Friday, April 22, 2011

I LOVE This Book

I suppose given all the recent blogging about monetizing, I should say up front that I am categorically not getting anything from this endorsement!

I've used FTM since it first came out. I loved the ease of entry, the chart options, the interface with Ancestry. I haven't always gotten the upgrades, usually letting a couple go by before making another investment. But with the recent upgrades, I've gotten the feeling that I wasn't understanding the program, or getting the most out of it. I know, there is a help file, but those are sort of like reading the dictionary. Not much fun. And it sometimes takes forever to find the right search parameters for what you want. So, I decided to buy this book.

I went right to chapter 9 and the discussion on setting up the web search (and no, this is not how I read mysteries!). The first thing I read is that the reason for the "shaky leaves" that look so exciting on commercials is that FTM does an online search EVERY TIME THE INTERNET CONNECTION IS AVAILABLE. I didn't know this! Could this be one reason it takes too long to connect? I don't know, but I definitely don't like things going on behind my back, so I turned that off right away. Bye, bye, shaky leaves.

Then, I thought I probably ought to read the book in the order it was written. So, I start into chapter 1, and one of the first things I learn is how to enter all my husband's French-Canadian ancestors with their "dit" names, like "Charron dit Ducharme". FTM displays these in the people list as "dit Ducharme", and listing them under "dit" mixes a lot of families up. Lo and behold, here on page 8, I find that putting backslashes around the whole last name results in a correct sort, and the backslash doesn't show up in the tree or the printouts. Who knew?

Not to give away too much, let me say I am really enjoying this book. I was able to get it used from Amazon and it has a permanent place next to my keyboard.

While on the subject of learning new things, Julie Cahill Tarr, over at GenBlog is blogging tips on using the Ancestry Search ("Search Strategies: Ancestry - Part 2"). I have taken away a couple of very good tips to improve my searches (I confess to beng a very bad searcher). Be sure to check it out.



  1. Geeze..I haven't upgraded my FTM in so long that I'm afraid now if I upgrade I might corrupt the whole mess some way. I'd really like to...but I'm chicken. Still using FTM 2005..sigh!

  2. I am the same way. I know I only use a portion of what the program is truly capable of doing. I just never have the time to read up on everything. Good for you!