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Observation on genealogy software...RM best on....

Sources citations software

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#1 BonSam

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 04:49 PM

I eagerly await the new V8 RM (Mac). I fervently hope the current source and citation system will remain as it is! The formatted input screens following Elizabeth Shown Mills source method (and others too) makes documentation rather easy! 

 

Proper documentation is essential for any professional researcher. In exchanging info with other researchers, clients and students too, I have experienced the differences in other genealogy software. The software of the major genealogy programs are comparable, usable in all segments except Sources and citations! Data imported from one to the other via Gedcom move intact, usually not needing major tweaks....it's workable. But sources simply do not export and import from one software to the other...intact! 

 

As all software companies tout sharing of data, the jumble of sources discourages exchanges...for those, at least, to whom documentation is important, if not essential. 

 

As I said before, RM's Source component is appreciated. When students ask what software to use...RM!  The trend is more and more away from the hobbyists towards sound research, proving the ancestors. DNA has nudged this trend too. 

 

Bonnie Samuel

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Vyger

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 06:13 AM

The trend is more and more away from the hobbyists towards sound research, proving the ancestors. DNA has nudged this trend too.

 

I would like to believe this trend exists but I fear the opposite.

 

I would like to judge myself as a serious researcher and often describe the DNA of Locations which I would hope becomes more obvious as a valuable research indicator. Sadly the likes of Ancestry seem to have zero interest in the actual location of a community regardless of how you name it, whether County, Parish, Administrative division or even Country for that matter and I worry Rootsmagic may move more towards the wants of the many rather than the needs of serious researchers. I read often of users modifying their data input more and more to suit Ancestry alignment which often departs from accuracy and Ancestry pays no attention to the actual geocoding, probably no money in it.


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Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

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#3 BonSam

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Posted 14 August 2018 - 07:10 AM

Vyger,
Thanks for chiming in on this topic. Yes, there are still many who copy the tree they like best from Ancestry, use My Heritage for same, and buy software depending on whether or not it "syncs."

Just in the last six years or so, however, the National genealogical organizations have featured and advocated for proper documentation, and lately DNA education. Not so much the pretty pedigree charts! Professional Genealogists, internationally, and likewise educational venues offering credentialing were gaining traction in the genealogy marketplace.

As an example, Ive been involved in the development of genealogical education program series, taught by
Professionals- a monthly series, annual conference, help sessions and beginner classes too. This has been a cooperative venture of a genealogy group and the local library. As we go now into our fifth year, the classes are still full and growing. We have waiting lists for the special offerings, such as Genealogy Proof Standard class. We are not exceptional. There are many libraries, local and regional doing the same. And more. (even Ancestry has cautioned, recently, about validation of what consumers find in their trees!).

Now we will see what the major software companies will do, especially in regard to their documentation component. For serious researchers, that component is the "decider." Most professionals I know also use programs like Word and Scrivener for their work, particularly narratives and client reports...excellent documentation components built into those.

Best wishes!

#4 Vyger

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 10:14 AM

Bonnie,

 

I chimed in as your post was on genealogy software but on reflection we may see the prime purpose of genealogy software and computing power in different ways although there is room for all and each research tool compliments another.

 

I agree with proper documentation and sourcing but I see genealogy software as much more of a research driving tool, not simply a notation system. During my 25+ years of researching correct and concise source documentation never helped me prove a family link but of course proved very helpful in directing me back to the original documentation for further review. Maybe the one exception to that is a particular family name within a collection of a particular Church records where the association becomes the community and congregation.

 

The point I was trying to make is that as we progress back through time the elements of proof become ever weaker, Name and Date are valuable but pretty worthless without an accurate location. That is where I refer to the DNA of locations, one might have a John Doe baptism where the only detail is the father’s name of William, so we have the existence of William Doe, an approximated timeframe but importantly a location. Now Williams brother light live 1 mile up the trail but that location could be a different County, even a different Country but the proximity is indicative of a possible family association.

 

All that ignores the never ending personal variations of how locations are recorded, historic or modern, borough or not, County or no County, USA, U.S.A or United States, Place Details or no Place Details, the variations are endless yet the pin(s) in the map remains the same or in close proximity. That, I believe, is the real challenge of genealogy software and where processing power should be aimed towards suggesting possible associations, a simple notation system required little processing power and is fairly wasteful of potential.

 

Best wishes


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#5 BonSam

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:06 AM

Vyger, 

I agree! I did not mean to say ONLY one aspect is important. Your are most certainly correct about place and software enabling research to various sites. One little caveat on research, however, is to broaden research way beyond those connected sites on any given software...which I am sure you would agree! 

 

Software developers have targeted the hobbyists, thus pretty charts and ready made pedigree trees on Ancestry, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, etc. Geographic locations are a more recent offering in software....now promoting .... purchasable maps! When I talk to students about geographic locations and historical events I get blank stares ...they have not given any thought to location, but they can tell you how many thousands of people they have in their trees and what famous person they are related to as well. 

 

"Putting your ancestors in their place," gives them life! We are on the same page. Speaking of place, where are you on the globe? I live in Iowa, USA. Researching Ireland, some Germany, early North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and the northern route to the midwest...

 

Back to documentation, many are intimidated by citing sources. The jumbled, complicated systems, different on all software, only deters family researchers from citing sources, and I think, it follows that they pay little or no attention to the other verifying relationship components...like place! 

 

Thanks so much, Vyger, for chiming in .... 

Bonnie



#6 BonSam

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Posted 15 August 2018 - 11:14 AM

County Antrim! I just took a look at your profile, Vyger.....

James Gillan b. 1823 Ballymena, County Antrim...married Sarah Jane McClure about 1843...immigrated to the US 1847, eventually settling in McLean County, Illinois. Died there 1907. James father, George Gillan.....small world! 



#7 Vyger

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 06:09 AM

I remember him well :D only 20 miles up the road from me.

 

The majority of my research is in Ireland and in your case "Ballymena" is quite a broad brush, you will know that modern day Ballymena is shared between 4 parishes, Ahoghill, Ballyclug, Connor and Kirkinriola although in 1823 more likely Ahoghill and Kirkinriola with a possibility of Ballyclug. Each of those parishes have numerous townland divisions which have remained reliable land divisions for hundreds of years so you will maybe uncover a record stating your ancestor was from Brocklemont and at that time he would have been distinguished as James Gillan from Brocklemont as opposed to another James Gillan from another part of the Ballymena area.

 

I rely a lot on these geographic indicators and the accurate geocoding of them which transcends the infinite variations of how users prefer to record their Places for reasons of appearance or reporting and also the home language of the researcher. For me those pins in the map are the important indicators to communities, congregations, places of work etc. and vital clues where other information is often very scant. Apart from the text recording of these important locations being all over the place with no hope any agreement or standard, the pins on the map do not move, they are the only standard regardless of what you call that location. So in simple terms your ancestor from "Ballymena" another researchers ancestor from "Old Galgorm Road, Ballymena" and my ancestor from "Brocklemont" all in 1843 have completely different Place notations but when geocoding is examined and mathematics applied they all existed within 1 mile of each other.

 

Ancestry and the likes have no apparent interest in precise locations and I am saddened when I see users trying to move more towards those online systems. I would hope genealogy software does the opposite and moves towards those wishing to do serious research with proven facts otherwise genealogy will just become fictions versions “I saw it on the internet”

 

I just wanted to say I typed your ancestors name as "Gillen" throughout this post and only realized and corrected after proofing it, that’s obviously how I understand the name to be spelt and as you know how name spelling changed throughout time, thank goodness for Rootsmagic Alternate Name.

 

brocklemont.JPG


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#8 KFN

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 06:58 AM

One of my biggest issues with the GEDCOM standard and therefore the software programs that used the standard as their initial data design is the lack of respect for PLACE and the history associated with it. Yes I can say something bad about GEDCOM. ;-)

As genealogists we should be very concerned with "history of place". To do a great job as a genealogist or as a family historian we must learn and teach others about the histories associated with the places we are identifying as where our ancestors come from. This includes information about names of places, where they stem from, how they have changed and the borders they encompass throughout history.

I have learned more about my family by studying the places where they came from than from just reading the records left behind about them specifically. Understand the history of the churchs, farms, towns and business they worked for or started are all important to the place history that most of the people some copy stuff from forget to tell us.

#9 Vyger

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Posted 17 August 2018 - 02:51 PM

As genealogists we should be very concerned with "history of place". To do a great job as a genealogist or as a family historian we must learn and teach others about the histories associated with the places we are identifying as where our ancestors come from. This includes information about names of places, where they stem from, how they have changed and the borders they encompass throughout history.

I have learned more about my family by studying the places where they came from than from just reading the records left behind about them specifically. Understand the history of the churchs, farms, towns and business they worked for or started are all important to the place history that most of the people some copy stuff from forget to tell us.

 

I completely agree with KFN, whilst connecting families is important I believe it's the Places and history of those Places which bring our genealogy to life and give it something personal and beyond simply factual. We see it every week on WDYTYA where the family member wants to walk in the steps of their ancestor, they want to know what sort of place is was at the time their ancestor lived there and always want to see where they lived or stand where the site was.

 

Readers of my reports always ask "where was that?" and that's fine as I don't describe Places in modern terms so the reader learns a little along the way. I have wished before for Rootsmagic to provide an option for a detailed appendix to reports where Places and Place Details (referenced in the report) could be reported along with Media and Notes, well maybe someday.

 

I believe if genealogy software providers fail to see the potential of mapping and detailing those family travels then they are missing a big benefit above online services and such unique benefits are very necessary to set desktop software apart from online offerings. Some years ago I tracked down the home of my mother in laws ancestor some 200 years ago, whilst the home (shown in 15A below) is now gone the footings can thankfully be seen in dry weather due to the discolouration of the grass. Whilst it was only a day out mainly looking into a field my mother in law loved being their and hearing of how the land was used and how the old building looked from a modern day inhabitant, it was a day out she recalls often.

 

I continue to add as much detail and history to those Places and Place Details in the hope Rootsmagic releases their value through quality mapping and reporting, and as said before I find them very useful indicators to possible family links.

 

derrycaw-site.png


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

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#10 Trebor22

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Posted 18 August 2018 - 02:53 AM

I agree with what has been said re the importance of places in family history. It was something I realised early on in my research and I have to say its also a very enjoyable part of it! 

My research and interest in places my family lived  long proceeds my use of RootsMagic and my approach to recording it was a choice of many years ago made with cousins I was / am collaborating with. It has lead to a large collection of narratives in .pdf format some written by individuals others by a group of us.  Excerpts often make there way into my and cousins databases and often there are short and long versions of the same file, the shorter ones easier for printing the longer ones usually distributed as a collection on DVD or USB stick.

There are not many of my cousins using RM as their 'main' family history programme so chances are even in the unlikely event RM introduces the perfect approach to place recording and detailing I will still want to take a 'mixed approach' to place research / recording. I would also add that quite a few of the documents our group have produced have found there way into local libraries and or local history groups so perhaps over time they might be reach a wider interested audience than if the data was stored just in a family databases.

All that said improvements in the way places are recorded in RM, other family history software and transferred in Gedcom (or more likely a successor ) would be very welcome!!



#11 BonSam

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 09:22 AM

Thank you, Vyger, for the fabulous Antrim map...fun to see. Very different than the one I have during the Griffith's Valuation! I hope to visit some day. Ok on misspelling of the name, Gillan as Gillan, and as you know it has many variations. Amazed too, that you know James Gillan :)

   And you started this interesting exchange on the very important issue of "history of place." Critical to understanding what our ancestors experienced and how the times influenced them. 

 

KFN, I think GEDCOM issues reflect the software industry's competitive attitude. The biggest names in genealogy software tout "easy sharing family data" with , when in fact it is mostly impossible! yes, Gedcoms are not all the same, thus transfer problematic. But terminology/labeling varies from program to program, and configurations within software doesn't necessarily mesh with a gedcom. Very basic info---names and dates will transfer, but even those not always correctly. 

 

Advanced and professional researchers will use genealogy software to keep basic info for easy tracking. But for comparisons, saving docs and doing analysis, composition of reports, etc, there are other fine programs that do the job easily and more efficiently. 



#12 Vyger

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Posted 20 August 2018 - 10:04 AM

Thank you, Vyger, for the fabulous Antrim map...

 

Bonnie, see here for those boundary maps, if the Townland is not found then back out to Parish level and look down the Townland list for possible spelling differences. That Griffiths map insert and site I took my Mother in Law to is within the Townland of Derrycaw, quite a small area of land.


Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle. ...

 

 

Current user of Rootsmagic version 7.5.7.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 and Legacy 7.5 on Win 10

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root


#13 Don Newcomb

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 06:40 AM

I eagerly await the new V8 RM (Mac). I fervently hope the current source and citation system will remain as it is! ........

 

 

The citation system is pretty good. The system for managing sources is hopelessly primitive. You have a citation system that encourages you to create a new master source for every piece of paper you see and a flat-table, one-key source management tool in which to lose them all.