Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Searching for birth dates in software

I've had excellent responses to my post "Does any genealogy software do this? - Post 1" about creating a list of persons in my database with a specific birth day (e.g., June 10).

1) RootsMagic commented that "In RootsMagic (including the free trial version) you can do Reports > Lists > Birthday / Anniversary list. There are options for selecting groups of people, or only living people, etc. so make sure to choose the ones you are really interested in. It lists the birthdays and anniversaries from Jan 1 thru Dec 31 so you can look at any date to see what birthdays or anniversarys are on a particular date."

Breeze commented "In RootsMagic go to Reports, Calendar and you are all set."

I didn't mention RootsMagic in my post, but I tested the free trial Version 3 using the first comment. The program created a list, starting from 1 January through 31 December for the selected persons. However, I didn't see a way to narrow it down to one specific day as I desired. This list would work for me, though!

Using Breeze's suggestion, I tried Reports > Calendar and the only option was to input a specific month and year and it created a calendar with names and birth days, with ages, for persons in my database - not exactly what I wanted.

2) Geoff commented that "Legacy 7 can do this, including the free, standard edition. Click on the Search icon in the main toolbar, and change the search fields to: Birth Date contains 13 Aug (or your date). Click on Create List. I found 33 other people that share my birthday."

Jasia commented "I don't have Legacy 7 yet either but you can easily do it in Legacy 6 Deluxe. Search>Find>Detailed Search>Primary Condition...then select "individual" or "marriage", "birth date" or "marriage date", "contains" and "June 10" (or whatever)."

Becky commented "I haven't downloaded version 7 yet but Legacy 6 has a Calendar List Report - it may be just a Deluxe feature. You can limit who shows up on the report (living only, deceased only, everyone, etc.) and you can run it for selected months, or just one month."

I received an email from Don who suggested the same parameters as Jasia did on the Detailed Search tab.

I tried those suggestions on Legacy Family Tree 7 Standard version (free), and had these results:

* Using Geoff's suggestion on the Query by Example tab did not work when I input Born = "9 Oct" and checked the "Either" and "Starts with" boxes. I got "No records were found that match the search criteria."

* Using Geoff's and Jasia's suggestions on the Detailed Search tab, it did not work when I input Look for Whom = "Individual," Where to Look = "Birth Date," How to Look = "Equal To" and What to Look For = "9 oct." I'm pretty sure that I needed to include a year to satisfy the "Equal To" criteria.

* Using Geoff's and Jasia's suggestions on the Detailed Search tab, it did work when I input Look for Whom = "Individual," Where to Look = "Birth Date," How to Look = "Contains" and What to Look For = "9 oct." But the results also included persons with a birth date of 19 October and 29 October. That's logical - it did exactly what I requested! I couldn't figure a way to limit it to only those with 9 October as a birth date - I tried "09 Oct" and "9 Oct" in quotes. It did work when I input "19 Oct" or "29 Oct" - it limited the results to those dates. Is this a bug in Legacy Family Tree that it won't find a specific date with one digit?

3) Shannon commented that "I'm using FTM 2005 and if you go to view and then pick calendar ( or hit ALT V,C) and then click on contents and then items to include in calendar, you can choose the time period, living only or all, birthdays and/or anniversarys."

After explicit directions from Shannon in email (thank you!), I figured out that in View > Calendar > Contents > Items to Include if I uncheck the box "Print only if still alive" that it will put the persons in my database born on each day in June (or any other month) in a calendar format. If I go to View > Calendar > Contents > Individuals to Include and select myself and then select Ancestors, then I can limit it to only my ancestors. I would have to make (and print) a calendar for each month to get the full year list.

What about FTM 2008? After the initial issue of this post, I received an email from Ron C who said "simple task with FTM-2008! From reports I selected "Filter In" ...see the bottom box. I selected "Birth" = "1836" and FTM-2008 found all instances where "1836" appeared in the birth date field." He sent a screen capture showing the resulting report. So it appears FTM 2008 can satisfy my desire.

4) Nobody has commented yet about The Master Genealogist 7 capability for this issue. This program totally befuddles me in basic use, let alone obtaining a custom list or report. I need to go on the cruise, I guess, and be tutored by the creators of TMG!

5) Moultrie Creek commented "Reunion 9's calendar will provide the information for today - or any day you specify. Unfortunately, Reunion only works on the Mac. ;)"

I'm not surprised!

6) Lyn commented that "Brothers Keeper will do this. It has a 'word search' capability where you can specify specific values for most fields and it will produce a list of the people meeting the criteria. Includes some Boolean capability. This morning I searched with "17 Feb" in the Birth_Date field and it gave me a list of all the folks born on 17 Feb regardless of year."

Lyn added in a comment to this post that "I have used this capability before to create lists such as what people are buried in the same cemetery or state where folks born, etc. "

7) Taneya Koonce posted on her Taneya's Genealogy Blog about how easy this task is to do on The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG). Please read her post here.

8) TamuraJones commented that "PAF and Ancestral Quest have a birthday calendar, but you can also create a custom report to get just one date. Here's how to do it in PAF, doing it in AQ is practically identical. Choose Custom Report, and then the Select Button to bring up the 'Advanced Focus/Filter' dialog box. In there you can define and combine your search criteria. Add BirthDate to the still empty Filter, choose "Contains" and enter the birth date you want without a year, e.g. "11 Apr". Then add another for Marriage date, with an OR in between. The "Current Filter" box will show: Birth Date Contains 11 Apr OR Marriage Date Contains 11 Apr. That's all there is to it. Well, don't forget to pick some fields for the report, e.g. Full Name, Birth Date and Birth Place. You can save the report for later use. PAF performs the selection pretty fast; on a 100k INDI database, report generation about 10 seconds."

Thank you to all who took the time to comment on my whine, er, post. I've learned a lot about each program's capabilities. I do really appreciate the versatility and capabilities of these genealogy software programs - there are so many features in each program and each program is somewhat different from the others.

In summary, each program tested, except for Family Tree Builder 2.0, and I'm not sure about TMG7, can do what I wanted to do. However, it seems like the user needs to be real familiar (even intimate!) with their software to figure out how to do it.

UPDATED: 2:30 p.m., 11 June. I added the FTM 2008 and Brothers Keeper comments to this post.

UPDATED: 10 p.m., 11 June. I added Taneya's blog post.

UPDATED: 4:30 p.m., 12 June. Updated the FTM 16 report based on input from Shannon in email.

UPDATED: 1:30 p.m., 13 June: Added Tamura Jones comments for PAF/AQ.

6 comments:

Breeze said...

You said "I thought it would be a neat idea to make a list of the ancestors who have specific birth days - you know, who was born on 10 June, or married on 10 July."

I think now that you want a list and not a calendar but you might be able to make a list from the calendar. Because the calendar setting in Rootsmagic will do most of what you want which is some way to know everyone who shares the same birthday or anniversary and RootsMagic can do that. Turn off show only living, turn off give age, and on a month to month basis the calendar will list everyone with a birthday on the same day. I know from reading your blog that you have a super deluxe FHC that you use and a free version of the newest RootsMagic should be available to test drive there.

lyn said...

I posted this earlier but don't think Randy say it before he did this post.

Brothers Keeper will do this. You use the "word search" capability. You can enter criteria in most all data base fields and it will give you a list of the people matching the criteria. I did a search on "17 Feb" this morning and found all the folks in my db I share a birth date with.

I have used this capability before to create lists such as what people are buried in the same cemetery or state where folks born, etc.

Mel said...

The easiest way to do it with RootsMagic is to create the birthday list and save it to file. Then open the file and save just the dates you want.

You could also do the birthday list and choose select individuals, choose Select Individuals, then click Create. You then will see a list of everyone in your database. If you click on Find, you can have the report find only people born on a certain date. It's a little clunky as you have to mark each individual separately and it wasn't always accurate (search contains 1 Jan brought up 21 Jan as well). You might try it out to see if it does what you need.

Taneya said...

I did a blog post inspired by you!
It is at http://is.gd/vuo

Shannon said...

you said in the first post: I thought it would be a neat idea to make a list of the ancestors who have specific birth days - you know, who was born on 10 June, or married on 10 July.
As far as I can tell, FamilyTreeMaker 16 can't do this. I've looked at Custom Reports, Calendars, Sorts, etc. The closest I can come is a Calendar for a specific year that shows the age of persons in my database that are alive at the time.
and I told you how to run a calendar showing living and deceased birthdays and anniversarys for any given month
then you replied to me: I tried this in FTM 16, and could input only one specific year in the Year field. I don't think FTM 16 and before can do what I want.
so Im confused as to what you what? You mention only being able to pick one year but you initially said you wanted to know who was born on the same DAY? If you use the current year in the calendar option and uncheck living only and run it say for July, you will get a calendar page showing everyone that was born (or married if you choose annversaries) on every day of that month regardless of what year it was.
If you are wanting to know who was born in a certain year, then no FTM wont do it as far as I know, but on a certain day...yes its entirely possible

TamuraJones said...

PAF and Ancestral Quest have a birthday calendar, but you can also create a custom report to get just one date. Here's how to do it in PAF, doing it in AQ is practically identical.
Choose Custom Report, and then the Select Button to bring up the "Advanced Focus/Filter" dialog box . In there you can define and combine your search criteria. Add BirthDate to the still empty Filter, choose "Contains" and enter the birth date you want without a year, e.g. "11 Apr". Then add another for Marriage date, with an OR in between. The "Current Filter" box will show:

Birth Date Contains 11 Apr
OR
Marriage Date Contains 11 Apr

That's all there is to it.
Well, don't forget to pick some fields for the report, e.g. Full Name, Birth Date and Birth Place. You can save the report for later use. PAF performs the selection pretty fast; on a 100k INDI database, report generation about 10 seconds.