Genealogy Tools: How to Pick what is Right for You

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There are many software genealogy packages out there. It can be daunting and expensive if you do not pick one that is right for you.

To help you with your search for the right genealogy tools, I have found two good and recent on-line resources:

1. toptenreviews.com has an article “2014 Best Genealogy Software Review Product Comparisons”

http://genealogy-software-review.toptenreviews.com/index.html

This article compares 12 of the family history tools available  today. They are ranked OVERALL by the article as follows–

  1. Legacy Family Tree
  2. Family Tree Maker
  3. Rootsmagic
  4. The Master Genealogist
  5. Ancestral Quest
  6. Family Historian
  7. Herdis
  8. Win Family
  9. Genbox Family History
  10. Agelong Tree
  11. Doro Tree
  12. Famtree

The on-line information includes scoring and info on each software package by reporting & publishing, feature set, citation & organization and help & support.

Also at the very end of the article they discuss why genealogy software is a good idea and discuss the importance of knowing what to look for in family history software packages.

2. wikipedia.com has an entry “Comparison of Genealogy Software”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_genealogy_software

This entry compares 36 of the family history tools available (includes most of those listed above in the first article; as well an additional 24 that are either further versions of those above or other unique software packages).

The article then compares every software package on these areas–

  • general features [individual view, family view, pedigree view, chronological view, ancestor charts, ancestors reports, descendent charts, descendent reports, fan charts, research manager, dna charts, research guidance and mapping],

 

  • genealogical features [unicode support, single parent family, same-sex marriage, witness to events, name variance, conflicting evidence, source surety, adoption & foster parent and non-standard calendar in date fields]

 

  • and languages. [English, Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Spanish and Swedish]

Each software package comparison item is highlighted in green or red if they are fitting or contrary to the feature comparison. It is a quick and easy way to look at an individual software package’s comparison overall to many other packages.

Finally, I have two more pieces of advice:

A. In the on-line family history forums that I discussed in the blog “Finding Treasure and Junk” there are message boards / bulletin boards / forums on the specific topic of “genealogy software”. You can review those discussions as well to see what people are saying about the various software packages that are available.

B. Although I am a big proponent of using a computer based software package for keeping and tracking family history; always keep a paper copy of your family history. Save so much info in the package and then print it out. It is just smart as computers get corrupted, fail and get damaged every day. And you do not want to lose all your hard work.

 

 

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One thought on “Genealogy Tools: How to Pick what is Right for You

  1. This is a very helpful blog post because I was unaware of all the different software options. Knowing and understanding what you are looking for in terms of history and reporting has a big impact on which software you choose.

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