Genealogy Wise

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Got some questions on Family Tree Maker for you. My Mom, who passed away a few years ago, had FTM version 8.0. I have the installation CDs and a ton of extra CDs (1881 British Census, 1880 US census, and whole bunch of other CDs). I also have two FTM files (Barrett - Dad's side of the family, and Wright - Mom's side) and some Bio files. I guess these are my basic questions:

1) What does it take to "dip my toes" into this hobby -- could I just install the version I have and see what's there or should I upgrade to a newer version. If so, wouldn't I need version 8.0 installed anyway to upgrade it? And would that new version be able to read the v8 files?

2) If I didn't want to install it, is there a way to get the information Mom collected into a website or uploaded to a larger collection where it might link into other people's research? Would there be a cost to maintain that online? Could other people view it as well, like my family?

I really don't want to evaluate all the genealogy websites. I'm looking for someone who has done this and already knows what to do and, more importantly, what not to do. I don't want to lose all Mom's hard work -- she was very good at genealogy research. She volunteered for a long time at the Family History Center (a Mormon library and branch of the Family History Library) in Columbus, GA. Mom volunteered with the genealogy library because she loved it so much and spent almost 20 years there. She also ran a small research consulting business in her spare time.

I'm pretty sure the information she collected on our family is very accurate. She was very meticulous and triple checked everything. She found a direct link to a Civil War soldier and that's how she got into the Daughters of the American Revolution. She also found a direct link from our family to Pocahontas, strange as that may sound.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any help or suggestions you can provide.

Thanks in advance,
Joel Barrett

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I checked out entering a Family Tree in Ancestry.com. I don't see how to upload a GEDCOM file to it. Also, when I looked at "Ancestry Hints" for each of the people I added, the only way I could gain access to that information was to subscribe to Ancestry.com. Interesting stuff but still hasn't convinced me to pay for it. I'll have to check out WorldConnect/Rootsweb.com further too.
Is it true that once you have uploaded your tree to Ancestry.com that you loose control over the information so if you wanted to publish it at some point the copywrite laws come into play?
I found this on Ancestry.com:
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Ancestry, Ancestry.com, and Ancestry World Tree are trademarks of MyFamily.com, Incorporated. OneWorldTree is a service mark of MyFamily.com, Incorporated. Only the compilation of information contained within the Ancestry World Tree and the OneWorldTree service is copyrighted. This copyright does not apply to your individual GEDCOM file nor does it limit you from publishing, selling, giving, or otherwise distributing for commercial or non-commercial purposes your own family information as you see fit.
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I think that should address your concerns.

Joel
What i did to find genealogy sites to upload to was to google "Genealogy Sites" and did some looking before i decided. Ancestry does cost for their services but there are plenty of free sites out there. You need to just pick one that suits your needs and is easy for you to use.

Mike
I would very much suggest that you buy or borrow a recognized genealogy "how-to" book. As you absorb that materials, go then to whatever sources you have. Always remember that use of the internet is in no way different from the older search techniques. The net is to the advantage of all of us, mostly because of the speed at which yiou may gain results. Simply stated; pick an ancestral family, commence your net efforts just as - in the same order - your how-to book suggests and
skip no chapters. Family genealogy must be taken as a whole, not in scraps and pieces.

If you accomplish that as to any family in which your folks worked, their efforts, no matter in what format, will be much more clear for you..

Good luck

Paul (www.DrakesBooks.com)
I've got tons of books from my mom's collection but I really don't want to get into this as a hobby (at least not right now). I really don't have the time nor inclination to do that right now... I just want to share and maintain the information Mom found so that others can benefit from it and I'm trying to figure out how to best do that with the files she left me.
In the least I would say install the program and go through her data. If you're anything like me, just following the trees is an interesting exercise to see names, locations, occupations, etc. A printed tree is an interesting conversation piece and doesn't require a lot of time. You can decide if you want this as a hobby later ;-)

I can't speak to uploading the data too much. FTM works with Ancestry.com and you could send the data up to their World Book (someone correct me if that's changed) but again that gives it to them and not to the general public. Does anyone know if the output from FTM would be HTML friendly? Or if a newer version gives better options for export to the web?
I checked Ancestry.com and the only way to subscribe and use their services is by paying a fee. While it looks like Ancestry.com (and their child companies) "own" the Internet's genealogical services, I don't think I'm willing to part with that much cash just to post our family tree online. So, I'm looking for alternatives to that because $20 a month or $156 a year isn't going to cut it.

I was thinking that FamilySearch.org (from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) might be a good place to post it since they take GEDCOM formatted files and everything online is free and accessible to others. My mother volunteered for the local Family Research Center (which offers free access and help to whomever asks) so this could be a good way for her to "give back" since it wasn't easily available back then. I was wondering if anyone has any comments about using their service -- good or bad.

If I were to use FamilySearch.org, the only thing I'd have to do is load up FTM v8 and export the current FTM files to GEDCOM format and then make sure they comply with FamilySearch's requirements to submit them. That seems like a relatively time and cost effective way to get done what I want to accomplish but I'm open to any other suggestions and comments.
It does not cost to upload a tree to the Ancestry Tree, it only costs if you want to subscribe to their databases. One reason I like my tree on Ancestry, I can attach the records I find on Ancestry to people in my tree. At this point I don't have a subscription to Ancestry, because of my financial situation. I hope to be able to resubscribe with the annual membership soon, but if not I'll try a month subcription every once in a while, instead. Even though I'm not subscribed right now I can still access most of the records I've already attached to my tree.
Kathy

For myself the "high price" of Ancestry's subscription services is worth it as I am unable to travel much, and I've gotten a lot from their site. If I traveled more I may not be as enthused, I don't know.
Kathy
Thank you Kathy for your information. I didn't realize I could keep all my information there if I didn't continue my subscription. They don't make that very clear. Obviously they want you to subscribe to the service but they certainly don't make it easy to understand what you can get after your free trial ends and you unsubscribe. After some digging, I did find this:

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Ancestry supports members with their family research after they have canceled their paid subscription. If you have canceled, you will continue to have access to a number of the free resources of Ancestry as a registered guest. Among other things, registered guest access includes certain community features such as message boards, a limited number of databases, and the Learning Center.
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Here's what a Registered Guest account gets you:
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To use any of the features on Ancestry, a user must have at least a Guest registration. As a Registered Guest, a limited number of resources are available at no cost. These can be created by providing a first and last name and an email address. Registered Guest accounts have been put in place to allow members to:
1. Access certain free databases (1880 U.S. Federal Census Index; WWI Civilian Draft Registrations; and so forth)
2. Use the Personal Member Trees feature in any of the following ways.
* Build a personal member tree, whether from scratch or by uploading a GEDCOM file (More info on Personal Member Trees here:
* Share your Family Tree with family or friends
* View another user's Family Tree if you received an invitation from that tree's owner
* Respond to someone who contacted you, requesting permission to view your Family Tree
* View any record linked to a Family Tree to which you have been invited, provided the person owning that tree has some kind of paid account on Ancestry
* View any photos attached to a Family Tree that you have been invited to view
3. Email members who have chosen to share their email address publicly.
4. Respond to any email sent, even if sent via an anonymous user in the Connection Service.
5. Post messages on the Ancestry Message Boards (and otherwise participate in the general Ancestry Community).
6. Access valuable family history resources in the Ancestry Learning Center.
7. Download, install, and use the Family Tree Maker 2005 Starter Edition. (Click here to download this free software now.)
8. Get a free genealogy newsletter.
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Thanks!
Joel
hi joel, i'm terribly sorry for your loss. genealogy isn't a hobby, it's an addiction, one your mother embraced lovingly and devotedly. you are so blessed to have the benefits of her years of hard work, many have nothing but a name to get them started.

if your mom has gedcom files already then you could use them to upload into a site like ancestry. since i don't have a website and don't deal with anything other than ancestry and now this site, i don't have much more to offer you. since you say you backed up all her work, then you should install the version of FTM you have and upload her files into it. once that's done, you can then upload them to ancestry.com. i don't think you have to be a member there to upload your files.

however, it sounds like your mom was truly dedicated to her family lines, so i'd bet she's already preserved them by adding them to ancestry and perhaps other genealogy sites. since i don't have anyone in my family who's into genealogy, that's what i've done. that way if any of them or the grandkids get the bug the information will all be there for them.

i wish you much luck and happy hunting, joel. your mom left you a wonderful legacy that you can preserve for your chidren and granchildren. you're a blessed man.

best,
Jann
Mom was very, very thorough in her research and spent lots of time triple checking facts and writing and re-writing things into different books and notebooks. However, she was not so great at working on the computer. Of course, this is a woman who started working on computers when she was in her mid 60s and then really didn't get a decent computer for genealogy work until she was 68 when I gave her my first computer (a 286 running the first version or two of FTM). We eventually upgraded her to a 486 and then to Pentium running FTM version 6, 7, and eventually 8 and that lasted her until she passed away in 2004.

Most of her genealogy research was done by hand, except for the letters she wrote requesting information on our family lines. She'd do all the research, enter everything on paper by hand and then, when everything was perfect, that's when she'd enter it into FTM. She said she did it that way because she said, rightfully so, that she didn't trust computers. (We had a couple instances of hard drive failures but she was very good about backing things up, just like I taught her, so she rarely lost anything digital.) She never got around to adding anything online but we discussed it often. I'm sure she never entered anything into a database because we never got around to talking about how to convert FTM files to GEDCOM files and there weren't any GED files on her computer, only FTM files.

Anyway, thanks for all your comments. I do feel lucky to have had a mom who was so clearly enthusiastic about genealogy -- it's one of the things that kept her going until she died. I do want to be able to pass this information on to my siblings (she had 6 children, I was the last) and our children. I'm just looking for a way to do it that won't create a financial burden on me and my family.

Joel

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