Friday, June 10, 2011

First Look at GenDetective - Post 3: Personal Research Guide and Research Trip Guide

In my last GenDetective post, First Look at GenDetective - Post 2: Navigating in GenDetective Reporter, I described how to navigate in the GenDetective Reporter module. 

The most intriguing reports that can be created by GenDetective are the Personal Research Guide and the Research Trip Guide reports.  I wondered what is included in these reports.

I found that I had to be really careful with the Personal Research Guide report.  The Personal Research Guide report can take a group of selected persons and create a list of the records that might be found for those persons, and notes what the user already has in their GEDCOM file as Facts/Events.

While it is possible  to create a report for all of  the ancestors in each of my grandparents ancestral lines, it takes a really long time and creates a really large report. 

I found that selecting one or more persons for this report was much more useful.  Here is the process:

1)  From the "Trip Reports" Research Area list, select the "Personal research guide" item:

In the screen above, the Sample Report shows in the right-hand panel because I clicked on the words and not the green arrow to the right of "Personal research guide."

2)  After clicking on the green arrow next to the "Personal research guide," the "Select your Report Values" window opened, and in the "Select individuals for report" field I had the choice of "All People" or "Selected People."  I chose "Selected People" and clicked on the question mark head icon to the right of the field, as shown below:

The "Select People For Report" window above  permits the user to select everyone in the database (I recommend you not do that!), or select using selection criteria (e.g., "All people," "People related to:, etc.), then select from "Direct," "Close," "Distant," "Unrelaed" or Descendant" of one of the selected key persons (in my case, one of my grandparents.  I tried this the first time around - I selected "Direct" and my grandmother, Emily Auble, and the program worked over ten minutes before I shut it down.  The program says that this report is limited to 500 people. 

Instead, I chose two people by scrolling down the list of persons in the "Select People for Report."  I chose David Auble and Sarah Knapp, a married couple that resided in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana in the 1860 to 1900 time frame.   After scrolling down to their names, I checked the box to the left of their names on the list, as shown in the screen above.

3)  I clicked  the "OK" button and the "Select Your Program Values" window said that I had selected two persons:

After clicking the "Generate Report" button, the program worked for about two seconds and provided the report.  There were two pages for David Auble, two for Sarah Knapp and one for research notes.

4)  The screens below are views of the "Research Worksheet" report for David Auble:

The Research Worksheet for David Auble provides information available for Vital Statistics (Birth, Death, Burial, Will, Obituary, Gravesite); Marriage (spouse's Name, License, Marriage); Religion (Baptism, confirmed, Religion); Immigration (emigrated, Immigrated, Naturalization); Census Records (Federal or State Census Years during their lifetime);  Military Service; Occupation; Parents (Names); Siblings (Names); Spouse(s) (Name, marriage date); Children (with spouse names); Locations (with number of entries for each location); Documents Io locate and where you found them (lines for Birth cert., Death cert., Will, Obituary, Marriage license(s), Land Records, and Religious Records.

Sarah Knapp's Research worksheet is similar, and not shown.

4)  On a separate in the report is a blank sheet for "Pre-Trip Notes" for information about repositories:

The lines include:

*  Courthouse address (Phone numbers, Address, Laptop?, Scanner?, Camera, Phone, $Copies)
*  Historical society (same information)
*  Library address (same information)

Under "Additional Resources" are:

*  Local cemeteries
*  Books, ISBN#s, Films
*  Miscellaneous Notes

A section for Research Notes

The user has to print the report pages out and fill in the blanks.

5)  The "Research Trip Guide" in the "Trip Reports" Research Area works the same way - but you select a place (Country, State, County) in the "Select Your Report Values" window.  I selected Vigo County, Indiana:

6)  The "Genealogy Trip Research Guide" includes a list of the persons on the report, plus the "Research Worksheet" for the persons in the report, and the "Pre-Trip Notes" page.

The "Research Worksheets" and "Pre-Trip Notes" pages were identical to what I showed for the "Personal Research Guide" report.

These worksheets can be very helpful to identify the research items that are already available, and those that are missing.  The Pre-Trip Notes" and "Additional Resources" sections are useful.

I like the idea of columns for the courthouse, libraries and societies and whether they permit laptops, scanners, cameras, etc. 

I would prefer a separate line for a genealogical society, and more than one line for the library.  Many counties in the USA have several genealogical societies and many libraries (then there are likely records at the Family History Library, NEHGS, Library of Congress, etc.).

I would like to see Source citations and notes provided on the Research Worksheets also.

Note that the GenDetective program can only show information from the user's GEDCOM file that are in discreet Facts/Events with specific GEDCOM tags (e.g., Birth, Death, Marriage, Burial, Census, Obituary, Military, Occupation, etc.).  The program does not access the Notes which may have information about these Facts/Events.   If the user has not included these Facts/Events in their database, then they won't show up in the GenDetective reports. 

The URL for this post is:

(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website, then they have stolen my work.

No comments: