Adventures in Genealogy
Or "Rednecks, Free Software and Filling in the Charts"
by Uncle Hiram
The longer you do genealogy, the more you realize that you really need a good genealogy program. Now, there are several dozen really good programs out there on the market, ranging in price from free, to well over a hundred bucks. Personally, I use three programs: Family Origins, Family Tree Maker and Legacy. I started out using Family Origins, which is an excellent program, very easy to use, with lots of good forms and functions.
Next, I tried Family Tree Maker, the big dog on the genealogical market. Their forms are far superior to the ones in Family Origins and the book option is probably the best one I have seen. I have two major hang-ups with FTM (Family Tree Maker), the price of the upgrades and their habit of selling other people's research on World Family Tree CD's.
Just for the record, I want to say right up front, I believe a company should be allowed to make a profit from the sales of their software, but I think the practice of selling research that was donated to FTM is disgraceful.
About six months ago, I decided to try a new program: Legacy's Family Tree Genealogy program. The Program meets my first objective price: its FREE. You can download it at (http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/). The program is extremely easy to run. The Sourcing set up on Legacy 3.0 is far superior to anything I have seen with any other program. It's ease of use and ability to delete every reference to a source is wonderful. The reason this feature is a plus. is because with a lot of programs when you merge a gedcom into it, there is a Source citation placed on every bit of information.
When the source is a book, that's great, but when the source is a gedcom you really don't want it listed on every fact.
It allows you to put in an unlimited number of alternate names and events. This is a great feature because it allows you to list every single item you find on each person.
The people search function is set up to let you search for an individual, or for any subset of people. For instance, you can search for John Doe, or all the descendants of John Doe.
The following is a list of the Misc. Searches you can use with this program:
Search by Focus Group: Can include individuals, families, ancestor and descendant lines.
Oldest Direct Line Generation: Creates a list of all the individuals that are in the oldest direct-line ancestor generation of the current individual. This could be one or more individuals.
Youngest Direct Line Generation: Creates a list of all the individuals in the youngest direct-line descendant generation of the current individual. This could be one or more individuals.
Direct-Line Ancestors with No Parents: This lists includes the individuals at the end of all direct ancestor lines of the current individual.
Direct-Line Descendants with No Children: This includes all individuals at the bottom end of all direct descendant lines of the current individual.
Linked individuals With No Children: All individuals that are linked to someone else, but don't have any children linked to them. These are at the bottom of all descendant lines in the Family File.
Linked Individuals With No Parents: All individuals that are linked to someone else, but don't have any parents linked to them. These are at the top of all ancestor lines in the Family File.
Unlinked Individuals: All individuals in the Family File that are not linked to anyone else.
All Records With an Individual Tag Level of x: Creates a list of all the people who have been tagged at a specified level.
All Records With Bad Dates: Creates a list of all individuals who have one or more dates that are not in a recognizable date format. These are usually individuals that have been imported from another source.
You can attach multiple Photo's or Sound files to an individual, which is a real fun feature. There are numerous other features that make this program a blast to use. If you buy the Deluxe version ($24.95), you can also view two Family tree's at the same time to compare them. This feature alone is worth the price of the upgrade. If you are just starting to use a genealogical program, or you are not happy with the one you are using now, I would strongly recommend giving this program a try. Download the free version of it and when you discover how much fun and how easy it is to use, you are going to want the Deluxe version.
-Adios and Keep Smiling!
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About the Author
"I am not rich or famous so I don't have a pre-prepared Bio written by some high paid ghost rider. So I will just give Yall the relevant facts."
- Bill Hocutt (Uncle Hiram)
Beating the Bushes