Tuesday, July 17, 2007

2nd FTM Class at CVGS

We had our second FamilyTreeMaker class for our Chula Vista Genealogical Society on Monday - with 22 in attendance. The first meeting was summarized here. Our youngest prospective member, Lolo, came for the first part and had a great time entertaining the members until Gary got the projector and laptop up and working. Gary made balloon hats for Lolo until her grandma rescued her from all of the moms and grandmothers in the meeting.

Today we tried to cover all of the inputting, editing, and moving between generations in the Family View and the Pedigree View. We opened a new file, put several families in with children, added and edited facts, sources and notes, and then got into making genealogy ahnentafel and descendant reports. The basic teaching method we're using is to show the FTM screens on the wall using the projector and demonstrating techniques by adding data, clicking buttons, etc, while trying to make suitable witty comments. It seems to work for us.

Most of the attendees with FTM know how to add people to the database - children, parents, spouses, etc. We showed how to add a spouse and how the reports reflect those spouses and their children. There was a spirited discussion and demonstration about AKA names, nicknames, titles and post-nomials. We ended up with one fellow named Elder John Sweet the Younger, MD. There was also a question about how to treat a "one night stand" relationship that results in a child - in the Marriage Facts you can choose the type of relationship and the present status of it.

Most of the attendees with FTM did not know how to create facts and sources, and how to make them show up in genealogy reports. We demonstrated adding facts, adding a fact category, creating a source for the facts, marking a fact as Preferred. We noticed that the source function for FTM 2006 is different from earlier versions, with a "fill-in" box for the different source elements. We showed how to make the Facts and Sources show up in the genealogy reports by using the Contents menu item. We also discussed the different types of reports and how to use the right-side buttons or Contents and Format menu items to improve the look, feel and content of the reports.

Only a few of the attendees had seen the Pedigree View, and so they learned about the way to move forward or back on the pedigree chart, clicking on a person to open their Edit section, using the Alphabetical list to find a person and see their pedigree, clicking the buttons to see children and spouses of a person, and using a Filter to limit the alphabetical list as desired.

Even though we worked for about 90 minutes, we did not cover importing and exporting a GEDCOM, although we talked about it a bit. We also didn't deal with merging data, fixing relationships, or correcting errors. Those topics, plus adding scrapbook items, doing a Web Search, and creating books will be covered next week.

Our attendees are coming to class prepared - most of them read the FTM Tutorial handout that I sent them last week in email, some of them visited the FTM Help menu and the online FAQ pages and message board, and many explored their version of FTM more fully during the week. Hopefully, this second class has improved their knowledge and will help them make full use of the software.

No comments: