Censorship on ReunionTalk Forum?

This week I had been contributing to a thread on the ReunionTalk forum about the wish to be able to link multimedia to events and citations. Some of my posts are disappearing shortly after I enter them!

In response to a specific question I provided details about how Reunion’s citation feature is limited in comparison to what the GEDCOM standard and other leading genealogy software support. I also pointed out that due to Reunion not supporting multimedia and quality assessments linked to citations, that data is discarded without warning, when one imports a GEDCOM.

After posting in the thread I viewed my post in context so I know it was there. A couple hours later I went back to see if there was a response and found my post had mysteriously disappeared! [Read more...]

Your Source and Citation Information Is In Danger

Today I finished methodically testing which source and citation information reliably survives GEDCOM import and export. It’s not a pretty picture! A mere five of fourteen key GEDCOM tags are safe across the nine leading genealogy software packages I tested.[1] Fortunately, the ones I previously identified as essential to source citations are among them.

Why You Should Care

The ability to move your family history data from one application to another is important. Even if you have no intention of changing software or sharing your research you ought to be concerned. It’s entirely possible that the person or people that inherit your research will choose a different package. They may load your data and probably won’t even know they lost anything in the transfer. Well, that fate needn’t be yours if you know where you can safely store information.

What You Can Do

This research is part of the work I’ve been doing to create the very first GenealogyTools ebook and video course: Practical Citation. After completing the course, you will be able to safely and confidently record sources, citations, and quality in your genealogy software without having to consult a book or quick sheet. Say “goodbye” to uncertainty about citation templates and formats.

Notes

[1] I tested Family Historian 5, Family Tree Maker 2012, Family Tree Maker for Mac 2, GEDitCOM II, Legacy 7.5, MacFamilyTree 6, Reunion 10, RootsMagic 5, and The Master Genealogist 7.

On the Future of Custom Reunion Source Types

Have you wondered what happened with the Reunion source types I had been creating? Let me tell you what happened.

As you’ll recall, I created custom source types based on guidance from “Evidence Explained” (EE) (see “source types” in the Reunion Tutorial Index). I also shared the process I devised for customizing Reunion source types. You may also recall that I revisited a couple of those customized source types to improve them.

That was the first sign of trouble, yet I pushed on because there was interest. Then two things happened: [Read more...]

What Genealogy Software Do We Recommend?

When I tell people I don’t recommend Family Tree Maker for Mac 2, they often ask what I do recommend, which is understandable. But I really can’t recommend a genealogy program for other people without knowing what their requirements are. You must first decide what your priorities are. Then you can check on the web to see which programs meet your requirements. You can use Ben’s Feature Comparison Table or FindtheBest.com to find the features you need (but take the Smart Ratings on the latter with a grain of salt). GenSoftReviews.com lists lots of genealogy programs, although not all of them have reviews. But see Tamura Jones’ article, The Most Important Genealogy Software Feature. [Read more...]

Family Tree Maker 2010 for Mac Version 19.2.1.241 Released

Launch your copy of Family Tree Maker for Mac to get the latest update. It’s apparently loaded with undisclosed bug fixes and enhancements. Here’s what the upgrade dialog lists:

  • Numerous stability fixes were made
  • Child sort order is shown correctly in reports
  • Added support for GEDCOM 5.5.1
  • Numerous other fixes and enhancements

It’s unfortunate when professional software developers can’t or won’t provide detailed lists of fixes and enhancements. Ancestry is not alone in this and there are some companies who do this well (like RootsMagic). While it’s good to know that GEDCOM 5.5.1 is supported and that the child sort order is fixed in reports, it’s of virtually no help at all to know that “numerous” stability fixes and enhancements are in a release. Come on! You know what they are and if you don’t you shouldn’t be publishing software. Please list them so that we can see if the problem fixes or features we desire are present in updates to our genealogy software.

Is Family Tree Maker for Mac Too Expensive?

“Why is the Mac version of Family Tree more expensive than the Windows version?” I’ve read the question in the comments here and on Twitter. Here’s the scoop and thanks to GenealogyTools member Roger, the secret to a significant discount:

The Mac version price is higher because in bringing Family Tree Maker back to the Mac, Ancestry have had to pay to convert the program (a process called porting). They’ve got to pay for this expense and let’s face facts, Mac using genealogists are a tiny minority. That means the cost is spread across a much smaller group so the price will be higher.

We can complain, but it won’t do any good. We can refuse to buy it in protest, but that may simply lead to them leaving the market again. I think it’s better for us to have more competition. That’s why I welcome Family Tree Maker to the Mac.

On to the secret to a greater discount.
[Read more...]

The Dangers of Judging Reliability by Source Presence

Relying on sources as a soundness indicator in genealogy is like trying to understand a court case, but only having the witness list and the verdict. Sure you’ll know the outcome and you’ll know who was called to testify, but you won’t be able to understand why the decision was made. You won’t know what was asked nor what answers were given by whom. You won’t have a sense of the veracity of the testimony. And you won’t be able to get your own sense of whether the right decision was made. It’s the same thing with genealogy.
[Read more...]