Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ancestor Chart Project

One of the charts in the Ancestor Charts book I'm extracting was shared by genealogy friend, Claude Burton. He is a member of the Yoho family via two branches in his family tree. The chart in the book shows five generations with only names listed for the fifth generation. Because I'd worked on Claude's family in the past I knew I had more than four generations of detailed information in my Yoho file. I decided that rather than typing the chart from the book I'd attempt to extract his family tree from the Yoho family Personal Ancestral File (PAF) version 2.31 which I still have on my desktop computer.

I created a GEDCOM file for the ancestors of one of Claude's children. Then I edited the GEDCOM to remove the paragraph place holders between the notes. I also did global edits to improve some of the place names. I added the abbreviation "Co." to the county names and spelled out the word "Cemetery" wherever I noticed that it was truncated. There were 1125 people and 203 marriages in the file I created.

I loaded the GEDCOM file into RootsMagic and used the Place Name list to do further place name edits. Testing after the edits revealed that in some cases an Ahnentafel chart for Claude's descendant included eleven generations. I usually think of a generation as thrity-three years. In this case that's 363 years of family history.

This was the first time I attempted to extract a small set of family information from my old PAF files by creating a GEDCOM for ancestors, rather than descendants. I do have lots of experience working with GEDCOM files. I'm pleased that I now have another way to salvage some of the genealogy I keyed over the years. Of course, once the data was loaded to RootsMagic I could just as easily generate a report on descendants as on ancestors.

Mr. Dickie
17/Jan/2010 9:49

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