Let me preface this by saying I do not use Family Tree Maker. I tried once back in 1996 for a friend. She wanted her very basic family information typed into FTM, so she could then print a chart for a family reunion. Knowing I was a genealogist, she asked me to do it. I agreed for a fee of $10. Figuring it would take less than an hour to type in her 30 names, I figured that was a pretty good fee.
So, after about two hours of beating my head against the wall on how to enter names, dates, etc, I gave up, typed all the names into Brother’s Keeper, and GEDCOMMED the data into FTM. At the time I was using one of the Roots III, IV, V versions, but Brother’s Keeper was the easiest for data entry and so I picked it.
Now that we have determined that I know absolutely nothing about Family Tree Maker, let me say, I do use The Master Genealogist and have since 2001. Before that I used the Roots products from Roots III to Ultimate Family Tree. All those programs use events or tags where you can attach unlimited numbers of people to the same event via “roles”. If I create a census tag for my parents, me, and my brother, then I go from my father’s Person View to my brother’s, that same census tag will show in both person’s Person View Screen.
So as I enter data from wills, deeds, census, etc, each person gets a Person View screen that shows all the events in their life.
Now I also listen to a lot of Podcasts, and one thing I hear over and over again is create a TIMELINE of your ancestor’s life. The people saying this almost always use FTM, so I assume that FTM doesn’t have the ability to do this. However in TMG, as I add new events, a timeline for my ancestor forms. I don’t need to create a timeline for him, because his Person View screen (shown below) is a timeline of his life. (Notice a new feature in 8.08 is the ability to accent events by type by color.)
I can even add in historical timelines and see how they fit into this same ancestor’s life. Here we see the Presidential terms of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson added to the timeline of my ancestor.
So I guess my questions are, doesn’t your software create a time line for you? Shouldn’t a time line be a basic requirement for picking a good genealogy software? And how do you do genealogy if you don’t see your ancestor’s life’s events in context to the historical events that were happening all around him/her?
To Timeline or not to Timeline, why is that a question?