What is Genealogy
Tid Bits
Tips and Gotcha's
Top ten myths
Top ten reasons to do it
Just for Fun
Getting Started
An exercise using a pedigree
Paperwork organization
Preserving your records
Labeling your records
Maps and geography
Old style dates
Old style handwriting
Tombstone reading
Calculating relationships
Family reunions
PC Software
Genealogical Programs
Genealogical Numbering Systems
Family Group Sheet form
GEDCOM format
Descendancy report
Ahnentafel report
Recap and Statistics
The data pyramid
Source Documents
Record types
Vital and primary records
Manuscript archives
Censuses and the soundex
Actual examples
Where to Look
Where to do your research
Kansas City area research
U.S. GenWeb
Recent immigrants
Ellis Island
African American
Native American
Hispanic American
Recommended web sites
Certified professionals
Genealogical publishers/sellers
Recommended books
Publishing your family history
Forms to use
Dewey Decimal system
Homework assignment

Genealogy Software

Web sites of some of the more well-known commercial genealogical software available:

     * the most popular software per their sales  
    ** the most powerful/flexible software  

Click here or here to see reviews of genealogy software.
For further reviews on WikiPedia and a summary of most all genealogical software, click here

Books are available that compare each version. But they are quickly outdated. It is probably best just to browse the latest book at a bookstore.

For more up to date information, see these web sites for comparisons and reviews and links to the home page of each software vendor:

PC Magazine occasionally does an analysis and review of many of the top genealogical programs. Here is what they published in August 2007. Click here [PC Mag software review] to see their web article.

PAF -- free from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Personal Ancestral File (PAF) is written by the LDS church. It can be downloaded for free from numerous web sites (click here [download PAF] to download it). Version 5.2 is the latest version and is written for both Windows and Apple computers. While it is not the most sophisticated graphical interface and lacks advanced features it is very efficient and fast. It is a good one to start with. All of its data can later be imported into any other genealogical software that supports GEDCOM (see the separate section on GEDCOM files).

Tip about purchasing genealogical software:

Do not let the fact that a given genealogical software comes packaged with several CDs full of data be a reason to purchase the software. The reliability of the data is often questionable and usually does not give appropriate citations to lead back to the original source documents.

Genealogical software should have the following capabilities:

  • enter information for individuals and marriages (e.g. names, dates, places, comments, etc.)
  • allow entry of citations for the source documents used for each individual or marriage. Even better is allowing a citation to be entered for every piece of information entered.
  • notify about invalid or questionable entries (e.g. someone married at age six)
  • import and export files in the GEDCOM format (find out which GEDCOM version is being used)
  • produce various blank forms and reports: family group sheet, pedigree, descendancy list, info for an individual, ahnentafel chart, calendar of family events, chronological events, address list
  • assign a number to each person on the family tree (usually used when printing reports or a book). For several types of numbering schemes see www.cyndislist.com/organize.htm#Numbering.
  • advanced features include book publishing and web publishing (many books are available on how to publish your family information)

Your genealogical data on your palmtop

There is genealogical software (including PAF starting with version 5.1) that will allow you to see your information on a PDA. For more information about genealogy on PDAs see the web site www.genealogy.about.com/cs/palms

Your genealogical data on your iPhone and iPad

There are genealogical apps for the iPhone and iPad. See these links:

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