Friday, February 1, 2013

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

It's Friday, so I'm dipping into my Comment bag for the week to see what my readers have to share that is helpful and interesting (at least to me!).

1)  On Using RecordSeek to Add Sources to the FamilySearch Family Tree (25 January 2013):

*  GeneJ commented:  "Although my work on FamilyTree has been mostly for naught, I found the source process bulky and the terminology, awkward. 

"(1) For me, the most straightforward part of the process involved adding a "source" to a person or couple (ala, union/marriage). As such, it is not a reference note citation, nor is it really a bibliographic citation. For lack of a better notion, it seems more like a source label. 

"(2) I found no way 'tech/user friendly' way to associate the sources added to the birth, marriage, death (etc.) events as they are added. The best work around I could develop was to write a reference note into a dialog box that appears at the end of that add/edit event process. (The profile pages in FamilyTree are non-responsive right now, or I would provide a little blow by blow.)

"The dialog entries (as in no. 2) are only retained in 'history.' "

My comment:  The FamilySearch Family Tree now permits users to "Tag" a source to Name, Gender, Birth, Christening, Death and Burial, but not to events like Census records or Probate Records.  You have to click the specific Source on the "Sources" list and then click on the "Tag" link to open a dropdown window to check a box.  Writing a reference note works well, too, and may be more useful if the event date or place is questionable or if there are evidence conflicts.

*  Leslie Crews said:  "Hi there! Just wanted to add a note that the "unknown girl" in your photo is most definitely Gladys Nolan (who is also my maternal great-grandmother). If you happen to have any other photos of Gladys in your photo collection of the Carringer family, I'd love to see some."

My response was:  "Would you please email me at and we can chat about Emily and Gladys?"

Once in awhile, I get a comment like this on one of my daily theme posts, and this one has a lot of potential for both Leslie and myself.  Gladys was my grandmother's best friend throughout her life from high school on.  Blogging about your family - works - sometimes you have to wait awhile!

*  Jacqi Stevens noted:  "I had to laugh when I saw the title to your post tonight, and the question, 'Is it time to upgrade?'  I'm still using my old Family Tree Maker version 4.40 for Windows 95, from January 14, 1998. Can you tell my upgrade is way overdue?

"Now that I hear Microsoft is no longer planning on supporting some of these old versions of Windows, I guess I'll have to get my act together and do some comparative shopping. It's not that procrastination is my middle name; I just have too many notes-to-self from decades of research that I hate to give up."

My comment:  FTM 4.4?  Wow!  True confession:  I still use FTM 16 for some reports!   Why will you have to give up your "notes-to-self?"  If they are in the Notes in your FTM file, they should transfer to Notes in whatever program you decide to use.  

*  Dan Garnitz said:  "Reading this made me think about the first software package I used for genealogy. Most of what I used when I started are no longer around. If I think back another 10-15 years to the mid 80s - early 90s. Software that ran in DOS. I think I was using ROOTS III for quite awhile there. At some time in those years, I used Brothers Keeper, PAF, and Cumberland Family Tree as I recall, just can't recall when I changed from one to the other and why I changed. I finally settled on Family Origins from Parsons, and then RootsMagic, which I still use to this day on my Windows machine."

My comment:  Talk about a hit parade of genealogy software - Dan's tried almost all of them!  CGSSD ran this type of chart for over 20 years - it would be fun to see the chart in, say, 1993, and 1998, and 2008 to give us some benchmarks.  

Has anyone done a family tree of genealogy software?

4)  On A Cure for Genea-boredom -- GenealogyBank! (30 January 2013):

*  Joe Lowry commented:  "I'm glad GenealogyBank has been useful for you. I have to say that I have found so little stories. I've tried probably 100 relatives and ancestors and found maybe five articles. Most of my family is from Pittsburgh and Cleveland and GenealogyBank's coverage of this region is dismal."

My comment:  I completely understand - I rejoiced when GenealogyBank added San Diego newspapers.  You have to really search for the historical newspaper provider (free or subscription) lists to determine which has the content you want.  Also check the specific newspaper and local library websites to see if they have digital archives.

Note to GenealogyBank:  I hope you have the Pittsburgh and Cleveland areas on your "to-do" digitizing list!

5)  On a post that will remain nameless, this spam comment appeared:

*  "I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me."

My comment:  This commenter has a fine future writing their own blog or at least a bad novel.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


John said...

Regarding #5

The spammer may actually have a career in plagiarism. The quote comes from Anna Quindlen's "Living Out Loud" (1998)

Sandy Scott said...

Randy, the September 1998 issue of COMPU.GEN on page 89 has a review of genealogy software. Then the September 2002 issue on page 16 and June 2008 issue on page 77 both have reviews of genealogy software. Those three are basically lists with the name, version, date info. Other issues review various software more in depth.