Starting Sept. 5, 2014, Genealogy.com will be making a big change. GenForum
message boards, Family Tree Maker homepages, and the most popular articles
will be preserved in a read-only format, while several other features will
no longer be available, including member subscriptions and the Shop.
During September, I continued working on the index to volume II of my Pettus book. As mentioned in my August message, I am not happy with the results of the indexing process built into Microsoft Wordô. While I encountered numerous problems, the most time-consuming fixes were (1) deleting redundant captions, and (2) consolidating and realphabetizing the associated entries under a single caption. I began by copying all the Pettus entries over to a separate file. Then I focused on the John Pettuses, of whom there are many, filling lots of pages. I could see that many entries were redundant, in the sense that they pertain to the same man. In the case of entries from the biographical chapters (12, 13, 14, and 15), I usually could identify the subject without much trouble. In the case of entries from Part 2, which contains chapters analyzing the records pertaining to a specific genealogical problem, the referenced records could apply to any of several Johns. In those cases, I had to rely correlation analysis across a group of records. Eventually, I consolidated all entries pertaining to the same person. By the time I completed the process, I had only a couple of pages of Johns. I then copied and pasted the results back into the Pettus index. I have done the same thing with the Thomases and Williams. I subsequently took a break from the Pettuses to work on the rest of the index, which was about 115 pages long when I began (using large font to reduce eyestrain). I have now made three passes through the index and fixed most of the easy problems or highlighted those that will require further analysis. A third problem that I havenít yet addressed is that the consolidated index for all chapters omitted entries from the endnotes, even though those entries did show up in the individual chapter indexes. I suppose I will have to copy the missing entries from the individual chapter indexes into the consolidated index, delete redundant headings again, and realphabetize again. At this point, the index is 104 pages long. I probably will return to the Pettus entries today to address some of the remaining issues. Despite the difficulties, I expect to complete the index later this month.