Saturday, September 27, 2014

Family Atlas

I recently purchased Family Atlas from RootsMagic.  I love maps and I've wanted this software for a long time.  Unfortunately, I can't use it right away.  I have to clean up my place names in RootsMagic first.  That was a disappointment.  I wanted to play with it the first night.  

Here's a sample image the company offers:

Now I know why someone on the list said he was cleaning up his place names.  When I first began using RootsMagic I didn't use the person fields correctly, putting the place details in the place field.  I've discovered the hard way why that's not a good thing!  I also made it difficult to use the automatic population of the place detail field.  RootsMagic is designed so that when you begin entering a place detail, it comes up automatically if it's already been entered.  Chances are you won't want to use the entry "Noble Township, Auglaize Co., OH, USA with cousin Emma Sunderland and husband Albert Bowsher" again.

I decided to begin correcting the entries with the earliest reference numbers, thinking I would find the most number of corrections there.  Some have been made already.  However, the list doesn't seem to stay sorted in RootsMagic V4 and that's annoying, but workable.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do about European place names from the 17th century. 

I wonder why a place name has to read "Albany, Albany, NY."  Why not "Albany, Albany Co., NY?"  There must be some company somewhere that determined it was dropping the "Co." and all other companies followed suit.  For nitpickers this is not a good thing.  Many times I've come across a designation such as Baltimore, MD, when it meant the county, not the city.  Back in the 1700s there was a big difference between the city of Baltimore and the county.  It also makes a difference now when you need to know if you're looking for city or county records.  I wonder if this place name convention will lead to future confusion in my RootsMagic reports.  

So when am I going to clean up the place names?  Good question.  Working on this would probably be good for those times when I'm too hungry to think while I'm waiting for supper to cook, or when I'm too tired and fidgety to concentrate on television or when I have  trouble sleeping. 

I know how I can play with Family Atlas now!  I've done research for other people and the place names should be correct.