Sunday, September 29, 2013

Genealogy Regrets - I have a few

While working on edits and repairs to my Yoho, Baker, Rine genealogy file I've been reflecting on how I got to this point and what it all means to me.

If my recollection is correct, I started working on genealogy about 1987 when I got a personal computer and installed the LDS program Personal Ancestral File (PAF).  Has it really been twenty-six years?

Staying With Personal Ancestral File Too Long

Now, as I am learning to use RootMagic5 for my genealogy, it's more and more evident that I stuck with version 2.31 of PAF too long.  The PAF program wasn't designed to produce a genealogy.  It was designed to support the LDS goal of gathering ancestral information for church purposes.  There was no provision for producing a Register report for example.  Another short-coming was the fact that, for no apparent reason, it was possible to develop a file condition called "cross linked notes."  In my experience it was never evident when this serious file corruption crept into a file.  LDS provided a standalone program to check file integrity and another to correct the cross linked notes.  My success with correcting this issue has been disappointing.

Failing to Document And Maintain Contacts

Over the years of doing genealogy I made many new friends.  Some graciously exchanged genealogy information with me.  I corresponded via telephone, snail mail and Email.  Without the willingness of others to share it wouldn't have been possible to compile information about thousands of people.  I regret that I haven't done a good job of documenting the contact information that would allow me to stay in touch.  Because I failed to cultivate and maintain the contacts it's difficult, in the Fall of 2013, to contact someone if I have a question or want to share information.

Dick Henthorn
29 September 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cemetery Place Name and Burial Date Issues

Burial Date Issue

Sometimes it's possible to determine the full date of burial from an obituary.  More often than not the cemetery name is found in the obituary but not the burial date.  My current genealogy program, RootsMagic5, has a field for storing information about the place and date of burial.

The way RootsMagic5 handles the burial date is driving me a little crazy.  I don't understand why the program doesn't assume that "burial" always follows "death" whenever the burial date I enter is incomplete.  In any narrative report I always want the death information to print out before the burial information.

There's a way to fix the problem, but it's very tedious.  There is a "Sort Date" field in which you can insert a date to control the order in which "events" display  So far, it seems to me, to be best to enter a date near the end of the month into the "Sort Date" field whenever I don't know the full date of burial. I use the 28th for February burials and the 30th for all of the other months.

If anyone else has dealt with this issue and can add to my understanding feel free to add your comments to this post.

Place Name Issue

It's my practice to record the burial place names in this manner.

Woodsfield, Monroe Co., OH, Pioneer Cemetery

I enter the cemetery name as the last item of place name information, rather than the first item.  I do this because I want all events that took place in a particular town or city to be grouped together in any sorted list of place name information.

Dick Henthorn
16 September 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Status Report - Yoho, Baker, Rine File

I'm working on a major project, trying to salvage my Yoho, Baker, Rine file, which was damaged while residing on my old desktop computer.

I've moved the file to RootsMagic5 on my laptop computer where I have been working on various edit projects for a couple of weeks. Some records seem to be beyond repair.  I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about the project, reminding myself to stay focused on what can be recovered rather than on what's lost.

The file consists of the following:

  • People - 52,195
  • Families - 18,995
  • Events - 54,969
  • Places - 4,900

From time to time I'll post comments about the project and insights I've gained into the RootsMagic5 program.

Dick Henthorn
12 Sep 2013