Get Digital

So you are ready to start diving into genealogy, you’ve talked to the immediate family (or rather the ones you like) and you’ve read this boring blog. The next steps are choosing how to record the data to share, see what others have already done and to begin your journey.

For the next few blogs I will be posting I will be doing personal reviews of genealogy software. It is a personal choice so please let this be a conversation and let me know what you think. There are tons out there and to be honest I am a cheap bastard so I will be aiming for free software with minimal cost. I will not be reviewing DNA-based since there are many and the cost can be lucrative.

For background information- I am very comfortable with computers and I work in the tech field. I come from a technical family so I try to stay up with the times. I am doing these reviews with my American Historial Society for Germans from Russia in mind- they have an age range of 45-95 (not technical).

Things to know about digital software for genealogy:

  • GEDCOMS: Wiki defines GEDCOM as

A GEDCOM file is plain text (usually either ANSEL or ASCII) containing genealogical information about individuals, and meta data linking these records together. Most genealogy software supports importing from and exporting to GEDCOM format.

Gedcoms are the universal file type for almost all genealogy websites, sharing and genealogy forums. Similar to DOC files for document sharing.

  • PDF or  is the secondary format type that persons sharing will provide so you can manually entry the data you need rather than accept all persons in the tree purely due to content size or desire. There are amazing genealogists that have close to 100 000  persons in their tree and deep down if you wanted one line a GEDCOM is not wanted.

    PDF is also an abbreviation for the Netware Printer Definition File. PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format that has captured all the elements of a printed document as an electronic image that you can view, navigate, print, or forward to someone else.

Features I look for are:

  •  Ease of use for installation
  • Ease of use for simple additions
  • Ease of use citations and sourcing
  • Integration into social sharing
  • cost
  • GEDCOM import export
  • duplication reduction
  • report building

To be standard and fair… I am testing on the same computer running Windows 10 N  with Chrome and Spartan or an Android Samsung S7.

Remember there are already comparative charts:

http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/Compare.asp

http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/home/best-genealogy-software/

The real art is finding what data you need and what features you need and how much assistance you need…

 

I am currently using Legacy software with several add ons:

Family Sync to get it on my phone

GenSmarts to help me find source citations

 

 

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