Sunday, June 21, 2009

Changing from the Old to the New

I have been busy every month working on a project for an older gentlemen that wants to make sure his genealogy is all done before he dies. He has four very large volumes of books that he is having me check to make sure all their temple work is done. Thank goodness there was an old PAF database that I could resurrect, so I didn't have to manually type everything in.

Once I had an in tack PAF database it was nothing at all to import it into RootsMagic 3. Yes, I know RootsMagic 4 is available, and I have it. But, I wanted to use the old IGI feature. Every month I would work 20 hrs on this genealogy project. I would go through each page in the book, which is basically a bunch of family group sheets.

I would find the family in RootsMagic and then check each family member against the IGI. I would then copy any ordinances that were done. Those that were incomplete I would record in my TreePad program, where I tracked my progress. At the end of the month I would simply go through my list of individuals needing work done and prepare the names for Temple Ready. Since all the ordinances are being submitted to the temple it was then an easy matter of dropping a Temple Ready disk off at the temple and I could call it good.

Well, that was until new FamilySearch came into the equation. I live in the Mount Timpanogos temple district and we starting having to submit Family Ordinance Requests (FORs) from new FamilySearch (NFS) since the beginning of June. Since I had checked everyone against the IGI I was pretty confident I wasn't going to create duplication by taking my Temple Ready disk and uploading it into NFS and submitting the names to the temple.

I used my May Temple Ready disk as an experiment in learning how to do just that. What a mess. It appears creating an FOR out of a Temple Ready disk is easy, but not when you want to submit the names for the Temple to do. I wasn't sure what happened but I thought I would just take my Temple Ready disk over to the Provo temple and hand them in and call it good. I know really bad of me but I was lazy.

Several weeks go by and now I find out that the Provo Temple is or will be closed for cleaning and they will be on NFS and FORs when they reopen. Drats, I really blew it. In the mean time I have done another 20 hrs of genealogy for this gentlemen and have more names to submit. What am I suppose to do?

Saturday morning I awoke to a surprise when I opened up RootsMagic IGI feature. The church had put this notice on, so it showed up in RM too.

Oh dear, I think I have to change my old ways into new ones now. I love technology and learning new ways to do things. But for some weird reason I was not anxious about changing officially over to new FamilySearch. It was soooo slow, it would change my rhythm. I just didn't know if I could handle this. I had hoped I would have this genealogy project over by the time the change would take effect. One of my concerns was how would I submit these names under this gentlemen's ID and not mine. Last time I asked him for his membership number he told me to just do it under my name. I don't think he wanted to be bothered to go get it since he didn't understand totally why I needed it.

I wanted to get this project over with so I just decided I better import my RootsMagic 3 database into RootsMagic 4. I was not going to play on the new FamilySearch website because it just took to long. I hadn't used RM4 since the pre-release so using the Ordinance submission feature for NFS was new to me. One problem was not being able to sign in under this gentlemen's ID because number one, I don't have it and two, his would be read only access right now if I did. Second problem, RM4 doesn't have a feature to let you sign in as a helper for someone else. (It's in the works, but not available right now.) Ok, so I will just signed in as myself and submit things under my name. I guess it wouldn't be so hard to answer people's questions if they contacted me about this gentlemen's genealogy. I keep copies of everyone's genealogy that I have worked on.

As for any other problems using RM4, that was kind of it. My hurdle was accepting that fact, that I need to use my own ID, since there was no other option. Just grin and bare it. Then I started to do the actual work in RM4. Oh, my gosh it moves so much faster than the NFS website does. You find out so much more about a program when you use it in actual production than you do when your just kinda messing around in beta. The most surprising thing to me was how easy it is to submit the work for the temple to do. Just a few clicks and it's on it's way.

The first thing I am working on is the mess I made with my May submission. Surprisingly my submission to the temple actually worked earlier. I could see that some ordinances where already done and others in progress. I was happily transferring the new ordinance data into RootsMagic. I experimented getting into the NFS feature in RM from different access points. I could access NFS information in the Family View, Pedigree View, Descendant View and through FamilySearch Central.

FamilySearch Central is really cool. The "What's New" section tells me that there is new information on some of the people I synced with NFS. I could see how combining information on one person created more combining opportunities on other individuals.

I discovered after doing some combining that some of the work I had submitted previously was done - like years ago. Oops, I have been creating duplication, and I thought I had been good checking the IGI. Lesson learned and new process going forward. This has been a fascinating and insightful adventure.

I strongly encourage everyone to consider using one of the commercial programs to sync your genealogy database with NFS and submit your temple ordinances that way. I'll have to do my homework but I think RootsMagic is the only one that will currently lets you submit ordinances and create FORs for you. But I'm sure, Ancestral Quest, FamilyInsight and later Legacy will have that feature too.

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

1 comment:

Rebekah Martineau said...


Thanks for your insight into the difficulties of changing our routines and habits. Shifting paradigms is never easy, though normally so gratifying once we finally allow ourselves to do it. We are all creatures of habit, thanks for the encouragement to take the plunge and try "the new and improved way" and for the tips for making the transition easier on us all.