Notes from the past…


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A choice of genealogy programs

Some time ago I downloaded Family Tree Legends. Since it was free, why not? As I use Family Tree Maker vs 16 for my own database, I decided that I would use Family Tree Legends for my ex-husband’s family’s database. That way I could keep them separate, and not get mixed quite as quickly (it doesn’t take much, believe me!).

But the more I played around when his ancestors, the more I liked Family Tree Legends. For starters, I have never liked the way FTM handles sources. Too much repetition. And FTM also seems to distort “people” photographs. It’s fine with documents and photos of places or things. But the people just never look quite right. Also, the reports and charts that FTM creates are pretty standard and uninteresting. Why have I stayed with the program all this time? Habit, I think…and money. When I first started with my research, I downloaded the free Family Tree program available from Ancestry.com. I used it for a couple of years, then upgraded to FTM, which seemed to me to be pretty similar, just a bit more advanced. Easy learning curve, too!

Then when Family Tree Legends became available for free, I grabbed it, just because… But I continued to use FTM, mainly because I actually paid money for it, so I wanted to use it, just because…

But in the past couple of days, I have been seriously considering switching over. Family Tree Legends offers a “cleaner” interface, simpler documentation and the photographs are displayed without distortion. It also creates more reports and charts, which is important to me as I am trying to find the best way to display my data on this website.

The only problem that I have run into is in importing my data to Legends from FTM. Legends claims that it will import directly from FTM, or you can export the data to a .ged file, then import it into Legends. The problem with the direct import is that most of my sources didn’t make the trip! All the people and the images came through just fine, but not the sources. The .ged import brought all of the people and all of the sources, but no images.

What to do? I sent an email to the Legends support folks, but it is the weekend, so I haven’t heard back from them, yet. If the sources won’t come through, I’ll have to go with the .ged import and then add all the images back into the database. A big job, but nothing compared to all of those sources!

Some of the photographs will need to be re-done anyway, because of the distortion. Plus, I have acquired quite a few new images since I visited with some of the folks in my database, they need to be updated anyway.

I have about talked myself into the change-over. Thanks for being such an attentive audience!


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So sad

I was reading a post at Beyond Fiction, in which Ken discussed finding the death records at FamilySearch Labs’ Texas Deaths, 1890-1976 database of a set of twins born to his paternal grandmother in 1927. This inspired me to go back to the database to look for 2 infants that I knew to be buried in my great-grandparents’ plot in Oakwood Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas.

A little background: when I found out that my paternal great-grandparents were buried at Oakwood, I went to the cemetery one day to photograph their headstones. I had previously called the cemetery to find out where the graves were, but when I actually arrived at the cemetery, I could not find the locations. So I called the cemetery office again, and the lady I talked to apologized for the confusion, saying that the person who had given me the locations was a new employee and had given me the wrong information. No problem! Oakwood Cemetery was created in 1879 and as such is one of the oldest in the city. Many of Fort Worth’s “founding fathers” are buried there, so the search was certainly interesting even if I didn’t find my great-grandparents’ graves!

The lady looked up the information for me, and low and behold, the reason that I couldn’t find the graves is because they are unmarked. No headstones! That in itself is unsettling. There is just something fundamentally wrong with a grave that is not marked in some form or fashion. It’s like those people are now just gone forever and never even existed to begin with! Now I realize sometimes money is tight or there is some other valid reason, but everyone deserves a headstone!

The lady also told me something else about the graves that I didn’t know: there are also 2 infants buried there! I immediately called my dad and my cousin, and neither knew anything about the babies. Wow, a true mystery! I was eventually able to find out the name of 1 child, as she appeared in the 1920 census enumeration with the family, but was never seen again.

My cousin recently expressed an interest in getting a headstone, so I took him copies of all of my information, but we still needed names and dates for the infants.

So this evening I went to the FamilySearch Labs database and hunted around a bit, and there they were. The two infants of James Dixon Carr and Ruth Carroll:

Lella L Carr

This is the child I found in the 1920 census eneumeration. Her name was Lella L Carr, probably Lella Lorene, named after her paternal grandmother, Lella Lorene Dixon.

D Carr

D Carr. Hummm…. If the child was male, I would think the name was Dixon Carr, named after his father James Dixon Carr and the family of his grandmother, the Dixons of Marengo County, Alabama.

When I found these 2 records, tears quickly came to my eyes. How horrible to loose a child! And then to record the death with nothing but a surname. Infant Carr. It just seems so cold…

While this is an important breakthrough, it somehow doesn’t call for a Happy Dance.