Friday, August 10, 2012

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

It';s Friday, time for more helpful and interesting reader comments to the previous week's Genea-Musings posts.  And my responses, when appropriate:

1)  On Source Citations Created by Mobile App (2 August 2012):

*  Kendall Hulet (of said:  "Thanks for this feedback, Randy - we're looking into it."

My comment:  Great, thanks, Kendall.  My experience in recent years is that Ancestry has been fairly responsive to squeaky wheels like me on issues pertaining to their products.

2)  On Tuesday's Tip - Use ArchiveGrid to Find Archival Collections (7 August 2012):

*  Celia Lewis asked:  "am I right that this site is only open to subscriptions by organizations, libraries, societies, etc.? Searching it was interesting, found a few relevant items... Well worth the effort."

*  Gena Ortega helpfully responded:  "The beta version of Archive Grid is open to everyone. Just access it at  It's a wonderful source."

My comment:  Thank you Gena for the explanation.  I got the tip from Gena, of course!  This is only a finding aid, of course.  You have to access the specific archive wherever it is located.  

3)  On The Value of a One-Name Study (7 August 2012):

*  Gerald noted:  " Interesting blog. I wondered if you are aware of the SEAVER people in Gloucestershire, England? Here is a link to post 1837 BDM. "

*  Corinne noted:  " Great to see reference to the Guild of One-Name Studies. Its been a wonderful resource to me for my own surname study (SENNETT). I've found the whole one-name study thing incredibly interesting and I'd strongly encourage other people who want to broaden their research beyond their own families to start one-name studies and register them with the Guild. "

*  Michelle aka patientgenie commented:  " I joined the Guild Of One Name Studies,, known as the GOONS, last year. I am not ready to register a ONS aka a surname as yet, but have to say the members have such a huge depth and breadth of knowledge it is well worth joining for that reason alone.  BTW I cannot see your surname in the register? Do hope you are planning to register it. "

My comments:  I had several emails encouraging, and challenging, me to join the Guild - thank you all for your concern and recommendations.  In reading over the website, I realized that I don't do some of the tasks that I should be doing - like collecting every bit of information on the surname.  I will consider joining.

Gerald, I didn't know about the Gloucestershire Seaver families - I'll have to explore them.  My Seaver immigrant was in 1634, so they are, at best, distant cousins.  

4)  On Will there be a Family Tree Maker 2013? (9 August 2012):

*  Kevin Doyle suggested:  " I would love them to unify the features and release dates of the PC and Mac software. "

*  Rosemary suggested:  " I would like them to address the handling of large databases, the memory leaks and the generally abysmal speed of the report publishing features. None of these is a trivial undertaking. "

*  Donna Hague Wendt suggested:  " I would like to be able to switch and use married names for females in the Index without having to go to TOOLS --> OPTIONS --> NAMES/DATES/PLACES --> then Check the box "Use Married Names for Females". Seems to me that choice ought to be available right at the index on the People view where you can SORT various was to see people in the index. Or maybe just a little box at the top in the green Index bar?"

*  James Aylard responded to Donna's suggestion:  " Regarding Donna Hague Wendt's comment, I will say that there is a way to do what you are asking, at least as I understand what you are asking. When you are on the Person tab of the People module, and if you click the Index button (or press F2) to open the Index, and then click on the Options... button in the upper right of the Index screen, there is a checkbox labeled "Use married names for females". In my experience, the resulting sorting can be a bit buggy, especially if you later uncheck the "Use married names for females" checkbox. I've found that I need to close and reopen the Index list to get the sorting back the way it should be after switching back out of the "married names" mode. "

*  Kerry Scott opined:  " Well, if is for sale (as has widely been reported), they're probably holding off to see who their new overlords will be. Those new owners might want to have a say in how that product is developed and marketed. "

*  Geolover observed:  " Since it took quite a while to work out bugs in the program and in its vaunted interface with Ancestry Member Trees, perhaps development of a new product in addition to the FTM patches and AMT adjustments just ate too many resources.  During some of that time there were also server-functioning problems that may have been related to a combination of 1940 US Census activity and FTM2012 user activity. "

*  James Aylard also observed:  " Does memory serve me right, or was the public beta test of FTM 2012 an exception to Ancestry's typical mum's rule of thumb? My sense was that the TreeSync feature required a larger pool of testers to shake out the lion's share of bugs prior to commercial release.

"I respect Kerry's judgment that a pending sale might have an influence on Ancestry's current behavior. But I would also bet that Ancestry has been developing a revised version of FTM ever since it released FTM 2012 last year, and that such a revised product is being or has already been beta tested internally. Ancestry's standard practice is to refresh FTM every year, sprinkling it with just enough marketable "enhancements" to justify a Gregorian goosing and a fresh new coat of paint. Family Tree Maker is a key conduit to what I presume is Ancestry's biggest money maker, the web site. If Ancestry is seeking a buyer, I would think the image of a vibrant company actively enhancing its underlying value would make it a far more attractive prospect.

"In that light, I can imagine that Ancestry might tap the brakes a bit on an FTM update if it believed that doing so made sense from a packaging and marketing standpoint, and that such a change was imminent. I would be surprised, however, if we don't see a Family Tree Maker 2013 well before Christmas, regardless of which corporate logo appears on the box.

"If you think I sound cynical, then I plead guilty. Yes, I think that is probably the most commercially savvy genealogy biz out there. But I'm not so cynical that I dislike either Family Tree Maker or In fact, I pony up for an membership annually, and for FTM about every other year. I have my gripes, but I don't let them spoil the love."

*  John Lemley said:  " Family Tree Maker 2013 should be what all FTMs should have been from the very beginning - identical to Ancestry's online trees. Anything else has been and is baffling to me. "

My comments:  This post was the comment "winner" for the week!  Thank you all for the information.  I hope that the Family Tree Maker developers read them and use them accordingly.

Kerry, Geolover and James Aylard have interesting analyses, and they may well be right.  

John, my view is that Family Tree Maker (and all mature genealogy software) does so much more than any online tree does, and does it faster, with more options and capabilities, especially in navigation, source citations, reports, and charts.  FTM 2012 TreeSync to Ancestry Member Trees is really the first real synchronization we've had.  FamilySearch Family Tree synchronization with software programs is also available for specific persons, but not for whole databases.  My preference, at present,  is still to work in the genealogy software program and sync with the online trees.

Thank you to all of my readers for their comments... Let me leave you with one that didn't make the public list, but got caught in the Spam filter for some reason:

"Wow! marvelous blog lаyout! Ηoω long have you been blogging foг? you make blоggіng look eаsу. Тhe oveгall lоok of your web site is magnifіcent, aѕ ωell as the cοntent! Have a look at my weblog ; A1 Paper "

I have no response except, Thanks A1 for taking the time to tell me that.  Please move on to another blog to waste your time on.  I do read my spam comments because sometimes a "real" comment gets stuck there - James Aylard's very useful comment was there today when I checked and I marked it "Not spam."  

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Cousin Russ said...


Re: "John Lemley said: " Family Tree Maker 2013 should be what all FTMs should have been from the very beginning - identical to Ancestry's online trees. Anything else has been and is baffling to me. "

As a long time user of Family Tree Maker, I respectfully submit that the AMT should be the same way as FTM2012. Actually, they should have a different User Interface. There are are more features in FTM2012 then are what is online.

I am guessing that you are a long time user of the AMT, but have you spent time with FTM2012?

Just asking.