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Getting started with Genbox

Allow yourself some "playing time" with Genbox. Especially in the beginning you will probably make some 'mistakes' like deleting an entire Individual or Family while you only wanted to delete an event only. The X-button on the main toolbar is easily found but it's a rather dangerous one. Genbox warns you when you are taking such drastic actions but when you're like me and read those warnings half-heartedly it might be too late.

Also, the help file is a good help. Especially when printed.

The best way to start entering basic information is with the Individuals Summary page:

It isn't just an overview but it's a great fill-in view too, at least for entering standard genealogical data. Here you can enter the name of the Individual, the sex, the name of the father and the mother, the spouse(s), the children, and at the bottom you can select and enter event information. When entering children, you can also enter the Sex and the Birth-date. When entering events, you can enter dates and places.

When you have a new Individual, you'll probably see some green event names at the bottom of the form. They are in a green and italic font. This means that those events are not used and there isn't an event record yet. As soon as you enter a date, the event name will become black, indicating that Genbox has created a record for that event.

Suppose you don't have any information for the current, new, individual, just his or her name and sex. When you enter a name in the spouse box [1], Genbox asks for confirmation to add this new individual (when you have an empty database at least). As soon as you've confirmed this, you'll see that the event Marriage has become black, indicating that Genbox has created a marriage event [2]:

You can enter the date and place of the marriage in the appropiate fields. Also, Genbox has defined the sex of the spouse as opposite of the current individual. When it's a same-sex couple you can easily correct it though.

The same will happen when you enter children. Make sure the correct spouse is selected in the spouse-box because a child entered here is considered to be child of the current individual and it's spouse. After you've confirmed to add the new individual [1], you'll see that there is new event created in the events-list: Childbirth [2]. Set the child's sex and enter a birth date. When you enter a birthdate behind the child's name you'll see that this date also appears after that particular childbirth event. Complete the (child)birth event with entering the birth place [3]:

Suppose the current individual was married twice. Behind the spouse box is a drop-down arrow. Click on it and choose "...add".

Enter the name of the second spouse and confirm it. You'll notice that the child(ren), the marriage-event plus the childbirth-event(s) are changed to a gray italic font. This indicates a "second-layer" text. In this case it means that only the current indivual was involved in these events or relations but not the spouse. The label for spouse has been changed to "Family 2".

Keep in mind that entering information via the summary tab is considered to be standard information. Creating a marriage record because you entered a name in the spouse box seems logical but it doesn't have to be correct. When they weren't married you can change the event on the events tab and tick the partner box on the family tab. Clicking on the individuals names or the event names will take you take you to that individual or to that event.

From a 26/02/2004 GENBOX-L post by Wim Prange.

Posted by Michel Vuijlsteke on July 11, 2004 at 12:23 PM in General Use | Permalink


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GenBox data entry is easy to use and quite sensible.

But reporting on the data is incomprehensible to me! The assorted dialogs are beyond my comprehension! The Help file is little use, and there seems to be no other assistance to be found.

I tried to print a report of marriages that have lasted more than 40 years. No way did I even get to first base.

Yes, the included reports are useful to some, but none of them help me.

Posted by: Paul Blair | Oct 18, 2004 6:59:10 AM


How can I order marriages in the correct sequence? In other words, the first marriage for the husband may be the second marriage for the wife. But when I can't figure out how to get the wife's first marriage listed as her "FIRST FAMILY" on her individual screen...Any hints?


Posted by: Roxanne Goodrich | Mar 20, 2005 2:16:54 PM

Roxanne: this probably happens when you don't have dates for the marriages. You then can use sort dates to get the correct order. Put a date between square brackets [04-06-2005]. This date will only be used for sorting, not on charts or reports.

Posted by: wim | Jun 4, 2005 4:48:40 PM

Has anyone had problems making backup copies of the database??

I'm consistently getting "Cannot Complete the CD Writing Wizard. There was an error in the writing process. The disc you have attempted to write may no longer be usable."

...well, of course the disc is fine for saving every other kind of information, just not Genbox....I follow the directions under "Help", but get nowhere.

I tried an end run, and DID manage to save a Genbox Backup via Nero , but when I tested the saved copy, got the message -

" ALERT: Microsoft Jet database engine cannot open the file 'D:\\GENBOXDATABASE.GBD'
It is already opened exclusively by another user, or you need permission to view its data. "

What? Doesn't matter whether I am currently in or out of Genbox at the time....how do I give myself permission to view my own data from my own backup?

Any help will be appreciated!

Posted by: Roxanne | Jun 29, 2005 5:58:48 AM

I think writing a backup to a temporary location on a hard-drive and then going the Nero-route is safer anyway.

A file that is written to a CD is change to a "read-only file". Genbox needs to be able to write to the file however and when it (or better, the "Microsoft Jet database engine") encounters a file it can't open, it thinks it is opened by another program / user.
Before you want to open a gdb-file, you have to put it on the hard-drive. In Explorer, right-click on it and untick the read-only checkbox. After that, you should be able to open it in Genbox.

Posted by: wim | Jun 29, 2005 6:31:23 AM

I'm consistently getting "Cannot Complete the CD Writing Wizard. There was an error in the writing process. The disc you have attempted to write may no longer be usable."

Thanks for help.

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