Monday, March 1, 2010

Using GenSmarts - Post 3: To-Do List Actions

I received a copy of the latest version of the GenSmarts family tree analysis software last month - see CGSSD Program Review - Aaron Underwood - GenSmarts for my summary of the meeting. GenSmarts is a Windows only computer program.

In the first post, I demonstrated the "File Open Wizard" that gets a genealogy database file (in my case, from Family Tree Maker 16) into the GenSmarts program. In the second post, I explored two of the program tabs - the "To-Do List" and "My Genealogy File" tabs.

In this post I'm going to demonstrate how the user can keep track of their research using the GenSmarts To-Do list for a specific person.

At the end of the second post, I had created a To-Do List for a specific person - my second great-grandfather, David Jackson Carringer. There were 71 suggestions in the To-Do list, including items about his parents, his spouse and his children.

In the screen below, the Mercer County PA Marriage Records "suggestion" for David's father, Heinrich Carringer is highlighted. There are a number of small icons to the left of the suggestion in the list, including: Available Online; Available Online (Fee); Missing Data; Missing Source; Direct Ancestor Root; Direct Ancestor; Found; Not found; Plan to Search; Ignore; and Revisit Later. Every entry in the To-Do list may have some of these icons. The first six icons are created by GenSmarts based on the content of the genealogy database. The last five are user-selected based on the status of their research.

I have a choice of actions to make for each one of the To-Do List items for the specific person using the five buttons (Found; Not found; Plan to Search; Ignore; Revisit Later). For the Mercer County PA Marriage Records "suggestion," I clicked on the "Not Found" button and the red icon (a box with an X) appeared next to that item, as shown below:

I clicked on "Not Found" for the second item too, and for the third item - the 1850 US Census record for David Carringer, I clicked on the "Found" button because I have already found that resource. The green icon (a box with a check mark) appears next to the item (see below):

I can go down the list of 71 items clicking on the correct box to my heart's content. In the screen below, I clicked "Plan to Search" for the Colorado Land Patent for David Carringer:

Over on the right of the screen, under the list of icons, is a box that has "Available Online" highlighted in Bold IF the item is online. The screen above indicates that the Colorado Land Patent database is online, so I clicked on the "Available Online" link and saw:

A separate window opened for the BLM General Land Office records website and the program filled in the blanks for State = Colorado, Last Name = Carringer and first Name = David, as shown above.

I clicked on the "Search" button and this screen appeared:

No matches were found in the Colorado Land Patents for David Carringer. I went Back a page and put First Name = Jackson" with no matches, and then searched for no First Name, and there were no matches for my David Jackson (or D.J.) Carringer.

I closed the BLM GLO website window and clicked the "Not Found" button for that item (see below):

I worked my way through the entire list of 71 suggestions clicking the buttons based on my knowledge of the research for David Carringer.

I want to create a shortened To-Do list for the "Plan to Research" items on the list and take that to a repository. In the next post we'll take a look at the Repositories on the list with "Plan to Research" items for David Carringer.

I mentioned before that the GenSmarts program loads your genealogy database every time you start the program. It remembers any of the Actions you took (Found, Not Found, etc.) even if the database was modified after the last time it was used in GenSmarts.

Do you see how powerful this program can be? It can be used to organize your research for specific persons and/or at specific repositories (e.g., the Family History Library,, etc.).

I know that the screens above are fairly hard to read unless you click on them, but you should be able to follow my actions by reading the text descriptions. You can click on the figures and see them fairly clearly.

1 comment:

Michelle Goodrum said...

I have been considering getting this program for quite sometime. This series is proving most helpful to me! Thanks!