Friday, November 11, 2011

Follow-Up Friday - Responses to Family Tree Maker 2012 Series Comments

I want to follow-up to some of the comments made by readers in the Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 series of posts written this week:

1)  In Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 19: Creating U.S. Census Source Citations, these reader comments are interesting and helpful:

a.  Helen D asked:  "Whilst I like all of this info on generating reports, I still don't know how to generate a report of unsourced/documented facts :-(  Surely someone out there knows how............"

Pamela Wile answered:  "Helen, it seems that the unsourced facts report disappeared a few versions ago. Why? Who knows? I was really disappointed that it wasn't included in FTM2009 and apparently it's not in FTM2012."

Thank you, Pam.  I had no clue!

b.  bgwiehle noted:  In your screen shots, it seems that not all available census years are included as census facts. Do you only enter census facts only for adults or only for the head of household? How do you document enumeration for other household members or persons not living with a relative? What about those missing from the expected household?

My response:  My database content is incomplete and imperfect.  I usually enter census facts for the head of household, and put the census abstract in my Notes.  I could discuss missing family members in notes also.  If a child is found in a separate census entry, I add the Census Fact and put the details in the Note for that person.

c.  Sue Adams stated:  "If Ancestry say the template follows EE then it should do so to the letter -no excuses. It would be a good thing if they also recognised that, influential as EE is, it is not the only way to cite a source. The facility to build your own custom format should be included."

My response:  Amen!

2)  In Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 21: Creating a Cemetery Grave Marker Source,  these reader comments are interesting and helpful:

a.  Lauren Mahieu noted:  "On a separate (but related) subject, I'm interested to hear if any of your other readers have had issues with FTM 2012 and their trees? I purchased FTM 2012 only for the purpose of uploading and maintaining my trees on, and my tree is heavy on media. Altogether I have about 2500 individuals, but have saved each census as an image an have it linked to the individuals, as well as scanned versions of all other documents I have that related to those individuals. I can view the tree fine on a PC and even on my iPhone. However, my iPad (iOS 5) is unable to display the tree. Either the app crashes, or it doesn't load the tree, or only loads some of the individuals. I've uninstalled/reinstalled dozens of times, called and emailed but as yet have not had my problem resolved. Can't imagine I'm the only one with issues, and keep hoping they release an update to the app."

Russ Worthington responded:  "I have had no issues with the iPad App from Ancestry, nor the Droid (Beta) App. I use FTM2012 and have had no issues with seeing my Tree(s) on the mobile devices. Used them several times this past weekend.  One thing that I make sure, with both Apps is that I see the Downloading take place when I am first opening the App. I have changed Trees a couple of times to make sure that I see that download."

My comment:  I know nothing about these issues, and am kind of glad I'm not bogged down with smart phone issues.

b.  Jeff Hodge noted:  "Randy states 'Family Tree Maker 2012 did pretty well with this citation ... The differences in the Citation details can be easily modified by the user to match the EE example.' I assume this means going into the Reference note tab and manually editing the citation that FTM has created. I have considered doing this and wonder if others do this, and whether it has any consequences when generating reports and the like."

My comment:  I would do two things - first, I would experiment with putting info into the source field and citation detail entries to see if I could come close to the EE format; second, I have manually edited the "Reference Note" to correct minor things like capitalization and punctuation.  The problem  there is that the next time you change the Edit Source fields, the FTM format is returned.  It would be better to fix it so that it's right.

3)  In email responding to Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 17: Creating a Vital Record Certificate Source Citation, Roger asked several questions:

a.  "Why did you not fill in the "Citation Text" area with information such as birth date, parent's names and other data that would normally be found on a birth certificate?"
My response:  My personal preference is to put that information into Fact Notes or general Notes.  It's what I've always done. 
b.  "I was surprised to see the census information in the "Notes" area on the "Person" page. I put that information in the "Citation Text" area on the source template for the census. Should that information be recorded as you did in Post 17 and not be included in the source information as I have done?"
My response:  Again, personal preference, and it's what I've always done.  When I started in PAF and then earlier FTM versions, that information had to be in Notes.  For persons just starting to add content to their genealogy management program, it makes sense to add it to the Citation Text field in the source template, although the resulting source citation that includes the Citation Text follows the source citation immediately.
c.  "In "Post 17" you have "Census" data shown on the "Person" page but not "Residence" data. In a previous post you had both with the "Residence" data reporting the source as the census record. My Family Tree Maker files are full of inconsistencies but did not expect that in yours. I include the location information in the census source "Citation Text'; do you omit it there but add it to the "Citation Text" area when you use the existing census source to prove your "Residence" data?"
My response:  My tree is so full of inconsistencies, you wouldn't believe it!  I clean some of these examples up out of embarrassment!  I have always used the Census Fact to record census source citations, and the Residence Fact to record addresses or places that the person lived at a specific time. 

When I add the Census Fact, I include the census date in the Date field (I use the official date, not the enumeration date), the town/city, county, state, county, country in the Place field, and the family's address in the Place Description field.  I also add that information in the General Notes.

When a user attaches a Census image link to their Ancestry Member Tree, that Fact downloads and/or syncs as a Residence Fact rather than a Census Fact.  Since the Census entry contains so many potential facts (Name, Birth Year, Birth Place, Estimated Marriage Year, Parents birth places, Immigration Year, Citizenship Status, Occupation, Home Ownership, etc., I prefer to use the Census Facts and then enter specific Facts for those other items.  However, I don't have a lot of those Facts included yet - it's on my to-do list.  There's a certain inertia to doing this when I have 41,000 persons in my database - I can add detail like this, much of which is in notes, or add new Facts and source citation for Facts previously entered.  I usually choose the latter because it's more fun!

Thank you to my readers for their questions and comments, and I hope that my responses help readers with their understanding of Family Tree Maker 2012 and of my own preferences (which may be different from yours, or other researchers). 
As you can see, I am not an expert in FTM 2012, and am trying to learn how to use it in order to help my society colleagues.  I'm trying to think like a somewhat knowledgeable user in this series.

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