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#1 bencason

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 10:28 AM

I am another refugee from TMG. I just bought RM as the best [for me] replacement for TMG. I looked at FTM, RM, Legacy, and Family Historian. I downloaded any free versions to see how i would like the programs. The clincher was Rootmagic's ability to do a direct import from TMG and "witness" support. In addition, I just felt "comfortable" as I got use to the different views. I liked Family Historian also since it does a direct import as well and the decision was a close one.

 

I  have been browsing the postings to learn more about RM and I have seen that some people use other software in addition to RM. I might end up buying Family Historian in addition to RM.

 

I am wondering what problems are solved [or at least improved] by having multiple genealogy software apps?

 

EDIT:

I have not done any genealogy work for several years. Luckily, I had kept up-to-date on TMG so there was no issues there. I am retiring at the end of next year and I expect to spend a good bit of time working on genealogy. But, since I have been away from it for several years, I am kind of out of touch. So your inputs are welcome.


Edited by bencason, 04 May 2015 - 01:37 PM.


#2 XFTMTeutopIL

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 02:17 PM

I use multiple programs (RootsMagic, FTM 2006 & FTM 2014) but I make it a point to make all my edits only in the primary program (RootsMagic).  If you import/export GED's among the programs and make edits in each of the programs you are likely going to run into trouble and lose data.

 

I used FTM 2006 as primary until ancestry stopped supporting it's search feature.  At that point I looked at FTM 2014 and RootsMagic and made the switch to RootsMagic (which until then I had been using as a secondary program).

 

There are a couple problems using both RootsMagic and FTM 2014.

--RootsMagic uses Place/Place Details/Description and FTM 2014 uses Place/Description.  With a standard export/import from RootsMagic to FTM 2014 you will loose your hospitals and cemeteries.

--When doing A GED export/import from RootsMagic to FTM 2014 for posting to Ancestry.com your WebTags also disappear.

 

While making the switch and doing exports/imports between FTM 2006, FTM 2014 and RootsMagic, one of the GED's introduced random spaces every 70 or so letters into my Notes sections that I failed to notice until it was too late to recover with a previous backup file.  "Effingham" became "Eff ingham", etc.  I had to manually clean up all my Notes sections.  Now all of my export/imports GED's are from my master RootsMagic file and never back into my master RootsMagic file.



#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 12 May 2015 - 03:47 PM

As a very recent retiree with more time to spend on genealogy, I have been giving serious attention to just how I want to proceed with my research moving forward. The issues for me are much bigger than just which genealogy program or programs to use. For the moment, RM is my only actual genealogy database program (I use other genealogy tools for reporting, etc.), and I expect RM to remain as my primary genealogy database even if I start using some of its competitors in parallel with it for some other purposes. But I find myself coming to decisions to use RM in some different ways than I have in the past.

 

For example, after having spent dozens of hours through the years (if not hundreds or thousands of hours) of splitting my RM Places into Places plus Place Details to split out cemeteries, hospitals, etc., I'm putting them all back together and I'm I'm no longer going to use Place Details at all.

 

One reason is that the reporting tool called Charting Companion does not handle RM's Place Details correctly. Originally, Charting Companion didn't handle RM's Place Details at all. They added support for Place Details, but the support is wrong.

 

More recently, I've been working extensively with FamilySearch FamilyTree, using both the native Web browser support for FSFT and also the RM interface to FSFT where RM uses the FSFT API. The API doesn't support Place Details, and I doubt that it ever will. RM could support Place Details through the API by combining Place and Place Details together into the single "Place" field that RM sends to FSFT through the API, but I doubt that RM will ever do that. And RM desperately needs a GEDCOM export option to combine Place and Place Details together on GEDCOM export, but I doubt that RM will ever support such an option.

 

So I'm taking the bull by the horns by combining Place and Place Details back together in RM. I sincerely regret that I ever started using the Place Details feature in RM, and henceforth I'm just going to pretend it doesn't exist.

 

Jerry

 



#4 J P

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 01:37 AM

More recently, I've been working extensively with FamilySearch FamilyTree, using both the native Web browser support for FSFT and also the RM interface to FSFT where RM uses the FSFT API. The API doesn't support Place Details, and I doubt that it ever will. RM could support Place Details through the API by combining Place and Place Details together into the single "Place" field that RM sends to FSFT through the API, but I doubt that RM will ever do that. And RM desperately needs a GEDCOM export option to combine Place and Place Details together on GEDCOM export, but I doubt that RM will ever support such an option.
 
So I'm taking the bull by the horns by combining Place and Place Details back together in RM. I sincerely regret that I ever started using the Place Details feature in RM, and henceforth I'm just going to pretend it doesn't exist.

I have exactly the same problem but have yet to take any decision on re-combining place and place details. As you say, it is very time consuming to have to go into FTFS and manually add the Place Details. What is especially annoying is that FTFS has the concept of standard place name in addition to whatever one adds to the base place name. So it actually has 2 fields - one that one can use as a combination of Place and Place Details and one that it "forces" to be Place.

We really need to keep pressurising RM to allow us to have an option to merge Place and Place Details when transferring data to FTFS, and if the API currently doesn't allow it, and to pressure FTFS to allow the setting of both values - Place and Standard Place (perhaps provided the value passed for the latter aligns with one of the standard values that is offered by the web interface).

Yes, I know RM is somewhat (? very) slow to implement our requests, but the whole FSFT interface is relatively new, rather inconsistent in terms of when one is expected to enter certain information depending on what The particular panels that are being used and some rationalisation of the different approaches would/should occur for most software products over time. Also, we seem to be approaching (eventually) a major rewrite which should offer the opportunity for some tweaks of this sort. Surely it is not expecting too much to ask for and expect such minor enhancements.

#5 Trebor22

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 04:37 AM

I am not a big fan of the Website options in RM so use a 'stand alone' website generator - transferring the data via gedcom.

 

I like to take my research with me to archives on a USB stick, while RM to GO works on some PC's at archives it is blocked by others so I use Simple Family Tree (freeware) on a usb stick and so far this has worked on all the PC's at all the archives I have visited. It also produces very simple charts that are nice for 'snipping' to illustrate  write up's on key individuals. Again it works on a gedcom file.

 

I sometimes revert back to PAF and its charting companion to produce charts to send to relatives at Christmas, it still has some of the best options.

 

All that said I like RM for day to day use and have not had too many problems with it!

Bob



#6 Vyger

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Posted 13 May 2015 - 04:44 AM

We really need to keep pressurising RM to allow us to have an option to merge Place and Place Details when transferring data to FTFS, and if the API currently doesn't allow it, and to pressure FTFS to allow the setting of both values - Place and Standard Place (perhaps provided the value passed for the latter aligns with one of the standard values that is offered by the web interface).

Yes, I know RM is somewhat (? very) slow to implement our requests,

 

Firstly I am sorry to see Jerry, or any user, reverse what seems a natural positive direction due to lack of support from RM. I have always been frustrated by the lack of development of Place Details, it seems such features are released in a great fanfare and then partially forgotten. Once such features are introduced in the program RM should follow the leads on these boards to finish the feature to user expectations, listening to users was an old notion which brought RM great support.

 

Whilst I am disappointed in the whole mapping UI within RM as apposed to FTM, I still do hope that changes, yes eternal optimist. Apart from the lack of ease for geocoding within RM I am also disappointed by the lack of reporting options for those extra Place Detail Notes and Media and I wished for changes here many years and versions ago, reporting changes which I firmly believe would have helped Place Details become a very desirable feature.

 

The next problem I am poised to reverse due to similar lack of support is Shared Events, again heralded as a great feature on the sales front but again left lacking in terms of reporting and use to the point that many users have now backed away from using Shared Events.

 

Apart from providing help in proving families and speed of use all this genealogy information we collect we want to output in professional reports, feeding more and more information into a database without the support to report it or compatibility to share it elsewhere is pointless and fast becoming a deal breaker for me.

 

RM has been non responsive at resolving these issues year after year and once users back away from using these features RM becomes just another genealogy program where users may well start looking elsewhere. It is also known that Source and Citation Duplication is mainly being caused by RM Source Templates so drop that from the useful list of features as I have stopped using templates.

 

I believe it is time now for RM to start listening to it's users otherwise they may lose them.


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

The great Indian mathematician Aryabhat caclulated the value of pi at 3.1416, ~1500 years ago and without a computer!

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#7 bencason

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 08:20 AM

Thanks to all who have commented in this topic. This is just the kind of feedback that I am looking for. RM will be my main genealogy software and all updates will be made there only. I made mistakes as a beginner TMG user where I exported data into another program, naively made changes there and had a mess when I imported it back into TMG. I am not going there again.

 

I have started to review all my data after the import from TMG to see what corrections are needed to deal with TMG tags that were converted to NOTES [yes, I have much to do]. I wasn't aware of the portability problems associated with using Place Details. Based on what I have read, I think I will avoid using them.

 

It seems some people find reports they like in other programs and export some data there to use the report. I guess I'll have to look into the report functions of other programs after I get used to what RM has to offer.

 

Thanks again, all.



#8 Renee Zamora

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 09:02 AM

The reason RootsMagic doesn't send the Place Details to FamilySearch is because they have yet to determine if they want it as part of the standardized place name.

 

What I do prior to adding or replacing a fact on Family Tree is click on the "Edit RootsMagic Person" button and copy the place details. Then when I add the fact I put that Place Details in the reason statement. If you click on the info button (blue i icon) next to the fact on the Family Tree side you will see that information. When you are on the website if you click on the fact you also see that information. Before you replace a fact it is also displayed. We should get into the habit of looking at those additional notes made for facts. It can give us really important information and that is what they were designed for.


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#9 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 11:30 AM

What I do prior to adding or replacing a fact on Family Tree is click on the "Edit RootsMagic Person" button and copy the place details. Then when I add the fact I put that Place Details in the reason statement. If you click on the info button (blue i icon) next to the fact on the Family Tree side you will see that information. When you are on the website if you click on the fact you also see that information. Before you replace a fact it is also displayed. We should get into the habit of looking at those additional notes made for facts. It can give us really important information and that is what they were designed for.

 

I understand what you are saying, and it certainly make sense the way you describe it. However, I guess my perspective is a little different. It seems to me that if one RM user uses the FSFT API to copy burial information from RM to FSFT and if a second RM user uses the FSFT API to copy the burial information for the same person from FSFT to RM, then the burial information should look the same for both RM users. 

 

The way the FSFT Web site and the FSFT API are intended to be used, that won't happen. It's not so much a purely technical issue as it as data model issue, or even a "vision" issue. The vision of the FSFT designers and developers seems not to include the notion of including cemetery information along with the burial fact. And since the technical design of FSFT does not actually prevent cemetery information from being stored as a part of the burial place, I see no reason not to do so and lots of good reasons to do so. Combining Place and Place Details in RM for burial facts handles this very nicely.

 

And it's not only FSFT for which this is a problem. It's any interchange of data with any other third party software besides RM is a problem and any interchange of data with any other researcher who might not be using RM as their genealogy database is also a problem.

 

Jerry



#10 XFTMTeutopIL

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 12:30 PM

The biggest downside I see to using RootsMagic is if I want to share my info with a non-RootsMagic user, significant data disappears during the export/import process!

#11 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 02:26 PM

The biggest downside I see to using RootsMagic is if I want to share my info with a non-RootsMagic user, significant data disappears during the export/import process!

 

I don't think the problem is specific to RM. It seems to me that almost no matter which genealogy program you use, significant data disappears during the export/import process with third party software unless you enter your data in the most bland, vanilla, and simple way possible. That means such things as no place details, no shared facts, no nicknames, no source templates, no international characters, only one each of the basic birth, death, and burial fact types, no use of sentence templates, etc. We all might as well go back to using PAF, if PAF were still available.

 

Jerry



#12 XFTMTeutopIL

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 03:58 PM

Last year I used TomH’s Places-ConvertPlaceDetailsToPlaces.sql with SQLiteSpy without problems. I was able to export a GED to FTM 2014 and upload to ancestry.com and only lose my WebTags. This year when I use his current sql many of the place details just disappear. Most of the marriage, death & burial place/place details get combined and come out just fine, but many of the birth, census & residence places just come out blank. It looks like if the original place detail is empty, then the entire new place gets wiped blank, erasing the original place info.

This year I have a Windows 8 computer. The sql executes a lot faster (6.80 sec for a 97,000+ database) and the final info from the sql is "Script completed without execution error". Might there be something wrong with TomH's new 2015-01-21 version of the sql? Or does it not work with a Windows 8 computer?

#13 Vyger

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 04:22 PM

We all might as well go back to using PAF, if PAF were still available.

 

All these features are proprietary traps and it takes a brave and confident proprietor to leave the back door open to another shop.

 

Place Details, Shared Events, Source Templates and Webtags can all be reverse engineered by anyone with a little knowledge. However many users are effectively trapped by the fact they will lose their massive investment of time in entering information in any programs proprietary mode.

 

That is sad and counterproductive to the genealogy cause in my opinion and any programmer who believes in that cause should facilitate export to a standard compatible with other platforms. Hooking users into your proprietary features while then refusing to complete the development of those features is unforgivable.

 

We can now see from similar compatibility threads over the years and some excellent scripts from TomH that RM users are becoming less and less happy with things as they currently are.

 

Jerry, i remember Brothers Keeper had some merits :D


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

The great Indian mathematician Aryabhat caclulated the value of pi at 3.1416, ~1500 years ago and without a computer!

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#14 TomH

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 07:17 PM

Last year I used TomH’s Places-ConvertPlaceDetailsToPlaces.sql with SQLiteSpy without problems. I was able to export a GED to FTM 2014 and upload to ancestry.com and only lose my WebTags. This year when I use his current sql many of the place details just disappear. Most of the marriage, death & burial place/place details get combined and come out just fine, but many of the birth, census & residence places just come out blank. It looks like if the original place detail is empty, then the entire new place gets wiped blank, erasing the original place info.This year I have a Windows 8 computer. The sql executes a lot faster (6.80 sec for a 97,000+ database) and the final info from the sql is "Script completed without execution error". Might there be something wrong with TomH's new 2015-01-21 version of the sql? Or does it not work with a Windows 8 computer?

This question is a little off topic and maybe belongs on the Wiki but let me say here that I will look into it. It sounds to me that there is a concatenation of a <null> for Place Detail Name instead of a '' with the Place Name resulting in a <null> for the new Place Name.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#15 John_of_Ross_County

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Posted 14 May 2015 - 08:10 PM

I had posted an item on the RootsMagic discussion page on Nov 20, 2005 relating to this topic.  It proposed a reverse order pick list in the same order as printed in the RootsMagic "Reverse place names" option. 

 

My suggestion did not get a good reception from other users at that time and it was made long before Bruce added the place details option.  It is hard to believe that this posting is almost 10 years old.  If this scheme had been implemented, the whole concept of place details would not have been needed.

 

I am gradually using place details for new entries and I don't really care about compatibility with transfers to other programs.



#16 Vyger

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Posted 15 May 2015 - 03:44 AM

John, if your suggestion was for the option of a hierarchal Place List view I have also called for the same as it makes place reconciliation much easier, I certainly hope I wasn't a dissenter back in 2005 <_<

 

I use Place Details extensively and don't intend to back away from them, just a little frustrated ease of geocoding, reporting etc seem not to be on the development path. It's my belief that if these features were finished to the level users expect and have voiced on these forums then these features would be a must have in genealogy software rather than a frustration as seems to be.

 

 

hierarchal.png


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

The great Indian mathematician Aryabhat caclulated the value of pi at 3.1416, ~1500 years ago and without a computer!

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#17 John_of_Ross_County

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Posted 17 May 2015 - 09:10 PM

To: Vyger

 

Take a look at the following discussion from 2005.

 

http://forums.rootsm...ntry-of-places/

 

The discussion provides quit a bit of background behind my previous request.



#18 Vyger

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 04:30 AM

Take a look at the following discussion from 2005.

 

http://forums.rootsm...ntry-of-places/

 

The discussion provides quit a bit of background behind my previous request.

 

Very interesting, I was not on that discussion but knowing where I was in November 2005 I now know why.

 

Data wise this was not long after the release of RM3 in September 2005, the essence on Place Details are mentioned in the discussion and did eventually become a reality in 2009 with the release of RM4.

 

I really have no idea why Rootsmagic has not addressed this simple desire of genealogists. I note on the thread some posters suggest entering the place in reverse order but this is simply wrong from any addressing point of view.

 

The screen shot I posted above is from FTM, the tope and bottom entries with the little question marks denotes the fact they are not recognized by the gazetteer or geocodes so a handy reference for work to be completed. Once geocoded, all properly notes and the hierarchical view enabled you would essentially have a list countries down the left hand side with everything collapsed.

 

Expanding US would show all US States in the database, expanding OH would show all the Ohio counties in the database, expanding Ross County would show all the Ross County Townships in the database and expanding any of those townships would show any place Details in your database within those Townships.

 

Again I cannot understand why Rootsmagic has not addressed this simple request after 10 years of asking. This is how a Post Office sorting center would work and is really useful for making Place Lists more accurate. No Postal service would just hand the postman a bundle of letters sorted by the first line of the address and expect him to just find his way around. His daily run would probably last a week and the Post Office would soon go bust.

 

This is how I feel when working with the Rootsmagic Place List so do most of my reconciling outside of the program. I really do hope Rootsmagic are listening again to their users and address these issues in the next version with some much needed features.

 

 

Ross County in Ohio 


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

The great Indian mathematician Aryabhat caclulated the value of pi at 3.1416, ~1500 years ago and without a computer!

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#19 Vyger

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Posted 18 May 2015 - 12:05 PM

The biggest downside I see to using RootsMagic is if I want to share my info with a non-RootsMagic user, significant data disappears during the export/import process!

 

Interestingly while playing around with FTM2012 today I find that whilst their proprietary Place Details within FTM are maintained within FTM imports exports the Place Detail component is prefixed to the Place on Gedcom output.

 

I think that's all RM users are asking for.


“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates

 

The great Indian mathematician Aryabhat caclulated the value of pi at 3.1416, ~1500 years ago and without a computer!

 

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.9, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root