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How to search for a name in multiple FTM files/trees?

How to search for a name in multiple FTM files/trees?

Posted: 10 Jan 2014 9:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
As a member of a historical society, I am working with 20 Family Tree Maker trees. These families are all from a small community and there is some overlap. I would like to be able to search all the files for an individual. Is there any way to do that?
Thanks!

Re: How to search for a name in multiple FTM files/trees?

Posted: 10 Jan 2014 10:47PM GMT
Classification: Query
Merge a copy of the files into one tree and search from there. You could also export as .csv all of the names, dates, etc., and combine into an Excel spreadsheet and search from Excel.

Regards,

Re: How to search for a name in multiple FTM files/trees?

Posted: 11 Jan 2014 12:14AM GMT
Classification: Query
To amplify on the spreadsheet suggestions. I would use a custom report with the fields you use in your normally searches. Export each tree's custom report to a CSV file.

(In Quattro Pro each page of the spreadsheet is called a Sheet, Excel has the same thing I don't remember what they are called.)

Open the spreadsheet and create a Sheet called Index with the following column headers.
First name, Last Name, XXXX, and Tree Name
the XXXX, would be whatever fields you placed in the custom report. The order of the columns would be the same as they were in the custom report.

For each of the your trees, Import the CVS file for each tree into the spread sheet. Copy all of the new rows to the Sheet called Index, Then enter the name of the tree in the column Tree Name. and copy it down for all of the new entries.

When you are done, you should have all of the people in all of the Trees in one Sheet in the spreadsheet with the name of the tree where they are found.

You can then sort the spreadsheet on last name and then first name. This will give you an alphabetical list of all of the people and the tree where you will find each person.

Since this will take some time, you could possible create a macro to import each of the CSV files.

To maintain the index, you would have to added each new person to the Index when you add the person to their Tree. Or you could periodically repeat the above process with the maros

I would further recommend that you use a good spreadsheet like Quattro Pro or Excel as there will be a lot of data to sort.



Re: How to search for a name in multiple FTM files/trees?

Posted: 11 Jan 2014 12:30AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you jamclo and keithnuttle for your quick replies. The spreadsheet solution appears to be the way to go. I am surprised that Ancestry or some third party have not addressed this as I think there must be quite a few genealogists who would find this feature useful.
Thanks again.
M. Besson

Re: How to search for a name in multiple FTM files/trees?

Posted: 11 Jan 2014 3:08AM GMT
Classification: Query
In my response I talk about spreadsheets, but if you have MS Access, this type of data is a better fit in a database than a spreadsheet. It is easier to access and view the individual records as you can design pages show the data as you want it.

If you do have a database you would do it the same as a spreadsheet, but import it into Access. As I remember it is easier as you can import the data CSV file directly into the database adding to the existing data.

Re: How to search for a name in multiple FTM files/trees?

Posted: 11 Jan 2014 2:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 11 Jan 2014 2:29PM GMT
How many people are there in total in the 20 trees? FTM can be used without a loss of efficiency up to about 20,000 people. FTM can be used beyond that, but speed will start to slow down.

I take it that when you say "overlap", you mean inter-marrying of people between the 20 trees.

I suggest you combine these 20 trees into one tree and leave them that way and record the intermarriages between the trees. This way will show full ahnentafels and full descending charts and reports.

I have worked on a area genealogy that is up to about 15,000 persons and find that 75% of them are all cousins to me as we share ancestors from the 1600s; some in multiple ways. I could not visualize splitting these people into separate files for purposes of the area genealogy. I have occasionally split the file for reporting or exporting purposes when a view of one slice of the area genealogy is wanted.

Re: How to search for a name in multiple FTM files/trees?

Posted: 11 Jan 2014 4:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 11 Jan 2014 4:11PM GMT
When I responded, above, I thought about combining the trees, but decided not to recommend that. If the 20 families represent one community, and she has traced each family back 4 or 5 generations she could have reasonably have 1500 to 3000 people in each tree. This would mean that the total number of people in the combined trees could be from 30000 to 60000 people well beyond the capabilities for a reasonably performing FTM family tree.

In fact looking at it this way, a database application like Access may be better than a spread sheet.

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