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One main tree, or several trees?

One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 1 Mar 2011 7:50PM GMT
Classification: Query
Is it better to maintain ONE main file for all branches, or split into several?

My siblings and I would be a common point for both my mother and father's side (naturally). There are entire generations that can link on both sides. To update common branches between several files are becoming tedious to have to duplicate efforts.

What do most users do?

Re: One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 1 Mar 2011 8:16PM GMT
Classification: Query
I would vote for one file, absolutely. Especially since you have common connections between mom's side and dad's side.

I have had one file for years and there is no connection between mom's and dad's side - with no regrets.

The only negative comes when a third cousin of some branch of your tree comes along that shares maybe 2 of your ancestors and you want to carve out an ftm file or gedcom just for them. FTM's slicing and dicing capabilities for exporting are rather limited - limited pretty much to straight-line, up and down ancestors and descendants and spouses, without consideration of indirect, peripheral relatives (like spouses parents or families, etc). So, I've just learned to giving out less than I otherwise might have. It is theoretically possible to catch all peripheral relatives of a dataset by detaching spouses and/or kids/parents from families to isolate a dataset and then exporting the sliced-out portion of your database via the Extended Family Chart - but I've found that when that report gets above a couple of thousand individuals, it grinds FTM to a halt.

Which leads to a another drawback, the larger your file becomes the more sensitive to crashing and slowing down the program seems to get. I have 50,000 individuals, though, and it's not too awfully frustrating.... yet.

Re: One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 1 Mar 2011 8:22PM GMT
Classification: Query
Why on earth would you ever want to split a tree?

This truncates your pedigree and ancestor reports and charts. It truncates the relationship report.

It involves you with the hassle of having to synchonize two trees.

It raises the question where do you want to spilt the tree?

All for zero benefit.

FTM in any version is perfectly capable of extracting any family line in any combination, so I have never seen the point of even considering running two trees.

And you have to explain to your grandkids why half their grandparents are missing in the pedigree report. Why would you want to do that?

You have one family and FTM lets you happliy explore it.

John D

Re: One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 1 Mar 2011 10:44PM GMT
Classification: Query
In my FTM 2011 i have one tree and would recommend one tree in your program. That said for my trees on Ancestry i prefer to split my trees. Reason is my ancestry trees are for bascily sharing or research, those i invite to tree i know are related to that line. That also prevents them from lines they dont really need and thereby cuts down on their spam mail. What i would really like to see is like a master tree but the ability to make like query trees of that master.

Re: One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 2 Mar 2011 1:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
Seems like the quick consensus is ONE tree. My wife's side of her family is another entire branch and actually larger than both my parents together. Since I do not have children, it may be easier to keep it a separate tree, and will consider making the attachment in the future. The only update will be to both me and my wife.

Thanks for all the comments.

Re: One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 3 Mar 2011 12:50PM GMT
Classification: Query

Like others, One file.

If I had not done that, I would not have known that my parents were cousins.


Re: One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 3 Mar 2011 1:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 3 Mar 2011 1:52PM GMT
If this arrangement works for you now, that's probably best.

It is easier to merge two files together, as long as there is only one "common" connection; than it is to split two files apart. If you enter peripheral relatives into your file, doing a clean split of a mom's side and a dad's side (or husband/wife's sides) is virtually impossible, unless one can get the Enhanced Family Chart to work on a big file without bringing FTM down. I've never been able to split my mom's side and dad's side using the Enhanced Family Chart because it has always bombed out (50,000 person file).

As far as reporting goes, there is no one person that is related to everyone in my file - and that will probable happen to you eventually. The reason for me is that I am doing the genealogy on the other grandparents of the spouses of my children. So, reporting is always done in "chunks", anyway - for me, at least. A complete genealogy for one of my grandkids would be overwhelming. To give four reports or charts or whatever for each of the four grandparents presents the info in smaller pieces, that can be read and understood in a more cohesive way. Plus, each "set" of my grandkids has different grandparents. So, I don't see reporting as an issue in favor of merging files.

Re: One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 3 Mar 2011 3:32PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you for all your comments. I have merged three trees together for the sake of organization efforts. Hopefully, Life with FTM may be a bit easier to update now.

I have however left my wife's family tree separate which is fairly large and complex as standalone. If ever the need to merge it, I know the only common thread would be the both of us (my wife and I). Unfortunately, no children in our family to pass along the family history for a joint tree. So for this reason separate trees in this case.

Re: One main tree, or several trees?

Posted: 3 Mar 2011 4:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
One of the problems mentioned with one tree is exporting information for a 5th cousin.

I have one tree for my wife and my families. When that 5th cousin request information, I provide it using the Genealogy Report from FTM (2006 version 16.0.035). If they are really interested I will provide the report as a module in an FTM books where I will add an index and text files to explain different points in the family that need more space than in the FTM notes.

While this can not be imported like a gedcom, it allows them to copy and paste what ever they like from my information into their trees.
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