Adding Names in Family Tree Maker

Name Editing Window in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2Storing names in genealogy software seems simple enough at first glance, right? While Family Tree Maker makes it comparatively simple, it’s still a bit tricky when adding name variations, AKAs, suffixes, titles, and multi-word surnames.

Learning how to enter names will speed your evidence capture so you can focus on the fun family history activities: research, analysis, and storytelling. Those fun bits will be easier too! All the information and evidence will be organized.

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Where are Notes About Facts in Family Tree Maker 2010?

Notes attached to characteristics and events (so called facts) are a good place to store proof statements and arguments. Strangely, these are not enabled by default in Family Tree Maker 2010. In this video I show you how to enable fact notes and provide some valuable tips about how these notes export in GEDCOM format. I also show you where the same type of notes can be found in other PC and Mac genealogy software. This may make it easier to figure out which notes go where when importing a GEDCOM in Family Tree Maker 2010.
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Mailing Addresses in Reunion 9 for Mac

Reunion 9 for Mac can store contact information for people in your family files. Mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and web addresses can be stored for individuals and families. Contact lists can be generated and the information can be included in reports such as a family group sheet. You can even copy the information into and out of Reunion for use in other software.

I demonstrate all this and more in this video from the MacGenealogist Archives, Storing and Using Mailing Addresses in the Reunion for Macintosh Genealogy Software.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.

Here’s a Way to Quickly Enter Data About Children in Reunion 9

When you have genealogy data about children to enter into your family file you can accomplish the task fastest by using the batch entry and editing window of Reunion 9. Name, gender, status, birth, and death information can all be edited in a tabular form on one window, which is much faster than editing each child separately. The time saving gets even bigger when you’ve got more than one child in a family to add or edit.

This video from the MacGenealogist Archives, shows you the various ways to access the feature and how each option works. If you’re not using this feature you’ll want to dig right into this screencast. If you are using it I still suggest you watch the video to ensure that you aren’t missing out on any of the details.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.

Extra Commas in Place-Names

Many MacGenealogists noticed my use of “extra” commas in place-names while viewing the Speed Names screencast. A number of viewers were so curious that they asked why I include them. I chose to write the answer as an article so that those who were not bold (or curious) enough to ask could also be informed.

As we know, the commas in a complete place-name separate the individual elements of the name: city, county or province, state or region, and country. As eagle-eyed viewers noted, I include them even when a part of a place-name is unknown or not specified by a source. So if all except the city is known there is an empty, leading comma like this:

, Washtenaw, Michigan, USA

If the all names except the county is known the entry will be:

Ann Arbor, , Michigan, USA

Where only the country is known you’d see:

, , , USA

And so forth.

I find that this practice eliminates some errors, for example mistaking a county name for a city name. Ambiguity in genealogical documentation can cause wasted time and possibly money. And wasted time delays achievement of our research goals—something none of us wants! The extra commas are simply one my methods for preventing errors I would otherwise undoubtedly make.

Using Ditto Shortcuts to Enter Surnames and Place Names with One Keystroke

How efficient are you at entering surnames and place names in genealogy software, Reunion 9 for Mac? Did you know you can enter even very long names in only one keystroke? You can with the ditto shortcut feature and a little help from me.

The help comes by way of this video from the MacGenealogist Archives, Using Ditto Shortcuts to Enter Surnames and Place Names in the Reunion for Macintosh Genealogy Software, in which I show you how to master this efficiency feature. I also share a couple gotchas, so you’ll want to watch this short video even if you already use ditto shortcuts.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.

How to Track Residences in Reunion 9

In a recent screencast about switching views, MacGenealogist Warren noticed that I had some residence data displaying in a field called “Reside.” He asked in a comment (I love that) if I would explain how to populate that field. Rather than explain, I recorded this video (now part of the MacGenealogist Archives): How to Track Residences in Macintosh Genealogy Software Reunion 9 for Mac, to show Warren and you how to track residences in your family history data.

Please pull out a source document that places a relative at a certain location at a specific date, open Reunion 9, and follow along.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.

Date Format Secrets in Reunion 9

I love it when I get questions from my fellow MacGenealogists. It helps me to produce content that will be helpful. Chances are that if you have a question, others have the same question. Dwaine asked this question in a comment yesterday:

When I first started doing research into my family tree, I opened folder using heading such as Births, Deaths etc. In the folder I filed the information under dates the occasion occurred on as follows: If the Birth occurred on January 11, 1940 the file name would begin with 1940 01 11. All subsequent earlier dates would appear in order after this date and, of course dates previous to this dated would also appear in order, low to high, before the January date. Can this format on dates – 1940 01 11 be used instead of Jan 11 1940?”

There are five patterns of date formats that Reunion 9 supports. There are also options for characters to separate the parts of the date (ie. day, month, and year) as well as the case, abbreviation, and display of the month (literal or numeric). Finally, there is a setting for the default century. Making a change in to this preference panel will automatically change how dates display throughout the software.

The preference pane is small and packed with powerful options. I recorded this video from the MacGenealogist Archives: Date Format Secrets in Macintosh Genealogy Software Reunion 9 for Mac, to explain it all for you. Have a look at the video. Do you prefer a different setting?

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.

Here is a Method That is Helping Reunion 9 Users Deal With Unknown Birth and Death Dates

Do you have unknown birth and death dates in your Reunion 9 family file(s)? If you do, then you understand how those holes can impede your family history research. It’s easier to find information when the date range is constrained. When a death date is not known, it is helpful to use the burial date as the upper date limit. Similarly, the christening date (give or take a year) can be substituted for the birth date. Sure, you could try to remember to check for a burial date when the death date is unknown, but why bother when the software will remember for you?

Reunion for Mac 9 has a feature appropriately called “substitute events.” It will automatically substitute one event for another if the later is not populated. The substitution can be displayed where short dates are used, such as the family card and pedigree chart. Don’t worry. The substituted date is prefixed by an abbreviation, so it won’t be mistaken for the birth or death date.

Please launch Reunion 9 and play this video from the MacGenealogist Archives: Substitute Events in Macintosh Genealogy Software Reunion 9 for Mac. In it, I’ll show you how to make the necessary changes and how the substitute events display.

GenealogyTools Members, download this video to your computer for your private use.