User talk:Dcgunn



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If you need any help, I will be glad to answer your questions. Just click on my signature link below and then click on the “Leave a message” link under my name in the upper left corner of my profile page. Thanks for participating and see you around! Debbie Freeman --DFree 01:03, 13 October 2009 (EDT)

Betty Case Card File [15 October 2009]

I suspect you are dealing with a different Betty Case - if you saw her in Lubec at least.

The Elizabeth Case of the card file married into that surname via William Case.

William Case was born in Lubec, but grew up in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where he met and married Elizabeth. His parents were Vinton Case and Minnie Lyons.

Minnie Lyons has parents Charles Lyons and Agnes Dudley. Minnie had siblings, including Viola Lyons.

Viola Lyons married to Robert Bangs and (later?) to James Gordon. With Robert, she had Mitchell Bangs, who is presumably your Grandfather.

So, from your remarks, I would plan to correct Mitchell Bangs to be James Mitchell Bangs. I would further plan to give his father, Robert Bangs a father named Mitchell, Ship's Master, who would be indicated as lost at Sea in 1878. Correct?--Jrm03063 18:52, 12 October 2009 (EDT)

Sorry, I jumped to the conclusion that "Betty" was a nickname for Elizabeth. I actually have a lot more specific information on this family, including sources. If you want to update what you have go to my web site at Click on the link for Gunn family genealogy, then use the Index of Names to find the relevant individuals. I also have some memorials at Find-A-Grave ( for some of these people.

Cheers, Dale--Dcgunn 21:22, 12 October 2009 (EDT)

Is there a reason not to put up the whole GEDCOM? It doesn't look all that huge from the index... --Jrm03063 21:54, 12 October 2009 (EDT)

It is the whole GEDCOM. There are 1500 individuals there, minus a few that I have added since August when I last updated the web site.

Dale--Dcgunn 22:14, 12 October 2009 (EDT)

Sure, I understand that. What I meant was, is there a reason not to upload the GEDCOM to WR? I didn't immediately see, from your links, any way to get that. --Jrm03063 04:25, 13 October 2009 (EDT)

I only just found this site yesterday. I don't yet know what all the implications are of uploading a GEDCOM. My DB is constantly changing as I find new relatives, events, and sources. Maybe sometime down the road once I understand everything I may decide to upload.

Currently, my GEDCOM is uploaded to my own site, That's what the GEDCOM Viewer applet uses as input. I suppose if you were savvy enough you might figure how to download it from there.

I also uploaded it to and have an account there, though I don't spend much time there. I ran into what I saw as some problems with my data being merged and overidden by the data previously submitted by another relative. The good thing being that I found another collateral line, a descendant of one of my ancestors. The downside is I think that site has some issues relating to merging and ownership of data submitted.

I have considered uploading to Family Search,, but haven't gotten around to it yet. The thing I need to know is that I can update any of the data I submit at anytime. Another issue I have is that the genealogy program I use, Cumberland Family Tree, produces a nonstandard GEDCOM file. The program is currently not supported and I have no way to make changes to it. I might be able to get the sources to it but the development environment to update it costs around $1000. I am a software engineer and I could do the work, but the cost doesn't seem worth it at this point.--Dcgunn 14:53, 13 October 2009 (EDT)

I see your points.

When I started (after many years off), I used ancestry. I got frustrated with that for a bunch of reasons, and started looking for a program and a site. I was using a wiki a lot at work, and thought it was a natural fit for family history/genealogy. Did a google search and found may way here (about 1 1/2 years back). Things were more primitive then but all the fundamentals were in place - wiki, GEDCOM upload, structured pages of a couple different types. So, I dispensed with having a personal/home program at all, and just used the WR wiki alone (after an initial upload of a couple thousand "people" in a GEDCOM that I had built up at ancestry). Admittedly, lots of folks don't like cutting the cord on a home PC-based system, but I never found one I liked to begin with. I was also always a little worried about backing up my work, since I don't have the greatest habits in that regard. WR takes that concern away - they just take care of it. I was also a little anxious about long-term preservation of the data, so having a library and non-profit foundation behind WR was conforting. Also, WR has really liberal policies about scans/photos (essentially, there are no limits), and that can't be beat. Seriously - take a look at William Case, specifically, the images later in the page. You might also look at this (3.3Kx2K) in higher resolution:
The "Eagle" in North Lubec
The "Eagle" in North Lubec

With WR, as with any wiki, the data is more or less infinitely modifiable (not just by you, but anyone). All incremental states for all time are stored - foreover barring delete of a page - so it's sort of the best of both worlds on that. There are some folks who are planning to use WR in iterative fashion (GEDCOM up and merge, pick up changes, GEDCOM back down to work offline, GEDCOM back up....wash and repeat, etc.). While WR supports both GEDCOM import and export these days, I'm told that things aren't strictly graceful in this regard at present.

If you truly have a weird GEDCOM format, and you're truly ready to do some of your own SW development, my suggestion would be to go to a linux system and get a copy of "gramps". It's all written in Python and is naturally open source, so presumably you could hack the GEDCOM reader methods to satisfy your needs (total cash outlay, assuming you have a PC where you can install linux, $0). Once you had your file read in, you could get gramps to dump a reasonably modern GEDCOM. Maybe you could directly hack the gramps code to create a little translater if it was worth it. Or maybe, your GEDCOM form isn't so different that you could just write your own translator/filter for the weird bits, and dispense with all that.

But it can't all be that big a deal - I did take a look at your viewer, but didn't immediately see a way to pull out the GEDCOM. Even if I could, I wouldn't really want to do that without your consent anyway. I'll gladly take a swing at uploading it to WR to see how it all goes, if you don't object. Alternatively, if your desktop program provides it, maybe you can carve out a little GEDCOM fragment of the Bangs lineage. I could then work on putting that in. You could then see the results for some of your pages without going all-in yet. That would also create some known registration pages/points so that if/when you upload, there's a good place where you could perform some reliable merges.

--Jrm03063 16:38, 13 October 2009 (EDT)

I've been using Cumberland Family Tree since I started some 15 years ago. That was in the days of Windows 95 and i486. After initially entering some information from a written family history from my father's side that had come down from my grandmother, I also set it aside for awhile. Then I really got started in earnest around 2001 when I took an Introductory Genealogy course at a local school. This is when I learned the importance, and the how and why of documenting all sources.

While CFT has a number of deficiencies and bugs there are also a number of good features that keep me attached to it. One is that place names and source reference names are kept in their own DB and may be referenced from many individuals and events. What this means is that when entering a new event I don't need to retype a long place name. Usually just the first few unique characters will bring up a drop down box of the name I need. This is a real convenienc and timesaver. It also means that I can correct a mistyping in a source name or place name and the correction immediately is made in all individuals and events that have used it. CFT could use some improvement in its report features, so for that reason I also have used other programs such as PAF, TMG, RootsMagic, Family Tree Maker, etc. and exporting/importing my GEDCOM.

On the other hand I can also see the advantages of working colloboratively with others and finding new relations online. And having a place for your work to live after you yourself have passed away is something that I have pondered. These were some of the things that I thought might be provided at Unfortunately, I don't think their model is quite right. Their model is more of a social networking site based on genealogy.

That said I think the GEDCOM upload/merge/download strategy may work best for me. I'd have to try to see where the problems lie. If WR is still evolving at this point and there are known issues presently, I'd be in no hurry to do this immediately. I appreciate your offer to upload a portion of the Bangs lineage, but I think it would be best for my learning to do that myself. That's probably where I'd start and see what issues arise.

I do all of my main work on a Dell D620 notebook, but I do have a Dell Desktop GX620 that runs VMWare Workstation. I currently run a couple of Windows guests under VMWare and have run Solaris in the past. I'll have to look into installing a Linux guest OS and trying gramps. I've been looking for a way to translate the GEDCOM. Thanks for the ideas.

So much to do, so little time.--Dcgunn 12:38, 15 October 2009 (EDT)

Interestingly, the WR site software does all the stuff you were discussing WRT common place/source record handling. Most of the fields are "active" in the sense that you mention - the first few characters of a string can get you to a short list of choices that just drop down for easy selection.

I would also be remiss in failing to observe that there are probably development opportunities associated with WR, if you want to get your feet wet w/PHP. I havn't done so yet, wanting to focus on being a pure user, but may begin since it's an area of technical skills that I havn't had a need/opportunity to work on.

Best regards and best of luck whatever you try... --Jrm03063 16:52, 15 October 2009 (EDT)