Reviewing Brother’s Keeper

Acquired from

Purchasable from

 No add ons are available from the creator directly
A trial is available. The registration is $45.00 US for first purchase and for upgrades it is cheaper $19 for a CD and $24 for manual and CD. They call them selves shareware -and it is awesome.

Installation completed in 12.9 sec so very well done and very easy. The download was fast and about 5 clicks to get it installed and running.

Importing and exporting GEDCOMs is super simple…

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Once completed the data imported was very point blank and to the point.

This interface appears to have stuck to its roots in initial database design which is very to the point, text-based and simple. “Retro” or “Old School in a good way” are two ways to say it easier.  For the computer uncomfortable – a manual would be recommended. For those that are slow to update- this harks back to the day sans mouse- keyboarding only can be done.

Lets talk sourcing- due to its simplicity(which is nice a lot of the time) sources are in simple text and can be added easily to everything. Please note the sources on the Wendlin are pulled through the GEDCOM and clearly need cleaning but I was able to add easily. To the ease I was able to add a general family source which is so nice and some thing I’d love in other apps.

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The common reports like birthday and anniversary lists are fantastically easy to get to.

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For those that want to have quick and full control- it has no social connections to anything. It is local only so sneaky fingers or adjusting hands- just your work. It does remind you everytime you go to close it that you should back up- which is nice.

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I think I honestly will run this as a to do list builder. It was a wicked report that allows you to pull specific source or data missing lists very easily. Granted the first report I pulled to see if death place, birth place and parents were missing on this older GEDCOM was 95 pages- I still have work to do.

Review points:

  •  Ease of use for installation 5/5
  • Ease of use for simple additions 4/5
  • Ease of use citations and sourcing 4/5
  • Integration into social sharing -Not applicable
  • cost – Free to 45 is fabulous
  • GEDCOM import export- easy 5/5
  • duplication reduction
    • I had a hard time finding this feature
  • report building 4/5

I’d love to see in the next revision a search cheat sheet or check box for wild card searches or duplicate persons search rather than calling them twins since there are possiblities for multiple births. Auto updating or a windows 10 or android version. I want to get out of Windows. Otherwise awesome simple app.

I love the Reasonable Check report- clean, concise and easy to use.


Quick description:

Old School Simple


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:

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



Digging Into Your Past

So you are curious about your family tree… 

Genealogy is still a big word that you may look up later and the ancestry family tree websites or you want to do the DNA thing you’ve seen on TV …  “taken in by the click bait” but it costs money… and I just missed their long weekend.

Genealogy is more that just the vitals of some dead people that have your last name. It is more than knowing where your grandparents are. It is more than knowing where you come from. 
Every one has a story… and every story has a beginning a middle and an end. To be honest I used to look just at vitals to see if the puzzles pieces could match.

It,s the devil in the details…

 It is finding the truth in your opa’s stories. It is explaining why the German family food handed down is perogies. Why you’ve heard your gram talk about the aunt no one has met. The lady grand dad won’t talk about. It is discovering that the last 5 generations of that part of the tree had heart problems pre 40 and its time to get tested. It is finding out that vaccines actually work by reading about one family who lost 5 daughters before they were 5 to the same dieseases. 

There is so much to discover and learn from your own roots-its time to discover it. I hope to cover a range of topics on hunting your tree based on my experiences hunting mine down. Good luck and happy hunting.