Tuesday, August 28, 2007

IMPORTANT - My Family Changes (Please Read)

Dear PRA Members,
As many of you know, I sent a message out last May asking members to contact me about the MyFamily site. I received many great messages with some great ideas. I proposed to the board that we change user rights among members if they so desired. This means that members will be able to post information on the My Family site. However, I caution everyone to remember that this site is not a social site but rather a genealogy site. Below is the message that I sent to Gene Pennington and received his approval.

All members who would like their User Rights changed from Guest to User must reply to me (carmenmjo@cableone.net) and acknowledge that they have read the information below including the File Formats and File Names Standards that is also listed below. I also plead for your patience. I will probably go in and do several at a time, but please remember that I also work full time and have other responsibilities. If I have not made the change within a week, contact me and you be on the top of the list. I would imagine I will be able to make the changes within a day or two. So, please take the time and read the following. I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Carmen Johnson
Assistant Research Director - JFMF
PRA Family Group 7 Leader

The PRA would like to encourage more participation from its members on the
myfamily.com site and have voted to grant "User Rights" to all members.
This will allow members to post their own gedcoms, family photos, documents
or anything else of genealogical nature that would be of value to their
fellow group member. If you have any questions regarding the posting of any
type of material, please feel free to contact Carmen Johnson at

• Users cannot change family files other than the ones that they own. They
still need to go through their group leaders. If they are not getting the
results that they need, then they are to contact Carmen Johnson or Gene
• Only items of a genealogical nature may be posted. Nothing should be
posted concerning a living person or a person who was alive after 1925.
• All items posted on must use the format that has been discussed including
Group #, descriptive name. This format is listed on the MyFamily site under
the Files section, under the Site Use category. The current file was posted
by Gene Pennington on July 7, 2004 and is titled File Formats and File Name
• If any files or items are posted that don’t meet the standards posted, and
then those items will be removed.
• All family files posted in either pdf, rtf, or gedcom format and should
include sourced information.
• Exchange of ideas, comments, and new information is encouraged; however
any “flaming” activity of a negative nature will be deleted. If the member
posts such a comment that can be a basis to remove access to the website or
changing their status back to guest.
• All users who would like to have their status changed, must read the File
Formats and Standards and agree to the previous provisions.

File Formats and File Name Standards and Options


To be able to find files and to use the new website at MyFamily.com, we will
use specific file formats and file name patterns.

By using these "standards" we will be consistent with file names and use
when we upload files to the new website. This will help everybody who uses
the new site.


Genealogy data files use the latest standard gedcom file formats (5.2). We
have added gedcom files for each Family Group that we have data for in the
JFMF AND a master gedcom file based on everybody in the JFMF. We used this
file naming format: Group Number – Progenitor’s Name. We suppressed
personal information (dates/locations) on all living persons in the JFMF
master gedcom file.

It is important that we all use the same standards so when you create either
a gedcom file or a family history report to upload to the Family Trees or to
the File Cabinet sections of this website, use these options:

1. Name each gedcom file using this format: Group Number – Progenitor’s
Name. If the Group number is unknown, then use "Unknown Group". The
progenitor is the oldest Pennington in YOUR personal gedcom file for YOUR
family history – NOT the Group progenitor. Here are some examples:

1. Group 7 – Benajah Pennington

2. Group 30 – Andrew Pennington

3. Unknown Group – William Pennington

· Select the people to be included in each gedcom file using "general"
option and be sure to export all notes and sources.

· Select the option to preserve word wrapping in the notes.

· Select the specific person (progenitor), his family (as a parent with a
specific spouse/s) and his direct descendants. Be sure NOT to include the
progenitor’s parents, if that is an option. Also, if there are multiple
spouses, be sure they are included in the gedcom file. Depending on your
genealogy software program, you may have to create a separate gedcom file
for EACH spouse so we get all the descendants and their spouses, unless the
genealogy software program does this at the time the file is created.

· Select his/her descendants select all direct descendants and their

· Select 50 generations hoping this will give us the most useful

· If your genealogy software program allows it, be sure to select the option
to suppress (not include) personal information on living person. This
option may NOT be available in some genealogy software programs. Our policy
allows us to accept information on living persons IF the submitter so
chooses. The restriction is on our publication of that information to the
PUBLIC. This restriction does NOT apply to PRA members. Please refer to
our Privacy Policy for more information.

2. Genealogy family reports must be EITHER Rich Text Format (rtf) OR Adobe
Acrobat Format (pdf). We prefer the pdf file format because this makes the
report readable by any computer. IF a person does not have the ability to
create a file in pdf, use one of these options:

· You can send it to one the Research Director and/or one of the Assistant
Research Directors and/or to another Group Leader who have Adobe Acrobat.

· You may upload your file for free to the Adobe website where they will
convert a file for free (5 per year)

· You can upload the file to the "Holding" folder (category) in the File
Cabinet section of the MyFamily.com website. If you use this option, be
sure to let one of the MyFamily.com website Administrators know you have
placed a file there for conversion to pdf so it can be downloaded and
converted to pdf.

3. When you create the family reports, use the same options for naming
gedcom files. Follow these options:

If a genealogy software program is used to create the family report, be sure
to select "descendant style" from the reports options. There are more
detailed explanations on the PRA's website on the submissions page at
http://www.penningtonresearch.org/resources/submit.htm . Select the people
to be included in each family report file using "general" option and be sure
to include all notes and sources AND the Index (this is usually available in
most genealogy software programs when you export the report in rtf or doc

Select the specific person (progenitor), his family (as a parent with a
specific spouse) and his direct descendants

Select his/her descendants, select all direct descendants and their spouses

Selected 50 generations hoping this will give us the most useful

If your genealogy software program allows it, be sure to select the option
to suppress (not include) personal information on living person.