Friday, September 20, 2013

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful and Interesting Reader Comments

Each week I try to follow-up on helpful and interesting reader comments received during the last week or so.  Here is the chosen comments for this week:

1)  On First Look at my AncestryDNA Ethnicity Update - Post 2: More DNA Results (posted 13 September 2013):

a)  Dan Stone offered:  "While I consider this a big step forward, it will certainly continue to get even better with time and a bigger "reference collection" of people. As it stands now, the reference population they are using is still tiny. In your second graphic in this post, you will see the "reference collection" you are being compared against is only 416 people. The other ethnic categories also have similarly small numbers at this time, judging from what I saw in the updated ethnicity results of the four DNA accounts I administer.

"I have every confidence they will continue to improve their ethnicity reporting, but I'm sure many will still be complaining. Unfortunately, it seems many of those who have been complaining do not fully grasp that these ethnicity results will continue to evolve and improve, and that the ethnicity reported covers time periods way before most of our genealogy research covers."

My comment:  I understood that the first time around, and my expectation was that the next time the ethnicity estimate would improve significantly.  For me, the pendulum swung from 94% British Isles to 27%.  If they add several thousand more to the reference population for Britain/Ireland over the next year or so, will the estimate change drastically?  I don't know.

b)  Helen wrote:  "I have similar European ancestry to yours and have tested with all 3 companies, so I will post my various results including my AncestryDNA ethnicity update shortly for you to see. Where do you get "18% British and Irish on 23andMe" from? I have checked your earlier posts and can't find that figure under their standard or speculative estimate for you."

My comment:  I had 11.5% British and Irish for the standard estimate on 23andMe, per my post My 23andMe DNA Test Results - Post 1.  I don't know where I got 18%!  Confused, I guess.  Thanks for catching this, I guess I should correct it.

c)  Eileen noted:  "It is good to hear about the new ethnicity results. I was so excited when I read this post that I went to my results but they are still the same old figures. Can't wait until the new ones role out. Maybe then I will find out what happened to all my German ancestry."

a)  Charles Vigneron said:  "I don't use FTM primarily because I use a Mac. I use names and counties as they would have been appropriate to their day. Henrico, Virginia, USA, will be earlier: Henrico, Virginia Colony. Johnsonburg, Sussex County, New Jersey, rather than Warren, pre 1827. Augusta and Yohogania County rather than West Virginia counties, etc.  This educates me about the political history/divisions of the region as well as the families.  Your thoughts, sir?"

My thoughts:  You can buy and use FTM for the Mac if you wanted to.    I understand that you have used historically accurate place names for the time period of the event - and that is what is recommended for professional quality research.  However, some genealogy software, which many of us cannot work efficiently without, provides the use of online mapping services at Google and Bing, and those require current place names in order to be used for display of locations and migration maps.  In a perfect genealogy software world, the historical place names would be used for a date-specific event when a current place name is used.  Unfortunately, no software (yet) is perfect.

b)  Russ Worthington added:  "FTMM-3 for the Mac is due out 'before the end of the year'

"FTM2012 and FTM2014 allows us to handle Historical Place names correctly. I have a blog post on that. I haven't blogged about FTMM-2 but I have it, so I am not sure if FTMM-2 (current version) handles historic names yet."

a)  Charles Vigneron asked:  "Very interesting. Do the programs allow to save format to user-size specifications? Beyond, letter, legal, ledger?

"Large format printing, color and b&w, are found in most towns today. I've made several pdfs 3x5 feet. Five b&w copies ≈ $5."

My comment:  Maybe Russ will answer your question about saving to user size specs.  Besides local large size printing, there is also the option to have a commercial company print a large color chart for a price;  most of these companies will add embellishments beyond the software programs to enhance the chart at your request.

b)  Glenn Harvey noted:  "Not sure about FTM2014 (I've ordered but not received the CD here in Australia).  I can't see why they would change it, but Chart Titles can be edited as you want in FTM2012. have a look at the second icon from the left in the option panel the fonts one(has 2 letter A's in it).  Options include changes to Names, Facts, Chart titles and more, you can change the font type, size, colour, and alignment."

My comment:  Thanks for the help.  I found the Title options, and used it, but there is no option to Center the Title on the chart; clicking on "Center" keeps the Title in the top left-hand corner but "centers" the second line relative to the top line.

*  T said:  "Since FamilySearch is laying off I doubt they will be taking care of old business."

My comment:  The report I saw said that they laid off employees in the Computer Technology, Information Technology, Publishing Technology and Information Communication Systems departments.  

In almost every enterprise, there are changes in job types, job requirements, department budgets, etc.  FamilySearch made a change in emphasis in early 2013 to feature Photos and Stories and the FamilySearch Family Tree, and to stop development of and eventually retire the New FamilySearch tree.  

They are committed, I think, to continue adding content to FamilySearch  in terms of digitized historical record collections from microfilm, and volunteer-indexed records and links to many of those collections.  At some point, they will have to make the user-interface with the list of those record collections easier to use and more efficient.  As it is, they load over 1640 lines and links each time someone clicks on the List URL.  I doubt that they will do that when they have, say, 5,000 collections on their list.

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My comment:  I love to receive fan mail, but this is probably over the top.  I left out their link if they provided it, or the product name.  I wish they would send pictures of themselves and provide a link so I could pay them back somehow.  Seriously, why does anyone take the time to write this crap and then have to defeat the Captcha trap?  

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Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver.


Cousin Russ said...


Sorry I missed "Charles Vigneron" comment earlier. I have attempted to answer it.

Thank you,


ps - have a great cruise, sorry we had to miss it

Sandy Scott said...

Re the Anonymous reader, it sounds to me like spam.