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From: Stephen Hayes
To: All
Date: 2003-02-16 18:20:18
Subject: Tiny Tafels


compiled by Steve Hayes, with acknowledgements to Christopher Long


A Tiny Tafel is a condensed list of the surnames you aere researching, with
information about the place and date of each line where it begins and ends,
and an indication of your level of interest in that line.

In a Tiny Tafel, an entry is made for each family line that is in the
Ahnentafel Chart. It does not contain any personal details of those ancestors.
Instead, it lists basic data about each family line - more specifically, a
surname and then the years and places of the earliest and most recent persons.
When looking for someone who's research might cross with your own, it would
not be immediately helpful to be told all of the specifics of a list of per-
sons. But, if you were told "I have research on the COLLINS family from 1700
to 1986, starting in England and ending in South Carolina" you would be able
to immediately decide if there is a possibility of your lines crossing. This
is the idea behind a Tiny Tafel.

Tiny Tafels have a rigid format. This allows computers to more easily read and
compare them. If you deviate from that format, it is very likely that your
Tiny Tafel will not be able to be processed by matching programs such as the
Tiny Tafel Editor and the Tafel Matching System.

It is possible to create a Tiny Tafel using a word processor or a text editor
(such as Windows notepad), but you need to know the specification and follow
it exactly.

This is why a special TT editor is useful, as it automatically checks for the
correct format.

If anyone would like a copy of the Tiny Tafel Editor, a shareware program by
Chris Long, please e-mail me at hayesstw{at} and ask for it. I will send
it by e-mail attachment as a .zip file.


Think of it as a snapshot of what you are researching. At a glance, a person
can immediately see your research and be able to tell you if any of your lines
look like they might meet with their own. If they look promising, you both may
benefit from sharing your research.

Plus, there are ways to automate the process of comparing Tiny Tafels. This is
particularly useful because there are large collections of Tiny Tafels
(1000's) that are available for this.


Fidonet is the largest amateur Bulletin Board System (BBS) network in the
world. It has over 20,000 computer systems participating. On Fidonet are
hundreds of different Echoes. An Echo is a message area that is shared with
other systems. If you leave a message in an echo, a copy of your message is
sent to every system in the network that participates in that particular echo.
There are numerous echoes dealing with genealogy and family history.

One such echo is the Genealogy Database conference, which is more commonly
known as GenData. The only messages that are allowed in GenData are Tiny
Tafels. By entering your TT as a message in this echo, it will quickly be seen
by a very large number of people.

The Tiny Tafel Editor is capable of comparing Tiny Tafels. This is usually
refered to as generating a "matching report". If you have one or more other
Tiny Tafels for running a match with, you may press AltM (Alternate + M) while
in the TT edit screen to access the matching routines.


=========== SAMPLE TT BEGINS =============================
N Ronald Hickman
A Villa Devereux
A Route Orange
A St Brelade
A Jersey JE3 8GP
A British Channel Islands
T (0534) 43822
F Family History System (C:FAMILY  .NAM)
R No modem, but will answer snail mail
R queries
Z 40 Tiny Tafel Editor v2.2 --- This TT may be freely distributed!
A350 1760*1760*ADAME\Cape Colony/Cape Colony
A536 1860:1982:ANDERTON\Natal, South Africa/Natal, South Africa
B340 1930.1951:BATAILLE\Natal, south Africa/UNKNOWN
B552 1770*1953*BENINGFIELD\London, England/Durban, South Africa
B552 1802 1802 BENNINGFIELD\Whitechapel, London/Whitechapel, London
B632 1782*1800 BREEDSCHOE\Cape Town/Cape Town
B632 1755*1755*BREITSCHUH\Eisleben, Germany/Eisleben, Germany
B650 1940.1985:BRIAN\Chelmsford, Essex, ENG/Chelsmford, Essex, ENG
B652 1829.1955:BRINK\Cape Town, South Africa/South Africa
B655 1822*1866*BUEHRMANN\Amsterdam, Nederland/Ermelo, Transvaal
B652 1940.1940:BURMEISTER\South Africa/South Africa
B622 1881.1881:BURROUGHES\Holt, Norfolk, England/Holt, Norfolk, England
B622 1919.1919:BURROUGHS\Pretoria, South Africa/Pretoria, South Africa
C500 1942.1942:CAINE\Dundee, South Africa/Dundee, South Africa
C516 1935.1967:CHAMBERLAIN\Natal, South Africa/UNKNOWN
C430 1849.1882:CHILD\UK/UK
D000 1883.1965:DEE\London, England/Durban, South Africa
D146 1965.1973:DEVILLIERS\Pretoria, South Africa/Pretoria, South Africa
D623 1916.1948:DURSTON\Plymouth, Devon, ENG/Durban, South Africa
E452 1773*1773:ELLINGTON\London, England/London, England
F450 1780*1825*FLAMME\Twiste, Hesse-Nassau/Cape Town, South Africa
G431 1931*1931 GOLDBOLD\Umtata, South Africa/Umtata, South Africa
H200 1868.1943:HAWKE\Natal, South Africa/Natal, South Africa
H255 1797*1966*HICKMAN\England/Nazeing, Essex, ENG
L162 1930.1930:LIVERSAGE\Natal, South Africa/Natal, South Africa
L000 1903.1974:LOWE\Pietermaritzburg/Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
L320 1910.1954:LUDIK\South Africa/South Africa
M624 1907.1948:MARSHALL\Port Elizabeth, South Africa/South Africa
M260 1935.1958:MCRAE\Natal, South Africa/UNKNOWN
M460 1868.1961:MILLER\Kwelegha, E Cape, South Africa/Durban, South Africa
N345 1826*1900:NEETHLING\Worcester, Cape Colony/UNKNOWN
P456 1914.1945*PALMER\Pretoria, South Africa/Pretoria, South Africa
P560 1888.1888.PIENAAR\South Africa/South Africa
R534 1964.1970:RANDALL\Pietermaritzburg, South Africa/Johannesburg, RSA
S363 1861.1894.STEWARD\South Africa/South Africa
T250 1896.1926:THESEN\Knysna, south Africa/Knysna, RSA
V536 1943.1946:VANDERPOEL\South Africa/South Africa
V526 1900.1963:VONSORGENFREI\South Africa/South Africa
W425 1905.1963:WILSON-YELVERTON\Natal, RSA/Natal, South Africa
W623 1803.1803.WRIGHT\London, England/London, England
W 01 Nov 1995
============ SAMPLE TT ENDS ===================================

Some notes on the structure:

N Ronald Hickman             <-- Name of person
A Villa Devereux             <-- Snail mail address
A Route Orange
A St Brelade
A Jersey JE3 8GP
A British Channel Islands
T (0534) 43822                                  <-- phone number
F Family History System (C:FAMILY  .NAM)        <-- genealogy software used
R No modem, but will answer snail mail
R queries
S                                               <-- for e-mail addresses etc
Z 40 Tiny Tafel Editor v2.2 --- This TT may be freely distributed!

Note that each of these "header" lines is preceded by a field letter: N for
name, A for address, T for phone, S for electronic mail service (BBS,
CompuServe, E-mail address etc).

The last header field, Z, shows that it is the end of the header, and gives
the number of lines that follow, and, optionally, the software used to edit
the Tiny Tafel.

Then follow the lines of the Tafel proper:

D000 1883.1965:DEE\London, England/Durban, South Africa
D146 1965.1973:DEVILLIERS\Pretoria, South Africa/Pretoria, South Africa
D623 1916.1948:DURSTON\Plymouth, Devon, ENG/Durban, South Africa
E452 1773*1773:ELLINGTON\London, England/London, England

The first four characters are the SOUNEX code of the surname.
Earliest date of Birth
Interest level (* = high, : = moderate; . = low, blank = none)
Latest date of birth
Interest level
Earliest place of birth, preceded by \
Latest place of birth, preceded by /

The interest level following the earliest year is usually taken as the
interest in ANCESTORS of that surname.

The interest level following the latest date of birth is usually taken as the
interest level in DESCENDANTS of that surname.


When you draw up your Tiny Tafel(s), here are some things to bear in mind:

1. Include the date

If your genealogy program generates a Tiny Tafel, many dates may be left blank
or be shown as 0000. Edit them to give a rough guess for the earliest and
latest year of birth. A blank date will not help the matching system. A guess
could at least get the century right. MOST MATCHING SYSTEMS IGNORE ENTRIES

2. Include the place

Many Tiny Tafels have a blank or "unknown" for the place field. This is of
little use to other researchers. If you don't know anything else about the
place, at least put the country. If your family travelled to many places, you
may put in several surname lines to indicate some of the places. The dates
should then relate to the family's association with those places. If a family
emigrated from England to South Africa, for example, in the "South Africa"
line you would put the date of the first and last members born there, not the
date of the earliest ancestor born in England.

DON'T FORGET THE COUNTRY! This seems to be a common failing with people in the
USA who have compiled Tiny Tafels!

One of the weakneses of the Tiny Tafel system has been the lack of a thesaurus
for place names. I suggest a good way of working around it is to use the
abbreviations found in the Genealogical Research Directory, which are fairly
widely known and used. For countries use USA (not U.S.A.), ENG for England,
CAN for Canada, RSA for South Africa, WLS for Wales, SCT for Scotland, GER for
Germany, BEL for Belgium, FRA for France, AUS for Australia, NZ for New
Zealand, and so on.

3. Include family lines you have data on, but are not researching

If you have information in your records on families that you are not
researching, include them in your TT anyway, but indicate only interest in
descendants, not ancestors. This will enable other researchers in those
families to contact you.

Above information compiled by Steve Hayes
with acknowledgements to Chris Long
E-mail: hayesstw{at}

--- WtrGate v0.93.p9 Unreg
 * Origin: Khanya BBS, Tshwane, South Africa [012] 333-0004 (5:7106/20)
SEEN-BY: 633/267 270
@PATH: 7106/20 22 7102/1 140/1 106/2000 633/267

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