18 May 2011

Database Adventures

I started my genealogy journey, about a month ago, using the free PAF software from Family Search. I knew that there were not going to be any updates and that there were things I couldn't do with PAF. So, I made the switch to Roots Magic, currently in version 4. Let me tell you, I am impressed! Particularly with the source capabilities! I can attach a source to each and every event for each person it applies to...love it!

I've also gone through and cleaned everything up a bit. Since I started with databases from my Dad and Troy's aunt I had some overlaps. I combined duplicates and made sure everyone was linked to someone. The last thing I did - well, I'm still working on - is cleaning up place names. There were all kinds of duplicates that were just spelled differently or had USA or United States but were the same place. I'm still going through and combining duplicates and updating everything but I am really excited that it will all be nice and clean an organized!

Another thing I'm really liking about Roots Magic is all the reports I can print. In particular, the to-do list seems really promising. I've already added a bunch of to-do's, like looking up particular microfilms or researching various questions that come up, and can't wait to really dig into it.

Oh, and Roots Magic lets you link up to Family Search and match to people in the church's records. So you can see when they have been Baptized, Endowed, etc. One thing I've discovered is that just about everyone has had these ordinances completed more than once! Wow, how great that we can now merge duplicates and have a more accurate and widely available record?!

So, here's what my database is like today:
  • People - 2079
  • Families - 705
  • Events - 8266
  • Places - 585
  • Sources - 18
  • Citations - 434
  • To-do tasks - 11
  • Multimedia items - 32

As you can see most events (births, deaths, marriages, etc.) don't have citations. Remember, I got these from others' databases and they didn't have sources. So far I've only cited about 5% of the events with a source...I have a lot of work ahead of me. I'll keep you posted on how the database evolves.

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