*What other software do you use for Family History?

The place to chat and put the world to rights
User avatar
Jane
Site Admin
Posts: 7133
Joined: 01 Nov 2002 15:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Somerset, England
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby Jane » 26 May 2007 10:19

I have been redesigning my personal site and got to wondering what software in addition to Family Historian you use for your research and results.
Currently I am using
  • Gedcom Census
  • Family Atlas
  • FH Converter (converts FH media to simple formats)
  • TNG (for dynamic web, I just changed over from phpgedview)
  • The Complete Genealogy Reporter
I am still looking for a good portable contact management system, a research logging system and a 'magic brickwall remover'[rolleyes] although the latter is somewhat unlikely.

I have also just found a tiny free GedCom Viewer which will work on a key drive called Simple Family Tree

ID:2338

User avatar
IzzardResearcher
Gold
Posts: 21
Joined: 26 Sep 2006 13:13
Family Historian: V4
Location: At large in the UK
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby IzzardResearcher » 27 May 2007 10:50

As well as Family Historian I use:

  • Gedcom Census
  • Parish Locator
  • Res Privata
  • Excel (for research logging, although not ideal)
  • Paint Shop Pro (for all photos and images)
  • 1st Page 2000 (for HTML)
  • Xenu's Link Sleuth (for link checking)

I've just purchased Family Atlas for mapping my data.

Regards

Lindsey

ireneblackburn
Superstar
Posts: 281
Joined: 07 Apr 2005 13:40
Family Historian: V6
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby ireneblackburn » 27 May 2007 17:23

I use a freeware program called GEDXLATE which converts a gedcom file to excel format. I use Excel to make lists of queries to take to Record Offices.

Irene

RalfofAmber
Famous
Posts: 173
Joined: 25 Nov 2006 19:34
Family Historian: None

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby RalfofAmber » 27 May 2007 18:25

ireneb said:
I use a freeware program called GEDXLATE which converts a gedcom file to excel format. I use Excel to make lists of queries to take to Record Offices.

Irene


Irene - thanks for the tip, I just looked this up and it is exactly what I need. I want to do a cross query from an Excel spreadsheet I fill in when I scour records and check it against possible matches.

I also liked the look of the other software on the site http://www.gedmagic.com

philjo
Diamond
Posts: 78
Joined: 12 Sep 2003 13:43
Family Historian: V6

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby philjo » 28 May 2007 17:40

I use GEDWise for viewing my Gedcom file on my Palm Handheld when visiting record offices.

User avatar
jmurphy
Megastar
Posts: 662
Joined: 05 Jun 2007 23:33
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: California, USA
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 10 Jul 2007 21:27

The other program I use that I would recommend to people is GenSmarts, which reads your GEDCOM file and looks for missing data, makes suggestions about what you might do to fill in the gaps and suggests places where that information might be found. It will sort your suggestions by Research Location and print out a To Do list for you if you are visiting a specific facility.

There is also an interesting little ad-supported program called Ahnensuche which is useful for gathering pointers to information on Family Search and GenCircles and other places. It allows you to sort out the search hits by category: 'important' 'perhaps important' 'not important'. It could be of some use in keeping track what you have searched for already.

Besides those two, I will use anything I can get my hands on. Before I settled on FH as my main program, I tried all the other programs I could find, and for the programs which still work (where the trials haven't exipired), I will use them for the odd feature here and there.

Ancestral Quest has a very handy date calculator, and it will display some scans we made which even IrfanView has trouble with, so I'm still using that for the scrapbook and for some features like the date calculator. It does have a Research Manager, although I didn't use it much before I switched over to FH for my main program.

I downloaded the trial of version 11 which allows one to have a database of up to 120 people - don't know if the current trial is as friendly, or if it cuts off after a certain amount of time.

I bought FTM for the free sub to Ancestry (a year with that version), and every now and again I will forget how awful it is and fire it up to do a web search. Every now and again I do find something that way which I missed on a manual search, so I haven't tossed it yet.

I bought a very cheap closeout copy of Family Tree Legends because it came bundled with GedStarPro (and Pocket Genealogist) -- compared to FH, FTL (the 2006 version) is awful, and I can't get the SmartMatching on GenCircles to work, but it has a nice feature that will let you print out various blank forms designed by the US magazine Family Tree Magazine. Since I have tons of notes in my FH database which lead to ugly reports, I may print forms out and fill them in my hand as one did in the old 'typewriter genealogy' days.

Since I mostly bought the package to play with GedStarPro on my old Palm, it didn't really matter to me if FTL worked or not -- so a form generator for $8 is not bad, I guess.

I've also used GedXLate, have looked at the set of Excel spreadsheets known as Census tools, etc.

Jane said:
I am still looking for a good portable contact management system, a research logging system and a 'magic brickwall remover' although the latter is somewhat unlikely.


I too am looking for some kind of PIM or contact management software.

For the 'magic brickwall remover' -- GemSmarts is good, but a kind soul looking over your problem with a fresh eye is better. I like the website Curious Fox for posting geographically based queries -- a couple of users have provided information that was quite helpful.

Jan

Rusty
Diamond
Posts: 86
Joined: 28 Oct 2004 20:28
Family Historian: V6

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby Rusty » 11 Jul 2007 11:27

I use Gedcom Census and also an excel spreadsheet on which I just put ID numbers, names and columns for BMD and Census returns then I can see at a glance what I need to chase up.

I would be interested in any feed-back on Family Atlas, how easy it is to use and what kind of information it shows etc.

Margaret

chrispa
Newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: 10 Jan 2006 15:46
Family Historian: None

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby chrispa » 14 Jul 2007 16:56

Just read this and uploaded GEDXLATE so man thanks. I have struggled for ages trying to transfer LDS downloaded files to Excel - ok I confess I'm not too good on anything too technical. Only just mastering basic queries so this looks wonderful - simple and transfers all the fields. Thanks for sharing information

Chris

arishmell
Diamond
Posts: 64
Joined: 29 Jan 2005 19:13
Family Historian: V6.2

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby arishmell » 14 Jul 2007 20:00

I tried GEDEXLATE and found it apparently very good except where the individual has an alternative name.  In these cases, the full name is ignored and the alternative name (given or surname) is placed in the given name column and the surname column is left blank.  With obvious shortcomings like that, I'm not happy to place my confidence in the program - there may be other problems I can't immediately see.    

User avatar
jmurphy
Megastar
Posts: 662
Joined: 05 Jun 2007 23:33
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: California, USA
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 15 Jul 2007 21:54

Just wanted to post my latest mis-adventure in collecting software for use in doing Family History.

A local newsstand carries the UK magazine Your Family Tree -- the copies sold here in the US all say Your Family History on the cover instead, but if one goes to the website and compares the content and artwork, they are clearly the same publication.

I am a sucker for magazines with cover disks, and since I am doing some research in the UK as well as the US, I snatched this up eagerly when I first spotted it a couple of issues ago.

Yesterday we went to the shop and I bought issue 52. It had as its feature program on the coverdisk a program called MediaDex, which allows you to catalog your digital media files.

This will be just the ticket, I think, so I scoop up the magazine. Foolishly, I forget to check the CD-ROM case, and once I get home, I discover it is empty!

Now perhaps 50% of the coverdisk, though useful, is repeated every month, so I think to myself, do I really want to take the time and spend the money on transit to go back to the shop to ask for a copy which has the cover disk? This is just a trial version of the program, so perhaps I can download a trial version from the MediaDex website instead.

Yes! I can! But wait -- Win98 is not listed -- I need a newer computer. [frown]

Think of how annoying it would have been, had I gone all the way back to the shop to beg for a coverdisk, only to discover when I got home for the second time that I couldn't run the program! [eek]

At any rate, I thought I would mention it in case those of you with large collections of digital media and other files were on the lookout for something to keep them all organized.

Jan

User avatar
Jane
Site Admin
Posts: 7133
Joined: 01 Nov 2002 15:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Somerset, England
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby Jane » 16 Jul 2007 14:17

For photo organising, Picassa is pretty good and free. I don't use it myself, as I use a 'premium' product called Lightroom, as I shoot a lot of photographs, which are in a specialist format called RAW which Picassa does not support very well.

Aulus
Gold
Posts: 18
Joined: 17 Mar 2007 21:46
Family Historian: None

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby Aulus » 28 Aug 2007 15:46

jmurphy said:
The other program I use that I would recommend to people is GenSmarts, which reads your GEDCOM file and looks for missing data, makes suggestions about what you might do to fill in the gaps and suggests places where that information might be found.

I've just downloaded GenSmarts but find that most of its suggestions are things that I've already got. Marriages in particular. For virtually every couple it's suggesting that I research the marriage records as the data is missing, but then in its own summary of the person, it includes the marriage.

Might I have been recording marriages incorrectly in FH (I have the latest update of v.3), or is there something odd about either the way FH records marriages in the GEDCOM file or the way Gensmarts reads the file?

Anyone else have this problem?

I'll email the Gensmarts people with the same question.

Just wondered, as you're recommending it, whether you're getting the same.

Aulus
Gold
Posts: 18
Joined: 17 Mar 2007 21:46
Family Historian: None

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby Aulus » 29 Aug 2007 13:04

I got this response from GenSmarts, after sending them an extract of the GEDCOM produced by Family Historian.

Can anyone comment whether this is something I've done wrong in Family Historian, or is FH not recording the marriage on both sides of the family?

When I look at the record for both husband and wife in the individual view, both are married to each other with the same marriage details and sourcing.


At first glance... there are two families defined... so GenSmarts is trying to help you track down the marriage for that first family definition (which seems to be missing any marriage place/date).
...

0 @F113@ FAM
1 HUSB @I357@
1 WIFE @I358@
1 CHIL @I364@
1 CHIL @I362@
1 CHIL @I359@
1 CHIL @I365@
1 CHIL @I360@
1 CHIL @I352@
1 CHIL @I363@
1 CHIL @I361@

...

0 @F240@ FAM
1 MARR
2 DATE 5 MAY 1849
2 PLAC Langford, Maldon, Essex
2 ADDR Parish Church
2 SOUR @S10@
3 PAGE Marriage Cert...
2 NOTE There is only...
1 HUSB @I357@
1 WIFE @I358@
1 CHIL @I359@
1 CHIL @I360@
1 CHIL @I361@
1 CHIL @I362@
1 CHIL @I363@
1 CHIL @I352@
1 CHIL @I364@
1 CHAN
2 DATE 9 MAR 2007
3 TIME 18:22:49


User avatar
Jane
Site Admin
Posts: 7133
Joined: 01 Nov 2002 15:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Somerset, England
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby Jane » 29 Aug 2007 16:12

You have probably merged in some data and ended up with two family records. If you go to the family tab of the records window and select the two family records you can use the merge records option on the Edit window to merge the two family records, this is better than just deleting one as it will allow you to check the records are the same.

Aulus
Gold
Posts: 18
Joined: 17 Mar 2007 21:46
Family Historian: None

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby Aulus » 31 Aug 2007 19:41

Thanks Jane.

Took me a while to find the Families tab (as it's hidden by default), but now I have, it's all in the process of being sorted. Though I'm deleting, rather than merging as for some reason merging is breaking the links between spouses and between parents and children.

User avatar
Jane
Site Admin
Posts: 7133
Joined: 01 Nov 2002 15:00
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: Somerset, England
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby Jane » 01 Sep 2007 07:35

You need to check exactly what FH is proposing to do and correct any thing you don't want I suspect its keeping the 'wrong' side of the links.

ianjp
Newbie
Posts: 3
Joined: 17 Feb 2004 11:35
Family Historian: None

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby ianjp » 01 Sep 2007 09:13

I use Custodian 3(http://www.custodian3.co.uk/) to record all the information I find at distant record offices, which may or may not be relevant to my own family tree, so that I have the information if I find a link at a later date.

User avatar
jmurphy
Megastar
Posts: 662
Joined: 05 Jun 2007 23:33
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: California, USA
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 13 Oct 2007 16:57

Thanks for posting the note about GenSmarts and their reply. I've had some trouble with it also, so when I see the situation you describe I'll double-check what is going on in my FH file.

Jan

User avatar
jmurphy
Megastar
Posts: 662
Joined: 05 Jun 2007 23:33
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: California, USA
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 13 Oct 2007 17:09

I've posted about this before in the wish list area, but I am on the lookout for some way to record which addresses are associated with particular source records.

I have a wide variety of sources which will give the street address -- ship manifests (the 'person going to visit' and 'closest relative at home' questions), WWI Draft Registrations, City Directories, and  the Census, etc.    What I would like to do is build an index of what I have collected so far so that I can say 'what do I have associated in city X with street Y' and pull up all the sources.  

I did find the useful article on making a query based on Residence -- I suppose I will have to knuckle down and learn how to write queries. In the meantime, I guess I will build my own 'city directory' with Excel, but I wish there were an easier way to go about it.

Jan

User avatar
jmurphy
Megastar
Posts: 662
Joined: 05 Jun 2007 23:33
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: California, USA
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 21 Oct 2007 03:42

Jane said:
I am still looking for a good portable contact management system, a research logging system and a 'magic brickwall remover' although the latter is somewhat unlikely.

I have also just found a tiny free GedCom Viewer which will work on a key drive called Simple Family Tree


Jane, have you had a chance to try out Simple Family Tree yet?

I've just ordered a 'research pack' from one of the (almost) local genealogy groups, the Silicon Valley Computer Genealogy Group. It comes with a USB drive pre-loaded with the Family History Library's list of links to useful sites (thousands!), and one of the coolest research tools I've ever seen -- Post-It-Note pads (dubbed 'Stuck on Sources') -- printed with a little form with Author, Title, Call Number, and so on -- so if you are at the library photocopying stuff out of a book, or printing out stuff at home, you can write down the info for the source and stick it right on the page. Voila!

There's a nice write-up on putting PAF on a flash drive on their site, too:
http://www.svpafug.org/.

I have not made any progress towards finding a new research logger (apart from GenSmarts or the one built into Ancestral Quest) or contact management software.

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).

Jan

User avatar
jmurphy
Megastar
Posts: 662
Joined: 05 Jun 2007 23:33
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: California, USA
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 29 Nov 2007 19:11

Jane said in her original post that she was looking for a good research management system. I have been reading several books on managing one's research and wondering why we have so few family tree programs, yet so few research management tools.

Today I got an email newsletter from the US magazine Family Tree Newsletter which had a software review. From there I investigated other links, ended up back at Cyndi's list -- you get the idea.

Thus I found GenScribe:

http://users.rcn.com/psherman/genscribe.html

Looking at the screenshots, it seems that this program is the kind of thing I have been looking for.

However, it is for the Mac.

I do have a Mac, but not an Intel one. The advantage for me in using GenScribe would be that I could work on my research tasks while my husband is using the Windows computer. The disadvantage, of course, is that while he is on the Windows computer, I cannot refer to my data on Fanily Historian. [frown]

If anyone sees anything like this for Windows, I'd appreciate hearing about it -- at some point I will get a new machine which will be able to run both FH and some flavor of research manager at the same time.

Jan

User avatar
jeemo
Famous
Posts: 129
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 07:52
Family Historian: V5
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jeemo » 29 Nov 2007 21:47

For anyone interested, Bygones is a free genealogical notekeeping tool based on a database, the details of which can be found at http://home.utah-inter.net/bygones/

Another far simpler tool (also free) is the J & L Genealogy Reference Tool found at http://www.jlplanner.com/gref/

In relation to other genealogy software, I don't believe you can go past GED-GEN, http://www.ged-gen.com/ for a static GEDCOM to HTML converter. I use it to generate my site found at the link below (excluding the homepage).

John

User avatar
jmurphy
Megastar
Posts: 662
Joined: 05 Jun 2007 23:33
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: California, USA
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 01 Dec 2007 05:52

I've looked at Bygones, but it doesn't seem to get along with my elderly computer.

Sometimes it starts.

Sometimes it doesn't.

Since I can't get it to start reliably, I haven't used it much.

Jan

User avatar
jeemo
Famous
Posts: 129
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 07:52
Family Historian: V5
Location: Central Coast, NSW, Australia
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jeemo » 07 Dec 2007 05:21

Bygones loads quite OK for me in XP SP2

John

User avatar
jmurphy
Megastar
Posts: 662
Joined: 05 Jun 2007 23:33
Family Historian: V6.2
Location: California, USA
Contact:

What other software do you use for Family History?

Postby jmurphy » 08 Dec 2007 07:37

Bygones stalls on my Win98 box probably 4 times out of 5.

Jan


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests