If you followed the previous post of Your Family Is The Place to Start and did as indicated then you are ready to start reading this post.
So you have gathered as much information that could possibly be gathered from your family and have organized it. If you attempted to organize it that is fine since you have probably noticed that the family charts and forms are kind of hard to follow and organize. At this point that is where Software that has been made specially for genealogy comes in. Here I will recommend to you only software that I have used and can provide you with honest information. Later on you can explore other ones that will better fit your needs.
The first thing that you need to know is that most software follow the Gedcom standard or at least try to follow it. This is the format that all your data is saved to and makes it easier to change or upgrade software, it is also used to back up your data. Just be aware that if you change from one software to another there will always, if not most of the time, be errors since some programs go above and beyond Gedcom standards and collect extra information that other vendors do not support.
The two software programs that I have used extensively are Family Tree Maker from Familysearch.com and Family Tree Builder from myheritage.com. The first one is sold for $39.00 and the second is free, but additional features require a subscription. See the following reviews of each and my recommendations as to which one I recommend you use.
My Favorite Two
Family Tree Maker
This one is may favorite since it lets you back up your family tree online for no additional cost and has superb citation capabilities. The timeline is great and it also has a map to easily see all your locations. It lets you also keep track of your research and has tools to help you analyse your data.
Family Tree Builder
This software is free to download and install all you need to do is register with a valid email address. They let you upload a 250 person tree to the web for free and anything beyond you need to start paying a subscription fee. But to use this software on your computer there is no limit as to how many people you can enter. It also lets you print reports and charts, but does not have good research tracker nor very good citation capabilities. If you are in a tight budget I recommend it since you will not find anything better out there that is free.
As you can see both are great programs and have great features and in my opinion they are the best.
My recommendation is if you can afford it, to go with Family Tree Maker since it has better capabilities for citations and lets you keep better track of your research. Also the backing up to the internet and their android app are great. But if you are short in cash and don’t want to spend a dime go with Family Tree Builder just be aware that the citation capabilities are not as powerful and you can only back up family trees of less than 250 persons to the internet. They also have an android app which I never tested, but I have heard people say they like it. I used their free software for over seven years and still use them since their software will let you know of any matches on other online trees.
Try them both and see which one you prefer. The important thing here is you choose one and start entering the information that you have already collected. Remember don’t enter any information that you don’t have proof for and if you do decide to enter it, make notes indicating that more research is needed to verify information.
Which ever software you use enter your pictures and scanned documents before you go to the next post. Have fun!
Let us know about your experiences on the comment area of this blog. Next post will be posted next Thursday and that is where the fun will continue. Make sure to visit us frequently since I post something new almost each day.