Wednesday, April 2, 2014

FTM2014 - Response to 'You are bigger than your genealogy program

Dear MYRTLE published an interesting Blog Post

You are bigger than your genealogy program

to which I respond: YES. That is a reason why I share my experience with Family Tree Maker. I want to learn it I don't want to just "fill in the blanks", but want to get this program to work for me.

Like many, I started "just filling in the blanks" but I had learned as I started to "cite my sources". Didn't know why nor how, I just learned very quickly to be able to answer the "where did you get THAT information from". I am so thankful that I did.

Since the Source Templates were introduced to Family Tree Maker in FTM2010, I  have spent a considerable amount of time updating my Source information into the Template Format. The Templates in Family Tree Maker are based on Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace  I really didn't like the free formed citations that I had created. Printing a report was not a pretty thing. Using the Template feature changed that drastically. In this case, the program did the hard work, I just had to fill in the Blanks. 

I also have been part of two study groups, in the Dear MYRTLE Genealogy Community on Google+, where I have learned about the Genealogical Proof Standard with the book Mastering Genealogical Proof by Dr. Thomas W. Jones.  Between the time I started to research and now, I have learned much and how important it is to get beyond filling in the stories.

What I am trying to do is "make" Family Tree Maker "work for me".

For example, the blog post I did earlier

FTM2014 and Mastering Genealogical Proof - Chapter 4 Source Citations

I think I had been trying too hard. Using the Template feature and working with Evidence Explained, (the book), the Evidence Explained website and Facebook Page, I learned how to create Citations that are so much better.

As features have been added to Family Tree Maker, I have been able to follow other Genealogy tasks much better. Research Logs, Notes on about everything (bread crumbs), Citations in the Notes field, Citations on Media Files. Now I am able to use the "notes" field to generate the Stories or dialog WITH Citations about the person. I am moving the "research notes", from that field into the Research Notes field.

After all of that, I can generate reports or charts where those Notes aren't seen where the Stories should be. But, I can generate a To Do list, or Research Notes when ever I want.

My point here, is that I had to stop, slow down, redo a lot of work, so that I could get beyond the "fill in the blanks" mode that I started in, and learn (and still trying to learn) the techniques that we should be using, then learn how to use my program to "get the job done".

Hopefully, I have been sharing this effort with you, here.

When the Mastering Genealogical Proof gets a little further, I will have at least two more blog posts about other features in FTM2014 that helps me work beyond "fill in the blanks". But again, I had to work at this, both with the Program AND the other two resources. Not to mention the Conversation with my cousin, DearMYRTLE in the Dear MYRTLE Genealogy Community.
Copyright © 2014 by H R Worthington

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