Monday, August 18, 2008

Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 18:Place Usage Reports

I installed FamilyTreeMaker 2008 in early July and uploaded a large database to see how it worked. I also started a new database to test other program features. Please see the list at the bottom of this post for the earlier posts.

In this post, I want to display some pages from the Place Usage Report generated by FamilyTreeMaker 2008.

I'm using my 4th-great-grandfather, Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816), in my database as a starting point for these reports.

When you click on the [Publish] icon on the top menu, you see a list of the different Charts and Reports that can be generated in the left-hand panel. I clicked on "Place Usage Report" and got this screen:

The Place Usage Report lists all of the places associated with every person in your family tree. Each entry includes the place name, the names of persons associated with the place name, and each of the person's events that occurred in that place.

I double-clicked on the Place Usage Report icon, and waited ... and waited ... and waited two minutes (I thought I'd broken the program) for a report to appear. A 1,394 page report of all of the place names came up. The first time you click on this icon, you get a report for All Individuals. Only after getting the default report do you have the opportunity to click on Selected Individuals or Immediate Family. Of course, I got 1,394 pages because I have a 20,000 person database and lots of duplicate places. The time to generate the report depends on then umber of persons being analyzed.

You can Cancel the report generation during the process, which I tried. The report generation stopped, but when I clicked on the Immediate Family button and then clicked on Generate Report it still took two minutes to generate a 5 page report.

Later, when I came back to this screen with Immediate Family already selected, it took only about 10 seconds to generate the 5 page report. The first page of the Place Usage Report for the Benjamin Seaver family is shown below:

This report can be very useful to a researcher to determine the records found in specific locations. However, my database has all of those "notes" and "sources" in it, so I get many items for one location, as you can see in the screen above. This should work better for me after I resolve all of my Place Names and add my source citations properly.

I did not find any way to create a Place Usage Report for a specific country, a specific state, a specific county, or a specific township or city. I think that those reports would be very useful. I can't manage a 500 page report easily ... but I could really use a 10 page report for, e.g., Worcester County, Massachusetts.

To save user time and frustration, it would be helpful to be able to choose the scope of the Place report that the user desires - there should be a way to select Immediate Family, Selected Individuals or All Individuals before the user clicks on the icon to generate the report.

Previous posts in this series:

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 1: Loading. Installing the program and uploading an existing database file.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 2: Exploring. Looking around the uploaded database file to see what the different views look like.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 3: The Menus. Most of the menus were itemized and described.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 4: Starting a New Tree. I started a new tree and added some people demonstrating the program options to do this.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 5: Adding a Source. I added sources to the Facts that I previously entered.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 6: Adding Children to a Family. I added children to a family.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 7: The Person Menu. I described the items in the Person menu and attached a spouse to a person.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 8: Finding a Person in the database. I described three ways to Find a person.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 9: Places I. I explored the vagaries of the Places icon.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 10: Places II. The different map types are discussed and displayed.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 11: Places III. The method to Resolve many places with standardized place names is explored.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 12: Charts I. Introduction to Charts and examples of pedigree and descendants charts.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 13: Charts II. Examples of Hourglass, Relationships and Vertical Pedigree Charts.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 14: Charts III. Examples of large wall charts created by FTM 2008.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 15: Genealogy Reports. Description and display of Register (descendant) and Ahnentafel (ancestor) Reports.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 16: Person Reports. Description and display of 5 different reports, including Individual Reports and Custom Reports.

* Using FamilyTreeMaker 2008 - Post 17: Relationship Reports. Description and display of Family Group Sheet, Kinship Report, Marriage Report, Parentage Report, and Outline Descendant Report.

The next post will cover the Source Reports available in the [Publish] menu.

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