Family Roots
Family Roots™ - Save your Macintosh data

Updated November 2012

If you haven't yet read the overview, please do so before continuing.

Below is an "essay" that will help you update to another program by doing it yourself. Though it specifically talks about Reunion, once you make the gedcom, it should import into any program, Mac or PC, subject to the other program's gedcom version limitations.

Whatever you do, you need the last version of the program (FR 3.7m, Family Links 1.3m). If you get Mac Family Link errors, be aware that there were bug fixes for which you may need FL1.3m which is why you need that last version. My friend Margo zipped the Mac version and put it on her server so you can download it here. I'm sorry but there are no Mac manuals available.

Note that the Mac FR program will not run on some of the newer Macs. If you fall into that category, write me for information on a paid alternative.

Now, on to John's essay.

Helpful Hints for Macintosh Family Roots users who wish to create a standard GEDCOM file for import to another computer or program

by John Minger, Los Angeles

(Wording modified Mar 2007)

Initial Data Preparation

First you must clean up your Family Roots database as much as possible. Bad or missing linkages will transfer themselves to GEDCOM quite readily.

1) The major problem I had to deal with was the dreaded "(NO RN)". Family Roots is quite happy with names typed into fields that would normally contain an RN. The problem comes with exporting that data to a GEDCOM file. People who do not have an RN assigned will simply vanish on their way to GEDCOM. Unfortunately, I found no automated way to correct these. I had to review every record, scanning for anyone with "(NO RN)" after the name.

Set your Family Roots options to DO COMPLEMENTING when replacing names with new RN assignments. I found that when I changed all the (NO RN) children on one parent's record page, the other parent's page was usually correctly updated at the same time. Take care to write down any information you are replacing with an RN, so you can enter it where it belongs.

If you are unsure of this routine, here is a short but detailed description of what I did:

Drag the edit window to the lower part of your screen.
Open the first name/RN field you will be changing.
Go the NAMES menu, choosing ADD NAMES.
Read the name from the edit screen as you enter it. (copy and paste can be used for this.)
Record the new RN assignment from this new window, then select OK.
Repeat for each name you are adding, recording all RN's.
Select CANCEL to exit the ADD NAMES window.
Replace each name with its newly assigned RN.

Making the GEDCOM file

Now generate your GEDCOM file using Family Links. Be warned that Family Links WILL NOT RUN on a Power Macintosh. I found that it ran OK on my older (68030 based) Macintosh Powerbook. It seemed to help, too if I ran it with extensions off (hold shift key down when restarting the Mac).

(In answer to an email question) As for the Performa 6205, I doubt that Links will run on it. It has been a couple of years since I tried it, but my recollection is that it requires an earlier Mac (not a Power PC model). I did run Links on a Mac LC with 68020 processor and on a Powerbook with a 68030 processor with some success. I don't know if a 68040 Mac can run it.

Launch Family Links. Select EXPORT from the FILE menu. Select CONTINUE on the GEDCOM tag questions. On the first "options" screen, check only "Transfer all your Family Roots Notes", then CONTINUE. On the "GEDCOM destination" screen, choose "Ancestral File CD-ROM".

Choose defaults on next two screens <return>. Name your GEDCOM file <return>. On second "options" screen, choose NUMBER RANGE, then your lowest and highest RN's. On the third "options" screen, select CONTINUE. When the marriage records are complete, the screen will display "Data has been exported to GEDCOM file". Quit Family Links.

Fixing GEDCOM Data Problems

Now you may correct additional problems by simply editing the GEDCOM file you have created, using a text editor.

2) If you are using the Married Name field in Family Roots, your GEDCOM file may contain "1 SURN" tags. These will be appended after a
slash (/) in the Reunion database name field. To avoid this, simply use a text editor or word processor to remove any line containing "1 SURN". I used BBEdit quite successfully. The new software will probably generate its own married name information.

3) Perhaps I made errors in setting up my Family Roots fields, because the Burial Place was exported as a "2 MISC" tag line under the "1 BURI" tag line. The result was that the burial place was placed in the wrong field in Reunion. I was able to correct this in the GEDCOM file by globally replacing every "2 MISC" with "2 PLAC", which told Reunion that the information was a Burial Place. Do not change the "1 BURI" lines.

At this point you have a usable GEDCOM file. It is essentially a specialized TEXT file, in a format that can be read and imported into most modern genealogy software. Your file name should end in ".GED". If you wish to import into the Reunion for Macintosh software, the following is a description of that process. Alternatively, you may import this file to some other Windows or Macintosh product.

Importing to Reunion (for Macintosh)

Launch Reunion, choosing NEW, and name your new database. On the first screen, click "Let me think about it". In the FILE menu, select IMPORT GEDCOM and select your GEDCOM file. Follow the prompts, and the rest should go smoothly. A good way to look over your results in Reunion is the INDEX button. You can display any field you want across the entire database by changing the column headings, which are pop-up menus.