Friday, June 20, 2008

Software: Making an ahnentafel list - Post 2B

I asked the question in my last post "Does any Genealogy Software do this? - Post 2A" if software can:

Can a genealogy software program create an ahnentafel list (also known as a Sosa-Stradonitz list)? This list is defined as a list of ancestors, in pedigree chart numerical order, separated into generations, with birth date and place, death date and place, and marriage date and place.

I ran six genealogy software programs that I currently am evaluating, and found the following for the first three of them (I'll look at the other three in my next post on this subject):

1) Legacy Family Tree 7.0 Standard Version will make an ahnentafel list. The first screen below is a screen shot of Legacy showing the screen after I selected my target person (my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver) and clicked the Reports icon, and then the Books and Other tab, and finally the Ancestors button. I then modified the Ancestors box tab selections and the Report Options selections, and picked 5 generations on the Ancestors box.

Clicking on the Preview button at the bottom of the Ancestors box resulted in a five page report that provided an Ahnentafel report that almost satisfies my "expectations." The screen shot below shows the second page of the Ahnentafel Report )the first page is a title page).

The format looks good, the names are highlighted, and the font size is readable (all of those can be modified - I just used the default values for this example because I was looking more for capability then presentation). The program provides birth and death information for each person, and includes baptism and burial information if that is available in the database.

There is a seemingly redundant paragraph for each couple - the marriage information is repeated for each person, rather than for each couple, which I expected to see. But wait, when someone has more than one spouse, having some information about each of them might be very useful to someone reading the report. From what I can tell, Legacy Family Tree 7.0 picks up only the first marriage for each person, not all of the marriages for each person.

2) RootsMagic 3 (I have the free trial version) will make an Ahnentafel list. After selecting the target individual, I selected the Reports icon, then selected Lists from the left-hand drop-down menu, and selected Ahnentafel. The screen shot below shows the Ahnentafel box over the Family View page.

After clicking on the Create button at the bottom right of the Ahnentafel box, a two page five-generation Ahnentafel list was created. The screen below shows the first page of the report.

The list had names, birth dates ands places, and death dates and places. Marriage information and other individual facts are not shown in the Report. I wish they were!

3) FamilyTreeMaker 16 is my current genealogy software program of choice because I have about 10 years of experience in it. FTM16 will make an Ahnentafel Report. The screen below shows the Family View of my selected person for an Ahnentafel Report, with the drop-down list after I clicked on the Reports icon.

I selected Genealogy Report from the Reports menu, and FTM16 created an Ahnentafel (Ancestor Ordered) Report. I had to use the Format menu to select the type of report, and the Contents item to select the number of generations and to suppress notes, sources, etc. The first page of the resulting Ahnentafel Report is shown below.

There is a paragraph for each couple, with their names highlighted. Birth, death and marriage information is included, but additional facts like baptisms, burials and other spouses are not included.

However, the Report provides a list of the children of each couple. That's not what I want! I want just a list of ancestors. If I want a list of ancestors and their children, I should be able to click a box and include the children. The only way to get the Ahnentafel list that I want is to save this report to a file, and edit all of the children out of it.

I'll do a similar analysis of The Master Genealogist 7, Personal Ancestral File 5, and Family Tree Builder 2.0 in a later post.

Comments are welcome if someone has methods or tricks to create the Ahnentafel List I want and expect my genealogy software to be able to create.


Anonymous said...

Have another look at the RootsMagic report; it does include marriage information.
Generally, RootsMagic is quite fast, but it takes it sweet time creating the index.

Anonymous said...

You should look at Brother's
Keeper. You can create and
customize your Ahnentafel.
It's also much superior in
many other ways.

Teresa said...

Reunion software for Mac computers can make Ahnentafel reports. I've been using it for the last four years, and found it quite satisfactory.

Shaz said...

You should definitely check out Brother's Keeper. The Ahnentafel report is completely - completely customizable. You can have only names, dates, places, even number of children. Of course, the more columns you add.....I stick with name, birth and death date most of the time.

I have checked FTM, PAF and a couple others and I hate all the verbiage of so and so born whenever and then married so and so. It sounds like you just want a simple list - Brother's Keeper will give it to you. Best of all it's shareware so you can try it all out before registering.

lyn said...

I'm a Brother's Keeper fan. I also own copies of FTM v.10 and RootsMagic v3.2. I prefer RM to FTM but BK's my favorite.

A good thing about BK is once you register all upgrades are free to download. If you want a CD with the program & documentation (which isn't the best) there is a charge. The BK list at rootsweb is very active and John Steed, the author, responds almost immediately to any question via the list to everyones benefits.