Friday, August 9, 2013

Chelsea Handler on WDYTYA and A Follow-on Question to Merging Family Tree Maker Trees

Chelsea Handler on WDYTYA

The third program of the Who Do You Think You Are series featured Chelsea Handler.  She knew her maternal grandfather was a German soldier during WWII; but wasn't sure his role and, in particular, wondered if he was a Nazi?  Since her father was Jewish and she had been raised Jewish, this was of special interest to her.  I thought the program was well done and had an interesting story line.  There were, however, some parts of it that I thought were a bit unreal.  It started with her brother, who was the family genealogist, giving her two documents, both of which were in the German language.  His suggestion was that the first thing she needed to do was get them translated.  I find it unrealistic that he would not have already done that out of his own curiosity!  He probably had; but for the show's purpose acted as if he hadn't.    

The show usually has the celebrities travel to the various sites where their ancestor of interest lived or where the records are located.  This makes the show more interesting for the viewers; but gives the impression, somewhat, that is the normal way to conduct research.  As most of us know who don't have unlimited funds, that is nice; but often not required.  

It was a nice touch at the end where they had a former US serviceman, who landed on the beach in southern France where Chelsea's grandfather was captured, meet her on that same beach.  He was also Jewish and actually landed the day before the capture of Chelsea's grandfather.  Quite amazing they could find someone with that background.  

It also appears to me the show has shifted focus to younger celebrities--perhaps to attract a younger audience.  Overall, I enjoyed the show very much.

Merging My Family Tree Maker Trees

I received the following from Barbara G. regarding my experience merging two Family Tree Maker Trees:

 "Delbert, I just read your blog (Jul 27) referring to the trees you merged. Had some concerns/questions and thought this may be too long to post in comments. How many individuals were in these trees and did your media, sources, etc, merge correctly? Ancestry's help for FTM 2012 does not provide the outcome. Even Crista Cowan's Youtube video does not specify limitations or what may not merge. I want to fix some beginner mistakes, including the fact that I have 4 trees. I hate to lose data integrity or make more work for myself but really want one tree with all my work intact. Thanks, Barbara"

Barbara the trees were fairly large, over 8000 members.  That is the reason, I assume, that it took over an hour to do the merge.  As best I can tell from looking at over 20 different individuals in the data base I didn't loose any data; however, I did get a lot of duplicates of facts and media.  In some of the cases I got duplicate facts; but in all the cases I checked, the media were duplicated.  This creates a lot of extra work going through and unlinking all the duplicates.

That may be why most of the articles I read about merging trees cautioned against it.  

If you have some smaller trees that you want to merge, I would suggest doing them first and evaluating your success before proceeding to the larger ones.  It may also be that merging larger trees creates more problems (i.e., duplicates, etc.) than smaller trees.  

Thanks very much for your comments and your question.  Sorry, I didn't have a more positive answer.  Perhaps others have merging experiences they can share with us.