Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A GEDCOM File: One of the Ways to Share Your Genealogy Files



The above is the symbol for sharing...there is no symbol for GEDCOM and yet that is one of things you can do when you create a GEDCOM file from your own family file database.

Most people know that sharing genealogical information can be difficult. If one shares a paper family group sheet or a typed on, the chances of that information being retyped incorrectly, even accidentally is great. 

Back in 1984, GEDCOM was developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an aid to overcoming obstacles of sharing genealogical information with others.

GEDCOM stands for "Genealogical Data Communication" and is a simple plain text file that contains one's family information.

Over time, all genealogical software programs supported the ability to create a GEDCOM file within the features of that software program and became the standard for many years with some improvements along the way. There has been efforts to improve this file exchange but as of now it is still the industry standard. Wikipedia has a great article on it worth reading if one is interested in the history of this file format.

To create a GEDCOM in Ancestral Quest, one simply goes to "File" and "Export" and uses the menu box that comes up to choose what and what not to include in the actual export of the family file. This is how it looks:




Presently all the boxes are checked, but in reality one would need to be very careful of what to allow. For instance, unchecking "Full Info on Living" might be appropriate if you don't wish to share living information. "Confidential Data" and perhaps "LDS Data" should be unchecked depending on who one is sharing with.

Notice that one can also choose to only send a family or just a small amount of individuals by clicking on the "Partial" and then "Select" button. This would allow one to pick and choose only those in the family file wanting to be shared with that particular person.

"All" might be used if one was uploading their family file to an online database like Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com and any others. One would still have to be careful not to share "Living Information" especially without their permission.

From this point after you have made your selections, click on "Export" at this point you will given the ability to name your file and press "Export" one more time so it can create your file. The usual place that these files are saved in is "My Documents", however, you can change it to wherever you wish it to be saved.

Once this is created, it now can be shared either with another person or an online database as mentioned already.

That is how simple it is. Next week we'll discuss what to do with a GEDCOM file you receive.






Monday, October 13, 2014

Duplicates...Uploading whole Gedcoms is NOT a good thing











Many individuals have family files of their ancestors and want to make sure it is "added to the FamilySearch Family Tree" sharing is a good thing.

However, there are times when one needs to think about what they are doing. 

While individuals think it is an easy way to add their tree to Family Tree, if you use FamilySearch Family Tree, it is now done through the Pedigree Resource File program to prevent duplicates. Here is a link to those instructions.

Genealogical software programs like Ancestral Quest also allow you to upload your records but caution you to do this in small groups so as to prevent duplicates. Here is a screen shot of that menu:



The caption right on the menu states: 

While you can try to match all records in your current database with FamilySearch, it is recommended that you work with smaller groups of ancestors. To do this, use the Select options.

Again the reasoning is duplication. If there are individuals added to the FamilySearch FamilyTree they will have to be merged either by the one adding or another who will find it when looking for the same ancestor.

When you click on the 'Help' button, it will easily explain how to use this feature.

Think before you share "ALL" your ancestors and help to prevent duplicates in the FamilySearch Family Tree!

Remember Ancestral Quest is fully FamilySearch Certified!


Comments and questions are always welcome!


Happy Ancestraling...

Claire ;)

AQ Cues & Clues Blog:http://ancquest.blogspot.com/

(c) 1994-2014 Incline Software, All Rights Reserved
 gfindlay@ancquest.com




Friday, September 12, 2014

Setting Ancestral Quest Preferences
















Setting one's preferences can help to make your software just the way you like it. If you don't adjust anything, the program will run fine but just with the defaults set and one may never have known there were choices to change colors, display date styles, place styles and even the size of the fonts can be adjusted. 

Go to "Tools" and scroll and click on "Preferences" which will bring up the following screen:



This is the "General" Tab where you can adjust the colors, add an ID, RIN or Family Search ID to a name and turn on the LDS features. You can also tell it which type of date entry you would like, US or European.


Under the "Database" tab you can tell the program which person to start with or just have it go to the last person you were on. When you turn on the "Log Changes" it keeps a record of all the changes you make to the family file and can be exported to a text file. This is often helpful. There are additional search features here as welll as saying how you want backup files to be named.



The next tab we'll discuss for this blog is the "Fonts" tab.



Here are you are able to adjust the fonts for the various screens in Ancestral Quest. From the notes and sources to the menu screens, just click the dropdown arrow and pick the one you need to change. Once you click what you want to adjust click on 'Change' and you can adjust the actual size of the fonts to your liking.

We will tackle a few other tabs in a future blog, in the mean time, feel free to explore them and adjust what you can to have a customized program!

Remember Ancestral Quest is fully FamilySearch Certified!


Comments and questions are always welcome!


Happy Ancestraling...

Claire ;)

AQ Cues & Clues Blog:http://ancquest.blogspot.com/

(c) 1994-2014 Incline Software, All Rights Reserved
 gfindlay@ancquest.com

Friday, August 29, 2014

Correcting Spelling Errors in Those Places...



Often when entering places wrong spellings are typed. The "Quick Data Entry" doesn't know that it is a misspelling and can come up when you try to enter the correct information in for that particular place and either frustrate you or make it almost impossible to spell it correctly.

To fix this, simply go to "Edit" and scroll down to "Quick Entry Place List"




This will bring up the following menu where you will be able to fix those mis-spelled places:



Notice the choices you have, Add, Edit, Delete Name, Delete All, and Referesh.

You highlight the wrong spelled place and edit it or delete it if you already have a correct spelling in the list.

Hopefully this will assist those who are having problems with misspelled place names. Once you are done, just close out the file.

Remember Ancestral Quest is fully FamilySearch Certified!


Comments and questions are always welcome!


Happy Ancestraling...

Claire ;)

AQ Cues & Clues Blog:http://ancquest.blogspot.com/

(c) 1994-2014 Incline Software, All Rights Reserved
 gfindlay@ancquest.com





Monday, August 25, 2014

Open, Restore, Import....Understanding How and When to Use them


When working in Ancestral Quest it sometimes can get confusing as to how to access one's database of names, dates and places.

People have files that end in .paf, .aq, .ged, .zip, .aqz and wonder why they many not 'open' under an 'open' command.

The reason they many not open is that they need a different command to do just that. 

The "File" menu has this drop down where you will find all of the right commands to help you open up your database files:




The files that end in .paf and .aq will open up with File and Open and then locating that file, double click it and you'l have all your family file information right there.

If you have a .ged file, this is a GEDCOM file and needs to be imported into a blank database. So one creates a new database and then goes to File and scrolls to 'Import', clicks it and locates that .GED file and again double clicks it. Once that is done the file will import into that blank database file filling it up with whatever is in the GEDCOM file.

If you have a .zip or .aqz file, this is a back up file and needs to be restored. One needs to go to File and 'restore', clicks it and locates the zipped file and again double clicks it to restore your database files.

With the end goal to being able to access one's family database, it is helpful to use the correct commands depending on the type of file available and hopefully this blog has provided some help in doing just that!


Remember Ancestral Quest is fully FamilySearch Certified!


Comments and questions are always welcome!


Happy Ancestraling...

Claire ;)

AQ Cues & Clues Blog:http://ancquest.blogspot.com/

(c) 1994-2014 Incline Software, All Rights Reserved
 gfindlay@ancquest.com




Friday, August 15, 2014

Setting Your Preferences


Under the "Tools" drop down menu is where one can set some preferences with how they want their database to function. Once one scrolls down and clicks that option there is an array of tabs to choose from that allow changes to be made from the defaults that are pre-set in the program.

The first tab it defaults to in "General". Here you can say whether you want to attach RIN numbers or FamilySearch ID numbers to a person's name, have 'Quick Entry' set up which helps when entering in places as well as activating or not activating LDS features. Here is a screen shot:



You'll also note that one can adjust the color scheme and add a password if you wish. 




I usually don't use that password function as there are times one forgets and it is not that easy to retrieve it. Also note that there is a 'Help' box in case there is something under this tab that one is not sure how it functions. The "Help" function goes through each item and provides additional detailed information to help one decide whether to check it or not.

We'll cover the next couple of tabs in future blog posts!


Remember Ancestral Quest is fully FamilySearch Certified!


Comments and questions are always welcome!


Happy Ancestraling...

Claire ;)

AQ Cues & Clues Blog:http://ancquest.blogspot.com/

(c) 1994-2014 Incline Software, All Rights Reserved
 gfindlay@ancquest.com


Friday, August 8, 2014

Merging Duplicates Using AQ Intelligent Matching..


Merging individuals can be challenging if one is not quite sure how to proceed using this feature in Ancestral Quest.

Clicking on the Icon that looks like the one above will take you to the Merging screen which looks like this:




Taking a good look at this match/merge screen, one can choose how to proceed. In order to allow the program to find the duplicates, one can simply click on the "Enable Intelligent Matching" which will put a check in that box. 

You also can alter the way the program searches your database by clicking on "Options" which brings up the following menu or you can leave these settings as they are listed here:


The next step is to click "Next Match" which allows Ancestral Quest to search through your family files database and locate possible matches. Here is the first match it found from my own file:



Using the color coding at the top I see the entry that was on the left in Green and the entry that was on the right in Red, the Black shows what the resulting merge would look like in my family file database.

Looking close one can also see check marks and arrows. The "Legend" up in the right hand corner shows what those items mean:



If you want to change how the program is dealing with those items, one just clicks on the box and the mark that is in the box will disappear and that piece of information will just disappear. 

When you click on "Merge" the merge takes place and is reflected on the screen showing anything added to the notes or any changes to dates. The merge is now complete.

Clicking the next match allows you to continue with removing duplicates from your family file database and will continue to bring up duplicates until it finds no more. When done you simply click on "Close" and are returned to your program to continue with either research or whatever you wish to work on.

Take advantage of this great feature in Ancestral Quest to help you remove your duplicates!

Remember Ancestral Quest is fully FamilySearch Certified!


Comments and questions are always welcome!


Happy Ancestraling...

Claire ;)

AQ Cues & Clues Blog:http://ancquest.blogspot.com/

(c) 1994-2014 Incline Software, All Rights Reserved
 gfindlay@ancquest.com