Family Tree Analyzer: February Tech Moment

NOTE: Tech Moments is a new series that will post once a month in 2024. Please remember that a “moment” is meant to bring an awareness of tech tools that can aid genealogists. It’s most definitely not an in-depth lesson on how to use a product.

February’s Tech Moment is Family Tree Analyzer, also commonly referred to as FTAnalyzer. This is the second in my 2024 Tech Moment series, the first having posted in January, looking at Zotero. As I’m looking at my Tech Moment choices, I think this series will spotlight websites/tech tools of which I’ve been aware, but about which I want to learn more. My self-education will translate to sharing what I learn with you and hope that my choices are intriguing enough that readers will want to try everything out, too.

Blogger DiAnn Iamarino Ohama, who writes Fortify Your Family Tree, often posts about her experiences with FTAnalyzer. That’s how I first learned about the program, which is a free download from the Microsoft Windows Store, available for both Windows and Mac. It takes only second to install.

How does Family Tree Analyzer work? Just create a GEDCOM from your family tree software. Open FTAnalyzer and then click on FILE in the top left corner. The FILE menu provides an option to open the GEDCOM. You’ll then have a screen that looks similar to mine:

The screen has a list of the errors that appear in my tree, which has over 15,000 people in it. The bottom left corner shows 155 errors. Although that seems like a lot, one error might relate to an entire family. For example, Ernest Eugene Barnes, the second item in the list, is just a matter of one typo. His father, Luther, was born c1904, but I had typed in 1940. I fixed that and three errors went away.

There are also quite a few items that aren’t errors – such as sex of a child. I have documented, unfortunately, many children who died right after birth, who were not named, and their sex isn’t noted. For example, the 1900 census might say a woman has given birth to ten children, but only five are living. That creates five children whose sex is not known and might never be known if no birth or death certificates were filed.

FTAnalyzer is so simple to use that there isn’t much to say about it. Although I only use the program to identify errors, there are multiple tabs on the toolbar at the top of the screen:

FTAnalyzer has the capability to run reports other than just Errors. The Main List will open to an entire list of everyone in your family tree, beginning with whoever is first in the tree – usually it’s ourselves. Reports can also be created based on individual censuses ( U.S. , Canadian and U.K. plus Scottish Valuation Rolls)

One other important task that can be done with FTAnalyzer is to export data to Excel.

It’s important to take some time, browsing the tabs and familiarizing yourself with report options. Your research style might differ from mine and you’ll find other tools in FTAnalyzer that aid your research.

Yes, I realize that many genealogy software programs wills search for errors, but FTAnalyzer is like a second set of eyes. It’s also free and extremely easy to use, so why not?

That’s it for this month’s Tech Moment. Go try out Family Tree Analyzer!

One thought on “Family Tree Analyzer: February Tech Moment”

  1. I love FTA for so many reasons. Every few months I load my gedcom and then export a full list of everyone to Excel – another form of backup.

    Like you, I also love the Errors feature. Very helpful.

    Way better than Ancestry Pro Tools and free!

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