Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FTM 2011 Source Citations in Legacy Family Tree 7 - Mangled?

I posted some source citations created in Family Tree Maker 2011 using the source templates, as a benchmark, in an effort to understand how they translate via a GEDCOM file to other genealogy software programs that I have available. 

I imported the GEDCOM file created by FTM 2011 into Legacy Family Tree 7.4 yesterday, and looked at the same source citations in Legacy Family Tree (the "Footnote/Endnote Citation").  The results are:

Vital records index

State of California. California Death Index, 1940-1997. Sacramento,CA, USA: State of California Department of Health Services, Center for Health Statistics, "California Death Index, 1940-1997", Rootsweb, California Death Index, 1940-1997 (Name: accessed on;), Maybelle C. Wright entry, Death Date 31 March 1964, Death place San diego (80), Birth date 17 May 1902, Mother's maiden name Ashdown.

The source screen for this citation is shown below:

As you can see, the  Legacy Family Tree "Assigned Sources" screen shows all of the Facts and the sources assigned to them.  At the bottom are four tabs - for "Output," "Text/Comments," "Repository" and "Pictures."

The FTM 2011 sources imported into Legacy Family Tree 7.4 as a "free-form" citation. So, any source template work in FTM 2011 does not come into Legacy Family Tree 7.4, as I expected.
Here are the rest of them:

Vital records certificate

Registrar of Births, Department of Public Health, San Diego, San DiegoCounty, California, California, San Diego County, Certificate of Registration, Register of Births (Name: Name: not published;;), Department of Public Health Certificate No. NC-867 (1943).

Published book

Blaine Whipple, Whipple, Blaine, History and Genealogy of "Elder" John Whipple of Ipswich, Massachusetts (Name: Name: Victoria, BC, Canada: Whipple Development Corporation, 2003;;). Whipple, Blaine. History and Genealogy of "Elder" John Whipple of Ipswich, Massachusetts. Victoria, B.C., Canada: Whipple Development Corporation, 2003.

Boston City Registrar, Boston City Registrar, Reports of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston (Name: Reports of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston,Volume 9, Rockwell and Churchill, Boston, MA, 1883;). Boston City Registrar. Reports of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston: Volume 9: Boston Births, Marriages and Deaths, 1630-1699. Boston, Mass.: Rockwell and Churchill, 1883.

Robert S. Wakefield (editor), Wakefield (editor), Robert S., Mayflower Families Through Five Generations (Name: Boston, Mass.: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 1997;), page 6.


Caroline Martino and Marcia Lindberg, Martino, Caroline, "Henry Collins of Lynn and his Descendants" (Name: Name: The Essex Genealogist, starting Vol. 10, #3-4 (1990), Vol 11,#1-3 (1991), Vol 12 #4 (1992);;). Martino, Caroline, Marcia Lindberg. "Henry Collins of Lynn and his Descendants". The Essex Genealogist. Volume 10, #3-4; Volume 11, #1-3; Volume 12 #4 (1990-1992).

Elizabeth French Bartlett, Bartlett, Elizabeth French, " Genealogical Research in England" (Name: Name: New England historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 76,Number 2 (April 1922), pages 115-129;;). Bartlett, Elizabeth French. " Genealogical Research in England: Weeden". New England Historical and Genealogical Register,. Volume 76, Number 2 (April 1922): Pages 115-129.

Newspaper articles

San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, California (online archive) (Name: Name: San Francisco CA (accessed on;;), Frederick Schaffner Death Notice, 1 July 1899, page 10.

Census records

1930 U.S. Census, Population Schedule; NARA Microfilm Publication T626, San Diego County, California, San Diego city; ED 116, Sheet 5A, Dwelling #142, Family #148, Lyle L. Carringer household, Roll 192.

Probate Records

Massachusetts, Worcester, Worcester County [Mass.] Probate Court Records, Abigail Gates, 1867; Probate Packet 52,857 (viewed at Worcester County Court House).

Cemetery Marker

Woodside Cemetery (Westminster, Massachusetts), Grave Markers, Benjamin Seaver monument.

Family papers

Abigail (Vaux) Smith, Della (Smith) Carringer, others, to Abigail (Vaux) Smith, Della (Smith) Carringer, others, Personal Notes and Letters , Smith/Carringer Family Letter Collection, 1888-1902; privately held by Randall J. Seaver, Chula Vista CA 91911.

 Family Bible

unknown, Rebecca (Spangler) Carringer, 1828-1946, Carringer Family Births, Marriages and Deaths (loose pages) (Name: no publication information;).

For comparison purposes, I entered information for this last citation into the Legacy Family Tree 7.4 source template for "Bible Records, privately held, loose pages" to see how it looked.  The source template looked like this (filled in):

The source citation looks like this:
Family Bible (Using Legacy Family tree 7.4 Bible (privately held, loose pages) Template:)
Rebecca (Spangler) Carringer Family Bible (1828-1946), family pages; Original, loose pages held by Randall J. Seaver, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Chula Vista, California, 1988; Carringer Family Births, Marriages and Deaths (loose pages)
Listed below are items that I noticed resulting from the export of the FTM 2011 database into a GEDCOM file and then importing that file into the Legacy Family Tree 7.4 program:

*  All of the Master Sources in Legacy Family Tree 7.4 are Free-form" format. [no surprise to me...]

*  Any italicization of titles or other fields was lost. [no surprise here, GEDCOM is a pure text file without formatting]

*  The Publication fields are pretty messed up, with the word "Name" added, and sometimes the words "Name: Name:" added at the beginning of the field.  There are also semi-colons added to the end of most publication fields. [this surprised me, both program have the same fields]

*  Author's names, and titles, for published books, periodicals and newspaper articles are duplicated.  FTM 2011 has separate fields for lead author surname, lead author first name, and other authors names. [not surprised due to different fields in different programs]

*  The order of source elements is different from the FTM 2011 template order, and many elements in the FTM 2011 templates are provided in Source Comments in Legacy Family Tree 7.4 [not surprised, Legacy Family Tree tries to put data into the free-form fields.]

*  The repository data is provided in the Repository field in Legacy Family Tree 7.4 as opposed to in the actual Source Citation in FTM 2011 (if selected by the user). [logical to me why this happened]

I'm sure that there are more differences for each citation type.  The careful reader will notice that all of these are similar to the comments made for the RootsMagic 4 test yesterday (except for one not inncluded above, see FTM2011 Source Citations in RootsMagic 4 - Mangled?).

The purpose of this post was to show the differences, and not assign blame or make suggestions for improvement for either program.  An examination of the GEDCOM file text would indicate which GEDCOM tags are used to export the file to determine if the exporting program or the importing program create the problems.  A fair test would take template sources from Legacy Family Tree and import them into Family Tree Maker 2011 using the same process.

However, it does demonstrate the problem that GEDCOM export/import of sources badly often mangles the sources carefully created using source templates in the original program.  The ideal situation is that every bit of information in the imported program using GEDCOM is identical in content and format to the information in the exporting program.
I was pleased to note that the concatenation/continuation problem (two words stuck together) noticed in the RootsMagic source citations and notes don't show up in the Legacy Family Tree 7.4 sources and notes.  That gives me hope that Legacy Family Tree might be the program where I can edit all of my source citations so that they don't get mangled when I GEDCOM them into an online tree or another software program.


lyn said...

Do you plan to test FTM 2011 import of source citations from GEDCOMs generated by Roots Magic 4 and Legacy Family Tree 7? I expect you will see similar import problems into FTM 2011. At any rate it would be interesting to see the results.

Unknown said...

There has been quite a lot of discussion about this question in the Legacy User Group. The consensus view is that the GEDCOM is not able to translate Legacy's formatted Source Writer sources corrected, and I suspect this is probably true for FTM's formatted sources as well.

Yet another reason for either an updated GEDCOM standard or something new altogether. However, given the multitude of templates which Legacy has (I do not know FTM, so cannot comment) I cannot really see how this might be achieved.

Anonymous said...

Randy- this should be added as a link to the BetterGEDCOM Wiki.

It is a PERFECT example of what we are fighting

Andy Hatchett

Anonymous said...

Is Legacy able to restore its sources properly if it reads a GEDCOM that it creates?

If so, then the potential is there for any program to read them. But most programs don't go to the effort to do so.

If Legacy can read its own sources, kudos to them. They are not the problem. Other programs can read them if the put the effort in to do so.

If Legacy can't read their own sources, then Legacy is at fault, so don't blame the other programs.

Same goes for all programs.

Yes, BetterGEDCOM's goal is to make it easier for all programs to transfer this data. But until that happens, the transfer is still possible if with two well-meaning programs.

Tenaciousone said...

I agree that the GEDCOM standard needs to be updated both from a technical and a technological standpoint. It also needs to be monitored and updated on a continuous basis. But the aspect that I haven't seen covered, (at least in this posting), is that standards need to be set for sourcing and equally applied in each free standing program. Being a Legacy user, I know that there Source Writer follows the Elizabeth Shown Mills standard. Having been at this for over 20 years now, I have learned the hard way the value of accurate sources. Having a preset model in place, without having to take the time to look it up each time I needed to cite a source, has made me a better documenter of facts. I understand that each company wants to be unique in its product offerings but this is one area where they should all comply.