Monday, October 6, 2008

PREPARATION & CHOOSING GENEALOGY SOFTWARE

PREPARATION

Write down any information you already know about your family history, and don't forget to include immediate family members, as you'll be working backwards most of the time! Get the data in order so you can look at it and start to see holes you need to fill in with information. Familiarize yourself with names and locations. Some families will have naming patterns, so keep that in mind. Naming patterns will be discussed at a later date.

GENEALOGY SOFTWARE

The next thing you have to decide is whether you are going to use any of the genealogy software programs available. You certainly do not have to use software for organizing and recording your research, but I can tell you that it will make life a lot easier for you if you do. There are so many programs available, from freeware to shareware to purchasing programs.

Freeware
is available to you at no cost or it gives you the option to pay a small fee. Shareware usually allows for a free trial download which gives you some use, but then after a certain period, for example a 30 day period, you are obligated to pay a certain amount which will be stated up front. There are offers where you can simply download for free, but you will have limited access and not be able to use all features. When you Purchase software, you are either provided a CD to download the program to your computer, or you are provided instructions on how to download the program from a website. Upgrades are sometimes offered for free when changes are made to any genealogy software, or there is a nominal fee charged to upgrade your original purchase.

If you are a PC user, you have a lot of options available to you. Unfortunately, a MAC user has far less options available. I've taken some time to review some of these options for both operating systems. Here's a list I have come up with for you in order to start educating yourself on what is available:

PC GENEALOGY SOFTWARE LIST

  1. Agelong Tree version 3.1.1
  2. Ancestral Quest version 12
  3. Ancestry Family Tree
  4. BirthWrite 2.6
  5. Brother's Keeper
  6. Family History System
  7. Family Matters
  8. Family Software
  9. Family Tree Builder
  10. Family Tree for Dummies
  11. Family Tree Heritage
  12. Family Tree Legends
  13. Family Tree Maker 2009
  14. Family Tree Publisher
  15. Famtree version 4.43
  16. Genbox Family History version 3.7.1
  17. Great Family version 2.2
  18. Kinship Archivist version 3.1.i
  19. Legacy Family Tree 6.0
  20. My Family Tree version 4.06
  21. Parents
  22. RootsMagic 3 Family Tree
  23. The Master Genealogist version 7
  24. WinTree Family Tree version 4.81
MAC GENEALOGY SOFTWARE LIST
  • Reunion 9
  • Heredis Mac X
  • MacFamilyTree Version 4

MAC & PC GENEALOGY SOFTWARE LIST
  • Personal Ancestral File
I'll be discussing the where you can find these various programs in my next post, along with system requirements and cost. I will also be adding more programs that are available as I acquire more information for you.

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