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Posted: 1352639428000
Classification: Query
Sent the following suggested enhancement to the development group on 11 Nov 2012


At the present time there are many terms that are used within FTM 2012 that are not defined.

There is a Glossary that is included in the Companion Guide that does define some terms used but it doesn’t include all the terms that a creator/reader of, say a book, encounters when they create/read a FTM 2012 Book. As a small example, the Companion Guide Glossary does not contain the abbreviation “bef”, nor does it contain a definition of the term “bef”.

It is suggested that:

1-The Companion Guide Glossary be expanded to include definitions of all the terms a user/ reader encounters when entering data into FTM or reading a Report/Chart/Book produced as output from FTM . This should include all the Fact Names such as “Annulment, Emigration, Employment, Medical Condition, Namesake, etc.” In addition the Glossary should be expanded to include abbreviations and their definitions such as “Abt., Bet., Aft., etc., and terms such as “Spouse” and “Place” [Note: the Companion Guide does include the word “spouse”, but defines the term as: “The person to whom another person is married.”

2- The FTM Data base should be enhanced to include definitions of all the terms included in the Companion Guide Glossary, discussed in “1-“ above

3 - A Glossary of Terms similar in concept to “Index of Individuals” provided for FTM Books should be developed. This Glossary would be used at the option of the user and would/could be used when a user creates a Chart, Report and/or a Book. The system would scan through the Chart, Report or Book produced by a user and whenever it encountered a Term included in the Data Base terms/definitions explained in Item “2-“ above it would “Flag It’ and use it to create “The Glossary of Terms” for the Chart, Report or Book. [This is somewhat similar to what happens when the system creates an “Index of Individuals”]

4- Users should be allowed to create their own Terms, and the Abbreviations and Definitions of Terms and include them in the FTM data Base enhancement discussed in Item “2-“ above. These additional terms and definition should also be allowed to be included in the Glossary of Terms output discussed in Item “3- Above

5- There is presently a Glossary of Terms produced and available on the internet at the following address:

This glossary provides many more terms and their definitions than are suggested in Items “3- and 4-“ discussed above. It is suggested that the development group review this glossary and incorporate some of the terms used in the Genealogy.Com Glossary. I assume this can be done, since it is my understanding that is a “Sister” company to Alternatively the Glossary could be just “attached” to the Companion Guide Glossary.

The above suggestions would be very helpful to both the creator/reader community of Charts, Reports and Books produced by FTM 2012

Presently there are many terms included in FTM Inputs or Outputs that the creator/user is not sure of or misunderstands what they mean. One small definition issue is the word “Place” used in FTM 2012. One only has to read the posts included in the Family Tree Maker software Board to see the many discussions revolving around the use of this term. Providing a definition of this word and information as to how and when it should be used would go a long way towards reducing the issues/concerns. Another term is the word “Medical Condition” , what does this word mean and when should it be used

Readers [especially readers that are recipients of Books produced by some member of their family and sent to them] of the Charts/Reports/Books would especially welcome a glossary.

It should also be noted that many Genealogy Books include a glossary/definition of terms used in the book. And this provision has been adopted for many years by many publishers to ease the understanding of readers of their books.


Posted: 1352648005000
Classification: Query
It is always good practice to include definitions of words and concepts in any technical document that will be read or used by less informed people. And I agree 100% that this should be done, IMHO FTM and its programmers and staff are illequiped to undertake this kind of project. I really do not think that they completely understand genealogy, the type(s) of information that can go (and should go) into a data repository and what to call them. This is not FTM fault many of these concepts and idea are argued and discussed regularly among seasoned professional genealogists, so if they are not always in agreement how can FTM who is not.

Many of the current definitions of datapoints are taken from the GEDCOM standard and in many cases the standard does not do a great job of defining the datapoint, and in cases where it does, people have introduced exceptions that are not documented.

Your example regarding "Place" is a great example. As defined by GEDCOM:

'The jurisdictional name of the place where the event took place. Jurisdictions are separated by commas, for example, "Cove, Cache, Utah, USA." '

Most people have no clude regarding the word "jurisdictional". Does this mean places that can hold that type of data? -or- country political jurisdictions -or- Church/religious jurisdictions, -or- something else? The simple example they give is governmental but how do you deal with changes in government and name changes? Place could also include addresses and grave locations. What happens when you only have a name of a place and can't find its geopolitical location?

FTM componds these questions by not supporting all of the GEDCOM which does have a tag that allows the user to tell/record the jurisdictional divisions used in every place tag.

Software companies are very reluctant to force you to do something their way, it will alienate users, so they leave it open to interpretation to cover all users.

I suggest that you join an organization that has set its own standards and guidelines for the software they use.
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