Normally you add persons to the database from the browsing modes, but when entering the first person there is no one in the database to browse to. To add the first person to a LifeLines database, first select the add operation from the main menu. You will be prompted with the add menu (described later). Strike p to add a person. LifeLines creates a template of a GEDCOM person record, and puts you in a screen editor to edit the template. The default template is:

Example 1-5. Default person record template

  0 INDI
  1 NAME Fname /Surname/
  1 SEX MF
  1 BIRT
    2 DATE
    2 PLAC
    2 SOUR
  1 DEAT
    2 DATE
    2 PLAC
    2 SOUR

Edit the template to create the new person's record. Change the name to the person's name. Assign the person's sex by deleting either M or F. Fill out the birth and death events as best you can. If the person is alive, remove the death event. Remove any DATE and PLAC lines you do not have the information for.

The default template provides lines for one birth and one death event. You can expand the record with other events (even more birth or death events) and lines. Indentation makes it easier to read and edit the record, but isn't necessary. You may change the default edit template by defining the user option INDIREC (described later).

Here is how I might edit the template when creating a record about myself:

Example 1-6. Example editing of template record

  0 INDI
  1 NAME Thomas Trask /Wetmore/ IV
  1 SEX M
  1 BIRT
    2 DATE 18 December 1949
    2 PLAC New London, New London, Connecticut
    2 SOUR Birth Certificate
  1 OCCU Software Engineer
  1 RESI
    2 DATE 1982 to 1995
    2 PLAC Newburyport, Essex, Massachusetts
    2 ADDR 2 Barton Street, Newburyport, MA 01950
... lots of other events and facts

When you edit a person record, don't add or modify INDI, FAMC or FAMS lines. LifeLines creates and maintains these lines through specific user commands.

When you finish editing and leave the editor, you automatically return to LifeLines. If you made an error (eg, didn't use proper level numbers or didn't follow the proper name convention), LifeLines displays an error message, and asks if you want to re-edit the record. If you don't, LifeLines doesn't add the person to the database.

When the record is in proper format, LifeLines asks if you are sure you want to add the person to the database. If you answer yes, the person is added; if you answer no, the person isn't. In both cases LifeLines returns to the main menu.