Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First Look at Family Tree Maker 2014 - Post 2: View People by Location

UPDATE, 7 PM on 11 September:  Belay the last part of this post - don't believe it!  Russ Worthington figured out why I had the problem noted below - see his post FTM2014 - Place Name Importance.  It was because I had not Resolved the Place Names.  I'll write about THAT tomorrow.  

Family Tree Maker announced their impending release of Family Tree Maker 2014 genealogy software two weeks ago - I covered it in Family Tree Maker 2014 Software Announced - 30% Discount (or more) (posted 26 August 2013).  

I ordered it last week and downloaded it, and imported a recent GEDCOM file created in RootsMagic 6.  I will go through the advertised changes one by one in this series, and will highlight other features, and problems, that I find.

I was intrigued by the claim in the announcement that:

"... More organizational tools — stay organized with new tools that let you ... view people by location, grouping them by country, state, county, and city."

I don't have FTM 2012 handy to check what it did, so I'm kind of flying blind here.  

1)  When I opened the "Places" Workspace (very top row of buttons), I saw the traditional list of Places in the left-hand panel, the map in the center panel, and the list of people and Facts that refer to the place on the right-hand panel.  I picked Devier J. Smith's places to search - he died in McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska. Here's the "Place" list showing McCook on the map and the list of persons and Facts for McCook in the right-hand panel:

I really like this feature.  Is this what the feature list meant - "view people by location, grouping them by country, state, county, and city?"  I don't know for sure.  If so, I'm pretty sure that we had that before.

The screen above shows the "Places" list by "Place."  There is a dropdown list on the "List by" line  (just under the header "Places" in the left-hand panel) and if I click the down arrow, I can choose "Person" and, after a significant wait because I have 42,000 persons in this database, I saw the list of persons in the database.

UPDATE: Below this point is where I made my mistake... so don't read this or believe it.

2)  On the "Person" list in the "Places" Workspace, I scrolled down to Devier J. Smith.  A map showing the list of Persons in the left-hand panel, a map in the center panel with one icon in Wisconsin, and a list of Facts for Devier Smith in the right-hand panel with the first Birth Fact and the Death Fact checked:

As you can see, the Person list in the left-hand panel expanded to show the places in Devier Smith's Fact list.  When I run my mouse over the small icon on the map centered on Madison, Wisconsin, I see a popup box:

The popup box says "McCook, Red Willow, Nebraska, United States; Devier James Lamphier Smith died on 01 May 1894 in McCook, Red Willow, Nebraska, United States."

What the heck ... how did McCook get placed on the map in Wisconsin?  Strange.  Obviously, the map feature can find McCook in Nebraska (see the first screen above).

I can click on the Fact list in the right-hand panel, and after clicking another birth place (Jefferson County, New York), the 1850 U.S. Census (Dodge County, Wisconsin), the 1870 U.S. Census (Taylor County, Iowa) the 1875 Kansas Census (Lincoln County, Kansas), the 1880 U.S. Census (Pottawatomie County, Kansas), 1885 Kansas Census (Cloud County, Kansas), and 1885 Nebraska Census (Red Willow County, Nebraska), I saw this map:

The green birth fact is in New York, there are lines from New York to Wisconsin, Wisconsin to Lincoln county, Kansas, Lincoln County, Kansas to Cloud County, Kansas, Lincoln County, Kansas to McCook, Nebraska, and Wisconsin to Red Willow County, Nebraska.

I expected a line from Jefferson County, New York to Dodge County, Wisconsin to Taylor County, Iowa to Lincoln county, Kansas to Cloud County, Kansas to Red Willow County, Nebraska.

3)  I clicked on another person on the list, and saw:

In the right-hand panel, the Birth Fact (in Rochester, Monroe, New York)  and Death Fact (in San Bernardino, California) were checked.  The map placed the Birth in California, and the Death in the Atlantic Ocean (0 degrees longitude, 0 degrees latitude).  

4)  I don't know why all of the above happened to me when I tried to use the "Person" List in the "Places" Workspace, but it did.  Let's see if I can puzzle through it, and perhaps my readers have different ideas.

It may be because I used "United States" in the place names rather than "USA."  The standardized place list in Family Tree Maker appears to use "USA."  I don't think that this is the real problem here.

It may be because the check marks in the right-hand panel for the selected Facts don't select the correct Place.  For instance, I unchecked everything except for two items on the Fact list - the Name Change Fact (in Madison, Wisconsin) and the Death Fact (in McCook, Nebraska).  Here's the screen:

I believe, and have done more studies on this particular issue, that the Check mark for the Death Fact (McCook, Nebraska) is associated by FTM 2014 with the Fact place listed above (Madison, Wisconsin); the checked Fact for the Name Change (Madison, Wisconsin) is associated by FTM 2014 with the Fact place listed above that Fact (_FSFTID: there is no place listed, so it puts the place out in the Atlantic Ocean).

If that is the case, then this is a serious bug in the program that can probably be easily fixed in a later release.

I can't explain why the migration lines on the map go to several places from one place; perhaps that will be fixed if the bug above is fixed.

5)  I started this post out hoping to find what  "view people by location, grouping them by country, state, county, and city?" meant and to be able to show how it works.  However, stuff happens, as it sometimes does, and I think I found a bug in the program.  

FYI, I was not part of the beta testing for FTM 2014.  I have purchased the upgrade DVD of FTM 2014, but haven't received it yet.  I received a link to the pre-release version from last week, and loaded it, but didn't start using it until yesterday due to my real-life schedule (I know, you think I don't have a real life, but I actually do!).

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Cousin Russ said...


Please let me know when you have a moment for a Hangout to discuss this. I think I know the reason you are seeing what you are seeing.

If I am right, one of can blog about the reason.

Thank you,


Cousin Russ said...


Very, very short answer to the REASON you are seeing what you are seeing. (I think)

UnResolved Place Names


Cousin Russ said...


Please see if this helps you any.

Thank you,