Some questions of the beginner user that feels confused about look and functionality

I’ve just installed Gramps 5.1.4 on my Windows 10 laptop and imported database from MyHeritage web service.
I like MyHeritage page very much, but would like to have accessible second platform as a backup where I could manage my family database and interchange with MyHeritage as long as I use it.

I’ve found Gramps and all would be good as it is good platform for backup, but I would be very happy if there would be some better Family Tree management.
I don’t like the concept of managing database from lists and tables, I would prefer the way as it is done on MyHeritage. Unfortunately the Tree View in Gramps is just kind of browser - and it’s not very good even for that purpose. Look is very unperfect and not optimal, navigation is annoying - no siblings of parents, no cousins, etc.

So my questions are:
Is there any beta version with better tree management/view ?
Or maybe there is plugin for that?
Is there way to import images from MyHeritage? in GEDCOM MyHeritage added links to images on their server, but all are in Gramps visible as “X” (I guess it may be MyHeritage session needed for that - is Gramps capable to manage login session).

Thanks for all answers :slight_smile:

Haven’t used My heritage… so it is hard to imagine what kind of Tree management GUI you’re hoping to see. Maybe you could post a screenshot?

There are some alternative view add-ons developed in the last few months. Nick Hall’s Combined view mode for the Relationships view is available through the add-on manager in Preferences. Chris Horn’s LinkedView/Browser is still pre-release… but you can still try out a copy of the moving target from his GitHub repository.

Sadly, the managment versions directly on tree view is not great in gramps, and I personally think some should look in to improving that in gramps eventually. (Up to programmers) (Like, for example right click to add new family on someone and similar, there is post on bug/feature tracker about it)

But when it comes to viewing the tree, you should look in to the plugin/addon called Graphs View, it has an “All connected” feature that can show cousins and more, it is great, and probably my favorite plugin/addon.
It can make gramps crash if you make it show too many people at once tho, limit it with number of generations or whatever its called.

That reminds me, I dont think the wiki for it, mentiones the all connected feature.

Wiki updated and mentions it :slight_smile:

  • All connected - Show all connected persons limited by generation restrictions. Works slow, so don’t set large generation values. ( Limited to 1000 persons, if your family tree has more than that you get the Incomplete graph warning and only the first 1000 connected persons are drawn.)

Looks to be restricted to first 1000 connected persons and does not crash for me, if it does for you raise a bug report with the error so it can be tracked down and fixed :slight_smile:


MyHeritage look

Image linked above is an example of the MyHeritage family tree.

As this is just static image you wont see how it works, but I will try to explain.

For first it works like Google maps - so you can zoom in and zoom out with mouse wheel and use mouse to move the camera over the “map”.

For second, every person icon has ting pen (edit) button, “+” button which let you add new sibling/child/parent/partner - so you just select which one and in new window you just enter names and dates and all other data, and after saving, new person is already related and showed in right place in the tree.
There are also icons informing that myHeritage system has found matches to that person - and there are different types of matches - it may be from data sources or from trees of other people.

The view is not perfect because there is no option to show all the people at once.
You may display more detailed view of one branch of ancestors, while other branch has limited view and you don’t see cousins and siblings in that branch when it’s not selected.

What is important - owner of the tree is always visible - so when you going up and up … the branches may shrink, but in generations you will always see all up to owner of the tree. However, maybe I’m incorrect, I never passed 5 generations limit (this is maximum depth of visible generations in myHeritage). On another hand in Gramps I’ve set 9 generations, but even if there was only 4 - when I clicked on my grandpa my generation and my parents generation was not displayed anymore (why?) I just selected grandpa to see some more information in the panel (that I would expect)

I did look for that in Gramps and didn’t find it. How to get something like that ?

Actually I managed to install plugins as showed above and All Connected works great - it is like in MyHeritage or even better.

What is still missing - I can’t click on myself and add my son - there should be option “Add New Related Person” or something like that.
As whole my tree is made in MyHeritage web I have no idea how to add new people and link them to the family … must work out how to do it.

Children are part of a family so on the Graph view right click the family node for your self and partner/spouse and select Children and then Add child to family.

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Yes I see that menus and they’re awesome - great thanks.
However I’m still confused about that what happen when I click Edit.
How to add the date by clicking Edit on that node ?
I see Person 1 and Person 2, I can select Married or Civil Union, but no field to enter date.

The logic standing behind this forms is weird as it is everything very complicated - too many options, and the most common ones are somewhere deep so beginner can’t find out.

It did a while ago but not recently, might have been fixed alredy when I think about it? but will if it happens again.

Gramps is sadly not the easiest to use, but can do a lot if you know how.

Gramps is based a lot around events, so when editing a family, the date it says there (date for marriage/sivil union), is in the Event tab: (ignore dark mode)

Doubble click on that event or create one with the + symbol to open the editor, there you can select a date:

Events are where Dates & Places are stored, creating a timeline for a Person.

Birth-related events include Birth, Christening, Baptism, etc. Gramps can use those related events to approximate the DOB when a true DOB records have not yet been found.

Marriage events go in the Family rather than the Person when they apply to both the Parents/Spouses/Partners equally under the legal fiction of couverture: man & wife being 2 aspects of a single person. There are marriage-related events that can be used to approximate a date of marriage: engagement, marriage license, etc.

The relationships make the Roles implicit in Events. For instance when you add a child to a family, it is implicit that the Birth Event under that child implies the 2 people at the top of the family are the biological parents. You don’t have to explicitly share that birth Event with each and set that Role to Mother or Father. And you can change that child’s relationship to each partner of the Family (fostered, adopted, biological, etc) and the implicit role changes cascade through the family.

But you might want a quicker form of data entry for roughing in a family. You can use the add-on Data Entry Gramplet to add a person, their birth date/place, death date/place & basic source in a single dialog. Once you complete a single person in a family group (adding those sources, full birth & death info), the Gramplet can suck in that data as a template. You just change the items that are different and how they relate to the Active Person (Spouse, Sibling, Parent, etc) & click the Add button. So adding a bunch of brothers or sisters can be VERY quick. (You can fix the birth order later.)

Before you think about moving to Gramps, I suggest that you download the My Heritage Family Tree Builder program, to see whether that works for you. I suggest that, because with that, you can download your tree and all images to your laptop, and keep all data in sync with the site. And these are both things that Gramps can not do for you, because we have no license to communicatie with the My Heritage site.

You can download the program here:

Family Tree Builder - Free genealogy program - MyHeritage

And once you have that running, and have all data in sync, you can also experiment with exporting GEDCOMs from that program, and see whether you’d feel comfortable with Gramps, and verify that the images import OK.

I know My Heritage very well, and as long as you want to use their site to find sources and matches, you will probably be better off with their software than with ours. And with their Windows program, your data will stay safe if you ever cancel your membership, although some special program features will stop working.

I use Gramps myself, because I like to be independent, but for you, the My Heritage software is most likely a better choice, because of the way it works with the site.

I understand the logic, but it is not very intuitive. Most of people would like to enter some events (Birth, Death, Wedding) on certain moments.
When I add person, I would like to add his birth date and death date beside his name.
When I add partner of the person, I want to add type of the relation and date when it started.
I don’t care what program will do with this - it may finally land in table of events.
I just say that there are human friendly ways of gathering data and human unfriendly ways.
Gramps seams to be not very intuitive and easy - which don’t mean it is bad, but in my opinion, developers could put some more effort on the friendliness of GUI. I don’t know if it can be done by plugins - maybe the one you say is what I need - will check it out :slight_smile:

Thanks for Family Tree Builder, I didn’t know there is something like that.
I will try, but will have to try what about limitations. My tree is growing. Now I have more than 140 people, so on some point I will cross the border of 250 where free MyHeritage account ends it’s capability.
Other thing is, that actually The view plugin I’ve installed for Gramps is awesome - is even better than that one from My Heritage (Which cant display all 140 people on one tree).

Gramps is still mystery for me - I need to find out how to get nice PDF exports - that what I get by default is something completely disaster - 35 pages of frames with names - one or two frames on each page.

Do I use Myheritage to research for family members - yes and no.
I use their search, but not only. I’m searching in graveyard records, church books archives erc. Pages like Ancestry or MyHeritage has limited databases in terms of origins of my family.
So only what they gives to me are linkages to other users that share some family members with me, but as for now It looks I’ve got most of them what I needed.
Apart of that - because I don’t pay subscription I have to add new people manually regardless they were found by matching engine. So I just have two windows and I copy/paste the names.

I agree with gramps is not the most intuitive.

But if you try to keep in mind that most things would be events on person, it might be easier to figure things out.
Birth is an event on a person, death is an event on a person, marriage is an event on the family. In comparison to some other trees where those are just fields directly on the person.

As for export options, there is plenty, there is also somes that you can ad that is not included in gramps by standard. There is quite a bit of options on them, so can take some trial an error to get something you want.

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If you want to export(make a report) like what the Graphs view plugin shows, instead of other reports, there is a print button when looking at the graph, I missed it at first.

I understand your frustration as a new user. I have been using GRAMPS for 2 years now and I’m still learning. However I’ve gotten pretty good at creating people. I like using the Family manager as I can edit the parents and all the children in one place.
If you put everything in in the right place, the GEDCOM file uploads nicely to WikiTree.
The graphical interface is nice, but from strictly a data input perspective I like the inputs done in the windows as I can see all the data in one place.
I use Ancestry and FindMyPast for research and many times their interface screws up the relationships. It drives me crazy.
You say you have only 140 in your tree, mine is 3400 but I have 4400 on Ancestry. Others have 40,000.
I think if you study the tutorials and ask detailed questions here, you will find GRAMPS is a powerful tool.

OK, I thought that you had a subscription there. But now that you don’t have one, I still think that their software is the easiest way to download your tree with images, before you move to Gramps.

Yes, and I’ve done it thanks to you :slight_smile:
Now I just need to get use to new interface and understand how it works, as it’s not very intuitive.