Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's never too late!

Last week while I was working at the Library, a woman came in and stated that she wants to get back into doing her family history. She told me it has been about 10 years since she did anything. I asked her if she did it manually or on her computer. She informed me that she used Family Tree Maker and wasn’t sure what version but her data is stored on 3.5” Floppy Drives. Since the Library does have one computer with a floppy drive, I told her that would not be a problem and that she needs to bring those in along with a flash drive, so we can move the files.

The following week, she brought in her laptop, floppy disks, flash drive and her Family Tree Maker Disks. She had version 8 and I explained that the new version doesn’t look anything like the old version but it would do for the time being.
We put the first floppy into the drive and I heard the drive churn and boy did that bring back memories. Especially since I could tell this floppy wasn’t reading properly. When we complete the task of reading all her old floppies, we only found a few that it could not read. We were able to read her old file and it had almost 400 people in it. We also discovered some old photos of grandkids and those were a great bonus. She even mentioned to me that she almost threw those disks away. Lucky for her she didn’t.

We proceeded to install FTM onto her laptop and decided to setup a genealogy subfolder in her documents folder for all her goodies. I suggested a FTM subfolder under her genealogy folder for her to store her database files. So she moved the file to the proper location. She had some other files on her flash drive and we created more subfolders for her census records, military records, vital records, newspaper articles and tombstones. She stated she was putting off returning to genealogy because she didn’t look forward to inputting all those names again, but now she was really excited.
I re-introduced her to FTM and explained how to do some basic tasks. We created some errors so she would see what comes up and how to fix it. I suggested that she should make sure to start citing her sources and explained some basic concepts and showed her some examples.

I then showed her FTM version 2012 and explained that the newest version (2014) is now available. I realized that we can take for granted all the cool features that have been added to FTM over the years. Since we see the changes as they occur, we don’t notice them, just like our children growing. We see them growing before our eyes so we don’t notice drastic changes like our friends or family might who don’t see your children every day.
She is going to key in all her changes and will probably upgrade her FTM version when she gets a new desktop computer. In the meantime, she is going to get her computer files to equal all the notes that she wrote on her paper forms. She also stated she has a lot of scanning to do and stated that she will also be working on that project. She promised to come back, in two weeks because we both have other things going on next Wednesday.

I am very excited for her!

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