I thought since I have cousins on facebook that I should be working with one of the genealogy apps and then invite my cousins to see my work. Well, I spent a very frustrating afternoon and ended up deliberately wiping out what I did because each application was too much of a pain in the butt.
First, We’re Related…
This has a nice layout. But, there isn’t anywhere to share photos, have a discussion, etc. that I could find. I was going to put in my family tree, but, wait a minute! No GEDCOM upload? My Grandfather had 45 cousins who made it to adulthood. There ain’t no way I’m inputting all these friggin’ people! It looks nice, but forget it. I can spend my typing time doing something more productive.
Second, Family Tree by Family Builder…
This app give you the ability to set up a small community of cousins. You can add photos, have discussion, post to the wall, and so forth.
Evidentally, I tried this before because I had some names already input. I saw that you could do a GEDCOM upload. Yeah! But, I couldn’t figure out how to upload and connect it to the data I’d already input. So, I deleted everything I had done previously.
Next, I tried to figure out what to have in my GEDCOM file. What I really wanted was my deceased relatives with no dates or place (Hey, I spent years putting all this together. I don’t want my data ending up places I never meant it to be.) That was a scratch.
I got one GEDCOM uploaded, marked myself, but then found that all the living people were there as plain as day. I’m not comfortable with that. While I don’t mind my data being there, others may not feel the same way. I deleted that GEDCOM.
I uploaded another with living people marked as “Living”. Then I couldn’t find myself. Want to know why? I’m the fifth child by my parents known as “Living”. I uploaded and marked myself thinking I could edit the data or connect myself to the tree. No dice. It didn’t work.
I saw that FamilyTree also has an off Facebook app. I set that up using the Facebook button thinking it would import everything I’d done previously. WRONG! It wanted me to upload my GEDCOM all over again.
After way too much hassle, I went back to Facebook and deleted the whole mess.
Because I don’t know when to give up I tried my last option “My Relatives”…
First, I had to figure out how to get around the Add Relatives thingy. I don’t want to add any relatives until I know what I’m creating.
My Relatives allows you to add birthdays, photographs, and more. You can also build a family tree, with one glitch, you must have relatives invited to make it work. How do you add dead people?
I’ve add one relative, but haven’t gone much further. It’s too danged cumbersome.
Word to the wise (meaning genealogy app programmers)…
How about a simple interface that…
1. Allows you to import a GEDCOM and allows you to update and connect to it easily?
2. A little community building features like photographs and message board forum?
3. An easy way to include non-Facebook family members without having to build everything in two places?
4. allows you more than one GEDCOM? I have a massive database. I don’t want to share everything. What I’d like to do is include a GEDCOM with the descendants of one ancestor. Then I’d like to upload another GEDCOM with the descendants of another ancestor. I’d like to be able to combine them together where they meet up.
I’m a pretty advance software user and have fooled around with several genealogy programs. I can only imagine how frustrating all this is if you are the beginner or casual not yet completely obsessed genealogist. I guess if you only have two or three generations and don’t mind hand inputting everyone it’s okay. These applications aren’t any fun for the person with a sizeable tree or even the person with disabilities (arthritis, anyone?) who doesn’t have the ability to type all these people up.
All in all, this was a completely wasted afternoon. Unless I’m missing something, all three apps are more hassle than they are worth.
Today marks the 103rd anniversary of the San Francisco earthquake and fire. Though the Richter Scale was not yet in use, it’s estimated that the earthquake was about a 7.8. What the earthquake didn’t damage, the horrific fire destroyed. The death toll sits at 3,000 though that number has come under scrutiny over the years. San Francisco was left in a shambles, but as we can see, like the phoenix, it was reborn from the ashes.
Many of my relatives were there that day. My maternal great grandparents, Margaret (Jones) and Harry Jackson, my maternal great great grandfather, Thomas Augustine Jones, and my paternal great grandparents, Brigitte (Breilh) and Charles Mazeres dit Salanave (who not only survived the earthquake but was mugged coming off the ferry that same month!). I also had a host of cousins from the Pohley, Bourne, Burke, Segalas, McSwegan, and Meincke lines living in the cities. And, just before the earthquake my Pacheco, de Braga, and Cosma cousins started to leave Hawaii and set up home in Oakland (across the bay). I wonder if it cross their minds to head on back to Hawaii after the earthquake?
I remember a couple of things my Grandmother told me about her mother’s experiences–from using newspaper as toilet paper in the refugee camp to finding out that her brother-in-law, John Burke, went missing, only to be found buried in a pauper’s grave weeks later.
One story has always stuck in my mind. As her parents were escaping their crumbling home, they looked back to see a woman on her porch. They yelled out to their neighbor to hurry up and leave. The woman adamantly refused. She had paid up for a months rent and she wasn’t going anywhere until the month was up. As they turned away, there was another rumbling of the earth and a loud noise. They looked back to see that the woman’s house and crumbled on top of her and killed her. I can’t imagine how many more horrific events they must have seen during the disaster. My Grandma said her Mother really didn’t like to talk about it. I can understand why!
I’ve written a couple of posts about my relatives’ experiences in 1906. I hope you’ll enjoy them!
Were your ancestors there that day? What were their experiences like? Make sure you write them down so your descendants will know they were there and they survived.
I’d given up some time ago on finding my Breilh ancestors in the Ellis Island database (www.ellisislandrecords.org). I tried every variation of Breilh that I could think of. I tried first name searches as well. The family was nowhere to be found.
Recently, I saw an obituary in the paper for a Lassalle. It listed the person’s parents. They were immigrants from France. I decided to check the Ellis Island database to see if I could locate the town they came from. I found three possibilities but none really fit with what I was looking for.
On the last text version manifest page, I noticed that many of the passengers were from France. So, I decided to look over the names. The town Izeste jumped out at me. Someone was from Izeste, but who??? I looked over to the surname. It read “Bresch”. That didn’t mean anything to me. Then I looked over the first names: Joseph, Matilde, Jean Baptiste, Justine, Jeanne…these were the same first names as the Breilh family!
I began to get excited as most genealogists do when a discovery is on the horizon. I checked out the original ship manifest. There in the “who were you coming to visit” column was the information I needed. They were going to see their son-in-law, Charles Mazeres! Their daughter and my great grandmother, Brigitte Breilh, came to San Francisco, CA a couple of years before her parents. In 1900, her parents and younger siblings were coming to join her.
I’m not sure how they got recorded in the ship manifest as Bresch. Perhaps my great great grandparents had a heavy accent or a speech impediment. All I know is if I had not seen that obituary in the newspaper, I would have never been looking for the mystery Lassalle’s. Thus, I would have never found the Breilh’s. Sometimes it seems that we are lead to information we seek when we least expect it!
[Photograph of the Breilh family before they left for America. ca 1888, France]