My data entry rules

Name: Unknown, 姓: 无, 名: 没有 birth


media: last name/I0001-01.p; Title: year (+- means circa); Chinese -> Hebrew



media file name: prepare the file name to – lastname-I/F01234-001, i.e.: Zhou-I0514-001 or Zhou-F0531-001 (I=Individual; F=Family) File name on server. Title: year first, name, place, i.e.: 1899 +- Zhou Fu Tianjin



Custom event

Event: Taiping Tianguo
Type: rebellion; (war, treaty)
Date: fm 1850 to 1864

Unknowns mothers

Which is the correct way to enter when moms were unknown in Close Relatives:
– add a child to create a single parent family, OR
– add brother?

If you can not confirm, or even suspect with a preponderance of evidence, that the mother was the same, then you should record each child in a separate family and merge later if/when you do confirm the data.


  • Birth Date
  • Time
  • Place
  • Address

Facts and sources..

  • Add a new Associate
  • Add a new Source Citation
  • Add a new Note
  • Add a new Shared Note
  • Add a new Multimedia object
  • Restriction

Lunar date goes into Add a new Note, it will show under the Personal Facts and Details tab.

Buyer beware: why dazupu asked for my database?

In early October when I was shopping for a new home (software) to move because I wanted to get out of Family Tree Maker that I’ve been using since 2003. Geni has very clean look/feel to it but I wasn’t too impressed (no particular reason – won’t accommodate Chinese names mainly .. ), when the same friend who suggested Geni mentioned dazupu that uses PGV, I did just that. I checked it out. The site runs very slow and not well organized: 乱乱哄哄地 in noisy disorder. When I found an US phone number on one of the pages I decided to give it a try. Peter Huang (中华大族谱协会理事长, 黄秉聪), one of the founders answered on the second ring.
I was very thrilled, interrupting him numerous times and he couldn’t wait to explain to me what his organization is all about. We both were excited.
One of the six founders of the site, four are in IT.
They ran seminars in China, training people to use PGV. Those trainees would go out and charge a fee [he mentioned a specific figure but I don’t remember now] to train other users. During one of their meetings held in China, Peter proudly said that the creator of PGV John Finley called from his home in USA [couldn’t be there due to having a child (?) sorry perhaps I didn’t have my hearing aid, so not too sure].
Yuan Shikai’s granddaughter [or ?] gave him/them her family tree and they’ve updated it
I explained my problems or expectations:

  1. Most of all, I want the application/software to have separate fields accommodating zi 字, hao 号, etc.
  2. The Alias field from FTM became junk in PGV
  3. Built-in lunar calendar/Gregorian convertor

At end of our hour long conversation, he said he’ll give me permission to look at Yuan Shikai’s family tree (there’s at least one marriage between the Yuans and my branch), and I should add him to mine too.
That was Oct 6, 2011.
Oct 7:

May I have an user name and password in order to visit your site?

I added him immediately. Few emails later, he asked to be added as Admin:

GEDCOM 是PGV和目前许多谱系软件通用的记录谱系资料的文件如您需要我帮助,可能要从您的系统上下载给我看看,或把我的户口改为Adm,让我进去处理。我的Dinner Time 是19:00-20:00.

I granted him the right. He went in and made name change, asking me if this was what I wanted.

Hmmmm … Not really! What I wanted is to have a solution for zi, hao, etc. Not superficial change. Actually I had it all worked out already – users in the forum were very helpful and patient to help me.

Oct 9,

Hi Peter, did you download my family tree? Have you figured out if there is a way to import Chinese properly from FTM into PGV? Thank you.

I heard nothing from him. I didn’t feel very good about someone have a run with my very private data, like inviting a stranger into my home and suddenly s/he just disappear inside my home. I wanted to truck him down.

Oct 11,

Hi Peter,
I haven’t heard back from you and don’t know if you’ve downloaded my family tree data. If you did, please delete it completely from your computer or anywhere that you’ve uploaded or distributed. This database is very private, I do NOT wish to have it distributed and or used in anyway, privately or publicly. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

He finally replied

Sorry for late respond. I have not check my Emails for couple of days because I was busy on others tasks during last weekend.
I did not do any more works on your case yet since last Friday.
I will delete your file completely from my computer if I can’t resolve your problem this week.
Please remove my account in your system also.
Hope you will find solution to resolve the problem.

Oct 12

我已完全刪除您的資料,只提取了其中這一小段做研究—我已下載了NJ Star。

I did visit YSK’s tree once but it didn’t seem to be carefully noted, lacking citation, a far cry from the few family trees that I’ve seen. Beside, YSk’s genealogy is all over the internet. The details of the son who married into my family is very limited, I had more on him – granted, maybe the lady who gave Peter the tree isn’t the direct descendants.

Oct 16, 2011

If you have any luck with the importation, pls let me know, I can (or you can) share it on the PGV forum. It’ll benefit anyone who seeks the answer. Thanks.

I haven’t heard from him since.

Over all, my brief experience dealing with Peter and dazupu wasn’t a good one, very disappointing. He didn’t understand my two problems, which didn’t require the solver to be inside my private database, did it? Adding zi and hao is on the developer side, and the importation should be rest on the Family Tree Maker instead my private database?

其实我的俩个问题都不需要他们进入我的数据库: 加添字,号等等是不需要进我的网站, 输进输出乱码是不是应该去FTM 找答案? 大族谱为什么不仅要全权进入我的数据库,下载我的数据放在他们的电脑上?

I really didn’t understand why did he need to have full access to my data, and copied it into his computer? Throughout my troubling days learning to use PGV, all the people in the forum never ever asked to have that kind of access.

I would assume if they’ve big plan, have a committee, charging fees off a free ware, etc. shouldn’t they be one of the developers of the project? Am I the only one demanding or dreaming of having the zi and hao fields? You can’t be serious?!

Married name

In the Married Surname field I entered Eng 伍; Save
PGV automatically filled Ning.  See the red circle 1: Married Name: Ning Eng 伍
I went back to type in Irene and deleted Ning – see red circle 2: Irene /Eng 伍/
After clicking Save I got this error message: see red circle 3 and the Married Name field would disappear on the individual display page/screen (above the Personal Facts and Details) – not shown here.

Chinese names 名字

I’ve experiment with various combinations for displaying Chinese names. To get the following results, I did this:


  • Given Names – English (pinyin)
  • Surname – English
  • Nickname – English
  • Hebrew Given Names – 名; 字 zi; 号 hao
  • Hebrew Surname – 姓
  • Romanized Given Names – Old/known (Wade-Giles)
  • Romanized Surname – Wade-Giles .. also known

晚号 an assumed name or alternative name taken at older age
谥号 shi hao: posthumous title

Importing my old tree 输出/入 旧家谱

I’ve been using Family Tree Maker since 2003 (June 26, 2003, version 11). FTM sells a new version every year to update. As of now, its onto 2012 at $39.99. To start new (a new user), the Family Tree Maker 2012 Complete cost $79.99.

Converting my FTM file into gedcom format:
1. From The File menu, select Copy/Export Family File.
2. Click the Save as type drop-down list and select GEDCOM (*.GED) – the red arrow.
3. click Save. FTM display the Export to GEDCOM dialog box – the red circle.
– Destination: FTM
– GEDCOM: Version 5.5
– Character set: ANSI

Import gedcom into PGV (version 4.2.4 as of Oct 14):
I’m using DreamHost, here is what

Database Type: MySQL
Database Host: (NOT localhost)
Database Username: tryireneengcom
Database Password: gFGhmY8t
Database Name: try_ireneeng_com
Use persistent database connections: Yes (NOT no)