The following article is from DearMYRTLE's mailing list and is copyright 2006 by DearMYRTLE. It is re-published here with the permission of the author. Information about the mailing list is available at www.dearmyrtle.com.
From: Glen Ballard DearMYRTLE,
While listening to your podcast of 21 Mar 2006 I thought you would like to know the following:
You mentioned converting your genealogy database file to PAF (Personal Ancestral File) to take to the FHL / FHC.
To keep from converting data and wasting time:
1) I access my genealogy from my Flash drive at the Family History Center. They have Legacy 6 installed on all 6 computers. Millennia Corp gives FREE licensing to FHCs. You might want to mention to your audience that if the FHC they visit doesn't have it installed, they can request that the FHC install it. The FHC just has to contact Millennia and request the License Key for the Deluxe version.
2) I can also access my website (using TNG - The Best as you already know). I can find anyone in my database and find any facts. If I choose, I can enter the information with my Administrator's account directly in TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Site Building.) But I would have to make note of who I modified to add the modifications to Legacy at home. You might want to mention that patrons can access there personal websites at a FHC instead of converting the data.
Keep up the good work.
THANKS for the input. I think your first point is very well taken. The bottom line is that the PROGRAM must be installed on whatever computer you are using when you go to a research facility for your database to be read. IF your local LDS Family History Center has installed Legacy Family Tree in addition to PAF, then it will read your Legacy database directly. I wasn't aware of this offer from the Legacy folks. I will look for Legacy on the Family History Library computers next time I go.
As to your second point, accessing our genealogy databases on a webpage only requires that the research facility has access to the internet. This is a much more likely and reliable option, since virtually all facilities will have that access. Also, if that is your primary database, then updating it while at the Family History Library or other research facility would not be a problem.
But as for placing our databases on the web, even in a password-protected area, we just aren't all there YET.
Generally speaking, I'd venture to guess that 95% of the genealogists who read my column don't have their own web pages, since that is about the count when I visit an area and give a class or seminar. I DO think that eventually it will be the norm to keep ALL of our data (genealogy or otherwise) on a website where the web server is backed-up routinely. This would transcend problems when one's personal computer fails. This will also enhance communication among researchers.
But then ol' Myrt here remembers the days when email was a challenge for my readers. So as times change, we need to keep sharing information as to HOW we're managing to do effective research. I think the bottom line is that it isn't wise to go to any research facility without having full access to our genealogy databases. Whether by laptop, flash drive or web pages, we must be able to see our known ancestors in context. I wouldn't dream of printing out my pedigree chart. Last time it was over 250 pages.
NOTE: I mentioned in the podcast that I prefer to do my data entry once I am home. Part of that is a time consideration, but I've also found I am capable of better analysis when not bogged down by keeping to the train schedule for the commute back home, etc. This is particularly true when one takes a research trip to a distant county or country. Getting there and back and living out of a suitcase is fatiguing no matter how much fun it is to travel. As we know, fatigue has a negative affect on one's critical thinking skills.
For instance, when working through cryptic handwriting in a will, one might spot the connection to an heir and make the photocopy. However, when at home, a full transcription of the document can be completed without interruption. This more-detailed study might point to other valuable information. Perhaps the land is described in the distribution of the estate, and this might lead to the original deed where notations about previous generations are listed.
Happy family tree climbing! Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE, Your friend in genealogy. http://www.DearMYRTLE.com