn't have the Chronology view either but that's not been necessary for what I'm doing right now. On the Pedigree view PAF goes five generations, where Legacy only shows four back. I guess since it shows the siblings and children of the current person it is showing five, but you know what I mean. PAF will show the the spouse and children if you highlight the individual first in a scroll down box. I don't know I guess PAF's five generation view is nicer so it's got me there.

I really like Legacy's Family view except for two things. PAF shows an arrow is the lines go back and that's a nice feature. Legacy gives me symbols but there's something nice about an arrow you really notice it. All the same I would still pick Legacy's because of all the icons that tell me so much information.

Since I'm LDS and use the LDS ordinance fields I would have to say I like seeing the information on the edit information screen like in PAF. The only draw back is you have to open the marriage to see the sealing information. Legacy has it all in one place. But then when I'm in Legacy's marriage screen I don't see the sealing unless I click on the temple icon. I just wish it had all options of seeing the sealing in both places.

Overall I just like Legacy's features, feel and look. But, then again, I knew that a long time ago, that's why I switched. I have RootsMagic and Family Tree Maker I should do the same thing with both of those programs. You really notice what you don't like when you have the programs side by side.

Now what's your favorite genealogy program?
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
04 January 2006 @ 03:52 pm
When you start doing genealogy it just never seems like you have enough relatives. You see others with their 10,000 named databases and think how do they even find that many people? I'm lucky if I have 100 relatives. Well time does march on and your database will grow and then you will wonder how do, I manage all this.

First off you have to have a really nice genealogy software program to manage your database of people. You probably already know Legacy by Millennia is my program of choice. If you haven't decided what software program to use, I recommend you go free first. Legacy offers a free standard version of their program for you to try out at http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/. You can also try the LDS Church's PAF program it's free on their website http://www.familysearch.org. After using the program you will know what features you want in a genealogy program and then you can decide from there. Go free first then advance up to a paid version if desired.

Since I'm in the middle of reviewing my old database I resurrected from 1994 disks. (It's a long story.) I thought I would share some of my discoveries on how I used to collect ancestors and their relatives. Then we can answer the question, when do you stop collecting people?

I used to take all the information on anyone that was connected to people in my family tree. Now you say what's wrong with that. Well I started to collect in-laws and their lines. People that are not blood related to me. If they linked up they stayed. Well now that more than a decade has passed in doing computerized genealogy I have put a limit on which people I place in my database.

In reviewing the old database I found I had recorded everyone in this one book and put them all in my database. Well yes people throughout this family book did marry into my lines several times. But that didn't make everyone in the book my relative. I sure did a lot of work for someone else’s family a long time ago. I don't feel too bad removing them from my database today, because I submitted it to FamilySearch's Ancestral File a long time ago. The real relatives can claim them there.

The way I decide where to stop collecting relatives is if my genealogy program Legacy can't give me a relationship. I really like this feature in Legacy it's in the Family view and on top of the primary couples name you see their relationship to you. I can see if you’re my 7th great-grandfather or my 2nd cousin 5 times removed. OK, it has a high amusement level for me.

I have decided to let this handy little feature decide if a person comes or goes into my database. Now if you are my 3rd cousin and you marry, your wife is not my relative. But Legacy will say you are the wife of my 3rd cousin. Then your ok, you stay. And your children well they are my 4th cousins and yes you stay too. But the parents of the wife are not related to me. Legacy gives you a big fat blank. Sorry you loose your gone out of my database. I will put your names in my notes for the wife but not create you and give you a RIN. I know this sounds harsh but I'm at the point I need to economize on relatives.

There are times I break this rule like when two siblings marry into my family. I will group them into a family with their parents and other siblings. Or if your last name is Bentley, well I'm trying to find how all these Bentley's in the same area are related so I can see where my line ends and might connect up to this big group of them in the area. (I just feel it in my bones that we are related.) So with group studies I will keep your information in my database. But, sorry if you’re anything else you just have to go.

I'm also guilty of a little prejudice too. If you’re female I might follow your descendents for a few generations, then I might drop you. It's kind of hit or miss me doing that. But yes I am guilty of following the male lines with the preferred surname in study.

What do I do with the information I don't keep? Wouldn't it be good to collect it so someone else can use it later? Well yes I used to do that. Then I had a lot of inquires from people who saw my database on line and they got really excited on how we were related. Then I would have to tell them I'm not really related to you. I just collected the names because they tied in. I couldn’t answer any questions for them. I wasn't really researching those lines. It always made me feel bad saying I didn’t want to trade information. It’s like saying I didn’t care about them. I just started having too many people to care about. I had to draw the line somewhere.

Now I put in my notes, for the unrelated spouse, who their parents and siblings are and where to go to find more information on that line. What would I say is the moral to this story? Well when you’re looking for a person it might be a good idea to check the notes on individuals you think could be related. You might find a whole lot of information there.

Well see you tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day.

Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful