Sunday, September 21, 2008

My "On This Date" Dilemma

For several reasons I've temporarily suspended the daily posting of my "On This Date" series of posts. Besides being inundated with job search stuff, etc., I found that my current genealogy database program (FTM 2008) did not let me easily create a custom report with this information.

So here is what I've been doing:

1. I created a Custom Report in FTM 2008 containing the ancestor's name, and then all relevant dates (birth, baptism, marriage, etc.).

2. I exported this report to RTF format.

3. I opened the RTF in Word 2007, and then cut and pasted the data into an Excel 2007 file.

4. In Excel, I was able to utilize the Filter function for each column with data and entered a text filter such as Contains = September 18. This would display the results that matched my data query. Then I had to sort the data in date order.

5. Next copy and paste the names and year into the Blogger post in draft mode.

6. Go back to FTM 2008 to determine my relationship to that person.

7. Enter the relationship info into the post in draft, format and then post.

Too much work. I'd love it if there were an add-on or widget to FTM 2008 that allowed you to create queries - any type of query such as "What happened on this date . . ."

I spoke to my cousin Midge Frazel (8 times removed) of Granite in My Blood on Skype the other day and we discussed my problems with generating a report with the data I needed. She mentioned that several years ago Wholly Genes had a program available for the Palm OS that allowed you to do these reports. And sure enough I found it: GedStar PRO.

Does anyone know of similar apps or add-ons or widgets that would work with FTM 2008? I'd even accept a third-party application which meant I had to import data I had exported out of FTM 2008.

Otherwise I'll need to do some programming and create an automated report from a GEDCOM (ugh) or from a Word RTF file. This is why I am such an open source application enthusiast: I'm pretty sure someone would have used the code from the original genealogy database application and created a widget for use free of charge.

1 comment:

Henk said...

In PAF you can create filters like "any date contains Sep 21", so this way you can skip the Excel step. You'd still have to do steps 5-7, though.