Thursday, August 02, 2007

World GEDCOM Index

When I stumbled onto this website this morning, I was excited that you might be able to find a way to break down some of those hard brick walls that everyone hits during the quest for ancestors. This website is designed by geographical locations which means you search for your family according to their location first starting with the country and drilling down to the town/city.

The website states that you can download the GEDCOMs if you find a connection. When I tried to download a possible connection, I clicked on the download button and was redirected to a page that has the GEDCOM in a line by line format. I found this format difficult to understand but you can pick out information from the files, but you have to manually enter the data into your file if you find a match. You are allowed to print up this information if you desire but you could end up printing hundreds of pages. The author of the website explains how to work with and read this type of GEDCOM file and you can view authors instructions by clicking here. I was able to download an actual GEDCOM files of some family names, but it is hit or miss on which surnames will allow you to download the actual file.

Overall, I probably would not utilize this site routinely due to the difficulty in being able to read the printed out GEDCOMs. Having said that, if you are up against a brick wall and you have exhausted all of your other resources, this site may provide a hint or information to break through the wall. If you are interested in viewing the possible connections on this site click here.

7 comments:

Louis Kessler said...

Jennifer,

Instead of left-clicking on the "Download GEDCOM file" link, right-click and select "Save Target As". This will save the GEDCOM into a file on your computer.

Then don't try reading the GEDCOM yourself, but use a program like Behold to read it and display it understandably.

Louis

Louis said...

One other thing you can do. If you are searching for a specific name or place, use Google to help you.

In Google's search box, type:

braunstein site:gedcomindex.com

Where "braunstein" is the surname or place you're interested in.

Louis

Jennifer said...

Louis,

Thank you for the information. It worked great when I performed the "Save Target As" function. I found that it would save it as a GEDCOM which then works great with "Behold". I appreciate your input.

I also have used Google to perform genealogical searches, but I have not tried it in this way. Does it work with any website? If so, do you search using the same format?

Jennifer said...

Now that I know how to download the GEDCOM easier, I have to say that I would utilize this site if I found a possible link. After trying the procedure for downloading the GEDCOM file as described by Louis, I found that I was also able to open the file utilizing PAF and Family Tree Maker(FTM).

Louis said...

Jennifer,

Yes, you can use site:xxxxxxxx for any website. This is just one of the advanced options for Google, and this one selects the domain to search from. If you click on the "advanced search" to the right of the search box on the Google page, you'll see there are lots of options to choose from.

Yes, once you have a GEDCOM on your computer, just about any genealogy program can be used to open it. However, you will find that most programs are not designed to make it easy to explore through it.

For example, see my Blog Entry for Friday, July 20, 2007.

Jennifer said...

Louis,

I agree that "Behold" is a better program for exploring the contents of a GEDCOM rather than the PAF, FTM or other standard genealogical programs. The standard programs only allow you search by family group records, pedigrees, or by individual names. Behold's search capabilities are superior at viewing your entire file at once while maintaining the integrity of connecting family lines. As you know, the tool bar on the side of Behold program (one of my favorite features) is a very useful tool for browsing the GEDCOM file with ease. For those interested in learning more about the Behold program, please click here.

TomAlciere said...

Thanks for pointing out that not everybody knows how to right-click and download. I have added a note to that effect on my site.