*What other software do you use for Family History?

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RalfofAmber
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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby RalfofAmber » 29 Jan 2008 09:05

On the subject of other software, and in particular something more research oriented, I ran into Deltadrive Genealogy Research System (GRS) http://www.deltadrive.co.uk.

Had a quick look at the Family History Fair but as it has no demo haven't invested in a copy.

Has anyone else looked at this?

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby PatrickT » 29 Jan 2008 16:01

I saw Deltadrive at Bracknell, too, and in a moment of madness invested in a copy. I can't honestly say that I have explored every facet, mainly because life is too short to learn to use this program properly! Unfortunately, like many 'research oriented' programs it tries to do much more than be a relatively simple research aid (which is what I want). The idea is that it is 'document based' rather than 'person based'. To quote from the reference manual:

'GRS is made up of three main components:
Information Tools
Research Data
Family Knowledge
These are used to collect information, store it in a logical and searchable way (data) and to help you make assumptions and decisions to produce family trees (knowledge)'

This appears to mean that you capture information from different sources into documents in a research database. A document can be a BMD certificate, census, GEDCOM file, or practically anything you can think of. Within each document people are linked by relationships. You can then analyse this research information in a number of ways (most of which I think you could replicate in FH). When you are convinced that the people in various documents are members of your family tree you would transfer the information into the 'Family Knowledge' part of the database and link the people in different documents together with standard relationships. You can then export the information to a GEDCOM file.

At the moment, I can't honestly see me investing the time and effort to learn to use the program as I'm not sure whether I could adapt my existing system structure to work with it without re-formatting or re-entering a lot of data.

RalfofAmber
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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby RalfofAmber » 29 Jan 2008 16:32

Patrick,

Thanks for the reply - I invested my money in Family Atlas which although not cheap has a clear function in allowing mapping of data in the gedcom file.

I was worried that GRS would mean throwing away a lot of work and effectively starting again with the new tool which seems to be database driven.

If you do get further with it please post - I think what I need is a companion tool not a replacement for FH!

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 29 Jan 2008 16:43

One of the books I have in my library is Emily Croom's Unpuzzling Your Past http://www.unpuzzling.com/ and its companion workbook with handy forms which can be removed and photocopied. Other log forms are available from websites, other books, etc.

What I don't understand is, these forms exist, and the research logging that needs to be done is clearly understood, so why does everyone seize on the lineage-linked database idea and force even document-oriented programs to include it? Why force people to assign their finds to a specific person when the whole point is, you may not know yet whether the document you've found relates to your known relative, or not?

It is tempting to take Emily Croom's forms and use them as a model to design some Excel spreadsheets (along the lines of the Census Tools spreadsheets) http://censustools.com/ to log what I have collected. I don't understand why there aren't more simple journaling programs out there -- of course I could set up a Wiki or blog on my local machine, but that seems like overkill. I agree with PatrickT - I want something simple.

Just wanted to add a brief note (well, what counts for 'brief' with yours truly) that GenSmarts 2.0 has some experimental features in what they call the 'sandbox' that will allow you to log and categorize resources in your own library and then it will alert you when you have people in your file in the same time and place as those sources -- see the thread on the forum here about keeping track of what one has on cover discs.

Now I have to figure out how to correctly identify these digital record collections to GenSmarts -- unfortunately there is no description of what is on the cover disc which is easy to scrape off the magazine's website.

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 22 May 2008 17:56

A question for the programmers, hackers, and geeks among us:

Has anyone used a program like WinMerge on GEDCOM files, or does a similar program exist which is designed to do the same?

http://winmerge.org/
WinMerge is an Open Source (GPL) visual text file differencing and merging tool for Windows. It is highly useful for determining what has changed between project versions, and then merging changes between versions.


Not so much for the merging part, but to make comparisons?

The thing I find particularly appealing is the highlighting of the differences between the files.

I haven't yet checked the wishlist to see if that feature has been asked for in FH's own Merge/Compare functions so if it is there already, please be gentle.... [oops]

Jan

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 22 May 2008 18:02

jmurphy said:
However, I am thinking about getting a (bigger) USB drive for my workplace that is a U3 Smart Drive (see http://www.u3.com/ ) and loading it with OpenOffice and EssentialPIM. I'll let you know how I like the portable EssentialPIM. Certainly the price is right (free).


Well, the whole U3 thing has been a bit of a bust.

I am still soldiering on here with my Win98 computer at home, which does not do U3, and when I am at work, I rarely have time to launch Essential PIM, so I haven't used Essential PIM -- I end up sending myself an email to remind myself about things or sticking info in a text file or Excel spreadsheet. Not very organzied!

Having the drive has been super for taking files back and forth, but for launching apps, I haven't done much.

So my latest hack is to install the PortableApps launcher on the USB drive (apparently the U3 Launchpad and the PortableApps Launcher can co-exist nicely) and I'm going to try Task Coach Portable. (That will also allow me to use Portable Firebird at work, which is newer than the U3 version of Firebird).

If I like Task Coach Portable for work, I may put it on my genealogy thumb drive too (along with a copy of Firefox with all my genealogy bookmarks).

Jan

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 01 Jun 2008 16:25

I'm still on the lookout for a research log / task manager and came across ToDoList 5.5 by AbstractSpoon Software:

http://www.abstractspoon.com/tdl_resources.html

ToDoList is a rare form of task management tool, one that allows you to repeatedly sub-divide your tasks into more manageable pieces whilst still presenting a clean and intuitive user experience.


It was written by a programmer to keep track of IT projects. One of the things you can do is to assign tasks to peoplw in your workgroup by name. I thought this might be re-purposed to flag different tasks with the surname the item belongs to.

I came across it while I was searching for portable apps -- there is an option to either put your preferences in the registry or in an .ini file, and if you choose the .ini you can run it from a thumb drive. Apparently. But I can't get it to work -- when I run the executable in the archive, I get an error.

Just wanted to post this in case it proved useful to some of you with more programming chops / newer machines than I have. I do like the interface and it would have given me a good excuse to learn XML.

Jan

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby RalfofAmber » 11 Jun 2008 15:10

has anyone had a look at Family Show?http://www.vertigo.com/familyshow.aspx

Written by a company called Vertigo for (believe it or not) Microsoft this is a rich proof of concept rather than a full product, but does have some good interface ideas

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Postby Jane » 11 Jun 2008 16:52

Just had a quick play, very much a style over substance product, I like the tag cloud for the surnames, but it's very very slow on my laptop, might be usable on my desktop.

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Postby jmurphy » 01 Aug 2008 07:41

Finally started using Task Coach portable (see http://www.portableapps.com) on my USB stick.

It might serve to keep a simple log of what research you have done. Not ideal, perhaps, but it is portable.

Jan

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby arshawbrown » 01 Aug 2008 07:57

I have just downloaded Ubuntu 8.04 Genealogy desktop live CD. It's Linux based, boots from CD without amending your Windows installation (can also be installed under Windows)and includes Gramps Genealogy System, GeneWeb and Lifelines. May be interesting - I'll play with it over the weekend. Download at http://www.gramps-project.org/wiki/inde ... nealogy_CD

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby RalfofAmber » 01 Sep 2008 13:09

I have been using Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition recently for the following reasons:

1) Although not very cheap, at £90 you are allowed to run it on three PCs which suits my needs for laptop and desktop usage

2) I had to give up on OpenOffice after three years as I couldn't get it to replace Excel properly.

In so doing, I have now got a copy of OneNote which I initially didn't use but now realise is fantastic:

1) You can cut and paste content in however you want as a real electronic scrap book

2) It is very searchable

3) It OCRs images as you paste them!

Yesterday, I was saving space on my shelves by cutting out articles, scanning them and pasting into OneNote to allow me to get rid of the clutter of old magazines. I was very impressed to find that as I pasted in a column of text it had been OCRd by the software and was already indexed! Saved me making up key words!

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby justone » 14 Sep 2008 15:27

TCGR (thanks to Jane pointing me onto that, it's quite good in combination with FH, mainly because it adresses the problem that FH isn't localized whereas the localized programs aren't of the same quality but FH), thus the combination of FH & TCGR is ideal for me.

Home coded util to dig FamilySeach.org a bit more automated but what the webpage allows for.

and finally ... what I don't use any longer. FTM and Genelines, especially the last one isn't worth a penny. If only Genelines would have turned out to be like FH and TCGR. I'm still looking for a replacement, anyone with an idea ?

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Postby jmurphy » 29 Mar 2009 12:55

The Windows version of GRAMPS (currently 3.11) is now available as a PortableApp.

http://www.ormus.info/archives/278-Port ... ocket.html

The author says it comes with its own Python and GTK environment. Since it uses a lot of little files, it may be best on a USB hard drive rather than a stick.

I've installed it, but haven't tested it out yet (it doesn't like my old Windows computer -- will have to try with XP).

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby bp158 » 01 Apr 2009 16:30

I had Zotero recommended to me and it is excellent when web surfing.
'Zotero [zoh-TAIR-oh] is a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself. '

I put my different families into collections , take snapshots of web pages, add tags and notes for each item I find.
http://www.zotero.org/

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby peter5643 » 11 May 2009 08:32

Jane you quoted this software back in 2007
I have also just found a tiny /free GedCom Viewer which will work on a key drive called Simple Family Tree


Have you found any new similar software since 2007 worth mentioning.

Back to the original thread.

There are two products that I use that may not have been mention which I have found very useful

SnagIt v 9 which is a screen capture program. I use it alot and has the ability to Scroll down a page. Many screen capure programs only capture what is on the screen.

The other software is VueScan. I found this very useful as my scanner is now several years old and I can not get an Epson driver for 64 bit Vista for it. By using VueScan it gets round this problem because I think it does not use a Twain driver.

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What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby PaulDesmondWhite » 23 Oct 2009 10:57

RalfofAmber said:
On the subject of other software, and in particular something more research oriented, I ran into Deltadrive Genealogy Research System (GRS) http://www.deltadrive.co.uk.

Had a quick look at the Family History Fair but as it has no demo haven't invested in a copy.

Has anyone else looked at this?


Went to their website and was extremely impressed with the philosophy, but there's absolutely nothing in the way of screen shots etc to back up the fine words. Makes me suspicious.

Have emailed them for further info.

Maybe one of these fine days (if i can get respite from the family research addiction) i'll sort out all my Excel and Access fragments and put something together with VB.NET.

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Postby jmurphy » 06 Dec 2009 03:20

Has anyone else looked at Louis Kessler's program Behold?

http://www.beholdgenealogy.com/

I've finally downloaded the trial version.

Ignore all the hype on his home page and look at the screenshot. What Behold does is look at your GEDCOM file and make a report that is human-readable, with a tree-style index on the sidebar. Right now it's read-only -- eventually he plans to have a version that will let you edit, too.

So -- let's say you want to find all the instances in your file of people who live on Chestnut Street. Fire up the search widget and enter 'Chestnut' and then you can skip right through and see them all, the same way you'd do if you had your GEDCOM file open in a text editor.

Peeking at the menu items, I see:

-- Export to RTF or HTML
-- a way to specify your text viewer of choice
-- you can pop up a separate window to view the GEDCOM at the same time, and compare
-- a section called 'Behold Organize Info' which will pop up a tabbed window with data about your GEDCOM (what GEDCOM tags are in your file, how many times each one is used, etc)
-- what things should be included in your 'Everything Report'

It seems to have divided my GEDCOM file up into four pools -- one family is my husband's father's family, one family is my husband's mother's family, the third is 'others related by marriage' and the last is 'everyone else'. That's the default, but there's a command to add, so perhaps you can teach the program better if you need a finer-grained approach. You can assign custom IDs to your families and to your GEDCOM files.

I think I like it -- especially for going through and looking for stuff that needs to be cleaned up, like instances of surnames in all caps, or screwy place names.

It's a neat little program.

Is it worth $20? Maybe. But if you download the beta now, you can get a key from the author and a 45-day trial for free.

Jan

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Postby jmurphy » 12 Jan 2012 17:26

I'm bumping this old thread to see if anyone has found any good 'other programs' lately.

On my wishlist now is some way to keep a to-do list for newspaper research. Let's say you are at the library and you have a newspaper -- it would be good to have a list of death dates for the people who lived in that town, for which you have no obituaries.

This is the kind of thing you could log with the Research Manager in Ancestral Quest.

I suppose it would be easier to keep this kind of thing in a named list in Family Historian. But I have toyed with the idea of plugging in all the BMD information into a standard PIM or calendar program, just for amusement value.

What's 'new and interesting' in the world beyond FH?

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Postby Jane » 12 Jan 2012 18:42

If you use a fact query, you could probably produce a csv file with the information and dump it in to a spreadsheet to use on what ever 'smart' device you use.

I know of a New Research Manager which is looking good, but it's not quite released yet.

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Postby makfai » 25 Jan 2012 14:13

I have been using CHECKLIST for various bits & pieces. http://www.tasksolutions.com/products.html

I can't complain about the software just my 'commitment' when it comes to using it!

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Postby johnmorrisoniom » 25 Jan 2012 17:06

I have been using Gedview, for iphone / ipod touch & ipad.

It started off as just a viewer, but now you can make changes and email them back to yourself.

I still use it maily so that I can always have my gedcom file with me.

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Postby makfai » 26 Jan 2012 09:48

I have also used INSPIRATION from  http://www.inspiration.com/inspiration_intl

It is easy to use as it is designed for  use at school and colleges but is useful for whatever.  It provides a very easy way of planning what you want to do and displays in both a digram and report format

I am also preparing a spreadsheet (EXCEL) in which the top row lists things like Birth; Baptism; Marriage Death records (Index and Certificate) and the Census etc and the first column identifies the person.  I can then easily see for which ones I have traced official records.  I suspect I am reinventing the wheel here and that someone has already done it![rolleyes]

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Postby tatewise » 26 Jan 2012 11:16

You should be able to create a spreadsheet like that using an FH Query.

The Knowledge Base of FHUG Downloads has the following related Queries:
BMD Events without Sources at
http://www.fhug.org.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=fhugdownloads:contents:individuals_with_bmd_events_without_sources
Kinsfolk Census Queries at
http://www.fhug.org.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=fhugdownloads:contents:kinsfolk_census_queries
Together these offer results similar to what you want.

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Postby Jane » 27 Jan 2012 09:15

Just to add to what Tatewise said, don't forget you can save the results of a query as a CSV file, which can be opened in Excel or even just select all the cells on the Query result page and paste them in if you prefer.


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