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Matrilineal & Patrilineal GEDCOM Generator - ALPHA version

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  • Matrilineal & Patrilineal GEDCOM Generator - ALPHA version

    Dear Group Admins,

    One of the requirements for participation in my projects is that project members submit a GEDCOM. However, not all DNA project participants are also genealogists and therefore not everyone already has a family tree program installed on their computer or even wants one. So for a few of my group members, I had them send me their family data and I created the GEDCOM for them. Of course this doesn't scale -- as my project grows, I won't have time to do this for everyone.

    So I searched the web, looking for some type of web tool for project members to quickly create a GEDCOM showing only their matrilineal and patrilineal ancestors. To my great surprise, I couldn't find a tool even remotely similar to what I was looking for.

    So, I've dusted off my programming hat and am throwing it into the DNA Tools arena with the new Matrilineal & Patrilineal GEDCOM Generator. Hmm, I might have to nickname it the Ma & Pa GEDCOM Generator!

    An alpha version of the Matrilineal & Patrilineal GEDCOM Generator is now online. There are definitely improvements that still need to be made, both in aesthetics and functionality, but the tool is functional enough that I'm ready for a few people to give it a try.

    Known major issues:

    - GEDCOM is not sent via email yet
    - There's no validation or error checking done on user input yet

    Any comments, posted to this thread, would be greatly appreciated. Please note that I am only announcing this tool here in the Group Administrators Forum for now. Therefore, please do not advertise it to any other forum, email list or even to your own project members yet. Once I'm confident enough to call it a beta and advertise it to a wider audience, I'll definitely let you all know.


  • #2
    I think this is a great tool for this application. I tried it out, and it seemed to work well and the instructions were clear. A few observations & questions:

    The program created a "dummy" set of parents for the oldest generation I entered. These appear as "NotInGedcom" when I import the Gedcom into my genealogy software. Is this intentional?

    Some families have more complex naming conventions than Given/Middle/Surname. Perhaps a bigger field for first and middle together (since the program merges them anyway upon Gedcom creation)?

    How about approximate birth dates? I didn't try it, but the interface doesn't encourage it and you don't want to frighten off anyone who just knows "about 1840". Maybe a radio button for "about" or "approximate"?

    Would it be challenging to label each ancestor in the web interface? Submitter's mother, submitter's maternal grandmother, submitter's paternal great grandfather, etc? Even at only three generations I had to think twice about who I was inputting.

    Maybe also consider a link to a free Gedcom tool (like PAF) so that if people need to edit their file they can do it without retyping the whole thing.

    Anyway, I think this is a great little tool. Be sure to remind us when it is ready for general consumption.


    • #3

      Thanks for checking out the tool and for your comments. All good points!

      - Dummy parents for oldest generation: Known issue, will be fixed in a near-future update.

      - First/middle names: I've now combined these fields.

      - Approx dates: You can enter a partial date right now, but I will also add an "about" checkbox. I'm also going to modify the year fields to force a 4-digit year.

      - Labelling the generations: Am working on this.

      - Link to PAF, etc: Will do this also.

      I'm also considering saving the GEDCOMs and allowing users to come back and edit their data, but that may not happen for a while. Reading from an existing GEDCOM requires different programming than writing to a GEDCOM

      Will definitely keep you guys updated on my progress!


      • #4
        Great Work, I have entered two new people into my project and was concerned about getting a gedcom file in for these people. They do not have tree making software to submit. However, I do have their family history records. You have solved a problem for me. This tool would also be great for the Ysearch people. The majority of the entries do not have a family tree in their records. Maybe you can work something out with Ysearch and get rewarded for your efforts. Thanks


        • #5

          Thanks! I knew I couldn't have been the only one struggling with getting my project members to upload GEDCOMs

          I hope to have the tool updated with some of the previously-mentioned fixes sometime this weekend. I'll post when that's been done.