Saturday, June 21, 2008

Software: Making an Ahnentafel list - Post 2C

I asked the question in my post "Does any Genealogy Software do this? - Post 2A" ---

Can a genealogy software program create an ahnentafel list (also known as a Sosa-Stradonitz list)? This list is defined as a list of ancestors, in pedigree chart numerical order, separated into generations, with birth date and place, death date and place, and marriage date and place.

I ran six genealogy software programs that I currently am evaluating to determine the process and the results. I posted "Software: Making an Ahnentafel list - Post 2B" that discussed Legacy Family Tree 7, RootsMagic 3 and FamilyTreeMaker 16.

The next three programs tested include:

4) The Master Genealogist Version 7.0 (Free trial version):

I selected a key person (my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942)) and clicked on the Report menu item. I selected Ahnentafel from the drop-down list, and the Report Definition Screen box for Ahnentafel opened, as shown in the screen below. The key operator on this screen box is the Options button. Clicking on it, I was able to select a number of format options for the report. One of the Tabs is Tags, and using Tags I selected Birth, Marriage and Death by double clicking on them (a check appears for each selected Tag). The screen at this point looks like (with the Ahnentafel box and Options box open):

Then I clicked the OK button on the Options box and the Create Report button on the Ahnentafel box and obtained the Ahnentafel report list shown below:

This report includes names, dates and places for each couple, including birth, marriage and death dates and places. The report includes marriage data for each person in a married couple, so there is a bit of redundancy. I'm pretty sure that the format can be modified to make the report more attractive, but I didn't explore those options. The first time I posted a result, I only got the names because I had no clue as to how to get the dates and places - see the Update note below! It looks like I need significant training to use TMG7 effectively. I need to take the cruise and attend the classes, I guess!

5) Personal Ancestral File Version 5 (free downloaded version): I selected the same key person, and searched all over for a way to make Reports, and finally found the Printer icon that opens the Reports and Charts menu with many tabs and options, as shown below:

I investigated all of the tabs, and figured out that the Books Tab would create an Ahnentafel book. On that tab, I selected 5 generations, no sources, no notes, and clicked on the Preview button. The resulting Ahnentafel Book looks like this (you can select one or two pages to be visible on the screen).

This is an Ahnentafel list with the minimum requirements I expect - names, dates and locations for each ancestral couple, listed by generation. If I desired, I could save this report to an .rtf file or I could print it out.

6) Family Tree Builder 2.0 (free version): I selected the same key person, and clicked on the Reports button and then selected Ancestors from the drop-down list, as shown below:

When I clicked on Ancestors in the menu, the Ancestors report was created as shown below:

The Ancestors report provides the birth, death and marriage data for each couple. It also provides the additional event data like baptisms and burials. For each person in the Ahnentafel, it lists the parents of each person. In my opinion, the parents are superflous in a list like this - they should be in the next generation anyway.

However, when I look further down in the report, since 14 Thomas J. Newton is married to 15 Sophia Buck, I expected no entry for 28 and 29 since I don't have parents for Thomas Newton in my database, and I expected entries 30 and 31 to be the parents of 15 Sophia Buck. In the Ancestors report, the parents of #15 Sophia Buck were #28 Isaac Buck and #29 Martha Phillips. The "Ancestors Report" created is not an Ahnentafel list or report - it's an Ancestors report.

I will write a summary post for these findings that will include comments from readers about these six and several other genealogy software programs.

Comments are welcome if someone has methods or tricks to create the Ahnentafel List I want and expect my genealogy software to be able to create, especially for TMG7 and FTM16.

UPDATE 6/22, 4:30 p.m. Drew and Carol have suggested ways to make TMG7 create an Ahnentafel report list and they worked well. Thank you to them.

I guess one lesson learned here is to "...let others think you're a fool rather than publish something and remove all doubt." As I stated, I'm not experienced with TMG7 and doubt if I ever will be...


Carol said...

I don't have TMG7, but in TMG6, you have to select the "options" button at the bottom of the report definition screen. There you will be able to select a whole host of output options, such as which tags to include (if you want only BMD, make sure you only select those)as well as other options from page layout to fonts to date format, to including exhibits such as photos if you wanted them.

MikeF said...


You can do exactly what you want to do in Genbox. Go to reports>ancestor narrative>basic and it will generate an ahnentafel with options to have or leave out child lists and what other data to include if you wish.


Drew Smith said...

Carol is correct, and it is still the case in TMG7. In the Options..., select the Tags tab, and choose something for "Tag types" other than "None". (If you choose "None", you'll get just the list of names with no facts.)

Best is probably "Selected", then double-click on each of the following: "Birth", "Death", and "Marriage". You'll get the name of the spouse and the spouse's parents as part of the marriage information, but otherwise, you'll get just the items you want (birth, marriage, and death dates and locations).