Friday, August 14, 2009

Family Tree Builder 4.0 - Post 3: Person Information

After downloading Family Tree Builder 4.0 from the MyHeritage website, and uploading a GEDCOM file into the software (see Family Tree Builder 4.0 - Post 1: A First Look), I started exploring in Family Tree Builder 4.0 - Post 2: Getting Started.

In this post, I want to go through all of the information captured by the program for a specific person. I'll use my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942), for this review. Here is the screen with him as the selected person:

The slide bar on the right of the selected person provides a summary of the information for that person. How do I see the facts, the notes, the sources, etc.? There are two ways to do this:

1) I can go to the "Person" menu item in the top line, and click on "Edit Details: Frederick Walton Seaver" and see the "Edit Details" menu.

2) I can double-click on the selected person and see the "Edit Details" menu.

Here is the "Edit Details" menu for the selected person:

There are eight tabs across the top of the menu box - Main, Info, Physical, contact, Citations, Notes and Facts. The "Main" tab is shown above - and has information about the person's gender, name, email address, birth information and death information (date, place, cause of death, burial place). There is a button to add photographs.

The "Info" tab is shown below:

On this tab, the user can add information about the person's Occupation, Education and Identification (religion, nationality, and title) and the opportunity to privatize the person's information. The user can put in more than one entry for Occupation and Education.

The "Physical" tab is shown below:

On this tab, the user can enter information about the person's height, weight, eye color, hair color, description and medical history.

The next tab is for "Contact" shown below:

The entries on this tab include address, phone number, fax number, email address, web site, and entry date. There is the opportunity to add more than one address.

The "Citation" tab is shown below:

I'm not sure why there is a "Citations" tab for the person. I can understand a "Citations" tab for each Fact for a person's life, but why "Citations?" Anyway, the fields here are for Source, Page, Confidence, Date, Text from Source. There is a button for a Citation Note. All of the Master Sources are in the Source dropdown menu. You can Edit a Master Source or Create a New Source. If you choose one from the list, then you can add information to the other items.

There are no source templates available in this software yet. The user can type in the source information (author, title, publisher, date, etc.) in whatever format they wish.

The "Notes" tab is shown below:

The user can add Note Citations, Add another Note, or "Clear" the Note by clicking on the buttons. Note that there are basic editing functions for these notes - the user cannot bold, italicize, underline, change fonts, change font size or font color, create numbered or bullet lists, etc.

The last tab is the "Facts" tab:

On the "Facts" tab, there is a list of all of the facts created by the user for the person. If you select a Fact (I selected the Birth in the screen above), the details of that Fact are shown blow the list. There are buttons below the Fact information for "Fact Citations," "Fact Notes," "Fact Photos," "New Fact," "Edit Fact," "Delete Fact" and "Arrange by Date."

I have one "Fact Citation" for the Birth Fact, as shown below:

In the Fact Citation tab, the screen shows the Source, the Page, the Confidence, the Date and the Text. The user can select from the "Confidence" dropdown list:

* (not specified)
* Unreliable evidence or estimated data
* Questionable reliability of evidence
* Secondary evidence
* Direct and primary evidence

Note that these are not the customary "Quality" levels described in the Genealogical Proof Standard. At a minimum, there should be fields for Original or Derivative Source, Primary or Secondary Information, and for Direct, Indirect and Negative Evidence. The existing "Confidence" fields in Family Tree Builder 4 combine source, information and evidence terms.

In the next post, we'll look at the Family information that is available for each family.

My impression so far is that Family Tree Builder 4.0 is a fairly complete and useful genealogy software program. The navigation is fairly easy, and the information obtained from a GEDCOM upload seems to be in the right place. I am distressed by the Note editing and Source Citation limitations.

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