Monday, August 4, 2008

Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 11: Places III

I installed FamilyTreeMaker 2008 in early July and uploaded a large database to see how it worked. I also started a new database to test other program features. Please see the list at the bottom of this post for the earlier posts.

In this post, I want to describe how to resolve a number of place names in one (or several actions).

I'm going to use my Test tree (the one I started a new tree with) because I don't want to resolve everything in my Master tree (which has shorthand source citations in the place names) yet. In my Test tree, I had a number of Place names with the word "County" in them and I want to resolve them so that the correct places are shown on the map and I have a consistent format for place names in my database.

Here is the screen when I have Benjamin Seaver on my [People] menu and I click on the [Places] icon:

As discussed in Post 9, even though I specified "Westminster, Worcester County, MA" in my place name, FTM 2008 provided a map for Westminster Street in "Worcester, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA."

Since I have several place names I want to resolve, I can do them either one at a time, like I did in Post 9, or I can do many in one action. To do the latter, I click on the "Resolve All" link at the top right of the Place Name Index on the right side of the left-hand panel.

FTM 2008 asks you "Before you perform this operation, it is a good idea to make a backup of your file. Do you want to make a Backup now?" I did...

After the backup was made, the screen below appeared:

FamilyTreeMaker 2008 allows you to choose from several options at this point:

* Unrecognized Place Name - keep the place name as it is

* Suggested Place Name - replace the unrecognized place name with the suggested place name

* Desc - move unrecognized place name to the Description field

* Ignore - stop marking this place name as unrecognized

* Other - search for another spelling of this place name

For each place name on the list, you must choose one of these options. In the screen shot above, I checked Desc before I realized what it was. I should have read the options before I checked them all and then clicked on OK.

I had to go back later and re-enter all of the Place Names for the ones I mistakenly moved to the Description Field (which is on the [People} screen). When I did this, I resloved them again and this time chose the Suggested Place Name and everything was finally correct.

One of the places that was resolved was Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA - and the screen shot below shows the map that resulted when I clicked on it in the Places Index list.

Note that on the right-hand panel is a list of names in my People list that are associated with Westminster, MA.

To re-iterate - if you do not have the identical place name in your Places fields that matches the program's Place Authority list, then you might not get the correct map. You'll have to go through and Resolve each place that you want to show on the map.

I didn't mention the Description Field in the Place names before when we were on the [People] screens. That's because I had missed the detail when I was entering data. Some of the data was entered into the Description Field, and it showed up in the information for each person. You can use the Description Field to add information to the Place Name - for instance, a church name, a hospital name, a street address, a cemetery name, etc. Or even shorthand source information! That is one solution for my Master database problem - but it's not the "best" solution -- I should put my source citations in the Sources field.

Previous posts in this series:

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 1: Loading. Installing the program and uploading an existing database file.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 2: Exploring. Looking around the uploaded database file to see what the different views look like.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 3: The Menus. Most of the menus were itemized and described.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 4: Starting a New Tree. I started a new tree and added some people demonstrating the program options to do this.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 5: Adding a Source. I added sources to the Facts that I previously entered.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 6: Adding Children to a Family. I added children to a family.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 7: The Person Menu. I described the items in the Person menu and attached a spouse to a person.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 8: Finding a Person in the database. I described three ways to Find a person.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 9: Places I. I explored the vagaries of the Places icon.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 10: Places II. The different map types are discussed and displayed.

In the next post, we'll explore some of the Reports and Charts in the [Publish] icon section.

1 comment:

MapMyAncestors said...

Playing with FTM 2008 earlier this year I was frustrated that I could only look at one place at a time. What I wanted was to see my who tree on a map so I've spent the last 6 months putting together a program to do just that. "Map My Ancestors" will read a GEDCOM file and plot the individuals on Google Earth.

If you are interested, my web site is -