Monday, May 28, 2012

Creating an Ancestor List ("Ahnentafel") in Legacy Family Tree 7.5

In response to my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post, I received an email question from a reader who asked "How do I make an Ahnentafel using my genealogy software?"  It struck me that perhaps some readers do not know what an "ahnentafel" I'll show how my three genealogy software programs create one.

Each program does this differently, with somewhat different results, so I'll go through Legacy Family Tree 7.5, Family Tree Maker 2012 and RootsMagic 5 in a series of posts.

Note that I like to use the term "Ancestor List" rather than "Ahnentafel" for this list, since it is really not a "Name Table."  For this "Ancestor List," I want ONLY the ancestor name, birth date and place, death date and place, and marriage date and place.  For me, a printed "Ancestor List" is much easier to use than a series of linked and printed pedigree charts.

1)  In Legacy Family Tree 7.5, with myself highlighted on the Legacy Family View, I clicked on the "Reports" button in the Menu icon row:

2)  In the screen above, the "Books and Other" window opened, and I want to select the "Ancestors" button from the menu in order to make my Ancestor List.  That opens the "Ancestor Book" window:

There are five tabs (Options, Page Layout, Heading Layout, Wording 1 and Wording 2) and three buttons at the bottom of the window (Index Options, Report Options and Title Page).  The Options tab is shown above.

On the Options tab, I made the number of Generations = 12.  I unchecked everything else for this "Ancestor List" report.

3)  I clicked the "Index Options" button and unchecked every box in the two tabs (Name Index), Location Index):

I clicked "OK" and was back to the "Ancestor Book" window.

4)  I clicked on the "Report Options" button and there are eight tabs (Include, format, Privacy, Sources, Pictures, Page Setup, Header/Footer, and Fonts).   I went through each of them and unchecked every box.

On the "Include" tab, I checked the "Marriage Information" box:

Note that I left the "Child-parent relationships" and "Children of each spouse" boxes unchecked since I don't want a list of the children of each ancestral family.  I also left "Print source citations" unchecked for this list.

On the "Format" tab, I checked the "Don't include duplicate lines."

5)  I clicked on the "close" button for the "Report Options" window and was back to the "Ancestor Book" window.  I clicked on the "Preview" button (upper right-hand corner) and a 120 page Ancestor List was created.  Here is page 1:

And page 2 (which starts the actual Ancestor List):

Based on the parameters I set, I received the names, parents names, birth dates/places, death dates/places and marriage dates/places for each of my ancestors in the 12 generations requested.

7)  When I first tried this, I left the "Don't include duplicate lines" box on the "Format" tab of the "Report Options" window unchecked.  I received an error message after 11 pages, and received a message that an individual had been processed 3 times" and that "You might be in an endless loop:"

I clicked on "Continue processing" and received several more of these messages, and finally cancelled the report.  Later, I went back and increased the number of allowable duplicates to 5, and a 124 page report was created.  I have several duplicate lines back in the 17th century.

Some format things that I noted about the "Ancestor List" Report:

*  The Cover Page is really for a book - I would like to have the option to eliminate it (perhaps I couldn't find that option?). [Update:  Scratch this complaint:  Linda commented that I could uncheck the "Title Page" box on the "Ancestor Book" window.  Thanks!]

*  The months are three-letter abbreviations rather than the full spelling. [Update:  Scratch this complaint ... a user can change this in Options > Customize > Dates and check the Full month name box]

*  The marriage line is included for both spouses in a marriage.

*  The burial date and place is included in the list.  I like that (but it's not "classical."  I also would like the baptism date/place capability also).

*  The names are in Pedigree chart order, and skip the missing ancestors.

*  The Parents names of each person are included on the list (I saw no way to not include them).

*  I would like to see the capability to list Sources for the Events as Footnotes or Endnotes.

All in all, Legacy Family Tree makes a very nice Ancestor List, although it is not exactly what I wanted (the additions are the burial data, Parent's names and one marriage line).  The user can save the list as an HTML, RTF or PDF file to their computer, or can Print the whole file or a range of pages using the radio buttons on the "Ancestor Book" window or on the "Preview" page.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Linda McCauley said...

Randy, You can get rid of that cover page by unchecking the "Title Page" box (lower right side in your 2nd screen shot). The month abbreviation seems to be controlled by the overall setting in Options > Customoze > Dates. I have mine set to spell out months everywhere in Legacy and they are spelled out in this report.

A DC Wonk said...

You also do have an option for footnotes or endnotes, too (although your choices are: footnotes on this page, and endnotes of each generatoin