October 25, 2014

Adding An Ethnicity Fact In Family Tree Maker

Isn’t it amazing how our friends in the genealogy community can open our eyes to not only new tools, plugins, and other handy blog add-ons?  And, they do the same thing when it comes to making genealogy programs work for 21st century researchers.

As an example, George Geder at Geder Genealogy has done a whole series this week on genealogy software and how it needs to change to reflect the needs of blended families, etc..  I was left asking myself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”.  One suggestion that he made really hit home with me:  the ability to add ‘ethnicity’ to a person’s individual profile.

I’m still using FTM 2006, so I can’t speak to more recent versions, but I was able to add a new fact quite easily, and it might be something you would like to add also. Here’s how I did it:

Add Fact

The Add Fact dialog box lets you add a new fact to an individual or marriage record.

To select from the existing fact list, click the down arrow attached to the Type field and select the Fact Type from the list that appears.

To add a new Fact Type, enter a brief description in the Type field. [ I added Ethnic Origin as my fact name] Note that there are separate Fact Type lists for individual and marriage records, and that a new Type added to one list will not be added to the other.

Enter the Date and Place or Description information in the appropriate fields; then click the OK button to save your new Fact.  Entering date for ethnic origin wasn’t relevant exactly, so I left it blank, but in Place or Description I added African American for this particular family member.

By adding this new fact category, I will now be able to add more detailed information about family members.  Since our families [mine and Jim's] are predominantly Caucasian, denoting ethnic heritage will only be added when it’s a known fact.

The above photo was taken in May 2000 when my cousin Tracy Prantl Richardson turned 86 (near center in pink sweater) and my cousin Fran Prantl Harbeston’s widower Herb (front row, right of Tracy) Harbeston turned 90.  Everyone in this photo is related by blood or marriage. I too am in this photo just back from Herb in the second row.

When my first cousin Gordon Yates married his wife Christl Messerschmidt in 1976, our family was enhanced by Christl’s Indonesian ethnicity. (Photo above was taken in 1996; left to right: Dustin, Gordon, Brett, uncle Wally and Mike Yates.

And the ladies of the Wally Yates family – 1996: L-R Sandy (Boom), Stephanie, Twyla, Jennifer, Sarina and Christl Yates.

Celebrate Your Differences

One last note, I think we should celebrate our differences, not let them divide us.

Two Upcoming Centenarian Birthdays In Our Family – Tracy Prantl Harbeston passed away in 2007, but Herb Harbeston turned 100 on May 20, 2010.  The other centenarian was one of my Breedlove cousins.

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