Blog post

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Plugin progress

Here’s the final message from the latest trial run of my ‘Import CSV’ plugin for Family Historian. 35 seconds feels like a long time to wait but it’s certainly a lot faster than entering 10,000+ names by hand.. with source citations, I might add!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Plugging away at a plugin

I had good intentions of writing up a post after Congress 2015. I started, but never quite finished. Somewhere along the way I got distracted by a project that hadn’t even been on my to-do list, but has since because the primary focus of my attention.

Since Congress, in my spare moments, I have been chipping away at writing a Family Historian plugin. It started when I was talking to Jill Ball at Congress. She mentioned that she had looked at the CSV import plugins currently available but they hadn’t quite met her needs. The goal of a “CSV import” plug-in is to move spreadsheet style information into a family history package.

I have a few ideas about how a flexible CSV import tool might work… one you could customise without having to get into the code. Sparked by Jill’s comment, I tried a few proof-of-concept experiments and my little obsession project grew from there.

As at today, I have a plugin that seems to work as intended. I’m thinking about refining it to a point where I could submit it to the Family Historian plugin store so that anyone who has Family Historian can use it.

Right now I’m on the lookout for a few more sample files to try it with. Please leave a comment if you have something that might fit the bill and I’ll get in touch with you.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ancestry DNA is coming to Australia soon

Today I received an email from that said they will soon be making their DNA tests available in Australia. Tests will initially be available by invitation only. The email gave the option to sign up for an invitation.

I am cautiously optimistic about this development. While I prefer to use Family Tree DNA for my own tests, and of course hope that my relatives near and far will choose to test there, I think that Ancestry will give genetic genealogy in Australia a real boost.

I have tested with all three of the big genetic genealogy players – Family Tree DNA, Ancestry and 23andMe. I tested with Ancestry when the product became available in the USA. At that stage, they shipped kits to Australia.

My hope is that Ancestry’s advertising will ‘normalise’ genetic genealogy. I think that is already starting to happen, but my perspective may be biased by the company I keep! I hope that by seeing a well known company such as Ancestry advertise their tests, more Australian genealogists (and their family members) will think of DNA testing as something that would be interesting to do and within reach of normal people. More potential matches for me!

The chief problem with testing at Ancestry is the sad lack of tools offered to work with matches. Two words... Chromosome browser. Tests done at Ancestry are not a lost cause, though, if you want to work with the information. It’s possible to download the raw data and upload it to free sites such as Gedmatch, or pay a small ‘transfer’ fee to load it into Family Tree DNA.

I think that it’s probably a larger leap to start DNA testing at all, than to expand your view to the additional services available. I will suggest to my promising Australian future AncestryDNA matches that they look a little wider.