Ending the thread re:making a family tree from a large db of names #general


Avigdor Ben-Dov <avigdorbd@...>
 

I want to say thank you to all those who responded to my last post,
and to share with you a general plan to cope with heavy lists of
family name data.

Although spreadsheets are really great at helping organize information
which doesn't have a set structure, family data is highly structured,
and it has a well-understood set of rules. It also has one very
particular behavior, people can appear in multiple roles, like getting
remarried. One way to deal with this problem is to use multiple rows
for each relationship and event found. This means, of course, much
duplication of individuals, but when sorted by given names, the data
clusters closer around given individuals and one can then manipulate
the rows to bring together 'family groupings'. Several respondents
urged using a family tree program, but I think you still need the
data to enter into the program. >from my experience, not all genealogy
programs are equal.

The next step is to extract each family grouping by as a unit that can
then be inserted one row at a time into a family tree program thereby
building a new tree based on the large db. Ideally, this should
result in more connections being found, especially when examining
dates and other clues to organizing a family tree without
inconsistencies. It's important to make a note in the spreadsheet row
for the person added into the family tree so you'll know you've
entered them.

Inevitably there will be some individuals who simply can't be
connected and brought together into the family tree thus constructed,
but patience and persistence will still yield considerable results
even if some people remain 'disconnected'.

Thanks again to all who gave me suggestions.

Avigdor Ben-Dov

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