Family Tree Maker, Web Merge and the Arrival Event

While working with Russ Worthington on a recent project I was introduced to Web Merge in FTM (Russ discusses Web Merge here).  Web Merge is a FTM feature that finds and merges internet records into your family tree, without you having to type the information.  Russ noticed when merging immigration records, the immigration information is recorded as an arrival event instead of immigration event.

GenDetective has a series of reports that are dedicated to immigration based on these standard events:

  • Emigration
  • Immigration
  • Naturalization
Immigration Summary report

Immigration Summary report

These events are used to identify relatives missing pieces of their immigration story.  Paraphrasing my discussion with Russ on arrival versus immigration, Russ concluded “I will just edit and redo all of my arrival events, making them immigration events, and remember to do it any time I use Web Merge for immigration records”.  A very complicated solution, especially since GenDetective will resolve the issue without changing how you work!  Read Russ’s follow-up here on using the GenDetective approach to painlessly resolve the difference.

In GenDetective you use the Analyzer to say: any arrival event is really an immigration event.  Launch the Analyzer and do the following:

Set arrival = immigration!
Set arrival = immigration!
  1. Cancel out of the Wizard.
  2. Pick your family tree to load.
  3. Select the Event Definitions item (calendar) on the left.
  4. Locate the arrival GEDCOM tag.
  5. Change the drop down that says Event is unique, to Immigration.
  6. Press the Save Changes button.
  7. Exit the Analyzer.  Reload and run the Wizard as you normally would.

What else might you use this functionality for?  In the Pennsylvania court dockets I may find one or more of the following death related documents:

  • Orphans Court
  • Inventory & Appraisement
  • Partition
  • Executor’s Accounts
  • Auditor Accounts
  • Transfer Inheritance Taxes

Not everyone creates a will, so the absence of a document titled “Last Will and Testament of Joe” is, in my view, irrelevant.   The existence of any one of these court related death documents is proof of Joe’s death.  I track each of these different court dockets with custom events in my family tree.  By mapping these custom events to the standard will event, GenDetective can easily identify who is missing any legal death document.  Lets be honest, isn’t that what a proven will really is, proof that Joe died.  Minus an explicit will, any of the above documents, settling Joe’s estate, works for me.

Happy researching.

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