Sunday, September 21, 2014

Genealogy??? Family History???

Are Genealogy and Family History the same thing?  Mostly but not always.

Tony Proctor addressed this in a recent blog post titled The Lineage Trap on his Parallax View blog.  He points out that for most people family history is as important as mere lineage. 

 There are dozens of brands of genealogy software available. After doing a brief survey of what’s out there, it appears that only Family Historian  - developed in the UK - permits non-familial connections between individuals. 

I started searching my roots to try to answer the question: Who am I, and why am I here? That means finding my ancestors as far back as I can. More than that, It means trying to learn just who these people were. Where and how did they live?  What were the current events of their lives?  How did history and culture shape them  - and me and my descendants?

Members of the LDS church have specific goals in tracing their lineage. There are probably still a few folks who trace their families in hopes of finding royalty or at least someone famous. Most of us, I believe, are really looking for more than a chart showing who begat whom. We want to know the stories of our families.

These stories include more than bloodlines. The people who were the official witnesses of baptisms and marriages and other legal documents were important in our ancestors’ lives. How do we record these connections?  In my own database there are several families with the same surname who are little islands because I haven’t found a direct connection to my family, but have found indirect connections.  In a few cases, my research has discovered connections between previously unconnected families.

Clooz is a different kind of genealogy software.  It is document based rather than people based and looks like it could do the things I want to do.  Problem is that I use Family Tree Maker and Clooz cannot import from that because (owner of Family Tree Maker)  will not make available the specs that would allow Clooz’ developers to create import capability.

So I’m in a quandary. Switch to other software?  Which other software? I like the ability to synchronize my FTM and databases. Run two local programs and maintain changes in them both? 

I’ll be grateful for comments and suggestions from anyone who has solved this dilemma.

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