Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 6

It's been like pulling teeth this week to make myself get on New FamilySearch. I don't know why? Maybe I'm lazy or maybe the site is so slow it doesn't seem appealing to work on it. I transcribed the minutes to the UVPAFUG May meeting on New FamilySearch Synchronization Options: with Ancestral Quest, Family Insight and RootsMagic and I think I'm spoiled now. You can read the full minutes here.

The minutes are great but you really need to SEE the demonstration. The DVD presentation of this meeting is available to members on DVDs #142 & 143. It is interesting to watch and see how three different companies have decided to present their ability to sync with NFS. All have a different flavor and I am sure everyone will find one method to their liking. Legacy wasn't there because they were in the middle of rolling-out Legacy 7 and they had not prepared anything for NFS yet.

Here is a little synopsis of what I think.

Ancestral Quest - Gaylon Findlay has developed massive amounts of screens to show massive amounts of data. Appeared to be the most comprehensive but also the most complicated. You can use his program with your current PAF database or with Ancestral Quest. Ancestral Quest is 95% PAF anyways - with some enhancements that were sorely needed in PAF.

FamilyInsight - Which is the successor to PAF Insight was developed by John Vilburn. John has delivered his NFS sync using the same layout that PAF Insight users are familiar with. If you have used PAF Insight I think FamilyInsight will be very intuitive for you to use. He also has a neat freebie tool that he will be making available to everyone on his website called "GetMyAncestors". I think of it as the NFS way of making a GEDCOM, without the GEDCOM. You can download information off of NFS, way cool! Then I found out the other developers have the same feature but you have to buy their program to use it. Great marketing tool John!

RootsMagic - Now this is the one I was most interested in. Most of you know I switched to RootsMagic because I had this feeling it would interface better with NFS than all the others. I like how Bruce Buzbee's brain works. Lots of information in very uncluttered screens and very user friendly to boot. RootsMagic has "FamilySearch Central" where you can see in one easy snapshot all the stats you want to know about NFS and your database. Just loved that! It seemed to work faster than the other programs did too. I asked Bruce about his screens for notes and sources and he said they weren't ready for prime time yet but he will have them. RootsMagic did appear to be the most logically laid out and the easiest to use.

Now that I had a taste for what was coming, in working with new FamilySearch, it is so hard to go back to just working in NFS alone. Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled but I will try to overcome that.

The first thing I noticed when I logged into NFS was this notice:
New FamilySearch will be down for maintenance on June 29th and 30th 2008.
I have to remember that because I like to work on NFS on Monday evenings. Which by the way I haven't done for several weeks now and we are into week 6 already. I'm working on being flexible, what can I say.

Last week I had submitted a request to claim my father's (who is living) legacy contribution. I haven't had a response back yet on that. It did say it could take 4-6 weeks and it really hasn't been a week yet so I'm not too surprised there.

I also put in a suggestion last week that they show my contributor information instead of just my name on the legacy contribution I claimed of my mother. I had this comment on my blog regarding that suggestion.
It is a known error that claimed submissions do not have any contact info. They are working on that.
Thanks Anonymous, it's nice to know they are working on that.

I had also thought very excitedly last week that I had a new found relative on NFS. I emailed Bill Stephens and found out he was the FamilySearch Support missionary helping me work on the issues I had with my chosen summary listing showing correctly. He didn't cover his tracks so that's why his name was appearing. I was so disappointed that he wasn't that long lost member relative I had dreamed of.

So with all this I did get onto NFS tonight and work on my family. I decided that since I don't have my rights to my father's legacy contribution I would continue to work on my mother's line for now. There went my theory to print out a four generation pedigree chart and work on everyone on it before preceding to a new pedigree chart. Being flexible can really get tiring when your a very organized person to a fault.

I worked mainly on my Bentley/Scranton line. I did notice while looking at possible duplicates some potential relatives that I need to look at closer. Every time I get in NFS I find something new to look into a little further. I gives me great research ideas while going over my families.

I found no knew bugs or any feedback that I needed to submit. It felt like I was moving around faster in the program. I don't know if it was the internet, FamilySearch, or that I'm getting more familiar with things. Kind of picking up a rhythm. I also found one little short cut that appears to be helping. Instead of looking at all the contributors under each event I just look at the contributor of the sex for the individual. That seems to give me everyone that contributed anything on the file in the old databases. I'm sure there are times it won't but it was accurate tonight. That is saving me time. Unfortunately I still seem to be the lone voice submitting work on that line. Maybe someday soon I will find a living kindred spirit out there.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

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