In December 2015, I ranted about how unhappy I was that Family Tree Maker was being dropped by Ancestry as a product. I did consider staying with Family Tree Maker 3 for Mac; however, I kept having problems the synchronization of my tree with Ancestry was corrupting my database. So, I decided to search for alternative products. I wished that Legacy Family Tree had a Mac version and I wanted Roots Magick 7 to have a real Mac product and not a runtime windows version. Besides the weird file locations (C: and F: drives), I never could get the fonts correct and details displayed in inconsistent ways. I tried several other products, Mac Family Tree, Reunion, and Heredis. I settled on Heredis and have used it for the past year but I’ve been having problems with it. When I zoom into some of my sources, the system crashes, sends a crash report to Apple (who is supposed to send it on to Heredis) and then allows me to restart. It seems that details that I cut and pasted from a website, which has several different fonts and hyperlinks seem to be the culprits. I finally decided to drop Heredis because of this and use something else for my 2017 research. I decided on using Roots Magic 7, exported my two large research files from Heredis to GED format, importing them into Roots Magic, then began working with them.
Then I received the notification that Family Tree Maker has been re-released by MacKiev. The upgrade from FTM 14 for windows and FTM 3 for Mac was free. I decided to upgrade and give it a try. I exported my two Roots Magic files to GED format then imported them into FTM.
Wow. I was immediately reminded of how much I liked Family Tree Maker Mac 3 when I reviewed it in December 2013. I began working on one of my projects, Project Drexl, and saw how nice it was to work with. Clearly designed for Mac, all the features worked. There were many features that Heredis didn’t have that I was really happy to have back, such as a calendar function. (For example, a calendar of all my ancestors who had birthdays in January.) Also, and probably the biggest thing, was that there are templates for sources that follows Elizabeth Shown Mills’ Evidence Explained. Linking sources to facts is easy. I liked navigation through family members a bit better with Heredis, but the FTM method is fine.
I haven’t tried to upload and sync my FTM files with Ancestry, yet; and I am not certain that I will do so. I may just upload what I have with FTM and then break the link. In any event, I’m hoping that Ancestry’s on-line tree isn’t the master of all.
So far, I’m very happy that Family Tree Maker is back and I am looking forward to using it over the next year or so. I think they may have gotten me back.
As many of you know who have been following my frustrations with software, trying to find the perfect tool to manage my genealogical research, I’ve tried many different products (Roots Magic, Mac Family Tree, Heredis, Reunion, and more). I use a Mac, and I’ve never been happy using a Windows product on my Mac using windows emulation products. I used Reunion 11 for several weeks and feel that I learned the good and the bad of it. The process for my handling sources and applying those sources to facts that I enter for individuals is really good. The bad, I’ve not been successful importing a GEDCOM file into Reunion and having the media associated with a source connecting properly. Taking the time to reconnect the media is time-consuming and frustrating. The other issue I had with Reunion was the reporting. What I like to do for my blog is have the software generate a fairly reasonable outline of an individual and then I can rewrite the outputted draft story of the individual into a form I like better and add other details. I found Reunion didn’t provide a particularly good draft story.
I recalled from my previous use of Heredis 2015 that it seemed to write a draft life story much better, because of that, I thought I’d give it a try again and I’m much happier with the results.
Although the GEDCOM export from Family Tree Maker and the subsequent import into either Reunion or Heredis seemed to be similar, reconnecting media to sources seems to be easier in Heredis. So, because of my experiences with both products, I’ve decided to return to using Heredis as my primary tool for managing my family tree.
Is it perfect, no, but it seems to be the best for me. The biggest negative issue is the complete lack of management of to-do or task lists. I can easily overcome that by using another program to do so. I have long used Evernote to document interesting information I find. I can readily adapt it to act as my to-do and genealogical tasks. Probably even better than most genealogical programs. I also can use vJournal (an Evernote plugin) to document my research activity. Again, probably better than research logs within genealogy software.
So, I think I have my solution. I’ll use Heredis as my Genealogy management software. It will relate my electronic media with my sources and relate them to individuals as appropriate. Then I’ll use Evernote to manage my to-do tasks. I’ll use vJournal for a research log which will store its information in Evernote. Finally, I’ll use Heredis to export reports that contain the basics of an individual’s life story and also provides the endnotes citing the sources of each item I rewrite using Microsoft Word. I think it is a good plan.
Marion Josephine Reed Roos Mowbray is the first individual I exported a biography sheet for and then rewrote it for my style of writing. Will I get better with it, I’m sure I will, but I’m happy with the results so far.
Marion Josephine Reed (Roos) Mowbray (1898-1977)
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 5
Marion Reed Roos (1920)
Alfred University Yearbook: Kanakadea 1920
Marion Josephine Reed Roos was born on 22 December 1898 in Buffalo (Erie, New York), USA, died on 3 September 1977 in Weymouth (Norfolk, Massachusetts), USA, aged 78[i].
She is the daughter of Edward H Roos(1856-1933), aged 42, and Christiana Roos(1860-), aged 38. She was the youngest of five children. The family consisted of four children (2 boys and 2 girls) all born in the five years between 1880 and 1884. Then was a 14-year gap when Marion was born.
Events in the life of Marion include:
In 1900, she was living with her parents and all four siblings at 364 Elm Street in Buffalo (Erie County), New York.[ii]
In 1910, she as living with her parents and just her youngest sibling, Lenora, at 636 Linwood Ave in Buffalo (Erie County), New York).[iii]
In 1917, the family appears to be just her and her parents, living at 584 Linwood Ave. Buffalo (Erie County), New York. Her father is listed in the city directory as a building contractor.[iv]
In 1918 Marion became a freshmen at Alfred University in Alfred (Allegany County), New York ) where she studied science.[v]
Alfred University is about 90 miles southeast of her home in Buffalo.
The 1920 Census reports her still living with her parents at 584 Linwood Ave in Buffalo (Erie County), New York and working as a grammar school teacher; however, she was still attending Alfred University, and was the Junior Class president and the editor-in-chief of the “Fiat Lux”.[vi], [vii] Because the 1920 Census was enumerated on 1 January, I believe Marion was probably home during the Christmas break, which would make sense.
She graduated from Alfred University in 1921 in Alfred (Allegany, New York), Alfred University.[viii]
She returned to living with her parents living at 584 Linwood in Buffalo (Erie County), New York) and was living there in 1923.[ix]
In 1924, she married Elmer Stephens Mapes(1898-1974), who was the son of James Mapes(1863-) and Myrtle E [Mapes](1869.[x] They were both 25 years old when they married. It is apparent that they met at Alfred University. Both were on the staff of the “Fiat Lux.”
By 1926, the couple had moved to Bristol, (Bristol County), Rhode Island.[xi]
In 1929, their first daughter (living) was born in Massachusetts.
The 1930 Census reports the couple living in Bristol, RI at 895 Hope Street. Elmer is the acting superintendent of schools, an amazing accomplishment for the 31-year-old Elmer.[xii]
Their second daughter (living) was born in 1934 also in Massachusetts.
Sometime in the 1950s, the family moved to Weymouth (Norfolk County), Massachusetts.
Marion’s husband, Elmer, died in 1974 in Weymouth, MA.
Marion died on 3 September 1977, in Weymouth (Norfolk County), Massachusetts.[xiii]
[i] Sources: Massachusetts Death Index, 1970-2003 (Other) – Social Security Death Index (Other) – Social Security Death Index / Marion Mapes – 039-16-3413 – Ancestry.com (Other) – Massachusetts Death Index, 1970-2003 – Ancestry.com (Other)
[ii] Source: 1900 Census / Buffalo Ward 6, Erie, New York; Roll: 1026; Page: 17B – Ancestry.com (Digitizing)
[iii] Source: 1910 Census / Buffalo Ward 20, Erie, New York; Roll: T624_947; Page: 4B – Ancestry.com (Digitizing)
[iv] Source: U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 / 1917 – Buffalo, New York, Page 1276 – Roos – Ancestry (Other)
My Search for a Family Tree Maker for Mac 3 Replacement
Part 1 of 2
Legacy Family Tree
I have long recommended Legacy Family Tree to my friends that have Windows. Their product only operates in a Windows environment. On a Mac that means you need to run Parallels, CrossOver, VMWare, or something similar that allows you to run Windows programs on a Mac. I used VMWare for a year or two when I switched to Mac. It allowed me to run all of my legacy Windows programs on my new Mac while I converted to using Mac programs. That way I didn’t have to replace all of my software all at once. I upgraded my Mac to a newer OS (operating system) a couple years later and found that my version of VMWare didn’t run on that updated OS. I had to do a paid upgrade of VMWare to continue using it or drop it. I only had one Windows based program remaining and buying a new Mac version of that program was less expensive than upgrading VMWare. If you have a Mac, have a Windows running program, and are used to Windows programs, I still recommend Legacy Family Tree as a solid solution to your Family Tree Maker for Mac dilemma.
Roots Magic 7
The president of my local chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society posted a sales notice regarding Roots Magic. I have long heard good things about Roots Magic. I went to their site and saw it was on sale for $20 instead of the regular $44.90 price – A sale too good to pass up. They also indicated they have a new Mac Version. I’m not big on “free” versions of software, so I bought the full version, installed it, and ran it. I quickly found out it isn’t an actual Mac version; rather it uses CrossOver as a Windows environment emulator. As such, it works like Windows software and not like Mac software.
I opened one of my smaller trees in Family Tree Maker for Mac and exported to a GED file. I then imported it into RootsMagic 7. Then I walked through each of the menu options and looked at what my options were. Some of the options I really liked, such as identifying the married name for a woman. Some of the options I didn’t understand, such as “general source, an individual source, and a family source. Some of my work didn’t import as I expected, for example my “to do” tasks, but I expected that. Those minor shortages were overcome by the some of the really cool features, such as generating the files for a website and creating a shareable CD.
As I expected much of my data was all over the place. I had descriptions in locations and many other problems. All in all, it will take a long time for me to clean up all of my files, sources, places, and individuals — A very long time.
I was looking at the Media gallery and under tools, found “fix broken media links.” I found the disconcerting Windows type of file system. The prompt didn’t allow me to select any directories so search so I had to search an entire drive. Not cool. I let it run for several hours and it seemed to have locked up. I gave up and hit cancel. It did give me the option to import what it had found thus far. Therefore, I was able to import 80 of the 133 media items that I had in Family Tree Maker for Mac. That said, I’m not positive if the 53 missing items were because of RootsMagic or because my Family Tree Maker file had already started corrupting – Probably the latter.
I adjusted the fonts and other settings to make it better for me and used it for a couple days. Roots Magic is a complicated program and I just couldn’t get the hang of it. There were times I felt like the tail was wagging the dog. That is to say, it seemed that the software was driving what I needed to do rather than my workflow being able to be documented easily by the software. Using Roots Magic really helped me understand how I like to work.
Painting by Henry Thomas Alken
As I mentioned in a previous blog posting (Jump Hunting and the Maine Register), it is like jump-hunting ducks. I decide where I’m going to go hunting, go there, and “bag” the available information. Then I clean it, cook it and eat it – analyze the information, extract the information, and incorporate it into my family history. I don’t like to eat things I don’t know where they came from. Likewise, I try to have every fact, event, and story in my family history clearly documented as to the source.
The bottom line is that after a couple days of working with Roots Magic 7, I just could not learn to love it. I can definitely see why many others use it, but I just couldn’t fit my jump shooting stratagy into it’s use. Between the complexity of the software and the Windows interface, I decided to abandon my Roots Magic test and begin my search for a Family Tree Maker for Mac replacement once again.
To be continued….
[By the way, if you are interested in converting from Family Tree Maker to Roots Magic 7 , now is the time to do it with their special FTM to RM offer of only $20.]