Saturday, November 14, 2015

Genealogy is about a lot more than collecting names and facts.  It is about research, analysis, organization, documentation, and more.  Ultimately, it is about putting all of those things together and writing.  I have joined the recently formed “Writing SIG” - a special interest group organized under The Austin Genealogical Society, ably spearheaded by Robin Raben who also edits the newsletter and is employed full time - Yikes! She embodies unbridled energy and the soul of a writer.

Last Thursday night (14NOV2015) Robin had found someone to speak to us about publication.  Sharon Foley, who has published multiple BIG genealogy books, shared with us her process/insights/tools/opinions/experience in doing so.  It was a life-changing moment, perhaps for more of us than just myself.  Her information had, in fact, as big an impact on me as learning about Tich Nhat Hanh and “present moment awareness” many years ago….(trust me, that was BIG!)

Perhaps I have not been alone in my struggle to find "the perfect" genealogy application.  In these last years, I have worked with Family Tree Maker (FTM), RootsMagic7 (RM7), The Master Genealogist (TMG) and Clooz3, and even downloaded Legacy8 because of its reported interaction with Clooz3.  Other than just taking a look at it, however, I didn't pursue Legacy8 because it seemed "just another  application" to learn and that would slow me down.  

Indeed, it might slow me down, and it is "another application", but it is not JUST another genealogy application.  Legacy8's publishing capabilities are a standout. The logical culmination of genealogical research is publication.  I liked what I saw.  Today I have gedcomed two genealogy files into Legacy8 and am working on getting up to speed as fast as I can.  I may, in fact, put the manual under my pillow tonight and hope for an Edgar Cayce-like miracle of knowledge transfer. 

The thing about any application, particularly a genealogy application, is that I can't really get a feel for it until I start to use it.  There are so many considerations - ease of input is first, but there needs to be  logical transfer from one information group to another.  The visual display of associated information is another key factor. So far, I like what I am seeing. The first Gedcom worked beautifully.  (God and the Universe should put major blessings on not only the person who created the gedcom concept and process, but also the interim geniuses who have kept it the little miracle that it seems to me to be.)  I found the Repository and started inputting some Source information.  I edited family members whose names were flagged to indicate a problem.  I changed the family display so that the children's vital information shows, not just their names when I look at a family view....And it has been pretty easy.

I've thought about writing more about this journey with Genealogy.  There are a bazillion things to discover and equally as many to learn,  I'll keep you posted....

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