Thursday, January 27, 2005

More on Family History

Here's my thinking through the problem of verifying information in a GEDCOM. I think I must be making this harder than it is.

So there are 2 problems:
  1. Identifying the ancestors I want to verify. This is neither every one in the GEDCOM nor everyone in the book of remembrance. It would also be nice to verify an ancestor and his/her spouse at the same time. There are around 200 people I'll need to look at.
  2. Correcting the information - this includes birth, death, and marriage dates plus adding in the references where the information came from.
Possible solutions:
  1. In PAF, I could generate a list of ancestors, print it out, and go through it, checking each person and their marriage on the computer as I come to it.
  2. The problem with working off the PAF list on the computer (and not printing it out) is that while I can edit personal information, I can't edit the marriage date. I guess I could go through the list and verify all personal information, then do a second pass and verify marriage information and add in references.
  3. Print out the family group sheets and go through them with a red marker. Then go through and enter the info into the computer. This could use a lot of paper.
  4. Create a GEDCOM of just the people I want to verify, then go through it. The disadvantage with this is that the information will have to be merged back into the original GEDCOM file and I don't know how bad that would be.
  5. Check out other free family history programs. I know there are some that are database backed, so in theory I could do the query and get a useful list of people. The only issue is that I want to make sure that I can get a GEDCOM back out. I can't imagine that I couldn't, but who knows.

1 comment:

Amy Stone said...

You know, GEDCOM's are great, they can give you all kind of useful data without much typing. Unfortunately they can give you all sorts of useless data without much control. I never "dump" information into my PAF. Even if it takes me a whole lot of extra time I will either download very small pieces and add them in carefully or I will just type the information in the long and hard and time consuming way. You are wise to be cautious. Keep on documenting!