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Beginning Genealogy Lesson #2
Choosing a Genealogy Software Program
revised 9 March 2009

From: MeNiceGuy@aol.com
DearMYRTLE,
I would like to know what the best software program (preferably shareware) is to track family histories.  I am just beginning, and want to start right. -- Thanks.

DearREADERS,
I hope you made a lot of progress getting your vital records together from last week's lesson.  Now, we'll tackle what to do with the information you collected as you climb your family tree.

I receive letters from lots of people who have been working on their own for a few months, making custom databases with Excel or DBase IV.  I hope to save you similar heartache by telling you there are lots of good genealogy programs on the market today!  

The first advantage of using a genealogy management program, is that you are able to:
-- type in the name, dates, localities on each ancestor 1 time
-- print out and view a variety of reports such as family group sheets, pedigree charts, descendency charts, etc.

The second advantage of using one of the main stream genealogy programs is that they adhere (sometimes loosely) to a set of guidelines called GEDCOM which allows the transfer of data between different genealogy programs. In this manner you can receive and share databases with others who are working the same lineages. You simply MUST use a genealogy program with this GEDCOM file transfer capability. Don't buy one that doesn't mention such compatibility. Without it, you'll just have to type in by hand all those names your cousin sent you on paper! (ugh!)

INTERNET READERS:  For those of  you who are reading this article from the internet, may I suggest that you consult Cyndi's List of Software for a comprehensive, up-to-date listing http://www.cyndislist.com/software.htm.
 

MAC 

Reunion (Leister Pro) http://www.leisterpro.com 

WINDOWS favorites

Ancestral Quest  www.AncQuest.com
Brother's Keeper (Shareware) http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Brothers_Keeper 
Family Tree Maker  www.familytreemaker.com 
Legacy www.legacyfamilytree.com 
The Master Genealogist www.whollygenes.com 
Personal Ancestral File http://www.familysearch.org 
RootsMagic www.rootsmagic.com 

PLEASE NOTE: If you plan to synchronize with what in March 2009 is called "new FamilySearch" you will need either a bridging program (if you use PAF) or a full-fledged genealogy program that is certified to work with FamilySearch. For a complete listing of those in compliance, see FamilySearch's official listing at: https://devnet.familysearch.org/certification/affiliate-program/AffiliateCertfied

Which genealogy program do I think works best?  Which one would I recommend using? Quite simply they each have many fine points, and I do own copies of all the recent versions.  I think its best to use the genealogy program the majority of your friends at the local genealogy society are using.  This means you'll have a sizable group of "users" who can share their expertise.

Make it your goal this week to find out about genealogy programs.  Then purchase and  install one, learning all you can about the program's options.  You will thank me later, if you begin by organizing your family history early on by using genealogy software.

Class dismissed!
Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
www.DearMYRTLE.com  

 

1995-2009 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog Right-click to copy RSS feed URL. Add to My Yahoo BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast media RSS feed
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