Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Introducing TreeSearch

It's time to create a new blog. I've been blogging for a number of years on The Omnifarium. But that blog, as the name suggests, covers a wide variety of different subjects. I think it's time to start something new focusing on one particular interest, genealogy.

I'll start with me. I've been doing genealogy since 1991. Genealogy hasn't been a major interest for me all of that time. Other interests held my interest for about 15 years, up until about a year ago. My interest was renewed after my wife, Sylvana, met someone named Boldt, who claimed to be a direct descendant of George Boldt. Since we believe that our family might be related to George, I contacted this person to ask for more information which he claimed to have. Later, I realized he cannot possibly be a direct descendant of George, since George's only son had only daughters. But the interest was rekindled.

All of my ancestors were born in Europe. Specifically, from two areas: The Grand-Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and the Netherlands. The photo at right shows a sort of road map of my ancestors. The top half shows my paternal ancestors from Mecklenburg, and the bottom half my maternal ancestors from the Netherlands. I've maintained this chart for the past 22 years, which I find immensely useful in navigating through my pedigree. As you can see, I have much more information on my Dutch ancestors. That's because the on-line resources are much more extensive for Dutch genealogy. You can find more information on my ancestors at my web site, at boldts.net :: Genealogy

Currently, I have about 4900 names in my Gramps database. I chose Gramps for a couple of reasons. First, it runs on Linux. Second, it's available for free. However, after using it for almost a year, I find it an ideal application for genealogy, albeit with a somewhat steep learning curve. I'm still discovering ways to use it effectively. (I'll discuss Gramps in more detail later.)

Why did I choose "TreeSearch" as the name of this blog? Well, I've written some genealogy software. Often, when learning a new programming language, I'd write some code to handle GEDCOM data. At one time, I had a goal of writing a full-fledged genealogy program, which I planned on calling "TreeSearch". If I had gone ahead on that project, I'd like to think it would end up looking very much like Gramps.

What can you expect to see in this blog? I hope to write more about my Dutch and German ancestors, and issues surrounding research in those areas. In addition, I plan on writing about genealogy in general, as well as the technology used to support genealogy research.

Stay tuned!

Cheers! Hans