Tag Archives: organization

The Best Genealogy Software

genealogy software programs

A screenshot of Rootsmagic for my own family tree. Click to enlarge for more detail.

I know that some people prefer the traditional paper format to keep track of their genealogy research, but the practice of using software has become a little more the norm. But if you are new to the field or are looking to make a change, how do you know which programs are worth looking into?

I’m not going to do full reviews on all of these, but there is a quick intro into the main genealogy software programs that are popular right now. Just remember that they all basically offer the same fundamental features and are going to have a lot in common. But it can be the style of interface or certain extras that makes one better for you than another. Take advantage of any free trials to get the idea of what each program offers before you take the plunge. (more…)

01 May 2013

Genealogy Timelines

making a genealogy timeline

A simple genealogy timeline, made with Genelines

We are all pretty familiar with the standard trees, charts and tables that come with genealogy research. Have you considered using a timeline to help further organize your ancestors and their lives?

This time of linear chart can give you a great new visual perspective on your family tree. Creating a line of events in chronological order, you can see the underlying flow to your family’s history. Vital events like births, marriages and deaths can be charted as well as changes in residences and immigrations. Add in other significant events of local or international history, and you can really see how your family fits in with things. (more…)

26 Apr 2013

Publishing Your Family Tree

Genealogy software is very nice to keep things organized and efficient, and a full filing cabinet of paperwork is a good way to store all your data, but neither have the same satisfaction as looking through a professionally bound and printed book filled with your family tree. Not only does it look and feel better, it make it very simple to share what you have with others. So have you thought about getting your own genealogy book published? (more…)

15 Mar 2013

Ahnentafel Charts

I use these charts frequently here on the site as a lovely and compact way of sharing a line of ancestry for certain people. It’s easier to manage than a drawn out pedigree chart that graphically links parents and children or a full family group sheeet. So if you’re seeing these ahnentafel charts around, you’ll want to make sure you understand them.

These charts are great to hold dozens of generations in a simple numbered list. It only holds direct ancestors for one specific person. The term “ahnentafel” is German for “ancestor table” if the name intrigued you. (more…)

16 Dec 2012

Pedigree Charts

To follow with my ongoing organizational theme, here is the second of those basic genealogy forms that you will want to have on hand to keep your records on track: pedigree charts.

The family group sheets from last week, organize your information as a series of family groups. Alternatively, the pedigree chart follows your direct ancestral line (parents, grand-parents etc), and looks like your usual family tree format, with pairs of branches leading from one person over the generations. Siblings, cousins, aunts, or uncles are not listed, just parentage. Various formats will give you space to note down birth and death dates, and possibly more. (more…)

15 Dec 2012

Family Group Sheets

On another page, I discuss how to  organize your documents. So I really should give you the proper forms you need to follow my ideas. These are the family group sheets that I use to create an index on the front of each of my folders.

Unlike the tree-shaped pedigree charts, these forms are used to document one entire family rather than show a lot of connection with your other ancestors. They have the father and mother featured at the top, with their parents indicated. Then all of their children are listed below. (more…)

15 Dec 2012

Getting Organized

A never-ending topic for genealogists, how to deal with all the notes, files and papers that quickly accumulate when you are doing your family tree research.

Keeping track of the information itself isn’t that difficult, especially if you are using a good genealogy software program. If you’re not, it’s still reasonable to organize your family tree with pedigree charts and family group forms.

But what will soon take over your desk and your life, isn’t the information itself, but all the paper. Newspaper clippings, all kinds of certificates, letters, photos, maps and more photocopies than you can shake a stick at. It’s the documentation that will bury you. (more…)

15 Dec 2012