Using FamilyTreeMaker 2010

We’ll briefly cover getting started and then we’ll look at some less obvious aspects and review what types of output you can generate after entering your data.

Start in the Plan menu and select New Tree if it isn’t already selected. Enter the data asked for. When it comes to Place, to be consistent you can select the place from a list that will appear after you enter the first part of the name. The second part will be the county but if you don’t know what county it is, you can scroll through the list until you find the state and select that and it will include the county. When you press Continue you will be taken to the People Menu where you continue to add data by selecting or adding a person in the main pane and entering data in the right pane. Exhaust all of the data that you have and come back often as you do more research and get more data to keep the tree growing.

There are several options available at the top of the right window. The first is Facts where you can enter all of the factual information that you may have about the selected person. The second is Media where you can enter pictures, videos or audio about the selected person. The third box is Notes where you can save Research Notes and the fourth box is Tasks where you can list what needs to be done next.

To insure the integrity and consistency of your data, FTM offers several ways to cbeck what you’ve done. These are listed under Tools near the top of the People page. There is a relationship calculator that will provide the relationship between two selected individuals. It shows the relationship and the relationship of the people in between the two. You can select to view or print the result as a chart. A Global Spell Check will check the spelling of every word that it doesn’t recognize and offers suggestions. It does show where the word was found so you can see if it’s appropriate for the use. It can get tedious with all of the surnames that might be questioned. Another check is Resolve All Place Names. If you’ve imported your file from another program, chances are that your names will not match the names suggested by FTM which include the city, county, state and country. But you can use it if you want all names to be consistent. You can choose to use the name suggested, keep the name you have listed, tell the program to ignore it or call it a description rather than a place name. You can Convert Names to have the surname in caps or not. The scariest of all outputs is the Data Errors Report. You’ll find it under Publish, Person Reports. Errors may be due to incomplete data, incorrect data or improbable data but the list gives you items to research to make your data more complete and correct. You can choose whether to check errors for the selected person, his family or everyone.

Once you’re comfortable with what you’ve entered, it’s time to put the program to use in generating useful output. For that, you go to the top of the main window and choose Publish. In the left hand window you’ll see a list of nine categories of outputs that can be generated. By clicking on a category, you can see an example of what that output looks like. Here’s a brief description of what some of the charts and reports will contain.

Note that options to Print or Share are in the upper right corner and what appears depends on what the content is. Share allows you to export in PDF, Image or text formats depending on the type of chart or report. Exporting a text document such as a genealogy report in RTF format allows you to edit it and make it less stilted.

                                                                        Types of Output

Pedigree Chart: shows the ancestors of the selected person.

Descendant Chart: shows the descendants of the selected person.

Relationship Chart: shows the relationship of everyone in the database to the selected person.

Hourglass Chart: shows a selected number of generations of ancestors and a selected number of generations of descendants of the selected person.

Bow Tie Chart: Shows a husband’s ancestors on the left and the wife’s on the right.

180 Fan Chart: depicts a person’s ancestor in a fan shape which better accommodates the increase in size of each successive generation.

Family Tree Chart: shows a couple and a selected number of generations of ancestors.

The Vertical Pedigree Chart, Horizontal Hourglass Chart and Externded Family Chart: are re-oriented versions of charts previously mentioned.

Ebooks from the Library

The library now offers the loan of ebooks that you can have for two weeks and then they become disabled. There is a file on “Getting Started” that you should read as this is not as simple as just downloading an ebook from Google. Because the books are loaned, the library’s supplier, Overdrive, requires the use of Adobe’s Digital Rights Management that you have to sign up for. Once you obtain a user name and password from Adobe and download the Adobe Digital Editions software, you’ll have a place to store your books and the authority to read them. To transfer them to another device, ie ebook reader, you have to have Adobe authorize that device and then you can transfer files from one device to another.

There are, however, free to keep books from Project Gutenberg and others that you can download, read and keep forever without a library card. Scroll down the left column until you find a link, Additional ebooks Always Available. These books are older, out-of-copyright books and include many old classics.

Library Computers. The computer in the Special Collections room furthest from the door has the web site of the New England Historic Genealogical Society on it. It is called and an icon to connect directly to it has been added to the desktop (the blue page of available programs) on that computer. An icon on the same page on both computers has been added to provide a direct link to pastfinders’ web site.