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#95940 Release Date for RM8

Posted by JimDavis79 on 16 November 2019 - 08:05 AM in Discussion

So, in short, RM doesn't want Mac users. 

 Well, RM8 will have a native Mac version without the Crossover wrapper.  I've used both OS versions, and I'll be glad when the wrapper is no longer needed!  I assist new genealogy researchers, who are split about 50:50 between Mac and PC OS, so I'll be glad to wholeheartedly recommend RM8 to both.

#95928 TMG Focus Groups --> RM Groups?

Posted by JimDavis79 on 15 November 2019 - 06:58 AM in Discussion

emkaysmith, there is a way to do at least some of what you want to do.  Click Search > Named Groups > Manage Groups.  Click the green plus sign for a new group, then click Mark group.  You'll see a list of preformatted choice, plus one that says "Select people by data fields."  That brings up a window where you build a query based on info in various data fields.  If, for example, you've got "Church XYZ congregant" in a field, you can create a list based on that and give it a unique name.


These groups are not live, i.e., adding new people to the database that meet the criteria does not automatically add them to the group.  However, you can refresh the group, or add people singly as you work the data.


Like you, I'm a TMG emigre!

#95848 Jurisdiction Change

Posted by JimDavis79 on 04 November 2019 - 10:45 AM in Discussion

DoninRiver, I concur with Jerry in all respects.  In the past, my practice was to enter current names, but then what if they change in the future?  So, i'm going back to using names at the time the event occurred, and am correcting previous entries to historical names.


In case you don't know, latitude and longitude can be entered for specific places in the Edit Place window, or from the Place List.  Hope that's clear, please forgive if not.

#95833 Adding a person created by an affair

Posted by JimDavis79 on 03 November 2019 - 10:39 AM in Discussion

Scrollsawman, RM provides a way to characterize parentage.  In the "Edit Person" window, click on the Parents line.  You will see in the right hand pane drop-down lists for "Relationship to father" and "Relationship to mother."  The choices for the drop-down are: Birth, Adopted, Step, Foster, Related, Guardian, Sealed and Unknown.  Set up multiple parental relationships to display both the biological line and the social family line.


Example:  one person in my family has known biological parents.  However, this person was raised by the aunt of the man who had an affair with the biological mother.  After the affair, the biological father took one child to raise and the aunt raised two others.  No formal adoptions.  The biological parents divorced and each remarried.


hope this helps!

best regards, Jim

#95377 Elder vs Younger

Posted by JimDavis79 on 22 September 2019 - 07:45 AM in Discussion

When royalty reuses the name of a monarch, the number of the use of the name is appended to the name, despite there being intervening Generations. If you need to distinguish between two people with the same name, this might help.

#93569 Using Rootsmagic 7 on two computers

Posted by JimDavis79 on 14 April 2019 - 01:31 PM in Discussion

Jesper, I do exactly what you are planning to do.  I connect the two computers over my home network, then use Free File Sync (https://freefilesync.org/) to move files from desktop to laptop.  When I finish working on the laptop, I re-synchronize back to the desktop.  This is very fast and easy.  I also backup all files to the cloud (I use OneDrive for genealogy stuff) just to be sure all files are safe.  This does not require the use of RM backup or restore.  I use many of the same actions to back up my photography files (>22k images) and all important files to my various backup drives and cloud repositories.



1.  always remember which is your authoritative copy, so you don't inadvertently overwrite important files.

2.  synchronize from the one you've been working on BEFORE you start working on the other.


Hope this helps!

#93536 Delete a Surname Line

Posted by JimDavis79 on 12 April 2019 - 01:44 PM in Discussion

If the line is correct except for the relationship attachment to yourself, why not just break the link and leave them in the database?  If there is even a minuscule possibility that someone in that line may end up being a distant cousin, you'd have to reenter all the data.  I have many people in my database that are not related, but the data is there.  Most frequently they get entered when i'm trying to decide which "John Smith" or "George Davis" is my relation, so all the data is true but the relationship is speculative.


My opinion only, you should do what makes best sense for you.

#93346 RootsMagic Software Development Process

Posted by JimDavis79 on 21 March 2019 - 06:38 AM in Discussion

"Miams"/ Michael, well said! 


Some years ago I forced a users group onto a software development organization (abeit a Navy-only program), and watched the quality of the product increase greatly within a year.  I have been on software configuration control boards many times for federal and State programs.  I've spent lots of time developing ship control software as an acquisition manager, and have watched the "big bang" development theory fail repeatedly.  I like your idea of point releases and RAD for beta releases.  I worry that after RM8 releases that the passion being shown now by users will ebb, that users will sort themselves around the new product (some leaving) and that the RM company will continue as before.  I really worry about succession planning, so the idea of open sourcing the product after sunset truly appeals.

#93205 Storage of Media Files

Posted by JimDavis79 on 10 March 2019 - 12:34 PM in Discussion

I'm just wondering what the advantage of having sub folders, vs one media folder, would be? Everytime you change the location of a file, this creates a requirement to change the link in RM. It also creates a problem with new media added by say Ancestry Tree Share. You would have to not only rename every file, but also manually move every file from the RM default directory to a different folder.


Rick, no telling if my answer will be satisfying, but here goes.  I never use Tree Share to bring down media items, but rather download separately and manually link.  I do the same with Family Search, Find My Past, and all the rest of the paid repositories.  I separately maintain my Ancestry tree, and ne'er the programs shall meet!  Lots of extra work, to be sure, but I'm insulated from programming decisions made by Ancestry and indeed, Roots Magic.  My manual implementation of repository connection ensures data and filing integrity and avoids the problem you've mentioned of finding and renaming files brought in by the various APIs.


To answer your folder question, here are a few things:


1.  In the case of Ancestry, there is significant file name reuse and meaningless file names.  For example, in the Ancestry media folder, I have nine files labeled "1880 United States Federal Census," with eight of them differentiated with trailing numbers in parentheses.  Impossible to know what they contain without opening and reviewing each one.  I think having a single media folder will eventually lead to this, especially if you use the automatic connections between your RM files and the paid repositories.


2.  I wrote my own genealogy program in the 1980s.  When devolving the data structure for the program, I realized that genealogy revolves around the individual and connections to others (duh!) and created the relational database accordingly.  I carried that data structure into my file folder structure and collect all media items into a single subfolder for each person.  The format of each subfolder name is "Last First Middle RIN."  (In the case of shared items, like marriage licenses, I file with the primary person.)


3.  Having the RIN in the folder name is pretty important to distinguish common/ reused family names; the RIN lets me look at the folder structure to pick out the particular John Smith I want.  It also lets me do speculative data collection and separation as I bust through brick walls.  Having all files for all persons in a single folder would be problematic for this work.


4.  I have other subfolders below the root for anything else I want to keep separate from the people folders, such as a collection of photographs of a single cemetery; copies of letters that don't seem to belong with any particular person; extracts from books and sources; files for various genealogy programs and organizations; etc.  My most important non-people folder is titled "Gen files to process," and everything new goes straight in there to be worked on as I can.


The reasons for any particular subfolder structure (indeed, even having one at all!) lie with the desires and processes of the individual family historian.  Use what works for you, not only in filing, but also in source lumping, citation format and every other aspect of this fantastic pursuit!  Hope this helps, I'd be delighted to explain further.

#93203 Opinions Requested Legacy 9 DLX vs Roots Magic 7

Posted by JimDavis79 on 10 March 2019 - 11:06 AM in Discussion

Now there are things Rootsmagic does do that Family Historian does not so there is no perfect solution, 


Vyger, thanks very much for your comprehensive list.  Do you have a similar list of the Roots Magic pro's? 

Like you, I may well wait to examine RM8 but i'm having another look at FH in the meantime.

#93202 Storage of Media Files

Posted by JimDavis79 on 10 March 2019 - 10:40 AM in Discussion

Some programs in windows still impose a path length of 256 characters. I’ve experienced zhangrau’s issue at work with long file names and folders that have a lot of characters.

My advice, is to developer folder names that are short, and contrary to everyone’s advice to not name files with anything but a coded reference number.

I use file attributes and a well developed reference number for all of my photos which number well over 200,000. As a professional computer geek and a trained librarian I prefer developing a file naming convention that resembles a cataloging system and using a database to store information about the images, documents and pdf files that contain my genealogy information, as well as photos from vacations, articles for publications I’ve written (along with the research I did for the article) as well as the artifacts in my various collections, I’m a collector but my wife says I’m a “pack rat”!


KFN, you and I have corresponded about this before, and I remain an admirer of your system.  I decided, somewhat like cj1260, to lean toward usability of folders and files by people who do not have my passion for dusty family history.  I keep discovering old photos and letters in family attics, being up to about 25k photos alone, not to mention the similar number of genealogy media items.  I worry that my work will be lost if when Charon ferries me across, I have made it too hard for family to find the old photos and that letter from 1864.  So, I've adopted a human-readable folder structure and file naming system, and I embed data in the photo files:  where/ when/ whom/ comments written on the item/ etc.  I write this only to share my reasoning with anyone who might be making similar decisions.

#93201 Philosophical question on sourcing...

Posted by JimDavis79 on 10 March 2019 - 10:20 AM in Discussion

Please forgive me, but I'm having trouble finding the question.  It is good practice to enter all source/ citation information that supports each fact, even if the support is of questionable surety.  Having the bad info mixed with the good provides the full panoply of information about the event, so long as you can distinguish in some way the surety level.  Yes, it takes a lot of time to enter all the data, but then when you sit back and contemplate the data, information sometimes emerges.  For example, I found a pattern of immigration from Scotland to San Diego in one family, without having letters from one urging the others to come soon.


If you could be a touch more explicit on your question, I'm certain the good folks on this forum will help!

#92953 Flags from TMG

Posted by JimDavis79 on 15 February 2019 - 03:57 PM in Discussion

JMK, I'm a former TMG-er, and evaluated all available software before settling on RM a few years back.  While it doesn't have some of my favorite TMG features (especially surety levels), these particular aspects made it my choice:

-- future development.  Not happening in TMG, happening solidly in RM, even though many highly desired features are not yet present.  We're all waiting eagerly for RM8.

-- open database.  SQL in RM vs. FoxPro in TMG.  You can directly manipulate your data if you can use SQL, and the database is not closed.  Perhaps there's a way to create custom facts to replace TMG flags and insert them with SQL.

-- this amazingly helpful forum.

#92865 Pedigree View - Arrange Name

Posted by JimDavis79 on 08 February 2019 - 08:06 AM in Discussion

Where do you want this arrangement to occur?  For example, mine shows FMiLast in Family/ Pedigree/ Descendants, LastFMi in People view/ Index/ Bookmarks/ Groups.  I can't find a configuration option that forces these to change, but maybe you mean in some other place where reconfiguration is possible.

#92452 Husband takes name of spouse

Posted by JimDavis79 on 13 January 2019 - 04:47 PM in Discussion

My family tree includes many "complicated" women who married multiple times (as many as six).  Divorce and spousal death documentation can be found for only about a quarter of those marriages.  My habit is to create an Alternate Name fact dated to match the available documentation and not to assume anything about names.  Those name changes then match the timeline of the documentation.


FWIW, my wife did not carry her maiden name into our marriage (I'm a Yank), and her biological father was unofficially adopted, meaning my wife's maiden name was not legally correct anyway!

#92037 Release Date for RM8

Posted by JimDavis79 on 12 December 2018 - 07:03 PM in Discussion

Hear, hear!  I'm a TMG emigré and programmed my own software before that.  Anyone ever hear of GeneLinks?  No one?  Ah, not surprising.  FTM was an intermediate step to RM7, but issues for me in FTM that made the step to RM7 a very happy stride.  From my distant cubicle, the API that Ancestry opens to developers is clunky.  Therefore, I maintain a separate tree in Ancestry, not linked to my RM7 database and use the hints in Ancestry to download sources to my desktop.  I do the same with FamilySearch, not liking that anyone there can alter one's tree.  Double-entry, to be sure, but this way I'm certain that my data is mine, as well as all mistakes!


Since TMG died because of its programmer's illness, I am concerned about the managerial and programming succession plan of Roots Magic.  I raised the topic with Bruce Buzbee in 2017, and was assured that succession was well planned.  I'll be glad of RM8, but I'm so far behind on entering information that it'll be a while before new features change my life.  Let's hope there are many years ahead of us for Roots Magic.